Tag Archives: Using

Is Your Accounting Practice Using an Obsolete Email Solution? You Could be Surprised

It’s 4:30 – and you decide you want your husband to buy some wine for dinner. You write “Pick up wine” on a piece of paper, roll it up, strap it to one of your pigeons, and send him flying out the window toward home. There.

 

It sounds ridiculous – but if you use Microsoft Outlook for your email, you might as well communicate with your spouse through carrier pigeon.

 

Yes – it’s that out of date.

 

Let me show you how to easily save 10 hours of productivity each month by simply switching from Outlook to a web-based email solution like Gmail.

 

Problems with Outlook

 

In the computer technology timeline, Outlook is very old. The technology is outdated; the program simply was not built to accommodate a high volume of messages and the size of today’s email attachments.

 

Here are some problems you might have with Outlook that drain your productivity:

 

Your messages pile up – you try to spend time organizing them into folders but you’re still always behind. (est. time lost – 1 hr/wk)
The search function is slow and cumbersome – and the results are often so bloated that you still squander time sifting through messages. (est. time lost – .5 hr/wk)
You can’t view appointments on your calendar with your smartphone or other mobile device. (est. time lost – .5 hr/wk)
You get “Cannot Connect to Server” and other error messages. These come from problems configuring Outlook and they hinder your ability to send and receive emails. (est. time lost – .5 hr/mo)
You struggle with initial setup and reconfiguration challenges. If you’re not a techie, making sure your settings are correct and updated is frustrating and time-consuming. (est. time lost – 1 hr/mo)

 

A Better Solution

You can now send and recieve email through the Gmail interface using your own domain name using a relatively unknown service called Google Apps. Gmail is 100% web-based, and this saves you time, money, and frustration…

 

Less Expensive: If you use Outlook, you’re most likely paying for IT support, Exchange hosting, or email accounts through GoDaddy or another domain registrar. In contrast, Gmail is absolutely free.

 

Easier: With Gmail and other Web-based email solutions, your inbox looks the same no matter where you access it – and you can do so from any computer or mobile device with an Internet connection. Plus, the outstanding search feature allows you to quickly find any email in seconds. Much better than sorting in Outlook.

 

And because the software is all online – “in the cloud” – you don’t wrestle with installing software or keeping track of updates.

 

Saves Time: Gmail saves time, too, with keyboard shortcuts. These allow you to compose, answer, and organize your email without ever having to take your hands off the keyboard.

 

Furthermore, Gmail groups emails into conversations. Instead of getting a new email each time someone replies to a message, all replies are displayed with the original thread. This cuts way down on the number of messages to wade through in your inbox.

 

Safer: Gmail is backed up on fully redundant servers. If a virus infects your computer, if a hurricane strikes your office, if any disaster compromises your computer – your email remains perfectly secure.

 

Don’t Use Pigeons – Use Gmail!

 

Take advantage of current technology. Stop using Outlook – an old email solution – and go with a Web-based email service. When you do, you increase productivity and eliminate time-consuming and frustrating problems.

Brian O’Connell is the owner and founder of CPA Site Solutions, one of the country’s leading edge website design businesses dedicated exclusively to accounting websites. His firm at present provides websites for more than 4000 CPA, accounting, bookkeeping, and tax preparation firms.

Using CPA Networks to Boost Affiliate Marketing

Trends come and go in affiliate marketing, but one trend that seems to be sticking around is the CPA Network. Also known as cost-per-action, pay-per-action and cost-per-acquisition, CPA is a proving to be more cost effective and reliable than many of the pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns that have monopolized affiliate marketing in the past.

The reason for the success and popularity of CPA Networks? It’s the fact that merchants and website owners do not have to pay for advertising unless it benefits their business in some way. Much different from pay-per-click campaigns in which the merchant pays for a click on a link whether it brings about a sale or productive site visit or not, CPA networks are based on performance marketing. This type of marketing means that merchants only pay the affiliate webmasters (also known as publishers) when a desired action takes place.

Desired actions or acquisitions may include a download from a website, a site registration, newsletter sign-up or a product purchase. Regardless of the action, the idea with CPA is that the merchant is seeing an actual benefit to his/her business. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case with PPC campaigns, which is why too many Internet marketers experience PPC draining their bank accounts rather than filling them.

CPA networks provide an alternative to paying for ads upfront and are great options for marketers who are starting out with little funds to contribute to advertising efforts. It can be discouraging for a new Internet marketer to find that advertising expenses are more than profits. In fact, many new business owners give up when they experience this scenario. But with the performance-based marketing innate in CPA Networks, business owners can be certain that they only pay when they see real results.

In order to get involved in CPA, you will need to join a CPA Affiliate Marketing Network. These networks offer a way for you to benefit from CPA while having a middle-man (the network) doing the work for you. For example, the network serves as a liaison between merchants and affiliate webmasters, looking out for the best interests of each in order to achieve ultimate success with advertising efforts. By ensuring the right ads are placed on the right websites, the networks benefit both merchants and webmasters and make the relationship lucrative for each.

While there are many existing CPA networks online, it makes sense to be selective before you join a network. Learn as much as you can about the network, the businesses and websites that are network members as well as the network’s track record for success. Research, just like in any area of Internet marketing, really pays off when you are deciding the right CPA network for your business.

CPA networks are proving to be more than another Internet marketing fad. What’s more, they are nearly risk-free, as you only have to pay once your business has experienced results. This makes CPA networks one affiliate marketing trend to follow.

For more information on CPA Networks and affiliate marketing visit TheWebReviewer.

Grow Your CPA Firm Using Killer Marketing Materials

Truth be told, you don’t have to be an award winning copywriter to create effective marketing materials for your CPA practice. I found out a number of years back that even the “pros” use templates to create ads and sales letters that get results.

Before I share my template, it is important to first understand some of the objections that may be going on in the mind of the prospect whenever they see your advertising. You will want to make sure the marketing piece you create overcomes these objections.

These objections could include:

• You don’t understand my problem.
• How do I know you are qualified?
• I don’t believe you.
• I don’t need it right now.
• It won’t work for me.
• What happens if I don’t like it?
• I can’t afford it.

Here is my 12-point template to follow to create effective material pieces:

1) Get attention

If the headline doesn’t catch the prospect’s attention, the rest of the letter will not be read. Here’s an example of a good headline: “Some Small Business Owners Pay A Lot More Tax Than Others; Will You Pay Too Much In 2009?”

2) Identify the problem

After you have gotten the reader’s attention, you need to gain their interest by spelling out their problem. The reader should say to themselves “yeah, that’s exactly how I feel” when he or she reads your sales letter. This technique in the marketing world is called “problem – agitate.”

3) Provide the solution

In this section, you will introduce yourself and your services. You position yourself as the solution to their problem.

4) Present your credentials

This is the time and opportunity to toot your own horn. A few things you may consider to put here are the length of time you have been in this area of expertise, as well as important awards or recognition.

For myself, I talk about my credentials, including the fact that I am author of a book and a list of magazines I have appeared in.

5) Show the benefits

Help your prospects understand what they will gain from your services.

6) Give social proof

Provide testimonials from real clients as evidence that your claims are true.

7) Make your offer

Have a specific offer-more specific than your general services.

8) Give a guarantee

Guarantees help overcome the objection “What if it doesn’t work?”

9) Inject scarcity

Make sure the reader understands this offer isn’t going to be available forever. This helps to encourage them to take action now.

10) Call to action

Tell prospects clearly and specifically what to do in order to take you up on your offer.

11) Give a warning

What will the prospects miss out on if they don’t take action now?

12) Close with a reminder

Sure, twelve steps are a little more work than slapping down your name, address, and phone number in an image ad. But if you are serious about growing your CPA practice, it is important to implement effective CPA marketing techniques.

From hereon, whenever you want to create effective CPA firm marketing materials, follow the 12-point template that I have just shared with you.

Salim Omar, the CPA Marketing Genius, is a practicing CPA and founder of the Genius CPA Marketing System, the step-by-step system that shows you how to attract more clients to your CPA practice and increase your income without working more. To receive your FREE Audio CD titled “12 Marketing Secrets – How To Attract Quality Clients”, visit CPA Marketing Genius

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