How To Get the Most From Your 3rd Party Email Marketing Campaigns

Sending out a round of promotional emails, through a 3rd party provider, can be a measurably effective way to get the word out about your company, your products and your services.Aside from the sales or the new clients you could get, there are long range benefits that small business should know about so they can take advantage. Gathering data about who clicked through your promotion to visit your web site is one – and could be particularly important to businesses with a local or regional market. It can also work to establish a mailing list of your own, which is – perhaps – the greatest benefit of all.When your 3rd party campaign is sent, links to your web pages are embedded in the email and are presented with your promotional content. Recipients of that promotion, hopefully, click on the links in the email and visit your web site.That’s pretty straight forward so far, eh? Let’s look at how we can best leverage this new, targeted traffic.First, do not send a promotional email and provide a link to your homepage. Send them directly to the various pages where the products or services you mention in the promotion are the most prominent features. Better still, create new pages (perhaps just copies of existing pages) that serve up the exact content someone wants when clicking on your links.IMPORTANT: Do not link to those new pages from anywhere except the email promotion!Now you’ll have your internal stats (logs generated and stored on your web server) to accurately measure the number of times this page is hit. If you don’t have access to your log files, or can’t make sense of them, add a simple script to gather data about each visit to those pages and write that data directly to your database so that you can view those stats from whatever administration panel your web developer created for you.These 3rd party providers will give you statistics to show you how often your email was opened, but, with a few lines of code, you can generate your own, customized statistics. That’s not to say that these kind folks would fudge on the numbers… It’s just that you can do much more if you set up your site for tracking and storing data before you ever send out your promotion.Record the day and time of each visit, then track where else they go on your site after arrival. If demographics – especially location – is important to you, record the IP address of the computer they were on when they stopped by, and apply an IP address locator to pinpoint their country, state and city.Now, if your marketing message converts 100% of your visits into sales, you won’t need any of this. But, if your conversion rate is less than that, some of these visitors who were interested enough to look at your web pages are getting away – and of those, many of them may never find their way back.Here’s what you can (and should) do about it:First and foremost, give them some incentive to leave their email address with you (more about that in a second). Load those collected email addresses into your database so that you can market directly to them via email in the future.Design the incentives you offer so that you gain insight into the purpose of their visit, such as the products in which they were most interested, and record that information also. You’re creating a unique opportunity to promote exaclty the good and services these people want.Now, about this “incentive” you’ll offer…Without knowing the message in your promotional email, I can’t be specific about the types of incentives you should offer. However, things that work frequently are:
Detailed Product Information
Downloadable Brochures
NewLetters
Product Reviews
Discount Coupons
RSS Feed Checkers
‘How To’ Guides
If you typically run 50 thousand pieces of email monthly, with a typical click through rate of 7% to 8% , and convert as high as 5% of your visitors, you have the potential to add as many as 3800 interested consumers to your very own email marketing address list every month.Do that and you’ll find that the most effective email marketing out there is the email campaign you run from your own targeted list of interested consumers. That, then, is how you get the greatest benefit from email campaigns run by 3rd party providers.

Marketing Your Art – Here, There, and Everywhere

A professional artist’s success is in direct correlation to finding the right markets for his artwork. The million dollar question is “Where can I market my art and get the most out of my efforts?”
First, determine if you are really serious about selling what you make. Selling is what separates the amateur artist from the professional artist. As an artist you are creating a product. If you believe your product is valuable and you believe people will buy your product, then it is essential that you identify the market for your product.

The following are the main areas you should consider: Select two or more (don’t put all your eggs in one basket).

Art Galleries

Begin with developing a list of local art galleries that are within 100-200 miles of you. Art galleries are listed in your regular or on-line yellow pages. Take the time to personally visit each gallery on your list to determine which ones showcase the style of art most compatible with your art. Contact the owner or director of the gallery by telephone for a firm appointment to show your work.

Print Publishers

The print market is very profitable. When your art is in print, it is available and affordable to the widest possible audience, and your originals become more valuable. In my free online booklet, “Marketing Your Art” is available for professional artists wanting to market their artwork.

Fine art publishers can be found in art trade publications such as Décor Magazine, World Art News or On-line. Develop a list of those publishers you want to contact. The next step would be to send them a professional presentation of your work letting them know you are available for licensing.

Art Shows and Festivals

Outdoor shows and festivals are an excellent way for you to generate immediate income and see first hand how the art buying public responds to your work.

Many successful artists get their start and pay their dues with this venue. There are several Art Show and Festival promoters such as Art Fair Source Book (AFSB), American Art Festivals, Sunshine Artist Festival Network online that conduct 100′s of these events all around the country. Dates and locations are available in their directories, and you can contact them online or ask others artists and friends about their experience.

Banks, Restaurants and Corporations

Thousands of works of art are showcased and sold each year in banks, restaurants, and other private and public facilities every year. These locations are ideal prospects for the showing and selling of your Art. Local artists, local companies and the local public all benefit by having art displays in a bank or restaurant or business.

Co-Op Galleries

Co-op Galleries are generally local art associations that establish a location where fellow artists can hang their art. Contact your local art association for details about membership.

Commission Projects

Interior designers, architects and art consultants are constantly looking for artists. You can generally develop a list by searching your local phone directory yellow pages or online yellow pages. Contact these firms by telephone and send them your brochure.

Your Website

Your website is your own personal on-line gallery, open 24-7. This is a very cost effective way to show and sell.

A first class website is like a first class brochure; but, even better, it allows you to change and improve without reprinting.

Your website is of little value if no one goes there to view what you do. We cover how to fully maximize your website in our website chapter.

Trade Shows and Art Expos

These are high traffic professional events where you can purchase space to showcase and promote your art. Décor, Art-a-Rama, and the New York Expo are a few of the major annual and semi annual productions.

Studio Showings

Your home studio is an excellent and inexpensive way to exhibit and sell your work to friends, family and collectors. You should develop and maintain a mailing or e-mail list and should be in contact with this list on a regular basis.

Competitions

Competitions can be good venues, but generally do not produce much income. They can, however, add credibility to your resume or biography. Good sources for dates and locations of competitions are available through Art Magazine and American Artist Magazine.

Remember it is important that you choose the venues that you feel will provide the best results for you. You may not be able to participate in all those areas, but you need to choose two or more to begin with. Since you have many choices. choose the marketing option that best fits you personally and puts your artwork in the best light.

5 Marketing Mistakes You Can’t Afford to Make

In virtually every area of business, there will be pitfalls along the way. Marketing is no exception. Time and time again, businesses of all sizes make the same costly mistakes. But knowing how to avoid these mistakes can save you energy, disappointment – and money.

Mistake #1: Eliminating marketing efforts when times get tight.

When cash flow slows, advertising, direct mail and other forms of marketing are the easiest expenses to reduce, right? But cut these, and you eliminate the very activities that will bring in new customers to turn your business around.

This is the time when you may be spending more time analyzing the results of your marketing efforts. But by stopping marketing efforts, you will be setting yourself up for additional loss of business.

Mistake #2: Not measuring results.

Don’t wait until times get tight to start measuring the results of your marketing efforts. By analyzing regularly, you will be able to reinvest in what is working, and drop what is not working. Ask customers how they found your business, and then track the results.

Use coupons or advertising codes to track your customers. Or host a focus group of a variety of customers to discover what attracts them to your business.

Mistake #3: Putting all your marketing dollars in one area.

If your entire marketing budget is used on just one method of promoting your business, you won’t realize the highest return on your investment. Diversifying your efforts will increase the frequency and reach of your messages and stretch your marketing dollars.

Businesses can get hooked into one large advertising program with a local newspaper, magazine or radio station, and put the majority of their marketing dollars there. They feel as if they have to advertise with the same media source, just because they always have or because fear they will lose ground since their competitors are advertising there as well.

Some actually stay with a company for fear of upsetting their sales associate or because they simply don’t want to say no to them.

Remember, it’s your money and your investment. Don’t ever let anyone talk you into an advertising program that is not producing the best results for your business. And measure the results of your advertising dollars spent vs. the income received from your advertising on a consist basis.

When you diversify, don’t forget about direct marketing. Many business owners only do a few direct-mail programs a year, targeted to their existing customer base. They need to do more.

Your customer base and mailing list is gold, make sure you have budgeted a large part of your marketing dollars to advertise to your existing customers. They already love you, so keep them coming in by sending a direct mail piece to them at least six times a year.

Mistake #4: Allowing your ego to get in the way of common sense.

Ego can tempt a very bright person to do dumb things. Your marketing decisions should be based on factors that will positively impact some area of your business – usually the bottom line.

For example: Buying full-page ads or covers featuring yourself and not focusing on your business’ unique offerings may result in money going out the window.

Mistake #5: Not getting help when you need it.

If you find you’re too busy to handle your marketing efforts or that your materials aren’t looking as professional as they should, it is time to call in the reinforcements.

Hire a full-or part-time employee to allow you more free time to work on the “business end” or hire an independent business consultant to bring in new concepts and fresh ideas.