Why Email Marketing Works

Did you know that email marketing delivers up to 40% more return than all the other social media platforms combined (Forrester Research, 2015).

With this in mind, it’s time to dust off the MailChimp account and set about reconnecting with your customers through well thought out email marketing campaigns.

Still not convinced?  Check out these stats….

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(Weblizar.com 2017)

And, if that isn’t enough – here are even more great reasons to include email marketing as part of your business’s digital marketing campaign:

  • It’s cost-effective
  • It’s easy to produce
  • Allows for excellent targeting
  • Provides detailed feedback & analytics
  • It’s a great tool for building relationships

Building a good list of email addresses can take time, but it’s time worth spending.  What you’ll achieve is a mostly organically grown list of genuinely interested customers/potential customers and that’s so much more worthwhile than more dubiously put together lists.

It should go without saying – but just in case – NEVER buy an email list.  It’s a recipe for disaster and can ultimately do more harm than good to your reputation.  Also, keep in mind the new General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) which come into effect on 25th May replacing the existing data protection framework under the EU Data Protection Directive.

Instead, build your list through useful and engaging content, special offers and by offering value.  Also, promote your email marketing campaigns on your website and social media platforms and create a lead magnet to entice your audience to sign up.

And remember, always get permission before engaging in email marketing, be honest and transparent about who you are and what you offer, and always include an opt-out/unsubscribe option.

Other than that, happy emailing!

Communications Hub

Karen Twomey is a freelance Public Relations and Social Media Consultant with Communications Hub  For further information Tel: 087 7642576 or email: Karen@communicationshub.ie
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SCSI Annual Rural Seminar 17th Nov

I’m delighted to have been asked to speak at this year’s Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland Annual Rural Seminar taking place on Friday 17th November at Midlands Park Hotel in Portlaoise.

Before I took the plunge and returned to college to do my masters, I spent 10 happy (well, mostly!) years working as an auctioneer.  I was lucky enough to begin my career in a thriving property market that was just about to be picked up and carried away by the beast that was the Celtic tiger.

Marketing in the property world in those days consisted mainly of glossy brochures,  carefully designed sales packs and expensive media advertising campaigns.  To be fair, there wasn’t a huge need to be too inventive – properties were selling like hotcakes and there was plenty of money to spend on outsourced marketing.

Like the Celtic tiger, I too took off running for the proverbial hills towards the end of the noughties.  The property market was nose-diving, with little sign of a safety net to break its fall.  Even then though, it was hard to believe just how bad this recession was shaping up to be.  The property market became an incredibly tough game and, like so many other young auctioneers, was no longer one I could afford to stay playing.


That was eight years ago and we’re only now beginning to see auctioneers start to recover, and begin to progress again.  I recently did some work with an agent who told me that the last 10 years have been mostly about ‘survival’ and it is only now that they can afford to focus on growing and investing in the business.

Technology has changed enormously in those lost years and with it communication and marketing techniques.  This has left a lot of property professionals struggling to keep up and utilise these new technologies to effectively market and sell.  The demise of print media has also pushed those involved in sales to turn towards the online world of promotion.

Digital marketing is by far the most effective form of promotion available to businesses today.  It is user-friendly, extremely cost-effective and easily measurable.  And we haven’t even mentioned the fact that 70% of us in Ireland now research goods and services online.  It’s a no-brainer.

So when I was asked to speak at the upcoming SCSI Annual Conference, I jumped at the chance.  The property market is one I understand and I know the benefits that embracing the online world can bring to it.

At the conference I will be looking at areas including an overview and benefits of social media usage, identifying and using the right platforms for the right audience, content writing and identifying and contributing to local media opportunities.

I’m looking forward to my brief return to the property market and hope to see plenty of familiar faces in the crowd!

 #DigitalMarketing #CharteredSurveyors

Karen Twomey is a freelance Public Relations and Social Media Consultant with Communications Hub  For further information Tel: 087 7642576 or email: Karen@communicationshub.ie

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Latest Stats for Social Media Use in Ireland

According to a recent survey by Ipsos MRBI on Social Media Statistics in Ireland, Facebook account ownership dropped in Ireland to a low of 59% in April before returning to January 2017 levels of 64% in August.

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It’s a small dip, but still represents a significant indicator of how social media platforms are developing in the current social and economic climate.1.695* million adults aged 15+ in the Republic of Ireland use Facebook on a daily basis.

The drop doesn’t take away from the fact that Facebook is still the number one social media platform in both Ireland and the world, with 1.695 million adults aged 15+ in the Republic of Ireland using it on a daily basis.


A big winner so far this year has been Twitter, which after a few quarters of negative or no growth, has seen an increase of users of 6% – the highest level of growth experienced across all social media platforms in 2017.

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After a growth of 6% from June 2016 to January 2017, Instagram remained stagnant with 28% of the Irish population having accounts.  56% of those with accounts use Instagram daily, making it the second most used platform, behind Facebook, in Ireland.

IG trend data


Another platform which has been holding steady now, both this year and last, is Tinder.  5% of the Irish population currently have Tinder accounts, showing that the popular dating app is going nowhere anytime soon.

AND THE LOSERS… Communication Hub

Other social media platforms that experienced drops included           Google+, LinkedIn and Pinterest.  No great surprise to see Pinterest in that category given it has been performing poorly now with the last few quarters – despite a temporary jump in January this year.

All in all, there were little surprises in the recent statistics on social media use in Ireland.  What the figures do show, however, is that while certain online platforms may increase and dip in popularity over the course of the year – social media is going from strength to strength, both for personal and business use.
Karen Twomey is a freelance Public Relations and Social Media Consultant with Communications Hub  For further information Tel: 087 7642576 or email: Karen@communicationshub.ie
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Social Media for Business Mallow College

I’m delighted to announce that I will be running my Social Media for Business Course as part of the Autumn 2017 night course schedule in Mallow College of Further Education.

As a business, social media is one of the easiest and most cost-effective ways to reach customers and create awareness around products and services.  This 10 week course will help you to understand the best social media platforms for business, as well as the most effective type of content to engage users and enhance your company’s online presence.

The Social Media for Business course will touch on managing online reputation, the best online platforms to promote business, how to create engaging content, how to save time using content calendars and online scheduling, effective blogging, email marketing campaigns, and how to boost search engine optimisation through digital marketing.

For further details or to book your place see the Mallow College Evening Course Autumn 2017 Prospectus

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Skydive for Liam’s Lifts

On 5th August I’ll be taking part in a fundraising skydive along with members of the Fermoy NRG Networking Group to raise funds for Liam’s Lifts, a community-based service that provides transport to members of our community who attend oncology appointments and treatments in Cork City. This service is provided on an entirely voluntary basis.

This incredible service is provided on an entirely voluntary basis by members of the community who give up their time to support those affected by cancer.

How it works:

Liam’s Lifts collects each passenger from their own home and drives them to the hospital or clinic where the treatment or appointment is arranged.  The driver will wait until this is completed and then drive the passenger home again.   This is a free service that operates on an entirely donation basis.

If you would like to sponsor this great cause you can do so online through our Go Fund Me Page at: gofundme.com/skydive-for-liams-lifts or see our Facebook page for more details.

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WordPress & Blogging Workshop 24th May

Want to increase your profile online?

I’ll be running a WordPress & Blogging Workshop on Wednesday 24th May from 7pm until 9.30pm in Fermoy Community Youth Centre. This workshop will talk you through the basics of creating a WordPress website/Blog, Content Management Systems (CMS), SEO, Plug-ins and writing for an online audience.

Cost: €25.00 p.p.and booking is essential as numbers are limited.

For further details or to book your place contact Karen Twomey at 0877642575 or karen@communicationshub.ie

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Why Social Media Scheduling Works

When I do social media training with businesses I never leave without having set them up on an online scheduler and, without fail, it positively affects their ability to produce good quality online content.

The benefits of using a scheduler include saving time, enabling better targeting and making it easier to implement a well-planned content calendar.  An online scheduler will also allow you to view all of your online profiles on one dashboard, which makes for easier measurement of analytics.

And they’re not the only reasons why you should be using one…

LISTEN TO YOUR AUDIENCEwww.communicationshub.ie

Monitor your brand, your competition, and what your customers are saying about you on social media.

ENGAGE WITH CUSTOMERSwww.communicationshub.ie

Never miss an opportunity to connect with your audience or join conversations that are important to your brand.

MEASURE YOUR SOCIAL ROI www.communicationshub.ie

Make smarter, data-driven social media marketing decisions with confidence, so you can grow your business and your revenue.


My favourite scheduler is Hootsuite which supports social network integrations www.communicationshub.iefor Twitter,  Facebook,  Instagram,  LinkedIn,  Google+,  YouTube, Blogger, and much more.  It also has some great downloads such as:

  • Hootlet – ‘Find & Share Anywhere’. Quickly and easily share content to your social networks from anywhere on the web
  • Hootsuite App – Free mobile app to schedule, publish, and monitor conversations
  • Hootsuite App Directory – Collection of extensions and applications business professionals can add to their Hootsuite dashboard to create a customised experience eg. Dropbox, Gmail, Google Drive, Mailchimp, Review Tracker, Survey Monkey, Vimeo.

While Hootsuite works for me, there are other options out there too such as Everypost, Buffer and Social Oomph.  Several custom pricing plans are available, and each can be tested out through a free trial period.


Each social media scheduler has advantages and special features, but it all comes down to what you personally prefer.  Whichever one you choose, just make sure your business is using one.  You’ll reap the benefits, I promise!

Karen Twomey is a freelance PR & Social Media Consultant who specialises in online campaigns and social media training.   For further details check out her website  www.communicationshub.ie



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Social Media for Business Course Fermoy 25th April

My next ‘Social Media for Business’ Course will take place on Tuesday 24th April from 7 p.m. – 9.00 p.m. in Fermoy Community Youth Centre.

As a business, social media is one of the easiest and cost-effective ways to reach your customers and create awareness around your products and services.

This 2 hour course will teach you:

  • The best online platforms to use for your business
  • How to create engaging content
  • How to save time by using content calendars and online scheduling
  • An introduction to blogging, email marketing and SEO
  • How to manage your business’s online reputation.

Places are limited and cost €25.00 per person.

For further details or to book your place call Karen Twomey on 0877642575 or email: karen@communicationshub.ie

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Strike a Pose Email Marketing!

Email Marketing is officially back in Vogue!  It has returned from the wilderness and is no longer the poor relation of social media marketing.

Forrester Research (2015) found that email marketing delivers up to 40% more return than all other social media platforms combined.  A strong statistic indeed.

If that’s not enough to convince you, here are some more reasons why your company should be investing in email marketing campaigns?

  • It is cost effective
  • Relatively easy to produce
  • Emails can be targeted
  • Provides detailed feedback
  • Helps build company relationships

So, how do you build an authentic email list?  For starters, never buy a listing.  It may seem tempting when you are starting off, but it’s hard to trust the quality of bought lists and you will increase your prospects of being labelled a spammer.

It’s far better, and more rewarding in the long-term, to organically grow your email list through website sign-up, social media promotion and encouraging sign-up at events and exhibitions.  Of course, offering incentives – such as discounts or pre-sale previews – also works well.  After all, who doesn’t love a bargain?

Some further statistics to keep in mind when designing your campaign is that 33% of emails are opened based on subject line alone – so be interesting, first impressions matter.  Almost 40% of emails are now opened on mobile devices, the screens of which, on average,  only fit 4 -7 words.

Communications Hub

MailChimp is my favourite email marketing service.  It’s used by more than 15 million people globally, so I’m clearly not alone.  It’s a great platform for designing emails, sharing online and tracking analytics.  Did I mention it’s also free?

So, email marketing is back and there’s no reason why your business shouldn’t join the party!  But before you do, here are some basic etiquette rules you’ll do well to follow:

  • Always get permission before signing someone up
  • Include opt-out/unsubscribe options within 2 clicks
  • Don’t use 3rd party lists
  • Be honest and transparent about who you are

Happy emailing #emailisback #digitalmarketing

Karen Twomey is a freelance PR & Social Media Consultant who specialises in online campaigns and social media training.   For further details check out her website www.communicationshub.ie


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Local Enterprise Week 2017

More than 380 events took place around Ireland last week to celebrate Local Enterprise Week 2017, with 14,500 small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs in attendance.

I was lucky enough to attend three of those events.  On Monday I made my way to the picturesque Springfort Hall, just outside of Mallow, for the ‘Starting Local, Growing Global’ Women in Business Conference.  The event promised ‘real stories’ from six female entrepreneurs, and it certainly didn’t disappoint.

The story of health food company Cool Beans was delivered by co-founder Sarah O’Connor who kickstarted the morning by getting all those in attendance to remove their shoes and partake in a few moments of mindfulness.

Sarah’s story of ups, downs and more than a sprinkle of hard work was emulated in the lively panel discussion which followed, made up of ceramic artist Siobhain Steele, eQuiddity founder Ingrid De Doncker, Caroline Workman of Hederman Smoked Salmon and Louise Ryan of Ball & Socket.

After some informal networking – and much-welcome coffee – Noelle O’Connor, CEO  of Tan Organic, took to the stage to share her story.  And what a story it was.   Noelle’s raw honesty captured the room as she took us on her awe-inspiring story of outstanding successes and heartbreaking defeats.  What a journey, what a business woman.

Communications HubI could have given up so many times, but I didn’t

My next Enterprise Week stop was at Fermoy for a joint Local Enterprise Office and NRG Networking Group hosted ‘Speed Networking’ event, where we were warmly welcomed by Joan Kelleher of the LEO Cork North and West and Clodagh Glavin, Chairperson of NRG Networking Group.

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J.J. O’Connell of Plato Business Support & Development Network gave the gathering a great talk on effective networking, following which we engaged in some rigorous speed networking!  I’m delighted to say I left with some useful contacts and some promising leads.

After a quick dip back into the day job, I made my way to my second event of the day at Cork’s Institute of Technology – A seminar by the MA in Public Relations with New Media class entitled ‘Smart Communications Using New Media’.  The seminar formed part of CIT’s Innovation Week.

I must confess that after an early start and long day, not to mention the rush-hour evening traffic and relentless March downpours, I was possibly craving my bed more than the CIT Nimbus Centre’s seminar room by the time I made my arrival.  However, after a quick coffee pick-me-up, I took my seat in anticipation for the excellent line-up of speakers.

The first speakers of the night were Brendan Keary Jnr. and Olan Hodnett from Kearys Motor Group, one of Ireland’s largest motor dealerships.  They talked us through their innovative use of social media as a promotional and marketing tool, showing some great examples of video content.

Communications Hub

Interestingly, Kearys social media focus for the next six months will be on growing their profile on Instagram.  A clever move by the group considering Instagram is now Ireland’s fastest growing social media platform with 28% of the population having accounts.

Next up (and no stranger to a stage) was Rebecca Kemp from the Rose of Tralee International Festival management team.  It was interesting to hear Rebecca speak about how such a traditional festival had embraced new media to reach new audiences.

Rebecca was followed by Editor for Landmark Digital, Jill O’Sullivan, who manages the digital teams of Breakingnews.ie and the Irish Examiner.  Jill explained the impact of new media on journalism and in particular how difficult it was to re-establish the bottom line in terms of advertising and revenue.

The wonderful Gina London was the final speaker for the evening, sharing her policy of ‘Go, Grow and Show’ in building communications in business.  Gina is an Emmy-award winning former CNN Journalist and International Communications Consultant.

Now based in Cork, Gina helps businesses to craft digital techniques for effective communication.  She believes today’s executives need to connect by telling their stories online and leading by example. You cannot underestimate the power of showing personality, she claims. Coming from someone who captivated the audience from the moment she took the microphone, it’s hard to argue.

As I made my way back out into the cold dreary night, although tired, I felt a sense of excitement about the future of my business.  As a social media consultant, I spend a lot of my days trying to promote (and sometimes, convince) businesses of the virtues of investing in new media communications. Many are still dubious, some even think it’s ‘just another fad’.

After having the pleasure of spending a few hours of my week with a mixture of innovative, hard-working and awe-inspiring entrepreneurs, I felt recharged and invigorated.  To see how brands, such as the Rose of Tralee, have adapted and utilised new media to move entire organisations into the 21st Century, gives a sense of how far we have come as a society.

The moral of my Enterprise Week is that whether we like it or not, or whether we feel comfortable with it or not, technology and communication methods have changed.  New media is here to stay, only to be replaced by even newer media.  Businesses only have one choice to make today and that’s to embrace it and continue the march forward – because if you’re not moving forward….

Communications Hub
(source: LinkedIn)
Karen Twomey is a freelance PR & Social Media Consultant who specialises in online campaigns and social media training.   For further details check out her website www.communicationshub.ie


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