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How to Deal With an Unresponsive Web Design Company

NobMouse / Foter / CC BY

So you hired a Web Design Company, things looked promising in the beginning, yet now you’re having problems getting them to answer your emails and to send you project updates. This can be VERY frustrating when you’re outsourcing work to a Web Design Company, especially if the missed deadlines are causing delays in your other projects. What can you do about this? Here are a few tips that I’ve found to helpful in dealing with an unresponsive service provider.

#1: Stop Making Payments

Sounds really simple I know, but a lot of people are afraid to stop making payments, even when a company has gotten behind on meeting their obligations. But even if you’ve signed a contract to make your payments by a specific date, there’s NO reason to keep paying if the project has gotten behind. Stop payments immediately and require the provider to get back on track before ANY new payments are sent. If you do keep paying, you’re encouraging low value behavior from your outsourcers and compounding the problem. Continue reading



Three Mistakes that Keep Web Traffic from Converting

Working at a Web Design Company has given me an interesting perspective on what’s really happening with people’s businesses. Every week, I get more and more contacts from people who want more conversions. Some of them are getting between .05% and 1.5% and they just want to increase their conversions. Others are getting loads of traffic and no conversions at all. Others are getting ONE measly email address for every 1,000 visitors to their site.

How can you increase your conversions when it seems that you’ve done everything you can think of to make your website more engaging and user-friendly? Let me share a couple of really basic reasons most websites don’t convert and we’ll see where your blind spots are. If you’re getting less than 1% on your conversions, I can guarantee you that you’re making at least one of these three mistakes… Continue reading



Folsom Website Design and SEO Testimonial: Folsom Gold Exchange

MSI had great recommendations for enhancing the website and did a good job with SEO. Our customers have been able to find us easier and like the ease of navigation in our website. Very patient and professional in getting it done and getting it right...


Ardy Nikooe
Gold Exchange



10 Marketing Resolutions for 2014

It’s a new year and for many businesses, it’s time for a fresh start. It’s time to reflect on everything that transpired last year and make plans for a very prosperous 2014. With the start of the new year, we want you to be as successful as possible. To help you get 2014 off the right start, below are 10 marketing resolutions to help you accomplish all of your business goals in 2014!  

1. Use Data Hygiene to Clean Up Your Data
Keep your data hygiene in check in 2014. Many business owners fall into the trap of not cleaning up their lists – both for eNewsletter marketing and for direct mail lists. Business owners tend to not want to do the mundane task of deleting duplicates or scrubbing lists to get rid of incorrect addresses. MSI can help with data hygiene in two areas. For Data In, we will take your customer’s data and clean it up to improve the percentage of mail delivered. MSI also will purchase targeted email lists for their clients to make sure you are reaching your ideal customer. For Data Out, we will make sure that all outgoing mail is compliant with the United States Post Office mail rules. By utilizing Data Hygiene, your company will experience lower costs per sale, your audience will be more targeted and you will see a higher ROI. Contact MSI about help cleaning up your data.

2. Measure Campaign Success
As a business owner, you should always measure the success of your marketing campaigns. You should constantly track where your customers and potential customers are coming from. A simple way to do this is with online forms, where potential clients can fill out their information, along with a drop down menu on how they heard about you. Also, you can simply ask. When you spend money on direct mail campaigns, you can track visitors when they visit your landing page. Also, with many email newsletter services, you can track what links your potential clients are clicking on. Tracking campaign success can really show the return on your marketing investment and will enable you to make smart marketing decisions for your company. Always measure your results and your conversion rate.

3. Create Effective Landing Pages
Create an effective and high converting landing page that will be crucial to your online success in 2014. A landing page is a highly optimized web page for the sole purpose of selling to your potential customer. You want to make sure like all of your other marketing materials that this is professionally designed. This is even more crucial when you are selling high end products/services. Custom landing pages should be created for most direct mail and marketing campaigns. Your landing page should have a clear goal with a call to action, such as a sale on a product purchase or a free download and should be designed for a higher conversion rate and greater ROI. You can also add analytics to your page, so you can track customer demographics. Make sure your messaging is consistent and you are providing your customers exactly what they are looking for. How can you market the landing pages? You can do a direct mail or email campaign with links to the landing page. You can also buy Pay Per Click (PPC) ads on Google to drive traffic to the landing page. Ask about MSI’s new Direct Mail Cloud program.

4. Make a Customer Retention Plan
A customer retention plan is necessary to maintain relationships with existing customers and develop relationships with new ones. Direct mail is one great way to keep in touch with current and potential new customers (see below for more on direct mail). An eNewsletter is also an effective marketing tool and a great way to keep in touch with your customer base, whether on a monthly or weekly basis. Always make sure you have a way to collect your customer’s information on both your website and landing pages. Utilize social media to keep in contact with your customers and pick a platform you can use regularly.

5. Send Direct Mail More Often
If you are not using direct mail, you may consider doing a test campaign in 2014. This should be a part of your marketing strategy and a regular schedule should be in your marketing plan. Send out the mailer on a regular basis (it’s more effective than a single mailing) and carefully monitor the results. An effective direct mail campaign has the following elements: format, trackable offer and list. First though, you need to consider the following items. What is the goal of your direct mail campaign? Lead generation or product sales? What is the status of your current list? Is this a qualified list or a list that is outdated? When you consider the above items, you are more likely to have an effective campaign. Contact MSI about a free direct mail quote.

6. Think About Marketing Automation
Many business owners get tied up doing mundane, repetitive, non-profit generating tasks and if you fall into this category, you should really think about marketing automation. While there are several services out there that can help, you want to find the best one to help your business. Whether this is having products automatically being sent out from your company (wouldn’t it be nice to make money while you are sleeping?) to lead generation tools to help increase your business. Marketing automation is the new buzz word in the marketing industry and you will probably hear much more about marketing automation in the upcoming year. Ask MSI about what time saving and cost effective tools are available for your business.

7. It’s Time to Update Your Website
Many business owners struggle with updating their own website and if you haven’t made this happen in 2013, make this a goal for 2014. Whether you need a complete overhaul or minor updates, an Internet Marketing consultant can review your website for you and make recommendations. Major updates include a complete overhaul on a different platform such as WordPress. Minor updates are updating content (you should always have fresh content), adding a features section or an events/press page, and adding new products/services. Many business owners are missing out on a lot of business from an outdated website or landing page. And, if you do not have a mobile version of your website, you will need a mobile website in 2014.

8. Add Internet Marketing, SEO and Social Media to Your Business Plan
If you are a business owner, you should already have Internet marketing, SEO and social media in your business plan and if you do not you should make this a priority for 2014. SEO business plans revolve around one basic idea: search engines attract enough attention to be considered to be a viable marketing platform. Also, 80% of all people 14 years of age and older use search engines to purchase products and services online. Keep in mind that Google constantly is changing Internet search rules and this is why it is important to hire an Internet Marketing expert to evaluate all of the above. The last thing you want is to have Google penalize, or possibly ban your website. MSI has an Internet Marketing expert with more than 17 years of experience helping website owners with SEO, blog marketing, social media marketing and other online marketing services. Request your free website consultation from us today.

9. Follow up
Always follow up with potential clients after events and put a follow up plan in place. Many business owners attend events and fail to follow up. This may sound absolutely basic, but it is the truth. If someone gives you their business card, send an email or make a phone call. A coffee meeting can turn into a prosperous business referral relationship or your new potential client may even hire your company for your services. When you do not follow up, you have not only wasted your time at a networking event, you are also basically flushing dollars away.

10. Do a Marketing “Check Up”
Make sure your marketing materials are up-to-date and do reflect your brand. Many business owners tend to not take the professional route and do these items on their own accord, which results in a poor representation of their company. Hire a marketing professional. If you are not a graphic designer, chances are the flyers you made on your own are not going to pull in new clients. MSI can help you with our full service marketing capabilities including direct mail, print, Internet marketing, fulfillment and may other marketing services.



The Cure for a Marketing Director’s Worst Nightmare

If you’re a marketing director (or a small business owner doubling as a marketing director), you are probably spending too much time tyring to figure out what forms of marketing works and you are trying to keep up with the endless changes in online marketing trends. You’re trying to learn (and stay on top of) PPC, SEO, Social Media, blogging video marketing, email marketing, direct mail and whatever other marketing methods which you’re using to stay ahead of the competition and to create sustainable business growth.

It’s no wonder you’ve got all these great ideas but no time implement them. When are you going to finally have time to start working on those great ideas you’ve had for the past few years? If this sounds like your daily routine,  it might be time to partner with an online marketing firm.

Yes, I know. Sounds like a self-serving promotion for our services doesn’t it? Maybe…hut here are a few questions you might want to consider before you dismiss this as just another invitation to work with us…

How Valuable is Your Time?

Time is the only resource you can’t get more of. You’ve got a finite amount of energy and once it’s gone, you have to go to bed and do the stuff that you didn’t get done today tomorrow. How many great marketing campaigns and product ideas will you have to put off till later because you didn’t start on them today? How long will this hold you back?

For the next week, keep track of how much time you spend trying to double as a marketing director (or business owners) and an online marketing expert. How much time are you burning up trying to keep up with the perpetually evolving technologies and trends in the online marketplace? If you’re burning up a lot of time today, you probably will be next week, and next month and next year as well. This is one reason a lot of business owners and marketing directors are teaming up with firms who specialize in online marketing.

How Valuable is Your Brain?

As an entrepreneur (which most marketing directors have to be to some degree), your brain is your most valuable asset. You have the ideas, the insights and the expertise to make a LOT of things happen. The problem, again, is that you’re burning up too much of your physical, mental and emotional energy trying to tackle this beast called online marketing. What would happen if you could reclaim those 20, 30 or 40 hours a week and start investing them into leveraging your most valuable asset to create winning marketing campaigns?

Just think about all the great entrepreneurs and visionaries in history. Most of them knew very little about how to do the hands on work required to promote their vision. They leveraged the skills of other people and invested their energy only into the things which ONLY they could do.

Can You Communicate Your Ideas Clearly?

So if you’re interested in working with a team of online marketing experts to execute your ideas, the only thing you need is good communication skills. If you can clearly communicate your ideas to our team members and provide us with feedback, we can take care of the rest. We have teams which specialize in direct mail, fulfillment, PPC marketing, Social Media marketing, web design, Social Media and content marketing.

Remember, you can’t get more time. But you can start investing your time and your energy into the things which will create the best results in the shortest amount of time.



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