NFC (Near Field Communications) – Now this is better than QR codes.

NFC (Near Field Communications) is an exciting new technology designed to provide opportunities for innovative, effective marketing. Your customers simply “tap” an NFC enabled mobile against a poster that contains a small a tag. The tag contains the info you’ve programmed it with so whether you want to get more Facebook ‘likes’ or send people to your website, one small tap can have a massive impact.

Ways to use NFC

Create a completely customised campaign with bespoke design/artwork and different tag functions such as dial a number; send a text or email, with NFC tags, the possibilities are endless. Increase your Facebook Likes by creating your own Facebook ‘Like’ Campaign. Customers simply tap your poster or sticker and press the ‘Like’ button directly on their phone. This automatically creates a ‘Like’ on your chosen Facebook page so it’s simple and instant.

Follow Us on Twitter

Want more Twitter Followers? Then create a Twitter Follow campaign and allow people to tap your posters and stickers to be automatically added to your Twitter followers. They can then keep up to date with all your news and offers. You can even create a campaign that takes your customers to your website, your offers page, or show off a new product page. An NFC-hub custom URL campaign can take them to any web address you like so you can connect your customers with the information that’s most relevant to them or help you promote specific offers. Watch this

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What is affiliate marketing and how can it help your business?

Finding ways for your company to increase revenue and reputation is most likely a common thought process; especially in this low economic times. Some of the most efficient and effective methods to increase awareness are search engine optimisation on your website, social media marketing, and other technological promotions.

Affiliate marketing is a process in which a business rewards one or more affiliates for each visitor or customer brought about by the affiliate’s own marketing efforts. An affiliate is generally a third-party who generates sales for your business in return for commission. The industry has four core players: the merchant (also known as ‘retailer’ or ‘brand’), the network, the publisher (also known as ‘the affiliate’), and the customer.

Affiliate marketing overlaps with Internet marketing methods to some degree, because affiliates often use regular advertising methods. Those methods include paid search engine marketing, e-mail marketing, and in some sense display advertising. On the other hand, affiliates sometimes publish reviews on blogs and forums of products and services offered by a business.

Quidco is one of the biggest and highest paying cash back websites in the UK that takes the commission (termed ‘cash back’) usually paid by retailers to third-party referrers and passes it on to Quidco members. All of the major retailers use this format to promote their products/services and boost their online sales. You can’t sign up independently as a supplier, since they use many affiliate partners like CJ and Affiliate Window for their database of online stores.  You’d need to sign up to one of these and have an enticing enough offer depending on what you do

Groupon has rapidly evolved into one of the up and coming means to improving both cash flow and interest in companies. Groupon works with a network of merchants and service providers to promote services to consumers by offering significant coupons or discounts to use at their businesses.

Businesses benefit from immediate revenue generated through Groupons large direct email network and online market place. The ease to engage and run a Groupon Daily Deal coupon is also very attractive to companies with limited staff, resources or time. Groupon is essentially an online advertising company; it captures attention through its “Deals of the Day” and promotes your business directly to consumers via email. Groupon is highly focused in developing its local and regional reach as a source for consumers find discounts.

Although this is a great way for SME’s to promote products and services on a grand scale it’s also important to remember that new customers maybe potential deal seekers who may have no intentions of coming back, the deal is their only motivator. With the likes of Groupon attracting so many people of that nature, there remains a high possibility for a small business to incur massive losses because of the coupons, while getting no return on investment since those customers will not create repeat business.

Personalised web addresses – an innovative new way to improve your click through rate

The trouble with many URL’s (web addresses) is that they appear faceless. They don’t relate to the customer in the same way that a piece of direct mail does. Imagine if a customer receives a piece of direct mail that’s been made personal to them.  If it includes a standard URL (web address) it can spoil the sense of personal engagement, which is where personalised URL’s, or pURLs come in.     A personalised website address which includes the recipient’s name will direct the recipient through to a page that is personalised for them. The page is created by specialist software only when the pURL is actually accessed. The user will see a webpage that’s as personal to them as a piece of print, which significantly increases the click-through rate.  It’s perfectly possible to achieve 20% click-through rate with a pURL.

Transform your 2012 marketing plan into an engaging experience

Going beyond written communication allows your customers to foster a meaningful connection with you. Through, analytics, social, mobile and video, you can transform your 2012 marketing plan into an engaging experience for your customers and a profitable experience for yourself.

Video can truly bring your brand to life.

Forward-thinking companies are utilising video to better position themselves and give customers yet another reason to plug into their brand. Over 40% of consumers watch videos weekly. In addition, videos can significantly improve your SEO results based on Google’s new system. Overall, creating a unique presence through video that increases interaction and drives more conversions. Videos can:

  • Show off your company’s personality and brand identity.
  • Educate your customers on their purchase.
  • Build trust through product videos

Integrate mobile into your strategies.

Mobile presents marketers with a chance to cut through the clutter of other channels and communicate with consumers in a seemingly one-to-one communication. Adding mobile marketing to your mix allows you to develop a multichannel strategy to create long-term customer relationships and increase both retention and sales. Mobile is an untapped opportunity for many to easily capture email opt-ins, offer coupons and utilise QR codes.

Get Social – it’s not about the “hard sell” but a forum to build a brand’s personality.

Your social arm will enable you to monitor customer feedback in real-time as well as forge even stronger relationships with your customers. Through social media, you can easily move a customer into the loyalty stage and continue to consistently engage them in your brand. The goal shouldn’t be solely focused on growing your fans or followers; it should be a balance of growth, relevant engagement and quality interaction. Remember, you want to create advocates, not passive fans.

Invest In Analytics

Measuring the return on investment (ROI) gives insight on which strategies may need improvement or require further investment. You can use analytics as a way of uncovering what drives a customer to take or not to take action. Reporting, analysing and acting in real-time are the keys to propelling sales and seeing an uplift in revenue.

  • Before you begin throwing numbers around, first plan what you want to measure, how often and through what method.
  • When combining social, email and mobile, focus on metrics such as conversions, referrals, time spent and associated revenue to get an accurate measurement
  • Look for subscriber interaction through behavioural targeting. Click-through analysis allows you to build relevant segments based on what content your customers are looking for.

How to quickly boost your e-mail click-through and conversion rates?

Email marketing success truly depends on your business objectives as well as overall customer engagement. Email programs that grow stale and stagnant are not going to entice and engage your most valuable assets – your email subscribers.

The design of your email templates may have more impact than you realise. Consider using a reasonable text to image ratio. Text is every email marketer’s friend, so always scatter text elements throughout your email templates. Experiment with your design to see what engages your subscribers.

  • The subject line is the first and possibly the only introduction to your campaign that your subscribers may ever see. Take the time and effort to create a truly relevant, engaging subject line that entices subscribers to open.
  • Your success lies within your filed data and your ability to segment. Untargeted email programs increase costs by as much as 3.6 times the cost of targeted programs. Delivering your email campaign to the right person, with the right message, at the right time is critical to your overall email marketing success.
  • Embrace the power of social media within your email templates. Enable subscriber’s to become stronger brand advocates by providing ‘Share’ features in each and every email. Make it easy for subscriber’s to promote your email offers through Google+, Facebook and Twitter.
  • Videos are everywhere. YouTube is a testament to how much people enjoy viewing anything from something really ordinary to the highly entertaining. Think about how you would like to reinforce your brand through video. Always have the video stored outside of the email and link to it. Offer multiple video format choices to accommodate all users.

and don’t forget!…

  • Customers should not have to search your site to sign up for your email marketing efforts. Place your subscribe banner on the homepage of your website. Consider a “Join Now” or “Sign-Up”.
  • The easier it is for subscribers to join, the more likely they will. So, limit the form fields required to join your email program.
  • Thank and welcome new subscribers immediately with a Welcome email highlighting the big wins of your email program. Build a robust Welcome series that touches new subscribers consistently by bringing your brand to life.