September 29, 2014

The Speed of eMail

When I sent out my last newsletter, almost 400 people opened it in the first 2 hours. If you need to reach a lot of people fast and at the same time, email is definitely the medium of choice.

For one thing, sending an email is faster and easier than phoning 400 people. (My jaw just clenched in horror!) And broadcasting a tweet or Facebook post is not the same as putting a message in someone’s inbox; it’s hit or miss. Direct mail is costly and the results are minimal.

Some say the ROI on email marketing is over $40 for every $1 spent. I haven’t gotten those results for myself (yet) but I have seen some very quantifiable successes.

For example, it’s easy to calculate your ROI when selling event tickets. Let's say you spend $300 to sell $6000 worth of tickets, which is a pretty darn good return. More to the point, consider if - and how - you’ll sell all those tickets if not by email.

One of the big benefits of email over other options - the phone, social media, snail mail - is that it's fast, easy and direct.

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September 24, 2014

How I got my Name

Nine years ago in June, I was taking the first steps to start my own business. One of those steps was to come up with a company name. If you know me, you also know this is something I took great pains about.

In the book, Getting Business to Come to You, was a suggestion to use your own name and a play on words if you were fortunate to have such a name. I was lucky to have recently married a fellow with the last name Daley (for more reasons than his name, of course). So, I thought ‘daily’ and searched that word on Google. The overwhelming response was ‘Daily Progress’, with links to a multitude of newspapers in North America and Europe. At the time I was not doing newsletters, but I felt that ‘progress’ was certainly the result my clients were wanting, so ‘Daley Progress’ it was.

Interestingly, now that my company name actually aligns more fully with what I do, the loose association to the declining newspaper industry may be lost before too many more years go by.


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September 16, 2014

Click to Tweet

You might think I am writing about social media but I'm not. I am writing about email marketing. Your newsletter is similar to your blog... you can write it but they may not come.

You need to promote your newsletter and nothing works better for promotion than making it easy to share. I have been advocating including sharing icons in your newsletter for a very long time. But my recent discovery of Click to Tweet, used in the Daley Progress blog posts, has made me remember why this is so important.

You see, I don't like Twitter. I am always logged in but I never go there. I will retweet what arrives in my email but signing on to read is just never going to happen for me. What I have noticed is that if anything arrives in my email with a double click option to share, I will share it. If I have to open a new window, logon to my social feeds and copy/paste a link. It will never happen!

Including a way to easily share your newsletter WILL result in more shares. It really is that simple.

Luckily, most bulk mail services have sharing icons that are easily added with no programming required!

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Originally published in Work Better, Not Harder on September 16, 2014.

Update September 22, 2014:
This screen shot was taken the day I wrote the above article. If you needed proof that making sharing easy works, look no further! Make it easy and people will share...


Cashing in on Social Credit

We small business owners are constantly working hard to build our mailing lists, our business colleagues and referrers, our Twitter followers, our LinkedIn contacts, our Facebook likes, our blog readership - our social credit. I easily spend at least 25% of my work time on these activities and I bet you do, too. What are we saving it all up for?

Definition of 'leverage': use (something) to maximum advantage.

My social credit is a business resource built with a significant investment. I'm about to write a withdrawal slip!

Many of you have been reading our newsletter and blog for several years, and some of you are more recent contacts. I hope I have built up enough social credit with you to ask for your attention...

First, if you haven't already, please take just a second to vote for which is better - phone or email. We're striving for good participation in the vote so the results will be relevant. Thanks!

If you're in the Halifax area, Mary Jane Copps and I would love it if you'd join us for our public luncheon debate at YukYuks on November 5th. Phone vs. eMail will be a fun learning experience with good food and great company. Bring your favourite client! Get details and tickets here.

If you're in the Regina area, I hope I'll get to see you at the Your Marketing Made Easy conference on October 21st. I'll be facilitating two workshops that day - Your First Blog: Start a New Habit with a Plan (beginners) and Love your Blog Again: Content Ideas to get you Unstuck and Inspired (advanced). Get details and tickets here. Early bird pricing till September 18th!

Finally, I'm thrilled that our Work Better, Not Harder blog was recently plugged as “unique and original” by a Toronto digital marketing agency in Top 10 Canadian Marketing Blogs Worth Checking Out. You can get our blog posts by email - see upper right on blog.

Thanks for letting me make this withdrawal!

originally published in the Work Better, Not Harder newsletter, September 16, 2014

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September 11, 2014

7 Tips for Communicating Details by eMail

Email is an ideal way to communicate details, such as meeting minutes, action lists, project updates, instructions, reference data, decisions, event info, checklists and much more. Sending previously prepared information is a snap - just attach, or copy and paste.

When I started specializing in enewsletters, I quickly discovered that there are a lot of details to discuss and make decisions about. Some clients like communicating by phone and others by email. But for some of this detailed communication, email is definitely the best method regardless of preference. It allows me to standardize the process, provide checklists, track action items, explain complex ideas, show examples, and document decisions.

Here are some tips for communicating detailed information by email:
  1. Strive for clarity. Be brief, but not to the point of leaving out relevant information.
     
  2. Use point-form numbered or bullet lists. This makes it easy for your reader to mentally check things off, or to use a pen on printed copy.
     
  3. Use short words, short sentences, and short paragraphs. Unless your goal is to impress with your writing skill, use the K-I-S-S principle.
     
  4. Provide links to background information or past communications instead of adding unnecessary bulk to your key message.
     
  5. Anticipate questions. Review your message from the perspective of your reader. Are you raising more questions than you're answering? Head off questions by answering them now.
     
  6. Pay for each word. This is one of the best writing/editing tips I've ever learned - thanks to Neil Everton at Podium Media & Communications Coaching. Every word you can leave out enhances the impact of what's left - click here to learn how to apply this tip.
     
  7. Proof, proof, proof - three times. If it's important, and you can't get another set of eyes on it, don't slack off here. Try proofing a printed copy, reading out loud, and allowing a time gap to improve your results.
Now, before you start tapping away on your keyboard, make sure it's necessary. I've spent time composing detailed emails when I've misunderstood a question or made an assumption (yes, more than once), resulting in wasted time and confusion. The lesson is... if you have doubts, pick up the phone and check. Mary Jane Copps, The Phone Lady, wrote about just this in her article When You Say "Hmmm" .

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September 6, 2014

Let's Play like Adults


Yesterday I politely wrote asking to be removed from a mailing list after receiving a promotional email that was ugly, far from CASL-compliant, and for products I’m not interested in. I even included links to CASL info in an effort to help.

I received this response a few moments later: “Please do the same for me.”

This childish reaction came from an older man who had attended a free email marketing training I put on last spring at the request of the Halifax Chamber of Commerce. He sells products to my target market. Do you think I’m ever likely to recommend him to anyone now?

Email marketing isn't a game, it’s a business strategy. I firmly believe we should unsubscribe from mailings that aren't of interest to us. I read many newsletters from people who don’t read mine. It’s not a “tit for tat” thing.

Email marketing costs money. Why would we want to waste our efforts sending messages to people who don’t want them?

Go ahead, unsubscribe from the things you don’t want. Don’t make your subscription to other’s newsletters dependent on their subscription to yours. Let’s be grown-ups.