march 2013

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> OPTIMIZING THE OBAMA CAMPAIGN
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PETE WILLIAMS
>> THE ORIGINAL AND BEST INTERNET MARKETING MAGAZINE DESIGNED SPECIFICALLY FOR THE IPAD, KINDLE FIRE, ANDROID AND THE WEB

MASTERING MULTIPLE DISCIPLINES

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INTERNET UPDATE

In this section of Internet Marketing Magazine our editor Greg Cassar cover’s the facts and provides expert commentary on what are the big plays that have recently happened online and how they affect you. Google Forcing the Adoption of Mobile Advertising Google in their new Adwords Enhanced Campaigns training videos describe mobile as “a significant and growing percentage of traffic” and this is why they are forcing all advertisers to have mobile ads built into their search campaigns as of June 2013. As described in last month’s magazine “Enhanced Campaigns are a new type of Ad campaign where you have your mobile as well as your tablet and desktop traffic within one campaign. You then use bid adjustments to manage bids across devices, locations and time of day.” When you convert a traditional Adwords campaign into an Adwords Enhanced Campaign it will ask you what you want to do with your mobile bid. See below. Tablet traffic is fine for most business owners as the standard business website will render just fine on iPads etc unless the site is built with Flash. The real issue for most business owners is hand held mobile traffic, where the traditional website just doesn’t cut it. The latest buzz term that every customer at our marketing agency seems to want is ‘responsive design’. Our early testing reveals that responsive design (where the website adjusts itself to fit the size of device the site visitor is on) is not performing as well from a direct response leads/calls & sales point of view as custom built mobile sites. The reason for this is that the custom built mobile site at m.yourdomain.com compliments your main site because it is designed from the ground up to be effective at driving the site visitor to your primary course of action(s) such as a ‘click to call’ or lead form submission. Whereas the responsive site is trying to be everything to every device. The exception to this rule is at the big end of town where there is a budget of hundreds of thousands of dollars to be spent on site design and development, and in those cases the responsive designs can work very well. So effectively Google is forcing the hand of the average business owner to become more mobile ready in the next 2-3 months. A politically incorrect term is ‘idiot tax’ meaning that Google is happy to increase the spend of the average adwords campaign by changing its default settings so that it spends more, but 95% of businesses, especially those that manage their own Adwords campaigns without the help of an Agency are likely to not even know what has happened to them.

STATE OF THE INTERNET

THE

Configuring mobile bid adjustment for Adwords Enhanced Campaigns

Realistically you do have the option of setting a custom bid to decrease the bid by 100% if you want to not show up for mobile traffic because you don’t have a mobile optimized site yet, but it’s probably not the best way to go.

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A recent example of this is where Google Adwords group’s social media usage by platform, and in parsettings changed so that by default the Keyword ticular a rise in the popularity of the Pinterest platMatching options were changed to ‘Include plurals, form: misspellings and other close variants’ which effectively means ‘even if you chose exact match we’ll • 67% of online adults say they use Facebook treat it more like broad’ (meaning more impres• 20% of online adults say they use LinkedIn sions, clicks and ultimately ad spend). • 16% of online adults say they use Twitter • 15% of online adults say they use Pinterest Enhanced Campaigns will be a great move for bricks • 13% of online adults say they use Instagram and mortar type businesses, but whether or not ev• 6% of online adults say they use Tumblr ery business who advertises on Google should be forced to go down that route in the short term is up for debate. Zappos Launches Glance – Curated Commerce The reality is Google is a monopoly and they can do with a Focus on Social what they like when they like, so the key take away here is that if you are a Google Adwords advertiser 13 years since launch, Zappos can now boast of a you will want to have a mobile friendly version of range over 127,000 SKUs, with over 1,000 brands your site live in the next 2 months or so before the stocked. new changes kick in. But having such a massive range of products isn’t always a good thing. In fact, such a massive variety The Breakdown of Social Media Platform Use of items can be as much a turn-off to consumers as poor customer service. Zappos would never let this A recent Pew Internet Study from the end of 2012 get in the way of increasing conversion rates – even revealed that young adults are more likely than any if it means creating a whole new shopping platform other age group to use major social media platforms called Glance. – probably no real surprises there.

An example of a Glance product listing and social sharing

What was interesting about the study was that they were able to provide a breakdown of their survey

The site is designed to remove the clutter of normal e-Commerce’s navigation and filtering options by presenting the site visitor with ‘curated’ selections of products.

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Glance is heavily integrated with email, Pinterest and Facebook social media sharing. It also extends the theme of sharing products with friends by offering a “Heart This” button above its “Go Buy It” button. “Hearting items is a core concept to develop community, and it really helps others to discover similar products and similar people” advises the team at Zappos. This is certainly the best version of Social Commerce that we have experienced here at Internet Marketing Magazine, and feel that this could be a leading edge play for the boutique social eCommerce store of the near future. LinkedIn now with Video Ads In recent months LinkedIn have been making changes to their self-serve ad platform. One of the more recent changes is the inclusion of Video Ads.

The Worlds Best Captcha Captcha code’s are quite common on web forms in recent years because of the rise of computer generated fraudulent form completion from hackers. A captcha code generally has this type of look and feel.

Whilst researching for a new Captcha code tool recently we stumbled across this one online, which claims to be the worlds best captcha code. This may be true if your target market is Actuaries or Mathematicians :)

An example of a LinkedIn Video Ad

You have control over the cost per click and also the cost per view. The service integrates seamlessly with Youtube. When a LinkedIn member clicks your video ad, the video will take over the entire 300x250 ad unit and play a 30 second video. After the video completes, users will still be able to click through to your landing page or visit your website, just like with current text ads.

From the Desk of the Editor We are now into full swing for the 2013 year here at Internet Marketing Magazine. The experts that we’ve already featured have been outstanding and you stand to learn a truckload from the very exciting line up of experts that we have planned for you. We have started work on developing a new version of the Internet Marketing Magazine ‘Google Play’ store app as the old one is out of date and we have no easy way of updating it. We expect this update to be 2-3 months off and will let you know when it goes live.

If you haven’t got access to the member’s area Wishing you the best of success online, please feel free to do at http://internetmarketingmag.net/become-member/ (it’s free). This month’s complete audio interview with Pete Wil- Regards, liams has now been added. It has lots of learning’s in it that were not included in the magazine, so be sure to check it out. A special thanks to those who have left reviews in the apple platforms as it really helps us out. If you are getting good value from Internet Market- Greg Cassar ing Magazine and you can spare 1 minute of your Internet Marketing Strategist & Editor time to click this link to give us a quick honest Internet Marketing Magazine review that would be greatly appreciated (click ‘view in iTunes’ then scroll down and click ‘write a review’, thanks :).

GregCassar

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MASTERING MULTIPLE DISCIPLINES
An Interview by Internet Marketing Strategist Greg Cassar Pete Williams is an entrepreneur, author and marketer; an expert in many forms of online marketing, including both eCommerce and direct response. Pete has a highly successful track record in many traditional businesses as well as several pure play online businesses. Many people know Pete Williams for his expertise in systemisation and efficiency profit hacks. Pete, you have quite an interesting origin story. Can you please tell us a bit about your background – and how you were able to sell the MCG, which is the Melbourne Cricket Ground at the age of 21. Pete: I’ve always been entrepreneurial. I started my first business when I was in high school doing web development for some local businesses around town. After university I had an opportunity to work in the US, so I moved to the US for about six months and worked there for a while, and then, met a girl, fell in love, the usual sort of romance holiday story. My work visa ran out so I had to come back to Australia. During that period when I was back here in Melbourne I was working at Athletes Foot, and it was a quiet store, so I had a bit of spare time - so I spent time behind the counter just reading books, waiting for people to come in because there’s only so many shoes you can stack. I was reading a book called “The One Minute Millionaire”, and in the book it tells of a story of a guy back in the 80’s/early 90’s in New York who bought all the timber that was part of the Brooklyn Bridge walkway and made little A5 certificates up with a history of the Brooklyn Bridge and then attached an inch square of that timber, and sold it off. The word around the campfire is that he made about two million dollars out of this project. I was like, ‘that’s a fantastic idea, how really cool was that’, and then I started to think how I could swipe and deploy and replicate that project here in Australia. The Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) was going under redevelopment for the Commonwealth Games. The seating of the stand they pulled down was timber and I thought I’d just literally replicate that idea, and made a few phone calls, tracked down the wrecking company that was doing the demolition. They said, yes, they had a lot of timber and they also had a lot of crested carpet. I just bought it all over the phone, and to cut a long story short basically made a series of memorabilia pieces up, with a photo of the MCG, a square of that carpet, a limited edition plaque, and wrote a press release saying, “Twenty one year old sells the MCG for under $500”. That PR was the key marketing piece because it got picked up by the Channel 7 News, the Herald Sun

PETE WILLIAMS

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EXPERT INTERVIEW

etc – it went absolutely ballistic, because it was a good story. Greg: Then building on that my understanding was, you then took the relaunch concept and were able to repeat that success many years later. Is that correct? Pete: Yes, the original project was about ten or so years ago. The original project was all very much offline driven, through PR. Fast forward a few years later, I still had a lot of carpet left over. I decided to try to apply the online product launch process around an offline physical product. I built a list and did a full online marketing launch. That went really well.

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We drove all this traffic to a squeeze page. I shot a video for the opt in page out the front of the MCG telling the story of how I originally came up with the idea and how the first launch went really well and how I tried to team up with some of the big memorabilia companies here in Australia, but they wanted to charge too much for it and I wanted to keep the people’s ground in the hands of the people and make it cost effective - you know, little boy made good, or the fight against the big corporate who wouldn’t do a good deal. And so I told this whole story and then used Google Website Optimizer to split test some headlines and some opt in copy and even different versions of the video. By doing that split testing on the opt-in page, the original combination that I thought win was converting about 1 or 2% opt in rate. Yet, one of the other combinations we tested ended up converting at 17%. That reduced our cost per acquisition. I had to build the list through

Banner Advertising. So we did some Facebook ads and did banners on Foxsports.com.au and a whole bunch of football and sports related websites to drive traffic to this opt-in page. We did a two and a half week launch sequence and we ended up doing a very nice five figures in the first hour of opening the cart. It was a hugely successful launch and it just shows that you can use these traditional online marketing methods to sell literally framed artwork. I now plan on making it evergreen so I don’t have to do another launch. Greg: One product that could work with that is Scarcity Samurai. It adds a countdown timer as a special offer to put price scarcity and urgency into a sale. You could use it to offer the site visitor a special price if they take action over the next 7 days as an example. Pete: Yes, that’s a great idea and definitely worth plugging in there.

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With a launch you’re better off just giving away 60, 70 even 80% commissions to your affiliates, rather than giving away 50% commissions and then a big prize pool at the end.

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What are some of the big learning’s that you’ve but the margins might not be there. had over the years from hiring and running an outsourced remote team? Whereas with us, we have a warehouse that does a lot of distribution for us - which means we have a Pete: One of the biggest things that I find when I lot more control and a lot more responsibility. We speak to people and they’ve said, “Oh, I’ve tried can buy better because we’re getting our suppliers outsourcing but it didn’t work for me”. You say, to drop off pallets of goods at the warehouse, so “What were you trying to get that person to do?”. obviously that makes it easier with volumes. “I wanted them to manage a WordPress site, write I think one thing is talking with your suppliers and articles for us, and also manage my email”. They negotiating rebates. So rather than negotiating are three completely different skill sets. So you’ve cheaper prices up front, which is obviously harder got to be very careful about what you are outsourc- to do. You can negotiate with the supplier along ing and choosing the right person for the right role. the lines of “Let’s see how much we sell and if we hit this target in this particular quarter, or period, I also believe its important to set positive and nega- then there’s a rebate, and there’s discount price tive parameters when you give a brief - this is some- applied back across all of our orders for that period thing I see happen very rarely. So effectively you of time.” say “This is what I want” and there might be one or two examples of what it’s meant to look like. But Greg: That’s very clever. You’re getting the same also advise the other end of the scope, saying, “This result, you’re taking the risk away from the supplier is what I don’t want. I don’t want this sort of font. and you’re backing yourself to make it work. I don’t want it to look like this”. I think once you start giving your briefs of, this is what I don’t like, this is why I don’t like it - you start getting much better results from your outsource team. Something else that we’ve implemented that’s worked ridiculously well for us is to ensure that the last hour of every outsourced team member’s time is spent learning something. So we’ll pay them the last hour of their day to get self-improvement. In the eCommerce space what’s your thoughts on the best way to manage supplier relationships, and also to buy well when selling physical SimplyHeadsets.com.au products, because a lot of people in the Internet marketing magazine community have expressed when they’re selling physical products they’re Recently you partnered with an outdoor retail not finding enough margin in it? store, and you were able to structure a JV with the owner of that traditional business to set up Pete: Yes, this is a hard one. To not give sort of the an eCommerce part of it and own a percentage marketing answer, to give you the real world answer of the business. How did you go about that as to - it can be tough. create a win-win, because often those things can go pear shaped, if not negotiated and structured With dropshipping you pay a premium for your goods right? because the company who you’re buying from is taking the risk with holding the stock and doing the Pete: The physical store is actually in the same distribution logistics. So you’re paying a premium building as where our offices are, so we got to know for that. It can make it easier for you to get started, the owner quite well. Their business was going well

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but not doing much online. Obviously, our skill set as a business is really doing online exceptionally well. So, just speaking to them over a period of time we literally just gave away some ideas to get him to see some results in advance. From there we discussed that if you want to get serious we’ll come in and take over the eCommerce side of business - we’ll build a brand new site and we’ll do all the marketing and you can back in operations because you know the product well. We now own part of the business.

Pete Williams at his Outsourcing Workshop

create the slides and the text and then images to match the audio. So they’ll create the PowerPoint slide and the keynote after I create the audio. They’ll match up those slides to the audio and also post the video to Youtube. That’s one example of a massive time saving.

and PDF’s done without me doing any of that mechanical work.

A lot of Internet Marketer will have heard of you in recent months when you did a series of launches with Rich Schefren called “Profit Hacks”. What that effectively is about, is a series of exceptional efficiencies that you’ve built in to your business life. Can you give us an example? Pete: An example would be syndication or replicating content. If I’m going to have a conversation with someone be it on our podcast, or in a conversation like this, we’ll take that audio of a conversation and then I’ll give the audio to an outsource team member. They will then go and

We break down that whole process step-by-step inside one of the modules of profit hacks. People have got a lot of ‘ah-ha moments’ out of this clarity around what is core to your business and making profits, and what is meThen we’ll take that audio and chanics. So use leverage through it becomes a podcast. And then tools, software, systems and peowe’ll take that audio and one of ple where ever you can to make my team will transcribe that au- you work more effectively. dio that I’ve recorded and that becomes the transcription that will go on a blog post or a guest Did you find any big learning’s post on a blog, or in a magazine from the launch process? for an article or a column that I might write. Pete: Yes absolutely. I think one of the best things comes back to So, on a Monday morning I can sit the fact that Rich and I are very down for ten minutes, ball point similar in that we have that a out a whole bunch of thoughts traditional offline business backaround a particular topic or a ground. He had clothing stores in piece of advice – hit record and New York City; he had a hypnosis talk my way through it and then company, with offices all around give it to my team. By the end New York City. My background of the week, or even by the end also is in traditional business, so of the day really because it’s we kind of came at the launch ramped up that much now, we’ve from a traditional business pergot videos, audios, podcasts, spective. transcripts, articles, guest posts

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If you’re going to do a launch where you’ve got big bucks on the line, you’ve got big affiliates promoting for you and all this sort of stuff, you want to test your funnels, you want to test all of that. I think so many Internet marketers that I’ve seen they’ll go to market with a launch, even some of the big guys, with just a launch without doing any major testing. Whereas what Rich and I did, we did two internal launches before we did the big public one. So we did a launch of the product, it was half built and the people were aware of that, just to his high-end clients along the lines of “you get a discount on the launch, we want your feedback on the testimonials, we want your case studies etc”. We moulded the course from there. The course ended up being twice as big as originally planned from that internal launch feedback.

one thinks this “syndicate exists” and everyone supports everyone just for the sake of supporting - yes the syndicate exists and there is a group of guys who are all friends but they are not going to mail for the sake of mailing. Greg: I really like about that approach in that you really took the risk out of it for your partners. Also, when you’re approaching people to mail for you, you can do it from a position of integrity because you already knew the stats and how it was likely to perform again.

Pete: Something else I’d definitely consider as well, not that it didn’t work for us, it did work for us, it’s not really a lesson I learnt from this launch directly, but a lesson I learnt during the launch from conversations with other people - when it comes to affiliate prizes, which is kind of like the common thing these days, you’re better off just giving Then we took all the lessons from away 60, 70 even 80% commissions that first launch and we did anoth- to your affiliates, rather than giver more full-blown product launch ing away 50% commissions and then with the videos, production, the a big prize pool at the end. editing etc to his entire list. Then obviously we got more learn- For those that want to follow your ing’s from that and more refining, teachings more, how can you best and then we went to the affiliate be found online? launch where we had the likes of Brian Tracey, Dan Kennedy, Geoff Pete: Well it’s probably a couple of Walker, Brendan Burchard etc all places. The PreneurCast Podcast is supporting this launch. We had a show that we used to do every proof. We had case studies, we had week. We’re now doing it every two testimonials. More importantly had weeks just because my schedule is what the EPC’s were for the launch. a bit crazy and I have the businessI think that made it much easier to es to run and stuff like that. sell to the big affiliates. Also check out PreneurMarketing. Obviously we had connections com. You can download an audio through friendships and clearly it version of my first book and see a helps, but at the end of the day you whole bunch of more details about still have to get them to actually the launches and the products and send an email. As much as every- my market and much more.

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CROWDFUNDING PLATFORMS

7 CROWDFUNDING PLATFORMS COMPARED
Crowdsourcing king Kickstarter. com might not be the best bet for aspiring entrepreneurs to raise funds. You’ve got a great, unique idea for a product and know that somewhere, there is a need. Maybe you lack the cash required to get that one-of-a-kind film into production. only player. In addition to providing you with the “who, what, how,” for 6 Kickstarter competitors, we spoke with each founder personally and asked them to share their advice about selecting the right crowdfunding site for your venture. 1. Circleup.com

Ordinary folks and entrepreneurs alike are flocking to crowdfunding sites to try and raise money and generate the interest that will bring their projects to life. With hard work, ingenuity, and help from crowdsourcing companies, people are donating – or not — to help decide which projects come to frui- How it Works: CircleUp is an online social markettion. place that helps high growth small consumer and retail companies raise money directly from a comAll crowdfunding sites operate on a similar mod- munity of accredited individual and institutional el. A person/group submits a project idea, com- investors. Investors are able to review financial plete with a written description, funding needed, and marketing materials for a select group of condeadline for donations, and pictures or a video. If sumer/retail companies and have the opportunity accepted, they create a project webpage that is to make equity investments directly through the listed on the crowdfunding site. By being a part CircleUp’s website. of the site’s integrated social media network, the product creator also gets back-end support. Addi- Who it Serves: tionally, they receive not only money, but interest, 1. Retail/consumer companies (food, personal word-of-mouth advertising, and even technical ascare, pet products, apparel) and retail/restausistance from their backers. rants with a tangible good; or a retail outlet that a person can touch, taste, use, or visit. CompaBackers, on the other hand, receive varying renies served typically have $1-10 million in revwards. Sometimes they get a small gift for their enue in the current year, a track record of sucfinancial support; other times an advisory board cess, and strong leadership teams. Only a small position; and often, just the satisfaction of knowpercentage of companies applying get accepted ing they helped a good cause get off the ground. to the site. 2. Accredited investors receive access to private Kickstarter.com might be the most recognized investment deals that previously were difficult name in the crowdfunding world, but it’s not the to find.

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What it Costs: No fee to join or to make an invest- First GoFundMe Venture: America’s Tallest Man, ment. Companies pay CircleUp a percentage of Igor Vovkovinskiy, raised over $46,000.00 for custhe capital raised from the online campaign. tom shoes to aid his mobility. Who’s in Charge: Ryan Caldbeck, founder and CEO; Rory Eakin, founder and COO Advice: Make sure you have a strong understanding of the crowd funding platform’s investor base. First CircleUp Venture: 18 Rabbits, a manufacturer and distributor of granola and granola bars made from clean, premium ingredients, raised $500,000 on CircleUp. The bars are the bridge between health and a treat and are now available at retailers from San Francisco to NYC. Bragging Rights: Prosperity Organic Foods, manufacturers of Rich & Creamy Melt® Organic butter alternative, raised a $1,000,000 investment round to help expand operations, and recently received an order for national distribution in Whole Foods. 2. GoFundMe.com Bragging Rights: Clint’s Hotdog Cart, a local street vendor in Lansing, MI had his equipment destroyed by rowdy protestors. Americans are standing-up for this small business owner, raising over $30,000.00 in just over day. 3. TechMoola.com

How it Works: A user signs up, creates a crowdfunding website with photos and video, and shares the link with friends and family. Organizers are encouraged to treat supporters as a part of their story by posting Update messages and sending thank-you notes using the site’s features. Who it Serves: Anyone What it Costs: Five percent of each donation Who’s in Charge: Co-founders Brad Damphousse and Andrew Ballester Advice: Entrepreneurs already have their hands full with their own projects – crowdfunding shouldn’t be an added burden.

How it Works: Inventors and entrepreneurs sign up for a TechMoola Inventor account and then complete a questionnaire about their idea/invention. The TechMoola team reviews all questionnaires and if the project is accepted, the inventor provides campaign details including funding needs and deadlines. TechMoola also provides support to help get publicity across multiple web platforms. Who it Serves: Projects involving energy, medical, webtech, software, electronic, communications, computer hardware, and sports/games. What it Costs: Ten percent of raised funds for successful projects. Who’s in Charge: Cofounders Solomon Nabatiyan and Tom Kelly Advice: Choose a crowdfunding site with good traffic and the right target audience for your project. If there is a specialized crowdfunding site for your type of project, then you are better off with niche attention.

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First TechMoola Venture: Airmote & Airnect raised $20,000 of its $25,000 goal to fund production of its gesture-based mouse with an integrated keyboard.

First RocketHub Venture: Laura Boyd Studio raised about $6,000 to launch her photography business.

on a specific group of projects, and it’s important to find the platform that fits your project. First RockThePost Venture: Villy Custom Bicycles ran a campaign to crowd test its new line of glow in the dark bicycles before they were manufactured and successfully raised just over $10,000 in two weeks. Bragging Rights: Abracadabrapp, launched by the Honest & Smile agency in Spain, partnered with Moleskine® to create a unique iPhone video application. They were successfully funded within a week and have been featured on Tech Crunch, PSFK and more. 6. Fundable.com How it Works: Fundable is a platform for business-minded startups, founded by startup veterans. Companies exchange rewards and equity for funding to grow and launch their business. For a rewards fundraise, startups create a profile providing a company and project overview, fundraising goals, and perks they are willing to provide potential backers. Backers can offer support in the form of cash pledges and receive rewards in exchange. Rewards can be anything from a pre-order of a new product, to a T-shirt or advisory board position.

Bragging Rights: Andy Krafsur Bragging Rights: Cervia Diagnos- raised $42,000 to launch Spira, tic is a social entrepreneurship a new line of spring powered company that is devoted to de- shoes. Spira was subsequently veloping a new low-cost, rapid & featured in the Wall Street Jouraccurate point-of-care diagnostic nal and quickly became the 9th for screening of cervical cancer most searched for running shoe in women of all ages at risk for on the Internet. the disease. 5. RockThePost.com 4. RocketHub.com How it Works: The project creator produces a draft on Rockthepost.com complete with 3 components: a short video, a personal profile with images, and a reward list. Each draft is reviewed by RockThePost’s editorial and video teams so that they How it Works: Users post their are optimized for success. All project using various social media ideas are welcome, but projects on the platform. They set their must have a tangible end goal. own funding goal and timeframe, and explain what they will give (goods or services) in exchange for funds. Who it Serves: Art, science, business and social good projects What it Costs: If goals are met, 4 percent commission, plus 4 percent credit card handling fee. If goals are not met, 8 percent commission, plus 4 percent credit card handling fee. Who’s in Charge: Founder, Brian Meece Who it Serves: Any small business owners or entrepreneurs are welcome to create a campaign. What it Costs: 5% fee of amount raised; 2.9% credit card processing fee; 4% flat fee for philanthropies.

For an equity fundraise, startups create a public profile providing Advice: Pick a platform that ex- Who’s in Charge: Alejandro Cre- a company overview as well as a cites you, that will support your mades, CEO, Tanya Prive, COO private profile housing their busiendeavor, and will educate you and Jonathan Block, CTO ness documents and deal terms. on how to maximize your success They can then grant access to acwith the crowdfunding model. Advice: Do your research. Each credited investors to review their crowdfunding platform is focused private profile. Once access is

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granted by the startup, investors can review the company’s deal terms and make a commitment to invest. Who it Serves: Business-minded startups looking for early stage capital. What it Costs: $99 per month during active fundraising; plus 3.5% credit card fee of amount raised (if fundraising goals are met) Who’s in Charge: Wil Schroter, founder, CEO; Eric Corl, co-founder, president

For fixed, Indiegogo takes a 4% fee of the money raised, but only if the goal is reached. No fees are taken if the funding goal is not met. For flexible, Indiegogo takes a 4% fee if the goal is reached. If the goal is not met, Indiegogo takes 9%, but the campaign owner keeps what they’ve raised.

Advice: Spend time assessing what you’d like to get out of a crowdfund and instead, thoroughly research a platform that meets your needs, and offers you guidance and support throughout the funding process. Also, it’s important to realize that crowdfunding isn’t a magical source of money. Even the most passionate and hardworking entrepreneurs need support during their fundraise. Who’s in Charge: Co-founders include Slava Rubin, Danae Ringelmann and Eric Schell. First Fundable Venture: Elevation Training Mask Advice: Fund your passion. surpassed their fundraise goal in 72 hours. The training masks mimic the effects of high altitudes First Indiegogo Venture: In its pre-launch phase, for athletes who want to improve their endurance IndieGoGo sought developmental feedback from and performance. a wide range of filmmakers and industry leaders. FLOW: FOR LOVE OF WATER, directed by Irena SaBragging Rights: Fleksy, an app which improves lina and produced by Steven Starr, was selected by iPhone typing accuracy, closed a $900,000 round to IndieGoGo to be its first Showcase project and was support further product development. Fleksy has subsequently selected to World Premiere in combeen featured in Tech Crunch, Venture Beat, Fast petition at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival. Company among others. Bragging Rights: Before 10 year old Jackie Evan7. Indiegogo.com cho dazzled audiences on America’s Got Talent, she and her mom used IndieGogo to help power How it Works: Each project creator sets up a her star performance by raising money to produce page to address the “who, what, where, when and her second album. why.” Users are encouraged to add video, a personal storyline, plus perks for funders to make the Grasshopper campaign compelling. is virtual phone system helps entrepreneurs sound more Who it Serves: Anyone can use Indiegogo to raise funds for any idea or project, which are categorized into three areas: creative, cause-related and entrepreneurial campaigns. No application required.
professional and stay connected from anywhere. Features include toll free and local numbers, custom greetings, multiple extensions for employees, call forwarding to any phone anywhere in the world, voicemail to email, and much more. Unlike a traditional phone system, Grasshopper is managed all online and in the cloud - there’s no hardware to purchase and no software to install.

What it Costs: Free to join. Fixed and flexible Grasshopper is committed to helping entrepreneurs and continues to develop new and innovative tools to help funding options available:
change the world.

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E-COMMERCE

10% OFF OR FREE SHIPPING?
charms of free shipping while the other 50% were put in the tough spot of saying no to 10% off. It’s worth noting that this particular test was run on an online shop that sells a wide variety of consumer items but nothing that would be considered a high ticket item. The average order value hovers around $60. It didn’t take long to see that the competition wasn’t fair and a winner was quickly announced. Free shipping performed 100% better than 10% off. Since the goal of this promotion was to convert people who abandoned the shopping cart, offering free shipping ended up doubling the conversion rate of the campaign. Everyone loves a good promotion. When we are in the customer’s role our decisions seem very simple: if an offer saves us money then it’s a good offer and we should act upon it; but as retailers things can become a lot more complicated. We have different goals than the customer and more often than not the long term value of a customer is much more important to us than a single specific sale. While two different promotions might leave us with a different bottom lines, the conclusion over which one was the better choice isn’t always obvious. Considering the items sold, average order value and the segment of visitors this promotion targeted; automatically going for the higher converting promotion was not a clear-cut choice. In some cases the discount was too steep to turn a profit or make the promotion worthwhile for the business. This time our cart abandonment segmenting features really came in handy so after calculating the right cutoff point the cart abandonment campaign was adjusted to offer the free shipping promotion only to customers whose cart total was above the cutoff point. The rest had to settle for a 10% disMany of our clients opt to try and recoup visitors count. I think both groups ended up quite happy. who abandon the shopping cart by offering them a promotion. An interesting question came up That’s the important thing, no? over which promotion would entice more visitors to come back and complete their orders. Would a customer prefer to get a 10% discount of the total Barilliance or would Free Shipping sound like a better proposi- helps e-commerce sites of any size to increase sales and conversion rates by providing visitors with a personaltion? ized shopping experience. Our Software-as-a-Service So we tested. Two different cart abandonment email templates were prepared and A/B testing was used to see what works best. 50% of abandoning visitors received an email alluring them to the
(SaaS) delivery and Zero Integration technology are making it super easy for online retailers to reap the benefits of our products without upfront investment.

Barilliance was founded in 2008 and is headquartered in Tel Aviv, Israel.

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A/B TESTING

OPTIMIZATION AT THE OBAMA CAMPAIGN: A/B TESTING
By Kyle Rush to separate the field groups into four smaller steps so that users did not feel overwhelmed by the length of the form. Essentially the idea was to get users to the top of the mountain by showing them a small incline rather than a steep slope. We called this projHow we a/b tested ect Sequential because it turned Optimization was the name of the Optimization was a science for us. our donate form into a sequenced game for the Obama Digital team. We started off with a hypothesis process. We optimized just about every- and then we came up with several thing from web pages to emails. tests to prove (or disprove) it. For We had no idea if it would work. Overall we executed about 500 example, our hypothesis might be It was a gamble because it took a/b tests on our web pages in “less copy is better” and to prove a decent amount of development a 20 month period which in- that we would chose 5 areas of time, but we put our best foot creased donation conversions the site to remove copy. We used forward. We placed the fields into by 49% and sign up conversions several tools to measure the af- four groups: amount, personal by 161%. As you might imagine fect. Optimizely for a/b tests, information, billing information this yielded some fascinating Google Analytics for general data and occupation/employer. We findings on how user behavior is gathering and the Blue State Digi- considered a number of factors to influenced by variables like de- tal tools to enhance or gut check determine the order of the field sign, copy, usability, imagery and our data. Sticking to a hypothesis groups, but the most persuasive page speed. was beneficial because it allowed was error rates. For months we us to retain focus on our goals. had been tracking validation erWhat we did on the optimization Of course not every a/b test fol- rors which occured when users team was some of the most ex- lowed this strategy, but we kept submitted an invalid value in a citing work I’ve ever done. I still with it for the most part. form field (e.g. nothing in a reremember the incredible trafquired field or an improperly fic surge we got the day the Su- Design and Interaction formatted email address). The preme Court upheld Obamacare. By June of 2012 our donate pages occupation/employer fields genWe had a queue of about 5 ready- had undergone nearly 14 months erated the most errors because to-go a/b tests that would nor- of optimization. The low hanging users would leave them blank mally take a couple days to get fruit had been picked and it was even though they were required— through, yet we finished them in difficult for variations to beat the people don’t like giving out inforjust a couple hours. We had nev- control. We were working with a mation they think is unecessary. er expected a traffic surge like page that was engaging and had a The billing field group produced that. We quickly huddled behind low error rate, but it still looked the second most errors because it Manik Rathee—who happened to like a long form. To solve that is hard for users to enter a 15-16 be the frontend engineer imple- problem we started work on a digit credit card correctly. menting experiments that day— variation that made the form look and thought up new tests on the easier to complete. Our plan was fly. We had enough traffic to get results on each test within minutes. Soon our colleagues from other teams gathered around us to see what the excitement was about. It was captivating to say the least.

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Using this information we determined the field group order: 1. Donation amount, 2. Personal information, 3. Billing information and 4. occupation/ employer. By putting the easier field groups first we not only lowered the engagement barrier (all you had to do was click a donation amount button to get started vs. typing your first name), but also to produce a sense of investment before users reached the difficult parts of the form. Our donate pages were responsive so we enabled the Sequential functionality on screen widths greater than 1023px to keep the mobile donation process as simple as possible. We used CSS animations to switch between field groups because they are visually smoother and much more performant than their JavaScript counterparts. Browsers that did not support CSS animations were given a JavaScript fallback. For a better experience with validation errors we used JavaScript to validate the fields in each field group when users clicked the next button. This made it easier for users to find and correct errors because they were looking at only a few form fields rather than all 16 at the same time. This also had the latent effect of lowering requests to our servers since we did not process the donation until all form fields were valid. We were very happy with the finished product because we felt like we had achieved our goal to make the donation form simpler, but how did it fare in a/b testing?

tial on July 26th, 2012 and it replaced our standard donation form on August 7th. After vigorous optimization we ended up with what would almost be the final version of Sequential on August 7th. On November 1st we were delighted to see that our friends at the Romney campaign liked it so much.

Copy It probably comes as no surprise that copy affects conversions. Lots of people are familiar with classic copy tests like this one. Like 37 Signals we had lots of success with altering the copy on our web pages. About halfway through the campaign we figured out that of all variables that affect user behavior (design, usability, imagery, etc.), copy has the highest ROI. This is because copy adjustments are just about the easiest change to make on a web page, yet they can produce some of the biggest gains. In late 2011 we launched a product called Quick Donate which made donating extremely fast and easy. Users who had Quick Donate could donate with a single click through email or on the web and even through SMS. The program was cutting edge because nobody had engineered donations through email before and at the time the Federal Election Commission did not allow political campaigns to use cell phone carrier short codes to raise money through text messages (the FEC later reversed this decision after Quick Donate launched). The programs was so successful that the stats behind it are kind of overwhelming. By the end of the campaign more 1.5 million Quick Donate users donated $115 million. Quick Donate users donated four times as often and gave three times as much money. The program received a lot of optimization simply because of its success.
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By turning the long donation form into 4 smaller steps we increased the conversion rate by more than 5%. Turns out you can get more users to the top of the mountain if you show them a gradual incline instead of a steep slope. We began a/b testing the first iteration of Sequen-

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There were two ways to sign up for Quick Donate. First, you could create a BarackObama.com account and then, in your account settings, save your billing information. The second way we designed to be much easier. After submitting a donation we gave users the option to create and account and save their credit card using the information they had just submitted with the donation. We called this the Quick Donate opt-in page and it received a lot of traffic since the campaign brought in tens of millions of donations. The page itself was very simple: Users with an existing account only needed to enter a password and users without an account only needed to create one. Underneath the password field was the option to enable SMS donations.

testing a ton of images. We tested photos just about everywhere from donate pages to sign up forms and about everywhere else you can imagine. As with layout and usability we learned a lot about how users react to different kinds of imagery. We found that there are many variables in photos that can affect conversions, but possibly the biggest impact had to do with the context in which the photo was used.

Similar to the 2008 campaign, our splash page was the subject of a/b tests with different photos. Optimizing the splash page with a/b tests was a lot of fun because it received so much traffic that results came in quickly. One of the splash pages we ran was for a contest called Dinner with Barack. If you We tested many variations of this page, but one of won, you got a free trip for yourself and a guest my favorites was when we adjusted the headline. to have dinner with the President. To sweeten the The original headline of the page—which had not deal even more the First Lady would be at the dinbeen tested at this point—read “Save your payment ner as well. If you want to see what you missed information for next time.” That is pretty simple out on, you can still watch video from several of and straightforward and we definitely didn’t want the dinners. to make it longer. Our idea was to make the headline seem more connected to the donation that We had so many great pictures of the previous Dinusers had just made. Our new headline read “Now, ner with Barack that we wanted to see which persave your payment information.” The first head- formed the best. In the following test we had two line made the Quick Donate opt-in seem discon- photos. The first was a medium shot of the Presinected from the donation while the second did dent at the dinner table, but it didn’t have much exactly the opposite. context as you nothing was in view/focus. Previous tests showed that large photos with focus on the President increased conversions. The second photo had a wider frame that revealed the First Lady and two dinner guests. We hoped that users would be more likely to convert if they could see just how close they would be sitting to the President of the United States during dinner.

By making the follow up ask more connected with the first ask, we increased conversions by 21%. As with Sequential, we were also delighted to see that the Romney campaign loved Quick Donate. Imagery Photography was a huge part of the Obama brand. We had several photographers that took lots of amazing photos of the President, the First Lady By changing the photo on the splash page we lifted and everyone else. We took advantage of this by conversions by more than 19%.

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Conclusion We knew from the beginning how valuable a/b testing could be in helping us achieve our goals and we took it seriously. We spent countless hours thinking critically about user psychology and implementing our ideas with a/b tests. We had developers working around the clock to ensure that we always had an a/b test running. In looking at the overall results I think you could say our efforts paid off. We increased donation conversions by 49%, sign up conversions by 161% and we were able to apply our findings to other areas and products. However the effect our optimization efforts had on conversion rates was not the only benefit. Along the way we uncovered lots of interesting ways in

which design, imagery, copy, usability and page speed affect user behavior. We were able to answer very specific questions like what kind of form input and label alignments are best for conversions and error rates. We were able to second guess our assumptions about how a web page should look and behave. We learned how to answer questions and we ended up with a treasure trove of best practices.
Kyle Rush

works on web apps and focus most of his efforts on optimizing the user experience. Kyle is an Optimizely certified partner for a/b and multivariate testing. kylerush@gmail.com

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CONVERSIONS

PERSONALIZED CONTENT AND BEHAVIORAL TARGETING FOR IMPROVED CONVERSIONS
By Peep Laja 500 different people go to Amazon.com. Each one sees a different version of the home page. How come? It’s personalized! It’s no secret why Amazon does that: content personalization makes money. A new survey by Adobe and Econsultancy finds that 52% of digital marketers consider the ability to personalize web content to be fundamental to their online strategy. Content personalization and behavioral targeting are the next 2 big things that are going to give you the conversion lift you want. Both of them should be looked at seriously by anyone looking to keep rocking in the future. highly engaged, which in turn has a direct impact on the merchant’s bottom line.” - Blair Lyon, Vice President of Marketing with Monetate This is where content personalization comes into play. It lets you target different content to different types or groups of visitors based on their behavior or other factors. How it works?

What is content personalization? People visiting your site have different intentions: some are there to buy something, others simply doing research, and some might be trying to get a job with you. Then you got your first time visitors, and Image Credit returning ones. Some don’t know why they’re there and are looking for a way out. It works by looking at the data that is available to you about the visitor – things like location, keywords Despite of this, most websites and landing pages they searched for, ads they clicked in, whether display exactly the same content for all visitors – no they’ve been to the site before and also things like matter what they’re searching for or how they got buying history – and compares that against a set of there in the first place. These websites try to ap- variables that you have put in place. peal to a wide range of visitors simultaneously, and thus are not exciting many. Those variables could include: • Location – city, country, region Wouldn’t it be awesome to display different con• Device – iPhone, iPad, Android phone/tablet, tent and call-to-actions for different types of visiWindows, Mac, Linux tors? Essentially making your visitors feel like that • Search keywords – did they arrive while the page speaks their language? searching for shoes or shirts? • Visitor frequency – First , second, third, fifth “Creating a one-to-one customer experience contime visitor? tributes significantly to customers that are more • Date and time of day, proximity to payday

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• Referring URL – where did they come from? • Customer history – have bought before, what, how much did it cost? • Sessions behaviour – navigation clicks, page views There are many more variables which can be taken into account like age, gender etc – possibilities are pretty much endless and it depends a lot on how much info you have about that customer already. Location targeting How about showing people ads relevant to their location? Seems like an obvious idea – and it works really well. According to a recent study location targeting more than doublesperformance of mobile ads.

And finally like this if you are, like me, from Estonia:

All this makes buying for customers around the world easier as they can see prices in their national currency and don’t have to Google exchange rates. Less friction equals more paying customers.

Ad targeting and Amazon Similar system is used in targeted ads on websites Monetate has found that across its significant cli- across the web. Let’s say you read an article about ent base when it personalized experiences based the latest Android phone on a news site. Eventuon international visitors’ geo-location, it improved ally you navigate away and read something else on conversion rates by as much as 100 percent. another site, and you see ads about Android phones there. It works by tracking your behavior across Paramore the web through the use of cookies, and then using Paramore, an american rock bands merchandise that data to give you relevant ads. Some think it’s store, uses geo-location data to direct visitors freaky, some consider is useful since you’re actufrom different parts of the world to their respec- ally seeing ads you might be interested in. tive pages. The same thing happens on Amazon where it uses This is how it looks when you visit from the States: your interaction history and other data to drive more sales. This is how “More Items to Consider”, “Frequently bought together” and “Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought” lists are generated – using user behavior data. You don’t even necessarily need to buy something. The other day I was looking at external hard drives on Amazon. A couple of days passed and I got this e-mail from them:

And like this if you do it from the United Kingdom:

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Systems in use for ad targeting on big retail sites like Amazon are very complex and are what are called learning systems. Meaning that they are capable of looking at the data and learning from it all by themselves.

And this was the one with the tiny banner:

spend and increased return on investment.” They used software that responds to specific visitor interests or needs, and displays relevant campaign banners on pages. “Now, if a person is searching for bedding, we can do a targeted banner for the bedding category,” Reichman says. “The offer can appear in the bedding category on our site and can say anything from ‘Shop our Luxury Bedding and Save 10 Percent,’ to ‘Free Shipping on All Bedding Orders Over $75.’” Banners can also be targeted by how many times a visitor has been to the site, number of pages searched in a given visit, or geography or region of visitor. Conversion rates increased throughout the site by 10% since implementation of targeting strategies. That’s thousands of dollars of more revenue with a simple change. Getting started with content personalization You might be thinking now that content personalization is valuable, but probably complicated and time-consuming. Luckily there’s software that can help you out. Personalization software While Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer described the content personalization technology as being “a few years away”, there’s a lot that’s here already now. In fact, there’s a multitude of companies offering content personalization of various sorts. As mentioned before, Visual Website Optimizer is an option. So are

This doesn’t mean that content personalization is only for the big boys. There are tools available Image Credit for companies of all sizes, and it’s becoming a more crowded mar- Results ketplace by the day. Results were 149% increase in clickthrough rate to the Careers Case studies page. For benchmarking they also measured worldwide click Case #1 – Visual Website Opti- through rate to the same page mizer and got 0.43% as the results. For The team over at Visual Website visitors from India without the Optimizer were looking for engi- banner, clickthrough rate was neers and designers to join their 9.17%. team over at their New Delhi office in India. With the banner, clickthrough rate for Indian visitors was 22.86%. To increase job applications from This is an improvement of 149% their own homepage, they ran an compared with normal 9.17%. behavioural targeting campaign for users accessing their homep- Case #2 – BedBathStore.com age from India. For that they used their very own software, Visual Website Optimizer. The test was about having a tiny banner displayed on the right hand side of the screen which said “We’re hiring in Delhi :).” Half of the visitors from India were shown the usual page and other half the new version with the banner on the right.

BedBathStore, an Lynbrook, N.Y. based online retailer of bed and bath products was looking for ways to increase conversions of their eCommerce site. They experimented with traffic segmenThis is what the original looked tation and personalization of web like: experience of its visitors. “We wanted to increase overall revenue and profitability through superior conversion,” says Cofounder and COO Mike Reichman. “Conversions are the key to increased revenue, decreased ad

Image Credit

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their competitors Optimizely and Convert.com, and other prominent testing tools (Test&Target and so on). Then there are tools like: • Personyze • Monoloop • Monetate • Apptus • Gravity (content personalization for publishers) • Avail (ecommerce personalization) • Apsalar (mobile behavioral targeting) • Vero (targeted emails based on user behavior) • Runa (personalized offers) • OneSpot (personalized content ads) • PersuasionAPI (in private beta as of this writing) As always there is no one size that fits everyone. Check them out and see which one fits your needs. Step 1: Choose your variables First analyze your incoming traffic – where it is coming from, what are they doing on the site? Take a look at organic search and the keywords they use to land on your site.

Once you have created your initial set of rules (variables) and customer segments it’s time to take all that info into your personalization software of choice. Whatever software you chose, it should be pretty straightforward with most of them. Below an example from Visual Website Optimizer:

Image Credit

Simply choose your variables from the first two boxes and add the value to the last one. You can choose between AND, OR statements.

Step 3 – Run it Time to see your personalized segments in action. There’s always a chance that something went After analyzing current behaviors and traffic sourc- wrong, so run it for a period of time and analyze es, go ahead and try to figure out how to make the results, make adjustments as necessary. their buying experience even better. Start small at Keep tweaking and playing with until you have first, choosing your top three audience segments something that you are satisfied with and works to and go on from there. Remember that the more boost conversions. segments you create, the more content / personalized experiences you might have to create. So Conclusion start small so you wouldn’t get overwhelmed and You want to provide the best experience possible kill your motivation. to your visitors – so ideally they only see stuff relevant to them. This is why content personalization Another good one to start off with is using your is so incredibly important. Higher relevancy leads top 3-4 organic keywords and personalizing land- to higher revenues – win-win across the board. ing pages for all of them so that they mention that keyword in the copy.
Peep Laja

We recently wrote a blog post about getting quality traffic that converts – take a look there for hints on where to get good traffic from. Combing good traffic with personalization is pure gold. Step 2: Configure rules and create segmented content

is the face of ConversionXL. Peep is an entrepreneur and internet marketer. He runs a unique web marketing agency called Markitekt, a startup called Traindom and several niche internet business like T1Q and others. He has a free website called Dreaminder. If you want to get in touch with Peep, shoot him an email at peep@conversionxl.com

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E-COMMERCE

8 MOST COMMON DROP SHIPPING PROBLEMS SOLVED
By Pawel Grabowski Best Way to Handle: Ring your client. Never inform them via email. Customers prefer personal contact, even if it means bad news about their order. Also, if You don’t have to hold any stock. If you are thinking of starting up possible, try to source a product Your financial involvement is min- a dropshipping online store, read from another supplier. Alternaimal. Hell, you can start a drop on. What follows is a list of the tively, see if you can get a similar shipping eCommerce store for al- most common issues and problems product by another producer. Sugmost nothing. You don’t have to you will most likely come across gest any alternatives you might worry about fulfilling orders and, and my recommendations on how have to a customer. Quite often a thing that attracts so many to to solve them. they will be happy to change their this form of eCommerce, you can order to another product. run it practically from anywhere. Ready? Problem 2: Delay With Order Unfortunately, all is not that great Processing with a drop ship business. Picture this. You received an orWhen you run a drop ship busider through your store. Straight ness, you are ultimately giving away you rush to place it with the away the control of a massive porproducer and await for it to be tion of your business to someone processed so you could inform the else. customer that it has shipped and pass the tracking code to them. It is not you but a producer or a Yet, the order confirmation does drop shipper that process your not arrive. orders. You have very little influ- 8 Most Common Dropshipping ence over when that’s going to Problems Solved Best Way to Handle: The usual happen. You might be on top or time to process an order is up at the bottom of a queue but you Problem 1: Item Out of Stock to 24 hours. If you hear nothing simply don’t know. You can’t conback from the producer or drop trol the packaging and what goes Probably the most common of all shipper after that, follow up with into the pack and all that is just problems you will experience. them immediately. These days the tip of the iceberg. customers are used to have their Even though most producers and orders processed within 24 hours In short, after you have passed on order fulfillment companies try too. It is the imperative for your the order, your control over what hard to keep their Ecommerce own brand that even if the order happens with it ends. partners informed about product isn’t processed within that time, availability, it often happens that you at least know the reason and This is also where most problems the product someone ordered approximately when it’s going to start. from your store is out of stock. Or happen. it has been completely discontinued. Doesn’t drop shipping seem like an ideal way to run an online store? Sure, and it seems so easy to do too. As a dropshipping store owner myself I can guarantee you one thing, if something is to go wrong with the order, it will.
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Why? Because the customer might ring you. This usually happens if you sell expensive products and someone has purchased through your store for the first time. Their trust levels in you are low and through their order, they are ultimately putting you to the test. Problem 3: Wrong Item Sent to Customer I have to say that this hasn’t happened to me so far, however, I know it is many Ecommerce store owners worst nightmare so I am including this problem on the list. Shipping a wrong product to a customer is a bad customer service, fact. It always leaves a bad impression regardless of a good will of the customer. And no matter what the circumstances, it is always you who are the guilty party. This is one of the most unfortunate aspects of drop shipping. No matter what the mistake and who made it, it is always you and your reputation that suffers. Best Way to Handle: First of all, know your producer or drop shipper return policies back to back. In fact, you should know them before you ship your first product. This way, when the complaint from a customer comes, you will be able to instruct them on what to do straight away. Also, it is a good idea to offer a customer a discount for a future purchase or at least a small token to apologize for your mistake. Problem 4: Wrong Quantity Shipped

If however, the order has already shipped, proceed in the same manner as with the previous issue discussed above. Problem 5: You Were Billed Wrong A problem that does not affect the customer, yet still quite common. Best Way to Handle: Always review the invoice carefully. This becomes especially important if you are paying straight away via credit card and don’t have a credit line with the producer. Sure, you will most likely receive a credit from the producer, yet your spending ability will be limited for that month nonetheless.

Problem 6: The Shipment Went to a Wrong Address / Orders Got Confused Different producers have different ways of handling orders. Some want you to email them over, others prefer you to order by phone. And as much as email greatly reduces the chances for a spelling error, it is quite easy to happen over the phone.

Similarly to the problem above, the shipped product may have been right but the quantity is wrong. This has actually happened to me few times. It is not such a problem if more items are sent but the As a result, orders might be shipped to an address problem starts when it is less than the customer that doesn’t exist. Or to a completely different has ordered. person (if orders got mixed up for instance). Best Way to Handle: Sometimes you are actually able to stop this error from happening. Always review the invoice from the drop shipping company. They usually send them before goods leave the warehouse and if you notice a wrong quantity on them, ring them straight away and stop the order from being shipped.

Best Way to Handle: It is imperative that you hold some sort of proof of the shipping address you have supplied the producer or drop shipper with. Reshipping items cost money and you must be sure whose fault it was before you agree to any costs.

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Problem 7: Item Arrived Damaged This luckily never happened to me, although I know some drop ship business owners to whom it did. Best Way to Handle: This problem is actually pretty easy to solve. In most cases, the producer will ship out a replacement part or the whole item. However, it is good that you know your producers warranty terms and conditions. I am lucky to be working with producers that offer lifetime replacement guarantee, however, it might be different for yours. So, better check that up. Problem 8: Wrong Tracking Code A minor problem, yet still something that has to be sort out. Sometimes the tracking code you receive is either invalid or its for a completely different package. When you think of it, your producer or drop shipper you use issues tens if not hundreds of tracking

codes a day. With such a volume, it is quite easy for a simple human error to happen. Best Way to Handle: Always test tracking codes before you pass them on to your customer. Simple. Running a drop ship business may seem like an easy thing to do. Unfortunately, in such a business model you rely greatly on a producer whose products you use or a drop shipping company they use to ship their goods. And as always when you leave the control over such an important aspect of business to someone else, mistakes can happen. Luckily, usually they are easy to rectify, albeit at first sight they might look quite serious.

Pawel Grabowski

is the owner of TheHappyBike.com, an online store selling garage bicycle storage systems.
This article is originally published on eCommerce Insiders

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FACEBOOK

HOW TO SET UP A FACEBOOK OFFER
By Cara Pring Big news recently was that Facebook rolled out What do Facebook Offers look like in action? Facebook Offers (still in beta testing) to five coun- This is the step by step journey a Facebook user tries – Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Japan and goes through to redeem a deal. Turkey. Below is a short overview of what Facebook Offers are, how they work, and how you can set one 1. The deal shows up on their Timeline up in a couple of minutes. What are Facebook Offers? First of all, let me clarify that Facebook Offers are completely free to set up and redeem. There are no costs on either side. Hurrah! Facebook offers are essentially coupons that you can offer to Facebook users that appear on newsfeeds (desktop and mobile) and through wall posts that can be promoted as sponsored stories (ads). When people redeem the special offer they are prompted to share that story on their wall so that their friends can also take advantage of it (plus get you some much-appreciated viral spread). At this point they are only available to bricks and mortar stores – that is Facebook placepages. If you have an address on your Page so that people can check-in, you have access to offers (if you’re in one of the countries trialling it). Once someone claims your offer within Facebook they are sent an email with the details to redeem within your store. How do you set up a Facebook Offer? If your page is eligible (ie. you’re in one of the beta testing countries and you are a place page), you can set it up following these easy steps: 1. Go to your Page 2. Below your status bar, click the ‘Offer, Event +’ image

2. They click ‘get offer’ 3. They see a ‘Offer sent’ message, telling them to check their email for details and when they need to redeem the offer by

4. They choose who to share this story with – the offer redemption will be posted to their timeline and just like any other post you can choose who will see this. If you’re like me and don’t really want people to know you’re going to buy some cushions on sale, you can choose ‘only me’ and click OK. 5. The activity is displayed in their timeline and newsfeed (to those who they selected could see it) – if this post was public or visible to their friends they will then also be able to claim the offer, even if they are not fans of the Page

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internet marketing magazine march 2013

6. Check their email to see the details of the offer to set up and you can limit the number of people who can redeem. The only words of caution I would give would be to make sure your offer is something people will get excited about – if you just offer 5% off one item in your store, the offer may not work that well. However if you offer something that gets people excited – like a buy one get one free or a 25% off deal, well you’ll probably find that your offer works well in driving more sales and new customers.
Cara Pring
has enjoyed extensive experience in social media strategy and campaigns for businesses of all sizes - from small startups to multinational corporates like Qantas and Bupa. Her focus now is small to medium businesses who are looking to expand their social media activity and generate real return for their efforts and spend. She has her own social media blog at www.thesocialskinny.com, where this article originally appeared.

7. They go instore and get the special deal! Last few words of advice My advice is to trial a Facebook Offer if you’re able to. I would. I think they are an awesome way to get more people into your store and get some viral spread – everyone wins. Particularly as they are free

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SPIKE HUMER, Entrepreneur & Business Growth Expert My goal is to raise $7,500.00 for victims of domestic violence & sexual assault
I’m walking a mile in high heels to raise critical funds for WEAVE - a dedicated provider of services for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault since 1978. Be part of the solution to ending violence against women and take the “next step” by supporting the Walk A Mile in Her Shoes event. Make a quick and easy donation here. If you are in or plan to be in the Sacramento area, join me at the fun filled event festival on May 4, 2013! If you’d like to find our more about WEAVE, you can visit www.weaveinc.org

CHARITABLE GIVING

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internet marketing magazine march 2013