Ikea’s Basement and Your Attitude of Service

Reading business books or getting a business education can seem a bit like browsing through the downstairs part of Ikea.  Your senses are overloaded by all that interesting stuff. So you end up filling your cart with rugs and glasses and can openers – when all you came in for was a Poang chair. Big shock…

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4 Keys to Business Success after Labor Day

At time of year, many of us press the reset button. Seems like New Year 's Day all over again, except with more school buses. So I thought it would be a good time to look at some fundamentals – the four big things that make the difference between success and just grinding along. As…

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Will You Live Longer Than Facebook?

Will you live longer than Facebook?  That was the interesting question posed by comedian Baratunde Thurston on a radio interview I heard last week.  Barantude is no stranger to social media. He tweets, he Foursquares and he posts to Facebook.  And he also has an email list. As it says on his website - Yes, Email!  Here's the point…

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Meet Dulci! The eggs with a newsletter…with a goat

Have you seen the box of eggs that come with their own newsletter? Back in 2009, I wrote about The Country Hen, the egg producer that puts a newsletter in every box of eggs.  I'm pleased to say, the eggs still come with a newsletter. As you can see in these images, this winter we…

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Two More Ways to Boost Response to Your Newsletter

Today I want to share two easy ways to boost response to your newsletter. They are both being employed by one of my clients, an insurance agency in Hobe Sound, Florida. Indeed, one of the ideas was his. The secret behind both ideas is this: Relevance. Make your newsletter relevant to your readers and you…

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Business Owner on a Wire

Have you seen Man on a Wire? The docu-movie about a guy who decides (and succeeds) to walk a tightrope between the two towers of the World Trade Center. It's a fascinating movie. It kept me entertained on a long transatlantic flight a few months ago. Anthony Tjan reminded me how the movie is also…

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One way to put video in your newsletter

I was at Infusionsoft's annual user conference in Scottsdale last week, and a straw poll among the audience found that people were split 50-50 over whether they preferred reading text or watching videos online (particularly when it came to sales websites). What's clear is that you cannot afford to ignore video when half your audience…

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What matters now

Ideas are like food. Eat a few of them at breakfast and fuel yourself up for the day. So here's a way to fuel up for the week. Maybe for the rest of the month. Today I came across a free ebook, called What Matters Now. It's made up of (very) short articles by some…

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Print newsletters and Canada’s second currency

OK, let me get the wisecracks about the title of this post over with right away – in case I lose my residency in Ontario. No, Canada's second currency isn't the US dollar. And it's not the euro either, as an earnest store associate suggested to a friend last week in upstate New York. "Would…

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‘Bore me and I block you’ – how to make your newsletters interesting

About a year ago I got really into Twitter. Maybe a little too much into it. Huge timesuck. I'm still on it, but I ration myself. Now I waste time on Facebook. But I tell yer – it's rough and tough in the Twitterverse! Some people on there really work it. They post many times…

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The Vatican’s Astronomer

If you read the title of this post, you might have had the same two questions that popped into my head when I first heard about the Vatican's astronomer. First, I didn't know that the Vatican had an astronomer. And second: What is the Vatican doing with an astronomer anyway? Then maybe you had a…

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Arrogant newspapers, upstarts in t-shirts, and the practice of resilience

If I owned stock in one of GPS companies – like Garmin or Magellan – I'd be crying into my cup holders right now. Why? Because Google has moved into the neighborhood with a better, cooler sat nav system for cell phones. Oh, and it's free. Notice how this kind of thing seems to happen…

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Worst Parking Job and a ‘Random Act of Kindness’

At risk of sounding like one of those annoying people who bombard you with links to funny and cute stuff they've found around the Internet that you've "just gotta see…" …. Well, you've just gotta see the video at the bottom of this post. But don't go there yet. Here's the story. A security video…

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The Day of the Dead

The cemeteries of Spain will be busy today. I've always found Iberian graveyards curious places. I never visited one when I was living there, but I saw many from the outside. You see, in Spanish cemeteries, many graves are set in high walls. The dead are stacked on top of each other, with stones marking…

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30 Days in November, 30 Interesting Messages

Want to take part in an interesting experiment? Want to see me potentially humiliate myself in front of thousands? I've been challenged by copywriter John Fancher to hone my email writing skills. He has pledged to create one auto-responder message each day. What is an autoresponder? It's computer software that automatically sends emails to your…

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Why I’m Not Making ‘Newsletters’ Anymore

Listen up. I’m not making "newsletters" anymore. Let me tell you why. I guess I was bored. And I was boring. I was embarrassed when people asked me what I did for a living. “I make newsletters for real estate agents and other people,” I would tell the ground. Then silence. Well, there isn’t anything…

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How Repeat Customers Add Thousands in Income

Here is a chart that every business owner should print out and paste above their desk. What does this chart show? The bottom line shows the cumulative income of a business that has zero repeat customers. The higher line shows the cumulative income of a business that has 20% of its customers returning. Interesting, isn't…

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Give Before You Take: the Art of Nurturing Leads

So much of business is common sense, it pains me to write about it. Yet so much that business owners do goes against simple common sense that…well… I guess I just have to point out the obvious. Here's today's topic: give before you take. Imagine you meet someone for the first time and they say,…

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How to Use a Newsletter to Position a Neighborhood Bar as a Community Hub

I was was chatting on Twitter this week about what you would put in neighborhood bar's newsletter. I said (in 140 characters or less, of course) that it's about positioning the bar as a community hub. After all, that's the role of many neighborhood bars. They're the place where everyone knows your name. So that's…

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How to Use a Newsletter to Prove that a ‘Commodity’ Product Can Be Special

Here's a fascinating case study from a company that sends out a newsletter in every box of eggs it produces. Yes, eggs that come with their own newsletter. I'll give you what I see as the big takeaway first: You might think that eggs is eggs. But, as we're told, some eggs are better than…

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