Conversion rates on the web

In traditional sales there is usually a manager who keeps track of each sales persons activity and sales efforts. They measure how many people the sales person is talking to and how many became customers or how many went to a certain step in the defined sales process as written by the company.

Along comes the web and traditional sales takes on a different role. The manager will still ask the same questions but now we have another sales person called the website. We need to know how many people visited the website which is where the conversion rate question enters the conversation. Like the store we need to measure traffic and identify trade zones.

In great web design the question of conversion is the goal but conversion is not my problem. Information is the problem. Like a state fair there are many entrances and different things seen depending on which entrance we happened to find a parking space near. The marketing challenge is getting information to my visitor right away so they will click more links on our site and make a buy decision. Information is the key because no prospects will buy without information. When someone walks into your store they may have been there and purchased in the past but today they have not bought anything yet so we must think of them as a prospect. That prospect is going to want some information, then if we met that need they will be more likely to buy from us on this visit. This is also called conversion. Now they are repeat customers and you generally do better with repeat customers but must remember everytime they come it is for information. Where is, What is, How is questions need answers. Answers mean sales.

Conversion rates are difficult to figure for companies that are not simply dotcom webstores. With retail locations and the option of purchasing online we have to constantly work to identify what part of our marketing is working. The manager is always think about the leading the prospect down the path to conversion to a cash paying customer. On the web we simply cannot make a visitor click no matter how much color experts tell us white backgrounds and certain wallpaper colors are considered more friendly. We have to mix graphic design with actual information and this is what leads a visitor to convert and purchase or inquire further about our products or services.

Press Ctrl-D on your keyboard to mark this page and go look at your website. Does it quickly get to the point? Does it lead the visitor to the point of purchase easily? Do you want an assessment of your sites current web impact? If so contact the web team at www.dallasisp.com. ?

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Category: Archive,Shorts

Backup Data

As we are in a new year be sure to make a full backup of your data. Having a year end backup for accounting is pretty common but your entire business should be backed up.

Common Mistakes made by independent businesses.

  • Not having a process in place to do a backup
  • Not backing up data because it is poorly organized
  • Email is usually not stored with your regular files and is often overlooked and missed in a backup process
  • Email address backup is missed because data not stored with your regular files
  • Only having 1 tape or just never changing it.
  • Only having 1 hard drive if using a hard drive to store the backup
  • Never testing the backup

If you are running Windows 2003 server,any version a backup utility is included with options for full system recovery but you need to be sure to also run a special backup called ASR.

Windows XP Professional includes a backup utility automatically installed where for XP Home the backup isn’t automatically installed.

Depending on where you are backing up and the media type most people benefit from enahnced backup and restore software. Teh built-in backup utilities work but are what they are. In the case of servers and ASR recovery there are some real gotchya’s. Microsoft does not consider them critical but the restore process can be much more difficult than need be.

If you have employees on the payroll not able to work for a single day due to backup failure that is very expensive lost time so it is important to have a backup, test the backup on a periodic basis and store multiple copies away from the office.

-Find yourself a good IT consulting firm who will listen and deliver your business solutions that add real value and process improvement.

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Category: Archive,Shorts

Is Voice over IP ready?

Voice over IP or VOIP has been around at the telecom level for a number of years and has well known standards for call aggregation. The new offering aimed at your office need more analysis. Consumer and small office VOIP are much more sensitive than the robust offerings telco to telco. There are a number of issues to consider before making your next Internet bandwidth and phone line purchase.

Companies are available providing single and combination solutions. One size does not fit all is clearly the message of importance. The few dollars saved on low cost VOIP may not be worth the savings.

-Find yourself a good IT consulting firm who will listen and deliver your business solutions that add real value and process improvement.

Voice over IP or VOIP has been around at the telecom level for a number of years and has well known standards for call aggregation. The new offering aimed at your office need more analysis. Consumer and small office VOIP are much more sensitive that the robust offerings telco to telco. There are a number of issues to consider before making your next Internet bandwidth and phone line purchase.

There are companies providing single and combination solutions. One size does not fit all is clearly the message of importance. The few dollars saved on low cost VOIP may not be worth the savings.

-Find yourself a good IT consulting firm who will listen and deliver your business solutions that add real value and process improvement.

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Category: Archive,Shorts

Managed Services Shake-Up!

Managed Services seemed like the Holy Grail for distributors and IT service companies as everyone wanted to add managed services to their profit picture, so why is revenue falling? Offering and selling managed services sounds like a great thing and managing your network is important.Managed Services seemed like the Holy Grail for distributors and IT service companies as everyone wanted to add managed services to their profit picture. Offering and selling managed services sounds like a great thing and managing your network is important.

If you are a network service provider managing networks for others then you are familiar with the companies barking the most about their services. N-Able, Level Platforms, Silverback Technologies and Kaseya are the most prominent companies in the news. The current but shifting methodology is to place a small computer appliance at the client site where it talks to the local network and “phones home” the information to the IT company that sold it to them. The appliance or service provides monitoring and reporting for the local network priced by device. This is billed monthly and generates a recurring revenue for the IT company.

Revenue stream thinking is wonderful and if you can get your customer to pay you monthly for the service so your job as an IT company is easier that’s all the better but it’s not really making the clients business better. The truth about 95% of the networks installed is the monitoring and reporting is already in place on the network servers. If you run Linux or Microsoft Windows 2003 server, standard, small business edition(SBS) or enterprise the tools are already there with alerting email etc… Management reports are very useful and the managed service vendors customize them based on personal tastes.

It is no surprise then that the prices for the IT companies to get into the game has plummeted. Silverback just reduced the cost of it’s appliance based MSP product offering from $76,000 to $2,999. This should tell investors and others just how much fluff is involved here. Perhaps this entry fee should fall down to $299-499. Others have also had huge drops. The cost is spread out among clients and is designed to make the IT company have a single “console” to view the status of it’s client base. That’s a benefit to the IT company. These MSP tools help the IT company a lot more than they help the client.

-Find yourself a good IT consulting firm who will listen and deliver your business solutions that add real value and process improvement.

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Category: Archive,Shorts