Why you should be sending letters

Bank Robber Willie SuttonWillie Sutton is a well known American bank robber (bio on Wiki). Although always taking a pistol or Thompson sub-machine gun he never killed anyone, in fact he never even fired his weapon. When captured, his gun was always found to be empty and when asked about this he simply replied “I never carry a loaded gun because somebody may get hurt”. In fact if a woman screamed or a baby cried he stopped the robbery and left.

Why are we talking about Willie?
Simple, he made a statement that has ramifications on your marketing even today, when asked why he robbed banks Willie replied “Because that’s where the money is

So, how does that reflect on marketing? Simple – when you are marketing your business, you should always look where the money (your customers) is.

Where is the money?
According to marketing expert Drayton Bird, Millennials may not be the ideal target, they are buried in debt, apparently 40% of 18-34 year olds live with their parents and struggle to find well paying jobs.

Baby boomers, on the other hand are less stressed about money having enjoyed decades of cheap housing, safe jobs (some guaranteed for life), solid pensions and huge stock market gains. So, perhaps that’s who your marketing should be focussing on.

A recent survey has also turned up some very interesting statistics about Baby Boomers. Apparently they respond better to offline advertising

  • Less than 10% prefer hearing from a new company through email
  • 73% prefer getting new product/service offers by mail
  • Only 31% say they discard unopened commercial mail

So, what’s the message?
Don’t ignore “snail mail” – take a look at what arrives in your letterbox. Mine’s almost empty for most of the week so a well targeted piece of direct mail is likely to be opened, and that’s half the battle. After that, it’s down to the quality of your letter, the words, the pictures AND ensuring that there’s a positive call to action (CTA) and whilst on the topic of CTAs, every page of your website should have one and every email you send.

What’s next?
If you need help with any aspect of your marketing, get in touch. Give me a call on 01793 238020, drop me an email to andy@enterprise-oms.co.uk or link up on LinkedIn or Twitter.


That’s my CTA, btw.

Do you use a .EU domain?

Brexit was always going to have problems and issues for businesses but none expected it to have an impact on business domain names.

Well, until Easter 2018 anyway, which was when a major problem for businesses was announced in well known and respected technology news site, The Register.

You probably chose your .EU domain for a really good reason, you want the world to know that either you are an EU-based business or your market is the EU, for example.

However, as a result of Brexit, the EU has announced that all .EU domains registered by UK businesses (and individuals) will be revoked on B-Day (Brexit Day) 31st March 2018

What this means is that if you are one of the 300,000 UK organisations or individuals who has registered a .EU domain you might well see your website disappear overnight.

Obviously, continental domain registrars may well take advantage of this, offering to take on your domain and “fix” the problem for a (presumably large) fee, but that also has issues. The European Commission has hinted it is unhappy with that arrangement too; they will no longer allow you to own an .eu domain (that’s their whole point), so you are putting yourself at some commercial risk (similar to not owning IP in any products you make), and the EU is legally bound to prefer “the good of the EU” in any contractual dispute. Thankfully though, there are alternatives:

What’s in a (domain) name?

It’s not just your web site that could be affected, your email system, security certificates for encryption and e-commerce, and possibly even remote access to company assets for sales staff might be impacted too.

It will vary, obviously, depending on how you are set up, but checking this now is very sensible.

Perhaps the best approach is to do two things

  1. Immediately register a suitable .UK domain, and
  2. Point your .EU web traffic to it as soon as possible.

You have a choice of .uk domain name, and you can still represent your EU connection in it, if that’s crucial. For example,

bloggs-transport.eu

might change to,

bloggs-transport-eu.uk

We realise this isn’t ideal, but the second name is safe as it can’t be affected by any disruption the EU Commission might cause. You would have normal rights to the name, under English law, and, if it’s done right, there’s almost a whole year for your clients to get used to your new URL. Thus the risk is minimised, and it becomes one aspect of Brexit that can’t hurt you further commercially.

If this change goes ahead—and this is much more likely than unlikely in our opinion—you have less than a year for clients to become used to the change. This isn’t something to hesitate over: the implication is that no redirection will be possible after 31st March 2019, so at that point your site will simply vanish off the internet. People may even think you’ve gone bust!

Right now, you have enough time for this NOT to become an expensive issue. The longer you leave this one, the more electronic business disruption is likely to cost you come Brexit day.

If you have a .eu domain and you are worried, please get in touch: the fixes are mostly straightforward and inexpensive to implement (without disruption, if you act quickly enough).

How ready is your business for marketing online?

I recently read a post on www.SmallBusinessNewz.com that says many small businesses do nothing to enhance their on-line presence and 90% have not even considered paid web marketing such as Pay per Click [aka Google Ads, PPC] or sponsored updates on Social Media sites.

£20 notesPersonally, I think that this is good news even though I may disagree with the one of the main reasons they give – they believe that it may be too expensive and not deliver results.

I know that a properly constructed and managed campaign WILL most certainly deliver results and does not have to be expensive. However, campaigns that are rushed in to place and ineffectively managed will simply feed the money hungry machines that are Google, Facebook etc.

What’s even worse is that even a well set up and managed campaign may not deliver the wished for results because the website at the end of the click may not be up to the task.

It would be like advertising the opening of a new supermarket, building demand and expectation and then throwing open the doors only to have the shelves half stocked and no one around to help or take your money. A wasted opportunity! Not only a wasted opportunity but a wasted future because people who have had their expectations dashed will never return and (and this is just as bad) spread the word.

So, a business with a website that is unsatisfactory from a visitors perspective should NOT embark on any new marketing activity until –

  • the destination website is up to scratch.
  • they are sure they have the resources to deal with an uplift in enquiries and / or sales

What do I mean by having a website that it “up to scratch”? Watch this space for my next post.

What does your email address say about you

Getting the right email addressI’ve been meaning to write about this for a while now and was reminded again about the message your email address sends when I was following a van recently. The van was sign written [good], carried a large phone number [good], web address in significantly smaller [not so good] print http://www.jobbingtrader.co.uk and an email address – not just any email but a free address [awful], jobbing-trader13@outlook.com [names have been changed to protect my health].

This is wrong on so many levels.

First off – an Outlook.com address, really! In fact any free email address – such as one from Yahoo.com or Virgin.net or BTInternet or AOL to name but a few – really does send the wrong message!

Secondly, it also shouts “I don’t understand”. It’s far easier to remember an email address when the bit that goes after the @ is the same that goes after the www. – you are getting twice the chance of people remembering your contact details

Thirdly, you are missing out on so many opportunities to better manage your email, you can have multiple addresses, info@, sales@, accounts@, enquiries@, myname@ to name just a few. You can then set up folders in your email program for each address and easily create rules which automatically filter incoming emails and move them to the relevant folder.

With each part of your business having a unique email address means that everything is a little easier to prioritise and manage. As an example, you could look at sales@ first because these might be new contracts, accounts@ next because these relate to money and myname@ last because these are more likely to be personal in nature.

All of the above can be easily achieved if you have your own web address because each web address can usually have more than one email address and most email programs enable you to set up folders and create rules.

Managing your emails in this way will help you to present a more professional look to the outside world and enable you to be more effective when it comes to managing your emails and the way that you act, save, delete and back them up…….you do back up your emails don’t you?

If you have any questions about your email services, don’t hesitate to get in touch blog@enterprise-oms.co.uk[did you see what I did there?] or give me a call on 01793 238020

What does your email address say about you and your business?

Getting the right email addressI’ve been meaning to write about this for a while now and was reminded again about the message your email address sends when I was following a van recently. The van was sign written [good], carried a large phone number [good], web address in significantly smaller [not so good] print http://www.jobbingtrader.co.uk and an email address – not just any email but a Gmail address [awful], jobbing-trader13@hotmail.com [names have been changed to protect my health].

This is wrong on so many levels.

First off – a Hotmail address, really! In fact any free email address – such as one from Yahoo.com or Virgin.net or BTInternet or AOL to name but a few – really does send the wrong message!

Secondly, it also shouts “I don’t understand”. It’s far easier to remember an email address when the bit that goes after the @ is the same that goes after the www. – you are getting twice the chance of people remembering your contact details

Thirdly, you are missing out on so many opportunities to better manage your email, you can have multiple addresses, info@, sales@, accounts@, enquiries@, myname@ to name just a few. You can then set up folders in your email program for each address and easily create rules which automatically filter incoming emails and move them to the relevant folder.

With each part of your business having a unique email address means that everything is a little easier to prioritise and manage. As an example, you could look at sales@ first because these might be new contracts, accounts@ next because these relate to money and myname@ last because these are more likely to be personal in nature.

All of the above can be easily achieved if you have your own web address because each web address can usually have more than one email address and most email programs enable you to set up folders and create rules.

Managing your emails in this way will help you to present a more professional look to the outside world and enable you to be more effective when it comes to managing your emails and the way that you act, save, delete and back them up…….you do back up your emails don’t you?

If you have any questions about your email services, don’t hesitate to get in touch blog@enterprise-oms.co.uk[did you see what I did there?] or give me a call on 01793 238020