Sunday, March 30, 2014

10 Ways To Boost Your EShop Sales

Tip of the day - Need company name? Try crowdsourcing
"At Squarespace, we noticed that the things that make a big difference can seem very small," Atkinson said. "For instance, changing the color of a button on our site increased sales. We also found that you can double conversions just by moving some key phrases from the left side to the right."

Based on data SumAll collected, here are 10 tips for turning traffic into sales:

1. "My" works better than "your." "'Start my free trial now' will get more clicks than 'Start your free trial now'," Atkinson says. "The word 'my' suggests to people that it's already theirs, so why not claim it?"

2. If your service is free, emphasize that. Adding "100% free" or "Get started for free" will always help boost conversion. When SumAll added "100% free" to its site's headline, sales jumped by 18%.

3. Reassure potential customers that privacy is respected. When asking for an email address, "make sure to clearly state that it's for your eyes only -- for example, 'We won't ever sell your information. We hate spam too'," Atkinson says.

4. Use active phrases on buttons. "Don't ever label buttons with the word 'Submit'. It isn't descriptive enough," said Atkinson. "Instead, make sure the button says something like 'Get instant access'."

5. Colors matter, and orange buttons encourage people to buy. The reason behind it is a bit of a mystery, but Atkinson thinks it's partly because "sites like Amazon and eBay have so popularized orange buttons that they've become what people expect."

6. Placement matters. On your homepage, make sure images and videos are on the left, while the call to action is on the right. "Western audiences tend to read from left to right, so this simple tweak is surprisingly effective," Atkinson said. At SumAll, this one change boosted conversion by 5%.

7. Personalize recommendations. Use product badges to indicate when something is "new" or a "staff pick" or "just for you." Small as it seems, it goes a long way toward encouraging browsers to buy.

8. Be consistent. Make sure the copy and design of your advertising matches the copy and design of your site, Atkinson advised. "Breaking this continuity, which is a kind of 'scent trail' between ads and online pages, can seriously hurt conversion."

9. Be cautious about using videos. "Those fancy videos startups love can cut both ways," Atkinson observed. SumAll has seen videos discourage conversion as often as they improve it, especially if they're too long. After about 90 seconds, potential customers tend to get bored and wander off.

10. Constantly test what works and what doesn't. Even basics like your company's slogan should be reevaluated. When SumAll changed the tag line on its site from "The world's best tracking tool" to the friendlier "All your social media in one place," conversions shot up by 60%.

[Via - CNNMoney]

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Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Why Enterprise Social Networking Fails

1. Too social

The first generation of enterprise social collaboration tools, as epitomized by Yammer or Jive, were essentially Facebook or Twitter clones built for companies with the idea collaboration revolves around communications. However, it is now exceedingly clear that in many organizations, especially smaller ones, collaboration revolves around specific business tools, typically project management, document management or CRM – not social networking. The second generation of ESNs effectively solves the problem by seamlessly integrating sales, planning, communication and HR tools into your company intranet or private social network, giving your employees a reason to use it on a daily basis for their work routine.

2. Top down implementation

Vendors and consultants frequently stress how important it is to get support fr om top management and start implementation with them. But contrary to this “common wisdom” this strategy frequently doesn’t work. In order for social collaboration to be strong in a company, it has to have grassroot support. Selling enterprise social to C-level executives and decision makers may be much easier (that’s exactly why vendors and consultants do this) but it is, to borrow a political analogy, astroturfing. Especially since management uses these tools very differently than regular workers. In reality, there are individuals and departments in your company, typically sales, marketing and IT, who are very open to social tools and you should tap into their knowledge and enthusiasm first. This will make choosing the right solution for your company and implementing it MUCH easier.

3. No/wrong usage metrics

This is a big one. Because early social collaboration solutions mirrored social networks, they adopted the same approach to analytics – how many posts were made, which posts got most likes, which users are most active and so on. But as far as company wide adoption goes, different metrics is important. What percentage of registered users actually use the solutions on a daily basis? Which particular tools are they using? How many use desktop or mobile app? Identifying people and specific tools which are underused allows to quickly overcome problems with implementation and help those who are struggling. Coupled with gamification strategy that actively engages employees and encourages them to explore all available features, you get ‘natural’ adoption that is much better than using ‘brute force’ or hiring consultants.

4. Got to be mobile

One of the main advantages that comes with social collaboration tools is that your employees and co-workers become available almost 24/7. You’ll see people use company network on weekends and during holidays. Questions get answered much quicker than via e-mail. That’s where the importance of good mobile app comes in. And it has to be a true mobile app – not mobile optimized site or responsive design, because you will not get push notifications, contact synchronization and other features that are possible with the mobile app only. It may not seem important at first, but when testing different social collaboration solutions you absolutely should test mobile apps as well. Otherwise your most mobile employees will switch to WhatsApp, WeChat or their clones, and abandon your company network, creating a split.

5. Work together

Buying CRM does not mean you’ll get swamped with orders next week. Using project management does not guarantee all our projects will always be on time. Likewise, enterprise collaboration tools will help you immensely only if your company already has the culture of sharing and working together. Don’t buy into ‘Enterprise 2.0’ hype and don’t expect miracles. Don’t trust vendors that make overly optimistic ROI claims – the numbers probably made up anyway. But while social collaboration tools can’t be used as a substitute for culture change, they are oftentimes extremely good at identifying problems and bottlenecks by making your company and its business processes more transparent. The difficulties and outright failures that you encounter along the path can help you make necessary organizational changes that may not have been obvious before.

Sunday, March 02, 2014

Best Trello Alternative

When it comes to Trello, the problem isn’t that Trello is simple it’s that Trello is too simple. At first I really loved using Trello, but after a couple of weeks I started to get annoyed – why can’t you do that? Why aren’t there time reports or integration with CRM? And the Gantt chart fiasco? Forget about it. The good news is that there are a ton of alternative project management solutions out there, most of which are free. Here are my three favorite tools to replace Trello

Bitrix24 vs Trello – if you do a lot of collaboration, work with documents a lot and want a complete solution. Bitrix24 is 100% free for small teams (12 users) and comes with a full range of PM tools – tasks, check lists, Gantt charts, workgroups (projects), task reports, calendars, work reports, time management and even absence chart. The most powerful thing about Bitrix24 is that it is a collaboration suite, so it makes it really easy for teams to do everything (including document management) in one place. Bitrix24 also comes with free CRM that integrates with project management, something that neither Asana nor Wrike offer. API is available. Another important advantage workflow management that’s done with a native business process designer. Naturally, there are mobile apps available for iOS and Android. Who it is for – GEEKS or ADVANCED USERS. Bitrix24 is extremely easy to use, but not necessarily to set ups – because it’s very technical and geeky, countless options. In my (biased?) view – Bitrix24 is the best Trello replacement, especially since it’s the only solution that gives you both options – use it online or host in on your own servers.

Asana vs Trello – both solutions are very visually oriented, which is good for newbees, but immediately limits ‘professional’ use. Like Trello, Asana is free for all practical purposes, so that’s a significant advantage. Asana used to be free for 30 users and the limit has been lowered to 15 free users. This may change at the time you are reading this review. Like Bitrix24, Asana is geared toward a more structured project management (i.e. top down management). Asana’s collaboration features, though not as rich as Bitrix24, are also geared toward getting things done (pardon my pun). Asana’s text driven interface is also more familiar and easy to work with for most folks, in my opinion. Who it is for – small teams of REGULAR FOLKS with moderate PM demands. If Trello is too simple, but you aren’t the type who reads books about project management, GTD, Kanban, Agile – Asanais perfect Trello alternative for you.

Wrike vs Trello – these two are hard to compare. It’s kind of like a boxing champion beating up a third grader, not that hard to do and not really an accomplishment for the boxer. Wrikeis an ubergeek PM platform. It’s not free, in fact it’s somewhat expensive and has been in continuous development for over 6 years. Most Wrike’s clients are very large companies with very specific demands, so it’s very flexible can be customized, though not necessarily easily, if your coding skills are poor. API is available. Wrike can be integrated with MS Projects and Apple Mail, has advanced task filters and supports dashboard with custom widgets. Who it is for – LARGE COMPANIES and PM UBERGEEKS. Wrike is PM ubergeek dream come true. It really shines if you have company with hundreds or thousands of employees who run tens of thousands of projects. I believe that Wrike has recently publicized the fact that they have one single client (a very large transnational corporation) who has created over one million projects using Wrikes platform. You can't do that with Trello. If your company is small, however, you best chose between Bitrix24 and Asana, because not only Wrike’s freemium option is limited to five users, it actually comes without some basic PM features, like Gantt charts, which are available only use premium users. My guess is that this is a deliberate decision by their marketing team to attract only large project management literate clients who can take advantage of otherwise awesome PM platform.

[Via - Best Trello Altrnative

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