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Small Business Marketing

13
Jun

An interesting question regarding email subscribers vs. blog subscribers was asked recently on Linkedin. In a nutshell Lisa Bowen was wondering:

Can a blog-subscription email list be used for general company announcements and email newsletter blasts?

I personally separate the two types of subscribers and recommend that my clients do so as well. Although this practice may be perfectly legal under CAN-SPAM, I consider it not very ethical.

However, depending on how you phrase the ad copy in your pop-up, you may get away with it, e.g. if you say: “Sign up for updates from my blog and also receive my ezine.”

Be aware, though, that the spam issue is ultimately in the eyes of the subscriber.

Additionally, problems may arise when somebody opts out. Because these two lists are usually handled by two separate systems, you need to manually update one of them. Ideally, your email service provider would have some sort of RSS Feed plugin or connectivity. Email Service Provider MadMimi recently introduced this upgrade to their very slick email publishing platform. iContact has it, Aweber, too, I think. GetResponse also has a limited feature which allows you to send an automated email to your ezine subscribers announcing the new content is available on your blog, but it doesn’t actually deliver your blog content by email.

I use FeedBurner for handling email subscriptions to my blog and it can only collect the email address, not the name of the subscriber. This is just one of the reasons I wouldn’t use the blog subscribers list the same way I would any of my other confirmed opt-in email marketing lists.

What do you think? How do you let your blog subscibers mingle with the ezine subscribers?

Category : Blogging for Business | E-newsletter Publishing | Email Delivery Best Practices | Email List Building | Email List Management | Email Marketing | Email Service Providers | Small Business Marketing | Web Site Development | Blog
9
Jun

Did you know that 70% of all sales now start as research on the Internet – are your ideal clients finding you?

Invest 3 hours and I guarantee I will teach you how to:

1
Attract Contacts (Generate Leads)
  • creating a powerful online presence
    • what makes a good web site: basics of design, layout and content
    • search engines: basics of SEO or how to build a Google-friendly site
    • web site is not enough – what else you need online
  • attracting visitors (contacts) with relevant and useful content
    • blogging
    • article writing
    • participating in online forums, etc.
    • online networking (Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter)
  • entice visitors to sign up to receive more information about you and your services or products with
    • discount coupons
    • special reports or whitepapers on your topic of expertise
    • regularly published email newsletters
  • how to integrate all your online efforts
2
Build Relationships

(or, How to Get Prospects to Know, Like and Trust You)

  • follow up with automated and semi-automated messages, delivering your expertise via email
  • create communities, followers and friends
  • engage with your audience in a meaningful conversation
  • once they know, like and trust you they’ll be ready for the final step
3
Close Deals
(or, How to Convert “Friends” to “Raving Fans”)
  • use gentle email marketing tactics to introduce your services or products to your contacts
  • close deals on line or off line – depending on your business model
  • finally reach your business goals in 2009 – regardless of the state of the economy

Please visit the Contacts to Clients page to learn more and to register.

Category : Blogging for Business | Driving Traffic to Your site | Email Delivery Best Practices | Email List Building | Email Marketing | Events | Search Engine Optimization | Seminars and Live Events | Small Business Marketing | Social Media Marketing | Web Site Development | Blog
30
Mar

In times of recession, most small business owners tend to do the wrong thing: trying to save money by cutting back on their marketing spending. I hope you’re not one of them, and that you know that we must promote our businesses all the time, even when times are great, but even more so in tough times.

Well, I can say I’ve never been busier, and I’d like to share some of the secrets of how I got myself booked solid for the next several months!

Join me for a 3-hour training seminar in Oakville and learn how to

► Build an Email List
► Create Effective Email Campaigns
► Get More Clients

Did you know that Email Marketing has the highest ROI over all other marketing channels?

In my seminar I will teach you:

How to Build an Email List of Contacts and Subscribers

  • How to use your web site or blog as a lead generator
  • What you need to sign up visitors to your email list
  • Secrets to generating traffic to your web site, or other online presence
  • How to entice visitors to sign up to receive more information from you

How to Easily Create Effective Email Newsletters and eFlyers

  • Follow up with automated and semi-automated messages
  • Learn about auto-responders, e-newsletters and email flyers
  • Find out about the technology needed to deliver email marketing messages
  • Learn how to prepare email campaigns yourself

How to Make More Money with Email

  • You don’t need an e-commerce site to make money with email
  • How to take credit cards, e-cheques and money transfers online
  • Find out the hidden potential in your business – any business
  • Learn how to create products or services to sell online
  • Finally reach your business goals in 2009 – regardless of the state of the economy

What Do You Get?

  • 3 hours of coaching, tips, strategies you can use immediately
  • You will create your 1st email newsletter – bring your laptop!
  • Ask any questions you might have in Q&A sessions throughout the seminar

Bonuses:

  • bonus CD audio+PDF presentation of my Email Marketing Tips and Strategies for Solopreneurs a value of $27 on its own
  • Chance to win 50 Tips on Growing your Business Online 2 hours+ videos and eBook package valued at $47
  • Free online Email Publishing Account – use it as long as you want to grow and manage your list
  • Enjoy complimentary refreshments: hot coffee, tea and muffins!

For more information and to register now visit: iBizAcademy.com/Oakville-Apr-2/

Want proof?

See what other small business owners have said about my training courses!

Category : E-newsletter Publishing | Email List Building | Email Marketing | Email Service Providers | Events | Selling Online | Seminars and Live Events | Small Business Marketing | Social Media Marketing | Blog
15
Feb

I love BloggingI must admit I was a reluctant blogger. I knew if I started a blog I would have to publish on it regularly, and being already busy with publishing my award-winning ezine and working with clients, I thought I’d never be able to keep up.

Good thing I found the time!

Now I not only love it, but I recommend it to all my business contacts and especially my clients. As an Email Marketing Coach I love email marketing, which still delivers a great rate of return on investment, but I’m the first to say: Don’t put all your eggs in one basket! If you’re a solo professional, or small business owner, you must publish an email newsletter, have an auto-responder, write on your blog, have a Facebook profile, do live business networking, etc.

Here are just three reasons why I love blogging:

1. It allows me to reach a much wider audience than by just publishing an email newsletter. Blogs have built-in features that basically “push” my content to search engines and blog directories. This would be hard, if not impossible, to accomplish by a “web 1.0″ web site. My blog site now allows me to reach out to my audience in 3 different ways: using RSS, RSS feed delivered by email, and via ezine subscription. This enables my audience to get my articles the way they prefer.

2. Deciding to build my new web site using WordPress, enabled me to create what I call a blog site: a combination of a static, web 1.0 web site, with the power and versatility of the Web 2.0 blog. My blog site is now search engine optimized, and every time I hit “Publish”, soon after, Google, Yahoo! and dozens of other services get “pinged” and my content gets indexed immediately.

3. Having a blog has also enabled me to attract the right type of prospects. Before starting a blog, my whole web presence was a 1-page “squeeze page.” It served its purpose well — it created a lot of subscribers to my e-newsletter — but after a while I realized that I wanted to attract a different type of prospect, one who’d like to get to know me a little bit before considering hiring me. A visitor to my blog site can now read my articles which build my credibility, so I don’t have to “sell” my self, my content does it for me.

Finally, blogging makes it really easy and fun to connect with other great professionals in the wider blogosphere.

Here are five people I’d like to see write a quick blog post on this topic:

Charmaine Idzerda
Sandy McMullen
Dr. Kiya L. Immergluck
Grace Yvonne Attard
Cheryl Scoffield

I invite YOU, the reader, too, to share here by commenting or on your own blog! Please send me the link if you post on your own blog. BTW, this whole thing started on TypePad.com – get the “official” guidelines.

Thank you Patsi Krakoff, for inspiring me to write this entry.

Category : Article Writing | Blogging for Business | Boris Recommends | Branding for Small Business | Driving Traffic to Your site | E-newsletter Publishing | Email Marketing | On Line Networking | Personal | Search Engine Optimization | Small Business Marketing | Web Site Development | Blog
9
Feb

Blogging for your business is not an option anymore, but does it work better that Email Marketing?

How do you make the these two marketing strategies work together to create a powerful tool to boost your small business or professional practice?

On Wednesday, February 11, I will be asking ask Denise Wakeman and Patsi Krakoff, the dynamic duo also know as the BlogSquad, some tough questions:

  • Is blogging an option for any kind of business?
  • How to use blogging to strategically market a business?
  • How to choose which blogging platform to use?
  • What are some of the pitfalls and how to avoid them?
  • I have a web site – why do I need a blog, too?
  • I already have a web site – how do I connect my blog to it?
  • I have an email newsletter – how do I use my blog to generate more subscribers?
  • What is RSS, FeedBurner, FeedBlitz – and do I need to be a tech geek to create and maintain a blog?
  • How do I blog without having a blog of my own?

These are a few of the questions Patsi, Denise and I will answer for you.

This is a FREE tele-seminar, LIVE on Wednesday, February 11, starting at 3pm EST

There will be no pitching or selling on the call, just pure content.

Seating is limited, so register for your chance to jump start your blogging efforts in 2009, or if you’re already blogging, to find out how to make the most of business blogging to promote your business.

If you can’t make the live event, a downloadable MP3 recording of the call will be available, so register now:

http://www.ibizacademy.com/blogsquad/

See you on the call!

Boris Mahovac – Email Marketing Coach

Category : Blogging for Business | Driving Traffic to Your site | E-newsletter Publishing | Email List Building | Email Marketing | Events | Seminars and Live Events | Small Business Marketing | Social Media Marketing | Tele-seminars | Blog
28
Jul

First, let’s talk about your ezine, or e-newsletter. If you intend to publish an informative ezine, do not expect much direct sales from it. Why is this?

Because the primary purpose of your newsletter is to establish your credibility, expertise and to create that relationship – we keep returning to this relationship thing all the time, don’t we? Do not think of your ezine primarily as an advertisement for your services or products.

In your ezine, you must provide useful content to your subscribers

By all means, promote your products and services in your ezine, but do not make it the most prominent part of the newsletter. Here it should be in the background, and shouldn’t take up more than about a quarter of the space.

For example, at the bottom of the newsletter you can have a section titled “About Me”, and here you can provide a brief summary of your business, and also mention that you are the author of such-and-such book, or creator of a product. Provide a link to your site where there’s more information.

Now, the most money you’re going to make is through so-called promo-emails, or some people call them solo mailings. While your ezine may have several articles, reviews, comments, recommendations, etc., in a promo email you will concentrate on promoting just one particular thing: it could be a new product you developed, a new type of service that you offer, or something like that.

Typically, your promo emails will be much shorter than your regular ezine. In case you’re sending your ezine in HTML format you may want to experiment and send the promo emails as plain text. Be sure to split-test this.

BTW, for those who are not familiar with the term, split-testing is when you send one version of your email to a subset of your list and another, different version, to a different group of the same size. You compare the results, and from then on use the format witch produced the highest response.

These promotional emails will usually have response rates that are several times higher than a response from your ezine.

Category : Affiliate Marketing | Driving Traffic to Your site | E-newsletter Publishing | Email Marketing | Selling Online | Small Business Marketing | Tracking and Split Testing | Tracking Email Opens | Web Site Development | Blog
25
Jul

PayPal for BusinessThe easiest and quickest way is to set up a PayPal account.

First of all, let me dismiss any notions you might have about PayPal being a Mickey Mouse solution that’s not appropriate for serious on line business transactions. There are several, successful, internet marketers who make millions on line, and they use PayPal as their payment processor, so why not you, too? I use PayPal, too.

As a side note here: You may already have a merchant account to accept credit cards off line, but the same company you currently use may not be the best way to go for your on line transactions. Many off line merchant account providers are not familiar with online payments, so make sure you ask all the right questions first.

By all means, if you have a merchant account, talk to them first and see how they compare to PayPal.

Why I like PayPal - there are no monthly fees, so you only pay a processing fee per each transaction, only when you actually make a sale.

First of all, PayPay will provide you with secure payment processing technology so you can take credit cards, but also e-cheques, and money transfers from checking accounts.

Secondly, PayPal offers a shopping cart, with enough bells-and-whistles as you need to create those lovely “PAY NOW” buttons you can use either directly in your email promotions, but also on your web site.

Category : Boris Recommends | Email Marketing | Selling Online | Small Business Marketing | Web Site Development | Blog
12
Jul

Although this one seems obvious, unfortunately the situation is far from being clear and simple.

It is one thing to follow the law and obey all the rules, but ultimately spam is in the eyes of the beholder! This means it is your audience, your subscribers who are the judge and jury and executioner who have the last word on the issue of spam.

In this case, power truly is in the hands of the people!

These days, it’s not so much the content of your emails that’s going to trigger spam filters, it’s your reputation as a sender. That’s why it’s imperative to keep your name and web site domain clean.

Don’t be tempted to send emails to a list you obtained from a friend, and send an email “blast” to them. This will definitely land you in the dog house.

To avoid being labeled as a spammer: deliver content that you promised. That means content that is relevant to your audience.

If you say “sign up for my ezine to learn how to get rid of fear of dentists” don’t send them articles on effective anaesthetic procedures your dentist just introduced, or if you provide reviews of fine-art books in your e-newsletter, then don’t talk about music or architecture.

Sending relevant content will improve your reputation and your response rate!

Category : E-newsletter Publishing | Email Delivery Best Practices | Email Marketing | Small Business Marketing | Blog
30
Jun

Don’t copy what others are doing. Try to find your own style, your own voice. Again, you’re creating a relationship with your audience, and how can you do that if you’re copying someone else’s style?

The only way you can create that relationship is if you’re true to yourself, if you are who you are and you come across that way in everything you do, which includes your web site, your blog, your business card, and of course, your e-newsletter.

Category : Branding for Small Business | E-newsletter Publishing | Email Design | Email Marketing | Small Business Marketing | Web Site Development | Blog
27
Jun

Don’t buy or rent email lists, unless you know 110% that the company who offers such lists is kosher. If anyone offers you a list of 1 million emails for $99, or whatever price, run like crazy from them.

Same applies to joining online list services, such as YourLuckyListThe List Machine and ListDotCom. Although they promise you access to thousands of “subscribers” I have a feeling that those thousands of people are there for the same reason you are – to offer their stuff to you – so they won’t be so responsive to your offers. That’s just my experience, you’re free to give them a try – let me know how you do, please.

My philosophy behind email marketing is – relationships – and the only way to build a relationship is if you build your own list. But, you see, building your own list doesn’t necessarily mean you have to build it yourself, alone. You can team up with others, for example with someone who offers a service or product which is complimentary to yours, and do some kind of join venture with them.

Category : Driving Traffic to Your site | E-newsletter Publishing | Email Delivery Best Practices | Email List Building | Email List Management | Email Marketing | Small Business Marketing | Blog