5 Tips to Improve Your Email Marketing Campaign

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Email marketing is a very effective and popular tool to help promote your company, brand and everything associated. Here are 5 quick tips to quickly help improve your email marketing campaign.

1.  Use Consistent Fonts for Headlines & Paragraph Text

Simply put this is branding 101. Consistency is the ultimate key to your brand recognition and to its success. By using consistent font sizes and colors you can achieve a clean and professional look for your newsletters, while also making them easier to read. There should also be a noticeable size difference between article headlines and your text.

2.  Integrate your Marketing Campaigns

This will help increase your reach and drive results. Cross-promotion between your networks is essential. Utilize all your channels including Social Media, which can be easily integrated into your email marketing campaigns. Also, be sure to use URL’s to link your eNewsletters to valuable online content. Credibility is king and that makes content the queen.

3.  Include your Brand, Logo & Colors

All of your marketing, including your eNewsletters, should be consistent (tip #1) and this includes your brand and logo colors. Your eNewsletter’s colors should resemble your company and should always contain your logo. This step can help ensure that your recipients recognize your company as soon as they open the email. Don’t worry though, different colors can still be used, just use them sparingly.

4.  Use Images & Videos

As with all marketing endeavors (both on and off-line) photos and videos foster engagement and can help make your content go viral. Use them well.

5.  Watch the length

“How long should an email be?” It’s best to use your own discretion, but you should be mindful of the page fold (e.g. any content that you must scroll to read). Also, the longer the newsletter the greater the chance of your content not being read. If your emails and articles are ending up very lengthy, I recommend using a teaser or a lead-in with a read more link to a website (or a document). This can help you reduce the length of your eNewsletters and will also help you gauge engagement through click-through reports.

Want to know more than 5 tips? Ready to get started? Contact me at Marketing Directions for more information and for personalized assistance. 

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Content Marketing 101

Local small and medium sized Canadian businesses need to have an active online marketing strategy. This means creating content and driving engagement online. Ultimately you have to beat your local competition. Content Marketing is an effective strategy that your company can use to reach your target audience and potential customers. It can also help you built a strong relationship with your prospects and ideally create raving fans and brand ambassadors. As content marketing become more popular, small and medium sized businesses must jump on board and utilize this effective local marketing tool.

Why? It builds trust, credibility and authority.

This is exactly what your target audience has ordered. The content you provide should be trustworthy and valuable, which will help you (hopefully), become a business with local credibility and authority. It will also increase your local search engine optimization (SEO). Increased local SEO can give you valuable return on investment (ROI), which can be achieved (and driven) by creating quality content. 

How? Use 3 common content marketing tactics:

1.     Blogs

Blogs are a great tool for your company to use to target your local prospects and connect with people. Losing that corporate tone and creating personable content can go a long way when building credibility. Many businesses have already realized this and are engaging their consumers through their blogs. Blogs can also promote sales, events, new product and/or services or anything that can help build your brand. 

 2.     Social Media

Social media platforms (and applications) are a very common tool used by businesses to publish content. According to Aimée Morrison, an associate professor at the University of Waterloo, “(Social Media) is becoming a mainstream part of how we get the business of life accomplished and you’re at a disadvantage increasingly if you don’t do it.”

A new report by the Media Technology Monitor suggests that 1/3 anglophone Canadians won’t let a single day go by without checking their social media feeds. Approximately 63% of social media users surveyed said that they read Facebook posts, tweets and/or LinkedIn updates every single day. You can also read the full report here

Social media is reaching a tipping point and plays a huge role in your online marketing and content strategies and is influencing business SEO as well.

3.     Videos

YouTube is a behemoth of a platform that companies need to embrace. Creating a brief online video is becoming easier and cheaper and all companies should jump on board, as videos are a great way to personalize your brand and provide engaging information and content. Even within a 2 minute video, business can provide invaluable information to viewers and help drive consumer engagement and ROI. 

Website 101 – Your Website Credibility Checklist

 Website 101: These 30 quick tips can help improve your website and exposure online!

  1. Web design counts. Visitors will ‘judge’ your website so be sure to make your website attractive, trustworthy and professional. I liken your website homepage to a handshake – it’s your first introduction – make it count.
  2. Make it very easy to contact you. ‘Contact’ link should be always in your navigation menu as the very last link. If your business depends on incoming calls be sure to have your phone number easily visible as well.
  3. Be relevant and current. A website that displays relevant information to the visitors is instantly more credible. Tailor content to your visitors and consumers and if possible their profile and behavior.
  4. Use simple language. People need to understand what is written on your website. Write how you talk using the same language your customers do.
  5. Correct spelling. Grammar is a must and incorrect spelling certainly makes you seem less credible.
  6. Link to external websites that reference you or your organization. If CBC, the Globe and Mail or the National Post has written about you, link to the stories. Having outlets (even small ones) feature you is always a good thing.
  7. Provide staff bios and photos. People don’t trust anonymous websites.
  8. Avoid cheesy stock photos. Be sure all photos on your website have a purpose.
  9. Visible return and refund policies. What happens if I’m not happy with your service? People want to know the answer in advance before making a purchase.
  10. Don’t ask for too much information on web forms. Web forms are a natural part of a website, but only ask for information you need. Every extra box reduces participation.
  11. Support your statements. Use third-party evidence, neutral experts or verified (scientific) studies. Sources and testimonials are key.
  12. Avoid superlatives. Don’t say you’re the best, no one is going to believe you. Be more descriptive and specific (e.g. “Fastest pizza delivery in town” vs “We deliver your pizza in 10 minutes”).
  13. Explain your products. Make sure visitors have enough information to make a reasonable conclusion about your product and/or service.
  14. Show prices. Many companies decide not to display their prices and encourage customers to contact instead. Prices can help drive sales.
  15. Show your client list. Customers don’t want to be the only one. Numbers and names can help build credibility.
  16. Show a link to a reputable organization. Are you connected, partnered or networked to a university, a governmental agency, a research lab, or another reputable organization? Perhaps you’re service provider, reseller, partner, sponsor, advisor, etc.?  
  17. Testimonials are money. Not literally, but testimonials work well if they’re by real people. This means photos, full names, what they do, and their employer. Celebrities or well-known people are better and video testimonials are the best.
  18. Case studies & portfolios are great examples of your work. Use these to demonstrate your benefits, expertise and explain why you’re different.
  19. Bring on the reviews. People trust reviews and look for them; take Amazon as an example.
  20. Are your payments safe? Provide the information about your secure payment options.
  21. Maintain your news sections and blog.  It shows that you keep your site updated and provide free recommendations and expertise. If you can’t regularly update your news or blog you should either not have one, or remove the dates.
  22. Guest blog. This is basically the same as the previous point. If your users have come across your posts on blogs they read, you’ve more credible to them. Also, you can mention and link to the blogs that have your posts.
  23. Add a career page. A must have if you need new staff, want to expand, or build credibility.
  24. Make sure it works. Dead links, non-functional forms or pages and anything else that might seem ‘broken’ will decrease credibility and the number of visitors.
  25. Build a social community. Use social media and blogs to encourage commenting and conversation online. Having an active Twitter account or Facebook page will show that there are real people behind the organization.
  26. Keep Ads, and blinking banner ads to a minimum. Too many ads kill the experience and make the visitor feel second place. Remember loud sites and pop-ups scary away visitors.
  27. Website speed. If your website is slow and seems to takes forever to load (10+ seconds) visitors will doubt and leave.
  28. Google Counts, Literally. Search engine optimization (SEO) is key. Search yourself and see where you rank with Google. Being on the 1st page counts and so does anything else that comes up about your company.
  29. Don’t put too much content on one page. Don’t describe everything you do, and you can’t optimize more than 3 search keywords per site.
  30. Just don’t overdo it. Keep it simple.