Email Marketing Tips Entering 2009

The holidays are now behind us and it’s time to start getting to work on your 2009 marketing campaigns . Depending on your business, there are some very important areas of promotion for you to have on your radar in the first quarter of 2009. A few marketing highlights include the Presidential Inauguration, Super Bowl, Valentine’s Day, and yes, the beginning of spring in March.

If any of these themes give you a chance to build a promotion for your business, now’s the time to start designing and developing some exciting emails for you to send your customers. Here are a few email marketing tips to help you get started:

1. Make sure your email list is up-to-date. Add any emails you need to include on the list and remove any that have unsubscribed from your previous emails.

2. Make sure you are brand compliant . If you changed anything about your company logo towards the end of 2008, make sure all of your marketing designs, including emails, now include your updated corporate look. Update business cards, Web site, in-store promotional signage, and anything else that reflects your company identity. Consistency is important.

3. Review your lead generation systems to make any necessary changes and updates. If there are new places for you to pull leads from, make sure those are going through your system.

4. Try something new or different in 2009. If you did email marketing in 2008, challenge yourself to do something different in 2009 , like embedding video, podcasts or some new and exciting promotional offers. Always challenge yourself to be even more creative with your emails.

Above all else, take the time to make your email marketing a priority . Momentum is the number one aspect of a successful email marketing campaign throughout the course of the year. And with the slow economy, your customers and potential customers need even more reasons why they should shop with you.

How have you challenged yourself for your 2009 email campaigns?

8 Tips for Effective Online Reputation Management

Negative online content is a serious problem for any person or business. There are different places online where people can mention you or talk about your business either in a constructive or damaging way. Nowadays, most consumers will do a research first before buying a certain product or using a particular service. Consumer complaint websites have become rampant and are extremely influential where they allow anyone to leave feedback and post reviews. It may be confusing or you usually don’t know where to begin when it comes to monitoring and managing your online reputation so here are a few tips for you to get started.

Here are 8 Reputation Management Tips

1. Google Yourself – Take time to Google your business name to find out what is being said about your business online.

2. Answer Negative Comments – Do not ignore negative comments. Be proactive and talk to the person who wrote the review to see how you can fix the problem.

3. Start Blogging – Blog posts help push down negative reviews and get them off of page one. The more you blog, the faster your blog posts will fill up the search engine results.

4. Submit Press Releases – Publish press releases on a regular basis to keep a steady stream of fresh and positive content on the web about you or your business.

5. Get Social – Google places a lot of quality on social media sites – the more social media profiles you have, the better. You can also ask your happy and satisfied customers to leave reviews for your service or company.

6. Join Industry Specific Forums – Find forums related to your industry and join them. Become active on these forums and always have your business link your signature if allowed.

7. Practice Search Engine Optimization – SEO is good for more exposure and for building s strong reputation in terms of relevance and importance. Make sure your website and other web properties are fully optimized.

8. Think Before You Speak Online – once you post information on the web, it is out there and can’t be taken back so post carefully.

Making a strong reputation whether online or offline is quite significant for any business or individual. People, businesses, or even employers would likely refuse to interact or do business with a person or company if they found negative information about them in the Internet. Online Reputation Management companies offer various online reputation services to help people and businesses remove negative content. These companies are also responsible of monitoring or keeping track of their social media presence. Consider online reputation management as an online version of Public Relations. It is simply improving your public image or your business’ image online using the right plan of action.

Tips for Building a Proper Digital Presence

If you take a look around, you will notice that everything has become digital nowadays. People watch TV online, read news on websites, read e-books, connect with others on social media and even shop online. There are apps for pretty much everything and we have become dependent on technology because it makes our life easy. In this age, it is essential for a business to have a digital presence if it wishes to stay relevant. Not only does this enable a business to advertise itself on the internet, but it also offers a way to expand and grow. The question is how to build a proper digital presence?

Listed below are some great tips that you will find helpful:

1. Start with branding

You need to select an appropriate logo that can catch the eye of your potential customers as everyone wants to look at something interesting. Opt for a color theme and make sure it is a good one because you will probably use it for a long time. It is best to stick to two colors; more than two can make things messy. Typeface can also play an important role in your branding efforts. Go with something that’s a combination of modern and simple.

2. Create a website

Your website will serve as a window into the online world and every business is judged by people based on its website. Yes, you can make a website yourself as you can easily find a website template these days, but it is best to consult a professional for creating a unique and beautifully designed website. It is not just the appearance that will matter; the website should be easy to navigate, provide the necessary information and be optimized for SEO and a professional can ensure all of this.

3. Make accounts on social media networks

Every business is aware of the strength of social media these days and a business cannot ignore its importance. Nevertheless, it doesn’t mean that you must have a presence on all social media networks because there are too many and it is simply not possible to manage all. So, which ones should you choose? Bear in mind that not all social networks are suitable for every business and you should select those where your target audience is most likely to be. Make accounts on the selected networks and focus your marketing efforts there to build a presence.

4. Work on content

Building a digital presence involves allocating some resources into creating content for your website, social media posts and also a blog. Coming up with content that’s related to your brand and industry can help you in building credibility online. You can become an authority and a source of information people refer to, which is incredibly helpful as it boosts your traffic and improves your SEO.

If you look at the tips, you will notice that they all emphasize on presentation and design because you have to pull the customer to you in order to have a useful digital presence.

Pinterest Business Tips: 8 Easy Steps to Dominating Your Niche on Pinterest

Pinterest for Business?

You’re about get some great Pinterest Business Tips. More than that, you’re about to learn of some unique qualities of Pinterest. These qualities have created an amazing environment which supports and strengthens small businesses. They’ve made Pinterest the fastest growing global social network to date. How can a group of image collections help your business? You’re about to understand how this works. If you truly grasp the power available to you, you’ll want to gain a foothold in your niche… by using Pinterest and these 8 steps to begin!

Why Pinterest?

This is a fair question. It’s one that needs to be asked in order to grasp a full appreciation of Pinterest. A recent study provided by 3M Corporation showed that humans process visuals 66% faster than text. Ever heard the term “eye candy?” Pinterest tempts us with eye candy. Beautiful visuals of a life we want. Pictures of glamorous, clever, humorous, or simple products or services to improve our life grabs us and sucks us in. The proof is in the stats.

The traffic flow from social media sites to online store fronts has changed just over the last year. In a study of a fashion website, researchers looked at where traffic came from. They looked at how much sales volume was generated from each site, as well. The analytics showed that the average amount of traffic generated from Facebook visitors to this website produced $85 in consumer spending. Care to take a guess at the average spending amounts from Pinterest users? It was $180!!

Prior to last year, Facebook was thought to be “the” site to promote your business. However, from 09/2011 until 02/2012, Pinterest number of unique users grew by 866%. People are attracted to more visual websites, like a moth to a flame. The more we understand about the way humans process information and how it effects spending habits, the more businesses will see the value in Pinterest. To think, Pinterest was the fastest growing site to ever break past 10 million users. Advertisers are beginning to take this site for “killing time” a bit more seriously.

What does a typical US Pinterest user look like? About 86% are women. That’s enough to make entrepreneurs’ pulses race. The one’s who get REALLY excited already know women have input to how 85% of American dollars are spent. Also, somewhere between 70-75% of users have a college education. Generally, the greater one’s education, the more stable the income, and higher amount of discretionary income available. Half of US Pinterest users had an annual income greater than $50k. More than half of Pinterest users have children. Most live in a Midwestern state. There. Most users of this site fit this woman. Now what?

Here’s what you’ve been waiting to hear: 88% of users who pinned something on Pinterest purchased an item they pinned. Also, 49% of users purchased 5 or more products they pinned or repinned.

Obviously, “she” takes her pinning seriously. She doesn’t just like what she sees. She BUYS what she likes. Retailers like The Gap saw the potential early on. The Gap takes beautiful pics of women wearing clothes and places them on their Pinterest Board. It strikes a cord with a viewer. She likes what she sees. She pins it. She moves over to The Gap website. She buys. Take a look at The Gap’s Pinterest page and see how traffic is being driven toward HUGE profits.

Pinterest Business Tips: 8 Easy Steps to Dominating Your Niche on Pinterest

1.) Start a Pinterest Business Account. A business can have a virtual storefront. Images of hot, trending products will make people salivate. Pinterest has a way for businesses to even include the product price for the item pinned. It’s not difficult to begin setting up your site.

2.) PLAN your layout. Your pages are called Boards. On each board are the pins/visuals. Think about how to organize your business on these boards. There’s not much more frustrating than disorganization in a store, or a virtual storefront!

3.) Create a board and begin pinning. Pinterest has made it easier to move pins around from one board to another if you don’t like the placement. (This takes away all reason for your boards being disorganized!)

4.) Share pins on Facebook and Twitter. Leverage your entire social network!

5.) Optimize your Pinterest site with SEO as you are able.

6.) Add a “pin it” button to your website.

7.) Use high quality pins. Do your research on photos which are more appealing. Wearable product sell better when displayed on a person rather than just on a surface. Use smiling models. Often, generic photos which don’t include a face, however, allows the “buyer” to see herself with the product. Books have been written and updated on the psychology of sales. It’s a worthy investment of time to research this.

8.) Use visual calls to action. If you’re selling swimming pools, pin images of not only the installation process, but families enjoying the pool on a summer afternoon. You are NOT selling a container that holds water. You ARE selling family enjoyment, family bonding, and a social outlet that includes friends. Don’t overlook the imagery that sells.

You’re a Service Provider Rather Than Product Provider?

You’re wondering, “How do I use Pinterest to sell a service?” Well, it works about the same way. This is the best Pinterest Business Tip to remember: It’s all about driving traffic. Where? Back to “home base.”

Here’s a couple examples. Let’s take a look at the Pinterest page of Denver’s Rocky Mountain Vitality Massage. Massage is one of those things many enjoy but are also particular about. This is a thoughtful, simple Pinterest board. This Pinterest board was also chosen because every business has challenges to overcome. The legitimate spa and massage industry is no different. Through the proper use of visuals, these challenges can instead become advantages.

Here’s the good about their page: It allows potential customers know what to expect. They demonstrate the storefront from the outside and the inside. It shows a clean place. The visuals supply a relaxing feeling.

As a business tool, though, they could do so much more. In fact, they are missing out on a bit of traffic. There’s not a limit on the pins. Keeping it simple is a good strategy but, just a few more photos of the rooms would have brought reassurance to viewers. Some simple staging techniques to highlight the environment would have gone a long way. Showing a customer draped or semi-clothed while relaxing, awaiting a massage might have attracted more customers. It would draw people in who have varying comfort levels. Also, using a Pinterest Infographic sharing all the services they provide would have been helpful.

Traffic Generator: They might have even pinned a promotion or coupon to generate traffic. It might have been created to drive the traffic of their friends and friends’ friends. For example, you can ask 6 friends do two things for you and your business: “1.) As your friends to “follow” you on Pinterest, 2.) then ask them to go to your webpage to get your monthly newsletter. When your friends do both of these steps, then you’ll get a 1/2 off coupon for …X!” You get the idea.

Finally, this Pinterest page is not optimized so Pinterest- AND Google-users can find their visuals. As a suggestion, at the very least, including a URL on each of your posts to encourage traffic back to your website.

Another example of a service: Pinterest Board. Keywords should be included on the board and on each pin. How else will a board or pins be found? Think about the words people will use to find you and include them in your pins. Include URL links in all of your pins. Have about 200 characters of text with each pin. That typically gains the most numbers of repins. Finally, T-A-L-L images are more likely to be repinned. That’s about it.

There is so much to learn. It can be overwhelming. Is it worth wading through this social media site to find a way to use it? ABSOLUTELY! Remember, start small, with just one Board and a few pins. Soon, you’ll wonder how your business survived without Pinterest!