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How to Increase your Email Open Rate

Millions of emails are sent out and read every day, and it’s estimated that over a third of the world’s population will be using email by 2019. However, with UK businesses only achieving an average open rate of 24.7% last year, it just goes to prove no matter how great your email is, if you can’t get them to open it in the first place, you’ll never be able to convert them into loyal customers. With this in mind, we’ve summarised some of our top tips to increase your emails’ open rates.

1. Create an engaging subject line
The subject line is the first thing your subscribers will read, so it’s vital you start off strong. There are several ways to improve your subject line. Personalisation is a great way to engage the reader, and don’t forget to keep it short and sweet. Avoid words and phrases such as “free” or “save cash”, as these aren’t only uninspiring, but they’re more likely to send your email to the spam folder.

2. Make sure your email is responsive
Ever opened an email and found yourself frustrated by having to alter the text or images because they don’t fit the screen? Your subscribers probably feel exactly the same, so it’s important that your email is responsive on all devices, and not just desktops. Nowadays there are many sites you can use that have responsive templates you can use to design your emails. Other tips include not using too many images and avoiding menu bars.

3. Send your email at the right time
Yes; even timings can affect your open rate. If you want to know what time is best to send emails, carry out a few tests before sending your final version to see when you have the highest open rate. For example, if you’re sending your emails to people’s work email addresses, you’re not going to want to send it on the weekend, when checking work emails is the last thing on their minds. You’ll not only want to consider which day of the week, but also what time of day you want to send it. On average, emails in the UK had a higher open rate between 10am and 11am in 2016, but it’s important to find what works for your business and audience.

4. Quality not quantity
Don’t forget that your email needs to be well written, as well as visually appealing. Make sure you proof read your email several times before you send it; looking for grammar mistakes or ways to improve your wording. Sloppy mistakes never look great and are likely to decrease your open rate.

5. Segment your subscribers list
It’s important that you’re sending your emails to the right people. By segmenting your subscribers into lists based on factors such as location, buying habits or gender, you’re more likely to send your customers relevant emails, which are therefore more likely to be opened. For example, if you’ve noticed that a selection of customers are buying the same products from your website regularly, make a subscribers list for them, which you can use to send them emails when their favourite products are on sale.

6. Revise your subscribers lists regularly
If you’ve done all of the above, but still aren’t getting a good open rate, it may be wise to review your subscribers list. Remove inactive email addresses or email addresses with misspellings, and don’t forget to check that the lists your subscribers are in are still relevant. You don’t want to be making avoidable mistakes, like sending existing customers’ exclusive offers only available to new customers! Not only will this improve your open rate, it’ll also save you money.

 

Businesses have finally landed a place on Instagram

The world’s leading photo-sharing app has announced a new feature that we’ve all been waiting for – company pages!
Instagram previewed the new profiles and tools for businesses earlier in the month, and they will soon be available to people in the US, New Zealand and Australia over the next few months. But don’t panic Britain; they’re slowly introducing the new feature, so we’ll get our hands on it at some point!

The new update will add a contact button to profiles, as well as detailed analytics and easier access to promotional tools, which can transform company posts in advertisements.

For companies, the most useful feature will be the addition of a contact button, where consumers will be able to easily interact with the brand. Companies will be given the option to add an email address, contact number or text message option, alongside location directions.

As stated earlier, Instagram will also give users with a company profile the ability to access analytics data. Similar to Facebook analytics, Instagram’s insights provide a detailed look at post engagement, audience and follower demographics.

Alongside the new business feature, Instagram is also testing a new algorithmic feed, which will order posts by relevance, rather than chronological order – a move that has particularly upset many businesses and personal users alike.

Being fans of the photo-sharing app ourselves, we’re eager for the new business feature to roll out into the UK. Let us know your thoughts!

Technology shifts and their impact on content marketers

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With technology continually evolving, content marketers need to ensure that they stay on top of the trends and technologies that will influence their audiences and marketing channels going forward. With this in mind, we take a look at some of the emerging technologies that are shaping the world of marketing this year. Is your business on top of them?

Social purchasing

Social purchasing has been a growing trend over the last few years. It involves consumers being able to purchase products and services direct from an organisation’s social media channel, rather than their website.

Facebook have lead the way with social purchasing, through their Facebook ads, but other social media channels, such as Pinterest, with their buyable pins (where consumers are able to buy products straight from the network without leaving the page) have supported them. According to a study by Deloitte, 47% of millennials say their purchases are influenced by social media, indicating social purchasing opportunities are only going to increase. Businesses that have to-date ignored social media marketing, could be missing out on a trick!

As you might expect, social media is the most popular marketing channel for marketers looking to share content and build an audience. With the rise of social purchasing, it does raise the interesting question of is this the beginning of the end for the traditional business website?

Live streaming

Streaming live video has become a growing trend, with apps like Meerkat, Twitch and Periscope appearing more frequently on our smart phones. Even mainstream social apps like Facebook have adopted their own live streaming features, and users are beginning to demand new ‘in-the-moment’ content, rather than pre-scheduled.

This could put a heavy burden on businesses large and small. Even large organisations, like Red Bull and Home Depot in the States, who rely heavily on video content to engage with their consumers, will be challenged to come up with genuinely engaging ‘in-the-moment’ content. It will be particularly interesting to see how video leader, YouTube, will respond to the growing trend, with their platform currently set up to deliver pre-recorded rather than live video.

Live streaming also offers opportunities for SMEs looking for closer engagement with their target audiences. It is important that marketers in smaller businesses don’t discount this exciting medium. It is not all about the big brands!

Mobile usage

Mobile messaging apps are beginning to transform the way consumers interact with brands, and Facebook is once again at the forefront of this trend. In March 2015, Facebook announced their partnership with Dutch airline KLM, giving KLM passengers the ability to access booking confirmations and boarding passes via their smartphone.

The practice of carrying out transactions through messaging apps is already expanding in China, where consumers are moving rapidly towards mobile purchasing, and away from online purchasing. The rapid rise of mobile purchasing will force businesses that offer an online-only service to adapt and evolve.

The dramatic growth of mobile usage and the rise of the smartphone is heralding the slow demise of traditional PCs and computers. For a long time, laptops and desktops were the preferred choice of consumers for researching and purchasing, but now the tables have turned. With the advent of 4G and Wi-Fi becoming ever more ubiquitous, amongst us in shops, cafes, restaurants and even banks, smartphones are becoming our primary means of running our lives. From a content marketers perspective, ensuring your content can be easily accessed on a mobile device is now a must.

If you are involved in content marketing and aren’t considering the impact of these and other technological developments on your strategy, you’ll be missing out on some very exciting opportunities.

#MarketingTitbits – 2016 Business Trends, 10 New Year’s Resolutions, #Twitter10K

trends-resolutions-twitter1. 2016 trends: what will impact your business this year
New Year, new business? Marketing Week has put together a list of key issues to keep an eye out for in 2016. Other than pricing, will brands find something new to go to war on?

Mobile messaging is about to transform the way consumers interact with brands. Not only will this be for customer service issues, but also to manage appointments and make bookings. Hitting the #2 spot is mobile-friendly apps, where the UK will see the launch of Atom Bank – the first mobile-only bank. Same-day delivery services will also be top priority for businesses.

To view the 2016 trends in full, click here.

2. 10 New Year’s Resolutions entrepreneurs should make every year

Have you still kept to your New Year’s resolutions? If you are guilty of making unreasonable and unrealistic New Year’s resolutions, this could be for you. New goals being set at the beginning of each year can be a valuable assist in determining long-term success for businesses, and is something that entrepreneurs should consider seriously.

One of the top resolutions that every entrepreneur should make, is to commit to understanding one’s finances better, meaning familiarising oneself with accounting basics better. Being able to effectively run a business is an exhausting job; therefore improving health is another vital resolution. Keeping up on current events can also be important when looking to open conversations and build new relationships.

Were any of these on your list? If you’d like to see the full list, click here.

3. #Twitter1K: possibility of 10,000 character limit creates big buzz

As you probably already know, Twitter has some big changes in store for this year, and it’s created a huge buzz. Having to change words such as “you” to “u” will no longer be an issue, as there’s a strong possibility that the character limit will be extended.

In response to the proposed changes, many have shared their thoughts by using the hashtag #Twitter10K. Stephen Murdoch, Vice President at Enterprise Canada, shared “#Twitter10K. If someone can’t articulate their thoughts in 140 characters, it’s probably not worth reading”. On the other hand, Danny Gonzalez asks, “Why don’t people want the character limit to increase? I think it’s awesome. #Twitter10K”. What do you think and what will it do to Twitter’s appeal?

See what others thought by clicking here.

#MarketingTitbits – Marketing CEOs, Business Books, Dulux Reality App

ceo-books-dulux1. Over 20% of FTSE 100 CEOs now come from a marketing background
British companies are gradually becoming marketing experts when it comes to filling the top job, as 21% of all FTSE 100 CEOs now come from a sales or marketing background. The UK’s tendency to employ former marketers is far greater than international companies, where only 10% of CEOs are former marketers.

Over the last few years, Tesco has led the way here and in July 2014 they appointed former Unilever marketer Dave Lewis – who was responsible for Dove’s ‘Real Beauty’ campaigns – to help rescue their dwindling sales and profits.

There are plenty more examples, so click here to view the full list of marketer CEOs.

2. 5 books to read before starting your business

Starting up a new company can be a tricky business, and there are many factors which need to be considered. With 80% of businesses failing within the first couple of years, it’s important for budding entrepreneurs to prepare as much as possible in advance, and with so many business books out there now, reading has got to be the place to start.

Building a business can be a daunting task, and Ken Dunn from Entrepreneur has shared his 5 top books to read before entering on the challenging journey. The Founder’s Dilemmas is a particular favourite, a book that focuses on helping entrepreneurs reduce the risk of mistakes.

To see the full top 5 list, click here.

3. Dulux puts augmented reality app at the heart of e-commerce plans

Dulux is investing heavily in its app with a view to helping shape how decorators – both amateur and professional –use their mobile device to improve their home.

Key new features include the ability to sync up a user’s virtual scrapbook on the Dulux site, the ability to buy testers from the new app and perhaps most interestingly, an augmented reality feature that allows users to view how a room will look if painted a particular colour, through the camera on their device.

Click here to view the new Dulux updates

Blow Away those Marketing Cob Webs and Get Your Marketing in Order for 2016

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TLC Business have teamed up with renowned inspirational speaker Simon Harmer and his company Blown Away, to deliver an insightful and inspirational working-lunch session for businesses who are looking to get better results from their marketing in 2016.

Not only will the session include marketing tips, cheats and ideas, but it will give you an insight into marketing trends for 2016, provide advice on how to get the biggest bang for your marketing buck, and inspiration to actually make those necessary marketing changes for 2016.

So when is it? The FREE session will be held on the 25th November 2015 at The Mayflower Theatre in Southampton, between 12-2pm. As well as this, the networking session will include lunch and two presentations.

We guarantee you’ll leave with lots of fresh ideas and feeling motivated to put them into action. Places are limited, so reserve your seat now to avoid disappointment. To reserve your ticket, click here.

#MarketingTitbits – Innovative Entrepreneurs, British Brands, Facebook Emojis

innovation-british-emojis1. 10 traits of the most innovative entrepreneurs
Entrepreneurship fits perfectly with innovation – producing new ideas, providing better solutions and pioneering new products. The most successful entrepreneurs aren’t just the hardest working, but the most innovative too.

If entrepreneurs aren’t flexing their innovative muscles, then success and breakthroughs are difficult to achieve. Innovation is becoming more and more important to brands as markets are becoming more demanding. To this end, Entrepreneur have put together 10 ways to be more innovative, to help get you innovating.

If you want to learn how to be more innovative, click here.

2. 32 classically ‘British’ brands that aren’t actually British

British brands are recognised all over the world for their authenticity and quality; however, these days many are now not owned by British firms or individuals. Many think that Harrods is a quintessentially British brand, but previous owner, the enigmatic Egyptian Mohamed Al Fayed sold it to Qatar Holdings, who currently own it.

HP is the most British brand around, and has been for quite some time. It has been the most popular sauce in the Houses of Parliament; nevertheless it is now owned by Americans – purchased by Heinz in 2005.

To see the 32 iconic ‘British’ brands – no longer british-owned, click here.

3. What Facebook’s new emojis mean for marketers

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last through years, the chances are you will have used an Emoji or two to compliment a post or message. Finally bowing to pressure to introduce a ‘dislike’ function, Facebook have turned to the Emoji to satisfy a demand amongst Facebook users to convey more than a ‘thumbs up’ in response to a Facebook post. The new feature on the platform will enable users to reply to a post with one of 5 emojis: Love, Yay, Wow, Sad and Angry.

The new emoticons provide brands with a real opportunity to encourage their users to reply with a feeling or emotion, rather than just a like, comment or share. Facebook are always looking for ways to improve their user’s experience, and this new feature will be ranked as a major update to the platform.

Click here for more information.

#MarketingTitbits – Volkswagen Crisis, Must-Read Books, Mission Statements

volkswagen-books-statement1. Social media and crisis management: a Volkswagen case study
The Volkswagen emissions scandal has raised many questions – but what has happened to their social media activity? On Friday 18th September, Volkswagen sensibly stopped posting to Facebook and Twitter after the emissions scandal broke out in the US, but they can’t hide forever!

The accounts were dark and gloomy for a whole week until a statement was posted from Michael Horn, the US CEO. The silence from Volkswagen, as you would expect, didn’t stop consumers having their say on the scandel.

To see more on how Volkswagen handled the crisis, click here.

2. The entrepreneur’s ultimate list of 8 must-read books

Business owners, entrepreneurs and business leaders know there are no shortage of business, entrepreneurial and leadership-related books out there on the market, but with time so precious, what should we be reading?  To help direct our attention on the best books out there at the moment, the good people at Amazon have compiled ‘The Entrepreneur’s Ultimate List of 8 Must-Read Books’.

There are some old favourites on there like The E-Myth Revisited by Michael Gerber. As well as others we haven’t read yet.

To view the list, click here.

3. Infographic: the 24 most inspirational company mission statements

There is much debate about the importance of a mission statement. Done well they are a very clear and succinct way of communicating the purpose of a business and a means of keeping in focus why it exists. Done badly and they represent just a series of nice sounding statements that bear no relation to the actual day to day running of a business or organisation.

The insurance company Unum have collected 24 ‘inspirational’ mission statements from some of the world’s biggest brands, including Nike, Google and Ikea.

To find out what they are, along with the full list, click here.

#MarketingTitbits – Favourite TV Ads, Flash Ads, Visual Evolution

tvads-google-social media1. #60YearsTVAds: vote for your favourite TV ad of all time
The 60th anniversary of the first TV ad shown in the UK is approaching us, and over the past few weeks Marketing Magazine has asked for nominations for the best TV ads of all time. Their social media followers have been suggesting a long list of their favourite ads for weeks, and now it’s been whittled down to just 25.

Iconic adverts from Cadburys, John Lewis and Compare the Market have all been nominated by the public, but what are your thoughts?

To vote for your favourite TV ad of all time, click here.

2. Brands ‘caught by surprise’ as Google turns off Flash ads

Google surprised many brands last week as they decided to turn off Flash ads. This change means interactive digital ads that use Adobe’s Flash technology will no longer play automatically. Google’s alternative to this now features an empty grey box with a “play” button that has to be clicked for the advert to start.

It’s believed that this decision had been made to help speed up web browsing and save battery life. But could the move be linked to security problems? It’s well known that hackers have previously used Flash to create malicious ads to steal data and harm devices, and also follows on from Firefox’s decision to block Flash earlier in the year.

Click here for more information.

3. How the visual evolution of social media has affected brands

With images and videos being posted more and more on social media, brands are trying to find ways to keep up with their visual media. Social media involves a lot of time and money, but with visual content on the rise, brands simply can’t stand out without being creative.

The visual nature of social media has affected brands in many ways. Econsultancy has put together 5 ways brands can improve their awareness through photography, digital technology and creativity, but will this stay the same for the new generation of social media savvy youth?

Click here to see how social media has affected brands.

#MarketingTitbits – Rugby World Cup, Snapchat Campaigns, Logo Colour Swap

rugby-snapchat-colour 21. A marketer’s essential guide to the Rugby World Cup
The Rugby World Cup, taking place in England and Wales this year, is regarded as one of the biggest sporting spectacles on the planet. This year, the tournament is predicted to have 20,000 hours of broadcast coverage, making it potentially the most commercially lucrative to date.

So what does this mean for marketers? Newspaper group Trinity Mirror believes the Rugby World Cup presents vast opportunities for advertisers to reach the UK population. Research shows that 66% of us plan to follow the tournament this year, providing a massive opportunity for marketers to showcase their brand!

The tournament is fast approaching, so click here to find out more about making the most of the marketing opportunities it will generate.

2. Five seriously creative Snapchat campaigns and their results

Social media has proven to be an effective marketing platform; however many marketers still aren’t using it to its full potential. Snapchat may not seem like an obvious choice for some marketers, but some of the most successful brands are using the platform to run intriguing and effective campaigns.

Brands such as McDonald’s and Calvin Klein have excelled with their targeted campaigns, all with the help of Snapchat. Calvin Klein developed a campaign whereby celebrities were asked to produce selfies and share on Snapchat. The impact was considerable, with Calvin Klein experiencing 140,000 content views and a 15% increase in Snapchat engagement.

Click here to find out more about 5 effective Snapchat campaigns.

3. Here’s what 22 famous logos would look like if they swapped colours

We already know that simplicity is often key to a successful logo. Likewise, if you’ve spent hours agonising over colour combinations, you’ll appreciate the importance of getting the balance right? A Brazilian graphic designer, Paúla Rupolo, recently experimented with swapping brand logo colours with one of their competitors, and the results have been brought to us by AdWeek.

Click here to see what the impact is of switching the brand colours of Sprite and 7UP, Real Madrid and Barcelona, UPS and Fedex, Amazon and Ebay and more.