Grow your small business with email and social media marketing notes

Back in April (Wednesday, April 9 to be exact) I attended “Grow your small business with email and social media marketing,” a free talk sponsored by Buffalo Niagara SCORE and lead by a sales representative from Constant Contact. I typed up some notes to share with my coworkers, but never posted them to this blog. Since I went looking for these notes again recently, I thought I would share them here as well.

Photo by Michael Coghlan “Mobile Worker”. Used under CC BY 2.0. No changes made.
Photo by Michael Coghlan “Mobile Worker”. Used under CC BY 2.0. No changes made.

General marketing advice

  • Flip the (sales) funnel; your current customers are valuable. You want your customers to come back and be your brand advocates and salespeople.
  • Your customer’s friends are your next great prospects.
  • When your customers are most happy – when they are most satisfied with your service (like getting their items shipped e-mail) then ask them to join your e-mail marketing list.
  • Don’t just send a generic “welcome” e-mail to new subscribers. Wow them by “welcoming” them and asking them what you can do for them or helping them.
  • Tell people your company is “different” not “better” because saying you are better than your competitor /customer’s current choice implies that the customer’s current choice is a mistake they made.

E-mail marketing

  • Every $1 spent on e-mail marketing earns $40-$70 in return investment. (SCORE Guy that spoke before her said this.)
  • Nearly 50% of people read e-mails on a mobile device.
  • Let your e-mail subscribers know that you post more (and more frequently) on social media so they can follow you there.
  • 67% of people have their images for e-mails set to off. Make sure your most impt. Information is in text to make sure your information is seen.
  • Links get more clicks, buttons do not.
  • Put logo on left side or center
  • Put key information above “scroll”
  • Make sure your e-mail address is recognizable
  • To find the best time/day to send e-mail, divide list into three segments and test segments over three days (Segment one- send Tuesday, Segment two- Wed).
  • Take day with most opens and send e-mail that day but now pick three different times.
  • No Friday or Monday to send e-mails.
  • “222” formula – you have two seconds, using first two words (in your subject line) to convince someone to open your e-mail today (now). Or else they will never open your e-mail. First few words are important because that might be all that they see on their mobile device and it entices people to read more.
  • Put time in headline – “This summer stay cool”
  • Newsletters need to be short and sweet. The days of the long newsletter are in the past.
  • Send 1-2 e-mails per month, short. Put only two links in it, a little info. Include links that send them somewhere, because that’s measurable. Do not give too many choices.
  • Measurable results – are an action.

Social Media

  • Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook are the top three social networks
  • New – Pinterest and Instagram
  • is the #2 search engine. People are really looking at video. They do not have to be high-value productions, but they have to be valuable and informative.
  • When you post something ask people to comment or share, ask a question, post a poll, or post something that will make people take action.
  • Posting frequency – 3-5 times a week, no more than two times a day. Key is consistency.
  • Free tool from Constant Contact – Nutshell – tracks your brand’s social media activity and delivers a summary to your email inbox on your schedule.


  • Saturday is the day with the most shares
  • Video posts = 100% more engagement
  • Picture posts= 120% more engagement
  • Photo Album posts= 180% (increases your chances that one person will like at; least one photo)


Take time to send a welcome e-mail to people that connect to you on LinkedIn. “Thank you for connecting with me. How do you see us doing business together?”


  • Use #Hastags for your tweets to be included in categories of posts, or for events.
  • Create twitter chats. Let your followers know via e-mail/social media that you will be on twitter on a certain time/day to answer any questions or to talk about a topic.

Mostly female audience. Top categories are food, jewelry and shoes.

Content creation

  • Write about stuff that you know and they (audience) don’t. Stuff you know about first.
  • Curate/share content
  • You can use the same content on different social media; do it strategically ex: post to twitter one day, Facebook the next, etc.

Content types:

  • Discounts/coupons
  • Stories
  • Tips/advice
  • Offer a free download (idea- cook book, recipes for holidays/times of the year. Holiday checklist.)

Buffalo Niagara SCORE is a great local resource if you are looking to start a business. They regularly hold workshops and events about business. Check out some of their upcoming events and local workshops.