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Email Marketing Tips

Email Marketing Tips for Effective Newsletters

No matter if you are a B2B or B2C, email marketing is a great way to stay in touch with current customers and business colleagues. There are numerous ways you can provide value to your recipients. They can receive special deals or coupons as part of a VIP program, or tips and education as a trusted resource provider.

Engagement makes all the difference with those who receive your email. Often I’m asked by clients, “Why can’t I just buy an email list and send it?” Businesses must stay compliant with the CAN-SPAM Act which was created to protect consumers from unsolicited email. This allows subscribers to opt-in from a signup form or text message program and a way to opt-out from your email. By not abiding by the CAN-SPAM Act, you run the risk of having your email blacklisted by the service delivery providers.

The value of information in your newsletter is key. We write content for our clients and it is important to research relevant topics and create content that’s personalized and relevant. For example, in our marketing calendar, we offer the first of the year we share monthly awareness events and marketing activities. By taking the time to plan out your strategy you know what you will focus on in the months ahead.

Subject Lines Count
Emails start with a strong subject line. Be specific on what the email is about and use a familiar sender name. Actionable subject lines inspire recipients to click on the email by instilling urgency. Make the subject line short and to the point. Shorter is better, and if the message is about an upcoming sale, delineate the specifics in the subject line. If it’s about something else, be specific once again. Bad subject lines are one of the main reasons why emails don’t get opened, so don’t be among that group.

Be Concise And End Strong
As an entrepreneur who does a fair amount of email marketing, I’ve learned that being concise and brief are the keys to success. Breaking up long pieces of information into short paragraphs and bullets help the reader scan the email and read and interpret the most important points.
Email marketing shouldn’t just be a bunch of words. Graphics, pictures and video help to increase click rates.

Include A Single Ask
The reader should know exactly what it is that you want them to do. Some actionable items may include

  • Click on a link to a specific blog post or website
  • Schedule a call with you using a calendar link
  • Redeem this coupon
  • Grow your social media followers.

The goal of your email is to prompt the reader to perform some follow-up action.

If You Aren’t Measuring You Aren’t Marketing – Track Engagement
Look at your reports. If you’re tracking engagement on your email marketing, you will typically be able to send the right amount of information to the people who are engaged the most. Lack of response to a potential customer signing up to learn more and the potential customer receiving a response weeks later, doesn’t leave a good first impression. If a valued client’s email starts bouncing as non-existent – it’s a good time to reach out to see who the new contact would be.

Solve A Problem
What is your customer looking for? Where are their pain points? Offering advice on solutions to problems faced by your customers or colleagues will provide valuable content to those who receive your email.
If your email campaigns are lacking luster, or you struggle with content ideas, we offer marketing strategy programs to help you get started. Want to learn more – give us a call at 724-612-0755.

About the author: Autumn Edmiston is the CEO and owner of the Edmiston Group. The Edmiston Group is a multifaceted Pittsburgh based marketing consulting firm providing senior-level marketing management services to businesses and non-profit organizations on a short or long-term basis. Core areas of service are business development strategies, website creation and management, social media management, marketing, strategic planning, and public relations. The Edmiston Group has consistently delivered and implemented real-world, proven business marketing ideas and strategies for business.

Business Productivity Hacks

Save time and energy with these productivity hacks.

How productive and focused are you in your day-to-day activity – at work and at home? Are you a night owl whose energy kicks in after 9 pm or an early bird who rises at the crack of dawn? Regardless of how your internal clock functions, you can always be busy, but not necessarily productive.

Does being busy equate with being productive? If you ask anyone what is the biggest challenge they face in trying to be productive, a likely response will involve something about a “lack of willpower”, or perhaps a difficulty staying focused.

If you think about it there are so many shiny objects that pop up to distract you throughout the day. Social media, email, phone, and personal issues. Any of these distractions can lead to lost productivity.

Build up good work habits for saving time and effort and alleviate some stress. Here are some productivity hacks to help you understand how to work smarter, improve the quality of your work life, and build habits that will save you time, energy, and mental strain in the long-term.

Productivity Begins With Your Goals…Focus On What’s Important To You
Where do you want to be 3 months from now? What about 1 year, or 5 years out? Not just your business but your personal life too. Aligning your work goals with what’s important to you is crucial in creating the motivation required to stay focused. Writing down your goals on a vision board will keep them top of mind.
It’s not by chance that I’m starting with this one. Understanding what’s important to you, not only in terms of your immediate work goals but also looking at the bigger picture. This can help you to focus and set the stage for how you approach wor

Routines Count – Develop Them
Build out a routine, and stick with it. Get into the habit of working at specific times (this is especially true if you work remotely) and you’ll find yourself wasting less energy on figuring out what to do next. Making a To-Do List for the next day allows you to focus on specific tasks and prioritize your time. There are various apps and scheduling tools for you to utilize. Personally – I use Asana, but some of my colleagues like Monday.com.
Monthly routines and processes can be documented and put into these programs. By creating the process, as your business grows or staffing changes, you can easily transition the steps to another individual.

Engineer Fake Pressure
How often have you told someone they will have a report you haven’t yet started by the end of the day? For some people, pressure can help to kick-start them into work mode and perform to a higher level of productivity. If you’re one of those people who finds that the pressure of a deadline or review helps you get more work done, consider engineering some fake pressure into your routine.

Email Check
Just like notifications, sometimes you can’t just ignore your inbox. This is one I struggle with – especially if I’m waiting for proofs from my graphic design team or feedback from a client. The trick is to set a time every day, where you check-in and clean up to inbox zero. The more consistent you can be with this task, the weaker the urge will become to randomly check your emails, and by sticking to the same time each day, you’re building good habits around self-discipline.

Record Each And Every Task
Following on from the to-do list, you can optimize this kind of task-based productivity approach by making sure you clearly and attentively record each task that is important to you. By keeping an up-to-date list of tasks, you can be sure you’re not overlooking certain factors when deciding on priorities and planning your workload. You could use a good old pen and paper to record your tasks and to-do-lists; many people work like this, and it’s perfectly suitable for personal jotting and keeping track of small-scale projects and priorities. This also allows you to track the amount of time spent on a given task. Having this information helps you price services accordingly.

Set Deadlines
Deadlines help you to get work done. This allows you and your team to measure and stay abreast of milestones needing to be met in completing a complex project.

Eat Your Frogs
We all have unpleasant tasks to deal with daily. “If it’s your job to eat a frog, it’s best to do it first thing in the morning. And if it’s your job to eat two frogs, it’s best to eat the biggest one first.” – Mark Twain. By completing difficult tasks first thing in the morning, you will feel a sense of accomplishment and other things will feel easy in comparison.

Stop Wasting Time In Meetings
Do you start a meeting with a purpose, goals and an agenda? Often, meetings are scheduled according to some arbitrary value like 30 or 60 minutes, and the structure is an afterthought. Define the purpose and outcomes of the meeting before the meeting. Some managers have a stand-up meeting that doesn’t allow for meaningless time spent. Objectives, assigned tasks, and outcomes are to the point.

Time Blocking – Stop multitasking
Focus on one task at a time and set a block of time to complete the task. This goes back to scheduling, prioritizing your TO DO LIST. Instead of trying to split your brain between multiple tasks, rapidly switching between activities and working on each of them simultaneously, you’re better off committing your focus to a single task at hand. Work for 25 minutes and take a 5-minute break and get up and stretch and you may find your brain remains better focused.

Consider some of these tips as you form new work habits. You may find yourself being more focused, able to better prioritize and execute your tasks at hand. We’d love to hear your success. Share your most successful habit on our Facebook page.

About the author: Autumn Edmiston is the CEO and owner of the Edmiston Group. The Edmiston Group is a multifaceted Pittsburgh based marketing consulting firm providing senior-level marketing management services to businesses and non-profit organizations on a short or long-term basis. Core areas of service are business development strategies, website creation and management, social media management, marketing, strategic planning, and public relations. The Edmiston Group has consistently delivered and implemented real-world, proven business marketing ideas and strategies for business.

Lessons Learned

business-lessonsAs a business owner, you wear a lot of hats. When you opened your business chances are you were the bookkeeper, marketer, as well as the person who worked in your business. You opened your business with a strong vision but the road to success isn’t always easy. You go to battle every day against:

  • Tough competition
  • Evolving markets
  • New technology
  • Employee turnover

The good news is you don’t have to find ways to grow your business and find balance all on your own. Instead, you can find a business mentor or even look for advice from industry titans that came before you. There are a myriad of options through webinars, podcasts, Ted Talks, and books for you to gain knowledge from the titans of business. You may find value in their words of wisdom that will bring new passion and growth to your business.

Successful business people may sell different products, but they often follow some of the same advice. Common pieces of advice successful business titans swear by include:

Work-life Balance is key to burnout prevention

Work hard and play hard – it’s important to set space in your schedule to do both.

If Something Isn’t Working – Make a change

Technology and trends are in a constant state of flux. Unless you are willing to take a risk with the changes and pivot, you may find yourself lagging behind.

Value and Inspire Employees

Employees are the lifeblood of your company. Think about it, they interface with customers that choose to spend money with you versus a competitor. Attracting and retaining top talent is a challenge in today’s market. Building relationships and a sense of community helps employees feel appreciated, builds morale and increases productivity.

Learn From Others

Embrace lifelong learning through online classes, webinars, workshops, or a mastermind group. It doesn’t matter if you sign up for a new class or learn new ideas from others. You never know when a new skill can help your business.

Experience Growth Through Failure

Lessons are learned by failure and are an important part of success for businesses. Each time you fail at something you learn and grow. Perseverance is the difference between failure and success.

Trust Yourself

Trust your instincts and have faith in yourself. Make sound decisions based on knowledge and move forward.

Step Out of Your Comfort Zone

We all have things that are uncomfortable but stepping outside your comfort zone leads to growth. Many successful business people emphasize pushing past what makes them comfortable. Are you willing to take the risk at something greater?

Small Opportunities Can Lead to New Business Growth

Saying yes to small opportunities along the way can eventually lead to greater opportunities. For instance, you may say yes to a dinner invite where you make a business contact that helps you grow your business later on.

Customers Come First

Are you listing to your customers? A customer complaint no matter how harsh they seem can help you improve your products and services. We aren’t perfect and sometimes mistakes are made but acknowledging the complaint tells your customers that you’re listening.

Don’t Sacrifice Quality

Customer satisfaction is key to raving reviews both online and word of mouth. You want to produce products and services that people are truly satisfied with. This can help your business build a stronger reputation.

If your business isn’t growing and you’re feeling stuck, it may be time to take a risk. Stepping out of your comfort zone through innovation is one of the most important things you can do – and that’s according to who succeeded before you. Are you ready to take the next move? We’re here to walk with you on that journey give us a call 724-612-0755 or email us for a 30-minute complimentary phone consultation.

About the author: Autumn Edmiston is the CEO and owner of the Edmiston Group. The Edmiston Group is a multifaceted Pittsburgh based marketing consulting firm providing senior-level marketing management services to businesses and non-profit organizations on a short or long-term basis. Core areas of service are business development strategies, website creation and management, social media management, marketing, strategic planning, and public relations. The Edmiston Group has consistently delivered and implemented real-world, proven business marketing ideas and strategies for business.

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