Archive for the 'Tools' Category

Feeling like a hostage to your web design / IT supplier?

Web Design Services, Get Rid Of Your Web DesignerMany small business people treat one of their most precious assets as an afterthought, rather than as one of their most precious assets. It’s not inconceivable for a website to be worth $100,000+ when there is a legitimate brick and mortar business “behind it”.

Put differently, years ago, when you bought a Yellow Pages ad, you’d SPEND thousands of dollars with NO appreciation in the capital asset value of the phone book. With the Internet, every dollar spent on your website should increase its capital value. Think about it this way – if you were assess two identical businesses, one with a website and the other without one, which one would YOU buy?  Enough said.

Most small businesses don’t proactively deal with their website and/or web online presence for a long list of reasons including:

  • “I don’t get all this Interweb stuff”
  • “I don’t like Facebook and don’t understand why people waste so much time ‘talking’ to complete strangers”
  • “My son-in-law, nephew or neighbour seems to understand it and is not charging me much to handle my website…”
  • “Technology is changing too quickly, I can’t keep up.”
  • “I don’t get any web inquiries so it’s not worth worrying about.”
  • “My staff’s taking care of it, in fact, we all kinda pitch in to get stuff done.”*

Whatever your excuses, as a small business person, in this day and age you simply cannot hand over your online presence to just anyone anymore than you would give them the pin code to your bank card. I am totally serious.

Continue reading ‘Feeling like a hostage to your web design / IT supplier?’

Email Management Tip

One of the ways I gauge entrepreneurs or business executives’ effectiveness and efficiency is how they respond to their emails. Without requiring ‘instant responses’, within one week of correspondence I can identify the ‘top 10%’ from the bottom ‘90%’.

This is 2012. We are in the 21st century with email at the nucleus of our communication paradigm. Business people who struggle with technology and especially emails are ‘dinosaurs’.

Now that’s a bold statement to make, but it really is THAT important.

Allow me to contrast the top 10% versus the bottom 90%.

The top 10% respond within a reasonable time frame. It can be within the hour, the day, but rarely ever more than 48 hours (unless they are on leave or otherwise occupied with a project/event). One thing is for sure – you’re never wondering if they got or lost the email.

The bottom 90%…

  • Claim to ‘lose’ or not receive emails
  • Ask for emails to be re-sent because they accidentally deleted them
  • Actually do have problems receiving emails because of their spam folder settings that are too strict
  • Are challenged with their spam and junk mail folders – reviewing them only ‘every once in a while’ even though many important emails end up there
  • Have hundreds or thousands of emails in their inbox
  • Respond to emails erratically sometimes immediately and then are ‘offline’ for days with no communication
  • Don’t use meaningful subject lines
  • Don’t maintain message threads that are important – creating new emails with each new response
  • Use TXT acronyms trying to be “hip or groovy” instead of clear in their explanations – creating the need for additional threads to find out what they meant to say
  • Subscribe to every free email list available fearful that they will miss something.
  • Don’t read their emails – instead skimming and overlooking the most important and time sensitive information
  • Have multiple emails that they don’t monitor appropriately
  • Share emails with others so everyone gets the email and multiple people responding with conflicting suggestions
  • Don’t have folders for their emails – so can’t quickly locate what they need when they need it. Even though emails are now indexed, not having folders is like not having a filing cabinet for your physical documents.

Poor email management is one of my strongest pet peeves, but the reason I mention it here is because it’s also symptomatic of poor business management.

Without needing to become a Productivity Powerhouse – lack of effective email management skills (and tools) can be an important obstacle to your overall business success.

Anecdotally, over the past 10 to 15 years, I have noticed that the top business people don’t just manage their emails – the MASTER and CONTROL them with an adeptness that is remarkable.

If you’re struggling to grow your business – just look at your inbox and the list above. It’s a quick and easy problem to solve.

If it isn’t – you now have the SOURCE of the real problem!

Google Analytics: Flow Visualisation

Imagine being able to SEE the flow of visitors as they navigate your site – how cool and VALUABLE would that be?!?! Well, Google’s done it again – they are releasing this new functionality in their signature Analytics platform – WOW!

Google Analytics, Flow Visualization, Flow Diagrams

Click on this image to read more about this new release!

Google Real Time Analytics

Real Time Analytics, Google Analytics, Analytics Real Time, Real Time Google AnalyticsIt was bound to happen… Real Time Google Analytics! If you’re an exponential Internet marketer who adheres to Management By Metrics™, this is BIG!

Just thought you should know!

Psst! Thanks to Ray Keefe of Successful Endeavours for forwarding it to me in real time!

Personalised Emails

According to a recent survey, personalised emails generated 42.7% more click-throughs on average to the web copy than non-personalised email.

Personalised emails generated 403% more sales on average than non-personalised emails.

Personalised emails generated 42.8% fewer un-subscribes on average than non-personalised emails.

Email Marketing, Personalisation, Email Personalisation

Email Personalisation is not new, the question is does it still work?

Should you expend the effort to personalize your emails?

You should TEST to see what happens. Surveys and reports are great to give you ideas, but you need to test the findings with YOUR suspects, prospects and clients.

Don’t just believe everything you read.

Credit Cards: How Are They Verified?

Ever wonder how a credit card number is verified? A fascinating article, Making Sense of your Credit Card Number published by Digital Inspiration Technology Blog.

You credit card number may look like a random string of 16 digits that’s unique in the world but those digits reveal a little more than you think. For instance, the first digit of the card represents the category of industry which issued your credit card.

American Express is in the travel category and cards issued by them have 3 as the first digit. If you have VISA or MasterCard, your card’s first digit should be either 4 or 5 as they are from the banking and financial industry.

The first six digits of your credit card number identify the institution that issued the card to you. VISA cards follow the series 4xx while MasterCard uses 51-55 as the prefix.

You may even verify if a given credit card number is valid or not using simple addition. The following visual illustration courtesy of Mint.com will help you understand more about the anatomy of your credit card.

Browser Usage Poll

I’ve already blogged about Linked In Polls,but since it’s quick, easy and free – it’s worth reminding you to consider polling your clients and asking them questions that your other clients might be interested in. This poll for example is interesting because I am not a user of Google Chrome and didn’t think that many people were using it. Of course this is a VERY small sample, but still surprising. What I really like about the Linked In Polls is their outstanding graphics… Don’t you agree?

Poll Browser Use

Texting to get work

Let me state my bias right up front – I am not into texting or tweeting. I think Twitter is mostly a massive waste of time. Yes – I have a Twitter page and joined Twitter 2 years before it became mainstream.

However there are always exceptions to the rule, like this article in The Economist that explains how people Text for jobs – Very creative and entrepreneurial!

Linked In usage poll

As you’ve come to expect from me and my blogs, I come at things from a different perspective and paradigm. My goal for my blogs is to be the catalyst for ideas that can help you grow your business. The Internet is an exponential tool that can help in countless ways. Today’s post is another example – using tools like Linked In Polls to gather valuable information.

It’s pretty self-explanatory and that’s OK.

Exponential Internet Marketing is not rocket science. It’s all about “doing stuff” that works and having the discipline to follow up and follow through.

Poll LinkedIn Use

Google Goggles

This video speaks for itself – it’s very entertaining and demonstrates how to make information fun to learn.

Additional applications of augmented reality are quite fascinating.

Top 10 YouTube Tips

I am sure you enjoy this and my other blogs. They are filled with information that would otherwise take you hours to find and in many cases, there is no way you would ever find them on your own. The reason is that I have HUNDREDS of contributors to my blogs from around the world… Take this blog post about 10 You Tube URL Tricks You Should Know About. Unless you were searching for that, you’d never even think of it.

That’s why it’s valuable to have a business coach, advisor or mentor who does this for you, automatically and systematically.

In my case, I am The Exponential Growth Strategist which means I find stuff that makes the difference and gives you options to choose from. Like this YouTube Channel link.

The question then becomes – are you ready to take these tips to the next level and make them work for you to create exponential growth for your business and/or online sales channel?

If you are, then consider the Exponential Internet Marketing Bootcamp – when you attend as a VIP Ticket Holder, we’ll guarantee that you’ll make $30,000 GUARANTEED in the next 12 months.

What’s In A Domain Name?

Most companies automatically choose their company name as their domain name. While that’s a wise move, it’s often a BIG mistake to stop there. In fact you could be losing as much as 75% of your leads because of it – keep reading if you want to avoid making this Internet Marketing Mistake!

Testing multiple domain names and picking the one that performs best (for example, in Google AdWords ads) is a very profitable strategy. Continue reading ‘What’s In A Domain Name?’

Social Media Ripples

This is such a cool and powerful concept I keep it for my clients. Sorry. I can’t give you everything for FREE, after all that wouldn’t be fair to my clients. Stuff like this, when you really understand what it means is the difference between drowning in the tsunami of leads going to your competitors versus riding the wave of success all the way into success beach.

Social Media Ripple Effect Explained

Social Media Ripple Effect Explained

A blog like this is a great, even ideal way to INTRODUCE concepts and whet your appetite… If you want to know about stuff no one else will tell you and cut through the C _ _ P that the Internet hype specialists are infamous for – consider our programs and events.

They are geared to every day people who want to get better results – one day at a time, one click at a time. Without having to learn PHP, HTML or other obtuse coding languages.

What we teach is all about getting better results with the least amount of effort and lowest cost. In plain English. Our Internet products and programs start at $27 and $97/month respectively – to meet any budget and level of ambition from newbies to experts. Go to our Internet Mastery site and take a look around – you’ll read testimonials of people just like you who took their Next Best Step and have the results to show for it.

Isn’t it time you took YOUR Next Best Step?

Google Chrome

Today’s post has two purposes. First is to let you know that Google has a new browser called Google Chrome and secondly that if you want to communicate effectively using YouTube videos, check this series that will leave you mesmerised. YouTube is without a doubt revolutionising Internet Marketing, but it’s still up to human beings to be creative and imaginative.

http://www.google.com/chrome/intl/en/features_mac.html

Augmented Reality

If you ever wondered were we’re going with technology, stop wondering – augmented reality is here. Forget artificial intelligence – think Total Recall. Click on the hyperlink to see the latest technology that is within our reach and is being commercialised, I’m sure your head will be spinning with the possibilities this will represent for Exponential Marketing Enthusiasts!

Note: Once you click on the link, give the video time to load since it is being streamed from CNN and not YouTube. It’s well worth the additional few seconds of delay.

You can thank Andrew Powell of Montreal Canada for the link to this video.

LinkedIn Tip: Post Videos On Your Profile

Don’t think you can post videos on your Linked In Profile? Think again… Read this simple how-to blog post that reveals a quick work-around! First, you’ll need a Google account and then once you create the presentation, you might have to go in and out of your Google account and the Linked In application for the presentation to show up in your list.

This Internet Mastery Blog is all about applying the 1 Percent Improvement Doctrine to your Internet marketing strategies. Every 1% adds up incrementally and exponentially.

Stay tuned for more valuable insights, ideas and secret strategies like this via this blog.

Want to get tips, techniques and strategies faster? Want to get even more powerful insights that would never be revealed for free?

Subscribe to one of our Internet Mastery Programs today and get a quick start on to the fast track to building your online business – thousands have done it, which proves this stuff works!

Bingmail.com.au

Every once in a while a really cool idea crosses my desk that I just have to share with you. In this case it comes from none other than Australia Post. I have not yet used this service, but I thought you might need it before I do. I am streamlining ALL my operations and have this service slated for a Sept-Oct review.

If you do use it, please let me know how it goes.

E-mail Tip Of The Month – Transactional E-mail

This is another one of the sources of 1 percent improvement that you can schedule to make on an on-going basis. I recently did this and increased the back-end sales for one product line by 36% in less than one month. I reduced my refunds by 1 less per week = $2,000 in SAVED SALES per year…

Don’t Neglect Your Transactional and Event-Triggered Messages

Because transactional, event-triggered and other service-based messages are typically the purview of IT departments, many marketers neglect to incorporate these business-critical messages into their email marketing programs. Of course, you need to carefully evaluate each transactional message and determine the appropriate strategy based on consumer expectations, preferences and CAN-SPAM regulations, but at the very least, you can make sure that the template and content properly reflect your brand.

If you don’t have access to deliverability metrics for your transactional email, you should add that to your list as well. Transactional emails that go undelivered for any reason can damage your brand and ruin a sale. Ideally, you should have a centralized view into all email being sent to your email recipients.

While Jupiter Research finds that the average retailer can generate an additional $2.9 million by adding cross- and up-sell promotions to transactional emails, that’s just one lucrative application. Adding relevant information or easy access to customer service support can go a long way to creating a satisfied customer.

Getting started with a marketing program for transactional email doesn’t have to be difficult, and the following tips will show you how:

Inventory Your Transactional Messages

The first you need to do is inventory all of your current and planned transactional messages. When evaluating your various types of customer email communications keep in mind that transactional messages take on many different forms. While confirmation emails for website registrations and product purchases are the most obvious, don’t forget to include warranty information, periodic account balance notifications, product updates and other terms-of-service communications.

Recently, I subscribed to a list and the FORMAT of the e-mails I was getting was so bad, my impression of the author was shaken with typographic and grammatical errors in the STANDARD message sections…

Create Objectives for Leveraging Each Type of Message

After identifying all of your transactional emails, the next step is to determine what kind of marketing messages are best suited for each communication. Adding cross- and up-sell product promotions to purchase confirmation emails is a good start, but there are many other messages that can drive customer retention and engagement with your brand. These include relevant resources, such as whitepapers and consumer guides, or even information on local weather or events. In some cases, you may just want to reinforce a positive perception of the brand itself. Just be sure your messages are relevant to the transactional message and your audience.

For ONE of my products, I did exactly that – DOUBLING my sales and increasing my unsubscribes by less than 0.6 percent. Then as I tracked the opt-outs – something weird happened – they went back down and to LESS than they were previously! People as it turns out WANTED more solutions… NOT fewer options!

Develop Dynamic Email Templates and Integration

In order to ensure that you’re adding relevant content, you need to design a dynamic email template with business rules that pull the relevant information from various internal and external databases. Integration with these systems will enable you to send a customized, real-time message that demonstrates your understanding and respect for the customer relationship.

I have to admit this is not easy – but at least KNOWING it can be done gives you inspiration for the future – when you do get to this level of sophistication, you are a totally streamlined online money-making machine!

Set up Tracking and Initiate Testing

The last step, and one of the most important, is to set up all of the proper email tracking and reporting mechanisms that will enable you to adjust your marketing programs based on real-time delivery and open and click data. Ideally, your email marketing system should offer a centralized view of all your transactional and non-transactional marketing streams. Of course, you don’t want to deploy something as critical as transactional email without proper testing. When setting up a testing program, make sure that you evaluate every aspect of the email – including design, integration, deliverability, tracking and reporting.

This is the easiest thing to do because most systems do it for you – all you need to make sure you do is set them up and then LOOK AT THE REPORTS!

Future Technology – where’s it going?

I recently blogged about Augmented Reality and quite a few people thought that was exciting. Today’s blog post is similar, except this shows you what’s coming, just around the corner, just in case you were wondering… “What’s next?”

Today’s post was sent to me by Daniel Doiron in Montreal, Canada.

Attention Road Warriors: A Nifty Internet Connection Speed Utility

Today’s post is a cool utility you can use to test your Internet connection. It’s ideal when you’re on the road and you’re left hanging indefinitely. When you do call down to the hotel concierge to complain the Internet connection is slow and they put you on to the IT geeks who claim it’s your PC – you can prove it!

Click here -> To Check Your Internet Connection Speed.

Internet Connection Speed Utility

Internet Connection Speed Utility

I know you appreciate tips and tools like this- please forward anything like this to me so I can continue to share them openly and freely. The continued success and value of a blog like this is sharing – even if you only send me ONE tip or idea per year, that’s enough if everyone does the same!

Thanks in advance!