Category Archives: Business email lists

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The Best Summer Tips for Small Business Owners

Take advantage of your community’s summer activities and get your business’s name at the finish line.

Ah, summer! Summer equals vacation. Summer equals hot weather, which, in turn, equals lazy days. You know, “the dog days of summer,” or, as Nat King Cole sang, “Those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer…”! It’s so easy to slow down during these months, and you should take a well-deserved break at some point; however, summer shouldn’t be an excuse to slow the business workings down to a crawl; you should still utilize your summer months productively.

For example, take the snail time to reassess your company’s website and social networking pages. Why not do some upgrading or redesigning to freshen up your company’s online presence. Give your website and social network pages a summer feel by “warming” things up with appropriate summer themes and photos of you and your employees engaged in summer activities. Most people equate summer with fun, including potential clients, and playing along will pique their curiosity and keep them on your pages.

Summer Marketing Tips & Secrets

If you haven’t built an online presence, summer’s the perfect time to do it. I dare say there is not a potential client out there, who isn’t going to run a search on your business, first, before ever considering hiring you. It doesn’t matter if your business is B2B or B2C, people research before they hire or buy, and they want to see you online. If you don’t have a website or social networking pages, put down the cold one and barbecued ribs and get cracking!

Speaking of good food and drink, summer is the perfect time to capitalize on your company’s community presence. Summer time is event time, and events need sponsors, food, and drink. Sponsor your community’s 5K run or the local surfing contest – whatever the big thing in your area may be, get involved. Sponsoring a community event is a perfect way to get your small business’s name out to the masses – not only in signage, but also in goodies such as munchies, water bottles with your company’s logo, t-shirts, posters, buttons, and other event-related memorabilia; and never, ever, forget about the publicity! Every time the event is advertised, so should be your company’s name!

You should also network face-to-face no matter the social situation. Having a neighborhood get together to welcome a new family into your neck of the woods? Take your business cards! Does your community have a Saturday night movie in the park or an annual July 4 bash? Go! Make sure to meet and mingle. You never know who or where your next client will be. Summer is very much a social season, so take advantage of this and network, network, network with the peeps in your hometown!

Once you’ve met potential clients, take them out! If your business slows down during the summer – and even if it doesn’t – schmooze potential clientele with a cool, refreshing lunch at a local café or an afternoon break at the ice cream parlor. Don’t be afraid to make it fun and lighthearted. This will ensure the potential client remembers you. While I cannot stress enough the importance of an online presence, during the summer months when everyone is out and about, there is no excuse not to pump up your business’s community presence, as well.

Finally, network with your employees. Summer slow can be well spent sitting down individually with each member of your “crew.” Discuss goals – both yours and theirs – and address any concerns or needs your employees might have. Cross-train, too. If it’s a particularly slow day in the office or shop, have the employees teach each other their jobs. You never know when someone might need to know exactly what John or Susie does.

Assess your business, as well. Take a moment to look at your company’s annual goals and see where you’re at. If you work via a traditional calendar, summer means you’re halfway through the year. Are you on target or, pardon me, up a creek? If you’re up the proverbial creek, what should you do to get back on track? Talk with your partners and employees during the summer slow-mo, and come up with a game plan to get the business back on track and achieving its year-end goals.

See? Summer is such a slow time! You have absolutely NOTHING to do! Now, take advantage of these “lazy, hazy, crazy days” and get to work!

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Targeted Email Lists vs. Email Marketing Lists

Over time, sending repeated emails to a single database can result in a downward trend in clickthrough and impressions. Attrition of an email list is simply one of the factors we deal with in email marketing. It is a fact of life. However, there are many ways to mitigate this effect and to extend the useful period of an email database.
For one, it is always important to send good content to your email list contacts. I have talked about this before in these blogs at some length, but the long and short of the matter is that the more frequently you send emails, the more frequently you should have something new to offer your potential customers. If you email your list subscribers every day or every week, soon they will relegate you to the spam folder, one way or another.

Additionally, using an email database like a B2B business list is the best way to get your offers to the greatest number of people, but not necessarily to the greatest number of potential leads. It is much more efficient to send your content to a targeted email list. This means that your offers go to people who are assured to be in the industry you are marketing to, or in the region you are marketing to. For example instead of a B2B mailing list, send to a healthcare email list. This smaller subset of your entire list will undoubtedly respond better, thus extending the life of the list itself.

By Alec Wilcox

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Send Better Content to Your Email Lists

The name of the game in email marketing over the last 2-3 years has changed from sending out mass emails to huge lists to focus primarily on useful content targeted at specific users. Even though you may be trying to sell your prospects on your product, you can still appeal to their sense of utility by trying to present helpful information or informative content alongside your call to action and sales pitch.


Many email marketing specialists place great emphasis on effective subject line writing (since this is the first line of communication between you and your customer). In addition, your marketing emails should have a strong, personal voice. This is the first step in maintaining utility for your recipients. Try to include some recent news or factoids about your industry in each email. If you can insinuate that your customers may need your product due to a change in the field or a recent development. This is a great way to boost your conversions.

Finally, the mantra of internet marketing: see what works for you. Your customers may not respond to the same marketing as someone else’s customers. See what type of content your leads are responding to and cater to this content.  

By Alec Wilcox

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Targeted Email Lists Make for Higher Response Rates

It may make sense in theory to cast a broad net with email marketing and try to cater to the largest audience possible. However, studies have shown that the opposite is actually true: targeted email lists are far more effective. In most cases, the type of product you are marketing will dictate exactly what email list or database you should purchase, rent or segment.
For example, if you are marketing to a specific region, buying a national or international database would not be as effective as purchasing one targeted toward that specific region. Similarly, marketing a product such as medical equipment to non-doctors or healthcare practitioners is more likely to raise red flags in terms of spam than to actually convert to sales. Make sure that you know your audience while you prepare your marketing campaign.
While many marketing firms nowadays cater to social media presence, it has been consistently proven that a large properly targeted email list can result in a much higher CTR (click-through rate). Research also seems to indicate that coordinating your email marketing with your social marketing is an even better solution. Be sure to include social media links in the footer of your marketing emails. Since you are already aiming your emails at people in the industry or region you are catering to, let them know that your site might have more content that they might be interested in. Maybe they aren’t ready for your marketing promotion but they want to check out your blog. This is a great way to increase the open rate and conversion rate of your mailing lists.

 

By Alec Wilcox

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Top 10 Worst Email Subject Lines

Since subject lines are the first (and in many cases only) aspect of your marketing emails that many possible leads will see, it’s impossible to oversell the importance of a good subject line. In many cases the “right” subject is very specific to you and your industry, but you will only know what truly works after lots of testing. But this isn’t about the best subject lines, it’s about the ones that don’t perform for business emails. Here are some examples of what not to do:

1. “Join us for a Free Event on June 7th!” – This subject line is vague. Nobody knows what event you are promoting, and in most cases, they might not even know what your company does. Try to be more specific.
2.  “Post-Seminar Follow-Up Meeting: Are You Making the Right Decision for Your Business’s Toner Needs?” – This is just an example, but far, far too long. Get to the point, if your potential customer’s mail client is truncating the subject lines, it’s too long!

3. “Last Minute Gift? Come See Us!” – Once again, too vague. Repetitive emails without too much content are going to get sent straight to the spam bin after the first or second time. Are you promoting something specific? Now would be a good time to send a marketing email.
4. “St. Paddy’s Day Sale: Shop Early and Save!” – Vague, vague, vague. Beware of promoting holiday sales: everybody else does it. You want your email to stand out!
5. “Gift Certificates: 10% Off With Coupon!” –  This type of email has historically low open rates unless paired with some verbiage to get the reader’s attention.
6. Now Offering (x) Services!” – What were you offering before? Why does this person care? Try to convey why x service is even more value.
7. “Win an iPad! Guaranteed!” – Like Viagra and iPods before it, mentioning free or cheap electronics (like iPads) is a good way to get sent to the spam folder. If this is the gist of your marketing, consider changing the focus if you want to see results.”
8. “Psst, (x company) is Offering Huge Savings!” – This smells like a used-car commercial. You should be respectful of your readership and be cognizant that people historically don’t respond to this type of marketing. It reads as very patronizing.
9. “Beautiful Lakefront Property” – Try to be broader. This may exclude the portion of your readership that doesn’t live near a lake. Why would an email having to do with lakefront property come to them?
10. “(your company) Announces New Business Partnership With (another company)” – Who cares? What does this mean for the customer or prospective customer?


As for subject lines from spam emails, I’m partial to these:

1. Buy Rolex Designer Watches Now
2. NEWSFLASH: Order your meds online

3. From the desk of barrister hollingsworth
4. Claim your $20m prize now!
5. Swell your P*^@%! (thanks @twopens2)
6. Open this now!
7. Improve Your Credit Score for Cheap
8. 5 Forbidden Foods to Tighten Your Belly
9. Buy Cialis Now
and one that I just got today:
10. Deal
That’s my list. What’s yours? Tweet me or message me with the best of your worst!

By Alec Wilcox

 
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