4 Reasons why you need Terms and Conditions for your Website

4 Reasons why you need Terms and Conditions for your Website

4 Reasons why you need Terms & Conditions for your Website

If you have a website, you really must create terms and conditions (ts & cs), although not a legal obligation (apart from PRIVACY policy) you are putting in place a contract ensuring customers and users know how your website can and can’t be used. Should a customer take you to court, having terms and conditions will limit the liability as the judge will consider your website ts & cs to govern the contractual terms.

While the specific content included in terms and conditions varies dependent upon your business and website type, here are my 4 reasons why ts & cs are so important for your website.

#1: Prevention of Abuse 

Terms and conditions act as a legally binding agreement between you and your users. This is the agreement that sets the rules and guidelines that users must agree to and follow in order to use and access your website.

In this agreement, you can include the necessary clauses to inform users of the guidelines of using your website and what happens if they are abusing it, such as spamming other users, and posting defamatory comments. You can add a clause to your terms and conditions to inform users that harmful language will not be tolerated and that any sexual content will not be allowed.

All of these can result in having those users who are found abusing your website temporarily banned.

#2: Privacy Policy

The Privacy Policy is required by law if you collect personal data from your users e.g. email address, first and last names, delivery address, etc. Data Protection has always been important but now GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) has kicked in, businesses have to be more careful than ever handling data.

#3: Limit Liability

Terms and conditions often include a disclaimer limiting the website owner’s liability in cases where errors are found in the content presented on the website. It protects you (as the website owner) from being held responsible for not only errors in the content presented, but also for the information provided being accurate, complete, or suitable for any purpose. Add a disclaimer that you don’t endorse and aren’t responsible for the statements made by third parties.

#4 Governing Law

In the UK, the Governing Law clause of terms and conditions refers to the jurisdiction that applies to the terms presented in the agreement, e.g. “These terms and conditions are governed by the laws of United Kingdom.”

Conclusion…. chances are that no one will ever read your terms and conditions, but peace of mind (should any issues ever arise in the future) is never a bad thing in business.

Elaine Pasini,

Pickled Ginger,  

Legal Copywriter.

Welcome to Pickled Ginger, my small yet productive writing agency based in South East England covering Bucks, Berks and little old London.  I’m a copywriter, editor, proof reader and social media management geek. 

Elaine writes terms and conditions, cookie policies, privacy policies and GDPR policies for websites and hard copy (together with ts & cs for invoices).

Email elaine@pickled-ginger.com

for a FREE non-obligatory quote. www.pickled-ginger.com

The relationship between Content Marketing and Business Development

The relationship between Content Marketing and Business Development

Why Content Marketing and Business Development complement each other

The word of the day at my networking meeting this morning was “marriage” and from Pickled-Ginger’s point of view, I wanted to talk about the relationship between content marketing and business development, which is rather a heavenly one for lead generation.

“Content Marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.”

Joe Pulizzi, Content Marketing Institute

Without content marketing your business development will struggle. WITH content marketing you already have effective business development!

When I tell people I’m a copywriter and marketer, they might imagine it’s storytelling without substance, however my content is more of a strategic marriage between business development and marketing.

Content is Key

Content is Key

One of the quickest ways to reach an audience is through words.  What are you trying to achieve with your businesses (apart from profits)?  It’s either to add value to a client’s business or to solve a problem they might have.

Without a marketing strategy involving content then your business development will be asking for a divorce.

When I write copy for websites, newsletters, blogs and social media – I research effective key words for Google algorithms, together with researching the client’s target audience as well as getting the correct feel for my client’s business – no off the shelf wedding here.

So for those of you who’d like more brand awareness and therefore more leads I suggest you and I get engaged leading to an advantageous business marriage and in 9 months we’ll see healthy, bouncing profits.

Contact Elaine for further information and receive a free content marketing audit.

Why content & SEO Marketing with Intent will convert your leads

Why content & SEO Marketing with Intent will convert your leads

The power of marketing with intent  (content + SEO) 

There’s a great quote from Paul Wright of Iotec saying “Good intent marketing provides the mechanism to ensure a message reaches the widest number of individuals for whom it will most likely resonate”.  Marketers are coming up with different types of content to grab their clients’ audiences attention.  Brands and professionals want added value, problem solving and research with intent….content marketing has become the secret advantage in a successful marketing strategy.  By using content and SEO as a marketing collaborative, engagement and conversions are harmonious.

 “User intent is the goal someone has in mind when typing a query into Google.”

Neil Patel, New York Times best selling author

Here are a few of my top tips for intent marketing campaigns:

Research  If you want to reach potential clients/customers – then well researched content is so important.  You could be writing a new website, or sending newsletters out, or writing blogs or using social media – each will require their own research and key words.  Websites will require good SEO content written into the pages whereas newsletters will need to be punchy with headlines as hooks.  It is the intent behind the researched keyword that measures the competition.

Online search for user intent – this helps identify your audience and therefore your content & SEO.  Here are the 3 types:

  • Transactional  wants to buy something
  • Navigational   seeks for a specific resource
  • Informational  wants information on a subject or seeks answers to their questions

Keywords  There is so much data being shared online every minute of every day – these statistics from one of Domo’s reports shows the enormity of it:

  • 684,478 pieces of content are shared on Facebook
  • 2,000,000 search queries are made on Google
  • 48 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube

Google’s Adwords Fourth Edition, reports that “Google gets searched six billion times every day.  That’s 70,000 search every second.

It can be daunting to know where to start with writing engaging and responsive content to reach people who would most appreciate it. Keywords – that’s your answer.  Are you answering a specific question? Are you helping with a query? Be specific – are you selling a product or service? Drill down more – I, for example, come up on the first page (under recruitment boards!) for Content Marketing and Copywriting in Marlow.   Pickled Ginger key word search

Provide content for, and traffic to, your website  Newsletter content can be re-used as content on your website or blog, generating additional traffic from search engines and social media.  Social media is perfect for either re-tweeting a blog several times or used on LinkedIn as a guide for groups within this medium.

Crafted Content There’s no point harvesting content and spewing it out as the reader will switch off if not targeted for their needs. If you don’t know where to start, perhaps use a testimonial and turn it into a story for a blog and use keywords to engage.  You need to understand your audience’s need so that you can craft specific content – this takes a little time, but I personally really enjoy getting to know my clients and their audiences so that my writing forms a background understanding and subliminal relationship.

Elaine Pasini at Pickled Ginger for all your website & newsletter content, design and social media scheduling.  If you’d like to have an informal and free chat about any of the services Pickled Ginger provides, please don’t hesitate to email or call me 07775 438 538.

Why monthly newsletters are an important marketing tool

Why monthly newsletters are an important marketing tool

How to multiply your profits by generating leads through the power of the NEWSLETTER !!!

The 60 second elevator pitch at a recent Hub of Excellence I attended, had the specification of using the word MULTIPLY.  Different themes for different weeks – keeps the pitches more engaging and fun.

The word “multiply” is, of course, from the Latin word multus, meaning “multi” + plex. Plex translates to “plek” in Indo-European which in turns translates to plait.  Yes, I had my hair in a plait at the event, to demonstrate I had taken this spec seriously…..

I’d like to explain how to multiply your number of leads through simple marketing techniques.

Investing in an effective newsletter for your website will automatically multiply your profits as good SEO content reaches new audiences and Google searches will pick up key words. By entrusting me to write targeted, researched and punchy content for your monthly newsletters – which I would design, deliver and analyse – you will be able to generate returns on your investment.

Here are some top tips as to why a monthly newsletter can multiply happiness for your bank balance.  If you don’t already have a monthly newsletter rolling out, here’s why you should….

Brand awareness  Want prospects to know who you are and what you do?  Want existing clients to remember why they use you and why they should carry on using you?  You may well have a website built with SEO in mind (which is great) but you only have a few seconds to capture the attention of a visitor on your landing page before they are gone forever so ensure you keep your name out there!  Brand awareness is a vital part of any business because without business development and marketing you are resting on your laurels.  Newsletters are such a great way to remind people what you do and why they should use you (or as a reminder as to why they are already using you).

Positioning your brand against your competitors  Researching your market and industry to gain a good understanding as to why prospects should use you and then ensure this USP is enhanced with your web presence and within each newsletter.  Newsletters are an extremely effective tool to enable you to stand out from the crowd.

Gain more business from existing clients and cross referrals  Clients want to know about all your services and make informed choices that way – newsletters show them how they can benefit from those services, without being too “salesy”.

Inform & educate prospects  What is it about newsletters you like and read from other companies?  The information on offer?  Valuable insights?  Updates within the industry?  Discounts?  All of these answers allow you to make decisions about either buying from them or using them as a service.  Newsletters are a source of information as well as a way of you demonstrating your expertise – a prospective client or customer will feel more engaged with you and your business, so that when the time comes for them to require you – they feel like they already know and trust you.

To get repeat business from former clients  People who used your services or bought your products once will purchase again–when they’re ready. A newsletter is a great way to stay in touch with them until they are.  This one is back to brand awareness and keeping your name “out there”.

Provide content for, and traffic to, your website  Newsletter content can be re-used as content on your website or blog, generating additional traffic from search engines and social media.  Social media is perfect for either re-tweeting a blog several times or used on LinkedIn as a guide for groups within this medium.

To generate referrals  An informative, strong, punchy and visually aesthetic newsletter will be shared with an average of 3 other people, even more online. If you have a larger business, it may go to just one person and they should ensure everyone in the business is circulated a copy.  If your newsletter is used as a hyperlink on social media – the “reaches” can be exceptional.

To build your CRM database Offer visitors to your website a subscription to your newsletter in return for providing their email (and other contact information).  Just make sure you receive their CONSENT for GDPR.

Establish knowledge and credibility  With well researched and powerful content in your newsletter, this will give prospects, publishers and referral sources a trusted insight into your business and how you can solve their problems or add value to their business.

Add value to your services Some businesses send out 2 newsletters per month –  the first is free but has external agencies paying for space to advertise (a revenue winner) and the second could be subscribed and paid for with more detailed analysis and ebooks – together with discounts and extra services such as an online helpdesk.

Pickled Ginger for all your website & newsletter content, design and social media scheduling.  If you’d like to have an informal and free chat about any of the services Pickled Ginger provides, please don’t hesitate to email or call me 07775 438 538.

Want some tips for a successful email marketing campaign?..

Want some tips for a successful email marketing campaign?..

If that’s a YES – then go on, grab a cuppa and take 5 to read our top tips for a successful email marketing campaign aimed at lead generation.

Time.  Never enough is there?  Which is why I’ll keep this brief yet succinct!  Are you reading this from a mobile, desktop or tablet?  The UK is full of multiplatform users which is why content requires adapting to ensure each can be read with the same initial format.

I’ve got some interesting statistics to hand if you’d like to know more about which platform we tend to use at specific times of day and how this can help with your social media marketing.  Email or call me 07775 438 538 if you’d like those details – happy to share.

CONTENT

Many of my clients and friends say they have sleepless nights and endless daytime hours worrying about where to start with content for their email marketing campaign.  Sound familiar? Why not outsource? Getting under the skin of the business, its people and its target audience to ensure the content is relevant (along with competitor and SEO research) is what I offer. It might be the best, stress-free investment you’ve ever made and surprisingly affordable. You don’t know if you don’t enquire….!

What information can you offer the recipient? We want to learn something or hear updates on industry news. We want to be engaged!  Use Google (the most used search engine) to search words to aid your SEO and never plagiarize!

LAYOUT

Ah, back to the question of what device are you reading this on?  Keep it….VERTICAL [icon icon=”angle-down”]

Use a simple web-safe standard FONT (such as Arial, Verdana or Times Roman) and try not to use italics in the body as it’s quite tricky to read on small screens.  You want the recipient to be able to read your email easily to keep them engaged.

Headings – use bold and play with colour. It draws the eye and refreshes the brain.  People who skim-read often miss the message.  It can help when having numbers used in content as a figure – it keeps the brain hooked (e.g. 3 instead of “three”).

Too many images can trigger the “spam” filter.  Don’t use an image that makes no sense without text (and vice-versa) – if someone doesn’t download the image, the text might seem absurd!

CALL TO ACTION

Ensure phone numbers, email address, subscription pages and event bookings etc have easy CALL TO ACTION buttons.  Really helps with lead generation.  This is something we would ensure we add to all your newsletters, blogs or content.  CONTACT ELAINE HERE! ….yep, that’s a Call to Action button.

PROOF READING

It can be tricky to pick up on your own mistakes, so ask another colleague or friend, to proof read the content. If outsourcing your content, proof reading will be part of the package and even if you do your own content, we are always at hand to edit and proof read too. Email for more information.

TEST EMAIL

You don’t want any surprises….or indeed, to find out that your emails don’t work at all.  I often use software such as Mailchimp for my clients.  Affordable, easy to use with beneficial analytics to enable understanding as to who opens what and who unsubscribes etc.  Mailchimp prompts you to send a test email first; this is like your first draft, which you can build upon.

GDPR & UNSUBSCRIBING

The Data Protection Rules were put in place to protect our privacy as the consumer.  There is so much hype surrounding the new rules (General Data Protection Regulations) and businesses are making good money out of training surrounding GDPR;  no bad thing if you require evidencing the dos and don’ts, however I would urge you to look at the ICO’s website for updates and free checklists.  You can access the ICO’s website here.

The main thing to understand for your database and CRM when email marketing is that you have the correct information surrounding CONSENT  e.g. make it easy to unsubscribe to a newsletter, use opt in rather than opt out etc.


 

THANKS FOR READING. Feel free to SHARE and/or EMAIL me if you’d like more information on Content Marketing, Copywriting, CRM or Social Media Campaigns.

Pickled Ginger

Troubleshooting – Legal Business Development and Marketing

Troubleshooting – Legal Business Development and Marketing

QUESTION………Your content is great but your business development isn’t.  Your business development is strong but your conversions are weak.  You and your colleagues are approachable and talented but struggle with understanding how best to gain new leads.

Why?

Sound familiar? Troubleshooting tips for legal marketing and legal business development …..read on…..

CONTENT

Your knowledge should be shared. So what if your competitors see what you are up to? Take it as a compliment.  Write about your insights and offer snippets of advice to entice people to want to read more.  If you don’t have a designated person/s to write engaging content, outsource it.  Monthly newsletters, press releases, blogs on social media.  We all read the news on social media and we all search the internet for advice and help.  If your content presence isn’t “out there” then how will you be found? Email me for more advice or help.

NEWSLETTER

Shout about your content through the medium of monthly online newsletters.  Have you won a case? Are you supporting a local charity? Are you sponsoring an event? Do you have a Q&A session you want to share?  Keep the newsletter brief, engaging and relevant. Email me if you want to understand the best way to crack on with this and to ensure you are GDPR compliant.

SOCIAL MEDIA

If you use Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn etc – are you using it frequently?  Are you using these mediums correctly and analysing the data?  If yes, what are you doing with that analysis….?

CRM

This is your database of existing clients and potential leads.  Client Relationship Management. You may well be using Excel or an integrated software such as Proclaim.  As long as you are using the database, keeping it up to date and in doing so staying in touch with your audience, you are on the right track.  Check you are GDPR compliant and use your CRM to send out informative newsletters and blogs and track along the way.

BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT

Business Development can often be the problematic part of a business plan.  Who develops your business and how?  If you have a BDM (business development manager) do you rely on them to hunt the business, gather and close the sale?  Services can often take between 12 to 18 months to gain the trust of a new client and in this time, you still have to keep them engaged.  How are you doing this?  Patience, a budget and tenacity is key here.

CONVERSIONS

I have often come across great business development and marketing only to see the relationship slip away because delivery of the service let them down.

All employees should have informal training of how to talk with people.  Sounds simple doesn’t it? Legal services are client facing and can no longer hide behind references books and a secretary.  Common courtesy and excellent customer service from everyone of your colleagues and employees will be as important as the work itself.  Communication is key in converting work.

WE’RE A GREAT FIRM OF SOLICITORS WITH EXCEPTIONAL TALENT – WHY DON’T WE HAVE MORE CLIENTS?

Simple answer is we live in a DIGITAL era.  The days when the solicitor was the local hero are now in the past. Everyone can access legal help and make comparisons online.  Understanding your competitors is not only great for referrals, but it can help you understand what makes you different.  Why would someone (be it B2B or B2C) come to you?

TARGET AUDIENCE

Example, you are a firm of conveyancers.  Have you found what works best for you? Local referrals? What makes clients come back and recommend you?  Sponsoring local events? Collaborate with local estate agents? Network in the community?  Facebook is often good for conveyancers as is private client work.

Example, you are a firm of specialist employment lawyers – dealing with large corporates.  Your budget for marketing will be larger than the previous example but how are you building your brand? Do you talk at industry seminars? Do you sponsor specialist awards where your audience will be? Do you have the correct social media presence? Are you part of a LinkedIn group?

There are many different examples but if you are not sure of your audience then you will be giving out confusing messages.  Focus.

MARKETING BUDGETS

What does the budget cover?  Do you have a business strategy?  A good way to decide what your marketing budget should be is to establish your total revenue.  A suggested percentage for a newer company trying to focus on brand awareness (up to 5 years of trading) should have a budget of 12 – 20% whilst an established company (5 years +) doesn’t need such a big budget as their services will be known – that said, if they are flagging, new branding might be useful.  It is then that you can sit down with your teams to decide how much you would be prepared to budget for getting this equation result in again.

CONCLUSION

Coming into a firm to “troubleshoot” can only been seen as a positive because it means change is ok and that you are open to suggestions going forward.  What are your needs?  Do you need more leads? More sales? More brand awareness?  More conversions?  More content using key SEO words? Knowing your goals will help determine where you want your budget to go.  Having a strategy and sticking to it will focus you and your team to build a stronger and more financially viable business.

Any questions or would like a chat? Email me or call me 07775 438 538.  Thanks for reading! Elaine.