Thursday, March 22, 2018

Online Business

Facebook has launched a new feature to let people buy and sell things with their friends and strangers.

The new tool, named Marketplace, is intended as a way of putting people in touch with others nearby who might be selling something they want to buy, or want to buy something they don’t need.

The company says that selling things on the site is already hugely popular – with 450 million buying and selling groups. About a quarter of people who visit Facebook use it as a way of trading things.

And so the new Marketplace is meant as a destination for people looking to discover or sell things with people around them.

An update to the app will bring it to Facebook users, who will be able to click on a tab and see the Marketplace view. It will sit where the Messenger icon does now – likely a signal of how much Facebook is looking to encourage people to use the new Marketplace.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg speaks at the F8 summit in San Francisco, California, on March 25, 2015. Zuckerberg introduced a new messenger platform at the event.   AFP PHOTO/JOSH EDELSON        (Photo credit should read Josh Edelson/AFP/Getty Images)

There, they will see a list of everything around them that’s for sale, and it can be adjusted to search for specific things or look in specific areas. If someone wants to sell something, then they can click on that same tab and – after posting pictures and a description – have their item go up for sale.

The feature uses Facebook’s algorithms to try and predict what users might be interested in. That information is initially based on the kinds of pages that a user has liked, but will eventually use people’s activity within the Marketplace itself.

Read more from here


When it comes to building a brand and converting prospects into customers, email marketing is still one of the most powerful and cost-effective tools. But in an era of one-click unsubscribe and a customer base highly attuned to the ways of marketers, how can small businesses make the right connections?

Step one: build the database

The days of buying a prospect database are long gone – that approach is a fast track to a bad reputation and an avalanche of unsubscribes.

Instead, firms need to actively capture the email addresses of both customers and prospects; pretty much everyone you come across.

It is also worth considering creating a single database that combines both sales and marketing information. This avoids duplication and errors and it also makes it much easier to track interactions. This way, your sales staff get insight into all the past prospect communications, including which emails prompted click throughs and which did not.


Step two: create the right content

Email marketing is not a one-off event; it is an opportunity to build a relationship. And that means not bombarding individuals with blatant product sales – that will do nothing to inspire confidence or demonstrate value.

Instead, organisations need to create content that is interesting, insightful and indicates an understanding of the market.

Step three: use an email marketing tool

It’s well worth running an email marketing campaign once a month. But with each mailing, you’ll have manage all the inevitable email bounces and unsubscribes manually and that can be an administrative nightmare.

You can save a lot of time and stress by using one of the many low cost email marketing tools on the market. Products such as MailChimp can automate much of this process; and if it is integrated with your CRM system, so much the better as that means your database will also be updated automatically.

Step four: measure effectiveness

Email marketing tools provide valuable information about the success of each email campaign – most notably click through rates (CTR).

By combining your email marketing tool with your CRM you can add relevance to that data – correlating the number of leads generated and sales closed provides a direct financial ROI figure that can help you improve your on-going email marketing activity.

Step five: increase sophistication

Once you have mastered the process of sending regular, relevant and interesting emails, you can further fine-tune your email strategy. One way to boost your results is to split the email campaign between customers and prospects and refining the message accordingly.

If the company has enough insight in the customer database to distinguish between hot and cold prospects, it is also worth considering varying the frequency of the emails; creating a stronger, more frequent relationship with those on the point of purchase, for example.


The key to success

Email marketing is all about building a long-term relationship and then closing the deal. The key to success is to get the right processes in place from day one and then use the data to improve your return on investment.

Copyright © 2015 Helen Armour, marketing manager at Really Simple Systems.

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