Started/managed several online companies in my 20's, with sales in 27 countries before launching boutique digital agency, Rush Hour Marketing in Nashville, TN - where we hack growth strategies for clients nationwide using a unique combination of SEO, Reputation Management, Email Marketing and Conversion Optimization techniques. Earned chops launching/running several daily deal sites, where I learned the technical complexities of email deliverability / email optimization. Recent Client Successes: In 2015-16 my agency created /executed the launch & marketing strategy for a national college honor society - which we took from inception to 130+ universities in the first year alone. Annual recurring revenue topped more than $1MM+ within 9 months of launching. At our peak, we executed email marketing campaigns of more than 1.2 million emails per month. Open rates averaged 40%+ and maintained Return Path Sender Score of 99. From 2014-Present, we have served as Agency of Record for Nashville's oldest festival. In 3 years, we have grown attendance from 80,000 to 330,000. In addition, we raised ticket prices more than 20% each year, which still more than doubling ticketing revenue each year. Currently provide digital marketing solutions to companies nationwide, specializing in SEO, Web Design, Email Marketing, Conversion Optimization and Digital Ticketing. If you need help getting exposure/customers/sales for your business or products, I can quickly identify the low hanging fruit and clearest path to success - and help you implement strategies to explode ROI and business growth. Rush Hour Marketing is located at 121 Fairway Drive, Nashville, TN 37214. Further details online at rushhourlocal.com.
Four years ago, I started a local daily deal site which grew to the largest in East TN & Southwest VA. In that period, we pivoted by learning how to solve the digital marketing problems of the restaurants and spas we featured on our site.
I have a number of tips for you on this. First, most small merchants will be lost and not truly see the value of SEO and citations. Those are long term efforts without short term results. Even then, the results are not tangible, at least not readily visible to the owner of a store.
Reviews however are an immediate pain point - and also a quickly solved problem. So I use this as the way to prove value upfront to our clients. In fact, I have yet to pitch our marketing program to a small business owner and get a "no" since I began my emphasis on Reputation Management. Why? Because normally only disenchanted customers leave reviews. And the negative reviews seem to personally affect the ego of the business owner (as they should). Especially because they can massively affect bottom-line revenue, especially now in light of new developments and agreements between the search engines and the review sites. Reviews directly power search to a large degree.
Feel free to reach out to me if you want to talk specific cases - I have found that the pain points and need are the same across almost all industries (hospitality, food service, medical, etc).
I have a tremendous amount of experience sending emails from new domains - perhaps 2,000,000 emails per year - and the long and short of it is this: email deliverability is tremendously complex.
Why? For one thing, because of the constant battle between spammers, ISPs, ESPs and other players, among other things. Also, because email still uses some very old and outdated protocols that make this all more difficult.
If your business is going to rely heavily on email, I would encourage to educate yourself now so that you won't be stymied as you grow. Many of the things I learned were through trial and error - which can be excruciatingly frustrating.
Just a few of the things you should immediately begin working on: proper SPF, SenderID, DKIM compliance along with solid DNS set up. Additionally, if you will use email heavily, I would start now putting the pieces in place for later white labeling aa nd possible dedicated IP sending. In terms of the actual email content itself, that is another subject you will want to investigate.
I'm not saying these things to discourage you - but rather to help you avoid the mistakes we made in the past.
If you need a hand getting a little grip on this I probably can steer you in the right direction pretty quickly.
Wish you the best in your endeavor!