The Eco Skim is a new, bimonthly digest for eco minded businesses.

If you (like us) try to stay on top of tips and news to help you grow an incredible, mission-minded business – then this is for you! Every two months we will meet you right here – for ten minutes – and share a roundup of thought provoking tidbits and takeaways on building innovative, eco-friendly online businesses.

We hope The Eco Skim helps you grow your business and stay inspired in your incredible work!

Interested? Subscribe to The Eco Skim now

Not convinced? Check out our first collection below, where you learn that 40% of consumers need to know about you, you can grow revenue through those boring confirmation emails you send out, “botsourcing” could help youearn time back, and Hillary and Trump are not the only political game in town.

Study shows that 40% of Consumers Want Brands with Purpose. Make Sure You Stack Up.
BBMG, June 2016
A 2016 study conducted by BBMG and GlobeScan found that Aspirationals – defined by their love of shopping and desire for responsible consumption – represent 40% of the global public, but only half can think of a single company as having a strong purpose in this way.

EcoEnclose Insight: Help consumers “vote with their wallets” by artfully showcasing the impact oriented actions you take – on your website, on your packaging, in your emails, and on your product itself – to become a company that consumers see as a purposeful brand.

15 Tips For Ecommerce Businesses To Improve Their Website and Boost Sales
Business 2 Community, August 2016
We’re a sucker for a list – and this one delivers, with fifteen tips to boost your online business. None of them require deep knowledge of coding and design.

EcoEnclose Insight: Three pretty easy things you can do this week! (1) Use your FREE Google Analytics internal search data to figure out how users interact with your site and when they are leaving, and identify some easy fixes. (2) Offer and promote free returns, especially if you sell something people are used to purchasing in a store. (3) Understand the lifetime value of each customer when making seemingly difficult decisions ranging from advertising to customer service.

To Move From “Artisan” to “Business” You May Need to Focus More on Strategy And Less On Your Product Itself
Entrepreneur Magazine, August 2016
For entrepreneurs seeking to dramatically grow their artisan business, this article has excellent food for thought, and showcases a handful of artisan businesses that took off.

EcoEnclose Insight: Maintain your passion for your product’s story, but focus more energy on the business strategy – product/market fit, advertising and sales, and logistics. And don’t forget about price! Many artisan goods are high priced and purchased as one off luxuries. Rethink this as you focus on growth. Finally, know your numbers! What is your margin today, with your current sales model (say – online sales to customers) and what will it be as you grow (like selling through Whole Foods)?

Get the Most Out of Your Cause Marketing Efforts
Triple Pundit, July 2016
So many EcoEnclose companies donate proceeds to charities, give employees a chance to volunteer, or provide free products to incredible initiatives! Make sure you are maximizing these cause marketing efforts to drive more sales (enabling you to do even more for your causes).

EcoEnclose Insight: There are seven tips in the article, but here are the most unique ones. Create branded products or a special line for a charity of focus, and consider crowdfunding a design for the special line! Take a page from the ALS ice bucket challenge – make memorable videos that go viral by being short, entertaining, meaningful and impactful, and imperative. Finally, follow up with donors. This one is huge! Thank them for their purchase and let them know how they supported the cause.

Use Those Boring Order Confirmation Emails To Build Loyalty and Drive Sales
Practical Ecommerce, July 2016
Shoppers love order confirmation emails – these puppies have a crazy open rate of 114%! Used wisely, the confirmation email can be a powerful tool to earn trust and additional business.

EcoEnclose Insight: Review that order confirmation template you send out. Can you do more to include information, offers or inspiration – making customers feel awesome about their purchase and encouraging them to buy again?

Very Cool Packaging Innovations That Make Customers Pay Attention
Sustainable Brands, June 2016
Our favorite of the packaging innovations showcased in this article is Zappos’#ImNotABox campaign. They shipped some shoes in limited-edition boxes designed to encourage totally wacky and fun reuse ideas – ranging from a smartphone holder to a three-dimensional llama.

EcoEnclose Insight: Sit down with your shipping packaging. What can you do to creatively encourage recycling, composting, and/or repurposing in ways that get customers engaged, talking and posting? Don’t be afraid to get a little crazy and let that imagination run wild!

Outsource Effectively To Find More Time in Your Day
Shopify, July 2016
A lot of us started businesses to be in control of our life, only to find that the business is controlling us. If that sounds like you, find smart ways to delegate tasks that are draining you, and get time back to focus on what matters the most to you and your business.

EcoEnclose Insight: Know when to choose between an agency, an individual expert, an admin, or a robot. For long-term, strategic needs, consider an agency or retainer model. For one off tasks or short-term needs, find a person – and consider using an online marketplace for it (Fiverr or Upwork for skilled support, Fancy Hands or Zirtual for a virtual admin). And finally, botsourcing (using tools like Zapier) create automated workflows to streamline operations and free up time. 

Sustainable Packaging Has No One Size Fits All Solution
Drupa, May 2016
This awesome and thought provoking Drupa blog post features Dr. Leyla Acaroglu, a leading sustainability strategist and expert in life cycle and systems thinking, and her musings on sustainable packaging and the importance of nuanced decision making.

EcoEnclose Insight: It’s easy to get invested in a single philosophy – such as “no plastic” or “compostable only” or “give me plant based material!” But sustainability is not black and white, and the most ecofriendly solution for YOU may not be the right solution for others. First, figure out how to package and protect your product. Then figure out how to make that happen with the best Earth friendly materials, using the least amount of materials possible.

Use Your Packaging to Tell Your Story
Denver Post, August 2016
This article describes how online retailers like you are shifting the paradigm of plain brown boxes to branded, creative packaging that not only delights customers, but also serves as valuable advertising as these boxes sit on doorsteps, in homes, in recycling bins and showcased on social media platforms.

EcoEnclose Insight: In the age of Amazon, beautiful, customized, exciting packaging can set you apart, making customers thrilled with their purchase and experience. If you haven’t yet considered branding your boxes or mailers, now might be the right time (especially as we head into the holiday season). If you need some guidance, EcoEnclose can help

Three Sustainable Business Policy Battles to Stay On Top Of
Green Biz, July 2016
For better or worse, election season is on us. But we shouldn’t let elections get us distracted from policy work happening right now! When you run a small business, you’re in a catch-22. On one hand, it is so hard to find time or energy to think about policy. On the other hand, we’re often affected by policy decisions more than everyone else!

EcoEnclose Insight: While the three issues highlighted in this article (resolutions related to climate change, food safety and the future of agricultural production in our country) are not even close to the full list of topics we all should be aware of, it’s a good place to dip your toe into the water of policy changes if you’ve shied away from it in the past.

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