E-mail marketing

Tech news for small business marketers

Posted in Advertising, Building customer loyalty, E-mail marketing, Search engine optimization, Selling tips, Social media 2 Comments

Many of us struggle to keep up with the tech trend du jour. However, an interesting tech news item suggests we might want to slow down. Or maybe even re-think that strategy.

A major trend for 2011 is that many people are actually trying to “de-tech” their lives, according to a new study by ad agency JWT. While we’re all super-connected, some of us apparently are tired of depending on the computer or smartphone as our lifeline.

Ann Mack, JWT’s director of trendspotting, notes, “Two or three years ago, a major trend was mobile media as the ‘everything’ hub where all digital activity — communications, entertainment, gaming, our personal schedules — will reside. Last year, it was location-based technology.”

This year, as reported in today’s Marketing Daily, “there’s also a counter trend resisting that “everything” tendency of mobile digital technology to keep people connected. ‘There have been lots of studies on the effects of technology, how it leads to attention span problems and lack of creativity, and weaker language skills. People are becoming more aware of that and want to re-engage in the world. It’s not about being a Luddite, but more logging off or mono-tasking,’ she says.”

Despite this bit of tech news, there’s still encouragement for those who crave even more tech-connectedness in their lives.

Another 2011 trend noted in the study is “gamification,” or marketing via all types of games, in an effort to better engage customers.

To read the entire article, click here.

Good customer service isn’t a differentiator, it’s an expectation

Posted in Advertising, Building customer loyalty, Copywriting and content, E-mail marketing, Print materials, Selling tips, Social media Be the first to comment

One of my favorite sources for marketing guidance is  OPEN Forum, which is operated by American Express.

In its marketing section, AmEx features articles from some of the top names in the field.  Among them: John Jantsch, founder of Duct Tape Marketing.

Jantsch is always right to the point. He offers no-nonsense insights that can benefit any small business owner. The next few paragraphs are excerpted from his “7 Steps to Creating a Sure-Fire Marketing System,” which ran on Nov. 12th. Great advice, as always:

“Develop strategy before tactics.

“Most business owners take the idea of the week, tactical approach when a good marketing strategy is the most important aspect of any successful marketing implementation.

“Before you decide on direct mail or a Facebook page, you must adopt and commit to a marketing strategy. All tactical decisions should be filtered through your strategy to see if they make sense or support the overall marketing strategy…

“…a marketing strategy may seem foreign or out of reach, but it’s really little more than determining and narrowly defining your ideal client and creating and communicating some key point of differentiation.

“The challenge in this comes when business owners realize it means they can’t be all things to all people, and saying they offer good service isn’t a differentiator, it’s an expectation.”

To read the entire article, click here.

E-mail remains top marketing method

Posted in Building customer loyalty, E-mail marketing, Search engine optimization Be the first to comment

E-mail-marketing.jpgAre you using e-mail to reach existing customers and prospects? Almost every other business is.

A new white paper on e-mail marketing trends, issued by Lyris, an e-mail marketing company, indicates that  e-mail remains the most frequently used marketing method. Here, from “10 Trends that will Make or Break Your Email ROI this Year,” are some interesting insights.

“Trend #1: Email Remains the Cornerstone
Of all the trends to watch, this is the one that many people will
miss simply because it seems so obvious. Email marketing alone
isn’t exactly a hot new trend, but you’ll want to start using email
more effectively in your marketing mix.

The primary reason why email has been, and will continue to
be, the cornerstone of the online marketing world is that it’s the
one method of online marketing that everyone uses….with over
90 percent of companies using email marketing.”

According to Lyris, the second most popular marketing tactic is search engine optimization (SEO), followed by paid search listings, and purchasing display ad space directly from publishers.

To read the entire report (free online registration required), click here.

Consumer buying behavior: Online vs. offline

Posted in E-mail marketing, Selling tips 2 Comments

Consumer buying behavior is of growing importance to all marketers. It’s especially important in deciding how much–and where–to spend money bringing customers into the sales funnel and then leading them to buy.

Do customers find your products online and buy online? Or do they do research online and make purchases in your place of business?

A recent study by comScore, co-sponsored by Searchandise Commerce and iProspect, found that the answer–at least when it comes to customers shopping for computers and for consumer electronics:  Both.

Here are some of the survey’s more interesting conclusions:

  • While consumers are more likely to purchase offline, roughly two-thirds begin their searches online, using a combination of search and the retailer’s own Web site.
  • Shoppers on average consult about four websites for price and feature information. However, half of them end up buying in brick-and-mortar stores.
  • About one-third of shoppers buy within one week of starting their searches. Roughly 70% make purchases within one month of beginning to look.
  • Of the 19% of shoppers who enter the sales funnel via a retail site, 40% purchase from the site while half complete their transaction in the physical store. Of the 18% that start on a search engine, 37% move on to a retail site and half of them purchase from the site.

Online research has clearly become the norm. However, most customers apparently still want to be able to “kick the tires.”

To read the entire study (free registration required), click here.

Why your business needs e-mail marketing

Posted in Building customer loyalty, E-mail marketing, Special promotions Be the first to comment

There are lots of reasons for small businesses to “dip their toes”  into the e-mail marketing pool–even if they’re not yet confident in their ability to swim.

Here are several of our favorites. They’re adapted from a recent feature by Wendy Lowe for MarketingProfs.

  • E-mail marketing is efficient: Once you have customers’ e-mail addresses (and their permission to send e-mails!), you can contact your entire customer base at one time.
  • E-mail is proactive: Customers don’t have to stumble on your ad. You can reach them where they already are–their Inboxes.
  • E-mail lets you truly engage with your customers: You can bring them shopping tips, updates on trends, seasonal items, and special loyalty-program deals on a regular basis.
  • E-mail marketing offers a great ROI: According to research by the Direct Marketing Association, e-mail marketing generated a return on investment (ROI) of $43.62 for every dollar spent on it in 2009.

To read the entire article, click here. [Note: Free sign-up required.] To learn more about our custom e-mail programs, click here.