Email Marketing: Use, do not abuseMarch 3rd, 2014

email-marketing When discussing a client’s marketing mix, sooner or later there is always the discussion of email marketing.  Should we send email blasts?
My answer: Yes and No.  Pretty vague, right?  I know, but I will explain when to say yes, and when you should say no to email marketing.

When to say Yes to email marketing:

Email Marketing is a fabulous way to reach out and communicate with your clients/customers.  If used properly it is a great tool, and a reminder to your clients, hey remember me?  You can talk about latest company news, new products, sales, and anything you feel relevant to your audience.

Email Marketing is especially good for:

eCommerce Websites:  You can talk about new products of course, but talking about sales is great. EVERYONE likes to save money. So when you have a good deal, talk about it.

Coupons: Again, everyone likes to save money so sending a coupon to your list is a no-brainer. And the best part? You know exactly how many people use the coupon, metrics like that, are crucial.

How often should we send?
We live in the age of spam, so this is so important. If you abuse the privilege of sending emails to your list, you will pay the price in the form of unsubscribing and worse, being marked as spam.

So, here is my opinion:
For eCommerce sites I recommend no more than once a week. Personally I think companies that send those daily emails end up deleted without being read quite often. I think once a week is enough, and only if you have something your audience will enjoy and hopefully purchase. Now, if you are an Amazon, the rules are different as they have millions of products so their frequency is different. (But as a consumer I still hate daily emails).

For the rest of us:  If you aren’t selling online, or sending coupons, then the rules change dramatically. I personally think quarterly is enough, but if you feel the need and have a lot to say, monthly is fine.

How do I know if I have sent too often?
Metrics:  What is your open rate? How many people are sharing on social media?  How often are people un-subscribing and worse, marked as spam. I know at RooSites we are on target as we are at nearly 100% for our open rate.

When to say NO to email marketing

Don’t send for the sake of sending. If you don’t have anything interesting, wait until you do.

DON’T SEND CANNED GARBAGE!!! (All caps and bold, you know this is serious)
I have a certain mortgage pro I know that subscribes to a service that sends these weekly emails.  This same email goes out to thousands, and my guess is their unsubscribe link is the most popular in the email. When I asked him about it, he answered he didn’t have time to write the emails and this is better than nothing.  I disagree, sometimes NOT doing something is a better business decision.

Don’t send if you don’t have an email marketing service. Don’t send an email with 200 people in the “To” field. People hate seeing their email address exposed to strangers.  And the giant list in the BCC field?  This is a red flag that you are sending spam, and often never make it to most of your list.

Ok, so which email service should I use? 
There are a lot of players in the email marketing business.  For me it is about simplicity, cost and metrics.  While I have used Constant Contact, and many others, I use MadMimi for myself and most of my clients. It is easy to use, they have good support and you can sign up for free and decide if you like it. They have great metrics and less expensive than some of the larger services that spend oodles on advertising.

Bottom Line:  Email marketing is a great way to communicate with your clients/customers. Tread lightly and don’t spam the people who support you and keep you in business. Be aware of your metrics and adjust your strategy when needed. Lastly, as I advise on social media, only send what you find interesting. If you don’t think your email is interesting, then your audience probably won’t enjoy it either!



Sweat Equity a MustFebruary 18th, 2014

hard-work-ahead I remember an old expression “everyone wants to go to heaven but nobody wants to die”.  Now of course this is true if not a bit harsh. But, you are asking yourself what does this possibly have to do it my website?

Clients come to me to improve their search engine optimization, as well as their presence on social media. I of course am happy to help, that is my business after all 🙂

I always tell them I can help, but I can’t do it alone. You are the subject matter expert in your given field. I may be a thought leader in my field, but all that allows me to do is help YOU. You, the client have to put in some sweat equity if you want to be successful. I can provide you the mechanisms to improve your sites visibility with search engines and social media. I have done this for myself, I’ve done this for clients, but still there are many clients out there that want everything, just not willing to put in the time.

Now what does this mean? Well for instance social media. I can help you gain followers visibility, etc. But to do so we have to be active. To be successful in social media, you actually do have to be social.  I know that sounds like common sense but you’d be surprised how many people want to do well with social media but don’t actually like being social. Work is not all about doing what we like to do, that is why they call it work.

At RooSites we often start by having people set up a schedule for work they’re going to do both with their website, and for social media. We have even started a beta test of sending reminders to people each week, to write a blog or an article for their websites. This way they can improve their search engine visibility, and do it the right way, through old-fashioned hard work and quality content. Google loves quality content. And you know what? They should. After all, that is what people are searching for, right? No ones sets out looking for the most optimized website. No, they want the best result set for the what they are querying the search engine for in the first place. So put in the hard work, the sweat equity will pay off.

But, if you aren’t willing to put in the time to improve your site or social media, do yourself a favor, delete your social media pages. Then put a note on your stale website: “We really don’t care about our site, hope you will do business with us anyway.” Hey at least you will get points for honesty.