Monthly Archives :

June 2017

3 Tips to Avoid Running on Empty This Summer

3 Tips to Avoid Running on Empty This Summer 900 600 Amy Judge

You spend hours every summer gassing up the car, gassing up the boat, and gassing up the lawn mower. How many hours do you spend filling up your own tank?

For many business owners in Minnesota, work doesn’t slow down when the weather’s nice and you’d rather be up at the cabin. It can be easy to get so caught up in driving your business forward that you wind up running on empty. Here are a few of the ways the Wild Fig Marketing team stays topped up so we’re always at our best for our clients.

1. Lean on Your Support Team
And we just don’t mean the outstanding staff you’ve surrounded yourself with at work. Take a moment to identify the people who are always in your corner. They could be your spouse, your kids, your friends, or your coworkers. These are the people you should turn to when things shift into high gear, whether you go grab a cup of coffee together or a take a short walk through your neighborhood.

2. Don’t Be Afraid to Unplug
We simply don’t do this enough. Even when we’re at the cabin or on vacation, we check email and even respond to client calls. The truth is, these calls and emails can wait, even if it’s just for an hour. And often, our business is the better for it. Give yourself a moment during the day to unplug and recharge, even if it’s just to walk down the block to grab a snack. Rely on the team you’ve built to manage the business while you’re away for a long weekend or week at the cabin.

3. Play to Your Strengths (and Outsource the Rest)
When you are doing what you love and what you do well, you’re more efficient and less likely to feel like work is a chore. Identify what your strengths and skills are, and then make a list of the things you’d rather not (or can’t) do yourself but know are important, like marketing and accounting. If you have team members with the skills to complete these tasks, great! If you don’t, it’s time to outsource.

Wild Fig Marketing can help you automate your marketing efforts so you can focus on the things you do best. To schedule your consultation, give us a call or book your appointment online.

Creating a Powerful Subject Line

Creating a Powerful Subject Line 900 600 Kari Switala

I think we would all agree that it doesn’t matter how informative, inspiring and all-around incredible your email content is if no one opens your email, right? If that’s the case then the big question is – how can you maximize the potential of the email subject line to create the desired effect – an opened email?

We only have one opportunity to hit the bullseye with each email we send out. We cannot underestimate the importance of a powerful subject line.

What goes into creating that powerful subject line?

Here is a list of 10 key components to consider:

1. Keep it short. 5-7 words, 40 characters max. It is important to be aware that the subject line on a mobile screen is cut shorter than that of its desktop counterpart and typically can only contain 35 characters or fewer to appear in its entirety.

2. Imply a sense of urgency. (“This week only…”)

3. Create a sense of scarcity or of missing out. No one wants to miss a good opportunity!

4. Ensure proper spelling or grammar. Nothing will send your email to the trash can quicker than sloppy oversights.

5. Consider asking a question to pique curiosity. This is another great way to ensure that “click” because it will send your email recipient into the email in search of the answer.

6. Consider using numbers in your subject line. We love lists and easy ways to categorize and digest information. (“3 easy steps…”)

7. Avoid communicating like a used-car salesman. Refrain from typing words in all caps, use much discretion when it comes to implementing exclamation marks and be sure to avoid words that spam filters pick up on or your email won’t even make it into your recipient’s inbox. Take time to research spam filter trigger words.

8. Make it personal. This is the converse of the used-car salesman approach. You want to appeal to your email recipient on a personal level in much the same way you would communicate with a friend. No one wants to feel like a face in the crowd.

9. Get to know your clientele. Who is your audience and what drives or motivates them? What needs do they have that your business can help meet?

10. Offer value and expertise. How can you convey the value of the product or service you provide in a few short words? Think of your subject line as the ‘appetizer’ and the content of your email as the ‘main course’. If the appetizer is satisfying then your customer will stick around to delve into more of what you have to offer.

Next time your company formulates that important email be sure to take extra time to consider the importance of a powerful, well-composed subject line.

Then, track your results to ensure that your efforts are increasing your click/open rates.

Putting in this extra effort up front will pay dividends down the road and help you market your business more effectively. If you’re struggling with your email marketing, we can help! Schedule a complimentary, 15-minute exploratory call with our team: calendly.com/wildfig/15min!

Welcome to Ontraport 5.0!

Welcome to Ontraport 5.0! 252 252 Kevin Switala

What is Ontraport you ask? Many of our clients run their business and marketing automation on the Ontraport platform. This platform has a core CRM (Customer Relationship Management System) to hold all of your contacts in one place and allows the automation of marketing, sales and other functions to be wrapped in one package. Landing page building and hosting, online sales, email marketing, SMS, and even mailing postcards is possible from within this one system!

The future of marketing is here. Ontraport recently released Ontraport 5.0, the latest version of their platform, and we couldn’t be more excited for what this version will do within our industry! Ontraport 5.0 brings all the value you are used to seeing in Ontraport, while adding two sweet new functions: Visual Campaign Builder and Visual Campaign Metrics. The best part? They’re all in one view!

Two things in one! As many of our Monthly Marketing Clients, DIY-ers, and Service Customers know, we typically build a visual diagram of your systems in a flow chart, and then build the system behind the scenes. This new view within Ontraport 5.0 achieves both.

Campaign Builder allows you to build out your entire campaign, including the expected (if, then, or) logic, and view it in real time within the system. Now here’s the real power…when you view your campaign in the system, you can choose Performance Mode to see the actual results as your clients and prospects are fed through your marketing and automated systems! This is HUGE!!

Here are a couple simple examples:

  • How well is my system converting in each stage?
  • Where are my best customers coming from?
  • How long does it take for prospects to become customers?
  • Which campaign elements are most effective?
  • What is the lifetime value of customers coming from each source?

To find out more about how you can leverage these new features in your systems, please contact us to schedule a time to explore the options for you and your business!

5 Apps to Simplify Your Summer

5 Apps to Simplify Your Summer 900 600 Kari Switala

Woohoo! It’s officially summer time! How do you plan to spend your summer: sitting at your desk or sitting on the beach? If you’re interested in spending more time relaxing and enjoying a good book or the great outdoors, then you’ll want to check-out the 5 apps we love that will help simplify your summer!

 

#1. Calendly – Are you tired of playing an endless game of tag every time you try to book a meeting with a client or prospective client? Then you’ll definitely want to check out the Calendly app. This calendar scheduling tool easily integrates with most online calendars and can be customized to suit your meeting needs. The next time a prospect wants to schedule an appointment, simply send them the link and say goodbye to the back and forth emails! https://calendly.com/

#2. Canva – I must admit, both Amy and I are a bit addicted to this app. Canva makes designing social media posts, email headers and more a breeze with their pre-designed templates and easy-to-use editing tools. Simply choose what you want to create a Twitter post to a blog header, (or one of the 100 other options), then upload your logo, add it to the image, and you’re good to go! https://www.canva.com/

#3. Blinkist – My good friend Tara told me about this app about a year ago, and I was a bit hesitant about using it because I love to read books. However, this little app recently came in handy when I had lead a group discussion on a book I hadn’t finished reading yet. Now, it’s one of my favorite apps. Basically, Blinkist is the digital version of Cliff Notes (if you are old enough to remember what they are!). It gives you a high-level overview of the main points of the book (either via audio or text) so you can decide if it’s a book you want to read or simply utilize the key points. PS: It’s great for those professional development books that have great content but often put you to sleep! http://blinki.st/712ecf2f8468

#4. Grammarly – This is a lifesaver app, especially for those of us who might not have enjoyed or learned a ton from English class. The app alerts you anytime you have a spelling or grammatical error in whatever you’re writing, no matter the platform. Whether  you’re putting together a Facebook post, writing a blog, or editing your WordPress website, it will notify you of any errors and provide suggestions, too. https://www.grammarly.com/

#5. MileIQ – Do you struggle with keeping track of your mileage like I do? Then you will love this app that my accountant Scott Kaiser with Kaiser Tax recommended. MileIQ automatically logs and records all the miles you drive and creates a complete record of each trip. Once you’re done for the day, a simple swipe will indicate which trips were for business and which were not! No more trying to remember business-related trips during tax season. It’s a fantastic time saver! https://www.mileiq.com/howitworks

If you would like to explore new ways to make your marketing as simple and effective as these time-saving apps, please email kari@gowildfig.com or book an appointment.

Tired of Chasing Tail? It’s Time to Settle Down and Focus on Qualified Prospects

Tired of Chasing Tail? It’s Time to Settle Down and Focus on Qualified Prospects 900 600 KariSwitala

We all know a guy or gal who spent their early 20s playing the dating game. I had a friend who went on dates with so many different people, it seemed like he had dinner with everyone he ever spoke to! It seemed exhausting to me, and eventually, my friend found someone special who became his wife.

Instead of chasing tail, a more efficient approach would be to come up with a physical or mental checklist of the qualities you’d be looking for in a significant other.  Then, my friend could’ve used his list to determine whether or not to go on a date with someone.

So, what does this have to do with growing your business? Following up with every prospect who visits your website is like going on a date with every person you ever have a conversation with. Why waste hundreds of hours following up with tire kickers when you could spend just a few hours following up with QUALIFIED prospects who REALLY want your product or service?

Qualify Your Prospects to Save Time and Effort

Recently I met with a prospective client whose sales team follows up with EVERY website lead they received. At first, I was impressed. But then I asked him how many of those leads were qualified. His response: 25%.

Yikes! Immediately, my marketing automation brain went into overdrive, and we discussed how he could prequalify the leads automagically, including:

  1. What are the top 2-3 factors he used to qualify a prospect? Answer: Budget & Space.
  2. What is the average length of your sales cycle? Answer: 7 days.
  3. What are your prospects most concerned with when you talk to them? Answer: Staying within the quoted budget and the experience level of the installers.
  4. What improvements could be made to your sales process? Answer: All the leads came to the business owner, who then had to disperse the leads to the appropriate sales person.

From our discussion, Wild Fig Marketing added a region field to the company’s existing landing page so the prospect could select the region closest to them. Once a prospect filled out the landing page form they would automagically be entered into a sequence. Here’s what this sequence looks like:

Are you ready to find out how we can automagically prequalify your prospects? Call or email us today to schedule an exploratory phone call. 612-298-3487 or kari@gowildfig.com

Case Study: The Runaway Bride

Case Study: The Runaway Bride 900 601 KariSwitala

Meet Glenn and his team at The Gardens of Castle Rock, located in beautiful Castle Rock Township, Minnesota. The Gardens of Castle Rock is an amazing outdoor wedding and reception venue with breathtaking display gardens and beautiful landscaping. Glenn built The Gardens from the ground up in 2014 and business has been growing rapidly ever since.

Glenn called us because he wanted to find a way to automate some of his processes. Because he is so focused on creating an AMAZING experience for every couple he works with, he wanted to ensure his onboarding process was up to par. One thing Glenn noticed that as his business grew, he found it harder and harder to keep on top of all of the reminders he needed to send to new couples after they booked with him. This is where we come into play!

The average booking for a wedding venue is done at least 12 to 18 months in advance. Once a new couple books, The Gardens needed to send multiple reminders to the couple to collect their deposit, apply for permits, secure a caterer, and much more.

All in all, Glenn needs to send approximately 15 emails over the course of a year, which is why Glenn called us! Handling all of these emails wasn’t too hard when Glenn was doing 3 to 4 weddings a year, but now he books more than 40 weddings a year. He and his team need to send more than 600 email reminders per year, not to mention all of the other tasks associated with each wedding.

Here’s how Wild Fig Marketing helped Glenn and his team saved hundreds of hours of staff time each year while creating an amazing experience for every bride..

  1. We met with Glenn and his team and identified the important reminders that needed to be sent out, with a timeframe for each reminder.
  2. We created all 15 emails and built a simple process for Glenn and his team to follow every time they booked a new wedding. All they had to do was click a link, enter the bride and groom’s names, email addresses,  and their wedding date and voila . . ., the sequence would start based on the date of the couple’s wedding. Each couple receives customized content with dates that automatically match their wedding date!

The sequence includes important reminders for both couples and The Gardens staff. The 15-email sequence also listed important follow-up tasks for The Gardens staff to complete after the wedding was over.

The end result: Glenn and his team have saved countless staff hours trying to manage this lengthy process, and they have enhanced each couple’s experience with this simple yet effective sequence.

But that’s not the end of the story. We have built other sequences for Glenn (with many more ideas in the works) to help with generating prospects and booking wedding venue tours too. Stay tuned for upcoming blog posts on Glenn and The Gardens!

Is your new customer onboarding process helping or hindering your business? Call us at 612-298-3487 to learn the many different ways we can help your business maximize efficiency and save time!

Here is a testimonial from Glenn himself on how automation has helped their venue to be more effective while providing an amazing experience for their clients.

“I was a little apprehensive at first with email automation. I didn’t want to bombard Garden couple’s email inboxes with junk mail and most importantly I wanted maintain a personable relationship with the couples.  Kari and the Wild Fig team have done an awesome job crafting an individual campaign tailored to meet our needs. The automation has been a huge time saver.  One of the keys to success with the automation is the ease of use.  Upon completing a sale, it only takes a few minutes to enter the couples information and we’re on track to deliver an exceptional wedding day experience.  The emails are personalized and targeted at the perfect time to assist in the planning process making the whole wedding less stressful. Big win!  More proof, we have nearly a 100% open rate with our booked couples with the requested action taken. So not only is the automation helping our staff be more effective, it’s helping our couples have a less stressful, more enjoyable wedding day. ”
– Glenn Switzer, Gardens of Castle Rock, Owner