Reading the Online Marketing Obituary Column is a Joke

Death rules the internet

Good thing I own a nice black dress, packets of purse-size Kleenex, and dark glasses. Every time I sneeze, there’s another funeral to attend.

Nothing to do with humans, mind you.

Death rules the internet!

The latest from the obituaries:

  • “Email marketing is dead!”
  • “Guest blogging is dead!”
  • “Video marketing is dead!”
  • “SEO is dead!”
  • “Google Plus is the walking dead!”
  • “Newsletters are dead!”

And then there’s this: “Revive Your Dead Blog”

Can a blog really die? Of course it can’t. You can put your blog out of its misery, if you want, but it won’t just die. Your blog may be suicidal, however, but that’s a whole other Oprah.

I really wish people would stop making these death claims, although they’re sometimes good for a belly laugh — especially if you’re at all savvy when it comes to online marketing methods (and you possess a good sense of humor).

What you’ll usually discover if you click over and catch these posts is the complete opposite of what the title states.

And that pisses me off.

Blog post titles are designed to make a promise to readers — a promise the blog owner is supposed to honor.

If you’re claiming email marketing is dead, then don’t share all the ways you’ve had success with it (along with an affiliate link for the email marketing service you’re using). Pfft!

That’s what’s known as BAD FORM … and the worst kind of blogging etiquette. If you choose to mislead readers, plan on having fewer readers in the future. Or maybe zero readers.

Word gets around fast in the blogosphere — the good stuff and the bad.

Here’s the thing about online marketing strategies:

THERE’S SOMETHING FOR EVERYBODY. Always has been, always will be.

Marketing activities you enjoy most and those that suit your personality, schedule, and budget are the ones you should keep in your marketing toolbox.

  • If you like being in front of the camera, video or Blab-ing is your friend.
  • If writing is your thing, blogging is the way to fly.
  • If you prefer to use your voice, podcasting or public speaking is how to roll.
  • Etc. and so on.

If the marketing methods you’re using are working for you, ignore the death notifications. That kind of nonsense is nothing more than drummed up hype, designed to grab your attention … and sell you something.

I’m not opposed to selling. I’m opposed to deceiving people.

Email marketing, guest posting, podcast interviews, networking, visual marketing, Google hangouts, forums, e-courses, internet T.V., blog tours, virtual book tours, membership sites, ezines, webinars, social media marketing, newsletters

All alive and well.

What have you seen lately in the online marketing obituary column? Are you ever alarmed at the “X is Dead!” claims?

Freebie or No Freebie – What’s Best?

I’ve been reading a ton of discussions recently about whether it’s a good idea to offer your target audience a “freebie” as a means of growing your list …

… the folks you want to build a relationship with away from your blog — those wonderful email subscribers you want to nurture — the prospects you want to market to.

Giving away (even just a portion of) your expertise to potential customers or clients may not be the best way to fly.

It may even come back to bite you in the butt … big time.

Brian Clark from Copyblogger says, “Free is not a business model”.

Kinda makes your ears perk up, doesn’t it?

Armed with all the information I’ve devoured lately, I’m seriously considering removing the freebie offer from my site.

Here’s why …

The WRONG PEOPLE are opting in, which isn’t helping me one darn bit to grow a list of potential “paying” customers.

Oddly enough, rarely does a member of my target audience request my freebie.  Sound strange?  Well, believe it or not, this isn’t just happening to me.

So who’s opting in for the freebie?  Online marketing colleagues, fellow bloggers, curious looky-loos, and the proverbial tire kickers (Ya gotta love THAT crowd!).

Many of them opt in — grab the freebie — and immediately opt OUT.

It’s almost laughable.

Only I’m not laughing.

I’ve even got a few well-established online marketing “experts” who are simply “spying” on me under an alias email address.  Isn’t that a hoot?!  It wasn’t easy to figure out who they are, but I did.

Here’s the risk in offering a freebie …

Hardcore freebie seekers are out there in droves.  We’ll never experience a shortage of people wanting something for nothing.

They will never purchase ANYTHING from you — even if it’s priced at bargain-basement cost.

Once you give them something great for free, their expectation is that the free stuff will just keep rolling in for eternity.

Not cool.  You’re in business — not the “giveaway” business.

I’m convinced freebies may actually do you and your small business more harm than good.

The blog post that influenced my thinking and definitely had the greatest impact on me was from Ameena Falchetto

What’s your opinion?

  • Is your freebie rockin’ your business?  
  • Or are you rockin’ it without a freebie?

Photo credit:  alexanderdrachmann

Are You Hitting The “Reply” Button?

The name of the game in social media marketing is engagement.

(It’s also leveraging, networking, offering valuable content, consistently showing up, and a number of other cool things but we’ll save those topics for a later date)

If you’re not engaging with your target audience, you’re simply delivering ineffective one-way communications.  

No fun talking to yourself, right?!

Without engagement, you may as well toss a handful of sand into the wind and see the results.  

Well, you probably won’t be able to “see” with all that sand in your eyes.

I subscribe to a lot of email newsletters.  Well, actually, too many of them and I’m sure they have support groups for over-subscribers like me.  🙂

But …

I do have my favorites I totally enjoy reading and look forward to their arrival in my inbox.

Oftentimes I’m asked to hit the “reply” button when the author of one of my favorite ezines would like me to:

  • Give my opinion
  • Cast a vote
  • Reveal my biggest entrepreneurial challenges
  • Share an idea
  • Suggest a topic of interest
  • Or pose a question about something I need help with

And sometimes the message reads, “If you’re still alive and kickin’, please hit reply and let me know! I haven’t heard from you in a while.”

Are you ignoring the requests and passing up the opportunity to engage with fellow entrepreneurs and online marketing colleagues?

Worth keeping in mind:

Expression is not just about communication; it is also about connecting and engaging with people.

Are YOU hitting the “reply” button?

Photo Credit: Paul Shanks

Limit Email To 140 Characters

Wouldn’t THAT be a novel idea?!

Think about the time you or your virtual assistant could save tackling the big mound of mail in your inbox every day.

Heck, the amount of time spent on rifling through email could easily be cut in half if the messages you received were limited to 140 characters.

Consider the benefit to your productivity!

Reading your email could actually turn into an enjoyable task that’s quick and easy. Who knows?  You might even start looking forward to checking your mail.

Are you grinning just thinking about the notion?

I am.

Those of us already using Twitter have become very adept at 140-character communications, right?  We’ve mastered all the Twitter shorthand skills and we can sometimes convey our thoughts in LESS than the maximum number of characters allowed!

Creating Tweets is really no formidable challenge at all.

So why not transfer that talent over to crafting email autoresponders?

Your list would love you!

I know what you’re thinking.  You like to tell your subscribers a little lead-in story or send them a list of benefits about a product or program you’re promoting.  Maybe you like to include audios or inspirational quotes with your autoresponders.  Or the majority of your autoresponders are set up as e-courses.

I get it.

But wouldn’t it be interesting to do, let’s say, a 30-day experiment and send your list 140-character messages to see how they’re received?

There’s always the possibility your subscribers would respond by saying, “Give me those longer messages back!  I want to spend more time reading email!”

But, then again, you may give them cause for celebration.

  • How much time do you spend every day checking and responding to email?
  • Is your inbox stuffed on a daily basis or does it resemble Old Mother Hubbard’s cupboard?
  • Would you be willing to craft 140-character autoresponders as an experiment?

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Email Marketing: Unhappy With Your Open Rate?

Have you felt the disappointment (sting) of sending out a broadcast to your list and having only a handful of subscribers … or maybe even no one … open your email?

Ouch.

If you’re anything like me, you go back to your contact management system and re-read your message about a hundred times, hoping to figure out what went wrong.

You may have sent out a very special announcement, a super duper freebie offer, a biz tips video, an invitation to a teleclass, a survey, or an inspirational story – or something else you felt your list would find valuable.

And yet they’re not responsive.

Hardly anyone opens your emails and you’re left, puzzled, as to what you should do to improve your open rate. Continue reading

Best Way To Communicate With Your Audience

To tap into the needs of your target audience and ramp up your marketing results …

Communication is the key.

Of course, there are many ways to “talk” to your prospects, clients, and customers.

Are you aware of how your target audience prefers to communicate?

Figuring that out is the cherry on the ice cream sundae!

Your audience may prefer to communicate with you by:

  • Email
  • Phone Call
  • Text Messaging
  • Hard Copy Newsletter
  • Social Media
  • Video
  • Podcast
  • Ezine
  • Direct Response Mail

A “best practice” for marketing your products or services is “Test Before Invest” – and that could mean an investment of either time or money or both. Continue reading