I’ve been having fun with autoresponders. I started one while on vacation – A Song A Day. One song each day, curated by me – someone who has spent a lifetime learning about and playing music. I’m now up to song #141 and there are 134 people enjoying (hopefully) some new music in their lives. Each day I hear from at least one person why a particular song moved them – and, I’ve also opened up the series to peoples’ musical suggestions!
I have a series for those who might like to try a free 2-month Constant Contact trial out for size. There’s having a 2-month trial, and then there’s having the trial and a coach who can show you how to make the best use of the trial/tools. That’s me!
Then, there’s the series for people who have Constant Contact and might like my assistance. There’s the new editor and regular changes to the product – I help people stay up to date and using all the tools as effectively, as possible.
These are just 3 of the various autoresponder series I have set up (around 20). If you’d like to learn more about my thinking on this topic, please join my email list (oh yes, there’s an autoresponder series there, too :) Not a long one, though, don’t worry! Just a welcome email. Did you know that your welcome email is by far the email that is opened at the highest rate of any email newsletter that you’ll send? Make it a great one!
Make sure to try this out yourself.
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As a Constant Contact Authorized Local Expert and trainer, I often talk about segmenting your lists. This is a practice that helps you make sure you're sending the right information to the right people. The more segmenting you can do, the better the information you'll send to those you're sending to. Well, I've surprised myself, lately in what I'm finding by looking closer at my email lists.
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Thank you thank you thank you, Matt. I appreciate your feedback very much. I'm going to use the block you made for me of my face and stuff - going forward, cause it's awesome, and I will continue to work with Canva, too. I'd love to keep in touch - send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org if you like. I'd like to join your newsletter, too. Albert
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I'm not a design genius - far from it. For this campaign I chose to use Canva to create an image at the top. I'd love your feedback, thank you.
Constant Contact Solution Provider
Life-Long Learner :)
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I have a client, The Swami Beyondananda, who sends a Daily Laughsative newsletter which is very fun. So, I put two and two together for a "Song a Day" offering. Jump on, if you like
Here are the mistakes I made along the way.
I took a list in Constant Contact that had no people in it, and renamed it Song a Day. I next invited people to join the list. They did. 11 of them on the first day. But what do we always tell everyone? Test it on yourself, first!!! The list I had chosen was part of another autoresponder series (welcome to Constant Contact!) and even though there was noone in the list, previously.. the new sign-ups all got the first email in the other series. It wasn't until I signed up, myself, on day 2, that I realized the error and corrected it.
I've been training people how to use Constant Contact for the past 6 years. I'll be teaching a webinar on that topic on May 23rd at 11am PST - Join in, if you feel drawn.
Have a great day!
Albert Kaufman Master Certified Constant Contact Solution Provider
email@example.com - contact me if you need a hand with Constant Contact
Swami: http://www.wakeuplaughing.com/ Radio Paradise: https://www.radioparadise.com/ Picture: Morning Commute to class this week
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I love helping small businesses grow and succeed. Since email marketing has been shown to work best, I encourage small businesses that I work with to sign up for a Constant Contact account. For those who are already using Constant Contact - we work together to make the best use of their account - figuring out ways to build lists; improving and tightening branding; working on shortening messages and making sure everything sent out is mobile-friendly.
As technology is constantly changing, part of the challenge we all face is to keep up with it. That's why I spent the time, money and effort to become Master Certified in Constant Contact. That assures the people I work with that my skills are top notch and through frequent trainings, I keep them there!
I love working with my clients. I've learned more about new kinds of businesses in the last couple of years than in the rest of my life combined. From people who take dogs on hikes to all sorts of alternative healing modalities, real estate agents, home inspectors, universities and the list goes on and on!
The most exciting part of being a solution provider for me is the wide variety of work that I do for clients. Sometimes it's answering a simple question about how to align an image. Other times, the conversations are longer and have more to do with strategy. Every day brings me new questions and I continue to grow my own knowledge base. What's really interesting is how everything is constantly in motion, as well. I also teach classes on how and why to use email marketing and social media. Sometimes in the middle of a class I'll be demo'ing something and a new feature pops up that I've never seen before - Facebook is particularly prone to new changes that roll out, suddenly! So, one learns how to surf - and get comfortable saying "you know what, I don't know! - I'll have to look into that for you".
Being a Solution Provider is probably not for everyone, but it's worked well for me. I like receiving the training that's offered - it's like being enrolled in a grad school course on small business marketing that never ends. The core certification process is pretty straightforward - and through the master certification process I actually learned some things I didn't know about Constant Contact before.
If you'd like to know more about the Solution Provider program or have questions about how I run my business, please get in touch. One way to see me in action is via my regular newsletter where I share small business marketing tips. I hope things are thriving with your business. Sincerely, Albert Kaufman
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I’m having my world rocked by blab. Sounds silly, but it’s not. If you’re a workshop leader, someone with a book, someone who wants to learn about relationships, get coached or are a life coach (or wannabe), or just open to something interesting, I recommend hopping on and learning how to use blab. it’s at http://blab.im – you need a Twitter account to join in. I recommend using some sort of headset (the higher quality, the better your experience) if you decide to join a conversation – the better your internet setup (plug directly into your router, if you can), the better you’ll come across.
What is happening on here – I’ve never seen anything like it. The people who are being attracted to it are curious, open, real, and smart. Not everyone, of course. If you find yourself in a blab with people who aren’t doing it for you move on. I was part of two different conversations today, and have been on about 5 all together, and watched a couple more.
What you teach/share/know about is information that people will find interesting on blab. I feel like I’m somewhat adept at relationships/email marketing/music/neighborhood activism/social media marketing - and talking about these topics – and, it’s been a blast to share what I know – and – I’m learning a lot from hearing what others are sharing, too.
This is new/interesting tech. It’s a bit glitchy at times – sometimes there are echos (use headphones at the very least). Sometimes people can only get video and not audio – and there’s a little netiquette to learn. And, if you don’t find it fascinating, that’s OK, too. I’m on there as @albertkaufman if you want to come like/follow me – but really, I think you’ll find quickly that there are a lot of interesting, smart, creating, classy people doing this. I’ve met more Europeans in the last 72 hours than in the last year. I may post more about this, but for now I figured I’d start with this. Welcome aboard if you choose to try it. Blab on!
Ed: Right after I wrote this post, I did this blab on email marketing (link to blab)(link to Youtube version). 1 hour 15 minutes, with my friend, and fellow Constant Contact Authorized Local Expert Twanda Hill. Enjoy
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As I prepare for my next live class on email marketing in Portlandia on June 11th, I thought I'd share some of what I'm seeing these days in the field. I've been using Constant Contact for the past 8 years to send out a monthly e-letter called The Eleven. Originally, this went out to friends and family, and then, eventually, as I got more involved in teaching email marketing, I developed a few lists for people who came to my classes who have shown interest in learning more about marketing practices. Along the way I became a Constant Contact authorized local expert - offering regular classes on email marketing, event marketing and social media in the Pacific Northwest. By now I've probably spoken to about 1,000 people and my list has grown. Here are some of the changes I've seen recently in the marketing world. First of all, email is not dead, far from it. The more media attention I see social media getting, the more I'm convinced that if you actually want to succeed in reaching people in an easy and affordable manner - you want to be building an email list of interested people. I hear people constantly talking about building a Twitter following; an Instagram following; or getting more "likes" on their Facebook fan pages. If you're able to pay for advertising on one or more of these platforms - then, great - you may have a chance to build up your e-mail list. But, honestly? Unless you either have some amazing content (beautiful photos; fantastic articles; or you're suddenly in the media limelight for some reason and something you do is going viral) I wouldn't put that much energy into social media. I tend to think of a fan page as a good Yellow Pages ad. There it sits - if someone searches for your business they can find you. Fantastic! And then they can come to your website, or join your email list or call you. Great! But when you post something on social media these days and you get 0.01% reach to the people who are your fans or followers - it just doesn't seem worth it to me. A peer asked me yesterday whether one of my fan pages, Email Marketing Guru - actually led to any new business? I said that it used to, but even with some targeted advertising, I don't think it's doing me much good. It looks good - yes, it gives me some sort of credibility that I have over 1,500 fans on a couple fan pages. That and $1 will buy me a cup of coffee. If one searches on "Email Marketing Portland" my fan page comes up 3rd on Google. OK, that's probably worth something. But honestly, I think being able to send an email out to people who have expressed interest in what I do is so much more powerful that I really shouldn't be spending as much time on social media as I do. In terms of email marketing, things are shifting, too. Emails are going to mobile-friendly formats. If you're doing email marketing and you haven't moved to a mobile-friendly template, that's the #1 thing I'd recommend doing. Now. Word has it that 65% of people are reading their emails (your emails!) on their mobile devices. So, learn about mobile-friendly templates and move to one ASAP. Second, the formats for newsletters are shrinking. I'm seeing more and more newsletters that are a banner, a couple sentences, a call to action, and that's it. Because these do well on phones. Because peoples' attention spans are shrinking. So, if you haven't tried doing a very short newsletter yet, give it a try and see what happens with your open rates and click-through rates (which are way more important, because responses to your call to action is what really counts, right?). Thanks for reading, I think that's a good start. My recommendation? Stop worrying about social media and put more time into getting a robust email marketing program up and running, or strengthening what you're already doing. If your website doesn't have an email list sign-up form, get one. And, if you need any assistance with this, let me know. This is what I love to do - check out my Managed Care Program for an idea of the service and encouragement I offer. Here to help. Sincerely, Albert Kaufman PS - if you'd like a 2-month risk-free Constant Contact trial - click here. That's what I use. It's easy to use and is worth every penny
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What's your main Call to Action? I'd say the top picture is a bit large. And, I'd figure out what your main hope is. Are you trying to get people to the event you mention at the end of the email? If so, that should be higher on the page.
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As I'm thinking about how I want this year to be different for me and my business, I thought I'd throw the question out to you, my peers - What are you planning to get a good start in the new year? Here are some of my thoughts. 1. I'm going to try to work smarter, not harder. I have some ideas I want to implement to further segment my customer/clients lists, for instance - to provide better targeted information for those who've signed up for my newsletter. 2. I'm going to reach out further to various user groups in my area and see about speaking to them about Constant Contact and Social Media. I know there are many groups that have been untouched in my area and this is my year to expand (and go outside of my comfort zone!) 3. I'm going to spend less time on social media and more time on email marketing. Given that I'm teaching people that email marketing has such a higher ROI (Return on Investment), I think this is the year to down-shift on Facebook and upshift on Constant Contact :) 4. I'm going to ask my peers for their help and support. As a solopreneur, I tend to go it alone most of the time. Every time I meet up with someone else who works with Constant Contact, I learn a ton. So, I'll be doing that more! Those are 4 ideas that come to my mind - if you have any thoughts, I'd love to hear them. And, if you have any questions about how to get the most out of your Constant Contact account, please let me know. I'm an Authorized Local Expert, and I'm here to help! Happy New Year!
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I'd love some feedback on my sign-up process. Please visit my website, sign up for my newsletter and see what you think? Thank you. I'm particularly 50-50 on my welcome email. Albert Kaufman http://albertideation.com PS - for your pleasure - enjoy this new use of the inter-webs! http://24hoursofhappy.com/
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Sign up for my Newsletter
As a Constant Contact Authorized Local Expert (ALE) I'm out speaking in front of groups all the time. My hope is that they will try the best tool out there - and give the 60-day free trial a try. My friend and fellow ALE, Don Richardson, of Digital Popcorn shared with me his excellent process of having trialers receive a series of autoresponder emails - informing them of how to make best use of their trial.
I think this is brilliant. I am excited to be able to inform my clients about the various steps they can take to be successful and this gives me the chance to parse out some of the great articles there are to help people get started.
For instance, my first message was a link to the "Getting Started" guide and also an offer to trialers for a free customized email template design which those who buy Constant Contact by the end of June are eligible for. And, I expect that with time I'll keep honing this series of emails to get it to be the most useful series of emails a person who is interested in newsletters will ever receive.
What's really cool, is that this feature is pretty new - especially the ability to create a different series of emails for each list you have.
Here is a great tutorial for anyone interested in learning more about the Constant Contact autoresponder feature! And here's one website showing a great way to see the autoresponder in action!
So, take some time and figure out how you can use this feature to best advantage. I suggest starting by creating a list and adding in a certain segment of your clients that you'd like to reach with a particular message. Then, create the first email that you'll be sending them. It's really pretty simple and I imagine that it will help all of our bottom lines.
If you have any further thoughts about great ways to use autoresponders - please leave them in the comments section below, thanks!
Here's to our success!
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The new Constant Contact Toolkit is here! The whole look of Constant Contact's website, blogs, and various offerings has a new, streamlined look. In this short video I'll take you on a short tour of what's new about the Toolkit. I'm excited to be on the forefront of awesome marketing changes that will make things easier for small businesspeople like myself. The Essential Toolkit package brings together all of the Constant Contact standalone products - so, if you've been waiting to add event marketing in, now is the time! Social Campaigns? Essential! And now, without further ado, here's Toolkit! Albert Kaufman Authorized Local Expert Constant Contact
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Noone had posted anything, but we shouldn't be afraid to talk in this library. This library is all about photos! Photos are important. The right photo can encourage a person to stay or leave! I love photo albums, especially - and they also say that those get the most attention on social media. Here's one of mine of interesting pictures from around the world that I draw from for various puposes. Enjoy and keep on reading! Albert Kaufman Authorized Local Expert Constant Contact Portland, Oregon I'm having some fun here. What's the last thing you'd expect to hear in a library?
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1. You have a personal life and telling people that care about you what is going on for you leads to their having a greater understanding of your life, hopes and dreams. Once friends and family know more about what you're up to - they can get behind any efforts you're making. For instance, I had an idea a couple years ago called Farm My Yard. It's an effort to match up homeowners and urban farmers who live nearby. I've been mentioning this idea and dreaming it into existence for the past couple years, and now that it's starting to take off (I got word from a woman in Australia yesterday, Houston, we have lift off!) the people I've told about it are some of the effort's greatest boosters. And, of course, Farm My Yard has a newsletter sign up form on the website :) 2. The feedback. We all want to know how we're doing. When I send my newsletter out, I always ask for feedback and over the years it almost feels like people are taking turns and writing back with their thoughts, suggestions and mentions of how they might be facing the same challenges and their solutions for making their way through. Sometimes it's just an "atta boy", but some friends have deepened our relationship by sharing their thinking and real offers of help. For example, I have considered running for Portland City Council and used Constant Contact's survey tool to ask my personal list who would be willing to support me and how. The response was fantastic - offers of money, time, and other types of support filled in my survey and has encouraged me to keep this idea milling rather than forgetting about it. 3. Referrals. By telling my friends and family some of what I'm up to in my business life, they then know something of how I spend my time making money - teaching email marketing, social media and helping small businesses boost their marketing efforts. I have become known in my personal world as THE guy who does that. This has led to friends introducing me to their friends who need business support. I generally don't ask my friends and family directly for support, but their knowledge of my business helps me in various ways. For instance, when we come together for various gatherings, the conversations often start at a greater depth because they've been following my life and are somewhat caught up with my progress. Instead of "what's new", the conversations more often start with "hey, I remember you mentioning that you lead street tree planting efforts" - any idea of how we can get that going in my neck of the woods?" As with any email newsletter, you want to follow the basic rules of thumb - keeping the newsletter brief; having a great subject line; putting the call to action towards the top (if there is one); and using graphics and links sparingly. If you invite your friends and family to write back about what has moved them about what you've written, they sometimes will - and, I promise, this feedback will often tickle you. If you ever need encouragement on trying this out, feel free to get in touch and I'll give you some encouragement. If you'd like to receive my friends & family monthly email (The Eleven), you can sign up for it @ http://albertideation.com You can do this, and I truly believe it will lead to great things!
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In the webinar I talked about how to get started with email marketing (using Constant Contact as an example). Here are some things I would do differently next time! Make sure that nothing on my desktop was open that I didn't want open! Make sure all programs that I wanted to use (Hello, LinkedIn, Facebook) were already logged into and ready to go. Make sure that all of the props I wanted to use (example of Text to Join) were handier - I ended up having to leave my chair to fetch something! Perhaps consider hiring someone to field questions and be a bit more able to answer them on the fly. Though, I did respond to each question and that was probably a great way to connect with webinar attendees. Send out a survey for feedback afterwards. I neglected to do this and I only heard from a few people that they loved it. It would have been good to really get a wider response back in some way so that I could learn more from this experience. So, if you watch the webinar, please feel free to provide feedback :) firstname.lastname@example.org What was great about doing a webinar? I didn't have to leave my house. No parking for me, or anyone else - or commuting. What was missing, and perhaps something I could work on, is that I love it when people get to mingle and network after talks I give. There was no chance for anyone to do this. Though some people probably did meet and greet on the Facebook event page.. Will I do another webinar? For sure! And, I'm open to topic suggestions. I know Facebook very very well, so it's likely I'll do one of my beginning/intermediate talks about Facebook soon. Please join my email list if that's something you'd like to learn more about. Thanks for reading and perhaps watching. Albert Kaufman Albertideation http://albertideation.com The picture is from the Oregon Coast last weekend. I took a small vacation and got to stay in a magical house there!
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Hmm, interesting, I'm surprised you didn't suggest people put a little more energy/effort into their email marketing, as one of the choices :) That's where I'm encouraging people to spend time/money/energy. Perhaps you assume they're already doing that.. otherwise, I agree with you - I'm a big fan of albums. and video... Albert (below, the Oregon Coast)
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I would like to be your Constant Contact representative. I am a Constant Contact Authorized Local Expert. If you are using Constant Contact (or : EventSpot, Social Campaigns, SurveyTool, SaveLocal) I can support your efforts in numerous ways. Here are just a few: I will encourage you to send out your newsletter regularly – when I see that you haven’t sent in a while, I will send you a kind reminder I will review your email campaign and provide useful feedback – I have many ideas of what works and what doesn’t I can recommend that you pay for a full year of service to save you money – see the pricing chart on how much you can save! If you’re a non-profit or an organization that works with children you may be entitled to a discounted or free Constant Contact account – let me know if you’d like me to look into that. I pay close attention to what is happening in the email marketing and social media worlds. I inform my clients via a newsletter when I think a change in behavior is recommended. For instance, recently I tried sending a client’s email campaign at 8pm at night on a Friday – she had the best open rates ever – I learned to try that time out vie my research I’m very well connected – if you are looking for anyone to do anything – there’s a good chance that I’ll have a recommendation for you! I am happy to answer any questions you may have about your account and give you my honest feedback – email is best email@example.com. Please get in touch with me if you’d like me to serve as your Constant Contact Representative. Thanks, Albert Kaufman firstname.lastname@example.org. http://albertideation.com
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