Friday, December 27, 2013

Does Email Marketing Still Work?

I recently ran across an article that posed this question - Can Email Marketing still deliver in 2014?

Email Marketing is still my main focus when it comes to marketing. I see the greatest return from it. The feedback from customers is that they appreciate how much I stay connected with them. What I have really noticed is how much it helps with the reputation of my business and how it keeps us connected.


In the article the first paragraph says:
With the rise of social media marketing and the increase in purchases being made on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest, you may be wondering if you should continue to focus efforts on email marketing in 2014? The answer is a resounding, “Yes!” While social media has become an important part of marketing for businesses, email is still the work horse of your marketing tool kit.

Read more…


I agree with a resounding YES!

I use all forms of Social Media - Facebook being my primary - but Email Marketing is my work horse. It is my main marketing tool.

After reading this article I felt good about moving forward into 2014.  If you are ready to move forward into 2014 here are some suggestions and things to consider:

1. Subject.  - Entice your readers.  Give them a reason to stop, not just breeze by or worse yet 'delete' your email.

2. Content - make it compelling. Educate them. Give them valuable information. Have fun. Do NOT sale, sale, sale.

3. Call to Action. Have links in your content - make sure the links go directly to where you want them to go. There is nothing worse than driving someone to a website home page and making them navigate their way to the place they really wanted to go.

4. Design -  Clean. Simple. Easy on the eyes and easy to read.  Images play a big part in the design. We are a visual society and pictures do say more than a 1,000 words.

Need Help?

There are people who specialize in this form of marketing. People like me.

Good Luck! And don't sweat the small stuff.




Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Connecting - Online or in Person


I provide social media marketing to my clients - my job is connecting with others online.  On my personal Facebook profile I have friends that I don't know and may never meet, but online we connect. It's like I have known them all my life. I share with them, they share with me - we connect.

Facebook, Twitter and various sites have given us a way to expand and connect with more people. They allow us to to meet new people and make new friends -to expand our connections. But, sometimes there is nothing like doing it the old fashion way.  Every year, I organize a holiday gift show. And, every year the vendors spend two days together. Instant friendships sprout, some of those will never expand once the show is over and some will last a lifetime. For two days this small group of people are close and connected.

Connecting, whether online, or in person, is a necessary part of being human. We need that connection. We crave that connection. Our online connections are just as much a part of who were are as the connections we make in person.

It doesn't always matter how we connect - whether online or in person - as long as we connect.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

INTO POLITICS

This year, three of my clients were running for local political offices. This was my first up-close exposure to politics, even on a local level. At first, they were like any client - my job - manage their Facebook pages. And, like any client, I worked closely with them on how their Facebook pages should work.

What I discovered about myself is that I enjoyed being a part of their political campaign. They made my first exposure into politics a very positive experience. They each ran clean campaigns and didn't get caught up in the messy mud slinging that most politicians do. Their pages were very active and engaging, which showed that people wanted what they were offering.

What was also a real treat - their appreciation. They not only experienced the value of Social Media, they were grateful to have someone onboard that can manage it correctly and had the skills to provide a social media platform that worked well for their campaigns.

A toast to Politics. I have a newfound appreciation for what they go through - to win or lose.





Saturday, October 5, 2013

The True Power of Online Marketing

Photo courtesy of stockphotosforfree.com
Part of today's marketing plan is the use of the 'digital' world.  Online sites, such as, Facebook, Twitter, blogging and more.  Mobile marketing. Websites are still in and necessary.

But, the question always asked is: How do I know it's working?  
What the question may should be is: How do you know it's not working, if you aren't using it?




I have been using Facebook, Twitter, Blogging and Email Marketing for about seven years now. I don't always see, or hear, how it's doing from a monetary stand point, on that I can actually track. What I do know is working, is how it has built 'relationships' with my customer base.  My online 'relationships' are often more productive and supportive, then my personal life relationships. The true power of online marketing uses the old fashion way of getting customers - word-of-mouth. There is nothing, I repeat, nothing more powerful for a business than word-of-mouth. Some call those people, 'evangelists.'  

If you are not using these powerful tools, or using them correctly, you are missing out on some great opportunities.


I read this great article that talks more about this. 

The Digital Marketing Playbook For Small Business


"Perhaps the most asked question of Small Businesses in the past three years is, "How do we measure return on social media, blogging and digital marketing"?
Translation: If we spend time, money or energy on these pseudo marketing activities, is there a measurable return we can expect (in like five minutes)?"


Wednesday, September 18, 2013

You Can Swim with the Fish, or Fight UPSTREAM


When it comes to using online marketing tools, are you:
1. Swimming with the Fish?
2. Or, Fighting to get upstream?

Swimming with the Fish

If you are swimming with the fish then Facebook, and other online tools, are part of your marketing plan.

The best way to use Facebook is to interact with your customers, or fans/followers. Your business, or brand, is using Facebook by being helpful, fun, sociable, educational and entertaining. With an occasional soft sell, or promotion.

You are swimming along with the others.

Swimming UPSTREAM

Facebook is, and should be, a part of your marketing plan.

If you are fighting against the FLOW, then you may not be using Facebook correctly. If you are using Facebook to constantly sell or promote your brand then you are most likely loosing fans. You are not allowing your Fans the ability to engage. This can be a big turn off for people. It is also not how Fans 'like' to interact with the businesses they follow. They want to feel like they are being heard and that they matter.

Swimming UPSTREAM can be a loosing battle. Some won't make it to that final destination.

Using Facebook as a marketing tool, you can either be part of the school of Facebook businesses, or be a lone traveller.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Constant Contact Special Until the End of August


To Take Advantage of this Special
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For More Information Click on this Link





The best deal around just got better.
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Email Marketing – EventSpot – Social Campaigns
Online Survey –  MyLibrary Plus – Email Archive
This offer ends at midnight on August 31st, so buy now.

Added Bonus to this Special Offer
From Alternative Inbound Marketing
Setup Fee Discount
and/or
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Setup Fee: $50.00 (savings of $25.00)
small print: offer includes: set up your Constant Contact account. Create a template that represents your business. Customize company emails that go out to welcome new email sign ups. Up to one-hour consultation on how to use your Constant Contact account and email marketing. 
 
This does not include adding your email contacts. There may be an extra fee incurred for this service.
Monthly Email Marketing Management
$50.00 per month to create, maintain and manage your email marketing campaign. Up to, 3 emails a month.
Already have a free trial?
Enter promo code 30AUG at checkout

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Shutterstock and Facebook Team Up

Another new feature for Pages by Facebook



Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Embed your Post from Facebook

Sunday, August 4, 2013

You Can't Ignore it Anymore - FACEBOOK

FACEBOOK

YOU CAN'T IGNORE IT ANY LONGER!

That's right, Facebook is now a necessary tool in your marketing toolbox. One that you can no longer ignore, or not use.

But that begs the question: How to Use it?




Each business will be a little different on 'how' to use Facebook. Each business will grow at different rates. Just remember Quality is more important than Quantity.

Here are some basics:

1. Make sure you set up a Business Page. Make it easy for people to 'LIKE' you. Not 'friend' you.

2. Post often. This does not mean once a week, or whenever the mood strikes. This means daily, or at least 2-3 times a week.

3. Content is KING, or Queen, on Facebook! Do NOT over post sales, specials, promotions, contests, etc. Keep this to a relative and enjoyable minimum.  Post items that are engaging, fun, educational, informational and useful.  Example: If you are a hotel, or in tourism, post events that are happening around your area. This gives Fans a reason to follow you. It shows fun and exciting things that are happening and makes them want to come visit.

4. IMAGES/PHOTOS/VIDEOS: We are a 'visual' society. This will catch the eye faster than text. Facebook pages that post mostly text are harder to follow. Without images there is nothing to catch the eye.  Note: make sure you the rights to images posted.

5. SHARE: Follow others and share their postings. Most of us know this as, "NETWORKING." It's the same on Facebook - NETWORK!

6. Make sure your 'About' section is filled out. Make sure all of your contact info is included.

7. COVER IMAGE/PHOTO: Have fun with this one! Be CREATIVE!

8. Engage with your FANS. Make sure you at least, "LIKE" their comments. Let them know that you acknowledged their responses.  Do this in a timely fashion.



Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Great Clients

It is a small business dream to work with great customers or clients. They are the reason we get out bed each day and do what we do. And when they show their appreciation and send you testimonials full of gratitude, it makes it that makes easier to keep plugging along.

As small businesses we should also remember to do testimonials.  To thank the other businesses we do business with, to thank our suppliers, but most importantly to thank our customers. After all they are the reason we are still in business.

Just in case I don't say it enough - Thank You!




Testimonial

It's hard to find words of gratitude that would do justice for all that Karla has done for myself and my business.  She gently coached me back to the computer age (I'm really old) and taught me how to use social media to help promote my business.  She came in and set me up with Constant Contact, redid my website and much improved it on the way.  She keeps me posted and gives gentle reminders for schedules, etc.  She writes newsletters for me when I'm slow to get to it and everybody always loves them.  She understands that I'm super busy and is never judgmental of my glacial pace to get little things done sometimes.  She's easy going, sharp as a tack, loves her work and I can't recommend her highly enough and I can't thank her enough.

Kate Bowers



Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Buy Local - Doesn't just mean Brick & Mortar

Buy Local!

A catch phrase. One that will hopefully continue and grow.

But what does that mean to people? Does it mean that because they have a store in their town, that they are supporting local? Does it mean the mom & pop shop on main street?

Here is the definition of 'Buy Local', on wikipediaLocal purchasing is a preference to buy locally produced goods and services over those produced farther away. It is very often abbreviated as a positive goal, "buy local", that parallels the phrase "think globally, act locally"

According to the organization, BALLE - Be a Localist:

Changing the way our economy operates starts with a single person. It starts with you. We believe that real national prosperity — even global prosperity — begins at the local level and that by connecting entrepreneurs who are re-thinking their industries, funders who are investing in the local economy movement, and network organizers who can mobilize on a broad scale, we can — and will — create a stronger, more resilient, and fair economy.



As consumers, when it comes to 'buying' our first thought is of stores (this does not mean Amazon).  For larger urban areas, it means the local shopping mall or strip mall that is close by. But these are filled with large national chain stores.  Don't get me wrong, I think we need them to fill a purpose, but this is about 'Buying Local'.   The local neighborhood restaurant, gift shop, hair salon, farmer - not the mega chains.

But there is another 'Buy Local' to consider - service businesses.  They don't always necessarily have a Brick & Mortar store, or an office space?  A lot of them work from home now to cut down on operating expenses.  

I am one of those such businesses. I provide a service for small businesses - online and email marketing consulting and small business website design.

So, 'Buy Local'.  We are all in this together.


Saturday, February 9, 2013

FACEBOOK JUNKIE

Are You a Facebook Junkie?

One of the worries clients have is the time that Facebook will consume. Just like anything else, one must manage their time. The decision comes from how valuable is your time? If it is valuable, then maybe you should contract your social media to a specialist.

Facebook is not time consuming, but it can be addictive. If you do it yourself, just manage your time efficiently and quickly. Facebook for a business is as critical as emails. And with practice you can get through it quickly.