Archive for July, 2010

Why You Really Need to Know All Your Friends on Facebook

I’m writing this post from a veranda with a great view of the north-west Adriatic coast of Croatia, where I’m currently on vacation. This trip is different from our previous vacations in that we’re staying a full 5 weeks, so I needed to bring my laptop to stay in touch with my clients (after I finish this post I need to send an email newsletter for a UK-based client).

Although I did a pretty good job of making sure I have all my passwords with me, I was given a shock by Facebook when I tried logging in for the first time after we landed here. Although I entered my user ID and password Facebook recognised I was trying to log in from a different geographical location and, as a security measure, forced me to confirm my account. At first I thought, great, I like this, but then the trouble started: Facebook used a very unusual method of confirming my account – it asked me to give the names of seven of my Facebook friends! Although I only have a few hundred FB friends, I certainly can’t remember all of their names!

Facebook showed me pictures of no fewer than seven of my friends – but not their default profile photos, but random images from their photo albums, where my friends were sometimes pictured from the side, with other people, or in poor image conditions.

Somehow I managed to confirm my account after two tries, so now I am OK. The moral of this story for you: know thy Facebook friends if you’re planning on traveling abroad.

Posted in: Facebook, Social Media Marketing

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Using Custom Postcards and Greeting Cards to Promote an Online Business

simplify the holidays with SendOutCardsIf you just built a new web site, or if you follow my advice — a business blog — you should announce it to everyone you know to attract them to visit. Although you can and should use opt-in email marketing systems to send an announcement to your contacts, I’d like to propose an “off-line” marketing strategy as well: postcards or greeting cards!

If your budget allows it, I recommend sending postcards to your existing clients asking them to promote your new blog to their contacts. To create personalized postcards, or greeting cards, I use my SendOutCards system which costs me $0.62 + postage for a postcard with a custom design ($0.31 for a stock card).

The design can be an advert for your new blog, and then on the flip side (or inside of a greeting card) you can ask the recipient to give a unique URL to their contacts, e.g. NewBlog.com/Joe, etc. where Joe is the real name of your client.

Using a unique URL will allow you to track new visitors/signups, and then award the one client who sends the most traffic to your new blog. You need to give your clients an incentive to promote your new blog, say a chance to win an iPod or something, or something more expensive, depending on your business model.

Follow this link if you’re interested in the SendOutCards business opportunity. This can become a lucrative second income or a full-blown career, all depends on you.

Posted in: Off-line Marketing Ideas

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E-Newsletter Publishing Q & A: Increasing Sign-up Rates in Double Opt-in Lists

Q: Adam from Manchester, U.K., sent in this note:

“I am having a hard time figuring out how to deal with a high percentage of people who come to my web site, signup for my e-zine but never confirm their email address. Sometimes this is as high as 60% of total subscribers. Since I am using the recommended double opt-in process, I don’t know what I can do to have most of my subscribers confirm their address.”

A: Actually, Adam is not alone in this. I have received messages from several subscribers that are experiencing the same problem.

Let’s first examine why this is happening. When I visited Adam’s web site, and subscribed to his e-newsletter I noticed that after clicking the submit button, I was taken to a generic web page, provided by his Email Service Provider (ESP). The page simply said “Thank you for subscribing.”

Please read the rest of this article on my email marketing consulting blog, or leave a comment or ask a question here.

Posted in: Email Marketing

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