Top Techniques for Creating A Solid Email Marketing Campaign

When in the process of setting up a small business and marketing it for more sales, it’s important to look into all avenues of marketing to ensure you don’t miss out on any potential customers. One marketing method that’s used by many small businesses is email marketing. Email marketing is not only a cost effective strategy to use but has the potential to build a stronger relationship with your future customers. So how do you create a powerful email marketing campaign? This expert guide will give you the top techniques you can use to create a solid email marketing campaign.

Best Practices For A Great Email Marketing Strategy

Identify Your Target Audience

Identifying your target audience is the first thing you need to consider when creating a powerful marketing strategy. The idea of audience identification is so you don’t market your business to the wrong people who aren’t interested in what you have to offer. This just wastes your time and theirs. So how do you identify your target audience? The answer is audience segmentation. Audience segmentation is the process of breaking down your potential customer base and working out specific content that is targeted for them. You can start this break down process by placing your audience into selected categories. These categories include:

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Taking a Break to Improve Your Productivity

Do you do anything ‘fun’ during your typical work day to help keep you focused? It’s easy to get caught up in the busy-ness of business and often we just need to give our brains a break for the sake of our work, colleagues and customers. Oddly, this intentional act of removing ourselves from our work environment can in fact vastly improve our productivity levels. But taking these brain breaks consistently is no picnic. Whilst there are many ways to take a break from the demands of your business, as with most attempts at behavioral change, incorporating these into your daily routine is the only way to increase your chances of following through and seeing results.

Here are some tips to help you find ways to give yourself a true business break:

Get out for lunch

It may sound far too obvious but eating lunch at your desk five or six days a week is not a lunch break. Continuing work whilst eating not only reduces your effectiveness at the tasks you are completing but it also has a tendency to foster poor nutritional choices when it comes to what you actually eat. A couple of times a week you should actually go out for lunch for a full hour. Even better take a colleague, client or friend with you and make it a point to not talk business. You’ll be surprised about the serendipitous discoveries you may achieve whilst out and what you’ll learn about the people you already know. If you can get away with not having a device with you during lunch, you’ll be giving yourself some space to unwind without projects still floating around in your mind. By the time you get back to the office, the second half of your day should see you refreshed, full of energy and crushing it.

Get some fresh air

There is nothing better than to completely leave the confines of your office and take a walk around the block. Not only will it take your mind temporarily away from what you’re working on, the physical activity will help energise you and shrug off any sluggishness. Whilst walking you may want to just focus on your breathing so that you that you can find another level of calm. Another favourite is to take a picnic rug with you to a local park and sit with your headphones on and your favourite tunes. The goal here is to get you into the real environment that includes fresh air and natural sunlight. These elements can have a huge impact on the rest of your day and will positively impact your productivity more than if you just stayed in front of your computer.

Get in the break routine

Even if all you can manage in your particular work environment is short little breaks from time to time, take them. Even use them to reward yourself throughout the day as something to look forward to. As soon as you finish the next segment of the big project you are working on, celebrate hitting that milestone with a short break. Some people like to work with countdown timers that alert them when a certain period of time is over. This practice helps you stick to the routine of breaks but it will also help you fit more into your day as you give task’s deadlines to these chunks of time. These repeated breaks will help enormously, even if all you do is get out of your chair and in the hallway for a few moments. The idea is to get away from your computer or desk just long enough to feel you’ve been gone from them. Bathroom breaks don’t count.

Get the first break early

One great way to boost your productivity is to have your first break of the day early in your work day. That can be something as simple as a coffee break at 10:00 AM. If you started work at 9:00 AM, you have an hour to accomplish something more than weeding through e-mails and Boom! Time for a break. It will give you great motivation each morning, especially on those Mondays that never seem to end. An early break will make that day seem shorter and if you add another short break at 3:00 PM, you can really bust up a day and still be fresh and productive.

There is nothing wrong with working hard at your business but in the long run if you overdo it you won’t be much fun to be around and your brain will turn to mush. To avoid this try giving your mind and body frequent breaks during the day. In the competitive world of business, you need the edge to stay competitive and your productivity will do that and if you do it right.

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Carl is the co-founder of www.baskpicnicrugs.com.au Bask, an Australian store that specialises in premium picnic rugs designed especially for the lifestyles of active, healthy Australians. Bask’s unique range of picnic blankets compliment their philosophy about the importance of getting outside and among nature more often.

Five Ways to Stabilise Your Small Business Income

It’s 2016 and the world around you is changing. More and more people are owning small businesses. The internet has progressed and evolved since its early days, and people are flooding to get their small businesses out there through websites and other platforms. For those of us who are current small business owners, it was not easy to get here. So many hurdles to jump, so many failures to overcome. But here we are and we plan to stay here so long our income continues to go up and not the other way. Stabilizing your small business income should be at the top of your list of important things to keep in mind. With the economy note yet on its feet, it’s best to focus your attention on this subject. In this article we will give you 5 ways to stabilize your small business income.

1. Track All Of Your Expenses

This one might seem like a simple one but creating a budget for literally everything is essential when running a small business. Make sure you are keeping an eye out on ALL of your accounts as your small business keeps growing. It’s as simple as gathering all receipts used throughout the day and making sure to either write down or put in the computer any and all payments coming in and out. Do not leave anything out; meals you eat on the go, gas used to get from one place to another, supplies bought at another location – it all adds up in the end. By not keeping up with all of the expenses, you end up not being able to create a reliable financial statement or conjure up correct reports on your tax returns.

2. Boost your SEO

SEO is important when wanting to up your revenue or attract more customers. SEO is not difficult and should often be updated to keep up a certain amount of traffic on your small business website. You’re going to wanna utilize keywords that are a bit closer to your niche and that have fewer competitors. The URLs you use be able to take your customers back to your main site and should also have indicators of the content on the same page, such as the page title. Also, you’re going to want to avoid using numbers or odd strings of text in your URLs – this is so that you do not lead people away from your page. And finally, every article you publish on your page should also be be accompanied by social share icons that lead to your small business’s Facebook page or Twitter account. In a sense, it’s like killing two birds with one stone.

3. Learn To Separate Personal and Business Money

This applies to new and seasoned small business owners alike. It’s important always to keep business, and personal money separate. Try going with easy-to-use software, such as QuickBooks. Honestly, you don’t need to be an accounting expert to keep track of your income and expenses. However, if you know you won’t enter information into the computer software every once in awhile while it’s still fresh in your mind, you might want to get a simple cash book from the local supply store. Make sure to write all the money that comes in and all that goes out. You can end up with way too many financial headaches if you do not organize and optimize your financial records.

4. Stop The Habit Of Using Your Sales Tax Money

This one should come as no surprise to all small business owners. It will certainly cost you way more in future penalties, fees, interest, time and aggravation than obtaining some short term financing. The most reliable strategy is to discipline yourself to deposit all the sales tax money you gain each and every day into a separate bank account. Now, why do this you may ask; it’s simple; tax liabilities grow due to business owners using the tax money they collect and will gain working capital for their current operations

5. Don’t Forget To Pay Yourself The Right Amount And No More

It’s Friday afternoon, and it’s time for the weekend to begin. So like always, you pay yourself what you want and sometimes even take a little more out that you need for whatever weekend plans you might have. In the short run, this seems like an okay thing to do – but in the long term, this is just bankruptcy waiting to happen. Even when the business is thriving, it is important to continue to draw only YOUR salary. This is because the “down times” will be coming eventually through the natural business cycle of your small business. It’s not fun to leave the money in the firm during times of plenty, but it sure is nice to have those reserves when the company is struggling in future. So make sure only to grab what you need and leave the rest. It’ll surely help shortly.

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Joel House runs a leading Queensland based SEO Agency  – Black Shirt Marketing. When he is not growing businesses across Queensland, he has his head in books to ensure he is on the cutting edge of all things small business and digital marketing

Lessons Learned About Time Management From a Puppy & Pneumonia

Sounds completely ridiculous, right?  But believe it or not, I’ve accomplished more in the last three weeks of being hospitalized and getting an 8 week old puppy than I have in the last few months!  How did I do it?  Well, I thought I would share some key points here because I feel in this current age of faster and faster and everyone appearing to want everything done yesterday, the points are probably going to hit home to a lot of people.

Firstly, listen to your body!  Now I haven’t had Pneumonia for nearly 10 years but when it happens it is smackdown!  There really isn’t much you either have the desire to do nor the energy.  So what did I do for the fortnight I was laid up I hear you ask?  Well, besides re-scheduling and/or cancelling a bunch of appointments and initially feeling very sorry for myself, I actually sat down and put together my goals and then a plan for the next 12 months.  Now I know with all of the so-called “busyness” of life these days, I would never have got that done had I not been laid up.  And I am so incredibly grateful that I was!  The amount of fun I had doing it, which in turn put my entire biochemistry into such a positive and uplifting energy vibration that then healed me, was just amazing.  Within days of completing my goals for 12 months, 6 months, 3 months, this month and next month – I was back to normal.  Coincidence you say?  Well, maybe.  But learn to listen to your body – sometimes it is purely and simply telling you to stop and take a break.  And sometimes those messages are louder than others – mine was a brick!

Since then, I’ve put into place weekly and daily goals.  Which, unbelievably, I’ve managed to accomplish fairly easily and effortlessly.  Before I became ill I surrounded myself with lists.  I really am a list kind of gal.  But the lists never really had a deadline attached to them.  The power of seeing a date and “Weekly Goals” at the top of the sheet really sent my sub-conscious mind a very clear message – that this stuff was just going to get done no matter what.  And for some strange and unknown reason, I’ve started seeing things differently.  For instance, not spending so long going through e-mails.  And I’ve become much more decisive on what I read and give energy to.  I’ve become more energized in the sense that when a task needs to be completed – I just keep going until it’s done.  It really has been an epiphany that I just cannot fully explain.

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Creating the right work environment at home

Running your small business from home has never been easier thanks to the radical advances made in technology over the past decade. With the advent of digital communication services and cloud-based data storage and software, running a small business from your home can be both economical and very convenient. But what does this new freedom mean for the work environment that we now create for ourselves? Being free from the traditional office setup means we can tailor our work environment to suit our personal productivity needs but how do you best achieve this?

Here are a few tips to consider when setting up your work environment at home.

Location, location

Finding the right location for your home office is an important first step. For many this will be a straight-forward decision as they will already have a study or spare room in mind. However, it’s important to consider an alternative work space that may be available around your home. While having an established office is important, many home workers find it beneficial to have a second area that they can access in order to reset when they go through periods of frustration or overwhelm. This needn’t be an entirely new office but could be a simple table in or outside of your home that you can easily escape to and get started again with relative ease. Experiment in using this space at different times during the day. You may be surprised by the impact this can have on your focus and ability to deal with tricky problems.

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Seven Ways to Organize Your Home Office to Create More Space

Keeping an organized and tidy workspace is essential. Studies have shown that concentration is negatively affected in an untidy work environment. So it’s just as important for home workers to keep their workspace clean as it is in a conventional office. As the specialists in both home and office cleaning, at Helpling, we’re uniquely qualified to offer tips on how to keep your home office clean and organized. We’ve put together some of our top tips on how home workers can keep a neat and tidy workspace.

1. Go digital

If you’re working from a home office, space is likely at a premium. Maximise what room you have by digitizing as much of your paperwork as you can. Use laptops or iPads for meetings to shorten your paper trail and reduce printing costs. It is also much better for the environment.

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Time Management Tips For Small Business

As an entrepreneur running my own business, time management can become an issue if not managed properly.

Time is unlike anything else in the business world. Lose some, or worst still, waste it and you will never get it back. Making the most of your time is perhaps one of the most crucial aspects of running a small business successfully.

But how should you manage your time in the small business environment? I’ve compiled a list of simple techniques that you as the small business owner can use to ensure time management doesn’t become an issue for you.

Prioritize tasks

Often as an entrepreneur, the tasks that you need to complete will fall into your lap. This is especially true when you are starting out and may not have the capital outlay to employ extra staff.

A great idea is to prioritize your tasks on a daily basis. Rank them in order of importance for the day and begin to work on them in that order. Bear in mind that everybody is different. You might not be the most productive person in the morning, perhaps working at your best after lunch. Leave the most important task for then, unless there is a pressing morning deadline.

As someone who works at my best in the morning, I prefer to get all the important things done when I am at my freshest, leaving smaller, less important tasks for later in the day.

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Is Online Marketing a Better Match for a Small Business than Offline Marketing?

The question of whether online marketing trumps offline strategies is often treated as a hypothetical one – most marketers have tossed offline by the wayside and placed 100% of their focus on newer (and more successful) online methods.

But is online marketing always the best match for a small business? Let’s first take a look at how online marketing can benefit your business. I’ll also consider the question of whether offline marketing really is antiquated and not worth doing, or if there’s something left in the tank of old school methods.

Deep Dive Analytics

Online marketing can give you an excellent overview of the performance of each and every dollar you spend. Free inbuilt tools on Google Analytics, for example, allow you to set goals and track the flow of your traffic. You can analyse where your audience is exiting your site, which landing pages perform best – and that’s just the start.

Analytical tools allow you to deep dive on the specifics of your business performance, allowing you to tweak and adapt in real time. You can respond to market shifts quickly by viewing the results of complex calculations with just a few clicks.

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Putting Together an Immaculate Business Website

To run your business smooth means that you will have to mark your presence online, and offline as well. However, unless you have a good website, people will just quickly click away to look for what they need elsewhere. You should never wait for updating your webpage until it is too late, because by the time you have everything done, your business might have missed out on many opportunities.

Let Customers Praise Your Products and Services

Telling how great your business is, will never be a good practice, because people will want to hear what other peers are thinking. It will be absolutely necessary that you include reviews, and to alter them very little, so that people can read what others really meant. Not only will it be helpful for other people, because it will tell them clearly if they should work with your business or not. But, on the bonus side, if you have good reviews, it will be an invite for everyone to come and check out your business, meaning that you will have more traffic.

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Sustainable Office Design for a Green Tomorrow

In recent years, the adverse effects of the changing climate on the environment are being given more attention in the field of office design. Some researches even show a correlation between sustainable work spaces and a more efficient work environment. Investing in ‘green’ offices is a growing trend, since employers have come to realize that this investment pays off in the long run. If you are having trouble with low productivity and high productivity costs, maybe you should try the following ‘green’ tactics.

  1. Let there be daylight

If your office relies more on daylight and less on artificial light, you will save up on electricity. There is also a clear connection with productivity. Employees who are exposed to daylight work better, concentrate more easily, and sleep 46 minutes more each night than those who work under artificial lights. With the development of new technologies, even office spaces that are located inside a building, with no windows, can get natural light with clever devices that redirect sunlight.

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