Useful Twitter Tools

Twitter is rapidly breaking out of the realms of news & celeb gossip, and becoming a valuable marketing tool in the real world. If you are in consumer markets, then twitter is already a must have part of your marketing mix, and its use in Business to Business marketing is rapidly on the increase. This said, knowing what to tweet and keeping track of your twitter activity can become tricky. With this in mind, here are 2free tools that may help. HootSuite Hootsuite allows you to manage all your social media activity in one place. One very useful feature is the ability to schedule activity, so rather than having to tweet regularly throughout the day, you can write all the tweets at once and then schedule them to go out over time. This means that simply by dedicating a short time to this each day, you can keep your tweet stream flowing. Again HootSuite is free and can be found here Links Alpha This is another tool that facilitates your social Network posts. Available as a standalone tool at www.linksalpha.com, or as a plugin for WordPress, it allows you to make your posts in one place, and then distribute them automatically out to your chosen social networks. We use this system to distribute our blog posts to Twitter and LinkedIn. So join us on any of these social networks and you can keep up to date on our blog posts. You can also keep up to date by signing up to our Marketing Matters newsletter via the form on the right of this page.

The Growth of the Mobile Internet

When you look at any technology news you can hardly fail to notice the massive growth in smartphones and tablet PCs, led at present by Apple with the iPhone and iPad. The fact that mobile browsing of websites is on the increase should not come as a surprise, and preparing your website for this kind of traffic is something to consider especially those of you with ecommerce sites. This recent post on the eConsultancy blog, suggests that 32% of browsers visiting ecommerce sites in the runup to Christmas were using a mobile browser. Our own figures suggest this may be on the high side (analysis of sites run by BSA Marketing suggest the figure is closer to 10% for ecommerce sites and 5% for non ecommerce), but with growth rates over the past 12 months in excess of 200% this a significant figure and growing fast. To make effective changes to support mobile browsing need not be expensive to implement. If your site includes a WordPress blog it is a simple matter of adding a plugin and a mobile theme.Optimising e-commerce sites, is usually not much more complex. If you would like to talk through the options then give us a call.

Writing Good Email Copy

Although I would not recommend recycling traditional direct mail copy as the Internet is a completely new medium, the fundamentals of selling are still the same. For this reason, I still think it is worth noting the principals regarding writing a good sales letter, and thus would recommend looking at this paper on our website: How to write good marketing letters This said, there are a number of other things to consider when writing email copy. Here are what I consider the top 10:

  1. The subject is the headline.

    Write a succinct subject “headline” – three to five words. Your subject determines whether your email gets read or not. Tricky headlines (not related to your message) don’t work. Internet users are smart and they know exactly what they want. They resent being tricked. It’s a tough way to start a relationship. The subject line is the door opener, so use those 3-5 words to grab the reader’s attention.

  2. Make it personal.

    It’s good to let people know that you are interested in them as an individual, and can relate to their situation, so as a minimum use a personal salutation as an opener (eg Hi John rather than Hi There or Dear subscriber). Also, use whatever you know about them to personalise the message. If they have bought from you before, or made an enquiry but not bought make reference to that. Good emailing systems will allow you to merge text specific to an individual from your email database, so use that facility.

  3. Get to the point.

    Keep it short and simple. Don’t drone on and on for several paragraphs…or pages. People on the Internet want information quickly and clearly. Paragraphs should be no more than four to six lines. Keep total length under 300 words. And remember, unlike traditional mail, you don’t have to cover everything in the email. Keep the email punchy & to the point then use ‘read more’ links through to your website. This way you can track what people are interested in.

  4. Give them an incentive to act.

    Provide a reason to buy or act NOW. People on the Internet tend to have short attention spans. They’re in a hurry. Give them a compelling reason to visit your site or buy NOW (limited-time offer, free trial, free shipping, contest, discount, etc.).

  5. Include a call to action.

    Tell people what you want them to do. Don’t leave them wondering what to do next. Point them to your “most desired action” Otherwise they may just surf around and forget what they’re trying to accomplish.

  6. Use your Web site.

    Drive people to your Web site. Don’t try to close the sale in the email. You want people to have (and ask) more questions. Questions require interaction, and interaction promotes relationships.One key purpose of your email should be to drive people to your website.

  7. Build relationships.

    Few (if any) customers worth having are interested in a “one night stand.” Have a long-term relationship objective in mind. Listen to your customers. Treat them like you’d like to be treated. Just because they don’t buy now, doesn’t mean they are not interested. Even if they don’t buy, your email should strengthen your relationship with them.

  8. Follow through.

    Do what you say. Put your hands and feet where your mouth is. If you make an offer, make sure you deliver. It’s an ever increasingly small world, remember.

  9. Give value

    People love to get something for nothing, so offering free information, advice or a promotional offer that will further engage with your audience can be a great option. However in doing this remember point 8. If you are not willing to follow through, don’t make the offer.

  10. Make it Sustainable

    Marketing is a process, and to be effective, an email campaign should be sustainable. There is little point in doing one-off email, so make your email process is ongoing. If it takes you a week to put together every email, you are not likely to be able to get them out regularly. This is one reason why Blogs & emails work so well together. If you regularly post interesting items to your blog, these can often be adapted as email copy.