23 Feb, 2011  |  Written by  |  under Uncategorized
Comments Off on 3 Mistakes White Paper Writers Must Not Make

White papers have taken on a new meaning because the Internet has revolutionized the way we communicate. Today, they’re not just used to peddle explanations and information; they’re also used as major marketing tools to entice people to buy what you have to sell. When you’re looking to gain the maximum possible exposure for your white paper and translate readership into sales, you have to first position it correctly and then ensure that it hits the right chord with the audience. While the first task is the responsibility of the marketer/advertiser, the second falls square on the shoulders of the writer. And this is why when it comes to writing a white paper, you must avoid the following mistakes:

  • Not knowing your target audience: You may be a good or even great writer, but if what you’ve written is not understood by the target audience, your efforts are useless. Being a good white paper writer means you have to be an effective communicator, someone who is able to use your writing to convey your message to those who read it. When the intended audience is made up of lay people, the message is lost in translation because the language is either too sophisticated or too technical. So before you begin to write, research the audience that the paper is meant for so that you can tailor the paper to cater to their requirements.
  • Not knowing the product/service you’re writing about: If you’re writing a white paper to explain how to use a product or service, you need to know its every aspect thoroughly. You may be just a writer, but this particular project deserves collaboration and interaction with the designer/engineer who knows all there is to know about the product you’re describing. You’ll also have to understand the product first before you’re able to write about it as an expert. So most of your time must be spent laying the foundation for the task before you actually begin writing your paper.
  • Not updating/changing your style/skills based on feedback: And finally, it’s not enough to churn out paper after paper without bothering to look at the feedback your prior work has generated. When you assess the impact your white paper has had on sales, you’re able to change your style and approach suitably. Also, it’s easier to keep up with the times and understand what makes your audience tick and determine what gets to them. If you don’t bother to update your knowledge and change your writing style to suit the times, you’re not going to make much of an impact as a white paper writer.

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14 Feb, 2011  |  Written by  |  under Uncategorized
Comments Off on How to Design Sure-fire Customer Referral Programs

The age old adage of the customer being king holds good even today; there is no business without the customer, and any company that does not realize this simple truth stands to lose in the long run. The biggest mistake that most companies make is that they often forget their loyal and long-standing customers in their efforts to woo new ones, and in the process they end up losing everything that matters. When existing customers are not treated well, they not only take their business elsewhere but also tell the whole world of their shoddy previous customer service experience. And with the massive reach that the Internet and other forms of media have today, the bad publicity spreads like wildfire and new customers are reluctant to sign up.

This makes customer referral programs even more important in helping to build your business. They cause a positive double whammy – they not only bring you new customers, but also help retain your old ones. But if you don’t design your referral programs correctly, they may not work the way you envisioned. To ensure that you hit the success button with your referral programs, here’s what you need to do:

  • Make them profitable for you and enjoyable for the customer: If you give away much more than you’re going to get in return, you’re going to be running on a loss sooner than later. So while you must ensure that the rewards you offer customers who get their friends and family members to sign up with your services or buy your products are substantial and worth their efforts, you cannot go all out and promise what you cannot deliver or what you cannot hope to sustain in the long run.
  • Don’t make them too complicated: If your rewards program is too hard for your customers to understand or too difficult for them to implement, then they’re not going to be interested in it. Make things as simple as possible – if you own a telecommunications company and if your customers get five people each to sign up, they get a certain number of free calling minutes. This way, you get to build your customer base while your existing customers get to enjoy free phone calls. It’s a simple plan that works equally well for both you and your customers.
  • Don’t compromise on your quality: And finally and most important of all, you must ensure that your focus on your referral program, its rewards, and signing on new customers does not cause you to compromise on the quality of your products and services. When your quality goes down, your referral program is going to suffer because no one wants to recommend something that is not good to their friends. Also, you end up losing your existing customers as well if you don’t pull up your socks and continue to compromise on the quality of your services and products.

Equality, simplicity, and quality – these are the magic words that will boost your customer referral programs and enhance your business.

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