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Five step process of fail proof permission email marketing

Five step process of fail proof permission email marketing

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iContact’s Five Step Process of Fail-Proof Permission Email Marketing

At times, throwing together an entire email marketing campaign can seem daunting. How does one even know where to begin? Well, the best place to start is by learning. Once you know the simple 5-step process for fail-proof permission-based email marketing you have the road map that you need to simplify the email marketing process and execute successful campaigns.

Step 1:
Begin by using permission-based email software (such as iContact) that allows you to easily create newsletters, automatically manage subscribes, unsubscribes, and bounces, and view reporting statistics like opens and click-throughs.

Step 2:
Decide on the type and frequency of the email communications you will be sending. We recommend sending at least one newsletter per month. You can send multiple newsletters if you sell different types of products. You can also send promotional messages offering a discount or a coupon for a product or service.

Step 3:
Add a sign-up form to your website so you can start collecting subscribers and import any existing lists of subscribers that have already requested your communications. It is generally also safe to import the names of anyone who has done business with you in the past year, provided you will be sending content relevant to what they purchased.

Step 4:
Choose a good email template by using the templates provided within the email software, having your in-house team create one, or by using the custom design services of your email software company. iContact provides over 300 design templates within our software that can be used free of charge, and we can also develop custom templates for a nominal charge.

Step 5:
Develop relevant and high-quality content for your newsletter or message, and send it out to your list. Continue sending your newsletters, announcements, or promotions with consistent frequency. As your list grows, you will notice increased traffic (and if applicable, increased sales) on the day of and the days following an email send.

So if you are ready to start benefiting from email marketing without having to worry about where to begin or how to progress, then sign up for a free trial of the iContact email marketing software today.

Click here to sign up for a free trial

If you have any questions or need help, please contact our Support Team or call us at (877) 968-3996.

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Parents Unite!

Parents Unite!

Face it, you are not the person that you used to be.

Ever since you became a parent, you have a hard time recognizing yourself. Perhaps there is a bit of sadness because you’ve lost your own childishness, but there is no denying that you’ve developed a maturity that has absorbed itself into every fiber of your being.

You’d been in love before, but when you children came along, this love encompassed you in a way that you never could have predicted. This metamorphosis might have even been painful for you, but only because the intensity of this love was so vast and unanticipated, perhaps even astonishing.

Becoming a parent has driven you in ways you never thought possible. Parenthood has made you more devoted, more committed and more determined to succeed in providing for your family.

For some of you going back to work was never an option. For others, working for someone else to get that steady paycheck seemed like the only option. It doesn’t matter what kind of parent you became.

We understand your devotion to your children and the intense fervor you feel to provide for them.

Our Milk Money is an Organization that was built for parents like you.
But we are much more than just another business directory. We are an organization that provides a support network for parents who have chosen to stay home with their children, and we do what we can to encourage each of our members to make their purchases from each other- keep the money we are already spending “in house” because it’s more valuable to families than it is to large corporations.

We believe that we have a chance to make a difference, but we must all work together.

Our concept will succeed if everyone does their part. No other group has taken on a task so great, and the reason WE WILL SUCCEED is because we all have one thing in common: Our devotion to our children. We must not fail them.

You don’t have to be a member, or even a parent to participate in this concept. If there are children in your life and you want to make a difference, we welcome you to take part in Our Milk Money. Link your site to us.

We are not just another business trying to move up the ranks. We are an organization dedicated to parents who need support their children. If we all commit to this concept, we all have a better chance of rising up TOGETHER.

Imagine the possibilities.

We’ve started a campaign that will educate consumers on the value of purchasing from a mom or a dad. We believe that in time we will have created a mini-economy, and a better means of survival- especially during this recession where every dollar counts. We want parents to feel that they can make their own choices in how to raise their children, provide for them, and how much time they spend with them. Not be a slave to a job that promises a paycheck, or a boss that represents keeping that job.

Join the Our Milk Money Organization, and you will know immediately that you are contributing to a good cause, because it’s your own.

How to Create the Perfect Schedule, and Make it Work for You

Written by Ally Loprete

The thought of actually sitting down and scheduling some lazy “do absolutely nothing” time probably seems very stupid as well as a waste of time. Entrepreneurs, especially parents who are constantly on the go between their company and their families, really need to schedule some time to where they just sit back, relax and decompress.

When you are constantly on the go and running all over the place, attempting to work 7 days a week, in between playdates, naps, mealtime, laundry and grocery shopping, not only do you get overly exhausted by the 4th week, you run the risk of beginning to resent your company, the company that you started out loving. You may even begin to resent your children, the ones who you fell so madly in love with, you decided to work from home to be closer to them. Both responsibilites will soon seem like a ball and chain that you can’t get away from. This is not why you decided to work from home.

A written schedule can fix all of your problems. This is something that you should do every day of the week, whether you schedule your down time for the Saturday and Sunday weekend, take Monday off of work, take an extra long weekend, or just cut out of work early on one day a week. Your job as a parent continues all week long, so it’s important to account for ALL of your time.

1. Schedule in Realistic times to work, remaining flexible. For me, I am able to work Monday, Wednesday and Friday afternoons when my oldest son is at preschool and my youngest in napping. Every once in awhile my schedule is blown by an early riser, but it’s a time I can count on for the most part. I can also work for a few hours in the evening when my husband comes home, and Sunday nights when the weekend festivities are over and my husband can take over.

2. Make a list of weekly tasks and dedicate a day to each task. Mondays are for blogging and posting, Wednesdays are for social networking, Fridays are for PR. Evenings are for responding to emails and getting organized for the following day.Weekends are for catching up, but never more than 5 hours in a single weekend.

3. Schedule in “Mommy” or “Daddy” time. I had made a promise to myself and both my sons that each morning until lunchtime I would not work at all. I could schedule playtime, take them to a park, arrange a playdate, or even do some mommy chores, but my laptop was to remain closed. I also used this time to do mommy chores such as go grocery shopping or folding laundry. Because I was able to find ways to include them in these mindless tasks, they did not appear to resent this time as it did not seem like “work” to them.

4. Schedule in time for you. Just as the body needs food to stay nourished and sleep to stay refreshed, taking time to relax and clear your mind will work wonders for your health and your productivity.

5. Schedule time with friends and family. Date night with your spouse, with another couple, game night with neighbors, a visit with relatives, or out with your friends for a social gathering. It’s as important to your sanity as a good night’s sleep. Commit to 1-2 nights a month, if that is all you can squeeze in, but make that minimum a priority. It should give you just enough of a break from your work that you can go back with the same appreciation for your company that you started out having.

Increase Your Productivity As a Self-Employed Parent

Written by Ally Loprete

Working at home: it seemed like such a good idea at the time. You believed that it would give you more time with your children, the freedom to work in your pajamas, a limitless income possibility, and the ability to create your own schedule, own rules, own pace. For many, this is a dream that turns into reality.

It is said that once you work for yourself, you will never be able to go back to working for someone else. For many, working at home is freedom, but still for some, it is easy to let the work consume you every moment you are awake, and probably while you sleep as well.

It is important to remember that you are still in control, and that you need to enjoy all of the perks that come with being self-employed, as long as you remember to grant yourself those perks, just as you promised yourself you would when you “accepted the job” to work for you. If you are not given the perks that were originially promised, it’s only natural that you will lackluster your productivity, and eventually grow weary and lose inspiration.

Here are some tips to help you increase your work-at-home productivity:

1. Create atypical work hours. As parents who are self-employed, we have 2 jobs, and getting up from the computer to pour your 2 year old more milk will always be more important than responding to an email, or posting a blog. You may have grown more patient as a parent, but interruptions like these can be daunting. Save your most crucial, concentrated work for the evening when your spouse is home from work, and has agreed to let you lock yourself into a quiet room without interruptions. For me, this time is from 7:30pm-10pm during the week. You’d be surprised how much you can get done in 2 ½ hours.

2. Create an end time to each day, and “clock out.” It may be difficult to cease working when the house is exceptionally quiet for once, and you are finally feeling productive, but don’t get lost in the moment. Find a good stopping point, pat yourself on the back for a job well done and step away from the computer. My clock out time is 10:00pm

3. Schedule in some rest and relaxation time each night before going to sleep. For me, I give myself an hour to do anything I want, but work. You may choose to watch TV, read a book, or do a crossword puzzle.

4. Invest in some kind of technology. Depending on the way you look at it, this could be the greatest thing toward making you more productive, or it could cause you to become confused between work time and family time. It may be an iphone, blackberry or another PDA, but in a world where productive mothers love to multi-task, the technology that has presented itself in the last decade has made it possible for us to do it all- within reason. If your iphone allows you to quickly answer an email while attending your son’s little league game, it’s worth it. But if it keeps you out of the moment and you’ve missed your son hitting the ball on more than one occasion, it’s time to go back to the drawing board, create a more productive schedule, and turn off the PDA during family time.

5. Trade your services. I don’t mean your business services. Create a co-op babysitting group with another parent. Self-employed parents are no longer a rarity, and chances are there are atleast 4 or 5 on your street who would be willing to watch your kid for a few hours one day in exchange for you watching theirs.

Not Yet Self-Employed?

Don’t Worry, Anyone Can Do This!
By Ally Loprete

When I think back to before I came home to work and take care of my new son, I remember how “stuck” I felt. I envied other women and men who had their own businesses and I believed that the only reason that I didn’t was have one was because I lacked the motivation.
No, actually that wasn’t the only reason. Now that I think about it, I had a whole list of why I couldn’t be my own boss: I didn’t think I could hold myself accountable if I didn’t have a boss, I was sure I’d never get out of my pajamas during the day, I was afraid I might blow off all the work I was supposed to do and I’d eventually run my business into the ground, this little business of mine would end up being a hobby of some sort ike a never ending project of scrapbooking, I didn’t know what the start-up costs were, I didn’t have the money, I didn’t have a unique idea or a business plan, I was sure that I lacked whatever skills I needed, I was certainly not organized, I didn’t know the first thing about becoming a business owner, or about financing, taxes, or even the slightest notion what I could actually DO. I’d also had way too many jobs (more than I care to share, actually) where bosses had convinced me that I was capable of very little. The sad thing is that I really believed them.
Now that I am self-employed, I look back and laugh at how absurd I was thinking that I couldn’t pull this off, and I wonder what took me so long to get here. I know that it was the fear of the unknown, but had I really grasped what it would be like to work for myself, I would have started 10 years earlier, and spared myself all of those confidence crashes, not to mention the most difficult year of my life while my infant son was in daycare.
The really crazy part is that I know how many others still feel stuck the way that I did, and are probably surfing all over the internet right now for the answer. I have no problem admitting that 90 percent of my corporate salary was spent surfing the internet for a way out.
I am not trying to suck you in to a multi-level marketing scheme, I do not have a fool proof business to sell you, and I certainly don’t have all the answers. You can do it, because anyone can.
Believe me when I tell you that although I am passionate about my mission in the business I’ve created, I am by no means a business expert. My college degree was in the performing arts, and there is no way that a year ago I would have believed I was capable of what I am achieving today.

If you have a skill, you can work for yourself. So many people do not realize that they already have what it takes to become self-employed. The simplest question is, what are you doing for someone else that you could be doing for yourself? Without making a single excuse, just answer the question. Make a list of your skills. Then, trust that you will figure out the rest. You’ll find ways to market, to connect with others, to tap into resources that will give you whatever information you are lacking. Trust that you will find the answers and that there will always be someone to help you.
The internet is an amazing thing and has given us unlimited resources as far as information is concerned. Plus, it connects us to just about everyone on the planet, so when you do decide to venture out on your own, you will have help and support. The possibilities are endless. All you have to do is ask. I had no idea a year ago that the internet community existed to support one another the way that it does. I have been blown away by the generosity of those that I’ve met in my first year as an entrepreneur. I am astounded every day at the passion others have to see ME succeed. Why? Because my success means their success. I GET IT NOW.
So the reason I wanted to write this article is because it wasn’t out there when I was looking for it. I wish that ,back when I was feeling stuck, someone had invited me to THIS party, just for a moment. I needed to be taken by the hand and introduced to this encouraging world of self-employed parents. Perhaps I wouldn’t have quite realized the compassion and the support that it contained, even if it was staring me directly in the face, but I do know that it was something even greater than what I was searching for, and others need to know that it exists as well. So if this is you, then welcome to the party. You’ll love it here.

Ally Loprete is the Co-Founder of OurMilkMoney.com, an online directory of self-employed parents across the country. Ally’s focus is to help expose parents working to create a better life for their families and her mission is to educate consumers on the value of purchasing from the small business owner. Ally is passionate about inspiring parents to connect with one another, and will often write about the brilliant ideas that seem to come to her only in the shower or while blowing her hair dry.