Top 10 Mind Hacks To Help You Save More Money

You already know the common strategies for saving money: Automatically set aside a portion of your paycheck, stick to a budget, plan your purchases, and so on. But there are also simple (if surprising) psychology tricks that can help us save even more. Here are ten such mind hacks.

10. Visualize What You’ll Look Like When You’re Older to Save More for Retirement

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Many of us aren’t saving enough for retirement, perhaps because we think of it as so far away. Research, however, shows that one really simple way to help us reach our retirement goals is to picture our lives or what we might look like years or decades from now when we’re retired.

9. Create a Sleeve for Your Credit Card with a Picture of Your Financial Goal

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Similar to putting a motivational photo on your fridge if you’re dieting or above your desk if you want to be more productive, this trick from the Simple Dollar can remind you of the bigger money goals you have every time you reach for a credit card to pay for a trivial purchase.

8. Chew Mint Gum and Wear Headphones While Shopping

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What do gum and headphones have to do with shopping or saving money? It’s all about the ways stores manipulate your senses to trick you into buying more. Chewing mint gum could counteract the ambient scents in stores and make you feel fuller so you don’t buy food impulsively, and wearing headphones could block out the music designed to make you stay in the store longer. By knowing how stores try to seduce you while you’re shopping, you can defend yourself from their tricks.

7. Price Items Based on How Many Hours You’d Need to Work to Pay for It

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You know what will really put a damper in unnecessary spending? Thinking about how much that item really costs in terms of hours you’d need to work to pay for it. $90 for a pair of jeans?! That’s more than 12 hours of work at the $7.25 minimum wage. (Even if you’re paid twice that, still more than half a day of work.)

6. Override Your Bad Money Behavior with a New Mantra

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Set up rules of thumb—or heuristics—that describe the way you want to treat your money and over time it could become second nature. For example, “I only buy clothes when they’re on sale” versus “I deserve to treat myself whenever I get a windfall.” No, you don’t have to repeat the mantra over and over (maybe just change your password to it temporarily), but if you adopt it, the mantra could trick your brain into overcoming bad money habits.

5. Instead of Trying to Save More Money Now, Commit to Saving More in the Future

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It sounds counterintuitive to save more money by not saving more money, but it’s all about the timing. Research suggests that starting a program where you’re steadily increasing the amount you save could be more effective than making an effort to save a lot more now. For example, making a plan to save most of your next raise rather than trying to cut back now. (Of course, you should then stick to that plan.)

4. Change the Way You Use Certain Dollar Denominations

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There’s nothing inherently different between a fifty dollar bill and some tens and fives, but psychologically, we might be more reluctant to break the larger bill. You might even be more prone to hold onto $2 bills, since they’re seen as scarce (but really aren’t). And, like the jars of spare coins that get filled daily and turn into a couple of hundred dollars at the end of the year, saving every $5 bill that comes into your possession can turn into significant savings, almost painlessly.

3. Curb Impulsive Spending with a Few Tricks

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You can’t always rely on self-control to avoid temptation, which is always around us. You can, however, make it harder for you to push the buy button or swipe the credit card without thinking first. For example, don’t store your credit card information with online stores or autofill data, train yourself to always ask before buying anything if you’d rather have the cash if a stranger offered it to you, stick to the 30-day rule to make sure you really want something, or use a prepaid debit card to force yourself to ponder your limited resources.

2. Make Saving Money Fun

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Saving? Fun? That’s where gamification comes in. Tools like SaveUp and SmartyPig turn saving money a kind of challenge where you can watch the your money grow (and reap other rewards). Or you could join a challenge like the 52 Week Money Challenge or similar to push yourself to save more (and even enjoy it).

1. Understand Your Brain’s Biases

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Finally, the more you know about how your own brain may be sabotaging your shopping choices, the better you can take back control and overcome your brain’s mushy mental accounting.

How to start your own business

Start own business

 

I – Intelligence
D- diligence
E- Eternity
A- Ambition

All combines to one word – IDEA, sometimes we say necessity is mother to innovation, sometimes we tell idea generated this whole world.

What ultimately contributed towards it, was a WILL to move it. Scientific innovation made out wheels of revolution. Lesser people are now getting more towards education, but people want to become richer in seconds, I am also one of them.  Through my own realization, I can add,we want all without much of efforts or wastage of resources, truth is harsher,when it comes to implementation,  we see all drowning down effluent.

IMPLEMENTATION is just the big step towards success, no idea is working without implementation, just start today if you feel connecting any line to action,  start with single point and you will see the dots connecting.This is what you gonna need the first ingredient for starting your business.

Anybody can dance, any body can write, anybody can sing, so in real nothing is impossible. Whilst you find just implication.  All you need to know is implementing things, when it strikes your cords, and successful are those who frame implication before the idea is fully drafted.

Today World is hub for startups, you might be interested in becoming one out of them, why not?Just focus the first doing, which attracts you most and then dwell on the nest.

People think you need knowledge and skills for development of startup and company to be build. A man who sells donuts can also be billionaire  by just setting his business the right way.You just need the passion that keeps you going till no end.

Trust me every body have it, if you are a die hard foodie, writer or dancer you just pick the right channel that connects you to inner you and can separate from outside world, and conquer world.

6 Ways You Are Doing Online Advertising Wrong

In this digital day and age, online advertising should be your first and best bet for attracting customers. However, no matter how much experience you have in other forms of advertising, your gut instincts are likely to lead you astray when it comes to generating prospects and converting sales. Worse, the Web is filled with bad advice that only makes success harder to achieve. As a result, your current online advertising strategy is almost certainly woefully inadequate.

Fortunately, the Web is relatively forgiving, and one you right your wrongs, you should start seeing sales convert like crazy. Based on research and results from some of the best online marketing firms, here are six major mistakes that ruin online advertisements.

1. You Overestimate Your Customers
You might think complimenting your customers by treating them like intelligent, intuitive adults will win you sales, but you’re wrong. Your customers aren’t dumb, but they are lazy. The idea of doing any serious thought while they enjoy an online shopping spree is supremely off-putting to most Web users, and forcing them to do math or understand complex vocabulary isn’t the right way to increase conversions.

Instead, you should keep any numbers you post simple and whole — 25 percent off rather than 42.9 percent off — and any ad-based text short and sweet (and ideally action-based, as you’ll read later).

2. You Buy Individual Banner Ads
Banner ads might have been the height of online advertising in 2000, but today, few people ever even see them. Not only do browser app ad blockers effectively eliminate all banner advertisements, those Web users who allow them to display are essentially inured to them. In fact “banner blindness” is a real phenomenon that is the focal point of hundreds of academic studies.

Instead of trying to force your advertisements through the banner blindness, you should avoid purchasing banner space entirely. Native advertising, or ads that blend seamlessly into a publisher website’s design and style, are much more effective at generating interest as they show up as content recommendation targeting particular users.

3. You Have Only One Landing Page
Where do your advertisements lead users? If unwaveringly answered “my homepage,” you are making a serious mistake. Ideally, your advertisements are unique, selling particular products or services, but when a user in pursuit of those products or services meets your homepage, he or she is going to get out of there fast. Though it may take more work, developing specific landing pages for each advertisement is a better way to convert sales when you finally snag a prospect. Similarly, it is critical that you never lie about the content on the other side of your ad, as that will not only bounce users away, it will make them angry.

4. You Misuse the Call to Action
If you were doing online advertising right, your ads and your website would have a variety of exciting, effective call to action (CTA) buttons — but you’re not, and they don’t. Unfortunately, the majority of call-to-action buttons are decorated with dull and tired text: “click here,” “learn more,” “sign up,” etc. Instead, you need to inspire your potential customers with intriguing CTAs. Experts have a handful of digestible tips to make crafting winning CTAs easier:

Use action-oriented words
Give the action value
Make the tone urgent
Tell the truth

5. You Clutter the Call to Action
People are busy, and they are only getting busier. Your customers don’t have time to manually comb through your pages for information, especially the links they need to complete a sale. If it takes a customer more than a few seconds to locate your CTA button, you better believe they are giving up and heading to your competitor’s site.

Therefore, your CTA should be easy to find (usually above the fold) and exceedingly simple. That means no pictures of people, no background images, no subheadings — just a catchy CTA that keeps your customers clicking.

6. You Overcomplicate the Process
The conversion process should look like this:

User sees advertisement
User clicks on advertisement
User sees product
User buys product

It’s that simple. However, you probably have found a way to make it complicated, usually by adding a number of confusing parts after Step 4. Worse, many businesses hide the complexity of the process from their prospects until customers are deep into it, which is just frustrating enough to cancel the transaction.

If your conversion process requires more than the usual amount of payment information, you should clue your prospects in beforehand. Then, they won’t be terribly annoyed and will likely be willing to complete the purchase.

15 Marketing Strategies That Inspire Strategic Thinkers

It takes a lot of time and effort to develop and maintain a marketing campaign that resonates with your intended audience. As a strategic thinker, however, the development of a marketing campaign takes even more consideration. After all, we’re always searching for ways to gain the oh-so important competitive edge.

There are times, though, when we all hit the proverbial wall. If you find yourself in that situation, then you may want to check out these fifteen marketing strategies that will definitely spark your creative energy.

1. Partner with allies.
Marketing partnerships have a number of benefits to push a marketing campaign. For starters, when you collaborate with someone else, you tend to deliver better content. On top of that, marketing partnerships are cheaper to create, see success more quickly, and expose your brand to a new audience.

For example, prior to being acquired by eBay, Half.com worked the town of Halfway, Oregon, to change its name to Half.com in exchange for stock, Internet access, and other giveaways. The tactic gained a lot of attention for the textbook rental company. Another example was when Converse teamed up with Guitar Center to record music entitled “Rubber Tracks.” The content was then used to create a series of YouTube videos that focused on the musicians.

2. Embrace user generated content.
According to a survey of 839 millennials, they spend “5.4 hours a day with content created by their peers. This represents 30 percent of their total media time and is rivaled only by all traditional media types combined (print, radio, and television, at 33 percent).” In the same survey, “Millennials reported that UGC is 20 percent more influential on their purchase decisions than other media.”

You can achieve this by having customers share personal stories (Estee Lauder’s international breast cancer action campaign), exchange ideas (Salesforce’s Idea Exchange), and by giving them the tools to make an ad for you (Nissan’s VersaVid campaign that was shared on Instagram and Vine) or through humor (Doritos Roulette bags).

3. Collaborate with influencers.
Another way to gain a new audience and extend brand awareness is by collaborating with the top influencers in your industry. Home improvement store Lowe’s allowed “top designers and mom bloggers to take over its Instagram account for a few days at a time.” By allowing these influencers to share inspirational content, Lowe’s was able to tap into a new audience.

4. Help customers solve a problem.
As perfectly stated on HubSpot, “You’re in business because you provide solutions.” Some of the ways you can help customers solve a problem is by: creating how-to-content; offering exclusives that make their lives easier; listening/responding to them; or creating apps/tools.

You could also create a campaign like Orca Chevrolet did in Brazil. The company partnered with a local tow company and rescued stranded drivers by arriving in the new Orca. Not only did Chevy save the day, it also gave drivers a chance to test drive the car.

5. Let customers interact.
No matter the product or service you’re offering, your customers want to interact with your company, or at least other customers. AMC, for example, created an online tool that allowed you to Mad Man Yourself. American Express connects small-business owners to each other and helpful resources through its OPEN Forum.

6. Experiment with new channels and platforms.
Don’t hesitate to try out new channels and platforms to promote your brand. As Clare McDermott, editor of Chief Content Officer magazine and owner of SoloPortfolio, points out on the Content Marketing Institute, the Four Seasons introduced the Pin.Pack.Go program on Pinterest. This was an industry-first campaign that allowed guests to co-curate a customer travel itinerary through a Pinterest board.

7. Take a bite out of Apple.
Apple deserves special mention mainly because it’s a brand that has created an entire generation of lifelong advocates. How did they accomplish this? Remember when the iPod was introduced? Apple’s now-iconic strategy involved empathy, focus, and impute when they used silhouettes of people enjoying the iPod. It may not have been the best MP3 player, but it created brand recognition that helped dominate the market.

8. Have some fun.
You probably never heard of Dollar Shave Club until the company released that humorous YouTube video. The company continues to have its way with the shaving industry. Taco Bell and Old Spice are other examples of companies who are having fun with their marketing campaigns. Even campaigns you wouldn’t expect are getting in on the action.

Caterpillar launched its “Built for It”campaign by having five Cat construction machines playing a giant game of Jenga.

9. Get employees involved.
Let employees be your biggest champions and brand advocates. That’s what happened with Caterpillar’sBuilt for Itcampaign. The videos tapped into the allegiance of the brand, which motivated them to share the videos with friends and family.

10. Be a little weird.
You don’t always have to play it safe. Sometimes you want to think out of the box and get a little weird. For example, to help launch the new radio station FM 96.3 in Glasgow, Scotland, the station placed empty guitar racks throughout the city. The hook? Each rack had a sign that read: “Free Air Guitar. Take One.” It was unique and matched the brand perfectly — who hasn’t played a little air guitar when listening to the radio?

11. Don’t forget about existing customers.
I know it is important to obtain new customers if you want your business to grow. But don’t forget about the customers you already have. As Belle Beth Cooper notes on the Buffer Blog, you could use the “upside-down funnel” approach. This could include making customers feel like they’re part of an exclusive club, giving them something extra, and making them feel like VIPs.

12. Use big data to target customers.
Big data is now helping retailerstarget specific customers. Red Roof Inn uses cancelled flight information to send messages to stranded travelers. A pizza chain uses data to send out coupons to customers who are experiencing bad weather or power outages. In short, big data can be used to predict purchasing trends. With this information, you can get in touch with consumers before they search for your products or services.

13. Venture into the concrete jungle.
You can still do a little offline marketing to create a buzz surrounding your product or service. For example, you could hire an artist to paint a mural (with permission, of course). You could also go the route ofCiti Bike. Having bicyclists riding around with your logo or name is a clever way to grab attention. Another great example was when the Copenhagen Zoo shrink-wrapped city buses so that it appeared that they were squeezed by a giant boa constrictor.

14. Tap into nostalgia.
Entrepreneur shared an interesting discovery from the Journal of Consumer Research. The study found “that people who were asked to think about the past were willing to pay more for products than those who were asked to think about new or future memories; another experiment showed an increased willingness to give more money to others after recalling a nostalgic event. ” Maybe that’s why brands like Coca-Cola, Calvin Klein, and Internet Explorer have launched campaigns that take Millennials back to the 90s.

15. Tell a cross-media story.
Storytelling is one of the most effective methods in marketing. But how do you modernize it? Axe’s “Susan Glenn “is a perfect example of a modern story that was shared across various media platforms. If you don’t recall, Axe tapped into the memories of the girl who got away. Instead of just repacking the content, the story was told differently on different channels. There was also a 60-second film, interactive billboard at Times Square, and unbranded memes.

Final thoughts.
Hitting the wall with your marketing efforts can stall your business and raise frustration levels. You need to be thinking strategically in everything you do and building a strategic culture with your business. What tactics do you use to breathe life into your marketing?

Getting Whitelisted is toughest

White collared move ahead with pride and bigger stride, so will your mail go, if it follows white listed mail traits.

Getting Whitelisted is easy, but not cake walk, we need snack on few important feeds. Whitelisted is meant to be added as friend in mail receiving list, and you can continue to dig. Pick the first zest and go on fabricating your email campaign. Email campaigns are not just an inboxing arsenal, it’s also intruding customer’s convent, which they don’t appreciate, and sooner your emails are knocked.

First thing comes first- you need is to ask for permissions.

Ask before you are in, inbox your mail with basic etiquette.

Ask following question on behalf of your customer, and then design the concept of your mailing.

  • What do I get when I give you my email address?
  • Are you going to spam me?
  • How often will you email me?
  • Will I get discounts?
  • Will I get a first crack at your beta?

You can be in house when they give permission. Become friends on mail, do the diligent research and find out what can attract in common to you and your prospect.

Give them freebie, they like to have. Dot.com companies they give product recommendation related to the product history they surfed, if you are selling too, look for the product that can attract your customer and shoot the benefit customers, can have it. You can make it less selling and informative and chilling, relaxing your selling thoughts, and bringing newness to world.

Which can compel your customer, that you should be his friend? Any quick dealt situation that ca help them learn they like to. It can be generic or professional.

Give them option to sign off conversation or engage more through click of buttons.

Once they chose to engage quickly do the first follow up, asking more customized question.

And then keep in touch, not frequent but timely once or twice, make them wait eagerly for your next timed inbox, it arises the conquest and your value.

When to Pitch

Selling is art of smart and best speaker, not everyone can bring in conversation and win the trust to make others invest time and money. If you want to win in pitching put yourself to the shoes of consumer and sell it, the way you will love to grab on. Ask yourself have you matched the expectation you have set to your prospect, because they should never find divergent and time spent on complete nothingness. Once your Pitch is able to get response, automatically it’s done.

Three  winning lines.

  • Respect your reader. Don’t waste their time or attention.
  • Ask nicely first.
  • Focus on relevance.

More you follow for next post.

The Why and How of Outsourcing Marketing Automation Services

Every business faces challenges with keeping its sales and marketing processes flowing. The right service provider can help address that immediate problem and add corporate value.

Marketing-automation-interview-questions-small

So it is smart to consider outsourcing marketing automation services. But what can you expect from them and how to get started?

Read on to understand how to pick and get started with an marketing automation services team.

Three Common Challenges Cured By Marketing Automation Services
Any combination of the following three challenges are will steal time away from strategic planning and other high-value activities for your business. It’s all very frustrating!

Challenge #1 Marketing and sales technologies for running a competitive business evolve every day. They require lots of time on training to achieve the level of expertise required to optimize the tool.

Challenge #2 You’re not familiar enough with the ecosystem of solutions to assemble a seamless optimized revenue engine.

Challenge #3 You and your staff are too busy to do all the legwork that goes into campaigning and lead development.

If this sounds like your business, you’ve probably been kicking around the idea of outsourcing marketing automation services but aren’t sure where to start. And this human resources issue is only adding to your anxiety.

In such situations, hiring experts on a temporary flexible basis is a sound bet to help navigate the unfamiliar technological waters. The process of getting help is an investment in itself, so read on to understand what you can reasonably expect from a marketing automation services team.

How does outsourcing marketing automation services team add corporate value?

1.) Higher return on your ecosystem. The marketing automation services team is familiar with current cloud software tools that your company invested in and how they work together as a system. So they are prepared to advise and help you get more from those investments.

2.) Critical thinking and instant best practices. A marketing automation services team brings their years of experience supporting other clients with them. They’ve seen and learned from others’ mistakes.

3.) Adoption roadmap. Doing too much at the start is a known hazard of marketing automation platforms. The marketing automation services team sets an adoption plan based on priorities. For example, if handing more inbound leads and getting more meetings is the top priority, they’ll set those routines up in a few days. After this marinades, you’ll move onto the next set of objectives.

4.) Increase productivity. The marketing automation services team is more productive than you’ll ever be in setting up the ecosystem and dialing in marketing automation routines. Because it’s all they do. And, tasks are done by experts so the quality is more thorough. Spam checks, automation tests and QA is their one job. All this aside, you’re free to focus on other tasks that build value for your business.

5.) Cost Advantages. The marketing automation provider will deliver a sweeter deal on marketing automation services because they are making money on the software subscription too.

6.) Motivated To Bring Success. The marketing automation services team has a vested interest in your success and to keep pushing for better results. If you’re successful, your business will expand its use of the core marketing automation systems and other complementary tools. The team wants to be an indispensable partner to your organization by way of ROI justification.

30 TIPS FOR GREAT DIGITAL MARKETING

Tips-great-digital-marketing-ducttapemarketingA man walks into a bar/restaurant/hotel/car repair shop. Chances are, he found it online. That’s because today’s consumers, 80% according to Google, rely more on the Web to find and choose local businesses.

So how do you make sure that these consumers find and choose your local business? By using a mix of these four strategies for great digital marketing: search advertising, webSite, search engine optimization, and social media. Here are 30 tips to get you going.

SEARCH ADVERTISING TIPS

1. Identify and follow the rules of Bing, Yahoo!, and Google search ads before running your campaign as all have slightly different formats.

2. Optimize the URL displayed in your search ad so that it’s relevant to the product or service you are promoting.

3. Include target keywords in your headlines and copy that either match or closely match the keywords you bid on in order to boost the chance that your ad appears for those terms.

4. Write strong calls to action for your search ads that directly state what you want consumers to do. For example “Contact for a Free Estimate” or “Get a 50% Coupon.”

5. When using a click-to-call extension, consider using a tracking number so that you can identify and measure which ads perform the best.

6. Don’t spend precious text ad character count on your business name. It should already be in your optimized URL.

7. Do capitalize the first letter of major words in your ad. Don’t (read “NEVER”) go crazy with all caps.

8. Should you use correct punctuation in text ads? Yes! It just makes good sense.

9. Using trademarks in text ad copy is a no-no unless, of course, you own them. You can, however, bid on terms relevant to your business.

10. DUUA (don’t use unknown abbreviations). While it could pique the interest of a few searchers, why take that chance?

WEBSITE TIPS

11. If you haven’t updated your website since 2010, do it now. A clean, modern design is key in digital marketing, plus it ensures that you meet today’s best practices and Web standards.

12. Make your website mobile-friendly! The 2014 Local Search Study results indicate that nearly 80% of local mobile searches end in a purchase. This is a big audience you shouldn’t ignore.

13. Accurately complete your site’s metadata (title tags, descriptions, alt text, etc.). Not doing so can negatively impact your visibility on SERPs.

14. A business blog is a winning addition to your website. It can help boost your site’s SEO, set you apart from the competition, and demonstrate your knowledge and expertise. It’s a win-win situation.

15. In order to get found by local consumers, you need to optimize your site with local information like your address and geo-targeted keywords.

SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION

16. Having a business blog is useless if you don’t regularly create and promote original and sharable content to help prove relevance and therefore rank in search engines.

17. Enable share buttons on your blog so that readers can easily post your content to their social media pages and drive visitors back to your website.

18. Optimize your Google+ Local page to help your business name, phone number, location, and even opening hours show up in Google Maps and Google’s local search results.

19. Much like Google+ Local, Yelp is platform to complete and post information about your business. More importantly, it helps feed Apple Maps with local business results.

20. Include geo-specific keywords, such as your city, neighborhood, and zip codes, in your website, blog, and even social media copy to appear in search results for these terms.

19. Don’t only promote blog posts once. Repurpose them as engaging images, quotes, or questions in order to generate additional views, shares, and subject relativity.

21. Getting backlinks from influencers and other industry-related websites that have already established credibility are great for building your own authority and driving more visits back to your site.

23. Enable Google Authorship to help build your personal brand. By establishing yourself as a subject matter expert, you can share your own content, generate more shares, and drive more website visits.

22. Since positive reviews rank in search engine results, generate positive reviews with high rankings to help persuade consumers to choose your business.

26. Once you receive positive reviews, promote them on your website and social media sites so that consumers who search for you business on social sites or local directories see the great things others say about your business.

25. Images can help sell your business, and they also rank in search engines. Don’t name your images “photo.jpg,” and instead name them more descriptively, add alt text, or captions on your website to help images show up in search results.

SOCIAL MEDIA

27. Think, review, and review again before you make a social media post or comment. The ability to easily take screenshots makes it difficult to take back a social media mistake.

28. Since your employees also represent your brand, both in person and online, implement a social media policy that at the least permits them from sharing internal information.

29. Before you jump on a trending hashtag, make sure you know the origin of it. Not doing so can potentially cause social media regrets.

30. Like it or not, you “share” your brand on social media. And since consumers can start good and bad conversations about you, make sure to set up alerts that notify you of new mentions, comments, or messages.

Source credit: Tara Banda

7 Statistics That Prove Email Marketing Isn’t Dead

7 Statistics That Prove Email Marketing Isn't Dead

“It’s obvious email marketing is dead.”

“The days when AOL advertised ‘You’ve got mail!’ are long over.”

It’s hard to argue that receiving email is now often met with a groan. The reason? We’re inundated with emails. The average person gets 121 a day. The human race as a whole gets 193.3 billion. Business emails account for 108.7 billion. These are big numbers.

Perhaps, we overdid it — too much of a good thing. But, wait a minute, there must be a good reason why that much email is circling the globe, and if so, that’d mean that claims about the death of email marketing can’t be true. In fact, I’d guess that those who make these claims are only measuring their own subjective sense of overwhelm.

We don’t hate all email — just the ones we don’t want to read. The numbers agree with me. When it comes down to it, consumers still derive tangible benefits from email, and marketers still get a real payback. But before I roll out statistics to prove it, let’s pause. First, it’s important to understand why good marketers still love email marketing.

1. It’s easy to tap into the exponentially growing mobile market.

Without emails, it’d be nearly impossible for marketers to reach people when they’re not at their computers. People check their email on their cell phones and tablets at least once a day. SMS, by contrast, is not as popular. What’s more, texting may cost the user. It’s much harder to articulate a marketing message with a limited number of words.

2. Customers like to stay informed.

Customers like to know about coupons, because they like to save money when they shop. In fact, coupons are what drive online sales (though they also increase in-store sales). Customers also tend to like email sequences that educate and engage them. Mini email courses from subject experts can pack a lot of good information, creating a great win-win for marketers and consumers.

3. Email seamlessly integrates with other marketing strategies.

Think about how much pertinent information an email can communicate:

  • It can inform someone about your latest post.
  • It can remind someone of an interesting social-media message.
  • It can alert someone when a webinar is about to start.
  • It can alert someone about an approaching deadline on an offer.

4. Email marketing offers the best return on investment ever.

Ultimately, email marketing is affordable, which means that, even if a campaign bombs, the marketer isn’t in trouble. In comparison, given their high spend, failed advertising campaigns using direct mail, print advertising, radio and TV can be disastrous.

7 statistics that prove email marketing still works

Now, let’s look at seven statistics that prove email marketing can still pack a punch:

1. Email marketing offers a staggering return on investment.

According to the Direct Marketing Association, it yields an estimated 4,300 percent ROI. Every dollar spent on email marketing offers a return of $44, says ExactTarget.

Related: 3 Steps to Maximize Your Mobile Email Marketing

2. Emails effortlessly nurture leads.

A nurtured lead increases sales 20 percent more than a cold lead. At 33 percent less cost than other lead-generating mechanisms, emails generate 50 percent more sales. In fact, smart email marketing is one of the single most effective ways to build relationships with customers.

So, what is smart email marketing? Essentially, it’s email marketing that follows a strategic marketing formula:

  • First, raise awareness. (Inform customers about a product.)
  • Second, stimulate a desire for acquisition. (Tell them where to get it.)
  • Third, guide the reader toward conversion. (Transform prospects into customers.)
  • Fourth, create customer retention. (Sell them related products.)

3. Email marketing is simple enough for DIY small-business owners.

When it comes to email marketing, most of the technology offered by an email service provider is invisible, while the user interface is easy to learn and apply. Small-business owners who have learned how to send out broadcasts and use autoresponders consider email automation as being worth $273 an hour, based on a survey by Constant Contact and participants’ estimated value of getting an extra hour of marketing activity in a 33-hour week.

4. Emails convert three times better than social media.

Email marketing works 40 times better at getting customers than Facebook and Twitter, and compared to social media, it offers 17 percent higher conversion. The secret to success is making every email count. Email not only converts better than the most popular social media, but people spend up to 17 percent more when they do buy.

5. People actually like getting emails.

Of course, it’s worth noting that this only applies to emails they chose to receive. But of those, 95 percent of people who sign up for a newsletter from a recognized brand consider the email useful.

6. It’s estimated that 91 percent of consumers check email at least once a day on their smartphones.

Besides calling and texting, checking emails is one of the most popular uses for smartphones.

7. Adding social sharing buttons can increase email click-through rates.

Adding social sharing button increases trust. As a result, the click-through rate increases by 158 percent compared to emails without it.

Smart email marketing

Not all email marketing is dead — only email considered “noise on the line,” boring email and spam. What is alive and well is smart email marketing.

Are you using smart email marketing? If so, share your best tips and recommendations by leaving a comment below.

3 Reasons Your Small Business Should Use Email Marketing

3 Reasons Your Small Business Should Use Email Marketing

Marketing has changed significantly in the last several decades. Technological advancements in the field have given birth to platforms like social media and search engine marketing, leaving marketers with no shortage of channels to leverage.

Just last year, the Direct Marketing Association reported that over half of all marketers they surveyed  planned to increase marketing budgets allocated to email as a result of their previous success.

So what is it then, in this era of demand-driven social marketing, that continues to make email marketing a core component of successful small business marketing strategies?

1. Insights you can count on

One of the strongest assets email marketing brings to the table is the detailed reporting and analysis at your fingertips.

Contrary to more traditional marketing channels like print or television, email marketing reports provide valuable insights into the overall success of your marketing campaigns.

While most email marketing apps provide basic metrics, like clicks or opens, the good ones allow you to dig deeper into the details.  Taking a look at metrics like how long your recipients spend reading your emails, as well as the devices or email services they use to access them, tells the marketer a lot about what is working and what isn’t with their email campaigns.

2. It doesn’t take up too much time

Most good things take time.  For small businesses that often operate without the resources of a large marketing department, every task must be weighed against everything else that can be done with that same amount of time.

Typically, we find it takes the average user only about 30 minutes to complete their first campaign. This includes the time it takes to import contacts, design a template, test it, and feel the adrenaline pump of pressing “send.”

3. Keeps your bottom line healthy

When it comes to a small business, the reality is that everything boils down to return on investment and how long it takes to get there.  Small businesses must be able to justify each and every dollar of marketing, and that’s what draws them to email.

According to the DMA, each dollar spent on email marketing generates roughly $44 in revenue. While this statistic may be somewhat inflated, it is hard to argue against email marketing’s proven ability to consistently deliver outstanding results.

In order to re-engage previous customers, move new leads through the sales funnel, and cross-sell to current clients, email targets the low hanging fruit  – your contact database. When you create email campaigns focused on existing relationships (no matter the level), you create a non-invasive method for staying relevant that will surely pay off in the future.

Making Your First Million Is Easy — If You Follow These 5 Steps

Making Your First Million Is Easy -- If You Follow These 5 Steps

When you think about making a million dollars, does it seem like a far-fetched goal? Is it something you want to accomplish but just can’t picture happening? This was the case for my friend Ryan Moran — until his 26th birthday, when he made his first million dollars. Today, at 28 years old, his business generates roughly $500,000 per month.

I was curious what shifts took place that allowed someone so young to go from dreaming of making a million dollars to becoming a multi-millionaire in just a few short years. He told me me, “Making your first million is easy — if you do these five things.”

1. Surround yourself with people who will stretch your mind.
Since Ryan was a little boy, he has dreamed of owning the Cleveland Indians. Now in his 20s, he realized that in order for him to turn his dream into a reality, he would need to come up with roughly $500 million. For most people, the though of having $500 million liquid to buy a professional sports team is way beyond the range of what is possible. It was for Ryan too — until he started surrounding himself with people who already played at that level.

He explained that, “You can imagine what it will take to accomplish that type of a goal and by having people at that level as your advisors, they can tell you exactly what you need to do. It may be just a subtle shift in one part of your business, but suddenly what you thought was potentially impossible becomes realistic.”

It was that concept of demystifying the impossible that inspired him to host a live event that would bring the people who inspired him together with the goal of helping the next generation of entrepreneurs.

What is your dream that is so big that the thought of accomplishing it seems impossible — and maybe even scares you? Do you think you would be more likely to accomplish it if you had a group of advisors who were already playing at that level? If so, take action on forming relationships with them, and let them guide you the rest of the way.

2. Re-frame the impossible.
As you surround yourself with the right people, you will need to work on upgrading your mindset. Part of this will require you to recognize your limiting beliefs and re-frame those thoughts. Ryan shared, “When you feel like something is impossible, recognize that it’s just the story that you are telling yourself that makes you perceive it to be impossible and not the action itself.” Then it is just a matter of rewriting your story.

To rewrite your own story, ask yourself, “What are the things in my life that scare me and stop me from taking action? Is it the action that really scares me, or is it a false perception that is holding me back? How can I take action and move through it in spite of that fear?”

Your ability to increase your income hinges on your ability to deliver unexpected value. Most people think the only way they can add more value is by working harder or exchanging money. This is thinking too small. You deliver unexpected value through the connections you can make, the time you can allocate and the problems you can alleviate.

Big opportunities open up when you building relationships with the right people, invest your time in your highest leverage activities and are a person who solves problems. Break out of the old mindset of thinking that you have to work harder or find a higher-paying job, and start developing the habit of incorporating these three things in your everyday life.

4. Choose your customers wisely.
The easiest way to fast-track your path to a million is to charge more for your products and services. However, when you tell someone to raise their prices, they often push back and say that the market doesn’t allow for that type of increase. This is where you have to choose your customer wisely.

The price a customer is willing to pay is directly tied to the amount of value they receive. If your services deliver a 10 percent sales increase to company that does $1 million in revenue, then you brought $100,000 in value. If you deliver the same 10 percent increase to a $100 million company, your value is exponentially higher. Would the first company pay you $250,000 for your services? No way. Would the second? It is quite possible.

Sometimes what stands in your way from exponential growth is not you or your product. It’s the customer you are targeting. Ryan learned this lesson the hard way. For a few years he had been teaching his business model to people who wanted to start their own companies and was charging $1,000 for this information. A few years later, one of his students was teaching the exact same content but targeting a different group of people charging $100,000!

Ryan realized that he approaching his target market trying to get as many of they to say “yes” as possible, instead of positioning himself as a solution to the elite segment of his market and aligning his pricing accordingly.

The result? He found a select group that was willing to pay 50-times more than his original rates. You will find your path to a million dollars a lot easier if you choose your customers wisely.

5. Invest for the long term.
So many people go for the fast and easy win. While this may work for some, you will find that results come a lot faster when you invest for the long term. I’m not just talking about stocks and real estate. I’m talking about how you spend your time, the people you hire, the relationships you build, the products you develop and the structure of your company. These are all investments.

As Ryan tried to grow his business, he realized many of his struggles were because he was making decisions based on short-term results. Then he made a conscious decision to focus on what would be best for the long-term focus. As a result, he was able to attract better clients who he could actually serve and add real value to, which allowed him to raise his prices. This was when he broke the million-dollar mark.

How much money are you leaving on the table because you are not planning out far enough and laying the foundation for long term success? Incorporate these five steps, and you may find that making your first million is easier than you originally thought.