President and CEO, Constant Contact
Gail Goodman, President and CEO of e-mail marketing company Constant Contact, is the first to acknowledge that growing a business is tough. She almost closed up shop when the Internet bubble burst in 2001. But she raised enough capital to keep her Massachusetts-based company afloat and, thanks to savvy hiring and an unwavering focus on customer satisfaction, saw Constant Contact named one of Entrepreneur Magazine’s top 50 fastest-growing woman-led companies in 2007.
Constant Contact can proudly claim over 200,000 customers, a number that clearly indicates Gail’s knack for building a business and helping others do the same. Interested in joining their ranks? Then try a FREE CONSTANT CONTACT TRIAL MEMBERSHIP EXCLUSIVELY FOR THE LADIES WHO LAUNCH COMMUNITY! Send out an email newsletter and see what happens. We think you’ll be pleasantly surprised! For details CLICK HERE.
What we learned from Gail (besides how to send a stellar newsletter and not get deleted!)
Identify a need then make sure you can fill it and still make money.
Networking is Knowledge
I had never raised venture capital so I talked to lot of people with experience. Some of their tips were on target. Some weren’t. Develop a network of people in the same situation, or better yet, just ahead of you on the curve.
Your Success, Our Success
Very early on we paid a lot of attention to giving our customers what they need to be successful, not just fancy software features and functions too complicated to use. Small businesses and nonprofits need to be able to call us for help. They want to understand email newsletter best practices. They don’t want to be perceived as spammers.
Do Not Clone Thyself!
You really need a team with complementary skills. Don’t hire another version of yourself. Build a culture that encourages challenge, discourse and debate to create a shared vision as opposed to a vision being imposed from the top.
Women Lead the Teams That Build the World
Women build strong teams because we are good listeners. I created a collaborative relationship with my venture capitalists because I wasn’t afraid to admit what I didn’t know. Success means happy customers and a happy team.
We funded the company before the Internet bubble burst. When it did I needed the investors to keep the faith. I believe my lack of bravado and my willingness to be up-front about what needed fixing encouraged them to stick with us.
Golden Rules for Successful E-mail Newsletters
Be as targeted and relevant as possible to give your recipients a reason to read your newsletter. Fill it with useful, interesting information people won’t delete. Have fun and keep the language conversational and entertaining. Less is more. Avoid including so much information that your readers lose interest or run out of time.
Get Your E-mails Opened: Great Subject Lines
1. Keep it short and sweet. Do your best to keep your subject lines under 50 characters, including spaces.
2. Be specific. A vague subject line is a waste of real estate. Example – ‘The Green Thumb Newsletter: June 2007.’ This tells the receiver nothing about what they will find when they open the e-mail. A better approach- ‘The Green Thumb: Three Tips for Summer Gardening.’
3. Write it last. Look for the most compelling topic from your completed newsletter to highlight in the subject line. Write three or four and ask a friend or colleague’s advice.
This Featured Lady was profiled by Sarah Tomlinson.