Can discounting put ‘your customer’s loyalty at risk’?

We answer a latest discussion on the marketing magazine website.

Yes and no, depending on your business, the customer and whether or not you’re offering a discount or a loyalty scheme.

Many people love a good discount or loyalty scheme and at the moment Waitrose are doing a good job on the loyalty scheme front. Every time you visit a Waitrose you can get a free hot drink, but not just any hot drink, tea, coffee, lattes, cappuccinos…! This entices people to come in and have a drink, but while walking to the Café you might suddenly see something you need and buy it, or, it might encourage people to visit for just the odd item…knowing that they will be able to have a drink too will certainly make them want to visit.

However if you are a marketing agency offering discounts you want loyal customers, who like Waitrose customers will come back for your services again and again. Many businesses believe discounting prices will get them more business and money…however, it only really creates loyalty for those looking for low prices. Which means in turn many of these customers won’t stay with you if they can go to another company and get a better deal at a lower price. Basically, customers are loyal to the price and not your company. The key to real loyalty is more than a low price or fantastic product; it takes an attention to customer service. The companies that are customer focused who build a relationship rather than a quick price have loyal customers that are less focused on the price and more focused about the results you can bring them.

Many companies believe the fundamentals of ‘old fashioned discounts’ are dying out. Such as back in the early days of retail the local grocer knew their customer liked strawberries in the summer, so offered them at a discount. The local baker knew when it was their customer’s birthday, and gave them a free cake on the day to celebrate. But instead now people want to save as much as they can and won’t mind switching to another grocer or marketing agency, as so many companies are offering cheaper short-term prices, discounts or loyalty schemes.

But really the companies are no more loyal than the customers are. It’s and in and out job, get the customer in with grabbing discounts, use the discount, and then you’ll never see them again. Rather than building a relationship like companies used to do.

All in all, discounts will kill your business no matter what line of work you are in, because once a discount is over the customer will go to the next shop looking for that knockout deal. Whereas loyalty schemes… the answers in the name, will keep customers using you as it’s an on-going process. But the all-important point is customer relationships, which drives them to continue coming back and with all these discounts floating about it’s at risk of being lost.

That’s all from me, watch this space for more discussions on latest trends and in the news topics.


Animated GIFS in Email Marketing


As you know many email marketers are always trying to improve their email campaigns – through use of copy, design and eye catching images. They are always on the lookout for something unique to set them apart from the rest of the drab emails in their recipient inboxes.

Many of them are finding that adding that extra touch of interactivity and personalisation is just the thing to increase engagement in their email campaigns. And to help them achieve that interactivity and personalisation is animated GIFS!

In this blog we are going to talk you through the strengths and weaknesses of using GIFS in your next email campaign:-

First of all, what actually is a GIF if you don’t know already?

A GIF which stands for Graphics Interchange Format, is an image format that rapidly displays a series of images to produce the illusion of motion. Like a little video image!

So what are the strengths to using GIFS in your email campaigns?

  • Using a GIF adds an element of delight to a campaign that isn’t normally possible with static email designs with lumps of copy.
  • GIFS can showcase new products and entice readers to click through with relevant call to actions. Such as a gift that is shaking to be opened with “Unwrap me” which will then entice readers to click through.
  • You can create helpful tutorial GIFS that will effectively work as a miniature ‘explainer’ video, rather than longwinded wordy explanations that could confuse your customers.
  • But even if you don’t provide full GIF tutorials, animated GIFS can help explain and illustrate many complex concepts that may not be as understandable in text form.

But there are always drawbacks to such fantastic inventions:-

  • The main definitive drawback is not every email provider supports animated GIFS L we’ve found newer versions of Outlook will not show the animation GIFS. Instead it will only show the first frame of the animation GIF…which may not be the strongest or most relevant frame in your GIF which could consequently ruin your email campaign.
  • GIFS are also known to have excessive file sizes which could affect your spam rating on email broadcast systems and effect loading times on your GIFS – especially on mobile devices. They may even get blocked for being too large… which could make your hard worked GIF totally useless.
  • Customers will get bored of seeing the same things, so use your GIFS sparingly. As mentioned above GIFS add an element of delight to your emails and if they are receiving them every week the delight will soon fizzle away… and your unsubscribe data will shoot through the roof!

The next step is deciding on whether you want to include GIFS in your next email campaign, so watch this space as we are going to talk you through how to create these exciting GIFS in our next blog post!

But in the meantime if you need any help with revamping the effectiveness of your email marketing… give us a call on 01635 48844, we don’t bite! Or alternatively email us at


Top Tips for Email Marketing

This is the first part of our Email Marketing guide for marketer’s and business owners.

1. Only send emails to people who have requested to receive them – they have opted-in.

2. Only include content relevant to the type of content the person has requested.

3. Be consistent with your sending frequency (weekly, bi-weekly, monthly) and stick to that schedule.

4. Business to business emails receive higher response rates if sent Tuesday through Thursday. We’ve found the best times of day to send them are around 9.30am or just after lunch around 1.30pm. It’s best to avoid sending business to business emails after 4pm or on weekends.

5. It’s best to send business to consumer emails between 5pm and 8pm Tuesday through Thursday or betweekn Friday evening and Sunday afternoon.

6. To improve deliverability, add a message at the top of your emails that say something like “To ensure receipt of our emails, please add (our email address) to your Address Book.

7. Make the From Name for your email messages either your company name or the contact name of a person at your company. Receipients will decide in a split second as to whether they want to open your email.

8. Do we need a plain text version of our HTML. Plain text messages have zero impact on your inbox placement rate. Lots of factors weigh in on your ability to get into the inbox (as opposed to the spam or bulk folders) – domain reputation, IP reputation, content – but whether your email is HTML versus plain text isn’t one of them.

9. Don’t use all caps or multiple exclamation marks within your subject line or body. This will trigger SPAM filters.

10. Build your list of contacts at every opportunity. We ask our retail clients to collect data with a sign-up form at the point of sale. At conferences and events if you don’t have a scanner, print out sign-up forms and collect business cards. Add a newsletter or sign-up form to your website.

Want more information on Email Marketing check out this: Email marketing

Are you Tweeting with purpose?

The vast majority of businesses who signed in to Twitter don’t use it frequently, or at all.  If you haven’t been on Twitter for a week, you could be missing out not only on the conversation but on potential leads.  Customers and potential customers on Twitter expect a swift response.  The most important element of Twitter is to ensure that you show-up regularly – make it part of your daily routine.

Who should you follow?

Twitter allows you to build relationships.  In order to build relationships, you first need to find some people to build those relationship with.  In the beginning this can be quite challenging, so why not start here with us at @PurpleFoxMktg.  We are building our list of followers and have many businesses in different sectors.  We started our Twitter strategy by searching for people with like minded interests and the vast majority of people followed us back.

The importance of follow back

The start of a relationship on Twitter is when you are following someone who is also following you.  You can then both see each other’s tweets and send each other direct messages.  You don’t have to follow everyone back, just make sure you check who’s followed you and have some rules about who you will follow back.

Listen to the conversation

Spend at least 10 minutes every day reading your timeline, look for content that is of interest to you, new people to follow or people you can engage with and help.   Share content which you think will be of interest to your followers and respond to tweets where you can add value.

Your Tweet strategy

Before you start tweeting you need to think about what you are trying to achieve with your tweet.  What do you want the reader to think, feel or do as a result of your tweet?  Do you want people to reply, retweet or click on your website?  Are you looking to increase awareness of what you do, demonstrate your knowledge or just appear human or helpful!

Many businesses make the mistake and believe Twitter is an advertising channel and broadcast their marketing messages in the hope that someone will see it and want to buy.  Twitter is all about relationships and the way to build relationships is to engage in conversation.

Twitter generosity

By re-tweeting your message to a new and potentially very large audience.  If you re-tweet you become known as a helpful person on Twitter, your generosity will be repaid!

Create target lists

As your Twitter account grows, your timeline can become so large it becomes unmanageable.  It can be difficult to know who to engage with and who to build a relationship with.  This is where Twitter’s list facility comes in.  Create lists based on people you find who are particularly useful to you or who you are trying to build a relationship with.

Measure and review

Most businesses believe the number of followers is a sufficient measure of success of the Twitter, however, you also need to be looking at interaction with your followers, re-tweets of your tweets and hits to your website.  Track the tweets that are most effective in generating a response and test new ideas to see what works. 


After a short time, you will start to find you are following significantly more people than are following you.  As your account grows this may cause a problem as you want to follow more people.  If someone is not following you back, you will not be able to establish a relationship with them so there is little point in following them.  If you follow people who are broadcasting all day and their tweets are uninteresting, again they will be of little value to you. The opposite is people who are inactive.  To find out more information the tool we use is and this will help you clean-up.

For more information please see our social media optimisation or our social media services.

Discover how B2B social media marketing can help grow your business

Social MediaWe’ve all attended social media courses that seemed to have a great agenda but when we got there they focused solely on e-commerce websites and a B2C audience. 

Based upon these bad experiences PurpleFox has brought together some of the most experienced social media, copy writing and online marketing experts to deliver for you a bespoke B2B social media workshop. 

How it works – We will work with you to deliver real-life social media campaign examples.  You will learn the social media basics, the tips, tricks and how-to’s.  You will learn how to use social media for brand building, how to socialise with a B2B audience; and how to use social media to improve sales.

What you will get from the workshop:

  • You will be able to create a successful social media strategy that integrates with your existing marketing activity and messages
  • You will set-up your social media networks and learn about the tools available to make short-cuts and save time
  • You will learn how to how to use the different social media networks to most effect, create a buzz and how respond to tweets and comments
  • Learn how social media can produce a funnel to drive leads to your business

The workshop will consist of 4 hours practical learning and will answer these important questions:

  • What are the benefits of marketing on social networks
  • How to manage your presence and pages
  • How to identify what networks and groups to join and run
  • How to win opportunities from competitors
  • How to manage content, messages and who and what to post
  • How to use social media to increase traffic to your website
  • How to promote ‘Thought Leadership’ programmes via social media
  • How to keep contact with existing customers

For more information please click here or contact Louise on 01635 48844