Anne Orfila
Email Etiquette: Reply Required

Do you have a friend, colleague or client who never responds to your emails? 

In this web world, I believe that everyone knows someone like that. (Insert eye roll here.)

Email Etiquette: Reply RequiredWhen this happens to me, I begin to wonder: Did they get my email? Are they giving me a passive okay to proceed? Did my email get stuck in their spam folder? Maybe it’s a passive no? And so on. As you can see, it would’ve just been better if they had answered my email!

Working virtually in the web marketing world for many years, I have learned that responding to an email as soon as you can is really the right thing to do. The trouble is there is no Emily Post book of etiquette for web behavior so if someone doesn’t respond, it’s not “wrong” or “rude” but in my book of etiquette it’s just annoying! But I digress . . .

With 99% of my business dealings done online, I know that the way I respond to an email, and the timeliness in which I do so, is a reflection of me. My clients don’t get to see my salon-styled hair, my punctuality to a meeting, or my chic shoes so what they basically have to judge, for lack of a better word, me on is my interaction with them over email. So I better show them my best side, so to speak.

I have one rule – feel free to adopt it – when it comes to client emails:

Respond to the email whether or not I have the reply they need.

That means that even if I don’t have an answer to a client’s question, or if I haven’t completed their project, I will still reply to their email with something as simple as “Hi XXXX, Confirming receipt. This is in my work queue.” I do this so often that now my clients expect a response and in a few rare occurrences when a client’s email did not make it into my inbox – and therefore I did not respond – they have contacted me via phone to follow up. (Insert applause here.)

So, my fellow readers, if you take anything away from this post, I hope that you realize “silence is golden” in some circumstances… but not when it comes to replying to emails.

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Now, if someone is cold emailing you (like to sell something) then do not feel obligated to reply, this netiquette is focused on people you know!

For more web etiquette, see my past blog post about “Old School Rules in the New Web World“.

Anne Orfila
Web Marketing Management Tools Our Digital Marketing Agency Is Addicted To!

I have a confession.

Image via Pixabay.comThe digital marketing management team at Web Marketing Therapy would not be as organized, efficient, high-powered and streamlined without help from some super supportive web marketing tools. Through trial, error, and research, the following are some web marketing tools we are addicted to (healthy addiction, of course!) that help us keep our work tight and together.

Without further ado, I share with you some of our favorite web marketing tools – you can thank us later! 😉

ClickToTweet
If you have a message that you want others to share on Twitter, this is the tool for you!

Clicktotweet allows you to create a fully tweet-able link (meaning people just click and it tweets exactly what you want them to post!). You need a Twitter account to use this. When a visitor clicks on your link, the message gets auto-inserted in their Twitter status box. They click and – boom! – your message is shared. In addition, there is tracking and analytics of your messages.

Cost: This awesome tool is FREE. We made one for this post – click here to tweet it!

Hootsuite
If you want to save time managing all of your social media accounts on one easy dashboard, this tool is for you!

Hootsuite allows you to schedule unlimited social media messages and respond to messages across your social networks. You set it and forget it! Analytics reports also show you what is working and what isn’t.

Cost: Variable pricing structure depending on number of social media profiles you are managing.

Boomerang for Gmail
If you want to take control of your inbox, this tool is for you!

Boomerang is your personal assistant for your email account. Write an email and schedule it to send later, check! Got an email that will be relevant in a few days? Click it away and it will be brought back into your inbox when you want it to be there, check! Don’t let any emails fall through the cracks. If you are sending out an email that needs a reply, you can select to be reminded if no one replies, check! And much more.

Cost: Varies by usage between $4.99 per month up to $49.99 per month.

Animoto
If you want your video to look professional, this is the tool for you!

Make great videos, easily. Choose a style and song, customize your video with photos, video clips, and text. Produce it and share. Animato is user-friendly. You don’t need to be a videographer to look like one.

Cost: Varies by what features you want to utilize. Starting at $8 per month up to $34 per month.

Hightail
If you want a more efficient way to manage hi-res emails between your team and/or clients, then this tool is for you!

Hightail gives you dedicated space for team members or clients to preview hi-res images and videos without downloading them. It also allows viewers to comment and provide feedback in context and lets people know when you need their input with actionable notifications.

Cost: Varies from $125 per month to $325 per month or customizable prices for larger options.

This last one isn’t really a tool, but more of a tip…

Share Buttons
Just like you learned in preschool, sharing is the best way to play together. 

If you want people to see your blog – and share with others – then having share buttons on your blog is A MUST! Read our blog post about the importance of making your content easily share-able.

Don’t Be Afraid to Try Something New!

All of the above web marketing tools are tried and true. We know, because our WMT team uses all of them. I believe that they all offer some sort of free trial so if one – or more – jumps out at you, don’t be afraid to try it. The worst that could happen is that it doesn’t work for you and there is no money lost. The best that could happen is that it takes your business to the next level.

Happy, healthy marketing!

SaveSave

Lorrie Thomas
Digital Marketing Alone Will Not Make You a Superhero

I sometimes feel like I am punching people with tough love when I break the news that digital marketing is not going to make them successful. Digital marketing is absolutely part of the equation, but the tools need to be driven with some serious human KAPOW to really pack some punch into the equation!

YOU (not the tools) will make you successful!

Look at web marketing (websites, online advertising, social media marketing, search marketing, etc.) like this:

YOU are Batman, Web Marketing is Robin. Stay with me on this one….Batman is the leader, the one on the front lines while Robin acts as your trusty sidekick – he has your back, but he’s not going to make it alone!

Batman is NOTHING without Robin, but Robin could not strike out on his own and be ok either. It’s a synergistic dream team!

I love to help people build and optimize their marketing so it does act as a trusty sidekick – making you look good, reinforcing your message, keeping you out there, communicating, serving, supporting and selling…(it has your back!)

Digital Marketing will not magically make you a superhero. When you get in the hero mindset and are really ready for success, then the tools become VERY useful!

You grow when you have a great support system in place. Make sure your digital marketing is optimized to brand, build and boost business, when it is, you’ll be in much better shape to pack some marketing POW! into your business.

Remember: You can’t hide behind your computer and expect to make money honey!

Marketing is the act of building awareness, connecting, communicating, serving, supporting…all to make sales.

Don’t count on digital marketing to do it alone, get in the mental mindset to have your superhero pants on at all times!

Lorrie Thomas
If You Build It….They Won’t Come

In the movie Field of Dreams, the protagonist (played by Kevin Costner) hears a voice in his Iowa cornfields…”If you build it…he will come.”

It doesn’t work that way with web marketing.

If you launch a new website, blog, Facebook page or anything online, people will not come unless you make an effort to get people to come!

Marketing is about making relationships. This is not a passive act. Relationships take effort, energy and enthusiasm.

Web marketing includes online advertising, email marketing, search engine marketing, social media marketing and content marketing. If you don’t act, don’t expect anything to happen.

If you want results, you must be genuinely enthusiastic about what you are offering. You have to be willing to put in the effort (which might include hiring help to delegate some of the work). Lastly, you need energy…positive, proactive energy. While this might sound a little woo-woo, in the 10+ years I have run my digital marketing agency, my most successful clients are the ones who radiate energy and put energy into voicing their value and values.

Web Marketing RxNeed a Healthy Dose of Marketing Rx? Take 3 V’s:

1) Offer Value to your customer by sharing content (that has value to them) and communicate your value
2) Marry your with content with your Values (this will help you attract your ideal client)
3) Publish content consistently to solidify your Voice

 You will have a great voice online when your web marketing communicates your value and your values!

Virtual Marketing Hugs!

 

 

Lorrie Thomas
Measuring Social Media Marketing Success

social media marketing successWhen I hear people talk about measuring social media marketing success in myopic terms like growing followers, or getting direct sales, I feel like a marketing intervention needs to be staged. Social media absolutely supports sales, but it’s a piece of the overall marketing puzzle. You can’t expect one social media post will make you money honey! For any of you wondering how to measure social media marketing success, here is what you need to know.

#1 – Start By Understanding the Five Factors for Social Media Marketing Success.
There are five factors for social marketing success: credibility, usability, visibility, salability, and scalability. Sales do not happen unless all factors are attended to. Knowing and managing these five factors will help get you know what to focus on, what needs to be optimized and where your strengths and weakness lie.

Credibility is believability. Social media marketing helps people know, like, and trust you. Are you sharing content that really matters? Are your cover photos designed to be on brand? Are you consistently posting content that benefits your target audience?

Usability is how easy your social media assets are to use. This can include the ease of being able to easily navigate or search your blog, having the right share widgets installed on your blog and optimized properly, or having the right Facebook template installed so your page is well organized.

Visibility is how well you are found on social media. You can be the most qualified expert or company, but if nobody knows about you, then you have a problem. Visibility can come from boosting Facebook posts, increasing your social media posts by using great tools like Hootsuite.com and being more mindful of using hashtags when you post. Blogging and social media content can also help boost your search engine visibility, so determine the right phrases to include in your posts.

Sellability is how well you help people understand your value. Every social media profile description needs to clearly communicate who you are, what you do and whom you serve. This includes your LinkedIn summary, Twitter description, Instagram description, Facebook about area and more.

Scalability is how solid your social media foundation is. When you create great content and you commit to creating content for social media regularly, this content is an investment! It builds and compounds over time like a great stock investment. I love how I am able to reference old blog posts by simply searching the blog toolbox. I have content to share for my company and my clients companies for a lifetime thanks to the continual development of quality content!

#2 – Measure Social Media Success Against Your Social Media Strategy 

We do not plan to fail, we fail to plan. What is your social media marketing strategy? Don’t have one? If you need help, know that your social media marketing needs to be bigger than you or your organization. Have an overarching theme – think broadly about the topics you will address. Learn more about this by reading my post on keeping social media strong. Part of your planning needs to include deciding who is responsible for managing your brand’s social media efforts. Neglected social media creates a poor impression of a business, just like an abandoned storefront. Ensure your social media cover photos are consistent with your brand, when you write posts, use phrases in your text or hashtags that you want to be searched and found on, and plan for outreach. Many brands build into their social media marketing plan a budget for Facebook ads, Instagram ads and sometimes initially search ads to drive traffic to a site or blog.

#3 – If You Don’t Think Your Social Media Marketing is Paying Off, Revisit Your Approach

It’s not uncommon to feel like your social media isn’t “successful”. When I was interviewed by Intuit’s Small Business blog for an article called, Why Social Media Isn’t Paying Off for Your Business, I outlined tips businesses can do to make their investment work. If you don’t feel like things are not working out for you with social media, follow these tips for social media marketing success:

  • Plan your social media marketing journey
  • Be conversational – this is social media after all!
  • Teach and educate, I call this markeding (marketing and education)
  • Make social connections
  • Have fun!

Social media marketing is a journey, NOT a destination. Success is about building trust, serving customers, supporting sales, increasing engagement, building your brand, boosting awareness and communicating news.

If you feel like you need social media support, don’t hesitate to reach out.
Virtual marketing hugs,

 

Lorrie Thomas
Blog Writing Optimization Tip: Cut Time Out of Text

Follow this simple tip to optimize your blog writing and reduce social media marketing stress:
When possible, cut dates and time references from your blog posts.

I’m a big believer in using old content to make new social media posts. Without dates and time references, your blog posts are more likely to remain timeless, which makes them easily re-share-able!

time content marketingTo keep old (but great) content current, remove the date stamp in your blog posts. A blog post that shows it was written years ago is often considered to a reader to be dated. By taking the dates off, you instantly remove this issue. I love being able to share great content my clients wrote that is years old, seeing one great effort getting more marketing mileage makes me so happy!

The other simple blog writing optimization tip is to avoid time references in text. For example, words like “recently” or “today” or “this week” as in no time at all the post will not be recent, today or the week you write it.

Blogging is one of the best things you can do to brand, build and boost business. If you are going to take the time to write a great blog post, recycle it. Cutting time references helps make content repurposing seamless!

Happy, healthy marketing!