Tag Archives: How to Brand

The 3 Mistakes Small Businesses Make When Creating a Website

So you have decided you need a website! All of a sudden you are faced with a few choices, which we will discuss in-turn;
• Outsource to a Web Design company for a custom-made website
• Use a freelance web designer and adapt a template to suit
• Use a free template based design and do it yourself

We see many small business owners decide to go down the path of having a custom-made website through a web design company. This can require a sizeable investment, with many (by no means all) website companies targeting their product towards larger businesses with charges upwards of $5,000 (we have heard of up to $15,000 being paid).

Mistake One: Not knowing your ongoing costs. The problem here is not so much the quality, as these websites usually look and work fantastic; the issue is cost to manage. We have many clients complain that they have ended up locked in contracts where every little change costs them again, to the point where many have told us they just put up with what they have.

Our Tip: Find out the cost to develop AND the cost to maintain your website
Using a freelance web designer and adapting a template to suit can cost up to around $1,000. That’s factoring in buying a domain and hosting, buying a template and paying for it to be adapted and having a marketing / copy professional write your copy and assist you with targeting your market. This is our preferred method and developing web content and strategy has become one of our most popular services. The big advantage here is you usually get an easy to understand back-end system, which means if you want to change a picture or update some copy, add a promotion or feature a new product, you can do it yourself.

Mistake Two: Being convinced your website has to be one of a kind. The biggest downside here is that using a template generally means your website is not an original – that said does it need to be? If it looks professional, meets your objectives and connects with your target market, it doesn’t need to be one of a kind.

Our Tip: Make sure the web designer and the content writer can work together. You don’t want to ‘middle man’ every question.

Lastly the cheapest option is using a free template and DIYing.

Mistake Three: Not factoring in your time into what DIYing is really costing you. It costs nothing but your time, which can be considerable and sourcing a good hosting company. Be careful though, your website is a reflection of your business and is used by consumers to determine if you are a credible, trustworthy, quality brand. It’s imperative your website communicates that. Only DIY if you have patience, some creativity and great problem solving skills.

Our Tip: Consider outsourcing bits and pieces where you just can’t crack how to do it right.

If you would like a second opinion on a website about to launch or one that’s not delivering the results it should, our Wise Up Online Package includes a website effectiveness audit and a 20 page report uncovering the truth about your website and identifying how you can unleash it’s true potential.

Until next time, W is for Websites. And that just leaves X.Y.Z! Are there any topics you would like covered once we close off the A-Z of Marketing?

Mary-Anne

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3 Golden Rules of Pricing for Value

For any business setting the price of your products is one of the hardest decisions that you have to make (along with picking a brand name, choosing the logo colour, deciding on your range…!) There are a few different approaches that you can take, but the most important thing you need to do is build value. This post will discuss the role of value in pricing and show you the 3 golden rules for building your price on a value proposition.

What is Value?

Value is a perception. It’s the reason why a well cut, good fitting little black dress for $150 can be as savvy a purchase as buying 3 tanks for $20. The price paid is considerably different, but so is the expectation of quality, enjoyment and longevity. Value is the combination of all our feelings towards the item we are purchasing. To set the price, we need to understand the value of our product to our consumer.

Many years ago I was the category manager for a premium cosmetics and perfume company. When it came to setting the price on skin care products that were perceived to rewind the aging process, we set the price by analysing what the consumer would pay, based on what it was worth to them – the value they saw in the product. The product cost was around $10, yet the consumer valued it enough to be willing to pay well over ten times that amount.

In our post “How to Measure Success” we looked at how to analyse your gross profit and your wholesale margin, which are both valid ways to set your retail price. But some products are worth far more than they cost to produce, be it because of desired design, quality workmanship or inherent benefits, and this is where developing your price model around value is most beneficial.

3pricing for value profit margin Golden Rules of Pricing for Value

1.       Understand Value-Based Pricing

When you set price using a value based model your objective is to determine the level of satisfaction a customer derives from your product and what price they are prepared to pay for it. How valuable is the solution your product brings to their life? How long do they perceive it will last? How important are the attributes to them?

Defining value includes analysing tangible and intangible attributes – that is what we can and cannot touch. The price of a Mercedes-Benz is set by what the brand believes the consumer will pay. The value is based on what they can touch – leather seats, alloy wheels, superior styling; but also what they can’t – associations of prestige, confidence and luxury.

There is no formula for value-based pricing, as each product will have its own value. You may find it helpful to do a competitive review to see how others are pricing similar offers and also survey your target market to understand what your offer means to them.

2.       Create a Value Perception

Creating a value perception involves positioning your product or service in the market so that it is desirable. The more consumers want your product the more they will be willing to pay. How to do this depends very much on the type of product or service and who the target customer.

Generally speaking you can create positive value perceptions by paying attention to:

  • The presentation of your brand elements including your logo, brand name and website / store front
  • Building social media networks to have large numbers of engaged and active followers
  • Educating your target on the benefits your product can bring (remembering both the tangible and intangible)
  • Demonstrating brand advocacy through customer reviews and testimonials

 

3.       Maintaining your Value Proposition

When you use value-based pricing, your approach hinges on your target market buying into your offer and seeing the value in it. As it comes time to promote your product, the strategy you choose is critical. Thinking back to Mercedes-Benz, how often do you see an ad for Mercedes-Benz:

“Mercedes Benz A-Class, was $90,000, now $50,000. For three days only!”

A product that is marketed on its value needs to maintain that value and it can easily be tarnished. If you can sell your product for half the price you were charging, your consumer will start to question its true cost, and the value they see in it may decline.

Value adding strategies are the best way to maintain value in your product while creating new reasons to buy. The most well-known value add strategy is the free gift. Offering a free gift with purchase does not devalue the original product in any way, you may be directing some profit into funding the gift instead of using some profit to discount the gift.

Free gifts can also be used to drive multi unit purchases e.g. Spend $52 dollars to get your free gift, setting the spend qualifier above your key products.

With the rise of online stores, another strong value add offer is Free Postage on a required spend. Firstly, we suggest you have a flat postage rate in place e.g $6.95 Flat Fee Postage, that way you have created a value for the postage; then set a minimum spend to receive the postage free e.g. Free Postage on orders over $100. This will encourage multi unit purchases, delivering you more profit per transaction, helping you fund the free postage profitability.

Following the 3 golden rules of pricing for value has the potential to deliver you more profit than pricing to make a margin requirement. What is your product? Can you price for value? As part of our mini marketing plan, we analyse your competitors pricing models and give you recommendations on how you should price within the market. For more information visit our product page.

Until next time, V is for Value and I hope you found it valuable!

Mary-Anne


How to Reach Your Target Market

How to target a market is one of the most common questions we get from clients. We all know that our product or service (in most cases) is not for everyone, but how do we clearly define who the target market is? Once we know who they are, how do we go about getting ourselves in front of them?

This post will help you identify your target market, understand targeted reach and give you 5 tips on how to reach your target market.

Identify Your Target Market

Many new products and services are born from an idea, a passion or sometimes just by accident. Usually it is to answer a consumer need. Maybe you have had a personal experience where something was lacking from the market, or you have a talent that can be easily turned into a business or maybe you see a service and think “I can do it better!”

Naming that consumer need is our biggest clue in being able to identify our target market. If we are answering a consumer need, we can then look at the characteristics of those who fit into that group of consumers.

But what if it is unclear what this consumer need is? Or if you aren’t sure which consumers would be interested? We can look to identify our target market by utilising market research (see our post on Market Research). We can survey groups to quantify who our offer appeals to and then look at the characteristics of those groups, or we can review research that has been done before (for example www.abs.gov.au) to analyse who our target could be based on the data that has been collected.

We can also identify our target market by looking to our competition. Who do they target? How do they target them? You may even want to begin to think about why they target them? Understanding your competition can give you ideas by observing who they are targeting and also by analysing who they are not, which may represent an opportunity for your business.

Once we have identified our target market we can begin to classify them based on (see our post on Analysing Market Research):

  • Demographics
    • Are they male or female?
    • What age bracket do they tend to fit in?
    • What is their income?
    • What level of education do they have?
  • Psychographics
    • Personality factors
    • Lifestyle Factors
    • Interests
  • Behaviours
    • Brand loyalty
    • Value of Quality
    • How they shop
  • Geography
    • Location in relation to our service or producttarget reach

Our aim is to have a picture of a typical consumer or consumer groups. Clearly understanding your target market is the first step in planning how to reach them.

Magazine publishers are probably one of the best practice industries for identifying and communicating target markets. See in this example how NME clearly define who reads their magazine.

Understanding Targeted Reach

Understanding targeted reach is being able to identify how many people in your target market are going to see the marketing or promotional opportunity you are offering. Many clients send us emails offering them advertising space in a magazine, online directory, goodie bags and more; they all want to know the same thing “Should I do this?”

When you know your target market, it is much easier for you to assess these opportunities, because what you are now looking for is the reach; that is the percentage or number of your target market that will see your message.

For example, when you are told an online newsletter goes out to a subscriber base of 50,000, you are immediately impressed. That is a large number of people to view your offer. But, without being able to estimate how many readers are in your target market, the number has no relevancy.

You need to ask questions based on what you know about your target market: “What percentage are women?”, “What percentage live in Adelaide?”, “What percentage have a dog?”. The questions you ask are dependent on your business and the consumer you need to reach.

Use the answers to reassess the original number and then assess your targeted reach and cost per view (see our post on Calculating your Cost per View). Do you now deem this a suitable insertion to reach your target market?

5 Tips to Reach your Target Market

1.       Connect with those that already reach your target market

When you have a profile of your target market, you can then start to research the types of media they interact with, look for

  • Magazines
  • Newspapers
  • Blogs
  • Online communities
  • Facebook pages
  • Newsletters
  • Radio Stations

Approach these media outlets and find out what advertising opportunities are available. If they have already captured the attention of your target market, you can then reach out with your marketing message.

2.       Connect with complementary, but not competitive businesses

We can’t very well ask our competitors to promote our business, but we can look for complementary businesses.

If you make artwork for children’s rooms, consider contacting other businesses that target your market, for example children’s clothing, children’s furnishings, or children’s toys. Approach these businesses and suggest exchanging advertising on each other’s websites or in each other’s newsletter, helping you both to reach more of the target market.

3.       Improve your SEO

Another way to reach your target market is to ensure you are there when they go looking for your product or service online. Understanding the keywords that your target market use when searching (see article on keywords) will help you create your website, to ensure you match your content to how they describe your product or service.

4.       Talk in the language your target market understands

Looking at the profile of your target market, make sure you talk in a language that they understand. Only use jargon or complex words if it is appropriate to your target market.

Appreciate what motivates them to purchase; is it price? Is it quality? Is it service? Then ensure you write your marketing message to match.

5.       Utilise PR

In our first tip we talked about looking for advertising opportunities within the media that your target market is connected with. Another key way to reach your target market within that media is by undertaking public relations (PR) strategies.

PR is a very broad area of marketing and for the purposes of this article; we are only going to discuss a narrow segment.

You can engage media to talk about your product or service by writing (or having written on your behalf) Media Releases (Check out Handle Your Own PR). If successfully pitched, these Media Releases can lead to articles in the newspaper, in magazines and more. these are at no cost to you and often hold more power with your target market, as they are not seen as marketing messages and gain the credibility of the source they are published in.

Also subscribe to media callout services such as www.sourcebottle.com.au to keep on top of any PR opportunities that you could use to promote your product or service.

Making a consistent effort to reach your target market will ensure over time you grow your business and also maximise your marketing spend. Do you know who your target consumer is? How do you communicate this to others?

Until next week, R is for Reaching your Target Market and also for finally resuming the A-Z of Marketing.

Mary-Anne


New Products and your Marketing Strategy

New products are launched in droves every year and the simple reason is that nothing sells like ‘new’. New product development (NPD) should form a key part of your annual marketing strategy, with the need for new ideas and innovation to keep your business competitive.

This post will help you through the new product development process, to ensure you create new product that complements your current portfolio, fulfils a consumer needs and meets profitability expectations.

What is a New Product?

Well to start off cryptically, a new product doesn’t always have to be new at all. Further, there are few products that are truly ‘new’; most are a new version of something else that already exists. (I’m telling you that to take the pressure off a bit).

New products can be:

  • An existing product with a new feature or twist
    • E.g. GHD Hair straightener, now cordless
  • A product line extension
    • E.g. Cherry Ripe being extended into a Cherry Ripe Sundae
  • A redesign of an existing product
    • E.g. Mazda 6 2011 model vs 2009 model
  • (and least commonly) A new product
    • E.g. The rain triggered awning for your clothes line

Identifying a Need for New Products

In an ideal world, small business would have enough time to mimic its corporate sized comrades and spend a month every year, undertaking a complete review of marketing and promotions strategy and developing a marketing plan for the following year.

We know however that in small business, time is consumed doing business and not necessarily developing business. The likelihood of you sitting down to an annual review is slim (if you can find the time, check out our service plan in Get Competitive with your Competitors) so you may find that for your business, identifying new products happens on an ad hoc basis.

Reasons why you may need a new product can include:

New Product Development (NPD) Process

In my last corporate role, I spent three years as Brand Manager working 80% on NPD. It would take up to 18 months from initial idea to development to product to the product appearing in store. The problem with big business is that there are so many people who have to sign off, that things can move very slowly. The motivation here for you and your small business is that with a good idea, you can be quicker to market; and with less overheads, be more profitable too.

5 Steps for Small Business NPD

1.Identify the market need

  • It is not enough to want to launch a new product because competitors are closing you out of the market or because your current product is slowly declining. You need to identify a market need. What can your new product bring to the market that consumers want or need?

2.Develop a prototype and cost it

  • A prototype can be as simple as drawing a picture with measurements and specifications, or sewing up a sample, or mixing up a batch, to as complex as working with a factory and paying to have a sample produced.
  • Developing a prototype is usually the step that precedes costing; once the prototype reflects what the product needs to look and perform like, you are then able to compile the cost to produce it.
  • When costing up your product, if it something you plan to make yourself, make sure you include a labour cost into your calculation. You may not pay yourself for every batch of cupcakes you make, but one day you might expand and need to pay someone, in which case you want that built into your cost.

3.Analyse your profitability

  • Once you have developed your prototype and costed it, you now need to set a retail price and assess profitability
  • You will want to set a retail price that allows you to wholesale it profitably. Again at first it may not be your plan, but you want to make sure you can profitably take this path if the occasion arises. Have a look at How to Measure Your Success  for tips on how to calculate Gross Margin and Wholesale Price.
  • A tip is to calculate your Gross Margin using the Retail Price, to give you an idea of how much you will make when you sell direct and then calculate using the Whole Price to calculate how much you will make if you wholesale. You want to be profitable at both points. Generally you should make around 50% gross margin when you wholesale, although as a small business you may be prepared to accept less.

4.Refine your new product

  • Based on the profitability you may need to remove elements from your prototype, seek out cheaper materials or brainstorm new ways to produce your product to have a profitable new product.
  • You should test your new product idea, if you can, with your target market to ensure it does meet a need and the purchase price is accepted. This can be through your Facebook page or design a survey through Survey Monkey and incentivise competition e.g. Complete the survey for your chance to win a $20 voucher.

5.Plan your launch

  • Assess if you need to run any existing products out, before launching your new product
  • Create a plan to tell everyone about your new product. It is essential you shout about your new news; use your social media accounts, send an email to your subscriber list, feature it on your homepage, send out media releases.
  • Run a promotion that benefits all your products, using the new product to boost overall sales. E.g. 50% off any other product when you buy our new personalised coffee plunger

New product development is an important part of your marketing strategy. ‘New’ brings consumers back to your brand giving them something different to look at; it keeps you competitive and growing and most importantly, it can have a halo effect on existing products.

Are you planning any new products for 2012, how did they come about?

Until next week, N is for New and also for planning your New Year ahead

Mary-Anne

www.wiseupmarketing.com.au


Google+ for beginners (that’s us)

I am going to start by being completely honest; I don’t have a Google+ account.

Want another confession? I just looked at Google 101 for the first time to have some sort of visual in my head of what it all is. So how could I credibly dedicate my A-Z of Marketing post for G to Google+?

This post will bring to you a range of resources, which I have been collecting on Google+. So let’s work on this together and hopefully in a few weeks we can all start to add each other, or is that like or maybe follow? We’ll work that one out as we go along.

So let me hand over to some experts to get us all up to speed.

How to set up our Google+ Profile

For a step by step set up guide see this Social Media Examiner post www.socialmediaexaminer.com/how-to-get-started-with-google-plus-your-complete-guide/

A cheat sheet for the new lingo from All Google Plus http://allgoogleplus.co.uk/2011/07/05/google-plus-cheat-sheet/

Some video presentations from Hubspots Blog, in case you get tired of reading http://blog.hubspot.com/blog/tabid/6307/bid/22741/10-Awesome-Google-Presentations-to-View-Today.aspx

Making Google+ part of your Social Media Strategy

Here are some tools to connect Google+ with your other Social Media and online platforms:

And a tip for businesses from Google themselves http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c4oafKRykUg&feature=youtu.be&noredirect=1

Why we should embrace Google+

Google+ promises better search, customisation and analytics than Facebook. This link in particular got me interested http://googlepluses.blogspot.com/2011/08/4-reasons-google-brand-pages-will-be.html

The ability to talk differently to different groups (circles) allows for targeted marketing (and also not promoting your business to your friends and family every day). Learn more about that here http://tek-bull.com/2011/07/five-reasons-why-you-should-join-google-plus.html

Mike Spinak from Naturography gives great insight into his experience with Google+ http://naturography.com/join-me-on-g-plus/

Well all this reading has got my interest peaked! I’ve just signed up! Why don’t you join me on Google+, Mary-Anne Amies https://plus.google.com/# and let’s talk about how we are going to make the most of this new social media platform!

Until next week G used to be just for Google, now it’s for Google+!

Mary-Anne

Wise Up Marketing


Why your Retail Business needs a Facebook Page

Facebook pages have become the successful launching pad or website complement for many small businesses and WAHers (I am hereby coining this for “Work At Home ers”). For small businesses without a bricks and mortar presence, Facebook gives the opportunity to have a conversation and demonstrate the personality of the business and therefore bridge the service gap.

This post is going to focus solely on Facebook Pages for bricks and mortar businesses, with strategies to benefit both Retail and Professional Service industries.

This post assumes you have a Facebook page running for your business. If you don’t, please contact me at maryanne@wiseupmarketing.com.au, I can direct you to some fantastic articles and free eBooks that take a step by step approach to helping you get started.

Ask everyone – “Why not like us on Facebook?”

Once you have set up your Facebook Page it is important to let your clients know and to ask them to like you on Facebook.

  • Print a small strut card and place it on your reception counter or at your register
  • Update your business card with your Facebook page name
  • E Mail your database to announce the launch of your Facebook page
  • Add a Facebook news feed on your website homepage

Building up your offline clientele in your online space gives you the ability to extend your brand and promotional message so that it is regularly in front of your customers, keeping you top of mind.

What should your business “do” on the business page?

  • Use a profile picture of your shop front if you are in retail
    • This acts as a visual cue for your clientele. It reminds them who you are when you pop up in the newsfeed and when they walk past, too
  • Use a profile picture of your staff if you are in professional services
    • This reminds your clientele they know you personally when you pop up in the newsfeed and reminds them of the one on one relationships they have built up
  • Communicate in a style and tone that reflects your bricks and mortar business
    • Don’t be overly casual just because it is Facebook. Your Page is still a reflection of your brand and should align with your overall brand strategy
  • Post photos of new stock that has come in, stock that is on sale and people interacting with your stock
  • Post videos that are created in the workplace featuring staff and clientele
  • Educate your clientele by sharing relevant articles, think of the magazines you keep that are relevant, now look for those sort of articles and spreads online and share
  • Boast a little! Announce any awards you have been nominated for or better still, have won, congratulate staff members on achieving service milestones or on new qualifications. Keep building the sense of community
  • Announce events and invite clientele to attend

5 Ways Your Business can benefit from a Facebook Page

1.Profile Tagging

When clients come in, ask them if they have seen you on Facebook. If they say they like your page, tell them you plan to send them a shout out when they leave.

Kylie’s Hair and Nails had a great morning with Rebecca Appleton, we love your new look”

Profile tagging delivers in three ways:

1. Like a thank you card, it gives your clients a warm and fuzzy feeling of being important to your business

2. Through the newsfeed, it reminds your other clients of what you do and why they liked you

3. Through the newsfeed of your client, your business is promoted to a greater network, attracting new likes that are valuable

Always make sure you have told your client that you will do a shout out to ensure they agree. It could offend to shout out without warning.

2.Check In’s

“Check In” is usually done on an iPhone or Android phone whilst at a location. A user goes onto Facebook and selects the place they wish to “Check In” and this then broadcasts their presence across their newsfeed and on the page of the place
they have checked in.

So like a profile tag, it then means your business is promoted to the network of your client. To take advantage of checking in make sure when you set up your page you selected “local businesses and places” as your page category and entered in your full address. This allows your clientele to find you when searching and then can “Check In” when at your place of business.

Encourage “Check In’s” by offering special discounts and offers for clients who check in.

“If you “Check In” today, you’ll get 10% off”

We have developed process cards to take staff and clients step by step through the check in process. Get in touch if you would like a copy.

3.Photo Tagging

Like profile tagging and “Check In’s”, Photo Tagging also promotes your business to your client’s network. The additional benefit of photo tagging is you are promoting your products at the same time.

“Alice trying on our latest pair of Religion Jeans”

“Tom choosing between Aviators and Wayfarers, what do you all think?”

Photo tagging gives the opportunity to start a conversation between current clients and potential clients about your product range, further motivating potential clients to come and find your retail store.

4.Geographical Targeting

Another benefit you can tap into as a business with a physical location is geographical targeting. You can create a Facebook Ad campaign and target a radius around your business (smallest is currently 10 mile, which is 16km). This means your ad only shows to those who have selected their location and it falls within the radius you select. Instead of running an ad to everyone, or for example, shoe lovers, where there will be a lot of wastage, you can run your ad to shoe lovers within 16km of your retail location.

5.Reach clients outside of your location

Finally your business can benefit from having a Facebook Page by using it to extend your reach outside of your location.

Upload albums of your new arrivals, sale stock, most popular, offer free postage and free exchange for any Facebook orders. You may find you attract some new clients that your retail store could never service before, whilst also increasing the convenience for some of your existing clients to shop from home.

It is important to keep up to date as the rules of Facebook Pages are always changing; these tips are current at the time of publishing. I will endeavour to
update this post as changes occur.

Need help with your Facebook for business strategy? Our Mini Marketing Plan looks at all elements of your marketing mix and gives you strategies to grow that you can start working on immediately.

Until next week F is for Facebook and also for Frenemy (also known as your old boss)

Mary-Anne

Wise Up Marketing


Email Marketing Basics for E Newsletter Success

Nearly every small business we talk to is looking for the same thing – cost-effective marketing solutions. “How do I get my business in front of potential customers without spending a packet?”

This post will guide you through email marketing and help you unleash its potential for your business. Follow our easy plan to increase your open rate, your click-throughs and your shares, giving you E Newsletter success!

E-Mail Marketing: The Basics

It is important before weE Mail Marketing even begin, that we clear one thing up, E-Mail Marketing to us does not involve bombarding our potential customers with offers every week in the hope they will buy from us. We are a business that rarely advises you to compete on price, so it should be no surprise that our e-mail marketing strategies will not focus solely on price promotion. Instead we believe you need to value add. You need to give your target customer a reason to open your e newsletter,
over and above this week’s special.

E Newsletters have emerged as a very successful E-Mail Marketing tool, as they give a personality to your business and allow you to connect with your customer over and above a promotion or sale. It’s an opportunity to bring together all your social media platforms and deliver a concise summary direct to your subscriber’s inbox.  Oh and did we mention, it’s free?

7 Steps for E Newsletter Success

1.Gather a great list

 From today, utilise every opportunity you can to grow your email database:

  • Ask permission to email updates and offers from your business. (It’s actually the law – http://www.adma.com.au/regulatory/compliance-tools/spam-act/).
  • Create a database capturing the First Name, Last Name and Email address of each subscriber (at a minimum). This can be in an excel spreadsheet or a mailing list using E Mail Marketing Software (EMS).
  • Remember to delete or mark inactive anyone who asks to unsubscribe.
  • Use a sign up tab /form on your website and social media platforms to encourage sign up.
  • Offer a discount to reward sign up.
  • Run a competition to drive sign up or buy space in a complementary newsletter to attract new potential subscribers.
  • Never email your list using the “To” box, as all email addresses will be visible to all subscribers. Instead use the “BCC” or better still send through email marketing software.

2.Cut through with your subject line

E Newsletters cop a bit of flack for being lost in a sea of email. It’s a fair point too. That’s why you need to ensure your subject line connects with your subscribers:

  • Keep it brief, too many words will get cut off.
  • “What’s in it for me?” Highlight the most exciting reason why your subscriber should open the email.
  • Think about your inbox; What gets instantly deleted? What gets opened? Why?
  • Mix it up; call out your promotion, ask a question, highlight brands.
  • Introduce your newsletter at launch “The Monthly Hoot: Launch Issue”.

3. Create a template that is easy to use

Set up a template whether in Word or using EMS and aim to use that template every month with minimal changes. This builds consistency and helps give a professional look.

4.Balance the content

You want to get opened, get read, be clicked and be shared! This can’t be achieved with just one type of content:

  • A personal message, aim to have a short message from the business owner or the nominated voice of the business. They should wrap up what’s been going on and what subscribers should look out for in the newsletter.
  • Recap the month; share a post from Facebook that got people talking, perhaps include a paragraph of the best blog post for the month and a link to read more
  • Feature a reader of the month, product of the month or special of the month
  • Add some value to newsletter by adding an educational article, a humours anecdote, a recipe, a local restaurant review. Something readers look forward to every month that is more than just a plug for your business.
  • Run promotions, competitions, special offers sometimes. Not every time.
  • Use a variety of methods and learn from what works best with your subscribers.
  • Open it up to subscribers to supply content. Content co creation can be a great way to foster valuable connections.

5.Send at the right time

Based on your business type, establish the best time to send:

  • Mainly Business Customers? Usually around 3pm Tue-Thurs is a good time.
  • Mainly WAHers? Try after 7pm on a weeknight.
  • Is your business focussed on the weekend? Thursday 3pm – Friday 3pm

6.Encourage sharing

  • Create content that people just have to share. Added value and co-created content will be especially popular.
  • Make your email easy to forward. Use a “Forward to a Friend” form in your EMS or simply add “If you enjoyed this issue, please forward it to a friend” at the end.
  • Run competitions via the newsletter that use “Refer a Friend” for more entries into the draw.

7.Check your stats

Most effective tracking will come from using EMS, as you will be able to analyse your open rate, click-through and your shares. You may also be able to look at the most popular time of day your email was opened.

  • Use your stats to learn what your subscriber base is really looking for in your newsletter.

Start today by committing to a monthly newsletter for your business and pick a date to send out your newsletter every month (e.g last Wednesday of the month). Consider writing a plan for the next 3 months of what you will feature in each newsletter, so you are not overwhelmed as each month rolls around. Monitor the success of each newsletter, compare the results and uncover the best formula for your E Newsletter Success.

Using E Mail Marketing Software

Just before we wrap up, one last word on EMS. Although we guided you through our 7 Steps to E Newsletter Success, with the choice of using EMS or going it alone, we must stress our advice is to use it!

EMS allows you to:

  • Manage your database subscribers and unsubscribers easily, professionally and most important of all, in accordance to anti spam law.
  • Create a template to use for each mail out that is professional, structured and can manage technical requirements like including plain text elements to not get misread by spam filters.
  • Create ease of sharing with “Forward to a Friend” forms.
  • Create ease of sign up with links on your website and social media being directed to a form that automatically updates your mailing list and validates the subscriber.
  • Personalise your newsletter, so you can send 1,000 emails with one click, yet each recipient can be addressed by their first name.
  • Easily analyse your statistics to make changes and increase effectiveness of your newsletter.
  • Do all this for free (within limits) – check out Mail Chimp and Send Blaster.

Have you launched an email newsletter yet? What you would consider changing after reading this?

If you are procrastinating about it, contact us and we can help you with a plan to launch your businesses email newsletter.

Until next week E is for E Mail Marketing and for … (no really it is, click to find out)

Mary-Anne

Wise Up Marketing

Danilo Rizzuti / FreeDigitalPhotos.net


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