Archive for September, 2014

Email Marketing-The Importance of Tracking

Tracking email marketing campaigns is essential to measure your success or lack of-if that happens then you will know what to do next time around. Email marketing performance and the importance of tracking are crucial for success.

They allow you to see exactly how well a campaign performed or did not and why. Giving you an advantage to change tactics or improve them for better email marketing performance. Following the news in the email marketing sector which provides insight on the best practices.

Three Important Marketing Metrics Tracked Today

  • Deliverability rate
  • Click-through rate
  • Open rate

Deliverability rate is the most important step in defining a formula for calculating the rate of delivery throughout the program. Dividing the total of delivered emails by the number of emails sent, thus giving you the deliverability rate. Removing non-active accounts will improve the rates. Determine what form of messaging works the best and with what customers, continue to improve on the delivery methods ensuring a strong customer base.

Click-through rates are the most tracked in email marketing due to the ability to further track additional information such as email ROI and revenue generated by each email. Using different calls to action, links and content will have a direct impact on the rate. Targeted email marketing messaging, in smaller segments is more relevant and highly increases results.

Open rate is a principal metric of email marketing, the largest impact is on the subject lines rating to see which works best with the headlines. Body styles are also tested using click-through and open rate to establish which style combination brings results. The results will prove if redesign is necessary. Keeping a close eye on the time of and what days your messages are sent out, different times of the day affect rates.

A successful email marketing campaign depends on your tracking methods and practices, even the slightest changes make a difference. If you continue to track and measure the results, only the best possible solutions will arise, furthering your campaign success. The importance of email marketing tracking is what forms the bond between you and your customers.

 

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Five Steps To A Solid E-Mail marketing List

In order to extend sales opportunities and generate new customers an email marketing list is a very influential tool for reaching potential customers, with targeted messages or promotions. Here are five steps, that are sure to build a solid email marketing list according to Entrepreneur.com

Sign Up With Email Marketing Service Provider

In order to get the opt-in form, you must pay (around $20 a month) a service provider to collect email addresses, send messages to providers and manage the volume for you. Once you have your account set up, customers can sign up.

Create email opt- in link on your home page

Integrating an email opt-in link on the first landing page of the website will quickly get attention, ask the least amount information as possible-its gets more sign-ups. Offering a gift or bonus to customers for signing up is a great way to increase your list, and keep them coming back.

Ask For Opt-In At Check Out

Most payment processing companies work hand in hand with email marketing, adding an opt-in form at check out promising future discounts and sales information to customers that already buy your products is beneficial for return sales.

Pop-Up Forms

The continued presence of pop up ads proves although irritating, proves they are an effective marketing tool. However opt-in pop-up forms have to be tracked for an increased subscription rate, if it is effective you will see it in the metrics.

Opt-In Forms On Blog Sites

Proving a popular way of reaching people that are already VIP customers, communicate on your blog and have a genuine interest in what your company is all about. Engaging customers in useful conversation. Using blog plug-in software, a low cost investment (about $100) for a more personal connection with customers.

Email marketing strategies change, keeping current on trends and most importantly “what your customers want” will ensure a solid email marketing list to grow and business to expand. In order to continue the success, tracking and inventive ideas and promotions are sure steps to a solid email marketing list.

 

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Four Ways To Make Your Printed Colleteral Stand Out

Even in the digital age mailboxes are flooded with flyers, trade shows are filled with brochures and desks are covered with business cards. In a sea of paper, is your print collateral getting noticed, or is it getting tossed into a recycling bin without being read?

 

Create a Visual Identity

 

Have you ever looked at someone and remembered their face but not their name? While it would be wonderful it every potential customer remembered your business the first time they “met” you, it doesn’t usually work that way. Most people need repeated exposure to your marketing materials before they act. Consistent branding is the memorable face of your business. Your printed collateral should work as a unit, along with your online presence, rather than as individual pieces. The most basic way to create a visual identity is to prominently display your logo on each piece of collateral. In addition, repeat the same color scheme, fonts and overall feel. While it seems counterintuitive to stand out by staying the same, a consistent brand helps consumers recognize you in the flood of information they see each day.

 

Less Is More

 

From your mission statement to your upcoming sale, there are dozens of things you want a potential customer to know. It’s tempting to try to squeeze them all in while you have the opportunity. But, no one wants to read a wall of text. Print collateral that is crowded, boring and text heavy will likely get overlooked. Decide on a clear message for each piece of print collateral and drill it down to it’s most basic. Make text easy to skim by using bullet points and simple, casual language. Then, use larger, bold fonts to emphasize the key words and ideas. Surround it all with ample white space and you have a message that people actually want to read.

 

Get Graphic

 

Words aren’t the only way to communicate; photos and graphics often speak louder. Charts and graphs are here to stay, but infographics are the trendiest way to both grab attention while also communicating large amounts of information. Photos are also an important way to command attention and highlight your message. But, skip the stock photography since it is instantly recognizable as being generic. Instead, use high quality, professional photographs taken at your business or of your products.

 

Consider the Paper

 

While what you say and how you say it is important, so is what you say it on. Basic paper and cardstock is fine, but not likely to capture attention. Make your printed materials feel special by using textured, recycled or glossy paper, vellum or even fabric. Think outside the box and go beyond basic square and rectangular shapes. Why not try and unexpected round poster or a die-cut brochure? Also, dark paper with white print is sure to garner attention in a stack of plain white mail.

 

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Opportunities to Grow Using Print

Every business needs to take advantages of opportunities for growth. Launching new products and advertising existing products and services can help your company to grow and flourish, even in a competitive market.

Get Your Message Out

Flyers and other sales materials are helpful in covering large areas without incurring large expenses. You can place them in retail establishments and post them where there may be potential customers. Sales materials work well for promoting special offers, sales and upcoming events.

As an owner or manager of a new or growing business, you should understand that your products and services appeal to more people than those who are currently your customers. Wide-ranging advertising will bring new customers to your business. This is essential for your business to grow to its full potential.

Use Resources Wisely

Even if you own a large business, you need to compete with others in your field in order to survive and grow. You can create professional looking materials and documents without purchasing expensive equipment. If you need printed materials, the right printing service can help your business to grow.

You will often see brochures and catalogs online in today’s business world, but sometimes it is more effective to hand deliver these to customers and potential customers. Printed materials will be in front of the purchasing manager more than something they need to go online to access, when they are ready to place an order for products or services that your company offers.

Benefits of Using Printing Companies

Your business has a better chance for growth if you make use of professional printing companies, according to DevelopYourBusiness.org. You can appear as a larger or more established business, with professional printing jobs. Business cards and printed documents will give your business contacts the impression that your company is even more successful than it is.

There are design services available from professional printers, opening the door for services that your company might otherwise not be able to access. Solutions for your business are not only available, but also affordable. Using documents and brochures that are professional will give your business a facelift, and make dealing with you more appealing for potential customers.

 

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Maximize Your Company’s LinkedIn Profile To Create A Stronger Business Presence

LinkedIn can be a gateway for a company to brand their products and services, connect with like-minded professionals, and share information to reach new clients. By maximizing your company’s LinkedIn profile, you will be on the right step to increasing your company’s exposure.

Complete Your Profile

An incomplete profile with missing sections decreases the chances of people finding you in targeted search results. Try to fill out every section that you can with relevant and enticing information about your company while avoiding the fluff that doesn’t add value to your brand, according to Kansas City Business Journal. Beef up your strong points and expand on your About Section by making the words address business professionals. Don’t just copy and paste the information from your website.

Update Your Cover Image

Cover images allow people to place a face with the company they want to know better. Make the photo visually engaging whether it is a headshot or a logo of your company. It should look completely professional.

Increase Accessibility

LinkedIn has provided the tools for you to make it easier for business professionals to follow your brand, receive company updates, and share links of your profile page. Provide these buttons and tools on your blog, main website and microsites to increase your brand exposure. You can also place menu features on your LinkedIn page to make it easier for visitors to go to your website and product pages.

Obtain Recommendations

Recommendations from reputable business professionals can have an impact on the popularity of your LinkedIn page. Get solid recommendations from professionals and clients that have actually interacted with your company. Ask them to leave comments that further enhances your brand.

Post Relevant Content

LinkedIn allows you to post short comments, URLs and other relevant information to people who are in your network. Make your posts compelling and relevant to encourage click-throughs. Also, post periodically without spamming your feed with too much information. Spamming tactics will only discourage people from reading your updates.

 

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Tips for Writing Effective Product and Service Descriptions

If your product and service descriptions are not engaging, people aren’t going to bite. Instead, they’ll bypass your information and move on to a competitor who can capture their attention with descriptions that sizzle. When you remember a few simple rules, writing an effective product and service description is a breeze.

Know what you’re selling. Research the product or service before you try to describe it. If you know and understand every feature and benefit, it can help you write descriptions that are accurate and lifelike. You can research items on manufacturers’ websites. These sites typically offer in-depth info and little known facts about their products.

Pinpoint the audience. Knowing the demographic of the people who use the products or services can help you choose the best tone and style for your writing. For instance, if the primary users are teens, you may opt for a hip style of writing. If the item is used by professionals in a corporate situation, you’ll get better results by sticking to a more business-oriented writing style.

Be descriptive, but concise. People want to know what’s in it for them. So don’t bore readers into a coma with mundane feature descriptions. Instead, use colorful language to help potential clients visualize how the available features will make their lives easier. Don’t overdo it though. Keep the language simple enough for people to understand. Your readers shouldn’t have to keep a technical dictionary on standby to understand your descriptions.

Tell them what’s next. Don’t leave readers to figure out the next step. Tell them what they need to do to purchase your service or product. Ending your description with a call-to-action can seal the deal by encouraging potential customers to take action.

If your goal is to sell your products or services, effective descriptions are a must. If you know your product, understand your demographic, use appropriate language and use effective call-to-actions, you can write descriptions that command attention from potential buyers.

 

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Most Effective Website Banners

Website banners are a great way to both monetize your website and to get the word out about your small business on the Internet. Depending on the type of site you’re running, website banners can serve two distinct purposes. A business can purchase advertising space on your website in the form of a banner. Whenever one of your site’s visitors clicks that banner and goes to the associated website, you can see a bit of a kickback on that investment. If you’re a business, website banners purchased elsewhere are also a great way to increase your traffic. Not all website banners are created equally, however, so you always want to make sure you’re using the most effective practices to see the absolute best possible results.

 

One of the most important factors to consider when designing the most effective website banner is the area on a site where that banner is designed to go. Depending on banner placement, the size of the banner will change to accommodate the layout of the website in question. If you want to design a banner that is supposed to run at the top of a page prior to content, for example, you would want to use dimensions like 728 pixels by 90 pixels. Doing so will allow the banner to be prominently seen but still not interfere with the page’s content. If you were designing a banner to run down the side of the page, however, you would want to go with something like 160 pixels by 600 pixels.

 

Another factor that you’ll want to consider when designing the most effective website banners is the visual aesthetic. The most effective website banners are very simple in nature and don’t have too many graphics or too many different colors. They convey a message in the quickest and most efficient way possible without overwhelming the visitor.

 

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Web Design 101: The Basics

Every successful business knows that a website is the gateway to making online sales happen. Yet few understand what is involved with the creation of a website. Understanding the basics allows you to know what to place on the web page that will appeal to your readership to entice them to become loyal customers.

Web design is broken down into 3 main categories: layout, written content, and graphics. Each part needs to complement each other and have a continuous flow so that visitors are engaged at every angle. Here are a few basic tips for each category.

Layout

The layout controls the flow of the entire website design. It will also control what graphics, advertising and written text is on the page. Before you choose a layout, you have to decide how the visitor will be viewing the page. What is the most important sections that you would like the visitor’s eyes to go to first? How do you want the visitor to interact with the page? Choose a simple layout and build onto it, leaving white space so visitors have an easier time viewing all of the content.

Written Content

Whether you will be writing in detail about all your services or providing snappy captions to a product page, the written content is what will entice the visitor to read more of what you have to offer. Engaging and original content focused on what the visitors want, not what topics you want to read about, is vital to have a successful web page according to TechRadar.

Also, avoid the common mistake of using multiple fonts for headers, subheaders and text. Too many fonts just hurts the eyes and makes the content confusing. Select 2 to 3 different fonts and stick to them — Sans-Serif and Serif are popular ones because they are easy to read on different size screens.

Graphics

Graphics help break up large blocks of text, making the content easier to read. Keep in mind that the larger the graphic size, the longer it will take for the page to load. This issue can affect people with slower broadband speeds. Stick with smaller graphics that fits in with the content of your page.

 

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