Entries Tagged 'Essential tools for small businesses' ↓

Email Marketing Check List

Email marketing and newsletter marketing are great.

They allow you to quickly contact thousands of customers in one go.

But the speed can sometimes be the downfall of many marketers, because once they’ve hit send, their message is out there – mistakes and all.

Email marketing check list

But that’s just the tip of the ice berg.

More seriously, they could easily fall foul of the CAN-SPAM Act, which provides the rules and regulations that have to be abided by for those undertaking commercial emailing and provides recipients of emails the right to make you stop sending them.

When undertaking email marketing, all your messages have to comply with the Act:

  • You must not use misleading, deceptive or false information in your “To”, “From”, “Reply to”, subject line etc. You must specify whether the email is from a company or individual and the subject line must reflect the content of the email.
  • Your physical postal address must be supplied on all emails.
  • You must include an opt-out link and deal with every request promptly.
  • Use a legitimate email service provider.

Always check before hitting send

We are all human so, occasionally, things go wrong.

But continuously sending out emails and newsletters that contain numerous errors is just sloppy.

Don’t forget that your company’s reputation is built on your correspondence with your customers, whether through emails, newsletters, web content, brochures etc. Therefore, it is essential you make sure you have thorough checking procedures in place.

Should the worse happen and something slips through the net, apologise and make it up to your customers. Never act in haste, because that could compound the problem.

Email marketing is a highly valuable tool for any business. But it’s essential it’s done well. Make sure your emails comply with the regulations set out in the CAN-SPAM Act and their content is thoroughly checked before hitting send.

5 Ways to Excel at Email Marketing

Email marketing and newsletters are the most cost effective methods to reach thousands of people quickly.Email marketing

Using your own home grown marketing list, it enables you to get great information and offers out to your targeted market.

But how can you be sure you’re making the most of this marketing opportunity?

Well, as you would expect, the content of your emails is crucial to your strategies success.

Here are 5 tips to make sure you get the most from each of your emails.

1. Length

No one wants War and Peace landing in their inbox.

Everyone is time-limited these days, so you must ensure that what you send is short, concise and to the point.

On average, about 400 – 600 words is plenty, any more than that and people will start to switch off.

2. Relevant

It’s important to tie the content in with what’s happening at the current time. Make sure you give spring offers in the spring etc. With the Jubilee on its way, create a newsletter around that. If you have a local event happening, try to incorporate that to boost resonance with your readers.

3. Get to the point

No one wants to read paragraph upon paragraph of waffle.

Make your point in the first paragraph so your reader knows the aim if of your newsletter. Also, make sure you include other sub headings so people can see at a glance what your newsletter covers. That way they can pick out the information they need without having to wade through everything.

4. Links

Introducing links to your text is a great way to a) shorten your emails/newsletters and b) drive more traffic to your website.

These are especially useful if you want to add a lengthy article to your newsletter. You can add an intriguing snippet and then link out to the rest of the article so the reader can click through to it at their convenience.

5. Be human

There’s nothing worse than receiving a boring, corporate newsletter. If you send out something like that, you’ll bore your readers rigid.

Inject some personality and be human. Write it in the second person and be chatty. You’ll find people are more likely to read something that’s friendly that something overly corporate.

If you’re still uncertain about how to structure your emails and what content to add, take a look at the emails you subscribe to and that you read.

What makes them stand out?

Why do you read them?

If you can capture the essence of those that make you stop and read them you’re half way there.

Essential Tools for Start-ups and Small Businesses

When starting out in buisness, whether you’re a copywriter, PR expert, social media advisor or anything else for that matter, getting the basics right is essential. This guest post by Simon Wilson gives new businesses some great advice.

Information technology has come a long way in the last twenty years.  Starting up a business has been made far easier because of these advances, allowing an individual to work more efficiently and eliminating the need for staff to help complete some basic, but essential, functions.  When it comes to essential IT tools for start-ups the first investment you should consider is you.  Modern businesses, both large and small, rely on IT.  If it’s not your ‘area’ put IT training top of your to do list.  Once you are confident in basic IT skills you will be able to harness the power of IT and the internet to put you ahead of the game in the business world.  There are a huge number of essential IT tools that can make your business easy to run, some are more overlooked than others.

A Website – Professional Presence

A website should be considered essential to any business these days.  Even if you don’t plan to set one up straight away it is worth buying a domain name.  But why pay for a domain if you aren’t planning to use it straight away?  With a domain name will come a professional looking email address, usually you’ll get a whole set of them; admin@; sales@; enquiries@ and so on.  You might be tempted to run your business from a Gmail or Hotmail account which seems like the free and simple option.  It is, but it is also the virtual equivalent of running your business out of the back of a van – and that’s exactly what it looks like.  A professional company email looks like a professional company email, whichever way you look at it.

Cloud Computing – Clever Computing

Cloud computing solutions are the most effective ways to manage your business and will increase your efficiency and therefore your productivity.  Cloud computing is basically the delivery of software over the internet.  A good example would be accountancy software or file sharing software.  Both of these have huge advantages in that they allow you to access documents from any PC with an internet connection.  Using cloud based software can also free up space on your hard drive and it means you don’t need an IT team to install, update and maintain your company software.  File sharing and data storage hosted remotely also means that in the event of a computer meltdown your company information, client records and accounts are safely stored out of harm’s way.

Antivirus Software – Safety Measures

With a reliance on the internet comes the risk of attacks by computer viruses.  Skimping and saving on antivirus software has led to many a minor nervous breakdown.  If you rely on the internet for business then always prioritise antivirus software above all other costs!  This is probably one area to concentrate on well-known brands and avoid cheaper versions.  There’s an old saying about buying cheap and buying twice and it’s one you can’t afford to ignore in this case.

An Accountant – Show Somebody Else the Money

Accounting has already been mentioned above but in addition to accounting software it’s sensible to consider employing an accountant from the start.  You can wait until the end of your first tax year and then, armed with a folder full of scraps of paper, beg a frazzled accountant to take you on!  If, however, you find an accountant before, or when, you set up they can advise you on the types of information you’ll need to retain and for how long.  They may also be able to help with advice on appropriate accounting software.  Different accountant’s charges vary and it is worth contacting several firms to find out how they charge before making a decision.

Author Bio

Simon Wilson blogs about small business, technology and being an entrepreneur, covering everything from payroll software and online accountancy software to increasing website traffic and tips on leveraging social media for businesses.  When he’s not online Simon enjoys early morning swims, ice climbing and visiting his local cinema.

The author’s views are entirely his own and may not reflect the views of FreelanceCopywritersBlog.com. If you are interested in producing a Guest Post for this blog, please get in touch with your ideas.