All Posts by Dan Sevigny

3 CBD Experts Share Their Best Marketing Strategies

3 CBD Experts Share Their Best Marketing Strategies

While business is booming and opportunities are everywhere in the CBD Industry, marketing for these types of businesses is no easy task. Regulations vary from state to state (and country to country)--and the regulatory landscape is constantly changing. While some cannabis businesses get left in the dust, others continue to grow exponentially. We spoke with some of the industry leaders to find out what's working.

​Mason Ghrannie
Vice President
CBD R US

We are a CBD company based out of Southern California, and we offer a wide selection of CBD Products, such as CBD Gummies, CBD Vape Oil, CBD Honey, and more. 

Our products are carefully formulated, and we've been able to improve the lives of thousands of people. SEO and Instagram influencer marketing are the most effective marketing methods for our business.

The keyword analytics for CBD in Google search are highly competitive, however ranking for these keywords can drive hundreds of thousands of clicks to our website. As a result, we are focusing on SEO as our main marketing method.

For SEO, we focus on 2 things: writing quality content that engages our store visitors, and earning backlinks from high traffic and niche relevant websites. 

Since our industry is highly regulated and we are unable to utilize Facebook ads and Google ads, we've completely given up on these forms of marketing. 

It has become a tough challenge finding outlets to market our business. SEO for our niche has become extremely competitive since it is the main source of marketing for most CBD companies.

We've had to become extremely creative with how we earn authority backlinks and utilize influencers in order to rank in Google and grow our social media pages

Marc Lewis
Executive Editor
Remedy Review

Remedy Review is a website focused on the health potential of hemp derivatives. We looked at the exploding CBD market and found limited medically-focused content. That's why we invested in medically-reviewed and evidence-based articles. We wanted to help people lead a conversation with their doctors.

Remedy Review relies on search data to help guide our content calendars. Of course we cover pressing issues, industry news, and products, but our goal is to provide good answers to common questions. Google allows us to identify where confusion exists, so we can help.

Social media is always tricky. It's the easiest way for us to have a direct conversation with people, but it's also hard to cut through the noise.

This space is growing faster than oversight. Our biggest challenge is presenting good, helpful information without overstepping existing science or creating false hope for people in need.

David Shiffman
Founder/Director of Marketing
Tillmans Tranquils

Our flagship product is our CBD mints and they are unlike any other mints/edibles on the market. We mint is more like an m&m or mentos with a hard candy shell and a super fresh peppermint center. Our unique process helps mask any bitter taste unlike other edible products in the market.

Instagram has been our #1 driver for our brand from day 1. Before we were even ready to open our doors to the public, we shared our branding and package design and we immediately started getting inquiries from retailers who wanted our product.

We've been laser focused on Instagram engagement and it's where we continue to spend our time.

One of our challenges right now is making sure our packaging fits all of the individual state requirements. Right now some states have more strict requirements when it comes to packaging. If we can design our packaging with those strict requirements in mind then we will hopefully not have any issues in the other states. It's an ever changing landscape of legalities and regulations right now, so keeping up to date with state and federal guidelines becomes a challenge. We have put together a team of really passionate individuals who help us stay on the path.

7 Experts Share Their Best Google Advertising Strategies

7 Experts Share Their Best Google Advertising Strategies

Google ads are hands down one of the most effective forms of advertising available to any business today. That said, it takes careful planning and consideration before you jump in and start a campaign--because for every success with Google Ads (formerly Google Adwords) there are thousands of failures. 

If you don't structure your campaign properly, and use data to make decisions, Google Ads can become a money pit (and not the fun kind you might have seen Scrooge McDuck dive into). We asked some of the leading experts in multiple industries, who are successful with Google Ads, what it takes to win at the game.

Kulwant Nagi
Blogger and Affiliate Marketer
BloggingCage

We are in online marketing business and we are selling our services by targeting the right keywords in Google. Our team research the right products for our business and we setup Search ads to get right customer landing on our website.

Here is our strategy...


1. Targeting the right customers by running Google Search ads and attracting more people to visit our business website.
2. We have installed Facebook and Google retarget pixels on our sites to retarget those people again.
3. We setup special discount coupons ads re-targeting to only those who visited our site.
4. We have installed one conversion pixel on the thank you page which help us to exclude those people from the retarget ads.

In the next phase, we are planning to run video Ads on YouTube to bring back those customers.

We love Facebook marketing more than anything. Facebook let us target people by their interest, jobs, culture and many other laser targeted categories. Our biggest strength is our retarget pixel. Ironically, our prime goal is to bring people on our site by showing ads and then selling our services by retargeting only.

Jay Perkins
Co-Founder
Kettlebell Kings

My name is Jay Perkins, I helped co found Kettlebell Kings and run marketing and operations.

We have been fortunate to grow quite a bit every year we have been in business and marketing, specifically content marketing has been a giant part of that. There are two main ways we use data to make decisions. First is easy, it is Google analytics. We look for search terms relevant to our business and create loads of content around it and share it in every channel.

We drive paid traffic to it on social media and generate sign ups. Secondly, we advertise weekly kettlebell workouts people can subscribe to. These emails contain workouts and kettlebell related content, but we also ask for feedback. So we track the interactions we create with customers by them receiving our weekly emails and over time patterns emerge about what a number of people are looking for or need in addition to that. So, we start developing content around those pieces for organic ranking and sharing as well.

Because we know this is something other people must be interested in, we will drive paid traffic to it on social media to generate social media. Using this method we can get leads for about 50 cents to a dollar per lead and have built our email list to approximately 70,000 over the last two years.

Our internal data shows we get a bout a 10X ROI on that spend as well. People who come in from the content pieces convert to customers at a high rate because we provide them with value about how to use the equipment as well.

Allison Chaney
Boot Camp Digital

We sell online and live digital marketing and social media training and consulting for individuals and businesses.

Our strategy is to drive traffic to our website to learn more about our training and consulting services. Once on the website, we have pop up windows as a call to action to submit their contact information and receive free resources that support the specific training or service they are interested in.

To ensure that our campaign drives quality traffic, we aim to keep the average time on site over 1.5 minutes. Using match types and negative keywords to filter out low performing words, we're able to keep the quality high. Targeting the right geographic area is critical as well. We also use Dynamic Keyword Insertion ads which tend to have a higher click through rate.

We also run Facebook Ad Campaigns to drive awareness and leads. Facebook performs far better than Google Ads in terms of cost per result.

Adam Gingery
Digital Strategy and Paid Search Manager

Majux (on behalf of Queenan Law)

We handle personal injury & workers’ comp cases specifically for oil workers in Texas.

Here’s the step-by-step guide to our approach:

Search ad clicks cost nearly $140/click in our niche, and Google shut all but shut down “custom intent audiences” for law firms. We had to get creative:

We built a custom affinity audience in Google Ads by loading in every oil field job title we could think of (“roughnecks,” etc.). We also included every oil field and oil refining company in Texas. We added this audience, set to “targeting,” to our ad group.

We added a list of display keywords to our ad group -- these keywords included law-specific words like “injury attorney,” “workers’ comp,” and similar themes. We targeted only content including these terms.

We excluded all mobile apps from the campaign -- they’re always a waste of clicks for lawyers.

The success was amazing. Our display CTR ranges from 0.50% - 1.0%, and we’re getting more calls than ever.

To keep improving: We’ll test different ZIP codes, times of day, and we’ll exclude placements that result in a higher bounce rate than others.

Other marketing channels: We also invest heavily in a content-first SEO strategy. We do a lot of keyword research into what people are searching, then we write the content (and it works). Google Ads & SEO are on the same level of importance, although before we started getting traffic from content, Google Ads was more important.

Adam Mitchell
Co-owner & Founder
We Buy Houses Fast in Dallas

We are a real estate investing company in Dallas. We buy houses from homeowners who need to sell quickly and either fix and resell them or hold them as rentals.

We keep our Google Ads campaign very targeted to 7-8 major keywords that we know will provide us leads. We prefer to use our entire Google Ads budget on these very targeted keywords as opposed to a shotgun approach on a large number of keywords.

We will continue to test our ad copy to increase our conversions. For us this is the most importment adjustment going forward.

Our marketing funnel includes cold calling prospects, SEO to improve google rankings, Google Ads and ringless voicemail. We have learned that there is not a magic bullet in our business but the combination of several marketing avenues is the correct formula for success.

Where does Google Ads rank among them? Google Ads ranks #2 in our marketing funnel.

Shawn Breyer
Breyer Home Buyers

We buy properties that are in distressed conditions so that we can flip them or hold them as a rental property. We use our website to generate leads for homeowners that are trying to get out of a distressed situation or property.

We have tested several AdWords strategies. What works best for a company depends on their goal. We prefer to go for the lowest lead costs. That has lead us to run our campaigns towards a more efficient match type. Our keyword matches are 80% exact match keywords and 20% broad match keywords.

Over this year, we will continue to gather data on our results.. We believe in Pareto's Principle and are trying to find out what 20% of our AdWords campaigns are producing 80% of our revenue. As the year progresses, we will keep shaving off keywords that aren't producing like we would like them to. At the same time, we will continue to try new keywords and phrases within niches that our business serves.

The other marketing strategies that we focus on are SEO and cold calling. SEO was the initial marketing strategy that we built our business on.. After we began ranking high in Google and generating consistent leads in the SERPs, we started to stack our marketing strategies. Our second marketing strategy was Google AdWords. We began cold calling at the beginning of this year.

Currently, Google AdWords is the highest revenue generating marketing that we have. On the other hand, SEO has the highest ROI. We spend $2,359 to get enough leads to buy a house through PPC. With SEO, we are spending $231 per deal. We don't have enough data with cold calling yet to see how it compares.

Chris Turner
Digital Strategy Director 
Golden Spiral Marketing

We are a B2B technology marketing firm: Golden Spiral.

All of your marketing efforts should have a cohesive strategy. This includes analytics, lead nurturing, branding, and SEM Be sure to keep your SEM efforts focused on KPIs and results. Some key concepts to consider:

  • Pillar page (anchor content for efforts)
  • Buyer journey tactics (e.g. awareness > consideration > decision)
  • Reporting insights on key consumer activities across all marketing efforts connected to sales activity
  • CRM integration of all marketing efforts, including landing pages, forms, calls to action, email, and more through HubSpot, Pardot, Marketo, etc.
  • A\B testing for ads, landing pages, and keyword targeting (e.g. broad match modified versus broad match.

    Tactics for your strategy should include remarketing lists for search ads (RSLA) as well as implementing negative keywords, ad extensions, customized landing pages, UTM tracking, and conversion optimizations. Successful Google Ads focus on quality scores to maximize budget while reducing CPC. Product listing ads (PLAs) should be a key tactic, where applicable, along with properly structured campaigns and ad groups.

How to Increase Sales at Your Studio or Gym 650% (Complete Guide)

How to Increase Sales at Your Studio or Gym 650%
(Complete Guide)

If you're running a studio that offers group classes in yoga, Pilates, fitness, martial arts, MMA, dance, or anything similar, one of the number one concerns on your mind is how to fill your classes with new students.

The method I'm going to teach you today is one of the most powerful methods we use to help our studio clients at Spooky Digital fill classes with new students and grow their business. The best thing about this method is that it works right away, by taking advantage of existing traffic to your website.

Rather than spending more money driving people to your website we'll set up some simple processes for converting more of your existing website visitors into paying customers. If you're already paying for traffic from sources like Facebook ads, SEO, or PR, this method will help you compound the effect of those efforts and make sure none of your money is going to waste.

NOTE: This method only works if your website already has traffic coming in. If you've got potential students on your website, this method is guaranteed to increase the number of new students it brings in.

WORKS IMMEDIATELY BY CONVERTING
MORE OF YOUR EXISTING TRAFFIC INTO PAYING CUSTOMERS

GUARANTEED TO BRING
IN MORE NEW STUDENTS TO YOUR STUDIO.

WORKS BEST FOR STUDIOS OR GYMS
WITH WEBSITES THAT ALREADY HAVE AT LEAST SOME WEB TRAFFIC.

"The process was so easy, I don't even remember doing the process...took less than 45 minutes"

Andrew J.
Program Coordinator at Dharma Yoga Center
in New York, New York

Trial sales increased by 300%

GREAT MARKETING IS DONE BY THE NUMBERS

To learn the method I'm about to teach you, you're going to need to first understand the importance of using data in your marketing efforts. People act in predictable ways, and by tracking their behavior online, you can test and improve your marketing strategy over time.

I've been working in marketing for health and wellness for over a decade. 

In that time, I've worked with just about every type of gym, studio or spa there is. My marketing agency's approach is very "data-centric," meaning that all of our marketing decisions are fueled by the numbers.

Shooting in the dark and guessing is fine if you plan to run your business as a hobby, but if you're serious about growing and creating a successful business, you need to know what exactly works and what doesn't.

To find out if you're headed in the right direction, consider the following questions...

  • check
    Do you track the traffic on your site and know how many visitors you're getting each month
  • check
    Do you know how much of your traffic is coming from Google search, Yelp or other sources?
  • check
    Do you know what percentage of your web traffic converts into actual paying customers?

If you don't have this basic information, you'll want to get some kind of tracking system set up before continuing. We use Google Analytics or Kissmetrics to track and analyze data on our client websites. 

If you already have tracking set up, GREAT! You're ahead of the game. You understand the value of tracking and analyzing visitor behavior on your website. You realize that making small changes to your site can have a profound impact on the percentage of visitors that turn into customers. 

HOWEVER, even if you're already doing everything else right, you might still be making the #1 mistake most studio owners make when it comes to their website.

The #1 Mistake most studio owners make

The #1 mistake most studio owners make is this: they don't have a sales funnel that captures the contact information of visitors to their website and converts those visitors into trial buyers (and ultimately, into repeat visitors and loyal customers).

A sales funnel is a process through which every lead that comes into contact with your business should go through before becoming a student. It's called a "funnel" because as you guide student leads through the process of becoming paid students, a certain percentage will drop off.

At each step of the funnel, the group that goes on to the next level is smaller. That's perfectly normal. Your offer is only going to resonate with a specific type of person. Your goal is to filter through those that aren't interested and lead those that are by the hand through the final steps.

By having a consistent experience for every new customer, you'll be able to systematically improve that experience at each stage to increase the percentage of student leads who move on to the next stage.

Your relationship with people changes as they go further down the funnel, becoming more acquainted with your business. From least acquainted and familiar, to most, you can find the stages a person goes through when getting to know your business below...

VISITORS: Let's say you get 1000 visitors to your website per month. This is the very top of your funnel: the awareness stage. These people know your business exists. These are called "visitors". 

NEW STUDENT LEADS: Of those 1000 visitors, 200 people (20%) will request for your paid trial offer using a form on your website. These people have expressed interest in your offer and are called "new student leads".

They're only leads at this point, because they haven't purchased anything from you. But you have their contact information and can start building the relationship.

TRIAL BUYERS: Of those 200 people, 50 people (25%) actually purchase your paid trial offer and visit your location to take classes. These people are now trial buyers at your location.

STUDENTS: of the 50 who buy your trial offer, 25 people (50%) become full-fledged students, and attend class at your location regularly.

BRAND ADVOCATES: of the 25 who become regular students, 1 person (4%) of will go on to become SUPER CUSTOMERS or "brand advocates" who rep your studio everywhere they go. They love you so much, they tell their friends and family to come to class; they wear you brand around town; they tell everyone they can about what you do.

If the experience you provide new student leads is exactly the same each time and you're collecting data on the actions these users take at each step of the process, you can test out different strategies to increase the percentage of users who move from one stage of the funnel to the next.

"What it really comes down to is cultivating a relationship with your customer"

Morgan S.
Owner of Prospect Heights Yoga
in Brooklyn, New York

Membership increased by 200%

You can test form layout, placement and copy to increase the percentage of visitors who opt-in to receive your paid trial offer via email. 

You can test email subject lines, sender names, and copy to increase the percentage of users who purchase your trial offer.

You can test follow-up emails and special offers to increase the percentage of trial purchasers who become full-fledged regular students.

Increasing your conversion rate at one step will increase the number of people who convert at the next step by the same amount.

If you double the number of people who request your trial offer each month, you'll also double the number of people who purchase the trial and visit your location; you'll double the number of people who become full fledged students and go on to become your best brand advocates.

By increasing the conversion rate from one step to the next at each and every step, the effect is multiplied. Hopefully you can see how having the ability to track these things, and increasing the conversion rate at every step is incredibly important to growing your business!

A SALES FUNNEL IS A COOKIE CUTTER PROCESS THROUGH WHICH EVERY NEW LEAD SHOULD GO THROUGH ON THEIR WAY TO BECOMING FULL FLEDGED STUDENT

INCREASING THE CONVERSION RATE AT
EACH STEP OF THE FUNNEL WILL DRASTICALLY INCREASE THE NUMBER OF NEW STUDENTS YOU GET AT THE END.

A CONSISTENT EXPERIENCE OR PROCESS IS KEY TO BEING ABLE TO OPTIMIZE YOUR FUNNEL AND INCREASE THE CONVERSION RATE AT EACH STEP.

The perfect sales funnel for studios and gyms

In working with hundreds of personal training and fitness studios over the years, we've developed a proven system for collecting new student leads on a website, and converting those leads into loyal customers who come back time and time again.

In this section, I'll teach you about this funnel, and how we can optimize it every step of the way to get most out of our marketing efforts. Here are the stages in the ideal sales funnel for your studio...

STAGE ONE: 
WEBSITE VISITOR

CONVERSION GOAL: Get the website visitor to provide their email address and become a new student lead.

STAGE TWO: 
NEW STUDENT LEAD

CONVERSION GOAL: Get the new student lead to purchase the trial offer and become a student / customer.

STAGE THREE: 
STUDENT / CUSTOMER

CONVERSION GOAL: Get the student / customer to use the trial and come back on a regular basis when the trial is complete.

STAGE FOUR:
BRAND ADVOCATE

CONVERSION GOAL: Get the student invested in your studio,  build a sense of community and mission.

Stage One:
CONVERT WEBSITE VISITORS TO NEW STUDENT LEADS

A good e-commerce conversion rate--the percentage of website visitors who are ready to buy right away--is typically somewhere between 3-5%. That means on a good day, you're losing out on 95% of your web traffic!

That means if you get 1000 visitors to your website, 950 of them are likely to leave and never come back. They may forget the name of your business entirely, or come across a competitor with a more attractive offer.

There's a number of reasons most of your visitors aren't ready to purchase right away.

The visitor to your site might...

Just be in the research phase of their purchase decision, checking out your studio or gym, in addition to a few others.

Be interested in purchasing at a later date, but not have the funds needed to purchase your trial offer or membership on hand.

Need to check with friends, family or a significant other before making the purchase.

Be browsing from work, or somewhere else that isn't convenient for them to enter their credit card details.

Get distracted in the middle of browsing and have to do something else.

Have their internet connection disrupted by their cat chewing on an internet cable.

The point is, there's simply no way to know why people aren't converting! There's just too many reasons. But we can plan for all of them by collecting their contact information as quickly as possible during that first interaction with your business.

When you collect the visitor's contact information, they go from being a complete stranger to a new student lead. A step up in your relationship with them! Congrats, it looks like it's getting serious.

With this information, we'll be able to send perfectly timed follow-up emails using email automation. The automated emails will follow up with the new student lead, continue to nurture the relationship and highlight the unique benefits of your studio until the purchase decision is reached.

There's a few highly effective ways you can collect visitor contact information. In each case, it's helpful to look at collecting emails as an exchange of value. People value their privacy. If they gave their email address out to everyone on the web who asked for it, they'd be buried in spam and promotional emails before they could say "unsubscribe!" 

In order to get a visitor's email address, the perceived value of your offer must be greater than the value they assign to their email privacy. Here's a few of the most effective value offers studios and gyms can provide in exchange for someone's email address...

Yoga, Diet or Fitness Challenge

New student lead receives daily emails with challenge instructions. Each email comes with a link to purchase your trial offer. Challenge can be completed at home, or at your location. 

Each day usually includes video instruction and asks new student leads to check in with others taking the challenge on social media.

Benefits of this method are...

  • High opt-in rate, everyone loves a challenge! Make sure it's clear that the challenge can be completed at home, or in your studio.
  • High engagement if you include homework assignments requiring people to check-in on their progress with a group or post on social media.
  • Gives the student lead more familiarity with your instructors / staff through the daily video instructions. Giving them this challenge for free gives them positive associations with your business.

Drawbacks of this method are...

  • Difficulty is high, requires lots of content planning and production.

PAid trial offer

** RECOMMENDED TO START WITH! **

New student lead receives trial offer via email. They continue to receive follow up emails until purchase decision is reached.

Why a paid trial as opposed to free? Because we've found with years of testing at every type of studio imaginable that the quality of new student leads increases by offering a paid trial rather than a free trial.

Free trials bring in the wrong type of consumer, who aren't serious about buying. Paid trial buyers are more invested and therefore more likely to actually attend their trial class and become a returning student.

There's also a subtle mental shift when a person goes from being unitiated with your business into being a "customer" of your business, even if their first purchase is small. When they make that first purchase, they become more familiar with your studio than they are with any other, which gives you an edge up on the competition.

Benefits of this method are...

  • Very easy to set up. No video production or content creation necessary.
  • Works fast, can be installed quickly. Is a great first step while you work on a more complex content-based offer.

Drawbacks of this method are...

  • Doesn't warm up new student leads as well as other methods. They may need to be familiarized with your business before making the purchase decision.

free video course series

New student lead receives daily emails with video instructions. Each email comes with a link to purchase your trial offer. 

Course can be completed at home.

Benefits of this method are...

  • High opt-in rate. Anyone can take the course from the comfort of their own home.
  • Gives the student lead more familiarity with your instructors / staff through the daily video instructions. Giving them this challenge for free gives them positive associations with your business.

Drawbacks of this method are...

  • Difficulty is high, requires lots of content planning and production.

BEST PRACTICES FOR STAGE ONE OF YOUR SALES FUNNEL

SPLIT TEST EVERYTHING 

Split testing is when you set up software to automatically split your website traffic into two groups, each seeing a different variation of your offer.

You can compare the conversion rate of each, and find out which offer works best.

If you're on WordPress, using a plugin like Thrive Leads will allow you to create split tests easily. You can also use software like Optimizely to create more advanced split tests on any website.

Things you can test include: the offer itself (fitness challenge vs paid trial), the copy on your offer (changing the words around), colors, layout, and more.

ADD YOUR OFFER ON THE HOMEPAGE OR A DEDICATED LANDING PAGE

When our clients include their offer on the homepage of their website rather than a sub-page, they see a 600% increase in sign-ups!

You can split test which version works best with software like Optimizely, but we have found time and time again that the homepage works best. This is because the homepage of your website is typically where you receive the majority of your traffic.

Every step you add in between the first visit and the desired action is another point that visitors will drop off.

ALL PATHS SHOULD LEAD TO THE FUNNEL

The purpose of your website is to drive leads and generate more customers. Every page on your website should be designed intentionally with this purpose in mind.

When you give people too many options, they get confused, they get lost, and they DO NOT take the action you want them to take.

Cut down on unnecessary clutter on your homepage. You'll need to include links to vital elements like your schedule and pricing page, but otherwise, the majority of your site's real estate should be dedicated towards driving new customers into your sales funnel.

I can't stress this point enough! If your website is cluttered with information overload, you will lose out on new business.

Every potential entry point a potential new student can come in through on your website (like the blog, or other pages) should have the offer opt-in form.

CLEARLY COMMUNICATE YOUR UNIQUE SELLING PROPOSITION

Your unique selling proposition (USP) is the qualities of your studio or gym that make it better than the competition. 

What can you provide that no one else can? Why do students choose your over anyone else? This should be easily recognizable and communicated "above the fold" (without scrolling down at all).

If you're not sure what your USP is, it is vital that you get clear on this immediately! Without a clear USP, you have no competitive edge in the marketplace.

INCLUDE SOCIAL PROOF

You can increase the perceived value of your offer by showing that other people like it.

Reviews, testimonials and mentions in news outlets all show that your offer has value and is worth checking out.

INCLUDE SCARCITY

The human brain is hardwired to experience FOMO, or fear of missing out.

When people believe something to be in short supply, the value they assign to it is much higher.

Scarcity can apply to time, when you say something along the lines of "this intro offer ENDS SOON". 

Scarcity can also apply to quantity, when you say something along the lines of "limited number of intro offer per month available, grab yours today."

lANDING PAGE CASE STUDY: y7 STUDIO

Spooky Digital created the landing page below for a recent campaign with Y7 Studio. Y7 is opening new yoga studios in major cities nationwide, and wanted to build out a sales funnel for a Facebook ad campaign to drive new customers into the new locations.

Using a high-conversion landing page like this allowed them to make the most of their ad spend on Facebook. See if you can spot the best practices mentioned above in the landing page below!

Stage TWO:
Convert New Student Leads to TRIAL BUYERS

Now that your visitor has shared their email address with you, they've moved on to the next stage of your sales funnel, and they become a new student lead. It's a little like dating. You met, you made a good impression, you exchanged contact information, and now you just need to continue to build the relationship and show them that you're the one.

Follow-up is EVERYTHING when it comes to sales.

Of course, when you're courting hundreds of potential new student leads, building highly personal relationships with all of them can seem like an impossible task. You've got a business to run, you've got classes to teach, existing customers to please, staff to manage, and so much more!

You can't afford to drop the ball on even one potential lead. When you're spending money marketing your business and bringing new leads into your funnel, each and every one of them matters. So how do we make sure that no email goes unanswered, and that trust and love is built with every lead--WITHOUT using up all of your time and energy in the process?

Email marketing and automation is the answer!

When many people hear "email marketing" they instantly think the dirtiest four letter word of them all: SPAM. The thought of blasting their customer's email inbox with unwanted email makes them sick. They don't want to be annoying. That makes perfect sense.

Truth is, when done correctly, email marketing is as useful and personal as any other form of communication. When done right, the person receiving your automated email won't even know you didn't send it personally. 

Email is also the most cost effective form of marketing available. It could cost $5 to get someone to click on your ad from Facebook or Google. It costs a small fraction of a cent to send an email and the return you get on your investment can be massive.

EMAIL MARKETING TIPS TO GET MORE SALES

EMAIL TIP #1: MAKE YOUR EMAILS HIGHLY PERSONAL

All of your automated emails should be written as if they were written by someone from your business personally, and written for an audience of one. Here's some tips for sending highly personal emails your new student leads will love...

EMAIL TIP #1: Use a human name as the sender, rather than your business name.

In recent tests we ran for a client, we found that emails sent "from" the owner or manager's name, rather than the business name received 200% as many email opens.

More email opens leads to more offer claims and more customers down the line!

EMAIL TIP #2: Address your student by name.

You can use mail merge tags to dynamically insert the customers name. Make sure you do it naturally, in a way you would use it in a hand-written personal email.

The example below from Y7 Studio's sales funnel is quick and to the point. Their brand guidelines required specific copy to be used in the email, so not all of the "best practices" were used.

However, the email performed well because it appeared hand-written and personal from the manager of the studio.

EMAIL TIP #2: CLEARLY COMMUNICATE YOUR VALUE

Your emails should clearly and concisely communicate the value of your offer. Here's a few ways you can do that...

Emphasize your unique selling proposition.

Your unique selling proposition (USP) is what you can offer your customers that no one else can.

What makes you stand out in the crowd? Why do students choose your studio over any other?

Having a clear idea of the value you can provide, and communicating that clearly to student leads makes the sales process easy.

Offer an unexpected bonus.

The perceived value of your offer has to be equal to or (preferably) greater than the monetary value you're asking for in exchange.

Adding a bonus (like a free promotional item or equipment rental) is a great way to add extra value on top of your offer.

Make sure to include a the item's retail value, and show how much they're saving to drive the point home.

Create a sense of urgency and scarcity.

Encourage student leads to take action by creating a sense of urgency and scarcity.

Examples of this include: 

"This offer is only available for a limited time! Claim yours today." (Time Scarcity)

"Only 100 of these trial offers are given away each month. They're going quickly, so grab yours today." (Number Scarcity)

EMAIL TIP #3: INCLUDE A STRONG CALL TO ACTION

Every email you send should have one goal for what you want your reader to do. This goal is called a call to action (CTA).

Your goal could be to get the user to click on a link to finish purchasing your trial offer, or it could be to get the reader to click a link to share a check-in about their fitness / diet challenge on social media. 

Having just one call to action in each email reduces the amount of thought required to make a choice, which will result in more people completing the desired action.

Your CTA link or button text should imply a benefit to the user. Rather than having a button that says "Click Here", you'd want to use something like "Claim Your Trial!".

"Claim Your Trial" implies a benefit claiming a trial that is in low supply or limited, while "Click Here" is neutral and implies no benefit.

EMAIL TIP #4: NEVER FORGET TO FOLLOW UP WITH NEW LEADS

Following up with new student leads is vital to the operation of any studio business.

When questions from new student leads go unanswered; when links to purchase your trial offer aren't sent in a timely manner; and when you don't stay engaged with new student leads via email every day until they make a decision... YOU LOSE OUT ON NEW BUSINESS.

With automated email marketing, you can spend more time doing what you're passionate about and less time worrying if your new student leads are getting the information they need, and are being followed up with at the right time.

Email automation technology like ActiveCampaign will help you set up emails that are based on a user's behavior on your website or email, so the right message gets delivered at the right time.

Someone who opens your first email and doesn't purchase your offer is going to need a different follow-up email than someone who doesn't open your first email at all.

For the former, you'll want to find out why they didn't purchase or offer more value to convince them. 

For the latter, you'd want to try sending the email at a different time or using a different subject line. Maybe they missed it or weren't intrigued enough to open. 

The email automation campaign below starts when a contact subscribes to the email list called "Trial Offer" and takes the student lead down a different path of reminder emails based on their interaction with the first email.

Stage THREE:
Convert TRIAL BUYERS inTO STUDENTS

You're making the most of your website traffic and turning visitors into new student leads. You're using perfectly timed automated emails to build personal relationships with each lead and turning them into trial buyers.

Now, all you have to do is close the deal and solidify your relationship with trial buyers, turning them into students who come back on a regular basis. There's a few easy ways you can do that...

Make sure their trial experience is perfect.

Your trial experience should reflect the absolute best that your studio or gym has to offer. 

Find ways to make it easy, flawless and exciting. This is where you can get creative.

You might instruct your staff to be particularly attentive to the new student's needs. You could also give them a surprise gift or promotional item.

Anything to make the new student feel at home and cared for.


Follow up via email when the trial is over.

Send an automated personal follow-up email at the end of the student's trial offer asking them about their experience.

Encourage them to come back to purchase a monthly membership or class package by offering a discount on their first month or package purchase.

Set up automated emails to continue following up. Did the student open your first email? If not, send again at a different time. 

Did they open, but not respond? Follow up and let them know you're there to answer any questions they may have.

Again, automated email saves the day and makes this process incredibly easy.

Build a sense of community.

People are more likely to keep coming back to your studio if their friends are there. 

For this reason, it's vital to get people connected with eachother as quickly as possible!

You can do this by...

Creating a private Facebook group where members can chat and hang out.

Inviting members out to events that you go to as a group. For yoga studios, it could be volunteering in the community. For dance studios it could be performances. For fitness studios, it could be a beach day. For martial arts studios, it could be fights and competitions.

Again, let your creativity loose! How can you bring people together in a fun, group setting?


Stage FOUR:
Convert STUDENTS INTO BRAND ADVOCATES

Identifying group leaders, high spenders and brand advocates is the next vital step in the studio sales funnel most owners miss. These people are your most valuable resource, and they are already chomping at the bit, ready to carry your message to everyone they know.

All it takes is a small nudge in the right direction and they'll be off to the races.

Here's a few ways you can empower and mobilize your word of mouth marketing army of brand advocates to bring new leads into the top of your funnel--at no additional cost to you.

Create high quality branded clothing.

Your best customers will LOVE to represent your brand everywhere they go. Quality is key.

Give them something they'll actually wear, and it will be one of your best sales pieces.

People will see your brand on their clothing, ask about it, and they will be more than happy to share your info.

Show appreciation for those that spend the most at your business.

Find out who your top 10 customers are in terms of the amount of money spent, or number of years with your business and make sure they know you appreciate them.

Organize a special outing, give them a unique gift. These people are the heart and soul of your business.

Make sure they know you appreciate them and they'll be even more motivated to help!

Study and understand your top customers.

Find out who your best customers are so you can reach more people like them.

What personality traits do they have? What are their values? What other interests do they have? What's their age, ethnicity or gender? What type of information or media do they consume? 

Ask them, and they will be happy to share so you can find more people like them to bring to the studio.

CONGRATS! THAT's all there is to it.

"The results are immediate because you already have the traffic on your website."

Ken N.
Owner of Class One MMA 
in Brooklyn, New York

Trial Sales increased by 650%

With this sales funnel in place, you will be systematically growing your business and getting new students in classes faster than ever. You'll be less stressed and have more time to do what you actually love to do. That's an absolute promise!

We love working with studios of all kinds and would love to hear from you. 

If you want to chat and learn more about this method, please feel free to reach out. We'll even do a 15-minute strategy planning session for free--we can go over any questions you have about this process and help you find a way to apply it to your business.

Our schedule fills up quickly, so book yours today! Contact: [email protected] for more information.

Here’s How Successful Studios / Gyms Bring in New Students (Guide)

Here's How Successful Studios & Gyms
Bring in New Students (Guide)

Turning website visitors into new students is hard.

The fact is that a "good" online conversion rate is between 3-5%.

What does that mean, exactly? It means that even on the best day, 95% of your website traffic is NOT ready to buy.

If you don't capture their information to talk to them again, most of those visitors to your website will never come back again.

Don't get us wrong; it's essential to be online, to have a website where that 5% can find you and buy. But your website should be used as a lead generation tool as well as a place to purchase.

Let's review the function of your website. Most people believe that they have to have a whizz-bang website with killer imagery and loads of information.

"95% OF YOUR WEBSITE TRAFFIC IS NOT READY TO BUY RIGHT AWAY"

If you're an online shop or an online magazine this may be true, but if you're a yoga studio, health center, fitness studio, Pilates studio, dance studio or gym with a brick-and-mortar location, the goal of your website isn't to keep people on your website--it must be to capture their information and bring them into your location. This does not happen overnight. 

So what is the solution, you ask? 

THE SOLUTION: TRIAL OFFER Email Marketing

Email may be the marketing tool most underrated by studio owners. With all of these newer and sexier marketing trends to keep up with, you can be forgiven for forgetting about the power of a humble email. For the 40 odd years, email has been in wide use; it has continued to be a cheap, yet effective marketing channel. An email campaign produces a great return on investment at an average of $38 for every $1 spent.

Greater Audience Engagement

Did you know that In 2017, the number of worldwide email users topped 3.7 billion?

That's roughly half the world's population! Compare this to social media, the most hyped marketing tool of today, and the comparative reach and ROI is not all that exciting. As of Q3 2017, there were 2.07 Billion monthly active users on Facebook and 330 Million users on Twitter.

For an email list to exist, your target audience has had to at some point 'opt in' to your list. This means they have a familiarity with your brand; they have given you permission to market to them!

Looking at the statistics, the average click-through rate on email is 3% vs 0.5% on Twitter. That means email is 60 times more likely to be seen by your students. Email is 40% more effective at student acquisition, and in the right hands, it has far greater measurement capabilities (such as tracking open rates, click-throughs, bounces, forwards, social share and much more).

Tracking all of this helps you to improve your strategy every time you communicate with your email list.

EMAILS TO NEW STUDENT LEADS ARE...

60X more
likely to be seen

40% more effective
at acquiring new studentS

INFINITELY EASIER
TO TRACK ENGAGEMENT

With such small online conversion rates, capturing email addresses is far more effective than trying to convert people on the first online interaction. The initial opt-in collects web traffic that would have never visited again and it gives you an opportunity to make them take an action right away; giving you their information.

here's how it works...


Step 1 - Build Your List

Building your list is actually quite simple. Give an offer to the people who visit your website in return for their personal information (like their email and phone number).

This 'opt in' form can be created on a page on your website and will encourage people to leave their information in exchange for your offer; such as a 1 week paid trial at your studio.

EXAMPLE EMAIL OPT-IN FOR A PAID TRIAL OFFER

PRO TIP: Opt-in forms that are placed on the homepage as the main feature of the page receive up to 600% more new student leads than those placed on a sub-page. Some studio owners we speak to have reservations about setting things up this way. "What about our existing customers, or people who just want to browse information on the site?" We understand where they're coming from, but the fact is, your existing customers know where to find the schedule and if your site isn't a lead generation tool first, then what's the point of having it in the first place? It's still possible to convey everything you need to convey about your brand (and in fact, you should!) while having the opt-in form placed on the homepage.


Step 2 - Email Your List

As you gather email addresses, you can set up automated emails to go out to these people. We like to use ActiveCampaign for email automation series, but you can use your email automation software of choice.

Options worth checking out include: Activecampaign, Hubspot, Ontraport, GeResponse, Drip, Convertkit, Aweber, or similar.

The first email will welcome them to your mailing list and give them their free pass. If they come in, you can automate emails to thank them for their business and encourage them to continue attending your studio.

If they do not come in, you can email them to remind them of the offer. These emails are designed to keep following up with them until they become a student or express that they are no longer interested.

EXAMPLE EMAIL AUTOMATION / FOLLOW-UP EMAILS IN ACTIVECAMPAIGN


Step 3 - Track Results

Email campaigns are golden as they allow you to see how many people open your emails, how many click through to your offer and how many pull out last minute.

Analyzing and optimizing your campaigns is key to improving your conversion results over time. This step may seem overwhelming but the team at Spooky Digital are experts on email optimization, should you need the help.

EXAMPLE EMAIL AUTOMATION REPORTS


Step 4 - Repeat

The key to building a strong email list is continually adding new emails and consistently building the relationship (and conversion). Your chances of conversion increase with every email sent. These emails build a relationship with your student and unconsciously builds your brand credibility as you become more familiar to them. Thus they become more likely to buy from you.

With the most significant ROI in the marketing mix, regardless of industry, it is worth reviewing your email strategy today!

Contact the team at Spooky Digital to get ahead with this simple yet super effective strategy.

10 Tech Startup Founders and CEO’s Share Their Marketing Strategies

Technology is the future. Automation, artificial intelligence, personal space travel, and more loom on the achievable Horizon. The tech boom of the 90's and early 2000's has led to a crowded marketplace of apps, products and services that can seem impossible to navigate. Finding a quality tech start-up is like trying to find a needle in a haystack. 

We wanted to know what leaders in the tech space are doing to grow their business, so we did all of the finding and searching for you, and got in touch with experts from some of the hottest new technology start-ups out there.

In this article, you'll learn about these start-ups and what their unique selling proposition is--as well as the marketing secrets behind their rapid success. Want to get your start-up funded? Look at what those before you did, and copy them.

Here's the keys to their success, and projections about the future of technology marketing in 2018 and beyond...

The Future of Tech Start-up Marketing as Told by Tech Founders & CEO's



Name: Laura Arndt
CEO of a new start-up called Matriarc 



Matriarc is a health and wellness company for postpartum women, with an app
being released in q1 of 2018.

Matriarc is filling the much needed gap in body and mind rehabilitation post delivery by providing professionally filmed exercises for core and pelvic floor rehabilitation, audio meditations and information on postpartum nutrition and mental health.

After the baby is born, there is a shift in focus and a moms health gets put on the back burner. Existing programs being market to moms are almost entirely physical, looking at weight loss and getting your body back, where as Matriarc is focused on holistically healing, restoring and rejuvenating after birth!

In 2017 Matriarc built an MVP app and ran beta testing with over 50 moms and health professionals. The results of the beta test have given us valuable feedback towards improving our app, and we are on target for a soft launch in early 2018. To date, my biggest challenge has been getting the word out about Matriarc without having a launched app to show people. HARO has been extremely helpful, and I have been quoted and published in some big online publications like Runners World, Elite Daily, and POPSUGAR! Once I realized that being quoted in an article brought more views, I started writing some of my own and pitching to organizations with a similar demographic.

One of those articles can be seen below.

https://www.popsugar.com/fitness/Tips-Working-Out-After-Giving-Birth-44224808

Since we are pre-launch, Facebook advertising was not successful and did not create a significant number of website views or followers, but I'm hopeful once our App is on the market it will be more useful as a marketing tool. One tactic I used to help build some of our initial following of 1800 is to get members of the community involved in writing post themselves. I've asked health professionals and moms to share health related stories, and by accessing their own friend and patient networks I have been able to reach more people and bring them to the Matriarc page.

My 2018 goal is to move forward with our soft launch and get more birth professionals and moms using and talking about Matriarc. With a significant number of users and downloads we can improve our user experience and grow the company. I truly believe my app and company will help millions of women inexpensively have a better postpartum experience.

Name: Greig Latham
Founder, Vehicle Reman

Vehicle Reman remanufactures fleet vehicles to reduce costs and reduce environmental impact - we're a technology company in the automotive sector. We save customers about 50% or more off the MSRP of replacement vehicles and provide a 3-year, 100,000-mile power train warranty. 

Our biggest challenge has been launching a new concept in an industry that has not changed its channel model in over 100 years. Marketing has dramatically shifted to search-based internet queries. No one knows about our alternative product; so, no one searches for our solution. Said another way, educating the market is our biggest challenge. Our biggest successes have been working with a paratransit agency and the Texas Department of Transportation to explore light- and medium-duty bus remanufacturing. We have also succeeded in winning national, regional and local business.

We have tried the full range of marketing initiatives. So far, influencer marketing has been the only path to success. Search-based, internet advertising has not produced one sale in almost two years. Educating the market and getting the word out about novel offerings is the only rational approach for a service such as ours. We help with customer money budgets and corporate sustainability responsibility (CSR). Our future is bright if we can find enough fleet partners that want to save money and the environment. Remanufacturing is the purest form of recycling and must be a part of our transportation future.

Name: Catherine Flax
CEO, Pefin



Pefin is the world’s first Artificial Intelligence (AI) financial advisor. The platform provides intelligent, unbiased and personalized financial planning and advice. Pefin’s mission is to look after the financial best interests of users in a way that embraces the unique individuality of their lives.

The platform offers:

1. Long-term Financial Planning services, including a complete Financial Plan

2. Financial Advice, including savings and debt management strategies

3. Investment Advice and Portfolio Management Services

4. Real-time monitoring, updates, and curated financial literacy
content for each user

We are solving the problem of financial literacy. It’s not about selling people products, it’s about affordable advice empowering people to achieve their goals.

Pefin launched in early December. We have gotten tremendous response- from people signing up, to businesses wanting to partner, and also from potential investors. We have a partnership with a prominent European pension fund to build Pefin as a white label product for their clients. This is a huge win for us.

The biggest challenge is to help people understand the need for financial advice when they have never experienced it before. Many people need to know how best to save, or pay down debt, or optimize existing assets- like their 401k. There is more that can be done to put people in a great financial position that has little or nothing to do with markets- but historically that advice was very difficult to get. Now Pefin makes it easy.

We have had a very soft launch, with some press and social media presence. So far, we have had the most success from a few articles in respected publications.

We are building our social media following by providing useful content. We focus on blogging and other content that is geared toward answering questions that people have – How do I save for a home? Can I afford to
send my kids to college? How do I know whether I am ready to retire? In providing value-added content we are giving people information that they find useful- and that created traction from a marketing perspective.

Name:  Jason Westland
CEO and founder, ProjectManager.com



When I started ProjectManager.com in 2008 I was seeking to provide a project management tool that incorporated all of the aspects of the best pm tools available at the time, without the unnecessary clutter.​

Intuitive, interactive, and ease of use are the most important aspects I was seeking to
address. Since then, we have acquired customers as large as NASA, Ralph
Lauren, and Pepperdine University and expanded from our first office in New
Zealand to a second office in Austin, Texas.

A major reason for our growth and success so far has been the use of content marketing early on as a tool to grow the business. We provide more content like free project management templates, guides, and informative blog posts than our competitors and that has generated a lot of good will among project management professionals.

Looking forward to 2018 we will continue to utilize our leading project management content to grow the business as well as make advancements in our
brand design and product.

Name: Toby Hervey
CEO of Bravely




Bravely is a resource for confidential conflict coaching and communication guidance for employees navigating issues in the workplace, helping them prepare for conversations with managers, colleagues and HR teams. Already backed by $1.5 million in seed funding, Bravely connects employees with experienced conflict coaches and HR professionals for conversations about the challenges employees face that can be intimidating to tackle proactively.

We founded this company because we've lived first-hand – as a gay man and a woman (who has personally overcome sexual harassment in the workplace) – what it can be like to feel intimidated or uncomfortable advocating for yourself in an environment or workplace culture where you don't see yourself represented or that doesn't work to include diverse voices. We wanted to give these voices what they need to be louder, the confidence to go forward and the support they need to feel heard. For company leaders and HR departments offering Bravely, we see employees reporting they are more likely to go forward and tackle issues whereas they might have let them fester or spoken to friends and family before, or just started looking for another role.. For example, after 42% of Bravely sessions employees self-report that they were going to start looking for another job before their session.

Bravely is different from traditional internal HR or coaching because we fall outside the walls of the company and everything shared is strictly confidential and off-the-record. Some employees will always struggle to speak up or assert themselves, no matter how great the company or People team might be, and offering Bravely sends a clear signal that they want to support them and offer a safe space for discussing whatever they are facing at work.

We’re targeting forward-thinking companies with a concentration of office-based professionals facing ongoing organizational change such as rapid-growth. We really want companies that care about signaling to their employees that they care. We have been actively reaching out to media – national, industry, podcasts and more – to share our story.

We expect that in the coming years, Bravely will become a staple for every company and HR department that cares about the needs of their employees and their employer brand. We know that not enough safe channels exist for employees, nor is there enough investment in inclusion efforts as diversity becomes a greater factor of success, and we’re well-positioned to help deliver on both fronts. We’re not currently naming clients, but we expect to have 30 clients live by the end of the year. We’re focused on delivering a stellar experience to our first wave of clients, collecting data and refining our experience rather than scaling at all costs at this point. 

Name: Teris Pantazes
CEO AND FOUNDER, EFynch.com





We are EFynch.com and we are working to become the “referees” of home improvement.

Currently, home improvement platforms only participate in 25% of the $360B, U.S. Home Improvement Industry. 30% of all homeowners say the toughest part of any project is “finding a pro” even though we see countless advertisements on TV promising “the best way to find a handyman”.

We created step-by-step and logical process to complete these tasks with a focus on helping new homeowners or homebuyers.

To date, our biggest challenge has been separating ourselves from the competition. We found that in today’s information age, it is incredibly easy to promote a slogan and because too many companies take liberty with this power, consumers are cautious on who they trust. We can’t compete in the 15 second, catchy sentence world that gain a customer. We have to build a loyal base that wants real answers.

Our best marketing have come from any venue that gives us a moment to share details. Blogs, explainer videos can be published/ shared on social media and when a friend shares a handyman tip we wrote, it establishes our brand and the information helps build our trustability.
The key is writing good information that people can see value within.

For 2018 we continue to build on this. In 14 months we gained a reach of approx. 4,000 and cultivating our “nest” of guidance is priority #1!

Name: Kean Graham
CEO of MonetizeMore



[MonetizeMore provides] the vitamin of higher ad revenues for publishers and solving nasty problems for them like malvertising, report unification and big data management.

...We are having our highest growth year (2017). Our biggest challenge is building technology faster. Our greatest successes has been the immense ad revenue increases we’ve achieved for our publisher partners via the tech we’ve built. 

We get 90%+ of our leads from inbound marketing. This is the result of consistently creating unique content for over 7 years and slowly developing new inbound marketing channels. Our inbound marketing strategy
has been one of the most successful initiatives our company has undergone.

Paid advertising has not been as successful so far, however, we’ve only invested in re-targeting. We will be expanding to search which we are optimistic about. With re-targeting, we are targeting many publishers that never want to convert but perhaps only wants to read useful content on our blog. 

[In 2018] we are launching PubGuru, which is the Hootsuite of the ad tech industry. It will be the centre piece platform for publishers that want to run their ad operations in-house but have access to powerful ad tech.

Name: Danni Lin
CEO, GREAT WINE



GREAT WINE...[is] a company which produces wine to start a new conversation about wine – what is your wine character or “vinotype?”

Many clients don’t really know what they like, so making a choice among numerous bottles often means following what a wine critic says. GREAT WINE instead inspires clients to discover their unique preferences and perspectives by providing them with wines that cater to the taste of different “vinotypes.” It is GREAT WINE’s goal to give respect to the uniqueness of individuals and uniqueness of each wine.

GREAT WINE, Inc. is a startup which has a team of 50 globally. Under CEO Danni Lin's leadership, GREAT WINE, Inc. opened first tasting room in Bellevue, Wash., in June 2017. GREAT WINE, Inc. is recognized as Best Wine Tasting Experience by Qminder. The company’s CEO, Danni Lin, is honored in 425 Business Magazine 30 under 30. The problem we are solving is helping our clients and customers to understand the scientific concept of “vinotype,” as well as why it is a “turning point” and “must-used” concept in the wine industry.

Our company's marketing strategies have been very successful.

In order to solve this problem, we use myVinotype app (https://www.myvinotype.com/en/) – a smart wine recommendation platform for wine-related businesses and connoisseurs to learn more about clients’ wine personalities. Launched in 2011, myVinotype first started as a website widget and a consumer survey. By 2016, the platform has launched an iOS app, and has become available in eight languages worldwide. All these features are supported by data analytics in order to be more client-oriented. This means when clients come to our tasting room, we do a vinotype test together. After clients know their vinotypes, we match them with the wine we produced to fit their palate. The biggest challenge is raising the awareness for the app. However, we are seeing that the app appears to have high credibility among the clients. So, it is our biggest success in applying technology to our business.

We build our marketing strategy upon the company’s core values, perception, provenance and personalization. We perceive omni-channel marketing is an effective method to promote our company. This method provides a seamless, consistent, and convenient communicating channel between the company and customers. Omni-channel marketing creates 1:1 experience between the company and customers. Our wine specialists and even our CEO are just few clicks away from clients. As a result, GREAT WINE, Inc. successfully builds brand awareness and connects personally with customers. Omnichannel marketing has been our strategy from the beginning which help us successfully attract and retain target audience.

Lastly, the company will open its first international tasting room in China in late 2017. Our goal for the future is making “vinoptye” a concept that is not locally recognized, but also globally recognized.

Name: Zach Schlosser
Founder, The School for the Future



The School for the Future is a social innovation education startup.

We've raised seed funding to get through the launch of our initial courses, which integrate social entrepreneurship, activism, and self-development, draw from the sciences of collective action, and emphasize thinking scientifically about project design and evaluation. This includes using tactics that fit the goals, rather than the ones with which students are most familiar. Our biggest challenge so far has been saying all this without being overly complex. Our biggest success is our instructors; they're incredible. 

For example, scholar-activist Roger Hallam is teaching tactics he and colleagues used to win the first rent strike in London in 30 years and get King's College to commit to fossil fuel divestment - in only 8 weeks! Right now our marketing is a mix of early-stage hustle and long-term positioning. Word of mouth has been the easiest way to demonstrate credibility.

Facebook ads with quiz or syllabus-download funnels have been less successful, probably because we need more press and partnerships to earn folks' trust. Over the next year or so we think the documentary we're producing on the future of higher education will give us more attention. It's already been a great vehicle for connecting with thought leaders. In 2018 we'll continue to improve our marketing and develop an integrated social innovation curriculum, though we're most excited to work with students, helping them build sustainable, effective, and impactful social ventures.

Name: Sampo Parkkinen
CEO, Revieve



Revieve transforms the online beauty shopping experience by helping beauty brands and retailers bring the in-store beauty consultant online using shopper selfies and computer-vision. In the physical world, 62% of beauty-product purchases are influenced by the in-store beauty consultant. Through having a Digital Beauty Advisor powered by Revieve, beauty brands and retailers can enjoy the benefits of personalized beauty product advice and product recommendations in all of their digital channels and increase both online beauty shopper conversion as well as average transaction size.

In the last 12 months, Revieve has engaged 40+ retailers and beauty brands across four continents. Through our customer-interactions, we've seen the Digital Beauty Advisor -solution provide brands and retailers with up to a 32% increase in online beauty-shopper conversion as well as a 25% increase in average transaction size. As a young company, we've been fortunate to have the ability to engage leading global beauty brands as well as innovative speciality retailers who wish to provide their shoppers with an interactive, intuitive and transformative online shopping experience for beauty products. Simultaneously, we've had to overcome the hesitation of large retailers and brands in working with a relatively unknown startup and have had to convince them of our financial as well as operational stability and longevity.

Revieve's marketing strategy revolves around providing prospective retail and brand partners with information about the usefulness of a Digital Beauty Advisor through direct e-mail, webinars, blog-posts as well as social media postings. In addition, we believe in the power of creating a thought-leadership position within the beauty technology industry by focusing on providing our prospective brand and retail partners with information regarding the state of the beauty technology industry as well as various market reports that help their decision-making and increase their understanding of different technological advances and services available for their digital channels. We've seen tremendous power in engaging with our prospective audience in those channels which they regularly use in their daily work, including LinkedIn, news media about the industry as well as through events and conferences.

The year 2018 will be a transformative year for Revieve. This year we've matured as a company, built the necessary operational and customer support infrastructure to help support the customers using our solutions as well as expanded our offering from a purely e-commerce focused Digital Beauty Advisor to a suite of solutions encompassing use cases and applications for our brand and retail partners other digital channels including Facebook Messenger, WeChat, Amazon Alexa as well as an in-store offering. Our focus for 2018 is to continue to further improve the Digital Beauty Advisor -customer experience and provide even larger conversion and average transaction size improvements for our customers as well as expand to new markets, including Asia. We believe the Digital Beauty Advisor -solution we're providing to become a transformative technology in the world of beauty retail and are excited to be in the forefront of innovation with some of the worlds most innovative retailers and brands.

7 Public Relations Experts Share Their Holiday PR Secrets

The Holidays are the most important time of the year for brick and mortar retailers and e-commerce businesses alike. Some companies rely on the last two months of the year to make almost all of their annual sales! 

With so much noise in the world today, it can feel hard--if not impossible--to break through and reach people who could be interested in buying your product or service. That's why now, more than ever, it's important to have a well-thought-out marketing and public relations plan for being seen and standing out during the Holiday sales rush.


The Best PR Strategies for Increasing Holiday Sales


April Neill

CEO/Principal Consultant
April Neill Public Relations
@AprilNeillPR



"If you’re looking for a great way to boost your client's brand exposure during the holidays, try mixing up your marketing strategy with feel good public relations’ initiatives.

Here are some quick tips for boosting business and spreading holiday cheer that have worked for my clients:


Campaign for a Cause

Increasing numbers of brands are mixing social good into marketing programs.

Not only is it smart; it can reap big rewards! Studies show that consumers are prone to make purchases and seek out services from brands that give back and do good work. I've personally had great success in garnering media attention for clients with charitable efforts that combine giving with a special timely offer. Not only will it drive sales or bookings, your client will be perceived as a brand that cares!

In my experience, the media loves stories about brands that are doing good so it's the perfect time to spread a little holiday cheer with a feel-good campaign. So host a toy drive, a holiday coat drive, or collect food for a local food bank. You can add up all the donations and send out a press release or newsletter to recap your results to keep the good will going.

Share Holiday Tips

Another way to give back is providing helpful tips that help potential customers solve problems they’re facing during the holidays. You can write a blog post, send a tips-related press release or contributed article to your local media. Not only will you establish your client's industry expertise, you’ll provide a valuable service to the community while driving traffic to store,website or blog. And it really works! I've personally sent out dozens of tips-related press releases and contributed articles and have garnered both local and national coverage.

Measuring Results


Tracking data and trends is important in measuring a campaign's success. Be sure to track media hits, including reach and impressions, increased traffic to website, increased social media engagement, as well as increased sales. I love using Excel to create charts and track trends and have learned to pivot tactics based on insights.

So whether you host a holiday outreacheffort or craft seasonal tips to share, don’t miss out on a great opportunityto build your brand awareness while also celebrating the season of giving. Chances are, you’ll boost your saleswhile also generating positivity and goodwill in the world. Cheers and Happy Holidays!"

Karin Tobiason

KT-PR.com



My publicity strategy for the holidays as a consumer products publicist is to start pitching products approximately six to seven months prior to the holiday for all gift guides for long lead, monthly glossy magazines.

The next tier I’ll hit is the gift guide(s) for the weekly magazines, often providing product placement with celebrities. Next will be the national consumer TV and radio shows, and winnowing down to the very short lead, I’ll pitch the blogs, online, etc

Obviously, the mix of media we pitch depends on the demographic of the customer; a mom consumes different media than a tween. We find that when our client’s products “hit” in all the media outlets around a similar time frame, the public perceives the company’s products as “trending” and more important to check out.

Publicity can help increase company sales. The more people who are aware of your product, the more opportunity the company has to sell.

However, in my experience sales increases of any size only happens when every other department in the company is solidly working together. If we’re able to get a product featured on the highest circulation outlet and the company’s website crashes, our work and your dollars paying us, is wasted. If your product falls apart, cannot be shipped or fails to live up to its marketing, no amount of significant press can increase your sales numbers. As much as I’d like to take the credit for increasing a company’s numbers, publicity is just one of a well-oiled cogs that help make it happen.

Once your product begins “trending” we have a lot more options to get creative to produce much larger, far-reaching, multi partner campaigns. That’s when it gets really fun.

GG Benitez

GG Benitez PR




In addition to strategically pitching our clients through the traditional means for consideration in holiday gift guides for print, tv, and online through the carefully crafted pitches and sampling, GG Benitez PR also works with various on-air talent to ensure our products are on their radars for when they are called to be experts curating these lists, themselves.

Additionally, we utilize more of the non-traditional means of PR by seeding celebrities and other social media influencers with our products, incentivizing them to share the clients’ offerings as giveaways to their followers, and/or offering to collaborate with the celebrities on their favorite charities to donate a portion of sales resulting from social media posts.


We also have worked with celebrities on curating their favorite holiday gift guide suggestions, including our clients, and helping placing those in the media. Although PR cannot be solely responsible for nor guarantee sales, these all work to help increase brand awareness and visibility, which can be easily measured through traffic, sales, and increase in social media followers.

Tracy Bagatelle-Black

Bagatelle Black Public Relations



There are lots of things PR pros can do to promote their clients over the holidays.  When I worked with PetSmart, we used to do a survey each year regarding how much people spend on presents for their pets.

This campaign was used in print, online and in video, as we created a short video clip showing the results and people at PetSmart getting their pets’ pictures taken with Santa.  This way we were promoting both getting holiday gifts for your pets and their in-store Santa photos.  It was always a bit hit with the media and the client.

Rhonda Rees

Rhonda Rees Public Relations Company



The very best way to promote clients during the holidays (or at any other time) is to come up with a good PR angle or hook.

One year I had represented a smoke detector tester company, and my client and I felt that it was important to highlight the importance of family safety in the home. We decided to inform the media of the potential danger from dried-out Christmas trees.

Many people were not aware that in a very short period of time, and given certain conditions, a tree could ignite and cause a serious fire.

To demonstrate the point, I pitched the idea to the media and secured a spot on the Home & Family show. I also purchased a Christmas tree, and had it delivered to the studio. I then made arrangements for a firefighter to set the tree on fire in a controlled setting. (This was done indoors of course.) The results were quite dramatic to say the least.

To continue to position my client's product and tie it into the message, the hosts and other experts mentioned how the tester could be used to make sure that smoke detectors were working properly. This was a good example of a successful tie-in with an important holiday lesson in safety that the media were interested in covering.
Needless-to-say, attention on the product and sales were given a big boost.

Christian Reed-Ogba 

BethanyEast PR & Mgmt. Consulting



Outside of the normal "top gift list" submissions I snatch up meaningful brand interaction directly with consumers by matching client brands with local event sponsorship opportunities.

With an increase in holiday soirees, sponsorships with the right events or campaigns make it's easy to build experiences shared long past the end of the holiday season.

Samantha Martin 

CEO, Media Maison



As a consumer products firm specializing in the toy and game industry, the holidays are their busiest time of year.
It is imperative that we get their products seen on national broadcast segments, lifestyle and parenting print publications and online where the reader is a click away from a purchase.

We start by creating a buzz about the product with toy and youtube influencers with the goal of kids asking their parents for that specific toy.
Then we utilize our personal relationships with celebrities and their children, starting early in the year by sending samples directly to the celebrity so we can receive feedback and use that we can use as media fodder when pitching. We partner our clients with large events for charity and giving back as a sponsor.

We encourage our clients and work with them to design fun Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday events/deals and we release our best social media content to tie into those promotions. Whether it is to their own site or to their retailer's site we work with them to make sure each placement gets the most views.

Our clients all see a massive upswing in their holiday traffic and the ones who are in retail bank on those sales for the next years orders.

3 Addiction Experts Give Insider Info on the Industry’s Marketing Problem

NOTE: Last week, we talked about the Addiction Recovery industry's unethical marketing problem. This week, we'll talk to 3 successful addiction recovery professionals to get a comprehensive understanding of what's going on.

Let me know what you think in the comments below!

Hi there,

Dan with Spooky Digital here.

The topic we're about to discuss is probably as personal to you as it is to me.

According to a recent report by the U.S. Surgeon General's office, one in seven in the USA will experience addiction in their lifetime. That makes it hard, if not impossible, to not know someone who's been affected.

Whether you're a treatment professional, loved one of an addiction sufferer, or someone struggling with these issues yourself, there's no doubt that unethical marketing in the treatment industry has touched your life in some way and probably caused some harm to you or someone you care about in the process.

While there are many amazing treatment professionals out there (some of whom you'll hear from in this special report), working hard to provide the treatment that saves live, and bring shattered families back together... there are an equal number of bad actors who seek to take advantage of desperate people to get rich and who think of nothing more than their bottom line.

The recovery industry has been rocked with scandal lately as more and more shady marketing tactics have continued to come to light. The revelations have exposed a variety of activity, ranging from unethical to downright illegal. A number of arrests have been made; shady drug rehabs and detox programs have been shut down; and even Google has been forced to jump in to regulate the type of ads recovery facilities are allowed to run.

In the $35 Billion addiction recovery industry, there's more than just money at stake.

Vulnerable people are fighting for the lives of their loved ones and looking for any helping hand they can find. What they're often finding instead is dead ends, tricks, and insurance scams.

As the CEO of a digital marketing agency specializing in marketing addiction treatment services, the question of how to honestly, ethically and legally help new patients find our clients is always on my mind.

I caught up with well-known recovery experts to get an inside look at this complicated issue, and find out what can be done to solve it once and for all. Enjoy, and let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

YOUR RECOVERY EXPERTS

Asher Gottesman

Founder/CEO​

Transcend Recovery Community (VIEW ON FACEBOOK)

New York City, NY

Offering: High end sober living environment, sober companions, sober housing.

Dick Dillon

Founder and CEO

Innovaision, LLC (VIEW ON FACEBOOK)

Greater St. Louis Area, MO

Offering: Recovery services and coaching.

Adam Bartholomew

Chief Executive Officer​

Reflections Recovery Center (VIEW ON FACEBOOK)

Prescott, AZ

Offering: Men's drug and alcohol treatment center.

 ASHER GOTTESMAN

 FOUNDER & CEO AT TRANSCEND RECOVERY COMMUNITY 

quote-left

"...THE HONESTY AND VULNERABILITY OF SOMEONE ASKING FOR HELP IS BEING EXPLOITED AND THAT MOMENT OF OPENNESS CAN BE SHATTERED BY THESE PRACTICES, JEOPARDIZING NOT ONLY THE ADDICT'S LIFE, BUT THE LIVES OF THEIR LOVED ONES."

DAN: What are the most common forms of unethical marketing in addiction treatment (online and otherwise)?

ASHER: Unfortunately, there is a lot that can be discussed on this topic. 

Offline, body brokering would be one of the worst. This is where unscrupulous people use addicts as means of currency, by offering them to centers in exchange for kick backs. Oftentimes, these brokers will incentive recovering addicts to relapse, just so they can be re-entered into treatment again, so the broker can get another commission.

Along the same line, many such people will ignore the needs of the client and refer them to a kick back facility vs one that would be the ethical, medical, appropriate, etc, decision.

This commoditization of people is disgusting. Also offline, the misleading marketing of lead-generation call centers is another unethical practice. Think of the late night TV ads, "Are you sick and tired of being sick and tired". Many of these companies are simply marketing agencies that buy media time, put together terrible spots to attract callers, then sell the calls to top bidders.

People see the spots and call, thinking they are reaching a treatment center. Rather, they are calling a lead gen firm that is simply rerouting their call to whoever paid the highest or bought that block of calls. Online, these same lead generation/call center companies have claimed the Google business listing accounts of legit treatment centers and replaced the treatment center phone # with their very own.

That starts the whole call rerouting/bidding process again. Beyond these lead generation companies, many treatment centers also exploit Google advertising by placing ads using other company's names and descriptions as their own, just to get their calls.

DAN: How does unethical marketing hurt patients?

ASHER: It hurts patients in a variety of ways. When someone wrestling with addiction is finally ready to make the call for help, how damaging is it for them to then be lead through these labyrinths of call centers and rerouting. They need help now, not after the highest bidder can be found. In the case of the brokers, clients aren't being given the treatment that would be best for them.

They are getting the help that puts $$$ in the broker's pockets. In short, the honesty and vulnerability of someone asking for help is being exploited and that moment of openness can be shattered by these practices, jeopardizing not only the addict's life, but the lives of their loved ones.

DAN: How do you take care to avoid ethical problems when marketing your business?

ASHER: We make sure all employees operate by our core company principles- accountability, spirituality, and community. We also train our staff in what is ethical/unethical and make sure that our employees understand not only what we DO as a company, but also what we will NOT do. By living with clear principles and defining our values, our staff knows the right calls to make.

DAN: What marketing methods are working best for your business?

ASHER: This might sound vague, but it's the honest answer- we focus on telling our story clearly and effectively, whatever medium we choose. What makes us different, how we will care for the client, our expertise, etc, are all things we work hard to communicate. Whether it's online or offline, being honest, expressive, and purposeful has always worked the best.

DICK DILLON

Founder and CEO Innovaision, LLC

quote-left

"...there are far more people who need your help in your immediate area than you could possibly serve."

DAN: What are the most common forms of unethical marketing in addiction treatment (online and otherwise)?

DICK: A) Claiming to be able to help match clients with the best appropriate treatment when in reality you are serving as a funnel to one or a limited number of providers who are paying you for leads, and may or may not be a good treatment fit. B) hijacking search results so that someone looking for a name branded program ends up on your site, where you then do (A) above, C) paying people part of a finders fee you receive from a program to entice them to enter that program. D) making false claims results (not based on valid outcome measurement)

DAN: How does unethical marketing hurt patients?

DICK: Let me count the ways. A) connects them with treatment that may not be appropriate for their situation, B) entices them to spend money based on unsubstantiated results, C) adds to mistrust that affect future attempts to get help

DAN: How do you take care to avoid ethical problems when marketing your business?

DICK: Just don't do it. It's not rocket science to figure out that what you are doing is wrong.

DAN: What marketing methods are working best for your business?

DICK:  Relationship marketing. Unless you live on the moon, it is likely that there are far more people who need your help in your immediate area than you could possibly serve.

They are showing up in other peoples offices - clergy, marriage counselors, physicians, emergency rooms, their human resources manager, etc. with all the many life problems which are associated with addiction. Reaching out and educating these other professionals on how to identify addiction-related problems and what to do about them is a much better and far more cost-effective way to connect with the people who need help than casting a wide Internet net to try to find people around the country or the world.

Use your web presence as an information and education tool and not as your primary marketing strategy.

Adam Bartholomew 

Chief Executive Officer Reflections Recovery Center

quote-left

"It’s disgusting what these fake, false, scammers manipulate google to produce clients."

DAN: I'm working on an article about marketing in the addiction industry and am wondering if you have any comments to add. Google has been cracking down lately on addiction treatment ads, and as more eyes are focused on this issue more regulation is likely to follow.

ADAM: I have used paid ads, but only for a short amount of time. 

It didn’t make sense to try and compete with these facilities that aren’t facilities....places spending millions of dollars a year and/or a month to get clients. I have witnessed these publicly traded rehabs build hundreds of websites and buy virtual offices in every major and minor city to show up on google local.

It’s disgusting what these fake, false, scammers manipulate google to produce clients. While the little rehabs like ourselves do the hardest and most important work with the patients themselves.

How can these publicly traded companies be so unethical and still have any form of gains? We need a federal enforcement action team to wander the country and see what’s really going on.


NEXT WEEK: We'll dive deeper into this issue, and hear from more experts who want to see change in the industry. Have you been affected by this issue in some way? Let me know in the comments below!

LEARN MORE: Learn about addiction treatment marketing and how you can ethically and effectively promote your program.

Using SEO to Promote a Movie Launch at the Tribeca Film Festival

Using SEO to Promote a Movie Launch at the Tribeca Film Festival


THE RESULTS

COMMENTS, LIKES & SHARES:
Increase in Comments and Engagement on Official Trailer on Youtube

VIEWS OF OFFICIAL TRAILER:
+9,335 Video Views in One Week before the US Premier


In this article, you'll learn from a real-world example how to get your video ranked higher on Youtube and your website ranked higher on Google using search engine optimization techniques (SEO). Want to know more about SEO for your video project? Leave us a comment!

"Website & Trailer Nowhere to be Seen..."

When emmy-award winning director Lana Wilson came to us just two weeks ahead of the Tribeca Film Festival and told us her film's official website and movie trailer were nowhere to be seen online, we knew we had an interesting challenge on our hands.

To make matters worse, the name of her film (The Departure) is similar to one that came out with the same name earlier this year, as well as the hit movie The Departed that came out in 2005. Search results on Google and Youtube showed results for each of those competitors, and nothing for the official movie.


PICTURED: Lana Wilson with her film's subject, Ittetsu Nemoto at the Tribeca Film Festival in NYC.

THE CHALLENGE: Get eyes on the official website and film trailer on youtube.

We targeted keywords related to the movie title, Lana Wilson, Ittetsu Nemoto and the Tribeca Film Festival. With only two weeks to the NYC premier, we needed to see improvement fast.

When we started, the official trailer wasn't anywhere to be found on Youtube. You can see results for the other movie by the same name, and for The Departed.

The official website, where viewers could watch the trailer and get tickets to the NYC premier, was also nowhere to be found on Google.

THE FIX: USE SEO METHODS TO INCREASE VISIBILITY.

All search engines, whether it's Google or Youtube, use some kind of computer algorithm to decide what results to show when various keywords are searched on their platform. They want to show the user the best result, and get them the information they're looking for.

#1: Number of subscribers your channel has.

If your channel has lots of engaged subscribers, it's a good sign that you make good content. Building your subscriber base regularly by promoting your channel across multiple platforms (Facebook, on your website, etc) will help all of your videos rank higher.

With only two weeks until the film premiered, we didn't have time to grow the subscriber count of the account that published the official trailer for The Departure. Even though this is the most important metric to consider, it can definitely be bypassed if needed.

To build your subscriber base, there really is no "secret". Here's all it takes:

- Regularly create engaging, professional quality content. Use tools like Buzzsumo and Google trends to find topics that are trending and getting lots of engagement. 

- Include a call to action at the end of every video you produce to tell the viewer what benefit they'll get out of subscribing. For example: "Don't miss our next video! Subscribe now to get our next video first."

#2: Number of video embeds and links.

When lots of trusted, authority websites link to and embed your video it shows Youtube that your video is popular and is more relevant to people searching for terms related to it.

We knew we had to focus our efforts on improving this metric in order to see results for The Departure. We made a list of every blog and media outlet that was covering the Tribeca Film Festival.

Next, we asked each writer to include a link and/or embed of the official trailer on Youtube in their piece.

EXAMPLE OUTREACH EMAIL

#3: Quantity of long video views.

Youtube tracks the amount of time each viewer spends on your video. If they see your video is keeping people engaged for the entire length, that's a good sign that your content is interesting to viewers and will give you a boost in the search results.

#4: Comments & Likes

One of the ways Youtube can tell if your video is worth promoting higher in their search results, is by seeing how many people like and comment. The more activity you get, the better.

Comments and likes should happen naturally as people watch and hopefully enjoy your video. You can increase your chances of getting someone to like/comment by simply asking them to at the end of your video.

Asking people their opinion a controversial question related to your video helps (though since we didn't create the video, we had no control over that with the film).

A recent study that analyzed 1.3 Million Youtube Search Results Shows That the Number of Comments a Video Has Strongly Correlate to Higher Rank on Youtube.

#5: Optimize Youtube Video Title & Description

YouTube can't rank you for anything if they don't know what your video is about!

Your title should be less than 100 characters in length, including spaces and should focus on the main keywords you're targeting. We chose "The Departure - Official Theatrical Trailer 2017" because it covered all of the main keywords for this campaign.

You'll also want to write a detailed description of your video in the video description. Video descriptions on Youtube can be up to 5,000 in length before getting cut off, so make sure the most important information is available first.

EXAMPLE Youtube description for SEO

OPTIONAL STEP: Include a call to action in your description.

Since our main goal for the campaign with The Departure was to drive views of the trailer AND traffic to the official website, we made sure to include a clear call to action (CTA) for people interested in seeing the film ("SEE THE FILM").

Your CTA will be most effective if it is clear, simple and direct.

What are you promoting on Youtube?

Let us know what you're working on in the comments below!

An Inside Look at the Drug Rehab Industry’s Unethical Marketing Problem

Hi there,

Dan with Spooky Digital here.

The topic we're about to discuss is probably as personal to you as it is to me.

According to a recent report by the U.S. Surgeon General's office, one in seven in the USA will experience addiction in their lifetime. That makes it hard, if not impossible, to not know someone who's been affected.

Whether you're a treatment professional, loved one of an addiction sufferer, or someone struggling with these issues yourself, there's no doubt that unethical marketing in the treatment industry has touched your life in some way and probably caused some harm to you or someone you care about in the process.

While there are many amazing treatment professionals out there (some of whom you'll hear from in this special report), working hard to provide the treatment that saves live, and bring shattered families back together... there are an equal number of bad actors who seek to take advantage of desperate people to get rich and who think of nothing more than their bottom line.

The recovery industry has been rocked with scandal lately as more and more shady marketing tactics have continued to come to light. The revelations have exposed a variety of activity, ranging from unethical to downright illegal. A number of arrests have been made; shady drug rehabs and detox programs have been shut down; and even Google has been forced to jump in to regulate the type of ads recovery facilities are allowed to run.

In the $35 Billion addiction recovery industry, there's more than just money at stake.

Vulnerable people are fighting for the lives of their loved ones and looking for any helping hand they can find. What they're often finding instead is dead ends, tricks, and insurance scams.

As the CEO of a digital marketing agency specializing in marketing addiction treatment services, the question of how to honestly, ethically and legally help new patients find our clients is always on my mind.

I caught up with well-known recovery experts to get an inside look at this complicated issue, and find out what can be done to solve it once and for all. Enjoy, and let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

Recovery Expert: Zach Snitzer

Owner/Director of Business Development

Maryland Addiction Recovery Center (VIEW ON FACEBOOK)

Baltimore, Maryland

Offering: Medically Supervised Outpatient Detoxification, Long-Term Extended Care treatment, Partial Hospitalization (PHP) day treatment, Intensive Outpatient (IOP) and outpatient (OP) substance abuse treatment and Continuing Care.

"We are in the midst of an epidemic where people are dying everyday- the last thing that should be happening is people dying because the addiction treatment industry failed them."

DAN: What are the most common forms of unethical marketing in addiction treatment (online and otherwise)? 

ZACH: Obviously the first and most recognizable now is patient-brokering (rehabs paying for patients, typically through a broker getting kickbacks for referring a patient to a specific facility.)

However, just as the Google restrictions on advertising are showing, online marketing is just as widespread and often just as unethical. Facilities posing as incorrect levels of care online and marketing themselves as such (an outpatient facility with a sober home marketing themselves as residential or inpatient treatment) or call centers online posing as objective “referral” sources when in truth they are selling those leads to treatment centers. This is the same thing as patient brokering. Or treatment centers that market themselves by creating landing pages that look objective online but filter those “leads” to their facility.

The final one I’d say are these ridiculous TV ads for addiction helplines. They are just another lead generation source, preying on individuals and families in crisis that do not know where to turn and then selling those leads to the highest bidding treatment center.

EXAMPLE OF AN ADDICTION RECOVERY TREATMENT TV AD (PROVIDER BLURRED). ADDED BY AUTHOR.

DAN: How does unethical marketing hurt patients? 

ZACH: First, it hurts patients because patients do not end up at the places that are the best clinical fits for their needs.

It also hurts the entire population suffering from addiction as a whole, because poor experiences from patients and families make them weary of addiction treatment as a whole. The addiction treatment field is thrown into a single category in the eyes of the consumer- “they are all just about the money” or “they are all unethical.” And the truth is, many are and many fit that description. However, we do not stop seeing doctors because many doctors get indicted for medicaid fraud or because numerous doctors have been unethical and created opioid pill mills.

As a consumer, we know that medical care is essential so we search out the many ethical providers that we know have our best interests as patients at heart. Overall, not just unethical marketing but unethical practices as a whole gives a black eye to the addiction treatment field and in the best case scenario stops people from seeking help. In the worst case scenario, tragedies occur and families lose loved ones because they ended up at a poorly run or clinically inappropriate facility that could handle their issues.

We are in the midst of an epidemic where people are dying everyday- the last thing that should be happening is people dying because the addiction treatment industry failed them.

PICTURED: POLICE INVESTIGATING "PATIENT BROKERING" IN FLORIDA, WHERE TREATMENT FACILITIES TRADE PATIENTS WITH HIGH END INSURANCE TO OTHERS IN EXCHANGE FOR KICKBACKS AND MONETARY GAIN.

DAN: How do you take care to avoid ethical problems when marketing your business?

ZACH: First and foremost, your clinical programming (your actual treatment) needs to be of the highest quality.

People forget, if a rehab is unethically marketing their product in numerous ways, what are we to think of the actual product they are marketing? If I find out a facility is paying for patients or stealing other rehab’s contact information online to filter patients their way, I automatically don’t trust the clinical services they are providing. If you are shirking your marketing I can only assume you are not providing the best patient care. So we make sure we are offering the highest quality in clinical services and make sure that is what we are offering. We are not marketing amenities or cool locations or spa-like destinations. Those things are great but they do not do anything to help someone recover from addiction.

This is a life-threatening illness. If a person has cancer, it’s great if they can get treated at the Four Seasons, but that would be an added bonus. If they have cancer they want to go to the best doctor or hospital that offers the best treatment for their illness. Addiction needs to be the same. So we make sure our clinical products is what we are marketing and that’s what we market- our clinical services for patients and families.

We are direct about who we are and what we do. Not only that, but we make sure to explain who we are not and who we don’t treat. Not everyone can be everything for everybody, but in the addiction treatment industry it seems that’s how most places want to appear to the consumer.

EXAMPLE OF AN ADDICTION RECOVERY WEBSITE (PROVIDER BLURRED). ADDED BY AUTHOR.


DAN:
 What marketing methods are working best for your business?

ZACH: We find it best to traditionally market our services to the clinical and therapeutic communities. We believe in building relationships with other ethical treatment providers, treatment professionals and our local medical and therapeutic community and referring within that network of trusted providers.

We have also taken an educational approach to not just the treatment or professional community, but also the local community and public as a whole. Educating them on addiction and what treatment should look like. Making sure they are aware of how to find reputable, ethical providers. What questions to ask and what expectations they should have of the treatment provider and the treatment experience. We have found offering free community events or educational events is beneficial and we have also found social media to be an excellent platform to offer awareness and education to the community, not to market our services specifically but marketing addiction treatment as a whole.

We are also outspoken about who or what we will not work with in terms of providers and their practices. We have always taken the stance of transparency--in our clinical services, in who we treat, in the financial piece of treatment. That stance has been very successful for us in terms of the response we’ve received from both the community and within the addiction treatment field.

DAN: Do you have any other comments or thoughts on this issue?

ZACH: I think it is important to understand how fragmented the industry is as a whole. There are many unsavory and unscrupulous operations within the addiction treatment space (just like any other industry) so what is important is educating individuals, families and the community at large at how to go about becoming an educated consumer of addiction treatment.

The one thing that is almost universally agreed upon is that a chronic, progressive illness like addiction requires long-term, comprehensive treatment in order to make sure a patient is set up for their best chance at long-term success. Therefore, the addiction treatment industry needs to take the lead in educating the public about what treatment really needs to look like.

The idea of “I just need 28 days and I’ll be okay” is long gone. Patients are coming into treatment with much more complex mental health and psychiatric issues, trauma, sexual identification or relationship issues and family systems issues. So time is our friend.

However, the public still sees addiction treatment as something of a nuisance--the idea that I can’t take off 30 days from my life to deal with this. Unfortunately, people are dying. 

No one comes seeking addiction treatment at Stage 1. All patients are basically in Stage 4, yet it is the nature of addiction to fight against change (and therefore treatment.) Families often feed into this. However, you wouldn’t hear a patient or family arguing with a doctor about taking off work or school in order to receive long-term treatment for Stage 4 cancer, would you? Of course not, but that is where the stigma and misunderstanding plays a big part.

The addiction treatment industry needs to do more to educate around those issues of addiction and treatment and what quality treatment looks like and is needed in order for people and families to heal and recover. THAT is what we as a whole should be marketing to the public.


NEXT WEEK: We'll dive deeper into this issue, and hear from more experts who want to see change in the industry. Have you been affected by this issue in some way? Let me know in the comments below!

LEARN MORE: Learn about addiction treatment marketing and how you can ethically and effectively promote your program.

New Student Nurture Facebook Ad Strategy

WE'RE RE-DOING THIS CONTENT TO REFLECT THE LATEST CHANGES AT FACEBOOK!

To keep this accurate, we had to take down the original description. The full guide will be back soon, but in the meantime, please feel free to email me at [email protected] if you want an update on where we're at. We're expecting by October 15th at the latest.

Here's a high-level overview of the steps...

STEP ONE: Create 5 engaging yoga Videos with Animoto.

STEP TWO: Create ads in Power Editor with the goal of getting video views.

STEP THREE: Target ads at your demographic (age, sex, zip code).

STEP FOUR:  Create ads with goal of Conversion. For more on that, check this article that goes into detail.

STEP FIVE: Create a custom audience who watched more than 30 seconds of your yoga videos.

STEP SIX: Target ads at the custom audience.

WHY IT WORKS...

YOU SAVE MONEY:

Facebook is giving preference to Video Ads right now. You can get more views of your ads for your money.

YOU GET MORE NEW STUDENT LEADS:

People are expressing an interest in yoga when they watch more than 30 seconds of any video.

Your second ad will show to fewer people, but will be more targeted, so you'll get more conversions than you would without a video.

YOU ATTRACT LOYAL CUSTOMERS

People feel as though you're giving them something (free content). Rather than coming in straight away with an ad, you're offering them something of value. Scientific research has shown that if you give someone something, they'll be more likely to feel as though they owe you something in return. Psychology!

This Small Shop Used Influencers to Grow Their Business (Here’s How)

Hey what's up!

My name is Dan, and I'm the CEO at Spooky Digital.

In this short Instagram influencer marketing guide, I'll show you exactly how we used the popular social media platform to help one New York City Christmas tree retailer grow their business and get new customers.

You'll learn every step it takes to set up a successful Instagram influencer marketing campaign, so you can apply this same method to your business. I'll show you everything you need to know, including one secret trick for making Instagram marketing super easy that I haven't told anyone until now. Make sure to read all the way through to the end to catch that!

How to Sell Products & Services with Instagram Influencers

In this short Instagram marketing guide, you'll learn everything you need to know to start making money with Instagram celebrities & influencers, including...

How to Find the right Influencers.

Learn how to find influencers in your niche, who have direct access to the kind of people who are ready to buy your product or service right now.

How to track your IG marketing results.

Learn how to track your Instagram influencer marketing efforts, so you know how much money your campaign is making.

How to automate parts of the process.

Learn my secret techniques for automating part of the Instagram influencer marketing process. These time-saving hacks are priceless!

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I tried Influencer marketing before, but it never worked...

I went as far as hiring an Instagram influencer marketing agency, using several apps, and even paying for access to an influencer network.

It wasn't until Dan came along that things really kicked off!  He and his team quickly set me up with a campaign and I couldn't be happier with the results: over $15,000 in 30 days last year! Our network is still growing, so we reach even more new customers every year. It's awesome.

Morgan S. 

CHRISTMAS TREE BROOKLYN at 184 Underhill Ave. Brooklyn, NY 11238 (347) 474-0079 


Step 1: Set Up Your Instagram Profile.

The ability to track the revenue from your Instagram influencer marketing campaign is vital to its success. You need to know how much money you're getting from your efforts to make sure that you're making more than you're spending on those relationships. 

There's a number of ways you can accomplish this. We used Google Analytics e-Commerce tracking with the Christmas tree business, but you can also use an Instagram-only coupon code. Here's how each of those options work...

Google Analytics e-Commerce Tracking (Advanced)

Setting up e-Commerce tracking in Google Analytics first requires that you have basic Google Analytics tracking installed. You can learn how to do that here.

Some e-Commerce platforms have plugins that make adding Google Analytics e-Commerce tracking easy. WooCommerce has a plugin for it, as does Magento

If you want to add this feature manually, you can learn how to do that on the Google Analytics Support site.

Coupon Code Tracking (Easy and Beginner-Friendly)

e-Commerce platforms like Shopify, BigCommerce, Volusion, Wix, 3dcart, Big Cartel, Squarespace and LemonStand, to name a few all have coupon code functionality built in. 

Create a coupon code that's only available on your Instagram profile and through your Instagram influencers. You can track how many purchases come through that code, and in some cases, you can even see exactly how much revenue the code has generated.

Make sure to add the code in your IG profile description, with a strong call to action. For example, you could write "Use coupon code LOVE for 10% off your next order!"


Step 2: Decide What Kind of Influencers You Want.

Next, we'll want to determine what kind of influencers you want to target.

One common mistake many business owners make is that they go after influencers who are intentionally trying to be influencers.

They quickly find out that some of those people pad their accounts with fake followers and fake engagement, and are hardly influencing anyone at all. 

Influencer marketing agencies and influencer apps tend to attract people who are out there trying to make money advertising products and services. Not only are their posts less valuable because their fanbase is bombarded with ads all the time, they're also likely to be padding their follower count.

What kind of audience are you trying to reach? What are their interests?

Go off the beaten path and seek out accounts that your current customers might follow to find the real influencers. You can try asking your existing customers what kind of content they look at on Instagram, and what their favorite accounts are.

For the Christmas tree business, we decided to seek out "Mom Bloggers" in the New York City area. These ladies have a huge social media following, and as parents, are likely to be friends with other parents in the area. We were able to find a large list of "Mom Bloggers" on the CISION media database. 

The key takeaway here is that you should be creative. The perfect audience for your business is out there. With a little research, you'll discover the right influencer who can reach them.


Step 3: Reach out to Influencers

Decide how you want to compensate your influencers. Offer free product / service (must be desirable); offer money; offer affiliate commissions using a unique coupon code.

Craft your pitch. Keep it clear, concise, and make sure it's an attractive offer. Here's a real example...

This style of email works like magic! Especially if you have a compelling offer. Make sure to keep track of who responds to your offer in an excel spreadsheet, and build your list of influencers over time. You never know when you might need them again.

Here's some of the awesome results!

These micro-influencers reached the perfect audience for this small local business. Remember, it's not always about the number of followers an account has--it's whether or not those followers are likely to buy what you're selling, and how engaged they are with the account you're targeting!

The Time-Saving Influencer Outreach Secret...

The secret to saving time and effort when reaching out to influencers is automation. You can use tools like ActiveCampaign to bulk email a large number of influencers quickly. You can find influencers to email on media databases like CISION or trend spotting services like Buzzsumo.

I'll go into more detail on these methods if there's interest. If you want to know more, or you want to talk to Spooky Digital about growing your business with influencer marketing, drop me a line in the comments below!


3 Proven Methods to Get More Online Reviews (easy step-by-step guide)

3 Proven Methods to Get More Online Reviews
An easy step-by-step guide.

These days, getting 5-star reviews on sites like Yelp, Google Local and Facebook is absolutely essential to growing a local business. Those that are able to get more reviews enjoy a variety of business boosting benefits, like:

  • Getting Reviews Boosts Your Rank in Google...
    Recent research by MOZ shows that as much as 13% of your rank in local search is determined by the number of positive reviews. Considering Google's goal of showing its users the most relevant results for their query, it makes sense that they'd prioritize listings with high reviews from others.
  • Getting Reviews Boosts Your Conversion Rates and Sales...
    Recent research published on Semantic Scholar researched thousands of reviews on Amazon to find out what review characteristics had a positive impact on sales. They found that the quantity and content of the reviews were most important. Having lots of reviews, mentioning nice things about the product (regardless of the star rating provided) increases the number of people who go from being casual visitors into customers exponentially.

In this short article, you're going to learn the top 3 ways to ask for and get more customer positive online reviews than you've ever had before. This process is proven to work, and if you take the action steps included with each tip, you'll be blowing up on review sites like Yelp, Facebook and Google Local--and getting more business as a result!


Review Boosting Tip #1: Be a Customer Service FANATIC

Setting up a few simple processes for collecting reviews is by far the easiest and fastest way for you to grow your local business. The fact that you're here reading this article shows that you're already on step ahead of the competition. Most small business owners and their marketing teams focus so heavily on getting new customers through the door, that they forget how important it is to have a plan for what happens after the customer makes that first purchase!

Getting more positive reviews online starts with adopting a policy of customer service fanaticism​ at every level of your organization. You and everyone who works at your business should always be asking yourselves: "how can I excite, delight and satisfy our customers today?".

Get this right, and you'll find that customers will leave more reviews without you even asking them to. They'll be so thrilled with the amazing service you provide that they'll rant and rave to their friends about how awesome you are. Treat your customers right, and they'll become word of mouth marketers for you everywhere they go.

Happy customers spend more money, and stay loyal to the brands they love. By reducing your turnover rate, and increasing your customer lifetime value (the amount of money, on average, that a customer will spend with your business), you are making better use of the time and money you spend on other marketing methods.

Don't just think about it, BE about it!

Take action right now, and you'll be one step closer to growing your business.

Write down 5 ways you can excite, delight and satisfy your customers after they make their first purchase with you. Every customer wants to feel valued and cared for. Give your customers a personal touch, and show them that you're the kind of business owner that pays attention to details.

A nice personal note welcoming to your business, a small inexpensive but unique gift, or access to a private group on Facebook are all ways you can make new customers feel welcome in your community. Write down 5 things now, and implement them right away!

Review Boosting Tip #2: Automate Your Review Collection

You've probably heard the old adage "closed mouths don't get fed."

This is especially true when it comes to asking your customer​s for reviews. Your customers may love you, and be totally thrilled with the product or service you provide, but if you don't ask them for a review, how are they supposed to know you want one?

​The best way to collect reviews, with as little effort as possible, is to automate the process with email automation. For this, we recommend ActiveCampaign. Setting up review request emails in ActiveCampaign is quick and easy, and they integrate with many popular content management systems and payment platforms. Here's some best practices for setting up auto-emails...

  • Send the emails from a real person.
    Use your name, or your manager's name to send emails. Do this, and you'll get a huge increase in open rate, click through rate, and responses. People are naturally drawn to the names of real people. Sending from your business name is impersonal and will likely get passed over.
  • Make your email feel personal.
    Your automated emails should look almost exactly like non-automated emails. Use a variable to include your customers name (easy to do in most email marketing platforms), write a subject line that looks more like a personally written subject than the title of a newsletter ("how's it going?" rather than "We Need Your Help!"). Ideally, emails sent through automated campaigns should be virtually identical to those sent manually.
  • Schedule follow-up emails to non-openers.
    If someone missed your first email, make sure to add follow-up emails in your automation campaign. ActiveCampaign makes this easy to do. There are many reasons someone may have chosen not to open your first email, so experiment a little. Try changing the time or day of your next send; try changing the subject line; try changing the sender name. You can schedule as many follow-up emails as you'd like, so maybe add another level of follow-ups for those who miss the second email as well.
  • Make your customers feel like members of your community.
    Use inclusive language that shows your customer you appreciate them and that they're a part of your community or group of insiders. When your customer feels like part of your business, they'll have a vested interest in helping you grow.
  • Use psychology to prime the customer for a positive review.
    Speak in an upbeat, happy tone and use positive language in your email to prime the customer's brain for a positive response. You can also use language and ideas that support your brand messages--you'll see these brand messages start to appear in your reviews, which has a huge positive impact on reinforcing that image in the eyes of new customers.
  • Make it easy for your customers to review.
    Include direct links to the most popular review sites. We prefer Yelp, Google and Facebook (in that order). Almost every person you're likely to do business with will have at least one of those accounts.

    Don't just link to your Facebook page, link to the reviews tab on your Facebook page like this:
    https://www.facebook.com/pg/examplepage/reviews/

    Use the Google Review Link Generator to generate a link that automatically pops up the review box on your Google Local listing.
  • Keep your email clear, concise and simple.
    Get straight to the point, and make your communication crystal clear.

Keep the momentum going! DO THIS NOW.

Sign up for ActiveCampaign (it's free to start!) and set up a simple request for review email automation. First, you'll need to set up a live import from your customer management system (they support all major platforms). Next, you'll need to create an automation that sends the customer an email after they've had time to use your product or service.

For now, just send the one email automatically, and worry about adding follow-up emails later.

Example of a good review request email.

Take a look at this review request email that we set up for one of our local business clients.

This email gets them 5-7 reviews PER WEEK, and they're growing faster than ever before as a result. New visits are up, search engine ranking is up, and customer satisfaction is up!

Example of a good review request email.

Review Boosting Tip #3: Ask for Reviews in Person

This is one of the most simple, yet often overlooked ways to collect more reviews! Ask your customers when you see them. 

Don't just leave it up to chance, though. Set up a process where you or one of your employees asks customers after specific conditions are met. By taking a process-oriented approach to review collecting (rather than just doing it if you happen to remember, or when it's convenient), you'll collect more reviews and getting in the habit of asking will make it routine and easy.​

When is the best time to ask someone for a review? After they express satisfaction with your product or service, of course!​

Use a URL shortener like Tiny URL to shorten links to your review sites, and keep a stack of review request cards sitting somewhere you can easily grab one (standard business cards work fine). 

Never miss an opportunity to ask a customer how their experience was. If they say it was great, make sure to give them to thank them for being a customer, that you're glad they're a part of your community, and hand them the review request card to close the deal!

The important thing here is to be authentic. If you truly care, it will show, and the customer will respond positively.

One more task for you! Finish strong.

Design and print some review request cards to keep somewhere accessible. Create a process for when to hand the cards out, and a short script for how you should ask. By keeping the process consistent, you can gauge people's reaction to it and adjust as needed.

These BANNED Instagram Hashtags Could Kill Your Profile (Surprising!)

You're going about your business, posting daily to your Instagram account, growing your audience, when SUDDENLY, you notice a sharp decline in engagement. 

Has your audience suddenly decided to abandon you? Has your account been shadow banned? What in the world is going on?!

If you've noticed a sharp decline in engagement on Instagram (likes, comments), you might be using one of the 252,000 BANNED hashtags. But don't worry, there's a way out of this Instagram Graveyard. Here's everything you need to know...​

Everything you need to know about the Instagram Banned Hashtags

It's not secret that Instagram is cracking down on spam. After Facebook acquired the platform in 2012, they started quietly making changes, targeting the spam accounts that seemed to be coming out of every nook and cranny.

Then, in 2017, they began to hit the spam problem with full force. I mean like SEAL Team 6, throwing in flashbang grenades and pistol whipping terrorists, FULL FORCE. 

Seemingly overnight, several major Instagram bot companies (including the popular platform Instagress) ​were shut down. Some marketers have even reported that manually commenting/liking too many posts have resulted in their accounts being banned or shadow banned (still allowed on the platform, but not seen by anyone else).

Now, it seems, Facebook is going after spammers by targeting hashtags they frequently use. Unfortunately, many legitimate businesses are getting caught in the crossfire.

There are 3 ways you can reach people on Instagram: 

  • Your existing followers, who are most likely to see your posts.
  • Being featured in the 'Recent Posts' section for a hashtag (unlikely to have much reach).
  • Being featured in the 'Top Posts' section, which can allow you to show up on the discovery page. THIS is where you want to be.

Here's an example of what you should see. The 'Top Posts' section, then 'Recent Posts' underneath.

But when you search a term that has been abused by spammers... you'll  get this message.

They're even targeting seemingly innocent terms like #DOGSOFINSTAGRAM. Why, oh why?!

Just one banned hashtag could be KILLING your post's organic reach. Less and less people are going to see your posts. Some experts even say that using one banned hashtag ONCE (even on old posts) could put you at risk for a shadow ban, or straight up account ban (though there have been no confirmed cases of that happening--YET).

For a full list of the banned Instagram hashtags, just check Google...The number is currently at 252,000--but we expect that to grow as Instagram continues to flag new hashtags. The image below shows just how many have been banned so far!

Here's How to Deal with the Ban

  1. Don't Panic.
  2. Use less hashtags in each post. Check Google using this search query for your hashtags (just replace the word HASHTAG at the end with the hashtag you plan to use).
  3. Stay tuned for more news! We'll update you on this post, as more information becomes available.

Yoga Teacher Training Marketing Guide: Branding & Identity 101

The research you do before you start your marketing campaign will make the difference between blowout success and miserable failure. Good marketing is all about knowing who you are, and expressing that clearly to the right people at the right time.

There are so many yoga teacher training classes available--over 6,000 that are Yoga Alliance Certified alone--so knowing how to set yourself apart in the crowd, and rise above the noise is essential to your success.

Having a strong brand, and finding the right audience will help you do just that. In this article, you'll learn tricks and get exercises for both.

BRANDING & IDENTITY

Answering the question: "Who am I?"

Branding is the art of discovering who you are and learning to communicate that clearly. @spookydigital

Click to Tweet
  • Set your school apart with a unique offering no one else has. Find your unique selling proposition.
  • Discover your core values, and shape your communication with the world based on those for crystal clear brand messaging.

AUDIENCE INSIGHTS

Answering the question: "Who is my audience?"

Knowing your audience and speaking to them in their language is essential to an effective marketing campaign. @spookydigital

Click to Tweet
  • Develop "buyer personas" that represent the various types of instructors you teach at your studio.
  • Research your audience online, so you can speak to them in their own words, and address their real-world needs.

What is a strong brand, and why do you need one?

The average goldfish has an attention span of about 9 seconds.

Why am I telling you this? Because the average human has an attention span of about 8 seconds. 

That's right, a human's attention span is less than that of a goldfish. That means you only have 8 seconds to make a lasting impression on someone before they lose focus. You'll do that with a strong brand, and powerful brand messages.

In just 8 seconds, you need to communicate clearly who you are, what you do, and why the instructor should choose you over any other studio. 

The average attention span of humans is 8 seconds, 1 second less than that of a goldfish! Are you still reading this tweet? @spookydigital

Click to Tweet

What is unique and different about your teacher training? What can you offer instructors that no one else can? Why should instructors trust your studio with their education as a yoga teacher?

A strong brand will make answering all of those questions quick and easy.

A strong brand is...

  • Unique and personal to you and your studio.
    Show people what's special about your studio, and why they should choose you over anyone else.
  • Clear and easy for anyone to understand.
    Use simple messaging that anyone can relate to and understand. Branding is all about communication! Your job is to convey who you are and speak to your audience in terms they can easily understand.
  • Emotionally activating, and relatable.
    Most purchase decisions are made on emotion, rather than fact. People use facts to justify their purchase after they make an emotional decision to buy. Activating someone's emotions through powerful language will encourage them to choose you.

Having a strong, clearly defined brand will allow you to quickly and easily drive brand messages home over and over again, creating a strong impression of who you are in the mind of your audience. People can only remember so much about you.

By keeping your messaging simple, and consistent, you become easy to remember for the things you want people to remember you for.

Being more clear in our brand has helped us immensely.

It's completely changed how I communicate what we do, it's given me more confidence in explaining it. I have a lot more possibility in all of the marketing that we do because of the branding exercises we did with Spooky Digital.

We were even able to design a new logo that was more in-line with who we are as a company. I highly recommend anyone with a yoga business try this practice out!

Sara Pierce
Yoga Teacher & Healer - Bluewater Intentions

Branding Exercises to Define Your Yoga Studio Brand

Right now, I'm about to teach you some of the best branding exercises I've discovered over my career in marketing. These exercises are exactly the ones pros use when coming up with brands for small businesses and Fortune 500 companies alike.

Once we're done with all three exercises, I'll show you how to tie at all together to create a clear, memorable and powerful brand.

The exercises you'll learn are...

  • Discover Your Core Values
  • Image and Color Association
  • Find Your Unique Selling Proposition.
  • How to tie it all together for a strong brand people will love and remember.

Branding Exercise: Discover Your Core Values

In this exercise, we'll find out what's most important to your studio as an entity.

This exercise is for owners, and founders to discover the values that drive their business. When you know what is most important to you and your business, you can easily make sure you're always acting in alignment with those values. 


What are core values?

Core values are the True North of your personal moral compass. They are the things you care about most in this world, and define your views of right and wrong.

You have your own personal values, and your business is likely to have similar values.

When determining values for a business, you'll need to take into account the values of others involved in creating and directing the business. Do this exercise with everyone who has creative input in the business! Each person involved should do their own worksheet.

The example answers below were taken from a real branding exercise we did with a physical therapist, energy healer and yoga instructor named Sara Pierce.


Step 1. Think through and describe the following in detail...

What have been your three greatest accomplishments? What about them made you feel accomplished?

EXAMPLE ANSWERS

  1. Raising 5 amazing children.

    I learned how to be a present and compassionate cheerleader while guiding them towards and into their life path.
  2. ​Creating a healing business and network. 

    I found partnership, true friendship and joy creating and sustaining a business that supports people on their healing journey.
  3. Continually learning new information that supports healing.

    I feel like I have pursued a lifetime of discovery into healing from many perspectives --all ultimately leading right back to being present with who you are in the moment with acceptance as to the content of your life.

What have been three times that you’ve felt fulfilled and happy in your life? What factors contributed to these feelings?

EXAMPLE ANSWERS

  1. Giving birth.

    After a lot of hard work and being very present with the process of birthing, to successfully invite a new precious being into the world is simply overwhelmingly full of grace.
  2. Swimming in the oceans of Hawaii doing healing work surrounded by whales.

    The majesty and and magic of being intimate with clients and living nature.
  3. Being present in nature by the ocean with a campfire and friends/ family.

    Sharing quality time with those I love in a place I love.

GET THE PRINTABLE VERSION OF THIS WORKSHEET IN OUR MASTERMIND FACEBOOK GROUP.


Step 2. Refine these experiences into words...

Take the experiences you described above, and condense them into single words.

For example: If one of the times you felt most fulfilled was when you graduated from college, after struggling for a long time to get through school, you might list the words ‘education’ , ‘perseverance’ , and ‘hard work’.

Make a list below, in no particular order, and don’t worry if they’re repetitive or similar, just list them all out.

EXAMPLE LIST

Grace
Family
Presence
Compassion
Healing
Perseverance
Teaching
Creation
Gratitude

EXAMPLE LIST (Continued)

Lifetime of Learning
Supporting
Presence
Self Discovery
Friendship
Appreciating Change
Appreciation & Awe
Nature
Sharing Time & Space
Present Time​


GET THE PRINTABLE VERSION OF THIS WORKSHEET IN OUR MASTERMIND FACEBOOK GROUP.


Step 3. Prioritize the list...

Take the list above, and start prioritizing.

Move the values that are most important to you up the list.You can do this quickly by highlighting the word, and pressing CTRL X on your keyboard to cut; then click on the spot you want to drop it, and press CTRL V to paste.

This step is probably the most difficult, because you'll have to look deep inside yourself.

It's also the most important step, because, when making a decision, you'll have to choose between solutions that may satisfy different values.

This is when you must know which value is more important to you.

Work from the bottom of the list up, and compare each two values as you move them up the list. Ask yourself: "If I could satisfy only one of these, which would I choose?"

It might help to visualize a situation in which you would have to make that choice.

For example, if you value family and stability, you might imagine a scenario where you must decide between taking a high paying, stable job in a state that’s far from your family, or staying close to your family but not knowing when you might find stability.

Do this until you have 3 values at the top of the list, that none of the others below can beat out.

EXAMPLE 3 CORE VALUES (From list above): Grace, Family, Presence​.


GET THE PRINTABLE VERSION OF THIS WORKSHEET IN OUR MASTERMIND FACEBOOK GROUP.


Branding Exercise: Image and Color Association

In this exercise, we'll get all of the ideas you have for your yoga studio brand out in the open where you can look at them and see what the most common themes and colors are.

This exercise can help you find more words that describe your business and determine what colors you want to use for your logo and marketing materials.

You will need a Google Drive account for this exercise. It's free, and you can sign up here.

NOTE: This exercise should be completed as a joint project with all of the people involved in creating your studio's brand. It should reflect the answers each individual gave in the core values exercise, in a combined way that feels right for everyone.

This exercise is where you take your own personality, and values and merge them with your business.​

Step 1. Open a new Google Slides Document

You can edit a Google Slides document from multiple computers at the same time. That means if you're collaborating with others on this branding exercise, you can easily do so by sharing the document with them (create a new slide, then click the big blue 'SHARE' button in the upper right hand corner of the screen).

You can create a new Google Slides presentation by clicking here.

Step 2. Start Adding Images That Represent Your Studio

The images can be literal (as in pictures of people that make your studio unique and great) or they can be abstract (ideas and concepts represented by other things). The easiest way to do this is to think of words that come to mind when you think of your studio, then find images using Google Images that match those words.

Since you just created your core values, finding images that express those ideas would be a good place to start! Try to organize each page on your slideshow by theme so you can get the most out of the space you have available.​

Drag and drop images directly from Google Images onto your Google Slides document.​

Step 3. Come up with words based on your images.

When you're done adding images, look at all of the images as a collective.

What do you see? What themes are expressed? What colors are most common and stand out to you the most?

Add those words into the 'notes' section on each slide page (below the images).​

Putting it all Together: How to Make a GREAT Brand

What you have when you're done with these branding exercises should be an abundance of "on-brand" words and images that truly express who you and your studio are at the core.

Think of this as your "branded vocabulary".

All of your outgoing communication should be filtered through this before going out. Everything you say, do, write, or get involved with should be relevant to your brand in some way. Every communication you have (whether verbal or nonverbal; intentional or non-intentional) should reflect your brand.

EXAMPLES OF HOW YOU MIGHT USE THIS INFORMATION...

  • ​Come up with a new logo that symbolizes and expresses your core values, and mission.
  • Use the most common colors from your image association exercise to come up with a new color palette for the design of your marketing materials (logo, website, email design, etc).
  • Come up with a 'mission statement' that expresses what you do in a simple, easy-to-understand way. This statement should cover all of your studio's core values.
  • Decide if a corporate partnership is right for you by determining if their values and mission are aligned with yours.
  • Use powerful, emotional words you discovered in the word and image association exercise to write highly effective (and on-brand) web copy (articles, emails, landing pages).

CONGRATULATIONS! You now have a strong brand.

Next time, we'll talk about: finding your unique selling proposition (why people should choose you over any other studio); find and research your audience; and create a teacher training niche that you can dominate.

JOIN THE YOGA MARKETING MASTERMIND GROUP ON FACEBOOK!

Join Spooky Digital, and the top teacher training yoga schools in our private Facebook group! Get marketing support to sell more teacher training, and fill classes at your studio; connect with experts who regularly fill their classes; get instant access to our best resources, and training material before anyone else!

8 Chiropractors Reveal Their Marketing Secrets (Crack, Snap, Pop!)

Marketing a Chiropractic clinic doesn't have to be a pain in the neck! In fact, there are proven methods for bringing in new clients that are as quick as they are easy.

At Spooky Digital, our favorites are Facebook ads (when done right), local SEO, PR and social media outreach (getting patient referrals and creating awesome content).

We wanted to see what was working for chiropractors around the country, so we reached out to some of the most successful names in the business to find out first-hand what's Chiropractic marketing strategies are working--and which ones AREN'T.

How to get new Chiropractic Patients

Bringing in new patients isn't all that complicated.

You already provide top-notch customer service at your clinic. You help people get their bodies aligned, allowing them to heal naturally. The results are seemingly instantaneous and last a long time. People leave their adjustment at your office feeling like a million bucks!

Once they're in the door, it's easy. But how do you get more people to book appointments?

Marketing is all about creating an impression and standing out in the crowd. What makes you special? Why do people that love you come back time and time again over any other practice in the area? 

Once you know who you are, it's just a matter of sharing that awesomeness with the world. Yet, the problem is you've got so many avenues for promotion it can be hard to know where to spend your time--on top of that, you've got a busy practice to run! 

We take the guesswork out of it for you today, with these amazing tips from some of the best Chiropractors in their respective areas.


The Best Chiropractic Marketing Ideas


Who they are: Jeff Williams, DC Creek Stone Integrated Care in Amarillo, TX.

What's special about their practice: 
While it’s true that there are riches in niches, I believe the main thing that helps us stand out from the competition is that we offer just about everything you can want as far as chiropractic treatment goes. I think that IS our niche.



What's working: Our biggest referral source is Google. That is partly due to having the largest number of five-star reviews on Google and partly because we are number one in local searches for chiropractors.

The most effective marketing we have seen in the past several years would be through social media (Facebook) and Google search.

What they've given up on: We are posting Youtube videos regularly but have had a difficult time tracking the effectiveness.

We have, for the time being, given up on direct mailing. Of course, we gave up on the yellow pages approximately 7 years ago.

Who they are: Dr. Kennedy, Kennedy Chiropractic in Wauwatosa, WI.

What's special about their practice:
Over the years, we have found that many women feel more comfortable working with a female chiropractor.

From a marketing standpoint we make sure to highlight that our doctor is female. Our website features our (female) chiropractor front and center.

We also make it clear that she is a mother of three, and understands what mothers go through with the birth process, breast feeding, etc. This has allowed us to connect with many women and new mothers.



What's working: However, we have found lots of success with organic and local search engine marketing. Our website was redesigned a little over a year ago, with an emphasis on on-site SEO and conversions, and it’s made a huge difference in acquiring patients. We’re now listed near the top of Google’s organic results in our target market.

We’ve also put a huge emphasis on requesting online testimonials from patients. Now, when people search for chiropractors on Google, we show up near the top of the page and our listing has tons of reviews from happy patients.

This gives prospective patients an opportunity to see how we’ve helped others, and it helps them to trust that we’ll serve them well too.

What they've given up on: In terms of outward marketing, we’ve tested Groupon, but found that it attracted the wrong type of patients.

Rather than long-term patients, Groupon led to patients who were interested in trying out chiropractic care, but only as a one-off visit. It wasn’t profitable, so we’ve stopped using Groupon.

Who they are: Susan Bradshaw D.C, Lone Star Chiropractic in Houston, TX.

What's special about their practice:
I think we have a few things that make our practice unique.

We pride ourselves in our customer service, we ask and get a lot of feedback from patients about their experience and what we can do to improve.

Patients like to know that they are an individual,and that their health concern matters to their provider. Asking the right questions help us cater to the outcomes and goals that patients seek from care.

Because we are located in an area where people spend a lot of time in front of a computer, we have extra training in posture improvement and home exercise programs for our patients.



What's working: Email marketing and staying in touch with our patient base helps us stay in the mind of patients.

Of course social media is helping grow our presence and bringing awareness about our practice. I think done right you can show your practice personality instead of just ‘noise’ online.

Patient referrals have always been the best way to market a practice, and growing reviews online is key to having people find our practice. We also do outreach with other medical and healthcare providers to establish relationships so they are comfortable referring to our practice.

What they've given up on: I’ve abandoned any type of costly print advertising.

Who they are: Dr. Caleb Spreiter, DC, CCSP, Integrative Chiropractic in Claremore, OK.

What's special about their practice:
One of the things that make my practice unique is being a Certified Chiropractic Sports Physician (CCSP). This is a certification that gives chiropractors more training in diagnosing and treating sports injuries plus it prepares us to work on the sidelines at sporting events.

I'm only one out of eleven in my state.

So, being a CCSP helps attract weekend warriors and opens up opportunities to work and network with local schools.

Another reason patients have come to my office instead of other chiropractors is my efforts to build my online presence. I've had a number of patients tell me that they came to my office because I had the most Google reviews.

Some of these patients have driven 20+ miles and passed 10-15 other chiropractors to come to my office for that reason alone..



What's working: I currently focus about 95% of my marketing efforts online.

This is a combination of Facebook ads, blogging, email marketing, and getting Google/Facebook reviews.

As a result, my number one source of patients is from referrals but my second source of patients is from online.

On Facebook, I can target the people most likely to utilize my services for pennies per click all the while easily track if the ad is effective or if it needs to be changed.

What they've given up on: I almost never use print ads anymore.

I will periodically run an ad in the local paper if they are doing a special edition, like during the high school graduation but that is it.

When you look at the cost per paper ad that may or may not reach potential clients with no real way to accurately track its effectiveness and compare it to running a Facebook ad, it's not even close.

Who they are: Dr. Steve Segal, Community Chiropractic Care, Libertyville, IL.

What's special about their practice:
Most people text me for an appointment because I work by myself, unless I’m expecting an important call, I don’t answer the phone when I'm adjusting people.

I can return text rapidly between people. I’m an old timer…been serving people for over 28 years, 3 generations of patients…sometimes all in the office at the same time for a family adjustment visit. I love that!

Saturdays I call my “Noah Ark Days” frequently people from the same family come in…2 at a time, sometimes more, Husbands and Wives go on dates to my office.

I’ve worked in the field on professional football players, professional bowler’s (Men, Women, and Seniors), Professional Rodeo Riders, Women’s Professional Volleyball Players, The Professional Water-skier’s…

I bring the experience, tips, trick and secrets to my daily practice so people can get rapid results without relapse. Chiropractic care without cockamamie treatment plans.

They know I’ll have the same conversations with them regarding care and treatment that I have with my family and friends.

One of my “bones to pick” with certain colleagues are the doctors that treat people 3-5 times a week for months, years or until the insurance runs out.

Hey if they are acute, not problem, see them several times a week or daily…but at the end of the week or the beginning of next week…re-evaluate… and see what they need that week coming up. I'm like look...if you either workout/do you own home therapy, you'll be in here less.

I'm not afraid to give my patients the "key to the kingdom" because they'll come back when they need...but equally as important they refer family, friends, neighbors and co-workers...because of how I treat them.




What's working: Cross channel marketing is what I call it… Website, Facebook, Twitter, Google….but my love is direct response mail…shhhh. It’s the only legal way left to print money they haven’t taken away from us.

What they've given up on: Yellow Pages or taking an ad out in any coupon clipper.

Who they are: Dr. Masi Bayless, Santa Cruz NonForce Chiropractors in Santa Cruz, CA.

What's special about their practice:
The type of chiropractic we use, Directional Non-Force Technique™ (DNFT™) Chiropractic, is what makes us unique and special in Santa Cruz, and in most of the San Francisco Bay Area.

DNFT Chiropractic works so well that patients actually need fewer appointments and they get longer lasting effects. We’re up front in saying we really will more than likely only need to see a patient a few times and then they probably won’t need another appointment for months or even years.

Since most other chiropractors don’t operate that way, our method seems strange. Just like most effective medical care, you don’t need to keep getting treated if the treatment is truly effective at addressing the root cause.



What's working: Connecting as directly as possible with our patients and prospective patients has been the most successful for us: with handouts in the office and the articles we’ve written for our blog that have simple actions people can take.

We’ve written lots of valuable content on our website blog with health tips for getting well, treating injuries, reducing pain, and generally how to stay out of our office. We then send those articles out to people using social media, social media advertising, and email newsletters.

We’ve also used Yelp, Yelp advertising, search engine optimization, and search advertising to be visible to people who have an immediate problem to solve or are in pain that needs attention so they can contact us to get treatment as soon as possible.

What they've given up on: We’re currently taking a break on search ads, social ads, and Yelp ads. We find that there’s a lot of noise and we prefer to have a more thoughtful conversation with prospective patients.

Who they are: Doug Arvanitis, D.C., Pro Health in Tampa, FL. 

What's special about their practice:
What is unique and special about my practice, Pro Health, is the fact that a large percentage of my practice is Professional, Collegiate and High School athletes that come to us from all over the United States.

We treat athletes in over twenty sports and are known for getting our athletes back to their respective sport from their injuries not only physically but also mentally faster and more efficient than anyone else.

Our general patients come to our office because of the reputation that we have throughout the nation in regards to our athletic practice and in similarity to endorsements, people want to be treated by the Doctor that professional, collegiate and High Schools trust to treat them.



What's working: The current marking methods are firstly word of mouth.

We do not and have never advertised for professional or collegiate athletes but due to our reputation and proven results we get a tremendous amount of athletes from word of mouth.

We also work closely with the team physicians for three local High Schools, HB Plant, Jesuit and Armwood for their football, wrestling and soccer programs which gives us exposure to the students parents and families.

What they've given up on: We have found that the majority of print ads do not work for our type of practice.

Who they are: Dr. Jennifer Rozenhart, D.C. Rozenhart Family Chiropractic in San Jose, CA.

What's special about their practice:
Our practice is unique because our focus is on the goals of the patient, and what's best for them.

We are two sister doctors, practice using corrective care plans and use digital motion X-ray to evaluate and track progress. Our patients return because of the results they see and the warmth of our office



What's working: Marketing that works for us are wellness lunch and learn programs given to corporations, small businesses, and schools.

Social media channels and personal referrals also work well for marketing.

What they've given up on: We have given up on any type of print advertising and paid online ads have been less successful for us.

The Rise of You Journalism (How to Get an All-Access Press Pass)

Media as we know it is dead.

It's been dead for a very, very long time. A recent Gallup poll suggested that only 32% of Americans say they have "a great deal or fair amount of trust in the media." Most Americans do not trust, and have no interest in mainstream news.

With trust in traditional news outlets deteriorating, and the rise of social media, we're seeing a rapid shift towards what I call "You Journalism". That's right, YOU.

You're the voice people trust and want to hear. You're the boots on the ground for news in your area. You're the next wave of journalism. 

Here's why...

  • You carry around an HD recording device that can live stream to billions of people all over the world in a matter of seconds.
  • You have access to high-speed internet just about anywhere you go on a day-to-day basis.
  • You have a unique perspective on current events, and can reach others just like yourself with your news.​

What can you get from being a citizen journalist?

Being a citizen journalist comes with a host of benefits. Here's a few I've gotten recently...

  • FREE review copies of books by big-name authors before the books come out. I recently got pitched to review a copy of Hillary Clinton's new book "How I Lost".
  • FREE products from top brands. I've received everything from essential oils to fitness gear.
  • FREE Press Passes to special events. I got invited to the United Nations recently to hear a talk and have a one-on-one chat with the speaker.
  • Access to experts of all types and the ability to learn whatever you want to learn from them. They'll come to you with their story, and you just have to ask questions!
  • An inside look at what your competition is doing, and the ability to spot industry trends before they emerge on the market. I receive press releases from big PR firms all the time, keeping me in the loop on what's going on in multiple industries.

Ready for all of those benefits? Here's how to get started...

Step 1: Start a website or blog.

Set up a website about whatever niche topic you are most interested in covering and receiving free products/invites for. If you already have a website where you regularly post news, even better! 

If you don't know how to set up a website, contact me and I'll put you in touch with someone who can do it for you.

Start publishing and make sure you've got the site looking full and active with content before proceeding.

Step 2: Submit your site on CISION.

CISION is the media contact database used by the biggest PR firms in the world. When you submit yourself as a source, you'll be 'on the list' of media contacts that firms will reach out to with news about their clients.

You can submit your website here.

Step 3: Be a You Journalist!

Buy yourself a new hat. You're a journalist now!

When publicists send you press releases, respond to whichever ones you like and start covering their clients.

When you're done with the article, make sure to notify the publicist so they can share it on their client's social media profiles and press page. This is a great way to build links and organic interest in your site's content.

How to Sell Your Health & Wellness Product or Service (10 Expert Panel)

Health and wellness is a broad field, with so many small sub-industries within it. You've got personal trainers, fitness apps, subscription box programs, and everything in between.

We reached out to hundreds of successful business owners and entrepreneurs, who dominate their respective niches, to find out what marketing methods are working...and which ones you should probably kick to the curb.

Don't be afraid to try new things!

There are so many ways to market a business! The best marketers aren't afraid to try something different, think outside the box, and track their return on investment religiously.

At Spooky Digital, we're all about the data. We only use marketing methods we can track, and we always make sure that our efforts bring an equal or greater return. Get out there and experiment! Get wild, go crazy, buy a lab coat on eBay and call yourself a marketing scientist. 

The marketing world is your playground. Here's the rules you should be playing by this year...


The Best Marketing Ideas for 2017


Who they are: Claudia Matles

What they're selling: 
I’m a certified Yoga, Pilates and Holistic Nutrition Instructor. I teach privately at people’s homes and in their workplace. Most of the teachings are in the New York area but I also travel around the world teaching too!

This time of year, It’s often that you’ll find me teaching at Bachelorette weekends in the Hamptons or Wedding parties and other celebratory events.



What's working: My marketing has been very successful for the most part; I advertise all year round in Dan’s Paper’s which circulates online and via a hard copy publication throughout the New York and Tri-State area.

I also get a lot of my business through my website and it’s often that people tell me that they’ve found me through Facebook and Instagram.

Some of my business has come from students who’ve experienced my teachings and then wrote about me and my offerings and their comments about me on certain blogs and many new student’s find me through these wonderful blogs!

In addition, a big part of my business comes from word of mouth not only local east coast but throughout the world. All of these marketing strategies have worked well and I’m always open for more!

What they've given up on: I gave up on marketing efforts such as weekend Health Expo events and fairs in the Hamptons where I live. They've not drawn the crowd that seems to have means or interests in private yoga, Pilates and wellness.

Who they are: Katie Kozlowski, Loving To Be Me

What they're selling:
I am Katie Kozlowski and I run a platform called Loving To Be Me.

I am in the business of self acceptance, self love, and building a healthy relationship from the inside out to help create a happier, more joyful life.

I offer programs and services that teach women how to love themselves more by expressing their true feelings and letting go of the need to please others.



What's working: My most profitable methods of marketing currently include using my Facebook group as an active think tank and then offering programs to solve the problems uncovered during those discussions.

Word of mouth and friendly referrals have helped me grow quicker and delivered far more engagement.

What they've given up on: I have stopped trying to gain followers by posting “X” amount of times a day and using “get rich quick formulas” because they were bringing in empty leads and the wrong people, while sucking my time and energy.

Who they are: Nick Ehret, CEO of Varieteas.

What they're selling:
My nameis Nick Ehret and I am the CEO of Varieteas.

Varieteas is a Loose Leaf Tea subscription service that promotes a positive, healthy and fit lifestyle. Working with influencers in the lifestyle, fitness, and motherhood space has really helped grow our subscriber base.



What's working: We normally trade products for posts with these influencers and get really authentic content that can be leveraged on many platforms.

Varieteas has also been featured on entrepreneurial podcasts,which has furthered the brand recognition and explains to subscribers how the logistics work.

Local events where we can connect with subscribers and potential subscribers have been a huge help interacting with subscribers and getting real time feedback.

What they've given up on: The methods of advertising that have not been as successful would be Facebook advertising when we using still pictures.

Still pictures tend to not tell the full story or community we have built around our brand. Video advertisements tend to have more successful click through rates on Facebook when we explain our companies values and products.

Who they are: Jamie Logie, personal trainer and nutritionist.

What they're selling:
At the moment I offer a series of nutrition information guides which includes eBooks, meal plans, shopping strategy guides and an audiobook.

I also offer online health and nutrition coaching which gives me the chance to work with people all over the world.



What's working: Right now what's working marketing wise is writing for large online publications such as The Huffington Post, Lifehack, and Thrive Global among some others.

This is a great way to get exposure and build authority. I also run a podcast which is another good way to get your message out there.

What they've given up on: What I gave up on were Facebook ads. I tried for awhile but couldn't seem to get a good fit. It's something I hope to re-visit not far down the line.

Who they are: Jenna Ryan, CEO at Uqora.

What they're selling:
My name is Jenna Ryan. I'm CEO and co-founder of a women's health company called Uqora.

We've developed an effective, targeted drink mix that gives women the defense they need against UTI-causing bacteria.

UTIs cause more doctors visits per year than everything but the common cold. One in two women will get a UTI at some point in her life, and one in five will suffer from repeat infections. I am part of the UTI tribe myself. My physicians told me that my best option for prevention would be constant antibiotic use.

That frustrated me to no end, and inspired Uqora.With Uqora, women can mix a packet of Uqora with water, and drink it when they're at risk of developing a UTI like after sex or exercise.

It's easy, and it tastes like pink lemonade. Customers often describe Uqora as a "huge relief" and a "life saver."



What's working: So far, PR has been our biggest marketing success.

We were very fortunate to have our launch covered by Mashable, which was then picked up by a few other publications. We were also recently featured on Girlboss.

A lot of our new customers hear about us through these publications. Facebook advertising has been our second most effective marketing lever. We see high engagement and high conversion rates on our Facebook and Instagram ads.

What they've given up on: One marketing method that we have abandoned is emailing marketing to prospects.

We have found engagement to be very low with that type of outreach. Ultimately people find that sort of email marketing irritating, and that's not something we want our brand to be known for.

Who they are: Chris Brantner, SleepZoo.com.

What they're selling:
I run a site called SleepZoo.com that helps people get the best night's sleep possible. We offer tips on how to get a better night's sleep with everything from mattress recommendations to sleeping position suggestions.



What's working: Content marketing is our favorite form of marketing. We write quality blog posts that provide good tips to our readers.

It keeps them coming back for more valuable information time and time again, and it poses us as industry experts.

What they've given up on: Nothing, yet. When trying new forms of marketing, you have to focus on ROI. Try something, see what it does for you, and keep track. Don't just throw money at different marketing tactics and hope one works.

Who they are: Luke Hughes CEO & Co-Founder, Origym Centre of Excellence LTD.

What they're selling:
At Origym, we are a two fold business, not just to do we qualify thousands of personal trainers each year with internationally recognized accreditation, but we also run eleven personal training studios, often hiring our own graduates to train our online and face to face client base to help them achieve their fitness goals.



What's working: At Origym the majority of our traffic and conversations derive from PPC via Bing and Google Ads as it allows us to granularly target our desired target market and through thorough split testing on different ads, keywords and fully optimizing each webpage that the ads link to, we have developed a formula of acquiring new leads for a fraction of the cost that we used to pay.

The trick is to harness the keyword used within the search term and then match it to their precise location as seen in the image below.

As you can see, the person typed in "personal trainer courses Bradford", so our Ad pulls in Bradford and personal trainer courses and then even matches it the page that would be ideal for them to click through to.

We managed to squeeze our cost per lead down from $108 per conversion to just $46 in 6 months. This therefore has made a substantial difference to our overall bottom line and is giving us an edge over our competitors in a congested market.



What they've given up on: We have used twitter ads previously too and lost money from going down this route.

We found it very difficult to acquire new leads at a cost per lead that equaled a profit.

The main reason being that Twitter is not as granule as other platforms and getting ads in front of our target audience was very difficult to orchestrate, meaning we got had many thousand impressions going down irrelevant news feeds and often the leads we did acquire were not really interested in our service.

Despite optimizing and trying different tactics we soon gave up on this as a lead source.





Who they are: Ethan T. Schmidt, founder and CMO of GymBull.com.

What they're selling:
GymBull.com is an online start-up dedicated to fitness and nutrition.

The application allows gyms, personal trainers, and enthusiasts to search, share, and save workouts and meal recipes build their brand and connect with clients. Individual users can find programs tailored to their fitness goals and collaborate with other users.



What's working: I have found it very useful to directly target existing nodes of fitness practitioners, namely gyms and personal trainers.

Direct mailing to these businesses has been successful as has been displaying our branding in and around physical gyms and nutrition shops.

We rely primarily on the strong word-of-mouth culture in the fitness industry to raise awareness of our company.We are a lean, compact start-up, and so we know that we cannot compete with large, establish corporate entities in digital marketing and ads.

With out the funds to wage an expensive directed ad campaign online, we know that building robust grassroots ties with our user base is the best way to develop a groundswell and bring users on board.

What they've given up on: Nothing yet!

Who they are: Ella Ozery and Iam the Founder & CEO of BarBella Box.

What they're selling:
BarBella Box is the premier fitness subscription box service, delivering premium CrossFit and weightlifting gear, apparel, snacks,supplements, accessories, and more each month exclusively for women.



What's working: The marketing methods thatwork best for BarBella Box include Instagram, Facebook Ads, and working withinfluencers.

I work with CrossFit and Weightlifting athletes to curate a specific month’s box. They then promote it thought-out their social media platforms which drive thousands of impressions to our website each day.

In the fitness and wellness industry, we are seeing a shift in ways to market consumers. I am finding that a lot of these fitness products and services have higher and faster growth when there is a face that people love and trust backing the brand. This is where influencers in that niche come to play. But you aren’t off the hook, once you have inherited the customer, it’s up to you to keep them happy through quality of product and customer service - because the next best way to acquire a customer is through word of mouth and referrals.

What they've given up on: One method that I had a lot of hope in, but didn’t work in my niche, was Google AdWords. I spent tens of thousands of dollars testing out Google AdWords and not succeeding because the fact is, my target market is better reached through social media.

Who they are: Franklin Antoian, founder at iBodyFit.com.

What they're selling: 
iBodyFit designs custom workout plans for clients based on their personal goals, fitness level, available time to dedicate to workouts, fitness limitations & more.

We work with clients from all around the world and from all fitness levels.

Our custom workout packages also include personalized diets, fitness advice & feedback from trainer and monthly challenges. We offer pre-made budget friendly plans as well.



What's working: Regarding marketing, we currently rely on word of mouth, press mentions, and our internet search rankings, as well as our social media posting strategy.

What they've given up on: We no longer pay for ad placement services, such as Google Adwords, email marketing or other forms of advertising.

We found these services either too expensive, too difficult to track, poorly executed or a combination of both.

Do Your PR with a LinkedIn Bot (Easy guide!)

Hi there,

My name is Dan Sevigny and I'm the CEO here at Spooky Digital.

We do a lot of press and public relations, and are always looking for new ways to get on the radar at mainstream media outlets.

But how do you go about doing that? Journalists are constantly bombarded by emails from marketers, publicists, and entrepreneurs. Everyone wants to get featured, and it's easy to understand why:

  • It's good for your SEO.
  • You build brand equity and become known as a thought-leader.
  • You gain a ton of social proof and trust with potential customers.

Press & Public Relations is all about building relationships, and making connections.

One possible way you can do this is by using a LinkedIn bot like LinkedHelper to bulk connect with journalists at targeted publications you want to build relationships with. In this detailed guide, I'm going to explain exactly how you can do that, and what you can say to journalists you reach out to.

I should note: this technique is technically against LinkedIn's terms of service and could get you banned from the platform. My advice on that is to act carefully, and mindfully. I believe that this rule is completely reasonable, and helps stop spammers from annoying people. At the same time, I don't think anyone cares as long as you don't get out of line.

The method I'm going to show you today actually provides value to the people you reach out to, appears to be a personal note and won't get you reported. I've taught this method to a number of people who use it successfully, and haven't had any problems yet. 

The most common misconception about bots and automation is that you can't send highly personalized emails or messages with them. The truth is, when you have data on a contact, you can dynamically insert that data into the message to make it seem hand-written and personal (I'll explain more on this in a moment).

If you're nervous about it, you don't have to use LinkedHelper for this method to work--you could simply copy and paste the same message manually to multiple people for an equally effective outreach campaign. 

Step 1: Download LinkedHelper

Another reason I'm pretty okay with suggesting LinkedHelper to people, is that it's available as a Chrome extension on the Chrome Web Store. If there was anything crazy or malicious about it, you wouldn't find it there.

If you don't have Chrome, grab that first.

Then, head over to the download page for the LinkedHelper extension. You get a 1-week free trial to see how it works for you, not set-up or registration required at all. Very convenient.​

Step 2: Go to Any LinkedIn Page

Once the extension is installed, just head over to any LinkedIn page and the extension will pop up in the lower right-hand corner of your browser window.

The design of the app could use some love, and it's a little overwhelming at first (so many tabs and options), but ultimately I think that's a good thing and really goes to show how versatile this little plugin really is.


Step 3: Set up your Connection Message

Your connection message should be short and to the point.  

If you're reaching out to staff writers (full time employees at news organizations rather than contributors), be aware that many of them can't accept gifts (though they can accept practically anything for 'review').

If you're messaging contributors, those rules don't apply.

Your message should...

  • Be short, well-written.
  • Clearly demonstrate the value you can offer them.
  • Make your intentions clear (you're looking to meet people at their publication).

Above all else, BE CREATIVE.

Put yourself in their shoes...Imagine you're a busy, overworked news-person and you're receiving the message you're about to send.

Does your message sound like bullshit? Does it set off alarms and sound disingenuous, salesy, or spammy? 

Is the value you're offering something they're actually going to be interested in?

Example Messages

Hi {firstname}!

I'm networking and looking for opportunities to connect and barter services. I've been in [Insert an industry you're in] for [insert amount of time you've been doing it].

Would love to hear what kind of projects your working on, so I can find a way to help! Chat soon?

Best, Your Name

Hi {firstname}!

I'm networking and looking for opportunities to connect and teach people about [Insert something interesting you do].

Would love to teach you [something instersting you do]. Chat soon?

Best, Your Name

Step 4: Search for Profiles

Step 5: Preview & Send Your Message

Step 6: Follow up & Build Relationships

When people respond to your connection request, the real work begins! Now, it's up to you to find a way you can be valuable to those you're talking to. Be creative, and go the extra mile. Arrange for in-person meetings, if possible, and give them as much value as you can.

If you need help coming up with ideas for contacting people in your industry, please feel free to reach out! I'm more than happy to offer up some advice and a plan of action. Happy Spooky Networking!

BONUS: Interview with LinkedHelper Developer

I reached out to the creator of LinkedHelper, Alex Erin. Here were the questions I asked...

1) Who are you and how did the idea for LinkedHelper come about?

2) How do you personally use LinkedHelper?

3) What else are you working on?

4) Preference: Vampires, Werewolves, or Zombies?​

My name is Alex and I'm the creator. Thank you, Dan!

I always love to hear success stories of using Linked Helper!

I've developed Linked Helper to find & hire developers for my another start-up. I'd spent weeks for manual recruiting. I talked with professional recruiters and realized that they did the same.

Fortunately I didn't know about existing tools and I developed Linked Helper - the most rated app in Chrome Store for LinkedIn. At this moment I'm using Linked Helper to sell my other product...

Preference: Vampires, Werewolves, or Zombies?

To become or to be eaten by? 😛

By the way, you will find a lot of useful stuff here:
HOW TO https://medium.com/linked-helper/tagged/how-to
FAQ https://medium.com/linked-helper/tagged/faq

Alex Erin 
LinkedHelper Developer

Related: 6 PR Tips to Supercharge Your Public Relations (PR for Business)

10 Entrepreneurs Reveal Their Best Marketing Tactics (NEW Methods!)

We're always on the hunt for new marketing ideas here at Spooky Digital, and sometimes the biggest insights just come from asking business owners "whats working for you right now?".

Over the last week, I interviewed hundreds of successful business owners and entrepreneurs who work in health, wellness and fitness to find out what's working--and perhaps more importantly, what's not--as they grind tirelessly to sell their products and services.

Good Marketing Ideas vs Bad Marketing Ideas

What I love the most about doing these marketing idea round-ups is that it really goes to show how many different methods are available to promote and grow a business.

The best advice I can give any entrepreneur or small business owner is that you should play to your strengths, but don't be afraid to seek expert advice. 

Some comments I heard repeatedly were remarks like "Facebook ads don't work" or "email marketing is too intrusive". Since I work heavily in these spaces, I know that to be completely untrue. If ads don't work, and your emails are too intrusive, it's not the platform, it's the execution! 

Facebook ads can work for ANY business, when applied correctly. Email marketing, even on a mass scale can be highly personal and relevant when you use advanced segmentation and automation techniques. 

Don't throw out any marketing idea. If you have to table it, or seek advice, do that and focus on areas you know work. But always keep an open mind and be willing to revisit old ideas with new information!

So with that in mind, and without any further ado, let's get right into it...


The Best Marketing Ideas for 2017


Who they are: Janis Isaman, owner of My Body Couture

What they're selling: 
The business is called My Body Couture, and we fundamentally provide health and movement solutions to people who want their bodies to feel better.



What's working: We get 100% of our business through word of mouth referrals. So our strongest marketing methods are: public relations, by way of demonstrations in the marketplace as well as social media; gift cards, where we reward clients who tell others about our services; and practitioner trades, where we trade services with like-minded business owners.

What they've given up on: I gave up on email newsletters (zzzzzz).

Who they are: Steven Sashen, CEO Xero Shoes

What they're selling:
Your feet are built to bend, move, flex, and feel. Xero Shoes' sandals and shoes let them.

Natural Fit - wide toe boxes and non-elevated heels; Natural Motion - super flexible; Natural Feel - just-right protection and a 5,000 mile sole warranty.



What's working: Facebook re-targeting and Facebook Collection ads are CRUSHING it. Niche influencer marketing is, too.

What they've given up on: What we WON'T do is anything that can't be tracked all the way to the sale. If you can't measure it, you can't make good decisions.

Who they are: Robyn Tosick, Co-Founder, OKIINO

What they're selling:
OKIINO creates multi-functional athletic apparel that effortlessly transitions from sea to street to studio.

Our signature product is women’s custom print and solid leggings, made from the latest premium fabrics from Italy, which are as versatile as they are luxurious and comfortable.

The fabric technology offers maximum sun protection, ultra-quick dry, body sculpting, and compression. We elevate the function by infusing high-performance design with unique artist-created prints, strategic body mapping, and a “second-skin” fit.



What's working: We started OKIINO with community via crowdfunding and continue to crowdsource and grow thanks to community engagement.

We reach our current and potential audience directly through newsletters, social media, digital advertising, and promotional campaigns.

We are empowering our community to help choose future product innovation by crowdfunding their favorite new designs and providing feedback in our Design Lab.

Additionally, we collaborate with key community influencers who endorse OKIINO through our Ambassador and Affiliate Program.

Thanks to connections from friends and support from The Bungalow PR, we have increased awareness and exposure through press features.

Social impact is an important part of our mission and we have found fulfillment and success sponsoring our non-profit partners and supporting community events.

What they've given up on: We have shifted away from traditional print advertising, flyers, and physical marketing materials.

Additionally, we are selective about pop-ups, tradeshows, and one-off events due to our limited time and capacity, and we currently focus on in-person events where there is strong opportunity for collaborating and cross-marketing with other brands and businesses, as well as reaching our target market.

Who they are: Dave Hunt, founder and creator of Crossrope

What they're selling:
At Crossrope, we craft unique and premium jump rope training systems for the fitness market.



What's working: One marketing strategy that has really been working for us lately is focusing on the experience.

We try to focus on more than just the product, and we achieve this by designing and hosting free online fitness events for our growing community.

We’ve come to the realization that people appreciate companies that go above and beyond to help their customers solve a problem. In our case, we provide a lot of free tools and resources through our events to help our customers solve their problems - regardless of whether or not they use our product.

Doing so has really helped us build trust with our customers and, as a result, grow our brand.

What they've given up on: One area we’ve shifted away from is focusing on too many influencer marketing channels.

Although influencer marketing is still an important component of our overall strategy, we’ve strategically refined the type of influencers we look for, and identified where our time is best spent.

As a result, we no longer waste critical time and funds pursuing influencer opportunities that just aren't a good fit in the long-term.

Who they are: Cindy Jones, Ph.D.

What they're selling:
At Colorado Aromatics we sell skin solutions primarily to help women who love the outdoors.


Our natural skin care line is formulated to help with skin damage caused by arid climate, wind, and sun.

All of our products use herbs grown on our Certified Naturally Grown Farm which provide an abundance of antioxidants.

Because skin acts as a barrier in both directions; keeping moisture in the body and keeping toxins out of the body, it is important that it functions at its peak.

Our products resonate with Coloradans who spend a lot of time outdoors and can see the changes occurring in their skin.



What's working: We find our products sell best when we are actively engaging and educating potential customers. For this reason we do a lot of outdoor summer markets.

Once someone buys our product in person they then become an online customer and continue to purchase product for themselves as well as for gifts.

We are also active on social media; Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, but those places can sometimes be noisy. We use them to help customers keep our brand in the forefront of their brain.

What they've given up on: We have not totally given up on any marketing methods and remain open to other potential forms of marketing.

However, we are hesitant to use expensive advertising as that has not helped us in the past. Education of our customer base is important and we do that through newsletters and blogging.

Who they are: Patrick Connelly, Founder / CEO, Corevity

What they're selling:
In 2006, I was a 24 yr. old ex-collegiate athlete. I thought I was healthy.. I was wrong. I got high blood pressure. I got scared. I built a new health philosophy.



It took 10 years. Last year, I built Corevity, a health community for millennials. A community to share your health experiences.



We are the place for fit people to articulate and share their health journey. We sync with your existing fitness apps, add your nutrition data from your credit card purchases (goodbye food logging) and create an easy to understand score from 1-100.

What's working: We believe health is about lifestyle. The only way to effectively change your health is to get the support of your friends, family and social communities.

As such, all of our marketing outreach is focused on delivering that value for our audience.

We have had great success acquiring users by articulately answering health questions on Quora and writing about food on Medium (we accidentally became a top food writer).

What they've given up on: We use Instragram and Facebook, like everyone else, but they are just so crowded.

Instead we try to go to our potential users and help them! A little witty banter, never hurt either.

Who they are: Daniel Turissini Founder, recharj

What they're selling:
We are recharj, a modern meditation and power nap studio located steps from the White House.

As the “antidote to the DC grind,” our recent PR success is due, in large part, to our compelling and unique concept –regenerative and restorative wellness in a harried city.



What's working: Our key traffic drivers are currently direct and organic search. Social media is common low-hanging fruit with low cost to entry and high engagement.

Our social media efforts are primarily focused on Facebook and Instagram; the visual aesthetic and sense of community is best served on those two channels.

What they've given up on: The larger marketing effort we’ve abandoned has been our street team, which has proven costly with modest return.

Our weekly newsletters are built to drive customer re-engagement. We provide relevant content, new workshops, highlighted classes, and client testimonials. Referral traffic and membership partners, such as ClassPass help generate new business.

Our next marketing investment will experiment with Influencer marketing, as we search for the right influencer(s) to evangelize our message to the right audience.

Who they are: Steve Silberberg, Fitpacking

What they're selling:
Fitpacking guides people on 1 and 2 week backpacking adventure vacations to get fit and lose fat.

We take people to stunning wilderness destinations such as the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, Mt. Rainier, Acadia, Shenandoah and many other National Parks and Forests. Participants typically lose about 5 pounds of fat during a 1-week backpacking excursion.



What's working: Advertising in the Health and Wellness sector is a real challenge because of the sheer volume of other well-financed outfits targeting fitness and fat loss.

The most reliable method we have of obtaining new clients is Google AdWords.

Of course AdWords is useful but is not a panacea. Our best method of obtaining clients is to draw upon our existing client base. We have an aggressive loyalty program – the so-called Frequent Hiker Program -- that results in over 40% of our participants returning.

What they've given up on: One marketing method we’ve given up on even before trying it out, is asking people to recommend us on social media.

While we’re happy if clients are inspired to do this on their own, we feel that asking them to do so sends the message that we view them as no more than our unpaid marketing interns.

Who they are: Jeremy Greenberg, CEO & Co-Founder, Flyte Fitness

What they're selling:
At Flyte Fitness, we manufacture and market Core Flyte omni-directional stability trainers.

The Core Flytes are portable padded platforms that move on three balls and are used by both fitness professional and consumers to activate more muscle during body weight workouts.



What's working: Over the past two years, we have focused much of our marketing efforts on developing a fun, interactive community on social media centered around use of Core Flytes.

As a result, our customers regularly share Core Flyte exercise videos on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. We share this original content on our social networks and via email to provide recognition for our active customers and to share new ideas for using our product.

We regularly create new compilation videos -- with their own, custom-written rap songs -- and post them on social media. This content is very shareable as people enjoy both the song and the various exercises.

The Facebook rap video posts have been extremely successful, with one video receiving over three million views, and have driven significant product sales. We believe that the user videos give prospective buyers an authentic view of the product prior to purchase.

What they've given up on: We are very careful with our marketing bets and we focus on testing lower cost channels.

However, we have had some experiences with traditionally higher cost channels due to PR demand.

We had a free, half-page placement in the front section of a top fitness magazine to promote Core Flytes. If we had paid for the placement as an ad, it would have cost us over $50,000.

The magazine came out and we saw almost no impact on sales. We were disappointed, but, at the same time, we were glad that we had not paid for the placement and that we learned not to invest in print again.

Who they are: Suzanne Hayen, Founder & CEO, Let's Be Chefs

What they're selling:
Let's Be Chefs is an app-based service that saves you time getting home-cooked meals on the table.

We take all of the effort out of figuring out what's for dinner by sending you personalized menus each week, simplifying your grocery shopping, and making cooking very easy.



What's working: Since launching at the end of 2016, we've really focused on getting customer feedback and adding the features that will add the most value to our users.

The result of this method is that Let's Be Chefs is a service that people absolutely love and can't wait to tell their friends about; thus, word-of-mouth has been our best form of marketing

What they've given up on: We've tried various forms of paid advertising (online ads, sponsored blog posts, etc.) without much success, so we've put those forms of marketing on the back-burner.

For us, nothing has been more powerful than a friend giving their personal testimony to someone else and convincing them to give Let's Be Chefs a try.

This yoga studio made $123,796 in 30 Days with a $900 Marketing Budget (Here’s How)

Hey, what's up!

My name is Dan, and I'm the CEO at Spooky Digital.

In this marketing plan for yoga studios I'm going to show you exactly how we used Facebook ads and email marketing to sell 179 trials online at a local studio, and earned them $123,796 in customer equity in just 30 days.

We set up ad campaigns like this for our yoga studio clients all the time, and would love to work with your studio. If you have any questions, or want to talk about starting a campaign for your studio, drop us a line in the comments below!

How to Promote a Yoga Studio on Facebook

I'm going to cover a lot of information and if you're a non-technical person, it might be hard to keep up. But don't worry! If at any time you need help, or don't understand, please feel free to reach out.

In this short guide, you'll learn how to...

Re-create our proven high-performance Facebook ads.

Use advanced marketing methods to reach student leads with the right message at the right time to get them to join!

Automate the process of bringing in new students from Facebook ads.

Alli B. Manager at Prospect Heights Yoga

70% of all the trial purchasers came back to the studio once their trial was complete, to become full-time members. We've never had that many sign ups online in just one month!

Most Yoga Studios Are Doing Facebook Ads WRONG

It still blows my mind that even the biggest names in the yoga industry--studios that everyone knows--are still doing Facebook ads completely wrong and wasting thousands of dollars per week in the process. Here's what the typical yoga studio Facebook ad campaign looks like...

    • Boosting a post on their Facebook page (this is practically donating money to Facebook)
    • Using the basic targeting tools, and settings on Facebook to target to certain age/gender/demographics (but missing out on advanced targeting methods, as I'll explain later)
    • Sending student leads who click ads to their homepage, or directly to MindBody Online (I'll explain later why this is a complete waste of marketing dollars that could be spent elsewhere)
    • Not using Facebook's most powerful advertising feature: the Facebook Tracking Pixel. I'll tell you all about this feature, and how you can use it to make ads that reach the right people at the right time. It's amazing!

If any of this sounds like something you're currently doing, don't worry! We'll walk you through every step to get you to creating ads on Facebook that actually work (and don't just waste all of your hard-earned money).

Yoga Studio Marketing Ideas That Work

Imagine for a moment that you no longer had to worry about how you're going to get new students into the studio. What would it feel like to know that your Facebook ads are constantly bringing in new customers, and filling classes--even on the slow days?

What if your ads were so cost-effective, that you could actually afford to run them 24/7, bringing in new customers while you sleep?

Well, by the end of this guide, my hope is that we'll manifest that scenario into reality for you! So keep that end goal in mind as we proceed. It is totally possible, if you just follow these simple steps. 

I want you to completely understand what we're doing here, so with each step I'll actually explain why we do it the way we do it. First, here's a quick overview of the steps we'll take in this campaign...

  • ​Set up Automated Emails on ActiveCampaign (affiliate link)
  • Set up a landing page
  • Use advanced targeting methods (including tracking pixel and custom audiences)
  • Set up a Facebook Campaign
  • Track and monitor results (so you know when it's working!)

You might be wondering what all of this stuff about landing pages and automated emails has to do with Facebook ads...and the answer is EVERYTHING!

As I mentioned earlier, most studios are wasting an incredible amount of time and money by setting up Facebook ads incorrectly. Consider this... when you're on Facebook, what are you usually doing? You're not necessarily on there looking for something to buy. You'd use Google for that.

People go on Facebook to kill time, connect with others, distract themselves, and keep up on the latest content (news, cat pics, what-have-you). You might be reaching the right person, but are you giving them the right message at the right time?

The person viewing your ad on Facebook could be anywhere. After all, nearly all of Facebook's 1.23 billion users access the platform on their mobile phone at some point. There's so many reasons someone might not be ready to buy your offer right away it would take an entire second article to list them all. 

They might be too busy at the moment. They might get distracted (the average attention span today is around 8 seconds!). They might be interested, but not have their credit card with them. Research confirms, that for a variety of reasons, most people who view your ad will not be ready to buy right away.

Here's the strategy studios should be using with their Facebook ads...

STEP 1: The user sees your ad on Facebook.

Your ad is either an advertorial (news or editorial style ad) or a highly enticing low-cost offer for new students.

We'll go over both styles in the 'Facebook ads' section below.

STEP 2: The user visits your landing page.

A landing page is a page that is designed with the express goal of building rapport with the user, and enticing them to give you their email address.

There's an actual science behind the psychology of persuasion. We'll teach you all about that in the 'landing page' section below.

STEP 3: The user gives you their email to claim an offer or receive a 'lead magnet'.

The offer you give users to your landing page should be something no one can refuse.

Remember, they don't know you yet, so make the offer something that doesn't require much trust. 

A lead magnet is something you can offer the user in exchange for their email. 

We'll go over the most effective versions of both in the 'landing page' section.

STEP 4: Your automated email system sends them your offer or lead magnet.

The user receives your offer or lead magnet in their inbox, and they can choose to purchase from you right away, or they can wait and use the email to purchase later.

We'll show you really cool tricks for making sure your email makes it into the inbox and gets read by the user.

We'll also show you how to use Facebook's tracking feature that uses information about people who submit your form to find more people like them, and automatically target others who share some common characteristics.

STEP 5: Your automated email system will send carefully timed follow-up emails.

Sometimes a user will enter their email address, but won't click through to your website to become customers on the first email you send them.

That's okay, because we'll show you how to send perfectly timed, fully automated, follow-up emails to build rapport and entice them to purchase.

We can even send them down different paths of auto emails based on whether or not they opened your first email! 

We'll talk all about that in the 'automated emails' section below.

STEP 6: The user becomes a customer!

Most users who request you offer or lead magnet will become customers. And this is where it gets really interesting!

We'll show you advanced features in Facebook's ad platform that will allow you to reach more people on Facebook who share characteristics with your actual customers.

This is where you truly put 'big data' to work for your small business.

We'll explain all of that in the 'advanced targeting methods' section below.

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Set up a Landing Page for Your Ad

The first thing you'll need for a successful Facebook ad campaign is a landing page.

A landing page is a page that is intentionally and mindfully designed to drive those who view it towards taking a specific action (in this case, buying a trial offer). A good landing page has these key elements:

  • No Navigation Menu: Unlike other pages on your site, that has a menu to get users to multiple locations, your landing page will have none. That's because you don't want users going elsewhere. Everything the reader needs to know should be contained on this one page.
  • Use of Persuasive Copy: 'Copy' in this context is the written word you'll have on your landing page. Your landing page copy should educate, excite, and inform your ready. Make sure to answer all of your reader's potential questions (who, what, when, where, why). Use powerful, emotional words that make your reader feel something positive. 
  • Opt-in Form Above the Fold: When you want someone to do something, you need to make it as easy for them as possible. In this case, you want them to submit their email address to receive your trial offer. Make this easy by making sure your opt-in form is 'above the fold' (which simply means that they don't have to scroll down to see it).
  • Use Testimonials: Testimonials are the top driver of purchase decisions. We are all social creatures. We look to other people for advice, and for social validation in all life situations, but especially so when it comes to making a purchase. You probably know some students at your studio who would happily give a glowing review! One is fine, but if you can get two or three (representing different types of students in terms of age, sex, ethnicity, etc) that is even better! Ultimately, people want to know that other people who are just like them enjoyed your classes.
  • Use Images to Convey Emotion: Use images of happy, attractive, smiling people to convey emotions that someone can expect to feel when they are a student at your studio. Yoga is for people of all genders, races, body types and ages--use images that reflect your current student base accurately if you want to reach more people like them.
  • Clearly explain your USP: Why should people come to your studio over any other? What can you offer that no one else does? This is your unique selling proposition (or 'USP'). It's good to have this in mind at all times, to make sure it's clearly conveyed--but this is especially important for your landing page. You only have so much space on a page (and attention span in a reader), so make sure every little bit counts and quickly explain why people should come to you.
  • Don't 'Submit': On your email opt-in form, change the button text from the lame old 'submit' to something more active and engaging. It's a subtle psychological shift, but it has been proven to work!
  • Use Urgency & Scarcity to Your Favor: By adding language like 'limited time offer' or 'only a few left' you can create a sense of urgency and scarcity that will entice more people to enter their contact information and complete the offer. You don't want them thinking "oh, I can just do this later". The truth is, they won't. So many things can happen between now and later. People get sidetracked, forget, or completely change their minds all the time. If you have their contact information, even if they aren't sure now, you can always continue the conversation and build the relationship going forward. 

Here's what a good yoga studio landing page looks like.

See if you can spot the elements I talked about above as you read through. 


You'll also want to create a thank you page.

Create a 'thank you' page to send users to when they submit their contact information. This page should have a link to purchase your trial. Here's an example of what that page could look like (but again, be creative and unique, everyone has different style).

Set up Automated Emails on ActiveCampaign.

ActiveCampaign is one of my favorite marketing tools. I've used similar services that cost close to $1000 per month, while ActiveCampaign has all the same features and plans for as low as $9 per month. I highly recommend their 'Plus' plan, because it comes with a 'Contact Relationship Management' platform (I'll explain more about this later, but it's really cool)!

Here's the pricing page from the ActiveCampaign website. The cost goes up based on how many contacts you have in the system, but again, I've used much more expensive services that had annoying set-up fees ($2,000 just to get set up), and charged per email. Active Campaign gives it to you straight, and at a very affordable price.

active campaign cost

The email automation we'll set up will do the following...

  1. Send leads who want to get your low-cost intro offer a link to purchase.
  2. Wait a few days...
  3. Check to see how the user interacted with our email. Did they open it? Did they click a link? Did they reply? Did they purchase? Based on each of those, we'll send the user down a different path of automated emails.

Remember, emails that work are those that look highly personalized, and friendly. No one wants to talk to a machine, or be 'sold to'. Use our emails as a guide, but rewrite them in your own personal voice. By the end of this section, you'll know everything you need to know to write emails that build relationships and turn strangers into students.

The Email Marketing Strategy for Facebook Ads

An awesome feature in ActiveCampaign is the ability to build powerful automated email campaigns in a simple, drag-and-drop interface. We'll use this capability to tailor our messages for each specific scenario we'll encounter and send the reader down different paths based on their behavior with your email.

We'll create a series of customized auto-emails that address the needs of student leads who...

  • Opened your email but didn't purchase.
  • Didn't open your email at all.
  • Replied to your email for more information.

MindBody integrates with ActiveCampaign, so we have a list of customers that is updated automatically when new students are added. We created a separate automation that will automatically stop the auto-emails when someone becomes a customer--we don't want to keep emailing if they've already purchased!

NOTE: This section is incredibly tough for some non-technical people. Remember, we're here to help you out at any time! If you have questions, please feel free to reach out. Of course, we're always happy to set this up for you and offer you the same deal we offered the studio featured in this example. Get in touch!

Watch the example video below, to get an understanding for how automations inside ActiveCampaign work, then keep reading to learn about our strategy for these emails. Again, if you need help with the technical aspect of this, please reach out!

First Email: Introduction

When someone requests your paid trial on one of your landing pages, the first thing you'll want to send them is a quick introduction to the studio manager who will be their point of contact, and a link to finish the purchase on your online store.

Some useful tips for writing emails that actually sell...

  • Keep it Personal: Use a person's name as the sender, rather than the studio name. People are more likely to open emails that appear to be from a real person.
  • Make the Email Subject Clear: In some cases, it is useful to make your email subject line ambiguous or open-ended (which causes people to want to open it for a feeling of mental satisfaction. In this case, it's actually better to be completely clear about what you're sending (since they just requested it moments ago). We used 'Your trial offer' as the subject in the example below.
  • Make it Clear: Clearly communicate what you're offering, using bold and italics where necessary to highlight important information.
  • Include a CTA: Tell your readers what you want them to do. This is called a 'Call to Action'. In the example below, that 'call to action' is 'CLAIM THIS OFFER'.
  • Make it Human: Give your organization a human face to your customers. Introduce someone who can answer questions for them. In example below, this was the manager.
  • Talk Directly to Your Reader: Use your reader's first name in the email and write as though you're sending it just to them. You can do this automatically by using the personalization tools in ActiveCampaign. Each reader will see their own name where it says %FIRSTNAME% on the email template. The more personalized you can make your emails, the more the reader will feel as though you're speaking to them directly.

Automated follow up emails

After we send the first email, our email automation in ActiveCampaign will wait for 3 days, then check to see if the student lead opened.

If they did open , we'll send them down a path of emails that continues to build the relationship, and persuade them. You can get really creative here by making the emails fun and engaging. Add your own personality to it!

If they didn't open, we'll want to address any possible reasons why. It could have been caught in the spam filter, perceived as junk mail by the receiver and skipped over, or simply not seen or read because the receiver was busy or distracted. We can combat these problems by changing the email copy, subject line, and the time/day we send emails.

If they DID open...

If they did open, we know that the time/day they received the first email was okay, and that the email didn't end up in spam.

Next, we'll wait 24 hours...

We offer the opportunity to extend their trial for 7 more days.

If they no longer want to receive email from us, they can click 'Not Interested' to go to a feedback form on our site and stop the email automation. Having this option significantly helps cut down on spam complaints and gives us valuable feedback!

If they DID NOT open...

If they did not open, we'll try changing everything up. We even removed the 'claim this offer' link in case that is causing spam problems (some filters look for overly promotional text).

Last Chance!

We'll send one last email, with a high sense of urgency to try to get them to convert. 

You can even use the word 'urgent' or 'last chance' in your subject line to increase the odds of them opening.

Advanced Targeting Methods on Facebook

Your ad is only effective if it reaches the right people. You've probably heard a lot about 'big data' lately, and that's exactly what we'll be tapping into to make sure your ads are targeted to people who are ready to buy your intro offer right now.

In this section, you'll learn methods for making super-targeted Facebook ads, including...

  • How to add the Facebook Tracking Pixel to your studio website.
  • How to use custom audiences and lookalike audiences on Facebook to reach your existing customers, or more people like them.

How to use Facebook's Tracking Pixel

One of the best features Facebook offers is the tracking pixel. By adding a short line of code to your website (much like you may have done for Google Analytics), you can give the ad platform on Facebook insight into what users are doing on your website.

Say for example, you wanted to target ads at all of your website visitors. This is called re-targeting, and it's one of the most effective ways to reach an audience of people that are already aware of your brand AND potentially interested in what you're selling. You can do this, and much more with the tracking pixel.

To install the Facebook pixel, follow the steps below (borrowed from Facebook's help document on the subject):

  1. Go to your Facebook Pixel tab in Ads Manager.
  2. Click Create a Pixel.Enter a name for your pixel. You can have only one pixel per ad account, so choose a name that represents your business.Note: You can change the name of the pixel later from the Facebook Pixel tab.
  3. Check the box to accept the terms.
  4. Click Create Pixel.

Follow the prompts after creating the pixel to get the pixel code, then add it to your website (or use the option that allows you to email the code to your web developer who can add it for you).

A neat little extra step you can do if you want to make sure the pixel is active and working on your site is to download the Facebook Pixel Helper for Chrome. This will let you see if your site (or any site) has a Facebook tracking pixel on it.

Custom Audiences: Reach More Students!

With custom audiences, you can upload your current customer list into Facebook to target them for ads...

You can also create a lookalike audience from your customer list, and Facebook will go through their massive database and find other people that share the same interests or behaviors. 

This method of targeting is incredibly accurate and gives you instant access to others in your area who are likely to be interested in taking classes at your studio.

Here's a quick video on how to create a custom audience of your existing students... 

After you create a custom audience out of your customer list, you'll see a screen that says 'Next Steps'.

Click 'Create a Lookalike Audience' here to create an audience based on your existing student-base.

If you missed this screen, you can still get here by going to your 'Audiences' view in the Power Editor.

Create a Custom Conversion

When you set up a 'custom conversion' on the Facebook advertising platform, you'll be able to use an option when creating an Ad Set called 'Optimize for Conversions'. This feature is incredible.

It allows Facebook to know when a user has completed a specific action you wanted them to complete (submit a form, or make a purchase usually). Facebook can then take all of the information they have on the person who completed that action, and drill down into your lookalike audience to find more people who share some common characteristics. 

This happens every time someone completes the action you want people to complete with your ad! The ad becomes more targeted as more people complete the action. Tell me that's not the spookiest thing you've ever heard!

You can create your custom conversion here.

Usually, you'd want the custom conversion to be a purchase. When someone purchases, Facebook would find more people like that person to show your ad to. Unfortunately, since most yoga studios use MindBody Online to manage their payments (and MindBody doesn't support Facebook pixels), we'll have to have a different goal to have Facebook look for.

I like to use the form submission when someone enters their email address to receive the trial offer. That's really the next closest thing to a purchase. It's also super easy to set up without any coding knowledge.

You just have to set your form to redirect to a thank you page on your site after they submit their information.

If, for example, your thank you page was located at www.yourwebsite.com/your-thank-you-page-url then your custom conversion would look like this...

Facebook Ad Ideas for Yoga Studios
(Based on High Conversion Templates)

Here's our highest converting Facebook ads, and here's why they work.

Why this ad works...

  • Time-limited offer and sense of urgency.
  • Features a fit, attractive yogi. This body image fits the clientele of this particular studio, but feel free to use whatever is most accurate for your own.
  • A short, descriptive headline. The value is readily apparent, and you know what you're getting by clicking the ad (a 3 class trial deal).
  • A description that speaks to the reader's emotions and needs. We've done tons of research to find out what this studio's students need on an emotional level. 
  • Makes sure beginners know they're welcome!

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