5 tips to improve nonprofit emails

It used to be that nonprofits relied on fundraising galas and direct-mail to solicit donations. But now, many nonprofits are using email marketing as a fundraising tool.

Email marketing accounted for 26 percent of all online donations in 2016, according to M+R Benchmarks, which tracks online fundraising and advocacy for nonprofits.

To maximize your marketing efforts, here are five tips to improve your emails:

1. Send a variety of emails

Nonprofits need donations and volunteers, but that doesn’t mean every email you send has to ask for support. You should send a variety of emails. From newsletters to gratitude emails, you want to engage with your audience:

  • Welcome email: When a new contact signs up for your email list, greet him or her with a welcome email.
  • Gratitude email: When you receive donations, make sure to thank each supporter with a gratitude email.
  • Explainer video: Show your supporters what you’re working on by sending a link to a video that explains a new project or your mission. 
  • Newsletter: On a regular basis, keep your followers up to date with a newsletter. 
  • Stewardship email: At the end of a campaign, tell donors how it went. For example, in Red Cross email below, the organization lets donors know how their support was used in 2017. 

Red Cross email example

2. Vary your calls to action

Inevitably, you will send emails that ask for donations or support of some kind. Many nonprofits use “Donate Now” as the go-to call to action, but there are other phrases you can use that sound less like a plea for money. The next time you create a donation-based email, consider using a call to action from this list:

  • Join Us Now
  • Take Action
  • Get Involved Today
  • Join the Fight
  • Help Now
  • Support Your Animal Humane Society (change to your nonprofit’s name)
  • Give the Gift of Food (alter to fit the service you provide)
  • Send a Military Care Package Now (alter to fit a specific package you provide)

Sonoma Humane society email with "Help Now" Call to action

3. Add an attention-grabbing image

As a nonprofit, one of the best ways to encourage your audience to get involved is to show them how they can help. Supporters are more likely to help your cause if they can relate to it on a human level. Try to include an image that shows the need that your nonprofit meets or showcases what your organization has accomplished.

SF Marin Food Bank with attention grabbing image of woman standing in front of food shelves

4. Select one or two readable fonts

When you create an email, you have a multitude of fonts to select from. To ensure your audience can read your email, select clear fonts. Stay away from typefaces that use symbols or hard-to-read scripted letters. You’ll also want to limit the number of fonts you use in each email to only one or two.

Here’s a quick list of go-to fonts that are easy to read across devices:

  • Tahoma
  • Times New Roman
  • Trebuchet MS
  • Arial
  • Rockwell
  • Gil Sans
  • Cambria
  • Helvetica

5. Pick a color scheme

Think of an email as an outfit. When you get dressed in the morning, you select colors that match or complement each other. The same is true for your email color scheme. Pick two (maybe three) colors to use throughout the email.

The ASPCA sticks with orange and gray, which helps their cute and fluffy imagery stand out and makes that all-important DONATE button pop.

ASPCA Email with orange and white color scheme

With these tactics, your nonprofit organization will be sending even better emails in no time. Looking for even more nonprofit help? You’ll find it in this guide.

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© 2018, Sonia Mansfield. All rights reserved.

The post 5 tips to improve nonprofit emails appeared first on Vertical Response Blog.

4 advanced tips to optimizing your LinkedIn business page

When was the last time you evaluated your company LinkedIn page? Does it represent your brand well, attract prospective clients and showcase your business as an authority in its field? 

Many small businesses take the necessary steps to create a company LinkedIn page, but aren’t quite sure if their page is doing all it should. Here are some advanced tips to make sure your business page is the best it can be.

1. Create Showcase Pages

A Showcase Page is an offshoot of your company profile page that enables you to promote a specific product or service that your business offers. And because Showcase Pages have analytics, you’ll be able to track visitor interest in those products or services.

Let’s say you sell digital cameras. You can set up a Showcase Page that highlights your best-selling camera. Or, if you run a pet shop, you could highlight your pet grooming services.

On your LinkedIn company page, Showcase Pages are below the About Us section. Look at the Adobe page below and you’ll see how they would appear on your own company page.

To create a Showcase Page, look under the Edit tab on your company page and select “Create a Showcase Page.” Then fill in the same information that you did for your company page, but geared specifically to a product or service. 

LinkedIn allows you to set up 10 Showcase Pages, so focus on your best products and services and remember to maintain these pages as you make changes to your offerings. 

2. Add keywords to your profile

When you were creating your company profile, you probably described your business and products and moved on to the next content block. You might not have considered adding keywords to your profile. LinkedIn profiles are searchable, so you want to make sure that your page appears when a client or customer enters relevant keywords into the search bar.

What words would your audience use to find your business? Create a list of five to six words or short phrases and add those words to your profile page. If you need a little help in the keyword department, you can use Google’s Keyword Planner to help you create a list of keywords to incorporate into your page.

3. Use the Life tab

This recent addition to the LinkedIn layout empowers you to show users who you are in a way that goes beyond the products or services that you offer. It’s like a behind-the-scenes look at your company’s culture. You can use the Life tab to highlight activities that your team has participated in, philanthropic work that you’ve done and even the languages that your team speaks. This is also a place where you can feature Employee Perspectives — sharing content that team members have published to LinkedIn — and employee testimonials.

Taking the time to customize the features under this tab can be especially beneficial if you’re using your LinkedIn page for recruiting purposes. But it’s also a great way to give visitors a glimpse at your business’s unique story.

Shoe retailer Allbirds uses the Life tab to share company photos and the business’s mission:

4. Write comment-worthy updates

You are probably already posting updates to your company page, so try these tips to make sure those updates are engaging:

  • Ask questions: Give your audience a reason to comment on your updates by asking a question. Then follow up with a link to a blog post on the topic.
  • Share unique statistics: Nothing gets an audience talking like a unique statistic. Find a stat that applies to your business, or better yet, share some statistics from a recent customer survey to generate a conversation.
  • Share a link: Updates with a link drive twice as much engagement as updates without one. Link to a recent blog post you wrote, a YouTube video that you like or an industry-based news piece. 
  • Add a photo: Research shows that simply adding a photo to your post can increase comment rate by almost 98 percent.

With more than 530 million users worldwide, LinkedIn is an excellent place to market your business. Make sure you put your best foot forward by updating and optimizing your company page. 

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Editor’s note: This post was originally published in April 2015 and has been updated for accuracy and relevance.

© 2018, Contributing Author. All rights reserved.

The post 4 advanced tips to optimizing your LinkedIn business page appeared first on Vertical Response Blog.

Tools and Technical Tips for Optimizing your Content Marketing Results

There’s no better way to drive massive traffic to your website than consistently creating amazing content.

Marketers know this, brands know this, and that’s exactly why the competition for first page search engine rankings is now fiercer than ever before.

Everybody is producing content to gain targeted traffic and get their brand known!

So how do you stay ahead of your competition in the content marketing game?

You need to get your geek on! And what do I mean by this?

Content marketing is equal parts strategic, creative, and technical. In order to optimize your content efforts to produce maximum impact, you need to get comfortable with the technical side of content marketing.

Content plus tools equals higher ROI! That’s why we’ve put together a list of great technical tips and tools that will help optimize your content marketing results across the board.

Don’t Forget about What You Have

As content marketers, we’re constantly obsessing about the production of new content. In the battle for ranking high on search engines, we’re hard pressed to regularly produce high-quality content around our keywords.

But most of us tend to forget about something that can bring an even better payoff for us in the long run – old content. It’s already there, sitting on your blog or website, and it can bring you a constant inflow of new traffic if you revisit it once in a while.

Optimizing old content can bring you massive benefits and at a fraction of time it usually takes you to create new content!

Here’s the process I use. I go to my Google Analytics account and look for older blog posts that are still generating lots of traffic. Then I go through those articles to check the following:

  • Could I update the post in any way? Is there any information that is out of date? If there’s a lot to change I’d republish old content (without changing the URL!), and if it requires only minor changes I’d just hit update.
  • Could I update the visuals of this post? In some cases I’d add new images, graphics, or even video to the article.
  • Is there anything I could do to optimize it for SEO?

And the latest point brings me to another important area to focus on, and that’s making sure your old content is SEO-optimized!

You can do this quite easily with the help of Screaming Frog SEO Spider. This is a very useful on-page SEO analysis tool that crawls through your website and looks at all the key SEO parameters. It’s great for finding basic SEO issues that may exist on your older pages, such as duplicate titles, missing or long meta descriptions, missing alt headings, etc.

By fixing these technical issues on your older blog posts, you’ll help improve their chances of ranking higher.

Another tool to help you find any technical problems with your website related to links and traffic is SEMRush. You can use it to perform a site audit and find any broken links, poor quality links leading to your content, and more. Fixing these type of issues makes Google happy and helps your content perform better as a result!
Build More Links

Link old content to new content. We often link new content to old content but are we doing the reverse?

content marketing results

Your older articles attract a lot of organic search, they’ve earned more links, and have been shared more since you published them. You can pass some of that value to your new blog posts by linking to related, high-quality old blog content.

Page authority is a good indicator of the value of your older posts. If you want to know more about page/domain authority and internal linking watch these videos:

Build brand mention links. Do you track when websites mention your brand name but don’t actually link to you?

If any high authority site mentions you without linking, you should contact them and ask for a link. Buzzsumo makes it very easy to do this. It tracks all your brand mentions and it even tells you if someone has linked to you or not.

Create more link friendly content. There are certain types of content that naturally attract more attention and more links. Research reports are one of them! People will reference this type of content a lot which will get you a ton of links.  Here’s an example of an annual research report by Andy Crestodina:


This is a strategic content that may require 10 times more work, but it could also deliver 1000 times more value.

Other types of strategic content that will get more shares, links, and love from Google include frameworks (see our PRISM framework), ‘how to’ content, case studies, and influencer content (e.g. 123 Content Marketing Tools from Industry Professionals).

Optimize content through related terms. When you create a new piece of content, don’t forget to include related terms. You can often get more traffic from related terms than from the main keyword you are targeting. This is because Google is getting smarter about recognizing common synonyms and related terms, so it would be smart on your part to include them!

Here are some tools to help you find related terms:

  • io – A very useful keyword research tool that can help you find alternative keywords or phrases.
  • Quora – This is a very popular question and answer site. Use it to find topics related to your target keywords and find out what people are talking about related to that topic.
  • Keyword tool and content assistant from Cognitive SEO – this is a similar tool to Keywordtool.io but definitely worth checking out.

Promote Your Content

Social sharing. Make sure you have a good social sharing plugin installed on your website that works well on both desktop and mobile. If your website is on WordPress, check out Warfareplugins.

What I like about this plugin is that you can add custom imagery and text for different social networks. When someone shares your content, the plugin will share the predefined image/text particular to that social network.

This way you’ll ensure that your posts appear in the best possible way on each social network to encourage more people to come and visit your site.

Pre-promote content. Reach out to influencers and get their opinion and/or a quote on a piece of content before you publish it and then mention them in the post once it’s published. The more involved they are, the more they’ll be willing to promote the content once it goes live!

Create a promotional video for the content. Lumen5 is a great tool for turning your blog posts into videos. It will take you a couple of minutes to create a short and shareable video from any link. Lumen5 leverages AI to match the content of your article with related images enabling you to create a slideshow type of video with text overlays. The product is currently free to use!

Re-share content regularly. Unless you share your content regularly, the majority of your audience on social media won’t see it. Create a social media promotion schedule with an optimal frequency of posting for each of your accounts including your Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and LinkedIn profiles. We use Agorapulse to make this process easier.

Convert More Email Subscribers

Use a good tool to build subscribers. Email is 40 times more effective than Facebook and Twitter combined when it comes to driving targeted traffic and acquiring new customers. This is quite a convincing statistic that should inspire you to focus more on building and monetizing your email list!

OptinMonster is a great tool for building email subscribers and it will provide you with everything you need.

Here’s an example of one of the more advanced features.

You can personalize the optin for individual user on the site. For example, if a user has already submitted their name, you can show them a popup that mentions their name:

You can also personalize the optin based on the products they previously shown interest in.

This tool is very flexible so you can use it to create different optins for various pages on your website to make them more relevant to the users.

Create a side project to generate optins. A side project is a useful (and typically simple) website or a tool that you can create to attract an audience, build awareness, and grow email subscribers.

A good example is Hubspot’s persona tool for generating a buyer persona. If you offer a free tool that is really helpful to your target customers and heavily promote it, people will not only sign up to use it, but also talk about it, share it, and write about it. All this will lead to more email subscribers!

Conclusion

There’s a lot more to content marketing than being creative and producing amazing content. If you want to get consistently good return on your content marketing, you need to focus on optimizing your results. This often means getting technical and using at least some of the tools and tactics we talked about in this article.

Have any additional technical tips or tools for optimizing content marketing results? Do share in the comments bellow!

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10 Top Tips for Smarter Social Media Marketing with the Buffer Mobile App

How often do you read and share an article on your phone? Or how often do you snap, edit, and share a photo with your phone?

If you like creating and scheduling social media posts with your phone, we would love for you to try our mobile apps. They will make social media marketing on the go super easy and smooth for you.

In this post, you’ll learn more about the Buffer mobile apps (Android and iOS) and the top 10 features for smarter social media marketing.

Let’s get started!

Buffer for Android and iOS: 10 Top Features to Grow Your Social Media

Getting started with Buffer on mobile

If you don’t have our app installed on your phone already, you can download the Android version from Google Play or the iOS version from iTunes.

Adding your accounts

When you open up the app, select “I’m new to Buffer, let’s signup” if you are new to Buffer. You’ll be able to sign up with one of your social network accounts (Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn) or your email. Tap on your preferred signup option, and log in to give Buffer access to your account.

Buffer mobile app signup step 1Buffer mobile app signup step 2

Once you have signed up, you’ll be brought to your Buffer mobile dashboard. You can connect more social accounts by tapping on your profile image in the upper-left corner.

Connect social accountsConnect social accounts (Android)

From here you’ll be taken to the relevant network to log in and give Buffer access to your account. Then you can choose which profile or page you want to add.

6 social network integrations

With our recent addition of Instagram, you can now connect social accounts from the six major social media platforms.

With the free Buffer account, you can connect up to three social profiles. For instance, you could connect three Twitter accounts or one Twitter account, one Facebook profile, and one Instagram profile.

Here are the 10 different social accounts you can add to your Buffer account:

  • Twitter profile
  • Facebook profile
  • Facebook Page
  • Facebook group
  • LinkedIn profile
  • LinkedIn Page
  • Google+ profile
  • Google+ Page
  • Instagram profile
  • Pinterest profile (only for Awesome or Buffer for Business account)

To upgrade to the Awesome or Buffer for Business plan, tap on your profile image and scroll to the bottom. Tap on “Upgrade to Awesome” to find out more about the Awesome and Small Business plans and purchase a subscription.

Upgrade to Awesome or Small Business planUpgrade to Awesome or Small Business plan

(The prices will be displayed in your app store local currency.)

Using Buffer to manage your updates on the go

Setting up your schedule

First, it’ll be great to set up your schedule according to your preference. We would have set a default schedule for you, which you can keep or change.

To change your schedule, click on the settings gear icon in the lower-right corner and tap on “Posting Schedule”.

Schedule post 1 Schedule post 2 Schedule post 3

Schedule post 1 (Android) Schedule post 2 (Android)

Here, you can select the days and times you want to have in your social media sharing schedule.

Sending your first update

Let’s add your first update from the mobile app!

Tap on the plus icon at the bottom and you’ll see the composer where you can type your update, attach photos or video, and select the accounts you’d like to share the update with.

Compose a new post Compose a new post (Android)

When you’re done, tap on the “Buffer” button to add the update to your queue, or tap “Share Now” to send it right away.

If you are on the Awesome or Buffer for Business plan, you’ll also have the option to schedule your post (Schedule Post) or add it to the top of your queue (Share Next).

Share optionsSharing options (Android)

Managing your queue

Tap on the Content tab to see your queued social media posts. You can tap on a post to edit it, or tap and hold with your finger to rearrange its position in the queue.

Edit or rearrange Buffer queue

10 top features to make the most of the Buffer mobile apps

Now that you’ve learned the basics of the Buffer mobile apps, let’s check out some of the more advanced, more powerful features.

1. Share from any app

Our app takes advantage of the built-in share menu that shows up in most apps, to let you add updates to Buffer from anywhere on your device. Once you have Buffer installed, just tap the share menu inside another app, such as your browser or Pocket, and tap on Buffer to send an update to your Buffer queue.

Here’s an example of how this looks when sharing from Safari on iOS and Android:

Share from any app on mobile Share from any app (Android)

For iOS, you’ll first have to turn on the extension. You can do so under “Settings” > “Set up Extension”, where you’ll see a set of short instructions.

2. Schedule native retweets

Here’s another cool thing you can share quickly via the mobile app — native retweets.

When you see a tweet you want to retweet or quote, tap on the menu arrow in the upper-right corner of the tweet, select “Share Tweet via…”, and tap on Buffer.

Buffer retweet Buffer retweet (Android)

If you don’t add any message with the retweet, we’ll post it as a native retweet. If you do, it’ll become a quote tweet with your additional comment.

3. Get reminders for Instagram posts

Unlike most social media platforms, Instagram does not allow apps to post directly to Instagram. While Buffer cannot post to Instagram on your behalf, we would love to help you at every step.

Whether you add an Instagram post to your Buffer queue via the desktop or your mobile, the Buffer mobile app will send you a notification when it’s time for you to post. After you tap on the notification, Buffer will load your photo into Instagram and have your prewritten caption saved to your clipboard.

Buffer for Instagram notifications Buffer for Instagram Posting on Instagram

4. Drag and drop to copy posts across social accounts

Besides dragging and rearranging posts in your queue, you can also copy a post from one social account’s queue into another social account’s queue by dragging and dropping it into that other queue.

Drag and drop

With the multitasking feature in iOS, you can even drag and drop images to Buffer to start a draft in Buffer immediately.

5. Pause queue in times of emergency

There might be times when you want to pause your social media posting urgently because of any breaking news and events that have happened.

You likely have your smartphone with you more often than your laptop. And that’s why there’s a pause button in the mobile apps. Anytime you want to pause your Buffer queue, just whip out your phone and toggle the pause option in “Settings”.

Unpaused Buffer queuePaused Buffer queuePause queue (Android)

Pausing is done on a per social account basis. So if you have multiple social accounts that you’d like to pause posting for, you will need to pause each queue individually. You can read more about how pausing and unpausing work here.

The following few features are available in the Awesome or Buffer for Business plan. You can upgrade to either of these plans within the mobile apps or from the web dashboard.

6. Quick re-Buffer to boost your reach

One of our favorite social media tips is to re-use your top social media posts. While these posts have performed well previously, not all your followers might have seen them. Resharing them allows more followers (and even non-followers) to see them.

Here’s how to do that swiftly with the Buffer mobile app:

  • Tap on “Analytics”
  • Tap on “Recent” beside the date and select “Most Popular”
  • Find the post you want to share again
  • Tap on the tiny arrow in the upper-right corner and select “Rebuffer”
  • Edit the post as you like

You can then share the post immediately or schedule it for later.

Rebuffer top posts

7. Shuffle queue to mix things up

If you often share a few quotes from the same article or a few links from the same site in a row and want to mix them up, you will be happy to know that you can shuffle your Buffer queue.

The shuffle button is located just above your queue in the app. When you tap on “Shuffle”, you’ll see a confirmation message. Once you tap “Yes”, the posts in that queue will be shuffled randomly.

Shuffle Buffer queue

8. See how your posts are performing

We hope to make it easy for you to check your social media performance as and when you want. Just open up the mobile app and tap on “Analytics” at the bottom of the screen. Buffer for Business customers will get these three reports.

Posts Report: You’ll see a history of your published posts and each of their key engagement metrics. There is also a comparison with your average post performance from the past 30 days to help you instantly understand if the post is performing better than previous posts. (Read more about the Post Report here.)

Overview Report: This report gives you an overall view of your engagement levels, as opposed to the per-post basis that you would find in the Posts Report, for your Twitter account and Facebook Page. (Read more about the Overview Report here.)

Insights Report: You’ll find charts of engagement metrics, such as clicks and reach, over time in this report. If you tap on any of the points on the chart, you’ll see the absolute figure of that point.

Posts Report Overview Report Insights Report

9. Get a preview of your Instagram gallery

This is one of our most requested Instagram features — the Instagram Grid Preview.

With this preview, you can see how your upcoming posts will look like on your Instagram gallery, alongside the published posts. You can even drag and drop your scheduled posts in the preview to create your perfect Instagram gallery.

Buffer Instagram Grid Preview feature

10. Share articles from your Content Inbox

Curating content is a great way to provide your followers with valuable insights, establish your authority, and get more followers.

You can easily discover great content and immediately schedule them using the Content Inbox feature within the Buffer mobile app. The Content Inbox can be found in the Content tab, last from the left in the top navigation bar. (You might have to swipe the navigation bar to the left to find your Content Inbox.)

Once you have set up your RSS feeds, you’ll see all the new blog posts from the websites in your Content Inbox. You can then tap on the link to check out that blog post and tap on “Add” to Buffer that link.

Content Inbox

How can we improve our apps?

It’ll be great to hear from you. If you have tried our mobile apps, what do you like most about it? How can we make it better for you and your business?

If you have not tried our mobile apps, we would love for you to try them (Android or iOS) and experience better social media marketing on the go.

Image credit: Unsplash

This blog post was originally written by Belle Beth Cooper in 2013 and has been updated to reflect the improvements in our mobile apps. 

The Android images and GIFs in this blog post are modifications based on work created and shared by the Android Open Source Project and used according to terms described in the Creative Commons 2.5 Attribution License.

10 Email Best Practice Tips for Independent Retail Stores

Maintaining an up-to-date email list is often an important tool for small business marketing. Independent retailers rely on direct engagement in order to drive repeat business into their stores. Facing stiff competition from big box chains that may compete on selection and price, independent shops have to offer a unique experience and superior service.

Given that objective, it’s important to think of email outreach as driving the shop’s public image. In addition, federal legislation makes it illegal to mislead your recipients, so it’s important to craft every email with care and not risk receiving a fine. Adhering to some basic rules will also help ensure your email is seen and stays out of the spam folder.

  1. Identify Yourself
    To comply with the CAN-SPAM act, you have to make it clear who’s sending the email. You also want your customers to know it’s you. Use the store’s name and an individual name if you like, such as the shop owner, e.g. “Jessica from Beadworks Craft Shop.” Be mindful of the fact that only the first few words may show up on some email providers.
  2. Write a Compelling Subject Line
    You want your recipients to open your email, but it’s vital you don’t deliberately mislead them. Be explicit about the contents of the email or retain a bit of mystery without being deceptive. For example, a phrase like, “Thank you to our loyal customers” could indicate an in-store event, a coupon, or just a note of appreciation. In any case, it is honest while still piquing curiosity.
  3. Spell and Grammar Check
    Even if customers will only skim your email, you have to stay professional. Proofread to look for errors and correct before sending. A typo will stick out to your readers and detract from your main message. If you’re able, show the email to a couple of staff members before distributing it to your list.
  4. Choose Images Wisely
    Images make for compelling emails, but customers read your emails on all kinds of different devices. Pictures may not show up on all phones or laptops and may trigger spam filters, so make sure your main messages are in the non-image text. Avoid using background images, use .jpeg or .gif format, and optimize size so pictures show up on smaller devices.
  5. Use Consistent Branding
    The last thing you want is your customers to forget you. You also have to be realistic that they may not remember your name right away, especially if they signed up for your list after making a spontaneous purchase while walking by. Make sure your brand logo, including font and key messaging, is part of the email so it jogs the recipient’s memory.
  6. Include an Unsubscribe Link
    By law, your customers have to agree to be on your list and have a way of getting off of it. At the bottom of every email, create a link to a page where they can manage their preferences. You can keep it simple and offer them the choice to just outright unsubscribe, or you can ask them to choose what kinds of emails they want to continue receiving. You can also include an optional survey asking them why they’re asking to be removed from your list.
  7. Keep it Short
    Your emails should be like your in-shop experience. Customers know where to go to find what they need, and it’s easy for them to spend time browsing. Your emails should similarly be easy-to-navigate. Don’t take too much time getting to the meat of the email. If you’re having a 50 percent off sale, let readers know within the first sentence or two.
  8. Clear Call to Action
    You typically want your customers to take action after reading your email. It’s a great way to keep them engaged and a way for you to measure the ROI of your marketing strategy. Place your call to action in a colored box or prominent piece of text. Even if you’re holding an event at a later date, an RSVP request can give you insight into the effectiveness of your email marketing.
  9. Ask to Add to Whitelist
    You want to make sure all of your emails end up in recipients’ inboxes. To avoid being labeled as spam, include a note at the bottom requesting that your customers add your address to their safelist. Usually they can use the options given by their email provider in order to take this step.
  10. Social Media Links
    At the end of your email, include a call to action to follow your social media pages. Again, this not only increases your chances of getting your message out to customers, but also helps measure the effectiveness of your email marketing. Remember to use the site logos, such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, which are easily recognizable to customers.

Email is a cost-effective way for you to develop your customer following. Since inboxes fill up quickly, however, it’s vital to make your message direct and compelling so customers are motivated to take action. Whether they download a coupon, attend an end-of-season sale or visit your online store, you want to make sure their experience is positive and leads to repeat purchases.

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Some Fabulous Tips to Help You Travel Through TSA Smoothly

Everyone who has travelled since 9/11 has dealt with increased security and navigating the airport in a new way. While National security is of the utmost importance and is greatly appreciated, as a traveller it can be a challenge. The road warriors get angry and frustrated by the families and regular travelers. These tips are…

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Tips for Dealing with Migraines at Work

Migraines at Work: Tips for DealingA migraine striking while you’re hanging out at home is bad enough, but migraines at work are even worse. Not only do you have to deal with debilitating pain and other symptoms, but you have to consider how to handle the situation in a professional way — when all you want to do is go home. Taking a few steps while you’re not in the middle of a migraine can make times like that a little easier. How do you deal with migraines at work? When you have to go home during the workday or call in sick, do you specifically say that you have a migraine? Is your boss usually understanding? 

Psst: We’ve also talked about how to function at work without sleep, how to explain an embarrassing illness (not that migraines should make you embarrassed!), how to handle a client meeting while drugged with cold medicine, and how to handle frequent doctors’ appointments. We’ve also had at least one great reader discussion with advice about migraines.

Here are some tips for how to handle migraines at work:

  1. Consider giving your boss (and your assistant) a heads-up that you may have to occasionally miss work because of migraines. You shouldn’t feel obligated to divulge private medical information, of course. Some people with chronic conditions find it’s better when their boss and coworkers know the details, while others prefer to be vague. But if you’re going to be calling on future mornings to say you can’t come to work, or letting her know that you’re leaving in the middle of the day because you’re feeling horrible, it’s definitely easier (and more pleasant) to provide an explanation while you’re feeling good rather than suffering from severe pain, vertigo, nausea, and so on.
  2. If you have to call in sick with “morning migraine and you decide to give the specific reason for missing work when you call in, tell your supervisor how long you could potentially be out, if you can. If you feel the need, explain that you couldn’t have informed her any earlier, because you felt just fine the day before.
  3. If you think your boss is getting suspicious about the time you’ve missed, either because, like a lot of people, she doesn’t understand the severity of migraines, or thinks you might not be telling the truth (e.g., a boss who has it out for you), Alison of Ask a Manager suggests simply not mentioning migraines anymore. If you feel it’s necessary, make sure (or try to) that your boss knows migraines are a genetic, neurological disorder — not just bad headaches. Don’t offer a doctor’s note unless you’re required to provide one.
  4. If you worry that your absences will affect your job, tell your boss how you’re addressing the time you miss — not to apologize for your condition, of course, but to show that you take your work seriously and want to minimize the hours that you’re out. Explain that you will take precautions to try to prevent migraines (e.g., stay hydrated, limit caffeine — but you don’t have to give specifics if you don’t want to) and point out that your employer can help by making accommodations such as providing an anti-glare screen for your computer monitor, relocating your desk if it’s under direct fluorescent light, or moving your office/cubicle/desk to a quieter area).

Here are a few quick tips from Corporette readers on enduring a migraine at work: (1) take Excedrin Migraine and have a big cup of coffee, (2) turn down the brightness on your computer screen, (3) wear sunglasses while at your computer, and (4) if you can, turn on the lights underneath the bookshelves/cabinets in your cubicle.

If you have migraines, do they cause you to frequently miss work? If so, how do you handle migraines at work with your supervisor and coworkers? How much do you go into detail about your condition, if at all? Have you had a boss who wasn’t understanding about, for example, having to leave work in the middle of the day due to a migraine? 

Stock photo: Shutterstock / Voyagerix.migraines at work - tips for dealing

What are the best practices for dealing with a migraine at work? How do you stay professional if you have to call out sick at the last minute, go to frequent doctors' appointments, or are distracted during the meetings you DO have to grit your teeth and get through? We rounded up some great tips on how to stay professional if you suffer from migraines -- and how to deal with a migraine at work.

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