SEASON’S GREETINGS

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It’s been a great December.  Thanks to friends and clients – and those who are both.  We are grateful.

This December, John’s worked a few weekends from our Bear Valley Offices.  Not a bad view from the cross country ski trail, right?

All the best, and happy new year too, from John and Rachel



INSTAGRAM ADS

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Instagram advertising allows you to reach a large and targeted market, using a variety of media, and with options for calls to action and objectives.

There’s an initial, one-time, set up phase which takes considerable time and work.  This is a project for John!

First, you’ll get the opportunity to consider your objectives which is a great way to solidify your goals and help you set in stone what will make Instagram advertising a success for your business.  We’ll have you choose one objective from the choices below:

Instagram Ad Objectives

These objectives will allow Instagram to funnel you to the best ad choice for your business.

We’ll then ask you to go through the targeting list below to be sure you are not paying for ads for people out of your targeted market.

City, state, region, country? Age range? Gender? Language?

You’ll also be able to target with user interest keywords.  For example, this sample ad we are setting up is for a pickleball lifestyle products company, so we are targeting anyone who has shown a social media interest in pickleball.

You may also narrow down your targeting by selecting mobile or desktop devices or both if that’s relevant to your ad and/or business.

Then there’s some general book-keeping:

  • ad start and end date/time,
  • do you wish your ad to run all the time, or at just specific times each day,
  • how much do you wish to spend,
  • do you wish to be billed by impression or by click?

These are the ad options:
Instagram Ad Objectives

Carousel ads which scroll images or video upon which you may put a text caption.  We selected carousel for our pickleball client and that’s what’s shown in our header graphic.

Static, single image ads with text overlay.

Video ads, which can be a set of images with captions as a slideshow, or full video, up to 30 seconds.

Nearly done!

You’ll need a landing page.  We recommend a page on your web site which is customized to your Instagram ad.  It will be more effective and will allow you to better track your ROI.

What would you like your call to action to be? Apply Now, Book Now, Contact Us, Download, Learn More, Shop Now, Sign Up, Watch more?

Because Instagram is owned by Facebook, ads are actually set up through Facebook’s business portal.  You may also run these exact ads on Facebook which can be a big time-saver.

We’ll walk you through every step of the way.  We’ll also ask you how you would like to see reporting.



BUILDING YOUR MAILING LIST

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Frustrating news – sorry!  A businesses e-mail address list will degrade by about 20% each year. Here’s some ideas on how you can continue to grow your mail list.  The idea – gain addresses faster than losing.

  • Keep making valuable e-mail campaigns!

SIGN UP FORMS – PHYSICAL AND ONLINE

  • Keep your newsletter sign up form as simple as possible.  One field is best – just ask for e-mail address.  Once you start asking for first name, last name, phone number, etc, you lose people quickly.
  • Add a lightbox popup with address list sign-up form to your web site.
  • Have a physical sign-up sheet – in-house/store – and at every event you attend.  Be sure it clearly states you value privacy and do not share addresses.
  • On your online and physical sign-up forms, be sure to note the value of being on the list: exclusive mail-list-only offers, useful information, event invites, tips, etc.  Even better, create copy to be used in landing pages, postcards, blog posts, actually any print or on-line marketing, listing the top ten reasons to sign up for your mailing list.
  • Make sure a newsletter sign-up is on every page of your site – easy to see and complete.  Don’t skip ad landing pages and your blog pages.
  • Add a note to your online sign-up form: “Join the XX subscribers who already enjoy this newsletter”.  Show that they will be part of the crowd.

WAYS TO GET YOUR SIGN-UP FORM UNDER THEIR NOSES!

  • Have a contest with a fabulous prize – worth signing up for a mailing list to enter.
  • Have a single database for addresses and make sure your staff knows how to use it.
  • Host an event and be sure you have your mail list sign-up sheet well-displayed.
  • Send a snail-mail postcard specific to opt-ins.
  • Host an on-line webinar for which registration requires an address list sign-up.
  • Create something people will be interested in seeing.  For example, for our client SkinSpirit we made this recipe ebook and required an e-mail before the visitor could see it.  Your give-away could be tips, information (for example, a BMI calculator), or a white paper.  Promote these on social media.
  • Consider paid advertising for your list or re-marketing specific to address list sign up.
  • Add a link to a newsletter sign-up page on Facebook.
  • Include call-to-action in videos posted to YouTube and in your YouTube Channel.
  • Put a fishbowl on your counter and encourage clients to drop in a biz card or slip of paper – once a month drawing.  All entrants are added to mail list.
  • Give a free birthday service to the people on your mailing list.
  • Get your employees involved – he or she who collects the most e-mails gets a bonus.
  • Do a give-away (discount, gift basket) for all new list sign ups over a week (month, whatever works for you.)
  • Work with your staff to provide a script for getting people to sign up.  Be sure they are aware of incentives to signing up and can offer them on the spot with a hand-written sign-up form, or a database they can add to.

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E-MAIL CAMPAIGN DESIGN , MANAGEMENT, AND COST

The bottom line: there’s lots of detail in this article, but we know you are mostly interested in the cost, so an up to date price quote is at the end of this page, and here’s a link to our e-mail campaign portfolio where you can see samples of some launched campaigns.  We also have a blog post explaining the three types of campaigns that are working currently for our clients.

The initial set up and design takes some time and thought, but once up and running, e–mail campaigns are a great way to keep your brand in front of your customers, drive people to your web site, promote your business and events, and as well as attract new customers.

E–mail campaign designs should:

  • be designed and coded in such as way as to not get caught in spam filters,
  • be coded so they render cleanly in any e–mail client, on any system, including tablets and smartphones,
  • be concise,
  • drive people to your web site, on-line store, or appointment forms with links,
  • use graphics intelligently so they don’t hinder load time, readability on all devices, and deliverability,
  • carry your branding throughout,
  • contain calls to action, and
  • be designed so you may use the same template for each launch, making simple edits to text, colors, and photos without re-coding each time.

The initial steps in the process are:

  • deciding upon your e-mailer design,
  • how to manage your e–mail list,
  • designing and coding your email template (this same template will be used from e–mail to e–mail, making updates easy and providing your recipients with consistency),
  • collection of e–mail addresses, and
  • the account set up.

These above steps are discussed in our initial meeting and are not repeated after the first e–mail campaign.

Costs

One time set-up costs:

  • Design drafts, half an hour to two hours depending upon type of e-mailer.
  • E–mail template coding, one hour to three hours depending upon type of e-mailer. The simpler the template design, the faster the code is written.
  • Set up of e-mail campaign service provider account, half an hour including collection of your contact information.
  • Cost of initial e–mail address list set up depends upon how much training is needed. A good estimate is one hour for someone computer savvy, but needing a little support with their e–mail client and with Excel.

Here are the steps which are repeated with each following campaign:

  • Entering content to the template, half to one hour. This assumes a few graphics and several paragraphs of text copy, and also that the content provided is publish-ready and fits to the e–mail template already coded.
  • Entering html to e-mail campaign platform and sending you a test e–mail, half an hour.
  • Formatting the address list and uploading to e-mail campaign platform, fifteen minutes.
  • Launching e-mailer, fifteen minutes.
  • Reporting, FREE! A few days after the e-mail is sent to your address list, we will e–mail you a report with information which can be helpful to your future marketing. Report will include how many clicks the e–mail generated to a linked web pages, who has opted off of your mailing list, your open rate, which e–mail addresses are not valid, and if any of your e–mails were forwarded and if these recipients added their address to your mailing list.
  • Also no charge, lot of tips along the way on how to produce an effective e–mail campaign, and how e–mail campaigns can help your web site’s search engine optimization.

The final summary is that the first campaign will take 4.5 to 8.5 hours to produce, and that following e–mails will take 1.5 to 2 hours of work. Our rate is $120/hour. The charge from the e-mail campaign platform will depend upon the size of your mailing list. Please contact John with any questions.

These prices do not include a “post to Facebook” sharer link. Cost for this vary.  If interested, let us know.