Common Business Mistake – Sending Business Information to “Cold Lists”

A “cold list” is a list of people who have shown absolutely NO interest in your offer. Blasting such people with more mail will get only get you frustrated and demoralised. Warm leads on the other hand will ask for more specific information.

5 ways to get those warm leads:

1. Place a well targeted ad about your business opportunity in the correct section of a major newspaper.

A well placed ad in the correct section (for example,the upper section of the page) increases awareness of your product or service from your target audience. A major publication also has the advantages of an increased daily readership.

Logically, more readers equals higher chances of making a sale – provided you know your target audience. Doing business without knowing what your target market is and a poorly placed ad will prevent you from reaching your objectives: increased sales, market share or brand awareness.

For example, would a fashion company leave an ad advertising a sale at the bottom of the business section?

Well, they could, but they won’t optimise their ad campaign by limiting awareness to people who might not even be interested in what they’re selling.

If they were smart, they would advertise to those who may already be in the market for trendy apparel;readers of the lifestyle section etc.

2. Work with your partners on shared projects to leverage on each other’s strengths

This method of partnership is called an “affiliate programme “. You can build long lasting business relationships and increase your credibility by teaming up with other reputable, branded businesses or partners.

By building profitable alliances with them, you can also send your ad to huge, targeted email lists at no cost, build your customer or opt-in list for free and get highly credible endorsements and testimonials from other experts.

Affiliate programs are the smart way to do business. At first glance, it may seem like you make less profit, but in reality, you make more money due to the increase of resources available.

As the adage goes, “two heads (some say three) are better than one”.

3. Mail postcards or lead generating letters to a targeted list of names. Know your market and be specific about your target group.

Knowing your customers increases sales. The more you know your customers, the more effective your communication will be. Then you can customise your sales copy to suit their moods, tastes and needs.

You will also be able to see which customers are profitable and which need more effort. And customer profiling helps you find new business – better knowledge leads to increased sales.

4. Do you have a loyal customer base who keep coming back to you for offers and discounts?

Take the chance to build closer business relationships with your customers. Do your follow-up,think about how to improve customer service and your product. Provide value-added services to build customer loyalty.

Loyal customers are cheaper to retain than non-loyal ones.In fact, a loyal customer is willing to pay more than a non-loyal one would for the same product or service.

Moreover, the loyal customer has a higher overall value to the organisation due to the value of possible repeat business and referrals.

5. Capitalise on festive seasons when consumer spending is at its peak.

Holiday and festive seasons serve as a huge opportunities for both consumers and companies. If you have a product that is likely to generate more sales for you during holiday/festive periods, do your marketing at least 1 month in advance.

For example, if you sell Christmas products and you know your customers are most likely to buy them in December, don’t assume they will do shopping last minute.

Many people need time to prepare,do early shopping and soak in the joyous mood – leverage this excitement, put up tantalising discounts and innovative product offers.When your customers are in the “mood”, boy, are they in the “mood”!

To spend,that is.

Remember, in business,an opportunity cost is lost for even a mere second of a non-sale.So you must be eager to make a sale and plan your next marketing campaign in advance.

Home Business Tips – Are You Overloaded With Home Business Information?

The most common problem with new people in the home business scene is they get easily overloaded with information. I admit, I’m part of the problem. After all, I have over 4000 articles on the web at this point in writing. However, if you want to stop information overload, you have got to nip the problem in the bud and basically get organized. That’s what it’s all about – getting organized.

The first thing you might want to do is create two email accounts. Or if you have already have one (which is likely), then create a separate account. For your main account, sign up for the gurus whose information you respect. You’ll want to keep only the best emails in your main account. For your separate account, sign up for all other lists in your niche. This is where you can pick up great marketing ideas from the emails you receive. You do not necessarily want to ‘use’ the emails, but you want to spy on them.

The next thing you’ll want to do, if you are just starting out, is to organize your learning. For example, one week you might spend time learning AdWords, and the next week you can focus on article marketing tactics and strategies. Another week you can learn list building and how to set up an autoresponder and market to a list etc. Doing this is almost like following an organized ‘classroom schedule’ and it will make your learning much more progressive, so you are able to take action faster.

Finally, you’ll want to make a to-do list each day of items you need to take action on. Then work through that list and focus on nothing else. I guarantee that you will get a lot done this way and your business will grow faster.

Online Marketing Options and Building Your Online Business – Information Overload, Don’t Get Lost!

Many sleepless nights information overload – I can remember when I first turned on the computer and started my search to learn more about starting an online business. Many nights staying up to 3 or 4 in the morning wondering if I had just uncovered the next best product to sell or the next best marketing program to help me generate leads and eventually drive more traffic to this new business. I had lost many nights of sleep because every click of the mouse uncovered another product or opportunity and I began to get overloaded with information to the point of nausea.

Searching for the right product to get started – I was looking for the perfect business opportunity searching page after page reading and hoping that this was the product to help me get started. Being a single parent with little to no extra time many companies claimed their product was the best opportunity to secure a solid financial future for me and my family (two daughter’s). That their product would enable me to spend more time with my daughter’s and change my life forever. I began to get frustrated and lost in my search.

What I learned during my late night searches and what I can share with all of the other online business opportunity seekers – I had to reflect back to my previous career as a PGA professional to find answers to my questions. When searching for an online business product or marketing program it’s like buying golf clubs for the first time. They have so many club brands available and sell golf clubs at so many locations that the question is not what are the best golf clubs or where to buy the golf clubs. As in golf, the online business opportunity is similar because their are so many online MLM products offered and so many distributors to buy them from it can be extremely confusing. Everyone claims to have the best marketing program to market the products you eventually develop a sense of insanity. Ask yourself one question. Does someone really just buy a product or do they buy a product from someone they know and trust? Brand yourself and others will buy any and all the products you have to offer. I realized this when members of the golf club would spend a little more money and purchase the clubs from me instead of a wholesale outlet. The reason is they had developed a relationship with me and trusted me. I had branded myself and had the knowledge and experience to assist them throughout their purchase of their new clubs. Many marketing programs offered do not allow you to brand yourself but someone else. Make sure you buy a marketing program that allows you to brand yourself. Partner up with someone that you can relate to thus improving your chances of success in developing your online business. Best of luck!

How to Shape, Manage, and Control Your Business Information: Tips for Using E-Forms Effectively

The ancient Greek philosopher Plato viewed everything as a form, and every form as an ideal version of an object. His notions hold true with an increasingly popular business tool: electronic forms (eforms), which allow organizations to stipulate the ideal form for content so it enters their organizations as consistent, desirable, and ready to use. (Had Plato lived to see eforms, I think he would have approved.)

To generate desired efficiencies, electronic forms demand meticulous attention to detail. Each form must shape the content it captures to maximize meaning and usefulness for those who rely on it. When they’re well designed, forms gather quality content and use it intelligently. Built-in controls provide tools to capture and make meaningful information useful wherever it has value. This article will help you understand considerations in designing and using online forms so they will supply the control, compliance, and results you’re looking for.
The basics

Web-based forms that are part of an integrated document and process management system ensure:

* Form content is standardized, consistent, and complete
* Content is available and searchable within moments of creation
* Forms can be accessed, amended, routed, and submitted securely from anywhere, anytime
* Authorized persons can view, edit, and delete forms and their content
* Audit trails of content creation, access, and transactional use are always available, allowing quick response to reviews, reporting requirements, litigation, etc.

In essence, eForms make your people more productive, efficient, and compliant.
What eForms provide that paper forms don’t

If you think you can just scan your paper forms and forego this article, you’re right…and wrong. Scanning paper is a big step forward. However, creating content digitally – rather than scanning the paper later – renders significant added controls:

* increasing the probability of productive search;
* promoting quick completion of collaborative forms;
* making submitted content available instantly;
* enforcing governance policies; and
* promoting significant cost savings (no paper).

Creating eforms isn’t difficult, but reaping the rewards requires more than replicating paper forms. If you plan to automate processing using eforms – a huge benefit — you need to don your thinking cap before you start designing. Here are some standard steps for eforms projects and questions you should ask yourself before you begin.
Conduct a form inventory

Analyzing your forms leads to effective streamlining, ending the collection of duplicate information for different uses and reducing inevitable errors.

Ask:

* What form types do we have (expense reports, applications)?
* What purpose does each serve? (Documenting form function will help users select correct forms when multiple options exist.)
* Is there data duplication between forms?
* Can form types (or content) be eliminated or combined?

Gather accurate information

Research claims 5-10% of your time should be allocated for quality control. Assuming your workers’ error rate is typical 3-5% – or even 1% — errors and correction are costly. Rules-based eforms enforce your rules, collecting clean data by:

* Regulating data collection protocols
* Confirming procedural compliance
* Creating automated reports by throwing form contents against your business rules

Ask:

* What specific information is needed (First name, document ID number)?
* Can content be extracted from existing data sources (line-of-business software, customer database)?
* Must data sources be re-executed when documents are updated?
* Which metadata (such as an invoice number you plan to import from your accounting system) should not be subject to change?
* Which fields should be mandatory? Which can be optional?
* In which order should questions be answered to enable logical, quick form completion?
* What data restrictions would help to ensure accurate data entry? (Examples: prescribing an acceptable date range or the number of digits for an ID number; forcing users to choose responses from drop-down menus.)
* Can we automate numerical calculations using existing data?
* Is the information users will need for successful search marked mandatory?

Classify content so forms and information can be found quickly

Indexing is critical to a successful eforms implementation, since it catalogs crucial information people expect to retrieve. These questions will help you wrap your mind around classification so diverse users can find the information they require when they need it, without fail.

Ask:

* How would I describe this form type and its function(s) within our organization?
* What metadata will workers need to search for historical, reference, or legal purposes (name, document type, customer ID number, etc.)?
* How are documents currently grouped – by department, function, or another method?
* Does it make sense to adapt current practices as an indexing scheme, or can they be improved?

Enforce adherence to governance policies

Purchasing eforms as part of an integrated document and business process management suite lets you control how they are accessed and used throughout the document lifecycle. Your security settings follow each form throughout its creation, storage, and useful life, leaving a clear, continuous audit trail from generation through destruction.

Ask:

* Which groups of users need to access to this form type or its contents?
* Should users be permitted to re-index documents after they have been classified?
* Which feature rights should each user group have, such as the right to retrieve, view, annotate, email, or delete this form type?
* Should metadata values (such as accounts over a certain sum) be used to restrict form access?
* After this form serves its purpose, will we need it for historical, legal, or reference purposes?
* How long must this form be retained in order to comply with regulations?

Since regulations keep mounting and penalties for non-compliance are increasingly severe, governing who has access to your information and how it is used is critical.
Regulate the flow of work

Artist Donald Graham once quipped, “The world seems to be made up of a never-ending series of overlapping forms. There always seems to be something in back of something else.” So it is in business; processes typically use multiple forms that overlap and depend on each other. The greatest efficiency is when eforms automatically launch routine processes, expediting the distribution and completion of work. Even if you implement forms simply as a way to collect and store information, keep your eye on process automation, where the greatest savings and benefits occur.

Ask:

* Which data on each form is needed for processing or decision making?
* Is the entire form needed, or just specific data?
* At what point in each process is the information needed?
* What integrations would allow seamless data transfer from other systems to the form?
* When the completed form is submitted, should it automatically create a PDF?
* Should form submission launch one or more specific processes, email acknowledgements, or other actions?

What you need to know

Version control: Form completion, review, and signoff can involve multiple people, so versioning is critical. Make sure your product tracks when saved documents were created, edited, viewed, and deleted. It’s helpful during the forms lifecycle, audits, and eDiscovery.

Ease of use: Like any technology, this is vital to adoption. Assess whether your product has a user-friendly interface with tools to help users, such as flexible windows, moveable work spaces, and interactive user guides. Although training is important, tools that are easy to use will shorten the learning curve.

Browser-based access: As employees become more mobile, web access to work is becoming crucial, offering flexibility, round-the-clock service, and saving trips to the office. Even if you don’t think you need it now, you will – so think ahead.
Summary

Successful forms management demands that you:

* Invest ample time in design so you consistently get what you need;
* Create a thorough indexing plan with input from all levels of staff so diverse users can consistently find what they need to be efficient;
* Understand and leverage the interrelationship of the forms and processes in your business through eforms and process automation so you can offer better service and realize significant savings.

With these goals in mind, along with these guidelines to help you on your way, you’re on the path to enable smart, sustainable business practices that will make your business more agile, profitable, and successful.
Why choose DocFinity?

Powerful. Reliable. Affordable. The architecture behind DocFinity creates a powerful, flexible document and process management suite that is reliable, easy to administer, and scalable to varied needs. All products are designed around the most contemporary and reliable server architecture, with complete functionality underwritten in web services that are published to clients for easy, thorough integration.

* Browser-based forms let you submit, access, work on, and route forms from any location.
* Configurable security and feature rights ensure sensitive information is protected.
* DocFinity is easy to use, administer, and support: one logon gives authorized users and administrators access to documents, content, and prioritized task lists.
* An intuitive interface with configurable options such as moveable and resizable windows and adjustable column widths maximizes each worker’s productivity.
* Seamless integration with DocFinity document, content, and business process management/workflow software and your existing information systems enables quicker turnaround, better service, and significant cost savings.
* Affordable pricing with licensing and subscription pricing options for organizations of all sizes.

If you’re looking for state-of-the-art technology that you can afford, with friendly and quality support and services wherever you need it, we can help.

*****

Optical Image Technology offers an integrated suite of imaging, document management, and workflow software, including document archiving, lifecycle management, electronic forms, and email management products. To learn more about our products and services visit our website at http://www.docfinity.com, email [email protected], or call us at 800-678-3241.