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Email newsletters are an essential part of your marketing strategy.  They are low cost and help increase your company profile.  However, electronic newsletters and email marketing is subject to legislation and it’s important you understand this and adhere to it.

While you might be forgiven the occasional mistake, companies which persistently breach the law are at risk of being reported to the Information Commissioner.  The penalties are severe, with fines of up to £10,000 levied.

The WORD-right copywriting office received two emails this week which have both broken the rules.  They have prompted this blog offering a little advice to help you keep on the right side of the law.

Email ‘A’ was an unsolicited sales message which came from a company in Kent.  As it had been sent to our generic email address and we have a limited company, the sender had not breached the legislation.

However, the mistake he made was using an online email marketing service which strictly forbids the use of its system for unsolicited sales campaigns.  If reported, his account could be suspended.

If you use an email marketing system, it is important you read and understand the small print in your agreement.  Setting up your email system takes time and effort.  These companies take reports of spamming very seriously and they will act if they see you abusing the system.

Email ‘B’ was a newsletter I recently subscribed to.  However, the company’s whole approach turned out to be unprofessional.  Rather than using suitable software, this newsletter is created in Word and sent as an attachment.

There is an obvious security risk here – viruses can be transmitted via attachments in emails.  But worse still is this company’s practice of entering all their subscriber’s email addresses in the ‘To’ box.  This means I have access to hundreds of private email addresses which I could steal, spam, sell, or otherwise abuse!  Not only is this unprofessional, it is also a breach of the Data Protection act.

This newsletter also breached the email marketing legislation in other ways: there was no unsubscribe option and no contact details on the email.  Last week we sent this company a friendly email, gently suggesting how their email marketing could be improved.   Sadly  today, they’ve sent another newsletter – breaking all the same rules!  I have now emailed asking to be unsubscribed.  I only hope they act on this request – email addresses must be treated with care, and confidentiality is essential.

Email marketing legislation is slightly vague in the UK.  But you still have an obligation to adhere to it.  If you are unsure, it is in your interests to take advice on the subject, or commission a reputable company to manage your email marketing for you – a £10,000 fine won’t do your reputation or your bank balance any good!

Blog post by Joy McCarthy

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Oxfordshire-based copywriter company WORD-right (www.word-right.co.uk), is hosting a half-day Press Release Writing Masterclass on April 6th 2011 at Bloxham Mill near Banbury.  The morning masterclass starts at 9.15am and ends at 12.30pm.

The interactive masterclass is designed to help small businesses learn how to write effective press releases.  The class will also cover the difference between traditional offline and online PR, and how to identify newsworthy stories about their business.

There are 10 places available for the masterclass.  Attendees will have the opportunity to write a press release under the guidance of their tutor, Joy McCarthy.  Each person will receive a printed information pack which covers all the course material delivered during the masterclass.

“Small business owners often don’t take advantage of PR because they are daunted by the thought of writing a press release,”  comments Joy McCarthy, WORD-right’s director and principal copywriter. “The masterclass will teach them all they need to identify their PR opportunities and how to create effective press releases.”

The PR masterclass is the first in a series of small business copywriting workshops.  Future masterclasses will include writing for websites and the role of copywriting in SEO (search engine optimisation).

The cost of the masterclass is £40 + VAT.  Places can be booked online at www.word-right.co.uk/copywriting-masterclass.html. Numbers are limited to 10 per masterclass.

A 25% ‘early bird’ discount is being offered for online bookings made before 28th February 2011.  Anyone booking online should use the promotion code: NUE110217173023 and click on the ‘recalculate’ button to activate the discount.

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Notes to Editors

WORD-right is a copywriting and marketing consultancy based in Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire.

The company, which is division of IDEAS-right Ltd, was founded in 2006.  It specialises in small business marketing, working for a range of companies in different industry sectors in the Oxfordshire area and further afield.

Joy McCarthy, WORD-right director is an experienced copywriting tutor and has worked with almost 100 student writers from all over the world.

For more information, please contact:

Joy McCarthy
Tel: 01608 642845
Mob: 07880 980095
Website: www.word-right.co.uk

When we first set up our copywriting business some 5 years ago, we offered our services (free of charge) to several charities and good causes.  Why?  We wanted the experience and had time on our hands.  Much to our amazement … nobody ever responded!  We were totally ignored.

Having worked in the charity sector, this really shocked me.  Willing volunteers are hard to come by and my policy was never to refuse any offer of help.  In fact there were times when I had so many volunteers they became a positive liability, and took a lot of management!  Other neighbouring charities could never work out how I managed to find such an abundant supply of able-boded and enthusiastic young men and women (and no, I’m still not telling!).  But I appreciated every offer and the help and support they gave me and our organisation.

Today we still are involved with some charity work and I’m pleased to say we haven’t been turned down in years.  But the purpose of this post really is to support a fantastic offer which one very kind-hearted person has made.

Courtesy of Twitter, I came across Joanna Geary’s blog – she is offering her services to a (preferably) English speaking organisation for 2 – 3 weeks this year.  If you are involved with a charity or have charitable connections, please take a look at Joanna’s skills and experience and remember – gift horses really shouldn’t be looked in the mouth!

The Cutting Edge Bridal Princess competition

Can you be the Cutting Edge's Bridal Princess? Photograph courtesy of Fiona Baker Photography

The Cutting Edge Hair and Beauty Salon in Banbury (www.the-cuttingedge.co.uk) is celebrating the forthcoming Royal Wedding with a competition to find its own ‘Bridal Princess.  Entries are being sought from prospective brides of all ages, and the winner will be announced at a gala bridal evening, ‘Fantasy Fairytale’ at The Gallery – Rye Hill Golf Club on Thursday 31st March 2011.

The Bridal Fantasy Fairytale evening will be a combination of entertainment, hair and beauty demonstrations and a fashion show of bridal wear.  The event’s sponsors include Rye Hill Golf Club and Fiona Baker Photography.

Prospective brides will be asked complete an entry form prior to the event saying why they would like to be The Cutting Edge’s Bridal Princess.  The brides will attend the Bridal Fantasy Fairytale evening, where the winner of the Bridal Princess competition will be announced.

The three finalists will be announced at the beginning of the evening’s programme.  All three will have the opportunity to have their hair and make-up done by The Cutting Edge’s bridal specialists.  The overall winner of the Bridal Princess competition will be announced as part of the evening’s finale.

All three finalists will be presented with a ‘bottle of bubbly’ as well as having a make-over on the evening.  Each finalist will be photographed on the evening by professional wedding photographer, Fiona Baker.

The Cutting Edge’s Bridal Princess will win a wedding hair package: a trial hair and make-up appointment prior to her wedding. On her wedding day itself, she will have her make-up created and hair styled by the salon’s bridal specialists.  She will also be presented with flowers on the evening.

The Cutting Edge’s Salon Director Kirsty Pearce said, “There is nothing like a wedding to capture people’s hearts and imagination. Every bride is a Princess on her wedding day and making our local brides feel even more special is the perfect way to mark the Royal Wedding. The winner of our Bridal Princess contest really will be treated like royalty.”

Entry forms are available from The Cutting Edge Salon or online at http://www.the-cuttingedge.co.uk/bridal-princess.html. Tickets for the Bridal Fantasy Fairytale evening are on sale now priced at £7.50. A percentage of the ticket price will be donated to a local charity.

Tickets are available from The Cutting Edge or by post from TCE Bridal Princess, c/o 30 Lords Piece Road, Chipping Norton, OX7 5HT.  Cheques should be made payable to ‘The Cutting Edge’.

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Notes to Editors

The Cutting Edge Hair & Beauty Salon in Rotary Way, Banbury, will shortly be celebrating its 4th birthday.  The salon employs 14 stylists and beauty therapists, including long hair and bridal specialists.

The Bridal Princess contest is open to brides of all ages who are planning their wedding before October 2013.  Entry to the contest is free. Brides will need to attend the Bridal Fantasy Fairytale Evening where the winner will be announced.

The Bridal Fantasy Fairytale Evening will be held at The Gallery – Rye Hill Golf Club on Thursday 31st March 2011 at 7.30, where the winner of the contest will be announced.  The evening is being sponsored by Greg Heath of Rye Hill, Fiona Baker Photography and other local wedding specialists.

Included in the evening will be a Bucks Fizz reception and light buffet and wedding cupcakes, hair and beauty demonstrations, and a fashion show finale.

The 3 finalists of the Bridal Princess contest will be announced at the start of the evening.  Each bride will be presented with a bottle of bubbly and have her hair and make-up done by The Cutting Edge bridal team.  Once their make-over is complete, the finalists will have the opportunity to pose for photographs taken by professional photographer, Fiona Baker.  The two runners-up will receive a free 8 x 6 portrait picture.

The winning bride will be announced at the end of the evening.  She will be presented with flowers and her wedding hair & beauty voucher.  The winning bride will also receive a 10 x 8 professional photograph, taken on the evening by Fiona Baker.

For more information, please contact:

Kirsty Pearce / Jayne Wells
The Cutting Edge Salon Director
Tel: 01295 278910
Mob: (Kirsty) 07984 951579  or (Jayne) 07985 729565
Email: thecuttingedge07@aol.com
Web: www.the-cuttingedge.co.uk

Joy McCarthy
TCE Marketing
Tel: 01608 642845
Email: brides@the-cuttingedge.co.uk

The domain name, www.twin-peaks.co.uk – home of Team Attitude at Altitude’s massive fundraising appeal is up for grabs!

The domain and site has been sponsored by WORD-right and WEB-right since August 2009.

The site and its noteworthy domain name helped Deb Hunt and her team raise the magnificent sum of £25,680 for national breast cancer charity: Breakthrough Breast Cancer.

Now the fundraising appeal has closed, the domain name needs a new home.

The price?

  • We will donate the domain to any other group fundraising for a breast cancer charity.  To ensure www.twin-peaks.co.uk goes to a bona fide home, any group or fundraiser will be verified before the domain is transferred.
  • Or – the domain can be bought for a minimum £100 donation to Breakthrough Breast Cancer.Of course, if you’d like to round the fundraising up to a nice even £26,000, offers of £320 would be viewed favourably!

Website stats

The www.twin-peaks.co.uk website attracted more than 10,000 visitors in its fundraising year.
Let’s help Team Attitude at Altitude end their fundraising campaign on a high note – help us sell their much loved www.twin-peaks.co.uk.

Get your bid in now – email WORD-right today!

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