Facebook & Instagram Land Another Kick In The Gut For Small Businesses Everywhere

Facebook & Instagram Land Another Kick In The Gut For Small Businesses Everywhere

We should be used to it by now, every few months Facebook & Instagram find other ways for them to make more money and that has our reach shrinking faster than a $3 shirt from Walmart. They can’t stop a Russian from interfering in our election process but they can sure as hell drop your page likes like a hot potato fresh out of the oven!

Listen, FB knows it, we know it, hell even the kids down the street know it. Even with all of the turmoil, they cause somehow they are still the best marketing game in town. Even with the changes, they are making and there are many it’s still easier and more cost-efficient to run FB ads over any other kind of ad. It just is. There are 2.27 billion (That’s a Billion with a capital ‘B’) and 75% of us log in every single day!

So what are these big changes you ask? Well, let me count the ways…

  1. The desktop FB feed is getting a total overhaul. There will be an algorithms update sometime in the Fall of 2019.
  2. Organic Targeting improves your ability to increase your organic reach on FB pages.
  3. Comments & shares will become more valuable and a heart will be worth more than a like.
  4. Organic reach will depend on relevancy and quality.
  5. The more engagement=the more reach.
  6. On FB mobile feeds you will only allow 3 lines of text & smaller image sizes.
  7. On Instagram, likes and video counts are going away.  Lower interactions and the new social proof is catching one’s interest.
  8. Removing low-quality posts, the explorer feature or low-quality hashtags.
  9. Comments will become more important.

So what can you do, the small business owner, that will keep your business in the green & keep you from seeing red when you’re FB or Instagram reach grows smaller and smaller.

  • Don’t waste money boosting posts.
  • Have a sales funnel in place.

You have to do seven things:

  1. Grab attention.
  2. Acknowledge pain point.
  3. Encourage immediate attention with a great value offer (39% of users will interact with what they see as a good value.
  4. Maker yourself relevant– Build that know & trust factor.
  5. Build relationships.
  6. Capture as little information as possible (Name & email).
  7. Nurture your future clients.
  8. Your email list is your most IMPORTANT ASSET!
  9. Close the sale.
  10. Follow through and up with.

So what’s the takeaway from all of this information? You can’t beat it and you should probably join them because let’s face it FB ain’t going away any time soon.

 

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One Month With EngageBay & Here Is How It’s Going + A Big Bonus For You!

One Month With EngageBay & Here Is How It’s Going + A Big Bonus For You!

A little over a month ago I cut the cord from MailChimp and turned to a new email service provider called EngageBay. Let me tell you how it’s going!

I am going to say that there is a learning curve but once it’s figured out I see it upping my email game extensively. It’s a totally different experience than what you’ve gotten used to in MailChimp, but with that being said it’s more intuitive, it’s more professional & it’s definitely more creative.

It’s the whole ball of wax in a single platform. Here is a list of packages & the included features. Just look at this list:

$0/month

Marketing
  • 1000 Contacts
  • 1,000 Branded Emails
  • Lists
  • Segmentation
  • Predictive Lead Score
  • Web Forms
  • Web Pop ups
  • Email Templates
  • Email Template Builder
  • Auto Responders
  • Tag Management
  • Social Suite
  • Integrations
  • Reporting Dashboard
  • Custom Fields
  • Live Chat 
  • Video Marketing
  • Facebook Ads
  • Conversational Inbox
  • Notifications
  • Landing Pages
  • Landing Page Builder
  • SSL Enabled for Landing Pages
  • Send Newsletters
  • Email Broadcast
  • Email Sequences
  • API
  • 500 MB File Storage
  • Marketing Automation
  • Site Messaging
  • Email Broadcast A/B Testing
  • Automations/Workflows
  • Nodes (Automation/Workflow)
  • Code your own Landing Page
  • Landing Page A/B Testing
  • Custom Domain for Landing Pages
  • Timezone based email delivery
  • Push Notifications
  • Web Analytics
  • Custom Reporting
  • SSO
  • Role Management
CRM & Sales
  • Contacts & Companies
  • 360 degree contact view
  • Tag Management
  • Deals
  • Tasks
  • Deals pipeline
  • Appointment scheduling
  • User activity
  • File repository
  • Email tracking
  • Email scheduling
  • Email templates
  • Landing pages
  • Gmail integration
  • Outlook integration
  • Office 365 integration
  • Social suite (Twitter, Facebook, & Instagram)
  • Leaderboard
  • Reports Dashboard
  • Predictive Lead Score
  • Multi Deal Tracks
  • Multiple Deal pipelines
  • Calling minutes
  • Call Reports
  • Custom Fields
  • Email scheduling
  • Email Sequences
  • Automations/Workflows
  • Nodes (Automation/Workflow)
  • Timezone Based Delivery
  • Proposals
  • Proposal Analytics
  • Role Management
  • Call Transcripts
  • Call Scripts
  • Custom Reports
  • Goals
  • Account Based Marketing
Service Bay
  • Contact Management
  • Ticketing Management
  • Ticket Views
  • Ticket Macros
  • Groups
  • Group Management
  • Canned Responses
  • Personal Note
  • Customer 360 Degree View
  • Notifications
  • Teams
  • Push Notification
  • Automations/Workflows
  • Nodes (Automation/Workflow)
  • SSO
  • Role Management
Support
  • Email & Chat Support
  • Free Onboarding Sessions
  • Dedicated Account Manager
  • Phone Support

SIGN UP NOW

Basic

$8.99/userper month

Marketing
  • 15,000 Contacts
  • 10,000 Branded Emails
  • Lists
  • Segmentation
  • Lead Score
  • Embed Forms
  • Web Pop ups
  • Email Templates
  • Email Template Builder
  • Auto Responders
  • Tag Management
  • Social Suite
  • Integrations
  • Reporting Dashboard
  • Custom Fields
  • Live Chat 
  • Video Marketing
  • Facebook Ads
  • Conversational Inbox
  • Notifications
  • Landing Pages
  • Landing Page Builder
  • SSL Enabled for Landing Pages
  • Send Newsletters
  • Email Broadcast
  • Email Sequences
  • API
  • 2 GB File Storage
  • Marketing Automation
  • Site Messaging
  • Email Broadcast A/B Testing
  • Automations/Workflows
  • Nodes (Automation/Workflow)
  • Code your own Landing Page
  • Landing Page A/B Testing
  • Custom Domain for Landing Pages
  • Timezone based email delivery
  • Push Notifications
  • Web Analytics
  • Custom Reporting
  • SSO
  • Role Management
CRM & Sales
  • Contacts & Companies
  • 360 degree contact view
  • Tag Management
  • Deals
  • Tasks
  • Deals pipeline
  • Appointment scheduling
  • User activity
  • File repository
  • Email tracking
  • Email scheduling
  • Email templates
  • Landing pages
  • Gmail integration
  • Outlook integration
  • Office 365 integration
  • Social suite (Twitter, Facebook, & Instagram)
  • Leaderboard
  • Reports Dashboard
  • Predictive Lead Score
  • Multiple Deal Tracks
  • Multiple Deal pipelines
  • Calling minutes
  • Call Reports
  • Custom Fields
  • Multi Currency
  • Email Sequences
  • Automations/Workflows
  • Nodes (Automation/Workflow)
  • Timezone Based Delivery
  • Proposals
  • Proposal Analytics
  • Role Management
  • Call Transcripts
  • Call Scripts
  • Custom Reports
  • Goals
  • Account Based Marketing
Service Bay
  • Contact Management
  • Ticketing Management
  • Ticket Views
  • Ticket Macros
  • Groups
  • Group Management
  • Canned Responses
  • Personal Note
  • Customer 360 Degree View
  • Notifications
  • Teams
  • Push Notification
  • Automations/Workflows
  • Nodes (Automation/Workflow)
  • SSO
  • Role Management
Support
  • Email & Chat Support
  • Free Onboarding Sessions
  • Dedicated Account Manager
  • Phone Support

SIGN UP NOW

They have even bigger plans if you need it!

If you’re on my subscriber list you have probably been a couple of crazy newsletters, but once I figured it out I’ve been creating sequences, automation, and creating interest tags. Whether you sign up here ⇒ & if you haven’t you absolutely should or you’re a do it yourself kind of girl and sign up over at Wandering Web Designer it all goes to the same place but different lists and different sequences.

I have three websites and being able to keep all of my lists together in one spot has helped me keep focused and it’s also inspired me to do more with my subscribers.

I know that some of you are ready to break up with MailChimp & I hope this gives you that push!

Not only is Engagebay offering you (my readers) a 10% discount but for a very limited time, I am going to offer to set up your account COMPLETELY FREE if you sign up for a paid account. NOT VALID FOR THE FREE ACCOUNT. USE COUPON CODE: IZ9mC83u

YOU’RE PROBABLY SAYING ARE YOU CRAZY???!!!???

Yes, I am!

WHAT IT INCLUDES:

  1. I will export your subscribers from your current email service provider.
  2. I will import that list into your brand new Engagebay account.
  3. I will set up one RSS campaign (create the blog newsletter).

THIS DEAL WILL NOT BE OFFERED AGAIN SO IF YOU’RE ON THE FENCE SEND ME AN EMAIL (Rena (@)theblogging911.com)WITH ANY QUESTIONS YOU MAY HAVE. Or just fill out the form to the side that says ‘Let’s Talk’!

*This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase a subscription I will earn a small commission that will in no way affect your cost.

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Say Goodbye To MailChimp & Hello To Engagebay The Answer To Your Email Marketing Dreams

Say Goodbye To MailChimp & Hello To Engagebay The Answer To Your Email Marketing Dreams

I know! I know! I never thought I would utter those words, but hey times change and if you don’t change with them you’re left behind in the dust thinking would’a, should’a or could’a. Part of being a successful entrepreneur is being able to be flexible. You have to be able to pivot quickly to stay current.

I’ve used MailChimp for years and I’ve referred many, many clients to them, but since making major changes this year it’s become increasingly clear that it’s not the best choice for email marketing for a small business owner.

One of the very best parts of being in my business (& also a total tech geek) is I sometimes hear from companies who have something different. Businesses who are innovative & what I feel would be an amazing asset to any business, not just my own.

Believe me, I also turn down quite a few.

It's very important for @blogging911 to be the place to find honest information that you need to run your business and become successful in this online world. I need you to be successful for me to be successful whether your client or a… Click To Tweet

So let me recap for the skimmers out there:

MAILCHIMP=BAD                       ENGAGEBAY=GOOD

I’ve been using Engagebay for almost a month now and haven’t even begun to take advantage of all that they offer.

Engagebay Is Email Marketing On Steroids!

Who Actually Uses Email Marketing?

  • Are you a blogger who sends out a newsletter? Guess what you’re an email marketer!
  • Do you sell products or services? You damn well better be an email marketer!
  • Do you have a sales funnel? You are definitely an email marketer?

For years, I’ve touted MailChimp’s simplicity and its features vs. cost ratio. I’ve written tons of blog posts about them, but I cannot in good conscious recommend them anymore because those features that I was so excited about disappeared behind a cloak of upgrades and price increases.

THEN CAME ENGAGEBAY!

For real this company is no joke in the internet marketing arena. I grabbed this in case you want to know more about them:

Unless the software is easy to use, you’ll rarely get anyone to use it.

Most business automation software is klutzy, costly, hard to implement and harder to use. Even if you manage to set up multiple standalone software for separate processes, they will most likely not be able to inter-communicate.

At EngageBay, we take the ease of use issue very seriously – so we developed an integrated marketingsales and support friendly automation (with a free CRM thrown in for good measure) software that’ll make sure everybody in the organization is on the same page and moreover, they love using it. And what is amazing is that this costs much lesser than you’d imagine, so it won’t burn a hole in your pocket. Moreover, even an absolutely non-technical individual can set it up in a few minutes.

We are a young team of dynamic marketers, sales pros and development aces, helped by a very inclusive and dynamic leadership.

Today, over 5,000 companies trust our software to run their businesses. We have places to go yet…

BUT I KNOW YOU! YOU’RE SAYING,

“GET TO THE POINT RENA. WHAT CAN IT DO FOR ME?”

Here is Engagebay pricing compared to MailChimp below.

 

There is so much here that I can’t begin to cover it with this one post, so I thought for this introduction why not get it right from the source!

MY CHALLENGE TO YOU!

Sign up for an account if you’re ready to take your email marketing to the next level! That email sequence, course or challenge you’ve been thinking of creating, or maybe you need to make a pitch to a list of sponsors or even create that sales funnel that will put your business on the map.

HERE IS A MORE IN-DEPTH VIDEO THAT EXPLAINS THE FEATURES WAY BETTER THAN I EVER COULD.

What do you think? Are you ready to up your email marketing game?

WANDERING WEB DESIGNER IS HAVING ANOTHER GRAND OPENING SPECIAL! RIGHT NOW SAVE 25% OFF ALL EMAIL SEQUENCES!

**This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase a subscription I earn a small commission that will in no way affect your cost. I only promote products or services that I use myself or have used in the past and sincerely believe in.

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Step-by-Step Sales Funnel Planning

Step-by-Step Sales Funnel Planning

 

Feeling overwhelmed at the thought of setting up your sales funnel? You’re not alone. Many online business owners fail to properly plan out their funnel, and it shows.

They have an opt-in incentive that doesn’t appeal to their audience.

Their follow-up emails don’t flow naturally from the opt-in.

Messages are unbalanced—either too many sales pitches or not enough. Even worse, the offers don’t match the market.

Making these mistakes is common, so if you recognize yourself here, don’t feel bad. The good news? There’s an easy fix.

Step 1: Survey your market

All too often we think we know what our readers and potential buyers want, but in reality, we’re simply guessing. We make the mistake of believing that we are our market, but that usually is not the case.

The only way to know for sure what your market truly wants and needs is to ask them. Set up a simple survey (even a Google form will work) and ask your blog readers, social media followers, and email list to give their opinion.

Do this right, and you’ll know exactly what you should be offering your audience, plus, you’ll know that language to use on your opt-in page.

Step 2: Create your opt-in

Now that you know what your market needs, it’s time to create your opt-in incentive. Keep in mind that readers today seem to prefer simple, easy-to-digest offers rather than 200-page eBooks or 7-part video series. This makes your job a bit easier, too.

Some popular choices for opt-in incentives include:

  • Checklists
  • Worksheets
  • Resource guides
  • Video training
  • Webinars
  • Audio downloads

 

Step 3: Map out your autoresponder

Every good opt-in incentive should be followed up with a series of emails that build on the material. If you’ve offered a resource guide, for example, then your follow-up emails might include usage tips for each of the resources, or case studies that show how others have benefited from using the tools.

Step 4: Make an offer

Arguably the most important part of your funnel, your offer must be the logical next step for readers to take. They’ve worked through your opt-in incentive, read and acted on your emails, and they’re hungry for more. Time to make your offer.

Just like the other pieces of your funnel, your coaching offer needs to be the answer to your readers’ most burning questions. If you consider your opt-in and follow-up series to be the “lite” version, then your coaching offer is the premium package. Bigger, beefier, and the perfect next step.

Before you post your first opt-in code, take some time to map out your funnel according to these steps, and you’ll not only fill your funnel faster, but you’ll close more sales along the way.

 

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Top Tools For Building Your Sales Funnel

Top Tools For Building Your Sales Funnel

Ready to start building out your sales funnels? There are just a few things you need before you can get started. Here are some of the most popular options when it comes to putting together both free and paid funnels: 

Lead Pages—when it comes to building opt-in pages, LeadPages.net is one of the most powerful tools you have at your disposal. They’ve tracked and tested a variety of page styles to determine which ones convert best, and they make it easy for you to build similar pages for your funnel.

It does come with a monthly fee, though, so before investing, you’ll want to be sure you can recoup your investment.

Instabuilder—similar to LeadPages, but without the monthly investment. Instabuilder is a plugin for WordPress that allows you to create your own funnels. It includes several funnel templates and a drag-and-drop page builder that makes it easy to get just the look you want.

AWeber—Probably the easiest email manager on the market today, AWeber is the choice for many small business owners, not only because it’s simple to use, but because it’s also economical. Starting at less than $20 per month for up to 500 subscribers, AWeber offers both autoresponders and broadcast emails, list automation, and segmenting, so you can send emails exactly when—and to whom—you want.

AW Pro Tools—an add-on to AWeber, AW Pro Tools gives you added control over your list management by automatically removing unsubscribes, moving subscribers from one list to another based on the link they click, and other useful automations. 

PayPal—The simplest of all payment processors, PayPal allows you to take payments online for a very reasonable fee. It will also act as a simple shopping cart.

Ontraport—Another email manager, Ontraport offers shopping cart functionality as well, so you can create powerful funnels that are fully integrated with your sales process. The benefit here is that you don’t have to try to synch your cart with your email system, since it’s completely self-contained. 

Infusionsoft—Probably the top tool for any business model, Infusionsoft is an all-in-one solution for customer management, funnel setup, mailing list, and even membership sites. It’s priced at the high end, but if you can (and will) use all its power, then Infusionsoft is well worth the investment.

You can see that you have a lot of options when it comes to building out your sales funnels, but what are the must-have items? At the most basic level, you must have:

A way to create web pages. A simple WordPress website will fill this need, with a little bit of work. LeadPages or Instabuilder are nice to have, but not essential, especially if you’re just getting started.

A way to capture email addresses. AWeber is definitely the top choice here, but others include MailChimp, Constant Contact, and iContact.

A shopping cart. PayPal is as easy as it gets when it comes to shopping carts, but other options include 1 Shopping Cart, Woo Commerce, Infusionsoft, and aMember.

 

I recommend you start small. Build the funnel framework as simply as you can, using tools that don’t cost a fortune. Once you have a few funnels up and running, you will be able to see where they can use improvement, and how the tools available to you can help make your funnels convert better and work more efficiently.

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What The Heck Is A Sales Funnel Anyway?

What The Heck Is A Sales Funnel Anyway?

For an online business owner, a sales funnel is probably the most important marketing tool you have. And yet many entrepreneurs – both new and established – have no clear understanding of what a funnel is or how it works.

As you can imagine, failing to fully understand this critical part of your business means fewer sales, lower profits, and ultimately, an unstable business.

A Simple Sales Funnel

At its most basic, a sales funnel consists of free content, which typically requires nothing of your readers. Many sales funnels begin with blog posts, YouTube videos, Facebook content, and other information readers can access at no cost. This is the “top” of your funnel.

Next, you’ll have an attractive offer that requires a very small “payment” of sorts – typically an email address. You’ve seen this type of offer on websites all over the internet, and probably even signed up for some. This is the free ebook or guide, video series, checklist, workbook, or other valuable content that is available in exchange for “opting in” to an email list.

Once on your mailing list, you’ll then present your readers with a series of low-cost offers. Perhaps you have a low-priced ebook or a trial membership.

Customers who purchase your low-priced product move further down the funnel, and are presented with more, higher priced products. As they continue to buy, they move closer and closer to your top-end offers, which make up the bottom of your funnel.

How Your Funnel Works

If you imagine your funnel as looking like, well, a funnel, it’s easy to see that your free content—at the top—is consumed by the largest number of readers. Below that, your extreme low-cost item (available only for the cost of an email address) attracts a smaller subset of the true freebie seekers. Next, your low-priced products bring in yet a smaller group.

Finally, as you near the tip of the funnel, only the most loyal of fans and customers will purchase your highest priced offers.

Your job, as the business owner, is to ensure that your funnel leads buyers naturally from the top, free offers all the way to the bottom. The more buyers you can keep in your funnel, the more money you will make.

Most new—and even established—business owners can easily envision the top of the funnel, but if you truly want your business to grow, you must master the entire process, and that starts with understanding what a funnel really is and how it works.

Over the next few weeks, I’ll be covering sales funnel in depth. Want to keep up? Sign up for my email list and you’ll get it first!

Do you use a sales funnel? Do you recognize one when you see it?

 

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