Archives for October 2013

3 Emails Your Business Should Be Sending

 1. Welcome Email

Are you rolling out the red carpet for your new customers?  A recent study by Return Path found that 80% of companies now send out welcome emails, up from only 40% only a few years ago.

What to include in your welcome email:

  • What to expect.  Warmly welcome readers to your mailing list and set expectations immediately.  Let your readers know what you’ll share with them in your future emails, and how often.  For example, you may offer advice and how-to articles, as well as some promotional offers.  You may send bi-weekly, monthly, or another frequency.  Stay true to whatever you promise! 
  • A special offer.  Want a little more love? Give your new subscribers a discount, offer, or gift for simply being a subscriber.  Then, let your new subscribers know that as a subscriber, they’ll receive special email-only offers they can’t get anywhere else just by being on your list.  They’ll be far more likely to open your future messages for enticing discounts.

*Timeliness is key when sending a welcome email. You want to send it out to your new subscribers as soon as possible after they subscribe.

2.  Newsletter
Many of our customers ask us about the difference between an email promotion/campaign and an email newsletter.  The words are often used interchangeably, but an email promotion or campaign tends to communicate one single topic or idea, such as your current sale, or a new product, while an email newsletter often has multiple topics and tends to educate (vs. sell) and builds rapport with your readers.  Your newsletter should always offer readers valuable information.

What to include in your newsletter:

  • News.  Press releases, blog articles or other publications that will help your readers. (It’s a good idea to summarize longer articles in a few short sentences and create a call to action button for the reader to view the entire article on your website or blog.)
  • Upcoming events or webinars.  These may be events you’re hosting or participating in.  You may also announce speaking engagements such as interviews with your executives on radio shows, at college campuses and the like.
  • Important announcements.  Include improvements to your products or services, new management, or new business practices. (If you are letting your customers know you are responding to their feedback and improving something for them, that’s always great news!)
  • Ways to connect on social media.  Include social networks you’re actively engaged on and updating regularly, as this is added value for your followers.
  • Images.  Keep your newsletter interesting with images relating to your content.
  • Calls to actions.  Tell your readers what you want them to do with clear calls to action such asread morelearn more, and register now.  

Even though the word “newsletter” suggests a more lengthy communication, remember it’s still  an email amongst many others in the inbox!  Try to avoid including too much information and text in one email.  A good rule of thumb is no more than would fit on one page of a word document.  Because newsletters are more comprehensive, once or twice a month is typically a good practice, however, depending on your business, and how much content you produce, weekly might work as well.  

3. Promotional Emails
Everyday, most of us receive tons of emails from various companies and let’s be honest, most customers want to know “What’s in it for me?”.  If you don’t provide real value, it’s very easy for subscribers to click that little unsubscribe button! How can you help avoid that? Offer something valuable and unique…

What to include in your promotional emails:

  • A NEW offer. Emphasis on the word new.  If you offered 10 percent off all window frames last month, it’s old news this month!  If you do repeat a certain offer, don’t repeat it back-to-back or multiple times in a row (you’re readers will think you’re a one trick pony!).
  • A compelling offer.  Discounts are great, but does the discount you’re offering compel your readers to click through all the way to the shopping cart?  Try testing different offers to see which ones are the most effective. Enticing customers with specific products or services can be more effective than a set discount amount off all items or services.  This is especially true of seasonal items.
  • Clear calls to action.  Make it as easy as possible for the reader to get the promotion.  This may mean buttons leading to a shopping page on your website or links to pages with already inserted promo codes or registration forms.  Just make sure as few steps as possible are involved in going from reading your email to purchasing the product. Don’t make it hard to buy.

*Be cautious not to send promotional emails too often. Once every 2 weeks or once a month are good general practices.

By including these three types of emails in your email marketing plan, you can help keep your subscribers engaged, loyal and spending.  

Published on September 30th, 2013 | by Amanda Day


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Networking Skills

10 Tips To Improve Networking Skills

Business Management Daily

  1. Start with the people you al­­ready know.  Networking isn’t only about meeting new people. It’s also about strengthening relationships with people you already know.
  2. Don’t fool yourself into thinking you don’t need to network.  You will need it at some point.
  3. Don’t force your business cards on people.  Offer your card only after you’ve had a conversation and asked for the other person’s card.
  4. Establish expectations.  Tell people when and how you’ll contact them, and follow through.
  5. Pose good questions.  Questions that don’t go straight to a person’s profession can make for deeper, more memorable connections.
  6. Create a connections calendar.  This helps you remember to keep in touch with people every month or so.
  7. Find out what others need.  Then try to help them get it by connecting them to people you know.
  8. Give before you receive.  Net­­work­­ing is a two-way street. Don’t ex­­­­pect something in return immediately.
  9. Ask yourself “Why should they care?”  This will help you come up with a way to describe yourself and what you do that will be interesting to others.
  10. Talk less than you listen.  You can’t learn about other people if you’re doing all of the talking.