What Can You Do with an Email Service


What Email Service Is Right for You

Have you thought about using an email service to stay in touch with your customers and prospects? I’m sure you have, if for no other reason than the intensive marketing being done by Constant Contact.

Before You Select a Service; Know What You Want to Do

The truth is that all email services are not created equal. Some have features that others do not. Some charge based upon the number of emails sent and others charge based upon the number of subscribers you have.

How Many Subscribers Do You Expect?

Knowing how many subscribers you will have and how often you plan on contacting those subscribers can make a huge difference in the cost.

How Many Email Lists Will You Have?

Another factor is how many email lists will you have? Will you have both a list of active customers and prospects? Will it be a single list? Will you have a list for customers of each type or category of product or service you offer?

Are You Going to Do Email Campaigns?

Maybe you are asking what is an email campaign, so I will give you a brief overview. A campaign is typically a series of emails sent to subscribers.

The campaign starts with a letter of invitation to join the list (usually an opt-in or double opt-in) process to make sure you have the correct person.

Following the opt-in there is an immediate follow-up with the additional promised information. A few (7-10) days later there is another follow-up to ensure that they received the information and provide a second promotion. 12-14 days later there is another follow-up typically with some type of incentive to sign up. That may be it or 60 days later there could be one last follow up. It’s really up to you.

Some email services support email campaigns, some do not, and others only limited email campaigns or a limited number of campaigns.

To Opt-In or Not; or Will You Spam

Opt-In basically says do you want to participate and lets the reader know that they can opt-out at any time.

Do you want an opt-in or double opt-in process where the people signing up must go to a sight or respond to an email and confirm that they want to be on your list. If you don’t have an opt-in some, maybe many will report you as spam and can get you blacklisted; opt-ins are preferable to blacklists. Unless you are closely monitoring the service you won’t know that your emails have been blocked.

If the service isn’t offering an opt-in option that can be a problem. Maybe you don’t irritate the users but that doesn’t mean that someone else using the service won’t irritate their recipients and the backlash can hit you!

Opt-ins protect you as much or even more than they protect your recipients.

Will You Have Mini-Memberships?

A Mini-Membership has people sign-up typically paying a fee for a limited-term-membership (compare it to a four – 12 week class and sometimes up to one-year). Each week or month they will have the next part of their course delivered to their email box.

Some email services support this and some do not. Some will support several limited-term-memberships and others will support only one.

Before you select a service know what you services you are expecting them to provide.

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Tom Staskiewicz speaks and coaches on Social Media/Social Networking topics helping businesses, organizations, and individuals establish and manage their Social Media presence. Your Social Media presence doesn’t just happen and will not take care of itself. Tom helps you with those processes so your Social Media efforts will work for you.

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What Are Your 2011 Networking Goals?


It Is That Time of Year Again

We may reflect on the goals we set for 2010 and we are going to make our 2011 New Year’s resolutions for many aspects of our life. Another year has passed and it is time to ask not only whether you achieved your networking goals for 2010, but did you even have networking goals in 2010? Or were you like most people and just left the process to fate?

It's Time to Make Your Networking Resolution

I’m afraid that far too many left it to fate and fate did not shine kindly upon their efforts. Networking is a process that requires goals and a strategy. Without these two components your networking has no focus. Without a focus it is difficult to find a reason to network and most end up not networking or they end up connecting simply because they want something.

 

Networking Is More than Seeing Who Can Give You What

I recently wrote another article on networking and one of the responses that I received raised the issue that people only network with their own needs in mind. I think this is true, but not for the reason that others may believe. To me the issue is that we were never trained in the art of networking and therefore do not know what to do or how to network properly.

Networking is a give and take activity and it starts with the give portion. When you network it should be a win-win situation for both parties. If only one person is a winner; that is not networking. If you enter a networking situation with only your interests in mind; you will not be successful engaging the other person or at least not for the long-term.

Your 2011 Goals

For 2011 it is time to try something new: networking with a purpose. Having goals and a purpose as part of your networking allows you to monitor and measure your progress.

  1. What is your purpose for networking?
  2. What do you want to accomplish with your networking efforts?
  3. What is the value that you bring to the relationship?
  4. Who do you want in your network and why?
  5. How are you going to communicate with your network and what is the frequency of those communications?

For more ideas check out our free report to learn more about Networking with a Purpose.

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Tom Staskiewicz is a Social Media/Social Networking Coach helping businesses, organizations, and individuals to establish and manage their Social Media presence. Your Social Media presence doesn’t just happen and will not take care of itself. Tom helps you with those processes so your Social Media efforts will work for you.

Your Fan Page Needs Your Friends


Do My Fans Need to Know I Administer the Facebook Fan Page

Here’s the deal. You created a Fan or business page under your personal profile; that makes you the administrator of the page. Unless you post something on the Fan Page that gives it away as to who you are; your Fans cannot tell.

Two Steps to Better Hide Your Identity

If you are still worried the best way to hide the details about yourself is through the security settings on your personal profile. What you want to do is manage the information that you want to share with everyone, your friends, and your friend’s friends.

The other protection is deciding who you will accept as a friend. You can control this and if there are people that you do not want to have access to your personal information do not send a friend request or accept a friend request from them.

You can also classify your friends using the FB “list” process and create lists and then assign your friends. When you post you have the option to select the lists that you want to see the post you are leaving. That provides an additional method of restricting who sees what content.

Why You WANT the Two Connected

The last thing is that your business reputation and brand come for most of us from our personal reputation. What role does your personal reputation play in your business and how much do you count on your friends for referrals. The more restrictive you are the fewer the referrals you will receive.

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Tom Staskiewicz is a Social Media/Social Networking Coach helping businesses, organizations, and individuals to establish and manage their Social Media presence. Your Social Media presence doesn’t just happen and will not take care of itself. Tom helps you with those processes so your Social Media efforts will work for you.

Can Your Business Really Have an Identity Separate from You?


Can You Really Separate Yourself and Your Business?

I do not think you could ever truly and completely separate yourself from your business. Today, I am thoroughly convinced that any attempt at separation is even more difficult than ever. In fact, the attempt to separate may be a death knell to your business as you attempt to establish your brand.

Businesses have always been tied to the owners/proprietors from the earliest shopkeepers to some of the largest single purpose corporations. The owner/proprietor was responsible for creating and building the brand.

Social Media/Social Networking Makes Separation More Difficult

Social Media/Social Networking offer incredible opportunities to build and promote your business and your brand. The problem is that many business people want to separate the two and that is extremely difficult, if not downright impossible.

I constantly receive emails and posts from people that want to separate themselves from their business. I am never told why they want to separate the two, just that they do.

Why is that? Are they afraid of something? Do they think that is how all big businesses became big businesses?

I have my business, UPPROACH, but the reality is that I cannot separate it from me. UPPROACH may be the name, but people know that it is my business. Whatever name I chose or will choose; the initial reputation and the reputation that the business will have for a long time is based upon my reputation and what I bring to the table.

I have worked many years to establish my reputation and brand; why wouldn’t I want to bring those efforts to my business? Why do I want to start over creating a new brand?

Proctor and Gamble, Colgate, Ford Motor Co

We can all agree that Proctor and Gamble, Colgate, Ford Motor Co, etc are all large companies. Where did they get their names? A little research shows you that these are the surnames of the people that started the business. Just like your business; these businesses got their start based upon the reputations and even the surnames of their founders.

Microsoft, Apple, IBM

Again these are all large companies and although the company names are not the last names of the founders; the reputations of the founders were critical to the initial acceptance of the businesses. We know the names and backgrounds of these company founders. We also know that the initial reputations for these businesses came from their founders.

The truth is that our personal and business reputations are intertwined and if you think that is not so; you are only fooling yourself.

Social Media/Social Networking Sites Present Challenges to the Idea of Separation

For sure Social Networking Sites present challenges to the idea of separation. It is increasingly difficult for owners to keep themselves separate from their business. A quick search on Google, Bing, Yahoo, or other search sites will quickly connect you to your business.

I believe that many of these people want to maintain the separate identities because they want the freedom to express themselves as they see fit in their personal life. While keeping those activities separate may be the desire or goal; the fact is the Internet may not allow that to happen. That would be great if you could do it; the reality is that the chances of truly pulling that off are slim to none.

The reality is that who we are and what we are is all over the Internet. Maintaining any semblance of privacy and controlling what people see is a figment of our imagination. Some people think because they have not established themselves on the Internet that they are therefore not on the Internet and even that is foolish thinking.

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Tom Staskiewicz is a Social Media/Social Networking Coach helping business, organizations, and individuals to establish and manage their Social Media presence. Your Social Media presence doesn’t just happen and will not take care of itself. Tom helps you with those processes so your Social Media efforts will work for you.

Social Media Does Not Provide Instantaneous Results


Going Viral Takes Time

I was talking with one of my clients recently about their Social Media efforts. The owners had been questioning whether the Social Media effort, which they had started about 5 months ago, was producing anything tangible. She told them that it was and was able to give one or two examples. That provided a little bit of satisfaction, but not too much.

Ironically I had been thinking about that same thing with this client and had done a couple of Google searches to see how we were doing. I was pleasantly surprised at the results. This client had two pages of Google results and upon review I saw that some of the results were from reposts of our Blog articles.

I forwarded the search criteria so they could perform the same search and see for themselves what was happening. No, it is not bringing droves of people into their office thus far, but it is starting to take effect.

You Must Have Patience

The reality is that there are billions of businesses, articles, blogs, and everything else on the Internet and taking or making your place in that thriving world takes time and patience. Even when you are attempting to make a dent in a small segment of the Internet it still does not happen overnight.

You Must Create Your Own Following

To be successful you must be able to create a following and you do that by having interesting and informational posts. The fact that you post something is of little consequence; the fact that you post something that interests and attracts an audience makes all the difference.

Identify Your Target and Then Focus Your Efforts

Creating a following takes time and effort. Here are some key questions that you need to answer before you proceed:

  1. What is your target market?
  2. Is your target market…
    1. Local?
    2. Regional?
    3. National?
    4. Worldwide?
  3. Who is in your target market?
    1. Male?
    2. Female?
    3. Young?
    4. Old?
    5. Metropolitan?
    6. Suburban?
    7. Rural?

Obviously there is much more to the process than these few questions, but the ability to answer these questions will make your process much more successful and targeted. There are many people pushing the idea of building your list by the thousands every day, the question is whether you are adding valuable names or simply adding names. Be focused in your efforts so you create an audience that is interested in your message.

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Tom Staskiewicz consults with individuals and businesses on the use of Social Media to help you build your brand and your business. Don’t waste time where there is no value. You must have a strategy so you don’t throw your money away on wasted efforts.

Social Media.. What Site or Sites Are Best for My Business?


Few Companies Take the Time to Select the Social Media Sites that Will Be Best for Them

I don’t know how many times I have read purported experts telling organizations that they should have a presence on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Flickr, Plaxo, Friendster, MySpace, etc. I have heard them specify up to 10 sites that they state are critical to your business. Do they really know? What is their proof?

If you go looking for sites on your own you will see that Wikipedia lists over 190 different Social Media sites. On top of selecting your Social Media sites; businesses are told they must be blogging and oh, by the way, you should do podcasts in your spare time.

The reality is that there are way too many options and no business, regardless of how well staffed they are, can effectively participate in all these sites or even 10 sites. To make it worse many so-called Social Media consultants or experts spend little or no time understanding your business or helping you develop a strategy. My experience is that their interest is to get you involved in Social Media Sites far more than helping you achieve Social Media success.

What Do You Hope to Accomplish with Social Media and Why?

Before you jump into any site you must first understand or determine what you are attempting to accomplish. You must be able to answer these questions:

  • Who do you want to talk to?
  • Where do members of your audience spend their time?
  • What Social Media sites serve your audience?
  • What is interests your audience?
  • What information can you contribute to meet their interests?
  • How often do you want to talk?
  • What of quality or value do you have to say?
  • What action do you want your audience to take?

I am sure you can come up with other questions that will help to narrow your focus and evolve your strategy.

When you can answer these questions you are then prepared to start evaluating which Social Media sites will best serve your purposes. Certain sites lend themselves better to one objective or another and none are a one-size fits all solution.

The mistake that you do not want to make is to spend time in places where you will not find your customers and prospects or where you have nothing to add to the conversation. My friend, Neal Shaffer, wrote the blog post 5 Reasons Why Your Social Media Strategy Isn’t Really a Social Media Strategy.

Your Social Media Strategy Must Be Evolving

Your Social Media strategy must be evolving. Social Media sites will come and go, customers will redefine their interests, and/or you will change your strategies. You must be prepared to adapt and change as your needs change.

The reality is that businesses must pick and choose their Social Media sites with care. Just like you take care in selecting your product or service lines you must be using the same care in selecting your Social Media sites.

Social Media Has Much to Offer Businesses, but They Must Do Their Homework First

If you take the time to do your homework; your chances of success will increase geometrically.