Mar 11

Interesting Questions About Email Marketing Tips

Thomas asks…

tips for getting my small at home business off the ground?

I own my own business but it seems to be going no where. I make jewelry and felt crafts for children. Any tips or tricks?

Richard answers:

Not knowing what you already have, start by selling on ebay and other sites that are similar. They have a large audience to get your product in front of people. Make sure you have a professional logo. Get a website where you can provide information about your business and products. Make it look as professional as possible. You can sell products without a merchant account by using Paypal or Google Checkout but to look more professional you may want to get a merchant account to accept all credit cards directly.

Next focus on marketing. Use Facebook to create a business page and promote you business there. Twitter and LinkedIn are also good for marketing. The other marketing thing is to keep in contact with your previous customers. If they’ve had a good experience keep your name in front of them by sending them newsletters or some form of email marketing.

James asks…

How should I market my small business online?

My husband and I just started a small retail business and are interested in marketing it online. Any suggestions as to the best way to start?

Richard answers:

As an online store, you need to focus on two things:

- get TARGETED traffic interested in what you sell (avoid traffic exchanges, traffic swarm and those poor quality traffic)
- CONVERT those visitors into buyers

You can use pay per click advertising in the search engines to reach audiences looking for your products. You can use Google Adwords http://www.google.com/adwords or Yahoo http://searchmarketing.yahoo.com

Here are some shoestring marketing ideas that can help you get the visitors you need at the least cost possible:

1. Create the best content you can with the best products you can possibly offer. Your content is your best advertisement – if visitors love your content, then they will go back and spread the word to others.

2. Make it easy for users to recommend your site. Viral marketing is very important — and easy to tap on the Web. But give your users the tools. Get a Recommend this Site script from websites such as cgiscripts.com and similar directories of scripts. Some even go as far as giving incentives to those who recommend the site to their friends. If only 10 people go to your site, but these 10 people invite 10 more – that’s additional traffic that you get for FREE!

Recommend Site Scripts (various) http://php.resourceindex.com/Complete_Scripts/Website_Promotion/Recommend_Site/
Big Nose Bird Recommend this Site http://bignosebird.com/carchive/birdcast.shtml
CGI Resource Index http://cgi.resourceindex.com/Programs_and_Scripts/Perl/Website_Promotion/Recommend_Site/
Hostscripts http://www.hotscripts.com/PHP/Scripts_and_Programs/Site_Recommendation/index.html

3. Rank well in the search engines (organic search results, not the pay per click). SEs can be a big source of traffic. The key is to create the best content in your niche. If you have good content, other websites will gladly link to you and offer your site as a resource to their audience. Check the on-page factors and be sure to get linked from authority sites in your topic area.

If you are going to read only one piece on search engine optimization, I suggest you read Brett Tabke of WebmasterWorld.com’s “Successful Site in 12 Months with Google Alone: 26 steps to 15k a day.” http://www.webmasterworld.com/forum3/2010.htm

4. Send out press releases. While outfits charge as much as $650 per release, there are free press release submission places on the Web. Press releases allow you to (a) attract media attention; (b) get more back links to your website without sending each website an email request; and (c) get more visibility especially if your press release gets in Google News or Yahoo News.

Http://www.prleap.com/sign_up.html

http://i-newswire.com/

http://www.24-7pressrelease.com/

http://www.pressbox.co.uk/cgi-bin/links/add.cgi

http://www.pr.com/press-releases

http://www.prfree.com/

http://www.clickpress.com/releases/index.shtml

http://www.theopenpress.com/

http://www.przoom.com/

http://www.prweb.com

http://www.newswiretoday.com/

http://www.free-press-release.com/

5. Submit articles. Write articles and submit them to websites accepting author submissions. You get exposure for your business; establishes you as an authority in your field, and allows you to get backlinks for your website. If 50 websites publish your article and it contains a link back to your website, then you easily get 50 links from a single article. The more links you have, the greater your chances for increasing your search engine rankings.

Here is a comprehensive list of where to submit your articles http://answers.yahoo.com/question/;_ylt=AhzreGmnCUicOoyedqypscUjzKIX?qid=1006022407481

6. Improve your conversion. Getting visitors is one thing; getting them to buy your products is a whole different story. Read the article ” How To Sell More on the Web: 30 Tips To Increase Conversion Rates For An Ecommerce Site ” http://www.powerhomebiz.com/092006/ecommerce.htm for tips on how to improve your conversion rates.

7. Post a link to your site for free where it is allowed (always read the Terms of Use). Examples are:

Craigslist http://www.craigslist.com
Google Base http://base.google.com
Classifieds for Free http://www.classifiedsforfree.com/…
Text Link Exchange http://www.txtswap.com/
Recycler.com http://www.recycler.com/
Yahoo Classifieds http://classifieds.yahoo.com/
US Free Ads http://www.usfreeads.com/

Joseph asks…

What are some good online marketing firms for an E commerce website, mainly for PPC and SEO?

I started an online business recently and the problem I’m running into is that there are too many marketing choices out there. Before investing money into a marketing firm, I wanted some tips on how to go about choosing the RIGHT marketing firm. If you have worked with a particular firm, feel free to point them out. Don’t worry about how expensive or cheap the marketing firm might be. I want to know the different qualities of firms that are out there and how they work with clients. As stated in the question, Pay Per Click advertising and Search Engine Optimization is what I need help with.

Thanks a lot for your input.

Richard answers:

I use a small company for my internet marketing. They do a great job and drive a lot of business to me. ( www.internetmarketingofsandiego.com ). However, they type of business you would use is up to the type of your business. I have a local business, and this business specializes in local business marketing (I don’t need to have people in New York seeing my website as much as I need people in San Diego to view it).

If you have a more national or global business, then you would need to use some type of internet marketing, email marketing, sms marketing, search engine marketing company that would be able to get you widespread marketing. You can always do it yourself (see seomoz.org) but it is very time consuming and meticulous to get it to work right). I only pay about $200/mo and receive about $18,000 in business using a focused marketing company.

Paul asks…

How do I send out weekly emails to people who sign up for information?

I signed up on some companies website for 52 tips to get more energy. Every week I get a tip emailed to me. I am sure that this is done by some marketing company or website or something. How is that done, because every person starts on a different week.

Richard answers:

Look at the fine print on the email you are receiving. It should indicate the email company. If there is a remove or unsubscribe link it should also point to the company.

? ?

David asks…

Can anyone give me some tips as to how to promote my internet business?

I just recently started a work-from-home internet business, and I’m wondering if there are any tips or tricks to getting more traffic to my site? I don’t know alot of people that are interested personally, so I have to find prospects elsewhere. Any ideas or tips would be greatly appreciated.

Richard answers:

Getting traffic is a combination of a lot of things. The key to success is to create great content that visitors want to use, search engines will love and other websites will naturally link to. Of course, it’s easier said than done.

You can use pay per click advertising in the search engines to reach audiences looking for your products. You can use Google Adwords http://www.google.com/adwords or Yahoo http://searchmarketing.yahoo.com

Here are some shoestring marketing ideas that can help you get the visitors you need at the least cost possible:

1. Create the best content you can with the best products you can possibly offer. Your content is your best advertisement – if visitors love your content, then they will go back and spread the word to others.

2. Make it easy for users to recommend your site. Viral marketing is very important — and easy to tap on the Web. But give your users the tools. Get a Recommend this Site script from websites such as cgiscripts.com and similar directories of scripts. Some even go as far as giving incentives to those who recommend the site to their friends. If only 10 people go to your site, but these 10 people invite 10 more – that’s additional traffic that you get for FREE!

Recommend Site Scripts (various) http://php.resourceindex.com/Complete_Scripts/Website_Promotion/Recommend_Site/
Big Nose Bird Recommend this Site http://bignosebird.com/carchive/birdcast.shtml
CGI Resource Index http://cgi.resourceindex.com/Programs_and_Scripts/Perl/Website_Promotion/Recommend_Site/
Hostscripts http://www.hotscripts.com/PHP/Scripts_and_Programs/Site_Recommendation/index.html

3. Rank well in the search engines (organic search results, not the pay per click). SEs can be a big source of traffic. The key is to create the best content in your niche. If you have good content, other websites will gladly link to you and offer your site as a resource to their audience. Check the on-page factors and be sure to get linked from authority sites in your topic area.

If you are going to read only one piece on search engine optimization, I suggest you read Brett Tabke of WebmasterWorld.com’s “Successful Site in 12 Months with Google Alone: 26 steps to 15k a day.” http://www.webmasterworld.com/forum3/2010.htm

4. Send out press releases. While outfits charge as much as $650 per release, there are free press release submission places on the Web. Press releases allow you to (a) attract media attention; (b) get more back links to your website without sending each website an email request; and (c) get more visibility especially if your press release gets in Google News or Yahoo News.

Http://www.prleap.com/sign_up.html

http://i-newswire.com/

http://www.24-7pressrelease.com/

http://www.pressbox.co.uk/cgi-bin/links/add.cgi

http://www.pr.com/press-releases

http://www.prfree.com/

http://www.clickpress.com/releases/index.shtml

http://www.theopenpress.com/

http://www.przoom.com/

http://www.prweb.com

http://www.newswiretoday.com/

http://www.free-press-release.com/

5. Submit articles. Write articles and submit them to websites accepting author submissions. You get exposure for your business; establishes you as an authority in your field, and allows you to get backlinks for your website. If 50 websites publish your article and it contains a link back to your website, then you easily get 50 links from a single article. The more links you have, the greater your chances for increasing your search engine rankings.

Here is a comprehensive list of where to submit your articles http://answers.yahoo.com/question/;_ylt=AhzreGmnCUicOoyedqypscUjzKIX?qid=1006022407481

6. Post a link to your site for free where it is allowed (always read the Terms of Use). Examples are:

Craigslist http://www.craigslist.com
Google Base http://base.google.com
Classifieds for Free http://www.classifiedsforfree.com/…
Text Link Exchange http://www.txtswap.com/
Recycler.com http://www.recycler.com/
Yahoo Classifieds http://classifieds.yahoo.com/
US Free Ads http://www.usfreeads.com/

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Mar 10

Interesting Questions About Email Marketing Best Practices

Carol asks…

Is there any group that discusses SEM search engine marketing ?

I”m looking to join a group that will help me market my products the best way ?

Richard answers:

The SEOchat site seems like a great match for your question’s “title,” but after reading the whole question, I suspect you’ve just used “SEM search engine marketing” as a buzzword, and you want help learning or improving all aspects of online marketing.

There are many online discussion groups, forums, and email discussion lists about marketing. Not surprisingly, the most common topic of discussion is “search marketing,” which is really two separate-but-tightly-related activities, “paid search” (ppc, adwords) and “search engine optimization” (seo).

Two groups that I actively read each day are:

LED-Digest http://www.LED-Digest.com/
and
SEM2 http://groups.google.com/group/SEM2

These are both lists primarily for experienced marketers and business owners.

I also participate actively in another community of “affiliate marketers,” at:

ABestWeb http://forum.abestweb.com/

Always spend a LOT of time reading any discussion forum or email list before you post; make sure you understand the rules and the community’s common practices.

Linda asks…

How would you promote a neighborhood business?

I’m trying to create a personal business and I have business cards and have made flyers for my business. It is pet sitting and many other things. Someone else beat me to the pet sitting, but I still want to practice my other businesses. I have made prices and have references, but nobody is calling. I haven’t put up the flyers yet, because I don’t know where to put them! I also have a babysitting business too. What kind of other promoting should I do, and any other ideas for different businesses?
I don’t want to do any online surveys.

Richard answers:

Hey Lauryn, for starters, you can send out a “Grand Opening” email to all your contacts so they’re aware of your business and start getting your flyers and any other marketing materials distributed throughout your local community. Below is a list of places to get you started. The key is to be consistent in getting as much information out there as you can so make sure you have your marketing materials with you whereever you go leaving a “paper trail” behind. Once you start building up a clientele, you’ll be able to work on referrals as well.

You’ll eventually want to expand on this but you first want to start with the basics. HTH

George asks…

Is there a practice management software system available for med spas?

I am an office manager for a small med spa and looking for practice management software similar to medical practice software. Any information that can point me in the right direction would be great help.

Richard answers:

I work with a small med spa office that uses PatientNOW Medical Spa Studio, since adopting this software and the features it offers, they have experienced increased productivity and revenue.

After the initial set up, the scheduling tool books the appropriate staff and resources that are required for the appointment for you and sends out automated reminders through text and email. The reduction in time spent doing this has really allowed the office to focus on other important tasks.

The med spa documentation management allows each patient file to be free of human error from lost of misfiled documents, which is a more common occurrence with manual office filing. Initial set up of necessary documentation and forms with this software is made simple and quick with the templates that are provided.

The marketing resources provided by the software allow a great tool for re-targeting all previous patients and interested leads through contacts created within the system. Custom messaging to promote med spa packages, gift cards, and loyalty points that relate to specific services or procedures that the patient has previously received or expressed future interest allows the patient to be notified of upcoming marketing promotions.

The number of procedures being performed per month has increased, as has the volume of patients returning and/or making appointments for new services, which has allowed tremendous growth in revenue for their business. Additionally, office productivity has increased because of the tasks that PatientNOW takes care of, leaving your staff to focus on more important activities, like the patient.

Ken asks…

What computer courses should I take to make myself more marketable?

Im 29 and embarrassed to say that I know next to nothing about computers. I know WORD but just what I needed to write essays as a university student. Now Im finished but I feel at a huge disadvantage because Ive got a liberal arts degree and its very hard to get a job. I have a lot of qualities and life experiences that I believe have made me a well rounded and educated person. I speak 3 languages fluently; I have lived in various countries. But as you recent college graduates know, having specific jobs skills or experience in a field are the most valuable assets. the job market isnt for those who have a broad education. Im in a post bachelor diploma now to get a teaching certificate, but I would also like to have more options, maybe work for a company in an office job. I have a bachelors degree in Linguistics. I GREATLY appreciate your advice; Im pretty frustrated and a little depressed. Thanks!

Richard answers:

Your best bet is to *first* sit down with a general overview from a good tech book series such as the “missing manual” or “visual quickstart guide” — e.g. “Mac OS X: The Missing Manual”, by David Pogue … These two particular series are designed to be read alone, sitting next to a computer, and will teach you nearly everything you need to know. Books published by O’Reilly or Peachpit are your best bet. After a general overview to the operating system of your choice, you should learn Word, Excel, and Powerpoint … Word and powerpoint you can learn from practice and exploring (they’re easier than they look): make up bogus documents and format them to your hearts content… Play with the styles and templates … Peruse a guide in the library. Excel you really need to learn from a book/workshop. Knowing Microsoft Access will make you extremely marketable to many small businesses. Many townships have community education programs which teach all of this.

You should spend about a month learning the OS, the bundled applications (email, address book, calendar, web browser, and so on), and what all of the settings do, and then the office suite should take you 4 to 6 months to get pretty competent (the bulk of the time being on Access and Excel).

The icing on the cake for a business is experience in scripting and programming languages. You should learn HTML and Visual Basic (both of which would take you a couple months), and especially Java (which would take you a year if you took a semester-long class, which is taught at every community college in the country).

Lisa asks…

What are some of the computer skills middle aged employee’s need to learn the most to keep up with technology?

I want to create a class to offer middle aged men and women that would beef up their computer literacy skills so that they will still be able to market themselves should they find themselves unemployed. I am curious as to what you think those basic skills are and how important each skill would be to someone who might find themselves on the wrong side of the digital divide with technology should they loose their job?

Richard answers:

They should know how to use Microsoft Office and operating systems like Windows XP since it is used in many homes, schools, offices, and etc…there are many good free tutorials for that:

Windows XP and Vista and MS Office:

http://www.baycongroup.com/windows_xp/index.htm

Top-Windows-Tutorials is great website for learning about Windows XP and Vista, how to protect your computer with antivirus and firewall, backing up your files and data, etc.

Http://www.top-windows-tutorials.com/free-windows-xp-tutorials.html

Various tutorials for MS Office:

http://www.fgcu.edu/support/office2000/

http://inpics.net/excel03.html

Teach-ICT is a great educational website for learning about computers:

http://www.teach-ict.net/software/excel/excel.htm

They probably should know how to use email, MS Outlook, and etc…YouTube would have many computer tutorials:

http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=How+to+use+Outlook+2003&search_type=&aq=f

If they want some hands on experience and practice using Microsoft Word, Excel and Powerpoint then they can get the Kingsoft Office 2007 Free Personal suite version.

-FREE
-Compatible with Microsoft Word, Excel, and Powerpoint
-Kingsoft Office 2007 menu interface is SIMILAR to the one for MS Office 2003

http://depositfiles.com/en/files/6554876

http://phanmem.dec.vn/ProductDetails.aspx?ProductID=23

The installation file is stored in a zip file so you will need a program like Winzip or ExtractNow ( which you can get from www.download.com or www.instantfundas.com ) to unzip the file and extract the installation program for the Kingsoft Office 2007 Free Personal Edition.

ExtractNow:

http://download.cnet.com/1770-20_4-0.html?query=extractnow&tag=srch&searchtype=downloads&filterName=&filter=

Here is a website that gives more information about the Kingsoft Office 2007 free version:

http://www.mydigitallife.info/2008/07/14/kingsoft-office-2007-personal-english-edition-free-download-as-complete-familiar-microsoft-office-replacement-alternative/

Good luck and I hope this helps!

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Mar 09

Interesting Questions About Email Marketing Lists

Mandy asks…

How exactly do email marketing companies work?

Do you just pay them to send out emails to an opt in list and design if needed or are there other fees too, like fees for links and fees for every time that link is clicked?

Richard answers:

Try this:
http://marketing-and-publishing.ebookorama.com/

Michael asks…

How to mass market a product/service?

How can I mass market a product to consumers? what is the best way and most affordable way? I know of kijiji ads, facebook ads… what else?

Also, what is the best way to capture leads (emails, names, etc)?

Can I buy twitter postings (a company with a big following sells posts on their account to their large following)?

Does anyone know of any legitimate email marketing companies? Ones that have their own lists and send out emails for you?

THANKS!

Richard answers:

Hi Matty,

The methods that you have mentioned so far are essentially a waste of time and money. Trust me I have tried them several times. You do not want to rent or buy other peoples’ lists because they will not be targeted towards your product/service and the people receiving the messages will not be responsive. Think about what you would do if you received a random email about some product or service that you have never expressed an interest in. Would you even look at it?

What I suggest is that you set up the following:
Blog
Facebook page
Twitter Account
Google+ Account
Pinterest account
Youtube account (very powerful for SEO)

Link all of these things together and put up a bunch of content (you can get content written and videos made cheaply on fiverr.com)

Drive traffic towards the blog or a squeeze page where you will have an opt-in form. You always want to ask permission before sending emails. This is not just for ethical reasons, it also increases the responsiveness of the list because as far as they are concerned they have chosen to be marketed to and are actually expecting to be contacted by you.

Here is a post by Seth Godin (marketing genius) about permission marketing:

http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2008/01/permission-mark.html

Here is some information about using this method for email marketing campaigns

http://www.squidoo.com/email-marketing-a-brief-introduction

I hope this helps!

Helen asks…

How much could I sell my databases for?

I research small businesses and compile databases on company info that I find. How can I find out how much people normally expect to pay for this type of information? I am aiming to supply telemarketers and web designers/developers and improvers/email marketing companies/Insurance companies.
Pretty new to this type of work. So any help with how much I could charge would be most useful, also how to sell them and where.
I was thinking I could perhaps sell them as hard copies on Ebay one fee for multiple rights (to more than one buyer) or sole rights to one buyer, under Ebays BUY NOW policy.

Compiling my databases by postal areas. eg. Cambridge, Birmingham.

Richard answers:

I do not want to put you off its a good idea.
You have to be careful if they data contains personel information even such as a telephone number that is a direct line it may breech the 1998 (revised 2001) Data protection act if they have not given consent.

In this country general company information is ok although not in Italy.

It would depend on who you are selling it to, how many are on it,
how up to date it is, and how much detail is provided.

It could be anything from £400 – £2,000 or more. I think it is Data Monitor or Brad on line some the larger companies charge by use so they sell you a disc or a computor download and you are allowed to use the list a given amount of times and then you have to re negotiate terms for additional use.

If I were you I would look those two companies up on the internet and also go to http://www.opsi.gov.uk/acts/acts1998/19980029.htm

Mary asks…

How can I improve my email marketing campaigns?

I have a small list of emails of people who are interested. I would like to increase my list.

Richard answers:

Are you looking to improve your current email marketing? Or increase you email list? Looks like two questions.

To increase your email marketing list, include a link to a web form on your postal mail piece directing the consumers to visit that site and register for any number of reasons (sign up to receive special offers, sign up for our email newsletter, sign up for acces to XXX, etc). Once they register, they are providing you with their email address so the email is can spam compliant.

Lizzie asks…

I need to know about email marketing?

Whether any email marketing companies in chennai, i would like to know about email marketing, how that will help for my business.

Richard answers:

As sometimes you get a mail from an unknown email, its called email marketing. In it, to promote our product or business we get emails list from any database provider or can use emails that we get from search engines. Now we with a mail about promoting our product and sends that to all the emails we have. Just it.

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Mar 08

Interesting Questions About Email Marketing Templates

James asks…

Where can I find templates for a business newsletter?

I am looking for some attractive templates to use for a business marketing newsletter. Ideally free. I get many of these sent to my email address. Many of these I dismiss. However, some really do catch the eye. I am trying to take my company down the emarketing route, and I am just a bit green on the subject. Many thanks in advance of your replies…………….

Richard answers:

Http://www.freeprintable.net/

Maria asks…

How to write for money on the internet?

I want to know how and where can I write and make money on the internet. Give me services, websites, emails, people.

Richard answers:

The best place to start is Jeff Herring ‘The Article Guy’ he has many useful webinars and templates that will get you up and running. Also check him out on YouTube.

Check out writing directories such as Ezine Articles

Also sign up with Clickbank, they market ebooks and ereports that you can sell (become and affliliate) on behalf of others or create your own products for others to sell for you.

William asks…

Where in a company does a Graphic Designer work and doing what?

And, more importantly, can I quote you on that?
Give me a break!
Only spam?

Richard answers:

Graphic designers typically work in the marketing department for larger companies or, more specifically, in advertising or marketing firms. It’s their job to maintain the companies’ brand (i.e. Logo, slogan, color scheme, powerpoint template, email marketing template) and can help design ads or any other visual elements that a marketing group might require.

Ruth asks…

How to start a clothing website for my store?

I own a women’s boutique as well as a children’s store. I was wondering what the best way to get a website going that would put our name out there. I wanted to start with just some information on our store and then build to be able to sell our clothing online. We are a small company with only these two stores and are trying to break through onto the online market as well as get our name and information out there! Thanks for your help!

Richard answers:

Any webhosting company should have a program that will help you create your company site without any programming experience. They should already have dozens of templates for you to choose from and just fill in the blanks with text or pictures. After completing your site you should submit it to search engines.

As for your online store, unless you you have good computer/programming knowledge I would have someone setup your site for you.

I would be glad to make some recommendations. Contact me through email or yahoo IM.
Boy143878@yahoo.com
IM: boy143878

Mary asks…

Where can I find someone who can help me build a website?

I have written an information product and plan to build a website to market it. Where can I find someone who can guide me through this process? And preferably someone who also knows about marketing tactics and aesthetic appeal.

Richard answers:

Http://www.gobuildwebsite.com offers to design business websites at no cost (and no set-up fee) but you pay for its hosting fee for one year (starts at $9.75/mo.). Tell them what you want and they will create one for you in one business day!

The solution I’m talking about is online website building where you choose the designs, colors, etc. Because they have already done all the work so you can create an attractive website online without messing with HTML scripts, ftp., etc. All you would need is a website browser like Internet Explorer or Safari (for Mac fans) which you already have since you are reading this, right? For example, http://www.gobuildwebsite.com offers websites that look like they cost $5000 but since you simply choose the designs and templates you like online, it costs only $9.75/mo and that includes everything needed to get started such as a new domain name, web hosting fee, domain-related email accounts, etc.

For $23.75/mo. (paid annually), you can even sell your own products online with secure PayPal checkout that can be set-up at no cost by going to Paypal.com and setting up a basic merchant account. This is by far the fastest way to go online with a professional looking website that has flash special effects, background music, web contact forms that send the message to email address of your choice (this alone will save hours of work with scripting). Good Luck!

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Mar 07

Interesting Questions About Email Marketing

Ruth asks…

Techy stuff I need to know before I start an email marketing campaign ?

I need some advice related to the more techy part of email marketing. I hear things about aweber, VPS, interspire, MTA, Dedicated Servers, socks proxies, SMTP etc. But everything is so confusing.
Let’s say I have a BIG forum with thousands and thousands of members and I want to send them an e-mail every 2 weeks. I read all about spam acts, subscribers, unsubscribers, opt-ins, double-optins,
HTML email format but I can’t seem to make the connection between the marketing part and the tech part of this.

What do I need in terms of hardware, software, scripts and all that ?
If I have interspire do I need VPS ?
If I have interspire do I need socks proxies ?
If I want to send 10.000 emails to all the members in one day what kind of VPS do I need (RAM,HDD,internet connection) ?
If I want to send 200 emails/day what kind of VPS do I need ?
If I have VPS do I need a a aweber account ?

Please explain in your own words…
Thanks

Richard answers:

Well if you just want to send email to members of the forum then provided if you are an admin you should be able to do it via Admin control panel

1) You’ll need an email sending software and autoresponder
Autoresponders are messages that are automatically sent when subscribers sign up to receive information from you. You can schedule a whole series of messages to go out at the daily intervals you set.

2) yes
3)yes
4) A good Vps with moderate specs.
5) Can be done through home connection
6) Makes things easier refer 1 for autoresponder

Sharon asks…

Wat is a good book about email marketing?

I’m looking for a good book about email marketing. It has to include mailings and newsletters. How to create the best newsletter out there for example.

Any tips?

Richard answers:

Here’s a list of the top five email marketing books.

Http://email.about.com/od/emailmarketing/tp/books.htm

Here’s a good book on branding, just for fun.
Http://www.amazon.com/22-Immutable-Laws-Branding-World-Class/dp/0887309372

Betty asks…

How to build targeted email marketing lists?

I am a affiliater.
How to build targeted email marketing lists?

Richard answers:

You ask your readers/visitors for their emails when they are entering your site. You can also do some SEM or buy email collectors.

William asks…

Has anyone used an email marketing company to send out safelist emails?

There are so many email marketing companies on the internet and it is difficult to choose which one to go for to promote affiliate products.

Is there anyone who has used one and can happily recommend?

Many thanks.

Richard answers:

You will just build yourself a reputation as a SPAMMER .. Whilst you may gain some customers this way you will loose many others …

Robert asks…

How to Start Bulk Email Marketing Without Becoming a Spammer?

Without spamming and fair with Google Penguin I want to start Bulk Email Marketing. I want a real bulk email service provider company.

Richard answers:

It is pretty easy actually. You don’t have to be a spammer to be using bulk email service. There are actually a lot of legit reasons why you might want to bulk email, for example to distribute marketing material for your currently subscribed customers, or customers that subscribed through various other marketing methods. My best choice for you would be Jangomail, they are pretty professional and flexible in terms of what you want to display on a website subscription form.

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Mar 06

Interesting Questions About Email Marketing Software

Richard asks…

who are the best email marketing software candidates for a community of over 20,000?

hello,

just seeking a little direction in terms of who could provide the most advanced email marketing systems for a growing community of over 20,000. any legitimate review sites, suggestions, or advice much appreciated.

thank you!

Richard answers:

My main question to you is why do you need the most advanced? ExactTarget allows for advanced targeting, automation, utilization of a seamless inegration with Google Ad Manager and much more. If you are really interested in pursuing an ESP, I would be more than happy to speak with you about your business needs and goals to see which of 5 ExactTarget solutions would make the most sense to maximize both your ROI and revenue.

Best Regards,
Eric Miller

Laura asks…

Where do I register my mail id to start e-mail marketing worldwide?

I’d like to start email marketing for my software product. I want to do it legal and hence I want to register my mail ID with the regulatory authority so that I wont be levied any penalty in future. Kindly help me….

Richard answers:

There is no e-mail registry that makes spamming (or marketing) legal.

Mary asks…

How to get email addresses for marketing my business?

Hi,
I am looking into doing some email marketing for my business. My list of emails is relatively small at the moment and these are made up of existing customers and enquires etc. I have tried searching at Google, sorry Yahoo and going through website after website to get emails but it is taking ages.
My web designer gave me some software to help but it is so complicated that I am still no further on.
Please any help in this area would be great.
Many thanks
Sharon

Richard answers:

Hi Sharon
I am not totally surprised by what you are saying about that email harvesting software your web guy gave you, there are lots out that are way to complicated and just don’t work.
The software I use lets you do a complete search and save plus use the data completely free, so worries about wasting money on duff software.
When you first install the software it pops up a wizard that guides you through the process but it is really just typing in one box, so not rocket science.
If you are looking for thousands of email addresses then you can import a merge list which will increase the number of searches done.
Try it and I will be shocked if it doesn’t work you.

James asks…

How do large companies send out millions of email in a day without them instantly going to the spam folder?

I am looking for a career change and was reading up on bulk email marketing for a particular job I am looking at. I am assuming that this would be done by a particular type of software. Does anyone know what type of software this would be so that I can read about it or if you know anything about the concept will you please share you experience.

Thanks.

Richard answers:

Most companies are cheating when they send out millions of emails. The servers have them sign an agreement that they won’t do this. So the companies are usually cheating since they promised they wouldn’t do it.
The software they use allows them to “spoof” the server into thinking that the emails are coming from 100 different locations and computers. There is not one single company that is legally sending out millions of emails every day. Not one..

Sandy asks…

What kind of design software should I get for work?

I need something to help me design professional & creative looking emails for our Email Marketing. Along with postcards, flyer’s, posters I might need to design for work.

Richard answers:

The same stuff everyone else uses for that type of stuff.

Office Suite (OpenOffice or MS Office) – Emails

Photoshop/Illustrator/Fireworks/GIMP – Logos, Postcards, other graphics

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Mar 05

Interesting Questions About Email Marketing Companies

Mark asks…

Can you tell me an effective email advertising website?

Hello. I own a web development company, www.itconsultinglive.com and I want to advertise my products and services on email, but I find it hard to chose, as google is providing lots of choices, and I don’t know which of them are spam and which are optin. In other words, please help me find an effective opt-in email advertising & marketing company, so I can submit my advertising email, and people read it, so it gets me traffic.
Thanks!

Richard answers:

Hello,

You can use this opt-in email advertising company to send your advertising email: TakeTheInternetBack.com
There are over 100 000 double opt-in members in the database that own the site, and they receive comissions for reading the emails. The prices are shown in the page below, and you can chose either small packages, either a large number of users, depending on your budget.

Http://www.taketheinternetback.com/opt-in-email-advertising-marketing-advertisers.php

Let me know if you need other info!

Thanks!

Donald asks…

What’s the reputable email marketing company to use for sending email ads?

I need a professional company that uses only opt-in email addresses and can geotarget campaigns.

Richard answers:

This will depend on your target audience. Different companies serve different areas and will tell you if they handle your demographic.

Have you considered “piggy-backing” your ads into established mailings (e-bulletins)? The cost tends to be lower and with better open rates.

Robert asks…

How do I design a HTML email campaign?

I need to Promote Some products via Email marketing can you recommend some company based you UK that can help me out with this campaign.

Richard answers:

Sure, try here: http://www.emailblasteruk.com/

Richard asks…

What drives more subscriber clicks to a comapny homepage, a sales email or an article publication?

I am trying to find out a certain trends in email marketing. Will an opt-in subscriber to a B2C e-publication be more likely to follow through to a company homepage from a newsletter with relevant articles, or a publication with a couple sales offers or free offers?

Richard answers:

Personally, I would go for the published article. I’ve been so bombarded with sales email and spam (400 or more every 12 hours or so), that I’m currently have trouble associating anything good with companies that send me tons of email. I’m about as motivated to find out more about a company or product via spam emails as I am computerized telemarketing.

Free offers may or may not be tempting – however, I’m most interested in acquiring useful information.

Sharon asks…

Should I feel jealous of all my friends who are still in grad school?

I’m 26 and only ever got my BA. I graduated in 2008, which wasn’t a good year for anyone to be graduating. I worked in low-skill jobs for three years, got a good job with an abusive employer, and now I have a job where I have a lot of power and responsibility (I administer their entire email marketing plan) I feel the company is behind the curve and destined for failure.

A lot of my friends from university and high school are still in university studying things like Transgender Health Policy in South Africa, Marine Biology, and Romantic Poets (those are just three cases). I feel jealous that they aren’t stuck in the crappy job market like me. Should I be? I know my mostly older friends who have graduate degrees and jobs don’t have better jobs than I do. On the other hand, I feel it’s a waste of time to be 26 and still in school unless you have a pot of gold waiting for you at the end.

Richard answers:

I can understand why you envy your friends. It’s quite enjoyable to be part of a community of scholars, where people read, discuss what they’re reading, and write about it. Unfortunately, almost no one can stay in school forever. Very few people get jobs at universities. They will soon be joining you in the workplace if they are able to find jobs.

Since you enjoy learning, you can continue to read. You can attend lectures and other events at a college or university near you. You can also spend time participating in online courses (for credit or just for enjoyment). Academicearth.com and coursera.org offer free courses. You could also buy courses on CD from the Great Courses.

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Mar 04

Interesting Questions About Email List Building Best Practices

Maria asks…

Do you know a private trainer who can change my life in Los Angeles or even out of state/country?

I am 25 years old and scared for my life. I have always been insecure with my body and the physical abuse from my mom certainly didn’t help. I feel closed and life is definitely passing me by. People in America have problems being overweight, mine is the complete opposite. I am thin and the insecurity blocks me from wearing shorts and a shirt for the world to see. This may seem obscure to some of you, but my insecurity really hurts. I know I take my life for granted, but what good is life when you can’t live with it. I feel that 6 months of pure gruel training and eating can change my life. This may be easy for some but difficult for me. People will say go to the gym, but my insecurity blocks me from going. What I truly want is to go away and train and grow my body, my soul, my life. I always dream of that Jean-Claude Van Damme movie where he goes off to Asia and trains like crazy. I know somewhere on this universe someone is willing to help.

Richard answers:

I have been “weight challenged” all my life as well, but maybe not to the degree you are talking about . . . I am 5′ 8″ and graduated high school weighing 125 pounds. I am now 32 yrs old and still only weigh 130 pounds . . . At least until recently. I recently decided that I FINALLY wanted to finish my karate training and get my black belt. I am currently trying to gain some weight to put on more muscle before my black belt test . . . So far I have gained 8 pounds in maybe two months . . . I made a decision to eat EVERY 4 HOURS, regardless of whether or not I “felt” like eating . . . I have also made it a point to eat food high in protein (peanut butter, tuna, etc) with every meal. The basic idea is to take in more calories than you are burning off in the course of your day. If you do that, you should start to gain . . . I have been going to the gym some and training karate, but I have been trying to minimize my activity in order to retain more calories. You should try to find a good balance between being active for health and to be physically fit, but not so active as to burn too many calories. You want to gain weight, but you don’t want to end up being OVERweight! For the time being, keep “cardio” to a minimum (jogging, cycling, aerobics, swimming, etc). I figure that as I become accustomed to eating more, my stomach will stretch some to accomodate, and I will eventually be able to eat enough food that will allow me to workout a lot and still not burn off too many calories . . . I would also suggest doing push ups and sit ups at home. In addition, you can use a milk jug filled with sand or water as a dumb bell to do arm curls, deltoid raises, etc. You could also use ankle weights to do leg raises (and possibly practice kicking exercises if you want). A book that I recommend is “Arnold Schwarteneggers Encyclopedia of Body Building” . . . I’m sure you don’t expect to become as big as a body builder, but there are principles taught in it that will help you. Also, there is an extensive list of exercises for you to refer to. If you have the money you could always buy a set of weights and dumb bells and a bar bell for use at your home. Also drink plenty of water and get plenty of rest. I hope some of this helps . . . I would love to hear back from you to find out what solution ends up working for you and to hear what kind of progress you make! IF YOU WANT TO CHAT MORE ABOUT THIS, FEEL FREE TO EMAIL ME OR SEND ME A MESSAGE AT MY 360 page . . . :-)

Lizzie asks…

What is the best option after a 3 -year Undergraduate degree in U.S?

I completed a 3 year UG course in Biochemistry which is considered a degree in my country but not in the U.S. I then applied in the U.S as a transfer student (for Psychology) and got admitted in 6 univs.I wish to know if I could have straight away applied for a PhD in Psychology somehow.Thanx

Richard answers:

I’m not sure how the international transfer works, your best bet is to contact one on the six places and either email or speak with an academic advisor (admissions may be able to help as well). Here are the ‘steps’ to getting a PhD in the US(on average):

Associate’s Degree (this takes about two years and is the lowest of all degrees, you can get one from a junior college, community college, or university…some people get their associate’s from a community/junior and then transfer to a university to get the next level…)

Bachelor’s Degree (this is the degree that most students go for, it takes normally takes four years at an accreditted university)

Master’s Degree (this takes roughly six years, and is usually in preparation for the next step…)

Doctorate (this is the highest level of degree available and takes roughly 8 years to complete)

Each of these degrees build on each other….so when I say that a doctorate takes 8 years that includes getting the rest, but in itself is normally only a 2 year program. Sometimes you can go directly from a bachelor’s to a doctorate, but that’s not the typical practice. There are also specialized degrees (like a law degree…which you go to Law School for, right after recieving your bachelor’s, and takes an additional 3 to 4 years to complete). Sometimes certain things are required before finishing a degree (like a thesis, research, or examination) It is all rather confusing. The best thing to do is determine what you are using your degree for (do you want to be a psychologist? Or just a therapist? Do you want to go to Medical School? Ecetera) and then go through the program that will get you there. If you list a particular use for your degree, I’ll try to help you further :) . Good luck, and hope this confusing answer helps!

Ken asks…

can you hypnotize people who already know you?

i am studying the power of suggestion, NLP, and basic hypnosis. my questions are: #1, can you hypnotize someone who already knows you and your speech patterns/mannerisms (since you have to fake confidence, among other things)?

#2, would anything about my appearance make it more difficult to hypnotize people? i’ve noticed that most hypnotists are men who command presence and respect, and i wonder if being moderately attractive, young, female, or shorter than my “subjects” would get in the way of controlling their complete focus. please answer only if you have experience or knowledge to offer.

Richard answers:

As for #1, yes. Many of the people I have hypnotized are people that I have known. While patterns/mannerism can be important, I would put rapport building *MUCH MUCH* higher on the list. Confidence comes with practice. I remember my first time I was nervous as all heck, but now I barely even think about it.

#2, What your describing with the way people dress, etc. This are examples of creating the expectation (or setting the stage). Creating the expectation is important. Why do you think top level business people all wear “power suits”? It creates expectation that they know what they are talking about, and one should listen to what they have to say. While it can be effective, remember everyone doesn’t necessarily respond the same way. I’m sure everyone can think of a time where someone dressed in a “power suit” (think: obnoxious salesperson) and you were just turned off completely.

The other thing to remember, is you need to work with your client. I tend to use client rather than subject, since subject tends to be cold/clinical and that they are being “subjected to” hypnosis. That not the typical expectation I want to create. Again, depends on the particular needs of the client.

As for questioning “if being a moderately attractive, young, female, or shorter than my “subjects” could get in the way of controlling their complete focus.” Ask yourself this.. Are you creating your own expectation that this will be a determining factor? I know many hypnotists that are all and none of the factors you listed (and everything in between) that are successful.

Make sure your and your clients expectations are realistic. Expecting to be able to “control their complete focus” is not realistic. If they don’t want to focus, they are not going to focus. PERIOD. The question is: As a hypnotist/NLPer, how to you best facilitate an environment that will assist them to focus better? It’s a collaborative process. I’m not sure the exact environment that you are planning to work in, but that can make a difference.

Email is on the profile if you want further details.

Mark asks…

What are the best marketing strategies for websites?

I recently set up a website and would like to know what are the best marketing strategies for websites.

My website: http://www.turboshared.com/

Richard answers:

Here are the top 10 marketing strategies to help boost your websites.

1) Start with a web promotion plan with effective web design and development strategy.

2) Get ranked at top search engines, & practice Search Optimization Techniques.

3) Learn to use Email Marketing Effectively.

4) Dominate your marketing niche with affiliate, reseller, and associate programs.

5) Request an analysis from an Internet marketing coach/ consultant.

6) Build a responsive opt-in email list.

7) Publish articles or get listed in news stories.

8) Write and publish online press releases.

9) Facilitate and run contests and giveaways via your web site.

10) Blog and interact with your visitors.

George asks…

Do you think privatization is the answer to reducing the bureaucracy in democracy?

Richard answers:

Yes, paying contractors 3 times what you pay the bureaucrats to get the same work done makes a crapload of sense.

To some of the other answerers: yes, anarchy is SOOOO much better than democracy.

To John E, in particular: and you’ve actually worked in the federal government, and can say this conclusively is true? Because I do work for the federal government, and I can tell you right now that your answer is complete BS.

“Yes, golgafrincham, I can state conclusively that I have worked, and seen the tremendous efficiency.”

I never said it was efficient, did I? That wasn’t the question.

“I only worked from 630 to 430 today (in my real private job), no OTJ breakfast, didn’t eat but 5 minutes lunch on the job.”

Sounds like my day, except I start a half hour earlier and I consciously take a half hour for lunch. And I didn’t / don’t put in for overtime or comp time, because I know I am working for the taxpayer.

“Why, in every federal place I have worked, has the first step been to ‘punch in’. Then its coffee, email, breakfast, shopping online, go get an oil change while on the clock. Maybe you are in charge of policing it.”

The fact that you say “punch in” shows how much of a liar you are. And funny, both in private and public jobs I’ve held, bringing in donuts (before work, but to be eaten during work time) and making coffee (on the clock) were / are commonly accepted practices. And email is part of my workday, that is just weird that you listed it. The rest is according to the individual, although I’ve never seen or heard of anyone getting an oil change on the clock. And, no, I’m not in charge of policing, it, I just know myself and my co-workers have respect, not only for the oath of office we took when we were hired (*), but in respect for the taxpayers (which includes ourselves) that are footing our wages.

In my two years with the federal government, I have never put in for overtime pay, even though I technically work overtime most weeks. And I know several people who put in far more hours than I do, that I know never put in for overtime pay (some of them do put in for comp time). I know in my last two private sector jobs, we had something called “beer-thirty” every Friday, on the clock: can’t do that on a government job. We also frequently had potluck lunches that usually took over an hour, and no one accounted it as a long lunch. I know I can as-built a building in less than a week, or contract someone to do the same job in the same amount of time, and pay them 3 times as much, but only after going through the contracting process to hire them. I know my folks can lay 2,500′ of sewer line for well under half the price of a contractor: we put the contract out last year, had crazy high bids (even in this economy) and opted to do it in house for just that reason.

* Ever take an oath, of loyalty to your country, to protect your country’s interests, and to uphold the Constitution, in the private sector? Sorry, NDAs don’t count. My oath of office was pretty doggone similar to the one I took when I joined the Marines back in 1985.

The answer to reducing bureaucracy in a democracy is to dismantle the democracy. A government with an efficient bureaucracy is called a dictatorship. In a democracy, we have oversight, buffers, checks and balances to ensure objectivity and control corruption, and to ensure the bureaucracy does not become more powerful than the politicians. These are all things a dictatorship doesn’t need, a dictator can simply execute someone that makes him unhappy. These are also all things that make the bureaucracy less efficient than it could be (yes, I know that not ALL government bloat is in the checks and balances and oversight, but that is the vast majority of it). And in a democracy, these are all things we must have.

So, you have a choice: do you want a democracy, or not?

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Mar 03

Interesting Questions About Email Marketing Services

Laura asks…

What are some of the main laws when capturing emails for future marketing purposes?

We’re starting to collect prospect and customer email addresses so we may run email marketing campaigns soon.

Richard answers:

U.S. Can-Spam regulations (look it up) essentially says it’s not legal to market to an email address you don’t have a prior relationship with. In the internet marketing field they commonly recruit people to join their mail list with a “squeeze page” expressly designed to get that volunteered email address often offering some sort of incentive like an eBook or webinar. Those with plenty of material to promote have no problem spending $5 in ad cost to get a consumer to sign up to their list, confident they can earn it back within some months. It’s pretty common to use an email management service to maintain a clean email list, they insist that you get people to sign up to your list through the management company provided form, many don’t allow email lists to be imported. These services, like Aweber.com are often used for automated mail sequences, others like Constant Contact (I believe) are not so geared for automated message sequences. These services avoid getting on emailer blacklists by maintaining a good relationship with ISP postmasters and using multiple IP addresses, they often provide better deliver-ability rates than your own email account may.

Http://workhomebusiness.org/autoresponder-services-review/

Joseph asks…

What are the best ways to advertise online, besides the normal search engines, Google, Yahoo, etc.?

I am starting a new business and want to know your opinion on what works. I see a lot of different companies offering the best service and I want to know which are the best.

Also, do things like email marketing, newspapers, banners, etc work?

My business will be an online investment company. Thanks!!

Richard answers:

Email marketing and posting advertisements on classifieds is one of the most effectiveness way to get people interested about your business.

Carol asks…

What is the best service/program to send email newsletters to established list of 1400 people?

We used a free version with our previous web host, but have moved to go daddy and their Express Email Marketing program was a total disaster for us. We need one that is relatively inexpensive and easy to maintain and use for a non-technical person.

Richard answers:

One that I’ve used it mail chimp. I think it might be www.mailchimp.com. I think you pay about a cent an email. They have a good html email set up section. If the website isn’t right just search for mailchimp. Make sure you don’t spam, they’ll kick you out pretty quick.

Sharon asks…

Is it illegal to call companies requesting information under false pretense?

I’m being advised by my manager to call companies to acquire names and email addresses of management staff for future marketing services. We are being made to call from a blocked number, and act as though we are or were recently customers at these places. Is there anything illegal about this practice?
I’m feeling like it is unethical, but wanted to find out if there were legal implications to this, as well.

Richard answers:

Its lying….and i agree its unethical…..”thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor” exodus 20:16….so, my suggestion is to talk to your manager and say that you can’t do this b/c it is wrong

Ruth asks…

Is this too expensive for email marketing software?

My boss spends over £300 a month on a subscription to an email marketing software that allows him to send a newsletter out to thousands of contacts at a time. I told this to someone who works in this kind of thing and he said that you can get the same thing for about £15 a month. I told my boss about this and he ignored my advice and when I mentioned it to somebody else in the office they said that he probably uses that software because the guy who runs it is his “friend”.
Is my boss an idiot or what?

Richard answers:

Your boss isn’t necessarily an “idiot”. There can be any number of motivations for choosing a particular vendor. Each business needs to evaluate their own particular needs and then select the vendor that best suits those needs. Pricing plans range from flat rate monthly plans to graduated plans where the price goes up the larger your list gets.

One of the more critical elements to consider is the deliverability of the email marketing service chosen. No matter what you are paying, if your email marketing message doesn’t get through, pricing is the least of your worries.

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Mar 02

Interesting Questions About Email Marketing Strategies For Small Business

Sharon asks…

Are people more receptive to Online Marketing?

In the current economic climate I m looking at starting some online Marketing, are people much more receptive to it now than 5 years ago?

Richard answers:

YES!

Case in point: Facebook. While people mainly use it for personal use, it’s widely used to promote small and large businesses alike.

Email marketing, pay per click advertising and even article writing & distribution play huge rolls in a businesses marketing strategy and all are online.

Daniel asks…

I need that they help me in this case for marketing assignment. Help?

The owner of a firm that manufacture heavy equipment there is determined expansion the efforts of sale a base regional to national one. However, this does not know if decides to continue utilizing the presents one politics promotion of the firm. Which i s to utilize personal sale exclusively. As a manager of marketing, it to order to the president to include national announcements in the mixture promotion? Than other strategies it suggest?
this is for a Adversity and promotion class i am taking in a college in puerto rico, hope this helps and thank you for your answer.

Richard answers:

Not knowing where you are, makes this difficult to answer, but I’ll give it a shot.

Since you are trying to go from a Regional to a National marketing effort, I’d recommend the following:

1. Press Releases to Newspapers, TV, Magazine and Radio in the new areas your company is entering. (Most will never be printed, but it’s worth the small cost.)

2. Identify the largest users of Heavy Equipment in your major areas in the National Market, target the decision makers of these firms, using mail, and telephone calls.

3. As the two above methods get you leads, add 1 or 2 national sales representatives to your staff, have them make the personal contacts necessary, either in person, phone, email, whatever is needed. Add staffing as business expands.

4. Expand to contacting the smaller users of Heavy Equipment in your chosen market areas.

Heavy Equipment is a big $$$ Item. So personal sales, is almost required.

Good luck in your expansion efforts.

Carol asks…

How can I earn money if I am a kid by investing in something like the stock market?

Richard answers:

You can open an account but you may need to have the account in the name of a custodian – your parent or their broker. That said, it amounts to the same as going to the race track and telling your dad which horse to bet on. You get the authority, but the idea is that at least you go to someone more seasoned for advice. And if your parents or another family member have a really good broker, they’re often happy to talk with you and help you, since you’re a prospective future customer.

I lucked out – my Dad has done business with a broker from one of the larger investment houses for more than 20 years, so after college I sat with him for an hour and opened an account and got advice. My broker is now a principal with the investment house – one of the owners. And if I email a question, he still calls me back that day and asks what he can do to help me.

At your age, there are good tax reasons not to just open up an account and start trading. For one, if your state allows it, your parents can put money into one of several education savings and retirement savings accounts, and deduct these amounts from their taxes. So long as your income is declared on your parents’ taxes, I don’t believe the tax code distinguishes between your income and theirs.

Also, your parents can make a one-time “gift” to you and write that off their taxes. The idea is, if they save money on their taxes, they can give the savings to you and help you open the account.

As far as where to first put your money, you need to make out a plan of when you need the funds and how much you think you’ll need. Recognize that if you invest in the short-run as a day-trader, you need to effectively put in only what you’re willing to lose and not be surprised if you lose all of it. Day-trading is very high-risk and very competitive.

A more sound strategy is long-term investment. Put funds where you think there will be growth.

You, as the early member of the second-largest consumer demographic, get to see first-hand what products are going to emerge. I wish I had bought Apple stock (APPL) back when iPods first came out. But I wasn’t into that scene – I was in grad school and had my nose in academic journals all day.

Same thing with oil prices. I should have put into Exxon (XOM) and BP-Amoco (BP) when I saw prices rising in a consistent trend. I would’ve made a small fortune.

Where you see successful business brewing, follow up by looking at the underlying elements. On sites such as Yahoo!Finance and several financial news services, you can look at both stock performance (what was the price over the past few months) and company performance (did they make money last year? Was it real profit? How much debt do they have? How much are they making for every dollar they spend?).

Finally, don’t be emotional. Over the long-run, expect your investments to drop precipitously and rise astronomically. Don’t be tempted to sell low – even when your shares are dropping – unless the company is going bankrupt or being delisted. I bought shares of a very new company two years ago at $1.99. I thought it was a bargain – they had traded recently at $4.28. There was a reason for the dive – it kept going, dropping to $0.48 and there was a threat of delisting from the exchange. I held onto the shares, and they’ve rebounded to $1.72. Still a loss at this point, but they’re the ones developing fuel cells for one of the American auto manufacturers – and I’m optimistic they can pull it off.

Good luck in your investing. A final word of advice – as you grow older and earn more income, balance what you put into risk (stocks, bonds and instruments) with what you put into certainty (CDs, money markets, hold-to-term Treasury debt). Don’t invest more than you can afford to lose, and don’t save more than you can afford to earn on.

Donna asks…

I want to start a home based business. I need suggestions.?

I want to charge a small fee for scheduling services for small local businesses. I am in a resort area. I can charge fee for selling gift basket deliveries to cabins or other stuff like dinners, massages, etc. I need ligitamate & legal service ideas. Can anyone help. I’m a single mom wanting to support my kids. I don’t want to get rich quick or be overrun with junk mail!

Richard answers:

You already have a business idea or two, the rest remains in getting people to know about it.
Design, or get someone to design business your card which you will hand out to people you know and don’t know (yet).

Figure out the marketing plan: who, what where and how of the
business. This will help determine the best place to spread the word.

A free website (geocities, etc.) would be nice too, so people could see pictures of your product. Gift baskets are a very visual item that customers will need to first see, or have a close-enough idea of what they’re getting. People could check out a website 24/7 and get your contact info, as well as send it to their friends, while you are handing out your card. (which reminds me, put the website info on your card by your email and phone number).

Whether you offer clerical services to resort customers, cook them dinner, or sell them massages, the above strategy should be a pretty good place to start. Best of Luck.

Thomas asks…

How to advertise my small business.?

I have a small BIONICOS (sells mixture of fruits, shakes,tortas, etc) business restaurant. I remodel it, but I want ideas as to how to increase traffic to increase sales once I reopen it again. Please provide other ideas besides : coupons, Facebook/twitter, email list, grand opening event, website, I already have those. thanks in advance

Richard answers:

I WANTED TO WRITE THE WHOLE STRATEGY FOR YOU BUT UNFORTUNATELY IT WAS TOO LONG AND YAHOO DIDN’T ACCEPT IT.
I HOPE THIS ENOUGH FOR NOW.

STEP 1- Introduce your business. The most efficient and cost effective way is send your promotion or introduction out directly to your prospective customers mail box, send it as a slide in your local news paper (within reasonable radius length), or just write an edited story about your business in your local news paper(NO TV. NO RADIO) however the writing language shouldn’t appear to be like an advertisement more than introducing your business/products; it has to be editorial language.
STEP 2-collecting feedbacks and CUSTOMERS CONTACT DETAILS. Please use the templates for feedback & use the survey form (never ask customer for their contact details directly, it has to be in proper form or language).
STEP 3- collecting information on what is working best. Please refer to the customer survey form.
STEP 4- Managing the contacts data base. Create a contact form or template to save all your customers contact detail, and KEEP THE SURVEY FORMS AS REFERAL.
STEP 5- Growing your contacts data base. It doesn’t matter if your business already established or not, YOU HAVE TO KEEP THE SURVEY RUNING AT ALL TIMES TO COLLECT MORE CUSTOMERS DATA.
STEP 6- Feedback reaction. Of course the survey will show what & what is not good about your products/service. So if you have some customers are not happy with such item/service, then here is the catch, you have the customer contact details and you have they survey. So in this case, just contact your client & tell him, yes we knew what was wrong, we have improved our service/item, please comeback & give your feedback.
STEP 7- How to bring back the customers & keep them coming back. USE KEY TIME. Ok, now we have the customers contact details including their birthday-date & month (never ask for which year), so easy & simple, just send letter out to your customer addressing him/her, saying that A- (it is your birthday, we would like to greet you our way [Bottle of wine or cake or.....or just don’t say how you going to greet him]). B-(it is such day/season/occasion, we would like to greet/celebrate with you, our way [put your offer or don’t]). The maximum result of all marketing on all times at every where comes from an addressed letter from the seller to the buyer with the buyer name on it.
STEP 8- For you convenient, i have put all the required data from the customers in 1 form, however you still can divide it the way suits you, but please consider the environment before proceeding with more prints and more forms.
STEP 9- NOW, you have all this information & forms in your hand, you should be able to control your market the way you like.
BELOW IS THE SURVEY FORMS.
DINNER FOR 2 VALUE $999999
To thank you for being one of our valued customers and for your comments, you could win dinner for two at XXXX Restaurant, worth $999999 drawn monthly/weekly. We will also be pleased to include your name on our special VIP customers list to inform you of any special events at XXXX RESTAURANT & we want you to celebrate your birthday our way.
(Please print)
First Name: ____________________________ Surname: ___________________________
Home address or email address:___________________________________________
Phone: ___________________________ Mobile: ___________________________________
Your date of birth: Day _____________________ Month: _____________________
Help us make your experience at XXXX RESTAURANT’s even more enjoyable. Your comments are the best way for us to keep improving our service to you.
How often do you dine here? _______________________________________________
What can we do to improve our service ________________________________
What did you like the best? ______________
What did you like the least?—————-
How did you hear about us——————–
THANK YOU FOR YOUR COMMENTS XXXXXXXXX RESTAURANT.
If you still have any kind of trouble in managing your food business , please let me know. I will sort out all your issues without any charges.
Please note all the above data were taken from MARKETINGEND 2012 REPORT MARKETINGEND TRADE MARK under the licence of www.infini.co.nz all thus are copy right and they are not for redistribution UNLESS written notice from www.infini.co.nz

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