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Marketing Basics: Your email signature…

Friday, May 22nd, 2009

…Showcasing your business in one paragraph (or thereabouts!)

Have a think…  How many emails do you send each day?  How many do you send a week?

at symbolThe number of emails you send out each day or each week equates to the same number of opportunities to generate a lead for your business.

It’s free, it’s easy and every time you send an email out you could be showcasing your business (or different aspects of it) to your contacts and potential customers.

Most emails I get now, have email signatures – so the tactic seems to have caught on.  But there is a right way and a wrong way to do it.  Here’s the RIGHT way (we don’t need to worry about the WRONG way because you’re not going to go off and do that are you?)

The Right Way

Include all your contact details. You might think that by sending an email that the recipient will know how to get in touch with you i.e. by just replying to your email or if they already have your business card.  Well yes, they do, but I cannot count the number of times I have opened up a recent email to get someone’s phone number to call them rather than having to look in my business card book or my online address book.

Including your contact details in every email you send out means that everyone who you communicate with can get in touch with you quickly and easily with the minimum of fuss, which means that they are more likely to make the effort!

Include your logo. This makes your email instantly recognisable amongst all the other emails that person might be receiving.  It also brightens up or livens up what might be a solid chunk of text.  you can choose to have your logo as the very first bit of your signature or a little further down.  Whichever you choose, make sure that the image you use isn’t too large so that it increases the size of each email you send out.

LinksLink to your website. You may think this comes under contact details and it does, but it is so important that I am going to mention it as a separate point. If you link to your website in your email signature, people are more likely to click on that link to have a look at what you do rather than open up a web browser; copy or remember your web address and put it into their address bar to see your site.  One click is much easier! Once on your website they can either ‘bounce’ straight off if you are not of interest to them or they can have a look around at what you do and may get in touch.

Give them a reason to want to know more or visit your site. This could be a client testimonial that is so fantastic that they just want to know more about you and will call you or go to your site.  It could be a special promotion you are running at the moment, by phone on or your website, or it could be a free report you are giving away when people sign up to your mailing list – again on your website.  All these things are designed to either get your recipient to go to your website and find out more about you or just give you a call.

Tailor your signature to suit your purpose. Your email signature is completely under your control and you can use it for whatever reason you want to.  This includes promoting an up and coming event you are holding or if you have some special news that you want to tell people about.  You can do both of these and more through your signature.  You can even create different signatures that promote different aspects of your business and use the relevant signature according to who you are mailing out to.

Red pencil and questionnaireGet it RIGHT!

Whatever you do make sure that when you put your email signature together that you check all the details, check any links you have included and test test test!  Send yourself an email with your new signature on it and keep checking until you get it right.

Well, that’s it for email signatures.  Now I know I am not telling you something you probably haven’t heard before, in fact some of this was told to me by someone else a few years ago, but the key thing here is to remember that your emails are not just a way to communicate with people.

Your emails are little pieces of marketing that are showcasing you and your business so why not take advantage of that and use it to its full potential?  If you keep this in mind and follow the points above, then you should be able to craft an email signature that is effective and polished.

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Marketing Basics: Your business card and what you SHOULD be doing with it!

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2009

business-cardWhen starting a business one of the first things everyone says they need is a business card.  But how many of us actually think about why we need one?

What do you really use your business card for?  Well, you can give it to people who you think might be interested in your business so that they can keep in touch with you.

But did you think that you can use your business card to actually encourage those people (or prospects) to “make that call”? (Or send you an email….?)

Yes your business card is a compact delivery method of your key company and contact info, but it is also a marketing tool.  You can use your business card to deliver one of your key marketing messages; to get people to visit your site and sign up to your mailing list; to purchase and/or download a (free) report from you; to refer you to other people they know or to come back to your business again for a discount.

Yes your little 95mm x 50mm piece of card (with TWO sides) can do all that!  Well, in that space it can certainly do one of the above as well as conveying your key company and contact information.

But first things first…..

When was the last time you updated your business card?

old-business-cardWas it when you started your business?  Was it when you moved house or office?  Was it more than a year ago? If so, have a think about getting your card redesigned and reprinted.  The design, if you have a logo in place, doesn’t have to take a huge amount of time and you should be able to get a redesign done in approximately 2 hours or so.

So you can see it doesn’t have to cost a fortune and it will be the ideal opportunity to refresh your business look as well as make your business card more effective.

Your card as marketing collateral

Have a think about what you could do, discount or give away to encourage people to call you, email, sign up to your list or refer you to others. Just be careful not to use anything time restricted or stock limited.  Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Discounts: Offer a discount on their next visit to your shop on production of the card or a discount on your website if they quote a reference on the card.
  • Referrals: Design your card so the recipient can put their name on it and their friend’s name on it, so they can claim their referral reward from you.
  • Giveaways: Promote your free report or ebook on your card along with a reference number they need to quote when claiming it from your website.

Note: using reference numbers on your promotional marketing collateral means that you can track where the lead or customer came from and specifically which piece of collateral, from which specific marketing activity, brought them to you.

Follow Up, Follow Up, Follow Up…

follow-upNow that you have thought of your marketing strategy for your business card, had it designed and printed and have started giving it away to all and sundry!  What do you do next?

What most people DON’T do when they give someone their business card is follow up.  In fact, most people who do any marketing for their business don’t follow up at all.  Following up is key and it is really simple.

When you meet someone at an event, a meeting, a networking gathering etc, and they ASK for your business card (key point: don’t force your card onto people – they won’t use it and you will have wasted another small portion of your marketing budget) all you have to do is:

FOLLOW UP!

It’s not hard.  When they ask and receive your card – ask for theirs back.  Make a little note on the card to follow up (and any other info that might be useful) and then all you have to do is either send them an email the next day or give them a quick call a couple of days later.

What do you say?

Just that it was nice to meet them, if you can be of any further help etc etc.  But the key thing?  Reiterate whatever it is your business card asks them to (sign up/refer and get a discount etc) and leave it there.

They will either get back to you or they won’t.  If they don’t you can choose to pursue them (I wouldn’t do this too much though) or you can call it a day.  I would suggest that an additional follow up by email with a reminder to sign up to your mailing list or whatever it is you want them to do is sufficient.  If you don’t hear anymore then fair enough.

But the point is that your business card is now working harder for you and your business.  You are using it properly as a marketing tool and it will contribute towards your overall lead generation.

If you want to talk about how to make changes to your business card or want some ideas on what you could do with it then feel free to get in touch.  You can email me on alex@justtoobusy.co.uk or you can call on 01932 219069 and ask for me.  I would be delighted to hear from you and to help if I can (and don’t worry – I don’t bite!).  :)

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