Email Marketing for Small Business: Tips to Maximize Results

Email marketing is a great tool for any business- but especially for small businesses. Email marketing allows you to reach an essentially unlimited number of customers, clients and prospects- and it allows you to do so at a fraction of the cost of direct mail campaigns. But like anything else, if you don’t know what you’re doing, it’s easy to make mistakes. Below are six tips to help you get started:

1. Don’t do it alone. Many business owners try to run their own campaigns directly from their email outbox. It’s tempting to save money wherever you can, but if you’re serious about email marketing, use a service like iContact or Constant Contact. Basic plans are very affordable, and you will save yourself an incredible amount of time and frustration. In addition, you will be able to use an attractive layout, branded with your company logo and colors.

2. Make sure you have permission. Don’t be a spammer! Make sure that you do not send emails to anybody that did not choose to receive them. Sending unsolicited marketing emails will make your company look bad and could get you blacklisted by many email providers. Your mailing list should be “opt-in”, meaning recipients choose to join it, rather than choosing NOT to join. Also, be sure that each email has an “opt-out” link where recipients can choose to stop receiving your emails if they wish.

3. Keep them short, catchy and professional. Don’t get carried away- nobody wants to read an essay! Instead, make sure you have a catchy subject line and a couple of strong sentences that communicate your message clearly and concisely. If the purpose of the email is to persuade recipients to buy a product, visit a store, or subscribe to a service, be sure to end with a strong call to action.

4. Don’t end up in the spam folder. Unfortunately, thanks to the barrage of spam we all receive, spam filters have become more and more aggressive. It’s not uncommon for legitimate emails to be filtered into a junk or spam folder. If you’re using an email marketing service, you should have the option to “spam check” each message. Take advantage of this and make sure you follow their recommendations.

5. Don’t overuse video and sound. Videos and sound effects can be used very effectively in a marketing campaign, but they can also be overused. Many people are quickly scanning their emails and don’t have the time to watch a video. And if they have music playing, nothing is more annoying than unexpected blast of sound from an email! Use video and sound sparingly, and make sure that they DON’T autoplay.

6. Have a plan. If your email marketing strategy consists of waking up one morning and deciding to send out an email, it’s not going to succeed. A good email marketing plan is like telling a story- and you can only do this if you plan it out ahead of time. Don’t try to sell something every time you send an email… mix in holiday greetings, updates and other non-sales material. Each time a client or prospect opens your email, you have a golden opportunity to strengthen your relationship. Make sure you take full advantage!

Email marketing is a great tool for a small business… but only if it is done right. The tips above are far from an exhaustive list, but they will get you started in the right direction!

The Future of Network Marketing – Industry Outlook

The importance of networking and communicating between businesses and business people in order to improve profitability has become extremely important in these times of recession.Almost everyone is cutting down on advertising and socializing is becoming more important in our quest to get the word out there.The very personal nature of networking means that it is best done in person, but it is actually becoming more and more popular to network via the World Wide Web.When networking on Twitter, for instance, you need to be very concise and put your ideas out there in a minimum number of words. When networking face to face, however, you don’t have this restriction and, if you are a salesperson skilled in having a business conversation, you will be able to make a good impression.Whether you are an entrepreneur who is trying to run a small business from home, a larger business owner that is trying to survive in a difficult market or simply someone who is looking to meet other like-minded people, nothing beats networking.Attending a well organized networking meeting where you will be able to learn from inspirational speakers, have a nice meal and communicate with those around you in a relaxed atmosphere, seems to me to be the best way to network.Networking in this manner will assist with building up a diverse network of people, who will in turn be networking with a whole bunch of other people, and you will be surprised how soon the word spreads.The more diverse the people in the networking groups that you attend the better, as this will help you to pick up even more networking ideas and so your circle of influence will grow and grow.Networking and relationship building should be viewed as an ongoing process as networking adds to the growth of your business and expands your horizons in many ways.Multi-level marketing is a form of network marketing where products are marketed directly to consumers by independent distributors who develop their organizations by building an active customer base using word of mouth and networking. Distributors would furthermore recruit a down line of other independent distributors who also build a customer base and expand the overall organization.Multi-level marketing is legal as commissions are earned only on sales of the company’s products or services. Pyramid schemes, however, are illegal in many countries, including the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Canada, New Zealand, Japan, Italy, South Africa, Thailand, People’s Republic of China, Portugal, The Netherlands, and many more.Few people realise the importance of networking in a private capacity in order to improve your quality of life. Not only can you pick up life changing information at these events, but you can find all the people you need that make your day to day life much easier.Think about what you do when you are looking for a plumber, electrician or hairdresser. Yes you generally ask some friends who they would recommend and then contact the person who seems to give the best service at the most reasonable price.If this provider gives you good service, you will certainly pass the name on to your networking group. And herein lies the crux of the matter. All the networking in the world will not help your business if you don’t provide good service, or your after sales service is poor!

What Are the Top Earners in Network Markting-Direct Sales Doing That You Aren’t?

Last Friday night my girlfriend and I experienced a real treat when we attended a performance by Alasdair Frazer and Natalie Haas.  Alasdair Frazer is an absolutely amazing fiddle player while Natalie can tear up a cello. (Yes, I said cello.)  If you remember the haunting fiddle tunes from the movies “Last of the Mohican’s” and “Titanic” then you’ve heard Alasdair play.  These two team up to perform both traditional and new Scottish fiddle and dance music.   The two of them together took us from energizing jigs and reels to relaxing melodic tunes from old Scotland and back again.  It was a wonderful experience.Why am I writing about a concert of Scottish fiddle music?  Don’t worry, I’ll get to it.Afterwards, we were relaxing with a glass of wine while listening to the cd we bought at the concert.  We were talking about how amazing the performance was and what world class musicians the two of them were.  My girlfriend mentioned how much they must enjoy the music they make and how their passion for the music enabled them to become such virtuosos on their respective instruments.At great personal risk (Just joking, sweetie!), I reminded her that becoming that good involved much more than just being passionate.  There must have been many days in their early development when the practice was anything but enjoyable or fun.  Rather it must have often been dull, monotonous, and boring.  Sheer drudgery!  I opined that it was not just their passion and enjoyment of the music,  but their vision of becoming virtuoso performers on their respective instruments that kept them going when part of them must have wanted so badly to quit.(Now, here comes the business application…)The top earners in the network marketing/direct sales field are like virtuoso performers.  Do they have a passion for what they do?  Of course!  But did they enjoy everything they had to do to get to where they are?  Absolutely not!  No matter how passionate one is nor how much pleasure your particular endeavor gives you, the fact is that there are going to many instances of activities necessary to ones success that are not going to be fun.However, the top earners have a vision of where they are going to be.  Notice I said “are going to be” and not “want to be”.  There’s a huge difference.  One assumes success.  The other is merely a wish.  And wishes don’t always come true.  But a vision, also known as a goal, have a much greater likely-hood of becoming reality simply because they are more likely than a wish to motivate someone to continue through the hard part in order to get to the good part. (This is also known as deferred gratification.  Something we rarely see in our fast-food culture anymore.)Top earners, the truly big dogs in the industry, have a vision of where they are going to be long before they get there.  It’s this unwavering knowledge of where they are going to end up that enables them to bore through the hard work that is an inevitable part of success, no matter what industry you’re in.   They are willing to put in that hard work and accept the concept of delayed gratification because they have no doubt that it’s going to pay off, and pay off big, in the end.How often, after going to a concert like I just did, have you heard someone say, “I wish I could play like that.”?  Most of us wish we could play like the great performers.  But very few of us are willing to put in the day upon day, week upon week, year upon year of seemingly endless hours of practice required to reach that level.In the same way, many newcomers to network marketing and/or direct sales will say, “I wish I was making the money they are” or “I wish my business was growing like theirs is”.  But the reality is most are unwilling to put in the time and do the work necessary to achieve that level of success.  A woman whom I greatly admire named Artemis Limpert is one of the elite leaders in her chosen network marketing company.  She once said, “People want what I have but they don’t want to do what I did.”  And therein lies the sad story of failure for so many network marketers.  They want the success but they are unwilling to do the work to get it.Why?  Most have no clear vision of where they are going.  They have a lot of wants and wishes.  But they never really set down and make a firm decision (key word there, decision) about where they are going to be. No matter how hard it may be.  The decision’s made.Or they make what they feel like is a firm decision but they give up when it gets hard.  Remember that advertising slogan, “When the going gets tough, the tough get going”?  Well, apply that to your business endeavor.Many people never consider what it truly takes to be successful.  There’s a passage in the bible that talks about counting the cost before you start building the barn.  Many people never count the cost of building a successful business.  Once again, in our fast-food culture, they want the get-rich-quick avenue.  They want the reward without the hard work.  And they want it now.  While it’s true that wealth, and occasionally success, sometime come quickly and easily, the reality is that it usually takes time and hard work to reach the level of achievement of the top earners.So, if you want to play like a concert pianist, be willing to put in the practice and work that’s required.  Even the most talented have to pay their dues in the practice room.And, if you want to make a lot of money and have the same level of freedom that the top earners in the network marketing and direct sales industry have, make a decision and not just a wish.  Be willing to put in the time and effort that is required, regardless of whether it’s always fun or not.  If you’ll do those two things, then you’ll see your dreams come true.