We’re heading into the homestretch of 2020 — the year that feels like it’s lasted a decade. With the announcement of a possible vaccine this week, I’m feeling a little more optimistic for 2021.

But COVID is still very much here, and we’re heading into a holiday season that’s likely to look very different from previous years. Now is the time to start thinking about adjustments your business might make (see Miriam Ellis’s post on Moz and the ShipperHQ survey below for some great ideas) and to start planning your holiday email campaigns.

If you’re just getting started on an email program this holiday season, check out the Mailtrap blog for the right way to introduce your newsletters and promotional emails to former customers.

And my .02 — consider priming your subscribers with a pre-(U.S.)-Thanksgiving email to separate yourself from the competition amidst the onslaught of Black Friday and Cyber Monday emails we’re all going to receive. Don’t expect a single email to drive a massive sales rush, but getting your brand in front of customers a little bit early might *also* make them more likely to open your next one when they’re ready to buy.

Have a great rest of your week and an even better weekend!


A Quick Guide to Sending CAN-SPAM Compliant Cold Emails

One of the most frequent questions I get is whether it’s legal to cold-email customers and prospects who haven’t necessarily signed up for your newsletter.

This digestible post on the Mailtrap blog covers the basics of how to do that legally (and empathetically).

Obvious disclaimer: I am not a lawyer and this is not legal advice! 😂

Supporting Small Business Saturday with 2020-Conscious Marketing

Our work depends on sustaining independently-owned local businesses through and far beyond Small Business Saturday. With the right strategy, we can make an impactful effort together.

ShipperHQ – The 2020 Holiday Q4Cast

This is an impressive consumer survey that gives concrete suggestions about changes your business should consider making in advance of the holiday season.

Most SEOs Use Few SEO Tools & Don’t Spend Much On Them

My friend Aleyda Solis recently did an interesting survey asking about SEO Tool usage. She found that most SEOs use two to four tools and spend under $13,000 annually on those tools.

If you’re a small business, spend the budget you might have spent on SEO tools on promoting your content instead (via email and targeted ad campaigns).

The reality is there are plenty of great low-cost SEO tools out there, and Google Trends and Google Suggest give you a lot of what you need in terms of keyword research.

Timing for bringing page experience to Google Search

Google announced a continuation of a longtime trend — that a user’s experience on your website might directly impact how well your website ranks. We saw one of the first instances of this mindset with “Mobilegeddon,” which has largely punished websites that are slow or difficult to use on phones.

All the more reason to invest in a great website on a great platform (Shopify and Squarespace are my two recommendations, depending on if you plan to offer ecommerce or not).

As always, if you have any questions about any of the topics above, just reply to this email. I’d love to start a conversation.

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