Strapline

Ideas and Words for all Business Communications

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Personalisation of messages and information is just the start

It used to be that if you didn't have a website you were in trouble.

Then, if you didn't have an active email or emarketing programme you were in trouble.

Contact Us - Why should they?

Now if you can't or won't embrace the concept of personalised online engagement you could seriously be missing out.

I recently tested a generic newsletter with an offer to my white list. Compared with 18 months ago the results were really quite a surprise. Open and click through rates were down significantly.

Filters that automatically place emails in smart inboxes have stopped generic messages in their tracks and recipients increasingly will only engage with something that is obviously personalised and relevant.

So back to the test. Same list but now segmented by purchasing history and potential. Each email sent using the name in the individual and their company in the subject line and in the body copy a reference to their company with a specific offer.

The results were impressive.

The problem is the time and resources I now have to invest in making sure my emarketing is up to the required standard.

I'm not convinced that I have the right solution for my size business and I shudder to think of the investment in time and resources that will be required for a large retail company. The problem is that competitors that are able to combine prospect and customer data with personalised communications across all media,  will be at a significant advantage over other businesses who just don't have the time, understanding, and money to play by the new rules.

And this is just the start - within 5 years the vast majority of online sales will be conducted via platforms that allow people to see and talk to each other, 24 hours a day, in any language, sharing screen images and information. The businesses that are gearing up for that level of engagement will be in a very dominant position.

How would your business cope if your top 5 competitors improved their engagement strategies and you did nothing?

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Why dogs would succeed in any sales and marketing job

We have a small, and I mean small, rescue dog called Dinky - see image!

I may be small but I'm all dog!
Dinky like most dogs would be great in most sales and marketing roles because he has 5 traits which are critical for success:
  • Persistence - if one of us won't feed him then he will find one of us who will and then if that fails he will bother one of us again in the nicest possible way. BUT HE WILL GET FED 
  • Boundless energy - he will keep on going even if he is knackered because he loves being out and about and doing things
  • Knowing the rules - he knows not to do things which will get him in to trouble, or at least not get found out
  • Being individual - he has a real and genuine personality for being friendly and nice to people and very nice to children and not bark and make a fuss at the slightest thing - unless he sees a cat!
  • Being confident - although he weighs in at less than 4 kilos he confidently approaches bigger dogs and gets on well with them
Sales and marketing roles are becoming very complex and very fast. The average in post time is less than 3 years and in some senior position can be half that.

You still have to be technically competent and always on a learning curve, but that's just the stuff you have to know. As a person you must have the above "Dinky" qualities in abundance if you are to survive and prosper.

Thursday, 9 April 2015

Posting invoices improves sales

I used to email my invoices because it was direct, fast, efficient and cost nothing.

Why would I want to pay for the envelope, printing, paper and the stamp and then have to take the time to print and fold the invoice and then stuff the envelope, stick on the stamp and then walk to the post box?

Do you email your invoices?

Email everytime - until three months ago.

I had a number of invoices to send and I wondered what would happen if I mailed them and included a few extra items.

The thing is the invoice gets opened - I address it to Accounts Payable and or the MD.

Weight wise, a 4 page newsletter or set of service offers can be included without any extra postage being charged.

You can send your invoice with a nice covering letter on nice paper - your invoice will stand out if it's on nice stock and in colour with a good offer.

You can include all sorts of items.

I recently suggested sending a nice wrapped teabag out with a jovial letter directed at the MD suggesting now was a good time for a cup of tea and a sit down to read all about some new social media research -  that was included in the same envelope as the invoice.

My results are pretty impressive.

It costs me in time and material costs about £2 to mail an invoice, marketing update, and two copywriting offers.

So far my invoices have been settled quicker, which is marvelous and I've picked up several hundreds pounds worth of new work.

But the biggest shock was when I sent a referral request out and asked for people who I could contact and received 3 responses - no work yet but 3 new warm leads.

So don't email something that your client has to process - mail them something they can deal with and also benefit from.

This month I plan to do both. Mail and email - same info and offers to see what will happen.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net