The Best Email Marketing Service: Is a Virtual Assistant the Answer?

The Best Email Marketing Service: Is a Virtual Assistant the Answer?

Wondering what the best email marketing service for your business is? You have email marketing that needs to get done. The time demands, however, can sap the strength you and your staff require to meet daily customer needs. Still, it has to happen.

Yes, growing your customer base is critical. No, you don’t want to lose existing customers because you can’t keep up with their needs while sinking time into email marketing.

What can be done if you’re facing a similar challenge? A virtual assistant, or better yet, a virtual assistant team may be the answer to your web marketing struggles. Here are a few of many reasons why the best email marketing service for your business may be provided by a virtual assistant.

Help Creating Your Email List

Deciding who is and isn’t a good lead for your email marketing strategy can be time consuming. From qualifying leads to compiling them in a coherent manner, there’s plenty of work to be done.

You also may need to upload info from potential clients or customers who signed up manually during a marketing event or exposition. These contacts can then be added to a spreadsheet and eventually to your platform. A skilled marketing assistant can help you get your email list in working order. That way, your campaign will run smoother and reach the correct demographic.

Email Templates Created by a Virtual Assistant

Your business’s email marketing campaign can get stuck in the mud before it ever gets going without the creation of quality email templates. Worse yet, those templates won’t convert like you’d hoped if they’re “thrown together”.

A virtual assistant or virtual assistant team can help you to create winning templates that score big leads. Text, font and graphics all need serious attention but it takes more than that. You need email templates that speak to your customers’ pain points and encourage them to take action.

Scheduling and Sending Emails

Once you’ve established your email list and created effective templates, it’ll be time for scheduling and sending emails. Your virtual assistant can work with you to decide on the best timing and frequency of your emails to maximize results.

Having help with email scheduling will eliminate your worry that you may forget to manually send those emails. Instead, they’ll just go out to your email list at the prescribed times.

Tracking Your Email Marketing Results Through Remote Assistance

Once you’ve put all that time into your email marketing strategy, you’ll definitely be interested in your results. Many platforms have inbuilt analytics systems for easy access to this information.

A virtual assistant can provide this research and compile relevant marketing summaries for your business. Things like measuring your click-through rates and comparing them with industry averages will be a cinch.

Analyzing and tweaking what days and times you received the best response rates will be easy as well. This research will enable your company to grow even more efficient at your email marketing efforts.

Do You Need Some Help with Your Email Marketing Campaign?

Smart to Finish strives to be the very best email marketing service available but that’s not all we do. We have an entire team of virtual assistants who can help you with a variety of services. You and your staff likely have enough on your plate already. Our virtual assistants can help you every step of the way.

Do you have more specific questions related to your industry type and our email services? If so, you can schedule a free 30-minute consultation to get a better idea of what we can do for you.

Marketing Management for Your Business: Is Email Dead?

Marketing Management for Your Business: Is Email Dead?

Want to start an email campaign as part of your marketing management strategy? If so, you want to be sure it’ll be effective before sinking a bunch of time and resources into your efforts. You’re not interested in strategies that could be obsolete before you even begin.

Word-of-mouth customers or clients are the “gold standard” for businesses. That said, most need other marketing efforts to keep the desired revenue coming in over the long haul.

Should part of your business marketing strategy include email? Or, is it dead on arrival these days? Let’s take a look.

Email Marketing Isn’t Dead

Although times are constantly changing, email marketing certainly isn’t dead. Forbes communicated this much in their recent article entitled, “Email is Not Dead, It’s Evolving.”

The “evolving” part would sum up any current type of business marketing quite well. More than ever, marketing strategies are changing, sometimes at breakneck speeds.

The article also shares that 59% of business-to-business marketers consider email their best strategy for generating revenue. In other words, email marketing is working just fine and a large segment of society continues to regularly use it.

It shouldn’t come as a surprise, then, that many businesses are open to seeking help with email marketing or other email services from outside companies. The high level of response received from this form of marketing makes that a no-brainer for many.

The Future May Not Be as Email-Heavy

So, will email phase out in the near future? It’s not likely anytime soon although Generation Z displays some aversion to it. This younger crowd gravitates towards communication on social media more than any other age group. In fact, some don’t even have an email account.
While that might sound unthinkable, like when we all started ditching our landline phones years ago for cells, some of it makes a lot of sense.

First, messaging through social media (at least for now) cuts down on time spent erasing spammy or irrelevant communication. Secondly, it allows those interacting to find out more about each other through profiles and media, making it more personal than email.

It’s Always Good to Vary Your Marketing Management Efforts

While email marketing, as we’ve seen, is an integral aspect of many of today’s marketing strategies, that doesn’t mean it’s the only one. Often, the best marketing plans involve several different types working together.

That could be anything from social media marketing like LinkedIn, direct mail, email or more. Just like cross-training leads to a stronger body, a varied marketing plan will likely help to keep things stable and strong for your business.

Plus, if one marketing attempt suddenly falls flat, you’ll already be implementing other forms.

Need Some Help with Marketing Management for Your Business?

The reality is that marketing management can eat up a lot of time that your business needs for other tasks. It could be smart to outsource your marketing in that case. The best email marketing service can provide a varied repertoire of marketing possibilities.

Our team at Smart to Finish can help with email marketing and a number of other internet marketing strategies. And the good news is you won’t need to chase clients or customers anymore. Also, you’ll be able to focus more on building relationships with people who are already interested in what you have to offer.

If you’d like to learn more about our marketing management services, we’d be happy to chat with you. You can schedule a free consultation with us.

Time Management

Time Management

People have always valued the essence of time. However, only a few people have mastered the skill of properly allocating their time for their work. We see a lot of books in book shops claiming they have the secret to proper time management. But do we really have to pay just to understand the secret of proper time management?

You really don’t have to buy these books to understand the secret of Proper Time Management. All you need is common sense and discipline. However, there are more reliable ways to achieve your goal. Here are a few tips to help you manage your time.

Before you go and start making a list of things you need to do, you have to realize that the list will never work if you won’t back it up with discipline. When talking about discipline here, it means you have to know your own priorities as well to guide you in abiding with the rules that you have set for yourself.

1. List a Set of things to do For the Day

This is the traditional way to proper time management. Make a list of things you have to do for the day to keep you informed on what to do for the day. The list will help you to avoid distractions if any should arise during the day.

It is recommended to create a flexible “to do list”; having a flexible list allows you to fit unexpected events and occasions (only important ones) without destroying the whole list.

2. Change Bad Time Management Habits

It usually helps for starters to change their Bad Time Management Habits. If you reflect on your everyday activities, you’d probably realize that you spend a lot of time watching too much TV or other forms of leisure. It is okay to spend time on leisure, but never when it exceeds the alloted time for it. Changing these habits would increase your time to do more meaningful activities.

3. Set some things to do for the day as top priority

The idea of setting hierarchies among your list of priorities is that those on top of the list are what you need to attend to first. It also helps you to finish on time when you use it in conjunction with your “to-do” list and daily timetable.

4. Learn how to say “NO”

When offered to do something, most people have trouble refusing. Hence, they are confronted with more tasks than they can manage. This is more important when it comes to tasks that are less important, such as watching a movie or going to a football game. You have to remember that once you have completed your pending tasks, you will have time to enjoy yourself.

If you’re planning to go out, you have to plan this a few days ahead. Therefore, you can finish your task ahead as well to save enough time for these long breaks.

5. Dividing your workload

This is specially helpful when working with other people as a team. You don’t have to do everything yourself. When you divide your workload, people tend to finish faster because they can focus on doing a specific task.

6. Keeping your workplace clean and organized

When your workplace is a mess, it is usually hard to look for things underneath the pile. Sometimes it takes hours for you to look for a lost paper on a cluttered pile. Therefore keeping things organized improves your over-all efficiency.

7. Setting Goals for yourself

Having practical and achievable goals for yourself is an important step in proper time management. Setting goals keeps you motivated to do your job well. Remember that you need efficiency to get things done the right way.

These 7 tips are a great start to more effective time management. However, you may still find that there is simply not enough time in the day to handle all the tasks on your list. It should be added that another tip for proficient time management is knowing when to delegate!

When you delegate a portion of your workload to our Virtual Assistants (VA) at Smart to Finish, you gain extra time to work on your most valuable skillsets. We’re here to help, contact us to schedule a free 30-minute consultation.

Work-life Balance

Work-life Balance

“You will never feel truly satisfied by work until you are satisfied by life.” – Heather Schuck

Maintaining a healthy work-life balance is a crucial element to both business success and personal happiness. For entrepreneurs, this is often easier said than done. Work time tends to spill over into personal time, and the line of separation between the two becomes blurred. Surprisingly, the key to managing both can often be boiled down into two simple words of advice

Schedule it

As a successful business owner, you likely already plan out much of your work day in advance. Whether you maintain your own schedule or delegate projects to a virtual assistant (VA), the simple act of carving out time for necessary tasks sets you up for effective time management.

Although this seems so basic to essential business functioning, it is often lost when it comes to planning our personal lives. Grocery store trips, exercise, relaxation, or time away is not treated with the same level of priority (or may feel silly to schedule on a calendar).

We make the mistake of assuming we will find the time to handle these functions as they arise. For an already stretched-thin business owner, that time can be few and far between!

 “You will never find time for anything. If you want time, you must make it.”

Charles Buxton

Creating time

For personal health, family, fun and relaxation is essential for a healthy work/life balance. Regardless of its appeal, this notion can feel intimidating (or impossible) to an entrepreneur who is already bogged down with more than they feel they have time to manage. They may wonder “how can I commit to scheduling personal time, when I am short on work time the way it is? What about the spontaneous challenges that are bound to arise?”

If you find there are simply not enough hours in the day, perhaps it’s time to consider hiring an assistant.  

“You can do anything, but not everything” – David Allen

As a business owner, giving up (some) control of the reigns can be the most difficult – and most profitable – decision you make. By allowing yourself to focus on your strengths, you can increase growth and profitability while delegating everything else to your VA. A quality virtual assistant or team of virtual assistants can handle anything from marketing and growing your business, social media, SEO, administrative tasks, customer service, accounting, website design, and more. While you maintain control over all executive decisions, your VA acts as your right hand: keeping everything running smoothly.

By freeing up space on your calendar and scheduling times to focus on personal health, relaxation and family commitments, you are able to keep a properly balanced life – offering your best self to your clients, business, colleagues.

Setting up A Solid Sales Funnel (Part 1)

Setting up A Solid Sales Funnel (Part 1)

A solid sales funnel is arguably the most important part of any internet marketing effort.

You can do everything else right in your internet marketing efforts and if you don’t create a really great sales funnel that actually works, your entire endeavor could collapse.

In this post, we will be covering the entire buying cycle, so that you see what happens to the customer as they go through your funnel, and we will also discuss some of the most common sales funnels out there and how to use them on your own website.

What is a Sales Funnel?

So, you might be wondering just what exactly a sales funnel is. Sales funnels aren’t complicated, but they can be a little confusing to anyone who is new to the internet marketing business.

Basically, a sales funnel is simply the process that someone goes through to buy a product or service from you. The reason that it is called a “funnel” is that everything within the process is geared towards them making a purchase at the end.

The Sales Process

In order to understand the sales funnel, the first thing that you need to understand is the sales process, which is essentially the framework of the funnel. We will go over each step of the process below and explain it in detail.

Awareness

The first step in the process is the awareness phase. Remember, every sale that you make is not only a value proposition – it is also a solution to a problem. The customer is looking for a solution and you need to be there to provide it. So, the first step in the process is them becoming aware of the solution. You don’t have to worry about the problem; they are already bringing that part with them.

So, suppose someone gets online and opens up their favorite search engine, then types in “sleeping bag for 20 below weather.” They are looking for a sleeping bag that is going to keep them warm.

If you know that they are looking for that sleeping bag, then you can get them to come and check out your site. All you need to do is get their eyeballs to land on your listing in Google and have an HTML title that speaks to them.

In this case it might be something like: Sleeping Bags for Extremely Cold Weather.

Interest

So, now you move onto the next stage in the process. Now, you have their interest. They want to know what you have to say, and find out whether or not you really have the best solution to their problem. But you only have their interest temporarily.

They are not yet invested in your sleeping bag website. They are just a casual visitor. It’s your job to groom that interest and make it grow.

So, for example, if they get to your landing page, and you have a number of sleeping bags with the temperate rating listed on each one, they’re probably going to take a closer look.

But they might also take a closer look if you had an eBook titled: “How to Choose the Perfect Cold Weather Sleeping Bag,” or an article titled: “10 Tricks to Make Cold-Weather Sleeping Bags out of Average Ones.”

Evaluation

Next, they’ll move onto the evaluation phase of the proposition. The evaluation stage is where they compare your product against what they were looking for in the first place, as well as other products.

For example, suppose that you had the aforementioned cold weather sleeping bags listed on your site. A visitor might see them and buy, but they could just as easily think: “What if I can get a lower price somewhere else?”

Now, imagine that you had some way of convincing them that they won’t be able to get a lower price anywhere else. Do you see how drastically that turns the odds to your favor?

Of course, the trick is to actually convince them. Just putting the phrase: “You won’t find a lower price anywhere!” is probably not going to do it. People are savvy when it comes to advertising, so you’ll have to get creative.

Decision

So, the next thing that will happen is your buyer will make a decision. They will decide one simple thing: whether to buy your product or not. If you have done a good job and convinced them that your product will solve their problem, then they are likely going to buy. If not, they will go elsewhere.

Making that decision depends upon what you have presented them with in the evaluation stage. If you have made a good pitch then they will make the buying decision.

But when it comes to a sales funnel, them saying “no” doesn’t have to be final. For example, you could have a pop-up when they close the browser window that offers them a discount.

Purchase

The next step in the buying process is the purchase stage. You need to make it easy for them to buy at this point. They are committed but that doesn’t mean that they can’t back out. For example, think about purchases that you have backed out on.

Just one example: if you purchase something that seems like a really good deal and then find out that the buyer is charging four times what the shipping should be, you’re probably going to back out.

In addition to making it as easy as possible for the buyer to complete the transaction, this would be an excellent time for you to get their email address and permission to send them valuable emails on future products and services.

They are already excited about buying from you, so it’s the best time to ask.

If you are looking for a virtual assistant to help set up a sales funnel, we support several clients in this using many applications, including Infusionsoft, Simplero, Ontraport and more! Schedule a call with us here.

Exciting Announcement: We’re Simplero Certified!

Exciting Announcement: We’re Simplero Certified!

We have been utilizing Simplero for some time now, and can attest to its ability to bring ease
and profitability to our clients. By packaging multiple systems into one source, Simplero
provides a software program that delivers all the Sales and Marketing functions an information-
based business needs. At Smart To Finish, we’ve assisted several of our clients to integrate this
service into their business – and we are delighted to announce that we are now officially
Simplero Certified!

What exactly is Simplero?
We think Simplero sums themselves up best when they say “Simplero gives you everything you
need and nothing you don’t”.

Some key features include:

  • Comprehensive email marketing
  • Tools for creating and selling infoproducts (PDF e-books, webinars, audio, video)
  • Built-in member sites
  • Fully customizable website (includes shop, blog, etc.)
  • Create landing pages, invoicing, affiliate programs, and more

Trying to decide if Simplero is right for you? Let’s talk! As certified Simplero consultants, we can
help you determine the best options for your business!