So who am I? I'm a writer, editor and social media aficionado with a bachelors degree in commercial writing and a life-long love of playing with words.
Magazines are my first love. Telling people’s stories, publishing relevant info, editing the book, working on cover spreads – I live for all of it. Except selling ads. I’ll leave that to the type A, never-met-a-stranger, could-sell-ice-to-an-Eskimo sales execs.
If you’re not on Facebook or Twitter, you’re losing customers. I’m always online and can market your message across social media. Short, informative and engaging is my mantra.
Sometimes copy needs polishing, refining. That’s where I come in. I help eliminate clutter, keep your audience focused and provide a product that retains your original message, just improved.
Copy that engages, intrigues and pushes the reader to learn more – that’s the crux of good marketing copy. And that’s what I do; whether it’s an e-newsletter, press release, Web site, ad or brochure.
Work // Over the years, I've written numerous feature articles, cover stories, business profiles, editorial pieces, e-newsletters, press releases and creative ad copy.
Blog post: Matthew Holtkamp Joins Gwinnett Technical College Foundation’s Board of Trustees
The First Futurity Finalists
The Re-birth of Concierge Care
The Doctor Will See You Now: Why More Consumers are Turning to Retail Clinics for Health Care Needs
Editor-in-Chief of Uganda’s Leading Newspaper
New Hands, New Heart – Milton Mathias
NRHA – Top 20 Owners
NRHA – Top 20 Riders
NRHA – Top 20 Non Pros
About this Blog // Want to know what's going on in my mind? Sometimes - depending on how the kids have been, which one of my horses decided to hurt itself or how many deadlines I've had this week - it's not much. But hey, even those things provide interesting writing fodder. Check it out.
“As you’ve noticed, people don’t want to be sold. What people do want is news and information about the things they care about.” Larry Weber
Good info from HubSpot’s marketing blog:
We all get those emails—the flood of “Save now! 50% off!” and “BOGO sale!” If our inbox was a pool, we could swim in the amount of marketing messages we get. But more often than not, most marketing emails end up in the trash. Unless it’s for something we can actually use, or thesubject line piques our interest, most marketing emails don’t get through.
After many years of email personalization, there are still ways to perfect your message and delivery to boost your click-through rate. But how personal is too personal?
Online consumers like it when content is tailored to their interests and previous buying habits, but no one wants to feel like they’re being stalked online; too much personalization can actually harm your relationships.
Here are eight personalization tactics that can actually turn off buyers and what you can do to eliminate the creepy factor.
The amount of personalization should be based on the customer relationship. But sometimes things go from customized to flat-out disturbing. Remember the Target personalization debacle? The retail giant tracked its buyers’ pregnancy stages based on purchases and quickly got on the creeper list, leading to a PR nightmare that ultimately hurt the brand.
What you can do: Mix in your personalization with other random offers to make consumers feel less like an animal being tracked by a hunter.
Jumping too quickly to personalize based on consumer behavior on your site can come off as overly customized and can prevent buyers from using your brand. So start by sending an email that uses their name (a message that greets me with “Hi There” is guaranteed to make it into the trash), and wait until the next email to include more dynamic tags.
What you can do: Wait until some time has passed and a relationship has been more firmly established to start personalizing around actions they have taken on your website.
This is why gradual personalization pays off. A woman could be looking for or purchasing baby items for a friend or family member who is expecting, rather than for herself. Just because she searches for baby bottles doesn’t mean she needs to receive emails or see targeted ads about baby formula nine months later. If someone searches for an item once or twice, it could be a gift or a topic being researched. If the search term becomes more frequent, however, then it’s time to start suggesting diaper brands and crib styles.
What you can do: Use customer segmentation and be sure your user profiles are accurate.
While content is king, context is queen. Contextual data is the art of making the content relevant to an individual on the right device at the right time. Leverage the information you have about your customer to create a truly engaging, relevant experience.
Content is the offer. Context is when and where it’s being offered. If someone is expecting and buys a bouncer seat, chances are she doesn’t need another one. So emails with the latest bouncer seat deals are irrelevant and will probably irritate her because of the incorrect personalization, ending up in the trash. But after a few months, emails about playmats would be a welcome suggestion as baby is practicing his or her coordination and requires more stimulation (and tummy time).
What you can do: Don’t use personalization just because you have the data—make it personalized with a purpose. Patience is a virtue if you want to keep your customers.
Location, location, location! Using the customer’s location to provide relevant messaging adds a level of convenience, but can go wrong if it’s not accurate. If someone looks up restaurants while vacationing in Chicago and then goes home to New York, chances are they no longer need offers from the Midwest. In fact, buyers who continue to see ads long after they’ve left the Windy City will likely be irritated and could complain about your brand on social media.
What you can do: Make sure all content is localized to the buyer, whether it’s merchandise that’s available by region, or different messaging to appeal to audiences in various locations.
Overdoing it never wins points with anyone. If you send consumers the same email every month and they aren’t responding, chances are you need to back off and give them space. Before you hit that send button, consider whether they have taken any sort of action since you began contacting them. While you want your product to stay top of mind, bombarding them with messages that aren’t relevant to them at the moment can cause them to hit the unsubscribe button and never look back.
What you can do: Track their activity on your site and if they have not purchased anything after 30 days, decrease the number of emails you send them.
Have you ever checked into a location on social media and then started seeing ads for it? While not surprising that social media outlets would use your posting activities as data to target you for ads, there’s something more sinister about a site targeting you based on where you were. Users may start to wonder what else about their private lives is no longer private, and associate your brand with this practice of over-tracking.
What you can do: Limit the amount of targeting based on user posts. Not every restaurant visited warrants an ad the next time that user is on their social media accounts. A little bit goes a long way.
The rule of thumb is to cease retargeting efforts after 30 days if a customer does not convert. Any more than this is irritating to buyers, who will likely become even more turned off and less likely to actually use you if the opportunity arises. Thirty days is a substantial amount of time for them to convert if they indeed want to use your product. If they have not, overloading them with your messaging won’t help. If they have converted, make sure your lists are updated and don’t continue showing them the same messaging they saw before converting.
What you can do: Monitor your lists to determine what actions people are taking in response to your retargeting efforts and make changes to your messaging accordingly (or stop altogether).
Consumers like personalization and have come to expect it. But there is a fine line between a welcome time-saver and sending chills down a consumer’s spine. Instead of turning off your buyers by making them feel you are tracking their every move, fine-tune your personalization efforts so they are gradual, purposeful and accurate. It just might save you from being the nextNew York Times expose.
Learn how to make users happy with a personalized experience. Download Personalized Content: Generate More Revenue with a Dynamic Web Experience to learn what users expect to see and what you can provide as a content marketer.
Exciting. Overwhelming. Confusing. Gratifying. Social media can be all those and more, and sometimes all at once. It’s easy, once the initial excitement wears off, to get overwhelmed and just give up. I’ve talked to many small business owners, non profits and more who know they need to be utilizing social media but don’t have the time, the know-how or both.
Many times it’s beneficial for a specialist, like me, to step in and help them develop a plan. But that only works if the client is willing to work too. Just because someone starts posting on their Facebook page or creates a Twitter account doesn’t automatically mean followers flock and results happen. It takes team work.
Whether it’s a once a week meeting, a Skype call or emails throughout the week, collaboration is key. And, like any marketing efforts, it takes time. A Facebook page that only has 55 likes and a narrow target market may take a while to get rolling. Sometimes, even a page that has hundreds of likes but very little interaction requires patience…people have to be reminded and encouraged to engage.
Need some ideas to generate engagement? Check out this article from socialmediaexaminer.com: