Top 5 Reasons to Send Out Regular Email Campaigns

Top 5 Reasons Why You Should Be Sending Regular Email Blasts

 

Haven’t sent out an email blast in awhile? Here are our top 5 reasons why you should get back in the habit of sending regular email marketing campaigns — or get started!

1. Concentrated News

Instead of having to look all over for content about your industry or relying on a customer to visit your website, your customers will be receiving a direct message of what is important to you – and how it can help them.

2. Professional & Engaging

A well designed email stands out in your prospect’s inbox! But how can you be sure they read it? Have you tried combining serious business news or product updates along with less formal writing? If you weave in some of your brand personality, you are ensuring that your customers will read through to the end by being human. There are several approaches on how to lighten up an email newsletter to keep it engaging. One of our users puts a random holiday at the end of each email to capture attention and have a bit of fun.

3. Brand Recognition

Who are you? Regular email blasts keep your company name on your customers’ minds. Not only will they know who you are, they’ll recognize what and see what you do.

4. Your website is only a click away!

Your images and text can be hyperlinked to specific content on your website or social media pages, allowing for a seamless transition between the email and more information. Plus, you can track response, open rates and click throughs to gauge what’s most important to your readers.

5. Measurable Results

Most email campaign managers (like MyEmma or MailChimp) provide a robust and easy to comprehend analytics system that you can use to track the effectiveness of your messages.

Confused on how to start your email campaigns? Looking for a content strategy plan? Email us to set up an appointment with our outstanding digital marketing team.

Moment of Frustration Day

Moment of Frustration Day (Oct12)

Today we bring you another one of our promotional holiday graphics. Today is Moment of Frustration Day. You are allowed one a year, use it well!

Miniature Golf Day

Miniature Golf Day (Sep 21)

Today we bring you another one of our promotional holiday graphics. Go out and celebrate Miniature Golf Day!

Tell a Joke Day

Tell a Joke Day (Aug16)

Today we bring you another one of our promotional holiday graphics. Have fun and enjoy National Tell a Joke Day!

Hot Dog Day

Hot Dog Day (July 23)

Today we bring you another one of our promotional holiday graphics. Enjoy a great Hot Dog Day!

Yo-Yo Day

Yo-Yo Day (June 6)

Today we bring you another one of our promotional holiday graphics. Have a great Yo-Yo Day!

Dance like a Chicken Day

Dance like a Chicken Day (May14)

Today we bring you another one of our promotional holiday graphics. It’s officially Dance like a Chicken Day! C’mon everyone is doing it!

Scrabble Day

Scrabble Day (April 14)

Today we bring you another one of our promotional holiday graphics. Enjoy Scrabble Day!

Don't Cry Over Spilled Milk

Don’t Cry over Spilled Milk Day (Feb 5)

Here is another one of our promotional holiday graphics. Today, try to remember….Don’t Cry Over Spilled Milk!

Dress Up Your Pet Day

Dress Up Your Pet Day (Jan 14)

Today we bring you one of our promotional holiday graphics. We hope you have a great “Dress Up Your Pet Day”

Apps to Beat the Heat

Apps to Beat the Heat

That iPhone is good for more than just effective mobile marketing! Check out these vital apps for summer.

UV Safe Timer- Based on your personal profile and location-based UV index, this app will remind you when to reapply your sunscreen and avoid a nasty burn.
Dog Park Finder Plus- An essential for any dog owner, find dog parks, beaches, and pet-friendly restaurants all summer long.
Swim Guide- Find beaches near you and check out water conditions and open swimming hours before you go!
Oh, Ranger! ParkFinder- Find the best parks and nature preserves near you…wherever you may be!
EveryTrail Pro- Go off the beaten path this summer with an app for finding trails, tracking your route and sharing your adventures!

fi_colorlove

We ♥ Color

 

Our last issue of Social Wire mentioned the newest social media addiction, Pinterest. Put down your pins and pick up a palette.

COLOURlovers is an online site that allows followers to discover their inner designer through shared color inspiration. Founder and CEO Darius A. Monsef IV created COLOURlovers while “playing with the idea that all of us see and experience color differently.” Monsef and his team wanted to create a place for people to explore and experiment with color. The site provides a growing international creative community (1,981,676 COLOURlovers) with the tools and services to take a project from inspiration to execution.

creative demo reel

Demo Reel

Clark Creative in motion

During the design process for our website, we realized we had so many projects to show. Sometimes a picture is really only worth a 1000 words.  Seeing a designer’s work digitally doesn’t always paint the whole picture. Texture, scale, color and relationship all play a part of the total dynamic of a design. Each component sets the tone of a brand.

We have a lot more to say, so we packaged it up in this nifty demo reel, showing our talents in motion. This piece shows design, animation, editing and story boarding skills. We hope you like it and that it leaves you bobbing your head to the beats and well, speechless. Or a simple jaw drop and the word “WOW!” would be a huge compliment too. We’ll take that!

PayToSayFacebook

Pay to Say… Now or Later

Facebook Allows for Scheduling Posts

It has arrived. Facebook now allows Page Admins for business pages to schedule posts in advance. Admins may also have varying roles too, allowing more control over the users. A new help center page from Facebook also outlines how brand pages can now dole out specific duties to multiple page admins, each with varying degrees of permissions.

Source: Facebook.com

How do I schedule a Facebook post to appear later? Here’s the answer… Read more >>

pinterest

Get on Board

The debut of Pinterest has created a new social media catch-phrase – pinning. Pinning is replacing friending as one the fastest growing social sharing addictions. Launched in March 2010, the website is a virtual inspiration board where users can categorize, organize, pin and share images worldwide. It’s a creative new business approach to spread brand awareness. We’ve gotten on board and hope you’ll give us a pin.

 

 

 

 

marketingcheckup

Time for a Marketing Check-up!

We don’t think twice about getting check-ups for our bodies, cars, and air conditioners, but when is the last time you had a marketing check-up? It’s always smart to check in routinely and review your business tools and message for attracting new business, and the end of the year is a great time to do it. Consider having your marketing reviewed – not only by your peers and internally – but also by a design professional (yes, like Clark Creative). As technology changes, so does media and the different ways to approach your audience. Here are a few checkpoints to get you started. Read more >>

QR Codes developed for Savannah Mall

Decoding QR Codes

 

What are those boxes with dots, squares, and triangles that are showing up everywhere? It seems as if suddenly they are on packaging, posters, billboards, websites, business cards and ads. Welcome to the QR code marketing tool.

QR code stands for Quick Response code. In essence, it is a bar code-a visual representation of something that would otherwise be written as text. Read more >>

Clark Creative Launches Savannah Mall’s New Website

 

Clark Creative of Savannah recently launched Savannah Mall’s new website, which makes use of multiple access platforms, social media and interactive web technology.

“It’s clear that the old model of relying solely on print ads and a website for retail environments like Savannah Mall has been replaced by a spectrum of social media tools and platforms,” said Cari Clark Phelps, Creative Director at Clark Creative. “We approached the project by building as many inroads to the site as possible, so that however a consumer likes to get information, the site can provide it.”

Read more >>

Marketing 2.0: Effective Use of Twitter for Business (2.0)

Marketing 2.0:

Effective use of twitter for your business 2.0

This article has information for readers who already have a working knowledge of Twitter and are looking for ways to use it as a more effective business tool. If you have heard about Twitter but haven’t gotten started, check out last week’s article in Business in Savannah Magazine (@bisSav) or online.

Demo

In Part One of this article (Twitter 1.0), we created a fictitious business so that we could give specific examples. We’ll continue to use that example in this article: a pet store in Savannah named Savannah Natural Pet. We decided that the business would focus on natural products, have an ecommerce website, and be a supporter of the Humane Society. We set up a demo Twitter account for @SavNaturalPet.

Research:

Now that you have an account and know how to move around in Twitter, spend time getting acquainted with it and doing some research. A good place to start is with the search function at www.search.twitter.com. Search your keywords, both with and without hashtag memes (Twitter users apply the #hashtag sign to tag their posts so that users not following them can find the post). In our example, you might search #pets and pets, #dogfood and #dog food etc. Hashtag searches will return bloggers, retailers, and users who are actively reaching out to Twitter as a whole, while the untagged searches will return those talking about their pets – both of which will tell you how other businesses and pet owners/potential customers are using Twitter. Unlike Google, the search returns are displaying in real time, not by ranking, so repeat your searches. Make notes about Twitterers that come up often in your searches.

Try searching without Hashtags

Try searching without Hashtags

Or try the advanced Search Option

Or try the advanced Search Option

For different results

For different results

Check out how other businesses in your industry are using Twitter. Notice if a business is engaging with customers and other users, or if it is just a series of posts with no Retweets or Replies. Profiles like the latter are Twitter at its least effective – a company that decided that they had to have a Twitter account, but didn’t want to put the time or energy into using or building it. It is often an auto feed from a blog or other social media account. These accounts are little more than placeholders.

By contrast, companies that have embraced Twitter and have a real person (or people) reading tweets, posting, and using hashtags have had great success with it. Here are a few examples, both large and small:

@FLWbooks flashlight worthy books – two people, a website, and 150,000 followers.

@HumphrySlocombe – a small ice cream shop in SF with unique flavors and lots of attitude.

@Zappos – the Zappos CEO

And our very own @VisitSavannah. (There are great Twitterers in our area. You can find many of them by watching the hashtag #Savannah.)

Customers who follow a brand on Twitter are often extremely engaged. @PhilPeterman, a Savannah analytics consultant who previously built and managed Paula Deen’s social media, noticed that although (at the time) @Paula_Deen had 250,000 Twitter fans and 1.2 million Facebook fans, the Twitter fans were five times more likely to act on a sales opportunity (like a new cookbook) announced over social media. Of course this depends entirely on how companies use their Twitter accounts to connect with their customers.

In a recent article by social media trailblazer David Meerman Scott (@dmscott), he spotlights how individual Nordstrom’s salespeople are making great use of Twitter to keep in touch with their customers.

Brand, Brand, Brand!

As we discussed in Twitter 1.0, you can use a default Twitter background, but it is ideal to have a custom background that features your logo and communicates your brand. You can also customize the Twitter badge that appears on your website/business cards/brochures etc.

You can change your background image by going to Profile-Design

You can change your background image by going to Profile->Design

By uploading a photo and choosing Tiled Background you can create a quick unique background.

By uploading a photo and choosing "Tiled Background" you can create a quick unique background.

A custom background will go the farthest to communicate your brand

A custom background will go the farthest to communicate your brand

You can also customize the twitter badge, or icon that you put on your website/blog – and/or add a widget that allows people to see your recent tweets. In this article by @Mashable he outlines some basic free options, or you could choose to have a badge and widget designed to integrate seamlessly with your brand.

Early tweets:

As your searches give you ideas, start posting tweets. Smartphones will allow you to post text and photos automatically to Twitter, and there are also many apps that will do the same thing from your computer. You could take a picture of a hamster running on the wheel and include it in a tweet:

Meet Winkle, the fittest #hamster in #savannah!

This alerts Savannahians who are interested in hamsters that your store has something that interests them. If you blog, you can tweet a link to your blog post:

This week on our #natural #pets blog, new eco-friendly #cat litter products http://bit.ly/f1Yunf

You can also use your activities outside of your business to build your Twitter following. To draw attention to your business and support the Humane Society, you could decide to post a photo every day about dogs for adoption, link to the Humane Society post, and remind folks that you have food, beds, leashes etc. Then create a meme for your project – something like #dogaday – and generate some buzz.

Cora http://bit.ly/enQolZ is up for adoption-wouldn’t she look great in a new pink #leash? #dogaday

Then rewrite your bio to draw attention to your project:

Our pet store features natural products for all pets. When we’re walking the dog here in Savannah, you can find us on the web and at #dogaday. We ship anywhere!

Once you have a good body of tweets up and are starting to feel comfortable with the information you share and how you share it, start following people. Go back to the list of the folks you saw posting frequently and follow them. Many businesses make the mistake of following lots of people right away without having much in their profile, which results in fewer follows back.

The more time you spend on Twitter, the more you will see how these hashtags are used. Many people participate in #followFriday, sometimes shortened to #FF, where users highlight people on Twitter that they follow and think others might benefit from as well. If someone you are getting great content from posts a #FF, check out the recommendations!

Engagement:

In addition to putting the Twitter “badge” on your website/blog/ads, ask your customers what they would like to see. Specials? Contests? Implement these ideas and grow your use. Read tweets and respond. If you do a search for #natural #petfood and see someone posting that they are unhappy what they are feeding their parrot, you can respond:

@birdland12 We have had great success with Xbrand #food for our customers’ #parrots. http://bit.ly/gAO7pY Would you like a #freesample?

The link would go to the page on your site where the food is featured.

If you are not interested in a national audience, be very focused in your research-find people in Savannah and surrounding areas who use Twitter, and engage them.

Organization:

Twitter allows you to create lists to organize people you follow. With @SavNaturalPet you might have lists like Savannah pet owners, Other Retailers, Friends, and Savannah Folks or you might get more specific with Dogs, Cats, Birds, etc. You can make lists public or private. You can also check and see what lists other people have created, and if you are interested in the subject, follow the entire list (if it is public). It also allows you to focus on what one segment of people you are interested in are discussing. There are many more ways to use lists-for instance, large companies create lists of all their employees/departments on Twitter. You can explore lists by following leaders like @mashable, reading the Twitter blog, Googling Twitter Lists, and seeing how others use their lists.

Create lists to organize your followers

Create lists to organize your followers

You can customize lists to meet your needs

You can customize lists to meet your needs

Upkeep:

Once you start following and getting followed back, actively using your account and engaging other Twitterers, you will start to see organic growth in your account. When folks follow you, glance through their bio and posts and see if you want to follow them back-Twitter is not immune to spam. It is important to post at least every day, and it is more in the spirit of Twitter to check in several times a day.

I don’t have time for all that!

Twitter and other social media are free only in that you don’t pay for the service. It does require a significant amount of time, especially as you are getting started. Once you are up and running, it can be done very efficiently. It can make a lot of sense to use a company offering social media services to help you get started by setting up your accounts and designing backgrounds – even doing research – but you’ll get the best results by eventually having someone in your company handle your account. As with most social media, the more you put in, the more you’ll get out.

Mary Siceloff was an early Twitter doubter, but has become a big advocate of its business value. She handles communications @clarkcreative in #Savannah. You can reach her on Twitter @mary_siceloff, or via email at mary@clarkcreativedesign.com

Marketing 2.0 – Twitter 1.0

Marketing 2.0:
Effective use of twitter for your business 1.0 and 2.0

This an an online version of an article originally printed in BiS (Business in Savannah)Magazine, March 23, 2011.

Let’s start at the very beginning – Twitter 1.0: For readers who may have heard about Twitter, but haven’t gotten started. (The next article in this series – March 30, 2011 – will have information for those who already have a working knowledge of Twitter, but are looking for ways to use it as a more effective business tool.)

You’ve read the articles: Use social media! Get on Facebook and Twitter! What is Twitter and how do you put it to use for your business? Why would anyone want to know that you’re waiting for a coffee? The answer is: they don’t. They want to know more about your business, your products, your services, and the personality of your business: in short, your brand.

What is it?

Twitter is a social networking online community where people connect with short text updates (up to 140 characters) called tweets. Your tweets appear in your profile, and you can subscribe to (follow) other users. People who subscribe to your profile are your followers. A real-time display of all the tweets from people you follow will appear on your twitter page.

Demo
In order to give specific examples of how to implement the suggestions in these articles, we’ll say your business is a pet store in Savannah named Savannah Natural Pet. You focus on natural products, you have an ecommerce website, and you’re a big supporter of the Humane Society.

Signup:
Start by going to www.twitter.com and signing up for an account. You will need to choose a ‘handle’, the tag that you will use to identify yourself in Twitter (these always begin with the @ symbol). You want this tag to be short and easily identifiable. If you try @naturalpet, you’ll find that it is already in use. @natural-pet is available but that could easily cause confusion, so you choose @SavNaturalPet, which identifies you and places you in Savannah. Upload a profile image. This could be your logo, or a picture of you or a pet.

Profile:
Write a concise profile so that people who visit your page can quickly decide if they want to follow you (Twitter gives you 160 characters for your bio). Yours might be something like:

Our pet store features natural products for all pets. When we’re out walking the dog here in Savannah, you can find us on the web. We ship anywhere!

Setting up a profile in Twitter

Setting up a profile in Twitter


This communicates your personality, and lets folks know that you have a natural focus, that you are in Savannah and online. There are several default backgrounds available in Twitter, and you can create a semi-custom background by tiling an image, but it is much better to have a custom background if you can swing it. Again, branding.

Basic Tiled Background

Basic Tiled Background

You will be prompted to find people to follow, and to find friends on twitter. Until you get your account going, it’s best to wait on this step. You may make your tweets public or private, but keep in mind that Twitter is the ultimate open community, and if you’re worried about people reading what you write, perhaps it isn’t for you.

The lingo:
When you sent a message, you have 140 characters (including spaces). This is a tweet. If you see a tweet in your feed and you think your followers would like to see it, you can retweet it at the touch of a button. This is like forwarding in email or sharing on Facebook. Everyone who follows you will see this post.

Sending a tweet

Sending a tweet

If you retweet this post written by @mary_siceloff

It would display as

RT @mary_siceloff 3rd annual Yappy Hour Blue Jeans Ball in Savannah February 19 Benefits Coastal Pet Rescue http://exm.nr/fcpXkq

Retweeting from the Web

Retweeting from the Web

In some platforms, you can also edit your retweet, (in this case, adding hashtags – more on that later) so it might say

RT @mary_siceloff 3rd annual Yappy Hour Blue Jeans Ball in #Savannah February 19 Benefits Coastal #Pet Rescue http://exm.nr/fcpXkq

Retweeting in Tweetdeck

Retweeting in Tweetdeck

You can reply to a tweet without retweeting, just like replying in email except that it is public – everyone who follows you will see it. It would look like this:

@mary_siceloff Thanks for posting about the Blue Jeans Ball – Can’t wait to go!

If you don’t want everyone to see a tweet, you can send a direct message (DM) to someone. This is only visible to the person you send it to, and will not appear in their public page or yours. You can only send a direct tweet to someone you follow who also follows you.

D mary_siceloff Great news about the Blue Jeans Ball – do you have a contact there?

Hashtags. When you add the hashtag before a word or (unspaced) phrase, anyone who searches that hashtag can see your tweet, not just those who follow you. In the examples above, the words #Savannah and #pet are tagged. This is a way of getting your tweets out there to folks who might be interested in your business, but don’t yet follow you. If they watch that hashtag (or meme), they will start seeing your posts and if they see value, will start following you.

Hashtag search

Hashtag search

These tags develop organically on Twitter – no one decides what they will be. You might see both #pets and #pet in tweets – you can use either or both, and also create your own.

Links, pictures, and video:
Many tweets have links to articles, blog posts, websites. The actual URL is usually much too long to include in a 140-character message. There are many link shorteners, and almost any platform you use to manage twitter will have an automatic link shortener included as a default. When working from the Twitter website, you will need to shorten the link externally, on a shortener like bit.ly. When you shorten a link, it will go from this:

http://www.clarkcreativedesign.com/blog/?p=179 to this http://bit.ly/ih39zA

Link before shortening in Bit/ly

Link before shortening in Bit/ly

Link Shortened in Bit.ly

Link Shortened in Bit.ly

Photos and videos can be uploaded similarly, with slight variations in each platform.

Platforms/interface:
You can use Twitter from the website at www.twitter.com, but you may find it much more manageable to work from an interface that helps you sort and manage tweets and contacts. Some of the many are Tweetdeck, Twhirl, and Hootsuite. Each of these has lots of wonderful tools to help you manage your Twitter account. There are great videos in YouTube with tutorials on each. Here is one on Tweetdeck: Twitter TweetDeck Tutorial

Coming Soon:
Twitter 2.0: The next article in this series will cover researching your business on Twitter, early tweets, engaging your audience, who to follow, using lists, more on memes, building your followers, and creating buzz.

Mary Siceloff was an early Twitter doubter, but has become a big advocate of its business value. She handles communications @clarkcreative in #Savannah. You can reach her on Twitter @mary_siceloff, or via email at mary@clarkcreativedesign.com