improve email marketing

When using e-mail for your business purposes, it can be difficult to understand how to effectively market yourself and portray a professional image. This is especially important in the current market where individuals expect your quality of service to be exceptional, while providing a good price, and remaining on a reasonable schedule. We have outlined some of the steps that you can take in order to ensure that your e-mail is working for you rather than against you.

Stop using bought e-mail lists

When you buy an e-mail list, you will be reaching people who do not necessarily want anything to do with your content. This is also true for rented e-mail lists, with the exception that you cannot see the e-mail addresses that you are mailing. Furthermore, good e-mail lists won't be given up – why would someone want to tarnish their good name with their own customers by handing those customers off to the highest bidder?

Use instead opt-in e-mail lists. The option of opting into your e-mail list ensures that only people who want to receive your marketing will receive it. You have already established a type of working relationship with these people, and they already want to know what you have to say. They are then more likely to read your e-mails, and are even more likely to pass them along to their friends and colleagues. This type of spreading is what your business needs to survive, otherwise you'll just be considered spam, potentially never to reach your target audience.

Start using e-mail marketing tools

The most commonly used tool to measure the “success” of an e-mail list is the number of clicks your e-mails to receive, and many people stop there. However, this is just one component of an effective marketing strategy. Clicks don't actually do anything to prove effectiveness or efficiency; they only provide an estimate of the number of curious readers. There are a number of other tools that will provide more helpful in gauging the success of your marketing e-mails in the long run.

You should be tracking engagement over time. If someone has been on your list for two years and has only clicked ten times, they're not as interested as someone who has been on your list for six months and has clicked ten times – even though the total number of clicks is the same.

You should pay attention to your unsubscribe rate, as well as the reasons why users unsubscribe. If you are noticing that many of your users are unsubscribing, obviously they're not providing any value to you – you should therefore examine why they are unwilling to continue receiving communications from you.

Pay attention to the time your users spend viewing your e-mails. This is important because someone who actively reads the entire content of your e-mails is just as valuable to your business as someone who rarely reads the content, but clicks regularly. These people are your audience – the people who find your e-mails the most beneficial to them.

What device do your readers use to access your content? This is becoming an increasingly important concern as almost everyone is now using smart phones and tablets for business purposes. Ensuring that your content can be viewed on a variety of devices ensures that your readers will actually check your content on their current device – if they have to return to it from their computer, they are statistically unlikely to do so.

What e-mail client are they using? This goes hand-in-hand with the device optimization, as not all of your customers will be using the same e-mail clients. If you understand what clients you need to provide content for (ideally, all of them) you can make sure that your e-mails will show up properly no matter how they choose to receive their e-mail.

Track and Analyze

It's one thing to know the answers to the above questions; being able to determine how you can use it to your advantage is an entirely different subject. You must be able to evaluate the data that these marketing tools have provided you with in order to make sure that you can fix the problems. Sometimes, these problems aren't fixable – in these cases it may be best to start over.

Titles Matter – Keep them Short!

With the vast expansion of e-mail marketing, you need to be sure that your e-mails aren't ignored, or worse, unsubscribed. You need to make sure you're delivering punchy titles that effectively communicate the key points of what the e-mail will hold – typically using your target keywords. Additionally, long titles can be truncated if they don't fit. While the full subject will still be visible if the user knows how to display it, why make them go through that extra work?

Feast your brain on this excellent panel featuring Brian Clark, Doug Pray, and John Jacobsen.


The panel includes:


Brian Clark
- Founder of Copyblogger Media, and Editor in Chief for Brian is considered by most marketers to be the top authority in writing for the web, from landing page copy to blogging.

Doug Pray
- Emmy-Winning Documentary Filmmaker of of ART & COPY. Doug directs commercials for a variety of Fortune 500 clients, and co-founded Wild Mind Film Camp for documentary filmmakers.

John Jacobsen
- Executive Director of TheFilmSchool, one of the world’s top programs in screenwriting, host of "The Artist's Toolbox" (PBS), and an expert in story.


The MindFire Chats are the live component to INSIDE THE MIND, a web series covering the latest and greatest in online marketing hosted by Tommy Walker. The panels are produced by Small Biz Triage and sponsored by TheFilmSchool.


ACT has recently begun re-selling the classroom ModelMaker, but did not have a web platform to showcase the product OR a place for ModelMaker users to collaborate. They also needed a product video to help their re-sellers illustrate the paradigm-shaking potential of this new 3D-Printer.


Design and build a Joomla Website based on a pro-level Joomla 1.5 Template (RocketTheme) and integrate the following third-party components:

Forum - Kunena
eCommerce - VirtueMart
User Management - Communuty Builder

Produce a 60-second video targeted to educators.


ModelMaker NATION


Bronzer Salon was referred to us by one of our peers from a few years back.  A mother and daughter started an airbrush tanning and makeup business in Edmonds in late September and were experiencing meager growth.  As always is the case with Small Biz Triage, there was not much budget to work with, and they needed more customers yesterday.



Rich and I threw around a LOT of ideas when we met with Bronzer last week.  Ultimately, we realized that they are driven / focused enough to implement some effective marketing strategies with some coaching.  So, I'm helping them get their marketing platforms and tools installed and configured (Facebook Page, Twitter, HootSuite, MailChimp, coupon design/printing) and will train them on using them.  Rich is going to coach them through a variety of sales techniques to increase the rate of prospects, covering everything from spurring referrals through targeted networking, to overcoming objections on phone and email inquiries.

It's a rare treat to work with such a fantastic pair, who truly care about helping their customers feel beautiful with every visit.  We were inspired to take a hard look at our own businesses and make sure

More updates to come ...

- Nate -

My name is Rich and I'm Nate Wright's partner in crime in Small Biz Triage.

I met Nate about 5 years ago while we were both working for one of the largest multinational staffing firms in the world. Nate was at any given time the #1 Sr. Executive Recruiter in our IT division, and at that time I was launching the companies Contact Center consulting division in the Pacific Northwest. Nate had more talent, character and impact expressed in a single conversation than nearly any other person I've EVER met (which is saying a lot, since I pride myself on having built developed a far above average amount of strong long lasting relationships).

I feel like NOT telling every new person I meet about Nate would be an injustice to them! His motto, to live a "story worthy life", his method, to make each and ever conversation "brutally honest" and to never stop dreaming bigger than he did yesterday!

Nate has the gorilla style marketing and advertising chops of a 50 year veteran, the likes of which the world hasn't seen since the launch of Microsoft and the Snickers candy-bar! He is a no holds barred, brilliant character and has the, what I believe to be, great honor of sharing results in business versus lip service or smoke in mirrors; something I believe you'd agree is a rare trait these days

- Rich Thompson -

Oceanside, CA
Glendale, CA

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