Archive for the ‘Featured’ Category

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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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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Let Us Handle It

content marketing

Never let it be said that marketing in the financial industry is a simple business. Banking marketers face a great deal of pressure from all sides: your content has to pass regulatory and compliance standards that are some of the strictest around, and your customers expect you to be engaged to help them meet their own goals. With that said, we here at IMN are consistently impressed by one simple fact: you know what marketing practices you need to put into effect to deliver useful, relevant content month in and month out. You get it. We see that you get it. Banking marketers know the value of offering informative content addressing financial topics and presenting a consistent, reliable brand image. But, there’s still a problem. You’re very, very busy. One of the pressures I alluded to earlier is this simple reality: on a typical day, banking marketers are getting pulled in approximately a hundred different directions at any given moment. You may know what needs to be done to craft a profitable marketing strategy, but that doesn’t mean you have […]

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