Monday, December 26, 2016

Why Now is the Perfect Time to Start Email Marketing (Even If You Don’t Have a List to Send To)

You’ve heard that email marketing is a great tool to drive awareness, sales, and repeat business.

You’ve even seen stats like 66 percent of consumers have made a purchase as a result of an email marketing message.

So you’re ready to give email marketing a try and see what all the fuss is about.

Then it hits you: Why bother with email marketing if you don’t even have a list to send to?

How to Get Your First 100 Email Subscribers

When you’re brand new to email marketing, building an email list seems like a huge obstacle.

But in reality, there are plenty of people out there, ready to join your email list in a moment’s notice. You just need to entice them with a visible, convenient, and compelling sign-up experience.

Let’s look at four places you can get your first 100 email subscribers:

1. Your website 

If you’re getting website traffic but neglecting to collect contact information, there’s a good chance most of your visitors will leave your site and never come back. That’s why you need a website sign-up form.

If you have a WordPress site, create a professional, mobile-optimized sign-up form with our new Constant Contact Forms for WordPress plugin.

Not a WordPress user? Your Constant Contact account automatically has a web sign-up form ready for you. Check the “List Growth Tools” tab in your account, where you can easily customize the form and edit its title, contact fields, and appearance.

Tip: Make it enticing for people to join your email list by offering an incentive. For example, By Paige offers new email subscribers 10 percent off their next order.

2. Your personal email account

Think about the emails you’re already sending on a day-to-day basis. Chances are that the contacts from your personal email account will be interested in your email marketing messages, as well.

Create a quick message to send to the contacts you interact with regularly. Something like:

Hi ____________,

I’m starting a new email list for ______________ (business or audience). Would you like to receive emails with ______________________ (what’s in it for them)?

I’m planning to send emails out on a ____________   (frequency) basis, and you can easily unsubscribe anytime if the information isn’t right for you.

You can sign up directly here______________ (link to your sign-up form).

In addition to proactively reaching out to your contacts, update the email signature in your personal email account to include a link to your sign-up form.

3. Your social media following

Promote your email list to your social media following, starting with a few social media posts.

Here’s a great example from the Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey:

In this example, the foundation does a great job of articulating who would be interested in the newsletter, including relevant hashtags, and including a sign-up link.

Tip: To increase the visibility of a similar tweet or post, you can pin your tweet or Facebook post to the top of your feed. This ensures it’s one of the first things people see when they visit your social pages.

You can also collect contacts on an ongoing basis from Facebook by adding Constant Contact’s Join My Mailing List App to your Facebook Business Page.

Here’s an example from Treat Cupcake Bar’s page:

Don’t overlook Facebook’s Call to Action button at the top of the page.

We use the Call to Action button on the Constant Contact Facebook Page to encourage visitors to sign-up for our Hints & Tips newsletter so they can get our best email marketing and social media resources delivered twice each month.

4. Your storefront

If you have a brick and mortar location, every customer that visits is a potential email subscriber.

Set up a pen and paper sign-up sheet in your store and use this simple script to ask for email addresses.

If you have a tablet, you can download the ListBuilder app to collect email addresses and automatically add them to your account — without having to transfer from a pen and paper sheet. ListBuilder is free and available for both Android and iOS users.

Or, make it easy for people to join your list using their own smartphones and our Text-to-Join tool. Choose a keyword for people to text to a designated number and they will be automatically added to your email list.

Constant Contact Try It Free

Don’t be afraid to start small.

If you start implementing these tools and tips, you’ll get 100 email contacts in no time.

Don’t be afraid to start sending emails to just a small group. As extendYoga owner, Arlet Koseian explains, sometimes a small email list is the best way to collect feedback early on:

“We started with just friends and family members on our list,” she explains. “That was really great because, in the beginning especially, getting feedback from friends and family is huge. I would send out a preview email to five people and see what they thought.”

With Constant Contact, you’ll also get personal coaching and educational resources so you don’t have to figure everything out on your own. Whether you’re just getting started or have questions later down the road, we’re here to help you.

Sign up for your free 60-day email marketing trial today 
Already have an account? Log in to put it to work!


Westchester Networking for Professionals (WNFP) is a business networking association dedicated to helping small businesses and entrepreneurs develop, expand and grow. We offer affordable opportunities to help create a positive impact and advancement in your business interests and personal quality of life to take you to the next level.
Stay Connected with WNFP!
Join WNFP Communities!

Thursday, December 22, 2016

How to Create a Real Estate Email Marketing Strategy

When Brandon Stewart made the leap from architecture to real estate, he knew he’d have to market his real estate agency just as much as the properties he was trying to sell.

“For realtors, it’s important to stay in touch with people and to remind them on a regular basis of what it is that you do. When the time comes that they actually need your services, you’ll hopefully be the first person they think of because of your consistent marketing,” Brandon says.

In 2009, Brandon decided to make email marketing part of his real estate marketing strategy.

Using Constant Contact, Brandon started creating a monthly newsletter, and began sending it to existing clients. He quickly found that by providing helpful resources to current clients, he was able to reach an entirely new audience, as well.

“I realized that if I put content in the newsletter that is really popular, people would share it. That’s been invaluable,” Brandon says. “They share it on Facebook or pass it along to their friends, and then their friends ask to subscribe. Every time I send out a newsletter, I’ll get new
subscribers back.”

  • Tip: You can try email marketing for your real estate agency with a free, 60-day email marketing trial.

With Constant Contact, Brandon can easily insert images and include links to articles he thinks his audience will be interested in.

He is able to upload his own images and save time by sharing helpful information from other reliable resources.

“Much of my content comes from blogs or other sources, and I of course give total credit to the original source,” Brandon explains. “It saves me a lot of time because I don’t need to create new content on a monthly basis when there are already so many insightful and diverse blogs creating compelling content every day.”
  •  Tip: Constant Contact’s “Read More” tool allows you to drag-and-drop content into your email easily. After you copy and paste the article URL, we’ll generate a preview of the content, complete with an image, headline, first few lines of text, and citation. See how it works here.
In a competitive market, Brandon’s newsletters set him apart and allow him to show off his industry expertise.

After sending his Mid-Century Modern Newsletter for almost eight years, Brandon has become known as a trustworthy expert in his field.

“The emails are an important reinforcement of brand,” Brandon explains. “I get calls from people I’ve never met all the time. They get the newsletter, or a friend of theirs gets the newsletter, and they know I’m the person to call. It really helps establish credibility upfront.”

To promote the visibility of his newsletters, Brandon takes advantage of Constant Contact’s Social Share feature to easily share each email on his Facebook Page. 

Recently, Brandon has also started using Facebook Ads to get his newsletters in front of an even wider audience.

Brandon targets his ad to reach a local audience and gains valuable email subscribers with each campaign.

“It’s great to get new Likes on my Facebook page, but I’ve found they’re not as important as email subscribers because they don’t ensure you’ll reach the people who like your page.” Brandon says.

While Facebook uses an algorithm to limit the number of people who see your posts, email gives you more control over who you’re reaching. When a new contact opts into your mailing list, you can reach them in a place they likely visit every day — the inbox.

By consistently sharing engaging newsletters, Brandon has built a growing, loyal community.

What started as a list of about 300 people has grown to over 3,000 subscribers. And with open rates reaching double the industry average, it’s clear Brandon is offering his subscribers something of value, while also allowing them to get to know, like, and trust him.

“Through my newsletters I’m able to bring something completely different to the real estate market,” he explains. “Most realtors only focus on sales numbers and how prices have decreased on increased throughout the year. I’m able to bring content with significance beyond just the numbers.”

Constant Contact has the tools you need to make your business stand out, attract new customers, and develop long-lasting customer relationships.

If you’re looking to drive awareness and sales for your real estate agency, email marketing can help. Visit our Email Marketing for Real Estate Pages for tips, content ideas, and advice.


Westchester Networking for Professionals (WNFP) is a business networking association dedicated to helping small businesses and entrepreneurs develop, expand and grow. We offer affordable opportunities to help create a positive impact and advancement in your business interests and personal quality of life to take you to the next level.
Stay Connected with WNFP!
Join WNFP Communities!

Monday, December 19, 2016

The Single, Key Ingredient That Will Dramatically Improve Your Relationships

Work towards this, and your partners will do almost anything for you--and vice-versa 

How much should you consider the feelings and opinion of others before making decisions?

There's no easy answer to this question. Taking the time to see a potential decision through the eyes of others can help ensure the success of that decision. On the other hand, real leaders must often make tough choices, regardless of how the majority feels.

Emotional intelligence is a person's ability to identify emotions (in both themselves and others), to recognize the powerful effects of those emotions, and to use that information to inform and guide behavior.

Notice that inherent to this definition is the ability to use one's knowledge about emotion. Thus, emotional intelligence involves not only understanding how emotions work in a given situation, but the ability to manage a situation to attain a desired result.

Put simply, emotional intelligence is the ability to make emotions work for you, instead of against you.

But how does emotional intelligence help you manage relationships, especially when you need to make tough decisions?

The Key Ingredient

Let's say you've taken over a company, department or team that's been headed in the wrong direction for some time.

For this scenario, bringing in your own team isn't an option. So, how do you start instituting change in a way that gets your team behind you?

All relationships require a certain key ingredient to be successful. This single factor makes all the difference in managing change effectively...or not.

What's the key ingredient?


Think about it: If you truly trust your leader, aren't you motivated to do just about anything he or she asks? In the same vein, a truly effective leader learns to trust his or her team.

Which leads to the next question: How do you gain trust of a new team?

Humans all share certain emotional needs. For example, people generally crave sincere acknowledgement and praise. Recognizing that, good leaders first focus on the positive (and potential) in his or her team.

Additionally, it's helpful when a leader gets to know "the old way" of doing things before introducing new methods or styles. That's because people are often emotionally attached to their way of doing things, regardless of how "right" or "wrong" they are.

Learning from your team helps you get to know their world, demonstrates you value their experience, and helps you identify each individual team member's strengths, weaknesses, and style of communication.

By getting to know your team, their challenges, and their way of working, not only will you begin to see things from their perspective...

You'll begin to earn their trust. In time, they'll be much more willing to hear your ideas--and more motivated to get behind them.

Of course, your job is to turn things around. To do that, you'll actually have to make changes. Your team also must be able to take constructive criticism--it's the only way they'll grow.

Image Credit: Getty Images

Westchester Networking for Professionals (WNFP) is a business networking association dedicated to helping small businesses and entrepreneurs develop, expand and grow. We offer affordable opportunities to help create a positive impact and advancement in your business interests and personal quality of life to take you to the next level.
Stay Connected with WNFP!
Join WNFP Communities!

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

A Powerful and Free SEO Technique

A Powerful and Free SEO Technique

I've been doing SEO for 15 years, and one thing is constant - everyone wants to be #1 on Google - or close.

Some pay expensive SEO experts to help them get better position. But here's something you can do yourself for free. And Google loves it.

Update your homepage often. How often? Daily! Yes daily! Google loves active websites.

An update is simple, it just means you edit or add text. Nothing else. Do not bother changing design or pics. Just change some text. Google will spot the change and flag you as an active website. After a while the Google spiders will be "trained" to check your site often. Which means you'll rank higher.

But wait, I can hear you complaining now, "I have to do this daily, I'm very busy".

But ask yourself, are you really too busy to get Google to love you and promote your business for free?

OK, I thought not. Do it. If it doesn't work you can always blame me!

Content written and posted by Ken Abbott