WEBSITE DESIGN & ONLINE MARKETING

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4 ways to keep your customers coming back!

Written by Sarah Gleeson on August 12th, 2013.      0 comments

Like most people, I am a creature of habit. I enjoy spending my money with companies which I know have exactly what I need. However, I am also at times forgetful, I know I loved a product, but will forget where I got it from. Part of optimising your website is having the ability to effectively drive business back to your website. Attracting a new customer costs five times as much as retaining an old one, but how do you hold onto them?

Here are some of my ideas for getting those customers clicking back to your website.

1. Coupons
These are a great way to get people coming back. This coupon may only last  3 months (or whichever time period you choose), but it serves its purpose of reminding customers that you are there. Consider the last time that you received a coupon; you probably printed it off and put it in your wallet or on the fridge for safe keeping. Then the next time you wanted that new hammer, or kids t shirt, you were reminded that you already had a helping hand and went straight back to the same website.

2. Deals after purchase
I was recently buying a present for a friend online. One day after the transaction, I was offered a discount on limited items within a small time frame. As I had only recently opened my virtual wallet, spending some more money at a discounted rate did not seem like a bad idea. The new deals had me thinking if there was another birthday coming up, so I had a good look and found a small gift for a birthday a month later. This is another way of getting repeat business, by offering customers new deals right now.

3. Birthday emails and vouchers
Birthday emails are a great way to nudge customers back to you, at a time when they are feeling particularly generous with their money. By gathering a customer’s information at the checkout, you are now able to add them to your email marketing database. Simply wish them a Happy Birthday, or even better, attach a small gift voucher. In doing this, you are reminding customers you stock products they like and have bought. You never know, you may be the only one who remembered their big day!

4. Post purchase emails
Think about the last time you went on a shopping binge, or bought a large gift; you probably felt a little guilty afterwards. This is problematic for online retailers because you do not want your customer to associate that feeling with you! Post purchase emails solve that problem. Send your customers product reviews, these  lower that negative feeling, by showing customers that other people just like them, have bought and loved their purchase. Encourage them to write a review too! Not only that, but thank them for their purchase, and loyalty; you can never have enough positive thoughts about your company.

 

Want help

 

Subject Lines - The Key to Email Marketing Success

Written by Emily Wilson on May 14th, 2012.      0 comments

Email marketing is a great cost-effective way to get your message out to your clients. But there is no point in spending time building a database, creating a special offer or filling your newsletter with enticing pieces of information if no one reads your message.

That is where the all-important subject line comes into play. You need to craft your subject line. It needs to stand out from the clutter of the inbox; while still being relevant to the message in the email. Many a marketer has tried to use a trick subject line to increase their open rate; but with spam filters hot on the heels of unsolicited mail, you may find that your message goes directly to the trash bin.

To avoid this you want to consider making your subject line useful and valuable to your reader. This means you will have to know your target market. Like a trailer to a movie, be specific about what is coming in the feature: the email message. What you have said in your message should be interesting, so make sure your subject line reflects this. Your reader is often time-poor so you should create a sense of urgency so they feel compelled to read your message now. However if every message is perceived as urgent: none will be. So use urgency with care.

Beyond subject lines; the key to good email marketing is building a relationship with your customers. You need to earn their trust. They should know that what you provide is good content, exclusive offers or whatever they have signed up for. If you emails are constantly about selling your product and offering no other value you will soon have a long list of unsubscribes.

Over time, the most compelling thing about an email message should be that it’s from you. Even before they read your subject line, your recipient needs to know at a glance that you’re a trusted source. Some email marketers choose to put the same identifier in the subject line every email, for example [Zeald] Top tips for crafting subject lines. This can both help and hinder your message, as some people will set up a rule filtering you into another folder where your message will go unread and unheard.

Be mindful of trigger words. These are the words that prompt a spam filter to put you in the trash can. Below is a list of words that often set the spam filter off, however if you use some of the words sparingly, not paired together, not all in CAPITALS and your message is content rich then it is ok to use them in your subject line.
 
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With that said is there a secret formula to subject lines? It may sound simple but subject lines have to ultimately describe the subject of your email. You will often find that the simplest subjects such as May Newsletter, will win every time, over Get a free offer inside. When it comes to email marketing, the best subject lines tell what's inside, and the worst subject lines sell what's inside.

Topics: Email Marketing
 

Using email marketing to promote your Website

Written by David Kelly on May 3rd, 2011.      0 comments

Email marketing is an extremely powerful website promotional tool. It is one-to-one direct marketing that is personalised, with well-defined targets, where the results are instant, accurate and easy-to-understand.

So as you can imagine, many companies and individuals have started sending out promotional emails to every email address they can find. Just about everyone hates unsolicited email- or SPAM. Many people have associated email marketing with SPAM, but it is important to understand that not all email marketing is SPAM.

It is possible to use email marketing legitimately, without fear of being banned by your Internet Service Provider (ISP). For instance, people who have agreed to receive promotions from you, and where there is a facility for them to request they don’t wish to receive another message from your company, is perfectly fine. This is called ‘opt-in’ email marketing.


An important website rule is:

Get your visitor’s email address whenever you can!


Once you have a visitor’s email address you can encourage them to return time and again to order from you, for little or no extra cost.

 

Text/HTML

The first thing you need to understand before creating and sending email promotions is the difference between text and HTML emails.

They look different– text-based emails are written in plain text (type)– they do not contain any formatting. You cannot bold or underline anything or change the font in a text-based email.

HTML emails, on the other hand, are written using a markup language, which resides in the backend code of the message. This allows you to use an array of ‘formats’ (typeset/design) in your email.

Text or HTML… which is better?

Some people advocate text-based emails, because they are quick to download by the recipient, are reliable for displaying correctly and do not carry ‘viruses’ or ‘worms’ that may be embedded in the code of an HTML email.

Those who advocate HTML-based emails prefer them for their ‘attractive’ qualities and readability. Most email viewers can display text or HTML-based email perfectly.

Some people argue that email marketers get better results using text-based emails and some people argue the other way. The results differ, depending on your ‘opt-in’ email list.

Test both types of emails and monitor the results. For example, send plain text messages to half your list and HTML email to the other half. Then compare the results. Whatever works best– use it!

 

Segmentation

One of the keys to any successful email marketing campaign is the targeting of your promotions. You can target your promotions by segmenting your customer database as much as possible. Break your customer lists down into groups. You may want to ‘segment’ your customer database based on characteristics such as:

  • Existing customers versus prospects
  • Customers based on geographical location
  • Existing customers– segmented by the products they have bought
  • Age
  • Sex (male/female)

Once you have your customers segmented you can then target your promotions at those segments at will. For example, if you are writing a promotion for your existing customers, you may concentrate on certain value-added cross-sells, or up-sells, that you have on offer. A promotion aimed at new members may promote a new member offer.

 

Personalisation

Just as in other forms of direct marketing, one of the interesting areas of email marketing is personalisation. In general, the more personalised an email is, the higher your success rate will be.

Remember, the most incredible ‘sound’, with the most impact on any person, is the sound of their name. Good email marketing packages will allow you to heavily personalise your emails. Some of the most common things that you will want to use to personalise your emails are:

  • First name
  • Last name
  • Address
  • City or location
  • Last product or service purchased
  • Date of last purchase
  • Most common product category of purchase


Depending on the abilities of your email marketing program, any information you have collected about a prospect can be used to personalize your email promotions to them.

Find Out How to Create an Email Marketing Campaign

 

How to Create an Email Marketing Campaign

Written by David Kelly on April 27th, 2011.      0 comments

In The Benefits of Long Sales Copy on your Website we covered the merits of long copy versus short copy, and how long copy usually outsells short copy. With email promotions, you need to perform more of a balancing act.

Email promotions should be ‘to-the-point’ and not long-winded. Your email promotions should say just enough to get the purpose of your communication across. Remember, your customer’s email inbox is getting busier and busier. Your customers will soon know whether you get to the point in your emails, or bury your message in unnecessary paragraphs or pages of hyperbole.

Email promotions that get to the point are far more likely to be of interest to your readers on an ongoing basis. Your recipients will open and read your email if they know they are going to be able to quickly satisfy their curiosity.

However, your emails still need to be written in a warm, friendly and personable way. Give your regular email promotions their own “voice” and character (which should not be too removed from your brand’s personality). Make them easy for your customers to relate to. Email is a very personal medium and a personable approach to email always works best. Remember, one-to-one!

Email promotion components:

  • From line
  • Subject
  • Headline
  • Greeting
  • Opening hook
  • Call to actions
  • Body
  • Sign-off
  • Signature
  • Opt-out information

 

From line

The ‘From’ line is the most important part of the entire email, and despite what some email marketers think, the ‘From’ line is even more important than the ‘subject’ line. If you think about when you are scanning the new email messages in your own inbox, you would usually run your eye down the ‘From’ column, first seeing if you recognise the people your messages are from.

So when you set the ‘From’ line in your email promotions, use something people recognise. If your recipients will recognise your individual name, then use your name. But if it is your company name that they are more likely to recognize, use that. You can even use a combination of both – e.g., “David Kelly – Zeald”. Personalise and perfect it; perhaps use the word ‘team’ in your ‘From’ line; for example– ‘The Zeald Team’.

 

Subject lines

The second most important part of your email is the ‘Subject’ line. It should capture the attention of your reader and draw them into opening your email. The ‘Subject’ line of an email is similar to an advertising headline, except it needs to be more ‘real’. It won’t be as ‘hard-sell’ as an advertisement headline typically is. Remember, just about everyone hates SPAM, so make sure your ‘Subject’ line does not look like a SPAM message, otherwise it will be deleted, or worse still, it won’t even arrive in your customer’s inbox (thanks to Spam filters). Make sure you go easy on CAPITAL letters too, as they can look tacky and Spam-like. Your ‘Subject’ line should be short, friendly and to the point.


Some common themes for subject lines:

  • Sell a major benefit
  • Offer a solution to a problem
  • Ask a question
  • Make an announcement


Personalise your 'Subject' line by using your customer’s name. This will often drastically improve your results.

As always make sure you test and measure everything– results always speak for themselves– so do what works!

 

Headline

You may decide to start your emails with a headline. You can use all the techniques for these headlines that we outlined earlier in the ‘Load’ module.

 

Greeting

Personalise your greeting as much as possible. Use the recipient’s name. You may decide to use either an informal and friendly greeting (“Hi David”), or be more formal (“Dear Mr. David Kelly”). It is generally accepted that informal and friendly works best when writing emails. Consider using phrases like, “Good morning/afternoon/evening/”, as these have a nice, warm feel to them, and indicate a degree of familiarity.

 

Opening hook

Your ‘opening hook’ is what should hook your reader into your email. Make it clear right up-front what you are writing to them about and explaining why they should read the rest of your email. Remember, they will be thinking – “So what’s in it for me” (WIIFM)? Show the reader what they will get out of reading your email.

 

Call to action

This is when you state exactly what you want your prospect to do. In an email promotion it is important to include a ‘call to action’ very early in your message. This gives a recipient the opportunity to respond immediately without reading through the rest of the email. In this initial ‘call to action’ you should not use ‘hard sell’– merely point them in the direction they can go if they are interested in your offer.

You should look to include your call to action throughout your message. But the first ‘call-to-action’ should be very ‘soft’ and your final call-to-action will be the complete opposite, almost with a sense of urgency. Summarise the main benefits for responding to your ‘call-to-action’, and then state exactly what you want them to do.

 

The body

The body is the main part of your promotional message. Make sure you focus on the benefits you are offering. It must be obvious what’s in it for them. Use bullets to outline the benefits clearly. Your body should be around two to four paragraphs at the most. Use short, punchy paragraphs and include lots of white space around the paragraphs.

 

Sign-off

Use a friendly sign-off such as:

  • Best regards
  • All the best!
  • Take care
  • Yours faithfully (more formal)

Signatures

Email signatures are extremely powerful, and are highly under-rated marketing tools. The next section looks at email signatures in detail.

 

Opt-out information

Don’t forget to include your opt-out information at the end of your email. This information gives your recipient the ability to opt-out from receiving further communications from you. It also shows you have their best interests at heart- that you listen to your customers!

Most email marketing programs will automatically include this information at the end of all emails you send.

 

Formatting

When communicating by HTML email, there are a number of formatting options that will help make your writing more interesting:

 

Fonts

Make sure you use a black font on a white background– anything else is very difficult to read. Do not use a ‘fancy’ font. Generally, Serif fonts are used for print and Sans-serif fonts are used for computer screens. The most common Serif font is Times New Roman. Common Sans-serif fonts are Arial and Verdana.

 

Emphasis

Use bold, italics, underlines and font colours for emphasis, but use them sparingly. Tables and borders can be used to frame specific sections of text that you want to emphasise. Always use emphasis to drive-home your critical points.

 

Lots of white space

Use lots of white space– this makes everything easier to read and is generally more attractive to the eye.

 

Vary paragraph lengths

Vary the length of your paragraphs as well– this keeps things interesting. Make sure your sentences are not wider than 55-60 characters across the page– more than this is difficult to read.

 

Graphics

Only include a graphic or illustration if it is relevant and supports your message. Graphics, for the sake of graphics, are a waste of time as they increase the size of the email and take longer to load. Your recipient might get tired of waiting and hit the delete key.


If you use plain-text email, formatting will be almost non-existent. Again, make sure you use lots of white space and keep paragraph lengths really short. Make sure your sentences don’t exceed 55-60 characters across the page– more than this is difficult to read. Use capitals (sparingly) for emphasis only.


And finally - don’t forget to use your spell checker!

 


 

Zeald Example Email Marketing Campaign


OK, let’s try putting everything together, by writing an email promotion to be sent to the Zeald customer base.

Zeald has a new product called ‘Zeald Email Marketing’. This module plugs into the Zeald Website Adminstration Software and allows the merchant to send email promotions to their ‘opt-in’ email database, as well as to track and measure their results.

In this section we will draft an email promotion that can be sent to the Zeald customer-base, promoting the new Email Marketing module.


From Line: David Kelly – Zeald


Subject: New Product Launch – Low-Cost Email Promotion

 

[Element #1 - Headline Start]

Do you collect your customer’s email address? If ‘yes’, you could be using email as an extremely low-cost way of advertising and promoting your company’s products and services to your customers.

[Element #1 - Headline End]

 

[Element #2 - Greeting]

Good afternoon [Customer First Name],

[Element #2 - Greeting End]

[Element #3 – Opening Hook]

You have probably heard of email marketing. Many people have been talking about the power of email and how you can use it to send out monthly, or even weekly, promotions to your customer database, for little or no cost!

[Element #3 – Opening Hook End]

 

[Element #4 – Call to Action (soft)]

The great news is that Zeald has just released a new module for the Zeald E-business Suite. It is called ‘Zeald Email Marketing’ (creative huh!). Jump straight to all the details.

[Element #4 – Call to Action (soft) End]

 

[Element #5 – The Body]

The one question I always have when using any form of marketing or promotion is – can I measure the results? Otherwise– how do I know that the latest marketing or promotional tip is not just the latest craze or buzz? I need to know if it has made a positive impact on my bottom line? If you can’t measure your results then you should probably not bother doing it– especially if you have a tight advertising budget.


The great thing about the new Zeald Email Marketing module (in my humble opinion) is that everything can be tracked and measured. You can measure:

  • how many people have read your email promotion
  • how many people clicked on your promotional offer
  • how many people purchased a promotional item
  • what the total value of the purchases were.


This means that you can run email promotions and continually improve them by measuring their results. But ultimately, you can work out whether it is worth going to all the time and effort with an email promotion in the first place.

[Element #5 – The Body End]

 

[Element #5 – Call to Action (close)]

[Customer First Name], many organisations are using email marketing to generate great advertising and marketing results, and now you have access to an excellent email marketing tool that is completely tied-in to your website. Find out more about the Zeald Email Marketing module and sign-up for a FREE test drive.

[Element #5 – Call to Action (close) End]

 

[Element #5 – Sign Off]

All the best with your future endeavours!


With regards,

[Element #5 – Sign Off End]
[Element #6 – Signature]

David Kelly

CEO – Zeald


Zeald E-business Hotline

Your 9am – 5pm access to a Zeald Internet consultant.

If you have any questions or concerns, please call 0800 72 55 23.

We would love to be of assistance!


---

Zeald – “Websites that Work!”

E-Centre

PO Box 102-904

North Shore Mail Centre

Auckland

New Zealand


Ph: +64 9 415 7575

Fax: +64 9 443 9794

Mbl: (NZ) 021 434 105

Web: www.zeald.com

[Element #6 – Signature End]

 

[Element #6 – Opt Out Information]

I no longer wish to receive promotional communications from Zeald.

[Element #6 – Opt Out Information End]
 

 


 

Promotional Signatures


Email signatures are one of the most highly ‘under-rated’ marketing tools on the Internet. Your email signature should appear at the bottom of every email that you send. Most signatures contain the sender’s contact details, but why not make your signature a small advertisement? This advertisement goes out to every single person you ever send an email to. These small signatures can have a huge impact on your website’s success and your bottom line!


So how do we write a great email signature?

The first key, as always, is ‘know your target customer’. If you don’t know this by now, then you have a problem. What are your target customer’s goals? What do they want to achieve? What need do they want to satisfy?

Your email signature should be based around a great headline that will grab your target customer’s attention. It should focus on the strongest benefits that fit into your target customer’s goals, problems or needs. Use your unique selling proposition (USP) as the basis for the majority of your signatures.

Straight after your headline should be the ‘call-to-action’. Your ‘call-to-action’ should be completely focused on getting your target customer to click-through to your website, where you can hit him/her with your full sales copy… or alternatively, to call you on the phone.

It is absolutely vital that you have a number of different email signatures. Email signatures are generally not a ‘one size fits all’ solution. Think about it– you don’t want to send an email to an existing customer with a signature that promotes a product that they have already bought from you. Instead, you would present a signature that focuses on providing them with the information they need to obtain customer service, support, or up-selling them to other products and services you offer.

For the sake of simplicity let’s focus on a ‘signature’ that promotes your core product. Let’s look at the headline and opening hook that we used in the ‘Load’ module:


---

STOP! Is Your Website Delivering Amazing RESULTS?


Many websites are a complete waste of time and money because they don’t deliver results! BUT if you have a good product or service, it is possible to produce a website that generates excellent results; a website that sells!

---


This can be used as the basis for a promotional signature. In the following way:

---

David Kelly

CEO – Zeald


Is Your Business Website Delivering Amazing RESULTS?

Your business website should make sales or generate enquiries for your products or services. Is Yours?

If not… it will be because of one of three simple reasons.

Visit our website or call 0800 72 55 23 to find out why.


---

Zeald – “Websites that Work!”

E-Centre

PO Box 102-904

North Shore Mail Centre

Auckland

New Zealand


Ph: +64 9 415 7575

Fax: +64 9 443 9794

Mbl: (NZ) 021 434 105

Web: www.zeald.com

 

As with all promotional writing, you will want to review and sharpen your signature until it is perfect.

 


 

Tracking & Measuring


Finally, you need to track and measure your email marketing results. The basic figures that you will want to track are:

  • Impressions – the number of people that your email was sent to
  • Click-throughs – the amount of click-throughs to your website that you received from your emails
  • Conversion rate (visitors) – the percentage of click-through visitors that placed an order, or made an enquiry
  • Enquiries/Orders – the number of enquiries or orders placed by visitors, generated by your email.


Most good email marketing systems will provide you with the facilities to track and measure impressions and click-throughs. Unless the email marketing system is completely integrated with your website, it will not be able to measure the conversion rate and enquiries… or orders. The Zeald Email Marketing Manager measures all these key metrics including the exact value of the purchases made.


If you are interested in using email marketing to promote your organisation talk to your E-Business Consultant or the Support Team about the Email Marketing Manager.

 

The Importance of Sending Order Confirmation Emails from Your Website

Written by David Kelly on April 20th, 2011.      0 comments

As soon as a customer confirms an order on your website, a confirmation email is automatically sent to them. Order confirmation emails are extremely important as they further reinforce your credibility and professionalism.


The natural tendency for many customers, after making an order, is to be plagued with fears and doubts; i.e., “I hope I did the right thing buying that”; “I hope my order arrives”, and so on. This well-recognised condition is called ‘buyer’s remorse’, and is very common.


The order confirmation email can be structured to help alleviate ‘buyer’s remorse’. Thank the customer for their order and inform them about the delivery process from this point forward. Remind them of your guarantee and provide them with contact details should there be any queries or concerns.

Topics: Email Marketing
 
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About Zeald

Zeald was formed in 2001 by three young guys from the small New Zealand town of Mangawhai Heads. Now, Zeald is the largest website design and digital marketing agency in New Zealand and has recently made moves into Australia. This is the Zeald story …

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