Here are some tips for increasing your e-mail open rates.

Concept-young-attractive-woman-with-laptop-computer-sending-emails-on-forum-chat-or-blog.-Blogger-300x214Crafting together the perfect email to send to your large list of subscribers can be intimidating. Saying just the right thing, making it look perfect and everything in between takes a lot of work and it can be frustrating when your open rate is low. There are some things you can try to get more people interested in reading what you have to say.

Segment your lists. Ask them when they sign up what type of content they would like from you and then send them that! If a person only wants to know about deals and specials, they won’t even touch your emails after a while if you only send them updates about the company.

Send e-mail blasts only when you have something really important to say. People will start to flag you as spam if you flood their email folder with daily, sometimes even weekly emails that have little to no importance to them. If you are sending them relevant information they will look forward to reading it.

Say it in the subject line, but in as few words as possible. Remember, most people are going to be reading their emails on their phone, and this means limited room for a subject line. Put the most relevant information up front so people have no doubt about what your email is about, but make it interesting enough that they will want to read it. It’s easier than you may think. You just have to think about it differently.

If you’re sending the right people the right messages, then you’re open rate will increase. Make sure your messages are on target, relevant and what your customers want to read.

Using the 5-3-2 rule will help your social media channels remain relevant, and keep your customers engaged!

Hand-sketching-bird-holding-a-hashtag-symbol-in-its-beak-with-white-chalk-on-a-blackboard.-300x200Have you heard of the 5-3-2 rule? It may help you in deciding what content to post and what kinds of content to post.

The rule was proposed by TA McCann from and is a rather simple, and genius idea. Out of 10 social media posts:

  • Five should be content from others, relevant to your audience.
  • Three should be content from you, relevant to your audience (and not directly selling your products.)
  • Two should be personal, something non-work related to help humanize yourself and/or your brand.

Even if you don’t follow this to the tee, the idea behind it should be the takeaway: focus on your audience more than yourself. Give your audience what they want ,whether it’s an article to read or something relevant about your company. Another takeaway? Don’t be too sales-y. You don’t want to be constantly promoting your own company. This can annoy your audience quickly. If they’re interested in the content you’re putting out, they’ll have a more positive reaction to your company.

Four steps to stellar social media content

37752955_S-300x300Social media requires a range of skills: writing, SEO, analytics, project management and image creation.

Of all of these, writing is really the key to social media success. Great copy is what sparks dialogue, inspires sharing and drives action.

Here are four steps to making your copywriting stellar:

  1. Make it part of the plan. Your copywriting should have a purpose, and it can’t really have that if you don’t understand how it fits into your overall content strategy.
  2. Hype the headline. It’s the first thing people see, and if the headline doesn’t draw them in, it won’t matter how compelling the rest of your content is. If headlines stump you every time, write your content first, and then pull the most captivating sentence out of it. 
  3. Ditch the complexity. This doesn’t mean you need to dumb it down. Rather, keep your writing tight. Avoid jargon. Be clear and concise. Skip those unnecessarily fancy phrases or words. 
  4. Bookmark ideas. Make sure you’re organizing any great ideas you stumble across for later reference. Whether you write things down in a notebook or keep track of interesting articles electronically, you want to be able to find those things quickly when you need inspiration. 

These four steps provide the foundation for great copywriting. And if your copywriting is outstanding, chances are your social media will be, too.

Why your 2016 budget should include social media marketing

48042159_M-300x199You know social media is a key component of your marketing strategy. After all, adults in the U.S. spend nearly three hours on their phones, which is roughly 12% of their day. That’s why you’ve been posting on your platforms regularly, responding to comments and engaging with your community. But now it’s time to take it to the next level – and actually allocate funds to social media marketing in your 2016 budget. 

There are two reasons your budget needs a line item for social media spending.

First, advertising. Sponsored posts build on your current strategy of increasing brand awareness and educating your market. They convert fans to clients. Earmark media dollars so that when the advertising opportunities arise, you’ll have the budget to take advantage of them.

Second, help. Creating engaging, snackable digital content takes time and a specific kind of expertise. That might mean turning your social media accounts over to professionals so you can focus on what’s most important. Set aside funds so you can invest in quality assistance.

Social media marketing is becoming more important every year. By making sure you include it in your 2016 budget, you’ll ensure you don’t get left behind.

Ever wonder why your business should be on social media?

Group-of-young-people-talking-together-over-digital-tablet-at-coffee-shop-300x199More than likely your business is on social media. Hopefully you know why, but maybe you just know you should be doing it and that’s why you are. If that’s the case you should still be glad that you’re on social media because it has enormous benefits.

For starters, your audience and client base is on social media. The saying, “go where your customers are” is still true and no matter how specific your audience is, you can find them on social media. The other benefit of this is that this audience can begin to see your content if you are putting it out there.

The more customers see you, more trust begins to build. And with trust comes loyalty! According to a report published by Texas Tech University, brands who engage on social media channels enjoy higher loyalty from their customers. Who doesn’t want that?

This trust and loyalty will more than likely end in conversion. This is because every time they see your content and every positive interaction increases the likelihood of an eventual conversion. This doesn’t mean that every time they see a post from you they are going to click on it. It just means the more they see you, the more likely they are to eventually click through.

One of the most important benefits is the humanizing factor. People like doing business with people. They don’t like doing businesses with the scary faceless corporate monster. It’s more comforting, as a consumer, to know your money is going to a person and not just a company.

These are just a few of the benefits. We could go on about SEO, cost, customer experience, etc. But I think you already get the point! Don’t just jump on the social media bandwagon and not know the benefits. If you do it that way you won’t reap the full benefits that social media offers.

Scoping out the competition

Periscope-emerging-from-a-water-surface-Digital-illustration-300x225You’ve probably been hearing a lot about Periscope lately. It’s taken the online world by storm. The gist of it is, if you’ve got a smartphone, Internet access and an app, you can broadcast live video to the world. Just point your phone at whatever is happening in front of you, share it with the multitudes and watch those hearts come pouring in.

Live streaming isn’t a new phenomenon. However, the one-button mobile conversation is. Apps like Periscope offer businesses a low-cost way to facilitate a live conversation with a large audience. They’re immersive, real and interactive, and people love it!

So, as a small business, what can you do with these apps?

  • Show off your company culture
  • Give behind-the-scenes tours
  • Share a peek into pre-launch activities
  • Invite people to a virtual lunch-and-learn
  • Answer questions 

To be on the safe side – and for the most engagement – stick to broadcasts that focus on your company’s culture and products.

Tips to make your Scoping endeavors a success:

  • The way you draw in viewers is through the Tweet you send out when you go live, so be sure to craft a good title and include hashtags.
  • Don’t try to be perfect. Commenters will advise you if they can’t hear you or if they want to see something.
  • As with other social media platforms, be yourself.
  • A selfie stick helps prevent arm fatigue.
  • Consider attaching a fisheye or zoom lens to your phone.
  • Consider plugging in your headphones if you’re in a noisy space. 

Scoping is a way for you to stay front and center in your customers’ minds … and stay ahead of your competition.