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The mid-aughts to early 2010s were the heyday for RSS feeds like Google Reader. It felt like everyone was using them.
Then, in 2013, Google Reader was switched off, and their popularity has dwindled.
Dwindled, but not vanished entirely. Google Trends data shows a massive dropoff since RSS hit its peak back around 2005. But interest has been pretty stable since about 2015:
What does this tell us?
While RSS feeds aren’t the must-use resource they once were, there’s still a dedicated base of users who aren’t prepared to say goodbye.
If you’re one of them, you might still be searching for the perfect alternative to your beloved Google Reader. Here are a few options, as well as some practical tips on using them to improve your content marketing strategy.
What Was Google Reader?
Google Reader was an RSS reader. RSS, which stands for “really simple syndication,” is an XML-based format used to distribute and share online content. It allows users to subscribe to news feeds from their favorite website and receive updates every time they post new content.
Google launched Google Reader in 2005 and quickly built up a loyal following because it was simple, efficient, and free. But as online habits changed, usage declined, prompting the search giant to permanently retire Google Reader back in July 2013.
10 Alternative RSS Readers to Google Reader
While Google no longer saw the value in RSS readers, lots of people still find them useful. Presumably, if you’re reading this article, you’re one of them, so here are ten Google Reader alternatives to try out.
- Priced from: Free
- Best for: Cutting through the noise
RSS readers can become victims of their own effectiveness. Say you want to curate all the latest news on a topic like blockchain, or a keyword like Microsoft. Pretty soon, you’ll have more relevant content than you could ever read.
Feedly is all about providing a decluttered RSS experience. Its free tier allows you to follow up to 100 sources, from news sites to YouTube channels. But the real value comes from its AI assistant, Leo.
Leo allows users to define what content is most relevant to them. You can prioritize by keywords, trends, topics, similar articles, and even critical software vulnerabilities. Then teach Leo what’s useful to you by upvoting or downvoting its recommendations.
- Priced from: Free
- Best for: Saving the content you love long-term
Inoreader has one feature that sets it apart from all the other Google Reader alternatives: the ability to build long-term archives of content.
Most RSS readers only store content for a short period. But with Inoreader, limited-time archives aren’t a thing. The content you’ve already read is stored permanently, so you can access it at any time.
To stop things from getting unmanageable, Inoreader allows you to categorize your feeds into folders and add tags to individual articles.
- Priced from: Free
- Best for: Lifestyle content curation
Unlike most Google Reader alternatives, Bloglovin’ focuses on a single niche: lifestyle content. That means everything from fashion and beauty, to travel and interior design. Its colorful, image-heavy interface feels more like a social media site than an RSS reader.
Similar to Pinterest, Bloglovin’ lets you curate content around the lifestyle topics and themes most helpful to you. So if you’re planning a wedding or a big DIY project, you can start a new collection and expand it with relevant content.
- Priced from: Free
- Best for: Combining RSS and social feeds
Flowreader is an easy-to-use tool that acts as a one-stop-shop for content from all your favorite websites, plus your most-loved accounts on Twitter, YouTube, Reddit, and Pinterest. It saves you a lot of time navigating between multiple sites to access the content you most want to see.
Because it posts content in chronological order, Flowreader effectively lets you bypass Twitter’s recommendations algorithm, which means you can read tweets in the order they were posted.
- Priced from: Free
- Best for: Doing the basics
There’s nothing too complex about Feedreader; it just works. Basic and ad-free, this web-based RSS reader lets you subscribe to your favorite feeds and star items to view later. Your subscriptions can be categorized for easier navigation, while a bunch of keyboard shortcuts makes it simple to expand articles, mark items as starred, or refresh the results.
- Priced from: Free
- Best for: Filtering what you don’t like
It may not have the slickest interface, but NewsBlur is deceptively sophisticated. For one thing, it allows you to access the full text from each source right there in the RSS reader, which keeps your browser clean and uncluttered, while the free product tier lets you subscribe to up to 64 feeds.
NewsBlur’s most interesting feature is its filtering. Select a piece of content, then tell the app what you like or dislike about it, including:
- Key phrases in the headline or body copy
- The author
- The publication
- The categories that are relevant to that piece of content
Spend some time selecting your preferences and NewsBlur becomes a super helpful tool for accessing only the types of content you find most valuable.
- Priced from: Free
- Best for: Advanced filtering
While it does all the things you’d expect a Google Reader alternative to do, Feedspot goes a step further with its advanced filtering functionality. This allows you to:
- Make searches within all the feeds you follow, including blogs, news sites, RSS feeds, YouTube channels and social sites
- Filter results from one or more specific feeds
- Search phrases within the title only
- Browse by exact phrase matches
All of which makes it easier to track down the content you most want to see, right now, from the sites and platforms that are most relevant to you.
The Old Reader
- Priced from: Free
- Best for: Finding recommendations from people you trust
The Old Reader works best when used in groups. Connect with your Facebook or Google account to follow people in your network who also use The Old Reader, then you’ll be able to see the content they recommend. That way, you’ll never miss a piece of content they find useful or interesting.
- Priced from: Free
- Best for: RSS on the go
Feeder offers Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Yandex extensions, making it easy to view your RSS feeds on desktop. But perhaps its most useful feature is the dedicated Android and iOS apps, which allow you to see all the headlines from your favorite sites, plus a simple view of the full content, on mobile. Great for when you absolutely need to keep up with the news but aren’t at your computer.
- Priced from: Free
- Best for: Social media monitoring
While Netvibes works great as a traditional RSS reader, its real strength lies in its ability to automate interactions between multiple platforms, apps, and devices. Think of it as like the Zapier of RSS readers.
So how does that work in practice?
Well, Netvibes currently integrates with 43 apps, including Gmail, Google Drive, LinkedIn, and Twitter. It also does a ton of stuff, from monitoring stocks to tracking your health. From a marketing perspective, the biggest “win” is as a social media monitoring tool.
Rather than presenting you with a feed of new social posts from people you follow, Netvibes allows you to dig deeper. For example, you can create a feed for @mentions of your brand on Twitter, or one dedicated to a certain hashtag.
That makes it easy for you to keep updated on what people are saying about you or follow topics relevant to your business.
How to Use RSS Readers to Benefit Your Content Marketing
Google Reader alternatives aren’t purely for finding content. They can be a vital part of your content marketing efforts, too.
Create Your Own RSS Feed
You’ve got a blog or resource hub, and you’re producing fantastic content. But you’re struggling to bring people back to your site.
Setting up your own RSS feed can be a big help. That way, subscribers will see all your latest content every time they access their favored RSS reader. It’s a great way to amplify your content, and best of all it’s completely passive. Once you’ve implemented your RSS feed, it’ll do all the hard work.
Be sure to compel readers to subscribe to your feed by incorporating clear calls-to-action (CTAs) throughout your content. Consider adding an RSS button to your content hub landing page, too:
Keep on Top of Industry News & Thought Leadership
Does your audience come to you for your take on the latest news impacting your industry? Then an RSS reader can ensure you’ll always be one of the first to know about any new developments and key announcements.
Let’s say you’re in the marketing niche. You want to keep up to date with what’s going on, so you can react to it fast by creating your own content. Consider adding the following types of accounts to your favorite Google Reader alternative:
- The Twitter accounts of thought leaders like Rand Fishkin, Jeff Bullas, and Mari Smith (and me!)
- Marketing blogs and social feeds from big industry players like Google and Facebook
- Industry news sites like NeilPatel.com, Search Engine Journal, and Digiday
- Your biggest competitors’ blogs (it pays to be aware of the content they’re creating, too)
Segment all of those feeds into categories so they’re easy to browse. Then get into the habit of spending five minutes at the start of every day, or on your lunch or coffee break, reading through all the latest news.
Curate Your Own Newsletter
Why do people subscribe to newsletters? Well, according to one study, about three-quarters of people subscribe to learn more about topics they find interesting, or to keep abreast of content from their favorite websites.
With that in mind, you can quickly and easily create your own newsletter featuring all the biggest developments in your industry, simply by curating all the top content pulled in by your RSS reader.
Include a couple of CTAs to sign up in prominent spots on your website, and you’ve got yourself a low-effort way to build up a mailing list and generate a bunch of leads.
Inspire Your Content Creation
Sure, I create a lot of content, but even I get writer’s block sometimes! If you’re struggling to come up with new topics for your blog, or podcast, or YouTube channel, your RSS reader can help.
Check out what other people in your niche are discussing. Look out for trends, breaking news, or subjects you feel passionately about and have an opinion on. And presto, there’s all the content inspiration you need.
RSS feeds may have gone out of fashion in the last few years, but that doesn’t mean they’re not worth your time. While everyone else gets their news from the cluttered, algorithm-influenced world of social media, you can use a Google Reader alternative to cut through all the noise and find the most relevant content.
What’s your favorite Google Reader alternative and why?
The post 10 Alternative RSS Readers if You Still Miss Google Reader appeared first on Neil Patel.
Jimmy Lai is charged under a security law for criticizing China.
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You know the revenue is out there and you know an email campaign can help you get it. But how do you keep a strong handle on your campaign as it plays out over weeks and months?
Email autoresponders can save you a ton of time and deliver huge returns on campaign investment. Yet automation can be a double-edged sword.
The sad truth is that many thoughtful email campaigns become inbox wallpaper. It only takes a few mistimed or off-target emails before your audience starts to tune them out.
A good email autoresponder gives you the ability to connect with customers, at scale, without overwhelming them.
Or your team, for that matter. These products eliminate many of the tedious and repetitive tasks that are so essential to building relationships at scale.
Delight your customers with content they’re interested in. Get full visibility into your open and click-through rates and watch them climb.
Let’s walk through the best email autoresponders, what they can do for you, and how to select the right one.
The Top 5 Options for Email Autoresponders
- Mailchimp – Best for beginners
- MailerLite – Best free email autoresponder
- Klaviyo – Best for ecommerce
- GetResponse – Best for sales teams
- Moosend – Best for simple marketing automation
How to Choose the Best Email Autoresponder for You
Email autoresponders can help your teams get more done in less time, without sacrificing the personal touch that drives clicks. However, not all email autoresponders are created equal.
Some will work well for a brief series of 3-5 emails that welcome a new contact and warm them to your products—good for a simple customer journey.
Others help you set up complex automated workflows that respond to customer behavior, shopping tendencies, and other triggers you define.
The end goal is setting up something that automatically sends the right message, to the right customer, at the right time.
Here are the major features of email autoresponders that are helping companies increase their chances of success:
It’s right there in the name—the big boon of autoresponders is automating menial, manual campaign tasks.
However, the more robust tools tie into your customer databases or CRM, and let you define triggers based on a range of highly-personalized criteria.
Some of the popular automation capabilities you will see include:
- Welcoming/Onboarding: Greet new users, customers, or employees
- Web Trigger: Make contact when someone clicks on a link, fills out a form, updates a field, makes a purchase, or joins a group
- Reminders: Send time-sensitive emails about deals or webinars
- Celebrations: Send discounts for birthdays and anniversaries
- VIP: Trigger discounts and promotions for loyal customers
- Abandoned cart: Contact a customer with the opportunity to buy items left in their cart
- Follow up: Reach out after a purchase or interaction
- A/B testing: Experiment with different versions of the same email to analyze performance and evolve your strategy
- Branch flows: Create workflows that split customers based on conditional or logical triggers to direct them down the most appropriate path
A really good autoresponder lets you build out workflows within a visual editor, giving you a bird’s eye view of each trigger and step of the process.
Make sure you pick something with the capabilities you need to design each customer’s entire journey.
Don’t forget about crafting great emails. They have to be appealing from the subject line to the CTA, and every element must be optimized for web and mobile.
Good email autoresponders make these challenges much easier. My favorite products have intuitive visual email builders that help you make content that converts.
Beyond designing beautiful emails quickly, you can add buttons, embed content, and preview exactly what your email is going to look like from a customer’s point of view.
Find an autoresponder with an email editor that your employees enjoy using that also delivers predictable results.
With it, you’ll find that your teams will be able to quickly generate on-brand emails, consistently building out the perfect message for each step of a customer’s journey.
The contacts who make up your list are different people. That should go without saying.
But, even today, many companies rely on email blasting their full list to get the word out.
Effective email campaigns are based on putting things in front of customers that they actually want.
Email segmentation allows you to leverage customer data in service of better targeting, through which you can differentiate your contact list into groups based on:
- Average spend
- Cart contents
- Past purchases
- Weather conditions
- Website behavior
Companies like Starbucks are sending weather-appropriate discounts on drinks: it’s no accident when their emails entice consumers to warm up on a rainy day or cool off when the temperature spikes.
This is a whole new way to approach customers where they are.
Every company defines their important segments differently. The richer your customer data, the easier it will be to use email segmentation to increase your conversion rate.
Automated, personalized emails go well beyond using a contact’s name in the subject line.
With Klaviyo, for example, you can automate the inclusion of product recommendations in the body of your email based on a contact’s location, past purchases, current weather, and so on.
Some autoresponders leverage machine learning to suggest products that other shoppers with similar tastes have ordered.
The best tools help you nail the easy stuff—like greeting subscribers by name and remembering their birthdays—while helping you convert customer data into revenue.
Tip: the better your email segmentation strategy, the easier it will be to leverage personalization, especially at scale.
As your contact list grows, it’s going to include more diverse customers at different stages of their buying journey.
You are going to want an email autoresponder that gives you the ability to manage this growing list and provides visibility into the ongoing performance of your campaign.
We all know about open rates and click-through rates. Those are important, but make sure you find something that lets you drill down into what matters at the end of the day, like sales per email, ROI per email, and total sales per email sent.
Staying effective in the long term means making adjustments. Campaign management tools help you figure out what’s working and what to change.
Email and Subscriber Limitations
Typically, email autoresponder pricing is based on the number of subscribers you have and the number of emails you send each month.
This should be a pretty straightforward consideration. But if your goal is growth, factor in how many more you’re looking to add to your list over the next month, quarter, or year.
If your email marketing strategy takes off and you need to bump up into a higher pricing tier, will that be a problem for your budget and ROI?
The Different Types of Email Autoresponders
Email autoresponders have been around for a long time. These days, virtually all of your best options are going to come as one component of a larger email marketing service.
That said, you can still find tools that will help you automate email marketing without requiring you to incorporate new services into your business processes.
The questions you need to answer are: Are you looking for basic email autoresponder features that help you automate specific workflows? Or are you looking to automate complex email workflows that dovetail into your larger marketing strategy?
If you answer yes to the first question, a dedicated email automation tool should be able to help you accomplish your goals. If you answered yes to the second question, you are going to want to skip ahead to the bundled products that will better meet your needs.
Dedicated Email Automation Tools
Exemplary products: MailerLite, Mailchimp (Free & Essentials), GetResponse (Basic), Moosend (Free)
Free email autoresponders and lower-tier plans allow you to build out simple workflows. This might be a welcome series, an automated response to a new customer or purchase, or a follow-up with someone who just reached out to customer service.
These dedicated email automation tools are great because they’re so easy to use. Virtually any member of the team can put together workflows that save time each day.
Of course, these options don’t come with as many features to segment your list, personalize emails, or manage a campaign.
Another potential problem is that it’s harder to assess your campaign performance and make adjustments without advanced tracking and reporting.
That said, dedicated email automation tools allow individuals to accomplish far more than they could ever do manually.
If you already have a suite of online marketing tools that are working well and all you need is the email automation, these products can work wonders without a significant outlay.
Automation Bundled with Email Marketing Tools
Exemplary products: Klaviyo, Mailchimp (Standard & Pro), Moosend (Pro & Custom)
To provide a more complete tool for the job, there are a range of autoresponders that offer automation bundled with email marketing tools.
These products make it easy to track customers, analyze behavior, and revise your campaign strategies accordingly.
Tools like Klaviyo, for example, integrate directly with your customer data, giving you powerful segmentation and personalization capabilities with hardly any extra work.
They also let you build complex workflows that let you tailor your automation strategy to your specific needs. Often, they will include a visual builder that makes it much easier to design and manage flows.
With email marketing services, it’s important to recognize that lower-tier plans are going to function more like simple automation tools, even if it’s the same product.
Mailchimp, for instance, lets you create multi-step journeys with their Essentials tier, but you can’t include branching points unless you get their Standard plan. If you want to take advantage of all the segmentation features—which will make your multi-step journey more effective—then you will have to get their Premium plan.
#1 – Mailchimp — Best for Beginners
Mailchimp is a powerful product that hasn’t lost its simple feel, though it has grown considerably since it first hit the market in 2001.
Today, it functions as an integrated marketing platform, taking on way more responsibility than the email automation it became famous for.
Despite its depth, I like Mailchimp as an email autoresponder for beginners because it’s constantly offering user recommendations based on intelligence from billions of email interactions.
Subject Line Helper, for instance, offers data-driven insights about how to increase open and click rates.
There are plenty of other excellent features, including:
- Drag-and-drop email editor
- Segmentation capabilities to target messaging and automate product recommendations
- Send Time Optimization
- Multi-branch customer journeys
- Behavior-based automation
- Lookalike audience finder
- RSS to email
- Transactional Emails with Mailchimp API or SMTP
Mailchimp offers a free forever version that’s limited to 2,000 contacts, but comes with features like a marketing CRM and landing pages that you won’t get with other freemium email autoresponders.
To get the Customer Journey Builder, which lets you construct workflows in a visual editor, you will need one of the paid plans:
- Essentials: starting at $9.99/month for 500 contacts
- Standard: starting at $14.99/month for 500 contacts
- Premium: starting at $299/month for 10,000 contacts
Some of the aforementioned features, like predicted demographics or the lookalike audience finder, are only included with Standard and Premium.
Millions of companies have seen Mailchimp increase their ROI. You can get started with the free version today, knowing that they also have tools to help you grow.
#2 – MailerLite — Best Free Email Autoresponder
MailerLite is used by more than one million companies, startups, and freelancers because it is an intuitive, budget-friendly platform that delivers results.
Its free version lets you send 12 emails per month to 1,000 subscribers, which might be all some people need to get started.
For an email autoresponder that’s easy to use, MailerLite comes packed with simple, yet powerful features that help you optimize your campaign.
I like using A/B split testing to send two variations of an email and see which one performs better.
The clean MailerLite interface gives your teams the control they need to communicate effectively with your subscribers.
Some of its best features include:
- Automate RSS to email
- Time-zone based email delivery
- Auto resend unopened emails with alternative subjects or personal messages
- Segment subscribers based on a varied criteria
- Rich email personalization
- Target specific interest groups by tagging subscribers or inviting them to self-select
- Track email campaign activity with detailed reports
- Click maps to analyze subscriber interaction with your emails
MailerLite also comes with features to customize your website experience, like pop-ups and embedded forms, as well as an amazing drag-and-drop editor to craft striking newsletters.
Better still, it’s very affordable beyond the free version.
- Free: Up to 1,000 subscribers, 12,000 monthly email limit
- $10/month: Up to 1,000 subscribers, unlimited emails
- $15/month: Up to 2,500 subscribers, unlimited emails
- $30/month: Up to 5,000 subscribers, unlimited emails
- $50/month: Up to 10,000 subscribers, unlimited emails
As a free email autoresponder, MailerLite is hard to beat for any small business. You get a free website with five landing pages, a drag-and-drop visual email editor, and advanced segmentation features.
It’s almost unreasonably generous.
For organizations that need the paid plans, the price is still very competitive and the premium features will pay for themselves many times over.
#3 – Klaviyo — Best for Ecommerce
Klaviyo ties into a CRM or ecommerce platform and makes it easy to deliver ultra-personalized content via email.
No more unfocused email blasts to the public. Instead, Klaviyo allows users to build out unique customer journeys for long-time fans and first-time window shoppers.
Because it has native integration with customer data sources, you can get pretty fine-grained with the segmentation.
And, with the simple user interface, anyone on your team can start maximizing the relevant content every visitor sees.
Klaviyo iworks across many channels, allowing you to expand your subscriber base via Facebook, for example.
Nurture individual leads from a 10,000-foot view by using the features in Klaviyo’s extensive toolkit:
- Prebuilt autoresponders
- Email personalization for first-time buyers, regulars, VIPs, and more
- A/B split testing
- Drag-and-drop, WYSIWYG email editor
- Responsive templates optimized for web and mobile
- Shoppable product recommendations in email
- Rich selection of behavior-based triggers
- Comprehensive segmentation options
The free plan for Klaviyo maxes out at 250 contacts and 500 emails, after which you will be asked to upgrade. Paid plans start at $20/month for up to 500 contacts and unlimited email sends, climbing higher depending on the size of your contact list.
#4 – GetResponse — Best for Sales Teams
GetResponse has provided one of the simplest, most effective email autoresponders for more than 20 years. Over that time, they’ve added features and evolved the UI to keep it one of the most useful products on the market.
Their experience shows. They know what works, why, and how to help you get set up.
For one, GetResponse offers hundreds of professionally designed templates to communicate with customers at every step of their journey.
The built-in sales features are also really nice, and really set GetResponse apart from the other easy-to-use autoresponders. Even their Basic plan comes with a sales funnel, unlimited lead funnels, and unlimited landing pages.
With other email autoresponders, you’re going to have to integrate your pipeline. With GetResponse, you can keep daily operations under one roof.
Along with a flexible email autoresponder, GetResponse has a number of other useful features to help you connect with customers:
- Unlimited email sends
- Transactional and time-sensitive emails
- Drag-and-drop email editor with mobile and inbox preview
- Add content blocks, videos, buttons, and social media icons to emails
- A/B testing
- List and calendar views for email scheduling
- RSS-email templates
GetResponse doesn’t have a free forever plan, though they do offer a free trial. Pricing starts at $15/month for 1,000 contacts with their Basic plan, which comes with all the features listed above.
And much more. Honestly, the Basic plan is far from basic.
At the Plus and Professional pricing tiers, you have more features like webinars, as well as greater degrees of customization.
Their top tier plan, Max, comes with a dedicated IP address, SSO, and other features designed to secure and streamline enterprise email marketing and sales.
#5 – Moosend — Best for Simple Marketing Automation
Moosend is an affordable email automation tool with an almost nonexistent learning curve. Yet for how easy it is to get started, Moosend users wind up automating their email marketing in really impactful ways.
It’s sad to think, but some companies spend thousands of dollars a month on ultra-powerful marketing automation software that they don’t really need. Plus, that stuff can be really hard to use.
With Moosend, you get a lot of freedom to customize your email marketing automation. There’s a rich set of triggers and actions all managed in a drag-and-drop interface. Workflows can be shared among team members, who can leave notes.
The Moosend interface itself is great at educating users how to automate and fine-tune customer journeys. With templates, preset workflows, and rich tracking capabilities, Moosend makes it simple to find what works for your unique subscriber base.
Leverage the AI to hyper-personalize your emails based on similar consumer preferences and other behavioral analytics.
They’ve recently added “And/Or” expressions to custom fields. This allows for a lot more customization in terms of defining triggers. Custom fields don’t have to be just one thing any more!
Without writing a single line of code, you can gain quick mastery of a deep set of email automation features that include:
- Rich tracking, reporting, and analytics
- Click heatmaps
- Five types of subscription forms
- Direct SMTP service
- Cart abandonment
- Embed product blocks in newsletters for shoppable emails
- Mobile responsiveness
- GDPR compliance
- Native integrations with WooCommerce, Salesforce, WordPress and dozens more top products
Moosend has a free forever plan, which is capped at 1,000 subscribers, and comes with many of the best features. For additional subscribers, you’ll need a Pro plan, which starts at $8/month.
The exact price will depend on the number of subscribers you need to accommodate. For example, 25,000 subscribers is $100/month. The Pro plan maxes out at 200,000 subscribers ($608/month), with custom plans available to reach an audience of any size.
Compared to other, more expensive options, Moosend tends to be much easier to use even with many of the same essential features.
Many people begin the search for an email autoresponder only to discover that what they actually need is an email marketing platform.
The closest option on this list to a dedicated email autoresponder is MailerLite, which still comes with way more than simple email automation capabilities. It’s a really good option (and price) for companies that already have great CRM software and really just need the email autoresponder capabilities.
GetResponse works well for sales teams because you’ve got conversion funnels and the ability to host webinars is baked in.
Klaviyo is probably the most comprehensive tool on this list, and it works incredibly well at automating the processes necessary to run a successful email ecommerce campaign.
I like all of these email autoresponders because they help you benefit from the unavoidable trial-and-error associated with email marketing.
No campaign is ever going to be perfect, but the right tools will help you continually evolve your strategy to meet your customers where they are.
Do you need business funding for bad credit? You may feel that – or you may have heard – that you can’t get business funding for bad credit.
The best, easiest, and fastest way to do so is to build business credit. Because then your bad credit won’t matter quite so much.
Any Small Business Can Get Business Funding for Bad Credit
Company credit is credit in a small business’s name. It doesn’t connect to a business owner’s personal credit, not even if the owner is a sole proprietor and the sole employee of the small business.
Consequently, an entrepreneur’s business and consumer credit scores can be quite different.
The Advantages of Business Funding for Bad Credit
Also, with two distinct credit scores, an entrepreneur can get two separate cards from the same merchant. This effectively doubles purchasing power.
Another advantage is that even startup businesses can do this. Going to a bank for a business loan can be a formula for disappointment. But building business credit, when done the right way, is a plan for success
Consumer credit scores depend on payments but also various other components like credit use percentages.
But for business credit, the scores really merely depend on if a small business pays its bills on a timely basis.
Establishing company credit is a process. It does not occur automatically. A company must actively work to build business credit.
Having said that, it can be done readily and quickly, and it is much swifter than developing personal credit scores.
Merchants are a big part of this process.
Accomplishing the steps out of order results in repetitive denials. No one can start at the top with business credit. For example, you can’t start with retail or cash credit from your bank. If you do, you’ll get a rejection 100% of the time.
A small business must be fundable to loan providers and vendors.
Therefore, a business needs a professional-looking website and email address. And it needs to have website hosting bought from a vendor like GoDaddy.
In addition, business phone numbers need to have a listing on 411. You can do that here: http://www.listyourself.net.
In addition, the company phone number should be toll-free (800 exchange or the like).
A small business also needs a bank account devoted only to it, and it has to have all of the licenses necessary for running.
These licenses all have to be in the identical, correct name of the small business. And they must have the same business address and telephone numbers.
So note, that this means not just state licenses, but possibly also city licenses.
Learn more here and get started with building business credit with your company’s EIN and not your SSN.
Working with the Internal Revenue Service
Visit the Internal Revenue Service web site and get an EIN for the company. They’re free. Pick a business entity such as corporation, LLC, etc.
A business may get started as a sole proprietor. But they absolutely need to switch to a sort of corporation or an LLC.
This is to lessen risk. And it will maximize tax benefits.
A business entity matters when it involves tax obligations and liability in case of a lawsuit. A sole proprietorship means the owner is it when it comes to liability and tax obligations. Nobody else is responsible.
The best thing to do is to incorporate. You should only look at a DBA as an interim step on the way to incorporation.
Kicking Off the Business Credit Reporting Process
Begin at the D&B web site and get a cost-free D-U-N-S number. A D-U-N-S number is how D&B gets a company in their system, to produce a PAYDEX score. If there is no D-U-N-S number, then there is no record and no PAYDEX score.
Once in D&B’s system, search Equifax and Experian’s websites for the company. You can do this at www.creditsuite.com/reports. If there is a record with them, check it for accuracy and completeness. If there are no records with them, go to the next step in the process.
By doing this, Experian and Equifax have activity to report on.
Starter Vendor Credit
First you ought to establish tradelines that report. Then you’ll have an established credit profile, and you’ll get a business credit score.
And with an established business credit profile and score you can begin to get credit for numerous purposes, and from all sorts of places.
These sorts of accounts often tend to be for things bought all the time, like marketing materials, shipping boxes, outdoor work wear, ink and toner, and office furniture.
But first off, what is trade credit? These trade lines are credit issuers who give you starter credit when you have none now. Terms are in most cases Net 30, rather than revolving.
Therefore, if you get approval for $1,000 in vendor credit and use all of it, you need to pay that money back in a set term, such as within 30 days on a Net 30 account.
Net 30 accounts must be paid in full within 30 days. 60 accounts must be paid fully within 60 days. Unlike revolving accounts, you have a set time when you have to pay back what you borrowed or the credit you made use of.
To start your business credit profile the proper way, you ought to get approval for vendor accounts that report to the business credit reporting bureaus. As soon as that’s done, you can then make use of the credit.
Then pay back what you used, and the account is on report to Dun & Bradstreet, Experian, or Equifax.
Vendor Credit – It Makes Sense
Not every vendor can help in the same way true starter credit can. These are merchants that grant approval with minimal effort. You also want them to be reporting to one or more of the big three CRAs: Dun & Bradstreet, Equifax, and Experian.
As you get starter credit, you can also start to get credit from retailers. This is to continue to validate you are trustworthy and pay promptly. Here are some stellar choices from us: https://www.creditsuite.com/blog/5-vendor-accounts-that-build-your-business-credit/
Accounts That Do Not Report
Non-reporting trade accounts can also be helpful. While you do want trade accounts to report to at the very least one of the CRAs, a trade account which does not report can also be of some value.
You can always ask non-reporting accounts for trade references. Additionally, credit accounts of any sort can help you to better even out business expenditures, thereby making financial planning less complicated.
Store credit comes from a variety of retail service providers.
You must use your SSN and date of birth on these applications for verification purposes. For credit checks and guarantees, use the business’s EIN on these credit applications.
Fleet credit is from companies where you can purchase fuel, and fix and take care of vehicles. You must use your Social Security Number and date of birth on these applications for verification purposes. For credit checks and guarantees, make certain to apply using the company’s EIN.
Learn more here and get started with building business credit with your company’s EIN and not your SSN.
More Universal Cash Credit
These are companies like Visa and MasterCard. You must use your Social Security Number and date of birth on these applications for verification purposes. For credit checks and guarantees, use your EIN instead.
These are usually MasterCard credit cards. With more credit, these are within reach.
Monitor Your Business Credit to Help Yourself Get Business Funding for Bad Credit
Know what is happening with your credit. Make sure it is being reported and fix any inaccuracies as soon as possible. Get in the habit of checking credit reports. Dig into the details, not just the scores.
We can help you monitor business credit at Experian and D&B for 90% less than it would cost you at the CRAs. See: www.creditsuite.com/monitoring.
At Equifax, you can monitor your account at: www.equifax.com/business/business-credit-monitor-small-business.
Update Your Records to Make it Easier to Get Business Funding for Bad Credit
Update the data if there are errors or the details is incomplete. At D&B, you can do this at: https://iupdate.dnb.com/iUpdate/viewiUpdateHome.htm. For Experian, go here: www.experian.com/small-business/business-credit-information.jsp. So, for Equifax, go here: www.equifax.com/business/small-business.
Learn more here and get started with building business credit with your company’s EIN and not your SSN.
Fix Your Business Credit to Increase Your Chances for Getting Business Funding for Bad Credit
So, what’s all this monitoring for? It’s to challenge any mistakes in your records. Errors in your credit report(s) can be fixed. But the CRAs typically want you to dispute in a particular way.
Get your small business’s PAYDEX report at: www.dnb.com/about-us/our-data.html. Get your company’s Experian report at: www.businesscreditfacts.com/pdp.aspx?pg=SearchForm. And get your Equifax business credit report at: www.equifax.com/business/credit-information.
Dispute Any Errors to Improve Your Chances to Get Business Funding for Bad Credit
Disputing credit report mistakes generally means you mail a paper letter with copies of any proofs of payment with it. These are documents like receipts and cancelled checks. Never mail the originals. Always send copies and retain the originals.
Fixing credit report inaccuracies also means you precisely detail any charges you contest. Make your dispute letter as crystal clear as possible. Be specific about the problems with your report. Use certified mail to have proof that you mailed in your dispute.
Dispute your or your business’s Equifax report by following the instructions here: www.equifax.com/small-business-faqs/#Dispute-FAQs.
You can dispute inaccuracies on your or your small business’s Experian report by following the instructions here: www.experian.com/small-business/business-credit-information.jsp.
And D&B’s PAYDEX Customer Service telephone number is here: www.dandb.com/glossary/paydex.
A Word about Building Business Credit and How to Get Business Funding for Bad Credit
Always use credit smartly! Don’t borrow beyond what you can pay off. Track balances and deadlines for payments. Paying promptly and completely does more to boost business credit scores than almost anything else.
Establishing business credit pays. Excellent business credit scores help a small business get loans. Your loan provider knows the business can pay its debts. They recognize the company is for real.
The company’s EIN connects to high scores and lenders won’t feel the need to ask for a personal guarantee.
It is the simplest way to get business funding for bad credit.
Getting Business Funding for Bad Credit: Takeaways
Business credit is an asset which can help your small business for many years to come. It is the most surefire way to get business funding for bad credit. And, while you’re at it and improving your business credit, you may want to work on improving your personal credit. It is a similar process in the sense that you need to pay your bills on time, correct any errors, and add any missing information.
Because one way around trying to get business funding for bad credit is to stop having bad credit in the first place.
Learn more here and get started toward growing company credit.
The post Is it Possible to Get Business Funding for Bad Credit? appeared first on Credit Suite.
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