Friday, March 04, 2005

How To Get An Instant Response To Your Urgent EMail!

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by Valerie Mills

In the business world, “You’ve Got Mail” has turned into a curse. Fact is, the average business user spends an average of over two hours a day just dealing with email! If you have an urgent issue requiring an immediate response, how do you get your colleague, the average business user, to pay attention and take action?

Here's a typical scenario:
You are sending an urgent e-mail to a colleague, Notina Hurry. Only Notina knows the location of a budget file you need desperately. You called her, but her phone is tied up. How do you get your important e-mail read, and then responded to as quickly as possible?

1. Write a headline in the subject area that will grab your colleague's attention.
You need to get the recipient to notice and WANT to open your e-mail. According to the experts, you have to make it specific enough to be intriguing but vague enough to provoke curiosity. And, it's a real advantage if you know the recipient.

For example, Notina is a good-hearted person but is always getting blamed for screw-ups. So, you decide you will headline a plea for help in the Subject area.

You decide against "Where did you put the @*!!%& file?" and opt for "Help! Help! Last week' s budget file is so lost!" as your headline in the Subject area of the e-mail.

2. Next, write a specific, easy-to-read message.
Short sentences are best. Tell the reader what's in it for them. Remember that everyone is tuned into the radio station WIIFM (What’s In It For Me).

Here's an example:

Hi Notina:

I hope your day is turning out better than mine -- I can't find last week's budget file.

I looked in the e/budgets/weekly folder, but it's not there.

Please let me know the entire path to the budget file dated 8-05-02.

You know I'll owe you a coffee tomorrow when I see you in the cafe.

Thanks very much,

Ima Desperate

3. Leave your name, e-mail address, and phone number(s) at the end of the e-mail.
This may sound obvious, but sometimes, even with an electronic signature, key contact information is missing. Remember, you want to make it easy for e-mail recipients to communicate in the mode most comfortable for them.

4. Emphasize the urgency.
Convey URGENCY in the body of the message or in a postscript. Better still, if you infrequently send mail at the High Importance level, use it or its equivalent in your messaging system. In Microsoft Outlook, High Importance highlights the received e-mail with a red exclamation point. I would send Notina’s e-mail marked High Importance.

So, you’ve written an attention-getting headline. You’ve written a short, urgent message. You've answered that all-important recipient quesion "WIIFM". And, you left sufficient contact information. Now, hit the SEND button and expect a very quick response.

Copyright 2005 by Valerie Mills

About the Author:
Valerie Mills (
is a sales copywriter specializing in direct mail and web advertising. She has written sales letters, web pages, and brochures for the finance, self-help, and technology areas. Using her background and experience as an educator and corporate trainer, Valerie has also written several articles and an ebook for parents. Contact Valerie at:

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Thursday, March 03, 2005

Domain Names 101: 3 quick questions explained

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by Syd Johnson

1. What is a domain name?
A domain name is the name that identifies a web site. Your domain name in the online world is the equivalent of our retail name and address in the real world. It is your address because it shows customers and computers online where to find your site, store, products etc. It is your name because you can move your domain name from one web host to another at any time.

2. Who owns the domain name?
When you buy a domain name, you are actually leasing the name. It is a lease because there is no way to own a domain name forever. You pay a fee on an annual or bi-annual basis to your registrar to continue using the name. If you stop paying your annual fees, it becomes a lapsed domain name and goes back out on the market where anyone, perhaps even your competition, can purchase the domain for their use.
Note: Online traffic will follow the domain name. If you fail to renew a name, it is basically sending free traffic to another site owner.

3. Who is in charge of the domain name system?
ICANN or Internet Assigned Numbers Authority is the non profit organization in charge of the domain name system. ICANN performs some of the following duties to keep the domain name system running smoothly:

- Approves Top Level Domain Names (.com/.biz/.edu etc) -
ICANN is in charge of approving domain name extensions such as .biz and setting up standards such as which domain names such as .us or belong to a particular country.

- Regulates the domain name registration process and services -
ICANN approves registrars who are who are responsible for keeping track of registered names, billing customers, sending out renewal notices and selling top level domain names to anyone who wants one. There are many reputable resellers on the web that are not approved by ICANN but are simply organizations and individuals associated with a registrar that are allowed to sell domain names on their own. Whether you purchase your domain name through a registrar or a reseller, always find a reputable source for your domain name. If a registrar or reseller does not maintain an active database, you might find yourself on rare occasions paying for a name that is already registered. If you ever receive such as note from your registrar, or reseller, contact them immediately using an online form or via the phone. Make sure the notice is legitimate - otherwise, you might be the victim of a domain name scam. If it is true, your registrar should immediately make a correction, preferably at their expense. This integrity of a registrar or reseller's database of available names should be maintained at all times.

- Sets up conflict resolution policies to prevent domain name theft and copyright (brand name) infringements.
ICANN has setup and is always revising its dispute resolution policy so that web users can have fair access to any domain name while protecting the sanctity of commercial trademarks. You can get any name you want as long as it is not trademarked by another person or organization.

It is always in your best interest to get familiar with the ICANN website as well as its rules and policies. To build a successful online presence is a long term proposition - if you fail to do your due diligence upfront, it can have serious repercussions later on due to lost time, web traffic, money and possible loss of a domain name.

About the Author:
This article may be freely distributed as long as there's an active link to
Syd Johnson

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Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Planning A Winning Website

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Planning A Winning Website
by Matthew Coers

Before you begin to build a site, you need to determine the purpose of your website. Your primary objective when you are planning your site is to be able to identify what you want visitors to do when they visit your site. In other words, what is your site’s purpose? Generally speaking you will want your visitors to take one of the following five actions:

1. Purchase a product or service
2. Provide contact information
3. Download a white paper, datasheet, or other promotional materials
4. Join your newsletter
5. Click on advertiser’s banners or affiliate links

There are other goals websites have, but these are the primary five goals most any site has. I have built over 100 websites – everything from consumer oriented e-commerce sites to B-to-B corporate sites to municipal management systems and intranets. Regardless of size or scope, the single biggest mistake I see managers make over and over is trying to make their sites do too many different kinds of things. You should establish your site’s primary purpose, and make everything on the site revolve around that goal.

When a site is properly focused on it’s primary purpose, visitors understand intuitively what it’s about and are not left with the feeling that they are being “gamed”, or worse that the site is irrelevant to them. They are also less likely to become confused about what they are supposed to do if they are ready to take the next step with your company.

That means that if you are trying to collect names and email addresses of potential clients for your consultancy, you shouldn’t waste valuable real estate on your homepage discussing your “corporate vision”, you should be concentrating on establishing your expertise and demonstrating the knowledge your potential clients are looking for. Likewise, if you are supposed to be selling products on your website, then forget about trying to appeal to investors. Investors will be most impressed with a retail site that effectively converts visitors into customers, and you’ll make a lot more money in the process.

This doesn’t mean that you don’t have multiple goals for your business. This simply means that your site should focus on its primary purpose, and that purpose should be directly related to revenue-generating activities.

Once you have identified your site’s purpose, you should take the time to write out the general path you would expect your visitors to take through your site. Think about it from their perspective. Some examples of this are:

Example 1
The visitor comes into the site and sees that my site is a retail seller of electronic devices. I plan to have several items featured on the front page of the website that represent the major product lines that I carry. The visitor can select one of the featured items, or select a product category from the navigation bar. Once the visitor selects an item, he or she is then given a detailed description of the product and a price. By clicking the “Buy Now” button, the visitor is taken to the shopping cart system where he or she is given the option to continue shopping or check out.

This site’s purpose: Sell Electronic Devices

Example 2
The visitor enters the site and sees that we are a manufacturer of aftermarket automotive parts. We do not sell direct to the public, and our target audience is retail auto parts stores and other resellers such as auto mechanics. Therefore, we begin our site copy with an overview of why our parts are more attractive to retail customers and how we can help retailers become more profitable by carrying our product lines. The visitor is given the opportunity to do one of two things:

1. View a catalog of our products
2. Obtain more information on how to qualify for our “preferred retailer’s program”

If the visitor decides to get more information, then he or she is taken to a form that collects contact information and sends that information to our business development staff. If the visitor elects to view the product catalog, then he or she is given access to our product catalog in PDF format. The product catalog has the telephone number of our business development staff on every page.

This site’s purpose: Give retailers a reason to call the business development staff

Example 3
The visitor enters the site and sees that I provide freelance graphic design and copywriting services to companies in the St. Louis area. The visitor is given the option to view my online portfolio or view a partial client list. Each page of the site gives the visitor the opportunity to fill out an online form to receive a free 1-hour marketing consultation. If the client fills out the form, it will send their contact information to me via email.

This site’s purpose: Obtain leads via the online form

Clearly, the businesses in the three examples above are in completely different industries and have totally different objectives. The one thing they have in common is that each of them views their website through their customer’s eyes, and each has a clear objective in mind.

- Site number 1 wants to sell electronics
- Site number 2 wants to attract resellers
- Site number 3 wants to obtain contact information

In conclusion, you should identify one action that you want your site visitors to take, and make the entire site focused on channeling visitors to take that desired action. If you ever feel inclined to put something on your homepage or in your navigation system that isn’t directly related to your site’s primary purpose, then you are about to redirect visitors away from a revenue-generating activity and into something that doesn’t help your business. Remember to Focus, Focus, and Focus.

About the Author:
Mr. Coers specializes in helping entrepreneurs build effective web businesses. His website, contains useful articles and "how-to" guides to help organizations build their brands and sell more effectively.

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Dead Real Estate in Your Marketing?

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Dead Real Estate in Your Marketing?
March 01, 2005

Hello, I just wanted to share some ideas with you.
Did you notice when you watch a Yahoo, AOL, MSN video we see commercials now? Did you notice that behind baseball players we see ads on a blue screen now?

Remember when pens just said BIC? Remember when Movie Theaters just had a white screen before the movie stared? Remember when the mail receipt card from your local FREE weekly paper just had postage on one side and blank on the other?

Well, advertisers and businesses have found that not to have an ad on the back of the mail receipt card, or behind the ball players was DEAL REAL ESTATE. Heck, soon Armand will be paid to wear a 1Shoppingcart hat at his seminars, LOL (JK)

So there enters my point! Do you have dead real estate in your marketing?

Here are some tips and examples you can use:))

After someone opts in to your list, why have a DEAD REAL ESTATE page that says, "Thanks for subscribing, click your browser's back button." Why not offer them one of your older ebooks for $19 just this one time instead of $47 that they may never buy. Or why not offer them an affiliate link for a related product. You already have the opt in - right?:))


Why send me an email that says, "You just made a sale. Great job!"
Why not include a P.S. with a copy paste email under it with my link in it that says, "P.S. I made it easy for you to make even more. Here is an email you can send out to your list as a follow up...

"Dear {FIRSTNAME}, yesterday I emailed you about {dynamic_link), the response was real good."

Oh you like that one huh? ;)

If you are emailing them to let them know they made a referral to the site but not a commission, do the same thing. Or in that email,
have a TOP SPONSOR ad -

Sponsor add for
{targeted affiliate program}
{Affiliate Link}

How about when they log out from your membership site? Why send them to the home page, DUH?? Send them to a Targeted affiliate program.

How about when they use a site function like filling out a form. Why say "Thanks for filling out our form." Why not rotate some banners above and below?

When someone joins your FREE site, why send them right to the members area, why not do a JV with someone and offer a great package at a great price? (Just this once)

Hey, these are just some ideas. I use some of them with one time offers and I make nice side cash (enough to make a Car Payment) with some of these little ideas.

So go thru YOUR sites and see if you have DEAD REAL ESTATE on your sites :)

Talk soon!

Mike Filsaime

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Monday, February 28, 2005

10 Classic E-zine Advertising Tips

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10 Classic E-zine Advertising Tips
by Ken Hill

1. Target your advertising -
The more targeted the e-zine is for your offer, the greater your response will be for your proven ad.

2. Track your ads -
Don't leave your ad campaigns to guesswork. Use ad tracking to show you exactly which e-zines and ads are most profitable.

3. Run your ad for multiple issues -
You'll get a better response, and possibly save money as many publishers offer special deals on bulk advertising.

4. Spend lots of time writing your headline -
An effective headline will successfully grab your reader's attention and target your audience. Your winning headline will also get people to read the rest of your ad, leading to more traffic and sales.

If you're new to writing headlines, and need some help check out my "9 Power Packed Headline Formulas" at:

5. Don't try to sell your product from your ad -
Write your ads to create interest and get people to visit your site. From here, your powerful sales page will do the selling for you, and you'll be able to get people to join your e-zine or mailing list for successful follow up.

6. Don't use all caps in your headline -
You'll appear like you're yelling at your reader, and your ad will come off as amateurish.

7. Include a "call to action" -
At the end of your e-zine ads, include a call to action that tells your reader what you want them to do next (i.e., visit your site or subscribe to your e-zine).

8. Don't be cute or funny with your ad -
You might put your reader in a good mood, but don't count on that translating into more visits to your site or more sales.

9. Offer something for free -
Provide an incentive for visiting your site such as a free ebook, sample chapter, or trial.

10. Subscribe to or view the archives of the e-zines you would like to advertise in -
You'll be able to see the quality of the content provided, how many ads are published in each issue, and you'll get a good idea of the products those readers are interested in by the ads being run.

About the Author
Article by Ken Hill. Ken's articles have been published in numerous e-zines and web sites all over the net. Keep up to date on his latest articles, and get more new valuable tips by visiting him at:

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