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July 26, 2017

How Email Marketing is a Cost-effective Way of Reaching Out to Your Customers

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As technology has advanced, the techniques of marketing have evolved and spread to every business on the globe. These new marketing techniques are also being used to expand individual businesses as well as huge conglomerates. In this regard, if we factor in the modern era, it is certain to count the role Internet plays in the promotion of the business, not only this but it provides much cheaper and faster modes of promoting the product, idea of the business etc. Therefore, the concept of E-Mail marketing came into existence and became the reality and mode of promotion in no time. E-Mail marketing is a type of marketing in which one sends the emails to his customers or consumers in order to maintain or stand-in the interest in his product or service. Email marketing is widely used for the awareness of the brands among the consumers and customers. The interesting point to note is that the Email marketing in Pakistan has now been introduced by various companies such as Sony, Careem, Uber, Banks as well as the booming startups that are making waves globally.

Importance of E-Mail Marketing:

E-mail Marketing is an effective method of marketing to keep customers informed about the new products or services. It is not becoming a trend because it is easy and anyone marketing personal can do this but the basic tactic is very effective at helping business owners and consumers stay connected in the most common way. Email marketing in Pakistan is the important component of any business’ marketing strategy and it is expanding. Social media is the strongest platform to promote the business and to interact with people but when it comes to changing those individuals into your customers then E-mail marketing is the path to go on. Email marketing then already accounted for nearly 10% of all customer acquisitions that occurred online.

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Cost Effective marketing:

Simply easy, effective, and inexpensive are the attributes that best describe Email marketing. It allows business owners to reach a large number of consumers and targeted audience of the product at a rate of nearly nothing per message, making the cost per customer reached neglible. Even when considering to begin or start a small scale business, then this would be the way forward as opposed to other traditional marketing on TV channels, banners or radio.

Compared to traditional marketing where printing, postage etc. can take up a lot of cost for your direct marketing campaigns, a lot of costs are disregarded when it comes to email. Emails allow to create the same imagery with the added benefit of having follow-up information instantly available with one click link directed to your website. With the correct and proper maintenance of the contact list of the audience, the cost benefits from this medium increases as well as the close relationship between the company and customer is established to the engagement. Together with the higher response rates that email marketing attracts hence you receive more positive responses, more rapidly and at a lower unit cost! Therefore, it is a Win – win situation!

For example, Faysal or Meezan bank usually send their personal loans, car loan etc. advertisements through the email to the customer instead of couriering the pamphlets where they will be costing a lot more than the email to one customer.

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Benefits on Sales and Direct Engagement with the Targeted Audience:

Do people generally respond better to tempting subject lines such as “Free”, “20 percent off”, or “Now on Sale”? The answer is simple, yes they do. So when the email regarding such discounts on items or discount on registering for the item, is marketed through the audience, the increase in the sales is very much luckily to be over 80% as compare to the normal day sales. A lot of individuals ignore emails as spam messages however, catchy subject lines and offering promotions is bound to get a glimpse. Not only this, the shopping or business attachment is increased as more people will be indulging in viewing your website for more information about the products and end up making up their minds to buy that because it is the most action-oriented mode of marketing. Therefore, it is correct to assume that how you interact with the customer has effect on your sales, and by interaction with the customer it means how you marketed the product. Email marketing provides the direct link between the company and the audience because email takes less time to create and send than other marketing and advertising channels do, you can communicate with your customers more frequently and it is monitored by the email marketing software such as Campaign Monitor, Constant Contact.

For instance, Khaddi, a leading textile company, uses social media along with the email marketing to promote their product to the existing customers because of their regular customer database, but it also helps in increasing the sales as customer is felt respected and important by Khaddi because of the individual email to the person. And then it effects the sales of the product.

There are two goals of a marketing email, to inform and engage the audience and if it succeeds in doing so, the customer is bound to recall the inform atleast and in some cases, even make a purchase. However, it is important not to go overboard and spam emails too much, there is a fine line between informing and pestering when it comes to cluttering inboxes and it is important to know where that lies.

The face that email marketing in Karachi, Pakistan is still viewed as a strong marketing tactic despite the creation of various other platforms depicts the returns that it is providing businesses particularly in the fashion industry. It makes message dissemination simple and allows the business to reach millions at the click of a button, and effective use of this method can further increase returns.

Sticky
May 15, 2017

Effective Tips to Create a Successful SMS Marketing Campaign

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Businesses are driven by profit maximization, it’s a universal truth! In order to achieve this goal business owners/organizations continuously look out for creative and innovative marketing strategies to better market their products and services. Today, there are so many effective mediums to choose from in order to initiate a successful marketing campaign for example; Newspaper, television, internet, radio, billboards etc. the focus of this article is going to be on how to initiate a successful SMS marketing campaign and how to make it more effective.
SMS (Short Message Service) marketing is one of the most trending ways to derive an effective marketing strategy. According to the data provided by the official website of Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) there are approximately 139 million mobile users in Pakistan as of March 2017, and the number is expected to grow by leaps and bounds. Fortunately all of the cellular devices used around the world come with the built in functionality of sending and receiving text messages with ease. Many organizations these days capitalize on this information and use it to their advantage by creating awareness of their products and services using this medium. Given the facts above SMS marketing in Pakistan is booming.

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Following are some of the most effective tips to create a successful SMS marketing campaign;

1. Data Collection

Before initiating the campaign itself, it’s important to collect the required customer data. There are many ways through which this task can be accomplished like by simply asking the customers to share their contact details so that promotional offers can be communicated to them or asking your customers to fill out customers surveys can also be helpful. Another way to build up your customer database is to ask your customers to willingly subscribe to receive the SMS alerts by replying to a simple SMS or by sending a short code to a certain number along with the option to unsubscribe from the service. This option provides the customers with a greater authority to opt or withdraw from the service.

2. SMS Content & Frequency

You must pay close attention to the content of the SMS being sent to the customers. It should be short, sweet and simple, otherwise there is a risk that the SMS will be ignored by the majority. Customers are often reluctant to share their personal contact details especially like phone numbers because of the nuisance that is caused if the information is shared with someone else or unnecessary advertisements are being directed to their contact number. The reason why the content should be kept concise is because otherwise it will be dealt with the same ignorance as email marketing is dealt with, customers pay minimal attention to such emails.
The frequency of sending out SMSs to the customers should also be closely monitored. Ideally once or twice a month is considered more than enough, otherwise customers tend to lose interest.

3. Create Awareness About New Products/Services

SMS marketing offers a great platform to introduce new products and services. Text messages should be sent out to the loyal customer base to create awareness about new products and services available that might interest the customers. For example a fashion brand that launches seasonal collections and customers are at times not fully aware of the timings of the launch. In Pakistan designer ladies lawn brands introduce their exclusive summer, spring, autumn, winter and Eid collections and the interested customers always wish to grab the brand new designs as early as possible. Hence, information regarding such dates is crucial to those customers and ultimately increase the revenue.

4. Promotional Offers/Incentives

Customers always look out for promotional offers and other various incentives offered to them. Try to tempt your customers by letting them know about exclusive coupons and deals, it builds the customer loyalty and trust. Make your text message sound exclusive to the customers, they must feel like they are part of a secret group where they get to know about such promotions and offers before anyone else does.

5. Timing Matters

The timing of sending out SMSs matters a lot! Some restaurants carefully select the timing of their SMS like an hour before the lunch break or shortly before dinner time in order to lure the potential customers that are planning to dine out. Usually office going people are enticed by cost effective lunch offers and if they happen to get a text message just before their lunch break which offers “Buy One Meal & Get 50% on the other”, the restaurant is surely going to get more customers.

6. Include a Deadline

t’s important to create a sense of urgency in your text message so that a quick reaction can be expected from your customers. This can be achieved by including a deadline or an expiry date to the offers like “Get a flat 50% discount! Rush to your nearest store soon! Offer expires in TWO days”.

7. Location Based SMS

SMS marketing can be carried out in two ways for example; on country level or on city/district level. Firstly for businesses which operate across the country, it’s easier for such businesses to send out a standard SMS to all their loyal customer base across the country and inform them about an annual clearance sale and a similar response can be expected in each city individually.
Whereas, some SMS marketing strategies are especially designed to target the audiences in a particular city. For example; a famous laboratory in Pakistan, Aga Khan Laboratory recently carried out a campaign in response to a disease named “Chikungunya” that has affected hundreds of people in Karachi, Pakistan. Following the outbreak of the disease the laboratory sent out text messages to the residents of Karachi offering them a discount to get themselves screened for the disease. This is a great example of carrying out a socially responsible SMS marketing in Karachi.

8. Personalize your SMS

Another effective way is to personalize your SMS by including the first or last name of your customers at the start of the message. Customers tend to respond more to the material that is personally directed towards them.

Thus if you are considering the option of initiating a successful SMS marketing in Pakistan, this is the right time to do so! By incorporating the above tips you can surely come up with an effective SMS marketing campaign.

Good Luck!

Sticky
April 26, 2017

Why SEO is Required for Your Small Business

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What is SEO?

The term SEO is commonly known as Search Engine Optimization. It is basically the process through which various search engines filter out the most useful search results for the users. Have you ever noticed whenever we try to Google something, we come across hundreds of results but instinctively go for the top most link or sometimes explore rest of the options but we hardly ever get past top 5 links, Right? And that is because in today’s fast paced life people look for shortcuts and aim to utilize their time in the best possible manner.

Therefore, in order to fulfill the consumer demands various search engines like Google have made use of some techniques that can quickly and efficiently skim through all the search outcomes and based on certain algorithms at the back end, provide the user with the most authentic and authoritative results. These algorithms basically work on the concept of website rankings and how other web pages are linked to a certain website which makes it more reliable.

SEO for Small Businesses:

Companies/Businesses around the globe spend hundreds of thousands out of their budget for marketing their products or services in the most competent way and it’s an on-going thing, not a one-time investment. Every year a lot of time, energy and other resources are invested into designing an effective marketing plan and achieve the forecasted results. Big companies have a separate full-fledged marketing department and necessary resources to carry out the above mentioned task. But small companies or entrepreneurs are not fully equipped to do so. Hence, such businesses resort to easy, time saving and cheaper options to carry out their marketing function and SEO plays an important role in this regard. With SEO even small businesses can display their website in Google number 1 easily. A professional can be hired to review the website and make it more SEO friendly, in some cases this can be a one-time investment and the owner can then manage to do the required updates as and when required.

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Benefits of SEO for Small Businesses:

In order to enter into the world of digital marketing business owners firstly need to have a user friendly website along with easy on-page navigation to the various products/services it offers and provide updated contact and location information. In the USA only 50% business have virtual presence, others don’t even have a website whereas in Pakistan the percentage is far less. A Google survey has forecasted that business with online presence are expected to grow by 40% in the future. And this growth will can be seen mostly in small and medium sized businesses. Small businesses, in particular, can mostly easily market themselves by creating its own website and make use of the most popular on-line marketing techniques to get its business running. Furthermore among many other forms of digital marketing, SEO has resulted in tremendous success stories.

Following are some of the many benefits of search engine optimization especially for small businesses;

1. Small business owners can easily deploy effective SEO techniques and gain access to potential customers.In a global economy a well optimized website can open doors to a whole new customer base for a business across the borders.

2. SEO offers immense benefits even for a small home based business to explore the growth opportunities in its current area of operations and help explore and develop new markets for its products.

3. New product development ideas can also be explored with extensive market research.

4. The level of customer satisfaction can also be easily determined by analyzing customer feedbacks on the website. Good reviews posted by customers on websites or on other social media platforms can increase the sales in the future.

5. Search engine optimization can divert valuable traffic to your website, thereby increasing the profits.

6. Easily meet with the changing consumer demands and requirements.

7. Analyze the competition in the market and devise timely counter strategies.

SEO for Small Businesses in Pakistan:

With more than 35 million internet users in Pakistan an increasing trend of online shopping has been observed. As purchasing products/services online saves time and exciting discount deals save money too. Observing this trend many small home based business owners have become active on various social media platforms. These business owners work from the comfort of their homes and work hard to maintain a decent online presence rather than establishing outlets/shops around the city. In order to expand their virtual presence over the internet these vendors make use of some cost effective SEO techniques to better market their products.

SEO in Pakistan is booming with each passing moment, as it offers a plethora of benefits and that too without investing too much. Businesses can now make use of location based optimization too. With increasing use of smart phones and other related devices people make use of search engines for every possible thing like healthy food, beauty products, groceries etc. thereby, search engines can smartly retrieve the users’ location and display relevant ads based on their current location, which benefits both the vendor and the consumer. A small business operating in just one city in Pakistan like Karachi can easily limit the scope of optimization to only SEO Karachi.

Nowadays search engines are taking the responsibility of providing authentic results very seriously and in the times to come SEO will have its own challenges. Search engines are now aiming to eliminate bogus websites by introducing new algorithms in their system and much focus is going to be on the quality of the available on-site content. Hence, reducing the unnecessary traffic caused by redundant microsites.
Therefore business owners should carry out SEO with little more caution and reduce the risk of losing the presence of their website in Google number 1. Services of professionals who are experienced in SEO are now easily available across major cities in Pakistan.

Conclusion:

SEO can surely help a business grow! Even if it is as small as a home based food delivery business. All one needs to do is to get a proper insight into how it works and follow some tips and tricks for effective optimization and maximize the profits without incurring any substantial costs.

Sticky
April 18, 2017

TOP 10 ADVANTAGES OF EMAIL MARKETING

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Since the realization of the influence that marketing and advertisement has on the consumers, corporations and organizations (public or private alike) have made a point to direct as many resources as possible to grab attention of consumers. This has led to an increased investment in the department of business marketing whose job is to increase the consumption or usage of their goods and services. Before the maturity of internet, corporations focused their resources towards those techniques where they could affect as many people as possible with the least amount of investment. Hence billboards, flyers, newspapers and brochures among other hard print media resources were the norm. Nowadays though, World Wide Web has made the world a global village where neither an individual nor any corporation is restricted by any physical boundary. This incorporation of the internet within the business field not only opened doors for numerous business opportunities but also brought with itself a whole new world for marketers to explore.

The world of internet brought with it one of the core attribute of marketing: connectivity. This connectivity was due to social media, blogs and most importantly emails. Emails quickly became the most widely used tool for sharing and conversing. This led marketers to quickly employ their brains on using emails as a medium for marketing.

Email marketing is on its peak nowadays. The subcontinent has become the unofficial hub of information technology centers with India and Pakistan taking the lead. Like everywhere in the world, this marketing technique has been employed to the people of this region as well. Email marketing in Pakistan started with emails of unique inventions and things created by different companies. These emails were later extended to include some of the features of those objects as well. As time passed on, email marketing was revised and re-thought to the features that it contains today. Most of these companies in Pakistan are based in Karachi, as email marketing in Karachi is one of the rapidly growing businesses around.

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There are multiple advantages of email marketing. We will discuss some of them briefly.

1. Email marketing is cheap

Before the internet was born, various resources were used to make paper. This led to an increased cost as everything that had to be marketed required printing. Apart from that there was manpower required to not only design and print the content but also for distribution. This is not the case with email marketing and it is now available at the click of a button.

2. Email marketing is green

With this reduced cost of paper comes the advantage of the fact that email marketing has saved a lot of paper which has led to less cutting down and usage of trees.

3. Email marketing is market specific

Good thing about emails is the fact that they can be grouped and sent to a specific group of people. For example, a certain company could advertise their product for Karachi and Lahore differently without involving extra resources.

4. Email marketing reduces effort

Once you create an email, it can be changed and re-changed depending on the requirement of the market. But this change has been made so convenient thanks to crazy design software that the effort involved is minimal to none. Similarly, emails are sent at the click of a button and can be sent to thousands of people at a time which also reduces the effort involved. Eventually, all this leads to cost saving as

5. Email marketing engages users in real time

When a consumer receives an email, he or she has the choice to reply or ignore the email. Marketers have used this feature to their advantage by collecting information from consumers in exchange for minute incentives. This real time engagement has not only proved to be efficient but profitable as well.

6. Email marketing enables frequent communication

The exchange of emails means that the consumer and the organization are communicating with each other on an hourly, daily or weekly basis unlike the days when people received one flyer or brochure a month. This can lead to increased brand awareness and a stronger consumer base.

6. Email marketing can be personalized

Everyone likes a personalized message from someone they associate themselves with. With emails it makes it much easier for the higher management to send a personalized message to their consumers and thank them for their loyalty or wish them a happy birthday.

8. Email marketing enables test marketing

Testing is one of the most crucial steps of marketing technique. Before an idea can be implemented or applied to the general population, it must be tested with a sample population to ensure that there are no backlashes or legal issues to the proposed idea. Email marketing takes this testing to a whole new level by providing tools to test each and every aspect of marketing including graphics, fonts and even colors.

9. Email marketing helps spread information

With the added bonus of being able to advertise a product to general population, email marketing also enables companies to educate and spread information about their corporation to the people. These include welfare projects in which a company is involved in, milestones that a company has reached or just general information about the things that a company feels strongly about such as the environment or animal rights.

10. Email marketing is measurable

With flyers and brochures, the number of people engaged was never certain. You never knew who read the flyer or who threw it away. This is not the case with emails. Marketers can now provide links to their page and then check exactly how many views they got after their marketing email was sent. Not only can the marketing department know the exact number of people they engaged buy can also collect data on how efficient their marketing strategy was.

If a company is not incorporating email into their marketing plan, then they are missing out on a number of benefits that can improve their overall sales and user engagement for a very low overhead cost and, in many cases, a very limited amount of time and effort.

Sticky
April 18, 2017

SEO is the Best Way of Internet Marketing

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Importance of Internet Marketing:

According to a recent research around 14 billion users make online searches each month! More and more businesses are going online each day. Gone are the days for traditional advertising campaigns. People are increasingly making use of search engines like Google to find out more about everything they are interested to purchase. The importance of internet marketing is not something new for business/website owners but not everyone correctly recognizes its value. In today’s environment of rapid technological advancements business owners need to revolutionize their marketing strategies and evolve from prevalent television, radio and print ads. By launching innovative Internet Marketing campaign the challenges of this ever-changing technology can be met.

Internet marketing is not only cost effective but it opens many doors of opportunities across the globe. Internet marketing does not succumb to any geographical restriction instead it provides the businesses with an unlimited access to potential customers worldwide. Social media marketing provides an easy platform to directly interact with potential customers and in return good reviews from existing customers bring in profits as well. Internet marketing also helps in product research and development by understanding customer preferences and analyzing the purchasing patterns.

It’s high time for business owners to recognize the importance of online marketing, yet far too many tend to neglect this decisive aspect and its detrimental effects on the future and success of their business.

Introduction to SEO:

For the beginners it’s important to first understand the meaning and concept behind the term SEO. The term SEO stands for; Search Engine Optimization, and to further understand the concept of SEO let’s consider an example; for instance if you need to find any information on the internet what do you first do? You simply write it on the search bar of any search engine that you use frequently, Right? Have you ever considered the logic that goes behind the process of filtering top most website links that your search engine displays? I mean there are thousands of search results/website links scattered across the different pages, but those that are displayed on the very first page; what makes them different than the rest of the results? This is where the process of SEO steps in.

Search engines around the globe work on the basic concept of “Rankings”, while sorting through thousands of search results any intelligent search engine uses some algorithms and filters the websites which have the highest rankings among others in the pool and displays only the interesting, relevant and authoritative results.

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SEO in Pakistan

In Pakistan, where an estimated population of more than 30 million uses internet and the number is growing tremendously each day because of easy internet access to everyone through increasing number of broadband providers, affordable packages from mobile internet services etc. many new online businesses are entering the market place. Many people have started showing interest in establishing online businesses mainly because of the ease with which one can setup a website or just create one’s own page on a social media platform like Facebook and start trading commodities and services. Internet has provided the masses with a flexible way of interacting with people across the globe and that also without incurring any substantial cost.

With the competition rising among these website/ business owners a unique, creative and innovative marketing strategy is needed expand the customer base, discover new markets, identify customer needs and demands, introduce/launch new products and ultimately maximize the overall business turnover.

Therefore in order to achieve all the aforementioned goals the services of an experienced professional who provide SEO in Pakistan can prove to be fruitful in maximizing the rankings for you website. Search engines analyze the rankings through quality links from various other web pages. It is not as simple as it sounds search engine optimization can become technically challenging at times, so it’s better to engage the services of a qualified and experienced SEO to carry out the task.

Before Google’s Panda Algorithm Update it was relatively easier for anyone to try their luck and experiment with search engine optimization techniques but with the recent updates Google has aimed to eliminate the domination of small, one page microsites which used to manipulate search engine results. Now Google looks for quality and quantity of the onsite content, inbound links to the webpage, social signals linking to the web page, grammar, formatting and spellings. Hence the job needs to be carried out by experienced individuals. One can easily find the services of many competent individuals providing SEO in Pakistan and showcase the website in Google number 1.

Location Specific SEOs and its Importance:

Another popular concept related to SEO is “Geotargeting”, where tailored content is delivered to the users after determining their location. Have you ever wondered how various ads pop up on your mobile devices according to your location? The ad servers retrieve your location through your IP addresses thereby displaying only the relevant ads on your screens and it is indeed a great way of bringing in potential customers.

Locally operating business websites might have a series of pages based on different locations, not much time and consideration is put into designing these different pages rather just a few key details are changed corresponding to the targeted location. Sadly such strategies contribute towards building up unnecessary traffic and corrupt the search engine results and misguide the customers thus in the process many innocent local businesses get affected. Google has aimed to introduce updates to its Doorway Pages Algorithm to combat this situation and further improve the efficiency of the filtering process thereby displaying only the webpages with authentic content and rankings. Services obtained through professionals can result is detail orientated output and make your website pass through all the complex algorithm wars and make way to the top of search engine results.

Hence, a locally operating business, let’s take an example of a business that operates in a particular city like Karachi and has multiple branches across the city, a location specific search engine optimization needs to be carried out. Therefore in this case SEO should be carried out by someone who has specialized in SEO Karachi and can accurately provide and update, when need be, all the necessary details on the website.

Sticky