Balancing the “Hard Sell” and the “Soft Sell”

Whether your business is banking and financial services, direct selling, or franchising, having a content strategy in place that provides a mix of engaging articles and customer-specific promotions is key to your marketing efforts. This is the difference between the hard sell and the soft sell: the first is driven by a desire for concrete ROI metrics while the second focuses on building the relationship between customer and brand. This is also, however, where a solid content strategy can shine: striking a balance between the hard sell and the soft sell means fine-tuning your message to be relevant, maintain engagement, and most importantly, move buyers through the cycle. How does that work, and what does finding that balance look like? The Hard Sell The hard sell places all marketing emphasis on turning prospective buyers into customers; i.e., making the sale. Whether that’s cold-calling or offering some sort of deal or special rate to make the product more appealing, it is essentially a marketing approach that is entirely concerned with meeting short-term goals. There’s nothing inherently wrong with the hard sell […]

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Need blog help?

It happens to even the most accomplished authors. Writer’s block. Sometimes all it takes is a little nudge to get your out of the rut. We found a post from The Social M’s to help spark the creative process. Read Tools and Tips on How to Write the Perfect Blog Post to forge a path to creativity.

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Microsites: A Content-Rich Relationship Builder

In today’s marketing landscape, email newsletters and email campaigns don’t just qualify as targeted marketing – they’re content marketing, focused on informative, relevant, and timely editorial content that helps customers solve problems and answer questions. A content-and-experience-centric approach helps you build relationships and influence customer behavior, and iMakeNews® is a self-service solution that aims to achieve this exact result. How? As a newsletter platform that creates customized microsites delivered by email, iMakeNews allows for deep engagement and behavioral analysis while serving as an ideal option for communicating with customers, internal employees, and vendors and partners at multiple levels. But, what exactly are microsites and how do they add value to an email newsletter campaign? Microsites serve as custom-made companion pages for every email newsletter, encouraging subscribers to click, navigate, and interact with content quickly and easily. They represent a shift from one-dimensional, hard-sell promotional emails by putting the focus increasingly on engaging content – content designed to meet customer needs rather than explicitly sell product. The measurable analytics inherent in an email newsletter service mean you can track subscriber clicks, […]

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Finding Party Plan Success: Creating Consistent Excitement and Maintaining Relationships

Party Plan selling is one of the most popular methods of direct selling, and for good reason. Whether it’s Avon, Mary Kay Cosmetics, or Home & Garden Party, direct sellers who combine a consultant’s passion, strong personal relationships, and a quality product often see consistent sales volume. And, with the emergence of social media as both a way to make new connections and an organizing tool, party plan selling is becoming more popular than ever. But, as party plan selling has become more widespread, the challenges facing organizations and their consultants have also become clearer – with the primary one being creating consistent excitement and maintaining relationships while protecting your brand and its core value proposition. Aside from the training and foundation you provide to your consultants, the most important way you can help them fulfill their potential is with the support of engaging offers and content communicated directly to their customers. By leveraging tools, such as an email newsletter, that deliver a consistent message in the form of targeted, exclusive content, you position your consultants as experts while allowing […]

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Maintaining the Brand: Why Delivering Consistent, Content-Driven Messages is the Key to Long-Term Success

This article was first published in IFA’s Marketing Toolkit in April 2017. For more recent IMN press releases and coverage, visit our Recent News page. As a franchisor, your key marketing goals are twofold: maintaining the consistency of your brand across your franchisees and retaining the loyalty of your customers. Multi-unit franchise organizations face unique challenges delivering a consistent message, identity, and set of offers through individual franchise locations. Finding that consistency can be especially tricky when considering franchisees’ understandable desire for at least a little individuality. After all, how can they credibly connect with their local communities and customer bases if they’re seen as just another faceless piece of a larger corporate entity, ultimately no different than any other franchise location? Delivering a Consistent Message One of the best solutions to this problem is the strategic use of branded email newsletters, a marketing solution offered by IMN (iMakeNews, Inc.). Branded email newsletters are designed to help multi-unit franchise brands acquire, retain, and engage customers. Branded email newsletters work as a solution at both the corporate and local levels, solving problems for […]

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