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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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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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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Three Ways to Grow Your Business Using Twitter

Social media is heavily promoted by bloggers as a marketing must. For most B2B companies, Twitter is one of the most frequently used and often wrongly used social media channels. Below are three ways we use Twitter every day to improve our business.

1)    Listen closely to your customers

Most companies do a good job of listening to customers when they directly complain or message the business. It’s not enough in 2015 to do a good job of hearing direct messages. You can learn more from your customers by listening to everything they’re saying. When you find a customer on Twitter simply add them to a list. (We called ours simply #ourclients) By occasionally reading this list we are able to predict what clients may want from us before they tell us. We’re not mind-reading just paying attention.

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How to Get Rid Of Unnecessary Internal E-mails

Do you wish you could get more e-mails every day?  I didn’t think so!  Today I would like to share with you a simple strategy on how you can get back control.

I remember a couple of years ago I was about to deliver a keynote presentation when the CEO of the company asked if it would be OK if he could quickly make an announcement.  Well it didn’t turn out to be announcement, it was more like a full on rant!  He walked onto the stage looking a little disheveled and in his hand he had a whole pile of paper, no actually it looked like a ream of paper.  He went on to explain that this was all the e-mail correspondence he had received with regards to one particular project that he wasn’t even involved in! It also turned out that this was a minor project!  What had been happening is everybody had cc’d every single person they could think of who was even remotely involved in the project on any correspondence!

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How Your Entrepneurial Journey Can Empower Your Children From an Early Stage

Setting on this start-up journey after the birth of second child meant dealing with constant worries about my parenting commitment, business challenges like any other parent. There are many articles written about how parenthood can help you with entreprenuership or make you an efficient employee, but there wasn’t much satisfactory information about reverse effect on our kids.

Guess, I didn’t have to wait long to find out. Recently I met with few mothers who run their own business and got the opportunity to discuss the impact of their business journey on their family / children. So this article is a summary of these conversations and my personal experience with my little ones.

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Claim depreciation for older commercial investment properties

One of the main reasons commercial investors continually fail to take advantage of the depreciation deductions available from their property, is because they believe their property is too old to warrant making a claim.

According to Bradley Beer, the Managing Director of BMT Tax Depreciation, this myth needs to be dispelled.

“Often investors make the mistake of thinking they will not receive deductions for an older property due to the date restrictions the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) place on claiming the available capital works allowance. The reality is that any property, no matter how old the building is, will entitle its owner to valuable deductions in the form of depreciation. This is because the owner is also entitled to claim depreciation for the plant and equipment assets contained within the property,” said Brad.

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7 Legal Essentials for Business Online: Part 5 – Website Terms and Conditions

If you’ve been following this series of articles you’ll be aware that terms and conditions have been mentioned a couple of times in different contexts, and there is good reason for that. Creating an online business allows you to interact with people all over the world. You no longer have the relative security of watching someone walk through the front door of your store and being able to make a judgment about how you want to behave with them, and how you might expect them to behave.

In an online environment the space is open and accessible 24/7 and you don’t necessarily get to check out your customers before they go to buy. The beauty of being online is that you get to set your own rules, within the context of the laws you chose to apply to your website.  How does this work in practice?

If your business is here in Australia you don’t really want to get involved in a dispute somewhere the other side of the world. You particularly don’t want to get dragged into a court proceeding that is in America, where ridiculous damages claims appear to be the norm. As an aside, did you know that New South Wales is the second most litigious state in the World, behind California?

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Tomorrow Starts Today (And Three Other Time Saving Tips)

At one time I was running four successful businesses. At once.  I get a lot of business questions: how much should I charge (as much as you can), is SEO worth it (of course) and will this ever get easier (I hope so!)  But easily the most frequently asked question was “how do you have so much more time than I do?”

To be hyper-efficient takes time and dedication. However, below are a few of my top tips to get you started on your path to more productive work.

 1. Tomorrow Starts Today

Tomorrow’s productivity is highly dependent on how you finish today.  The last 30 minutes of your day should always be spent preparing for tomorrow and the rest of the week.  What work is outstanding? What are the three most important things for you to get done tomorrow? What can you knock off early in the morning when you first walk in?

We all know the lesson about putting the big rocks in the jar first so that the rest fit, right? Don’t forget it. Every day should start with the biggest project you need to work on or finish.

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