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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.

28 January 2016 ~ 0 Comments

Make It Sharable – please

Today, I saw this Data Privacy Day video on Firefox home screen. It was great. It was short, funny, and got the point across. They even asked me to “spread the word” except they didn’t give me the ability to spread the word. No social sharing links anywhere.

Mozilla Privacy Day video

So, I searched “mozilla data privacy video” – nothing. Then I searched “Mozilla data privacy day” and got this blog post posted today: https://blog.mozilla.org/netpolicy/2014/01/28/celebrate-data-privacy-day/. And guess what? No video. No mention of the video. No related stories.

Finally, as I scrolled down my search results, I found it, sitting in the #6 position – a blog post from yesterday: https://blog.mozilla.org/blog/2016/01/27/its-international-data-privacy-day-help-us-build-a-better-internet/

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And it includes the video – yay! And that video includes a share option – double yay!

Wow, Mozilla that was a lot of work to share on my part. And, I did share – not only the video but also the badge.

Your takeaway small business owner? Make your content EASY to share. Everything on your site that might be interesting to your audience (and that should be everything).

Look down below this line and what do you see? Sharing links. Feel free.

12 January 2016 ~ 0 Comments

3 Autoresponders to Use in Your Business Right Now

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Autoresponders are a great tool to ensure that you are following up and staying connected with your audience when they join your list or opt in to receive specific information from you. I use them with all my clients and recommend 3 specific types, in this order:

  1. Customized Welcome Email
  2. Indoctrination Series
  3. Lead Magnet Follow Up Series

Customized Welcome Email
The first type of autoresponder is the Customized Welcome Email. If you are using an email solution provider, like Constant Contact, this email is already getting sent to new subscribers to your list who sign up (not who you add yourself). This is the most opened email you will ever send because the subscriber just signed up and is interested in you at that moment. Your email solution provider is already sending out a generic welcome email because it is a good best practice to follow. You might as well take a few minutes to customize it for your organization.

Be sure to keep your content evergreen and relevant. Here is a checklist to structure your welcome email:

  • Introduce Yourself. Tell the recipient a little bit about yourself and your business. Let’s assume they don’t know much about you and we want to make a strong connection.
  • Reinforce permission and set expectations. Make it clear that the recipient signed up for your list and remind them what information you plan to share and how often.
  • Deepen the connection. Remember they are already very interested in your business because they just signed up. Give the recipient the opportunity to dive deeper with you. This is a great place for social media links or to popular pages on your website.

Don’t overthink it. Customize the email then check back in a few weeks to see if your overall engagement has increased. Be sure to revisit this email every 6 months or so to make sure all the content is still accurate. Click here for a downloadable copy of this Welcome Email Checklist.

Indoctrination Series
Once you have customized your Welcome Email, it’s time to move on to the second type of autoresponder: the Indoctrination Series.

I recommend this email series just consist of 2 or 3 emails. Here you have the opportunity to introduce your business to the new subscriber. It’s also a great opportunity to point the reader to resources, blog posts, guides, or videos that help explain the story of your business, why you do what you do, and what services you offer. You may choose to drive the reader to pages of your website that explain these things as well. There is no offer involved in these emails. It’s just an opportunity for the reader to learn more about your business and how you can help them. Case studies and testimonials also make great content for the Indoctrination Series.

The key is to give the reader a picture of you and your organization in a simple concise manner. Each email should be short and have one main point. Set the Indoctrination Series up to run every few days spanning a week or so. Remember the prospect just subscribed and is still interested in what you have to offer. This is the time to use that to your advantage to educate them about your organization.

Depending on the content of this series, you may decide to turn your Welcome Email off. If you don’t, be sure to factor that email, its content and timing into consideration when writing and scheduling this Indoctrination Series.

The last email of the series should explain that the subscriber is now on your list and will now receive emails monthly or whatever your frequency is. This is also a good time to restate what type of content you share in your emails. For example, “From now on you will receive our monthly newsletter including the latest updates on our services. You can unsubscribe at any time.”

Even if this series starts as just one email, you can always go back in and add more emails to the series.

If you customize your Welcome Email and institute an Indoctrination Series, I would say you are ahead of 90% of the small businesses I come in contact with every year.

Lead Magnet Follow Up Series
Now, the third autoresponder series is attached to a lead magnet, also known as an opt-in bribe. This is a download, ebook, report, webinar replay, coupon, or other type of content that you are giving the subscriber in exchange for subscribing to your list. There is a lot of strategy involved in this autoresponder series and many of the decisions depend on your business model and sales cycle. Now we are talking about setting up a true sales funnel which I do for my clients all the time. It’s a big topic with lots of differing opinions. The key points to remember are:

  • The lead magnet should be directly related to your core offer.
  • The lead magnet should be delivered immediately after opt in.
  • The rest of the autoresponder series should share related content and offers to the lead magnet and your core offer.

I hope this article inspires you to look at the autoresponder functionality of your email solution provider and motivates you to take advantage of this marketing automation that you have at your fingertips. If you do nothing else, go check out your Welcome Email. Even if you customized it in the past, it can’t hurt to revisit the content.

Don’t forget to download the Welcome Email Checklistand customize your email right way.

30 November 2015 ~ 0 Comments

3 Ideas for a Micro-Donation Campaign for your Nonprofit

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How to set up a #GivingTuesday campaign in 5 minutes

What is a micro-donation campaign? This is a donation campaign for your nonprofit where you are seeking small donation amounts. This is a great way to reach new donors.

Here are 3 ideas for a micro-donation campaign for your nonprofit that you can set up today.

  1. This is a great idea to try for a day of giving promotion like #GivingTuesday.
  2. Do you have a specific project that appeals to the younger, more mobile-savvy generation that you will hopefully reach with a modern online campaign? Or you can offset an unexpected expense, especially if this expense is a result of your nonprofit’s success with their mission.
  3. It’s also a great complement to your traditional end of year snail mail appeal and gives your current donors another way of giving.

The keys to choosing a micro-donation platform:

  1. Easy set up – it should only take a few minutes to set up the campaign
  2. Ease of use for the donor – we want fast and easy
  3. Integration – it should be integrated into your email marketing platform so your new donors will be added to your email list
  4. Mobile-friendly – you need to reach your prospects where they are and they are on their phones
  5. Shareable – integration with social media is key to extending your reach and finding new donors. Supporting nonprofits make us feel good and we want to share that feeling with the world (and pat ourselves on the back at the same time).

It should be no surprise that I recommend Constant Contact’s Donation Campaign for this purpose. Watch this video to see how easy it is for me to set up a campaign in my demo account. Hint: it only takes 5 minutes.

 

Tips for setting up the Donation Campaign:
Mobile Friendly Donation Landing Page

  • Upload a campaign image that includes some text. The platform gives the image a lot of real estate onscreen so I recommend adding some enticing text to the image. Remember to include all the pertinent text in the text block as well.
  • Send the email to a test list of your staff to activate the campaign and use the short link to promote the mobile-friendly landing page on social media.
  • Create a separate email campaign (using a mobile-friendly template) and link the Donate button to the short link of the donation campaign landing page.

 

Want a script to get you started on your first email? Download my One Page Checklist and Boilerplate Text for Your First Email.

30 October 2015 ~ 0 Comments

My 3 Cs of Social Media – Customer, Content, and Capabilities

Developing A Social Media Strategy In 3 Simple Steps

I speak to thousands of business owners every year about online marketing and social media strategy. My goal is to make it easy for business owners and their staff to develop a marketing strategy that makes the phone ring. Through these discussions and experience with my clients, I developed a simple 3-step process to determine how to focus your online efforts.

Before we walk through the process though, we need to be very clear about the goal for our efforts. What is the measurable action that you want your audience to take? Some may say sales. And while that is true in the end, it is also very possible that you have a multi-step sales cycle. For my business, the first call to action with a prospect, especially one I find online, is to get them to subscribe to my email list. So, step one is determine your goal and write it down. Once we have that, we can move through my 3 Cs of Social Media Marketing: customer, content, and capabilities.

#1) Customer. Who is your customer? What does your ideal customer profile  look like? Where do they hang out online? Where are they physically and what are they doing when you want them to take action? If you are a retail business targeting young professionals who are out and about when you want them to take action, then mobile and online review sites are going to play a big part in your strategy. Likewise, if you are targeting Baby Boomers, Twitter is not going to be the first platform on our list. There is no right answer here as long as the platform matches your customer.

#2) Content. What do you have to say and share? What formats will work best for this content? Can you make your information visual in the form of product images, infographics, or video content? Can you make your calls to action simple to complete? Be sure to offer value to your audience as a rule and sprinkle in your marketing messages. No more than 1 in 10 messages should be self-promotional. An easy and powerful type of content is the Customer Testimonial.

#3) Capabilities. This one is really important. Your social media and online marketing activities have to fit in with your daily workflow and personality. If you don’t like to write, I’m not going to ask you to blog. If you take pictures of your projects, let’s find a way to fit that into your strategy. If you have funny tidbits of information or daily thoughts, maybe Twitter will work for you. It is important that capabilities comes last in this list because the first two pieces are so important to reaching the right customer. Capabilities should simply guide the execution of the strategy not help to mold the strategy. Once you decide on your capabilities, develop an editorial calendar using these templates.

This is why each business needs a unique online strategy that fits this 3 Cs test of Customer, Content, and Capabilities. Keep it simple. Stay focused on the one measurable action you want your audience to complete. Measure your success and adjust accordingly.