The Power of an Email Newsletter

woman receives e-mail on mobile phone

Marketing research consistently shows that email is the most effective form of online marketing.

Email marketing is effective because you are talking to people who already have an interest in your business. They are your ‘Warm Leads’ in marketing-speak. And you are reminding them about your business, and how you can help them, on a regular and consistent basis.  So that, when they are ready to buy, you are top of mind. And ahead of your competitors!

90% of your potential clients are not ready to buy immediately

When potential clients first come across you, whether online or face to face, 90% of them are not ready to buy immediately.  But they are often happy to keep in touch and get to know more about your business over time. An e-newsletter gives you the opportunity to build relationships with your most likely purchasers.

The Money is in the List!

A list of past and prospective clients is an invaluable marketing asset.  Make full use of all those valuable contacts from networking meetings! If someone expresses an interest in your business, invite them to join your list.

You can make this more attractive by offering something of value in return for their email address. For example, a discount voucher, or a free e-book with useful tips and information.

An Email Marketing System will help you

An email marketing system like Mailchimp makes all this possible. And it helps you meet General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) requirements too.  Mailchimp, and other email marketing systems, will provide an Unsubscribe option on all emails, which is a GDPR requirement.  You also must have the consent of anyone you add to your list, and you must display a Privacy policy on your website, explaining how you use the data which you hold about your subscribers.  More about GDPR and email marketing

If you think that writing and emailing weekly or monthly newsletters is too much of an overhead, why not start with a bi-monthly or quarterly newsletter?  Or get some help. Check out my email newsletter packages.

If you’d like to get started with or improve your email marketing here are a couple of other articles you may find of interest.

How to create emails that get results

How to create a successful e-newsletter

Get in touch if you’d like some help with an e-newsletter.

We look at email newsletters in more depth at my 5 Steps workshop.

Keyword Research for Dummies

If you’ve ever looked into doing keyword research properly, you will know that the tools which are out there are expensive. And complicated.  But there is a tool which is free, and simple to use. In fact, you already know how to use it!  

Google Search Suggestions Can Help!

Whenever you do a search on Google, it will suggest different options for you to choose from. These options are based on Google’s own research into the most popular search terms used.  That’s pretty authoritative!

 If you’re not sure what keywords you should be using for your website and social media content, have a little play around with Google Suggest. You might be amazed at the ideas and the quality of the information you get from it.

 

Atomize Your Online Content!

atom image for atomize reference

What Is Atomizing?

“Atomizing” is the latest marketing idea to hit in the States.  The term “Atomizing” was coined by online marketing expert Todd Defren.  It means thinking about online content differently. Using your existing, high quality content in as many different ways, and reaching as many different audiences, as possible.  Forget the constant struggle to come up with new blog posts!  Focus on the really good stuff you’ve already got.  And promote and share it for all it’s worth!

How To Atomize

“Atomizing” takes things a few steps further!  It means breaking the content down into pieces and putting it back together in a meaningful way each time you post it. 

So it’s not about cutting and pasting the exact same words in lots of different places. It’s about using your content intelligently. Tailoring each piece of content to the platform, and to the audience who you think will see it there so that you get maximum value from it.

Some Atomizing Ideas

Jay Baer, another online marketing guru, has come up with 47 Tactics to Atomize Your Content Marketing!  A print article can be a series of tweets. A LinkedIn post can be a podcast.  

Check out my earlier post for 5 ways to use one piece of content to Get Full Value from it.  Newsletter article, social media posts, networking ’60 seconds’, LinkedIn post, video. 

Has this got you thinking about some different ways you could revive and reuse some of your existing content? 

How to Plan a Successful Christmas Marketing Campaign

christmas gift box with pine cones and cup of coffeeChristmas is a peak sales time for many businesses. Here are a few tips to help you maximise the effectiveness of your Christmas marketing.  Now is the time to start planning.

  1. Schedule – first of all put together a schedule of key dates and work back from those. Black Friday, Christmas Day, last day for Christmas orders……
  2. Be a helpful resource  – your customers will be bombarded with promotions and sales-y emails during the pre-Christmas period.  Be the voice of calm!  Write helpful, relevant social media posts and emails.  Whatever your audience will find useful and of interest. It’s worth putting some time and effort into creating quality, helpful content. People will remember you for it.  This will depend on your business but some examples would be:
    • Advice on planning a Christmas party
    • Shopping ideas for those ‘difficult to buy for’ people!
    • Ways to minimise stress during the festive period
  3. Make the most of the personal. One of the advantages of being a small business is that you can come across as more real and relevant to people’s lives than a big business.  Make the most of personal experiences, whether about your clients or about you, to promote your products or services. Do you have photos, videos or stories from previous Christmasses that you can use?

Use your experience and your imagination to come up with effective, relevant and attention-grabbing ideas!

And Finally…..  These Online Marketing Principles Work All Year Round!

The three key principles  –  Scheduling, Relevance and Personal Connection –  apply all year round, to all types of business. They’re not just for Christmas!  So, even if yours is a business that isn’t focussed on Christmas sales, you can apply these principles very effectively to any online marketing campaign.

Happy Christmas Marketing!

Seven Power Words to Grab Your Readers’ Attention!

Words Have Power written on post-its on cork boardThere are some special words that can make a real difference to the way your readers react to your written content. Words that will encourage them to move from passive reading to action! You can use these words in your emails, web pages, blogs and social media posts. Wherever you want your readers to engage.

Here’s the list of simple, highly effective, ‘Power Words’:

  1. Now – this creates urgency. “Don’t put it off” it says. Be sure to make it very clear exactly what action you want your readers to take.
  2. You / Your – makes it personal. Helps your reader visualise the impact your offer will have on their lives or business
  3. Thanks – this adds a human quality to your content. Thank them for reading, for buying, for subscribing. It builds customer loyalty and helps to create trust. Everyone likes to be appreciated!
  4. New – implies fresh, up-to-date. It’s human nature to want the latest, shiny thing.
  5. Easy – human beings are naturally lazy! They will always look for the easy way to do something. Also, perhaps they are a little scared about making the first move and actually contacting you. Reassure them that you are there to make things easy and pain-free for them.
  6. And – maybe your reader is teetering on the edge of buying. You can give them an additional push in the right direction by adding an extra related item to the deal you are offering. “And you will also get…..” TV shopping channels do this brilliantly.
  7. Free – everybody loves free stuff! Add a freebie to your offer to encourage a purchase. Or offer a free product or service to encourage your readers to sign up to your email list.

Think about how you could include these power words in your written content to help you attract more clients. Let me know how you get on!

Why Isn’t My Website on Page 1?

The Google rankings can seem like a bit of a lottery. Some business owners spend a lot of time and money on a stunning website, but it doesn’t rank well at all. Others build their own cheapie website, perhaps not the most attractive website, and it shoots to the top of the rankings within a few weeks.

A lot depends on how competitive the market is for your type of business. But equally, a lot depends on whether Google can easily find out what it needs to know about your business. Most importantly:

  • The product or service you offer
  • Your location

Your Keywords

These two things are your “keywords” (to venture into SEO-speak for a moment!) SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation. Google wants to see these keywords in your text, for example:

  • I am an accountant based in Dorking, Surrey……
  • I run a beauty salon in Crawley, Surrey
  • I’m a massage therapist based in Horsham, West Sussex
  • Visit my office/salon/studio in Location
  • Free parking at my office/salon/studio in Location

And Google especially likes to see these keywords in your headings, for example “How We Help Businesses in Location.”

If you want to rank well in local searches use the Location word throughout your website’s text, wherever it fits in a natural way. For example, if you post case studies or testimonials on your website, include the location as well as the name.

Your Website Pages

Have a different page for each product or service you offer to make it clear and easy for Google, and your website visitors. And so that you can load up each page in a natural way with the right keywords for that page. So, the beauty salon’s website would have a separate page for Nails, Facials, Body Treatments etc.

If your website’s not ranking well on Google check through your text and headings to see if your keywords are appearing often enough. Be aware that if you make any changes it will take a few days for Google to pick them up.

Do you need an SEO Audit?

Still struggling to get noticed on Google? Get in touch for an SEO audit of your website.

How to Create Emails that Get Results

Whatever happened to Google+

 

Do you remember when Google+ was the next “Big Thing.”  The mighty Google had created a new social networking product that was going to overtake Facebook and Twitter because it was newer and better. And well, it was Google. Things didn’t quite work out like that, and now Google+ has been consigned to the digital scrapheap. The consumer version is being shut down over a 10-month period.

Which is a shame, because it had some really good features. It’s difficult to pinpoint why Google+ failed while other new products have taken off, like Instagram and Snapchat. But fail it did, despite having the backing of one of the most successful digital companies in the world behind it.

Why am I sharing this with you? Because it demonstrates very clearly that you can’t rely on social networking products for your marketing. If you are one of the unfortunate businesses that invested a lot of time and effort in Google+, sadly that is now wasted. The connections you made in your Google+ ‘Circles’ as they were known, the content you posted and shared. All lost.

To avoid the loss of your content and connections make sure that your website is the focus of all your online marketing. Don’t rely on social media.

Your content is safe if it’s on your website.Your connections are safe if they are on your e-mail marketing list. You own your website. You own your email marketing list. But, at the end of the day, your Facebook friends and your Twitter followers are owned by Facebook and Twitter. So are all your posts and tweets.

Here’s what the Online Copywriting blog Copyblogger says:

“Anyone can create content on sites like Facebook, but that content effectively belongs to Facebook. The more content we create for free, the more valuable Facebook becomes. We do the work, they reap the profit.”

Social media can be a great marketing tool. But use it wisely and, when you can, point your social connections to your blog and website. And encourage them to sign up to your list. Then you can be sure that they won’t disappear!

 

A Major WordPress Update is Imminent!

If you have a WordPress website you need to be aware of an imminent, and quite major change to its editor.

The next WordPress update will include a brand new editor, called Gutenberg, replacing the current one with a ‘drag and drop’ style editor. In the long term this will make editing your WordPress website easier and more flexible. In the short term however, it may cause some problems.

  • The look of your site may change, probably for the worse
  • Plugins – pieces of code specifically written to provide added functionality on WordPress websites, may not work as expected.

Most websites are updated automatically by the hosting company. Regular upgrades are necessary, mainly for security reasons. It is not clear when the upgrade will take place. It could be any day from now on.

How to Avoid Problems

Speak to your web developer and check they have made the necessary adjustments for your website to be “Gutenberg ready”

OR

You can install a plugin called the Classic Editor. Activate this and your website will revert to the old editor that you are used to. Instructions below.

Websites built using standard WordPress themes and widely-used themes, for example Divi, should not suffer too many Gutenberg-related problems. Websites that have bespoke WordPress themes may not fare so well.

Instructions for installing the Classic Editor plugin and updating other plugins

If you are confident about installing plugins and have Admin access to your website go to your WordPress Dashboard and select Plugins. Search for the Classic Editor plugin, install and activate it.

If a plugin no longer works correctly check in the Plugins section of your Dashboard (as above) that you have the most recent version and, if not, update it. It may have been updated for Gutenberg. If it still doesn’t work you will need to find another plugin with the same functionality. Not great.

If you do not have Admin access, or if you are not confident about making these changes, contact your web developer.

There is a full explanation of the Gutenberg upgrade on the WordPress.org website. https://wordpress.org/gutenberg/

I hope your WordPress upgrade goes smoothly. Fingers crossed!

Get Full Value from your Online Content!

The great thing about marketing your business online is that mostly it’s free. Or should I say, it seems like it’s free.

  • Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn – your account is free
  • Adding blogs to your website – free
  • Email marketing with Mailchimp. For lists of up to 2000 subscribers it’s  free

So what’s the downside?

Two things:

1. Eating up your precious time!

  • Social media is highly addictive.You can easily waste many hours having fun on Facebook!
  • Writing high quality content for web pages and blogs is very time-consuming
  • Email marketing systems like Mailchimp are very powerful. But learning how to use them takes a while 

2. Coming up with new ideas for content is stressful and difficult

It’s easy for new business owners to dive straight in, full of enthusiasm. They start to use lots of different online marketing tools to get their message out there. But, after an initial spurt of activity they quickly run out of steam. Short of ideas, and exhausted trying to keep up with it all while running a business! 

Time to go Back to Basics

Have a Plan and Get Organised!

Plan Ahead

Work out the topics you want to cover in your blogs or emails in advance. Ideally for the next 6 months. Then there are no last-minute panics because it’s time for another blog post and you’ve no idea what to write about!

Get Organised

With the right system in place you can get lots more value from each piece of content you write.This is called Repurposing your content. Here are some ideas for repurposing a blog post:

  • Use it as the main article in a newsletter
  • Take “snippets’ from it and use them as social media posts
  • Use it as a networking “60 seconds”
  • Adapt it into a LinkedIn post
  • Turn it into a video! Check out video creation platform Lumen5 

Make sure you include links to your other blog posts and to pages on your website. That you are making full use of every piece of content you produce. And encouraging prospective clients to buy from you as they get to know, like and trust you.

I hope some of these ideas work for you. Let me know how you get on!