Email Marketing: Tips & Tricks for a Successful Campaign

According to Talarico (2016), 92% of adults use email, with a total of 13 working hours each week devoted to checking mail alone. Email marketing allows businesses’ to create tailored campaigns with more personalised messages to target a specific customer base, and in turn build stronger customer relationships. For this reason, many organisations have made e-mail marketing the cornerstone of their communications strategy (Reimers, Chao and Gorman, 2016). Not only does email marketing serve to drive website traffic, it also influences impulse buying on online websites (Dawson and Kim, 2010).

Below are some ways to maximise email-marketing efforts;

  1. Get permission

If e-mail marketing is to prove effective, marketers must recognise that consumers regard their e-mail inbox as their personal domain, and not abuse this privilege (Chittenden and Rettie, 2003). The Law in the UK now states that permission must be obtained before emailing an account for commercial purposes (Gov.UK, 2018). Additionally, customers must have the option to ‘opt-out’ to no longer receive marketing emails from your business (Gov.UK, 2018).

Click to read the UK’s regulations on direct email marketing.

  1. Subject lines matter

35% of people open emails based on the subject line (Talarico, 2016). As it is the first thing they see, its definitely worth putting some thought into those few characters. To improve open rates, Collis (2014) recommends using a clear subject line, less than fifty characters, which that tells the reader exactly what is inside the email, describing the benefit you are providing and creates an immediate emotion (curiosity, urgency, fear, etc) (Rampton, 2015).

Click to read Campaign Monitors’ Top 8 email subject lines for increasing Open Rates.

  1. Strong Call to Actions

Write a concise email speaking directly to your audience with a strong call to action. For example, “Receive 30% off your next purchase” has a clear benefit and call to action. “Receive 30% off all dresses – today only” has an even stronger call to action as it is specific and time sensitive, causing the recipients to feel the immediate emotional appeal (Rampton, 2015).

While there may be a few calls to action in your email (follow, visit, call, buy etc.), it’s important not to confuse the recipients. Focus your messaging on one main call to action and others secondary (Talarico, 2016).

Click to read Campaign Monitors’ 75 Calls to Action to Use in Your Email Marketing Campaigns

  1. Make sure it is mobile optimised

Its important to be aware of how your email is displayed on smartphones and tablets – and to make sure it’s optimised for these devices. Email’s opened on a mobile device have doubled over the past five years, according to a report released by data and email solutions provider Return Path (Nelson, 2017). The study analysed more than 27 billion email opens between May 2016 and April 2017. The results showed that 55% of emails analysed were opened on a mobile device. On the other hand, emails opened on an Internet browser, have dropped to 28%, and only 16% on a desktop (Nelson, 2017).

Tips for creating a mobile-friendly email include; using a single column template, using larger font, having a single call-to-action and being as concise as possible – both in the subject line and main body of text (Collins, 2014). Click to read the full study here.

Although email marketing can show significant returns on investment if leveraged correctly, the risks associated also need to be considered, see below:

Risks associated with Email Marketing

  • Formatting issues – not all recipients will be able to view content (e.g. images/videos). Ensure you test your email marketing campaign on multiple platforms to ensure that it looks the way that you envisioned.
  • SPAM – Commercial e-mails sent without the explicit permission of the receiver are referred to as SPAM (Morimoto and Chang, 2006).  To reduce the amount of unwanted emails, many servers have filters in place to lessen the number of spam emails received. Try to avoid words that will cause your email to marked as SPAM, such as these 100 spam trigger words and phrases to avoid.
  • Subscriber engagement decay – it is a common occurrence for recipients to start becoming inactive or unresponsive. To prevent this from happening, its important to stay on top of metrics and demographics, and to keep content fresh with strong call to actions.
  • Data protection – to ensure your marketing complies with data protection law and good practice, click to read ICO’s email marketing checklist– ideal for small businesses.



Dawson, S. and Kim, M. (2010), “Cues on apparel web sites that trigger impulse purchases”, Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management , Vol. 14 No. 2, pp. 230-246

Campaign Monitor (2018). Top 8 email subject lines for increasing Open Rates. [online] Available at: [Accessed 4 Apr. 2018].

Chittenden, L. and Rettie, R. (2003), “An evaluation of email marketing and factors affecting response”, Journal of Targeting, Measurement and Analysis for Marketing , Vol. 11 No. 3, pp. 203-217.

Collis, M. (2014). 11 Remarkable Email Marketing Tips You Need to Implement Right Away. [online] Available at:

Gov.UK, (2018). Marketing and advertising: the law: Direct marketing – GOV.UK. [online] Available at:

Nelson, J. (2017) Majority Of Emails Read On Mobile Devices. [online] Available at:

Rampton, J. (2015). Tips For A Successful Email Campaign. [online] Available at: [Accessed 4 Apr. 2018].

Reimers, V., Chao, C. and Gorman, S. (2016). Permission email marketing and its influence on online shopping. Asia Pacific Journal of Marketing and Logistics, 28(2), pp.308-322.

Talarico, D. (2016). From inbox to enroll: Email marketing tips. Recruiting & Retaining Adult Learners, 18(11), pp.1-3.

Yapp, W. (2015). Driving Better Results Through Email Marketing. Franchising world, 47(5), p.50.

How can a business effectively leverage social media influencers?

In recent years, influencer marketing has undergone intense inflation, as progressively more brands leverage influencers as a tool to promote products/services and encourage word-of-mouth communication. Influencers’ can be recognised as “a third party who significantly influences consumers purchasing decisions” (Brown and Hayes, 2008), or more recently, as “individuals with a sizeable and engaged audience on social media.” (Rahim, 2017).

Mircroblogging platforms (e.g. Instagram/Twitter) have provided businesses’ with a new opportunity to communicate and engage their customers. Social media influencers (SMI’s) use these platforms to share posts about their lives and the product/services they recommend to their followers. SMI’s have similarities to the popular marketing tactic celebrity endorsement, but it can be argued that influencers have more credibility and authenticity. A report by Mediakix (2016) disclosed that consumers trust influencers more than celebrities, as 30% of respondents agreed that they were more likely to purchase a product/service that had been recommended by a non-celebrity influencer (Forbes, 2017). Additionally, a study by Djafarova and Rushworth (2017) found that although celebrity endorsement is still an effective marketing tool, influencers have more credibility as their posts resemble something the individuals aspire to, making them easier to relate to.

It is widely accepted that leveraging an influencer as part of your business’ marketing strategy can result in many positive outcomes, such as; building brand awareness, increasing social media following and, usewebsite traffic, user acquisition, purchase intent, downloads or direct sales (Forbes, 2017). However, as the popularity of influencer marketing continues to grow, questions have been raised regarding the effectiveness of this strategy, credibility, perceived believability to the consumer and the metrics used to define success.

Below are the answers to influencer marketings most frequently asked questions:

Influencer marketing FAQ

1.How do I find the right influencer?

Finding an influencer suitable for your business is the key to achieving effective results and a successful campaign. Metrics such as; number of followers, likes/shares on posts are a good starting point, but more importantly, understanding the influencers’ audience, what kind of content they create, and how your brand fits into the creators feed, is key to finding the correct influencer (Adweek, 2018). Using a social media or influencer management tool (such as Traakr or Brand Watch) can assist in the selection process, as they provide in-depth insights to influencers’ audiences, and analysis of influencer’s performance based on a variety of metrics such as; brand mentions, potential reach, engagements and engagement rate.

2. What type of influencer generates the best results?

Generally speaking, there are two main types of influencer – micro and macro. Macro influencers typically have tens of thousands to millions of followers, whilst macro influencers have much smaller audiences. Whilst macro influencers can achieve a much greater reach than micro influencers, it has been argued that micro influencers are better for achieving better engagement rates (Mediakix, 2017).

To further investigate micro vs macro Mediakix (2017) analyzed over 700 sponsored posts from 16 widely recognised brands that work concurrently with macro and micro influencers. The pros and cons are summarised in the infographic below:

Pros and Cons: Micro vs Macro influencers

3. How can I measure return on investment? 

1.Set clear goals and measurements

Make S.M.A.R.T – specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time based goals using the metrics you are aiming to achieve, such as; website views, referral visitors, social media reach or direct sales (Forbes, 2017).

For example; “increase following on Instagram by 20% in the next year”

2. Coupon codes

A great way of measuring return on investment of an influencer campaign is to give each influencer a specific coupon code, offering discount or promotional offers. Businesses’ can track how many have been submitted from each influencer and offer a percentage of each sale commission.

Example below:

3. Affiliate links

Affiliate Marketing is soley performance-based, allowing businesses’ to directly compensate their influencers for each sale or lead generated. This is usually practiced by using individual links for each influencer, which are shared via their online platform (e.g. YouTube). The link shared leads the user directly to the e-commerce site or product page.

Example below:




Adweek (2018). How Can Brands Effectively Use Influencers? This Marketing Company Explains Its Strategy. [online] Available at: [Accessed 20 Feb. 2018].

Brown, D. and Hayes, N. (2008). Influencer marketing. 1st ed. Amsterdam: Elsevier/Butterworth-Heinemann.

Djafarova, E., & Rushworth, C. (2017). Exploring the credibility of online celebrities’ Instagram profiles in influencing the purchase decisions of young female users. Computers in Human Behaviour, 68, 1-7 (2017). Forbes Welcome. [online] Available at: [Accessed 25 Feb. 2018].

Freberg, K., Graham, K., McGaughey, K., & Freberg L. (2011). Who are the social media influencers? A study of public perceptions of personality. Public Relations Review, 37, 90-92.

Gillin, P. (2007). The new influencers. 1st ed. Sanger, CA: Quill Driver Books/Word Dancer Press.

Instagram. (2018). Jessica Rose on Instagram: “Loved this shoot with @boohooMANofficial and Dom 😘 Get 50% off with JESSSHEARS50”. [online] Available at: [Accessed 20 Feb. 2018].

Mediakix | Influencer Marketing Agency. (2017). Micro Influencers vs Macro Influencers: Who Wins? Case Study. [online] Available at: [Accessed 20 Feb. 2018].

Mediakix (2016). 10 Biggest Influencer Marketing Statistics 2016 [Infographic]. [online] Mediakix | Influencer Marketing Agency. Available at: [Accessed 20 Feb. 2018].

Rahim, H. (2017). How to use influencers in your next marketing campaign [online] The Telegraph. Available at: [Accessed 22 Jan. 2018].

YouTube. (2018). L’Oreal Steampod 2.0 Review & Tutorial | Fashion Mumblr. [online] Available at: [Accessed 20 Feb. 2018].

How Search Engine Optimisation Can Take Your Business to the Top in 2018

There is no denying search has become integrated into the fabric of our digital society. In 1998, the year Google officially launched, internet users were only making approx. 500,000 searches per day. Now, there are more than 2.3 million Google searches per minute. With the majority of the population currently using search engines as a starting point for navigating the internet, they are a crucial link in connecting businesses and users. Without search engines we would have to know the exact URL of the website we were searching for, or follow links through various websites until the relevant information was found.

The Guardian defines search engine optimisation (SEO) as “the process of improving the position that your website appears at in the “organic” search results returned by sites such as Google.. Bing or MSN.” Or alternatively, research by Susie Samuel as “the term for activities that are designed to improve a website’s position in the search results, with the aim of increasing the volume and quality of traffic (visitors) to that site.” User behaviour analytics indicates that the higher you rank on these search engines the more traffic your website will have.

Understanding SEO can be confusing – to understand the fundamentals of how Search works, watch Googles’ Matt Cutts in the video below:


 SEO has many benefits which directly correlate with business growth such as; assisting in building brand awareness, brand value and brand recognition which gives a higher return on investment and helps to drive business revenues.

  • Web Traffic

Websites that are featured higher on search engines always generate higher traffic than those that feature lower or on following pages. It also helps to generate relevant traffic which can provide businesses more insight to their customer preferences, behaviours, patterns, demographics, key word searches and so on.

  • Return on Investment (ROI)

Extensive analytics provide quantifiable results to help track every stage of the SEO process. Results like rankings, traffic and conversion ratios helps analyse and break down digital strategies into the smallest aspect. Ecommerce sites in particular are able to track sales data such as; which website the sale as initially directed from and which keywords were used to get to the website.

  • Cost Effective

SEO is less expensive than traditional marketing methods such as print or media advertising as it is carried out digitally which can be done at a relatively low cost. Additionally, unlike traditional marketing methods, SEO only targets those customers who are actively searching for your products or services.

  • Brand Awareness

SEO helps to direct traffic to your businesses website, and therefore increasing your brand awareness. SEO optimized websites can also be seen to be more trustworthy as the content is viewed more regularly and is wider recognised.


Although there are many benefits of leveraging SEO as a digital marketing strategy, its worth considering that it also has its limitations. Firstly, SEO only works when an internet user seeks something they already had in mind. There many marketing opportunities before “the search” which can also be used to attract potential customers. Therefore, it works best alongside other marketing strategies.

Another limitation to consider is that currently, approx. 75% of the world’s internet users are opting for Google as their primary search engine. With only 25% of users opting for alternative search engines, healthy competition is limited. We may think we’re searching the internet but in reality, we’re searching Google’s interpretation of the internet.


2017 was a relatively calm year for SEO with relatively few algorithm updates, with Google’s focus switching to creating a seamless user experience. Outlined below are three critical concepts worth understanding for 2018:

  • Mobile-first indexing

Currently over 55% of all web traffic comes from mobile devices, which is forecasted to increase in 2018. With this, google announced that ranking signals are now going to come from the mobile version of your site, not the desktop. In other words, businesses need to start prioritising mobile SEO first.

  • Video & image search will vastly improve

Over the past few years, faster internet speeds and desire to engage with more images and videos has led to a surge in visual online content. Forbes predict that in 2018 we will see some changes to how google and other search engines recognize visual elements more accurately.

  • Voice search will sharply increase with the rise of smart speaker sales.

Smart speaker sales (such as Amazon Echo and Googlehome) grew vastly in 2017 and are predicted to grow even further in 2018. Google reports that 55% of teens and 40% of adults now use voice search everyday. As these models areactivated by voice, and search is not carried out visually, business may need to drastically change the way they think about SEO.


Thank you for reading!



Business Insider. (2016). Here’s a reminder of just how huge Google search truly is. [online] Available at: [Accessed 7 Jan. 2018].

Enge, E. (2018). Mobile vs Desktop Usage: Which Is Winning?. [online] Stone Temple. Available at: [Accessed 5 Jan. 2018]. (2018). Forbes Welcome. [online] Available at: [Accessed 7 Jan. 2018]. (2018). How Google Search Works | Search Algorithms. [online] Available at: [Accessed 6 Jan. 2018].

Levy, N. (2017). Amazon leads smart speaker race with 20M devices sold, study claims, but Google is gaining ground. [online] GeekWire. Available at: [Accessed 6 Jan. 2018].

Official Google Blog. (2017). OMG! Mobile voice survey reveals teens love to talk. [online] Available at: [Accessed 6 Jan. 2018].

Official Google Webmaster Central Blog. (2017). Mobile-first Indexing. [online] Available at: [Accessed 6 Jan. 2018]. (2017). Search Engine Journal. [online] Available at: [Accessed 3 Jan. 2018].

Staff, I. (2017). Return On Investment – ROI. [online] Investopedia. Available at: [Accessed 7 Jan. 2018].

Staff, I. (2017). Revenue. [online] Investopedia. Available at: [Accessed 7 Jan. 2018]. (2018). Understanding User Behavior with Google Analytics – Analytics Help. [online] Available at: [Accessed 7 Jan. 2018].

The Guardian. (2015). What is SEO and how can it help my website’s Google visibility?. [online] Available at: [Accessed 6 Jan. 2018].

YouTube. (2018). How Search Works. [online] Available at: [Accessed 3 Jan. 2018].


Conducting a Successful Social Media Audit

In 2017, there is no doubt that businesses consider social media to be a valuable tool in marketing strategy. It is undeniable that being able to engage with customers through platforms such as Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat assists businesses in building brand awareness and ultimately increasing sales.

Working the Crowd by Eileen Brown (2012) advises how to be successful on social media:

  • Know where your audience is
  • Contribute and interact to engage
  • Become valuable to your readers
  • Be sociable
  • Discover who your online advocates are
  • Build a relationship with influencers
  • Define metrics for success

Having a social media strategy implemented is the simple part but measuring the value of social media is one of the toughest challenges that marketers face. What does all the following, liking, hashtagging and posting really do for your business?

A social media audit is the process of analysing what’s working, what’s not working and where there is room for improvement across the firm’s media channels. It captures what users are saying about their brand, what competitors are doing and how the business itself is performing online.

Here’s four steps for conducting a successful social media audit:

STEP ONE: Measure overall results

The first step in conducting a social media audit, is to compile all of the organisations’ social media metrics so you can begin to evaluate the overall results.

Metrics to include:

  • Likes
  • Shares
  • Comments
  • Video views
  • Followers
  • Post reach
  • Mentions


STEP TWO: Build a social media analysis template

Conducting a social media audit using an analysis template assists businesses in figuring out each platforms purpose and key performance indicators.

Below is an example of a best practice template from Harvard Business Review, which can be used as a guide to help structure the analysis. It categorises the evaluation firstly into each channel your business is present, what content is being posted on each, the frequency of posts and the purpose of posts. Finally, the weaknesses and opportunities of each channel are identified to determine appropriate actions in the social media strategy.

In this example, Twitter is identified as having a poor performance as it is driving little traffic to the website, which is meant to be the key purpose of posting. Based on the competitor’s activity, the company should consider posting more visual content and increase the frequency of posts to drive more consumers to the website.

Further info can be found at Harvard Business Review via:

STEP THREE: Competitor Analysis

Analysing your competitor’s social media activity can be a useful tool to establish what platforms they are currently operating on, what content they are posting, and whether this appears successful or not. By doing this the company can consider what can be done better and what else needs to be incorporated into its social media strategy that other competitors are doing , providing a competitive advantage to the business.

Some questions to ask during this stage:

  • What channels are your competitors present on?
  • How regularly are they posting?
  • What content are they posting?
  • What are their levels of engagement like?
  • Which competitor is the clear leader?
  • What are consumers saying online about their brand?

See Huffington Post for their top 7 steps on a successful social media campaign:

STEP FOUR: Make it count! 

During the social media audit, your business may have discovered that it’s not posting frequently enough for example, or maybe it’s not using the correct channels. After conducting the audit, you should be able to propose recommendations on how to be more successful across all platforms. Implementing these recommendations is how your organisation can take its social media success to the next level.


References: (2017). Auditing to be less of a burden as accountants embrace AI. [online] Available at: [Accessed 27 Nov. 2017].

Harvard Business Review. (2017). Conducting a Social Media Audit. [online] Available at: [Accessed 27 Nov. 2017].

HuffPost. (2017). 7 Steps for a Successful Social Media Audit. [online] Available at: [Accessed 28 Nov. 2017].

Tuten, T. (2015). Social Media Marketing. [S.L.]: Sage Publications.

Brown, E. (2012). Working the crowd. London: BCS.

Social Listening: IKEA Listening Hub

The Importance of Social Listening

Social Listening 

Social listening is the process of monitoring digital conversations to understand what customers are saying about a brand and industry online. The process typically involves tracking conversations relating to specific phrases, words or brands and leveraging them to discover opportunities and create content for your target audience.

IKEA Listening Hub

Take IKEA for example, which employs almost 160,000 people across 365 stores in 45 countries, recently adopted a Social Listening strategy (“IKEA Listening Hub”) using an analytics tool Brand Watch to benefit from discovering insights in real-time.

Brandwatch Analytics was used to compare IKEAS’ online conversation from May to August in 2013 and for the same period in 2014 over Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, Pinterest, blogs, websites, online forums, and news sites. The tool was used to search for conversations that included the key words “customer service” OR “cust serv” and other context terms in relation to the organisation.

Results showed that general conversation about IKEA in both the USA and UK was more positive than negative. However, when analysing conversation in relation to customer service, the tone was more negative than positive for both regions.

By sharing insights like these with other departments within the organisation (e.g. customer service department), the IKEA Digital Development team were able to inform them of where to make modifications, and in turn improve the perception of the IKEA brand.