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WordPress Designer & Developer
eCarbonated builds websites powered by WordPress. Get a custom theme designed for your business. Jason Budowski is based out of Tulsa, OK, has been contracting for over 10 years and has clients throughout the US from California, Oregon, Texas, Washington, Nevada, Arkansas and Oklahoma.
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With so many social networking spots to keep up with, it can be difficult to find the time to manage it all. Then again, how do you know where to start? Keeping it simple, I recommend email marketing as a good place to start for no other reason than email marketing is extremely effective at reaching out to your customers and encouraging referrals.
Email marketing is not something I recommend you take on from your Outlook or Yahoo! account. All it takes is a few SPAM clicks from any reader and you can get blacklisted, which is as bad as it sounds. In summary, being blacklisted means that even regular emails to friends and family might eventually show up in their spam folder, unread and unseen. So how does one master email marketing? The first thing to do is to understand the basics of Permission Based Email Marketing. Knowing these basics will keep you and your email subscribers happy. This link illustrate specifics and good advice on how to make effective email campaigns. The rest of this current article will describe setting up an email list and getting MailChimp to do some magic that will make your life much easier!
I recommend MailChimp as your email marketing software manager
In overview, Mailchimp is a service that manages your email marketing. You log in and can create lists of people and their emails, which are kept privately safe and secure. Then you start an email campaign. Let’s say you have a new product that you know everyone will love. So you write an email, add a photograph and then merge it with the list and Mailchimp will send it to your entire list. MailChimp manages the server details and permissions to make everyone happy, and your message goes out to the masses who will see your email in their inbox. And Mailchimp is free for most small business needs!
So where do you get a list of emails from? You have to build one.
I have been added to a lot of email lists from all the small business networking meetings. I don’t like it and frankly it frustrates me to think I’m handing out my cards to people eager to build a email list. I met a Jazz saxophonist in Oakland at a meeting. He is a legit musician, but he apparently hopped in and out of small business meetings across the entire S.F. Bay Area collecting emails and adding them to his “next event” emails. I have never been to see him, and I don’t care to. Don’t do this. It’s not cool. I will press the spam button and this will be recorded in MailChimp, or Constant Contact or any other mass email service provider you use.
Create list by people who know you and/or like you.
One way to build a good list you need have an email capture field on your website. Something that says “Say tuned for new products/events/services”, or “Want to learn more subscribe to our newsletter and stay updated”. MailChimp offers widgets that can be fairly easily added to your website, and even easier if you have WordPress. Other ways to build your list is to ask customers if you can add them to a list. Incentivises are good too such as discounts or giveaways.
WordPress is so awesome for small businesses…
So once you’ve set this up (or have me do it, It’s a service I offer). You can now streamline your process to the following:
- Write a blog/article/new product/post on your WordPress website.
- MailChimp does some magic…*
- Your clients in your MailChimp email list automatically get an email about this new post.
- MailChimp can also add this to Facebook and Twitter too!
Ok so I skipped over some details in # 2…
* MailChimp has a RSS-driven campaign that will monitor your website’s RSS feed and if there is a new post will then send it out automatically. This RSS-driven campaign will then also post a summary to Facebook and Twitter. Another way this “magic” happens is that you hire me. It will take around 1-2 hours to set up an RSS-driven campaign, hook it up to Facebook and Twitter, as well as create a custom template to match your companies brand.