Need a CTA Button? Get One for FREE


CTA stands for Call to Action, and on your website it should be a button.

When I meet with clients the first thing I ask them is:
What do you want people to do?

Obviously there are many things that can be done on your website, but what is the most important? If you had a choice, what would you want people to do? What is the best ACTION a visitor can take for YOUR business? This is your Call to Action.

Why a Button?

Many studies have been performed around the best way to present the call to action on your website. The size, shape and color of your button has been discussed ad nauseum. The most important thing to remember is to have a limited number of CTA’s per page. A single CTA is the best.

As for size and color, the goal is to make sure it stands out. The key is to make it HIGH CONTRAST so it pops out on the page.

The Blur Test

Not sure if your CTA button stands out? Try scrolling up and down the page fast enough that you can’t read the copy. Do you still know where to click? Or you can try blurring out the copy and see if it is still clear where to click:


Even with the copy blurred, you still know where to click, on the high contrast red CTA button.

Get Your Free CTA Button

Yes I actually created some promotional buttons you can pin on your shirt, backpack or denim jacket. But if you want a CTA button that helps your website I will add one to your site for free as well. Click the button below to send me an email and get your free CTA button.


Amazon Gift Card Giveaway: Make a Referral and get a $25 Gift Card for You and a Friend


Do you know someone who wants to get more customers from their website or they need other marketing help? If they become a client you will get a $25 Amazon gift card, and so will they.

To make sure we are a good fit, take a look at a list of services offered.

And yes, you can refer yourself to get the gift card.

Your Name *
Your Name
Name of person you are referring *
Name of person you are referring

HOW TO: Define Your Key Offer to Connect with Customers and Increase Sales

Netflix’s key offer is to start a free trial

Netflix’s key offer is to start a free trial


When working with clients I help them focus on providing a key offer. A key offer is technically a sales promotion tool. Sales promotions are a good way to break into a market by providing a motivator for new customers to try your product. Sales promotion is usually confused with personal selling because the term “sales” is used.

While they work well when used together, they are different marketing tools. Personal selling is the process of interaction between the seller and the consumer while sales promotion is the use of specific incentives or rewards to induce trial of a product.

Inducing Trial

Sales promotions typically offer a discount, rebate, or reward for trying a new product thus reducing the perceived risk for NEW clients to try a product.

For example, if you can buy the new “Brand X” toothpaste for half price with a coupon, then theoretically you have reduced the risk of trial by 50%.

The idea is that once the clients try the product, they will be sufficiently impressed to continue to purchase the product at the regular price. You are demonstrating to the consumer faith in your own product by providing incentives.

Types of Sales Promotion

  • Coupons

  • Buy one, Get one (BoGo)

  • Free with purchase

  • Bonus-size packages

  • In-store specials and sales

  • Contests

  • Loyalty programs

  • Sweepstakes

  • Rebates

  • Events

Make Them Effective

Be wary of discounts – when you lower your price, you are lowering the perceived value of your product. This makes it difficult to charge full price later. A good approach is to offer a buy one, get one scenario (BoGo). For example, buy one at full price and get one at half price. This helps you cover the cost of your promotion and does not devalue your product. In fact, it reinforces the value that you are offering.

Target carefully – if possible, only give coupons to new or potential customers. Your current customers should happily be paying full price.

Set a Time Limit – Sales promotions should be used for only a limited time. Always have an expiration date - the shorter, the better. Long-term expirations diminish urgency for consumers. Often they will set the offer aside and forget about it until it is too late. Another reason to limit their duration is that extended or continual sales promotion activities lead to a devaluation of the product in the eyes of clients. If there is always a coupon available for half off, they will not ever want to pay full price. The goal is to get customers to use the product and then pay the regular market price. Unlimited sales promotion for an item is not really sales promotion; it is a lowering of the price, which is not a good idea.

Develop Your Key Offer

You must develop a key offer that will take down the barrier between you and new customers. When I started promoting my marketing consulting company, I offered people the ability to download my marketing books for free from my website. While getting my books for free is a good value, it was not generating new clients.

My focus is on digital marketing and helping people get customers from their websites. Before I met with a potential client, I would always look over their website. A friend recommended I start offering website audits, which I did, and my business was transformed. Suddenly I was being rewarded for something I was already doing but not publicizing.

I realized that saying that I did marketing consulting or optimized websites still left a barrier in starting conversations with potential clients. I assume they were wondering “how much does that cost? What does that mean exactly?” and “I don’t want to waste his time.” By offering a free audit, I take those objections out of the equation and get the conversations started.

I now meet with a lot of people and go over their websites with them, and a certain percentage of them become paying customers.

One of the first things I do with my clients is to help them define their key offer to their customers. I have an attorney that would always provide the first meeting for free, but he did not tell people that. Now the focus of his website is to offer people a free consultation.

What is the key offer you can make that will take down the barrier between you and new customers?

Make it Digital

Call to action for Carla Jones Real Estate

Call to action for Carla Jones Real Estate

Since I focus on digital I help clients build websites that lead visitors into accepting their key offer. Whether starting a trial, downloading a guide or booking a consultation, the goal of the site is to generate a connection with qualified leads. Typically you will see a button with this offer prominently displayed on the site. What is your key offer? How do you communicate this to your target audience?

Need Help Defining or Promoting Your Key Offer?

Daehn's Hierarchy of Digital Marketing


I am an expert in digital marketing. An important skill for experts is to be able to take a lot of information and boil it down to the essential must know components for success.

We live in an age of information overload. Learning about digital marketing is but a Google search away. What I present here are the four areas that are foundational to a successful digital marketing strategy.

They are chronological and should be built out in order.

1st Website

Your website is your most important digital asset. Everything you do should be built on driving traffic to your website. Your site should be built for conversion and turning visitors into customers. Content is key to creating a well converting website.

2nd Email

Email is the primary form of digital communication. Your website should be built to obtain email addresses so that you can continue to talk and market to your site’s visitors and customers. Automated campaigns, confirmations, onboarding, triggers, reminders, customer service and newsletters are all important components of your email strategy. Email should be used to distribute content from your site, and drive people back to your website for conversion.

3rd Social Media

The best social media builds a community around your product or service. This requires interacting and building relationships. Social media should also be used to distribute content from your site, and drive people back to your website for conversion.

4th Paid Ads

If the first 3 areas are in place and you still have a budget and/or need to generate leads, you are ready for paid ads. Ads should drive traffic to specific areas of your website and/or landing pages that directly relate to the content of the ad.

Need help with your digital marketing strategy? Let me know.

Why You Must Claim Your Business on Google


Claiming your business listing on Google is one of the most important things you can do. The good news is that It’s pretty easy to get done, and it’s free.

I work with a lot of small business owners that don’t have a large marketing budget. They want to know how to get started and the best place to focus their resources. I always emphasize the hierarchy of digital marketing: 1st Website, 2nd Email, 3rd Social Media, 4th Paid Ads.

But a quick thing you can do today is to claim and update your business listing on Google. This provides the info people will see when they search for your business directly, or a product or service that you offer.

This listing is shown to potential customers based on geography. So if you type “Italian Food Near Me”, Google will display Italian restaurants in your area.


This is why you want to claim your listing and make sure the information is correct (hours, location, pricing, etc.)

These listing also provide ratings and reviews for your business. By claiming your listing you can interact with people leaving comments about you.

Go to to review or claim your business today.


PS - Google just added the ability to add a Shortname for your business. Make sure you claim yours before someone else does.

A New Look for Your Google Results


Google's New Look

Just a quick word on an updated look for Google's Mobile Search Results. They will soon be adding a logo for your brand next to your name on the page. This is the image that appears in the browser tab - also known as a favicon.


If you need help adding or updating the favicon/logo for your website, I can help.


Read the full details from Google

Let me know if you need help updating your favicon.

A Stormy Visit to Missouri


It was a fun and wild month filled with travel, crazy weather and sports fantasies come true.

I was able to visit Missouri to see some clients, visit with family, and see my childhood team win the Stanley Cup Conference Final. All of this while evading a couple of tornadoes. 

Missouri Tornadoes

I had the privilege of visiting the Missouri State Capitol and spending some time with my client, the Missouri Republican Party.

I got the grand tour from former representative and current director of the Missouri GOP, Jean Evans. You can see a picture of her sitting at her desk below. While there, I was able to use the office next door to her. 

A week later a tornado hit and tore the roof off. 


Evans and her team have had to relocate for now and are working on getting the office rebuilt. If you would like to help please go here to make a donation. Any amount is appreciated.

Storming into the Playoffs


While in St. Louis I was able to attend 3 Stanley Cup Final playoff games, including the clinching game 6.

While heading to my seats for game 6 my phone starts buzzing and warning that I should take shelter. The arena staff directed us to go to our seats because that was the safest place. 

So while another storm raged outside, the Blues won the Western Conference inside. A very St. Louis night.

Back to Reality


I'm back in town and still rooting for the Blues. They are one win away from winning the Stanley Cup for the first time. It will all end this weekend or in a Game 7 on Wednesday.

Whoever wins, I will be back to work presenting the lecture I gave at CSUF a few weeks ago to the La Habra Chamber of Commerce - HOW TO: Effectively Integrate Social Media into Your Marketing Strategy.

Social Media can be an effective part of your marketing, but there are some cautions to be aware of. A good strategy is key.

Thursday 6/13 - 9:30-10:30 AM
La Habra Chamber of Commerce - 321 E La Habra Blvd, La Habra, CA 90631

Please let me know if you would like to attend as my guest. You do not need to be a member of the chamber to participate.

CSUF Presentation - HOW TO: Effectively Integrate Social Media into Your Marketing Strategy


I had the pleasure of speaking to the Entrepreneurial students at California State University in Fullerton. I met some bright young minds with some great ideas.

My message for them was that while social media is popular, it is only a part of a good overall marketing strategy.

Download the Presentation (PDF)
Download the Presentation (PPT)


Why Your Website is Your Most Important Marketing Asset

daehn laptop.png
  • 65% of people see online search as the most trusted source of information about people and companies. That’s a higher level of trust than any other online or offline source.

  • 30% of consumers won’t consider a business without a website.

  • 46% say a website is the biggest determinant of whether they trust a company.

If you own a business today, your website is your biggest marketing asset. Even if you get most of your customers from other channels like networking or foot traffic, people still look at your website to see if you are legitimate. Make sure you are using your website as a tool to educate, delight and instill trust in your customers.

What is SEO?

An easy way to understand SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is that it is your reputation with search engines like Google. If you have a good reputation, based on the content on your site, the search engine is more likely to list you as a top result when people search for your product.

The best way to improve SEO is to provide a good user experience (UX) for your site visitors. This is done by providing information, products and/or services in an easy to use way. If your site works well for people, the search engines will like it too because search engines like Google are trying to provide good results to their users.

Understand the Customer Journey


The Customer Journey is the path your customers will take to make a purchase with you. The path will depend on what you are offering and who your customers are. Be sure to create personas for your target customers first.

So when people visit your website, what do you want them to do? How do you lead them down that path? How do you ask them to do it?

Here’s a clue, if you don’t have any call to action (CTA) buttons on your site, you’re customers probably don’t know what you want them to do.

Why Start with Your Website?

The 7 Keys to Marketing Genius

The 7 Keys to Marketing Genius


I’m a marketing professor and have written several marketing books, I love marketing and will talk your ear off about it if you let me. One thing I work with people on is to be strategic. Do some thinking before you spend money. The website is part of your marketing tactics, not really your strategy, so why do I jump ahead to talk about websites with people?

  1. Everyone has a website or needs one

  2. People know what websites are so we can have a conversation

Websites are the way for me to start a conversation with people about their business. From there I can backtrack and make sure their strategy is on target before actually building or updating their current site.

Are You Getting Customers From Your Website?

How many of your customers come from your website? How many people look at your site to see if you are legitimate before they do business with you? If you aren’t sure or you don’t have one, let’s talk.

Do you want an expert to look at your website
and give you recommendations?

The 7 Keys to Marketing Genius Quick Start Marketing Plan

7 Keys strategy tactics daehn.png

1: Find Your Advantage

·         What is the unique competitive advantage of your product or service?  (The best way to determine this is by performing a SWOT analysis)

·         How can you meet the needs of the target audience better than the competition?

·         What is the positioning of your product or service? 

2: Define Your Purpose

·         What is the mission or purpose of your company? 

·         What goals do you want to accomplish with this particular product or service? 

·         How do these goals fulfill the mission of your company? 

·         How will you communicate this to the entire organization to make sure everyone is on the same page?

3:  Create an Image

·         Based on the competitive advantage, positioning, target audience and mission of the company what image best represents your product or service?

·         Do you need professional assistance in creating a logo and marketing communications materials? 

·         Is the look and feel of your marketing communications materials consistent and congruent?

4:  Implement Promotions

·         Which of these marketing communications do you plan on utilizing?

o   Advertising

o   Public Relations/Publicity

o   Sales Promotion

o   Personal Selling

o   Direct Marketing

o   Internet/Interactive

·         What marketing communications can you afford? 

·         What marketing communications make the most sense for your situation?

·         How can you achieve the greatest return on investment with the least amount of wasted exposure?

·         Are your marketing communications linked and integrated? How?

·         Are your marketing communications consistent and congruent? How?

5:  Build Relationships

·         How are you building relationships with customers?

·         Are you creating positive word of mouth?

·         Are you developing advocates for your product?

·         Where in the funnel do your promotions hit? 

·         How do your promotions push people down the funnel?

6:  Gain Feedback

·         How are you measuring results?

·         Have you implemented ways of gaining feedback from customers?

·         Have you implemented ways of gaining feedback from employees?

7:  Adjust to Changes

·         Are you making changes based on the feedback you have gained?

·         Has your market or target audience changed?

·         Do you need to revise any marketing messages to remain current?

·         Are you maintaining up to date and relevant information on the website?

·         Do you have an ongoing dialogue with current customers?

Want to learn more? Read the full book by Michael Daehn: The 7 Keys to Marketing Genius.


REVIEW: The McDonald's App Experience


Order Ahead

or get back in line

I've been using the McDonald's App for about a year now. It is pretty slick and gives you some good discounts and acts as a punch card for items like coffee that give you a free drink. I usually open it on my way there to see what deals and coupons they have.

This week I opened it and saw a coupon for $3 off $10. Apparently, that deal was only good if you ordered ahead of time. So when I got to the window the lady said I needed to order ahead of time. I asked if I could order in the app since I was already in line. She said I would need to drive out and get back in line.

Hey, I get it, the idea of this deal is to get people to put in their payment info and use the app. What I recommend to McDonald's, however, is to let people like me who are regular customers and learning the new rules they are imposing to use the discount this time, and advise me to order ahead next time. Giving the cashier the ability to give me the discount would have made her job easier and me happier.

I did drive around again because I am a marketing geek and wanted to see how this whole thing would play out. I also knew I was going to write a blog post when I got home.

Is McDonald's going to read this and change their policy, probably not. I am writing this for you. When putting promotions into action, make sure you allow for some wiggle room and make sure your employees can make good decisions at the moment to help the customer.

The name of the game these days is customer experience, also known as CX. Those businesses that are good at it will have a huge advantage over their competition.

Red Robin's QR Codes on POP and Collateral Provides Smart Feedback

This is a great idea. If only I had thought of it 3 years ago.

A lot of places will reward you for taking a survey. Allowing customers to give feedback right away provides:

  • Greater incentive - Get rewarded right away
  • Easier to use - Don't have to login at home
  • Better quality results - customers can remember their experience better in 5 minutes than in 5 hours or 5 days 

QR Codes are everywhere these days. Some people use them well, like Red Robin. Others are out of their minds - QR Codes on TV Commercials. Good marketers use the right tools, the right way for their product.


Michael Daehn Selected to Speak at eMarketing Conference

I was selected to speak at the eMarketing Conference in San Francisco this April. I will be on two panels:
  • Integrating your social and email programs Day 1 - 11 AM
  • Accelerating results with Facebook Pages Day 1 - 4:30 PM
I've handled the email marketing and Facebook strategies for several high profile companies. Some with email subscriber lists over 500K and others with over 1.7 Million Facebook Likes. I've helped large and small companies launch many successful email and Facebook campaigns. I've learned many lessons, some the hard way, and I hope to share those with attendees.
If you are attending the conference, please be sure to stop by to say hi. If you can't make it, I'll try to get a video to post here on the site afterwards.

Seeing the Light Bulb Go On - An Educator's Delight

Cartoons have used the image of a light bulb appearing over a character's head when they get an idea. A lot of teachers, myself included, will tell you we get a real rush when we see the proverbial light bulb go on over someone's head.
I was always good at retail sales. I think part of the reason was that I got more excited about helping my customers learn about the product than I did in selling it to them. Sure I liked to make a sale too, but only if I felt like it was a good fit and that the customer would know how to use what I was selling.
In my consulting career, I have the habit of teaching my clients how to fish instead of reeling in the catch for them. I like empowering them to be successful at marketing, not just gain a few customers while I am in charge of their campaigns.
This has met with mixed results. A lot of clients want me to do the work and they don't know or care how I do it. Others are grateful that I am willing to share my secrets and help them be successful long term.
So if you are thinking of hiring me as a marketing consultant, be warned that I will try to get you to learn what I am doing so that you can be successful in the long term. 
Don't get me wrong, the best leaders delegate to multiply their efforts. I'm not suggesting you have to do all the daily tasks yourself. I do recommend that you have enough understanding to oversee your marketing campaigns well, including managing your marketing team and/or vendors.
Marketingenious, my company name, is made up of two words:
The reason is not because I am a marketing genius, but because I will help you bring out the ingenuity inside of you.
Why? Because I'd love to see that light bulb go on over your head.

CASE STUDY: Scan MD and Win Contest

Scan MD and Win!
Michael Daehn
Created a contest for attendees of the Social Media Club networking event. Anyone who scanned the QR code Michael Daehn was wearing with their phone would be entered in to win an autographed book, and a marketing brainstorming session with Michael. When scanned participants would be able to send out a tweet on Twitter that was automatically created by the QR code. Around 20 people scanned/tweeted and Michael was able to meet dozens of new people in a 2 hour session.
See more case studies in the Portfolio

Winner Announced - Scan Michael Daehn and Win Contest


The winner is:
Danielle Cooley (@DGCooley)
She will receive the Michael Daehn book of her choice, signed by Michael and a coffee meeting to talk about using QR codes and other marketing tools to grow her business.
Didn't win? You can still read the digital versions for free.
Thanks to all the scanners:
Want to know more about QR Codes? Check out How To: Use QR Codes to Boost Your Marketing
Want to know about other contests, events Michael is attending, or to stay up on the latest marketing news? Subscribe to the Daehn's Brain newsletter:

Enter your email address:

The Scan Michael Daehn and Win Contest

Scan or click this code to enter  

1. Find Michael Daehn
2. Scan Michael Daehn's QR code to Tweet the hashtag #ScanMD
3. You are entered to win
If you don't have a scanner (or can't find Michael) you can still win by tweeting #ScanMD, scanning the QR code above, or by clicking here
The winner will receive the Michael Daehn book of their choice, signed by Michael and a coffee meeting to talk about how you can use QR codes and other marketing tools to grow your business.
Need help finding Michael? He'll be at the Social Media Club Saint Louis event at Mosaic this Tuesday from 6-9pm
This contest is for Tuesday 2/22/11
Want to know more about QR Codes? Check out How To: Use QR Codes to Boost Your Marketing
Want to know about other contests, events Michael is attending, or to stay up on the latest marketing news? Subscribe to the Daehn's Brain newsletter:

Enter your email address:

 *If you don't win, you can still read the digital versions of my books for free.

HOW TO: Get Traffic to Your Website Part 11 - The Secret to SEO

(This is an excerpt from the book Internet Marketing for Newbies - read the whole book for FREE

Web traffic drivers

We have discussed several ways to get traffic to your site, but here's the one thing you really need to know about SEO:
Have updated relevant content and a site worth visiting
When you accomplish this, people will want to come to your site and tell others by linking to you. If your site is well organized and looks good to human beings, the search engines will like it too.