Michelle Lazarus

Recent Posts

5 Easy Email Marketing Optimizations

Posted by Michelle Lazarus on Sep 18, 2015 2:15:14 PM

In the world of digital marketing, new social media platforms may be sexy, but email still packs a punch. Digital marketing research firm eMarketer reported on a survey that called email "a digital marketing workhorse." In the survey, marketers declared email the single most effective digital program for reaching all goals, including awareness (41%), acquisition (37%), conversion (42%) and retention (56%).

Even though email has been declared so effective, it is regularly misunderstood, and still often abused. So, here are five ways to improve your email campaigns to ensure peak performance.Email-marketing

  1. Give a compelling reason to subscribe. You may have the best information in the universe, a blog that could literally change the world and solve everyone's problems, but if you don't explain why it is the best, no one is going to care. When you interact with people via email, keep in mind that they need solutions to their own problems, and address their personal interests. Explain how your email subscription will add value. 

  2. Use a trustworthy email service provider. Good email service providers ensure that your emails get to the recipient's inbox. They will also provide ways to manage your subscriber list, supply attractive email templates or facilitate their creation, segmentation of email lists for improved targeting and analytics for post-campaign measurement.

  3. Use an irresistible subject line. You might have an outstanding email that is targeted and has actually made its way to into the perfect prospect's inbox. But they won't open it if the subject line is not compelling. Your potential customers get a ton of email every day, and the subject line is the most important way of convincing the recipient that it's worth their time to open your email. Here are some great tips for writing an excellent email subject line.

  4. Personalize. Always use the recipient's first name when addressing an email, and the return email address should be a personal address, instead of a faceless corporate one. When you share value-adding content from a personal email address on a regular basis, you reach a tipping point with your recipients, who will eventually see you as a trusted adviser with good information.
  5. Make the content easy to consume. You may craft an alluring subject line that impels people to open your email, but will they read it? People are time-pressed, and we're often looking for shortcuts and quick, bite-sized chunks of information. Keep your email short and skimmable to avoid boring your readers and reaching the point of tl;dr (too long; didn't read.) 

You can radically improve your email marketing by using these easy optimizations. In time, your subscriber list will grow and your readers and potential customers will gain trust in you and your company.


Topics: Best Practices for Businesses

5 Inbound-Marketing Tactics You Should Start Using Today

Posted by Michelle Lazarus on Sep 3, 2015 2:49:00 PM

Although we all live in a fast-paced world, where "real time" is a well-used buzzword, marketing can take time. Building the trust needed to obtain someone's contact information alone can take weeks, months, or even longer. 

These 5 methods will help your business achieve its goals in an efficient manner, in many cases building upon work you've already done. Take a look and let us know in the comments which techniques you've found the most successful.

  1. Write longer blog posts. This may seem counterintuitive, but studies have shown that search engines love in-depth articles. As you can see from this bar chart, the longer the content, the higher the position on a search engine results page. 


In addition, people actually prefer longer content, as long as it's good quality and relevant. This is the type of content that gets more shares.

 2. Curate great content. Instead of spending a lot of time trying to create viral content, link to awesome content that has already been created. This is a perfect way to supplement the content you already have, increase traffic and add value to your site. In this example, Kevan Lee of Buffer presents current research, and then organizes the research into a cool-looking infographic:

3. Plunder your FAQ page for content ideas. Your customers have questions, and you have the answers. But instead of answering them with a dull, static FAQ page, answer each question with a full content piece. When your content answers questions directly from customers, there can be no doubt that your content is providing value that your customers desire. 

4. Optimize your thank-you pages. When a customer converts, you probably send them to a thank-you page. This is another chance to connect, offer further value and keep them engaged with your business as long as possible. Some optimization tactics include:

  • Showcasing new content, with a link to a download
  • Promoting new products
  • Offering a chance to subscribe
  • A request to participate in a survey

5. Repurpose content into different media formats. A great way to keep visitors engaged, and keep the hungry content machine satisfied, is by taking content you've already created and transforming it into a different format. Here are just a few ways to do so:

  • A research-heavy blog post can easily be turned into a visually arresting infographic. Don't have a designer? Try free online graphic design software, like Canva.
  •  Blog content can be packaged into a newsletter format, and sent as an email to your subscribers.
  • How-to posts, expert interviews or step-by-step processes are ideal candidates for conversion to video. If that sounds overly complicated, don't worry, there are easy-to-use tools to make that happen, too.

With these tactics, you can have the business success you deserve. If you have other ideas that have worked well, let us know - we love to hear your thoughts.


Why Do We 'Like' Things on Facebook?

Posted by Michelle Lazarus on Aug 20, 2015 11:19:55 AM

"What's in it for me?" you may very well ask yourself, as you click the little "thumbs up" icon on a Facebook friend's post.

Research shows that people do, in fact, 'like' things on Facebook for something they may get in return - a feeling of empathy, self-affirmation, even a chance at a discount. Below, check out our infographic that shows the many reasons behind why we 'like.'


For more information, click HERE.


Topics: Research

Want More Clicks? Change the Time You Tweet

Posted by Michelle Lazarus on Aug 6, 2015 10:10:21 AM

Last month, we brought you an infographic based on social media scheduling app Buffer's study on Twitter timing. That infographic looked at the study as a whole. This infographic, based on the same study, focuses solely on what times people tweet specifically to get clicks around the world. Interestingly, the times vary depending on what area of the world you reside. 

Check out our new infographic on worldwide Twitter timing for clicks:



Topics: Social Media Best Practices

5 Facts on Twitter Timing

Posted by Michelle Lazarus on Jul 17, 2015 4:49:00 PM

Want to be more popular on Twitter? Sure, we all do! When Buffer, a social media scheduling app, studied their worldwide posting data, there were some surprising findings.

Did you know that the most popular times to tweet vary around the world, and are different in practically every time zone? You may be surprised to learn that if you want more clicks, you should tweet between 2 and 3 AM. Want more retweets? 9 PM is prime time.

See the below infographic, based on the Buffer study, to learn more.




Topics: Social Media Best Practices

Improve Your Facebook's Organic Reach

Posted by Michelle Lazarus on Jun 12, 2015 1:12:28 PM

Organic reach on Facebook refers to how many people you can reach for free by posting on your page. Many businesses have noticed that their organic reach is declining in recent years. Facebook has cited an increase in posts and likes as the reason for the declines - lots of business pages competing for attention in newsfeeds causes overcrowding. In addition, of course, Facebook needs to make money.

So, how do you improve your business's organic reach? This infographic, available for download below, has some fantastic tips. Download right now, and start seeing dramatic results in your Facebook's organic reach today!




 Click here to download

Topics: Social Media Best Practices

12 Steps to Writing Your Next Piece of Content

Posted by Michelle Lazarus on May 18, 2015 9:30:00 AM

Many folks who consistently write content for their businesses have their own processes for doing so. But content guru Ann Handley, Chief Content Officer of MarketingProfs and bestselling author of Everybody Writes has come up with these practical 12-steps for making the writing process more efficient.

As Ms. Handley is one of the best-known content mavens around, here is her reliable advice: 



What is your trusted process?  We'd love to hear your thoughts!


Topics: Content Creation

B2B's Top Challenges

Posted by Michelle Lazarus on May 13, 2015 1:04:40 PM


A recent study by B2B International highlights U.S. companies' top marketing challenges. The dual challenge of building a brand and communicating effectively was number one - 56% of companies felt that this was a challenging part of doing business today.


The biggest weapon that B2B marketers have in their arsenal is content marketing. 70% of B2B marketers are creating more content this year than they did last year, even though they find it is more and more difficult to find good, trained content marketing professionals to carry out their increased need for great content.

Can you relate to this? What do you find most challenging about marketing today? Sound off in the comments - we'd love to hear your thoughts.


Topics: Content Creation

5 Great Reasons to Focus on Your Blog

Posted by Michelle Lazarus on May 7, 2015 11:48:58 AM

Here at Black Stag Group, we are passionate about blogs and blogging. We love telling a good story, and reading one, too. An exceptional blog consists of topics of interest to potential customers, items that may be educational and provide insight, and tidbits that offer a glimpse into a company's culture and values. With a consistent publishing schedule, companies can build credibility and gain customers' attention. blog

Research has shown that brands that create 15 blog posts per month average 1200 new leads per month.

Not convinced yet? Here are five more reasons to focus on your blog:

1. Blogs give websites 434% more indexed pages and 97% more indexed links. 

Want to be more findable on the Web? Blogging helps majorly with SEO. (Source)

2. Blogs on company sites result in 55% more visitors.

Company blogs are an amazing way to drive traffic to websites without spending a lot of money. (Source)

3. Companies with blogs get 97% more inbound links.

Blogs can become useful resources that others want to link back to, another way websites gain traffic organically. (Source)

4. Interesting Content is a top 3 reason people follow brands on social media.

Offering blog content that is consistently thought-provoking or helpful makes a blog worth reading. People will want to know what you have to say. (Source)

5. B2B companies that blog generate 67% more leads per month than those that do not blog.

If you're a B2B company that isn't blogging, you may be losing potential leads to competition that does blog. (Source)

Even if you're not blogging, it's never too late to start - by blogging, you can begin building trust with your leads, increasing web traffic and gaining social media fans today.


Topics: Best Practices for Businesses, Content Creation, Effectiveness, Blogging

One Simple Must-Have For Your B2B Vendor Website

Posted by Michelle Lazarus on May 5, 2015 1:41:52 PM

It seems like common sense - a no-brainer -  but there's one basic content asset that many B2B vendors are lacking on their websites: thorough contact information.

That's right. The 2015 Web Usability Report from Huff Industrial Marketing and KoMarketing found that a lack of thorough contact information can cause 44% of your visitors to leave. This chart from the research shows just how important contact information is, compared to other content assets:


Thorough contact information reinforces trust and credibility. And it's not only contact information - it's any information that invites your customer to learn more about your company. Dianna Huff of Huff Industrial Marketing explains:

Think of contact information as a subtle cue, similar to the way we assess people upon first meeting. When a company doesn’t share its physical address and other contact information, and forces contact through a form, you as the potential prospect have a sense of unease:

  • Who is behind this company?
  • Where is it located?
  • If I have a problem, how will I reach someone?

Basically, you want to know if the company is legitimate or if it’s the Internet equivalent of a dog. By placing phone number, email address, and a physical address on a website, a vendor helps overcome some of these concerns – and thus establishes the beginning of trust.

Contact information doesn’t have to be relegated to the Contact Us page. Depending on your company and its size, you can add a phone number and/or email link in the header of each page. If you’re a large enterprise, consider adding “Contact Us” to the main navigation versus burying it in the footer. When “Contact Us” is buried, it’s harder for people on mobile devices to find and access it.

About pages and team bios confer credibility

In The New York Times article Quenching Consumers’ Thirst for Authenticity, James H. Gilmore, author of Authenticity, stated, “A sense of authenticity reinforces trust in what is real in an increasingly staged, contrived, and mediated world.”

Authenticity also is a tangible driver of revenue. In its 2014 global study, The Age of Authenticity, Cohn & Wolf revealed that 63% of consumers would buy a brand they perceived as authentic over its competitors.

The MediaPost article Unlocking the Power of Authenticity with Millennial Consumers, discusses how authenticity and its allied trait of trustworthiness are two of the top brand attributes sought by millennials before they decide to hand over their money.

Yet, many companies still rely on standard-issue boilerplate when it comes to their About page – a practice that does little to show a company’s authenticity or build trust and credibility.

The About section of a website doesn’t have to be limited to a brief “About Us” page or team bios. You can also include a press room, charities supported, awards, events, videos, and testimonials.

In addition, if you're able, Huff suggests:

Posting a client list builds credibility and trust, especially if you have A-list clients or well-known companies in your niche. A prospective buyer comes to your website and sees that you’ve worked with Recognized Brand Name A, B, and C, and automatically assumes that you know what you’re doing.

Ms.Huff includes many more suggestions! Read the full article here, and get great examples of being transparent with your company and culture to build trust and credibility on your website.

How do you do it? We'd love to hear from you! Let us know below.


Topics: Best Practices for Businesses, Effectiveness, Content Strategy

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