Archive for the ‘electronic marketing’ Category

Online Stores – should you be sending an automated request for a review?

April 12th, 2013 by Heather Maloney

I recently received an email from an online store from which I purchased some clothing (I’ve been their customer for many years), providing me with a set of thumbnails for the items I had purchased a couple of weeks ago, and asking me to provide a review. The email was interesting because:

  • it came from an actual person at the company from whom I’d purchased (rather than the usual generic email address of sales type emails).
  • it encouraged me to provide customer reviews to help other customers make the right choices – appealing to altruism.
  • it displayed in stars, the average usual rating that the particular products I had purchased received.
  • it gave me links through for each particular product, to make it quick for me to rate particular items.
  • it provided me with instructions and a link to login and change my preferences so that I no longer receive product review emails.

The email also provided at the bottom some links and images for new arrivals, and top rated styles.

This email has a great feel about it – more like a value-add than a sales tool. Of course, if I click through and provide my review, I’m going to be bang in the middle of the store, and highly likely to start browsing through items again, and possibly make another purchase. Overall, it’s a great way to continue the engagement with your customers, and it’s all automated based on a previous purchase.

How would you feel about receiving the email I’ve described? Please share your thoughts by adding your comment below.

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Using email as part of your Inbound Marketing Strategy

August 28th, 2012 by Heather Maloney

Inbound Marketing is one of the newer marketing buzz words that I’m sure you have heard about from time-time. But with the marketing landscape moving at ever increasing speeds, many business owners miss the definition of these new marketing strategies for their business.

Inbound marketing isn’t complicated, however, and can be easily applied to your business.

At its essence, inbound marketing is about giving your customers the opportunity to engage with you; it is bringing them to you rather than you going to them. The term has come from the premise of “permission marketing” that was made famous by marketing guru Seth Godin and ties in with the move away from telling clients what to do via fliers, print advertising and TV advertising (outbound marketing) and, instead, speaking with your customers, not at them, and allowing them to grant permission for you to market to them.

A good example of inbound marketing is rather than using the traditional marketing technique of direct mail to sell your services to unknown contacts, you develop a regular Blog on your website that discuss topics within your business services, highlighting your knowledge-base as a leader in your industry. Your Blog posts will give you more qualified leads from prospects wanting to contact you due to your expertise.

Much of inbound marketing is related to the use of Social Media, which goes beyond the platforms of Facebook and Twitter and includes such things as adding your details to online directories that allow for customer feedback, and the writing of BLOGs, articles and email marketing campaigns. Also consider e-books, videos, whitepapers and podcasts.

A quick test of your inbound marketing is to Google yourself and your business name. If you are using the technique well, then a number of links from different sites will appear in the search result, all leading back to your business website and contact details. For an example, see the image below.

Example Inbound Marketing Links from web search

How does email marketing work within your inbound marketing strategy?
Email marketing is a critical component within your business’ inbound marketing strategy. As your target audience (after reading your articles, blogs and other social posts) opt in to hear more, your organisation has the opportunity to take each subscriber through a series of messages to help them solve a particular problem, or understand your organisation better. Alternatively, if the subscriber signed up to receive updates / news from you, these types of messages can provide valuable and practical examples of how your products / services can benefit the subscriber. An eNudge Email marketing message also gives you and your readers the opportunity to share your message in various platforms, e.g. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc, allowing for new prospects to find you and learn about your industry knowledge.

Inbound marketing allows you to start building a customer relationship before a person has had any telephone or physical contact with you.

In addition, a good inbound marketing strategy will organically work on your Search Engine Optimisation!

To discuss how eNudge and our Message Series (systemizing a series of communications) can assist with your inbound marketing strategy, contact us via 1300 137 628 or info@eNudge.com.au.

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Online Technologies to consider for your business

May 30th, 2012 by Heather Maloney

The following online technologies have broad application across many industries, to help you increase awareness of your brand, products and services, strengthen relationships with existing customers, build community around your brand, position you as a thought leader in your industry or area of expertise, increase sales, and generate more leads.

Do a mental stocktake on how many of these technologies you are successfully employing:

  1. website - there are some businesses that still don’t have a website, or have a site that presents their organisation in a poor light, so I can’t leave that off the list. Your website may have more than one objective – make sure that it’s achieving your goal/s, whether that’s to generate leads, automate distribution of valuable information, build your credibility, facilitate sales…
  2. email marketing – despite the scourge of spam, and how long this medium has been used, it’s still the greatest tool of many of our clients for generating sales and enquiry, increasing customer retention and providing better service. You should encourage visitors to your website to register for your regular emails, but also promote this through offline channels (think business cards, brochures, invoices…).
  3. SMS marketing – a well executed SMS campaign can generate an immediate response. Of course, as per email marketing, you’re going to be obeying the Australian Spam Act to the letter, so an SMS won’t be a surprise to your customers.
  4. blog - pointing your readers to your website’s blog will drive traffic to your site (where hopefully they will explore more than your blog, or read related posts and add their comments), and allow them to interact with you and others on your chosen topic. It has the added advantage of being great for your rank in the search engines, especially if you choose your topic heading well and utilise social media and SEO friendly URLs.
  5. social media – dubbed “the personalisation of business”, the astute use of social media can help your organisation connect on deeper levels with your customers, understand your customers better, build community around your brand, and establish you as a thought leader within your industry or area of expertise. And it doesn’t have to take up vast amounts of your precious time.
  6. pay per click online advertisements – for the right category, a well written online ad linking through to a strategically written landing page, can be very productive for generating sales and enquiries. Social media and the proliferation of rich information about the website visitor’s preferences and behaviours, now provides the opportunity for very targeted ads.
  7. video – a powerful medium for connecting with a wider audience. Video allows you to convey your message much more richly than text and imagery.
  8. mobile applications – the use of mobile devices to browse the web and carry out web based activites has increased exponentially over the past few years. Every B2C website should strongly consider having at least a mobile friendly version of their website. Apps provide a unique opportunity to deliver market leading tools, build loyalty, and increase customer retention.
  9. online surveys – don’t groan! These used a strategic points in the delivery of customer service, or customer enquiry, can allow you to deliver the right clients to your sales team, and gather rich information about your customer’s desires.
  10. QR codes – a smart phone readable bar code allowing you to quickly take a customer to your web page after they scan the code you’ve placed in your email, on your printed poster, on a billboard…

When employing these technologies, you should endeavour to link them together to gain cost effectiveness, richer engagement and provide a consistent message across all fronts. They should also reflect your offline marketing.

If you would like to discuss the appropriateness of any of the above technologies for your business, and exactly how it could be used for your benefit, feel free to get in touch.

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Thanks to all those who attended the High Hopes High Tea!

March 19th, 2012 by Heather Maloney

Thank you so much to the representatives from each of the following organisations for attending yesterday’s annual fund raising event for the St.Kilda Gatehouse:

I am truly grateful that you were so generous with your time, and helped us to all have a lovely afternoon of specialty teas, fresh cappuccinos and more delectable cakes and sandwiches than we could eat!

Thank you so much!
Heather Maloney
St.Kilda High Hopes

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Breaking News and Technology – Gillard vs Rudd

February 27th, 2012 by Heather Maloney

As political journalists across the country are poised for the next stage of the saga between Julia Gillard and Kevin Rudd, technology is helping us to keep up to date with all manner of up to the minute broadcasts from Canberra. For example:

  1. Live webcam as the media, from two different angles and corridors in the Parliament building, wait for the ALP politicians to come out of their vote for either Ms Gillard or Mr Rudd.
  2. If you don’t want to watch the webcam, the politics blog page of the The Age is being updated every 5 minutes or so with another comment or photo to keep you up to date.
  3. You can follow tweets attached to particular hashtags in Twitter to hear the news as it comes to hand.

I wonder what the price was for advertising space on the political pages of the national newspapers during this morning?

In a nutshell… there’s no need to stay in the dark for very long, whether you are sitting at a computer or using your mobile phone!

What’s your favourite way of watching the news unfold?

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How CNET setout to refresh their list

February 7th, 2012 by Heather Maloney

It got my attention, so I thought I’d share with you the recently distributed “database refresh” message sent out by CNET to try and get their audience to read their messages or re-engage.

The subject of the newsletter below was the first thing to get my attention. It read: “Is this goodbye? CNET will miss you.” I couldn’t help wonder what it was all about, as I skimmed that subject line (I skim due to the volume of email I receive on a daily basis). In an instant, they had piqued my curiosity and I found myself opening their email!

CNET list refresh email

Next, I saw the big CNET logo, and then I read their first paragraph, where they explained that they “loved it when I would click “open” on their emails” and that they wanted me back. Cute. The rest of the email was very simple, and set out to show me why I should be opening and reading their emails based on the value they provide. So, now that their brand is firmly back in my mind, I may well open more of their emails in future. :-)

What do you think of this strategy? Have you used a different “list refresh” strategy or had someone use a successful one on you?

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Landing Page Design Trends for 2012 – Website Magazine – Website Magazine

January 17th, 2012 by Heather Maloney

Following the key points described in the article below will benefit the design of your home page, landing page, or email marketing campaign.

Landing Page Design Trends for 2012 – Website Magazine – Website Magazine.

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Social Media doesn’t kill email; it becomes an amplifier for the message

May 29th, 2011 by Heather Maloney

Social media amplifies your email messageI read the above statement in an article on Business 2 Business Community on the topic of 2011 PR Trends: Email and Social Engagement. The author was saying that the ability to engage with your audience through email isn’t diminished by the advent of social media and sites such as Twitter and Facebook, but instead the engagement can be augmented by making it easy to share your email message via social media as well.

A couple of years ago, we added Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter icons to images available in eNudge and suggested that you should use these to point people to your organisation’s presence on these social sites (review our June 2009 newsletter). Sharing your email content in this way requires you to hyperlink the icons to a version of your email message that you have placed on your website. However, to make this less work for you, we’re considering adding the ability to insert automated links to “tweet this” and “share this on Facebook” to your eNudge email messages. That will allow your contacts to share an online version of your email message (of course without the personalised content) which will be hosted on the eNudge server; a bit like the functionality to “View this email in a browser”. So that we can gauge interest, please let us know by commenting on our blog if you would like the social sharing functionality added!

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Having a One on One Conversation

August 10th, 2010 by Heather Maloney

Personalising your email or SMS messages in a useful way will help your contacts to feel like you are having a one to one conversation with them, and will help them feel like a valued client, not just one of the masses.

So what do I mean by a “useful way”? It’s pretty easy to add the firstname to your message – people expect that level of personalisation even in what is obviously a bulk email send now. What is useful for your clients / customers is going to be different from another organisation, but here are some ideas to get your creative juices flowing:

  • expiry date of your customer’s account / subscription
  • number of loyalty points they currently hold
  • address and contact details that you currently store on file for your contact (ask them to update you if the details have changed)
  • last item that the customer purchased online (so that you can ask them what their experience has been like with that product, or you can ask them to rate your customer service during the transaction).
  • We’d love to hear what other ways you can imagine personalising your messages – reply to this post below.

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Timing your Email Campaigns to Co-incide with Major News

June 5th, 2010 by Heather Maloney

On Friday a week ago, Apple launched the iPad in a number of countries outside of the USA, including America. That same day I know of at least two organisations – Borders and Domain – who sent emails out to their contacts on that exact day telling people about tools that they now have available for the iPad.

The message to the end consumer is very clear:

  • we’re up to date
  • we’re providing you with useful tools

I think you will agree that the above a very powerful messages to provide to your customers.

Timing your messages to co-incide with major news events, particularly when you are supplying useful tools to help people around that event, is a great strategy and should be something that you factor into your Communication Plan.

You’re could be thinking: “that’s easy for large company with big budgets”, or “but how do you know what the major news is going to be?”, or “co-inciding my emails with the news will take too much preparation time”. Yes… it does take effort to co-incide your campaigns with major news; and that’s why it gives such a powerful message to the message recipients.

So don’t discount this strategy as too hard! Factor this into your next Communication Plan brain storming session, or tweak your Communication Plan when you become aware of big news coming up. Share your thoughts by adding your comment below.

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