How to get high email open rates

Have you heard marketers or bloggers brag about the high number of addresses on their email lists? I heard a blogger claim more than 5 million. It makes me wonder how many actually open his emails and what it costs him to mail to thousands of addresses that don’t open his messages.

A good open rate for your emails is only 15%. In other words, 85% of the people you email don’t bother opening them.

This should be a concern. The more email addresses on your list, the more Constant Contact, Mail Chimp or whatever service you use will cost. You’re paying to mail to people who don’t want your email.

To keep our open rates high, our tech whiz Katie Ritchie segments and prunes our lists to keep our costs down and avoid emailing to those who don’t open them.

The more dead weight Katie deletes, the higher open rate we get because we reach those who want our information.

Our news web site has almost 20,000 visits a day. Our Writing Tips have a super high 45% open rate because readers specifically asked to receive those emails.

That’s the special sauce for open rates. Delete the non-opening addresses.

We share such field-tested strategies in our 60-minute CD “Why Advertising Fails & What You Can Do About It.” For details, email JerryBellune@yahoo.com.

Copyright 2020, The Bellune Co., Inc.

3 ways to make a great 1st impression

Good morning, fellow entrepreneurs.

MaryEllen Tribby believes in making a great impression with 3 strategies.

1. Be generous. When you help others, “getting” will follow. It will come in unexpected ways. No one likes a person with a “taker” mentality. When you are generous, people will notice and respect you. We like to do business with those who we respect, trust and like. Help them feel the same way about you. Act as a host at events you attend by connecting others. This can be as simple as introducing people to each other or as elaborate as sharing a testimonial about someone. 

2. Be Happy Harry or Harriet. Put on a happy face at the door and smile. This is your time to shine. People will look forward to seeing you if you are energetic, positive and outgoing. They enjoy doing business with people they like. Remind yourself of everything you are grateful for just before entering an event or meeting a prospect. 

3. Connect. Don’t Sell. Connecting is about building relationships with people who will be happy to tell others about who you are and what you do. Find out what they do and its value to their customers before you share what you do. And follow up with a hand-written appreciation note. 

We share such ideas in “Maverick Entrepreneurs’ Million Dollar Strategies.” For a $20 personally autographed copy, contact us at 803-331-6695.

Copyright 2020, The Bellune Co., Inc.

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Harness the power of word-of-mouth

A couple of our friends were discussing a German restaurant 45 minutes from our town. My wife and I miss German food since the only place in town that served it closed. Of course, I was interested.

I mentioned it to my doctor, a fellow schnitzel lover. Her story was different. 

On her only visit, the wait staff was not only inattentive but rude. And it took 3 hours for their meals to arrive.

Now if you were me, who would you believe, the good reviews or the bad? For a 90-minute round-trip drive, would you take such a chance? Not me. I mentally crossed the place off my must-do list. 

A woman I do business with occasionally advertises with us – when she has something special she wants to sell. I asked her once why she did not benefit from a more consistent advertising campaign.

“I rely on word-of-mouth advertising,” she told me. I didn’t argue with or try to enlighten her. She is a strong-willed person who will not listen to reason.

But she could enhance her advertising with testimonials from customers who love and appreciate what she does for them.

You do use testimonials, don’t you?

We share such field-tested strategies in our 3-CD “Make Yourself a STAR (Someone They Always Remember)” self-study course. 

Details at JerryBellune@yahoo.com

Next: 3 ways to connect with prospects

Get your prospects to open their wallets

Does your advertising really work?

It may but the $5,000 question is, does it gain the results that you want?

Our friend Ruth King had a client who hated his advertising. He was spending money on something that he despised …even though it was producing results.

Ruth told him: You are NOT the audience for the advertising. Ask your girlfriend whether she likes it. She is the type of person we are trying to attract.

“But I hate it,” he said again.

Ruth asked, “Is it producing results?”

“Yes,” he conceded.

“Then your opinion doesn’t count. Your customers’ opinions count.”

Tough lesson for him to swallow. The ads were working. He just didn’t like them.

Customers vote with their wallets. If they respond to your advertising, it is immaterial whether you like the ads or not.

The next time you plan an advertising message, give it to a few friends who are like your target audience. Ask them whether they would do what the ad requests – go to a website, call a phone number, etc.

If they like it, then do it. The rest of your target audience is likely to respond, too. If they like it, then do it. The rest of your target audience is likely to respond too.

Remember: It doesn’t matter what you think about your marketing and advertising – it matters what your customers think. They will vote with their phone calls, emails, and pocketbooks.

For more brilliance like this, sign up for Ruth’s complimentary newsletter at rking@profitabilityrevolution.com

We share such ideas in “Maverick Entrepreneurs’ Million Dollar Strategies.” 

For a $20 personally autographed copy, contact us at 803-359-7633.

Next: Think small for bigger profits

Copyright 2020, The Bellune Co., Inc.

Turn antagonistic foes into ardent fans

A business friend occasionally calls to invites me to lunch – and I know why. 

Across the table he says, “You know I never call you unless I want something.”

He tells me what it is he needs and, since he knows I can do it, I oblige him. It makes me feel good that he turned to me and that I could do a favor for someone I like.

Most of us believe that the way to win friends is to do them a favor. Ben Franklin found the opposite works even better.

If you are a Ben Franklin fan, you undoubtedly know this story. It is a good reminder of a strategy he discovered and you can use on those who may demean you.

Franklin had incurred the ill will of a wealthy man. The man berated Franklin to others and questioned his competence.

Franklin knew the man had a prized collection of books and wrote him asking to borrow a book he knew the man owned.

This gained the man’s attention. If Ben knew about this book, he must be smarter than he had thought. He loaned Franklin his book, Franklin read it and returned it with a thank you note a few days later.

Surprisingly, the man became one of his champions and extolled his virtues.

Do you have a detractor or seek a relationship with someone? Ask for a favor.

Copyright 2020, The Bellune Co., Inc.

Say sayonara to Someday Island

Covid-19 has given us the gift of reflection. 

We reflect on what we want from life. What are we willing to do to achieve it? 

Before we start, Brian Tracy writes in “No Excuses,” we take a little vacation to a fantasy place called ‘Someday Island.’

We say ‘Someday soon I’ll start that business, that diet or that exercise program.’ 

Up to 80% of us live on Someday Island. We think and dream and fantasize about all the things we will do “someday.” And what is the chief topic of conversation on Someday Island? Excuses. Everyone sits around and swaps excuses for being on the island.

They have come down with “excusitis.” 

They have good intentions but the road to hell is paved with them.

The first rule of success is simple: Vote yourself off the island. No more excuses. Do it or don’t do it but make no excuses. 

Stop using your incredible brain to rationalize and justify failing to take action. 

Do something. Do anything. Get on with it! Tell yourself: “If it’s to be, it’s up to me!”

Now make a list of your top 3 goals for the next 12 months. Prioritize them by importance. Assign each to be completed in 4 months. List the top 5 to 10 steps to achieve each. List who you need to help you and set a deadline for completing each step.

For a free copy of our Goal Setting Guide, email JerryBellune@yahoo.com

Next: Turn foes into fans

Copyright 20209, The Bellune Co., Inc.

Covid-19 opens doors to new opportunities

Stephanie Hall is a genius at diversifying her business strategies in this pandemic.

Before covid-19 halted her event rental business, she launched a luxury brand of hand-blown colored glass cake stands and stemware. The vintage-style pieces are original designs made at a 100-year-old glass-making company in Poland. 

She marketed her new products on social media to influencers, sending them samples. With more people at home and surfing social media, her colored glass got a boost.

She had a 2nd surge of business in June thanks to social media bringing attention to black-owned businesses. In 2 weeks, her Instagram account doubled from 23,400 to 51,500 followers. She turned off her Instagram advertising and has been working round the clock to respond to retailers interested in selling her products.

The boost in business allowed her to keep her employees working at packaging and shipping orders for colored glass.

Hall, a former corporate tax attorney, is looking for her next business opportunity –renting lush, silk flowers to brides. Being able to pivot quickly with a diversified business portfolio is a sound business strategy,.

We share such field-tested ideas in “Million Dollar Strategies of Maverick Entrepreneurs.” For an autographed copy of the $20 book, email JerryBellune@yahoo.com.

Next: How to build your self-confidence

Copyright 2020, The Bellune Co., Inc.

How you can survive covid-19 nonsense

Some of us are starting to suspect there was more to the lockdowns and non-essential business shuttering than science and epidemiologist caution. Could this have been a conspiracy to wreck the economy in a presidential election year?

Conspiracy or not, the effect on the economy was the same – probably in your industry and ours. We publish newspapers.

A friend sent us news of a metropolitan daily newspaper publisher deciding to give up print and take his chances publishing online only, we wish him well.

This is sad but you will see more of this in daily newspapers. They are burdened with overhead and debt. Their publishers can’t give up their club memberships, 2nd homes at the beach and limousine lifestyle.

The small newspaper owners like us are different. Most of us own everything debt-free, run lean operations with a few skilled people and have loyal advertisers and readers who believe in us. We are truly blessed.

Like us, we hope you are debt-free, watch your payables and receivables closely, collect what your customers owe you, pay your bills to protect your credit rating and sleep soundly, knowing your top and bottom lines are in great shape.

 We share such strategies in “Uncover Your Inner Sales Genius.” For a free copy email JerryBellune@yahoo.com.

Next: Your best new business strategy

Copyright 2020, The Bellune Co., Inc.

The crucial moments this crisis calls for you

The 2 most important days of your life, Mark Twain said, are the day you were born and the day you find out why.

You were born for specific purposes. 

Everything within you is geared for that. It should consume you with fire and fervor, says and ace copywriter John Carlton. 

If you are not pursuing that purpose, you will forever be unhappy. That unhappiness means you’ve wandered from your path.

If you stumble into the task, no matter how unprepared, you will fulfill a joyful purpose probably beyond your ability. But you’ll find our way by doing, Submit to your destiny, and get busy.

One hint: It is not the pursuit of money.

No. You are built for far nobler things. It may be much closer to home than you thought. Raising good children is a magnificent goal. Teaching is up there, too.

What you choose to do may involve more heat than you thought possible. The entrepreneur world is not for cowards.

Figure it out. Line up the challenges you will face and plot their obliteration starting today. Stop cowering in the corner

Step 1: Find your true purpose.

Step 2: Pursue it with all your heart.

Step 3: Keep a record of your progress.

For more on this, read “Your Life’s Great Purpose.” For a personally autographed copy of the $20 book for only $10, email JerryBellune@yahoo.com

Next: Turn problems into solutions

Copyright 2020, The Bellune Co., Inc.