Top Twitter Tools of 2009

December 31, 2008

You have probably heard something about the new micro blogging platform, Twitter, and how Twitter has taken the online marketing world by storm. The phenomenon has even spawned a new lingo, with your new tweeps (followers) tweeting (making posts) you and discussing the state of the Twitterverse.

While Twitter is pretty easy to use, there’s an overwhelming amount of Twitter tools, plug-ins and applications being developed to support it. How can you determine which ones will best support you in your use of Twitter?

Check them out >


Improve your email open rates

December 31, 2008

Whatever email open rates you get in your email marketing software or service reports, you obviously want to improve. Since the open rate is a measure of success, improving open rates is simply about doing better email marketing.

And that’s a giant subject.

So here’s a list of the main things to consider to get those stats up.

1. Improve overall strategy and approach

Adopting best practices in all aspects of your email marketing produces sustainable, significant improvements in all success measures. A commitment to professional permission-based email marketing practice is your best long-term hope of raising open rates.

2. Improve deliverability

The more emails get delivered, the better chance you have of people actually looking at them. No changes to the actual email itself will help if they never land in the right inbox.

3. Refine sign-up procedures and targeting

Reader interest in your emails depends on how targeted your audience are. The better you target, the more likely you are to plunk your email in front of someone who is interested in the contents (i.e. higher open rates).


Short-term efforts

1. Subject lines and other headers

The subject line is probably the single most important in-email element that drives open rates. Bad subject lines, poor open rates. Good subject lines, good open rates.

2. Timing

Open rates will vary for the same email sent on different days or at different times of the day.

3. Frequency

Send too much email and people lose interest. Send too little email…and people lose interest.

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Keep in Touch With Customers – but Not Too Much

December 30, 2008

Have you noticed your inboxes are filling up faster lately with promotions from businesses desperate to get your attention? If you’re like me and getting bombarded with multiple promotions, then your first inclination is to just tune them out, click delete and move on to the business of the day.

It seems like a simple solution just to e-mail customers more often, but that’s the opposite of what you should do.

1. Take Their Pulse.

2. Have a Dialogue With Your Customers.

3. Co-host an Event With Another Local Business.

4. Do Good and Drive Business to Your Business.

In difficult economic times, your business survival depends on strong customer relationships. It’s not how often you communicate with customers — it’s the richness and quality of those communications that’s important. Your goal is to establish the strongest relationships with your customers no matter what the economy looks like at the time. If you build and nurture those relationships, they will come.

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Win Friends and Twinfluence People

December 30, 2008

In the last year or so, microsharing service Twitter has grown by leaps and bounds, in terms of both popularity and usefulness. Regardless of the precise companies or services that become the most popular in the future, forming and utilizing decentralized social networks through microsharing is most likely here to stay, because it is fun and useful.

But the lack of structure, bounty of third party applications, and global sources of expert advice can also be daunting to newbies. So, for those who are new to Twitter, here are 10 things I’ve learned about winning friends and twinfluencing people:

Be unique, but be yourself

Participate in conversation

Provide value to a community

Attract loyal followers

Mix microsharing with other outlets

Find the influencers

Become an authority

Be creative

Always have fun

There aren’t any secrets. You get out what you put in. Work hard, add value, and don’t rest on your laurels. Note what’s happening in the news, and in life. Always evolve; adapt to your environment. Embrace trial-and-error and a spirit of lethal generosity. Take risks. Be surprising. Be awesome.

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Copywriting Strategy For Your Corporate Blog

December 29, 2008

Learning how to write copy that creates conversion may seem illusive to some. And it is if you’re not thinking about your readers. But it doesn’t have to be. Writing in your corporate blog should be geared toward giving your readers and potential customers information. This includes information about your products or services.

However, whatever you write, to be persuasive, to create that conversion, must touch the emotions of your readers. Good copywriting always accomplishes that goal. 

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A Better E-Commerce Site: Is a Little Lipstick the Trick?

December 29, 2008

As e-commerce gets more sophisticated and consumer expectations continue
to rise, many retailers are considering prettying up their existing Web
sites with improved graphics or new features in order to make them more
attractive to consumers.

While such enhancements can make your site more appealing in the near term, they won’t change the makeup of your online store.

So, is your site better off with a few enhancements, or do you need to fundamentally re-think your approach toward e-commerce based on meeting your key performance.

Here are some questions to ask:

> Is your site delivering pages at lightning fast speeds and will it scale to meet seasonal peaks in traffic?

> Does your conversion rate beat the industry average or can you improve your order size by adding deeper merchandising functionality?

> Have you thought about the strategic nature of your site?

As an online retailer, you need to determine return on investment (ROI) across the business — customer experience can’t be your only benchmark for deciding how to improve the Web site. When starting the evaluation process, first benchmark your site statistics against the industry averages to get a rough idea of your performance. Some industry averages that deserve consideration include the following:

* Site uptime better than 99.88 percent (should be shooting for 99.95 percent or better)

* Sub-second page loads

* Better than a 3 percent conversion rate

* Shopping cart abandonment under 60 percent

* Average order size uplift year over year of 4 percent (excluding price increases)

* Site maintenance cost growing 15 percent year over year

In the age of sizzle it may be fashionable or easy to make incremental improvements to your e-commerce site that simply look good, but eventually, that lipstick will wear off, once again revealing the limitations that have always been there and holding you back. Just remember that you can’t sell if the site is down or your new graphical pages take 20 seconds to load. If that’s the case, your site may need more than a light makeover.

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Emerging Technologies of 2008

December 29, 2008

When it comes to emerging technologies, 2008 was a very good year. Here’s a look back at some of the new products and technologies of 2008 that proved to be innovative and exciting. 

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