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Archive for November, 2008

I Have Been Thinking:

Now that Thanksgiving is over, it has heralded the way for the coming Christmas season.

Christmas is a time for giving and remembering. I do hope that all of your memories are good ones and that you are making wonderful memories for your children and grandchildren. This year seems to be a difficult one for many as job losses continue on the upswing and the American economy seems to be a nightmare instead of the dream it was meant to be.

Every generation has it’s problems. I was reminded the other day that the children in school today are the government of tomorrow. It is a difficult thing sometime to look at but we are all in the position we are in because of the decisions we made yesterday. Our children are the reflection of what they were taught by us as parents and of course the teachers.

What can we do now to guarantee a future and the American dream for the next generation? It is a question that is often asked now. We will look into the various answers to this question from the viewpoint of you the entrepreneur in the month of December as we prepare for Christmas and the coming year.

Start Your Day With a Smile

Veteran

When I worked as a medical intern in a local hospital, one
of my patients was an elderly man with a thick accent.
It took me some time to understand that he had no insurance
coverage.

One thing he had made clear was that he was a World War II
veteran, so I had him transported to the Veteran’s Administration
hospital, where he’d be eligible for benefits.

The next day my patient was back, with a note from the VA:

“Right war, wrong side.”

Food for Thought

“If you believe in unlimited quality and act in all your business dealings with
total integrity, the rest will take care of itself.”
Frank Perdue
Founder of Perdue Chicken

Daily Tip:

Successful design is in the detail. Even the smallest offending detail can sabotage the appearance of an otherwise attractive design. Step back, take some time away, look at it from the customer’s eyes Watch for extra spaces that leave a river of white space or justified columns of text that can leave gaps – big gaps in the sentence. These can be a distraction from the message.

Resources:

The WinAssoc and Winning Way family of websites

http://www.Winassoc.com | http://www.iswinning4u.com | http://www.cwinsonline.com

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Good Morning!
I Have Been Thinking
Sorry I’m late, but I just couldn’t get up any earlier this morning and got home too late to want to write this newsletter last night. Needless to say I had a great time at the parade – and it wasn’t even cold!

Monday is already December 1. With only 33 days left of this year let me ask you, did you accomplish everything this year that you wanted to? Did you check off and majority of your goals for the year? If the answer is no the set the time aside on Monday evenings for “Reach to Achieve” in the Internet Niche lab conference room.

Opportunity is never lost
It goes To Those Ready to Accept It!

Carolyn

Ice Breakers
Computer Challenge

In March 1992 a man living in Newton near Boston Massachusetts received a bill for his as yet unused credit card stating that he owed $0.00. He ignored it and threw it away. In April he received another and threw that one away too.

The following month the credit card company sent him a very nasty note stating they were going to cancel his card if he didn’t send them $0.00 by return of post. He called them, talked to them, they said it was a computer error and told him they’d take care of it.

The following month he decided that it was about time that he tried out the troublesome credit card figuring that if there were purchases on his account it would put an end to his ridiculous predicament.

However, in the first store that he produced his credit card in payment for his purchases he found that his card had been canceled. He called the credit card company who apologized for the computer error once again and said that they would take care of it.

The next day he got a bill for $0.00 stating that payment was now overdue. Assuming that having spoken to the credit card company only the previous day the latest bill was yet another mistake he ignored it, trusting that the company would be as good as their word and sort the problem out. The next month he got a bill for $0.00 stating that he had 10 days to pay his account or the company would have to take steps to recover the debt.

Finally giving in he thought he would play the company at their own game and mailed them a check for $0.00. The computer duly processed his account and returned a statement to the effect that he now owed the credit card company nothing at all.

A week later, the man’s bank called him asking him what he was doing writing a check for $0.00. After a lengthy explanation the bank replied that the $0.00 check had caused their check processing software to fail. The bank could not now process ANY checks from ANY of their
customers that day because the check for $0.00 was causing the computer to crash.

The following month the man received a letter from the credit card company claiming that his check had bounced and that he now owed them $0.00 and unless he sent a check by return of post they would be taking steps to recover the debt. The man, who had been considering buying his wife a computer for her birthday, bought her a typewriter instead

Thought for Today:
“You don’t just luck into things…You build step by step, whether it’s friendships
or opportunities”
– Barbara Bush

Tips and Techniques

Strive for simplicity in design
Restraint is probably the most difficult design principle to apply. As a designer I love color and I love going where no one has gone before, but find the things that sell are those that have simple lines and carefully considered color. We tend to forget to use restraint or have too much fun showing off our talents then overlook the importance of the message.

Happy designing!

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Good Morning!
I Have Been Thinking
I want to take this minute in time to wish you all a very blessed Thanksgiving.

Maybe 25 years ago I started making my thankful list. I started with one for each year I was alive. I have added one thing every year for the last 40 years.

What am I grateful for this year?

In March of this year I started working with a team of people. We called our projct the Internet Niche Lab. This team of people are more than “just” co-workers or even ‘joint venture partners” they are friends.

I am grateful to Ed, he answers the questions for things I have yet to learn. August keeps me humble. Kathy makes me laugh even when the going feels like walking through tar in a swamp.

I am grateful for the simple things that make life worth living.

Opportunity is never lost
It goes To Those Ready to Accept It!

Carolyn

Ice Breakers
Babies

Eight-year-old Susie came home from school and informed her mother that today in class they had learned how to make babies.

The mother, rather shaken by the development, called the
teacher to complain.

After listening to the mother complain for a few minutes,
the teacher responded, “Did you ask her to explain how
it is done?”

“No,” said the mother.

“Then ask her and call me back,” replied the teacher.

“So how DO you make babies?” the mother asked
her daughter.

Susie responded, “You drop the ‘y’ and add ‘ies.'”

Thought for Today:
“You have not lived a perfect day, unless you have done something
for someone who will never be able to repay you.”
– Ruth Smeltzer

Tips and Techniques

Don’t isolate web pages from one another. While it isn’t impossible to view two web pages side by side with two browsers open, people will rarely if ever do that. Your readers will flip through pages using the hyperlinks you have provided them the similarity of those pages should inspire some degree of confidence.

Happy designing!

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Good Morning!
I Have Been Thinking

One of the most frequent questions my customers ask me is “What
should I do to make sure my email marketing campaign is a
success?” My answer is always different, depending on the
client’s industry, campaign goal, and many other factors. But
in today’s e-marketing landscape, there are a few pointers that
stand true for any client, a few things that can really make or
break an email campaign.

You could overlook these, and you’ll still have an email
campaign. But if you’re stuck wondering why your email messages
are yielding little to no response, you may want to take a
closer look and consider if you’re committing any of these 5
email marketing sins:

1. When new subscribers sign up, I should treat them just like
my old subscribers.

One of the most overlooked aspects of email marketing is the
welcome message, or the message your subscribers receive as
soon as they sign up for your email list. The welcome message
is your first opportunity to connect one-on-one with your
subscribers. Think of it as your first impression, since this
is the very first of, hopefully, many email messages you’ll be
sending them. Of course, you want to make a good first
impression: be courteous, friendly and very mindful of your
audience. Make sure to remind them of the benefits of signing
up, include links to your website and tell your readers how to
get a hold of you if they need. It’s also important to ensure
the welcome message arrives shortly (if not immediately) after
the recipient signs up. So your best bet here is to choose an
email service provider that sends automatic welcome messages to
your subscribers on your behalf. Some of the top email programs
will allow you to fully customize your welcome message, so it
reads, looks and feels just like your company.

2. All my subscribers are the same, so I should just send the
same messages to all of them.

Well.. actually, no, and no. It’s not rocket science:
subscribers are individuals, just like you and I. They have
different preferences, different habits, different
personalities. Addressing your subscribers by their names is a
good start (and an easy thing to do, since most reputable email
service providers automatically insert your subscribers’ names
into the greeting field). But, in most cases, this personal
greeting is just not enough. Say you own a clothing store, and
you sell men’s, women’s and children’s clothing. John Smith is
a customer, and he loves your menswear collections. But he’s
busy, and he has no women or kids to shop for. So why would he
waste his precious time browsing through your specials on
blouses and bibs? It’s been proven: In a recent study by
DoubleClick, email users were 72% more likely to respond to a
business e-mail if its content was based on the interests they
had specified. Choose an email service provider that allows you
to set up interest groups, and then allows your subscribers to
choose which groups they want to belong to. Back to the
clothing store, you would produce 3 separate emails (mens,
womens’, childrens’) and only send them out to the subscribers
who want to read them, creating highly-targeted, personalized
and effective email campaigns.

3. When a reader clicks on a link from my email, it doesn’t
matter if they end up on a page that looks nothing like the
actual email.

Um, actually, it does matter. First-off, you want to provide a
consistent image of your brand. That’s just Branding 101. You
wouldn’t create business cards that look one way, letterhead
that looks another way, and a store sign that looks completely
different. So why would your email marketing campaign look
nothing like your website? Chances are you already have a
website, so all you really need to do is customize your email
campaign to have the same look and feel. Many email service
providers will be able to create you a custom template that
matches the exact look and feel of your website. However,
beware of the price. While some email service providers charge
at least a few hundred for this, others offer free custom
templates as part of their services.

4. My email recipients may enjoy my messages, but they don’t
really want to share them with their friends.

Here’s the good news: According to a January 2006 report by
Sharpe Partners, 89% of US adult Internet users share email
content with their friends, family and associates. And 75% of
them forward emails to up to six other recipients. It’s called
viral marketing, and it basically translates to word-of-mouth
through email (as long as you provide good content, an
essential aspect of any email maketing campaign). Some email
service providers have taken this insight into consideration,
so they have integrated the all-important “Forward to a Friend”
feature in every email you send. A few email providers will even
go a step further, and allow you to track which subscribers are
forwarding your messages, so you can get a true glimpse at your
“brand ambassadors” (and maybe offer them some extra perks).

5. After I send out my email campaign, there’s nothing left for
me to do.

If you look at it that way, you’re really missing half the
process, and jeopardizing the success of your future campaigns.
Here’s why: any reputable email marketing program will include
campaign tracking and reporting. These allow you to view how
many of your messages were opened, which bounced back, which
links were clicked on, and, with some email providers, exaclty
which recipients clicked on each link. This data not only
converts email marketing into an incredible lead generation
tool, but it also allows you to learn more about your
subscribers. So if you operate a travel agency, and you see
nobody clicked on the Mexico vacation link, but 200 readers
clicked on the New York vacation link, you’ll know next time to
place a greater focus on New York vacations. You could even send
a follow up campaign to those 200 readers with a special offer
for a New York vacation upgrade. That’s lead generation and a
highly-targeted upsell in one shot. Are you taking advantage of
these?

==========================
About The Author: Robert Burko is president and founder of
Eliteweb.cc (http://www.eliteweb.cc), an Internet portal and
suite of Fortune 500 services for small businesses. Elite Email
Marketing (http://emailmarketing.eliteweb.cc) is a leading email
service provider, and includes all the powerful features
highlighted in this article.
========================

Opportunity is never lost
It goes To Those Ready to Accept It!

Carolyn

Ice Breakers
Thunderstorm

Hailey, 4, heard a thunderstorm rumbling overhead and asked her parents and grandparents to listen to it.

After the thunder stopped,

Hailey told everyone to be quiet for a minute and she began to pray and asked God to stop the thunder

and lightning.

Immediately after she said “Amen,” another clap of thunder was heard.

Hailey looked up towards heaven and said, “You’re not listening!”

Thought for Today:

Understand that the right to choose your own path is a sacred privilege.
Use it. Dwell in possibility.

– Oprah Winfrey

Tips and Techniques

Effective graphic design in based on balancing contrast and consistency. You designs must be dynamic enough to keep the reader interested, yet consistent enough so that you advertisement or publication emerges with a strong identity, That identity is the representation of everything you say of do.

Happy designing!

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Good Morning!
I Have Been Thinking

How well do your market your products and services? How Much do
you make a sell out of your marketing efforts? What is your
answer? To me, if I do not market products well, I always
check my guidelines listed below. I hope those marketing tips
work well for your marketing.

Encourage your customers or visitors to e-mail you questions
about your product or web site. Just include your sig file with
your reply. For example, here is a sig file: Jon Blank, Author
And Publisher, http://www.—————-.com

Give out free web space on your server. Many of your visitors
may want to publish their own web site. Just require that they
publish your banner ad. For example, if you gave away 100 free
web pages and got only 1 hit a week off each one, that would be
an extra 5200 visitors a year!

Design web sites for other businesses for free. Just require
them to publish your banner or text ad somewhere on their home
page. For example, you could create web page templates and
graphics for them. Other people will see your work and want to
visit your main web site for more information.

Make your potential customers forget about the competition.
Just tell them to forget with a factual and believable reason
why they should. For example, you could say, “You should just
forget about doing business with our competition, they don’t
offer free shipping like we do.”

Set up a joint venture with your competition if you can’t beat
them. You could agree to work together to beat the other
competition then share the profits. For example, you could
create a product together that you both could promote or you
both could share advertising costs to promote your businesses
together.

Visit chat rooms where your potential customers would gather.
You can lurk and do market research or mention your product to
people. For example, you may read many of the same posts about
wanting to learn more about e-book marketing. So, right there
would be a good product idea.

Make your web site “sticky” by building a large directory of
web sites your visitors would enjoy. It saves them precious
time searching for them. For example, if your target audience
is interested in online greeting cards, create a web site
directory full of links to similar sites.

Start a free-to-join business association from your web site.
Just ask all members to place your association logo and link on
their web site. For example, if you had 1000 members, that would
be 1000 people indirectly promoting your web site without paying
them affiliate commissions.

Make extra revenue by selling advertising space on your web
site, in your e-zine, in your free e-books, on your classified
ad site, etc. For example, you could have a list of all the
spaces your visitors could advertise and the price of each
space.

Switch your marketing plan when your market dies for your
product. Be flexible and redesign your product for a different
market. For example, if your e-book is about starting an
accounting business, you could rewrite it for a gardening
business.

Thanks for reading my marketing tips and strategies. I will
list more marketing tips on the next issue. Hope those
marketing techniques improve your sales and business growth.

==========================
About The Author: Brian Sakamoto the webmaster of
http://www.marketingonlinepro.com ,also known as the webmaster
of http://www.asianbusiness.bz More Articles? Visit us at
http://www.articleonlinedirectory.com
=========================

Opportunity is never lost
It goes To Those Ready to Accept It!

Carolyn

Ice Breakers
If You’ll Be Quiet

It was a hectic day of running errands with my wife and son. As if the stress weren’t enough, four-year-old Christopher insisted on asking questions about everything, told me how to drive better, and sang every song he knew.

Finally, fed up with the incessant chatter, I made him an offer: “Christopher, if you’ll be quiet for just a few minutes, I’ll give you a quarter.” It worked.

But when we stopped for lunch, I unknowingly began to harp on him. “Christopher, sit up straight … don’t spill your drink …

don’t talk with your mouth full.”

Finally he said seriously, “Dad, if you’ll be quiet for just a few minutes, I’ll give you a quarter.”

Thought for Today:

“A person who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.”
– Albert Einstein

Tips and Techniques

Consistency leads to an integrated style

Style reflects the way you handle elements that come up again and again. Consistency is a matter of
details. One of the biggest challenges a designer faces is to reconcile the personal conflict between
consistency and variety. Variety does in fact add spice, but consistency breeds familiarity.

Happy designing!

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Good Morning!
I Have Been Thinking

In the last few years, webmasters have discovered that
affiliate marketing can be an extremely lucrative way to earn
additional revenues from their sites. Now, a purely
informational website that doesn’t sell anything can generate
massive revenues by adding recommendations to products and
services via online affiliate programs.

Signing up for affiliate marketing programs can be a very
effective way of paying for webhosting fees and bandwidth,
domain names, and the time it takes to keep an informational
site updated.

So what exactly is an affiliate marketing program? Affiliate
programs are nothing more than partnerships with various
business online. Partnering up with these businesses gives you
the ability to offer additional resources to your visitors and
is a valuable way to attract and retain your visitors because
you are adding additional value.

Online affiliate programs have a track record of being very
successful. They have been responsible for creating massive
wealth over the last few years and have really become a popular
addition to the webmaster community.

Joining an affiliate program requires you to apply and you can
usually gain approval immediately. Many affiliate programs
provide you with a host of banners and other tools that you can
use to market their products and services and each tool is
linked to your unique affiliate ID to ensure that you get
credit for the sale.

If you’re interested in becoming an affiliate marketer, there
are many different programs and products that you can promote.
From online poker rooms to diapers and everything in between,
there is an opportunity for all. To get started, I would
recommend that you check out Commission Junction, one of the
leading affiliate marketing networks and one that will give you
access to thousands and thousands of different products and
services that you can begin to earn money from immediately.

About The Author: Discover the secrets to becoming an online
poker super affiliate today at http://www.epokeraffiliate.com/

Opportunity is never lost
It goes To Those Ready to Accept It!

Carolyn

Ice Breakers
Away From His Desk

As the boss was leaving the office to play golf, he
instructed his secretary to tell all callers that he was
away from his desk.

Shortly after he left, a member of his foursome called to
find out which course they were playing that day. The loyal
girl would only reply that her boss was away from his desk.

“Just tell me,” the golfer persisted, “is he five miles away
from his desk, twenty miles away from his desk, or thirty
miles away from his desk?”

Thought for Today:
“Do not be too timid and squeamish about your actions. All life is an experiment.”
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Tips and Techniques

There are no absolutes in design. It’s true. Everything is relative to
everything else. For example, proper headline size is determined
partly by the amount of space that separates it from adjacent borders,
text anad artwork A larget headline in a small space. Do you really
want to do that?

Happy designing!

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Good Morning!
I Have Been Thinking

In recent years we’ve seen a HUGE increase in the number of
small businesses owned by women. This growth has been so
dramatic that millions of people now think of a woman when they
visualize who owns the businesses they buy from.

Women everywhere deserve a big pat on the back for this amazing
accomplishment. But as is always the case for small business
owners, there is still a lot of work to be done.

The one thing your small business MUST have is a web site.
Sure, ten years ago having a site was an option many small
businesses could do without. But that is no longer the case.
Here’s why:

* These days consumers and business leaders are more likely to
use search engines than the Yellow Pages. They’ll type the name
of your town and your type of business into Google and start
their research from there.

* A web site lets you put as MUCH information as you want in a
public forum. You no longer have to pay thousands for a big
newspaper ad just to let customers know about your prices, new
services, or show photos of what you do. Now you can keep all
that information available on your web site 24/7 at little or
no cost.

* You know as well as I do that most customers are a little shy
about asking questions. Often they don’t even want you to know
they’re interested until AFTER they have learned more about
your product, service, or idea. A web site allows that vast
number of potential customers to privately and anonymously read
all about your business. Then, when they’re ready to buy,
they’ll come forward with their questions and orders. This is a
MUCH more efficient way to do business, which leads to my next
point.

* Web based business operations can be EXTREMELY EFFICIENT.
Customers often prefer convenient email over phone or in-person
visits. Email encourages customers to organize their ideas,
contacting you when they know what they want and are ready to
act. You’ll find your web site generates many more customers
and the customers you get are better organized.

* Finally, women love to buy from women-owned businesses.
Women, as a group, tend to be less compulsive shopper than men.
While a large segment of men will buy an item on impulse, the
vast majority of women prefer to learn about your product or
service, getting all the details they can before placing an
order. Web sites are perfect for presenting a lot of
information at very little cost.

=======================
About The Author: Nina Menezes is a veteran web designer and
successful small business owner known for her fast work and
high quality. She will design your web site in 3 weeks, or it’s
free! See the InterDream Designs site at
http://www.interdream-designs.com Reach Nina at
nina@interdream-designs.com or 416-250-1380.
============================

Opportunity is never lost
It goes To Those Ready to Accept It!

Carolyn

Ice Breakers

Encouragement

The woman needed encouragement to keep pedaling the
exercise bike in her gym. So my friend, the gym manager,
said, “Close your eyes and imagine you’re riding along
Broadway in New York City. It will be more interesting.”

Inspired, the woman cycled on, but after a minute she
stopped.

“What’s wrong?” asked my friend.

” The traffic light’s red,” she replied.

Thought for Today:

“Life’s most urgent question is: what are you doing for others?”
-Martin Luther King, Jr.

Tips and Techniques

Make sure your message is cohesive. Find the balance between aesthetics and content. Important ideas can be visually supported with appropriate graphics, charts and color. Emphasizing everything makes it hard and sometimes impossible to determine which part of the message is truly important.

Happy designing!

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