How Facebook can benefit small businesses


For many small businesses marketing isn’t of the highest importance. First of all you want to create a product of value then you need to consider assets, overheads and employees. Marketing tends to be left behind. This is where Facebook can greatly benefit you. If you do not have a vast marketing budget Facebook and other social media can provide very cheap marketing and can help you increase the awareness of your brand.

Facebook has over 25 million active small business pages (Sterling, 2013) and with over 890 million daily users (Statista, 2014), Facebook provides the perfect opportunity for businesses to locate their customers.

A Facebook business page can help you reach all of the people who matter most to your business. However before you create a Facebook page there are a few things you need to consider:

  • Know your objectivesobjectives_title

It sounds so simple but many businesses create pages without having a desired outcome. So what do you want to get from your page? Increase brand awareness, have users click through to your website or increase sales. The objective needs to be solidified and obvious, this will ensure the consistent running of the page.

  • How will you measure the success of the page?

Consider what metrics are important to your objective. Is the click through rate important? Do you want to consider cost per like to ensure it is financial stable? Having metrics in place will allow you to evaluate your business page.

  • Identify your audience

Think who your target market is and how you can specifically tailor your business page to their needs. What demographics are you assessing; are you targeting by location, their interests, their age?

One of the hardest tasks being a small business is actually reaching the consumer. For a business page to be successful it needs to have ‘likes’ the more likes it has the more news feeds it appears on and the more accessible it is to the consumer.


There are many ways to increase ‘likes’, Facebook Ads is a great way to build your brand. The Facebook Ads will appear on people’s homepage regardless if they have liked your page or not (Serna, 2013). The ad will need to be inviting so to encourage people to click on it to increase traffic to your site. The cost per click rate for Facebook Ads is just $0.45 and retail advertisers experience a 152% return on investment (Jones, 2013). Facebook Ads compliment the business page and with Facebook Ads you can take advantage of the extensive Facebook adverts manager will allows you even more metrics to evaluate the performance.

For other ways to increase the number of likes

Before you publish a page you need to ensure that the initial content is interesting and attractive. Take advantage of the cover photo to let the consumer know a bit more about the brand, have the admins already locked in and the first few posts already stored. This will make the first few weeks easier and will give you the opportunity to maximise potential followers. Pizza Hut are a good example of a company with a good like page, their cover photo is inviting and immediately tells the consumer what they are about.

pizza hut

Once you have a following you need to ensure they remain loyal to your page. To do this you must engage the audience. Frequent updates with fresh content is vital to success. Use the business page to offer unique promotions, or run competitions to increase engagement. If you are connected to the consumer they will become more brand loyal.

Nutella consistently update their page with organic posts and competitions to keep their users engaged, to see for yourself check out their page

The business page encourages ideas to be discussed, take advantage of this. Listen to what the consumer is saying, and show that you care about them by being responsive. By listening to how the consumer really feels it will provide you with feedback so you can improve on the next campaign.

Here is an article on the top 10 small business Facebook pages, they specify what each company does well

In summary to have a successful Facebook business page; know your objective and determine your metrics, gain a strong following from your target market and keep the user engaged with regularly consistent posts




Jones, K. (2013) Retail Advertisers on Facebook Average 152% ROI; 162% ROI on iOS, Search Engine Journal. 19 October 2013 [Online] <> [Accessed 15 April 2015]

Statista (2014) Number of daily active Facebook users worldwide as of 4th quarter 2014 (in millions) [Online] <> [Accessed 16 April 2015]

Serna, A. (2013) Facebook Ads Explained, Slide Share. 31 May 2013 [Online] <> [Accessed 16 April 2015]

Sterling, G. (2013) Facebook: We have 25 million active small business pages, Marketing Land. 18 November 2013 [Online] <> [Accessed 16 April 2015]

Electronic Word of Mouth Marketing: As important today as it ever was



First of all what is Electronic word of mouth (eWoM) and how is it different from normal word of mouth promotion?

According to Hennig-Thurau et al. (2004) electronic word of mouth is any positive or negative statement made by potential, actual or former customers about a product or company, which is made available to a multitude of people and institutions via the internet. Essentially it is when a brand is discussed online.

There are two main reasons why companies covet positive word of mouth (WOM); firstly if somebody is recommended a product by a friend they are more likely to purchase it rather than if they saw an advert. And secondly WOM does not carry the same expenditures as other marketing channels (Ahrens, Coyle & Strahilevitz, 2013).

In fact 92% of consumers say they trust recommendations from friends and family over all other forms of advertising, with 70% of consumers saying that they trust online reviews and surveys by other consumers (Nielson, 2012). This means that no matter how good your advertising campaign is, if people are giving you bad reviews you are going to suffer.

The rise of social media has helped with eWoM marketing; Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn etc.

So what makes eWoM such a powerful tool?

  1. Large audience

The popularity of Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, amongst other social networking sites, has led to millions of conversations about brands and marketing campaigns online. The more discussion means increased brand awareness.

  1. Easy to measure

Social media has also made it much easier to measure eWoM, you can see from status updates the public opinion with regards to a product (Jin & Phua, 2014).

  1. People seek advice online

81% of consumers will now research a product online before they make a purchase (Morrison, 2014). Online reviews are becoming increasingly important for companies they can shape a consumers attitudes towards a product and influence sales.

  1. Everyone is doing it

79% of the top 100 fortune companies already use Twitter, Facebook, YouTube or corporate blogs to communicate with their customers. 66% have at least one Twitter account which is the preferred platform for companies (Barrenechea, 2013).

  1. Increased interaction

Social networking sites allows for the humanisation of companies, it allows them to directly connect with the consumer. When the consumer feels valued they will become more brand loyal.

The 4 P’s are the corner stone for any marketer, however with WOM it is important to focus on the 3 E’s. Engage, Equip and Empower.

Engage – Listen to the consumer, interact with them, be a presence within your brand. Orange are a great example of this, in the summer of 2011 their followers had to tweet what their summer plans was with the #thissummer and Orange would capture it and give it a Hollywood voiceover on their blog. This dramatically increased traffic to their site and engaged consumers with the brand.

Equip – Give the consumer a reason to discuss the brand, regularly updates and fresh content are key. Arsenal FC excel at this providing frequent, interesting updates about the club.

arsenal fc









Empower – Give consumers different ways to connect with each other and the brand. Walkers recent ‘do us a flavour’ campaign was fantastic as it allowed users to submit entries for a new brand flavour, with the most popular being created by Walkers.


For more information about the 3 E’s, here is a link to marketing specialists, Brent Pohlman, blog

There’s the age old saying that all publicity is good publicity. This is true with eWoM, even if a bad review is made whilst initially it may be damaging to your brand, you can listen to the comments and make improvements for the next product. Consumers will react positively to your changes and your brand will benefit as a result.

Word of mouth marketing has always been a pivotal tool. Even in the Stone Age it would have been used, cavemen would recommend good hunting sites to each other.  It is still as crucial today as it has ever been the only difference now is that as technology is advancing it is becoming more accessible and makes it easier for the consumers to do the marketing for you.



Ahrens, J., Coyle, J. & Strahilevitz, M. (2013) Electronic word of mouth: The effects of incentives on e-referrals by senders and receivers, European Journal of Marketing. Vol. 47, Issue 7, pp1034-1051

Barrenechea, F. (2013) The Power of e-Word of Mouth. Adding Social Media to the Marketing Mix, Slide Share. 23 April 2013 [Online] <> [Accessed 16 April 2015]

Hennig-Thurar, T., Gwinner, K., Walsh, G. & Gremler, D. (2004) Electronic Word-of-Mouth Via Consumer-Opinion Platforms: What Motivates Consumers to Articulate Themselves on the Internet?, Journal of Interactive Marketing. Vol. 18, Issue 1, pp38-52

Jin, S. & Phua, J. (2014) Following Celebrities’ Tweets About Brands: The Impact of Twitter-Based Electronic Word-of-Mouth on Consumers’ Source Credibility Perception, Buying Intention, and Social Identification With Celebrities, Journal of Advertising. Vol. 43, Issue 2, pp181-195

Morrison, K. (2014) 81% of shoppers conduct online research before buying, Adweek. 28 November 2014 [Online] <> [Accessed 16 April 2015]

Nielson (2012) Consumer Trust in Online, Social and Mobile Advertising Grows [Online] <> [Accessed 16 April 2015]

Google Adwords vs Facebook Ads: Who can benefit you more

google  vsfacebook

Google and Facebook are undeniably two of the largest internet giants of all time. Google is currently the largest internet company and has a market value of $377 billion whereas Facebook is the second largest company with a market value of $157 billion (Statista, 2014).  Both companies generate the majority of their revenue from advertising. In 2013 Facebook made $7.8billion in ad revenue (Clarke, 2014) and in 2014 Google made $60 billion in ad revenue, in fact 96% of Google’s revenue comes from advertising (Mohan, 2014).

First let’s assess the advertising similarities between the two internet giants.

Both companies obtain masses amount of online traffic, as the graph from Statista (2015) below outlines, this creates a massive audience and potential customers for campaigners.

google facebook no. visitors

Both companies allow you to target consumers based on their demographics and location. And both companies can cater for mobile advertising by optimising ads.


This could be a benefit of Google Adwords, but also possible a downfall, you pay per click. So if no one clicks on your link than you don’t pay, however if you get lots of people click on your link but don’t actually purchase anything than your investment may not be worthwhile. On average the cost per click rate is £0.10 with a click through rate of 0.18% (Google, 2015).  Google Adwords is measureable, it shows how many people notice your ads, what your click through rate is and you can even see the conversion rate from a specific advert.

Its flexible, there are so many varied options that allow you to tailor your ad to your desired goals. You can:

  • Specify key word match types; so only display your ad to people who search for a specific word.
  • Narrow your target market
  • Take advantage of Google+ and reach non-search users
  • Leverage the display network
  • Use ad extensions

The format of Adwords is made to be more appealing than organic results, they appear more engaging to entice more clicks.

When people use a search engine they are typically looking for a specific product, therefore Adwords is almost always relevant and aids with the click through rate.


According to Hansson et al. (2013), one of the major benefits of Facebook advertising is that it is relatively low cost. It allows companies of all size to utilise the site to achieve their branding and marketing goals, whilst potentially reaching millions of consumers. The cost per click rate for Facebook is just $0.45 and retail advertisers experience a 152% return on investment (Jones, 2013).

Facebook advertising leads to brand building. Facebook sessions last longer than a google session, therefore Facebook offers better representation of consumer habits. It also allows for the socialisation of an ad, people can see their friends commenting on an ad and as they ad is always there gradually through several interactions they will get to learn what the brand is about. Facebook ads can lead to ‘like’ pages where special promotions can be conducted and increase the click through rate.

Facebook adverts manager allows you to track from a huge range of metrics to evaluate your ad campaigns success. From North (2014) the benefits include:

  • The total number of times your ad was shown (Impressions, the number of different people who saw your ad (Reach) and the average number of times (Frequency)
  • The number of clicks or other actions people took, such as page likes, engagement, comments and shares.
  • Cost data including average Cost per Click (CPC), Cost per Like and Cost per Conversion based on your specific goals and tracking

The English Cheesecake factory is a success story from Facebook Advertising, here is a link to their story

To summarise what is the better package, Google Adwords or Facebook Ads?

Google Adwords will gain more sales as people are already in search mode, they are online looking for something in particular whereas Facebook Ads are better for increasing brand awareness.



Clarke, T. (2013) How Does Facebook Make Money?, Money Morning. 09 October 2014 [Online] <> [Accessed 15 April 2015]

Google (2015) Adwords Benefits [Online] <> [Accessed 15 April 2015]

Hansson, L., Wrangmo, A. & Solberg Søilen, K. (2013) Optimal ways for companies to use Facebook as a marketing channel, Journal of Information, Communication and Ethics in Society. Vol 11, Issue 2, Pages 112-126

Jones, K. (2013) Retail Advertisers on Facebook Average 152% ROI; 162% ROI on iOS, Search Engine Journal. 19 October 2013 [Online] <> [Accessed 15 April 2015]

Mohan, M. (2014) How Does Google Make Money?, Minterest. 01 December 2014 [Online] <> [Accessed 15 April 2015]

North, E. (2014) 5 Reasons Why Your Business Must Use Facebook Advertising, Koozai. 19 May 2014 [Online] <> [Accessed 15 April 2015]

Statista (2015) Comparison of unique U.S. visitors to Facebook and Google from April 2011 to January 2015 (in millions) [Online] <> [Accessed 15 April 2015]

Statista (2014) Market value of the largest internet companies worldwide as of May 2014 (in billion U.S Dollars) [Online] <> [Accessed 15 April 2015]


The importance of Search Engine Optimisation and how to improve it

Search Engine Optimisation or SEO is the process of maximising the number of visitors to a particular website by ensuring that the site appears high on the list of results returned by a search engine (Google, 2015).

So why is SEO so important? Well did you know that…

  1. searchEngine93% of online experiences begin with a search engine
  2. 70-80% of users ignore the paid ads focusing on organic results
  3. 75% of users never scroll past the first page of results
  4. Search is the number 1 driver of traffic to content sites, beating social media by 300% (ImForza, 2013).
  5. 86% of consumers stated that using a search engine allowed them to learn something new or important that helped them increase their knowledge
  6. SEO leads have a 14.6% close rate, while outbound leads (such as direct mail or print advertising) have a 1.7% close rate
  7. 60% of all organic clicks go to the organic top 3 search results (Hubspot, 2014).

Aside for the facts and figures there are still numerous reasons why SEO is important. A good SEO is a constant marketing tool, it is 24 hours 7 days a week 365 days a year. With good SEO whenever someone searches for a product your website will be one of the first they reach, you can increase your sales without drastically increasing your marketing costs. According to Olenski (2014) 80-90% of consumers now research products online prior to purchasing it. So if a consumer is unable to find your product they will simply go to a competitor. It is also good social promotion for your website, if it is easier to locate it is more likely to be spoken about on social media thus boosting your online presence and increasing brand awareness.

As you can see SEO is extremely important for your business, and below are ways to improve your SEO:

  • Publish frequent relevant content –More content means more traffic and more traffic confirms authority and relevancy.
  • Have high quality relevant links – instead of creating links of ‘click here’, which bears no search engine value, use text to describe the link.
  • Use alt tags – be thorough and be creative, think about words that may draw someone to your business. If you were a cake shop owner and you cakes were gluten free, include gluten free as a tag.
  • Determine primary key words – as well as using alt tags you will want to use the mRed-Velvet-Cheesecake-Cake-8ost significant key words at the front of your website. Think about the categories and then sub-categories that you target audience is, this will narrow down the competition and result in more chance of you being found.
  • Hyperlink key words in website content – hyperlink phrases such as red velvet cake recipe to generate more traffic to your website.
  • Create a mobile friendly site – in 2014 mobile phones overtook PCs as the medium used for internet usage.


For more information about to optimise your search engine here is a journal from Köse & Yalçona (2014) that identifies what key algorithms to include to improve your SEO

On the contrary outlined below are some reasons for having low SEO (Shields, 2012).

  • Poor quality backlinks – unrelated links that bear no relevance to the content
  • Lack of fresh content – websites need to be regularly updated
  • Over optimisation – write for your target market and not the search engine, if the content is overfilled with key words and doesn’t flow, the system knows it’s being manipulated
  • No social media presence – people need to be talking about your website to get more hits and up the SEO ranking.




Google (2015) Search Engine Optimisation Definition [Online] <> [Accessed 15 April 2015]

Hubspot (2014) Search Engine Optimisation Stats [Online] <> [Accessed 15 April 2015]

ImForza (2013) 8 SEO Stats That Are Hard To Ignore [Online] <> [Accessed 15 April 2015]

Olenski, S. (2014) 7 Reasons Why Your Business Should Invest In SEO, Forbes. 26 March 2014 [Online] <> [Accessed 15 April 2015]

Shields, A. (2012) Search Engine Optimisation and Links, Michigan Bar Journal. Vol. 91, Issue 10




How social media has changed the world and how it can benefit you

10 years ago social media was an afterthought, something that was nice and friendly but no one would ever dream that companies would use it to market their products. Fast forward 10 years and social media is one of the biggest phenomenon’s in history. The digital age is upon us, and with generation Y quickly blossoming into adulthood, social media is only going to become more important in peoples everyday lives.

According to Statista (2013) in 2013 there 1.59 billion social networking users and this figure is forecasted to reach 2.44 billion in 2018.

number of social media users


That is a huge mass market, so many different demographics, tastes, trends all in one location. A marketers dream. Any company can reach their target audience through social media due to the sheer quantity of users.

Facebook is by far the most popular social media channel however as the graph below illustrates the other networking sites are fast gaining a following as well.



online adults social

Social media has the ability to influence the entire world, just look at the recent ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. The challenge was designed to raise money and awareness for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and because of social media the challenge raised close to $100 million with over 2.4 million videos being posted onto Facebook (Townsend, 2014).

Ice bucket challenge


That is the power of social media but how can it benefit you and your business? The following 6 points will outline how social media marketing can benefit you:

  1. Increase brand recognition

With over 1.59 billion social networking users, social media is the perfect way to get to the consumer. You can increase the awareness of your brand with online campaigns. This is a direct channel to the consumer, with frequent posts you become more recognisable and more familiar to consumers. An important fact to remember is that you need to be native, by this I mean not all Facebook users are on Twitter and vice versa. So do not make the mistakes of automatically Facebooking all your Tweets.

  1. Improve brand loyalty

With regularly posts and updates, consumers will become more loyal if they feel connected to the brand. Brands who engage on social media channels enjoy higher loyalty from their customers (Bell, 2013).  Subway are a great example of using social media to increase brand loyalty, they continually promote deals and offerings to gain following. Their recent ’flavorizer’ campaign was a huge success, users could create and name a sandwich and then promote it to their friends.


3. Generate more business exposure

89% of marketers say that social media generates more business exposure (Dyer, 2013). It allows for much greater distribution, every social media post is another channel back to your website and an opportunity to convert a consumer.

4. High conversion rates

With every new tweet and every new post it is creating another opportunity for someone to react, leading to interaction thus creating humanisation. Consumers feel connected as though they are speaking to someone rather than something. Social media also has a 100% higher lead-to-close rate than outbound marketing (Hubspot, 2015).

5. Decreased marketing costs

Social media allows for consumers to regularly talk about the brand, this in effect is free marketing. It is increasing the brand awareness and the more people talking about a brand the better.

6. Enhanced customer service/satisfaction

Every consumer interaction is an opportunity to demonstrate fantastic customer service. If a complaint is made you can immediately address the issue, like JetBlue has below, or if a compliment is made you can thank them. It’s all about interaction and personal experiences with the consumer. It also allows you to navigate to what the consumer wants, all you need to do is listen.

customer service twitter

According to Constantinides (2014) there are two main types of social media marketing:

Passive approach – to understand what the customer wants, to learn information about the market, customer experiences, competitive movements and trends.

Active approach – to utilise social media as a tool of communication, direct sales, customer acquisition and customer retention.

Social media is only going to become more prominent, you need to decide how you want to manipulate social media so that it can benefit you the most.



Bell, T. (2013) Establishing Brand Loyalty through Social Media, Texas Tech University. 05 September 2013 [Online] <> [Accessed 14 April 2015]

Constantinides, E. (2014) Foundations of Social Media Marketing, Science Direct. Vol. 148, pp40-57

Dyer, P. (2013) The Top Benefits of Social Media Marketing, Pamorama. 30 July 2013 [Online] <> [Accessed 14 April 2015]

Hubspot (2015) The Ultimate List of Marketing Statistics [Online] <> [Accessed 14 April 2015]

Statista (2013) Number of social network users worldwide form 2010 to 2018 [Online] <> [Accessed 14 April 2015]

Townsend, L. (2014) How much has the ice bucket challenge achieved?, BBC. 02 September 2014 [Online] <> [Accessed 14 April 2015]

Why Mobile Marketing is becoming an important tool for your business

M-commerce is a fast growing marketing channel. In 2013 M-commerce generated $41.68 billion which was an increase of 68.2% on the previous year. In 2017 it is expected to generate close to $100 billion which would be a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 28%, and considering E-commerce is expected a CAGR of 13.8% over the same period, it is obvious that M-commerce is going to play a major role in companies marketing strategy (Jones, 2013).

Generic retailing websites are still more popular than the mobile version according to Foresee (2012) however the satisfaction gap is closing quickly as the graph below illustrates.

Customer satisfaction graph


The graph shows that amongst the most popular companies, mobile sites are improving and are fast catching up to the retail websites. These multi-national companies are successful for a reason, they are innovative and are early adopters of new technology. Mobile marketing is growing and will soon be a dominant force in marketing, so adaptions need to be made now!

Whilst smart phones and tablets will never fully replace the functionality of a computer, due the intricate programs they are designed to run. They are quickly replacing computers as the optimum browsing method, and according to Murtagh (2014) mobile phones exceeded laptops and desktops for internet usage for the first time in 2014. This is monumental as it means that people are spending more time on their smart phones and less time on PCS therefore consumer needs are changing and companies need to adapt to ensure they continue to satisfy the consumer.

So we know that the mobile marketing industry is growing and more people are using phones than ever before, but why is that important? And why is mobile marketing going to be a critical tool for a company’s success over the coming years?

  1. 70% of mobile searches lead to online action within the hour (Rowley, 2013)

That is nearly three times higher than that of a PC. Users are seeking information and tend to be more motivated when using a phone rather than a PC.

  1. People multi-task with mobile phones

Many consumers use their phone whilst watching TV, this creates an opportunity for marketers to instantly convert consumers. According to Nielson (2014) 14% of tablet owners and 7% of smart phone owners have used their device to purchase a product they have just seen advertised on TV.

  1. Consider the 3 P’s

Personal, Pervasive and Proximity. It is the most personal as you will be able to get to a consumer because near enough everyone has a phone. It is pervasive, most people carry their phones with them all the time creating infinite marketing opportunities. Proximity marketing can be exploited, so businesses can target potential consumers who are within a close proximity of the area.

  1. High social media usage

According to Ofcom (2014) 55% use their smart phone to visit social networking sites. This creates an opportunity for companies to increase their social media presence with mobile ad campaigns.

We know why mobile marketing is important so let’s take a look at some of the successful mobile marketing campaigns.

  1. True Blood

The TV show True Blood embarked on a fantastic mobile ad campaign, when fans were on movie review sites they noticed a bloody finger print appear and when they touched the screen again another one appeared. Soon the screen was dripping with blood and an ad popped up enticing the user to watch the latest trailer of True Blood. The ad was successful as it increased viewership by 38% (60 Second Marketer, 2012).



2. Cartwheel by Target

Target took advantage of Facebooks mobile app install units, they positioned their advertisement within the mobile homepage of Facebook. It showed users if their friends had already downloaded the app and had a direct link to the app store. A successful campaign as Target has amassed over 1 million users within its first 3 months of creation (Johnson, 2013).

cartwheel by target

3. O2 Priority Moments

One of the most successful mobile campaigns ever run. The loyalty program was offered to customers of O2 via mobile apps. There are multiple rewards available and the result has led to millions of people registering to O2 Priority Moments and more than 1 billion offers have been viewed to date, with 5 Priority Moments being redeemed every minute (Charlton, 2013).


The mobile industry is growing, companies need to act quickly in order to continue to satisfy the needs of the consumer, the majority of the large companies have already acted. Don’t get left behind!



Charlton, G. (2013) Six Great Examples of Mobile Marketing Campaigns, E-consultancy. 25 June 2013 [Online] <> [Accessed 14 April 2015]

Foresee (2012) Foresee Mobile Satisfaction Index. White Papers & Research: Foresee

Johnson, L. (2013) Top 10 Mobile Ad Campaigns From H1 2013, Mobile Marketer. [Online] <> [Accessed 14 April 2015]

Jones, C. (2013) Ecommerce Is Growing Nicely, While Mcommerce Is On A Tear, Forbes. 02 February 2013 [Online] <> [Accessed 14 April 2015]

Murtagh, R. (2014) Mobile Now Exceeds PC: The Biggest Shift Since the Internet Began, Search Engine Watch. 08 July 2014 [Online] <> [Accessed 14 April 2015]

Nielson (2014) Living Social: How Second Screens Are Helping TV Make Fans [Online] <> [Accessed 14 April 2015]

Ofcom (2014) Adult’s Media Use and Attitudes Report 2014 [Online] <> [Accessed 14 April 2015]

Rowley, N. (2013) Mobile Behavior: Big Game Seating — A Study with SurveyMonkey, iAcquire. 03 April 2013 [Online] <> [Accessed 14 April 2015]

60 Second Marketer (2012) 14 Insanely Simple Mobile Marketing Techniques You Can Steal from the Fortune 500 [Online] <> [Accessed 14 April 2015]


Email Marketing: Why to do it? How to do it?

Spam spam spam.

That is what people think when they think of email marketing, every day I get emails from companies trying to sell me something I have no interest in. I am just another box on their mail list, there’s no personalisation, and no reason why they are emailing me about this fantastic offer that is only around for another 48 hours. So why is email marketing so successful? And why does virtually every company continue to do it?

The trick is to become a master of email marketing, to know what metrics are vital for a successful campaign and the importance of taking a little more time to get to know the customer.

Email marketing is the best marketing tactic that will get the highest return on investment (ROI). Its ROI index is 70% higher than any other direct-response marketing vehicle (Schneck, 2008).  It’s fast, inexpensive and allows you to reach the mass market from a very accessible distribution channel. Whilst social media gets a lot of the limelight, 95% of online consumers use regularly email (Lacy, 2013) whereas 74% of online consumers regularly use Facebook (Pewinternet, 2014), it doesn’t have the same adoption rate as email hence why email marketing is such a crucial tool for many marketers.

One of the most vital things to remember when conducting email marketing is that it is PERSONAL! The email is going to one person, even if your mail list is in the thousands the person receiving doesn’t care about the rest. It will make them feel like a link in a chain and not valued as a consumer. Create a template and software that can automatically pull through data this simple but effect method will create a personal touch and make the reader want to read on.

This is an email I received from go groopie, as you can see there is no personalisation and the offerings have no relevance to my previous purchases. An instant delete.

go groopie email

Whereas here is one from gala bingo, it is personal and bears relevance to my previous purchases, an email like this makes me want to open it and have a look at what the marketing ad might be.

Gala bingo email

Warby Parker are masters of email marketing and here is an example of what one of their emails looks like.

warby parker email

As you can see the subject line is specific to the consumer, as it reminds them when their prescription will expire and that they need a new one. There are links to the website immediately available so to entice the consumer to click through to the website. The email is very simple but does what it is set out to do.

So what are these metrics and why are they so important for a successful email marketing campaign?

  1. Bounce rate – the number of emails that fail to be delivered or ‘bounce’ from the recipient’s mailbox.
  2. Delivery rate – the number of emails that actually reached the recipient’s mailbox.
  3. Click rate – this is the amount of people who click on a link or image from your email.
  4. Conversation rate – this is the amount of people who completed a certain action you wanted them too.

These 4 metrics are critical for evaluating email marketing success (Rospigliosi, 2014).

There are two types of bounce rate, a ’soft bounce’ and a ‘hard bounce’. A soft bounce is where the recipient’s inbox is full or unavailable whereas a hard bounce is where their email address is incorrect. Soft bounces should be left in your mailing list as eventually the problem will resolve itself and the email will send. However hard bounces need to be removed from your mailing list because a high bounce rate can lead to your internet provider being blacklisted meaning you will no longer be able to send emails (Vajda, 2013).

The delivery rate goes hand in hand with the bounce rate. The main reason for this to fail is that you aren’t getting through the spam filter. Here is a good link on how to get past the spam filter  Improving both delivery and bounce rate can increase your online credibility.

The click rate provides you with vital information about the consumer and allows you to target them with specific products. If a consumer consistently clicked on weight loss products than you are more likely to send them an ad about a fitness pass rather than theatre tickets. It’s all about getting to know the consumer and giving it a personal touch.

The conversion rate is the ultimate metric that evaluates a successful email marketing campaign. If your conversion rate is lacking, perhaps your landing page needs a face lift but with these 4 metrics combined together you can fully optimise your emails that can lead to a very successful marketing campaign.


Lacy, K. (2013) 50 Email Marketing Tips and Stats for 2014, Exact Target. 14 August 2013 [Online] <> [Accessed 13 April 2015]

Pewinternet (2014) Social Networking Factsheet [Online] <> [Accessed 13 April 2015]

Rospigliosi, A. (2014) Email Marketing [Online Lecture Notes] delivered for IT382, Brighton University Business School, <> [Accessed 13 April 2015]

Schneck, P. (2008) E-mail marketing tops for ROI, Home Accents Today. Vol. 10, Issue 11, pp14

Vajda, J. (2013) Why Stats Matter When Sending Marketing Email, Send Grid. 11 November 2013 [Online] <> [Accessed 13 April 2015]

How to make the most of Google Analytics

Historically Google Analytics was created to track how often users select items for purchase and then complete the transactions (Hong, 2012). The advancement of Google Analytics in recent years has been ground breaking and it is now the most popular web analytical tool service on the internet (Sparks, 2014 & Dubois, 2010).

So why are Google Analytics head and shoulders above their analytical competitors?

The short answer is that it is free for anyone to use and has such an extensive range of capabilities any company, large or small, would be foolish not to take advantage of it to maximise their marketing potential.

In this blog I will examine the 8 key functions of Google Analytics that make it such a useful tool for any marketer to have.

  1. Set up Goals

This may sound a tad basic and you may think why do I need analytical software to record my goals? But setting goals is such a straight forward process it is often neglected by organisations and employees can be forgetful of what they are working towards! You can set time limits with your goals and reminders will prompt you when time is running out!
Having the ability to record goals helps you stay on track to achieve your aims and objectives. It makes you reflect on what the purpose of your website is.

2. Advanced Segments

So now we are getting into what really makes Google Analytics so popular. Advanced segments allow you to isolate and analyse subsets of your traffic, you can then compare them against other segments or apply them to current or historical data (Google, 2015).
You can also analyse what marketing campaigns have brought about the most traffic and conversions to your website which allows you to calculate the ROI from social media campaigns.

3. Custom dashboards

Every business is different and every business has different targets, with the custom dashboard function you can choose from a wide range of widgets that can combine to show different metrics, comparison of metrics or even a timeline of multiple metrics. Custom dashboards can also be downloaded and you can have a long list of dashboards on your profile so you can easily switch between them. Here is a link to some of the best available templates for the custom dashboards. 

Here is how some of the customer dashboards look.

Mobile Commerce Dashboard                                     Site Performance Dashboard

Mobile Commerce Dashboard    Site Performance Dashboard
Source (Charlton, 2013)

4. Google analytics reports

Marketing reports are the bane of many marketers’ lives, frequently having to scroll for pages and pages of data to find an outcome. Google analytic custom reports makes it easy to create tables and figures showing trends and forecasts and has a range of downloadable shortcuts available. Wiggle took advantage of custom reports to increase their competitive advantage, a link to their success story can be found here

5. Demographics

When using social media marketing, the websites will frequently ask you what region you wish to target. With location demographics in Google Analytics you can see what particular region is responding well to what campaign, what areas have a high conversion rate and what ones have a low rate. This allows you to focus on the high growth areas and maximise conversion.

6. In-Page analysis

In-page analysis lets you see how visitors interact with your pages, you can see where people are making the most clicks and what parts of your website are the most popular. Therefore if you have a particular ad or link you want to people to see you can place it in the optimum position on your website.

7. Site Speed

This will help you reach peak capacity. The site speed report shows the load times your different pages has. This is important because the load time can greatly affect the experience a user has on your site.

8. Ad Words

One of the most important components of Google Analytics, Ad Words allows you to see what visitors do after they’ve clicked on your ad. This allows you to gain a deeper insight to your marketing campaigns.

This is how to make the most of Google Analytics and how it can benefit your company.



Charlton, G. (2013) 10 useful Google Analytics custom dashboards, e-consultancy. 30 May 2013 [Online] <> [Accessed 09 April 2015]

Dubois, L. (2010) 11 Best Web Analytics Tools, Inc. 31 December 2010 [Online] <> [Accessed 09 April 2015]

Google (2015) Features: advanced segments [Online] <> [Accessed 09 April 2015]

Hong, M. (2012) Tech Services on the Web: Google Analytics, Technical Services Quarterly. Vol. 30, Issue 1, pp119-120

Sparks, C. (2014) 10 Great Social and Web Analytics Tools, Search Engine Journal. 11 March 2014 [Online] <> [Accessed 09 April 2015]