email marketing Archives - Sandi Krakowski, The Small Business Mentor

The Legal Side Of Copywriting, Marketing, Email Marketing and More

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The Legal Side Of Writing (AND Teaching) For Your Business
By: Sandi Krakowski

When I began my first business it was important to understand trademarked names, phrases and logos. We had over 400 kitchenware products we were drop shipping and while most vendors and dealers gave us unlimited permission to use the graphics and images in our online and printed catalog, some required that we only use 2-3 images at the most. This occurred when a vendor also sold the product we purchased from them for resale on their own company websites or catalogs. Limited use is the phrase for only permitting someone to use images and descriptions in a limited way. 
Many times I used the phrase, “The Art Of Bread Rising” in my marketing and was advised several times to have this trademarked or copyrighted. We never did and I honestly didn’t care who used it. No one could compete with me and how we did business anyways. That isn’t an arrogant statement it’s just that people are loyal to people in business, and the way I ran my eCommerce stores was very unique. 
So where do you draw the line between what you should protect, what you can’t use that belongs to someone else and the wide range of imaginary protection some companies use that aren’t even legal in the first place (like over-inflated non-compete contracts)?
When it comes to trademarked names, phrases and images it’s a good idea to check the Trademark Database. Here’s an example- a picture of a bull wouldn’t be copyrighted or trademarked, that would be foolish. Using a photo of a bull is too common. But a picture of a bull with a line through it and the words, ” No Bull” are a trademarked image used by the legends in Direct Response Marketing and Copywriting, Dan Kennedy and Bill Glazer. 
Trademarks aren’t hard to find and sometimes you can even ask for permission to use something and it’s no big deal. You might stumble upon a JV deal or affiliate product you want to add to your marketing, and the vendor or product creator will gladly give you usage.
When you do catalogs online or offline, ask for the images directly from your vendor. Even when you do JV deals, promote a book or a product from someone else, just ask for the images you can use. That’s easy to do. People are happy to provide them and respect the integrity it takes to ask.
The legalities of copywriting and writing ad copy is pretty significant. 
I surely don’t want you to turn into a paranoid writer but be mindful of these rules.   You can get a good overview of what they are here from The American Writers And Artists Inc.  This book shares what you can and can’t say in copy and how to be wise.  However, If you aren’t looking to make 6-7 figures AS a copywriter I don’t think you need this book. 
LISTEN UP, though…… if you are selling weight loss products, for example, you might find it important to note that in this book you’ll see that outrageous claims, misuse of testimonials and stating things that can’t be scientifically proven could fry your butt (and your company!) in the long run.
I worked with a company years ago that had one of the best products on the market. 
This product literally flew off our shelves. Branding happened almost instantly because of the results people got. Then they made some foolish mistakes and didn’t watch what people were saying. When you called their corporate office to order a bottle of the amazing liquid supplement you heard story after story of miraculous events occurring because of the ingestion of said product. This went BEYOND just testimonials and now they were advertising health claims, miracles and more.
Don’t get me wrong, I do believe many natural products can heal the body. I take several every single day. But to make a claim that something cures cancer, kills cancer cells, makes every single person who takes it drop 5 dress sizes in 24 hours is just not a good thing to do. Not to mention it breaks a very big copywriting rule that will ruin your conversions- it’s UNBELIEVABLE! Just because something is fantastic doesn’t mean the average person will want to buy it. Keep it relatable, easy to use and you’ll see more sales. No exaggerations needed!
Legal rules in the marketing of nutritional supplements is important to understand. Easy remedy- listen to what your company supplier tells you if you are in direct sales and honor those recommendations. They have a lot more at stake than you do. But pay attention when someone goes off the deep end! The company we worked with mentioned above went out of business with a $ 3 million dollar lawsuit and an FTC fine. Yikes! 
Back to trademarks….. I’ve often heard it’s better to ask for forgiveness later than to seek permission from the get go. Whoever came up with that statement was a nut! ASK permission and avoid a law suit. 
Don’t copy what others do.
Just because someone else was very successful using a phrase or word in their copy doesn’t mean you can copy and paste it into your campaign. Especially if they used someone else’s trademarked product, slogan or graphics. 
In closing here are a few tips:
1.  Be careful you aren’t using someone else’s trademarked logo or graphic or phrase. But don’t be paranoid about this topic.
2.  Remember that original ideas might not always be the best thing to come up with. Most successful businesses are built on someone else’s idea that had a unique selling proposition attached to it.
3. Just because someone has a ton of contracts does not mean they are in control.
4. Build your business, fan the flame of creativity in everyone around you, and work together as a team to get the best results possible.
5. Don’t steal someone else’s trainings. Remember as well that when someone teaches a class and you take that lesson and teach it as your own, charging people to learn from you, not only is that copyright infringement, it’s a licensing violation and could end up costing you MILLIONS of dollars in fines. Teach your own classes, in your own way. Be brilliant and use the skills God gave you. No one gets ahead stealing. 
Don’t get into trouble with a trademark!
Kick your business into higher profits by being yourself in marketing, being creative and understanding good copy sells because the words trigger a buying response, not because someone else’s trademarked image (or content!) was used.  
With love,
Sandi Krakowski

P.S.   If YOU need some help in your business coming up with creative content that converts OR you want to build a career around managing other
people’s content as a social media manager, my class that is coming in May is almost sold out! Get a seat now before it’s too late! 🙂  (The one who delays
always stays. JUMP! Get a seat!) 



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How To Write Emails That Get Opened And Convert Sales!

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Email Marketing Strategies For Beginners

I’ve been writing emails since the early 90’s. My very first online company was built with nothing more than PPC ads and email marketing. So I learned very early on in my career, how to write emails that get opened and more than that, convert sales.

Ironically, I didn’t realize until many years later how unconventional my methods were. Major copywriters would ask me, “Who mentored you to write like that?” I would look like a deer in headlights as I thought back to the hundreds of email campaigns I wrote for my online kitchen store. No one mentored me. But I did a LOT of what I do today. I watched, listened and was very careful to not imitate what WASN’T working. You see, many small business owners believe that to be successful in email marketing, they have to learn how to be like someone else, preferably that marketer who has historic open rates. But the truth is, more than studying other marketers, methods and tactics, a great (and highly converting email campaign) will come from knowing your clients, more than anything else.

When I first started writing weekly email campaigns for my kitchenware store some 20 years ago, it was written in such a way that the customer felt like we were friends. My personal touch and conversational copy was very unconventional. In the day of SurLaTable and Cooking dot com dominating the airways in the online kitchen world, I was just a mom who was ‘selling stuff online’ from my kitchen table, who could write emails that moved hearts…. and money!

Here are a few of my BEST email marketing secrets that will increase your open rates, get people to read what you’ve written and raise your conversions. FAST.

  1. Use a subject line that looks like it is written to a friend. Occasionally, add an emoji and you’ll get more opened emails. DO NOT use a first name or last name in the subject line. No one gets emails from friends with their name in them, so don’t stick out like a sore thumb! You want to be perceived as a friend’s email. THIS IS what will get your email opened. If the subject line is, “Our best lawnmower now on sale through April 13th.”  VS  “What cha listening to on that riding mower?” you can see why the second one would get opened more. Another one in this niche might be, “OMG! My grass is so green you’d think it was fake! (but it’s not!) Can’t wait to tell you!” Write subject lines that look like they are from a friend. Even my team can’t tell if I’m sending a sales campaign or a personal email with many of my subject lines. The ones that get them every time are, “Got a minute?”  and “I had to tell yoU! :-)” (yes capitalize the U) and “When you’re free I gotta tell you something”.  Try these out on your next campaign. 
  2. When you write your next email campaign, think of one person and write it to them. Some of my students who are learning copy will take a friends photo and put it near their monitor. They’ll look at their friend as they write. Just because 12,390 people are going to get your email sales letter it doesn’t mean you have to sound like you’re writing to 12,000+ people! Conversational copy converts at a higher rate because the reader feels as if they are ‘the only one’. The “whats in it for me” is also very effective when your client feels like you wrote the email just for them. Think about one person as you’re writing and speak conversationally; just like you would across a table having coffee. Or sipping wine. Your open rates will go up and so will your click thrus! When you have a link that you want the person to click through on, don’t say, “CLICK HERE NOW!” Instead be more personal, say something like “Here’s the info I promised” or “Let’s GO!” Small changes like this will make a big difference! (and use CAPS very very sparingly!) 
  3. Use red like lipstick and yellow needs to be used even less! Internet marketing years ago created a ‘template’ of sorts where people would use red and yellow at the top of every sales page and in all emails, for emphasis. But as social media became a huge part of how we do life everyday, more and more people started getting even more selective as to what emails they would now open and read. As a matter of fact, some Sp*M filters would look for red and yellow and instantly throw it into the junk pile. So we can’t use colors like we used to in email for emphasis. As a matter of fact, unless you are scrubbing and cleaning out your email list every single week, you are going to want use very little graphics and colored text. Make emphasis with BOLD or underlined or italics. Read your email out loud and see where emphasis needs to be made. Then use one of these formatting tools to make that emphasis. But use red and yellow very sparingly, if at all. 

When I was writing copy for clients, my email campaigns were the projects I was hired for the most. I could get a dead unresponsive list to RISE from the dead very quickly with some of these methods. I also made people feel valued, didn’t pitch them every single day and gave away a LOT of value for free.

Use some of these strategies today and you’ll see more opened emails, higher click through rates and more conversions! 



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Kiss Cold Calling and Phone Prospecting Goodbye And Use Social Media To Close More Sales

By | Auto Responders, Blog, Classes, Coaching, Coaching, Email Marketing, List Building, Marketing Points, Offline Marketing, PPC, SEO, Social Media | One Comment

woman on phone

Kiss Cold Calling and Phone Prospecting Goodbye And Use Social Media To Close More Sales

By: Sandi Krakowski

Have you noticed a shift in how people communicate?

No one wants to talk on the phone anymore!

Even when it's a friend or family member calling, talking on the phone all day is no longer desirable!

Most people do not want to answer the phone when someone they know calls. They'd rather talk to them online through social media, email or texting. So how can someone who is trying to build a business use the phone to do so? Or would a better question be, do you have to use the phone like we used to in years past to grow your company?

We can't do cold calling and phone prospecting like we used to be able to do it. As someone who has personally dialed more than 30,000 leads myself in my years of phone prospecting, it is my belief that we either have to step up- or step out, when it comes to using the phone to build our business. (Yes! I have phone logs and lead lists to prove I DID that many phone calls! Wild huh?)

If people don't want to answer the phone when a friend calls what makes anyone think they'd want to talk to a complete stranger?

Currently, A Real Change International has a client base of over 1.5 MILLION customers. News flash! We don't have phones ringing non-stop, we don't have a call center and we don't have employees falling like flies because they are worn out with whining customers. Most of our clients speak to my team of staff through either email or social media. Answers are fast and easy – everyone is happy. This is the new way to do business. Our customers tell us all the time they love it!

When you build a company, one of the biggest keys to success is staying relevant to where customers are currently. If customers don't want to talk on the phone, it's our responsibility as business owners to put up systems so that they can contact us in a way that they feel most comfortable. It's obvious that social media is where people want to communicate in the year 2014. 

Having someone active at all times through email and social media gives our clients a high level of security and trust when doing business with us. Here at ARC, we do have a phone line where someone can be reached during normal business hours. But most of our clients reach out to us through email and social media, as their preferred means of communication.

This same method can be in place if you are running a business that requires a lot of phone prospecting or calling. One of the best ways to get through to a gate keeper is to build a relationship with them online! By doing some initial connection with a client's assistant or secretary through Facebook, Twitter or email, you'll not only be welcomed when you call by phone, but you'll be invited! 

Social media and email are great ways to 'warm up' a lead or to even do your sifting. When I was prospecting years ago for a direct sales company, I would send out initial emails that asked all the right questions to get my clients to reply back to me. These are some of the same things we do today with every person who joins our email list and the results are amazing!

Rather than having hotel meetings, many people online are now hosting tele-classes, info summits that are run virtually and even Skype Chat video parties!  In the same way social media and email have made it much more easy to connect with people and start a genuine conversation quickly.

Disconnect your phone a few hours per day and start making relationships with prospective clients through social media. This is how I was able to make a solid 7-figure income in my copywriting business, too!

Social media and email are how most people prefer to communicate. Go to where your client is, speak their ideal language and closing more sales will be easier than ever!

Come join me on Twitter and let me know if you are already using social media to build your business! I'd love to hear how it's going for you! Connect with me here: http://www.twitter.com/sandikrakowski 

Whatever you do, remember this- People love to talk to those who care and make them feel special. Social media is one of the best places to make that happen!

Sandi Krakowski

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