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Wahoo's Computer & Internet Tips Newsletter - February 2006

In The News This Month...
Hello and welcome to February's Newsletter!

Did everyone have a great Valentine's Day? Hubby and I were in Valemount for our son's hockey tournament for the weekend before Valentine's so we just had a really nice dinner at the Caribou Grill. What a great place! The atmosphere is excellent and the food was even better. If you are ever in Valemount or even pass through, you must have dinner there.

Besides that the weather has been unseasonably warm, that is until Wednesday! Now it's -20C with a wind chill of -28C! Brrr! I guess old man winter isn't quite done with us yet!

This month I have included 2 articles for your reading enjoyment. First one is called Making Your Web Site Compelling and the second one is called People Accusing You Of Sending Sp*#am? Five "Email Marketers Must Know" Tips by Radhika Venkata. Hope you enjoy them!

That's that. Thanks for reading!
Wanda Clark
Wahoo Enterprises
820 - 1st Ave., PO Box 946
McBride, BC Canada V0J 2E0
Contact me using the Online Contact Form on the left at the bottom.

Did You Know...?

A snail can sleep for three years. I'm in!

Making Your Web Site Compelling

Amazon, Napster, eBay, Blue Mountain Arts, Hotmail. These companies made it big on the web, most with surprisingly low marketing budgets, reaching unexpected heights in short time spans. Why? Was it branding? Sure, they are all strong brands today, but that is not what made them what they are. To be fair, a variety of factors contributed to their success. But by far the most important ones were tools and strategies that were sticky and viral in nature. Nothing markets a site better, spreading it like a wild fire, than having a viral product, tools or processes. And nothing makes it more capable of generating revenues than being sticky, for people only part with their money after they are comfortable with a product, after they have seen it a few times and interacted with it somehow.

The great news is that your site can start becoming sticky and viral right away by employing a few simple tools. Before we start looking at these tools that you may add to your site, it is important to remember that this works best if you add them into all of your pages, emails, and products, as much as is possible to do so. Here we go:

Email To a Friend
On every page of your site, you should make it easy for people to send that page to their friends. Did you know that most people would look at something their friends send them? The number one rule of making something viral is making it easy to spread. Make sure that each page has a clear link or icon that invites the user to send the page to their friend. When they click on it, they should be able to send simply by entering their name and their friend's email address - keep it simple. The only other bit of information you may want to ask them for is their friend's name for personalization purposes. To add such functionality to your site, you will need to download a free script. There are plenty to choose from. You can find one at Bravenet.

Free Tools And Products That Pass On
Offer a free version of your product, or something else free. Make sure that it is useful; otherwise no one will really care about it. Ensure also that it is very easy for users to pass on these free products to their friends. If you can integrate this passing on as part of product use, then you have it made because by using the product, the person will have to tell their friends about it. Something you can quickly make is a screensaver and wallpaper. Download a good product for making these at Download, get some good images and create a quality screensaver and wallpaper. You can add your site URL and description to some screens on the screensaver. Then submit the screensaver and wallpaper to popular download sites such as Download. Every time someone downloads and uses the screensaver, they get to know about your site.

Forums, Chat, Community and Office Tools
Provide ways through which your site visitors can add content to your site and communicate with each other. Have forums, chat, and possibly instant messaging. One way to easily add this to your site is using Bravenet. Offer free office tools, too, such as calendars, file sharing, to do lists, group tools, and more. You can do so easily and for free by signing up with MyEvents. Yahoo! also has one.

People love sending postcards. Blue Mountain Arts made history when it was acquired for over $800 million, yet all it did was allow people to send electronic postcards to each other. The magic here is that if someone sends a friend a card from your site, that friend will almost always want to pick it up, and to do so they would have to pick it up at your site! That is a great way to get new users. To start a free postcard service on your site, all you ndeed is to buy a CGI script that will do all the work for you. It is very easy. Just do a Google search for it.

Shopping Choice
Amazon's success is in a large proportion due to the amount of choice they give their users. You can buy millions of products right there. Choice is convenience, hence sticky. So how do you add a store with millions of related products to your site without taking on the expense and hassle of running such a huge undertaking? Add a free Vstore. It's easy and low cost and you get brand name products in a wide variety of categories all set up for you in a few minutes.

It is very important that you have a newsletter (or mailing list). Newsletters work wonders for sites that use them well. Give an incentive and a reason for someone to join your newsletter. People are not willing to just hand you their email address with no idea what they will be getting for it. The newsletter should always carry relevant, useful content, not just advertising. As long as it is useful, people will love it and pass it on to several friends. Again, remember to actively ask them to pass it on - you get what you ask for. If you don't ask them to pass it on, even if they are willing to, they may just forget or not even think about it. To start one, all you need is a mailing list server. You can get a free one from Bravenet, Yahoo! Groups, or use a commercial one you pay for such as Spark List. Or even do a Google search.

Free Email
Be another Hotmail. Give away free email accounts. Every time someone sends email from them, a small signature goes out to their recipient with your URL and short description in it, just like Hotmail does. And whenever they check their email they have to visit your site. Do a Google search for "free email provider".

News And Articles
Your site should always have relevant and ever-new content. One way of achieving this is to sign up for a free trial at YellowBrix or Moreover's free RSS feeds. Give your visitors a reason to keep coming back to your site by providing fresh relevant content.

Link Away
Provide easy ways for other sites to link to you. Have a page that showcases a variety of different banners and other links that webmasters can place to your site. Give the ready-to-paste HTML for each of those links to make it easy for webmasters to copy and paste it to your site. Get an affiliate program so you can pay for performance. Do all you can do to make it easy, profitable and interesting for people to tell others about you.

These are some of the tools and principles that created and continue to create businesses that thrive in the new economy. You can implement all of them on your site in a day if you put your mind to it, and for very little money, if any. The benefits will be immense if you do it right. More than anything else, stickiness and a viral nature are the most improtant elements of marketing online businesses, arguably even more than branding and advertising. For if you spend millions on branding and advertising a site that is not sticky or viral, your eventual average customer acquisition costs will not only be too high to be profitable, but you will be losing all of your visitors and hardly making a sale to them during the short period of time when they are on your site. So start now, making a sticky and viral cocktail for your site.

People Accusing You Of Sending Sp*#am? Five "Email Marketers Must Know" Tips

People tend to forget their subscriptions. Sometimes they don't even know why they subscribed to your newsletter. Especially if the person is seeking information, he/she will subscribe to every ezine or ecourse that will come across their search. They don't remember it after a while. If you send email to them after a few months, they simply accuse you of sending spam.

So how to safegaurd yourself from this type of accusation?

Follow up and Mailing list management software: You can manage your
ecourses, broadcasts, follow ups with this single software-

1. Provide their personal details in every email:

On top of each email, put their email address, their IP number with which they subscribed, URL of the form where they subscribed, and list name they subscribed to. This way your subscribers are aware of that you have their details with their permission.

You only get the subscriber IPS when he/she subscribes using a form. If they subscribed using email addresses, the IP will not be grabbed by your
autoresponder software.

2. Use Double opt-in:

Some of the marketers say that "You have to make it easy for the subscriber to receive your emails." So people tend to neglect to implement double opt-in. They think that it will be a hassle for subscribers to click on the confirmation link in the email. Remember one thing... if they are really interested they will click, not one... more than that to receive information from you. This type of list is best to target your information and to get some profits from it.

3. "Unsubscribe" link:

Put an "Unsubscribe" link in every email in the footer area. Sometimes subscribers subscribe using subscriberATdomain.com. It redirects his email to subscriberATdomain2.com. Then he tries to unsubscribe using second email, which obviously is not in your database and he can't be removed by your software. Then he/she will get upset that you are sending spam. So tell them to use the same email address that they used to subscribe, to unsubscribe. You can put this information under your unsubscribe link.

4. Privacy statement:

Create a tag in your autoresponder like [privacy_statement], if your software
allows it. Then put this tag in all email below "Unsubscribe" link. This
privacy statement should be similar to the one that you put on the subscription formon your web page. If your autoresponder software dooesn't allow tags, then put URL to your privacy satement on your web page.

5. Authentication Seals:

Recently I came across these sites where they provide email marketers a
special code that goes with headers of your email(s), making them

Radhika Venkata
Subscribe to 'iNet Marketing Ezine' which is completely focused on
Internet Marketing. Receive FR*EE Ebooks with Resale rights!
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