Email marketing has been used for so many years that you wouldn’t be blamed for thinking it’s on its way to irrelevancy. The truth is, email marketing is not only still around, but remains a powerful marketing tool that is actually increasing in popularity.
In fact, according to Salesforce, it was the second-fastest growing B2C marketing tool from 2015 to 2017 (video claimed the top spot). That may seem surprising, but the stats from Salesforce’s survey show that email consistently outperforms other digital platforms in return on investment and cost-effectiveness.
Why? Because unlike many other marketing tools, email is able to change with the times by easily integrating new channels and strategies into it.
Here is how you can make sure that your email strategy meets the evolving demands of marketing to your customers.
The absolute first step to successful email marketing is having a great contact list, with as much information as possible. This will enable you to easily segment your list based on key filters, ensuring that you deliver the right message to the right audience.
Customers are increasingly demanding to be treated like individuals, even online. That means you’ll need to spend more time analyzing each customer’s digital behavior so that you can create interactions that are as personal as possible.
While sending mass emails out to huge groups is a great way to ensure top-of-mind awareness, taking the extra step to personalize will pay dividends. According to research conducted by Aberdeen Group, personalized emails show an increase in clickthrough rates of 14% and an increase in conversions by 10%.
Some easy ways to do this are to simply use the word “you” so that readers feel like the email was written for them and to make subject lines appear personal by being direct and engaging rather than giving a bland overview of the email’s content. Just personalizing the subject line can increase the open rate for emails from 11.4% to 17.6% according to Statista.
Most companies aren’t going to have the resources or time to invest in the artificial intelligence capabilities that can interact with customers on a near-personal level. The next best thing is automation.
With the help of an experienced digital marketer, you can segment both when your emails are sent and who receives them. A good example is an automatic welcome email containing a “special offer” to new members of your email list. Doing this right takes time, patience, and testing.
Engaging customers across channels (e.g. website, social media, digital advertising, content marketing, video, or email) leads to significantly higher awareness, acquisition, and engagement. To do this well, your messaging must be properly coordinated across the channels you choose. High performers are over 12 times more likely to coordinate their marketing efforts to ensure consistency in their messaging.
However, that doesn’t mean every message should be identical wherever it is seen (remember personalization). Instead, you need to find the fruitful middle ground between consistency and targeting your message for each specific channel.
Don’t Disregard Email Marketing
It’s easy to convince yourself to follow the latest marketing trends. However, if you do email marketing right you won’t be blamed for sticking with an effective method that refuses to become irrelevant.
It just so happens that we are pretty great at email marketing. We regularly construct both segmented and general campaigns for our clients with great ROI. If you’d like to get started, don’t hesitate to give us a call or, of course, email us.
Fact: There is nothing that influences potential clients and business partners as much as you. That’s why events should be an integral part of any marketing strategy.
Participation in events and conferences provides a unique level of in-person interaction, which is an extremely effective way to connect with others and communicate your value and even your company culture. If you are not currently making the effort to participate in relevant events, then you are missing out on a massive opportunity to spread awareness of your company, position yourself and your company as a resource, and meet new people.
But before you dip your toe into event marketing, make sure that you’re doing it right.
Define Your Goal
First, you need to decide what you want to get out of attending events. Are you looking to land new clients? Do you want to gain influence as a thought leader? Or, are you simply looking to network with people in your field? There are many potential options, but being aware of your goal is essential to make your effort a success.
Define Your Audience and Choose an Event Type
Consider what type of audience you need to interact with to accomplish your goal. All events cater to a uniquely segmented demographic, so it’s important to do your research and prioritize a type of event (e.g. industry, professional association, geographic, or interest-specific) by its audience.
For instance, you probably wouldn’t want to attend an informal meetup that doesn’t have a planned agenda if your goal is to establish yourself as a thought leader in a particular industry. A better option would an industry-specific conference where you have a speaking role.
Choose Your Level of Participation
When you know what your goal is and who you need to interact with, you then need to decide what level of participation is necessary to accomplish that goal. Here are the four most common options:
Get Out and Market Yourself
Speaking to your potential clients through digital channels has become and will continue to be necessary. It’s something we help our clients with every day. However, don’t let the importance of online marketing make you forget the importance of in-person interaction. Getting in front of people and marketing your real, live self is irreplaceable.
We often help our clients target the events that best meet their needs. If you are looking to improve your marketing strategy give us a call.
Remember the “good ol’ days” when you took out an ad in the local paper to do a bit of marketing? And that one time when you made a local TV ad with a jingle? It made your business famous in the neighborhood.
It might sound a bit drastic to say that those days are long gone, but those days are long gone. According to Pew Research, print magazine and newspaper subscriptions are falling and viewership of local television continues to fall. Meanwhile, according to the Institute for Public Relations, U.S. adult online usage went from 52% to 88% in the last 16 years, smartphone usage rose from 35% to 77% in the past 7 years, and social media usage has gone from 5% to 69% in just over a decade. There is little to no evidence to give us an inclination that these numbers will go anywhere but up.
All this means that your potential customers are spending more time on digital platforms and much less time using traditional media. Consequently, your marketing efforts need to shift to match these tendencies.
In a nutshell, digital marketing means to use an internet-based strategy as a channel of communicating with customers, partners, and stakeholders. It may include content, social media, community relations, corporate positioning, customer communications, B2B and B2C communications, media relations, data collection, and e-commerce.
If you feel like your marketing strategy isn’t living up to current requirements, these are the three most important questions you must answer to move forward.
1. What would be the best focus of your digital efforts?
With a general idea of digital marketing channels at your disposal, it’s necessary to analyze which ones you already use and which ones you believe you should be taking advantage of. The answer to the latter depends on the type of business you run and your vision for its brand.
A small manufacturer of commercial landscaping equipment probably doesn’t need a very robust social media presence across all of the social networks. However, a sleek and easy-to-use website aimed at wholesale customers as well as targeted B2B email marketing would be a fruitful strategy.
On the other hand, an urban fashion designer would definitely want to take advantage of Instagram and have a robust B2C communication campaign via almost all social media channels because positive interaction breeds brand loyalty online. A blog that includes posts from local fashion micro-influencers would also be a great strategy.
2. What does my audience want to hear and see? And how often?
The size and industry your company is in, and whether you sell to consumers or other businesses, will help determine the type of content you should be sharing.
It’s best to think about each digital channel one-by-one and then create a content calendar detailing the type of content and frequency of content that is appropriate for each channel. For example, your content calendar may have a section for each social network, website update, blog posts, newsletter topics, etc. By having all of the information organized in one central calendar, it is easy to get a holistic view of your company’s online activity and the messaging you are putting out there.
Once your company is actively posting online, it’s best to review key metrics monthly (and take a deeper dive quarterly) to analyze which posts are resonating best, and which aren’t, and change your future content strategy accordingly.
3. Can you do it alone?
After considering the channels that you need to focus on to succeed in the digital marketplace you must then decide if you can handle it alone. It’s not uncommon for businesses to take on more than they can handle and end up alienating their audience through mediocre online marketing.
To truly master digital marketing you have to immerse yourself in it. If you have the requisite time or the in-house staff to handle that level of dedication then you’re one of the few. If not, then the only way to keep from falling behind the competition in marketing to your shared audiences is to hire an outside marketer. If you’d like to hear about our experiences helping clients with their online marketing, don’t hesitate to reach out for more information.
Heading into my last semester of college, I knew I wanted to start thinking about my professional career as I prepared for my transition to the “real world” after graduation. After applying to various internships for the spring semester in December and January, I was immediately enticed by Graham Media Partners. A start up PR and marketing firm where I would get to attend client meetings and work on my own accounts? Sign me up.
From my very first day working at GMP, Steve and Lisa welcomed me with open arms and were eager for me to interact face to face with clients, produce my own content and come up with my own ideas. The amount of freedom I had was initially daunting… I didn’t know much about the industries for some of the clients I would be working with, yet I was responsible for creating content to post on their blogs and social media pages.
Looking back, I’m so grateful for the opportunity Steve and Lisa gave me to develop my skills as a writer, creative thinker and public relations and marketing professional. At the start of this internship, I never would have thought that I would have been able to tell you the difference between a loan officer or a mortgage broker, or the different ways to make your business stand out at an HR showcase. Interning at GMP gave me the opportunity to interact with a wide variety of clients, and develop an understanding of how to effectively interact with each and every client. While some things are similar for each client (creating content calendars, researching competitors and writing blogs), other things are vastly different. Different clients have different needs and whether it be continuing to tweak a blog post so it’s just right or spending some extra time working on messaging and positioning statements to ensure they accurately describe the client, every day brought something new and different.
Working in a start up environment was also eye opening. I have the utmost respect for how hard Lisa and Steve work. It was exciting to come to work every day just to watch Lisa and see what she was working on that day. Her organization, diligence, and persistence make her a great person to work with- and for. Steve, fearless in his ability to promote and share the mission of GMP, showed me the importance of confidence in meetings. Watching Steve interact with clients during meetings taught me how being relatable to your client, while also being confident in your ability to deliver the results clients need, is of the utmost importance.
I’ve also had fun too! Lisa and Steve both took the time to get to know me as a person, and through many lunches, we discussed gluten free foods, trips to Hawaii and baby names. The environment at GMP is set up to be a collaborative and inclusive one. Lisa always welcomed any idea that I had, and was eager for me to speak up and contribute in client meetings. It was a positive experience to come to work each day, and Lisa and Steve were extremely flexible with my college schedule.
When I first started this internship, I didn’t know what it would be like to interact with clients, or how important social media could be to the success of a client. Now, I feel like I understand just how powerful social media outlets can be and how to effectively launch media campaigns and other marketing campaigns. Thank you GMP for an amazing internship experience!
Sarah has been interning with us since January.
There are 2 kinds of people in today’s digital age- those who open all of their emails and those who don’t. But, when nearly 200 billion emails are sent out every day worldwide, and 84% of these emails are considered spam, can we really expect everyone to open every single email they receive?
Knowing how to frame your emails to attract readers to open and read your emails is key to making sure your emails don’t go unnoticed. Here are some tips and tricks to make your emails stand out:
Subject Lines Matter When sending out emails to clients, avoid making subject lines that sound almost too good to be true or are overused. Subject lines with words such as free, help, percent off, and reminder statistically have lower open rates and are more likely to go right to a spam folder. Instead, your subject line should focus on being proactive, relevant and personal. You want the client to feel like the email was written just for them, and that they aren’t part of a large email distribution list.
Make It Pretty Graphics, the use of color, and bolding fonts are key when it comes to the content of emails. Using bullet points, charts and large fonts to highlight the main messages of the email are a great way to attract attention and encourage readership. People want to look at things that are dynamic and interesting, so any unique way that you can convey your message will help you keep your readers.
The Email Should Be From You People are more likely to read an email from a friend- someone they know and care out. You want your clients to think of you as their friend and that means that emails should come from you directly, and not a company generic email address. You can easily adjust how the email address will appear to receivers by going to your email settings. Make sure that your emails are coming from an actual name and not your company’s name.
Timing is Everything Chances are, your company does not need to be sending out emails every day… your clients will likely start to lose interest. Sending out too many emails will put your emails on the spam list, but sending out too few emails won’t consistently engage clients. You want your emails to be consistent and timely. Find a schedule and rhythm that works for you and your clients and stick too it. Clients shouldn’t be surprised when they get an email from you and they should be excited to open the message and see what new information you have for them.
Educate and Market Email is a great opportunity to not only market your company, but also educate and inform you clients about your area of expertise and teach them something. As a general rule of thumb, your emails should be 80% informative, and 20% marketing. Essentially, every email shouldn’t be trying to sell a product or service, rather emails should focus on further developing relationships with clients and educating and informing them.
Short and Simple With over 25% of emails being opened on mobile devices, brevity should be a focus. You want your emails to be mobile and desktop friendly, so focus on making your emails concise and to the point. Using a tool like Litmus can allow you to preview emails and see how they will appear on mobile and desktop devices. You could also just do a test email by sending it to yourself- make sure you look at how the email will appear on mobile and desktop devices.
At Graham Media Partners, we are focused on creating and developing content that will engage and interest your clients. From emails to blog posts to newsletters and website creation, we can help you positively engage with your clients. Give us a call today at 610.688.2060 and we can get started.
Too often potential customers and clients walk out of meetings and appointments understanding more about what a company does, rather than how a company will specifically help them. Customers walk out of initial meetings and appointments asking questions like “Will this company be able to help me with exactly what I need?” Your company could be the greatest in the business, whether that be in law, mortgages, or healthcare, but if you can’t convince a potential client that you can help them specifically, they may opt for a different provider.
Today’s customers deserve more; they deserve to know exactly what your plan is for them, and exactly how you are going to achieve it. They deserve to know that you care about them, on a professional and personal level.
Relationship marketing is a specific style of marketing that focuses on customer loyalty and long-term client engagement rather than short-term goals like client acquisition and individual sales. It focuses on creating strong, even emotional, customer connections to a brand that can lead to ongoing business, free word of mouth promotion and positive experiences for both you and your client. Creating relationships has always been a major part of customer satisfaction and gaining business, and it always will be.
Here are some of the best ways to form strong and lasting relationships with your clients:
Treat every customer as if they are your most important one. Devoting 10 to 20 minutes of your day every day to reach out to different clients and prospective clients will show them that you care about them and you are invested in their needs. A happy client is more likely to give you referrals, and you never know who they could refer you to. Sending holiday and birthday cards or free promotions and discount cards can be a great way to show customers that you care about them and want them to be happy. Treat every customer and client with the utmost respect, diligence and enthusiasm.
Stay Connected Gone are the days of the traditional 9 to 5 business hours. If one of your clients or customers asks you a question, whether it be about an upcoming meeting or appointment, a general inquiry about how your product works, or what it is that your company does, get back to them as soon as possible. This shows them that you are concerned about helping them and giving them the answers they need as soon as possible.
Let them Know What you are Up To Sending out emails and newsletters about how your business has been growing, learning and succeeding will keep your clients invested in you. Did your firm just hire an outstanding new lawyer? Send out a newsletter introducing them! Is your company moving to a new office? Have an office-warming event and invite people to come and check out your fabulous new space. Giving people a glimpse into your company’s life and culture when it may not be on the forefront of their mind is a great way to maintain a positive relationship with them.
Understand that Social Media is Not Enough. To truly connect on a deeper level with your client, you must go beyond blog posts, Facebook posts and Instagram followers. Social media does not replace true marketing strategy – it only amplifies it. As you develop and enhance social media for yourself and your clients, don’t forget to go back to traditional ways of connecting. Giving a customer a phone call asking how everything is going and if they are still satisfied with their mortgage can be a lot more personal than a quick email and can generate more conversation, and more business.
Gaining clients is about building and keeping relationships. Clients want to know that you are looking out for them, and care about them on a professional and personal level. Don’t forget these relationship-marketing strategies as you head to your next meeting!
As a 21-year-old senior journalism student at Temple University, I’ve spent much of my time surrounded by two types of career-oriented people – those who wanted to enter into journalism in a technical capacity, and those who wanted to enter into journalism as editors. Personally, an equal measure of ambition and subsequent dissatisfaction manifested itself as indecision; rigorous photojournalism courses spoiled me with the satisfaction of technical production as well as the engagement of writing and reporting. As a result, I valued both but could choose neither.
As my classmates excelled in a singular manner I was always jealous of, they accepted internships with small non-profits as copywriters or sold photographs on a freelance basis to the Metro. Wanting responsibility in a novel sense, with experience to gain in copywriting, photography, advertising, and marketing, I found and applied for an internship with Graham Media Partners – a boutique marketing agency based in Wayne, PA.
Of course, my photojournalism background is not exactly common for such internships, but during my interview, Steve and Lisa Graham analyzed my strengths, though atypical of an advertising and marketing applicant, and measured how I may contribute to the company in a unique and valuable way. I can’t overstate what a comfort it was to find a young, expanding business that was interested in growing along with me, and only two forward-thinking entrepreneurs would have proposed that.
Within the first few weeks of working with Graham Media Partners, I began to understand the ways in which journalism, photography, and marketing can overlap. An economy of words is absolutely necessary for social media management – understanding how to convey a positive message in few words is a lesson any journalist will retain from an introductory editing class. Similarly, this internship promotes a flexibility inherent to the on-call lifestyle of a photojournalist; sometimes a client’s website needs headshots with little-to-no warning, sometimes a daily special menu needs to be redesigned for digital use, and sometimes an opportunity for food photography springs up from a client meeting. These are the obstacles that Graham Media Partners trusted I could overcome, and expected excellence as a result.
And it has been a lot of fun! The young company works best in a communicative, positive, and constructive environment. We spend most afternoons out at some of the new restaurants in the Greater Philadelphia Area, taking inspiration for our clients and discussing the best ways to launch a new campaign. And when we’re not running over a marketing strategy in the office, we might be discussing the latest episode of True Detective over lunch.
At GMP I have learned a great deal about communication, design, photography, and marketing. When I began, I knew next to nothing about what advertising and marketing entailed, only that I had a few of the requisite skills necessary for its production. Now, I’m beginning to gather a valuable understanding of social media presence, media advising, marketing campaigns, and constructing detailed analytic reports for our clients. I still have a lot to learn, that’s for sure, but I’m glad I’ve found a small agency to continue learning with.
By: Aaron Windhorst
Aaron has been interning with GMP since May, and continues to intern with us today.