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Laura B. Poindexter is a renowned thought leader, guiding clients through the changing electronic marketing and social media environment. Her public seminars have helped thousands of business owners learn and employ affordable marketing solutions. Since 2000, her company, Queenb Creative (formerly laura b creative), has managed clients’ online presence, maximized their social media and electronic marketing to positively impact their bottom line and enhance audience engagement.

31 January 2018 ~ 0 Comments

3 Reasons Super Bowl Ads are STILL Bad Examples of Marketing

2018 Super Bowl ads

Super Bowl may be the one time in American TV viewing throughout the year when the public looks forward to the advertisements. Super Bowl ads have fast become part of the Super Bowl Sunday experience as much as the game, the snacks, and the halftime show. In fact, in lieu of a wardrobe malfunction or a bad 2nd down call on the 1 yard line with 26 seconds left to play, the ads are often the most talked about part of the game, especially if you are a fan of any of the 30 NFL teams that were also at home watching the game.

Super Bowl ads may be entertaining, but they are bad marketing examples, especially for small business owners.

1. No call to action. Marketing today especially is about eliciting a measurable response. With limited time and resources, small businesses cannot waste any of them on branding. They need to have a call to action that gets prospects in their sales funnel. What is that first step in your sales cycle? What do you want your prospects to do once they find you? Is it subscribing to your email list? Filling out a form on your website? Calling for an appointment? This needs to be very clear in all your marketing. Unfortunately, most Super Bowl ads, do not have a call to action or more specifically a call to action that leads prospects down the path to purchase.

This year, however, I like two ads that have a direct call to action: Groupon and Stella Artois.

Tiffany Haddish gives a clear call to action: download the Groupon app.


Matt Damon implores you to buy a limited-edition Stella Artois Chalice which provides water to someone impacted by the global water crisis for 5 years.

2. No value to the customer. Super Bowl ads are more about being cute and getting talked about than delivering value to the customer. As a small business, you cannot afford to be cute and not make it clear to your customers what you do. As a society, our attention spans are getting shorter and shorter; the most effective marketing is to be direct about whom you serve and how you can help them.

A good example from this year’s Super Bowl ads is Percil with honorable mention going to Febreeze.

There’s no question what Percil does. This is a good clear message.

3. No increase in sales. Often the most-loved ads do not improve the sales. Perhaps, the most-loved and favorite Super Bowl ad of all time featuring Mean Joe Greene was pulled after a few months by Coca-Cola because sales did not increase.

Unfortunately, this beloved ad did not help Coke sales.

Small businesses need to make sure there is a positive Return on Investment for every dollar spent marketing. Winning the ads on Super Bowl Sunday does not equate to winning sales. A smart small business owner should not be concerned with winning ad competitions, but rather sales competitions.

So by all means, enjoy the ads and the memes that spring from them. You can view them all here. However, please do NOT model your marketing after Super Bowl ads. Model your marketing with a good solid strategy that focuses on eliciting a measurable response.

Integration of Social Media

Now that social media is a key factor in business marketing for businesses of all sizes, I wanted to give some honorable mentions to those ads which do a good job incorporating social media. There are the occasional social media handles and hashtags at the end of some of the ads but this early Super Bowl commercial took it a step further.

The ad by Kraft is a great way to engage the audience during the Super Bowl however, they are asking viewers to go to a website and there is no indication in the ad of appropriate hashtags or Kraft social handles. Sometimes it is the little details that can greatly affect a campaign.

Kraft wants you to share your family game day pictures to be part of their Super Bowl commercial.

All your marketing should include your social media information. However, before you start pushing people to your social media, be sure you are not making these 6 Social Media Mistakes.

And finally, an honorable mention: part 2 of the Michelob Ultra Super Bowl commercial. Just for fun, because it’s Chris Pratt but mainly because it includes my favorite country song from my childhood. You can ask my siblings, they will attest…I Like Beer by Tom T Hall.

Michelob Ultra “I like beer” commercial is part 2 of Super Bowl ad.


The original version of this post was published in 2015: 3 Reasons Super Bowl Ads are Bad Examples of Marketing.

27 December 2017 ~ 0 Comments

Year End List Growth in Constant Contact

If you are a Constant Contact user, be sure to grab this quick report before year end.

Constant Contact List Growth

Constant Contact tracks your list growth and gives you the following options under Contacts > Reports:

last 30 days
last 60 days
last 90 days
month to date
year to date

This is all great information and you should be tracking your list growth and unsubscribes on a regular basis.

However, the year to date data will reset on January 1. So, follow these instructions to grab the data before the New Year.

1. Log into your Constant Contact account
2. Select Contacts
3. Select Reports
4. Select “year to date” in the drop down on the right
5. Take a screenshot of the full window, including the “Growth by Source” information below the overall growth chart. I use Snagit by TechSmith but you can use any screenshot software or just use Print Screen on a Windows machine or Shift-Command-4 on a Mac.
6. Save your screenshot so you can access the data when you are ready to review it.

Here’s a two-minute video demonstration:

21 December 2017 ~ 0 Comments

How to Boost Facebook Posts the Right Way

How to Boost Facebook PostsA few years ago, I wrote one of my most popular articles: Please Do NOT Boost That Facebook Post. I’ve since had a change of heart because Facebook has changed the options available for boosting posts. I still believe most businesses are not boosting Facebook posts properly and I hope to shed some light on a simple, but effective strategy to get value out of your boosts.

My main argument against boosting was the targeting available at the time and that boosting a post unsuccessfully would lead to wasted money and be a detriment to your organic Facebook engagement. So if you are still boosting posts and choosing random targeting like age, location, and interests, I would recommend that you stop immediately and read this post before boosting again.

As a business owner, you have such an incredible opportunity with Facebook to find your audience and to reach new prospects but sadly most business owners do not utilize these features and just blindly throw $20-50 behind a post and then get frustrated by the results.

What you should boost?

I believe in boosting your best content on Facebook. But it must be content that leads your customer into your sales funnel. The number one error I see in Facebook advertising is when businesses have no concept or plan for the customer journey. The post does not have to lead directly to a sale, but it does have to move your prospect closer to purchasing from you – it can be a photo, video, or link to content on your website.

But you should not be sending paid traffic to anything that is not tested. That being said, when you do have some great content that performs well on Facebook and that is a key step in your customer journey, this is the post to boost (as described below).

When should you boost?

First, you must give the post a day or two to get some organic engagement before boosting. We want some positive comments, likes, and shares. No one will read the post if there is no engagement. Nothing draws a crowd like a crowd.

How often you should follow this model really depends on how often you post to Facebook. My recommendation is to boost only 10-15% of your posts if that. Many social media “gurus” will tell you that you need to advertise to get reach on Facebook. I completely disagree. If you are boosting posts, be sure to post really great engaging content for your regular page posts as well.

How should you boost?

This is the key. Why would you post to a random group of people? You know who your audience is, right? The description of Custom Audiences and Lookalike Audiences in my original post holds true. The exciting change is once you create an Audience in Facebook Ads Manager, you can now boost to that audience. This is so much more powerful than boosting to random people who happen to live near your business. Wouldn’t you agree? You have a list of your customers, prospects, or subscribers and now you can reach them and people like them. For more details read Please Do NOT Boost That Facebook Post.

I hope you will create some Custom Audiences and Lookalike Audiences of your own now and use these in your strategic post boosts.

07 March 2017 ~ 0 Comments

Why I Love Constant Contact

Why I Love Constant Contact

I have found Constant Contact is the right fit for 90% of the thousands of small business owners and nonprofit marketers I speak to each year. And email marketing is the number one digital marketing strategy you should be implementing in your business.

In case you are unaware, Constant Contact is an email solution provider. What does that mean? It allows organizations to send one-to-many emails to that organization’s permission-based list. It has long been the industry leader, especially for small business. I have been a user since 2003 and the product just keeps getting better.

I’m often asked why I love and recommend Constant Contact.

First of all, I believe Constant Contact knows its market is the small business and as such has kept the platform easy to use and cost effective for small organizations. Plans start at just $20/mo! And you can always start with a 60-day fully-featured trial.

They also have award-winning, patient, US-based customer support. If you spend more than 5 minutes on a question or problem within Constant Contact, contact Customer Support. They are amazing.

Lastly, Constant Contact has made an investment in the local community by establishing local education teams who present best practices on email marketing throughout your area. Local marketing professionals like me. You can find my webinars and DC-area events at www.laurabcreative.com/calendar. Many of my events are free, thanks to the support of Constant Contact.

11 New Constant Contact Features

So there are all the reasons I love Constant Contact as a company. Let’s dive into some of the amazing new features. Some of these are brand new, others have rolled out across accounts over the last 6-12 months. All of these features are in the new Drag and Drop Editor, officially called the Third Generation Editor. This interface is so easy to use. You can create a mobile-responsive email in minutes with tons of cool features like:

  1. Background Patterns. There are currently 8 different background patterns you can choose along with the ability to color them to match your branding. I’ve heard the ability to upload your own background images is coming soon.
  2. Import PDF to Email. This is amazing especially if you deal with another stakeholder who provides a PDF promotion like an event flyer. You can now import this PDF into Constant Contact and the system will create an image in the email that is automatically linked to the PDF download as well as a download button below the image. I encourage you to include descriptive text and details in the text of the email as well for those users who have images turned off.
  3. Specialty Blocks. These make it easy to add specific types of content above and beyond the general blocks that include text, images, videos, and social media links.
    1. Read More. Pull all the info from a blog post including image, title, first few lines, along with a link to the rest of the post.
    2. Poll. Ask readers a question and track their responses.
    3. RSVP. I have been loving this simple, one-click way for readers to RSVP for an event.

That’s just creating an email. There’s also a ton of magic happening after you send your email.

  1. Segmenting with Tags. You can segment your lists based on who has a certain tag or who does not have a tag. This means you can segment by customers or location easily.
  2. Social Share. The new social share allows you to share your email on social media (Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter). I like to use this with clients to enhance their social media editorial calendar.
  3. New Email Archive. Simply place a piece of code on your website and then select which email campaigns show up in your archive right in the Constant Contact dashboard. I love the control and simplicity of this feature.

We also want to serve our subscribers and manage our email lists.

  1. Send Welcome Email by List. I have waited for this feature for so long. Now you can send tailored welcome emails with specific content for each of your lists. Read 3 Autoresponders to Use in Your Business Right Now for tips on creating your welcome email including a downloadable checklist. Do not overlook this important first contact that typically sees an open rate of 60-80%.
  2. Resubscribe Contacts. You can now send an email directly to a subscriber with instructions on how they can resubscribe. This is handy when a business associate or colleague has accidently unsubscribed. This is a great feature but should only be used for contacts that you’ve spoken to about resubscribing.

Now you can make sure your emails are more effective with these great new reporting features.

  1. Mobile vs. Desktop Opens by Campaign. Now you can see how many of your emails are opened on mobile versus desktop devices across the last 50 campaigns in your account as well as in each campaign.
  2. Search and Compare Campaigns. Within the reporting section, you can search and compare results from campaigns. The compare feature will give you a graph showing key metrics. With this in mind, remember to name your campaigns so you can identify the subject and content of the email in the reporting section.
  3. Click Through Heat Map. Now you can see which links were clicked in your email campaigns by viewing the heat map of actual clicks. This is helpful if you have the same link, say to an event registration, used in a headline, button, and image.

I know there are lots of options for email marketing but give Constant Contact a try. And if you are a past customer, I invite you to start a new free 60-day trial to check out all the cool new features.