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How To Whitelist Emails So That You Get Them (Including ours!)

I have an older sister that sends me email periodically. I have to dig through 700+ pieces of junk mail to find it, though, and I hate doing that. There are times I’ll go a week without replying to her because digging through the junk is too much for me.

Thankfully, I recently learned that I could’ve avoided all that frustration by using filters and a safe senders list. I’m so glad I finally found this out. Even though I work with computers daily, I never noticed those settings. How did that happen? Read more


Easy Tips You Need to Know to Avoid Email Bounce

An astonishing 215.3 billion emails are sent per day [1]. If you’re like most companies, you probably want taking advantage of email marketing or use email to create a Facebook custom audience for sponsored posts. Searchbug’s Email Batch Append service has certainly gained popularity for these marketing tactics.

Read more


Marketing Lists and Text Messaging

Marketing Lists via text messaging campaigns are among the most effective ways of reaching customers and potential customers. With just your smartphone at hand, you can create enthusiasm for your products or services immediately. But the only way you’ll succeed at text message campaigning – which is known in the business and advertising communities as SMS, or Short Message Marketing – is to have a carefully-compiled marketing list.

Marketing List and Text Messages - You have 1 New MessageFirst of all, what makes a text message campaign so helpful to small businesses? The main reason is that so many people will see the texts you send them. You could hang a sign in a store window on the busiest street in town, yet many people would simply walk right by it without noticing. In contrast, studies have shown that over 90% of people, as high as 95%, will open and look at a texted ad at once.

There are more benefits to text messaging ads, too. They’re friendly to the environment. They make your business seem cutting-edge, even ‘cool.’ They’re cheaper than many other forms of advertising – including TV spots and, believe it or not, traditional flyers! They’re interactive: people can respond to you right away with questions, comments or suggestions, and you can answer them right away. Perhaps best of all, people who are intrigued by your texts may share them with their contact lists via Facebook, Twitter, etc. Thus, those people will do additional advertising for you, for free!

If you’ve just opened a small business, whether it’s a pizzeria or a garage or something else entirely, you’ll probably want to buy a marketing list – a list of potential customers – from a company specializing in such lists. But these lists may not include cell phone numbers, as there are laws around marketing to cell phones. So how do you get to your potential customers?  You can email or call people and ask them to sign up for your text messaging promotions (to do so, they could email you back or text you a certain code.)

You can also get people to agree to receive your texts by including sign-up sheets on your website and social media sites, and by having your employees ask your customers if they’d like to receive texts.  There are even iPad apps specifically designed to manage in-store sign ups and people like using iPads and tablets so it’s an easier way to get them to give you their information.

But to reiterate, you should never text a customer without their permission beforehand. An unsolicited text message can make customers feel violated, and rightly so. Plus, this practice probably goes against your carrier’s rules, and may even be unlawful where you live. Never pressure anyone to join your text marketing list, either, and instruct your employees not to pressure anyone. Further, there should always be a simple way for your customers to opt out of getting your texts should they change their minds about it.

In order to make more people want to be on your text message marketing list, you have to offer them incentives, incentives they can’t receive any other way. Maybe they get a special discount or coupon, or maybe an exclusive freebie – three slices of pizza for the slice of two, for instance – or maybe you’ll even set up special times during which they can come into your establishment, times when the place is otherwise closed to the general public.

Once you have a sizable text message marketing list at your disposal, the next step is to use it. Just remember that effective text messages are not always easy to create. DO NOT just throw something together off the top of your head. Rather, take care in crafting messages. Write out words and phrases as much as you can; try not to abbreviate even if you believe that a certain abbreviation or acronym is well-known. At the same time, use as few words as you can without sacrificing meaning. Use correct spelling and grammar. Don’t forget to provide the name of your establishment. (You might choose to include a link to your company’s website.) Most of all, there should be what advertisers refer to as a ‘call to action.’ That means you should provide a specific, attractive reason as to why the person receiving the text ought to get to your place of business as soon as possible. Don’t just say: “We have great prices on teddy bears.” Say: “All teddy bears are on sale, up to 50%, until tomorrow night.”

Once you get the hang of text marketing, you can start having fun with it. For example, you might set up a contest in which the tenth person to text you back receives a prize. Or if you own, say, an ice cream parlor, you could create polls to discover your customer’s favorite flavors. You might even set up a weekly poll in which you pit one flavor against another. Be creative!

If you’re not aware, SearchBug offers a free text messaging service that you can use from your computer.  Get up to five (5) free texts daily or subscribe for only $5.97 a month for unlimited texts.


Bulk Messaging as a Marketing Tool

Bulk Messaging as a Marketing Tool

Bulk email messaging does have a nice list of favorable features that make it a draw, but then there are some who think that it’s more trouble than it’s worth. However, with the swiftly advancing move of technological advancements, it is always wise to stay ahead of current trends by analyzing what’s available on the market and determining if and how those changes would affect your business.

For small business owners, bulk messaging may not even be a key attraction for their marketing plan efforts, but for larger, more diverse companies, bulk messaging may be the best viable option to consider. This may be mainly because of the large, widespread effect that bulk messaging has for audience with consumers.

With bulk messaging, you are able to use a mobile phone or device to send and receive text messages, or numeric messages. More accurately known as SMS messages which stands for Short Message Service, they are the most commonly sent types of messages. Currently, in a large portion of European countries, there are over 160 billion SMS messages that are sent each month. Business owners look at this number as a prime opportunity to connect with potential and current customers on a frequent basis. And the primary draw about this type of messaging service is that most all SMS messages are transmittable even if the servers or mobile networks are experiencing high, overloaded usages. For business owners, this means that their marketing messages will still get to their customers when they send them out.

But is that feature enough reason use this as a marketing tool? Yes!

Bulk messaging systems like SMS are certainly easier to use and manage than most other methods, which is a large reason why companies use them. There are no setup costs associated with the tool. Simply originating the email message and sending it from a compatible device is all that is needed to make this work.

Businesses can also schedule messages in advance to send out to their customers. This is especially helpful if there are announcements that will be sent to the customer base, or, for companies or small businesses that have a small marketing department and not enough manpower to manage a marketing system on a daily basis. By scheduling messages, more effort and productivity time can be placed into other areas of the business.

Bulk messaging is also a great way to incentivize any business, by using a referral method. Many businesses have gained profitable success this way by requiring the recipient to “reply with a code” in order to receive certain benefits. Also, when they refer friend(s), they may also get other benefits. Companies rarely lose customers with this method, especially if the company is offering the customer something that is truly valuable or what they’re looking for.

Companies can also effectively manage groups and categories to which they send messages. The company can set up different contacts within a subset of groups to notate particular demographics. This could include lists with

  •  – parents of school-aged children
  •  – senior citizens over 55
  •  – college students
  •  – housewives with an income of $50,000 or more per year

With this information, the company can customize several different types of campaigns that would address each group, and send them out at the appropriate time and with a relevant product. For instance, the company may do a mass bulk messaging campaign to the parents of school children at the holiday time to advertise a new video game that’s coming out. With a “reply” and entering a particular code, the recipient may receive 50% off the purchase of the video game. The idea is to get people interested in the product (or service), and to stoke their buying interest. If this can be managed solely through virtual methods like bulk messaging, it greatly reduces marketing costs while increasing the company’s bottom line.

The bulk messaging method works for most any tangible product and most (localized) services. The key is to develop a strong marketing plan from beginning to end that will allow the company to capture each demographic from which they can expect buying results. From there, it’s simply a matter of managing and tweaking the information as needed.