Building (and keeping) a valuable email database

Building (and keeping) a valuable email database

As a digital marketing consultant, our focus for the month is email marketing. We’ve explored why micro, small and medium sized businesses need it, now we’re going to look at the fundamental steps involved in building and keeping a successful email database. 

Step 1: Gather contacts for your email database

The very first step of successful email marketing is to create a database of contacts to send your material. 

Whilst it’s always a failsafe to include a newsletter signup form on your site, the reality is you’re not going to get hoards of contacts entering their email address simply to “stay up to date” unless they really love your brand. 

The key is to entice contacts to share their email address. Here are some examples of “enticing” a new contact:

  • offer a free eBook (or similar material) for download

  • ask contacts for their email to download a price list or special offer

  • offer a multi-part email series on a topic of interest

  • provide a “pre-release” update for a new product or service

  • run a competition

  • require email submission through the purchase process (if you sell a product online)

These are just some ideas which may or may not work based on your industry and brand.  

Step 2: Ask for permission 

It’s not enough to just ask for a customer for their email address to add to your database. You should always check that it’s ok to send future communications. If a person is interested enough in what you’re offering to provide their email address in the first place, they’re likely to be happy to hear from you again. Ensure you include an “opt in” tick box in your online form.  

Step 3: Send a confirmation email and encourage “adding to address book

Once a subscriber submits their details, send them a confirmation email immediately and encourage them to add you to their address book. This achieves two things:

  • Instant interaction with a customer who has just engaged with your brand

  • Helps your future emails avoid the junk folder

If you have a decent signup form on your site, you should be able to set up automated confirmation emails. 

Step 4: Do what you say and say what you do

Like most things in successful business, you need to manage client expectations. This is something we focus on a lot in our business to ensure our clients are happy clients. And it’s the same with email marketing.  

If you’ve promised a weekly email containing “xyz” content, you better only send one email a week with that valuable content. Otherwise, you’ll be getting a lot of unsubscribes if you send an email every two days containing nothing but sales pitches. 

Remember, email marketing is about building relationships with customers by offering valuable content, not just another platform for you to flog your product.

if you want to hit fast-forward and get us to manage an effective email campaign that will convert customers without the fuss, contact us directly now. 

Why you need email marketing in your life

Why you need email marketing in your life

We’re still only at the beginning of 2017, and many business owners are looking at how to grow their business through marketing. Speaking to a client this week, we looked at how we can build on their existing SEO and digital marketing efforts and grow their email marketing. As a marketing consultant, we recommended regular email newsletters to boost customer engagement and help build trust (the key to any successful brand).

We strongly believe that every website should have a call-to-action to encourage newsletter signups, and you should be sending emails (at the very least) once a month to your customers (past, present and future). Take a look at why we love email marketing to grow your micro, small and medium sized businesses:

Grow with email marketing and build customer relationships

Customers don’t simply engage your business because you’re selling a product or service; they buy because they trust you. And how do you build trust with customers? Regular engagement with them, showcasing a professional and consistent brand personality and providing them with the information they actually want. That is all achievable through email marketing. 

The key is to follow email marketing best practices, provide engaging content and ensure your email looks professional and trustworthy. The aim is to connect with your customers. And if you’re informing alongside your selling, you’re building a long-term relationship with your customers. That’s connecting (and something a print ad or flyer will never do). 

People actually read them

You would have heard a lot about the value of social media in business. And whilst it definitely has it’s place, email is actually 40 times more effective at acquiring new customers than Facebook or Twitter. In fact, 57% of email subscribers spend 10-60 minutes browsing marketing emails during the week and for every $1 spent on email marketing, it generates $38 in ROI (return on investment).  

Growth with email marketing is cost effective

Wonder why the major corporations still bother with printed catalogues? Because constant communication with customers works. Unfortunately, most small businesses don’t have the kind of budget Woolworths or Coles might have to distribute multi-page catalogues week-after-week. But micro, small and medium sized businesses can still benefit from constant and regular communications with customers using email – and for an absolute fraction of the price. 

Hardcopy mailings might cost in excess of $2000 per round, whereas an email newsletter, professionally prepared, dispatched and managed by marketing consultants like Birdcage Marketing might only cost you 10% of that!

Email newsletters are trackable 

One major benefit of an email newsletter (as opposed to a catalogue or letterbox drop ) is that they’re 100% measurable. At Birdcage Marketing, we recommend that our clients use an email platform like  Mailchimp.* Why? 

  • Mailchimp will make managing your email databases a breeze. You can create separate lists and manage bounced and unsubscribed contacts.

  • It offers very useful metrics. Check your open rates, bounce rates, click-throughs and more.

  • The free version is usually enough for small businesses. And the paid options won’t break the bank either.

  • Create (or have us create) beautiful templates which are easily editable by end users.

* FYI – we are in no way affiliated with Mailchimp and this is a completely independent opinion. 

Drive traffic to your site and help with your SEO score

Increased site traffic helps increase your google ranking. So by driving customers from your email to your site, you’re helping boost your Search Engine Optimisation rankings. What’s more, you can specifically direct customers to particular pages of your site with a simple click through and call-to-action.

If you want to know more about how Birdcage Marketing can offer you email marketing consultant services, connect with us via email or call 07 4999 9929.

Small business marketing 2017: time to grow

Small business marketing 2017: time to grow

With the beginning of the year upon us, is it time to grow your small business marketing? It’s always a good idea to take stock of your small business goals at the start of a new year. If one of your goals is indeed “growth” and for many businesses (including Birdcage Marketing) chances are it is then now is the time to act. To ensure we do in fact grow and meet our small business marketing goals we have targets – gross earning as well as a client number target in mind too.

Speaking to a number of clients, it’s evident that growth is a common theme in business marketing in 2017 for micro, small and medium sized businesses. It seems the time of start up, struggling through (and figuring out what the hell you’re doing) has passed for many.

Strategise how to grow your small business marketing

If you’re looking to grow your small business marketing in 2017 it’s important you don’t just throw money at “marketing”. You need to be strategic about how you’re allocating your budget to maximise your return on investment (ROI). 

If you feel like your small business is ready to up the ante, take a look at our top small business marketing 2017 tips below and make sure you’re ticking all the boxes. Even if you’re only at the start of your entrepreneurial journey, it’s a good idea to start right, so the following will also be relevant to you.

A proper logo

You know that logo your cousin’s daughter who’s still in uni made up for you, it’s probably not cutting it. Sure it worked for your start-up phase when you had a hundred-and-one other things to get going. But if you’re serious about creating a lasting brand image you need to invest in a strategic logo designed by a professional.

Many business owners, unfortunately, underestimate the value of good branding. They figure the work will just speak for itself. And whilst your product or service is at the core of good business, you need to be putting your best foot forward when it comes to making a good impression. 

That also goes for making sure your stationery suite is up to scratch. There’s no use having great branding if you’re still using last years’ letterhead and a DIY business card. 

A website which actually attracts clients

After you’ve got your logo sorted it’s important that your website is built to engage new customers and drive them to take action. We’ve mentioned previously that a website is your 24/7 salesman. It’s often the first impression a new customer will get so it needs to look good. It also needs to convert the “browsers” to actually get in touch with you. That means, strategic copy, easy to navigate structure and a few solid contact forms. 

An SEO strategy

Our favourite! If you do one thing for your business this year it’s to invest in getting your website found on Google. (Check out our last post about the benefits of SEO for small and medium sized businesses.)

Many SME’s are afraid of SEO as they don’t quite understand it and keep receiving junk emails for a $199 per month service from offshore suppliers. SEO isn’t as scary as you think, and if you use a quality local, Australian SEO supplier who provides monthly reports and keeps you updated on their progress you know you’re getting value for money.

SEO is basically the coming together of many small (and large) factors to get your site on the first page of Google. And many suppliers are only offering a small portion of that picture and getting a small portion of results. 

Many of our SEO packages include a brand new site design (like the one we recently did for Progressive Pest Management), as well as regular blogging and social media management etc. on top of our strategic on-page and off-page optimisation. 

A regular email newsletter

This is probably something you’ve thought of many times, but don’t know how to get it going (or keep it going). But the fact is; REGULAR EMAIL MARKETING CONVERTS CUSTOMERS. If someone has signed up for your newsletter through your website, or has worked with you in the past, they are always easier to convert than unengaged audiences. Just take a look at these stats:

  • Email is 40 times more effective at acquiring new customers than Facebook or Twitter

  • 72% people prefer to receive promotional content through email, compared to 17% who prefer social media

  • 90% of email gets delivered to the intended recipient’s inbox, whereas only 2% of your Facebook fans see your posts in their News Feed.

  • Email marketing has an average ROI of 3800%
    source: Campaign Monitor

And the best part of email marketing is that it is extremely low cost to set up and maintain (compared to traditional marketing methods such as ad placements etc.). Birdcage Marketing can set up an email template starting at a one off fee of just $540 in an email platform (such as Mailchimp) and provide full training so you can send out the info yourself each week/month. Compare that to a half-page print ad in a local publication for around $900 each month where you won’t receive any engagement stats or reporting. 

To learn more about how you can grow your small business marketing in 2017, or if you need some ideas to get you started, connect with us! We’re always happy to have a quick chat over the phone to nut out some basic ideas (obligation free, of course!). 

Wishing everyone a prosperous 2017!

Why should small & medium sized businesses invest in SEO?

Why should small & medium sized businesses invest in SEO?

Search engine marketing directly focuses on making your small business easier to find by customers with SEO (search engine optimisation). SEO is the wonderful and powerful process of increasing your site position and page rank organically through correct set up of your site, and using quality backlinks, effective keywords and building an online community. It is, by and large, the most effective way to increase traffic to your website. 

Clever businesses invest thousands of dollars each month into landing and keeping the top spot. And with only 9% of searchers scrolling past page one, you can see why. So why should your small or medium sized business invest in SEO? 

Embrace small business SEO and generate the leads you actually want

Like with many digital marketing techniques, a major benefit of SEO is the ability to target the right people. Unlike a TV commercial which costs tens of thousands and is screened to a blanket viewership which may-or-may-not contain your target customers. SEO relies on target market profiling to ensure the right keywords are being maximised for the right customers. For example, if you’re on page one of Google for “Ladies Hairdresser Mosman”, you’re highly visible to someone who is actively searching for a ladies hairdresser in Mosman. This compares with paying for a print ad in a beauty magazine where you’re paying for not just your target market, but their entire readership. 

Increased brand exposure

The keyword “Builder Sydney” has on average 260 searches per month on Google. That means, if you’re not on page one for that keyword, you’re losing up to 236 new leads every month (with 91% of searchers not going past page one). Consider Google a digital billboard – and if you’re not up there, you might very well not exist to some customers. 

Build the credibility of your brand

In business, appearances matter. And sometimes this is as simple as where your website is ranked on Google. Many customers are quick to dismiss a business which doesn’t sit in the top spots on Google. Remember, marketing is all about building trust – and if Google doesn’t consider your website to be “trustworthy”, then why should a potential client? 

Safeguard yourself for the future

Many of our small business SEO clients aren’t just in the “growth” stage of business – rather, they are established organisations with a fantastic offline reputation and a booming customer base. So what would drive these businesses to invest heavily in Search Engine Marketing? As mentioned previously, SEO isn’t a “quick fix”. It’s not an ad in a magazine or a discount flyer in the letterbox. As any savvy business owner knows, there are always ups and downs and it’s important to protect yourself during the ups, so you can weather the downs. SEO is a long term solution which protects your small business by being your 24/7 salesperson. When the customer base shrinks, ensure your small business is at the top of the list (Google’s list, that is).

If you’re considering investing in SEO services for your business, contact Birdcage Marketing to discuss your options. With our basic local SEO packages starting from just $480 a month and offering comprehensive packages for more competitive markets, we have an option to suit your business requirements.