In October we held a conference specifically aimed at online retailers called “8 Ways to Sell More Stuff” (read a review here). The feedback was very positive and we hope to produce more events in this style in 2011.
In the meantime here is the first of some of the presentations that I recorded on the day. I didn’t manage to record them all (sorry Michael Kane!) and it may be a while before I have an opportunity to tidy the other few up but there should be plenty for you to mull over in this podcast below.
This is Andrew Draper, Co-founder of Manpacks.com sharing his experience of launching not only a new online business in the last year but a business with a unique business model.
The headline sponsor of “8 Ways to Sell More Stuff” was An Post and one way you could sell more stuff is by checking out their new site ILoveShopping.ie.
Jenni Timony of Exponentially.ie attended “8 Ways to Sell More Stuff”, our recent conference for online retailers. This is her review of the event. We always welcome reviews of our events from attendees so please contact me if you would like to write a post about an event you attended. So over to Jenni!
Apart from the sales pitch from An Post, it was a relevant , insightful and engaging line up. [Ed: An Post were launching their new service www.iloveshopping.ie]
My key takeaways from Curiouswines.ie
- Interesting to note that they had NO marketing budget. All of their efforts are focussed on Social Media and email marketing.
- Mike talked about acquisition versus retention using the acronym AIDA. It’s about creating Awareness, Interest, Desire and Action. Patience clearly required !
- Mike talked about discounting and how he would not do half price. Customers will think the product was either too expensive in the first place or you are selling at a loss. 5% no good either. Recommends a meaningful time limited discount of 15% plus.
- Love this one: Curiouswines sends a little welcome/ thank you token (such as a branded corkscrew) to new customers. In the post – not on Facebook or a blog. “ Just between you and me”. Personalise it.
- Regarding Marketing efforts. “Layer it, integrate it, repeat it.”
- Mike mentioned a white paper called “ The Darwinian Gale”, which I’m reading. It’s about recession relevant customer trends to drive loyalty and retention.
- Harvest the power of crowds and networks. Something like, “This deal is 25% off provided 150 people sign up. Any less and the deal is off.”
- Mike distilled it succinctly when he said that acquisition and retention is the real acid test.
Later came the chilled and charming Andrew Draper from Manpacks. I must confess that I had a particular interest in this as I’m launching a site called Frankley.com in January also targeting the North American market. It is a similiar concept but aimed at women, men and kids!
- Manpacks was launched quickly and the model is based on iterating from real world data.
- Makes a change to the site every day to increase conversion.
- Modeled heavily on Basecamp. But its PaaS instead of SaaS. ( Product as a service versus Software as a Service.)
- Things went mad when they got featured on Springwise.com, Inc magazine and more.
- 2000 tweets about Manpacks over nine months. Nice !
- The site gets great traffic but has a low conversion rate.
- They claim to have no outreach for PR. Hmmmm…
- Manpacks push the service, not the product. They keep a small range of stock as ‘men don’t like choice’.
- Half of their customers love to modify their order, the other half don’t.
- Big focus on user experience. “Don’t make me think”. They are making the site as clean, simple and intuitive and constantly tweak to achieve this.
- Also on UX (user experience) – they ask themselves “Is it usable? Is it useful? Is it credible? Is it desirable?”
And my favourite…
- “ The most important thing we did was LAUNCH. Be awesome and good things will happen.”
The Irish Web Awards return again this year and have moved to the lovely surroundings of the Mansion House on Dawson Street, Dublin 2. The hundreds of nominations have been whittled down to the shortlists which were announced this week.
A big congratulations to the IIA Members who made it this far. I’ll be there on the night rooting for you all! Maybe I should get a vuvuzela…
In a shameless bit of backslappery, two of us here in IIA HQ are up for awards for our own projects. My very own, The Rosie View, a podcast about what’s on the telly box with Rosemary MacCabe, is shortlisted in the Best Independent Podcaster category. Darren Byrne’s site Culch.ie, a pop culture blog run with a number of Ireland’s best bloggers, is shortlisted in the Best Web Only Publication and Best Entertainment Website categories.
Our boss Joan is inordinately proud of us and made me write this blog post. I swear.
The bad news for procrastinators and shilly-shalliers and latecomers is that the IIA Diploma in Digital Marketing brought to you in association with Irish Times Training and Prosperity Recruitment is SOLD OUT. The good news is that we will be running it again so don’t shilly-shally the next time! That’s you told now!
Jokes aside if you would like to ensure that you are the first to know about the next run of this Diploma, sign up for Events Alerts today. Email events at iia dot ie with “Subscribe” or click here.
The extra good news is that we are holding a training event next week which if you were really pretentious you might describe as a soupçon of the Diploma in Digital Marketing. I guess that makes me really pretentious. Eoin Kennedy of Slattery Communications presents a half day training in Online PR which will cover:
- Changes in the Irish media environment.
- Evolution of the press release.
- Landscape Mapping and research.
- Building a social media strategy
- Social media guidelines
- New PR tool kit
- Blogger outreach and online relations.
- Online Crisis Management
- Irish case studies
The course is aimed at anyone responsible for their company’s communications, be it your sole responsibility or part of the everything that you do for your start-up. This course will help you approach your communications in a more organised manner and give you a better understanding of the landscape. Eoin will be presenting on this topic as part of the Diploma in Digital Marketing so it will give attendees an opportunity to check out some of the content of the Diploma. As an added bonus (like you need one!) we will give all attendees at the Online PR course a voucher for the Diploma when we next schedule it.
Now I wonder does Eoin discourage the use of words like soupçon…?
What more can I say? I have returned from my leave and I’m looking forward to getting stuck in. Please feel free to contact me at members at iia dot ie if you would like to discuss your membership with me or just for a hello! I should also mention that until November I am working until 1.15pm daily.
My colleagues welcomed me back with the news that we have an exciting event coming up on October 7th: 8 Ways to sell more stuff. The final details are being ironed out but we expect to present a mixture of expert advice on key internet technologies for the retailer and case studies from Ireland and abroad on how to do it well and the pitfalls to avoid when retailing online.
Whether your company are seasoned retailers or thinking about taking the leap online, there will be presentations to interest you. Tickets are already selling but follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook or subscribe to the Digital Digest newsletter for further information over the next fortnight.
We are extremely excited up in our little portion of the Digital Hub today, as we have just announced details of our Diploma in Digital Marketing. This course runs for 13 weeks and the trainers are some of the finest names in the industry today.
The Diploma in Digital Marketing is designed to enable you to develop a focused digital marketing strategy that can help your organisation become more efficient and more profitable. It is a part-time evening Diploma run on Tuesday evenings commencing on 21 September for 13 weeks. Developed in conjunction with Irish Times Training and Prosperity Recruitment.
In designing this Diploma, we have identified the core skills required for effective digital marketing, identified the best trainers – who are all industry practitioners – and draw on our considerable experience in course delivery.
Course modules include digital marketing strategy, SEO, Online Advertising, Mobile Web, Social Media, Online PR and many more. Trainers include Colm Grealy, Adforce.ie; Krishna De, BizGrowthNews; Conor Pope, Irish Times; Shenda Loughnane, ICAN and Gareth Dunlop Ion Online Marketing.
For a full breakdown of each of the modules and for more information on the trainers and the course costs, please to to iia.ie/diploma.
IIA Events has a very interesting day lined up next week. It’s ideal for businesses and individuals who are looking to use video and audio content in their working lives and for those who are currently using these mediums, but want to develop their expertise in order to maximize their digital footprint.
Audio Video Culture is on the Clarion Hotel IFSC, Dublin, from 1.30pm to 5.15pm on Thursday 22nd April.
There’s a number of great speakers from YouTube, RTE Player, RaboDirect.ie and more, who will be sharing their experiences in the planning, production, distribution, monetisation and measurement of audio and video media and what’s coming in the future. For instance, Fred Caballero of Channelship will be talking about Online Video on a Budget, Peter O’Nell of Mason Hayes+Curran will discuss Digital Content and the law. That’s an area I’d be very interested in hearing more about.
The event is kindly sponsored by Bord Gáis Energy and is part of our ongoing series of events with the IIA Social Media Working Group. It will take a look at some of the possibilities for video and audio content to drive your business online as well as case studies of how it has been done successfully to date.
The regular price per person is €75.00 or if you are an IIA member, it’s €45.00. I am also very happy to offer an additional 10% discount if you use this Voucher code when booking: Video2010.
IIA members should log into the site to avail of the member price.
I’m a big fan of Bizcamps I have to say. I’ve had great experiences from a knowledge and networking point of view at the two I have attended. When Nichola Bates from IIA Member company Grow Sales Online contacted me on LinkedIn to let me know about an upcoming Bizcamp in Newry I was immediately interested. I also love the logo. Slick!
So what can you expect at BizcampNewry? I’ll allow their own site to do the talking
BizcampNewry is a free business conference taking place in the Southern Regional College Newry on Saturday the 6th of February 2010! There will be talks ranging from entrepreneurs actively working to professionals ready to share their knowledge and skills.
If one of your New Year Resolutions was to get out and network or to do more public speaking or facilitation this is your chance! Register now online or volunteer to give a talk.
Sadly I won’t be able to make it; common sense dictates otherwise. It’s a week before I go on maternity leave!
A big thanks to Laura Kelly from IIA Member Company AXA who submitted the following review of our recent event “Driving Self-Service Online”. A special thanks for her patience as I grappled with the recent blog issues while her concise review languished in my inbox. Her review shows that this event did not stop at examining online customer service. Of course this is exactly how any customer service should be: multi-faceted. I also attended an event similar to this by IIA Member Company iQContent at their Bootcamp last summer and agree with all her points. (But I would, of course, so it’s nice to get an unbiased opinion!)
Colin Bentley of iQContent proved to be a worthy guide on the journey through the topic, warning us all from the outset that it’s not as easy as we like to think!
Starting with the link between self service and customer experience, Colin gave us some great examples of online customer experiences that worked, and more importantly and often remembered those that don’t (all companies shall remain nameless here!)
Key Steps in the Online Self Service Journey
- Convince your CEO that online self service is right for you,
- Really listen to what your customers have to say, and understand the areas in which they seek help
- Be clever about the medium you use to answer your customers questions. Examples include forums, avatars (e.g. Anna for Ikea) and Twitter
- Understand more about the type of tasks you want to provide online, and how appropriate it is for the user and you. Tasks can range from useful, to usable, to lovable where companies really go the extra mile.
Finally Colin finished up a very informative half day by discussing the promotion of online self service, including educating staff and customers, as well as less subtle strategies such as financial incentives for transacting online.
A very informative and well presented seminar – my thanks to Colin Bentley from IQ Content and Irene from IIA.
– Laura Kelly, AXA.ie
(And the appropriateness of a CAR insurer writing a review of DRIVING Self-Service Online has just dawned on me. Ever the quick one on the uptake, Roseanne!)
I always try to encourage event attendees to write reviews of our events for the IIA Blog. Niall Mc Henry of IIA Member Company SaveAFewBob.ie lept at the chance and wrote the following review of a recent event. If you would like to write an honest review, check out our guest blogger guidelines and have at ye!
In the meantime a big thanks to Niall!
The event Niall is reviewing was titled “Get Straight to your customers with Email Marketing” and included presentations from denise cox of newsweaver, Irene Gahan of IIA Member Company Rehab Bingo and Gary Davis, Deputy Data Protection Commissioner. The slides from the presentations are available in the Resources section of IIA.ie If you attended the event and have anything further to add please leave a comment or trackback below – thanks! If you would like to hear about future events please either sign up for our free newsletter and events alerts or subscribe to our Events Feed.
Over to Niall:
As a novice e-mail marketer about to embark on an e-mail marketing campaign, I recently attended the seminar on email marketing organised by the IIA. There were some excellent learning points to take from the session which I hope to build into our own company’s newsletters. For those who were unable to attend, here are some of my thoughts which you may find helpful.
Of all the online marketing tools available to businesses, email marketing is the only mechanism which affords marketers full control whereby we can push information to our customers. With all other online marketing tools, the user/customer is in the driving seat, dictating what information they are looking for and where and when they will search for it.
Email marketing allows us to get in front of our customers with our message at the time of our own choosing. This is a golden opportunity to communicate with people who are genuinely interested in our product/service. We should be grateful for this and respect the fact that we have permission to contact them. (Yes, you do need their permission!) It is imperative that we consider the parameters within which we are operating when planning our Email Marketing Strategy.
Denise spoke of the 7 Critical Steps to Email Marketing Success. Below I highlight the key points which we hope to integrate into our own newsletters.
- Set clear objectives and goals
- Build brand loyalty
- Encourage readers to visit our site
- Reward members with prizes/giveaways
- Offer alternative promotional channel to advertisers
- Invite readers to sign up to follow us on Twitter/Facebook
- Look your best
- Design should be consistent with existing branding
- Clean design: a few short paragraphs with prominent headlines
- Not too wordy, easy to scan
- Light and engaging in tone
- Visuals can be effective
- Include great content
- Content is king (and it builds your reputation)
- Relevant and timely
- Quality as opposed to quantity
- WIFM: What do your customers want to read? What’s in it for them?
- Short snappy paragraphs – readers are time poor
- Have strong calls to action
- Email Us
- Download this
- Click here (include hyperlinks to specific landing pages)
- Follow us on Twitter
- Avail of this exclusive offer
- Get into the Inbox
- Best to use a professional email service provider
- Check compatibility with different browsers
- Test prior to sending
- Keep your database clean and up to date
- Stand out in the Inbox
- A good heading can ensure higher open rate
- How can you stand out from the crowd(ed) Inbox?
- Can you create instant recognition?
- A personalised email creates trust. Avoid sent from info@, no reply@
- Measure and test for best results
- E-mail marketing is an iterative process
- Learn about your audience. What are their preferences?
- Segment your database if appropriate
- Study metrics, what was opened, which calls to action were answered?
- What can be improved the next time?
Hope this helps. Happy Email Marketing!