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Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Put Your Web Address In Your Newsletter!!!!


Why do you write newsletters?

To tell people about your business, right?

If that's why you write newsletters then you should probably include a link to your website in the newsletter.

As I've said before - I subscribe to a lot of newsletters.

At least three times during the past week I've recieved newsletters from people who haven't even mentioned the name of their website at all.

One company didn't even mention the name of their business!

How does that help you draw traffic to your site, or make sales?

The company that didn't mention the name of the business was advertising a sale - which I would have posted about on the forums, but I have no idea which company it was, because the name wasn't mentioned on the site.

I could reply to the sender, and figure it out, but I have other things to do - like writing this post :-)

I did reply to one person to ask what the site address was and guess what - the next time he sent out a letter - which was actually a letter saying "Post on my forum or you'll be deleted" he didn't even send a link to the website.

How many people do you think will post on the forum if they don't remember where it is?

One of the companies which didn't include an web address did use a professional email address to send from. Since the url was in the email address - bob at northernlightsreptiles.com for example, I was able to actually find the website, but if it hadn't been there I wouldn't have gone looking for it.

The other two newsletters were from gmail accounts and contained the senders name as the "from" name - and there's really no way to tell what the website was from that.

At least if it's from "Northern Lights Reptiles" I'll have a better idea of how to find the website the newsletter is mentioning, if I want to go through all that trouble.

So - if you write a newsletter make sure you clearly mention which business you are talking about, and include at least one link to your website.

If you don't your just wasting people's time, and inbox space.

Best Wishes For a Prosperous Business,


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Tuesday, April 22, 2008

What's your business email address?

Come on people, if you have a business you need to have a way for people to contact you.

The fact that people are already on the internet when they are looking at your website means that you should have an email address listed in the contact information for your business.

I can't believe how many times I've been unable to find email adresses or contact information when I'm looking for items to feature on Sarah's Surprises.

Just today I was planning to do a feature on Can-Do-Candles, and when I clicked on their contact us page Outlook Express tried to open up - but since I don't use Outlook Express I couldn't see their email address, or any other contact information.

Because I had already written the post, and I was just emailing them to ask permission to use one of their pictures on my blog, I tried to sign up for their newsletter to see if I could get an email address from their - but the newsletter link went to the front page of another website.

I don't want to send my readers to a shoddy site like that, and as a customer I'm definitely not willing to buy from someone I know nothing about, who doesn't have contact information listed on their website.

Is your email address or other contact information easily accessible on your website?

Can people who don't have Outlook email you, or even see your address?

Do you buy from other websites who don't have any contact information listed?

Leave a comment and let me know.

Best Wishes For a Prosperous Business,



Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Updating web sites for the new year

I just finished going through one of my websites, and updating it for the new year.

Although it's a pain, I'm sure that removing extra code, dead links, updating the copyright notice, and refreshing some of my content will pay off in the long run.

Is there anything that you need to do to update your web site for the new year?

Is there anything that you do on a regular basis to keep your sites up to date?

Have you been Best Wishes For a Prosperous Business,



Friday, November 30, 2007

Can I find your business website from your blog?

Many businesses these days have blogs that are supposed to help promote their business, yet I've come across way to many business blogs that don't have a link back to the business website.

If I visit your blog now, can I figure out where to buy your products?

How long will it take me (or anyone unfamiliar with your blog) to find the link back to your business?

If you haven't checked yourself recently then go check - and if you have, and aren't sure how easy it is get someone else to check.

Leave a comment with your and I'll check for you, if you'd like.

Best Wishes For a Prosperous Business,


Free VA Course Giveaway

If you're interested in becoming a Virtual Assistant, Nell Taliercio, the Telecommuting Answer Lady is having a Freebie Friday: VA Course giveaway today. Just leave a comment and blog about it - or email 3 friends and you're entered to win.

Good luck!

Best Wishes For a Prosperous Business,


Monday, November 05, 2007

How much work do your customers have to do to get information about you?

I'm paranoid.

I don't like giving my complete name to strangers, much less my street address and phone number, yet I'm running accross an increasing number of etailers who require people to sign up with their first and last name, and complete street address before they can get to their newsletter.

Your newsletter is a tool to keep reminding people about your business...what you offer, how much it is, what's going on with your company.

Why would you limit access to it?

You want people to know about you, and you want to keep your company in their minds - that's the point of a newsletter.

When I see a newsletter that requires my street address, I don't sign up for the newsletter.

If I don't sign up for the newsletter, I'm not reminded about the company, so I'm not going to remember the site, and I'm not going to think about it next time I'm looking for the product they sale.

Of course this means I also won't purchase from them.

Don't limit access to your newsletter unless you have too.

After all if people sign up for it, they're interested in you.

Why not let them learn as much about you as they can?

Best Wishes For a Prosperous Business,


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Friday, November 02, 2007

Are you professional?

I'm sure you've heard the saying "First impressions last the longest."

What type of first impression does your web site make?

If you're in business, your web site needs to have a professional appearance.

After all, who wants to spend their hard earned money with someone who can't be bothered to have a professional looking appearance.

Would you spend your money with someone who had more links to other sites than they have to their own products?

I wouldn't.

Link exchanges, web rings, and other member badges and buttons might help bring links to your site, but if they're on your front page they make the web site look unprofessional, and they change the way consumers view your site.

If you have ads on your page - whether it's ads that you've chosen, or ads that appear because you have free hosting (another no no for a business web site - people will think that if you can't afford $8 a year for a domain name, and $4 a month for hosting you must not be serious about your business) the ads you show may be inappropriate.

I remember a couple of years ago screenshots were taken, and a review was written of a child friendly company hosted on geocities with porn ads at the top. Do you think that web site owner enjoyed that type of attention?

Just last month people with affiliate ad banners for an online shopping site had "adult" toys show up on their blogs. That definitely wasn't the kind of material they were pushing, and their only option to prevent that type of material from showing again was to take down the affiliate banners.

Why not avoid the affiliate banners in the first place, and avoid the negative fall out?

You also need to know how your web site works.

If your sale codes don't work as promised, links on your web site go to error pages, or links just don't work - most people aren't going to waste their time figuring out what's wrong.

They are going to visit another site that works, and buy from them.

Congratulations, you just lost a sale.

If you use other hosting services for your photos, know what happens when your users click on those photos - I recently visited a web site, and when I clicked on a link I was presented with a tiny little picture - and a full page of ads trying to convince me to join the hosting service.

That annoyed me, and I wouldn't make a point of clicking on links at that web site again - if I could remember what site it was.

You also need to consider how you present material if you aim to have a professional looking web site.

Are their spelling errors? Do the links work? Are your items, prices, and descriptions correct and easy to find?

I know some people aren't good at spelling - but I have to admit, I think less of web sites with lots of spelling errors. I recently was looking at a web site to review for Etailers Mall - The Blog, and there were so many spelling errors I couldn't believe it.

They even misspelled their company name!

If you don't care enough to make sure that the face you present to the world is the best it can be, how can I be sure that the products you make for me will be the best they can be?

I can't.

So I probably won't buy from you.

What else do you think you need to have a professional web site?

Leave a comment and let me know.

Best Wishes For a Prosperous Business,


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Thursday, October 25, 2007

Free PDF converter

I just found out about PrimoPDF, which is a free tool that makes PDF's.

I haven't tried it yet, so I'd love to hear what you think about it.

Best Wishes For a Prosperous Business,


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Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Is your business accessible?

Is your business accessible?

Do your customers and potential customers know where to find your business?

If people can't find you, they can't purchase from you, so it's very important to make sure that people can find your website and your products when they search for them.

Unfortunately even if people go to a search engine and type in your business name, they might not be able to find your web site, so you need to make sure that you have several links to your business showing up in the search engines.

After all, you don't want people looking for you to go to your competitors site.

You can make sure that people find your business by having a blog for your business, or by posting a profile on another website such as Squidoo.

That way, even if your web site doesn't show up, something that you wrote will - and that will point them to your web site.

You also need to consider how easy it will be for people to find your website when you are chosing your company name, and your domain name.

I know of a business that recently changed changed their name and domain because their customers were typing in the wrong web address and were going to another site.

I also know of occassions where I was trying to visit one company, and repeatedly visited another company on the web.

These companies were selling two different things - but I was interested in both of their products, and I could have easily spent the money that I'd alloted for the first company at the second company.

Do you really want that to happen to you?

Best Wishes For a Prosperous Business,


Friday, October 19, 2007

New Series - Are you?

Hi, I hope you and your business are doing well.

I've got a new serious of "Are you?" articles that will be coming out on a weekly basis.

Here are a few questions to get you started thinking about how your business is doing.

  1. Are you professional?
  2. Are you user friendly?
  3. Are you accessible?
  4. Are you legal?

Think about your business for a few minutes.

Do you present a professsional image to the world?

Is it easy for your users to find what they are looking for, and order the products, or ask questions if they want to know more about something?

Are your web site and products accessible - can people easily find them?

Is your business in compliance with federal and local laws, especially when they relate to mailing lists?

I hope you can confidently say "Yes!" to all of these questions!

Best Wishes For a Prosperous Business,