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Helpful tips and ideas to make you more successful.

7-Step Guide to a Winning Email Marketing Strategy

By Blog

When articles start with “5 tips” or “3 ideas”, etc. my interest is piqued. Who doesn’t like a short list of ideas? This April blog post from Constant Contact is one of those – the title of “7 Step Guide” caught my eye.

After reading this post I can’t say I disagree with any of the seven, but as a small business owner who was the marketer as well as most of the other functions (HR, A/P, A/R, sales, etc.), I always found I was always running behind on getting the newsletter out on a regular schedule. So while it is eluded to throughout this article, I would stress making your newsletter a PRIORITY. You need to see the value in your email or print marketing strategy and you need to prioritize it. If you’re just going through the motions your message will not be as impactful to your audience.

This brings up my other tip – and they talk about this a bit in the tips section so be sure to read on – make sure you’re content is quality and reflects the subject of your email. Going back to those catchy “5 tips” headlines, I have been sucked in by far too many that, when I read them in hopes of grabbing some new ideas, are really lame.

Let’s Talk About Content

By Blog

Writing valuable content is hard. Whether it’s for social media, a blog, or creating a presentation, it’s a struggle for everyone. Here’s a tip for blogging and writing for social media when you’re stuck for content:

When you find articles you enjoy, write about why you liked it, what you learned from it, how you might apply what you learned. And be sure to include the link to the article. That’s it. You’re done.

Benefits of Email Marketing for Small Businesses

By Blog

(With Real Examples)

This blog post from Constant Contact offers a long list of useful tips for your email marketing campaigns. It also offers statistics proving that email marketing is still a good investment!

In my own experience as a small business owner, I found I had the most success when my email campaigns were consistent* and provided value. If you only sell products or services in your emails, people will stop interacting – and may even unsubscribe.

Make sure your messages are something your customer will want to open. Make your branding clear so they know who is sending the email, your design clean and easy to read, and offer ways to interact with the email (links, survey, etc.).

*Speaking of “consistent” – it only took me until April to miss my 2022 goal of two emails each month! But I’m not going to fret, I’ve already started drafts of my May emails so all I have to do is go in and finish them when I’m ready to send. I suggest you do the same – don’t let missing a goal once set you back, put it behind you and continue on.

Online Marketing Must-Haves

By Blog

In our small business, my family was always looking for new ways to use materials – either to stretch their value or to create a solution where a standard one was not available. In addition, my very handy father and brother created fixtures, storage and display solutions that other businesses like ours envied. The image right is a custom display designed to show the books exactly how we wanted to (without damaging them, which was a problem with manufactured solutions), and it was on casters so my mother and I could easily move it.

I applied the same approach to my work in marketing for our business. One of my favorite people for inspiration was Jay Conrad Levinson with his approach he calls “Guerilla Marketing”. Thinking outside the box is an important skill in small business, as is always looking for new ideas (and “stealing” them!). I read this blog post published earlier this year and found a lot of good tips. Keeping up with the latest in web-based marketing is not easy. I plan to go through this point by point and see which of their Must-Haves I really MUST HAVE in my business. There’s a lot in this blog, but their top five must-haves for getting online are:

  • A mobile-responsive website
  • An email marketing tool
  • One primary social channel
  • Up-to-date business listings and review sites
  • Easy way to create content

These are good places to start if you’re already online and you just need a tune-up. I recommend you do this at least yearly!

I would add another item that MUST come first – and that is your PLAN/VISION for your business and how your marketing plan fits it. But that’s a topic for another day.

Take the content of the video below (and link to this blog with more videos) and apply it in a way that fits YOUR business (and your PLAN/VISION) the best. There’s a lot of good content here but it may not all be for you.

Social Media Image Sizes Guide

By Blog

It seems like the size requirements are constantly changing – because they are. As the platforms change, as more people surf on a wider range of devices, the size requirements have to change if you want your images to make the best impression.

Each platform has different size requirements, and many platforms have several image sizes depending on the type of activity: post images, cover images, profile images, event images, … they’re all a little different.

Failing to use the correctly sizing means the image you spent so much time selecting may not display well – which means your post may not be as impactful as you hoped. You no longer have to worry about keeping track of every platform’s preferred photo and post sizes! We’ve compiled an updated list of the correct social media image sizes for each platform. Check out this full list of preferred image dimensions for Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and more!

Let’s Talk About Your Email Lists.

By Blog, Constant Contact

If you are a Constant Contact subscriber, you should have received an email from them a few weeks ago with the subject “Why grow your email list? Answer inside.” linking to this article. In the article, they talk about using the segmenting options Constant Contact provides so you can make your emails relevant to your specific targets in an effort to keep people from unsubscribing.

I’m all for growing your mailing list, but as a small business owner, I also know it’s important to control expenses. Controlling the size of your email list will control the amount you are charged each month. Using some email list management techniques will help you target your market while also controlling your list size.

If you haven’t spent a lot of time looking at the options Constant Contact offers for managing your lists, then we should have a chat.