Be Successful At Direct Marketing The E-Mail Way

As I write you are probably sitting on a very usual list of customer contacts – past, present and potential (my 3 Ps of customer type). So how do you get the most out of it? Your next step is to utilise this database by communicating with your customers in the most economical way – e-mail.

E-mail marketing is not only the cheapest form of Direct Marketing known to man it is also the quickest way by which you can communicate with customers and the most effective method (see below) but also you can ‘tailor’ you message to suit:

The Customer Profile
The information you wish to impart
All the while bearing in mind that the purpose of your e-mail is to:
Build a business rapport with existing customers
Encourage customer loyalty
Encourage repeat business
Encourage additional business from existing customers
Introduce new products to existing customers
Advise special offers/ sales and more to existing customers
Acquire new customers
Before you begin creating your ‘missive’ that you wish to e-mail then you need to remember key factors about the e-mail screen.

First of all let’s ponder a moment on who the mail is from. Yes, it is you (idiot I hear you call me) but there is a couple of important questions that must be considered here.

Is your business known to the recipient?

If it is are they likely to want to read what you are e-mailing them about?

If you business isn’t recognised by the recipient then again -

Are they likely to want to read what it is you have to say?

Whichever, former or latter, you need to have a distinctive ‘subject’ – the next section of an e-mail.

If the recipient has agreed to receive information from you (recall your database laws!) then you still need to be concise about what your following message is all about. So it could be something as simple as Newsletter No:23 or Special Offer or Sale Now On – or something along these lines that is attention grabbing.

The same but perhaps even more importantly so, the subject needs to make the recipient want to read on as to what it is you are actually contacting them about.

Thus your third area, the message itself, needs to be as concise as possible, not beat about the bush, no waffle, just warm interesting information within which, or at the end is a call to action. This can be as simple as asking them to open up an attachment that might have further details, a discount voucher perhaps, a revised/ sale price list, full details of a new product…you get the gist of it. Or it could be a ‘hotline/ VIP’ telephone number. A website address or even a discount code to enter when buying on-line.

A word from the wise. People don’t just open up attachments ‘willy-nilly’, especially from an unaccredited source. There are many horror stories and warnings about opening up an attachment from an unknown business so make certain that the message area of your e-mail assures people who to open an attachment will not bring down their entire computer.

What Is A Health & Safety Audit, And Why Is It Needed?

Why is it needed?

A workplace health and safety audit is required in order to ensure that employees are working in a safe environment. An organization must conduct an annual workplace health and safety audit to ensure compliance with legislation on occupational health and safety. This helps the organisation to make sure that they are adhering to the laws and regulations set out by the government.

How to find the right auditor for you

Who conducts a health and safety audit? A risk assessment engineer or auditor or an independent party who carries out WHS consultation, will be assigned the task of conducting an initial examination of your business, process, equipment, materials, people, and procedures for their compliance with legislation on occupational health and safety. This will include:

Examining any documentation you may have about how work within your business is carried out (for example manuals).
Making site visits both during normal operational hours as well as off-shift where possible.
Speaking with those employees who have specific duties and responsibilities in relation to occupational health and safety matters.

The audit is usually carried out over a one-day period, but this can vary depending on the size of your business or how complex it is.

How do you know if you have picked the right auditor? The first thing to consider when choosing an auditor for your health & safety assessment is their ability to provide a service that meets all of your expectations. Make sure they are fully qualified with appropriate accreditations. You should check whether they work alone or as part of a larger team; both options will be able to offer impartial advice, however working with a larger team may give you access to a wider range of knowledge and expertise such as occupational hygienists in Australia and other specialists in workplace health and safety. You should also check that they have the necessary experience in your industry sector or similar sectors, as this will help them find any potential risks quickly.

Once you have chosen an auditor, it is time for them to carry out their health & safety audit on-site, so they can see exactly what is going on within your business premises. This may mean speaking with employees directly about the ways work activities are carried out.

Steps to help make sure your business passes a health & safety audit

While it is important to ensure that your business has a health and safety audit carried out, it is also vital that you follow through by making the necessary changes. Once you have undergone an on-site inspection from an auditor, there are certain steps you can take to help make sure they pass your health and safety audit, such as:

Make sure that your employees are given the proper training they need to carry out their tasks safely.
Ensure that all of your equipment is up-to-date and can be operated in a safe manner.
Don’t hesitate to have another health & safety audit carried out if you feel it is necessary, even if the auditor tells you everything looks good.

How often should companies have their audits performed, and who should perform them on behalf of your company

A health and safety audit should ideally be carried out once every year, in order to keep track of the health and safety standards implemented in your company. They can be carried out by an outside firm or even by employees that are particularly interested in keeping up to date on these matters, so long as they have received training for this purpose.

Certain regulations could change over time, and getting a regular audit means that you are kept aware of these changes and can stay on top of things. There are independent consultants who are accredited with national health and safety authorities, and who are well experienced and skilled to carry out these audits. They will look at different factors inside your company, and make the necessary recommendations to the management for changes to be made. The audit will also look at your work organization, and how it affects health and safety in the workplace; they may find that there are too many people working on a particular task for example, which is not safe or efficient.

Some of these audits can take several days depending upon the size of your company, but this ensures that every aspect has been covered by them. They will make recommendations, if necessary, but most importantly they give an independent view about where improvements can be made in order to keep everyone safe while performing their jobs safely.

Many companies actually include health and safety as part of their ISO standards (a management system based around quality), so getting regular audits done becomes even more important when you have such high standards to adhere to and hence, provide the best possible service to your customers.

How to Choose a Small Business Marketing Guide

I run a small offline business which in recent months has enjoyed a very nice upswing in business thanks to the internet. This was no accident – I’ve been working hard on my marketing for about a year. Much of this effort was spent learning how to market my business online.

During this process of getting it right, I’ve bought some garbage courses and information. But, within the piles of garbage I’ve also bought some real gems that without I’d not be enjoying my recent surge in sales and new customers.

As I look back about what’s were good purchases for learning marketing and which were not useful at all, I’ve come up with the following criteria to look for when choosing a business marketing guide or system.

3 Criteria When Choosing a Small Business Marketing System:

1. Don’t buy a small business marketing system that promises to teach you everything about marketing. What you’ll often get is a lot of fluff and little substance. You’ll probably know most of the information already in the massive “all-in-one” marketing kits.

No marketing author can tell you about print advertising, SEO, social media, referrals, viral marketing, e-mail marketing, direct marketing, TV ads, etc. Each of these topics on their own are self-contained guides or systems.

Instead, know exactly what you wish to learn about or improve, and buy a business marketing guide that caters to your need specifically.

2. Don’t buy from someone who doesn’t have real-life marketing experience. You preferably want to buy from someone who actually runs a small business and does their own marketing.

There are hundreds of people who write about marketing and sell “marketing systems” but have never done it for real.

3. Be prepared to do the work yourself – or at least do some of it so you get a hands-on education so you can properly hire people to implement the marketing activities taught. If you’re not prepared to roll up your sleeves and take action, no business marketing system will work for you.

In my view the best type of business marketing guide to buy is one that teaches you how to hone your online marketing. Focusing my marketing activities on the Internet has by far worked the best for me during the last 6 to 12 months.