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Womens History Month

March 16, 2021

In honor of March being Women’s History Month, we wanted to take a look back at an article TapOnIt’s Founder & CEO, Katie Castillo-Wilson, wrote last year about one of the many hardships female startup founders face: fundraising.

Katie Castillo-Wilson
Written on September 29, 2020

As the founder and CEO of TapOnIt, I’ve been pitching investors in fundraising efforts over the past few months. It’s been going very well and I’ve been fortunate to secure a group of investors who truly believe in me, my team, my tech and our brand. 

…Perhaps fortunate isn’t the right word. I’ve worked my ass off to build a business, and it hasn’t been without its hardships. Including dealing with sexism in the landscape of the business world. But it’s come a long way, thanks to the strength of women leaders and to the tireless work of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. 

As a female founder of a small business—or any size business—here is what you’re up against:

  • Often, you’re pitching to a room full of men. 
  • In the past few years, female-founded companies have won only 2-3% of venture funding.
  • As recently as 1988, women entrepreneurs needed a male relative to cosign loans.
  • A study published in Harvard Business Review found venture capitalists (VCs) tended to ask men and women different types of questions. Men were asked about growth potential; women were asked about mitigating losses. 

When I was first getting TapOnIt off the ground, we applied for every type of traditional loan there was, including a loan from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). Just getting through the application was a lot of work. And even though we had bad-ass technology, we employ people and we have data (which is said to be worth more than oil,) we couldn’t get a traditional loan because the business didn’t have any assets. Eventually we got on the phone with a man who told us: “Look, if you were a bakery selling cupcakes, you’d be fine. But we don’t understand the data side of (your business).”

My heart sank. I would have felt much more supported if he had used selling computers or selling phones—even selling chickens— to make his point. He likely didn’t intend to sound condescending, but it was one of my first true glimpses at gender disparity in business. 

It certainly wasn’t the last. 

There was one time I was in New York to garner interest in preparation for fundraising. I was out talking to people, explaining our technology. I was speaking with a man who was on his own, but working for a larger firm. We talked for a while about what TapOnIt does, and introduced myself and my background. 

He said, “Let me get this right. You’re a female founder of a tech company, you’re hispanic, you’re a single mom and you’re building this in Iowa? Man, if you were gay, you’d have it all.” 

Now, he was joking. But at the same time, he called out every difference and challenge that I’m up against. Would he have done that if I was a man? How often do men have meetings when they are asking—in a pitch—about their family? And how do/should I respond? 

In my own experience, pitching investors now looks a little bit different than it did when I first started fundraising five years ago. I’ve changed the way I dressed, the tone of my voice and I weigh my responses carefully.

Most importantly, I make sure I know who is in that room with me. Five years ago there was never another woman in the room. Ever. Over the past two years, that has definitely changed, but I’m not sure if that’s because women have fought their way to a seat at the table, or because I’m seeking out VCs that have female investors. I now look for VCs that prioritize investing in female-founded companies. This is how I support a cause that is important to me—I don’t want to agree to terms with VCs whose values don’t align with mine.

Strides in the right direction have been made. More than 11.6 million firms are owned by women, employing more than 9 million people and generating about $1.7 trillion in sales as of 2017. But there is still so much work to be done. But if there’s one thing 2020 has taught us, it’s that we can be nimble and we can pivot. We can also put up a united front. 

Women need to support each other and build each other up. Find your tribe and stand by each other. When one of us shines, all of us shine. I can’t wait until the day I get a seat at the table and can invest in the companies of my fellow women.

If You Basically Live At Your Desk, You Need These Things

March 2, 2021

Find out what the TapOnIt team can’t work without!

Ashley – All The Beverages!
My coworkers always poke fun at me for the number of cups sitting on my desk because I’m always drinking several beverages! I usually have a water bottle, coffee (sometimes two) or tea, and a smoothie! My favorite mug is the Ember Mug that allows me to regulate the temperature of my drink from an app! This water bottle is currently on my desk & it even has a matching wine tumbler for after office hours!

Shopify Water bottle wine tumbler

Natalie – Office dog!
I love coming to work every day to see Ollie the Office Dog!

Being greeted each morning by the cutest little Cockapoo always starts my day off right! The lap cuddles throughout the day are an added bonus!

Luis – I gotta have my favorite music!
It depends on my mood, but I usually listen to this band. The reason I listen to is because it reminds me of really good times and keeps me focused. 

Bill – Multiple monitors!
I’m a developer so I stare at code all day, everyday. Having two monitors set up helps me keep everything organized, and it gives me the ability to view more at once. It’s way better than trying to read and edit code on one tiny screen!

Keely – Windows and plants to bring a little “nature” to my workspace!
I love having windows in my office to bring in some natural light throughout the day to brighten things up. All of the plants in my office are fake, which is great because they always look perfect and don’t require any work!

Shane – Lots of photos!
I love to surround myself with pictures that inspire me each day! They remind me why I need to try to make each day better than the day before.

office must have items

Stacy – Comfy chair!
A good office chair for more support because we all know sitting upright for eight hours a day is not very comfortable.

Emily – I don’t know what I’d do without my blue light blocking glasses! 
As a graphic designer, I look at multiple monitors all day long so my eyes can get strained after a couple of hours! Blue light glasses are seriously a lifesaver (or eye saver) and I wear mine every day. No more headaches or tired eyes! Plus, they can be pretty cute 🙂 I work from home so something else I can’t work without is podcasts! It can almost feel like I’m listening to friends or co-workers talk, so it’s a little less lonely. My all-time favorites are My Favorite Murder and Girls Gotta Eat (beware of swear words!)

blue light blocking glasses

Wendy – I love my electric blanket!
I am someone who is always cold so even if everyone else in the office is nice and warm, I can warm myself up without having to touch the thermostat! Plus I can just wear it on my lap under my desk so no one can see it.

Things We Learned During Quarantine

February 16, 2021

When anyone says quarantine, COVID-19 or pandemic – it’s usually not in a positive way. But, here at TapOnIt we decided to look at it with the glass-half-full approach (especially if the glass is filled with a tasty cocktail). Our team took some time to reflect on the positive sides of quarantine, and what it taught us, or that we took time to learn while we spent a little extra time at home.

Katie, our head honcho aka CEO, took the opportunity to sharpen not only her knives but her cooking skills. As someone who was intimidated by anything she couldn’t throw into the Instapot, this was a big step! Using HelloFresh, a meal kit she is sent weekly, she was able to learn, and perfect some new dishes for her and her kids – she even got so fancy she strayed from the directions and made her own versions!

Sara, our Co-Founder and President, decided she wasn’t going to let gyms and fitness centers being closed keep her away from her workout routine. The fitness community really took this challenge head-on and made the most of it with their virtual workouts and online classes available for everything from yoga, pilates, weight lifting and Zumba. Sara’s favorite way to work out at home now is Sarah Beth Yoga videos, and it’s a great thing to build into her fitness routine for busy days when she can’t get to the gym even when the pandemic is over. Sara also uses her FitBit to make sure she is staying active even though she is stuck at home!

Brittney, our Director of Client Strategy, took time to learn to make the perfect cup of coffee, and for her, that meant grinding her own beans. Brittney says she will never be able to go back now, she LOVES her fresh ground coffee, and this habit is sticking with her long after this!

Shelley, our Growth Marketing Manager, picked up a new hobby and turned it into a side-hustle! Shelley loves candles, you could almost say she is obsessed – and also loves antiques. So what better way to put them both together than creating her own candles – in antiques! You can check out her new website at vintagesparkcandleco.com to see her hobby turned business.

Ashley, our Marketing & Web Design Specialist, became a baking queen – she whipped up all the recipes she could find on Pinterest – and then some! (Banana Bread included, because, duh – who didn’t make banana bread during quarantine?) You can become a baking queen just like Ashley – have you entered our #GetCookin Giveaway? Check out Ashley posing in her newly remodeled kitchen (another quarantine project) with all the goods!

Emily, our Graphic Designer & Marketing Specialist, grew a serious green thumb, pun intended. Plants have taken over her apartment, and she’s not mad about it (her boyfriend might be though). While a few plants didn’t make it through the quarantine, most have thanks to the helpful tips and tricks she found along the way. PLANTERINA on YouTube is her go-to if she runs into any plant problems. She recommends starting with a Pothos plant like this one if you’re a beginner. They’re easy to take care of, and grow quickly which is very encouraging as a newbie plant parent! Bonus point if you stick them in a cute pot.

5 Recipes and Hacks to Make your Life Easier

February 2, 2021

Whether you’re a parent juggling virtual learning and your job, or you’re just busy with the everyday hustle and bustle, meals shouldn’t have to be over-complicated. Most people want a healthy, tasty, quick meal, and bonus points for easy cleanup. So, we’ve come up with five recipes and hacks to make your life a whole lot easier. You can thank us after dinner 🙂

  1. Sheet Pan Recipes

Sheet pan recipes are one of the easiest ways to make a quick and delicious meal. The best part? All of it is made on ONE pan. These meals require very little effort and even less cleanup! Here are a couple that we love:

Sheet Pan Chicken Fajitas from Midwest Foodie  – Total Cook Time: 28 minutes

Chicken Fajitas

Sheet Pan Breakfast Egg Sandwich from Organic Valley – Total Cook Time: 20 Minutes

Sheet Pan Breakfast Egg Sandwich

 

  1. Crockpot Recipes

Slow cooker recipes are popular for a very good reason: you can set it and leave it, which is great for any busy person! Pro tip: use a crockpot liner so you don’t even need to wash the pot when you’re done. The meal possibilities are endless, you can make something for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Here are a few that taste amazing:

Slow Cooker Honey Garlic Chicken and Veggies from Damn Delicious –  Prep Time: 10 Minutes | Cook Time – 8 Hours

Slow Cooker Honey garlic Chicken With Veggies

Creamy Italian Tortellini Soup from Whole Lotta Yum – Prep Time: 10 Minutes | Cook Time: 5 hours

Creamy Italian Tortellini Soup

Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal from Eating Bird Food – Prep Time: 10 Minutes | Cook Time: 6 hours

Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal

 

  1. Meal Kits

Meal kits have become all the rage in the last few years, with new brands popping up faster than you binged Bridgerton on Netflix! These are a great option for any busy person because everything you need is delivered right to your door. The recipes are delicious, wallet-friendly, and simple to make. Our favorite right now is HelloFresh because their meals are super fresh and affordable. Plus, you can get $90 off a total of 4 boxes AND Free Shipping on your first box when you use promo code TAP90

Just look at how good these meals look 👀

Bulgogi Pork Tenderloin – Prep Time: 10 Minutes | Cook Time: 30 Minutes

Bulgogi Pork Tenderloin

Creamy Chive Salmon – Total Time: 35 Minutes

Creamy Chive Salmon

 

  1. Meal Prep

This one is obvious, but it can save you a ton of time. Combining things we’ve already mentioned, you can meal prep and be ready for the whole week in just a few hours! Pick a few recipes, make a list, head to the store (or order your meal kits) and prep everything all at once. One time cooking and cleanup, and then you won’t have to even think about it during your busy week. Just grab some food storage containers and stick them in the fridge. 

Food Storage Containers

 

  1. Ultimate Hack – Order From Your Favorite Local Restaurant 

Sometimes we just need a break, and that’s totally fine. No prepping, no cooking, no cleanup. Just tasty food when you’re hungry. Plus, you get to support a local business that could really use it right now. Start the week by picking out a meal or two that you plan on ordering. That way you can plan your other meals accordingly, and have something to look forward to during the week! Even bigger hack, get a deal on your local favorites by using your TapOnIt offers!

Order From Your Favorite Local Restaurant

Will you be our Galentine?

January 26, 2021

Sorry boys, but as Martina McBride so lovingly put it, “This one’s for the girls”

So, what exactly is Galentine’s Day? You’re not alone if you aren’t sure when it is or where the idea came from; our office had to use our good friend Google to identify the date and where it originated.

Galentine’s Day originated from the show ‘Parks and Recreation’ – during an episode where the main character Leslie Knope declared that February 13th be known as Galentine’s Day over brunch with her friends by saying “Every February 13, my ladyfriends and I leave our husbands and our boyfriends at home, and we just come and kick it, breakfast-style. Ladies celebrating ladies. It’s like Lilith Fair, minus the angst. Plus frittatas.”

As a female-founded company, we couldn’t be more about girl power, so whether you and your Galentines will be celebrating over brunch, cocktails or a zoom call, we cheers to you, and all of your gal pals!

Galentines Day Gifts

Want to swap gifts with your besties? Use code LOVE20 to score 20% off your purchase from Shop TapOnIt’s Galentine’s collection – Shop Now!

How to Crush 2021 Like a ‘Boss’

Advice from a startup Co-Founder and President.

January 12, 2021

I know 2020 was an insane year for everyone, so I’m sure we can all agree that we’re ready to move on and move up in 2021. If you don’t know me, hi, I’m Sara! I’m the Co-Founder and President of TapOnIt, a tech startup based in Iowa. I wear a lot of hats at our company, so setting goals, staying organized, and getting sh*t done is kinda my forte 🙂 I’ve put together a list of things I do to help me take on the year like a boss!

Set realistic goals. Everyone says it, but it’s so true. If you start the year by saying “I want to run 5 miles every single day”, but you never go on runs to begin with, you’ll crash and burn before you can really get started. Begin with small goals, and build up. No one says you have to wait until the next new year to make more goals! 

Hold yourself accountable. The key to keeping myself on track to reach my goals is to write them down and track my progress throughout the year. I recommend keeping a journal or notebook in your purse or on your desk so you can easily jot down your efforts and progress on a daily basis. Here’s the one I’ll be using this year: Daily Intentional Life Journal. It may feel tedious at first, but it’ll quickly become a habit. 

Celebrate your wins. Something else that has made a big difference in reaching my goals- and staying optimistic during hard times- is celebrating my little victories. I’ve found that rewarding myself for smaller wins helps motivate me to work towards bigger goals. Whether it’s buying myself a new pair of shoes, going out for drinks with a friend, or grabbing a latte from my favorite local spot, acknowledging my successes keeps me energized throughout the year.

Put yourself first. I think a lot of people have a habit of saying “yes” too much (myself included). “Yes, I’ll help you move”, “Yes, I’ll pick up an extra shift”, “Yes, I’ll host the dinner party”. Before you know it, you’re booked solid for the next month with no time set aside for yourself. It’s easy to get wrapped up with friends, family, co-workers and everything going on in the world right now. If you give yourself more attention, you’ll get a lot further without feeling overwhelmed. I like to schedule time just for me to avoid burning myself out. It might be a couple yoga classes a week, a few hours away from my phone, or a walk with my dog, Paisley. Little things add up, and can really help your mental health.

Find a routine. Having something steady in your busy life can help keep you a little more balanced. Something I started last year that I think makes a huge difference in my weekly success is a nighttime ritual. I light my favorite candle, put on some Taylor Swift (certified Swiftie, here!), and do my skincare routine. Lately, I’ve been loving face masks (I’m not talkin’ COVID face masks). Adding this extra step once or twice a week has been a treat I really look forward to.

Create a better work/life balance. Whether you’re back in the office, or you’re still working from home, you need to find balance between work and play. My job requires a lot of TLC. I’m a manager, president, and co-founder at a startup company that is always evolving. No two weeks are the same, which is why I’ve set some ground rules for myself. Something I like to do is start my day one hour earlier. That way I can make my coffee, take care of personal tasks, and prepare for my day before the phone starts ringing and I’m pulled into meetings. I also set a boundary of when I step away from the computer at the end of the day so that I’m not answering “just one more email” ten times. During the weekend I give myself certain windows of time to check work emails, and then outside of that, I let myself relax.

As we have learned this past year more than ever, we never know what life is going to throw at us. But, being prepared and having goals will help keep you moving in the direction you want to go. So celebrate your little victories, stay organized, spend time on yourself, and make 2021 your year.

Sara

Want to be friends? Follow me on Instagram and LinkedIn

2020: A year for growth

by Katie Castillo-Wilson

January 8, 2021

tech growth text marketing

We all know 2020 was a shitshow. It was a year of unexpected challenges and struggles, and a year of testing the limits of your wellbeing and your career. I’m sure I speak for more than myself when I say that I’m happy to put 2020 behind me.

That being said, it would be a shame to suffer through the past year without learning anything. Amidst the awful, there was awesome.

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The two tribes every working woman needs

by Katie Castillo-Wilson

December 17, 2020

tribes every working woman needs

No matter who you are, most of us need to surround ourselves with our tribe of people. You know the ones: colleagues, loved ones, old friends. The people who really, truly “get” us. The people who build you up, challenge you, let you cry, then support you moving forward.

I would argue that all women need a tribe. I would also argue that, especially for female business leaders, a solid personal and professional tribe is needed. Lastly, I would argue that for most of my life I took my female friendships for granted (although I may not have known it at the time). Now though, I hold on to them so tightly.

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6 Ways To Support Small and Shop Local Online

December 16, 2020

We’ve heard it time and time again – things look a little different this year. Graduation, birthdays, work, school, and now the holidays. As we continue to adjust to the “new normal” we might find ourselves questioning most everything we do.  Throughout this giant storm we call “2020,” there have been a few tiny rainbows that have opened our eyes to work towards a better future. 

Hashtags such as #shopsmall #supportlocal #smallbusiness have been trending as of late. Our nation relies on small businesses and supporting them is critical to the well-being of entrepreneurs, communities, and the economy. The dire importance of supporting our community stores, restaurants, salons, etc., is top of mind. We’ve all seen the headlines, read the statistics, and watched as each day another small local business announces that they will be closing their doors. 

Small businesses typically don’t have the online presence as big-name companies do, nor do they have large budgets for marketing and advertising. This could mean there are many local shops in your community that you’ve never even heard of.  So, what can you do?  How do you go about giving these small businesses your support from the comfort and safety of your own home?

Here are 6 ways you can support local businesses during a pandemic holiday season

1. Try New Businesses

You may already have your go-to spots, but trying somewhere new might help you discover a new favorite, plus it helps spread the wealth! A simple way to find new businesses around you is, dun, dun, dun…Google! Type in what you’re looking for and add “ in my area” after (ex. boutiques in my area). It might seem like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised by what you can find. Another great resource is your city’s visitor website or the Chamber of Commerce.  These sites are packed full of great information on where to shop, eat, drink, and explore. Of course we can’t forget TapOnItAt TapOnIt we pride ourselves on giving people new places to explore in their community every week – no app needed!

Once you’ve discovered new places to support, it’s time to shop!  If the business offers online shopping on their website it’s as easy as “place in cart”, but what if they don’t?

2. Shop on Social Media

Try visiting a businesses’ Facebook or Instagram page to shop! Facebook Shops are located right on a business’ Facebook page or Instagram profile. From there, you can browse their items, save products you’re interested in, and place an order!

3. Call or Message Them

Small businesses want need your business!  They are likely to go above and beyond to secure your purchase. Give them a call or send them a message if you happen across an item you’d like to purchase. Ask them if you’re able to pay by credit card over the phone, or if they accept Venmo, PayPal, or CashApp. Then see if they offer delivery or curbside pick up.

4. Get Gift Cards

Gift cards make great… gifts!  And this year they truly are the gift that keeps on giving. Buying gift cards gives small businesses a cash infusion now to help make it through hard times. If gift cards aren’t available to purchase online, call them to ask if they could mail them to you. 

 *Do you know of or own a business that does not yet offer eGift Cards?  Check out TapOnIt’s easy and affordable eGift Card Platform!

5. Support Locally Owned Restaurants and Bars

If you’re able, try to get one or more of your weekly meals from a local restaurant, bonus points if it’s not a chain. Try ordering directly through the business instead of using third parties (like Ubereats, Grubhub, or Doordash), so that all of the money from your order goes directly to the business. Plus, who said eating at home had to be boring? A lot of bars and restaurants have gotten creative, and are offering take-home drink kits, food packages, growlers of your favorite beers, you name it (and if they don’t offer it, they would probably try it)!

6. If you do shop Amazon…

Look at the seller of the product you’re buying, and consider buying it directly from their website instead. Shoppers can also shop local via the Support Small page, which highlights small businesses, and allows users to search for products they sell.

BONUS. Free ways to help

1. Leave Online Reviews

Online reviews are a great way to spread the word about your favorite small businesses. Leave reviews on Facebook, Google, Yelp, or any site you come across. The more positive reviews that a business has, the more likely people are to discover them! 5-star reviews are a great way to show your appreciation to small businesses for providing such a great service. 

2. Support them on Social Media

Follows, comments, likes, and shares help businesses get more exposure on social media. The algorithms on social media sites control the visibility on posts and pages, so more interactions = more eyes seeing it. When you’re scrolling, be sure to engage with posts from your favorite businesses to help the ‘bot’ behind social media tell more people about that profile. 

3. Spread the word

Word-of-mouth is the bread and butter of many small businesses. It is one of the most effective marketing strategies out there because people are more likely to trust the opinion of someone that they know rather than a stranger. Tell your friends and family about your favorite small stores and restaurants. Better yet, post about them on social media to give them an even bigger shout out and make sure to share your TapOnIt offers via Facebook, Messenger, Twitter and text! 

4. Instagram (again!)

Instagram has a new “Support Small Business” sticker for Instagram Stories that people can use to easily show their love for businesses. They can mention businesses directly in the sticker to give their followers a preview of the account. When people use the sticker, their story will be added to a shared story, so more people can see it. The Support Small Business sticker can help businesses reach new customers, and stay connected to the people they serve.

If you’re in a position to support a small business, please do what you can to help the people who are the backbone of our economy. We wish small business owners and employees the best during these difficult times. If you have any other ways to support small businesses, leave a comment below.

Pandemic living: The evolution of internal culture

by Katie Castillo-Wilson

December 8, 2020

pandemic living tech industry

After nine months of remote work, it’s hard to believe there was ever a time we took our company culture for granted. Happy hours, once a run-of-the-mill outing, now seem so special. Not just because of a refreshing beverage, but because of the quality time spent with your colleagues.

There’s no denying that remote work has changed the nature of our work relationships and, in some cases, our overall internal culture. This is a problem for a number of reasons.

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Here's how the pandemic threatens women's progress in the workplace

by Katie Castillo-Wilson

October 30, 2020

pandemic affects women in workplace

I’m a single mom and the CEO of a tech company.

My kids are 16 and 18. They are going to high school on a hybrid schedule. Thankfully, they are capable of getting themselves up in the morning, to and from school, and they don’t dare ask me for help on their homework because they know I don’t have a clue. I look at moms of young kids who are juggling homeschooling, either full time or on a hybrid schedule, and their jobs—on top of everything else they have to do. These women are amazing and I don’t know how they are keeping it together.

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Three ways to build a successful loyalty program

by Katie Castillo-Wilson

October 13, 2020

successful loyalty program

Loyalty. It’s important to any long-lasting relationship.

When it comes to loyalty, especially when you’re talking about consumers and businesses, know that you’re aiming to create more than a loyal customer—you’re looking to develop a complete brand enthusiast. I’m talking about someone who wouldn’t dare cheat on you with another brand. Someone who wouldn’t dream of shopping with a competitor. Someone who says your name when asked about where to access a product or service.

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Fundraising 101: My Experience As A Female Founder

by Katie Castillo-Wilson

September 29, 2020

female founded tech company

As the founder and CEO of TapOnIt, I’ve been pitching investors in fundraising efforts over the past few months. It’s been going very well and I’ve been fortunate to secure a group of investors who truly believe in me, my team, my tech and our brand.

Perhaps fortunate isn’t the right word. I’ve worked my ass off to build a business, and it hasn’t been without its hardships. Including dealing with sexism in the landscape of the business world. But it’s come a long way, thanks to the strength of women leaders and to the tireless work of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

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Three ways to nurture a healthy internal culture

by Katie Castillo-Wilson

September 9, 2020

healthy internal company culture

Right now, we’re in hiring mode at TapOnIt. It got me thinking: you’d be hard-pressed to find something that matters more to me than my employees.

This consideration stems from my previous career, when I struggled to maintain balance as a single mom working full-time. When my kids were sick, I had to stay home with them. When they needed to be picked up or dropped off for school or an appointment, I had to make sure they got where they needed to go. Oftentimes, that was hard in my role at a large newspaper.

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Set your business up for success this holiday season

by Katie Castillo-Wilson

August 11, 2020

For the past month, as I’ve read news releases about the likes of Target, Best Buy and Kohl’s closing their shops for Thanksgiving, all I could think was: it’s about damn time.

That thought was quickly followed by: holiday shopping is going to look very different this year and, I expect, for years to come.

Historically, Black Friday was created to kick off the holiday shopping season. It served consumers by offering great deals. But mostly, Black Friday served retailers, who would bring their financials back into the black over the holiday season, after spending most of the year in the red. But it’s evolved. What was once a shopping day that started in the early morning hours, has expanded, and now takes over the entire weekend, starting on Thanksgiving Day. With that, retail employees are expected to take time away from their families to work the holiday so that shoppers can get in that Pre-Black Friday shop session!

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How To Get Customers To Opt In

by Katie Castillo-Wilson

August 4, 2020

how to get customers to opt in

For brands considering adding MMS messaging to their marketing strategy, we’re here to ask: what’s holding you back?

For us (and our clearly biased opinion), it’s a no brainer. The open rate for text messages is 98-99%(90% of those are opened within the first three minutes of receiving the text). Our database at TapOnIt Deals boasts an 86% survivability rate after 12 months, which is huge considering 70% of apps are deleted within the first day. Despite these proof points, there are some common challenges all brands will face when implementing a text message marketing platform. Luckily, TapOnIt Tech has the answers.

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Data​: Is your brand getting it right?

by Katie Castillo-Wilson

July 21, 2020

how to get your data right

She (or he) who has the most data wins.

We hear and read about data collection all the time. The general consensus is this: data is gold. And, according to numerous studies, more valuable than oil.

I figured out early in my career that I love data and I love to track how consumers respond to campaigns. It’s my passion to help drive traffic, awareness and sales for businesses; to help create campaigns that actually work; and to have a positive impact on the business. The more that’s known about the business’s goals and about the consumers they are trying to reach, the easier it is to put together an effective campaign to help reach the right people and achieve their goals.

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It's a pandemic. Do you know where your customers are?

by Katie Castillo-Wilson

July 2, 2020

where to get customers during pandemic

Times are changing. Between the coronavirus pandemic and social unrest, the world is evolving at a rapid pace. For businesses, the ability to reach your customers is more important than ever. In fact, it’s imperative a business do more than a simple outreach. Instead, let your customers know what your business has to offer, be clear on what your business stands for, and detail how you’re going to be there for them. This effort is vital to creating and maintaining brand loyalty during uncertain times.

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Staying relevant in the post-COVID era

by Katie Castillo-Wilson

May 27, 2020

staying relevant post covid

It’s no secret the coronavirus pandemic has been hard on restaurants. The restrictions and mandatory protocols have changed the food and beverage industry on all levels. Whether you’re a big player like McDonalds, or a local family-run joint, COVID-19 has turned the restaurant business into a pressure cooker.

But this virus and its effects don’t have to result in irrelevance for your business. There are ways to weather the drought, as well as ways to set your business up for success once the economy is ready to recover. This article isn’t meant to be an exhaustive roadmap to restaurant success through a pandemic, because none of us have navigated this kind of disruption before. Rather think of it as a list of thought starters or areas of focus meant to give you a head start as you customize and personalize your communications, your responses and your pivots through the crisis.

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Why we are giving away $4 million in advertising to local businesses that need it most.

by Katie Castillo-Wilson

April 27, 2020

free text message advertising

When Coronavirus hit America, it was a soft breeze, followed by a giant storm. Many small and medium sized businesses that relied on local traffic were deemed non-essential, and they were hit the hardest. We saw the impact of this with our customers first-hand. It was heartbreaking.

It has been heard loud and clear by local businesses across America that they need help to survive. During a time like this, advertising is often ignored as a tactic that helps. But we need to remember that advertising is an important part of economic activity, it drives growth.

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Text Message Advertising Compliance

by Katie Castillo-Wilson

April 3, 2017

text message compliance

With the consistent growth in mobile reach and the fact that 98% of all text messages are opened, it’s really not surprising that there are many people and companies getting started in the mobile marketing space. But just over the past couple of weeks, I’ve been informed of more and more texting companies popping up. This causes me a bit of concern…

These companies are out pitching small local businesses on building their own texting databases for customer retention, which can be a great tool, but what the businesses don’t know is that not all texting companies are following the rules nor realize what the consequences can be if they are broken.

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