Posted on January 22, 2013
Filed Under (General Business) by jennifer

The following was written by guest poster Kristen Gramigna, Chief Marketing Officer, BluePay.

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Why should small businesses accept credit cards? When starting a business, few things are more important than getting paid for your products or services. But how do you accept that payment? Your type of business most likely dictates how customers or clients pay you, but not everyone uses the same method to pay for his or her purchases. Consequently, you need to decide which methods you offer, not only to serve customers and clients best, but also to address your needs as well.

Credit card payments are accepted by many businesses, but why accept credit cards, especially when starting a new business? Initially, credit card processing can seem overwhelming – obtaining merchant status to handle transaction fees and purchasing equipment and supplies may seem like a deterrent to accepting credit cards, especially when these eat into your bottom line. But do they really? Despite the initial investment, there are many great reasons for new or small business owners to accept credit card payment.

Here are some of the important ones:


There is no doubt about it – even when buyers have a list or a specific product or service in mind, they often buy something additional. You need to be prepared for those impulsive buys, especially when the price is more than the cash in their wallets or available in their debit account. Credit cards can help make this a reality.


Offering payment method choices gives your customers something else – convenience. They can use the cash they have on hand, or they can use their credit card to make that purchase. You don’t want to lose a sale due to limited payment offerings.


Credit cards also offer flexibility – by paying with a credit card, customers or clients can pay it off when they want, or when they can, rather than needing the money available immediately.

Reduced Risk

Cash can be miscounted or stolen, checks can bounce, and debit cards can limit the size and amount of a purchase. On the other hand, accepting a credit card lets you know immediately if the client has sufficient funds or financing to back up the sale. If issues do occur, you can resolve them through merchant services.

A new or small business owner has many decisions to make, and many of them point towards profitability. Sometimes, those decisions have a startup cost, but they are worth it in the long run. So, why accept credit cards as a payment method? Because credit cards offer customers or clients flexibility and convenience, and give you peace of mind about receiving your payment – a win-win for all.

Kristen Graminga, who has more than 15 years of experience in the bankcard industry in direct sales, sales management, and marketing, is Chief Marketing Officer for BluePay, providers of credit card processing for businesses.

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Posted on January 14, 2013
Filed Under (Email Marketing) by jennifer

To paraphrase Mark Twain, the reports of email marketing’s death have been greatly exaggerated.

“For all the popularity of social media, 92 percent of adult internet users maintain at least one email account and 59 percent of marketers say they believe email is the best outlet for generating revenue,” says John Hayes, marketing strategist, iContact, Vocus’s email marketing arm. Indeed, if anything, the increase in the use of social media and mobile devices has increased email marketing’s effectiveness. That said, there are always ways to improve your email marketing.

To find out how your small business can generate a better return–or click-through rate–on your email marketing campaigns this year, I interviewed experts from Constant Contact, Emma, iContact, and Mad Mimi. Following are their top suggestions for how your email marketing campaigns can reach and convert more customers in 2013.

1. Keep in mind that more people are increasingly using smart phones (over 123 million in the U.S. alone) and tablets (over 70 million) to read and send emails, as well as shop.

2. Forget the bells and whistles (i.e., video and slow-to-load images).

3. Link your email to your social networking accounts (i.e., Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, YouTube).

4. Educate readers instead of constantly selling to them.

5. Use a targeted, interest- or demographic-specific approach instead of sending out one-size-fits-all mass mailings.

6. Include an email signup form on key landing pages, not just on your Home page.

7. Don’t underestimate the value of permissions marketing.

To learn more about these seven email marketing tips, check out my article, “7 Email Marketing Tips to Gain Customers in 2013.” And feel free to share your own email marketing tips in the Comments section.

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