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Ending the Online Business Nightmare

Published by Charles Brodeur

Choosing the right software for your website is critical

 
Last year over 10 million US small businesses were prioritizing their online business(Forrester), yet managing it is still a nightmare of confusion and complexity. It’s that nightmare that BigTurns puts to rest with it's "Sales and marketing software for websites", a web-based application that makes setting up online easy with all the tools that business owners need to succeed. In contrast to existing solutions, BigTurns completely replaces traditional web hosting with a business-oriented approach that puts the spotlight on understanding your customers and getting better results – while saving time and money.

Marketing Trends and Specialized Systems Slow Business Down

Building an online business is hard work for small business owners. Modern trends in marketing toward blogging and email marketing simply highlight that business owners need more than a plain website. Web analytics, online shopping and lead management are also high on the list of priorities, but vendor selection is daunting and their approach specialized. “In many cases, business owners are working with a fistful of disconnected systems to manage their online business. That means they need to waste time importing and exporting data to keep the systems in sync,” BigTurns' Operations Manager Aidan Leonard says.

BigTurns - A One Stop Solution

BigTurns takes an integrated approach to online businesses with a results focused attitude. By incorporating website management, lead management, email marketing, online shopping, blogs, and business analytics, BigTurns is a one stop solution. Most importantly, BigTurns offers a customer centric vision of your website, with every feature integrated into a central customer database. This means businesses can automatically build customer profiles and track behavior across their online business, to make better decisions and improve profits.

Less Time, Less Money, Better Results

The result is that businesses are saving time and money while achieving more online. “We’ve got customers telling us that using BigTurns is saving them a day of work a week,” Leonard says. And while being able to access so many vital features of your business from a central console is a huge benefit for business owners, there’s a significant cost benefit too, according to Aidan. “You could spend 5 times as much for a solution comparable to BigTurns – and it would need to be custom built by programmers. Our customers are spending less money, and getting more.”

BigTurns runs inside any web browser with no downloads required, and no time consuming setup. The software will be offered on an affordable subscription basis comparable to current web hosting costs. Currently in private beta, you can request an invitation to use BigTurns for 30 days by going to www.BigTurns.com

BigTurns creates software to empower small business owners to take their business online with less fuss and better results. 

If you’d like more information on BigTurns, a live product demo or an interview with Charles Brodeur, please contact us here: http://www.bigturns.com/ecommerce/vancouverCanada/contactUs

Research Sources

Data Source: Forrester report: “Making Sense Of Hosted Commerce Platforms” – 44% of small businesses (roughly 24 million small businesses are operating in the USA) listed internet or ecommerce initiatives as a priority or critical priority.

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Relevant Content In Email Marketing

Published by Charles Brodeur

Relevance is the right content sent to the right audience, which results in high response rates, delivery rates and reader engagement. Advances in email list management software and customers’ increasing willingness to provide specific information about their preferences mean that email marketers can now use sophisticated segmentation in email campaigns to tailor messaging to be more relevant than ever.



Now, marketers can provide different messages to many different segments of their database, using all sorts of factors that affect buying behavior. This procedure, called segmenting, allows you to create a series of highly-focused mailing lists without having to re-enter the data every time or require subscribers to sign up for many different mailing lists in order to get the email they really want. Read More

Email Marketing Metrics

Published by Charles Brodeur

How do you interpret your results? What metrics are available and which are the best metrics to determine success? The
following is a list of the basics, their priority, how to read them and how to use them to refine content:


Open Rate

This metric indicates how often a recipient opened your email. Since so many emails go ignored, it’s good to know how many got subscribers› attention. However, don’t be misled into believing that every opened email was actually read and digested – in some cases, email is scanned and dumped, opened by mistake or only opened to find the unsubscribe link. Open rate is not the best indicator of email success; however, it can be a great pre-response indicator and also a great way to get results on content or subject line testing.

Click-Through Rate

This is a metric that lets you know how often a recipient clicked on a specific link in your email to either go to your website or to take another action. Again, it’s a pre-response indicator, but it can let you know what content and actions in your email are the most attractive to the reader and give you a good idea of what part of the email was of most interest. Be sure and look at each link separately to determine the winners. Also look at the comparison of click-through to conversion or response. Did people click on your email links (showing interest) and lose it when  they got to the response area? This could be an indication that your response form either asks for too much information, the offer doesn’t pay off as promised in your email or that somehow you lost the reader’s interest.

Conversion or Response Rate

This is absolutely the most important metric. All email has a call-to-action, and this metric answers the question, “Did recipients convert to the action you wanted them to take?” Did they sign up for a subscription? Make a purchase? For most email marketers, the question about whether or not someone bought is the most important metric of all.

Unsubscribes and Spam Complaints

The unsubscribe metric is becoming less important over time. Since consumers are getting so overwhelmed with email, many don’t even take the time to unsubscribe or report email as spam. So in most cases, you’ll find that those people not interested will simply delete your email without reading it. But watch this metric for spikes that could indicate that your content is off base. And any spikes in spam complaints can adversely affect your deliverability so it’s important that you pay attention and take action to avoid this.

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The Six Step Lead Generation System for B2B

Published by Charles Brodeur

Lead generation is a tough thing to do. It takes time, lots of time, and the results are few and far between. 

We have put together a system for generating leads that motivates, automates, and provides results.  It's a bit complicated and has taken some years to perfect but now it's working and I'm going to show you how to do it for your own business.

The system is a 6 part Sales & Marketing System for lead generation. Read More

Email Marketing for your Sales Team

Published by Charles Brodeur

Do you need to generate more sales?  Do you want to fire up our sales team?  Is your Marketing Department producing good quality leads?

One of our clients has a very effective way of using the BigTurns Email Marketing Platform as a calling list for his sales team and I would like to share his methods and successes with you here.

First, you need to know about the Email Marketing Platform.  The BigTurns platform is hooked into the BigTurns Analytics and Reporting engine.  That means that when you send out an Email Blast you will have access to the following Data: Read More

Setting up the eCommerce Platform

Published by Charles Brodeur

About 4 years ago, we were looking into starting a new business, online. As an accomplished businessman we started thinking about what we were going to need to be successful. A website was the obvious starting point. It had to be easy enough to add and change content - because websites live or die on the basis of fresh, useful content.

Next - we needed a way to manage leads and customers. You need to be able to react quickly to new leads and follow up on old ones. Then, marketing. Email marketing to be precise. A permission based list of people who are receptive to hear your message is priceless. And don't forget - online shopping. Selling online is the most important function we needed to do.  We wanted to process orders 24 hours a day.

That's a basic list. There's more, like community forums, affiliate programs, blogs and so forth. But let's keep it simple, ok?

So, checklist in hand (we are pretty organized kinda guys) we went looking for something to do all this and we found Content Management Systems, and Customer Relationship Management systems, and Shopping carts, and Email Marketing Solutions, and Site Analytics. So we signed up to all these services and downloaded what we needed to download.

OK great, we thought, let's get started!....Or not.

We got frustrated. Because running any business is a little like racing a car. You've got to push hard, stay ahead of the pack and be smart about how you race. But our  problem wasn't that we couldn't race. We were wasting our time trying to build the nice, fast car.

The other problem was we found ourselves spending a lot of time trying to keep all his separate systems in sync. And more than once we forgot one of the five or six log in details we were supposed to remember.

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5 Steps to a Successful Email Campaign

Published by Charles Brodeur

Step One: Make full use of your permission-based email software package. BigTurns has a ton of advanced features for handling your campaigns. It makes it easy to create and send your newsletters. It will manage subscriptions and bounced messages for you. It automates a lot of the grunt work involved in an email marketing campaign.

Step Two: You'll have to decide what type of campaign you want to run and how frequently you want to send your messages. I recommend sending at least a monthly newsletter. Of course, if you sell more than one product, it might be a good idea to send multiple messages. Just be sure to keep your broadcast times consistent. You may consider sending promotional messages offering a discount or coupon for your product.

Step Three: Add a sign-up form to your website. The sign-up form lets you collect a group of addresses for your sending lists. We've found that it's generally safe to import anyone who did business with you in the last year or so. Just make sure to send content relevant to what they purchased. (Always provide value!)

Step Four: Create an effective email template. A lot of email software programs include HTML templates. BigTurns actually comes with over 300 professionally designed templates. You can also create one in-house or use a graphic-design service.
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About Sales and Marketing Automation

Published by Charles Brodeur

This is the first Post for The eCommerce Blog from Sales and Marketing Automation. 

Our mission with this blog is to promote eCommerce Best Practices to Small business owners. We will be including topics that relate to building eCommerce Sites, marketing eCommerce Sites and managing eCommerce Sites.

We are not sure where this journey will take us but the general direction we are going to set out on is to expose the tricks that make successful sites sell.

We will discuss topics like eCommerce Technology, SAAS, Email Marketing, Internet Marketing, Blogging, Content, Conversion, Customer Automation, and more.

I will be the main contributor to the blog postings, and all of our contributors will some how be related to BigTurns Business Systems, an eCommerce Consulting Company with an eCommerce Platform for sale and a team of eCommerce Consultants.

I Hope you like it.  Read More

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