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Seems like every week there's a new marketing tactic to consider. It can get pretty overwhelming, especially if you're a small, growing business with limited resources. With so many options, where should you focus your attention and allocate your budget?

Whether you're marketing to businesses or directly to consumers, it's all about building relationships. Let's take a look at three simple relationship building marketing tactics to boost your business in 2021.

Tactic #1: Blogging

Your website is your most important marketing channel. But just because you build it, doesn't mean your customers will come. You'll need to give prospective customers a reason to visit and more importantly, a reason to keep coming back for more.

A blog is one way to provide your target audience with valuable information on the topics they care about the most. Regular posts build trust and position your business as an authority in your space.

At the same time, Google rewards fresh content with higher rankings so customers looking for the services you provide are far more likely to find you.

Tactic #2: Social Media

Simply put, pick a channel and go 'all in'. When time is money, it's best not to dilute your efforts by trying to keep up with multiple social media platforms. Whether that's Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube or TikTok, your decision should be based on where your customers are most active.

Consistency is key.

Commit to a regular posting schedule and hold yourself accountable. If you need inspiration on what to post, try repurposing content from your blog posts. You can also share articles and other resources from industry experts.

Be sure to respond promptly to comments and engage with follower/fan content with likes, comments and shares.

Tactic #3: Email Marketing

Groan every time you see your overflowing inbox? With all the fancy new digital marketing tools, email still remains the top performing marketing channel.

And your email list is way more valuable than having thousands of social media followers. Why? Because unlike a social media following, you 'own' your email list.

It's a direct channel of communication between you and your audience and it keeps your business top of mind. Whether you're sending promotions or newsletters, keep your content focused on adding value.

Your emails should direct your audience to relevant Web pages with clear calls to action. For example, if you're offering 20% off a bracelet, provide a link to that page. Be sure to use a robust email marketing software like MailChimp and follow anti-spam legislation.

If you have to pick and choose marketing tactics, maintaining a blog, social media presence and email marketing list are surefire ways to boost your business in 2021.

Need some help implementing these tactics in your business? Reach out today!

Start marketing that works,


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If your business was fortunate enough to survive—or even thrive in 2020, 'consider yourself lucky' goes without saying. Whether 2021 will be focused on recovery, growth or somewhere in between, there's one word that should guide your marketing this coming year.

That word is empathy.

Shuttered businesses, lost jobs, mounting bills...the effects of this pandemic are compounding and far-reaching. And as business owners and marketers, we have a responsibility to practice empathy in the coming year.

What does that look like?

Here are a few ways you can market your business in 2021 with a little more love and understanding. Here's your opportunity to truly live your ethos of 'putting customers first'.

We are not all in the same boat but we are in the same storm quote
My favourite quote of 2021

Practice Gratitude

When people are struggling to make ends meet (businesses included) and they're buying your products and services, make it a point to say 'thank you'.

This could take the form of a post-purchase email. For example, "We understand these are trying times for so many of our customers and we appreciate you choosing BUSINESS NAME."

Giveaways and contests are another way to show appreciation.

As a family with several small businesses, my husband and I have made a point of shopping local and small this season. We're using our social media channels to shout-out a few of our favourites.

Cafe Alexandra: Organic cafe in Aurora, Ontario with lots of vegetarian & vegan options

Heavenly Bites: South American Alfjores cookies that melt in your mouth

KC Equestrian Colours: Equestrian accessories for all the horsey lovers

Wrap Werx: Vehicle wrapping services in the Greater Toronto area

Baker's Dozen Candle Co: A sweet soy candle maker specializing in baked good scents

I'm likely missing a few but you get the idea. Share the love and turn the spotlight on some of your small businesses vendors.

Hubby's new business Iannuzzi & Sons Reimagine Musical Instruments has seen a heartwarming uptick in orders this season and we're so grateful.

Be grateful for every order

Give Back

The Christmas season is the most obvious time for businesses to support local charities. However, it's the first few months after the holidays when food banks and other not-for-profits need the most help.

A few years ago, I recommended a social media client begin a food drive in January. This car dealership collected employee and community donations for a local food bank at the time when their supply was typically at its lowest. It was a great success for all involved.

Food drive
General Manager Amanda Morvan collecting donations

Make it a point to throw your support behind a charity in the new year. Be sure to let your customers know of your plans and activities through your newsletter and social media channels. You'll build positive brand awareness and most importantly, inspire others to give.

Consider Flexible Payment Options

If your business model (and bottom line) allow it, consider implementing flexible payment options. Whether you provide monthly instalments or spread payments out across a longer period, make it easier for customers to do business with you.

For product-based businesses, consider implementing additional temporary loyalty or volume-based discounts as a 'thank you'.

As I sit on the couch with my feet up typing this post, Christmas Vacation is flashing in the background for the 10th time this season. Playing holiday favourites on repeat is bringing me some much needed joy. It's a reminder that in the midst of a crappy year, we have our health, a place to call home and the blessings of our customers.

Cousin Eddy emptying the shitter in Christmas vacation
I couldn't resist! ha!

If you consider yourself 'lucky' this year, here's (y)our reminder to practice some empathy in 2021. Your customers will appreciate it. And after 2020 especially, we could all use more of it.

Wishing you all the happiest of holidays and a 2021 filled with hope.

Yours in gratitude,


Ps. If you're a client reading this, a heartfelt 'thank you' for your business this year.

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Everyone's inbox is flooded with promos, newsletters and those forwards from their folks. There's one thing that can help your business break through the clutter and get your emails opened. Spoiler alert: It's the subject line.


Yes, seriously. Before we get into mastering the email subject line, let's make sure we remove all doubt when it comes to email marketing in general.

"Why email? We have social media after all. I can just post my 'stuff' on Facebook."

And you should.

But if you're not leveraging email to engage with prospects and customers, you're leaving money on the table.

Email outperforms all digital marketing channels, generating $38 for every $1 spent for a jaw-dropping 3,800% ROI (Hubspot)

Social media is a powerful tool in your marketing arsenal but here's the thing, you don't own your social media audience. The platforms do. If Facebook or Instagram or INSERT SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORM went down tomorrow, all those followers you worked so hard to get would be gone and you'd be starting from ground zero.

That's why building an email list is a must. It's a direct communication channel between you and your audience, unless of course they hit the 'delete' button or worse, 'unsubscribe'.

So what saves your email from the dreaded Trash folder? It's all in how you write it. And that starts with the very first decision someone makes: To open or not to open.

Deconstructing the email subject line

The next time you fire up your email program, pay attention to the emails you feel compelled to open. Unless they're from people you know, the emails that get that all-important click have a super effective subject line.

Here are a few examples of subject lines that have earned my click recently:

  • "Okay Jennifer. Here's the truth (LAST CHANCE)"

  • "Buy one, get nine"

  • "What NO other educators are telling you about making money"

So what do the subject lines above all have in common? They pique my curiosity. Let's take it a step further and break down what's working with each of them.

"Okay Jennifer. Here's the truth (LAST CHANCE)"

  • This one is personalized to me! I realize the sender doesn't really know me but personalizing emails boosts can boost open rates by as high as 50%! (OptinMonster)

  • The truth?! I need to know the truth. Guess I'll have to open the email to find out.

  • LAST CHANCE? Creates FOMO (fear of missing out). If this is my last chance, I won't get another chance so I had better open this.

"Buy one, get nine"

  • Now that's a short subject line. Clear and to the point.

  • It makes a too-good-to-be-true promise but doesn't give away the 'thing' I'm getting so I had better open this email to find out.

  • Buy 1, get 9?! Now we've all heard of Buy 1, Get 1 Free but...9?! Now THAT's different and exciting.

"What NO other educators are telling you about making money"

  • Once again, they're telling me 'something' juicy is inside but teasing me as to what that something is.

  • NO other educators? Sounds like exclusive information to me!

  • Who doesn't want to make money? I should note that the word 'money' is actually a money emoji. Did you know that using emojis in your subject lines can actually increase your open rates? A word of caution though: Use them carefully. Read The 2020 Definitive Guide to Using Emojis in Subject Lines

"Great examples. Now how I put this into practice for my business?"

Tips to write better email subject lines

Get inspired. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery and...the quickest path to success. Now I'm not suggesting you do a copy/paste but I do recommend you start deconstructing the emails you receive (like I just did above). Find the patterns and follow the formulas.

Personalize it. Using the recipient's first name in the subject line will boost those open rates. But you can also send a special offer on a recipient's birthday, mention the last thing they purchased from you, etc.

Keep it short. Email marketing software provider MailChimp recommends 9 words and 60 characters. With most emails getting opened on mobile devices, you don't want your subject line to get cutoff. Less is more.

Use numbers. Which subject line would you be more likely to click?

  • Save big on TVs

  • Save 50% on the best flat screen TVs

Adding specifics like dates and numbers help to create excitement and trust around offers.

Have some fun. Try using an emoji or injecting some humour. Wondering if your attempts might fall flat? Most email marketing software platforms allow you to A/B split testing different email components like subject lines, headings and calls-to-action. Remember, the tone of voice you adopt should always be consistent with your brand and appeal to your target market.

The Last Word on the Subject (Line)

Crafting the ultimate email subject line is Step #1. Once you get your audience to open, there had better be a reason for them to read on and take action. Stay tuned to this space for more email best practices guaranteed to boost your bottom line.

Rather hand off your emails to an expert? Give me a shout.

Happy Emailing,


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