Monday, April 20, 2015

5 Reasons Why You Should be Using Email Marketing

It’s that time of the year where all event professionals are busy, busy, busy— event planning of all shapes and sizes are afoot! Right now, some of you might be thinking that you haven’t got time to worry about things like email marketing. But the truth of the matter is you should never pause in marketing your business, never ever. You may be up to your neck in leads, but planning for the future is worth being on your list of priorities.

Although we live in a world where we’re bombarded with spam mail, email marketing campaigns have evolved into one of the most important ways to reach potential clients. Since you shouldn’t ever put your marketing on hiatus, here’s a few reasons why email marketing could be one of your go-to tactics to getting your name out there:

It’s cheap. We all know that you’ve got to spend money to make money. The great thing about email marketing is that it’s incredibly cost-effective, so you won’t be breaking the bank when investing into a bit of email marketing. Honestly, you can’t deny a good bargain.

Quick & easy peasy. Out of all the phone calls, meetings with clients, meetings with vendors, driving back and forth to locations, dealing with mishaps, and so on, sending emails is probably the simplest things we have to do in the event world. And what’s even better is: it’s immediate. People want information fast and now, so your email marketing is just what they need to quickly learn about your business and what it can offer them.

In a relationship. Okay, maybe not that kind, but by carefully customizing your email marketing with a personal touch that really portrays the greatness of your business, you can begin to build relationships with the recipients. Plus, if a potential client has already given you their email, you’re just a few steps away from making it official.

Every action requires a reaction. We live in an internet age, which means we’ve all been trained to check emails and do something with those messages in our inbox. Whether they need to reply, forward, or even delete, they have to read what’s there. With a great subject line, you could grab folks by their eyeballs and really bring them in.

Who’s got the deets? The great thing about email marketing is that it’s common, so there are plenty of ways to keep track of details such as click rates, open rates, bounce rates, unsubscribed rates, and so forth. When one campaign doesn’t do as well, you can evaluate your results and discover what needs improvement.

Now you know that email marketing is an affordable, quick, and easy way to continue spreading your biz’s name to a sea of potential leads. What’s even better is Inspherio offers a great Email Marketing feature that allows you to customize and schedule email campaigns, as well as offering you a way to review detailed reports on those campaigns that have been sent out. If you’re worried about your marketing being marked as spam, read our recent blog on how to avoid such a thing.

Check out Inspherio’s free 30 day trial and see how the email marketing feature can help boost your sales!

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Monday, April 13, 2015

Featured Biz Blog: Sugar Rim Bar

Inspherio has amazing users, so I thought: why not blog about them? Well, that’s exactly what I plan to do! Every few weeks we’re going to feature the business of one of our users, sharing what they think is key to progressing in the event industry world, how Inspherio has helped them on their own path to success, and much more.

This week I chatted with Cory Brim, owner of Sugar Rim Bar— a Mobile Bartender & Cocktail Server business serving areas such as Maryland, DC, and Virginia. I asked Cory a few questions and here’s what he had to say…

How did you get started in the industry?
A trainer at the restaurant I worked at noticed that I really loved taking care of customers. He mentioned to management that they should train me to bartend, so I became an official bartender. Eventually, I decided to become an owner when I realized I wanted to be my own boss, I wanted to run the show. The rest is history!

What is a typical busy day like for you?
Every day is a “busy day” for me. There are 86,400 seconds in a day and there’s not a single one that goes by where I’m not working on building the company! I work to fill them with opportunities, not only for me, but for our staff, as well. Most of my day consists of emails, proposals, contracts, site visits, etc. The payoff is when we actually get to do an event. You get to see your hard work play out!

How does Inspherio help your business?
Before Inspherio, I was just emailing clients and sending out newsletters. I didn’t really track everything. As much as most business owners will tell you they have it all together, they don’t! I went searching for a system that worked in the event world. Sure, there are a lot of things out there that help you organize, but the hospitality industry is unique! Our inventory isn’t exactly a desk or a machine: it’s food, drinks, people! These things change at a moment’s notice! Inspherio helped me get organized! For someone like me, a person who moves at a million miles per hour, I didn’t want to deal with spreadsheets or go searching for charts. I want to be able to pull up a client’s info, have it readily available and have the system take care of the heavy lifting, allowing me to go off and build the company. That’s what Inspherio gives me. Also, the fact that my administrator and I can be on the same page in real time is critical! We don’t have to send text messages back & forth to each other; I can see where she left off with a client and go from there. It’s improved my business!

What’s your favorite feature of the program?
The feature that I honestly like the most is the contract feature. I love being able to just click a few buttons, add our products or services, and sent it out directly to the client! All they have to do on their end is just e-sign the contract and make the payment. I didn’t have to get in my care, the client didn’t have to scan, fax, photo copy, or send it back by carrier pigeon (you get the idea!). It’s a leveraging technology and doing business at the speed of business.

You own a bartending business, so you’ve got to have a favorite cocktail. What is it?
I'm classic. I don't need all the new and latest space-aged drinks that are out now. 95% of the time my "go to" drink is Vodka on the rocks with a side of soda water and a lime twist. It keeps me young!

Tell us a fun fact about yourself!
Although I’m having the time of my life, I’m a serious business owner who wants to take his company higher. So fun for me is cracking the million dollar mark in a fiscal year!

Got any advice for event industry professionals trying to start a business?
Whatever your passion is, give it all you’ve got! You will get exactly what you put into it! There’s a few things I can’t teach and those are passion, drive, and integrity. You have to possess that, no one else can give it to you! And if you’re not making money, it’s just a hobby!

You can find Sugar Rim Bar on Twitter & Facebook! Check them out!

If you haven't already, discover the truth behind Cory's testimony and try Inspherio's free 30 day trial. You'll be glad you did!

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Monday, April 6, 2015

How to Deal: Bad Online Reviews

What’s black, white, and negative all over? Every event professional’s nightmare: a bad review. I guess these can come in all shapes, sizes, and colors, but you get the idea. They suck.

The online bad review extends out to all types of professions— not just to us here in the event world. But we know all too well that when dealing with clients and big events, negative feedback can definitely make us sweat and if handled poorly, hurt our business. However, there is good news: a bad review doesn’t have to break you. What really matters in these situations is the way you handle that client who claims to be disappointed. How you rise to the occasion will really help how your current and future clients see you and your business.

That being said, here are a few ideas to keep in mind whenever you come face-to-face with the dark cloud that is the bad review:

Keep it together. I know it’s easier said than done, but being keeping your cool is going to be your biggest helper when you come across the bad-mouthing review. The absolute worst scenario would be you jumping online to respond to the unhappy client when you’re heated and defensive. Take it easy, read what they’ve said, and consider it.

Now, join the convo. You’ve calmed down and you’ve thought about the feedback. Now it’s time to respond, but make sure you do so in a professional and pleasant manner. If necessary, make yourself smile the entire time you type out your response. This response should include an apology along with you asking what you can do to resolve the situation. You could also use this opportunity to take the negative feedback and bring in more clients by highlighting all the positive traits of your business. I once read a rather negative review for a caterer and was so impressed with the owner’s response that I ended up adding her to my vendor list— oh, and I’m very happy with my decision. Just remember that a carefully crafted response can be your saving grace.

Ask for positive reviews. Encouraging clients to hop online and give you a thumbs up after they’ve showered you with compliments about your service is completely acceptable. As a matter of fact, it should be a required action. If the client has voiced their satisfaction with your business, they’re most likely going to be inclined to tell the world how happy they are with you. More and more positive reviews will outweigh the negative. Don’t be shy, if you know you’re business is worth five stars, then by golly ask for five stars!

Learn from it. So maybe you know the bad feedback is justified— we’re all human and we make mistakes. Now is the time to fix it. Not only will you need to set out to right the wrong, you’ll also need to make sure you take this time to learn from the mistake. Then you can improve, and improving your business for one client means you’ll improve for them all. Bada bing, bada boom.

Keeping in touch with every client— happy or unhappy— is critical to the game. Customer feedback is what can help you learn in what areas you need to improve in your business. Encountering bad reviews can be the pits, but by handling them like the cool headed professional you are, you can achieve greatness. How? By learning what needs to change and also by recognizing what it is that your business does best. Just be sure to always know in the long run that giving great customer service should forever be your number one priority.

Feeling overwhelmed with trying to keep your business organized? Don’t forget your friendly neighborhood business management program Inspherio! Manage leads, employees, inventory, finances, and much more all in one centralized place! We love helping others plan their success, so test us out free for 30 days and see what we can do for you and your business!

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