Fancy £1000 of free email and direct mail marketing a month – for free?

International Money Pile in Cash and Coins

International Money Pile in Cash and Coins (Photo credit: epSos.de)

Yeah, I know, they say that you get nothing for nothing in this world, and you get what you pay for and all of those other cliches.

But having seen this offer Tweeted by a couple of my friends, I checked it out and it seems that it is legit.

Royal Mail, via Huddlebuy, is offering £1000 of free marketing to 2 lucky people!

The prize consists of:

  • Data lists of 2,000 prospects
  • 1000 E-mailshots
  • 50 Postal Mailshots
  • Up to 40% off Parcel Postage
  • 2hrs of Free Marketing from Huddlebuy (1 time only)

Not just once (apart from the last item) but every month for a year!

If you’re a start up or small business then this could really help out, which is why I’m sharing it with you.

Well, that’s not the only reason, because if you win via my tracked link, *I* get the same too – and I quite like getting things for free 🙂

What’s the catch?

I can’t really find one. OK, Huddlebuy are obviously looking to build up their email list, as it seems that you have to sign up with your email address.

And they’re hoping this will go viral because the more times you share / tweet / email the link they give you to other people, the more entries you get.

But let’s be honest, you can unsubscribe from any email newsletters, and you don’t have to share if you don’t want to, you can have just the one entry.

So really, I don’t see any catch (or I wouldn’t be participating myself)

What do we have to do?

Just visit the promotional page (that’s my tracked link BTW) and submit your email address to be in with a chance – the page will guide you through all the sharing stuff if you want to do that.

Good luck!

More info on Huddlebuy (from their website)

Huddlebuy are the UK’s and Europe’s largest daily deals site for small businesses and entrepreneurs – providing exclusive deals to a rapidly growing community of more than 50,000 businesses.

 

 

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New Email Marketing Tactics

A guest blog by Samantha Peters

English: email envelope

English: email envelope (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When a consumer wants to find the best business credit card for his company, he is going to start looking for as many options as he possibly can. If a traveler wants to avoid airline bag fees, then he will want to be placed on lists of airlines that email out airline specials that pertain to his needs.

More people are connecting to their favorite vendors through email, and that is causing more vendors to market to new clients via email. The key to email marketing is to utilize new tools that are available and update older methods to reach an audience that will be interested in your marketing message.

Social Networking

One of the advantages of social networking is that you can reach millions of prospective clients from all over the world at the same time. The way that you can utilize this resource to help build your email database is to allow customers to click on a button that will get them placed on your email list.

When customers are reading through your latest offerings on the social networking websites, they are often inspired to want more information on your product and your company. When you include the option to get more information via email in your social networking presence, you are doing a lot to increase your marketing exposure.

Segment Your Email List

The problem with email lists is that people will often send a single message to everyone on their lists. Do marketing surveys with your email clients to help segment your list into categories that will apply to what you are trying to sell. Your customers will want to fill out marketing surveys because it will insure that they only get information on the products they will really be interested in. This increases the effectiveness of your emails and helps to prevent people from opting out of your emails.

Create Emails for Smartphones

Smartphones are becoming extremely popular and more people are getting their emails via their phones. When you create your marketing emails, keep smartphones in mind. For example, keep your subject short so it will be easy to read on a smartphone and avoid including images and attachments that will make it difficult to open an email on a phone.

Marketing with email is constantly evolving. If you want your company to be able to take advantage of a growing audience of prospects, then you need to find effective ways to use marketing emails.

This Guest Post is written by Samantha Peters, an avid blogger who manages The Tech Update  and enjoys writing about new marketing tactics and new developments in email marketing strategy.  Samantha can be found on Twitter here.

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A Common Misconception about Email Marketing

no spam!
Image via Wikipedia

A guest post from Emily Goodyear

Email Marketing = Spam

The biggest misconception that we in the email marketing industry have to deal with is that all email marketing material is spam, junk and rubbish. The marketing industry is one of the biggest employers in the UK and email marketing makes up a significant proportion of this. The DMA continues to monitor best practice guidelines and membership is a good measure of reputable companies in the industry. Cowboys that fail to adhere to white hat techniques tarnish the reputation of companies that strive to maintain direct marketing regulations.

The key to email marketing behaviour is OPT-IN ONLY. There are three main strands to this rule.

  • All data must actively opt in to receive promotional material.
  • There must be clear places on the top and bottom of all emails to allow subscribers to opt out if they so wish.
  • If subscribers do wish to opt out, they should be able to do so and then never receive marketing material from you again.

Consumers so often sign up to websites in order to receive discounts or something that they want at the time but they forget that they’ve done this or quite possibly don’t realise what they have signed up for in their haste to get something in return for it. This is something that email marketing companies need to bear in mind; not all consumers sign up with a full understanding of what they will receive.

Email marketing companies should make it as easy for the consumer as possible to either click through to the result they are after, or to opt out of receiving email campaigns. Placing opt-out buttons at the top and bottom of emails ensures that the option to do so is clear and simple to carry out.

After all the hard work of gathering data and building a varied database of consumers, it may seem contradictory to make it easy for consumers to remove themselves from your list but long term, the benefits are far superior.

Think about it – is it better to market to a smaller number of responsive, interested recipients that will consistently engage with your emails and even provide information about their spending habits and behaviour, or to a huge list of recipients who will get annoyed by your consistent messages, not click through and start to have a negative (as opposed to neutral) view of the brands you represent?

==

Emily Goodyear is the PR & Marketing Officer for email marketing specialists, WRM-Media. WRM-Media offer marketing lists internationally with the majority of their business in English speaking countries, particularly the UK, US, Australia and South Africa. The majority of their 24 million email addresses are collected from websites: www.Who-Remembers-Me.com, www.WRM-Surveys.com and www.WRM-Dating.com.

WRM-Media data is available for list rental and Emily is able to guest blog for blogs relating to email marketing, SEO, Analytics and other relevant topics.

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Social media conversion rates not as good as email marketing?

Sometimes I think that in all of the 'Social Media is cool' and 'It's about the relationship' (both comments I feel are true), it's easy to forget what really matters at the end of the day – conversion and ROI.

Yes, it's lovely to have 10,000 followers on Twitter, thousands of people reading your blogs, a million 'likes' on Facebook etc – but if you're about to go bankrupt that's not a lot of consolation, is it?

I speak to people every day who are getting good ROI on Social Media, so it surprised me to read that, according to this article:

Email marketing is twice as effective as social media when it comes to conversion rates

I was ready to wade in vehemently, but then read the rest of the article:

Mary Spio, partner at Gen2Media, which works with a number of high-profile music artists, suggested that many marketers at the company see double and triple the conversion rates with direct email compared to social media activity.

Speaking to Marketing Vox, she referred to two hypothetical artists, commenting: "One, let's call him/her Artist A, is a Latin musician with 20 million views on YouTube but little inclination to pursue direct contact with fans via email. The other, Artist B, has said from the beginning it was all about data collection and wanted direct access to the fans."

Well of course they're getting a better conversion rate from email marketing that Social Media if Artist A has no-one speaking to her fans via Social Media (and I presume the 'no email rule' also means no Twitter or Facebook interaction) and Artist B is only using email marketing. It's not a like for like comparison for a start, and let's face it, Artist A isn't exactly using Social Media well, eh?

What Artist A and B both need to realise is that marketing in 2010 is about a number of different channels, not just relying on one. I'd suggest that if Artist A started speaking to her fans (or had someone to do that for her) and did some direct email campaigns, and Artist B dipped a toe into Social Media, both of them would see sales rise. What do you think?

Can you write about your experiences of email marketing? Want some free promotion?

I'm looking for people to write guest blogs on a fairly well trafficked blog. The blog itself focuses on email marketing, so your guest blog would have to be about that. Obviously you can promote your own website within the blog post, but it must also be of interest to our readers.

The basic outline is:

  • there is no fee for this
  • 200+ words
  • Must not be a purely self promotional piece

It could be about how your company uses email marketing, an issue that you had and solved, how you keep in touch with customers through email marketing, how running an email list has helped you to gain customers, even advice about how to write a newsletter or sales email.

In the first instance please contact me on nikkipilk@gmail.com with any questions, or post in the comments here!

E-mail Marketing – 7 Ways To Fail

A Guest Post:

E-Mail Marketing is often championed as a wonderful opportunity because of its negligible cost, but the fact is that it has one of the lowest success rates there is – so low that it has a special name which has passed into folk-lore, Spam. The simple fact is that even the mails that pass through the software spam filters tend to fail in delivering their message. Now as an expert in avoiding reading the message I’ll give you my top 6 tips for how you can get me to read your mail.

1. Don’t assume that I want to read your mail just because I subscribed at your website. Really – it sounds daft, but it doesn’t work like that!

2. Give me something that I want. I’ll gladly accept that a sales pitch comes with the mail if there is something else in the mail that I want. Some advice, an expert opinion, some statistics, a report. I’m a Landlord with a Website, so I’ll gladly read about house prices, rental values, how my website ranking has changed, tips on maintenance. But I can’t emphasis enough how important it is that it has to be something that I want, even a well disguised sales pitch behind the information won’t necessarily keep you off my blocked senders list.

3. You only get one chance. Once you’ve disappeared onto that blocked senders list, you’ll never make it out again, so really – don’t take the risk. Never let me recognise that you are selling, the consequences are too serious for you. So best of all – don’t sell, just be there for when there is a sales opportunity.

4. Ignore the Internet Marketing Experts They tell you to call to action, and god knows what else. All their websites look the same, all their mail looks the same. I’ve recognised it before they’ve finished their 1st sentence, and I can’t even tell you what it is. A bit like scammers come from Nigeria!

Some samples from my Junk Mail folder:

a. You are receiving this email because you have shown an interest in Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Search Engine Marketing.

b. URGENT: I’m offering a very special $4580 bonus package

c. THE USE OF CAPITALS

d. ESPECIALLY IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE WORD “FREE”

e. AND A TIME LIMITED OFFER

f. SIGN UP TODAY TO DOMINATE

g. Words like Massive, Early Bird,

5. Make friends with the Junk-Mail Filter OK – it’s a bit of a no brainer of me to say “get past the junk mail filter” but I am speechless that a lot of professional marketers make no effort to convince the filter that their mail is ordinary & wanted. If you can’t get past it, you may never be seen, but worse than that – the Junk Mail filter isn’t just a faceless piece of software, she is my friend and key influencer. She does so much good work for me that I listen to her opinion with respect. If she likes you, then you stand a chance. If she took against you, then you face an uphill struggle.

6. Minimise Linked Graphics. Really – I know linked graphics seems a great idea, but it’s a straight out of tip 3 – it’s one of the ways I recognise spam. There are 3 practical reasons why linked graphics are a key route to failure:

a. It’s one of the ways that the porn and Viagra merchants try to get their words past the Junk Mail filter

b. It’s just plain typical of the messages that I don’t want

c. Mail readers block picture links and ask the recipient if they want to download the graphics. I am now deciding whether to put you on the block senders list without being able to see what you probably would hope is the best bit of your mail.

So if you really must link graphics, try to ensure that your message from tip 2 (why I want to read your mail) is clear in the text.

7. Don’t look like a Phisher. I wouldn’t ordinarily think of giving this as a tip but a big professional company actually did this last week, and it is what gave me the idea for this article. Do not use some HTML in your mail like – <A HREF=http://www.yourwebsite.php>http://www.yourwebsite.com</a>

There you are – 7 tips to get you read, try it – mail me at spam@pimlico-flats.co.uk I’m sure I’ll read it.

This Guest Post was by Nick Parkin of Pimlico Flats a Private Landlord active in Social Networking and Renting Flats in London.

Are your email messages being blocked by spam filters?

A great reminder from Nigel Temple’s Marketing Mentor newsletter today, regarding testing your newsletters and list emails to see if they’ll make it past a spam filter:

Are your email messages being blocked by spam filters?

Posted: 04 Sep 2008 01:24 AM CDT

A key marketing principle is simply to ‘keep in touch’. One way of doing this is via email marketing. If you use this approach, I am sure that you don’t blast messages out to strangers (because that’s spam, isn’t it?).

You may well have noticed that some of your emails ‘bounce’ / are rejected. Why is this? Well, some of the addresses may be defunct. And some of them are probably being blocked by anti-spam filters. In the trade, this is known as a ‘false positives’.

Here is a link to one of the freely available email message checkers. If you run your draft email message through it – you will discover whether it would be considered as spam by the likes of SpamAssassin™. You will receive an instant score + a detailed email report + recommended changes:

http://web0.lyris.com/resources/contentchecker/

You can subscribe to Nigel’s newsletter here.

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