5 Reasons Emails Should Be Your Top Marketing Tool

Most small businesses owners are timid about email marketing. When I ask my clients why they're not interested in doing email marketing, they typically say these three reasons:

  • I feel like I'm spamming my audience.
  • I don't know what to write about. 
  • It takes up too much time & I don't see the value. 

However, most business owners feel like they should do Social Media marketing - mostly because everyone else talks about it, and it's all over the internet. But Social Media Marketing is the lowest "Return On Investment" marketing you can do online. It takes up a ton of energy. And most likely, your ideal clients are not hanging out on social media. 

If you focus on high-end services, or specialized products, your best marketing tool will be email marketing. That is because people take Email more seriously than Social Media. Over 90% of U.S. citizens use email on a daily basis, while less than 50% of Americans have a Facebook account, and even fewer have an Instagram account. Simply put, email marketing is far more effecient. 

Here are 5 reasons email marketing should be your priority when it comes to online marketing:

1
Email has the highest ROI of any online marketing
On social media, people are constantly forgetting who you are unless you post daily. But with email, people will save an email and come back to it later if they're interested. People who sign up for an Email Marketing newsletter are much more intentional than simply hitting "Like" on an Instagram page. It is proven to yield the highest ROI of any marketing method online. It's more effective than Google or Facebook Ads, higher than Social Media, and higher than even SEO integration.

2
Your clientele are more likely to see you as an industry authority
When you post a blog or email newsletter regularly, it shows your clientele that you are serious about your job. When you take the time to write and explain complex issues in a simple way, your customers may not read all of it, but they will take you more seriously. They will see you as more devoted to your work.

3
It's easier for your clientele to get in touch with you
Because email is the most used online communication tool in the world, far above social media, it makes it easier for your clientele to reach out. They can respond directly to you via email, or click a button that goes straight to your website. It's as if your office or store front is just a "click" away. And because more people use email than they do social media, you are reaching your largest possible audience with email marketing.

4
You can re-use email marketing as blogs, PDFs, and grow your SEO visibility
Email Marketing is highly effective, because it can start as your primary tool for communication, and then be duplicated on your website blog, downloadable PDFs, internal documentation and communications, and used for social media posts as well. With just one article, you can use it over and over again, especially as clients and customers have questions for you in the future. Instead of re-inventing the wheel every time you get the same question, you have a framework for communicating with future clientele.

5
It's an easy reminder for your clientele that you still exist
Above all, email marketing helps people remember you exist. Without a consistent marketing method, people will forget you over time. That's why Coca-Cola spends so much money on billboards and advertising. They never want you to forget their brand still exists. And studies prove that simply "exposing" your brand helps people be more likely to want to do work with you. Other people just need to know you exist. Even if no one actually reads your emails, your email Subject Lines can be a quick reminder that you are still in business and working hard. 

Should you blog on your website?

While blogging is a great way to bring stable traffic to your business through SEO keyword searches on Google, it may not be the right time for you to get started. 

Here's how to know what you're ready to start blogging on your website:

1. You have expert knowledge in your industry that you have spent years learning about and practicing. Now it's time to share that knowledge with the world to benefit other people's lives by helping others be educated in your area of expertise. For instance, I've been doing web design casually for 19 years, and 8 years professionally. It wasn't until about 2 years ago that I realized I had amassed a lot of expert knowledge that I felt confident enough that my insights were valuable to other businesses. 

2. You're already getting leads to your business and generating stable income. For many business owners, blogging feels like a chore if the rest of their business is not figured out. Blogging should be one of the last things you implement. Blogging should come well after things like establishing your website, setting up email marketing, creating ads in Google & Facebook, and standardizing your business model. Blogging & SEO, in my experience, is the slowest way to get new clients and leads to your website, but it is also one of the most stabilizing marketing methods if done regularly for many months. Blogging should be done once all of your other business elements are roughly in place.

3. The idea of sharing your ideas is exciting. For most business owners, blogging is a chore. What should you write about? Will other people read it? Over time, if you keep at it, you will get more and more readers in the next 6-12 months. But if you do not enjoy the idea of writing, then it will be an unnecessary chore.

 

4 benefits of blogging

1. Your writing has the potential to be found by Google Searches for years to come. There are blogs I have written and that my clients have written from over 2 years ago which still get found and read today from doing keyword searches on Google. Blogging is one of the most effective ways to build SEO value into your website. I get thousands of views to my websites every month because of blogging.

2. You establish yourself as a leader in your industry. Writing about expert topics that most other people do not know is an important way to build credibility for your company. 

3. Genuinely help other people. Reading is one of the most valuable ways to learn about complex or theoretical topics. When you write about your expert knowledge, you given hundreds and thousands of people the opportunity to make their lives better. Your audience wants to learn, and you can genuinely make people's lives better by teaching them things they would have a hard time finding elsewhere.

4. Practice your skill or writing and communicating. Blogging is a very low-risk way of practicing your skills in writing. Websites can be changed at any time, unlike a published book, so you can remove blog posts, edit them, change them and use it to get better at expressing your thoughts and ideas. 

 

If you love writing, if you want to share your knowledge with others, and you believe that your knowledge with help others learn new topics, then it might be a good time to start blogging.

Here's how to get started:

1. Write at least once per week. The more topics you write, the more opportunities there are for being found in Google searches as well. Plus, people want to see that you are consistent and involved, which builds credibility as well. 

2. Track your ideas. You can save ideas on paper, in a project manager, on a phone app, or as a draft on your blog. I personally save all my ideas as a 'Draft' in my Squarespace blog so I can come back and work on them later, or schedule them out in the future. This way, I'm not losing any progress or losing ideas as they come up.

3. Use your blogs also as email newsletters. When you write, you can reuse topics in all other kinds of places, like emails, social media, even e-books or how-to manuals for clients and customers. 

How Often You Should Send Email Marketing With Mailchimp

Most small businesses are scared to send out regular email marketing to their clients and customers. But it is the most important way to drive new business back to your website, being more important than Social Media & online advertising. Don't be afraid if you're email marketing isn't that good at first, or that people might unsubscribe. It's more important that you continue to practice and send out email marketing at least once per week. 

If you're a small business, using Mailchimp.com is the best way to get started because it is so easy to use and learn, as long as you understand the basic principals of email marketing. 

8 Marketing tools to bring traffic to your website

In 2018, online marketing will be the number 1 way customers & clients will discover your business.

Using the right online marketing methods depends on what your business does, and how far along your business is established or ready to move on to a particular marketing method. If you're just starting out, Email Marketing & Google Adwords are the best methods to begin with. And if you're getting lots of traffic to your website, and your business is growing, doing regular SEO, blogging, and Social Media can compound your online marketing effectiveness.

Google Analytics

The first thing you should do before setting up any online marketing is to get a Google Analytics account hooked up to your website. This will help you track all data coming into and away from your website to see what marketing methods are most effective. One of the most important metrics to use is to track "Conversions" on your website, which means tracking how many people enter their email address, fill out a contact form, or place an order on your website.

Email Marketing

For most businesses, an email marketing campaign is the lowest hanging fruit for online marketing. Even if you only have 20 people on your email list, this is the best way to test out ideas with an audience and link people back to your website. Even if you just have a list of only friends & family, any email list is better than no email list. And, in my opinion, Mailchimp is the best email marketing tool for small businesses. If you don't have one yet, here is where to sign up for a free account: www.mailchimp.com

Google Adwords

Google Adwords can get expensive. And it is better for service-based businesses that sell more expensive services or service-related products. A good starting ad budget is about $300 per month on Adwords, or about $10 per day. Because Google.com is the number one website in the world, this is where most of the action is, even above Social Media. But if you sell inexpensive products, Google Adwords is usually not the right place for your business. Also, Google Adwords helps jump-start your SEO ranking, which will quickly boost the amount of people who visit your website through natural, unpaid keyword searches. Get an account set up at adwords.google.com and don't do the dumbed-down version called Adwords Express, which is a waste of money. 

Google Business

Just like Google Adwords & Search Console, the Google Business tool helps people find your business through a Google Search much faster. Google prioritizes businesses that give their phone number, address & website publicly, because Google wants to build personalized trust online and de-rank websites that seem anonymous. This tool is also free and easily helps your website rank higher in SEO. So setting this up is a must for businesses who want to be found more easily online. To get started, simply go to business.google.com

Yelp

Just like Google Business, Yelp helps give credibility to your business, especially through real customer reviews. Having a Yelp profile is free, and also helps you rank higher in Google SEO searches. In smaller cities, Yelp isn't as popular. But in major metropolitan areas like Dallas, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Seattle & New York, Yelp is a trusted source for many online users. Even in smaller towns, setting up a Yelp page will still help establish you as a professional business and get you additional attention that your competition is likely missing out on. Get a free Yelp Business account at biz.yelp.com

Google Search Console (SEO)

This is a free tool that allows you to see what keywords are working best to capture people and bring them to your website. Once you start to get even a little bit of data from the Google Search Console, you can use this information to write blog posts specifically on topics that people are searching for. As you write new blog posts on those trending keywords, Google typically will bump you up even higher, giving you more insights into what people are typing into Google. And from there, the cycle continues. After about 3 months of doing this, I typically see the average business pull in around 500 visits per month to a client's website, and it typically grows steadily from there. So optimizing your SEO, keyword and blogging content can typically have long-term positive impacts for your business.

Blogging

A good blog does two things. First, it helps educate and inform your visitors about the expertise you have learned over many years and can share with others freely. You can tie all of your email newsletters, social media and other online marketing into your blog to regularly drive traffic back to your website. The second is to build a collection of valuable posts and pages that will be eventually indexed by Google to drive even more traffic to your business, which also helps your SEO ranking. While most of my Clients don't enjoy the idea of blogging, if you can write about topics that you are passionate about that you've learned over time about your own specific industry, eventually you'll find blogging to be much easier. Blogs don't have to be super long. They can be just 1 paragraph and a few bullet points. And not all blogs need to have images either. Blogging regularly can help you develop content for all of your other online marketing, so it's something that every business should think about and put together a plan to implement. Even just 1 blog post per week will be enough to build a lot of sustainable traction over time.

Social Media

Instagram
Right now, the most popular Social Media platform - especially for visual-based businesses like Interior Design, Photography, Art, Architecture & Custom Home Building - is Instagram. The big downside to this marketing method is that it typically requires regular posting, usually 4 times per week, Monday to Thursday, in order to be effective. Also, people on Social Media typically convert to clients & customers at very low rates. That's why it's crucial to have a strong on-boarding method that brings people from Instagram to your website and captures their email address quickly to later get them into your regular, weekly email newsletter. I only recommend Instagram for businesses that are prepared to take custom photos daily or have a staff person who can regularly put together graphics to keep their account up-to-date every single business day.

Facebook
Facebook recently downgraded their preference for showing Business pages because of widespread criticism. However, companies that are able to stay socially engaged and lead great conversations and community projects can do even better on Facebook than before. Facebook also gets ranked by Google for Reviews. So, in addition to Yelp & Google Business, this is an important part of SEO. For posting, it's likely best to post one very good, socially-oriented post per week on Facebook that will drive conversation with your followers. Avoid sales pitches, promotions, and posts that feel too business related.

Pinterest
In my opinion, Pinterest is one of the best places to grow your business over the long term - especially for visually-based businesses like interior design, custom furniture, artwork, photography, and custom homes. That is because Pinterest is less socially-oriented, and is more based around keyword searches and helping people "Pin" their visual ideas in a single place. While it can take a while to get traction on Pinterest, this can be an extremely effective long-term strategy that most businesses should keep on their radar once other online marketing methods are put in place.

Twitter
Twitter is primarily a place for people to keep up to date with news and very short, rapid-succession conversations. For this reason, it's typically not the best place to promote your business if you do things like Architecture, Interior Design, or Photography. However, if you keep up with the progress of your industry, especially if those topics are newsworthy, Twitter is a great place to help educate people who follow you on academic or news topics. For instance, if you are an Architect in Malibu, California, and the City of Malibu recently change the laws on residential architecture and zoning, Twitter would be a good place to post that sort of thing, as well as on your Blog & Email Newsletter.

 

Branding

The last thing to think about for your online marketing is to create a consistent and compelling branding message. What is your business about? How can your products & services solve your customer's problems? What information do you know in your industry that is going to greatly improve the lives of other people? If you keep your business's vision in mind and how to serve your customers well, then online marketing on Email Newsletters, Google Adwords, Blogging and Social Media will come more easily, and you'll see better long term results. Remember that most people will need anywhere between 5 and 15 impressions to your brand before they're ready to buy from you. So building a long-term online branding strategy is extremely important in order to create a healthy, stable business in 2018. 

Successful online marketing can only be done one step at a time. And doing all of these methods, or even some of them, all at once is going to be overwhelming for every business. So make sure to only choose 1 or 2 methods at a time that will bring the most Return On Investment for you. And, at some point, you're going to want to hire your own online marketing assistant to keep up with these things daily for you. Remember than online marketing is the best way to drive long-term sales. So a sustainable business will definitely want to plan to shoot towards doing all of these online marketing methods roughly over a 12 month timeline.

Download this web optimization & marketing checklist

Using the right tools to capture leads on your website is crucial. 

The primary goal of your website is to capture leads through email addresses, form submissions, phone calls & to clearly call people to take action on your website.

Every website needs to accomplish this in order for your business to grow and thrive. And as you collect email addresses and leads, you can continue to follow up with ongoing marketing & other ways to engage and lead your clientele to take action and become more educated in the areas they are struggling most. 

One of the most successful 'Call To Actions' I've done for my own website is by making a free downloadable PDF Checklist to help my visitors learn how to use their website effectively and create marketing tools online that will help them grow their business faster. 

I'd like to make this marketing checklist available to you for free as well so you can see how it works. You can also use this tool to help guide your business & ensure that you're addressing all the online marketing you should be doing in order to have a successful presence online.

Click here to get the free Website Optimization & Online Marketing Checklist.

The 5 Elements you need for successful online marketing

Logo & Branding Design
A strong design presence tends to help a company establish themselves as a leader, competitor and helps your visitors take your brand more seriously if you have a sophisticate logo and overall branding concept. In addition, you need a clear marketing slogan and explanation of what your business offers. A confusing brand strategy while drive customers away, but a clear and concise marketing strategy can help grow your business quicker. This would include a logo design, font concepts, color concepts, business card design, and marketing slogan concepts which then can be used consistently on all of your marketing material. 
 

Website Design
In 2018, websites are the cornerstone to any business's marketing strategy. Your website needs to be flexible, easy to update, and to help keep your long-term web development costs down. After working with over 600 business in the last 8 years, I strongly believe that Squarespace is the best website platform for most small and medium-sized businesses. The only exception would be if you are an ecommerce business driving over $100,000 in revenue per year directly from your website. For everyone else, Squarespace allows my clients to easily blog on their own, and make simple text and image updates within minutes. For more substantial changes you to your website, Squarespace development costs are dramatically lower than other popular platforms like WordPress & Shopify. I am passionately opinionated about informing you on which website platform is the best for small businesses, because I want to see your online business succeed. 
 

Email Marketing
Emails are engaged with much more frequently than social media. People who sign up for an email list are more likely to be buyers, and are more likely to stick with your brand for several months after signing up. All businesses need, at some point, to develop a strong email marketing campaign. At the very least, when you get your website live, you should collect email addresses - even if you aren't ready to start sending out regular email newsletters. This way, when you finally have time to take that next step, you'll have lots of email address you can send your first email blasts to. The best way to capture email addresses through your website are when you offer something free, valuable and unique on your website. You want to encourage someone to enter their email address to get access to free content, rather than simply saying "Sign up for our newsletter" or "Get 10% off your first order." Most people that visit a website are "on the fence" when they first are looking for products and services. So offering some sort of free download or other free content in exchange for their email address helps give you a competitive edge over other firms that don't have a clear on-boarding strategy. I've seen this work extremely well for business-to-business websites over and over again.
 

SEO & Google Search
While most business owners have heard of SEO (Search Engine Optimization), the concept is really not as complex as people make it out to be. These days, Google Search algorithms tend to favor websites that regularly provide valuable, helpful, informative, and honest content. Most web developers are going to make this process sound highly complex and intimidating. But the truth is, if you create a weekly blog that continually contains valuable information that would greatly improve other peoples' lives, then there isn't much more you need to do in order to have successful SEO on your website. There are a few tips and tricks, but these days, valuable content is far more important than using "special website techniques" to get good traffic to your website. While SEO tends to be best for business to business that offer higher-end services or products, Social Media tends to work better for lower-end products that are business to consumer. For instance, a high-end technology consultant would do better with SEO marketing, while a local flower delivery service offering $49 bouquets would be better suited to focus on Social Media marketing.
 

Ongoing Marketing
Once each of the 4 main elements to your online marketing is established, the final step is maintain, grow and dominate your market online on a monthly basis. For my clients, I like to find the online marketing strategies that will likely work best for your business model. But in order for your website to be useful for your business, you must continue to maintain and grow all the different ways to bring new traffic to your website. This might include regular blog posts, email newsletters, more SEO integration, setting up a Yelp & Google Business page, asking previous customers to leave reviews on Yelp & Google Business, setting up Social Media accounts and doing regular posts, starting a Google Adwords or Facebook Ad campaign, or driving people to your website with business cards, flyers or brochures at your local office. There are many ways to drive traffic to your website, but you only want to select a few of them at first to ensure that your marketing strategy is paying off and gaining you new customers and clients. 

I encourage all of my clients to take this process one step at a time. First, by creating a logo & branding strategy, next is to build out an initial version of the website. Afterwards, if email marketing makes sense for your business, that will come next. And finally, SEO works great for most business-to-business websites. If not, you should continue to build and grow your online marketing strategy to reach more new customers each month. 

Get in touch about your website & online marketing needs

Here Are 3 Steps To Create Quality SEO Keywords For Your Website

While SEO is only one way to market your website, it can often be one of the most effective ways to drive quality traffic to your business.

What I have found with most small businesses, is that the best way to drive quality traffic is to use specific, niche keywords that clearly target your highest-converting customers. 

For instance, let's say you are an Architect that designs residential homes in the Seattle area. While most architects would simply use the term "Seattle Architect" as their primary description of their business, you want to get as specific as possible by using phrases like: "Custom Home Architect in Seattle", "Residential Architect in Bellmead", or "Modern Home Designer in Kirkland, WA."

Or if you are a Wedding Photographer in Southern California, you are likely competing with hundreds of other photographers and will have a hard time ranking high in Google Search. You'll be more easily found if you focus on specific venues in California that you specialize in, such as "Pelican Hill Newport Coast Wedding Photography" or "Montage Laguna Beach Wedding Photographer." This way, when a wedding couple is thinking of booking a venue at a specific hotel, they can find examples of work you have done at the same exact spot, and you're more likely to show up high in a Google Search result in a very specific keyword search.

While fewer people would type those phrases into Google, you are more likely to have a very high lead conversion rate when those phrases are searched for.

When writing SEO for your website, there are just 3 important techniques to focus on:

1. Focus on niche keywords specific to your business.
For Google searches, it is more important to be very specific than too generic. Think of the very specific words and phrases that apply to your business, such as cities or regions, the style of work you do, and the sub-niche services you offer. There is no right or wrong combination or keywords, as long as you use a variety of them throughout your website and in different ways. 

2. Write about things your clients or customers regularly ask about.
One of the easiest ways to create content on your website or blog is by publicly addressing the questions and concerns of your clientele. For instance, if you are an interior designer in New York, you could write on topics such as the specific laws and codes for interior design projects Queens, or the best interior design showrooms to visit in Brooklyn, or custom cabinet makers you like working with best in Manhattan. Each topic should be very specific and address real problems that your customers have faced. This way, you'll be building pages for SEO that will naturally be found on Google and quickly target high quality leads. 

3. Continue to write about new topics and build even more content.
The worst way to approach SEO marketing is by relying on just a few keyword concepts. Instead, make it a habit to write a regular blog or create new web pages that focus on a variety of specific services, techniques or ideas that relate to your services and products. Over time, you will naturally build up lots of web pages that will all be indexed separated by Google and each page will generate its own regularly-recurring visitors to your website.

Overall, focusing on specific niche topics is consistently the best way to develop high quality SEO content for your website. It can be done on your blog, on FAQ pages or on specific Portfolio pages of your website. Getting into the habit of creating these pages once per week can help you build up to thousands of new views per month, typically within about 3-6 months of consistent work. And web pages built for SEO can often bring you in leads for many more additional months after that. 

I hope this information has been helpful to know for your business! If you have any specific questions about creating SEO content for your website, feel free to get in touch at any time!