What Is Text Message Marketing & Why Is It So Important For Businesses?

When it comes to business marketing, keeping your customers happy, satisfied, and engaged with your brand is easier said than done, especially in today’s market where younger demographics have shorter attention spans and a major sensitivity to advertisement overload. One way marketers are getting around this is through text message marketing, where text messages are used to deliver advertisements, promotions, and discounts directly to customers. It is effective because consumers appreciate the ease of access that text messaging provides as it’s simple to open a link or click on a picture through a text and with billions of hours spent texting, it makes sense for businesses to tap into this marketing platform.

7 Reasons Why Text Message Marketing Is Crucial for Businesses

  • E-mail Is Not As Popular As Text Messaging. Although e-mail is excellent for selling products that are behind catchy headlines and beautiful images, the response rate is abysmal as spam filters, junk folders, and promotional e-mail tabs keep them out of sight. If an e-mail does get opened, if the intended target doesn’t respond right away, it’s unlikely that they will take a second look. Text messaging, on the other hand, lends itself to popularity with being built right into our smartphone devices and all. Customers would rather have appointment reminders, prescription refills, and promotions sent directly to their phones via text messages than any other mode of communication, because it’s easy and accessible. After all, barely anyone deletes a text message without reading it. Beyond this, the Pew Research center notes that out of the twenty-one countries they polled, 75% use texting. That’s a massive number when you look at the global scale of smartphone device users.
  • Text Messaging Provides One Of The Highest Reaches. Although text messaging is associated with younger generations, it’s not strictly for them. When you actually take a look at the percentages against the demographics, you see that 72% of adult use text messaging on a daily basis and 65% of those in their forties and 50% in their sixties are texting. With trillions of text messages being sent every year, the text message market has one of the highest mass media reaches possible.
  • Text Messages Have Extremely High Open Rates. When you compare the open rates between e-mail marketing and text message marketing, the difference between the two is massive. About one in every four e-mails are opened or about 20% while almost 90% of text messages are read within the first three minutes of being received and have an open rate of 98%.
  • You Can Create a Positive Brand By Sending Uplifting Messages. One of the ways that brands can utilize text messages to create a positive relationship with customers is by sending uplifting messages on a regular basis. Thanking a customer for their most recent order, sending a coupon just because they are awesome, or reminding them that life is good when they are having a bad day can go a long way to retaining customer engagement.
  • You Can Personalize SMS Content. Unlike advertising on billboards or the ads you see in digital website space, SMS campaigns are heavily targeted towards a specific type of demographic. You don’t have to blast your message to those who are not interested as SMS campaigns can be made to only go to those who have opted in to receiving messages from you. Like other forms of advertising, you can also segment text message marketing out into specific categories, allowing you to maximize your open rates, redemption rates, and click-through rates.
  • Text Messaging Is Preferred Over Other Communication Methods.  Although cellphones are popular, with billions being purchased worldwide, voice calling is actually trending downward. The culture around phone calls is changing, as they can now seem rude and intrusive in our very busy lives. They can become awkward when you have to hang up in the middle of one or let the call go to voice mail because you’re driving, in a meeting, or are too tired to answer. Text messages provide time to contemplate what is being said, they don’t require you to have your phone on, and they can be referenced back to at any time. As a business, you do not need your customer’s undivided attention when you send out a promotion or coupon because they can come back to it when the time suits them.
  • Text Messaging Has Higher Conversion Rates. It is incredibly easy for a customer to text a reply, text-to-win a discount or promotion, or click on a link to be taken to a website. Due to ease of access, text messaging has higher conversion rates both with coupons and promotions getting redeemed and links being clicked on. To put this in perspective, text message engagement is about 6-8% higher than e-mails.

Although text messaging started out as a simple mode of communication, it is now the preferred method for brand communications due to its relevance in our smartphone-dominated world. With the ability to earn customer loyalty, provide convenience, and pack text messages with goodies and surprises, it’s easy to see why text message marketing provides high engagement and business revenue.  

For more in-depth training and resources to leverage digital marketing to generate an unlimited supply of your perfect customers, join the EZMetrics Mastermind.  

 

Email Marketing: How to Create an Email List from Scratch and Ways to Grow It

With the number of fraudulent scams targeting your inbox and a spam folder that gets filled on a daily basis, it is easy to see why e-mail marketing gets a bad reputation.

Beyond this, with the recent compliance change required by the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation, a  lot of individuals are touting that e-mail marketing is a “dead” channel not because it actually is but because the new laws surrounding it are intimidating at best.

However, when we actually take a look at the research, we see that email marketing jobs are trending, that email marketing is still king with 59% of marketers stating that it is their most effective channel for revenue, and it is still by far the most direct way of contacting potential customers with 90.9% of internet users using e-mail in one shape or form.

So, in this article, we are going to take you through six different methods you can use to create an e-mail list from scratch and what to do after the email addresses begin to roll in.

 

The 4 Things You Need Before Getting Started on Your List

Creating an e-mail list from scratch is not going to happen if you are grasping at thin air, and so there are a few things that you should have before beginning the process. Here they are:

 

  • Figure Out Your Target Audience & Know Them. In figuring out who your target audience is, you can figure out where they hang out online. Women are mostly on Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook while men are mostly on Youtube and LinkedIn.
  • Create a Website With a Beautiful Landing Page. You will need a place on the web for your audience to congregate to. In most cases, you want this to be your own personal website. Now you don’t have to create a fully-fledged website, as a beautiful landing page will get the job done. Just make sure it has an image, a headline, your key bullet points, and an opt-in form. If you choose to go with a full website, you will need to utilize pop-ups.
  • Choose an E-mail Marketing Platform to Work From. There are several dozens to choose from, so make sure to research each one prior to signing up, but their general purpose is to help you organize your list and send out the e-mails.
  • Create A Irresistible Offer.  Regardless of what you are choosing to sell, create, build, or offer, you will need to give people a reason to join your e-mail list. In order to have a reason, you need to provide something in exchange for their e-mail information. This is done by creating an irresistible offer; something that your target audience would want. This can be an e-book, software, or a guide; all of which should be free.

 

 

The Steps To Take for Building The List

Once you have the above four things, you can begin to actually start the process of building up your e-mail list. Now there are several ways to go about this, but they will generally involve creating call-to-action buttons, creating pop-ups, and driving traffic to your website/landing page with advertising.

 

  • Use Existing Resources to Catch Those Beginner Emails.  Reach out to those who you already have e-mail addresses for and ask them if they’d be interested in what you’re offering. If they say yes, you can add them to your e-mail list.
  • Jump Onto Social Media and Post in Groups. Social media gives you massive exposure; so post your landing page/website homepage to them. On Twitter, use one or two hashtags, and on Facebook & LinkedIn, join groups and advertise there.
  • Use Advertising Campaigns to Drive Traffic. Although organically building your list is the way to go, it is not the fastest. Supplement organic methods with purchasing advertisements. Use LinkedIn sponsored updates, Twitter ads, Facebook ads, and Google Adwords.
  • Utilize Pop-ups & Call-to-Action Buttons on Your Website.  Your menus, popovers, popups, and slide-ups should be in places where they cannot be missed. Add in top-bar-popups in your header and navigation menu bars, add in opt-in-forms to your sidebars, add in popup forms to your checkout pages, and don’t forget to add in call-to-action buttons to your individual blog posts, website footer, and your about page. Consider using a scroll box, which places your popup where your visitor chooses to stop on the page or pop-up timers as these allow your visitors to read through your content before bombarding them with the call-to-action.  
  • Treat Your Blog Like an Email Capture Page. Your blog is going to be the place that should get the most visits if you are utilizing content marketing correctly. If your blog has 25,000 unique visitors on a monthly basis, that’s a lot of potential e-mails you could capture if you just inserted in an opt-in-form.
  • Give Away Free Stuff. Humans like free stuff. Your potential subscribers will want free stuff. Give it away and watch those email addresses come in. Consider giving away an email series, a guidebook, private blog content, a video tutorial series, or early access to new features coming to your website, discounts on new services, or sneak peeks at new products.

 

 

What To Do After You’ve Captured a Sizable Email List?

After you have gone through the steps of building up your email list from scratch and implementing in the methods needed to sustain the list (see above), you will need to educate your subscriber list on your brand and move them towards making a purchase.

 

  • Create Automated Welcome Messages and Engage Your Audience.  Take some time to introduce your brand, company, or product to your list, provide them with some social reviews, and maybe give them a behind-the-scenes look at upcoming features. Capture and engage them and of course, add in a discount code or two. Do the same thing with dormant subscribers every thirty days with automated re-engagement emails.
  • Create a Consistent Schedule for Your Email Campaigns. If someone has signed up to you, they’ve shown interest and probably want to hear from you.  Send out regular content to your email list on a consistent basis from month to month. This will keep them engaged and it will foster a connection with them.
  • Segment Out Your Subscriber List. Not everyone is going to have the same interests or the same reasoning as to why they signed up to you. Segment out your subscriber list based on their behaviors, demographics, and age. Those who haven’t purchased from you in the past 30-60 days, those who have used discount codes, those who have clicked on your emails and followed through, and those who are actively engaging in discussion with you are a few ways you can slice and dice them.  

 

As your email list continues to grow, always make sure that you are using lead nurturing and avoid the “set it and leave it” trap. You want to be creating and developing high-value relationships with your subscriber list, as this is what will boost sales.

If you want to master email marketing and 10 other crucial skillsets to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to What’s Working Now, join the EZMetrics Mastermind and gain access our digital marketing library that will help you generate an unlimited supply of your perfect customers.

3 Marketing Tools that Every Entrepreneur Needs

As an entrepreneur, it can feel like there is not enough time in the day to accomplish all of the tasks at hand. There are a few tools that I recommend, to greatly impact your business while helping you manage your time.

Use Evernote to stay organized. When it comes to marketing your business, organization is essential.  You never know when a new idea will come to mind, and if you are not able to organize and prioritize your notes,  you may miss out on opportunities to grow. Evernote will assist you with capturing your ideas, trends, and inspirations, all while storing them on one easily accessible location. You can access this material on your phone, laptop, or tablet. This is a perfect tool to help capture your research and brainstorm ideas all in one place.

Buffer is helpful with Social Media Management. Buffer is a social media management tool that will help you establish your social posting efforts. Social media is extremely powerful within your business, this is why it is important that you stay active and relevant on different platforms. Buffer gives you the ability to connect on multiple accounts and then creates one dashboard to hold all of your platforms. With Buffer, you will be able to schedule and analyze the success of your posts. Buffer’s free plan would be beneficial for a new business that is looking to grow their social presence.

SurveyMonkey can be used to secure customer feedback. SurveyMonkey is one of the most popular free online survey tools. Surveys are a beneficial way to collect data from consumers in order to uncover trends and secure tangible insight on your business. This software is incredibly simple to learn and intuitive to use. Additionally, once you publish your survey, you will be able to analyze the results on the backend.

These tools can help you grow your business by freeing up more of your time, so that you can do more of the income-producing activities you need to do.

Keep pressing forward to success!

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Now is the time to start monetizing your ability!

Everyone has the ability to capitalize on their knowledge. You have a story to tell that can help impact an individual’s life!

I know that it’s human nature to suppress your confidence and tell yourself that you are not the current top expert in the field. While this may be true, if you do not keep pushing forward you will inevitably fall too far backward. As the saying goes, “the man on top of the mountain didn’t fall there.” -Vince Lombardi

The truth is, your business doesn’t remain stagnant. if we’re not moving forward, we’re falling back. So, we must continue to stretch ourselves, evolve, and continue to grow beyond what we are comfortable with.

To do this, you must make a decision that you want to step into your calling.  First, it is crucial that you define your knowledge and who it will benefit. Reflect on the core benefit of your ability. In other words, what problem are you helping people solve? For example, let’s say you need to get more eyes on your product or service so that you can scale your business.  EZMetrics helps people solve that problem by getting you more leads so that you can close more sales.

You will need to build a following. In order for you to be successful financially, you need to identify and attract your “tribe” who will eventually buy your product. You can create a community through social media. Your tribe will know, like, and trust you as long as you continue to provide them with valuable content. Eventually, they will be chomping at the bit WANTING to buy from you.  One way to stay in contact with your audience is to write a weekly blog. But beware… don’t get trapped in the content-creation cycle where that’s all you’re doing. Creating is great. But you must eventually ask for the sale.

Another great way to serve your community is by creating an online course to sell your expertise. This can be done by designing a series of materials that may include videos, PDFs, checklists, templates, and more!  

And lastly, consider hosting a live webinar which enables you to demonstrate your knowledge while engaging with your audience. During your live webinar, you will be able to provide advice to your audience while building trust. At the end, of course, you’re able to offer them the opportunity to work with you or purchase your product/service.

The bottom line is, no matter where you are now, you just need to begin. The world is a better place when people share their knowledge and expertise to help others learn.

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Unwilling to Quit

When I first started my Digital Marketing Agency (EZMetrics, LLCI would take every shot or opportunity presented to me; I still do. However, I learned very quickly that when taking every shot or opportunity, I would miss a lot of them. Big grand ideas would be crushed by the weight of failure and defeat; before I knew it, I felt like I had just gone 5 rounds with Mike Tyson.

So, I added a screensaver and lock screen to my laptop that said, “Unwilling to Quit”. It was my daily reminder that I, Jacob Salem, am Unwilling to Quit no matter how many times I fail.

One major key to success is failure. When thinking about success, it is easy to gloss over the numerous failures that you have had to overcome in order to get you where you are today. The more you fail, the more you begin to learn about yourself, your support system, and the flaws within your business.

We will all fail at something in our life at some point. We all have had a bad day that led us to make decisions that could have been altered, but that does not make everything a failure. It does not matter how many times you fail, inevitably, the feeling of worthlessness comes creeping up in the back of your mind. Please, let me remind you that you are not a failure. You are an expert, and you have something special inside of you that God wants to bring to fruition, but He cannot do it without your work, your effort, and more importantly, your commitment to push through your challenges and setbacks.

Zig Ziglar said it best when he said, “Failure is an event, not a person. Yesterday ended last night. Today is a brand new day…and it’s yours.” ~ Zig Ziglar

Through failure, you begin to learn. Failure by design is meant to give you skills to progress you to the next level.

First, you learn about yourself. When you feel defeated, you may begin to suppress your feelings, and try to immediately rebuild. It is important to understand the effects that failure can have on your emotions. It is crucial that you reflect on your failures so you can learn from them.

One of the largest challenges that entrepreneurs face is not that they don’t have the ability to succeed, but they ignore the failures that they will face. Failure will pave the way to you becoming successful.

You will need to have a strong support system to rely on as you begin to fail. It is important that you have people you trust, that will encourage you to get back up and try again. This support system can vary, this may be a family member, long time friend, or a mentor. Continue to pour into others for support as you go through hard times within your life or business.

Lastly, when you fail, you will find weaknesses within your business. Failures will open your eyes to areas that you need to improve on. It does not matter where you currently are in your life, you have to continue to try new things. You cannot stay stagnant in hopes to never fail.  The key to success is simple, learn to embrace and learn from failures to improve as a whole.

“Fail early, Fail Often, Fail Forward.” ~ Will Smith

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Growing Your Business

You have made the next step to create your business, but now what? Even if you have an amazing idea, product, or service, if you do not have people to buy, your business will not survive. How do I grow my business? This question is easier said than done, but it is important that you commit to following these steps.

Verification Through Testimonials: It is important that your potential customer can trust you and see how you have impacted other customer’s lives for the better. This means that you need to get video or written testimonials from customers who have used your business in the past. This gives the potential customer the ability to see how others liked the service or product. The customer will be more likely to buy if they are assured that your business will help them succeed. If you are at venue where people have used your business, grab your phone and ask them, “hey, would you be willing to give me a short testimonial on your thoughts regarding…?” These videos create PROOF that your business works!

Creating a Promotional Strategy: If you are just starting out, find one platform to leverage for marketing, and do it well! You can do this in a variety of ways. You can create Facebook Ads, Google Ads, Email Outreach, Create Partnerships, etc. The options are endless, but you need to commit to at least one strategy, consistently, in order to PROMOTE your business!

What is Your Core Product or Service?: You need to ask yourself, “are people currently buying this product from a different business?” If the answer is “yes”, you need to study what your competitors are doing. Observe what works, and what has failed. This will give you a headstart so that you do not make the same mistakes! Additionally, if you are just starting up, commit most of your productivity time to your core product or service. It is important to execute one service exceptionally well vs. three services mediocrely.

As an entrepreneur, it is important that you stay committed to your success! COMMIT to your core product or service to become the most reliable business in your market! Additionally, begin to grow your following through testimonial videos. This will give your customers a business that they can TRUST!

Selling Your Expertise

Each one of us has the ability to sell our expertise, but how do we do this? Throughout our lives, different events have occurred that shape us into the individuals that we are today. These experiences make us become more knowledgeable in a variety of topics.

Think of one topic that you excel in; this means that you know something that not everyone does. You have ability to teach and inspire others, best of all you can create your income while doing it!

You have untapped knowledge in your brain, you have the ability to vocalize your thoughts, now all you need is an audience. It is easy to get run down by pitching your amazing product to anyone that will listen if you’re constantly being rejected. Yes, you may get lucky and find someone that is willing to buy your product but, at what cost? Most speakers are pitching to the wrong audience.

Let’s think about this more…

If you are selling a self help motivational service, you would think you should pitch your service to struggling individuals that are not prospering financially. The reasoning behind this would be that your product will help encourage the individuals to make their goals become a reality. If you are thinking this way, you need to alter your way of thinking. You need to pitch to the wealthy and successful individuals. They have already made it, and they became successful by learning from others.

They made the decision to invest in themselves. The successful individuals will be more likely to buy your product because they have seen it work before in their lives. They are already convinced that self help is a good investment, and if you simply show them how your service will get them past the plateau they’re in so that they can up level their business, the sale is simple. You’re providing a solution who already values what you have to offer.

It is important that we change our way of thinking; we need to think logically on who will PURCHASE your product instead of who NEEDS your product. If you do your research and pitch to the right group of people you will begin to see your sales increase!

What Makes A Great Leader?

When talking about business leadership, many different characteristics come to mind.  A leader can be silent and put the focus on doing rather than showing.  A leader can also be assertive and full of excitement and gusto, relaying their energy and enthusiasm to their team to push them forward.  These are the two poles of leadership characteristics, and in most cases, business leaders display a little bit of both depending on the situation or context.

Then you have leadership styles. Wisetoast has put together a list of 12 common leadership styles among business leaders today.  These styles each take a different focus, whether it’s:

  • Autocratic
  • Democratic
  • Strategic
  • Transformational
  • Team-Oriented
  • Cross-Cultural
  • Facilitative
  • Laissez-faire
  • Transactional
  • Coaching
  • Charismatic
  • Visionary

That’s a lot of style jammed into a single list.  Do you resonate with a few of the types above?

The truth is, humans are fluid.  We do not just fit into a specific box or “type”.  Someone can be an autocratic leader one week and a democratic leader the next.  We each have distinct personality traits from our character as adults.  In order to harness great leadership then, the focus should be less on style and more on personal attributes. 

Here are 5 attributes of great leadership that you can nurture no matter what personality type you are: 

  • Flexibility.  Being able to adjust plans and schedules without getting flustered is an important skill.  It takes composure and a realization that you can only control a small fraction of things in your vicinity – the rest is up to others, whom you have to trust.
  • Strong Communication.  Always being clear and remaining in touch with your team is important.  It can be a simple “hi, how are you?” or a detailed email about a new project.  Whatever the content, the motive remains the same, and that’s the key.
  • Courage.  Being able to overcome obstacles and remain confident is a requirement of great leadership.
  • Humility.  Appreciating the fragility of life and your place within it will help you make choices for the group, rather than for yourself.  A humble person is also able to admit mistakes. 
  • Organized and Responsible.  A leader must be on top of all responsibilities and organize people throughout all stages of a project. 

Contrary to what some people say, leadership is not something a few people are born with and the rest of us are out to lunch.  Hard work and vision are the key to becoming a great leader. 

Find a way to center your business culture around models of great leadership, and cultivate and environment that induces employees to take on more responsibility.  With responsibility comes accountability, and learning how to be accountable is step 1 on the road to great leadership. 


Zig Ziglar said, “You don’t build a business – you build people – and then people build the business.”

It all starts at the top.  As a leader within your business, it’s on your shoulders to set the tone and be a great leader for the team by focusing on these attributes and how you can educate, equip, and empower your team to build your business. 

When Is It Time for a Branding Overhaul?

If you are in an upper management position in a company, or if you are the sole propriety of your own business already, then you have a lot of responsibility on your shoulders.  You need to be able to make the tough decisions at the right time, otherwise you risk compromising your business and the future of those in your team.  No one is going to make the decisions for you, and nobody’s even going to initiate a major change in operations because it’s not their job.  It’s yours.

When it comes to branding there are many vexing questions that you must have answers for.  One of the most challenging questions is: when is it time for a branding overhaul?

The answer to this question would have been harder in the pre-digital era.  Luckily, today there are a number of metrics available to make the decision easier.  You can consider:

  • Changing engagement rates relative to the most recent branding overhaul
  • Changes in direct traffic and potential reasons why
  • The success or failure of your most recent press campaign

Monitoring these metrics will give you a strong indication of whether or not it’s branding that needs to change in order to boost your business. 

Changing Your Brand Means Knowing Your Audience

Making a branding change is all about knowing how your business resonates with your audience and then capitalizing on it.  Here are three general tips to keep in mind while you contemplate the big decision of revamping the company’s image:

  1. Change your logo every 5 years.  Changing your logo (even slightly) within a five year span is smart business practice for a number of reasons.  The most obvious reason is that it keeps customers interested, and what’s more important than that?
  2. Does your business strategy no longer resonate with your branding? This is the tough question that you and your marketing team need to figure out.  It often happens that business strategy changes so quickly that branding is left behind.  Operating with an image that does not represent the specific service or purpose of the company will slice through potential revenue like a hot knife through butter. 
  3. If customer loyalty is lagging, it’s time for an overhaul.  This is another tricky intangible that you need to understand thoroughly before deciding to revamp.  Gauging loyalty has nothing to do with press clippings, direct traffic to your homepage or any other fancy marketing metric.  Loyalty is measured by word-of-mouth marketing and the number of social shares you get when posting a on Facebook.  It’s your community of customers that stand behind your brand, partly because they like what you do, and partly because they like your branding (the story behind your company and the message it shares with the world).  If this loyalty begins to lose steam, it’s definitely time to refine your message with a corresponding image.    

It’s All About Timing

Measuring the impact of your branding relative to the voice of the company requires constant attention.  There is going to be a right time every 5 or so years to change your image – it’s just important to figure out when that time is.  At the end of the day, a change in the tone and aesthetic of your brand might have the kind of measurable impact on sales that you’ve been looking for.