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For a long time now, when asked what domain should I purchase for my business, we have advised trying to find a .com version of your company name or keyword because of the automatic response of adding .com to the domain when inputting the name directly into a browser to go directly to the website. The .net, .biz, etc. variations were recommended only when you wished to “protect” your primary .com variation of your domain name from your competitors potentially hijacking your clients using your domain with the variant extension.
Soon, however the .com appendage will be lost in a sea of domain appendages that may more closely represent the type of business or industry that you are in.
It will be really confusing for a while. Just as we were trained to put the www in front of the domain, (that is no longer required with today’s browsers), we will need to relearn and rethink how we get to websites of the near future.
So where might this all lead us? Consider the new domain extensions might be industry specific or service descriptive or something completely new altogether. Some examples might be:
But let your imagination run and these new domain extensions may not just describe your business type. Consider the domain Burlington Press as in burlingtonpress.com previously could become with variations:
And consider that really short domain name that you have always wanted for your domain. These may be available in a very descriptive version. Soon I may be able to acquire BP.WS for Burlington Press Web Services to replace the longer variation we now use. That certainly is a lot easier to type email@example.com for an email address.
Short domain names are tough to acquire today. But with the opening up of domain extensions, these will become much easier and less expensive to acquire than “purchasing” a domain name that someone has purchased purely to make a profit selling a high demand domain – often referred to as a squatter.
With more domain extensions come more potential to help direct your customers to website specific information. If you are a business owner or in charge of marketing your company now is the time to begin considering the possibilities, how you might put these to work for your benefit and securing these additional domains for your company to use.
The .com will not go anywhere soon. It will take some time for the new domains to reach a tipping point and be widely adopted at least as far as someone actually typing the domain with the new extensions because people can be slow to change and many people use a search engine rather than typing the domain directly.
You probably do not need to rethink your entire web strategy today, but a word to the wise, there are many who are already considering how to best dominate the new tidal wave of domain extensions for profit. It would be smart to think about what and how you might be able to use these new domain names as part of your future marketing strategy. Opportunities come to those who are prepared.
The more we understand our customers the better we can serve them. And the better we serve them the more business we get. That would seem to prove logical. So, here are two quick lessons on customer satisfaction that you may have heard before, but it’s always good to be reminded how to be nice to your customers.
Lesson #1: It takes a lot to satisfy an unhappy customer.
Unhappy customers don’t want a discount off their next purchase or a pre-written letter of apology signed by your team. What they really want? A connection. Meaning they’d like genuine sympathy. We’ve all been disappointed with a purchase, so your team should be equipped with some genuine understanding and a heartfelt apology. And give them a chance to tell you exactly what went wrong with their purchase and how you can correct it.
If you’re successful you’ll not only retain the customer but turn them into brand lovers, touting how well you handled the situation.
Lesson #2: There are two kinds of loyalty.
Type one isn’t earned. It’s the loyalty of convenience. If your business is geographically more convenient, your website is better structured, or your phones are more likely to be answered, you’ve won those customers. But it’s a very superficial type of loyalty. It could be gone with a move across town or an arrival of a newer, closer business.
Type two is earned. It’s the loyalty of satisfaction. This ties back to lesson one. Customers with this kind of loyalty are committed to your business because of positive past experiences. And that’s hard to tarnish—as long as you keep handling your customers with care and complaints with compassion.
Every time you hand out your business card, you are making an impression. That little 3½ inch by 2 inch piece of paper has a big job. It is the introduction of your brand, your image and your message to a prospect. So why sabotage your efforts with a business card that undermines what you’re trying to achieve?
What Does A Cheap Business Card Cost?
Cheap business cards may cost as little as $10.00, or possibly be free. Before you pat yourself on the back for having saved a little money on this important item, you should ask, “What does that cheap business card really cost?” You can define that cost by what one client, customer, or donor is worth. Let’s say that a client will give you $1000 worth a business each year, and you would like to retain them for a minimum of 25 years. That equals $25,000.
What if one of your competitors meets that same prospective client, customer or donor and hands them a professionally designed and printed business card that costs $150? Will that card alone sway them away from you? Probably not, but it will plant a seed of confidence in your competitor when your prospect compares their business card to your cheap business card.
Now the math: You saved $140.00 on business cards. Congratulations. You also lost $24,990 in revenue. Whoops.
What do you mean by A Cheap Business Card Doesn’t Mean Inexpensive?
Good question. Let’s define what a cheap business card is:
Of course, there is more, but you get the idea. Basically, a cheap business card is one that gives the impression you aren’t serious enough about your business or organization to invest in your image.
A great business card doesn’t need to be expensive. You can pay a lot for a business card with all the bells and whistles, but a card that is professionally designed, and printed to state your brand and message can cost as about $150.00 using modern printing techniques and a talented graphic designer.
The best place to get a great business card at the most reasonable price is a local printer with graphic designers on staff. That combination provides all of the skills you need under one roof. A good in-house graphic designer will understand your needs and know their printing company’s capabilities. You will get a business card that not only looks good and reinforces your brand, but it will be printed in the most cost effective manner. By using a local printing company with graphic design services you also avoid paying a designer’s mark-up for printing while benefitting from a single, local point of contact to address your questions and concerns.
Cheap business cards may initially save you some money, but ultimately will cost you plenty in lost business. A business card is more than a little piece of paper. It is a powerful tool to create a lasting impression. Don’t trust the creation of that tool to a printing company that thinks cheap is your best marketing strategy.
Get 500 professionally designed and printed business cards, a $150.00 value for $99.00 by mentioning this blog post. CALL 609-387-0030 or email us
When designing a billboard, six words or less is ideal. You have a brief glance to capture a driver’s attention and get your idea across. And the same strategy applies when designing your tradeshow booth. Granted, attendees can stop and learn more if interested, but your moment to engage them is fleeting. Tradeshows are essentially a competition to stand out—so we’ve compiled a few ways to do so, without having to get obnoxious. Remember, you want to tactfully attract customers and then reel them in with a polished elevator pitch. Below are three useful tips to keep in mind when planning for your next tradeshow:
Tip #1: Your booth design is your handshake. Without even having to talk to you, attendees will have already made a snap judgment on your company based on their booth presentation. They might not even listen to your pitch before deciding whether or not to stop. You have to impress them long before that. Plan on taking along some large-format graphics for your booth that includes your logo and a simple headline explaining your services. The key word being “simple”—as with the aforementioned billboards, people likely won’t stop walking unless you give them a reason. Consider using high-resolution pictures, large posters mounted on foam core board or other large banners. People are visual creatures; we’re naturally attracted to photos over text. Keep this in mind when setting up for your next tradeshow.
Tip #2: If you’re going to give something away, make it good. Everyone in the world has enough freebie pens and terrible mints. Not saying that they can’t be done uniquely, but we’d encourage you to think more outside of the box. What about giveaway mugs printed with your company logo filled with hot coffee for the morning sessions? Or fans with your information on them for those often uncomfortably hot conference centers? Perhaps a nice-quality bag to hold all of the freebies that other companies give away? Brainstorm items that are practical that won’t be tossed in the trash after attendees leave.
Tip #3: Simplify. You can’t tell attendees everything you’ll want to about your awesome company. Pick one or two things to highlight in your elevator pitch. Don’t overwhelm them with excess, unnecessary information that they can easily look up later. Rather, focus on the qualities that make your company unique from all of the other trade show booths. You’ve probably spent months brainstorming your unique niche—now is your opportunity to show it off. Determine before the show what will appeal most to those specific attendees. And keep in mind that they’ll likely be tired when listening to your pitch. Keep it upbeat, keep it short and remember to keep it simple.
A well designed booth, a unique give away and a simple and well defined message are the keys to trade show success.
Content marketing involves the creation and sharing of material that’s engages and informs your target audience. The more captivating the content, the more likely it is to be circulated. Videos present your message in a way that text and plain images can’t. It gives you a unique opportunity to show some personality, and it can even be done on a reasonable budget.
We’ve got a few simple tips for creating top-notch movies to enhance your marketing efforts.
Keep them Short and Sharable
If this is your first video endeavor, don’t bite off more than you can chew. It’ll lead to chewing with your mouth full—unattractive on multiple levels. Pick a simple topic with a clear message you feel you can share some unique insight on for your audience.
Next, make sure your video is in a readily sharable format. So make a Facebook post, tweet it, pin it and any other means you have to circulate it. Consider attaching this video in your next email newsletter—including videos in emails is said to boost conversion rates by as much as 50 percent. The more you can share the video and get it shared, the more brand awareness it brings.
Make it Useful
This may seem like an obvious suggestion, but you’d be surprised. Avoid giving into the temptation of making your first video post something cutesy or comical. While these can be elements within your video, there needs to be a benefit or call to action for the viewer.
What do they get out watching? A helpful tip or easy solution? A product demonstration? An answer to a question? Additionally, ensure that your video integrates your company’s culture and personality, as videos are an awesome opportunity to do so.
Got you on board for this video thing, but fresh out of ideas? We’ve assembled a short list to get you going. Take one of these ideas and roll with it. Put your own spin on it. Your company is as unique as a fingerprint, use this opportunity to show that.
No matter the topic you select, ensure your video is high quality. A low quality video reflects poorly on your professionalism and authority of the subject matter. That doesn’t mean you need fancy equipment. Many low cost cameras—including your iPhone—can do the trick, depending on the subject matter. You just want to be sure your video is a caliber of video you yourself would watch. If you need help with your video we offer complete video services including consulting and actual production.
Here is an interesting fact that you need to know if you have a website.
No one wants to wait for information when searching the web. As web users we are all very, very impatient and it translates into our behavior off-line.
How this affects our behavior off-line (From a USA Today survey).
All of this happens because your website loads too slowly. Do the world a favor, check your website speed and do something about it if it is slow.