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Monday, April 29, 2013

What I've Learned about Can-Spam

Recently I was setting up my new mail list for Verte Photography in a wonderful software called StudioCloud (It's awesome! But I will tell you all about it once I am a pro at using it!). I cheated on my set up a little and created the template to my emails on a different site, then imported the html. It was super easy, and I thought I was quite the rockstar for importing such a nice looking document that would match up with my branding. Then I saw the required "CAN-SPAM" information at the footer...

uh-oh!

Do I need to have some sort of link so people can unsubscribe? It links to the other sites mailing list... so leaving it there isn't an option, since it wont remove them from the list I am using! Yikes!

My first instinct was to pull the HTML code and see if I could simply redirect the "unsubscribe" link to email back to my business email... I am no HTML genius, but after looking at the code I thought that might be a bit too much to take on. So I thought... what am I using this for? To contact existing clients, and future clients who need more information or quotes for projects. Would I use it for promotions and advertising to people I was hoping to turn into a client?

So, that made me wonder where is the CAN-SPAM line... what falls under that law that makes you have your address and an option for them to "opt out" of your mailing list...

So here it is... direct from the SBA.Gov (small business administration) I hope you find it as informative as I did!


How to Determine if the CAN-SPAM Act Applies to your Business Email
According to the FTC, the deciding factor is the “primary purpose” of the email. The government defines emails as containing three different types of information:
  • Commercial content – Anything that advertises or promotes a commercial product/service.  These messages must comply with the CAN-SPAM Act.
  • Transactional or relationship content – These are usually receipts of payment, shipping notifications and so on and facilitate or provide updates about an already agreed-upon transaction. These are exempt from most of the requirements of the CAN-SPAM Act, although they cannot contain any misleading or inaccurate routing information (i.e. the “To” and “From” fields, plus the email address and domain name must clearly show who the email is from.)
  • Other content – Considered as any other email that is neither commercial nor transactional (such as a response to a customer query) need not comply with the CAN-SPAM Act.
Steps You Can Take to Ensure Your Email Marketing Complies
If you’ve determined that you must comply with the CAN-SPAM Act, then there are a few simple steps that you can take to comply with the law. For example:
  • Email headers, domain names, and subject lines must be accurate and not deceptive.
  • You must disclose if your message is an advertisement.
  • You must include a valid postal address in the mail body.
  • Disclose and clearly state how recipients can opt-out or unsubscribe from your message.
  • Honor unsubscribe requests within 10 business days. Any unsubscribe mechanism must be able to process these requests for at least 30 days after the email was sent.
  • If you use a third-party email marketing service, make sure they follow the requirements of the law – for example, are opt-outs being handled correctly? The law doesn’t differentiate from the company that sends the email and the company whose product is being promoted. 
To read more about the requirements of the CAN-SPAM Act and get answers to FAQs, check out this brief (and plain English) guide from the FTC: The CAN-SPAM Act: A Compliance Guide for Business.


Don’t Be a Spammer - Build Your Own In-House Email Marketing List
To ensure your email doesn’t get flagged as SPAM or junk by readers, consider implementing a permission-based approach. Permission marketing is essentially when a recipients have provided explicit consent that they want to receive your email communications – whether by sign-up or other opt-in mechanism.

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So for me...
I can simply remove the footer note for my confirmation emails and "relational" correspondence, however for any promotional, marketing, or newsletter style emails I will either use a mailchimp.com style site which automatically makes my comply with current laws (and its free for up to 2000 subscribers). Or I will wait until Studiocloud  has an easy solution for adding a "unsubscribe" feature that will link to my current list! Which they just listed as a future request because of my question on twitter... now that's responsive and good service!





Thursday, April 25, 2013

The Social Connection - Blogs



Thanks for Joining us this week for The Social Connection!!!!!!





This week we are linking up our BLOG sites.
Some of us blog for straight business, some of us for personal with a bit of business tossed in and either way you go it's a great way to connect to a great audience.

Here's the FAQs for the Link-Up:

Who can link up? 

If you are someone who considers yourself a Small Business (Photography, Networking, Blog Design, etc. in other words if you offer a type of service) or a Shop Owner (either one) we would love for you to link-up.  

When is the link-up?
The link-up will be each week on Thursdays starting Next Thursday April 4th. The link-up for the specific week's "link-up" will be live until the following Wednesday evening.

Are There Rules???
All we ask are these couple of things:
  • Please only link-up the specific week's theme. If the link-up is twitter please only link-up your twitter handle(s).  If you have more than one link (i.e. personal & business) for the specific week, you are welcome to link-up both. 
  • If there are specific HOSTS or CO-HOSTS (these are labeled with *** and are the first few links ) on the list, we ask that you take the time and effort to follow them on their social media outlets - our co-hosts will be working hard to promote the link-up just as we do which ultimately leads to more people linking up and more people for you to meet!
Other Things:
Remember the more you put in, the more you get out, so the more that you follow others and interact with the others linking up the more connections you will get! 
Also - don't hesitate to tell them those you are newly following that you found them via the Social Connection Link-up!

Please connect your blog accounts. You can link your main blog site and one following method (i.e. Bloglovin)

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Top Places to Advertise your Business

                                                                                                                                                                     

Thursday, April 18, 2013

The Social Connection - Google +


Welcome to the Weekly Revolving Link-Up - the Social Connection.


This week we are linking up our Google + Accounts.
Google + allows you to share information efficiently with the people you want to share with, create communities and has brought connecting to a newer level with Google Hangouts.

Here's the FAQs for the Link-Up:

Who can link up? 

If you are someone who considers yourself a Small Business (Photography, Networking, Blog Design, etc. in other words if you offer a type of service) or a Shop Owner (either one) we would love for you to link-up.  

When is the link-up?
The link-up will be each week on Thursdays starting Next Thursday April 4th. The link-up for the specific week's "link-up" will be live until the following Wednesday evening.

Are There Rules???
All we ask are these couple of things:

  • Please only link-up the specific week's theme. If the link-up is twitter please only link-up your twitter handle(s).  If you have more than one link (i.e. personal & business) for the specific week, you are welcome to link-up both. 
  • If there are specific HOSTS or CO-HOSTS (these are labeled with *** and are the first few links ) on the list, we ask that you take the time and effort to follow them on their social media outlets - our co-hosts will be working hard to promote the link-up just as we do which ultimately leads to more people linking up and more people for you to meet!
Other Things:
Remember the more you put in, the more you get out, so the more that you follow others and interact with the others linking up the more connections you will get! 
Also - don't hesitate to tell them those you are newly following that you found them via the Social Connection Link-up!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

The Social Connection - Facebook

Welcome to The Social Connection!
Thank you for coming back to our link-up if you are visiting again from last week and Welcome! if you are joining us for the very first time!
This week is all about the popular site Facebook.
Facebook is the world’s largest social network, with more than 900 million users. Facebook accounts for 23 percent of the time people spend on smartphones. Just imagine the connections you can make!
>>Also Facebook just created a new integrative system for Android Devices. You can read Mark's interview here.

Here's the FAQs for the Link-Up:

Who can link up? 

If you are someone who considers yourself a Small Business (Photography, Networking, Blog Design, etc. in other words if you offer a type of service) or a Shop Owner (either one) we would love for you to link-up.  

When is the link-up?
The link-up will be each week on Thursdays starting Next Thursday April 4th. The link-up for the specific week's "link-up" will be live until the following Wednesday evening.

Are there Rules???
All we ask are these couple of things:

  • Please only link-up the specific week's theme. If the link-up is twitter please only link-up your twitter handle(s).  If you have more than one link (i.e. personal & business) for the specific week, you are welcome to link-up both. 
  • If there are specific HOSTS or CO-HOSTS (these are labeled with *** and are the first few links ) on the list, we ask that you take the time and effort to follow them on their social media outlets - our co-hosts will be working hard to promote the link-up just as we do which ultimately leads to more people linking up and more people for you to meet!
Other Things:
Remember the more you put in, the more you get out, so the more that you follow others and interact with the others linking up the more connections you will get! 
Also - don't hesitate to tell them those you are newly following that you found them via the Social Connection Link-up!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Feature Event: Poker for a Cure

 Since the debut of WINN our first networking group in Denver, CO has supported WINN Member Chelsey in her fundraising efforts to benefit the American Cancer Society. Each year, Chelsey heads a team that raises money and walks the Northglenn ACS walk for life. The event goes for a full 24 hours and is full of amazing fun! Vendors come out, walkers dress up, there are hot dogs, camping and a beautiful lake to walk around by candlelight. Each year with the support she has found in her WINN chapter, and within our WINN network she sets out to raise a little more then the year before. 

While WINN typically does informational posts, offers networking advice and focuses on connecting women in business, I felt it important to feature Chelsey's passion, and present to you a way to support her in helping to fight cancer. I did this  because I feel that we offer more then just business support and referrals at WINN. We offer support within our community wether it is personal, professional, or simply supporting and drawing attention to a cause like this. 


 The following is a note direct from Chelsey about why she is so passionate, and what you can do to help. If you can help, either by participating in her events, buying raffle tickets (no need to be present to win) or by offering her something from your shop or business for the raffle... please contact us or Chelsey directly!

"I just wanted to make sure you ALL know WHY I am soooo passionate to finding a cure for CANCER!!! 5 years ago I learned about Relay for Life. A walk that goes for a full 24 hours, even over night. They walk over night and do not sleep because Cancer does not sleep. 

One year after becoming involved my sister lost her best friend who was ONLY 26 years old to Colon Cancer. Just in the past 2 weeks alone, I lost 2 friends to cancer. Both from my Arbonne business, 1 on my team who was almost done with treatment, when the treatment caused a blood clot and she died instantly. The other, who was fighting her second bout of cancer within the past 2 years who was a side line sister of mine in Arbonne. In addition, in the past month, my good friend Jennifer who is also a WINN member, lost her precious mother, and we found out my own mother has skin cancer! My Grandpa has been fighting prostate cancer for 2 years now, and my husbands uncle just finished stem cell replacement therapy. 

I could go on and on about how MANY situations I know of or friends and family I have lost or people close to me have lost.. I have learned that Cancer effects EVERYONE. Everyone I know has had a friend, family member, or co-worker who has been effected by Cancer.

 I want to help as MANY people as possible so 5 years ago I decided I would not only walk in the Relay for Life, but I WILL help find a CURE for ALL CANCER! 

Last year we raised over $12,000. This year in 2013 my goal is to raise over $20,000. We have many ways to donate. Below is a link for the facebook invite to our Poker Tournament. This is one of our largest fundraisers of the year. We are looking for products, services, and gift cards for our Ticket drawing that will take place at the poker tournament. 

We are also looking for Corporate sponsorships ranging from $250-$5,000. You can also make an online donation and find out HOW the money is used with ACS to find a cure and help those going through treatments. 

PLEASE Help me make this years Poker tournament and RELAY FOR LIFE event HUGE!!!! Together we can find a cure!!! Please invite your friends, post this link and help us find an END to Cancer taking lives...
Poker Tourney April 21st

Direct link to ACS Relay for life Donations & Joining our team to walk


THANK YOU!
 Chels
Chelsey Whitfield-Crittendon

Thursday, April 4, 2013

The Social Connection - Twitter

Welcome to The Social Connection!
We are so excited for our first month of this new link-up and we are excited to announce that we have decided to team up with the Streeter A-List to host this link-up every week. 

This week is all about the fabulous Twitter.
Twitter is such a fabulous resource and a great tool to get information spread quickly to thousands of people in a quick fashion. It's also a great resource for news, events and more. 


Here's the FAQs for the Link-Up:

Who can link up? 

If you are someone who considers yourself a Small Business (Photography, Networking, Blog Design, etc. in other words if you offer a type of service) or a Shop Owner (either one) we would love for you to link-up.  

When is the link-up?
The link-up will be each week on Thursdays starting Next Thursday April 4th. The link-up for the specific week's "link-up" will be live until the following Wednesday evening.

Are there Rules???
All we ask are these couple of things:

  • Please only link-up the specific week's theme. If the link-up is twitter please only link-up your twitter handle(s).  If you have more than one link (i.e. personal & business) for the specific week, you are welcome to link-up both. 
  • If there are specific HOSTS or CO-HOSTS (these are labeled with *** and are the first few links ) on the list, we ask that you take the time and effort to follow them on their social media outlets - our co-hosts will be working hard to promote the link-up just as we do which ultimately leads to more people linking up and more people for you to meet!
Other Things:
Remember the more you put in, the more you get out, so the more that you follow others and interact with the others linking up the more connections you will get! 
Also - don't hesitate to tell them those you are newly following that you found them via the Social Connection Link-up!






Join us next week to link-up your Facebook Profiles & Fan Pages!