Email Marketing forms a crucial part of any businesses online marketing. A way to reach your existing customer database and win new business, it is one of the simpler forms of online marketing that many small businesses are missing out on.

Optimising your email campaign is the difference between your email being a resounding success winning business and being sent straight to the junk folder. 

Below are some of our top tips to help get your business started with its email campaigns:

Focus on the subject line. The subject line is the most important thing to consider, this is the first thing the recipient reads and is make or break for whether they open your email or chuck it straight in the junk folder. First things first it needs to be eye catching, test out your email subject lines and analyse which achieves the highest open/action rate.

Strive for inbox placement. A difficult one to measure, but not all email campaigns need to be actioned straight away, they just need to leave a lasting impression on readers. Just focus on the brand, the core product and services not super salesy jargon – you don’t want a reader to think it is spam and treat your email like junk.

Ensure the email is mobile optimized. Most email software will provide a mobile view of your email, ensure that it can be optimised for any device. Approximately 65% of emails are read on a smartphone/tablet (Marketing Land, 2017) so ensure your email looks the part on any device.

Personalise where possible. Use tags to deliver a personalised message to your customer, use their name, business name etc to give an email a more personal feel. People know emails are being sent to thousands at a time, but you don’t want to make them feel like another name of your mailing list. This encourages better engagement with readers!

Segment your email database. To go one step further and provide an even more personalised touch segment your database. Funnel down your customers and sort them by interests/industries etc into small niche mailing lists and send them a highly personalised email specific to their niche. For example, don’t just send your customers emails about workwear, filter the type of business and got a bit further.

Reduce text and optimize call to action. As much as Marketers hate it, people won’t spend a lot of time reading your email once opened – consumers decided within a split second if it is of interest or not. Be short, sharp & concise with any text to grab any attention. Focus on providing clickable calls to actions and leading them to enquire, order etc.

Make social sharing available. A simple but very over-looked one, ensure your email can be shared using Social Media buttons. Many email providers make this a simple click of the button. This helps grow the reach of any campaign you might send further than your customer database and reach potential new leads. Provide clear share buttons for your readers to engage with!

Google snippets give you instant answers to your queries. Snippets and cards are images, ratings, reviews and so on that enhance a search engine result page (SERPs). 

Rich search results highlight key information and help search engines gain an understanding the page and its purpose. Implementing rich search results such as cards and snippets can help your website stand out from your competitors.

It requires a more astute developer to tag things such as corporate logo, contact details, social media profiles, carousels and breadcrumb navigation. Pretty much anything can be tagged to potentially appear as a rich search result, from blogs & news articles to events, business details and product information.

So why consider this?

It is a lot more difficult technically behind the scenes, but the results are huge. Rich searches appear right at the top of a SERP, in the coveted ZERO position above organic results. So even if you are not ranking organically, it gives you a fighting chance to get seen on Google.

The answers are detailed, displayed in a box and often more eye catching than a traditional search result and due to their eye-catching nature often have a higher click thru rate (which Google can only consider a good thing!)

Voice Command Searches

The benefit of rich results is also evident as the results work seamlessly with devices such as Google Home & Siri, so if a consumer is searching on the move and asks relevant questions searching for goods, rich snippets are played rather than a whole page of results. With an increase in voice search this can only be an advantage for businesses.

How to get the most from rich snippets?

Building and optimising your site around keyword snippets will increase your organic ranking, increase your websites traffic and decrease your websites bounce rate.

To get your business going with rich searches, here are a few basic tips:

  • Provide partial answers and encourage click through. Ranking for a rich result is one thing but making sure it does not display everything is another. Ensure it displays just enough to encourage users to visit your website.
  • Make sure users get an awesome user-experience (UX). Ensure your website is optimised, up to date with information, details and provides customers a user-friendly experience on-site.
  • Embrace organic practices. To rank well and for rich results a website first and foremost must follow Googles SEO guidelines and best practices.
  • Write in a natural style. Snippets rely on quality well written content, not content focused purely on ranking. Write in a conversational style, almost like you are talking to a customer. Once this is done keep on top of it and always freshen it up every few months.
  • Work with a credible company. Web design companies often promise the world, do your research and work with the right company for your business. Outline why you want your site built in such a way to get found for rich snippets and many will be excited to work on such an interesting project!

Taking your garment decoration business online is now more important than ever before for your business. A large proportion of garment decorators are traditionalists in nature focusing purely on their love of print & embroidery, relying on word of mouth and repeat orders for success with little regard for their online success.

But now with the growth of online businesses, consumers have more options than ever before online and are not afraid to shop around. Customers are looking for alternatives, convenience and importantly the best prices! The million dollar question is where on earth do I begin?

There are a number of options out there to help take your business online, it is all about picking the right option for your business, your target customer base and lastly your budget - you don’t need to throw your hard earned cash at going online!  

You want your online business to be a reflection of you, your personality and become an extension of your in-store business. Starting out it sounds daunting but it is manageable if you simplify it.

Keeping it simple

Start off small, unless your tech savvy focus on the basics. Your garment decoration businesses site needs to look professional, smart, modern and not like something put together in a slap-dash manner. Give your customers a high quality user experience, a site that is easy to use, one that communicates your businesses key selling points and promotes your core products/services.

Importantly, your site should be something that you are comfortable using… you need to be able to understand, your site & what it offers. For example, you can offer online buying, but do you know how it works behind the scenes? E-Commerce is a whole different world in itself, so do your research, seek advice and familiarise yourself before dipping your toes into the online pool.

What options are available?

There are a host of options out there and different routes – but it all boils down to your budget & what you want from going online. If you merely want an online presence then a simple site should do the trick something visually pleasing, basic, and cost effective but limited functionality.

But if you are serious about the online game, there are businesses out there that offer online web solutions specific to the industry (ourselves included!) These solutions are geared towards garment decorators who know what they are after and willing to invest a little in online success.

To sell or not to sell?

There are a number of brochure sites (sites that don’t sell online) & e-commerce options available, just do your research, visit trade shows, have live demos and get to know the options before making the best informed choice for your business. 

Brochure sites are a low cost way of getting an entry level site for your business online, you can create these yourself using various software Shopify, WordPress etc. Creating these can be time-consuming but often a money saver, the downfall of these is they often look homemade and you get what you pay for. For a more professional alternative, there are businesses out there like ourselves offering both brochure & e-commerce sites for garment decorators. 

E-Commerce gives businesses the chance to sell online but if often a mine-field, there are a number of options out there for your business to consider, Sagepay, Paypal, Stripe and many more, picking the right package is important for your business, check out their offerings, transaction rates and make sure it all adds up.

It is all about picking a site that works for you & your business and that you are comfortable with. Simply do your research and understand what your options are.

One last thought

You are running a business, do you have time to manage a site? Or create one from scratch? There are options out there for your business, your site can be managed for you by the ‘experts’ so you just sit back, relax and take care of the orders!

Want help or don't know where to begin?

Find out how we help garment decorators with their websites. Our team can offer expert advise and arrange a consultation for your business.

We also run an online demo highlight how we can help, to book yours email or call 029 2074 1663

Content Marketing is probably something your business has practiced over the years without really knowing it. Creating valuable, relevant and interesting content to your audience is Content Marketing in a nutshell.

Why Does Your Business Needs Content Marketing?

There are numerous advantages to undertaking Content Marketing and building it into your businesses strategy. Engaging customers has a profound effect on several areas such as increasing sales, improving customer retention and customer acquisition to name a few. In theory it sounds like a lot of Marketing jargon, but simplified just tell your story, build your brand, its values and write about what makes your business and its services so skilful and important.

Here are a few simple steps to get you on your way to Content Marketing success:

Undertake a review: In some way or another, your business has produced content. Simply review it, consider things like your website, Social Media and any other content you produce. Identify areas of strength, weaknesses and possible areas to address. It also gives you the opportunity to examine the landscape see what competitors are doing and how their customers are reacting to their content. 

Consider & plan what type of content you will use: There are many types of content to consider using – Social Media, Blogs, Infographics, Videos, eBooks to name but a few. They all have different advantages & dis-advantages when planning your content. There are things to consider such as:

  • Who is your target audience?
  • What is the purpose and aim of the content?
  • What type of medium are they likely to engage with?
  • What medium fits with the resources you have available?
  • Will you be able to produce content on these to time and on budget?
Use Google Keyword Planner: Now you have an idea of what type of content you are going to produce, the creative juices will be flowing with mind maps and campaign ideas. Validate your ideas using a keyword tool, there are 100s of out there, but Google Keyword Planner is probably the most efficient. This will give you an idea of what your audience are physically searching for, build content around these key terms which will also aide your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) efforts.

Pick the right channel for your business: Consider what platform to use for content efforts, different platforms require distinct types of content. As we have touched on in previous articles, they all have their own distinct ways and features that will be of use for your business. The key is to be engaging across all channels, you want customers & leads to see you as interesting, someone they can trust and build a working relationship with. Communicating this on your website, through email campaigns, Social Media, Blogging is a challenge. As an example, posting content via Social Media, LinkedIn is hugely B2B where you are likely to be reaching out to decision markers, ths requires a more formal approach than that of Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Snapchat etc.

 Aim for ‘evergreen’: This is the ultimate goal for Content Marketers. Creating updated content repeatedly is a challenge, sometimes the ideas may run out or you may not have time with whatever else might be going on. Evergreen content can be used for a sustained period, it’s a ‘timeless’ piece and something that will always be of interest to your customers. Producing this will also help drive traffic and raise brand awareness over a sustained period of time.

Blogging is a great way to raise awareness of your business, your product, it services and develop an online presence. It is simple, effective and importantly anyone can do it, you do not have to be a marketing expert!

The advantage of Blogging is it is all about you. There is only so much you can say in a Facebook post, or 140 characters on Twitter but Blogging allows you to give much more details insight into your business, yourselves and write about what makes you great at what you do.

Blogging & Your Business….

Blogging gives your business a personality, a voice and gives your customers an insight into the business and its values. It encourages collaboration and discussion not just with customers but with other people associated with the industry and helps develop your businesses reputation in the garment decoration industry.

What makes blogging great is the fact it is all about you and your business, you can write about anything. Common things wrote about by garment decorators includes latest news, product reviews, latest offers, promotions, thoughts and opinions on what is affecting the business.

Creating Engaging Content…

Write about your business, simply write about its strengths and why it is great is and why you love print, embroidery, the industry and your customers.

But the key is to make the content interesting and stand out from your competitors, here are some simple tips to help:

  • Create an eye catching title for your Blog (N.B. Just think what would you click and read plus what would you ignore).
  • Use images, just a few pictures to support the blog you are writing. Using an image increases the likelihood of catching a reader’s attention.
  • Tag your blog, this categorizes your blog. Readers can filter through and find your thoughts on a specific topic.

·       Do not make your blog too long! There is a fine line between engaging and boring a reader. Make your blog concise and to a point, many readers will not read essays. Your blog can be any length but be wary of boring the reader.

·       Blogging is fun, customers love honesty, your views and thoughts are much more likely to create engagement then writing something with no personality. (You want to give your business some character after all).

Blogging & SEO….

Using a Blog is also a great way to improve your businesses performance in Search Engines. It is a simple way of writing about your keywords and gaining some links back to your site from people who love your content sharing it!

One Last Thought…

You can of course integrate a blog into your website using a bespoke web design company. But, there are a wide range of FREE blogs out there for your business including Wordpress, Tumblr, Blogger, Medium, Weebly and 100s more. Blogging is a cost effective way of growing your online presence, developing an online personality and increasing traffic to your website. 

So what are you waiting for…. Get Blogging!