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  • Create emails inside Gmail with our drag & drop editor
  • Build mailing lists to target your Google contacts
  • Track emails & content to measure performance

How to use Google Hangouts as a free webinar service

If you’ve thought about offering your customers or prospects a webinar you might want to take a look at Google Hangouts.

Google Hangouts is not only a good solution for delivering product trainings with customers but it’s a great way to engage business prospects and move them closer to becoming a customer.

Hangouts is great (or I should say getting better) because it’s free unlike other webinar services that charge $50, $100 or more per month.

While Hangouts may be missing some of the bells and whistles of the true webinar services, like Goto Webinar,  I think the social aspect and delivery mechanism offers much more.

Probably the biggest value-add I like is that you can stream your Hangout live (and afterwards) via YouTube and it can be embed it in any website without requiring your audience to download and install any additional software

The fact that it’s also integrated into the Google+ community gives you an instance audience if you are up for doing some outreach.

Here’s an example of a Hangout I attended recently.

You don’t have to watch all of it but you’ll get the idea of what a Hangout / webinar can be.

While you may not have the know-how about doing a Hangout quite this polished you can do one that is equally effective for you in it’s own way.

I would suggest these steps:

  1. Decide on a subject matter, content to present and set a date to host the Hangout (make it about a month in the future so you have time to organize things and generate attendees).
  2. Set up your Hangout page. This is where people will view your webinar at the given time.
  3. Invite your audience (customers, prospects etc) via email to your Hangout page where they can “register” (Flashissue lets you create a nice looking invite and provides a way to send it out via Gmail to your Google contacts).
  4. Host your Hangout at the designated time
  5. Follow up with attendees via email after.
  6. Embed your recored Hangout in your website (good SEO) or use it as a marketing content in the future.

Google has recently made a push on Hangouts to make it a more business useful service. The guys at GoogleGuru explain this well:

While Hangouts may not be for everyone, I think it has a good value prop and in many ways makes the costly existing webinar service look very old school.

 

 

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How to find the link URL in a Facebook Post

Today I was asked by one of our customers how to find the link URL in a Facebook Post.

They wanted the URL so they could add the post to their email newsletter using the Flashissue curation feature.

What seemed a simple request turned out to be much more difficult since Facebook does not make it obvious where to find the URL for post.

  1. Go to your Facebook page e.g. https://www.facebook.com/FlashIssue
  2. Click the Date Stamp of the post you want to find the URL for
  3. The post will load as it’s own page and you can copy the URL e.g. https://www.facebook.com/FlashIssue/posts/928107223872038

 

Finding Facebook page URL

facebook page url

Once you have the Facebook page URL you can plug it into Flashissue and drag it into your email.

 

paste facebook page url

If you are using the Flashissue Chrome extension you can clip the Facebook page URL for a faster way to get it in your email:

clip a facebook link url

drag the clipped facebook post url

 

What’s more annoying is that there is no way to find an RSS feed for all your posts on a Facebook page. It looks like Facebook once offered this but withdrew it because it was being abused.

For the moment, you need to be satisfied with pulling individual posts as pages..

 

 

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How to use Craig’s List for free customer research

Getting people to give feedback on your idea or product can be daunting.

Look no further than the free classifieds. You can use Craig’s List for free customer research.

  1. Post an ad on Craig’s List asking for help to solve your issue*
  2. Funnel respondents into a survey – Use Google Form‘s as a free option.
  3. Gather and anlyze your responses. Tweak and repeat if necessary.

*In a decent sized city you’ll typically get 200 or so responses.

Using Craig’s List for free customer research was just one of the suggestions from the Google Entrepreneur Hang Out about “Lean Design Meets Design Thinking”.

Watch the discussion here:

Your customers can rarely  tell you what they want until they taste it i.e. they don’t really know what they want.

The Spaghetti Sauce story:

Another good read on the topic of researching ideas quickly and with minimum resource can found from @techrepublic on Can User Experience Designers Be Lean?

 

 

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Where am I going wrong in business?

Have you recently asked yourself “where am I going wrong?”.

Failure is a necessary part of business but are you failing unnecessarily?

I want to share with you a blog post I wrote for Marketingprofs.com. It gives a perspective as to why you might be driving a stake through the heart of your business and how to fix it.

Phil Hill – CEO & Founder.

Are You Unsuccessfully Copying Other Marketers’ Successes?

where am i going wrong in business

You’re probably inflicting a slow painful death on your business with well-intentioned marketing initiatives—and not even knowing you’re doing so.

The root cause of the problem is something called “replication-remorse,” and it’s similar to buyer’s remorse. Those shoppers are regretful of their purchases in the cold light of day.

As business people, we suffer our own painful regret when we try and emulate the success of others by copying (“replicating”) what they did.

Most of us try to “replicate,” and most of us fail. Are you one of the addicted to replicating?

[Read Full Article]

 

 

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In case you haven’t noticed yet, Flashissue has officially launched its Gmail Template Gallery.

This new update comes with themed templates and a bunch of new features. You can preview templates, move columns, change links, insert texts and images, and save your own template design. These new features will help you get even more creative with your email designs.

Here’s how to get started:

 

view-template-gallery-sm.png

  1. From the Editor tab Click New Email

  2. Select your template from the Gmail Template Gallery

  3. Edit the template by clicking on any content block

  4. Add a new content block (bottom of edit screen)

  5. Add blog content from the gallery

  6. Rearrange blocks by dragging them

  7. Save your email as new template > click Design button > Save As > name template > Save

You can save your newly created template and use it in the future. Whenever you want to access it just click on “My Templates” in the Gmail Template Gallery and it should be there and ready for you to use.

The “Getting Started” video is just the tip of the iceberg. There is much more you can do now with this new update. Here are some more instructional videos on how you can replace an image, a link, text, and  save or update your own customized template from the Gmail Template Gallery feature on Flashissue.

How to replace an image:

  1. Open template

  2. Double click the image to replace and record the image dimensions (on a piece of paper)

  3. Close the dialog box

  4. Delete the image using Backspace on your keyboard

  5. Click the Images button to add a new image

  6. Use one of the image options to find you image

  7. Click the Crop button

  8. Enter the image dimensions you noted down from step 2

  9. Reposition the frame on the image (do not alter it’s size)

  10. Click Apply

  11. Click Save

  12. Your new image will appear in the email.

How to change a link:

  1. Click the Edit button for the content block containing the link

  2. Double click the link

  3. Enter your URL for the link

  4. Click OK

  5. Click Save

How to change texts:

  1. Click Edit on the Content Block containing the text.

  2. Click on the text and enter you own new text

  3. Click Save

How to save and update your template:

  1. Create your email – start with one of our templates from the gallery as base or use one of your Drafts.

  2. Click the Design button on the top bar of the editor

  3. Select Save As New or Save (to update an existing template)

  4. Name your template and Save

  5. Access your templates from the gallery

Gmail Template Gallery brings new features to the Flashissue product giving it more variety and options for you to enjoy. Customize what images, texts, and links you use to better fit the audience of your newsletters. Get more creative with your emails and start using the Gmail Template Gallery today.

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Create A Business Email for Gmail

Creating an email address for your business is a great way to make yourself look more professional when sending an email.

Example:

20140610_120554

Despite this it can be tedious to figure out how to do it on you own. Luckily Google makes it a lot more simpler than you think. Here are 10 steps that will guide you to your own personalized business email address with Gmail.

1. Start Creating a Google Apps for Business Account
Go to the Google Apps for Business homepage and click “Get Started”.

2. Enter Your Domain Name
After creating an account you will be asked for a domain name. You can either use a
domain you already have or you can purchase one with Google.

3. Create Your Login
Create your username and password. Then accept the Terms and Conditions to finish
creating your account.

4. Verify the Domain Name
Click “Start Setup” and then click “ Verify Domain”. A popup will ask you to contact
a domain host.  Click “no”. DO NOT CLICK THE “X” BUTTON. It will close the verification
process and you will have to start over.

5. Select Your Domain Host
You will then be asked to select your domain host to verify the name.Select “Other” from
the drop down box and click “Begin Verification”. Then choose “Alternative Methods” and
select “HTML file upload”. Follow the steps given by Google. The first step is to download
generated verification file.  DO NOT CLICK “VERIFY”.

6. Open a New Tab
Login into your DNS provider’s domain management dashboard.

7. Edit DNS Record for Your Domain
Upload the downloaded verification file to your DNS records. Follow the steps given
by your domain host.

8. Confirm and Verify
Go back to the Google tab you were previously on and confirm the upload by clicking on
the link Google provides in their third step. Then click “Verify”. You have now verified your
domain.

9. Add Gmail MX Files to Your Domain
Go to the Google Apps’ dashboard and choose the option to use Google’s servers and
copy the MX Records. Copy these records into your domain’s MX records.

10. You’re Finished.
You should now have your own Google business email address with Gmail.

 

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The Ultimate World Cup Game for your office & friends (download)

World-cupp

It’s World Cup time so it’s time to have some fun.

Download this spreadsheet and to start playing.

We recommend posting it to your Google Drive and then sharing it with the people you want in the game. Players can open the spreadsheet, click on one of the Player tabs and enter their name and game predictions (avoid the tabs already in use by other players).

world cup soccer

It’s also suggested that you change the name of the tab in the sheet to match you name so people know to select another tab.

As admin you will enter the scores of the real games as they happen on the Actual scores tab.

All tables and standing will automatically update to show the leaders.

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3 steps to write a 3 line sales email that closes business

Here’s 3 simple steps to write a 3 line sales email that closes business.

  1. Keep it brief (1 line intro / 1 line purpose / 1 line call to action)
  2. Keep it “unfancy”. Making it look like a regular email from Gmail.
  3. Add some subtle  branding to create an impact even if the recipient does not respond.

Yesterday, I attended an online webinar from MarketingProfs called 10 Steps on Planning a Webinar (learn what a webinar is here) and afterwards I received a good 3 line sales email from the host.

best 3-line sales email.

This email has all the elements of a good sales email. The Subject line had a good context for me because i remembered attending the webinar the day before. It’s also good to note that this follow up sales email was not sent immediately after the webinar, it arrived 12 hours later which gave me time to digest the webinar content.

Even though the email came from an email marketing platform – I can see by looking at the email ‘from’ address – it had the appearance that it was a personal email sent by this guy Gregg from his Gmail account.

Email sales tip: even if you have a fancy email platform you do not need to dress up the email too much.

You can download a template of a 3 line sales email here and use Flashissue to send and track it through your Gmail account.

 

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What is a webinar?

What is a webinar?

A webinar is an online web conference that allows people from remote locations to connect as a group using their computer, phone or tablet.

Think of a webinar as an online presentation or discussion, that normally involves a single presenter relaying content on a specific topic to a group of people.

what is a webinar

Webinars may have the following purpose:

Most webinars in business are offered for the simple reason to build better relationships with customers and sell more product or services

  1. To highlight a product or product feature (marketing driven)
  2. To educate broadly on a topic (education)
  3. To facilitate a discussion around a topic (discussion).

Once you’ve answered what is a webinar, you may want to know how to host a webinar.

To host a webinar you’ll need to use an online service. This service will allow you to invite people at a specific time to attend your webinar where you can provide the following:

  1. Show online slides to the group (presentation)
  2. Listen to the speaker via you phone or computer (conferencing)
  3. Chat with the presenter and / or other participants (chat)

If you want to host a webinar here are some popular webinar services:

  1. Google Hangouts (good for more informal webinars) – Free
  2.  Fuze, Goto Webinar or Adobe Connect (small business webinars) – Paid $20-$50/month
  3. On24 (enterprise webinars) – Paid

After hosting a webinar it’s a good idea to follow up with an email using an email marketing service to encourage attendees towards your webinar goal. Here’s a good example of a sales email:

3 line sales email

 

 

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3 tricks to creating blog (and email) content that made $20,000

Email marketing can be time consuming and daunting. The biggest comment I hear from Flashissue customers is “I don’t have time to do it and in any case I don’t know what to write”.

Creating blog content and email marketing is a marriage made in heaven. Once you create a blog post you have something to email to your audience – like this email – and you get the benefits of traffic to your blog site when the search engines pick up your post.
Here’s how accomplished online marketer Walter Chen does it:

 

By: Walter Chen originally posted on Shopify ecommerce University

My mantra to blogging that made $20,000: Remix, Reuse, and Republish.

For the last three months, I’ve been focused on one question: How do I publish at least one high quality article every single day that will increase sales?

In learning how to answer that question, I sold $20,000 of my product (iDoneThis) with content marketing alone. I’m going to share with you the 3 tricks to blogging that I learned over the last three months – all of these strategies can be easily applied to your ecommerce business. My mantra is simple: remix, reuse, and republish.

1. Don’t create content, remix “de-risked” content.

I used to fall into the trap of thinking that every time I sat down to write a blog post, I had to rewrite Ulysses from scratch. That meant that I usually just stared at my screen, unable to write down a single word.

Leo Widrich of Buffer advises the exact opposite approach: “Copy the hell out of others.” While you should never steal another person’s writing, you should always look at what content has been successful in your area and mimic it while making it your own.

I wrote a blog post that over 30,000 people read in less than an hour using Leo’s technique. My product, iDoneThis, helps make people and teams more productive. So I knew that I wanted to write a blog post about personal productivity. Instead of racking my brain for ideas, I took to Hacker News, a popular link-sharing site, and searched “productivity”.

The two links that got by far the most attention were: Marc Andreessen’s Guide to Personal Productivity and Jerry Seinfeld’s Productivity Secret. I pulled out one interesting tip from Andreessen’s guide on how he stays productive and made that interesting nugget an entire blog post. Then I played on the title of the successful Seinfeld post by calling my article, “Marc Andreessen’s Productivity Trick to Feeling Marvelously Efficient.”

I had no doubt that people would love my post because the content had already been de-risked. Sure enough, tens of thousands of people read, shared, and learned a valuable productivity technique from the article.

2. Reuse, reuse, reuse: One successful blog post is another successful blog post that’s yet to be written.

Writing just one blog post that strikes a chord with your audience is a huge accomplishment. Given how hard it is to write a single blog post that tens of thousands of people love, I used to feel paralyzed by the huge challenge of writing yet another post.

Then I began to wonder, had every single one of my potential customers seen my blog post? Wouldn’t that snippet of knowledge that I’d shared also be useful and interesting to people who weren’t on the receiving end of the distribution channels that I’d initially used?

This is how I began to realize that if I wrote just one successful blog post, I had the seeds to write many more successful blog posts.

For example, I wrote this blog post for my company blog: Silicon Valley’s Productivity Secret, which over 40,000 people read, but I struggled for months afterwards to write another post that would achieve comparable success. I started to think I was a one-hit wonder.

That’s when I realized that there were many people out there that hadn’t read that one hit. I rewrote the article, condensing the originally longer narrative post into an easily digestible, useful “tips” post. It was published on Business Insider as 4 Secrets To Silicon Valley’s Productivity where over 2,000 people read it:

The best part about all of this? It took less than an hour to write. As this process becomes more and more natural, you’ll produce content that’s of higher quality because it will become more and more refined around what’s interesting about the article. And remember, it’s absolutely vital that you never unexpectedly give a publisher content that has been published elsewhere, because that will make your contact look foolish and that channel will likely be closed to you.

3. Republishing creates leverage – It’s like creating clones of yourself.

The deeper I got into this content game, the more I noticed how professional content publishers leveraged the techniques I described above. Buzzfeed and Business Insider are two publishers that have elevated content remixing to an art form.

When I was browsing around Business Insider one day, I was surprised to discover that much of their content is actually republished content from other publishers. In turn, Business Insider articles are also republished on other sites.

I had an idea: even though my company iDoneThis was not in the content publishing game, wouldn’t it be awesome if the iDoneThis blog could get in on this republishing game plan? Then I wouldn’t have to remix or reuse articles, and they would automatically get republished for broader consumption.

I pitched the contributors editor at Business Insider with a simple value proposition. I have 5 articles that 10,000+ people have read, and I’m producing more high quality content every single day. Do you want my valuable, de-risked content for free?

She said yes, and now our best articles go on to Business Insider regularly, which helps spread the word about what we’re doing at iDoneThis to thousands of people every day, and I don’t have to lift a finger.

Conclusion: More content, more community, more profit.

Content helps you stand out from the fray, creates communities and trust in your voice, improves search optimization, and gets the word out and people in the door, whether that’s a virtual or brick-and-mortar door.

Use the remix, reuse, and republish strategy to leverage the existence of great original content and your resources to maximize the ability to pique people’s interest to click, try, and buy, and understand who you are and what you do.

Walter Chen is the CEO and founder of iDoneThis, an easy way for companies to track and celebrate what’s getting done. He blogs about productivity, management, and starting a company on the iDoneThis Blog. Follow him on Twitter at @smalter.

Don’t forget your quickest way to create email newsletters in Gmail is Flashissue.

 

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