How to Make your Email Marketing Remarkable

With more than half of businesses achieving 10% of their sales through email marketing, the value of email to drive sales is sometimes overlooked by the distraction of newer technologies. In this article, we consider ways to achieve the best from your email marketing campaigns.canstockphoto19117322

1. Easy Sign-Up

No one likes a complicated sign-up process. By incorporating your sign-up forms on your website homepage or social media profiles, customers are more likely to consider subscribing. Think about where your customers are active – are they looking at your company blog? Do they go straight to your business’ homepage?
Consider sending out an email to new subscribers telling them what to expect from your e-letters. Are you using your marketing campaigns to drive e-commerce sales or provide company updates for your customers? Try to give them an indication of the frequency in which you’ll be sending emails out – will you be giving your customers daily deals or weekly tips? This is your chance to impress them with you can offer; make the wording snappy and attractive to the reader so that they’ll continue subscribing.

2. Build Your Brand

Most people skim-read their email inbox before deciding what’s worth reading and what’s ready for the trash. Ensure that your email marketing campaigns fit your brand in the same way that your website and social media pages do. Think about customising the template you’re using to incorporate company colours and logos, this will promote the brand further as well as keeping it recognisable to existing customers. Keep the format simple by breaking up your content. Leaving plenty of white space on the page will separate large blocks of text, making it easily scannable, less distracting and more appealing to the reader.

Adding social media share buttons to your template which link to your other sites are a great way to inadvertently advertise your company or its services. If a customer thinks they know someone who could also benefit from what you’ve written about they can share it with them, potentially expanding your customer base and viewership.

3. Write What Your Customers Want to ReadComunicazione social

Like all forms of marketing, it’s important that the content remains engaging throughout and persuasive enough to drive sales without sounding too persistent. Clear and concise text that gives the customer all the information they need is key to great email campaigns.

Send content worth sharing with friends and family members. Many people expect to hear human voices when they open their inboxes so use a casual, informal voice that will boost your customer’s engagement.

35% of email recipients open emails based on the subject line. The subject line of an email campaign should be informative enough to describe what a customer should expect from the delivered content, but not so informative that they won’t need to read on. Be clever with your titles. Be intriguing. Are you advertising an upcoming event? Are you sharing an invaluable piece of advice? Make it obvious with what you’re trying to do otherwise they’ll send your campaign straight to the junk folder.

Try not to send emails just for the sake of doing so. If a customer receives an onslaught of mail from you without expecting it they will more than likely unsubscribe from the mailing list. Remember to keep as much of your content as relevant as possible.

4. Employ Super Segmentation

It’s all well and good to send out a campaign every week but are you targeting the right people? If you’ve got a promotion that’s only available in South Wales, why inform someone living in Somerset? It is essential that you segment your database properly so that your content goes to the most appropriate users.

Start small to begin with and decide upon the most suitable attribute for your business to split your emails into. An example of this strategy is to divide your customers according to gender, age or geographic location. Stretching this idea out to whether the user has accessed your website recently is also a great way to entice customers. If they’ve recently bought something or enquired about a service maybe they want information on something similar. A benefit of segmentation is that you will be able to craft compelling and interesting copy that speaks purely to your target audience.

By segmenting your email marketing database, your emails will become automatically more personal and engaging to your readers. Over time, as your campaigns continue, your users will come to realise that the content they are receiving from you is relevant to their interests and buying habits, helping you achieve better sales results

To Wrap Up…

If you’re looking to improve your email marketing it is crucial that you personalise your content to your users. Don’t be tempted to send out bulk emails if the content is only relevant to a fraction of your customers. Aim to make your campaigns inviting and immediately readable.

Are there any tips you have for making your email marketing remarkable? Please share your comments below…


How to Optimise Your Twitter Profile

Twitter has quickly become the go-to online platform for businesses to promote their services and interact directly with customers. I know it’s a lot of fun to spend time staying up to date with your favourite celebrities and commenting on the newest episode of Downton Abbey but the reality is that Twitter can be the Holy Grail of business marketing. In this article we consider 3 ways that you can optimise your profile to get the most for your business out of Twitter.

Twitter bird

1. Create an Identity

To make your Twitter profile as visible as possible it is imperative that you create an online identity which will appeal to your target audience.

I know this sounds like an obvious one, but it’s surprising how many organisations have Twitter profiles without relevant ‘avatars’ (profile pictures) or without a picture at all. You need to be able to make an impact straight away otherwise you’ll lose your potential customer’s attention. Using the pre-loaded, automatic ‘egg’ image will show your organisation as unprofessional and will not attract anyone. Instead, opt for an image of your logo, build your brand awareness and make yourself easily identifiable.

It’s also worth saying that you should keep your ‘handle’ (or what comes after the ‘@’ symbol) as close to your business’ actual name as possible so that you can be found effortlessly. Who knows who might be out there looking for your services?

A Twitter profile’s ‘Bio’ is a 160 character biography that will explain what it is that you do and the services that you provide. If you want to be searchable for specific things on Twitter, the words that you use in your ‘bio’ will act as keywords. With only 160 short characters it is essential that you clearly define who you are. Aim to achieve a perfect and concise description without sounding too sales-y.

2. Increase Visibility & Engage

So, you have a brilliant profile; a top class bio and your brand is everywhere, but how do you make sure everyone knows about your organisation? Think about how you can appeal to users. Try adding relevant hashtags to your posts so that your profile comes up during Twitter searches. Not only does this allow you to connect directly with potential customers but it enables them to find you. Be cautious when using hashtags though, although tweets with one or two hashtags tot up a 12% higher engagement rate than those without, using more than two can be a disaster for your visibility. Overusing hashtags will actually drop your engagement rate by 17%.

Build relationships with your followers by retweeting and replying to posts that you’ve been mentioned in. Make sure that all responses are relevant to what it is you are trying to portray. Prove that your business is worth being a part of.

Girl on Twitter Bird3. Increase Your Tweet Volume

Once you’ve engaged your potential customers you will need to keep them entertained or informed. Businesses thriving on social media sites do so because they are updating their content regularly. An easy way to make regular tweets without tiring yourself out is to dedicate a day to writing them and using a scheduler such as Buffer or Hootsuite to plan them. This means that you are able to respond more quickly to other users and still keep your followers entertained.

If your tweets become infrequent and boring, you may find yourself losing followers and therefore custom. Give yourself a pattern to tweet by; hashtags such as #tbt (throwback Thursday) are used on a number of social media platforms including Instagram and Facebook to show something funny or retro and are a regular weekly post that followers may look specifically for. Focus on news-based tweets for the beginning of the week and consider writing funnier or more entertaining tweets towards the end.

To Wrap Up…

To get the best out of your Twitter profile it’s important to use it in the most effective way. With only 140 characters it is imperative that you keep your tweets current and relevant. Optimise your profile to build a brand which is identifiable whilst giving your followers something interesting to read.

With approximately 500 million tweets sent every day, what will make yours stand out? Please share your comments below…


How to Write a Blog Worth Reading

Approximately 175,000 blogs are added to the web on a daily basis proving that blogging is still a huge way to get noticed online. But with so many available out there, how do you make sure that your blog is the one worth reading? In this article, we consider four ways to improve your content and engage your audience.Laptop media

1. Consider Your Audience

Before you even start thinking about your first post it’s important to think about who you want to read your blog. Will you be targeting people of a certain profession? If so will you be using specific technical language or jargon that might not be easily understandable to those out of the loop? Or will you be writing a more general blog for someone who might just be viewing your blog, interested in your title? By deciding on the kind of demographic that you’re writing for you will be able to narrow down all aspects to create the optimum content for your readers.

2. Clever Content

Something that will keep your readers coming back for more is your content. Well-written, valuable content about something relevant to your readership will keep them engaged and likely to get involved with this conversation that you have opened up online.

Create a unique voice that it is personal to your blog. Make your sentences short and simple, easy to read and understand. Keep it conversational with your readers, informal and personal enough for them to
feel like you’re directing what you’re saying to them. Inject some of your personality into the main body of the text to keep their attention.

3. Imaginative Images

Articles with an image included get 94% more views than those without. Apart from the engagement value, content automatically becomes more interesting when there’s something there to break up the text. In an age where people are more likely to skim than read the entire thing, separating content with images and subheadings will enable it to be more reader friendly and keep their attention throughout.

Untidy, messy desk - overwork concept

4. Boost User Engagement

The whole point of a blog is to interact with who’s reading it. If you don’t boost engagement on your blog, visitors won’t return a second time and your bounce rate – the percentage of visitors who leave your site after only having looked at one page – will be high and Google won’t be too pleased to advertise you.

Blog’s who have disabled comments make it really difficult to develop a dialogue with their readers. Utilising the comment feature will help you get valuable feedback on your posts as well as the ability to speak to the people who are regularly reading your content.

Connecting your blog to your other social media outlets, such as Facebook, Twitter or Youtube, will enable your readers to engage with you on different platforms. Advertising your pages on these other platforms will also increase the traffic to your sites and maybe even increase your follower numbers in the process.

Finally, optimise your blog’s layout and design so that it is clear enough to be read on mobile devices as well as a desktop. Steer clear from filling your pages with unnecessary widgets and frilly features and use a unique layout unlike the few pre-installed templates that thousands of other users will be deploying.

To Wrap Up…

Give your readers something that they want to read; that they feel would be beneficial to them in some way. If you’re writing a blog about a specific subject keep it relevant enough to keep their attention. Keep your content engaging and leave them wanting more.

Have any more ideas for making your blog worth reading? Please share your comments below…

 


Are Hashtags the Answer to Your Social Media Marketing?

With so much content being uploaded onto social media sites every hour, businesses need to be able to stand out from the crowd. Making your brand visible is only a small part of keeping your audience engaged in the content you are providing but it is crucial.

Bird holding a hashtag

From Twitter and Instagram to Google+ and Pinterest, the humble hashtag has provided businesses with insights into what their target audience is interested in and what they are talking about. In this article, we consider 3 ways that ‘hashtagging’ content can improve your social media marketing strategy and increase engagement.

1. Optimise Your Posts:

With most people using social media on a daily basis, it is important that your content is interesting enough to be shared and promoted online.

To begin with you will need to decide how you’re going to use the hashtag. Will it be to promote a new service or product? Are you advertising an event? These kinds of ventures usually greatly benefit from the addition of a custom hashtag as it narrows down the audience of your posts. I know this sounds like the complete opposite of what you should be doing but instead of advertising your company to the whole world you want to focus primarily on the people who will use and benefit from it.

But how do you advertise a heavily-descriptive event or service in the most efficient way? With a mere 140 characters available on a tweet, your hashtag needs to be as short as you can possibly make it. Most companies use memorable abbreviations, as they save themselves, and their customers, from sacrificing characters in the main body of their posts. If you decide to do this your hashtag campaign should have a definite correlation to your brand or product so that your customers can find you easily and join the online community that discuss similar services.

Shout loudspeaker

2. Increase Brand Awareness:

The beauty of hashtagging is that you can extend the visibility of your posts. With tweets containing hashtags showing a 12% higher engagement rate than those without, you can reach a much wider audience in a simpler and more effective way.

Your brand’s hashtag should have the same value as your name. Creating your own memorable hashtag will help you enhance brand awareness so making it visible on your business card, website or your email signature will make you stand out in the crowd in this competitive marketplace. Using it this way will endorse your brand not only to potential customers but reinforce its uniqueness to existing ones.

Hashtag branded promotions are everywhere at the moment and work really well not only for bigger companies but small, local businesses. Offering an incentive to customers who use your hashtag, such as a free voucher to a randomly chosen winner, will encourage more and more people to post. When a company’s hashtag shows up on a user’s newsfeed it is likely that followers of that person will click out of interest.

3. Build Relationships with Customers:

In recent years, many companies have used hashtags as a way to get involved directly with their customers. Whether it’s through competitions or online interviews with celebrities or company directors (also known as ask me anythings – or AMAs), everyone is interacting online at the moment with an increasing number of people following hashtag threads to keep updated on news and further developments.

Twitter has become the ‘go to’ place for customer service queries, with larger companies like EE and even Cadbury’s replying to consumer tweets about their mobile contracts and allergy information. Building a
relationship with your customers will enable you to increase sales of products and direct your communication at the right people.

Shaking Hands

Staying on top of hashtag trends is a great way to optimise your engagement. Searching for relevant hashtags can let you monopolise on high traffic and focus on those that you want to target. Joining in conversations with users already engaged with these topics will increase your chances of being found and extend your possible customer base.

Whether you’re tweeting, updating your Google+ profile or writing a Facebook status, adding a URL which connects back to your website will always give the customer a chance to learn more about what you’re promoting. Who knows, you may find yourself intriguing your followers enough that they want to check out your products themselves!  

Have any more ways that hashtags can build your social media marketing? Please share your comments below…