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?

If Your Own Dog Food Tastes Bad, Tweak The Recipe

Dave Kolb - Monday, August 30, 2010

As a small business owner, the easiest, yet often overlooked question you can ask yourself is: would I buy my own stuff. In other words, does my dog food still taste good? Asking this question should NOT put into question "why you are in business" but rather, "is your business headed in the right direction."

It's a question, if asked, will shed light on the value of your products and services...especially in a down-cycle. The key to having a successful brand of dog food is to stay steady in both good and bad times; and the only way to achieve this balance is to eat your own dog food often, oh and by the way...pretend you are paying for it. Evaluate this regularly and adjust accordingly.

Do you even eat your own dog food

Say you've developed an online accounting web application, but use Quickbooks to manage your business. Why? Because you always have, not enough time to convert, too complex, or "the classic", our product was not designed for businesses like ours? Really? If YOU don't use your own product, it's NOT GOOD ENOUGH for me...end of story.

Try becoming a "real" customer

Say you charge $49 per month for your service. Try becoming a customer. No really...become a paying customer. Go through the sign-up process and have your account debited every month for $49. How does it feel when you get your credit card statement? Does it hurt? Do you cringe, or is it a no-brainer? You'll know if you're charging too much or too little, but one thing is certain.

Eating your own dog food brings perspective and might just jumpstart your business out of a down-cycle. It will reveal your strengths and weaknesses in a heartbeat, and might just be the best elixir you've tasted in years.

Small Businesses Using Blogging and Social Media WIN

Kim Kolb - Friday, March 05, 2010
Are you still dragging your heals on getting into the Social Media world?  Have you started a Blog yet?
There is a huge amount of data about there that says the Blogging is one of THE BEST, way to get leads.

According to the Small Business Success Index (SBSI), Social Media has doubled to 24% over the last year. There were 500 small business owners surveyed on their Social Media usage.  61% of the small businesses said they had used social media to attract new customers.
It was also noted that 45% of those small businesses reported that blogging and social media was a great contributor to lead generation.
According to SBSI, this is how small businesses are using Social Media:
  • 75% created a company page on Facebook or LinkedIn 
  • 69% post status updates on Facebook or LinkedIn
  • 26% use Twitter to talk about their industry expertise
  • 39% have a blog to talk about expertise
Blogging has become one of the most used tools for lead generation according to HubSpot, "State of Inbound Marketing Report."

Inbound Marketing using Social Media and Blogging is far less expensive than traditional marketing.  Don't delay getting on this train... It is fast and furious and you certainly don't want to be left at the station.

How is your company increasing it's Social Media presence?

Which Blogging Software to use

Kim Kolb - Wednesday, December 02, 2009
Hello to all my fellow Bloggers.

I come to you today as a community of well knowledge people who want to help. This is one reason I love blogging so much. I love the feedback that people are willing to give. 

So, here is my dilemma. I need a Rockin Blog Software Platform! I hope that by getting your feedback, I will also be able to better serve my clients by being able to provide a case study and a recommendation to them and yes; I will share this with the Blogosphere. 

Here is the scoop. I currently have a CMS that has integrated blogging software. Yeah, that’s the good news. The blogging software DOESN’T talk to any other types of tracking tools or analytics tools. The one tool that truly bums my groove is that I can’t get it to hook into Technorati and the software company doesn’t feel this is a huge issue right now, although the forum on this is huge (which means others out there confirm I am not crazy). I can’t even get it to connect to Google so I can set a goal on how many subscribers I get through my RSS like Avinash Kaushik talked about in the last Webinar with HubSpot's Inbound Marketing University. This is the Bad news. 

So, I come to you for suggestions on blogging software:

  • What is the blogging software you use and why do you like it? 
  • Does it hook into all the cool tools that HubSpot recommends to get found?
    • Technorati 
    • Google Goals 
    • I am sure there are more and please feel free to share 
  • Does it give you complete control over the design of your Blog and if not what kind of limitations does it have (Dave loves to design and have control)? 

Since I am fairly new to blogging, I would appreciate any advise you have. I subscribe to some really cool RSS feeds and I read all the important info, but most of you have been doing this longer and know the tips, tricks on getting found and that is what I want, to get found by more, I am convinced the blogging software has a huge impact on this. 

As a Web Design and Marketing Company, I am starting to think that websites are a dying breed, like outbound marketing. Blogs can accommodate just about anything we need to convey to the world and most times our Blog gets picked up by Google faster than our website. So HubSpot, HATS of to YOU! 

Thanks in advance to all who comment on this Blog! I also hope to make some new friends during this process.

NSA549VW9GZA


Social Media is Altering the Media Landscape

Dave Kolb - Thursday, October 01, 2009
Did you know just how much Social Media is taking over our everyday lives?

These numbers are staggering! This is another official update to the original "Shift Happens" video. This completely new Fall 2009 version includes facts and statistics focusing on the changing media landscape, including convergence and technology. It was developed in partnership with The Economist. For more information, or to join the conversation, please visit http://mediaconvergence.economist.com and http://shifthappens.wikispaces.com.


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