The StartupNation Blog Trends, tips and real-life anecdotes from industry experts

Archive for February, 2008

Beware of Backgrounds in Your Email Messages

In my previous blog post, I went over the importance of having good subject lines to avoid having your email messages flagged as spam. Today, I will discuss the question of whether to use or not use backgrounds in your email newsletters. When you are in the process of creating your newsletter, you will usually [...]

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Great business community

Jeff and I had the pleasure of keynoting at an entrepreneurs’ conference in Green Bay, Wisc., yesterday. We were struck by how committed they were to fostering startups and growing the small business community. Met some great entrepreneurs, including Thomas Sausen of, a really cool gourmet sauce supplier to restaurants. Of course, he showed up [...]

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Ecommerce Tips

I was asked to give 3 gems of wisdom in deciding your ecommerce plan of attack, Here they are: 1. Decide where your product will sell for the most money. There are unbelievable differences in selling price across ecommerce sites – what sells great on Amazon may not sell as well on eBay – what [...]

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The Importance of Good Subject Lines

In the last post, I covered the cleaning and maintaining of your contact lists to help maximize the deliverability for email newsletters. Today, I will review the importance of good subject lines in your email messages.  Have you ever received an email from an unknown source with a subject line that says something like, “SALE [...]

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Kick-butt customer service transformed me

Want to know how to make a customer loyal? And how to get the most out of your relationship with your customers? It’s simple. Do what Patagonia does. Here’s a quick, real-world experience I just had and it blew me away and made me a Patagonia loyalist for life. Background: I bought a shell jacket [...]

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Cleaning up and maintaining your contact lists

Last time, I talked about the benefits scheduling your email newsletters for future delivery. Today, I’m going to talk about properly maintaining your email contact lists. Cleaning and maintaining your email contact lists maximizes your company’s potential of having your email newsletters reach your customers on a consistent basis. This gives you the possibility of [...]

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Alltop: A Site About Everything

I recently received an email from Guy Kawasaki about Nononina’s new venture, Alltop, and specifically the Alltop Business Section. Alltop is a collection of stories from all the top sites on the web in a single-page aggregation. The small business section includes links to sites like Escape from Cubicle Nation, Fast Company, Inc, and StartupNation. [...]

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Dramatic eBay Fee Changes Cause Lunar Eclipse!

Hi gang, Well, this is a day for the record books!  Today, eBay launched all of it’s fee structure changes. Gallery is now Free! My eBay fees went down!  No wait, they went up! No wait, they…er, what kind of seller am I?  Carry the one…times 12%…did they go up or down?!  Ummmm… Media sellers [...]

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Message Scheduling

Hi everyone, this is Ryan Allis, CEO of iContact. A lot of great things have happened in the past few months that I can’t wait to share with you in future posts. Over the past several months, I’ve given some advice about a variety of techniques to improve your email marketing strategies, and I’m excited [...]

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Home-Based 100 winners mentioned in New York Times

Just wanted to tip my hat to two 2007 Home-Based 100 winners that were mentioned in the New York Times yesterday by columnist David Pogue. The featured Home-Based 100 winners were: Larry Murphy’s Murphy Outdoors Catherine and Steve Simms’ Whiner and Diner They were used as shining examples of how you can set up a [...]

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The time is NOW to get your business online

As you know, at StartupNation we’re all about helping you make progress and get stuff done easier and more effectively as an entrepreneur. Well, this week marks a milestone for entrepreneurs who’ve been wondering when’s the right time to finally get their business online with a solid website and a comprehensive online strategy. That time [...]

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If he can sing opera, you can start a business

I recently saw a video at YouTube showing a socially awkward, British mobile telephone salesman singing his heart out. My first reaction, like so many of the other 20,000,000 people who downloaded the video, was goosebumps. Here’s the video of you want to watch it: It dawned on me after the second time playing the video that if [...]

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eBay Listing Fees Lowered For Media – A Milestone In Many Ways

Hi gang, Today,  for the first time ever,  eBay announced category specific pricing on the eBay US site.  They lowered Media category fees by .05 at several levels: $0.01 – 0.99 (auction-style only) Original Categories Insertion Fee: $ .20 New Media fee: $ .10 $1.00 – 9.99 (auction-style and fixed price) Original Categories Insertion Fee: [...]

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I’m giving gorilla tactics a whole new meaning

Hi gang, I am so honored and excited to be back in the Blogging fold here at SUN! (queue cheesy organ music) "When we last spoke to Inflatable Madness,  they were a top eBay seller, selling movies, music and games by the hundreds of thousands on eBay.  Kevin Harmon, their CEO, spoke with the Sloan [...]

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Lineage2, Aion, Blade And Soul