We often think of the 'calm before the storm', but rarely do we recognize or even witness the 'calm after the storm'. This sunset occurred less than an hour after a severe storm, near Otter Falls, MB, that brought down a hundred trees near a cabin we had rented. The clouds became soft like cotton balls (mammatus clouds) and the sky was at peace.
Online marketing is dependant upon the PC’s, laptops and software we use everyday. If you sit back and analyze your online activities for a period in time, you may quickly realize just how much time you spend waiting for software programs to open, files to download and web page after webpage to painfully open. If your equipment and software you use, for your online marketing, is slowing you down, then its time for a seasonal marketing oil change. Quite simply, if you can increase the speed of your computer, download speeds and software, then you will spend less time waiting and more time marketing, virtually doubling your marketing effectiveness overnight.
Here is the equation:
(100x Online Marketing -50x Waiting) = 2x or Double Your Marketing Effectiveness 25x Online Marketing
Follow these free & simple steps to give your hardware and software a quick and easy fall oil change and double your online marketing effectiveness overnight. The amount of time you will save will astonish you. Remember to do this monthly (weekly is best) and you will be running at peak marketing efficiency all year long.
Before starting go to www.SpeedTest.net and do a test, write your download and upload speeds for reference afterwards. Also make note of how long it takes commonly used programs on your computer to open. This should improve dramatically once you are done.
Step 1:www.Adaware.com Download and run this free spyware weekly for maximum impact. The thousands of web pages you surf muddle up your computer with performance robbing junk spyware.
Step 2: www.CCleaner.com formerly called Crap Cleaner; CCleaner will remove temporary internet files, useless leftovers from loading software and a bunch of other stuff that is slowing your software and computer down. Make sure to also run not just the Cleaner but as well the Registry cleaner. If you have neglected your registry for sometime, this alone can double the speed of some computers.
Step 4: Defrag your computer. You can use your Windows XP or Vista System Tools to do this, but for maximum performance I would recommend Ultimate Defrag 2008, of which you can get a 14 day free trial. Do this at bare minimum once a month!
Alternatively, if you wanted one piece of software that does almost all of the above, you could buy a software program like System Mechanic 7, which tweaks and maximizes your PC with just a few clicks. As all the programs I have mentioned and techniques just require a little elbow grease and are completely free. I hope you will take the time and save your hard earned money to enjoy life, or worst case scenario pay for some additional marketing efforts!
Once you have finished your cleaning and maximizing, go back to www.SpeedTest.net , and check your new download and upload speeds, and again note how long does it take for common programs to open. You should notice a dramatic improvement.
The time you will have saved can now be spent marketing instead of waiting, selling instead of loading, and enjoying double the marketing effectiveness from keeping your hardware and marketing software running at the same speed you do.
I was fortunate enough to be reminded by a friend today of something I already knew, but had never quite heard stated so perfectly before.
We have all heard the term ‘Life Is Too Short’ and it’s a damn good saying to live by in most situations. We can let too many things get to us too easily in relationships, our careers, driving the car in rush hour, when experiencing attitude from a total stranger while we are shopping, or on a simple phone call about our cable bill. Why do we really care?
Let’s say you have bought a book and have started reading it. You find yourself on the 20th page and it is progressively getting worse. You have two simple choices.
You can keep painfully reading one of the worst books you have read in your life.
Put the book down and never pick it up again…
What bad book are you experiencing in your life, your career, your relationships, or anywhere else?
Put the book down and move on… life is too short for a bad book!
If you are in Sales & Marketing then no doubt you are emailing your customers and prospects on an ongoing basis. If you aren’t using a service that specializes in email marketing, then you are losing out on increased sales, your valuable time and ultimately money. If you are still sending emails via BCC (Blind Carbon Copy), get with the times my friend as you are not only NOT personalizing your emails, you are potentially opening yourself or your company up for spam complaints and potential legal issues.
On to the task at hand comparing two of the world’s most premier online email marketing services, often referred to as auto responders. I have aimed to make this as impartial as possible, and ask that users of either services, or other competitive products, comment as to their thoughts and experiences.
Here is a side by side comparison of features & costs:
Last UpdatedJan 4th, 2012
Cost Per Month
$15 for 500 email addresses to $150 for 25,000
$19/500 email addresses to $130 for 25,000
Free Phone, Email & Chat
Free Phone, Email & Chat
Native Shopping Cart Integration
Note (May 2010): I am now exclusively recommending AWEBER & not Constant Contact. I had an unfortunate run in with a Constant Contact representative & as a result prefer to affiliate myself with a company that appreciates those who send them business.
If you aren’t currently an Aweber user, I’ve negotiated for you a 1$ Test Drive of the service below… when you click on the banner below to get to the Aweber landing page, just click on their PRICING link and you’ll see the 1$ trial/test drive.
Recently, during the heavy vacation period of august I sent an email blast to my list. Not surprising at all, about 30% of the email messages came back with the standard: Mrs. Jane Smith is out of the office.I will be out of the office starting 20/08/2008 and will not return until 02/09/2008If you need immediate assistance blah, blah, blah…Now, traditionally we could use this as an excuse to justify not working as hard during holiday periods, and say, “What’s the point! Half the people are gone to the lake. I will go hard as soon as people get back to work in September!” Just like 90% of other marketers and sales people. Or Start viewing the out of office message or vacation alert email as a gift of information. After all, you know exactly when your client, customer or prospect is returning to the office. In fact, you could easily diarize to give this person a few days to get back and caught up, then call or email them when they are still on cloud nine from their vacation. Be one of the first people to call or email them, and ask how their holidays went. You might just be pleased with the response, and valuable insights you get.
Warning: Skype is Addictive but there are NO EMERGENCY calls with Skype, it is not a replacement for your ordinary telephone and can’t be used for emergency calling.
I have been using Skype almost since the beginning and although I love Skype and recommend it to almost everyone, there are a few things I wish I knew before using their many different services. Skype isn’t just for calling your friends for free over the computer anymore; it is a virtual gold mine alternative to using regular landlines, long distance, voicemail and more.
Update Jan 2010: My parents who are in their 60’s are now using unlimited long distance from Skype while they travel for several months (they were shocked that it only costs $2.95/month in North America!)…
I am going to summarize for you what Skype is capable of via features and hopefully point you in the right direction to save you time, money & headaches. I will leave out and assume you know that you can talk, instant message & video chat with anyone in the world for free, as long as both computers have downloaded the free version of Skype.
Skype Phone Number (SkypeIn):An online number is perfect if you have friends, family or business colleagues who don’t use Skype. Anyone can dial your online number from any phone or cell phone and hey presto, your Skype rings and you pick up the call – wherever you are in the world.
Skype Voicemail: People leave you messages when you’re unavailable. Personalize your voicemail greeting. Store your messages and listen later. Pick up your voicemails anywhere in the world. Voicemail is the simple solution to never missing a call. Your unanswered calls are sent to voicemail and you can listen to messages when you want, wherever you are signed in to Skype.
Unlimited calls to landlines with Skype: Starting from 3$ unlimited long distance with in your country to about $13 per month anywhere in the world. You can make calls any time of day, any day of the week without the need for a long term contract. All subscriptions contain online numbers that let your friends, family or business contacts reach you directly on Skype. And with your Skype To Go number you can reach your friends and family abroad at great rates using any landline or mobile phone.
Skype Out: You can pay as you go if you don’t want a monthly commitment. Calling rates as low as .02 cents per minute.Skype to Go: Service is no longer available.
Skype for Business: Now you’re up and running, utilize features that can help your staff keep in touch while they’re out of the office, like voicemail and call forwarding. You can also buy and distribute calling credit amongst your team so they can call phones and cell phones to talk to people who don’t use Skype, and save money at the same time. Plus you can set up online numbers so clients, partners and potential new customers have a number they can call you on from any phone or mobile, and you pick up in Skype.
Small Business Pack:Get business phones, headsets and everything you’ll need for your business on Skype.
Use Skype for cheap SMS (.09 cents): Sending a text message directly from Skype is perfect when you want to quickly reach a friend or colleague. You can even group a bunch of people together and send them the same message with one click. You can send text messages to phones on any network, in any country.
Take texting to a whole new level whether you are in school, in business or in love!
Hope you found this helpful, and again if you think I have missed an important feature (or feel something is out of date) please let me know and I will update this posting. You can connect with me on Skype using my user name leeraito. I decline all connection requests on Skype unless you send me a message commenting on my blog, or where you found me online. I would recommend you do the same if contacted by anyone you would consider a stranger online!
I was in the convenience store the other day and watched a lady buying Scratch & Win tickets. Her selection methodology, I am positive was based on pure emotion, color and the name on the scratch & win game itself.
Believe it or not this encounter got me thinking about sales conversion & statistics, so I made a mental note to check on this lady’s odds of getting lucky. I was amazed to find on the local lotteries website not only the odds of buying a winning ticket for each type of scratch & win game (e.g. 1 out of 3.51 or 1 out 4.96), but as well the amount of outstanding prizes and their dollar values. In other words, with some simple math, not only could you calculate which scratch & win tickets were more likely to pay out, but as well target which games still had the most money outstanding. This lady’s odds at 1:5 were much better than the regular 1 out of 6 Million Lotto 649, but unfortunately she chose a ticket that only had about 16 low value prizes left. In other words, she was statistically hooped.
So what does this have to do with sales conversions?
Well, just like the scratch & win ticket buyers selection methodology was skewed towards emotion, and not to the best statistical odds of winning. So too are many sales conversion efforts directed by emotion, gut & chance. This is not to say that luck and gut have no place in seeking sales conversions, as they often do, but if that’s the entire focus then you have lowered your odds of converting sales and like the lottery lady may be statistically hooped.
So in seeking sales conversions, there is a huge advantage for people willing to do a little research and ultimately track and test sales conversions.
Research your odds and set an acceptable ROI for your sales efforts, and this will force you to focus on activities that will provide a good Return on Investment and avoid those that don’t.
Online: As an example online, would you pay Google Adwords to send visitors to your page if it will cost you more than you can convert to sales? If you aren’t tracking and recording these numbers, how will you ever know the answer? Use Google Analytics or a similar service online to monitor and improve every aspect of your sales conversions. Who knows, maybe blue font on your page will pull 10% better than black…you just won’t know if you don’t track and test.
Offline: Regardless of what type of sales industry you are in, if you aren’t tracking your sales efforts, then how do you know your odds of converting sales. Quite simply you don’t and are similar to the lottery lady operating on gut feeling and emotion. If you excel and are a sales leader in your field, then of course this is all hogwash and doesn’t apply to you. Your experience far out weighs statistics. But, if you are part of the other 95% of sales people, then giving your self a statistical advantage is more than important. I would recommend tracking sales efforts offline with ACT or some other Customer Relationship Management program that can calculate conversions to sales.
Odds are odds, whether they are the unlikely odds of buying a winning Scratch & Win Lottery Ticket, or the odds of an internet visitor converting to a sale. With a little research and testing you can often give yourself an unfair advantage over your competition! Armed with the right information, odds are you’ll find yourself holding a winning ticket to better sales conversions.
Warning: This story is fictional. If this bears any similarity to sales people you may know or have seen it is purely coincidental!
Glad you’re hear, I really need help with…
Interrupting Sales Person: I know what you need, we have this awesome product it would be great for you! It’s the number one product in its class, it wins awards every year, and all your competitors are using it!
Prospect: Umm… but what does it do for me?
Sales Person: It’s going to blow your socks off, it’s going to change the way you do business.
Prospect Blow Off: I just forgot, I have to get running to meet my partner for lunch, or I am officially toast. Call my assistant and reschedule next week and we will talk some more. Gotta run!
This may be a little exaggerated, but is always a good reminder when in a sales meeting, sales call or talking with your spouse to shut up and listen. If you don’t, you run the risk of never finding out what your prospect actually needs, so that you can have a snow balls chance in hell of selling a BENEFIT to your product or service. If your prospective client sees a strong benefit to doing business with you, they are ten times more likely to close. The only way any of this happens, sales or spouse related, is by listening first to find out what they truly need.
Most people, including spouses, don’t want the smoke & mirrors of feature after feature, accolade and awards. They want to converse and be heard, and for you to expertly help solve their problems or improve their life. OK, maybe that’s a stretch with you partner, but it’s sure true in sales.
Just a short thought this evening, as I have been asked as a favor for a friend to come up with a kick ass name for an amazing piece of software that generates leads for sales professionals in various markets. I can’t discuss the niche, but what I though I would give you is my simple technique for generating names! Generating new ideas & names will help your sales efforts period, as you need to do this every day to create catchy subject lines for your emails, tag lines for advertising campaigns, and countless other sales based communicables!
Warning: This isn’t for generating cool names, this is for generating highly targeted names that your potential customers will immediately recognize. There’s a reason Microsoft named their browser Internet Explorer… because that’s what it does!
Here it is:
1. Immediately put yourself in the mindset of your audience, in this particular case they are looking for (Lead) (Generation)(Software) (Specific Niche)… that’s my starting point. If you have no knowledge of your audience, it is very unlikely your idea (name) will appeal to them. Know your audience.
2. Now I go and analyze the competition by doing a Google search for, you guessed it, “lead generation software + niche” I’m not going to bore you with the results, but what I found were that most names were obscure and unrelated to the niche. In fact, 99% of companies had to heavily advertise to be noticed 1st page on Google. You can pay attention to whose advertise if you want, as its good to know your competition, but I think its really important to zone in those names and tag lines that make their way to the top of Google naturally.
3. Armed with my audience in mind, and ideas from the strongest competitors, its then time to get down to business generating a kick ass name. But I do so something crazy here. I try and forget about the task for at least an hour, or best case scenario overnight, then come back to it. You will be amazed what you come up with when you sit down with a piece of paper or open up a .doc on your PC. The ideas will flow.
That’s it…quite simply really, but highly effective!
Since your still here I have a favor to ask, join my list off to the right there…download my book, and shoot me your thoughts!
OK, so these essential sales tools are a godsend for anyone and everyone in sales whether or not you are a dominant female Guerrilla Marketer or the leading male in your pack. These 4 applications of free Google services can have an immediate affect on your sales ability. If you have other uses you feel I have missed, please post your comments below.
If you’re in sales, you probably already use one or more of these Google Applications, but I dare say you should be using them all. If your not in sales, you’ll still want to check the power of these applications out!
Here they are:
1. Google Alerts
– In sales, if you aren’t using Google alerts you aren’t on top of you competition, your best clients, and your ‘to die for’ prospects. Quite simply using Google Alerts allows you to monitor keywords that are important to your business. Monitor “ABC, Inc.” and Google will email you when any news, blogs, videos, pictures or more are posted amongst the billions of pages online. Be the first to call your contact and congratulate them, or strategically use the information to close your next deal. I think you get the point, but also consider monitoring keywords to keep tabs on your competition, your brand and anything else that is important to your success.
http://www.finance.google.com – If you sell to companies that are listed on stock exchanges, or would like to, then Google Finance can help you identify key executives, peruse financial information & determine the viability of selling to your future corporate clients. The research that you can dig into is nothing short of amazing.
– If you have to travel period and you haven’t yet invested in a portable GPS system, then Google Maps & Mobile Google Maps is the next best thing. Not only can you arrive on time, or follow turn by turn directions on your mobile phone for free, you can truly use Google Maps to increase sales for your business.
Ensure your company is added to your local Google Maps for more walk in traffic, or search visibility. Encourage your clients to write positive reviews on your business, and potential customers will flock to your business over others via search. If you don’t tell them to write a review on Google Maps I’m sure your competition would love to!
When you are heading out on a sales call, try doing a general search for other similar prospects in the area. You might be surprised that the prospect of your dreams isn’t in your database, and is just blocks from where your appointment is. Time for a drop in introduction or a much needed update of your database!
If you have a website, use Google Maps on your site to drive customers to your door. If you don’t have a website use Google Maps to drive to theirs.
It’s probably a pretty safe assumption that you have used Google to look up customers, potential prospects and other research essential to your sales process. Google Search can either be your best friend or your worst enemy, depending on whether you know the tips and trick of effective search. I am simply amazed when I discover someone has been using Google for years, and they can’t find what they are looking for. Hopefully you will never experience that again, by reading Google’s own short tutorials below:
My favourite search tip, is easier than breathing and uses quotations in the Google search box for highly targeting my searches. For example, let’s say you are searching for information on William Smith, you are about to experience a very long evening of sifting through 16 Million pages, and probably still won’t find what you are looking for. However, if you just narrowed your search to “William Smith” in Plymouth, MN, you are served 6000 pages and will probably find whom or what you are looking for much, much quicker.
In conclusion, knowledge is alpha sales power regardless of gender, and I hope you found these sales applications of everyday Google Services useful and applicable to your sales efforts. If you have even more uses of these or other Google Applications please leave a comment, or drop me a line, as I would love to hear about and use them.