Your Marketing Partner

Howdy all – we’re enjoying a rainy, windy night – hope the power stays on… So far so good

Thought I would talk about something related to customer conversations this week. Should I use mailing lists to promote my business service? Short answer – YES!

I remember back to my first marketing job selling mailing lists. I didn’t appreciate what I was holding in my hands. Really a mailing list is a legal money printing press. I should have paid closer attention, or read some of those direct mail proofs and mockups. It was marketing gold wrapped up in great copy. I didn’t realize what a goldmine selling “CPM Sweepstakes Yes” and “Ecofriendly Affluent buyers” would be. Mailing lists reach deep into the pockets of targeted hungry customers!

Next question I’m asked – how do I write a sales letter? First suggestion – call me. If that isn’t in the cards remember there are two different types of writers in business. People who breakout in a cold sweat when they have to write, and people who believe they can beat the best copywriter at their own game.

Here’s the big secret… you don’t need to be an excellent writer to be a great copywriter. The trick is to give your prospects something to salivate over, and offer them an ethical bribe within great copy! For people who write use AIDA (AIDA isn’t my girlfriend) – AIDA is a standard formula for writing marketing copy.

Attention – Grab your reader in the first few words. You only have 10 seconds to get them to read your email or letter. Attention starts right from the beginning: Jump off the page promises, controversial title of an article, the punch you in the face headline, or an awesome offer on the envelope. You are starting to get the picture of getting attention.

Interest – Keep your readers attention. Whether you’re writing an e-mail autoresponder series or a 20-page sales letter speak directly to your audience. Remember the term WIFFM – or what’s in it for me. Frame your text with the reader in mind. The best way to write is keep a mental image in your mind who you’re speaking to. What do they care about, what’s their pain, and how can you fix the problem.

Desire – You want to tap into a pool of white-hot burning desire. You want to tease, tempt and tantalize them. Leave them wanting what you offer. I hate to say it but you’re performing an old fashioned striptease when you write great copy.

Last A is Action – Tell them how to take action. Don’t write great copy, put together an irresistible offer. Just remember to ask for another date. This means give them 10 different ways to buy what you’re offering. The sooner the better on your call to action. Get them to purchase on the web.

I realize I just posted this but I wanted to add one more thing… Take away their objections. Give them a money-back guarantee. Take away all the fear of doing business with you. Of course you put yourself at risk, but if your business service is as good as you’ve promised you don’t have to worry about returns.

Remember good copy can overcome a lot of objections. Let me reiterate – don’t let direct marketing’s bad reputation spoil the party. People who hate direct mail don’t understand its power. They think direct mail is cheesy. They assume people will judge them as a blue suede shoe salesman running a second class business. Nothing is further from the truth – you are a smart business person. Bottom line – direct mail & direct website marketing works.

Until next time – keep those comments coming – I appreciate people reading the blog. If you have a copy project or need research for writing projects give us a ring.

All my best – Christine

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Daily Marketing Tips


Howdy everyone in cyberspace. I’ve been getting some great feedback from people. It’s exciting that someone is actually reading the blog, so keep those cards and letters coming. Today I’m focused on a kitchen renovation.

I’ve been considering remodeling my kitchen for about a year now. UGHHH – I’ve done most of the house at this point, but now I have the big nut to crack – the heart of my house. The kitchen is about 25 years old, and badly in need of a modernization. Bonus renovating my kitchen will keep my home value in the current housing market. Once I started to put the plan together I realized what a daunting task this could become. Not only from the perspective of cost, but time, and inconvenience. I forgot having a major part of my house out of commission for a few weeks will cause chaos. Why am I blathering about renovating my kitchen? Well it is right in line with my topic of renovating a marketing plan.

I have a feeling that many business owners have the same impression about updating a marketing plan as I do about updating my kitchen. In their minds updating a marketing plan is as much fun as a deep cleaning at the dentist.

I found during consulting meetings many small business owners didn’t bother to create a marketing plan in the first place. WHAT?? You need to know where you want to go to actually reach a destination. Personally I don’t take a trip without a map, or at least an idea of where I want to go. Obviously if your in that boat there are lots of tools for you to create a plan. One that incorporates daily business needs with your future marketing expenditures. Remember time never stands still, and your marketing plan is a work in process. You’ll pull it out often – especially if you’re updating a piece of your marketing home.

Now let me touch on one of my favorite marketing tools – a website. Here are a few helpful renovation tips for a website.

Flash is a cartoon superhero, period. Please get rid of flash on a website, especially a landing page. Yikes, flash reminds me of my parents 1974 avocado green appliances. Trendy in it’s day, but out of favor in 2010.

Along those lines please get rid of audio features you can’t turn off. How many people are surfing the web during the business hours – Do you want to put them on the unemployment line?

Last pet peeve’s…old homemade website pages with tons of affiliate banner ads. Yes I have a few on the site, but they are useful to a customer who wants to “do-it-themselves” – I can’t control everyone’s marketing. Might as well give them some free ideas.

Nice part about updating a website – it can be your best tool for marketing. Flexible, easily updated, bottom line…there are a lot of new options in 2010. Use the web to your advantage with search engine optimization ( look at the different types of optimization tools you can incorporate.

OK, I’ve taken a few deep breaths. I know that people instinctively hate change. Moving from a comfort zone isn’t a favorite activity. Remember there are some easy-peesy-lemonsqueezy ideas to put a new coat of paint on your website.

You can freshen up your website with a new theme. WordPress is a great tool, and even a novice can put new themes onto a website. I had one theme for a while, but eventually picked the one I’m using today. WordPress is a blog tool so you can put your thoughts out on the web in word form.

Last thought for today. By all means, make your website your own creative venture. Feature your USP on your little space of the universe. Let your customer’s know what you can do for them. They should be able to know within 10 seconds what you do, and WIFFM (what’s in it for them).

Happy Marketing – Make it a profitable week

P.S. – For those who wonder, yes I can be grammatically challenged (must have missed a few days in grammar school). So if you catch something please let it slide. I’m an internet researcher and marketing person, not an English teacher. :-)


This was the recap of the blog I posted on Merchant Circle earlier this month.

Today business owners have so many more options in marketing. Questions that come up during conversations… “Should I spend my day blogging or checking Facebook? How about LinkedIn? Local website marketing? Is print dead or the best place for a bargain? Should I spend money on direct mail? What about my website – how much information should I put there? How often should I update information…” the list goes on and on. These are all good questions – while the answers are case specific – are you looking for visibility or sales?

Ahhh – so many questions, so little money (or time) to try them all. My first suggestion is “STOP TRYING MARKETING!”

Personally I hate the word try. Trying is weak, and you’re already expecting to fail (or receive minimal success). Both advertising sales people and consultants say “Let’s try this – or that” Business owners think “if it doesn’t succeed it was his/her idea – I’m just following orders…” Belch – time to get rid of that thinking.

Many business owners are confused about website marketing. Most of our consultations center on using on-line marketing to get the most out of a small marketing budget.

Traffic, visibility, hits, eyes – website owners call it different words, but it’s all about people clicking on a link to visit your website or ad. My opinion – most of the time branding a company through advertising is a waste of time. People buy from people, and the mood of the country is “don’t trust anyone, especially a business.” You can’t buy credibility with print, web or traditional advertising. Put a bio, picture and map – put a human face on your website.

Next idea for a business owner – have a happy customer or colleague recommend your business or services. Word of mouth advertising is really important for small budgets. One caveat – you can’t buy great press – but you can be devastated by bad web press.

Be aware consumers are brazen with their opinions on the web – it’s still anonymous and everyone has a comment. Many websites (Yahoo Local, Yelp, Etc.) allow consumers an opportunity to post their opinion about anything. One dissatisfied customer can blow-up the best website marketing plan with a low customer rating or bad opinion.

Last thought for today – have you developed a customer mailing list to share news? Write an an e-zine monthly, put a blog together. There are so many places in the world where you can control the marketing message for low cost. Those are usually really effective, but lower cost means a longer time frame.

Well that’s enough for today – Stay busy and make money.

To your success…
Christine Cavaliero