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Archive for the ‘Advice from the Web’ Category

Using offline media to drive online sales

Posted by jorbell on June 28, 2010

Online marketing is on the increase and it is a trend that can only continue. What does this mean for more traditional forms marketing such as direct mail for instance? Well, according to Janet Holian, chief marketing officer of VistaPrint, it still has its place and it’s hard to disagree. Janet has identified seven key reasons why offline media should still play an important part of any marketer’s armoury.

This  article appears in full on Bytestart, the Small Business Portal website.

Using offline media to drive online sales

With the increase of email saturation, offline media used alongside email marketing can be a valuable tool to help drive a high-ROI on online sales.

Whether you’re trying to acquire new customers or retain existing ones, there are several critical components to a direct marketing campaign that must be considered to ensure its success as an online traffic driver.

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5 Ways to Outshine the Competition

Posted by jorbell on June 22, 2010

It is tempting for companies to copy other successful businesses’ marketing strategies in order replicate that success. While this makes good sense on one level it is important that to stand out in a busy market place, you have to do things differently too.

This does not necessarily mean you have to be radical or whacky but to simply get the basics right because so many others don’t. Kim T. Gordon on www.entrepreneur.com has compiled a list of five ways businesses can outshine their competitors and the list is glaringly simple. By meeting the needs of your customers and following these simple rules, your business will be well on the way to success.

5 Ways to Outshine the Competition

Meet customers’ needs in these critical areas to stand out from the crowd

Everywhere you turn, there’s more competition. No matter what type of store or business you operate, there are bound to be others clamoring for your customers and your piece of the market. Plus, with consumers counting every penny and business purchasers scrutinizing expenditures like never before, winning over new customers and upselling old ones has become more challenging.

What will cause customers to buy from you rather than your competitors? The answer is to meet their needs in these five critical areas:

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5 Ways to Get Customer Feedback — For Free

Posted by jorbell on February 28, 2010

By Doriano “Paisano” Carta

Article original featured on webworkerdaily.com

Sometimes it’s good to get feedback straight from the horse’s mouth — namely, your customers and clients. But doing so via email can be a pain to organize and manage; that’s why the five solutions in this post can be useful if you want to get feedback about your products, services or even your organization in general.

All of the tools covered here centralize the data, and allow visitors to see the feedback that’s been shared already, thus avoiding the headaches involved with dealing with duplicate entries. They also gives everyone an at-a-glance overview of the things that others are thinking and feeling. They benefit your public relations and give your customers a platform to communicate with your firm: a win-win scenario.

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An Inconvenient PR Truth – the fight against PR spam

Posted by jorbell on February 5, 2010

When preparing press releases it is important to consider very carefully your target market and whether you are reaching them via the right channels. It is easy to think that swamping the industry news sites with your release will yield results but this is nothing more than a hit and hope strategy and it’s technically a form of spamming. It’s like throwing mud and hoping that at least some of it sticks.

I have to admit this is something that is can be difficult to get right. However, as so many organisations issue their press releases in this way it becomes a deluge with the net result that editors are less inclined to give your message a chance. A sure way to annoy them is to waste their time by providing irrelevant information.

Only this week a new campaign has been launched against this kind of PR spam by agency Realwire. A website, An Inconvenient PR Truth, has been set up to highlight the problem and has received strong support within the industry.

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Posted in Advice from the Web, Business, communications, Internet, Marketing, News, Online, public relations | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

What to name your Facebook Business Fan Page

Posted by jorbell on October 4, 2009

by Mark Ijlal

Malik asked a question about naming Facebook Business Pages:

  1. Name it after your business. For a local business and especially a location based business like a restaurant / attorney / CPA / retail stores – this is more than adequate after all their name is what is known and how people find them. Yeah I know it is the old Yellow Pages approach but for millions of businesses who you and I both know will use a Facebook Business Fan Page as a business card to put their name, address, phone number, 4 pictures, products or service information, some half hearted coupons and update it once a month – this is more than enough. Maisano’s Italian Restaurant, Aaron’s Auto Repair Shop, Attorney Scott Yaldo and Great Lakes Real Estate Property Managers all will work for their respective businesses.
  2. Name it after your website. For Threadless, Zappos, Salesforce and millions of businesses that run entirely on the web and that is where their customers are found – the name of the LLC that owns the business is unimportant; there is no physical location where customers are walking in; the only name that is known to their customers and prospects is their website. So name it after your website that makes the sale.
  3. Name it after your brand. Starbucks. Nike. Detroit Pistons. A hit HBO show like True Blood. People know and love your brand. Why not erect a Fan page where they can all hang out and share their love of your brand with each other? Brands know it and they are busy doing it.
  4. For firms that sell the invisible: services, advice, consulting, coaching, PR, B2B with long sales cycles: Name it,  so it means SOMETHING to the people who matter the most: your past, present and future customers. And yes that means that you will be active in building this Fan Page as your hub for your business on Facebook.

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Article source: http://bx.businessweek.com

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Turn Web Traffic Into Foot Traffic

Posted by jorbell on September 29, 2009

By Justin Kitch

A solid web presence is essential–even for the smallest brick-and-mortar businesses.

“Call, click or visit” has been a common call to action in small-business advertising for most of the past decade. The underlying assumption, of course, is that a small business has a telephone number, a place of business open to the public and a website. While a phone is probably a given, a brick-and-mortar store may or may not exist. And odds are that a small business does not have a website.

For years I’ve quoted an old survey that said 60 percent of small business don’t have a website. But lately I began wondering if that number was still accurate. I was shocked to see that it has held steady through the first decade of this century. An April 2009 survey by The Discover Small Business Watch found that only 38 percent of small businesses with five or fewer employees even have a website. A full 62 percent remain “non adopters.” And that number has decreased only three percent since 2007, when 65 percent of small businesses were not on the web.

It continues to baffle me why any small business wouldn’t use the internet as an essential sales, marketing and customer relations tool. Establishing and maintaining a web presence is incredibly cheap and easy these days. And web advertising is much more powerful than most traditional print or broadcast advertising in that it enables the business owner to engage customers in a two-way conversation and gain valuable feedback on their products and services.

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Article source: www.entrepreneur.com

Posted in Advice from the Web, Business, Marketing | Tagged: , , , , | 7 Comments »

Flyingstartups.com a great resource for new businesses

Posted by jorbell on September 19, 2009

It seems that first shoots of economic recovery are beginning to show so maybe now is the time to start considering taking that business idea out of your head and make it a reality.

If you don’t know where to start you could do a lot worse than look at the website www.flyingstartups.com. It’s a great resource for budding entreprenneurs with lots of useful advice and ideas. Amongst the website features are member forums and a facility where users can keep track of their progress and get feedback in what are known as Pilot Logs.

Steve Parks is the founder and he has written a number of books to help those looking to get a new enterprise off the ground off to the best possible start. Why not take a look and see if it inspires you to get started. It’s a supportive community which may just help make that dream of yours a reality.

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Promoting your business for free

Posted by jorbell on September 4, 2009

If you or your organisation has something to say getting your message across is very important but in financially difficult times many are taking the decision that the cost of distributing that message is too great. This is understandable if you stick only to traditional methods of promotion such as PR agencies but more and more ways of promoting a business are available now than ever before for little or no cost.

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Posted in Advice from the Web, branding, Business, External Blogs, Marketing, Online, Publicity, social networking, Writing | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments »

Get the Most From Your Written Testimonials

Posted by jorbell on June 19, 2009

By Ivan Misner

Original article: www.entrepreneur.com

Make it standard practice to ask clients and contacts for testimonials and you’ll build your credibility and your business.

Written testimonials influence our actions and choices in myriad ways, sometimes without our even thinking about them. For example: You and a friend decide to catch a movie, but your tastes don’t always coincide. So you open the local paper and check out the film reviews. You decide you want to go to dinner first, but there are so many restaurants in your area that you don’t know which one to pick. So you open up a local magazine and scan the recommendations of the magazine’s food critic.

Even more powerful than these “professional” testimonials, however, are those that come from trusted personal contacts. If you have enough time, you might call or e-mail a couple of other friends to get their movie and restaurant suggestions. You’re likely to follow their advice, too, because you know that they know your likes and dislikes pretty well.

So it is in business. Before people come to your firm for a particular product or service, they often want the comfort of knowing what others have said about you.

Read complete article: www.entrepreneur.com

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Your company in 30 seconds

Posted by jorbell on March 8, 2009

From www.smallbusiness.co.uk

‘What do you do?’ is a question that can put even the most seasoned business brain under pressure. Craig Fisher, founder of business consultancy The Sales Expert, explains how to put together a concise and compelling elevator pitch.

In today’s mobile business climate you never know when an opportunity is going to present itself. You will probably only have one chance to paint the best picture of your business to a prospective client or partner.

Your elevator pitch helps you to articulate the essence of your business in the fewest possible amount of words. What do you do? Who do you do it for? What does this mean to them?

These are the questions that you need to answer in the time it takes to take a lift from the ground to the top floor. Don’t alienate your target with a deluge of facts and figures; your objective here is not to close. It is to lay the foundations for the opportunity to do so.

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