4 Email Marketing Mistakes to Avoid in 2020

Even in 2020, email marketing remains a gold mine for businesses of all sizes and industries, helping you convert new customers and keep them coming back. You’ve likely heard statistics such as the average ROI of email marketing and how it often serves as the primary method for customer retention.

But not all email marketing strategies are made equal. Make the wrong decisions and you could end up with an ineffective campaign that fails to realize the true potential of this method. This is why it’s important to know about the common mistakes you should avoid to ensure the best possible chances of success. Here are 4 to keep in mind.

Ignoring New Subscribers

Anyone who has taken the necessary steps to subscribe to your mailing list is clearly interested in your business. It’s at this point that they will be most engaged with you, so waiting until your next newsletter before getting in touch is a big mistake. Instead, each new subscriber should be greeted with a welcome email.

These have the highest open rates, generating an average of 320% more revenue than other marketing messages. Ensure that yours includes a warm and appropriate welcome, an introduction to your brand, and an explanation of what to expect moving forward.

Having an Unclear Call-to-Action

Without a clear call-to-action, you’re leaving it up to your audience to determine what to do next. Their decision may not be in-line with the purpose of your email, rendering it more or less useless. This is why your emails need a clear call-to-action that drives your goal home.

Your intended outcome can involve making a purchase, reading a new blog post, sharing to social media, or joining a loyalty program. In any case, be sure to use the content and design of your email to lean subscribers towards that outcome, with a clear and enticing call-to-action to seal the deal.

Doing it Yourself

You’re making far more than just one mistake by not leveraging the tools and resources available for email marketing today. This includes wasting countless hours manually performing tasks that can be completed with automation. It can also mean missing out on valuable insights by not making use of analytics tools.

Not using a professional tool with well-designed templates could result in you sending ineffective emails. This even applies to more specific actions. For instance, take a look at what happens when you send mass email in Gmail instead of a dedicated tool. Deliverability issues are just one of the problems you might end up dealing with.

Buying Email Lists

Finally, one of the biggest mistakes you can make that will break your chances of a successful campaign no matter how well-designed your emails and their content are, is paying for who receives them. It may be convenient, but rest assured you’ll either end up with a list of fake addresses or people who have no interest in your business to begin with.

Be sure to keep these mistakes in mind when putting together your campaigns. Avoiding them will go a long way in ensuring your success.

3-PRIME’s COVID-19 Repsonse

As we all grapple with the challenges of the COVID-19 virus, please know that 3PRIME remains 100% committed to powering the continued success of your businesses and organizations. We deeply respect the trust you have placed in us, and you can count on us to do everything possible to ensure the continuity of your online performance and our service levels.

What We’ve Done

We have instituted a Work From Home policy. All 3PRIME personnel will be working from home through the end of March. We are lucky in that our whole team is well-versed in the tools and we anticipate no detriment to our productivity. We’re actively modifying our business dynamics to ensure the health and safety of our communities, especially concerning the most vulnerable among us.

Contacting your customers

If you need assistance drafting a COVID-19 announcement, let us know and we will be glad to assist you with drafting your announcement as well as posting it to your website(s) and social media profiles.

Need help with online meetings

If your team is not well-versed with remote work tech, we’ll do our best to help you! We can schedule a 20-minute training session and deliver a user guide to ensure that your business stays as productive as possible through this period. 

  1.   Call to schedule a 20-minute group training session
  2.   Whats the difference between Google Hangouts, Zoom and Uberconference?
  3.   Don’t need video? Use FreeConferenceCall.com

SBA Guidance & Assistance for Small Businesses

The Small Business Administration (SBA) has posted information regarding loan programs and guidance for businesses:

CDC Guidance & Prevention Protocols for Businesses

The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) has issued COVID-19 guidance for businesses and is updating them as new developments occur.

We also think that the advice on FlattenTheCurve.com is worth reviewing.

 

Let us know if you need assistance managing these unusual economic conditions!

How to Turn Your Business into the #1 Search on Google

Every website wants to attain the richest prize on the Internet: the #1 ranking on Google. Even second prize, getting onto the first page of Google search results, will suffice for most. 

The reason: barely anyone actually scrolls past that initial page. Statistics suggest only one out of four people will journey beyond the first page of search results. As a result, your website needs to find a place among the top results on Google or it will struggle to attract new organic visitors. 

Yet when everyone has the same goal, achieving that feat is rather difficult – to say the least. Although with careful planning, and helpful advice as found below, it’s not impossible. Below are a few pointers for pushing your website to the #1 spot on Google:

Receive expert advice 

The fight for first place is hard. Even if you’re in a super specialized niche, it is still a struggle to topple the competition in those all-important Google rankings. 

With this in mind, never be afraid to reach out for expert advice. If you get a growth consultant on-board, this can help to save a lot of time and effort. Additionally, they have the knowledge to build your brand and place it on the right path towards Google glory. 

Optimize your website 

Your website needs to be fully optimized to stand a chance of ranking high during search results. What does this entail? Well there are many different SEO points to take into consideration, including: 

  • Using the right keywords.
  • The website is user-friendly and responsive. 
  • The site is fast to load.
  • It is optimized for mobile. 
  • Use of internal links. 
  • Meta descriptions and title tags for pages/posts. 
  • Images have a relevant title and alternative text.

Ultimately, this is a lot of hard work – particularly if you have no prior SEO experience. This is where a specialist can come into play. For instance, Digital Silk is a professional digital marketing and website development company who can wipe out the work and frustration of going it alone. Not to mention that their expertise will deliver an optimized site beyond your own capabilities.

Select the right keywords 

Keywords are so important that, even though they were mentioned previously, they need their own dedicated section. The reason for this is simple: these are the words people will be typing into Google to find your website. 

Due to the competition for general terms, it’s advised to go with long-tail keywords. These are essentially words which include the main keyword, yet incorporate other relevant words. For example, “online marketing” can be turned into “online marketing strategies for beginners”. The latter will have less search regularity out of the two, of course, but there’s less competition – and more chance of hitting top spot on Google as a result.

Post regular, high-quality blog posts 

Quality blog content is integral for hitting top spot. Not only does it increase the scope for targeting more keywords, but you can also increase internal link usage and enhance your authority as an industry expert. 

As for how to upgrade posts to that “high-quality” level, ensure they are stuffed with informative and useful information targeted towards your audience. Also use videos, pictures, lists, subheadings, and anything else that breaks the content up and enhances readability.

3PRIME Recommends Vipre Antivirus Solution for Macs & PCs

For the next several weeks, 3PRIME and we expect many of you, will be activating work from home procedures. A relevant concern is whether the computers your staff may use at home are protected like the ones at your offices.

Cloudflare, a global cloud DNS solution we use for a portion of our client domains, sent 2 interesting statistics yesterday.

  1. As more people work from home, peak traffic in impacted regions has increased, on average, approximately 10%.
  2. In Italy, which has imposed a nationwide quarantine, peak Internet traffic is up 30%.

If you aren’t using a solid antivirus and Internet security suite, we want to share the same recommendation we make for clients experiencing issues with malware on your computers. We have used Vipre Internet Security  for our workstations and laptops since 2012, and in that time we haven’t had to rebuild any workstations due to malware incidents. Prior to this we would have to do this every 6 months or so, a real drag on focus and productivity.

You can protect 10 computers and laptops for $79 per year. Use this link to get the Home Protection package and receive a 20% discount.

Vipre also has several other options, including:

  1. VPN Software
  2. Privacy Shield
  3. Endpoint Security for network administrators
  4. Ultimate Security  package which bundles Privacy shield and VPN with the Home protection license.

While we do not directly support office networks, we’ve found the Home Protection very easy to install and essentially set-and-forget.

Installing Vipre Home Protection

  1. Please use this link to purchase the license for 1, 5 or 10 Macs or PCs.
  2. On that page, choose “Vipre Advanced Security”.
  3. Select the number of licenses you need.
  4. Once you complete the purchase, note your license key.
  5. Download the installation package and install it on each computer.
  6. During install specify the license key.
  7. Complete the installation, including the initial scans.
  8. Setup the scan schedule, we have ours set to run weekly during an evening, but set it to whatever you feel makes the most sense.

How to Start Protecting Yourself Online Today

How to Start Protecting Yourself Online Today 

Whenever we head out the door, we will lock up our homes and keep our pockets zipped up. This is to protect our belongings against any slim chances of theft. However, it’s so much easier to protect your physical belongings than your virtual ones. There are less of them, they can be locked away, you can set an alarm, and we have the advantage of being vigilant about anyone who may be going for our phone or wallet. 

Protecting ourselves online is much harder. All of our data — from login details to personal information to even our buying habits — can be exploited for financial gain. Sometimes you won’t notice the breach because it won’t be your computer that was stolen from, but another business that has your personal data stored away. 

Knowing how to protect your online identity is the first step to protecting yourself online, so follow these steps today:

Go Through and Find Old Accounts 

Old accounts that you don’t use anymore are big security risks, especially if the company has stopped updating their security and are generally running into bankruptcy. In these cases, old accounts are easy pickings for hackers. If that account has personal data like passwords or answers to security questions, you could face a hack somewhere else.

Update All Passwords so They are Unique 

All of your passwords should be unique. Every single one. There are tricks to help you remember all of these passwords or you can invest in a password manager that offers encrypted protection on every account.

Google Yourself 

Old accounts aren’t the only threat to your livelihood. Old posts, news articles — anything that mentions you in a bad light — is something you need to address. On top of Googling yourself, your email, and your phone number, you will also want to go through your old social media posts to ensure that nothing from the past can hurt you in the future. 

The data you need to worry about isn’t just slanderous posts, either. If you publicly mention key data, like where you were born, who your grandmother is and their maiden name, or even what your dog’s name was, then it is a risk. They are answers to your security questions after all!

Use Two-Factor Authentication for Everything 

If two-factor authentication is available, use it. This way you will be required to have your phone or access to another account to login from a new device or computer. 

Encrypt Your Data 

Most laptops will offer the ability to encrypt your data, so if someone steals your computer, they can’t just hack their way in without destroying everything private. This is more necessary for business owners and those whose laptops are worth more than their lives; but, it is still an easy and worthwhile step to take.

Use a VPN 

To protect your search history and online activity you will want to invest in a VPN, especially if you like working in cafes or other public spaces. Free Wi-Fi is easy for hackers to gain access to and hack into your data. 

The level of security you will want to go through will depend entirely on the data you want to keep private. The above list of suggestions can keep your personal data safe from hackers, but if you own a business or work with sensitive data daily, more measures will need to be taken. 

3 Tips for Enhancing Your Local SEO Efforts

Whether you own a small business or one with multiple locations, local SEO can provide a massive assist in boosting sales.

For those not quite sure what local SEO entails, simply think about your standard search engine optimization tactics. Yet instead of targeting a general topic, it is more specific to your local area. Take an automobile repair shop located in Chicago as an example. Rather than aiming for the general term of “automobile repair shop”, local SEO will go with “automobile repair shop in Chicago”. 

Although local SEO reduces your overall reach, it increases the possibility of your business being found by people that matter: local customers. Did you know that, out of all Google searches in the world, 46% of them are from consumers searching for information about local businesses?

Due to this, your company needs a strong plan in place for local SEO. To help you along the way, consider the following three tips for enhancing your local SEO efforts:

1. Find the right local SEO keywords

First of all, you should identify the local SEO keywords which will bring maximum visibility for your company. Thankfully, this is a simple task. While you can do this with Google Keyword Planner, you also have the option of taking a closer look at your competition and see what keywords they are targeting.

When deciding on local SEO keywords, here are a few other pointers:

  • Don’t forget to do variations on keywords. For instance, “Dallas electricians”, “electricians in Dallas”, “Dallas’s best electricians”. 
  • Google, in most cases, will already know where a potential customer is located. As a result, they will search for “electricians near me” rather than specifying their local area. Keep in mind to also use “…near me” keyword variations. 
  • Long tail search terms are easy to ignore, but they can produce high conversion rates. If you rank first for, say, “Dallas electricians who install solar panels”, this will generate a concentrated customer base.

2. Optimize landing pages

Linking to the aforementioned point about keywords, you should create landing pages that are optimized for a specific topic. This could be for a location, service, feature, or ad campaign. 

When you utilize local landing page optimization, you have a greater chance of targeted customers visiting your website. You can truly highlight a certain topic and improve its local search authority in the process.

Once you have the customer on the landing page, you need to sell them on your business. To do this, you can: 

  • Provide a clear, informative description of what you are offering.
  • Use customer reviews as social proof. 
  • Utilize visual content such as videos and images.

3. Google My Business

This point is short and sweet: sign-up and get your business listed on Google My Business. 

If your business is verified on Google My Business, the rewards can be lucrative. If someone does a local search on Google, for example, your company might end up with a coveted place on their sidebar space. Although even having your location, opening times, reviews, etc. just a quick search away will help customers find the information they desire in a convenient manner.

Data Privacy: What is it and How to Protect Your Data?

What is Data Privacy?

Data privacy deals with personal information that is obtained on the web, whether that is personally identifiable information (PII) or personal health information (PHI). It is a branch of data security that focuses on the way that data is handled specifically in regards to consent, notice and regulatory obligations (1). 

Why is it Important?

Data Privacy has become an increasingly important issue for companies to address. Closely held company data is one of a business’ most important assets. Data is useful for mapping company performance, making decisions and solving problems faster, improving overall customer experience and measuring the success of your company (2). It provides market insight and competitive intelligence that can give it an operational advantage in its industry.

Data Breaches has Consequences

There are a variety of ways that a data breach can affect your company negatively. The first that will come to mind to most people is the financial repercussions of the breach (4).

 

These financial repercussions factor in a few different ways:

  • reimbursing affected clients
  • response efforts for breach
  • investigating the incident.

 

A negative impact that is less notable, but equally devastating is the reputation damage it inflicts on your brand. Regaining customer trust is difficult after a data breach. There will likely be customers lost during that time period as people become much more reluctant to use your company (4). These effects may not be permanent, but the time and cost to repair the damage can be significant, so it is important to not overlook the reputational impact data breaches cause.

The Alarming Rate of Data Breaches

Data breaches have become fairly common in this day and age. In fact, in 2018, it was reported that approximately 1.244 billion people in the US had their data breached. These data breaches resulted in 466 million records being exposed. That year, nearly half (46%) of US firms had reported a privacy breach. And making matters worse, 77% of IT professionals said that they did not have a plan if a cybersecurity incident occurred (3)! With nearly half of firms reporting cybersecurity attacks, there must be an increased sense of urgency, seriousness & awareness given to cybersecurity. Better prevention and resolution plans to buffer attacks require such focus and resolve.

How Can You Protect Your Data?

Now that you understand the negative effects a breach can have on your company, how can you prevent them from happening?

 

Here are a few tips to help secure your data:

 

  1. Employee Access & Education – Employees tend to be the easiest (and first) route for cybercriminals to access your data, so making sure that only authorized employees have access to crucial data is important. In addition, educating your employees about data breaches and the steps that they can take to ensure they’re only clicking on secure links and emails is critical (5). 
  2. Backup Servers – Having backup servers that can replicate your data is a good preventative measure. This will prevent large data loss that could occur from a breach (5). Ransomware attacks (where data is forcefully encrypted and held for ransom) can be alleviated when backup servers are employed.
  3. Obtaining Data Privacy Software – There is a variety of different software, like SiteLock, that you can purchase in order to protect your site against data breaches. The software SiteLock detects and automatically removes malware and other infections. It also has the ability to increase web speed by as much as 50%.

Contact us at 3PRIME to protect your website with SiteLock!

 

Data Privacy isn’t just good policy, it’s brand awareness

Data privacy deals with some of the most important personal information that users can provide online. Obtaining this data is extremely useful for companies, as it factors into a variety of different things that help to improve overall customer experience, determine corporate policies, and business operations. The way this information is being stored and protected is essential for companies.

Cyber attacks that resulted in data breaches have become increasingly common, affecting nearly half of US firms. These breaches can have serious effects on a company’s operations and its brand image. 

Make sure that you have preventative measures and solutions in place so that these types of data breaches don’t happen to you! A byte of prevention is worth 1.244 billion people needing a cure!

 

Sources:

www.varonis.com/blog/data-privacy/

www.towardsdatascience.com/how-important-is-data-for-your-business-c15a35c6935e

www.statista.com/statistics/273550/data-breaches-recorded-in-the-united-states-by-number-of-breaches-and-records-exposed/

www.itgovernance.co.uk/blog/the-damaging-after-effects-of-a-data-breach

www.entrepreneur.com/article/332794

5 Tips for Designing A Great Business Card

Every business needs a business card, and having a memorable one is a great way to help your business stand out from the crowd. When networking with a potential client, standing out becomes one of the deciding factors for why they would choose your business and not others. Once you get noticed, you also need to make sure you can convey exactly what you do and how you can help without making things too complicated. This can be challenging to get across on such a small card, but if done right, you can garner more opportunities for your business making it worth the investment.

Here are 5 tips to remember when you’re creating your card:

Simplicity

Make sure you don’t over-complicate the card with too much information. Keep it simple and clean, only adding in information you want people to see (name of business, address, web address etc.).

Legibility

It’s important that everyone can be able to read the information on the card or people won’t bother to look at it again. The minimum size font on the card should be 7pt, but any smaller and people will start to have problems. Make sure the fonts you choose are easy to read and there isn’t more than 3 being used if you’re using more than one.

Memorable Facts

State a memorable fact, something that will intrigue them enough to remember your card and lead them to finding out more about your business. (ex.Connecticut’s Highest Rated Personal Trainer.)

Leave the back of the card Uncoated

Consider leaving the back of your card uncoated so you or the recipient can add a note about what you discussed before they put your card away. This would help them recall some of the things you’ve discussed and if they’d like to follow up on something, your information is right on the front.

Creativity

Try something different other than the standard business card dimensions. Make a square business card or a mini-card, these layouts will definitely gain some attention. Make your business card scannable, having a QR Code is a modern way of allowing people to scan more information about your business with their cell phones; not to mention it looks really cool too!

Building a Website That Stands Out

5 Best Tips To Increase eCommerce Revenue

In a recent press release from DesignRush, we contributed to the best practices for ecommerce web design. The attribute we contributed to regards ensuring your web design employ clear calls to action. The obvious one for ecommerce is “add to cart”, but there are many others to consider!
In addition to actually purchasing, your design can incorporate opportunities for customers to read reviews, request a coupon, start a chat or some other interaction that increases the visitor's engagement with your website.
The more engaged your visitors are, the more likely you are to win their interest and their business!