Entries from August 2014 ↓

Email Marketing is Too Easy to Get Wrong

email marketing gone wrong

It’s time to let the world know your company exists.

What better way to do that than by email marketing?

In a few minutes, your sales email is ready and waiting to be unleashed on the world. You click send and stand back preparing yourself for when the phones start ringing.

Hold on a minute, you’re going about it all wrong.

The list

For starters, if you’ve bought a list you’re heading nowhere fast.

Think about it for a moment.

You’re about to send an email selling your products and services to a bunch of people who have never heard of you before and haven’t asked you to get in touch.

That’s a big problem.

If you’re not sure why let me ask you something – what do you do when you sift through your emails in the morning?

What happens when you come across one from a company you’ve never heard of before that’s trying to sell you something you haven’t asked for?

You delete it, right?

So why do you think the recipients of your email are going to do anything different?

That’s why buying in a list is never going to work.

Building your own opt-in list is a much better idea. For starters, the people on it would have heard of you and, secondly, they have given you their email because they are interested in what you have to offer, so your email is going to be relevant to them.

Yes, it takes time to build a list, but use every opportunity to get people to sign up: at trade fairs, during phone enquiries, when people visit your shop or showroom.

Your message

What is your email saying?

Is it telling them about your products and services?

Does it have a call to action directing them to your website or your phone ordering line?

Is it asking them to buy from you?

Stop right there. You’ve just committed the second most deadly email marketing sin.

The chances are, you’re fairly early on in your relationship with your email marketing list. If you dive in asking them to buy from you, you’re likely to be met with a lukewarm-bordering-on-frosty reception.


You’re asking them to buy without having gained their trust first.

You’re a new company to them (potentially a new supplier) so it’s important you spend time introducing yourself to them and offering them great information that will be of benefit to them.

Over time, they will get to recognise that your emails are packed with great insights, tips and hints and general warm and fuzziness.

The advice you offer them (completely free of charge) reflects well on you making you the go-to authority in your field.

Therefore, when they are ready to buy, whom do you think they’ll get in touch with first?

  • The company that bombards them with sales or emails?
  • Or, you who has been putting their needs first, giving them great information and advice without wanting anything in return?

I know who I’d put my money on.

Yes, you can include any offers or new products/service in your email, but make sure you also offer them useful information and advice first. The reference to your products should almost be an after thought.

Think like a customer

The best way to gauge how your email will be received is to think like a customer.

If it landed in your in box, what would you do?

Think about how it would come across to someone who doesn’t know your company that well – is it too salesy, too pushy?

Email marketing, although a fast way to reach thousands of customers in one hit, isn’t a ‘get rich quick’ marketing solution.

It’s all about building trusting relationships with your list.

Author – Sally Ormond, Briar Copywriting Ltd

Is Big Brother Watching Tumblr?

Big brother Tumblr

You’ve already seen the power of search marketing.

It’s not a coincidence that the dresses you’ve been looking at or the bike you’ve been drooling over constantly appear in on screen adverts and all over Facebook. For a while now Google et al have been watching what you’ve been looking at, reading your profiles and matching subtle advertising with the stuff you love.

Whether you think that’s great or a bit creepy, it looks as though it’s a trend that’s set to continue.

A recent article about Tumblr in The Drum caught my eye.

Apparently, Tumblr is signing a deal with Ditto Labs. If you’ve not heard of them, they’re a firm that analyses photos on social media to look for brand related data. Anything from someone holding a bottle of soft drink to a picture of you wearing a branded jumper.

So what?

Well the deal will give advertisers the opportunity to see what their fans are saying about them and to get an insight into how they are perceived.

Is this going to be yet another way companies get to bombard us with random adverts for their stuff, or just an innocent exercise in understanding their customers in an attempt to improve their brand?

According to Tumblr, this partnership doesn’t mean you will be targeted based on what you’re wearing or holding in your Tublr photos…at the moment.

My own opinion is divided on this particular issue.

On the one hand, it’s useful to only get ads that are relevant to me, but it gets annoying when the item I’ve just bought keeps popping up.

What do you think of all this?

Is it a good thing that anonymous companies have such power over us?

OK, at the moment it’s the subtle placement of (potentially) relevant ads, but where does it stop?

Leave a comment below and let me know your thoughts.



The Science Behind The Selfie [Infographic]

A short departure from the usual posts about marketing, copywriting and social media today, but still relevant.

You can’t help but have noticed the rise of the selfie. From the world famous Oscar effort to that really annoying dance hit #SELFIE, they are everywhere. They were even banned at the Tour de France because of the dangerous situations spectators where getting into trying to get their heroes in the background.

You may think there’s nothing to one – a lot of it is being in the right place at the right time. But you’d be wrong.

According to an interesting post I came across the other day by Dan Zarrella there’s a lot more to a successful selfie than first thought.

What follows is an infographic he put together from a study of 160,000 Instagram images tagged #Selfie.

Take a look and grab some tips to make your selfie liked.

Selfie Infographic - Dan Zarrella

Author – Sally Ormond, Briar Copywriting Ltd

Proof That Social Calls to Action Work

Any marketer worth his or her salt knows the power of the call to action, but some feel it too much to include them in their social media marketing.


Surely the addition of a ‘share’, ‘like’ or ‘comment’ gives the subtle nudge needed by your readers to…well…share, like or comment.

Whilst ambling through the web recently, I came across this infographic from Dan Zarrella that looks at power of social media calls to action.

Social calls to action

Find it useful?

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