How To Build Your E-mail List

We’ve covered how to build an auto-responder for your business account.  But then the question hit us: where are you get all those e-mails?

1. Writing free e-zine and blog articles

Contrary to popular belief, people are reading more than ever nowadays.  Submitting an article to somewhere like Go Articles is a quick way to increase exposure.  Keeping up a blog and sending out articles on a regular basis helps a business appear current and stay in shape SEO wise.

2. Using Social Media

It is often said that social media is over-hyped.  However, it’s all about how you use it.  For example, answering questions on a LinkedIn group can help both break the ice and show how useful you and your product are.  Posting questions on forums can also include a link to page to sign up for your e-mail list.  People are always more willing to give something if they get something in return including good honest knowledge.

3. Creating Online Webinars

A webinar has a dual purpose.  Using tools like LinkedIn and other social media sites, you can get people to sign up and finally put a face to the company.  Services like GoToWebinar also allow you to record your session to use for later content.  Of course directly interfacing with your customers is always a good thing.

For more information on using technology to your advantage go here.

Nothing Beats Free: Part 3 in an ongoing series

Opening a store is a large undertaking, whether brick and mortar or an online establishment.  It is easy for costs to get out of hand.  Here are some free or free-for-now software to help get your online store off the ground and save you cash.


The 5.2x version of AgoraCart is open source and free, though version 6.0 is coming soon.  AgoraCart is PA-DSS and PCI-DSS compliant, meaning it is secure.  This software is all about plug and play.  After getting the software you can drop in various features like a Pay Now button.  AgoraCart supports 10 different methods of shipping and payment.  You also set it to send thank-you notes to customers.  However, it should be noted that the free version comes with no support other than an internet forum.

Paint.Net was originally created as an alternative to MS Paint.  Now, it has grown to include a tab to help with image manipulation.  Basic recoloring, cropping, and 3D rotation will allow you to make your product photos that much better.  A picture may worth a thousand words, a really good picture is worthy of a sale.

Fedex’s Rate Finder

Making the sale is only half the battle.  Using Fedex’s rate finder, you can get a better picture of what it’ll cost and how long it’ll take to get there under different plans.  This will help you predict how much it’ll cost to ship your product out and what kind of promises you can promote.

You can find more about your IT needs here.




Sales at Light speed

At first there was barter.  People exchanged goods and services for other goods and services.  But this was bulky and inconsistent.  Then came species based currency, gold, silver, silk and even seashells served as a medium of exchange.  However, they were heavy and difficult to transport, maintain, and safeguard.  Paper money and currency promises followed.  These forms of money ran on promises and faith.  Finally, we’ve entered the stage where there is so much faith that there can be no physical representation of the medium exchange, like a credit card or a wallet app.  Then what’s the next step?  It’s time to bridge the digital and physical world.

Lightspeed is an app that has just received 30 million in venture capital and it aims to enhance the brick and mortar shopping experience.  The way it works is that sales personal carry around iPads.  When a shopper comes in and wants to make a purchase, the sales rep can show them other items in the store on the iPad.  This way the sales rep can show the customer a dozen different items without having to run around the store.  Also, the customer can look at items that are carried by the retail, but are not currently in stock. When all browsing is concluded the app can accept payment and signatures or print/e-mail an invoice.

Will it work?  Well, according to an IBM survey, 79 percent of all Canadian shoppers prefer purchasing items in a physical store.  However, that same data showed that the majority of them found information online.  Lightspeed seems to combine the best of both worlds.  Customers get the secure feeling of being able to touch and see the item in person while being able to quickly browse and ask questions from a live sales representative.  From on site IT services to clothing stores, the digital world will keep encroaching on the real one.  Whether or not that is a good thing is yet to be seen.