Category Archives: email marketing

Is that pile of business cards on your desk haunting you?

You know you should do something with them…follow-up…put them into a database.. SOMETHING!
That’s where we can help. We’ll take that pile of cards and enter them into an excel spreadsheet. From there, you can upload them into your database, your e-newsletter mailing list, or your Facebook page!
Interested in more information? Click here.

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Timing is crucial when sending e-newsletters!

Constant Contact recently updated its general trends chart of email marketingthe best times to send your e-newsletters. The send times in the chart below are general industry guidelines.

As of October 2018 to December 2018:

Business Type Day of Week Time of Highest Open Rate (Local Time)
Accommodations (e.g., hotel, inn, B&B, campgrounds) Monday 4:00 p.m.
Accountant Tuesday 8:00 p.m.
Animal Services Thursday 12:00 a.m.
Art, Culture, Entertainment (e.g., galleries, museums, musicians, theatre, film, crafts) Tuesday 8:00 p.m.
Automotive Services Wednesday 8:00 p.m.
Child Care Services Monday 6:00 p.m.
Civic/Social Membership (e.g., associations, chambers, clubs) Monday 8:00 p.m.
Consultant, Training (e.g., marketing, management) Friday 2:00 a.m.
Education – Primary/Secondary (e.g., elementary, middle, and high schools) Monday 3:00 p.m.
Education – Higher Education (e.g., colleges, universities, trade schools) Tuesday 8:00 p.m.
Financial Advisor Tuesday 8:00 p.m.
Fitness Center, Recreation (e.g., yoga studio, bowling alley, gym) Sunday 10:00 p.m.
Fitness/Nutritional Services (e.g., personal trainer, wellness coach) Sunday 8:00 p.m.
Government Agency or Services Wednesday 8:00 p.m.
Health & Social Services (e.g., hospital, elder care, adoption services) Monday 4:00 p.m.
Health Professional (e.g., physician, dentist, chiropractor) Wednesday 9:00 p.m.
Home & Building Services (e.g., construction, HVAC, landscaping, design) Wednesday 8:00 p.m.
Insurance Tuesday 6:00 p.m.
Legal Services Tuesday 4:00 p.m.
Manufacturing and Distribution Wednesday 6:00 p.m.
Marketing, Advertising, Public Relations Tuesday 4:00 p.m.
Other Monday 4:00 p.m.
Other – Non-profit Wednesday 3:00 p.m.
Personal Services (e.g., dry cleaning, photography, housekeeping) Monday 9:00 p.m.
Professional Services Tuesday 3:00 p.m.
Publishing Monday 3:00 p.m.
Real Estate Wednesday 9:00 p.m.
Religious Organization Tuesday 9:00 p.m.
Restaurant, Bar, Cafe, Caterer Tuesday 10:00 p.m.
Retail (e.g., brick and mortar and online) Wednesday 1:00 a.m.
Salon, Spa, Barber (e.g., nails, tanning) Wednesday 1:00 a.m.
Technology (e.g., web developer) Tuesday 4:00 p.m
Transportation Monday 7:00 p.m.
Travel and Tourism (e.g., limo driver, tour guide, reservations) Monday 4:00 p.m.

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What happens in 15 years of marketing ?

In this age of slam-bam, rapidly accelerating changes – a LOT!

Back in 2004, I stepped away from the corporate marketing world to launch my own agency. One of the first things I did was to create a four-color, four- page newsletter to showcase my services.  I had no website.  Not that websites weren’t a thing back then, but most small businesses didn’t have them.

And search engines?  Do you remember Ask Jeeves, Yahoo Search and MSN Old search engineSearch? Google wasn’t yet on the radar of consumers.

All of my work was print – postcards, brochures, ads, etc., and I teamed up with the extremely talented Mary Ann Beane, who continues to do amazing work for M @ W.

And social media? Look at this little gem from the archives:

“Facebook is the second largest social network on the web, behind MySpaceonly MySpace in terms of traffic. Primarily focused on high school to college students, Facebook has been gaining market share, and more significantly a supportive user base.”*

And how about email newsletters – those gems we need to keep “cleaning out” of our inboxes?

The first electronic mail was sent in 1971 by Ray Tomlinson, a programmer working on applications for MIT’s Arpanet project (essentially the start of what we know today as the internet), according to Towerdata.

And amazingly, the first email marketing blast was sent in 1978 by Gary Thuerk who worked for Digital Equipment Corp. His email blast was sent to 400 recipients as a promotion for his company’s computers, and it actually resulted in $13 million in sales. Taking inflation into account, that’s equivalent to about $78.8 million today.

Email still has the highest return on investment per marketing dollar Outlookspent, according to the Data & Marketing Association. And while Facebook, especially, has whipsawed marketers with ever-changing rules about how to reach customers—and how much Facebook will charge for the privilege—with email, a company owns its own lists.

What hasn’t changed; the need to focus on clients and customers!  Know who your ideal clients and customers are, and go after them with a laser-like focus. Describe them, who are they, what are their interests?  Why is your product or service the best option for THEM?

For example:  Marketing @ Work’s clients are small businesses and non-profit organizations that are too small to afford a professional marketing on their staff, but they still need professional but affordable marketing services to grow their businesses. That’s what we provide!

In celebration of our 15th anniversary, we’re offering this free guide “How to Create an Effective Marketing Plan in 6 Simple Steps!”  To get your free copy, click here.

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Beyond Thanksgiving – more November marketing ideas!

Thanksgiving is the most prominent holiday in November, but there are a few others that you can use in creative ways to engage your customers and clients during this holiday season!

November 11 – Veterans Day

Veterans Day Veterans Day honors all who have served our country in war or peace — dead or alive — although it’s largely intended to thank living veterans for their sacrifices.  Use your enail and social media posts to thank all veterans for their service, and add a coupon to your e-newsletter that offers a special discount to veterans on that day or throughout the week!

November 13 – World Kindness Day 

On this day, participants attempt to make the world a better place by celebrating and promoting good deeds and pledging acts of kindness, either as individuals or as organizations.

Tie your business to this day by promoting your dedication to a better world and donating a percentage of your sales to a local nonprofit. Promote your special donation in your e-newsletter and on social media.

November 22 – Thanksgiving

Send a goodwill message to your contacts to thank them for being loyal customers and supporting your small business. Express your appreciation for Thanksgivingthem being a part of your community by emailing an exclusive offer for your contact list.

November 23 – Black Friday

Send targeted emails with offers just for clients and customers.  For retail stores, this could include perks like Black Friday sneak peaks (a look at merchandise that’ll be on sale or a bonus discount for being a valued customer.  For service companies, it could be a discount on an HVAC service, such as a tune-up.  An electrician might offer a discount on a home or business electrical safety inspection. You could also segment your list, and offer an even better deal to customers you haven’t seen for a while.

November 24 – Small Business Saturday

The holidays are a great time to make a more personal connection with the people who support your business. Share a story about how you created your small business or how your family celebrates the holidays.

Follow this link for many more small business holiday marketing ideas. http://bit.ly/2D70eAN

November 26 – Cyber Monday

Cyber Monday 2017 was the largest single day of online shopping in U.S. history, according to CNBC. Digital transactions totaled $16.9 billion, an increase of 16.8% from the year before. And, millennials have become the biggest spenders during the holiday weekend, spending over $400 per person.

Think of Cyber Monday as a digital rush for your website: You might not be able to see the traffic come through your door, but your online shop better be able to handle it!

Your customers or clients will be bombarded with promotions and deals, so you need to compete by making sure you create and follow a social media editorial calendar to ensure that your customers know about your deals!

Here are several other ideas for engaging your customers and clients:

  • Give them something of value:  Use social media and your e-newsletter to ask your followers to post about your company and/or products and services using a hashtag you’ve created for your Cyber Monday promotion.  Make sure your offering is something of real value.
  • Cross-promote with other small businesses and nonprofits — Say you’re a wine shop in downtown Frederick.  Perhaps you could team up with a specialty food store to offer special gift baskets.  Or perhaps shoppers at your retail store could get a discount coupon to another retailer – or a florist or chocolate shop. You could cross-promote in your respective newsletters and social media sites!

Would you like to brainstorm with Marketing @ Work on possible ideas for your business?  Give us a call at 301-696-8886 and we’ll set up a free 45 minute session! That’s our November holiday offer!

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Five Steps to Content Marketing

You’ve realized that content marketing is a key strategy to drive more traffic to your website and grow sales, so you’ve spent time creating engaging, detailed blog posts for your website.

Now that the article is live, nothing is happening.

Your content could be getting lost in the crowd without the right content marketing plan in place. To see real results, you need to effectively promote your content so that your target audience will see it.

Un fact, many marketers believe you should spend 20 percent of your content marketing time actually writing your content and 80 percent of your time promoting it.

This article from Constant Contact’s Syed Balkhi will show you how to create a content marketing plan in five easy steps, so your blog posts, etc. will be seen and shared by as many people as possible.

1.  Send your articles to your email list

The people most interested in your content should be the first to hear about new posts. The subscribers to your email list are already interested in you, so they’re more inclined to read your blog post and share your content on social media.

Send the people on your email list a weekly round-up newsletter of your new content or send them an email each time a new article is posted.

If you don’t already have an email list, you need to start building one now because it’s one of the most effective tools for lead generation.

2.  Schedule social media posts

Social media platforms are a great way to get your content seen by new people. Eighty one percent of marketers found that increased traffic occurred with as little as 6 hours per week invested in social media marketing, according to Social Media Examiner.

You don’t just want to send one tweet and be done with it, you’ve got to create a schedule to share your posts many times on multiple different platforms. You can use a tool like Buffer to schedule your social media posts at optimum times to encourage shares and increase your visibility.

3.  Repurpose your content

While blog posts are great for SEO and educating your audience, it can be difficult to engage people with a text based post because many are now searching for more entertaining mediums like video. Repurposing your blog posts to appeal to your audience members who respond best to visual content is a great way to distribute your existing content further.

By repurposing your best written content into videos and infographics, you can save time and drive new traffic to your website. Infographics perform very well in B2B industries and you can use a tool like Piktochart to easily turn a text post into an eye-catching infographic.  For repurposing content into video format, a tool like Lumen5 is a great option.  Here’s a quick one we did of this post!

4.  Answer your audience’s questions

There are people all over the internet searching for answers to their burning questions, using search engines, forums and discussion groups. If you can participate with your audience in these places and answer their questions, it’s a great way to promote your content.

A site like Quora is one of the top places on the web where people go to find answers to a number of different topics. You can join the site and offer your expertise, it’s a free and effective way to promote your content and show yourself as a leader in the industry.

Reddit is another forum where you can accomplish this. Also try searching for Facebook or LinkedIn groups related to your industry where you can join in on the conversation as well.

5.  Pay to promote

Another way to get your content in front of a ton of new audience members is to pay to promote it. Paid content promotion is up 5x since 2014, according to Orbit Media. And while a huge bonus of most content marketing is that it’s basically free, paying to promote your posts can really be worth your while, especially for new businesses and entrepreneurs.

Instead of sharing your content on social media and hoping that some interested users find it and click on your site, Facebook ads allow you to target your ideal audience. You’re able to pinpoint who should see your content by selecting age, location, profession and interests preferences so that your content will be sure to reach the right audience.

Creating an easy content marketing distribution plan is going to diminish a lot of the stress that comes after posting new content, since you won’t have to sit around worrying that it’s not being seen or shared. If you follow your content marketing distribution plan every time, you can guarantee you’ll get a ton of eyeballs on your content.

If you’d like help with your content marketing, blog posts or email marketing, give us a call at 301-514-1102 or email us at [email protected]

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