Creating an effective email marketing campaign is not often easy.
Here are some quick tips to help you create more effective campaigns without the stress!
1. Don't Spam - Be honest about who you are and what you are offering!
2. Have a plan - sit down at the start of each marketing year and plan out what topics you wish to focus on, so that you can have targeted, relevant and timely campaigns ready to go.
3. Create segmented lists of email subscribers
4. Ensure email content is scannable - ie use bullet points and lists, include appropriate imagery so that people can skim and still pick up the key messages
5. Include easy Calls to Action to direct people to the actions you wish them to take
6. Include links to social media to share around your content
7. Audit and analyse your campaign after you send it out. How many were sent, how many where opened, how many bounced, what did they click on etc. All of these items are easily accessed via your Adobe Business Catalyst email marketing tools.
One final tip - keep them short, for your final review think -
One of our first conversations with any new client is to clear up some common misconceptions regarding Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and keywords.
When Google ranks your site, it looks for a specific list of items to know whether to list your site on page 1 for your search criteria or page not number 1 for the same search criteria.
Many years ago Google paid attention to KEYWORDS meta data in your site code to help determine where your site would appear in search results.
People would stuff their meta data code area with anything and everything that maybecould be about their site. This was repeated on every single page of their site. An example is below for a potential sports store.
< meta name="Keywords" content="football, soccer, baskbetball, sports balls, cricket balls, tennis balls, bowling balls, round balls, orange balls, black balls, balls for sport, sporting balls, sporting teams, school sport, club sport">
This hangover from quite some time ago, still lives with clients and is a misconception we are on a mission to clear up!
Google no longer looks for KEYWORDS in the metadata area (the CODE) to determine your page rank or to be more correct your relevancy for the search criteria you have entered.
Don't believe me?
I thought you might need some convincing, why not listen from the experts themselves..
So are KEYWORDS dead? No!
Keywords are still important but in the following important context.
Your should have them in your page title tag
You should have them in your page name
You should wrap them in H1 tags
They need to be specific to the actual page your are looking at - i.e. - you may have only one or 2 key phrases
You should refer to them in within the page content in an appropriate manner - i.e. you can and should repeat them, but it needs to make sense to you when you read it out loud
Want to know more?
Why not review some of our other blog posts on this topic, look out of our next SEO basics training or get in contact with us so that the we can show you how you can control this with your own Adobe Business Catalyst CMS.
What another social media channel I need to play with?
Pinterest is the 3rd largest social media channel in the word - larger than Linkedin and Google+ and fast chasing twitter in the US.
So what do you need to know to get on board the Pinterest bandwagon?
We had a great in-house session outlining how to get onboard - more information can be found here - at the Pinterest site itself.
We have been scouring the web to find great uses for Pinterest and have listed out top 7 items! We feel it is a great ADD-ON for e-Commerce sites and any site or business that uses imagery or photography to best focus on their products..
1. Spread the word about your product through an online photo contest.
Pinterest is a great place to organize contests. Your contest could be a search for the best pin of pictures of your product or your product logo being used by real people in everyday life. Your participants will pin photos of your brand and share them with friends. Therefore, your traffic will increase, as well as your product’s popularity.
2. Provide valuable and informative content for your audience.
Just like other social networking sites, providing high-quality content on Pinterest boosts your site reputation, thus attracting more attention from your followers. Provide useful information and problem-solving tips in the field you are an expert at - the use of infographics to visual display a key message are very powerful here and will drive pinners to you.
3. Pin some helpful shopping lists or product bundles.
Provide helpful shopping lists to your followers that include your products. Create a helpful mother's day suggestion list, kid christmas presents, tech toys - essentially a list of your products that you provide that are must haves and aid in the selling experience for potential customers. Recent studies have proven that Pinterest is a greater driven of online sales than Facebook.
4. Suggest gift ideas by adding price tags.
You’ve probably noticed that some items on Pinterest have price tags on them. You, too, can do it by simply adding a price in the description along with this symbol – $. We have recently been assisting clients do this and also integrating their Pinterest boards into their Facebook page.
5. Use Pinterest as a marketing tool.
Share the latest trends and browse other boards for inspiration - just like with all successful social media strategies, it cannot all be about you. Embed your Pinterest boards into your facebook page to maximize your reach. Encourage engagement and respond to comments and likes!
It seems that everyone is having an end of financial year sale - so we thought we would too!
Exclusive to existing clients, we have a great offer on our cosmic package for this month only - SAVE $300!
Get in quick and call us now - 1300 721 481
Don't forget if you have your own end of financial year sale plans or stocktake sales to contact us NOW for help with your email campaigns.
We had a terrific Pinterest session last month and have already started to integrate it into some of our ecommerce sites as well as embedding the APP inside facebook for our clients. Read why in Leanne's latest blog post.
Save $300 on our standard COSMIC *package
Time to refresh and revamp your website?
If you have been thinking a change is as good as a holiday - now is the time to take advantage of our great offer - EXCLUSIVE to existing clients
What do you get?
A saving of $300 on our standard cosmic price ( normally $1650)
A fresh new custom look - includes home page and inside pages
Not including navigation/content changes or new features
Don't miss out on some great training programs coming up - we only have a few spots left for basic SEO training - both in house and online - so get in quick.
We are particularly please to have had a hand in the recent upgrade to Paradise Fresh - working in collaboration with Keo Design in Tamworth and the Paradise Fresh team - we hope you enjoy the easier aisle by aisle shopping.
The construction of our new office, The Rocket! Adobe Business Catalyst Service Centre and Webcasting Studio, has lifted off!
Designed specifically to meet our demand for growth, we aim to double our team size over the coming 18 months so we can develop high-end online marketing solutions and continue to grow, support and proactively service our clients, our Adobe Business Catalyst reseller network and distribution channel partners.
Over the last several months, we have been keeping you updated with the various stages of our new building.
We have dealt with a myriad of suppliers, local and national - providing services to us both online and in the 'real word'. High levels of customer service from a variety of providers have helped keep us sane when things have 'gone wrong' as they always tend to do in big projects.
It has been great to be able to ring people and get quick attention with last minute changes and technology hiccups (or disasters - are you listening Telstra!) and have those suppliers respond quickly to our concerns, come on site and if need be fix or amend issues.
This past week I purchased new violin strings for my daughter, a new bow and a new shoulder rest as she has now graduated to a full size violin and so is now playing the family heirloom violin (my old one).
The experience of purchasing online from The Sydney String Centre was a very pleasurable one for me. Why?
Easy to drive website
Clear instructions for delivery and returns
No forced registration and
SPEEDY DELIVERY - new strings and bow ready for rehearsal within 48 hours.
It was obvious that this company is thinking about the online customer service experience and not just selling online.
Good planning up front will help to minimize customer service issues at the end.
How am I planning to make the online customer service experience as good as my 'real world' customer service experience (assuming you have a good one!).
Good ideas for customer service online
Don't make it hard to contact you - display your phone number prominently.
Make sure people can easily click on contact us for all your details - if you are a bricks and mortar business as well - tell people your address
Get a dedicated mobile version of your site with the key parcels of information in it - making it easy for people to ring you on the go, find your address or deal with problems quickly.
Use social media - Make sure your Facebook page has the messages area enabled and that you ensure you are following your mentions and DM's via Twitter
Have a handy list of Frequently Asked Questions at your site - make sure the answers are in a friendly tone suitable to your business. You are trying to help people here - not fob them off!
Use technology to help - ie How to Videos on You Tube, Skype sessions or Downloadable How to Guides in a Knowledge Library. The Sydney String Centre uses Skype where people can dial in and ask questions and show their instruments when the problem or question is too hard to do just over the phone or via email.
There are many areas where your website will allow you to drive efficiencies in your office, but avoiding customer service is not one of them.
It just makes the process of providing it a whole lot easier!
Their assistance with getting our internet back to normal - when various parties within Telstra could not be bothered was beyond fantastic. If your business is looking for integrated data comms services - you cannot go past these guys.
It is predicted that smart phone usage will dominate web browsing in the coming years. This is definitely one of the faster growing ways that people are finding your site online.
So is your website mobile friendly?
I don't just mean can it be viewed correctly on a mobile - but is it allowing for "fat finger syndrome". A mobile version of your site, detects what kind of device you are using and shows a version of your site that suits that device.
Ask yourself these questions
do you have a version of your site that specifically is designed to suit a hand held device
if you do, is it easy for fat fingers to navigate
does the copy flow straight up and down and not across and then down
does it suit our tendency to browse with our thumbs when on the phone
If the answer is NO - then you need to start thinking about a mobile version of your site right now!
The Apple iPhone, Android and Windows 7 phones are fast becoming the norm rather than the exception – in fact in June 2011, there were 29.28 million mobile services in operation in Australia (more than the number of people that live here!) and 46% of those were Smartphones.
Industry estimates put this figure at 60% by the end of 2012.
This kind of growth is hard to ignore and Smartphones are changing how consumers access the internet, search for products, consume news and manage social networks.
In July 2011, Telstra in association with The Nielsen Company released their yearly Smartphone Index Report which highlights some interesting facts relevant to small businesses marketing.
The full survey can be found here - but I have summarised 4 key points to consider below
1. 44% use Smartphones daily to check email.
It is important that your email communication is clear and easy to read. Clear call to action graphics will work wonders in email campaigns.
2. 24% use their Smartphone to find locations of retail stores.
Hook up your address to google maps - claim your business location in Google Local. Make sure your phone number is text to allow for easy one click calling.
3. 61% of Smartphone users are accessing the mobile internet daily.
The Smartphone is likely to overtake the desktop as the device most consumers use to get access to the internet. This is predicted to occur at some stage in 2014. There is a higher proportion of MALES using smartphones at present - so if your site is a natural fit with a male demographic - than a dedicated mobile version of your site is a must (ie a trades site, technology, automotive etc)
4. 31% of users compare prices of products before going to the store.
To be considered by consumers, your products and pricing must be available on your website. If you don’t clearly display your product information, how do consumers compare? Vital for all sites - not just mobile versions!
May is going to MOBILE MONTH here at bosweb systems, so if you wish to take advantage of our exclusive offer for any Adobe Business Catalyst site, contact us now
Some samples of recent mobile sites are listed below ( the images are not their actual size - have a look at them on your phone!)
So Google+ had an update recently and just like you I'm trying to figure out how to use it, what the benefit's are or if I even like it (jury's still out on that one).
Regardless of all the 'new white space' and, love it or hate it, Google+ is here to stay.
Google is pushing this bad boy (so it doesnt lose the social media race), and if those Google (augmented reality glasses) are anything to go by (and by that I mean 'real'), then Facebook better watch out!
In the meantime though, check out SocioloG+ - it's a great resource to help you take full advantage of Google+
The construction of our new office, Adobe Business Catalyst Service Centre and Webcasting Studio (codenamed 'The Rocket!'), is preparing to launch!
Two years in the planning, the construction of our new offices will be the sixth in our twelve+ year history, and by far the largest, being specifically built in order to meet our demand for growth.
We'll continue to develop high-end online marketing solutions and advanced business systems for our clients; however our new Service Centre will empower us to grow, support and proactively service our clients and Adobe Business Catalyst reseller network and distribution channel partner opportunities.
A few details;
Location: Commercial Avenue, Blueridge Business Park, Dubbo, Australia
Site size: 560m² (6028 ft²)
Internal Walk-in foyer, large open office area, comms room, meeting Features: room, seperate offices, male & female bathrooms, shower,
kitchen, boardroom/conference/broadcast studio with full
screen projector and opening to entertainment courtyard,
reverse cycle air-con, smart controlled thermostats and natural
ventilation, combination carpet/tile floor panels, energy
efficient & acoustic dampening internal walls & ceiling panels
partly exposed 3.5m ceiling cavities, soundproofed ceiling in
boardroom, bespoke desks & office furniture, 2 person
reception area, space for 6x3 person workstations, opening
windows, floor to ceiling internal glass wall, VOiP POE telecoms,
power & data cabling dropdown via suspended ceiling including
wall mounted 55" LED screens for 'live monitoring' throughout,
game consoles & media server installed for 'breakout' spaces
(Space, light, energy efficiency - and fun! - are core goals in the design of our office)
External Covered walkway pergola, landscaped & established gardens, Features: office will overlook water garden feature area at front protected
by free standing pre-cast branded panel, IP camera security
Car spaces: 9 (inc. disabled parking access bay and mounted bike rack)
plus off street parking
Staff Capacity: 30 maximum
Bandwidth: 400MB capable ethernet over fibre (direct to Exchange)
Signage: Floodlit illuminated panel at site entrance & roof signage
Opening: 1 May 2012
Latest Timelapse: March 2012 - 4 minutes (front of building)
Stage 5 (@ Apr 2012):
Painting & Tiling
Stage 4 (@ Mar 2012):
Stage 3 (@ Feb 2012):
The front windows are fitted
Walls are going in
Stage 2 (@ Jan 2012):
Area designated for 'Rocket TV'
Floor prepared for cement pour
Stage 1 (@ Dec 2011):
Internal frame construction starts
40 ton crane (inside the office!) lifts wall panels into position
The rear of the building with my son trying to find a way through the barricade (the site is now closed off for the holidays)
Last week I travelled to the US to meet with Adobe & four other of the world's Adobe Business Catalyst Premier Partners.
Along with Jason Tinnin (Simple Flame), Brent Weaver (BC Gurus), Brett Stockley (Pretty Pollution) and Phil Lockwood (Distill Agency), we were flown to San Francisco to meet with Adobe Excutives and product management & marketing teams (in digital print and web sectors) to discuss the BC partner network.
In line with their upcoming SaaS (software as a Service) offering, the 'Creative Cloud', we were invited to discuss the benefits of fostering a productive BC partner network and the following day myself & Jason Tinnin travelled to the Adobe Headquarters in San Jose to advise on distribution opportunities in the SMB space.
The launch of Adobe's Creative Cloud service cannot be understated; this bold move to online software distribution and file hosting/sharing solutions will reinvent Adobe and provide massive inroads to our clients and the BC partner community as a whole.
As one of the leading global partners with Adobe Business Catalyst, we look forward to servicing and educating our BC clients and growing our reseller partner network from our new Rocket! Business Catalyst Service Centre opening in May.
Standing in front of Adobe Offices, San Francisco
Myself, Alexandru Costin (BC Unit Manager), Brian Nemhauser (Muse Unit Manager), Jason Tinnin (Simpleflame)