Life or death: email marketing

Did i catch your attention?

Marketing is constantly evolving to stay up to date with consumer behavior. Things were already moving to a digital landscape; the pandemic elevated that to lightspeed to fulfill consumer demands. Does email marketing still hold a place in the current climate? It does. Having an ironclad email marketing strategy allows you to reach your audience in a way that feels more personal and can help increase and affordably boost sales. The beauty lies in the fact that everything has evolved so much in the past months, including the tools that allow you to run an effective email marketing campaign, making it easier than ever before to get out there truly. Below, we have put together some of the reasons why email marketing is still so vital today.

In the know

Suppose you already have a customer base that you have dealt with in the past or even have a mailing list of potential clients that are semi-interested in what you can offer and do. In that case, email marketing is a great way to keep them informed about what is coming up or any new offers that you have running. A real bonus point is that an email can make someone feel as though you were thinking about them, they would have signed up to your email list, so they are willing to accept them as long as the content is worth reading!

We’re engaged!

An email has been a form of communication for over 40 years and is still going strong. As time has gone on, the usage of email and adoption has grown substantially; we all use email in some fashion. It could be to click through to a piece of content on an email, forward some information, or even register/sign up to a different website; we tend to use email all the time. Having this information, you can use email to enforce a call to action, either picking up the phone to call, visiting the website to order, or anything else. Over 25% of sales last year were related to email marketing; you need your slice of the pie.

On the go

The devices that people have used daily have changed too; with everyone having a supercomputer in their pocket, they can do incredible things quickly. Emails are no exception; in fact, Litmus stated that 54% of all emails were opened on a mobile device. This usage will continue to grow as we consume information and media in different ways. It is important to note that email campaigns designed well for mobile use have higher conversion rates than any other channel.

Keeping costs down

Email marketing has always been well known for how cost-effective it is. The cost per conversion is meager with email marketing. Some platforms even let you start for free. While the platforms themselves can be pretty low-costing, it is essential to note that the amount of time needed to create and optimize email marketing campaigns is rather lengthy. Some companies believe that a database of 15,000 addresses needs around 152 hours of work a year to manage the campaigns. That includes writing, drafting, scheduling, sending, etc. Then it would help if you thought about the inbox management side of it, so it may be worthwhile having someone look after it for you.

Hit the target

One of the most solid points about email marketing is the ability to target specific groups with ease. When not all customers are at the same stage of the buying process, you may need to put together a strategy covering the different stages of buying. The steps you must consider are the awareness, consideration, ready-to-buy stage, and the aftersales process to get the most out of your email campaigns. By having a proper strategy that segments your customers based on where they are on the journey, you are nurturing the leads to maximize the potential ROI. The more information a customer has, the quicker and more efficient they can move on to the next step of the consumer journey.

I want results

There is nothing worse than putting so much effort and energy into something to try and push the business forward, but then you have no idea how well it has worked due to a lack of analytics. Email marketing is straightforward to measure. Depending on the platform you use, you can see the number of emails that bounced (allowing you to remove those from your list), open rate (helping you identify how well your opening line worked), clickthrough rate, conversion rate, and more. Over time, you will hear different ‘ideal’ numbers, but they will also vary and change depending on industry and target audience. Sending too many emails to customers that expect only once a week will create a spike in un-subscribers, whereas not sending enough will take a dip in engagement. Know your audience!

The final word

Email marketing is a fantastic tool that should be in every business’s toolbox. It can generate brand awareness, buzz, customer loyalty, and, more importantly, sales! Before you do jump into it, make sure that you understand your audience and customer and put together a strategy and a goal. Without a specific purpose, it will never be enough. After you get more fluent in email marketing and giving the best punch you can, you can start getting email automation into play to follow your customers every step of the way. 

 There are so many different channels that you can use to reach your audience; email marketing is one of the most time and cost-effective methods, so you can then use your time more effectively. Get out there and start emailing!

The new business dream team

You’re doing it; you are starting up your own business, being your boss, and controlling how much you take on. If only it were as easy as setting up shop. To ensure that your new business succeeds, you need to decide what your team will consist of. Are you looking to start with two employees? What about hiring two different teams to carry out work? Who will look after the marketing for you? If you have any tech problems, will you have someone to hand to help sort that out? These are some of the questions that you need to ask yourself when you are setting up. Not every business will need every aspect covered to start, but you will need some safety nets in there. You will have some requirements that may be unique to you and require a team built to ensures that you will be taken care of. Sometimes, it is important to delegate tasks that aren’t within your scope to experts to free up time allowing you to focus on what you do best. Let’s look at some absolute must-haves that you should think about when starting up.

PR = Growth

PR and marketing are prominent factors when it comes to a business going to thrive or survive. Having someone in the company that can put together a marketing strategy with adequate budgets and projections will help in a way that you won’t believe. Even if you have a background in marketing, it is always worth having a second opinion to get you focused on the task at hand. They will also be able to take the reins when you inevitably need to deal with something different.

Sell me this…

Having a great product or service is excellent and will undoubtedly make it easier for you to get clients; having a great salesperson on your team will help even more. Every business needs someone to sell their product or idea, but they need to be on the same page as you when it comes to values. When you start making more sales, it could be a good idea to expand the team then continue to grow to the point that you may need a Sales Manager to keep things moving smoothly. Again, you may want to do all of the selling yourself, but with all of the plates spinning, you won’t be able to focus only on the sales truly!

Accounted for

Improper accounts and poor cash flow are the reason for 82% of business failures. If you are doing all you can to not be within that 82%, you need to get an accountant. It doesn’t necessarily need to be someone you employ full-time; you can outsource the accounting to a local firm or sole trader. Ideally, you want a knowledgeable accountant, has good standing with IRS and specializes in your industry. With a good accountant on your team, you increase the chance of your business doing well.

Got IT

The technical infrastructure is a massive part of a business, and there is only so much that you can do. Including an IT specialist in your ranks will ensure that everything is set up correctly, from inventory management systems, product tracking all the way to simply providing the network is operational. Like having an accountant, you don’t need to have someone on a full-time or even within the company. It is entirely possible to hire an IT company to help with all of your technological needs; sometimes, they can be much more cost-effective if you set up a monthly arrangement with them.

HR

Any company will need Human Resources, and they will bring a lot to the table for you. They will make you aware of the continually changing aspects of insurance, tax, and other benefit requirements through constant training and refinement. They should also help with payroll services, ensuring that compliance was complete with time tracking. When one of your team members knows these areas, you will have a much more rounded team structure.

The Industry vet

There will be times when you won’t know the best path to take or the best solution for a problem. If there is someone on the team that you can rely on for advice and expertise, you will be much more decisive. When selecting someone to be a part of your team, try and find someone that has worked with start-ups in particular so that you know they will have a proper understanding of your business and the start-up process too.

Support

As much as we wish every customer will always be happy, unfortunately, it isn’t the case. Sometimes a customer will need a bit more attention to keep them happy, so Customer Service is necessary. It is entirely up to you whether you want to have a separate customer service agent or just let the sales team also deal with customer service.  The only downside comes in if the customer is unhappy with the sales team themselves. The situation can get sticky!

Overall

Picking the right team can be daunting as there are so many roles and specializations within those individual sectors. Take your time to understand your goals and what support framework you need to help achieve those goals. Remember, the business across from you may have entirely different needs from yours, so don’t just try and mirror them! We know that using this information will put together the team that will take your business to the next level and further.

Six reasons why marketing REALLY matters

When you have a business or work for a company, they always rely on revenue from many different channels. Knowing what your customers want is a sure-fire way that you can start to build a successful business and brand. It isn’t as easy as coming up with a great idea and business name; you need to get the company out there and let the consumers know what you have on offer. That is where your marketing comes in.

A marketing strategy can come in all shapes and sizes and doesn’t necessarily need to massive and over-planned, but the fact is, you need one. We can tell you all day that it is necessary but let us explain why marketing matters before you put one together.

You’re engaged!

A massive part of the business is engaging your customers, and marketing can help do just that. It is important to note that this doesn’t mean that you are constantly putting your products in a customer’s face; this involves giving your customers fresh, relevant content about the products and business. What do your customers not know about your product? Educate them on what your product does and how it can help make it worthwhile to interact with you.

 Social Media is one of the best ways to interact and engage with your customers regarding engagement. If you are an avid Facebook user, you will constantly see different brands use humor or videos to engage with potential users.

Keep me in the loop

We get it, you want to get more people to buy your product, and it will happen, but the key is to create a following. Through marketing, consumers can get to know the brand and the product itself and understand further how you can help with different issues. Most marketplaces are competitive, so you need to use what you can to help inform and convince customers to use you. Make the customers aware that you have some discounts going on or a new product is launching. What about any charitable work that you have been doing or new mandatory processes in the marketplace? There will always be something that you can inform those potential customers about.

Sell it to me

Having a solid marketing strategy means that you probably use a few different channels to generate sales or leads. A marketing strategy could include Search Engine Marketing, Social Marketing, Email Marketing, Print advertising, or even old-school door knocking. Once you advertise a product or service, you have put it on a consumer’s radar, which increases your chances of selling it. Some of them may then purchase and try out the product or service, and when they do, as long as the service they received was good, they can evolve into brand ambassadors without you even knowing. Word of mouth starts to take hold, and they tell others about your business and offerings. That is why you must offer high-quality products and services to work alongside any marketing that you do.

The start of something great

Reputation is key. No one chooses to use a company with a bad reputation. How you are perceived will make or break the lifespan of your business and how it operates. The beauty of it is that the more sales you generate, the more chances you will gain reviews. When those reviews start pumping through, weave that into your marketing strategy by creating posts highlighting the great things that other customers are saying about you to help nudge those that haven’t reasonably leaped yet. Once done effectively, you start to build a cycle of continuous custom while building a following of loyal, pleased customers.

Level the playing field

Competitors are everywhere, sometimes they are even in the same building as you, so it is crucial that you at least get a fair slice of the pie. If you think that your competition is sitting idly by letting potential customers go, you couldn’t be more wrong. If a customer isn’t buying the product from you, they buy it from someone else, so it is vital to have a marketing strategy to get your business’s attention!

Grow!

Once your marketing starts bringing the customers in through the door and getting the numbers and revenue that you require, you can start looking at different avenues that you can grow into. Maybe you want to get another few members into the team so you can take more workload, push the marketing even more, look into venturing down other avenues. You can also offer even more services, or the business may get to the point you can leave it to be. Someone else will look after it allows you to explore different opportunities.   Without having the marketing strategy in place that pushes your business to the best place that it can be, you won’t be able to grow correctly at pace.

Takeaway

After reading through this, we hope that you now understand how important marketing is. It will be regardless of the size of your business or your budget. There are so many ways to market your business that it is easy to get lost. Be sure to cover as many different angles as possible. How do people currently look for companies? If something went wrong in my house, what is plan A? Plan some time to sit down and put together a marketing strategy to help your business succeed; it won’t be time wasted.

5 Reasons why being able to pivot in business is better than standing still

The past year has completely thrown many businesses and changed the world in how they operate; this brought about a change in many companies that weren’t expected and forced the majority to change how they worked. Whether you are Jeff Bezos or a one-person army, we all need to understand why we must be able to pivot in business. Read on to learn more about the five reasons shifting in the industry is better than standing still.

Competition is fierce

We have all had an idea that seemed original and unique that no one could have come up with. Still, there is always the possibility that a company with much more resources and capital could come along and develop the same product or service as you, only better. In this scenario, you have two choices; you can wait it out and try to push through the noise to bring your idea to the fore with blood, sweat, tears, and a whole lot of luck. On the other hand, you can try and do something entirely different, which will surprisingly have less risk as you haven’t got a giant offering the same but better service!

There is only one winner

Suppose your business offers multiple different services or products, but only one is doing well, whereas the others are doing nothing or barely moving. In that case, it probably means that your focus as a company should change. The more you allow the other services or products to sit and stew the more resource you must put in, be it labor or capital. 

 The change itself may not be drastic, or it may well be radical, but it is essential to focus on the revenue generators. Once you move your attention to what works well, your company can benefit by boosting productivity, efficiency, and revenue.

The landscape has changed

Landscape change is something that only recently happened massively. Covid made a significant impact on the business landscape and left many businesses high and dry. Bricks and mortar businesses had with no footfall, the catering industry fell to its knees, and aviation came to a standstill. The epidemic made many companies start to look at other ways that they can generate revenue. A pub in Ireland installed a beer pump in a van and delivered pints of beer; restaurants started to sell dish ingredient kits with the recipe for the customers to follow. This brought to light the necessity of having a plan B, having something you can do to generate revenue when the primary source of income stops. Without intervention, there is a high risk of needing to take out more loans or even closing down entirely!

The Marketplace is bare

Before you start the business, you probably carried out some level of customer research. It doesn’t matter how much research you do; just because someone you spoke to 2 years ago said they would pay for your service doesn’t mean that they would now. When you first launch the business and get a somewhat lukewarm reception, it can be tough to build the momentum to generate more excitement for your business. The last thing that you need is to flog a dead horse. Sometimes it is better off to sit back, re-evaluate the Marketplace, and sit in it to understand where your business needs to go. The sooner that you have this intervention, the better.

Blow the roof off

This is one aspect that isn’t a wrong reason to pivot your business. Every once in a while, your business will hit the ceiling. By this, I mean that the product or service that you are offering is doing all that it can and therefore won’t bring in any additional revenue than it already is. Sure, you can sit happily and let that continue to roll on, OR you can carry out a minor pivot and bring in some more services or products to make some more, therefore blowing off the roof! Business is all about growth; if it is time to implement a slight change, don’t be afraid to take action.

How to pivot well

If any of these scenarios have come about or have decided that you want the business to pivot for other reasons, you must shift to have the best outcome. One of the most critical aspects of shifting is doing it as soon as you can. The earlier you do it, the better, less revenue is wasted, you expend less labor, less time is spent on getting the business to take action and change.

 You also don’t need to wipe the board clean and start entirely from scratch! Reflect on the business and identify the different aspects that can be salvaged and tweaked slightly, and reused once you have a plan in place. There has been enough effort to put in to let that all go to waste.

 Another point is to ensure that your pivot strategy allows growth opportunities. If you haven’t thought about 1-2 years down the line, you may well come across the same pain points and roadblocks that you have faced already. Do your market research and listen to your customers; make sure that they believe in what you are providing for the price you are offering.

To pivot or not to pivot?

Ultimately, the choice is entirely your own, as is your business. There will always be risks associated with running a business, no matter what size the company is. Just be sure that any decision you make has been adequately thought through and that a plan is in place. If there is a problem in the Marketplace that you believe you can fill, do it; be sure to do your due diligence and keep yourself on the right track.

10 tips to boost engagement on social media

Every so often, we need a reminder on how to do this every so often. I felt that if you can even start doing this, you will see an improvement of some sort in your daily social media activities. If you want a more in-depth analysis of your company’s external message, contact us at Schodermedia.com.

  1. When people comment on your posts, you should take the time to reply to all questions and comments with some well-thought-out responses. It will help you improve your engagement numbers. It helps in building the credibility of building your business. The more you show who you are as a person, the more “real” you will be to your audience. The concept of like you, trust you, do business with you will come into play. By responding and being “real” will build the credibility that you are looking for in your industry.
  2. You are sharing the answers you give to places like stories or pinned posts. It will be a huge timesaver. After gathering enough responses, you can build a better question and answer section for your website.
  3. Building Momentum: This can be a considerable help depending on what you’re trying to plug. Whether it be an event, like a book promotion (Get Marc’s new book here), or a new website launch, it would involve putting a schedule together to include promotional events for several months leading up to the event’s day.
  4. Giveaways to a social media following: This is something to consider when you have the money or wear with all to do it. Don’t just giveaway to do it.
  5. Google is your Friend: When asking questions, entering the correct search terms can help you know what to ask to create engagement with your followers.
  6. Schedule or do your posts when people are watching: The times you want to look at 6-10 am local time or eastern time (depending on your audience reach) or from 1-5 pm. Most people are checking their social media, much to their bosses’ dismay if they are on the job at those times.
  7. Visuals are key: This could be video, animated gif, photo, and so on. If you remember the old saying, “pictures are worth at least 1000 words,” This may allow you to keep your posts short and let the picture tell the story.
  8. Asking closed questions isn’t always a bad thing: You can use the method to gather data for things that you want to know.
  9. The questions you receive if general questions can be reposted in the comments. It will be able to be searched.
  10. Choose topics relevant to your business or interesting trending topics on your business that can according to studies increase engagement.

I hope you found this post interesting and informative. If there is a topic that you would like us to expand on, fill out the contact form on Schodermedia.com