Get a selfie of your best customer.

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Stock images at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Would you recognize your best customers? Do you know what they look like? Why not have them send in a selfie?

Okay, scratch the selfie idea. But even if they don’t send you a selfie, you should recognize their attributes and their value. The top 20% of your customers often represent 80% of your business. By recognizing who they are and what is important to them, you can strive to attract even more customers who look like your best customers. Here are a few ways to do it:

1. Clone your best customers. When choosing ad demographics or lists, choose segments that most closely match the demographics, interests and behaviors of your best customers. That way you can create “clones” that look like them.

2. Tailor content to your best customers. Find out what kinds of content your best customers like to read or view. Hit on the topics and types of content that they respond to most. This will also attract similar prospects.

3. Encourage other customers to be like best customers. Look at the behaviors and transaction frequency of your best customers. Identify customers who don’t quite behave like your best customers and feed them offers and incentives to act like your best customers. Use trigger dates to get them to visit or shop as often as your best customers.

4. Listen to your best customers. Do you survey your best customers? In addition to tracking their behaviors, it’s always a good idea to find out what they want by simply asking them. Find out exactly what their preferences are. Find out whether they are satisfied with your products or services. Also find out if they would recommend you to their friends.

5. Think like your best customers. Don’t forget to put yourself in your customer’s shoes. Try to figure out what you would want if you were the customer. Think critically. Try to predict what your customers will be asking for before they ask.

Email frequency: How often should you hit their inbox?

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Stuart Miles/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

It’s a simple question: “How often should I send my marketing emails?”

Do a quick Internet search and you’ll see a lot of simple answers—once a week, once a month, etc.

Problem is, it’s not a simple answer. The first thing you need to ask is whether these emails are going to prospects, leads or customers. You’ll want a different communication strategy for each.

For prospects, you can certainly hit them multiple times over weeks or months. In fact, in this article, tEkk3 explains why frequency matters more than reach. In other words, mailing the same prospects multiple times can be more beneficial than mailing one larger mailing list once. But that doesn’t mean you can mail the same list forever. As pointed out in this MailChimp article, frequency and engagement are negatively correlated.

Now let’s think about leads. Someone has responded to you and provided their email and wants to know more. Perfect. Because this person has just asked you for more information, they are expecting it. In fact, you may have already informed them they you would be sending several follow-up emails at the time they opted in. So for this type of contact, communicating frequently in the short-term is okay, and expected.

There are actually many forms of lead nurturing, from a “drip campaign” to a “lifecycle campaign.” Marketo has a good Marketing Cheat Sheet about lead nurturing that goes into more detail on definitions, tracks and strategies. Take a look.

Depending on the type of product or service you offer, you may set up a lead nurturing track that communicates every few hours, days or weeks. You may have a 30-day nurture strategy, or a 180-day nurture strategy. Remember, with lead nurturing you can usually email frequently, especially in the first few days or weeks after they opt in.

Finally, you have your current customers. With this group, you may also have individual communication strategies for each segment of customers (new, active, win back, etc.). But overall, you’ll want to keep in contact with them as frequently as they would like you to. Once or twice a month may be appropriate.

Benchmark also has some good suggestions on how often to send email, as well as when to send it. Once every week or two is the most common. For high frequency emailers, your customers may be okay with two or three emails a week.

Remember: Keep your type of recipient in mind, build a contact strategy for each type, and then be consistent.

Text and image restrictions for Twitter and Facebook ads.

We’re all well aware of Facebook’s 20% rule, where the image in a promotion cannot be more than 20% text. But do you know about all of the restrictions on images? I was a little surprised when a fitness client of mine had their promote page ad rejected for showing a male and female model with well-defined abs.

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Image declined for Facebook promotion.

Apparently, this breaks one of Facebook’s rules:

Images may not be overly sexual, imply nudity, show excessive amounts of skin or cleavage, or focus unnecessarily on body parts. (See Facebook’s full list of ad copy and image restrictions here.)

In the past, I’ve used Facebook’s Promote Page and Boost Post features to successfully gain fans and boost engagement. And yes, anytime you have a situation where there’s too much text in your cover image or post image, you run into the 20% rule issue. But once you figure out and get a feel for the balance of image vs. text, it’s smooth sailing. However, Facebook’s image standards seem a little foggy. It seems that some ads that should perhaps be fine are rejected.

Admittedly, I haven’t done as much with Twitter advertising. Though I ran across this recent article on Twitter advertising basics from Social Media Examiner—How to Build a Winning Twitter Ad Campaign. Much like Facebook, you can choose to create ads for specific purposes, like gaining new followers or increasing website hits.

After jumping onto Twitter and going through the guidelines, it seems Twitter’s guidelines are more expansive than those on Facebook. They also appear to be more specific and less confusing. You can read the Twitter Ad Policies here.

You’ll also find specific Editorial guidelines for advertising on Twitter. For example, you can’t use “excessive or unnecessary capitalization or punctuation to draw attention” and you must use “correct grammar and spelling.” Naturally, language that could “offend or shock your audience” is also prohibited.

The Opposite of Loyalty

Yesterday, the host of a local radio show exposed a family secret. While growing up, his father did not put up with inferior customer service. In fact, anytime he felt wronged by a company—a hotel, restaurant or retailer—he banned them for life! He not only cut off his complete patronage of the company, he also asked his kids (including the one telling the story) to do the same. To never set foot in that business again.

Today, customers who don’t feel the love, not only share their ill feelings with the store manager or sales rep, they share them with the world.

As marketers, we need to help clients understand how to identify unhappy customers instead of failing to recognize those who raise their hands and say “I had a bad experience with your company.” We need to react to early messages, either directly or on social media, with empathy and special treatment.

An unhappy customer could always mount a campaign that you might call “the opposite of loyalty,” making sure that everyone he/she knows is aware of his/her poor treatment. Several prominent cases exist in this social age, where customers used the power of the Internet to bad mouth companies for years.

Many articles like this one from Social Media Examiner, explain how companies can use channels like Twitter to respond to customers quickly with good customer service. That’s a much better option.

University of Phoenix Referral Program

University of Phoenix Student Referral Program

University of Phoenix was looking for a way to build more referrals from current students. To achieve this, Rastar Digital Marketing was hired to build a program that captured referrals, tracked referrals through to enrollment and registration, then rewarded students.

I was the communication strategist and lead copywriter on the project. I wrote content for a microsite in which students could become educated about the program, enroll in the program and then submit referrals. Once referrals were submitted, they went into the University of Phoenix database to ensure the lead did not already exist. Once validated, an email confirming the submission was sent back to the student.

Due to privacy rules, only a limited amount of information could be shared with the student as far as the progress of their referrals. Once students hit each milestone, a status email was triggered. The students were rewarded with pre-paid gift cards for each referral that enrolled, registered and began their first class.

The success of the project was amazing. To get the program off the ground, links to the new student referral site were placed on the University of Phoenix student site. Within days, thousands of referrals started to pour in. The number of student referrals submitted quickly moved it up the ladder to the lowest cost of new leads for the highest quality of lead. The program ran for three years until regulations surrounding student referrals changed.

University of Phoenix Referral Program

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Adobe_iPod

Adobe CMO Lead Nurture

Adobe selected the Fritz & Andre agency to create an integrated campaign to CMOs promoting the Adobe Marketing Cloud. Fritz & Andre invited me to help brainstorm and write the campaign. We put together a half-dozen ideas, the concept below was selected.

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Initially, a teaser email went out to the CMO list, teasing them about “listening to the data” alerting them to watch the mail for a small gift.

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Custom packaging was designed to ship the Skull Candy headphones (shown below) as well as an iPod music player.

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The campaign was successful in getting the message through loud and clear…

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Brochure Cover

Reebok Fitness Fulfillment

While at Studeo, client Icon Health & Fitness requested a fulfillment brochure to go along with a direct TV spot. Our goal was to educate the prospect about the low-impact nature of the elliptical machine while playing up the Reebok brand name. Through interesting headlines and copy, we created the feel of the infomercial, walking the customer through a sales cycle and asking for the order.

Brochure Spread

Brochure Spread

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Catalog

Easton Catalog

 

Easton Archery, manufacturer of aluminum arrow shafts, requested an annual catalog for their bowhunting line. As lead copywriter on the team, I penned the chosen theme of “We Know the Game.” The idea was to let avid bowhunters know that nobody knows the game of hunting big game better than Easton. Each spread of the catalog featured a different big game animal, complete with interesting facts about the animal, an intriguing hunting story, and a feature on one of Easton’s top hunting shafts. The catalog was called “the best catalog we ever did” by the president of the division.

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Control4 Dealer Email Series

Control4 contracted me to write a series of emails that dealers could send out their own customer and prospect lists, highlighting different Control4 products and services. Each template will be programmed to populate with each local dealer’s name, contact information and offers. The following emails are part of that series.

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