Ryan Allis

Ryan Allis is the CEO and co-founder of iContact, a leading on-demand email marketing service. As CEO, he's managed iContact from its start in July 2003 to its current size with more than 90 employees and 25,000 customers worldwide. In 2005, Ryan was named by BusinessWeek as one of the "Top 25 Entrepreneurs Under 25." Ryan is also the author book Zero to One Million: How I Built a Company To $1 Million in Sales and How You Can Too, published by McGraw-Hill. As an email marketing expert, Ryan will provide guidance in his blog posts on how to enhance and improve your online marketing campaigns.

With hundreds of millions of registered users across the world, social networking web sites are among the most popular places to communicate and trade information. There are numerous reasons why people use these sites: to find colleagues, friends or classmates, read breaking news, or make new business connections. As social media continues to evolve, how can your business integrate the use of these sites with your email marketing campaigns to increase your company’s visibility?

The first thing you should do is actually visit some of these sites, and scout around for the ones that seem most appealing to you. As an entrepreneur or business owner, there are a few popular sites that are used for business purposes only, such as Linkedin and Plaxo. On these sites, you can post information about your business and build relationships with businesspeople and new clients from your region or from across the world. Other sites like Facebook and Myspace began as simply social networking sites, and have evolved into places to hear new music, play games, or join political causes.

You can create free profiles on most of these sites, which gives your clients and business connections an opportunity to put your face and name with that of your company. One word of caution however: if you do choose to add a profile onto these sites, and you will be using it for business purposes, make sure not to include anything profane, political or controversial on your profile. This can turn a potential customer or relationship into a lost connection.

Once your networking profiles have been created, you can include them in your email messages and encourage your subscribers to connect with you. You can also use your email newsletters as a way to get your customers to share your content on a variety of social networking sites.

For example, if you use iContact as your email marketing service, you can use our email “sharebar” at the bottom of every message you send to encourage your readers to share you messages with the public. Through the sharebar, your subscribers can post your content on sites like Facebook, Digg, and reddit. This can exponentially increase the number of readers who view your content, and get your company’s name out to demographics of people you may have never thought you could reach.

For this reason, it’s increasingly important to include accurate, quality content in your email messages because you never know who is reading at any given moment. I hope you enjoy your weekend, and I’ll be back next time with more email marketing tips and advice.


Ryan Allis

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