How do you make sure your emails get opened?

How can I make sure my emails don't end up in the trash can?I constantly get asked about email open rates and why, even though recipients have signed up for information, they didn’t seem to be actually opening messages, let alone responding or engaging.

According to recent research, an average email account receives about 120 emails a day and this figure is set to increase to 140 by 2018, so it’s inevitable that a lot of those messages are instantly trashed, without even a second glance. So it’s a dilemma lots of businesses face if their emails are constantly being unread and ignored; how do you make sure your emails don’t end up in the trash can?

Simple answer: make sure your emails are relevant to each recipient – this way they are more likely to open and digest the information – they might not respond immediately, but at least the seed is sown.

Taking the following simple steps will ensure a better chance of getting responses and eventually results.

Clean up your data (regularly)

Your database is the most valuable part of any marketing. Make sure your information is up to date and you have a clear idea of who are existing customers and prospects.

Keep a record of the products/services they are interested in and which emails they have responded to in the past; assuming your opt-ins have an interest in what you’re ‘selling’, or at least have some affinity with the industry you operate in, this should be easy to evaluate.

Divide and conquer

Once you start consistently evaluating your data, you can send your recipients relevant information by segmenting your database into different categories.

For instance, if you’re a wine retailer and have a section of customers who only ever buy white wines, it would be obvious to target them with information about white wine. This way you would be communicating with them personally, providing them with relevant messages.

Don’t be tempted to send the same email to each list in the hope that those who only drink red will start loving white because they couldn’t possibly live without this amazing offer!

And if they’ve just bought a case of Australian Chardonnay, don’t send them an email containing the same offer the following week; the last thing they want is an endless stream of useless emails, which will inevitably lead to them opting out altogether.

To put it into context, think about the last time you went into Boots and bought some shampoo. Did you notice the next set of loyalty vouchers you received were for money off the same brand of shampoo, valid for 6 or so weeks? Where are you likely to buy your shampoo when you next run out?

This is smart targeted marketing!

So, spend your energy dissecting and evaluating your data on a regular basis, especially after you’ve sent out an email campaign. This will allow you to devise a series of future emails with relevant targeted messages which will help to increase your open rates and give you a better chance of converting a sale.

Christine Davey
@DaveyMarketing

If you’d like some help and advice on your emailmarketing, Tweet me or call me on 01273 772033 today.

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Digital Marketing: 3 Winning ways to make it work for you

Digital Marketing BrightonStill in its infancy, digital marketing is so fast changing that it’s not always easy to know how to integrate into your existing marketing planning effectively.

Try these 3 simple steps to making sure you choose the right platforms for your business.

1. Research: find out where your audience is

As a small business, it’s very tempting just to pick one channel, normally one you might be familiar with or may have dabbled with on a personal level. Focusing all your efforts on Facebook, for instance, when your target market might be engaging more in Instagram or YouTube, could prove costly in the long term.

Before you commit to setting up profiles on Social Media streams, find out what research has been done on your target market which outlines where your customers might be communicating. Using your keywords, search each channel to see how your competitors are engaging and learn from their apparent success.

Recent studies show that small businesses see the best results when they commit themselves to joining up their marketing efforts making sure all their digital platforms are accessible, whether through print advertising; QR codes, Website; link to email marketing sign-up, Social Media; links in online profiles which direct traffic to specific targeted offers/services.

2. Add Value: consider what your target audience really wants

Avoid blatant selling; posting constantly about how great your products are and communicating special offers won’t generate a sale on it’s own and will soon see your followers dwindle and go somewhere else. Whilst everyone loves a bargain, sharing useful pieces of knowledge and advice will give credence to your products and position you as the brand to follow in your field of expertise.

Ask your customers what they want; as soon as you know then you can start providing powerful, targeted information, which will generate more sales.

3. Join the dots: make sure your digital marketing becomes part of your overall marketing mix

Digital marketing is only one part of your overall marketing strategy; albeit an important one – don’t be tempted to separate digital from your other marketing efforts.

Consider your key propositions and utilize other marketing strategies to communicate your key digital platforms including Face-to-face (business cards/flyers), Media (advertising) and PR (Press releases).

Consider every physical touch point you have with a customer – at the till if you own a shop, the food bill if you own a restaurant, in the waiting room if you run a beauty salon.

In essence, try and keep it real; communicate openly with your customers and give them what they want – this way they’ll keep coming back again and again.

 

Christine Davey
@DaveyMarketing

If you’d like some help with implementing your digital marketing Tweet me or call me on 01273 772033 for an initial chat over a coffee!

How to create engaging online content

Online content marketing allows you to communicate with your target customers and prospects without selling.

  • Instead of pitching your products or services you are sharing information to inform and make your buyer more intelligent; ultimately rewarding you with their business and loyalty.
  • The information you share needs to be relevant and valuable to attract, acquire and engage a clearly defined target audience to help drive traffic and profitable customer action.
  • The content needs to be consistent and ongoing; fresh and engaging content will fulfil your marketing objectives, drive traffic and build brand loyalty.
  • Effective online content is key to drive marketing, engage users and increase website conversions.

Here’s a really useful infographic from Mari Smith to help you on your way

How to create engaging content

I write your targeted online content, whether it’s for your website, blog or social media pages, which resonates with your target audience, capturing their attention and answering their needs.
I can also help you identify how to increase your online effectiveness through email marketing and get your social media sites up and running.
Contact me today by telephone 01273 772033 or on Twitter to arrange to meet for an initial chat over a coffee.

Christine Davey
Davey Marketing Brighton

Will Social Media replace Email?

SocialMediaI participated recently in a very interesting debate on a LinkedIn forum, which asked this very question. Predictably it generated a lot of debate, specifically from those specialising in Email Marketing who were fiercely defending their products!

At the moment, Social Media is nowhere near replacing Email, but continues to be complementary – an important tool in your marketing kit bag, so to speak.  Rather than being completely replaced, I think it will evolve to work even harder to integrate with Social Media.

Email has been around since the 1980’s and whilst it isn’t as permanent as a postal address – another form of communication which hasn’t died out altogether – consumers don’t tend to change email addresses; once you have a customer’s email address, you have a fairly assured way of getting a message in front of that customer.

Consumers do, however, migrate social media.  Remember when MySpace was the most popular social media site?  Then, when Facebook arrived and became more popular it seemed unthinkable that anything would take over FB’s position. Then up popped Google Plus, which has taken a big slice of the pie and still seems to be gaining momentum and I’m sure there will continue to be more contenders in years to come!

So, whilst social media evolves as a place to communicate with your customers in real time, keep up with news and enhance knowledge, Email continues to provide a more personal connection with more opportunities to repeatedly communicate with direct targeted messages.

But who knows?  Twenty years ago, who could have predicted the demise of the fax machine?  Maybe in another twenty years, we’ll be reminiscing the demise of email. . . .

Christine Davey
@DaveyMarketing

If you’d like some help on putting together some email marketing campaigns Tweet me or call me on 01273 772033 to set up an initial chat over a coffee!

5 Ways to gain Brand Recognition

Christine Davey Marketing ManagementIt doesn’t matter what kind of business you have, whether you are a big corporate brand or a one-man band – in order to be successful your brand needs to stand out from the crowd.  Your ultimate goal is to have your target market think only of you when they are ready to buy.

Gaining brand recognition isn’t just about a fancy logo – it’s all about making sure that whenever your target market associates with a product, service or organisation they remember something distinctive about you which will jog their memory.  This could be a logo, a colour, some kind of packaging or just memorable customer service; something that triggers associations in their minds and sets you apart from your competition.
Here are 5 ways you can easily gain brand recognition

1.  Exceptional Customer Service
Develop a reason customers will trust you enough to come back time and time again and recommend you to others.  Today’s customers are much more discernible; looking for guarantees, prompt turnaround time and first-class after sales service.  In fact, customer service can often be the major factor in the final buying decision.
2. Be Personable
Create a persona to engender trust; become the go-to person/company in your field of expertise.  Your target market needs to accept you as the person behind the brand before they will buy what you are are offering.
3. Generate Awareness
Create a strategy to remind your target market that you are actively doing business; make them aware of what you offer by keeping your brand top of mind, communicating with your target market both online and offline with a consistent, objective message. Fail to do this and your target market will forget about you and go somewhere else!
4. Add Value
Exceed people’s expectations – share your expertise through a series of touchpoints; become the well-respected ‘go-to’ person in your field through blogging, white papers & webinars.
5. Be Consistent in your Branding
Be instantly recognisable to your target market by using the same imaging and logo styling in all forms of communication.  Brand consistency is the key to brand recognition and one which is strictly adhered to by top successful brands.  It seems an obvious one, but it is very often overlooked.

What other ways could you help your target market recognise and remember you and your brand?  Why not take the time to develop a marketing checklist and develop a strategy you can easily implement to ensure your brand stands out from the crowd?

Christine Davey
@DaveyMarketing

If you’d like some help on managing your marketing, Tweet me or call me on 01273 772033 today.

6 Top Tips to create good Content

ChristineDaveyContentMarketingIt’s all about having relevant and timely messages!

Good content can create more sales leads, drive traffic to your website, create brand awareness and educate your existing and prospective customers.

Follow these six top tips to get the most out of your content marketing.

1.  Make sure it’s not promotional!
Anything which is blatantly salesy and promotional will not inspire or excite your target audience; two of the most critical components of content marketing

2.  Make it relevant and targeted
It has to be relevant and of interest.  Make sure you make it useful to the reader – even if this means it doesn’t necessarily support your company’s main service message.

3. Answer a niggling business question
Give your readers added value. By imparting useful information gives you the ability to nurture important leads and positions you as the ‘expert’ in your field.

4. Make sure it’s well written
Thought leadership needs to be written well – poorly written copy may be detrimental to your company’s reputation.  Well presented and free of errors, it needs time and effort; outsourcing might be a wise investment!

5. Keep your business goals in mind
Does your content support your business objectives?  Is it relevant to your company?  Creating content which does neither, is a waste of resources.



6. Make sure it’s substantiated
Writing to support your business goals, may seem biased; content needs to be supported with ‘proof’; either quotes and testimonials or actual statistics.

Christine Davey
@DaveyMarketing

If you’d like some help on planning your Content Marketing, Tweet me or call me on 01273 772033 today.

The importance of the Follow-Up

Follow-upAs a sole trader, I need to be able to ‘sell’ myself to both existing and potential clients together with generating leads through various forms of marketing – all of which need to be followed-up.

Going in person to networking events, engaging online and working with people on projects on a daily basis gives us loads of content and conversations; juggling multiple communications both on and offline.

With millions of images, messages and insights relentlessly bombarding us on a daily basis, it’s easy to fall through the communication cracks and to a certain extent we seem to have lost the art of follow-up, which still remains the most important activity to engage in after meeting new people, and the keystone to relationship building and retention.

Timing is Essential

Follow-up with people you have met or been introduced to as soon as you can and try to make time to respond to people who have taken the time to contact you (unless it’s an obvious spam)!

Research, research, research

Knowing something about them and what they do will give you a powerful advantage for opening a conversation; taking the time and trouble to research their company beforehand will give you a smart strategic edge.

Be engaging

Exchange knowledge which will add value and help to forge a strong mutual connection; using all the social and online tools shows you are willing to engage and gives you a series of touch points to develop that connection.

Change their perceptions

Small gestures can go a long way to change a potential customer’s perception of you.  Provide an endorsement or introduce them as an expert in their field to someone looking for their help; this doesn’t need to be reciprocal and will have a big impact of how people perceive you, demonstrating you as someone they can trust.

Don’t give up at the first hurdle

Time is such a challenge these days, it’s too easy to give up early when it doesn’t look like you’re getting anywhere with people you have a relationship with or feel a potential with.  Be persistent, but respect people’s time and know when it’s time to step away if you can’t add value straight away.

Keeping in touch is so much easier than it’s ever been – so never fail to follow-up!

3 reasons to consider outsourcing your marketing

JuneBlogWhen you’re pushed for time – seeing to clients, building relationships and managing your staff – your marketing inevitably gets pushed on the back burner, especially in times of recession when budgets are stretched.

The reality is that investing in your marketing at times like this can in fact generate a huge return on sales and when time is tight, outsourced help from a marketing professional can provide additional support from planning what to do, to making it happen; freeing up your time so you are able to concentrate on other areas of your business.

With the current climate pushing many small businesses to keep costs down and re-prioritise workloads, outsourcing can be a cost effective and efficient way to make sure your marketing is working.

1. You get the right marketing skills you need, when you need them

As a small business you often find yourself being a jack-of-all-trades, juggling different projects or delegating marketing projects to other members of your team who don’t have any marketing expertise.  Employing an experienced marketer full time to implement each aspect of your marketing plan can be costly to maintain in-house and by outsourcing specific tasks, gives you the opportunity to focus on other aspects of your business without the cost of employing a full time marketing professional.

Taking on the promotion for your own business can be daunting if you have little or no marketing expertise.  Sourcing an expert can help develop and implement your marketing plan and bring fresh creativity, new ideas and a completely different perspective.  They won’t be afraid to push the boundaries and show you what will work for your product.

2. It’s cost effective and time efficient

Whether you’re a one man band or a big brand, saving time and money is key to running a successful business.  By having top level marketing experts on hand whenever you need them, you’ll be avoiding the hidden costs of employing staff such as sick pay, office overheads and holidays.

For instance, if you have a marketing campaign planned to run over a specific period, you won’t be paying an in-house marketer during the times you don’t have marketing planned, thus saving both time and money.

3. You get personal, professional expert help

The right outsourced marketer will have a wealth of experience in a diverse range of markets.  They will be able to advise you on the best marketing techniques to suit your business and help to get the right messages to the right people at the right time.

By creating timelines, and delivering weekly or monthly reports on the project effectiveness you will be fully in control of your investment, so you know exactly where you are every step of the way.

Christine Davey
Davey Marketing

If you’d like to outsource any aspect of your own marketing,  Tweet me, contact me here or call me for an initial chat on 01273 772033 today.

Why aren’t my customers opening my emails?

Davey Marketing Email MarketingI had a conversation with someone this week about email open rates and a concern that, even though his recipients had signed up for information, they didn’t seem to be actually opening the message, let alone responding or engaging with him.

According to recent research, an average email account receives about 65 emails a day so it’s inevitable that a lot of those messages are instantly trashed, without even a second glance.  So it’s a dilemma lots of businesses face if their emails are constantly being unread and ignored; how do you make sure your emails don’t end up in the trash can?

Simple answer: make sure your emails are relevant to each recipient – this way they are more likely to open and digest the information – they might not respond immediately, but at least the seed is sown.

Taking the following simple steps will ensure a better chance of getting responses and eventually results.

Clean up your data (regularly)

Your database is the most valuable part of any marketing.  Make sure your information is up to date and you have a clear idea of who are existing customers and prospects.

Keep a record of the products/services they are interested in and which emails they have responded to in the past; assuming your opt-ins have an interest in what you’re ‘selling’, or at least have some affinity with the industry you operate in, this should be easy to evaluate.

Divide and conquer

Once you start consistently evaluating your data, you can send your recipients relevant information by segmenting your database into different categories.

For instance, if you’re a wine retailer and have a section of customers who only ever buy white wines, it would be obvious to target them with information about white wine.  This way you would be communicating with them personally, providing them with relevant messages.

Don’t be tempted to send the same email to each list in the hope that those who only drink red will start loving white because they couldn’t possibly live without this amazing offer!

And if they’ve just bought a case of Australian Chardonnay, don’t send them an email containing the same offer the following week; the last thing they want is an endless stream of useless emails, which will inevitably lead to them opting out altogether.

To put it into context, think about the last time you went into Boots and bought some shampoo.  Did you notice the next set of loyalty vouchers you received were for money off the same brand of shampoo, valid for 6 or so weeks? Where are you likely to buy your shampoo when you next run out?

This is smart targeted marketing!

So, spend your energy dissecting and evaluating your data on a regular basis, especially after you’ve sent out an email campaign.  This will allow you to devise a series of future emails with relevant targeted messages which will help to increase your open rates and give you a better chance of converting a sale.

Christine Davey
@DaveyMarketing

If you’d like some help on devising and sending your email marketing campaigns, Tweet me or call me on 01273 772033 today.