Because Small Business is Big Business

Posts in category Sales

Why Email?

If you’re using email marketing, you already know it’s a valuable tool to stay connected with your customers and generate new opportunities for your business.

But if you’re new to email marketing — or are still on the fence about getting started — you may have heard some things that gave you pause.

You don’t have to look far to see examples of how email marketing can benefit your business, but if you still have some doubts based on things you’ve heard, this post will help set the record straight.

Here are five common email marketing misconceptions:

1. All email is spam

If you’ve had a bad experience with a business or organization sending you unwanted email, you may be reluctant to try email marketing for yourself.

But it’s important to ask — why did you consider that email spam?  Maybe you never asked for it in the first place? Or maybe the content you received was different from what you expected when signing up?

While there are certainly people who try deceptive email marketing tactics, it’s important to know that there are rules and laws that are meant to keep spammers away. Legislations like Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing (CAN-SPAM) are helping to weed out these damaging practices.

Don’t forget that there are millions of reputable businesses and organizations that follow best practices and depend on email to build relationships.

2. People don’t like reading emails

It’s great to know that not all email is spam, but are people really paying attention to the messages they receive?

Research firm, MarketingSherpa, recently went directly to 2,000 adults in the US and asked them about how they like to hear from their favorite businesses. An overwhelming majority (91 percent) said they do like to receive promotional emails from companies they do business with. 86 percent say they like to receive promotional emails at least monthly and 61 percent at least weekly.

Beyond the data, think about your own experience as a consumer. While there are likely some emails you receive and rarely open, there’s a good chance you have at least a few businesses and organizations that you do appreciate hearing from on a regular basis.

3. People can’t unsubscribe

You value the relationship you have with your customers and the last thing you’d want is to put them in a position where they’re receiving unwanted messages from your business.

But one of the biggest benefits of using email marketing is that you’re able to give your customers, members, and supporters more control. They have the ability to opt-in to receive your messages, and they also have the ability to opt out at any time.

4. You need special expertise or training

When you see the type of emails small businesses and organizations are able to create with an email marketing tool like Constant Contact, you may feel like there are some special skills or training required.

But one of the benefits of using an email marketing provider is that you have access to professionally-designed email templates that you can use to send your message. These templates are designed to make it quick and easy to get your message out to your audience, and ensure you look professional when it lands in the inbox. We take care of the design work for you, so that all you need to do is add your content and customize your message to fit your brand.

5. Email isn’t as effective as social media

Social media has redefined the way many businesses and organizations reach new audiences and build relationships for their business. But while these platforms are incredibly valuable, it’s important to remember that on sites like Facebook and Twitter, you don’t really have ownership of your network.

Take, for example, Facebook’s News Feed algorithm. At any given moment, only a small percentage of your fans actually see the updates that come from your Facebook Page. After all the work you’ve done to build up your fan base, Facebook gets to decide who sees what. You’re playing on Facebook’s terms.

Email marketing is a cost-effective solution that gives you the power to reach customers in a place most people visit every day — their inbox.

In fact, email is almost 40 times more effective than Facebook and Twitter combined in helping your business acquire new customers (McKinsey, 2014).

You’ll get the best results from both of these channels when you use them together.


Six Words

Six WordsHemmingway was once challenged to compose a novel in six words.  As the story goes he
wrote “For sale: baby shoes, never worn.”  The challenge is a provocative one and could also be applied to every business.  In 2006, Smith Magazine asked its readers to write a story about their own lives in six words.  It was called Six Word Memoir Project.  READ MORE »


Contract Bidding Opportunities

Contract BiddingIt’s amazing how many small businesses are not aware of contract bidding opportunities or how to find them via the Internet.  No business owner starts a business with the vision of having it fail.  Don’t let looking at other revenue options only occurs when the business is already failing.  As long as money is coming in the door and cash register, an enemy called complacency sets in quickly.  Don’t let your business be another victim of failing to think outside of the box. Finding and pursuing contract bidding opportunities is a critical component to business sustainability.



Sales Strategy – Don’t Count on Hope

A client cancelled this week, a day before our start date, so I have too much free time and an empty work funnel. I am frustrated, because I did not plan for this delay of work. I, like many other business owners, was not ready for the unexpected. I kept hoping a past client or referral would call with a small project to fill the void. However, we are behind on our sales calls. Hope is not a good sales strategy.



Preparing Conversations

conversationsAre you comfortable initiating conversations with people you have never met when you are at networking events?  How about preparing ahead of time?

First off, do a self-assessment, know what is interesting about yourself and share it!  YES, you have many interesting (business appropriate) things to share!