The bright side of mass unsubscribe services

There are so many new mass unsubscribe services on the rise that seem to be causing some concerns within the email marketing industry. Yes, it is true that there are a lot of cons to these services. However, where there are cons, there is always a bright side.

Quality Content

Mass unsubscribe services should light a fire in you to make you want to create quality content. If you are producing quality information in every email campaign, you should not be worried about mass unsubscribe services impacting your email strategy.

Relevance

Who cares if these apps cause multiple people to unsubscribe from your list if those people have no relevance within your strategy? Take this time to re-identify who your target audience is by asking yourself the following questions:

1. Who would benefit most from my email campaign?

2. What type of information does my target audience want to see?

3. How can I create quality content that is relevant to my target audience?

Restructure Strategy

Maybe your email strategy is completely outdated. Maybe you have tons of broken links within your campaigns. Take this time to restructure your strategy to enhance your chances of engagement. Content matters but so do aesthetics and functionality.

As these mass unsubscribe services begin to surface, don’t use them as a cop out as to why your email campaigns aren’t receiving the type of engagement you’ve hoped for. Instead look on the bright side!

Take this opportunity to produce quality content that is relevant to your audience, and reconstruct your email marketing strategy to ensure it is up to date.

email marketing

What your business can learn from #OscarsSoWhite

The Internet is uproar about the #OscarsSoWhite issue. Even SNL did a very funny skit about it. See here

Many celebrities have spoken out about the lack of representation of African Americans and minorities alike including Jada Pinkett Smith, Matt Damon, and Wesley Snipes. Some are even calling for a boycott of the Oscars this year. 

While I wholeheartedly agree that there is a lack of representation of minorities this year and years past, I also believe that you should celebrate where you’re accepted and continue to break the mold. 

As an African American woman and aspiring entrepreneur, I believe that if I want to obtain a level of success, I should also support small, woman owned businesses. 

That means as a small business owner and entrepreneur yourself, you should be looking to support those who share that same title or mission. 

How can I expect to be respected in my said industry if I don’t lift up and support other African American women in my industry?

If small business owners across the globe supported one another, imagine what that kind of growth could look like. Not only for a company’s finances and assets, but for the small business owner community as a whole. 

I hope at this point you’re wondering, how can I begin to support small businesses? Glad you’ve asked! 

Here’s how:

1. Get to know the small business owners in your area

Join a small business club or group. If there is not one, start one yourself!

2. Shop small businesses often

Not just on small business Saturday but everyday! Even when going to major stores, be aware of the products being sold at that establishment that are those of small companies. 

3. Spread the word

If you have a great experience shopping at a small business then spread the word. The company will more than likely thank you and do the same in return. 

So many of us, no matter what our industry, are constantly begging to be accepted by those who may never be able to appreciate our talents. Instead of fighting to be apart of it, support those who support you and continue to break the mold. 

3 Things I Will Never Do In 2016

It’s been nearly two years since I’ve graduated college and nearly six years since I’ve began doing free-freelance work for people upon request. Initially this was a way for me to gain experience in the industry as well as build my portfolio but it quickly became a burden because I didn’t know my worth.

While I believe there is always room for me to continuously improve my strengths and battle my weaknesses, moving forward into this new year, there are a few things I will never do again.

I am never working for free (unless it is for charity/cause purposes).

I’ve had about ten internships since my freshmen year of college and was only paid ONCE by my senior year. I have also done many free-freelance jobs and received nothing. Some people did not even bother to credit me for the work I had done on their sites or in their publications.

Why am I never working for free again?Because I’ve earned the right to say no!

Please don’t mistake compensation as currency. There are many ways for businesses to pay freelancers for work other than currency.

Your job as the freelancer is to deliver but to also demand your wants. You were asked to do the job for some reason, right? 

I am never underestimating my abilities to deliver.

The reason why I took so much free work was because I was not truly confident in myself and the job at hand. Once I actually took on the job I then realized I had once again psyched myself out.

Moving forward I will never doubt myself or the work I am able to do and you shouldn’t either.

You’ve worked so hard to perfect your craft, never let anyone make you feel like your work is not good enough.

I will always stand up for myself.

Numerous times I’ve found myself in situations where I feel I am being manipulated or used. Each time it was hard for me to stand up for myself and demand changes to my work environment or situations.

In 2016 I vow to never allow myself to be taken advantage of as my passion and work deserve to be taken seriously. In the event that it is not, I will always remove myself.

These vows are not about feeling or being entitled to anything. It is about believing in myself and demanding the respect I deserve as a business owner.

I challenge every small business owner and aspiring entrepreneur to set the baseline for what you will and will not tolerate and never lose sight of that in the new year!

Do you have 2016 business goals? Share them below!

2016 business goals

3 Simple Ways to Increase Customer Retention

So many times businesses experience dealings with one time buyers and wonder why they never come back. As I’ve said before, if you want loyal consumers, you have to acknowledge them and make them feel a part of the brand.

Recently I purchased a crew neck from Pockets Are Everything by Kay Dupree and received a hand-written personalized thank you note. This was shocking to me because I have never experienced this before but I will definitely make another purchase because of it.

As a small business, customer retention should be a vital part of your business plan. Without customers, our businesses will fall flat.

Here are three simple ways to increase customer retention:

  1. Send a ‘thank you’ note: As I mentioned, a ‘thank you’ note can go a long way. Sure this may take a little extra time but the result could be great for your business and not only produce a returning customer, but even a referral.
  2. Follow-up: After the order comes through and you ship it off, do you ever think about it again? Probably not! After about a week or so, personally reach out to the customer by phone and make sure they are satisfied with their purchase. This is a great opportunity for you to get to know what your customer’s like and get feedback or a review.
  3. Acknowledge them on social media: Sure it may be a little hard to shout out every person that purchases from your business. But how difficult would it be to do a customer of the week on your social platforms? Simple showcase a customer with their purchase and give them a shout out. This too can turn into referrals as the customer is bound to share your post.

These three simple things are a great business practice moving forward to increase customer retention. Taking a little extra time to acknowledge your consumers can go a long way.

Know any other ways to build customer retention? Comment below.

Why Networking Is Important for Young Pros

Too many times I have seen people live it up in college, never take on an internship and never step out of their comfort zone and hit up a networking event.

While it took me one year after graduation to finally land a job in my field, I didn’t let that stop me from continuing to put myself out there.

Throughout the last year I have began to understand why networking is vital for young professionals and the importance of getting to know other young professionals in your city.

1. No one knows who you are.

Coming from a small private catholic institution where everyone knows everyone, it was hard to come to terms with the fact that I still needed to introduce myself to people. This was not out of arrogance, but pure fear. Believe it or not, I am very shy and get tongue tied when I’m feeling uncomfortable. After attending multiple networking events, it became easier to introduce myself to new people. I have landed lots of internships and opportunities from simply putting myself out there and making people know who I am.

2. Who you know gets to you there, what you know keeps you there.

I have seen people get internships or jobs over me simply because they knew someone in the company. I will never knock anyone’s hustle but this definitely made me take networking more seriously. There just may be someone in your network that can help you elevate your career. 

3. Great opportunity to meet new people.

Sure landing jobs and putting yourself out there is great and all. However, it’s just cool to meet new people! Columbus is crawling with young pros and it’s awesome to just have that opportunity to connect with like minds. My crutch is to bring along a great friend of mine, Kelsea – who equally enjoys meeting new people. It gives us an excuse to hang out while growing our network.

Why do you think networking is important? Comment and let me know!

Kelsea and I were able to meet Katie Garner of ABC’s Good Day Columbus through a Columbus Young Professionals event.
  
At the same event I was able to meet Power 107.5’s very own DJ Dimepiece – who doesn’t love her!?
 
Joining Bad Bish Network allowed me to be a part of an amazing group of young professional women in Columbus
 
& snag some cool headshots!
 

 

Oprah Magazine Slammed for Body Shaming

Oprah Magazine received criticism on Instagram when plus fashion blogger Sarah Chiwaya, also known as Curvily, posted a picture of an excerpt from the magazine addressing a reader’s question about crop tops:

Q: Can I pull off a crop top?

A: If (and only if) you have a flat stomach, feel free to try one. For more coverage, layer the top over a longer shirt as shown in look two.

Many Instagrammers took to their accounts to address their thoughts about the Q&A:

IMG_4068IMG_4079

IMG_4080 IMG_4082

The hashtag #PullingOffACropTop has over 700 photos and posts of women sharing their disappointment in the magazine and their love for a body positivity movement.

With role models like Tess Holliday who are breaking barriers for full figured women everyone, brands need to be more aware of the content they’re putting out. Women no longer feel the need to fit into social conformity’s in the world of fashion.

Oprah Magazine has yet to address the Q&A in their magazine but should do so and fast!

What do you about the Q&A? Are people just too sensitive? Comment below.

Drake + Apple: Is Tidal In Trouble?

It’s no secret that Tidal is struggling to get subscribers. BUT, we cannot deny that the idea behind Tidal is genius.

Apple – being the innovators they are – were one-uped by Mr. Carter so they quickly decided to snag Drake and bring exclusivity to iTunes.

That’s right! Drake has officially partnered with Apple and now his music will come exclusively to iTunes. Wow!

On top of that, the company announced at its WWDC 2015 that Apple streaming will be available June 30th. This means even more artists will be able to offer exclusivity to fans. This dynamic music service will empower artist and music lovers. Sound familiar?

The difference? Apple Music’s monthly subscription is $9.99 with an option to have a family plan for $14.99. On top of that, Apple Music, Beats and Connect will work together to give users the ultimate music experience. 

Exclusivity is sexy and cool. But how much are consumers really willing to pay for it?

It’ll be interesting to see both companies go tick for tack to be the winners of exclusivity and giving the ultimate music experience for the best price. 

It’s safe to say that Apple has made a new rival in Tidal and Jay-Z won’t go down without a fight.

As a fan of music. It’s going to take more than Drake and Beyoncé to convince me to pay a monthly subscription for music. Especially when my favorite artist release albums every 1-2 years? I could care less about seeing a live performance that I was not in attendance.

What do you think: Apple or Tidal? Comment below.

Photo credit: SAN FRANCISCO, CA – JUNE 08: Jimmy Iovine announces Apple Music during Apple WWDC on June 8, 2015 in San Francisco, California. Apple’s annual developers conference runs through June 12. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Popular brand in deep for fat-shaming photos

Yesterday I was filled with an overwhelming amount of positivity for sharing my story about my jean purchase from Lane Bryant. Even Lane Bryant saw my picture which really made me feel great.

Today I took a step back as I see Twitter users tweet about the popular Lilly Pultizer company under fire for fat shaming. Their excuse? It was an employees personal workspace. 

This makes me wonder: How important is company culture? Do companies take company culture seriously?

It is important to make all of your employees feel comfortable in the workplace. I have personally worked in environments where I felt I didn’t fit in with the company culture and it had an impact on my work ethic and my overall happiness at the job.

How can we make sure our company’s culture is a reflection of all employees? Simple: Ask your employees what they want the culture to look like!

It is important for staff to have an understanding of one another. They don’t have to be best friends, but they do have to respect one another and their differences.

Staff retreats or staff outings is a great way to be sure employees are interacting and communicating well with one another.

I know a lot of ladies who were ecstatic when Lilly Pulitzer hit Target stores and I even had a thought to try out some of her items. Not sure how I feel about that now.

With Lilly Pulitzer being as big of a brand as it is, those loyal consumers will probably still stick around despite this incident. I’m curious to see how the company recovers from this – if that all. With so many body positive campaigns coming from big brands like Lane Bryant, Dove and Always, it seems nearly impossible. 

What are your thoughts? Should employers have more control of what employees put in their personal work space? Comment below. 

Check out the full story here: Lilly Pulitzer under fire for fat shaming photos.

Fake New Balance Advertisement Causes Social Media Fire Storm

In the midst of the Baltimore Riots, New Balance is putting out its own fire storm.

Recently what appeared to be screen shots from New Balance’s company website surfaced the internet using protesters to “promote” the company. Twitter users have retweeted the fake screen shots over 1,500 times and favorited the tweet more than 700 times.

New Balance took to social media to tell users that the advertisement was not generated by New Balance and asked that users do not retweet the post:

“This is clearly not a New Balance generated post – we ask that you please do not re-tweet.”

  
“We did not regenerate the ad.”

  
Check out the fake screen shots below and tell us what you think: