Tag Archives: email marketing

Gleave Media attends small business reception at No 11

Our Managing Director was chosen to meet the Chancellor of the Exchequer as a representative of small businesses in the South West earlier this month.

Alistair Gleave MD of Gleave Media joined two other local business champions at a 2-hour champagne reception held at 11 Downing Street, after being nominated by Newton Abbot MP Anne Marie Morris, the Conservative Small Business Ambassador for the South West.

He said: “It was a great honour to be chosen to represent small businesses in the south west region and to listen to George Osborne talk about his own experiences growing up as the son of two small business owners.”

The Chancellor, whose mother ran a catering company whilst his father ran a textile business, also outlined Government support for small businesses, referring to them as the ‘engine room’ of the economy.

During the reception Mr Gleave and his wife, Penelope met other small business champions from the south of the country to swap experiences.

It is the aim of Gleave Media to help other small Devon businesses grow and achieve great things, so it was a real bonus to receive recognition for myself as well as get a glimpse inside the power house that is No 11,” he added.

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How good is your business data?

Your business could well be sitting on a goldmine of data that you didn’t even know you had and if you took a look further and could well find some amazing nuggets ready to be discovered, such as;

  • Existing clients you can sell other products and services to.
  • Old clients, can they be resold to?
  • Prospects – people you’ve met who you haven’t followed up with.

All these and more will be sitting in some kind of database, so how do you find value in your own data?   you just need to find it.

So how do you find it? well start at the beginning although you now may use a CRM system, how did you collate data originally, maybe it was a crd index file or even an old show box for all those cards you collected at networking meeting – either way go back relook and find them.  It is never to late to remake contact and email marketing offers a very cost effective way to do this, to make that introduction and try to start that conversation all over again.  So when you have all this old data when then…

Some questions to ask yourself?

  • Where is this business data? – is it in one big list or maybe our receptionist has a list from people who walked in, your sales staff from business cards.
  • What kind of format is it in? – Do you have any history with this data, i.e. where it was acquired from, who spoke to the contact etc etc
  • Has it been de duplicated? – important if you are planning on multiple mail shots.
  • Is it compliant with the data protection act? – this comes back to how the data was acquired, was it acquired by a trawl through records by a keen salesperson or did someone actually contact everyone on your lists?

And if all this seems to much trouble then why not ask our team as we also run our own email marketing system called mailPDQ and we can help you make sense of what you have and how you can use it to your businesses advantage, you can contact us through the website here.

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five top tips for creating great content

The importance of creating great content about your business or products you offer at the right time has been shown to have a direct benefit to drive demand for this offering and at the same time improve the all important bottom line.  To make sure you get the most out of any content you create here are our top five tips;

  1. keep it relevant – don’t just write some generic mumbo jumbo, who is your audience, your target market?  If you write with them in mind you will have far greater engagement and by its very nature a greater response rate, which is surely what you want isn’t it?
  2. don’t just promote – at the end of the day we all want to sell our products or services but if you do this all day every day then people will disengage with you (your business) and more than likely not welcome any future communication updates.
  3. quality of the content – what you create needs to be written, or at the very least ‘helped’ by the relevant person, so if you’re a hotel writing about the amazing meals you offer then get your chef to share and help – thats common sense surely?
  4. it is applicable to your business – we see this so many times, where a business creates content that is in no way relevant for your business, not even slightly – not only would this give poor results but it could also damage the businesses reputation.
  5. does it offer benefit to the reader – as with all content creation you need to think with your reader in mind, what are you offering them, think like a customer so don’t just promote, offer them something of value.  To use the example of a hotel why not offer a small article on how to make amazing cranberry sauce this festive season

So in summary if you can offer a relevant targeted message about your business this will have a direct result on engagement and interest.  make no doubt about it if you can create great content you will gain more sales leads and improve the quality of your website traffic further promoting your brand.

A short mention for GleaveMedia, we can help with your content creation needs and requirements and help your business achieve it’s targets, just get in touch here.

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Three New Year Resolutions for your Online Marketing Strategy

Teenage girl enjoying winterThe start of 2013 is a great time for starting afresh with your business online marketing plan and the best way to do this is by setting some clear manageable targets and goals. These are our top three new year resolutions for your businesses online marketing.

1. Facebook WILL be part of my customer engagement strategy

As a growing business you simply can no longer afford to ignore facebook, it is growing and evolving at an amazing rate, your audience is active on this site and it is growing fast through mobile and the younger demographics which make great posts with some creative imagery a really good place to start.

2. My business will send at least one targeted email per month

As a business you need to keep in touch with your customers and prospects on a regular basis, you can guarantee if you dont then your competitors will. Setting yourself up to email on a monthly basis is the right kind of timeline to not deluge them but keep in touch – which is exactly what you want.

We run our own email marketing system called mailPDQ a very cost effective tool for collecting data from a multitude of sources and then segmenting this so it can then be used to target a message relevant to the audience, please contact us through the website for a free no obligation trial

3. Blogging will be part of your business engagement strategy

Blogging is a great way to put a personality on your business, not only does it positively help with your search engine rankings but it also allows you to position individuals within the business as leaders or at the very minimum contributors.  By incorporating images and video you can really make this updatebale area of your site almost have a life of its own, i.e. if your factory has a new forklift why not video all that it can do and why its a great addition. Basically think outside the box, the rules have changed…

So if your business can at least start down this route with these three simple steps you will begin to see a clear and accountable result for your actions and if you want help embedding this into a full Digital Marketing Strategy then we are the team to help, please get in touch here.

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Getting your ecommerce site ready for Christmas

As we head into the busiest quarter for most ecommerce sites, you as a site owner you need to ask yourself some really pertinent questions as there is simply no point in sending traffic to a less-than-optimised website or product listing. So before you do anything else then take a good look at your website and product listings and ask yourself the following question: Would I buy from this site?

You need to be hard and honest and this is where an experienced outside team can help, asking such things like;

is your design professional enough for your business image?

do your product pages look dated?

does the copy need updating, are you actually selling each and every product?

What about your photos, if they were taken on a mobile phone – this is not good enough these days.

Does your site have any additional costs that you aren’t honest and open about?

Do you have a significant drop off at checkout?

If the answer is yes to any of these direct questions your site will be loosing business, maybe more than you are actually winning so why not take the opportunity now to get your site working as it should.  Don’t forget these days this  can include simply collecting data on a brochure download or getting new likes on your Facebook page.

The simple truth is that you need to make it easy for any potential (and returning) customer to do business with you, if you don’t they may go elsewhere.

Gleave Media are experienced ecommerce consultants and can help get your business plans sorted in time for Christmas and beyond, please get in touch here

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five ways to create amazing customer surveys

We are big believers in customer surveys as a great way of helping you determine which way your online business should proceed and these are are five ways to create amazing customer surveys.

1. Do your research

Any successful survey needs to be as targeted as possible. Don’t just ask your email list, “What products do you want to buy from us?” may not turn up as many good ideas as asking them about specific subjects.

So why not look at your webstats and see which are you best selling products or if you don’t sell online yet  your top content pages, if any are similar then why not use this as a starting point for your survey?

2. Draft your questions

This is controversial I know but we think for best results, try and make your survey no more than 10 questions.  Most of us have short attention spans and if you bombard your email list with lots and lots of questions you completion rates will fall considerably.  Also a Yes or No answer to your questions is great but it won’t give you as much information as a free text box, they will just take more time to collate – but do you want great research to act on?

3. Can you offer an incentive for completing the survey?

Why not come up with an incentive to encourage completion of your survey, this doesn’t have to be cash – Premier Inn for example offer a cash draw for x participants, others may offer an ebook – think different to get people to participate, you won’t regret it.

4. Make your survey work well online

Many web companies will tell you they can hand code you a survey that looks great and works amazingly, why bother just head over to SurveyMonkey or Google the phrase Online Surveys to see what best suits you, these automated surveys can do a lot of the hard work for you and some even offer a free survey solution to trial on…. You generally find the paid upgrades offer some great features like automated follow ups and a custom URL for your survey and stats on sending and the like so don’t be afraid to splash out the costs aren’t significant, on SurveyMonkey a paid plan starts at just £24 per month.

5. Ensure you publicize your survey to prospects, customers and your target audience

Once you have your survey all ready to go, make sure you then tell people about it, some location could be;

• Your business or personal website
• At the end of your news updates
• Included in email newsletters
• On your social media profiles

Don’t forget your target audience may not have time to complete the survey first time, so make sure you tell them once, then again and then again – you want to ensure it gets high completion rates so you have the best feedback to act on.

So there you have it our top five tips to make your online survey amazing, at GleaveMedia we can help integrate your online survey into any Digital Marketing plan and help your business achieve it s targets, just get in touch here.

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How to get the best out of your Email Marketing

Promoting your business by email marketing is a powerful form of direct marketing, you can communicate quickly, effectively and very cost effectively to all your groups of customers and prospects at a time of your choosing.

Any email marketing needs to be planned with real care so it can be interesting and most of all relevant to your recipients, so here are our top tips to get the best out of your email marketing campaigns.

1. Targeting
The whole point of email marketing is to target the right people so your message can go direct to a user who is interested in what you are offering. You need to bear in mind that unsolicited emails or spam is illegal and server side software often filters these out so they are wasted email anyway. A user will usually always delete an email that is unsolicited and irrelevant but an email to a customer or prospect who has agreed to receive your message is far more valuable to you as a business.

2. Keep it relevant
A number of companies have large email databases of customers and prospects so it is worth analysing what you know about this list, how recent is the data for example? Can you sort the data into categories – you do this so you can ensure you send a relevant email to the relevant category.

3. Opt in for your emails
We have already said that it is illegal to send unsolicited emails anybody receiving junk email, spam or stuff they didn’t ask for is not going to wax lyrically about you and your business, so why not check or ask every now and then if they are happy to still receive your email? Of course ensure your site has the option to sign any user up – this one for example you can sign up on the side menu OR at the bottom of this post, please do!

4. Give people a reason to sign up
Following on from the last point, sign up to our email list and we will just update you with all that is relevant in Email Marketing, Social Media and Online for your business. For your business an incentive may well be a special discount, you let people know first on email maybe or something exclusive just to this email list. When you make offers available on an exclusive basis you will see viewing and click through rates higher than normal straight ‘brochure emails’.

5. Growing your email lists
If you run regular email campaign then don’t miss opportunities to add new people to your list when you have new marketing material, ask people if its ok to send them an email, if you create content for your website then add an email sign up on the post (as is on this one). Your website is one of the most powerful (and easy) ways to collect data so use it and remember to mention the benefits or reasons to signup up to your email list.

6. Creating the email newsletter
You need to use a good strong and flexible email marketing system that allows professional looking email to be created. We use our own system mailPDQ and you can find out more on the link.

This email marketing system allows easy customization, targeting of category groups and scheduling of emails amongst others, if you want a free demo please let us know.

When creating the email these are three key points to bear in mind:

a) make it interesting and relevant
b) customize the message for the audience
c) include the opportunity to record clicks through to the content on your website

Also make sure the business phone number is available if possible so people have a number of ways to contact you. Finally the opportunity unsubscribe needs to be on every email, mailPDQ has this as default so you cannot send any future email again to anyone who has unsubscribed.

7. Make it engaging
Anyone will only read something and act on an email that interests them so keep yours engaging by tailoring it to your audience. You could even even split test your email to see which one works best. So how do you make your email engaging?

a) get the best subject line that attracts attention, many readers will decide whether to read just by the subject line, so put some thought into and dont go wild and wacky as this subject line can still get picked up by spam filters – no the greatest ever etc etc…
b) get to the point, waffle is terrible in conversation so why put it in your email newsletter?
c) offer benefits, we have mentioned earlier about special benefits to email subscribers, what can you offer?
d) how often do you send? only send when you have something interesting and relevant.

8. Monitor and follow up
All email newsletters/campaigns should be monitored and follow up else how will you improve next time? You also monitor to make sure your time spent creating everything is worhtwhile so make sure you record views and click throughs, maybe also the best groups of data that respond to the best message? This way you can improve the next email and make it even more engaging.

So here you have it, our top 8 tips to get the best out of your email marketing, to find out more about the email system we run then please contact us here for more information.

Please sign up to our email list using the form below and we will keep you uptodate with all that is relevant in Email Marketing, Social Media and Online for your business.

Thank you,




Taken from a presentation delivered by us at Newton Abbot Chamber of Commerce – April 2012

Our email marketing system is called mailPDQ and you can visit its site on this link.

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great content

are your Internet ecommerce plans ready?

So next week the kids are back at school and we all say goodbye to summer, hello Autumn, while at the same time longing for summer to stay as long as possible.

What possibly does this have to do with your Internet business you may ask? Well now is a great time to put plans in place as to how your web business will work and function in the coming months, indeed you really should have already done this. If not some things you defiantly need to consider are the following;

Autumn offers and promotions – possibly the most important thing your internet business can do is have a plan in place as to when to offer and promote certain products at certain times.  So look at the calendar and what is happening in your market place, maybe special events like Halloween (Oct 31st) or maybe country specific Thanksgiving (Nov 22nd).  When you have found them tailor your offering accordingly, this may just mean you send a ‘fright’ email on the 31st October – either way think outside the box!

Email marketing – are your email lists uptodate, do you segment data so someone who likes product A and not B will only get info on product A? Does your email marketing system offer you a fully functioning solution and include the such things as downloadable PDF reports, who clicked what link, a to b split testing and custom integration? If not it may be time to look elsewhere, we offer an email system you can read more here.

Related Posts – email marketing top tips and how to write great email marketing subject lines.

Marketing Plan in place for Christmas – this is THE most important event happening if you sell online before the end of the year, so you need to ensure you have your plan in place as to how you promote, pack and then ship all sales you make.  So think about large items, or time related articles, e.g. if you sell Christmas cards the market for these probably ends early December.  Also if you are shipping overseas when are the latest dates as this should effect what dates that you can offer guaranteed delivery upto.

Anybody who orders and doesn’t get the item for Christmas will not be happy, so bear that in mind.

Finally when all this is done, learn from your success and failures so next year you can be better prepared and ready earlier.

If your business needs advice from a team that has been in and around the internet since 1999 why get in touch through our contact form here we’d be happy to help.

 

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How to write great email marketing subject lines

So you are getting ready to send an email to your client or prospect list, do you know what to put in the subject line?

Any email marketing campaign invokes what I call ‘Alistair’s law’ – do to others what you would like done to you.  In other words what makes YOU open any marketing email that you receive? The subject line may be short but it has probably the biggest impact on whether your campaign will succeed or fail, so give it some serious thought.

Below our top 8 ways to create a superb subject line;

Time

Give it some time to get it right, if necessary write the email THEN add the subject line, don’t just rush into it.

A/B Testing

The mail system we run – mailPDQ  gives you the chance to test A/B which subject lines work best, try it out and use it either on the actual send or a few days before take say 10 email and A/B test those first.

The best thing about split testing is that the results will generally surprise you and will lead you to write better subject lines in future as you understand your audience and what they need.

Personalisation

Again our email system – mailPDQ gives you the opportunity to add the first name or company name of the subscriber in it.  These emails have always historically performed better than those that just have a subject line.

Urgency

If your email is about a special offer, add a time limit – “ends this Friday”, then set up a series – “just 1 day left to claim”.  The basic rule, urgency increases action.

Be aware of spam

Don’t write with free, enlarge, cheap etc . These will just end up in the spam filter and your efforts wasted, our system mailPDQ (insert link) allows you to spam test emails before they are sent, use it.

Subject line, is it good enough?

Before you send, do a test (to yourself) and ask is this the best I can do, does it do what it says on the tin? If not the go back to the start – don’t waste this effort.

Relevancy

It follows if the subject line isn’t relevant to the recipient then why send it, it also means that the subject line reflect the content of the email.

Space

Don’t waffle, get to the point in a succinct way, clear concise and accurate with remarkable email content and you are sure to increase the open rates.

So whats the best subject line you have seen, any other tips you would like to share? Please leave in comments….

earlier posts from our blog: email Marketing top tips

Shameless plug – we run our own email marketing system, you can read more click here and sign up for our newsletter below.

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eMail Marketing top tips

It’s no secret that email marketing needs to be an intrinsic part of any online marketing strategy, GleaveMedia operate a very cost effective email marketing system called mailPDQ a full service email marketing platform with many advanced features already built in.

So when you have a great email marketing system how do you make best use of it, what are some of our top tips?

1.  Understand your readers – if you can categorise your data, or segment it so for example; you only send widget sales information to those interested in widgets you should get a far higher response rate.

2.  Personalise and clear subject lines – use the recipients first name (this comes back to point 1 – good data) and make the subject line clear and easy to understand, for example if you want the sendee to like your Facebook page then say it!

3.  Plain text as well as html – these days not everyone’s email client can/will accept all those great images, so offer a choice.

4.  unsubscribe link – not only is this a legal requirement its plain polite.

5.  get to the point – what is the email you are sending about and what do you want the use to do with it when they open it?

6.  dont waffle – see point 5!

7.  Be Consistent – if you say you are going to an email monthly or maybe weekly then make sure you do this, nothing is worse than over promising and under delivering.

8.  Be Creative – this is a great opportunity to really show the recipient something great about you/your business – so use it!

9.  Remember the aim is to get the reader to carry out an action – if you want the sendee to click, add the ability to click, if you want them to phone you add the phone number a few times….

Follow these 9 points above and we dont think you’ll go far wrong.

 

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