• Internet and Technology

    Remember the Nigerian email scam

    For some time the term “Nigerian email scam” was a huge buzz word in the media. Websites across the world were recognizing the potential harm of these scams and warning their faithful followers to stay away. Today, some sites (including us!) still keep a focus on these scams since they remain relevant and a constant threat, but others have lessened their focus on these scams. Why?

    Are more and more people now aware that a dialogue isn’t needed or has the press just moved onto other hot topics and forms of scams? Regardless what answer to that question you believe is relevant you still should always remain aware of scams in all of their forms.

    Prince of Nigeria email scams are just one of the many email scam forms that can enter your inbox. Reading each email with caution can help you be prepared for the next adaptation that will come along. Needless to say, scammers are always looking for new ways to steal your money and information so be on the watch. If you receive a suspicious email you should always stop and ask yourself if it could be a scam.

    Sure, we discuss a number of Nigerian email scams, but those are not the only scams out there. Have you heard of phishing scams? Phishing scams are unique forms of email scams that prompt you to follow a link to verify information. Sounds confusing? Well, once you understand what a phishing scam is and how it presents itself it is very easy to spot one and hit delete.

  • Business,  Internet and Technology

    Is offline marketing similar to online marketing?

    What may be obvious in offline marketing is often not that obvious in online marketing.

    There are many new website owners that do all the right things – the right things as far as offline marketing is concerned… They offer a great product and pay close attention to:

    – Convenience – Purchasing is easy. You don’t even need to leave your home.

    – Price & Quality – They often offer products at a discount to offline merchants.

    – Preference – They offer products for which they know a demand exists.

    – Payment Terms – They provide easy payment options by credit card.

    – Customer Service – They have a toll free telephone no. and offer email support.

    – Return & Refund Policy – Have a no questions asked money back guarantee.

    – Sales Promotions – Offer special promotions and discounts on a regular basis.

    And yet, they fail to succeed! Why? Because they do not have credibility. People are often nervous to support an online merchant that they don’t know.

    You always need to put yourself in the position of a potential customer. They don’t know you. They don’t know if your product is any good. Many people are reluctant to buy online using their credit cards for fear that their personal information will be stolen. Very often your customer will be hundreds or even thousands of miles away… You can’t hide behind your computer! Most people hate rejection. In fact, I believe this to be one of the main reasons people hate face to face selling and why very few people still do door-to-door selling.

    Well, with ecommerce getting more popular all the time many closet salesmen are convinced they have found the ideal way to sell products without risking face to face rejection. After all, isn’t it better if a potential customer simply does not respond to your promotion instead of slamming a door in your face? Yes and no. You see, by hiding behind your computer it is really difficult to learn and improve sales techniques. Most offline salespeople are trained to sell. They are trained to spot certain signals from the buyer indicating his readiness to buy. They are trained to overcome objections. They often personalize a sales pitch based on the specific customer they are dealing with.

    Online selling is more difficult than offline. You don’t have to deal with the same type of rejection that you find offline but your online rejection rate will be much higher than offline. Having a laser sharp focus is the best online alternative to personal interaction. A very specific niche and a very good sales copy. Let me explain. People search for specific information, often to solve a specific problem.

    How many people have a problem with “dogs”? I would guess many thousands. However, can you solve thousands of problems in one sales letter? No. In fact, by being too general you are not going to succeed simply because people are not searching for general information. You need to be very specific. For example, returning to dogs. Your niche should be focused on a very specific problem, such as hair loss in dogs. The more specific the better. This way you will be able to offer a highly targeted solution. You will be in a much better position to identify with your customers and they will feel that you really understand their problems.

    By being very specific you will be able to write a sales letter that really “speaks” to your audience. In fact, they should feel as if it has been purposely written with them in mind. How often have you read a book or article that describes exactly what you are going through? A book or article that really “speaks” to you… That is what you need to aim for in online marketing. It is the closest you can get to personal interaction without actually talking to someone in person.

    Building relationships

    You have to subtly convince potential customers that having a commercial relationship with you is in their best interests because you understand their needs and can offer them solutions. It is difficult to build commercial relationships online. You cannot compare a close friendship to the relationship between you and your local fruit and vegetable store. However, there is a relationship.

    Chances are you support and will continue to support your local fruit and vegetable store if you have any type of relationship with them. Maybe the sales lady is very helpful, friendly and greets you by your first name. Many online marketers try too hard to sell before building a relationship with their potential customers! By trying too hard people will invariable question your motives. They may think things like “He is so friendly. I wonder what he wants from me” or “This guy is obviously only after my money”. It is very easy to try too hard and to scare potential customers away.

    Online selling and relationship building need a subtle approach as described in the Briana Booker’s article on newtheory.com. Most people hate ending up on a website full of ads and flashing banners. In fact, you need to be gentle not to scare customers away. Make it clear to them that you understand their problems. Offer them some useful advice and only then inform them that you have the right solution.

    Tip: Building a commercial relationship has many similarities with courting!

    The customer is always right

    There is a popular saying in the sales world “The customer is always right”. Well, I guess this point can be debated… What cannot be debated though is the need to always offer excellent customer service. Let’s face it. Without customers you simply do not have a business. If you want to build a successful online business you need to develop a reputation for providing great customer service. In fact, customer service becomes even more important when you sell online since you do not have any face to face contact with customers. Customers that may already be nervous about doing business online. Helping a customer in need is the best opportunity you are going to get at building a relationship with that customer.

  • Internet and Technology

    Hire an Website Development Company

    Every new website development company that enters the market launches campaigns and sends out marketing fliers indicating that you will only get the best of quality and services by hiring them. However, many of them get away with providing poor quality services because the average customer knows nothing about web development. At the same time, many customers may end up hiring the best Website Development Company and yet fail to utilize every ounce of expertise that such a company could provide. Here is a simplified guide on how to select the best company, and get the most out of your selection.

    Do Your Homework

    The first step when selecting a company is to know what you want. This knowledge provides for proper interactions with the developers you hire. Having details of what you want for your site, will go a long way to ensure that the contract you sign with the designer contains iterations about every aspect of the development process. Consider these preliminaries before approaching the company.

    Choose a name – make a list of possible URLs for your website. Check whether the names are available. Choose a name that would help your customers relate to your brand, or the product you are offering. Secure the name by registering it. If you have no idea how to go about this, the website agency you hire will assist you.

    Determine what you want from the website – You can use a website for several purposes; to market your products, your services, or your brand. You could also use your website to serve customers by providing directions, announcing new products, providing customer care, etc., or it may be used for e-commerce. All of these uses require a different web design and set of features.

    Plan for the other elements you want on your website – they include the content that you will be offering visitors, the structure, in terms of the number of pages and the content on each page, how they appear, images, etc.

    Once you have an idea of the elements you wish to have on your website, you can now approach a web development company with confidence.

    Consider Templates

    It is not mandatory to develop or design your website from scratch. There are incredible templates that the developers you hire could customize in a way that makes them appear as if they were developed from scratch. They will give visitors to your website an incredible browsing experience, providing multiple pages and room for plugins or integration to enhance your services you plan to provide.

    There are templates for different industries like bloggers, e-commerce, recipes, service providers, etc. Some templates are available free, and you may have to pay for others. You can upgrade the templates or downgrade them from time to time without losing your name, content or identity. To enhance the functionality and appearance of your website, you may need to hire an ecommerce Website Development Company. However, you can still customize the template with ease and achieve a professional look.

    Check For Expertise

    Your website is your ambassador online. It needs to be outstanding and attractive to excel in the crowded cyberspace and capture the attention of potential buyers. It also needs to appear and feel professional and provide an incredible user experience. Only an expert ecommerce Website Development Company can achieve this for you. Since all design and development companies claim to be experts, how do you identify the right one for the job?

    Check for licensing – a formal business is an indication of readiness to follow laid rules. It also gives you the confidence in the knowledge that you are not dealing with a phony service provider.

    Experience – it is advisable to avoid amateurs. They may use a trial and error method to handle your work. This exposes you to poor quality and even a poor customer experience that will prove to be costly in the long run.

    Ask for references – ask the company you plan to hire to provide a list of companies to whom they have provided development services. Check their website to see whether they resemble what you would like. If you are impressed, you can go forth and hire them.

    Get a referral – do you have a friend or associate with an excellent website? Request them to recommend the company that designed or developed their website.

    Designing a website is only the beginning of your long online journey. You will need to promote it intensely to improve your ranking on search engine result pages. You also need to keep it fresh by providing compelling content that you post on a regular basis. Your website also needs a reliable host. If you get a comprehensive package from your ecommerce Website Development Company, such elements would be taken care of automatically. Get a contract that stipulates the extent of engagement and considers the need for continued support. With such a company by your side, you will enjoy your online presence and get real value for money.