Is Your Online Marketing Strategy Stale?

Things online change quickly. Two years ago, Google changed its search engine algorithm and left businesses scrambling to regain their place in search results. More recently, SERP stopped showing author photos and videos. Why? Because they stopped standing out distinctly from other search results. Everybody caught on and implemented the same strategy. And LinkedIn now allows users to post blogs on their profile. (If it hasn’t rolled out to you yet, it will. Hold tight!)

online marketing strategy
If your online marketing strategy doesn’t stay current, your company will be left behind, missing traffic and losing business. Here are four ways to update your online marketing to keep up with the times.

Traffic > Links


Gone are the days when search engine optimization was based on the number of links to your site. Why? Because Google, Bing, Yahoo! and other search engines strive to provide the best search results possible. Links from article directories, blog comments, link wheels and foreign links just aren’t natural.

In the past links were king, but let’s be honest. You don’t really care about links; you want traffic to your website. Traffic is what brings leads that convert into customers! The only people who read article directories were other people using article directories to get links. Those links didn’t provide traffic. You want real, natural links not manufactured ones.

So how do you go about getting natural links? I’ll tell you. You produce high quality content that people will want to like, share and comment on. Then you market that content in newsletters, on social media and in other strategic places that will bring traffic.

A great way to get traffic is to be quoted or cited on another site. Sites like HARO, PitchRate and ReporterConnect give you the opportunity to share your expertise in exchange for a link back to your site. It’s a win-win for all parties involved.

Focus on educating potential clients about why they need your product or services rather than on acquiring links. Traffic is better than links.

Podcasts: Voice Your Expertise

podcastYour website is optimized. You have a blog that’s updated regularly with high quality content. You’re active on social media sites like Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and LinkedIn. You focus on getting traffic rather than links to your website. Think you’ve maximized your online marketing opportunities? Think again.

If you’re not doing a podcast, you’re missing out on an entirely different audience of potential customers. Just like there are some people who prefer talk radio to hip-hop or jazz, there are some Internet users who prefer podcasts to social media. You don’t want to leave them for your competitor to find. Set up regular podcasts.

Because podcasts are a different medium than blog posts or video, you can use the same content on your podcast that you used on your video. No sense reinventing the wheel. (I’ll talk more about this content creation strategy in a future post. Be on the lookout!)

Email Laws: Don’t Be an Accidental Spammer

You know those opt-in forms you use on your website to obtain email addresses for your list? (If you don’t have them, you should!) They’re a great marketing tool and help significantly with automation. However, laws in places like Canada require explicit permission to send emails. That doesn’t mean you can’t use the opt-in forms, but it does mean you need to add another step in your automation process to ask permission before putting those folks on your email list.

Nobody likes spammers. Don’t be one. Stay current with Internet laws anywhere you may have customers.

Mobile Marketing

mobile marketing

Quick survey. How many of you are reading this on your phone or tablet right now? Statistically speaking that number is pretty high. Is your website designed to be seen on mobile devices? If people can’t see the entire width of the page without scrolling, they’ll get frustrated and leave. When they leave, you’ve lost a potential customer.

There is a difference between being mobile friendly (like a blog) and mobile designed. For example, is your website designed so that a visitor can click to call? If you’re a local business, is there map integration to help customers find you on the go?

As smartphones get smarter and smarter, your website will need to change to accommodate the number of mobile visitors. Choosing not to change or adapt will be detrimental to your business in the long run, if not the short run.

Need Help?

Not sure how to implement the necessary updates to your online marketing? Can’t seem to keep up with all the latest changes? Let us help with web design, content creation or traffic. The ROI and time saved will make you glad you did.

How to Write a Business Email

business email

Today’s market has a few basic demands from their email messages:

  • They must not look like spam
  • They must be easy to read, their point must be clear and concise
  • They must be at the right frequency, but that is something you’ll have to discover for yourself
  • They must have a point…don’t just send email because you usually do on that day
  • They must provide a clear benefit to your reader

Taking the first demand, SPAM is fairly easy to avoid.  Don’t send an email to people that haven’t requested that you do so.  Additionally, make sure that your “From” line is clear.  Send your emails from your business name or from you personally.

Making an email easy to read, and with a clear and concise point can be handled a number of ways.  First, make sure that your subject line is compelling.  Subject lines that offer a benefit are more frequently opened than those that don’t.  The only job your subject line has is to get the recipient to open it.

If your email is a promotional message then state the offer in the subject line.  “10 Days to Save More than 50% off Everything”.

You can also create a little curiosity with your subject lines, but use the technique sparingly. Ex. “This made my blood boil” or “You never know until you try this.”

The body of your email then must be easy to follow.  Format it so that the reader can quickly decide if the email is relevant and beneficial to them.  Bullet point your benefits, make a promise, and don’t forget to include a call to action.  Keep the email focused on one thing at a time and you’ll get much better results.

Remember to include links in your email back to your website or offer page.  If you’re emailing a newsletter, don’t forget to offer a forward to a friend option and give your readers the ability to comment on your newsletter or contact you.

Protect Yourself from Spam & Get Email You Want with Mailwasher


Mailwasher is a software program that you use on your on your desktop. It allows you to quickly sort and filter your email, ensuring that you never miss an email that you want to receive.

It works in conjunction with a variety of email programs including a variety of Window email programs, Hotmail, Yahoo, Gmail and more.

Mailwasher is free for up to 1 email address and is reasonably priced if you want to add more addresses. You can download it at


Viewing Your Email

Mailwasher quickly downloads all the email into the software, so you can view senders and subject lines. Here’s an example of an inbox:


 As you can see above, Mailwasher automatically marks some email as spam and will set to delete a message when they are blacklisted in Spamhaus or other blacklisting services. You’ll find these statuses are usually accurate, but you should always scan the email to ensure you don’t miss anything.

If you find email is set to automatically be deleted, you can change that senders “Status” to keep it from happening again. If this is a sender you want to receive email from, right click the message and a box will pop-up that looks like this:


 If you click “Add to friends list”, the status will now be changed to “Friend” and the email won’t be marked for deletion.



Manage Your Friends

You can add your friends to your “Friends” list right away or you can train Mailwasher to recognize your friends as emails come in.

Method #1: As shown above, you can right click any message and choose “Add to friends list” and that will add that sender to your friends list.

Method #2: You can add the email address manually. On the far right side, click the green friends icon:


A list of your current friends will pop up:


Click “Add” to a new friend:

You can add an email address:


Or you can use the wildcard option to whitelist emails from a particular domain, for example.



In the above example, all emails from the domain will be marked as coming from a friend.

You can remove users from your friend list anytime by unchecking the box beside the email address:


Manage Your Blacklist

You can also add people to your blacklist in a similar way. When you blacklist someone, the email will come into your Mailwasher inbox (in case you change your mind later), but will be marked as “Blacklisted” and will be set to automatically delete when you process your mail.

Method #1: You can blacklist senders as email comes in from them. Just right click on the message from the sender you want to blacklist.


 Click “Add to Blacklist” and then Status will change to “Blacklisted” and will set to delete when you process your email.



Method #2: You can add email addresses or wildcards to be blacklisted as well. On the far right side, click the black blacklisted icon:


That will bring up a screen that includes senders on our blacklist.


Click “Add” and you can add an email address:


Or you can use the wildcard option to blacklist emails from a particular domain, for example.


In the above example, all emails from the domain will be marked as blacklisted and will be set to delete when you process your email.

You can remove users from your blacklist anytime by unchecking the box beside the email address:


 Report Email as “Spam” or “Good”

If you want to report email as spam, you can use the far left column in your email preview that is called “Action”. Messages are reported to “First Alert”, which is the software maker’s own community spam filter.


“S” is for “Spam” and “G” is for “Good”. You can simply go through the list and click the icon. If you want to report these emails, click “Spam”.


Process Your Mail

Once you are finished with marking emails in your blacklist and friend list and you’re sure all the emails you have set for deletion are correct, you can process your email. Just click “Process” at the top and all the emails you set to be deleted, will be removed completely from your server.


 Now you’ll only be left with emails that you want to receive and you can open your usual email program to download the emails.

Each time you use the software, the process gets faster and faster. Your friends will be marked as friends and a large part of the spam will already be marked as spam. It’s a handy way to ensure you don’t miss ANY email you want.

How to Protect Gmail Inbox from Spammy Emails

email-spamGmail comes with built-in spam filters and they claim to have some of the most accurate spam filtering available. Of course, no system is perfect and there are things you can do to ensure your email goes exactly where you want it to.

If you don’t have a Gmail account, you can get one for free at


If You Get Spam in Your Inbox

If you log into Gmail and have spam in your main inbox, you can move items to spam and you can also report the spam to Gmail.  The first thing we can do is report the email as spam to Gmail by clicking “Report Spam”:


 Reporting an email a spam alerts Gmail and it also moves the email to your spam folder automatically. (HARO is not a spammer, I just needed a visual example).


If You Find Email that is Not Spam in Your Spam Folder

If Gmail puts email in your spam folder that is not spam, you can tell Gmail it is not spam. If you’re not sure where to find your spam folder, you can find the link in the far left menu:


Now that we’re looking at our spam folder, we see a message that shouldn’t be there, so we can select the email by clicking the check box and then clicking the “Not Spam” button.

 not spam

This will move the email back to your inbox.


Make a Safe Senders List

If you want to make sure email from certain individuals NEVER hit your spam folder, you can set up a filter to manage this.


On Settings, choose Filter option and then you can see a small link that says “Create Filter”:

 create filter

You can choose a multitude of features, based on your needs and then  Click “Create Filter”:

 create filter2


If there are senders you never want to see email from you can choose the “Delete it” option and then you will never see the emails enter your inbox.