Marketing, advertising, and sales are the central necessities and key components to the accomplishment of a business. Showcasing is about an effective business prospect that includes advancing deals forms through publicizing to reach and induce the clients. Distinctive methodologies like advertising, relational communication, and systems administration – all go into this class.
... View more
I have set it up so you will be contacted when you get back into the office. You can also contact our customer support at any time! They would be happy to help you insert your image into an email.
... View more
Do you find it hard to believe like I do that 2016 is just around the corner? Soon we will be making (or renewing) New Year’s resolutions. This is the year I will lose that _____ pounds (you fill in the blank).
It is also a time to reflect on your marketing efforts and assess where your successes are and what changes might need to be made for the coming year. Sometimes reflecting can be overwhelming and you might not know where to start. Here are 5 Good Questions to ask about your successes and not so successes. (Download this as a worksheet here).
What was your most successful email campaign this year?
Which got the most opens?
Which got the most clicks?
Are they the same email?
What was the subject line for the one that got the most opens?
What was the Call to Action that got the most clicks?
What was your least successful email campaign this year?
Which got the least opens?
Which got the least clicks?
Are they the same email?
What was the subject line for the one that got the least opens?
What was the Call to Action that got the least clicks?
Why do you think the successful subject lines and call to action worked for you?
What new did you try this year that worked well?
Did you send out emails on a regular schedule?
Did you include links to your blogs/website?
Did you try a video?
Did you link to a survey?
Did you host an event and link to the online registrations?
Of those that you did not try above, what might you try in the first quarter of 2016?
Let me know if you use the worksheet by commenting here. What did you learn with the review?
... View more
For the past two months, I have REALLY simplified my main monthly newsletter. I basically include two things now - a very short video and a list of my events. The subject line is a short question.
This meets my goals for email marketing. I want people to stay connected to me and to know where my networking and speaking events are in town. Making sure you have a goal for each email is essential. Do you set a goal for your emails? Without a goal, how can you measure your success?
The video's are short! Each is less than two minutes. I thought I could make it one minute, but that was too condensed. I tell my readers that the video is less than two minutes so they know I am not going to take up much of their day. The video is a very engaging way to let your subscribers get to know you more. My click through rate on these is very good.
To grow my business, I do presentations and I network. I include a list of both my speaking engagements and events I am attending I think other small businesses would like to know about. (I just delete the Constant Contact Event registration link if it is not my event.) I monitor which of the events are getting the most clicks on my reports.
I love the simplicity! And my open rates and clicks have increased. I even got a few replies telling me "nice email".
Do you have a smartphone? Then you too can record a quick video telling your subscribers what is happening in your business. (I record mine using the YouTube webcam recording tool.) Smile. Look into the camera. Practice what you want to say a few times so it will flow well. Upload the video to YouTube. Use Constant Contact to insert the link. Write just a few introductory sentences. BAM, your email is complete.
Let me know if you try this and if it works for you as well as it has for me.
... View more
I was on a weekly Women's Prosperity Network's “Wow Wednesday” call not too long ago and was reminded that no matter how many times I have heard something before, someone is probably hearing it for the first time (or perhaps it is sinking in for the first time). The topic was “Your Network Determines Your Net Worth” with Martha Cooper Hudson. In the discussion she said some of the best advice she ever received was – “If you work your business like a hobby then it will pay you like a hobby; but, if you work your business like a full time job, then it will pay you like a full time job.” I nodded as she said this because I have heard this many times from a few of my mentors. As I continued to listen as I realized some people on the line had not heard that aphorism prior to the call (or they had not realized the truth of the statement). This relates to your email and social marketing efforts because you shouldn't put out on your emails or social media ideas just once. Someone who needs to hear your message will miss it the first time (or even the second or third time). Don't worry about repeating a post at a different time, sending a few email reminders or otherwise reiterating the point you are making or offer you are presenting. Just this morning I set up an email notice about an event at the end of this month. I scheduled for it to be sent more than one time and used the new "Schedule Posts" to post many times on social media. Someone may see it the second post – someone may see it the fourth time. I have a much better chance of emailing it several times and posting as well to catch someone at the time they are ready to register for the event. A couple of months ago I presented a Lunch and Learn on LinkedIn Profiles. A week after the event someone I am connected to through networking and on social media told me “You should present a workshop about LInkedIn!” I asked them if they had not seen my posts regarding my lunch and learn? Somehow they missed them even though I know I posted links several times. Note to self – several posts may not be enough to get your message out to the one person who needs to hear it. So to review my point again – feel free to repeat yourself. One post is not enough. Having your offer sit somewhere hoping people will know you have it because you told them about it once is not a marketing campaign. Feel free to repeat yourself. Note: This blog is an adaptation from a post originally posted on my personal blog a few weeks ago - but I felt it was worth repeating.
... View more
It didn't occur to me to take Friday as a holiday as a solo entrepreneur until today. I have a feeling that a few of us in this community never considered that Friday, July 3 could be a holiday. We need to. There are many tools we can use in our marketing that we can set up days prior to a holiday to let it run so that we can spend times with family and friends. If you are sending a Happy Fourth of July email, set it up ahead of time (i.e. today if you are reading this on July 2) and schedule it to go out at a time when your readers will open it up and take the "calls to action" that you include. The "Simple Share" button will also post to your social media sites at the same time so social media is taken care of as well while you are picnicing. If you are using Facebook, use the Schedule Posts to set up a message to go out on July 4th wishing your community a happy day. There are also tools like Hootsuite and Rignite to schedule your posts for the long weekend. Holidays are good for your health. Set up some posts for the weekend and take Friday off. I am doing my best to get my emails set up ahead so that I will be able to enjoy Holiday celebrations like Friday with my family, Saturday on the Mississippi Levee awaiting fireworks and Sunday at a pool party. Schedule your emails - use Simple Share - Take a Holiday!
... View more
So what is the answer to "how often should I send out emails?" The answer truly depends upon your business and your goals for your email marketing campaigns. If I am signing up for a restaurant's daily specials, I am going to expect and look for a daily email. If I don't get one I will probably be disappointed. If I am signing up for a monthly newsletter, I look forward to a monthly email full of great content. The key to how often you should send out email marketing campaigns is how often do you need to send out emails to meet your marketing goals? So the first thing to decide is how often you can create great content to send out, then how often will people need to get the information you are sending. I have to main email lists for which you can sign up. I give people who sign up (or change their preference) the choice to sign up for all of my emails or to only receive the monthly email I send out with interesting content and my event list. Those that get all of my emails get the Social Campaigns with coupons or email invites to individual events. Segementing your lists like this is important. Sending emails that are directed to the right customers is just good business and good marketing. In your "Welcome Email" you should tell the people who sign up for your emails how often that they can expect to receive emails from you. Then stick to that schedule. When your emails are working out really well and you think you should send even more out, give your list the option to sign up to receive either the regular emails you are sending or to receive all of your wonderful information, offers, surveys and event registrations. Allowing people the option to get emails they want and not a bunch of unwanted emails that don't interest them builds trust with your contact list. On a personal note, I know I unsubscribed from a list recently because I didn't want a copy of their twice weekly ads. I really wanted to get the recipe emails, but their list was "all or nothing". It was not worth it to me to get all of the emails I didn't want for the few I looked forward to getting. If they had used Constant Contact, I would have had that option and they would still have my contact information. So set your goals for your email marketing and then tell your contacts how often they will hear from you. Once they have the expectation of how often your message will be in their inbox, they will appreciate you sticking to that schedule so they can keep getting your quality content. They will look forward to your emails, share your content and become your best marketers. So - how often do you send your emails? Comment below.
... View more
Have you written down your goals? Have you taken a step toward achieving them? (Yes, I realize it is only January 2 but the office supply store is open and buying a pad to keep a To Do list would only take a short time and a baby step forward.)
If you are reading this blog, then I can guess two things about you:
You are probably a small business owner with a list of clients with whom you want to have a good relationship this year.
You are a Constant Contact client (or are considering to be one - go here for a Free Trial)
You are ready to get your goals for 2015 started.
One of my goals for 2014 that I met was to make sure I sent my monthly newsletters out on a specific day of each month. Mine is the first Thursday. I met that goal for the most part (sometimes I was a day or two late but I did get my emails out consistently.) I noticed that my year ended much better than it started and one of the things I attribute it to is the consistency of the newsletter. People are seeing my name and my business branding at least once a month. Therefore, I encourage you to utilize email marketing even more in 2015. News articles are supporting that email marketing is getting a better return for small businesses and retailers than other marketing. Last month I read this article supporting how many more shoppers were enticed to a website through email over social media (read the article for yourself here.)
I watch The Profit on CNBC regularly. Marcus Lemonis has three things he uses to evaluate successful businesses: People, Products and Processes. I know if I am the people, that one is covered. In a sense, I am the product too since I offer a service (but backing that up with good products like Constant Contact helps too). I need processes that are more consistent in 2015.
Another goal that I have is to use my Client Relationship Management system (CRM) to a greater consistency and to more of its ability. I started 2014 with no true CRM system beyond Outlook; I keep my emails organized, use reminders and calendar well. I never felt like I had a good handle on finances. I chose my CRM, Results Software, because it had integration with Constant Contact and other business tools too. Having a better CRM is keeping me more organized with knowing what I am doing with clients, prospects and even former clients. I know that I have a handle on what I am billing and projects I need to work on. This year one of my goals is to develop written processes and my CRM will support that as well. For instance, one of my goals is to follow up every meeting with a snail mailed thank you card (in addition to an email.) Even as a solo professional that is not trying to coordinate projects between sales people and consultants, adding a good CRM into my business toolkit has me more confident that I am keeping better records for projects and billing for each of them.
So as we all begin 2015, what goals have you set? Do they include a consistent email-marketing program? (In one episode of The Profit, Marcus asked the business owners if they had an email list to send a message about their clearance which was another confirmation for me about email.) How often should you send out your news? What should your emails include? What day are you marking on your calendar to send out your email? Do you have a CRM that will help you to feel more confident in your processes and billing? Does it integrate with your email system? How are you tying it all together? Leave me a comment here and let's set some goals together.
... View more
Shop Small Saturday is Saturday, November 29, 2014. I do plan on finding a few small shops to visit on that day to support other local people in business for themselves. I am B2B so I can't participate myself, but I can help others to figure out what to do to make this a bigger sale in my area. Send out a "SAVE THE DATE" this weekend (Nov 14-17) telling people about shopping small. Tell people what your deals are going to be an encourage your clients to support you and to make an effort to shop small on November 29 (and throughout the shopping season.) The week of Thanksgiving will be busy for people. We will all be cooking, prepping for family visits or trying to finish out the month early. Schedule the reminder of your Shop Small event to be sent the week of the event. Schedule it now so it won't get past you on that busy week. I am thinking that Tuesday will be a good day. Many people will take Wednesday off; Thursday and Friday will be filled with Food, Football and Big Box shopping. If you think your clients would respond to an early morning email, then you can send the email reminder out Saturday morning. I would be afraid they already planned out their route for that day but you know your clients. Since we know everyone will be busy - keep your email short, simple and clear. Who, What, When, Where, and Why. Who - have your logo at the top and also written out in the first line for those who don't download images. What - make what is happening at your location clear. Is it the best sale of the year? Will you have hot chocolate for people who might need a break from shopping? When - not only that the date is November 29, but what are your hours that day. Where - include your address (maybe even a map so if people share with others you can be found). Why! Because it is Small Business Saturday and the start of the Christmas/Holiday Shopping Season. The week after (or after the Christmas season) send a third email - send a Thank You. Think about keeping a sign in book for people that visit you that day or that weekend and send them a special email. Make them a segment on your email list so you can send them a separate email next year (maybe even with a super secret offer since they come in 2014.). I hope you are thinking of participating in Shop Small Saturday - whether it is at your retail location or by shopping at your locally owned retailer. If you are in business, support others who are local businesses. I hope your Thanksgiving is full of happiness this year! Thanks for reading my posts.
... View more
I knew we had Autoresponders. I knew the could be used effectively. I just couldn't figure out for myself how to use them. In September I finally figured out a series of responders that I knew would help me to help my clients better. I created a series of 5 videos showing "new to Constant Contact" clients how to get around our dashboard. Here are my tips on using Autoresponders successfully. Decide on a series that will help you meet a business goal. One of the goals I had in business is to teach others how to use tools I know are helpful. I felt like the dashboard was pretty simple to use and start, but I found many people were just unable to start to put together their first email because they found it overwhelming. I also knew that I wanted to use video's to show them. A video series showing them would meet my goal of teaching others as soon as possible so they don't have to wait on a workshop. 2. Decide how many should be in your series. I knew up front that I wanted a short series since it is an introduction. Many small workshops were several hours long but I figured I probably spent about an hour with most attendees. Successful videos I reviewed were one hour long. I knew I would never watch an hour long video - but broken up into ten minute videos was more reasonable. So my first thoughts was six ten minute videos. Then I considered that the work week was only 5 days and I thought that sounded like a more reasonable length for an introduction. A person could start watching the series on a Monday and by Friday they should have been able to create an email. (The videos you might consider might need more or less so really consider your goal and topic). 3. Decide how often should your series be sent I knew I was working with people excited to get started with Constant Contact and if they were on a trial I wanted them to not have to wait through the entire trial for a once a week email. In my instance I decided that once a day would work better. People wouldn't have to do the videos every day but they had the links and could go through the video's at their own pace. If my series were to be a drip campaign about social media tips - once a week might have worked better. Deciding how often to send really depended on the goals I set and how timely the message needed to be. Once you have those three items decided on; get started. I created my first email to get the right look and feel and then copied that template to the 5 in the series. My next step was to record my videos and write the introduction text. i sent it to a few people to review prior to opening it to clients. By making sure that I had set goals and set the parameters up front I felt like I had a successful series. The proof came when I got my first email from a new client sent from her Constant Contact account; she was very excited and ready to put together her first campaign. Last point: Set the expectations! I told people the goals I have for them to learn the dashboard. I also told how often they will hear from me for this video series. Setting up the expectations for the number of emails up front was important for me so people knew they would only get the daily email for a short while. It was not signing up for endless promotions. What Autoresponders have you tried? What goals might be met by setting up one of your own? Let me know.
... View more
You may have seen in the Huffington Post a series on Love Letters - so I thought I would have a little fun with that in today's blog post. Dear Email Marketing, Wow you have served me so well for two years now. Helping me to keep relationships with my clients and develop relationships with new ones. You make it so easy for me to keep my name, logo and branding in everyone's inbox so they can remember me when they need email, event, or social media assistance. At first I was afraid you were passé, but the more I read about and continued to use you, the more I realized that you were not only viable but you were the reason my phone was ringing and there were people signing up for my events. You were the reason people are beginning to know what I do, how I do it and why I am the expert in small business marketing that they desire to hire. I spend time with you once a month, like clockwork, to keep the consistency my clients expect. I love that I can make sure you are scheduled to hit the inbox when I know I get the best results versus when a magazine might be picked up or a social media post might bust through an algorithm and actually appear in someone’s timeline. Growing my email list has been made easier with “join my email list” on my website, Facebook page, by text and QR code. My clients feel safe with the “safe unsubscribe” you place on the bottom footer of everything that I send. I feel assured that everyone on my contact list has given me permission to send him or her messages and offers. Email, after I send you, I get to see the insights reporting details that I cannot get anywhere else. Not only do I see who opened an email, I can see when and if they clicked through any of my links to get more information. This report is available to me immediately on my schedule, not when a rep desires to come see me. One of the best things about you is the customer service you have. I can pick up the phone and talk with an actual person,one who is happy to answer my questions about you. I can talk with a coach who can give me suggestions on the best method to achieve a goal I have for you. I have local seminars, online webinars and videos available to help me market with you better. Oh my Email, I anticipate a long-term relationship with you. So thank you for continuing to grow my list and grow my business. With love, Ellen
... View more