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Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Optimise your email marketing for mobile users

Mobile email marketing
Testing email marketing campaigns helps refine techniques
By Andrew Reilly

If you have taken steps to think about your email marketing activities, give yourself a pat on the back because far too many businesses haven’t taken the time to properly approach their email marketing campaigns. This means that you are likely ahead of many of your rival firms and peers but there is a need to do more to ensure that you are getting the best sort of result from your email marketing campaigns. There is a need to acknowledge that the nature of how people and businesses access their emails is changing and if you want to get ahead in the modern environment, you need to make sure that your email marketing campaigns have been optimised for mobile users.

Even from your own personal knowledge and usage, you will know that smartphones and tablets provide an easy and useful way to access the internet. This means that you can stay in touch at all times, no matter where you are, as long as you have an internet connection. This is definitely something that will appeal to businesses and it provides you with an opportunity to make a connection at all times. However, when it comes to making a marketing campaign that is right for mobile users, there are a number of things that you need to do.

Always test your emails

It sounds simple, but you need to be aware that there are many different ways people access their emails. Some users will use the default email provider on their phone, some will use specific apps and there is also the different operating systems and screen sizes to take on board. All of these different elements will impact on the way that your email looks to users, which means you want to test your emails for as many different devices as you can. This is where working with a viable email marketing software provider can make a massive difference. The top firms in the industry provide templates and testing facilities that will ensure your emails are perfect for every style of device.

Keep it simple

Again, think about your own usage of your smartphone or your tablet. In general, keeping things simple is the best option because when things get complex on a smartphone screen, it becomes messy and difficult to know what is going on. If a user doesn’t understand the email, they will likely move on to something else, which means that you may lose a sale, or even lose a customer entirely.

Think about the space

You know that you have less space to work with, which means that you need to use it to your advantage. An email read on a desktop can have a number of lines of text while still looking attractive but this isn’t the case with an email read on a smartphone. There is a need to be more visually impacting and this may mean using stylish graphics or using some other activity to capture the imagination of your user.

Think about the tap

When creating an email marketing campaign that will be used by smartphone or tablet users, it is important to focus on the tap element as opposed to the click. A good rule of thumb is to make sure that the call to action element is big enough to have your thumb in place. If it is not, many users may struggle to tap through, which means that your call to action is not concluded. You want to make it as easy as possible for the user to take you up on a call to action, so this is something that needs to be incorporated into your campaign.

It is always important to remember that people’s attention spans are shorter, especially when it comes to using their mobile devices, which means that you need to hit them quickly and in the right manner. This is where calling on templates and services by professional email marketing firms, such as Wizemail, can make all the difference in achieving success.

If you don’t know where to begin when it comes to creating an email marketing template, don’t, find a template that exists and then use this as your platform. Over time you can develop your knowledge, skills and understanding of what will help you to achieve success in this form of communicating but getting a helping hand at the beginning is never a bad idea.

About the author: Andrew Reilly is a freelance writer with a focus on news stories and consumer interest articles. He has been writing professionally for 8 years but has been writing for as long as he can care to remember. When Andrew isn't sat behind a laptop or researching a story, he will be found watching a gig or a game of football.

Image: Opportplanet; CC BY 2.0

Financial news: August 20, 2014

Bloomberg: U.S. economic recovery has only raised worker wages .5%
NYT: Most women surpass male income growth, lower income women left behind
Business Insider: Buying the dip has proven easy and simple for market traders
Zero Hedge: Month-over-month food price inflation exceeded CPI by .3% in July
AP: Evolutionary change in technology is too slow per Google's CEO
CNBC: New Jersey is seeking to develop its casino businesses closer to NYC
CNN: Well known financial experts are saying the stock market is over priced
HUD/CB: Housing permits issued in July rose 8.1%; housing starts up 15.7%
Fox: Failed home ownership dreams fuel the rise in rental property construction
BLS: Consumer prices rose .1% in July per CPI, Annually all-items index ↑ 2%
Reuters: A BoE 2014 rate rise is less likely after inflation falls .3% to 1.6%
BBC: Another Ex-Rabobank senior securities dealer plead guilty for rate rigging

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Lloyds limiting mortgage support for many London property buyers

Lloyds bank in the news
Lloyds bank has existed for nearly 2.5 centuries
By Andrew Reilly

When it comes to getting on to the property ladder, or moving up it, is hard, especially in London. This is why it is important to obtain as much help and assistance as possible but it seems as though one major bank company is looking to limit the amount of help and support that they can provide.

On the one hand, this is perfectly understandable and if the banking industry took a bit more responsibility for their actions, the economy may not have suffered so much. However, there is no doubt that in areas like London where the value of property is continually rising, the limits being placed by the Lloyds Banking Group may squeeze some people out of the property market.

The company has recently announced that for all loans worth more than £500,000 they will limit the mortgage lending amount to a level that is four times a person’s income. This move has been taken by the company in line with the “specific inflationary pressures” that can be seen in the London property market. There is no doubt that the London property market stands apart from the rest of the country and it is important to evaluate it on its own merits and standings. The role of organisations like the Lloyds Banking Group will have a huge impact on the people who are looking for a new property in London in the months and years to come.

The company made the announcement after two key issues. Firstly, figures were released which indicated that house prices rising at an average rate of 8% a year and the figures in London were even larger than this. The other factor that made the company act was the Governor from the Bank of England issuing a statement about the risks which were associated with high loans for mortgages.

The firm is trying to balance the needs of potential property buyers outside of London while protecting themselves and the market in London. There are two very distinct regions with London, and the South-East of England, operating in one way and the rest of the country operating at a lower level. The firm pointed out that the house prices in London are standing at a level which is 30% higher than the peak that was obtained in 2007. While there are many reasons for this surge in demand, the basic economic principle of supply not keeping up with the level of demand has seen the prices of property surge to high levels. The firm has stated they expect this new cap to affect close to 8% of all the lending they would likely carry out in London.

The firm states only a limited number of London property buyers will be affected

On the surface, this doesn’t seem too bad if the firm believes that 92% of the business they carry out is likely to be unaffected. However, it should be considered that it is this 8% that will need the most support in finding the right London property and this means that people will be greatly affected by this change in stance. There will be debates and discussions about the rights and wrongs of this decision but there is no getting away from the fact that this is another decision that will negatively impact on the ability of some people to find a suitable property.

Lloyds has stated that the new cap is not going to apply to people who are looking to renew their mortgage, so this will be of some comfort and benefit to people. This means that people who will be affected include people looking to take out extra levels of borrowing and people who are looking to remortgage in order to be able to afford to move or upgrade their property. This new stance will apply to customers who are looking to obtain lending from Scottish Widows Bank, Bank of Scotland, Lloyds Bank and Halifax.

While this move is only being taken by the Lloyds Banking Group at the moment, there is every chance that this move will be replicated by other companies in the banking industry. It is rare for a banking institution to make a bold move that stands in opposition to activities undertaken by the rest of the industry so there is every chance that other firms will act in a similar manner. This will place a greater level of pressure on potential property buyers across the English capital.

About the author: Andrew Reilly is a freelance writer with a focus on news stories and consumer interest articles. He has been writing professionally for 8 years but has been writing for as long as he can care to remember. When Andrew isn't sat behind a laptop or researching a story, he will be found watching a gig or a game of football.

Image: Tim Green; "Lloyds Bank"  CC BY 2.0

Self-storage: Collectors’ cost-efficient storage option

Where to store valuable collectible items
 Carefully storing collectibles helps preserve their value
By Sarah Miller

While there is a significant segment of collectors who make their foray into the hobby as a form of investment, a sizeable number of collectors started out simply because of the thrill of the hunt – be it books, records, toys or even wine. Indeed, there is a unique thrill in knowing that there are several pieces in your collection that most collectors would pay an arm and a leg for just to have them in their grubby little paws.

Problems collectors face

But as you continue to grow your collection, there may come a time when you need to make space in your own home, permanently or for the short term. Perhaps, you and your wife are expecting a new baby and you'd like to convert your private den into a nursery. Or perhaps your wife's old folks are coming over for a month-long holiday and you'd need to make room for them.

If disposing of your prized collection to other hobbyists is not a viable option, the smart move would be self-storage. Ringwood collectors can breathe a sigh of relief knowing that they do not have to part with their valuable collections because they can rent a self-storage unit for the short or long term, depending on their needs. On top of that, they are assured that their collection won't be damaged during storage.

Finding the right storage facility

As a collector, you'd want your precious horde protected even without your watchful eye on it. It is imperative, then, to choose the right self-storage facility. What you'd want is a facility that offers units with a solid roof and walls, has individual alarms, 24-hour security, tamper-proof locking, smoke alarms, and movement sensors. If you are storing quite a number of items, it is advisable to opt for a facility that offers easy drive-up storage and does away with lifts and stairs. If you are storing wine, the facility you choose should have temperature-controlled wine cellars. If you want to visit your collection from time to time, opt for a facility that offers extended access hours.

But whether you are storing pieces from your valuable collection or ordinary household items, you can get more mileage from your investment in a self-storage unit by learning how to store them properly. 

Collectibles storage tips

The most convenient way to do that is to use the appropriate types of boxes. Prior to packing up your stuff, it is a good idea to make a few allowances. You'd be surprised at the number of boxes you'll actually need. Make sure that the boxes you use are sturdy and designed specifically for the items that you are to store. Boxes should be entirely filled up to prevent them from collapsing once you stack them up on top of each other. After a box has been filled, make sure to seal it with packaging tape to help keep dust at bay and even reinforce the box itself.

About the author: Sarah Miller is a business consultant and a content creator. Having been exposed to the different aspects and faces of businesses, she frequently does research on useful information regarding the different methods and techniques to further improve business marketing, sales, and performance. She sometimes writes on behalf of http://www.fortknoxselfstorage.com.au/

Image: Jorge Royan; "Vintage travel gear seller at  the marche Dauphine"  ; CC BY-SA 3.0