Email Marketing and Mobile Internet

I remember the time when I bought my first smartphone. I did so because I wanted to be able to access my email when I was on the road. Now, why do I come up today with this old story? I want to come back to some basics, which are easily forgotten in all this noise about mobile marketing. It pays to approach new things by building on the things that are already working.

Email is the mother of mobile internet services

Today more mobile devices are connected to the internet than old-fashioned PCs. And this is not a fad, more mobile devices come to the market with more capabilities etc. The networks become faster and cover more and more areas. But it is remarkable that Google develops a new offer Email to SMS while the mobile internet explodes. And Google is a main driver of the mobile internet development.
The reasoning behind this offer is simple: extending the reach. Normal mobile phone connections are now available almost all over the world, even in rural areas where you do not have land line phones. So Google makes email service available to people in these areas via SMS, extending the reach of Gmail hugely.

Different communication needs demand different messaging modes
Google people are smart. And obviously they did not forget the basic reason for all this online and mobile services: connecting people. There are simple phone calls. There are super fast chat services, even for voice and video communications. And they are fine, if you have the required hardware and infrastructure behind you, and the time and wish to be personally available.
But then there is also information you want to access on your own schedule, and possibly keep it for the record in a searchable data store to access it easily when needed. This applies to many formal communications, like invoices, receipts etc, and for information which is worth receiving and keeping, without allowing it to control your time. This is the job of email.

Email is a Medium for High Quality Information
This means email is the medium to send substantial information, which might be stored and searched later, but does not need immediate response. The recipient can access that information almost wherever he is, at a time of his choosing and then organize and prioritize it. If you keep this in mind and choose email as communications mode only if appropriate for the information at hand, you have a good chance to reach with your email not only your recipient’s inbox, but also your recipient’s mind.
Johannes Stockburger, EzineArticles Platinum Author
How to create a sustainable email marketing system
I have published the book Email Marketing Essentials which explains in detail the technical aspects of setting up a email marketing system to promote your businesses, your products and your brand. If you are interested in using email successfully, have a look. It is available as PDF, as Kindle ebook for Amazon and in the epub ebook format suitable for Google and Apple devices as well as for most ebook readers. To find out more, click on the link below …

Click here to find more out about my book Email Marketing Essentials

Mobile Apps – the Future of Marketing

Mobile apps as backbone of future marketing? I’ve got this free report for you: 5 Reasons why Mobile Apps are the Future of Marketing.
After reading, your question will no longer be whether your business needs mobile apps. You will only ask yourself: “How can I get a mobile app for my business?”
The best thing: reading the report takes only 5 minutes.

Webhosting Revisited

I am currently moving my websites back from a shared webhosting environment to a dedicated server. Why do I take this extra cost, generated not only by higher fees for the dedicated server, but also by increased workload when I have to administer a webserver in-house?

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I had already a dedicated webserver a couple of years ago. I had abandoned it for three reasons: First of all the monthly payment is at least three times as much as a high end shared hosting account costs. But more importantly that old dedicated server used a Linux distribution which was less than stable, and I had to rebuild the server periodically. On top of that the support was less than perfect. If I had a question, the answer was mostly “We do only support the server in its standard configuration.” This meant a lot of work for me, and I spent way too much time administering my system.
I returned to a shared hosting plan. The deal was sweetened by many extras, like video hosting, a mailing list service and more. Considering it all, webhosting was almost for free. This was a great deal, at the first glance as it turned out.

I got what I had paid for.
But it did not too long until I realized that my websites were down for several hours, repeatedly. After complaining it turned out that the server was switched off because of system overload. But worse: I realized that spam links had been injected into all my Word Press blogs. Somebody had managed to access the blog database. I complained to the hosting company and repaired the blogs. Luckily I had backup copies available.
After a few days my sites were down, again. I called the hosting company immediately. It turned out that they are moving the whole shared server to a new machine, due to the prior problems. I was happy, for a while.
Soon after that I found that my traffic stats were gone. They had switched the statistics program from AW-Stats to Webalizer. And much worse, I then realized that my helpdesk installation was no longer accepting email, because some Perl modules had been removed from the server. All that happened without any communications about the changes from the side of the hosting company. I decided quickly to get my dedicated server back, but this time with a decent service package.

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A Hosting plan implies more than renting space on a server
The lesson learned from both scenarios is clear: If you pay for hosting, you do pay first and foremost for the people who maintain the technical infrastructure. This applies to a shared hosting plan as well as for a dedicated server. It’s true that I pay for the machine running the website, for electricity and for bandwidth. But the main benefit is the people who are taking care of the infrastructure 7 days per week, 24 hours per day.

What makes a web hosting service excellent?
The term “service” implies that there is a human being either performing a task for me, or helping me to perform that task, and this is exactly what I need. This service people need to be available at the time I need them. Waiting for an answer from Friday evening until Monday morning might well mean that my website is down over the weekend. This is most important in a shared hosting environment, where my own options to correct a problem are very limited.
Of course the service people have to know their stuff. If I ask them whether I can edit a certain configuration file manually, or whether the automation system will overwrite my changes at the next opportunity, I do need an answer.
I award the crown of excellence to service people if they do communicate as appropriate. One example is the implementation of a major configuration change or software update. Such events might render web applications dysfunctional and lead to a loss of statistical data. I want to do a backup before such a change, and I need to do some testing of my applications after it is implemented. For this reasons I must hear from my Webhosting company in advance about planned software and configuration changes.

The Power of Mobile

Watch this speech given by Google’s Eric Smith recently in Berlin to get an idea about The Power of Mobile.

He mentions a few concepts providing me with quite a bit food for thought:

  • The huge potential which becomes available whenever people connect cloud computing and mobile devices
  • The concept of crowd sourcing. You can get almost instantly a picture of events thousands of kilometers away by receiving information from a magnitude of eye witnesses. Raw information is distributed before spin doctors had a chance to get their hands on it.
  • How this changes the balance of power between buyers and sellers
  • How this changes the balance of power between government and citizen.

We had the chance to witness The Power of Mobile, which develops whenever millions of people have the ability to access this huge pool of information and the ability to publish instantly what they see, hear and think. Propaganda generated by governments and organizations like Hezbollah can now be dissected. Then suddenly becomes visible that one and the same person was shown as a dying bombing victim on 3 pictures taken in different places on different days, and the same toys scattered in the ruins of buildings on a host of photos taken in different towns on different days. (Examples taken from Hezbollah propaganda during the last Lebanon war)
Even the mere access to mobile phones, without the extra power of instant multimedia publishing has proven remarkably powerful. If people see something in the TV they may call a friend in the area affected and ask. “Are you o.k.? And what is going on.” As a result protests against Israel’s military offensive against Hamas in 2008 were much stronger in Morocco compared to Jordan, Lebanon or Egypt. People could already differentiate between the truth and TV coverage, as long as they were not too far away from the scene.
Such thinking is not new, but still valid and also economically powerful. I remember an article published about 20 years ago in the Harvard Business Review explaining that in rural India at the time the lack of phones was not a mere symptom of poverty, but an important source of poverty. The reasoning: Small farmers had to sell their product for a very low price to wholesalers, because they did not have a chance to know what people were paying in town for food. With a phone they could have called shopkeepers in town and ask what the pay for rice, wheat, potatoes or corn, make an informed decision what to plant and almost immediately increase revenue substantially.

How to Clean-Up a WordPress Database

A lean database will help your WordPress site to load fast and to run smoothly.
This video will show how to add speed and stability to your blog by removing unneeded clutter from your WordPress database.

When I became aware of this little secret, I removed several hundreds of drafts for posts and pages. They were many months old, and absolutely useless. It took me quite some time to do this cleaning process.
But by good luck there is a way to tell your WordPress blogging software not to pile up these mountain of ols drafts. If you want to know how this is done, fill in your firstname and email address into the form below
If you want to know how to avoid an unneccessary bloated WordPress database in the first place, fill in your firstname and email address into the form below:
 
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