Focus email marketing to build business

Focus email marketing to build business

Optimizing email marketing can greatly benefit businesses.

Optimizing email marketing can greatly benefit businesses.

Whether your company is involved in selling to consumers or other businesses, email marketing is a powerful tool that offers some unique advantages.

A slight tune-up of marketing strategies or more sweeping changes as part of a plan for how to grow sales will both benefit from paying attention to the latest email marketing advice from Business 2 Community.

Necessary tactics

Some of the updates to messaging have come about because scamming and phishing emails now use strategies that once helped legitimate marketers reach prospective clients. Because the public has adapted to older concepts like personalized greetings, change is required. A study from Temple University’s Fox School of Business found that 95 percent of customers responded poorly when their names appeared as part of an emailed greeting from a business.

The negative reaction to personalized online greetings – one-on-one communication should still involve the use of a client’s name – stems from fears of identity theft and the invasion of privacy. The study specifically suggests not greeting new customers by name for this reason.

Business 2 Community recommends using collected data to point out products that they may be interested in. This strategy shows you know their preferences but avoids the personalized greeting pitfall.

Long subject lines are another area to avoid. While being descriptive is important for email marketing, going above 70 characters is discouraged because it doesn’t produce increased an click-through rate or more responses.

Refresh and refocus

A business growth plan for a company that uses email marketing as a key component should involve a review of these strategies for effectiveness. The Long Island Business News provides a checklist for growing the reach and results of your efforts.

Businesses should be worried about sending too many and too few emails to customers. While complaints and unsubscribe rates should be carefully watched, companies shouldn’t be afraid of sending out more messages, as long as they are engaging and targeted to consumer interests. More messages means an opportunity for more clicks, reads and purchases.

Optimizing email campaigns for mobile viewing should also be of paramount importance. A heavily formatted email can look good on a computer screen but terrible on a smartphone, which more customers are using to view messages. Using a design focused on mobile viewing won’t negatively impact views on standard computers. A large font is also a simple change that will make reading such messages on the smaller screens of smartphones easier.

Utilize customer data as part of your business growth plan

Utilize customer data as part of your business growth plan

Effectively utilize customer data to improve revenue streams.

Effectively utilize customer data to improve revenue streams.

Change is a constant, but the pace of advancement for organizations has increased as technology for businesses, clients and the general public continues to drastically advance.

Along with a lack of preparedness for change, organizational inflexibility was another major concern held by top business executives surveyed by the Boston Consulting Group and reported by eMarketer. Consider dedicating extra resources to dealing with these problems, as well as using professional consulting services to help orient your business toward success.

Changing the culture, physical operations and attitude of a company all factor into the most common challenge that businesses are unprepared for: large-scale transformation. Overall concerns about being able to adapt also apply to common concerns expressed about properly using customer data and successfully acting on digital channels. Specifically, a majority of executives in the retail and technology fields were concerned with efficiently utilizing customer data.

Customer data is not an unsolvable puzzle, however. Companies can collect a wide variety of data, especially when it comes to e-commerce, according to retailing website Evergage. Frequency of visits, method of payment and previous transactions can all be tracked by Web-based retailers.

Creating criteria to mark how engaged customers are is a good start, allowing businesses to segment and target potential and returning clients based on their behavior on a company’s website. If a customer has repeatedly viewed the same item or service over a long period of time, an automated suggestion for a similar product with a lower price point can encourage purchasing.

Combining data streams can also increase efficiency. Evergage gives the example of matching a customers overall click​streams with total transactions or website visits. When data shows that patrons are frequently visiting your website and going through various pages but not making a purchase, sending a survey asking about what they’re looking for can help identify deficiencies and drive purchasing.

Effective management strategies help retain talented employees

Effective management strategies help retain talented employees

For business owners, taking the time to invest in employees is crucial.

For business owners, taking the time to invest in employees is crucial.

For all business owners, taking the time to invest in employees is crucial. Without giving staff members the opportunity to develop their skills, companies can pay the price and business success may never be fully realized. By offering workers the chance to improve their knowledge, this can lead to higher retention levels and employee engagement.

However, investing in staff development doesn’t mean that owners have to forget about improving their own skills. Honing your management ability helps your company, in the long run and betters your chance of achieving  business success.

Business hiring picking up
Many companies are focused on hiring more employees. As more staff comes through the door, it becomes crucial to make sure that your management skills are sharp as this helps to promote better employee engagement.

According to the recent Small Business Confidence Survey conducted by TriNet, the majority of small companies in the U.S. are positive about the direction their businesses will go in this year. One aspect contributing to the optimism is the employment outlook. The study revealed that half of the small businesses participating in the survey plan to add to their workforce in 2014. Additionally, hiring talented workers is one of the top three things that 35 percent of small business owners want to do this year.

“It’s encouraging to see that small business owners are investing in the future of their companies, including hiring new employees,” said TriNet President and CEO Burton Goldfield. “Getting great people on their team as well as managing expenses are two challenges for all small business owners.”

Right management strategies for employees success
As more staff members are brought on board, business owners must ensure they are managing these individuals to keep them happy and engaged in the workplace. While good management skills are one of the top tools an employer needs to retain staff, growth coaching can also be an effective method as the Harvard Business Review reports that employees want to be managed and coached at the same time.

Pointing to the results of its own research, the HBR revealed that by developing strong growth coaching skills, business owners can increase worker engagement and productivity as well as  improve customer service and the overall business reputation.

Business Management Daily offered tips for improving management strategies, one of which is for business owners to sit down with employees and ask them what they think about the company, their position, their career goals and how you can help them develop their individual talents.

The website suggests that you polling staff members to uncover the areas of their job in which they’d like to improve, or to check-in periodically to see if they’re still comfortable working for the company. By following these strategies, business owners can have happier and engaged employees.

Make the holiday season jolly for your business revenue

Make the holiday season jolly for your business revenue

Companies across the country are making plans for their holiday promotions and determining the strategies they will use to draw in customers during the year's busiest shopping period.

Companies across the country are making plans for their holiday promotions and determining the strategies they will use to draw in customers during the year’s busiest shopping period.

The weather has started to cool down and people are packing away their summer clothes in exchange for scarves and sweaters, meaning that fall is upon us and winter is knocking on the door. While it may not seem like it’s time, preparations are already underway for the 2014 holiday season. Companies across the country are making plans for their holiday promotions and determining the strategies they will use to draw in customers during the year’s busiest shopping period.

As a small business owner, getting a jump start now on prepping your operations for the end of the year can reap huge benefits. Taking the time to develop a brand positioning strategy that includes how you want to market to existing and prospective clients can keep customers coming in throughout the holidays and after the season is over.

Holiday sales expected to increase
Over the past few years, sales from holiday purchases have been steadily increasing. This trend is expected to continue this year, as estimates from the National Retail Federation reveal that a 4.1 percent growth in retail sales is anticipated throughout November and December, accounting for a total of $616.9 billion.

The NRF points to increasing consumer optimism and recent job growth as the main reasons for higher holiday sales.

“Retailers could see a welcome boost in holiday shopping, giving some companies the shot in the arm they need after a volatile first half of the year and an uneventful summer,” said NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay.

Businesses can get piece of holiday sales pie
While the boost in holiday spending will be seen at larger retailers, businesses should know that they can also take a significant share of the anticipated sales growth. All it takes is a strong plan and solid preparation.

Entrepreneur offers several ways in which smaller enterprises can bring in customers and revenue this holiday season, including reaching out to existing patrons before the shopping frenzy starts. Through email, social media or more traditional marketing forms, you can remind your clients that your company is there to meet their holiday needs.

Additionally, the source suggests promoting your enterprise’s smaller size by promising customers more personalized service and experiences, which is something they may not always get when buying their holiday items from larger companies. By letting current and future patrons know their business is valuable and will be handled with personalized care can draw them in and keep them throughout the holiday season and even long after.

Having a strong online presence is also key for the upcoming busy shopping period, according to Deloitte. Going digital is now extremely important for businesses, and maintaining a website, social media profiles and Internet marketing strategies can increase your company’s customer base and revenues.

Deloitte found that more than 50 percent of holiday sales will be influenced by customers going digital, meaning that you can see ultimate business success during the upcoming months by developing your brand’s online activity.

Managing finances is a crucial small business skill

Managing finances is a crucial small business skill

There are many things that business owners must manage within their operations. One of the most important is finances.

There are many things that business owners must manage within their operations. One of the most important is finances.

There are many things that business owners must manage within their operations, the most important of which is finances. Money that flows into and out of a company needs to be carefully maintained. Even the tiniest of slip ups can cost businesses big time. Additionally, smaller enterprises don’t have the same financial resources as their larger counterparts, so taking close care of cash flow is vital for small business success.

Fortunately, there are ways that, as an owner, you can expertly manage your company’s finances. Whether it’s applying for business loans or adopting certain practices and procedures to save money, your organization’s cash flow can remain steady and grow with the right strategies.

Loans continue to grow among smaller firms
Loans are a great way for small businesses to get the money they need to keep their operations running. The recently released Dun & Bradstreet Credibility Corp and Pepperdine Private Capital Access Index revealed that smaller companies are increasingly applying for loans. Of the 1,251 smaller enterprises that responded, 58.4 percent applied for bank loans in the second quarter of this year, and 54 percent of that group were able to secure the financing.

More small businesses are looking to obtain loans in the coming months as well. The report revealed that approximately 28 percent of companies plan to apply for loans this quarter. These results show that many organizations are relying on financing options to propel their operations forward.

Money saving tips can do the trick
Not all businesses need loans. There are many that can keep their cash flow going without reaching out for financing. While loans are a great option for companies that need them, as an owner you can also adopt money-saving strategies to curb excess spending and keep finances in order.

There are many moving parts within a small business that typically require special software programs to run efficiently. Mashable recommends that you looking at using free or cheaper technology to get the job done. For example, using Google for email as well as calendar management can be done for free or at minimal cost. There are also customer relationship management platforms that can be downloaded for free, such as Zoho CRM and Insightly.

Additionally, the Internet is an extremely effective tool for small businesses as it gives you access to a wide range of materials to learn more about leading a small enterprise. For instance, you can search for a certified business consultant in your area to get advice on how to manage your company more efficiently.

Mashable also suggests handling marketing your business in-house whenever possible. Outsourcing this particular task can not only be expensive, but it gives you less control over your brand positioning strategy as well. Bringing it back into your company allows you to carefully manage how you are reaching potential customers.

With a little know how and determination, you can expertly oversee your small business’ finances to ensure your operations will continue to grow in the future.

Attracting and retaining customers is vital for business success

Attracting and retaining customers is vital for business success

As a business owner, you know how important your patrons are to your operations

As a business owner, you know how important your patrons are to your operations

Bringing in customers and using strategies to increase loyalty should be part of any solid business growth plan. As an owner, you know how important patrons are to your operations. While certain methods may prove effective, there are other strategies you can follow to ensure your customer base is constantly growing.

Fortunately, you have a leg up on larger companies when it comes to attracting and retaining patrons. As a business owner, you can dedicate more time and effort to truly connecting with your clients and learning about their specific needs. Providing excellent service for clients is what will keep them coming back.

Word of mouth goes a long way
There are many ways that organizations can bring in new customers. However, word of mouth from other patrons is the main driver when it comes to attracting new business. According to a joint study conducted by Verizon and Small Business Trends, 85 percent of small enterprises said they bring in new clients thanks to referrals from existing customers.

While a lot of time and money can go into reaching potential patrons through marketing and advertising methods, the results of the study show that it’s actually the low-cost strategy of word of mouth that is drawing in new business. This means that, as an owner, you should be working on increasing satisfaction among your current clientele in order to attract new patrons.

Satisfaction leads to more business
Inc Magazine reports there are five key things that customers look for when dealing with companies. Focusing on these aspects can increase word of mouth, leading to new patrons.

The first is consistency. Clients don’t want your processes and procedures to change frequently. They are counting on your business to be reliable, so constantly changing your operations could result in lower satisfaction. The second is excellence. Inc. states that while clients are not always looking for the best of the best, they do want your enterprise’s best.

The third thing that customers look for is empathy. They want your company to understand their needs and work to see the situation from their side. Attention is fourth. Taking the time to learn about what they are looking for lets them know they are important to your operations. The fifth thing that patrons want is appreciation. Inc. suggests  putting effort into showing customers their business is appreciated through new and innovative ways.

RIS Media notes that it’s about going above and beyond for patrons. As a company, you and your employees can dedicate more time and resources to achieving this. Therefore, it’s vital to develop relationships with your customers and show them they are important and why they matter to your operations.

Focusing on your current customers not only brings you business success through higher satisfaction, but it also draws in new clients, helping you to grow your company.