Today I received a GDPR email message from a LinkedIn connection – we are 1st degree connected. But because he’s in Europe, all his written electronic mass communications are now governed by GDPR – the European Union legislation General Data Protection Regulation.
The full email is reproduced below. Here is my analysis of why it’s such a nicely composed text. If you are in B2B marketing, I recommend taking a close look and deciding if this sort of annual review of your mailing list is appropriate.
Because we pay (mostly) for our email mass communications in a monthly fee calculated on the size of our mailing list, it’s worthwhile doing a “cull” to remove people who are either not reading your messages (since Gmail introduced the tabbed viewing this has increased for my list) or those who are no longer relevant to you or vice versa. It keeps your messaging tight and focused.
6 direct mail copywriting tips
The opener explains why – in large font. The subject line is “Why did we connect in the first place?” so I was intrigued to open it.
The addressee (me) is personalised.
The four points summarise Paul’s brand offering and gives me more reason to check out his current work.
Then he justifies continuing to mail me post-GDPR (not sure I buy this – but points for trying)
He gives permission to unsubscribe and suggests reasons why I should do this.
Lastly, in the footer he reminds me to update my LinkedIn contact preferences – a very nice touch
So here’s his article in which he explains what IDK means and here’s the list management options for future communications showing my selections.
I think this is clear and totally appropriate. Get in touch if you’d like me to review your mailing list strategies.
Email list marketing permission options
The Full Email Text
Rebecca, You are receiving this email because we are 1st. grade connected on LinkedIn.
“I did not have time to write a short note” sic. Mark Twain The words appeared in a letter [JRMT] 1871 June 15, Letter from Mark Twain to James Redpath, Elmira, New York
Was it because my profile caught you attention, or was it something in my Company page which appealed to you?
All good reasons and fine with me…, as these are my reasons too.
By connecting 1st grade you signed-in = pre GDPR opt-in – when accepting the connection request.
Your connection is as valuable to me as exchanging a business card containing all contact data during a life network event. A licence to contact… by phone, fax (I still remember), mobile phone (now WhatsApp), mail … This in order to set-up a business deal, meeting (now virtual) and social event… stay in contact.
And which is more, exchange or reach out for knowledge, an introduction, bring articles, whitepapers, books – all now with e- extension – which added to our success to each other’s attention and use. Shortcutting the learning curve, avoiding pitfalls, grow faster.
It is cumbersome to maintain contact with your network (it contains the verb …work) so here is how I do it: I am a giver – the golden rule in networking: give and not expect to be given – by sharing courtesy content, summits, introductions…. Proper GDPR set-up in place to safeguard and cherish our contact.
When your interest, position, business evolves, it is okay to: * Unsubscribe * or hit the * No longer interested *, * Unspecified * , * Other * (a reason appreciated) tab. No hard feelings!
But don’t throw * Did not sign up * back at me because you did – pre- GDPR – check your linked-in connection list.
It gets worse with * Inappropriate content *: how am I supposed to know things changed when you are not telling me, your once 1st linked-in chosen contact, what changed, what your interests are today… so Update your preference.
What is new in SEM for business? Rebecca Caroe discusses the Wild West of agency service providers and how to avoid getting ripped off by a marketing firm.
Louise runs the Creative Store – a recruitment and placement agency specialising in the creative industries. This is her interview with Rebecca published in August 2018. When starting our companies, Louise and Rebecca shared offices in the BizDojo and shared jokes about English sweets and beer!
Q. How do you define search engine marketing?
A. Anything you do for your business that gets it showing up in search results.So thiscan cover keyword SEO on your website, having a strong LinkedIn profile, guest articles, Slideshare presentations and advertising.
Q. Are many companies doing a terrible job of this?
A. It is my view that SEO service provision is a “wild west” there are a lot of cowboys.This is not just a supply side problem, it’s also caused by clients who do not brief well, are not experienced buyers and have unrealistic expectations of what is possible.We know that business owners come to our events because they want to learn.Many tell anecdotes about past experiences which didn’t go well.To challenge and counteract the wild west, I am part of a Facebook group called The Ethical Digital Marketing Community (EDMC) – you’re very welcome to join us, share and learn together.I certainly don’t claim to have all the answers.
Q. How do you identify your clients?
A.Our clients are businesses who sell to other businesses.Many are new to marketing and do not have in-house staff with expertise.
Q. You can spot pretty quickly where they are going wrong
Normally, they aren’t going wrong – they are getting started.For many, the part of their marketing which they notice is not performing is their website.It’s not showing up in search, they aren’t getting inbound enquiries and competitors are more prominent.We recommend they do a self-test using WooRank Checker or Hubspot Website Grader Tool and see what their website score out of 100 is.That identifies many of the areas where they’re underperforming.
Q. If clients wish to engage you, is this on a retainer or do you do a sweep of their work for a charge?
A. We do both.Unusually for an agency we are very happy to train and up-skill the client’s team and also work with existing agencies who they already have on retainer.Our strategic leadership allows both to deliver better outcomes for the client – and that is always the end goal.By having a clear strategy and goals we are able to brief agencies better, they work to a clear objective and the client trusts us both to get the results.It’s a win-win-win scenario.
Q. You are hosting an exciting event with Blair Enns in October about this subject – how do you put a price on your work – what will we expect to see from this workshop?
A.Blair is a world expert in how to win without pitching.October is his first event on the topic of pricing creative work.His thesis is that most creative firms under-price their skills and expertise.And so he teaches “value pricing” where you learn how to price the client, not the job.Watch Blair’s summary webinar and understand where you could improve http://pitchpack.co.nz/pricing-creativity-free-webinar/
Q. Who needs your services the most?
A.Owner-managed businesses where the owners don’t know modern digital marketing and are too busy to do it themselves.
Q. Where is the future of SEM going?
A. Deeper and wider into ever more businesses.Good SEM techniques are straightforward to apply to any business.I summarise this into – State what you do, Answer questions clearly and Keep your focus on local or niche audiences.Then repeat and improve.
Q. Any helpful tips and hints to our clients on their SEM and simples fixes they could be applying?
A.Sure – Three things. 1 do a website check and see what your score out of 100 is.2 connect your Google Analytics and Search Console so you can see the queries driving your natural search traffic.3 review where your last 10 new clients came from – was it referrals or web search or directories or public speaking or something else.Then double down on what’s working and do more of it.
Q. Where to from here for Creative Agency Secrets
A. More collaborative relationships with other agencies and mutual clients.I firmly believe that collaboration is an under-used business principle and it is working amazingly well for us.Who doesn’t want to look good in front of the client?
https://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/The-Creative-Store.png5621526Rebecca Caroehttps://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/CAS_Logo_1line_RGB.jpgRebecca Caroe2018-08-31 09:00:262018-08-22 12:38:33What's new in Search Engine Marketing 2018
Thanks to Dawn who wrote in asking “What does a client brief look like?”
Let us help you out.
What to do when hiring an agency
If you sub-contract your marketing to an agency or to freelancers, you want to be sure that you pay for and get good quality work.
A lot of the quality of output is due to high quality input. By that I mean, briefing documents. If you can explain clearly what you want, how you want it done and timeframes, you are far more likely to get high quality work back.
For briefing we always give a lot of detail and we also ask the freelancer to write back with answers to our questions.
We choose these carefully in order to show us that THEY have read the brief.
Please tell me what access permissions you need before you start the job
And we also ask them open questions whose answers tell us if they understand the scope, how they would approach the job and allow us to assess how good their English is.
Estimate how long the job will take
Tell me what problems you anticipate
Below is a template document which we use when we receive instructions to do some marketing for our clients. You can download it from the link.
Each sub-heading is self explanatory – as a client you should fill in each section as clearly as possible and then send it out to the agency or agencies you want to work with asking them to send you price quotations.
Alternatively, you write longhand what you want and the agency will fill in the gaps in the document. Then you should approve it before instructing the work.
Connecting two compatible businesses with each other can be one of strongest networking tools for you and other businesses. By connecting the groups, not only are you solidifying your own network, but also helping the two businesses who may be able to benefit each other.
But often times this can be difficult over email.
In my networking group, we’re working hard to make it really EASY for members to introduce each other to new prospects and new clients.
I was asked by the group to help coach them in the best way to write an introduction that others could use. So let’s say you wanted to introduce my firm to another business. Here’s how you would do it.
Hi [their name],
I just wanted to connect you with Rebecca from Creative Agency Secrets. I know you were interested in increasing your business’s online presence, and I’m sure they’ll be able to help.
Creative Agency Secrets is an expert in marketing and promoting businesses using traditional and online methods. They work as the outsourced marketing team for busy businesses doing marketing that starts conversations and leads to sales.
I have seen their work for [name a client] and used them for my own business to write the copy on our website About Us page. And I’ve also recommended them several times and had great feedback especially about their careful attention to detail.
I will leave you two to connect – I’ve spoken to you both about each other and shared your emails and phone numbers below.
[both parties’ contact information]
The 5 elements of an effective email introduction
Introduce: explain why you sent the email
Start: with their one-liner…. who are they and what do they do
Build: with an example of their work for someone you both know, preferably. If you can’t say you have worked personally with them, a mutual acquaintance is a positive reinforcer.
Memorability: Add an anecdote that describes your experience – if you can make it funny, cute or WOW that’s best but not strictly necessary.
End: Include all the information they need to continue a dialogue without you….
We plan on creating a shared document for everyone so they can cut/paste the text into emails for business referrals for new business development.
The best introductions are when you’ve spoken personally to both parties. NOTE not emailed, spoken….
https://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/Email.png17381920Rebecca Caroehttps://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/CAS_Logo_1line_RGB.jpgRebecca Caroe2018-06-27 09:35:132018-06-27 09:36:11How To Introduce A Business By Email
Sage publishes an annual survey of accountants attitudes – what’s interesting is that it is global and the summary report details some good findings about the profession.It’s called The Practice of Now 2018
As a marketer who works with professional services businesses, my reading highlights some big numbers in the research about artificial intelligence, fear of competition, lack of optimism and increasingly demanding clients.The implications for marketing, I will cover at the end of this article.
10 take-outs from the Practice of Now 2018 report
Clients are changing faster than accountants. – 42% of clients expect accountants to provide business advice.This shows how frontline accountancy is in the mind of the client and how banks and business mentors have failed to take up the slack here, which is an opportunity for growth.
Revenues rise as cloud accounting allows firms to be more productive.56% of firms saw a revenue rise.If your firm didn’t see this fee income growth – start to review your working practices.
Practice Management in the cloud is at 53% adoption – clearly we are into the mainstream majority now.
But confidence is lower – 40% feel less confident about the prospects for their practice.Clearly Xero’s goal of putting accountants out of business is realistic and beginning to come true.
Competition within the industry is more visible – are you buying up a practice from a retiring competitor?Clients will go to an accountant who serves their needs – even to another city or country.This is both a threat and and opportunity for new business development.
Artificial Intelligence is helping free up administrative tasks and it’s more than just automation. Moving from data entry, email and diary management to higher value services is a no-brainer… but how to set it up is the challenge as these skills aren’t in-house and they may not be in the IT services organisations who work with accountants either.
Most accountants are doing some workflow automation – 49% want to do more of it.So the benefits are noticed (see 2 above).
The language of accountancy is changing – “Tell me how much money I have” and “How much am I owed?” is SO refreshing compared to “debtors, creditors and accruals”.From a marketing point of view, these messages are very powerful and simple – but does your firm use this language?
Advisory services are wanted by 42% of clients – but if you don’t market & position the firm to capture this revenue, clients will go elsewhere.
The BIGGIE – 67% of accountants say that cloud technologies make client collaboration easier. Phew, glad that worked out because it jolly well ought to be this way.
Should I worry about artificial intelligence?
If you’re not sure what A.I. could do for your business, start asking questions now.Because we all understand automation in things like bank feeds, this is a very small part of the working practice move towards higher functionality for humans and lower functions for machines (or software robots).
The easiest way to understand the potential for AI in accountancy is this extract from the report
“Candidates for automation already include assigning incoming bank statement entries with the correct nominal codes—via training the machine becomes able to predict what codes should be used—but in the near future the power of AI to learn means it will become involved with operations like analytics and report creation. For example, software will be able to predict a client’s cash flow based on the company’s previous behaviour. Based on self-generated data, AI will be able to make predictions and decisions. This isn’t limited to client data. By examining things like seasonality data, AI can help with practice management. AI and automation aren’t just desirable because they make life easier. Research has suggested that the tedium of repetitive tasks can lead to a high staff turnover, introducing additional costs for a practice such as recruitment and training. Automating these processes makes complete business sense.”
It goes on to say
“AI can flag the anomalies, saving time and resources, making the accountant more productive.”
Your strategic marketing pathway
And as a marketer, if I am advising a modern accountancy practice this is what they should be doing for strategic marketing.
Firstly get your brand positioning updated to reflect modern working.Think Nena and Kim Wilde – “Anyplace, anywhere, anytime” and you’ll be on the right track.
How that branding plays out into your collateral, positioning, services and online profile should be straightforward.The key is to get the strategy right first and the rollout should be clear.You will need new keywords for SEO, your client communications will become driven by client preference and choice and your language will simplify and align with clients’ choices of words.
Other than that, it’s marketing business as (un)usual for a modern accountancy practice.
https://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/CAS_Logo_1line_RGB.jpg00Rebecca Caroehttps://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/CAS_Logo_1line_RGB.jpgRebecca Caroe2018-05-31 16:56:132018-05-31 16:56:13The (b)leading edge of Accountancy marketing
Migrating to digital marketing from traditional marketing is a question I get asked frequently. Giving a talk to the Te Atatu Business Association, I was able to showcase both business to business (B2B) and business to consumer (B2C) examples of ways to work out these things
Where to start your digital marketing
Which marketing methods will work best for your business
What communications will work best for your clients and customers
The resources on the last slide are worthwhile saving / bookmarking. They relate to directory listings and tips for local marketing.
https://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/CAS_Logo_1line_RGB.jpg00Rebecca Caroehttps://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/CAS_Logo_1line_RGB.jpgRebecca Caroe2018-05-16 10:23:272018-05-16 10:23:50How to Migrate to Digital Marketing
Thanks to Glenn Marvin of Konnector who interviewed me on his 302 Temporary Redirect Show (that’s a geek joke – a website has a 302 error code…. ).
5 key activities for B2B Marketing
During the show Glenn asked me what my “always on” fundamental B2B marketing activities are. If you want to listen it’s at 18:25 through to 20:24.
Database of clients, suspects and prospects. Regularly updated.
Regular communications to your database
Trade shows and local in person meetups
LinkedIn to recognise the names of people in your industry – and LinkedIn Sales Navigator
Speaking at conferences, events and being a PR spokesperson for your trade magazine.
https://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Konnector-podcast-302-show-1.png11462038Rebecca Caroehttps://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/CAS_Logo_1line_RGB.jpgRebecca Caroe2018-04-20 14:36:002018-04-23 13:39:02Featured on the 302 Temp Redirect show
“So little thought goes into websites” I said this afternoon, prompting my colleague, Conrado Langer to add “You just described humanity in one sentence!”
Reviewing the social sharing icons for two clients this week we had opposing experiences.
One was getting great traction – but the sharing icons overlaid the blog text when viewed on a tablet.
Our bad – we reviewed the settings and adjusted the screen size for when the layout switched to the mobile enabled format.
The other just installed a social sharing plugin without thought to their blog layout or users. It scrolls round to two rows, and includes some which are barely used including the highlighted, VK. This is a Russian site with few privacy controls and full of undesirable content. An unlikely choice for English-speaking consumers.
A poor choice of social sharing icons
Relevant social sharing icons
Do you know your audience? Do you know which social channels they use? If the answer isn’t yes you need to go do some research.
My choice of social sharing icons for a consumer business in 2018 are:- Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest
And if you are chasing a youth audience – consider adding Tumblr, Instagram and Snapchat (QR Code)
My choice of social sharing icons for a B2B business in 2018 are: LinkedIn, Email, Facebook, Reddit
And if you’re a creative, film, art or music business consider Vero the newly launched service.
https://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/sharing.png2581216Rebecca Caroehttps://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/CAS_Logo_1line_RGB.jpgRebecca Caroe2018-04-16 10:00:052018-04-13 16:08:45Social Sharing Icons - choose the right ones for 2018