Monday, 10 December 2018

Give a life-changing gift this Christmas

Christmas is an exciting time, full of festive cheer. But, for the18,000 young people (aged 16-25) at risk of homelessness this Christmas the season of goodwill can serve as a harsh reminder of the difficult, lonely and isolating time they face. Living in a small town it is not often we are faced with the realities of homelessness for young people, and it can be quite hard and emotional to witness when we visit larger towns and cities. Not knowing how to help is always difficult, giving a hot meal and drink hardly seems enough and never being sure if giving money is a good idea leaves me in a moral dilemma, so this idea of giving more than a gift from Centrepoint is something I really like.

Centrepoint, the UK’s leading charity for homeless young people, believes everyone should have someone at Christmas and is encouraging people to give more than a gift this year… From Christmas dinner to a safe place to stay, giving a gift that lasts beyond Christmas day could transform a vulnerable young person’s life forever.

Centrepoint CEO Seyi Obakin says, “For many of the young people Centrepoint supports, Christmas can be a difficult time. Imagine being 18 and alone, having nowhere safe and loving to go. By giving more than a gift this Christmas, you’ll be helping to support young people when they need it most.”


With life-changing gifts ranging from £10 to £1,500, it’s easy to make a difference to the lives of homeless young people this Christmas – visit:

Life-Changing Gifts under £20

More than a Christmas dinner (£10): By providing a Christmas dinner you’re giving a young person a comforting meal to share with other young people and those who are supporting them out of homelessness.

More than a Christmas gift (£13): Giving and receiving gifts - big or small - is a special part of Christmas, but there may be little to give or receive for many homeless young people. Help bring Christmas to a young person at Centrepoint this year with a present to unwrap on Christmas morning.

Life-Changing Gifts under £50

More than a bed (£35): Without a good night’s sleep, how can we expect a homeless young person to be happy, healthy or able to build a positive future? Give a homeless young person the safety and comfort of a bed this Christmas.

More than a Christmas hamper (£50): A Christmas hamper gives a young person enough food to last them the Christmas week, plus some little luxuries for the New Year.

Life-Changing Gifts under £100

More than kitchen essentials kit (£75): When a young person moves in to their new Centrepoint home it’s a wonderful moment, but they still need the basics. Our kitchen essentials kit provides items to help young people settle into their new home and move towards independence.

More than a study kit (£95): Stationery, books and laptops are the kind of items that most students take for granted. For a homeless young person, they are simply unaffordable. Yet without them, they have little chance of being able to go into education or employment. Give a homeless young person the same chance at succeeding in education or work as their peers.

Life-Changing Gifts under £250

More than a room (£144): A room at Centrepoint can ensure a young person gets the support they need to move on from a life of homelessness. Your gift will not only pay for a warm, safe room for up to a year, but also provide the vital support they may have never been given before.

Christmas Success Box (£250): A room for a year, study kit and a festive meal. This special Christmas gift could give young people a real chance of escaping homelessness forever.

Centrepoint resident Lucy, says “I am going to be happy, even if I don’t have everything I always wished for, as long as I’ve got somewhere to be, somewhere where I have a roof over my head, and food for that day, and enjoying my time and learning even if its listening to music. I will be happy. I don’t expect too much now. I am starting not to expect too much from life or to ask for too much.”

Please note: All the money given to Centrepoint will be used to fund their work with homeless young people. These gifts are examples of what they provide for young people and represent how donations could be used.

Wednesday, 5 December 2018

Staying safe on the roads this Xmas with the #tyrechallenge

As Xmas approaches most of us will be thinking of days out Xmas shopping or trips to visit family and friends in the run up to Xmas. While our thoughts and minds are preoccupied with the main task of buying, what to buy, who we need to buy for or what we will eat at our family gathering, it is likely the last thing on our mind is car maintenance and how we drive affects our car and tyre performance. 

And if your like me it is something I never think about, luckily having someone else to take care of car maintenance is one less thing for me to worry about. However stop and think what would you do if you were to face a problem while out and about on your travels as most likely you will not always have the safety net of a partner who deals with these things with you on every trip.

Kwik Fit have got a tyre quiz running over on their website aimed at testing your tyre care and safety knowledge and as we approach the winter and increase in journey's we make it is a great tool to test how much you actually know. I have taken the quiz and I am a little ashamed to say I didn't do as well as I thought  I would do, probably because I leave car stuff to my partner, so I really need to brush up on my knowledge I think especially as I often take long journeys on my own with the children.

Admittedly I am guilty of thinking I am ok as I have breakdown cover, however it is not all about breakdowns and recovery. It is important to have good knowledge to possibly avert a car problem or even an accident by practicing safe tyre care:
  • keeping good tread
  • knowing your stopping distances
  • having the right tyre pressure
  • doing regular checks to ensure they are in good condition with no splits or nails embedded in them

If like me this has made you think you may need to brush up on your knowledge, then head on over to the Kwik Fit site and take a look at their advice and take the quiz, you never know you could save yourself time, stress and money by being a bit more tyre savvy!! 

Safe travels guys.

Tuesday, 20 November 2018

Growing your blog - 5 Elements to the perfect welcome email

Becoming a blogger in todays world of influencers can be a really hard and daunting task, it takes a lot of work to build up a blog people will read and want to come back to over and over again. People get into blogging for many different reasons, some just want to find a hobby they can do from home while the kids are small and they need an outlet for thoughts and ideas, others have a passion about their work/ crafts they want to share, and for some it is to build a blog that will provide an income often to replace a job that no longer fits around family life. That is the beauty of blogging it can be whatever you want it to be and there is no set rules to how and what you want to blog about. 
One thing for certain is though if you want to build a successful blog or a blog you can earn money from it takes a lot of time and commitment, it is not easy and can be a long time before you see much income from it. For anybody wanting to build a successful blog or earn an income from blogging then you need to really work on building social links, networks, and gaining an interactive audience, that means being interactive yourself too, sitting back and waiting for it to happen most definitely means it will not happen for you, you have to see blogging as an open, two way thing. One way that many bloggers build up an audience or followers is to have an email subscription option on your blog to allow those that enjoy what they read to be notified by email of new posts when you publish them, what you don't want though is potential followers to be put off or unsubscribe because of an unwelcoming welcome email. Thanks to My Emma website you can find advice and help in all aspects of email marketing.
Take a look at this article or click through this link to the original article from My Emma website for creating the perfect welcome email.

We all know the importance of a good first impression, and a welcome email is your best opportunity to make one for your business. After a subscriber signs up to receive your emails, you want to send them a message that introduces who you are and the value you'll add to their lives and inboxes. Not to mention how glad you are that they've signed up to receive your company's updates. Let’s not forget that it’s kind of a big deal to have someone sign up for your email list, especially with studies coming in that say office workers receive upwards of 120 emails per day. These people already receive an inbox full of emails and, yet, they have chosen to receive even more by subscribing to your list. In turn, you don’t want to take your subscribers for granted and assume they'll stick around, regardless of what you send them.

That welcome email is your opportunity to show that you will add value to their email inbox. Of course, the question becomes, how do you actually deliver an exceptional welcome email that will excite your subscribers and make them look forward to receiving more emails from you?

In this article, we will look at some of the most important elements to include in your future welcome emails to new subscribers. Use these methods to make your emails stand out among the rest and increase subscriber engagement.

What is a welcome email?
Depending on what kind of email list you are growing, a welcome email could come in many forms, some of these tips may be more relevant for certain businesses or niches. For example, an e-commerce store may send a welcome email when someone has made their first purchase. A thought leader for an industry, however, may send welcome emails when people opt-in to receive their regular content updates. 

5 things every welcome email needs to do
In all cases, a welcome email is your first official email touchpoint with a new subscriber. This is your first impression and these tips will make sure your first impression is as strong as possible.

1. Offer easy-to-understand information for getting started.

A lot of welcome emails are sent after some type of purchase or initial interaction. This is great news because you know that you already have an engaged customer on the other end. You also know that they may have your product sitting in their home or, at the very least, it’s on its way.

This is your opportunity to share some great information that will enhance their customer experience and begin creating brand loyalty.

Not only is this information helpful, but it also shows that your emails add value rather than simply push products or sales. Subscribers will appreciate that you want to help them enjoy their purchase as much as possible.

The welcome email for Google Home Mini, shown below, is a great example of how to offer a quick start guide inside a welcome email.

Google uses the opportunity of a welcome email to help new users navigate their way around features, and it also provides an overview for those who want to get the most out of their device.

IMAGE: Really Good Emails

2. Introduce the team to your subscribers.

Just because you aren't having a face-to-face interaction with each customer doesn't mean you can't have a personal interaction and introduce the faces behind your brand. After all, the people that make up your business are one of the most important pieces of your business.

Introducing certain team members may be a great way to kick off your email subscriber relationship. This is especially true if your subscribers will be interacting with these employees regularly. This helps break the ice and gives your business a warm and approachable personality.

A great example of this is the Peloton welcome email that introduces a subscriber's trainers they'll be working out with.

On its way to becoming the year's biggest trend in fitness technology, Peloton—a fitness bike that comes equipped with live or prerecorded virtual classes, is also leading the way in personalized communication and approachable branding. They focus on the trainers who will be leading the classes, creating a connection with the people behind the brand from the get-go.

From their social media accounts to the welcome email that subscribers receive, Peloton wants users to feel personally connected to the people that will be representing their company on a daily basis. See how they do it in email form:

Image: Really Good Emails

3. Keep it clear and simple.

When someone subscribes to your email list, it may be tempting to share everything great about yourself or your business. However, like a bad first date, there is such a thing as oversharing. It’s important to keep in mind that this is the start of a long-term relationship, and you want to nurture it and provide value.

You will have plenty of opportunities to share information with your subscribers—you just need to know how to choose the right opportunities for your brand.

Instead of overloading new subscribers with information, try to keep things simple. In fact, minimalism is one of the big trends in design and marketing right now.

People get a lot of marketing messages every day via email, television, web browsing, print ads and more. Instead of loading up your email with information that may or may not be memorable, just keep things simple and make your email approachable for new subscribers.

People may not always remember each and every detail of a message, but they will remember whether or not your message was enjoyable and easy-to-read or cluttered and messy.

The email below keeps simplicity and minimalism in mind.

New subscribers are presented with appealing images, a few short bullet points, and a simple call-to-action button. They get the important information, can make a quick decision about whether or not to follow up on the offer, and they may end up becoming paying customers right away.

One thing is for sure, they won’t be unsubscribing because of messy design or cluttered information.

Image: Really Good Emails

4. Time to get social with your subscribers.

Marketing involves using a variety of different channels and email marketing is one of the best, most cost-effective ways of building up multiple communications channels at once. If people are email subscribers in addition to being social media followers, then they are much more likely to be reminded of your messaging and become more engaged with your business.

Asking for people to join you on your social media channels is a great way to send a simple welcome email with a very basic request that isn't overwhelming. The example below shows just how easy a welcome email can be if your goal is to help grow your social media presence alongside your email subscriber list.

Image: Really Good Emails

5. Everyone loves a welcome gift.

We mentioned before that you may want to avoid blasting your new subscribers with special offers and sales messages. You are trying to build a relationship and there will be plenty of time for discount codes and sales.

Of course, that doesn’t mean that you can’t extend a special offer or gift to your subscribers as a thank you for joining your email list.

A coupon or voucher that can be used when your subscriber makes their first purchase is a great welcoming gift.

We do caution you against making the welcome email too much of a hard sell. Offer the coupon as a thank you gift rather than a limited time offer. This will take pressure off your welcome email and make it seem more like a friendly gift.

Image: Really Good Emails

Wrap up

Welcome emails are your very first opportunity to start building what could become a long, healthy relationship with your subscribers.

There are a few elements that all go into making a memorable welcome email that will turn a new subscriber into a dedicated fan.

Remember, you have plenty of chances to send along promotions or sales messages. Use your welcome email as a chance to break the ice and save the limited time offers for another campaign. This can help you stand out among crowded email inboxes and ensure that your emails are seen as valuable rather than as cash grabs.