Friday, 9 March 2012

What Type of Business Can Benefit from Email and Social Media Marketing?

People often ask me what type of clients I work with at iContact. I tell them to pick up a copy of the Yellow Pages, open a page at random and select a listing. If you had to select a niche where email and social media marketing was particularly relevant, I might suggest any individual or organisation that values relationships and hopes to build profits from repeat business and customer referrals.

If you want to work in a sector, particularly in this tough economy, which engages with such a wide number of businesses, you could do a lot worse than email marketing and social media.

The real beauty about working in this industry is, despite the wide range of business types that benefit from our services, the advice we offer is pretty much standard across the board.

What works for an online retailer will also work for an offline business like a bar or restaurant. Not-for-profit organisations can reap rewards with the same tactics adopted by dyed in the wool capitalists. A sole-trader can afford all of the advantages of the multi-national corporation.

Five Email and Social Media Marketing Rules That Work for Everyone

1.       Relevancy Always Wins – Forget sending tired old monthly newsletters and shot in the dark social media posts. Keep your messages relevant and interesting. When possible segment your lists to ensure your campaigns are laser focused.  Your subscribers, followers and fans will welcome the increased relevancy and happily accept an increase in sends or posts.
2.       Have An Opinion – Add a some colour to your messages with a little expert opinion. People don’t just buy on price, they want to know all about the product or service you are offering and how it might compare with similar offerings. It’s always a good idea to include customer testimonials and reviews.
3.       Test, Monitor and Learn – Just because it works well, doesn’t mean it couldn’t be better. Take time to test your subject lines, body text, design, images, message frequency etc.
4.       Build Conversion into The Plan – A conversion could be a sale, a download, an email subscription, a new social media fan, follower, like, re-tweet or comment. In fact a conversion can be any type of engagement between you and your public. Make it as easy as possible for your subscribers and fans/followers to engage with you through clean, intuitive design and concise text.
5.       People Buy From People They Like – There is a human being at the end of every email message and social media post, so try not to talk to them like a machine. Give your messages personality and try and include images of real people and scenarios. Avoid stock images whenever possible.

Photo: peter pearson

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