Archive for May, 2017

6 Killer Ways to Use Automated Marketing for Your Small Business

Wednesday, May 31st, 2017

6 Killer Ways to Use Automated Marketing for Your Small Business

If you believe that automated marketing and email marketing automation are the same thing, you’re not alone. However, as you can see from the chart below, the use of marketing automation extends beyond email. Pulled from the pages of the Email Marketing & Marketing Automation Excellence 2017 Report, this chart reveals the top six ways marketing automation is being used today:

6 Killer Ways to Use Automated Marketing for Your Small Business

Source: Email Marketing & Marketing Automation Excellence 2017 Report

Automated Marketing Techniques to Consider

Let’s take a closer look at each of these automated marketing techniques and how you might use them to promote your small business.

Email Automation

While automated marketing does extend beyond electronic mail, email marketing is by far the most popular use of marketing automation and the top digital marketing tactic used today. Much of this is due to the benefits of email marketing including more leads, higher conversions, and lower marketing costs.

Click here to discover eight things you can do with automated email marketing.

Basic Profile Based Targeting

Profiles, for both your leads and customers, are the basis of the next four automated marketing techniques.

Targeting is the practice of focusing your marketing efforts on a specific group of people called a target market. Thanks to automated marketing tools, targeting, down to the individual level, is easier than ever, even across multiple channels such as email.

The power under the hood here is the profile. In recent years, marketing automation tools have gained the ability to learn a lot about your leads and customers from their behavior on channels including:

  • Your website: the products they browse, put in their carts, and buy, the content they read, and where they come from (e.g. a specific social media platform); and
  • Your emails: the emails they open and the links within those emails they click.

Based on these data points, you can hone your marketing efforts to a fine point by sending offers for the products and services in which they’ve implicitly expressed interest. In addition, you can use these profiles to target your customers using one of the four techniques below.

Personalization Using Dynamic Content

Whether on your website or via email, personalizing the experience is an effective way to market your products and services.

The best example of website personalization is Amazon’s recommendations. For each customer, they select the both genre and book recommendations based on your past purchase and browsing behavior. In the case of the image below, the customer buys a lot of science fiction and fantasy book and therefore, that’s what’s recommended to them for their next purchase:

6 Killer Ways to Use Automated Marketing for Your Small Business

When it comes to email marketing, the numbers show that segmenting your email list, sending different emails to different recipients based on their profile, is very effective.

Broadcast Timing Based on Location, Sign-Up Time, or Other Criteria

Timing is everything and then same is true for both email marketing and social media. If you don’t time your marketing messages correctly, there’s a good chance your email or social update will end up lost down in an inbox or social media stream respectively.

How do you know when to market? By using a customer’s profile which should contain all the clues you need including the time(s) they:

  • Signed-up for your email marketing list;
  • Most often visit your site and make purchases;
  • Open your emails and click on the links inside.

In addition, make sure to account for a customer’s time zone when configuring your automated marketing. For example, if you want to hit folks with an email first thing in the morning, use time zone targeting to stagger the email broadcast.

Advanced Segmentation

Segmenting your marketing efforts, especially your email marketing lists, is an important step to take when growing your small business. While there are a number of common segments to consider, you can break up and target your efforts in many different ways including:

  • Age;
  • Seniority;
  • Industry;
  • Content topic or format; and
  • Call-to-action clicks.

Every point of data you gather in a customer’s profile can be used to create an email segment. And use them you should – the more specific the segment, the more effective it will be.

Lead Scoring

Scoring your leads is an advanced form of segmentation, both for email marketing and beyond, that enables you to target the leads who are most likely to buy your products and services.

Many automated marketing systems include this feature which creates a lead score based on certain behaviors such as:

  • Emails opened;
  • Email links clicked;
  • Site visited;
  • Content viewed; and
  • Products viewed, added to cart, and purchased.

Each time a behavior occurs, it demonstrates the engagement of the lead and, the lead’s score goes up.

6 Killer Ways to Use Automated Marketing for Your Small Business

From on-site targeting to personalization, and lead scoring, you can use automation to more effectively market your products and services to both leads and existing customers. This automation extends well beyond email marketing and is worth considering as your build your marketing arsenal.

Marketing Automation Photo via Shutterstock

This article, “6 Killer Ways to Use Automated Marketing for Your Small Business” was first published on Small Business Trends


Stockholm arbitration court appears to hand Ukraine victory over Gazprom

Wednesday, May 31st, 2017

Fosun buys stake in Russian gold miner Polyus

Wednesday, May 31st, 2017

Chinese conglomerate makes its first investment in the country

WordPress Releases “Candidate” for Version 4.8, Welcomes Last Minute Input

Wednesday, May 31st, 2017

WordPress 4.8 Release Candidate Ready for Last Minute Input

The development team has announced plans to release WordPress version 4.8 early next month. Version 4.8 is a candidate, meaning the development team thinks it is good but they are looking for people to go through it one last time and look for bugs.

WordPress 4.8 Release Candidate

The release candidate for WordPress 4.8 brings in three major enhancements:

  • An improved visual editor experience, with a new TinyMCE that allows you to navigate more intuitively in and out of inline elements like links,
  • A revamp of the dashboard news widget to bring in nearby and upcoming events including meetups and WordCamps,
  • Several new media widgets covering images, audio, and video, and an enhancement to the text widget to support visual editing.

“Our goals are to make editing posts with links more intuitive, make widgets easier for new users and more convenient for existing ones, and get many more people aware of and attending our community events,” wrote Matt Mullenweg, developer and co-founder of WordPress, in a post announcing the release on the blog.

Test WordPress 4.8 Release Candidate

If you’d like to test WordPress 4.8, Mullenweg says you should try the WordPress Beta Tester plugin (you’ll want “bleeding edge nightlies”). Or you can download the beta here (zip). To report a bug you suspect you’ve found, post to the Alpha/Beta area in the support forums.

WordPress is the most popular site builder for small businesses, powering 28.1 percent of all websites as per the latest Web Technology Surveys data. This represents a content management system market share of 59.1 percent. It is updates to its core such as this that enhance WordPress and offer small businesses a flexible, open source platform that can grow as their needs do.

Release date for WordPress 4.8 candidate is planned for June 1, and the final 4.8 release on June 8. That gives small business WordPress site owners and developers a small window to test for compatibility issues.

It should be noted, however, that release candidates and beta releases are under active development and may contain bugs. It is therefore unwise to upgrade your production site before the final release.

WordPress Photo via Shutterstock

This article, “WordPress Releases “Candidate” for Version 4.8, Welcomes Last Minute Input” was first published on Small Business Trends


Bulgarian Socialist Party Wants the Resignation of the Prime Minister Dimitar Glavchev

Wednesday, May 31st, 2017

The Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP) has demanded the resignation of the Parliament’s president, Dimitar Glavchev.

”The Parliament has not been working for six weeks now because the government and the ruling majority have no programme for governance and legislation”, BSP leader Korneliya Ninova told journalists, quoted by FOCUS News Agency.

Meanwhile, bills proposed by BSP are not discussed at committees or by the plenary, she said.

“At the same time, ruling party Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria (GERB) is reading declarations full of hate and confrontation, aimed at concealing their governance weakness,” Ninova added.

According to her, CEDB hypocritically call for national consent, but deliberately draw dividing lines.

Glavchev does not follow the rules of the Parliament and does not punish MPs for threats, damaging words and improper conduct, including from his own party, BSP leader stated.

By 13:30 local time, there was no official request in the registry for the resignation of Glavchev.


How to Use TrueView for Shopping to Put Video Ads on YouTube

Wednesday, May 31st, 2017

How to Use TrueView Video Ads on YouTube

TrueView is a Google AdWords feature designed to make video advertising simple and effective.

Specifically, the too, helps you place video ads on YouTube, the second largest search engine after Google, whose parent company owns both platforms. The three way marketing connection between YouTube and your business comes together with TrueView for Shopping.

How to Use TrueView Video Ads on YouTube

With these five steps you will be able create your TrueView video ads and the necessary accounts to start advertising.

Step 1: Establish a Google AdWords Account

If your business is already advertising on Google via your AdWords account, you are one step ahead. If not, your first step will be to create an account with AdWords.

Step 2: Sign in to your AdWords Account

Once you are on your AdWords homepage, you click on the “Campaigns” tab on the top row. Then click the “ + Campaign” button, on its drop down menu and click “Video.”


How to Use TrueView Video Ads on YouTube - Sign in to your AdWords account

When you click “Video” it will take you to your “Create campaign” page to add in your video campaign details.

Step 3: Enter Video Campaign Details

 How to Use TrueView Video Ads on YouTube - Enter Video Campaign Details

This is the page where you will add all the details associated with your ad. Options include:

  • Campaign name
  • Campaign Type
  • Daily Budget
  • Networks to target
  • Locations to target
  • Languages

 After you enter the details, click “Save and continue” so you can create your Ad Group.

How to Use TrueView Video Ads on YouTube - Enter Video Campaign Details

Step 4: Create an Ad Group

How to Use TrueView Video Ads on YouTube - Create an Ad Group

You should now be on the “Create an ad group and ad” section.

On this page, you will fill in the ad group name and video ad details.

The video ad details consist of two options:

  • Video ad type
  • Video ad format

You can choose one of the two video ad types:

How to Use TrueView Video Ads on YouTube - Create an Ad Group

For video ad formats you have two options:


How to Use TrueView Video Ads on YouTube - Create an Ad Group


  • In-Stream — ad plays before, during or after viewers chosen video.
  • In-Display — ad appears on the right side of YouTube pages along with recommendations and search results.

Once you choose your option, a new section of details will appear to create your ad.

Step 5: Create Your Ad

In this section, you will fill out the information that creates your ad. You will also see a preview of your ad to show you the final version before moving forward.

In order to show your video as a TrueView advertisement, it must be hosted on YouTube. That means you will need to create a YouTube channel.

Once you create your video and upload it onto your channel, you will have a video URL. It’s that URL that you will add in the video details.

How to Use TrueView Video Ads on YouTube - Create Your Ad

The greatest benefit of TrueView videos is that you are only charged when your audience interacts with your ad.

The “Bidding” section is where you dictate how much you are willing to pay for that interaction. Interactions are defined as:

  • Viewing 30 seconds of your ad,
  • Viewing your entire ad if it is less than 30 seconds,
  • Clicking on any of your Calls to Action (CTA’s) or associated banners.

Once you have finalized the bidding details, you can click “Save ad group.”

How to Use TrueView Video Ads on YouTube - Create your Ad

The final screen will allow you to link your YouTube channel to this particular AdWords account if you haven’t already.

Click “Finish” and you are done.

How to Use TrueView Video Ads on YouTube - Create your Ad

TrueView is now at work targeting your audience with your video.

Images: Google

This article, “How to Use TrueView for Shopping to Put Video Ads on YouTube” was first published on Small Business Trends


Canada notches 3.7% annualised GDP growth in first quarter

Wednesday, May 31st, 2017

Fosun consortium buys up 15% stake in Russia’s Polyus Gold

Wednesday, May 31st, 2017

Draft Order in Bulgaria to Create 4 Zones of Movement for Refugees

Wednesday, May 31st, 2017

A draft order in Bulgaria, which is open for public consultation until June 25, will create four zones of movement for refugees, according to the territorial departments of the State Agency for the Refugees where they applied for asylum, quoted by the Independent Balkan News Agency.

 Asylum seekers will not be allowed to leave their region of registration until their asylum procedure has been completed. Placement in “closed-type centres’’ is also foreseen for those who violate the borders of the designated zone of movement more than twice. Bulgaria’s State Agency for the Refugees, which has proposed the measure to the government, says the idea is to “improve administrative control during the procedure for granting international protection”.

The step was made possible by changes to the Law on Asylum and Refugees, enacted in December 2016, which toughened state policy towards refugees. In September 2016, Bulgaria introduced closed centres for asylum seekers who violate public order or who it is thought may conceal themselves from the authorities. Before that, detention was allowed only for illegal immigrants facing deportation. Rights groups have criticised the plan to limit the free movement of refugees, calling it disproportionate and a violation of human rights, although EU directives allow for such measures.

According to  the State Agency for the Refugees  the measure is designed to improve controls over refugees who often migrate from one reception centre to another or leave the country illegally. The designated zones will give refugees access to education, healthcare, the labour market and social services, the source said. 

The latest data of the State Agency for Refugees show a drop in the numbers of asylum seekers hosted in state-run reception centres to 2,119 by May 25. Over 9,000 procedures out of 11,890 that the agency reviewed in 2017 have been cancelled, most probably because the asylum seekers left the country before being granted protection by Bulgaria, as that could limit their chances of living in Western Europe.


Spotlight: AliDropship Makes Life Easier for eCommerce Businesses

Wednesday, May 31st, 2017

Spotlight: AliExpress Dropshipping Service AliDropship Makes Life Easier for Ecommerce Businesses

Starting an eCommerce business can be a lot easier with the help of a drop shipping company like AliDropship.

You can read more about this small business and the services it provides to eCommerce businesses in this week’s Small Business Spotlight.

What the Business Does

Offers services for drop shipping businesses.

Yaroslav Nevsky, CEO of AliDropship told Small Business Trends, “We offer all-in-one solution for AliExpress drop shipping business, including a handy WordPress plugin with automation tools, custom store development service and free lifelong personal support. With this solution anyone can easily create a professional web store and start running a drop shipping business right away.

If you are not familiar with drop shipping, it’s an eCommerce model where store owners don’t need to buy products in advance. You can just add a necessary product to your site and when someone purchases it, you buy it from your supplier who ships this item directly to your customer.”

Business Niche

Understanding the needs of clients.

Nevsky says, “We don’t only create tools, we are successful drop shippers ourselves and have a bunch of our own web stores. We always share skills and experience we’ve gained and help entrepreneurs worldwide to start and grow their drop shipping businesses.”

How the Business Got Started

Because of their own drop shipping needs.

Nevsky explains, “When I launched my drop shipping business, I could not find the right technical solution. I needed something special for my own needs. And there was nothing! That is why my team and I made this decision. We began developing our own drop shipping plugin for building web stores on WordPress. One day I decided to share my successful experience on popular eCommerce forums and saw a great interest and demand in such a solution. As a result, our AliDropship plugin was presented and became available for everyone.”

Biggest Win

Clients’ success stories.

Nevsky says, “Each story told by a happy client who had succeeded with our solution I consider as a big “win” of my business. For instance, one customer reported that he was able to pay his rent with the profit from drop shipping, another one said that he decided to quit his hated regular job, because he started making much more money with drop shipping business. And there are many other examples that give me and my team a great motivation to continue our work and help novice entrepreneurs.”

Lesson Learned

Focus on UX first.

Nevsky explains, “While working on the plugin development, I was running threads on popular eCommerce forums sharing my experience and collecting ideas from people in order to create a powerful but simple tool. However, I was occupied by many tasks at once trying to add all recommended features to the product as quickly as possible. As a result, the plugin turned out to be a bit complicated at first and later I had to spend much time on improving its interface. So if i could do something over again, I would focus more on UX at the initial step to save more time and efforts in the future.”

How They’d Spend an Extra $100,000

Expanding the team of developers.

Nevsky says, “In spite of the fact that our solution is already used by thousands of people worldwide, we are still on a developing stage and have tons of ideas we want to implement in the nearest future. Investing in my development team is what I would do with an additional $100,000, because the code itself is our main treasure. Our senior developer usually says: ‘Coding everyday keeps bugs away!’”

Spotlight: AliExpress Dropshipping Service AliDropship Makes Life Easier for Ecommerce Businesses

Team Tradition

Mascots in every office.

Nevsky says, “They are big fluffy toys: a Shark, a Batman sign, and a whole squad of Rabbids and Angry Birds — all that traditional nerd stuff, you know.”

Favorite Quote

“Take actions, always improve and enjoy the ride, otherwise, what’s the point?”

Nevsky says, “This quote was born from my own experience.”

* * * * *

Find out more about the Small Biz Spotlight program

Images: AliDropship; Top Image: Yaroslav Nevsky – CEO, Co-Founder, Ilya Dolgikh – COO, Co-Founder, Julia Fisunova – Production Manager, Rasul Ayapergenov – Project Manager, Tanya Krupina – Customer Support Manager, Elena Baranova – Project Manager, Olga Levitskaya – Project Manager

This article, “Spotlight: AliDropship Makes Life Easier for eCommerce Businesses” was first published on Small Business Trends


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