Tuesday, January 31, 2012

What is an Opt-In Box how does it Work?

I find a lot of business people do not know what an auto responder is, how it can help them build their business and bring in revenue.

I know we have all come across those little sign-up (commonly referred as opt-in boxes) where you leave your name and email – to get information or to be on a mailing list. This is what the front end of an auto responder looks like.

It drives me crazy when I have clients that do not want to collect names and prefer not to have one. That is marketing 101.


Auto-responder: An e-mail utility that automatically replies to an e-mail message with a pre-written response when that e-mail comes into a specific e-mail or Internet address.

An auto-responders (or opt-in box) can be used if you need a way to send information about your services, products, price lists, or if there are repeated questions asked across large numbers of e-mails.

Maybe you want to offer your site visitors a special bonus of some kind, such as advice or relevant articles. All of this can be handled by an auto-responder.

You can set up campaigns for your business and then build stable relationships with your customers by using auto-responders. Auto-responder programs vary from software that runs with your email program to a specialized script that runs on your web hosting company's server. This kind of script may use a web page form or simply operate with your e-mail account. This kind of script is programmed to send out a standardized message whenever an email is received. The message is sent to a particular script or email address.

This saves you time, and time is money…

They can do more than simply send out standardized messages. They can send out an unlimited number of follow-up messages sent at pre-determined intervals of time. For example, you can set your auto-responder to send out a new message every day for as long a period as you desire.

If you have a website and do not have an Opt-In box – you need to get on the stick! Your data-base is gold, how are you going to contact people who have come to your website and are interested in your products/services when you have a sale or new service?

How many times have you forgotten a website you had visited. Do you know that people usually visit a website more than once before they buy?

How are you going to be able to remind your visitors about you and your service?

Auto-responders are an effective and powerful marketing tool, allowing you to contact thousands of potential customers. This is an invaluable asset considering how many potential customers you usually have contact with before you make an actual sale. Essentially, an auto-responder allows you to automate part of your marketing campaign.

E-mail is an excellent marketing tool; it is inexpensive and fast.

I know there are a lot of auto-responders on the market. I use the professional version of Get Response (www.getresponse.com) I love it and don’t see how I ever did without it.

For a free month subscription here is a link. Check it out and you will see how easy they are to use.

If you feel a little intimidated and need someone to help you put up your opt-in box contact me. When you feel comfortable, you will be able to upgrade to the pro-version.

Un-complicate your life! Save time, save money, markets effectively use an auto-responder!

PS If you would like an auto-responder that can set up affiliate account and other high level marketing strategies you may like Kick Start – Click Here

To Exciting Opportunities & Endless Possibilities!

Pamela JacobArtista Design

Providing Creative Solutions & Amazing Results

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Do You Have a Custom Website?

There are some huge misconceptions out there. People who are smart and savvy when it comes to business really don’t know the difference between websites, customized websites, and custom websites. I must admit a lot of web people, and websites play fast and loose with the terms but there is a big difference between each of them. You really have to ask questions when you have someone do a website for you.

It seems everyone is saying they do custom websites – but do they? What is the difference?

Template Website – is a website that has been pre-built, and you are buying it as is. A good example is a Word Press Blog that is used as a website – the template may already have been designed you just plug in your business name, copy and possibly some pictures. These types of websites are sold over and over again. They are the Least Expensive Choice.

Customized website – is a website that is put together as a template, but you customize it with your own banner and other small tweaks. Because you do have some customization, it will be more expensive than a template website but less expensive than an actual custom website.

Custom Website – is a website that is built from the ground floor up. The idea is visualized, written down then designed. Some web designers actually sketch the website out and then use a program like Photoshop to create the images needed for the interface of the website.

Once the images are designed, and the client approves them than the process begins. The images need to be cut apart and reassembled into a web page with html. The navigation of a website is another type of code typically JavaScript – and then if you want some movement you may use some flash or other type of animation that is also created from scratch.

People like custom websites because they want to brand their business with a certain look and feel. The website and all marketing materials will have the same logo, color, typography, etc. The copyright is owned by the business. As you can imagine this type of website is the most expensive. People who do custom website can also (usually) do graphic design, so they can develop your business card and logo, do brochures and fliers, folders and any type of promotional material you can think of. I have always done custom websites and everything that goes with that. I am inexpensive compared to other companies who truly do custom websites, but it will still cost more – because it takes more time and some talent to design custom items.

One of the hottest things going right now are Word Press websites – these are blog’s that are used as websites combined with a blog. The allure of this type of website is that business owner can update text on their own websites. These can also fit into all the categories that I have listed above. And search engines love these types of sites

So often a lot of so called web developer's scam people who really do not know the ins and outs of having a business on the internet. They take advantage of their lack of knowledge just to fill their pockets. It gives a bad name to those in my profession.

I also hear "I can get a website done for much less than that". They don’t realize that they are not getting a CUSTOM WEBSITE… 99 times out of 100 they are being quoted a template or a customized website.

Ask the hard questions when you hire a designer – make sure you are getting what you pay for. Maybe you do not want a custom website and a template or customized website is all you need – but at least be aware of the difference.

One more thing to think about – make sure your web person can do all the things to make your websites more search engine friendly this also takes a lot more attention to details – and things on the back end that you don’t see. However, it is well worth the extra price.

I think I am going to come up with questions to ask – sheet for those of you who are thinking about having a website designed or re-designed. That way, you will know the answers to the questions and when you ask, and the person doesn’t give you the right answer you can find someone else!

One more thing, I am going to be coming out with some customized websites and templates. I am thinking about having a section of templates and customizable websites for those of you who just don’t have the budget to have a customized website. When I do you will be the first to know.

To Exciting Opportunities & Endless Possibilities! Pamela JacobArtista Design Access Portfolio Providing Creative Solutions & Amazing Results

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Search Engine Optimization - Whats New

Every year I update how the search engines have changed their algorithm. Though Google has not revealed all their algorithm formulas (the way, they index web pages) due to competition they have been transparent to some.

As I was researching the topic I came across two fantastic articles that will put you in the know. Why re-invent the wheel right! I would make sure and access both articles the first has some explanations on terms and topics on search engine optimization that became valid late in 2011. The second article gives even more up to date changes and how they will affect your website.

In a nutshell – they are giving more preference to original copy and quality fast loading websites with unique attributes. Unfortunately, it is really important to go over your website every year to make sure you keep pace with all the changes – and rank higher in the search engines.

Google Dramatically Changes the Face of SEO in 2012

Google's Latest The "OMG This Isn't Really Happening" Algorithm Change By Lahle Wolfe, About.com Guide

If you have a website you probably know what search engine optimization (SEO) is and the purpose it serves in marketing your website to search engines. You probably also know that more than 80% of all Internet users turn to Google for search. MORE…

SEO Analysis of Google Algorithm Search Updates

There is no doubt that come 2012, Google is sure going to implement the content-to-ads ratio. According to Matt Cutts of Google, the testing for measuring this parameters is been conducted. The algorithm also known as “above the fold”, will be aimed at ensuring adverts do not interfere with reading of content. MORE…

To Exciting Opportunities & Endless Possibilities!

Pamela JacobArtista Design Access Portfolio

Providing Creative Solutions & Amazing Results

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Advertise for Free on Google, Yahoo and more. 27 websites that want to list your business.

Well, it has taken some time, but I have finally compiled my first list of places to advertise your business on the internet for FREE.
I always look for ways to help my clients get ahead. Most small businesses are on a limited budget, the marketing funds are just not there. One of the best ways I can help you is to share a list of free advertising resources. http://artistadesign.com
Of course posting your website will get your more visitors and more exposure, but it will also help you with the back-links that you need in order to rank higher in the Search engines. So it is a win – win…
I took the time to go to each website and list my own business. I wanted to see what the experience of listing on each of these websites would be. So when you get the list, you will find my notes right under the links telling you what I found when I signed up on each particular website.

I went through a lot of duds. I just threw them out – they were so confusing, or they claim to be free but really were not.

Below are some tips to make your experience when listing with all of these sites faster – and less frustrating
Type the information below into a word doc. This will make it so much faster to list your business Each website is a little different and so will need varying types of information.

Profile information you will need to write a description of yourself showing your experience in the business you are listing and why you started or believe in what you are doing. It should appeal to your target market.

  • Have pictures in a folder on your desktop – ready to go. Some of these websites allow pictures to be shown, and you will get more business if you have a picture of your product – or example of your service in the graphical form. Make sure you do not upload huge pictures directly from your camera. Size and compress them properly
  • Have a picture of yourself ready to put on your profile. People like to see who they will be doing business with, and they will trust you much more.
  • One login and one (GOOD) password – if you use the same for each registration it makes life so much easier.
  • Refresh your information on these sites as needed.
Once you have all of these things in order you are now ready to access the links – and start submitting. Make sure the word document is opened so you can copy and paste. I have two monitors, and I love it. I can post on one and copy text from the other. I will be updating this list as time goes on – if you are on my mailing list, I will automatically send you the new updated version – no need to sign-up again!
One thing to remember – most of these websites will try and up sell you. I did not buy any extra’s I wanted to see how much traffic I get from them first. You do not want to throw away money on a website that is not getting a lot of traffic. So if you do decide to pay for extras choose wisely.

If this makes you wonder how I know that traffic is coming to my website from these submissions, I have Google analytics on the back end of my website, and it tells me where all the hits are coming from. If you do not have this on your website – how do you monitor what's going on??

There are all types of analytic code and software, but Google Analytics is free – if you have someone else do your website, it shouldn’t cost much to have it done. If you need help let me know.

Important: Before listing your website, please make sure your website is in order, it looks professional, has all the elements needed to capture those visitors, and make sure you website is Search Engine Optimized…
I will be coming out with a Free (updated) SEO checklist at the end of the month. If you have already downloaded the list below you will automatically get the list emailed to you.

To Exciting Opportunities & Endless Possibilities!