Monday, February 28, 2011

Highly Acclaimed Online Expert Updates Internet Marketing Tools Recommendation

Darrell Lischka's success in the online marketing landscape is the result of extensive testing and analysis, fine tuned on a periodic basis to account for changes in the search engine environment. As a successful practitioner, Darrell has encountered countless tools, each promising to be the panacea for all ranking ills, giving people a false sense of hope that their Internet properties will be able to shoot straight up to the top of the index, all without having to lift a finger. The obvious aside -- we all need to at least lift a finger to click the mouse or press a key -- most of these tools almost always prove to be nothing more than hype. Darrell Lischka has made the search much easier for his readers, and recently he made significant improvements to his Internet Marketing Tools collection, focusing on ease of use so that even novices can begin on the journey to success in expeditious fashion.
The Internet marketing industry is awash in tools, information products and services. A recent survey on an influential Internet marketing forum based in the United States show that on average, Internet marketers own at least three tools, a dozen or so information products and have used at least a handful of expert services in the past quarter. It goes without saying that a practitioner can easily be inundated with the multitude of available resources in the market, particularly against the backdrop of aggressive email marketing efforts by eager gurus and software developers. It is easy to get involved and caught up in the frenzy of making money online, and it seems that everyone and their grandmother are making a killing with their online ventures.

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Friday, February 25, 2011

Online business creates challenges

Richard Case has an entrepreneurial spirit and always dreamed of owning his own business. However, setting up a retail location with thousands of dollars in inventory was cost prohibitive. As he counseled with SCORE and spent hours thinking about the possibilities, Case found a good option. An online business would allow him to direct ship from suppliers and eliminate inventory costs. It sounded perfect.
Case formed Echo Bay LLC, a web store that featured everything nautical, from furniture to jewelry. With six suppliers and six different shipping rates, it wasn't long before he realized that the business wasn't working.
"I learned more of the don'ts than the dos," Case said. "It wasn't profitable to use so many suppliers, and with shipping costs, there wasn't enough of a markup to make a profit."
He looked closely at his business model. He used different web hosts and tried building his own site. He couldn't get a shopping cart on the site and found that supplier's sites were a disaster. Finally, he found a web host that allows him to create a Facebook store, directly input his product and add the store to Amazon and eBay.
The next challenge was refining the original concept and coming up with a product line that had the potential to make money. When Case looked at the numbers, he saw that coin jewelry was the only merchandise in his product line that turned a profit. A single line also allowed him to use one supplier and have lower shipping rates. Hence, Green Bay Coin Jewelry ( was born.
Case, who has continued to work at his full-time job throughout the start-up, also decided to go to E-Hub's entrepreneurial class.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Affiliate Marketing Ins And Outs

Affiliate marketing is easy once you find the tactics that work for you. The time it takes to become a master depends upon your learning abilities and also your problem solving abilities. There are no rules carved in stone. Everything changes very fast, so you need to change your strategies, too, every day. One method that was extremely great two years ago and you read about it in an e-book might not work today, or might work differently.
The pitfall of most e-books is that they are only listing the general processes and don't give you a step-by-step guide to affiliate marketing. Since there are literally hundreds of tactics to be successful, it would be a very long book to cover every single method. That's why those so-called gurus are only writing about their favorite methods, which would possibly not be the methods that you can utilize the same way.
Not every method will bring in the same results, so you will need testing. You must choose one that is the most appropriate for your personality, and abilities, too. Loads of people find some traffic generation techniques boring or too complicated. That is why about 90% of people starting with Adwords will fail, because they don't like testing and analyzing the keywords. If you are this kind of person, don't even go there, or you will end up losing money instead of making affiliate revenue. Although, if you are a person who loves sharing and communicates easily, social networking would be your best method.

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Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Google's online marketing services 'top brand'

Search engine marketing providers may be interested in the results of a new survey that has found Google is the most respected brand in the UK.
The search engine and multimedia firm topped the TNS Corporate Reputation Index 2010, which assessed companies on factors including their favourability, trustworthiness and quality.
Other technology brands also placed highly in the poll, with Apple and Sony coming in third and fourth positions respectively.
Seven out of ten people thought Google's service quality was 'excellent' or 'very good, while Microsoft was also in the top ten for this category.
Head of stakeholder management at TNS Gemma Hicks said: "We are seeing high reputation scores being driven mostly by a strong reaction to company success, proving that people are a lot more rational in their assessment of reputation."
Recently it was stated by Econsultancy's senior research analyst Jake Hird that Google's popularity is such that it would take major negative changes to drive people away from the service.
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News brought to you by ClickThrough – experts in Search Engine Marketing & Internet Marketing.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Marketing your business: the first 100 days

Eventarc co-founder Scott Handsaker says businesses shouldn't throw money at marketing without first testing assumptions. Photo: Supplied

The first 100 days of a business's marketing program can make or break a fledgling enterprise. It's all too easy to bleed the business dry with expensive but ultimately fruitless marketing strategies, without generating enough revenue to get the business off the ground.

Scott Handsaker, co-founder of online event registration outfit Eventarc, says one of the most common traps for start-ups is making incorrect assumptions about sales conversion rates and earnings.

“When we started we had a bunch of assumptions about how much traffic Google AdWords would drive to our site and how many sales conversions we would get from visitor traffic," says Handsaker.

"But we got half the traffic we thought we would, our Google AdWords campaign was three times more expensive than we anticipated and our conversion rate was 20 per cent of what we expected. The lesson for us was not to throw money at the marketing campaign; it's about testing your assumptions.

“You really need to put systems in place to understand where your customers are coming from. It's worth investing time to track your marketing metrics from end to end. You also need to differentiate your statistics so you know how much business you get from your AdWords campaign and how much you get from other channels like email marketing," he says.

"Then at the end of your first 100 days you can make decision about where to spend your money based on the results of the first three months of your campaign."

Monday, February 21, 2011

Small business lending opens up — a crack

Jorge Martinez spent eight months jumping from bank to bank, trying to find financing for his Hialeah-based small business, E & M Equipment Corp. The installer of underground utilities kept getting turned down in its quest for funds to cover a payment gap on large county contracts.

Finally, Martinez secured a $250,000 line of credit from Continental National Bank of Miami, through the Community Small Business Enterprise program, guaranteed by Miami-Dade County. That helped the company complete a $1.2 million drainage project on the Marlins Stadium, despite a 45 to 90 day lag in payment on the work.

“With that amount of money, it is very difficult for a small company to front the work for a couple of months without getting money in,’’ said Martinez, vice president of E & M Equipment, which he founded five years ago with business partner and president Edrey Rodriguez. “So that line of credit is really helpful to let us do the job. Otherwise, we would have been very stretched to finish that job.’’

For Martinez, like scores of other small businesses in South Florida, getting necessary financing has been a difficult challenge, as the economy slumped, banks shied away from lending, and loan demand waned in a sort of recessionary Catch 22.

Now, the door to small business financing is finally opening, at least a crack, as more businesses are getting bank loans that are guaranteed by the U.S. Small Business Administration or through other programs. Some banks are even granting more conventional loans to small businesses.

“I see a little bit of flickering of a light, way out at the end of a very long tunnel,’’ said Marie Gill, president and CEO of M. Gill & Associates, a Miami-based management, public relations and economic development consulting firm. “But I do see a flicker, which is better than total darkness.”

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Taking Care of Business Taxes

What did people who run small businesses do before tax software came along? Thankfully, the days of dumping boxes full of receipts on an accountant's desk are long gone. Today,.as the owner-operator of a small business, you have more options than ever for filing tax returns, including versions of popular desktop packages--H&R Block, TaxAct, and TurboTax--specifically geared toward individuals with small-business income.
Of course, small businesses come in many sizes and configurations. If you've filed papers to set up your business as a formal entity--a partnership, an LLC (limited liability company), an S corporation, a nonprofit, or a trust--then you'll have to file separate federal (and probably state) tax returns for that entity, in addition to your personal 1040. But if you haven't, the feds consider your business to be a sole proprietorship, and you can deal with it, taxwise, through Schedule C on your personal return.
For this review, we examined the desktop versions of H&R Block at Home Premium, Intuit TurboTax Home & Business, and 2nd Story Software TaxAct Deluxe, paying special attention to Schedule C and related features. Why desktop software? It's true that Web-based versions of these programs and Web-only competitors such as Complete Tax (which underwent a major overhaul this year) are gaining in popularity, but many businesspeople are still reluctant to entrust sensitive financial data to the cloud--and to depend on Internet connections to access it.
Note that as usual, tax software vendors play numbers games by promoting inexpensive federal returns and then charging heavily for state returns and state e-filing services. Since the vast majority of states impose income taxes, most people will wind up paying a lot more than the low advertised price for the federal software.
This year, TurboTax remains the best and the priciest package of the bunch, while H&R Block's software provides a somewhat less expensive alternative with less detailed but still solid help. TaxAct, by far the least costly of the group, offers significantly fewer features; if you expect to have a lot of tax questions, you're probably better off paying more for a competitor.

Monday, February 14, 2011

The Latest Business Mailing Lists For 2011

Special Databases has updated all its business mailing lists for 2011. The lists have also been restructured and upgraded for countries like the UK, Canada, and the US. The company has an all-inclusive database that is hard to find. All the business listings have been updated. The company has all types of business lists from all over the world. The website has a more comprehensive list than any competitor. It is easy to find the latest business lists for developing business economies like China, India, and Dubai on their website too. They have every business list anybody may need. Also, clients would not be disappointed if they are looking for current lists with various features for countries like the UK and Canada.
Just view the detailed records that the website provides. The competitors go green when they see these lists. Special Databases is the pioneer on the web when it is about the latest business mailing lists. Just navigating the organization's website makes the excellent results visible. The website is convenient and very resourceful. The records and listings are updated time to time to present only the latest information to the clients. The company is sure that its experienced team is trustworthy and satisfies every customer's need. All the business lists are of top quality, are available at low prices and do not dig a hole in anybody's pocket. Those who want to buy updated and superior email lists should contact the company.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Online marketing allows for 'real-time tweaking'

John Schulte, president of the National Mail Order Association in the US, suggested that while some marketers may have turned their backs on direct mail, the channel remains a highly effective means of targeting customers.

Writing for DM News, he therefore set out a number of tips for optimising direct mail campaigns, noting that businesses should aim to get to know their customers before devising promotions.

"Knowing your customer value will influence mailing presentation and delivery method, what your offer is, and how often you mail," said Mr Schulte.

"If you always take into account how much a customer is worth - it's hard to go wrong in direct mail."

The comments come after an article by noted that once a clear aim has been established for a direct mail promotion, marketers can begin to develop the offers and creative aspects around it.

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Everyday Marketing: What is the Goal of Marketing?

Personally, I believe the goal of marketing is to make your name known to everyone. Certainly if you are a small local business, everyone in your local area should know who you are, where you are and do business with you. I hope that makes sense.
So how do you get to that place? It’s simple! Advertise.
Advertising gets your message out to the masses, and it’s more affordable than you think. If people in your area have a favorite newspaper, advertise in it. If people in your area have a favorite restaurant, advertise on their placemats. If people in your area have a favorite website, radio station or television channel, advertise on them.
You need to create top-of mind-awareness. Because we’re the flawed humans that we are, we need reminders. People forget things, especially in the busy times we live in. And trust me, the older people get, the more they forget.
You should also collect as much information from your customers as possible. Ask them for their name, mailing address, phone number, email address and cell phone number. You need this information in the instance you want to send them a direct mail piece, email or text message.
Speaking of mobile marketing, you’re going to see that industry explode very quickly.

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Back to business: Cairo is bustling again

CAIRO: Life began to return to the streets of Cairo on Sunday as banks and shops opened after nine days and the army stepped up its presence around Tahrir Square, epicentre of anti-regime protests.

As demonstrators staged a 13th day of protests against Egypt's President Hosni Mubarak, banks began to reopen, and streets that have been nearly devoid of traffic filled up with vehicles, causing traffic jams.
"Thank God. Over the past 10 days I was hardly earning enough to pay for petrol and my shisha (water pipe)," said a taxi driver.

Workers at a McDonald's outlet scrubbed down front windows that had been whitewashed after the outbreak of demonstrations and the sudden absence of police, which triggered a wave of looting. "We'll open in half an hour," said an employee as others hurriedly mopped the floor.

Traffic jams returned to the traditionally crowded streets of Cairo, a city of around 20 million people, and the air was once again full of the sounds of car horns as people went back to work.

Police, who disappeared from Cairo's streets after violent clashes with demonstrators, had also returned, manning street corners and traffic circles. With their return, the so-called popular committees that have been standing guard in residential neighbourhoods to protect against looters had been noticeably reduced in areas toured by reporters.

Banks reopened across the city, and Egyptians queued to access their accounts. The central bank has limited daily personal cash withdrawals to 50,000 Egyptian pounds or $10,000. Some 150 people queued outside an HSBC branch in Giza.

Sunday, February 06, 2011

Obama to seek common ground with business in speech

The Democratic president will speak to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce as part of a renewed outreach to the corporate community that began after Republicans routed Democrats in last year's congressional elections.
The rift between the White House and the Chamber has been wide and the process of healing slow.
The business group balked at Obama's initiatives to revamp Wall Street regulation and overhaul the healthcare system and took umbrage at the president's sharp rhetoric on executive pay during the height of the financial crisis.
The White House, while irritated by the Chamber's opposition to policies it designed to help the economy, has sought to mend relations with less sharp presidential rhetoric and staffing choices that appeal to the business community.
Obama picked Bill Daley, formerly of JPMorgan Chase, to be his chief of staff and recently brought on General Electric Co. Chief Executive Jeffrey Immelt as his new top outside economic adviser. He also agreed on a tax deal with Republicans last year and has promoted initiatives to boost U.S. exports.
Obama, elected with the help of labor unions, is seeking to boost growth and reduce unemployment ahead of the 2012 presidential election.
The staffing moves are heartening to businesses, but neither side has declared a complete thaw in relations yet.
Tita Freeman, a vice president for communications at the Chamber, said the group hoped the president would give a solid commitment to moving forward with outstanding free trade agreements during the speech.
"We're optimistic, but what really counts is action, not words," she said about Obama's shift in the past few months.
"Tone will be critically important, and I think the tone has indeed changed and this is a new day. And we are really embracing this speech and this outreach by the White House," she said.

Friday, February 04, 2011

Important market research information could still come in an envelope

Neglecting traditional options for performing market research could be as costly as ignoring the basic objectives of the practice, according to a recent article from Entrepreneur magazine.
Methodology is a critically important consideration, and the differences between a phone survey, direct mail campaign or online effort can be significant, though all have their advantages and disadvantages. Telephone campaigns tend to be inexpensive and useful for specific research issues, but are less good at answering more general exploratory questions.
Although Entrepreneur says the response rate for direct mail campaigns tends to be low, the format can still have its advantages among particular demographics.
The difference between those two objectives is also highly important, the magazine adds. Exploratory questions are better answered by small groups of well-chosen subjects answering lengthier, more open-ended sets of questions, while the aforementioned techniques are better for discovering exact information about facts gleaned from exploratory efforts.
Making sure a company's marketing budget – which could be limited, given the turbulent state of the economy – is being well-spent is a laudable goal for any small business, experts say.

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Most online marketing services to utilise mobile in 2011

The majority of companies engaged in internet marketing services activities will look to capitalise on the opportunities afforded to them by mobile phone, it has been claimed.

A report by the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) in partnership with the Mobile Marketing Association revealed 88 per cent of firms in the US will look to take advantage of the platform this current year.

Expenditure will also increase, with 75 per cent saying they would put more money into the area in 2011, for an average spending increase of 59 per cent compared with 2010.

The study also found that organisations that reported the top success rates were those that integrated their mobile advertising with other platforms and used a wide range of metrics to analyse their performance.

Bob Liodice, president and chief executive officer of ANA said: "With the anticipated raise in adoption this current year, we expect to see fresh, innovative approaches, increased brand-building success and better accountability for this exciting channel."

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

The Fifth Shift in Business Technology

At the IBM Lotusphere conference on Monday in Orlando, IBM Collaboration Solutions General Manager Alistair Rennie described major shifts in how technology has transformed business over the decades: the Mainframe, Departmental computing, the PC, and the Internet. To this he added Social Business as the next major shift. Each of these have had a tremendous impact not only in computing, but more so for how businesses organize and execute their business operations. Each of the prior technologies has been so transformative and necessary that we cannot imagine our lives without them.
Mr. Rennie described shifts like these as “really rare.” What is more “as rare as these shifts are, the early predictions about [their impact] are usually underappreciated.” He showed a number of infamous mis-reads of technology shifts:
- Thomas Watson of IBM Chairman in 1943 before the mainframe age: “I think there is a world market for maybe five computers.”
- Kenneth Olsen, Digital Equipment Corp. Chairman & CEO in 1977, about the PC: “There is no reason for any individual to have a computer in his home.”