Why is Email important to Business? Thursday, Mar 12 2015 

Email is the most integral part of a business’s day-to-day operations. Although most new businesses do not comprehend how many uses there are for email. A few key optional uses are: marketing, team communications, contracting options, and business transactions. Another problem business’s have with email is their lack of knowledge of the basics. A few basic issues are: the improper use of Cc and Bcc, the subject line mistakes, and length of the email.http://netdna.webdesignerdepot.com/uploads/2012/11/email2.jpg

Cc and Bcc are first misunderstood by not knowing their definition or use. Cc is an acronym for ‘carbon copy’. This allows both the receiver and the person who is Cc’d to see the message as well as see each other information. A Bcc stands for ‘blind carbon copy’. This means both persons attached to the email receive the message, but neither sees the other’s information.

To”  – are people who are to take action

Cc”  – are people who are needed to be kept informed, but they are not required to take

action

Bcc” – are people who are receiving the message without any other recipients knowing,

and for messages containing 50 or more recipients

Once you have set the receiver information, now you must write a subject line. Writing a Subject Line can be one of the most difficult components of composing an e-mail. The main method to remember is ‘Keep It Simple, Stupid” or known as ‘KISS’. Keep it short, keep it sweet, keep it personal, and keep it focused. Business Insider lists a few tips and mistakes for writing subject lines:

Tips:

  1. Eliminate filler words – such as “hello” and “thanks”
  2. Keep it simple and focused – such as “focus on one action”
  3. Do not use ALL CAPS
  4. Highlight the value of the offer
  5. Set Deadline in Subject Line

Mistakes:

  1. Using an Indistinguishable Title
  2. Using the Wrong Name
  3. Not Referencing the Urgency
  4. Not Including a Reference to Who Referred
  5. Using the Wrong Name

After devising your subject line, now you must write your message. The length of an email can be considered either rude or a waste of time depending on the call to action and information presented. Drake Baer of Fast Company states that “every email should be 5 sentences long”. Action and motivation are the most aspects to deliver the best message. Center your word choice on what you want your recipient to do (action) and keep it enticing to your customer (motivation). Make the action simple in order to increase customer participation.

As previously mentioned, email’s main issues are: improper use of Cc and Bcc, Subject lines, and length. Since these issues have been taught and hopefully restructured your thought process in how you will writing emails in the future.

Julie Searing

Scroggins Consulting, LLC

Please Share and Forward this blog if you enjoyed the read!!

References

Baer, Drake. WHY EVERY EMAIL SHOULD BE 5 SENTENCES LONG. July 26, 2013. http://www.fastcompany.com/3014857/leadership-now/why-every-email-should-be-5-sentences-long.

Business Insider. 15 Tips For Writing An Excellent Email Subject Line. March 19, 2014. http://www.businessinsider.com/how-to-write-an-excellent-email-subject-line-2014-3.

—. The 9 Worst Mistakes People Make In Email Subject Lines. January 20, 2015. http://www.businessinsider.com/worst-mistakes-in-email-subject-lines-2015-1.

Write Better E-Mails. 2015. http://www.writebetteremails.com/to-cc.htm.

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How do Certifications affect your Business? Thursday, Sep 18 2014 

Certifications could benefit your business! Your company could greatly benefit from certifications if you invest time to learn, understand, and market the certification(s). Federal, state, and local municipalities have established certification initiatives to assist small businesses in securing contracting opportunities. Certification initiatives have designated contracting goals on each project. As a certified firm, you could be the prime contractor or a subcontractor on the project. As the prime, you have the majority percentage of the total value of the contract. For example, a construction project with a total value of $250,000 could have a designated 20% or $50k goal for a certified business. If your company is certified, then you meet the 20% as a subcontractor or you could be the prime. Conversely using the same scenario. Another company could be the prime and you could be the subcontractor doing 20% of the total value of the contract, which is set-aside ONLY for a certified business.Certified Certifications

 How does a business get certified? All certifications have an application process and they vary from agency to agency. Most applications are available online and some can be submitted electronically while others have to be mailed in. Some certifications have interview task attached.

 Length: The length of being certified varies.  Some certifications have an end date such as the federal 8a Certification – 9 years. Some certifications have an annual re-certification process, which requires submitting information to get initially certified and the submitting updated information that proves that your company still qualifies for the designated certification. Submission information could include business tax returns, personal tax returns, and financial statements.

Cost: The majority of certifications are free, your only cost is the time it will take to package your application. Federal, state and local certifications are free. Third party agencies, or agencies that administer the certification process on behalf on another agency, charge a fee to obtain certifications.  These certifications range between $250 -$350, on average.

 Research: I recommend that you research ALL certifications that your company can qualify for and evaluate. If you decide that certification is an option your company would like to pursue, then consider doing the certifications you select at the same time. Most certifications will ask for the same or similar information – so maximize time and do it all at the same time.

Remember, just because you have a certification does not mean that new business will simply start appearing. Certification is another tool for you to use in your arsenal of marketing strategies.

 

Author:

Tiya Scroggins, MBA

Marketing Tools for You Monday, Jun 2 2014 

Marketing Tools for You

Let’s face it; marketing your business can be extremely difficult or extremely easy. For small businesses, getting started can be a monster challenge. When looking at very large corporation accounts and media, it is difficult for a beginning or small businesses to imagine how they are able to master or use the same techniques as their largest competitors. Finding simple marketing techniques to assist in the building or supplementing your current techniques are a few steps that can be taken to learn different forms of marketing. Listed below are 6 forms of marketing tools that are a must to affirm the true message of your business.marketing-300x300

1. Voicemail – Develop a message that relays the information of your business in a courteous and pleasing manner. Make sure to include the basics: a Thanks (“Thank You for calling Edwin Hardware…”), your time of operation (“We are open 9-5 Monday thru Saturday”), invite them to leave a message and tell them how “Please leave a message with your name, number, and the reason for your call”), then finally tell them you WILL get back with them. Most importantly CHECK YOUR MESSAGES DAILY (Mainly three times a day: Opening, Midday, and two hours before close of business. Two hours usually gives customers enough time to come to your location before the end of day.)!

2. Brochures – brochures are a type of paper media that benefit companies by telling the customers the mission, main products, contact information, etc. Brochures are extremely beneficial at trade shows and conferences. Key Fact: Make your brochure unique through graphics, di-cuts, or by shapes.

3. Press Release & Newsletters – Press Releases and Newsletters are great ways to show the inside of your business for your customers and community members. Press Releases (“PR”) showcase what you do that is new, interesting, or beneficial to the community. They can be distributed through local, county/parish, or state publishing papers, websites, or television stations. Try Volusion Press Releases for free distribution sites. Newsletters maybe sent out through paper or email mediums. They are an extremely useful way to keep in touch with your customers, send promotions, and support repeat purchases.

 

4. Referrals – Referrals can either make you or break you in some industries. Encourage your customers to leave reviews on products/services. Push word-of-mouth referrals and create brand ambassadors through your extremely satisfied customers. Promotion Idea: Ask your customers for 3-5 referrals and they receive 20-30% off a purchase.

5. Case Studies – Case Studies can be used to establish your company as a professional source of information/knowledge and explain products functions/benefits. Note: Offer your individual case study on your website and social media to assist potential buyers in their decisions.

6. Well-Designed Website – For your website, it must have a logical layout and be aesthetically appealing to your customers. If your website is confusing, it will affect your business. Know your target market, design your website for customers in similar and different to your industry.