Friends of mine are often surprised when I tell them they need social media for their small business, or to promote themselves as the artsy types they are. They’re surprised because the game only recently changed, and people who don’t work in online marketing, like yours truly, are often totally blind to it. Publishing houses now expect authors to promote themselves via social media and blogs, and are much more likely to take an author who already has a large Twitter following. Seriously? Yep. The last journalism job I applied for required a minimum of 2,000 Twitter followers AND high emotional intelligence which is also totally a thing now. The truth is, without social media and marketing knowledge it’s not likely that your Etsy store, eCommerce biz, or blog will get off the ground or that you’ll be able to compete effectively on the interweb of MEGA COMPETITION.
The massive Target breach that took place over the holiday shopping season was apparently much larger than the corporation initially thought. The U.S. company issued a statement last Friday that said hackers also made off with the personal information of at least 70 million customers, including names, mailing addresses, telephone numbers and email addresses. Previously, they believed hackers had stole data from 40 million credit and debit cards. They think that the two sets of numbers are likely to overlap but experts are unsure. This could put the number of customers affected over 100 million. Some customers who had not shopped in Target stores between November 27th and December 15th, had their information stolen from a database. Millions of angry customers have taken to social media to express frustration to the corporation for what many perceive as their lax security practices.
Trust Guard, a company that specializes in POS Scanning, says that due to their recent success with Target, hackers will doggedly increase their efforts and continue their attempts to hi-jack POS Terminals to steal client information. Trust Guard is urging merchants to increase their security with POS scans to stop hackers from getting into their systems in the first place.
PCI Compliant POS scanning is required by credit card companies. A PCI scan checks terminals for thousands of vulnerabilities by scanning both web applications and networks remotely and non-intrusively based on the IP address provided. Scans look for threats to operating systems, services and utilities used for financial or other sensitive transactions. A PCI- compliant scan is performed with an advanced scanning engine that will generate a detailed report listing any server and network vulnerabilities. Then the merchant can properly resolve the security risks, helping to protect their system from Hackers, and Malware.
“Small stores are particularly susceptible because they often lack the security that larger corporations have in place, though Target is a prime example that size doesn’t matter. This is why merchants need PCI-compliant POS Scanning. It’s so cheap and effective there is no excuse to not have it. Hackers will always work hard to find new ways to get into a system, either through a vulnerability online or through point-of-sale terminals. Cleanup is a disaster for everyone involved, it’s a lot easier to prevent a hack than to fix the aftermath of one,” said Dave Brandley, co-founder, Trust Guard.
The Target breach has resulted in a huge drop in sales for the nations 3rd largest retailer. “Unfortunately this isn’t going to be the last time. You owe it to yourself and your clients to get all of your card terminals scanned on a regular basis, starting today,” said Brandley.
Bringing Enterprise-level Tools to All eCommerce Retailers
Personalized product recommendations company 4-Tell has announced today that they will be partnering with website security and verification company, Trust Guard.
4-Tell says it plans to use the partnership to increase conversion for their clients, eCommerce retailers of all sizes. 4-Tell provides 1-to-1 personalization through product recommendations across all channels, including on eCommerce sites and in email. By bubbling up content of interest to shoppers, they boost revenue by 15% or greater on average.
Trust Guard boosts revenue by strengthening customer-client relationships with third-party-verification and website security products. Recent case studies report that Trust Guard’s presence on an eCommerce website boosts sales conversion significantly.
Co-Founder and CEO, Ken Levy is enthusiastic about the partnership, saying, “We’re thrilled to be partnering with Trust Guard because the union is projected to increase revenue for retailers. Boosting conversion is our #1 priority and dovetails in with Trust Guard’s objectives as well. We’re both fast, user-friendly and cost-effective. This partnership delivers more value for all of our customers.”
The partnership will provide 4-Tell and Trust Guard’s customers with the opportunity to utilize the tools of both companies for a heavily discounted price of 50% off the first month for 4-Tell’s Boost° Recommendations to all Trust Guard and Shopper Approved Merchants and Free PCI, and up to 70% off Trust Guard’s Certification Seal to 4-Tell’s customers.
“We are very excited about our partnership with 4-Tell as they share our passion for making the most of hard earned traffic.” Says, CMO, Cresta Pillsbury, Trust Guard. We are confident that this partnership will be an excellent fit, adding a great deal of value to all parties involved”.
About Trust Guard:
Trust Guard is a Website Security company with over 15 years of online sales and marketing experience. Trust Guard offers PCI Compliant Security Scanning that checks for over 45,400 vulnerabilities hackers might use to compromise websites. In addition to Website Security, Trust Guard also specializes in Privacy, and Business Verification Seals that build customer trust and loyalty, increase online sales, and improve website credibility.
When online consumers see a Trust Guard Seal, they know that the website has been scanned and verified by a reliable, trustworthy third-party. Our seals come with a certificate that is displayed when consumers click on the seal, instantly verifying the website’s credentials without leaving the site, giving them the confidence and the peace of mind to complete their purchase.
4-Tell increases sales by 15% or greater with 1-to-1 personalization through product recommendations which bubble up items your shoppers are likely to purchase. With self-optimizing algorithms and a retailer-controlled dashboard, Boost® Recommendations become increasingly personalized with each click a shopper makes. Their Boost® Recommendations Engine provides automated personalized recommendations that work seamlessly across all channels – web, email, mobile, CRM and in-store. More than 150 merchants use 4-Tell’s Boost® products, including Columbia Sportswear, Lukie Games, Ace Tool and exOfficio.
Programmers are always looking for ways to improve site rankings. By developing ways to share data across multiple platforms in different languages programmers are able to greatly improve data sharing. They can do this by giving search engine spider as much information as possible about a web page, site indexing is more accurate. By adding micro-data to product pages rich snippets are enabled on search engine results pages. These not only give users a snapshot of your products, but they can even increase click-through rates by 20-30%. For more information on rich snippets check out this article on Adding Rich Snippets.
- The Knowledge: The basics of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) (simplybusiness.co.uk)
- Use the Power of Rich Snippets to Boost Your Google Ranking (huffingtonpost.com)
- How to Breathe New Life Into Your Google Search Results With Rich Snippets (rpmgr.com)
Do your employees love coming to work everyday? Do they enjoy what they do, and do they want the company to succeed? If your answer is “no” you might want to reconsider your company’s culture. Employees who love their job, who feel appreciated and who enjoy being in the office are more productive. Great company culture also attracts talent, and employees who are customer-focused. Successful companies are companies where the employees want the company and their clients to succeed and they do everything they can to make it happen. If being in the office is miserable, if relationships between workers and management is bad, it’s impossible for employees to care about clients. They simply want to do their job AND GET OUT. Clients know when they are cared about and they usually prefer working with companies with dedicated, happy employees over a miserable office environment. Next time you think about “improving” productivity, why don’t you ask employees what would make them more productive at work?
Towards the end of the year your clients are going to be looking at the books and either jumping for joy, coming to terms with loss, or figuring out where to make adjustments. They’re also stressed with family, and the holidays in general. It’s a delicate time where clients need to know that you’re all in it together not necessarily the best time to be trying to hard sell them. They need guidance and support and maybe a reminder of why they need you. It’s an excellent time to share trends that will impact their business, give them one-on-one attention, and identify a business opportunity that they’ve overlooked. Try this article for more: Partner, Don’t Pitch.
- Key Traits of a Successful Salesperson (hiscoxusa.com)
- 5 Easy Ways to Thank Your Clients This Holiday Season (inc.com)
- The 2013 Good Client Behavior Awards! (bellashouseandpets.com)
Many successful online businesses get to a point where they have the traffic but they are having a difficult time converting that traffic into sales. There are a number of reasons why visitors come and leave before buying something. Sometimes they simply don’t want or need your product but other times they are turned off by a slow site, bad design, or a lack of third party verification. The internet is full of scams and sub-par businesses just looking to make a quick buck. They don’t care about integrity or their customers. Everyone knows that these people exist out there. This is why many visitors are hesitant to purchase online from a store they don’t know. Having third-party-verification gives visitors confidence that your business is real, that you’re trustworthy, and that they don’t have to be afraid of sharing sensitive information with you. Totally makes sense, right? Check out this page on How To Increase Sales With Third Party Verification.
- Why should you Hire Eligibility Verification Services ? (medicalbillingoutsourcing.wordpress.com)
- Exclusive to the Trib: Verification is the elephant in the room in the Iranian nuke deal (triblive.com)
- TangoWire adds BeehiveID biometric verification to eliminate fraud (biometricupdate.com)
It doesn’t matter what you’re selling if nobody can find it. The internet is full of competition so it’s necessary to put a good amount of your effort into driving traffic to your site. Low budget? No budget? Who cares! The beauty if the internet is that anyone who can read or watch videos can learn enough to do everything themselves. How great is that? Link building, A/B testing, or social media can all be done from the comfort of your couch. I’ve found this great list of books for you to help you along the way. You already have a successful business? Doesn’t matter. The internet changes and learning is awesome anyways. 10 Must Read Books For Online Marketers
- Authors: Turn to Kickstarter to Launch Your Book (thebookpublicist.wordpress.com)
- 5 Creative Kickstarter Projects That We Love (shutterstock.com)
- 20 of the Most Important SEO Blogs Online (business2community.com)
- Grandpa Looks at How (Not) to Market to Millennials (business2community.com)
Everywhere you read about the power of social media such as Facebook and Twitter when it comes to growing your business or increasing sales and traffic. However, with the way that FB and Twitter are set up only around 16% of people see your updates because they want you to buy their advertising. For increasing sales email is the way to go every time. Email marketing gives you a more one-on-on approach where you can be almost sure you’re reaching your audience. Statistically, email campaigns increase sales by a lot more than FB or Twitter campaigns. Check out this article on why Email Marketing Is The Key To Ecommerce Success
- How Customer Trust Will Increase Your Social Media Sales (But Only If You’re Patient) (business2community.com)
- 4 Ways to Use Mobile Marketing To Increase Christmas Retail Sales (business2community.com)
- Be Thankful for Email Marketing (jpwilliam.wordpress.com)
- 6 Ways Your Email Signatures Can Support Your Marketing (michaelhartzell.com)
Analysts have noticed that too many business’ create a Facebook page, update it infrequently, and then abandon it after a few months thus losing out on potential customers in the process. They don’t realize that an inconsistent posting schedule can give the impression that the company has went out of business, doesn’t care about customers, or is disorganized or unprofessional. Facebook can seem unimportant to many businessmen/women if they don’t understand the full potential of social media. However, every business can increase sales and acquire new customers by using Facebook. The key is in knowing how to do it, according to this article, Why You Need a Facebook Marketing Strategy for Business Success?
- Why Facebook Home failed and Google Now will succeed (pocketnow.com)
- People Rarely Succeed Unless They have Fun in What They are Doing (lifehack.org)
- Extra! Extra! Facebook now highlighting the news with updated rankings (pcworld.com)