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Building strong customer relationships with email marketing newsletters that deliver results is key in today’s business environment. Creating the communication and following these top 10 tips for successful email newsletters will help you to build and develop strong relationships with existing customers and market your services more cost effectively.

Email newsletters  offer the ability to track on an individual level who opened your emails, who clicked on what link and what content they read, not only allowing you to measure the level of interest readers have in the content you are sending them, but also how readers are responding to it.

So here are my top ten tips for successful emailnewsletters:

1. Professional Looking Template – Instead of sending out a generic email, take time to customize your template to reflect the colours, fonts and other branding elements of your business and website. Using the same email template for your messages will help the recipient recognize your firm and generate feelings of trust.

2. Personalise – Use the recipient’s name in your message whenever possible. Something as simple as customising the email in this way can make the recipient more likely to read through and act on your message.

3. Subject Line – The two second rule applies here – the recipient will scan the subject of the email and decide whether or not to open and read the communication. Therefore make the subject line as compelling as possible.

4. Email from a Person – Make sure that the email is from a person or firm name and not from an email address, this adds to the personalisation aspect of the communication and adds to the likelihood that the email will be opened and read.

5. Engaging Content – Ensure that the content provides a value proposition or presents a current issue and asks the recipient a question where a response is expected to generate involvement.

6. Click throughs to your Website – Wherever possible the ability to drive recipients back into your website from a link for more information, or to engage the recipient is the major benefit of using an email communication.

7. Call to Action – Each email you send should spell out exactly what you want the recipient to do. Make links obvious and call attention to any special directions you are providing. And it’s okay to be repetitive when it comes to the call to action – include it toward the top of the message and mention it again at the end.

8. Signature – Always include a signature at the bottom of your emails, as it’s one of the easiest ways to attract more traffic to your website. This signature should include your personal details, your company details, and an unsubscribe link. You can use your signature to link back to your website, and even to other services.

9. Regular Send and Despatch – When sending an email to your subscribers, always make sure that it’s sent on the same day, at the same time. For example, every Wednesday at 3pm. Your subscribers will come to “expect” your email to arrive in their inbox on the same day at the same time, meaning that they want to read your content and are generally more receptive to any special offers or promotions you may include.

10. Measure Results – You must be able to track who has opened your email communication, and better still to know who has clicked through on one of the links that direct the visitor to your website for more information or to complete a call to action form. Measuring which news items generated the most interest will help you to refine future communications.

The key benefit here is that any newsletter or email communication that you send will be an effective marketing tool for your firm.  It should, of course, keep clients up to date with key legal information, promoting your firm as knowledgeable and strong on client relationships. Building continued loyalty of existing clients cannot be taken for granted, particularly as your competitors become more aggressive in their marketing techniques. The newsletter is a way of retaining an existing client during times when that client is not using your service.

Everyone in business today should be using LinkedIn for connecting and networking with others for the sole purpose of communicating – it’s all about what you know and who you know. The key right now is to build a base of connections and consistently deliver value messages to attract more interest in you and your business.

OK, so you have visited http://www.linkedin.com and looked around the interface, so here are my top ten tips to start using your account and getting the most out of this valuable resource:

1. Edit profile to claim vanity URL – This should be set to use your name (or closest match if unavailable) within the URL, for example: http://www.linkedin.com/yourName – this will help you to optimise your own name in the search engines and also makes the URL easier to remember if promoted on business cards or email signatures.
2. Complete each step in your profile – don’t forget to put in all of your relevant career history and interests. LinkedIn makes this easy by displaying a percentage score to show how complete your profile is. A LinkedIn profile basically acts as an online CV, so make sure you’re being honest and describing yourself and career clearly.
3. Register a company profile – If your business doesn’t already have a company listing, you should create one! If your company does have a profile, you should encourage employees to create their own individual LinkedIn profile’s and ensure the current employer entry is completed. This will automatically update all employees listed on the company profile, providing the company name is exactly matched.
4. Make your profile publicly available – You can set the information which is publicly available to non-members/contacts, be careful with blocking too much information as this will also be unavailable to the search engines. As a minimum, I would recommend providing enough information for the search engines to index your profile and cache the external links you have listed! In terms of optimising your profile, the main goals are normally to rank for your own name, company name and possibly industry keywords related to this.
5. Make connections – Increase the reach of your profile by connecting with current and former work colleagues, clients, friends and family. I’d also recommend adding any industry contacts, perhaps from people you have met at conferences/events or are connected with on other social media sites and share a similar interest.
6. Request recommendations – Obviously don’t ask everyone, especially if you don’t know them that well. But having recommendations will help your profile to stand out and will help to build trust in your reputation to visiting users. This will help improve the visibility of your own profile within internal LinkedIn searches too.
7. Make use of the 3 website hyperlinks – For SEO value, LinkedIn is very good – they give you the opportunity to add three hyperlinks to websites of your choice. If you’re not trying to optimise your site for “My Website”, “My Portfolio” and “My Blog” it might be an idea to select “Other” and choose your own anchor text instead!
8. Join related groups – Find groups where other industry professionals have joined and look to participate in (or at least join) these groups. Adding value to your own profile and helping you to get found by other industry contacts.
9. Use LinkedIn Answers – This can help to build up your reputation within a field. For SEO it also builds the number of internal links pointing to your profile from within LinkedIn, therefore helping to strengthen your profile in the search engines!
10. Optimise your job title – LinkedIn now includes your job title within profile title tags. I’m not saying you should lie about your job, but within reason you could include descriptive keywords which may help to attract relevant search engine traffic. For example, using “SEO Account Manager” as a job title instead of “Account Manager”, if appropriate.

There has been a lot of discussions at SEO conferences about the “keywords” meta tag and questions arising as to whether or not Google actually uses them to rank pages.

A lot of people have been saying that Google has not used them for ranking pages for years and others who say that it is imperative that the keywords in the meta tag are relevant and match the content on the page for search engines to be able to qualify the page.

The short answer is this: many years ago Google according to Matt Cutts began disregarding the keywords meta tag because the keywords meta tag was so often abused. In the past, the keyword meta tags quickly became an area where webmasters could stuff often-irrelevant keywords without typical visitors ever seeing those keywords.

However, Google does support several other meta tags including the content “description” meta tag as the text for search results snippets that the searcher sees in a search result.

When building pages a good webmaster will always include a list af keywords that are relevant to the content on that page – it’s like having a summary of the page content for further reference when performing page optimisation.

It’s always possible that Google could use this information in the future, but as Matt Cutts says – it’s unlikely.

OK, so you are getting a lot of visitors to your website every month and analyzing your stats you can see that your keywords are working and your bounce rate appears to be low – all good things, but you don’t seem to be getting many of those visitors to contact or call your firm – what is needed here is a better ‘call to action’ to improve the conversion rate of visitors into leads.

Measuring what works and what does not work is vital to understanding the behavior of the consumer in your location, and yes, consumers in different parts of the country react to different mechanisms – so what works here may not work there.

“Read More Here” might get a worse conversion rate than “Click here to start your claim now”.  What you are trying to do here is to get the visitor to take the next step toward your final website goal. By doing this, you improve your overall conversion rate, which in this case is to get someone to register or call you.

There is no such thing as “no online conversion”. You’re looking for leads who will eventually phone you but the visitor is the one with the power. If you don’t give your visitors a reason to let you continue to have a dialog with them, then they won’t.

Using an opt-in mechanism is one answer. If, for instance, you ask for a name, email address and telephone number from your visitor so that he/she can then get useful information from you in the form of a free report or an answer to a question, you do two things. First, you qualify the visitor as someone who is interested in your services, and second, you get permission to contact him/her again. You need to build into your website a powerful reason for your visitors to give you permission to email or talk to them rather than expect someone to pick up the phone. People visit a website to get information, so give them the means to get it.

Finally and most important of all is trust. You cannot sell anything if your audience doesn’t trust you. You can help them to trust you by prominently displaying your privacy policy, reference to the satisfied customers that have already bought from you, that you make it very easy to find contact information such as a name and address as well as support via email. You could educate via your website with articles and ‘how to sections’ or newsletters and instill trust over time. In short, your prospect must trust you to part with his or her money. JP8FC5HATFXB

Twitter is the fastest growing social media application available to everyone to use and is completely free, it is now used by more and more people every day – so why not make use of it as a powerful link building tool.

Twitter allows you to post messages and notes at anytime and anywhere you go. It is a great way to build-up your blog or web site link popularity thus improving your overall traffic and rankings for free.

OK, so how do I do it? You need to get other people to follow you.

How do I get more people following me? You need to write updates frequently about topics that your followers will be interested in, the better the content the better the chances of building more people to follow your interesting content.

What do I get from followers? The main feature is of course traffic to your website or blogs but as your followers count increases your own popularity and knowledge will too.

When you setup your Twitter profile with your WordPress powered blog every post would then be posted on Twitter as status message. Allowing tweeters which following you to track it down and comment on the post using a simple and user friendly interface.

The best way to get new followers is to be honest and reply to messages from others and add comments.

Link Building with Twitter

As you begin to acquire more and more followers on twitter, you will have more and more traffic to your website and blog. Those that follow you, have ability to see your status updates only. Follow other popular tweeters and see how they write, their writing style and originality and learn from others.

You have ability to post your status on twitter every time when you post something on your blog or web site. If you can, you can manually update status updates every time you post something. If other uses see that you are active and reply often on their status messages, they will probably follow you or reply on your messages in the future.

Peter Bowen watercolour paintings are great.

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