Saturday, March 26, 2016

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Wednesday, March 23, 2016

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Wednesday, March 16, 2016

How To Get Repeat Visitors To Your Website

Is Your Website a Super Magnet?

Ok, so you’ve got someone to visit your website once. What if you wanted them to visit again, and again, and again? Ooh, that’s hard, isn’t it? Not really. Find out how to attract them back without begging with this simple internet marketing tool.

First, The Myth

Ask most web designers what is more important: a unique visitor or a repeat visitor? Most will choose, the former. I tend to disagree.
Let’s analyse a unique visitor. They could just be browsing, like shoppers in a mall, or they could be a potential customer. Now, don’t get me wrong. Unique visitors might be important, because they are like new customers. However, with new customers, the onus is on you to prove your credibility.
Existing customers already know what you do and how you do it. You do not have to prove yourself over and over again.

Why Is It So Important To Retain Existing Customers?

Because, it costs eight times as much to get a new customer than it does to retain one. That alone should make you want to keep them. Also, since you’ve developed a relationship with them, it’s now easier for you to do business, to re-sell, up-sell and get referrals (really, really important). If you play it right you can use your website (amongst other communication material) to stay top of mind with them.

My Customers Have Already Seen My Website: Why Should They Go Back?

Precisely! Most websites are about me, me, me and me! Ever notice how tons of websites have an About Us page. Frankly, who gives a damn about you? No one! Everyone who gets to your business or your website or reads your brochure wants to know what’s in it for them! Yet, all communication that goes out is based on me.
Do something constructive. Put your ego in cold storage and start re-engineering your website and your internet marketing to give information to your customer.

How Do I Go About Giving Them Information?

The system is amazingly simple. You know everything (or rather a lot) about your business. Your customers will never know quite enough. If you provide them with a steady stream of information, you are already two steps ahead of the competition. You are taking the time to educate your customers and you are keeping in touch with them.
Take a look at this website for instance. It’s essentially a power marketing vehicle. With minimal effort it gets existing customers to have a look at it repeatedly, simply by giving them information that would help them in their business or their jobs. If you are a casual browser, your curiosity will be aroused, and you will find yourself wanting to read more.
Once you’re through with the How To section, it’s almost natural to move on to the Client Results section. At this point in time, I am no longer selling. You have begun to sell the concept to yourself.

How To Use Email To Retain Customers And Get New Business.

Everyone needs to know more than they currently do. So, how about asking your customers if they would like some more information that will help them understand stuff better. In my case, I send out monthly articles to do with marketing and communication. Detailed, incisive insights that the customer wasn’t thinking of before. Then I ask them to visit the website so they can read other articles.
It’s important to stop and see what we’re doing here. Many may not have the time today, but may have the time next week, or when your next helpful e-mail goes out. The first time the action is done, and they benefit, they are hooked. That’s it. You’ve achieved visibility and top of mindconsciousness.
Sometimes it will happen instantly and at other times it may be several months later. What you can be sure is, that it will happen!

Why The Website Is Such An Important Tool For Your Business.

It’s dynamic, that’s why! Say, you printed your cards and brochures last month. You spent a small fortune on them. But now you discover you need to add something that will dramatically change what you’re communicating. You can’t throw out a thousand brochures or cards, but updating a website is easy-peasy! Simply tweak it, and you’re on your way.
Remember, customers aren’t always willing to buy when you’re willing to sell. By keeping them informed and in touch with your website, they can reach out to you whenever they are ready!

How To Match Information And Credibility.

Credibility is important. So you definitely need to have theAbout Us factor. What you need to do, however, is to tailor it in such a way that the customer understands what you’ve done, why you’ve done it and how you can help them. You can still strut your stuff, just make sure you’re doing it with your customer in mind.
That alone will change the way you write it and present it. It will make the difference between it being read or being ignored.

If You Don’t Have Testimonials, You’re Missing Something.

It’s brief, underestimated and really powerful. Remember, people are looking at your business from a monitor! They don’t know if you’re reliable, smart or just a dork. Obviously clues within the site will indicate these things, but why not go for the kill.
Why not get yourself a testimonial and completely rid them of that niggling doubt? It’s pretty nasty if you don’t have testimonials but totally unpardonable if you don’t go out and get them!
When you do a great job and the customer says, ‘Great work!’, ask for a testimonial there and then. It’s the best time and customers tend to gush more than 6 months down the line, when they can’t even remember what you did!

A Word Called Discipline.

No one said this was going to be easy. Having to update your website, sending out helpful e-mails, and keeping in touch is going to take time and effort. You will need to read more, so you learn more. Then you will have to write. And write reasonably well. You can do it yourself or get a freelancer to do it, but do it you must. Marketing your business must take precedence over everything else.
When times are good, we tend to slacken on the marketing. If you disclipine yourself to read one book on your subject and write at least one article a week, you are now starting to build up content. It can be done. And as Nike says, ‘Just Do It’. It’s the only way.
What you will need.
1) A totally updateable website. You should never have to learn html or a html coding programme. Your website should be such that you can update both pictures and text from a cyber cafe while vacationing in the Bahamas!
2) At least 6 articles that can help your customer. That’s a good start, but invariably you will have to write more and post them on your website and/or e-mail them to your customers. If you can’t do it yourself, write down the points and get someone else to do it for you. But do it!
3) Minimal, fast loading graphics. If you have no time, neither does anyone else. Make sure your website is as lightning quick as possible. Check it out either by cleaning out your cache or by checking it out from different computers. If it’s not screaming fast, you have a problem on your hands.
4) A credibility section. Get your portfolio out there with the customer in mind. And get those testimonials!
5) Iron discipline.
It’s your business. If you don’t do it, no one will.

What If your website isn't making money?

Websites will cost you an arm and a leg. But hey, they can make you some serious money too. If your website isn't making money, you need to have a look at this internet marketing article on how to reverse the situation!.

Is your website Asleep?

Need To Create A Website That’s Dynamite?
Websites are a waste of money and time. Well most of them are. Most people go online for just one reason– Get Information. Yet, what do you see at most websites?
See the problem? If you stop and think, this is not a website problem. It’s a communication problem, which is why most advertising fails. The customer wants information and help and most communication fails to do that.
They load you with portfolio and with information about the company. It’s all about me, me, me. This primary reason causes more than 90% of all websites to be inefficient, useless and a waste of time.
It is also the prime reason why not many people make money off their website. If you start talking about YOU, no one is interested. To give out credible, useful information is the prime function of every communication piece. If almost everything on your website doesn’t answer the question What’s in it for me?, it’s definitely not worth the time of the customer.

What A Good Websites Does

1) It gives information, and builds credibility.
2) It builds the brand and allows you to earn off the brand.
3) It builds customer loyalty.
4) It allows customers to use it as a suggestion box. It’s not a perfect world and customers should be encouraged to let you know what can be fixed.
5) It should achieve basic marketing principles. It should be solving a problem and aimed at a specific target audience.
6) It should generate its own income like any profit centre. It should justify its reason for existing.

How To Create A Near Perfect Website

Consider these factors as important benchmarks for creating a website. If your website doesn’t do these things, you have to question, why not?
1) Revenue Generation
2) Data Collection
3) Information Source
4) Feedback and Complaints
5) Distribution
6) Reconstruction
7) Fan Club
8) Associated Tools
9) Meet the Basics of Communication

Show Me The Buckeroos!

While it’s all very fine to be a charitable institution, a website costs money. Which person or organization in their right sense would spend US$50 for no return? There would be questions to answer and heads would roll.
Yet, most organizations do just that. They spend anywhere from US$2,000 to US$50,000 on a website that will not generate any return.
We are not talking about straightforward e-commerce here. We are talking about a bigger brand issue and how you can use the brand to achieve the financial goals of the organization. The watchword should always be–Show me the money!
Yes, even schools, hospitals and other organizations can use their websites to make money, and then use the money for a good cause. Charity and good causes are all very fine, but everything costs money. If you can generate revenue, there is no reason on earth why you shouldn’t be doing so.

When You’re A Guru, Everyone Listens

It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it. Website design is not about design, it’s about thought process. Websites are but a tool to get information that builds the brand further. Articles and material that help the person browsing the site can achieve this.
Information isn’t about getting across what you want them to hear. It’s about asking them what they would like to have. This is endless. The customers’ needs keep changing and you must be able to have information that can excite and educate them. This also keeps the other audiences active.

Who Are Your Audiences?

A website imparting information appeals to two simultaneous audiences. It speaks to your current audience like a newsletter or brochure would and it also speaks to a potential audience.
While you are specifically targeting current clients, there is no reason why the information doesn’t impart knowledge to future clients, even potential employees.
There are a zillion bozos out there who are simply selling goods and services and not helping the customer in any way. If you help them and keep in touch with them, when the need arises, you will be first in line.

Clawing Your Way To The Top

This is also a good system to use when you want to capture business from competition. You don’t always have to be #1 with your client. If you don’t have the business, keep plugging at your #2 position and someday #1 will stumble. When that happens, you get an opportunity to move in. Don’t always look at everything as a sale situation. People have innate fears about change. Imparting good information marks you out as a credible, trustworthy source and their desire to work with you will go up as you keep giving them nuggets of useful information.

If You Don’t Do This, Drown Yourself

This is one of the most important and inexpensive tools to corner your target audience. If a person feels the connection and you lead them through the right steps, they will invariably feel the need to get more information.
If you aren’t collecting e-mail addresses off your website, then you’re missing out on the few people (or many as the case may be) that are really interested in your product or service.

How To Get The Data Off Your Customers

The only way to get them to part with their e-mail address is to first establish your credibility and then offer something in return. However, once you have their e-mail address and their permission, you can turn your website into a wonderful marketing machine as long as you don’t overdo it. People get tons of e-mail everyday and the junk goes out very quickly. The more useful your information is, the more chances you have of getting visitors to sign up. You can then use that information to market to that audience selectively. So make sure you’re collecting data or your website’s true potential becomes pretty dodgy.

Is Your Website Built For Complaints?

You build a car with all the features. You paint it black. The customer wants it red. You try to sell the black car and face resistance. You call the customer stupid and go on trying to promote your black car.
We all do this. We decide that’s what we need to promote. The customer on the other hand would like something else that fulfils their needs. We never stop to ask. Ever!
Every section of your website should have the ability to handle feedback that can then be incorporated within your website and other communication to give the customers what they need.
Feedback also allows you to stay ahead of your competition big time! Once the customers trust you and see changes in the website, they will be encouraged to give more important feedback that could change not just the website but even the working of the organization. Perception is everything, and you need to know at all times what the outside world perceives your organization to be. Once you have that data, it allows you to go ahead and make the changes you need.

Is Your Website Sitting In A Box?

How are you going to promote your website? While most websites rely on getting to the top of the search engines, you may not have that need. You may have a very specific targeted audience you want to reach. That audience would never search for your website online. They would have to know it, or never find it at all.
Companies print brochures and then make sure they go out. They build websites and it sits in the box undistributed. They hope, and this is a big hope, that someone will visit. It doesn’t happen. You have to figure out the distribution process as well, so that your website goes out to your target audience.

If It’s Worth Building, It’s Worth Renovating

Most organizations make changes to their business to keep competitive. Yet, they think nothing of keeping the website stagnant for 50+ years. (Ok, I’m exaggerating, but on the web 1 year= 10 normal years)
Expect change to be inevitable. The website should be constructed so that it’s easily changeable and updateable. It should also not require a degree in rocket science. You should be able to update it while you’re sitting at a cyber cafe in the Bahamas while sipping your Caribbean Punch!
Understand that it’s inevitable and, like all marketing tools, this tool should be reviewed at least every 6-12 months and changed or reconstructed to meet current customer demands.

Are You Signing Autographs Yet?

Most organizations survive on their fan club. People who love you so much, that they’re willing to talk about you to everyone in sight. Many organizations have clients that are well spread out.
The website can be used to keep that Fan Club together. It should be used as a networking tool as well. Most organizations ignore this fact.
If I love eating Indian curries, everyone else in that Indian currysection can be linked up to do business with each other. If they love your company or organization, they will reinforce each other about how great it is, plus they will do business with each other.
The more successful they get, the more it rubs off the organization and eventually, the more business you get to do with them because of their success.

Looking Beyond A Website

Too many people are taken up with the glamour of websites. Websites are just a fa├žade. You must understand the technology that drives business.
Do you have autoresponders? How do you use email? How do you track customers? How can you communicate with customers? How can you make sure your best customers keep coming back? All of these tools have nothing to do with the website itself. However, they need to be thought through every step of the way.

It’s The Psychology

If you want to build a website, or do a brochure or have any form of communication, understand the basics of psychology. We are all driven by similar needs and wants.
A Website Shouldn’t Be Deadline Driven. It Should Be NeedDriven
What’s the point of having an absolutely stunning website before deadline if it doesn’t do anything for the person viewing it. Too many people in organizations are caught up in their own ego of having a website up. It’s often not worth it.

Websites Aren’t For The Organization. They Are For The Customer

Websites are a marketing tool. Use the principles of marketing to build and promote them. That of course, means having a target audience. Having a problem you can solve. Flag off that problem and then provide a solution.
Yahoo might be the wonder of yesterday but is the one that gets the most converts. Yahoo is trying to be everything to everyone, Google isn’t. Don’t get lost in the hype of technology because everything on this planet is based on psychology and emotion.
Most websites have no objectives at all. They have no target audience. They are created because it’s fashionable to do so.
Dump the fashion. Understand the basics of internet marketing and communication. And if you don’t understand the basics, get someone who can! Otherwise you’re doing what a zillion websites across the world do-

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Mandrill Alternative - Email Transactional Service

Mandrill recently announced that they were eliminating their stand-alone offering and will be incorporating transactional email features into MailChimp’s flagship email marketing service. 
Zender is a Mandrill alternative for .NET developers looking for a transactional email provider.
Transactional email is the fundamental core of Zender business. Zender API is making it easy to reduce the impact of this change on Mandrill’s developer community. 
If you need an Email API for your transactional or marketing email you can access email delivery via  HTTP or SMTP APIs for free and you can send unlimited emails per day.
With Zender you can send transactional email messages to your users. Some examples of transactional emails include account setup emails, password reminder emails, purchase receipts, shipping notifications, etc.
Zender is great because of how easy it is to create new emails programmatically. You can use it to send emails from your application. Zender's API makes these changes easy and fast. The documentation is also really useful when trying to figure out new features.

Send Email Without SMTP Configuration

Zender is a free email delivery service, it is built as Web API to serve marketers & developers and make it easy to send email.
How to consume the Web API  
  1. First of all you need to install the package from Nuget. This package will add a reference to Zender.Mail in your .NET application. Zender.Mail is the client library that is built to consume Zender Web API (Alternatively, you can also download and add the Zender.Mail.dll ( reference manually): 
    PM> install-package Zender.Mail
  2. Get new API Key by registering your email in Zender
  3. The code to send a new email:
    ZenderMessage message = new ZenderMessage("Your zender API Key");
    MailAddress from = new MailAddress("");
    MailAddress to = new MailAddress("");
    message.From = from;
    message.Subject = "Welcome!";
    message.Body = "<p><b>Lorem ipsum</b> dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit.</p>";
    message.IsBodyHtml = true;
You can download the example source code from github