Email Marketing For Small Business Owners

A staggering 69.7% of Internet users state email to be the preferred method of communication from businesses (eMarketer, 2015).  It’s clear that email is where your customers want to be reached.  And the customer is always right.

Email marketing is one of the most direct ways of contacting customers, and building and sustaining strong relationships with them.  Despite the overwhelming argument for email, small business owners still tend to shy away from the channel in favour of simpler, more familiar methods of communication such as Social Media and their website.

With 4,300% ROI – for ever $1 spent on email, businesses receive $4300 in return (ExactTarget, 2014) – email is significantly more effective than SEO, Direct Marketing and Social Marketing.

If you’re starting out with email, follow our easy steps to email success.

Step 1: Do Your Research

Define Your Strategy
Before you embark on this new marketing initiative, take a step back and work out what you’re trying to achieve from it.  Are you looking for leads? Sales? Regular communication with your customers?  Once you’ve got a clear direction in mind, you can use it to inform your overall email strategy.

What’s In it For Customers?

You’re going to get in touch with your customers more regularly, which can only be positive for your business.  But what’s in it for them? Why should they hand over their personal details to you? It’s important to define this right from the beginning.  If you don’t have anything valuable to offer, who’s going to bother to read it, let alone sign up.

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Top 7 Email Marketing Latest Trends

Do you know what online marketing technique has the highest return on investment?

Since you have already read the title, you have probably guessed its email marketing.

Email marketing produces an average ROI of 4,300%, more than PPC advertising, social media marketing, direct marketing, or content marketing. It delivers the best performance when it comes to driving sales and it costs a lot less to implement than other strategies.

If you too want to use this direct and highly-effective marketing channel and get the most from it, you’ll need to do it the right way. This means providing value through your emails and gradually cultivating in your subscribers the desire to buy your product, as well as keeping up with the latest email marketing trends. Here’s our checklist:

1. Mobile optimisation

Optimising your website and email messages for mobile devices are a no-brainer – most people check email on their smartphones, and Australians spend an average of 2 hours on their smartphones every day. The transition of email from desktop to mobile devices won’t stop, and the emergence of wearable devices is yet another proof of this evolution.

On the other hand, mobile devices change subscriber behaviour, and marketers are having a harder time delivering messages that people open and read. Email browsers are becoming increasingly supersized and many experts are advising marketers to keep their subject lines under 35 characters so they are fully captured by mobile browsers.

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Email Marketing on a Budget

Most business owners I talk to would like to use email more effectively to support their business. But with all the things a small business owner has to balance, time is always the biggest challenge when it comes to getting these things in motion.

  • Time to learn a new technology
  • Time to write the emails
  • Time to design them

There are great companies who will take care of most of this for you, but without understanding the real return on investment of email in your circumstance, it’s sometimes difficult to justify paying someone.

This double edge sword creates a hesitation in getting started and as a long time user of email marketing it’s a real shame. To help change that I’m going to share with you some tips to bootstrap getting your email marketing campaigns underway.

It’s time to roll up the sleeves and get it done.

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How To Use Images Online Without Getting Into Trouble

Where do you get the pictures you use online?

Like most people, do you simply do a Google Search to find something that matches what you’re looking for?  Another really common practice is to just use clipart.

Unfortunately, just because you can find it online doesn’t mean it’s free to use.

There is a growing trend for artists and image copyright holders to send out letters of demand to people using their images.  If you read forums you’ll find that there are people who think this is a scam and unfair. To give you some context, if artists gave away all of their work for free, they would starve and there would be a lot less high quality images for you to use. Copyright law came about for the purpose of protecting the livelihood of creative people and to make it worthwhile for them to continue to produce creative works for the rest of us to use or appreciate and enjoy.

Claims for payment for use of copyright images are not often scams.

When a copyright owner starts to lose income from their work, they have the right to chase up people who are breaching their rights. Copyright is a bundle of rights rather than just one thing and can be breached in a variety of ways. Copying, distributing, republishing, changing, adapting and translating can all be breaches of copyright. If you are in breach, there is a chance that you will receive a letter of demand.

Letters of demand vary depending upon whether they are a form letter, such as those sent out by Dun & Bradstreet on behalf of Getty’s images, or a letter specifically sent out by a legal firm on behalf of their client. We’ve worked with all sorts.

A letter of demand for breach of copyright will usually cover the following:

·         it has been found that you are using the image on your website “for online promotional purposes”

·         the writer is the artist or is authorised to represent the artist or distributor

·         the artist or distributor holds copyright in the work

·         the writer has been unable to verify that you have permission or are licenced to use the image

·         you are requested to immediately remove the image

·         you are asked to pay a licence fee

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How To Promote Your Company’s Seminar Or Conference On Twitter: 3 Things You Can Do TODAY

There are many reasons why a business would run an event. A conference could provide networking opportunities and may help land strategic partnerships with local companies.

A seminar, on the other hand, is an excellent tool for showcasing your company’s expertise while garnering high quality leads to convert at a later time.

Or perhaps a business just wants everyone – their employees and most loyal customers – to have a great time by holding a concert.

The list of reasons could go on and on but here’s the bottom line: you’ve organized an event and you want it to be a success without taking valuable hours away from your business.

So how do you go about encouraging attendance or registrations for your seminar, conference, or concert without losing time and big bucks?

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Three Ways to Grow Your Business Using Twitter

Social media is heavily promoted by bloggers as a marketing must. For most B2B companies, Twitter is one of the most frequently used and often wrongly used social media channels. Below are three ways we use Twitter every day to improve our business.

1)    Listen closely to your customers

Most companies do a good job of listening to customers when they directly complain or message the business. It’s not enough in 2015 to do a good job of hearing direct messages. You can learn more from your customers by listening to everything they’re saying. When you find a customer on Twitter simply add them to a list. (We called ours simply #ourclients) By occasionally reading this list we are able to predict what clients may want from us before they tell us. We’re not mind-reading just paying attention.

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7 Legal Essentials for Business Online: Part 3 – Online comments

For some reason a lot of people say things on social media and blog posts that they would never say in a letter to the editor in the traditional newspaper format. It’s an interesting phenomenon and one that will no doubt fuel all sorts of legal disputes for years to come.  With the fast pace of online interactions you might forget that your comments remain accessible online indefinitely for those who want to look, and if legal proceedings are involved, someone will be looking!

Did you hear the one about the woman in Western Australia who posted some unflattering comments about her ex-husband on Facebook? The comments were posted in December 2012 and taken down in January 2013. In the meantime a bunch of mutual acquaintances, including the man’s brother, saw the post. Court proceedings were filed and it wasn’t heard by a judge until 2015. Don’t assume that because you’ve forgotten about it, everyone else has too! The Judge decided in favour of the ex-husband and the woman was ordered to pay $12,500 in compensation as well as legal costs.

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Your 4 Rules For Winning at Brand Social Media

If you want to be leader in your industry, there is no better way to become one than using social media. There are many ways to embark in the internet world, but using its full power needs more than frequent tweeting and sharing adorable puppy photos. Conquering the social media as a brand takes dedication and puts the creative thinking to its limits.

Want to ride on the tip of the waves of the media trends and put your company in the spotlight? Come on and join the ride to creating the best SM brand start-up for your business.

Save The Date

In the social world, timing is everything. Tweet a bit too late how that local event rocked your town and you won’t make any difference. It would still be something your followers may like, but they would definitely pass it if it is the 10th one on that topic they have read today. If you are going to rule Twitter, Facebook, Reddit and Instagram, you need to act fast. If you don’t provide accurate information about your industry in the right time, you might lose a large number of potential fans.

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Sales Pitch

Pitching Suicide – How to kill your pitch in 7 easy steps.

It seems many people actually want to publicly murder their own pitch. I love great pitches, and I hate to see them die slow, humiliating public deaths. If you’re going to destroy something beautiful, do it right. These are the 7 most effective ways eviscerate a pitch while numbing the minds of your audience. Want a great pitch?

Avoid these 7 Pitch killers.

1. TALKING TOO MUCH AND GOING TOO SLOW 

The human brain is being carpet bombed by billions of bits of data from all 5 senses every second. To avoid making you feel like you’re in the middle of a horrendous trip, the human brain has evolved to radically filter inbound information.

You think that there is so much about your opportunity that is amazing, and you think that by telling people more, they’re going to be even more impressed. Instead what happens is our brains register that we’re under information attack and it begins rapidly purging not just the deluge of useless information you’re forcing upon it, but everything. (Command + A) Delete. Gone. Next. Good journalists ask “What words can I remove without losing the meaning of the sentence?”. Do that and see the difference.

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Personality Branding – The Third Brand Your Business Needs.

There are three layers of branding your business needs to consider:

Product – The brands we associate to a product or service we can buy e.g.: “iPod”
Company – The brands we associate to a company we can buy from e.g.: “Apple”
Personality – The brands we associate to people who represent companies and products e.g.: “Steve Jobs”

The original conversation around branding started with “product branding”.

We saw the earliest brands like “Coke-a-Cola”, “Hoover” and “Marlboro” – Product brands that were so strong they built multinational companies around them. These companies shared the same name and brand identity as their product.

The second layer to come along was when the separation of “product brands” and “company brands” emerged.

McDonald’s was known as the company that sold products like Big Macs and McHappy Meals. Ford adapted and became a company that had many cars rather than just a Model T. General Electric, 3M and LG started producing many product ranges and had both strong product brands as well as company brands.

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