eMarketing Campaign Manager 16 March 2008Posted by Melissa Pack in Resources.
Tags: anti-spam, eMarketing Campaign Manager, Free Online Tools e-Course, marketing campaigns
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Today I completed the Free Online Tools e-Course. The final lesson was on the eMarketing Campaign Manager which is not free, but is extremely cheap.
The eMarketing Campaign Manager tool was used to manage the online lessons that I have been participating in. This tool allowed for these lessons to be written in advance and so that when I signed up they are automatically delivered to me.
The eMarketing campaign manager also allows individual emails to be sent to me, providing further information about products or services.
One great thing about this tool is that the system is anti-spam and also allows you to unsubscribe when you wish.
This tool is great for small businesses who want to manage information or marketing campaigns for their clients. It is also useful for signing up new customers.
It costs around $250USD per year but you can have unlimited lists or databases on the system.
Various Other Free Online Tools 9 March 2008Posted by Melissa Pack in Resources.
Tags: Business Cards, Free Online Tools e-Course, iStockphoto, Lulu, Royalty Free Photos, VistaPrint
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The 9th Free Online Tools e-Course focused on three different online tools.
It is important in any business to have a business card that advertises your latest product or service. It is possible to have business cards printed for free at VistaPrint as long as you are prepared to have their logo on the back of the card.
On Demand Books
It is possible to have your company’s services and products printed in a book to sell the existing or prospective clients. Instead of spending a fortune or publishing and printing the website Lulu can help you save on costs. It works like this….
1. You write your book.
2. You upload it to Lulu.
3. You decide if you want it to be an ‘e’, soft or hard cover.
4. You decide how much you want to charge for it.
5. Lulu will take a fee for printing the book & 20% of your profit.
Royalty Free Photos
The website iStockphoto provides royalty free photos, if you are wanting to find a variety of images to place on your company’s website or client presentations. The site has a free photo of the week that can be downloaded. Otherwise you can buy photos for $1USD which is relatively cheap!
Chat/Instant Messaging/VoIP 2 March 2008Posted by Melissa Pack in Resources.
Tags: Chat, Free Online Tools e-Course, Instant Messaging, Internet Protocols, VoIP
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Today I completed Lesson 7 of the Free Online Tools e-Course on Chat/Instant Messaging/VoIP.
Instant messaging or IM is a form of real-time communicating with two or more people through typed text.
Chat is virtually the same thing, where instant communicating can take place online through typed text.
Voice over Internet Protocols the sending of voice conversations over the Internet or through any other IP-based network.
All three of these tools are becoming increasingly popular as they are free. They provide a quick, easy and cost-effective method to communicate.
The most popular of these is Skype as it is ‘not only IM, but an amazing use of Voice over the Internet (VoIP) to provide free calls from computer to computer’.
Podcasts 17 February 2008Posted by Melissa Pack in Resources.
Tags: Audacity, audio, Free Online Tools e-Course, Podcast Alley, Podcasts, visual
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I completed the 5th Free Online Tools e-Course on Podcasts today. A podcast is digital file that is distributed over the Internet for playback on portable media (Mp3) players and personal computers.
Podcasts involve recording either audio or video material for other people to listen to when they want and where they want. They are extremely useful in a society where people are constantly on the go.
Podcasts are the perfect way to get your message heard and all you need is a computer and microphone to record one. Once you have finished recording you can post your podcast on several websites. You can use podcasts to market your own business messages or those of your clients. You can also search for other peoples podcasts and listen to the information that they have recorded.
I checked out the free podcast software Podcast Alley whee you can search for topics and download them easily onto your computer. One of the most popular programs for recording podcasts is Audacity. This program is easy to use and most importantly free!
Online Discussion Forums 13 February 2008Posted by Melissa Pack in Resources.
Tags: Discussion Forums, Forums, Free Online Tools e-Course, Online, Online Discussion Forums, portBB, Quick Topic
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Today I completed the fourth Free Online Tools e-Course on Online Discussion Forums. In recent times, Online Discussion Forums have been significantly overlooked due to the increasing popularity of blogs and wikis.
An Online Discussion Forum is a facility on the World Wide Web for holding discussions with others. Ideas can be posted allowing readers to respond and share their ideas. Forums can be either moderated, where comments must be approved for people to read them or unmoderated, where comments appear as they are posted on the forum.
Online Discussion Forums can be a useful tool for small businesses. Businesses that are involved with industries that are constantly changing may find it useful to create a forum where their clients can discuss topics of interest.
I had a look at the free Online Forum software Quick Topic. This software is easy to use when creating and managing an online discussion forum. If you are up for a challenge take a look at portBB software that is little more complicated but contains many more features.
It is clear that discussion forums are an easy alternative to those who may not be ready to use a blog or wiki!
Wikis 11 February 2008Posted by Melissa Pack in Resources.
Tags: Blogging, Online Tools eCourse, Wetpaint, Wiki, wiki software, Wikis, Wikispaces
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Today I completed the third Free Online Tools eCourse on ‘Wiki’s’. A wiki is a web space that can be public or private, where you can collaborate with others.
In recent times, wikis have progressed significantly and there are now some very nice solutions that give you a lot of functionality. Similar to blogging, you do not need programming skills to be able to use a wiki.
Using wikis in small or large businesses prove to be time effective as they are a great way to share files without having to email files back and forth. Wikis also allow you to work with your customers, allowing them to place their input directly in to projects that you are working on for them.
It is also possible to create a public wiki, where you can create a profile for yourself as you would on a blog.
There is a variety of free wiki software that can be downloaded. A popular one, and also the one that I had a look at is Wikispaces, this software proves easy to use. If you are feeling a bit more adventurous have a look at Wetpaint which includes a few more features.
Blogs 6 February 2008Posted by Melissa Pack in Resources.
Tags: Blogging, Blogs, Online Tools, Online Tools eCourse, WordPress
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I completed the second topic ‘Blogs’ on the Free Online Tools eCourse today. Blogging (short for web log) has become one of the most popular online tools that provide people with ‘freedom of speech’ in promoting their own ideas. However, blogs also allow small businesses to raise their profile and promote their expertise through the posting of relevant and useful information – just like this one!
The purpose of a blog is to provide a commentary on a particular issue or topic that readers can comment on. The typical format of a blog contains text, images, links to other blogs, and web pages. Blogs are ideal for small businesses as they allow your products and services to be marketed to readers through the information that you provide in your posts. The key to blogging is posting information that is useful so that people will continue to read what you write.
Blogs can be set up quickly and easily through free blog software. I used the free software WordPress which provides many features when it comes to creating and personalising your own blog.
Should you hire a PR agency? 12 September 2007Posted by Catriona Pollard in Resources.
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A public relations campaign can help your business enormously and it doesn’t have to be expensive. You basically have two choices when it comes to a PR campaign: you can either do it yourself or hire a public relations agency.
Assuming you can afford it, and assuming the agency is reputable, you can gain much by working with a PR agency.
An agency may be able to pinpoint those aspects of your business which would make it interesting to various publications, for instance. It can also allow you to focus on your day-to-day operations, and handle much of the work involved in running an efficient campaign.
Of course, there are disadvantages to using an agency, as well. First, it can cost quite a bit. You may be too small to justify the expense of using a PR agency.
Second, you will lose some control over your promotional efforts. Although the agency can do a great deal of work toward promoting your business, you do need to stay involved in the whole promotional process.
Even with these possible disadvantages, however, if you do not feel that you have the time and skill to organise a successful publicity campaign, it is better for you to seek competent, professional advice than to fumble with your public relations efforts.
Once you have decided to hire an agency to handle your public relations, you must determine which agency will provide the best service for your account.