The quick, simple answer to the subject line is YES!
I totally believe one of the most important things we can do as a business owner is to grow a solid, relevant, and valid email list.
I realized the importance of this when a good friend of mine, after being pushed out of an insurance firm that he was a partner of, spent over a couple of hundred thousand dollars in legal fees to gain back the “book of sale.” I assumed that the “book of sale” in his industry meant the actual paying customers since he spent so much money fighting for it. But he told me it was just a database of strong potential clients that showed interest, worked with him in the past, or were just referred. What???? Yup, he said it was worth every penny. He started again from scratch with that book of sale and grew it into a thriving business that he currently owns. He worked hard to get it there, but it took a solid database to work from.
A recent study shows that a higher number of subscribed emails correlates with higher revenue. Here are some additional cool statistics: https://www.outboundengine.com/blog/20-shocking-email-marketing-stats-business-owners-know/
And continuing our series, here’s how we answer the FAQs we get about email marketing:
What should I do first to start email marketing for my business?
Grow your email list. Not just any emails, but the real people who really really want emails from your company.
Once I have a handful of subscribers, what should I do next?
Engage with your subscribers.
- Provide Value!
- Educational Value so that they will always learn something from you
- Monetary Value so that they can get special deals from you
- Emotional Value so that they can be inspired by you
- Entertainment Value so that you can help create a laugh
- Provide a real authentic and genuine relationship (sharing personal stories, etc)
- Provide trust (all the above bullets will help you build that)
When should I sell to my subscribers?
Not right away. Focus on trust first.
So, how do I grow my email list?
There are so many ways. Here’s a resource link. But ultimately, what I find most effective is offering something for an email in return – an opt-in landing page that immediately creates value for them.
Do you have any examples?
Yes, here’s my own personal example.
- I wanted to create a solid database of potential clients. The niche I tried was for people looking to learn how to do Facebook marketing. I figured these people were interested in growing their businesses and I needed to find a way to help them.
- So, I did a free educational video. The most watched video on youtube is a “how to” video – here’s the “how to” video I made: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jPAcKJb-XBc
- Then, I created a free offer that the audience would probably want after watching the video… it led them to this landing page: https://bosmediagroup.com/target
- When they click on the free download button, it will ask them for an email address – once it’s captured it is added directly to my Mailchimp database, and voila!! I have their email address.
- Now I can start my relationship with them by adding value to their life, and earning their trust so they will eventually buy from me.
Could you do this for me?
Yes, yes we can, Reply to this email and let’s connect!
Like the photo above, email marketing is the way to stay multiple chess moves ahead in business. This of it like a bakery that leaves their front door open so that all the delicious aromas waft out and draw new customers inside.
That’s the power of our digital marketing – we can even make you smell good online.
A logo is so much more than just an image, text or a symbol; it’s a representation of who you are, what you value and what you believe. If you do it right, it can capture the whole story of your company in a meaningful way. A well-designed logo will help customers remember you and build trust, which is the foundation of great marketing.
Starting the design process can be a bit tricky, but don’t worry. We’re here to make it clear and easy for you – here are the questions we tend to get asked when it comes to logo design.
What is your typical design process?
We guarantee that you’ll end up with a logo design you’ll love. Here’s how.
After getting some information from you from a detailed questionnaire, we offer up to 7-10 different conceptual designs for review. We present the design via zoom call or by video presentation. We want to make sure you understand how the designs were derived and give you insight on our creative process.
From these designs, you then can either pick a concept to modify or offer feedback to come up with additional options.
We can even offer more conceptual design if you are not 100% satisfied with the first set…but with lots of feedback and collaboration, we’ll get it nailed.
Sometimes, there’s a detour…you might change your mind on the direction and ask to start over. (This can get a bit tricky, depending on how much work has already been invested and how clear the new direction is…) This does not happen often but it can occur. Again, we are all about creating something you love, so we stay flexible.
How many rounds of revisions do you offer without extra fees?
When the concept is chosen, we offer 3 sets of revisions.
After the 3 sets of revisions, we offer 3 more. (usually these are minor tweaking, different color options…etc). These are a guide to keep it from getting out of control. But again, we stay flexible.
We usually won’t nickel and dime nor even charge extra for minor edits beyond the 3 sets of revisions. But sometimes, the revisions can get out of hand due to the client’s redirection or indecisiveness…which we understand fully because it’s a creative process. We just ask for fairness about any additional fees since the workload and the labor is unexpected and out of scope. We can discuss this more if we arrive at this point.
Are the Brand Guidelines provided?
We offer several different packages depending on your needs. Our basic package is for logo design only, but for an additional fee, we provide a detailed branding guide. We can show you some of our branding guide examples we’ve done for our previous clients per your request.
What file format will be provided when complete?
We will provide whatever file you need, including vector and high resolution image files. (.ai, .jpg, .png, .svg, .pdf, .tiff, .psd, .eps).
How much do you charge?
For a basic logo design including: New logo, Color Palette, Font and Typography, we charge $2500. Additional options can include detailed branding guidelines, messaging, visual identity, defining cultural ethos, etc, and will be custom quoted upon request.
One of our favorite things in life is to truly GET TO KNOW YOU, then translate that into a customized look for your business.
Logo design is almost like letting BOS Media be your personal stylist. In the words of Vidal Sassoon, “If you don’t look good, we don’t look good.”
Our mission is to make you SHINE. Let us know whatever we can do to help!
As part of our current FAQ series, we couldn’t forget about all the website inquiries we get – it’s really the bread and butter of what we do. So without further ado, here are the questions that most people have before getting their website designed, developed and launched.
What is your design process?
Here are the 5 quick steps to get you started from idea to production.
Step 1: We gather information through a detailed questionnaire that gives us a good look and feel of your vision for the site.
Step 2: From the questionnaire, we create a customized design mockup and present it to you in a visual website format. (This is not a developed website but it looks and feels like one). We use our own resource of professional licensed images to match your style and feel.
Step 3: Once the mockup is starting to take shape into a product that you are loving, we send a form to gather content for the site. (This includes team profile images, office photos, bios and additional copywriting for the site). We’ll add all the content and present it in the final website format for approval.
Step 4: Once the design is approved, we go into full development mode, where our nerdy coders and developers beautifully make the design come alive on a live site. (This is developed on a dedicated server with a temporary url).
Step 5: We test the live site and then launch it on your own domain by redirecting your domain IP to the new server where the new website files are located. (We will just need access to the account you purchased your domain from).
How long does it take?
Well, it depends. Typically, a 5-7 page custom website takes about 2-3 months. It mostly depends on you. If you love our initial design and approve it quickly, we can get it developed and launched in 1-2 weeks after the design phase. In those cases, the sites can go live in a little over a month. Some clients take a bit longer to decide and some sites can get complicated… there was one site we designed and developed that took over a year. The important thing is that you love it when it’s ready to launch. Our recommendation is not to be in a hurry.
Should I provide my own written copy for the website?
Are you a great content writer and love to write? If so, you should take a stab at it; if not, no worries, we have a professional writer on our team that will work with you to create the content on all of your pages for you. This is an additional fee of course, but we do recommend it to make the design flow faster and more cohesive.
Do you build a custom site or use a template?
All of our sites are completely personalized and custom to you.
What training/support do you offer when the site is launched?
Our website design and development is a full service package, meaning, we will do the hosting as well. We take full responsibility and accountability for your website. We don’t just design and walk away; we continuously update, revise and fix. This way you can feel confident that we are standing behind what we do, and you won’t have to wait 45 minutes to get an answer from some random website provider’s technical support personnel…you just call us and we’ll take care of everything, and all those changes are included. For instance, if you have a staff change, we will simply update the staff bio and replace the image at no charge to you. Also, with the monthly hosting, here’s what is included:
Daily Virus Scan and File monitoring (This is super important to prevent from possible hacking and malware attacks).
Full service including if there are any technical issues, malfunction, or shutdown of the site – we take care of and fix everything for you. We work on your behalf with the technical team to resolve the issue.
Daily backup up to 30 days, which means that you can always roll back the site back 30 days. This feature is also important if the site goes down for whatever the reason, we are able to have it up and running in no time.
Unlimited revisions and modifications. However, this does not include new design pages, features or implementations. These will be given an estimated time to complete at a fair rate. For reference, a simple new design page could take 2-5 hours to design and develop. Other simple implementations that can be done quickly are taken care of as a courtesy.
Plug-in and Operating system updates. As you know, software is continuously evolving. Just like a typical iPhone, if you stop updating the software, the apps will later stop talking to each other and eventually stop working. It’s important to keep all the backend software updated and functioning.
We won’t nickel and dime. Our philosophy is to do our best to meet your expectations and needs without charging for extra stuff. Most of the tools you need will be included in the initial design and development stage.
Oh, and we offer full training via video tutorial if you want to make changes yourself. No extra cost.
Do I own the site and all of its content after it goes live?
Yup. Everything. We give you full access to the backend and any files or databases you need or want. It’s all yours.
What technical things do I need to know or do before I get started?
Great question! Website requires 2 essential things. Domain and Hosting (Domain = The name of your website URL and Hosting = The Server where all the design files are located that launches you out to the world wide web). That’s it!! We recommend purchasing a domain yourself. You can easily purchase one through godaddy.com for about $10-20/year. This way you’ll have complete control and ownership over your own domain and no one can take it away from you. We take care of the hosting. We use WP Engine as our Server provider – they are known as one of the fastest, safest and the most robust servers in the market. We only ask that you give us access to your domain configuration when your site is ready to launch so we can point the domain to the server where all your design files are located. We’ll give you step by step on how this is done.
How much do you charge?
For a standard 5-7 page website, we charge $4000 minimum plus $95/month for Hosting and Maintenance. We do have more budget friendly options for simpler single landing pages and we also have higher packages for more complex or e-commerce sites. We are also flexible to work with your budget and can offer financing.
There are so many website designers out there, why should I pick BOS Media Group?
As you may observe, all the above answers sound pretty standard and it might be similar to what other companies offer, but where we shine is what you don’t see written out in the process. It’s our full commitment to you along the way.
It’s the way we resolve trouble spots with solutions and suggestions. It’s the way we listen to your needs and wants and make that our priority. It’s the way we, without question, re-design something if you don’t like it. It’s the way we give you resources on best practices and our expertise on what works and what doesn’t. It’s the way we don’t put limitations on revisions nor nickel and dime on hidden fees. Of course, if the project goes beyond the scope of the original contract, there will probably be a fair conversation or renegotiation of the new costs, but we will work hard to make sure you are in full agreement. It’s the way we make sure at the end of the project, you have a website that you love! It’s the way that we make strong efforts to both enjoy the journey and have fun along the way. I think that’s priceless!!
We say this all the time, but more than anything, BOS Media is about relationships. Our goal is to treat you like our most valuable client, and it’s our sincere desire for you to be a client for life. With all these FAQs, our personal commitment to you is the one thing you’ll never have to question.
You might be laughing at this subject line – why am I getting this unsolicited email to ask me about unsolicited emails? Well, first let me assure you that I am a real human writing a real email and that I am doing it to help you and not hurt you. Do you trust me?
As someone who works in digital marketing, I get this question a lot. Instead of “unsolicited emails,” people usually call it SPAM. (Special Processed American Meat)…wait, that’s the wrong acronym. But speaking of acronyms, we are still in our FAQ series, going through and answering the Frequently Asked Questions people have about the online world. So, let’s start.
Why do we call it spam?
Back in the day…1970’s, some people (enormous geeks) started using the term “spamming” to apply to several different behaviors. According to Brad Templeton, who has done a very in-depth study on this writes: “The term spamming is used to describe flooding the computer with too much data to crash it, and another was to ‘spam the database’ by having a program create a huge number of objects, rather than creating them by hand. and the term was used to mean simply flooding an online session with a bunch of text inserted by a program, commonly called a ‘bot’ today.”
Why is spam still a problem today?
Back in 2004, Bill Gates from Microsoft famously said “two years from now, spam will be solved.” Well, according to some data out there, 70% of our emails are still spam. Why? It’s very complex and even if Microsoft changed the way the emails were handled, having them convince an entire industry to change it to a new standard for sending messages with anti-spam built-in features would be an impossible task. We just cannot stop someone or something from sending emails. So, spam continues to be part of our lives.
How do we deal with spam? I hate them.
Every email platform (Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, iCloud, AOL) has been forced to develop better spam filters to block it. Although it’s not 100%, it captures a bulk of obvious ones and gives you the option to add your own criteria to capture the ones that it misses. Here’s an example of how to add a filter if you are using Google for your email service. Click here.
Is there something you can do to help eliminate spam coming from my website?
Great question and thanks for asking. Although we can’t outsmart bots that do what they do to scrape your website for information, we can try to not give them all the information they want, or make it harder for them to automate their process by adding more intelligent features to force the bots to think. Here are some of our fixes that have been successful in reducing (not eliminating) spam emails.
- Remove all email addresses from your website. Basically, you create forms for people to submit questions/comments rather than giving them your email address. The form submits the answers and forwards them to your email.
- Remove all online forms from your website. We don’t recommend this since this is pretty dramatic and defeats the whole purpose of your website generating leads. But, what we can recommend is adding a different type of form that takes you question by question. We use Typeform for this type of solution. Check it out here.
- Add a reCAPTCHA on your forms. This makes the bot do extra work and can automatically filter out a bunch of dumber bots.
- If the above reCAPTCHA isn’t good enough for your standards, there’s another that really makes the bots think and be more human-like. It’s the CAPTCHA Image Option. The problem with this is that it’s ugly and annoying for the real people (your potential customers) that want to fill out the form.
Most of our clients choose option 3 and it eliminates just enough spam to make it bearable.
I’ll close with one final question that is not frequently asked, but it should be:
Do you have a good recipe for Spam Musubi?
Here you go, straight from the SPAM website. If you’ve never tried this before, you’re welcome – I hope it makes your next dinner feel like a luau. Plus it kind of fits a philosophy I live by: “When life gives you spam, make Spam Musubi.”
Last week, we kicked off our FAQ series talking about SEO. Today, we’ll look at another acronym that I get asked about often:
“Does my website need to be ADA-compliant?”
This question comes from almost every type of client that I have. Part of delivering the best possible customer service includes placing a high value on how your website is accessible to visitors with disabilities.
This is kind of a loaded question that needs to be broken down in bits, so I’ll try to answer one step at a time.
What is ADA compliance?
ADA (American with Disabilities Act) was instituted in 1990 in effort to provide accommodation to people with disabilities.
Is ADA required for my website?
For architects designing a commercial building, there is a clear set of black and white regulations and design guidelines that need to be followed. The architectural plans will be thoroughly reviewed and approved by the city, county or whatever the governing body is for the construction location. Then, during construction and even after the projects have been completed, the final stamp of approval will be required for the building to be open and occupied. Easy, right?
Well, not so easy for websites. In fact, ADA’s relationship with websites has been complicated and confusing – not so black and white. Although they’ve taken the time and effort to create the standard guidelines for website compliance (WCAG 2.1 Level AA), ADA currently does not explicitly address online compliance. The U.S. is in pursuit of adopting more comprehensive accessibility requirements (especially for federal websites), but at the same time has withdrawn this requirement as a general push towards deregulation. So, basically, rules are established but the governing body that police the rules are a bit fuzzy. Confused? Yes, clear as mud. You can read more about it here.
Why should I still make my site be ADA compliant?
Well, for many reasons. For one, it’s humanly kind to offer accommodations to those who do not have access to your online information. Also, although the ADA compliance is not mandatory, it’s generally a good idea to err on the side of caution. Many states have adopted their own laws and the volume of accessibility-related lawsuits filed against websites is rising.
What type of compliance do you offer?
We offer WCAG2.1 Level AA compliance, and we offer a written certificate showing that your website meets all the criteria.
How much does it cost?
It costs $490/year, as long as your website is under 1000 pages. New pages and new content that get added will automatically get scanned and fixed to meet the compliance within 24 hours.
Okay, I am interested. What do I do?
Click on this affiliate link to learn more: https://accessibe.com/a/bosmediagroup
You can even do a 7 day FREE TRIAL!
At the heart of everything we do at BOS Media, it’s always about relationships. How we treat the people we serve, and how we equip businesses to offer the highest level customer experience. I hope this FAQ series is helping with that. Whatever the next acronym you’re struggling to understand, we’ll be here to make it simple and support your business growth.
It’s funny, I’ve been doing this job long enough that I can start predicting the questions that will be thrown at me during a discovery/sales call. Over the years, I started accumulating these questions and documenting them so they can be easily accessible to our team and also to our potential clients.
So that got me thinking, why not share these so that they can also be helpful to others? Maybe they’re questions you’re frequently asking as well. So, our new series will be diving into the FAQ, starting with another acronym I get asked about all the time: SEO.
Do you think I need SEO (search engine optimization) for my website?
Probably. I would first recommend a thorough SEO audit for you (at no charge) to assess your current status, but organic search is such a huge part of most businesses’ website visits/traffic and company growth. Being highly visible and a trusted resource by Google is always going to work in your favor. We will improve your overall searchability and visibility so you’ll be found online. What’s the point of having a beautiful, compelling and informative website when no one sees it?
What do you guys do for SEO?
We first identify the opportunity and approach to implementing a successful strategy. Then we establish a keyword game plan into actionable goals. From there, we start optimizing your website…this is a patient game and you’ll start seeing the results in 4-6 months. Our goal is to start ranking the keywords that link to your site on the first page of Google.
What sets you apart from other companies in your SEO game?
We hear from a lot of people that due to the complexity of SEO, they are kept in the dark and do not really know or understand what is being done and how effective the SEO is for their website. This is where we shine. We are transparent. We tell you in detail what we are doing and how you are ranking. Every month, we’ll summarize everything we are implementing and what type of results you are experiencing. We also have a detailed dashboard that monitors and reports all kinds of live stats. You’ll have full access to this anytime, anywhere.
How much do you charge?
We charge a minimum of $750/month. Some sites cost more depending on who is competing with the same keywords in your area and also depending on the geographical area covered (Local, National, or Global).
How do I get a FREE audit of my website?
Just reply to this email and let me know the website address you want us to evaluate. It’s a detailed 39-page audit with prioritized recommendations. It’s FREE. No strings attached.
I hope exploring these questions gives you an overall picture of how SEO works. It can get very complex and it’s always evolving, but I believe it’s worth paying attention to it and continuously implementing the right factors into your website.
“If a tree falls in the forest without SEO, does it make a sound?” Here’s to making plenty of noise online – reply now if there’s anything I can do to help!
SEO ya later!