B2B email marketing: why include it in the mix and things to consider

Are you including email as part of your marketing activities this year?

According to a survey by HubSpot, 83% of B2B marketers will be using email newsletters as part of their marketing content programme in 2022.

For 86% of professionals email is still the preferred communications channel.

It may not be the shiny new tool on the block, but email is a proven, effective method of directly reaching your customers, and future customers, to promote your brand and provides the potential to increase sales.

It remains a key channel, effective in building connections with your customers and placing your business at the front of their minds when it comes time for purchasing decisions.

Here are five things we suggest considering for your email marketing:

  1. Identify the purpose of your email.
    Why are you sending it?  Are you launching a product or service?  Is it a membership or subscription email?  Is it a monthly/quarterly newsletter?  The goal and purpose of your email will dictate the style, content, messaging and Call to Action (CTA), as well as the audience list or segment of your list that you send to.
  2. Prioritise and prepare your audience lists.
    Often there is a tendency to jump into creating email content and design first, with the audience list becoming an afterthought. Depending on whether you have a well-functioning CRM system in place or a good, clean database of customers and contacts, this process can result in a scrabble to pull together names and email addresses.Make it a priority and organise your audience and customer lists into a master list.  You can then use this to segment into further sub-lists.  For example, specific products of interest, by geography, by sector, customer versus prospect, or whatever is relevant for your business and the email you are sending.Think about the purpose, who your audience is and build your target list appropriately.
  3.  Choose a style and layout that fits with your brand and a layout that lends itself to the type of email you are sending. The layout you choose for your monthly newsletter may be very different to the one you would select for promoting a new product or range of products.  There are many helpful templates and layouts available to select from within your chosen Email Service Provider, (three of our favourite ESPs are Mailchimp, HubSpot and Madmimi) or you can create your own.
  4. Create your content for your customer.
    This email is about them and adding value for their business.  Keep your copy in-line with your brand and make it relevant, engaging and easy to read.  Wherever possible include personalisation.  When using graphics and images use good quality images optimised for email and with a consistent size, look and style throughout.  Don’t be tempted to cram too much into one email, there’s a fine balance between getting it just right and overwhelming the recipient.  Keep it focused and on message.  We’d suggest if it’s a newsletter style email then stick to 5 or 6 key articles using the call to action links and functions to direct recipients to a dedicated landing page on your website or to items such as downloadable resources to read more.
  5. Include a clear ‘Call to Action’.
    What action do you want recipients to take on receipt of the email?  There are various calls to action you can use to support your different goals, whether it’s selling a specific product and therefore directing them to that product on your online shop, signing customers or prospects up for a new programme or service, sharing your knowledge and directing them to an online video with tips and advice, or downloading a guide or brochure.Whatever the call to action; make it clear, easy to follow and offer value to the recipient.

If you need any help or guidance with your email marketing to promote your business and attract sales, then feel free to talk to us.  If you’re interested in exploring and implementing a CRM system to support your customer relationship management, we can be of help with that too.

North-east Marketing and PR firm launches new name and brand

Established marketing and communications business Innes Associates has unveiled a new name and brand.  Now trading as Instinct Marketing + PR, the company aims to build on its continued success.

Trading for over 18 years, the business has been rebranded to better reflect the services offered, position the company in an ever-changing market and to drive further growth in new sectors.  The firm creates, manages, coordinates and delivers marketing, PR and advertising projects for clients locally, nationally and across the world.

The name change coincides with a restructure of management which sees Debbie Rennie taking on the role of managing director, succeeding Charlie Innes who founded the original company in 2003 after 35 years in the marketing industry.  He will remain as a director of the firm.

The business relocated to the Banchory Business Centre just over a year ago and has since secured new work with several clients across multiple sectors.

It expects to achieve further growth in 2022, which would lead to the creation of new positions, expanding its existing team of staff and sub-contractors.

New managing director Debbie Rennie said: “I’m really looking forward to leading the company in its next phase of growth.  The name change and rebrand is an evolution of all the experience and expertise of our combined team.  It gives us a great platform to adapt and reposition the business in a changing market, building upon our achievements.”

Charlie Innes added: “This is an exciting next chapter for the business, one that will support new opportunities for future growth and development.  Having led the company for 18 years, now is the right time to hand on the baton.  I will, however, continue to remain on hand to assist the team in delivering our marketing and communication services to our diverse client base.”

Instinct Marketing + PR provides marketing and communications support and services tailored to clients’ specific requirements.  With a client base spread across the UK, Instinct Marketing + PR works to raise the brand profile and support the growth of companies it works with on a local, national and international scale.

Featured charity: AberNecessities

Inspired by the season of giving (but not just for Christmas) we are are going to be featuring and raising the profile of local charities from across Aberdeen City and Shire.

We’ll be featuring different charities each week on our social channels and website, helping to raise awareness of the diverse range of causes that so many charities are working so hard to support and how best individuals and organisations can support them right now.

This week we are featuring leading family support charity AberNecessities.

Charity Name: AberNecessities

What do they do and who do they support?

Founded in 2019, AberNecessities is a non-profit charity that supports disadvantaged families living in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire.  Throughout the year it provides critical products that are needed to care for babies and children and distributes them directly to the families in crisis.  To date, it has assisted over 8,000 children across the north-east.

AberNecessities runs an annual Christmas Eve box campaign called ‘No Child Should Go Without Believing in Magic’.  It aims to add some much-needed sparkle to the festive season for babies and children whose families are living in poverty.  Each box is filled with around £35 worth of items, including books, hats and scarves, pyjamas and puzzles, which will make the night before Christmas as memorable as possible for the youngsters ahead of a visit from Santa Claus.

What positive impact does the charity make?

Regardless of background or lifestyle, AberNecessities believes that every child should have the best possible start in life.  It aims to provide support to children of disadvantaged families across Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire to ensure that happens.

The charity receives referrals from a body of professionals and voluntary organisations including social workers, family nurses, health visitors, teachers and doctors.  From referral, AberNecessities aims to have the required items distributed within a two-week timeframe.

Support provided can include basic essentials for a baby to warm winter bedding for primary age children.  Other examples of how AberNecessities has assisted children and families includes:

  • Supporting a mum who had been diluting baby formula so much that it was nearly pure water because she didn’t have any money left to buy more.
  • Giving underwear to a toddler just out of nappies and who was going to nursery without any underwear because their mum could not afford to buy any.
  • Providing clothing and toys for a mother who fled domestic violence with her three children and had nothing for them to wear or play with.

 

How can you help AberNecessities?

At short notice, AberNecessities supports children and families facing a variety of challenges and therefore requires a range of items to meet these needs.  This can include – but is not limited to – good quality, nearly new clothes, shoes, bedding and equipment.  Donations of maternity clothing are also welcomed for expectant mums, while formula milk, nappies, wipes, toiletries and baby equipment are regularly needed for newborns and young babies.

Donating £10 can purchase 300 size one nappies, while £20 allows two cartons of formula milk to be provided for a baby and £50 buys a maternity bag with clothing and toiletries for a mum to be.

As with any charity, AberNecessities also requires the assistance of volunteers to help deliver its day-to-day operations.  There are many ways volunteers can make a difference, including:

  • Helping to sort through donations at the charity’s office to get them ready for distribution.
  • Washing donated clothes to ensure everything that is distributed is clean, fresh and ready to wear.
  • Dropping off donations to health centres, charity offices and other locations across the north-east.
  • Organising an event to raise funds for the charity.
  • Joining the AberNecessities knitting group and creating a range of clothing, blankets and toys for babies and young children.

 

How you can find out more?

Find out more about AberNecessities by visiting www.abernecessities.co.uk or by following them on Facebook and LinkedIn.

 

Featured charity: Home-Start Aberdeen

Inspired by the season of giving (but not just for Christmas) we are are going to be featuring and raising the profile of local charities from across Aberdeen City and Shire.

We’ll be featuring different charities each week on our social channels and website, helping to raise awareness of the diverse range of causes that so many charities are working so hard to support and how best individuals and organisations can support them right now.

This week we are featuring leading family support charity Home-Start Aberdeen.

Charity Name: Home-Start Aberdeen

What do they do and who do they support?

Being a parent has never been easy. It can be lonely, frustrating, heartbreaking and overwhelming.

Home-Start Aberdeen provide a support service where carefully selected and trained volunteers are there for families, visiting them in their own homes with compassionate, confidential help, backed by expert staff.

Volunteers support parents, with at least one child under the age of 5, as they learn to cope, improve their confidence and build better lives for their children.

What positive impact does the charity make?

Over 90% of parents see significant improvements in their own and their children’s emotional and physical health and wellbeing following Home-Start support.

“With the support of a Home-Start volunteer, I learned how to interact and play with my daughter put boundaries in place, and create a safe and secure home. I can’t thank you enough for listening and being there to help. I really appreciate it.”

 

How can you help Home-Start Aberdeen?

There are several ways you can support Home-Start Aberdeen from becoming a Home-Visiting volunteer, volunteering in its charity shop on George Street.

Home-Start Aberdeen urgently need volunteers to work in its shop in George Street.  An ideal volunteer is a people-person with great communication skills, and who is comfortable handling money.  Previous retail experience isn’t necessary as full training is provided.  There are various shifts available from Monday to Saturday.  All profits from the shop go to support Home-Start’s work with families with young children in Aberdeen.

You can find out more about volunteering with Home-Start Aberdeen here:

https://www.homestartaberdeen.org.uk/volunteer/

 

Make a donation to help families affected by social isolation, bereavement, relationship problems, illness, disability and financial hardship.

On average it costs Home-Start Aberdeen £1,500 to support a family through the challenges they face until they can cope again.

https://www.homestartaberdeen.org.uk/donate/

 

Do your own activity or event and raise money for Home-Start Aberdeen

As we head into 2022 maybe you’re looking for a challenge to set yourself or ways to make a difference?

It could be a run, a walk, a cycle a quiz night, clothes swap or nominating them as your work’s charity of the year.  Everything helps!

If you’re interested and looking for some more information please reach out and talk to Karen Smith at fundraiser@homestartaberdeen.org.uk

 

How you can find out more?

To find out more visit the Home-Start Aberdeen website here www.homestartaberdeen.org.uk

Read Jamie’s story here: My Story – Jamie – Home-Start Aberdeen

 

Do you want to grow your business in 2022?

It’s hard to believe that 2022 is just around the corner (where has the time gone?!)

There’s no better time to be thinking about what’s in store for your business next year and starting to set-out plans for the year ahead.

How much would you like to grow your business in the next 12 months? Do you have a marketing plan in place to help you achieve that?

If you’re feeling a little bit lost or overwhelmed we can help to provide some focus and together we can set out a marketing plan to help your business thrive.

Feel free to get in touch or book an appointment to discuss further – we’re ready to talk whenever you need us.

 

 

Featured charity: Cairns Counselling

Inspired by the season of giving (but not just for Christmas) we are are going to be featuring and raising the profile of local charities from across Aberdeen City and Shire.

We’ll be featuring different charities each week on our social channels and website, helping to raise awareness of the diverse range of causes that so many charities are working so hard to support and how best individuals and organisations can support them right now.  First up is Aberdeen mental health charity, Cairns Counselling.

Charity Name: Cairns Counselling

What do they do and who do they support?

Cairns Counselling is an Aberdeen-based mental health charity that offers people a safe place to talk confidentially to a trained counsellor about the difficulties they are facing in their lives.

The charity offers counselling appointments free of charge to remove affordability as a barrier to accessing vital mental health and wellbeing support, so anyone who needs support can access it through Cairns Counselling.

It is their mission to give understanding, support, and compassion to adults in need across the Aberdeen area. Through the provision of counselling, they aim to encourage, empower, and enable clients to live more fulfilling lives.

The charity secured larger premises, at significant expense, just before the pandemic as part of a wider service expansion project, so Cairns Counselling could increase its counselling and support provision and be better positioned to respond to more referrals.

Since March 2020, the charity completely reconfigured its counselling service to a remote format, using telephone and video-conferencing technology to deliver vital mental health support during the pandemic.

Cairns Counselling’s face-to-face counselling service will begin to be reinstated in January 2022.

The waiting list for people awaiting counselling currently stands at 411 people in comparison to 261 people at the end of March 2020 when the pandemic hit and highlights the urgent need for Cairns Counselling to expand the capacity of its counselling service.

The charity will continue to offer and further develop remote mental health support via telephone and video conferencing alongside the charity’s face-to-face counselling service, which will offer more choice to clients and empower them to choose the counselling format that suits their personal needs and circumstances.

In the previous premises, the charity was offering around 5,000 counselling appointments annually and they have the capacity to increase counselling provision by 50% within our larger office premises, which will provide Cairns Counselling with the foundation to resume the service expansion project, which has been put on hold because of the pandemic, and substantially increase its service capacity.

The charity’s success will depend on securing additional funding to cover the increased running costs associated with the service expansion and the next 12 months are going to be considerably more challenging than last year due to the abundance of COVID funding no longer being available to subsidise the large reduction in donations and COVID-related constraints on income generation.

What positive impact does the charity make?

The charity makes a significant positive impact on the people it supports with 92% of clients saying that their mental health and well-being have been improved whilst 70% of clients say they feel better equipped to deal with future challenges.

 “I really enjoyed my sessions. They have helped me so much to get out of a dark place. I have come such a long way since my first appointment. Thank you”.

“My counselling has been incredibly positive and helpful, and a massive release of tension & anxiousness. Thank you so much”.

 

How can you help Cairns Counselling right now?

As an independent charitable organisation the charity relies on donations and the support of charitable Trusts & Foundations, corporations, and the public to raise enough funds to deliver the service.

The charity has seen a huge reduction in donations since the pandemic hit and urgently needs to raise funds to support the growing number of people who need help and to expand its service offering to meet this capacity.

The charity is running an online Crowdfunder fundraiser until 15th December and you can help by donating online. They need to generate 25 donations and if they achieve that, all donations will be match-funded by the National Emergencies Trust, which will boost donations further.

Mental Health – Increasing Counselling Support – a Community crowdfunding project in Aberdeen by Susan Will (crowdfunder.co.uk)

 

How you can find out more:

To find out more visit Cairns Counselling’s website  https://cairnscounselling.org.uk/ or contact Suzi Will, the charity’s Funding Coordinator by email – funding@cairnscounselling.org.uk.

Introducing Instinct

We’re thrilled to introduce our new name and brand.

From November 2021 our company name has changed from Innes Associates Aberdeen Ltd to ‘instinct Marketing + PR Ltd’.

It’s been in the making for some time now, nurtured, watered and grown into an identity driven from our values and the very nature of who we are and the impact we set out to create for our clients, employees, suppliers, partners and the world around us.

Innes Associates has been an established business for more than 18 years, evolving over that time and coming together with nRg Marketing in 2015.  During that time, we have collectively created, managed, coordinated and delivered marketing, pr and advertising projects for our clients locally, nationally and across the world.

Our history will always form part of our story.  It’s what has made us who we are today.

But it’s now time to change. A time for new beginnings.  It’s time for us to evolve and grow, alongside our clients, making a positive impact in the world.

Cleaning up to make an impact

Now, more than ever, we are conscious of the impact we have on the environment.

A few weeks ago we donned our wellies to tackle pollution on one of our local beaches.

From netting and cable ties to cotton buds and plastics we collected over 9kg of rubbish.

The beach didn’t appear littered at first glance, not with large items anyway, but under the surface it was the smallest of items that had the potential to cause harm.

No matter how small our acts, we’re determined to make a positive impact on the world.

 

We’ve moved!

After 9 years at our home on Little Belmont Street in Aberdeen, Instinct Marketing + PR has moved.

Although, like most, our team has spent the majority of 2020 working ‘physically’ apart, we have continued to work as a team remotely from home and as always, we’ve been ready, able and thankful to support our clients throughout this period.

Although we’ll largely remain working from home at the moment, in line with current guidance, our new HQ will be based at the Banchory Business Centre.

We’re excited about continuing the next chapter of our journey and working with you from our new offices.

Please find below our new address and contact details for your records:

Instinct Marketing + PR
Banchory Business Centre – F4/5
Burn O’Bennie Road, Banchory,
Aberdeenshire, AB31 5ZU

Debbie Mobile: +44 (0) 7779 039269
Ian Mobile:        +44 (0) 7854 876872
Charlie Mobile: +44 (0) 7715 103034
Tel:                      +44 (0) 1330 826500

Making the most of your investment at industry exhibitions

Preparation and planning for an exhibition is crucial.

You will undoubtedly have considered your objectives and identified what you want to achieve by exhibiting at the trade show.

This might be to launch a new product or innovation, raise the profile of your brand, generate new leads and sales, and/or attract talent for recruitment purposes.

Whatever your goal, make sure you give your business an excellent likelihood of achieving those objectives by planning for success.

Instinct Marketing + PR is a team of communications professionals helping businesses like yours stand out, succeed and achieve great results from exhibitions around the world.

Our advice is to focus on the following:

  • Plan early.  Setting deadlines helps to ensure each stage runs smoothly from creating content to signing off designs.
  • Define your why.  Identifying your key messages will help in preparing all content, resources and tools which promote and sell your business before, during and after the show.
  • Stand out in the crowd.  Among hundreds of exhibitors make sure your brand, stand, people and products are prominent and memorable.
  • Inspire your team.  Employees who show passion and enthusiasm will make your stand more welcoming and approachable. We can deliver training for presentation purposes and exhibitions.
  • Read all about it.  If you have a great story to tell, there are many PR opportunities that we can help you tap into to ensure that you attract plenty of attention throughout the duration of the exhibition.
  • Get noticed.  From getting social on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, sending email campaigns to showcasing demonstrations or presentations on your stand.  Need some help? You can contact us for any assistance.
  • Take the lead.  You’ve done the leg work, now make it work for you. Ensure you have a mechanism on your stand to capture leads and that your team know about it. Also, walk the floor, set up meetings, seek out customers and suppliers, and find out what your competitors are doing.
  • The show’s not over.  The exhibition has gone well and you’ve made new contacts and captured lots of data, now don’t let that hard work go to waste. Follow-up leads and hold a debrief with your team.

 

If you’d be interested in speaking to us about how we can help you get the most out of exhibiting at trade shows don’t hesitate to give us a call.