Entries from August 2010 ↓

Email Marketing – How Often Should I Email?

email marketing Email marketing is possibly the most important and effective marketing tool available to businesses today. It offers a way of regularly communicating with your customers to give them up to date information, telling them about new products and offers. Within seconds you can communicate with thousands of customers simultaneously – and that’s very powerful.

I have written numerous posts about email marketing in the past, such as:

How to build your email marketing list

Email marketing – Welcome

How to be an email spammer

How to become the King or Queen of email marketing

Consistent  email marketing

10 words that will make people open your email

Email marketing – When’s the best time to send?

Boost your email open rate

So this time I want to address a question I am frequently asked by clients…

How often should I email my customers?

As we all know life is rarely simple, so you can probably guess what my answer is going to be….it depends.

Not very helpful I know, but it really does depend on your business type. What’s right for one person isn’t necessarily going to be right for the next. You have to find the right balance for you. Take a good look at your business and the products or services you offer – the frequency of your emails will dependly largely on:

  • What you are offering your customers
  • Who your customers are
  • What you have to say

Common frequencies are quarterly, monthly, bi-monthly (i.e. once every two months), twice monthly, weekly and sometimes daily (or multiple times per day).

To help you out, here is a short guide to email frequency:


The businesses that opt for a quarterly mailing usually don’t have a vast amount to say. Perhaps their products or services don’t change regularly and they don’t have offers to make. Although some would argue some contact is better than none, I struggle to see the point of only making contact once a quarter. By leaving so much time between communications you run the risk the recipient forgetting who you are.

To be quite honest, if you are considering quarterly mailings I would think very hard about it. There’s almost no point in bothering.


Many companies go for the monthly option because it is regular without seeming intrusive. Often the businesses who opt for this frequency don’t use their newsletter/email to sell things. Normally they are more concerned with imparting valuable knowledge on the recipient. Giving away great information regularly is an excellent way to build and strengthen relationships with your customers.

As a copywriter I send out a monthly newsletter which offers my readers hints and tips on copywriting, marketing and social media. It is free information that I am giving away and I never sell through it. By the way, if you want to get on the mailing list visit my website and sign up.


Twice a month

This is a compromise for those companies that want to make contact more than monthly but don’t have enough to say to make weekly contact. One of the benefits of this frequency is you can alternate the type of content you email. One could be giving away information whilst the next could be an offer on one of your products. That way your reader won’t feel as though they are constantly being sold to.


Weekly emails are often sent by stores looking to sell. Whether they are High Street chains or independent shops, weekly emails enable them to communicate offers and new lines quickly and easily to their customers. Plus being retail outlets it won’t come as a surprise to the recipient that they are being sold something.

So these are the most common frequencies used. There are companies that email daily or even multiple times per day but you’d have to have a lot to say to be able to keep that up.

Keeping up with your chosen frequency is important. Your customers will grow to expect their next newsletter/email so if you have to miss one for any reason (e.g. holiday etc.) make sure you let them know. Just a simple one liner to say there’ll be no newsletter this month but service will resume as usual next month will keep them informed.

If you are not already doing it, give email marketing a try. Coming up with a constant stream of ideas and content can be a challenge, but the results make it worth while.

Sally Ormond – freelance copywriter

Online Marketing Mistakes to Avoid

copywriter If you own a business, you can’t help but have noticed that online is the place to be these days.

The vast majority of the population is searching the internet for the goods and services they want, so if you want be part of the action you have to have an online presence.

But lobbing a website into cyber space isn’t as easy as it sounds.

There are a number of online marketing pitfalls just waiting for the unsuspecting business owner who perhaps isn’t quite as web savvy as they think. That’s not meant to be criticism of all business owners – it’s just that the web changes at an alarming rate so it is vital you understand it and keep up with the latest techniques, taboos and pitfalls that await you.

Having a successful web presence takes time and money. Throwing any old thing together will kill your business quicker than anything. After all if you had a High Street store you would make sure the window display was inviting to passers by. Your website is your online shop window so treat it as that. It should be professional, appealing and tailored to your business needs.

This superb post on Copyblogger will help you navigate the mine field that is online marketing. Mel Brennan’s post 6 Online Marketing Mistakes that Will Kill Your Business takes you by the hand and walks you through the 6 no-nos of internet marketing.

It’s really worth taking a few minutes of your day to read through it and make sure you’re not committing any cardinal sins.

Sally Ormond – freelance copywriter

Boosting Your Local Search Potential

Copywriter - local search Local search is fast becoming a very important marketing tool for many businesses.

More and more people are turning away from Yellow Pages and local press and towards Google and the other search engines to find local products and services.

Therefore it is more important than ever to make sure your website and online marketing activities are geared up for local searches.

Boosting your local search potential is all about owning more of the web.

How to boost your online presence

A great way to give your presence a boost is to increase the number of web pages on the internet that relate to your business.

By that I don’t mean you’ve got to grow your own website, but instead utilise the power of other websites. To illustrate my point I thought I’d review one such site called www.myProSpot.com.

myProSpot is just one ‘directory’ style website that you can utilise to boost your online presence. By adding your company details you are opening yourself up to a whole new market. Not only that but the Platinum membership (the site also offers a free membership) offers you something very valuable – a micro site for your company.

If you’re not sure what I mean take a look at the one I set up for my own freelance copywriting business. Now, not only do I have my own copywriter website, but I also own more of the web through my myProSpot web pages.


Websites such as these are great for local businesses. Not only do they increase your web presence and therefore increase your chances of appearing in the search results, they also offer other services such as customer feedback – so you can compete against the big boys through your feedback. Great feedback is only achieved through good service so the size of your marketing budget doesn’t matter.

Did you know approximately 40% of small businesses don’t have a website

That’s quite scary – but again, sites such as myProSpot can help you out.

If you don’t have the budget for a website, setting up a profile like the one above will give you that all important web presence.

It really is worthwhile looking into setting up profiles on sites such as this one – there are plenty out there.

The Number 1 Secret to Websites That Convert

copywriter Do you have a website? If so, how is it performing?

I’m not talking about its load time or looks but rather how many of your visitors go on to become customers – i.e. we are talking about its conversion rate.

As a copywriter I frequently come across websites that look pretty, have a lot of content, even rank well and yet the owners are at a loss as to why it doesn’t convert its visitors into sales. Even scarier is when people state:

Client: “My website’s working really well – I get about 500 unique visitors every day”

Copywriter: “Great, so what’s your conversion rate?”

Client: “My what?”

There is a simple way to boost your conversion rate, although this post is entitled the Number 1 secret to websites that convert; it’s not really a secret, it should be common sense.

How to make your website convert

First off I want to look at the behaviour of people searching the internet.

If they are looking for a specific product or service they will enter their search term into Google and then open a new tab for each website that takes their fancy. The idea behind this is that they can compare what each company is offering.  They’ll want to know what’s in it for them if they buy from your company.

Have you guessed the number 1 secret to website that convert yet?

That’s right – you have to identify your unique value proposition. But not only identify it, make sure it is the first thing your potential customer sees.

Your UVP is going to be the main benefit you offer. Something that is going to set you apart from your competitors,

It could be a free bonus item, price reduction, guarantee – something that is of real value to your reader.

That is the secret behind the biggest converting websites.

If you hide your UVP within your text, do you really think the reader is going to take the time to read the entire content of your site to find it?

No, they won’t. The one thing people have very little of these days is time. So make their job easier by announcing your UVP immediately and clearly. And make sure it is on all your pages – after all, there is a chance they’ll land on a page other than your Home Page. A simple banner across the top of all your pages announcing your UVP will do the trick.

Make it big, make it bold, make it seen.

So, now you know what to do if you want to boost your conversion rate. Take a look at your website, identify your UVP and shout about it. Then watch what happens to your conversion rate.

Sally Ormond – freelance copywriter

Copywriting – Should You Write For Free?


I’ve been working as a freelance copywriter now for about three years. Over that period I have been frequently contacted by new copywriters asking advice about how to get their fledgling freelance careers off the ground.

One question that I am always asked is whether they should ever do work for free.

Is free work beneficial?

When starting out you immediately find yourself in a Catch 22 – you need to find clients to build up a portfolio, but potential clients want to see your previous work. So how do you get those first few clients?

It is a difficult one, especially if you are coming to freelance copywriting without any specific previous experience. If you have worked as a copywriter within a company or agency, you at least have examples of projects you worked on. But if you are new to the industry, the chances are you have nothing.

So should you work for nothing?

My usual reply is ‘no’.

So have I ever produced work for nothing?


Rather contradictory? Yes, but I have only ever done a freebie under certain circumstances. It looks as though I’m not the only one too as this post by Lorraine Thompson shows –

Copywriters: Should You Write Copy For Free? 5 Cases For Working Without Pay

The only occasions I would consider free work are:

  • As a donation to a charity I support
  • As a barter
  • When it’s a great portfolio enhancing opportunity
  • For friends and family
  • To self promote

But if you are approched for free work and you’re tempted, stop and think about it.

Will it help you? Will your business benefit from it in some way?

Make sure you are doing it for the right reasons otherwise it will be an expensive use of your time – that you won’t get paid for!

Sally Ormond – freelance copywriter