Where did your confidence go?

December 16, 2020

If there has ever been a year when our confidence has taken a knock to the chin, it’s 2020. If you are like most marketers, January and February gave every indication that 2020 was going to be a breakout year for you.

Many businesses reported the most robust January they’d had in a decade and were looking to exceed goals. And then COVID hit. Many of us went two to three months feeling that it was inappropriate to sell at all, and when we did sell, it was a bit apologetically.

As if that weren’t enough, the combination of COVID, racial tensions, economic challenges, back-to-school maybes, and just feeling like we are being restricted and contained at every turn has caused an underlying malaise in just about every human I know.

Given everything we’re all carrying on our shoulders right now, how in the world do we muster up the confidence to sell?

Marketing and sales are all about confidence. When you believe in what you’re selling, know it is the right answer for the prospect, and can see the benefits the prospect could enjoy, it’s much easier to approach a new opportunity and offer your assistance.

That’s where I think we can regain our confidence: by recognizing that we have something valuable to offer and by seeing it as us offering assistance. Your marketing should be helpful and useful, which builds trust. Once the trust is seeded, sales is about continuing the trust-building while offering tailored solutions that are going to exceed expectations.

Barbara Corcoran, from ABC’s “Shark Tank,” recently shared a letter that she wrote to the show’s producer, Mark Burnett. It’s clear from the letter that she had received a “thanks, but no thanks” response to her audition and I’m sure Mark expected her just to exit gracefully.

Instead, she sent him this letter, outlining very respectfully why this was not the right decision. Her arguments were not about her but how he was taking a more significant risk by not allowing her to come to LA for the final tryout, even though her rival for the position would be there as well.

She called Burnett’s rejection a lucky charm and then gave him point-by-point suggestions of how his final decision would be more reliable if he reconsidered her for a role on the show.

The entire letter exudes confidence. There’s nothing arrogant about it, but as she builds her case, you begin to understand what a formidable force she really is. She ends the letter acknowledging that it is his decision, but she’s already booked her flight and hopes he invites her to get on that plane.

As I studied the letter, I identified some of the sources of her confidence that we can all learn from as we rebuild our own:

She reflects on her past successes and sees them as a progression of her skills, accomplishments, and lessons learned.

She thinks about the opportunity from the buyer’s (Mark Burnett) perspective and demonstrates that he’s at risk of making a bad decision if he does not consider her in the mix.

She suggests ways he could improve his decision-making process, whether she is chosen or not.

She compliments him and recognizes his depth of expertise in his field.

She ends with the presumptive act of confidence (booking the flight).

Breaking that down, it’s about having faith in yourself and what you sell. It’s about truly understanding what your potential buyer is trying to accomplish and his or her situation and being helpful in their efforts, and it’s about a confident close, knowing you can make a difference.

This was originally published in the Des Moines Business Record, as one of Drew’s weekly columns.


Go Old School – Email Marketing

March 11, 2020

Even though it seems a little old school in the days of virtual reality, artificial intelligence and bots – email marketing is still one of the most effective marketing tactics available to us. A recent study by SmartFocus looked at over 1.4 billion email marketing messages to identify best practices to drive engagement and customer impact. Let’s take a look at what some of those are:

  • If you want your audience to take action, click on a link or respond to an offer, then Tuesday should be the day you launch your campaign. The study revealed that click-through rates were 30 percent higher than other days.
  • If you’re sending out a more educational, informative email and don’t care if your audience clicks on anything in your correspondence, Sunday is your go-to day.
  • The time of day was also reviewed in this study. Interestingly, most marketing emails were opened between six and nine pm. And the time that was least likely to lead to an unsubscribe was 6:30 pm.

Naturally, when you send the email is just one element of a successful email campaign. If you send the wrong content or take the wrong tone, even sending it at the perfect time won’t help. Here are some other best practices that you should keep in mind as you plan your campaign.

Create a relationship: Email can be a reliable way to actually create a relationship between you and your audience. But that requires consistency. Have you ever known someone who only reaches out to you when they need something? That’s what your sales emails feel like to your audience if that’s the only time you write to them.

If you’re going to write on a consistent basis, be sure you invite your audience to write back or to generate more of a dialogue. It’s pretty tough to feel connected to someone if the conversation is just one way.

Be mindful of your tone of voice in your emails as well. A super formal tone isn’t going to help you create a connection. The biggest compliment you can get when you finally meet someone on your email list is that you sound just like your correspondence. That means you’ve successfully adopted a conversational tone in your emails.

Be interesting: Sure, you’re interested in your sale. But your audience may not be. Never hit send if you aren’t confident that your content is going to be useful, interesting or entertaining to your recipients.

The only way to be interesting to anyone is to know them a little bit and put them front and center before you communicate. Building personas of your audience is a really smart way to make sure that your content is truly aimed at being beneficial to them. Personas help you think of your audience in a more personal way – which makes it much easier to talk to them about topics that they actually care about.

Be generous: I know you are sending the emails because you want your audience to do something (click on a link, download a coupon, sign up for a free assessment, etc.) but before you ask, give. Be helpful without asking for anything in return. If you’re consistently providing value, they’ll stick around and eventually, they will be ready to shift from being the recipient of your generosity to a paying customer.

Email is one of the most effective marketing options that you have. But it can backfire in a hurry if you aren’t careful about how, where, how often and what you include in your communications. Think of your email list like your best pen pal. Find ways to create a genuine connection and keep nurturing it, so it can grow over time.

Email isn’t a quick fix, so be ready to settle in for a long, good conversation with a friend.

This was originally published in the Des Moines Business Record, as one of Drew’s weekly columns.


Slow down!

February 26, 2020

One of the more common and popular patterns of today’s lead generation and nurturing tactics goes something like this:

  • Offer something for free or low cost in exchange for an email address
  • Nurture the relationship to earn the prospect’s trust
  • Over time, offer them something of more value and with a higher price tag
  • Continue to provide value and, as needed, continue to offer more services

On paper, it makes perfect sense and in practice, when done properly, it works very well. It’s built on the understanding that no one will buy anything from us until they know, like and trust us.

Trust is built over time, as the initial purchase (for a few dollars or in exchange with an email address) proves valuable. From there, the buyer’s confidence is boosted and they stay open to considering the next level of both purchase and trust.

Unfortunately, it’s often not done properly. This weekend, I saw an ad on Facebook for an information product that looked like it might be useful. I clicked on the ad and watched a brief video about the product. It held my interest, had some credible testimonials from people I recognized and so I made the first purchase for $37.

Before the site brought me to the cart so I could check out, they offered me several other, more expensive products that I passed on, because they hadn’t earned that level of trust from me yet.

Right after I checked out, on-screen, I was told that I’d be getting an email with a log in link so I could access the information. Within minutes, I did receive that email.

So up to that point, they’d executed the tactic well. They’d earned my attention, held it with some valuable information, reassured me with some credibility elements and led me to make my first purchase.

But then, they went off the rails in a hurry. Within five minutes, I got four additional emails. Three of them tried to convince me to buy the more expensive offerings I had just passed on a few minutes before. That was bad enough. But the fourth email is the one that really ruined any chance they had with me.

The email was from the CEO and he wanted to tell me about a special beta program they were just launching. The email went on to say that because I was clearly the kind of leader who could really contribute to the beta, just yesterday he had gotten special permission to invite me into that beta. Of course, he had no idea who I was yesterday. I wasn’t on their radar screen until ten minutes prior.

Both the volume and the insincerity of their emails cost them any future purchases from me. I went from being interested to feeling bombarded. My next thought was that I needed to harvest all of the information from the site I’d paid to access as quickly as possible because if I got four emails within the first hour – what would the first week be like?

Their heavy-handedness had the opposite effect of what I am sure they were going for. Instead of growing my trust slowly and giving me time to get to know them and value what they offered, they put me on guard. Even worse, the flurry of emails also tainted my opinion about the content I had already purchased from them. They got my $37 but they lost my confidence and any future purchases.

Email sequencing can be one of the most effective marketing tactics available to you. But a misstep can not only cost you a customer but it can cost you your credibility.


Take a stand

September 25, 2019

My idea of a great shampoo is the bottle that’s on sale for $1. But this past weekend, I spent $6 for a bottle of Dove for Men+ Care. Why the big splurge? It had nothing to do with my hair and everything to do with my heart.

More than ten years ago, Dove’s agency launched some research to explore women’s priorities and interests. What jumped off the page was the finding that only two percent of the women interviewed perceived themselves to be beautiful.

Suddenly what they expected to create for the next season’s advertising took a dramatic turn. What the agency and the Dove executives were smart enough to realize was that this insight had more depth than just an ad campaign or video series. It was clearly an issue that impacted women of all ages and was an issue that deserved to be addressed.

What I’m guessing no one could have realized back then was the fact that Dove was actually starting a crusade of sorts. A crusade to change the dialogue many women play in their brains when they look into a mirror or think about their appearance.

10+ years later and if anything, their messaging is connecting at an even deeper level with their core audience and those who care about their core audience. Obviously I’m outside their typical customer base, but as a dad of a 26-year old daughter, I find their messaging very relevant. So much so that I paid a king’s ransom for a bottle of their shampoo, compared to my normal expenditures.

This sort of cause marketing is not new. But few have done it as well as Dove. Taking a stand as a brand can be smart business. But only if you do it well. Here are a few tips.

You have to be a believer: Taking on a cause just because you think your audience will like it is a recipe for failure. It’s almost impossible to fake it for as long as it takes to seed a cause campaign. Your audience is also going to expect more than an ad campaign. They know if you really care about the cause, you’re going to walk your talk. That takes a true believer.

You have to dive deep: Part of caring about an issue is doing something about it. Most of the great cause campaigns like Dove, Avon, and others have invested millions of dollars to truly impact the issue far beyond their marketing. They’ve funded programs, research and rallied their community to tackle the problem in a very genuine and deeply invested way.

You have to be patient: Cause marketing, even with the help of social media, is not a quick fix solution. It takes a while to trigger a movement and to touch people’s hearts. It takes even longer for those efforts to result in new sales. If you’re looking for a quick uptick in sales, cause marketing is definitely not the way to go.

You need to rally a crowd: Cause marketing only works if you can mobilize a small army of people who are going to care as much as you do. This is where social media can really play a key role. We’ve seen how a groundswell can be started very quickly (think Ice Bucket Challenge) and grow like wildfire thanks to a viral video or two. Whether you have a strong social media presence or not – cause marketing requires getting other people to care.

Cause marketing is a way to demonstrate your compassion and commitment to your core audience. It’s a way to let your corporate heart show and to actually make a difference. But all of that only happens when you genuinely care about the issue you take on.



Delivering bad news

June 12, 2019

newsIt’s inevitable. We are going to screw up and have to share that with our customers, prospects and in many cases, with our employees or teammates.

That we will have to do it is a given. But there’s quite a bit of latitude in how we do it.

In the latest security breach at Facebook, 50 million users were exposed. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg quickly alerted the public and explained in detail what happened, why it happened and how Facebook account holders should secure their accounts.

At first glance, it appears as if Facebook was very upfront and handled the breach well. But Zuckerberg’s statement was widely criticized because he did not express remorse or apologize for exposing people’s information. He did not say “I’m sorry.”

And that is one of the key elements of how to handle a mistake. First and foremost – apologize. Don’t infer or imply it. Say the words. But you have to mean them. An insincere or begrudging apology is worse than no apology at all.

Another critical element to a successful mea culpa is your brand. When you apologize with style or grace, it is so disarming that you can neutralize a hostile customer base. I can’t think of a more volatile customer group than people on an airplane. They’re almost bracing for a fight because they expect bad service, flight delays, or seatmate issues.

I was on a flight recently, and it was a few minutes past the time that they should have closed the cabin doors. The pilot came out and got on the PA system. Here’s what he said:

“Folks, you know when the captain comes out of the cockpit to talk to you, it’s not good news. We’re going to be delayed because there’s a malfunction in the oxygen system in the cockpit and if something happens mid-flight, believe me; you want a conscious pilot. I know I’m old, but I promise, I’m more alert when I have oxygen. This problem is only in the cockpit. There’s nothing wrong with the oxygen system in the main cabin.

I’m am very sorry about this, and if anyone wants to yell at me about the delay, please come on up. But, I want to warn you – I’ve been married for 30 years, so I’m pretty immune. But you can still yell if it makes you feel better. Once the maintenance crew gets here, it should take them about ten minutes to fix the problem, so I expect we’ll be in the air in thirty minutes. If I think it’s going to be longer than that, I will let you know.”

When he was done, people laughed and applauded. They applauded a flight delay announcement. That doesn’t happen very often. So, what did the pilot do to earn everyone’s grace?

  • He was sincere and genuinely apologized.
  • He explained the root problem and the risks of not fixing the problem.
  • He gave specific details as to the timeframe to fix the problem.
  • He promised to keep his customers informed if there was a change in the plan or timeline.
  • He was warm and approachable.
  • He used humor at an appropriate level.
  • He invited customers to express their discontent.

That’s a pretty impressive outcome for a speech with fewer than 175 words. And actually, that’s one of the other things he did well. He didn’t wrap his notification and apology in a lot of excuses, explanations or weasel words. He was straightforward and candid.

In this era of 24/7 news, spectator captured video, and everything showing up on the internet, learning the art of the graceful apology seems to be a skill that would behoove us all.


Time to double down?

February 20, 2019

double downIf your business is like the majority of organizations in the U.S., things have been pretty good. Sales have been more plentiful and come a little easier. In fact, if you’re having any trouble at all, it’s hiring and keeping the right employees to serve all of that business. Many businesses experienced one of their best years in 2017 or 2018. It’s easy to assume that we’re going to keep riding this wave, but I believe we’re about to see a shift. I’m seeing subtle signs that suggest things are about to get a little tighter. From a marketing and sales perspective, I would recommend it’s time to double down.

What I mean by that is I think it’s the right season to invest more time, talent and budget into the customers you already have. When people start spending less or are slower to spend, they are more likely to keep spending with an organization they already know, trust and value. If you’re a long-time reader of mine, you know that I think every business underestimates how much of their budget and attention should be invested in their existing client relationships. We spend too much of our time, attention and money chasing after new dollars as opposed to being more useful and valuable to our existing clients.

Your job, as we enter this season of scarcity, is to make sure the relationships you have with your current clients are rock solid. If anyone is going to give you new dollars in a tight economy, it’s someone who is already giving you dollars.

Here are some ways you can strengthen those relationships now, so they keep bearing fruit if things tighten up.

Ask their opinion: Everyone likes to provide input. A customer satisfaction survey will not only show you some places that need your attention, but it also creates a bond with the people who respond. Some business leaders shy away from customer satisfaction work because they think it invites complaints and dissatisfaction. In today’s rating and review economy – that’s happening anyway. You need to get over yourself and ask.

The key to this going well is promising the respondents that you will share what you learned from the effort and how you are going to act upon the feedback. After you’ve compiled the results, write a letter thanking everyone for their input, telling them what you learned (good and bad) and what you are implementing to elevate on the areas that need some improvement.

Bring them together: A customer-only event is a smart way to strengthen customer relationships. First, you are giving them access to something that no one else can attend. Second, you’re going to make your event something that helps them improve (based on what you sell them) over time, and third, you’re going to invite them to hang out with other people who share their interest or motivations. This works well for both B-to-B and B-to-C businesses.

An added benefit for you is that when you bring clients together, they only have one thing in common. You. Your best customers become your best salespeople. They talk about the work you do together or the product you sell them and rave about the results.

There’s no reason why the pending economic shift has to be a problem for you. Sure, it might be tougher to earn new business from new customers, but that’s not the only path to economic success. If you double down on the relationships that are already strong and can be enhanced, you will weather this blip on the radar screen well. And even if I’m wrong, there’s nothing but good that will come out of investing more in the clients you already have and love.



Who already trusts you?

November 21, 2018

trustIf there is a cardinal sin of marketing, it’s ignoring the people who already know you, appreciate you and give you money. For most organizations, 60-75% of your net new revenue should come from your existing customer base.

Despite that metric, most businesses spend the majority of their marketing dollars and efforts chasing after new clients and invest very little in wooing the customers they have already earned. You’ve already cleared the highest hurdle – earning their trust. And yet, we often walk right past them on our way to talk to strangers.

One of the biggest values of marketing to your current clients is that they’re the ones who are most likely to tell others about you. It’s logical to think that the more they know about you, the more they can share with someone else who might be in the market for what you sell.

Another lost opportunity, if you don’t actively connect with your customers, is that they develop a narrowed view of who you are and what you do. Odds are good that even your best clients don’t utilize every product or service you offer. If you don’t keep reminding them of all of the other ways you can help them – they begin to pigeonhole you as the “fill in the blank” company that is purely defined by what they currently buy.

We’ve certainly had that happen at MMG. If we developed a brand and the support materials (logo, tagline, etc.) for a client, they begin to see us as a brand shop. If we don’t keep talking about other aspects of marketing strategy and execution, we can quickly be JUST a brand shop.

In all of our work with financial institutions, we knew that if someone had 3+ accounts or 4+ ACH/direct deposits going in and out of their checking account, they were far less likely to change institutions. The marketing expression for this reality is “setting more hooks” and it’s as true for your business as it is for a bank or credit union.

Of course, the trick is how do you introduce yourself to someone who already knows you? Marketing to your existing customer base is all about demonstrating that you recognize who they are and what matters to them. There’s no need to focus on helping them get to know you or trust you. You’re already there. It’s looking for ways to enhance what you already do for them.

Make a list of the customers who make up the top tier of your sales. Ask yourself these questions:

  • What could we do (not sell) to make their experience with us something they couldn’t help but talk about?
  • What product or service would significantly enhance the effectiveness/usefulness of what they already buy from us?
  • How can we bring that to them immediately, either through something else we offer or from a strategic partner?
  • How do we genuinely demonstrate that we appreciate their loyalty and business?
  • Who, from my figurative Rolodex, needs to know about this person/company and how can I make those referrals?
  • Have we invited this client to provide a testimonial, case study or to leave us a review?
  • How can we institutionalize these kinds of requests so we get them from all of our best, happiest customers?
  • What else do they need that we don’t currently provide that we could develop and deliver with excellence?

If you want to set more hooks and bring even more value to your best clients, you’ll need to spend some time finding the answers to these questions and then be ready to invest some time, talent and budget to bring those strategies to life.



The mechanics of a successful webinar

October 17, 2018

webinarA while back, we focused a series on the channels too critical for you to ignore in 2019 and one of those channels was webinars.   We covered the basics then but now I want to get into the mechanics of executing a webinar well, so when you’ve got your content ready, you get the biggest bang for the buck.

When I’m talking about a webinar, I am not talking about a one-on-one web-based demonstration or sales meeting. I’m talking about an event you would promote to a larger audience, and the event itself is intended to be a group experience.

Webinars are a smart tactic if you want to:

  • Educate prospects or customers
  • Field objections and questions in a live environment
  • Demonstrate aspects of your product or service in an interactive way
  • Establish your thought leadership or authority on a topic
  • Capture sales leads

Note that drive sales is not on that list. A webinar is not a hard-driving sales tool. It’s higher up in the funnel and serves more of a marketing function. That doesn’t mean you won’t garner sales from the webinar. But it shouldn’t be your focus. Webinars are successful if they’re helpful, if people connect to the presenter and feel like they walked away with knowledge or insights that are valuable.

Here are some mechanics to consider as you think through your webinar strategy:

Tools: There are many good webinar tools out there, and the right one for you will depend on price, number of attendees possible, the ability to record and other factors. This guide may help you decide.

Promotion: Webinars are not a “build it and they will come” sort of thing. You need to get the word out and issue multiple invitations. Give yourself at least a 30-day window for promotion. If you already have a list of prospects, that’s a smart place to start. You’ll get your biggest flurry of sign-ups about ten days before the event. If you make a big deal out of the fact that they’ll get access to a recording of the webinar whether they attend or not – you’ll get more takers.

Leave behind: I think of my PPT deck as a leave behind when I am working on a webinar. I’m always going to offer it to the attendees at the end, so I build it with that in mind. Unlike a deck for a speech, where I might have a single image and no words, I use a lot of bullets and text for my webinar decks. I know I am in essence taking notes for the attendees, so my slides are a little denser in content.

Format: As you think about constructing your webinar, explore easy to grasp “packages” for the information you want to share. Like:

  • Five mistakes to avoid
  • Ten questions to ask before…
  • Four unexpected benefits of…

This style of formatting will help you tease and promote the content. It will also help you avoid trying to pack too much information into the webinar. It lends itself to a strong wrap up for you as a presenter and gives your attendees something to grab hold of and remember.

No matter how or when you deliver your webinar, be sure you know what you want to happen once you sign off. Do they get a “thanks for attending” email? Do they get a link to deeper content on one of your key points? Don’t lose the momentum. When the webinar wraps, it’s not the end, it’s the beginning.



You’ve got to multiply

August 22, 2018

multiplyThe new year is fast approaching and as you start working on your marketing plan for 2019, you’re going to need to multiply. Consider these facts.

  • The average US adult now spends over 100 minutes a day watching digital video (eMarketer)
  • 26% of US adults listen to at least one podcast a month (statista.com)
  • 65% of B-to-B marketers use infographics (Content Marketing Institute)
  • 55% of B-to-B marketers use webinars and webcasts (Content Marketing Institute)
  • 40% of consumers form an opinion by reading just one to three reviews (BrightLocal)
  • 92% of consumers visit a retailers website before making a purchase (Episerver)
  • Online adults 18-34 are most likely to follow a brand via social networks (MarketingSherpa)

Today’s consumer isn’t living a mono-channel life. We can’t get locked into one channel and hope that we can actually create an on-going conversation. We have to stay interesting and helpful for a longer period of time because we don’t control the pace or place of the conversation anymore.

We also can’t present our messaging in only one format. We have to stay interesting and multiply if we’re going to survive the long haul of earning and keeping our audience’s attention.

Your prospects can stay in the consideration stage for a day or a decade, and we need to be able to not only wait them out, but we also need to work hard to stay on their radar screen for that entire time. Marketing is becoming an endurance sport, and we have to hang in there long enough to have a shot at winning the new customer.

Life is not linear or logical. If we’re trying to be a part of our audience’s narrative, we need to be where they are, and as you can see by the statistics I’ve given you, they’re all over the place. I’m not suggesting that you need to dominate all of the channels, but you need to carefully consider which mix of them make sense for your product, service or brand.

To know which tactics will serve you best, you need to truly understand the buyer’s journey and where along the way they intersect with different mediums. As you can see from the data I’ve shared, odds are your potential buyers are consuming a little bit of everything, from infographics to webinars to videos. You also need to understand how to multiply – how to present your brand’s products and services in the best light. Does it lend itself to a visual presentation? How critical is data to the buying decision? This is all about knowing your buyers and what you sell and figuring out how to make the most effective connections.

The multi-channel approach will serve your organization well. It allows you to show up in many places, with the same consistent messaging so that those impressions stack upon each other and over time. Remember the know • like • trust continuum we’ve talked about many times. Consistency in messaging moves the prospect along that continuum more quickly.

Multi-channel also means you’re more likely to connect with your potential buyers on the channels where they feel most comfortable. We hear better and understand more deeply in our native language. The same is true about our communication channels. If you connect with a prospect where they spend most of their time, they’re less distracted and more open to hearing what you have to say.

On the flip side, trying to juggle multiple channels is a drain on your resources. So you’re going to want to multiply or choose carefully and judiciously.

Stay tuned because we’re going to explore each of the tactics (video, podcasting, infographics, webinars, webcasts, reviews, websites and social media) and identify how they might fit into your plans for 2019.



Build your email list

August 8, 2018

emailIf you’ve been following along, we’ve been talking about some marketing resolutions to help you get a jumpstart on your 2019 marketing plan – email, reviews, video, etc. Over the next few posts, I’m going to tackle these suggested resolutions one by one and help you map out how you can crush each one in 2019.

In case you missed it, the resolutions were:

  • Build your email list
  • Work on earning great reviews
  • Produce more videos/build a YouTube channel
  • Do less but do it better

Today we’re going to tackle building your email list. Having a strong email list is vital for your business. It’s an asset that you own, and you control. Very few platforms convert more consistently and continuously than effective email campaigns.

Email allows you to target sub-sections of your list, be personal in your delivery and really take advantage of the one to one medium. But before you can take full advantage of your email list – you need to have one.

Make your content something they actually look forward to receiving. While that seems obvious, very few organizations deliver on it consistently. Your content can’t be about you, your team, your special sale or some award you’ve just won. It has to contain ideas or resources that they can learn from, use or share.

Offer different types of subscriptions. Create different resources for different audiences. Help them self-select what insights would be most valuable to them and serve it without the content they don’t care about. You might also offer a variety of frequencies. One person may prefer a monthly communication while another would rather get it in bite-sized pieces every week.

Create free tools, resources or guides that you can trade for email addresses. The key to this strategy is that there has to be a lot of meat on the bone. You can’t earn your prospect’s trust if you skimp on this kind of content.

Create links to capture email addresses throughout your website. Don’t just count on your “sign up for our newsletter” button on your home page. Pepper opportunities for people to join your email list on a variety of pages. Serve up different offers based on each page’s subject matter.

Use other platforms to promote your content. Email may be one of the most effective platforms, but that doesn’t mean the other platforms should be ignored. When you’ve gone to the effort of creating something that is really noteworthy – share it out. Create a private Facebook group or Pinterest board to woo prospects to get a little closer. After they see that you’re focused on adding value to their world – invite them to partake in some of your gated content.

Don’t forget offline events and activities. While we live in a digital world, there’s still plenty of analog activity that allows you to connect with people and identify common interests and needs. As you work your way through networking events, trade shows, conferences and all the other places you bump into people you can help – make those connections. After you nurture those relationships, extend the invitation to join your list so they can get even more of your goodness.

Focus on the two parallel goals in terms of your list. Grow it in quantity and also grow it in terms of engagement. You want people to reply, share, and come to rely on your regular communications. Calendar your communications, so you stay consistent and invest the right amount of time and resources, so you are always serving up something worth getting excited about, from your audience’s perspective.

That’s step one to a very successful 2019.

Next, we’ll tackle the second resolution – getting reviews from your raving fans so you can attract more raving fans!