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How Email Can Help Increase Facebook Followers

Facebook and EmailWant a quick and easy way to generate more followers for your Facebook business page?

Use email!

Invite your list of contacts to follow you on Facebook. If you use an email service provider like Constant Contact, you may find a template already created with a Facebook graphic that you can use. As a Constant Contact partner, I can attest to this fact. They have several Facebook templates, including ones that say “Find me on Facebook.” Continue reading “How Email Can Help Increase Facebook Followers”

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8 Ways to Grow Your Email Marketing List

Email marketingSmall business owners know that email marketing is an effective way to generate leads and sales. But if you’re just starting out in business, and don’t have a big list to market to, it can be a huge challenge. Experts recommend hosting an online webinar and collectjng email addresses at registration. But if you don’t have a big list to advertise the webinar to in the first place, how can it be a successful email collection device? Continue reading

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How to Choose an Email Marketing Company

Email marketing By Gloria Rand

One of the first things entrepreneurs and small business owners must decide when launching their business is which email marketing company to use. There are a multitude of companies out there – with different features and price-points. Luckily, most will allow you to start with a free trial, so you can test the service out for yourself before you commit to spending any money. Continue reading

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What’s ahead for 2010: Video Marketing

Are you using video to market your products or services? If not, you should seriously consider adding this tool to your marketing arsenal in 2010.

Twitter’s phenomenal growth may have been the big story of 2009, but the bigger story involves the continued surge in online video usage.

Online video viewing jumped 26 percent in the U.S. during October, compared to the same period a year ago, according to data from Nielsen.

The giants of the industry, YouTube and Hulu, continued to dominate in terms of individual views. But Facebook took the number two spot in terms of reach, with more than 31 million unique users compared with Hulu’s 13 million. However, Hulu streamed about 3 times as many videos during the month, at over 632 million.

As big as Hulu’s numbers seem, they are dwarfed in comparison to YouTube, which racked up a staggering 6.6 billion views by 106 million unique users. That’s three times the reach of Facebook.

So, how do you incorporate video into your business? One way is to add video to the e-newsletters you send out to your customers.  This can be tricky, since not all e-mail marketing solutions providers allow video.

Constant Contact, for instance, doesn’t allow you to embed videos in your e-mail, although they do allow you to include a graphic shot of the video with a hotlink to your actual video. (In the interests of full disclosure, in 2011, I became a Constant Contact partner, and generate revenue through an affiliate link.)

On the other hand, Benchmark Email does allow you to incorporate video in your e-mails, and will send them to a mirror page that allows the video to play even if the recipient’s e-mail service blocks the feature.

I recently received an email from the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation, touting their first-ever video newsletter.

The e-mail included a screen shot of the video, which linked to a landing page on their website, where the newsletter video lived. As a result, the e-mail not only attracted attention to the video, it helped increase overall traffic to their website. Pretty good strategy!

Another way to incorporate video into your marketing efforts is to post videos on social networking sites, such as Facebook. A new report from eMarketer.com suggests marketers worldwide will spend $605 million on Facebook versus $385 million on MySpace.

Debra Aho Williamson, eMarketer senior analyst and author of the new report, Social Network Ad Spending: 2010 Outlook, says “When companies budget for social media marketing in 2010 and beyond, a substantial portion of their expenses will go toward creating and maintaining a fan page, managing promotions or public relations outreach within a social network, and measuring the impact of a social network presence on brand health and sales.”

What are your plans for video next year?  If anyone has any unusual ideas, I’d love to hear about it and share it with my readers.

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4 Tips for Starting a Business Ezine

In a previous blog post, I talked about the benefits of publishing an ezine for your business:

  • Creates a positive relationship with your customers
  • Provides an inexpensive advertising medium for your products/services
  • Drives traffic to your website and/or blog
  • Generates leads

Here are a few rules to remember when starting a business ezine:

1. Choose a delivery method. 

To avoid getting your email dumped into your customer’s spam folder, pick a reliable email marketing solution provider, such as Constant Contact or iContact. These companies offer several benefits to you including:

  • Tracking capabilities – reports allow you to see bounce rates, forwarded, delivered/undeliverable and sent emails, as well as conversions, click-throughs and more.
  • Design templates – a wide variety of styles and colors are available to suit many different industries, or you can import your own HTML page
  • Attachment abilities – you can add pictures, sound files, background images, and the ability to subscribe/unsubscribe from your ezine

2. Set a format and schedule. Be consistent.

Decide what types of information will be featured in the ezine, and how often you plan to mail it.  If this is a monthly ezine – send it the same time every month, so your readers can rely on it.  Also, try to keep the same categories each time, with a little variety here and there.   If you provide content your readers like, they will look forward to reading each new issue – wondering what new tidbit you’ll provide next.

3. Review other ezines in your industry. 

If you’re still stumped for ideas about what to include in your ezine, read ones that are published by other companies in your industry.  It should help you decide what to include, or leave out of your own product.

4. Keep the subject line relative to the content.

Don’t use your subject line to sell your company’s product or services. The subject line should indicate the ezine’s title, plus a few words describing one of the featured articles to attract interest. If your customer sees right away what the email is about, she’ll be more likely to open it. But if your subject line implies something else, there’s a greater chance the ezine will be deleted before it’s even opened.

If you have any other questions about writing an ezine, you can email gloria@gloriarand.com. I’ll be happy to help!