7 Expenses That All Ecommerce Businesses Should Know About

We’ve all heard the expression: Cash is king. But having cash alone isn’t enough. Your small business also needs to understand how to manage that cash and how to deal with typical ecommerce expenses. A lot of online businesses make the mistake of not remaining cash flow positive. They spend more than they make, or… Read more

The post 7 Expenses That All Ecommerce Businesses Should Know About appeared first on Kabbage Small Business Blog.

from Kabbage Small Business Blog https://www.kabbage.com/blog/7-ecommerce-expenses
7 Expenses That All Ecommerce Businesses Should Know About

first seen on http://barbarapjohnson.blogspot.com

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Farewell to Ed Doolan – the Aussie-born Brummie who WAS local radio

Broadcasting legend told it like it was for more than 40 years

from birminghampost – Business http://www.birminghampost.co.uk/business/creative/farewell-ed-doolan-radio-wm-14163692

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Farewell to Ed Doolan – the Aussie-born Brummie who WAS local radio

Broadcasting legend told it like it was for more than 40 years

from birminghampost – Business http://www.birminghampost.co.uk/business/creative/farewell-ed-doolan-aussie-born-14163692

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Bank of England plays down risk to Carillion’s lenders

But bank says ripple effect of company going into liquidation is yet to be fully felt as fallout continues over construction group's collapse

from birminghampost – Business http://www.birminghampost.co.uk/business/finance/bank-england-plays-down-risk-14163614

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Email Marketing Strategy: The Small Business Owner’s Guide

So, you want to create an email marketing strategy for your small business. That’s a smart move.

According to a recent report, people sent and received over 269 billion emails per day in 2017, and there are about 3.7 billion email users worldwide.

But who’s actually using email?

In the U.S. alone more than 90% of adults use email, and despite the rise of social messaging apps, 74% of teenagers use email as well.

So, no matter who your customers are or where they live, it’s likely they have an email account you can use to reach them.  

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But with so many other digital marketing options available, is email marketing the best way to reach your customers?

Well, let’s compare it to social media for a moment. On Facebook, for instance, you have to time your message just right—and still only reach a small portion of your followers.

An email goes to a customer’s inbox where they are more likely to see it: At least 91% of consumers check their email on a daily basis.

So, yes, it’s safe to say that email is a well-known, effective marketing tool.

But you can’t just send any old email, and, of course, building up a list of people to receive your emails takes a lot of work.

It’s equally important to think very carefully about what you send as a marketing email as it is to build up your email list.  

If you’re ready to dive in, we’ve compiled an email marketing strategy guide for small businesses that will cover all of these bases.

Make a Plan for Your Business’s Email Marketing Strategy

You don’t want to start sending out marketing emails without having a comprehensive content plan.

To make that plan, you need to decide what type of emails you want to send and when you want to send them.

Understanding what type of marketing emails are out there is a good first step in building your email marketing strategy.

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Choose Email Marketing Types for Your Small Businesses

1. Email Newsletters

This is one of the most popular types of marketing emails for small businesses—it’s a great way to keep in regular contact with your email subscribers.

There are a few different approaches that you can take to email newsletters.

Some businesses use this communication to keep customers up-to-date on the latest news from the company, including sales and promotions.

Others treat newsletters a bit like a digital magazine, with content the subscribers might find interesting and relevant to your brand.

Consistency is key with email newsletters—your subscribers will want to know what to expect in order to keep them clicking.

Frequent communication will play a vital role in helping your small business increase brand recognition and build stronger customer relationships.

How frequently should you send out newsletters?

It depends on your resources. The more frequent the better—some businesses send daily newsletters.

But you want to make sure the content is good. There’s nothing worse than a bland, boring email just for the sake of sending an email.

If you only have enough good content or capacity for a weekly or monthly newsletter, then stick with that.

Email newsletters are a great place to start when you’re first launching an email marketing strategy.

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2. Email Drip Campaigns

Email “drips” are automated email messages sent to subscribers on a certain schedule or after subscribers take certain actions.

An email drip campaign can help your company efficiently and effectively communicate with your customers on a consistent basis.

Here are just a few examples of when you might use an email drip campaign:

  • Welcome email: Send out an automated email to individuals who sign up for your email list or create an account on your website.
  • Cart abandonment: Customers often put items in their cart without completing the purchase. When this happens, you can send an automated email reminding them what they left behind. You can use this opportunity to ask if they have any questions or concerns or offer a discount/incentive to push them over the edge.
  • Nudges: If someone has signed up for your list but hasn’t purchased anything from you yet, you can send them a series of emails guiding them to the next step of purchasing.
  • Thank yous: Once someone makes a purchase or engages with your content in some way, you can send out an automated thank you message to let them know how much you appreciate their business.

Much like the email newsletter, email drip campaigns not only let you stay in touch with subscribers on a regular basis, but they can also help influence conversions over time.

Most small businesses will launch their email marketing strategy with a welcome email series along with a weekly or bi-weekly email newsletter.

3. Dedicated Send

Every now and then, you might want to send a dedicated email to a certain group of people.

For example, if you’re hosting a conference or event, you might want to send a dedicated email just to event registrants to alert them of event updates.

Another example would be for different tiers of customers—frequent or VIP customers, customers who haven’t visited your site in a while, or customers from a specific area.

Dedicated sends work to feel more personalized and help customers feel more engaged with your brand.

4. Product Update Email

Generally, people don’t want to receive these very often, and they’re usually not as interesting or engaging as something like an offer email or other newsletter content.

Product emails are tricky, but that said, it’s important to keep your customers informed about what’s going on in the business. Keep these emails simple and straightforward.

You’ll likely want to send a product update email when there is a massive overhaul or feature change that will significantly affect the user experience.

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Settle on an Email Service Provider

Now that you know what content you’ll send to your email list and how often, the next step in building out your email marketing strategy is to decide which email service provider, or ESP, you’ll use to send those emails.

ESPs are simply the platforms you use to build, send, and report on your email marketing strategy.

A comprehensive email strategy with large lists and multiple templates requires a software program that can handle all the things you want to do with your email marking.

A lot of services are out there—it can be overwhelming to decide on which one to use. These are some of the most popular:

  • Constant Contact: A comprehensive email tool to help manage lists and templates.
  • MailChimp: Another comprehensive option, MailChimp also integrates with WordPress, Magento, Shopify, and many other platforms.
  • Drip: Specially designed for e-commerce businesses, Drip helps manage drip campaigns to keep your customers engaged and sales aplenty.
  • ActiveCampaign: This is great for automated email campaigns and segmenting your customers into different groups.

Most of these options come with free trial periods, and after that, you’ll have to budget for monthly subscriptions with prices that vary based on how big your email list is and how comprehensive your strategy is.

Stay Compliant

You heard it here first: There are laws regulating how businesses send emails. It’s crucial to understand these laws before building out your email marketing strategy.

You do not want to violate the Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing Act of 2003, otherwise known as the CAN-SPAM Act.  

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Email service providers offer tools and learning resources to help you stay within the law of email marketing—use them.

It would be highly advised to familiarize yourself with the FTC’s Compliance Guide for Businesses as well.

Build Up Your Business’s Email List

Of course, no email marketing strategy is executable without subscribers to send your content out to. Here are some tips on how to build that list if you don’t have one already.

1. Make the sign-up process easy. 

Place a sign-up box high on your company’s website—or somewhere very visible—and add a link to the email-marketing signup page on the organization’s social media profiles.

Best practices include having the registration box:

  • Above the fold: At the very top of the page, where customers won’t have to scroll to see it.
  • Top right sidebar: If are using sidebars, then the top right is ideal for the email registration box
  • At the bottom of your articles: If you write articles for your website and someone reads your articles to the very end, then they are more likely to want to read more from you. A great place to give them this option.
  • The footer: If you don’t have articles on your website, the footer is the next best option for placement for customers who may be seeking more of your content.

Don’t be afraid to have your registration box in multiple places on your site.

You can also solicit emails on a physical sign up sheet at your brick-and-mortar store, or ask your retail associates to ask for customer emails when they check out.

2. Don’t ask for too much information.

Asking for a name and email is enough. A long and clunky registration forms could keep some customers from following through.

Try to make it a “single click” experience. Once they confirm their email, they’ll be on your list.

3. Use social media.

Your website is not the only medium to increase your email subscribers. You can use Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, and any other social network you are using to get more emails. Don’t be afraid to ask your followers to register on your list, but don’t forget to also explain the benefits of doing so.

4. Let customers know what to expect and offer incentives.

Why should someone register to be on your list? What’s in it for them? Make sure your customers know the benefit of signing up. Will your emails include special offers? Important information? Let them know upfront.

It’s important to tell your subscribers what kind of content to expect from you and how frequently they should expect it. Don’t promise something you can’t deliver.

5. Collaborate with similar brands.

Is there a brand or company who has a similar audience to yours? Why not partner with them to get in front of their email list?

You can partner with another brand in a few different ways:

  • Host an event together: Team up to produce an event that both of your audiences would respond to, then share the emails collected from the event. You can use Splash to make a quick event page and download sign ups.

 

  • Partner for a sweepstakes: Platforms like DojoMojo make it super simple to find similar brands and work with them on producing a sweepstakes. You’ll typically have to send a dedicated email and provide some form of prizing to participate. Or you can host your own sweepstakes! All of the partners will promote the sweeps to their email list, and then everyone shares the entries.

 

  • Do a “newsletter swap”: Partner with another brand and agree to feature a link to each other in your respective email newsletters. This is a great way to get in front of a new aligned audience!

Small Business Email Marketing Best Practices

Once you know what types of emails you want to send and have a contact list built up of customers to send them to, it’ll be important to keep these best practices in mind as you execute your business’s email marketing strategy.

1. Use compelling subject lines.

Grab the reader’s attention from the very start. A good email subject line communicates a compelling, even urgent, proposition. Do you have a teaser? A giveaway? A discount in store?

A few other ideas:

  • Ask a question in the subject line that will engage your customer
  • Provide an offer the customer might be interested in
  • Use numbers (e.g., “5 Ways to Wear Our Handmade Scarves”)

Make sure your subscribers won’t be able to gloss over your subject line. Many providers let you test different subject lines to see which ones work best for your audience.

2. Be brief. 

Consumers are only willing to give you so much time. They’re busy. They have other things to do.

It’s important to learn to say more with less. How can you get your message across with as few words as possible? Is there an image that could convey these ideas or better grab the readers attention?  

3. Make the text easy to read and scan

It’s possible that many of your readers will simply scan your emails. Pack in words with special meaning, and use subheadings and bolded sentences. Small paragraphs with one or two sentences are key.

4. Use ALT tags for images.

Many email clients do not show images by default. This is where ALT tags come in.

Think of it as backup text that provides context about what your image is.  

This is also an important tool for your visually impaired subscribers that may use a screen reader to get a description of images in an email.

5. Make your emails mobile friendly.

These days, most emails are read on mobile. In fact, more than two-thirds of emails are read on mobile devices.

This means you’ll need to make sure that your email campaigns are tested on all major mobile devices. Most software services will have mobile emulators to see how the email looks on different devices.

6. Customize your messages.

Make it feel personal. When you use an email software provider to send out the emails, you can include the customer’s name or other relevant information about them to grab their attention.

This will make them feel like they’re getting an email from a person, rather than a software provider or corporation.

Spend the time to customize the messages that go out with each email.

7. Include your social media profiles.

Double down on customer engagement by getting them to follow you on other platforms through your email campaigns.

Most email software providers include the option to promote your profiles directly in your emails.

***

Launching an email marketing strategy can be a very powerful tool for your business, you can find plenty of resources out there to help you make the most of it.

It’s important to go into your strategy with a comprehensive plan so that you can use a software service that best fits your needs.

Keeping up with your email strategy will result in better customer engagement and sales—don’t miss out on all that email marketing has to offer!

The post Email Marketing Strategy: The Small Business Owner’s Guide appeared first on Fundera Ledger.

from Fundera Ledger https://www.fundera.com/blog/email-marketing-strategy
Email Marketing Strategy: The Small Business Owner’s Guide

first seen on http://barbarapjohnson.blogspot.com

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Developer found for 44-acre Black Country site

The long awaited Phoenix 10 development in Walsall is set to create hundreds of jobs

from birminghampost – Business http://www.birminghampost.co.uk/business/commercial-property/developer-found-44-acre-black-14162030

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BBC WM legend Ed Doolan dies aged 76

Mr Doolan was born in Sydney, Australia, but became known for his work on BBC WM

from birminghampost – Business http://www.birminghampost.co.uk/business/creative/bbc-wm-legend-ed-doolan-14161903

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Rogers’ prepaid balance change sparks customer anger


Rogers move to confiscate balances on prepaid phone plans over $150 requires intervention by Ellen Roseman.

from Toronto Star | BUSINESS | PERSONAL_FINANCE https://www.thestar.com/business/personal_finance/advice/2018/01/16/rogers-prepaid-balance-change-sparks-customer-anger.html

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Rescue deal for recruitment firm saves Birmingham jobs

Nova Recruitment had traded successfully for nearly 40 years but had suffered unsustainable pressure on its finances in recent months

from birminghampost – Business http://www.birminghampost.co.uk/business/business-news/rescue-deal-recruitment-saves-birmingham-14161349

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Quick Tips For Buying Groceries Without A Vehicle: The Grocery Game Challenge 2018 #3 Jan 15-21

CHOOSE GROCERIES WISELY WHEN SHOPPING WITH LIMITED OR LITTLE TRANSPORTATION TO HELP SAVE YOU MONEY   When I was in University I didn’t have a supermarket near me which meant I had to get creative with buying groceries and stockpiling sales so I didn’t go without or even worse, run out. It’s not like I wouldn’t have been without food since there were and still are take-away shops in just about every village in the UK. Being a frugal guy all my life it was rare you’d catch me eating out when I could make it at home for less. I would and still do get more enjoyment out of creating delicious meals at home then heading to a restaurant. My idea of eating out would be a restaurant or street vendor selling food that I’d have no idea how to cook, won’t cook or foods I’ve never tried before. Many people who do go out to eat get the same boring food that’s relatively easy to make. That’s not really why a majority of people eat out anyways, it’s the convenience. When I get asked why so many people eat out I know that one of the biggest reasons […]

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Mr. CBB

Mr. CBB who was born and raised in the United Kingdom, moved to Canada where he is now a permanent resident. He is also a father to a very active 3 year old boy which keeps him young at heart.
He bought his first house at the age of 21 in the UK after graduating University and his second at age 24. Mrs. CBB bought her first house at the age of 30. Both Mr.CBB and his wife are 40-ish year-old finance lovers who accomplished debt freedom before the age of 40. Canadian Budget Binder is a fun, family-friendly place where he shares their financial journey with his readers and hopes to learn about theirs. No silver-spoon just hard work and perseverance. Welcome to Canadian Budget Binder! You’ve got this!

The post Quick Tips For Buying Groceries Without A Vehicle: The Grocery Game Challenge 2018 #3 Jan 15-21 appeared first on Canadian Budget Binder.

from Canadian Budget Binder http://canadianbudgetbinder.com/2018/01/16/buying-groceries-without-vehicle/

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