Please read this important message about slow websites. Your website speed is crucial for search engine optimization and for a good customer experience.
Slow website speed is a drag on your customers’ time. User experience is crucial and a perception of the way you do business. These days, we expect web paged to load inside 2 seconds(literally). According to Alexa.com, a website which loads in 4.3 seconds is 88% slower than all websites worldwide. Slow to load = Bad for business. You could lose a potential customer before your home page loads!
Get a website speed test free, CLICK HERE.It takes less than a minute.
Website loading speed is a major criteria for search engine optimization. Search engines, especially Google, weigh “user experience” as one of the most important factors in SEO. Slow loading speed is a no-no and your website will fall in the search ranking against faster-loading sites.
One easy way to solve the problem of slow website speed is to move your site to a better host-a DEDICATED host. A dedicated host means your website is the only site on the server. This will be a little pricey for a typical small business website, BUT, if your website is responsible for converting new customers and real sales, it’s probably worth it. There’s other options-read on.
Most small business websites are hosted on the very cheapest hosting plans such as Godaddy, Host Gator, or Blue Host. These companies provide hosting on “shared” servers. This means dozens of websites and potential 1000’s of web pages, and tens of 1000’s of images, are hosted on a single server. Each of these sites are using and sharing the resources of the server. This causes slow page-loading speed. I’ve noticed this problem is getting worse.
A hosting plan on Host Gator can cost as low as $60.00/year but you’ll likely pay a bigger price in lost opportunities because your website speed will suffer. (What is a new customer worth to you, anyway?)
My best suggestion is to go with a Virtual Managed Server. This is what I’m using for my websites and recommending for my clients.
I have a big website for my wholesale business, Mazer Wholesale, Inc. We have over 5000 items, plus hundreds of additional pages, images, and videos on that site. When my site was half the size it is now, it began to slow down. Because my site IS huge, and it IS a money-maker for me, I gladly spend the money for a dedicated host. This host server has massive capacity and so I added a couple of my other smaller websites (formerly hosted on Godaddy) onto the Mazer Wholesale server. What a difference it makes.
Website speed is a major consideration if you want your website to show up high in the search results, especially on Google. Google puts a lot of weight on the user experience and therefore page load speed matters. A good website host will facilitate faster loading speeds.
My hosting provider and I are now providing website hosting on Virtual Managed Servers. This means we are providing website hosting to small to mid-sized websites. These servers have a large capacity but as a managed server, we keep the burden to a minimum so speed is at a maximum and never in jeopardy.
Images are often a major cause of slow page loading. Photos can be huge in file size, especially those which are uploaded directly from a digital camera. Photos can be reduced in size easily with simple image editing software which is sometimes pre-loaded on computers. I use paint.net. It’s a free download. If you need help with this, just ask. Images can also be compressed. Reducing file size by compressing them can be done on https://tinypng.com/
For help with any of this, just ask: go to https://smallbusinessu.org/askandrew/
Managed hosting (with our program) also includes protection against malicious attacks (computer bugs and viruses can make make their way from computers, emails, and websites and into host servers. Nasty stuff!). Our servers are constantly being updated to protect against viruses.
Is your website HTTPS or HTTP?
HTTPS://www.websitename.com indicated a “Secure” website. The details are not important to understand. What IS important to understand is that if you don’t upgrade to HTTPS, your website will soon be dropping down, down, down on the search results. Visitors may even see a warning in their browser or pop-up which says, WARNING-THIS SITE IS NOT SECURE. To avoid this, your website needs an SSL certificate. In the past, this was only necessary for ecommerce websites (websites which sell products and collect credit card information). Now, every website need to be secure.
Our Virtual Managed Hosting Plan specifically for small business websites can combine an SSL Certificate for a discounted price. This is very important and if you act before your competitors, it could give you a competitive edge. Want more information about this? Just go to www.smallbusinessu.org/askandrew
This is a very important message to my clients and all subscribers to the information I share. This is a warning, an opportunity, and a call to action.
As a small business owner, you don’t need every last detail about the technology and the terminology of computer and internet-related stuff. In this post, you’re going to get a short & sweet reason why your website needs to be https and why it needs to be done right away.
Simply, the ‘S’ in HTTPS means your website is secure. This was important mostly for ecommerce businesses who made sales and collected money online, but now it’s important for every website. Why? Because as of August 2018, Google is warning website visitors of websites which are not secure.
NOT SECURE. Wow…that’s kind of harsh, right? You don’t want people seeing THAT when they visit your website. They may be inclined to get the heck out of there! But this isn’t the most important reason to acquire the security of HTTPS for your website.
Google already favors secure websites (those with HTTPS) in search results. Websites without HTTPS (HTTP only) will fall in search ranking as more of your competitors acquire HTTPS. Get HTTPS quickly for a search result advantage over your competitors!
(For anyone who wants more info about HTTPS VS. HTTP, Wikapedia has some details and there’s no shortage of information on the subject.)
This is another warning sign your website visitors may get when they visit your website. This adds up to disaster. If you don’t have a secure website indicated by HTTPS, you stand to lose both new and existing business.
There are still a lot of websites which have not yet been converted to mobile-responsive website. This is also an online marketing disaster. Both have the effect of providing poor (or zero) service to your customers or perspective customers and both have the effect of destroying your ranking on the search engines making it difficult to be discovered by potential customers who may be looking for a business like yours, especially if they don’t already know you exist.
If you’re reading this and you don’t have the SSL Certificate (the thing which makes the HTTPS on your website), we can help you with a fast and affordable solution.
Time is of the essence if you want to take advantage and get your SSL Certificate for your website before your competitors.
Having trouble making sense of Facebook to market your small business these days? Here are a few good ideas to get your business noticed on a small or $0 budget.
You’ve heard about using OPM (Other People’s Money). With Facebook, you can use OPA: Other People’s Audience. I’m specifically talking about the Facebook friends of your customers and employees.
Consider enticing your customers to do a check-in when they come to your business. With an average of over 338 Facebook friends (some have way, way more), a check-in could reach dozens of a customer’s Facebook friends. They see your customer’s name, the name of your business, and even a map showing your location.
A check-in gives your business credibility, similar to an online review. Your business is “worthy” of a check in…like a seal of approval. This kind of advertising is very valuable. It’s also free. But I strongly recommend an ethical bribe, like a discount on a product, or something free. Pile on the check-ins every day!
Bonus Tip: Make it a Selfie! Encourage your customer/guest to post a photo of him or herself included with the check-in. This gives the post more visibility.
Scrolling through the Facebook feed, you’ll notice almost every post you see either has an image (photo) or a video. Facebook knows people pay more attention to posts with this type of content. I recommend posting photos and videos of your product, your services, or your food. Explain the photo or video in words in the post. These posts will usually get pretty strong visibility, PLUS, the words you use in your post becomes searchable content. Yes, Facebook is a search engine in its own right. Facebook users search for content in the search bar at the top of the Facebook page.
Bonus Tip: Get your customers to be a part of the demonstration. Tag them in the post and/or encourage them to use the photo with their own check-in.
Most, if not ALL your Facebook posts should have readable content and a link back to your main website. The link should carry the Facebook user to a page specifically congruent with the message on the post, and an offer to select a coupon and leave their email address…and perhaps an offer to buy something right then and there.
These aren’t the only good ideas, of course. Have any good ideas of your own to share? If you do, just leave a comment at the bottom of this page.
So today I’m going to talk about firing customers. Sometimes you have to fire customers, and this is a delicate situation, but it is also very important. I fired a customer today, customer of my wholesale business, because he was wasting too much of my time. I don’t take a big thrill in this, but sometimes, it’s necessary.
Have you ever been in the situation where a customer who’s costing you way more in time and aggravation than the customer’s worth? If so, it’s a real good reason to fire that customer. Of course, you have to do it in a tactful and gentle way. In this particular case, the guy was a very small customer. Don’t get me wrong, small customers are okay. I like doing business with small customers too. Sometimes when you’re not busy and you get one of those small orders, it’s better than nothing. But this guy always required a negotiation over a couple of boxes of trash bags and negotiation over an already inexpensive item and he doesn’t even need to order a lot of them. So anyway, he wants to negotiate, ask a lot of questions, ask why is the price is higher than the price from 2 years ago.
I actually think this guy is a very successful, actually. He’s not stupid. I believe this because I have an idea of where he lives in a very affluent neighborhood. I think he’s pretty well to do. But when somebody is costing me, hours or more to process to finalize and process a small order and he’s taking up that much time for me, it’s really taking away opportunity cost. When somebody takes you away from other opportunities, you can lose valuable time your could be doing something more valuable or productive. I’d be better served taking 20 minutes to meditate than 20 minutes to go back and forth with this guy’s emails, questions. and special requests. So when something is that aggravating to you and takes away that much opportunity that you could be doing something more productive than it’s, it’s wise to gently get rid of the problem.
You don’t want to do it in a way that the guy ends up giving you a bad review or, or blabber mouth into people. But generally speaking, you’re pretty safe in doing this as long as you don’t become belligerent about it. I’ve fired people before that were just, a real pain in the neck and made life and business miserable.
This even applies if customers make your employees miserable. Protecting a good employees from the pain of dealing with a bad customer will nourish your relationship with them. Don’t be afraid to get rid of those customers who are pulling you or your people down because it’s also pulling your business down, and pulling the life out of your day.
If you’ve been thinking about firing customers before, if you’ve ever been on the fence about it, it’s okay to do it. Just be gentle and thoughtful about it. Be as polite as possible.
I’m Andrew Mazer for Small Business U. You check out our blog and sign up for our The One Good Idea Newsletter for more ideas about marketing, management, motivation, and technology. See you next time. Tell a friend.
I don’t know who said it first, I think I heard it from Joe Polish. The saying is, “Marketing is everything and everything is marketing.” In this case, marketing is what happens when the bill has been paid and the transaction is completed. Praise goes out to the retail store, Five Below, for listening to my complaint and responding with speed and sincerity.
Hi, I’m Andrew Mazer from small business university where the philosophy is one good idea can change your business and change your life. I’m going to tell you a quick story today about something that happened last night after I got The High Impact Marketing Newsletter by Mike Capuzzi. I’m a member of his high impact marketing club and Mike is a friend of mine and a very good marketing brain. His stuff is really, really good. And when I get the newsletter I try to set aside some time to go through it right away. It’s several pages and it’s very, very valuable. So I decided to take the kids out for water, ice and bring the newsletter with me, and while they ate their water ice, I’d sit on the bench and go through some of the newsletter. And so the kids decided that, since Five Below, a discount store that has mostly a kid’s stuff in it, they decided to trade their opportunity for water ice to go to Five Below and get a treat there.
So we walked over to Five Below and , my daughter picked out something and, my son changed his mind, decided to go back for water, ice. But anyway, we got to the counter, the guy took our money and , gave me the change in the receipt and that’s it. No, “thank you.” And that is like my biggest pet peeve, I think, whenever I go to a place and they don’t say thank you when they take your money…when they take my money, it really, really pisses me off. I mean, every cashier, every owner, every manager should train their cashiers to say thank you. And it really makes me crazy when the owner doesn’t do it. But it’s crazy. You’re supposed to. I mean, they look at you like you’re supposed to thank them for buying something at their store. Man, that drives me nuts.
And the real irony is that Mike Capuzzi was talking about mistakes. Look at the headline, Do You Make This Mistake in Business? And he talks about a bunch of mistakes that people make in their business.
This is like the one that I hate the most-when people don’t say Thank You. So it was really ironic that this newsletter came at the same afternoon I had this experience. And so, when I got home I went onto the Five Below website and I just had to get it out of my system. So I dug in and I found a place where I could contact consumer affairs desk or, or whatever they call it. And I sent an email and I told them that I must have been in their store 50 times, and I don’t think anybody ever said thank you when they took my money.
I woke up early in the morning, but by 8:30 in the morning I got an email back from Five Below and they were sincerely concerned about my experience. And they said, thank you for bringing this to our attention. And if you would please let us know where you shopped last night or if you usually shop at different stores. Let us know more about what happened and we’ll see if we can fix up that situation. And I told them that, I always go to the same place. I’ve been to other stores, but I can’t really put my finger on that, on the locations, but I’ve been to this store before. I told them where it was. The lady got back to me and she says, “There’s a gift certificate in the mail for you for 25 bucks.”
Now I didn’t do it for the gift certificate. I’ll take the gift certificate, but it didn’t do it for the gift certificate. And I’m not telling you to do it so you can go get a gift certificate. But I’m telling you that number one, if you’re in the restaurant business, the retail business, any kind of business, were you dealing with the public…if you don’t take a moment to make some eye contact and say thank you or send a thank you email or a thank you card or something, you’re leaving something on the table. I think a lot of people may be numb to it now. They don’t even expect a thank you. So even if you do give a thank you and they’re not expecting it, you’re a leg up on most other businesses out there, so I highly recommend you do everything you can to thank people for giving you money.
Okay, so please, business owners get with it. The least you could do is say thank you when somebody gives you a piece of business.
I’ll give another shout out to Mike Capuzzi and The High Impact Marketing Letter. Give it a try. If you’re in business, you’re going to learn some valuable stuff and surround yourself with more smart people and great business ideas. Learn about The High Impact Marketing Club at https://club.mikecapuzzi.com/
I always say one good idea can change your business and change your life. And this newsletter is always full of good ideas and just being in Mike Capuzzi’s world will definitely introduce you with a bunch of good ideas. So that’s it for today. I hope you enjoyed this episode. Sign up for The One Good Idea Newsletter so you never miss a valuable article, video, or idea. www.smallbusinessu.org . Check out the blog and catch you next time. Thanks for watching and reading. Share this with a friend and on your favorite social media spot.
When I owned a warehouse and sold merchandise to independent retailers, I knew I could buy 100 cases of just about anything and sell it almost at will. Why? Because I had a big list of customers who wanted to know when I had a good deal on something. In the early days, I would call them one-by-one. when fax machines became ubiquitous, I’d send fax offers. When email came around, I sent emails. The point is: having a list of customers who welcome your offers and marketing messages is as good as gold…like money in the bank.
Hi, I’m Andrew Mazer or from Small Business University and this is your one good idea video which goes hand in hand with The One Good Idea Newsletter: subscribe to to it! CLICK HERE.
I want to tell you about a subject that’s a really important subject for just about any kind of business and it’s called permission based marketing. What is that? Permission based marketing is when people actually ask you to send them your marketing information to send them your advertising. Now, how does that happen? When people subscribe to your list, when people say, sign me up for your newsletter or sign me up to receive your specials and coupons…when they give you their business card and they drop it in the, fish bowl or the basket, or when they sign up on your website, They’re giving you permission to market to them. This is a gift!
I’m teaching small business owners, especially those in restaurants, retail businesses, service companies how important it is to try to capture customers’ contact information and potential customers’ contact information.
How do you get peoples’ contact information? You make a value proposition: a good offer, a coupon, or some good information are good incentives to offer in exchange for their name and email address. This can be executed very easily if you don’t know how to do it yourself. It’s easy to set up. (We can help you with this, just ask). It’s very, very simple and suddenly you can start to build a list of people who say, “Yes, send me your stuff!”
The opposite of permission based marketing is called interruption marketing. This is the kind of marketing that lands on your kitchen table, you see on TV commercials while you’re watching a show or hear on the radio. Clipper Magazine, Money Mailer, and ValPack,are example of interruption marketing you may be marketing with. It’s an interruption because people haven’t asked for it. They need to deal with it regardless if they open it to see its contents or not. As you can imagine, most of the people toss in in the trash without looking at it.
Interruption marketing is hitting a lot of non-prospects and it’s more expensive. About 100% of the permission-based marketing list prospects. Why else would they give you permission to send them your marketing message?
Lots of business owners don’t want to send their customers email. They don’t want to be a bother. This is wrong thinking.
When people ask you for your email information, you’re not being a burden to them. “I don’t, I don’t want to be that guy that bombards people with email.” Well guess what? Permission based marketing means they asked you for it. It’s almost your obligation to send them your stuff. You don’t have to be worried about bombarding. People will always be able opt out of your list, and some will…that’s okay. Most people will stay on.
Let’s say you get 1000 people on your list. That may sound like a lot, but it’s really not a lot. If you’re in the restaurant business and if you advertise in print and things likeGroupon , people will visit your website in large numbers. If you give them a good incentive on your website, they will opt into your list. You can build a very big list rather quickly once you have a plan to do it.
Let’s say for example, we started out of the out of the thousand subscribers, every time you send out an email, on average, about 30 percent of those people will open your email. That’s 300 people will open your email and then if you have something they want, about 10 percent of those 300,(between 5 and 10 percent…let’s say 7 percent) will end up doing business with you. That’s 21 people. People generally don’t just show up at the restaurant alone, they’ll bring somebody else with them, maybe their whole family, so this 21 people could easily turn into 50 or more. Now this turns into some significant money.
What about those other 70 percent of people who don’t open your email? Well, people don’t always buy. They don’t always have time to look, but they can delete your email or ignore it altogether, but guess what? They will look at your at, at their email inbox and they’ll see the name of your business and the subject line and they may choose not to open it this time, but you’ll still make an impression on their brain. They’ll still remember you. This is a way to stay in top of mind position. There are businesses out there that spend millions and millions of dollars on TV ads and radio ads just to stay in top of my position.
A lot of very big companies spend millions of dollars just to keep their brand burned into our consciousness. You can do that with all the thousands of people who already know you. It’s not their job to remember to do business with you, it’s your job to remind them you exist and just by having one email showing up in their email inbox once a week or once every other week, will remind them that you exist. This matters. This will really help you but you don’t have to spend a lot…this is pennies.
Okay, so permission based marketing is yours. It’s a 21st century phenomenon and you can add it to your marketing tool box. It’s not difficult. It’s very, very cheap and you can even automate most of the process. I urge you to look into permission based marketing, email marketing, and build a big valuable marketing list so you can push a couple buttons and get customers to make your phone’s ring, your doors swing, and your cash register cha-ching. Ask me if you need help with this CLICK HERE.
I hope you enjoyed this episode of the one good idea video newsletter, and if you have any questions, if I can help you in any way, just let me know. If you want to subscribe to our digital newsletter, which will send you a about once weekly or twice monthly, just go to www.smallbusinessu.org/ogi which stands for One Good Idea and that’ll take you right to the page. Thanks a lot for reading/watching and I hope to hear from you. See you next time.
As a service to small business owners, we provide this free resource to make your marketing more memorable, fun, and effective.
African-American Music Appreciation Month
Fight the Filthy Fly Month
LGBTQIA Pride Month
Men’s Health Month
National Accordion Awareness Month
National Adopt a Cat Month
National Fresh Fruit and Vegetables Month
National Candy Month
National Camping Month
National Country Cooking Month
National Dairy Month
National Great Outdoors Month
National Iced Tea Month
National Papaya Month
National Safety Month
National Soul Food Month
Turkey Lovers Month
6/1 Marilyn Monroe
6/8 Barbara Bush
6/12 George H W Bush
6/12 Anne Frank
6/14 Donald Trump
6/21 Edward Snowden
6/27 Helen Keller
6/28 Elon Musk
June 3 – 9
National Business Etiquette Week
National Headache Awareness Week
Pet Appreciation Week
June 11 – 17
Men’s Health Week
June 17 – 23
Animal Rights Awareness Week
Lightning Safety Awareness Week
Old Time Fiddlers Week
Fish Are Friends, Not Food! Week
Universal Father’s Week
June 28 – July 1
Watermelon Seed Spitting Week
North American Organic Brewers Days
6/1/2018 National Leave the Office Early Day / National Say Something Nice Day
6/2/2018 National Trails Day / National Rocky Road Day
6/3/2018 National Cancer Survivors Day
6/4/2018 National Cheese Day
6/5/2018 World Environment Day / National Moonshine Day
6/6/2018 National Drive in Movie Day / National Running Day
6/7/2018 National Chocolate Ice Cream Day
6/8/2018 National Best Friends Day / National Name Your Poison Day
6/9/2018 National Donald Duck Day
6/10/2018 National Iced Tea Day / National Herbs and Spices Day
6/11/2018 National Corn on the Cob Day / National Making Life Beautiful Day
6/12/2018 National Jerky Day / National Red Rose Day
6/13/2018 National Kitchen Klutzes of America Day / National Weed Your Garden Day
6/14/2018 World Blood Donor Day / Flag Day
6/15/2018 National Smile Power Day / National Flip Flop Day
6/16/2018 National Fudge Day
6/17/2018 Father’s Day
6/18/2018 National Go Fishing Day / National Splurge Day
6/19/2018 National Martini Day
6/20/2018 National Ice Cream Soda Day / National Vanilla Milkshake Day
6/21/2018 National Selfie Day / World Music Day / Summer Begins
6/22/2018 National Onion Rings Day
6/23/2018 National Pink Day / International Widow’s Day
6/24/2018 National Take Your Dog to Work Day
6/25/2018 National Strawberry Parfait Day
6/26/2018 National Beauticians Day
6/27/2018 National Sunglasses Day
6/28/2018 National Handshake Day / National Paul Bunyan Day
6/29/2018 National Camera Day
6/30/2018 National Meteor Watch Day / Social Media Day
I got an email the other day and I just HAD to open it. The subject line was just irresistible. It said:
This blog article could just as easily be about creating a great email as it is about making a great Facebook post. That’s why I decided to just talk it out in video.
Below the video, I have linked to the article the email was originally linked to. There’s also a Free Report available called, The Groupon Solution I want to give you. If you’ve ever done a Groupon “Deal” or if you’re thinking about doing one, this report will shed light on how to squeeze more profit out of each customer, plus how to get more repeat customers (the real reason for ALL advertising).
Attention business owners. Sign up for my Free Newsletter to get where I share ideas like this one every month. I call it The One Good Idea Newsletter™ because I know that one good idea can change your business and change your life.
A company called Manta sent me the email which inspired the video. Follow this link to read their article.
As a service to small business owners, we give you over 50 marketing idea-starters every month. If you’re not already getting this resource in your email each month, SUBSCRIBE!
Monthly Holidays for May, 2018
National English Language Month
National Month of Hope
National Canine Fitness Month
National Internship Awareness Month
Distracted Driving Awareness Month
National Child Abuse Awareness Month
National Donate Life Awareness Month
National Cannabis Awareness Month
Month of the Military Child
International Guitar Month
Keep America Beautiful Month
National Autism Awareness Month
National Couple Appreciation Month
National Decorating Month
National Humor Month
National Landscape Architecture Month
National Inventor’s Month
National Jazz Appreciation Month
National Soft Pretzel Month
National Poetry Month
National Volunteer Month
Occupational Therapy Month
Sexual Assault Awareness Month
Stress Awareness Month
Famous Birthdays in May
5/2 Dwayne Johnson (The Rock)
5/2 Donatella Versace
5/5 Lysie Snyder (Heiress of In-N-Out Burger)
5/14 Mark Zuckerberg
5/21 Al Franken
5/27 Jamie Oliver
Small Business Week
National Pet Week
National Nurses Week
Public Service Recognition Week
National Teacher Appreciation Week
National Etiquette Week
National Salvation Army Week
Public Works Week
National Emergency Medical Services Week
Daily Holidays in May, 2018
5/1/2018 May Day / National Foster Care Day
5/2/2018 National Truffle Day
5/3/2018 National Day of Reason / World Password Day
5/4/2018 National Star Wars Day
5/5/2018 National Cartoonists Day / Free Comic Book Day / Cinco de Mayo
5/6/2018 National Nurses Day
5/7/2018 National Melanoma Monday
5/8/2018 National Teacher Appreciation Day
5/9/2018 National Bike to School Day
5/10/2018 National Shrimp Day / National Clean Up Your Room Day
5/11/2018 National Military Spouse Appreciation Day
5/12/2018 National Archery Day / National Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive Day
5/13/2018 Mother’s Day / National Apple Pie Day
5/14/2018 National Dance Like a Chicken Day
5/15/2018 National Chocolate Chip Day
5/16/2018 National Sea Monkey Day
5/17/2018 National Graduation Tassel Day
5/18/2018 National Visit Your Relatives Day / Nascar Day
5/19/2018 National Learn to Swim Day / National Armed Forces Day
5/20/2018 National Be a Millionaire Day / National Pick Strawberries Day
5/21/2018 National American Red Cross Founders Day
5/22/2018 National Buy a Musical Instrument Day
5/23/2018 National Lucky Penny Day
5/24/2018 National Scavenger Hunt Day
5/25/2018 National Missing Children’s Day / National Wine Day
5/26/2018 National Blueberry Cheesecake Day
5/27/2018 National Grape Popsicle Day
5/28/2018 Memorial Day / National Hamburger Day
5/29/2018 National Paperclip Day
5/30/2018 National Senior Health and Fitness Day / National Creativity Day
5/31/2018 National Speak in Sentences Day
Email as a marketing initiative seems to have no appeal to most small business owners. While email pours into our inboxes by the hour from the smallest of businesses to mega-brands and retail giants, Main Street business owners dismiss email as a marketing initiative. Why? The biggest reason I hear is because they don’t want to be a burden to their customers’ inbox.
Your Email Message is NOT a Burden to Your Customers (not if you follow some simple guidelines)
If your customer willingly gives you their email address in exchange for some information, in response to an offer, or for some other value, they have given you permission to send them email messages. Your email messages are NOT a burden if you keep your messages relevant, helpful, informative and useful. In other words, if your email serves the people on your list, you’re doing email right.
Restaurant: Weekly specials and discounts. Live entertainment announcements, new seasonal menus, special offerings for those with special diet or lifestyles. Birthday and Anniversary offers.
Massage Therapist: Health & beauty tips for the body and mind. Announce special offers when massage bookings are light for the upcoming week. Massage therapists, yoga instructors, personal trainers, and chiropractors can team up to cross promote each other while building useful and engaging email messages.
Electrician & Plumber: These professionals can team up with one another and provide home safety tips, energy conservation advice, preventative maintenance.
Landscaper: Tips on curb appeal, low-cost landscape improvements you can do yourself, home gardening tips.
It’s a gift when people sign up for your email. It’s a wonderful opportunity to have your own audience who says, “Yes! Send me your info and your offers!”
Customer loyalty transcends price. Being convenient and helpful with good advice and information matters. If you take the approach of being a helpful resource with your email message, your marketing message will be received in the same spirit.
Don’t stress if your emails don’t all get opened. The name of the sender (you) and your message will usually be seen. You’re still keeping you and your business in top-of-mind position. Not everyone is ready to buy at any given time…but when they are, your helpful presence in their inbox will remind them you’re there and ready to serve them. You also stand a much better chance at getting a referral from a member on your email list by keeping in touch.
Email Topics Make Good Social Media Posts
The great thing about marketing your business online is, most of your efforts can be repurposed. A blog post (like this one), can be used in an email and also as social media post. Once the content is finished, the deployment of the message on other media is quick and easy. Each can serve to deliver your marketing message, be shared by members of your audience, and to further grow your list and reach.
Today, a large percentage of people who see your ads in print, your participation in a Groupon deal, or see your vehicle on the road, are going to check out your website. This is a unique chance to acquire a lead ad grow your email marketing list. Your website needs to make an offer of some sort. We call this a Lead Magnet. It’s something irresistible like a discount or some piece of valuable information. Customer interactions of all kinds should include a method to record their contact information.
“There’s money in the list” is the mantra of so many mega-successful entrepreneurs. Why? Because when someone gives you their email address, they are giving you permission to send them your information and offers. We call this Permission-Based Marketing.
A productive customer list is a valuable asset. Your business is worth more to you and also to a potential buyer if you have a list of customers whom you have serves and who respond your marketing.
Statistically, a restaurant email will be opened by about 34% of its recipients. So if you have 1000 people on your email list, 340 people will open your email message on average every time you send. If just 5% off those people decide to come in to patronize you, that’s 17 more tables served. If the average table is 3.5 people and your average check is $20 per person, that’s $1190.00 in sales for every time you send out an email. Does that want to make you double the size of your email list?
Granted, a massage therapist or an electrician isn’t likely to get the heavy response of a restaurant, but the effect will be similar-a few extra bookings, a few extra quotes, a few extra referrals, and A several thousand dollars in extra sales throughout the year.
A big email list can recession-proof your business. In every economy there are winners and losers. Have a big list and there will be a portion of the list who are doing well even in a down economy. Keeping in touch with email is dirt cheap as compared to most any other marketing media.
If disaster strikes and you have a fire in your place of business or if your landlord sells out and you lose your lease, you can quickly reach out to your customers and tell them you have moved into a new location. If you need to make any other kinds of special announcement, you can reach all your customers to let them know with email.
When you have a big email list, you don’t need to spend time and extra marketing cash on loyalty programs, equipment or training. Marketing automation delivers your message and your offers consistently.
Email marketing IS a project. The best way to do it is to schedule several months worth of messages in advance. Although it’s not an easy task, it IS worthwhile.
The good news is, you can get professionally written emails sent to your list weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly for a fee that allows you to come away with a strong return on investment.
To learn more about our Email and List-Building Marketing Program for Small Business Owners, contact us today. There’s no charge for a strategy session.