7 Ways You Can Kill Your Online Reputation Without Realising It

brand

Are you hurting your brand?

Your online reputation is important. A bad reputation can have several negative effects on your business’ success and can lead to its financial failure.

Research in 2015, found that bad reviews were costing the average business £30,000 ($36,000) a year.

While the major focus of this report was on fake bad reviews and malicious trolling; the impact of genuinely negative reviews must be similar.

Reviews are some of the most trustworthy sources for customers to learn about products and services. Therefore, getting good reviews is important as it can completely change the perception audiences have of your brand.

It Isn’t Just Bad Reviews

It isn’t just poor reviews that can affect your brand’s online reputation; negative news stories, social media updates and associations can really damage the reputation of a brand.

During the recent US presidential election, a pizza shop saw how a poor online reputation could make business difficult. It was claimed, though found to be fake, that the shop was the centre of illegal activity. The bad reputation even resulted in an attack on the business’ premises.

Be Proactive, Not Reactive

The trouble is, if you are only reactive to bad decisions and negative comments, you are never going to achieve what you want online. Your business’ reputation will always be at risk, and you might face criticism whether it is justified or not.

If you want to be proactive, here are seven tips to consider to prevent a deterioration of your online reputation.

1. Good Grammar And Spelling

While it is almost impossible to be 100% perfect with spelling and grammar, you should try to be as accurate as possible. Use grammar checkers like Grammarly or Grammar Check to help you out. These are free and there are also premium versions available.

2. Don’t Spam Audiences

One of the major complaints against brands on social media is that brands tend to sell too much on social media. Social media should be used for conversing with your audience and demonstrating your knowledge and expertise – not products and services.

3. Respond To Comments

Another major issue is when your brand fails to respond to comments. Whether the comment is positive or negative, via email, phone call or social media, a customer contacting you is a marketing opportunity. Many negative comments can be turned into a positive marketing moment. So be sure to take advantage of them.

4. Poor Content Decisions

Brands are always getting into trouble on social media for publishing content that could be offensive. The London Dungeons and DiGiorno both have suffered from negative backlash after publishing insensitive updates on their Twitter profiles.

5. Not Having Control Of Your Online Content

Employees who are disgruntled but have sole control over an aspect of your online profile can damage your reputation. Therefore, it is always important to have an authorisation step in your publishing strategy where senior management sees updates and authorises them before publication. At the very least, keep your login details safe and secure.

6. Not Checking Your Online Reputation

You should always be aware of the latest online reviews. So regularly check with Yelp and other online review sites to see the latest thoughts on your brand. Not being aware of bad comments that have been made about your brand is no excuse.

7. Breaking Digital Laws

There are lots of laws regarding digital marketing. Some include not buying email marketing addresses; others include cookie warnings on your website. Breaking the law can lead to substantial fines but more importantly, plenty of negative press for your brand. Be sure you are aware of, and understand, digital communication laws for every country you operate in.

What are your tips for a good online reputation?

Let us know in the comments below.

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Six Rules Of Email Marketing – How To Increase Your Open Rate

How do you get more opens of your emails?

The success of your email marketing campaigns is all about how many people open your emails. There are several ways to encourage this so you get more subscribers open your emails every time you send them a promotion, brand news or simple message.

Our six rules will help you get better results:

1. Long Subject Lines

Get Response studied the results from over three hundred emails. They found that those that contained more than 61 characters in the subject line got more open rates. According to the study, the highest open rates were approximately 12.38%.

Split testing can help you find the perfect length for your audience. Consider testing subject lines at 60 characters, 100 characters and 130 characters to see which gives the best results.

This tactic also increased the number of people who clicked through.

2. Preheader Text

Use your preheader text to give a brief outline of what is contained within the email. Preheaders are like an elevator pitch, so keep them relative, enticing and readable on mail clients. Some like Gmail and Yahoo will only give you preheader lengths of 100 characters, so keep it that short.

Preheaders should be changed for each email; they should never be the same as the title, and you should attempt to include a call to action.

3. Create Intrigue

If you want people to open your emails, they’ve got to want to find out more about your message. That is harder to do if you give away the whole story in the subject line and the preheader.

This technique is called the open loop. People become interested in the content without knowing exactly what it is about, so they open it to find out more. Then in the mail, you close the loop. An example of this would be:

“This is how you get more emails opened…”

See how this doesn’t actually mention what technique you are using. Therefore, it creates curiosity and compels the reader to open the email.

4. Subject Line Capitalisation

Having every word in capitals is not a good idea as it gives the impression that you are shouting at your audience, and nobody likes that. However, most businesses write subject lines with the first letter of every word as if it is part of a document title.

This is not how people write emails to each other. Instead, they may capitalise the first word but leave the rest (except nouns) as lowercase. You can mix it up by using special characters in your subject lines and by also adding the odd word in capitals (when you want to emphasise certain points).

5. Double Opt-In

Research has shown that those using double opt-in subscription methodology can increase subscriber engagement and increase open rates. It also helps to decrease spammers subscribing to your mailing list.

To help you keep audiences engaged, immediately after they sign-up, send them an email immediately and then send them a reasonable amount of further engaging mail in the days that follow. Research has shown that this increases the number of people who convert from strangers to customers within four weeks – making your email campaigns so much more effective.

6. Be Negative

Sometimes negative words can be more compelling for your audience. Using words like ‘the worst’, ‘absolutely wrong’ and ‘no fewer’ can be used to attract subscribers to open your emails.

This works because people like to feel that they can prove they are better than others – but what happens is that they realise they are making those mistakes, and then want to contact you to improve.

Conclusion

Your email marketing campaigns are important, but they are only a success if you have people open your emails. There are several techniques to get more people to open your emails, but the best strategy is to always split test your campaigns to see what works for your audience.

What is your open rate? How much higher could you go?

Let us know in the comments below.

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