An interesting take on the World Cup

Added on: Thursday 8th July 2010

I may be in the minority but I have had no interest in the football world cup - even for the pitifully few matches that England played. However, I'm glad that Spain won last night and I'll tell you why

If you head over to Sitepoint you'll see they've got a sale with a difference.

From the quarter finals onwards, they have chosen 8 of their books - one for each country with the price determined by the outcome of the real football match.

The 'books' making it to the semi finals had their prices reduced to $9.95 and those making it to the finals are now only $4.95.

Those that lose a match go back to their orginal price.

I was interested in the book representing Spain, so after last nights result I can now have it for $4.95.

Now, the question is do I take a gamble on Spain winning the final (in which case my book will be free for 24 hours) or do I get it now before it goes back to its original price...

What a great marketing idea!

Death of Snail Mail

Added on: Thursday 22nd October 2009

Is the two day Postal Strike that began this morning the nail in the coffin for the Royal Mail?

I just can't believe the stupidity of postal workers who have voted to strike when volumes of traditional post have been reducing for years.

The service has also seemed to me to be less reliable over the last few years and it galls me when you have to pay a premium to guarantee that something will get to its destination on time.

Nowadays we have email and skype to communicate and both are much quicker than mail. With a printer at the other end a document can be scanned, sent and received the other side of the world in minutes... and its free (barring the connection and line rental).

Many online stores already use courier services in favour of Royal Mail and I'm sure that following this many more will switch.

I can now pay suppliers and recieve payment from clients via BACS so no need to send cheques in the post - although that excuse is becoming even better as the service deteriorates!

Finally, with email marketing producing great returns on investment there is no longer a need for a national postal service.

There is still something nice about getting an unexpected letter through the post but maybe it is now time to say the the post office has had its day.

Sitepoint book giveaway

Added on: Tuesday 8th September 2009

You can get a copy of 'The Principles of Successful Freelancing' for free until 14th September.

Head over to Sitepoint to get a free PDF version of this book.

The reason for this giveaway is to get more people to follow Sitepoint on Twitter - but you don't even need to do that - you can simply get a copy sent to your email address.

Having purchased half a doxen of their books I can thoroughly recommend them not only for technical subjects but also marketing and business.

Dartmoor Showcase Day

Added on: Thursday 14th May 2009

I had a great day out yesterday when I was exhibiting at the Dartmoor Partnership Showcase Day.

The event, held at the lovely Two Bridges Hotel, was organised by the Dartmoor Partnership which used to be the Dartmoor Tourist Association.

Membership has now been opened up to all trades and services based on Dartmoor and yesterday more than 50 exhibitors came together to show what they can do.

The was an excellent opening address from Malcolm Bell - chief executive of South West Tourism - and throughout the day there were others talks and demonstrations.

Above all though it was a good chance to network with other local businesses and meet new people.

If you have a business based on Dartmoor and aren't already a member of the partnership I would thoroughly recommend it.

The all important follow up email

Added on: Friday 30th January 2009

This week I returned from a weeks skiing holiday in France and yesterday I got an email from the company I purchased my travel insurance from asking if everything went OK.

Firstly, the email (with the subject 'Welcome back from your holiday') started off by thanking me for purchasing the insurance.

There then followed a paragraph that contained all the information needed if I wanted to make a claim.

Finally they offered me a discount on any future purchases and some advice on the types of policy available.

This is a great example of good marketing for the following reasons:

  • They are selling to existing customers.
  • They know I have been on holiday and when so the subject of the email is more personal - and I'm more likely to open it.
  • The email contains useful information that I would otherwise have to find myself making me more interested to read on.
  • Once my attention is grabbed it then goes on to try to sell me more products.

This sort of thing is very easy to do as long as you have the information - in this case dates of the policy and customer contact details.

What's more it can all be automated so that you can concentrate on other tasks.

There are plenty of other areas where this can be used. For example if you provide accommodation then you could have a system to send out an automatic email after the holiday asking for feedback and you could also email the customer at the same time the next year reminding them that it was a year ago they booked and how about another holiday?

If your system can't do this them perhaps you need to get in contact?

Remember its much easier to sell to existing customers (provided they had a good experience previously!)