Why You Absolutely Must Start Paying for Facebook Marketing

Facebook is one of the most effective advertising tools available online. Everyone from individuals to small businesses are leveraging their presence on Facebook in order to garner more interest and increase their audiences. But not everyone is getting the most out of their Facebook page.

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It used to be that engagement happened more organically and companies built audiences based on the time they spent interacting with Facebook users and their followers. Times have changed, however, and leads, conversions and money don’t come through Facebook without paid promotions. However, this doesn’t mean you should abandon your community management work and switch gears completely. It means that paid media is just as important and should be used in conjunction with organic efforts.

Why You Absolutely Must Start Paying for Facebook Marketing

It’s Not About the Money

First off, Facebook isn’t trying to squeeze money out of you by asking for paid promotions. It just boils down to the simple fact that there is more competition out there for content, so brands need to start advertising in order to stay above the fold. There are over 1.23 billion monthly active users on Facebook, and at any give time there are 1500 stories competing for your attention. Facebook simply needs a way to figure out what to prioritize within all of those posts.

Business Posts Get Bumped From Bottom to Top

Secondly, Facebook is a social network. That means that users expect to see and connect with their friends and acquaintances. They don’t expect to see brands or small and local businesses, and for this reason Facebook’s algorithms favor personal posts over business posts, which puts ads at a disadvantage.

Great Tool for Retaining Leads

Facebook is a great channel for acquiring and retaining customers, as a Facebook profile is permanent. This translates to great leads, because once you can urge a user to “Like” your page, you have their attention. When it comes to emails, we found that 70% of purchases made through Facebook came from and email that the business owner previously did not have.

Paying For Facebook = More Marketing Savvy

Paying for promotions and boosting ads on Facebook will make you a better marketer. The best ads on Facebook create interest without pushing for a sale. Users are likely to click on content that is attractive and inherently interesting, not content that is urging them to spend money. Ads that rely on building a relationship are more successful, and Facebook prefers them to pushy sales ads.

If you’re involved in marketing a small business, it’s important to understand the need to combine organic marketing efforts with paid promotions. Ads bring in more fans, and your reach will begin to grow if you get over the hurdle and start getting comfortable paying for Facebook marketing alongside your existing community management efforts.

The best approach to Facebook Advertising is a strategic one. Sign up for a free marketing assessment to learn how we can help you get the most out of the world’s most popular social network.



Why This Bay Area Restaurant Wants to Be the Worst Rated Business on Yelp

A recent campaign by Botto Italian Bistro in Richmond, California to become the worst rated business on Yelp called for loyal and new customers alike to write horrible, one-star reviews on the review site. In exchange for their help in the crusade against unfair Yelp advertising practices, the restaurant offered 25% discounts.

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Customers were more than happy to support the restaurant, posting over a 1,000 hilarious, satirical one-star reviews with ridiculous claims such as “I’ve never been to this restaurant, but methinks it’s improperly named” and “Worst water I’ve ever had in a restaurant”. After only a few days, the restaurant successfully claimed the title of “Worst Restaurant on Yelp.”

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Davide Cerretini, Chef and co-owners, came up with this strategy after many unsuccessful months with Yelp advertising and the successive filtering of legitimate, positive reviews. Fed up with the aggressive sales tactics and bad business model, Cerretini wanted to prove that his restaurant could still be successful even without the high praises of the popular review site.

Not only has Cerretini gotten hundreds of reviews, but he has also helped shed some light on the many difficulties small and local business owners face when dealing with the review site, such as the supposed filter that hides positive reviews until a business agrees to sign up for Yelp’s advertising.

Yelp has responded with a letter claiming that Botto is violating their Terms and Conditions by offering services or discounts in exchange for reviews. The restaurant has since stopped rewarding one-star reviews but is still adamant on their anti-Yelp agenda, boasting both a new level of transparency for Yelp and better paying customers.


The Three Tell-Tale Warnings Signs of a Bad Email List

Whether you’re brand new to the game or you’re a seasoned veteran, an important step in building a robust email marketing program is keeping a close eye on the success of your campaigns. But what happens when things start going down the drain? How can you diagnose and address the symptoms of a bad email list?

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The best way to tell whether or not you have “good” emails is by looking to your email provider (Mailchimp, Constant Contact, etc). Whenever you send emails, your email provider will keep track of how well they performed. Go into your settings and find these numbers for your list:

  • bounce rate
  • open rate
  • click through rate

Each of these rates will show you how “healthy” your list is and whether or not you need to make any major improvements.

What Constitutes a “Healthy” List?

Even the best email marketers won’t see a perfect score with every email they send. Emails from brands tend to be the lowest priority for consumers and it’s important for businesses to understand this before setting unrealistic expectations. Even in the best case scenario, it’s hard to see more than a 50% open or click through rate.

That being said, when should you be worried about your email marketing?

The Three Tell-Tale Signs of a Bad Email List

You should be concerned if:

1. You have a bounce rate above 30%.

A bounce is when your email is not delivered to an address. Many email providers check for your hard-bounce rate and if it above a certain percentage, they will disallow you from using their service

  • The problem: you have email addresses that are wrong or false.
    • The fix: focus on “organic” methods of collecting email addresses such as newsletters, loyalty programs, and birthday collectors. This means absolutely no buying email lists.

2. Your open rate is below 20%.

Your open rate is the number of emails that go opened versus how many you send. This number essentially shows you how engaged people are with your emails. If they like what you’re sending, they’ll open it. If they don’t, they won’t (pretty simple, right?) If your open rate falls below 20%, it’s a warning signal that you’re wading into SPAM territory.

  • The problem: your email subject lines are uninspiring, you’re emailing too frequently, or you’re emailing people who don’t want your emails (and never did in the first place).
  • The fix: send no more than 3 emails per month and test your subject lines to focus on customer value (A Special Offer for Your Birthday!) versus business value (Updates from Your Local Business). Most importantly, only send emails to people who have signed up through their own accord – not a purchased list.

3. Your click through rate (CTR) is below 3%.

Your click through rate is determined by looking at how many people click on a link from an email you sent. Much like open rate, this number shows whether or not people are engaging with your emails by clicking on your links, such as a purchasable offer or a link to your appointment center.

  • The problem: your emails are leaving little to be desired and either don’t have anything for your readers to do or it’s too difficult or unwanted.
  • The fix: keep your links and actions simple – “Buy Now” or “Click here” are good ways to ensure your readers take the time to click. Focus on only one thing you want them to do and make it unavoidably simple for them to do.

The best kind of email marketing is one that keeps a close eye on the dashboard as you move ahead. If executed correctly, analytical email marketing can mean all the difference between one-time shoppers and engaged, returning customers who come back again and again.

Need expert advice on how to improve your email marketing? Sign up for a free 10-minute marketing assessment with one of our specialists who will show you all the tools you need to send better, more engaging emails that drive revenue.



Online Marketing 101: What is a Call-to-Action and Why Is It So Important for Generating Revenue?

If you want your online visitors to become customers, you need to get them to engage with you. The way you get people to engage is to give them something specific to do. When you ask them to take action and they respond, you can begin building the relationships you’ll need in order to get people to buy from you.

The best way to create these kinds of positive, long-lasting customer relationships is through a marketing term we call a call-to-action. With a great call-to-action, you can convert online visitors into excited, paying customers. Continue reading

What Is a Call-To-Action?

Offers like this one from A Feel Good Experience Spa are eye-catching and convert visitors instantly with a Buy Now option.

Offers like this one from A Feel Good Experience Spa are eye-catching and convert visitors instantly with a Buy Now option.

A call-to-action gets people’s attention and asks them to do something. You probably use calls-to-action already and don’t know it, such as the following:

  • A box on your website that asks people to give you their email addresses so that they can sign up for newsletters and special offers.
  • A button at the bottom of a web page that asks people to click to see another post on the same topic.
  • A button asking people to click in order to buy something.

Almost anything you can think of can become a call-to-action. In order to create a call-to-action, all you need is a specific action you want customers to take and a tool asking them to do it.

What Makes a Great Call-to-Action?

The key to a good call-to-action is to ask for what you want. Don’t just put a button or box on your website and hope customers click it. Tell them directly!

To increase effectiveness, use these four principles from QuickSprout.

  1. Only ask customers to do one thing. Calls-to-action get confusing if you ask your customers to do too much, and confused customers don’t do anything. Stick to one item per web page, and make it clear what that one thing is you want your readers to do.
  2. Keep it short. Which is more compelling: “Buy Now” or “Click here to book your spot in our spa?” Most people find shorter copy easier to understand and more motivating.
  3. Add a sense of urgency. Make your customers understand that this call-to-action is a limited-time offer. For example, add the words “limited supply”  or “sale ends at midnight Eastern time” to the end of your call-to-action. This encourages customers to act right away.
  4. Make it irresistible. This is the hard part, but if you follow the three principles above, you’ve got it. Make it short, snappy, and exciting to compel people to click.

Why Calls-to-Action Matter

Calls-to-action matter because they pull customers to you rather than to your competition. Today’s customers have a limited attention span, and if your website or business doesn’t grab and keep their attention, they’ll leave. Give them a clear, simple call-to-action so they will stay a few minutes longer and do as you ask.

Most customers need direction to sign up for your email list, search for related information on your site, or to buy things. If you don’t tell them how, you’ll lose them! Calls-to-action instruct customers so that they can interact with your business.

This is especially important if you’re a small, local business with an online presence. People often click, scan, and click away within moments. You want people to remember your website and eventually become paying customers. Your calls-to-action are important in building a long-term relationship. Customers loyalty increases when they follow your call-to-action successfully, increasing their confidence in coming back and doing business with you.

The right calls-to-action help you convert people from browsing scanners to paying customers. Create urgent, compelling calls-to-action so that your web visitors will want to interact with you and become paying customers.