The top 7 Email Marketing Platforms for businesses in 2017.

While writing this free blog post, I included a few affiliate links.  This means that I, Jacinta Thomas from ‘Jump Start your Biz’ will get a small commission from any purchases made via these links. This is one of the ways you make money blogging, so if you click and purchase I thank you for helping me pay my bills.

email marketing

Having a lead magnet/ opt-in is a priority for any business as part of their marketing campaign. You need a marketing platform to run your lead magnets and collect your subscriber’s details. A marketing platform will allow you to send emails that you can set up to go automatically each day, week, month etc, to those customers that have signed up to you rather than trying to email hundreds of people separately.

Let’s go ahead and take a look 7 top email marketing platform for 2017.

I personally use Mailerlite, but a review from a lot of other business owners say that Convertkit is the best. They all do great jobs so it’s completely up to you and your budget. All of them have great setup guides and support. Once you decide on the best one to fit your needs then go ahead and join up or trial one.

1. Mailerlite

mailerlite

An easy to use marketing service. With simple, drop and drag features and easy to put together nice-looking emails. Has awesome email automation, easy to use and great designs. Start with their FOREVER FREE plan of up to 1000 subscribers. Prices then start from $10 per month.

2. Aweber

One of the most popular email marketing providers with most customers saying that “If I didn’t have AWeber, I wouldn’t have a business.” Great to use if you don’t have a website and has lovely automation. However can be hard to set up and use. Aweber offers a free 30-day trial and then costs from $19 per month.

 

3. Convertkit

A marketing tool built for bloggers. A simple easy to use email marketing service. A no fuss no hacking, simple platform to help grow your blog. Very simple email designs however one of the best and most simple to use marketing tools with fantastic automation. Prices starting from $29 per month.

4. Mailchimp

MailChimp is one of the world’s leading email marketing platforms with over 15 million customers from small e-commerce shops to big online retailers. That said have heard many people say things like email automation not always being sent but very basic to use with nice designs.  It’s free to join up to 2000 subscribers and from only $10 per month after this.

5. GetResponse

get response

An all-In-One Online Marketing Platform to Grow Your Business. Grow your lists, increase conversions, and optimise your audience engagement with beautiful emails and autoresponders. OK designs and simple automatons. Priced from $15 per month.

 

6. Active Campaign

All-in-one marketing platform.Grow your business and save time with a seamless experience. Distributed team spanning three continents. Basic automation and designs but pretty easy to use. Prices starting at $29 per month.

7. Madmini

madmimi

Mad Mimi is one of the easiest ways to create, send, share and track email newsletters online. With over 40 million email sent each day. Fantastic automation, simple to use with fun designs. Pricing from $10 per month.

 

 

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10 Essential WordPress Website Steps before you launch.

While writing this free blog post, I included a few affiliate links.  This means that I, Jacinta Thomas from ‘Jump Start your Biz’ will get a small commission from any purchases made via these links. This is one of the ways you make money blogging, so if you click and purchase I thank you for helping me pay my bills.

10 essential wordpress website steps before you launchYour WordPress website is almost ready to go. You already have your domain name, a hosting provider and WordPress installed. Your theme is activated and all your contents and images are added on, or in the process of being added to your website. The following 10 steps are essential before you start promoting your website to the world.

1.Backup

Most hosting providers will back up your website once a month, but what happens when you are adding new contents, posts and images on daily or weekly basis? At any time your website can be hacked, overrun by malware. You can simply just update your theme or any plugins and your website crashes.

backup your website

Your hosting provider might have a monthly backup they can install but what about those 20 new products you added on just yesterday or those 5 blog posts with all the lovely comments on them? What if my hosting provider crashes itself?

There are many great free and paid WordPress backup plugins available. I recommend using the plugin Backup Buddy it’s easy to setup, automates backups and restore them if required.

2.Security

It’s so easy for hackers to find your login username and password. They can then steal your client details, delete information, and add links to your website for their own benefit without you even noticing. As part of my business Thomas Web Designs hosting services, I include monthly updates for any WordPress updates, themes and plugins. Not only is it a security risk to not have the lasted versions of them but you need to keep them updated so they remain compatible with WordPress. However monthly may not be enough as just the other day one of my clients rang up as her WordPress wasn’t updated for only 2 weeks and she had been hit by the white hat hacker, so you should always keep these up to date.

As an extra precaution, I use iThemes Security Pro I can get email notifications of when someone logs into the backend. When a plugin needs to be updated plus other features like web application firewall, blocks brute force attacks, malware scanner and views and displays visitors.

For businesses that have blog posts on their website then the plugin Akismet Anti Spam is essential as this will protect you from spam comments on your blog.

3.Contents & Display

You need to test your complete website. This includes making sure your contact form and mailing list subscriber are working correctly and showing the correct messages. That all your links go to correct websites and all external links open in new tabs. That any shopping carts work and you get orders and payment details notifications.  Other things to check are your videos play, images load and your favicon displays. Make sure all social links are correct as well. You should check your website on different size computers as the display will look different on a 15” laptop compared to a 34” computer monitor or an iPad or a mobile phone. Also checking your website on different internet web browsers such as chrome, internet explorer, Firefox, safari is a good practice. Often your website displays differently so you want to make sure your happy with how it looks.

Your website pages and blog posts should also be checked for grammar and spelling (see point 4 below) Also your website should load in 3 seconds or less- see point 5 below.

4.Spelling

There is nothing worst then a website with bad grammar and spelling mistakes. Now I’m not very good at English myself so, I totally recommend using The World’s Best Grammar Checker Grammarly. It’s great and shows you your spelling errors and suggested places you put commas etc. You should go back over all of your website page and posts once you install this to double check all your pages.

I’m not a very good at spelling. Don’t worry Grammarly will fix your spelling errors.

5.Speed

Have you ever jumped onto someone’s website and it’s so slow? They say that if your website takes more than 3 seconds to load, then you can lose customers as well as being a pitfall for your SEO. You should regularly test your sites speed with these using these great sites Gtmetrix, Pingdom or Google Pagespeed. They view your site for free and give you suggestions on making your site faster. If you notice your website is slow, a great way to help speed up your WordPress website is installing a caching plugin like W3 Total Cache or WP Super Cache.

 6.Errors

Website errors can create a bad, user experience for your customers. The 404 or 301 error is the most common errors. This is when someone visits a page, and the link is slightly incorrect, or your customer types the link into the web browser and misspells the link. Normally they are sent to a “page no found or 404 error etc’ page which in some cases your customer will just go and look at another website thinking that your site is not working. If your website theme doesn’t have an inbuilt 404 error page then the best way to avoid this is to install a great plugin like the 404page plugin.

7.Privacy

If you’re collecting information from your visitors, such as email addresses for sending newsletters, postage details to ship orders to tracking them or displaying their ads online. Then you need to have a privacy policy on your website. In fact, search engine companies such as google say that they will place a website with a privacy policy above one that doesn’t have one so I would say it’s essential. I personally just use the free privacy policies from https://www.freeprivacypolicy.com/ and then I just change it up to make it my own. You can also use the Auto Terms of Service and Privacy Policy plugin to get you started.

 8.Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

Having good SEO will have any search engine display your website above your competitors. There are so many SEO requirements which I give out other great tips if you follow my facebook page. However having a plugin such as SEO plugin by Yoast will help you with the following.

Show you a Google search result snippet preview. This is exactly how your content will look when someone searches for you on google.

Set up one focus word (keyword) per page/ post.

The Yoast plugin will also score your pages and posts and recommendations for great SEO.

Automatically create your site sitemap.

There are many other reasons to use the Yoast SEO plugin.

I also recommend connecting to google analytics, google webmaster and Bing Webmaster. All of these will show you great search engine optimisation information and get your site on all the search engines.

search engines

9.Secure Sockets Layer (SSL)

SLL is the standard security technology for establishing an encrypted link between a web server and a browser. This link ensures that all data passed between the web server and browsers remain private and integral. If you have an e-commerce website where you sell products and taking credit card details then you definitely need SSL in place to encrypt your customers’ credit card information so they remain private. However, if you are only exclusively using, for example, PayPal or accepting direct transfer then you don’t need SSL since customers aren’t paying you directly. If you have a membership site then an SSL might be a great idea as you are collecting member details, such as email addresses, names, passwords and you don’t want to risk being responsible for a security breach and having your customer details sold or displayed over the internet. Your hosting provider will be able to help you obtain and setup your SSL certificate.

10.Management

As well as the above 9 things listed above. Some other things you need to do on a regular basis are. Clean up your website,  keep it secure and keep your site up coming up on google to get new customers.

Change your admin password.

Clean up your server by deleting unused themes and plugins.

Update your WordPress. 

Regularly add new contents to your website.

Approving your comments or disabling them under settings and discussion on your WordPress backend.

Checking the themes and plugins you use are still managed and making sure the code doesn’t go out of date or, crash your website.

I hope you have enjoyed this post and got some valuable information. Please ask any questions below in our comments area or jump into our private facebook page.

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Get all your business ideas out of your head.

Business ideas and how they come to light?.

Do you lay awake at night with your head spinning with ideas? “They should do it this way, it would work better” or “If they can do it, so can I”, and one I often think about is “wouldn’t that be a great business idea“.

The problem is after you fall asleep you tend to forget about these ideas. As our lives are so busy from changing nappies, organising kids for school, cleaning the house, cooking meals, going to that job you love to hate, etc etc

 

These days most people carry a mobile with them. Start writing down ideas on your phone notepad, or like myself I email myself all my ideas as they pop into my head. If you don’t have a phone that’s ok, you can write it on a notepad, scrap paper, why not record it. Just get your idea (s) down so they are out of your head.

This is called a ‘brain dump‘ as your brain is not meant to keep all of your ideas or things you want to do, and keeping all your thoughts up there will only disappoint you when you forget them.

Brain dump all your ideas and to do’s.

 

You’re going to have that work/ life balance you have always dreamed about then you just need to do it.

Go through the notes you have written down and recorded and imagine yourself doing that as a business. Being self-employed, your own boss, owning your own shop or even working at home. Like that idea? Awesome. You may be saying to yourself “I can’t do this”, “don’t be stupid this would never work”.

”Entrepreneurs and business people is only slightly smarter than their clients and as a business owner if you don’t know something you can research”

 

So you have some business ideas, it’s written down, now what?

After your brain dump, you need to sort through your ideas and highlight the ones that make you excited and the ones you think will be the best business ideas.

I would then start researching competitor businesses to see what they do. Please don’t stress if there are 100 other businesses out there doing the same thing as you only need to be slightly different, to be successful and different to them.

Write that one top business idea down on an A4 piece of paper, and visualise yourself in business.

Smile, is this what you want to do? The next step is to work on a business plan- more information coming soon.

Don’t be afraid and Let excuses stop you.

 Entrepreneur: someone who jumps off a cliff and builds a plane on the way down

 

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