Archives for November 2013

Chicken and Dumplings

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Chicken and Dumplings Soup

Slow Cooker Chicken and Dumpling Soup

You know it when you smell it and I don’t know about you but we love the smell of a good, home cooked meal. Did you know smells alone can trigger a flood of “feel good” sensations in which we link memories to in our brain, otherwise known as the olfactory bulb?

We’ve been spending time a lot of time in the kitchen and came up with this delicious chicken and dumplings soup recipe that we would like to share. The aroma of this masterpiece will warm your heart this holiday season and leave a lasting memory for many years to come.

Ingredients:

  • 2-3 tablespoons butter
  • 4 Boneless, skinless chicken breasts (or 6 skinless chicken thighs)
  • 1 Onion, finely diced
  • 3 Cans Cream of Chicken Soup
  • 1 can of Grand’s Jr. Biscuits (8-10 biscuits)

Chicken Dumplings Soup

Directions:

1. Chop up four of the boneless, skinless chicken breasts and make sure to thoroughly wash/rinse cutting board and knife used to avoid cross-contamination.

2. Prep the crock-pot with one diced onion.

3. Rinse and chop up one potato to desired size.

4. Measure two tablespoons of butter.

5. Place ingredients in crock-pot including 3 cans cream of chicken soup and turn the heat on high for about 5-6 hours.

6. Season to taste. We recommend using: onion powder, rosemary leaves, pepper, Red Robin seasoning (highly recommended) garlic powder, chopped garlic, etc. Stir thoroughly and secure the lid.

7. About 30 minutes before serving, roll each torn biscuit piece in flour (to prevent them from sticking together), then carefully drop into the slow cooker. Turn the heat down to low, replace lid and cook for an additional 30-45 minutes.

8. And last but not least …… ENJOY!

We’re always looking to try something new so please share your suggestions and let us know how you liked our soup.

 

Email Marketing

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Is Email Marketing Worth the Effort?

email-marketingWith so many options available to business owner’s such as such as Constant ContactMail Chimp, and iContact one may ask themselves, “where do I start?” Well the good news is you’re not alone.

Email marketing is an excellent way to generate new business leads and increase company exposure. With the right audience, a well written email, and great products it has never been easier to prompt a sale. In fact with the growing popularity of mobile devices and the drastic changes in technology, nearly 48% percent of all emails are opened on a smart phone. Now what better way to increase company exposure and  place your products in the hands of potential clients.

Email marketing services such as Mail Chimp, provide complete control of the messaging experience allowing you to tailor campaigns to specific behaviors and demographics, improving the likelihood that your prospects will act. In addition these services provide useful analytic tools which provide in depth information about how your marketing campaign is performing, from open rates to URL’s clicked and much more. These tools also allow you to trial different campaigns prior to launching, allowing you to maximize your audience interaction.

So we ask is email marketing worth the effort or just a waste of time and resources? Email marketing has a much higher conversion rate in comparison to traditional hard mail marketing and is still more effective than social media marketing. To answer the question, yes we think it’s definitely worth the effort and suggest that you try for yourself.

Here are A few tips to consider when creating your email campaign:

  • Subject Line – It’s important that the subject is relevant to your audience, this will help avoid your message coming off as SPAM. According to recent studies nearly 33% of recipients open emails based on subject alone. Creating a relevant and catchy subject line will peak the recipients curiosity increasing your chances that they will open your email.
  • Time of Day – Spend the time to researching your audience. When are your readers most active? Studies have shown sending emails in the morning have a greater chance of being opened. This doesn’t mean that all readers abide by this study so make sure you know the behaviors of your reader’s. For many this key factor can make or break the success of your campaign.
  • Email Frequency- It’s very important that you stay in contact with prospects and current clients but avoid sending too many emails. One of the main reasons a reader will unsubscribe from email notifications is they are receiving too many.
  • Format – As we previously stated many readers check their emails on a mobile device or tablet. It’s especially important that your emails are optimized to support these formats, failure to cater to these devices could lead to your email being overlooked, unopened, or marked as junk.
  • Template – Always keep things fresh, if your content is always delivered in the same template readers may become bored and your interaction will decline. We recommend having at least five to ten templates designed and create a rotation. This works great for monthly newsletters and holiday offers.
  • Special Offers – People who actively participate in email marketing are looking for value. Even in an industry such as insurance it’s important that we make our reader feel special. What sets you apart from the rest?
  • Call to Action –  Creating a call to action is imperative if you’re looking to get anything out of your email campaign. Even if you’ve written excellent content for your readers without a call to action they may do just that, read and not act. Create something catchy and place it within the email, some even add a quick phrase at the end. Just be sure you don’t come off like an advertisement that is trying to push a product, readers and consumers want to feel like they have a choice not have a sale shoved down their throat.
  • Information Overload – In today’s society readers want information fast, no one has time to scroll through an email for the bits of information their interested in reading. Target the information you would like to share and make sure your email is geared to deliver those key points. Simply put, less is more so try and avoid the fluff.

No one launches a masterpiece on their first campaign so be patient and always remember the tips above. We would love to hear about your success and failures in email marketing so please share with us.

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