Archive for the 'Marketing' Category

Interesting Marketing, SEO and Small Business Articles Weekly Round Up 9/13


Think you missed something interesting this week? Don’t worry, I’ve compiled this list of interesting articles I found.


Enjoy!

Did I miss something?  If so, please comment and let me know!

Send Nice Emails and Get Happy Customers.

Send Nice Emails to Get Nice Replies

Take the time and send a nice email to ensure customer loyalty.

The Problem

Once upon a time the company I worked for sent out emails that sounded like they were written by a robot. A cold, soul less robot.


They went something like this:

“Thank you for your communication. Your inquiry into invoice #$S23s3 has been received and it is being reviewed.

Sincerely,

Billing Department”

Notice anything wrong?  No greeting or no personal touch.

These bland emails seemed to elicit responses from customers that bordered on angry and frustrated.  Not only did it frustrate the clients it frustrated our employees because they were dealing with rude and angry emails all day.  Not exactly what you want to be known for as far as customer service goes.

The Solution

I realized very quickly that this couldn’t stay the same.  We had to change the way we communicated with our customers via email or we risked becoming a company that was known for being jerks.

The change to the way we handled emails needed to be subtle but also impact-full.  The easiest way to accomplish this and encourage my fellow coworkers to join in was creating this creed, if you will, of answering emails.

Emails

1.  I shall use the customers name when responding to every email.

2.  I shall sign the email with my name and department.

3.  I shall wish the customer a nice day.

4.  I shall not pass the customer off to another department.  I will do the leg work and find the answer to the customers questions.

5.  I shall encourage the customer to call us if they are still in need of help.

The Result

Almost instantly our emails were replied to with nicer and more open responses.  Customers loved the fact that we were using their names and that they felt they were actually talking to a person and not some bot on the other side of the internet.  The idea that they could get a hold  of us by phone was also allowing them to remain relaxed and not so anxious.

A lot of customers and companies rely solely on emails for communications these days.  Having a bad email etiquette will cause you to alienate customers and potentially lose them all together.  Sending emails that are friendly, personable and helpful is not hard, it just takes more effort than simply answering a question.  Sending a nice email can separate you from your competition and gain you loyal users, so send nice emails if you want nice replies.

Don’t Get Screwed By Your Domain Name

Domain Registration

Don't Let Domain Registration Screw You

I am willing to bet that everyone reading this has at least one domain name that they own and if  you have ever had an issue with that domain you probably know how crippling it can be for your online business.   After working for a web hosting company who also has domain reseller services I have learned a few things about domain names and how to handle them correctly. Continue reading “Don’t Get Screwed By Your Domain Name” »

Rounding Up the Best of the Week


Here are some of the best articles I came across this week, in case you missed any of them.

Did I leave any off?

Enjoy a Long Holiday Weekend My Friends.

Relax

Relax

Inspiration strikes like lightning and fades like thunder.

I don’t think I have taken a vacation without coming back having thought up the next great web app or startup company. It never fails. I will be hiking up some peak in Mammoth Lakes or drinking a beer or cup of coffee in a foreign town. As I reach the apex of my caffeine or oxygen high, inspiration strikes. My mind is moving a million miles an hour. Thoughts of how, where, when and who are either clouding my judgment or sparking a creative firestorm.

Continue reading “Inspiration strikes like lightning and fades like thunder.” »

An online conversion can only take you so far in a service based industry.

After working in the  computer repair industry for the past few years I know that an online conversion will only go so far when your company provides a service like plumbing, computer repair or construction.

Continue reading “An online conversion can only take you so far in a service based industry.” »

Navigating the online community.

Everyone hates spammers.

You wont make any friends or sales with spam.

I can’t count the number of times I have seen a hopeful marketer fall flat on his face when trying to market a product within an online community. A new member will join a car related forum, then try to sell his his book on gardening without ever engaging his fellow community members only to be labeled as a spammer and either ignored or banned.

Continue reading “Navigating the online community.” »

Trying to teach an old dog new tricks.

Dog

Come on boy, give me the ball.


Have you ever tried to teach man’s best friend a new trick? You know, its been 4 years since he was a pup and now you want to try and teach him to play dead. How long are you going to keep trying to teach him before you figure out it is not working? Now imagine that this is the company you are working for.

Continue reading “Trying to teach an old dog new tricks.” »

Domain Names!

Now that you have decided make yourself standout and get a presence online you have a few things you need to take care of. A couple of these steps will involved spending a little bit of money ($10-$60) and the rest is up to you to be creative!.

Let’s first discuss web domain names. Your domain name is going to say a lot about you and how you are trying to present yourself. There is not any “right or wrong” when it comes to domain names. It is a matter of “is it right for me?” or “wrong for me?” There are a few tips that you can use when trying to narrow down your domain name.

You want your domain name to be representative of who you are and what you do. If you have a company and are trying to promote that company then you would want to use your company name for the domain name, such as www.yourbusiness.com. If you are aiming for a resume style web page, using your real name is a great idea. Of course, web domains are a hot commodity these days and not everything is still available. If you have a common name like Steve Smith or Jessica Jones there is a good chance that domain is already in use by someone else. I was lucky enough to score www.alexanderramadan.com even though I initially wanted to use my shortened name. You will have to be creative in some cases. You can try adding a word or a number but make sure that word or number have something to do with you or what you do. If I could not have gotten my real name I might have gone with alexramadanmarketing.com or something to that effect.

Another thing to keep in mind when figuring out your domain name is the length of the domain. Your domain name needs to be short, memorable and impact-full. Using your name is a good idea because it is unique and creates cohesiveness between all your marketing materials like your business card, resume, website, twitter etc. If you have a really complicated name that involves difficult spelling or dialect you might want to consider shortening it to make it more easily memorable.

This brings me to cohesiveness with your domain name. This might seem like a topic I would discuss later on when you already have materials to work with but that is exactly the opposite. From the very beginning you should keep cohesiveness in mind and a main concern. You need to keep everything under the same umbrella, by that I mean, you need to have a cohesive bundle of all your materials that are available to potential customers or employers. A potential employer should be able to search your name, or go to your website and find everything they need to find there and everything with the same name. Try to avoid having one nick name for twitter, Facebook, Myspace, Linkedin, your website, and your blog. This creates fragmentation and weakens your brand. It becomes difficult for viewers to keep track of who they are following and reading about. If you already have certain things in place, like a Twitter, do your best to create some sort of cohesion between it and your website.

Create a list of 5 domains that you would like to use and number them, from most desirable to least desirable. Then log onto a domain registrar and check the availability of each domain. You can use Godaddy if you like but there are plenty of others which I will include in this post. You will be prompted to choose between a .com, .net. org, .info and about 10 other types of domains. Generally you want to get a .com as it is the most reputable and known. Next of course would be a .net but you can always use a .org if you are an organization.

Once you have come up with that brilliant domain name and find that its available you will need to purchase it from a domain registrar online. Most of the time you can purchase it from the domain registrar where you checked its availability but there are hundreds of them out there and they all have similar pricing but do some research on the practices of the registrar. As with any business, there are some less reputable dealers out there.

Your domain should cost you about $10 for a year or so but feel free to purchase it for more that a year. Remember that if you only purchase it for a year, once that year is up the domain will become available for someone else to buy and you could lose a lot of hard work. If you do not want to purchase for multiple years upfront be sure to set an auto-renew feature in your settings.

So, remember these tips and you should be golden:

* The little monetary investment will be worth it
* Keep the domain name relevant to what you are trying to present
* Keep it short and memorable
* Check the availability of the domain
* Aim for a .com over anything else
* Purchase for multiple years or set an auto renew!

Reputable domain registrars:

* Millennium Systems, Inc.
* Godaddy
* Blue Host
* Wild West Domains

Which way to go with your domain name?

Do you have a website?

Do you have a website? Not a Myspace or Facebook page, not even a Twitter or Linkedin account. I mean a full fledged www.yourname.com. No? Okay, read on.

Continue reading “Do you have a website?” »