How You Can Inspire Positive Conversations In Your Business

How to create positive conversation for your brand.

Today’s world is full of peer reviews and thoughts about one brand or another. Experiences expressed on social media, review sites, on blogs, or in the media can make or break your business.

Studies have shown that your business needs reviews to attract customers. Two-thirds of consumers are more likely to buy a product with reviews, and peer reviews are more trustworthy than brand content to other customers.

Other research has found that positive reviews can increase sales by 18%.

Reviews are also great for improving your brand’s SEO visibility.

Not Just Reviews

It isn’t just reviews where positive comments are needed. Social media and news outlets are also influencing platforms where positive conversations about your brand need to be encouraged. These can be harder to manage. You need to monitor social media for mentions of your brand, and then interact with those who are mentioning your brand.

On social media, people can mention your brand negatively, without verifying a purchase or any interaction. This has led to some industries suffering from fake reviews or fake news, and this can damage your business.

One good example of this is the ‘pizzagate’ incident in New York during the 2016 Presidential Election. Not only was negative news released about the small Pizza company, but staff were issued with threats and attacked by a gunman.

Anyone with a negative opinion of your brand could share their details and their negative opinion on social media or in the news could completely ruin your business. Restaurants in the UK and US have both experienced this.

Controlling The Conversation

To ensure that you have the mentions online to boost your reputation – you need to control the conversation. This can be done very easily with the right strategy across all your marketing platforms. Here are several tips to support you:

1. Collect Feedback

The worst thing to experience is a negative review that is a surprise. This can be avoided by continuously collecting feedback from your customers and seeing where they think you can perform better.

If they are asking for something that you can’t provide; either because it is impossible or they don’t pay for that service, you need to explain that. This should be done constructively and for your customer.

2. Highlight Your Positives

Another thing to do is to talk about what people love about your brand constantly. Are you the brand that loves to give away free gifts, offers lots of free advice, or has the best security? You need to promote this not only to new leads but also to existing customers.

Then your current customers will be more likely to mention these positives in their customer reviews and on social media.

3. Ask For Reviews

Customers are unlikely to leave reviews unless you ask for them. So regularly ask for reviews from current or past customers. Sometimes it can take numerous asks to get the reviews you need.

4. Create A Community

Creating a community on social media will encourage more positive interactions and mentions of your brand. You should also respond positively to all mentions of your brand.

Should your brand have a negative comment on social media, it is best to respond to the comment and ask the customer to contact you about their issue.

5. Be Authentic

Stop thinking about your sales pitch and consider more about the customers’ needs. Talk to them about what they need and how you can provide a service to help. By concentrating on their needs, you’ll make them feed important and more inclined towards positive conversation.


Positive conversation is an important part of your brand’s growth. However, you shouldn’t hope for positive conversation; you need to strategize a way to generate those mentions on social media, in media and on reviews. There are several ways this can be done, but it all counts on you focusing your solution on the needs of the customers.

How do you create positive conversations about your brand? Does it have an impact on your sales?

Let us know in the comments below.

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What Small Businesses Can Expect Of Technology In 2017

future technology

What technology can help your small business?

Every year, many new technologies enter the market. Some of these will be of use to small businesses and will help them grow, cut costs, or interact with customers in new and exciting ways.

So, what are the technologies your small business should be on the lookout for, and how will they benefit you?

1. Security

The battle between cybercriminals and security services continues as the former are becoming ever more sophisticated. This means that there will be new technology to support small and medium businesses in their efforts to protect themselves from cyber-attacks.

Many businesses in the past year have experienced a breach. The smaller the business, the harder it is to recover, so new technology to protect you should be a welcome relief.

2. Real-time Analysis 24/7

Today’s technology collects a lot of data, and in the past, there may have been a delay in its analysis. Now, with the latest monitoring tools, your business can have the data in real-time. This means those in senior positions can make decisions with the best data available, reducing mistakes and taking full advantage of opportunities.

For email marketers, it does mean they’ll be able to see who is interacting with campaigns and what actions they are taking. Perhaps this will mean personalised offers being given to leads, or adjustments being made promptly to services to better match customer expectations.

3. Augmented Reality

Pokemon Go in 2016 taught us two things, that augmented reality is no longer fiction, and that consumers love it. Now many businesses will be able to take advantage of the new technology to show off their products in more tangible ways.

Consumers who are offered a peek into what they are going to get, without having to leave the comfort of their home, will be more likely to make a purchase. This could revolutionise a lot of industries, but the real estate and hospitality industries will be two that should see significant benefits from this technology.

Images showing a house off through a VR tour on a tablet or showing a potential guest their room at a hotel, will be the sort of immersive tactics that will take off in 2017.

4. Smart Home Technology

This has been developing for some years, but 2017 will see another increase in the number of devices at home that can be controlled remotely. Even grocery shopping might become fully automatic.

Amazon has tried this with the emergency ordering button. They have also introduced the Amazon Echo and Amazon Echo Dot that can listen in and order products with a simple voice command. These technologies are likely to be continually developed so that mistakes are minimised (such as televisions ordering products).

5. In Demand Ordering

Uber has shown how consumers are looking at brands who can offer them the services and products they want when they want it. This has led to less lead times between the demand and delivery of goods.

With automation being improved all the time, the opportunity for businesses to change how they do business is here. Perhaps the development of an app for your customers might be the next step you need to meet these demands?

6. Physical-Digital Integrations

Amazon’s Echo and Walmart’s iPhone store maps are showing us that brands are embracing and crossing the physical and digital barriers. Integrating both sides will give brands greater interaction points and more automated selling points. These actions should help to reduce costs and increase brand loyalty – improving profitability.


Technology is changing, and some of it’s going to be exciting for small and medium businesses. Keep up-to-date with the latest trends, and ensure you consider them early on, to get the maximum benefit.

What technology are you most looking forward to? Have you experimented with any of the above technologies?

Let us know in the comments below.

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3 Basics Of Lead Generation

Lead generation is important if you want to grow your business.

Lead generation is important if you want to grow your business.

There is a lot of choice in today’s world and your prospective customers could choose you, or another provider, to solve challenges they are experiencing.

When looking for solutions to problems, customers will often use up to three social media channels to research products or brands. Interaction with leads on social media will allow you to collect information on prospective buyers of your products/services to help you market to them.

This might seem pointless, as you may think that if the customer is researching the product then they are ready to buy. However, this isn’t always true. Only 2% of purchases are completed on the first interaction and 3% happen on the second interaction.

Amazingly, 80% of purchases can occur between the fifth and twelve interactions so to ensure you have the chance to reach this number of interactions, you should develop a strong lead generation process.

Here are the three basics of a good, lead generation system.

1. Definition Of Your target Audience

You need to decide who is interested in your product, needs it, and can afford it. Not everyone will match all three criteria.

You can use various demographics to build up your ideal customer profile. This might include: age, gender, financial resources, area they live in and likes/interests. It might also be useful to imagine your target audience as a real person. Give them a name, a job, and a history. This contextualises your ideal customer and makes them seem more real.

At the same time try to identify:

  • Their pain point – Why they need your product/service.
  • Objective – What is their objective in getting you to solve their problem.
  • Information sources – What do they use to research products/services (i.e. social media, search engine, local media, etc.)

From this information, you can create ideas for marketing your business and its solutions.

2. Content Marketing

Content is a valuable resource for lead generation. There are over two million blog posts published every day, and enough YouTube videos published every second to take 24 hours to watch. The best content marketers develop strategies that attract target audiences with useful information that helps solve their issues.

Articles, ebooks and social media updates all help businesses to collect details such as email addresses, names, and budgets. With this information, you can create more content that is relevant and focused on the needs of the prospect.

For all of this to happen, you need to plan. Create content that builds a story and trust. You can’t develop a strong lead generation system by just producing something in five minutes. It takes time and analysis to create an effective system.

3. Lead Management Process

This is the process where you manage leads from their initial interaction with the business up to the sale. Using the best tools and data monitoring assets available, your marketing team should be able to give you a detailed overview of the best ways to spend your marketing budget to achieve success.

If you want to develop an effective process, you need to follow six important steps. These are:

  • Identify the metrics to measure
  • Define when a prospect is sales ready
  • Create a sales funnel with stages and status
  • Design and implement lead processing and routing
  • Develop a model for lead scoring
  • Implement a combined sales and marketing SLA

With this in place, you can ensure you are creating leads, processing them through a pre-determined and measured marketing path, and look to close the deal at a point when you know the prospect is going to be receptive.


Your audience has a choice. You need to make sure that when they make a final purchasing decision, you are at the top of their list. To do this, you need to identify your ideal customer, create a plan for your marketing content and produce a system to process leads which highlights when to pass a lead onto sales.

How is your lead generation system? Have you created any lead generation processes?

Let us know in the comments below.

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3 New Ways To Get Attention For Your Regular Emails

megaphone-50092_640Your emails are an important sales platform. The starting point of 13% of all online sales comes from email marketing. Only organic searching and direct visits are better sellers online. However, the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns depends on how much attention your emails can generate.

One of the biggest problems is that emails aren’t getting enough attention. The average open rate for emails varies between 15 – 25%. The click through rate after this can be anything between 1 and 5%. And then your landing page has to be convincing enough for them to take a desired action. This action could be making a purchase or downloading a new guide.

The open rate is dependent on the email grabbing the attention of your audience. If you are sending regular emails, this is really important. The longer a contact is on a mailing list but doesn’t take action, the higher the chance that the lead is lost and you won’t make a sale. If, however, you can increase their interaction with the mail earlier – the greater the chance that you can:

  • Increase the open rate.
  • Improve the click through rate.
  • Make more sales.
  • Grow the ROI of your email marketing campaign.

It should also be noted that you only have 15-20 seconds to grab a reader’s attention. This is the average length of time that a person spends reading an email.

Email marketing best practices are continuously changing, which is why it is important to consider your current campaigns and how you can change them to gain more interest. Here are three of the latest techniques for your regular emails that will grow the success of your campaigns.

1. Change Your Subject Lines

Long gone are the days where you could just use a simple promotional email or one liner like “Your Weekly Summary” and expect your contact’s list to open your emails. A good example about how your subject lines can make a difference is with People Per Hour. The site used to send a message every day about the latest offers available on their site.

Then in early 2015, they changed tactics and created different, unique and more personal subject lines. Almost immediately there was an increase in the number of jobs posted through the site. Before the change they averaged about 200 per day. After the change they averaged about 350. This is a 75% increase and was highly valuable for the online business.

So what should your subject line look like? It needs to have several elements to it:

  • Promise to benefit the contact.
  • Offer new information.
  • Personal.
  • Relevant to what is currently going on.
  • Fun.

If you can insert these into your subject line, it will perform better.

2. Add Video

Video marketing is becoming a huge success. The combination of audio, visual and text on the screen is more memorable and engages audiences a lot better than just simple text and photos.

Inserting a video into your emails isn’t a tough task – it just requires you to be a little more technical than you might be used to. Speak to your email marketing provider and ask them how to insert video into an email using their software.

Once a video has been uploaded to your messages you can also use them on YouTube and your website to improve upon their ROI and ensure that they aren’t just used once and forgotten about.

3. Be Mobile Friendly

The way consumers are accessing emails is constantly changing. Previously, the only way to have a good experience and open your emails was on a desktop or laptop. Now the world has gone mobile and more emails are opened on a SmartPhone or other mobile device than on a desktop.

Email campaigns must consider this and change the way they display on mobile devices and the landing pages they direct to must also be mobile friendly.


You have 15-20 seconds to grab the attention of your audience. Ensure you do it with the email marketing best practices and you will see a higher number of sales and business growth.

Take Action:

  • Optimise your messages for mobile.
  • Add video to your next campaign.
  • Experiment with your subject lines.

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Why Email Will Remain Important Even With More Messaging Options

graph-752712_1280With the rise of more marketing options, it may seem that email marketing will become obsolete. However, email marketing has been around for a long time and has faced numerous challenges when it comes to marketing messaging online. For instance, social media has long been thought of as a way for businesses to connect with their audience but it has failed to achieve the success email marketing has.

Now with new instant chat messages being deployed and mobile marketing being used by more organisations, email marketing would seem to be at risk again, though the possibility of this is fairly low. However, there are many reasons why email will remain important for a long time to come.

Trust Is The Key Aspect

74% of consumers prefer to receive promotional messages via their email accounts. This is because the consumer feels that they are giving you permission to contact them via their email accounts. It shows a high level of trust and therefore, half the battle is won on converting the contact to a customer – you just have to demonstrate why they should buy that product.

With social media, mobile and instant messaging, the consumer doesn’t need to give permission to be contacted. Therefore, many customers are wary of marketing messages that are delivered this way as they don’t trust them.

In the UK, this has been demonstrated by injury claims and payment protection compensation. Lawyers from both niche industries have been sending out numerous messages via mobiles and the phone, offering customers thousands in compensation. The biggest problem is that they are not targeting their customers and are just sending messages to every number or contact.

Then the callers claim that they hold records indicating you are owed money, often thousands. This is often inaccurate. And the mistakes are compounded by the use of automation and recorded messages.

Apart from being in breech in the country’s data protection laws, where all databases have to be accurately maintained, it breaks down trust. How can the consumer trust a message that is inaccurate and one that is delivered by a recorded voice?

Simply put, both messages have become a major source of grief in the UK and there have been demands for the practices to be stopped.


Likewise, email marketing is one of the most cost effective ways to deliver a marketing message. Text messaging often costs 30 to 40 cents per recipient. For a contacts list of 2,000 this could mean that messaging costs $6,000 or more. Add on additional costs, such as time to develop the message and campaign and it could simply be too expensive to execute, yielding limited returns.

Email marketing on the other hand is fairly cost effective where you usually pay by subscriber and you can send as many messages as you like. This makes achieving a positive ROI much more likely.


Another issue is that other mediums of content have limited tracking features, for example if the customer has opened, read, clicked through or deleted your message. This can be frustrating as this tracking feature allows you to refine your list, sending targeted messages to the consumers, knowing they will achieve the best results.


Email marketing has faced numerous technologies and new marketing options that have threatened its importance in the marketing plans of business. However, there has so far been no technology able to reduce the effectiveness of email marketing for businesses.

So while it is a good idea to investigate and use other marketing tools for business, you should not abandon email marketing.

What other tools do you use for marketing your small business? How effective are they?

Let us know in the comments.

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5 Mistakes You Should Never Make With Your Email Campaigns

spider-monkey-637060_1280Email marketing is one of the most important sales channels your business will use. It accounts for more online sales than social media, retargeting and banner ads. Some of the best businesses in the world earn the majority of their income from sending out regular promotional emails.

There are several secrets to the success of their email marketing campaigns. You can achieve their success by not making major mistakes which can damage you reputation, annoy your mailing list or give the impression you are unprofessional.

Here are five common mistakes and how to avoid them.

1. Not Following Legal Code

There is a massive difference between cold calling and cold emailing – cold emailing is illegal in many cases. According to digital marketing laws in most countries, you should have permission from the list contact to be able to send promotional content. This rule must be followed unless the email address is from a limited company and it has no personal information in it.

However, sending emails to info@ or marketing@ is highly ineffective as it is normally not a decision maker who checks these accounts. Not following these rules can result in a fine which could cripple your finances.

2. Strategic Failure

One of the first things you should be doing before you even start sending off an email or building your list is to identify the goal for the list. Something that is strategic and applies to every communication you have.

Whether this is building awareness of offers on your ecommerce site or delivering content that will appeal to your audience – you have to know what the purpose of your email marketing campaign is.

Then when you write each email marketing message, you have to know what the specific aim is for that message (i.e. selling a particular product).

3. Forget To Blind Copy

Many businesses that run their lists off their mail servers make this mistake from time to time; when they accidently forget to ensure that no-one else can see who else the mail has gone to.

This can be particularly embarrassing as you are providing details to other businesses or individuals who might not want their information shared and it also looks highly unprofessional.

To avoid this, use an email marketing software program to hide contact details from other contacts. It looks more professional and more personal.

4. Sending Your Mail From ‘no-reply@’ or ‘info@’

As humans we love to feel the human connection. This is why email marketing campaigns sent from addresses like no-reply@ or info@ are not going to be ineffective. Think of email marketing as a conversation, you wouldn’t talk to a computer or a cash machine, so don’t automate your email marketing messages.

Instead use a named individual to send the message from. This could be a member of your marketing team; however, a senior person in your organisation can often send a more powerful marketing message to your contact’s list.

5. Buying An Email Marketing List

Don’t ever think of buying an email marketing list. These are highly ineffective and can often ruin your mail server’s reputation. Getting blacklisted will ensure that your emails will always hard bounce and there is very little you can do apart from starting anew.

The whole point of an email marketing campaign is that the contact has given you permission and is open to communications. This makes their use cost effective and gratifying.


Email marketing is one of the best online marketing avenues for your business. What you need to ensure is that you don’t accidently make any email marketing mistakes like the ones above and that you are producing high quality content that will entice your audience to find out more information.

What other mistakes can you think of? What mistakes have you made and how did you resolve them?

Let us know in the comments below.

Take action:

  • Learn from the mistakes of other email marketers to perfect your own campaigns.

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The Ideal Length For Your Email Subject Line

tape-measure-145397_1280We are often told that size doesn’t matter. Well that is wrong. Size does matter when it comes to your email subject line. It is the first impression your audience will have on what is contained within your marketing message. It needs to entice them to open the email and red further. Therefore, the subject line needs to be alluring, indicate what the message is about and not give away the whole story.

This can be a difficult balancing act. Most people think they need to write an essay to achieve all three. While this can help, it can also be tough to read. Some try for the shortest email subject line they can manage. Yet this can seem non-descriptive.

Both camps claim they have the answer; yet, only research will tell what the impact is on the open rate for campaigns.

The Adestra Research Project

Adestra compiled some results from email marketing campaigns they were monitoring. They looked at how people interacted with a message and compared that to the email subject line. The results they saw were rather interesting. Firstly, they spotted that there was a sizeable bump in success when subject lines were between 10 and 30 characters long. Results either side of this mark were less than half.

Subject lines of this length are often offering a deal (i.e. Claim your 50% off today, etc). Therefore, it is normally business to customer messages that achieve success while being short.

Yet this wasn’t the only interesting result. Subject lines that were between 30 and 70 characters long achieved less than average responses while those over 100 characters seemed to perform well.

There was a particularly good set of results when email subject lines were 130 characters long.

ShowMeLeads Input

Another study conducted by the president of ShowMeLeads, Madhu Gulati, found another set of results that could turn the results above upside down. According to their research into 260 million emails sent during 540 campaigns, they found the following results:

  • More than half (52%) of campaigns contained 11 to 15 words in the subject line. However, it had the poorest open rate.
  • Those campaigns that contained between six and 10 words received a 21% open rate.
  • Short subject lines (five words or less) had 16% open rates.

These results are almost in contrast to what was previously reported on Adestra.

MailChimp’s Results

MailChimp has also studied the problem. They came to the conclusion that length meant nothing and that it was the reader’s tastes that determined whether they would open your message up or not.

While there is some truth in this, looking at the MailChimp results there is something of note. Their results show an above rise in opens and clicks when the subject line is short. According to their data, you are bound to get the best results when your subject line is between 15 and 22 characters long.

This is rather important as it correlates with the other two studies.

Important Notes

It is important that click through rates shouldn’t be a huge factor on whether your subject line is best. Once the audience is at this point, other factors are determining their behaviour.

It is also important to note that none of these studies decided to a/b test the subject lines of exactly the same email to test the results. This might have given a better answer to the question.

To optimise your emails for your audience, consider a/b testing your email campaigns.


There are varying thoughts on what is the right length for an email subject line. Many consider that long subject lines distract audiences and lower success rates, yet others have demonstrated this is not the case. What all the studies do show is that a short, concise email subject line is going to perform better than the average.

What is the average length of your email subject line? What have your results been from your previous subject lines?

Let us know in the comments below:

Take Action:

  • Use a short subject line to generate more opens.
  • A/b test your subject lines to see what gets the best results.

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How To Build Your Email Marketing Momentum In 2015

Email marketing strategy for 2015

Email marketing strategy for 2015

2015 could be your small business’ year to make email marketing one of your best sales avenues. With an increase in email marketing results you will see an improvement in revenue and profits without spending a significant increase in costs.

If you want your email marketing to be a triumph this year, then you need to be prepared and build your marketing processes for success. Here is a process to do just that and create momentum that will carry you through 2015 and beyond.

1. Segregate Your Email Marketing List

The first thing you should do is to split your current email marketing contacts list into several sub-lists. Not everyone who is interested in receiving mail from you will be interested in the same thing: some will be new to your small business, others will be old customers or some will have bought certain products that have potential add-ons.

You need to establish which sub-groups your email marketing strategy could utilise and then place members into these groups. This doesn’t mean that you can’t send an email to everyone, but this should be rarely done as you target your contacts based on their behaviours and their position in your sales funnel.

2. Plan What You Want To Publish

Email marketing is not something that you can just create quickly and send off. It takes careful planning and strategising. You don’t want to be sending too many emails with the same subject or topic in a short space of time; nor do you want to be leaving off popular topics.

To avoid this, you need to plan in advance what topics you are going to publish and when. It should also include which sub-list you would like to send the content to.

3. Create Content

To ensure you don’t fall behind on your email marketing campaigns, your content should be created at least two or three weeks in advance. This gives you time to strategise, create, edit and schedule in your emails. It also lowers the stress from having a tight deadline and allows your creativity to be better.

You can start to create content in Microsoft Word or another word processor and then edit it. After this, drop it into your email marketing management program and create the template.

4. Create A Template And Schedule Emails

If you haven’t already, creating a template is really important. It creates a sense of consistency with your email marketing list and this can be more beneficial than you realise. Consistency will instil a professional image for your small business and people will become accustomed with your email’s design. Eventually they may look forward to receiving your content.

Once you have designed your email template, you can create your emails in advance and schedule them to go out at a specific time.

5. List Generation

Next you need to maintain the momentum by continuously growing your list. There are several ways you can do this including using a static form to requests details when visitors land on your website. Alternatively, you can use a pop-up to appear after about 15 seconds to request details from your visitors.

Finally, there is the option to offer your visitors a free gift in exchange for their contact details. The gift can be anything from free content on the website, a downloadable e-book, a free review or something else. For this you can be really imaginative. As long as you are providing something of value, and generating traffic, you will have new contacts to your list.

6. Maintain Your List

At the same time as generating contacts for your list, you should be maintaining those already signed up. This might mean moving them to a different sub-group or removing them because they haven’t responded or interacted with your email for some time.

Removing contacts isn’t a bad option as it allows you to concentrate on those who are really interested and provides better statistical analysis of whether your email content is desired by your email marketing list.


These processes will help you supercharge your email marketing campaigns for 2015. Then you can better process your email marketing leads to achieve good sales, high revenue and better profits.

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5 Places To Get Better Email Marketing Images

Image courtesy of Boians Cho Joo Young at

Image courtesy of Boians Cho Joo Young at

Email marketing is more successful if you are able to include a highly relevant and professional photo. Research has shown that the majority of consumers prefer receiving emails that contain mostly images rather than text. It isn’t just including images that are important; the image has to be highly professional, relevant and interesting while being quick to download.

To get an image for your email marketing campaigns you will probably need to find a reliable source.

There are many places available to obtain better email marketing images. Some of these are free, others will provide the image for a credit and many will charge for the best images. Here is a list of options where you can obtain email marketing images.

1. Taking Them Yourself

Sometimes this can be the best option for your small business. This would mean buying a good quality camera and a tripod as a mobile phone or simply camera will not produce ideal results. You’ll also need to take your image in the right environment. Here are some suggestions:

  • Use a white background.
  • Use a room with a lot of natural light.
  • A large room where you can take images from different angles.

Taking the images yourself can be cost effective in the long term, but is really only sensible if you are selling products. Taking images for a service could be complicated and you might need to have the permission of any clients that are also in the shots. In addition, achieving the correct environment while delivering a service can be tough and this could lower the quality, and therefore the impact, your images would have.

2. Professional Photographer

If you want to have professional images on your site that are completely unique but do not have the skills to take them yourself, consider hiring a professional photographer. This can be an expensive option but it can give you excellent images for your email marketing campaigns.

You can tell your photographer exactly what you are after; whether this is action shots of your service being delivered or a product and they should deliver them without a problem. These images can then be delivered directly to you in digital and print – demonstrating exactly how the images will look in many formats.

One of the biggest problems with this method is that there may be a long lead time between requesting and gaining access to the images. Therefore, you either have to do them in bulk and be well planned or pay a premium rate for quick delivery.

3. Graphics Artist

Sometimes you don’t need a photograph but would like an illustration. This can be provided to you by a graphics designer or artist. Sometimes these individuals can be expensive, however they can provide unique images that can be tailored exactly for your needs.

If you have not used a graphics artist before, you can find some on, odesk or People Per Hour. These sites also allow you assess the quality of the images being created by the graphics designer before you sign a contract with them. Therefore you can be more assured you are getting quality images.

4. Strategic Business Partners

This can be a highly effective way to gain access to quality images and is particularly useful if you are selling products manufactured by another company. Always ask your partners if there are images which they would be happy to share and consider offering an artist credit and a link to their site, if it is applicable.

5. Stock Image Sites

There are hundreds of stock image sites where you can buy images for small one off fees per image, on a subscription basis or for free (providing you credit the artist). These sites can be good because the images will nearly always be high quality and there are thousands of options for every topic.

However, product images are not often on the site and it can be hard to find the most relevant image for your email marketing message. Also, sometimes the images have specific restrictions on them such as; limited impressions, placement or usage. Therefore, check the terms and conditions before buying or downloading the image.

Here are some of the best places to obtain new email marketing images:


Getting the best images for your email marketing campaigns is easy with the numerous options available to your business. With the right image you can increase the interaction your readers have with your small business emails and the revenue each message can generate.

Take Action:

  • Take some images of your products.
  • Hire a graphics artist for some images.
  • Look at some stock image websites.

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3 Potential Changes For Small Business Email Marketing In 2015

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at

As 2015 fast approaches there is going to be a need to look at what trends will start or will be continued into the New Year. Being ahead of these trends and implementing them in your small business email marketing campaigns is more likely to generate results that will succeed.

So what are the potential changes that will affect your email marketing campaigns?

1. Quality Content Will Require Professional Writers

As brands continuously develop so they become an online resource for potential and current customers, they will need to generate content that matches their customer’s expectations. To match these, you will need to ensure the writing is of the highest possible quality.

Research has shown how professionally written content can improve the leads and the number of sales generated. Currently, it is reported that two-thirds of the writing produced by businesses is done by product managers. Yet, with so many tasks already their responsibility, they have little time to create a well crafted sales message.

Therefore, some forward thinking businesses will outsource the majority of their writing to professional writers. These writers will be able to create content that is high quality and able to deliver results for your business. This will improve the results that your email marketing campaigns achieve.

Also, because you aren’t relying on an individual who has a significant number of responsibilities already, and may place email content low on their priority list, you will ensure your business is always producing new content, on time. This will allow consistency and improve the trust your email contacts will have in your brand.

2. Video Email Marketing

Video is a rich form of communicating with your audience. The human brain is designed to be attracted to moving images and the changing facial expressions that can be produced and used within your videos.

As technology develops and Smartphones and other mobile technology become more advanced, mobile devices will be better able to display rich content. Therefore, your email marketing campaigns will need to include videos within their content. These will need to be short, approximately two to three minutes and contain high quality information to engage your audience.

In addition, you will need to host the video on sharing sites like YouTube, which is the second largest search engine after Google, to gain better reach and attract new audiences for future email campaigns.

3. Email Contacts Are Short-Lived

As more businesses start to develop their digital marketing channels, the amount of content that is online for your target audience is going to reach a critical point. At this critical point, the amount of information available is going to be too much for the customers to read in their limited amount of time.

Therefore, what is going to happen is readers will choose which brands deserve the majority of their attention. To ensure your brand has their attention you will have a limited amount of time to grab it. If you are unable to convince them of your industry authority or expertise, they will either leave your mail unopened or unsubscribe from your email marketing contacts list.

Use valuable information and carefully written content to keep their attention.


Email marketing is a constantly evolving digital marketing channel that can be highly successful if it is employed in the right manner. With the New Year approaching, the latest trends will need to be used in order for your brand to achieve the best results from your email marketing campaigns.

Take Action:

  • Examine the changes that are going to happen above and consider what your brand needs to do to make the most of your 2015 email marketing campaigns.

How successful have your 2014 campaigns been so far? What changes are you going to make for 2015?

Let us know in the comments below.

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