If you don’t feel up to speed with the latest marketing methods, here’s a quick guide to help you get started:

Email Marketing

It’s a tried and true marketing channel – but how can you cut through the inbox clutter, and increase the likelihood that your email will get opened and actioned.

1. Test your email content. Use different subject lines, try a few different calls to action and measure what works best - then switch to the higher performing version and introduce another test. Rinse and repeat!

2. Spell out how your business, product or service will make an impact on the reader’s day. How do you solve an urgent problem in their life? It’s even more powerful if you can help readers make an emotional connection to your solution, eg they will be happier, less stressed or have more time to spend with their family.

3. Personalise! Make your email marketing more effective by tailoring the content to your reader’s preferences and behaviours. Certain email apps can pull customer data from your Customer Relationship Management (CRM) to make this easy and seamless.

4. Mobile Friendly? More and more of your customers are reading emails on their smartphones or tablets. Apps like the ExactTarget Marketing Cloud provide mobile-optimised email templates, and allow you to preview how that email will appear on mobile devices vs desktops. 

5. Reality check. Would you click on it? Or respond to it? Be honest with yourself – if it’s too long, or the next step isn’t clear, then start again with a new draft.

Social Media

Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest... Businesses of all sizes struggle to make effective use of social media channels, and it can be daunting for SMEs – but your customers are on there, so it could represent a fantastic opportunity for your business. 

1. Start with a plan. Outline your goals and business objectives, so you clearly understand what you want to achieve. Then work out how to measure progress towards those goals – don’t waste time tracking numbers you don’t care about. 

2. Next – find your audience. Define exactly who you want to reach – they’re probably similar to your current customers. So ask a handful of your customers which social networks they use, and see what is – or isn’t – working for your competitors on their social profiles. You don’t have to be on every form of social media – start where the biggest potential audience is for your business.

Make sure it’s resourced. It’s unlikely that you need a dedicated person to manage your social media presence – but clearly identify who owns this in your business, and ensure they have the right skills to post, monitor, manage and respond.

4. Finally, don’t forget that social media is also a customer service channel – be ready to address all feedback, good and bad. Consider how a social customer service app like desk.com could help you centrally manage and track customer inquiries from social media.

Lead Management

Successfully converting leads to new customers is the lifeblood of most small businesses. Here are some best practices to help you increase prospects and focus on the right leads.

1. Define the perfect lead, so you can hone in on your target – what are their problems, their interests, their role in the buying process, their preferred method of communication? This way, everyone in sales and marketing (which can include everyone in your business!) knows what they’re looking for – and what to expect. 

2. Keep your data clean! Make sure all the information on your leads and customers is kept in one place, like a CRM application. Everyone in your business should refer to – and update – that system, rather than keeping details on emails or worse, Post-It notes! 

3. Share feedback. Remember that winning or losing a deal is not the final step. To keep improving lead management in your business, you should ask questions of your team and share insights. Why was the lead initially hesitant to buy? How did you overcome their hesitations? How many interactions does it usually take to convert a lead to a customer?

For step-by-step instructions on how you can put each of these tactics to use in your business, download our free eBook.