Category Archives: Marketing

Basic email marketing mistakes any company should avoid

Email Marketing

It is every marketers dream to be able to reach countless customers locally and even internationally in an easy and simple way that suits both the marketers and customers. This is the power of email marketing.

Any business, no matter how big or small, can build a email database of customers and/or prospects and get a little attention in their inbox. Even if you are a small business you can compete against the like of Google and Amazon giants. However you need to be aware of the many crucial mistakes many marketers make. Here are few mistakes to avoid.

Get permission before you send email – An easy way to kill your list before you even get going, and that is sending email to people without permission. Most countries have laws and regulations against SPAM, and in many instances you could find yourself in  a whole lot of trouble if you send email without the express permission the recipient. Here is what you should never do:

  • Try collecting business cards at an event
  • Use your contacts email addresses
  • Adding customers email addresses without permission

Always provide the correct subscribe opportunities on your website – Make sure you provide clear and ample opportunity for visitors to your website to subscribe. some of the best ways to get customers to subscribe to your newsletter include:

  • In the sidebar
  • Below a blog post or after your content
  • On top of your page in the header area
  • On a floating bar
  • On a slide-out box that appears from the bottom corner
  • On exit-intent popups that only appear when the visitor is about to leave

Segment your email database effectively – In the majority of cases you will find marketers sending email broadcasts to their entire lists of email addresses. It might seem that here is nothing wrong with this, however this is orally wrong. Segmenting your email database will bring about far better results, less unsubscribe requests, more customer engagement, and more sales. To segment your email lists, try doing the following:

  • Segment your email database by product interests
  • Segment your email database by location
  • Segment your email database by buying behavior

Always remember to engage with your email database list – Always be consistent in the way you send out mass emails broadcasts. If you struggle to find time to create a newsletter, try taking a few minutes every day to create you newsletter instead of leaving to the last minute and having to take a half a day off.

It is preferable to male data driven decisions – The only way to develop and run a successful email marketing campaign and strategy is to make data-driven decisions. Don’t rely on what other companies do. What works for other businesses might not work for you. Make decisions based on hope, wishful thinking or even expert opinions, rather make decisions based on the data you gather. To make good data driven decisions you should track the following:

  • Conversion rate of visitors to subscribers
  • Open rates and click-through rate on different emails

Always build your own email database list – Never buy or rent an email list. In some instances It is understandable why small businesses would want to buy a list of say 10,000 names with very little effort. Buying a database in most cases with always backfire and most of the time the email recipient will think you are a spammer. Also, keep in mind that if you are buying a list there is a very good chance that the list has been sold to loads of other small businesses.

If you are making any these basics mass email marketing strategy mistakes, think about making the appropriate change to grow your customer base and increase your net profits.

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Three of the Fastest Ways to Market Your Company Online

social-media-consulting

These are some tips on how to do online marketing for your company. Marketing your company online is simple, cost effective and you do not have to be a tech guru to do it. Here are three tips to help you on your way.

Offer a free report.

Most people will look at a website and not be in contact with you. The best way to fix this is to offer them a free report. Just by leaving their email address, you would be able to send them a report telling answering their biggest questions about your products or services. To grab people’s attention and make sure you give your report a catchy headline. Once you have their email address, you can begin to communicate with them and build the relationship.

Test a Google GOOGL +0.33% Adwords Campaign

Adwords could get you sales in a couple of hours. It is affordable and cheap to do. If it works for you increase your budget, if it doesn’t at least you didn’t spend to much money. An Adwords campaign is a fast and easy way to get your product out to the market.

Get Other Websites to Write an Article about You

There are broadly two types of websites: those that produce information and those that promote specific companies. Companies that produce information are always looking for more articles. So create articles that relate to your company and pitch it to the head of the site. If the audience is impressed, the company will keep going with new and fresh articles about your company.

All three of these online marketing methods are quick, simple and inexpensive, yet few companies do any of them.

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Marketing Trends Too Watch For In 2015

Trends

The fundamentals of marketing are always going to be the same, but with the landscape, changing what matters most now is how one activates the fundamentals. Here are a few thoughts about what the next year will hold.

  1. Transparency will become the most important tool of marketing.
  2. CMOs will become Chief Simplifier Officers. We will witness the emergence of the marketing technologists.
  3. The winners will be adept at agility marketing.
  4. Media agencies will step up and lead.
  5. Marketing will shift from globalization to personalization.
  6. Procurement will become more powerful, it will become focused on agency operations and improving efficiencies there.
  7. There will be a growing focus on Internal Communications. Companies will be focused on internal communications as a marketing asset.
  8. Holding companies will start divesting assets.

The economics of marketing in a digital world will challenge marketers. Smart content creation should be native to the digital channel that reaches the audience, the single biggest challenge that marketers will need to solve is how to scale content in an          economic way.

 

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Digital Marketing for the Small Business

While big business and established brands have seemingly endless budgets and an army of tech-savvy staffers, many small businesses are left scratching their head at this “whole Internet thingamajig”.

This article will give you practical advice and some of the basic know-how needed to move into the online world. But before we delve into some of these low-cost tips and tricks, you should consider what exactly you are hoping to achieve.

Strategy

The first thing you need to do before even opening a browser is to look inwards. Ask yourself (or your employer) a few vital questions:

•    Who are you and what is it about your identity that makes you useful?
•    Would it be suited to the online world?
•    What would your brand gain from going digital?
•    How much time and money can you invest?
•    How does online marketing tie in with your overall marketing and business objectives?
•    Who are your competitors? These might extend beyond organisations that compete with you on the basis of price and product and could also be competition in the form of abstracts such as time and mindshare.

These are all important questions that should be answered before even attempting to move your brand online.

Objectives are vital for any planned expansion. For instance, an objective could be to grow a community of fans around your brand in a particular country. Thus, your key performance indicator might be fan numbers, and you could look to set a target of 5 000 Facebook fans over six months.

Step one – create your own space

The first thing you will need to do as a small business without an online presence is to stake out your base. This should be the first port of call for any consumer wanting to know more about your brand or hoping to get in touch.

Register for a domain in line with your brand identity. To put it more clearly, register a domain that actually ties in with your business. Choose something that is easy to remember and relatively short – long URLs or ones with unusual characters are likely to either be forgotten or entered incorrectly.

Be prepared to invest money in your website. For a small business this is the one section where you shouldn’t skimp. A proper base of operations, with all the relevant information and an easy to use content management system will go a long way in turning your offline brand digital. You may have to spend initially.

But remember that without a website, your brand could come across as a fly-by-night company trying to make a fast buck online. A website serves two purposes. Firstly it informs consumers about your company – what it offers, its history, how to get in touch and any other information you’d like to share. Secondly, it acts as a platform to give your band exposure and credibility. For example, a bed and breakfast without a website might look untrustworthy or shabby, while one with a relatively simple website would use it to showcase great reviews and testimonials.

Yet another perk of owning your own space is that you’ll be able to drive traffic through useful or interesting content. Create infographics, reports, whitepapers, directories or anything else that might be relevant to your brand, and then share! This brings us to our next step.

Step two – getting social

After you’ve gone about giving your brand an Internet home it’s time to move onto the ever-popular social networking aspect of digital marketing.

Social media has changed the way we go about our lives. Never before have so many people, from so many different places had the opportunity to communicate so easily and at no cost (besides an actual Internet connection). This has changed the ways brand behave, both online and off. Consumers are now able to interact with brands completely in the public eye, whether they’re attacking or complimenting it still has the chance of being seen by scores of users.

From a strategic perspective, social media is useful for branding, raising awareness of the brand story and allowing the consumer to become involved in the story through collaboration.

Social media platforms also play a role in building awareness, due to their shareable, viral nature.

They can also provide crowdsourced feedback via open graphs and social analytics systems.

Choose a social network where you think your consumers will feel most comfortable interacting with you. Remember, social spaces are owned by people, not brands.

Consider establishing a strong presence on Facebook and Twitter – the two most popular social networking platforms in the Western world.

Both of these networks are free to use, so go ahead and create a Facebook page and a Twitter handle. Start by inviting friends and family members, drive traffic from your (new and snazzy) website by inserting icons representing these platforms (called chiclets), and include links to your pages in email signatures. Don’t spam people with messages, but use your already existing network of contacts to get the ball rolling.

Below you can see a section of Quirk Education’s infographic on online learning. Try to create content which is meaningful and relevant to your brand as this will work towards establishing yourself as a thought leader in the field.

 

 

Step three – getting a newsletter out there

Newsletters offer a great way of informing your customers while retaining a community. And even better, they’re relatively cheap for small businesses to create and send.

Services like Mailchimp  and Graphic Mail  offer incredibly cheap (and sometimes free) services and tools including templates, training courses, graphic designs and even content.

Using a neat template, clever branding and well-written copy can go a long way in promoting a brand. Again, ask yourself a few questions: How many times should I send the newsletter? What will I offer? What do I want to achieve via my newsletter?

Make an effort to offer valuable content in your newsletter. This could be anything from a discount to an article on tips or tricks relevant to your services. Another perk of an email newsletter is that it will inevitably drive traffic to your other platforms.

Let’s recap

With careful planning and consideration, consider investing in a website for your brand. After you’ve completed this step take a look at social networking. Offer your consumers useful content and they will love you, ignore or mistreat them and they will hate you. Think about investing in an email newsletter to expand your customer base while retaining already loyal customers.

This article introduced you to the teeny weeny tip of the digital marketing iceberg. This is a basic guide to going digital, and there are several other techniques for digital marketing, but many of these require large budgets and long-term commitment. For small businesses hoping to enter digital space the above steps serve as a perfect starting point.

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