Sponsored 24 June 2019
Email marketing is so commonplace these days that thinking it's 'dead' and not worth trying is a common misconception. In fact, the idea that email marketing is dying out, and that your choice of email marketing software doesn't really matter are two of the biggest myths in the marketing world today.
The fact is that, when done right, email marketing can be extremely useful for your brand and should never be overlooked. And, the software and platform that you're using to send out your marketing emails and newsletters really does matter. You should find an option that works well for your brand and offers all the features that you need. So, what should you be looking for in an email marketing program?
#1. Ease of Use:
The last thing that you want is to be spending hours and hours creating marketing emails on a platform that's really tricky to use. Unless you're a coding wizard, you'll want to opt for something that allows you to easily create marketing emails that stand out from the crowd, whether it's a drag-and-drop option or easy email templates that you can customize to fit your brand and your message.
#2. Great Reviews:
Secondly, look for a platform that's been tried and tested by other users such as yourself. It's a good idea to ask your business contacts if they have any recommendations; ask what they are using right now and whether they think it is worth you investing in, or if they have used a program in the past that they think would be suitable for your needs. Use the internet to your advantage, too – you can find several third-party review sites where you'll find honest descriptions of various services. You can also read through informational articles from sites like PieSync comparing different programs such as Mailchimp vs. Sendgrid to get a better idea of what's going to work for you.
Price will play an important factor in your choice as you'll need to find a program that fits your budget, but don't let it all boil down to how much you're going to be paying. It's always better to spend all of your budget or even go over a little bit for the right platform that's going to get you the results that you want, rather than opting for the cheapest version just to save money and risking spending more in the long term to fix mistakes and problems.
Last but not least, consider the amount of manual work that you will actually have to do in order to get your emails created and sent out to the right people. The best email marketing programs offer tools for automating important tasks such as filtering through emails and creating a list, automatic email re-sending to people who didn't open it the first time, and removing the emails of people who've requested to be taken off the list. It's a good idea to also find a tool that can easily sync up to other programs that you use for CRM and more.
Not all email marketing programs are created equally, so take some time to research and determine which is the best choice for your brand.
4 Min Read
During a recent meeting on Microsoft Teams, I couldn't seem to get a single word out.
When I tried to chime in, I kept getting interrupted. At one point two individuals talked right over me and over each other. When I thought it was finally my turn, someone else parachuted in from out of nowhere. When I raised and waved my hand as if I was in grade school to be called on (yes, I had my camera on) we swiftly moved on to the next topic. And then, completely frustrated, I stayed on mute for the remainder of the meeting. I even momentarily shut off my camera to devour the rest of my heavily bruised, brown banana. (No one needed to see that.)
This wasn't the first time I had struggled to find my voice. Since elementary school, I always preferring the back seat unless the teacher assigned me a seat in the front. In high school, I did piles of extra credit or mini-reports to offset my 0% in class participation. In college, I went into each lecture nauseous and with wasted prayers — wishing and hoping that I wouldn't be cold-called on by the professor.
By the time I got to Corporate America, it was clear that if I wanted to lead, I needed to pull my chair up (and sometimes bring my own), sit right at the table front and center, and ask for others to make space for me. From then on, I found my voice and never stop using it.
But now, all of a sudden, in this forced social experiment of mass remote working, I was having trouble being heard… again. None of the coaching I had given myself and other women on finding your voice seemed to work when my voice was being projected across a conference call and not a conference room.
I couldn't read any body language. I couldn't see if others were about to jump in and I should wait or if it was my time to speak. They couldn't see if I had something to say. For our Microsoft teams setting, you can only see a few faces on your screen, the rest are icons at the bottom of the window with a static picture or even just their name. And, even then, I couldn't see some people simply because they wouldn't turn their cameras on.
If I did get a chance to speak and cracked a funny joke, well, I didn't hear any laughing. Most people were on mute. Or maybe the joke wasn't that funny?
At one point, I could hear some heavy breathing and the unwrapping of (what I could only assume was) a candy bar. I imagined it was a Nestle Crunch Bar as my tummy rumbled in response to the crinkling of unwrapped candy. (There is a right and a wrong time to mute, people.)
At another point, I did see one face nodding at me blankly.
They say that remote working will be good for women. They say it will level the playing field. They say it will be more inclusive. But it won't be for me and others if I don't speak up now.
- Start with turning your camera on and encouraging others to do the same. I was recently in a two-person meeting. My camera was on, but the other person wouldn't turn theirs on. In that case, ten minutes in, I turned my camera off. You can't stare at my fuzzy eyebrows and my pile of laundry in the background if I can't do the same to you. When you have a willing participant, you'd be surprised by how helpful it can be to make actual eye contact with someone, even on a computer (and despite the fuzzy eyebrows).
- Use the chatbox. Enter in your questions. Enter in your comments. Dialogue back and forth. Type in a joke. I did that recently and someone entered back a laughing face — reaffirming that I was, indeed, funny.
- Designate a facilitator for the meeting: someone leading, coaching, and guiding. On my most recent call, a leader went around ensuring everyone was able to contribute fairly. She also ensured she asked for feedback on a specific topic and helped move the discussion around so no one person took up all the airtime.
- Unmute yourself. Please don't just sit there on mute for the entire meeting. Jump in and speak up. You will be interrupted. You will interrupt others. But don't get frustrated or discouraged — this is what work is now — just keep showing up and contributing.
- Smile, and smile big. Nod your head in agreement. Laugh. Give a thumbs up; give two! Wave. Make a heart with your hands. Signal to others on the call who are contributing that you support and value them. They will do the same in return when your turn comes to contribute.
It's too easy to keep your camera turned off. It's too easy to stay on mute. It's too easy to disappear. But now is not the time to disappear. Now is the time to stay engaged and networked within our organizations and communities.
So please don't put yourself on mute.
Well, actually, please do put yourself on mute so I don't have to hear your heavy breathing, candy bar crunching, or tinkling bathroom break.
But after that, please take yourself off mute so you can reclaim your seat (and your voice) at the table.