Resources

Online marketing guru Jim Sterne shows you how to apply classic marketing principles to the Internet. He also explains how to take full advantage of the exciting new marketing opportunities presented by the latest Web technologies. Writing for nontechies, he provides just enough technical detail to help you understand the Web’s vast potential as a marketing medium without overwhelming you. Topics include:

  • Developing relationships with valued customers and building brand loyalty.
  • Using personalization tools that tailor content to individual users.
  • Mining valuable information about customers.
  • Using state-of-the-art select marketing techniques.
  • Advertising your site online and through traditional media.
  • Making the most of search engines and pushing technology.
  • Using banner advertising.
  • Measuring the success of online marketing initiatives.

Small Business Fundamentals software
ModelOffice, Austin, Texas
(800) 801-3880
$49.95
This software include more than 2,001 guidelines, tips, spreadsheets, checklists, worksheets, sample documents and letters on hundreds of small business topics, including starting your business, managing your business, protecting your business, rescuing your business and selling your business. Save time with pre-made ledgers, balance sheets, expense reports, cash flow analyses, profit and loss statements and just about any report your bank may ask for during a loan application. The program was developed in conjunction with American Express Small Business Services.

Sales & Marketing Letters software
ModelOffice, Austin, Texas
(800) 801-3880
$29.95
Every minute you spend wrestling with that important message is costing you time and money. This program equips you with more than 2,001 ready-to-use sales letters and memos for almost every sales and marketing situation. Choose a topic and the program gives you example letters, guidelines, alternate phrases and tips from an expert. Examples include follow-up to appointment, introduction of product line, requesting referral from customer, response to client after losing sale, encouragement to staff, persuading an uninterested customer and presentation of gifts. The software was based on Dianna Booher’s books of business and personal communication.

Wireless Surfmouse
Wireless Computing Inc., Austin, Texas
(512) 263-8204
$299
The Surfmouse is designed for computer-based slide shows, interactive training, software demonstrations and especially for use with presentation programs such as Microsoft PowerPoint. The Surfmouse features a fingertip operated mouse touchpad similar to those found on many notebook computers. By combining this popular pointing device with the company’s proven communication technology, a presenter has a convenient way to operate a computer from distances of 50 feet or more. The device uses radio frequency technology, so it does not have to be aimed in a particular direction.

Aerial SCSI enhancement kit
PerifiTech, Hinckley, Ohio
(330) 278-2070
The SCSI enhancement kit eliminates a layer of software between devices such as hard drives and CD-ROMs and file servers to get rid of bottlenecks and greatly improve performance, as well as help eliminate device conflicts. PerifiTech’s patented TGVARCS software replaces individual SCSI device drivers and the ASPI layer. Utilities in the package raise disk performance by tuning the disk for a specific operating system environment. Disk write speed is improved by an average of 80 percent and read speed by 30 percent.

Banner exchanges offer cheap marketing

For many online small business operators, Internet advertising starts at a price threshold many site owners can’t afford. Some of the best ad values around are found by participation in “free” banner advertising exchange programs which drive traffic or visitors to your site for nothing.

Banner exchange programs are organized advertising swapping networks in which one Web site agrees to display another’s banners in exchange for having its banners hosted on other sites.

Publisher Gregory McKenna lists all the available programs at his site, the Banner Exchange MegaList, at www.bxmegalist.com, along with free banner creation resources.

There are approximately 208 banner exchange programs running on the Internet. About 60 percent target all comers, with the remaining 40 percent targeting special interests by category. The largest program is LinkExchange, which boasts more than 250,000 member sites, and its member banners reach more Internet households than any other service-an astonishing 37 percent.

Web Marketing Today newsletter

Web Marketing Today, available at www.wilsonweb.com/wmt, reaches more than 50,000 subscribers monthly. Its editorial focus is on marketing strategies that can be accomplished within the limited budgets typical of small- to medium-sized businesses. The online companion to the newsletter, the Web Marketing Info Center (www.wilsonweb.com/webmarket) contains links to 2,000 articles and resources on Web marketing.

Promote your site to the media

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is offering free admission to its new suite of online small business services, called DigitalWork and a $40 introductory offer on its press release tool. At www.usccwork.com, you can create and send a press release to an individual state’s media, online news services and trade publications. The press release will be distributed by Business Wire-the leader in business-related wire services.

Protect your laptop

If you travel with a laptop, consider the following:

  • One in every 14 laptops sold in 1995 have been stolen since they were purchased.
  • One in every 10 laptop thefts occur in airports.
  • More than 90 percent of stolen laptops are never recovered.

There are four routes you can take to help protect yourself from being victimized, according to Best Fares USA Inc., www.bestfares.com:

  • Make sure your laptop is covered in your homeowner’s or renter’s policy, with a rider that extends coverage to travel.
  • Get a motion detector (about $50) that will alert you if someone tries to grab your laptop when you’re not paying attention. The downside is that you have to pay attention enough to turn it on and off. There’s also the annoyance factor of yet another loud noise, but that’s less annoying than a stolen piece of equipment that may have cost you a few thousand dollars.
  • Get a security cable (about $45) to secure your laptop when you leave your hotel room, for example.
  • Get a distinct carrying case that may sway some prospective thieves. Look for a brightly colored case. Until they become more prevalent, a shocking pink or crimson red case, for example, may not be what a thief wants to try to slink away with.

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