business

Blog challenge 80/99: Measuring the success of your company newsletters

Here is an interesting read from one of the leading email marketing software providers - Mailchimp. If you have an email marketing strategy, included in this should be the analysing of data. Open rates, click through rates and bench marking are all important and can be extracted from most email marketing software.

The below link gives you access to the industry benchmarks for email marketing Mailchimps data base. Have a look and see how your business is performing against the industry standard.

https://mailchimp.com/resources/email-marketing-benchmarks/

From the Mailchimp website:

Mailchimp sends billions of emails a month for millions of users. Needless to say, we track a lot of data. So we scanned hundreds of millions of emails delivered by our system (where campaign tracking was activated, and where users reported their industry) and calculated the average unique open rates, click rates, soft bounces, hard bounces, and abuse complaint rate by industry.

We only tracked campaigns that went to at least 1,000 subscribers, but these stats aren’t pulled from a survey of giant corporations with million-dollar marketing budgets and dedicated email-marketing teams. Our customers range from 1-person startups to Fortune 500 companies, so the whole spectrum is represented in this data.

Open rates are one of the best ways to tell whether your email strategy is working. This number shows what percentage of your audience opens the emails you send them. If you have a great open rate, it usually means your subject lines resonate with your audience.

Here are a few examples of successful open rates:

  • The most opened emails are related to hobbies, with an open rate of 27.35%.

  • Emails sent by government entities come in second, with a 26.52% open rate.

  • With a 26.03% open rate, emails about the arts and artists came in third.

  • The average open rate for all industries we analyzed is 20.81%.

Another good way to check how well your emails are working is to take a look at the click rates. The click rate is a percentage that tells you how many successfully delivered emails got at least 1 click. This number shows whether or not your audience finds the emails you send relevant enough to click through for more.

Here’s what standard click rates look like:

  • Hobbies also have the highest click rate, which is 4.78%.

  • Media and publishing emails see the second highest click rate, at 4.55%.

  • Government comes in third, with a 3.65% click rate.

  • The average click rate for all industries we looked at is 2.43%.

If you need help with an email marketing campaign or company newsletter, feel free to contact us. Email marketing is highly under rated as a marketing tool and can be used as an effective method of communication with your clients and potential customers.


Blog challenge 75/99: Educating yourself with podcasts

Podcasts have been around for a quite a few years now, in recent times interest has spiked with educational podcasts on the rise. This free source of information can prove valuable to anyone. Here are our top 5 podcasts:

1) The Gary Vee Audio Experience

2) Impact Theory: Tom Bilyeu

3) Aubrey Marcus podcast

4) The Tim Ferriss Show

5) Ted Talks Business

There are so many great podcasts out there, let us know your recommendations by dropping us a line on our Facebook page. Thanks for reading!

Blog challenge 33/99: Gaining residual sales

Residual sales, we are talking about those very small sales that can quite often escape us. When business isn’t free flowing through the door, these little wins become even more important. Here are some ideas to make sure you capture your residual sales:

  • Are you in the service industry? Perhaps you are a motor mechanic. Generally, a motor vehicle is serviced every 10,000km or every 6 months. What if you created a database with a reminder system set up so that in 6 months’ time from the date of service a polite email reminder is sent to the customer to notify them that their car is due for a service. If a vehicle travels 10,000km per year, but you are reminding your customers that their service is due at the 6 month mark, this would significantly increase your sales.
  • Offer a premium option. This is relative to most service based businesses and the retail sector. Take a mobile phone repair shop. You could offer a premium screen replacement service and a standard screen replacement.
  • Assess your inventory. If you notice that you are constantly running out of products or having low stock levels, talk to your suppliers about a revised buy price. If you order in larger quantities, perhaps you can ask for a better price from your supplier. This will increase your margins and will mean more money in the bank for you.

Just a couple of ideas for you and we hope you found the read interesting. If you have any topics that you would like for us to blog about, you can contact us here.

Blog challenge 24/99: Using video to streamline processes

There is no doubt that video production has been on the rise for several years now. If you don't know how to do something, you can pretty much just jump on Youtube and find out how to do it, maybe not a heart transplant or brain surgery (best to leave that to the professionals!). But seriously, it is amazing the wealth of knowledge that has been accumulated using video production.

So why not use this to help your employees in your business? Imagine if your office assistant needed to know how to perform a certain function while processing an invoice. Your assistant is obviously going to ask you. But you are so busy, out at meetings with clients. What if you were able to send your assistant a simple link to a video, that would show her a step by step process of how YOU would like your invoicing processed. Well quit imagining. You can do it easily.

  1. Buy a headphone and microphone set - a good quality set. We tried it the cheap way with Apple Earphones and the attached microphone. We had alot of audio problems, so don't skimp on your equipment.
  2. Go to Google and download OBS Studio. This is a screen recording application that allows you to do explainer videos. It records your computer screen so you can create a personalised tutorial. 
  3. Once you have downloaded OBS Studio, head over to Youtube and do a couple of "how to use OBS Studio" tutorials. It is really simple to use, but do the tutorials as it will assist with your knowledge of settings and workflow.
  4. Once you are ready to do your explainer video, open up your intended program or file that your want to produce. 
  5. Put on your headphones and check your microphone works. Now hit record on OBS Studio, this will now start to record your screen and voice. Simply talk through the process and complete it the exact way you want the task done. Click on "stop recording" once you have finished.
  6. OBS Studio saves direct to your computers video files. Go there and view your first explainer video. If you are unhappy with it, you can edit it within the app.
  7. If you are happy with it, set up a private account on one of the video sharing platforms such as Vimeo or Youtube and set it to private with password security. 
  8. Now you can just send this link to your collegue and they can complete the task the exact way you intended! Easy!

Processes like this sound painful at the start. However, the amount of time you will save is invaluable in the long run. Thanks for reading.

 

Blog challenge: 11/99: Giving back to your clients

It can be all too easy once you sign up a new client, to think that the exchange between the service you provide and the payment of your invoices are enough to maintain a healthy business relationship for years to come. Quite often it can be enough, but we like to put in those 1% efforts that can help endure any difficult periods. Here are a few suggestions of what you can do:

  • Christmas and Birthday Gifts: Find out what your clients favourite beer or wine is. If they don't drink, find out what they like to do in their leisure time. Perhaps a voucher to a day spa would hit the spot!
  • Hand Written Cards: It is easy to say thank you via an email. If you were to write a hand written thank you note in a card, it requires another level of effort. You have to buy the card, write meaningful words in the card, buy the stamp and post it. Effort like this doesn't go un-noticed with clients.
  • Provide Additional Services at No Charge: Now, this can be a contentious one! What we suggest is to give away a minor product or service, that does not cost your business a large amount of money. For example, if you own a printing business and you service commercial printers, you may be able to provide a complementary toner cartridge. Make sure you enter this on your invoice with a $0.00 charge next to it, so the client sees.
  • Provide a Bundle Offer: If a client buys several of your products or services, perhaps you can look at a bundle offer. If they buy two services or products, you may be able to offer a third for free. This works well with ecommerce and bricks and mortar fashion stores.

So there you have it, a few suggestions to assist you with further developing your relationships with your clients. At the end of the day, people like to see that they are getting value. Go over and above and this will increase the lifetime value of each customer. Thanks for reading. 

 

 

Blog challenge 8/99: B2B Sales knowledge

Many people just cringe at the words sales and, or marketing. The reason being is that a lot of businesses have been doing it incorrectly for so long. Hard sell sales tactics are now an 'old school' approach and this has contributed to a bad stigma about the profession. The fact is that without sales and marketing, business wouldn't succeed. It just needs to be done right. If you have a sales team here's some knowledge that you can pass onto them:

 

  • Don't Sell:  If you have taken on new sales staff, encourage your sales staff to build relationships and not to sell to your customers. You may find that your sales will take a hit initially but the lifetime value of a solid relationship will be far more beneficial. People buy from people. Sure, your product or service has to be good, however if a trust worthy relationship is built this will be the foundation for business success. 

 

  • Provide Value: If you can provide outstanding value to your customers you will always win. Here is an example. We were in a meeting with a director of a company that provides equipment for sleep appnea sufferers. Prior to our meeting, the client had the mindset that a 100% digital marketing approach was the answer. During our meeting, we asked several questions and noted that the target demographic was people 50+ years of age. After careful consideration, we suggested a television advertising campaign, coupled with a Google Adwords approach. Our reason for suggesting television advertising was due to the fact that his target demographic watches television within his location. The client was surprised that we would offer this suggestion. He knew that we would not make as much profit from him as we are predominantly a digital agency. He appreciated our honestly and the campaign has been a resounding success. Doing the right thing, is always the right thing.

 

  • Take Interest: Really show an interest in what your client does. Try and learn something from them. The simple acts of listening and asking questions will gain you respect from your client. If you can politely make a suggestion to them, which will in turn benefit their business, this will build trust.

Master the above 3 points and you will be on the road to success. B2B sales is really just helping other people in business succeed. Lose the old school sales mindset and start to see some real progress, both personally and professionally. Thanks for reading.

 

The importance of "me" time

You know it and I know it. We work extremely hard on our businesses. They can cause untold amounts of stress, anxiety and just pure worry. Your business is your baby and needs attending to constantly. But, there needs to be time spent on you and your well being too. After all, your company isn't going to function at 100% with out you being at 100% is it?

We all need downtime. Now, I know you are going to say "but we cant afford to leave the business for a couple of weeks" or "If I leave, this place will fall apart!". That's simply not the truth. Sure, you may have some catching up to do when you get back to work and yes - things will inadvertently go wrong while you are away. However, your entire business is not going to collapse if you take a 2 week break. 

 The human body needs time to recharge. I am currently coming towards the end of a holiday and it has been fantastic. Creativity increases, your mindset changes, you stop and enjoy those things that you are working for. I have had limited time on the computer, which has enabled me to connect with other people and just enjoy other aspects of life. 

It's important to take this time to reflect. Try and relax and take yourself back to when you first started your business. Why did you start it? What gave you the buzz? Think about the enjoyment of it all. It is a sure sign of being ready to get back into it, when I pick up the laptop to write a blog. I know I am ready to get back into work, as soon as I finish writing this. 

The ability to switch off from your business is a skill worth mastering. Your health, your spouse and your family will thank you for it. It will enable you to "take the blinkers off", kick start your creativity and give you a renewed focus. So go on, take that well earned holiday - you deserve it.