The Newsletter Pro - April 2017

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How to Virtually Guarantee Anyone Will Take Your Call The Most Difficult Aspect of Owning Any Business The Small Business Administration Is Here to Help Meet Rob!




Testimonials Good News


The Strategy of One

Starbucks: World Leaders of Word-of- Mouth Marketing Book Review: ‘The Revenge of Analogue’


The Death of Offline Media and the Accuracy of the News Media Have Both Been GREATLY EXAGGERATED

U.S. That’s right. The death of the physical store is a long way away, since the physical store still accounts for 91.7 percent of all U.S. sales. In addition to that, the pace at which online e-commerce is growing year after year is starting to slow a little. Of course, 8.3 percent of the entire U.S. market is still a massive chunk, so shouldn’t you get your piece of the pie? Yes, but don’t expect it to be a very big piece. The top 500 e-commerce sites made 84 percent of all total e-commerce sales, leaving you and I with a very small 1.3 percent piece of the pie. WHAT ABOUT ONLINE ADVERTISING? Online advertising is continuing to grow. With all the content begin published and consumed on mobile devices — and all the time people spend glued to a screen — it makes sense for it to grow. This year, for the first time, online ad spending will overtake TV ad spending. But that comparison is a bit misleading. ALL online ad spending for any U.S.-based/targeted sites will overtake the single offline media of TV advertising. That doesn’t sound like the death of TV. It sounds like hype to make online ad spending

appear to have this great victory over offline ad spending. There are, of course, other challenges in online advertising — mainly the shifting landscape and the ease at which people can skip your ad, block your ad, etc. and get to the content they really want to consume. You also have tons of money being wasted in online ads, as many businesses invest to try and figure out what works online today and not what will work online tomorrow. I recently had someone tell me they were getting these amazing lead costs through Facebook. I took a look at their numbers and asked if they were managing the campaigns themselves or had hired an outside vendor. They had hired an outside vendor, so I asked, “What does that vendor charge you?” When they told me, “$2,500 per month,” I redid the math on their lead cost to include the vendor’s fees, which unfortunately burst the client’s bubble a bit. Not adding the vendor fee would kind of be like doing direct mail and not adding postage as an expense.

If you go and look online right now at business news stories, the volume of stories about traditional media being dead, how great digital media is, how Amazon and e-commerce initiatives are talking over the world, and the second coming of the digital revolution … is staggering, frankly. It only gets worst if you attend a marketing conference. There, you’ll find a dozen or more speakers trying to sell you on the idea that the only marketing that matters is social media marketing. All other marketing is dead, and your path to quick profits is by advertising on Facebook — or whatever the newest social media flavor of the month is.

Do you want to know the truth?

They’re lying to you. No, I’m serious. It’s all a lie, and I’ll prove it to you.

Let’s look at e-commerce first.

As of the fourth quarter of 2016, total e-commerce sales were only 8.3 percent of all sales made in the

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will get shown off and well-used, and will also probably get you the appointment you’re looking for.

interesting or useful to your recipient is easier than ever, thanks to social media. By spending a little time cyber-sleuthing, you can quickly figure out the perfect way to personalize your gift. Once you’ve picked out the perfect gift, it’s time to get the package in the mail. When you mail the gift, always include a direct mail letter with your request for an appointment, and then follow up shortly after via phone. On the phone, feel free to mention you’re the person who sent that amazing item. Depending on the C-suite you’re trying to contact, it is possible more than one gift will be required. But for most people, a single gift and some follow-up will work wonders. I’ve found this strategy to work really well when I have a targeted list of high-value prospects, strategic partners, or referral sources I’m interested in chatting with. I easily get past the gatekeeper with a thoughtful gift, and if I nail the gift, I almost always get the appointment.

Have you ever tried to use direct mail to get the attention of a busy professional or C-suite executive? If so, there’s a chance you might think direct mail is a waste of money. In all fairness, it can be really hard to get past the gatekeepers with direct mail. There always seems to be someone there, looking to intercept your message — unless you make the effort to think a bit outside the box. When targeting high- level professionals, why not try a gift? Gifting is my personal favorite method to open a conversation in a thoughtful, effective way. Gifting is a strategy you can use to win the attention of just the right person, but that doesn’t mean you should send any old thing. Typically when you send a gift, you want to select a high-value, best-in- class item. Your gift doesn’t necessarily have to be expensive, just the best in its class. For example, if you’re going to send an embroidered accessories bag to someone who likes golf, don’t send the cheap canvas one. Instead, go for the nice leather bag. Maybe the leather bag costs a few more bucks than a canvas one, but the higher-end product

Here are a few great gifting ideas to get you thinking:

1. Monogrammed leather folios

2. Custom cutting boards

3. Engraved professional kitchen knives

4. Alma mater gear (unique or personalized)

5. Custom wood wall plaques (for life events like weddings, anniversaries, new babies, etc.)

6. Personalized or monogrammed blankets, robes, etc.

When sending a gift, keep in mind that the gift is all about the recipient, and not about you. Don’t logo-up the gift with your brand. Instead, customize the gift for the receiver. Finding something genuinely

– Shaun


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Direct mail works so well that Apple, Google, and Facebook all use it as part of a multi-channel media strategy. WHAT SHOULD YOU DO? Here is the truth. You have to do it all. I know that makes it more complicated. I know that means you may have to increase your budget. But the truth is, you need a multi-channel strategy. Doing anything less is way too risky. Think about it. What if you’re all-in on Facebook and your account gets shut down? It’s happened to me and almost EVERYONE I know in the marketing world. Start by focusing on fixing the holes in your bucket. This includes fixing retention issues, bad/no follow-up, bad lead-to-appointment conversion rates, bounce back issues, and referral shortages. Each business will have issues right now that they should fix first. You don’t dump water into a bucket that has two giant holes in the bottom of it and try to fill it up. So why keep dumping good, expensive leads into your business if you haven’t first fixed the holes in your bucket? After that, you can add a multi-channel marketing campaign that includes online and offline follow-up for new leads. This means Facebook advertising, direct mail or Google advertising, Your marketing strategy should look something like this:

and event sponsorship — whatever is going to get you the best results for your business.

PRINT MEDIA IS DEAD? NOT SO FAST. Do you remember when the media was predicting the death of traditional books? Tech Crunch has an article from August 6, 2010, that predicted the physical book will be dead by 2015. Someone may need to inform Barnes and Noble, because I was in their store just this past Sunday, reading physical books. I even bought two of these fossils. In 2015, e-books did not take over the publishing world. In fact, revenue from e-books fell 11.3 percent, while hardcover book revenue grew 8.3 percent. The fastest growing segment of the whole book industry is audiobooks, both digital and physical. I, for one, listen to a ton of audiobooks each year. It appears the funeral for physical books may need to be postponed. What about direct mail? Ninety-eight percent of U.S. consumers get their mail daily from this weird box at the end of their driveway. Seventy-seven percent check their mail immediately. Seventy percent of consumers prefer to read on printed paper, and 67 percent of consumers prefer print media over digital media. Only 20 percent of emails are opened and read, and although I don’t have a stat for this, let’s be real. No one enjoys the volume of emails they get. Ninety-three percent of all consumers have responded to a direct mail piece within the last six months. Fifty-one percent of all consumers have responded to a direct mail piece in the last 30 days.

I promised you the truth in this article, so I’m going to end with a true statement — one that might not be palatable for some. Marketing is getting more and more difficult. You can’t simply hang a shingle on the door and announce you’re open anymore. You can’t simply put an ad in the Yellow Pages or the local newspaper and get flooded with business. Marketing and advertising is now complicated. For some, that creates a massive amount of stress and anxiety, and I understand that, but you could look at it differently. You could see all of the complication as a benefit. Think about it like this: If you invest and figure out how to have a profitable multimedia strategy for your marketing, you negate nearly all of your competitors because it is unlikely they are smart enough or patient enough to figure the strategy out. The complexity actually becomes a massive competitive advantage for your business, with a side benefit of making the business more valuable from a resale standpoint.

This leaves me with one final question that only you can answer.

Can you handle the truth?

– Shaun



of personal responsibility and feel people need to own their mistakes. As I’ve grown my team and my leadership abilities, I have come to realize the truth in this statement. Every problem truly is a leadership problem. Now, I can hear the cries of “foul!” from entrepreneurs as I write this. “I’m not responsible for their poor job performance or customer service, etc.” So understand, I’m not suggesting you’re solely responsible, but it is your job to put the proper systems in place to help people succeed. It’s your job

Since people are the most difficult aspect of any business, it is important that you find great people — the right customers for your business, as well as the right team to support your company. You must also focus on continual improvement of your customer service and people management skills. Unfortunately, few business owners and leaders work on this skill, which is really the cause of many of the problems they experience. One of the things I learned from one of my mentors is that every problem is a leadership problem. At first, I took issue with this idea, since I’m a big fan

There is a saying that goes, “Business would be easy if I didn’t have any customers or employees.” While that might make things easier for a time, I bet you’d also be either broke and bored from lack of work or way too busy trying to figure out how to get new customers, and ultimately employees, on your own. I’m not 100 percent sure which one it would be. Obviously whoever came up with this saying was really talking about how difficult it is to work with people, regardless of what side of the table they sit on.

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IS HERE TO HELP Is an Excellent Booster for Your Business The Small Business Administration

to have performance talks. It is your job to make sure you hire the right people. It is your job to manage the situation before it becomes a critical situation.

If you’ve ever said, “No one can do this as well as I can,” that is a leadership problem and also a false belief.

When a problem does arise, you may not bear sole responsibility, but you (or a leader in your organization, or both) absolutely bear some responsibility for issues that arise at work. Just like with mistakes in life, you always could have made a better or different choice. No one is immune to leadership fails. Just this past week, I failed twice in a leadership opportunity with various people on my team and in my company. My failures caused frustration and turmoil, hurt some, and confused others. Was I solely responsible? Of course not. Did the team members involved bear some responsibility? Of course they did. Did some of my managers have faults and issues in this situation? Of course they did. We all make mistakes. It’s how you handle those mistakes and how you learn from them that makes all the difference in the long run. Your people, your systems, and your processes have a greater impact on the success of your business then any marketing campaign can, but few people invest time or treasure into developing these skills and resources. I’ve spent a lot of time and treasure on my leadership skills, and although I do screw things up from time to time, it is far less frequent then in years past. If I was asked to name just two resources from the dozens of books and trainings I’ve taken over the years, I’d first list my favorite book on creating a culture and leading people, “Uncontainable” by Kip Tindell, the CEO and founder of The Container Store. I guarantee it’s worth $20 and a read. And secondly, from a hands-on training standpoint, I couldn’t recommend Infusionsoft’s Elite Forum more highly. This is a two-day training at their headquarters that literally changed my business and gave me the tools — from a talent standpoint — that enabled us to grow 2,975 percent in a three-year period. We wouldn’t be where we are today in terms of sales and size without this training. As I said earlier, all problems are leadership problems. You have to invest and grow yourself if you truly want your business to grow. No employee, manager, or even the CEO is immune from screwing up.

business: the environmental view, the marketplace view, the project view, and the measurement view; driving forces — what will lay the foundation for what you want people to accomplish in your business; and ideal position — the conditions you determine are necessary for you to end up where you want. DEVELOPING A MARKETING PLAN Marketing is always tricky. That makes it all the more vital to create a concrete plan. According to the SBA, your marketing plan should include understanding your target market, your competitive position within that market, how you intend to reach that market, and your strategy for differentiating yourself from the competition. Your marketing budget should be a component of that plan, but allow for some flexibility. As the SBA puts it, “There may be times when you need to throw in another

The U.S. Small Business Administration has a vested interest in supporting and building up the small companies that form America’s backbone. In order to achieve this, they maintain a great website — — chock-full of strategies for running your small business, with tips on everything from business leadership to cybersecurity. Here are just a few of the many nuggets of available knowledge: FORECASTING FOR GROWTH One of the most important things the SBA stresses is the need to plan ahead. As you develop a strategic vision for your business, the SBA points out five different criteria you should consider as you move forward: organization — the structure of your business and the resources necessary; observation — being aware of what motivates your people and how to solve potential problems; views — four different perspectives from which to examine your

Meet Rob: Our Favorite Poet and Our Pro Under the Spotlight Brilliant writing always takes a combination of discipline and creativity, and here at The Newsletter Pro, our scribes have both in spades. But it’s not every day that you encounter a there, too — though we’re not sure what that has to do with newsletters. The man is a dynamo, putting out pristine, high-quality articles at record speed. Everything he commits to print is funny, surgically precise, and packed with meaning. THE REAL DEAL

published poet applying his meticulous, precise artistry to an article about dental fillings. Meet Rob, one of the most talented, hilarious, and universally beloved members of our team. Rob has established himself as the go-to guy of our office. Need somebody to brainstorm tactics for expanding a client’s list size? Rob’s there. Need somebody to write up a hysterical list of old Valentine’s Day tragedies? Too late, he’s already finished. Need someone to teach you to absolutely shred on the blues harmonica? He’s got you covered

All that, and he’s modest, too. “I started writing because I wasn’t much good at anything else besides swinging a hammer, and there’s not much future in that,” he says. “And it’s free entertainment.” Humility aside, Rob’s brain houses a comprehensive lineage of roots country and blues music and a long list of poets whose words will make you put down their books with a sigh. Two of his own poems — “The Falling” and “Amos Wells” — were recently published in Texas Christian University’s gorgeous literary journal, descant .


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"We get a lot of leads from our newsletter. This week, we sent out 53 books, even though we've only spoken to 15 of those people. The other 38 people came to us because of the newsletter! We rely on them getting the newsletter every month to take the next step. It's also a great way for them to get to know us!"

– David Brannen, Resolute Legal

unplanned marketing tactic … to help you reach your market more effectively.” IDEAS FOR GROWING YOUR BUSINESS The SBA offers a list of 10 tips to grow your business. These include opening another location, offering your business as a franchise or business opportunity, licensing your product, forming an alliance, diversifying — truly essential if you want to target other markets, win government contracts, merge with or acquire another business, expand globally, or establish an internet presence. Check out the site for yourself. It’s a treasure trove of information, with helpful links and time-tested strategies. It’s almost impossible to visit without learning something helpful.

"The past week or so, we’ve had a couple of Joe’s clients say how much they love our newsletter. They read it from cover to cover and say, “That Buddy’s corner, it’s just so fabulous. I love that.” People will come in and ask how the dogs are doing after reading the newsletter." – Joe and Janette Gleason

Have You Heard The Good News?

1 Peter 1:7-9 — These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith — of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire — may result in praise, glory, and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls. Hebrews 5:8-9 — Son though he was, he learned obedience from what he suffered and, once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him.

When he’s not writing newsletters, he’s in his garage, clacking away at the second draft of his novel on a manual Royal KMG typewriter, or on the couch, watching campy science fiction shows with his wife, Courtney, and their dog, Max. No matter what he says, don’t let his down-to- Earth nature and magnetic conversational manner fool you — Rob is the real deal.


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Let me ask you a question. If you had one single customer who generated 95 percent of your new leads and sales, would you have a real business? Of course not! You’d basically be an employee of that large customer, regardless of how you organized your business legally. Let me ask another question. If you have one media source that generates 95 percent of your new leads and sales (or even 40 percent), do you have a real business? Could you rely on that lead source and trust that your business would be okay tomorrow? The answer for most people, even if we were talking about just 40 percent of new leads and sales, is no. You couldn’t afford to lose that lead source without, at a minimum, a decrease in work force. The reality is that most businesses cannot lose 40 percent of their incoming leads and sales and still be in business. THE STRATEGY OF ONE

the largest customer for day-to-day expenses. Use those profits to invest in growing the company, purchasing new equipment, etc. Rule 2: No customer can be greater than 10 percent of your revenue. If I end up with a customer greater than 10 percent, I must be willing to grow the business large enough to make sure that customer is no more than 10 percent — preferably 7 percent or less. Rule 3: No lead source can be greater than 25 percent of new incoming leads and sales. If one source becomes greater than that, I must invest to find additional sources of leads and sales. As an entrepreneur, I’m not saying you shouldn’t seize opportunities. Feel free to grab each new opportunity and run with it, then get ready to work hard to bring it into alignment with the above rules. Only with this approach will your business see sustainable growth and success.

Lead sources go bad and large customers cancel. You can’t bet your business on these things. So many people are in so much danger right now with Facebook. Like Adwords and SEO before it, one day, Facebook will make a change, and it will, in all likelihood, affect your business. You have to know that Facebook can giveth, and Facebook can taketh away. The moment your dollars are no longer in their user’s best interests, you are gone.

But when you look at many businesses, they employ a strategy of one:

One primary lead source

One large customer

One employee in a critical area of the business

One is a horrible number, unless it is followed by many, many zeros. And even then, I’d prefer a two followed by many, many zeros. When I first started this company, a full 75 percent of my leads came from one lead source. In the beginning, when we were small (under $1 million in revenue), it seemed to work for us. But as we grew to nearly a million in revenue and greater, we realized we needed to diversify.

What is an entrepreneur to do?

I live by three rules when it comes large customers and lead sources. Rule 1: Don’t eat from your largest customer. What I mean by this is, at a minimum, don’t use the profits from


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• Use numbers 1-9 only • The full grid is 9x9 cells • The full grid is broken into 9 regions, 3x3 cells each • Each region can contain only one of each number 1-9 • Each cell can contain only one number • Each row and column should contain only one of each number 1-9 Sudoku Basics

Grid n°4780 easy



8 6

6 1 8 5 9

8 9 3

4 1 6 4 9 7

6 7 3

5 4 8


5 1 3

We have all the free sudokus youneed! 400new sudokuseveryweek. Make your own free printable sudoku at BUSINESS PROFILE STARBUCKS: WORLD LEADERS OF WORD-OF-MOUTH MARKETING Ever Noticed How You Never See Their Coffee on a Billboard?

Has over 20,000 locations worldwide.

Why is word-of-mouth so effective? Because it’s relationship-based marketing by proxy. You are traveling on bonds that already exist, rather than spending your marketing dollars trying to build one from scratch. The sheer power of this style of marketing led the punk poet John Cooper Clarke to declare, “Word-of-mouth is a force of nature.” If there’s any major company that understands this, it’s Starbucks. If you’re in the United States, there’s an 80 percent chance you live within 20 miles of one of their coffee shops. What started as a neighborhood startup in Seattle grew to a company that ...

Has averaged two new stores a day since 1987.

Employs over 130,000 people (or “partners,” as they call them).

Has a brand that is so recognizable, it no longer puts the company name on its coffee cups.

And the crazy thing? It did all that primarily without traditional advertising.

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Second, you have to create an experience your customers will want to return to. We aren’t just talking about amazing customer service (which is important). They created what they called a “third home” community in their cafe. When their

On one side, you have Coca Cola, who increased their marketing budget in 2016 by a whopping $1 billion, bringing it to about $4 billion annually. You also have McDonald’s — $1 out of every $6 spent on restaurant advertising in the U.S. is spent by the Golden Arches. Then there’s Starbucks, becoming one of the most globally recognized brands without the use of ads. They pulled it off by understanding two things: First, you have to have a quality product that is worth talking about. When the first mom and pop Starbucks opened in Seattle’s Pike Place Market in 1971, they brought in high-quality Italian coffee that was supposed to be the best in the world. It was good enough for customers to tell their friends about that place with the latte they were “absolutely addicted to.” To this day, they strive for quality as they expand, which companies like McDonald’s sacrificed as it expanded. Why are kids who are too young to remember cassettes obsessed with vinyl? Why are magazines thriving in the digital world? Why do “real things” matter? These are the questions that drove David Sax to research the resurgence of analogue technology — a project that led to his superb new book, “The Revenge of Analogue.” Sax begins by acknowledging that digital technology, from iPhones to MP3s, has fundamentally changed how we live as a species. “But,” he writes, “digital’s gain was not without sacrifice." He saw this sacrifice early on, at a dinner party that fizzled when everyone was more interested in their phones than each other. Enter “analogue,” defined simply as “the opposite of digital.” Instead of 1s and 0s, analog has physical presence. Instead of hitting a button to send information to an iPod, which then sends information to your speakers, you set a needle into a groove on a record — and let simple physics do the rest. Most analog devices don’t require electricity, never mind

customers returned again and again, it had just as much to do with the atmosphere as it did with the coffee. It worked better than expected — and still does. The average Starbucks customer visits six times a month, and a whopping 20 percent visit every other day. That’s loyalty you can’t buy with a traditional marketing budget.

magazines.” That’s because they don’t really exist. Coca Cola proves that no company is too large to advertise — Starbucks proves that no company can buy word-of-mouth advertising. Your business can do the same thing. Providing a product good enough for people to tell their friends and family about will ensure new customers, as will providing an aesthetic people want to share. It’s not opinion — as Clarke said, it’s nature.

You might be thinking to yourself, “Come to think of it, I never see Starbucks billboards or ads in

BOOK REVIEW Old Tech Strikes Back! David Sax’s ‘The Revenge of Analogue’

the internet. A mechanical typewriter is analogue. Your laptop is decidedly not. And here’s the twist: Analogue is more popular than ever. In his book, Sax describes walking down the street in the middle of the digital age and finding thriving analogue businesses — film photography, handmade watches, fountain pens, and more.

camera. The companies Sax examines are bringing the past into the present. And they’re using digital tech to do it — including crowdfunding and the latest social media marketing to sell analogue products. Sax puts it best. “Reality is multicolored,” he writes. “It smells funny and tastes weird … and the best ideas emerge from that complexity, which remains beyond the capability of digital technology to fully appreciate.” As an analogue company bringing print newsletters to the digital world, we can’t recommend “The Revenge of Analogue” enough. Although, we hope you won’t use an e-reader to check it out, because there’s nothing quite like the smell of fresh print on paper pages!

Sax takes a look at all these industries and more in this book, concluding that the analogue-digital dichotomy is not a question of replacement. Yes, you can now do everything your old camera can do with a digital one. On the other hand, the one thing that your digital camera can’t do is take photos on physical film. And if that’s what you want, then you’re going to use an analogue film


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