Category Archives: Marketing Advice

Strategy and Why it Matters

Strategy?Your strategy is to get more business right? Perhaps better business, those A+ clients you’ve read about. But do you know who yours are?

Most of us go into business because we’re good technicians. But being good at business is an entirely different skill set, and marketing is another one again.

But here’s the key – we’re all capable of learning when we have the right teacher. Experience is a good teacher – but getting expert advice makes much more sense.

Fortunately I live at the pointy end of marketing; that place where the doing needs to be done. So often, it’s a business coach or marketing strategist that is calling me in to help clients deliver to the plan. That’s my favourite place to work – in the land of planning, measuring, and improving on bottom line results.

We regularly work with marketing specialists, business coaches, advertising agencies, design houses and SEO specialists. They all agree you need a strategy … and they all help you define yours.

So if you’re wondering if a copywriter can help – ask yourself, “what’s my strategy?”. If you have one – get in touch. If you don’t – we can help you get in touch with the resources you need.

Big change for Gmail users and… everyone sending newsletters!

Monday’s Herald (July 1st) had a wee article that I want to share.  Debbie Mayo-Smith pointed out the new inbox option for Gmail users and it could be a game changer. Not just for Gmail users, but for everyone sending newsletters to their customers.

Changes from Google

Your emails and priorities automatically sorted.

In short, Google has quietly introduced a Gmail inbox configuration which (with drop and drag) makes sorting inbox content dramatically different.  Now everyone can automatically weed out the content that they don’t want to see straight away.

If, like me, you’ve been automatically assigning newsletters to a separate folder anyway – it just got a whole host easier. If however you’re like most people, who get all their Gmail straight into their inbox, this is likely to be a very welcome change.

However, if you’re sending newsletters to customers, this change makes them less likely to be seen!

Now more than ever, your newsletters are going to have to stand out from the crowd. Once this inbox shift takes off (and I predict it will), your newsletters could be automatically buried in a separate tab in one of the world’s most used email systems.

Read Debbie’s article here.  And if you need help to make your newsletter more compelling contact us.

Understanding the copywriting process

Thanks to Allan Kent of Zeald I came across a brilliant theory that explains a lot about why some marketing doesn’t work. I’ve borrowed his theory to explain the copywriting process and the pitfalls to avoid.

It’s a quick look at what commonly goes wrong, and an overview on how to get it right, from the very beginning.

Here’s the link to my free download about The Copywriting Process and how to get more out of your marketing investment… yes, it’s about marketing for results!  Enjoy!

Struggling to write? Help is at hand!

How to write an effective brief to make more of your marketing investmentOne of the hardest things as a small business owner is trying to write your own marketing material.  I’m not saying it’s impossible, but I know it can be really frustrating spending hours with the backspace.  So I’ve decided to make it easier, right here and now. Continue reading

Insuring yourself against Google changes…

SEO or Search Engine Optimisation is all well and good but it can cost a bomb (shouldn’t but it can). Clients tell me about their marketing activities of course, and a number have asked me recently how they can insure themselves against future changes in Google’s search engine rankings. Easy I say, the answer is to put the content out there.

Look, Google isn’t trying to trick anyone even if some SEO companies are (did yours tell you to clear your browser cache before searching on your keywords? They should have… just saying. That’s a top tip from a friend of mine who’s a bit of an expert – thanks Shane! He deserves a free plug for that alone – check him out at out Alpha Local NZ).

Google’s role is to give the person searching the most popular, most relevant, most recent content; they just want to give you the best answer for your search. That way you’ll keep trusting them and using them, and that’s where they make their money.

It’s exactly the same for you.

If your content is real, regular and relevant, no matter what algorithmic changes occur – you’ll still rank.  And you’ll build trust.  And as Google gets smarter, you’ll be assured of their continued good favour.

So get out there and make content for people, not the machines. And if you need help, contact us!

four letter words

Yes, I made you look but I’m not talking about the obscene kind. The words I’m referring to are “goal”, “plan” and “track”.

Ok, that last one has five letters but you’d think it was a four letter word (and that word would be “rack”, as in “on the rack”), judging by the way some businesses react to it.

Running a business isn’t easy; you’re always up against competing priorities. In NZ we’re famous for our number eight fencing wire mentality – we can fix anything and we do. Of course we’re also famous for our rugby. So the way I see it, if John Kirwan can talk about “the plan”, so can we.

Planning is often referenced as the place we go back to when the (proverbial) hits the fan and it is really good for that. But planning is largely ignored when everything’s working ok – and it shouldn’t be!

Setting goals, planning and tracking are essential to avoid wasting precious business resources on poor outcomes. And it doesn’t have to be hard (another four letter word), or complicated.

At Copy Carats we like goals, plans and tracking because it gives us a chance to show off. Equally importantly, we like them because it gives us a chance to use our number eight fencing wire skills (tweaking, fixing, innovating) because we can see if it’s going wrong.

If you haven’t got a goal, a plan to get there and a way of tracking your success – you’re relying on luck and she’s a fickle mistress. We can still help, but we’ll put you in touch with the right expert.

If you have a goal, a plan and the means to measure it – talk to us. We’re champions of copy and we’re a dab hand at numbers too.