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Call us today 01706 304450 or e-mail

This week we have looked at a few ways you could use SMS or text marketing to generate inbound leads and then associate that with some outbound activity.

Multi level approach

Think of the ways you could integrate SMS marketing with some of the other techniques available. Use telemarketing to follow up inbound SMS marketing, gather more information with the telephone call. This not only generates more data, it also demonstrates a commitment to customer service that helps you be more professional than your competitors.

Include e-mail marketing in your outbound marketing, use the e-mail to drive traffic to your social media channels, your website (create links) and your telephone. Integrate analystics into your back links so you can measure your success.

Add to the value of your data

Convert paper records into an electronic format that you can keep updated.

Combine your data and customer information to produce a powerful dataset that you can continue to use. Data mining and analysis allows you to look at your customers profile through out the year.
Call us to discuss how we could append your data. Target your marketing activities at the times when you need to increase sales eg. start a summer campaign earlier to allow for a quieter time in August.

I’ve only got one pair of hands!

When did we start with that 48 hour day?

Sorry we haven’t, in fact we are really stuck with only a 37 1/2 hour week!
So if you don’t have time to answer your phone, make our outbound sales calls, send out your SMS, write your e-mail shots, analyse your data, map your customers or append your data then call us today 01706 304450 or e-mail, it’s all we do!

Set up your SMS marketing today!

Call us today 01706 304450 or e-mail

So far we have considered a sole trader using SMS marketing to generate inbound leads and using SMS in an outbound activity. We have also looked at how to engage with an audience at an event. Today we are going to concentrate on using SMS to make exclusive offers to trade customers.If you are interested in SMS for your business and wanting to find the best deal check out this SMS reseller white label software.

Example #3

First and foremost you must only use opted in data, that is data that your customer has given you and have agreed you can use.

Again we will assume that text cost £0.10+VAT and we are going to rent a keyword.

The Scenario

We have a small builders merchant, with an extensive range of products, including consumables. Sold via our trade counter and also an e-commerce website that delivers about 70% of the sales in the business. The objective is to increase the value of trade counter sales.

What is the set up

QR code for sending Inbound SMS marketing messages

Using a QR code means your potential customers just have to scan the code! Readers are available for free on all the current app stores.

We need to get the opted in data using signage around the trade counter and something on invoices for internet customers, add something on your social media. Consider adding a QR Code to the signage to give maximum impact and make it easier for customers to participate. Offer a prize draw in the first month to encourage participation.

Now set up a series of promotions focused on consumables and items that will give the broadest appeal eg. Link Stanley Knife blades with silicon sealant.

Using SMS marketing to promote a combined package of products

Any consumable that you could buy in bulk you should consider promoting in this way


“Buy 6 tubes of silicon sealant and get a pack of Stanley Knife blades FREE Whilst stocks last, COLLECTION ONLY, REPLY “Reserve” to secure your stock”.

Combine products for a promotion delivered using outbound SMS

Add relevant products to deliver an attractive package





Try and anticipate seasonal requirements a few weeks in advance, so you are in the mind of your customers. Coolants, antifreeze, spill kits, wipes, gloves, shoe covers any consumable that is going to be required frequently and you can get a better price for if you buy in bulk. You are now making frequent contact with your customers but also increasing footfall to your trade counter. You are competing against large multiples with massive resources for advertising but they are slow to respond, if you can get your product into your customers stock, no amount of additional advertising will make them buy more!

Promote tool box talks or demonstrations from new suppliers, introduce new catalogue launches.  As the use of smart phones and tablets expands you can include attachments as well, gather e-mail address from your customers and send e-mail shots that allow you to show case higher value products.

The SMS costs

Well we know £0.10 +VAT per SMS to send to 100 customers costs £10+VAT, as you are up selling products, ie. twice as many sealants per sale, you would only need something better than a 1% response rate to pay for the sending.

Keyword rental depends on how long you commit to but if you budget around £35+VAT per month you have left yourself with the greatest number of choices.

So if you sent a message every week to 100 customers that would only cost you £75+VAT per month to send out 4 sales promotions up selling to your existing customers.

Want to set up your SMS marketing now?

Call us today 01706 304450 or e-mail

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Call us today 01706 304450 or e-mail

Yesterdays example was focused on a sole trader today we are going to look at a single event in this case an exhibition but it could be a product launch (lower costs), a new store or branch opening (higher costs).

As previously we will assume sending a text costs £0.10 +VAT but two keywords are rented.

Example #2

Our case study today is going to focus on an industrial b2b exhibition (b2c is a bit more complicated! due to privacy rules and legislation). The exhibition runs for 3 days and is the leading event in the industry.
Rather than the traditional ‘put your card in this bowl to win a bottle of champagne’ or whatever your promotion is, go for an SMS keyword activity. Your company name or initials maybe, you could run two, one for people you speak to on the stand and one for passers by (they might have too many bags stuffed with literature to text try a QR code instead!).

So you now have a list of opted in mobile numbers (you are going to ask for the e-mail address as well aren’t you?), that you know were at the exhibition on a particular day at a particular time.


1. You could promote new products that you are presenting at the exhibition to the passers by, whilst they are still in the exhibition hall, increasing the foot fall to your stand rather than your competitors.
2. Invite people you have spoken to for an after exhibition drink or reception. If you want to be boring you could invite them on a factory tour or webinar.
3. Encourage people to forward your details to a colleague who was not at the exhibition so they can enter (think about this one!!)
4. Promote up coming product launches or initiatives you are running
5. Send information about how you got on at the exhibition, call to action

The numbers

So we will say there where 95,000 people who attended the exhibition over the 3 days, you had a bit of a poor stand so you only got about 30% walk by your stand (2,850) but 30% stopped to see you 855

Back to the options 1. Send your promotional SMS to 1995 passers by would cost £199.50+VAT or £66.50+VAT per day you have spent a few thousand getting there and how much do those barcode readers cost to rent?
2. Send to the 855 who have visited you £85.50+VAT only £28.50+VAT per day
Well the scary part about option 3 is you will get a whole load of contact details about the people in the companies that were not even at the exhibition, if only 1% of the people who ‘saw’ you responded that is another 28.5 people you will have engaged with an increase of 30% for the whole exhibition!
Option 4&5 are the same cost £285+VAT only £95+VAT per day

The total

So for the extra £190+VAT per day= £570+VAT plus the keyword rent for a month makes a total spend of under £700+VAT

Is that it?

Well no, remember you know when exactly someone was interacting with you! So your follow up e-mail (text RMS and your e-mail address and full name if it is not in your e-mail!) after the show can include information about what else happened on that day or that morning. You can carry on with the activity for the rest of the month and you have gained a massive amount of opted in data. Send a survey out to find out about your customer experience at the whole exhibition, what would they like to see next year?
Don’t forget to invite them along when next years event is on, maybe run a VIP lounge or bar.

If you only remember one number out of all of this, here it is, you get a list of qualified opted in e-mail addresses, relevant to your industry for less than 25p each +VAT what would have happened if you got a 35% foot fall?

Call us today 01706 304450 or e-mail

PS. While your at the exhibition don’t forget you can use our virtual assistant to answer your phones

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Call us today 01706 304450 or e-mail

You don’t have to have a budget of thousands of pounds to take a step into SMS or text marketing. Costs are relatively low by comparison to conventional outbound marketing routes either for b2b or b2c customers.

The initial cost is for renting the SMS keyword, this is the word that directs your customers to you, there is a monthly charge for renting the word, the longer you rent the word for the lower the cost per month. Be warned as soon as you stop renting the keyword it is available to anyone who wants it!

The remaining cost is for sending the text message, this should be no more than 160 characters and should allow customers to opt out of further messages. For these examples we will say messages cost £0.10+VAT each, costs vary depending on the number of text messages you send per month. Call us today 01706 304450 or e-mail to get an estimate.

Example #1 Small start up business, driving instructor

Rent the keyword “Drive” for a year (you pay monthly) prepare your call to action “Text

QR code for sending Inbound SMS marketing messages

SCAN ME!! or Text Drive followed by your name to 601111
Using a QR code means your potential customers just have to scan the code! Readers are available for free on all the current app stores.

Drive and your name to 601111 to book a lesson”. If you add a QR code you can add this to your signs/advertising so potential customers can scan the code. Messages are charged at your customers standard network rate.

You are now able to receive messages directly from potential clients who want your services. You have now set up your own inbound marketing route, combine this with other methods of advertising to increase your coverage to gather new customers.

Say you can also offer advanced driver training or motorway driving for new drivers, you can text directly, to your customers who have recently passed their driving test. If you had a 100 contacts it would cost you £10.00 +VAT to send a message to all of them!

You can also send a link, use this to carry out a customer survey of your recent pupils, gather some more information like e-mail address, ask for a referral.

That is an inbound and outbound marketing tool for less than £50 per month!

More examples tomorrow and throughout the week, if you have a specific request for a quotation. Call us today 01706 304450 or e-mail or alternatively you could scan the QR code and see what happens!

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Call us today 01706 304450 or e-mail

Making sure you have data and not a mess of information

What is data? Well in this context we mean customer or prospects contact details and information. We could also include spending and behavioral patterns but you need to be able to gather this information quickly, visit our entry Customer Survey to look at some of the ways we could help you to gather data and use it for your future marketing and communications.

Golden Rule #1

Keep your data up to date and clean! How? Use it! Send e-mail shots, run social media activities, carry out surveys online and over the telephone, use SMS marketing. Anything that gets the data looked at regularly so you can start to see gaps and fill them in.

Adding to your existing data

In some cases you will have some data that you need to update with new information, either carry out an outbound marketing activity using telemarketing to append or clean your data, research based appending is also good particularly for B2B contacts. Combine this with some inbound marketing as well, ensuring you gather e-mail and contact numbers, mobile and landline, for every customer that calls. If you don’t have a receptionist or have never recorded this data before use our virtual office  to start gathering information.

Using your data effectively

There is no point in carrying out a data cleaning or appending process if you are not going to use the information whilst it is clean and fresh. If you have a very large data set break it down into more manageable size chunks, maybe clean the data one month then use it, the following month whilst carrying out the data cleaning for the data to use the next month. You develop a data pipeline that you can start to convert into a sales pipeline, using telemarketing and e-marketing.  Call us today 01706 304450

 Golden Rule #2

Only use opted in data and allow contacts to opt out. Why? There are numerous rules regarding privacy for a start and breaking them is a very costly mistake but also you have gathered that the individual does not want or need your service, great you have saved yourself a stamp at least, as well as any other direct marketing costs you would have incurred.  

Golden Rule #3

Keep your data safe and secure. We don’t hold any customer payment records, if you do ensure they are kept safe and secure, the damage to you and your customers will be immense if they fall into the hands of criminals.

Call us today 01706 304450 or e-mail

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Want to find a happy customer?
Call 01706 304450 or read on and then call!

How do you measure your customer feedback? Do you use TripAdvisor? Monitor your social media feeds and comments? How do you qualify the results?

Using the latest techniques combined with creating a comment card is a simple way to measure satisfaction at the point of delivery, for all you customers, whether they are techno or not so. However you need to translate the feedback into a useful data.

A sample of a front page from Ræcan Marketing Solutions Ltd customer satisfactions survey

Simple analytics deliver a power full message to your staff and provide a clear metric for management. Details about comments are on the second page.

Using a QR Code to gather customer feedback and information

Use a QR scanner (available on IOS and Android) to gather customer feedback. Encourage your customers to use these codes so you can use them for event bookings in the future











We design build and measure your customer satisfaction survey for you, combining online with conventional comment cards, using QR codes or SMS links. We analysis the results and compile a monthly report that shows you your overall satisfaction score (more frequent if you need when you are starting or want to target a particular event). Use the results to motivate your staff and improve performance. It is a powerful way to drive inbound marketing to your business.

Area map of Rawtenstall, Rossendale, Lancashire where Ræcan Marketing Solutions Ltd are located near Blackburn

Area mapping or broader national mapping is available. Using this information Ræcan can target electronic advertising.

Along with our survey service we can also produce detailed maps showing where your customers come from, this helps you to target advertising in areas that you need, we can also deliver targeted internet marketing to the catchment areas you want. Along with your own website ranking this increases your chances of capturing a new customer.

Combining these results with our e-mail or SMS service means you can keep in contact with your customers directly engaging them and making exclusive special offers.

May be you want to test your new menu, run a wine tasting evening or invite people to a new opening and you want feedback from your valuable customers, invite them directly. We offer online surveys that you can use at these events as well to gain direct feedback, that is impartial and is available almost immediately.

Why not?

We did have a survey but we did not get many responses?

Make your survey results part of your staff motivation and rewards programme. Start simply with setting a goal of getting a set number of surveys completed. Then run a competition between your team to see who can get the most surveys completed. A quick check on the number of covers you have should indicate a likely number of surveys you can expect. Pointing this out also shows you are counting!!

Why do we need a survey we know we will get bad results?

How do you know? Is it just because you are not getting the foot fall that you had hoped or are you always receiving the same complaint time after time? Do something to change and tell people about it! Making a change that answers a specific complaint could have a massive impact. Social media is great for this, if you then reinforce your improvement by asking for more feed back at each visit you are at least giving your self the chance to keep improving.

Some of the comments we get are ridiculous!

We include the outrageous and those that seem to be a little strange. They are included in the results unless they are offensive or inappropriate, in which case we advise you directly so you are aware of any problems. We look at comments in context and give a score accordingly, we also look at how and where the comments are made, how many similar comments there have been and who has made the comment.

We are on TripAdvisor already!

Great, TripAdvisor helps to improve your presence on the internet and can help with your website ranking on search engines in the same way our e-mail and SMS service can but comments are normally made after the fact, you also do not get to compare directly other responses. By running your own survey you can counter negative comments by publishing your own satisfaction scores, you are also sign posting the survey to other TripAdvisor users.  Also TripAdvisor users can come from any where and may only visit you once or twice a year, your regular customers will visit at different times throughout the year they are more important and potentially more valuable, they could also be on TripAdvisor!

We don’t sell fancy food!

It is not really about food, customer satisfaction is what is most important, you can still encourage your customers to engage with you and offer promotions at particular times.
May be your customers would like a wider menu? Even if it is just some different sandwiches and snacks, unless you ask you won’t know!

What do we do about bad results and negative comments?

Call us 01706 304450 we can prepare a programme that will help you to focus on improving your service, whilst using some of our other services including telemarketing, virtual office and market research and competitor analysis.

Remember the golden rule, if a customer gives you feedback either good or bad, listen take in on board but don’t take it personally!

Call 01706 304450 today!

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Are you a small business owner?

  • Do you worry about what happens to customers who call you when you are on theVirtual office services deliver solutions to business phone?
  • What happens when you are busy and have to divert your calls to an answer phone?
  • Do you spend too much time on the phone and not working on your core business?

The answer is at hand, use our virtual office service, it is quick and simple to set up, you buy a bundle of prepaid minutes at the start of the month (at a discounted rate). Any calls above the number in the bundle are charged at our standard rate.

If you use 80 minutes of your 100 minute plan, it is cheaper to buy the 100 minute bundle rather than paying the surcharge on the 50 minute package. E-mail us to discuss the options available.

We can provide more advanced inbound call handling, this service provides you with an e-mail alert for each message and a call log at the end of the month. If you would like to discuss other inbound options please give us a call on 01706 304450

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Ræcan telemarketing solutions in Lancashire and the NorthwestNo? You’re right don’t worry about the additional expense of following up your customers and asking them what they think. You will save money by not having to send literature or listening to their opinions. You will save even more money when you find your competitors have focussed on customer acquisition and retention programs.


Ræcan customer service in Lancashire and the North West

Yes! Good you should be. Customer service is key to customer retention but how can you deliver customer service when you are busy running your business? There are simple steps that can deliver a great customer service experience without costing you the earth. Put in a dedicated customer service number, put a  live chat feature on your website, play promotional messages to your customers when they phone. How? At Ræcan we prepare a package that meets your needs, we stick to your budget and can increase support at times when you need. We set up a monthly contract that delivers you the resource that you need. The technology that we use is sophisticated enough to control large numbers of calls efficiently, Click here to send us an e-mail we will arrange an appointment to discover how we can help you.


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Regardless of the type of business you run, there is one thing that you will have whether you like it or not………………

Virtual receptionist, telemarketing, Ræcan, Rossendale, Rawtenstall, call handling

Virtual receptionist

A receptionist or someone who answers the phone for you, it might be you, it could be another member of staff but there is someone that everyone speaks to when they call your business or arrive through the door.

If you don’t have a dedicated receptionist these responsibilities will be in addition to normal workload. In this case you will be aware of the problem, you might divert calls to an answer phone for you to pick up and deal with later. At Ræcan our agents can be invaluable in answering your calls and dealing with straight forward requests for information, acting as your own virtual receptionist. When you are on holiday or away from your office your business does not have to stop, if you really want we will message you when you are out with urgent requests but don’t shoot the messenger !!

Ræcan use state of the art equipment to deliver sophisticated solutionsIf you are lucky enough to have a dedicated receptionist you must have decided that there was enough work to employ a member of staff. Did you make sure that you included all of the tasks you were going to ask your receptionist to do??
You know, the customer survey, calling lapsed customers, making sales calls, reporting on all of the above, making the coffee, ordering the stationery, booking hotels…… don’t forget answering the phone and dealing with visitors, keeping the fire log and signing for deliveries.

It is easy to do, when you are busy generating revenue you can unreasonably add to your employees work load. Rather than focussing on the tasks at hand a diluted and confused situation develops where productivity drops. Outsourcing just a small amount of the additional work means that focus can return. At Ræcan we work with companies that need help for just a few days a year to those that need  a couple of days a week.  It might just be calling lapsed customers once a month or carrying out a customer survey, collating the results and delivering them in a simple report or a one off database clean.

After all you hired a receptionist not a super computer!

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