Monthly Archives: April 2017

Compete Against REALLY BIG Competition

Small businesses face heavy competition not just from other small businesses, but also from large corporations and industry giants. Facing this type of competition is far from easy. Those big players have much more in the way of resources and existing customers. But it’s not impossible.

Audiobooks.com is no stranger to big competition. The company started out as a small business but has since become a major force in the audiobooks market. That success is a testament to the company’s ability to deal with large competitors, including companies like Amazon and Apple.

How to Compete Against Big Companies

For other small businesses that might be dealing with similar situations, the company’s leadership has shared some tips to help you survive and even thrive when facing big competitors.

Determine What Type of Market Share You’re After

When going up against big competition, you can’t hope to succeed without a really specific strategy. That means going after a specific type of customer or trying to expand the market to include some new customers.

Ian Small, General Manager at Audiobooks.com said in an email interview with Small Business Trends, “You have to ask yourself if you are attempting to take market share from a larger competitor, or if you’re attempting to take a percent of “new business” while expanding the market?”

Highlight What Makes You Different

From there, you need to determine what makes you stand out from your competitors. Then use that in your marketing to make sure you clearly outline why customers should choose you over all their other options.

This could be a difference in your actual products. It could mean that you provide more personalized service. Or it could be other factors like convenience or a unique buying experience.

Become Adaptable

Small also highlighted the importance of adaptability for small businesses dealing with competition from large corporations. Since those large companies often drive change within their industries, it’s important that you be able to adapt to those changes quickly so you don’t lose a step.

For example, your competition might start offering free shipping or returns. If customers start to get accustomed to that, then they might expect it from your business as well. And if you don’t offer it, they could see it as a major negative.

Take Advantage of Opportunities Quickly

In addition, if you’re agile enough to adapt to change quickly, you can also take advantage of new opportunities that come up. Maybe it’s a new trend or type of technology that will allow you to deliver your product or service in a new way. This can give you extra opportunities to differentiate your business from your larger competition that might not be able to move as quickly when those opportunities present themselves.

Use Data to Identify Opportunities

To identify those opportunities, Small suggests relying on hard data.

He says, “Have a disciplined approach to setting goals as well as developing the strategic methods with which you’ll achieve them. To me, this means being data driven – a concept that is frequently voiced but rarely executed effectively. Measuring data (the right data) can be an early indicator to opportunities in the market or deficiencies in your product/service.”

Take Measured Risks

In addition, it can be a good strategy to experiment a bit with new strategies and opportunities. You might just find something that works really well.

Small says, “I would also advise that small businesses experiment as much as possible, without being afraid of failure. Calculated risks can be necessary to succeed and without trying new things, you won’t learn anything new. It’s typically an uphill battle having a larger competitor, so experimenting in different capacities within your business and the consumer market could lead to positive discoveries that can you help you grow and succeed.”

Know More About Some Cold Email Secrets Revealed

Email is perhaps the only relic of old-school internet marketing that still has legs.

The numbers don’t lie: billions of people still opt-in to mailing lists as businesses rake in approximately $44 for every $1 spent on email marketing. For many, especially those who’ve never seen a dime from email marketing, these stats seem baffling.

While it’s natural to associate email marketing with spammers and scammers, there are still ample opportunities to prospect and engage clients via email.

If you know how to make your cold messages stand out from the crowd.

The email marketing sphere has changed as much as it’s stayed the same: while emails may be archaic in nature, modern tools and strategies for email marketing have emerged to keep recipients hungry for more. This rings especially true in an era where our inboxes are quite literally in our pockets. Indeed, getting a response is harder than ever, which is why so many experts assert that nowadays, cold pitches are worthless. But reaching out to people cold does still work — if you do it right.

Cold Email Tips

Making your emails stand out requires some subtle changes rather than a single “silver bullet” approach. Regardless of what your marketing or sales message might be, the following six strategies to sprucing up your emails are fair game if you want to see more inbox engagement.

Know Where It’s Going

One of the best tactics for ensuring that your emails catch the attention of your cold contacts is to verify that it actually makes to their inbox.

Considering the fact that roughly 205 billion emails are sent every day it is not at all uncommon for people to have multiple email addresses. They might have a work email, a personal inbox, and one that is dedicated purely to junk they have no intention of reading; you don’t want to be sending your important messages to your prospect’s junk address.

Moreover, since folks typically have more than one digital address, they might try to obscure their most important ones from online listings like Facebook and other platforms to help keep down on the number of emails received here.

This means that tools like Norbert are indispensable. Through this software, users simply enter their desired contact’s name and digital domain and Norbert will vet out he correct corporate email address. Users can also send customized emails directly from the platform, making outreach all the more quick and simple.

Figure Out Your Font

Again, sometimes the most important elements of your emails are the most easy to overlook.

Most of us probably don’t think twice about fonts when it comes to marketing; however, therein lies the problem. We have grown so accustomed to default fonts (Calibiri for Outlook and Arial for Gmail, for example) that anything out of the ordinary has the potential to catch the eyes of your recipients.

While switching up your font is a solid idea, bear in mind that not all fonts are created equal in regard to readability. Likewise, keep the following in the back of your mind:



  • Traditional copywriters favor serif fonts: the idea that you “must” use a sans-serif font is overblown
  • Size matters: in pursuit of producing copy that’s out of the ordinary, don’t sacrifice readability by making your text microscopic or needlessly large
  • “Off-the-wall” fonts such as Comic Sans and Papyrus are obviously off limits as they’ll crush any sense of professionalism your messages once had

There’s no need to lose sleep over your email font: simply don’t be afraid to try something different.

Keep Track of Your Progress

Your emails don’t mean much at all if nobody’s actually opening them.

Thankfully, tools have emerged which provide “read receipts” for your emails, essentially allowing you to understand whether or not your recipients are engaging with your content.

YesWare, for instance, is a powerful email platform that touts robust tracking systems to help users understand the effectiveness of their digital communications by supplying email engagement information around sent emails, along with a variety of other prosperous features.

If you’re unsure whether or not your messages are even making it to the inboxes of your recipients or want to understand what’s causing your prospects to drop, such tools are a must-have.

Encourage Your Opt-In

Having a list of opt-ins is incredibly valuable for marketing purposes and ensuring that your company keeps in touch with its audience.

Yet you can’t build your list until you actually ask your prospects to opt-in.

From education and tidbits of wisdom to company updates, regular engagement doesn’t have to be rocket science. Consider that perhaps the reason why your email efforts have so far stagnated is because of a lack of consistency. Producing a newsletter holds you accountable for content creation and keeps your audience on their toes, ultimately a win-win situation in your quest for more consistent marketing.

Always Follow Up

Here’s the thing: Just about everyone these days has brimming inboxes; remember how many emails are sent per day? Because of that, it is not at all uncommon for communications that would actually interest someone to fall through the cracks, never to be seen again.

For this reason, it is vital that you follow up your initial email with subsequent messages to ensure you are getting your prospect’s attention.

This is why using services like Mailshake, which was designed for cold emailing, is so beneficial for this type of activity.

Through this platform, users can send cold emails and schedule follow up communications at custom intervals to help verify that the first message doesn’t go unnoticed. Additionally, this tool provides its users with campaign calendars for monitoring when emails will be sent so that you always know where you are in the chain.

This type of software will help to make sure you are maximizing the number of replies you receive from your outreach efforts.

Choose Your Words Carefully

Chances are you do have the chops to write emails that get a reaction out of your readers: again, there is no “right” way to craft your messages.

But even if the hard and fast “rules” of email marketing don’t apply across all industries and messages vary from company to company, you should be careful with your words.

How so? For starters, keep the following in mind as you craft your messages:

  • Generally speaking, the shorter your emails, the better: your users are likely pressed for time and don’t want to scroll through an endless wall of text (especially via mobile)
  • Avoid clichés and platitudes: getting the point rather than relying on vague language or wordy phrasing will also cut down on the length of your emails
  • Include some sort of call to action: make it crystal clear what you want your recipients do and spell it out for them (whether that means clicking a link, replying or simply touching base on your site)

Think about the cold emails that you receive. Are you more likely to respond to someone who’s all over the place or succinct? Would you rather read three sentences or three paragraphs? With these answers in mind, you can craft messages relevant to your audience that you feel they would realistically respond to themselves.

Don’t Let Your Emails Fall to the Wayside

In short, improving your email strategy often involves small tweaks rather than a massive overhaul.

If you find yourself struggling for responses or clicks, consider any of the aforementioned tools and strategies as a solid starting point. Although these details may seem subtle, they’ll ultimately serve to set you apart from competitors and better connect your messages with your prospects.