The Importance of Webinars for Ecommerce Sites

Nowadays, many businesses all over the world have ecommerce sites where they sell all kinds of products and services. Some of the common strategies used to promote such sites include word of mouth promotion, creating blogs, writing product reviews, using social media, distributing flyers and buying Pay-per-click (PPC) ads. However, an often overlooked strategy for promoting online stores is webinars. Also referred to as video conferences, webinars are becoming increasingly popular tools for digital marketing. Webinars allow you to interact in real time with participants from anywhere in the world via audio or multicast video conferencing.

Here are some of the reasons why webinars are important for ecommerce sites:

  1. Affordability

Ecommerce sites can use webinars to market their products and services in an effective, affordable and repeatable manner. There are numerous webinar platforms out there which are either free or require you to pay a small monthly cost. Such platforms come with tools which allow you to easily invite prospects to webinars, monitor registrations, host webinars and monitor sales. This can be done over and over again, thus enhancing your chances of making more sales.

  1. Build credibility

One of the best ways of establishing credibility with your customers and prospects is through webinars. You can introduce yourself, share your values as a company and talk about the products and services you are offering. At the end of the webinar, you can have a question and answer session where objections and questions can be addressed. Once you have engaged with your prospects and built trust, you are likely to make more sales.

  1. Brand awareness

If a product or service is new in the market, webinars can be a great tool for creating brand awareness. You can talk about what you are offering and mention why it stands out from the competition. In addition, you can give your prospects and customers a practical demonstration of how your products work. Having this information will make it easier for prospects to make a buying decision.

  1. Training and education

Besides talking about your products and services, you could webinars to educate your customers and prospects about different topics which are related to your industry. For instance, if your ecommerce site sells books, you could offer training about effective reading techniques. Such how-to webinars will showcase your expertise and are likely to generate more interest in your products.

  1. Convenience

While making presentations ‘live’ has its merits, it is not always possible. Webinars offer ecommerce sites a convenient solution for reaching many customers and prospects from anywhere in the world. This saves the time and cost of travel that would have been incurred for live presentations.

  1. Generating leads

One of the best ways of making more sales from your ecommerce site is by creating a contact list of potential customers. Having such a list will allow you to keep your prospects updated on future promotions and offers. Webinars offer a great opportunity for generating leads and building a contact list. Even if someone does not buy anything right away, the fact that they signed up for your webinar shows that they are interested in what you have to offer. You can therefore capitalize on this interest by sending frequent updates via email.

  1. Attracting partnerships

One of the best ways of building partnerships is through affiliate marketing. Hosting webinars is one of the best ways of attracting affiliate marketers for your ecommerce site. As participants begin trusting your brand, they might be more willing to be involved as affiliates. With time, you could consider co-hosting webinars with other big players in your industry. Such webinars will give even more exposure to your ecommerce site.

 

Charles Mburugu is a professional blogger who writes on topics such as small business, ecommerce, technology, social media and entrepreneurship. Check out his blog TechBlogKe and connect with him on Twitter @techblogke

Bundle Up Your TV, Phone, And Internet Services For Maximum Savings

If you have been searching for a fool proof way to minimize your monthly expenditure on your TV, phone, and Internet bills, you might be pleased as punch to discover that such a way does exist. Furthermore, you’ll be absolutely delighted to hear that’s easy as pie to get in on the ground floor of an excellent new savings plan that enables you to bundle up all of your outgoing payments for these services into one handy new payment plan that enables you to save money, even as you spend it.

What Is Bundling, And Why Is It Able To Save You Money?

If you are new to the concept of bundling, it won’t take long for you to read this article and get up to speed. Basically, the concept is as simple as it is effective. Instead of paying three separate service providers for your Internet, phone, and TV services, why not receive all of these important services direct from one provider?

Not only will you immediately do away with the hassle of having to pay out three separate bills per month, but you will also never again have to worry about deciding which service you can do without while you wait on getting the money to pay all of these bills. Instead of spending big bucks on multiple bills, why not consolidate them all, and pay one special guaranteed low rate for all of them at once?

It Stands To Reason That The Simpler Way Is The Better Way

When you stop to think about it in a logical and practical matter, it only makes sense, doesn’t it? It simply stands to reason that the simpler way is the better way. You no longer have to juggle all of your outgoing payments against your incoming profits. You no longer have to beg, borrow, or steal from one company to pay off another. Bundling removes all of the guess work from the equation.

The new bundling system, available from ACN Inc, lets you pay for everything, all at once, and receive all of the services you desire and deserve. It’s simply the more efficient and more cost effective way to go. If you are interested in learning more about this amazing new service plan, please contact ACN directly. This is one investment that you simply can’t afford to miss out on.

Causes of Poor Email Open Rates

Sending out an email is one thing. However, getting your recipients to open it is another. Many marketers grapple with the problem of poor email open rates. Here are some of the reasons why your subscribers are not opening your emails:

Poor subject lines

The subject line of your email is far more important than the actual content of your message. If the subject line does not resonate with your audience, they will not even bother opening your email. Generic subject lines such as ‘August Newsletter’ or ‘Newsletter – 4th Edition’ simply won’t cut it. You need to ensure that the subject is catchy enough to make your subscribers want to read the rest of your message. It would be advisable to carry out A/B testing on different subject lines to find out which elicits a better response from your audience.

Inconsistent delivery

If you promise your subscribers a daily, weekly or monthly newsletter, you should be ready to stick to your schedule. If you fail to deliver as expected, people will begin losing interest. Consistency is therefore very important for retaining your readers. Before committing to a schedule, make sure you have enough time and information to deliver. However, if for some reason you are finding it tough to sustain the original schedule, you need to notify your list that you will be sending emails less frequently.

Not optimizing emails for mobile devices

Many people are now accessing their emails using their smartphones and tablets. Therefore, if your emails are not optimized for mobile devices, you will not be able to reach a vast majority of your list. Fortunately, there are many email management solutions out there that come with templates which you can use to create mobile friendly emails. Don’t forget to keep track of your email statistics to find out how much traffic is coming from mobile devices.

Offering little or no value

Besides sticking to your schedule, you need to ensure that your emails offer value to subscribers. If you are always promoting your products or services, the audience will be put off. Therefore, cut down on the promotional stuff and offer information that is useful. This could be industry news, tips, tutorials and other free resources. When your readers realize that they are getting value from your emails, they will always be looking forward to the reading the next one.

Poor formatting

Your emails should not only offer value but should be properly formatted. Don’t make the mistake of just having blocks of text. Instead, break up your content using bullet lists and headings to make your content more readable. Since some people will not have the time to read through your entire email, they can simply scan through and get the message.

Inactive email list

Another common reason for poor email rates is having a high number of inactive subscribers. This is why it is very important to evaluate your list frequently and get rid of people who are not opening your emails. You would rather have a list of 1,000 subscribers with a 92% open rate than have a list of 9,000 with a 6% open rate.

[member name=”Author Bio:” ]Charles Mburugu is a webpreneur who writes for TechBlogKe. You can follow him on Twitter @techblogke[/member]

Market Your Video: Top Tips from the Pros

When you’ve made a wonderful video, television show pilot or anything else media related, knowing what to do with it can be hard if you don’t have a buyer. You’ve already gone through the grueling and financially challenging process of getting made and now you’ve got worry about how you’re going to get it seen.

While it might seem impossible you don’t have to just send your video to outside programmers and hope they bite. In fact, that can be a fruitless effort for many smaller companies looking to launch their work.

Use these tips, used for the Kantar internet audience measurement, for finding a home for your video or media work.

Publish Online

You probably don’t want to put your whole project online for others to see. After all, you’re trying to make money off something you’ve worked so hard on, right? That doesn’t mean using the internet isn’t something that you absolutely need to be doing.

Instead, stat a social media marketing campaign to make your video – or at least part of your video – visible to people. You’ll get some hype and a little bit of potential customer reaction. Get enough attention and you’ll find that it’s a whole lot easier to get noticed by traditional viewing sources like TV stations and major websites.

Hire Outside Help

Trying to market your creative efforts all by yourself can seem nearly impossible. That’s why it’s ideal to hire somebody that understands your work and how to market it.

Take your time and meet with different teams that can help place your work. Choosing the right one is essential to your success.

11 Ways to Get Up & Running Making Money from Your Blog

With the rapid expansion of all things web-related, discussions related to making money from blogging change from year to year. Sure, there are the tried and tested ways, but what of the slightly newer, more modern approaches, to monetizing a blog effectively? This article hopes to suggest eleven of these, all helping to get you up and running as fast as possible so you can start generating an income from what you publish digitally.

Teaching Programs

Thanks to sites like CreativeLive, Coursera and the myriad other online learning portals, creating courses and teaching programs around a theme is one of the more common ways to start monetising the expertise demonstrated on your blog.

Text Links and Guest Posts

Services like Blogness.net can help make the necessary connections to help you in this relatively newer form of income generation, whereby companies pay you to include a link to a page or resource in the hope of general promotion.

Live Workshops

Charging people for a ticket, gathering the audience and then teaching or discussing something live in real-time is another great way to share your knowledge and make an income doing so.

Webinar

Being the host of a webinar, a live workshop online, you can use your blog as the portal for which people might access you as you talk about your specialist subject or niche.

Crowdsourcing

Raising funds and giving back to people who help contribute, whether through sites like IndieGoGo or KickStarter is something that’s becoming increasingly common for bloggers to do in order to help monetize their blog and keep providing quality content.

Private Forums

Comparative to paid membership sites, private forums can be a good way to make an income, linking people together through your blog and charging an annual or monthly fee for access.

Sell Your Theme

Bloggers having spent time customizing a theme or template for their site can go one step further to launch it out to the masses for general purchase. Provide support for the themes use and you might even consider a subscription-based pricing model.

Audio Advertising

Use your blog content to launch a podcast, invite guests on to your program and launch great discussion and audio advertising, just like radio ad-spots, is another open strategy to you.

Lightboxes

Becoming ever-more popular online, lightboxes, sometimes better known as ‘pop-ups’, when executed right and flying under the radar of a blocker, are another solid way to promote something and get some cash for it. Just be mindful of your users experience and use sparingly.

eBook

Writing an eBook and launching it on Amazon is becoming hugely effective for bloggers looking to diversify their income streams and get some cash flowing in. Package some of your content and add some extras and you might not even have to invest a huge amount of time into the product build and launch.

Donations

It’s now easy to integrate a PayPal donation button on your blog and begin taking cash deposits to help keep the content flowing and your audience satiated.

How Important is a Blog for a Small Business?

Blogging has become the new norm. People don’t bother keeping a diary these days. Instead they write their innermost thoughts on an online blog for the whole world to read. Business blogs are a bit different, however. Instead of writing about personal issues and gripes, business blogs are created to boost SEO and brand identity. Unfortunately, a lot of small businesses don’t recognise the value of maintaining a blog on their website and are missing out big time.

So if you are one of these businesses, here are a few reasons why you should make an effort and create a blog.

Boost Brand

Writing a blog is an excellent way of building your brand. Everything you write and post in the public domain helps to build your brand. Customers will read your blog and gain a greater sense of who you are and what your business stands for. For example, if you sell DIY tools and equipment, you could post a series of ‘How To’ articles to help people undertake their own DIY projects at home. This type of article will be enormously helpful, thus reinforcing your company image.

Improve Search Engine Rankings

Blog posts are an easy way to keep the content on a business website fresh. Every time you post a new blog, you are refreshing the existing content and encouraging the search engines to come back and re-index the pages. Google loves regularly updated content and if you post blogs once a week, it should help you achieve a better ranking.

Sharing is Caring

Good blogs are worth sharing. Always include social share buttons on a blog to encourage readers to share the content with their friends. The more your content is shared online, the more visitors you will draw back to your website. And since every visitor is a potential customer, isn’t that a good thing?

Establish Business Credibility

Another great reason to start a business blog is because it gives you a platform for sharing your knowledge with the world. One could argue that Twitter is a useful platform for sharing opinions, views and knowledge, but there is only so much you can write in a Tweet and unless you don’t have a lot to say, a business blog is likely to be more rewarding! If you consistently write useful, informative and knowledgeable content, people will bookmark your blog as a valuable resource. In time, this will improve your credibility and standing amongst your customers and industry partners.

Build Customer Relationships

If you write interesting and useful content, people are likely to comment or take the opportunity to ask questions. Responding to comments gives you a great opportunity to build trust with customers, and in the current global marketplace, trust is a valuable commodity.

No matter which way you look at it, blogging makes sense. Yes, it can be time consuming, but if time is your enemy, you can always outsource your blog writing to a junior employee or third party company. So don’t miss out on the golden opportunity of a lifetime – start your business blog today.

How 2015 is Changing the Appearance of Websites

People can spend just seconds glancing across your website to ascertain whether they’ve landed in the right place. If there’s anything which turns them off, they’ll head straight back to the results page. This is why your website design is so important, and why it needs to keep evolving to keep up with current trends.

Here are a few of the ways in which website design is shifting this year.

Mobile-Friendly

Mobile browsing is now more important than desktop or laptop-based browsing. Experts predicted that this would be the year in which mobile browsing data overtakes traditional browsing data – so creating a mobile-friendly site is more important than ever. Google has already begun penalizing sites which cannot be read on mobiles, so a failure to keep up could cut away over 50% of your potential visits.

Google added a mobile usability section to their Webmaster accounts during 2014, so you can keep track of your mobile performance. In general, larger text, simpler designs, single scrolling pages, and plenty of click-to-contact buttons are a good way to start.

More Visual

In general, the internet is becoming far more visual. Businesses are making greater use of videos, and social media shares have become more reliant upon interesting images in order to capture the fleeting attention of modern web-users.

This has carried over to the way in which websites are being presented. Fewer and larger images are more beneficial – you want to create a strong statement very quickly. Large visual headers are also becoming more popular, with many companies using integrated video to further arrest the attention.

Hidden Menus

In line with an increased focus on simplicity, many web designers are opting to hide menus behind tabs and buttons which will only be revealed when hovered over or clicked on. This makes your website simpler to use, but it also boasts the further benefit of allowing you to prioritise the more advantageous menu items.

Everything which a visitor might possibly need will be included in your drop down menu, but the high traffic items – and those which create the best conversion rates – will be prioritised, making it easier for visitors to get where they want to go.

 

Your website should never stand still. Treat it as a constant work in progress, and make sure it never feels dated.

Five Web Design Blogs You Won’t Regret Reading

The design of a business’ website can have a direct impact on the success of that business. To compete in the digital market, a small business needs to have a website that is relevant and up-to-date, and that incorporates the latest developments in web design. To start assessing what you need to do to your website to make it current, read these five blogs for guidance.

  1. DesignCoral features a great post on the 3 Ways to Adjust Your SEO Strategy for Mobile and Local Search. It is projected that in 2015, searches done on mobile device will overtake searches done on desktop computers. It is critical then that business owners develop a strategy for local and mobile search as part of their wider search engine optimization campaign. This post details the main ways to make sure that your business takes advantage of the traffic growth in mobile and local search.
  2. TechKoW features a helpful blog on 7 Ways to Achieve a Great ‘About Us’ Web Page Design. The ‘About Us’ page is the second most visited page of a business’ website, after the homepage. Prospective customers are keen to know about the individuals that run the company that they are considering entering into business with. The ‘About Us’ page is where the prospective customers will visit to find out this information. This post provides key pointers on how to present yourself on your website and ‘About Us’ page.
  3. The Top 3 Ways Your Website is Directly Impacting Your Business explains how website design impacts on your business’ success. This post concentrates on the three main facets of your business website that you need to get correct if you want to get your website to act as your number one salesman.
  4. BusinessBlogs includes The 7 Deciding Factors of DIY Vs. Custom Website Design. Part One: Budget, which examines the quandary experienced by many new businesses that need to watch their budget. It’s a common decision faced by business owners of whether to contract a website design company to build a custom website for the business, or to make the website themselves using DIY software. This blog sets out both the advantages and disadvantages of custom website design and of DIY website design.
  5. On Slashdot, Let’s forget some of the web designing trends and adopt the new ones in 2015 lists the website design trends that we all need to overlook. This blog explains that past web design trends, such as ribbons and unrealistic group images, need to be forgotten. Instead, businesses should adopt some of the new, fresh web design concepts that are emerging.

Web design’s impact on the success of a small business is significant. To get your website to work as an effective and powerful tool to raise your business above the competition, take on board the excellent web design recommendations detailed in these top blogs.