The Green Sheet Online Edition
November 12, 2012 • Issue 12:11:01
200 ways to get noticed - Part 1
By Nancy Drexler
This is the first of two articles containing tips compiled to maximize your sales and marketing success. This article covers use of presentations and webinars, company websites, and email. The second article, which will appear in an upcoming issue of The Green Sheet, will offer additional advice on using email, as well as tips regarding social media, blogs, and company advertising and collateral.
Presentations and webinars
1. Encourage communication while attendees arrive and settle in for the event.
2. Assume most people don't want to talk to you unless you give them a reason to do so.
3. Start with a compelling reason why someone should want to talk to you.
4. Mean what you say, and say what you mean.
5. Bring flowers.
6. Bring a plaque.
7. Disable desktop email notifications, chat functions, Skype alerts, appointment pop-ups, weather alerts, software updates, screen savers, power savers and any other distractions.
8. Be friendly and entertaining.
9. Modulate your tone of voice and vary your pacing to grab and hold attention.
10. Keep the show moving at a brisk, but unhurried, pace. Keep your audience engaged.
11. Avoid "dead air." If things go a bit haywire, let participants know and, if possible, continue the webinar or presentation despite any less-than-optimal conditions.
12. Speak clearly; speak concisely. If you catch yourself rambling about an inconsequential point, stop and get back on topic.
13. Create content attendees can use immediately. They should be excited about implementing your ideas.
14. Avoid clutter. Choose easy-to-read fonts; set the size to about 30 points. Stick to a simple, unobtrusive color scheme.
15. Instead of boring bullet points, use an arresting image that captures the essence of your idea. Then talk about the idea, point by point.
16. Use fewer slides, and become less dependent on them. Attendees are not there to hear you read from slides. They want you to talk to them.
17. Use the zoom feature to make smaller slide details readable for viewers.
18. Focus on that wow factor. If your customers feel amazing, they will keep buying from you. They will tell their friends, they'll mention you on Facebook, key influencers will get excited - and on and on.
19. Solve problems. Customers don't forget business partners who are attentive to their needs.
20. Compare what you provide to what competitors are pedaling.
21. Make a free offer.
22. Direct attendees to your website to download the presentation.
23. Encourage attendees to submit questions. That can help get the Q&A off to a quick start and may uncover a lead or two.
24. Set up several single-question polls to use at key times during your presentation to keep participants alert and involved.
25. Read body language and control your own. Direct eye contact, smiling eyes and a relaxed brow are signs of comfort and interest; no eye contact and tension in the brow can indicate discomfort and even lying.
26. If someone is showing signs of boredom, try to engage the person in the presentation. Ask a question focused on the individual's needs. Endeavor to help the person relax.
27. Wear blue: it is the color liked by the greatest number of people and is thought to enhance communication.
28. Respond to leads immediately. (Harvard Business Review reported that businesses that tried to contact potential customers within an hour of receiving a query were nearly seven times more likely to qualify the lead than those that tried to contact the customer even an hour later - and more than 60 times as likely as companies that waited 24 hours or longer.)
29. Send thank-you notes immediately after the event.
30. Create unique looking pages, and change them often. Don't use default looks or templates.
31. Change your copy frequently, adding news and product information to your home page.
32. Share information without selling.
33. Add keywords that capitalize on the latest industry news and information, such as EMV and PCI.
34. Make readers hungry for more with fresh, catchy and valuable content.
35. Highlight your history to emphasize your stability.
36. Include content that demonstrates you are in business for the long run.
37. Include information customers will expect to find on your website, or they will wonder (not in a good way) why it isn't there.
38. Make it easy for viewers to find what they are looking for.
39. Offer content that is neither too broad nor too specific.
40. Create unique sites for distinct audiences; don't satisfy one customer while alienating others.
41. Employ search engine optimization. Use potent keywords, metatags and the right HTML codes. Ensure search engine spiders can correctly index your site.
42. Submit your site to directories and galleries.
43. Use analytics to understand how your sites are being used, and adjust accordingly.
44. Add widgets to your site: news feeds, blogs, tweets, and links like Delicious, Digg and StumbleUpon.
45. List your URL everywhere you can - as part of your email signature, on all your marketing materials, on premiums and on give-aways.
46. Feature all awards, recommendations and testimonials prominently.
47. Run competitions.
48. Host events and promote them with photos of attendees.
49. Offer free consultation services or affiliate opportunities.
50. Link to your social media sites and blogs.
51. Write articles for other websites, and link to those sites.
52. Record podcasts and videos. Invest in a good microphone, find a quiet location and enjoy prepared, but not stilted, conversation.
53. Offer newsletters and RSS feeds.
54. Respond to information requests and leads immediately.
55. Don't purchase lists for email campaigns; they won't work.
56. Create your own list via social media, newsletters, white papers and free offers.
57. Use the right technology. For example, look into DomainKeys Identified Mail to avoid hackers.
58. Make your messages easy on the eyes.
59. If the "from" is not a well-known company, compensate with a strong, benefit-driven subject line.
60. To stay out of spam boxes, avoid words like "free" and "hot" in the subject line.
61. Quote someone who is well-known or has authority.
62. Offer value.
63. Solve a problem.
64. Help prospects do comparisons that put you in a favorable light.
65. Keep it simple.
66. Write for an audience of one: use common conversation, not formal speech.
67. Decrease your text-to-image ratio.
68. Avoid tiny text - remember mobile users.
69. Don't use one large image at the top with text underneath. If the image doesn't display right, the reader never gets to the message.
70. Make the call to action big enough to easily find and read on the screen.
71. Don't try to close a sale in an email.
72. Use emails to build familiarity and grow long-term relationships.
73. Focus on both your short-term and long-term objectives.
74. Leave enough space around a button image so that it is easy to utilize on a mobile phone.
75. Use vertical forms; they generate more response than horizontal forms.
76. Equate your subject line to a headline - make a point that appeals to readers.
77. Use punctuation in the subject line; this will increase the message's open-rate.
78. Your first line of copy is premium real estate - make sure it works hard.
79. Generate attention with a bold statement, startling statistic or curiosity-arousing question.
80. Remember the 4 U's: unique, useful, urgent and user-specific.
81. Don't use multiple columns of text. One long column is easier to read.
82. Never embed video; provide a link instead.
83. Include offline contact information.
84. Use red, but don't overdo it.
85. If multiple people are sending emails to the same audience, coordinate the timing and content of messages.
86. Every email should drive readers to a website landing page or contact form.
87. Leverage historical, behavioral and demographic data to inform the delivery of content.
88. Capitalize on current events to keep your message timely.
89. Personalize. Whenever possible, refer to a recipient's interests or past behaviors.
90. Offer free or discounted services on the recipient's birthday.
91. Add links to social media.
92. Make your email readable on mobile devices.
93. Act like an expert.
94. Make sure your content is valuable.
95. Offer an incentive to act.
96. Offer a free download to capture email addresses (and further build your opt-in list).
97. Put your picture on your communications.
98. Keep it professional - no spouses, children, sports or sex.
99. Send an email after every contract or agreement is signed.
100. Recommend a date and time when you and the recipient can speak.
Nancy Drexler is the President of Acquired Marketing, a boutique marketing firm for businesses in the payments industry. To learn more about what Acquired Marketing can do for you, visit www.acquiredmarketing.com or call 917-743-5258 or email email@example.com.
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