Tag Archives: Constant Contact

52 Fridays – #47 Use Internet Tools For Horsebiz Event Planning

52 Fridays is a year-long series for equestrian professionals and equine business owners and managers, with marketing and public relations information, ideas, tips, & resources shared here each Friday throughout 2011.

A few weeks ago, there were several equestrian events in northern Illinois on the same weekend. While our area has fairly dense population and significant numbers of horse owners, do you think these competing events split up the potential audience? Event planning is already fraught with risks and complications, but any horsebiz can leverage the Internet when it comes to advance promotion, paid-in-full ticketing, and avoiding booking an event on an already-full timeslot.

Click here to read more about Internet event planning tools….

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Filed under 52 Fridays, Equine Industry Marketing

Monday Morning Quickie – Most Small Biz Looking For 2010 Growth

As reported today on MarketWatch (part of the Wall Street Journal’s Digital Network) a recent survey of small businesses indicated that 79% have a neutral-to-confident outlook when it comes to business growth for the rest of 2010. The results contain useful lessons for horse business owners, too.

A survey of almost 7,000 small businesses indicated that:

  • They’re doing more with less
  • They’re looking for new efficiencies to offset increased costs
  • Many of them are anticipating growth in 2010

The 2010 Small Business Attitudes & Outlooks Survey was conducted by Constant Contact (which I’ve used for years for my own email marketing!) in collaboration with several other organizations focused on small businesses, including SCORE, the Association of Small Business Development Centers (ASBDC), and the American Chamber of Commerce Executives (ACCE).

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If word of mouth is so important, how are

people finding out about your horse business?

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Here’s what I find particularly interesting from a marketing point of view – while 90% of responses indicated that word of mouth was far and away their most important marketing tool, 43% have cut their marketing budget. My question is, how are people supposed to find out about your business, and talk about it, if you’re cutting back on spending in areas that help them know what you’re doing?

It’s also interesting that the study shows small businesses turning to social media and digital tools as a way to get the word out, presumably capitalizing on word of mouth and doing so in a low-cost way, using tools such as Facebook (51%), blogs (29%), LinkedIn (27%), and Twitter (26%).

Equine businesses can do this, too! Many online and social media tools are free or low-cost. They just need to fit with your overall marketing plan and strategy, reach your target markets, and be something you can maintain over time.

Studies have shown that businesses decreasing their marketing spending during economic downturns were at a disadvantage when things improved. Even with a small budget, there are ways you can market your horse business now, to best position yourself for the growth to come.

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Filed under Equine Industry Marketing, New Media, Polls & Surveys, Uncategorized

How Will You Stay In Touch During Show Season?

In the horse world, summer competition season is heating up, but how will you stay in touch with your customers? Here are some easy ways to communicate, using modern-day mobile technology.

The World At Your Fingertips

Even if you’re off having adventures on the circuit, connecting with those back at home helps them feel a part of your community. The technology to do so is now often literally in the palm of our hands, via mobile devices and cell phones. It’s easier than ever to stay in touch with customers, with a little advance planning on how to do it.

  • Twitter is an ideal ‘real-time’ way to stay in touch. You can ‘tweet’ (post) class results, a brief daily report, even the weather, such as that it’s raining buckets at the show and you’re all waterlogged up to your eyeballs. It’s very easy to set up a Twitter account, and you can even make it ‘private’ and invite just your customers, family, and friends to ‘follow’ your tweets. I’ll have some ‘Twitter how tos‘ for horse people, coming next month – you can sign up for ‘updates by email’ in the box to the right.
  • The Facebook for iPhone downloadable app is another option for sharing things like pics and news updates. With close to 31 million active monthly users and a 3.7 out of 5 star approval rating for the app, there’s a big demand for keeping up with Facebook Nation wherever you are!
  • If you use an email marketing company such as Constant Contact, you might have options for using your iPhone or other mobile device from the road. Constant Contact now has an app called QuickView that lets you update your contact list on the road, so you can add in the emails of new people you meet. You can also track sent email stats, or send a personal email to someone in your contact list. While they don’t yet allow you to create/edit/send an email from your iPhone, let’s hope that’s in development!

Application developers do seem to have the equine market in their sights, so there are probably more apps coming. Here’s a great article from our friends at Dappled Grey about some other equine-specific applications for the iPhone.

Remember to check out this info about safety and security when sharing information online.

How do you plan to stay in touch with customers this busy summer ahead? Send me a comment, I’d love to hear from you!

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Filed under Equine Industry Marketing, New Media, Technology, Uncategorized