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Useful Tips for Email Marketing

Clever Email Marketing

Online Marketing on Smart Phone shows emarketing stock image

Online Marketing on Smart Phone shows emarketing stock image

With all the Social Media Platforms being used and available to us, many companies are still finding email marketing the best way to promote their business and have email as their primary communication channel in their Digital Marketing Strategy.  Many businesses use email as their main form of communication with the world so it makes sense to use this method to inform and promote and ultimately convert.

Advantages:

  • Highly Targeted
  • Immediate
  • Can be tested and refined
  • Measureable
  • Reach
  • Better Conversion Rates
  • Cost Effective

Graphic courtesy of AMAS graphic (www.amas.ie)

As you can see from the above graphic Email Campaigns is the most preferred online format for digital marketing as per a survey by the Marketing Institute conducted by an online questionnaire of 348 in 2012 of which 82% were responsible for budget spend.

According to Newsweaver/Mii Email Marketing Report companies are mostly using email for the following:

  • Maintaining Customer relationships           94%
  • Internal Communication                                70%
  • Building Brand Awareness                            89%
  • Increasing Website Traffic                             84%

55.3% have a database of less than 5,000 email addresses

67% of respondents are using some form of advanced email software to conduct email marketing campaigns.

Now that we have established it is the most popular form of communication used by companies the next step is to ensure that you carry out Email Marketing Campaigns which not only generate an interest in your company/service but go on to increase your conversion rates.

According to Dave Chaffey’s E-Business & E-Commerce Management, Strategy, Implementation and Practice (Chap. 9 Pg 532) The following is the correct criteria to follow for successful email marketing campaigns.

Critical Success Factors:-

  • Creative
  • Relevance
  • Incentive
  • Targeting & Timing
  • Integration
  • Copy
  • Attributes
  • Landing Page

Useful tips for generating more leads and conversion for your company via email marketing:-

  1. Use Incentives to increase open rates, such as free gift, free shipping etc.
  2. Less is more – no one has time or patience to read an essay.
  3. Keep the main message and CTA (Call to Action) above the fold – as many as 70% don’t read below the fold.  Also the CTA should be repeated at least three times.
  4. Put your logo in the upper left hand side of the page – that is the first place the eye is drawn to.
  5. Write compelling subject line. It should have a sense of urgency and it should provide a good indication to the reader what to expect when they open the email.
  6. Use Auto-Responders for Opt-ins.
  7. Unsubscribe – even though you might think it counter-productive, ensuring ease of ‘opting out’ ensures you will only be sending emails to customers that want to receive them and will an interest in your content and offers. So put the ‘unsubscribe’ button somewhere in the email where people can easily find it.
  8. ‘Prune’ your email list on a regular basis. Avoid being spammed. Inactive email addresses, non-existent emails etc., which are undeliverable should be removed from the list. If you continue to send emails to these addresses it will help the providers to mark you as spam and that is something you definitely don’t want.

Some more encouraging stats regarding email marketing –

According to “Message Systems, Marketing Channel and Engagement Benchmark Survey – ‘StrongMail, 2012 Marketing Trends” –

63%  – Direct Marketing respondents who said that email provides the strongest ROI

60% – Businesses that plan to increase email marketing spend in 2012 and beyond – more than social media (55%) or mobile (37%).

97% – Survey respondents who leveraged email as the top channel for marketing campaigns.

32% – Smart phone users who made a purchase after receiving a promotional email.

Although this survey was carried out in 2012 I am sure the trends are still the same today as regards the popularity of email marketing.

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Image courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net

Affiliate Marketing Diagram Shows Email Pay Per Click And Blogs Stock Image

By Stuart Miles, published on 02 March 2014

There are many services and tools such as Mail Chimp, Campaign Monitor, Constant Contact, iContact & AWeber, Newsweaver, Cheetahmail  which offer the client many advantages for ease of use such as being able to create a database and sign up form at the same time. They also allow you to view stats on your campaign’s performance. Campaign summaries and reports provide information such as the number of messages sent, how many emails were opened, how many bounced, how many people clicked on the links in your email and at what time, and also where these people were located. All of this is vital information for future targeting and segmenting email campaigns.

To summarize email marketing is the marketing strategy that offers the biggest return for the initial investment. It is really easy to set up.
All you need is a good email template to get your potential customers interested and an email database with opt-in email addresses that you can gather on your own or buy from one of the many email list providers on line.

Hope this blog was useful and provided you with some tips and observations for email marketing.

 

References

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New to Content Marketing Strategies – Tips to get started!

Content Marketing Strategies – What to Say and Do!

“Content marketing is a way of promoting your products or services to your target audience, by creating relevant and valuable content that attracts and engages them, and possibly encourages profitable customer action” (WebNetHosting, Visual.Ly).  Website and social media content placement is essential to ensure you strike ‘engagement’ gold with your audience.   You need to leverage both to maximise return on investment and build a following and active community around your business.

 What is the goal of your Content Marketing

Understanding your business objectives and how each targeted channel works is absolutely key to achieving your goal whether it is to:

      • Attract more web traffic
      • Increase engagement levels with social media campaigns
      • Increase conversion rates by lead generation and customer acquisition
      • Increase brand awareness

Content is the key to getting people talking about your main marketing messages and attracting them to your site.  You can share your stories and information about your business and build a dialogue with your audience.  Make your activities interactive – show your visitors’ feedback and comments and allow others to join in.  Have a plan before you begin as social media channels (e.g. Facebook, Twitter) are content hungry.

The Periodic Table of Content Marketing courtesy of E Consultancy Ltd

The Periodic Table of Content Marketing courtesy of E Consultancy Ltd

Uploading content is not sufficient in today’s digital world.  The old catchphrase ‘if you build it they will come’ is no longer valid.  Content needs to be relevant to a reader’s interests, presented to them in a personal manner, and capable of viral activity to achieve likes, comments, and shares.  Think of social media sharing as an electronic word of mouth.  Content Marketing strategies help people, already engaged in your market, to find your business online using a combination of SEO, social media and good content.  Choose social networks that work for you and your customers.

Developing content is an integral business process but it is not all about new content every time: You can use appropriate published material by giving credit and linking to the source.  Remember, once you ‘go live’ it is important to maintain and monitor customer engagement by posting regular content in context.

Content must be relevant, detailed and deliver information to support the objective.

Context means having the right information personalised for the right segment using the right media.

Turning Strangers to Advocates 

Fail to Prepare and Prepare to Fail!

√Before you begin, listen to your audience and analyse your competition

√ Develop a content road map

√ Use a mix of media

√ Understand the power of blogging

√ Think about the importance of keywords when planning and sharing content

√ Create a process to develop content for your chosen social media channels

√ Create a publishing schedule for content.

√ Build time into your working day and week – set reminders on your phone and use Content Management scheduling systems.

√ Take an integrated approach to your visibility online – always include buttons to like, share, and comment to close your communication circle.

Create

Understanding the demographics of your audience will help set the tone and style of your content.

  • Your content must be useful to the reader
  • It must include a ‘Call to Action’ – telling your reader what to do next.
  • Optimise your content by using keywords
  • Keep your content interestinguse a blend of media just as you do in traditional marketing.
  • Build a list of things you can write about on your Website or Blog which will resonate with your target audience
  • Industry Articles
  • Video
  • Images / Photographs
  • FAQs
  • Expert advice
  • Tips and tactics
  • Webinars
  • Case study
  • Q&A session
  • Survey and poll
  • Interview
  • Stories

Publish     

  • Create a monthly publishing timeline focusing on frequency and topics to keep you on target.
  • Publish your content on platforms that you have created

Promote your content

Once published, it is important to promote your content. This places your business brand amongst your intended audience.

  • Re-use content in different ways targeting it slightly differently depending on the channel
  • Use social media marketing platforms to distribute your content
  • Build internal links to create authority
  • Manage comments and feedback
  • Encourage people to hit a button – like, share or re-tweet!

If people love what they read, see, or hear they can share the content on their networks; helping a wide audience to get to know about you, like you, trust you, share your messages and ultimately do business with you.

Analyse

You need to understand if your content marketing campaign is successful.  Track the metrics and measure targets frequently and adapt your strategy to ensure you extract full benefits.

  • Review the reactions and outcomes to published materials and understand how your message was received by your audience
  • Use social media analytics tools
  • Use Google Analytics
  • Monitor performance with marketing KPIs (key performance indicators) identified in your plan.

In summary, you are what you share – does it do you justice?

Onward and upward – SashaT♣

If you like this Blog, please see previous articles

a)https://wowdigitalmarketing.wordpress.com/2014/04/01/digital-marketing-strategies-for-small-business-are-you-lost-or-found-online/

b)https://wowdigitalmarketing.wordpress.com/2014/03/21/digital-marketing-strategy-for-small-business-begin-with-a-plan/

Bibliography:

  • Carvill M. and Taylor D. (2013) The Business of Being Social: A Practical Guide to Harnessing the Power of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube for all businesses.  Crimson, England.
  • Chaffey, Ellis-Chadwick F., Mayer R. and Johnston K (2009) Internet Marketing – Strategy, Implementation and Practice.   4th Edition: Pearson Education, England
  • Chaffey D. and Smith P.R. (2009) eMarketing eXcellence – Planning and Optimising your Digital Marketing 3rd Edition Elsevier:England


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Digital Marketing Strategies for Small Business – Are You Lost or Found Online?

Digital Marketing Strategies to Help Get You Found Online

Now that you have a well crafted plan (Digital Marketing Strategy for Small Business – Begin with a Plan!), you can focus on being found online.

Steps to getting found

An online business audience consists of 1) search engine bots and 2) people, looking for something, who want to talk about you! Your online presence needs to appeal to both circles and your content (information) must be available in ways that suit both audiences.

How do you search for information on the web?  Do you type in phrases to generate a search engine results page (SERP)?  Your customers do the same thing.  If you want to be found by a) people looking for your products and services or b) your target audience, it is important to provide a consistent presence across all chosen online portals e.g. website, blog, Facebook, etc.  Content helps you get found online.  Remember to keep your message simple, fresh and consistent.  Use imagery, keywords and tagging and always send people to your website, to a landing page specifically addressing your topic or to your social media sites.

Are you good at giving directions?

Online visibility is only as strong as the map you create.  Search (organic and paid) outcomes are based on the quality and relevancy of links you build (both incoming and outbound) and the keywords you attach to your content.  Start by:

a) considering the top five words that apply to your business
b) asking your customers to do the same.   How did they find you?
c) using Google Adwords to review keywords that people generally use
d) using Google Analytics to identify keyword trends of visitors to your site.

Are you proud of your Digital Shop Window?

Did you know 1.6 mio people in Ireland have a smart phone and 1.2 mio people have access to a tablet.  Your website is your digital shop window.

  • Does your website work from a mobile perspective?
  • Is it easy to read, of interest and relevant to your target audience?
  • Is it search engine friendly – can it be found by search engines so that people are directed to you?
  • Does your use of keywords get you on or close to the first page of search engines for your identified search terms?
  • Is the site easy to update?  Do you have a content management system?  Are you in control of your website?  Do you have to wait for and pay someone else for updates?
  • Is your website regularly updated – will your visitor see something new on each visit?
  • Is your site browser and device friendly?  Does it launch properly on different internet browsers e.g. Explorer, Chrome, Safari?
  • Have you signed up, embedded the code and used Google Analytics for all site pages?
  • How quickly does your site load – do you keep your visitor waiting?
  • Do you have a ‘Call to Action’ and encourage site visitors to do something e.g. sign up for a newsletter, provide an email address, contact your business or like your Facebook page.
  • Is your website something you are proud of?

Why start a Blog?

The statistics show you get more leads if you blog on your website.   Each blog post generates its own URL, has your keywords in the Title and Headings and delivers multiple signposts to Search Engines indexing material, thus creating more traffic opportunities for you.  Blogs can be easily created using Content Management System software (e.g. http://www.wordpress.com) that allow you add content without relying on technical support.  Blogging can help build your network  particularly when your content is useful, interesting and focused on the reader. 

Visibility + Credibility = Profitability 

Networking takes time and effort.  People want to get to know you, like you, trust you before they do business with you.  Social media is the vehicle for communicating and distributing interesting content across the internet.  In turn, readers share the content they think is compelling.  For example, Facebook will enable you approach your audience in a more relaxed tone, you can encourage activity through competitions, loyalty events, by adding comments to and sharing from other pages to build your profile.

Using social media news feeds provides a business with quick, easy and cost effective ways to broadcast information and make an impact.

Insert - Benefits of social media marketing

No more Hide and Seek

A connected marketing strategy, using traditional and digital channels, will publicise your digital contact points on all printed material and reuse your content across chosen channels.  Promote your website and Blog on your chosen social media channels.  Close your connection circle by adding social media buttons to your website to encourage sharing.  Use the website as your anchor and extend your presence across multiple sites as skills develop or you can dedicate increased business resources to your digital activities.  It does take time but this is not a process, it’s an integral part of business today.

Onwards and upwards – Sasha T♣

New to digital marketing  – you may find this glossary helpful.  A to D  /  E  to O    / P to W 

References: