Please note: This information was last updated many years ago and is here to preserve a historical record. The contents of this post may be out of date and no longer applicable to GOED's work.

Our Project Team recently attended the 2012 Rural Business Conference in Richfield, Utah. Several of the conference sessions focused on helping small rural businesses utilize technology.

Zak Barron, Regional Development Director for Constant Contact, focused on using email marketing to drive business. To keep readers engaged, he recommended that 80% of e-newsletter content should be informational and only 20% should include promotions or sales pitches. He also recommended using only one short paragraph per article with a weblink to drive traffic to a company’s website. To increase the number of subscribers who open the newsletter, he recommended sending newsletters out on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, when most readers have caught up on other emails for the week.

Pete Codella, Founder of Codella Marketing, was the keynote speaker at the event and gave a breakout session on using Facebook and Linkedin for business. Many businesses, such as Disney, Coca Cola, and Oreo are using the new timeline layout on Facebook to create a following for their brand. He recommended that small businesses use Facebook and Linkedin networks to extend their reach and create brand awareness. His keynote presentation focused on how social media has changed the way businesses communication and provides inexpensive ways to reach customers, which is a major advantage for small businesses with limited budgets.