Happy 2016! Here’s another edition of my monthly e-letter, The Eleven. A place I share with you what’s going on with me – my latest thinking and a call to action. Unsubscribe anytime (link below) – and if you’re more interested in my email marketing for small businesses work – please let me know and I’ll move you to my biz list.
Here is my top 11 things that come to mind list for 2015. They make my life better and you might find some value here, too. Enjoy!
1. Top Glassware – Wileyware – I put that at the top as it’s the item I use the most in my life – drinking glasses. I know that might sound strange – but drinking from these glasses makes me happy.
2. Top juice/sports drink of beets and tart cherries – BeetBoost – I’ve watched my friend, Rick Perry, turn an idea into a very tasty/health drink. Thanks, Rick.
3. Top new restaurant in my neighborhood – Fern Kitchen (clients/friends). Paleo, kombucha, breakfast, great hours, Yoga Union next door, friendly staff – thank you, universe.
4. Top awesome store in Portland – RooseveltsPDX (client/friend). This one has become more of an obsession From the moment I walked into Gregg Harris’s store, I was hooked. I go for the oxygen, the learning, Gregg’s philosophy on life and work/retirement/live-work space thinking. 44th and Hawthorne. Go.
5. Top dessert place in SE Portlandia + my home away from home: Marino’s Adriatic Cafe. Live music, late night European atmosphere. A great place to strike up a conversation with a stranger. Good on multiple levels. 41st and Division.
6. Top change in Oregon – Legalizing Marijuana. Beyond the “fun” factor, I’m seeing my community use cannabis for healing mental and physical ailments. Visit my friend, Steve Bennett’s store, Farma to learn about marijuana’s medical properties.
9. Top Portland performance of 2015: Beatles White Album Christmas with the Wanderlust Circus at the Alberta Rose Theatre (client/friend)(I saw it twice). The Alberta Rose continues to be my favorite place to see music in Portland. The hall is intimate, the sound is great and there’s a magic to the place. Kudos to Joe Cawley for making things run so smoothly there for the past 5 years.
11. You! I couldn’t have as rich a life I do without your presence in it. Thanks for reading, playing and sharing time with me on this planet. We only get so much time here and my hope is that you and I make the most of it.
Have a great month and I’ll be back with you in February.
Takeaways from OneCon2015
I attended Constant Contact’s OneCon this year in Las Vegas from October 4-6th. This year I was much better prepared to take advantage of all that was on offer – great keynote sessions; product updates; panels; and lots of time for networking. I learned a ton – some is evident through the pictures and captions below, but some will have to wait until I gather my notes and go a bit deeper. I think one of my main take-aways was that I’m on the right track. Listening to email marketing expert/guru, Michael Katz talk a couple times, reminded me that I’m doing a lot of what he does – and what he does works. He’s himself. He tells stories. He has a relaxed take on things – very refreshing in the world of business. And, he’s a solopreneur, just like me!
I also have been moving to a more philosophical take on what I do. Reviewing the situation… And, I think I’m figuring out a way forward that works for me. Working with great clients who are doing interesting things and taking the time to get things right. I’m not rushing and I’m being more careful and considerate as I go. And, what a great bunch of people I’ve decided to join up with (both within Constant Contact and my current client mix). I’m more convinced by this year’s OneCon that email marketing is THE way forward for small businesses who want to reach their audiences in an easy and inexpensive and REPEATABLE way. Hearing peoples’ challenges in quantifying value from social media was refreshing. Here are some photos and some ideas – enjoy! Your feedback (a gift, thanks Ron Cates for reminding us of that) is welcome in the comments section, below.
If you’d like to get started working together, start by signing up for a Constant Contact account. As one longtime solution provider clearly stated: “If you don’t have $20/mo. to spend on marketing, you’re not really in business”. Take yourself and your efforts seriously and invest in email marketing!
I hope you’re having a great Summer. I’ve been having a nice mix of vacation and work and I’m looking forward to helping you and your business thrive this Autumn. If you’d like to get started with the best tool I know of for on-line marketing, you have until 9pm PST to sign up for a Constant Contact account – the offer is 30% off for the first three months and ends tonight.
In addition to this offer I will spend at least an hour with you setting up your account – making sure you have a sign-up form on your website and Facebook fan page; helping you upload your email list(s); create a mobile-friendly template; and work with you to get your first email sent! It’s an exciting process that often yields great results the first time you do it. Sometimes the results are not what you expect they’ll be! Clients often write back happy to hear from you. Some unsubscribe. Some share your news with their friends and referral business comes your way. You won’t know what you’re missing until you try it, and I can help make the process easy and effective!
In other news, I’m planning to offer a free webinar on September 15th on the art and science of creating fantastic subject lines. Have a look at this free “headline analyzer” to get a sense of some of the possibilities in this area. When your subject line is improved, your open and click-through rates go up – thus, bringing you more attention and prospective business. I hope you’ll tune in. Everyone who participates will receive a link to a recording of the session and slides, too!
Have a great rest of your Summer and I look forward to hearing how things are going for you and if there’s any way I can support your efforts.
Happy Labor Day!
email marketing report June 4th 2015
As I prepare for my next live class on email marketing, I thought I’d share some of what I’m seeing these days in the field. I’ve been using Constant Contact for the past 8 years to send out a monthly e-letter called The Eleven. Originally, this went out to friends and family, and then, eventually, as I got more involved in teaching email marketing, I developed a few lists for people who came to my classes who have shown interest in learning more about marketing practices. Along the way I became a Constant Contact authorized local expert – offering regular classes on email marketing, event marketing and social media in the Pacific Northwest. By now I’ve probably spoken to about 1,000 people and my list has grown. Here are some of the changes I’ve seen recently in the marketing world.
First of all, email is not dead, far from it. The more media attention I see social media getting, the more I’m convinced that if you actually want to succeed in reaching people in an easy and affordable manner – you want to be building an email list of interested people. I hear people constantly talking about building a Twitter following; an Instagram following; or getting more “likes” on their Facebook fan pages. If you’re able to pay for advertising on one or more of these platforms – then, great – you may have a chance to build up your e-mail list. But, honestly? Unless you either have some amazing content (beautiful photos; fantastic articles; or you’re suddenly in the media limelight for some reason and something you do is going viral) I wouldn’t put that much energy into social media. I tend to think of a fan page as a good Yellow Pages ad. There it sits – if someone searches for your business they can find you. Fantastic! And then they can come to your website, or join your email list or call you. Great! But when you post something on social media these days and you get 0.01% reach to the people who are your fans or followers – it just doesn’t seem worth it to me.
A peer asked me yesterday whether one of my fan pages, Email Marketing Guru – actually led to any new business? I said that it used to, but even with some targeted advertising, I don’t think it’s doing me much good. It looks good – yes, it gives me some sort of credibility that I have over 1,500 fans on a couple fan pages. That and $1 will buy me a cup of coffee. If one searches on “Email Marketing Portland” my fan page comes up 3rd on Google. OK, that’s probably worth something. But honestly, I think being able to send an email out to people who have expressed interest in what I do is so much more powerful that I really shouldn’t be spending as much time on social media as I do.
In terms of email marketing, things are shifting, too. Emails are going to mobile-friendly formats. If you’re doing email marketing and you haven’t moved to a mobile-friendly template, that’s the #1 thing I’d recommend doing. Now. Word has it that 65% of people are reading their emails (your emails!) on their mobile devices. So, learn about mobile-friendly templates and move to one ASAP. Second, the formats for newsletters are shrinking. I’m seeing more and more newsletters that are a banner, a couple sentences, a call to action, and that’s it. Because these do well on phones. Because peoples’ attention spans are shrinking. So, if you haven’t tried doing a very short newsletter yet, give it a try and see what happens with your open rates and click-through rates (which are way more important, because responses to your call to action is what really counts, right?).
Thanks for reading, I think that’s a good start. My recommendation? Stop worrying about social media and put more time into getting a robust email marketing program up and running, or strengthening what you’re already doing. If your website doesn’t have an email list sign-up form, get one. And, if you need any assistance with this, let me know. This is what I love to do – check out my Managed Care Program for an idea of the service and encouragement I offer.
Here to help.
PS – if you’d like a 2-month risk-free Constant Contact trial – click here. That’s what I use. It’s easy and worth every penny.