With everyone competing for online space, how do you get people’s attention, and keep it, so they want to buy from you? Jo Roberts, Superfast Business Wales Marketing Manager explains some easy ways to promote your business and find new customers online as well as stay in touch with existing ones.

Woman at desk surrounded by parcels


Email marketing 

Email marketing is showing no signs of slowing down.  It is still one of the cheapest and most effective online marketing tools and shows a high return on investment for small businesses especially. With most people permanently glued to their phones, using email means you can also always reach customers instantly.  

However, with so many emails flooding inboxes how do you make yours stand out? Personalise your email wherever possible; it helps to make the reader believe you’re talking directly to them. Embedding personalisation into the subject line will help to encourage the recipient to open the email in the first place.  According to Snovio email marketing statistics in 2022 report, 62% of emails are opened if the subject line is personalised. Make sure your subject line is short and concise enough to grab the reader’s attention so that they want to open the email and find out more - no more than 10 words per subject line is recommended. 

It’s also important not to oversell, and to stay away from buzzwords that could send your emails to spam folders, such as ‘free’ ‘£’ etc. Another way to add interest to your subject lines is to add emojis. These can lead to a 56% higher open rate.  

Use analytics to measure open and click through rates and tweak your email campaigns if something isn’t working. It is always a good idea to use A/B testing with your emails to see which subject line, image, etc., may work best for your recipients. If you know when customers are most likely to respond you can schedule emails for these times using platforms like MailChimp or HubSpot, both of which offer free versions. There are a lot of statistics which state different times to send emails. However, most stats show that the worst open and click through rates happen on the weekend.  

Before you send an email, make sure you’re compliant with the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) – visit the Information Commissioner’s Office to find out more

hand on phone with email neon icons coming out of screen


Pay Per Click (PPC) 

Google dominates the world of search engines which makes Google Ads one of the biggest ad platforms in the UK for PPC marketing along with social media paid advertising. To start using Google Ads first decide what type of ad you want to run. Google search campaigns are great for enquiry-based businesses, utilising search keywords that your target audience is likely to use. Another type of Ad is display ads which display on third party websites. If you run an e-commerce business, then you could use shopping Ads. These ads display your product pages and prices and take the user straight to specific pages to purchase.  

Next, you will need to think about what you want to achieve, e.g., this could be more visitors to your website or more phone call enquiries. It all depends on your type of business. You then need to choose your location – you can keep it local or go global if you like, again, this is dependent on your business.  

Finally, you will need to set your budget. Depending on what type of Google Ad you decide to run the minimum daily budget you should allocate should be no less than £2 per day to start off with to get results. Google will also provide help with creating your ad text.  Once live your ad can pop up in Google search results, on Maps and across Google’s partner sites.  

With budget in mind, you can always set a budget cap on your Ads so that you only pay for results. You can also pause campaigns whenever you want. If you’re new to Google Ads, there are guides to help you get started. Microsoft Advertising (Formerly Bing Ads) works in a similar way but may be a cheaper option as it owns less of the search engine market. Both platforms allow you to monitor and measure results so you can keep track of what works and what doesn’t. 


Facebook Ads 

Facebook is still the king of social media and represents a great advertising space for small businesses. Facebook Ads allow you to reach specific audiences based on their location, demographics, interests, behaviour, and connections. This means you can target people which are likely to be interested in your product or service regardless of whether they’ve searched for you.  

Facebook Ads can be a cost-effective way of reaching a huge audience. As with Google Ads Facebook Ads give you access to analytics so you can measure how well your ads are performing and allocate spend accordingly. And if you don’t have money to spend on social media advertising you can still make use of social media for free. It is important to remember to choose Ads over just simply boosting a post. There are a number of reasons for this, but one important reason is display - boosted posts won’t fit on all displays whereas with Ads manager you can see the ratios of how they look in different placements. It is also a good idea to install a Facebook Pixel on your website to help with your Ads. This is a piece of code that is placed in the back end of your website. It targets people who may have already taken some action but may not have fully converted to purchase. If you have ever visited a website to browse, then clicked off and gone onto Facebook and seen the product you were just looking at, this is why. You can learn more about Facebook Pixel here; now known as Meta Pixel.   

Google My Business 

With everyone leading busy lives and mostly on the go, looking for a business nearby is one of the most common things we do on Google via our mobile phones.  

Surprisingly though, many businesses haven’t added or claimed their local business listing on Google. You can do this for free by creating a Google My Business page. Why do you need one? In short, to make your business known, and make it easier for customers to find you instead of your competitors. If you don’t have a physical store or deliver services to people., e.g., pizza delivery, you can still have a Google My Business listing.  

Google My Business is a free tool which gives you an online business profile which will show up in Google searches and Maps. You can add contact details, opening hours, website, description, products and services, and post photos and updates as you would on social media channels. You can also respond to reviews left by customers which are important to build up. If you’re not sure if you have a profile, check first. Google will sometimes create a profile based on third-party information. If a profile of your business does exist, then you’ll need to claim it and make sure it’s got the right info, as this is the first point of call for potential customers, especially when it comes to opening hours, etc. Be sure to keep this vital information up to date, especially around seasonal periods.  

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