Olympic Guidelines for Business Promotions

The Olympics is a very tempting time for marketers to offer competitions and promotions loosely aligned to the games… but beware!

Thanks to the London Olympic Games and Paralympic Games Act (2006) and the Olympic Symbol (Protection) Act (1995) any such use is not a civil matter (as is usually the case with copyright infringement etc.) but a criminal one – your competition could be breaking the law and there is a team of LOCOG “Brand Police” who are very actively seeking infringing adverts, events and promotions.

We’ve produced a simple set of guidelines, based on the LOCOG brand guidelines, to try and help*

Read More

Email Lead nurturing

What can we learn from the “big boys” in the B2B arena? One thing that has implemented itself firmly is lead nurturing emails, way beyond personalisation and basic segmentation. You are not doing it? Well you are wasting marketing budget! Email lead nurturing has proven to have a significant impact on the lead nurturing process.

But what is “email lead nurturing”? It means that regardless of the stage that your prospect is at in the buying cycle you have regular, relationship building, meaningful email communication with them. Therefore when they are ready to buy, your company is on top of their evaluation list. A trusted relationship with the right people is the key in this process.

This obviously requires not only good segmentation (making sure your database is up to scratch etc.) but also some careful content planning. You will need relevant content for all stages of the decision making process, from “We haven’t even entered any process” to “Interest”, “Learn”, Evaluate”, “Justify” and “Buy”.

Your safest bet is to get together with your Sales team – yes, Sales and Marketing can work together! You can then come up with a content plan that matches the typical customer journey, so that any prospect is supported at any stage of the decision making process. Here are just a few best practise ideas:

  • 3rd party articles
  • Case studies
  • Invitations to webcasts
  • Link to Podcasts
  • E-newsletters
  • Relevant white papers and eBooks
  • Free reports
  • Invite to events
  • Company information

The result? Experience has shown that if you do it properly, not only the number of sales-ready leads will increase but so will the quality of those leads. Because you have built the relationship with your prospect, you are already considered a trustworthy partner with the necessary expertise – a great starting point for Sales to pick up the opportunity.

Read More

Serious about Social Media

We have launched a new division to support companies who are serious about unlocking digital marketing and social media channels within their marketing mix.

GetShaking Integrated Strategic Digital MarketingGetShaking was brought about via the concept of people shaking hands by way of an introduction. This is, in essence, what social media allows people to do far more effectively than real-world, cross-globe travels to meet and introduce yourself.

We have a dedicated team of passionate, motivated and highly experienced marketing professionals who care about getting the right result for you! From email and internet marketing, to design and copywriting, through web development and strategic consultancy, GetShaking are the people that will help you fulfil your social media management and email marketing, ensuring success. We’d rather you went away with too many ideas and action points than not enough, because we know that communication coupled with an understanding of your business requirements are vital in getting the right marketing mix for you. We believe in marketing that builds relationships. Our focus is on your strategy and the ongoing support of that, because we know that short-term activity might get the quick sale or result, but it won’t maintain the result or lead to sustainable success or business growth.

eBob - GetShaking's Integrated Strategic Digital Marketing iconIn keeping with our unique and effective offering, E-Bob, GetShaking’s purple-faced character was developed by our in-house illustrators.

We currently have a diverse cross section of clients who are enjoying full success from our work on their internet presence. From established solicitors to experienced car body maintenance companies, all our GetShaking clients have committed to ongoing contracts as they have seen rapid results from the work we have undertaken for them.

Are you engaged in online marketing but don’t know if you have reached your maximum potential? For a limited time only, we are offering a free audit. We will look at your current online activity and evaluate the positives and highlight where there is room for improvement. The audit comes with no obligation – but will ultimately help you making the right decisions for your future activity.

Visit www.GetShaking.co.uk for more information and to arrange your free audit.

Read More

Do a little learn a lot… testing, testing, testing

Imagine your new website goes live. You’re ecstatic about the feel, the look, new functionalities and – even better – the increase in visits, which might (and should!) Ultimately lead to more business. And then, one year on – what do you do? Do you look at your stats? Do you know what’s going on on your website? How many people have visited, where they came from, how many referrers you have? How long they stayed and what pages they looked at?
Or you’re engaging in email marketing. How many split tests have you done recently? Do you know what your database likes? Does one part of your recipients always receive a different version of your emails or does everybody always get the same design, same message, same “from”, same everything? And how many times do you change your Google AdWords to see if you can get in those extra % clicks…
Do you know which digital mix gives you the best conversions…?
Do you constantly test and improve…?
If the answer is yes – great! You’re doing the right thing to monitor improve your communication with the customer then this is what marketing is all about. If not, it is worth considering – simply because in the fast changing digital world something that worked last week, last month, last year can be the spanner in the works now.
The magic formula is testing, testing and again testing. Everything that can be changed in your digital mix is worth testing to ensure that your marketing works. Test your website (layout, images, design, the options are endless), test your email marketing, try different ads in your Pay-per-click, play around with your banners, test different approaches in Social Media and see what works and what doesn’t.
And then go out and do something about it.

Read More

Maximizing the deliverability of your email marketing

Getting the highest percentage of your messages to your subscribers’ Inbox is one of the primary goals from an email marketing perspective. At the same time, it is also the main hurdle to overcome. Innumerable little things can effect whether or not your communications end up in the inbox, or in the junk mail folder of your recipients. The job is made even more difficult as different Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and email clients have very different rules, filters, procedures and policies on bulk email.

The success of any campaign is influenced by all areas of the process, requiring the close co-operation of everyone from the IT/Server guys to the designers and database handlers.

One of the main contributing factors to the failure of a campaign can be the number of hard bounces and complaint rates. AOL, one of the world’s largest ISPs, recommends maintaining a <0.1% complaint rate. That’s a threshold of 1 in every 1,000 emails that you send out. That may sound harsh, but by adhering to some rules it’s entirely possible.

Even if you beat the spam filter there is no guarantee that your mail will ever be read. Finicky recipients who are unhappy at having received your mail may just click that “Report as spam” button. On local email clients the effect is minimal, but on web-based services like Hotmail or Google Mail, this can have a serious knock on effect for other recipients on the same service as these are tracked, recorded and taken into consideration in future (as if you didn’t have enough to worry about already).

Over the next few weeks I will cover some of the specific problems that the aspiring email marketer would encounter during the course of a campaign, from set up through to the post-send fallout. For this first part we will look at where it all begins: your server and domain.

Read More

Using the “TO” and “CC” to send mass emails – bad, bad etiquette

I give up… I am consistently disappointed in people’s inability to treat email addresses with due care and attention. I feel compelled to write a post about this as I have received yet another email with over 50 confidential addresses including mine in the “CC” tool from outlook over the weekend. Now everyone can see that persons email address book that they chose to send their email message update to. Bonkers!
Fine if you must for internal company messages but to multiple suppliers, clients and such it’s just bad practice. For people with years of experience I see them repeat offending and it gets my goat. Please, please if you must use outlook to send your mass communications then please use the blind carbon copy at least. Phew that’s off my chest – now back to work.

Read More