How to Decorate Your Home

Moving into a new home can be one of life’s great joys, but it can also be a time of uncertainty, especially when it comes to decorating. How do you make your space look its best while reflecting your personal sense of style? Do it well and you’ll end up with a comfortable, happy home. Do it poorly and you’ll end up with a hodge-podge of furniture, fabrics, and paint colors that never congeal into a pleasing whole. With a little planning, and following the same steps used by professional interior designers, you’ll have a much greater chance of success.  

To reach the finish line, you first have to know where you’re going. 

Don’t Start in the Furniture Store

Many have heard the advice to avoid grocery shopping when you’re hungry because it leads to poor choices. The same holds true for furniture stores – don’t go shopping in a panic, just because you have an empty home. Yes, you need a sofa. But if you pick the pink-striped sectional just because you like it in the store, without taking measurements or thinking about the rest of the room, you’re stuck with it. The rest of the room will have to be built around that sofa, and if it’s too large for the space it will look forever awkward. 

Start in the room you’re looking to furnish, armed with a measuring tape and a notepad. 

Know Your Measurements

Matching the scale of furniture to the scale of a room is critical. A deep sectional sofa can easily overpower a small room and svelte chairs can get lost in a wide-open loft. Before you start designing, measure the length and width of each room you intend to decorate, along with the ceiling height and elements that could get in the way – stairs, columns, radiators, and other obstructions. It’s also a good idea to measure window openings, along with the wall space below, above, and to the sides of each one, to get ready for window coverings. 

“The first mistake most people make is that they buy things that are the wrong size – sofas that don’t fit in the room, sofas that don’t fit through doorways, tables that are too small, desks that are too big, nightstands that hang into the doorway,” said David Kleinberg, founder of the New York interior design firm David Kleinberg Design Associates. Carefully measuring your space can help avoid such problems.  

Create a Floorplan

Once you have the measurements of your room, it’s time to put them to use with a floor plan that gives you a bird’s eye view of the entire home. “Every job should start with a floor plan,” said Alexa Hampton, the president of Mark Hampton, the New York interior design firm founded by her father. “You need to know the space.” 

One option is to draw a floor plan the old-fashioned way, with paper, a pencil, and a ruler. However, most professional designers use drafting software like AutoCAD. In between those two extremes are apps that aim to make it easy for homeowners to create simple floor plans (some even automate measurements with your smartphone’s camera, but double-check those numbers), including MagicplanFloor Plan Creator, and RoomScan Pro.

Once you have the outline of the space, start experimenting with the placement of furniture, making sure that the footprint of each piece is scaled to match the size of the drawing. 

Decide How You Want to Live

This is the tricky part, and there are no right or wrong answers. Rooms can be traditional or modern, formal or relaxed, and visually warm or cool. “To the best of your ability, you have to try to discern how you would like to live in a given space,” said Ms. Hampton. “What will you be doing? How many people live there? Are there children? What are your ambitions for how you would like to live?” 

The decoration of a home for someone who regularly hosts large dinner parties, for instance, should be different from home for someone who eats out at restaurants every night. The person who plans to host lavish fundraisers should have a different living room than the person who dreams only of crashing in front of the TV. 

Copy the Pros

Look in design books and magazines, as well as at online resources like HouzzPinterest, and Instagram to sharpen your personal style. “Figure out the style that you respond to most,” said Brad Ford, an interior designer in New York City, and develop a dossier of favorite images. 

Once you have images you like, study the details, advised Mr. Kleinberg. “See where the pattern is used versus where solids are used, and where color can be used successfully or not,” he said. It will also help inform everything from the type of furniture you might like to a potential strategy for window coverings.  

Tape It Out

To take ideas on a floor plan one step farther, use painter’s tape in the real space to outline where the furniture will be placed on floors and against walls. 

“We use blue tape on the floor to box out different elements,” said Anne Maxwell Foster, an owner of the New York interior design firm Tilton Fenwick. “Where will the rug be? Does it need to be cut? How far is the coffee table coming out? Even though we have everything down to a sixteenth of an inch on a furniture plan, there’s something helpful about visualizing it in the space, and being able to walk around.”

Develop a Budget

There’s no getting around the math: If you splurge on an unexpectedly expensive chair, you’ll have less money available for the rest of the home. “You want to make sure you’re being strategic about how you spend your money,” said Mr. Ford. “A budget gives you a roadmap for how to divide the costs of things between rooms.” You can still make an exception if you find a one-of-a-kind dining table, he noted, but in order to pay for it, you have been thinking about where else you can cut back. 

Plan the Phases

Finishing drywall, refinishing hardwood floors and painting ceilings is all messy work. If at all possible, it’s better to have this type of work completed before moving any furniture or accessories into the space. 

Five Ways To Have A Dog And A Clean Home

In family debates over whether to get a dog or not, one of the most frequently referenced drawbacks of canine companions is the mess they create. Dog lovers know that a little mess is worth putting up with for the love, friendship, and entertainment that comes from having a dog. Numerous studies have shown dogs help improve both physical and mental health. However, even the most ardent dog lovers don’t love the dirt, fur, and other messes that come with it.

The keys, with any dog, are knowing how to prevent messes in your home in the first place and having the best strategies to clean them up when they happen.

This article will teach you five tried-and-true tips for keeping a clean home AND a furry pup.

1. Create an outdoor dog-cleaning station. 

How intensive your station needs to depend on the breed of your dog and how much it enjoys rolling around in the mud. Owners of large dog breeds know firsthand that the larger the dog, the bigger the mess. But even smaller breeds can track plenty of dirt and much into the house.

Stop the mess before it goes through the door by cleaning your dog outside after it’s gotten itself dirty. Sometimes this will be as simple as dunking your dog’s paws in water; for more substantial messes, you’ll need a hose, kiddie pool, and patience.

It’s also always a good idea to have towels on hand to dry off your pup before going inside.

2. Eliminate odors at the source. 

At some stage in their lives, dogs will have accidents in your house. Urine, feces, or vomit on your furniture or the floor doesn’t mean you have to replace the whole carpet for it to be clean again.

If your dog has an accident inside, it’s important to eliminate the smell completely so your dog doesn’t think that your rug is its new toilet. There are many enzyme-based cleaners on the market to choose from.

3. Invest in hair-removal strategies. 

The first item you’ll need is a solid vacuum cleaner. Usually, you get what you pay for, but if your dog is a heavy shedder, you’ll need a model with strong suction and a high-quality filter. To keep your living space in tip-top shape, vacuuming will become a daily routine. And by staying on top of the fur rather than letting it accumulate, this should only take a few minutes a day.

A second tool worth keeping on hand is lint rollers. Every pet owner knows the value of these small-but-mighty sticky brushes. Lint rollers are a great way to quickly brush off your furniture and clothes to address surface-level pet hair before it becomes a bigger problem.

4. Stick to easy-to-clean supplies. 

When it comes to pet supplies like toys, leashes, beds, and other items your dog uses regularly, you should find options that are easy to clean and won’t hold onto odors or stains.

Machine-washable toys are easy to toss in the laundry, and you don’t need to deal with the hassle of washing them by hand. And water-resistant collars and leads are easy to quickly wipe down in between deeper cleanings.

5. Control the clutter. 

If your dog has what seems like dozens of different toys it leaves lying around the entire house, wanting to contain them is an understandable impulse. You have a few options for how to go about this.

One is to buy a basket or two for toy storage. With some practice, you can even train your dog to put its toys in the basket!

Another option, though not feasible for everyone, is to create a “dog room” of the house dedicated to your dog’s toys and playtime. With a separate room, you can simply close the door when play is over and let the clutter stay out of sight.

Cleanliness with and around dogs is important not only for your sanity but also for the health of everyone in the household. But cleaning up after your pooch doesn’t need to consume your life!
Follow these five tips to keep your home sparkling with the least amount of effort.
Do you have a hack for keeping your dog from dirtying your home? Let us know in the comments below!

Top 10 Tips To Create A Beautiful Garden

You’ve looked at the blank canvas in the backyard long enough but how do you transform it into the garden of your dreams?

Creating a garden may seem overwhelming but it is easier than you think.

Here are our ‘Top 10’ tips and tricks to get you started, including:

  • Deciding on a style
  • Fashion or function?
  • Getting ‘arty’

Our top 10

Creating your own garden from scratch is exciting, if not a little daunting.

Time spent planning and thinking about how you and your family want to use this space will ensure you end up with a garden that meets your needs.

1. Choose a style

What kind of garden would you like?

  • Visit some ‘Open Gardens’ or drive around your neighborhood for inspiration.
  • Decide on a style you like that suits your home. A garden can add valuable $$ to your selling price if it compliments your home.
  • What sort of atmosphere do you want to create – a Bali-inspired resort garden around the pool or an English country garden for afternoon tea?

2. Function over fashion

While a beautiful garden is glorious, the space you have is valuable and it should meet the needs of you and your family. It should be functional but it can also be fashionable, depending on how you ‘style’ the essentials.

Make sure you have:

  • Room for a clothesline.
  • Lawn for the kids.
  • Relaxed seating and dining area.
  • A veggie or herb garden.
  • Privacy.
  • The time to care for it – some gardens require more maintenance than others.

Decide how much time you have available or want to spend on the garden.

3. Draw a ‘napkin sketch’

You don’t have to be an architect to draw up a rough plan.

It will help you picture the final layout of your garden.

  • Start by drawing up your yard.
  • Make a list of the critical features (functional elements), and position these first.
  • Use garden beds and paths to link the elements. Make sure these are wide enough to achieve the look you want.
  • List the plants or ideas you have for each bed (this could be a knee-high white flower hedge with purple flowers one meter high behind).
  • Mark North on your plan. This will be critical when it comes to choosing the right plants.

4. A picture’s worth a thousand words

Take photos of the plants you like and the look you wish to achieve, then visit a local nursery or garden center with your plan.

The staff should be able to advise you if the plants you like will fit in the position and area you have chosen – or they may suggest something similar that would work better.

5. Mass plant

Individual plants may look appealing but they don’t have the impact of a large group.

Mass planting (planting in groups of three or five – ALWAYS an odd number!) is a great way for new gardeners to create maximum impact with only a few different plants. It’s also currently in vogue in stylish gardens.

6. Maximise foliage

Flowers are lovely but between flowering seasons it’s the variations in foliage that keep your garden looking stunning.

Look for different colors, shapes, and styles of leaves. Try color co-ordinating plants in groups or swathes to create a picture that will shine all year round.

7. Seasonal interest

Flowers are just one way of celebrating the seasons. They are colorful and often fragrant but there are other ways to introduce seasonal interest.

  • Try to think of the colors you already have in your garden, and choose flower colors to suit.
  • Other plants produce fruits, berries, colored foliage, or vibrant stems.

Make a point of looking at other gardens throughout the year, and adapt some of the ideas you’ve seen for your own garden, to capture the best of each season.

8. Getting ‘arty’

Sculptures, collectibles, and old wares add personality to your garden. They can be used as a focal point or as a gap filler between seasons.

Don’t forget laser-cut metal or timber screens and wall panels and the like to add a touch of glamour to otherwise blank and unappealing walls or fences.

9. Water features

Whether it’s a bowl of water, a pond, or a fountain, water adds life, movement, and interest to the garden. The gentle sound of a fountain can be soothing and will help blank out external noise.

  • Spend some time looking for the right water feature for your garden.
  • Many now available at garden centers are lightweight and come with a low voltage submersible pump included. They are easy to install and create a lovely atmosphere in the garden.

10. Pre-planting checklist

  • Using your napkin plan as a guide, mark out the entire garden using a spot marker (paint spray).
  • Check that everything you want will fit, the garden flows well and you have enough room for plants.
  • Watch the sun travel across your garden during the day, so you can maximize its impact on the garden.
  • All the ‘hard landscaping’ like paths and paved surfaces should be completed first, before moving to the garden beds. This will minimize potential damage to your new plants.
  • When ready, dig up the garden beds and improve the soil before you begin planting.

The US Refuses to Fall in Love With Electric Cars

IN DECEMBER 2021, sales of electric vehicles overtook sales of diesel cars for the first time in Europe, as 176,000 EVs rolled out of car dealerships across the continent. At the same time in China, the country’s automotive industry announced that EV sales for the year had ballooned by 158 percent compared with 2020, as more than 3.5 million vehicles took to the roads.

These sales figures were not a blip. In Europe, EVs made up an estimated 14 percent of all new vehicles sold in 2021, according to the banking and financial services company ING. In China, it was 9 percent.

In the United States? Not so much. EVs made up just 4 percent of vehicles sale last year. While the world falls in love with electric cars, the US is holding out. If it’s not careful, the knock-on impact on the rest of the world could be huge. Transportation is the biggest single contributor to greenhouse gas emissions in the US, and the country in turn is the second-largest contributor to global carbon emissions.

“Since EVs use emerging battery technologies, they face several significant technical, economic, and social barriers to adoption, limiting EV penetration in the US,” says Pradeep K. Chintagunta, professor of marketing at the Chicago Booth School of Business, who with colleagues researched ways to incentivize EV adoption. Those barriers include resistance from consumers who are used to the ability to quickly fill up with gas and go, a lack of awareness of the strengths of EVs, and price problems: An electric Ford Focus costs nearly twice the amount of a gas-guzzling one.

“There’s one major protagonist who has influenced that: Donald J Trump,” says independent EV analyst Matthias Schmidt. Trump’s administration paused the adoption of EVs for four years, setting back the development in a country that was already lagging behind. Now President Joe Biden, who said in August 2021 he wanted EVs to make up half of all sales by the end of the decade, is building on the work done by the ZEV Alliance, a lobby group of 10 US states, and several countries to promote zero-emission vehicles.

But the EV industry in the US has had to start from scratch, and Bank of America forecasts that EVs will make up just 20 percent of the car market by 2030, rather than 50 percent. A large number of these vehicles are expected to be “compliance cars”—vehicles built by manufacturers solely as a box-ticking exercise to meet the strictest emission standards in the country, in California.

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“There are several major policies that drive electrification,” says Zifei Yang of the International Council on Clean Transportation, a US nonprofit organization. Strengthening fuel efficiency or CO2 emission standards are easy ways to promote EVs—and are notably two areas that the Trump administration was lax in enforcing, she says. The Biden White House is trying to catch up for a lost time by proposing a raft of new rules aimed at supercharging the EV rollout

7 THINGS TO CONSIDER BEFORE STARTING A SMALL BUSINESS

Entrepreneurs continue to be the driving force behind the economy of British Columbia. Small business represents a remarkable 98 percent of all business in the province, employing over one million people in the process. With incubator programs, grants, and support from services like Small Business BC, there’s never been a better time to start a small business. Whether your idea is fully formed, or you’ve yet to move past the “idea on a napkin” phase, you can give yourself the best chance of success by considering these seven tips for starting a small business.

Starting a Small Business

Pursue Your Passion

Steve Thorp, Co-Founder of Postmark Brewing and Vancouver Urban Winery believes business works best when it aligns with your passions in life: “For young entrepreneurs, I would advise that whatever you do, make sure your business aligns with your life and your passions because that passion will drive you on when times are tough. Don’t get pushed into an industry based on greed or money.”

Craft A Business Plan

A business plan will help you communicate to others how you’re going to bring your idea to fruition. The business plan should include answers to questions like – what is the purpose of the business? Who will you sell your product to? How will you finance the startup phase? And finally, what is your contingency plan? Unsure of how to put a business plan together? Small Business BC offers seminars and advisory services to get the ball rolling.

Contingency Plans

No matter how well prepared you think you are, certain aspects of your business are going to take longer and cost more than you think. Having a strong contingency plan when starting a business is a must because every business has obligations, and how are you going to meet them if the money hasn’t started to come in yet?

Have You Got Time?

Trying to lessen the risk, a lot of entrepreneurs start their company on the side while also working a full-time job. Are you willing to sacrifice your free time to pursue your business? It helps to think of this time as an investment, one that will pay off when your company becomes successful and you’re free to pick and choose your own hours.

The Benefits of Mentorship

When you feel like your progress has plateaued, an expert or mentor could provide an outside viewpoint to help surmount the problem. Entrepreneurs love to think they’ve got all the answers, but sometimes admitting you need help is the push needed to make tangible progress. Small Business BC’s Talk to the Expert program is one avenue to pursue, connecting entrepreneurs with industry experts for guidance in a one-on-one consultation.

Spread the Word

When starting a small business, your success is predicated on your number of customers. Getting the word out about your product/service is key, and don’t dismiss the potential of networking. Consider attending local meetups, conferences, or connecting with people over social media. Casting a wide net lets you put you and your product in front of as many people as possible.

Stepping out of the Comfort Zone

It’s all too easy to put up a mental barrier and convince yourself you can’t do something. The universal trait found in entrepreneurs is the ability to push past that nagging voice and step out of their comfort zone. Tara Bosch, the 23-year-old founder and CEO of Smart Sweets takes an interesting view on this: “Every stumbling block is an opportunity. When things don’t go to plan, and it will (fast and often in my experience), ask yourself, what can I learn to improve? Apply this thinking to your business and it will save you learning that lesson in a much more painful (and expensive) way later.

Make Life Easier With Small Business

Small businesses enrich their communities by giving back to local nonprofits and charities, creating jobs, and keeping their money local. It’s all thanks to small business owners, some of the busiest, hardest-working people around. 

Attract and keep a great team with employee benefits

Your team is the frontline of your business. When someone makes a purchase or books a service, it’s your team that determines the experience they’ll have and the impression you’ll make.

Attracting — and keeping — the best team is a key part of success for small businesses in every industry, but that’s often easier said than done when you’re competing with big businesses that have resources you don’t.

Protect your business with affordable legal support

Your small business isn’t just where you spend the majority of your time or what you do from 9am – 5pm. It’s your biggest asset, and protecting it is one of the most important things you can do as a small business owner.

From identity theft to threats to intellectual property, there are a number of legal issues small business owners may face. The right legal protection keeps your business safe.

Save time and money with small business accounting

Most entrepreneurs don’t start businesses because they have a passion for bookkeeping or business taxes. They do it because they’re passionate about the work and want to serve their community.

Professional accounting services can help you spend more of your time serving your customers and running your business, and less time filing taxes and doing the bookkeeping. It will also help you avoid an audit, stay in compliance and take advantage of relevant deductions.

Grow your business with small business marketing

Trying to grow a small business without marketing is like trying to win a marathon without doing any training — it just doesn’t work. To get new leads, you need to get in front of them. Small business marketing helps you do just that.

Smart marketing is about having a strong, visible presence wherever your prospective customers are looking and spending their time. These days, that can include many channels, from Google to Facebook.

Get funding with quick and easy small business lending

Whether you’re looking to expand your business, upgrade your equipment, stock up your inventory, or move to a new location, there are many reasons you may need small business funding.

Getting a small business off the ground isn’t cheap, nor is growing a small business. There are a number of funding options to choose from, and finding the right one for your needs is critical.

Why Digital Marketing Is Important For Small Business

Marketing requires skills to be able to write content that is unique and appealing. Having a quality marketing strategy is very rewarding. If you are able to make your name famous and your brand a household commodity, then your strategy will be rewarding. Any business and company that wants to have an impact and be profitable must take advantage of marketing to have a market share.

There are many ways of marketing your brand or product. However, the marketing strategy employed must be in line with the business goals. The marketing section should be able to gather the relevant information and come up with the right B2B marketing strategy. One of the marketing ways that have been doing incredibly well is digital marketing. This article will have a close look at how to start a digital marketing agency and its advantages.

Digital Marketing

This is a marketing area that investors should be thinking about because with the advancement in technology, the world is becoming a global village. Some of the necessary steps in starting digital marketing are here.

1. Gathering Of Information

Gather informative information about the field of digital marketing and equip yourself. For you, to be successful in any area you must have the right information. Therefore, you should invest your time and money learning about digital marketing, and it will reward you. Resources are available online, you can access through the internet, good and useful resources from all over the world.

2. Identify Competitors

It is critical in every business to know who your competitor is. Research on the methods they use in their marketing strategies. Read their posts, blogs, and social media platforms. You can learn their ways and be able to surpass them.

3. Launch A Website

It is crucial to have a way your clients will reach in a safe way. That is why having a website that is reliable is important. It should be safe so that it doesn’t scare your clients away. More so, you should keep it active such that whenever your customers visit it, they have something to learn about your product. Ensure that your presence is felt on other social media platforms too.

4. Have A Business Model And A Niche

Niche is essential; it makes it possible for clients to easily identify you. It also helps you to stand out even though the competition is stiff. Additionally, if you want to win the trust of your customers, you can offer free services for a while. This strategy will attract potential customers. By this, you also stand a chance of getting reviews from clients. After winning the trust of the customers, have a reasonable method of payment that is simple and safe for your customers.

Advantages Of Quality Digital Marketing

Consistency in brand marketing is one of the secrets that are used by big companies. It determines the growth rate and business success. Some of the benefits are;

A. Creating Awareness

Digital marketing creates brand awareness for people who may not be aware of the existence of such a product. They can attract customers that otherwise, they would not have come.

B. Image Creation

Marketing makes business visible to the world. The image of its product sticks in people’s minds when they keep on seeing it. Your brand starts to have authority and in the end, you have a market share.

C. You Win Customers Loyalty And Trust

When you have the trust and the loyalty of customers they stick longer. Your customer relationship improves and by these, you are likely to get referrals from loyal customers. And with the right information that you feed to the customers, your brand reputation improves.

D. Profit

When you are able to operate in that way with a good customer relationship, making a profit will be automatic. Your income will increase because you will have loyal customers and referrals that you receive from your customers.

Final Thoughts

Quality and consistently improving marketing content are pivotal for your business growth and success. However, this must come from your clear understanding of your customers’ needs. Implement CRM for digital marketing agencies to check on the inquiries from your customers, and visitors who visit your site. Remember to be consistent in keeping your presence felt in the social media platforms and your success is grated.

How To Get Your Small Business To Stand Out In An Oversaturated Market

For anyone, starting up a business can be pretty overwhelming. You have a lot of factors you need to think about such as avoiding going into debt, providing a good product or service, and even trying to get your product known to the public.

Small business owners tend to have to wear multiple hats the first few years of starting up their business. This can get exhausting extremely quickly, but in the end, it’ll be worth it to have a thriving business. Something else that business owners need to consider is whether or not their product or idea is going to be in an oversaturated market.

Now more than ever, it seems as if the barrier to entry for most industries is fairly low. You don’t necessarily need much capital anymore to start a business, you don’t necessarily need a team, a physical location, or even a physical product or service for that matter.

The world is changing, and the market changes with it. So with such low barriers to entry, it’s entirely understandable that you’re going to feel drowned out in such a large crowd. It feels as if you’re one small pebble in the ocean right? Fortunately, even in the most oversaturated of markets, you’re going to be able to stand out.

These are some helpful tips for standing out in the crowd with your small business!

Understand That There Are Various Forms Of Marketing

Marketing is going to be one of the best ways to get your product known. In fact, this is going to be one of the most important aspects as well. You can have the most fabulous product out there, but if you’re not marketing it, how will anyone ever discover it?

Sometimes, it’s marketing that is going to help out in being one of the key roles in getting your business out there and known. It’s just to just be open and look at the different types of options that you have for marketing and really make sure you get guaranteed SEO results as well. Just be open to utilizing multiple aspects of marketing because they can all help.

Don’t Worry About Trends

Trying to do what’s trendy is one of the best ways to not stick out. If you’re wanting to compete in an oversaturated market, then you’re going to need to completely skip out on the standard marketing trends that are going on.

That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t look at consumer trend reports for your industry. All it means is that you’re going to need to be a bit more innovative. Work towards being a trend starter, a trendsetter, not just someone that follows trends. Plus, sometimes following trends just make you become further away from your true authentic self and how you’re wanting your business.

Be Creative With Content Creation

When it comes to creating a strong marketing strategy, it’s best to know that a marketing strategy is something that needs to be formulated. It’s far more than just using automation, or buying some ad space. While marketing may sound easy, there’s a lot that needs to go into it. Content creation comes in a variety of forms, and content creation is one of the biggest ways to set yourself apart from your competitors.

There are plenty of ways you can create compelling content whether it be books, courses, videos, or even go as far as hiring influencers. But in general, your content should not come off as salesy. You want to provide value to your target audience because who likes having something being sold to them?

Niche Down

Being a business owner means knowing that serving a broad audience will get you nowhere. Instead, it’s always best to just niche down. Finding your niche and specializing in a niche is going to get you much further than trying to catch everyone’s attention as much as possible.

Niching down also means getting to find a more close-knit community that you can serve. Why try to serve everyone in an oversaturated market when you can instead niche down in this market to serve the clientele properly? It’s hands-down one of the best things you can do for your business.

Find What’s Missing In The Industry Or With Your Competitors

All of your competitors are going to be missing something, maybe it’s good customer service, maybe it’s the need for a better product. Regardless of what it is, it’s best to find what is missing from their services and benefit from it. Try to be the best option for customers.

Things You Should Know About Lead Generation

Do you know about email marketing? What is the first step? We always start with an empty email list and a task of email lead generation. Building a targeted email list requires a little time and thought. But you have to take your time to generate some leads for your business.

Do you know that conversion rates with email are 40 times higher than social media? With that said, you must have a strategy in place to make it work. If you want long-term led generation for your business, then email lead generation is crucial.

In this article, we will discuss everything about lead generation. It is one of the important techniques for generating more sales for your business. In short words, it is a process of attracting customers that are interested in your products or services.

There are several strategies to choose from depending on your products or services. For example, if you have a digital product, you can work with Social media, websites, email, and newsletters. But if you have a physical product, you can work with websites, influencers, and social media marketing.

What Is A Lead?

Before we go any further, lets’ discuss what a lead is. It refers to a customer that is a potential customer or a prospect. You also need to know that the definition for this term varies from one company to another. According to some companies, a “lead” is a contact that is already a prospective customer. While in some companies, a lead means sales contact. However, one thing is the same that a lead is to become a future paying client.

Specifically, a lead is a person that shows interest in your products or services. If a person is interested, then he would really want to know more about the company. These kinds of interested people are leads that can be turned into customers through the lead generation process.

Social Media Marketing

Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter have billions of users around the globe. You can generate some leads from these platforms. You don’t need to use all of them- which platform is better depends on your niche. No matter which platform, you do need to post regular content and engage with the customers.

Setting up a page on Facebook Business is very easy. You can create one in a few minutes and then can share it with your marketing team. You can drive traffic to your page from adverts, emails, and websites. Share some good content that people can relate to. They will start sharing your post, which will help generate more leads.

Webinars

Another great way is to arrange a webinar. Using this strategy, you can bring all of your leads in one place and then can show them your service or product.  Furthermore, you will get the chance to showcase your knowledge to customers. At the end of the webinar, take some time to answer the questions and have a discussion with your customers. They will get the chance to provide you with important feedback and know more about your services.

Blogging

Another great way to build relationships with your existing customers and generate more leads is blogging. If you believe that you have information related to your company that can benefit others, then do create a blog on your website. These blogs should not belong but contain useful information. In short words, you should share your knowledge with others.

For example, if you provide HVAC services, then you can write blogs about HVAC maintenance, reduce cost, etc. A person looking for such information will land on your blog. This way, you can generate lots of leads that may end up in a sale.

Landing Pages

One of the best things about having your own website is that you can track the people who visit. Using an analytics tool, you can get some great information and insights about visitors. You will get to know what they are looking at and which page they are spending more time on.

Hence, it is essential to have a call to action button that can get them to more information. For example, if you are an HVAC company,n a call to action button can take the customers to your online shop or your appointment booking page. Hence, it is important to build some easy-to-use and attractive landing pages.

Email Marketing

Email marketing is a great way to generate leads for your company. The conversion rate with email marketing is 40% greater than social media. You should make a list of subscribers and send them regular emails about company updates, promotions, offer discounts.

Influencers

Every industry has a few people who have lots of followers on social media. They have a great relationship with their audience. They can influence the buying decision of their customer. Find influencers in your niche and ask them to feature your product. You can ask them to review your product on social media. For example, if you have a hotel, then you can ask the influencer to stay and review it.

Competitions

If you want to generate leads faster, you can offer a giveaway or competition. You can use your newsletter or social media to promote it. The competition should end up with a button that can turn people into leads.

Why Your Business Need Leads?

You should work on a lead generation strategy to increase sales and attract the target audience to your website. With the strategy, you can drive traffic to your website, which can convert leads into customers. You should know that Google has made it easy for businesses. Using the search engine, you can target a customer looking for your product or service.

Using different methods, you can attract a ton of potential customers to your business and turn them into leads. Use different marketing methods to attract more people to your business. The leads you will generate will turn into sales. The important thing for you is to find the best way to market your business.

5 Ways to Engage Customers via Email Marketing

Title Alternatives:

  1. How to Engage Customers via Email Marketing (71)
  2. 5 Best Ways to Engage Customers via Emails (68)
  3. 5 Best Tips to Engage Customers Via Emails (68)

Meta Description:

Struggling to get engagement from your customers through email marketing? Here are 5 fail-proof tactics, with examples and tools, to boost your engagement.

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Email marketing is super effective. We all know that.

But did you know that poor engagement is the top challenge of 44% of email marketers? So is email marketing worth the effort and investment when emails aren’t getting clicks and opens?

Absolutely YES, it is!

Email marketing continues to be an effective and reliable way to inform people about your business and nurture them towards the purchase and beyond.

But if you’re still apprehensive about its efficacy, check out this stat:  78% of marketers noticed a surge in their email engagement numbers in 2019 after following some proven tactics.

Such as?

To find that answer, read on. I’m going to elaborate on the top five ways to create engaging and click-worthy emails for your brand. Let’s get started.

Five Insanely Effective Tips to Create Engaging Emails

Before we start talking about engagement strategies, you need to clean your email list and remove inactive contacts.

Why so?

Because contacts that haven’t engaged with your emails in the past 12 months or so are unlikely to change their behaviour, no matter what you try. And since most of the tools mentioned below cap contact volumes, it doesn’t make sense to exhaust your limit on inert contacts.

Once you have a list of high-potential contacts, it’s time to catch their attention and get them clicking on your emails. Here’s how:

1. Personalize Your Emails

The days of ‘email blasts’ are definitely over. With user attention dwindling and email volumes swelling, generic emails don’t cut the mustard anymore. To grab eyeballs, you need to create personalized, tailored messaging.

While I do understand that it’s impossible to create individualized messages for each contact, it’s important to factor in personalization when you first create your email marketing strategy.

Opt for tools that can help you with dynamic content, list segmentation, and A/B testing. Don’t limit yourself to personalized salutations and subject lines. Dig into the historical data of your contacts to find insights into their tastes and needs. Then, incorporate those insights into your email content, calls-to-action (CTA) and targeting.

Need a real-life example?

Amazon’s marketing team is known to use customer complaints to get into the minds of their customers.

There’s one more trick that experts at Amazon practise. They closely watch how their website visitors interact with their Recommended Products section in order to understand their psyches. Thereafter, they use this knowledge to create more on-target promotional emails. Naturally, such emails are received warmly and acted on promptly.

2. Segment Your Contacts

If you’re still relying on a spray-and-pray approach in email marketing, I’m afraid you are just wasting your marketing budget. You need to segment your contacts into lists and create targeted campaigns for each segment.

Segmentation starts with sign-up forms in which you ask your contacts and customers about their locations, ages, professions, interests, and more. You can also ask them about the kind of emails they would enjoy getting from brands like you. By soliciting permission from your customers, you gain their trust and perhaps engagement.

If you missed the sign-up form stage, worry not. You can also segment contacts by their buyer journey stages and user actions.

Sometimes, people start browsing your product pages and blog posts before they convert into customers. That’s why it’s wise to segment lists by user actions rather than customer journeys.

For older contacts, the best segmentation parameter is past email interactions. You can use tools to track your emails and divide contacts into warm, cool, and cold segments based on their click behaviours.

Once your segmented lists are ready, create dedicated campaigns for each segment. Such campaigns are high on relevancy, which is why they garner more engagement.

3. Write Compelling Subject Lines

You have just a few seconds to make a positive first impression on your email recipients and stand out in overcrowded inboxes. Strong, personalized, and catchy subject lines can do the task for you.

There are many ways to draw attention to your subject lines.

Like what?

You can include emojis, power words, and personalized offers in them. Stay away from clickbait words and phrases like ‘free,’ ‘cheap,’ and ‘discount.’ Like blog posts, listicles and how-tos have a good click-through rate in subject lines as well.

Since user fatigue is high in digital marketing, copywriting trends evolve very fast. So, stay abreast of the latest email marketing trends while crafting your subject lines.

4. Make Your Emails Visually Appealing

Text-heavy emails don’t engage readers.

If your emails have short blocks of text peppered with videos and visuals, there are better chances that readers will read through till the end. In fact, including videos in your emails can improve the CTR by 300%.

If you don’t have the resources or skills to create custom videos, you can always opt for free stock footage. These videos are slick, royalty-free, and available for a nominal one-time fee.

You can also add GIFs, sliders, and collapsible menus to make your emails more interactive.

What else?

Ensure that your emails have a responsive design since more and more people are opening their emails on mobile devices. If your emails don’t adapt to different screen sizes, you can end up frustrating mobile users who will not hesitate to unsubscribe.

So, use white space liberally and don’t stack too many links close together if you want all your email elements to render well on small screens.

5. Use Email Automation

All of the above efforts will be in vain if your marketing lacks consistency and timeliness. If you don’t hustle around the clock, you can lose the equity you’ve taken years to build.

But you can’t possibly churn out campaigns at scale by hand. That’s where you need marketing automation. You can use email automation software to create marketing funnels for your segmented contacts.

The tools maintain contact profiles, A/B test your emails, and track their engagement rates. They help you create, schedule, send, and track emails while adhering to compliance regulations.

The best part about these tools is their robust analytics. They generate detailed reports about campaign performance that can be used as a compass for the future.

Are You Ready to Run Engaging Email Marketing Campaigns?

Customer engagement should be a priority for brands. It boosts customer retention and extends customer lifetime value. Acquiring new customers is relatively more challenging and costly than keeping old customers.

Among other things, email marketing can be critical to your customer engagement efforts. But, as said before, generic, bland emails can be more of a turn-off for your customers than anything else.

So, personalise and beautify your emails, segment your contacts, write powerful subject lines, and use automation tools. That way, your customers will look forward to hearing from you again and again.

Do you need more email marketing tips or tools? Let me know in the comments below. I’m always happy to help.