May 9, 2012

An email marketing campaign requires significant effort and time and for it then not to provide you the expected results can be demoralising. In this blog I want to provide some advice that will prevent you making the mistakes and will reward your efforts.

Email marketing is a key communication tool to all businesses and should be used on a regular basis to drive traffic to your website and through your doors by highlighting future events, special offers and developments within your business.

An email marketing campaign aims to drive traffic to your website or Facebook business page so that customers or potential customers can learn more about your business whether or not they are actively looking for a service like yours. Direct marketing has been used in business for years but the benefits of an email is that it allows you to make a purchase immediately just with a click and the success of the campaign can be measured, so it can be managed.

The process of starting an email campaign begins with the database and the process will be more successful if the recipients already have an affinity with your business, so therefore we should build our own database. This can be developed in a number of ways, including:

  • Offer something complimentary, which requires people to submit their email address to obtain it. This could be a variety of things like business advice, an add onto another purchase or discount voucher
  • Business card draws
  • Customer feedback forms
  • Newspaper editorial with a competition
  • Offering email promotions via websites and social media sites for people who subscribe
  • Producing flyers with offers only redeemable by providing email address
  • Acquiring email addresses when people make a purchase
  • Invite people to join/follow your social media sites
  • Via reservation systems

It is very important to ensure that this database is maintained and constantly added to. Having established the database we now have to consider the content and presentation of the email.

We have to start with the subject title. This needs to be appealing to encourage people to open the email and read on but should not be in capitals, have exclamation marks or contain words such as free, save, discount or £££. Content containing this is classified as spam and your email may not be delivered.

The email will be better far better received if it starts with a personal address, like Hi John, because it creates a relationship by addressing the receiver by their first name.

When considering the content remember that most email providers show a preview of the email in the recipients inbox so ensure that there is a captivating offer at the start of your email. Once you have the content to capture the attention of your audience you need a powerful image to attract the eye. Having retained your reader with your captivating offer and supporting powerful image then you can add any further messages you wish to convey.

With the content we need to ensure that we obtain the right result by getting the reader to click to make the purchase or reservation. Research conducted into this tells us that readers respond better to a plain bold blue text link, like for more information go to as opposed to a large banner or button. If this action directs people to a website ensure that it directs them to the correct page so that do not have to look around the website for what they want, otherwise they will have lost interest. The whole process should be no more than two or three clicks.

At the bottom of the email always provide your readers with the opportunity to unsubscribe from the database.

When you have completed the email thoroughly check it prior to sending for spelling and punctuation. Any errors will have an adverse effect on your business.

Do not bombard your database with constant emails; they should be limited to one or two per month. Also always ensure you are offering something of value and interest to the recipients as having gone to the hard work of capturing their details you do not want to turn them against you.

Let’s summarise the key points to consider, ensuring your email marketing campaign is a success again and again.

  • To avoid getting flagged up as spam avoid words such as free, discount, save, £££ etc in both the subject line and content of your email
  • Do not use capital letters and exclamation marks in the subject line
  • Thoroughly check spelling and punctuation
  • The best days for sending out an email campaign is Tuesday or Wednesday and preferably early afternoon between 2 and 3pm.
  • Ensure that you maintain consistency with your emails to maintain and strengthen your brand. Create an email/news letter template
  • You need a powerful subject line and start to an email. You have about half a second to attract the recipients attention
  • Email providers show a preview of email in the inbox so ensure interesting content at the top of the email
  • Personalising the email is very powerful, so start the email with the recipient’s first name.
  • Research tells us that email recipients will respond to a plain bold blue text link as opposed to a banner or a button
  • Ensure that the email contains an unsubscribe statement



Customers Maintaining Existing Ones and Winning New Ones

October 17, 2011

The cost of getting new customers is a big cost and also you need to allocate time and resource to do this all of which can be better utilised in more effective ways. How do we keep our customers, there are a number of key things we need to consider.

Ensure you maintain regular communication with your customers and the most effective way of doing this is by email. Firstly we need to ensure that we capture all our customers email addresses and then when we email them ensure it is personal to them, you know how you feel when you receive a personalised email. This regular email does not always have to sell them something just keep them informed of what’s happening, so that when they do want to use your service or buy one of your products you are at the forefront of their mind.

Look at the products and services you offer and build up additional products and services to offer your customers. If you don’t have any products or services further to offer look at companies in a similar market place and set up a joint venture to extend your offer to these existing companies remember there is more profit from a relationship with an existing customer.

All forms of communication with your customers, be it websites, correspondence, emails, advertising, menus or price lists reflect on your business so regularly take a ruthless look at these and ensure they are portraying the correct image. Ensure in all your marketing material you focus on the benefits to your customers, not the features of the company, tell them how you can add value to them. The majority of our customers are coming to us via the internet so use this and your emarketing effectively, ensuring that you use the opportunities to capture email addresses. One of the most effective ways of achieving this is by offering something free. We should all look at turning our businesses into multi level marketing machines. Advertising is very expensive and not as effective as the marketing tools we all have already at our fingertips. We can also capture further customer information by asking them what they think of our services in the form of customer satisfaction questionnaires and when we receive this feedback we should always take all comments on board in our journey to improve quality and exceed customer expectations.

The people who most represent our business in focusing on the customer are our staff and used correctly they can add significant value, so keep them informed and involve them, they can be a source of valuable information. Look at their communication methods and skills and ensure like your marketing material they are portraying a positive method.

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