Filter The NoiseBlog

We blog about design, technology, internet marketing and business on the web. As the name implies, we aim to "filter the noise" and share only the most relevant information. Feel free to chime in anytime with your thoughts and comments. Established 2004 in Colorado Springs, Colorado by HighTouch Web Design and Internet Marketing.

Ways to Increase your Email Marketing List

Kim Kolb - Thursday, January 27, 2011

If you don’t have any compelling offers on your site, you’re ignoring a huge opportunity to grow the size of your email list. This is true whether you're a B2C or a B2B company - offers are one of the most effective ways to harvest email addresses and leads from your site traffic.  You'll want to note that a boring quarterly newsletter is NOT featured below.

Here are 4 ways to create offers that can help dramatically increase the size of your email list and lead conversion volume.

Educational / How To Offers

These type of offers are valuable to B2B's because you are giving them valuable information. These can also be good for B2C's because those are most time "How To's". Regardless of B2B or B2C, you are offering a "way" to do something.

  • eBooks – “Download our comprehensive guide to inbound marketing and ecommerce”
  • Whitepapers – “Understand how to nurture your email list”
  • Buyer's Guides – “Which LED underbody kit is right for you?”
  • Fact Sheets – “10 facts you need to know before purchasing a used car”
  • Checklists – “The 5 key steps to preparing your IT department for the iPhone 4”

Free Stuff Offers

Everyone loves free stuff. Every week, I get a free offer from "All You".  Whether I need it or not, I submit my info to receive my free sample.

  • Contests - “Send us your cutest dog picture; cutest picture wins free doggy day care!”
  • Sweepstakes – “Enter for a chance to win a free copy of the book!”
  • Giveaways – “Register for your free welcome gift of a free keychain!”
  • Quizzes –“Who was Warren G. Harding’s dog? Let us know and two lucky history buffs gets a free dog bowl!”
  • Surveys – “Take our survey and get $10 off your first order!”

Coupons and Deals

Like with the free stuff offers above, everyone likes to feel as though they are getting a good deal. Running special offers for a discount is always a great way to get more customers:

  • Coupons for dollars or percentage off – “Sign up for future offers and savings to receive 10% off your next order today!”
  • Free shipping – “Create an account today and get free 2-day shipping through March 1st!”
  • Time-sensitive discounts – “Save 20% on flower arrangements through February 14th – order soon, roses are going fast this year!”
  • Bundled deals – “Fill out the form to get a free iPad if you sign up for our service in the next 2 weeks!”

Events

Events can create huge engagement from your interested prospects and customers. Because events require your prospects to physically show up at a certain place at a certain time – even if that “place” is online – event registrations indicate serious fans of your brand, products, and services. Think creatively about what constitutes an "event" for you: consider sponsoring charity events, conducting in-house mini-events, and use your site to collect registrations with names, emails, and other pertinent information.

  • Webinars – “How to get more leads using Email Marketing”
  • Off-site events – “Meet us at the Fine Arts Center for a fundraising event on Tuesday”
  • On-site / in-store events – “Come in every Friday for free drinks, snacks!”

Spin up a few new landing pages on your site and start experimenting. You will quickly find which have the best traction among your traffic and customer base if you keep an eye on your offer's performance metrics. Encourage your new email signups to share your offers on social media, email the offer to a friend, and get the word out to exponentially increase your offer's reach.

Tell us how you grow your email list?

International Builder Show Jan 2011

Kim Kolb - Sunday, January 16, 2011

I have just returned from the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, FL where the International Builder Show (IBS) was held. 

This was the first time I have been to the International Builder Show. What a massive production. The show was held at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, FL. They had a beautiful sign out front with nice glittery lights.. Kinda made me think I was in Vegas. The Displays spanned the entire length of the West Building. I have been to a PartyLite Convention before and I thought it was a big production.

There were tons of seminars for Builders as well as networking opportunities.

I was attending this event because I was asked to be a speaker at the Convention. I was part of a panel that talked about the REDMAR process. I was asked to speak on this process and how Inbound Marketing relates to getting visitors to your site. I love it when I am asked to talk about Inbound Marketing. It really makes me feel like my job means something when I get a client who looks to me for advise on how to start or improve their on line marketing efforts.

Although my trip was only one day long. I do plan to go back to Orlando because there was tons of fun I did not have!

How is Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Blogging, Email Marketing and YouTube Affecting Your Business

Kim Kolb - Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Every month I like to reflect on how my on-line marketing efforts are working with my Social Media efforts and my website.  Here are tools I use, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Blogging. I have 3 Twitter Accounts, 2 Facebook Accounts, 2 Facebook Pages, 1 LinkedIn Account and 2 Blogs I maintain. Now these are not all my main business accounts with HighTouch Marketing and Design, I also have a passion for Wine in which that is another set of accounts in this mix.  I know what you are thinking..."How does she manage all those accounts?"  HootSuite is what I use, but TweetDeck is also another great tool.

So with all these accounts what is my goal for my business and my passion?  To drive traffic to them! Why? Why would you spend all this time on these marketing efforts and not have a plan?  If you are just aimlessly out there "Playing" then you are not serious about your business. If your goal is not to get more people to your website to find out about you and then to get them to convert to a lead/sale then you really need to stop your efforts. 

Converting a Lead/Sale is different for everyone. With my company HighTouch, my goal is to create traffic to my site so I can convert someone into getting a website redesigned or created and to help that customer market their business.  My Wine site on the other hand, a Lead/Sale is different.  Right now I am working on name recognition, trust and winery profiles. So a conversion can be different for the type of business you are in.

Tracking your efforts

There are great tools like Google Analytics, it is FREE, that you can use to track the traffic on your site, where people are coming from, what they are clicking on, etc.  Tracking your efforts is as important as the actual effort.  You can track all your social media and blogging efforts here as well as putting links on your site to drive traffic to those particular venues.

Here are some Cool Stats from my friend at Bonsai Interactive Marketing. Pay close attention as these stats show you that people are out there and they are searching for you.  What will they see when they find you?

Facebook Stats:

  • The average Facebook user has 130 friends.
  • More than 25 billion pieces of content (web links, news stories, blog posts,
  • notes, photo albums, etc.) is shared each month.
  • More than 150 million people engage with Facebook on external websites
  • every month.
  • There are more than 100 million active users currently accessing Facebook
  • through their mobile devices.
  • The average Facebook user is connected to 60 pages, groups and events.
  • People spend over 500 billion minutes per month on Facebook.

Twitter Stats:

  • Twitter’s web platform only accounts for a quarter of its users – 75% use
  • third-party apps.
  • Twitter gets more than 300,000 new users every day.
  • There are currently 110 million users of Twitter’s services.
  • Twitter receives 180 million unique visits each month.
  • There are more than 600 million searches on Twitter every day.
  • Over 60% of Twitter use is outside the U.S.
  • More than a third of users access Twitter via their mobile phone

LinkedIn Stats:

  • LinkedIn is the oldest of the four sites in this ebook, having been created
  • on May 5 2003.
  • here are more than 70 million users worldwide.
  • Members of LinkedIn come from more than 200 countries from every
  • continent.
  • 80% of companies use LinkedIn as a recruitment tool.
  • A new member joins LinkedIn every second.
  • LinkedIn receives almost 12 million unique visitors per day.
  • Executives from all Fortune 500 companies are on LinkedIn.

Blogging Stats:

  • 77% of Internet users read blogs.
  • 60% of bloggers are between the ages 18-44.
  • One in five bloggers update their blogs daily.
  • Two thirds of bloggers are male.
  • Corporate blogging accounts for 14% of blogs.
  • 15% of bloggers spend 10 hours a week blogging.
  • More than 50% of bloggers have more than one blog.
  • Bloggers use an average of five different social sites to drive traffic to
  • their blog.

YouTube Stats:

  • The very first video uploaded was on 23rd April 2005.
  • By June 2006, more than 65,000 videos were being uploaded every day.
  • YouTube receives more than 2 billion viewers per day.
  • The U.S. accounts for 70% of YouTube users.

So what's the point to all this?  The point or rather the questions are:

  • Are you using On-line Marketing to drive traffic to your site?
  • Are you tracking your efforts?
  • What changes have you noticed, good or bad?
photo credit, jaxxshirts.com


Is Social Media A Fad, Like Home Computers Would Never last

Kim Kolb - Thursday, May 13, 2010
I hear people making this comment often "This Social Media Stuff isn't going to last". Really? Sounds like a similar comment that people made back in the 80's about Personal Computers not making it. So, knowing what we know about computers these days, that everyone has one or maybe two in everyone home, I would rethink that comment about Social Media and start the acceptance process.

Social Media is not a fad, in fact it grows every day.  Watch this video and leave a comment on what you think about Social Media.  As someone who is doing Inbound Marketing through Social Media daily, you should be rethinking your online marketing strategy. If you are not in tune with what is being said then you are out of the conversation, it is like being stranded on an island by YOURSELF!

Please leave a comment (hint: it provides an Inbound link to your site)

If you like what you read, please subscribe to our blog as we put out Tips, Tricks, and all around good ideas for you to use in your business.  Make sure you turn up the volume on this video.. The Music alone is inspiring.

Hi, I'm with Kirby Vacuum, Don't shoot

Kim Kolb - Thursday, April 15, 2010

OH My Gosh! I didn't even realize companies still used Door to Door Soliciting, I mean Sales, oops I mean Marketing.  I think this out does the Billboard ads.  

I was working in my home office today and I got a knock on the door.  Hmm, I thought.. Not expecting anyone.  I opened the door, I am not kidding on this next part, the young kid, maybe early 20's says to me as I am opening the door, "Hi, I'm with Kirby Vacuum, Don't Shoot"!  Since I am not real quick with my responses... I took a second and said, I have had a Kirby before and I don't need another since I have all hardwood!  The Rep did not seem to take this as harsh as I probably made it sound. He just said, "Okay, thanks".  Off to the next house he went.

What is Kirby's goal in going door to door?

  • Personal interaction
  • Face to face
  • Set up Demonstration
  • Closing a deal

With Outbound Marketing, you are being interrupted when you didn't ask to be.  Somebody is interrupting what you do to tell you what they do.  Telemarketer's, TV ads, all are Outbound Marketing. 

How does Kirby track their Outbound Marketing?  Just like we track Yellow Page ads, TV ads, etc. There is no way to track them unless there is a physical action that takes place.  You actually have a demo scheduled, you clip the coupon and use it, you tell the person where you found them.

  • If last year's "Outbound Marketer" could have tracked what he did when he came to my house, he would have been able to tell this year's "Outbound Marketer" that I don't have carpet.  
  • What is the cost-benefit to having people pound the pavement?

I do have to say that the salesperson had a wonderful attitude.  

I would love to hear feedback on this and your thoughts about door to door sales.

Top 10 Reasons Why Online Marketing Dominates Traditional Advertising

Kim Kolb - Monday, November 16, 2009

Online marketing has become the most successful method of advertising for any kind of business during the last decade. It is fast and promotes your business to thousands of potential customers daily. As marketing is a primary factor to a successful business, the internet facilitates this process in a way that will ensure the maximum exposure to what you are offering.

Traditional marketing, known as outbound marketing or interruptive marketing, requires much more time and effort. It often takes many people to be involved which means it takes more time, resources and money to produce. Outbound Marketing is also very hard to track for results. With the internet you can reach customers all over the globe in a matter of seconds. Online marketing is superior to traditional ways of marketing in almost every aspect. Here is a list of the top 10 reasons online marketing dominates traditional advertising.

1. SPEED

  • Email marketing campaigns are fast, targeted, cost-effective, highly efficient method of marketing your business.
  • Traditional mail marketing can take months and a lot of money and effort to generate results.

2. GEOGRAPHICAL RESTRICTIONS

  • The whole globe can be your customer base when you are marketing your business online, as the internet reaches almost every house on the planet.
  • Traditional Marketing restricts the amount of people you can reach.

3. MARKETING EFFECTS

  • Online marketing is based on pull marketing or Inbound Marketing, which means the customer found you while looking for a particular item.
  • While offline marketing is based on push marketing effects, which means you have to introduce your business to every single customer that comes into your location.

4. SALES PROCESS

  • When your business is marketing online, you can make a sale in a matter of seconds; whether it is an online store they are shopping or request more information through a contact form.
  • Offline advertising is very different in that someone has to sell the person the item, which means the person has to have the product knowledge and ability to sell to someone.

5. HOURS OF OPERATION

  • Your website is your business being open 24/7. Generating leads, and sales while you are asleep.
  • Offline stores are restricted to the human active times, this means you open in the morning and close in the evening and you can’t make a sale while you are closed. In other words, the offline selling process has a shorter sales life than the online one.

6. COST OF MEDIA

  • Online marketing allows you to make a short video or audio commercial and submit it thousands of media communities and is usually free or minimal charge.
  • To make a commercial on TV or radio or place an ad in the newspaper is a very costly engagement.

7. LIMITED ADVERTISING LIFE SPAN

  • When you post an ad online about your business or website, using an article for example, it can be online forever.
  • Traditional Ads can be active for an agreed-upon period of time and then it will be replaced.

8. COST PER CUSTOMER

  • These costs are reasonably low with online marketing but relatively high with offline forms of advertising. They are simply the costs incurred to generate potential customers for the business.

9. CUSTOMER SUPPORT

  • Online customer support can usually be solved via email.
  • Offline support requires a little more time and effort to be resolved.

10. ONGOING MARKETING INFORMATION

  • Data collection online is instant. You can track marketing efforts via google and other tracking tools.
  • Offline data collection is usually paper copies of items which usually take up storage space and requires manual computation for stats.

As you can see, online marketing is a far more cost effective method of marketing to traditional marketing. Online marketing is all about saving you money, time, and effort; yet brings you the required results you seek and most of the time exceeds your expectations.

Social Networking on the Rise

Kim Kolb - Saturday, November 14, 2009

Web 2.0 is the latest evolution of search engine technology. Today it’s no longer good enough to have a professional-looking webpage and a blog. Successful companies are posting viral videos on Youtube, creating Facebook Fan Pages, Myspace pages, getting followers on Twitter, Connecting with other colleagues on LinkedIn and applying cutting-edge technology to their core business principles. Now business owners big and small are looking to get these services to help them catch up with this ever-evolving phenomenon.

According to a 2009 Deloitte survey, 94% of business executives plan on ramping up their social networking participation over the next 12 months. Additionally, nearly 40% of businesses are hiring full-time professionals at an online marketing company to manage their social networking strategies.

Francois Gossieaux, a senior fellow with the Society of New Communications Research, says there are still “plenty of companies who do not realize the power of communities, and others who have not yet figured out the proper approach for leveraging communities as part of their business.” He adds, “Businesses are truly becoming social again, and companies should look to leverage the collective wisdom of their employees, customers and partners in order to innovate faster, reduce costs and bolster their bottom lines."



A Professional website design on a solid foundation is the first step towards your Online Success.  Your Online presence needs to engage your potential customers by Calls-to-Action and the Remarkable content you display.    

Whether you are one of the companies already on the Web 2.0 wave or just starting out, the rules of Marketing your company have changed.  If you are not capitalizing on the Social Media, Blogs, RSS tools that are available to you, you are missing out. 

Today the success of marketing your company does not rely on the size of your budget rather the time and willingness you have to put into your online marketing presence.  I think some companies would rather throw dollars at the marketing than to put time into it.  I think this is one of those times when we find out who the "Real Players" are.

Thoughts?

Email Marketing Still Works and You Can Get Great ROI

Dave Kolb - Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Email Marketing ROIIf you're on our email list, you've probably noticed that we've ramped up our email marketing efforts lately. Well, today we decided to look at some marketing analytics from our Facebook Page and SEO email campaigns.

To give some background, in the past 5 weeks, we've been running targeted email marketing campaigns, each with a different web service offer. This was a very "low Effort High Return" campaign.

Of those who opened the Facebook Campaign:
  • 37% Opened the email and 1 person unsubscribed
  • 10% Took action and requested services (directly from the offer)
  • 20% Responded by contacting us regarding other services
  • 1 person made a comment on our blog
  • 3 new people subscribed to our newsletter as a result of our "forward to a friend" feature
Ok, so those numbers aren't huge, but remember we didn't do much either. In terms of numbers (factoring our hourly rate), the Facebook campaign cost us about $195. We've received (to date) $3,250 as a result of that campaign giving us a 1,567% return on our investment (ROI). Considering we still have leads "regarding other services", that number should go up substantially.

Email marketing works and when you consider the economy we're in, it might be the thing that helps you bridge the gap to more profitable times. I'm pretty excited about this and what it could mean for our clients. 

When creating an effective email campaign remember:
  • Target your recipients with a relevant offer that has an expiration date
  • Keep it short and sweet (don't write a book, people don't have time for that)
  • Restate your offer convincingly with a compelling "call to action"
  • See how we can help you

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