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Regarding Dr. Laura
07/27/2010
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Five Ways to Market Using Email


There are many ways to market a home-based business. But one of the simplest ways is to use an every day business tool - email. By using these five easy tips you'll see how easily your business can grow without much effort on your part.

1. Use a Professional Signature - This is an important tip to use on every email that you send. Even your friends may not always remember your website address or business phone number and will quickly look to an old e-mail to look it up.

When preparing an email signature it's important to include Your Name, Company Name, and your Physical Address or Website Address. You may also include your phone number. Below is a sample Email signature:

Jill Hart
888-241-0990
Christian Work at Home Moms
http://www.cwahm.com

The signature is simple, easy to read and includes a link directly to my website. It is very important to include the http:// before the website address because many email programs will not link the text to your website without this (it will appear as text - not a link).

Also, make sure that you double check that you have your website correct. Often times I've found that people have their website wrong by inverting a letter or two and aren't aware of it. It cannot only lead to a loss of a sale, but it shows less professionalism on your part.

You can also use a virtual business card as your signature. You can design and purchase your own virtual business card at http://www.vistaprint.com.There is a very small cost - less than $2.00 for this professional looking virtual signature file.

2. Find a "Signature Buddy" - This is an easy and cost-free way to spread the word about your business. Ask a colleague or friend if they will "swap"a line their signature with you. You will add a line at the bottom of your signature with a link to their business and they will do the same.

Jill Hart
888-241-0990
Christian Work at Home Moms
http://www.cwahm.com

Publishing and book marketing - http://www.virtualwordpublishing.com/

The signature "swap" can be as simple as a line (as above) or as much as a 2- 3 line testimony of why you're recommending this link. You can find a permanent signature "buddy" or change it weekly or monthly.

3. Send Email Coupons - This is a great way to network using email. Send a special coupon by email that is available only for those that receive your emails. You can also extend this to a newsletter if you have one. Offer a special coupon for anyone who signs up for your newsletter!

You can send other specials by email as well - special offers, free gifts, ebooks, etc. There are many ways that you can utilize your email to bless your customers and colleagues.

4. Create a Custom Background for your Email - This is easier to do than it sounds. If you are using Microsoft Outlook or a similar program, you can find directions on creating your own custom signature online at places like http://www.mailmsg.com/outlookstationary.htm.

Custom email stationary can take a plain email and make it look professional. I include my logo and my website name in my custom background.Be sure to make the picture "light," so that it does not compete with the text of the emails you'll be sending.

5. Send Thank You Emails - In this day and age it is very acceptable to send a Thank You card via email. This is an easy way to thank customers, advertisers, and even newsletter subscribers.

You can create you own Thank You or use a program like Yahoo! Greetings.Many of these programs have free e-cards that you can send as well as a paidversion with additional designs. Another great place is Hallmark.com whereyou can get customized greeting e-cards for any occasion, free. It's a great way to remember your client's birthdays or perhaps a special day in their business.

You can even set up an auto-responder to send the Thank You automatically.There are many auto-responder programs for you to choose from and many website hosting companies will provide you with one, you'll just need to go in and set it up.

One great thing about an auto-responder is that you can set up when the email will be sent, what will "trigger" the auto-responder and what the email will say. This way, any time you receive an order, the customer receives an email immediately, even if you're not available.

One downfall to auto-responders is that they can seem impersonal. However, you can overcome this by taking the time to write a personal note to your customers and use this as the auto-responder email.

Can you see how beneficial e-mails can be for your business? When you use a professional looking signature, find a "buddy" to swap lines in your signature, personalize your email background, use auto-responders and any other items that you are able to customize, you'll never look at email the same way again. Marketing can be inexpensive and effective when you know the right ways to do it.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:Jill Hart is the founder of Christian Work at Home Moms, CWAHM.com. This site is dedicated to providing work at home moms with opportunities to promote their businesses while at the same time providing them spiritualencouragement and articles. Visit http://www.CWAHM.com for additionalinformation. Permission granted for use on DrLaura.com.

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05/13/2010
IconI thought I'd continue with the theme of new beginnings during the first week of the new year by telling you a "biggie" for me - something I had to learn at a deeper level than just on an intellectual level.' I took up the game of pool about a year ago.' And like everything I do, I jumped into it "full bore" and with ferocity unmatched by any other living creature.' I practiced hours every day in this mad-like rush to conquer this goal as soon as I possibly could.In general, my enthusiasm and full commitment pay off in learning and conquering new goals, but there are some that actually require a dispassionate approach.' That was tough for me.' I got thoroughly emotional whenever I missed even one shot!' I quit several times out of utter frustration.'Fortunately, I have a great coach/teacher who keeps trying to get me to be quite robotic.' He has me do what amounts to a ritual routine with each shot:' look at the shot and imagine it happening as I put chalk on the cue tip.' Then, put the chalk down and I pretend I'm doing the shot once or twice in the air, then get way down on the table and do practice motions up to the cue ball and then fire.Once I am down, no more thinking, moving, judging...just faith that my mind and body have this covered.'This took the better part of a year to learn.' But it works.The too easy frustration with myself comes from a most critical father's constant berating of me, and taking up pool has helped a tremendous amount with getting rid of that knee-jerk response.'I was setting up my weaving loom the other day, and everything was going wrong.' The set-up looked seriously trashy.' But instead of getting down on myself (like I would have done before), I just smiled, leaned over, cut it all off the loom and threw it away.' I walked away feeling quite accomplished!' Why?' I just accepted that sometimes it doesn't work - thrown away yarn is not the end of the world - and having the calm to make that decision to come back and loom another day is a big victory!I hope this story helps you. More >>

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05/13/2010

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05/13/2010
IconI'm traveling this week, doing my radio program from Detroit and then from Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, so I thought I'd feature a guest blogger today, who wrote in with the following comments: Hi, Dr. Laura!I am a stay-at-home mom of two beautiful children, ages 4 1/2 and almost 2.' I have been a stay-at-home mom (SAHM) since the middle of my first pregnancy.' I just picked up your book "In Praise of Stay-At-Home Moms," and read it cover-to-cover in two days.' At first, the book made me angry.' Not at anything you said, but it stirred up some old emotions in me that I thought I had buried long ago. You see, I have felt a lot of negativity from my in-laws since the day my husband and I decided that I would quit my job to stay home to raise our family.' My mother-in-law and father-in-law, and even both brothers-in-law and their wives, who all have children in day care, felt that I was not pulling my weight-that I was a burden on my husband, and that my children should be in day care.' Can you imagine?!! My husband and I lead a completely different lifestyle from them, but that didn't seem to matter to them. We don't have a thirty foot trailer for camping, and it's not important for us to have brand new SUVs or granite countertops.' We can have those material things in due time, if we choose. Reading your book made me think about the past again, the way my children and I have been treated over the years, and it brought back all the anger and resentment.' As I continued reading your book, it clicked!' My in-laws are jealous of the quality time that I get to spend with my children every day.' Also, the biggie for me:' happiness is a matter of perspective.' Both my husband and I feel like we are doing the right thing by having me stay-at-home and that's all that matters.' Period. In a quest to keep the right perspective, I have started journaling my proud "mommy moments," and I thought I would share this with you.' Perhaps this might help other SAHMs keep a positive outlook, too.' There's no denying that being a full-time stay-at-home mom is both rewarding and challenging.' So, I started journaling all the wonderful moments that I experience with my children on a daily basis - the moments I would never be able to experience via Mommy-cam. Today, my daughter lovingly brushed the hair away from my forehead and kissed me sweetly on my forehead, just as I have done to her countless times.' I wrote it down.' When my little boy wraps his pudgy arms around my legs and squeezes me with all his might, I write it down.' That way, when things get tough, which they will, I can quickly glance over my Mommy journal and see why I'm doing this again, to help me keep a positive outlook.' I know this won't make whatever is troubling me magically disappear, but I do think that seeing what's positive and wonderful in my life will help to clear my head and give me strength for Round 2 and 3. You have been such a wonderful influence on me, Dr. Laura.' Thank you for helping to lift my chin, so when people ask me what I do for a living, I can respond, smiling, "I am a proud FULL-time stay-at-home Mommy and I love my life." God bless you and yours, C. More >>

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05/13/2010
IconSome actors talk about how and from where they get their "motivation" in the portrayal of some character.' Actors usually get the role and then search for the motivation behind the role.' I am the exact opposite.' I get motivated about something, and then go out and make it happen.For years, I have been striving to have women re-establish their sacred place in the universe by influencing them to value their womanhood, and not simply resign themselves to being worker bees or unattached sexual objects.' My latest book, In Praise of Stay-at-Home Moms , is my contribution to that end, reminding women that 1) they are the spiritual center of the family, and 2) that their love' and attention cannot be replaced by hired help.' I've been working very hard to have mothers and wives value themselves in these roles and not feel "less," but instead, enjoy the esteemed pedestal once again.To "bring it home," so to speak, I decided to do an extravaganza of an event, called In Praise of Mom , to applaud and recognize the beauty and importance of mothers everywhere.' Why am I so emotional about this?' Simple.' I almost missed out on this most incredible miracle (and sometime pain in the neck) called motherhood.In the 1960s, I was seduced by the feminist anger that proclaimed that husbands and kids were in the way of getting power and respect.' We lost way too much because of the anger vented on men and mothering.' As many of you may know, I did not have the most mothering mommy possible, and that probably contributed to my negativity at the time.' But at age 35, I had an epiphany.' What I was missing from my life was being a wife and a mommy.I now know the glories and agonies of being a mommy, and I am grateful I didn't miss out on one minute of it.' I receive calls every day from women who are mothers of good kids, troubled kids, confusing kids, rambunctious kids, curious kids, risk-taking kids and more.' For a mom, the well-being of her child and family is number one .' It occurred to me that I should use the opportunity afforded by the release of my new book to celebrate Mother's Day in a new, fun, touching, memorable way.' As my son is in the military (as are many of yours), we won't be together on Mother's Day.' The next best thing is for all us mothers to get together and laugh and hug about our trials, tribulations, and exaltations of motherhood. In Praise of Mom will be a one-time only event on Tuesday, May 5 in a movie theater near you...and it will be beamed live by satellite to more than 400 theaters around the country.' Let's get all the moms in our lives together and applaud ourselves! To purchase tickets, click here . More >>

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