10 email marketing tips to help you improve your email campaigns

10 email marketing tips to help you improve your campaign

10 email marketing tips to help you improve your campaign

Email marketing can be a bit of a minefield. So we’ve put together 10 quick tips for creating and sending an email to help you generate leads and sales.

Make subject lines interesting and short

Think of your subject line as a news headline. It needs to be short and interesting to pull people in.

Keep keywords and the real interest part as close to the start of the subject line as possible. In case some people’s devices don’t show the entire subject line.

Don’t use these words…

There are some words that set off spam filters which mean your emails may end up in the spam folder.

There are some words we immediately associate with spam such as ‘free samples’ or ‘be your own boss’.

You may have to use some words which are considered ‘spammy’ such as ‘free’. But use your own discretion and where possible switch a spammy word for a less spammy word.

Click here for a list of 100 words you shouldn’t use in emails.

Make it mobile friendly

As more and more people buy smartphones and tablets the number of people opening their email on mobile devices increases.

A study by Litmus found that in 48% of emails were opened on a smartphone or tablet.

The percentage of mobile opens will vary between each sector and business. But the point is that you shouldn’t be ignoring those mobile users.

If your email can’t be viewed properly on a phone or tablet, the chances are the recipient will just delete your email.

Split test subject lines

It’s important to test two or three subject lines when running an email campaign. So you can begin to figure out what works, and what doesn’t work, with your audience.

You can use results from split tests to make sure subject lines you create in the future appeal to your audience.

Include an unsubscribe link

You need to include an unsubscribe link in your email somewhere to allow people to opt-out of receiving your emails.

Proofread it!

After you’ve finished writing your email, give yourself a short break from it. Go back to it and imagine you’re reading it for the first time. You’ll probably notice a few errors you didn’t spot earlier.

Get someone else to proofread it

It really pays to get a fresh pair of eyes to look over your copy. As they’re more likely to pick up errors because you know the copy. So you probably aren’t looking at it in great detail.

Check your links

As well as checking your copy you need to check the links work and go to the right place.

Make it count!

Make sure your email means something to recipients and that it encourages them to do something which appeals to them.

Always ask yourself ‘so what?’. Okay, so it’s a nice email about an offer we’re running but what does this mean to my customers or prospects?

If you do this your marketing messages will appeal to your recipients and mean something to them.

Monitor it

You don’t just get to sit back after your email has been sent. Keep monitoring it and look at open rates, click through rates, whether anyone converted from the email and keep an eye on replies.

Looking at your data can help you improve future email campaigns.

We hope our 10 quick email tips have been useful and will help you create emails which bring real benefit to your business.

If your business is based in the Burntwood, Lichfield or Staffordshire are and needs help creating email marketing campaigns that generate leads or sales get in touch to find out how we can help.

Six ways you can use leaflets

six ways you can use leaflets

We know that businesses want value for money and a leaflet gives just that. It has multiple uses and can provide your business with many benefits.

Perhaps you aren’t convinced though or don’t see how a leaflet could be of use to your business. If so, here are six ways your business can use leaflets.

 

Send them out with orders:

If you operate an e-commerce website, send a leaflet out with every order. To remind your customers about other products or services you sell.

It’s possible that some of your customers won’t be aware of all of the products or services you offer. So telling them about it may encourage them to repurchase.

If you’re a small business you may sell on Amazon and eBay. So sending out a leaflet with your website address on may encourage people to buy direct.

 

Offers

Whether you send them out with orders or hand them out to people, offering people an incentive to purchase (or repurchase) can help your bottom line.

It doesn’t need to be ‘25% off this product’. It could be: six months free technical support, a free ebook, a branded laptop bag or something else entirely.

What you can offer as incentive will depend on your business and who your customers are. As it needs to be something that appeals to them.

 

Send people to your website or social media:

Any piece of marketing material you produce should contain your contact information. Including your website address and any social media networks you’re on.

If people are happy with the service they’ve received or want to find out more they may visit your website or follow you on social media.

Getting someone to your website or to follow your business on social media gives you further opportunities to engage with them. And to move them down the sales funnel.

 

Exhibitions:

Having leaflets on your stands means that people who are interested in your brand, products or services have something to takeaway and read later.

This again may encourage them to visit your website or get in touch with you to find out more. If you can get a conversation started you’ve got a great opportunity to turn a prospect into a customer.

 

Go door knocking

Heading out to local businesses in your area and knocking on doors is a good way to get your name out there and initiate a conversation.

Often you may be told that the person you want to talk to is busy. Perhaps they really are, so there’s no harm in leaving a leaflet behind for that person to look at when they’re free.

If your leaflet represents your business effectively and is what that person is looking for you might get a call back.

 

Branding:

Anything you do that involves your business needs to represent your brand effectively. Whether it’s your website, a catalogue, a leaflet or something else.

Handing out leaflets is another opportunity for you to get your brand in front of people which can lead to leads and sales.

If you expect your leaflet to bring your business real benefits such as leads, sales and loyal customers. It needs to contain key marketing messages that mean something to the people viewing it.

We regularly design leaflets which benefit our clients by generating leads and sales, to find out how we can do the same for you fill in our contact form or call us to arrange a chat.

Six SEO myths debunked & what to do instead

six seo myths debunked and what to do instead

six seo myths debunked and what to do instead

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is constantly evolving and it can be hard to keep up with the latest best practices. Which leads to confusion about what businesses should be doing.

We’ve reviewed six of the biggest SEO myths and debunked them, telling you what you should be aiming to do instead.

 

SEO is dead

We saw so many articles last year claiming that SEO is dead. But unsurprisingly it’s still alive and kicking.

SEO has evolved plenty of times over the years and is now heavily involved with marketing. As long as search engines exist, SEO will exist.

 

SEO is spam

We understand where this idea comes from because being a spammer used to help your search rankings.

Unfortunately some people still use those outdated practices.

The best example of this is the unrelated and sometimes unreadable comments you may see on your blog or website which link back to irrelevant websites.

Using outdated spammy SEO tactics like that will probably result in search engines punishing your search rankings.

 

I need to rank number one

Out of all of the myths, this one is the one with the most truth to it. Ranking first isn’t the be all and end all but trying to rank as high as you can is important.

Studies have shown that the number one result gets 33% of search traffic. But you can still get visitors and gain customers by ranking sixth or seventh.

For some small businesses it may be impossible to rank number one because they are competing against internet giants such as Amazon.

If you find yourself in that situation it isn’t the end of the world because your website will still receive visits.

It isn’t solely your ranking that counts. If you’re ranking well but you aren’t giving visitors what they’re looking for then they will never convert.

 

I need to earn as many links as possible

Search engines are no longer just interested in the number of links you have. They’re also interested in the quality of these links.

If your website is linked to by hundreds of low quality websites, search engines will think that your website is poor quality. If your website receives links from high quality websites they will see your website as trustworthy.

It’s better to have 10 links from high quality trustworthy websites than 100 links from poor quality websites.

In fact, Moz’s Rand Fishkin believes that co-citation will become more important, which doesn’t even involve a physical link.

What happens is Google may ‘see’ that a brand name is being mentioned alongside a keyword quite often. It will begin to improve that website’s ranking for that keyword. Despite it not being linked to much and in some cases the keyword doesn’t appear on the page that often.

To use one of Rand’s examples if you search for ‘backlink analysis’ you’ll see that Open Site Explorer is ranking really high despite the words ‘backlink analysis’ not being mentioned on the homepage.

In part of the snippet it uses for Open Site Explorer is text from an article on another website about Open Site Explorer.

 

The more times we use a keyword the better

Search engines are no longer influenced by the number of times a keyword appears on a website.

Using a keyword as many times as possible is known as ‘keyword stuffing’ and is something a search engine will punish your website for.

You’ve probably heard the phrase ‘content is king’ used enough to last you a lifetime when it comes to SEO but that’s because it’s true.

If you focus on creating brilliant quality that will help people who visit your website. Make sure that you do add some instances of keywords you want to show up for, you will slowly begin to see your ranking for those words improve.

 

Directory listings are important

Like many of the other SEO myths, directory listings were once considered important because they sent a link to your website.

People abused this and as a result search engines aren’t heavily influenced by directory listings anymore.

That isn’t to say that directories are completely useless when used properly. There are hundreds and thousands of directories on the internet but not all of them are equal.

If your business is listed on a directory that people use and trust, such as Yell, Dmoz or Yahoo, it will benefit your business. As well as send traffic to your website and hopefully generate leads for you.

Being listed on a directory that people don’t visit won’t bring your website much traffic or generate many leads. And being linked to by lots of low quality directories could damage your rankings.

 

SEO can be daunting to begin with. But you’ll find it easier to understand when you think that the aim of a search engine is to provide users with the best, most trustworthy and relevant results they can.

Understanding this will help you to realise that SEO is more than keywords. It is about pretty much every aspect of your online presence.

 

If you’re based in Burntwood, Lichfield, Staffordshire or the West Midlands and need help with SEO, get in touch to find out how we can benefit your business, or you can check out more our SEO blogs here. 

What are alt tags and how do I use them?

what are alt tags and how do i use them?

what are alt tags and how do i use them?

Are you confused about what ‘alt tags’ are, or how to use them? If so, keep reading. We’ll explain all and send you away with a few tips for implementing alt tags on your website.

 

What are alt tags?

Alt tags are a small and simple piece of HTML code which is used to describe an image.

For example, the image to the left is a picture of our French Bulldog, George, sat on a desk. The alt tag for this image is ‘French bulldog George sat on a desk’. If that image could not load, you would see the words ‘French Bulldog George sat on a desk’.

 

French Bulldog George sat on a desk

Why are alt tags useful?

If an image is unable to load properly or a user has images turned off in their browser the alt tag will be shown. So that users can see what image was supposed to be there.

Additionally, alt tags are useful for people who are visually impaired and use a screen reader as it will be able to read the alt tag and tell them what’s there.

They also help search engines as they cannot ‘see’ what an image shows. So alt tags tell them what’s in the image which can help your images show up in image searches.

 

Do alt tags help SEO?

They won’t make a huge difference to your search rankings but they can help your website gain visitors through image search.

 

How do I use an alt tag?

If your website runs on a Content Management System (CMS), such as Concrete5 or WordPress, there will be a small field when you upload your image where you can simply type in your alt tag.

If your website is flat coded, your alt tag will look like this:

<*img src=”georgeonadesk.jpg” alt=”French Bulldog George on a desk”/*> (Remove the * to use this code)

 

Tips for using alt tags

  • Describe what’s in the image using keywords
  • Write your alt tag for users not search engines
  • If the image shows a product, use the full product name
  • Don’t stuff it full of keywords

You should be using alt tags on all of the images on your website to enhance user experience.

 

If you need help applying alt tags to your images or help getting the most out of your website, get in touch for a free no obligation chat about how we could help your business. Looking for tips on your SEO? Read more of our SEO blogs here

Seven social media marketing myths busted!

seven social media marketing myths busted

seven social media marketing myths busted

Social media is constantly changing. So there are plenty of myths about the right and wrong ways to use it for marketing.

With so much information available about social media marketing for businesses, it can be confusing trying to figure out what’s right.

To help you out, we’ve decided to bust seven of the biggest and confusing social media marketing myths we see.

 

Social media is free

This is probably the biggest social media myth we see. It doesn’t cost to join a social media network but setting up and managing one costs you time.

It takes time to look after a social media presence. Which means you’re either taking time out of your own busy day or paying someone to do it. Which means it definitely isn’t free.

 

Every business needs to be on social media

Social media isn’t right for every business. Whether that’s because you haven’t got time to manage it or you aren’t seeing enough results to warrant the time you’re spending on it.

If it isn’t working for your business there’s no shame in not having a social media presence. Especially if it means you can spend your time working on marketing activities that you know benefit your business.

 

Social media isn’t worth it

The polar opposite of the above. Some business owners aren’t willing to give social media a chance and believe it isn’t worth it.

As we mentioned above, social media isn’t right for every business. But for some it can be effective and lead to new customers and an increase in sales.

Before you dismiss social media completely, carry out a bit of research. Look at whether your audience are on social media and how your competitors are using it. If your competitors are having some success on social media, it’s probably worth you trying it.

 

You need to be on Facebook

Facebook may be the most popular social network at the moment but that doesn’t automatically mean its right for your business.

Most businesses with Facebook Pages are reporting that the number of people who view their posts is dropping drastically.

This isn’t necessarily because they’re using it wrong. In December 2013 it was confirmed that Facebook are reducing page reaches to encourage businesses to buy adverts to promote their brand.

 

You don’t need to research or plan

We understand this one; planning can be boring but the old ‘fail to prepare, prepare to fail’ is true.

Research and planning can help you identify which social network your target audience are using. As well as what kind of things interesting them.

Failing to plan means you’ll probably waste time and money doing things that don’t bring your business any benefit.

 

You don’t need to set goals

If you begin using social media and you don’t know why or what you want to get out of it, the chances are you won’t see many results, if any.

Setting yourself social media goals can help you create a structured plan to help you reach those goals, whether it’s getting 20 sales a month from social media or 200 website visitors from social media.

 

You don’t need to monitor your efforts

Once you begin using social media it’s important to monitor your social media efforts.

Though you may know what your audience like you might find that they react better to a certain type of post. Monitoring what you’re doing can help you build a better presence, engage with your audience, meet your goals and stops you wasting time posting things your audience don’t like.

If you’re based in the Burntwood, Lichfield, Cannock or Staffordshire area and need help with your social media marketing call us on 01543 495 752 to organise a chat to find out how we could benefit your business.