Tag Archives: email marketing

Trending Now… Trends

It’s the most wonderful time of year… for #trends. You know, the speculations and forecasts of initiatives one must undertake next year to keep up with the Joneses. There are marketing trends and social media trends; e-mail marketing trends, content marketing trends, website trends and even customer service trends.

We were recently reminded that perhaps we need to not worry about the “next big thing” and get back to the basics. These 32 Marketing Tips are great, but what if we got back to the very basics of business, people relations, and simple kindness? Customers might find us and our businesses more pleasing. We might have lower stress, and 2015 might be the best year ever.

New Year 2015 Loading Background,happy New Year Template

Smile. We’re stressed. We’re busy. We have a dozen things on our mind when we greet that customer. They don’t care. They want to be treated like they are the only agenda item that day; the only thing on your mind. Heck, maybe they’ll smile back and make your smile genuine!

Be Positive. Whether you are positive or negative, the situation doesn’t change. So we might as well be positive. Our cultural conditioning teaches us to find flaws and problems at all times. Shift from fault-finding to appreciation-finding.

Compliment Someone. Give genuine, personal compliments. You are so kind with co-workers. You listen so well before assisting the visitor. “I like how you remember everyone’s birthday.” You compliment every co-worker each week, it’s gonna be a very positive work environment!

Write A Note. Don’t type it. Write it. Do you remember pens, paper, envelopes, stamps…? Hand write a thank you note, or a compliment. It’s far more personal than an email or text. And the positive impression is far greater!

Let Someone Merge. Hold a Door Open. You remember common acts of chivalry for us guys, kindness for the ladies. Be a Scout and “Do A Good Turn Daily”!

Pick Up A Piece of Trash. You’ll make your city look better. You’ll make the front of your business look more inviting. Disney managers carry trash tongs. They recognize it’s everyone’s responsibility to keep things tidy. You can’t rely on the ‘wind sweeping down the plains’ to sweep the sidewalk or parking lot.

Be On Time. It’s respectful and courteous to with whom you are meeting. It’s less stressful on you.

Pray For Your Customers and Business Partners. It’s said “As long as there are tests in the classroom, there will be prayer in school.” Well, as long as there is stress in operating a business, there will be prayer. We are instructed to pray – “in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” Of course we’re thankful for customers and business partners! Why would we not want to petition for blessings upon them?

They’re simple. They’re easily forgotten in today’s hustle and bustle. Put on that smile again. Be kind. Write a compliment. Keep things tidy. Staff morale will improve. Your business team will be strengthened. Customers will want to come back. And your business will stay healthy.

Something to add? Leave your comments below. Thanks for reading.

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12 Tips to Grow Your Email List and Grow Your Business

When it comes to email marketing, you know how valuable your email list can be. But coming up with new ways to get people to sign up for your emails isn’t always easy. That’s why I have put together a collection of list growth ideas! Here’s a dozen ideas to grow your list and take your email marketing to the next level!

Whatever methods you use, be sure to start with a reason “why” someone should join your email list. What’s in it for them? This will make it more likely that people will say yes. Now to the list:

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1. Use a paper sign-up sheet. Set at the counter a legal pad with First Name, Last Name and Email Address across the top.
2. Ask face-to-face. Train yourself and your employees to always be asking prospective contacts to sign up.
3. Look at your database. Don’t overlook the obvious. You probably already have a database of contact who would love to join your list. As them to sign up.
4. As your family and friends. Look to your personal network to kick start your list growth.
5. Put a fish bowl on your counter. Maybe customers won’t write an email address on the legal pad, so give them an incentive to drop in a business card to join your list.
6. Over the phone. When you are speaking to a client, ask them to sign up.
7. Sandwich Boards. Using a sidewalk sign or sandwich board to bring in foot traffic? Tell passersby about all the great info, discounts, and news they’ll find by signing up for your emails.
8. Add a sign up link to your email signature. Get more exposure for your email list by including a link in your regular emails.
9. Use a brochure. Giving out flyers, flyers, or pamphlets at the store or the office? Let people know your emails are the best source for up-to-date information.
10. Run an ad in the paper. Get the most out of your print advertising investment. Tell people to visit your website and join your list!
11. Run an in-store raffle. Raffle off a prize your customers will love and collect email addresses in the process.
12. Offer a coupon. They go to your site to print the coupon. Before they are able, they provide a name and email address.

Those are a lot of measurable benefits of email marketing. Of course, I recommend that email marketing be an important part of your marketing mix – not the only ingredient in it. However, if you’re not incorporating email into your marketing plan, then you’re missing out on a number of benefits that can improve your overall sales and user engagement for a very low overhead cost and, in many cases, a very limited amount of time and effort. If you’re not continuously adding contacts to your database, you’re missing out on a way to grow your business.

10 Step Promotional Plan to the Most Success Ever

You have a great promotion. Buy one, get one half off (or free.) 45% off in celebration of your 45th anniversary. Or certain percentage of purchases are returned to local schools. But what’s the promotional plan around it? A post on Facebook and a tweet but crickets. Try the newspaper again?

Let’s look at an easy, 10 step plan to help you execute the promotion and have the most success ever!

Step 1: Create signage. Something to put on the door(s) to your store, hotel or attraction. If you’re a restaurant, also include table tents. Have signage at the counter(s). Signage in hotel rooms or on the doors to the indoor pool. Put a sign next to the hand dryer in the restroom. Where ever your customers may be able to see a sign, hang, post, mount, place a sign.

Step 2: On Facebook, ask people to join your email list to get a special offer. Include a link to your sign-up form.

Step 3: Email your customers announcing your special offer. Let your customers know about your special offer and why they should act on it.

Step 4: On Facebook, remind people they still have time to get your special offer. Post a relevant image to your Facebook Page with the following status (be sure to include a link to your sign-up form): “There’s still time to get our special offer. Join our email list to get it sent to your inbox. ”

Step 5: Send an email reminder just before your offer expires. This is it. Your offer is almost up. Let your contacts know this is their last chance to take advantage of it.

Step 6: Be sure to ask new customers to join your email list while they’re in your store. This way you’ll be able to keep in touch with them!

Step 7: Send a “Thank You” email to your customers. It’s time to say “Thank you!” to everyone who took advantage of the special promotion. Expressing your gratitude goes a long way in creating long lasting
customer relationships. You can even send along another offer they can use later so you get people back to the store.

Step 8: Post on Facebook a “Thank you!” Post an image of you and your staff to your Facebook Page with the
following status: “Thank you for shopping with us.”

Step 9: Send a bonus coupon or reward to the customers who redeemed your offer that can be used at a later date. This could either be a part of the “Thank You” email (Step 7), handed out to them directly when they are in your store, or a fourth email after the “Thank You” email.

Step 10: Send a survey to your email contacts to find out what they’re interested in so you can keep them engaged all year long.

Okay, that last one may be more in preparation for the next promotion, but it’s also relevant information to let you know if your customers really appreciated the special promotion or not. Of course your cash register should indicate that as well!

Signage, three emails, three Facebook posts and a survey. You’re on your way to the most success ever!

The Marketing Voices in Your Head

What’s the motivating slogan that runs through your head pushing you up the hill at the end of your run, ten more minutes on the elliptical, or three more reps of lifting weights? Right now I’m using Saucony’s “Find Your Strong” as I recover from a bum hammy and try to get back into shape.

In the business world we might have

“You must be the change you wish to see in the world. “ Mahatma Gandhi

“The only limits are, as always, those of vision.” James Broughton

or “Yesterday’s home runs don’t win today’s games.” Babe Ruth

If you’re a Christian, you might recite Joshua 1:9 “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”

As we head into this year of marketing our destinations (and perhaps planning and budgeting for next year,) what are the motivating slogans that might be running through our heads?

What will be your web presence? This was a headline on a blog over a year ago but because the blogger hasn’t blogged since then, it remains on My Yahoo in my RSS feeds. I don’t delete it ’cause I love the constant reminder that it’s not just about our website, it’s about what all the other websites are saying about our destination.

As the post states, your “strategy should include goals, objectives, target markets, key messages, key words, content management, resources required to add and build your web presence.”

Another way of saying it?  “Online is no longer an individual strategy. Online should be a part of every strategy.”

Sales is always both/and, not either/or. Pulled from 10 Realities That Can Rescue Your Community From Group Sales Obsession, Reyn Bowman reminds us that “marketing includes sales and sales requires marketing. Sales is just one of several important marketing activities and overall marketing is a blend of activities, including but unrestricted by, direct sales. Overall marketing includes diagnostics/measurements (aka research), branding (aka image), earned media (aka public relations), paid media (aka advertising), and post-arrival circulation (aka point-of-sale sales).”

YouTube is the number two search engine… still ringing in my ears from DMAI’s Convention this past summer motivating me to develop content for YouTube! Again, it doesn’t have to be Steven Spielberg HD.  I heard a few times “content over quality”. And keep ’em short! 30 seconds.  No one is going to watch your 8 minute mini movie about your destination.

Email marketing is the new mobile marketing. I highlighted this a few months back.  A study revealed strong increases in the interaction of mobile devices with email marketing.  In the first six months of 2012, 36 percent of emails sent were opened on a mobile device – a 32 percent increase over the last half of 2011, when 27 percent of sent emails were opened via a mobile device.  What is it now!? Dare think it’s 50%

Think email is dead?  Not as mobile grows.  And speaking of mobile…

“We used to say ‘it’s not too late to be early to mobile’. I’m here to tell you you can no longer be early to mobile.”  Again, another from DMAI’s Convention.  The facts shared: -smart phones out number desk top computers; – in 2014, mobile search will pass desk top search. If you do not have a mobile version of your website, stop reading now and call your webmaster.  Seriously!  Stop reading and call.  Mobile is here!

Or should I say “Just Do It!”?

Thanks for reading!

Email Marketing Part II

Last month I shared some tips and ideas about email marketing.  Apparently I’m not the only one discussing email marketing these days.

Consider these recent articles:

Five Ways to Create an E-Mail Marketing Campaign That People Will Notice Entrepreneur.com

In a world where social media gives businesses more immediate ways to connect with customers, is email marketing still relevant? It appears so. In fact, the volume of email marketing messages remained at record-setting levels in June, according to research director at Responsys, and retail email volume will grow about 20 percent this year thanks to a shift away from old-school direct mail and print. That makes for a more crowded party. Your emails are competing with millions of others, which means you must be intentional in your efforts to create messages that truly engage your customers. Here’s how. more

Nineteen (19!) Ideas for Growing Your Email List MarketingProfs.com

What would you rather have, a big list with dismal conversion rates or a smaller list targeting a highly engaged audience?  Thought so.  For a healthy opt-in email list, quality always trumps quantity, and here are 19 budget-friendly ways to get the list you want.  What you’ll find here are a few new twists to familiar tactics, along with real results and examples, to help you implement these ideas more effectively yourself.  more

Email Marketing – the New Mobile Marketing Search Engine Watch

A new study has revealed strong increases in the interaction of mobile devices with email marketing. In the first six months of 2012, 36 percent of emails sent were opened on a mobile device – a 32 percent increase over the last half of 2011, when 27 percent of sent emails were opened via a mobile device. That’s massive in the span of just a few months. What’s it mean? Email marketing is becoming mobile marketing.  more

4 Ways to Integrate Social Media into Your Email Marketing American Express Open Forum

Despite the rumors and meteoric rise of social media in recent years, email marketing is far from becoming a lost art form. Instead, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest and other social media platforms can provide serious momentum to an e-mail campaign and vice versa. But exactly how do you go about blending these two approaches? more

Email Marketing Lessons from Seinfeld MarketingProfs.com

Although the iconic 1990s sitcom “Seinfeld” might not seem the most likely source of practical advice, some of its most memorable moments provide lessons for improving your email marketing. more

Hope you garner one or two nuggets from these!  We’re constantly learning in our office and I’m reading articles and blogs trying to get better at it.  As I read and put it into practice, I’ll share more with you.

Talk to you next month.

Marketing – As Simple as Send and Receive

Go to any tourism conference, marketing seminar or ‘lunch and learn’ and they’re still all a buzz about social media.  And I get it.  With 955 million accounts, who wouldn’t want to be on Facebook!?But what if I told you those were ‘small potatoes’!?  The real promised land has 3.4 billion accounts.  That’s billions with a ‘B’ Facebook!  And it’s expected to grow to 3.8 billion by 2014.  What is it?  E-mail.

While we’re trying to discover the secret of Facebook – post in the morning, post in the afternoon, ask a question, just state something, use a picture, always link to the website… good old email just sits there saying “Put a couple things in me and hit send.”

It’s a little trickier than that and we’ll try to uncover some tips as we rediscover E-mail.
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Build your database…It only makes sense.  Before you start marketing through e-mail, you need to build your database.  How?  The simplest is to ask for it.  Someone call for information?  Ask “Would you like to regularly receive information on X?  What’s your email address?”  Get real bold and ask if they have a friend or family member that might be interested in your e-mails.  Have something on your webpage so they can sign-up for your e-mails.  Give them incentives to sign-up.  All it may take is the chance to “get the inside scoop on what’s new!”There’s countless other ways.  Just type ‘how to build email database’ in a search engine or click here.

Use a Service… If you compile any size of a database, you won’t be able to manage it through Outlook.  You’ve got to use an Email Marketing Service.  Boomerang, GoDaddy, MailChimp, Benchmark… I use Constant Contact.  Their subscriptions are based on he number of e-mails in the database not on the number of e-mails sent.  If you’d like to see a recent review to help you decide which service is best for you, click here.

Segment… So if it costs the same to send one email or 30 emails a month, send more and send them to specific groups.  Have a group that only wants to know about art exhibits?  And another wants all the new shops.  Golf, outdoors, family fun, history, concerts, wine… you get the picture!

As you’re signing up people, ask them what their interests are.  “We don’t want to waste your valuable time!  We only want to send you the information you want.”  Then set up groups in your marketing service for the spa specials or sports events.

Less is more… General rule of thumb is three pieces of information.  The big thing.  A secondary thing and the other secondary thing.  Keep it short.  You can always use “for more information, go here” with here being your website or blog.

Picture is worth a… Break up the text with a picture.  Give the eye something to be attracted to!  It doesn’t have to be Ansel Adams.  Just capture the spirit of what you’re trying to promote.

There’s so much more to e-mail marketing!  We’re constantly learning in our office and I’m reading articles and blogs trying to get better at it.  As I read and put it into practice, I’ll share more with you.

Talk to you next month.