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Beautiful Email Marketing For Gmail. Early Preview!

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  • Create emails inside Gmail with our drag & drop editor
  • Build mailing lists to target your Google contacts
  • Track emails & content to measure performance

Web signup form for Gmail

Every Flashissue mailing list comes with a unique Signup Form for collecting email subscribers.

websign up form

If you go to the List tab and open one of your lists you will see a blue button called Sign Up Form. The page contains the code to embed in a web site or a link to a landing page that will let you start collecting emails addresses from people who want to subscribe to your mailing list.

Step #1: Click the List tab and create a new list or open an existing one

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If you create a new list it’s recommended not to any contacts.

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Step #2: Open your List and click the Sign Up Form button.

 

web form page

 

Step #3: Copy paste the Sign up form code to your clip board

 

5. webforms gmail

 

Step #4: Paste the form code into your website or blog

For example, if you are using WordPress, paste the code into a Text sidebar widget.

 

 

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Create a segmented Gmail mailing list from Google Contacts

segmented mail list gmail

It’s pretty quick to create a segmented Gmail mailing list from you Google Contacts using the Contact Group feature.

For example – Lets suppose I wanted to create a mailing list for people in the 30307 ZIP code.

Once you’ve created your segmented list you have a rapid way to send a bulk email to these people. This can be sent directly through Gmail or if the segmented list is large (greater than 25 people) using Flashissue will ensure you do not get trapped by Google’s bulk sending limits.

There are 2 steps to create a segmented Gmail mailing list.

Step 1: Create a Google Contact Group

  1. Open your Google Contact address book
  2. Use the filter at the top to search for *30307*
  3. Select all the people shown
  4. Create a new Google Group of these people e.g. ZIP 30307
  5. Return to your main Contacts home screen (or refresh your browser tab)

 

filter google contcats

create filtered group

Step 2: Create a Flashissue Mailing List from the Group

  1. Go to the List tab in Flashissue
  2. Click New List > Click Add People
  3. Click the drop down filter box and select Group *ZIP 30307*
  4. Select All contacts and click Add
  5. You’re done

select group in lists

Now you have your segmented Gmail mailing list you’re ready started sending.

To read more on how to use Flashissue to create automated Gmail mailing lists from Google Contact Groups click here.

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Create a Gmail mailing list group

Happy business people laughing against white background

If you want to create a Gmail mailing list group here’s a big time saver.

A Gmail mailing list group is a mailing list that contains people from your Google Contact Groups that you created in your Google address book.

gmail mailing list group contacts

Whenever you add or remove people from this Group in your Contacts it will automatically update your Flashissue mailing list.

 

add group

Flashissue has always allowed you to manually create a Gmail mailing list from your Google Contacts; now you can go one step further and set up an automated Gmail mailing list that is always synchronized with your Google Contact Groups.

  1. Find the Add Group on the List tab next to New List button.
  2. Click the List tab
  3. Wait for your Groups to load
  4. Click Add Group button next to the New List button
  5. Select your Group

group list

Once you have added your Gmail mailing list group to Flashissue anytime you add or remove from the contact group in Google contacts the change will automatically be reflected in your Flashissue List.

Sometimes you may to refresh the list to get the contacts to appear. If you ever want to remove your Gmail mailing list group from Flashissue just mouse-over the Group and click the *X*. Removing the group WILL NOT remove it from your Google Contacts.

refresh remove gmail list group

 


Tip: Google contact groups are a great way to create segmented mailing lists for Gmail. You can create lists filtered by ZIP codes, name, location etc. or any other keyword you have used to TAG your contact in the Note section of the contact profile. Learn More.


 

If you would like some guidance in creating a Google Contact Group click here.

 

 

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google-apps-for-business

I’d like to share with you 5 free small business tools we use at Flashissue that save us over $3,000 a year.

Running a business with all its excitement is time consuming and expensive so finding the right tools and resources to keep it going can be a life sucking venture that is far from fun.

For the most part I’ve found you get what you pay for and when something is free it usually ends up costing more than it supposedly saves. One big exception to this has been Google’s suite of free business tools.

 

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They are all cloud based which means they run online and are available with minimum setup plus the added bonus they are accessible from any computer using a single login.

Tip: To really take advantage of Google’s small business tools it’s best to use the Google Chrome web browser. Just like you have a wealth mobile apps for your iPhone or Android phone, the ChromeStore offers an extensive marketplace of free business tools that plugin to Chrome.

Gmail is the hub

 

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Everybody has heard of Gmail.  You probably recognize it as your basic email tool that lets you communicate with everyone you know.

With regard to design and usability it can quickly get confusing and sometimes annoying but underneath the clutter there lives a powerful business platform.

I use Gmail as the hub for a virtually all my online marketing efforts so this is why it comes first in the list for me. With some simple additions Gmail is transformed into a fully fledge marketing and communication tool.

Email marketing

 

Obviously we use Flashissue since it provides a quick and time saving way to create marketable emails that look professional. All from the comfort of your Gmail Inbox.

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Other products like Checker Plus for Gmail offer quick and easy access to manage and respond to your emails from your toolbar or Mighty Text’s SMS for Gmail and Facebook to send text alerts directly from your email to customers or coworkers for fast communication.

Phone

 

Estimates annual savings = $460

Did you know Google has an online phone service called Google Voice and it’s free?

Every Google account comes with a free phone number and voice system. It’s perfect for adding another phone number, like a Sales line or Support number, to your business for free.

To sign up for Google Voice login to your Google voice app using your Google credentials at https://www.google.com/voice.

Google voice is far more usual for INBOUND CALLS rather than making OUTBOUND CALLS. At Flashissue we don’t have a need for a complex phone system with tons of extensions, so everyone has their own dedicated Google phone number that routes inbound calls to their mobile phone or desktop. Outbound calling is simple to do through the computer and it’s free.

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Use the tabs to set up your call routing preferences. For example, when someone calls your number you can have the call ring to your cell phone. You can even set up “rules”, like “only send calls to my cell phone during business hours: send calls to voicemail on weekend”.

Save voicemails and keep track of calls to your business from you Google Voice account. Each voice mail is transcribed and email and or sent to you as a text message.

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One thing that we’re keeping an eye with regard to this Google business tool is what’s in store for the future. The rumours are that Google plans to kill Google Voice in coming months and integrate the features into Hangouts. It’s likely this will be a positive move since it will probably mean a bunch of new phone system feature will be added.

You can compare Google Voice to various phone companies such as Vonage Business or At&t that will cost you $45/month for small businesses phone lines.

Conference calls

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Meeting with groups of people via phone, like customers or team members

Uberconference has a Chrome extension or you can use it as a standalone service.

For most people, audio conferencing starts with the awkward process of finding and typing dial-in numbers and PIN codes. UberConference reinvents conference calling with  web and smartphone interfaces that make it super easy to have a productive meeting.

 

 

It’s by far the best free conference call service and easily goes toe to toe for call quality and ease of use with all the paid services that can cost $100/yr or more.

Customer Relationship management (CRM)

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Annual Savings: $100-$500

CRM is a somewhat of a buzz word at the moment. In simple terms it’s the tool you use to track and manage the relationships with customers – it can also extend to managing relationships with media contacts, partners or whoever is important to your business.

There are some great tools out ranging from a $100/yr, like Insightly, to full-on power products like Pardot that run into the thousands of dollars.

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I’ve chosen to shed all complexity and stick with Google small business tools; I use a free add to Gmail called Streak.

 

 

It works pretty much like a spreadsheet on steroids and provides a really simple way of staying on top of relationships with press and partners. The group features are also pretty nifty.

Customer Survey’s

 

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Annual Savings: $228

Say you want to manage event registrations, whip up a quick customer poll, collect email addresses for a newsletter or even create a pop quiz. We use a Google small business tool called Google Forms.

It still blows my mind why someone would pay for a survey tool like Survey Monkey or Survey Gizmo when you have free Google small business tools like this.

Google Forms is a part of the Google Docs. You can access it through Google Drive. Choose the format you want to use as a form and fill out the questions and answer you want to ask. Send out invitations to the survey and get responses back. Check the statistics and analyze the data for your own use and knowledge.

Webinars & Online Meetings

 

Annual savings: $600

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We use one of Google’s small businesstools called Hangouts to set up a product demo or run online seminars that position us as a thought leader in our space.

It’s a great free replacement for the costly webinar services like Webex or GotoMeeting.

We invite our customers and prospects to meet and connect online through a Hangout. By creating a video forum we keep our current and prospective customers interested in what we do.

Here’s one of our Hangouts we recently ran:

flashissue google hangout

 

It also serves as a video and instant messaging chat platform so you can run one to one or group meetings online like your Monday morning sales scrummage.

hangout chat

With Google Hangouts you send out invitations to your live video chats to those in and outside your Google+ Circles but only those in your Circles can an active participants in the video. Those outside your Circles can view the video chat.

Your video should upload to your Youtube account.

You can access Google Hangouts just about anywhere on Google. This includes Gmail and Google+. Just look for the quotation marks in a bubble.

Setting up a Hangout is quick and easy..

Most the paid Webinar services run at least $600/yr so we find there’s a big bang for the buck here.

Google Drive & Google Docs

 

Annual savings: $100

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Google Drive and Docs is part of Google small businesstools suite that lets you do everything that Microsoft Office spent years charging your for: create a word document, a spreadsheet or a presentation all for free.

Additionally, Google Docs is an office-suite product integrated in Google’s personal cloud storage service Google Drive that allows you to manage, create and access all your files from any place and on any device.

At Flashissue we use it for collaborating on new new features and product designs as well as setting up all our business projections and financials.

All in all having using Google business tools as the center point for running our business has allowed us to save money and reduce the complexity of running a business.

Shortlist of Google Small Business tools:

Gmail

Flashissue for Gmail

Checker Plus for Gmail

Google Voice

Streak CRM

Google Forms

Uberconference

Google Hangouts

 

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3 Ways Flashissue allows you to send mass email with Gmail

mass email gmail

Sending mass email with Gmail can be tough. Flashissue provides a way to ensure you can still send mass email with Gmail and avoid Gmail’s bulk sending limits.

Google imposes a maximum sending limit on emails of 500/day for regular @gmail users and 2,000 emails per day for Google apps users (this includes businesses and edu). In addition, there is a limit of 99 emails that can be sent in single mailing, which means if you try and send an email to 150 recipients using the To, CC or BCC fields your account will be flagged and you will not be able to send new messages (you can still access your account and receive incoming email).

#1 Mass email Gmail: Sending to small mailing lists

Once you sign up with Flashissue whenever you create an email with our tool we will automatically review the number of recipients you are trying to reach and route your email delivery accordingly.

If the mailing list you are using contains less than 25 email addresses the delivery will go through your normal Gmail account.

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If you look inside your Gmail Sent folder you will see the emails are all sent as individual emails.

There’s a big plus with regard how your recipients receive your emails when sending through Flashissue versus sending the same email manually through Gmail.

Each email we send is delivered to the recipient as its own individual email i.e. if you are sending to a list of 15 people then when Jane Doe receives her email from you she WILL NOT see the email addresses of the other 14 people.

mass email gmail flashissue delivery

The benefits of sending mass email through Gmail in this way are:

  1. You look more professional because your recipients get a more personal feel that the email is being sent only to them
  2. You are not exposing the names and emails of all the people in your list to everyone.
  3. Sending individual emails means we can track opens and clicks so you get more detailed reporting.

 

#2 Mass email Gmail: Sending to larger mailing lists

Because Google is sensitive to mass email being delivered through Gmail, Flashissue will automatically route larger mailing through our email servers that are designed for bulk email.

For example, if you create a mailing list with 1,200 recipients then Flashissue will route the delivery of these emails away from Gmail and over to the Flashissue servers for delivery thereby avoiding Google’s limitations around mass email delivery.

flashissue mass email gmail delivers

 

Our email technology is based on a platform that delivers millions of emails each day and is designed to optimize delivery rates so your email stands the best chance of getting delivered to the recipient’s Inbox.

#3 Mass email Gmail: Sending to people inside your organization

If your organization wants to just send mass email Gmail internally then Flashissue provides the optimum solution. Take for example, Ann a marketing marketing manager with a travel accompany that uses Google Apps. She wants to send a daily email newsletter to 5,000 employees containing useful market updates.

Again, sending mass email through Gmail is not going to work because of the bulk sending limits imposed by Google. One great option for her is to create an internal mailing list using Google Groups.

Google Groups permits unlimited sending to internal email addresses and has no mass email Gmail limit. Since Flashissue integrates seamlessly with Google Groups this provides an efficient alternative to sending directly through Google.

 

Flashissue is free – sign up here.

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How to use Google Hangouts as a free webinar service

If you’ve thought about offering your customers or prospects a webinar you might want to take a look at Google Hangouts.

Google Hangouts is not only a good solution for delivering product trainings with customers but it’s a great way to engage business prospects and move them closer to becoming a customer.

Hangouts is great (or I should say getting better) because it’s free unlike other webinar services that charge $50, $100 or more per month.

While Hangouts may be missing some of the bells and whistles of the true webinar services, like Goto Webinar,  I think the social aspect and delivery mechanism offers much more.

Probably the biggest value-add I like is that you can stream your Hangout live (and afterwards) via YouTube and it can be embed it in any website without requiring your audience to download and install any additional software

The fact that it’s also integrated into the Google+ community gives you an instance audience if you are up for doing some outreach.

Here’s an example of a Hangout I attended recently.

You don’t have to watch all of it but you’ll get the idea of what a Hangout / webinar can be.

While you may not have the know-how about doing a Hangout quite this polished you can do one that is equally effective for you in it’s own way.

I would suggest these steps:

  1. Decide on a subject matter, content to present and set a date to host the Hangout (make it about a month in the future so you have time to organize things and generate attendees).
  2. Set up your Hangout page. This is where people will view your webinar at the given time.
  3. Invite your audience (customers, prospects etc) via email to your Hangout page where they can “register” (Flashissue lets you create a nice looking invite and provides a way to send it out via Gmail to your Google contacts).
  4. Host your Hangout at the designated time
  5. Follow up with attendees via email after.
  6. Embed your recored Hangout in your website (good SEO) or use it as a marketing content in the future.

Google has recently made a push on Hangouts to make it a more business useful service. The guys at GoogleGuru explain this well:

While Hangouts may not be for everyone, I think it has a good value prop and in many ways makes the costly existing webinar service look very old school.

 

 

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How to find the link URL in a Facebook Post

Today I was asked by one of our customers how to find the link URL in a Facebook Post.

They wanted the URL so they could add the post to their email newsletter using the Flashissue curation feature.

What seemed a simple request turned out to be much more difficult since Facebook does not make it obvious where to find the URL for post.

  1. Go to your Facebook page e.g. https://www.facebook.com/FlashIssue
  2. Click the Date Stamp of the post you want to find the URL for
  3. The post will load as it’s own page and you can copy the URL e.g. https://www.facebook.com/FlashIssue/posts/928107223872038

 

Finding Facebook page URL

facebook page url

Once you have the Facebook page URL you can plug it into Flashissue and drag it into your email.

 

paste facebook page url

If you are using the Flashissue Chrome extension you can clip the Facebook page URL for a faster way to get it in your email:

clip a facebook link url

drag the clipped facebook post url

 

What’s more annoying is that there is no way to find an RSS feed for all your posts on a Facebook page. It looks like Facebook once offered this but withdrew it because it was being abused.

For the moment, you need to be satisfied with pulling individual posts as pages..

 

 

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Flashissue for Gmail: create emails, build lists and track performance

Here’s a great video:

Flashissue for Gmail: create emails, build lists and track performance

 

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How to use Craig’s List for free customer research

Getting people to give feedback on your idea or product can be daunting.

Look no further than the free classifieds. You can use Craig’s List for free customer research.

  1. Post an ad on Craig’s List asking for help to solve your issue*
  2. Funnel respondents into a survey – Use Google Form‘s as a free option.
  3. Gather and anlyze your responses. Tweak and repeat if necessary.

*In a decent sized city you’ll typically get 200 or so responses.

Using Craig’s List for free customer research was just one of the suggestions from the Google Entrepreneur Hang Out about “Lean Design Meets Design Thinking”.

Watch the discussion here:

Your customers can rarely  tell you what they want until they taste it i.e. they don’t really know what they want.

The Spaghetti Sauce story:

Another good read on the topic of researching ideas quickly and with minimum resource can found from @techrepublic on Can User Experience Designers Be Lean?

 

 

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Where am I going wrong in business?

Have you recently asked yourself “where am I going wrong?”.

Failure is a necessary part of business but are you failing unnecessarily?

I want to share with you a blog post I wrote for Marketingprofs.com. It gives a perspective as to why you might be driving a stake through the heart of your business and how to fix it.

Phil Hill – CEO & Founder.

Are You Unsuccessfully Copying Other Marketers’ Successes?

where am i going wrong in business

You’re probably inflicting a slow painful death on your business with well-intentioned marketing initiatives—and not even knowing you’re doing so.

The root cause of the problem is something called “replication-remorse,” and it’s similar to buyer’s remorse. Those shoppers are regretful of their purchases in the cold light of day.

As business people, we suffer our own painful regret when we try and emulate the success of others by copying (“replicating”) what they did.

Most of us try to “replicate,” and most of us fail. Are you one of the addicted to replicating?

[Read Full Article]

 

 

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