Google Pay Per Click advertising is a great tool for building brand awareness and generating leads online. It can be a bit of a complicated process for some, so it’s important to have a good foundation in the fundamentals of maximizing your PPC performance.
There are four things you should be doing for your PPC to reach its full potential.
1.) Organize keywords to target niche prospect groups
The difference between an ignored ad and an effective ad is its relevance. An ad for jewelry gets ignored when in the search results of someone searching for remodeling services. The way you can make your ad the most relevant to prospects is by separating them according to the keywords they target and organizing them into groups.
The more thoroughly you organize your keywords, the more specificity you can use when creating your ad. That means your ads appear as if they are made specifically for the prospect, because they are.
Organizing your keywords does two things for your PPC:
1.) It makes your ads more relevant to prospects.
2.) It increases your click-through rate.
These are the exact factors that also give you a high quality score for your ads. A high quality score gets you better ad locations on websites and better ranking for search ads. It also gives you a lower cost per click for your ads. Google is rating your ad on how helpful it is to your prospect, based on its relevance and click-through rate.
2.) Create consistency throughout your PPC process
The PPC process is three steps: 1) Grab prospects’ attention with a relevant ad. 2) Direct them to a landing page that elaborates on what the ad offers. 3) Present a special offer as an incentive for prospects to fill out a contact form.
From your ad to your offer, your PPC marketing message and design should feel continuous and cohesive. It shouldn’t feel like three steps. If your landing page looks different than the image ad that attracted the prospect, the user will experience a disconnect.
You should simply build upon each step to build trust throughout the process, ultimately leading to the prospect filling out your contact form. That’s how you turn them into a lead for you to follow up with using your ongoing marketing methods.
3.) Optimize ads for phone responses
For most businesses, phone responses are a more valuable lead than the kind you get from contact forms, so it’s a great idea to optimize your ads to generate these calls. There are two ways to do this:
1) Make sure your number is displayed in all images and text ads.
2) Adjust your display times to only show ads when you’re in the office. This gives you the opportunity to get those calls and make the most of them when you’re open for business. Your phone responses don’t cost you anything. You only pay for clicks.
4.) Use ad extensions
PPC ads have a small character limit, but luckily Google offers Ad Extensions. These give you the ability to present important marketing information without adding to your character limit.
Six extensions they offer:
1.) Location Extension: Helps prospects find your office.
2.) Product Extension: Shows pictures and prices of your products.
3.) SiteLink Extension: Presents multiple pages from your website simultaneously.
4.) Phone Number Extension: Adds a click-to-call number beneath your ad.
5.) Social Media Extension: Shows how many +1s your Google Plus page has.
6.) Seller Rating Extension: Shows the rating your customers have given your company. Google only shows it if it’s four or fivestars.
Make sure you are taking advantage of every opportunity to improve your PPC efficacy. You’ll see the difference in your sales numbers.
Get Pay-Per-Click targeting options that get you more quality leads by going to www.postcardmania.com/google-adwords-targeting-options
I have spent the last 15 years testing, tracking and tweaking my marketing plan to try to get the absolute best results for my business. In 1998, it was just me with a phone and a computer. Today, I have more than 200 employees and bring in more than $40 million in revenue annually.
I don’t say this to toot my own horn but just to give you confidence that what follows is legitimate.
There are just four things that you need to do in order to build the ultimate direct mail marketing system. This is a marketing system that continually generates leads and turns them into loyal customers. Best of all? The end result is that it enables your business to steadily and sustainably grow — along with your bottom line.
Step 1: Use direct mail.
This effectively generates leads to fuel your marketing growth.
In addition to using targeted mailing lists to reach out to prospects, a truly complete marketing system is dual-focused. It doesn’t just focus on new clients. You have to continue to build the loyalty of your current clients as well.
Marketing to both prospective and current clients is the best way to create sustainable growth. This allows you to simultaneously build your brand recognition and your brand loyalty.
Step 2. Track your mailings.
This is how you prepare yourself for success.
When your direct mail reaches your prospects’ mailboxes, the calls and Web visits will start to come in. You need to be ready for that. You can’t get the best return for your investment in a mailing if you don’t put yourself in prime position to convert every lead generated. Luckily, you can do this by tracking your postcards or mail. Your mail house should offer this to you.
Step 3. Develop a follow-up system.
This gives you a form of hassle-free review to get the most out of every lead.
A majority of your prospects will visit your website before they call your office. So once you’re prepared to handle your in-office response, you have to do the same for your online presence. Without a system in place to follow up with these prospects, your leads will likely slip away.
I’ve found that a wonderful online resource for this is Google Remarketing. It provides you automatic targeted follow-up with prospects that visit your website.
Step 4. Track your response.
This is how you empower yourself to continually improve your results. Call tracking is the way to do it.
Using a unique routing phone number on your mailing, call tracking allows you to track the response that each campaign achieves. You can also experiment with design or message changes to optimize your marketing response.
This technology records your calls so you can quality-check your reception process and sales tactics. Lastly, it gives you all the data and resources you need to continually analyze and improve your marketing results.
When you are building your company’s marketing system, be sure to include all four of these components. Once you do, your marketing will be on track to help you drive your desired results and fuel your growth. ?
Joy Gendusa is the owner and CEO of direct mail marketing firm, PostcardMania. She originally started PostcardMania in 1998. The company now employs more than 200 people and has more than 53,000 customers in more than 350 industries. Visit www.postcardmania.com for more information. Find her on Google+.
If you own or operate a business, you have probably experienced slow periods where revenue was declining and you didn’t have enough leads coming in. But there is actually a way to market yourself so that you are not at the mercy of the season or economy again.
There are two things that you need to control your revenue year-round: an integrated marketing approach and an organized marketing plan.
Here’s how to do it.
Integration means that each piece of your marketing works together in a coordinated way. For example, an integrated approach might look like this: You have a direct mail postcard campaign that drives traffic to your website. Your website is optimized to convert that traffic into leads by getting them to fill out a form.
Then, that form populates your email database and your leads receive pre-determined emails from you for the next six months. During that time, your sales team follows up with the prospects over the phone.
Of course, the specific strategies that make up an integrated campaign vary by industry, but what follows is a good general outline.
In order to fully integrate your marketing approach, you will need the following systems in place:
- Lead generation. For this, I suggest direct-mail postcards. There are other options such as television, radio, billboards, letters and more. But I have found postcards to be the most cost-effective.
- Lead reception. Receptionists should have a predetermined way to handle callers and gather their contact information. Your website needs to be optimized to gather prospects’ contact information, which is easily done by offering free downloads where the prospect is prompted to fill out a simple form.
- Follow-up. You’ll want to go with an email service for this, because email is the most affordable follow-up option available and usually yields great results when used in this capacity. Postcards and phone calls are also great for follow-up, too.
The Internet is also a great resource to learn more about each of these elements.
It is one thing to have an integrated marketing approach, and it is another thing to have an organized, fully integrated marketing plan.
It may sound obvious, but you need to be intentional and organized about exactly how the pieces of your marketing plan will integrate. For example, how many days will go by before an online prospect receives the first email from you? How many days will you wait until you call your prospects? Does the design on your postcard match the design of your website?
The best way to handle this is to sit down with your marketing staff — or by yourself if you don’t have a marketing staff — and evaluate the process, beginning with lead generation and continuing all the way to the sale. You’ll also need to answer the questions that come up along the way.
Some of these questions you’ll want to ask and answer include the following:
- How am I going to generate leads?
- How am I going to receive these leads?
- Is the method of reception going to immediately let the prospect know they are in the right place?
- How am I going to get prospects’ contact information?
- How am I going to follow up with leads?
- How are my different follow-up methods going to work together?
- How often should I contact my leads?
Once you have built a solid structure for your marketing campaign, you can get to work implementing it. As you do, you will notice that your revenue numbers follow a pattern that correlates to your marketing output. And when that happens, you’ll have confidence that, even in your off seasons, you can get the leads you need by simply increasing your marketing output.
Joy Gendusa is the owner and CEO of direct mail marketing firm, PostcardMania. Joy began PostcardMania in 1998, with nothing but a phone and a computer, never taking a dime of investment capital. Since then, PostcardMania has expanded to offer its clients more services including website and landing page design and development, email marketing and full marketing evaluations — all while continuing to educate clients with free marketing advice. In 2011, PostcardMania reached almost $45 million in annual revenue and the company now employs more than 195 people, prints 4 million and mails 2 million postcards each week, and has more than 53,000 customers in over 350 industries.
Believe it or not, one of the most overlooked characteristics of leadership is the ability to draw and motivate followers. But without followers, you aren’t really “leading” are you? In business leadership, this skill translates into the ability to get your employees to “buy in” to the mission and goal of your company or department.
Outside of the workplace, your employees are all very different individuals, each with their own set of life goals and often goals of other organizations with which they are affiliated. So how do you motivate them to concentrate on your company’s goal for the time that they are at work?
You could demand that they do so, but this kind of top-down brute force only goes so far — and usually results in employees faking devotion to the company’s cause for fear of losing their jobs.
The better option is to genuinely love and appreciate your staff. That sincerity will shine through, and in return, your employees will want to help you achieve your goals.
So if you are interested in real ways to motivate employees to buy in to your vision, implement the following actions.
1. Go heavy on the accolades.
A simple “well done” goes so much further than you would think. Deep down, everybody wants to be recognized for their hard work. If you don’t take the time to give voice to your appreciation, it can rot away at your employees’ motivation and overall happiness at work.
Make recognition of a job well done part of your company’s culture. At staff meetings, open up the floor to team members so they can brag about other members of the team or inform the team about an action that another member took that would normally go unnoticed. Even if you think you are good about this, look to improve. Don’t be afraid to lay it on thick!
2. Be an open book.
You would probably be shocked to hear what your employees think your schedule looks like. If they don’t know what you are up to, they are more likely to assume you are on the golf course than off at a three-day conference trying to soak up all the information you need to lead the company to success. That’s just the way it is.
Take pains to avoid being closed off from your employees. Be open. Be available. Be friendly. Let them know what you are working on. The more your employees know you, and like you, the more likely they are to invest in your vision and actually desire to see it come to fruition.
3. Offer perks.
Perks are not the same as rewards. Rewards are prizes that your employees can receive for a job well done. These are important, and you should have them available in the form of company-wide and department-wide games, etc. But perks are something that employees get simply for being a part of your team, and they are that much more effective at building motivation and loyalty.
When somebody is rewarded for effort, they feel accomplished and acknowledged. But when someone is offered a reward simply for being a part of the team, they feel gratitude and team spirit. I offer my employees free exercise classes and recently installed a cafe in our company headquarters. These are perks that my employees can enjoy just for being part of the team, and it helps build overall happiness and motivation to achieve company goals.
Give this a whirl in your company and watch as the culture surrounding your company’s vision shifts in a very positive direction.
Joy Gendusa is the owner and CEO of direct mail marketing firm PostcardMania. Joy began PostcardMania in 1998, with nothing but a phone and a computer, never taking a dime of investment capital. Since then, PostcardMania has expanded to offer its clients more services including website and landing page design and development, e-mail marketing and full marketing evaluations — all while continuing to educate clients with free marketing advice. Contact her at www.postcardmania.com.
Do you know who actually buys from you? I’m talking about the socioeconomic makeup of your best customers. Is it women 35 to 45 years old with an income of $60,000 that spend, on average, $200 on every purchase? Is it businesses with 10 employees or less? If you don’t know, it’s high time you found out. After all, you can’t clone your best customers until you know who they are.
Take the following steps to construct a model of your ideal customer:
1. Accumulate all the details of your sales for either the past six months or one year (it’s not necessary to exceed a year).
2. Add up the total gross income (GI) of each sale and divide that number by the total number of sales. This will give you your average ticket price. Example: 200 sales with total GI of $200,000 means your average ticket price is $1,000.
3. Take the top 10 percent of your invoices (based on sale price) and list all attributes you know about them. If you are targeting consumers, this should include gender, age, income, location and whether or not they have kids or own a home. If you are targeting businesses, this should include industry, number of employees, annual revenue and the title of the person at the company who worked with you.
Once you have the model of your ideal customer, you can begin to take steps to acquire more customers that are like them. If you don’t know some of the answers to the above, you can actually buy data and append it to your list.
I have found direct mail to be the most successful lead generation tool for my marketing, especially for acquiring specific customers. The reason is that you can get extremely specific with mailing lists and tailor your mail piece to that specific demographic for a higher response rate.
For example, at PostcardMania we mail to small business owners. We discovered from reviewing our invoices that dentists make up a whopping 20 percent of our revenue, so we pulled out all the data we could about our dental clients and by appending information, found that the bulk of them (not all of them) were the dentists with newer practices. So we targeted those newer practices and saw an increase in calls in, closes, and of course, overall revenue generated from that industry.
Say your target demographic, or ideal customer, is wealthy men in their 50s. You can simply get a mailing list of every man in your area whose age is between 50 and 59 with a household income of $300,000 or more. You could also further specify by home or car value, marital status, number of children and so on.
Not only does this list ensure you reach everyone in your potential ideal market, it also pulls great results. Since you know exactly who it is you are mailing to, you design a postcard (better than letters, no envelope to open) with copy and images sure to get their attention, rather than appealing to everyone. The more you hone in on the “button” that resonates with your audience, the higher your response rate (and conversion rate if your salespeople do their jobs) goes.
This is a simple strategy to target the customers you want to replicate by identifying your ideal customer, getting a mailing list of all the people that fit that model and mailing out marketing material that uses a message especially tailored message to them. For best results, continue to communicate this message over time. It takes an average of seven marketing touches for a prospect to respond to your message. So the more often they see it, the more likely they are to respond.
Joy Gendusa founded PostcardMania in 1998 with a phone, computer and no capital investment. Since then, she has grown the company into one of the nation’s most effective direct mail marketing firms, specializing in postcard marketing for small to large-sized businesses. Over the years, she expanded to offer mailing list acquisition, website development, email marketing ? all while continuing to educate clients with free marketing advice. She has been named Tampa Bay CEO of the Year, Business Woman of the Year in Tampa Bay and has been featured on MSNBC’s “Your Business.” PostcardMania is an Inc. 500 and 5000 company and has won awards for creativity, best business practices and leadership. Learn more at www.postcardmania.com.
In business, you’re either growing or you’re shrinking. There are a number of proven ways to grow and not least among those is innovation. Even if you’re in a business that’s been around forever and you have tons of competition, you can still innovate.
Innovation doesn’t necessarily mean you invent the latest, greatest new product. For instance, look at Progressive Insurance with the marketing concept of Flo and “Name Your Price.” Although you’ve always been able to name your price at any insurance company just by raising or lowering your deductible, Progressive was innovative in the presentation of this concept and created a successful marketing angle with it.
However you achieve it, innovation is imperative. It keeps your staff and customers excited. It drives creativity and eventually takes you where you want to go.
Here are three ways to get your innovation engines running:
Try to solve your own problems.
If your business runs into a problem, don’t be so quick to look for outside help. You may just have the answer within your company. By handling issues internally, you give your staff the opportunity to step up to the plate and drive the innovation. Not only that, but if you are having this problem, chances are, others are too. If you come up with the solution, you become the benefactor of other people wanting what you’ve got.
For example, when my company decided we needed a way for our customers to track their postcard campaigns online, I could have hired an outside developer to build the site. Instead, I let a 20-year-old hidden genius in my IT department who was eager to do more programming have a crack at it. He ended up building the whole site himself.
Don’t squash ideas.
Offering ideas is a telltale sign of interest. If your employees are asking questions and offering up their own solutions or ideas for improvement, that means they are active and engaged with what’s going on. That’s exactly what innovation calls for.
Do everything you can to encourage your employees to come up with ideas for how to help the business grow. Some of them might not be very good, and others might be a complete failure. But if you want to move forward, you need to take the risk. One day it will pay off big time.
Promote open communication.
A quiet office is one that probably doesn’t produce much innovation. The reason is because great innovative ideas rarely come from one person. It is the back-and-forth of dialogue between employees that opens up the creativity for innovation. Create time for this kind of conversation. Your staff should have monthly meetings with the purpose of discussing ideas and problem solving. You’d be surprised how much good can come from simple everyday conversations between your employees.
Survey your customers. Find out what they like and don’t like about your industry as a whole. Discuss the results with your management team and your staff. This will generate ideas, too!
Innovating a business that’s been around for a while is not an easy task. However, it can be done and it starts by fostering an environment where innovation can grow. By instituting the above policies, that’s exactly what you’re doing.
Joy Gendusa founded PostcardMania in 1998 with a phone, computer and no capital investment. Since then, she has grown the company into one of the nation’s most effective direct mail marketing firms, specializing in postcard marketing for small to large-sized businesses. She has been named Tampa Bay CEO of the Year, Business Woman of the Year in Tampa Bay and has been featured on MSNBC’s “Your Business.” PostcardMania is an Inc. 500 and 5000 company and has won awards for creativity, best business practices and leadership.
Can you afford to blow money on marketing?
I can’t either. With a staff of 192 employees, meeting payroll week after week and paying the bills is often stressful in this economy — even for a “big” small business like mine. Sometimes smaller business owners imagine that we have loads of cash lying around to test out new marketing ideas. Not true. The expenses grow with the revenue.
No matter what size your business is, having a well-planned and executed marketing budget is the key to making sure that you continue growing. If you don’t have a marketing budget, you leave yourself open to the trap of not promoting enough or blowing excess money on ineffective marketing. Neither of those will get you what you desire, which is a steady flow of business and revenue growth.
But how do you decide what your marketing budget should be? What goes into determining that perfect number? Well, it’s actually a little easier than you’d think.
Here is a simple three-step equation to determine your company’s ideal marketing budget:
1. Where you want to be
The first thing to do is get out a piece of paper and write out the letters A-D. Now, next to the letter A, write your current monthly revenue (average). For example, let’s say it’s $100,000. Next to letter B, write down your desired monthly revenue (average). Let’s say it is $300,000. So you want to add $200,000 of revenue per month. Now we find out what it takes to get there.
2. Where you are
Now, next to letter C you need to write down what you currently spend on marketing per month (on average). Basically, you need to know how much marketing it is taking to generate the business you have now. Let’s say it’s $5,000.
Once you’ve done that, divide A by C to find out how much each one of your marketing dollars is worth in terms of revenue. In this example, that would be $100,000 divided by $5,000, which makes the revenue value for one of my marketing dollars $20. This is letter D.
3. What it will take to get there
In order to get to my goal of $300,000 a month, I need to figure out how much to increase my marketing budget to allow for that growth. For that, take B and divide it by D. I would divide $300,000 by $20 to get $15,000. So, in order to take my monthly revenue from $100,000 to $300,000, I need to raise my marketing budget from $5,000 per month to $15,000 per month!
That may sound like a lot, but when you look at the payoff, it really isn’t that bad. The tricky thing for business owners is not to give up when marketing doesn’t seem to be working. It is an evolving process. Sure, you can change around what marketing you’re using to make sure it is the most effective. For instance, personally, I have always found direct mail to be the most effective medium for lead generation and growth. But whatever marketing works for you, you have to be willing to keep investing in your marketing budget — no matter what. Every dollar spent on marketing is a dollar that goes toward growth. That’s where growth comes from, and when it comes to your marketing budget, you can’t afford to blow it.
Joy Gendusa founded PostcardMania in 1998 with a phone, computer and no capital investment. Since then, she has grown the company into one of the nation’s most effective direct mail marketing firms, specializing in postcard marketing for small to large-sized businesses. Over the years, she expanded to offer mailing list acquisition, website development, email marketing — all while continuing to educate clients with free marketing advice. She has been named Tampa Bay CEO of the Year, Business Woman of the Year in Tampa Bay and has been featured on MSNBC’s “Your Business.” PostcardMania is an Inc. 500 and 5000 company and has won awards for creativity, best business practices and leadership. Learn more at www.postcardmania.com.