As soon as Mark Zuckerberg announced new Facebook Newsfeed changes to focus more on “meaningful interactions” between its users, you could almost hear the cries of business owners everywhere. Why? Well, posts that business publish are being downgraded in favor of posts from friends and families.
In short, organic reach for posts made by publishers, store owners, etc. will go down, even if you already had amazing reach before.
But before you lose all hope and abandon Facebook for your business, there are four things you can do to respond to these changes.
Ask your audience to prioritize your posts.
Probably the easiest change you can make is to ask your audience to prioritize your posts by activating the See First feature:
Post less instead of more, and make it engaging.
In fact, stop all automated posting of content from your blog. Post original content that will encourage your followers to interact with the post. But, be careful not to make it engagement bait; that is, don’t ask people to like or comment on your post. That is probably even more detrimental to your reach than posting content that doesn’t result in any engagement. Here are some examples, courtesy of Facebook:
Here’s an example from Mari Smith’s Facebook page for a post that asks a question without asking for likes or comments::
And when you start to get engagement, keep the conversation going by getting involved. It gives your followers more of a sense of community, which is the ultimate aim of the Facebook Newsfeed changes.
Go Live more often.
Most people hate the idea of being on camera, but given that Facebook’s announcement says Live videos average 6 times the engagement, it’s going to be a necessity for reaching your audience. While it may seem scary at first, it will get easier as you do it more often. Here are a few suggestions to get your creative juices flowing:
- Report on major industry updates. .
- Show your followers how you make your products.
- Hold an “Ask Me Anything” session.
- Do a meet and greet with some of your staff members to give your followers a peek behind the scenes.
If you’re really nervous, try writing an outline of what you want to talk about rather than ad libbing the entire video.
Use Facebook Ads.
If you haven’t been using Facebook Ads up until now, it’s probably a good idea to start boosting your most important posts. While ad costs will probably go up, you can combat that by having really good copy, a high quality video, targeted audience, and the correct ad objectives. If you need help with this, the Smart to Finish team can set up and manage your Facebook Ad campaign.
We hope these tips have helped you feel a little better about the new Facebook Newsfeed changes. Please contact us with any questions you may have. We’re here to help!
Are you ready to start 2018 off with more time and more money? The Infusionsoft mobile app will help you achieve these New Years’ resolutions easily, all without being tethered to your desk. How cool is that?
I know, you’re probably thinking, another app – ugh! I get it! You have a million software programs and apps, but this one will do the work of many for you.
The Infusionsoft mobile app will help you stay organized, connected with your community, make more sales and…it’s FREE for 12 months! Amazing! It’s still in beta version, so grab it now while you can and benefit from all the future updates.
All you have to do is sign up, connect your business email accounts, and you’re off and running.
The key feature of this new app is that is makes contact follow-up a breeze. This app makes it easy to:
- Get back to someone about a coaching call or a speaking opportunity
- See if they’re ready to make that purchase
- Answer a general question
I know what you’re thinking – doesn’t email do that already? Nope, not like this.
The Infusionsoft mobile app identifies all of the interactions you have with clients or new leads from all of the apps you use, such as your Gmail accounts, Yahoo email, Mac email, QuickBooks, and organizes them all in ONE place!
The app lets you know when you need to follow up AND even provides recommended responses for you. It’s like having one of the Smart to Finish Team on your phone. 😉
If you know you want to check back with someone at a later time, you can schedule an email for a later time and date. If you need to change the reply later, you can do that too. This app is great because it lets you stay on top of everything and will help your community feel the love.
You can also set reminders about important dates, track invoice due dates, payments received (or not – yuck!), and set up automated follow-ups about these items. It’s just another way to automate your business and your life.
The Infusionsoft app is still in beta test mode, so you may see a glitch or two. But it’s free and totally worth a look. We love Infusionsoft because they are constantly innovating and releasing new and better ways to help you make the most of marketing automation.
Another piece of Infusionsoft news – no user conference this year. Some folks were disappointed, but I think it’s GREAT news because they’ve committed to focus all of their resources on improving their flagship Infusionsoft product. They also want to build out more resources like the new Infusionsoft app to ensure they are truly focused, like the Smart to Finish Team is on helping small businesses succeed.
Ready to learn more about the new Infusionsoft app, or need help with your Infusionsoft account? My team of experts is standing by to help you make the most of your Infusionsoft account in 2018 – contact us to get started.
As a virtual assistant service (emphasis on virtual here!), we know our way around tools and apps for running an online business that allow us to work with clients near and far. You might even wonder what tools we use. Well, we’ve put together a list of the back-end systems we use and have used in the past to help our clients run their businesses successfully.
We use this amazing suite of services powered by Google to power our email, our internal file storage and management, and team calendar. For a reasonable price, we have a secure network where we can have multiple people working on the same document, get a decent amount of storage space, and easily share documents.
Glip by RingCentral
We used to use Skype to communicate with our internal team in real time, but since we found Glip, we haven’t looked back! ! It allows us to have different chat rooms for different aspects of our business and have video calls. Plus it runs in your web browser, so it doesn’t bog down your system with yet another app running in the background. There’s even an app for your smartphone to be able to communicate on the go.
Teamwork is our main task management tool. Tasks are assigned to our various team members, and they track their progress through comments. Tasks appear in each team member’s task dashboard, showing them tasks due today, upcoming tasks, and late tasks (we hate late tasks, but they do happen!).
Tired of manually scheduling your social media messages? Then we suggest using Hootsuite. They have a “freemium” plan that allows you to schedule up to 3 social profiles, get basic analytics, and schedule up to 30 messages. Paid plans start at $19 per month.
If you are in need of an amazing service to design logos, banners, flyers, and social media images, but you aren’t a designer, then we recommend Canva. It has a highly intuitive interface and a ton of ready-made templates to help you get your creative juices Create your own logos, banners, flyers and much more with their intuitive interface.
Now that you know about Canva, you’re probably in need of some amazing stock photos. We use GraphicStock for most of our photo needs and recommend it because it is has high-quality photos at an affordable price.
Infusionsoft is a one-stop CRM, marketing automation, lead capture, and e-commerce software that is used by a number of online businesses to streamline the customer life-cycle. We use it for our own business needs, and we also offer expert Infusionsoft management services.
These are also services we recommend if you need some additional resources to compare:
- Buffer: Another social media scheduling service with a free option.
- 1ShoppingCart: This is a good option if you are just starting out in ecommerce and email marketing.
- Easy Webinar: Create and automate evergreen webinars with this application.
- Mailchimp and AWeber: Need email marketing software? Check these two out.
If you have any questions about how we can help you set up our favorite tools and apps and work behind the scenes running them for you, just check out what we do and give us a holler.
Did that get your attention? I hope so because keeping your email list clean is a very important topic related to Infusionsoft. However, the tips below also apply to ANY email marketing software.
What is throttling anyway? If you use Infusionsoft and upload a new contact list, the system will place a temporary hold (aka throttle) those new emails when you send your first message.
In a nutshell, Infusionsoft will send out your emails slowly to minimize SPAM complaints against their email servers. You may have been emailing these contacts from another system, but they are new to Infusionsoft. So any time you import a new contact list, throttling will occur. Throttling also happens if you haven’t emailed your list in 4 months or longer – see more on this below.
Infusionsoft will send your email to a portion of your list during a 16-hour throttling period. If the complaint level stays below the .1% rate (or 1 spam complaints out of 1000 for cold emails per email/internet service provider) during the throttle, the rest of the emails in the batch will be sent. Once the cold emails are sent, a full 24 hours is needed after the end time on the email for the list to be considered warm. For example, you send an email at 5 PM EST to cold emails, the list will be considered warm after 5 PM EST the following day. You can read more about Infusionsoft’s cold email throttling policy here.
We hear a lot of people complain about the throttling practice, but it really is designed to protect the sender reputation for you, Infusionsoft and other Infusionsoft clients too. Think about it this way, if another Infusionsoft user uploaded a list that they didn’t have permission to email and sent out thousands of emails to people who all view the message as spam, this not only affects them, it affects how all of those email systems view emails coming from Infusionsoft. For example, Gmail could see that thousands of people are marking emails coming from Infusionsoft as Spam and put a negative rating on Infusionsoft. What does that mean for you? Well, it could cause you to have your emails to be rejected by Gmail in the future – OUCH!
That’s why cold email throttling matters.
So, what do you do about it?
1. Email Your List Regularly!
A key component of digital marketing is to establish a relationship with your customers and leads. You can only do that by regularly communicating with them. Don’t wait until you want to sell something to email your list, keep in touch regularly. Send out a weekly update, set up nurturing sequences to keep people engaged after they opt-in for one of your products, share your thoughts on current events and how they relate to your niche, just keep in touch! This will help you avoid email throttling and ensure that when you have your next product launch your list is primed to buy.
Also, if you are using another email system and importing those contacts into Infusionsoft, they will be much less likely to mark your emails as Spam because they are use to seeing updates from you.
2. Keep Your List Clean:
No matter where your list is housed, you need to regularly perform list hygiene. You should ensure that your list is current, engaged, and deliverable. Do a regular cleanup and remove hard bounces, put people who haven’t opened an email in the past 6-months through a re-engagement campaign, and consider either removing or segmenting people out who haven’t opened in an email in 12 months or longer. I know it’s tough to delete contacts, but the number of contacts means nothing if people aren’t reading your emails. Engagement is the metric to look at, not the number of people on the list. If you keep your email list clean, if you move to a new email provider (like Infusionsoft!), you’ll have a much easier time importing your list and a less likely chance of having any issues.
3. Your first message should not be time sensitive.
If you are importing a new email list into Infusionsoft, plan ahead so that the first email you send out is not time sensitive. You may want to just send an email out letting your list know you’ve moved to a new system, give them a free gift, and let them know about any other changes you made, too (like rebranding). That way they won’t be surprised to see a different email from you and be less likely to mark it as spam.
If you keep your email list up to date, regularly communicate with them, and your first email from Infusionsoft is not time sensitive, you’ll avoid all of the cold email throttling pitfalls. There are workarounds out there to avoid the throttling or lessen its impact. However, like with any work-around they are not ideal methods. Following the above steps will ensure your sender reputation remains pristine.
For more advice on list maintenance, setting up your Infusionsoft account or for ongoing Infusionsoft support, contact the Smart to Finish Team. Our Infusionsoft experts are standing by to help.
You did it – you up-leveled your email marketing software, and have your shiny new Infusionsoft account. Or…you’ve had your Infusionsoft account for a while, and you’re ready to really get it working for you. So, what’s next? Do you jump in and start setting up products, creating campaigns, building landing pages, designing email templates and go for it? The short answer – NO!
Like anything else in business, you need to PLAN AHEAD and set up Infusionsoft so it works for YOUR business. If you don’t think about how you want to maintain your Infusionsoft account and how you will actually use the data, you could wind up with a mess later on.
Consider these 3 tips to avoid an Infusionsoft catastrophe:
1. Think about the future.
It’s time to change your mindset from working with your old CRM. Infusionsoft isn’t just about entering data today –i t’s about how to use the data collected today for ongoing marketing and automation. This means taking a look at your entire marketing process, or as Infusionsoft calls it — Lifecycle Marketing. You want to map out what this looks like for your business, see if you have any gaps and then you’ll know what you really need.
2. Be methodical with your setup.
An organized Infusionsoft account makes for a happy Infusionsoft user. Take time before you start importing lists and building out campaigns to consider how you want to organize your tags, your campaigns, what product categories you want, etc. The time you spend in the beginning will be so helpful down the road.
For example, if you use tags to kick-off any type of automation, you’ll want a way to easily see this. You may not remember in 6 months that if you apply the tag: “New Prospect” the person automatically receives a welcome email. So when you or your assistant run a report later and see some contacts without the tag, you apply it. But…they aren’t really new and don’t need the welcome email. Uh-oh….now you have a few hundred confused contacts.
PRO TIP: Use “Automation” as a tag category, and you’ll be able to see at-a-glance which tags make stuff happen. The effort to organize is worth it – you’ll thank me later.
3. Ask for help.
Infusionsoft has a User Forum, Help Center, Facebook Group, and more that you can access for free to get support when you’re stuck. You can also work with a team (like us!) that can guide you through setting up your new Infusionsoft account, organizing your existing account or even doing an audit to recommend ways you can improve how you’re using Infusionsoft. Don’t be afraid to ask for support. We were all new once and love to help. Asking for advice now can save you a lot of time later.
Create your Infusionsoft strategy now to save yourself frustration and a potential catastrophe later. Use the tips above and check out other Infusionsoft articles and resource from the blog to guide you along the way, and reach out for expert support.
When stepping into the Facebook Ads arena to help promote your business, it can be overwhelming to learn that there are ten categories of Facebook ads. Yes, TEN! And on top of that, there are different ad formats to choose from. So which category and format is the best for your needs? It depends.
Here is a quick rundown of each ad type and what their objectives are:
Facebook Ad Types
- App installs: Promote downloads and installations of your desktop or mobile app
- Brand awareness: Help get your brand noticed by a new audience
- Conversions: Get people to perform specific actions on your website, such as purchase a product or subscribe to your email list.
- Engagement: Drive people to your page or a post on your page to increase the number of likes, comments, shares, video views, or photo views. Also used for event promotion.
- Lead generation: Get people to sign up for your email list and add them to your sales funnel.
- Reach: Get your ad noticed by as many people as possible.
- Product sales catalog: Show people ads for products that they are most likely to purchase.
- Store visits: Get people to visit your brick and mortar store.
- Traffic: Drive traffic to a website.
- Video views: Get your video out in front of as many people as possible to promote brand awareness.
And within those objectives, there are six Facebook ad formats to choose from:
This is just what it sounds like. Just know that images can have no more than 20% of it be text if you want it to be seen by as many people as possible. Use this Facebook ad image tool to see if your image meets the requirements.
- Campaign types: All except video views
- Facebook ad image sizes: 1200 x 628 pixels
Video is where it’s at when it comes to engagement on Facebook. Here are the specs to keep in mind when making your video (but for the most impact, the shorter the video, the better):
- Campaign types: All
- Facebook ad image sizes (thumbnail): Minimum width 600 pixels; match length to video aspect ratio
- Facebook ad dimensions: Video aspect ratio of 16:9 (full landscape) or 1:1 (square) for all objectives; other aspect ratios available for specific campaign types
- Maximum video length: 120 minutes
Slideshow Video Ads
Don’t have the time or ability to make a video? Why not create one from still images (up to 10). Just add captions, and voila! You have a video ad with very little effort.
- Campaign types: All except post engagement and product catalog sales
- Facebook ad image sizes: 1280 x 720 pixels
While this may seem similar to a slideshow video ad, it’s not. You can display up to 10 photos OR videos in your ad, but they will be presented in one post that displays the images separately.
- Campaign types: All except post engagement and product catalog sales
- Facebook ad image sizes: 600 x 600 pixels
- Maximum video length: 2 minutes combined
This is a mobile-only ad that shows off multiple products or features.
- Campaign types: Conversions, traffic
- Facebook ad image sizes: 1200 x 628 pixels
One of Facebook’s newer formats, it’s almost like a sales page incorporating text, up to 20 photos, and video.
- Campaign types: Brand awareness, conversions, engagement
- Facebook ad size: Full screen
- Facebook ad image sizes: 66 x 882 pixels (header); 1080 x 1920 pixels (full-screen image)
Still confused about Facebook ads? Why not contact us at Smart to Finish. We will work with you on determining which ad category best suits your needs and get your Facebook ad campaign underway.
Facebook Groups have become a great tool for promoting your business on social media. Yep! They aren’t just for sharing recipes or being a part of a fan club. With more than a billion Facebook users engaging in groups each month, you should learn how to use Facebook Groups for business. When done correctly, they can play an important part in growing your business.
Now, a Facebook Group should not replace your Facebook Page. Why? Your Facebook Page is your public face. It’s where you do the most self promotion. Things you share on your Facebook Page will show up in public newsfeeds.
A Facebook Group is meant to be a more intimate setting for your best customers, your clients, paid program members, etc. Information you share in your group will only show up in your group members’ feeds, even if it has a public privacy setting. Closed and secret groups will keep all of the information shared in it under wraps.
So, what can you do with a Facebook Group that you can’t do with a Facebook Page? Here are a few ideas:
1. Provide customer service
Have a loyal customer following or clients? Use your group as a means for them to contact you if they have questions or need help. You can also use it to offer advice and get your members to share any advice they may have. This creates a strong sense of community, which is the backbone of any successful Facebook Group.
2. Publicize and profit off of a product, program, or service
Do you own a service-based business? You can set up and funnel all of your potential clients into a Facebook Group. Try promoting it in your email list or even on your public Facebook Page. Because a group is a more intimate, connected setting, you have a better relationship with your members. And a better relationship and a sense of trust can often lead to new clients and thus more revenue.
3. Promote an event
With a lot of your customers already active on Facebook, promoting an online event is a great way to generate activity and interest in your business. You should make it a time-limited event and offer content or other incentive (like a contest) to generate excitement.
Just remember a Facebook Group is not about you, but about the people in it. Too much blatant self promotion can backfire on you. Concentrate more on providing value by sharing content and advice your group members find useful for a more natural approach to self promotion.
So now that you know how to use Facebook Groups for business, contact the Smart to Finish team to get one set up in no time flat. The sooner you have one, the sooner you can get to growing your business!
It’s here! The new Infusionsoft Landing Page Builder is here, and I think you’re going to LOVE it. There are templates, stock images, a ton of customization options, and so much more. Watch the video below to learn how to create Infusionsoft landing pages and see some of the options in actions.
If you’re ready to implement Infusionsoft Landing Pages for your business, contact the Smart to Finish Team.
Need more Infusionsoft tips? You might also like these articles:
Social media isn’t just for sharing funny cat videos and pictures of your kid’s birthday party. If you’re a small business owner, and you are not using social media to market your business, then you are missing out. Used correctly, social media is a valuable tool for meeting your marketing goals. It can help you do the following:
- Increase brand awareness
- Communicate with and interact with your audience
- Increase website traffic
- Build conversions
To help you get started on social media, we’ve put together a list of social media marketing tips:
Create a Social Strategy
This is number one in our list of social media marketing tips for a reason. As with any marketing campaign, a clear plan of action and an end-goal are key to a successful social marketing strategy. You should be asking yourself these questions:
- What do you want to accomplish with social media marketing?
- Who are you trying to reach (i.e., your target audience)?
Decide Which Social Media Networks You Should Prioritize
You don’t need to be on ALL of the social media networks. It’s best to focus on 2 to 3 networks, depending on what your business offers. For instance, if you own a business that is visually oriented (e.g., e-commerce, travel agency, etc.) you should probably focus your efforts on Pinterest and Instagram.
Develop a Content Strategy for Each Platform
You should do some competitor research and keyword research to come up with ideas for content that will interest your target audience. Create a social media calendar to map your content.
Share Engaging Social Content
A good rule of thumb for sharing content on social media is to share 80% external content and 20% your own. By sharing valuable external content, you are making yourself the go-to source for your audience. Not only will you develop trust with your followers, but you may also get some shares in return. Some ideas for external content include videos, articles from industry leaders, infographics, social media images and memes, etc.
Create Your Own Amazing Content to Share
Once you have a loyal following and have established trust, start developing high-quality content and posting it more often. People will be more likely to visit your website, read your content, and share it on social media. This a type of content marketing, and it works hand-in-hand with social media marketing.
Leverage Paid Advertising
The nice thing about paid advertising on social media is that you can develop a highly targeted ad campaign directed at your target audience. Especially in the case of Facebook Ads, you can research your audience’s likes and interests and create a laser-focused ad campaign at a reasonable cost.
So now that you have a few basic social media marketing tips to get started, why not contact us at Smart to Finish? We can help you develop a social marketing strategy to add to your other marketing efforts and increase your bottom line.
If you are using Infusionsoft to automate your marketing, you may know that there is a huge assortment of add-ons and tools that can make Infusionsoft work even better for your business. Our clients ask for our recommendations all the time, and I’m sharing my five top Infusionsoft apps with you today:
If you want to customize the look and feel of your Infusionsoft order forms without having to write any code, Spiffy is the solution. Here are some of my favorite features:
- It works with your existing Infusionsoft order forms.
- It has a ton of customization options.
- You don’t have to worry about any hard-to-implement integrations.
All forms are mobile-ready, and if you can copy/paste a hyperlink, that’s all it takes to get your forms looking great. Some of the options include: a mobile-friendly keypad for entering card numbers quickly and easily, ability to customize your browser icon and meta title, an option to add a link to your Terms & Conditions without having to use any code(!), an easy way to change the size of your payment buttons making them big and sleek, and so much more.
Infusionsoft has a free plugin that connects WordPress directly to Infusionsoft. With the plugin, anytime a user fills out your opt-in form on WordPress, they’ll automatically be added into Infusionsoft. Then, any automation campaigns you’ve set up will run. You can install the plugin directly inside of WordPress with just a few clicks. The plugin makes it easy to kick-off sequences like thank you emails, triggered phone calls, newsletter delivery, and drip nurture campaigns. You can read our full review and see a step-by-step guide here.
With Zapier you can create powerful, automated workflows without writing or even understanding any code. Zapier connects the other software systems you use and updates your Infusionsoft contacts so you don’t have to waste time copying/pasting data from one system to another. It’s easy to set-up a “zap” and sync data between your systems.
You can connect hundreds of other software sites using a zap such as:
- Google Calendar
- Facebook ads
And there are many more, too. Imagine entering data on a Google Sheet and having that data automatically update an Infusionsoft contact, apply a tag to that record, and then kick-off a campaign! That’s just one example; the possibilities to streamline your workflow are endless.
Similar to Zapier, MyFusion Helper is a collection of 50+ Helper applets to extend the capabilities of Infusionsoft. They integrate with systems like DropBox, Trello, Excel (plus many others!) and have some really cool date and formatting functions you can use. A great example of this is related to product refunds. If you have a 30-day refund policy, you can add a date helper that will calculate when the 30-day refund time period is over. Then, it will set up internal practices on how to handle refunds outside of this time period.
Another helper that I absolutely love is Email Validate It. Today more than ever, email deliverability is vitally important. The Email Validate It Helper makes sure that the email the user typed in is valid. Many times people make small typos that cause emails to bounce. The Email Validate It Helper finds those mistakes, flags them, and even finds other root issues or potential problems with the email itself.
There are also helpers that integrate with Vimeo and Wistia that allow you apply a tag based on how long someone watches you video. What’s great is that with one small monthly fee, you get access to ALL of the helpers – with no limits! Not sure if it’s right for you? There’s a FREE 30-day trial!
Wicked Reports transforms your Infusionsoft data into clear, actionable information. You can easily see the following information:
- Which emails make sales
- The best time to send your emails
- Which Facebook ads provide leads that turn into your best customers
- The entire click journey of a customer in an easy to read display
In addition to showing you Infusionsoft data, Wicked Reports syncs data between Facebook ads, Google Adwords, Google Analytics, and Infusionsoft so everything is in one place. There’s no need to create Excel reports and manually enter data. Understanding how your marketing is actually working is the first step to taking your business to the next level, and Wicked Reports makes that easy.
If you’re ready to take get the most out of your Infusionsoft app, or even get started with marketing automation, contact the Smart to Finish Team. Our Infusionsoft experts are standing by to help!