Category Archives: Online businesses

Playing Nice in the Inbox: CASL Exemptions for B2B Communications

As we celebrate our nation’s birthday on July 1st, the Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL) Email spamwill launch to make it harder for spammers to inundate our inboxes. As a small business owner, I thought I’d share a few links that help explain the exemptions for reaching out to business contacts:

1. Deloitte’s “Canadian Anti-Spam Law: Key Exemptions” has a great summary.

2. Business Vancouver also recently published a helpful article entitled “The ifs, ands and buts of new anti-spam legislation.”

Both summaries indicate that “there’s an implied consent to receive emails from a business when there is an ongoing relationship.” But you must also provide an unsubscribe option and contact information if you send out a message with commercial intent.

In addition, businesses with direct contact relationships need to be aware that “while implied consent has a shelf life and will expire, express consent does not expire once granted.” That’s where things get a little tricky. And small businesses like mine, who use a free platform like WordPress, need to get creative in re-affirming that consent.

Since this blog promotes my business, I want to make sure that all of my readers who have opted-in to receive my posts via email are ok with receiving them the future. I really value your readership and hope that you will continue to follow my small business journey.

But if you no longer wish to receive blog posts from me, WordPress offers an unsubsribe option at the bottom of every email post that goes out. If you are a WordPress blogger, you can also remove blog posts from your inbox via the “blogs I follow” section. If you ever have any trouble, you can email me at andrea@therunningstart.ca (or respond to the email that goes out with every blog post) and let me know if you need me to look into the matter further.

I also welcome your feedback on how I can make these blog posts more useful to you to keep you reading every month. I want to play nice in your inbox.

Thanks again for your continued support. I hope that everyone in Canada has a great long weekend. Happy Canada Day!

 

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How to Save Your Customers Time With Better Web Copy

So, you’ve launched your small business or startup and you’re ready to tell the image with words like strategy and successworld about it on your new website. With so much to say, it’s tempting to include everything you could ever tell your customers about your product and your company in the copy.

But too much copy can be a turn-off. That’s because Internet users are very impatient and want to find exactly what they are looking for when they arrive at your website. And they want to read it in as little time as possible.

Below are some tips for making your website copy easier to digest.

Keep it short and scannable.
You should aim to keep your paragraphs short – just a few sentences. The same goes for your overall copy.

If you can say it in 200 words, rather than 500 words, do so. You’ll be helping people to find the information they need to make their purchase decision faster.

Use sub-headings to break up text.
By highlighting your key points with sub-headings, you will help impatient readers get the gist of your message without having to read all of the copy.

Highlight important information with bullet points.
It can be tempting to write about your company’s key features and benefits as one, long paragraph. But if you want your customers to understand why they should buy from you in as little time as possible, it’s better to separate the information with bullet points.

Say it with an image, video or diagram.
It can be tempting to explain everything about what you do with text. But keep it mind that it might be easier for the user to understand your product through diagrams, images or explainer videos – especially if you sell sophisticated software or anything that takes a long time to explain with text.

Do you have any other tips for helping web visitors to make quick purchase decisions with short and snappy copy? If so, please share in the comments section below.

If Content is the Lure, Email is the Glue

Ever notice how many emails your favourite online retailer sent Glue tube isolated on whitethis past holiday season? The messages were likely tailored to different gift ideas, discounts, party outfit suggestions and more.

Why did they do this? To keep people coming back to the website and shopping their web pages. They also probably targeted specific messages to key segments of shoppers (like myself) who are a more likely to open said offers and ideas.

I’ve written a lot of posts about the power of social media and content marketing on this blog. However, there is a key storytelling tool that is often forgotten as new social platforms emerge.

Email is still the glue that keeps your customers coming back regularly. And if you want to ensure that your customers return to your eCommerce website or App, you cannot live without this tool.

Yes, it is still necessary to use blogs, videos and social media platforms to attract and engage with customers. But if you aren’t using email in tandem with those tools to convert customers when selling your product, you are missing an important piece of the puzzle.

If you’re just getting started, MailChimp and ConstantContact are easy to use tools for a small business or startup.

How do you use email to integrate with social media and drive traffic back to your website? Please share below.