Are Blog Posts a Waste of Your Time?

With so much demand on our time as business owners, you may sometimes wonder if writing blog posts, or posting on any of the social media websites, is productive?

Of course, it does depend upon who your target audience is, when you publish your blog posts, what you write about and how you present your content.

This infographic from gives a good visual indicator of why blog posts may work for you, when to post, what may interest your audience and, most importantly, how to keep their interest (so they read your whole blog post – not just the headlines).

How to Blog
How to Blog – Infographic was created by using info from their in-depth ‘How to Start a Blog Guide’ to help you understand the basics of blogging, numbers and the science behind the perfect blog post and its promotion.

Written by Carol Bentley | No Comments »

Video for Marketing

Everywhere you look businesses are using video as part of their marketing strategy. We are told it is a powerful marketing tool and the results people get seem to support that.

Are you using video in your marketing? If you are new to video how can you be sure it will work for you?

What if all you want to do is capture a few PowerPoint slides or give a quick tip to demonstrate your expertise?

If you’d like to ‘test the waters’ by recording 1 to 5 minute videos without investing in expensive software, how do you do that?

I use Camtasia Studio – but it is a big investment, both in terms of cost and the time it takes to learn.

JingBut the folks who supply Camtasia Studio also offer a free screen capture and video screen recording program called Jing.

You can use Jing to record up to 5 minutes of video that you can share instantly.

Worth taking a look, don’t you think?

Ideal if you just want to dip your toes in the world of video marketing.

Get your free copy of Jing

Cheers, Carol

Take a look at these  for more ideas on video marketing:

What Type of Video?

6 Crucial Elements For A Lead Generation Video

Inexpensive Whiteboard Video Production

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How informative are your sales letters. . .

I’m forever going on about making your letters to clients and prospects interesting and information-packed. (Are you sick of hearing it yet? 😉 ) Well sorry, I’m not going to apologise for emphasising it (oh – I just did, sort of… didn’t I? 😉 )

No, seriously! Including useful tips, insider knowledge or understanding puts you at a higher level than your competitors, who do not do this, because you are giving value.

What’s better – is you are giving value without obligation because you are making it freely available without your prospect having to pay a single penny. And they come to regard you as the ‘go-to-expert’ when they decide to buy your type of product or services.

Adding Value

So what sort of thing is useful to your prospect; what gives your letter ‘added value’?

The actual content you can offer is different in your industry or profession compared to another. Let’s see if we can discover what would be useful for your target audience by going through a few questions:

  1. When you have a face-to-face meeting with a prospect do they ask you questions? (What? Did I hear you say “Doh!” ‘course they do! 😉 )
    Alright, what questions do they ask?

    Are any of the questions generic to your industry or profession rather than specific to your product or service?

    Those are the ones you should be answering in your letter. And by doing so you are giving valuable information to your reader. (An added bonus is you might also be overcoming a possible objection the reader might have had).

  2. Along a similar vein – what tips do you share with your staff and customers? Again look for the more generic gems. Include these in your letters.

    Remember, something very simple and obvious to you can be a real eye-opener to a person who does not have your experience or knowledge. Sometimes it’s easy to forget the wealth of expertise we accumulate over the years.

Offering free advice, from a position of knowledge, goes a long way towards encouraging people to decide in your favour when they decide to buy!

~ Carol Bentley

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Lead-Generation Videos: 6 Crucial Elements

lead-generation video cameraA lead-generation video can boost your sales (it helped to double sales for one of my clients).

But, to create an effective lead-generation video, you need to include 6 crucial elements – I’ll tell you what they are in a moment – first, let’s explore why video is a strong tool to have as part of your marketing strategy.

Video marketing is proving to be more popular – and more successful – for lead generation.



  • Video Engages — folks like watching video – just look at the number of videos that go viral on social media. Delivering your message visually is more likely to connect, especially as 30% of the western population are visual (see Charismatic Sales Letters and my Video Presentation on How To Make Sales Letters Charismatic)
  • Video is Accessible — people watch video wherever they are… on computers, tablets or their mobile phone. And, of course, they can watch in the comfort of their home on a Smart TV.
  • Video Boosts Your SEO Position — website visitors often expect to see some sort of video – if you don’t use video on your website you could be losing out to your competition. Put your video on YouTube and other video sharing sites and you make it more visible and that impacts on your SEO positioning, especially as YouTube is more frequently used as a search engine by people looking for answers.

There are all sorts of marketing videos online – some are OK, some are excruciatingly bad and some generate great results.

So how can you make sure your video is one that delivers ‘great results’?

Your Lead-Generation Video Style Is Important

The style of your video helps and if you do not have a large budget then the popular whiteboard animation video is an ideal option. It has been proven to be 153% more engaging than other video styles. I think it is because when we watch something being ‘drawn out’ (the whiteboard animation style) we are intrigued to see what is coming next.

You can see what I mean in the video below where I reveal…

The 6 Crucial Elements

Apart from having a visually engaging video, the content must work for you as well. These are the 6 crucial elements your lead-generation video needs to be effective:

And, just in case you are not able to play the video, here they are again:

A Powerful Script: The video script delivers your message and call-to-action, through video content, text and graphics and, where appropriate, voice-over. Unless you are really, really good at writing sales copy get it done professionally. It is worth the investment.

Engaging Content: Your video must engage or entertain your viewer. This is why using a whiteboard animation lead-generation video is so popular. They are amazingly effective because they attract attention. People watching are engaged and intrigued as the content is drawn so they are entertained and, at the same time, see your important message.

Appropriate Soundtrack: Your video soundtrack can be music background, voice-over or both. It must be appropriate for your business and message. Upbeat music is not suitable for a funeral director’s video!

Quality Video Production: Low quality video does you no favours. Your video is part of your business image and the quality of the production, whatever the content, is important.

Less Than 3 Minutes Duration: The reality is that people’s attention spans are shorter. A long, rambling (boring) video is abandoned very quickly. Ideally your lead-generation video should be less than 3 minutes — the shorter the better. Aim to get your important message across quickly so your viewer is engaged enough to watch the whole video.

An easy to follow Call-To-Action: Make sure the call-to-action you include is easy for your viewer to use – avoid raising barriers. A simple ‘Click the button below’; ‘Visit our webpage’; ‘Call this number..’ or ‘Email…’ is all that is needed in an effective lead-generation video.

So – there you have it. Give your lead-generation video the best chance of working for you… have an engaging video style, include these 6 crucial elements and promote your video as far and wide as possible, both on and offline. When you do you’ll have a powerful marketing tool.

Want to see how this lead-generation video style doubled sales for one of my clients and how you can get a complete whiteboard video package for a bargain price? Take a look at

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They’re, their or there – grammar mistakes can kill sales

Often your sales letter gives your potential customer their first impression of your business. And that’s why how it is written is important.

Now, whilst I always advocate ‘writing as you would speak’ (that sometimes means you break accepted grammar rules) to give your sales letter a natural flow, there are some grammar mistakes you should avoid at all costs if you want to make a good impression.

This infographic describes how to avoid 15 common grammar mistakes. Number 15 made me smile!

15 Grammar Mistakes That Make You Look Silly
Like this infographic? Get more content marketing tips from Copyblogger.

My thanks to David William at for highlighting Copyblogger’s creativeness and thanks to both for letting me share this with you.

So, which of these grammar mistakes wind you up?

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printed letters are humbug! or are they…?

Surprisingly, the majority of consumers do not think printed letters are humbug!

“From letterbox to Inbox 2013 – has revealed that 90% of consumers say they ‘could not imagine living without a letterbox’, compared to 94% who said they could not live without home internet access and 86% who could not live without a mobile.”

According to the post shared on their blog.


The research was sponsored by HP and carried out by Direct Marketing Association and fast.MAP. An encouraging statistic, for marketers, that came out of the survey was that 79% of consumers immediately take action on direct mail they have received.

Plus, 56% of those asked said they trusted printed marketing more than digital marketing messages.

So, a well written letter*, sent to a targeted audience with a relevant offer still has an important place in a business marketing strategy.

Thinking about it… that probably explains why Google use direct mail to promote their Adwords service, have you received one of their discount cards?

You can read more about the study and results in ‘90% say that they ‘could not imagine living without a letterbox’’

* If you find it difficult to write a persuasive letter I’d be happy to help. Use my copywriting enquiry form to arrange a friendly, no-obligation chat.

~ Carol Bentley


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are Gmail tabs impacting your email open rates?

Emails are still an important communication method for many businesses and marketing people – think about it – social websites use email to notify subscribers of posts and updates so emails are not obsolete yet!

When Gmail announced earlier this year that they were implementing tabs to organise our incoming emails, many online marketing folk predicted problems with promotional and notification emails being diverted to the promotions tab and not being seen and opened.

So – what impact has the new Gmail tabs structure had?

Maybe not as much as feared, especially when you consider that the tabbed structure has no impact on the 77% of emails that are read on desktops or mobiles.

The article Gmail’s Tabbed Inbox: The Good News & The Bad News by Tom Sather (Return Path’s senior director of email research) gives more insights to Gmail’s tabbed inbox and is worth reading if you are unsure of what, if any, impact it has on your email marketing efforts.

You can also get some tips, on how to increase the chances of your marketing messages getting seen, in Ashley Kemper’s article What The New Gmail Inbox Means For Your Email Campaign (Ashley is Marketing Manager at Blue Fountain Media)

And finally, you can educate your subscribers on how to organise their Gmail Inbox tabs to increase the likelihood of your messages reaching their Primary tab: Gmail Inbox Tabs

~Carol Bentley


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