Thursday, August 23, 2012

Improve Your Email Open Rate with these Dos and Don’ts

In any web-based communication, you have seconds to capture the interest of your audience. Hundreds of messages stream through your audience’s inbox in any given week, making it critical to set yourself apart with relevant, concise writing.  

Debating the must-haves of successful email copy, we came up with some helpful reminders during our most recent copywriter’s best practices meeting:

First up - The Subject Line

It better be intriguing, clear and brief. People have too much to read as it is, so make it easy for them to choose your email.

Do: strive to keep it between 30-50 characters, and never exceed 72.
Don’t: use words like free, help, buy, open, join, or similar gimmicky sales terms
Do: stress urgency – people are more likely to want to read if they have limited time to act
Don’t: use symbols like $$, or % – spam filters are sure to stop emails with these ploys
Do: use actual numbers – especially if there’s a numerical benefit

The Main Attraction - The Body Copy

This is where you ensure audiences see an immediate benefit to opening your email.  What does your topic mean to the customer and why?  Some things to remember here are:

Do: choose one key benefit – too many and your readers lose interest; none at all and you’re forgotten
Don’t: divert to other topics – gear all your relating material to support the one chosen benefit
Do: use bullets and numbers to increase scanability
Don’t: leave all the calls to action at the bottom
Do: write in 2nd person – you, you, you! Help your audience relate to your message and its benefit.

So there you have it, how to make the most of email communications. Brief and to the point – just like your subject line and copy should be.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Turn the Skills Gap into a Competitive Edge

The writing’s on the Web – here, here, here and here. American companies in many industries face a shortage of skilled workers. It’s perhaps the single greatest challenge facing manufacturers today.

But it isn’t a burden – it’s an opportunity. It’s time to take charge, set your business apart and bring in the talent you need to keep growing.

Start by sharing your story. Show recruits and employees what’s special about your company, why the work matters and what the future holds – for them, for your customers, for your industry, for your community.
Then make that story the foundation of a complete, ongoing recruitment and retention program that supports your HR team by reaching and resonating with vital recruits. 

Components might include:
  • A careers website
  • Media relations
  • Social media engagement
  • Special events
  • Public-private partnerships
There’s plenty more to the success of your recruiting efforts, of course. Explore more about how our agency is helping clients deal with the crucial talent issue. Or check out the case study below: 
Case Study (PDF): How a comprehensive program can support  HR recruiting efforts

Thursday, August 2, 2012

3 Keys to Integrated Digital Marketing

You know it’s important for your company to speak with “one voice.” But with all the online platforms available today, how do you do that consistently and effectively?

Boil it down to these three essential tasks:

1.     Take a comprehensive approach. Review your goals for the year and determine which online channels will help you achieve those goals.

2.     For each online channel, develop a set of communication goals, strategies and tracking tailored for the medium.

3.     Make your website the hub for all your efforts, defining how each of the other channels fits in that framework.

Here’s an example of how it can work. You pick a social media platform where you can reach your target audience. And via that social media platform, you continuously promote relevant content that’s hosted on your website. Your social media strategy should consider short-term goals and of-the-moment issues to increase engagement, while also allowing for the long-term, brand-building approach supported on your website.

Done right, an integrated approach creates a deeper brand experience and brings more and better sales leads to your company. In a future post, we’ll talk more about how to do that, exploring various forms of online media content and how they relate to an integrated digital marketing strategy.