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Showing posts from March, 2020

How to Start Building Your First Email List

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Like many things, list building seems pretty straight-forward... until you start. You may expect it to be tedious work of copy/pasting and spreadsheets and looking things up online. Yes, it likely involves some of that but I get asked a lot of questions about who and how.

Who can you add to your business email list? 
If you sell to consumers, you will need to request express consent to add contacts to your list who have not done business with you.

If you sell to business people, you can benefit from implied consent to build your initial list. There are three key requirements for implied consent:
1. The contact’s email address has been 'published conspicuously' and has no disclaimer that they do not accept commercial electronic messages.
2. The message you are sending is relevant to their job at the company they work for. (Example: You can email a university professor to sell her textbooks, but not clothes.)
3. There is an unsubscribe mechanism so the recipient can signal their …

Annoyed With All the COVID Emails? 3 Reasons to Communicate

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We're all getting inundated with COVID emails - yes - but I'm glad the companies I do business with are paying attention and communicating their plans. I need to know that my web host and other service providers are taking action to be able to continue to operate. I am glad that local restaurants (Finbars, for example) have staff volunteers willing to help those in need. I'm comforted to know that we're all paying attention.

During this time, most business owners are struggling with what to stop doing, what to start doing, and what to keep doing. Communication is more important now. Let's not stop but rather be mindful.

Here are 3 reasons why business owners need to keep communicating:

#1. To let your customers know you're running business-as-usual or... not. Many bricks-and-mortar businesses are closed, offering pick-up or delivery, or open for limited hours. Even people who work at home (like me) are susceptible to illness and need a back-up plan.

#2. To show …

What Are Your Small Business Blogging Goals?

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If your answer to the title of this post is "increase sales", you've got that part right. But you should also realize that there's no direct path from one to the other. You don't start a blog and immediately make more sales - although I sincerely wish it were so.

To help you stay focused on that path to increased sales, identifying a couple of content goals is essential. These are typical business blogging goals:

1. 'Touching' your customers, prospects and colleagues regularly
2. Building strong business relationships
3. Developing your reputation and sphere of influence
4. Sharing your valuable information, products, and services
5. Being seen as an expert
6. Growing your fans, followers and contact list
7. Keeping up with your competition
8. Increase website traffic via SEO

While you may think all of those things are desirable, they aren't all equally important to your business. The ones that are most important for you will depend on what type of b…

Try a Newsletter Full of Tidbits

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Tidbit is defined as "a small and particularly interesting item of gossip or information." (Just in case you're Canadian and were thinking about chocolate Timbits.)

The most successful newsletters I've seen are full of tidbits. A tidbit is short, delightful and easily digested (just like a Timbit). It makes the reader feel like they've instantly learned something. Or it tweaks their curiosity to want to know more about something. Or maybe it makes them laugh and lightens their day.

A newsletter full of tidbits also has a little something for everybody. A simple (and darn great) example of this is the newsletter I prep each month for the Nova Scotia SPCA - check out a recent newsletter issue here. Some pet owners only like dogs or only like cats - the newsletter as different articles about either or both. Some people are interested in pet health, others aren't. Some people want to read emotional success stories, others don't. Some shop at the SPCA Thrift S…