Membership Site Basics and 8 Models You Can Choose From

The Two Basic Membership Web Site Models

There are primarily two basic membership site types, which can then be expanded to the way the site delivers their content. The two basic models are free sites or paid for sites.

The common denominator between these two types membership site types is that the memberships consist of people sharing a common interest or have a common need.

Which ever you choose, free or paid you will have to decide on how members will join and the code of conduct you will accept in your membership site.

Deciding whether to use the free or paid membership website model is very important and depends upon your objectives and how you want to operate your member site. If you intend to do this for profit, those profits on a free site could come from sales to members after they join the site.

You can buy a domain, set up a website and not charge for memberships but choose who to admit and who not to admit. Or you can set up a site on established network.

Examples of established network sites to create a membership include Yammer Groups on MSN, and groups on Yahoo, Mighty Networks and Tribe, and of course there’s always Facebook Groups.

It costs nothing to set up a community on these sites up and there is no charge for a person to join. Though Mighty Networks does have the option to make yours a paid site.

And there are really so many possible topics for your member site that you could have trouble deciding on which topic to choose. There are many topics for just “support” sites which can run the gamut from people with health issues or health concerns to people who’ve suffered the loss of loved ones.

There are sites for people who are into hobbies like quilting or woodworking. Sites for people who love to travel, or love certain activities like rock climbing, etc. There are sites for different age groups from teens to seniors.

The sites can offer members the ability to chat using chat software and the ability to post pictures, documents and links. Free sites don’t normally provide access to things like specialized data or lists or things like structured music lessons, or painting lessons.

Paid membership sites, set up by businesses or individuals, primary objective is producing profits by delivering hard to find information or simply information that’s out there but provided in a manner that is easy to easy for the members to absorb.

The topics for paid for membership sites can be even more varied than the free sites and most certainly are more specialized.

Paid member sites can give access to specialized data or lists, or instruction in a wide variety of areas from musical instruments, computer programs (like WordPress plugins). How to sites that might give instruction on getting the most from, say, Facebook advertising, etc.

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Reaching Business To Business Online Marketing Companies

Are you involved in business to business online marketing? Business to business online marketing spans a wide range of industries, yet the marketing strategies are still similar as in business to consumer marketing. The number 1 key factor to success is price range, and proper follow up. Because most businesses want to make more money, they will work from dusk to dawn to make it happen.

As a business owner yourself, I’m sure you already know this. The top goal of all online business owners is to improve their business profits, but most don’t know how to achieve this goal. Even if you sell printers, marketing books, office supplies, subscriptions, magazines, and etc, you need to know how to target and reach your targeted prospect for as cheaply as possible – so that you can lower expenses and become as profitable as possible.

I will go over some simple business to business online marketing strategies that you can use to gain profits easily without spending a lot of money to do so. You may not have thought about using these simple strategies, but I assure you that they work, and they are a combination of offline and online marketing tactics – since online business owners do STILL operate in the offline world. Here’s the first business to business online marketing strategy that you can use:

1) Direct mail

Direct mail is highly effective in today’s world – even though most people don’t get as much out of it as they should be. You see, most people view direct marketing as a 1-shot deal. The typical business owner will find or build a list, send a mailing out to them, maybe get a few sales, and call it a day. However you should know that you can get much more out of your direct mail efforts if you did more than a one-shot mailing.

So how can you mail multiple times to a prospect without violating the rules or terms of a list provider? It’s simple – and you can do it in a variety of ways. You have to understand that not everyone is a pro in selecting mailing lists. In fact, most people use list brokers to get them a good mailing list. While some list brokers do a good job, a lot of list brokers out there are sharks. They will probe you with questions to test your skill level of direct mail, and will give you a list based on your knowledge of what to do with them.

When doing business to business online marketing, it’s critical that you know how to specifically target online business owners who are a match for the product or service that you are trying to sell them. Depending on what you sell, you may want to target by location, age, nationality, income, profession, and by the last dollar amount that they spent on a similar item that you’re trying to sell them. And of course more.

You should be able to get all of this information by using something called the “SRDS”. SRDS stands for “Standard Rate and Data Service”. You can find this at your city’s main local library. It has a collection of mailing lists that you can purchase, specify, and merge to gain the most ideal candidate for your product. Now depending on the price of your product and the last item that these people bought, you may want to generate leads first from your initial mailing, or send them a direct offer.

The way to do multiple direct mail mailings is simple. You can either rent a list and generate leads – thus not violating terms of the initial mailing, or you can generate your own list, and send follow up direct mail mailings to them. In both situations your generating a lead. These online marketing prospects have voluntarily raised their hand to receive more information from you. And since you’re marketing via direct mail, you can expect your conversion rates to be a lot higher than just email marketing alone.

Here’s another business to business online marketing strategy that you can use to get more sales:

2) Joint ventures

Doing joint ventures on the internet is incredibly simple. With the advent of affiliate programs and tracking software, joint ventures on the internet is a cinch – you just have to find the right partner to do it with. This is an easy way to reach a targeted prospect base with $0 cost of advertising. This makes joint venture marketing a magnificent way to get more new customers.

To use joint ventures get business to business online marketing customers, first you have to identify who your targeted prospects are. Are you a marketing consultant? Then obviously your customer base are online business owners who are looking for consulting help – or who wants to learn how to do internet marketing properly (the first time around).

Are you an industrial carpet cleaner? Then you can reach your prospects from searching through email lists, blogs, forums, and websites in the carpet cleaning niche. You would have to specify the kind of commercial work that you do – as you will get to charge more to businesses who need lots of spaces cleaned, and have the financial power to pay you more than a consumer would.

To approach a likely joint venture partner, simply get in touch of the webmaster that you believe is a good fit for your products or service, and make a deal with them. Most people offer low joint venture commission rates, while I like to offer them high commission rates so that it can get their attention. Plus you should also know that the money in your business will come from backend repeat sales from a customer. So earning a little bit of money on a frontend joint venture sale isn’t a bad idea.

Simply tell them what you sell, how it will benefit their list or customer base, and how much of the profits you’re willing to share with them. If the terms are great, most will agree – but you will have to do much of the work when it comes to streamlining the sales process. And once they agree, the joint venture can begin – and it doesn’t have to end. Ever.

Business to business online marketing can be made simple if consider these 2 strategies. Direct mail works great when reaching business owners, and joint ventures is a free way to get sales and launch a profitable campaign on a $0 budget. Be sure to use them both today.

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Highly Effective Digital Marketing Strategies

Would you like to learn some highly effective digital marketing strategies? But first of all, what is “digital marketing”? Some people believe it’s a different form of internet marketing, but in truth, it’s actually the same thing. These days people come up with all different kinds of terms to re-describe the same thing. Digital marketing is the same thing – people are just trying to profit off of a different wording of the same topic.

I’m sure you’ve probably also heard the terms: “inbound marketing”, “influencer marketing”, “outbound marketing”, and etc. But all of those are the same concepts of internet marketing strategies that have been already tested and proven to work. These people are just now figuring this stuff out. So digital marketing is just internet marketing. And also, some people get it confused with eBook marketing.

If you’ve ever heard of someone say “digital download”, that means that a product will be available for you to download immediately after you order. This is called a “digital product”. This is not digital marketing in its full form. Digital marketing is just a familiar term that people interchangeably use to describe tactics for promoting your products on the internet. With that out of the way, would you finally like to learn some highly effective digital marketing strategies?

I want to go over a few concepts that will allow you to soar past your competitors and get you the increased traffic, sales, and profits that you are looking for. These tactics are easy to use and implement, and are simple ways that you can improve everything that you’re doing within a short period of time. Let’s take a look at the first strategy that you can use to improve your digital marketing efforts:

1) Guest blog posts

It doesn’t matter what industry or niche that you operate in. With guest blog posts, you can stand out and position yourself as the “go to person” in your niche for whatever you do. You will stand out as the authority and the expert that people will instantly think of whenever your line of work comes to mind. This is essential to know, because credibility is everything online, and standing out as the obvious expert is a crucial step in gaining more new sales.

So I guess you’re wondering what guest blog posts are huh? It’s okay if you don’t know. A guest blog post is simply a lengthy and informative blog post about something that you’re knowledgeable about. The blog that you submit your guest blog post to should be in your niche, and shouldn’t be a rival competitor of yours. Do you know why this is such a highly effective strategy?

Usually high traffic and famous blogs in your niche will have a high readership. This means TONS of free promotion for you and your website – should your information be good – and should the blog owner request that you send more blog posts. If you can get a partnership where the blog owers wants to exclusively collaborate with you because you offer great content, this could be an endless supply of free traffic for you.

Plus, you have to think about the syndication that this will get you also on social media. The more blogs you post on, and the awesome job that you do, the more your reputation will increase, and the more you will become an expert on your subject. Soon people will be coming to you, looking for more of your great information that they can use in their lives. Here’s another highly effective digital marketing strategy that you can do:

2) Viral eBook marketing

Viral eBook marketing can do wonders for your website traffic and your business. Imagine writing a free eBook about a topic in your niche, and having it available for download on your website. You can put your website link(s) all over it, and tell the readers that they can offer it for free on their website (as a form of free content), and that they should pass it around to their friends and colleagues.

This can be an amazing free traffic tool for you. The more people who download it will have the ability to use it for themselves, offer it for free, and recommend it to others. Soon with enough people downloading your free eBook, it can take off on its own and be a major traffic tool for you without you doing a thing. As long as the content is good and it benefits people, offer it on your website and let it do its thing.

You will want to include your homepage link inside of it, your affiliate program link, a link to your blog or articles page, and a link to a page that has your products or services on it. That way while people are reading through your book, they will have the chance to click through to your site multiple times and potentially sign up for one of your offers. This can be a big deal.

Not only that, you can submit it to the free eBook directories. eBook directories store your eBook for people to read, download, and use for promotional content on their site. Plus on some eBook directories, they require a direct link – thus giving you a high quality and relevant backlink to your site. This is digital marketing 101, and once you put it into use, you’ll see how well it can work for your business.

These are 2 highly effective digital marketing strategies that you can use to improve your traffic, sales and profits right away. There are many more techniques that you can use to boost your sales for your website, but these 2 alone can put you over and above your competitors. The biggest thing to understand is that it takes repetitive efforts, and daily work to make any digital marketing strategy work. You don’t get results and make money if you’re lazy. So keep that in mind. Good luck!

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Getting Started With Cryptocurrencies

Investing in the cryptocurrency market space is often complex especially for the traditional investors. This is because investing directly in Cryptocurrency requires the use of new technologies, tools and adopting some new concepts.
If you decide to dip your toes in the CryptoCurrency world, you will need to have a clear picture of what to do and what to expect.

Be it Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum or any of the 1300 tokens, buying and selling cryptocurrencies require you to choose an Exchange that deals in the products you want.

Being the most famous decentralized cryptocurrency, Bitcoin leads the crypto space so dominantly that the terms crypto and bitcoin are sometimes used interchangeably. However, the matter of fact is that there are other cryptocurrencies as well that can be relied upon for making crypto-investments.

Litecoin

Litecoin, also referred to as ‘silver to Bitcoin’s gold’ is an open-source decentralized payment network that functions without involving an intermediary.

How does Litecoin vary from Bitcoin? Well, both are similar in many ways, however the block generation of Litecoin is much faster than that of Bitcoin. This is making the investors around the world open to accept Litecoin.

Charlie Lee, a former engineer at Google founded Litecoin in 2011. Though Litecoin does not have the anonymity technology of Bitcoin, recent reports have shown that Litecoin is preferred after bitcoin because of its persistence. Another factor that favours Litecoin is the Bitcoin SegWit technology that means secure peer-to-peer trading of currencies without involving exchange participation.

Ethereum

Launched in the year 2015, Ethereum is a decentralized software platform that enables distributed applications and smart contracts to function without third party interference. The currency is the ether that is like an accelerator within the ethereum platform. In the leading cryptocurrencies space, Ethereum. is the second most preferred choice after Bitcoin.

Zcash

Zcash gained attention in the latter part of 2016 and focuses on solving the problem of anonymous transactions. To understand the currency, let’s take it as “if bitcoin is like HTTP for money, Zcash is HTTPS”.

The currency offers the choice of the shielded transaction to maintain the transparency, privacy and security of transactions. This means the investors can transfer data in the form of encrypted code.

Dash

Originally known as darkcoin, Dash is a more selective version of bitcoin. It was launched in January 2014 by Evan Duffield with the name Xcoin. It is also known as the Decentralized Autonomous Organization or simply DAO. The coin was meant to eradicate all the prevailing limitations of Bitcoin. Currently, Bitcoin has earned a substantial position in the space of cryptocurrencies.

The alternative to virtual currency that promises secured and anonymous transactions through peer-to-peer networking is cryptocurrency. The key to making a lot of money is to make the right investment at the right moment. In comparison to making the everyday money, cryptocurrency models function without involving any middle man as a decentralized digital mechanism. In this distributed cryptocurrency mechanism, the continuous activity is issued, managed and endorsed by the community peer network. The cryptocurrency is known for its speedy transactions over any other mode such as digital wallets and other mediums.

In addition to the above discussed, other top cryptocurrencies include Monero (XMR), Bitcoin Cash (BCH). EOS and Ripple (XRP).

Although bitcoin is the trend setter and is leading the race, other currencies have also made their significant position and are growing in preference each day. Considering the trend, the other cryptos will have a long way to stay and might soon give Bitcoin a real tough time to maintain its position.

If you have decided to make a speculative investment in this disruptive technology, and want to have all current and future recommendations, connect with “The Top Coins”.

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How to Make the Most of Paid Guest Posting Sites

Making money through guest blogging or guest posting is quite popular today, especially among youngsters. As the name indicates, a guest blogger, is one who blogs for some other website. In return, the guest blogger receives a few backlinks, which he can use to popularize his website or blog. Once he posts the guest post or blog on another website, he cannot claim ownership for the same.

Do you get paid for this job? Yes, mostly! When guest posting was first introduced, the blogger used to receive only backlinks in return. However, nowadays, many websites give you money for your posts. If your posts are attractive, and have the potential to increase traffic to that particular website, you get paid well. These websites that pay you for your content are known as paid guest posting sites.

This article will tell you more about how you can earn money from a paid guest posting site, and how you can make the most of it.

Stay Away from Sites that ask you to Pay to Guest-Post for them

While you may be looking for a paid social guest-posting opportunity, you may across some websites or blogs that ask you to pay to get your post published. We recommend you stay away from these sites. These sites don’t focus on the quality of the content that is getting published on their site. Instead, they only focus on the payment. As long as the blogger pays them, these site owners accept all types of content.

You look for a paid guest posting gig, because the backlinks can help to promote your brand and blog, don’t you? Therefore, you should be careful to avoid these sites that demand payment from you, as they can cause a dent in your brand image.

Check the Site for its Style to Write Relevant Guest Blogs

The different search engines will tell you about the sites that require guest bloggers. Go through each of these sites, and choose the ones whose terms & conditions are clear. Some good sites will take time to accept your post, but it worth waiting for their approval, than writing for sub-standard sites. Before writing your posts, please check about the niches offered on those sites.

You can note the niches you are comfortable with so that you can know how much time you can devote to writing guest blogs. It is highly recommended that you go through a few articles posted on those sites, understand the style, and know the articles’ popularity. This will give you an idea of how to pitch your blog to the administrators for approval.

Make your Guest Posts Attractive

Nothing sells better than good content. So, if you want to make decent money from paid guest blogging gigs, you have to be very careful about your content quality. Link back the post to your blog, so that readers can visit your blog, thereby increasing your traffic in the bargain. Make your blogs interesting and relevant. Give a glimpse of your confident personality in your blogs, and encourage them to respond by visiting the link of your blog.

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The Path to Become The Best Virtual Assistant

Just like other people working in the virtual world I also want to become a best Virtual Assistant. This desire spring up when I was taking up the virtual assistant course.

In this article, I’m going to share with you my realization from these desire for you to become a useful Virtual Assistant. These can be very helpful to you, yes you who are reading this, Why? Not everyone in this field becomes successful either with the relationship with their Clients or their working habits because they miss out at least one aspect in their life and that makes them unsuccessful. So I am sharing this for you to become mindful of the things that will make you successful.

For you to become the best Virtual Assistant, we must possess the following traits I listed here:

Skills – Computer and internet may be an essential tool to work as a virtual assistant, but that is not the most important thing, it is our Skills. Why? 80% of our job is Administrative, 10% Creativity and 10% technical. Clients /employers will not outsource or hired a Virtual Assistant who is just making there resume cool to look at, putting skills they don’t know only to make a good impression to Client and when Client ask for samples of your skills written on our curriculum vitae we fail to give the clients expectation from us. That will only create a wrong impression to your Clients and possible you will become blacklisted. Learning is good, but if you just keep on learning but you do not develop the skills that you have and what you learned by practicing it is nothing. PRACTICE PRACTICE PRACTICE is the secret to excellence and perfection of your skills.

Teachable heart – when a client has already outsourced you because you have the skills, it doesn’t mean you are already perfect, and you don’t need any advice. Remember, perfection comes through continues learning. You must learn to accept teaching/corrections from your Clients because first, it is their business they know how does it run, second, it will help us grow in both knowledge and skills. Having a teachable heart means you are giving yourself a room where you can improve.

Good Personality – Having a good character with your client is very important because you are building a relationship with them. You make them trust you by outsourcing you to become part of their company and their lives. These are some of the personality that we must have kindness, joyful, love, faithfulness, patience, hardworking, etc., Always keep in mind that when you have a good personality, you work positively.

Integrity- Let your yes be Yes and No be No. Integrity means honesty, no compromising and no lying to your client and your self too. If we promise to work and give our project on a specific date and time, then we must finish it and submit it on or before the deadline.
This is only a few of the many writings you can read on the internet about how to become a best Virtual Assistant. And this is the fact, no matter how many articles you will read on the internet about this topic, no matter how many Virtual Assistant courses you are going to take up, no matter how many advice you will ever hear, if you don’t help yourself to grow and achieve what is right then everything will become useless. If you have a teachable heart, a good personality and integrity you are allowing yourself to accept new learning and corrections for you to grow as a virtual assistant then it would be more natural for you to have the skills because skills can be developed to excellence to perfection if you have the three.

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Use Your Prowess to Earn Money Virtually

Earn money online: When there was a world without the internet, there existed a better world but not a developed world. The world is still stuck at the jaunty angles of further intelligent and peaceful growth, but at least you can now earn money online with a click. Your career is just a promising resume and a ‘double click’ away. There is no compromise with the skill and area of expertise though. You would require the same qualifications, same prowess to prove that you are worthy of the job you are applying for. The best part about getting a work from home job and earn money (by making a lucrative career with it) is that you can do the work at the comfort of your own home, your own bedroom. Often, companies allow flexible hours of work and that is an added advantage because you can now work without wondering and worrying about being a night owl or an early morning person. You think you would work better at night, be more productive then that’s it. As long as you meet the deadline and show your passion for the work for the employer and he/she is happy and satisfied, all’s good.

The four different kinds of roads which will lead you to an online job and help you earn money are:

Freelance Writer: If you have been a closet writer for quite some time and you know that it’s time to change humanity with the power of words, then come forward and join any freelancing website and give a platform for your voice. Give your opinion a face and work hard to get the readers to be influenced. There is only so much that a creative writer or a content writer can do and that scope has only been increasing nowadays.
Freelance Graphic Designer: Every company or website or any fresh start-up organization needs a web graphic designer for their logo, the symbol that would represent who they are. So it goes without saying that talent in graphic designing is a high-budgeted demand so don’t hesitate to choose a freelancing website and apply.
Blogging like a Professional: Are you fond of writing and spreading awareness about medical conditions? Blogging can be done on any topic under the sun. There is actually a hope for beginner bloggers to turn it into their own money-earning venture by sitting on their favorite and comfortable couch. Monetize your blog on the topic you are interested in and you had wanted to do something with your passion for it.
Affiliate Marketing: It is considered as the easiest way to earn money from home and all credits to technological advancement. All you have to do is choosing a product from anywhere in the framework of web-shops and do a promotional call so that once someone buys that product from the link provided by you, you get a commission. Isn’t that a bit too easy? But, you have to learn to attract people and compel them indirectly to buy it.

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Get Started With Analytics and Find Success

What is Web Analytics?

Web analytics gives information about user experience and the journey that the customer makes through the website. It gives real data about the customer’s movement through your sight. It is collecting this data from your website and converting it into insights.

Web analytics tools can be used to learn more about your website’s visitors. Web analytics provides you with data. The following are the different types of data:

1. Metrics – Things that can be counted like the number of visitors and the time they spend on your website. Tracking how much money is made and how many goods are sold. Metrics are measured by using dimensions, which is another type of data.

2. Dimensions – It is any kind of data that can be used to describe something you are tracking with words. E.g. Device type, geographical location.

It answers your questions like which device your customers are using more to get to your website. With this information, you can optimize your website accordingly.

Make Web Analytics Work for You

Analytics can measure any kind of online marketing you decide to do, and also measure the entire digital journey of a customer. It captures important insights.

Analytics can tell you which search engine people are coming to your website and also if they are engaging well with your website by spending time.

It’s important to make sure you’re measuring progress toward your own particular goals. That means you’ll want to customize your analytics a bit, to make sure you’re tracking things that really matter to you.

When a website visitor completes a goal like completing a purchase it’s called a conversion. Web analytics tools have the ability to break downloads of data about your visitors and what’s happening on your sites to give information that can help increase the conversion rate.

Add conversions points like “subscribe to our newsletter” and when people subscribe, you will know that they are interested in your business. This way you can send emails to them and convert them into customers. To make this happen you can add a coupon of 10% off when people subscribe to your newsletter.

With analytics, you can also know during what time of the week there’s more traffic on your website. With this information, you can advertise more heavily by adjusting your campaigns when people are more likely to take action.

Get Success with Analytics

Web analytics helps you by providing information about how many people are visiting through different search engines from organic search results.

With Google analytics, you can also find out which keywords people are using to find your business. This can be found out by integrating Google analytics with the Google search console.

Web analytics can also show how well your improved content is working and what its impact is. It will also show you if your keywords are translating into more visitors reaching your site. Analytics will help find out which keywords are the best ones for you to bid on, how to tailor your ads to make them more effective, and how to decide how much to bid for the spots that are the most cost-effective for you.

The key is that you’ll still be tracking what happens after you make your changes, and that means you’ll be able to see if your fixes raise that conversion rate from 1% to something better! That covers a few different ways you can measure the keywords you’re bidding on.

When you write ads, you want it to be clear and compelling to the readers but it’s they who decide if it’s clear and compelling, Analytics can help you with this too.

Firstly, use segmentation to break down all those visitors by different groupings as segmentation gives you some insights you can action.

Lastly, analytics tools can help you understand just how much you should be bidding for ads, to make sure you’re getting a good return. By using analytics, you’ll know exactly where you perform the best, and that means you’ll be getting more out of your investment than your competition.

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Distance – Cold Turkey Grieving on Thanksgiving Day

“He’s gone.” The words came across my cell phone with a finality that hit me in the back of the throat. It was Thanksgiving Day and my older brother – the fast-talking bodybuilder, the guy with a quick wit, the family man that was always laughing – had left us. After getting the short straw and Type I diabetes at age 11, he had overcome the odds at every juncture. But he could not overcome 2020.

They say siblings are your first friends – your link to the past and bridge to the future. As I took in the news of my brother’s death, I was taking on water – drowning in last words and lost moments. I could not find air. I rushed outside. I could not call out. Every human within ear shot was confined to home by state mandate. There would be no shoulder to cry on or consoling hugs. There would be no ‘I’m sorrys’ or back rubs. It was cold-turkey grieving on Thanksgiving Day.

Chris had just texted us the day before to tell us our uncle had died. Uncle Michael was larger-than-life. He was a wise-cracking, mountain of a man who taught us how to water ski and cheat at cards. And within 48 hours, we would lose Uncle Robert to COVID-19.

It was hard to fathom – three family members in four days. It was too much in a year that had already been too much. Six degrees of separation, seven degrees of isolation, 6 feet for 15 minutes in a 24-hour period – our kingdom for a mask.

It was a year in which we stood at the edge of existence and stared into the abyss — each with our own version of the bottomless pit. Death became a hashtag, life became a meme, and surviving became a highlight on a cyber feed. We were all living under the grid and over the rainbow save the zooms, hangouts and CGI crowds – manifestations of the life we could no longer have.

I found a photo of my brother as a toddler in short pants and red suspenders. Another as a smiling teen in front of a Christmas tree in the backroom of the house we left thirty years ago. He strikes a pose on a weekend back from college. He leans against his first car in cut-off jeans; his eyes are so clear they seem to look into eternity.

There is a picture of us sitting in front of pumpkins at a local farm store circa 1970. I remember that day well. He didn’t want to sit next to me. Typical sibling wrangling. My mother petitioned him to get closer. He refused. He had a jawbreaker jammed into his cheek. I had just finished a cherry one that was all over my lips. I was wearing my mustard-yellow stirrup pants and paisley coat. He was in his herringbone sweater. I turned away from him in disinterest. I was a tough, little girl. He made me that way. My mother pointed her manual-focus Canon camera with the folding fan flash, the shutter snapped and the moment was frozen in time. What I would give to move closer to him now, to not have turned away that day, to have seized that space between us in my 8-year-old hands and held onto it forever.

The drive from Los Angeles to Phoenix for my brother’s “Celebration of Life” was long and lonely. It would be outdoors, masked up, and around a table of framed photos. It was the best we could do. At a rest stop somewhere between Indio and Blythe, I screamed into the desert in existential protest for all that I had lost. The place was desolate save a large saguaro cactus that stood watch over the picnic area. It was a massive, columnar tree. It had seen its share of weary travelers and truck drivers. It had survived the rumble of the freeway, the fumes, and waterless seasons of soaring heat. Its pleated spines and tough skin were welcome defiance in a world of harsh indifference.

My mother always said that God doesn’t give us more than we can handle, but He was giving me so much all at once. As I motored through the dune-backed moonscape, my mind shifted back to easy rooms and soft furniture, snow men and sea shells, lightening bugs and barbecues, stick ball and Halloween, banana seats and little league.

I still have my brother’s number on my cell phone. He’s still smiling from his Facebook page. His big, bold purposeful life endures in a fixed-length contiguous block of virtual memory. Technology is cruel that way – a cyber head fake, a digital ruse. Much like the “social” distance that has kept us apart.

There are no do-overs in forever. There is no encore after curtain fall. We don’t get a second shot at a last goodbye. So, when this great sequestration is over – shake hands, bump fists and high-five. Hug everyone you care about and never let them go. Say ‘I love you’ every waking moment, and never let physical distance come between you and your family again.

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How to Increase Customer Retention With Digital Marketing?

Customer retention is at the core of every business today. As customer acquisition continue going up, businesses have been forced to become extra creative to retain clients and sustain high sales. In one of the studies done by the U.S Small Businesses Administration and the U.S Chamber of Commerce, it was established that acquiring new clients costs up to five times compared to retaining the existing ones. In this post, we bring you five most effective strategies for increasing customer retention with digital marketing.

Start by setting customer expectations

When you start working on any marketing effort, the first retention effort should be setting clients’ expectations. The expectations help you to clear the vision and enable a company to structure its operations around the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). When you set very high expectations and deliver more than the clients anticipate, they will be happy and keep coming back for more.

The customer expectations should be drawn along the lines of their needs. This means you must start with comprehensive market research to determine what they need and how to deliver it. Remember to also set the timelines for evaluating the KPIs. Also, do not hesitate to implement changes to make the expectations more realistic.

Be an expert in your niche

If you position yourself as an expert in the niche, customers will always come for advice. They will come back to read your content and become part of the business community. As an expert, your word is taken with finality. Recommendations drawn in your platforms are rich in content and guarantee users of highest value. To become an expert in a field, you need the following;

(I) Carry comprehensive and regular research about the target market

(ii) Ensure to run a blog for educating and guiding clients

(iii) Generate regular and high-quality content about the niche

(iv) Consider running a monthly email marketing program

Build an extraordinary customer service

The customer support you install in business will define how satisfied the target clients are. When clients are treated well, they want to continue coming to you for more services and products. Good customer support is considered part of value addition to products or services.

The main components of great customer service include a commitment to the customer at all levels of interaction. This can be extended to include services and products’ perfection. Consider it as part of the business culture. The main components of high customer value include;

(I) Immediate response to clients’ inquiries about a product

(ii) Maintaining fulltime presence on social media and interacting with the target clients regularly

(iii) Offering solutions to clients issues at different levels using content and blog

(iv) Following customers who have bought products from email marketing and mobile apps

Implement special offer programs for your customers

When clients come and buy from you, letting them to simply go means a massive loss of business. You lose the profit that could have come from repeat purchase and referrals. By implementing a special loyalty program, your customers will find a reason to continue coming back for more. For example, a fitness company can consider a special offer of new fitness e-book to clients using its services. Think of special coupons, special discounts, and other creative considerations that will add value to clients.

Run customer feedback surveys and implement findings

Most customers who are not satisfied with your brand do not complain. They simply walk away, and the chances are you will never know what made them angry. Note that even if they do not tell you, they tell others and make them avoid buying from your site. The best method of identifying these complaints is providing them with a platform for airing their dissatisfaction.

Customer feedbacks make users understand they are valued, and their input towards improving the product is invaluable. Some feedbacks offer great insights on how to redefine the product and outdo competitors. To keep the customers coming back, make sure to notify them when the changes they recommended are implemented. Make sure to retarget them with new ads and special offers.

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