Planning a B2B Email Marketing Campaign

Yesterday I attended an Email Marketing course held in the East Midlands Chambers of Commerce building at the NG2 Business Park (for all those who know Nottingham!).  The all day action-planning workshop, which was provided freely by the E-Business Club, focused upon the best way to plan an email marketing campaign.

Leading the 26th October course was professional marketing strategist and software developer Andrew Talbot, who gave all who attended the tools and skills to plan and run their own marketing campaign.  As all of the available places on the workshop were taken, it became obvious that the event has certainly previously been beneficial to SMEs in keeping up to date with their customers.

The importance of email marketing for a successful business was stressed, being cheap, easy and efficient to use as part of a multichannel networking strategy.  You were encouraged to understand the term of “perceived indifference”, which means that a customer generally will assume that your business does not value their custom.  From the point of the consumer, do your emails have relevance to them?  If you examine your own attitude to emails that arrive in your inbox, do you get annoyed if they do not have any relevance to your business?

This course definitely taught me some handy tips to becoming a successful email marketer –

  • Email marketing is not necessarily a tool for winning new clients.  The main purpose of email marketing is to retain and maintain good relationships with current customers.
  • You only get one chance to make a truly good first impression.
  • However, if you do happen to get zero response to your emails, this is a good thing – because you will then know that everything that you did was wrong! You can then change your approach…and it didn’t cost you the moon and the stars.
  • It is easy to become a spammer through sending emails without permission and without targeting a specific audience.  Nobody can sell you a permission-based data list for your business.  If you are reported as a spammer, you can have your IP address blocked!
  • You should always strive to make the person receiving the email feel like it is specifically for them.  It is about establishing trust between the marketer and the consumer.

I was also taught the pros and cons of several different types of marketing software and the benefits of social media to an SME.  What I also found to be encouraging is that Andrew Talbot mentioned the book The New Rules of Marketing and PR by David Meerman Scott as a great source of information for how marketing has been changed by the rise of social networking.  This is, coincidentally, the book that I have recently read and reviewed, finding it as well to be very helpful.

This workshop was one of many Transformational IT services that are part of the government’s “Solutions for Business” portfolio.  This aims to provide eligible businesses with assistance to define the specific requirements that are needed to enable them to progress.   Planning and implementation of E-Business knowledge is then handed to the key SME personnel.

The “Solutions for Business” support products are funded by the East Midlands Development Agency (EMDA) and the European Region Development Fund.  All events are currently running until March 2012.  Unfortunately, there has been talk of pulling the funding for these programmes so they will not be able to continue after this time.  This is a shame, as I found the Email Marketing course to be considerably helpful and understandable.  Meetings were held last week in which it was discussed as to whether the funding for these workshops should remain available.  The outcome is yet to be known.  There are still places available on these free courses, so if you live in the East Midlands and would like some free SME advice, sign up now!

The E-Business Club is a virtual support network created to help you make the best use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) to boost business performance.

They provide information, events, workshops and advice on topics like planning a website, online marketing, social media, e-commerce, security, wireless and mobile working to help you to maximise the benefits of ICT productivity.

To find out more about the East Midlands E-Business Club and what they have to offer, visit:

http://www.ebusinessclub.biz/

Post by Rebecca Wardle, Graduate PR Trainee at Nellie PR, a B2B PR, Marketing and Communications consultancy.

Ellen Carroll

Ellen Carroll is a strategic PR and communication consultant. I provide PR training, mentoring and consultancy to help people and businesses to step out of the shadows with #PRthatPAYS

Find me on: Web | Twitter

Meet the Media – Gorkana Briefing with the BBC Business & Economic Unit

Gorkana, the media database people, hold regular breakfast briefings where PRs like me can get together to hear from top journalists on how they like to work with us, and what opportunities exist to get even better coverage for our clients.

With a panel consisting of Jeremy Hillman, Hugh Pym, Piers Parry-Crooke and Robb Stevenson from the BBC’s Business and Economic Unit, it wasn’t surprising that the 6 October event was standing room only.

 

Typically, the Gorkana events are London-based, but with the likes of BBC Radio 5 moving to Salford, the meet the media breakfast briefing was a timely chance to get out of Nottingham and hear first hand what the move will mean.  And, to get a handle on what additional opportunities exist for many of our non-London business clients to get their voices heard and their faces seen on BBC Business, including:

•    Wake up to Money
•    BBC on the Money with Declan Curry
•    Five Live Drive
•    The newly launched BBC Technology of Business Index.

With the BBC often criticised for being too London-centric, it was really great to hear the panel’s desire to reach out to more regional businesses, and to expand on its range of commentators. In particular, the BBC panel stressed that they were keen to hear from new experts, SMEs and CEOs able and available to comment and react to timely issues and news.

Business is always current, but with VAT changes, GDP figures and the spending review almost upon us, there’s plenty of timely angles and hooks coming up for businesses to provide their views, stories and reactions to gain coverage across the BBC.

With this in mind, Hugh and the rest of the BBC panel had some top tips for new business commentators and PRs pitching them forward for interview slots and to provide comment: “availability, availability, availability”, “be flexible”, “don’t promise and then not deliver”, and “highlight access to local BBC studios” to minimise any extra handholding needed.

Nobody wants to hear the same old voices, or see the same faces time and time again but with limited resources the panel conceded it was sometimes easier to go back to a familiar face.  Obviously, they’re proven, good operators, know where they’re going and happy with an early 5.30a.m. start.  Ultimately, success breeds success.  If a journalist knows you’re good for it, available and flexible, an expert in your field then they will keep coming back for more.  The challenge is to secure that first slot – that’s where a good PR will come in.

For more information on the briefings see Gorkana.   The next Gorkana breakfast briefing is with the Financial Times FT Money on Wednesday 27th October.  Alice Ross, Deputy Personal Finance Editor will be on the panel – providing an insight into the FT’s daily workings and her top tips on how they would like to work with PRs.

Post by Ellen Carroll, owner and director of Nellie PR, a B2B PR, marketing and communications consultancy.

Ellen Carroll

Ellen Carroll is a strategic PR and communication consultant. I provide PR training, mentoring and consultancy to help people and businesses to step out of the shadows with #PRthatPAYS

Find me on: Web | Twitter

Social Media Testimonial

Thanks to Carly Ferguson, Marketing Executive at Infogroup/UK for the testimonial on our B2B PR and social media work.

Over to you Carly: “Ellen from Nellie PR is incredibly enthusiastic in all that she does, keeping up-to-date with all the latest news and trends she has kept us ahead of the game with regards to social media.  Always reliable, Ellen rises to a challenge and shows as much passion for our business as we do.  A pleasure to work with, I would strongly recommend her as a supplier.”

Ellen Carroll

Ellen Carroll is a strategic PR and communication consultant. I provide PR training, mentoring and consultancy to help people and businesses to step out of the shadows with #PRthatPAYS

Find me on: Web | Twitter

Training Grants in Public Relations

Does your business have between five and 249 employees?  Based in the East Midlands?  If so, you could be eligible for a grant of up to £1,000 towards the cost of training and coaching in public relations, copywriting or social media strategy.

The funding is available for the development of senior leaders and managers through the Leaders First initiative.  Businesses, public sector and charitable organisations are all eligible to apply for funding in a wide range of areas.  As B2B PR specialists, Nellie PR has already delivered:

  • Social media strategy training
  • Public relations mentoring and coaching
  • Training in B2B copywriting.

Contact Nellie PR to find out more about how apply for grant funding towards training and coaching in public relations, copywriting or social media strategy.

Ellen Carroll

Ellen Carroll is a strategic PR and communication consultant. I provide PR training, mentoring and consultancy to help people and businesses to step out of the shadows with #PRthatPAYS

Find me on: Web | Twitter

Happy New Year from Nellie PR

Happy New Year from Nellie PR

Happy New Year from Nellie PR

Ellen Carroll

Ellen Carroll is a strategic PR and communication consultant. I provide PR training, mentoring and consultancy to help people and businesses to step out of the shadows with #PRthatPAYS

Find me on: Web | Twitter