If you think it’s hard to stick to your New Year’s Resolutions, you’re not alone. In fact, a number of goal-tracking apps are cropping up to help keep people on track, whether you want to lose weight or learn a new language.
Experts say that you can improve your resolution success rate by keeping them small and specific, and by talking about them with others.
We asked some small business owners and experts to share what they’d like to do differently in the New Year to improve their business.
Here’s what they had to say:
Embracing the New
New technologies and opportunities arise every year — and sometimes it can feel overwhelming. Rather than trying to embrace very new trend, success can be found in honing in on one thing that you want to either learn more about or actually put into action.
What might that look like?
Kim Schott of Schott Cultural Consulting is working with her team to make sure that their clients’ email campaigns are designed with a mobile-first mentality. “A six inch screen is now the standard…not the laptop,” she says. Designing with mobile in mind will deliver you better results in 2016.
We learned in our latest customer survey that video streaming is the top new trend that small businesses believe will have the most impact on their marketing in the next couple of years. Lindsay Higgins of Leave it to Lindsay is putting video streaming into action with a realistic goal: recording one video per month featuring a quick marketing tip that her small business clients can watch on the go.
Tom Luke of Luke Direct Marketing echoes this sentiment, also resolving to incorporate more video into his social and email marketing efforts. If you’re looking to add video to your marketing, here are nine ideas for adding video to your email marketing.
Charles Laughlin, senior analyst at BIA/Kelsey, told us he’s going to spend more time following the growth of the on-demand economy (e.g. Uber and Airbnb). “I’d like to form a stronger view of whether it is as disruptive as many argue it is. I have my doubts,” he says.
Relying on Automation and Strategy
Automation is a real hot button right now. Pamela Starr, a regional development director at Constant Contact, is developing systems to group and automate routine activities, from scheduling her social media posts in advance, to maximizing the marketing automation tools in her Constant Contact account, to automating deadlines for her team.
Joanne Randall of Sprout for Business is also looking to automate elements of her business: “We have decided and committed to following our own content marketing calendar. All emails, social media, press releases, blogs, and AdWords are on a shared calendar with the staff with specific instructions. These will be delegated through our regular workflow platform for assignment and follow-up. We’re treating our own company’s marketing with the same respect we treat our clients with. Crazy, right?”
Email list segmentation is an incredibly effective tool for designing email campaigns that hit the mark. As Constant Contact CEO Gail Goodman notes, “The start of the New Year is the perfect time to tackle tasks we sometimes put off, like segmenting email lists. Sure it takes a little time, but we know that more targeted emails perform best. Survey your subscribers to understand their interests or look at your email reports to see what they’re opening and clicking on. Doing this will pay dividends for your business in 2016.”
Ken Countess of The Countess Group is resolving to regularly review analytics and, most importantly, act on the data. “Analytics often reveal opportunities and missteps and help guide on ‘do more of this and less of that,” says Ken.
Of course, the main driver of most successful businesses is quality relationships. And building meaningful relationships doesn’t have to mean spending a lot of money — at the end of the day it’s about spending the time.
Kelly Flint, Constant Contact regional development director, is resolving to strengthen relationships with her 12 key partners “those who help grow my business year after year, and without whom I would not be as successful. I’m resolving to say thanks and show how much their relationship means to me by spending face-to-face time with them — over coffee, lunch, or dinner!”
Kathryn Cariglino of NGU Consulting says she’s resolving to find a networking group and attend their meetings regularly to become known. “Become known in the group as a giver and people will be drawn to you like a magnet.”
Happy New Year from Constant Contact!
No matter what direction you’re going in this year, you have the best chance of sticking to it if you stay focused.
As we enter the New Year, don’t be afraid to try something new or cut back to refocus on what’s most important to your business. We’re here to help guide you through your marketing challenges and offer advice where you need it.
Leave us a comment and let us know what your New Year resolution is this year—we’d love to hear it!