Marketing Strategy Archives -

What Makes A Good Email Marketing Campaign?

Posted on January 29, 2018 by

Many businesses use email marketing to communicate with new and existing customers. When done right, it’s one of the most effective ways to tell people about the products or services you offer and to increase your sales. Email marketing also allows businesses to focus on targeting specific customers or groups of customers directly and in a more personal manner.

Businesses benefit from using automation tools that help organise their email marketing campaigns. There are many automation tools to choose from. We use Hatchbuck, which is a CRM, marketing software and email marketing system all-in-one. It’s easy to use and helps you to stay on top of your marketing and communications strategy. You can allocate various tags to contacts that will help you differentiate your customers. Filtering contacts by their preferences or location can help you target right people with the right emails. This way you don’t have to worry about accidentally sending a ‘Congratulations on your baby arrival’ email to someone who wasn’t expecting one!

Steps to a successful email marketing campaign

First things first

Gather your contacts. You probably have a list of contacts in your database if you’re thinking about starting an email marketing campaign, however, you want to make sure this list constantly grows.

  • Get people to subscribe to your newsletter, clearly place the subscription form on your website or in a blog post. Make it as visible as possible so it can’t escape their attention.
  • Offer people some free goodies. These could be free samples of your products or a free e-book they could benefit from.
  • Collect email addresses at networking events. Make sure you send a welcome email afterwards.

There are many different ways you can grow your contact list, but also, bear in mind that your contact list is mainly about quality and not the quantity. Make sure you go through the contacts after each of your campaigns as there will be hundreds of emails which were either not delivered due to a wrong email address, or people in your database simply don’t work for the company you’re trying to reach. Keep an eye on this as there’s no point in sending emails that will never be opened.

Subject line

The subject line is the first thing we see when we receive an email. Therefore it plays a big role in determining whether or not your email is worth opening and reading. Think about creating a subject line that will make your recipient curious about what’s inside your email. Use creativity and relevance.

Personalisation

People like to see they are valued customers. Using their first name in a subject line or at the beginning of the email makes them feel that you value them and they are important to you. Using email marketing software helps you with sending a high amount of personalised emails to your contacts based on their buying decisions and preferences.

E-shot design

The design of an email is very important as it represents your brand and forms an impression in the mind of the recipient. Create an email template that you will use for your email marketing campaigns. This can be tailored for each of your campaigns, however, take into account brand personality and maintain consistency. Logo, colour scheme, font, size, and style should be in line with your current brand guidelines and remain the same for each of your campaigns. While working on your design you have to make sure the design is responsive so your customers won’t have any trouble opening it on any device.

Avoid spelling mistakes

Spelling mistakes can make your business look unprofessional and put potential off reading your email. Make sure you double check your emails before you send them out and make sure you get their name spelled correctly. The last thing your customers want to pick up on is a spelling mistake!

Relevant content

When your customers open your email, they will be expecting to find information that is relevant to them. If your content is too generic and the information or offer you provide has nothing to do with them, they are likely to hit unsubscribe. Stop and think – is this email useful and relevant to this customer?

Mobile optimisation

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As we mentioned earlier, make sure your email is responsively designed. People spend a lot of time on their mobile phones, so it’s no surprise that emails are most likely to be opened on mobile devices. According to Litmus report from December 2017 (based on 1.23 billion opens), Apple iPhone holding 28% becomes number 1 platform for opening emails. This means it’s crucial that your emails are adapted for mobile use as well as for a desktop use.

A/B test

Running an A/B test is one of the easiest and most reliable ways of finding out which campaigns work best for your audience. Try using a different subject line, or experiment with a different format and design of your email. Send an ‘A’ email to half of the customers in your contact list, and the email ‘B’ to another half. This will then help you to find out what works best for your target audience.

Test it – again and again!

Before you launch your email campaign, be sure to test it first, and then test it again. Test your campaign across multiple platforms and devices and check that it displays correctly. Run a spam check too – this will check whether your email will pass through spam filters or not, which is pretty crucial.

Measure your results

Each email marketing campaign will provide results. It’s important to measure your open rates, click-through rates, unsubscribes and complaints. Email marketing software gives you full reports on these results, helping you to analyse which campaigns work well and which don’t.

Follow up

Once the contact shows interest, it’s important to follow up. For example, if your email contains a link to your website which your contacts clicked on, follow up with another email based on the interest showed. This will help you to build new relationships with prospects and maintain good relationships with your existing customers. Keep the process of following up those who show an interest steady, however, remember not to make it overwhelming. You don’t want to put potential customers off by annoying them!

Web-Feet can help you with E-shot generation, email template design and planning your email marketing campaigns so don’t hesitate to contact us today.


How to Overcome Black Friday Chaos

Posted on November 8, 2017 by

 

The 24th November is right around the corner, so if you haven’t started to plan your Black Friday marketing campaign yet, you’d better start now. The biggest event in retail is here in a couple of weeks, so now’s the time to make sure you really satisfy your customers on Black Friday, even if you are a small commerce business.

If you are not quite sure how to start creating a successful Black Friday marketing campaign, we’ve got some tips which can guide you through the process.

Revise the data from previous year

Revise what you did last year. Check which promotions worked well, which products made the biggest profit and which keywords were the most searched for. Were your customers mostly women? Or teens? Avid golfers? Whoever your target market is, make sure you specifically target them in your Black Friday marketing campaign.

Google Analytics is a great tool for measuring your website’s performance, and the standard version is free for businesses to use. Speak to one of our digital marketing specialists to find out more about how Google Analytics can help your business.

Email Marketing Campaigns

Get your Black Friday email marketing campaigns ready. People will receive hundreds of emails during the build-up to and on Black Friday so you have to make sure your email stands out. Make it clear and catchy.

Subject lines – try to think of a subject line that will capture the recipient’s attention. This has to reflect the content of your email. If you are sending out an email about the new HP printers being half priced you don’t want to say ‘Win the brand new iPhone 8’ just to encourage people to click on it. Information like this is spam, and will encourage people to unsubscribe. Make sure the information you are sharing is relevant and beneficial to the recipient and add some creativity.

Use personalisation – people like to see they are valued customers. If John keeps buying protein shakes every month, let him know when they are on offer.

Email doesn’t have to be just plain text – the era of plain text emails is over. You can now get creative and make your emails engaging. For example, use GIFs – they are a great way to engage with customers.

Social Media

Companies use social media to boost brand awareness and communicate with customers. Make sure your social media content is rich. Whatever promotion you send out in an email campaign, don’t forget to share it on social media too. All of these different avenues come together to form a cohesive marketing campaign, which delivers a clear and consistent message.

Many companies have now connected their e-commerce stores to their social media accounts, encouraging customers to share your products and services, helping to boost brand awareness and advertise your business.

Invest more in ads

Many purchases on your website will come from a search on Google, so it’s important to make yourself more visible around Black Friday.

If you’re not using it yourself, you’ve probably at least heard of PPC, paid search or Google AdWords. They’re the results at the top of Google with the little green ‘ad’ next to them. PPC is a great way to get your business in front of your potential customers. Make your ads pop up after people search for products similar to yours and enable your ads to reach out to more people. You can target people in certain cities or regions, or even up to a certain distance from your store. What’s more, you only pay once they actually click on your ad.

You can also advertise on social media. For example, if you’ve got a number of customers following you on Facebook and Twitter, make sure you boost your posts to reach more people. You don’t have to spend a fortune, even a small amount like £50 can get you thousands of impressions! You can be in total control of your advertising by choosing how much you want to spend and how long you want the campaign to last for.

Make sure your website is ready for Black Friday

According to IMRG, the UK’s industry association for e-retail, online spend on Black Friday 2016 was £1.23bn which was 12.2% more than in 2015. More people shopped online than in stores which means that your website has to be ready to handle a lot of traffic. Some tips on how to prepare for high traffic:

Cache your website content
The content on your website can be either static or dynamic. Static content is cacheable and dynamic content is uncacheable. Make sure you cache everything you can. Images, CSS, JavaScript or large objects like downloads have an impact on the speed of your website if they are not cached.

No more error messaging
If your customers are in the middle of purchasing products and the page is taking a while to load, they certainly don’t want to see ‘an error message’ popping up! This will convey a negative site experience, and potentially put them off making the purchase altogether. Instead, think about how could you make the waiting time a bit less painful. For example, you could use a gif that appears while the page loads – if it’s something funny they might not even realise they are waiting slightly longer than usual.

Magento 1.x updates stopping

Mobile responsiveness is key

More people are switching laptops for phones or tables. Shopping on a smartphone is very convenient and quick. However, there are some companies that still haven’t optimised their websites for mobiles. Make sure your customers have a chance to shop faster, make your website fully responsive this holiday season!

Make it longer than a day

Although Black Friday is a one-day event, the past few years showed that companies were offering discounted products longer than that. Customers now expect to see sales from the beginning of the week. Last year data from the UK’s industry association for e-retail IMRG shows that £6.45bn was spent over the Black Friday peak period (Monday 21 – Monday 28 November 2016). This doesn’t mean you should put your whole store on sale for a week, but do think about it strategically – maybe start the week off with 10% off Monday, 20% off Tuesday leading to a big sale on Friday.

Smooth returns

It’s happened to all of us. You really want to buy something but as soon as you do, you are not that sure anymore and simply want to return it. Especially during Black Friday, people will often purchase items based on their price and then regret their decision. Make sure the process of returning items is as smooth as the buying process.

Also, don’t forget that your return policy has to be in a visible place on your site. Consider placing it not only in your terms and conditions, but also under the product description or in the shopping cart.

Last but not least – don’t forget about your employees

Events like Black Friday and the Christmas period can be very stressful for employees. Showing them appreciation doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Bring some snacks and drinks at the end of the day and let them know you wouldn’t be able to do this without them – it’s the little things that count!

 

If you need some help with creating your Black Friday marketing campaign, make sure you Contact Us today.


Proximity Marketing for the Tourism Industry

Posted on September 26, 2017 by

On average, we check our phones a whopping 150 times a day. This offers a huge number of opportunities for savvy marketers to target us with products.

Marketers know that providing personalised content to end users is critical to increase engagement. We are constantly bombarded with information, which makes filtering what’s important or relevant to us hard. One thing’s for certain – users will engage with content much better when this is done for them.

This concept isn’t new and is used increasingly in end user communications. However, what’s been missing in the past is the physical or location based element to this puzzle. Many websites contain lots of useful information but filtering through this to get to the information you need – especially on a mobile device – is often cumbersome and frustrating.

Bluetooth beacons solve this problem.

Beacons broadcast content that is specific to a physical location. This means that end users get access to what’s relevant and useful to them specific to wherever they may be – whether they’re at an airport, in a hotel, at a tourist location or a shop. Considering ‘near-me’ searches have doubled in the last year, the location specific content has become more important now than ever. It’s expected that 70% of retail companies will use beacons over the next 5 years.

Take a minute to think about the possibilities that beacons offer and you’ll realise powerful this concept is – to be notified of location specific content. Imagine standing outside a famous landmark and receiving a notification on your smartphone, alerting you to a nearby cafe along with a 25% discount – you’d probably swing by and purchase something, wouldn’t you? Offers, maps, and other important information can be all broadcasted via Bluetooth beacons, making the possibilities endless.bluetooth beacons

These beacons enable you to create micro-moments with your customers: these are critical touch points within the consumer journey which, when added together ultimately determine how that journey ends. Micro-moments are all about anticipating your customers needs in a specific physical location, and taking action to provide them with the information they need. Do they need directions? Tourist information?

All the technology exists today to make these location specific micro-moments possible, but it can be hard to know where to start.

This is where Coaster CMS comes in.

Coaster CMS is a next generation, beacon enabled Content Management System. It has been built from the ground up to make the management of content easy for the website owner. It’s beacon enabled with support for both Kontakt and Estimote beacons, and has innovative features that make it the perfect platform to build both static and location based content.

As Coaster CMS was built from the ground up to make use of beacons, it allows different content to be displayed at different times of day. Imagine being able to not only build amazing static and location based content, but also choose the times of day, day of week, or even hour of the day, that different content is displayed – pretty handy, right?

Even if you aren’t ready to move directly into location enabled content, Coaster is an extremely capable CMS in its own right. As such it future proofs your content and serves as a platform to build location based and time specific content as and when you are ready to deploy beacons.

Bluetooth proximity beacons are a technology that will revolutionise our use of the internet, so contact us today to find out how you can make use of this technology now and get yourself ready for the Physical Web.

Coaster CMS is a next generation CMS built from the ground up by Web-Feet, an innovative digital agency based near Southampton in Hampshire. Being an agency we serve the needs of our clients and Coaster reflects this by combining the latest technology but with a focus on usability.

To read a bit more about Beacons in tourism;

http://www.ibeacontrends.com/ibeacons-event-industry/

http://www.ibeacontrends.com/yorkshire-wildlife-park-ibeacons/

http://www.ibeacontrends.com/beacon-installation-gatwick-airport/

http://www.ibeacontrends.com/ljmu-beacons-use/

http://www.ibeacontrends.com/lighthouse-city-guide/

http://www.ibeacontrends.com/beacons-levis-stadium/


Marketing Planning: Do you know your key dates?

Posted on September 14, 2017 by

A marketing plan is crucial for any business.

If you don’t have a cohesive marketing plan, you’re more likely to slap content together haphazardly.

This approach is risky, and you are unlikely to get the results you want.

A marketing plan will help you to regularly engage your customers with content that’s both relevant and interesting.

When developing a marketing plan, it’s important to keep in mind important dates and events throughout the year. Seasonal planning will guide your marketing themes, which will in turn keeping your content fresh and focused.

Developing a marketing plan also helps to get your team’s mental cogs turning early on, providing inspiration for great content during brainstorming sessions.

Don’t worry if you don’t have a marketing plan yet. In this blog post, we’ll teach you how to effectively plan your marketing strategy by:

  • Mapping out the structure of your marketing calendar
  • Planning your campaigns ahead of time
  • Adapting your marketing strategy to events

Create a marketing calendar?

A great way to start your plan is with a marketing calendar. An up-to-date marketing calendar is a fantastic and widely recommended tool. Not only can these record key dates and events, but can also be used to plan blog posts, email marketing strategies, and social media topics for the year.

Having an easily accessible marketing calendar in the workplace, either physically or online (i.e. Google Drive), also helps to open up channels of communication between members of the marketing team.

The whole point of a marketing calendar is essentially to get organised, save time and reduce stress during busy periods.

If you’re a super busy person then don’t stress – Web-Feet have created a marketing calendar free for you: download here

Choose a platform

Google and Microsoft both have online tools for creating calendars that are integrated with Google Mail. These calendars can be very useful, allowing you to set recurring events and reminders, which can be useful for scheduling newsletters, social and blog posts.

At Web-Feet, we often use spreadsheets which can be shared with our team on Google Drive. Spreadsheets are more flexible and allow you to access lots information at a glance, but you will lose the functionality of the online calendar platform. We recommend choosing the platform that best suits your business needs.

Remember your key dates

The annual events, holidays and celebrations that take place throughout the year present different marketing opportunities for different businesses. For many businesses, these dates often coincide with their most busiest and most critical times of the year.  You’ll be able to create future content and campaigns around these general themes and ideas.

Start by listing events that you know will come up throughout the year. These can include:

  • Holidays and seasonal events. Christmas, August Bank Holiday, Father’s Day, Valentine’s Day, etc.
  • Seasonal sale events. Black Friday, Boxing Day sales, etc.
  • Charity and National Awareness events. Movember, Bike Week, Mental Health Awareness Week, etc.
  • Sports, arts and cultural events. Wimbledon, Glastonbury Festival, Royal Ascot, etc.

All of these dates can offer unique opportunities for a variety of business sectors. However, not all events are suitable marketing opportunities for all businesses.

The key thing here is to keep it relevant – if you’re a tea company or a cafe which serves afternoon tea, then National Tea Day on 21st April would be a perfect opportunity to market your business. If you sell children’s shoes, then the school holidays will be important dates to include in your marketing plan.

Try not to stick to the obvious dates – local events, celebrity birthdays and popular TV shows may provide unique marketing opportunities and generate interest in your products and services!

Remember: To protect official sponsors, some events (particularly sporting events, such as the Olympics) have strict rules regarding the commercial use of the official name and logo.

This doesn’t mean you should avoid running a marketing campaign around that particular event – you just need to be careful. The best way to get around this is through adopting a creative approach – you could use relevant, witty hashtags and emojis to allude to a particular event (we have some great examples in our ‘Key Dates 2017’ below!)

I’ve got my marketing calendar sorted – now what?

Once you’ve got an idea of the key dates and events your business is keen to target, it’s time to think about the types of campaigns you can run around the particular theme. Try and plan this in advance, so if necessary you can run your campaign during the build up to the particular event.

The type of campaign you choose will depend on the event chosen, your business and what resources you have.

We’ve listed some marketing strategies below, with some examples of how these strategies can be put into practice.

Social Media 

Social media is a great way to engage with your customers. Integrating social into your marketing calendar can be as simple as joining in the national discussion with witty captions, hashtags, emojis or running a competition on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

Social media is also great for giving customers a sneak peak into all the ‘behind the scenes’ stuff that goes on in your business. Not only are these strategies good fun, but this also helps to increase engagement and brand awareness. Instagram is a great platform for giving customers an insight into what goes on internally – feel free to follow our own Instagram account @webfeetagency!

Idea ? If you run a gift shop, spa, florist or beauty brand during Mother’s Day, you could hold a photo competition, where followers were asked to share their a picture of their entry, tagging your brand and using the relevant hashtag. The best photo winning a prize (that would work as a suitable Mother’s Day gift).

Paid Advertising

It’s a given that some products will sell better at certain times of the year. Therefore, it’s important to consider which events may trigger an increase in sales, and to create a marketing campaign around that event. If customers are likely to have a heightened interest in a particular product, you want to stick it in front of them as best you can.

Idea ? Imagine you’re a kitchen equipment shop during The Great British Bake Off – consider running a PPC campaign around KitchenAids during this period of time. This could also work for baking equipment, novelty aprons, etc.


Email Marketing

An email marketing campaign is a great way to target customers directly. You could send out E-shots via a CRM system such as Hatchbuck with themed templates, links to blog posts and themed discount codes for products.

Idea ? Le Tour de France is on and you sell bikes – advertise your products through an E-shot (perhaps a yellow or Alpine inspired template?), offering a discount at the checkout with the code ‘letour2017’.

Blogging

Blogs are a fantastic way to increase traffic to your site and generate interest in your brand, and can be easily integrated into your marketing strategy. At Web-Feet, we strongly recommend that all websites have a blog and post content regularly.

Blogs can be easily shared by your followers, fuelling discussion on your social media pages which can attract new customers. Consider posting a collection of themed blog posts about a current event that’s relevant to your business.

If you already have a successful blog on your own website, consider guest blogging for an online publication in an area that is related to your business. As well as increasing brand awareness, they may provide a link through to your website, which can increase your referral traffic and position in the Google search rankings.

Idea ? You sell outdoors clothing and camping gear and it’s festival season – ‘5 Things Everyone Should Take to Glastonbury’ and ‘The Ultimate Guide to Glastonbury 2017’ might be good ideas for blog posts.

Whilst this list is by no means exhaustive, we hope it can give you a few ideas to adapt to your business

Key Dates for September – December 2017

To help you get started with your marketing calendar, we’ve put together some of the key dates in the UK for the remainder of 2017.

September
6th – Back to School?
15th – London Fashion Week?
15th – 24th – Southampton Boat Show⛵

October
16th – October Half Term?
29th – Daylight Saving Time ends, clocks go back⏰
31st – Halloween?

November
1st – Start of Movember?
5th – Bonfire Night?

December
25th – Christmas Day?
26th – Boxing Day?
31st – New Years Eve?

This list is by no means exhaustive, but provides a good starting point for a marketing plan.

If you’d like to have a chat about our services with one of our Web-Feet marketing experts, then please Contact Us today.


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