10 Ways To Start An Email That No One Will Ignore

10 Ways To Start An Email That No One Will Ignore

I process email for a living, or at least it seems that way most of the time.

Hundreds of new messages arrive on a daily basis, some of them so dull and uninformative they make me want to go find a pencil and jam it into my spleen. Others start with something a little juicier, a little more attention-grabbing, and a little more helpful. And, when the message starts off with an interesting phrase it usually means the rest of the email is worth reading all the way to the end.

How to start an email?

Try these lead-ins when what you really need is response, not a bunch of crickets chirping on the other end.

1. “Good news…”

Everyone likes to read about good news. Why not let your recipient know you are the bearer of it right away? As they say in journalism, don’t bury the lead.

2. “I have an answer for you…”

Go ahead and lead with a confirmation that you have found the answer. Maybe it dates back to our days in grade school, but we all perk up a bit when someone has answers.

3. “I’ll be honest with you…”

This phrase implies that you are going to get right to the point and won’t hold anything back. It’s helpful because too much opening chatter can confuse people.

4. “We have lift off…”

Apart from the fact that I like any space-related terminology, this opening phrase is positive and is a good precursor to any explanation about a project or business endeavor.

5. “Urgent…”

It’s an old-school tactic, and make sure what you are about to say is actually a pressing matter, but leading with the word “urgent” can nudge someone into paying attention.

Related posts: How To Write Better Emails

6. “Let me start with an apology…”

This one works on me because it’s probably going to be a little juicy. It also lets the recipient know the message is not about his or her screw-up. It’s about yours.

7. “Your day is about to improve…”

I’m guessing there are hundreds of ways to relay positive information, and this is one of my favorites. Work can be tedious, so if a message promises to improve it, that’s a good thing.

8. “I’ve completed my research for you…”

If you use this phrase, I’ll pay attention because I know the e-mail is going to give me good information, it will probably get right to the point, and it will be helpful.

9. “The rumors are true…”

You might think, what rumors? But that’s a good thing. You are hinting that something special and worthwhile has spread around and now you are confirming it.

10. “Just getting back to you…”

It’s a simple technique and maybe overused, but it works. My first thought is, getting back to me about what? Oh — that thing I was really waiting to hear about!

OK, now try using them on someone and let me know if they worked.

how to write better emails

Related posts: How To Write Better Emails

Source: http://www.inc.com/john-brandon/10-opening-phrases-to-use-in-your-next-e-mail.html#ixzz3DORMqiyj

How to Fire Back at an Angry Customer on Social Media

How to Fire Back at an Angry Customer on Social Media?

Social media is a wonderful and remarkably useful tool for promoting your business and building your brand. When it comes to angry complaints, however, it can turn into a vile, unrelenting beast that tears your company down. Fortunately, understanding how to deal with angry customers on social media is actually quite easy.

First, in case you need convincing that social-media complaints need to be addressed, consider a marketing study by Dimensional Research in 2013, which showed that “an overwhelming 86 percent of respondents indicated that their buying decisions were influenced by negative online reviews.”

Clearly, dealing with customer complaints on social media is important, but more important is how you respond. For many entrepreneurs, a complaint is often taken personally, so the inclination might be to fire back an equally angry or passive-aggressive retort, or to delete the unwelcome message altogether.

Related: How To Convince Your Prospects to Buy and Win Them Over?

This will only make angry customers angrier and more likely to take the “fight” to other platforms.

how to fire back at an angry customer on social media

Before you delete or send off a response, here are a few things to consider first:

Seek to understand. First, determine whether the complaint is valid. If it comes from a customer or client, then it is important that you respond. Intentionally hurtful or vile attacks, however, require a completely different strategy (see tips for staving off an attack from a special-interest group).

Act fast, but not too fast. It is incredibly important, especially with the lightning-fast speed at which messages can propagate through social media, to respond promptly. If responding quickly means not taking your time to fully understand the situation, however, your response may reflect the unpreparedness.

Take it offline. When possible, take the problem out of the public view of social media. If the complaint is a legitimate customer or client, and you have contact information, pick up the phone and deal with it directly. Nobody needs to see your “dirty laundry” spread all over social media.

If the problem or complaint on your social-media channel cannot be taken offline, the inclination might be to delete it. This, like a poor response, can just add fuel to the complaint. Instead, leverage the complaint on social media to demonstrate your business’s ability to calmly and collectively handle the issue.

Before you draft the response, consider these tips:

1. Validate their concern. Empathize with the complaint, even if you are not in the wrong. Most people will fire off a complaint in the heat of the moment, when all they want to do is be heard and understood.

“Thank you for your comments. We are very sorry to hear that you had a poor experience and would like to do what is necessary to help you make it a better one.”

2. Take accountability. We all admire companies that take responsibility, even if the problem is not fully or even partly its fault. Address and take responsibility for the concern.

“We take the feedback from our customers very seriously. We will look into your concern and, if necessary, do what needs to be done to remedy it.”

Related: How To Convince Your Prospects to Buy and Win Them Over?

3. Give a directive. Others will be reading the complaint on social media, so provide directions in response to the complaint that others can use to find more information.

“In the meantime, please phone our office at 555-555-5555 and speak to a representative who can provide you more information or find the solution you need. We have additional information online at www.website.com/FAQ.”

4. Communicate the resolution. If you are able to resolve the issue to the satisfaction of the customer, ask them to submit a follow-up post. If the issue is still sensitive, and you are not comfortable asking the customer to follow up, leave the message alone. The trail of dialogue showing you addressed the issue and provided instructions to resolve it will suffice.

Lastly, if you absolutely feel you must respond publicly to an angry comment, consider this:

Vent your frustration, but post a response. Getting into online arguments never ends well.

Find a high (or higher) road. If the complaint is vile, do not lower yourself to the same level and use name calling and a derisive tone. If necessary, just agree to disagree.

Draft your response, but do not send. Sometimes it is best to type your message, but put it in “DRAFTS” while you cool off. Have a trusted colleague read it as well, as they will have a more objective view.

And if you need more convincing of the importance and impact of a response, consider the epic social media meltdown of Amy’s Baking Company, which occurred after the equally epic meltdown on the season finale of Gordon Ramsey’s Kitchen Nightmare in 2013. After taking to social media to deride those that were posting complaints, the company started receiving death threats and eventually lost more than 50,000 Facebook likes.

On the other end of the spectrum, consider the much more profound response by Liberty Bottleworks’ COO to a raging client who posted an angry rant on its Facebook account. The response went viral, presenting the company in a very positive light and leading to thousands of new supporters and, more importantly, sales.

Responding to social-media complaints is absolutely critical for a business. Just make sure you put much more effort into your response than the individual who posted the complaint.

Do you have any experience dealing with social-media complaints, good or bad? Please share with others below.

Related: How To Convince Your Prospects to Buy and Win Them Over?

http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/237196

How to Use LinkedIn to Build Your Business?

7 Tips to Using LinkedIn for Business

Viewed mostly as a social network for job seekers, LinkedIn is ideal for home business owners as well. But many home-based entrepreneurs and freelancers don’t use or maximize LinkedIn and all it’s great features. With over 250 million users, LinkedIn is a must for home business owners.  Here are tips to maximize LinkedIn to build your business.

how to use linkedin to build your business

1) Complete your personal profile. On LinkedIn, the power is the quality of connections, not the quantity. Incomplete profiles, especially those without pictures are viewed as unprofessional. LinkedIn walks you through the process of adding information in all the important areas making it easy to create a complete profile. Use a professional or high quality photo, as people are less likely to connect if there is no picture of you. Use keywords and content that will attract your target market in your summary, experience and other sections of the LinkedIn profile. Request a personalized URL that uses your name.

2) Create a company page.  This is slightly different than a profile, but it’s a great way to focus on your company and have people “follow” it. Like a profile, you want to complete all the information, including a logo and keyword targeted content about your business.

3) Ask for recommendations. Testimonials can significantly improve your business growth. They instill confidence in prospective clients and customers making them more willing to hire or buy from you. While you can get testimonials for your website, also ask for recommendations from clients or customers at LinkedIn.

Related posts: How To Use LinkedIn To Promote Your Business?

4) Share business news. Are you launching a new product or service? Will you be hosting an event? People like to work with businesses they feel connected to, and one way to help them feel connected is by sharing news and inside information.

5) Be active. Social media can be overwhelming. There are so many sites you can join, all of which require active participation. In many cases, some social media profiles end up not getting the attention they deserve. But a dormant social media page is worse than no social media page at all. Tools such as Hootsuite can help you post blog or other content to LinkedIn as well as other social media sites. However, LinkedIn is much different that other networks. You don’t post what you had for breakfast (unless it was with a powerhouse like Bill Gates) or cat pictures. LinkedIn is a professional network. Post news and information about your business and industry trends.

6) Engage with others. Too many people are self-centered with their social media forgetting the part that it’s supposed to be social. Social media works, but only if done right. Along with posting your own content, you need to reach out and engage with others. Check your news feed and like or comment on what your connections are posting. Participate in groups where you can connect with potential customers or others who can help you make good connections. Recommend businesses that you’ve worked with and can say positive things about. Endorse your connections for their talents. The more you reach out and help others, the more they’ll reach out and help you.

7) Assess results. I know business professionals who created a website and did social media, but ultimately they gave up because they said it didn’t work. But social media does work. If it’s not working for you, then you’re not doing it right. Tracking what’s going on with your LinkedIn profile will give clues as to what you need to do. Are people being able to find you? If not, maybe you need to relook at the keywords you’re using and better optimize your profile. Are people liking or commenting on your posts? If not, you need to create more engaging posts. You can do that by asking questions or for feedback. For example, don’t just share a link to your most recent blog post. Instead, share the link and ask people to respond. Finally, are you getting good quality connections? If not, improve your engagement and seek out better people.

Related posts: How To Use LinkedIn To Promote Your Business?

Source: http://homebusiness.about.com/od/Home_Business_Toolbox/fl/How-to-Use-Linkin-to-Build-Your-Home-Business.htm

How To Use LinkedIn To Promote Your Business?

LinkedIn can be a great way to promote your home business. Here are a few reasons why:

  • LinkedIn is a network with 65 million business professionals around the world.
  • The average LinkedIn member has an average annual household income of $109,000.
  • One person creates a LinkedIn login every second.
  • Nearly 50% of LinkedIn members have decision-making authority for their companies.

It’s easy to see why LinkedIn is considered the world’s largest audience of influential, affluent professionals in one place. Like other forms of Internet marketing, marketing a small or home business on LinkedIn is relatively inexpensive and provides a lot of bang for the buck. If that’s the market you are trying to reach, you need to get in the game.

how to use linkedin to promote your business

Getting Started with LinkedIn Marketing

In order to get started with marketing your business on LinkedIn, you’ll need to:

  • Understand how LinkedIn works.
  • Create a LinkedIn login, if you’re not already a member.
  • Create a great LinkedIn profile to put your best forward when people come to check you out.
  • Ideally, create a LinkedIn company page for your business. You’ll have the opportunity to do that as you are completing the resume section of your LinkedIn profile, and your company page will be automatically linked to from the resume in your profile.

With these LinkedIn basics in place you can get started on marketing yourself and your business to LinkedIn members.

Related posts: How To Use LinkedIn To Build Your Business?
 

Passive and Aggressive LinkedIn Marketing Methods

There are two main ways to dive into LinkedIn business promotion – using a passive approach or taking a more aggressive stance. Let’s explore both, but keep in mind that, like anything else, the more time and effort you put into your LinkedIn marketing efforts, the bigger the rewards.

Passive LinkedIn Marketing

Simply by creating a LinkedIn profile, building your connections and keeping your account updated, you can get the attention of potential clients and customers. The passive approach can pay off by:

  • Giving you exposure to people hunting for products or services. LinkedIn’s search features allow others to find you, and just like Google search, the use of LinkedIn search is an important, well-used feature of the network.
  • Getting you you introductions. Your LinkedIn business connections can give you an in with people and businesses you might not otherwise be able to reach.
  • Displaying your recommendations from others on LinkedIn. Recommendations are word-of-mouth testimonials to you and your business. They provide credibility that encourages people to do business with you.

Aggressive LinkedIn Marketing

LinkedIn does provide possibilities for more proactive marketing of your home business. To take full advantage of the possibilities the network has to offer consider:

  • Posting regular status updates. Talk about what you’re working on and who you’re working for. Include updates that would be of interest to your target customers and clients.
  • Active group participation. Join groups related to your business and your interests and participate in discussions there for increased exposure. Discussion participation can help establish you as an expert in your field. Don’t spam the groups as you’ll run the risk of getting tossed out. You’ll also tarnish the reputation of your business.
  • Send messages and invitations to those in your network and to other group members. Again, don’t be a spammer or a pest.
  • Try LinkedIn advertising. Paid advertising on LinkedIn is still a relative bargain. In fact, from time to time LinkedIn sends out offers for a free month of paid advertising. You may as well take advantage of it, try it out and see if it works for you.
  • Consider upgrading to a paid LinkedIn membership. This will give you additional contact options and other benefits that may be a good fit for what you’re trying to accomplish. Just click the Basic Account Upgrade link from the top left of any LinkedIn page after you’ve logged in to get more information on the benefits available exclusively to paid members. There are three levels of membership available, the first two fairly reasonable, the third quite expensive.

Adding LinkedIn to Your Marketing Strategy

Adding LinkedIn to your marketing strategy can be a great idea. If you have the time, you can learn to do everything yourself. If not, you might consider hiring a specialist or virtual assistant to handle some of the tasks for you. Admittedly, LinkedIn doesn’t work for every type of business, but it can work for most and should be given full consideration if you want your business to succeed and grow.

You may not see results at first, but as you build your network and become more active, you could find that marketing on LinkedIn is a very smart thing to do.

Related posts: How To Use LinkedIn To Build Your Business?

Source: http://homebusiness.about.com/od/socialmediamarketing/a/How-To-Use-Linkedin-for-Marketing.htm

How To Write Better Emails? (Infographic)

Emails are your window to the world these days, and so if your emails aren’t getting attention, then that probably means you aren’t, either.

Some of your first interactions with potential customers will start online, so be sure to have a respectable email address. It may seem like a no brainer, but plenty of business owners still rely on their personal email accounts to do business — and it doesn’t look good to the customer. Be sure to set up an email address with an ending (known as the “domain”) that matches your business name. One way to do that is with Google Apps for Business, according to this infographic compiled by the webmaster tool WhoIsHostingThis.com.

There are a couple of other tricks that will help get your email noticed. Keywords in the subject line are critical. More than a third of email recipients determine whether they should even open an email based on the subject line alone.

Finally, keep your emails short and to the point. The majority of emails are read on a mobile device, where screens are small. Keep your email to 150 words or about five sentences, max. (That’s shorter than this post.)

Take a look at the infographic below for more tips on how to improve your email life.

Related: Tips to Avoid Spam Filters and Increase Your E-mail Deliverability

How To Write Better Emails

Related: Tips to Avoid Spam Filters and Increase Your E-mail Deliverability

Source: http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/237292

How To Avoid Getting Ripped Off When Buying Solo Ads?

How To Avoid Getting Ripped Off When Buying Solo Ads?

If you’ve ever tried using solo ads before, I’d be willing to bet money you’ve had some bad experiences. Some solo ad seller told you how great his list was… maybe even showed you some screenshots of previous clients back office stats, and how many sales they’d got.

So you paid them a couple hundred bucks (or in some cases, a few thousand) and they sent out the email.

You got lots of clicks.  Maybe even lots of leads.

And now, weeks/months later, you still haven’t seen a penny.

Not a single sale.

How to avoid getting ripped off when buying solo ads?

A good indicator of a professional solo ad provider is in the follow-up. The top sellers will send you a screenshot when your solo is complete showing the statistics. Most will be helpful if you have questions regarding your campaign as well as offering advice on how you can improve your squeeze pages, sales funnel etc. The bad vendors normally fulfill the click order (sometimes you have to chase them) but unless you initiate contact you’ll never hear from them. And, the really bad providers won’t email your offer at all. So pay attention after your solo advertisement has been sent and see how they treat you.

The bad ones will do the following:

  • They don’t have sales page
  • They don’t have someone reputable to vouch for them
  • They don’t have testimonials
  • They do have testimonials, but it seems fake
  • They offer ridiculously low price for their solo ad (like 0.20-0.25)
  • Overpromises (like “ultra super duper mega responsive high quality clicks”)
  • Send blind copy to their list to drive up the click-throughs for the buyer
  • Send deceptive ads to their list to ensure a higher click-through or sign-up rate
  • Send bot traffic to offer pages
  • Pay mturk peeps to subscribe to their customer’s lists.

Best case scenario they will send you legitimate but low quality traffic that is a waste of your money. Worst case scenario, well, they simply disappear with your money, leaving you bitter and frustrated.

Buying solo ads is one of the fastest and cheapest ways to get targeted traffic to your offer. Unfortunately there are many wannabes and scammers who will send you questionable traffic and run with your money. How to weed out bad solo ad providers and find reputable ones? Here’s how…

How To Avoid Getting Ripped Off When Buying Solo Ads?

1. Buy a small amount of clicks for test purpose. If you’re dealing with a solo provider for the first time, always opt for small amount of clicks like 50 or 100 clicks, for testing purposes. If the solo ad delivers good results, you can always buy bigger packages later on.

2. Ask lots of questions. Before buying a solo ad, contact the solo provider and ask them some questions, such as: How did you build your list? What kind of offer is suitable for your list? What is the percentage of tier 1 clicks can I expect if I buy from you? Do you have sales page? Do you have a testimonial or someone that can vouch for you?

3. Look for “Red Flags”. If it looks too good to be true, then it probably is. Use your gut instinct and don’t buy if you spot some of these bad signs from a solo ad provide.

4. Use a trusted solo ad marketplace. It can help you weed out bad solo provider and save you a tremendous amount of time.

Don’t forget to check reviews prior to purchasing any solo ads.

How To Get More Interaction on Google+ (Infographics)

How To Get More Interaction on Google+ (Infographics)

Of all the social media networks, Google+ seems to be the most perplexing for marketers.

Until recently, there weren’t many metrics that were available to understand how well one’s posts were performing. For many, it’s just a venue that’s kept up to date because it’s Google, and it can help with search rankings.

A new infographic from CircleCount aims to change how well marketers understand Google+ interactions.

“Using a dataset of 8,961,451 posts from nearly 10,000 profiles and pages, we found several ways to get more +1s, reshares and comments,” it reads.

Check out the full infographic below.

How To Get More Interaction On Google+

This story originally appeared on PR Daily

11 Ways To Create Content That Drives Traffic To Your Website

More likely than not coming up with ways of creating great content and driving traffic to your website is giving you a headache. There are, however, effective ways of coming up with a compelling content and getting traffic to your website. Here’s how…

1. Pick an attention-drawing headline. Headlines should captivate your readers’ attention as they are the first thing they see. Choosing the right headline will significantly increase the number of visitors on your website.

2. Write great, compelling content. Quality should be the first thing to consider as it guarantees better search results. Think about your readers’ needs, what would they like to read about? Create content that is not only helpful and useful but also originally written as copying and pasting content from another website will have you penalized. Do you really want to rank at the bottom of Google? Click here to find out how to create great content when you don’t have a clue? 

3.  Target a specific niche. Pick a niche by choosing the one that is of interest to you or do your own market research and identify the ones that have not been targeted yet. Turn that niche into your asset by becoming an expert in that field.

4. Create content that’s easy to share. Make sure your content is easy to share on social media and your readers will do the rest for you by spreading the word through Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms.

5. Article length should vary from short to long. Although the average suggested length is 1,600 words you should aim to have both long, elaborately written articles as well as a few short and to-the-point ones.

6. Be consistent and write at least six articles per week. Whether you decide to outsource article writing or write it yourself be sure to be consistent and your blog will be successful. Decide on your plan of action and stick to it. Add fresh content to it daily.

7. Use appropriate tags. Using appropriate tags, meta tags and description will be detrimental to how your articles show up in search results as it determines whether people find what they need on your website. Make sure you tag your articles and that your links are not broken. Use keywords effectively and submit a sitemap file to Google (search engine optimization comes in handy hereto help people find your website.

8. Create links to your website (backlinks). Link building or backlinking (creating links that point to your page from other pages) can give your site a great boost. As you create content this should happen naturally, however, you can speed up the process by trading links with other websites related to your niche, making quality posts on related forums and blogs as well as setting up an RSS feed.

9. Link to old posts on your own website. Link to related articles that you’ve already written as it helps new users find interesting articles in your archive, and will keep them on your site.

10. Organize your content into categories. A well-organized site is easier to navigate, increases readers’ satisfaction and ultimately leads to better retention. It also results in an increase of views of your older articles.

11. Give away freebies. Who doesn’t want free stuff?! Online freebies leave the visitor wanting more. Just make sure you give away well written and informative materials.

What are your proven strategies to create great compelling content and driving traffic to your website? Share your comments below.

Related posts: How To Drive Traffic To Your Website?