Email Marketing Strategies for your Business

5 Top Tips to Guarantee Success with Email Marketing

junk mail

Email Marketing is a powerful tool which allows you to share information with your clients and make sure they know the extent of your services. Before you begin employing your email marketing strategies, you need to understand how to create an email that people will read and will not get you labeled as a spammer. A mass emailing to the wrong audience, or with the wrong message, can be a waste of time and money.

Email works best for marketing today when it can prompt a dialogue and encourage social sharing. The WIFM factor (What’s in it for me) for the recipient needs to be achieved in order to gain a click through on the hyperlink(s) in the email.

There are many critical success factors of Email Marketing – the top 5 are outlined below:

1. Choosing the Right Platform
There are many companies out there offering cost effective solutions such as Mail chimp with over 400,000 users. It comes with a flexible UI for building HTML email templates and for those feeling less ambitious, a free gallery of HTML templates are available. Building out campaigns, managing subscribers and pulling up reports are all simple, drag-and-drop affairs that anybody can handle. MailChimp is both highly extensible and extremely user-friendly, making this product ideal for non-technical users.

Much like MailChimp, Campaign Monitor offers state-of-the-art template and subscriber management, attractive campaign reports and speedy, safe email delivery. Since it’s targeted at Web designers, the Campaign Monitor platform can be easily rebranded and sold as a service to clients.

Emma aims for small businesses specifically with ‘a simple, stylish way to stay in touch with their customers, members and fans’. The company has long had a focus on stylish design and superb customer service. Their HTML template management is not quite as flexible as the other products mentioned above, but once you have your templates ready, deploying campaigns and analyzing the results is a cinch.

2. Permission-Based Email Lists
By creating a series of online marketing programs you will encourage people to sign up for your email list. Have a click box in your sign-up area that people can click to give you permission to send them emails about your upcoming offers. Building a permission-based email list can increase the chances that your message will be received and read.

3. Developing Compelling Content
To build and maintain a loyal readership, it’s important to provide content that is both interesting and relevant to your audience. The body of your email should be clean, easy to read and contain concise information that outlines your product benefits. Avoid adding graphics or unnecessary text that clutters up the screen and makes it difficult for the reader to find your sales pitch.

4. Subject Line
Your subject line can determine if the recipient receives and opens your email. Many spam filters are designed to stop emails that contain spam marketing words. To get past these spam filters try to create a subject line that will grab the reader’s interest. Make sure your subject line gives an honest representation of the email content and experiment with different subject lines until you have found one that is the most effective.

5. Analytics to measure success
During and after each campaign, carefully review your analytics to determine the best days and times to reach your audience, the content that generates the most hits, and what your readers are clicking on once they open your email. You can then use that data to help determine your content and distribution strategy for future mailings.

Don’t miss out on the opportunity to create a dialogue with your customers. Take the time to identify the right platform and email design and be sure to deliver content that is both relevant and interesting to your audience.

Blogging for Your Business

Why Every Business Should Start Blogging Now

eblogblog

Business blogging is a fantastic form of inbound marketing that helps to get your business more visibility online. The core of inbound marketing is to create quality content to pull people towards your business or product. You do this by matching the content you create with your customer’s interests. This organically attracts inbound traffic that you can then convert, close and delight.

So let’s say you have a great looking website but it’s just sitting there, static and not really doing a whole lot unless people already know you. The concepts of doing business online aren’t all that different to doing business in the real world. Nobody is going to pop in and have a look if your site isn’t doing anything new, you need to keep changing and updating your online “shop window”.

You need media. A blog is a great and easy way to create this. Customers being able to see all your latest work, news or even stock through articles, photos and videos will really help the online visibility of your business (people will be able to find you!). Your business could show up in search engine results and social media.

inbound-marketing-methodology2

Here are a few ways that blogging can help get your business out in front of others and increase your chances of being found online.

Drive Traffic To Your Site

In order for your website to become a valuable marketing asset people need to be able to find it. The most common way for this to happen is through a search engine search (let’s face it, it’s very unlikely they’ll type in your URL directly). Each time you publish a new blog post it creates a new page on your site, this means that every time you post, you create a new opportunity for your site to show up in organic search engine results. These frequently updated and new pages tell Google that you have an active site and they need to check in regularly to see what you’re writing about.

inbound marketing-fundamentals

Get Discovered On Social Media

With each blog post you write you’re creating new content that people can share on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+ and other social networks. This in turn helps you to get found by new audiences that may otherwise never find you.

Producing new content for your blog can also keep your social media pages active. Instead of having to come up new content for your Facebook and Twitter pages you blog can become the source of the new and original content. This simultaneously strengthens your social reach with content from your blog and drives new visitors to your blog via your social media channels.

Know Your Stuff

The most successful business blogs are able to answer the questions their customers have. Establish yourself as an authority by consistently creating helpful and informative content for your target audience. If you have multiple posts on your blog that offer tips relating to your business then the visitor can see that you really know what you’re talking about. This can also encourage them to seek you out for advice in the future.

Generate Leads

When you have traffic coming to your website through your blog you can then convert that traffic in leads.

Every blog post you write is a indexed page and this becomes a new opportunity to generate new leads. Adding a call-to-action to each post will create these. The call-to-action can be anything from a free ebook to a free trial, it just needs to be something that a customer will be willing to exchange their information for.

Long Term Results

Blogging is a great way for you spend a short of time but gain long term results. It might take you an hour to write and publish an article but that post can be of benefit for much much longer. For example if you publish a post that gets one hundred views and creates ten leads that day. The next day it gains another fifty views and five leads from being found on social media and subscribers catching up on their email. After a few days the attention might die down but you already have one hundred and fifty views and fifteen leads. However it doesn’t stop there.

That same blog post is now going to rank in search engine results. This means that for weeks, months and years to come you will continually get traffic and leads from that post. One hour of effort a day can turn into thousands of views and leads in the future.

So if you’re going to start a business blog or become more invested in one you’ve already started these reasons should hopefully be more than enough to encourage you, but if you need any more encouragement to start blogging now check out the facts and figures below.

Why Every Business Should Blog
Courtesy of: Quick Sprout

How to Use a Facebook Business Page

Maximizing your Facebook Business Page for your Business

Facebook is used for Business to Consumer (B2C) contact in the marketing world and as social media is now the first point of contact for many potential customers it is essential to invest resources in it than just having a page. Facebook users use this tool as their social organiser, calendar and as a peer so to get their attention you need to look at it from their point of view.

Once you have this achieved you can begin to take advantage on all the other benefits like this successful small company The Irish Fairy Door Company company/product page has achieved with their company/product page as outlined below:

Feedback on service & products

Facebook and all social media marketing tools are primarily based on creating content that attracts attention and encourages readers to share with their network. The resulting electronic word of mouth is very powerful and instantaneous which is an excellent form of feedback on your service and products as it allows you to see what is and what isn’t working in your business so you can adapt accordingly. We also value feedback when it comes from a trust resource as opposed to third party individuals. Once you have 30 likes on your page, Facebook Insights will provide you with measurements on your Page’s performance and demographic data about your audience, how people are discovering and responding to your posts etc.

The Irish Fairy Door Company has shown how effective Facebook can be for your business; they have 22,894 likes and 3,247 talking about them since they joined Facebook on 10th May 2013. They also have a high level of engagement with their customers and post daily with good creative content.

fairy door

Launching new services & products

Facebook business pages allow you to market to the right people, whilst also giving you an excellent medium to create excitement and build momentum around the launch of a new product or service. How do you do this?

  1. Set up your page
  2. Identify your audience
  3. Create compelling content
  4. Advertise
  5. Measure and adjust

 Customer relationship management

Facebook can help facilitate a two-way conversation with your clients about your products and/or service. If used correctly, this can be a positive interaction which will ultimately improve your product and service and increase client satisfaction. It is also a powerful medium to help increase a business’s brand awareness and potential for going viral.

As a business owner if you are not using Facebook to market, connect, attract new networking opportunities and provide customer service – your business is missing out on valuable business opportunities, positive community relationships, potential clients and the viral referral system.

The Irish Fairy Door Company has benefited from their Facebook Business Page through The Bank of Ireland Facebook Programme; they joined forces to help small businesses grow online and as The Irish Fairy Door Company has had such a good presence on Facebook they are getting free advertising on Bank of Ireland ATMs around the country for a period of time. What a fantastic branding opportunity!

fairy door boi

Customer retention management

Facebook is a retention and loyalty platform – not an acquisition tool, so instead of focusing on sales messages, you should post about new products and get feedback from your most dedicated advocates about what features they’re looking for. Make your Facebook Page a focus group for everything about your brand, and you just might get more value than if you drum up a few thousand fans who never intend to buy from you.

Research & development

As outlined above, Facebook allows you to get feedback about your products and services instantaneously from your fans which in turn will assist with the development of new products and services that you are looking to market.

Pinterest for Designers

How Designers Can Boost Their Business with Pinterest

pinterest_badge_red

Pinterest is an image bookmarking tool, a social network and a genius marketing tool. You can get work, find new contacts and promote your personal brand by harnessing the power of the image-based social network.

If you are a graphic designer, interior designer, photographer, artist or illustrator you should definitely be using this powerful tool.

Pinterest is a great for gathering, organising and viewing images. It’s not just for foodies and weddings, with more designers joining daily and because of the popularity of the platform, it can be a great tool to help you to promote your work.

How Pinterest Works

Instead of simply bookmarking pages, you bookmark, share and store images and videos. If you see a photo you like you can ‘pin’ it to your virtual board with a simple click. With an interface that’s simple and easy to use, you can create up to 350 boards. These boards can be viewed by anyone that follows you, but there is also an option to create ‘secret boards’ that are just for you.

Just like Twitter you can follow other users on Pinterest and see they’ve been pinning on a personalised homepage. You can then re-pin any images you like to your boards and like Facebook you can ‘like’ and comment on anything you see to enhance the popularity of that site.

See it. Pin it. Store it.

Use Pinterest to create themed inspiration boards of things you like and images that relate to your style. These can include looks, styles, textures, shapes and even colours. Doing this is a great way to create a library of inspiration material for you to reference in your own work. There’s even an iPhone app so you can pin on the go.

Screen shot 2014-04-01 at 21.16.27

Build Your Brand

At the moment your online presence probably consists of a portfolio site and social networking on the likes of Facebook and Twitter. Pinterest is another channel for you to continuously build your personal brand. As with any social network you do this by participating in conversations, making connections and establishing your profile.

Creating boards of your own with your best work on it will give you more exposure on the web, attract likes and draw comments. It can also be re-pinned by other users and in turn reach a wider audience. When doing this, be sure to include your name/business name in the image description or even your website so people know where to find you!

There are numerous global brands like Topshop, Sephora, Oscar de la Renta, Victoria’s Secret and even Etsy that have seen the huge potential of the social networking site and have taken full advantage of the consumer interaction and appealing aesthetics that are on offer.

Screen shot 2014-04-01 at 21.18.22

Connect

Pinterest should be a vital part of every designer, artist and creative’s social media strategy alongside Facebook, Twitter, Behance, Delicious etc. With the ability to follow other users it’s easy to keep an eye on studios, illustrators, photographers and designers that you like. By following, commenting on and sharing their content you can encourage them to look at your boards in return and therefore raise your profile.

Your ‘about’ section is also very important as it lets people know what you do and who you are. Including relevant keywords here can help people find you too, especially if they’re looking for a particular type designer. And again, include a link to your website.

Mood Boards

If you’re working on a project for a particular client you can create a mood board or examples board that they can view. This is an extremely convenient way to display and collect concept ideas and material, and the client can view it at their leisure all in the one place. If you don’t want everyone to be see your board you can even create a ‘secret board’.

Pinterest also allows you to invite others to contribute to a board. This makes it particularly easy for projects involving multiple people.

Pin it to Your Site

You may already have Facebook and Twitter buttons on your website but you can also have a Pinterest button. Adding a ‘pin it’ button makes it easy for other Pinterest users to share your content and in turn will make it easier for you to be found!

Sell Your Work

You can use Pinterest as a generator to promote and sell your work. Even big brands like Asos are now using the social media platform to show off their products with links to buy them under each image.

Screen shot 2014-04-01 at 21.14.48

For any designer or creative, Pinterest is an exceptional way to market yourself, your business and your brand. It can be used as a secondary resume and an add-on to your portfolio. Pinterest is extremely important for visual designers, web developers and photographers because it is a visual medium, so make the most of it!