Category Archives: Marketing Interventions

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“.

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!

 

 

Anne Orfila
Old School Rules Still Apply in The New Web World

I have been in the wild web world longer than many of you who are reading this. I’m a Gen X, not a Millennial. Most likely, the biggest differentiating factor between me and a Millennial who is doing the same type of web marketing work as I currently am, is that I worked in an office. Sure, sure, you’re saying that so have you. But my first job was in a serious mega corporation that wasn’t full of young people aspiring to hit it big with IPOs and stock options. My employer was already on the stock market and I had the bigwigs from New York breathing down my neck for sales revenue reports, forecasts, and whatever else they needed. This also happened to be my first job out of college. I was young, but eager to be a team player, and a fast learner. What I learned in those 3 years of corporate life was something I have taken with me to every job since. Old school office etiquette works wonders. Even in this current fast-paced web world.

Mind your manners in the wild web world. What is old school etiquette in the office? Basically, it’s using proper manners in the workplace. Etiquette applies to “netiquette” too! Show respect to your coworkers and their privacy, speak (or email or call) politely, mind your (political, religious, controversial) opinions, use “please” and “thank you” whenever appropriate, keep your voice down, ask to borrow other people’s office supplies, keep team members in the loop, show up to meetings on time, stay at home when you are sick (unless you are already home, then just be thankful for your work-from-home job!)

I’ve been working at home for more than a decade, but I never let my etiquette slip. Since my clients, and Web Marketing Therapy coworkers are all over the U.S., all of my work and most of my correspondence is done electronically so my office manners have been transposed a bit to fit the web world, but the gist is still the same.

Follow These Old-School Rules in Today’s New-School Web World:

  • Keep your emails clear, polite, to the point, and prompt. If there is something you need, be clear to ask for it…nicely!
  • Emails should not be one word or in all lowercase. I don’t care if you reply from your phone! You don’t talk in one word sentences (and even if you do), your emails should not just be one word sentences.
  • Address the recipient with a pleasant greeting such as “Dear xxx”, “Good Morning, xxx”. Not “Hey”
  • Confirm receipt of work emails from clients, even if you haven’t completed it. Occasionally something doesn’t get delivered and if your client is used to a confirmation, than they’ll know if you haven’t received their email.
  • Use “please” and “thank you” whenever necessary.
  • Your email subject needs to reflect what your email is about.
  • Don’t forward anything personal (jokes, political statements, funny cartoons, chain letters, etc.,) to clients, even if you are on “friendly” terms.
  • Stick to a basic font (Arial, Helvetica), in a “regular” size, and use black.
  • Do not use ALL CAPS, EVER.
  • No profanity belongs in any client email.
  • Temper the exclamation points, the bolded words, and underlining.
  • Avoid shortcuts for words: “u” for “you”, “bc” for “because”, “gr8” for “great” and so forth.
  • Use emoticons sparingly.
  • If there are multiple people on a message you receive, decipher whether it is appropriate to “reply all” or to just reply to the sender.
  • Keep your client or coworkers in the loop. You may be half way through a project, but it’s always nice to send them a brief status email update so they know that you are working on it.
  • Sign off your emails with a pleasantry such as “Sincerely”, “Warm Regards”, “Kind Regards” and include a signature with your contact information.
  • Notify clients and coworkers of vacations or times when you are away from your office.
  • Use your out-of-office assistant when taking extended time away from work.

Whether you are Gen X or a Millennial, don’t be afraid to throw in some old school office etiquette in the new wild web world. After all, courtesy, respect, and professionalism never go out of style.

Lorrie Thomas
Define Success On Your Own Terms

When I support entrepreneurs with web marketing at Web Marketing Therapy or work with women on their web-based businesses though Wild Web Women, I’m often reminding these wonderful passionate professionals to stop comparing themselves…

You CANNOT compare yourself to others! 

The sooner you break down the habit of comparing yourself or business to others, the sooner you will start to pave our own path and see business breakthroughs.

“Define success on your own terms, achieve it by your own rules,
and build a life you’re proud to live.

– Anne Sweeney

Lorrie Thomas
Fear-Based Digital Marketing Sales Emails

Have you ever received an email from a digital marketing company or consultant saying that your website isn’t performing well, or your site isn’t found in search engines or you “have to” redo your website…….or else?

When companies try to sell their digital marketing services by using fear-based email messages, I want to reach my hand through the computer screen and smack them.

Here is an example and what to do if you get a message like this to help spare you unnecessary marketing stress.

Dear James,road-sign-63983_1920

I noticed that your website is not mobile-friendly which is hurting your visibility on Google. In April, Google began penalizing websites for not optimizing for mobile devices. Since then, businesses without mobile-friendly websites have lost significant search traffic.

The email example (from a real email a client forwarded me) goes on to insist that without a new website, the client’s visibility is doomed then leads into a free call. These types of email serve to alarm you into taking action…prompting you to call or book a time to talk online.

It is healthy to have ongoing marketing discussions and always great to look at ways to optimize your digital marketing efforts, but never, ever start a conversation in a state of stress. Here is the debrief on messages like the example above.

As this email above said, Google unleashed a new search algorithm (that was often called “Moblegeddon” as it threatened to wipe out websites from the search engines, favoring websites built on newer responsive platforms). Read more about that here. Newer websites that are built to be mobile-friendly will earn search favoritism, but it doesn’t mean that you your non-mobile friendly site isn’t being listed and found. Always do an internet search to see if your site is being found.

There is a lot you can do to make sure your site is being searched if you don’t want to (or can’t afford to) overhaul your website to be fully mobile friendly, which sales email examples like the one above propose. Ongoing search marketing efforts like blogging are a good way to keep your ongoing search marketing on point.

Search ranking is based on a number of factors, mainly architecture, content and linking. The architecture is the coding of the site and can include factors like if it is responsive (meaning it adapts to a tablet and mobile device automatically) as well as your meta data code. If your blog is extremely search friendly and content is regularly posted, it creates a good foundation. Content is king with search – the more content you publish (blog posts, etc) the better. Search engines have robots that read and index websites, the more “food” you feed these bots, the better. Linking is also a big factor – links within page content and other sites linking to you are important.

When Google changed their search algorhythm, many of our clients invested in redesigning their websites as they wanted these new mobile-friendly responsive sites so users had the best mobile experience. But many did not want to spend the money and have been FINE. There is no wrong or right approach and there are tons of benefits to building responsive sites, I always want to make sure folks make their marketing decisions based on understanding their options…not based on a knee-jerk reaction from a scare-tactic sales email.

If you do decide to reach out to companies following one of their emails, be sure to take a close look at what they are selling.  Some companies have very oppressive contracts. Also be leery of sales pitches that say they can redo your website with a very quick turnaround….quick doesn’t always mean good…

Healthy marketing is important. Keeping a close eye on ways you can improve your online presence is always a good practice, but don’t fall victim to alarmist emails. Set your path and readjust as necessary, based on your own experiences and research, or reach out to a reputable firm who is willing to talk with you and educate you on ways you can improve your online presence.

It’s always best to make decisions based on options…never let digital marketing people stress you out. If they do that from the get-go, the relationship is off to a bad start…

 

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Lorrie Thomas
The Power of Personality in Web Marketing

Too many people stress unnecessarily about web marketing. Just the thought of a website, blog, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Google+, Pinterest, LinkedIn, search marketing, social media marketing, email marketing, online advertising or Yelp…leads to people crying…HELP!

Here’s how to stop the stress and move your web marketing into success. You ready? The simple step is all about you…healthy ego time baby….

PUT YOUR PERSONALITY INTO YOUR WEB MARKETING!!!!

be-a-character

Your personality is what sets you apart from the competition. Pump some positive power into your brand baby!

Companies like Apple, Virgin Airlines and Starbucks have a personality – you get a vibe engaging with these brands. Their distinction sets them apart and creates affinity and loyalty. Political candidates attract voters via the power of their personalities. Media personalities aren’t where they are today without their unique and authentic personalities. Even cartoon characters can create product marketing empires with their “personalities!”

Your personality will drive what web and social media tools you use and how you use them. If you hate writing but are great talking, you can podcast versus blog (and use a great transcriber tool to make what you speak into online content). If you are not comfortable on video, then writing behind the camera might be best. As for what to post on social media or blog about, put your heart into it…what do you care about? What puts fire in your professional belly? Share it!

Write the way you talk and when you post (to LinkedIn, Facebook, etc) on behalf your brand, do it from a place of heart. Robotic posts make we want to reach my hand through my laptop and do brute force interventions!

Your unique personality sets you apart, it makes you human.

People connect with people…humanize your brand, be true to your personality.

And let your junior high school “I want to be like everybody else” fears go…don’t worry about people not liking you. If they don’t, they aren’t your ideal client, adios! Do you want to work with customers who you are continually trying to please or ones who already like you? Time is money honeys! You can help pre-qualify your customers and minimize your sales close time by having a powerful personality online.

Own your value, be true to your values and voice them.

And actually voice them! No “I am too busy” shit, ok?!

Look, I have clients to serve, projects to complete, laundry to do, meals to cook and speeches to prep but I care a whole freaking lot about helping people do web marketing in a way that is meaningful, matters and pays so I am blogging….when you share, it shows you care.

Be true to your personality and watch your web marketing transform.

Virtual marketing hugs,

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