Email Marketing For Small Business Owners

A staggering 69.7% of Internet users state email to be the preferred method of communication from businesses (eMarketer, 2015).  It’s clear that email is where your customers want to be reached.  And the customer is always right.

Email marketing is one of the most direct ways of contacting customers, and building and sustaining strong relationships with them.  Despite the overwhelming argument for email, small business owners still tend to shy away from the channel in favour of simpler, more familiar methods of communication such as Social Media and their website.

With 4,300% ROI – for ever $1 spent on email, businesses receive $4300 in return (ExactTarget, 2014) – email is significantly more effective than SEO, Direct Marketing and Social Marketing.

If you’re starting out with email, follow our easy steps to email success.

Step 1: Do Your Research

Define Your Strategy
Before you embark on this new marketing initiative, take a step back and work out what you’re trying to achieve from it.  Are you looking for leads? Sales? Regular communication with your customers?  Once you’ve got a clear direction in mind, you can use it to inform your overall email strategy.

What’s In it For Customers?

You’re going to get in touch with your customers more regularly, which can only be positive for your business.  But what’s in it for them? Why should they hand over their personal details to you? It’s important to define this right from the beginning.  If you don’t have anything valuable to offer, who’s going to bother to read it, let alone sign up.

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Top 7 Email Marketing Latest Trends

Do you know what online marketing technique has the highest return on investment?

Since you have already read the title, you have probably guessed its email marketing.

Email marketing produces an average ROI of 4,300%, more than PPC advertising, social media marketing, direct marketing, or content marketing. It delivers the best performance when it comes to driving sales and it costs a lot less to implement than other strategies.

If you too want to use this direct and highly-effective marketing channel and get the most from it, you’ll need to do it the right way. This means providing value through your emails and gradually cultivating in your subscribers the desire to buy your product, as well as keeping up with the latest email marketing trends. Here’s our checklist:

1. Mobile optimisation

Optimising your website and email messages for mobile devices are a no-brainer – most people check email on their smartphones, and Australians spend an average of 2 hours on their smartphones every day. The transition of email from desktop to mobile devices won’t stop, and the emergence of wearable devices is yet another proof of this evolution.

On the other hand, mobile devices change subscriber behaviour, and marketers are having a harder time delivering messages that people open and read. Email browsers are becoming increasingly supersized and many experts are advising marketers to keep their subject lines under 35 characters so they are fully captured by mobile browsers.

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Email Marketing on a Budget

Most business owners I talk to would like to use email more effectively to support their business. But with all the things a small business owner has to balance, time is always the biggest challenge when it comes to getting these things in motion.

  • Time to learn a new technology
  • Time to write the emails
  • Time to design them

There are great companies who will take care of most of this for you, but without understanding the real return on investment of email in your circumstance, it’s sometimes difficult to justify paying someone.

This double edge sword creates a hesitation in getting started and as a long time user of email marketing it’s a real shame. To help change that I’m going to share with you some tips to bootstrap getting your email marketing campaigns underway.

It’s time to roll up the sleeves and get it done.

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How To Use Images Online Without Getting Into Trouble

Where do you get the pictures you use online?

Like most people, do you simply do a Google Search to find something that matches what you’re looking for?  Another really common practice is to just use clipart.

Unfortunately, just because you can find it online doesn’t mean it’s free to use.

There is a growing trend for artists and image copyright holders to send out letters of demand to people using their images.  If you read forums you’ll find that there are people who think this is a scam and unfair. To give you some context, if artists gave away all of their work for free, they would starve and there would be a lot less high quality images for you to use. Copyright law came about for the purpose of protecting the livelihood of creative people and to make it worthwhile for them to continue to produce creative works for the rest of us to use or appreciate and enjoy.

Claims for payment for use of copyright images are not often scams.

When a copyright owner starts to lose income from their work, they have the right to chase up people who are breaching their rights. Copyright is a bundle of rights rather than just one thing and can be breached in a variety of ways. Copying, distributing, republishing, changing, adapting and translating can all be breaches of copyright. If you are in breach, there is a chance that you will receive a letter of demand.

Letters of demand vary depending upon whether they are a form letter, such as those sent out by Dun & Bradstreet on behalf of Getty’s images, or a letter specifically sent out by a legal firm on behalf of their client. We’ve worked with all sorts.

A letter of demand for breach of copyright will usually cover the following:

·         it has been found that you are using the image on your website “for online promotional purposes”

·         the writer is the artist or is authorised to represent the artist or distributor

·         the artist or distributor holds copyright in the work

·         the writer has been unable to verify that you have permission or are licenced to use the image

·         you are requested to immediately remove the image

·         you are asked to pay a licence fee

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Commercial property owners could be saving thousands in depreciation

Commercial building owners remain unaware of the taxation benefits their property can generate. One of the most beneficial, yet often missed deductions available is building depreciation.

As a building gets older and items within it age, they depreciate in value. The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) recognises this and allows property investors to claim deductions relating to the wear and tear on buildings and the fixtures and fittings within.

According to Bradley Beer, property expert and Managing Director of BMT Tax Depreciation, “claiming depreciation is the key to increasing cash flow on commercial properties.”

Building write-off can be claimed on the structure of a commercial building so long as construction commenced after the 20th of July 1982. In cases where construction commenced before this date, depreciation can still be claimed on fixtures and fittings.

“Many commercial property owners assume they are unable to claim depreciation on their property, or receive significant deductions because it is too old. However, there are still significant depreciation deductions available on the fixtures, fittings, plant and equipment contained within the property,” says Bradley.

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The 5 Documented Habits Successful Entrepreneurs Have

Most new businesses fail. Despite such a high failure rate, some business owners do manage to find success beyond their wildest dreams. However, their success was not a coincidence. Successful entrepreneurs all share certain traits and behaviours that help lead their companies to prominence. Below is a list of five habits that all successful entrepreneurs have.

1. Always Plan for the Future

One habit of successful entrepreneurs is always planning for the future. This includes both the immediate future as well as one, two, five and ten years ahead. True entrepreneurs are never completely satisfied with current successes. When Sir Richard Branson found success with Virgin Records, he was already plotting his entry into the airline business. After finding success with Virgin Airlines, he started plotting his company’s expansion into space travel. Entrepreneurs should always think ahead.

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Healthy Staff = Healthy Profits

Even if you don’t pay your staff sick leave (perhaps they are casual or contract), sick staff cost our businesses in lost productivity. If you are also paying your staff to not work, then this adds up in real dollars to the financial loss if a staff member is sick. Remember also that you may have to get someone to cover them; further adding to the costs. So, let’s look at how you can keep your staff healthy:

• Coming up to winter, offer your staff free flu vaccines. If might cost you $50 or $60 per head, but you’d lose that in just half a day sick. Even better, organise a doctor to come in and immunize the team in the workplace. Check legislation, but I don’t think you can make it compulsory, but by paying for it, and making it easy to do, most staff will welcome the opportunity.

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How To Promote Your Company’s Seminar Or Conference On Twitter: 3 Things You Can Do TODAY

There are many reasons why a business would run an event. A conference could provide networking opportunities and may help land strategic partnerships with local companies.

A seminar, on the other hand, is an excellent tool for showcasing your company’s expertise while garnering high quality leads to convert at a later time.

Or perhaps a business just wants everyone – their employees and most loyal customers – to have a great time by holding a concert.

The list of reasons could go on and on but here’s the bottom line: you’ve organized an event and you want it to be a success without taking valuable hours away from your business.

So how do you go about encouraging attendance or registrations for your seminar, conference, or concert without losing time and big bucks?

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7 Legal Essentials for Business Online: Part 7 – Discrimination & Accessibility Online

An accessible website should operate the same way for all its users, regardless of their physical ability. In other words, web accessibility is all about inclusiveness; it is about making sure no one is left out because they cannot see, hear, or use a mouse or keyboard like any able-bodied person. With Google’s algorithm change in April 2015, this also means your website has to be mobile friendly.

Advocacy groups argue that having an inaccessible website is discrimination and violation of human rights. Some have even gone on to file high-profile lawsuits against multinational companies like Target, Sydney Olympic Committee, AOL and others receiving favorable decisions in court. These cases were able to set some important precedents so that if your site is not yet optimized for disabled users, your company may be at risk of civil litigation.

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Reduce Fit-out Costs With Depreciation Deductions

Starting a new business can be quite daunting, particularly if you’re trying to do so within a strict budget.

On top of other initial start-up costs such as purchasing stock or merchandise, arranging insurance, budgeting for staff overheads and (if you don’t own the building) allocating funds to pay rent, there are often costs involved in installing assets to fit-out the new space before you can open the doors for business.

What commercial property tenants are often unaware of is that they are entitled to claim deductions in the form of depreciation for many of the assets installed during the fit-out of a property.

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