Advertising

Email Marketing 2.0

As a small business owner, you do everything you can to get great marketing results with a small budget and individual attention. Email marketing is one of the least expensive and easiest ways to communicate to your customers, giving them information about upcoming sales, specials and other items you want to share. A creatively designed and properly executed email campaign is what separates the dregs of email marketing from the all-stars.

The List

The most important thing you can do before launching an email marketing campaign is to create a client list. Tag members of the list so you can segment your marketing emails, reducing the chances of sending someone an email that doesn’t interest them. Moreover, if you blindly send out emails you run the risk of being marked as Spam and eventually deleted.

Don’t treat every email on your list the same way. Different emails need to go to different types of customers. For example, create a “Welcome back” email for those who haven’t made a purchase from you in a while but have recently returned to your business. Write a “We miss you” email for those who haven’t purchased from you in a few months. Both of these remind the customer of your business and encourage them to return and make a purchase.

Content

Before writing the email, sit down and determine what your email marketing goals

image credit: freedigitalphotos.com

are. Determine whether you plan to educate consumers, promote a product or drive a specific action from the reader. These goals will help you plan the content for your email. Determine if your emails are for seasonal events or just generic email greetings that encourage consumers to buy from you. With all of these goals and your list, write your emails geared toward your desired clientele.

Engage

In your email, encourage recipients to engage with your email marketing campaign. Ask them for feedback and encourage them to share the email by forwarding it to others. Also, encourage recipients to share your information via social media networking. This, along with the call to action, will help spread the word about your business, grow your client base and increase your sales.

Format

Create a format that will draw the email recipient in and encourage them to continue reading. Don’t clutter your email with too many graphics. Yes, you can add a cute picture or use a bright font, but make sure they’re easy to read and don’t distract from the message you want to send. Keep your call to action and any important details above the fold, because many people don’t scroll down unless they have to.

Call to Action

The call to action in an email is what you ask your readers to do. For example, if you’re having a great sale this weekend, write something like, “Come to our location and shop before noon to receive the best deals of this sale,” or ask your readers to promote your business for you and share the email with friends and family. The call to action will encourage your consumers to do what you want, as long as you clearly state it. Place the call to action above the fold and then reiterate it toward the end of the email. This increases their exposure and makes it more difficult to miss.

If you haven’t already started an email marketing campaign for your small business, it’s not too late. Make the decisions to start one, then sit down, and plan it out. The better the plan, the better the results.

Create a Buzz With Teaser Ad Campaigns

Whether you’re launching the latest addition to an existing product line or you plan on providing an entirely new service to your customer base, companies looking to bring out a new offering will, quite obviously, want to get people talking about it. A good way to create a buzz is by using teaser adverts.

As you may have guessed from the name, teaser ad campaigns come out several weeks or months in anticipation of a full-blown marketing drive. These are focused on building hype around a forthcoming product or service and getting a target audience to talk about it, even if they don’t know what it actually is or the name of the company that is behind it.

With this in mind, it’s important that your teaser campaigns provide enough information to get a target audience interested in what you are about to release, but don’t contain so much that they have no incentive to learn more about it when you decide to ramp up your promotional efforts at a later date.


The best teaser ad initiatives tend to be those that constantly give an audience new information and provide an incentive to find out when the next element of your campaign – whether it’s a new TV ad or the location of a free product giveaway – will be launched.

Alternatively, you might want to try using a flash mob event to create interest in your brand. Getting a group of people to perform a seemingly random act in a public place (previous flash mobs have seen companies get hundreds of participants to perform dance routines and break out into synchronised applause in shops) is a great way to catch the interest of passersby.

With any luck, a flash mob will result in dozens of people stopping what they are doing and watching your performance. Once it is over, you have a wonderful chance to provide potential customers with more information about your company, something that could be achieved by giving out promotional merchandise.

Doing so is a great way to encourage people to interact with your brand long after the event has finished, so it’s vital to make sure the products you distribute have a link to your website and contain details of when the new service/product that you are promoting will be fully launched. There are certainly plenty of products suitable for giving away at flash mob events, but it’s best to select items that are fairly small so they can be easily popped into pockets and purses.

This could include everyday items such as pens that can be used repeatedly and, in the process, encourage long-term brand interaction. However, handing out unusual items – such as stress shapes that feature quirky designs – may create a more immediate short-term impact in terms of getting recipients to remember your teaser ad campaign and generate interest in the launch of your forthcoming product.

Whatever you choose, make sure that your design is consistent with the identity of your overall campaign and your company as a whole. Otherwise, your target audience may struggle to make the connection between the teaser ads and your organisation, as well as the products/services they are meant to promote.

How has your company used teaser ad campaigns? Post a comment below and let us know!

The Best of POS

If you are looking for a software that can meet the demands of your wholesale or retail business, then Counterpoint software may be the answer. This is more than just basic POS software. It allows you to fully manage your business with efficiency and ease. If your business is looking for a new way to streamline things then this might be a good choice for you.

 

Customer Loyalty

This software allows you to keep detailed information on your customers. You will also be able to keep a detailed sales history so that you know which of your products they like best. This can aid you when you are trying to put together special promotions.

 

Inventory Management

Managing inventory is a tedious task and counting by hand can result in accidental human errors. This software can help you with controlling inventory costs, maintaining optimum inventory levels and tracking merchandise movement. All of the tools needed to do these things are all part of the software, as well as tools to minimize out-of-stock situations and inventory levels and to maximize profitability and valuable management information.

 

Gifts Cards

Gift cards are a great way to generate predictable and consistent revenue. It is also a good way to meet consumer expectations. This software has a feature that is easy to use dedicated to gift cards. Think about it, if someone buys a gift card for your business, the recipient has to spend it there. Plus, once a gift card is bought, you have the money whether the gift card is redeemed or not, so it really is a win-win situation.

 

Order Management

If you have mail order, website order or customer specials, this software can help you handle and organize all of this. You will be able to enjoy recorded shipping information for shipping manifest integration, order entry, batch order processing and order fulfillment of individual orders. You really cannot go wrong with this. Orders are some of the hardest things to keep track of, especially when you are doing it by hand. This software can do all of this for you removing the risk for accidental human error.

Importance of SEO and Local Online Searches for Automotive Industry

The Internet is expanding each day and its just for the good. Previously people used to find local shops from adverts placed on hoardings at the traffic signals, grocery stores or digital signage boards. However these days with the advent of mobile internet, people are turning towards online local searches (eg: Google Places/ Google local search). The following infographic shows how important it is not to ignore this new source for getting new customers for you local businesses, especially automotive maintenance workshops.


Via: Web-Est

How to Make a Website Popular

A website is a very important asset for anyone, more so for those people who would like to use it to make money. It is also very true that the websites that earn the biggest amount of money are those that get the largest number of visitors. This is precisely why they must be made as popular as possible.

There are a number of things, which if done well by website owners can help them a lot by bringing in more people to their pages and thereby increasing the money that can be possible made.
One of the ways to attract people to your site is by breaking up the information that is there into smaller pieces that are more palatable. There is no need to have too much information on one page to an extent that that it becomes very difficult for visitors to find the small piece of information that they could be in need of. The information will still be the same, but the navigation will be much easier than before. This is because they will be divided into categories and under headings that are specific hence making finding information much faster. If the users of the internet find a website where they have to struggle too much to find information, they will leave and try to find better ones.

Secondly, it is important to help web page users quickly find what they want to read instead of having to read through masses of information that have no need for. This is to mean that the author of the blog or the website must offer choices, giving the visitors to the site the guidance that they will need to go directly to their points of focus. The choices should however not be too much. Narrowing the search topics for browsers of the internet will help them save a lot of time. Moreover, when they feel that they have received great assistance, visitors to the website will come again over and over. To do this right, articles must be saved under specified categories, summaries made and under a major headline.

The function of a website of any kind is to help browsers answer some form of questions. It is imperative therefore that the administrator of the web page answers the questions that are given to him or her by the people who visit the page. This is especially important if the web page belongs to a certain business unit. A proper website is where as many questions as possible that are asked by visitors are answered as accurately as possible. At times, text links can also be used to guide the readers in the site to other pages where their questions can be answered better. The needs of the customer must always be put ahead of anything else and their concerns dealt with adequately.

Another very important factor in websites that could make them popular is consistency. The main aim of this is to ensure that the website visitors and users do not get confused about the aim of the website. Consistencies must be maintained in terms of the keywords used, presentation of the work and even spelling. If users notice that there are too many changes every now and then, they will begin to wonder about the direction of the website. Consistency includes the fact that the site should also focus on a few major subjects, instead of combining too many of them to a level that readers lose taste with it.

Another way to improve the popularity of a web page is communicating with the web visitors. The administrator(s) of a website should at all times try to reach out to their readers and viewer. For instance, the website could be receiving plenty of emails from these people. It is important that the operators of this site at least set aside some fem moments every day to try and respond to some of the emails. This will go a long way to give the web users some confidence.

It’s a Hot and Humid Day. Which Would You Buy?

Let’s say it’s a very hot day today, the temperature is 40°C/104°F. You see two stalls – both are of the same size, but one looks more elegant than the other. The first one (let’s call it “stall A”) has a very simple “setting”. No flowery curtains, splendid table covers, no fancy stuff. All you can see there is a person (the seller), and his refreshing and cool lemonade. The second one (“stall B”) has all the elegance in the world — high-class decors, tablecloths, a unique logo for the stall, and all that. The owner of stall B looks very presentable, and he’s selling cups of coffee.

Now, the question is… which product would you buy? The lemonade, or the coffee? I’m sure all of you would answer lemonade, unless your brain has been configured to be topsy-turvy!

This teaches us one important lesson. If you do not market the right product to the right people (in this case, people who need a refreshing thirst quencher), you would NOT make any sales at all… No matter how presentable your product is!

Learn to Adapt to Your Environment

The internet is transforming more and more nowadays, and we can not simply deny that fact. We, internet marketers, should learn to adapt to our environment. If the people today need article spinning software, then let us have something to market to them — get a programmer to produce a unique and saleable software, and then do what every marketer should do. Use your skills to make some serious sales. Do not try to sell them an article copier software that literally copies and pastes articles from the net to a word processor. I’m telling you, you would not make even a single cent.

What measures/actions should we take in order to adapt to our environment quicker?

Research, research, research. This one is very powerful especially when you know how to do it properly. Research on the most lucrative niches. Know what the people’s needs today are. Learn which things are hot and which are not. Be updated on all the trends on the internet today.

Don’t try things that you think won’t work. There was this saying by Henry Ford, let me share it with you. “Whether you think you can or can’t, you’re right.” Most of the time his quote proves to be true! Trust me, I can attest to that. If you think selling boxing gloves to fashion-inclined girls won’t work, then don’t even think of doing it. Once this becomes your habit, you won’t be making mistakes of choosing the wrong product for a certain group of people during a certain period of time.

Ask for suggestions/comments. This method has never failed me. If you ask for suggestions, it would be like asking the question “What would you want me to sell to you?” to your target market! I have tried this a lot of times already and it always worked.

People Buy Something Because They Like It…

… Not because you’ve got a decent sales pitch. If you had a very, very enticing sales pitch, then maybe they would buy without thinking, but we’re only talking about a decent sales pitch here. :razz: No more arguments about the adjectives. Let’s continue on…

Face it — even if you don’t write a great sales pitch, people would be flocking over your online store if they think your product is that good. In my opinion, it would be enough to have a detailed advertisement on forums and other websites in order to get a good number of sales. Overly exaggerated and extravagant pitches might actually do more harm than good. Why? People would be raising their eyebrows on your product!

Summary

Learn to adapt to your environment and make sure your product is liked by people. Research on the hottest trends these days and try to squeeze some information from prospects by asking for suggestions/doing surveys. If you market what’s marketable (or saleable), then you would be sure to get a lot, and I mean a lot of sales.

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