6 Ways to Send Better Small Business Emails


Email marketing takes up a lot of time and effort.  Many small businesses either try to do it themselves or hire vendors to help them.  Either way, it’s important for emails to be as effective as possible.

Here are 6 tips for small business email marketing newsletters:

  1.  Use an email marketing platform such as AWeber, MailChimp or Constant Contact.  These online tools allow you build email lists, create unique newsletters or emails and give you reports and feedback helping you improve your next send.
  2. Continue to build your list.  Have an email sign-up landing page on your website, post a text to sign-up icon on social media sites and utilize many of the sign-up tools your email marketing platform provides.
  3. Your Subject line should rock!  ABC company newsletter for March, 2016 does not cut it anymore.  As one who is probably inundated with emails, you should realize that standing out in a subject line is critical to get your email opened.  If you are serious about getting  your mail opened, write a subject line such as the following:   ‘especially for you’, ‘welcome to’, ‘don’t buy…until you read this’, ‘how to….’, ‘what if…’, ‘5 experts share their ……’, ‘avoid these’, ‘am I the only one who…’, ’10 hacks to…’.  There are more— but you probably get the idea.
  4. Keep it short and sweet.  Did you ever receive an email where you scrolled down 5 or 6 (or more?!) pages to see all of the content.  Try to keep your content visible within 2 pages.  Three or four main articles along with small snippets of information is typically an ideal.
  5. Use visuals.   Images speak louder than words.  This is truly the case for any online communication today.  Use high resolution photos or  create your own visual through a platform such as Canva.com.
  6. Timing counts!  Your email program may offer suggested times/days to send your email.  Listen to their ideas.  Especially if you are unsure about your audience, let the email marketing manager do the work for you.  Tuesdays, early morning at about 5:30/6:00am is typically suggested on Constant Contact.

Email marketing is a non-negotiable tool to use when you want to keep your brand in front of customers.  In order to send emails with a professional flair, utilize an expert within your business, hire a marketing consultant or outsource a marketing company.  This will give your business the face it needs to show in front of your most valuable asset, the customer!

Cheryl Friedenberg, Marketing Consultant
High Key Impact LLC

Is September Going To Get Busy?

Are you gearing up for busy season? There are several ways your business should prepare for a Fall marketing blitz!

1.  Video Marketing

By using Facebook Live on your Facebook Business Page or Shooting a short message to your customers on your IPad, there are exponential results seen from Video Marketing versus typical channels.  I recently experimented with several clients and Facebook Live–the results were astounding!

2.  Paid Ads

Facebook Boosts or a Google Adwords Campaign generate a multitude of viewers to your local or nationally based business.  Each paid platform has specific advantages, however, if your presence on Facebook needs a push, I would recommend a $5-10/day ad budget, especially when promoting a local business.  You may customize your audience specific to geography, age, gender and more!

3.  SEO

If your website’s SEO has not been looked into or changed for over a year, it’s time to revisit Search Engine Optimization.  Speak to your website’s manager and discuss how your business has received leads, transitioned it’s focus or what you believe brings customers to your front door.  This will help those keywords, meta descriptions and tags for Search purposes.  SEO takes several weeks to catch up to changes, so start now!
For help & guidance with all of the above, call Cheryl at 215 514 8271, or email cheryl@highkeyimpact.com

Small Business Talk: Taking Baby Steps


A new client I’ve recently acquired is a self-proclaimed ‘old-fashioned’ marketer. His small business promotes itself via print ads, he never really did much email marketing and the idea of a Facebook page is foreign.  This has become a tremendous challenge for me as a social media marketer and I’m embracing this by taking slow simple steps, knowing his business is on-board with the plan.

Here is my timeline for easing his business into social media marketing:

  1. (Month 1)
    Create and establish a Facebook page.  
    The best way for a non-Facebook user to gain a following on Facebook (besides suggesting the page to his email address book) is to Boost his page for likes.  Additionally, I know he doesn’t mind giving out handouts at his point of sale  retail location, so I will create a flyer with his Facebook page URL and reasons why customers should like the business page.
    In order to get a sense of what types of posts work best on the Facebook page, I’ll test various offers, product information and industry-related news article posts.
  2. (Month 2)
    Work on the website’s SEO.
    Several suppliers to this business operate their own websites with the opportunity to link back to my client’s website.  By digging deeper into the suppliers’ websites, I will confirm his website is linked on their ‘find a location’ pages.   Check Google, Bing and other search engines to optimize each of their free search tools for businesses.
    Build an email list.
    This client used an email marketing tool very sparingly over the past couple of years and ceased to continue utilizing it.  My goal is to convince the business owner that with the right email message, he will generate more awareness of his business and bring in more clientele to shop.
    Boost a popular Facebook post.
    Facebook page insights are helpful to see which posts are reaching the most users.  By boosting this post, the business will reach a wider and targeted audience for more exposure.
  3. (Month 3)
    Begin an email marketing campaign sparingly.
    By using analytics and proving the emails are converting customers, we can catapult into a full-scale email schedule with content including staff profiles, promotions, testimonials and product information.
  4. (Month 4)
    Continue to show results.
    Insights, Analytics and in-store statistics are the best tools for showing a retail business owner how social media marketing is growing his sales numbers.
    Introduce the concept of Blogging, Video Live-streaming and an additional Social Media Platform.
    Choose one of the above with the client’s input and test it out.By taking small, incremental baby steps with this particular client (or any others with the same hesitations), a marketing consultant can showcase their business into a modern, cool, hip and trendy place to buy their products!

Top 3 Marketing Headlines This Week

To keep you up-to-date on the latest digital marketing news for small businesses, take a look at the top 3 marketing headlines this week.

New Looks This Week:  The social media world is being changed around forever with 2 very different changes for marketers, businesses and individuals.  First, Instagram changed the design of it’s ever-famous icon to look brighter and bolder.  Second, Twitter is reportedly coming out with new criteria for its 140-character limit, which may exclude links and photos.  Are we saying goodbye to Bit.ly and Google URL shortener?

Video is rocking and rolling into more and more mainstream social media posts every day.  Here is a great article how you can DIY video streaming or snippets to show your best face!  Contact us if you would like to test out You Tube’s Directr For Business as it’s an easy way to create high quality video.

Is Email Marketing Dead?  Especially among Generation Z and Millennials, there has been discussion in the marketing world about how these groups do not embrace email.  Well, it’s wrong.  Not only is email marketing thriving among younger audiences, the mobile-version is growing ever-so-strong!  Make sure your email campaigns are mobile-friendly and adaptable to all screens.
Email marketing is alive and kicking!

Have any news you want to share with us?  Contact cheryl@highkeyimpact.com with your marketing insight and tips!



10 Marketing Pet Peeves

It’s allergy season and you know what that means.
The itching, sneezing and wheezing associated with little annoyances in the air.  The beauty of spring flowers blooming and green plants budding has an ugly side too.  Do you suffer too?
Let me tell you something.
There are many other frustrations in this world which have the same effect on me as allergies—I’m sure the same for you.   Let’s focus on digital marketing for small business.

I’ve conjured up 10 Marketing-Related Annoyances.  Tell me what you think?

Infographics with small print, too much information on one sheet and no clear-cut format.
I’m not going to show examples of bad infographics as I’m not a hater.  So instead, I’ve found a couple of examples with infographics done right.

The text size and font is easy-to-read, there is a clear message for the readers and the information is simply presented.

Overposting about Me, My Business, Call me, and I can help you.
A general rule of thumb is 80% sharing content about your industry and 20% self-promotion.

Misspelled words
Use spellcheck, please.

Mixing politics or religion with business.
It’s a clear way to turn off clients.  Don’t even get pulled into the conversation on your personal Facebook page.  You never know who it may offend.

Not answering negative comments or reviews.
Allowing negative reviews to fester or bring down your ratings without a response is likened to watching someone get badly hurt and not helping.
All you need to do when negative post appears is to post a response from the management regarding a bad review and say you are sorry for their experience and your business does not take these mistakes lightly.  Offer a freebie to this particular customer as an incentive to come back.

Giving your brand an uneducated ‘voice’.
I have seen many small business Facebook pages where the business owner posts about their work.   Some of these are true epic fails with misspelled words, improper grammar and no punctuation.
If you have any doubts about how your ‘voice’ sounds, it’s best to hire a professional for the job.

Fuzzy or smashed photos.
Only use high-quality, correctly sized images or your brand will suffer.

A Google search which misses the mark.
Sign up for Google My Business so that you always appear on searches.
Additionally, ensure the competition is below you on Google and other rankings.

A website not optimized for Mobile.
Ever read an article on your device which has margins wide enough for 3 words. Mobile-Friendly websites are a necessity in this day and age.

Lack of posting or over posting on social media.
Do you hear crickets on a social media platform or is someone tagging everyone like mad for their 20-second interval posts?  Keep it consistently active within preferred norms.

I’d love to hear your pet peeves too!  Comment below.

Cheryl Friedenberg
President, High Key Impact LLC


Cool Marketing Tips and Tools

Take a look at our weekly roundup of social media ideas to integrate into your small business marketing plans:

-Pinterest. Create boards for local neighborhoods or towns in your area and pin photos related to your business to those towns.  Perfect fit for Realtors, Restaurants, Doctors, Dentists, Retail Stores and any local area business.

-Instagram. Don’t forget to Geotag your posts when promoting a local business or product.  Read more here about geotagging and how it helps showcase your small business.

-Facebook. If you haven’t done so already, post a My Business Story video.  Since it is a Facebook-created post, their search algorithm will show it to a wider reach than your typical Facebook Page posts!

-Twitter. Tweets are matching to their audiences more and will show up first rather than the chronological tweet settings you have become accustomed to.  To change this, untick “show me the best tweets first” on your settings.  Read this article for more details.

-Landing Page.  What is it and why do you need one?  If you are promoting a business online and a user clicks onto your homepage from an ad, what motivates them to contact your business?  Not much, right?  With a Call-To-Action (CTA), along with a Landing page, your campaign’s results will skyrocket.  Read more about CTA’s here.

Want more news for small business social media campaigns?  Sign up for our newsletter here.

Lessons From My Mom In The Social Media Marketing World

What kind of social media mistakes do you see happening out there? Are there lessons to learn from what others are doing wrong? What are they?

Professional marketers are set apart from the rest of the pack with their insight into what really works for a particular type of business.
It takes experience, insights, analytics and foresight as well as a few lessons from the best there is….My Mom!

I’ve outlined below a few life lessons from Naomi, my mom (pictured below), and how they relate to digital marketing professionals:

Kill Them With Kindness

No matter what you post on a Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest account, please say something nice. With too many negatives or an attitude, followers will become turned off in a big way. My mom always taught me if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it. Same thing goes for your social media accounts. Make nice and be kind no matter how many naysayers are out there.
For example, stay out of the political debate. The last thing you want to do is align your political ideals to your business. This will eliminate a great percentage of your followers.  If you come across a negative review, respond to it with a coupon or free offer to try your product or service again.  There’s no need to get into any negativity or give excuses.

Three’s A Crowd

Ever notice that when 3 kids, teens or grownups get together, there’s always one person left on the sidelines fending for themselves? My mom always pointed this out when I had 2 friends over at the same time and someone would get their feelings hurt.
The same goes with social media marketing. Think of the third wheel as your social media account not getting as much attention as the others. Do you have Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest? Is your brand getting more attention on Facebook and Twitter? It’s not necessary to completely eliminate the third wheel. If it does not need as much time and attention, then there’s no need to give as such. I have several clients who really cherish their Pinterest accounts. Their other social media accounts have so much more activity so we decide to Pin on Pinterest less often.   It all depends what works best in your industry.

Every Celebration Needs A Family Photo

My siblings and I always reminisce about every family function and the dreaded family photos. We needed to pose each time we went to a party, out for dinner or were just playing outside. There were tears, stomping up to our rooms and just flat out refusals at times as it was very difficult to capture all of her happy children at every single moment of the day. But somehow, my mom succeeded in getting the job done.

Halloween costumes circa 1970..photo taken by my mom
Halloween costumes circa 1970..photo taken by my mom

Capturing every moment, from a marketing standpoint, is very 2016. My 1970’s mom was way ahead of her time. I encourage all of my clients to take photos and video of their daily office routines, special meetings or events, product development, staff photos and any other photo opp.   Then use these pictures to post away like crazy.



Shop For The Best Deals And Only Buy Quality Items

Before Costco, BJ’s and TJMaxx, there was my mom, searching out the least expensive pair of Jordache jeans. (I hope most of you reading this know what these are.)
She had very high-end tastes, but with a family of 6, she needed to find these items for a lot less than the going rate. And I wanted to wear the jeans all of my friends were wearing.  Fast forward to today: If you ask my mom to go car shopping, she will shop and find you the best deal around…even in her late 70’s!

The same goes with your marketing budget. Don’t spend too little on a website which will only get you to a certain point on search rankings.  Keep your wits about you when looking for a for a marketing professional to help with your digital plans. A college grad is more cost-effective than a seasoned professional, but how far are they going to take your brand?
This idea also translates with images on your social media accounts. Using a photo which is grainy and pixelated won’t be a good model for your brand. Spend the extra money and find photos with excellent quality.

All-in-all, my advice is simple:
What you’ve learned in life, especially from your mom, is something that will translate well into your work world. Play nice, be fair, share and lift others up…. in life and with your social media marketing!
(special thanks to my mom, Naomi)

pictured Cheryl and her mom

By: Cheryl Friedenberg, President, High Key Impact LLC
Cheryl@highkeyimpact.com, highkeyimpact.com
Marketing Consulting for Small Businesses

5 More Strategies To Add To Social Media Marketing

Social Media Marketing is getting all of the buzz in the business and marketing world. We all share a plethora of industry content on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn as well as 100’s of other social media sites.

The goal here is to share a post on your business page, it gains momentum with comments, likes, shares and points visitors towards your company’s website.
Once you gain a website visitor…POOF…there are tools available to turn them into a customer, right?

Not exactly.

A visitor to your website is delicate like chicken broth or liquid gold and we need to mold that visitor into a potential client.

But there are other ways to bring in clients. Social Media is only a piece of the Marketing pie.

For a marketing plan to work properly, a company’s concentration should not rely on social media alone. There are several aspects involved in converting customers.

Website’s landing page(s).
Once I land on your business’ home page, is there an opportunity for me to easily signup for your newsletter? Is your contact information front and center? Do you have testimonials for me to view with satisfied clients exclaiming their love for your product or service?
The purpose of getting a visitor to your website is to ‘catch them while you can’!   Think about the tools you may use to gather information and turn a cold prospect site visitor into a warmer potential customer.

Community Outreach
Why not join a networking group, speak at a local business association or become known as the ‘leader in your field’ at your religious institution?

There are many outlets to find a niche in your industry to fill. Teaching an evening class at the local community college or speaking at a senior center are various ways to get the word out about your area of expertise and your business. What a great way to make connections offline!

Selling is all about numbers.  Yes, it takes experience too, however, if you are not making sales calls, your sales will plummet. Period.

Is your business filling the sales funnel each and every day? What kind of follow up is taking place after prospective client meetings? What are you doing beyond your competition which makes your product or service stand out? Are you meeting with decision makers? Are you getting referrals from existing customers? Work the sales team to keep that piece of the marketing pie as active as possible.

When your company receives awards, presents or attends community events or an employee receives accolades for a personal triumph, utilize local news sources to help get your company’s name out there in print and online. Reach out to individual reporters or editors as well as regional news affiliates. Write an industry-related article or blog to post on LinkedIn or within LinkedIn groups. When your business is published throughout the year consistently, warm prospects take notice.
Ongoing publicity is a powerful tool to use when marketing your business.

Word-Of-Mouth Referrals
Sales is all about the ask and the ask doesn’t end when the sale is closed. Once you have a happy customer, ask for referrals, testimonials and reviews. Referrals are the best and most cost-effective way to acquire a new client. Testimonials on your website and on social media outlets help your business showcase it’s reliable customer service. And reviews on Google+ and Facebook are a potent approach to continuing your word-of-mouth marketing momentum.

The bottom line:
Social media, without any sales, publicity, outreach or referrals, is not meant to stand alone as a marketing plan.  Businesses still need to work the  basics when it comes to implementing a comprehensive marketing strategy.


Cheryl Friedenberg, President, High Key Impact, LLC

Simple Guide To Video Marketing For Your Small Business

In the world of digital marketing and social media, one word stands out this year with a big punch: VIDEO!

There is a lot of apprehension on the part of small business owners when it comes to incorporating a video marketing plan into their posts, blogs, newsletters and online marketing outlets.

Fear comes from the vision of high costs, complicated technology and taking up precious time to incorporate a plan.

I hope this ‘How-To’ guide will outline the simplest ways to use video, reach more potential customers and make this a painless process financially.

  1. Website
    Take a look at your website and see where video would come in handy.
    Does your ‘staff’ page need a little sprucing up, would a 360-degree virtual tour of your facilities be helpful to sell your product or service or do you think a testimonial message from your customers would convert website visitors into customers as well?
    For the staffing page, perhaps a ‘day in the life’ video explaining what goes into your customer service processes is the way to go. Or do you have the knowledge of a feel-good story featuring a customer using your product or service?
    Humor is also a great way to engage viewers. Incorporate goofy office humor into a video giving website visitors a picture into your fun workplace.
  2. Social Media
    Have an interest in engaging customers in a livestream event? Why not try your hand at Periscope, the fastest growing live-streaming video app.
    Or use short customer testimonials to boost your Facebook reach.
    Are you attending a business event, conference or going on a customer visit? Video segments from your day are helpful to show the outside world how involved you are in your field.
    The best social media videos are engaging, quick (under 20-30 seconds) and have a purpose
    (i.e. sign up for a newsletter campaign or like a Facebook page).
  3. Cost Effective
    Video can cost hundreds and thousands of dollars. Small businesses typically do not have that type of budget built into their marketing plans.   To cut costs, try to use a college intern majoring in film or even a high school student with filming ambitions. Also, when you are out in the field, use your smart phone to film a customer visit or a business card exchange. Video clips from your phone added to a You Tube account are editable with both text and music and easily shared onto social media accounts.
    Various apps also have video making ability such as Flipagram, Magisto, Hyperlapse from Instagram, Lumify, Splice and more.

The video on your website will need a high quality, well thought-out visual. Professionals who specialize in 360-degree videos or business videos may be worth the investment. Consider your business plans. If you change customer offerings very frequently and feel a video would be outdated within months, the cost may not outweigh the benefits on a small business budget.

The bottom line on Video Marketing is to Do It Now!

-Cheryl Friedenberg
President, High Key Impact LLC







10 Steps to a Simple Digital Marketing Plan

For small businesses, keeping up with day-to-day phone calls, sales, orders, problem-solving, staffing issues and everything else coming your way takes up numerous hours per day. Who has the time for social media, website management and email marketing?

High Key Impact, LLC has created a ‘Just Enough’ Digital Marketing Plan for small business owners. The idea is to take 10-15 minutes/day and choose 1-2 items below each day to jump start your company’s online footprint.

Small business owners can do this in 10 simple steps:

  1. Sit quietly and write out 5-10 posts to space out over the next several days. Include photos of product or people and various happenings at your company from the past week.
  2. Use a social media post scheduling tool such as Buffer or Hootsuite to publicize these posts on Twitter and Facebook posts over the next several days.
  3. Engage on your company’s Facebook.com page with those who like or comment your company’s posts.
  4. Re-Tweet others’ posts, follow more users and thank those accounts engaged on your Twitter.com feed.
  5. Do a Google Search for your company. Is your Search Engine Optimization working correctly? Make a note of what is not working so your web guru can help with a fix.
  6. Search your keywords. Is your competitor listed before your business on Google? If so, find a way to link your website to other websites. The more web pages you can arrange which link back to your company website, the better the boost in search engine capabilities for your product or brand.
  7. Are there engaging and intriguing reviews for your product and service on the web? Search reviews for your business. If the average review amounts to 3 stars or less, ask more customers to rate your business online. The end goal is to have at least 4-5 stars.
  8. Is your website mobile-friendly? If not or if you do not know what that means, contact your web guru.
  9. Not able to get to any business card exchanges or networking groups? Are you on Linkedin? If not, start a profile and connect with others. What a great tool to keep in touch with business people from varying industries. It’s a simple way to connect with others and share experiences.
  10. Email and call clients on a routine basis to keep your name in front of them. Word of mouth advertising from an existing customer base is the most powerful tool for outbound marketing.  Ask for testimonials!


by Cheryl Friedenberg, Cheryl@highkeyimpact.com