Tuesday, January 23, 2018

3 Ways to Get More Business from Your Next Networking Event



The following excerpt is from Ivan Misner, Ph.D. and Brian Hilliard’s book Networking Like a Pro. 


Let’s take a look at some specific steps you can take toward improving your networking tactics and getting more business from your very next event.


1. Limit the Number of Contacts per Event

The most important thing is the quality of the contacts you get, which means the type of contact, the relevance to your business and interests, how good a connection you’re making, and the individual involved. At a typical event, five to 10 contacts might be all you can handle. This may not seem like a lot of contacts, but it’s really more than enough when you’re talking to the right people. If you attend two events per week, that’s eight (or more) events a month, or 40 to 80 new contacts every 30 days. Continue to do that over the next couple of months—while following up with the people that you’ve met—and you’ll soon have more than enough high-quality contacts to keep you busy.

2. Spend Five to 10 Minutes Talking and Listening to Each Person

Just because you’re not handing out your business card to 1,001 people doesn’t mean you should spend 20 minutes talking to just one individual. Invest a few minutes in getting to know each person. Make sure to ask for their business card. Then follow up with them after the event; this is where the heavy lifting takes place. Remember, all we’re doing now is setting the stage for future business.

Many people ask us how to end a conversation. Don’t overthink this. It’s pretty easy to end a conversation in a friendly and polite way. Here are two things that we do:

1. Based on something the person you’re talking to says, think of someone in the room that might be interested in talking to them. Let them know about the person in the room, walk them over, and make an intro­duction. Then say that you’ll leave them to get to know one another. It’s a great way to end a conversation and, at the same time, be a connector.

2. If there’s no one to introduce the person to, then thank them for the conversation, let them know that you hope your paths cross again and ask for a card. Conversation over.

On the second approach, it’s important to be genuine. If you hope to never meet that person again, don’t remark, “I hope our paths cross again.” Instead, say something polite and professional and ask for their card. Asking for a card and offering thanks has almost always worked for us. Again, don’t overthink this and don’t apologize for ending the conversation. Whatever you do—don’t say you have someone else to meet. That puts people off.


3. Write Notes on the Backs of People’s Cards

Not only will writing notes help you remember what the other person said at an event, but it will also slow you down a bit so you won’t be running around trying to meet the next person. On the front of the card you can write the date and name of the event where you met the person; on the back, a few quick notes about the conversation or anything else of note. When you contact the person later, this will give you something to refer to.

To reiterate two key ideas when it comes to meeting new people:


You’re not interested in selling anything to the person you’re just meeting; you want to find some way you can help them. You understand, of course, that what goes around comes around, usually in the form of referrals for your business.


You want to create a visible identity with everyone you meet. A visible identity is the answer to this question: “How can I differentiate myself, in the mind of this other person, from the other five people they’ve already met?”

Keeping those two ideas in mind will give you a leg up when meeting new contacts. Using this simple “Givers Gain” approach, you’ll see an uptick in the amount of new business and referrals you get while networking.



Source: https://www.entrepreneur.com/
Image Credit: Caiaimage | Martin Barraud | Getty Images


ABOUT WNFP
Westchester Networking for Professionals (WNFP) is a business organization focused on providing our members and guests with an extraordinary networking experience, bringing business professionals together for the sole purpose of generating new relationships and developing new business opportunities. Not a member, learn how you can become a member and join this awesome group of professionals to connect and grow your business.

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Monday, January 22, 2018

3 Ways to Master the Art of Networking Networking



It's my humble opinion that in order to be a successful CEO or leader, you must first learn and master the art of networking. But understand that networking and "showing up" is only half the battle. In addition to networking, you need to learn how to meaningfully and authentically connect with people. Otherwise, your networking efforts will be wasted.

I know that it can be intimidating and sometimes seem impossible, but it's an absolute must-have skill for growing a business. I happen to enjoy the networking part of my job. It allows me to meet new people, gain important partnerships as well as grow awareness for my business. If you want to be a strong leader you have to put your fears behind you and put yourself out there. Read on for some of my best networking tips.


Build rapport.


This is the golden rule for any and all types of communication. Do you not like talking about yourself? Great! Make the conversation about them. Ask questions in order to learn who they are and what they do. Use that to build rapport. People like to feel like they are important (and they are). Leaving them with that feeling will leave you with a new relationship. Building rapport also means creating memories or remembering the person. Don't talk with someone and forget everything they said. There is nothing worse than having to admit you weren't paying attention. Remembering small details will go a long way when it comes to creating lasting relationships.


Don't do it alone.


Do you have friends or previously-made connections who are great networkers? Bring them with you and follow their lead. There is a lot to be learned by doing. Having someone with you who almost forces you to get out there will do just that. This tactic also helps with those of you who may have some anxiety when it comes to networking or being social. It's not easy putting yourself out there, so having a support system or lifeline can do wonders for your confidence -- which also will do wonders for your networking skills.



Pick the right event.


There are so many opportunities and ways to get your name out there. Some of my favorites are conferences and shows related to my industry. They are more approachable as everyone there is in attendance for the same reason and it's easier to start a conversation. Start with local startup events. They are usually shorter in duration and are more organized, which makes things much easier and less stressful. My awesome home state, Arizona, has a community rooted in startup culture and there are events every week.

Networking and making connections is perhaps one of the most difficult things to master when it comes to being a good leader. But starting small, not doing it alone and practicing will get you to where you want to be.





Source: https://www.inc.com/
Image Credit: Getty Images




ABOUT WNFP
Westchester Networking for Professionals (WNFP) is a business organization focused on providing our members and guests with an extraordinary networking experience, bringing business professionals together for the sole purpose of generating new relationships and developing new business opportunities. Not a member, learn how you can become a member and join this awesome group of professionals to connect and grow your business.

Stay Connected with WNFP!
Join WNFP Communities!

Thursday, January 11, 2018

How Targeted Email Marketing Can Help Your Business Convert Better


Email marketing is one of the best ways to grow your online business. B2B marketers believe that email is their most effective channel for generating revenue. On B2C’s side, ⅘ of retail professionals trust email as their best method of retaining customers.

When done correctly, email marketing can help take your business to the next level. However, doing it correctly is the best “if” among most marketers.

Setting up opt-in forms to acquire subscribers and send all of them the same content is no longer enough. You need to develop a highly-focused strategy that will turn your email subscribers into customers.

Therefore, a targeted email marketing campaign is in order.


What is targeted email marketing?

By definition, this approach to email marketing lets you group subscribers that share the same characteristics into different segments.

At the very core of targeted email marketing is personalization, especially for e-commerce businesses. Instead of sending all your subscribers the same email, segmentation lets you identify what makes a specific group in your email list tick. As a result, you can create content that connects with each segment of your email list to increase the chances of conversion.

An example of a successful targeted email marketing campaign is from eCommerce enterprise Nykka. With the goal of engaging subscribers through personalized emails, it was able to send 29 million emails with an average opt-in rate of 13% and a click-through rate of 8%.

One of the most effective tactics Nykka used for their email marketing is by targeting highly engaged users and sending out emails of similar products from the ones they’ve recently purchased.


Image source: Boomtrain


By sending similar products to engaged customers who bought a particular brand and with an order value of $50, Nykka was able to convert more customers and increased its revenue.

Benefits of targeted email marketing

Targeted email marketing is a powerful way to communicate with your leads and customers and get them to purchase again. Below are some of the benefits as to why this is the case.

Higher conversion rate

As mentioned, you shouldn’t do email marketing without committing to it wholeheartedly. Merely sending email blasts to your subscribers is one of the best ways to get them to unsubscribe.

To make the most out of your email marketing campaign, make sure to understand who your subscribers and customers are. Getting as much information about your customers allows you to humanize them and lets you create emails that they’d likely click on and read than ignore.

By identifying and catering to “high-value segments” in your email list, you can increase conversion rate by 208%.

Higher customer engagement rate

Customers are the lifeblood of your business. Without them, your business will crumble. However, it is not enough that you acquire as many customers as you can. You need to get the same customers to buy from you as many times as possible. In fact, it costs five times more to acquire new customers than to keep your currents one. Also, the success rate of selling to previous customers is 60-70% while the chances of making a sale with new clients is at 5%.

These statistics prove that you need to keep your customers engaged with your brand as much as you can. And what better way to grab their attention than through targeted email marketing.

Sending a personalized email increases customer engagement by 74% according to marketers in this study. By segmenting your audience based on their habits and preferences, you can send more meaningful emails to them, which in turn compel them to interact with your brand.

Increase in customer retention

Part of grouping customers for targeted email marketing involves knowing their calculated lifetime value (CLV). It computes how many customers you have, the average dollar for every sale, and other factors. By coming up with your CLV, you can predict the average value of your customers should you keep them around.

Retaining these customers can be done through targeted email marketing. The fact that 80% of businesses look up to email marketing as the way to keep customers means you’re not the only one who shares this belief. Sending customers emails that “speak” to them will generate better reception from them. As a result, it increases the chances of them staying with you as long as you provide them with excellent service.

Personalization and creating hyper-targeted segments for targeted email marketing

For your email marketing strategy to work, you must group subscribers and customers accordingly. However, finding the common denominators among them is easier said than done. Nonetheless, below are steps to make the process much easier for you.

Generate your segments

When slicing your email list, you need to group them accordingly using different segments. Whenever somebody purchases from your site, you need to gain access to their age, gender, buying patterns and more. This personally identifiable information (PII) give you an idea of the kind of customer or subscriber each is so you can send them emails tailor-made to their desires and needs.

Choose your focus segments

Since your goal is to profit from your email list, you must determine which of the segments you should dedicate your attention to the most. Not all segments are created equally. Some contribute to your bottom line much more efficiently than others. Your goal now is to determine which segment will have the greatest effect on your profitability.

Segments that you need need to look into are the following:

Past purchases– Find out the products customers in your email list purchased from your website. You can then upsell related products they might want to buy from your site.

Buying frequency– The more people buy from your site, the more chances that you can make them purchase again. Also, you can reward customers by offering them your loyalty program. If you don’t have one yet, learn how to plan and implement your loyalty program in this HelpScout post.

Seasonal sales– Some of your customers only buy from your site during particular seasons. If you’re selling products with a high demand in the period, i.e., Christmas decorations during the holidays, then you need to segment customers who bought only at that time.

Create content for each

Once you’ve figured out which segments to focus on, it’ll be easier for you to craft emails written specifically for that group of subscribers. When done correctly, you can expect your conversion rates to skyrocket and potentially hike up your sales.

When drafting your email message to each segment, you need to keep these things in mind:

Image Source: Shopify

Maintain consistent tone– You need to stick to your voice when delivering a message to your segments. The tone should embody your brand – it is one of the reasons why they buy from your shop in the first place. Whether you revel in humor like Chubbies as seen in this Black Friday email example or take a more formal approach in your emails like Idealist in another example, it is crucial to use your tone to full effect.

Communicate message – Make sure that your email message is clear and leaves no room for misinterpretation. It doesn’t matter if you draft a long, persuasive copy or write a short one. What’s more important is whether the message gets through to your subscribers.

Provide value– Even if you’re not selling anything online, targeted email marketing is an excellent way to share useful content to your subscribers. You can use email marketing so send exclusive resource guides, curated content, and surveys. For example, SuperOffice regularly sends out white papers to its subscribers to provide them with content that resonates with their needs. While white papers and other resource guides can be used to supply your email list with information simply, these can help B2B companies bring their subscribers down their sales funnel.

There are other more factors that you need to consider when crafting emails for your segments. The approach to every email is different for each group on your list. Nonetheless, the three above should help build the foundation on how you should approach writing your emails.

Testing ideas to further optimize your targeted email campaign

You need to find a way to optimize all your targeted email marketing efforts to produce the best results. You can’t keep doing the same thing for every campaign and expect a different outcome. If you want to improve your campaign, you need to make the necessary changes. And to find out what you need to tweak on your future campaign, you need to scale your progress.

One of the most common ways to measure your email marketing is through A/B testing. By deploying different versions of the same campaign, you can determine the iteration that converted the most. You need to diligently test all your campaign so you can unearth breakthroughs in your email marketing that will increase your conversion rate further.

Assuming that you’re already doing A/B testing, below are other ways on how you can scale your targeted email marketing:

Send time optimization

Instead of sending all the emails to recipients at the same time, you can set the time when they will receive them. Factors such as time zone differences and email habits prevent you from launching a successful campaign without considering the factors.

By customizing the time when your emails will be sent, you can engage more subscribers and maximize the results of your campaign.

You can assign different times for each segment when its recipients will receive the emails. Once you’ve sent the emails, compare the open rate of your current campaign with the old ones. Measure the effectiveness of this approach and see and makes the changes whether the results are positive or not.

Experimental design

As valuable as A/B testing is when it comes to optimizing your targeted email marketing, larger businesses will find it limiting. The process of isolating a single variable for testing may not be enough for companies who want to put multiple variables to the test.


Image source: Bain & Company

The experimental design does exactly that. By increasing the variants being tested in a targeted email campaign, you can expedite the increase of your email campaign’s conversion rate. Experimental design is only effective if you have segmented your list accordingly. From here, you can determine the variants that appeal to a segment and will be controlled throughout the email campaign.

Surveys and micro-surveys

There is information that the data provided by your email platform isn’t showing you. You can gain access to the number of people who opened your emails, clicked on the link, and subscribed to your list, among others. What it doesn’t share with you is why they did.

You may have done something right that caused them to perform such actions. However, some of those answers aren’t as evident as it seems. Most importantly, you need to explain why people didn’t open your emails and unsubscribe from your list.

Therefore, you need to reach out to different segments in your email list. Instead of waiting for them to tell you what’s wrong or what you need to do, take the initiative by sending them a survey form. It should ask questions relevant to their behavior towards your email campaigns or a particular subject. The answers provided here can determine what you need to do with your email strategy and tweak it for the better.

As an example, Mailjet surveyed international differences when it comes to email marketing. The survey provided valuable insights on how people from all walks of the globe approach email marketing.




Conclusion

If you want to succeed with targeted email marketing, then you need to value what email marketing brings to the table. It’s one thing to acknowledge its benefits to your business. It’s another to take action on your email list by segmenting each one of them correctly. Doing the latter helps optimize your email marketing so you can send optimized messages to the right people, which will lead to higher conversions.



Source: http://tweakyourbiz.com/




ABOUT WNFP
Westchester Networking for Professionals (WNFP) is a business organization focused on providing our members and guests with an extraordinary networking experience, bringing business professionals together for the sole purpose of generating new relationships and developing new business opportunities. Not a member, learn how you can become a member and join this awesome group of professionals to connect and grow your business.

Stay Connected with WNFP!
Join WNFP Communities!