Connections Groups

The Business Networking & Social Organization for Central Florida

FAQ's - Frequently Asked Questions about the "Grow the Green" program

. Questions about GROW THE GREEN

A: If I join the CG Marketing Partners, "Grow the Green" program, ... how many people can I expect to be marketing to?

Q: The exact number will always vary, however the BASE will be the 15,000 who are part of the Connections Groups newsletter database. Then we add the contacts of the other marketing partners for that mailing. Let's say you have 500, George has 1200, Sally has 2500 and Sam has 300. You can do the math... but it's plain to see the numbers add up to a LOT more exposure than you are getting now.

Q: How much will it COST to be part of the Connections Groups Marketing Partners?

A: Our introductory rates range from $200 a month to FREE, depending on your situation and the size of your current contact list. If you have a contact list of 2000, or more, you can participate on a semi-monthly basis for free. Not only is this program affordable.... In fact, it is possible for this marketing program to generate hundreds, or thousands of dollars a month for you in income, on it's own (not tied to the increase in sales for your core business), but more on that aspect later.

Q: What kind of a return on my investment (ROI) can I expect to get?

A: There are TWO things you should look at... one is direct sales dollars, and one is the lifetime value (LTV) of a new client. According to the DMA (Direct Marketing Assoc), they expect that, for every dollar spent on email marketing in 2009, that businesses can expect to receive over $43 in sales. Your results are going to vary but there are strategies you can use to measure results.

Additionally you want to ask yourself... what IS the value of a NEW client? For example, the average sale at Burger King might be just $7.50. per individual customer. But the average client might eat there 5 times a month for 20 years, making their LTV $9,000. Now, add in the average customer might produce 2.5 children who ALSO become Burger King customers and the LTV of just ONE new customer could be over $30,000. Or consider that one customer could bring in 2-3 co-workers for lunch, who ALSO become new customers. See where we are going? We can't look at marketing costs in terms of just one transaction.

Q: What are the advantages of a "co-op" situation like "Grow the Green" as opposed to just marketing to the database I already have?

A-1: If you have 1000 people in your database... that is your 1st level "reach" (meaning the people you directly "touch," not counting anyone they may forward your email to). If you have 4 marketing partners with similar sized contact lists, you are now marketing to 5000.

A-2: One man's "spam" is another man's "FILET MIGNON." Another BENEFIT of "co-op" email is that an email is more likely to be opened, read and responded to, if it comes from a business the person has a pre-existing relationship with. 86% of people surveyed reported they ENJOYED getting email from businesses they registered with, or had done business with (filet mignon!). Obviously no guarantees can be made, as many factors can effect this (such as how compelling the subject line is or what the content is), HOWEVER a lot of research has been done in this area (Direct Marketing Assoc, etc) so we can give you a general idea....

Strangers: If you email to a list you just bought, where the folks don't know you at all, you can expect to get a result from as little as (a tenth of a percent) .1% to a high of about 25% and the average being about 4-5%

If you are marketing to clients that KNOW the business the email is coming from, you can expect to get a response rate from 5%-36%, in addition to having much LOWER "opt-out" requests and having a sort of "referral effect" ...what we mean by that is this: If you already have a relationship with a particular business, and TRUST them, aren't you going to be more inclined to do business with a business they "recommend" rather than some unknown business? We know WE are... and we think that is true of most people... and why it is that 70% of new business comes from REFERRALS.

A-3: A 3rd benefit is this... One way that is VERY effective in getting new customers to do business with you is an "offer." However a "coupon" or discount is not very effective as it doesn't have a very high perceived value and, frankly, some of the most valued potential clients are embarrassed to use a coupon in front of a client or associate. However a "no strings" attached GIFT CERTIFICATE has a very high perceived value and people don't hesitate to use them in front of a client or date. The only "down" side to doing a "GIFT OFFER" is that you have to do them sparingly. Too often and you train your customers to only do business with you when they are getting a deal.

So, another benefit of co-op marketing is that it allows the marketing group to ROTATE the offers through the group of marketing partners. The clients RECEIVING the emails still look forward to opening them, as they want to see "what's in it this time" ...however your customers will not see an offer from you every time, this week it might be something from Bob's business... or a contest with a prize sponsored by Laura's business. You still get the benefit of the exposure - but you maintain "price integrity" for your product or service.

Q. I understand a "Sales Promotion" does not do as well as "General Marketing." What is the difference between a SALES promotion approach and a NEWSLETTER, or "General Marketing" approach?

A: A "Sales" approach is a blatant advertising email and statistics show that this approach gets the LEAST result.. from a low of a tenth of a percent .1% to a high of only 10.3% A "General Marketing" (or NEWSLETTER) approach gives the reader something of value in the email... it could be news, it could be humor, it could be useful education. For instance, if you have a client list of people you sold a software program to, you might send them a bi-monthly newsletter where you detail a unique feature they may have overlooked, an article about a client (case study) and how they are using the software to achieve a particular objective or benefit, AND... here is the good part.... you can still put in a "SALES PROMOTION" as just part of the newsletter. A restaurant might send out an email every Monday morning with some community NEWS, a recipe for a popular menu item, humorous cartoon, and THEN include their lunch specials for the week. A "General Marketing" piece will get an average response rate of as low as .2% to a high of over 36%.

Q: The "Grow the Green" program talks about "going viral," meaning people will forward emails along to other people. How will that work?

A: Let's preface it with a question... If you were to receive a significant offer in an email, (for instance, a $20 gift certificate at a local restaurant) would you forward that to some friends? Might you even USE that opportunity to get your name in front of YOUR OWN potential new clients? Example: ... "Got this in my mail and thought of you... thought you might like one for yourself. If you'd like, we could even use it together and chat about business. I'll give you a ring soon!"

Strategic use of offers, humor and even videos can be used to encourage the "viral" aspect of your email program... it doesn't not have to be an "offer." For instance, we featured the "United Breaks Guitars" video in our email just once, but (as of this writing) 225 viewed it on our site and we know that some of them forwarded the email to others because we had a big surge in NEW membership sign ups the 2 days after.

Q: If I'm a business that can do a gift certificate of significant value... should I be worried about how many will get redeemed? What if it costs me a huge amount of money?

A: Let's think about this. If you are a restaurant, considering the lifetime value of a customer, is it a good deal to be able to get a new customer to walk in your door for a "hard cost" equal to the average lunch or dinner for two? ABSOLUTELY! And, as a matter of fact, if you have used gift certificates in marketing before you know that a good percentage of folks will spend more than the value of the certificate, meaning you could break even, or even make a profit. For instance they might buy a bottle of wine, dessert to take home, etc. It doesn't take much to cover your "hard cost" of the food, and, if you are smart, you are going to make sure you capture their information so you can make sure they are on your mailing list.

Now think about sending a $20 gift certificate to a regular customer... as a "Thank you for your loyal patronage, we're so happy you like our business,/restaurant. Please forward this gift to anyone you think will like us too and, of course, use it yourself next time you come in." Now think about the potential for them to send that along to a whole list of potential NEW customers that have never done business with you before. You are now in FRONT of a whole group of new clients, referred by a current client and, if you are lucky... a whole bunch of them will use that certificate and become NEW customers!

Keep in mind we are going to "coach you" on strategies you can use to capture their business, get them running back to you again, and insure that your offer's don't get "abused." We have experience in what works, and what doesn't, and will steer you in the right direction.

Q: How do I sign up?

A: Simple... CLICK HERE:
Just fill out the form and choose your level of participation from the drop down menu. You can pay via PayPal and remember... you can cancel anytime with 30 days notice... no contracts, no obligation.

Once you are registered, we will send you the legally binding non-disclosure agreement that provides you with the peace of mind of knowing that your contact list will ONLY be used in the context of THIS program and ONLY for YOUR newsletters where YOU are the "featured," first-position advertiser. Your marketing partners will be in the 2nd through 4th positions. Your contacts will never receive and email from anyone but YOU.

After you receive these documents we will walk you through how to send, or upload, your contact list and how to also forward updates to it as they come in.

Do you have any questions that have not been covered here?

If so... email them to:
Phone: 407-443-0348


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