OTW 042 - How to re-market to an old email subscriber list

Do you have an email subscriber list that you have not contacted in a while? In this episode, Marc explains how you can reconnect with this list and start sending relevant and engaging campaigns to them. 

If you have any email marketing questions that you'd like answering then make sure you send us your questions via our social channels:
Twitter: https://twitter.com/WinboxLtd #WinboxWinners
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/WinboxLtd/
Website: http://www.winbox.co/

GDPR: What to do with your current data

GDPR is looming. As of the 18th May 2018, EU data handling rules will change - and even though Article 50’s now been triggered, UK businesses that send emails to EU email addresses will still have to comply.

But what exactly is GDPR? We’ve written a more detailed piece on it here, but here are the essentials.

Businesses will need to let their email subscribers know exactly what their personal information is being used for, and will need written consent (such as an opt-in form) from a person before the business can market to them. This consent needs to be recorded, breaches of data security need to be reported - and any business that fails to comply could face fines of up to €20m or 4% of their global turnover.

Compliance may be time-consuming (for many, it’ll mean asking existing subscribers to sign back up to email newsletters), but it’s well worth it. Email marketing continues to top the digital marketing ROI charts: it’s a key growth driver for businesses across industries. There’s no denying that it’s important to be GDPR-ready - and there’s plenty you can do both in the long and short term.

Playing the long game

In email marketing, long term relationships are key: they’re your chance to develop a rapport with your customers and prospects, keep your brand top of mind, and build trust.

In the long term, what’s going to make new subscribers opt in - and persuade existing subscribers to re-opt in - when business users receive an average of 88 emails per day?

The answer, quite simply, is value. Talk to your subscribers and find out exactly what they want from your emails - what would make them indispensable, readable and clickable. Tailor your emails to subscribers’ needs (which may mean segmenting your database), and they’ll stay engaged, making them more likely to re-opt in when the time comes.

Value also means you’ll create more of a relationship of reciprocity (which we delve into here). By giving your subscribers something of value to them, they’ll be more likely to buy from you in the future.

Of course, value is nothing new - it’s standard best practice in email marketing, and it’s certainly our ethos here at Winbox. Use GDPR to boost your campaign performance.

The here and now

In the short term, consider your engagement levels. Your email analytics will show how many of your subscribers engage with each campaign, as well as who’s not engaged for a while.

Why is this important? To prepare for GDPR, you’ll probably need to ask your subscribers to re-opt in. If they’re not engaging with you, they won’t see that ask, and they could well be lost.

This may not be of concern: after all, are subscribers who don’t engage really subscribers you want? It may be, though, that they’re not in the market for your product or service at the moment, but will reconsider you down the line - if you’re top of mind.

GDPR requirements are an opportunity to target lapsed readers with a re-engagement (or winback, or re-activation) campaign. These campaigns are designed to turn inactive contacts into active ones - and also to free your mailing list of dead addresses. You’ll need to set an objective (such as targeting those who haven’t opened your monthly emails in the last six months, increasing clicks, targeting those who’ve not purchased in a year or more) and think about how to target them. A “we miss you” subject line with the promise of a special offer, a “do you still want to hear from us?” campaign? You’ll be able to measure open and click rates (as well as unsubscribe rates), meaning you’ll (hopefully) re-engage some, and know to drop others from your list. As a starting point, you’ll find some great examples of re-engagement emails here
 

The key to a great email list is quality, not quantity. Market to those who would at least consider buying from you in the future. By combining short term plans with a solid long term strategy, your subscriber base may be lower - but more engaged than ever.

Looking to offer value to your email marketing list, or create a re-engagement campaign to win over inactive subscribers? Contact us to find out how we can help.

5 things to think about before you start an email marketing campaign

Before you start your email marketing

The UK is leaving Europe. Should Theresa May simply shut up shop and leave the EU without planning how trade, freedom of movement and other economic factors will work in future?

Of course not. After all: without a strategy, British business and society post-Brexit simply wouldn’t function.

Email marketing is no different. Salesforce research stats from 2016 show that 80% of marketers see email as core to their business. It’s an affordable, measurable, highly targeted marketing tool with potentially vast rewards. Campaigns must be executed properly to generate ROI, however. With no plan in place, your longer-term campaign results may leave you disappointed.

Here are five things to think about before you hit the ‘send’ button.

What’s the point?

What’s the purpose of your email campaign? Do you have a single, clear goal (with a clear call to action in the email itself) – such as improving retention, increasing sales, generating leads, or raising awareness of what you do? If not, choose one clear aim, rather than a muddeld, catch-all message. The purpose of your campaign should be straightforward, linked to your overall business goals, and measurable. If you can’t measure your performance, how will you know when you’ve achieved success?

Once you’ve defined the purpose of your campaign, think about what winning will look like: not just after your first email has been sent, but after subsequent campaigns three, six and twelve months down the line.

Consistency is king

Consistency and commitment are key to marketing success. Think about the brands you regularly use, both in your work and personal life – why do you use them? No doubt your choice is based on trust, authenticity and convenience.

Take mobile phones, for example. You may have chosen EE as your network provider when you signed your contract, and been perfectly happy with the service they’ve offered. But now your contract’s coming up for renewal, and you’ve just received an email from Tesco Mobile with a great offer that’s too good to turn down. EE, on the other hand, have sent you nothing since your first engagement with them.

This is where commitment comes into play. If a customer has bought from you in the past and been happy, that doesn’t guarantee they’ll buy from you again. Checking up on them, staying in touch and keeping them top of mind could well mean that they’ll keep you top of mind when the time comes. Be consistent: commit to fortnightly or monthly emails to capitalise on your customers’ good experience and keep your brand top of mind.

Craft clear, compelling content

Every single email marketing campaign should offer value to its subscribers. Value is all about first producing content your customers will want to read, and what your business wants to tell them second.

What will your readers get out of opening your email? Does the subject line entice them to open rather than deleting without reading? Are they receiving something exclusive, and something that benefits them?

There are many types of content that you could include in your email marketing campaigns, from subscriber-only offers to free whitepaper downloads. What’s important is that the content is well-thought out, well-crafted and well-written: spelling mistakes and poor English could turn your readers off and could see your email headed for the spam folder.

GDPR is looming

The new EU privacy regulation known as GDPR is on its way: a change that will (despite Brexit) have a significant impact on small businesses who rely on email marketing. It’s never too early to start planning: make the necessary changes to your email marketing efforts now, and you’ll save both time and hassle down the line. Ensuring you have everything in place to encourage organic sign-ups and introducing a double opt-in process will stand you in good stead for GDPR’s arrival – and a high quality subscriber list as a bonus!

Who are you talking to?

Earlier we spoke about mobile phones - we’re assuming you picked yours because of great service, a low price and being able to choose the phone you wanted. We might be wrong, though. And if we’re wrong, there’s no way we could market mobile phones to you in a way that you’d appreciate.

So: how well do you know your audience? And how much of this knowledge is based on assumption as opposed to fact?

Many small businesses fall into the trap of assuming that, because a customer has signed up to receive email communication, they’ll automatically be interested in every single thing the brand has to say. This isn’t the case: rather than talking about what you’re interested in, think about what they’ll be interested in.

There are plenty of ways to do this. Customer surveys will give you feedback straight from the horse’s mouth. Talking to your customers and prospects directly will give you some great content ideas and make them feel special (especially if you promise a prize draw for respondents). Make notes of the questions you hear on a day-to-day basis – chances are, other people will have similar questions too.

Regularly review your email marketing analytics to see which elements of each campaign have given you the results you identified in step one: this will help you improve your campaigns further.

Email marketing needs more than five minutes to pull something together and hit send. Sure, you might get a few opens or a few clicks, but a defined strategy is essential for maximum impact. As with Brexit, proper planning will bring the most positive results for all concerned.

Looking for an affordable and comprehensive marketing solution (including well-thought out email campaigns) designed specifically for small businesses? Check out the Winbox Machine.

Which social media channels are best for your business?

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Social media channels are a great way to effectively promote your business and engage with your customers. The different channels offer paid and unpaid methods of communication, can behave as online crowdsourcing platforms and are fantastic at increasing engagement between brands and customers. As a small business your marketing budget might be somewhat limited, so how do you know which social media channels are best for you to work with? Below we've dissected some of the most popular channels and explained what benefits they could bring to your business. 

Twitter

Twitter is a fantastic platform for both B2B and B2C audiences. It has excellent unpaid features, and can be used effectively as a customer relations tool – allowing customers to tweet in issues they're facing and have them handled quickly and efficiently by the company. Twitter offers the opportunity to 'retweet' content - which, if used, will help to raise the visibility of your company and increase brand awareness. Twitter also offers a paid 'promoted tweets' feature which will allow you to target the audience you want to see your advert based on: demography, interests and geography.
 

Facebook

Facebook is one of the most popular channels for paid online advertising – due to its targeting features, which help to make adverts placed on the channel highly effective. Facebook also boasts an 8-9% click-through rate on its adverts, making the channel popular with marketers looking to demonstrate ROI. It is in many ways best suited to B2C businesses, offering opportunities for engagement with customers across – direct messaging and posts. Facebook also performs as a search engine, allowing users to look up topics in the search bar – which can be a great way to attract new customers, through the use of keywords.

Instagram

Instagram is continually developing its offering, from carousel adverts, to advertising within its newest 'story' feature. The channel is best utilised by businesses that are highly visual, or ones that are selling a product, as you can click directly through the post to shop the item you want. Due to its visual nature, an investment in decent photography will increase the chances of success on your Instagram channel.

With so many channels to chose from, social media can feel like an overwhelming place to start. By clarifying your target audience and tracking which channels they invest most of their time on and following the information above, you should be able to work out which channels will best suit your business.

What type of content should I include in my email marketing?

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Ok, so you’ve realised that when it comes to ROI (return on investment), email marketing is king. With a general return of £30 for every 80p spent and an ROI of 3800%, it’s a form of marketing you can’t afford to ignore. But it’s not as simple as sending out a quick email to your mailing list - the content is key. What you include in your email has to be of worth to the customer, engaging and coercing them into making a CTA (call to action), whether it’s clicking through to your website, buying a product or signing up for a service. Here are a few tips about the type of content you could include in your email newsletters. 

Blogs

It’s always a good idea to include links to blogs on your website. If you can tell interesting stories about your industry, ones that strike a chord with the reader, you will increase your position as the thought leader in your industry. Remember, your blog post doesn’t have to sell your product. If you’re writing content on something that has relevance to your market and informs your audience, you will be enhancing your brand awareness and prestige. 
 

Offers

Discounts and offers on your products and services are always a good way to catch a large audience’s attention. Whether you’re giving 15% off a product, or letting people have one month’s free service to a subscription system, tell them about it in your email newsletter. People love free stuff, so offering discounts and services to people is a great way to build relationships with your customer base. 

Personalise your email

Even if you have a large email database, you can still personalise your emails. Recipients know that an email from a company isn’t directed solely at them, but if your language is personable and friendly, it will stand a greater chance of making a connection. Add some humour and make it read as if a lot of thought has gone into crafting an email that’s warm and charming, rather than a cold, generic send that sounds like it was thought up in a few minutes.

For more social media, blogging and email marketing advice, contact us at Winbox today.

How to increase your business's email database

Email marketing is one of the quickest ways to drive sales for businesses. With over 75 percent of marketers saying they use email more than they did three years ago, it’s clear to see email marketing is becoming one of the dominant methods for engaging with audiences. Yet there are still not enough businesses taking full advantage of its capabilities. Companies can often decide against using the method because they have a relatively small database and feel the ROI will not be sufficient. However, there are ways to build your database without having to pay for expensive email lists. 

More often than not, businesses neglect the touch points they already have in place. We’re sure your website has a contact form, enabling people to get in touch if they need to. When someone contacts you through your site, there should be an option for them to sign up to your email newsletter or, at the very least, you should begin to build a dialogue with a view to getting an email sign up. 
 

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It’s a good idea to do some research and see what other types of businesses you can work with to seem more appealing to your audience. Cross-brand promotions aren’t new but can act as an efficient way to team up with other local businesses to offer incentives for people to sign up to your content. 

You want people to sign up to your newsletters, so you should be including sign-up forms wherever you can. Whether it’s through social media, blogs or specialised content on your site, there should always be a sign-up method at the end of your content. 

If you believe you are producing high-quality content that people will want to interact with, try offering a snippet of it and having the rest of it gated. That way people will need to sign-up to read the full article or report. Think of it as a Times-style service, except you will give them the rest of the content for free as long as they provide their email addresses. 

These are just a few of the actions you can take, but they’re a good start to help you build a strong email database. Combine these with good content and you will start to see an expanding list of email clients, and hopefully, more conversion rates and ROI. For more advice regarding improving the email database for your business, contact Winbox today.

On the Winbox 040 - They key to marketing is customer service

In this episode, Marc discusses why having good customer service is an essential part of your marketing strategy

If you have any email marketing questions that you'd like answering then make sure you send us your questions via our social channels:
Twitter: https://twitter.com/WinboxLtd #WinboxWinners
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/WinboxLtd/
Website: http://www.winbox.co/

On the Winbox 039 - Why you should outsource your marketing

In this episode, Marc explains why you should outsource your marketing and focus on other aspects of your business.

If you have any email marketing questions that you'd like answering then make sure you send us your questions via our social channels:
Twitter: https://twitter.com/WinboxLtd #WinboxWinners
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/WinboxLtd/
Website: http://www.winbox.co/

Here's how to nail social media as a small business

Social media is an invaluable tool in connecting with your audience as a small business. Getting it right can seem like a minefield - which networks do you choose? What kind of content do you post? But it doesn’t have to be difficult; once you get into the swing of things, you’ll begin to boost your engagement, drive more traffic to your site and ultimately, increase sales. 

Here’s how:

Identify your target audience

When you’re posting content, you need to have a clear picture in mind of the type of person you’re appealing to. A B2B software company doesn’t need to engage with the same kinds of people as a small town coffee shop. Then you can work out which platform is best for you. Business professionals, for example, will most commonly be found on LinkedIn. Teenagers and early twenty-somethings frequent Snapchat, while digital junkies are always on Twitter. And, of course, pretty much everybody is on Facebook. 

Establish a consistent brand voice

Again, this comes down to the kind of person you’re appealing to. Appeal to younger audiences with humour and an informal, conversational tone. B2B audiences require more measured, insightful content. Once you’ve found your voice, stick to it. 
 

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Build a library of great content

Meaningfully engaging with your followers means sharing a balance of interesting, topical and sales-driven content. Remember that the ultimate aim is to drive people to your website, but also sharing external links to genuinely interesting content encourages people to keep following you. It’s a good idea to trawl the web for relevant content, like industry news and comment pieces, before you begin, so you don’t have to do it later. Aim to post once or twice a day - too little and you’ll lose your engagement, but too much and you’ll become spammy. 

Encourage people to follow you

Place links to your social media profiles in prominent places - that’s your website homepage, your email marketing, your customer service emails and so on. There are lots of free social media icons available online, which you can use in place of a conventional text link. 

Measure the results

Make sure you can see what’s working and what’s not. Keep a close eye on your click-throughs and conversion rates, and if something needs to tweaked, act on it.

If you need help building relationships with your audience, get in touch with us today!

How to increase email click through rate

Email marketing has become a key channel for small businesses looking to communicate with and engage their customers. As you build up a database of contacts through sales, networking and events, you'll want to be sure you're staying in touch with people – informing them about your business and service moving forward. 

There are so many incredible analytics tools available when it comes to email marketing, and they can be a highly effective way to monitor customer behaviour. Two common metrics to measure during an email marketing campaign are open rate and click through rate. But how do you encourage more people to click through your email and take the next step in the online customer journey? Below are three simple ways you can improve the click through rate of your emails and overall increase your email marketing campaign's effectiveness.

Be consistent

It is crucial that you are consistent in all your communication when establishing, building and growing a brand. Within the body of your email use the same fonts as your website, the same logo as your website and social channels and maintain a consistent tone of voice. Maintaining consistency will help you to increase awareness of your brand with your target audience. 

Optimise

According to Smart Insights, nearly half of emails are now opened on tablet or smartphone devices. In 2016 this was an increase of 500% over the past 4 years. It has never been more important to ensure your emails are optimised across devices so that you don't miss out on customer engagements because your email doesn't fit the screen it's opened on. 

Make the journey easy

Most email campaigns are sent to entertain, educate or inform customers, but the goal is that the engagement does not stop there. Let's say you sent an email newsletter about a fantastic piece of work you'd created for another customer as a case study. Chances are you don't just want your other customers to read it and move on – you want them to contact you to create something just as brilliant for them.

Make it as clear and easy as possible for your customers to take the next step on their journey. Explain what you want your customer to do – for example, 'click here for the full story'. Send your customers to your website and make sure your action is obvious. Don't expect your customers to scroll to the bottom of the email to find the action you want them to take. 

For more support on improving your email click through rate, get in touch today.

On the Winbox 037 - What makes a winner?

What makes a winner? Marc shares his thoughts on the importance of maintaining a good planning and execution strategy.

If you have any email marketing questions that you'd like answering then make sure you send us your questions via our social channels:
Twitter: https://twitter.com/WinboxLtd #WinboxWinners
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/WinboxLtd/
Website: http://www.winbox.co/

How email signatures can enhance your email marketing

There isn’t much thought that goes into signing a name at the end of an email marketing campaign. We write it down and click send. Many don’t realise that email signatures act as a unique way to offer your audience more insight into your brand. Simply signing off with your name and nothing else is missing a potential marketing opportunity in your newsletter. A boring email signature won’t damage your company’s reputation, but the right one can enhance it and add another layer to the brand.

To better understand how email signatures can benefit your business, think of them as a letterhead or business card. They rubber stamp your company and the position you carry within it. It’s best to keep them short; we don’t advise going over five lines. But what should you include in an email signature? Well, your name is a good place to start, followed by your role within the company, a contact number and preferably the website of the business you work for. This information will provide the recipient with more ways to get in touch, either by replying to your email, phoning directly or having a look around your website. You can even add some funky graphics, although we don’t recommend getting too carried away. Some businesses like to include a photo of the staff member which is fine. However, you don't want your email tagged as spam, so if you are attaching an image, make sure the file size isn't too large. 
 

Add a social element to your email signature if you have a consistent social media strategy. Include links to your company’s Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook pages to allow social interaction between you and your client base. You can even add the logo icons for each social media platform at the end of your signature. Having several mediums of content for people to interact with can increase CTR (click-through rates) – especially if the content they are clicking through to is blogs, videos, product pages and company information. 

There are many different ways you can use your email signature. The primary factor is to make sure you maximise your possibilities. If utilised correctly, email signatures can play a prominent role in your company’s overall branding, acting as another outlet to promote your company. 

For more information about email marketing generally, and to discover how it can benefit your business, contact the team at Winbox today.

Guest post: You are the sum total of the people that you surround yourself with.

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You are the sum total of the people that you surround yourself with.

I firmly believe that.

Greetings, good subscribers to Winbox!

I trust that you are all well, happy and having a productive and profitable start to 2017.

What if you aren’t?

One of the things that could be amiss could be the people that you choose to surround yourself with.

One of the most amazing realisations I have had, whilst walking along my path of recovery from OCD & Anxiety – is how much we are affected by our outside influences.

I think this only came to light when I began to feel calm, assured and confident in myself – I started to pick up gut feelings on who, in my ‘circles’, were a real positive force – or a real negative one.

I would like to ask you now – take 10 minutes to switch off, turn your tech off, disconnect the phone, put the dog in the shed and make sure you are uninterrupted.

I want you to sit, breathe and relax.  Allow the thoughts of the day to drift by and out of mind.

Then – I want you to begin to think about each area of people in your life;

  • Friends.
  • Family.
  • Work colleagues.
  • Mentors/Associates.

All the people that are closest to you, in your life.

Now ask yourself the question – for each of those people – ‘are they good for me?’.

Your gut feeling will tell you instantly if there are any issues with that problem, or if they are draining your energy.  Or, if you start to smile and feel great – confirm that they are brilliant people to have in your life.

All I want to do is to make you aware – what you choose to do with this information is completely up to you! (Disclaimer!)

People come and go – I believe that every one of them teaches you a lesson – but to keep surrounding yourself with a negative influence will only bring you down.

Sometimes, just sometimes – you must make some tough decisions – but to live the life that you want, that you desire – they must be made.

What you may find is that it is those who are closest to you – who advise with ‘your best intentions’ – are actually the ones that are trying to make you fit in to their image of you – to control your actions because it suits them.

It’s the same with choosing employers, coaches or business mentors – like your social circles – are they pushing you to achieve your dream, to raise your aspirations and inject positivity – or are they trying to funnel you down THEIR way.

As a bloke with a big red book used to say – “this is YOUR life” – ensure you are living the life of your choice – not the version imposed on you by others beliefs and visions.

When people get caught up in anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, low confidence – by default they place themselves in a subservient position to people who are ‘stronger’ or more dominant.  

Therefore, people pleasing and allowing people to control them is a strong possibility.

This can also have a severe effect on the performance of a business owner or salesperson – as the ability to act with confidence and to be assured is crucial.

So sometimes it’s a great idea to stop and check in with yourself – make sure you are living YOUR life on YOUR terms and chasing YOUR dream.

You got this!  You just need to STOP, BREATHE & REFLECT once in a while.

As always, I love to hear your thoughts and feedback – you can tweet me @NickElston_ or message me on Facebook

Until next month – have a fantastic February! 

Cheers

Nick