Odds n Ends - Headlines, Filters, Templates, more...

Today I have some odds and ends I'd like to share with you. I think you'll find a tidbit or two very helpful to your web business.

o Headline Creator Pro "makes headlines"...

The response to our recent subscriber discount was incredible. I want to take this opportunity to thank all my subscribers who visited the site. Though I must admit the promotion did not go off without a hitch.

It seems the rush of traffic caused a few problems with the Clickbank link and ordering process. In fact, for the first half-hour after the release the site was brought to its knees and unavailable. I'll admit, I underestimated the interest in this specialized software tool. So in case you are one of the folks
who missed out on the subscriber-only discount offer, you'll find it at: http://www.bizweb2000.com/hcp.htm

o Jim on junk and email filters...

If you promote your business with email, whether it be an email newsletter or autoresponders, you may have noticed that filters are zapping quite a bit of your email before it reaches its destination. And lots of publishers are getting upset about it. As a marketer who relies on email quite a bit, I understand why so many publishers are steaming. Too many filtering tools zap legitimate email, especially the larger email messages like text newsletters. But let's face it, something has to be done about all the junk email on the web these days. And I'd rather see technology handle it than legislation.

So how bad is the problem? Well judging from the flow of garbage I've seen, it is growing out of control. For instance, just a few years ago I averaged 100 or so junk emails a day. In 2003 I now receive an average of 400. That's a lot of email to wade through to get to 50 or so legitimate messages.

In fact, I've been forced to use a junk filter myself. But finding a good one was quite a chore. As publishers have been complaining, most filters block too much legitimate email. Others are too slow or clumsy. But I did finally settle on a tool called Spamnix. It works seamlessly with my Eudora email program and it is fully customizable. Of all the tools I've tried, Spamnix filters the most junk while accidentally grabbing legitimate email less than 1% of the time. (The good mail that does get filtered is easy to find.) I estimate this tool now saves me about an hour a day. And since it resides on my own system, I control how it works. I like that better than having my ISP filter email for me.

From the other side of the spectrum, as an email publisher, having Spamnix on my machine lets me email my own newsletters to myself first to make sure it gets through my own filters. If it does, I know it will make it through most other junk mail filters as well. And on that note, one more place I quick-check my email newsletters before sending is a site all publishers should visit, <http://office.microsoft.com/assistance/9798/newfilters.aspx>.
That web page shows "red-flag" email content that Microsoft Outlook watches for so it can automatically filter email. Another good resource is the web-based utility from Lyris that evaluates your newsletter and lets you know if it may get caught up in a filter. Try it at http://www.lyris.com/contentchecker/ .

o Website templates are in season...

When I think of the time I could have saved years ago while
building my sites, it gives me a chill. But "website templates"
were practically non-existent back in 1996. Today I can't imagine
building a site any other way. Have you seen some of the website
templates available on the web lately?

Last month I ran into a website offering the best quality and
variety of templates I've seen to date. And there are designs for
just about any kind of business. The site can be found at
http://www.joanngraphics.com/cgi-bin/imageFolio.cgi and it is
just another example of the rising quality of website templates
available today.

Actually, I loved Joann's templates so much I purchased a few
myself, for new sites I'm building. I also purchased master
licenses to many of the designs so my Make A Living Online
members can have complimentary access to them. (Members just log into the site at http://www.make-a-living-online.com/private and look for the link on the main page.) These templates offer the
fastest path I know to having your own top-notch professional
website. (If you're not a member of my Make A Living Online site,
click over to http://www.make-a-living-online.com/page5.shtml
today and those high quality templates will be included with the

o Unsure of the colors to use at your website? Read this...

The last issue of the gazette generated some great feedback. More
than a few marketers were shocked see what their sites looked
like from different screen resolutions (If you missed that issue
you can read it at http://www.bizweb2000.com/gazette/trends.htm )
One marketer wrote explaining how his sales jumped immediately
after fixing his site. Another did further testing and discovered
that the colors he was using was hurting his sales. John Gleason
of www.ssgus.com wrote that after extensive testing of different
website colors, his results have been interesting and begun to
pay dividends. At John's gaming related site the most popular
color seems to be green. This color created more orders than any
other by far. He also found the best colors to use besides green
were orange, yellow and in smaller amounts black and red. Dark
text on white background or a light colored background definitely
created the most orders. John also increased his hits per session
by adding Microsoft type drop down menus on the top and bottom of each page. If you have a site with lots of pages, you may see
improved traffic flow by doing the same.

o Pay sites are in...

Have you noticed that more and more online content publishers are
charging admission for their hard-earned and valuable research?
Yep, private membership sites are growing in leaps and bounds. In
fact, I'm a member of a few paid sites myself. I also operate my
own private site where I share my best Internet marketing
resources. So why are more and more publishers using this model?
For a few reasons actually....

Publishers are discovering that all the freebie-seekers on the
web are NOT their bread and butter. More income is garnered from
web users who are willing to pay a nominal fee for top-notch,
specific information. Rather than do research themselves, serious
businesses and individuals are happy to pay a little to save time
and money. What's more, solid content providers can easily put
their content and research behind locked doors, by adding a
simple password protection script to their site so they can sell
access to their best stuff.

The script I use at my member area is a solution called Password
Administrator+ from <http://illmatic.net/>. Creator Carlos Foster
installed the script on my server in an hour or so, (at no charge
I may add) and it is completely automated. His clever script
automatically removes expired and abused accounts, sends
personalized email messages to members, and comes with
complimentary installation and responsive tech support. If you're
considering a private site of your own, I highly recommend PA+.

That's it for today, see ya