Tan notebook cover on white desk with the title 3 favorite time saving digital & marketing tools

3 Favorite Time Saving Digital & Marketing Tools

I love it when I read about a new tech tool that someone raves about, but I’ve never heard of.  I immediately jot down the name, what it’s good for, and who recommended it. Sometimes if it’s so fascinating to me (I have ADHD), I’ll go right to it. And other times it gets transferred onto a list in Trello. Let’s see if these 3 Favorite Time Saving Digital & Marketing Tools make your list.

Check out more of my favorite tools.


This brings me to the first of my favorite digital & marketing tools!

#1. TRELLO (digital tool)

After five years, I’m still exploring all the features of this fabulous digital tool. It’s perfect for my needs right now. And did I mention it’s free?  At least the version I use is.

What it is.

Trello is a digital organizing tool that resembles bulletin boards. It’s also a task board. It’s a project management system. Let me explain.


You create workspaces (pages). And for each workspace, there are boards (columns). You 

assign your boards’ titles. Each board has a card underneath that you assign a task or a note, whatever you choose to do. You can drag your boards and your cards around the page. You can even copy a board to another workspace and move a card to it too. If you don’t want to start a workspace from scratch, you can search the templates that may already have the boards you want.


Trello boards can be used for flow charts, reminder lists, to-do lists, and “I need to look into that later” back burner list, that can be called up anytime.


Trello digital tool workspace and boards view

  • Name your boards whatever you wish.
  • Keep private boards.
  • Shared boards with others.
  • Color code boards and tasks.
  • Add attachments, files, and photos to cards.
  • Pretty boards and cards with photo screens.
  • Star important boards.
  • Delete boards.

The most fun I have with these boards is moving the cards around. 

Here’s an example of how I use Trello

Let’s say I have a board named for a client and I name the main board my clients name. And I have tasks to do Monday through Friday for that client. I create boards next to one another, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. And at the end, I have a board named Done.  If that Monday task doesn’t get done on Monday, I can just drag it to Tuesday. When I do complete the task, I drag that task card over to the Done board. Oh, the satisfaction of seeing that Done board fill up!


Another of my favorite digital & marketing tools!

#2. Buffer (marketing tool)

I’ve been a fan of Buffer for eight years. They have several plans from Free to Business to Pro plans.

What it is.

Buffer is a marketing tool but also a social media scheduling and content planning system.  I use it to manage my clients’ content and my own as well. Over the years, they’ve added platforms and as of this writing, they allow postings for Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube shorts.  I have to say, I’m a big fan of the drag-and-drop system because I just realized my next tool also uses drag-and-drop. But let’s go over some of the cool features that I use and are really helpful.

Create Content Once

First of all, you create content once and post it on all five platforms with one click by choosing “share now”. Now, you won’t want to be sharing them all at the same time. That’s ill-advised when using social media for business purposes. But…you can.

A better option is to set up your dates and times for each platform and have the content pushed out at those designated times. More details are below on this feature.

Easy on the eyes

Visually, this publishing tool is so easy on the eyes.  It’s notBuffer digital and marketing tool interface complicated and you don’t even need a tutorial to learn how to use it. It’s that simple!

Here are some cool things you can do besides posting. You can preschedule, ok I think that’s a given. But you add a schedule that you want. Let’s use this example. I want the same post of mine to go out to Facebook on Monday, Instagram on Wednesday, LinkedIn on Friday, and Twitter on Saturday. You set up the schedule in advance just once and every time you create that piece of content and put it in the funnel, it enters a queue and is sent off on those days and times like magic, that’s right…like magic.

Want to throw a lot of content into Buffer, go ahead.  You can see all of your posts and photos when you scroll and you can change the order of the days by dragging a Monday to a Wednesday or vice versa. Want Buffer to shuffle your content, you can do that too.

Create Drafts

Not ready to schedule your posts, create drafts instead. You can edit them after saving them. And when you’re ready to share your drafts, you can schedule or send them immediately.

This is just the tip of the iceberg. Go to Buffer.com to learn more.


Lastly, the most used of my  favorite digital & marketing tools!

#3 CONSTANT CONTACT (marketing tool)

You may be aware that I’ve been a Certified Partner with this brand. I’m approaching my 10-year anniversary soon! I’m able to offer a service to my clients that saves them both time and money while helping them grow their businesses using this resource.

What it is.

Constant Contact is an Email Service Provider (ESP) and a digital marketing tool. They have many more features than email marketing but I want to focus on that. First of all, they have a proven track record of success and helping small businesses grow for over 25 years. I like a solid company to partner with.

They have a simple drag-and-drop editor (as mentioned above) with a 3-part dashboard for creating email campaigns. Build-Images-Design. And hundreds of templates, most of which are done for you!

BUILDConstant Contact email service provider digital tool editor and email template
This area has “blocks” which are design placeholders you drag into a template for your content. Once the blocks are placed, you fill them in with content. The content I’m referring to is headlines, photos, text, buttons, social media sharing, etc.

This is your library of photos that you’ve uploaded into your account or want to upload into it and add to your emails.

This is your branding portal. It features backgrounds, borders, fonts, and buttons. You choose the colors, font types, and sizes here.

The Constant Contact software is extensive but it’s simple to use once you start using it regularly. Just like any new system you try has a learning curve. The advantage for you is that I’m a Constant Contact Certified Partner and can get you up to speed quickly, helping you with shortcuts. Even better, I can create, design and send your emails or you!

These three favorite time-saving digital and marketing tools might be just what you need if you want to be more productive, organized, and consistent with your marketing efforts.

Constant contact marketing tool logo

Try Constant Contact for 60 days free.

No credit card is required.

graphic with the words"2023 email trends to jump on"

5 Email trends to jump on now!

Email is always evolving, and it can be tough to keep up with the latest email trends. All in all, if you want your email campaigns to be successful, it’s important to stay up-to-date with what’s trending. 

graphic with the words "2023 email trends to jump on"

What are the 5 email trends to jump on now?

1. Interactive content is one of the hottest email trends right now.

By adding interactive elements to your emails, you can make them more engaging. Interactive content is sure to yield higher click-through rates. It can increase conversions, and ensure returning customers.

Some examples of trending interactive content are polls, quizzes, and infographics.

Most people enjoy offering their opinions and interacting with their favorite brands. This presents an ideal opportunity for marketers to increase engagement. Polls, quizzes, and surveys are still relevant in emails and social media. Therefore you should experiment with them to see what works best with your audience.

You can use surveys and polls to gather valuable research about your audience.

Data to note are their purchasing preferences and product feedback. With survey and poll results, you can improve a product or service. Use this information to create new offers based on their answers and feedback. People love to contribute to helping plan a company’s deliverables. You can gauge interest and collect new customer demographics. Knowing audiences’ specific interests helps you to segment your email lists. And provide more relevant content to those segments.

example of an infographicInfographics are a visual alternative to all text in an email message.

Infographics supply more movement and color to what can become monotonous if you only send text emails. It’s a nice break for the eye and a fun way to present content if you want to mix it up more than you usually do.






2. Video is another big trend that’s taking over email.

More and more people are watching videos on their computers and mobile devices. So it makes sense to include video in your email campaigns. Video email can be a great way to grab attention and get your message across.

Customer testimonials and videos of your product in action can pay off big time.

When it comes to longer engagement and more sales, video is the way to go. A video that includes you in it with a positive, personal tone will be appealing to viewers too. And it’ll be more likely to impact their decision-making.


3. Mobile-friendly emails are on trend because of how many people are glued to their cell phones.

example of an email optimized for a mobile phoneEvery single day, people wake up and go to bed checking their email inboxes from their phones.

With 60% of email opens occurring on a mobile device, it’s important to optimize your email campaigns for mobile.

This means using a responsive design (one that’s already formatted for mobile) from your email service provider. Compose short subject lines and clear call-to-actions that stand out!

4. Personalization is on trend and key to successful email campaigns.

By personalizing your emails, they become more relevant and targeted to your recipients.

You can personalize emails by collecting data from prospects that visit your website.

Entice visitors with a free offer, discount, or educational piece. It’s a proven marketing strategy to capture emails and more information about visitors. The data will make it easier to send customized and targeted emails.  This can help increase click-through rates and conversions. When clicking on links or buttons, it shows more interest from the reader than an email open.

Include holiday email messages in your strategy too.

Wish your subscribers sincere greetings, and gratitude. Or, list ideas to make the holiday more enjoyable. Describe how their business has made an impact on yours. It can also contain a positive message, tied to the sentiments of the holiday. Doing this can intensify the connection between you and your audience. Don’t be afraid of adding a picture of your family or a furry family member. You want to be adding personal touches to build on your business relationship.

When gathering data from your contact or lead form, ask for the subscriber’s first name. Your email software can populate the person’s name into the email subject line. This one tip can increase the chance of it someone reading your email.

Talk to the industry you know your segment is in. Or use an example of a recent customer experience who is on the receiving end of your email blast. They can further relate to the message even more.

5. Email automation is a trend that saves you time and increases efficiency.

People have embraced automated and smart technology. We enjoy the convenience of daily amenities. Programmable thermostats, self-starting coffee makers, ice cube makers, and automatic bill pay. 

By setting up automated email campaigns, you can free up your time. Use that newfound time to focus on other aspects of your business. Automation can also help you stay in touch with your subscribers and keep them engaged. So long as you send the emails in a strategic series. Drip prewritten content in a planned sequence over a period of time.

Create more than a welcome series which introduces your company, explains how your service works, and provides a basic overview of what you can offer.   

Set up extra sequences for where your lead or customer is in their business journey. Meet them where they are.

Embracing automation in your email marketing enables your company to reach a much wider audience.  Understand more about your customers than ever before so that you can continue writing relevant content.

Using automation to boost your email marketing efforts won’t only increase sales.

It increases the data you have on your existing customers.  Leading to better, more targeted campaigns in the future. This info is extremely valuable for any company wanting to improve customer experience. There are a variety of ways to incorporate automation into your marketing efforts. I’ll be sure to write another blog post about this amazing and effective technology!

Email is always changing, so it’s important to stay on top of current email trends. Keeping up with them will likely make your campaigns more effective and successful.



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Email marketing made easy as a beginner solopreneur

When you start a new business as a beginner solopreneur, there are a lot of things to think about.

You’re tasked with building a company from the ground up and finding customers to keep it afloat. One crucial way to reach more potential customers is through email marketing. Yet, adding this task to your growing to-do list can feel very daunting.

Of all the digital marketing options, one thing you shouldn’t neglect is your email strategy. Email marketing can be a great way to connect with customers and keep them informed about your business. But, it can also be time-consuming and difficult to create effective email campaigns. 

Sending regular messages can help keep your business top-of-mind for prospects. And increase sales from your current customers. Email marketing can be tricky – but don’t worry!

Email marketing made easy tips!

This blog post will show you how to make email marketing easy using simple tips and tricks so that you can focus on what’s most important – running your business. I’ll provide recommendations on setting up an email campaign, creating content that engages subscribers, and tracking results so you can see how well your efforts pay off.

Read on for helpful advice so that you get the most out of your email marketing efforts!

Here are 7 email marketing made easy tips for a beginner solopreneur:

Tip #1

The first thing to do is choose a reliable email marketing service. This is the provider or platform, also known as an ESP. Get recommendations from business colleagues. Then read reviews from reliable online sources. The ESP should offer easy-to-use templates and drag-and-drop editors.

Tip #2

Next, make sure you have a good opt-in form on your website. This is where people sign up to receive your emails. It’s one of the first things you should do to start growing your list of subscribers. An “opt-in” is an incentive, or an offer, in exchange for someone’s email address. You shouldn’t expect to approach people one by one and ask them to join your email list. No one WANTS to join a list without a reason to do so, and asking people isn’t going to get you very far. It’s also tedious work. Building an email list is an ongoing process.

You need to create a few opt-ins so you can rotate marketing them on a consistent basis. Make the process easy – ask only for their name and email address in any sign-up form. Don’t request any other details at this point. You can always ask for more information later when someone signs up and you get to know them better.

Tip #3 

When creating the campaign design, choose attractive and eye-catching email templates. Include images, fonts, and colors to match your brand. Use photos and videos to break up the text and add interest. Use images sparingly. Some email providers block images by default. So, unless your recipient has turned on image loading for your messages, they may not see anything. Just a blank space where your beautiful image is sitting.

Check that your email is mobile-responsive. More and more people are reading their emails on their phones. So you want to make sure your email looks good no matter what device it’s viewed on.

Tip #4

Craft catchy subject lines that will grab attention and get people to open your emails.  Write a short subject line of 6-10 words at most, after reading through the content messaging. No one wants to read a long-winded email, especially when checking their messages on the go. Test different subject lines to see which ones generate the most opens. Utilize A/B testing. Experiment with different send times and days to see what works best for your audience.

Tip #5

When you write your email copy, remember to keep your emails short and to the point. Make sure your email is well-written and error-free. Use clear, concise language that your readers will understand. I recommend using the Hemingway app for help with sentence structure. Use clear calls to action and personalize your messages whenever possible. Choose various types of content in your expertise. Automate the sending of messages based on customers’ behavior or purchase history. Segment your mailing list to ensure you’re targeting the right people. And send only relevant content to that segment.

Tip #6

Add a call-to-action (CTA) link or create a button using contrasting colors to make it stand out. Use strong words like “sign up now”, “click here to buy” or “it’s all in here”. Create a sense of urgency when needed.

Tip #7

Test different versions of your email campaigns to see what works best. Regularly send out email newsletters so that subscribers know they can count on you for updates. Track the success of your campaigns so you can improve them over time. Integrate email marketing with other marketing outlets like social media and paid advertising for better results.

You don’t need a degree in marketing or computer science to create email campaigns that will engage your customers and drive sales.

Email marketing is an extremely effective way to reach your target audience and generate leads. However, it’s not as simple as sending out a few emails and expecting results. To get the most out of your email marketing campaigns, you need to develop a strategy and plan ahead.

In this post, we’ve outlined several email marketing made easy tips.

Your focus is creating content that engages your customers and increases conversions. I’ve also outlined the best practices for email marketing. With the right strategy, you can easily create emails that are both effective and visually appealing. Email marketing doesn’t have to be difficult. In fact, it can be quite easy if you follow a few simple tips.

If you need help getting started with email marketing or want to improve your current strategy, contact me for a strategy session. I’d be happy to share my expertise and help you get the results you’re looking for!


10 Tips for Writing Effective Email Subject Lines

Email subject lines are more important than you might think!  They’re one of the main reasons someone will or won’t open your emails.

Writing effective email subject lines takes practice. But once you get the hang of it, it gets easier. Just like a habit.

This is why it’s essential to give intentional thought to each subject line. Don’t act as if it’s an afterthought. It’s too important to be treated like one!

Want better open rates? I’m going to give you 10 tips for writing effective email subject lines. These are tried and true practices for what to do AND what not to do to achieve better open rates from your emails.

#1. Keep it short

  • The proven length according to many email marketing providers for best open rates is between 6-11 words. If you want your entire subject line to be visible in someone’s email inbox, you should keep the length closer to 6 words.

#2. Use the pre-header text

  • Think of it as extra promotion for your subject line. This area is good real estate, so don’t skip it. It can give more details of the messaging inside your email.

#3. Watch your tone

  • Do not use ALL CAPS, excessive punctuation!!!, or emojis 🙂 🙂 🙂 :), words or phrases found in your SPAM folder, or profanity. All caps give the impression of screaming. Excessive punctuation is obnoxious and can end up in SPAM. Too many emojis can come across as infantile, and profanity can come across as vulgar to some.

#4. Emphasis

  • Place the most important words at the beginning of the subject line.

#5. Be clever

  • Use alliterative phrases like Business Building Blocks or ask a question.

#6. Use listicles and numbers

  • Phrasing like “The top 10”, “5 Tips”, “8 Ways” etc… get attention and show that the content inside isn’t too lengthy. Remember human attention spans are getting shorter and shorter all the time!

#7. Offer something

  • Provide an offer or some kind of value in the title that’s complimentary. An example would be “Open for your coupon code” or “ 2 for 1 offer inside”.

#8. Don’t bait and switch readers

  • By this, I mean not to use a catchy phrase as your subject line only to get an open and then offer a broken promise inside. Also, don’t include content inside the email that’s not relevant to the subject line.

#9. Use personalization or ONE emoji when appropriate

  • If you collected your subscriber’s first name when they joined your list, you can automate the campaign to include it in the subject line. To further stand out in someone’s inbox, use a colorful emoji that correlates to your subject line.

#10. Write your subject line LAST

  • The best way to create a subject line is after you’ve completed the content inside the email. This way, you can consider the relevance of the topic and gain clarity by seeing the main idea of the email.

Bonus tips:

  1. Conduct A/B testing. Try two different subject lines and send the first to part of your list. Then send the other subject line to another percentage. Whichever subject line gets the most opens with the test, send it to the rest of your list.
  2. Use subject line suggestion tools. Your email marketing service provider might have a suggestion tool. It generates various ideas based on the content inside the email campaign. How cool is that?
  3. Test your subject line against previous subject lines within your analytics dashboard. Compare the last 5 or 10 and see which types generated the highest open rates. From this research, you can draw on similar themes going forward.

And there you have it! Tried and true ways to take your bland subject lines to grand subject lines.



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A Guide to Nearly Everything Email Marketing

Think of this blog post as a guide for everything email marketing. 

  • learn why email marketing is an essential business tool, 
  • how you should be using email marketing, 
  • best practices in crafting email campaigns, 
  • the different types of email campaigns, 
  • the essential components of an email, 
  • how to get your emails opened and read and 
  • checking your metrics to see what’s working and what needs improvement.


Email marketing is a communications tool with a professional look that delivers relevant content to an interested audience. It is intended to elicit an action by the reader. This is known as a CTA (call to action).  The CTA gets the reader to respond in the way of a visit to the sender’s website, or a link to a guide or white paper, a download, coupon redemption, etc.. to increase sales, production, or whatever your business goal is.

WHY USE EMAIL MARKETING? Email marketing has a high rate of ROI (return on investment) and when used properly is a very effective business tool. It will help you create and increase brand awareness, can drive new business, and trigger repeat business. Plus it has 3x the conversion rate of social media marketing. Email marketing used with social media will garner the best results for sales conversions.


Email campaigns consist of different types of messages. Newsletters, coupons, surveys, promotions, flyers, and events are all examples of email campaigns.  Depending on the CTA, this will determine the type of campaign you’ll want to create. 

  • For example, a NEWSLETTER is a long-form email with lengthy content and could simply be informational.  Many not for profits use a monthly newsletter. Because donors have a keen interest in their cause, they are more likely to read a longer message. They want to see how the organization’s mission is being carried out. Or how funds are being allocated. Their CTA might include a donation button to collect charitable funding.
  • A FLYER on the other hand is usually a short and more creative type campaign where an event is taking place or a sale is being promoted. In this case, it would act like a “notice”. The CTA would most likely be a registration button or an RSVP link.  It would also include the date, time, and location of the event.
  • A PROMOTION email will usually include an offer or coupon code in the email body.  This offer would be in the form of a button or link that might say “shop now” or “buy here” and can take the reader to a website or product purchase.
  • An EVENT email will include a registration form that is created separately but accessed when the registration link is clicked. The form should include a longer description of the event, the date, time, location, map, and event fee (if applicable). The fee can be collected directly from the form using a credit or debit card through We Pay or PayPal. You have the option also to collect payment at the door on the day of the event.


Depending on the type of business one has will determine the type of campaign they will use and also the frequency that they send them.  There are industry trends that dictate this as well.  However, nothing in marketing is set in stone.  Each business will need to use the tried and true method of testing in determining what works best for them and their audience.

In general, a not-for-profit with an informational email campaign typically includes a culmination of articles and sends as a monthly update. On the other hand, a small local business might send a bi-weekly or weekly email.  Many larger retailers send out emails more than once per week.  Restaurants can do well by sending weekly emails.  They may have weekly specials, announce a menu change, or showcase live music and want to include special offers.  With more offerings, the frequency of your message can follow suit.

Event emails are date-driven. Their frequency will differ from informational campaigns. Email calendar planning must be in place at least 6 weeks prior for successful attendance. Even further in advance if it’s an annual event with an expected attendance rate that is significantly higher. 

To make sure your readers are keeping interested and not unsubscribing from your list, you may want to send out a periodical SURVEY to gather information and reports. Content could be about what they’d like to read more about, less about, and give feedback. This is also an opportunity to get the necessary information in order to SEGMENT your email list. When considering adding a new product or service to your line, here is where you can find out the level of interest before you actually roll it out. 

Let’s get to the MAIN COMPONENTS of crafting an effective email campaign. At the least, you most certainly should include:

  • Your logo
  • A picture relating to your content
  • A CTA (call to action)
  • Signature or contact information
  • Your website link


These are the 5 steps to master the power of the inbox:

  1. Growing a healthy email list
  2. Creating great content
  3. Using and customizing a mobile-friendly template
  4. Getting your emails opened
  5. Tracking your results

(source Constant Contact)

Let’s start with growing your email list. This is where most people get stopped in their tracks. They have no idea how to grow their email list.  Here are some ideas:

OFFLINE– Keep a printable customized paper signup form and leave it at the checkout counter or check-in counter of your place of business. You can use the same form at any expo that you take part in or at an event that you organize. Another idea is to set up a fishbowl at your store. If you don’t have a storefront, collaborate with a local restaurant. Raffle a gift card from the restaurant and collect business cards in the fishbowl. You want to build a permission-based email list, so make sure you let the participants know in writing that when they enter the raffle they will also have opted in to your email list. These are some simple ideas. You can get creative with your ideas. Even without a list, you can still send out emails to most of your social media networks. Use the dedicated link that is attached to your email campaign. 

ONLINE– Start with a sign-up form on your website. Write a blog and include your sign-up link in it. Use social media signup tools. Add a signup form on your Facebook page (Constant Contact.) Include the signup link in your social media posts. Try Constant Contact’s feature, Text to Join. You choose a keyword, and an autoresponder with a default message appears once they enter a predetermined number to text to. The subscriber is then prompted to enter their email address. After it’s entered, another autoresponder will thank them and let them know that they are now subscribed to your list. You can customize your message, notify the subscriber of your email frequency and the type of content you’ll be sharing with them. It’s important to know that people aren’t always open to being added to an email list. Unless there is a good reason for them to sign up (remember the acronym WIIFM).

With this in mind, you should be willing to have an enticing incentive for your subscribers to sign up. Take some time to think about the reason someone would sign up for your emails. What one-time offer are you willing to give away? It could be a 20% discount on a first-time order or an exclusive offer that only email subscribers would be privy to. What about a download of an informational guide that only they can get access to? Make it something special. Don’t forget to let subscribers know what types of content they’ll receive and how often they should expect to hear from you.

CONTENT– What makes good content? It should be entertaining, educational, visual, informational, or promotional. Keep this ratio in mind as you create your content calendar: 50% of your content should be entertaining and informational, 30% educational, and 20% promotional. It’s the 50, 30, 20 rule. Let’s move deeper into what this means.

  1. Entertaining and informational-use your sense of humor. Don’t go too far. Add in an informational component.
  2. Educational- “Did you know?” moments. What information do you have or possess that they don’t have access to?
  3. Promotional- This is all about you- why people should use your services or buy your product…etc.

Now, for the amount of content. Keep in mind that people are time-starved and most are now reading emails on their smartphones. Less is more, shorter is better. About 20 lines of text is enough. If you must include more, then you should include a link or button to “read more”.

TEMPLATES– You’ll need to make sure you choose and use mobile-friendly templates because more than 50% of all emails are opened on a smartphone. A template that is not mobile-friendly won’t show up properly on a smaller device as it would on a desktop or laptop. The page may be cut off, the formatting could be lost, and it would be harder for the reader to understand the message.

GETTING YOUR EMAIL OPENED– There are specific rules to follow when it comes to the sender of the email. How does the subscriber know you? Is it the product you sell, your nickname, or your company name that they recognize? The best practice is to have both your first and last name and your company name. This way you are pretty much covered and people will recognize the sender. This is a major consideration because you definitely don’t want someone deleting your email before they even get the chance to see what’s in it! 

THE SUBJECT LINE– Here is the second most important item when trying to get your email opened. How do you create an open-worthy email? The first thing to know is to create the subject line after you have created your email message. The main message of your email will dictate the core idea of your campaign. Once you’ve completed the content, you’ll find it easier to craft a simple, yet catchy subject line. A rule of thumb is for the subject line to be 6-11 words. That has shown to get the best open rates.  The more generic or vague a subject line, the less interesting it is for the reader. An example of a vague subject line is ”Summer Newsletter Happenings”.As opposed to a more creative and enticing one, such as “ 3 Fun Events in July”. 

Make sure to avoid SPAMMY words or phrases like, “Act Now”, “You’ve Won” or ”Make Money” and refrain from ALL CAPS and excessive punctuation!!!! These are all no-nos in email marketing. A good way to double-check you’re not using spam-like words is to look in your own spam inbox. See what kinds of inappropriate subject lines are there and then avoid them at all costs.

ANALYTICS– Many people overlook this most important task. Checking email campaign reports. The reason this task is so important and should not be skipped as part of your overall strategy is that it’s what will guide you going forward. It will tell you what is and what is not working. Use this important information as a guide to making better decisions about better subject lines, better content, and better send times.

Which reporting should you focus on? The opens of course and even more importantly the clicks. The click is the call to action. Figure out what’s most important to you, your opens or your clicks. Make sure that you also check your bounces and remove them to make room for quality people who do want to hear from you. Adjust your strategy based on your reporting.

SOCIAL MEDIA SHARE-Any email marketing service you choose or use should include a social share button. The social share buttons allow you to send your email to a whole new audience. Everyone who is not on your email list but who you are connected to on popular social media platforms. Most notably Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram. If your email service provider doesn’t offer social share, then you should include an email link that you can cut and paste into your posts. Except for Instagram, as you can only add the link in the bio section of your account).  As you’re building an email list, you can still use email marketing with success by sending the campaigns to your followers and connections.

PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER– A tried and true approach to the design of your campaigns is to:

  • Create a non-spammy subject line with 6-11 words
  • Craft the subject line AFTER you have entered the content
  • Make sure your subscriber knows immediately who it is from
  • Keep content short, under 20 lines of text
  • Use a “read more” button if you need to expand on your content
  • Apply your brand colors
  • Include your logo, a CTA, website, and contact info
  • Keep your CTA above the scroll line
  • Include a clickable, clear picture that relates to your content
  • Limit the number of pictures to three
  • The more links you insert, the fewer clicks you’ll get


  • Consistently grow your email list with opt-in features and never buy a list.
  • Create a content calendar – use either a holiday calendar as your guide or decide on your mailing frequency. Then create the topics in advance so you have everything ready and planned in advance. This will keep you on schedule.

So, there are a lot of things to consider when creating email marketing campaigns. But as long as you start with these tips, you will get better and better at crafting and designing. And new ideas will spur. Before you know it, you’ll be a real pro!



Want more ideas?
Download my free guide to help you get more leads on your email list.

Push Sales Without Being Pushy

By Adrian Miller, Guest Blogger
Adrian Miller Sales Training

Within reason, it’s nice to be prepared. Why not? If you’re going to a sales meeting, it’s good to know the playing field and what you’re there to do…and what you aren’t there to do. If you’re meeting a prospect and establishing a relationship, it’s good to know the marketplace, the competition, what makes your stuff better than the other seller’s stuff, and so on. All of this is good.

Yet sometimes good things turn bad. And this can happen to well-prepared sales professionals; often without their awareness. It’s kind of scary in that way. Kind of like a horror movie.

Prepared sales professionals can become so identified with their agenda, that they stop seeing the prospect as an actual person with actual power. Instead, they see their own agenda and nothing else. And this makes them one of those awful, stereotypical pushy sales types that everyone hates and refuses to do business with.

What happened here? How did things get so messed up? The keyword is preparation. Yes, be prepared. But don’t put your preparation ahead of the actual reality of your interaction with the prospect. In other words: use your preparation as a framework; not as a recipe. Use your preparation as a launching pad, not as a cage.

Sounds good “in theory”, right? Sure – but what about real life? How can you avoid becoming a pushy salesperson or, indeed, stop being one if you happen to cross that line from time to time? Easy.

Do these things:

  • Use questions

    Probe what your unique prospect wants. Build your presentation (be it formal or informal) around that response. Often, your prospect hasn’t fully developed her or his requirements or expectations. That’s fine. They don’t have to; they aren’t trying to sell their needs to you, you’re trying to sell your solution to them. So patiently and effectively find out what is of value to the prospect, and use that as the guide.


  • Practice being “high touch, low pressure.”

    In fact, you can use this as a mantra and repeat it to yourself while sitting in traffic jams, or in elevators, or in line at the bank. High touch, low pressure. Om. Ommmmmmm. “High touch” simply means that you’re interacting authentically and responsively with your prospect. You’re finding out what they need and helping them create a prediction of a solution – one that you’ll provide, of course. “Low pressure” is self-explanatory.

Build your sales effort/experience around solution. You exist, professionally, to help people solve
problems and exploit beneficial opportunities. The way you do this is through sales.

Always remember this: the solution part of what you do comes before the sales. Your prospect doesn’t see you as a sales professional; he or she sees you as a potential solution. See the world through the eyes of your prospect and you’ll never become pushy.

Do This For a More Engaged Email Audience

Building an email list is one of the best, easiest, and least expensive ways to stay in touch with your customers and prospects!

But some business owners make it too complicated. And they often think having the biggest list possible will bring them all the riches. Yet, truth be told, it’s not the size of your list that you should be focusing on, it’s the quality of your list. I’m sure you’ve heard that before. It’s worth repeating! 

Did you know that for every $1 you spend on email marketing, you get a return of almost $40? That’s a huge ROI!

So, I’m not going to talk about how to grow your list today  (that’ll be for another blog post soon). I want to talk to you about using the list you already have in order to make the most impact. These tips are ideal if you have at least 100 subscribers. But they’ll still work if your list is smaller too. So how do you attract a more engaged email audience?


#1. Segment your List

Look at your general or default email list. This is where most people start, with a generic list and everyone thrown onto it. What you’ll want to do is separate the names on this generic list and start dropping them into more meaningful “buckets”. That’s email jargon for other lists. 

Here’s an example of how this works. 

Let’s say you sell a natural skincare line with several products. You might have a general or default list, with everyone on that list. Now I want you to separate out the buyers to a “Purchasers” List. And create another list of non-purchasers with the name, “Prospects”. 

Next, we’re going to dive deeper. Let’s focus on the “Purchasers” list. Create a list or bucket for the specific product the purchaser bought. Let’s say it’s a facial scrub. Put her on the list “Facial Scrub”. What if the facial scrub has a scent and she only purchases the Lavender scent – break the list down even further. Put her on the “Lavender “list.

Do you see where I’m going with this? Keep drilling down.

You’ll see the same person on several lists. That’s ok. Here’s why I recommend you do this without hesitation. 

If you add the same person to several lists and send an email to them, they will NOT receive a duplicate email for every list that they’re on. Your email service provider will send only one email message to them (unless they signed up with more than one email address – this does happen). I know because I sometimes use two different email addresses by mistake and I get duplicates from lists I’ve subscribed to. 

Let’s say a customer loves the lavender-scented facial scrub. They’ll be more likely to buy (in multiples) if you have a sale only for that list. Because you’re talking to them and it’s right on the mark for relevancy.

21% of people will unsubscribe from your list if the content isn’t relevant to them. According to a survey done by MarketingSherpa.

You’re also going to make sure the link to buy takes them directly to their favorite product. You don’t want readers to get distracted or waste time looking for things if you insert a link to your home page.

Remember, the attention span of humans is teeny, tiny! The quicker you get them to where they want to go, the better. For them AND for you!


#2. Create Freebie and Micro Offers that Attract your Target Market

Think about the struggles your ICA (ideal customer avatar) is experiencing. What solution do you provide for their immediate problems? An easy way to figure this out is to do some of your own research. 

Try to remember the last few weeks or months of conversations you heard and questions asked. Or that you observed either by phone, email, or on social media. Can you recall a common thread of pain points that you can reduce? If not, do the research now. Create a survey or a poll on social media. Look for these conversations online. Follow the hashtags of your target market or your core content.

Once you’ve done the research and analyzed the data, you’re armed with the information you need. Take the data and use it to create a free or low-cost offer. Include their pain point in the title and the solution inside the offer.

When people sign up to receive your freebie or micro offer you’ll know it’s content your audience wants. Whether it’s a download, a checklist, a video lesson, a guide, etc… Isn’t that what you want?


#3. Follow your New Email Subscribers on Social Media

Wherever you market your offer, each time you do that push, you’re going to get an influx of new names on your email list. It doesn’t matter if it’s through organic outreach or if you use a pay-to play-strategy.

It’s great that you’re adding new people from this one touchpoint. At this point, make sure you’ve got both your welcome series and nurture sequence set up and ready to use! 
Make sure you’ve crafted a segmented list that aligns with your offer. To repeat myself, you’re segmenting and creating relevant email content for that list. Now here’s how to work this tip.

Export the new list of opt-in subscribers from your email service provider. Use a spreadsheet of your choice.

Go search for these subscribers on social media. Follow and friend them. What better way to get to know them, their business, their likes, and where they are in their life or business journey?

You’ll learn even more about what their needs are and be able to better serve them. Engage with these new prospects.  Find ways to make a connection.  Leave comments, likes, and voice messages in their DMs. Remind them that they signed up for your freebie, thank them, and ask if it’s been helpful to them. Let them also know that they got a new follower – win-win! 

To further engage, ask them if they have any questions for you. Of course, remind them what the freebie was about. 

So tell me, are you going to try out these ideas? Maybe you already use them and see how valuable they are. I’d love to know. Any time you can find an opportunity to be more relevant to your subscribers, the better.

Did you know? People who receive emails from brands they like actually want to hear from them more often.



Want more ideas?
Download my free guide to help you get more leads on your email list.

How To Grow Your Email List With An Opt-In

3 Simple Steps to Growing Your Email List.

Creating an opt-in may seem like a daunting task when you have no idea how to do it and your patience with tech may not be so good. You’re probably nodding your head in agreement!

But I have to say that creating an opt-in (or a freebie) is one of the best and fastest ways to grow your email list. Once you create the first one, other ideas will start flowing and soon you’ll be a pro!

Don’t worry, I’m going to make it simple for you.



So, where do you begin? I think that may be the hardest part. Getting started.

Let’s get right into it.


Offer up a great piece of content like a whitepaper, eBook, checklist, tutorial or guide.


Less is more. Make it short and sweet with the fewest words possible but also provide the most impact. Use Hemingway App editor for desktop to help with your writing.

You should map out your idea first. Begin by brainstorming different topics that you teach or specialize in.  Once you have that brainstorming list of topics, think of questions your audience has about them. After drilling that down, do an online search for opt-in ideas related to your research.

That’s it for the first step. From there you need to work on the logistics.


For a PDF opt-in, all you need are 3 things. I’ll walk you through them.

You’ve already done the leg work for the first part. You have an IDEA of what type of freebie you want to create. 

Next, to create the freebie guide or sheet, you need a simple DESIGN PROGRAM. I recommend CANVA. Canva makes the process so simple. Choose a template, modify it, and match it to your brand.


Don’t overcomplicate. Tech is not everyone’s favorite. Don’t think that the design has to be perfect or you’ll get frustrated and abandon it. Go find a design and layout you already like and use it as a blueprint for yours.

Lastly, hook up your opt-in or freebie to your EMAIL SOFTWARE (I use Constant Contact).

Set up a landing page or an automation campaign with your sign up form to capture new subscriber email addresses.


View a tutorial. Use the email help center. Or call customer service to walk you through the landing page process or automation campaign. 


At a minimum, your sign up form should have a catchy and compelling title. Tell your prospect what they’ll get or how the PDF will help them.

Collecting their email address is the only requirement but you can still ask for their first and last name. If you want to segment your email list from the get-go, create a list in your email account that coincides with the freebie and have the email address your subscriber enters be sent directly to that list using the automation tool.

You may want to add a space for their state, industry or other information that will be helpful in sending them the most relevant information tailored to them.

And, don’t forget the thank you/confirmation email that directs them to the freebie download.  Personalize the thank you form. Don’t go the generic route. Not only is it boring but they need to know more. Like how often they’ll be hearing from you, and additional content they’ll be receiving going forward. You can even add another freebie offer or a small paid offer in the thank you email.

Now that you have your idea and know the simple set-up process, it’s time to start promoting your opt-in. Soon you’ll brainstorm more ideas. And you’ll rotate your freebies on a regular basis to keep growing your email list!

I’d love to know what you decide to create. Let me know in the comments below!



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