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Refer a Friend and Reap Rewards

By Tom Ruwitch | February 19, 2014

MarketVolt is a highly cost-effective tool for email marketing, delivering great return on investment. But did you know that you can reap even more financial rewards by referring us a new customer? Under MarketVolt’s Referral Policy, if you refer us someone…

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Great Email Tips from a MarketVolt Client

By Tom Ruwitch | February 18, 2014

At MarketVolt, we often get asked about improving subject lines. Can a subject line increase my open rate? The answer is yes, and the next question is how? Our friends at Geile/Leon marketing agency — who also happen to be…

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Who Says Email’s Impact Has Declined?

By Tom Ruwitch | February 5, 2014

Here’s one of the best articles I’ve read in months about email marketing. So many business people claim that email’s impact has declined, but this article puts that notion to rest. Among other nuggets in the article: 95 percent of…

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How 50 Strangers Became Prospects Without Me Calling or Meeting One of Them

By Tom Ruwitch | January 24, 2014

Earlier this week, an article featuring my recommendations for email marketing appeared in The Daily Egg, a popular blog that offers tips regarding online marketing — particularly conversion optimization, web design and copywriting. At the end of the article, the publisher included…

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Study Confirms It: Email Still Dominates

By Tom Ruwitch | January 21, 2014

Here’s a headline that caught my eye recently: Why Marketers Should Keep Sending You Email. The headline on the McKinsey&Company web site introduced a study that shows how effective email remains. The summary on the McKinsey site says, If you’re wondering why…

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Sending SPAM is Not Illegal, But That Doesn’t Make it OK

By Tom Ruwitch | January 8, 2014

A prospect of ours recently purchased a list of email addresses and asked whether he could upload the list into MarketVolt and start sending emails to the list. Our answer was “no.” With rare exceptions, we do not allow our…

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Plan to Appreciate Your Clients at Times Other than the Holiday Season

By Tom Ruwitch | January 7, 2014

Holiday time is thank you time in the business world. My desk has a stack of holiday thank you cards. Our lunch room still has some of chocolate covered pretzels, cheese popcorn, candied cherries, and other delectable thank you gifts…

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The Most Inauthentic Television Ad I’ve Ever Seen

By Tom Ruwitch | January 7, 2014

Preparing your taxes can be a joyous experience! (Stick with me here…) When you pay your taxes, you get to relive all the great things you did all year. You get to share your  life story — record the fact…

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Three New Year’s Resolutions for Better Email Marketing Results

By Tom Ruwitch | December 31, 2013

In many ways, the key to success in email marketing is to strike a critical balance. The simple fact is that in the modern era, technology gives us tremendous power to do many things. To go to extremes, consider the…

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Five Best Practices for Email Marketing

By Tom Ruwitch | December 5, 2013

Email marketing remains among the most effective tools to engage followers, identify your best prospects, and close sales. But there’s a right way and a wrong way to conduct email marketing campaigns. If you want to maximize the return on…

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Publish Your Emails to the Web

By Tom Ruwitch | November 12, 2013

If you have an email marketing program, you should post most (if not all) of your emails to the web. Here are three reasons why: Social Media Sharing: By archiving emails with a unique URL, you make it easy for people…

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Don’t Wait Until Your List is "Big Enough"

By Tom Ruwitch | October 14, 2013

I commonly hear this objection from business people considering email marketing: “I would like to get started with email marketing but my email list is not big enough.” I call this the “small list myth.” The reality: A business can…

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How The "Inbound vs. Outbound" Myth Can Hurt Your Business

By Tom Ruwitch | October 5, 2013

I met recently with a friend and small business owner who wants to increase sales and profits. When I suggested email marketing, he said, “I don’t want to do outbound marketing. I want to do inbound marketing.” I asked him…

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Hey, My Name is Not "Blank"

By Tom Ruwitch | September 26, 2013

Have you ever received one of those “personalized” emails that starts with “Dear…” and then follows with a blank space? Oops. I guess they didn’t have your first name in the database. Personalized salutations can make an email more engaging,…

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MarketVolt Expanding

By Tom Ruwitch | September 16, 2013

MarketVolt, LLC, a provider of email marketing software and services, has hired Cara Owings as an account executive in Columbia and the central Missouri region. MarketVolt, based in St. Louis, provides easy-to-use email marketing software to help businesses grow and…

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Don’t Put "Greedy" Signup Forms on Your Web Site

By Tom Ruwitch | September 9, 2013

When it comes to email signup forms, less is more. The less information you request from a web site visitors, the more likely they are to sign up. If you get greedy and ask for too much information, potential registrants will turn…

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Direct Mail and Email Lessons from a Local Roofer

By Tom Ruwitch | August 20, 2013

I hear a lot of misinformed people dismiss direct postal mail as an obsolete marketing technique. “Direct mail is dead,” pronounce the naysayers, as they trumpet newer, interactive media. I founded an email marketing firm so, of course, I champion…

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Email Power

By Tom Ruwitch | July 24, 2013

Is Twitter on top of the heap? Or is Facebook king of the mountain? Yes, social media is all the rage, and MarketVolt believes that many firms should have marketing strategies that include social media. But the simple fact is…

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MarketVolt Energergizes with New Investment

By Tom Ruwitch | May 21, 2013

We are pleased to announce that MarketVolt has successfully completed a round of private capital investment. This is exciting news because it paves the way for us to grow as a company, enhance our email software and add new service…

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How Exclusive Content Strengthens Engagement and Leads to Sales

By Tom Ruwitch | April 18, 2013

One of the best ways to engage your email subscribers is to give them content that they will get only in their inbox. By offering email-only exclusives, you give subscribers a reason to remain on your list, anticipate future emails,…

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Five Proven Techniques to Build Your Email List

By Tom Ruwitch | April 16, 2013

Your best prospects are those who want to hear from you – those who ask you to receive your emails. You will sell more if you are an “invited guest,” not an unwanted pest. The good news: it’s easier than…

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A Business Card is Not a License to Send Unwanted Emails

By Tom Ruwitch | February 14, 2013

At a trade show last month, I dropped my card in the fishbowl at a vendor’s booth to enter a sweepstakes. I never received an email telling me whether I won the free tablet computer. But a few weeks later…

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We All Sell the Same Things: Fulfillment and Relief

By Tom Ruwitch | January 18, 2013

What does the language learning company Rosetta Stone sell? This is not a trick question. Of course, Rosetta Stone delivers language learning programs to its clients. But those programs are not what Rosetta Stone sells. Yes, I meant what I…

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Stick with Email, not Social Media Only, in Your Marketing Plan

By Tom Ruwitch | December 22, 2012

A few weeks a client was debating whether to continue his email marketing program or shift his efforts to social media. My client is not alone. Many businesses struggle with where to focus their marketing efforts. Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and…

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The Spam Folder is Not An Email Graveyard

By Tom Ruwitch | November 14, 2012

I check the spam folder in my email software regularly because I always find something in there that I want to read. No, I’m not a glutton for punishment; I’m not interested in reading junk mail for fake Rolex watches or…

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Comment Spam is an Ill-Advised Shortcut

By Tom Ruwitch | October 12, 2012

Earlier this week, I wrote a blog post about the importance of listening to prospects before you pitch particular solutions to them. A few hours after publishing the post, someone submitted a comment:  “Thanks for the insight in dealing with…

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Don’t Cover Your Ears When Engaging Prospects

By Tom Ruwitch | October 11, 2012

Every time a business approaches us for a web site project, we interview the prospect and ask the prospect to complete a lengthy questionnaire. Some balk at the request, but we explain that we do this for two reasons: By…

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Why "Collect and Call" Doesn’t Work with Trade Shows

By Tom Ruwitch | October 8, 2012

Trade shows can be great for connecting with new leads, nurturing existing relationships, and even closing sales. But too often, I see businesses mishandling the opportunity. Case in point: A few months ago, I received a call from someone who…

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The First-Time Customer Has Redeemed Your Offer. Now What?

By Tom Ruwitch | October 3, 2012

I recently redeemed a daily deal coupon at a restaurant. I paid $20 for $40 worth of food. The restaurant and the coupon vendor split the $20 I paid, meaning the restaurant collected $10 on a $40 bill. The restaurant…

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Make Your Site Mobile-Friendly Or Else…

By Tom Ruwitch | October 2, 2012

When someone visits this blog on a mobile device, they see something much different than they see on a desktop computer. The site shrinks to fit the smaller screen. The menus appear as a simple dropdown list, rather than spreading…

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What My Stinking TV Remote Reminds Me About Marketing

By Tom Ruwitch | September 28, 2012

My television remote control got the better of me last night. Can you relate? I wanted to change the channel on my satellite system. To do so, you must first push the tiny “SAT” button at the top of the…

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Defeat Doom: Emphasize Email

By Tom Ruwitch | September 26, 2012

Publishing a blog is one of the best ways for any business to attract a following, build relationships and trust, and ultimately sell more. Darren Rowse’s ProBlogger is one of the best resources for anyone who wants to blog better.…

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Anatomy of Great Blog Post

By Tom Ruwitch | September 19, 2012

My buddy Russ Henneberry is a great blogger. And, oh by the way, he’s an outstanding marketing strategist. A few minutes ago, I received an email from Russ with a link to his latest post. Here’s that link: https://www.tinyandmighty.com/desire-paths After…

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How an Email Newsletter Helped Me Choose a Vacation Destination

By Tom Ruwitch | August 1, 2012

Earlier this summer, I was planning a canoe trip for my son and me. I called an outfitter in Minnesota and spoke to the owner about options. As the call concluded, I said, “Can you email a brochure or any…

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How to Use Email to Ensure You’ll Be A Welcome Guest When You Call

By Tom Ruwitch | July 1, 2012

When I was in college, I worked as an intern at benefits management firm. On day one, my supervisor led me to my desk, handed me a script and a Rolodex with about 2,000 leads, pointed at the telephone, and…

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Lessons From a Humiliated Film-Maker: Why Video Works

By Tom Ruwitch | May 20, 2012

When I was 15, my friends and I spent one Saturday making a movie. We wrote a script in the morning, drove to Forest Park around noon, shot scenes until sunset, and watched it after dinner. It was awful. Embarrassing.…

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In Groundhog Day, a pushy salesman pitches several schemes to Bill Murray. We all have the potential to be Ned.

Sales Lessons From One of My Favorite Movies

By Tom Ruwitch | April 12, 2012

When I meet an obnoxious, pushy salesperson, I call that person a “Ned.” That’s a reference to Ned Ryerson – the insurance salesman who went to high school with Bill Murray’s character, Phil Connors, in “Groundhog Day.” Ned and Phil…

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Make sure you appreciate your clients and tell them often. Use personalized salutations and more.

Marketing Lessons from Albert Pujols and the Girl Who Dumped Me

By Tom Ruwitch | February 16, 2012

Albert Pujols reminds me of my ninth-grade girlfriend, Susie Wallace. Susie and I had just finished a slow dance at the mixer when she broke the news: She was dumping me for Stevie O’Shea. “Why?” I asked. “Because he appreciates…

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A woman passes along a business card to a potential business connection

Make Your Web Site a List-Building Machine

By Tom Ruwitch | December 14, 2011

Imagine a prospect walks into your place of business and offers you a card. “I’m not ready to buy, but I’d be happy to receive more information about special offers, new products, or other news. Here’s my contact information,” the…

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Happy clients are sure to pass on the word that your business is helpful. Treat them right.

Ask Happy Clients to Spread the Love. You’ll Sell More

By Tom Ruwitch | November 14, 2011

I recently met a business consultant who includes a stack of recommendation letters from happy clients with every proposal he writes. Over the top? Perhaps. But this guy has the right idea. Recommendations influence buying decisions. You have happy clients.…

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Free Lunch isn't the best idea for marketing your business

Don’t Go For the Free Lunch to Market Your Business

By Tom Ruwitch | August 30, 2011

I recently met a small business owner who proudly described his marketing strategy to me: “I’m focusing entirely on social media because it’s free.” “What do you mean by free?” I asked. “Well…” he said, “I don’t have to pay…

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A woman looks in exasperation at a screen following a failed email marketing campaign

Nine Reasons to Invest in an Email Service Provider

By Tom Ruwitch | August 16, 2011

We hear from many small business people who want to save a few bucks on their email marketing program and do it without a paid service. They say, “I can do the same thing you offer by creating and sending…

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Torn Between Two Lovers is a classic album that touches on love's woes

Pity the Foolish Marketer Who Commits to Just One Lover

By Tom Ruwitch | August 13, 2011

While eating breakfast this morning, I was browsing through my online news reader on my computer when I came across the following headline: “Among Affluent Americans, Print Media Is Tops; Death of Traditional Outlets Has Been Greatly Exaggerated” Print is…

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A read more button

Design Tip: Be Careful About Using Graphics for "Read More" Links

By Tom Ruwitch | July 29, 2011

A few months ago, I wrote a post recommending against image-only emails because many email clients hide images by default. Today, I received an email that reminded me the hidden image problem can bite you even if your email is…

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The Go Giver book is an influential piece of writing for individuals looking to learn more about content strategy

A "Go-Giver’s" Guide to Content Strategy

By Tom Ruwitch | July 27, 2011

Guest Blog Post by Dixie Gillaspie I used to do this little mental two step every time I sat down to craft a newsletter: One Step Forward – I have some awesome information to share (write article) Two Step Forward…

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An open letter for email marketing channels

Twenty-Five Percent Open Rate? Don’t Worry. Be Happy.

By Tom Ruwitch | May 5, 2011

I replied by asking how much his email program cost. Counting software fees and personnel costs, the company invests around $100 per month, he replied. “If just one of your recipients responded to your offer, how much revenue would you…

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Experts4Entrepreneurs is one of MarketVolt's many e marketing clients seeking help with their email campaigns

Video Quick Tip: Link-Tracking to Find True Prospects

By Tom Ruwitch | April 14, 2011

Imagine walking into a networking event with 1,000 people in the room. All of a sudden, the sea parts. And on one side of the room, you see 500 people who have absolutely no interest in what you sell and…

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Hootsuite is a fantastic resource for successful social media marketing strategy

Five Reasons to Use HootSuite

By Tom Ruwitch | April 12, 2011

If you’re launching a social media program that includes twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook (among others), you should consider a social media dashboard application to help you manage the effort. There are many available, including TweetDeck, Seesmic, and HootSuite. I prefer…

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Tom Ruwitch featured on talk show discussing the Do's and Don'ts of email marketing

Video Reveals the Dos and Don’ts of Email Marketing

By Tom Ruwitch | March 30, 2011

What is the biggest mistake that email marketers can make? How can segmenting and follow-up help you achieve your business goals? What is “Brussels Sprouts Marketing?” and why should you NOT do it? MarketVolt’s Tom Ruwitch answers this and many…

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Understanding your unique selling proposition can impact your e marketing campaign

Develop Content that Reflects the Benefits Your Business Delivers

By Tom Ruwitch | March 9, 2011

I have a new client who wants to launch an email marketing campaign. When I asked what business he is in, he said, “We sell telephone equipment and services.” I offered a gentle correction. “Your business is to help clients…

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A list of assets in a successful email marketing campaign

Your Lists Are Assets, But Only If…

By Tom Ruwitch | February 20, 2011

If you want to sell your business, one of the questions your suitor will undoubtedly ask is: What is the size and quality of your “list?” The buyer is not asking about your grocery list here, they want to know…

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An example of images not displayed graphic on an email newsletter

Don’t Create Image-Only Emails

By Tom Ruwitch | February 3, 2011

Check out the email I received earlier today (this is how it looked in my Gmail inbox): Not much to see, is it? The business that sent this email made a classic mistake. It created its email with images only.…

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Than you, please come again graphic

How to Build a Long- Lasting Relationship with First-Timers

By Tom Ruwitch | February 1, 2011

In a previous post, I applauded online coupon vendors that deliver a flood of new customers to you. But after the first-time customer redeems the coupon, then what? Your challenge is to maximize the lifetime value of customer relationships. These…

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For many nonprofits, there is no opportunity to hit delete after sending out a flawed email

Nonprofits Need to Separate Prospects from Suspects Before Pressing “Send”

By Tom Ruwitch | January 15, 2011

My 23-year-old cousin received an email from a non-profit last month, promoting the organization’s new planned giving web site and inviting him to register for a free webinar about the topic. After opting-out from the non-profit’s mailing list, my cousin…

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Hot Sauce uses MarketVolt technology to host their email marketing campaigns, shown is their logo

Online Coupons are Great, But Then What?

By Tom Ruwitch | January 5, 2011

A confession: I’m a Hot Sauce junky. I’m not talking about the peppery extract you sprinkle on food. I’m talking the online coupon vendor that delivers daily deals from local businesses. Every morning, I dash to my computer and check…

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Tiny business, mighty profits radio person

Tom Ruwitch Featured on Tiny Business, Mighty Profits

By Tom Ruwitch | January 3, 2011

Our friend Russ Henneberry has a great blog called Tiny Business, Mighty Profits. I was honored to have Russ invite me to be intereviewed on his internet radio show that he includes on the blog. In the 40-minute discussion, archived…

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A cartoon man offering up flowers to potential e marketing prospects and clients

Marketing to the Maybes – How Non-Profits Should Court Prospects

By Tom Ruwitch | December 27, 2010

Imagine you’re single, looking for a new long-term relationship. You enter a room full of strangers and see someone whom you find attractive. You walk over, introduce yourself, and converse. You deliver some of your best material—funny anecdotes about yourself,…

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A selection of potential email marketing suspects

Find the Real Prospects in Your Database

By Tom Ruwitch | November 4, 2010

Does your business have strategies and tactics to separate prospects from suspects? We all have databases full of people we call “leads” and “prospects.” But if we don’t plan to weed out the bad ones before we identify and cultivate…

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A man reaches a fork in the road

Navigating Your Way to A User-Friendly Web Site

By Tom Ruwitch | September 4, 2010

Is your web site easy to navigate? If visitors can’t navigate your site quickly and easily, they’ll flee. When we build sites, we ask our clients to imagine their clients’ agendas. What are visitors expecting to do when on your…

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Habitat for Humanity St. Louis uses MarketVolt technology to guide their successful email marketing campaigns

Hooray for Habitat for Humanity – Great Email Marketing

By Tom Ruwitch | August 9, 2010

I just plowed through my inbox after an afternoon of meetings and came across the monthly email newsletter from Habitat for Humanity St. Louis, one of our long-time clients. I had to put aside what I was doing to write…

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A cartoon illustrating a businessman proclaiming he came to fish for more customers

Read this only if you want to be a better marketer

By Tom Ruwitch | August 5, 2010

The following is a special invitation from my friend Skip Bryan. Skip and his partner Bill Hebert are two of the best marketers I know. They run St. Louis Marketing Experts (GKIC – St. Louis). They’ve invited me to speak…

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A stack of special reports from MarketVolt

Building a Web Site with Purpose

By Tom Ruwitch | August 3, 2010

What is the purpose of your website? Really, do you know? Too many businesses build websites without a clear idea of their purpose. Of course, the answers may vary, but every website should, at the very least, do this: capture…

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A seal of approval

Testimonial Tips to Grow Your Business

By Tom Ruwitch | July 16, 2010

Have you asked happy clients for testimonials in the past three months? Do you publish testimonials in all of your marketing material? If you answered no to either of these questions, you have some work to do. Testimonials sell. Every…

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A man proclaiming "please come back" to lost customers (or love, for that matter)

Marketing Lessons from the Jackson 5

By Tom Ruwitch | July 13, 2010

Remember the Jackson 5 hit “I Want You Back?” Michael and his brothers sing, “Oh baby give me one more chance (show you that I love you). Won’t you please let me (back in your heart)?” You should add this…

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Twitter and Facebook logos next to a letter

Lessons Learned from a Twitter Naysayer

By Tom Ruwitch | March 2, 2010

John Reese, one of the world’s top internet marketers, quit twitter yesterday.  He left behind 25,000 followers! In a note to his email list, Reese said, “About a year ago, I really loved Twitter.  It was a lot of fun…

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An example of a Super Bowl ad that had immense marketing power

What Can You Learn From The Best Super Bowl Ad that Didn’t Make the "Best of…" Lists?

By Tom Ruwitch | February 10, 2010

While Snickers, Doritos, Go Daddy, Budweiser and the other usual suspects get props for their entertaining Super Bowl ads, I award my top prize to an ad that few are discussing: Honda’s “Everybody Knows Somebody…” In case you missed it: …

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Tom Ruwitch speaks on the importance of strategy in successful email marketing campaigns and more

Join The Video Revolution

By Tom Ruwitch | December 23, 2009

Have you seen the cool video on my web site about internet marketing? If not, you can watch it at www.marketvolt.com/video. Many people who read that opening paragraph will follow my suggestion and watch the video. In fact, some who…

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A man sits in frustration after struggling to do an email campaign by himself

Three Tips to Make Your Copy Less Boring and More Persuasive

By Tom Ruwitch | December 16, 2009

Clients ask me all the time how they can improve the performance of their email marketing campaigns. Nine times out of 10, their writing needs to improve. If you fill your emails with boring, unpersuasive copy, you will have bored,…

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An image of a letter. Successful email newsletters start with MarketVolt's strategy and free customer care

Secrets To Create Successful Email Newsletters

By Tom Ruwitch | October 9, 2009

Raise your hand if your company has an email newsletter that is more boring than the St. Louis Rams’ offense?  Raise your hand if your company’s email newsletter seems like an aimless collection of information snippets and meaningless factoids. Raise…

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The Wisdom of Yogi: Segment to Sell

By Tom Ruwitch | June 30, 2009

Yogi Berra once said, “If people don’t want to come to the ballpark, how are you gonna stop them?” I love that quote, and I think about it often as I work with clients on their marketing campaigns. In his…

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Focus On List-Building To Strengthen Your Greatest Asset

By Tom Ruwitch | June 30, 2009

A friend of mine recently was on the verge of selling his small business, but the deal collapsed. The business was profitable and growing, and the prospective buyer liked the numbers. But the deal tanked when the prospect asked to see the customer list. When my friend replied that he had not been collecting emails and other contact information from most of his customers and prospects, the prospective buyer bolted.

The prospect knew that a business is only as good as its list. Sure, your business may be making money and even growing. But you limit your potential to grow your business if you do not have a good, clean, homegrown list of prospects, customers, and former customers.

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Integrating social media into your e marketing strategy is imperative

More Lessons From The Pizza Parlor: The Power of Social Media

By Tom Ruwitch | June 9, 2009

The following article appeared in the May 2009 issue of St. Louis Small Business Monthly By Tom Ruwitch Last month, I wrote about Domino’s and how it cornered the pizza delivery business with its outstanding unique selling proposition (if you…

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Establishing a solid email signature is imperative for a successful email marketing campaign

Email Signatures Can Generate Leads

By Tom Ruwitch | May 7, 2009

Do you have an email signature? If you’re like most people, you may have one that lists your name and basic contact information, but you most likely don’t see it as a marketing opportunity.

You should think of your email signature as an opportunity to promote your business and capture leads.

Here’s the signature I use for people who are not already MarketVolt clients:

p.s. Get Free E-Mail Marketing Tips:
“10 Secrets to Write Email Subject Lines that Sell”

https://www.marketvolt.com/SubjectlineTips

p.p.s. Please check out my twitter feed — https://twitter.com/marketvolt.
Daily interactive marketing tips and other ideas and observations to help you grow your business.

(My contact info follows the p.s. and p.p.s)

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Understanding your unique selling proposition can impact your e marketing campaign

Marketing Tips from the Pizza Parlor

By Tom Ruwitch | May 4, 2009

When I was a teen, I loved to order Domino’s pizza. I would call the neighborhood shop, order my favorite (a small pepperoni), note the time of my order on a slip of paper, and then wait with breathless anticipation.

My excitement had little to do with the quality of the pizza. In fact, there were plenty of other pizza joints in town that, in my opinion, delivered better pies.

Why did I choose Domino’s over all of the other pizza places?

I chose Domino’s because it offered me something no other restaurant would: “Fresh hot pizza delivered to (my) door in 30 minutes or less…or it’s free.”

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Email marketing requires knowledge of IP addresses. For some St. Louis marketing firms, this can prove challenging.

The Hidden Risk of Hosting Your Email Broadcasts

By Tom Ruwitch | May 4, 2009

I recently got a call from a former prospect who is president of a company here in St. Louis. To save money, he chose not to work with MarketVolt, and instead installed a free email marketing application on his company’s servers. After a few months of sending email newsletters to a list of people who all had opted in, he began to notice a problem:

A certain internet service provider — a big one that serves many of the people on his list — was blocking delivery of the email newsletter. But worse yet, that internet service provider was blocking all emails sent from the company’s network.

Not only were the newsletters being blocked, but emails from the company president to individuals who host their email boxes with that internet service provider.

“What can I do?” he asked me.

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A cartoon man offering up flowers to potential e marketing prospects and clients

Court The Maybes To Increase Sales

By Tom Ruwitch | April 28, 2009

As I drove to my office this morning, I heard a radio advertisement for a local technology firm (let’s call it Acme Technologies) that sells a service I might need. At the end of the ad, the spokesman recited the firm’s toll-free telephone number and said, “Call today to get started.”

“I’m not ready to get started,” I thought. “I may be interested soon, but not today.”

I didn’t call. In a few weeks, if I’m more ready to buy, I may remember the ad and may call the firm. Meanwhile, Acme has no idea I exist and no way to court me further.

Thousands of people heard that ad. Most are like me. We are the maybes. Marketers frequently ignore us.

If you want to sell more, you must court the maybes.

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