3 Strategies to Rebuilding Your Mailing List After CASL

Email MarketingIn my previous post, we talked about the impact CASL had on your small business mailing list. If you are like many people, you found that when you asked people to opt back in to your list, only 10-20% actually went through the process. This was no doubt a sobering realization that not everyone is ‘into you’ the way you might have hoped.  Being a glass half-full kinda person, I look at this as an opportunity to re-evaluate the type and quality of information you are putting out there. It’s also time to re-evaluate your tribe.  Who are the people who are invested in you and your business? And how do you attract more like them? Here are 3 strategies to help you rebuild your list.  Remember to spend your time focusing on the people who took the time to opt back in. They obviously find what you have to offer of value to them.

1. BLOG

Any of my clients know that I am a big proponent of blogging. Not only does quality content help establish you as an expert in your field, it also helps you with the Google search engines. For the next while, include a short paragraph on the benefits of signing up for your newsletter and include the link to the signup in your blog post. You might consider including an incentive. Give people a bonus for signing up for the newsletter; a coupon, free e-book or other offering. Be aware however, that some people might sign up just to get the bonus and may have no intention of giving you any further business which will artificially inflate the list. The very best way to keep people invested in you is still to put out excellent content.

Tip: Your blog and your newsletter should never be duplicated content.  They should have distinct content and strategies. Feel free to contact me for more information on this.

2. Email Signature Block

While you cannot ‘cold call’ people using email, you can continue to email people with whom you have an existing business relationship as well as friends and family.  Add the link to your newsletter signup in your email signature block because not everyone will have signed up to get it. This is a great reminder. Make sure your email signature list also contains links to your website, FB page, LinkedIn profile etc.

Tip: Include a suggestion to your contacts within the newsletter to share your newsletter with their family, friends and co-workers since this does not violate CASL ;-)

3. Frequency

It is critically important that your list be mailed to on a regular basis to keep the engagement flowing. (This does not mean hounding them).  You may have to test your market to find out how often they want to hear from you. Consider sending out a mini survey with one of your newsletters (you could use Survey Monkey for example) to poll your audience on how you are doing. You may find you get some very interesting feedback. Solicit their input on things they may wish to see included in your newsletter as well as how often they want to hear from you. Then stick to that routine.  It’s part of the trust factor that people use in evaluating whether or not they want to do business with you or not. Clients want to know they can depend on you.

Tip:  If you are using Mailchimp as your newsletter provider for example, make sure you check the boxes in your profile setup to have the system alert you when people either subscribe or unsubscribe from your mailings. There is the ability to view why they unsubscribed. This information can be very telling and may help you tweak your approach and or content.

It’s also important to point out again, that to adhere to the new CASL guidelines, there is a double opt-in process required so be sure when you are inviting people to sign up, you explain that it’s a two part process that they must properly complete to successfully subscribe.

I’m here to help! Have questions? You can connect with me via email or telephone, leave a comment right here on the site or click the contact tab at the bottom of the screen if you are reading this blog post on the website.

Until next time,

Joanne

Canadian Anti-Spam Laws Killed my List

Canadian Anti-Spam Laws CASLAs a Canadian business, you know that the new Canadian Anti-Spam law came into effect on July 1st.

I would like to say that I am frustrated with the way Canadian government continues to try and strangle our business owners. With the ‘do-not-call’ list (we’ve seen how well this works, NOT), fax/telecommunications laws, and now the anti-spam laws, it is making it very difficult for business owners to reach out to prospective clients and build their lists. I wouldn’t mind so much if they were able to inflict this pain on businesses outside our country being able to bombard us too.  I understand the reasoning behind it, but I question their ability to properly govern it. That being said… Continue reading

Virtually Yours, Joanne Burgess Relocating to Mt. Forest Ontario

click image to enlarge

click image to enlarge

It has been my lifetime wish to have more property and live closer to Mother Nature as I have always been a country girl at heart. Being in a subdivision for me is too confining – with the constant barrage of noise; cars, buses, dogs barking, helicopters (we’re on the flight path to Southlake Hospital for critical care) and we even hear the PA system from the local public school. While we back onto a green space behind our home and have a good mix of birds, rabbit, chimpmunk, squirrel, skunk, raccoon and even the occasional fox, they are still drowned out many days with all the other surrounding noise. So, my wish is finally coming to fruition. With the kids grown and mostly gone, my husband and I are relocating to Mt. Forest, Ontario where my husband will tackle retirement! Careful honey, the job jar is already growing.. ;-)

Continue reading

Gravy Train is Over for Free Organic Reach on Facebook

Facebook adsAs a Social Media Specialist supporting small, local businesses, I am the first person to say that in the past I was not an advocate of running Facebook ads. I always counseled my clients to take advantage of the free organic reach.  After all, who needs to spend money when you don’t have to? Well folks that gravy train is pretty much over.

Most of you have probably noticed a marked decline in your organic reach on Facebook. Some stats show it’s down to 1%.  With Facebook now being a public company, they have a fiduciary responsibility to their shareholders and the way they are going to make money is by ensuring you have to run ads to get your content out there to your target market. Continue reading

Canadian Anti-Spam Laws About to Get Much Tougher in 2014

Updated July 1, 2014
Canadian Anti Spam lawsAs most of you know, I expanded my services this year to include email marketing support so it would be remiss of me not to bring you up to speed on the changes that are happening to the anti-spam laws here in Canada this July 2014. These laws are about to get much tougher, carrying with them fines in the millions of dollars for those who violate them.

I know that there are many of you small business owners out there who currently have an email list/s that you currently market to. This list might be resident in places like Outlook or Gmail. Please know that you are currently in violation of the Canadian Anti-spam laws when you send out an email to this list/s as they do not conform to the laws. It is just that no one appears to be enforcing it – but that is about to change.

Continue reading

2014 The Year of Change – 3 Ideas to Get You Started

Year of the HorseAs many of you know, 2014 in the Chinese calendar is the year of the Horse – the year of change!  What will you do differently in your business this year to meet your goals?  Here are 3 ideas to get you started.

1. Focus on Customer Service

I work with small, local business owners who often times struggle building their business. Do you feel that way too? As one prospect recently shared with me, “I had a great idea for a business, I just had no idea how it would consume me”. There are not enough hours in the day for the number of hats you need to wear as a business owner. So this year, make it a priority to focus on customer service. Love the heck out of your existing client base. That reinforces trust. People buy from people they know, like and trust. And those individuals/businesses will be the ones to send you referral business. Make sure that love is reflected in your website, your social media postings and blog and your marketing efforts in general too. Continue reading

Webinar & Newsletter (E-Blast) Support for Small Business Owners

e-blast and webinar supportHappy New Year everyone! I trust you all had a wonderful holiday season with friends and family and that you are ready to rock ‘n roll for a fabulous 2014.  This year will bring some exciting changes for my business too as I officially expand my offerings to include webinar and newsletter (e-blast) support for small business owners. I have had numerous inquiries about these services so it is a great time for me to stretch my  arms around this to offer an even more rounded marketing solution to all my client base. Continue reading

Turn Your Facebook Banner into a Facebook Ad

social media expert OntarioEvery now and then I come across a social media article that makes me go hmmmmm.  This one was worth sharing. In this case, Hugh Briss talks about changing your Facebook Banner  in such a way as to disguise it into an actual Facebook ad.  I would caution about doing this on a regular basis though as the social media channels are not about ‘buy my stuff’.  It’s ok to self promote some of the time (about 20%) but used judiciously, this idea can translate into an effective ad.

Whenever you change your Facebook banner, it shows up in your connections’ newsfeeds. That’s advertising, right? if you add a description/text along with the banner image change, that does not show up in the newsfeed.  Most people will just see the image and a few might click the ‘like’ button.  But, what if you had a call to action to go along with that banner? Where would you put it?

Continue reading

3 Tips to Jazz up your Facebook Page for the Holiday Season

Facebook commerceIt’s approaching that time of year again.  Did you know people peruse sites like Facebook to look for great holiday gift ideas and special offers?  I posted this great infographic recently on my Facebook business page on people’s buying habits over the holidays.  Peer recommendations are a key influencer in the decision making process and Facebook leads the way in terms of where buyers get peer input. If you sell your products and services online, here are 3 tips to jazzing up your Facebook business page in preparation for the hoiidays. Continue reading

Facebook Relaxes Contest Rules for Business Pages

Facebook-Contests-for-Your-PageFacebook recently relaxed their rules for running contests and offers on Facebook business pages (or what they call their promotion policies).  Business owners can now comfortably run a contest on their own business page timeline without having to use external apps or pay for the Facebook  App function. Facebook even launched a YouTube video to announce the change.  Take a few moments to watch this video. For those of you receiving this blog via email, please click here to access the video. Continue reading