Business Development & Marketing General Turnaround

Email marketing – getting it right

email marketingEmail marketing, that is communicating to potential clients/customers using regular e-newsletters, is one of the oldest-established methods of online marketing.
While recipients often complain about receiving too many of them, they remain one of the most effective components of the marketing mix, with an open rate of 20-30% according to Campaign monitor, a UK and US-based email marketing company.
So why would any business not consider using this method of marketing communication when the Direct Marketing Association has calculated that it has a ROI of up to 4,300%?

It’s not about the numbers and there are rules

This is where the law comes in – and yes there are rules about marketing that are online here. Basically, you MUST check if customers want to be contacted and equally you MUST make it easy for them to opt out, either by sending a STOP text to a short number or by including an “unsubscribe” link clearly shown in the newsletter.

What are the advantages if it’s so easy for people to stop receiving them?

Effective email marketing is about quality, not quantity. It is a mistake to think in terms of large numbers and we advise clients to not buy contact lists. It may be more work but it is far more effective to build your own contact list of people with whom the business has had some dealings and who may be willing to find out more.
A well-crafted communication targeting the right audience prompting interaction and responses from just a few people is worth more than one that is sent out to thousands who don’t open or read it and who then unsubscribe.
In many cases, this will not be about sales but about building an awareness of your business’ brand and personality and establishing a relationship.
Done well, you can talk to recipients as individuals, give them something interesting and new to read and build a loyal “fan” base.  Not only that but you can easily measure what has worked and what has not by how many recipients open the email, make comments and respond to any “call to action”.
But obviously it is important to define the purpose of your communication.
In the new and uncertain post-Brexit economic climate, it makes sense to revitalise your business marketing and to add e-newsletters to the mix, if you don’t already use them. It also makes sense to get professional help with the writing and design to ensure messages are both relevant and capture the readers’ imagination.

Business Development & Marketing General Rescue, Restructuring & Recovery Turnaround

Blogging for your business

blogging for businessSmall business owners often ask why they need a blog on their website, especially when their business is in a specific niche and the majority of its customers or clients are long term or come via recommendation.
We would argue that there is no room for complacency in any business. It is unlikely that there is a business anywhere in the world that has absolutely no competition. This means that even when business turnover and profits are performing in line with the business plan, the business should be paying attention to its customers, its marketing and promotion.
A blog can be a useful way of keeping the business website at the top of the search engine rankings, such as Google.  Search engines rate websites on the basis of them being updated regularly and the relevance of content. No longer to they promote business websites that are effectively an online brochure listing products or services which do not change regularly.
A blog/news section can deal with this effectively, provided it is updated regularly. It will also help keep the business focused on its content marketing strategy. Blogging needs a schedule to continuously deliver relevant and meaningful content.
Blogging is a very cost-effective investment since blogs remain on a website and over time become long-term assets.

What is a blog and what is its purpose?

A blog is a short article that can either be used to announce a new development, an award the business has won, to explain more about products or services or to give customers additional and related information that might be of interest.
Blogging for your business helps to build brand awareness, keeping the business name in the public eye.  It can be used to promote your expertise, products and services.
A blog creates a place to talk about new products or services, comment on timely news topics or market trends relevant to the business and to give a business “personality”.

How do I find the time?

There is no doubt that the need to produce a regular blog can be relentless.  Having started and begun to build awareness and expectation among readers it has to be kept going.
It can be challenging and many people are not confident about their ability to write effectively and engagingly.
This is easily solved by working in collaboration with a marketing content writer.  The business owner knows about their business but often having the perspective of an outsider can generate more and better ideas.
However, this can only work well if the business owner is committed to regular “brainstorming” meetings or calls and equally to reading through and approving drafts before they are uploaded as a blog.
Regular blogging for your business is like other marketing initiatives; it is a way of demonstrating your commitment to clients which is necessary if you are to retain them.