Email Marketing: What Do They Know That You Don’t Know?

Email Marketing2A new study of small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) reveals that these firms are spending the largest portion of their marketing budgets on email marketing, and far less on social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook.

Over 600 email marketing decision makers at companies with annual revenues between $1-50 million and less than 1,000 employees were surveyed. It was discovered that 15 percent of the marketing budget of these businesses is spent on email marketing, ahead of events and trade shows (14 percent), person-to-person contact (13 percent) and print ads (11 percent).

The most interesting aspect of this study for me was that just 8 percent of their budgets were spent on social media, tying for sixth place overall with search engine optimization (SEO). My email marketing clients benefit from integration with social media, which contributes to their search engine rankings, so our Best Practices actually incorporate both these items at almost no additional cost to our clients. Win-win!

Here’s a breakdown of spending on marketing, as revealed by the survey: (more…)

Introducing Our New Referral Rewards Program

Budget-CuttingAs part of my 2013 marketing plan, I decided to devise a plan to reward those who help us grow our business by making it easier for them to grow theirs. So, I analyzed others’ programs, tossed around a few different ideas, and finally …

I’m pleased to announce our brand new Referral Rewards program!

Now, this program is not exclusively for new clients, as I found many such programs to be. Why would I choose to reward new clients and not those who are already contributing to my business success? That made no sense to me. So, instead, I designed it so that Referral Rewards can be included in our initial contract with new clients or as a contract addendum with our existing clients.

I also didn’t want to make the program overly complicated, and I didn’t necessarily see any point in putting an expiration date on it, since there is no limit to my gratitude for those who refer business to me 🙂

As a result, Referral Rewards is literally as simple as 1-2-3! Here’s how it works: (more…)

Branding is Dead; Long Live Branding.

Branding is Dead; Long Live BrandingI recently came across a couple of online articles touting the demise of branding, which prompted this post. The title, of course, is a play on the traditional proclamation made upon the death of a monarch to announce the ascension of the heir to the throne. So … is branding dead??

A recent LinkedIn survey revealed that 37% of small to medium sized businesses still view the company logo as the main focus of the company brand. And 32% see branding as relevant only to large businesses. Wow.

With such a narrow view of branding, it’s understandable that roughly one-third of small and medium sized businesses might think branding is dead. (more…)

It Ain’t Over ‘Til …

It’s not that I mind being thought of as a magician.

I love the fact that my clients are thrilled to pieces with the email marketing programs I put together for them.

It’s just that I know it’s never going to end well when a client praises the initial effort but then just sits back and waits for “the magic” to happen.

What do I mean? Here’s an example … (more…)

Fine-tuning Your Marketing WORKS!

In the last 3 months, I’ve been making a few changes to my online marketing efforts – particularly email marketing, both my own and that of my clients.

I think you’ll be interested in the results of my “tinkering” … (more…)

Reading the Email Marketing Tea Leaves

What can email marketing tell you about the effectiveness of your efforts that no other type of marketing can?

The answer may surprise you – as it did me, when I first got started with it in 2003.

With most marketing efforts, unfortunately, return on investment is not always easy to determine with certainty, often necessitating reliance on surveying customers (who may or may not remember exactly where they heard about you) or on salespeople (who are more concerned with making the sale than finding out where the customer came from).

Even when you take pains to make the marketing do some of the work (such as using different phone numbers in each ad, or making different offers in each ad), you won’t get the level of consumer behavior detail you get automatically with email marketing.

However, with email marketing, here are some of the kinds of statistics I am able to provide to my clients after each and every campaign: (more…)