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Marketing Lessons from “Two Young Men”

A friend recently told me he skipped his high school reunion because he’s between jobs. He didn’t want to face his classmates while down on his luck. I get it. He dreaded that “what are you up to?” conversation. He didn’t want to tell his story of dreams deferred. He wanted to be the envied…

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“Negative” Marketing Can Have Positive Results

Dials to switch from negative mode to positive mode

Do you occasionally worry that your “negative” marketing messages will reflect badly on your business? I have a friend who asked me to fix a marketing flyer that, she thought, was too “negative.” “I don’t want to be a fear-monger,” she said. The flyer said her recruiting business “takes the headache out of finding the…

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Wield Your Power of Persuasion Responsibly


Last week, I watched (for the zillionth time) the Spider-Man movie (2002 with Tobey McGuire) in which Peter Parker’s Uncle Ben says, “Remember, with great power comes great responsibility.” That idea became a guiding principle for Peter/Spidey. Too bad so many marketers don’t take that idea to heart. Those of us who market businesses have…

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If You Want Referrals, Just Ask

Referral Network

I know a financial adviser who complains that his clients don’t refer enough business to him. He has relied on referrals to grow his business. But lately, clients aren’t helping. He hosts a lot of events for his clients, and he hopes they’ll bring friends. His event invitations include little hints to encourage his clients,…

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Content is More Important than Video Quality

I recently shot a quick-tip video that (I think) has some good marketing advice. I propped my phone over my computer monitor. Shot the 2:30 second video. I saved the video to my YouTube channel. And then linked to it in this email. The entire process took less than five minutes and cost me $0. Why’d…

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In Marketing, Context is King

Ads on a Bulletin Boards

Is leaflet marketing effective? That’s the question a guy on one of my favorite marketing forums asked recently. The conversation that followed was chock full of marketing lessons Responses ranged from rude to right-on. This response is rude: “Leaflets are good for starting fires in my wood stove.” That’s not helpful. And it’s misleading. This…

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Beware of Misleading Stats

MarketVolt Marketing Tip: Beware of Misleading Stats

I recently saw a fancy infographic full of stats about email marketing. It made my head spin. Under the heading “Email Marketing ROI,” the graphic declared, “Every $1 spent on email marketing generates $38 in revenue.” Wow! That’s pretty good. But wait… Underneath that, was this claim: “Email marketing ROI is 28.5% compared to only…

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How Do You Know When the Price is Right?

Knowing what price is best for your email marketing campaign can change things – here's a photo of a hand with a scale representing value and price.

While visiting an online forum for marketers, I came across the following: “I am working on a marketing concept where I will be able to reach directly 20,000 people (mainly young adults and students) in a period of a month … How much is a company willing to pay for marketing with these figures?” One…

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Doublespeak Makes Prospects Sick

A silhouette of a man with two speech bubbles represents doublespeak, which can be confusing for everyone involved in a marketing deal.

I received a spam message last month from a guy who was selling exposure on his website. He told me he wanted to publish a “feature story” about my company. He added, “There is a symbolic fee for this.” A symbolic fee?! “What’s a ‘symbolic fee’?” I wrote. His reply: “It’s $85. Looking forward to…

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