Oct 30

Take imperfect action?!? (A virtual hug for perfectionists)

By Renae Gregoire | Empathy , Lessons learned , Web content

Imperfect action ≠ crappy content  The gurus say that imperfect action is better than no action. In a way, I agree: It’s better to have an “imperfect” something out there than nothing at all. BUT. A huge BUT. Imperfect doesn’t mean “crap.” Glaring content issues that shout “CRAP!” to everyone Imperfect doesn’t mean you let content out of the house with […]

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Oct 29

Marketing lemons for my birthday courtesy of LongHorn Steakhouse

By Renae Gregoire | Customer loyalty programs , Email marketing , Marketing lemons

Email marketing lemons and rewards program lemons lead to a sour stomach on my birthdayLongHorn Steakhouse lured me into its restaurant for my birthday dinner with a “free dessert” email. I wound up with a crappy steak and headaches trying to access the code for my free dessert, which I unfortunately had to leave without […]

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Oct 28

Introducing: Marketing Lemons

By Renae Gregoire | Marketing lemons

A new column dedicated to documenting — and hopefully ridding the Internet of — marketing lemons, one at a timeI’ve long been a collector of marketing lemons: Mistakes, bloopers, gotchas, boondoggles, and annoyances that make it harder for people to do business with or buy from a company.Today, after running across two lemons, one after […]

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Aug 15

How a poor use of graphics can undermine your marketing content

By Renae Gregoire | Graphics , Visual marketing , Visuals

Graphics are good … but think about your readers when choosing them!Two thoughts about graphics and marketing content:I love graphics, all sorts of graphics: infographics, photographs, charts, you name it.I’m a proponent of “less is more” when it comes to marketing content, especially when it comes to ebooks.​I wrote my own treatise on the topic […]

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Aug 06

Wanted: writer with background in llama farming, pre-Mayan law, astrophysics, and craniosynostosis

By Renae Gregoire | Lessons learned , Marketing writer , Writing

Writer Experienced with Forklifts Wanted. I am looking to hire the services of a freelance writer who has some form of experience with forklifts. The writer will showcase his or her knowledge of operating a forklift by providing unique and informative articles. Please reply with details about your experience.Although the forklife ad is actually a […]

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Jun 17

Small business marketing: How deep listening transforms content

By Renae Gregoire | Content , Customer experience , Empathy

Small business marketing + deep listening = better marketing content  You know the feeling that comes over you when you see or hear something transformative? When something about life, love, or small business marketing stops you in your tracks, and becomes, at least temporarily, all consuming?You can’t think of anything else.You feel compelled to share […]

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May 31

Email marketing fail: When bad things happen to good marketers

By Renae Gregoire | Email marketing blunders , Empathy , Lessons learned

Why do bad things happen to good marketers?   Are you one of those people who always seems to run into glitches and snafus on the web — terrible email marketing messages, broken forms, unreadable pdfs, nonsensical writing, mystifying online shopping processes? Then you, my friend, may be, like me, a damn-good, empathetic marketer. It’s my theory […]

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Jan 23

Get on the proof train and rock your biz — fo’ shizzle!

By Renae Gregoire | Online marketing , Style , Tone , Voice

A new breed of business owner wants to help you rock your biz–so you can rock your world.It’s the mom-preneur, dad-preneur, wantra-preneur, solo-preneur, heart-centered-preneur, healer-preneur, wellness-preneur, and other-preneur. The gurus, biz bosses, thought leaders, and experts in their various topics who started online businesses a year or so ago, and are now out there full […]

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Jan 22

Is your business struggling? You might need softness.

By Renae Gregoire | Customer experience , Empathy , Lessons learned

Softness. Such a lovely word. It brings to mind pillows and clouds. Feathers, warm towels, and cuddly kittens.​ But I doubt “softness” is a term you’d associate with a struggling business, so it’s probably not a “solution” that’s crossed your mind.  Whether you’re finding it hard to win customers, attract prospects, gain traction, or even break even […]

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Jan 21

“Your company sucks!” The value of negative feedback

By Renae Gregoire | Customer experience , Freelance fails , Marketing

Have you ever been swayed by a company’s testimonials? You know, those customer statements that tell you why you should buy? As a prospect, you read through the glowing testimonials thinking, “Gee, if all these people were happy, then maybe I will be, too!”​ Trouble is, no company willingly publishes negative testimonials. Amazon and Yelp aside, could you […]

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Jan 21

How to bring your marketing content to life

By Renae Gregoire | Content , Differentiation , Web content writing

Marketing content: Heaven (and sales) is in the details.  Quick question for you:What do you see when you look at this postcard? It’s nice, right?Maybe, if you like snow.But to truly appreciate the image takes a little imagination.​ For instance, imagine standing in the scene yourself, right where the photographer stood, seeing that exact view. Your hands […]

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Jan 20

The “please pay more since you are my customer” pricing strategy

By Renae Gregoire | Customer satisfaction , Ecommerce , Online marketing

The email may as well been headed: “Hey, you already paid full price, so this deal is not for you.” I’m so annoyed with MarketingProfs.  And a little with myself. I’m a PRO MarketingProfs member, which means I pay an annual fee for access to special content and events like webinars. I also get PRO member discounts […]

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Jan 18

Should we expect even memes to be usable?

By Renae Gregoire | Annoying websites , Social media , Usability

Poke around my website and blog. You will quickly notice I carry the banner of usability: Usable websites! Usable documents! Usable applications! Usable hardware! Usable … memes? Okay, so your business may not be in the business of creating memes. But, if it was, I’d say that even the lowly meme and how you present it deserves consideration and attention to […]

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Jan 17

How to differentiate using your logo

By Renae Gregoire | Differentiation , Logos , Marketing

My goal is the same as yours: Differentiate! You’ve heard it said that one of the chief goals of marketing is differentiation: Showing, telling, and illustrating to prospective customers why your product, service, or solution is better, faster, stronger, the right choice.I faced the differentiation dilemma when developing a logo for my freelance writing business; perhaps […]

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Jan 17

How to reduce shopping cart abandonment

By Renae Gregoire | Annoying websites , Ecommerce , Usability

Is your ecommerce site loaded with minefields, each of which may cause shopping cart abandonment, and inadvertently kill a sale? What kind of minefields? Consider:​Site speed, or how long customers wait for stuff to load​Product reviews, either on your site or elsewhereProduct visuals, whether images, videos, or the lack thereofContact details, whether easy to find or […]

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Jan 13

What’s your differentiation? Your “disruptive”?

By Renae Gregoire | Differentiation , Marketing , Online marketing

What’s so special about you? Why should your prospects care? What’s your disruptive? Whitney Johnson’s HBR article on career change, innovation, and disruption really got me thinking—not just about my disruptive skills (although I am thinking seriously about them), but also about a company’s disruptive ability, or even a document’s disruptive power.By “disruptive,” Whitney means unique, […]

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Dec 22

How to lead people to YES with marketing content

By Renae Gregoire | Content , Customer experience , Empathy , Lessons learned , Marketing , Online marketing , The Yes Advantage , Web content , Web content writing , Writing

A few years ago, while pursuing a master’s certificate in professional and technical writing, I dabbled in a grant-writing class. Something I read in that class stuck with me because it’s as relevant to content marketing and content writing as it is to grant writing.From Miner and Miner, 2005, p.5., emphasis mine:​During the review process, […]

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Jan 17

Want better marketing content? Cut the crap.

By Renae Gregoire | Content , Differentiation , Marketing , Online marketing , Readability , The Yes Advantage , Web content , Web content writing , Writing

I don’t know about you, but if I have to read (or write) one more piece of stuffy, fluffy, jargon-filled marketing content, my head will literally explode.(Okay, not literally … although “literally” apparently can mean “figuratively” these days, so … there you go)​You know the kind of stuffy marketing content I’m talking about, right? The […]

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Jan 17

Sign up to get YES-driving content delivered right to your inbox

By Renae Gregoire | Content , Customer experience , Customer satisfaction , Differentiation , Empathy , Inspiration , Marketing , Online marketing , Readability , Small business , The Yes Advantage , Tools , Usability , Web content , Web content writing , Website development , Writing , Youtility

Hi there.If you’re an excellence-focused online marketer, small business owner, or entrepreneur, and if you want to communicate your value and offerings in ways that lead more prospects to YES — with less friction and effort — then you want The Yes Advantage.​What’s The Yes Advantage?​Glad you asked.When you have The Yes Advantage, prospects say:​”Yes, […]

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