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Offering high levels of process automation, recruitment software plays an indispensable part in reducing a staffing agency's administrative burden. However, today's recruitment applications are designed to do a whole lot more than just reduce paperwork. They can make a significant contribution to a company's marketing and sales activity.Effective client contact management and timely, personalised business communications are essential to the success of any recruitment comp...

Get More Marketing Value From Recruitment Software

Get More Marketing Value From Recruitment SoftwareOffering high levels of process automation, recruitment software plays an indispensable part in reducing a staffing agency's administrative burden. However, today's recruitment applications are designed to do a whole lot more than just reduce paperwork. They can make a significant contribution to a company's marketing and sales activity.Effective client contact management and timely, personalised business communications are essential to the success of any recruitment company. The first step in getting more from your marketing and sales activity is to better understand your existing and prospective client base. In today's frenetic business environment it's simply not enough to send generic email shots to everyone on your database and hope they generate some interest. With numerous demands on their time and attention, your existing clients and prospects surely won't appreciate another bland missive to an already bulging Inbox. Worse still, they might simply block all future email communications from you.An audience of oneThe days of load and send email campaigns are long over. Today email marketers are focused on increasing response, conversion and retention rates using a combination of personalisation, segmentation and triggers. Increasingly segmented and triggered emails are driven by behavioural data, such as which links a recipient clicked, whether someone did or did not open an email, what pages they visited on the sender's website or whether they did or did not take a specific action.Design mattersSomething like 95 percent of all commercial email campaigns are sent in HTML today. As a result, design has become critical for a number of reasons. Recipients might have their email setup to block images. Many people now use their Outlook preview panel as a handy filtering tool to weed out unwanted emails. Designers also need to consider inconsistent rendering by different email clients. The way an email looks on Gmail differs from Yahoo, for example. Some designers have adopted a purely graphical approach to email campaigns in an attempt to bypass content filters, but this brings us back to where we started.Bombarded by evermore junk mail, most people will only read about 15-20 commercial emails per day, and in many cases much less. As a result, layout, readability and usability are critical to differentiating your emails from everyone elses. In reality your email will have just seconds to provoke interest, convey value and trust, and prompt action.Democracy at workEmail has been described as the ultimate democratic form of marketing communication. After all, it's the recipient who decides whether they want to opt-in or opt-out of your mailing list; if and when they open, read and act on your email; how much information they wish to share with you; and when they want to unsubscribe. Recruiters who do not wish to fall foul of increasingly stringent anti-spam legislation and want to build genuinely lasting client relationships will learn to deploy various tactics to increase trust and build brand loyalty, such as ensuring only permission-based emails are sent from your company, switch to a double-opt in subscription process, and publicise your privacy policies. Those recruiters recognised and trusted by clients and prospects will be able to mine for more information. In turn, this will enable them to deliver higher value emails through ever-greater personalisation and segmentation.Recruitment software mail centresTodays sophisticated, made for purpose recruitment applications, such as Bond Adapt, RDB Pro and Eclipse integrate with third party email clients and offer a range of contact management or Customer Relationship Management (CRM) features. Chris Pawsey, Business Development Team Leader at Bond International Software (UK) Ltd, explains: Bond Adapt integrates email via Microsoft Outlook. Since Outlook is by far and away the market leading product we (Bond) make use of many of the functions therein. It is also possible to integrate Bond Adapt with other email clients. It is this contact management or CRM functionality that allows recruitment agencies and staffing professionals to create and retain email, letter and fax templates; conduct email marketing campaigns; and record response data. However, what these applications cannot do is prepare marketing materials, or ensure promotional activity is properly monitored and measured to ensure continuous improvement.Matter of designIf you want your emails to succeed in generating interest in your services then they must always look professional. Don't make the same mistake many applicants do when sending CVs/resumes in response to job advertisements i.e. fail to spell check and proofread them properly. If you send an email full of spelling mistakes, it will cost you sales and could permanently damage your credibility.Next, send test versions of your emails to yourself. You can sign up to any number of free email account providers such as Yahoo, MSN Hotmail and Googles Gmail. Include these email accounts in your test mailings. The point here is to catch any formatting errors that might show up in the different email programs. It's quite common to find a HTML email that looks great in Outlook and is missing all of its images in Yahoo or Gmail. Before you send your email you should also ask yourself one fundamental question: "How relevant is this email to the recipient?" Don't assume that the recipients will automatically see why your email is relevant to them. Often it needs to be spelt out. Succinctly explain how your recruitment company can help them and why now is such a good time to spend money on your services. You might want to consider using a professional copywriter to help you. Two of the most effective ways to highlight the relevance of your offer are to put a strong emphasis on the benefits and make your offer exclusive. Tailor any promotions you run so that they are exclusive to your recipients, giving them a strong reason to act immediately. As well as facing an avalanche of commercial emails every time we visit our In-boxes these days there's also the ubiquitous spam, much of which comes with the added threat of viruses. In fact, a recent article in Londons Metro daily newspaper suggested that as many as one in every 43 emails received world-wide is infected with some harmful entity. So, not only does your email have to compete for the recipient's limited time and attention, it also has to overcome their fears and apprehensions.Even with a good understanding of your target audience, establishing which email design elements work will be a matter of trial and error. To help you identify weaknesses and build on strengths, it's a good idea to take one email design and then produce two or three variations (split test). For example, you might use the same headline and supporting image, but change the subject line. Response levels and email tracking will enable you to identify strengths and weaknesses of your promotion.Email Design TipsEffective subject linesSubject lines should be clear, direct, attention grabbing and benefits related, such as Reduce your recruitment spend by 60%.Get your hooks into emJust like other forms of advertising, emails have to capture the readers attention within the first couple of sentences. Otherwise, its all over. The hook should be a distillation of your emails overall message and strongly appeal to the readers self-interest e.g. what do they get, how do they benefit.Sign postsGenerally its considered best practice to keep your emails text length to about 250 words. The body copy must support your hook with a clear focus on benefits, and then close with a clear, direct call to action. Its extremely important that there is no ambiguity about what you want the recipient to do e.g. click here, register now, reply. Mind your languageA well-written email message uses the active voice and short, concise sentences. This is critical as the stark reality is that most readers wont progress beyond the first couple of lines. You have to be clear, direct and focus on how your offer benefits the reader. Readability Almost as important as what you say is how you present your text to the reader. Try to keep your paragraphs short no longer than five lines. Use 1.5 or double line spacing, and a font thats easy on the eye and big enough to read. Use bullets to emphasize key points, but avoid text in all caps or multiple exclamation marks. Set text width at 68 characters or less per line so it displays correctly in e-mail applications. Also, avoid breaking or wrapping URLs into two lines - it may cause technical problems. The more barriers you eliminate the better your chances of a positive response. Keeping trackHaving segmented your audience, prepared your marketing message and sent your email out, youll want to know it has been received and acted upon. Tracking email responses is essential if you are to identify and eliminate weaknesses and build on the strengths of your campaigns. Here are some suggestions that will enable you to monitor and analyze the effectiveness of your email marketing for free. For accuracy, be sure to use a unique tracking code for each of your different email test variables and keep accurate records.MS Outlook provides you with a simple tracking facility which informs you when a message was sent, when it arrived and when it was opened. The downside here is if the recipient just glanced at your email in the panel view of their Inbox and then deleted the item youll only know because you will never receive a corresponding read message from your Outlook tracker. To switch on MS Outlook 2003 email tracking:1.Launch MS Outlook2.Click on the Tools menu at the top of the page, scroll down and click on Options.3.Click E-mail Options, which is top-right of the Preferences page.4.Next, click Tracking Options.5.Select the Read receipt and/or the Delivery receipt check boxes6.Click OK.One idea is to simply ask respondents to place something unique in the subject line that acts as a tracking code for your email campaigns. However that puts the burden of responsibility on your respondents, which is something you might to avoid. Instead us the following little trick to automatically place what you want in the subject line of a response email message: Click on this example:mailto:user@domain.com?subject=Send-Info.aboutyourcompany Replace user@domain.com in the above example with the email address you want to use and a unique campaign code.When the above link is clicked on in your email promotional message, the text immediately following ?subject= automatically appears in the subject line of a new email message. This should work in most email packages.Vital statisticsIf you have access to even the most basic website statistics you can track hits to your web pages by placing a question mark (?) after your web address (URL) when used in each email promotion, followed by your unique tracking code. For instance, you send 3 email promotions. Each carries a corresponding URL tracking code:Email Ad 1. http://www.yourdomainhere.com/homepage/htm?EM1Email Ad 2. http://www.yourdomainhere.com/clients/htm?EM2Email Ad3. http://www.yourdomainhere.com/applicants/htm?EM3Hyperlinks with your own unique tracking codes added to the end of a URL don't adversely affect the ability of recipients to access your web pages in any way, but will show up in the server log files. To determine the exact number of hits that a particular email generates, look at your log files within hours or days of sending your mail shot. You can check with your ISP or web host for access to your log files. If you dont mind having other peoples advertising on your website then there is a range of free website tracking services available. Take a look at AddFreeStats.com and FreeStats.com.By using some of the simple, free tracking and analysis methods explained here you can continually refine your email marketing, measure its effectiveness and get more from your recruitment software. For more information and professional help preparing your next email campaign, sales promotion or advertising visit www.charlie-the-copywriter.co.uk

Why viral marketing is sooo important!

Why viral marketing is sooo important!

Leverage On Other Peoples ListInternet marketing gurus always talk about building your mailing list. Mailing lists are important because it is true that the money is always in the list.Most of the time, some Internet marketers will beg other marketers (especially those with a bigger list size) to promote their products, do an ad swap or help them to build their own lists in general.But what if, instead of relying on YOUR OWN LIST, you can LEVERAGE on other peoples list?You see, in Internet marketing, there is always someone who has a bigger list size than you. These people will always want to sell products.If you can create products (such as master resell rights or no restriction private label rights products) and give them the rights to sell YOUR products with YOUR ads in it, you will be getting constant advertising for FREE and people are doing it WILLINGLY for you!After all, when you promote a product to your list, it is still limited in the sense that you can only mail your list once or twice, but having your products being promoted all over the Internet, will take the burden off the lists and give you additional streams of income.The Power Of Exponential GrowthMany people neglect the power of viral marketing because they have this misconception that it yields very little at the start. They feel that they would rather promote their products by themselves rather than share the product with other resellers.The same applies with blog posts. (See the chapter on blogs and themes below).Lets do a little math.Would you rather make $100,000 a month or make build a campaign that doubles in revenue starting at $0.01 a day for every next day?1 2 4 8 16 64 128 256 MILLIONS!The power of exponential growth tells us that you will become a millionaire after almost 30 days! (2 to the power of 30!!!)Do you see the power of viral marketing?Whether you are getting one new subscriber a day or one sale a day, you will be able to generate lots of traffic just by viral marketing alone!Now to be realistic, even with the UNLIMITED growth potential on the Internet, there will come a time where there is a saturation point. But it still doesnt dispute the fact that there are millions of customers (and many resellers) that will market for you and expand your efforts FOR YOU!It is always a good idea to build several viral marketing channels. That way, even when your viral campaign starts to slow down (due to saturation), you will still be able to leverage on many channels and build your list or your affiliate commissions.In future articles , i will explore a few tools, both free and paid that will enable you to build several viral campaigns and watch as traffic beats a path to your virtual doorstep!

Viral Marketing

Viral Marketing

Creativity. This is one virtue a site must possess to lead the race in the ruthless competition in the Internet based business. With so many competition and rivalry going on, every method of marketing must be employed and utilized. It doesnt matter if you have a killer product or a fantastically designed website, if people dont know that you exist, it doesnt matter, and you are not going to make it big. Worse of all, you business could just get killed. While there are so many methods and schemes used by so many e-commerce sites today, there are still some of those that can help you with an extra boost in the popularity ratings. One of these is the so called Viral Marketing. While the term Viral easily depicts a virus, a word very much dreaded by all computer owners, it is not what it seems. You do not actually use a computer virus to spread your business; on the contrary it just might kill you. Everyone has had enough of all those pop up ads and spywares. Viral Marketing OverviewViral Marketing also known otherwise as Viral Advertising is a marketing technique used to build the public awareness of ones product or company. They use many forms of media to reach out to the public without actually promoting the product by riding on in other forms of addictive means that could get a person hooked and be obliged or amused to actually pass it on, with the product or company advertisement along with it. In a nutshell, companies ride on the idea that if people like the content of a media they will pass it on to their friends and family. They sponsor the certain media, such as a cool flash game, funny video, amusing story and such, which one may pass on to another with the company brand or logo or the products description or any other content to help promote the company or its product. Viral marketing has become a popular means of advertising and marketing because they are relatively low cost. To avoid being tagged as spam mail, viral marketing counts on the eagerness of one person to pas on the product. If a person sees the name of the person they know as the sender, they wont block it and open it as well. Many companies offer incentives such as discounts and rebates when they help in spreading their "viral marketing" . They rely on the number of recipients a viral marketing gets from one person in determining the amount or number of incentive they can be attributed with. Using Viral Marketing to your advantageThe main and foremost advantage of viral marketing is that you get a lot of publicity and public awareness about your site and your company. You get to generate a flow of traffic that are potential customers. With a little ingenuity and imagination, plus some incentives or prizes, you can reach out to a great number of people and announce your existence.Most every site and companies are catching on to the effectivity of Viral Marketing and Advertising. Not using it could kill your business. Along with other schemes and methods in promoting your site, like Search Engine Optimization and such, viral marketing could easily push you ahead in the rating games. Viral Marketing could be a sneaky way to get people to know about you and your company. You get them to pass your advertisement along. They are also very low cost that not investing in it could be downright a business suicide. All it takes is a great idea, a good addicting game, a funny story many ideas are still out there. Create a gossip or a buzz, many movies are promoted by using scandals and gossips to make them moir popular. Remember the movie The Blair Witch Project?Many big companies have tried viral marketing and have had many success stories with it. A classic example is Microsofts Hotmail. They were the first known big company to utilize the scheme and it has worked wonders for them. Now its your turn to use viral marketing to work wonders for you. Act now and reap the benefits Viral Marketing will provide for you and your sales figures.

Tips and Ideas for a Corporate Identity Makeover

Tips and Ideas for a Corporate Identity Makeover

Corporate identities are very important in this competitive world of ours. It is through the corporate identity that the core values of an organization are identified. It is not only the big companies that need corporate identity; the small business owner too needs to build a corporate identity standard. This is because it is through the corporate identity package that your suppliers, and the general public identify the company. The best way of getting a corporate identity makeover is through a corporate identity package that includes your business name, your logotype, your motto, your small business logo and all associated printed material.To help in your corporate identity brand building, write to a few big corporations, asking some question, whose answer has to be sent with a business card. In reply, they would send the answer on their letterhead, in their company envelopes while including their business cards. Now study these corporate’s identity package to get ideas for your corporate image identity. All corporate identity’s standard is the professional one. However, one thing common in all packages is the simplicity. Usually, all large corporations have a simple symbol like Coca-Cola or Toyota. In corporate identity brand building, quality printing services and paper has to be used for all stationery of the corporate. This signifies quality in the corporate. Quality paper may cost more, but the effects it produces in getting a better corporate image identity covers this cost! Of course, in the makeover of the corporate identity standard, you may consider printing your corporate identity package using your home printer. However, with this, will you be helping in corporate identity brand building? No, as the results will not be as professional as it can be!The corporate identity standard of big businesses is always consistent. This has to be remembered in the makeover of the corporate identity. The same color is usually used by big businesses in both their logo and their background. Even the usage of the fonts will be constant. These points have to be remembered while building your corporate identity brand. It is always better to enlist the help of a design professional to improve the corporate image identity of your business. If budget is a concern, you could consider getting a good student graphic designer, who will gladly improve your corporate identity standard in exchange for letting them add this corporate identity in their portfolio. If they do charge a fee for the betterment of your corporate identity standard, it will definitely be less than the services of a professional!Corporate identity brand building is in fact the bottom line job of marketing. This is because for a makeover of your corporate image identity, different strategies and tactics are used to strengthen the brand name. The corporate identity standard can be very much increased through advertising, public relations, promotions and research and development. Make sure that your name itself is different and unique, to help in your corporate identity brand building!

Marketing Hat for Graphic Designers or Wannabes

Many people think that the quality of any graphic design is determined by how aesthetically pleasing it is: Although making the card look good is important, this couldn't be further from the truth. The only true measure of any design, at least commercially, is "How well does it pull?". By pull we mean what type of response does it elicit? Does it pull in calls, or pull people into the store? In essence, does the design accomplish what it set out to do?From this fact it is not a reach to come to the conclusion that the merit of a graphic designer is based on the performance of his or her designs. You may be able to put together the most beautiful ad that the world has ever seen, but if it doesn't make the phone ring it isn't worth the paper that it is printed on.By giving clients designs that are not only attractive but, more importantly, that get them the response they need to turn a profit, you are making it much more likely that they will be willing and able to come back to you for future services. In short, if the ad doesn't make your client any money, you don't make any money in the future.The following text is a breakdown of the different actions to take and ways to make sure that your beautiful design is also a big time moneymaker for both you and your client.Chapter 1BE the Target MarketThere is a monkey loose in your office and you can't seem to get any work done. The only solution is to catch the little distraction and FedEx him back to the jungle that he came from. Question: How do you catch a monkey? You have to get into his head, think like him. You have to BE the monkey to find out what is going to bring him close enough for you to catch him.What does an annoying monkey have to do with Marketing Design? Keep reading.Every potential customer is like the monkey. They are going to do whatever they want unless you can persuade them to listen to you. You have to get into their head, think like them, BE them. A monkey is a simple animal so you can probably get his attention with the stereotypical banana.Human beings on the other hand are extremely complex. Then you add in the fact that the mailing list is targeted and it can get quite challenging. Following are a few examples: 1) Product = Wrinkle Reducing Eye Cream.Who do you need to BE? Probably a woman over the age of 40. Try it. Pretend you are a woman over 40 with crows feet (wrinkles around the eyes, for all you guys) and they are getting worse and worse each day. Did you do it? Are you her? Good.Now, how bombarded with advertising is this woman over 40 that youre being? Just think about it. PLENTY! So how are you going to communicate to her in an ad to get her to respond?You may have a headline that pushes the button of how upset she is about those crows feet like, Crows Feet Getting Worse as You Age? You may want to show a before and after shot. 2) Product = New Golf Ball that goes farther and straighter than the competition.Your target market is Senior Citizen golf enthusiasts in the state of Florida. So what is the number one benefit of this particular product for that target market? To answer that question you should use three things: Reasoning ExperienceResearchIn this golf case, in particular, I can tell you from others stories that the older the guy, the straighter the ball goes. Practice makes perfect and older people have generally had much more practice. Also, as people get older they start to lose strength over all. This means that they will start to lose distance on their shot. It is relatively easy to tell that the distance factor is going to be the biggest benefit and therefore should be the focus of the ad. Sometimes it's really easy, most times it's not. 3) Product (Service) = Refinancing.This example has you trying to determine the biggest benefit of refinancing a mortgage for families with a household income of $75k, revolving debt of $15k and 2+ children. Sound complicated? It can be. Maybe the benefit is getting cash to pay off their debt; maybe it's paying for college, or even lowering their monthly payments. There is no real way to tell just by looking at the situation. Now you are going to have to do some research.Chapter 2Research the Target MarketResearch can be as in depth as actually phoning some of the people in the target market and conducting surveys, or it is often as simple as talking to your client about his experiences with past customers. Start with the easiest action and survey your client. Here are some good questions to ask: 1. What do your top five customers have in common? By this I mean, what do your top five customers' orders have in common. Do they all purchase a certain add on? Is there a service that none of them take advantage of? This will help tell you what a "good customer" actually is to that client.2. What is the most-often-stated benefit of your service?Is it product? Is it service? Is it price? Ask them, they know and you need to know for obvious reasons.3. What do they think is the most beneficial part of their service to their customer?Many companies have already done the research, or have been doing it long enough to just give you the information out right.It is not always obvious what is going to be the benefit that is going to pull the most response. Use your three assets (Reasoning, Experience and Research) to get as close as possible. As time goes on you will build up your experience, but in the beginning you will need to rely more heavily on your Reasoning and Research. And the easiest and fastest thing you can do is to BE the target market. Now back to the targeted family that we want to refinance their home. Pretend you are a family man or woman with a household income of the $75k with revolving debt of $15K and youve got two kids! Kids can be pretty expensive. So, why would you like to refinance?Chapter 3You Want the Customer to do WHAT?Since you've now figured out what the customer needs to hear to be interested, next you need to figure out what it is you want from them. What are you trying to accomplish? Sometimes it is as simple as getting them to go to your website for more information. Other times you are looking for them to pick up the phone and actually place an order. Whatever it is that you want them to do you need to state it clearly on the promo piece.For example, if you want them to call and talk to a representative, the card should very clearly say "Call today and speak to one of our representatives for more details." This simple statement tells the customer exactly what you want them to do. It even tells them when to call - "today". Believe it or not, people like to be told exactly what to do in advertising. You should make it easy as possible to make the requested action. The more your prospects have to think, the less likely they are to actually act.Another key part of the call to action is supplying the proper accompanying information along with the request. In this case, the phone number should be prominent and be the closest element to your call to action. Common sense would seem to tell you that as long as the phone number is somewhere on the promo they will find it and give you a call. The reality is that if the number isn't right there for them to see, your response rate will drop considerably.Make sure that the call to action is bold and easy to understand. And keep any important contact information in close proximity to the call to action.These are the three most important steps that a graphic designer needs to take to make a piece that will be aesthetic and pull at the same time. Pull = a call, a walk-in, a buy, a response all for more money in their door. Which, by the way, gets you remunerated for your services and is actually your exchange for a job well done. Their customers buying means your customers are pleased and wanting more of your services. And its a happier, prospering world.

New Business Names: Naming With A Story

Sometimes a company name communicates a message on its own, and sometimes the story underlying the name adds depth and distinction to that message. Isis Group International, for instance, uses the name of an Egyptian goddess in a word combination that comes across well to the ear and looks great in an artfully designed arrangement of fonts, shapes and colors. (See the logo at www.isisgroupinternational.com.) The tag line clarifies what the firm does: Training and Consulting for a World of Difference. The firm's three experienced consultants conduct cross-cultural training, coach international executives, help smooth the process of cross-border mergers, and more. With the story behind the name, an even deeper level of meaning unfolds. I wrote it this way for the opening section of the firm's brochure: "Isis: Insightful Guidance for Global Success "In ancient Egypt, the goddess Isis possessed a well-earned reputation for exceptional tenacity, intelligence, healing, resourcefulness and creativity. Isis Group International follows in her footsteps with customized consulting, training and coaching for today's smaller than ever, diverse world." In explaining what the name means, the firm reveals some of its values and implies that it has certain qualities that matter to clients. Ideally, testimonials, other marketing copy and the firm's work itself all complement this story. The whole package then becomes unusually appealing and memorable. For this naming strategy to work, you need a name that at least hints at the story and a story that contains something not generally known that fits how you wish the company to be perceived. Most adults who don't recall that Isis was an Egyptian goddess or her specialty as a goddess would still vaguely sense the international flavor in the name. With more familiar mythological figures like Hercules or Midas, however, the story would run the risk of belaboring the obvious. Enlist the aid of a top-notch graphic designer and marketing writer to enhance the association with the story, and include a brief version of the story when you introduce the company.

Summary

Offering high levels of process automation, recruitment software plays an indispensable part in reducing a staffing agency's administrative burden. However, today's recruitment applications are designed to do a whole lot more than just reduce paperwork. They can make a significant contribution to a company's marketing and sales activity.Effective client contact management and timely, personalised business communications are essential to the success of any recruitment comp...