Tuesday, February 27, 2018

3 Ways To Build Authentic Relationships When Networking


The idea of networking makes some people’s skin crawl. They imagine a bad event in a hotel conference room where everyone has a name tag and a pitch. This alone makes it difficult to build authentic relationships. They may also feel fears about being judged or rejected for their business idea.

Like with most things, we’ve been told a story about networking that simply isn’t true. The truth is if you focus on building and nurturing authentic relationships – and knowing when to ask for something – then you can get what you want. Here are some ways to build authentic relationships when networking.



Give before you take.

Whenever most people think of networking, they think of a used car salesman. That’s probably because we’ve all had an experience where all someone wanted to do was take from us.

The key is to always give before you take. Help someone out when they need it. Volunteer to teach a class. Share stuff on social media when they ask for it. Get to know people as friends instead of business opportunities.


Recommended for you: 
Monthly Email Marketing Workshop Series for Beginners

However, there is one caveat to this. Some business owners give but never ask. This brings me to the next point.



Balance the act of giving with your own needs.

The problem I see with a lot of business owners is not necessarily with building authentic relationships. In fact, many of them are quite good at this. The real problem for some is never asking for what they want. In fact, they spend all their time nurturing a relationship but never get much out of it because they don’t ask.

For example, instead of asking a contact whether or not they can get a booth at an expo they say something like, “Let me know if you need any help.” In their minds, they are still nurturing a relationship, but the reality is the relationship might already be established and they just need to be more direct.

For example, my colleagues and I ask each other for help all the time. Are we friends? Yes. But that doesn’t stop us from asking for what we need in business. This is how I’ve gotten new business, mentors, media opportunities and an agent.



Be consistent with your work.

One of the students in my group coaching program is working on an offering that helps people boost their confidence in building authentic relationships. Just recently, she gave a great piece of advice to other students who were struggling to turn networking opportunities into new business.

Essentially, she called them out for not being consistent with their work. In her experience, if your connections see that you are consistent with your work, then they will be less afraid to refer you for business opportunities. The problem lies in the fact that many people just aren’t sold on what it is they are doing, so their connections don’t want to risk their reputation.



Final Thoughts

Building authentic relationships is an important part of moving your business – and your life – forward. The key is learning how to balance relationship building with your own needs. By using these tips, you’ll be able to turn those relationships into business 
 opportunities.

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Put these tips to work today! Log in to your Constant Contact account to get started.


Source: https://www.business2community.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!

Monday, February 26, 2018

5 Strategies to Boost Donor Retention Using Email Marketing

Without the regular contributions of passionate supporters, nonprofits wouldn’t be able to achieve their goals. However, receiving regular donations means cultivating relationships with existing donors and creating a strong donor retention strategy.

Retaining donors is a serious concern for many nonprofits, and according to a recent study, only 46% of donors have given to the same organization two years in a row. That means there’s likely room to amp up your retention strategy, leading to a lot more donations down the line.

From fundraising events to social media outreach, there are several ways organizations go about improving their donor retention. One of the best ways to boost retention is with email marketing. Using the right strategies, your organization can level up your outreach to keep donors interested in supporting your cause.

In this post, we’ll show you five ways you can improve donor retention using email marketing.


Brand new to Constant Contact? You can try us out for free! Sign up for your free 60-day trial to see for yourself. 
Put these tips to work today! Log in to your Constant Contact account to get started.


1. Use CRM software to personalize your outreach.

One of the cardinal rules of email marketing is to make your messages personal and targeted. What’s more, personalizing your emails can help boost donor retention.

When donors feel like your organization knows them personally, they’re much more likely to feel that your organization appreciates their support.

Using email marketing software is a great first step in ensuring that your emails are personalized. Organizations can take their personalization one step further by utilizing their nonprofit CRM or donor database software.

Let’s face it: your CRM holds a lot of information about your donors. Everything from their name and preferred contact information to their giving history and interests is conveniently stored in your donor profiles.

Put this information to use by segmenting your email outreach so that donors only receive emails that are relevant to them.

For example, if you have a group of donors who like outdoor activities and staying fit, they should be the first people you invite to participate in your walkathons and marathons.

Alternatively, first-time donors should receive more information about the history, mission, and past achievements of your organization whereas recurring donors are likely already familiar with that information.

Moreover, using both your email marketing and CRM software can help you evaluate what types of messages are most effective.

Organizations can gain a better understanding of what emails lead to more donations and event registrations by tracking metrics like:

  • Click-through rate
  • Total donations raised per email
  • Behavioral tracking using heat maps and recordings

Takeaway: Segmenting your donors based on giving history, interests, and location ensures that they receive emails that have information valuable to them. As a result, donors are more likely to read your emails and stay involved in supporting your nonprofit.



2. Write emails that are donor-centric.

A common mistake that many organizations make when writing emails is focusing on the achievements your organization has made rather than focusing on how their donors’ contributions made those achievements possible.

In other words, whether you’re writing an end-of-year appeal or sending a newsletter, no matter what type of email you’re sending it’s important to show your donors you wouldn’t be able to accomplish anything without their support.

The key to keeping your emails donor-centric is to:


  • Personalize your letter. Like we mentioned in the previous section personalization can have a huge effect on a donor’s motivation to contribute. Make sure that all your emails address the recipient by name.
  • Use the word “you” more often in your message. Using a recent email, tally up the number of times you use the words “you” and “we.” The language in your email should be focused on your donors because it shows that you appreciate their support.
  • Appeal to the donor in your opening paragraph. A vital step in encouraging donors to contribute is by creating a connection that appeals to the donor’s passions. If your school is trying to raise money, reach out to alumni and let them know that contributing will help provide new students with the same enjoyable experience they had.


In addition to the tips mentioned above, your organization should make a point to mention the support and contributions donors have already made. This shows that you’re aware of all the help your donors have given.

Takeaway: Focusing on your donors shows them that you value their support and not just their money. And when donors feel truly appreciated, they’re more likely to stick around.



3. Update donors about fundraising opportunities.

One of the challenges of retaining donors is that your supporters aren’t always aware of all the fundraising events and campaigns your organization is hosting.

By sending donors emails that keep them up-to-date on all the fundraising and volunteer opportunities your organization has, the more opportunities your donors have to get involved.

Plus, boosting donor engagement is a proven way to improve your donor retention. The more involved your donors are, the more connections they’ll build with people working at your organization.

As such, donors will become more passionate about your cause, especially if they’re volunteering, attending events, and seeing your organization in action.

Cultivating a community of donors with a passion for your cause and strong connections to your organization’s team is the winning formula for retaining your supporters

Keep donors updated on fundraising opportunities in your email outreach by:

  • Letting them know about upcoming events.
  • Reminding them about ongoing crowdfunding or peer-to-peer fundraising campaigns.
  • Encouraging them to volunteer at events.

If you’re not sure how to frame your email messages, Fundraising Letters has a comprehensive list of templates for every occasion.

Takeaway: Having donors participate in events and volunteer for your cause is the cornerstone of any successful stewardship plan. Use email to spread the word about your engagement opportunities.



4. Let donors know how their funds were used.

Generally, after donors give to your nonprofit, they’ll receive a thank-you letter (sometimes in an email or via direct mail) and the engagement usually ends until your organization will make another appeal.

When organizations make that second appeal, they may find donors don’t want to give again. Even if donors are passionate about your cause, they may not contribute because they don’t know how their funds were used the first time.

After a donor gives to your organization, the engagement shouldn’t stop at the thank-you letter. It’s crucial that you let your donors know how their money was used.

For example, if you launched a crowdfunding campaign to update the facilities at your animal shelter, you should send the donors that contributed emails updating them on the progress of your project.

These emails can include:

  • Photos and videos of your nonprofit in action. In our animal shelter example, the organization could send photos of the updated facilities and explain how the changes improved the living conditions of the animals.
  • A breakdown of how the money was used. Include a pie chart that shows how each portion of your fundraising goal was used. For instance, the animal shelter may show that 50% of the funds raised went to building materials and equipment and 30% went to labor costs.
Of course, if you’re sending out updates, your organization will need to keep a record of which donors contributed to what campaigns so that no is left out of the loop.

Using comprehensive fundraising software and your email marketing tool, you can keep donations organized and use segmented lists to send emails to the right donors.

Takeaway: Don’t let your engagement end after the thank-you letter. Make sure to keep donors up-to-date on the progression of your nonprofit’s project.



5. Include a clear call-to-action.

When your organization creates an email, you likely have a goal or multiple objectives you’d like your reader to complete. Creating these goals is not only useful for assessing the effectiveness of your emails but also creating the copy and designing the message itself.

In order to help donors complete your main objective, your organization needs to have a clear call-to-action that leads donors to their next steps.

Depending on the email you’re sending, your call-to-action could:

  • Direct donors to your online donation form.
  • Encourage donors to RSVP for your event.
  • Motivate donors to share your fundraising campaign with their peers.
  • Ask donors to volunteer for an upcoming fundraising event.
Once, you’ve determined what your call-to-action is going to be, you need to make it clear to your donors what you want them to do.

Towards the beginning of your email, make a direct ask so that donors know exactly what your organization needs to be successful.

Additionally, place your call-to-action in a prominent location and make it stand out. For instance, if you want people to make a contribution, don’t just include a link to your donation form. Instead, create a “Donate Now” button that’s placed at the top of your email.

For more tips on how to improve your calls-to-action, check out this article.

Takeaway: Just like any fundraising campaign, your emails need a clear call-to-action that lets donors know exactly what you need to reach your goals.


Wrap up

Improving your donor retention doesn’t have to be a struggle. With these five tips, you can amp up your email marketing and encourage donors to keep giving.


Recommended for you:
Monthly Email Marketing Workshop Series for Beginners


Source: https://www.business2community.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!

Unknown Yet Effective Email Marketing Tips for Businesses To Rule in 2018

Email marketing had a momentary setback in the past. It happened due to people’s tendency of spamming emails. However, with time companies once again started taking up email marketing as their promotional tool. There is little doubt that email marketing plays a significant role when it comes to catching a hold of targeted customers.

Few Benefits of Email Marketing




Low-Cost Marketing

Running a business requires high expenditure. It is natural for the business owners to look for inexpensive tools that will help them expand their brand name. Email marketing is low cost and easy to handle. That is why small-scale businesses, especially the startups opt for email marketing as their promotional tool. The business owners, who are dealing with substantial debts, often find solace in email marketing as they find it difficult to opt for any other marketing tool.

Brand Expansion

With each email that you shoot, the consumers become aware of the business that you are running. They are also getting to know the brand which you are trying to establish. This exposure, when comes in a low cost, becomes a boon for every business. It is not only the small-scale businesses, but even the corporate giants opt for email marketing as their promotional tool.

Easy Sharing Option

You would rarely find a marketing tool which you can easily share with your targeted clients. Sharing email marketing requires only hitting a send button, and that is it, you are exposed to millions of people at one go.

You Can Measure Email Marketing

With the help of modern-day analytics, you can measure the success of email marketing. You can draw specific metrics which includes opening rate, delivery rate, and many other crucial measurable information.

Email Marketing Tips

Crafting an email which draws attention is an art. You need to acquire the skill by practice. However, when you are opting for promotion at an urgent basis, acquiring skill is the last thing you would want to invest your time on. In such circumstances, you can use some quick email marketing tricks to attract the attention of the potential clients.

Images play a significant role in making people open an email. A long text might get ignored, but people will notice a picture for sure. If you dig deep, you will see that average people get at least 400 emails every month. Most these emails end up in the junk box. If you do not want your email to share the same fate, you need to add a well-drawn image. However, there is a catch. In this smartphone era, almost all the emails get checked on mobile devices. Pictures do not always respond well to the small screen. That is why you need to check the image before shooting the email.

Map Your Journey

Email marketing opens up a channel for the small-scale businesses to strike a communication with the potential customers. If you want to build a long-term relationship with the customers, you need to go down on a personal level and communicate with the customers. Technology makes this journey easy for you. Now, you can send out personalized emails to thousands of people out there. To craft this email, you can think like the customers and try to contemplate what kind of email would have attracted your attention. Once you have decided this, you will be able to create your email and send it out to the people.

Acquiring Data

The success of email marketing depends on the quality of data. There is no point in shooting random emails. No one would open it up. Instead, you should invest time in data collection through registration. These will be solid leads. These people have registered because they want your service, and with the right push, you can sell off your product to them.

However, to make people register on your website, you need to offer high-quality products or high-quality content. Another important fact which you need to remember is that the process of registration needs to be easy or else people will not register to your website. Let them register with a single click only.

Some reward or incentive will lure people to register. Often websites offer free ebook as registration gift. Everyone likes to receive gifts. Therefore, you can use this trick to make people register to your site. You can offer something else as well. There is no strict rule about giving an ebook only.

Raise Expectation

Yes, you need to do this with care. When the expectation is raised correctly, you will be able to get people to come back to you. Here do not try to use flowery words or lengthy prose. In an email, these two things do not work. You need to be upfront and bold here. It is essential that you tell your potential customers what they can expect from your service. With each email, build this expectation and get it as high as you can.

Create a Sense of Urgency

Hurry, the winter is coming. Well, not really, but the voice should have a similar tone which will get the attention of the readers. If they do not feel the hit of excitement in the form of urgency, they will not respond well. The first line of the email is important. You only have six seconds. Between which the readers will decide whether to read your email or discard it.

Easy on the Language

People respond to chatty tone and casual voice. Use this when you are writing an email. Make the readers feel that you are sitting across from them and talking. Once you establish this bonding, you will be able to get them to open all your emails.

As you keep sending emails to people, you will succeed in finding the flaws. You will be able to see what works and what does not. You can only learn by doing it.






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!

Friday, February 23, 2018

8 Old-School Branding Techniques That Will Still Work for You Today


Everything seems so fast-paced these days: You go to bed one night and wake up the next morning to the announcement of an entirely new technology, or a breakthrough on a project that seemed far-fetched until, well, this moment.

If you personally have issues with the speed of change, imagine what companies contend with: To keep up and stay relevant, they have to adapt their branding, marketing and sales efforts at a pace at least as fast as that of the new techologies' debuts.

Gone are the Mad Men days of designing billboards and magazine ads (those jobs still get done, just in a different way and with different tools). In are the days of instant publishing. Despite the changes that the marketing industry has experienced, though, there are still some old-school branding and marketing strategies that work as effectively as before. Just because they seem old-fashioned doesn’t mean they’re out of date.

Here are eight aged but still workable branding and marketing strategies that are as effective in 2018 as they were back in the day.

Business cards. Business cards are less common now that text and email are so prevalent, but they’re still as effective as ever. Rather than simply telling someone what you do and asking them to email you if they’re interested, (though they may not remember your email address), a physical business card is more personal.

Business cards visually represent you and your brand -- they have your logo and contact information, which will visually stand out in your prospect’s mind. Moreover, not only do business cards stand out visually, but because you made a physical, personal connection, the next time that prospect needs your company’s type of services services, he or she will likely contact you first.

Snail mail. Who doesn’t love getting a personal letter? Unfortunately, nowadays, mail most of the time is just bills and advertising disguised as letters or important documents. You on the other hand don’t have to trick consumers into opening your mail, in order to have a successful snail mail campaign. Although impersonal ads are disappointing, coupons and discount notifications are not.

Public talks at events. Speaking at events is a great way to get your company’s name out to people already interested in your industry. You can search out events related to your vertical or let connections know that you’re interested in speaking; then prepare an address that is educational and meaningful and will make a lasting impression.

Think about the last time you attended an event about something you were interested in. Did any of the speakers stand out to you? Why? When you find a speaker to be impressive, take notes, then apply his or her techniques to the next time you have the opportunity to raise awareness about your company. Offer yourself to speak at an event.

Publishing testimonials. Testimonials are as effective today as they’ve ever been. Customers turn to online reviews and testimonials all the time before making online purchasing decisions or deciding which service provider they want to use.

So, asking existing clients for testimonials and then publishing their words on your website and printed marketing materials will help establish trust between your brand and your customers and potential customers.

Sponsorships for community events. One old school but great way to get your company’s name out there is your sponsorship of a community event. Whether it be a local high school football team or a charity walk to raise cancer awareness, an event that gets you involved in your community through your sponsorship will raise awareness of your company and the things you do. It makes for great PR as well.

Cold calls. The term “cold calls” has a negative connotation, but why? Perhaps the reason is that rejection is tough and some people just aren’t cut out for sales. Assigning one of those people to cold calling probably won’t result in much success. Others, though, do their best work when making cold calls.

So, if you're pursuing this strategy, you'll need a plan in place that includes a list of potential customers, a strategy and possibly a script. Once you feel confident in your pitch, call the customers on the list. Don’t be afraid to digress a little bit or indulge in a personal conversation, since it will warm your prospect up and keep the conversation friendly.

A branding redesign. If your brand has been around for some time, it may be time for are design. Although this can be a difficult undertaking, redesigning your brand, logo and the overall look of your company can get you a lot of attention. This is especially true if your branding is outdated. Old customers will enjoy a fresh new look while potential customers will get curious and pay more attention because, let’s face it, sometimes we do judge books by their covers.

Trade shows. Trade shows like CES are still as popular as ever. Whether you attend trade shows in your local area or travel to national and even global events, participating in and presenting at trade shows is a great way to increase brand recognition. Not only can you get your name out there, but you can show potential partners and customers your products, what they do and what else you have been working on.

Alhough these strategies may not be the newest ways to brand and market your business, they have been tried, tested and proven true. Which have you found to be the most effective for you and your business?




Source: https://www.entrepreneur.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!

'Superconnectors': 3 Steps to Becoming a Networking Genius


“Social capital is the most important currency in the world" is the core message of an upcoming book I was recently privileged to read before its release. That book? Superconnector: Stop Networking and Start Building Business Relationships That Matter, by Scott Gerber and Ryan Paugh.

Their book got me psyched about the importance of the people the authors call, well . . . superconnectors.

What's a superconnector? Your first impression might be of a social maven who connects anyone and everyone -- and you wouldn't be far off, because there is a strategy involved in being a superconnector. But there's more to it than that.

In fact, being able to make long-lasting connections means something in addition to how many LinkedIn invitations a person receives or his or her number of friends on Facebook. Rather, superconnectors are information brokers who are constantly learning about others and constantly connecting.Therefore, superconnections are relationships that are not only mutually beneficial but also the basis from which whole communities can be built.

With their book, Gerber and Paugh seek to change the very way we think about networking. They dig deep into best practices, commentary from successful superconnectors, how-tos and insights into how we can all advance our careers. They strive to make us all take a big step up from the mindless networking we've been doing, to a high degree of effectiveness at being the kind of connector they're writing about.

Of course the ability to form significant professional relationships is paramount to all entrepreneurs. Below, are the three pillars behind the concept Gerber and Paugh define and how you too can implement those pillars to join this all-star club.


Pillar 1: the art of selectivity


Ever heard the phrase “You are the company you keep”? Being selective about the people you let into your network is crucial to earning the title of superconnector. It also goes beyond your connections.

Superconnectors are selective with their time, as well; they don't immediately connect with 500 people, but instead start with a select five people they believe could become evangelists (people who believe in their cause and will spread the word for their ventures). The idea is that those five evangelists will then take the superconnector's mission to another five people they think will likely be inspired by it. And those people will then carry the mission further.

One of the most common mistakes that entrepreneurs make when they're just starting out is growing their inner circle too quickly and taking on too many projects at once. Remember to focus only on a few projects at a time and really dedicate yourself to them. This also applies to your inner circle: Be mindful of how much you can really give to people. You can do more for your community as a whole when you are focused.

Pillar 2: the power of association


When we think of the word “anchor,” we think of someone who's grounded, sturdy and trustworthy. An anchor is exactly the person every superconnector needs: someone similar to a mentor, who can fill in the gaps where weaknesses exist. Anchors are the gatekeepers to meeting other people. This kind of gatekeeper need not be a wildly successful CEO, but instead be a group organizer, an advisor, a family friend.

These anchors also act as a sort of professional recommendation, which ties back to our previous point, “You are the company you keep”; the anchor that introduces you to his or her network is giving you credibility and value and showing that by the association with you, you are someone who can be trusted.

Pillar 3: habitual generosity


Some call it karma: Superconnectors are big believers that what you put out into the worldalways comes back around to you. This idea underscores why superconnectors are generous with both their time and positivity; the more they, give the more they get in return.

A superconnector Gerber and Paugh describe in their book is named Adam Rifkin; he's the co-founder of 106 Miles, a tech entrepreneur meetup group. Rifkin is someone who swears by the impact of the “Five-Minute Favor,” the authors write. This kind of favor is something that can be done in five minutes or less, like delivering a handwritten note or sharing something a contact wrote on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn.

Another way to practice habitual generosity is to help share the stories of others through blogs, books or social media. Interviewing a few professionals in the industry whom you are interested in forming professional relationships with might make them feel inclined to repay the favor one day.




Conclusion



Being selective with both your time and the people you most closely associate with (i.e.,your "inner circle") is crucial to being a successful superconnector. But, with that said, when you do select projects to dedicate yourself to, give your time generously. What you put out into the world will come back to you. Also be sure to find your anchor, the person who is an advisor and can help you build strengths in unfamiliar areas. We all have them!

You have heard it a million times, but it bears repeating: Being connected in meaningful ways is important to each and every entrepreneur’s success. Building your network of brand ambassadors and evangelists could be the difference between where you are and where you want to be. After all, no man (or woman) is an island, and great things are accomplished together.



Source: https://www.entrepreneur.com/
Image Credit: graphicstock




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, February 22, 2018

10 Tips for Writing Cold Emails That Will Land Your Next Big Job


Despite the rise of a variety of new communication methods, such as Instagram direct messages, virtual reality meeting spaces and Slack, email remains a central part of business communication. In fact, the average professional will send or receive 86 work emails each day.

For those hoping to land a great new job, email is still an excellent way to connect with recruiters, hiring managers and influencers. But, because people are bombarded from all angles, including the new messaging platforms mentioned above, getting the attention of an influential businessperson can be challenging.


Recommended for you: 
Monthly Email Marketing Workshop Series for Beginners

Here are 10 strategies that will enable job seekers to land an exciting new gig through unorthodox email outreach strategies.


1. Embed a personal video in emails.


Both consumers and B2B buyers prefer video content to written content when shopping for a product or service. The same is likely true for professionals searching for talented people to join their team.

Free or inexpensive video-production platforms like Wistia and Vidyard make it easy for anyone to record a high-quality personalized video using only the camera embedded in a computer.

Adding a personalized video will help to set your cold emails apart, and will provide you with helpful analytics that make it easy to know how many times your video was viewed, as well as how much of the video was viewed on each visit. Armed with this information, you can create a follow-up email that outlines only the points the viewer missed.


2. Track email delivery and open rates.


Email extensions like Mailtrack and MixMax track email open rates. This allows senders to time follow-up emails based on the level of engagement from the recipient. A recipient who opens your email multiple times is probably more engaged than someone who totally ignored your first email.

Tracking open rates can also help you to understand if your email subject line is effective. Ambitious job hunters can even devise tests to determine what subject lines work best.


3. Use tracking links to determine recipient engagement.


If your email was opened, did the recipient click on a link included within the email? The only way to know the answer is if you use a tracking link. Platforms like Google URL Shortener and Bit.ly help senders see if a link shared within an email was clicked.

Senders can experiment with the call to action, or link anchor text to see if presenting the link in a different light drives better click-through rate (i.e., the percentage of email recipients who clicked on a link in the email).


4. Sprinkle in outreach via unorthodox channels.


Simply hammering away at recruiters and hiring managers via email may not get the job done. Instead, you'll need to think like a marketer developing a multi-channel marketing strategy. Make a list of the channels members of your target audience use on a regular basis, and target those.

Certainly, email is a popular channel for most audiences. But, SMS messages, phone calls and even snail mail can be effective ways of engaging otherwise hard-to-reach professionals.


5. Take the time to offer overwhelming value early on.


Whenever asking for help from a professional you don't know, it's best to offer value upfront to prove your worth. A good way to do this as a job applicant is by suggesting a fix to a small but meaningful problem.

For software engineers, that could mean emailing the hiring manager with a fix for a bug you found in their project. For a marketer, it could involve analyzing the website's SEO performance to identify new areas of opportunity.

Offering value will take different shapes for different professionals and seniority levels. The point is, offering value before receiving value can be an effective way to motivate recipients to reply to a cold email.


6. A/B test cold outreach to identify the most effective tactics.


The best digital marketers use A/B testing to perfect various channels, including email. While the average professional will not have access to sophisticated A/B testing tools, a similar effect can be achieved using some of the platforms mentioned above.

The key to conducting the "poor person's" version of A/B tests is to carefully change one independent variable at a time while measuring a single dependent variable. Slowly, you'll begin to identify the ideal combination of subject line, call to action and email content to motivate recipients to get in touch with you.


7. Include a clear call to action.


A good call to action should provide the email recipient with a clear next step. In some cases, your call to action may be a request that the recipient click on a link in the email. In other cases, you may simply want the recipient to reply.

Whatever you may want to motivate, finding the right call to action can dramatically improve performance. Be specific with your ask, and be sure to place it in a prominent location so that the call to action will not be easily overlooked.


8. Create a professional email signature.


The average person forms a first impression in just seven seconds. That means everything about your cold email must be highly professional. A simple way to add another layer of professionalism to a cold email is by including a well-designed call to action.

Using a tool like Wise Stamp, email senders can provide forms of social proof like links to social media accounts or testimonials from colleagues to encourage recipients to take a minute to reply to your message.


9. Reply quickly to those who responde to your email.


Slow response time is the bane of business success. This is true when it comes to inbound marketing, and it is also true when communicating with business leaders through cold email. If a professional takes the time to reply to a cold email, by all means, get back to them as soon as possible.

By replying quickly, you show that you are excited about building a relationship with them and help to keep the forward momentum of the conversation.


10. Move the conversation to the phone or an in-person meeting.


Conversations should never end with email. The email should be a means of achieving a phone call or, preferably, an in-person meeting. This is because it is difficult to build meaningful rapport over email, and it is easy for messages to get lost in the shuffle.

Once the recipient has engaged over email, ask for a short phone call or, better yet, ask if you can meet them near their office for a coffee.


Brand new to Constant Contact? You can try us out for free! Sign up for your free 60-day trial to see for yourself. 
Put these tips to work today! Log in to your Constant Contact account to get started

Conclusion

As the famous proverb goes, success is about who you know, not what you know. One report estimated that 70 percent of open job positions are filled through networking rather than through online applications.

Readers who are interested in landing their next great job should experiment with cold email outreach to connect with hiring managers and recruiters. Persistence, creativity and analysis will inevitably help job seekers to connect with business leaders who can advance their careers.



Source: https://www.entrepreneur.com/
Image Credit: Caiaimage | Paul Bradbury | 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!

How to Use Email Marketing to Boost Brand Awareness


Keep reading to earn how to increase your email marketing results!

Building brand awareness is one of the biggest challenges for small businesses and startups. They often don’t have the means and channels big business have at their disposition and can’t afford to spend thousands, and often millions, on huge marketing campaigns that might not even bear fruit. However, email marketing is one of the best ways to build brand awareness easily and on the cheap. Here are a few tips on how to boost your brand’s visibility through email marketing.


Recommended for you: 
Monthly Email Marketing Workshop Series for Beginners

Make Sure Your Audience Comes First


Too many newsletters come off as self-serving and are nothing but glorified ads. Users are already bombarded left and right with advertising messages, the last place they want to see them is in their inbox.

The best and only way to build a solid audience is by offering value first and foremost. The large majority of your messages should be purely informational in nature and involve no selling whatsoever. The first message should ideally be a free resource, such as a free guide, course or any other resource of value. A discount or freebie will also be welcomed and will help establish trust. Your subscribers will then value your list and look for other discounts later on and you’ll be able to use your list to promote your brand or advertise product launches once you’ve provided enough value.

Compartmentalize Your List


Another mistake that a lot of email marketers do is send one size fits all messages to members of their list. If you want to successfully build your brand and retain subscribers, you have to make sure that you list is well compartmentalized depending on factors like where the subscribers came from and what your prior interactions were with them.

If someone subscribed after they made a purchase for instance, sending a message on the product they bought would not only be useless but will look unprofessional as well. A follow up email asking for their opinion would be better. Also, if you happen to have gathered a list independently through an email checker service like theemailfinder.co, your approach should be different as well. You should work first on establishing trust and keep the selling to a minimum. If the subscriber came from your social media page, then you could showcase social media specific promotions or direct them to raffles or contests you might be holding.

Remember to Remain Consistent


Consistency is essential with any email marketing campaign. The frequency of your emails as well as their format should be consistent if you want to build your brand image and build a relationship with your list. In some industries, converting a client could take years, and consistency is key if you want to keep your brand at the top of your audience’s mind when they do decide to make a purchase decision.

Email marketing is one of the most cost-effective ways to build brand awareness. When used correctly, it allows you to reach your customers directly and build a long-lasting relationship, as long as you focus on providing genuine value.


Brand new to Constant Contact? You can try us out for free! Sign up for your free 60-day trial to see for yourself. 
Put these tips to work today! Log in to your Constant Contact account to get started.



Source: https://www.business2community.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!

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Don't Get Left Behind by the New Online Advertising Standards


Over the summer, the Interactive Advertising Bureau released its new standards for online and mobile advertisers. These new standards involve "sunsetting" a few practices -- such as the giant, annoying ads that take over your screen and won't let you click away -- while also creating guidelines around new technologies such as AR, VR, 360-degree ads and emoji ads.

Entrepreneurs or independent companies that want to secure media dollars from brands and agencies need to be sure they understand the standard terms and conditions of the IAB. While these industry standard terms can seem overwhelming at first glance, they’re the best road map for anyone working on creative production or media-related activation with a major brand or agency, both domestically and globally.

The IAB's framework also helps brands and agencies understand how to conduct business with new technologies, and the guidelines are designed to ensure media is lightweight and adaptable to various screen sizes and the creative is encrypted where needed and supportive of privacy concerns.

Most importantly, the IAB provides a clear road map for how media and media-led digital investments are governed and paid. Most media companies will not accept or pay for content or ads that do not follow IAB guidelines. As with any set of guidelines, some buyers will make an exception, but the standards are important because they establish a common language and best practices.

For entrepreneurs and independently held media companies looking to secure media dollars from a brand or agency, there are a few important points to consider:


1. Get the most bang for your buck.


Production fees for various ad unit sizes, rich media and ad serving can increase quickly. Determine the risk versus reward of proposing various ad units, and remember that skimping on production often does more harm than good.

Also, carefully evaluate how the creative message should best be conveyed. Is a 15-second ad going to garner more attention than a 30-second spot because the consumer is engaged? Is it worth it to create a separate or different mobile expense because smaller ad units won't convey the message?

It's also important to follow the IAB's LEAN guidelines to ensure your ads can do their job. LEAN -- which stands for light, encrypted, AdChoice-supported and non-invasive -- was created as a way to combat the increasing use of ad blockers. By adhering to these rules, you're reducing the risk of your ads getting blocked -- thus making the most of your ad dollars.

2. No viewers = no money.


If creative cannot be seen by real people, it won't make any money. One of the core reasons ads are not viewed is because they do not adapt to the proper screen or the file sizes are too large to load properly. That's why it's more important than ever to adhere to the IAB's new Standard Ad Unit Portfolio to ensure the ads you're uploading are the proper sizes. The new standards have also expanded the guidelines to new types of creative, including AR and VR, social media and mobile video.

Standing out is critical, and rich media is a key component to garnering attention, but it's important to use the required file sizes so the content actually loads. Many times, organic content loads before advertising does, and the consumer has already moved on before he has a chance to see the creative. Also be aware of where on the page the creative is being placed, and ensure it’s actually viewable without needing to scroll.

3. Embrace the new.


High-impact opportunities (such as 360-degree ads, VR and AR) are typically much more expensive to produce, and the market has been slower to accept these types of experiences. Oftentimes, however, the engagement of these high-impact experiences can make the increased production costs of the ad placement worth it.

For example, Hong Kong Airlines created a 360-degree video ad to allow viewers to "walk" through the plane's business class cabin and experience the luxury for themselves. The airline company created a more traditional ad, as well, but the 360-degree ad was 35 times more effective than the traditional version, according to a report from Business Insider.

Volvo took a similar approach when it released its XC90 SUV. The car manufacturer partnered with Google Cardboard so that when users downloaded the Volvo app, they could "sit" in the driver's seat of the SUV and cruise through the picturesque countryside.

4. Put money on mobile.


Pay special attention to the mobile and tablet experience. Ad sizes should not need to be recreated because they only work on desktop, and it's important to consider the best way to showcase content on mobile.

Everyone knows that mobile is important, but it's now more important than ever. In 2016, more than half of Google's search queries came from mobile devices, according to a report from media buying agency Zenith, and according to another Zenith report, 73 percent of time spent online in 2018 is predicted to be through a mobile device. Also, 60 percent of global online advertising spend is expected to come from mobile ads in 2018, so advertisers that aren't optimizing for mobile will be missing out.

Perhaps the most important advice for an entrepreneur who is partnering with a global brand or agency is to carefully review where the investment or media fulfillment is placed on the IAB contract. Then, ensure that in addition to the most creative elements included in the program, there are multiple avenues to fulfillment that ensure the ads are viewable and can fully deliver on media impressions. Because creating ads that don't deliver is just as harmful as not creating ads at all.



Source: https://www.entrepreneur.com
Image Credit: Hinterhaus Productions | 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!

These 10 LinkedIn Tips Will Make You a Networking Master


One of the central rules of networking seems simple but bears repeating: don’t reach out only when you need something. It’s imperative that you cultivate relationships and engage with people, so when the time does come that you’re looking for that recommendation or connection, it won’t be an awkward stretch to make the ask.

Even better, you can help others. If you meet people at conferences or other events, following the exchange of business cards and the invitations to join LinkedIn networks, how can you make the most of the platform to really make an impact where it counts? Read on for 10 strategies to become a networking master.


1. Personalize it.


When you’re asking to connect with someone on LinkedIn, it’s easy to use the template the platform provides. But if you’re reaching out cold, that’s the last thing you want to do, because it won’t set you apart, or give the person a reason to connect with you. Introduce yourself, say something about why their work or business resonates with you, a bit about what you bring to the table and then thank them for their time. Don’t forget to sign your name.

2. Get offline.


Once you do have that connection, it does nothing for you as just another name on your list. Make plans to speak via Skype or meet in person. These relationships only have as much value as you put into them.


3. Make it a reflection of you.


This might seem straightforward, but as you craft your profile, make sure you have a current, clear photo of yourself, a description that is a creative encapsulation of the kind of work you do and related links to the projects that you are most proud of. Make sure that your voice is present in how you talk about your work. If you’re stuck, look at people in your industry who you admire and take inspiration from how they lay out their accomplishments.


4. Update it regularly.


You don’t want to only be using LinkedIn when you are looking for something. Constantly stay engaged, revising your resume as you get new experience and commenting regularly on what people on your network share on their accounts. Consider giving your profile the SEO treatment. You don’t want to shoehorn in terms where they don’t fit, but incorporate the industry terms you need in an organic fashion.


5. Stay involved.


Don’t forget to join LinkedIn groups for organizations you’re involved with as well as general interest groups. You’ll never know what sort of information might come up that you might be able to use or the relationships you might be able to build. Be an active participant by regularly posting relevant links, job listings and industry news.


6. Be a completist.


If you want to put your best foot forward, don’t forget to fill out every section of your profile, from certifications, professional groups you belong to, awards that you have won and industry-specific skills -- for example, a coding language -- that you have learned. When someone comes to your profile, you want to give them the most robust sense of your experience.

7. Make sure people can get in touch.


If you’re a freelancer, for example, and you’re comfortable with having your contact information readily available, make sure that your phone number, email and relevant social media accounts are easily accessible. By growing your network, there is no reason why you wouldn’t be able to get more clients from your presence on the platform.


8. Put out the bat signal.


Is your company hiring? Then say so right up front. Put a “we’re hiring” next to your name at the top of your profile and next to the name of your business on your company page. If someone is searching for a job in your industry, you want them to know you are in the market for some new employees.


9. But don’t forget to use discretion.


Whether you’re putting feelers out as a prospective employer or job seeker and you’re not 100 percent ready for the world to know that, feel free to use the platform’s full complement of privacy settings to travel incognito while you’re doing your due diligence.


10. Support your colleagues.


Of course, you shouldn’t forget to list your own skills, but a simple and effective way to stay active on the platform is to endorse and recommend the skills of your past and present colleagues. Don’t do this rotely or performatively. Sincerity and specificity about what makes them great at their jobs reflects well on them and speaks to your ability to be a team player.





Source: https://www.entrepreneur.com
Image Credit: Klaus Vedfelt | 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!

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

How to Build Intimate Relationships With Your Customers With This Single Lead Nurturing Campaign


What is marketing? This is a question many marketers have tried to answer, and most get it wrong.

I'm not saying I have the definitive answer, but for me marketing is simple: It's about creating a one-on-one relationship in a one-to-many way.

On first glance this may sound impossible, but it isn't. And the key to this is intimacy.

What most marketers get wrong is they try to automate a process that doesn't need automating. They do this because they're obsessed with growth and scale, yet there's a good chance they don't need massive amounts of leads and customers to achieve success. Instead, all they need are quality connections that count.


The SSF Method

A couple of years ago, I created the SSF Method, and it's helped a lot of entrepreneurs bring meaningful intimacy into their lead generation. Why? Because it removes this idea that everyone should get the same message as everyone else.

You can no longer create a single funnel or lead magnet and expect success. Your audience are at different stages, and your job as a marketer is to give them the right content at the right time. In general, they fit into one of three key buckets of awareness:

  • The Sidewalk: Those who are not aware they have a pain or problem
  • The Slow Lane: Those who are aware they have a problem, but don't know enough about the process or methodology to move forward
  • The Fast Lane: Those who are ready to commit to a solution, but need more information about what the solution is


If you create specific messaging for each, you bring intimacy into your lead generation and become relevant to the right people at the right time. But, it isn't only the message that matters, because it's when you share it when the magic happens.


How to serve the right content to the right people at the right time

Once you understand who your audience is and whether they fit in your sidewalk, slow lane or fast lane, it's easy to create specific content for them.


  • People in your sidewalk are not aware of their problem, so you need to produce micro content that illuminates their pain.
  • If they're in your slow lane you need to educate them of your process, which means more in-depth content (articles, guides, longer videos, etc.).
  • Once they enter your fast lane, you can share intimate and detailed content with them, such as webinars, training sessions and one-on-one phone calls.

Over time, you share more detailed content with them, because they trust you. But, building their trust takes time, so although someone may enter your fast lane from the beginning (because they are actively seeking a solution), you must still take the time to build their trust.

You cannot bombard them with sales messages and expect them to pull the trigger. They can see you have a solution that may solve their problem, but they don't know you; they do not trust you.

So, as well as understanding your audience's awareness level, you must also appreciate how relevant your content is, and the perfect time to share it with them. To do this you must move your relationship out of their inbox, and the best place to begin is Facebook.


The four types of Facebook ads (and when to use each one)

You can achieve a lot in your audience's inbox, but you cannot do everything. You must take your relationship away from your marketing funnel, so you can truly become top of mind.

My clients and I have found the best success using Facebook ads, but you can replicate it for other platforms. The point is to use retargeting ads to ensure you give your audience relevant content at the right time, meaning you extend your reach without overwhelming them with irrelevant messages.

This is where most marketers go wrong, because they place all their focus on lead generation. They send the same people the same ads, meaning everyone sees the same thing again and again. But, it's important to remember there are four types of Facebook ads:


  1. Lead generation
  2. Sales
  3. Awareness
  4. Audience building

Everyone focuses on the first two, but there should be a 50/50 split between lead generation/sales and awareness/audience building. This means you should spend 50 percent of your advertising budget on awareness and audience building, as this is what ensures you become top of mind.

How to dominate your audience's newsfeed and capture their attention

Your aim is to dominate your audience's newsfeed with relevant content -- not just based on whether they are in your slow lane or fast lane, but also on their engagement level and how long they have known you.

Remember, the key is intimacy and to build their trust.

It's not all about those lead generation and sales ads. To begin with, you should focus on building their trust with case studies, PR pieces and other social proof. Nurture them, and after a while, share your process and invite them onto a call.

You now have their trust, and as such, you own their attention.

This is how you build intimate relationships with your audience, and don't worry about how much time this all takes because you can still automate most of the process. You still have your funnels. You batch your content and messages. You set up your Facebook ads and run them on autopilot.

But, not everyone goes into the same funnel, and you don't share the same content with everyone in the same order. You provide an experience for them that's specific to their engagement, awareness level, and trust toward you as an authority figure.

You only give them what they need, when they need it. You nurture them and build their trust. You become omnipresent and relevant, and the "go-to" expert with the solution they need. So, turn your lead generation around this year, and stop wasting money on the wrong content at the wrong time.





Source: https://www.entrepreneur.com/
Image Credit: Roo Lewis | 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!

Small Business Email Marketing Trends to Watch for In 2018


2017 is in the books.

But, as you know, a business owner’s work is never done.

Where should you focus your energy to make the most of your time?

First, consider how your customer has continued to evolve.

Today’s consumers expect your business to provide experiences tailored to their needs, interests, and habits.

52 percent of consumers say they’re likely to switch brands if a company doesn’t make an effort to personalize communications to them.

Recommended for you:
Monthly Email Marketing Workshop Series for Beginners

If your marketing messages aren’t relevant and easily read on mobile devices, you can expect consumers to move on.

It’s now more critical than ever to get the right message to the right person at the right time.


With that in mind, how can you expect email marketing to help you reach your goals in 2018?

Here are three areas you can expect to come to the forefront for small businesses and their use of email marketing.


1. Real insight from data to make better decisions


There’s no shortage of data available these days. Access isn’t the problem; it’s making sense of all that data in a way that’s beneficial to your business that’s important.

It also goes beyond opens and clicks to actions and interests. It allows you to understand who your best customers are and get carefully crafted messages to them based on what you know and what they do.

Expect to see email marketing providers like Constant Contact looking for ways to give you more proactive insights that allow you to make smarter decisions in addition to what’s available today.


2. More personalization for better results


When you think of personalization, you may think of adding a person’s name in an email. Yes, a person’s name is an essential element in any form of marketing. Beyond that what we’re talking about is timely and relevant messages. It’s about using the data to get more relevant information and offers to your customers.

Expect your email marketing provider to help you better segment your contacts and do so more efficiently.


3. Simple automation to save you time


Automation is where the two previous trends come together to allow you to do more business in your sleep.

For example, if someone expresses interest in a product or service by clicking a link in your email, you can automatically send a follow-up email or series of messages knowing that these emails will be relevant and lead you closer to a sale.

Click segmentation combined with an autoresponder series creates a potent one-two punch that works on autopilot so you can tend to other areas of your business.

Expect to see small businesses embracing this trend as email service providers make it even easier to do so.


But won’t automated messages make my marketing feel impersonal?

If you think relationships are still the backbone of your business, you’re right. You may be thinking that the methods above may feel impersonal, be too complicated to start or be too costly. The truth is just the opposite.

Using these methods above allows you to take the wow experiences you’re already creating for your customers, whether they be offline or online, and make them easy to extend in ways you could never do alone with your limited time. And the costs are a small fraction of the return you can expect from the time invested.

Brand new to Constant Contact? You can try us out for free! Sign up for your free 60-day trial to see for yourself. 
Put these tips to work today! Log in to your Constant Contact account to get started.
Are you ready to embrace these email marketing trends in 2018?
  • Real insight from data to make better decisions
  • More personalization for better results
  • Simple automation to save you time

Each of these trends plays off of one another to help you to do more business.




Source: https://blogs.constantcontact.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!