In the modern world of business, the reality is that most customers are shopping with credit cards, not cash or checks. This means that owners of brick-and-mortar small businesses have one more element to prepare for in their business plans: how to accept credit card payments.

The good news is, as mobile technology has advanced and the number of small businesses nationwide has grown by leaps and bounds, a number of great options have emerged. One of the most exciting right now is LevelUp, a Boston-based startup. READ MORE

For today’s look at a current trend in marketing, we’ll hear from Web’s Retention Marketing Manager Phillip Fass.

Dispelling the myth that video and email don’t mix.
As an Email marketer with many years’ experience, one of the most exciting developments in email marketing for me is that of video in email. At one time it was taboo to even think about including such a ‘wild’ element into your email creative, but with the advent of HTML5, this creative technique to showcase your product is much simpler (and safer) to do. You no longer need to rely on a 3rd party plug-in, like Flash or QuickTime, to assist with the video playback. These plug-ins were security ‘red flags’ to email clients and often placed your email in the bulk folder, or got it caught up in spam traps. READ MORE

Our series on essential tools for small business owners continues with a guest post from our very own Email Marketing Manager, Erin King. A good email marketing program is an essential tool for growing your small business and increasing your revenue. The first step? Finding the right Email Service Provider, or ESP. Follow Erin’s advice, and your program is sure to be a success.

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Emailing family and friends is second nature for most of us, but sending an email on behalf of your business is a different playing field entirely.  Not only do you want a slick email design to attract customers, but there are government guidelines that dictate what you can and cannot send.  No need to be overwhelmed, though — an email service provider, or ESP, can help you navigate these challenges. READ MORE

If you even begin typing in a search for spam terms to avoid in email subjects, it becomes immediately clear that email marketers spend a lot of time worrying about getting past spam filters and in front of their readers. But as Hubspot recently pointed out, there are really 2 sets of filters between you sending an email and your contacts reading your message.

The first is the complex filtering system used by email clients, which is sensitive to words, phrases, symbols, and styling (like all CAPS). The second barrier is your contacts’ own filter that determines whether or not they will open your message if it does reach their inbox. READ MORE

Our branding series continues today as we look at how you can reinforce your branding with your digital presence — your website, mobile app, social media, etc.

When people think about “branding” they often think about something concrete and physical, like their identity package. That is to say their logo, letterhead, maybe a font they’ve selected, a tagline they use, things of that nature.

The next level, however, is to translate those elements into your business’s digital life. Now, of course you’re going to put your logo on all of your online spaces. But there are other, more subtle things that companies can do to reinforce their branding that might not be as top of mind. READ MORE

You may simply think of email as a means of communicating with family and friends or sending funny jokes and pictures. If you are a small business owner and this is your mindset, then you are missing out on a big marketing potential. Email is an excellent tool for marketing your small business website and keeping your customers abreast of your latest activities.

Email – Relationship Building Tool

Use email as a means of forging a relationship with customers by communicating with them and keeping the line open for feedback. READ MORE

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