Email Marketing Lessons from Firestone and Bath & Body Works

This past week these two major companies have provided a mini-study in a few do’s and don’ts of email marketing.

I hate to call people out, but, you know,  a huge national company should really know better.

I signed up with Firestone to receive their email coupons (I’m way overdue for an oil change…..).
This is how their conformation email appeared in my inbox:

Firestone - email marketing

Well, actually it was in my junk mail folder. Fortunately I’m smart enough to check there ;)
But, yes folks “DO-NOT-REPLY” in all caps is really how they set up their “from” email address and “Confirm Sign Up” is really their subject line. If I hadn’t checked my email right away, and had seen this a few hours or a day later, I may well have not remembered that I signed up, or would have simply discounted this message along with the many other spam emails I receive every day since there was nothing about it that signified legitimacy.

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Recharge and Refine Your Marketing Strategy

I frequently come across frustrated business owners who are still of the  “build it and they will come” mentality. They don’t understand why they are not getting more web traffic, or why their marketing efforts are not having the desired results.

Any marketing strategy requires constant refinement to make sure it continues to serve your purpose. That also goes for the components of the strategy – making sure that your website, social media campaigns, ads, promotions etc are all optimized to serve your purpose is an ongoing consideration.

Here are some useful questions to apply to any marketing effort that can prod you into more effective action. If you feel that something isn’t working the way you had hoped, try going through these and seeing what you can do better. Make a conscious effort to step back and view your marketing from the objective eyes of an outsider – someone who knows little to nothing about your business.

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Basic SEO for Blogger – Adding Alt Text To Images

I personally use and am a huge fan of WordPress – I made the switch from Blogger many years ago. However I do have a couple of clients that use blogger to publish their blogs – they find it simpler to use. But simplicity comes at a price. Although it is owned by Google, Blogger does not do a great job at providing SEO features by default.  One of the basic things it lacks is an easy way for the user to add alt text to an image they are uploading.

Adding alt text to images is important for 2 main reasons:

1)   Accessibility – visitors to your site that don’t see well and are having the page read to them need alt text to understand what the image is all about.

2)   SEO – the alt text is the only way a search engine knows what the image contains. It cannot ‘read’ an image by itself and relies on alt text. Additionally you can attract traffic from Google Image Search with well-optimized images.

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