See How Easily You Can E-mail Market Your Business

What were the first ten things you did after you woke up this morning? Aside from the obvious, I am confident enough to bet my puppy that one of the top things you did was:

Check your email.

Yes, I’m that confident.

You may have already had a couple of emails waiting for you. I know for me, I always wake up to about four emails from Groupon. Curiously, yet sleepy-eyed, I open to see what’s eagerly awaiting me in the world of advertisement. $8 bucks for $70 value? Sure! Once again, I’m sucked in.

There is no question about how powerful email marketing can be for your business. Not only is it a venue to gain loyal customers, but also a chance to market new features or products. It’s one of the the most effective and least expensive marketing tools when used properly. The Direct Marketing Association (DMA) did an assessment on the email marketing industry and found out that the potential return on investment (ROI) can be about $60 USD per $1 USD spent. The key word here is potential, which makes it all the more vital to do your marketing homework and take advantage of available resources to maximize that ROI.

There are so many little things that can make or break an email: time of day sent, spam guards, relevance, incentives, and even the email headline. Trying to optimize all of these factors into one, triumphant email can be challenging.  Whether you’re a business that hasn’t used email marketing or are now looking to upgrade your current email system, services like Constant Contact help make the delicate process rather simple. For the beginner, its straightforward design is very comforting and user friendly.  Upon signing up, they offer  training videos and supportive user communities at your dispense. You can even export your business cards from Shoeboxed directly into your marketing lists, saving you time and potential typos. When it comes down to designing your email, you can choose from an array of professional templates (or for the more advanced, you can add your own HTML codes to create your own). Features like the “drag-and-drop” make it easy to add your own graphics and links, giving your email a personalized feel that many marketing emails lack. Constant Contact can even track key data indicators (such as open and click through rates), so you can measure the strengths and weaknesses of your email campaigns.

I could go on and on about the features. However, it’s one thing to create a beautiful, well-crafted email, and another to watch your conversion rates climb before your eyes. It’s not a 100% guaranteed success rate in email marketing, but so long as you actively participate, it will surely keep your small business competitive and growing.

Tell Your Friends, Get Your Shirt

We have a lot of new features on Shoeboxed as of last Friday, but there’s only one that gives you free stuff.

After you’re done exploring how our receipt organization is improved, and how you can organize, share, and stereotype specific things you and other people have bought to get those receipts, and then after you’re done recovering from how awesome our makeover is, there’s something else you should check out…

And when you use this feature, we’ll send you a free Shoeboxed t-shirt. Yes!

This fall’s hottest fashion is available to you with a couple clicks of the mouse. Once you login, there’s a link in the top right of your overview page. Click it, and it’s super easy to invite all of your e-mail contacts. We’re compatible with Hotmail, Gmail, Yahoo! and several other popular e-mail clients. We want everyone you know to know about Shoeboxed too, and this is a great way to get the word out. If you use the site, if you love the team, hell, even if you’re kind of bored, the invite feature is for you!

When you send an e-mail to all your contacts, send an e-mail to sophia@team.shoeboxed.com with your mailing address and we’ll send you a crisp, new Shoeboxed t-shirt.

I wear mine every day.

It Doesn’t Matter How Much You Shop Online!

So what are you supposed to do if you love Shoeboxed–the team, the spirit, the innovation, the product–but you just don’t feel like you shop online enough to benefit from signing up?

We think you should think again! Shoeboxed is totally worth it, even if you only buy things online a couple times a year.

I can say this with certainty because I am the same way; in fact, I don’t buy things in general unless I have to, and sometimes I don’t buy things even when I know I should (you can see the picture of my shoes in the blog archives for an example of this).

Anyway, a few days ago I remembered that my time in Berlin is drawing to a close, and that I actually need to start getting ready to go back to the good old U.S. of A. I quickly realized that I had absolutely no idea when my return flight was leaving, or even on which day the flight departed, and that it would probably be in my best interests to find that information out. Of course, my travel itinerary was nowhere to be found. However, I knew the airline had sent a copy of the flight information with my e-ticket receipt to my e-mail address. This was not exactly reassuring, though, since that e-mail was a few months old, and finding one e-mail in my inbox is like finding one specific needle in a haystack made out of other needles.

Long story short, I searched through my inbox for what felt like a really long time, and ended up asking my mom to send me her copy of my itinerary. She was not impressed.

Obviously, none of this would have happened if I had been using Shoeboxed when I bought the ticket—my e-ticket information would have been easily accessible right from the start. This experience made me realize that it doesn’t matter how often you shop online – Shoeboxed is a great tool for anyone to have.