AOL Browser BETA - A Major Contender?Written by Pete Crewdson
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- Power Browsing: All in good fun, AOL serves up a series of "Power Browsing" methods, these include zooming in and out, highlighting links, listing all links on a specific page, mirrors and flips, and even changing to a high contrast version of page, which inverts style sheet!
- Built-in Desktop Search Facility: No more having to download a Google or Yahoo! add-on, new AOL browser comes complete with a built in desktop searching facility which indexes your hard-drive as you are browsing. It's not quite as competent as other desktop search utilities out there, but it gets job done, it finds what you want, and it couldn't be simpler to use.
And what features are still to come?
- AOL Smartbox: Find what you are looking for with this search facility. It will find, navigate and organise your search results for you, to make sure you get only most specific results for your search terms.
- Designer Skins: Completely customise your online experience by customising browser to fit your mood. Choose from a range of AOL designed skins, or make your own. Your browser, your choice!
For more on what AOL Browser beta has to offer, take a look at this page: http://beta.aol.com/aolbrowser/help.html
Could AOL Browser give Firefox an unwelcome challenge, or will it be fogged off like its predecessors? No specific date is set for a full launch, but AOL need to make their move now, whilst there's still a chance.
Pete is the owner of the Forfeit The Game Network, Forfeit The Game: A Linkin Park Fansite, and runs the Forfeit The Game Media Weblog - For all the latest Music, TV, Film, Computer and Internet and Sports articles.
10 Things Your Website Must DoWritten by Frank Cowell, CeM
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Consultations, Evaluations - Services companies can easily offer free consultations to qualified prospects. The consultations can take place via phone, email or in-person. Either way, you engage your prospects and start a dialogue with them! Sell with emotion and justify with logic.
You may be thinking that this one doesn't apply to you because your company does not sell products online, however, all companies have a 'sell' to make. Whether you are a consultant, lawyer, doctor, landscaper or any other type of service-oriented business, you must sell potential customers on why they should consider doing business with you. So how does one sell with 'emotion' and justify with 'logic'? Let's first explain why this is important.
When people decide to spend money, they do so based on how they think product or service will make them feel. For example, someone who buys a Volvo automobile likes feeling of safety and security. Safety and security are emotions. You must know which emotions your product or service cater to. When you know which emotions you must cater to, you can then use words and phrases that will resonate with your customer.
So if emotions are why people buy, then what is this other business about 'justifying with logic'? After a person has right 'feelings' about a purchase, a conversation starts to take place in their head. In this conversation, they convince themselves that they are making a good decision. Your job, after catering to right emotions, is to provide enough information so they will 'win' argument. Give benefit-related details about your product or service. Get specific with numbers, ratings, percentages, etc. The Volvo buyer buys because of safety and security but convinces themselves with data about specific safety rating, how many people have survived head-on collisions, number of airbags, etc.
Add a guarantee about your product/service and you will have all right ingredients to sell with pros!Use imagery of smiling, happy and successful people.
It's cliché and maybe a bit corny, but it's absolutely true. People want to be associated with happy, successful people. Images of business people looking very serious at a meeting table may look professional, but they do not inspire. If you sell products online, show happy people around your product. If you are a consultant, show your customers in front of their businesses or homes, smiling. If you are a landscaper, show your customers and their children enjoying their beautiful yards and gardens.
Some may think that this technique is for smaller businesses and that larger businesses shouldn't use this kind of artwork. Nonsense! Don't ever feel that by showing happy, smiling people somehow diminishes appearance of company size.Prominently post a phone number and contact information.
Post your contact information prominently on your site. If you can't incorporate contact information into your site's 'look and feel template', make sure link to page that contains this information is prominently displayed. There are too many websites on Internet that seem very anonymous because you don't know where they are or how to get in touch with them. This small bit of information will give potential customers a sense of security, knowing that they can easily get in touch with your company if they need to.Incorporate a professional, crisp and clean design.
This is a touchy subject. Some people love animated images, Flash, 'roll-over' menus and anything else that they think is 'cutting edge'. Web features such as these have their place, but should be used sparingly. Nobody will ever do business with you because you use these features and your competition doesn't. Nobody. Remember that web is most like experience of reading a magazine and not like watching TV. Keep your website design simple and clean and use these web features sparingly!
Promote and address privacy.
Nothing is more disappointing than completing a 'Contact Us' or 'Request More Information' form and not getting a call back in a timely manner. Worse yet, a large number of business, for whatever reason, completely ignore communication altogether! This negligence can completely undermine your credibility and a customer's confidence in web, in general. Make it a policy to religiously follow-up with visitors who contact you within 48 hours. A reply within 24 hours is recommended and even better. You should also consider employing technology to give an immediate automated response to people who complete these online forms. An automated reply coupled with a 24 hour personal reply will provide a sense of reliability about your company.
Frank Cowell is a Certified eMarketer (as certified by the International eMarketing Association) and President of Cowell eMarketing. Cowell eMarketing provides website and eCommerce solutions, eMail Marketing services and Search Engine Marketing services.