Tuesday, December 5, 2023

Using Email Marketing In Your Mix

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Emails The Second Part Of The 3 Legged Stool Plan

More than 340 billion emails are sent daily.
This figure is expected to reach 376 billion daily emails by the end of 2025.
Email marketing strategies have changed over the years.
What worked five years ago, now no longer works.
But it's still a key player to any marketing strategy.
In fact, for the very best online marketers’ email marketing is their go-to marketing channel.
It's because it brings in the results and delivers the best marketing ROI:

Email Marketing Is The Next Step

Just remember if you can not follow up with a phone call it is not worth doing.

That’s right!

Email marketing outperforms all online marketing strategies, including SEO, PPC, and content marketing!
An email marketing strategy is an important part of any marketing strategy. Email is the most cost-effective way to promote your products, communicate with your customers and reach your business goals.
And on average, for every $1 you spend on email marketing, you can expect a return of $42, if the list is right!
Creating personalized subject lines in emails can increase open rates by 26%,  marketers have experienced a remarkable 760% boost in email revenue by employing segmented campaigns.
Not bad, right?
Here, are some of the best email marketing strategies you can use or have us use for you to achieve extraordinary results through email marketing.

A few ideas we use at Larson's for better email marketing campaigns

These are some of the email marketing strategies in the 3 legged stool that we use, email will become your second most important channel!

1. Segment your subscribers

Segmentation is the top initiatives list this year.
Do you know why it is so high?
It's because when you segment your database, your email campaigns become much more targeted to your audience.

Let’s take a look at an example:
You're hosting a networking event for small business owners located within a 20 mile radius.
How can you expect to get the best turn out for your event?

The answer is to segmenent.

The best way to get business owners to turn up to your event would be to create a segment of people who list themselves as a small business owner that lives within 20 miles of your event and then send them an invite by email. How annoying is it to receive an email that invites you to an event that is located on the other side of the world?

The segmentation results include increased performance in:

If you segment your lists, you get better open rates, revenue, leads, transactions and more customers.
And according to research from Campaign Monitor, segmented email campaigns lead to a 760% increase in company revenue.
Another benefit is that segmentation goes hand in hand with GDPR and email marketing.
does it really work?
Here's an example from our own email marketing campaigns:
We recently sent out two email marketing campaigns. Both campaigns had the same subject line and the same content.
The first campaign was sent to our non-segmented email list, while the second was sent to our segmented list (segmented by interest).
The first non-segmented email earned an impressive 42 % open rate and a 4.5% click-through rate.
However, the segmented email campaign earned a 94% open rate and a 38% click-through rate!

 it’s pretty valuable, wouldn’t you?
And that's why so many marketers' are segmenting their emails, right?
As 9 out of 10 email marketers' do not segment their database.

So, here are a few examples for you to get started with segmentation:

  • Segment by industry: Do you offer services and products to businesses or consumers? Knowing the industry of your subscribers is a great way to segment your email campaigns. For example, a business that sells car parts would engage at a much higher rate if they receive email campaigns on car products, compared to a business that sells software.
  • Segment by company size: Also known as account-based marketing, segmenting email campaigns by company size or annual revenue is a great way to increase response rates. A small business that employs 5 people is not likely ready for the biggest industry conference of the year, whereas a business that employs 750 people might be a better fit.
  • Segment by sales cycle: Early stage buyers will not be ready for an aggressive sales pitch or one-to-one demo but, they will be more appreciative to receive an industry research white paper. On the other end of the cycle, buyers who are ready to buy will respond well to product webinars or free trial offers.


Spend time creating great subject lines

In email marketing, the subject line plays a crucial role.
Here's why it's so important:
Surprisingly, 69% of people determine if an email is spam just by glancing at the subject line.
Much like how segmenting your email list improves the precision and effectiveness of your campaigns, your email's subject line is the first thing recipients see. It's your initial opportunity to capture their attention.
Create subject lines that pique curiosity, offer value, or generate excitement.
Pro Tip: Avoid using spammy or clickbait subject lines, as they can lead to a surge in unsubscribes and damage your sender reputation.

Send your emails at the right time

Another tip is to think about when you send your emails. 
Because people check their emails at different times. 
Study your subscribers' habits, including time zones, to figure out when to send your emails. A/B testing can also show you the best times to reach your particular audience.
For example, consider Tuesdays as the day in which you sent out most of your emails. 
Sending emails on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, especially from 10-11 am, often yields the best results. Most emails (about 53%) are opened between 9 am and 5 pm, except during lunch. Surprisingly, emails sent from 4:00 am to 8:00 am see a strong 33% transaction rate


Email marketing continues to deliver results.
But email marketing has evolved. It's no longer as simple as sending the same email to all.
It's time to update your email marketing strategy.
Now, you need to send targeted messages. Messages that are personalized, and optimized for multiple devices.
You also need to test new elements.
Trends change quickly, and what worked 12 months ago may not be successful today. Be open to testing. And when you understand what works, find ways to automate it through triggered emails.
Be sure to create great subject lines and send your emails at the right time. 
If you implement these tactics into your email marketing strategy your customers will be more responsive, your campaign performance will improve and your business will continue to grow.

Larson & Associates

We Make Good Businesses Great and Great Businesses Even Better

Larson & Associates

3475 Steeplechase Way    Suite 101
Grayslake IL 60030

Wednesday, October 25, 2023

Telemarketing: It Still Works


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Telemarketing? Really?

In consumer calling, robo calling, AI calling has decimated the industry but for businesses to get in the market fast picking up the phone and calling a targeted list is the best and quickest way to get it done.

That is why we are here!

Picking up the phone lets us generate leads, make sales and marketing activities to directly connect and interact with customers  and prospects in real time.

For us if we can't follow up with a phone call it is not worth doing!

Has Telemarketing Been Replaced?

Don't count on it!

With the invasion of digital marketing, traditional marketing tactics like telemarketing have been replaced by social media and content marketing. Really? Not where I am sitting.

People are no longer interested in receiving these calls and they also have the means to ignore and block them altogether. Additionally, they can shop online, which makes the whole premise of telemarketing redundant. Let me ask you can digital marketing ad ask for the order or appointment? No.

So even with all that criticism, cold calling still has its advantages. It can prove useful as a tool for nurturing leads and prospects and building high-quality databases. While it can be very annoying to receive calls from strangers compelling you to buy things, modern B2B is telemarketing has become a much more exact science.

So no wonder that over HALF, yes half, of the B2B marketers still use telemarketing for effective lead generation and use it as one of the most productive tactics to generate sales.

So Exactly What Is Telemarketing?

The very word telemarketing brings to mind all those infuriating and inconvenient calls requesting us to buy things we don’t need. AI calling. Voice over calling. Rude and obnoxious. 

However, it has been shown time and time again to be a handy tool for businesses that have limited budgets for promoting their products and services. When incorporated with other marketing tactics, (like the Larson 3 legged stool method) telemarketing can prove to be very effective at making your entire program work for your marketing campaign.

Inbound telemarketing consists of taking queries or order calls generated through advertising, direct mail or any other marketing channel.

On the other hand, outbound telemarketing directly targets the customer to sell products or services – cold calling. And yes your targeted list makes all the difference to your success.

Why Use Telemarketing When People Hate It?
Because It Works!

Telemarketing can be used either as an independent tactic or in combination with other marketing strategies to help achieve their sales target.

Here are some uses of telemarketing:

60% of marketing managers of Fortune top 500 companies testify to the effectiveness of telemarketing when it comes to reaching out to customers and closing sales. Telemarketing is used by companies to sell their products or services, tap into new markets and customer bases. Giving satisfaction to existing customers is just as crucial to a business as the reach out to prospects – telemarketers ensure that both get the attention they require and address their wants and needs.

Generating Leads
Telemarketing can play a huge role in creating leads and finding new customers. Through this tactic, you can reach out to potential customers and compile the lists of new prospects. The telemarketer then passes these updated lists to the highly trained sales people who can reach these customers to generate sales. They also identify the nature and requirements of the prospective customer and relay this information to the sales force but honestly most of the time a prospect does not have enough time for the telemarketer to drill in for qualifying questions. Following up after closing a sale is also a critical aspect for a telemarketer’s because a follow up with the generated leads can increase sales opportunities by 20%.

Compiling Information
Telemarketing can be a very efficient tool in analyzing the success of any marketing or sales campaign. Telemarketers can call and get in contact with customers to gather reviews and gauge levels of satisfaction or dissatisfaction and relay it to the marketing team for analysis. Studies show that 17% of the average day for a salesman is spent in entering customer’s data. Compiling this information can then be used to target the prospective clients for the next marketing campaign or help in reconnecting with inactive clients and winning them back.
NOTE: Do not use surveys as a ploy to get information for a future sales and marketing attack. Be open and honest if that is your intent.

Enhancing Customer Experience
Connecting with inactive clients can prove to be more cost-effective than acquiring new clients. Studies have shown that it costs five times more to gain a new client than to retain the past one. Telemarketing can really help ensure a satisfactory customer experience. 

Telemarketing In A Digital Age

If you want to increase your business’s sales and increase revenues while keeping costs low, telemarketing is the solution to your problem.

It is a marketing tool that enables you to strike get personal with your consumers so that you can better understand their needs and requirements. 

Some advantages of a good telemarketing strategy are:

Deploy Marketing Automation
Telemarketing gives you the ability to track behavior trends and engagement levels of the prospects, getting an in-depth understanding of how to better cater to their needs. Let market automation do what it does best, nurturing prospects with repeated messages about their interests – this lets follow-up calls from being cold but in fact, warm, timely and more appropriate. When powered by marketing automation technology, a telemarketing campaign can bring in more inquiries and qualified leads than ever before.

Strengthen Quality Leads
The most significant advantage of telemarketing is its ability to generate leads which is the primary objective of businesses and companies. It has proven to be the fastest way of finding new customers by allowing the companies to communicate with potential customers who cannot be reached by the company. Lead generation is all about searching for the right customers whom many companies are unable to find and fail at having a good telemarketing strategy.

Saves Money
Choosing to do telemarketing over other marketing strategies is a great way to promote your business cost-effectively. It saves you from the hassle of allocating a budget for larger outside sales teams. You can also outsource the marketing process to other telemarketing companies who can do the legwork for you and give you an advantage over your competitors. This further allows you to control your budget  while leveraging its marketing activities to the max.  

Friendly And Accessible
Telemarketers are required to engage customers, and to do this they must be cordial yet professional towards them. Try doing that when we get told no again and again, hung up on, sometimes calling interesting things. Even in a business to business call we get "slammed". If you can handle the massive amount of rejection do it yourself but for the rest of you there is Larson. Though all this you need to keep friendly and approachable, not loosing your cool it actually compels the customer or prospect to listen to you. This is the true art of telemarketing.

Warm Calling
Cold calling can be very aggressive and might elicit negative reactions from your customers. The art of telemarketing is to be quick, direct and show respect. This will compel your customer and prospects to listen and might even lead to a sale, which is why we are making phone calls, right?

Work Smarter
Businesses networking sites like LinkedIn let telemarketers become the authority on lead generation. They can use professional networking resources to ensure the quality of all their leads so that they know who they are talking to and whether they are the right contact. This makes telemarketing more efficient and effective, giving marketers all the information they need to find and nurture strong leads. But online sites can not and do not replace a person reach out. 

So There You Are

Telemarketing continues to thrive in a digital age, despite the bad press that surrounds it. It has found its use in generating leads, while also selling and driving revenue for a business. The effectiveness of telemarketing in this digital world lies in the level of personalization and exclusivity that it offers to the customers. 1 on 1 calling. Telemarketing not only generates leads and sales for the company, but it is also an efficient way of keeping in touch with customers who can provide feedback for the company’s products and services. This allows the business to take constructive criticism and improve their services. Apart from this, it can also prove to be very cost-effective for businesses that have limited marketing budgets but want to generate maximum results from their campaigns. This only testifies to the fact that telemarketing is a benefit for businesses and companies even in the age of digital marketing. Nothing, nothing can replace the power of one-on-one conversations with a real live person, NOTHING!

Larson & Associates

We Make Good Businesses Great and Great Businesses Even Better

Larson & Associates

3475 Steeplechase Way    Suite 101
Grayslake IL 60030

Copyright © 2023 Larson & Associates, All rights reserved.
Larson & Associates
3475 Steeplechase Way    Suite 101
Grayslake IL 60030

Thursday, October 19, 2023

2023 Best Of Grayslake Awards Marketing Agency


Howard Larson
& Larson & Associates

have been nominated to receive the

2023 Best of Grayslake Award
Marketing Agency

Working in the recession years of 2022-23 has shown the business model of a virtual office that Howard Larson and Larson & Associates starting using back in in 2006, not just to lower our carbon footprint but to give the Larson & Associates staff greater job satisfaction and control has allowed us to give us a quicker response to the needs of our clients. Not that it has been easy the last few years. We we thank God that we have not lost 1 day or even 1 hour of work during this time.

Our philosophy of the Big Fish in a Little Pond and purposefully staying small, seeking out small to mid-sized companies, the majority of our clients continue to be small businesses with revenue of $500,000 to 10 Million with 3 to 12 sales people remains in tact. Or those companies exhibiting at major trade shows needing a marketing plan that has been shown to work.

In 2022-23 despite the recession, our year over year clients who are using the Larson & Associates 3 Legged Stool Method of Marketing have been seeing growth above 21.8% as well as grabbing increased market share with bold market share expansion programs. 

Thank you for your continued support of the Larson Philosophy of Marketing. Now in our 48th year it is because of you that we are still here and continue to be successful. It is your belief in us that makes us who we are. You give us the freedom to work quick, hard and fast. You are the people who let us out run, out produce and out perform the competition.

2023 Best of Grayslake Awards
in the category of Marketing Agency

The Grayslake Award Program is an annual awards program honoring the achievements and accomplishments of local businesses throughout the Grayslake area. Recognition is given to those companies that have shown the ability to use their best practices and implemented programs to generate competitive advantages and long-term value.

Each year, the Grayslake Award Program identifies companies that we believe have achieved exceptional marketing success in their local community and business category. These are local companies that enhance the positive image of small business through service to their customers and our community. These exceptional companies help make the Grayslake area a great place to live, work and play.

The Grayslake Award Program was established to recognize the best of local businesses in our community. Our organization works exclusively with local business owners, trade groups, professional associations and other business advertising and marketing groups. Our mission is to recognize the small business community's contributions to the U.S. economy.

Larson & Associates

We Make Good Businesses Great and Great Businesses Even Better

Copyright ©2023 Larson & Associates, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
Larson & Associates
3475 Steeplechase Way     Suite 101
Grayslake IL 60030

Thursday, January 12, 2023

How To Lose A Sale

How to Lose a Sale

Anyone selling today using the methods they learned ten years ago is going to have problems. Covid changed everything. The pandemic changed the way people feel about work, time and personal worth. Call it what ever you want: the Great Resignation, Quiet Quitting. Buyers, who may hold positions of power or the executive suite, place a high value on their time and they aren’t very tolerant of people who waste it.

It can take dozens of attempts to secure a meeting with a prospective customer. Before covid it took 27 touches to make a connection with an unknow person. Now? You can double that. And when you do connect be ready to hit the ground running! There are NO second chances!

When you’re finally in the room with a decision-maker, don’t make mistakes that will cause them to end the meeting or deflect any attempts at following up. Follow-up is the key. Remember the rule of 27 even if it is now 54 or more.

When we talked to buyers

Buyers, no matter if the person your facing as a future customer is a professional buyers or a manager or owner. the majority of them told us in follow-up interviews that the salespeople visiting their offices were doing it all wrong. Conversations were unfocused (or focused on the wrong topics). The salesperson did not have a plan of action which they wanted to present to the customer. The prospects had a hard time understanding why they should do business with the salesperson calling them.

Sales people are selling all wrong in preparation, presentation, and follow-up, and worse yet they did not do their homework!


Mistake #1 - Failing to take time to learn about the company and individuals with whom you will meet. The prospect has probably done research on your company before you set foot in their office. Think about this a minute, doesn’t this mean you need to do the same. Are you the professional here or what? Just wing it when you get there, you will be fine. . .  NOT!

Mistake #2 - Forgetting about preparing thoughtful questions or anticipating objections. If you think you need to ask only one question after you make your pitch - “Well, what do you think?” Be ready to whip out your price sheet in case they say, “I’m ready to buy. How much does it cost?” or my favorite from days gone buy: "Press hard 3rd copy is yours", guess again. You need to know your prospect and his industry as well as they know themselves. Online, trade magazines, industry trade shows it is all out there for you.

Preparing for the meeting includes identifying the prospect’s likely objectives. Why did they agree to meet with you? (Hint: It’s not getting the lowest price. If it is, you’re probably talking to the wrong person). You’ll also want to identify your desired outcome. Send a pre-meeting agenda and stick to it. If you or the prospect has a time restraint keep to the time allotted. If you are invited to stay longer make sure you can use it wisely and not blow your entire presentation.


Mistake #1 - Start the meeting by talking about your products and services. This is always the most fun (for you) The prospect may not have a need for half the things you mention, but they probably won’t say anything, so just keep going to show them you really know your stuff. 

Mistake #2 - Ignore what the prospect is saying. Their objectives and business challenges are just distracting. Keep focusing on why you’re there—getting the order no matter what!

Steer conversations away from specifications, it is not time for that. What you want to discuss are the prospects business goals, such as customer acquisition, retention, conversion rates, upselling, lifetime customer value, regulatory compliance, and customer experience. By aligning your services with their business goals allows the prospect to move forward with finalizing decisions with you still in the hunt and not road kill.


Mistake #1 - Leaving follow-up to administrative people back at the office. Your job is selling, not nurturing. Besides you have more prospects to go see! 

Mistake #2 - Ignoring the prospect’s buying process. It’s your sales process that’s most important. If customers insist on extra steps, it just slows everything down. You have a time line and that is the way it should be.

Everyone sends a thank you email after the sales meeting, in this age of electronic communication if you really want this account you might just want to send a real thank you card though the mail. Almost no one does this anymore so think about how you will stand out from the crowd! Going back to our interviews, the prospects we talked with said they were disappointed if post-meeting communications didn’t include guidance about the next step. You are the professional right? So what would you suggest them do if they use your company? Follow-up notes are a great way to show you were paying attention and you have ideas about helping solve their problems. I never hand anyone tell me NO don't take notes on our meeting. You might even do a little research on what you think is the best solution for there situation. Include some relevant content, or a research report or case study, that is helpful towards your solution and help them as they progress through their (not your) decision-making procedure.

We learned from the people on the other side of the desk that salespeople had plenty of room to improve the way they approached a business about buying their products and services. These concepts are even more important today, given the experience of the last couple of years.

So Why Use A Lead Generation Service Like Larson & Associates?

Mistake #1 - They said no last time so they will say no again. Things change, situations change, needs change. It is not our place to think that hard. Really. If they are in your power niche, your geographical territory we make the call! 

Mistake #2 - Overselling! Yes you do a data dump on them. We don't do that. Tell them who we are what we do and ask if they need to meet with us. Qualifying a prospect isn’t about what they can do for you; it’s what you can do for them and if your services or products fill a need they have. We don't think hard about it, there is only one question to ask "When do you want to meet."

Mistake #3 - Features and benefits! A prospect will not be impressed by a laundry list of generic features, benefits and capabilities. Instead, the discussion must focus in how we will elevate the prospect's business. Because we are using niche selling we already know and understand their challenges and pain. Armed with this knowledge we can empathize and offer solid industry specific pointed solutions that will grab the attention of a busy entrepreneur or executive. 

Mistake #4 - Building the relationship. Sorry Charlie but I am not here to be your best friend. I mean trying to develop a friendship and not asking any probing questions if it gets that far is not what lead generation is all about. You have to immediately look for ways to be significant to them and build value, and ask for the order or appointment.

What we do is bring you QUALIFIED leads, not just names! Some of our competition thinks that handing over a name with a job title which fits a job discription is a lead. Is it? At Larson & Associates we take the pain of cold calling and new account acquisition out of your sales equation and bring you actual sales leads with real names from real companies with real people. If I could really bring your company QUALIFIED leads at a fraction of cost of what it would cost to generate in-house would you be interested? Larson & Associates, is a performance-based sales support company exclusively designed to meet your business needs as we become a professional sales team trained in your products/services to engaged ourselves to generate new business for you, for a mutually agreed upon success-based payment plan. We work to keep your sales pipeline filled with qualified leads. We train our staff to your companies needs and target market so you reap the rewards of our efforts. 

Larson & Associates

We make good businesses great and great businesses even better.

Larson & Associates

3475 Steeplechase Way    Suite 101
Grayslake IL 60030