Ideas can be life-changing. Sometimes all you need to open the …

SAY OF THE DAY: “Ideas can be life-changing. Sometimes all you need to open the door is just one more good idea.” -Jim Rohn http://www.40billion.com http://www.40billion.com/post/2048

If this inspirational quote helps you get through your day, feel free to email it to a friend or coworker to help them get through their day too. Cheers!

6 Smart Email Triggers for Marketing Automation

6 Smart Email Triggers for Marketing Automation

Triggered or targeted emails can be a great way to deliver the right content at the right time to the right people. A sincere thank you, a courteous confirmation, or a concerned abandoned cart message that automatically follows a specific behavior someone took on your website can be the difference between a very happy customer and losing a contact altogether.

As long as the automated email is relevant, timely, and provides value to the recipient, triggered emails can be used to save marketers a tremendous amount of time and, more importantly, better engage your contact database.

Take a look at the examples below for some ideas of triggered emails you can incorporate into your own email marketing campaigns.

1) Uber: The Welcome Email

Uber sends an automated welcome email to anyone who registers for their services. The welcome email is simple and straightforward, welcoming new users and thanking them for signing up for Uber. To assist the new users and to encourage them to actually start using the car service, the welcome email also explains how Uber works in three simple steps, followed by a few tips on getting started with Uber. We love how Uber capitalizes on this opportunity to further educate their users.

2) Dropbox: The Re-engagement Email

Dropbox uses a triggered email to re-engage people who signed up for Dropbox, but have not actually installed the software on their computers yet.

The first great thing about this email is it uses personalization tokes to address the recipient directly, using his first name. The body of the email is very brief, which is nice. The text identifies a few specific ways Dropbox can assist you in organizing your files and a large blue CTA is noticeably positioned directly in the middle of the email. It’s short, sweet, yet still informative — exactly what people in a re-engagement campaign need.

3) ModCloth: The Date/Time Tigger Email

ModCloth sends this email to people who have been subscribed to ModCloth’s email list for six months to celebrate their “anniversary” together. Of course, the true purpose of this email is to drive contacts back to their website — and maybe make a purchase. To encourage recipients to visit ModCloth’s site and make a purchase, the anniversary email offers a coupon code for $5 off the contact’s next purchase. It’s a small thing for ModCloth to give up in exchange for repeat business.

4) Amazon: The Thank-You Email

Amazon uses this triggered thank-you email to drive customers back to their site and gain information about the consumer that can be used to suggest additional products in the future.

In addition to thanking the customer for their recent purchase and personalizing the message using the consumer’s full name, the email also asks the recipient to review their new product. And chances are, people are only going to review products they feel strongly about. Based on the products they review and how they review the product, Amazon can show them products they may like in the future. Plus, if the person ends up leaving a review, it could convince someone else to buy that product, too.

5) Zappos: The Confirmation Email

No one likes waiting day after day for a package arrive, wondering whether or not the item was ever actually shipped. To quell unnecessary anxiety, Zappos sends an automated email to customers as soon as their package is shipped. The email is personalized as it provides a picture of the specific item(s) the consumer purchased as well as the shipping address, a link to the order information, and the anticipated delivery date.

As the bottom of the email states, one of the core values at Zappos is to “create fun and a little weirdness.” The email clearly adheres to this value addressing the recipient as “Zappos Zealot” and closing the intro to the email with “XOXO, Zappos.com.”

6) Urban Outfitters: The Unsubscribe Email

Urban Outfitters automatically sends this email to people when they request to unsubscribe from the clothing store’s emails. The purpose of this automated email is a last-ditch effort to convince recipients not to unsubscribe. To appeal to their young adult target audience, this email creatively plays on the idea of a salvaging a relationship.

Rather than simply providing a checkbox to either confirm the unsubscribe request or remain on UO’s email list, this email features an amusing image of a text messaging conversation that expresses Urban Outfitter’s desire to avoid “breaking up” with the recipient who is shown as contact “BFF” on the mobile phone. We love how this email is something that their buyer persona can definitely relate to.

Conclusion:

While social media may appear to be the center of many small business marketing strategies, an effective email blast could be a more dependable way to increase your customer base. It also allows you to create a personal voice for your existing customer base – the people who have already expressed an interest in purchasing from you.

Twitter is one of the most popular websites for social media marketing. However, as with many social media sites, their algorithms are always changing. Today, if you don’t spend money advertising with social networking sites like Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook, then the chances of your followers actually seeing your posts are minimal.

However, sites like 40Billion.com have made this easier by broadcasting and promoting your business to its large network of several million users across the most popular social networking sites for businesses – including Twitter, LinkedIn, 40Billion, and even Facebook. Innovative services like promoted posts, future retweets, and promoted company listings were created for small business entrepreneurs to tap into a growing, active network online without spending thousands on pay-per-click ads or traditional advertising.

With email marketing, though, you call the shots. You are the one deciding how often your list hears from you. Also, you can track precisely how many clients are actually opening your email. A successful email campaign can take time to build, but that’s true with any good marketing plan.

Recommended: 6 Creative Ways of Marketing Your Startup on a Budget

About 40Billion.com

40Billion is the social network of entrepreneurs and crowdfunders – a social platform for connecting business owners and promoting the things they create. Use 40Billion to find professional contacts and projects, get affordable business advertising and crowdfunding promotion, and show off your creations to the world.

The Real Reasons Why VC Investors Delete Your Emails

The Real Reasons Why VC Investors Delete Your Emails

What should you include in an introductory email to a potential VC investor if your goal is to actually get them to open it and read it? Although every investor pitch and every investor is different, these 4 blunders are common to most of the unsuccessful ones:

1) The email has a worthless subject line.

Too often, entrepreneurs use boring, worthless subject lines in their investor pitches. Your subject line is your make or break. If it’s interesting and relevant, the email gets opened. If it’s vague, the email gets deleted without a second thought.

Make sure your subject line is specific, concise and relevant to the recipient. Even better if you can make it interesting. Think objectively… Would you open this email?

2) You didn’t ask for anything.

It may seem obvious, but ask any investor how many pitches fill their inbox with specifying what the sender wants. Your pitch needs to request something that is relevant to what your recipient specializes in.

Whether you’re seeking advice about an industry that the recipient recently invested in, seeking an introduction to a potential partner, or seeking a lead investor in your next fundraising round, latch your company or product to something the investor cares about.

Go back and read a few recent comments or portfolio deals that the recipient participated in. Check out their social media accounts too.

3) Your message is too verbose.

You need to respect the recipient’s time (or lack thereof). The longer it takes for you to effectively communicate your pitch, the higher the likelihood your email will get deleted. Think, short sentences, small paragraphs.

Even better… Condense your email into just a few lines. This is easier said than done, but, for an introductory email, sometimes that can be an effective teaser. Keep it short and simple.

4) There are no links.

Never send unsolicited attachments, such as 50-page business plans. Instead, give your recipient the ability to learn more with relevant links to stuff that’s actually useful. Put yourself in your recipient’s shoes. If you’re interested, what more would you want to know? Be clear about what each link leads to – for example, “For some screenshots, go here” link, or “For a demo, go here” link.

And to keep the email clean, use shortened links or just hyperlink action words, such as “go here.”

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About 40Billion.com

40Billion is the social network of entrepreneurs and crowdfunders – a social platform for connecting business owners and promoting the things they create. Use 40Billion to find professional contacts and projects, get affordable business advertising and crowdfunding promotion, and show off your creations to the world.

How To Hire Great Employees As A New Manager

How To Hire Great Employees As A New Manager

Hiring staff can be difficult as a new manager, and making bad choices can be disastrous. These 5 easy steps will help you find the right fit for your company:

1) Determine what you need.

Many people make the mistake of not clearly defining the skills needed before starting to interview. This can lead to hiring people because you like them or they’re impressive in an interview.

Instead, take a close look at your company and the specific skills and knowledge required to reach the next level. Write out detailed job descriptions for each position, including recommended levels of education and experience.

2) Pay attention to the details.

Don’t write too generic a job description. You will get way too many unqualified people as it is. Define the job clearly and spell out the salary range. This will help eliminate at least some people right at the start.

Furthermore, require a detailed cover letter with each application or resume submitted. The specifics in the cover letter will give you some idea whether the person is applying specifically for your job or any job. You’ll also learn something about their writing skills.

3) Choose your first three interviews.

In the top 10 candidates, there may be one or more that stand out because of a well-written cover letter, experience in your industry, or some other characteristic that closely matches your needs. Interview those choices. Then, interview the top 3 candidates overall.

4) Be upfront.

Let people know whom they will be working for and make expectations clear. Develop interview questions that ask for examples of past behavior. This is called behavioral interviewing and leads to better hiring results. Make sure to include questions about any experience working for someone younger or any of your other concerns. The answers will help you determine if you have a good candidate.

5) Include others in your hiring process.

Particularly with a small company, you need everyone to work well together. By including other staff members, or even suppliers or customers, you can get varied perspectives, and another pair of eyes or two can help you make the right choice.

Now, if you hire what looks like the right person and they don’t live up to your expectations or you find out another problem that is not readily fixable, then fire them. The biggest mistake you can make is keeping someone longer than you should.

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About 40Billion.com

40Billion is the social network of entrepreneurs and crowdfunders – a social platform for connecting business owners and promoting the things they create. Use 40Billion to find professional contacts and projects, get affordable business advertising and crowdfunding promotion, and show off your creations to the world.

How To Overcome 3 Horrifying Mental Challenges In Business

How To Overcome 3 Horrifying Mental Challenges In Business

Whether you’re a startup or established entrepreneur looking to grow, you’ll probably have to deal with common mental challenges along the way to success.

NEGATIVE THINKING

Slumps happen in business and life. Start asking positive questions when you find yourself thinking: “I’m not good enough. I can’t do this. Nothing is going right.” Try: “What’s good about this situation? What tools and resources do I need to move in the direction I want to go?”

Asking yourself better questions can help you move forward. Perhaps the big client you lost wasn’t the best fit anyway, and now you have the bandwidth to service a bigger, better customer.

EXHAUSTION

Even the most resilient business owners can get fatigued from putting so much into their businesses. Make sure you eat healthy food, get enough sleep, and take breaks ranging from a few hours where you disconnect to a few days away.

If that’s not possible, take a psychological vacation. Get to a place where you’ll be uninterrupted for five or 10 minutes. Breathe deeply and visualize yourself relaxing in a beautiful setting, like at the beach. Research has long shown the positive effects of meditation on stress levels, health, concentration, and productivity.

FEAR

When fear becomes paralyzing, focus on the moment. Don’t think about the past or worry about the future. Instead, determine the very next thing you have to do to get the outcome you want.

If you’re worried about closing a big deal, make a list of the tasks that will give you the best possible advantage, such as studying competitors’ strengths and weaknesses, writing a killer proposal, and polishing your presentation. Then, tackle that to-do list, one-by-one.

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About 40Billion.com

40Billion is the social network of entrepreneurs and crowdfunders – a social platform for connecting business owners and promoting the things they create. Use 40Billion to find professional contacts and projects, get affordable business advertising and crowdfunding promotion, and show off your creations to the world.

4 Simple Ways to Improve Your Marketing Language

4 Simple Ways to Improve Your Marketing Language

Do you speak English or do you speak “marketing” jargon? Online attention spans are short and competition intense, so clear language is essential to make your social media marketing perform and incite interest in your business.

As in all relationships, people connect with straightforward and honest communications. These 4 tips will help you create effective marketing descriptions to build your reputation and business:

1) Clarify thoughts.

The first step toward understandable language is clear thinking. Before writing any business message, take the time to distill key points about your company. Can you describe your product or service clearly and succinctly? What qualities differentiate your offerings from others in the industry? How will customers benefit? If you can’t reply to these questions without hesitation, focus on developing clear explanations.

2) Energize descriptions.

Through your words, you can convey action. To create promotions with impact, delete strings of adjectives. Also, try to avoid overused descriptions that have lost their meaning. Instead, rely on verbs full of energy. Pinpoint the specific advantages of products and services, and convey a sense of urgency – like “Save time and money now!”

3) Simplify sentences.

Through simple language, you can help readers understand your business. Complexity and clutter make processing information difficult, so don’t pack multiple ideas into sentences. Make your thoughts easy to digest by using words that readers recognize, rather than forcing them to grab a dictionary to define SAT terms. Many don’t have the time and will stop reading at the first stumbling block. Shorten each group of words, and remember the importance of a period.

4) Refine your drafts.

After drafting your promotion, such as in promoted posts, review the wording with objectivity. Process the information as if you were a customer just learning about your business. Slash every word that is confusing or unnecessary. Simplify and polish every word to help the essence of your company, identity and message rise to the top.

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About 40Billion.com

40Billion is the social network of entrepreneurs and crowdfunders – a social platform for connecting business owners and promoting the things they create. Use 40Billion to find professional contacts and projects, get affordable business advertising and crowdfunding promotion, and show off your creations to the world.

The Unexpected Pros And Cons of Business Competitions

The Unexpected Pros And Cons of Business Competitions

PRO: Free money to get your business started.

If you win, you could be awarded up to $100,000 in cash and/or prizes that you can use to build, hire, and get your startup off the ground. In most cases, there are no strings attached and you don’t have to give up a percentage share of your business equity. Be careful, though, because some competitions don’t award any cash at all, just services, and you have no choice in service providers.

PRO: You can make the most of new contacts.

The chance at winning big bucks isn’t the only reason to compete in a business plan or venture competition. In many contests, especially those sponsored by business schools, judges and other competition organizers reach out individually to applicant companies both during and after the evaluation stage. That process can often help entrepreneurs establish new contacts and mentors to help grow the business.

CON: Each application requires significant time.

There are downsides to competitions of this nature. Most entrepreneurs estimate they spend between 10 and 40 hours prepping the application packet for each competition. That’s a full-time job for 1 person for up to a week!

CON: There’s a lot of fine print.

Beyond practical concerns about time management, many business plan competitions are rife with some of the same potential pitfalls that exist whenever an entrepreneur puts his or her ideas on the line. For example, some contests ask winners to fork over equity in their business; fine print that could wind up hurting a startup attempting to woo investors down the road.

CON: People can steal your ideas.

Disclosure can be a problem, too. Many entrepreneurs don’t realize that once they’ve brought the basic tenets of an idea into the public domain, the clock on the patentability of that idea starts ticking for 1 year.

And, if your idea isn’t patentable, what’s to stop someone – perhaps with more resources than you – from hearing about your idea during the competition and building something similar before you do? Make sure that you find a way to protect your idea and create a significant competitive advantage that others cannot duplicate. You’re competing against more than just the other teams that are participating in the competition.

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About 40Billion.com

40Billion is the social network of entrepreneurs and crowdfunders – a social platform for connecting business owners and promoting the things they create. Use 40Billion to find professional contacts and projects, get affordable business advertising and crowdfunding promotion, and show off your creations to the world.

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