Document Evolution Technology That Will Increase Profits & Efficiency

Today’s economy is squeezing organizations’ ability to acquire new tools and services.  As you look around your office, do you see a lot of file cabinets, piles of paper, mail, and inner office envelopes?  If so, your associates have most likely been doing business the same way for many years and have not seen the new technological advances that can enable organizations to save money by changing the way they do business.

A few questions to ask yourself or your corporate managers responsible for managing these responsibilities would be:

Are your software license expenses continuing to rise?

Are your mailing/shipping expenses continuing to rise?

What are we doing to address these rising costs and who can help us?

Typically, the answers to these questions aren’t very far away.  Consider inquiring with your Office Equipment Provider to help you identify areas of opportunity within your organization.  New software capabilities that have enabled analogue copiers to be moved from the back room to the middle of your office should be topics of discussion within your organization.

Organizations who have not embraced scanning technologies need to consider the impact it can have on your organization.  In 2012, 56 trillion pages will be printed with only 10% being digitally printed (HP.com).  Additionally, the ability to scan directly into Microsoft Office, eXchange, SharePoint or a directory in your network infrastructures should have organizations buzzing.  The ability to move and transport documents not only saves money, but also enables you to document and track the movement of such documents.  Additionally, desktop applications enable you to layer or annotate directly on other scanned documents.  How can this help you?  Any user can type a personal note, draw an arrow or highlight a specific section to review an existing document.  In the past, you’d need Acrobat Professional which can range from $400-800 per office worker to utilize this functionality.  Now, it’s essentially standard functionality with a connected multi-functional device that can revolutionize your office and the way you do business.  Receive a paper copy and wish you had it in Microsoft Word?  It’s as simple as walking to your Multifunctional Device, selecting your name and you’ve now created an electronic version of the paper document you received a few seconds ago.  It’s that simple.

This document evolution not only saves time and money, but also improves employee productivity.  Additionally, your information technology group will adapt and adopt this new vision of change since it’ll reduce the number of licenses needed for your organization to produce and transport documents within your organization—all of this while utilizing the existing infrastructure your IT professionals have built to support your organization by simply thinking about the solutions rather than the box that is used to make “copies”.  As you digest the needs within your organization, you’ll start to see and realize the impact you can have asking about the solutions and capabilities rather than whether or not it’ll fit in the back room.

By Gary Harman, Owner/Lincoln Branch Manager
Bishops Business Equipment

(402) 475-4445
http://www.bbec.com/

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E-MAIL MARKETING

In the crazy world of e-marketing, it’s becoming more and more important that you do your part to help maintain the integrity of email marketing—not just for you and your company—but for the email marketing community as a whole.

Marketing e-mails are used to communicate with potential, new, and existing customers to inform them about your products and services. This marketing channel is especially handy when e-mailing larger audiences because it offers dynamic functionality.

For example:
• Manage your opt-outs. This is critical in e-mail marketing because of the regulations that surround CAN Spam laws.

• Build your brand. You not only want to get the message out to your customers, but you want to create a consistent, reputable brand!

• Extensive functionality. From surveys, to newsletters, to transactional e-mails, there are no limits to the ways you can reach your customers through this platform.

• Fast and cost-effective. While there is definitely a need for sending correspondence via mail, e-mail is far less expensive, has faster delivery, and if done strategically, can yield a higher customer response rate.

There are some great products on the market to help you with your email marketing campaigns, but as easy as it may sound, it’s so important to make sure you are familiar with the laws and regulations, best practices, and… well, just plain etiquette.

An email marketer’s rule of thumb is this: Just because you have someone’s email address does not mean you should be emailing them! For the best deliverability rates and to help maintain your reputation as an email marketer, be sure that your target understands why they are receiving an email from you.

Let’s outline a few of the benefits of using e-mail marketing for the purpose of distributing correspondence.
• Customers will learn to trust your brand through consistent, well-written e-mails.
• Sending emails can help drive more traffic to your website, giving you even more exposure and providing your customers with additional resources about your company.
• You can survey and poll your customers on anything from recent service to fun questions.
• You have the ability to advertise within your e-mail. Just pay close attention to CAN-Spam regulations!
• Refer-A-Friend functionality will allow your current customers to send your e-mail to their friends. Therefore, generating free word-of-mouth and potential business.

If you decide to handle your email marketing program on your own or you decide to work with a third party to assist you with email marketing, be sure to consider these factors when evaluating a vendor.

ONE SIZE DOES NOT FIT ALL:
Be sure to keep an open mind when evaluating a vendor. There are several to choose from, and the overall cost of your program does not necessarily mean you are getting the most reputable program. Check out each company’s add-on features (and the cost) and allow room for flexibility and growth.

COPYWRITING:
Creating an attractive template for your emails is critical, but copy is just as important of a factor in email marketing. Research the best practices for email copywriting to build a compelling message that inspires your audience to take action!

MARKETING:
Email marketing must help you build your brand. When you are getting started, be sure to define your vision and build a supporting editorial calendar to ensure you get the most bang for your buck.

Above all, if you are considering email marketing, please do your part to help maintain the integrity of this media by respecting your audience with well comprised emails, thoughtful and timely messaging, and the ability to opt-out of your email advertising. Chances are, if you follow the best practices of email marketing and support it with a strong strategy, your list will grow quickly!

by Jessica Kovar, President
dikada, Inc.
jkovar@dikada.com
http://dikada.com/

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Focusing on Keyword Research for Your Website and the Marketing of it.

In this article, we focus what everyone should focus on when they start a website and the marketing of it.  This would be the Keyword Research.  So many people want to get started on link creation or website optimization right away.  They forget that everything starts with the keywords that will go in your Website Name, URL and content on the site itself.  While some of these tips may be a little tedious, they are all important.  I hope this helps you to achieve your goals that you have for your website on the internet.  Let’s get started.

• Your domain name should have the keyword in it.
This is mandatory.  Stay away from cute “nicknames” for your business that have none of the keywords that describe your business niche.  This makes our job as website marketers twice as hard when there are no keywords in the Domain Name.

• The URL of the website must have the keyword in it.
Again, this is mandatory.  Our website name, for instance, is Tomorrows Online Marketing.  This is also our URL.  The phrase Online Marketing is among the most used on the internet.  It gives us an instant leg up on a lot of our competition.

• Use Google’s Keyword Tools, such as Google Suggest or Google Keyword Tool.
These will help you come up with the combination of keywords and phrases to use on your site.  Remember, just because you think a phrase you came up with would be popular does not mean everyone else does.  Doing this step up front will save you the hassle of rewriting your content and headings later.  Trust me; we’ve all made this mistake.

• Your titles must have the keyword in it.
If possible, try to wedge in your keyword in every subheading you use as well, provided that there are not too many.  Specifically, use your keyword in all of the H1, H2 and H3 tags that you use.

• Your keyword must figure somewhere in the first sentence of the article.
Google looks for keywords throughout the article.  However, the earlier it finds this keyword (s), the more prominent it figures in your scoring

• Your keyword must figure somewhere in the last sentence of the article.
This has to do with content and relevancy of the keyword to the article.  For whatever reason, Google also finds keywords at the end of articles easier

• Use at least one outbound link to an external page, (a page outside of your own website) with the keyword acting as an anchor text (title of the link).
What this does is give credence to your keyword not only being important to your page, but to other outside websites as well.   This lends itself to link relevancy, which Google scores extremely high on within its very complicated formula to help rank websites with.

• Use your keyword to a density of 2 to 4% through the webpage.
Less than this will lead Google to rank your content lower than it would other sites because it believes your content is not as important as other sites in your market.  However, if your keyword density is more that 4%, it looks like you are trying to stuff your articles/text with keywords to manipulate the rank.  This could lead to your site getting suspended or blacklisted by Google.  None of us want that, do we?

• Your pages should have at least 400 (preferably 500 minimum) words of actual content.
I am talking about the relevant pages on the site, not contact us or driving directions.  Google scores your site on providing meaningful content to its viewers.  By using a 500 word minimum, you are also making sure that your page has at least 10 keywords on it to maintain that 2-4% keyword density that is vital in helping you in your rankings.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read this today.  Go ahead and visit  Tomorrows Online Marketing to learn more about what we offer to our clients and how we can help your company’s internet presence grow. Please feel free to call 402-310-4362 or email us at info@tomorrowsonlinemarketing.com for any more questions or suggestions.

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Cloud Computing, what does it really mean to your organization?

As a business person and entrepreneur who is President of a technology company that provides support services to small to midsized companies, I always look at technology as a tool to provide me a competitive advantage and want to insure my customers are investing in technology to run the business, not let technology run the business. With any new technology it is easy to get caught up in the glamor of something new. Cloud computing can provide some real cost savings and efficiencies in an organization, so the new technology is real, but it is not for everyone.

Cloud computing is a technology that uses the Internet and centralized remote servers to maintain data and applications. Cloud computing allows businesses to use applications without installation and access their personal files at any computer with Internet access. There are really three segments to cloud computing: Application, Platform, and Infrastructure.

So, what does this mean to you? If your application is in the cloud, all you need is an Internet connection and you can get started. Since this technology is still fairly new, the cloud based applications are applications like Salesforce.com. You pay a modest monthly subscription fee and do not have to license software or purchase hardware to run the application. One of the biggest cost savings is internal IT costs. No internal or external management of equipment, software, patches, etc. Another example is instead of investing in an Exchange Email server hardware and licensing, you can move your email to a provider that has a private cloud and still enjoy all the cost savings of moving to the cloud instead of investing in hardware and software to run the applications. Right now one of the biggest draw backs is many application providers are small to midsized companies, not giants like Google or Microsoft, so adopting their application software may take years and still require a server on site to run the application. Some Managed Service Providers (MSP) may have their own data centers and may be able to still house your servers saving you some overhead.

Many businesses will migrate over time to a cloud solution. A typical business may be using a CRM system like SalesForce.com, use Microsoft for email, but have a MSP host the email services, and use an MSP to handle all back up services in the cloud. A business has reduced the internal over head associated with these functions dramatically while still maintaining the proper equipment needs to utilize its industry specific application software. If your MSP has the platform and infrastructure they recommend a virtual desktop solution and move you completely to the cloud. Spam, virus, spyware, etc. virtually all disappear, again saving the organization thousands of lost productivity time.

With any new technology there is not a one size fits all solution, and many MSPs and service providers all have their own idea of cloud computing. The key is not to invest in cloud computing for the sake of saying you’re “in the cloud”, but to determine what applications give you the financial payback of moving to the cloud and partnering with a service provider that has the depth to execute the plan. Too many times I see companies that think they are on the technological for front, but have actually taken two steps backward. The only constant in the world of technology is change!

by Phil Lieber
President
P & L Technology
http://www.pltechnology.com/sbl

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