Gmail for Small Businesses

Posted on July 22nd, 2015 by Katelyn Whittaker Categories Blog

Many people use Gmail for personal use, but it’s also great for business purposes. By becoming a part of Google Apps for Business, your small business will be able to take advantage of the many features and benefits Gmail has to offer. (more…)

Holiday Marketing

Posted on November 13th, 2013 by Skye-Lynn Ferch Categories Advertising

Holiday Marketing

The holidays are here and marketing is spreading the cheer. Everywhere you look during the holidays, businesses get into the spirit and change up their traditional marketing to a more spirited campaign. Here are a few tips to follow to get you through the festivities.

 

Prepare your website

If you sell popular items on your website, prepare the system for the heavy traffic flow that is to come. The last thing you want is for your site to crash! Test your website often leading up to your big-rush sales.

 

Log onto social media

Use social media to get your items out there. People will be surfing on sites like Pinterest looking for the perfect gift. Here is a list of ways to get your social media ready for the holidays.

 

Offer perks

‘Tis the Season for sales and free shipping! Nothing excites customers more than scoring a great deal. The holidays are the perfect time to roll out a discount campaign to get business in the door. Run a social media campaign where your customers can win a gift card. Be creative with the promotion, make it  fun and interactive, your customers will enjoy!

 

Spread the cheer

If your company is giving back this year, let your customers know about your gift of giving. If it is something they are also passionate about, it is possible they will spread the news of what you’re doing. There is no better marketing than word of mouth. If you’re donating to a local toy drive, such as Toys for Tots, let them know the locations so they can donate too.

 

Be on time

When strategizing for your promotions, go simple and stick with the holidays occurring at the present time. People like to enjoy the celebrations and stretch the holidays as long as possible.

 

Remember that not everything has to change; your usual methods of marketing will still work. But by adding a little holiday cheer, you will ensure your customers get into the spirit.

 

 

Advertising Trends of 2013

Posted on October 9th, 2013 by Skye-Lynn Ferch Categories Advertising

Advertising Trends of 2013

Years ago, most of us probably pictured our lives in 2013 to be much different than they currently are. Flying cars, humans living in pods in the sky and meals consisting of a dinner pill were standard predictions for the average human. Though we are not The Jetsons yet, the rate at which technology is developed and perfected in today’s world is astonishing. The Internet has drastically affected the way information is obtained and shared, and profoundly affected the approach to advertising and marketing.

 

In 2013, while traditional forms of advertising and marketing are still quite effective, the latest trends are shaping how we engage our audiences via digital platforms. Our world has become so integrated with technology that we carry computers in our pocket and access everything we need on the run. Subsequently, if you’re not mobile ready, then you’re doing yourself a great disservice. According to an infographic from visua.ly, “47% of marketers indicated that the rise of mobile Internet is highly significant for search marketing”.  In 2013, mobile retail sales are projected to reach somewhere around $38.4 billion, and roughly 46 million Americans will use a mobile coupon. If you want your advertising to be effective, mobile is the way to go.

 

Did you know that the average Internet user spends 20.4 hours a week on the web? As a result, email marketing has become a crucial tool for staying in front of your audience. Not only is email the preferred method of communication, with 216 million users, it’s also incredibly cost effective and produces instant, manageable results.  To move back to mobile effectiveness, 88% of the 216 million email users check their messages on their phone daily.

 

The future of digital marketing and advertising is here. The Internet is our marketplace, our mailbox and our conference room all in one. Grab your target audience’s attention by being mobile ready! What better way to be seen on a consumers phone than in an email message? That’s where you’re going to capitalize on your ROI. At The REFUGE Group, we specialize in keeping you in contact with your target audience through social media, email marketing and public relations.

Are you using Google+?

Posted on October 2nd, 2013 by Skye-Lynn Ferch Categories Advertising

Are you using Google+ ?

If you haven’t heard, the latest movement hitting the social networking world is Google+. The networking service was created in 2011 but is just now gaining the title of the “next big thing” in the digital world. In early 2013, Google+ had close to 360 million active users and is projected to grow even more. If you are not on Google+, here is why you should be.

Circles

You can place people into different circles and manage who sees what. You are able to converse with each group on separate topics, making your engagement more personal. In your business you might have certain messages to relay to different target audiences, and this feature allows you to do so without posting a one-for-all message.

Communities

Imagine a place that allows you to interact and meet people whom all share the same interests; communities does just that. It connects users with others who are posting about the same topic. You can use this to benefit your business by reaching out to those who already show an interest in what you are offering. You can also plan events within this feature, making it easy to send out invites to just the right people.

Hangouts

Hangouts are where you can catch up with your followers/friends with video, voice calls or share photos. You can have up to a 10-person conference call from all around the world (for free), and share photos and emojis in your conversation. Another great thing about the video aspect is you can pre-record your videos to post to the web at a later time.

Bonus

Since Google is the creator, your business’s Google+ profile will always pop-up on the top right of the search results.

With the unique features offered, it is no wonder it has millions of users and is the next big thing! Google is creating a new way of communicating with its easy-to-use, engaging social networking site. Now is the time to join, the media buzz surrounding the site is bound to draw in many more users.

Marketing a Business

Posted on August 7th, 2013 by Skye-Lynn Ferch Categories Blog

Marketing has its place in every business. According to the Business Dictionary, “Marketing is based on thinking about the business in terms of customer needs and their satisfaction.” Based on this, a marketer’s job is to prove how a product will satisfy their needs. Putting together a marketing strategy can be expensive and time-consuming, making the task quite challenging. There are two ways you can promote your business, traditional marketing and online marketing. Now, you will probably ask which one is more effective? There is no single answer for this question because both can help you succeed.

 

Traditional Marketing

 

Traditional MarketingTraditional marketing involves using direct mail, print advertising, broadcasting, and referrals and has been around for many years. Print advertising is the oldest of traditional marketing. Its goal is to create awareness through displays on magazines, newspapers or billboards. This type of marketing is usually expensive and targeted towards large businesses. This is also the case for broadcasting which includes radio and television. According to the Houston Chronicle, TV and radio can reach a large audience in a short time period. However, it has a shorter lifetime compared to print advertising. Direct mail creates awareness through catalogs, letters, brochures, etc. If you have a small business you can start with direct mail and referrals, which are less expensive and less time consuming.

  

Online Marketing

 

Online MarketingOnline marketing works through the Internet and mobile devices and its success began around the 2000’s. For small businesses new in the market, online marketing is a great way to increase sales, while quickly gaining exposure. One form of online marketing is social media. Social media sites like, Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and Pinterest are all great ways to communicate your brand message at no cost to the company or you individually. Email marketing is another form of online marketing, but in order for it to be successful, it must be appealing and well planned.

 

The majority of businesses utilize a combination of traditional and online marketing. According to Econsultancy, using these channels together will help you develop a solid plan that draws a desired behavior from the consumer towards your product. Each business is different and should develop the best combination of marketing methods according to what they have to offer and what they think their customers need.

 

Get Personal: Tips for Your Next Email Marketing Campaign

Posted on February 13th, 2013 by admin Categories Email Marketing

An email marketing campaign can be a tricky situation. You want to keep you emails up to date and exciting, but you don’t want to drive your customers away with daily or lengthy emails. At The REFUGE Group, we’ve compiled some tips that will make your next campaign a snap!

 

On the Subject

 

Remember, the first thing people will see when they receive your email is the subject line. Anna Pitts from PR Daily suggests making your subject line truthful but with a bit of mystery so the customer will want to click on the email. Also keep in mind your subject should be about what you’re going to talk about in your email, not just want you think people will want to open. This guide from Email Experience Council suggests creating a subject line that has around 70 characters because it has been shown that subject lines with 70 or more characters had higher open rates.

 

To Whom It May Concern

 

Netline’s corporate blog suggests personalizing your email marketing campaigns for each customer. Even if it is something as simple as putting the person’s name in each email, that small action shows that you’re not just a computer spitting out emails. If it’s too much work to add in names, then follow DreamGrow’s advice and try greetings that are specific to your target market. For example, if you’re letting your customers know about a new dress style, you could use, “Calling all Fashionistas!”

 

Reader Friendly

 

Now let’s talk about the content. When creating your email, be brief. You want to get to the point of your email in the first few lines before your customers become disinterested. Also if you have any links to products, make sure you are directly linking to the product’s page. You don’t want to send someone on a wild goose chase that might make them think twice about buying your product.

 

We hope these tips will help your next email marketing campaign. For more helpful tips, check out this infographic about the best time to send emails. If you have a great tip for email marketing, make sure to leave it in a comment below!

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