Monthly Archives: November 2012
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For some business owners, the holiday season can represent anywhere between 20–40% of their annual sales. In 2011, holiday sales represented 19.5% of the total retail industry.
This year, holiday sales are projected to be around $586.1 billion dollars! [Source]
So how can you get in on this action?
Research shows us that more and more people are using Pinterest as a place to go to get inspiration on what to buy. Andwith an average referred order value of $179, Pinterest users spend more money on their purchases than anyone else! [Source]
Keep reading to learn the 3 best ways to use Pinterest to market your products or services this holiday season.
3 Simple Ways to Boost Your Holiday Sales With Pinterest
1. Trending Topic Board – Ex: Christmas Décor & Recipes
Millions of buyers are flocking to Pinterest this year for holiday decorating inspiration. More still are using the popular platform to find great recipes and gift ideas. Take advantage of this behavior by supplying holiday themed information alongside of your product and services by creating a holiday board. Research shows us that trending topics on Pinterest see an 94% increase in CTR (click-thru rate).
MORE CLICKS = MORE TRAFFIC TO YOUR SITE!
Below is an example of a “trending” holiday board that I made to promote my product based business Luxury Monograms.
View the full board HERE.
You can see that I’ve pinned my own products (that could be a part of holiday décor) alongside of other people’s holiday recipes and photos of Christmas décor. You want to make sure that what you are choosing to include from your business makes sense. People will see right through forced promotional pins if they don’t add value. But many of us could find some way or another to tie our products or services into a holiday theme.
Take for example a gift buying board….
2. Gift Buying Board – Ex: Gift Ideas for Lovely Ladies
We are all faced with an equally daunting “to buy for” list each year. Why not help your customers out by showcasing your offerings as a solution for someone on their list?
I have found that general recipient characteristics make the best gift buying board titles. Consider some examples such as: “gifts for wives,” “gifts for men,” or even “great gift ideas for kids.” Keywords matter here, so for optimal search visibility on the platform make sure to include words like “gifts” or “Christmas” in your board titles AND in the image captions.
IMPORTANT: Don’t forget to add prices! You can add a price to any pin simply by typing the dollar sign ($) and the numeric value in the caption of your pin. Pins with prices get more likes and are automatically included in the “gifts” tab on the homepage of Pinterest.
Below is an example of a gift idea board for women:
View the full board HERE.
Again you’ll see that I’ve included a mix of both my own product offerings along with great gift ideas from other sites.
The key to success on Pinterest is continually adding value to your followers, whether it be from your own offering or other’s.
3. Contest – Ex: Pin It to Win It
Finally, the third way to get more sales from Pinterest around the holidays is with a contest.
Hosting a contest on Pinterest is one of the best ways to quickly get more followers and get a ton of traffic to your site.
Take a look at the contest that the clothing company Intermix recently hosted on Pinterest and promoted on Facebook:
This particular Pinterest contest was hosted on a Facebook custom tab. Isn’t that a great way of leveraging two of social media’s best platforms?
Intermix also spread the word about this promotion by emailing their list this:
But you could just as easily get exposure by highlighting the contest on your page, or even by running Facebook ads directly to your custom tab.
Now you may be wondering: What are the benefits of a contest like this?
Well when a person pins something from your site it then appears to all of their followers on the Pinterest newsfeed. This leads to getting your brand in front of hundreds, if not thousands, of new customers.
Additionally, each pin will also create a backlink to your site which helps to improve your SEO rankings and visibility.
NOTE: If you don’t have much pinnable content on your site, you could just have participants repin sponsored pins off of one of your Pinterest boards.
Service based businesses looking to get in on the action can create “coupon” pins offering special discounts or bundled offerings.
Want to Learn More?
Now that you can see the power of using Pinterest to get you more sales this holiday season, join us on a webinar and learn the foundational strategies for increasing your traffic and sales well into 2013!
Melanie Duncan is a business owner currently using Pinterest to increase the traffic and sales to her websites. She is also an international and award winning speaker who has trained thousands of business owners across the world how to use Pinterest for business.
I want to share something that captivated my heart.
May you in your love, experience – this crucifixion type of love…
be this crucifixion type of love…
pray to have this crucifixion type of love…
My biggest prayer is to love her right. I want to love her like Christ loved the Church, love her like her Father in heaven loves her, love her like the Holy Spirit loves her soul and love her like she was created to be loved. But sometimes, sometimes my flesh tries to intimidate me with that kind of love. It’s like my spirit can rise from the depths of this corrupted prison with the voice of Abel screaming that ‘I have not yet loved her to the extent that Christ loves the church” see; I want a crucifixion type love.
Every time I hug her, I want my arms to be spread out on the cross and I want to die to my childish ways. And every time I look into her eyes I want a crown of thorns to be placed upon my head so that I will surrender my thought life to her honour. And I want the walls to be taken apart to be nail driven into my feet so that they would lead her with the authority of Moses. See, I want a crucifixion type love. I want my side to be pierced every time that we laugh together so that I’ll always remember that she is my rib. And every time I sleep and dream of her I want my back to be beaten with a cat o nine tail, so that I’ll always carry her burdens for her. And every time I’m not with her I want to stand before Pilot and stand true to my relationship with her, see, I want those who have seen me to have seen her in me when we are apart. I want a crucifixion type love.
I want a love that will cause dead men to rise. When people gaze on us, I want them to know who is this Christ that we speak of. And every time she falls, I want to take her in my arms like my cross and carry her up to Calvary. I want men to mark me for not wanting to be like them, for not wanting to squander my love on various women but to have the passion to pour out my love onto one soul for all of eternity. I want a crucifixion type love.
I want a love that was per-destined before eternity. I want a love that was birthed in my mother’s womb. I want a love that is willing to give up this world for her. I want a love that is immaculate. I want a love that makes angels wish they were in our shoes. I want a love that will make me pray to God and say “who am I that you are mindful of me” to bless me with her. I want a crucifixion type love.
I want a love that bleeds purity. I want a love that people will lie on us just to see us split apart. I want a love that will make me run away to a far village, build a mansion for you with my bare hands and send you love letters every day reminding you of me. Letters that you can keep in a book and spend time reading them every day. I want a love that will make my spirit pray for you. I want a love that will make me walk on water in the middle of the most dangerous storm for you! See, I want a crucifixion type love.
I want a love that my friends will betray me cause of my affection for you. I want a love that after we’re gone that for centuries to come men will aim to follow in our legacy. And every time I rise in the morning I want it to be my cross being raised up right for you, to stand up on the hill of my life and portray a beautiful sacrifice. I want to be placed in the tomb of your heart, the tomb that your mother and father built. I want a love that will rise with all power over adversity. I want a love that people will flock to see if it’s real. I want a crucifixion type love.
I want a love that shows my yearning for you. I want a love that even when we argue I still have a burning passion and desire to be with you. I want a love that heals, the kind of love that covers the wounds that were dug deep by the knives of infidelity and insecurity. I want a love that makes God get up and dance around his throne every time he sets His eyes on us. I want a crucifixion type love.
So, with all of that said…
Lord please give me the strength to love her like you love me. Like the way you didn’t consider being equal with the father, a thing to be grasped, but you came and gave up your throne for the filth of this world, and out of love you serve and in the same way let me serve her unconditionally, infinitely. So, let me man up and quite wasting time playing games and pursue her like you pursue your church because you have chosen me to be entrusted with her heart. So, let me cherish it like a jeweler cherishes a diamond, let me examine it and find out every minute detail about her worth, see, I want to love her
Like Abraham loved Sarah,
Like Isaac loved Rebecca,
Like Jacob loved Rachel,
Like Boaz loved Ruth,
Like Solomon loved his queen,
I want a crucifixion type love.
So, into your hands I commend this relationship because I want to love her like you love your church. I want a crucifixion type love.
Over the last year and a half, the church I’m part of has embarked on a major transition. We began as a twenties ministry called Status about nine years ago, and in July we launched out as a unique expression of the local church called City Beautiful Church. As God took us from one era to another, there were several new things we wanted to step into and a few things we wanted to make sure we held on to.
We recognized this wasn’t starting from scratch. So often, we want to step into things simply for the sake of the feeling of newness. But we knew the things coming in our future are the result of how we’ve stewarded the things that came before. I’ve been part of churches that constantly re-launch program after program hoping the next new thing or embracing the freshest trend will somehow have a better result than the previous twelve attempts. Many leaders search for a gimmick that will get people to buy in or stick around. But the parable of the talents teaches us that influence increases – not by working to build more of it – but by stewarding what we already have.
Through the process, God is teaching us that effective action begins with, is sustained by, and ends with prayer. We could come up with good ideas all day long, but God-sized ideas come from God. So we embarked on a season of prayer that would, hopefully, strengthen a prayer habit within us. Jesus did what He saw the Father doing and said what He heard the Father saying, and we believe that’s the same reality we’re meant to live – that everything we step into should be bigger than we are and only accomplished through divine provision. That means what we’re called into must not only begin with prayer, but be sustained by prayer as well. And as God empowers us to accomplish tasks, He’s also transforming who we become. It’s in the process that we’re shaped to be more like Jesus. And lastly, as God accomplishes His purposes through us, effective action ends with prayer. We give thanks and glory to the one who deserves more than we can give.
As we’ve been praying together, God has made us more aware of His presence and movement. So, people are stepping into moments of faith and seeing God heal and deliver. This past Sunday, one of our younger guys, Max, shared a story of standing in line at a theme park and seeing one of his friends bending over to stretch his back. He asked what the problem was, and his friend said that several years ago, while playing baseball, he injured his back. Max prayed over his friend’s back, and his friend experienced healing right there in the line. It’s not that we’re seeking the supernatural for supernatural’s sake, but being in God’s presence and remaining aware of His work positions all believers in a place of power.
So as we stewarded what God had entrusted us with and as we sought His direction for us, it became clear that He was birthing in us a desire to have significant influence – beginning with the heart of our city. So, despite all the obstacles, we moved into downtown Orlando in September. And in our hearts, God has placed a huge reality that is hard to conceptualize: God wants His movement through the Church in Orlando to be our city’s greatest attraction. With Mickey Mouse having fame that extends to even the poorest and most remote reaches of the globe, it’s hard to imagine that God’s heart for our city is a release of His movement so powerfully, it becomes a defining characteristic of where we live. Nothing with far reaching impact has ever rested on the shoulders of a single person, and it’s obvious this is one of those moments. And so, it was time to release.
We began by increasing the size of our leadership team from about 12 to over 30 – distributing ministry responsibility to those whom God has called. It’s been a lesson for me, as a leader, on letting go and entrusting responsibility to others. It’s the reality that, together, we are exponentially more effective than we are individually. The challenge has been sustaining a sense of family in the midst of such an increase, and it’s something we’re continuing to navigate. But we also realize that such a huge vision cannot even be accomplished by one church doing a lot of things well. The transformation of a city is accomplished through the unification of the Church in that place. So in addition to increasing the size of our leadership team, we have begun to ask and pray for a oneness in vision – passion and pursuit among the hundreds of local churches throughout our city.
Just this week, I received a call from one of the people in our church. Kevin works in a commercial real estate office here in town and said that his boss – the owner of the company – had recently been stirred to see a city wide serving initiative among our city’s churches. Kevin called to connect us because it was obvious that this was one of those moments where God was simultaneously stirring the same vision in the hearts of many to accomplish His purposes.
Our mission statement begins with the words, “Together, we…” We must always remember that the church isn’t a building. It’s not a place. It’s not a bunch of isolated individuals. The Church is a series of interconnected relationships of all those who have trusted Christ. And our relationships with one another is the place we continually see the greatest amount of spiritual attack. It makes sense. If Jesus has empowered the Church to accomplish His agenda of reconciling all of creation back to Himself and bringing the Kingdom of Heaven to earth, then the agenda of the enemy is to destroy the relational bond that connects us as the Church. In effect, we become powerless in accomplishing what God has commissioned us to do.
Fortunately, the only power the enemy has over us is the foothold we give him. So through prayer and the power of the Holy Spirit, the gates of hell will truly not prevail against His Church. Our pursuit is not becoming a great organization. Our pursuit is seeing the Kingdom come. And one of the pieces of good fruit that comes with His Kingdom is that the Church becomes one of the most effective organizations the world has ever seen.
Article art by Lauren Boebinger.
About Cole NeSmith:
Cole was formerly the Creative Director and is now the pastor of City Beautiful Church in Orlando, FL. He also creates interactive and reflective art and worship experiences through his company, Uncover The Color. He blogs at colenesmith.com and is on Twitter @ColeNeSmith.
While social media tools like Facebook and Twitter dominating our online strategies, one of the most successful forms of online marketing ever is email and today we have a look at some of the tips and tricks to running a good campaign. When you think about it, one of the first things most of us do every day is check our email. So if you can deliver good, targeted content with a strong call to action, it is going to be highly effective in terms of driving sales.
On the flip side though, many of us consumers have been bombarded by so many spam emails and added to so many marketing lists that it can have a negative effect. In many cases, users block emails as spam or report the company for adding them to a list without permission so it is massively important to do this correctly, creating brilliant content and following all the right procedures. People might be saying that email is dying, but as far as we can see, it still works great and here are some tips on how to get the most out of it.
What Are The Best Times To Send Emails
You could have a brilliant email campaign featuring amazing content that’s fully optimized for people to open and click on your links, but if you send it at the wrong time, you don’t stand a chance. The common knowledge is that the best time is to send it sometime during the working day between Tuesday and Thursday, but that only works if you are in a specific country and your audience is located in the same time zone. It also depends on the product you are trying to sell or the message you are trying to get across.
Making Email Mobile Friendly
Like everything in marketing these days, one of the newest options available is mobile and how that affects what you do. A couple of years ago, the vast majority of people would have opened their emails on their desktops or laptops, but that trend has changed with nearly everybody now using their mobile devices. Most of the big email software companies are aware of this change and have introduced mobile friendly templates and new ways of targeting consumers on their mobiles.
Link Through To A Mobile Optimized Website
Presuming that your email has been opened and that somebody has then decided to click on a link within the content, you will want to make sure that they are arriving on a mobile optimized page. Send users to a page that is full of tiny links, which requires them to squint to see the content and they’re going to leave in a hurry. You can’t just downsize your content for a mail screen. Instead, you should be creating landing pages with mobile users in mind. It could be the difference between a lot of sales and none at all. Go Big On Images
You have to be prepared for people flicking through their emails, and the simple fact is you will be lucky if your email is viewed for more than five seconds on a mobile device. It can be very hard to get a user’s attention when there are apps and social media tools to keep them entertained. The use of images is one way of doing it and we’ve seen large images taking up the entire screen and linking to a sales page performing really well.
The ‘From’ Line Is The Most Important
When viewing emails on a mobile device, the subject line (which is what most good email marketers focus on) is nowhere near as important as the “from” line. As you can see from the image below, the “from” field is by far the biggest font so you are going to have to have something there that people really want to click on.
Building An Effective Mailing List
There are a number of general rules to keep in mind when you’re launching an email campaign, none more important than getting people to sign up and continue receiving your emails. There are a number of ways of encouraging users to sign up and to get the content in front of them, so here’s what you should keep in mind.
Know Your Audience
Knowing who you’re targeting is important as your newsletter or weekly emails will have a theme. If it’s social media, then market it as such. This audience will form the core of your email database so know what they want and market accordingly.
Place A Sign Up Form On Your Site
For your readers to sign up, you need to make them aware that your newsletter exists. However, you must do it in a way that doesn’t disrupt their overall experience. The best way to do this is to place in a prominent location on your site so that it’s immediately noticeable. Normally, slotting it in the sidebar is better as you don’t risk making your page look too busy, which could put some people off.Place A Sign Up Form On Facebook
The same principal to your site applies here, you can place sign up forms on your Facebook page, placing it as a tab on it. There are a number of sites which provide this, one of the more popular examples would be MailChimp, which provides a video and screenshot tutorial showing you how it’s done.
Place a Pop-Up Box On Older Blog Posts
Since a great deal of visitors would arrive at your site through Google and other search engines, the chances are they will visit one of your older posts. This is a good place to place a pop-up box as these visitors aren’t regular readers so they’ll only see it once when they first visit the site. Provided your content is good and it doesn’t appear for regular readers, your sign-up rates will increase.Sign Up Via Purchases
If you’re an online retailer, chances are that including email addresses are already part and parcel of completing the sign-up process. Again, provided you inform buyers that you may send them emails relating to the company, it’s another great way of leveraging emails.
Word of mouth and personal recommendations are the best way to promote something so if you have a newsletter or weekly email, why not encourage people to share your stuff. With different social media outlets out there, it’s worth trying out.
Competitions are a great way to build up engagement and convince people to get involved. Everyone wants to win something so provided that the prize is good and you inform them that you could be emailing them again, then it’s perfect.Purchase Opt-in Databases
This is one option you’ll need to be very careful with, but if you want to inject your mailing list with a new lease of life, then purchasing an email list can help as it will provide you with a targeted list. The only reason we’d be reluctant to recommend this is that there are a lot of spam sites offering the same thing so make sure the site you’re purchasing from is reputable and above board.
Create Different Email For Different Audiences
If you’ve built up a good database and have email addresses that are associated with different sectors, then you can send more targeted content to these people. Providing variety is a good way of reaching more people, but make sure it’s something you have the time to do in the long-run. It’s pointless to start sending out four different newsletters only to cancel three of them because of time-constraints.
Release eBooks Or Reports
Providing value for readers and visitors is the best way to get followers and if you release valuable content like ebooks or reports for free, people are bound to download it. While you’re doing that, get visitors to provide their email address so they can download it.Be Transparent
We mentioned this in one or two earlier points, but it’s worth repeating again as trust is vital to success. Clearly state how a visitor’s email will be used (newsletters, monthly emails, product updates, etc.), and you’ll find that most will respond positively.
If you’re writing blog posts for different sites, you can include a call-to-action and link in your author byline. This allows you to promote your services through other sites.
The Legalities Of Email Marketing – How Not To Spam People
There is nothing more annoying than getting spammed by a company that you didn’t sign up to, or not being able to opt out of their email updates once you have signed up. Luckily, you are protected by some pretty important rules that companies should be adhering to (although many don’t) so make sure that you’re doing things the right way. The main rules you should keep in mind are:
1) Make sure the content and reasons for emailing are clear and easy to understand.
2) Provide users with an easy way to opt out or unsubscribe from emails.
3) Create a double opt-in to ensure that all subscriptions are from the person in question and not someone using someone else’s email address without their knowledge.
4) Never sell or disclose personal details or an email list to a third-party.
5) Send a confirmation email when someone subscribes or unsubscribes.
6) Don’t’ spam users, make sure your emails are consistent and relevant.
7) Provide a valid email address for those who want to contact you directly.
8) Promptly deal with complaints or queries that may arise.
9) Build up your email list organically through site opt-ins and subscriptions.
When you think about creative marketing campaigns, it is always sexier tools like Google, Facebook and Twitter that spring to mind, but there are many cool things that can be done with email as well. Some of the biggest businesses in the world are powered by email marketing so coming up with creative ways of doing that is always essential. Here are three examples of creative email marketing campaigns that you can take inspiration from.
Digital Accomplice – Video Campaign
Digital Accomplice ran this campaign after hosing a webinar on B2B video marketing, sending out a video email. The email directed them to a page with an embedded video offering a free strategy assessment and a call to action, getting them to fill out the form underneath.
Image via Digital Accomplice
Within the space of a day, the email received twice the industry average for opens and clicks, 34.1% of its email were opened, while 7.3% were clicked on. While the results only correlate to one day, it’s worth considering if you’re thinking of including multimedia content and are targeting a specific demographic.
Jewellery maker and retailer Artbeads.com wanted to peruse targeted email marketing, but wanted to make sure that different demographics were catered to. So it tested a number of targeted emails over the year by writing the email in a personal tone (including the CEO of the company), made the email specific to the user through using their first name and thanking them for their purchases, offering an exclusive discount and placing a deadline on it.
The result was that the email achieved an open rate of 20.25% and a CTR of 4.36%. The overall conversion rate was 0.71%, and was 208% higher than their previous efforts which ranged from 0.04% to 0.23% depending on the period.
Back in 2010, insurance group Ecclesiastical wanted to target existing brokers to alert them to its new online service. So to catch attention, it created an email campaign featuring a finger sprint race video in the style of Chariots of Fire. It also worked with a company called Vismail whose proprietary software enabled graphics and embeddable videos to get past firewalls and ensure that the video actually played when the email was opened.
Overall, the cost was £14,000 but after 5,084 deliveries, it had an open rate of 21%, the email was refowarded on average 3.5 times – meaning the total number of times it was opened was 3,556 times – and its CTR was 10% (552 times). The results showed that the video was reshared to large groups of people (5+), with one contact having their email opened over 106 times.
Case Studies And Other Resources
While we have created a good list of things you should and shouldn’t be doing, here there are some other great articles and posts out there on the topic from some of the biggest players in the game.
– Forbes provides 15 helpful email marketing tips for small businesses.
– Denise Wakeman provides an quick and handy overview of email marketing, as well as a infographic providing ten useful tips.
– Chris Brogan shares his own email marketing tips and what you should keep in mind.
– Infusion Soft provide 25 different email tips that are certainly worth taking into consideration.
– Circle Research provides a large infographic that shows the popularity of email marketing, and ways you can ensure most people see your email.
– Artegic give 11 tips that you should apply when you’re creating an email campaign.
– SEQ Legal shows you what you need to do to ensure that your email campaign is legal and above board.
– INC. gives its own houserules for creating a good email campaign and how to keep out of trouble.