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Tuesday, October 20th, 2009

If you have a website where you can generate coupon codes, then you really should try “coupon code marketing” to drive your sales efforts.  Today, the use of coupons has grown so much that consumers have saved over $4 billion dollars since their online inception. 

There are many ways in which to promote your coupon code.  You could highlight it in a newsletter or related blog/forum, or you could submit it to a variety of  coupon directory sties.  Some of the more popular sites include:

  • DealCatcher:  Features up-to-date offers and a forum for users to post coupon codes and other offers. 
  • Wow-Coupons : Wow-Coupons focuses on providing both online coupons and the printable variety to use in-person at general retailers.
  • Coolsavings: Coolsavings offers great printable coupons for groceries, baby products, and much more.

For a sample list of Free & Paid coupon directories sites, Click Here.


Saturday, October 17th, 2009

Many people are surprised to learn that YouTube is now the second-largest search engine. Yep, it’s bigger than Yahoo and bigger than Bing (in the U.S.), according to comScore. Therefore it is a shock to many search marketing professionals that clients, including large brands, neglect to formulate or act on strategies for YouTube optimization. iMedia has written a great in-depth story for optimizing and leveraging YouTube. 10 YouTube SEO tips.

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Friday, October 16th, 2009

If you can think out-of-the-box, there are some creative, inexpensive and great ways to leverage Twitter—either to drive your sales and marketing efforts, and/or to enhance customer service. 

Here is an example…I have a hair salon as a client and observed a huge inefficiency in the way they schedule their client appointments.  Allow me to elaborate…if a stylist has a cancelation, the typical remedy is to call that stylists’ clients to see if they can fill the cancelation.  The typical scenario goes like this…receptionist calls first two people on the list and leaves voice mails—while they’re on the third call the first person calls back.  The long and short of it is this is not very efficient. 

Now, with Twitter…if you can get your clients to “follow” you, all you have to do is send out a “Tweet” message and let your twitterfollowers know that Jane Smith has an opening today at 3pm—first person to call back gets it!  Now that’s efficient!

So, how do you get your customers to follow you in a situation like this?  Tell them that your Twitter followers get special incentives and offers.  In addition to being able to get last minute appointments, they could also receive discount offers on products or other services for a short period of time.  For example, let’s say you just got over shipped a particular shampoo…you could offer it for 30% for the next 24 hours.  Or, let’s say the nail tech doesn’t have a client…you would tweet that the first person to call or come by get’s their nails done for half off. 

This model would work great for any service type industry, i.e. Dentists, Optometrists, etc.

If you have a creative use for Twitter, please comment, I’d love to hear it.

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Wednesday, October 14th, 2009

Countless online advertisers are wasting money, or significantly hampering their performance when it comes to using Pay-Per-Click advertising like Adwords…leading some companies to abandon the practice altogether. Adwords has changed over the years and a campaign can be tough to manage, but there are a few ways to keep your campaigns profitable—here are ten tips to cut costs and make your campaign a success!

  1. Keyword Relevancy  – When advertisers first begin their Adwords campaign, they are asked to do keyword research and bid on every term that could potentially result in a sale. This is a good strategy when you have a bigger budget and can afford to test a large set of keywords, but if you’re a budget conscious advertiser you will first want to focus strictly on highly relevant keywords and leave out anything you’re not sure of—even if it has potential. Once your highly relevant keywords are converting and making money, then you can go back and expand your list and add all the keywords that you weren’t sure about.
  2. ‘Phrase’ and ‘Exact’ Keywords first…  – The default “bid type” in Adwords is set to “broad” and very few advertisers bid using Phrase and/or Exact match types. Ideally you would bid on all three match types and make the appropriate adjustments as you gather impression and CTR (click through rate) data. But if you’re on a tight budget, it’s best to start by only bidding on Phrase and Exact match types and leave out Broad. If you can’t make your Phrase and Exact match types profitable, then its unlikely Broad keywords will be profitable.
  3. Negative Keywords  – Even if you’re only using Phrase and Exact keywords, you will still want to include negative keywords in your campaigns. Negative keywords will only apply to Broad and Phrase match types and can be added as either broad, phrase or exact negatives. Some common negative keywords to think about adding are: free, picture, sample, video and other variations of these keywords. Your negative keywords will vary depending on the industry your in. When adding negative keywords, try to use Phrase and Exact match types. Sometimes a keyword can convert in one context but not in another, this is why adding all negative keywords in the default broad match type is not always a good idea. You can avoid excluding potential profitable variations by using Phrase and Exact negative keywords.
  4. Qualify your Ad Copy – Don’t get overly creative with your ad copy, stay true to your product and/or service. You may want to prequalify your ad by adding in the price of your product/service or by directly targeting the demographic in your ad. Always try to add a call-to-action. The idea is to create a high CTR ad without misleading the visitor. This is why adding the price or demographic can exclude those not interested that would otherwise click and waste your PPC money.
  5. Maintain Quality Score  – Open up Adwords Editor and download your account. Browse through your quality score using the keyword tab and find anything with a quality score of less than 7. Separate those keywords out into their own ad groups and write ad copy that focuses on those Keywords—then set the destination URL to the most relevant page. This should improve your quality scores up to 7 or higher. Keep in mind that anything below 7/10 (quality score) can end up costing you significantly more than your competitors. Keep an eye on low quality score keywords. If you can’t improve them, then it may be a good idea to place them in pause mode.
  6. Target “Your” Brand and Company Name - Even if you’re already ranking number #1 for your own product/service or company name, it is still a good idea to bid on these keywords. These terms will cost next to nothing and it never hurts to have more than one ad pointing to your site. In fact, if you do not do this, you risk losing the number #1 ad space to competitors that are bidding on your branded terms and redirecting potential converting traffic to their site(s).
  7. Expand your Campaign to other Networks  – A well-optimized campaign has a set of campaigns that are classified as “top performers” that deliver the best return on your advertising investment. Simply duplicate those campaigns into another search engine such as Yahoo or BING. You can even look at search engines such as or You might even want to give a try if you are going after a younger audience (13 to 35).
  8. Use Testimonials  – Your landing page plays a major role in conversions and one of the best ways to improve conversions on any product or service is to include user submitted testimonials on your landing page. These can be written, voice recorded or even displayed as a video. If you’re not using testimonials on your landing page then you need to be. If you don’t have any testimonials then start following up with your customers and start gathering their feedback.
  9. Use Incentives – Everyone likes getting a good deal and this is why using incentives, discounts and coupons has proven to drive sales. Incentives can include free shipping, 2-for-1 deals and more. Discounting prices works well too. Let your customers know they are getting a discount and let them know how much it is. Also consider using coupons that your customers can enter to get a discount. Coupon related search terms are skyrocketing of late. Obviously discounts cut into the profit margin, but you should be able to more than make up for it in volume.
  10. Keep an eye on Competitors  – It’s always important to watch what your competition is doing, but even more so when it comes to paid advertising. When doing your research keep a close eye on the small guy who seems to be thriving on the first page of results. Sometimes a large company can afford to lose money bidding number 1 for many years, but the small guy can’t so if you see a small/medium sized company up there with the giants on a consistent basis then closely examine their ads and landing pages. The things you learn from your competitors can then be applied to your own ads and landing pages and used to help drive more sales.

If you’d like more tips about how to improve your pay-per-click campaign, please call or e-mail me.


Sunday, October 4th, 2009

The benefit from a firm grasp of social media for companies is impossible to ignore. Whether you work in marketing, advertising, public relations or interactive, there are distinct competitive advantages for both individuals and businesses from a better understanding of the social web. Read what some of the biggest brands in the business are doing with Social Media and how it can help you. Article by: Social Media Today


Sunday, October 4th, 2009

An email campaign is only as good as the list it is sent to. The question from marketers then becomes, “How do I build a great email list?” Read these tips from dmPULSE that can help all email marketers build their most valuable asset; the email list.

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