A Number Is A Fact On Your Way To Trust

Readers like numbers because they believe the numbers represent facts,” Rick, our Digital Director said.

Numbers and  Trust

“And facts will get you to Trust,” I responded.

We were sitting on the deck. I was sipping an iced tea.

Rick took a sip of his Pale Ale and went on, “But it depends on how you use ‘em.
Here’s five ways I think are really important:

1. Numbers are specific. Saying you have 3 models from 7 different brands says you have selection better than saying you have ‘superb selection’. More Trust. Less confusion.

2. Numbers are quick. I just flat get ‘em without having to think about it if I use the numbers In 2 for 1 versus the words, the story is much easier to see and comprehend. More Trust. Less calculation.

3. Numbers are easy to test. Changing from a word to a number in a headline or subject line or a teaser on an envelope can be done quickly and easily and you won’t believe the lift sometimes. And price testing. It is so easy on line. More Trust. Definitive answers.

4. Numbers enhance believability. Say you make a robot with a placement accuracy of 2 nanometers and a .002/second cycle rate. You and I do not completely understand those number but the engineers that need the machine will want to know more. More Trust. Personalized data.

5. Numbers adjust to demographics. In pricing, the numbers you use can skew how a product is perceived. Look at the difference in a price of $10 versus one of $10.00 where the cents are included. The higher the price, the more the high-end buyer wants to see the cents as well as the dollars. More Trust. Specific prices.

People believe you can’t shade meanings with numbers so they trust them more than words.”


Jerry Fletcher’s blog recaps conversations with clients, prospects and an unruly mob of business development professionals. They discuss what’s new, what’s old, what’s good, bad and ugly plus creative thinking to find what works. Jerry Fletcher is the ringleader and “Watson” of the dialogue.

Jerry has been researching and implementing small business marketing that builds businesses, careers and lives of joy for 25 years as President of Z-axis Marketing, Inc. Learn more at www.JerryFletcher.com

Schedule a personal appearance. Jerry speaks internationally on Networking, Marketing and Contact Relationship Magic. www.NetworkingNinja.com

Personal Touch Breakthrough

“Once again a blast from the past takes over!” I said as I slid into my seat for lunch with the rowdy crew of business developers I’ve become the Watson for.

Personal phone calls build digital businessGail, our copywriter par excellence took a sip of iced tea and replied, “Can we assume that this has something to do with your choice of a topic for the day?”

Kate, the sales consultant sneered, “Yes, do tell. We’re all atwitter.”

Rob, who we call Bubba because he hails from Georgia, said, “Y’all are a cranky bunch today. Give the man a chance to ‘splain himself afore you go flingin’ him into the briar patch.”

“Thanks Bubba,” I said. “You know how we all get those heavy duty pitches from guys trying to sell us on line sales and SEO  expertise and products and you name it? Well I look at some of it but this last video really threw me. Usually these guys are all about on-line and they’re as personable as a loan shark looking for a past due account.”

Chris, the Digital Director said, “Whoa. Not every on-line business is that way. The truth is you have to offer some value or you will soon be out of business. You know that. You helped me when I was doing my entrepreneur thing.”

“My point is,” I said, “that because about midway through a video presentation that had some good stuff in it I was astonished when three of the experts being interviewed talked about how they experimented with personal touch in their on line businesses. What they tried was:

  • Hand written thank you notes to everyone that signed up for a free trial for an App. That more than doubled the conversion from trial to paid membership.
  • Personalized 30 second videos maintained that increase but cut the time needed per touch from five minutes to a minute or two.
  • A one-to-one text e-mail that is not generated by an auto responder started a dialogue that allowed a merchant to discover things about how his product/service is received and used. It proved to be a huge value for the next version.
  • You can use You Tube to put up an unlisted video. Then you send a link to the customer. They never forget.
  • You can overcome cart abandonment using the telephone. If you use a two-step sales approach (Contact info entered separately from Credit card) you can easily see who leaves without buying. Once a day or so, simply call those folks and have a conversation with them. You don’t sell, you just listen to the problem they have and let them know how your product can help them. This approach generates 12% to 30% additional sales.

Rick, our direct Marketing guy who really understands process said, “Let me sum up:

The Takeaway:

Customers do not want to be treated like numbers. They want to connect with a human being that understands their problem, relates to it and is really interested in them as a person. That pays off in increased sales.”


Jerry Fletcher’s blog recaps conversations with clients, prospects and an unruly mob of business development professionals. They discuss what’s new, what’s old, what’s good, bad and ugly plus creative thinking to find what works. Jerry Fletcher is the ringleader and “Watson” of the dialogue.

Jerry has been researching and implementing small business marketing that builds businesses, careers and lives of joy for 20 years as President of Z-axis Marketing, Inc. Learn more at www.JerryFletcher.com

Schedule a personal appearance. Jerry speaks internationally on Networking, Marketing and Contact Relationship Magic. www.NetworkingNinja.com



What Is The Best Pick-up Line Online?

Rick said it again, “A pickle label is the best pick-up line.”

Pickup line on line

Gail, one of three ladies at the table responded, “I love you dearly lad but believe me you need a great deal more. How long have you been married this time?”

She was just the first. All the rest jumped on him with varying degrees of disgust based on their age and their sex.

It fell to me as the oldest guy at the table to ask “What are you really talking about my crazy Direct Marketing friend?”

“Finally,” he said, “A person who is not besotted with carnality. What I meant was that failing all else play to the problem your target has. Label it. Help them understand what you are talking about even if you can’t bring yourself to use socially unacceptable language. Get as close as you can.”

Rob, our branding Bhudda smiled and said, “Now I get it. How many of you know what this headline was for: Within the curve of a woman’s arm…

Gail, copywriter and editor answered, “I don’t remember the product but it was the first underarm deodorant for women.”

“Hold it, I said, “What has that got to do with a pickle label?”

Rick replied, “It is kind of a shorthand way of saying that people will pay more attention to you on line if you tell them what you’re selling or problem you’re solving in their terms.”

Chris, the digital marketing director chimed in, “So what you’re saying is that in Adwords for instance I’m better off to use a headline that Includes the Main Keyword.

“Exactly,” Rick responded, “When your main keyword is in the ad and it matches the search query, the keyword will show up in bold.

Test your way to success.

The Takeaway

Test what you’re doing on line. Start with the pickle label and use that as your base of comparison or control. For instance:

Snoring (the pickle label)

Stop snoring (the benefit pickle label)

Stop Snoring Guaranteed (The benefit pickle label with a guarantee)

There are lots of alternatives but does that make the concept understandable to one and all? Remember, include the pickle label, the keyword that appears in your targets search in order to get your ad clicked on. That is what makes it a great pick up line on line.”


The lunch bunch is a group of marketing and sales professionals that meet each Friday. They discuss what’s new, what’s old, what’s good, bad and ugly but mostly what works. Jerry Fletcher is the ringleader and the one that writes up their comments. Sign up to get them all at www.JerryFletcher.com/profit .

Jerry Fletcher has been researching and implementing marketing that builds businesses, careers and lives of joy for over 20 years as President of Z-axis Marketing, Inc. Learn more at www.JerryFletcher.com

Schedule a personal appearance. Jerry speaks internationally on Networking, Marketing and Contact Relationship Magic. www.NetworkingNinja.com

When Not To Apologize

Angry man“I was trying to make sure that all the folks that wanted to keep getting my blog and newsletter and other publications about small business marketing would keep on getting them” I said.

“Nothing wrong with that,” said Chris, the Digital Director.

“Yes and no according to one recipient.” I responded.

Chris asked, “What was the problem?”

I replied, “I wouldn’t have known there was one if I didn’t regularly read this fellow’s blog. For him, the personalization went awry. I inferred from his subject and description in a blog the following week plus a follow up comment that I had offended him by getting him to click through from an e-mail sent to hundreds of people that had been personalized with their first names.”

Rob, the smooth talkin’ Johnny Reb branding guru said, “Sounds to me like he took it kinda personal.”

“I’d go along with that, said Kate. In sales terms you got too friendly, too quick.”

Rob, nodded and said, “That can really put a hitch in your git-a-long.”

“All of us preach personalizing our e-mails whether it is sales or marketing or just person to person, I said. But the problem is we don’t know when we make a mistake in an e-mail. This particular e-mail was a test of a new automated marketing system. It went out to 453 people. I found out with the first mailing that people were not sure it was me. They e-mailed me about the concern. One old friend left a lengthy voice mail. Most of them suggested personalizing it if I could.

The second time I sent it to the 327 people who had not responded. The e-mail was longer and personalized and invited anyone that was not sure it was me to call or e-mail for assurance. A few did it. It was the ‘from’ address that bothered them.

So now I’m sending it out a third time to 271 folks. The message will be longer, personalized, explain what I’m doing at greater length, again urge them to contact me if concerned and be totally up front that they are going to a landing page.

I will not apologize for asking them to sign up.

Why? Asked Kate.

“His blog made it painfully clear that he felt he had been tricked because he was taken to a sign up page. But he never indicated how that sign up could be done without some sort of landing page to capture his sign up, add him to the lists involved and otherwise put him into an automated marketing system. He never contacted me about his concern.

Over the two e-mails, 26 people that wanted to sign up but wanted to be sure it was me, made contact. Of those, 24 signed up. The two that didn’t are just too busy for more e-mail but wanted to be sure that they would remain in my personal contact list.

I won’t apologize because he could have made no comment and assured the same action. He is off the list and won’t be invited back.”

Chris said, “Harsh.”

Kate looked over her glasses at him and said, “I know Fletch wants to keep every customer forever but I also know he is pragmatic. It wasn’t inappropriate personalization in this case. It worked. The guy clicked through and then was unhappy. And if he feels all that up close and personal why didn’t he get in touch? Situations like this, you cut your losses and move on.”

Jerry Fletcher has had his share of successes and surprises in Automated Marketing. That is the source of his expertise. Clients have been known to say that “he starts where the software stops.” Sign up on the landing page in question: jerryfletcher.com/profit.html

Jerry speaks professionally on three continents. His speaking web site is www.NetworkingNinja.com

How Do You Build An E-mail Marketing List?

“That’s the question for all of us that want to sell products on line,” I told my brain trust.

E-mail List buildingThe two most familiar with digital marketing spoke first. Rick, our direct marketing guru said, “Buy one.”

At the same time Chris the digital Marketing Director said, “Build one.”

Rob, our Georgia-born branding expert sighed and said, “Y’all want to dance?”

“Sounds reasonable to me,” I said. “Why don’t you two have at it. I’ll referee and if the rest start piling on, I’ll encourage them. Just remember we want solutions for the little guys that don’t have a ton of money or time.”

Rick said, one of the most successful ways I know to build a list is to buy an e-mail list of people that have bought something in the same arena you’re selling into. You just have to be sure that you get good recency and frequency information.”

Rob asked, “What does that mean?”

“Bubba,” Rick said, “list brokers, particularly those that work with retailers keep data on how long it has been since someone made a purchase and how frequently they buy. Those are selects, ways you can have them parse their lists for you so you get people with a track record for buying the kind of thing you want to sell them.”

Chris chimed in, “And you can do the same thing if you want to build a list. What I’ve done is buy regular mail lists because it is usually cheaper and there may not be an e-mail list of the customers I’m looking for. Then we send out post cards to them to get them to respond on line usually for some information they want or to sign up for an educational webinar. We’ve been running 5 to 7% sign up each time we mail.”

Kate’s bracelets were clanking as she gestured no at both of them. “Look guys, Fletch said limited time and money. As a sales consultant I run into this all the time. You gotta find a way to put people in the pipeline now, without spending a bundle. What have you got for folks like me?

“I can speak to part of that,” I said. Start with what you have:

  • Contact your current clients/customers and ask what they are looking for (and then sell it to them and put them in your customer list)
  • Contact your current prospects to determine where they are in the process (Sell ‘em if it makes sense, toss them or put them in your list for futures)
  • Pull that pile of business cards out of the drawer in your desk and go smilin’ and dialin’ as Bubba would say. (Same triage: Sell ‘em, List ‘em or Toss ‘em)
  • Or, if you have the right integrated CRM in place put out an Opt in message that is connected to a benefits landing page that automatically puts something of value in their hands via download, puts them in your list automatically and can even begin a drip campaign based on their stated interests or concerns.”

Kate said, “Instead of trying to sell a product sell them on the idea of staying in contact with you. I can tell you the process works. I’ve been doing it for years only not as regimented as I should.”

Gail, our copywriter said, “Don’t forget a call to action. Always give people a way to contact you regardless of whether it is an article or an interview, a video or an association meeting. It’s just like Fletch’s story about fishbowl marketing where the customers put their business cards in a fish bowl by the checkout.

“Don’t forget, Gail” I said, “that’s the client that found she had to put a sign in register by the fish bowl for all the women that were her best customers that didn’t have business cards.”

The real question is what will work for you? Do you have hard data on your attempts?


Jerry Fletcher meets around kitchen and boardroom tables to change the marketing of companies in the Americas. He prefers working with “Little Guys” with 1 to under 500 employees. Jerry’s consulting web site is www.JerryFletcher.com

Jerry speaks professionally on three continents on how to craft Trust-based marketing that builds businesses, careers and lives of joy…on and off line. His speaking site is www.NetworkingNinja.com



How To Conquer Marketing Overwhelm

Rick said, “A new client told me he was hiring me because I helped him conquer his fear of being overwhelmed by the marketing possibilities.”

Happy Man“After you said thanks, what did you ask him?” asked Kate.

“He went on to say that it was a relief to know he didn’t have to learn it all and do it himself.”

Chris said, “Yeah, but what does that mean?”

“Let me guess,” I said. “The client is on every e-mail marketing list you can imagine. He or she watches a webinar a week which is always about the next sure thing in marketing on-line. But because each one of them says something different and the client hasn’t invested in any of them the level of overwhelm is like a tsunami.”

“Right,” said Rick. “I took a lesson from Kate. I asked him what I’d said or done that made him feel that way. Here’s what he said:

‘I’ve been trying to figure out how to take my business up a notch and I concluded that the marketing was the key. So I went on-line and searched marketing. I looked at the Business Journal list on-line and every company shown as a client was way bigger than me so I decided to look for on-line marketing help. Good luck with that! SEM, SEO and Certificate programs for pages. So I typed in how to market on line and I looked at some stuff. Before you know it I was getting e-mails from four or five folks about the same programs. So I’d watch a webinar and everything they told me was about how wonderful their new product was and they would be happy to take my credit card order for it…’

“But why did he hire you? I sincerely doubt it was because of your brand,” said Rob, our Branding Guru. What I’m seeing is that there is a glut of information out there. A simple search can make y’all believe you’re livin’ in an e-mail tornado alley. Everybody and his great aunt Hattie is tryin’ to get you to buy their shiny object and showing you checks with big numbers on ‘em.”

Gail said, “I know exactly what that feels like. Happened to me this summer. This group helped. All of you got me to stop buying into the silver bullet theory of internet marketing. You made me stop and look at the numbers and what was working for the various clients you serve. Here’s the way I wrote it down one Friday afternoon:

Information by the ton
Hundreds of products
No insight into what works and what doesn’t
A single coach
An approach matched to my needs
Test, Measure, Analyze and Reset”

I said, “So the net result is that the client believed that the insights you offered would overcome the glut of information and that you would work to make the marketing plan a living thing based on results.”

Rick said, “That’s one way to put it, but I think it is bigger than that. The client trusts me. And I’m not going to breach that trust.”


The marketing lunch bunch will be back next week. If you’re finding yourself drinking from that information fire hose, stop it! Watch this space for advice on how to find that singular coach that can help you market your business.

www.JerryFletcher.com is Jerry’s consulting web site He is changing the marketing of companies that meet around kitchen and boardroom tables. He prefers working with “Little Guys” with 1 to 500 employees.

www.NetworkingNinja.com is his speaking site. He speaks professionally on three continents on how to craft Trust-based marketing that builds businesses, careers and lives of joy.

How To Find Your Golden Key To Automated Client Development

You were saying, “Little guys need automated marketing, too, just like enterprises.”

Golden key to CRM“They do,” I replied, “but they don’t have the time or money to use a system built for an enterprise. They need to squeeze as much juice out of the systems they use as they can. The good thing is that entrepreneurs are always trying to find ways to provide a better deal.”

“So what are you recommending?” asked Chris.

“Mo’ importantly brer CRM, are you telling them the whole story? I mean it’s like the difference ‘tween a shovel and a backhoe. Which is better, ‘pends on the size hole you got to dig. So are you tellin’ folks to get the enterprise software and use just part of it or systems built for the little guy that don’t cause as much stress on the wetware?

“Yes,” I answered. “I’m just trying to give the ‘Little Guy’ an edge. But I have to tell you there is a CRM system that is integrated with an inbound marketing solution that I’ve telling people about lately. The neat thing is their support team goes above and beyond to help. I was trying to get the two synced during that hot weather spell where it was over 95 for 3 days. Between my computer being in that heat and what that did to internet connections I thought I would never be able to use Big Contacts and Active Campaigns. The guys at BC ran tests using my database, made a video of it and sent it to me to see what could be done with a decent connection. And they made sure the sync took so I could use AC. (That’s Active Campaign not Air Conditioning).

As I go forward setting up a store on my web site for Marketing Without Money TM and other digital products I’ll be investigating more services that are developed and optimized for small businesses.

What I like about this solution is the simplicity. You can load all your contacts into Big Contacts using a CSV file. You can track them via company and individually by name. You can tag them so it is easy to maintain multiple lists inside your complete list. Those of you that have seen me present CRM Magic know that the list of things I believe are ideal in an integrated system include:

  • Contact Manager
  • Calendar
  • Automated Actions
  • Regular E-mail
  • E-mail Marketing (including Mobile)
  • Auto Responders
  • Web Landing Pages
  • Forms Linked to Auto Actions
  • Easy integration with Social Media

I wrote that list over two years ago when no low-cost, easy to use system was available for the ‘Little Guy’. It’s almost like they were listening.

But don’t take my word for it. Go see for yourself. Here are the links again:”

Big Contacts           Active Campaign

Jerry and his mob (I know that’s a bunch of Kangaroos but we’re not down under at the moment) will be back next week. No one ever knows what marketing for small businesses topic will overwhelm their lunch.

Consulting:    www.JerryFletcher.com

Speaking:     www.NetworkingNinja.com

Do Your E-mail Numbers Add Up?

Girl with AbacusChris, back from vacation and full of energy flopped into a seat and said, “The latest data on e-mail could prove to be confusing.”

“How’s that” Digital Developer? I asked.

“What baffling bit of analytics is making you cranky,” asked Rick.

“Since you guys are so happy to see me I’m going to make this a test:
Which should you optimize for words or pictures?”

Rob jumped in saying, “We live in a visually oriented society. So usually I’d go with pictures. But I know the powah o’ words so I figure he’s runnin’ one on us and I’ll go that way.

Gail said, “I’ll go with words because that’s my stock in trade but I know how valuable the right photo can be.”

I said, “I’ve seen the research so I can safely say, it depends.”

Kate snorted and said, “Both of you quit hedging and tell us.”

Chris said, “It really does depend. When you survey the population about two thirds of people say they prefer mostly images. But when you look at click through rates every picture you add lowers the rate.”

Kate asked, “Is it different between men and women?

Chris replied, “Men prefer text, women mostly images but either way it is nearly a 50/50 proposition.”

Rick asked, “Is there any data on when to send?”

“Yes,” Chris said, “But you aren’t going to like that any better.”

“Don’t tell me,” Rick said, “That, too depends.”

Chris smiled. “Yes. Here’s how that figures:

  • The best click through rates for marketing e-mails are on Saturday and Sunday followed by Friday, Thursday, Wednesday, Monday and Tuesday.
  • The pattern is pretty much the same regardless of list size flattening as the list grows to over 10,000.”

“The pattern is the same for e-mails sent by individuals to other individuals,” I added. The most surprising finding was the fact that individual e-mails are being opened up to 12 days later.”
What about mobile?” Kate asked.

Chris checked his notes and said, “People use Desktops, Laptops, Phones and Tablets. They don’t stick to any single one. Eighty percent use a desktop or laptop part of the time. About 57% use a phone part of the time. And tablet use is up to 33% of the time now.

I said, “The real question is what should the little guy do with this information? In most cases he or she must look at what they are sending and compare what they sent to the actions taken. There is no silver bullet, single answer but you can improve your performance if you use the analytics available to you and change based on actions not words.”

Thanks for stopping by. Please pass this information along to any “Little Guy” that needs help figuring out how to market a business with limited time and money.

Jerry Fletcher records the commentaries of his rowdy crew of marketing and sales experts weekly. Learn more about his consultancy at www.JerryFletcher.com
Jerry speaks professionally and has appeared on three continents. See some of his signature stories at www.NetworkingNinja.com