Archive for the ‘Misc Marketing’ Category

Musts for selecting an email service provider

Thursday, November 19th, 2015

The importance of email in today’s marketing is undisputed. That is why finding the right email service provider (ESP) for your needs is the first and one of the most critical steps for an effective campaign. But, in order to know what you are looking for, you have to determine your demands! What are your goals? What is your budget? What level of support do you require? However, also consider your future requirements – for example if you want to expand, etc. Changing your ESP can be a sophisticated and daunting issue, so try to avoid it, by choosing the right ESP right from the start.


One of the crucial factors for your decision making are the features email service providers offer. Most important – the tracking tools: from open rates, link click through rates to unsubscribes – to measure the results of your campaign is essential for its success and helps you to improve. So the providing of an easy to read statistic of your results is a must have for your email service provider.


Furthermore, does it offer templates? Your emails should stick out, an eye catching design is a must! Templates offer the advantage of having a variety of options, without spending days on designing or hiring a professional. Thereby, also usability of those templates is important.


With everything going mobile, you should also attach great importance to the features ESP offers in this regard. Responsive template is the keyword here. In addition, social media integration is another crucial factor, as you want your emails get easily shared on Facebook, Twitter, etc.


As the offered features are the key factors for choosing the right ESP, also the costs play a decisive role. Most ESP’s offer monthly rates or pay as you go. While both possibilities have their advantages, you have to find out what fits you more. However, if you are planning to send out emails more than once a month or if you have a large email list, pay as you go is probably the better solution. For businesses with a small email list, many ESP also offer free services.


Besides, your future ESP should have a high delivery rate – at least in the high 90 % – and should also be whitelisted with the most important internet service providers like Gmail, Yahoo or Outlook.


Relationship marketing secrets

Wednesday, October 21st, 2015

The relationship between customers and businesses has changed over the past years. While traditional marketing has mainly focused on products and prices, relationship marketing has now become an integral part in marketing strategies. The focus lies now on building up long-term relationships with customers. Businesses interact and communicate directly with buyers and build in this way trust in their brand, product and services.


A key element to get in direct contact with your customers and to build up a long lasting relationship is of course through social media. However, relationship marketing is not all about collecting likes and followers, but communication. Start relevant conversations and involve your customers in this way. Post useful and informative articles, instead of advertising posts. Communication instead of promotion is the key!


Furthermore, relationship marketing does not focus on what do you sell, but on how you can help your customers. Do not focus on your business but on the benefits for your customers, on what you can do for them. Additionally, to build up trust, to build up a relationship you have to know who they are and how to address them. However, do not assume that your strategy is suitable for everyone. Gender, age, cultural background – your customers are individuals, so adapt your communication.


Relationship marketing, however, should benefit both sides – customers and businesses. While customers benefit from better customer care, customized products and services, businesses gain an edge from the ideas and suggestions of customers. Find out what you can improve, what your customers need and get inspiration from their creativity. This is the key for successful relationship marketing and the foundation for a lifelong customer relationship.


How to set your marketing budget

Monday, October 5th, 2015

How much should be spent on marketing? While large enterprises have a larger budget available, small businesses are faced with the challenge of how much they should invest in their marketing. But, how to determine this? Well, there is no benchmark as this depends on various factors. How fast do you want to grow? In which industry are you in? What about your competitors? How much do they invest in their marketing?


One way to set your marketing budget is by calculating as a percentage of your revenue. But here again – there is no general rule. You want to hold your market share? You will probably spend about 10-15% of your revenue in your marketing. You want to expand or increase your visibility? Start to invest 20% in your marketing measures. Obviously this variant is a bit arbitrary. Your competitors, your industry, the market pressure – there are many factors you have to take into consideration.


Another way to set your budget is by determining your marketing goals. You want to acquire new customers? Develop your strategy and adapt your budget to your plan. You are launching a new product or capturing a new market? Adapt your budget and increase your marketing accordingly! However, be realistic about your possibilities.


Today’s marketing world offers plenty of possibilities – from website, social media to print ads, direct mail campaigns, etc. And while some of them are more cost effective than others, many measures require a fixed budget to implement them effectively. A long term marketing plan, should not be perceived as an expense, but more as an investment.


September 2015 Newsletter: From risk management to underestimated marketing measures

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2015

Dear friends,


On our blog we do not only offer regularly valuable marketing tips but also interesting articles regarding entrepreneurship. Meeting so many successful entrepreneurs and running her own business, Karen loves to share her thoughts about issues that concern business owners.


Effective marketing tools for sharing your story

Information about benefits of your product and service are not enough to convince. Today, customers want to know more about a company and the people behind it. Your business story is thus an important factor to build up trust among your customer base. But what is the best way to share your story?

Read more on our blog


The importance of planning for and managing risks

Risks and entrepreneurship are closely linked. Market situations, problems with suppliers or the loss of an important customer, these problems are not always predictable. And although risks can never be excluded completely, a thorough planning for risks is essential for coping with problems.

Read more on our blog


How to create an effective direct mail campaign

Direct mail is outdated? Wrong! Properly prepared direct mail campaigns can be an effective way to reach your customers. From the headline to the call to action – what is important? Find tips and tricks on how to make your direct mail campaign successful.

Read more on our blog


Look forward to staying in touch!


Building a website, how to do it properly

Monday, September 21st, 2015

A website is essential in today’s business world, whether you are selling online or not. In a way, it is kind of your online business card. So it has to convince at first glance. You are thinking of a redesign or even to start to build a website? Here are some tips to get started!


First of all – determine what you want to achieve with your website. What is its purpose? Do you want to provide information about your products and services? Do you want to present your company? Do you plan to provide relevant information to your visitors about the industry, product developments, etc. Or is it an online shop you are working on? When you know what you want to do with your website, you can go ahead and choose your web content management software. From WordPress to Joomla!, etc. – there are plenty of choices, many of them even free. Research will point out the various advantages they offer and choose the one that fits your needs best.


When you’re ready, choose your domain name and register. If possible, your domain should include your company’s name. For search engines it can also be a benefit if you include a word (for example of your service, product, industry, etc.) your customers will search for. Furthermore, make sure your domain is unique – you don’t want your customers to end up on the wrong website!


As next step, start to work on your content and on the structure your website will have. You want to set the number of pages and content before you start with the design. Make sure that your navigation is clear, so that your visitors don’t get confused or even frustrated if they cannot find what they are looking for. The development of your content, however, is probably the most challenging part. Engaging, informative and compelling – that is, what your website’s content should be. You want to keep your visitors on your site, to encourage them to find out more about you and your offer. Provide info about yourself – Who are you? What is your background? What does your company stand for? Furthermore, point out the benefits your company offers for your customers. Present your products and services. Also include testimonials to convey trustworthiness. Most important, do not forget to include a contact page to let your customer know how, when and where they can find you. Include all contact data, links to social media sites, your opening hours, etc.


With these steps, you set the basis for a successful launch of your website. So, do not wait any longer, get your website started.


Is success only measured by profits?

Monday, August 10th, 2015

High sales figures and profit increase – most likely that’s the first that comes in your mind by thinking of a successful enterprise. Certainly, profit is a decisive indicator for the success of a business. Without return, every business will struggle sooner or later. However, those figures are not the only scale. Lasting success also depends on the following factors:


Customer satisfaction: Only if your customer is satisfied with your service, he/she will come back. Your customers are the basis for the success of your business. “Know your target group” is not just a marketing phrase! Try to really understand their needs, and fulfil their expectations. In this way you can build up a loyal and growing customer base, on which, in turn the growth of your business depends on.


Employee satisfaction: A well-functioning team is most important for the productivity and service of your business. Satisfied employees are proud to work for their company and show this. They not only work for you, but represent your company philosophy and values. Furthermore, with the reputation of being a good employer you will find it easier to find good and qualified employees for your growing business.


Innovation: Standstill means falling back! That is why innovation is what distinguishes a successful company. Of course not every new product or new business idea pays off immediately, maybe it never does. Nevertheless, the readiness for something new, for changes and innovations is what brings businesses forward.


Profit does not always mean success, at least not lasting. So have a look on your business. Do you have the prerequisite to be successful?


Common mistakes business owners make when hiring a marketer

Monday, July 27th, 2015

Lead management, online marketing, market investigation, branding, corporate communications – with the broad range of marketing areas it can turn out to be quite challenging to find the perfect marketer for your business. And while larger enterprises have a whole team of specialists for each area, smaller companies are faced with the problem of finding a marketer that covers the whole spectrum of their marketing requirements. Let us point out what is really important by hiring a marketer!


Point 1 – You do not have to find an overall specialist! Instead, figure out what your company needs, what you want to focus. You want to attract more leads? Increase your market share? Or do you need a whole new marketing strategy? Only if you are clear about what you need, you will find the right marketer.


Point 2 – Expertise is an advantage, but no requirement. Of course, someone, who has already worked in the similar or same industry you are in, brings in valuable knowledge about products, your target group and the market. But this knowledge can be acquired within weeks, so this should not be a prerequisite for your future marketer.


Point 3 – Professional skills are an essential prerequisite, but so are personal abilities, such as the following. A marketer should know about the importance of customers for the business. He/she should be able to relate to the demands of their customers – not by identifying how the target group should be but by identifying how your target group is, thinks and demands. Furthermore, a marketer must bring in a deep understanding of the market, of your competitors, your products and brand. He/she must represent your company philosophy, understand and communicate the idea and value of your business and convey your company philosophy. Additionally, communication is highly important in marketing. To be convincing, you must be a good storyteller. Only if you know how to attract your target group, how to write persuasive content you will receive attention. Furthermore, besides the development and implementations of measures, the ability to set goals and measure developments and results is a must-have in marketing. A marketer should be able to evaluate and analyse marketing measures and react to results. A further ability a marketer should bring in is the willingness to learn. Marketing is constantly changing; there will always be new platforms and possibilities to reach your customers. That is why marketers should always be up to date about the latest trends and developments if they do not want to stay behind.


How to create an effective direct mail campaign

Wednesday, July 8th, 2015

With the trend towards online and mobile marketing, direct mail has taken a backseat in today’s advertising strategies. Rightly? Definitely no, as direct mail campaign can be an effective, tangible but often underestimated advertising measure.
Start with finding an engaging headline, one that triggers curiosity and convinces. People get overwhelmed with advertising and its promises today, so you have to stand out. If your headline convinces, also the rest of your mail will get attention. So take your time to gather ideas – the headline is the most crucial part of your whole campaign.
Furthermore, benefits are more convincing than features. Quality, reliability, usability and sustainability – that is what your customers are looking for. Make sure to point out your product’s benefits in the first paragraph of your copy to keep your leads interested. Thereby, be personal. Address your customers by name or for example include pictures of your company or employees.
An effective direct mail campaign should also include a direct call to action. “Call us today”, “Get a free quote” or “Come in and get more information” – encourage your customers to act. However, also make sure that there is an urge to act, for example by offering discounts, set a time limit, etc.
To make your campaign even more effective, combine it with other marketing measures. For example, provide more information to the campaign on your website, to drive more traffic to it. Or refer to your social media sites, blogs etc.
However, it is not enough to send out a mail on occasion. To implement a really successful campaign, you have to track your results. Phone your customers, ask if they have received your mail and give more information. Send out follow-up mails, but make sure not to use exactly the same copy. Get their attention, keep them interested and make your campaign in this way a success.

Effective marketing tools for sharing your story

Tuesday, May 26th, 2015

Trust is the basis for a good business relationship. By telling your business story, by sharing your experiences and coped challenges you can gain the trust of your customers.
A perfect way to share these experiences is certainly through social media. Whether it is Twitter, Facebook, Google+, etc. social media is getting more and more popular. So publish your experiences, valuable information and tips. Interesting posts are likely to be shared, whereby possible new customers may become aware of you.

Besides, social media gives you the possibility to interact directly with your clients. Questions, comments, feedback – your customers will let you know immediately what they think about your story – and you have the opportunity to answer directly. Encourage your existing customers to follow you, to share their experiences with your company and become a part of your business story.

Today, most people inform themselves via internet about companies, their services and products. So make sure to integrate your business story in your web content. Customers do not just want to read about products and services, but they want to also read about the people behind it all.

Furthermore blogs and newsletters are an ideal medium to tell your story. Small anecdotes about your business experiences, challenges you have faced and helpful tips, how you have solved them can be perfectly integrated into blog posts and newsletters and make them more interesting, informative and personal. This applies not only for posts on your own blog, but also for comments on other established blogs. Share your expertise, interact and increase in this way your popularity.
Another way to share your know how are through presentations and seminars. Speak at events, schools, fairs; maybe even organize your own event. Talk, inform, give tips and build up contact and trust with your customers.