Use RSS campaigns to stay connected to customers.
E-mail marketing is an effective way to stay in touch with customers. There are countless ways to use e-mail marketing; today we’ll focus on RSS campaigns, which are automated to send fresh content from your website to your mailing list.
Many small business owners struggle to keep their mailing lists engaged between product launches and special offers. An RSS e-mail campaign is an excellent way to add content to your website on a regular basis and keep your mailing list active by sending that content to your subscribers.
What is RSS?
RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication, more commonly referred to as a feed. Consider a blog, podcast, or YouTube channel. The contents are a collection of posts, audio recordings, or videos that get published into an RSS feed that can stream content to various apps and devices. RSS can also be used to create aggregates, collecting various feeds into a single stream.
E-Mail Marketing Service Providers
E-mail marketing services provide the tools you need to build a mailing list and then send campaigns to your subscribers. Most e-mail marketing providers offer a free trial period or a free package with limited features.
Scribizzy’s preferred e-mail marketing service is Mailchimp. In addition to code that embeds sign-up forms on your website, Mailchimp offers robust tools for setting up a wide variety of e-mail marketing campaigns, including RSS campaigns that are fully customizable and automated.
How RSS Campaigns Work
Every website that includes a blog section also comes with an RSS feed. It’s usually the URL (address) of your website with /rss or /feed at the end. Using the address of your RSS feed, an e-mail marketing service can check your blog to see if there are any new posts. It then collects the new posts (or excerpts of posts) into an e-mail and sends it to members of your mailing list.
E-mail marketing campaigns, including RSS campaigns, are pre-scheduled; you can set up your campaign to check your site and send its content to your mailing list once a day, once a week, or once a month.
The e-mails that go out to your list are customizable. Take a look at the customized and automated RSS e-mails I created for my blog, Writing Forward:
These e-mails go out as a weekly digest every Tuesday and contain excerpts from any posts that were published throughout the previous week with links so recipients can click through and read the full posts (there is also an option to include full posts within the automated e-mails). As you can see, the e-mail is completely customized, allowing me to align the design with my brand and include key content that I want to share with my subscribers.
The header depicts Writing Forward’s logo and tagline, and the sidebar includes links that allow subscribers to share a web-based version of this e-mail via social media (Mailchimp generates the web-based version). The sidebar also promotes my latest book with a link that takes readers to a page where they can learn more about it and purchase it. The text and colors are fully customizable, which is excellent for keeping e-mail campaigns aligned with the aesthetic of your website.
Scribizzy’s RSS campaign is much simpler; contrasted with Writing Forward’s campaign, you can see just how customizable these RSS campaigns are:
Benefits of an RSS Campaign
If you’re already blogging, an RSS campaign is essential. It gives your readers the option to receive e-mail notifications and links to your latest blog posts. If you’re not blogging, maybe it’s time to reconsider. The blog functionality on a website can be used in a variety of ways — from sharing tips and ideas to announcing product launches and special offers.
This results in a steady stream of new content for your customers with the added benefit of giving your website a boost with search engines. Even monthly updates can keep your website healthy and help you maintain a steady flow of business.
Scribizzy offers a full suite of online marketing services, including e-mail marketing and RSS campaigns. Contact us to find out how we can help you leverage RSS e-mail campaigns to benefit your business.
Hiring a website copywriter.
Hiring a website copywriter.Hiring a website copywriter.Small business owners understand that in today’s market, a website is essential. Your business website is your online headquarters, a place where you can promote your wares, connect with customers, and provide information and special offers that enhance your brand.
Most small business owners also understand that in consumers’ minds, the text on a website speaks to its quality and professionalism. Content that is peppered with typos or bad grammar looks sloppy. Language that is convoluted and fraught with industry jargon is confusing.
Bad copy drives customers away. That’s why hiring a professional website copywriter is essential in the modern business world. But what actions should you take before you hire a copywriter? How can you prepare to ensure that you get excellent service while fostering a mutually beneficial relationship with your copywriter?Read More
Website management in the spotlight.
Regular, ongoing website maintenance is essential to the health and success of any business website.
Web software needs to be updated to ensure functionality and to prevent security breaches. Regular backups are essential to prevent total loss of your website in case something goes wrong. And in order to ensure that a website is contributing to the success of the business it represents, regular performance reporting is critical.
Beyond that, a successful website is regularly updated with new content, and ongoing marketing strategies are employed to draw traffic to your website, bringing new customers to your business and retaining the customers you already have.
Our Website Management Services
Here at Scribizzy, we specialize in building and managing WordPress websites. Here are some benefits of hiring us to manage your website:
- We don’t need to learn on the job. Focus on your business while we handle your website.
- We’ll make sure your website software is always up to date. We’ll run regular backups and provide you with monthly (or weekly) performance reports, so you always know how your website is contributing to your business.
- We will develop, build, and manage strategic online marketing campaigns ranging from mailing lists to social media networking to ensure that your business is reaching its existing and potential customers.
We’re a results-based service provider, which means we strive to provide demonstrably beneficial website services to you and your business.
Your website is vital to your business. Let a professional website manager ensure that your website is working to strengthen and grow your business success. Visit our website management services page to learn more.
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What’s the purpose of your online marketing strategies?
What’s the difference between traditional and online marketing strategies?
Simple. Online marketing strategies are executed entirely on the web.
Of course, that’s assuming it’s happening at all.
Plenty of business owners and website managers are wandering around, handing out blank business cards. They are failing miserably at marketing their products and services online, even if they’ve established some kind of online presence.Read More
Assess your website performance.
There was a time when a website’s performance was summed up by how many hits it had received in a given time period (a day, a week, or a month). It’s still an important statistic but long gone are the days when the number of hits is the only piece of data we consider in assessing a website’s performance.
The number of visits is just one of the basic stats we examine for any website, but there other stats we can examine to better understand how our websites are performing. And once we understand how sites are performing, we can make improvements so they perform better. As a result, our businesses will grow.Read More
The third step in web content development is the build.
Creating web content for online display and distribution is essential in today’s marketplace.
More and more consumers are using the web to find and patronize businesses, and if your content is stale (or nonexistent), your business could be in big trouble.
Today’s post is part of a series on web content development. We’re looking at five basic steps in the process of developing web content for small business owners, independent professionals, and entrepreneurs.
We’ve already explored brainstorming and planning your web content. Today, we’re digging into the building phase. If you’ve done your due diligence and completed the brainstorming and (especially) the planning phases of your web content development, the building phase will be smooth and easy, because you already know what needs to be done.Read More
Are you blogging with purpose?
Does your website have a clearly defined purpose? And if so, does your blog support that purpose unequivocally?
Most websites exist to serve as online headquarters and marketing outposts for the businesses they represent. Everything about a website, from its design to its blog, should be structured to fulfill the business’s primary objective, which is usually to generate profit.
A blog is one component of a website, yet it is an area that often drifts from a website’s core purpose. I’ve seen business bloggers posting personal stories and photos, engaging in political or religious diatribes, and sharing other content that simply has nothing to do with their main objectives.
There are exceptions to every rule, so certainly there are cases where publishing seemingly unrelated content makes sense. Public figures, such as artists and entertainers, often share personal stories. Some businesses make a conscious decision to support or oppose political positions. But these actions are almost always carefully designed to build their brands.
The vast majority of websites are better served by maintaining blogs that are focused on the goals of the website and business.Read More
Small business website design tips.
When you’re shopping around for a small business website design, do you know what to look for and what to avoid? Do you know which design elements will make your site more appealing and which elements will turn visitors away?
If you’ve spent much time surfing the web, you’ve probably noticed that some websites’ design elements are distracting, annoying, or just plain ugly. We’ve all bumped into a few websites that make us want to scream. Luckily, escape is just a click away.
But if you’re a small business owner, you definitely don’t want visitors clicking away from your website, especially if they’re seeking escape because the design is unappealing or irritating.Read More
Google Plus for small businesses.
Every time a new social media network hits the scene, small businesses sign up and do their best to leverage it as a new and innovative marketing platform. Google Plus has been around for a few years now, and it’s no exception. Businesses small and large have established presences there, and some have found it to be a useful way to connect with audiences.
Many marketing gurus will insist that every small business must join every social media network available. It’s essential, they’ll say, and that’s almost never true. Whether or not Google Plus (or any other social media network) is an appropriate marketing tool for your business depends on the nature of your business and the demographics of your customers.
Google Plus is particularly interesting. The number one reason cited for every business using Google Plus is that it has the potential to improve your site’s performance on Google’s powerhouse search engine. I don’t think we can know for sure whether a Google Plus presence boosts a business’s search page ranking, since Google’s algorithms are highly secretive, but I do think it’s likely. However, that doesn’t mean your small business absolutely must establish a presence there. If you cater to a small clientele and don’t require a lot of traffic to your website, or if you don’t want or need search engine traffic, then you probably don’t need a Google Plus presence.
But let’s dig deeper. What is Google Plus and how does it work?Read More
Using WordPress for your small business website.
WordPress is quite possibly the best thing that has happened to websites since the Internet itself.
If you ask someone what WordPress is, there’s a good chance they’ll tell you it’s a blog platform, but it’s so much more than that.
Since it first hit the web in 2003 as a blog application, WordPress has evolved into a fully functioning content management system. It stores your content, keeps it organized, and makes your website easy to manage and navigate. Best of all, it’s free.Read More