Author: Steff | No Comments
When it comes to online conversion rates, email still dominates. Email is the vampire of the online marketing world – old-school, eerily seductive, and packs one hell of a bite.
The recent numbers from the DMA show email’s conversion rate is still the highest, bringing in $40.56 for every dollar spent on it this year. Although this is down on previous years, it’s still miles ahead of the next highest converter – search-based marketing, at $22.24 per dollar spent.
Email marketing is a powerful thing. When customers give you their email addresses, they’re giving you permission to send your message into their home. Emailing a customer is a bit like walking into their home and glueing your business card onto their cat’s forehead.
NB: I don’t advocate glueing business cards to felines as a viable marketing tactic.
But you can’t just go emailing people willy nilly – you have to get their permission first, much like a vampire can’t enter a home without permission. Vampires are gentlemen – they only go where they’re wanted. Your business is like a vampire …
Author: Steff | No Comments
It’s a lazy, sunny Sunday here in New Zealand. My husband and I have just purchased a 4 acre lifestyle block – eeee! – and it is sucking away every moment of free time we have right now. It’s wonderful to be spending so much time outside, doing physical labour, feeling the satisfaction of dirt under your nails and a sun on your arms. I haven’t had such restful sleep in years! We have a lot of work ahead of us before we can even begin to build our dream home, but we’re excited about building our future in this place.
Since it’s a lazy Sunday, and you might be spending the day thinking about your business and catching up on your Internet reading, I thought I’d link you up to some of my most recent articles for writers and small businesses around the web:
Author: Steff | 1 Comment
The handmade movement is booming all over the world, and is becoming a real force in the market. Aimed at countering mass-produced consumerism, “buy handmade” has become a mantra of many disenchanted consumers, and owners of small handmade businesses are benefitting. People want less stuff, and they want to feel connected to the stuff they DO buy – they want to know things are ethically produced, they want to feel as though they KNOW the person who created an object. They’re tired of mass-produced crap.
But handmade businesses just can’t compete with the prices of goods from China, and the economies of scale for larger companies mean most small business owners are struggling with increasingly small profit margins.
As an example: two brightly colored wool hats sell in a clothing store for $30. One hat was made in China, shipped to the country and sold to the retailer by a large hat-buying chain for $15. The retailer makes $15 and that hat-buying chain makes $8. The costs of shipping, storage, freight and packaging add up to $7.5 and the Chinese hat maker earns about .50c.
Author: Steff | No Comments
I’ve been utterly blown away by the response to my new writing packages. You guys were so enthusiastic I spent nearly every waking moment before we left for Germany creating press releases and writing blogs and talking on Skype at all hours of the morning and night. (That’s the only problem with doing consulting from New Zealand – we’re so far ahead of the rest of you, I’m always having to wake up at 4am to talk to someone. It’s all good, though.)
I’m still taking orders for new writing packages, but keep in mind I am on holiday. And it’s a real holiday too, meaning I’m not working till I get back to New Zealand on the 16 August.
Some of you have been emailing asking why I decided to create writing packages. “Surely,” someone said, “you’d be better off sticking with your old services page?”
After reminding him my name is Steff, not Shirley, I assured him I’ve had a much better response to the packages than I ever did to my “hire me” page, even when I promoted my services quite heavily.
Author: Steff | 3 Comments
I‘ve got vampires on the brain.
I blame it the kobo website, who has cottoned on to the fact I like books about bloodsuckers, so sends me daily emails about the latest fanged thrillers. I blame Poppy Z Brite, whose book Lost Souls restored my love of erotic horror, after it had been shattered by the Twilight books (which, to be fair, had a lot of the erotic but not nearly enough horror). And I blame today’s guest, New York Times Best-Selling author of steamy vampire urban fantasy, Jeaniene Frost, for getting my vampire on four years ago with Halfway to the Grave.
But Jeaniene Frost isn’t just an author, she’s in part responsible for bringing vampires and urban fantasy back into the mainstream, and her legions of fans worldwide (her novels have been translated into seventeen languages) attest to her remarkable ability to write amazing books and get them in front of the people who want to read them. I’m thrilled to sparkling bits to have Jeaniene here today for an Epic Interrogation about how she kicks ass with her creative business:
Firstly, we’d just like to know who you are, what you write, and what’s new in the world of Jeaniene Frost?
Thank you so much for having me. I’m the author of the Night Huntress series and Night Huntress World novels, which are urban fantasy romances containing vampires, ghouls, ghosts, demons, and a sprinkling of black magic. The most recent novel to hit the shelves was This Side of the Grave, and my next novel is One Grave at a Time, which releases August 30th.