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

Archive for September, 2009

The Case for Social Media

This video does all the talking… [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sIFYPQjYhv8[/youtube]   To make sure you’re leveraging this trend to its fullest, be sure you check out StartupNation’s new e-Report: Blast Through the Recession with Social Media, Mobile Marketing & More There are certain level points and junctions in business and the social media revolution we are in the midst [...]

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5 Content Strategies to Drive Traffic to Your Website

You want more traffic coming to your website, right? If you already create some type of content for your business, you should try these 5 content strategies to generate more qualified traffic to your site: 1. Target the Weekends The weekends experience a slowdown in business marketing content. Take advantage of the decreased competition by [...]

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Interview with High-End Fashion Designer Shy Figaro

Recently, I received some interesting information from a small business owner who is pursuing his passion, and thought I would share his tips with you. Meet Shy Figaro, a successful, high-end fashion designer and entrepreneur. Tell us about your business and why you started it. I’m fascinated about beauty and elegance, and believe that fashion [...]

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Why You Need to be Obsessed with Your Conversion Rate

Are you obsessed? Are you totally and utterly obsessed? With your website’s conversion rate, that is! Your website’s conversion rate is the percentage of times that your website visitors take the actions you most highly value on your site. For a retailer, this is typically an online purchase. For a B2B firm, this may be [...]

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StartupNation Member Goes on ABC’s SharkTank!

This just in, a long-standing StartupNation member, known in our community as GrillCharmer, is appearing on Shark Tank September 29. See her email to me below, which she’s given permission for me to share, abbreviated: Hi Rich! LONG time no talk!!  Anyway, I wanted to just say THANKS.  I cut my entrepreneurial teeth on SuN.  Remember [...]

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3 More Free Publicity Tools

Since many of you commented on my last blog entry, here are three more free tools to help you with your small business PR activities: 1. Help a Reporter Out PR Pro Peter Shankman set up this great site at http://www.helpareporter.com/. Simply enter your name and e-mail information. And each day, you’ll receive a list [...]

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What to consider when creating an email marketing campaign?

1. Determine your ROI. One quick way is to estimate the time it takes you to produce the email, include design and content time, and multiply it by how much that time is worth. Add the cost of your email marketing provider (typically based on the size of your list). If you are not receiving as much or more revenue from the email blast, it’s time to rethink your approach.

2. Rethink your approach.

a. Target lists. Like direct mail, lists are about quality, not quantity. If you think of email marketing like you think of inbound marketing, you’ll need to hyper target. Separate your lists into different user segments. Sites like beauty.com will send customers relevant offers based on their last purchase. If someone purchases a skin care product, more offers are sent about skin care products. If you own a retail store, separate your buyers based on what brand they purchase and send targeted emails to those customers. Be careful not to spend too much time on this if you have a small list. It has to produce a strong enough ROI to keep going.

b. Create one design. Customize the design to your brand instead of just using one of the templates provided. Why? It’s worthwhile to show your brand each time a piece of communication is sent out.

c. Use clear language. This should be a no-brainer, but you wouldn’t believe how many emails I get with grammar and spelling errors, incomplete sentences, and copy that just doesn’t make sense. If the email is well written and error free, your recipients will think you took the time to care.

d. Personalize the e-mail. You’ll fail in your email communication if your emails are primarily about you or your company instead of about how you can help the recipient. Think “what’s in it for them” if you want them to read after the first paragraph.

e. Create a special offer. Sometimes considered a “call to action,” this is where someone will take an action. Be smart about it and use a tracking code to an ecommerce web design page you specifically created just for that email.

3. Work with your email marketing provider. Most of these providers have a customer support team that offer tricks and tips to improve open rates – use them. Some companies even provide one-on-one phone advice.

4. Consider mobile devices. Yes, it’s true that most people aren’t going to buy something from their mobile device, but they do take notice and put a reminder to purchase later on. That said, make sure the company you outsource has applications allowing recipients to see text and images on their devices. You can help by keeping copy simple and to a minimum amount of characters and sending out a text version instead of HTML.

5. Analyze results. Going back to the tracking code, your e-mail provider should have an easy-to-use system where you can go in and look at each piece of communication sent out and analyze how many people opened, where people clicked, etc. The landing page is an additional page you can create that if set up with analytics can provide more data.

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According to recent research (more than 600 companies) from Clash-Media, e-mail marketing is now the most favored method of online lead generation in the United States. It’s also estimated that more than 80 percent of businesses will spend more money on e-mail marketing by the end of this year. Before you take the time to [...]

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Get Inside Your Customer’s Head

What is one of the most effective ways to increase your sales? Get inside your customer’s head. Simple as that. The more you understand about your customers, the more you can solve their challenges, frustrations and problems. The more you understand about your customers, the more you can help them achieve their objectives, goals and [...]

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3 Free Publicity Tools

On an earlier blog entry, I gave you this list of free, press-release posting sites, http://www.rembrandtwrites.com/FreePressReleasePostingSites.htm. But are you using these free tools to build buzz and sales too? Free Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Add the keywords people search for online, and you can significantly increase site visitors and sales. And there are free services [...]

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Are You Ready for the Holidays?

If you are an online retailer or otherwise rely heavily on the holiday season for a good percentage of your sales, guess what? It’s time to prepare your website for the holidays. Believe it or not, the time is now. In September. With no time to lose! So, you’re probably thinking, “Come on, Tom. You’ve [...]

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The OPRAH…effect!

While home this weekend recovering from dental surgery, I watched an interesting segment on MSNBC about the Oprah effect.. The hour program was about what it meant for your product to get onto Oprah’s most liked product list. If you ever doubted that getting on Oprah could help you become an overnight success….. you are [...]

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2 Contests with great upside

StartupNation’s 3rd Annual Home-Based 100 competition This is the quintessential ranking of home businesses and the superstar people behind them. StartupNation selects 10 Top Ten Winners across ten categories including Recession Busters, Greenest, Wackiest, Savviest in Social Media, and more. Winners receive invaluable publicity. Many winners have been featured in national TV, newspaper and magazine [...]

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Why Do You Need a Copywriter?

If you are tempted to save money and write your own marketing materials and website copy, please stop and think about it. Although copywriters may be expensive, they can help you: – Optimize conversion rates; – Build credibility; – Reach targeted audiences; – Increase search engine placements; – Assist you with your overall, Web architecture; [...]

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Lineage2, Aion, Blade And Soul

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