Collaboration tools are used by Marketing departments to manage both the businesses workload and its time. 

These tools allow you to share projects, ideas, news and communicate with other members of your team all within one common space.


In this blog we will look at some of the best collaboration tools available and how they can help your print & embroidery business. Here are some of the best examples:

Trello

This allows users to organise work as well as generate ideas. Simple to use, visually pleasing and ideal for growing ideas Trello is an easy to manage and maintain project management tool for SMEs.

Slack

One of the most recognised communication programmes Slack makes communicating to your team simple. Slack integrates with Dropbox, Salesforce and many more pieces of software and allows users to share files, ideas and conversations all in one place.

Join.me

Like GoToMeeting this allows users to set up meetings remotely wherever they are working and on any device. But Join.me also allows users to collaborate and share ideas with a whiteboard feature which can be used communally.

Asana

An all in one project management tool Asana is ideal tool to streamline your business. The software allows users to track, organise and manage work in one place. Focusing on productivity, Asana also can set up to do lists, targets, summaries and set reminders for any ongoing projects plus offering handy integrations with the previously mentioned Slack, Dropbox and many other integrations.

Ryver

This web-based app is identical to Slack in that it provides an easy way for your team to communicate and share files. Different teams with different viewing permissions can also be set up so users only see what is relevant to their project or role but what makes it stand out is it is in fact FREE of charge to sign up and use. Of course, it’s a Lite version and has it limitations but offers customers a cos- effective way to increase productivity.

ProWorkflow

Available both on the web and through a smartphone/tablet ProWorkflow offers flexibility and versatility in its software which makes it popular across many industries. Task management, time sheets, alerts are available alongside sharing and communicating tools for colleagues. What separates this from others is the interface is that it offers resource management as well as managing the workflows users plus it offers a GANT chart type display looking at project progress to ensure users hit any deadlines.

In Summary...

While there are lots of pieces of software out there, the majority offer free trials and live demonstrations which outline how they can be used alongside your business. 

Before you make any decisions, do your research, take your time and arrange for some of these to see which collaboration programme works best for your budget, its requirement and its specification.

Following on from our last blog article looking at maximising customer data, in this article we will look at data capture and highlight how to populate your customer database.

Data capture is an important part of a businesses Online Marketing efforts. It forms an integral part of the mix when targeting new customers, its where many new customers journey begins with your business.

Love it or loathe it…

Data capture stokes debate amongst Marketing practitioners, they are either loved or loathed but timing is everything. Make them time sensitive, not obtrusive to your customers online experience and inkeeping with your businesses brand.

Target your customers more than ever before

Capturing data allows your business to target your customers specifically on their interests, behaviours and tailor email campaigns to what product or service of yours they are interested in. It also allows you to build loyalty, reward someone for being a ‘member’ of your list with exclusive deals, discounts plus whatever other offer you may come up with.


How to capture an email address?

There are a few basic methods to grow your businesses mailing list and capture your businesses data. 

Data capture bars

Data capture bars are simple to place on your businesses site, it requires a single snippet of HTML to be embedded in the page source.

There are 100s of data capture providers out there with the main one being Hellobar, which is free of charge. These can also be created within CRM packages (Salesforce, Zoho, Hubspot etc) to grow your data list and help your leads/sales. Within Hellobar, whatever CRM package plus whatever email campaign software you use you can monitor, manage and maintain your businesses mailing list accordingly with each one offering differing levels of detail.

A data capture bar feeds contacts straight in to your mailing list. Different pieces of software will be able to feed the data into different programmes, but the popular email software like Mailchimp, Zoho etc are available on most capture bar providers.

The bars in several forms – fixed bars (a static or moving bar that appears at the top of the page), pop ups (a sign-up forming appearing after a few seconds on-site often found in the centre of the page) or page takeovers (a sign-up form that appears after a few seconds taking over the full screen itself).

The most common method is a simple static bar at the top as this is not obstructing customers trying to navigate the website whereas pop-ups and takeovers appear after a certain amount of time and be deemed annoying by a website visitor.

Visually the pop-up and takeover creating more of a lasting impact, but users have a love-hate relationship with these whereas the simple static bar lacks the striking impact. However, it proves more successful as customers are happier, more trusting and comfortable with a simple less obtrusive method.

Landing pages

A landing page is a standalone web page created specifically for Marketing a certain product or service. Landing pages are specifically designed to generate interest and have a CTA (call to action on-site).

Incentivise your customers

You may have customer who visit in-store or follow you on Social Media, but you do not have their physical information to target them. Run competitions & offers in-store and on Social Media channels incentivising existing customers to sign up to your mailing list in exchange for a reward or discount.

On-site architecture

You can build opt in options into your business’s website seamlessly. Wherever you capture any customer information on-site (contact us forms, checkout etc) ask customers to tick the box if they would like to sign up and opt in to your businesses mailing list.

Lastly & IMPORTANTLY, GDPR

The four letters everyone loves to hate. New regulations that came into play last year to look at how your business uses customer information. Ensure any method you use is GDPR friendly and any customer that signs up gives you their full consent. 

Data is all around us, there is no hiding from it. From the basics such as customer information, names, addresses and contact details to the more complex monthly accounts, customer orders and website data, it can all be used to shape your business by identifying the best avenues to explore – ones that you might not previously have considered before analysing your business data.

Measuring the data that your business has access to can also help to streamline your business, its production and how every department operates. In production departments, items such as machine time versus output, machine downtime versus costs etcetera can be monitored, with the resulting data giving you a real understanding as to whether your business is operating efficiently.

Data doesn’t necessarily have to be raw numbers either: it can be qualitative, which can add just as much value to your business. Opinions and attitudes can be analysed not only to develop your business internally, but also to provide great insight into what your customers think of your services and products, which you can then use to help train your staff and review your business’s various operations.

There are several software packages designed for garment decorators that allow you to measure not only the basics, such as names and addresses, but also what customers have bought, what items they’ve clicked, where they saw your business advertised and so on.

The obvious way to use this data is to keep in touch with your customers through marketing campaigns. By having extra data at your fingertips about their clicks and buying habits, you’ll be able to further tailor your campaigns, which should improve engagement rates (again, data collection here is invaluable – want to know which one of two email subject lines will lead to a higher open rate? Test one subject line on 20 customers then the other subject line on another 20 customers. Whichever one scores the highest open rate can then be used for the remaining mail out. Simple).

Check how your website is functioning by looking beyond the visitor numbers: when are customers visiting, what pages are they looking at, what ones are they ignoring, where are they coming from, how long are they staying? All this can be used to check your site is working for your business.

You can also take a close look at what’s happening on the purchasing side: when are customers are ordering, what they are ordering and how frequently they are ordering? Use the information to work out when best to hold promotions that will get people visiting during the quiet times – plug the gaps and maximise your sales.

Remember, however, to play by the rules. There is a whole host of data guidelines and regulations out there, with the obvious one being the data protection act.

You must give your customers all the options available for opting in/opting out/unsubscribing, along with mentioning they may be contacted in the future for marketing purposes. Most customers won’t mind you using their data to contact them to promote your business or products, but playing by the rules will protect your business.

One last thought

Managing your data is vital. First and foremost, make sure all the data you’ve collected is secure. It also has to be accurate, relevant and up to date to be of any significant value to your business – ongoing data collection is an essential part of any business strategy.

In this weeks blog we have put together our top five ways we help print & embrodiery businesses with their websites.

We provide garment decorators the most comprehensive website for their business providing them a proven sales tool for their business. In no particular order here are five ways we help print & embroidery businesses succeed online:


We take the stress out of your hands and actually build your website for you. You need to focus your energy and effort on running your print & embroidery business and do not need to be wasting time building one yourself. 

Where our competitors offer a drop and drag website you build yourself we do the hard work and build for you. Save a considerable amount of effort & time and leave it to the web design company to actually build your website for you, we aren't just an off the shelf solution.


If for some reason you ever need to get in touch with us we are simply a phonecall or email away. We love to help customers with any queries they have and ensure we provide them quality, quick and reliable UK based customer support. 

You won't find us using a ticketing system or using a North American or Australian call centres!


We have 100s of brands available for customers to sell on their websites. Simply pick & choose what you would like on-site. You don't have to be tied in to any particular wholesaler or supplier, you sell exactly what you want to sell on your website.


Our easy to use online ordering makes winning business easy. Whether its creating a public/private shop for a repeat customer or using the easy to use four step process both your new and existing customers will find ordering quicker and simpler than ever before.


We don't stop once the website is built. Our team help you maximise your websites potential with in-store and online training in a number of areas including but not limited to SEO, PPC, Email Campaigns, In-Store Marketing, Blogging, Social Media and much more...

For more information on how eTrader Websites can help your print & embroidery business you can reach us on
029 2074 1663 or email info@etraderwebsites.co.uk

In our latest blog we have put together ten quick simple tips to help improve your print and embroidery businesses search engine optimisation (SEO) and help your business get found online. 

What's the point in having a website if it can not get found by your customers? More customers than ever before are looking online, shopping around for options and its crucial your business can be found for key searches such as t-shirt printing, workwear and so on...

SEO is essential for businesses looking to keep up with its competitors, generate new business and win orders both local and further afield.


With this in mind we have put together ten top tips to help improve your businesses visibility online:

1. Create/claim a Google my Business listing: Creating a listing for your business helps your business get found for local searches with minimum fuss. Google my Business provides customers a whole host of information including opening times, customer reviews, products and services you provide.

2. Add your business to credible online directories: Adding your business to relevant online directories such as Yell, Yelp etc is a straightforward way to ensure your business gets found online locally. Ensure these are kept, valid and up to date.

3. Ensure your website is indexed: Use Google Search Console to index your sitemap and ensure that Google bots scan your website. To check how many pages are indexed type site:yourwebsite.co.uk into Google.

4. Test your mobile site speed: There is a growing importance on  how websites perform on mobiles/smart devices. Speed is playing a larger part in determining how your site ranks, use Google Test My Site to check how your site performs, it will identify performance, areas to improve etc.

5. Make sure these is a page title in place: Ensure all your webpages have page titles in place describing what you do, these are the first thing Google bots scan on your page.

6. Use long tailed keywords: It would take a lot of time/effort to get found for terms like workwear, shirts, polo shirts etc so use longer keywords in your on-site content. For example, branded polo shirts, personalised workwear London etc.

7. Build content for people, not robots: You are garment decorators, print and embroidery enthusiasts. Write about your passion, your business, its products and services then hopefully it will naturally get picked up for many key terms. Often people write ‘out of shape’ content focusing on keywords which is not entirely customer friendly.

8. Create quality links: Inbound links are another thing to consider helping your page rank in search engines. Collaborate with customers, local schools, sports clubs, businesses and link back and forth to each other, creating an online shop/testimonials page is always a common method employed by garment decorators.

9. Start a blog: Create a blog for your customers sake, not for SEO purposes. Content Marketing at its finest, produce quality, relevant content frequently and Google will reward you. This can include things like latest news, case studies, latest news etc.

10. Encourage reviews: Ask customers to use Google reviews, this will help give your results more prominence in the search results.