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An Email Marketing Plan for All Seasons

It’s no secret that we’re a company that need to pay attention to the upcoming seasons and the celebrations each one brings. And though it might seem ridiculous to even mention it during a suspiciously warm British summer, there’s one particular season that’s always on our mind.

December is easily our busiest month, as companies prepare to send their corporate Christmas ecards to employees, clients and business partners.

Analysing Data for Seasonal Email Campaigns

How do we know this? Well apart from the obvious increase in revenue, we use Google Analytics to monitor visitors to the site and conversions over the past year – allowing us to effectively expect the next Christmas rush by a certain date.

Our Corporate Ecard Strategy

Just because the nature of our business is to assist yours with a unique and bespoke email marketing strategy, doesn’t mean we’re able to neglect our own.

So as Christmas begins to creep up on us, here’s what WE do:

We’ll take a look at our figures from last year.
We’ll work out the peak in traffic and transactions and we’ll mark that date in our diary for this year.
Then we’ll count back a week or so.
And then we’ll do something quite bold:

We’ll send our own Christmas company ecard.

It might seem ever so cunning, but we’ve found that it’s the perfect way to give our previous clients and business partners a gentle nudge and sometimes a much needed reminder that it’s that time of the year again.

It’s also about making life as easy as possible for our users. If they’ve sent business email cards with us in the past, there’s a chance that they may want to send one again – so providing our contacts with a direct link to our corporate e card site, eliminates the process of finding us in the search engine results pages or by trawling through their old emails.

Sending Company Ecards at the ‘Right Time’

Ecards can be a great way to reach out to customers and clients during the Christmas period. But the real message here is that timing is key.

And we don’t just mean for us.

Send an ecard too early and you run the risk of suffering the same sort of response you might get from neighbours if you decided to put up your Christmas tree in the middle of June.

Conversely, there are obvious downfalls to sending a last minute mail – there’s nothing more depressing than returning to work in January to find an unopened Christmas card in your inbox sent at 5pm on 24th December.

Of course, the ‘right time’ is entirely dependent on the nature of your business, which is why examining all the available data of the habits of your users around the busy Christmas period can really make all the difference to your seasonal email marketing campaigns.

Email Marketing for Mobile

We tend to think that when it comes to showing the numbers quickly and concisely, infographics can be a tad hit and miss.

This one by Mashable, however, we did find quite interesting. 

Have a look and see what you think: What do we know about email today infographic

Some staggering statistics there, we’re sure you’ll agree.

In particular, we’re drawn to the two bottom figures, one which tells us that 90 million Americans access email through a mobile device and that 27% of emails are opened on a mobile device.

This isn’t as surprising as it is a confirmation of how the internet, and the way we use it, is changing. 

And because of this, email marketing is changing too. Campaigns are created around responsive designs that are fully compatible with smartphones and tablets, along with desktop and laptop computers, for maximum impact from your mailing list.

It’s one of the reasons why we were determined to create our corporate ecard website as fully compatible with all mainstream mobile and handheld technology – with more and more emails being sent every single day, compatibility issues are simply not a good enough excuse to lose out to the competition.

Of the 89 billion business emails that will be sent today, make sure yours don’t go unnoticed.

Check out our business e cards now.

Corporate Ecards – A Boost for Your Business

Introducing Motivational Ecards

We’ve all heard that saying, ‘a picture can say a thousand words.’ But we think the right words alongside the right image can help you to express yourself clearly and provide the edge your employees need to succeed.

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Inspirational ecard: ‘It Always Seems Impossible Until It’s Done,’ Nelson Mandela

Recently, we unveiled our Motivational ecards for business use.

These Motivational company e cards utilise inspirational quotes such as: ‘Success is walking from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm – Winston Churchill.’

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Motivate your troops with this motivational ecard

The category also includes brief but pertinent words of wisdom, such as, ‘Everything is Possible’ and ‘Make it Happen’.

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Help them climb mountains with the Everything is Possible – Motivational Company Ecard

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Reach for the stars – ‘Retro’ Make It Happen Motivational Ecard

The retro designs either incorporate an image which represents the phrase (the motivational message ‘Stay Focused’, for example, is displayed below a pair of bespectacled eyes) or use a trendy chalkboard background and font.

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Send a Clear Message – ‘Retro’ Stay Focused Corporate Ecard

This category expansion is part of our ongoing strategy to diversify the range of cards we have on offer on our website, beyond the usual and business Birthday cards.

We think that ecards can be used for so much more than just your annual corporate Christmas e card or Birthday greeting.

Our new motivational designs, in particular, have the potential to increase productivity in the workplace – giving staff and employees that extra boost to morale to help them achieve their goals.

In addition to choosing ready-made designs which can be customised with a logo and a personal message on behalf of your company, organisations can commission a bespoke business ecard for any purpose.

Easter Egg Hunting with Ecard Mint

With Easter on the way as a special Springtime treat with thought we share some geeky search engine secrets or ‘Easter Eggs’ as they’re affectionately known – provided by the good and the great at Google.

There are quite a few of these, and they’re added to almost as quickly as we add new card designs to our site (speaking of which, have you seen our new Humor ecard category for business?) …so here are just a few of our favourites Easter treats:

Go back in Time

When you enter, ‘Google in 1998’ into the search bar prepare to be magically transported back to the time of dial-up connections and ropey graphics as Google presents a very basic but nevertheless recognisable search page from the late 90s.

Search with the Swedish Chef

We all know that Google serves many different countries and allows users all over the world to search in their own language. Yet it might surprise even the most internet savvy to learn that even The Muppets’ very own Swedish Chef is catered for. Seek out the special Bork Bork Bork search page here.

Use the force to beam me up

If you’re a Sci-fi fan, it’s probably in your own interest to head on over to YouTube right away.

For wannabe Jedis, a search for ‘Use the force, Luke’ will cause the results drift on the page and every so often fly around the screen.

But if you’ve always been more of a Trekkie than a member of the Rebel Alliance, try typing ‘Beam me up, Scotty’ and watch the results appear in true classic Star Trek transporter style.

Search for Blink HTML

Search for Blink HTML in Google and keep your eyes peeled to see if you notice anything different about the search results.

That’s One Small Step for Google…

Pop over to the Kennedy Space Center for a quick visit and you’ll find that when you use the peg man in Street View, he’s magically transformed into an astronaut.

To infinity and beyond!

So there you have it. And if you find yourself in need of some more procrastination tools, there’s plenty more where that came from – not least in our very own animated ecard section where you’ll find plenty of addictive and interactive games to send on behalf of your business. 

So how big is the greeting card industry?

This week we thought we’d share this quite good looking infographic from the good people at Day2DayPrinting, based in LA.

Focusing on personal rather than corporate e cards, for our purposes the data shown might not seem wholly relevant. But there’s a reason why as a company it’s good to remind ourselves of a couple of things that are made evident from these figures.

Take a look and we’ll be right back with you, beneath the fold.  

How Big Is The Greeting Card Industry? – An Infographic from Design & Marketing Blog

Embedded from Design & Marketing Blog

So the Greeting Card industry is huge. It’s popular, and why? Because it’s meaningful. Although here we’re looking at people sending cards personally, there’s no reason why businesses can’t and shouldn’t be harnessing this method of communication to show employees, clients and business partners that we remembered to send a birthday company e card or a corporate Christmas ecard.  After all, those 7 buyers who viewed greeting cards as ‘absolutely essential to them’ could very well be crucial members of your workforce or valued contacts in your address book.

Best Internet Marketing Techniques

Over the years we’ve come to learn that there’s no ‘quick-win’ when it comes to online marketing.

A definition of the notion itself is so fluid and dependent on changing user trends and search engine responses that it’s hard to really pin down the best internet marketing techniques available to small and medium sized businesses trying to make their presence known amongst a sea of competitors.

So we’re sorry for the slightly misleading title, we don’t have all the answers. However we do have this rather interesting case study with the same title which we’d like to share.

The case study investigates a start-up Summer Camp business in their first year and investigates which internet marketing avenues provided the best ROI.

Unsurprisingly, the tool which proved most successful for driving traffic was the humble blog. It’s something in online marketing that we hear over and over again – relevant and fresh content is key to web success and a blog provides the perfect platform. The case study admits that for a successful campaign you’ll need to post at least one blog per week and keep it up.

Yet the insight given is not all so well-worn. The case study provides some interesting surprises especially in relation to social networking; LinkedIn, for example, doesn’t fare too well in this particular example.

The case study also comes with a note of caution; as soon as the camp owners began looking to promote their new business online there were flooded with emails and calls from scammers promising first page rankings and other unrealistic claims. Even if their claims are in some way true, the methods used are dubious and whilst they may result in a slight increase in traffic, it will be temporary. What’s more, it could damage your website in the long run as search engines are constantly working to crack down on these underhand tactics.

Ultimately after reading this case study, that old adage – if anything that’s worth doing, it’s worth doing properly – feels remarkably apt. The best return always comes from things you invest in. And just as this case study shows, that investment doesn’t always have to be financial.

For a more in-depth look, read the full case study here or browse the presentation below:

Ecard Mint specialise in email marketing communications for business including Corporate Christmas e cards and Company Birthday ecards

1 Digital Marketing Resolution for 2014

Resolutions are part and parcel of that no man’s land in the calendar between the end of December and February where you’re forced to insist that you’re going to change the habits of a lifetime for, oooh, at least a month.

But don’t worry we’re not going talk about how you can make improvements in the New Year, because quite frankly, if we read another article listing ‘5 digital marketing resolutions for 2014’ we might just have to melt down an entire chocolate orange and drink all that molten goodness through a straw.

Instead we’re suggesting only one resolution for your business – giving your achievements the recognition they deserve. We’re suggesting, that instead of focusing on what you’ve been doing wrong, as seems to be an perennial requirement of January and February, that you instead focus on all that your company has achieved as a way of motivating the continuation of good habits and encouraging more without even pushing for it.

And if you’re a small company struggling to make what little resources you have provide the greatest return, improvements don’t have to be drastic. In fact, creating an environment where steady and consistent growth of your digital marketing strategy is the order of the day, where you’re able to prioritise and set feasible goals, might just be the key to getting your creative content juices flowing.

The New Year doesn’t always have to mean changing everything. Maybe it should be more about giving yourself a pat on the back for earning so many extra followers through social platforms or diversifying your content with the odd video post.

Speaking of which, take a look at this great Ted Talk by Dan Pink on the puzzle of motivation for a more in-depth look at just what we mean…

Motivate your employees in the New Year with a corporate e card. For various occasions in the corporate calendar, choose from our extensive category including company Christmas ecards and Birthday ecards for business

A Christmas Story

By Christiana Brockbank

Unless you’ve been hibernating away in a cave somewhere (pleased that you didn’t bother to set an alarm) you’ve probably heard all about the competition between the big Christmas advertisements this year.

And you’ve probably noticed that the advert’s that tend to have a real impact are the ones that tell a story, however simple.

But the one that seems to have got everybody’s attention is John Lewis’ The Bear and The Hare. The advert centres on the somewhat suspicious friendship between a big grizzly bear and (lean and tasty) hare.

The M&S advert, not quite content with just one story, takes elements from many a fairytale in an extravagant mash-up of The Wizard of Oz, Alice in Wonderland, Aladdin and Hansel and Gretal.

Tesco go for a story about a couple from their first Christmas together to today as they celebrate with their children and grandchildren.

One unlikely brand to lodge itself firmly and forever in the collective Christmas consciousness is Coca Cola. Year after year, people await the ‘Holidays are Coming’ jingle and the trussed up red truck as confirmation that, yes, Christmas is definitely on its way. And I don’t know about you, but Coca Cola is rarely my tipple of choice around Christmas, yet there’s something inherently Christmassy about the brand. Just like John Lewis’ festive offerings of late, Coca Cola’s adverts are less about flogging a product and more about connecting with the audience through story.

And why? Because people love stories. There probably isn’t a day that goes by where we don’t hear, read or see one – whether in the newspaper, on film, in a book or, indeed, in the ad breaks.

Storytelling engages, it gets people on your side and keeps them there. It’s why so many of our animated business ecards tell a story, because online marketing works best when you’ve got people’s attention.

When you send an ecard to customers or businesses partners, it works because there’s no ulterior motive. You’re not selling a product – just like John Lewis wasn’t really trying to sell alarm clocks – you’re saying Merry Christmas or Happy New Year and sharing a story. A story that they’ll connect with, from a sender they’ll remember.

Browse Ecard Mint’s extensive design range and categories – from corporate Christmas e cards and business birthday cards to company employee cards.

The Impact ‘Connecting’ Can Have On Your Business

With the upsurge of social media platforms proving to be an axiomatically effective marketing tool, we must consider that new ways of marketing a business are clearly based upon ‘connecting’. By connecting, I am referring to the importance of B2B and B2C interaction, conversation, attention and engagement. More and more, customers, consumers and affiliates are taking on the role of marketer for businesses as a result of social media and online interaction; it is they who drive the conversation about your brand and it is this conversation that will effectively have an impact on the way the company operates.

We’ve found a particularly interesting blog based on connecting, by Larry Benet and its cultivating impact on business, who says,

‘Connecting is the ability to identify and relate with people to increase your influence with them. If you can add value, serve others and give freely, then you can connect with anyone, power your business and get whatever you want faster.’

Take a look here, #2: Connect With Anyone You Want by Giving Value

The cultivation of strong relationships with clients, partners and consumers means that their potentially critical influences will be instead met with loyalty and strong brand awareness. So, in light of the prominence that connecting has to your business, here’s a preview of one of our ecards that will be available on the website when it launches.

Ecard Mint Preview

Ecard Mint Preview

This ecard is the perfect way for you to connect with clients, consumers and partners. Through regular interaction, this will add significant value to your business.