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Boris Recommends

25
Jul

PayPal for BusinessThe easiest and quickest way is to set up a PayPal account.

First of all, let me dismiss any notions you might have about PayPal being a Mickey Mouse solution that’s not appropriate for serious on line business transactions. There are several, successful, internet marketers who make millions on line, and they use PayPal as their payment processor, so why not you, too? I use PayPal, too.

As a side note here: You may already have a merchant account to accept credit cards off line, but the same company you currently use may not be the best way to go for your on line transactions. Many off line merchant account providers are not familiar with online payments, so make sure you ask all the right questions first.

By all means, if you have a merchant account, talk to them first and see how they compare to PayPal.

Why I like PayPal – there are no monthly fees, so you only pay a processing fee per each transaction, only when you actually make a sale.

First of all, PayPay will provide you with secure payment processing technology so you can take credit cards, but also e-cheques, and money transfers from checking accounts.

Secondly, PayPal offers a shopping cart, with enough bells-and-whistles as you need to create those lovely “PAY NOW” buttons you can use either directly in your email promotions, but also on your web site.

Category : Boris Recommends | Email Marketing | Selling Online | Small Business Marketing | Web Site Development | Blog
30
May

 

WordPress for Dummies

The word “blog” itself comes from “web log”, so “blog” for short. Ever since Google acquired Blogger in 2003, this medium has been on the rise. Today even companies such as General Motors run blogs. Here are five reasons why you should have a blog for your small business or professional practice:

  • Blogging builds credibility. As you get more and more into writing about your experiences on a particular topic, your readers come to realize that they can depend on your posts to provide useful information. This will establish you as an expert; as a consequence, more readers visit your site and more bloggers link to your blogs.
  • Business_Guide-to-BloggingSearch engines love blogs. Because blog pages change very frequently, are content-rich, and easy to index, search engines just love to gobble them up. For example, if you noticed that your web site search engine rankings are slipping, this is most likely because the contents of your web site hasn’t changed in a long while. Search engines love fresh, new content, and by its nature, blogs are the epitome of freshness. To make the most of this, host your blog on your own domain, and use WordPress, or a similar blog system to run it.
  • Blogging is simple. The simplest way to get a presence on the web is through blogging. If you can type and click a mouse, you can blog. It’s like having a virtual piece of paper and you just write your ideas, experiences, describe new products, and hope that the truth behind your articles comes out and entice your reader to also try your product. No knowledge of HTML is necessary, but will certainly come in handy to get some of the more advanced features set up.
  • Blogging is authentic. In this day and age where advertising saturates our lives, we question the credibility of promoters’ claims. However, in blogs, real people share their real-life experiences, untainted by paid advertising. Reading blogs about first-hand product use is like talking to people about their first-hand experience.
  • Blogging costs nothing. You don’t need to have any software, buy web hosting, register a domain, like you do for your web site. Any opportunity get something for free is definitely a bonus, especially to businesses that are starting up. You can start blogging for free at WordPress.com, although, to get the most benefit from your blog I recommend hosting your own WordPress-based blog.
Category : Blogging for Business | Boris Recommends | Driving Traffic to Your site | Email List Building | On Line Networking | Search Engine Optimization | SEO for Article Writing | Small Business Marketing | Web Site Development | Blog
28
May

WordPress for DummiesDo you have a blog? A few days ago I started playing with WordPress for my blog. For weeks I’ve been trying to figure out which technology would be best, and have settled on WordPress for two main reasons:

  1. It allows me to create “static” pages, so I can have a site that looks like a regular web site, with menus such as “About,” “Products,” “Services,” and so on, and at the same time have a blog going.
    and,
  2. Second, I prefer to install the WP software on my own server, rather than use the hosted version of WP (i.e. WordPress.com) or other software, such as Blogger or TypePad, because it’s better for Search Engine Optimization. All the pages are sitting on my server/domain and are being indexed here, not at some blog hosting company.

Once word of advice, from my own experience: If you’re looking to save a few bucks and opt for a free blog, I wouldn’t recommend Blogger. Although it’s a good platform and all that, and being owned by Google can’t hurt these days, what I don’t like about it is the feature they have at the top of each blog, which is a link to “Next blog”: a few times I tried clicking it I ended up on blogs that I wouldn’t want my kids to see, if you know what I mean.

If you have a web site, consider re-doing it using WordPress, then you can enjoy the best of both worlds – and Google and other search engines will just love it so much more!

 

Category : Blogging for Business | Boris Recommends | Driving Traffic to Your site | Email List Building | Search Engine Optimization | Small Business Marketing | Web Site Development | Blog
10
Apr

I just wanted to post a quick note about a new development at Aweber, one of the most respected Email Service Providers, and one of the 4 that I highly recommend to my clients.

Aweber recently introduced a new style of hover pop ups that may be just the ticket for you. Take a look at their blog and see how powerful the new feature is.

If you’re not using Aweber yet they have a 30-day trial period, so you can take it for a spin.

If you already use a different Email Service Provider, you can still create your own popups for your web site or blog with this stand-alone Windows application. For the ultimate selection, tracking options, graphics and more in using floating, unlockable popups subscribe to AdImpact

Category : Boris Recommends | Email List Building | Email Marketing | Email Service Providers | Web Site Development | Blog
6
Nov

Using email for your marketing purposes is very powerful, easy and (almost) free, and is still the most effective way to reach your customers/clients. However, sometimes it pays off to go off-line and use traditional methods for generating leads or new business.

Depending on how clean and fresh your lists are, you may be experiencing 80%-98% deliverability rates for your emails. But you must agree that nothing beats the deliverability of the good old post office!

What if you could combine the strengths of an online, automated system, which works very much like an Email Publishing System with the

  • deliverability of snail mail, and
  • benefits of sending your prospects and customers a tangible item?

Would you be interested in trying this almost perfect business-generating system?

About a year a go I discovered Send Out Cards, an online on-demand printing and delivery system that works very much like sending personalized email, only it prints,personalizes and mails real postcards and greeting cards in any quantity. You can send a dozen custom postcards for about 10 bucks including postage. When you send a greeting card in an envelope, you can even insert gifts such as Starbucks or Home Depot gift cards!

You can use this system to send automated, but personalized postcards and greeting cards. You can choose between thousands of great stock designs – humorous, retro, playful, business-like, your choice – or you can easily create your own designs as simply as uploading a digital photo and adding a voice bubble or a caption.

Recently, I used Send Out Cards to generate some leads for my Ezine Coaching Program. If you’ve ever used direct mail (DM), or at least read about it, you know that a decent DM campaign results in about 1% response rate, while 2% is considered exceptional. Well, my postcards generated close to 10% response rate!

I used Send Out Cards to set up a custom designed postcard (ah, the benefits of having an in-house graphic designer – me 🙂 On the back of the card I have a simple marketing message, basically asking the prospect a few thought-provoking questions with a call to action to find the answers to those questions on my web site, with an offer to receive a free CD and printed report.

All of the copy on the back of the postcard is printed on-the-fly, personalized with the recipient’s name, and all of that using my own handwriting! Of course, I didn’t spend hours manually writing those postcards, I had my handwriting digitized so that my postcards appear to be hand-written.

For this particular postcard campaign I set up a special web site, with three different versions of the landing page. Why different versions of the landing page? Because I am split-testing them to see which one converts better – in other words, which page generates more subscribers.

Again, I am using my trusted Shopping Cart to manage and track the split-testing. This is so powerful, I am amazed every time I log in to my account – especially when I remember how we used to do it, many years ago with every DM piece having a little “ad code” and processing those responses in a spreadsheet! Wow. This is so much easier today.

To be able to track your off-line campaigns I recommend that you set up a special URL, e.g. www.yoursite.com/postcard, or even better, a unique web site. If you’re testing different postcards, have each card link to a different URL.

Using Send Out Cards is a great way to generate leads and especially repeat business from existing clients. However, one more great way to use Send Out Cards is to test different cards on a small sample of prospects (you can test the design, headline, copy, etc.) to see which one to use en masse, if you’re planning to ultimately send a large-scale mailing (1,000 or more cards).

Once you’ve nailed a winning card, then use a commercial printer to print your cards and a mail shop for personalization/sorting/mailing.

Extra tip: when mailing your own envelopes, try to use something to differentiate your envelope from the competition by using either an interesting sticker or enclose an object into your envelope. Anything that will make the recipient want to open it!

Category : Boris Recommends | Driving Traffic to Your site | Email List Building | Off Line Marketing Strategies | Small Business Marketing | Tracking and Split Testing | Blog
31
May

Caleb Scoville and Boris Mahovac at the 2007 ACLC SeminarFor professional audio solutions call Caleb Scoville of North Bank Audio Solutions, and tell him I sent you. He can record your live events, audio info-products and generally help you with anything related to audio.

Here’s a snapshot of Caleb and me at the 2007 Attract Clients Like Crazy Bootcamp.

Category : Boris Recommends | Blog