May 25 Selects Get Found First as the Third Top Pay Per Click …

NAPLES, FL, May 25, 2015 (Marketwired via COMTEX) — has reported the rankings of the 100 best PPC management
agencies for May 2015. Get Found First has been named the third best
agency due to their impressive performance during the
meticulous evaluation process. The recommendations are released each
month to assist clients of online marketing services in selecting
reputable agencies.

These companies are judged in order to uncover which produce the best
overall companies. This is accomplished through the use of a set of
investigation criteria consisting of five verticals of evaluation
used to measure and compare pay per click management companies based
on the most integral aspects. The five verticals of investigation
used during this process include creation of effective ads, campaign
analysis, keyword selection, CPA minimization, and automation.

To supplement the research the independent research team also
connects with customer references provided by the competing firms.
When communicating with customers the research team delves into the
customer’s overall satisfaction. Opinions from customers is used to
better interpret the strengths and competitive advantages of the
firms being tested.

Based on a pattern of noteworthy results, a continued dedication
towards exceptional customer satisfaction, and the results of a
rigorous evaluation, has named Get Found First the third
best pay per click management company. Those searching for a
competent company to assist them should consider Get Found First.

About is a well-known independent authority on search
marketing. The central goal of is to determine and
announce those individuals or agencies producing the top internet
marketing solutions all over the world. A specialized team of
researchers examine thousands of applicants each month who are
seeking to be ranked as a top internet marketing product or service
by the independent authority.

strongContact Information
/strong Marc Stephens
 9045 Strada Stell Ct.
 Naples, FL 34109


(C) 2015 Marketwire L.P. All rights reserved.

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May 24

NEPA snacks-by-mail business on the rise

A local Internet entrepreneur who launched an e-commerce site specializing in “NEPA-centric” foods has expanded his offerings.

Albert Martino started last year to send Middleswarth chips and Revello’s Old Forge pizza anywhere in the U.S. Now, he sells Tastykake products and Sugar Plum Chocolates, creating a virtual Northeastern Pennsylvania market online.

The 30-year-old Kingston resident already handled Internet marketing for Forty Fort-based Sugar Plum Chocolates, an e-commerce company that has grown into a gourmet giant selling candy, confections and handcrafted chocolates worldwide. offers another outlet for Sugar Plum Chocolates to sell products, said Neil Edley, who owns Sugar Plum with his mom Frann Edley.

“It brings new people to us,” Neil Edley said. “People who moved out of the area are looking to buy Tastykake and Middleswarth potato chips and they see us and they can buy Sugar Plum.”

Martino partnered with a local Tastykake owner and driver to sell Tastykake products. Peanut butter “Kandy Kakes” are the most popular Tastykake product seller, he said.

“A lot of people requested it,” Martino said. “You could get Tastykake nationally but they stopped selling on their own website so that created a market opportunity so we latched onto it. It was perfect timing.”

Martino sells combinations of the products and recently launched a “build your own snack box” allowing people to select their own flavors.

He said he formed Northeastern Snacks out of the frustration of hunger. He was born and raised in Northeastern Pennsylvania and like many other locals, he loves some of the unique snack foods exclusive to the region.

After moving to Phoenix, Arizona, he tried looking for someplace online that would ship Middleswarth chips in a cost-effective manner. To his surprise, nothing seemed to exist.

He decided to change that.

He has an office in the Luzerne Bank building on Public Square in Wilkes-Barre and now has storage space there as well where he ships products through the U.S. Post Office. Business has been growing steadily, he said.

“The holidays caught me off guard. I expected a big holiday, but it was really big and I actually had to bring in some outside help,” he said. “My girlfriend saved the day a few times.”

His Facebook page for garnered more than 1,850 “likes.” The business also has an Instagram account and he enjoys seeing people posting pictures of the products with hashtags.

“It’s cool to see people so excited,” he said. “It’s almost like it created its own hysteria. We’re advertising a lot on Facebook and we’re getting hundreds of shares, likes and comments. It was neat to watch it all happen. People like the products. They’re not our products, but we’re just finding a better way to get them to them.”

Martino said he believes the products are popular among people who move away from Northeast Pennsylvania because it’s a “comfort thing.” He works with local warehouses that distribute Middleswarth chips and he packs and ships the orders. “Everyone wants to feel comfortable whenever they can and once they move away, you can’t get these products,” Mr. Martino said. “They are very popular products for people who live here, the natives. Once you move away, your options are basically non-existent to get them. Now people can get them.”

Martino, a Dallas High School graduate who studied business at Luzerne County Community College, has many years of experience with e-commerce through his Internet marketing company He has been designing websites since he was 15.

“In my eyes, this has always been like playing. I don’t even think of this like a career,” he said. “I have always been on the computer. I don’t even watch TV. I can’t sit and watch TV, but I can sit on the computer for eight hours.”

He recently added local beef jerky products and also hopes to sell more locally-produced products.

“I don’t want to just sell one thing. I want to keep further expanding,” he said. “I want to have a virtual NEPA convenience store, like your favorite corner market, and put it online.”

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May 23

Exclusive Interview with Taylor Reaume, Marketing Coach and Small Business …

Photo: Taylor Reaume
Courtesy of: Taylor Reaume

In this, my latest installment of interviews with outstanding marketing professionals, I visit with Taylor Reaume, marketing coach and owner of the Santa Barbara, California-based marketing agency Search Engine Pros, a privately-held international provider of search marketing services. Reaume and his company help businesses and individuals understand online marketing plan components so they can develop a comprehensive, integrated website marketing strategy that builds a strong online presence. Small business website promotion has been his specialty for years, but he also helps clients develop a pricing strategy for marketing their products.

How did you happen to end up in this line of work?
Ever since I was a kid, I’ve been fascinated by technology. Web design came naturally to me, it didn’t feel like work, it felt like play to me. I went to college at Humboldt State University, at the very top of California. I started out working on a degree in economics and actually ended up with a double major in marketing as well. While in college, around 1998-2003, I had an on-campus job working as a computer lab monitor for the eight computer labs on Humboldt State University. That’s where my love of the Internet and websites began. That was such a fantastic job because it was right when the Internet was growing in popularity so I had a chance to learn all about the Internet through this job.

What other jobs have you done?
My first job in high school was at a little Mexican food place called Taco Bell. While at Taco Bell, I kept applying for better positions until I landed a better job working for the San Luis Obispo Parks and Recreation department. I also worked as an electrician along the Grape Vine in California, traveling from location to location, grounding telephone towers. During college, I worked in the forestry department of Humboldt State University doing data entry work briefly, before finding a computer lab monitor position. After college, I moved from Humboldt down to Seal Beach, CA, where I found a mortgage broker in need of a web site. I built him a high performing lead generation web site. Shortly after, he asked me if I wanted to do mortgage refinances with him. I obtained my real estate license and split my time between refinances and marketing. In the evenings, I was burning the midnight oil working on my online music collaboration web site, which ended up selling for six figures to Jupiter Media in New York, this was back in 2007.

What was your childhood like?
Born in San Diego, CA, Our family moved to Arcadia, CA where I spent most of my younger grammar school days attending a Catholic school there called Holy Angels. While in Arcadia I grew up playing just about every sport under the sun, including baseball, soccer, football, tennis and basketball. I had a typical middle class upbringing during my grammar school years, in Arcadia / Pasadena area. My parents are both from very large Catholic / Irish / French families and so we always had large holiday gatherings, lots of love in the air. I have a younger brother, an older brother, and an older sister. When I was 10, my parents moved our family to San Luis Obispo, Ca, specifically, a little ranch town called Santa Margarita, CA. It was quite a change going from a city slicker to a country bumpkin, but I really enjoyed the new experience.

What did your parents do?
My father is a lawyer, but he didn’t like the idea of dressing up in suits for the rest of his life, and after a couple years of practicing law, he switched his career to become a general contractor in residential construction. My mother is a Realtor for 35 years now.

What was high school and college like for you?
During my high school days my family bought some land in Santa Margarita, CA, which is just outside of San Luis Obispo, where, I attended a Catholic High School called Mission College Preparatory. I played soccer in high school. I spent 5 years attending Humboldt State University and graduated in Economics and Marketing, and a minor in Piano. I was the recipient of a 4 year Real Estate Scholarship from the California Association of Realtors while attending H.S.U. In both high school and college, I had a very diverse group of smart friends. I always made a point to seek out and surround myself with people whom I thought had both books marts and street smarts. Those are always my best teachers. In 1998, the college days, I started designing websites, back when Google was still called “Back Rub”. I became somewhat of a local authority on Search engine optimization because word got around that one of my web sites was getting over 200,000 unique visitors per month …which led to the sale of the site for six figures in 2007. This gave me the undeniable proof that my SEO methods really worked. No black hat SEO methods – just naturally strong rankings as a result of diligence and finding ways to add value to others for no charge.

What do you like best about your work?
I like that I can work from anywhere. I feel “in the zone” when I am working on websites — doesn’t feel like work to me. I like that I can barter with people easily without any legal strings attached. It also helps that I don’t have to be much of a salesman, because this line of work is trending upward so fast these days. When I sit down with a client, I love learning about their business. I ask questions, such as “What was your big turning point?” The stories I hear are always different and intriguing.

About which of your current projects are you most excited? is my newest project which has me very excited these days. Stand Out Comic is a comedy marketing agency that helps comics optimize their web presence and get the RIGHT messages, in front of the RIGHT audiences on the web. We help make their web site STAND OUT. I love working with comedians. Laughter is the best medicine!

What is most challenging about your work?
The most challenging part of working as a web strategist is probably deadlines. It’s taken me years to surround myself with a team that enables me to meet deadlines on time.

What are your future work goals?
My goal with Stand Out Comic is to build a portfolio of big name comics and manage their marketing goals. It’s going to be a steep mountain to climb, but it will be worth it.

Why are you headquartered in Santa Barbara?
Oprah lives here…and Oprah is never wrong…(smile) My philosophy is “Do whatever Oprah does, and you’re life will be right,” Seriously, though, Santa Barbara is a beautiful place to live and work. “Grow where your planted”, yes, but I think one should try to plant in a good area. I am old enough to realize now, your network is your net worth. It takes 10 years to build a strong community.

Any special hobbies/interests?
I enjoy playing basketball, soccer, salsa dancing, yoga, hiking, kung fu, tennis and stand up paddle boarding. I am a very sociable person and enjoy all types of activities. I’m very outgoing but I think I’m shy when first meeting people. Love to banter about life experiences, watch comedies and dramas (movies that make me feel deeply). I’m a happy, sensual, sophisticated yet down-to-earth man. I love all types of music, Beatles, Bob Dylan, Velvet Underground, Sublime, Black Eyed Peas, Jason Mraz, world music, meditation music, jazz, country and anything that’s unique and classy. I am very much an independent, spiritual type (raised Catholic, but studied many other religions, accepting of all religions). I am involved in several non-profits in Santa Barbara, and enjoy helping out in the community.

You appear to be mild-mannered. Do you ever get angry/upset/shout scream/punch a wall or a person?
I’ve never been an angry type of person. I’m on the opposite end of that spectrum. Positive things happen to positive people. Have you heard of the Enneagram? It’s a personality test and I am #9, the peacemaker. Holding onto anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die. (That was Buddha, not me.)

What are your three most important recommendations to business owners to increase the search engine optimization strength of their website?
There are over 250 factors Google considers when ranking a web site. Search engine optimization is all about doing 100’s of little things right. However, if I had to give you just 3, I would say 1.) Research and discover your top 10 keywords and optimize your title tags with those keywords 2. ) A blog post a day keeps the robots from going away! 3.) Get more “authority” inbound links to your web site.

What are your three most important recommendations to business owners regarding their use of social media?
Social Media is the newer, better, faster way to reach customers. Did you know that the fastest growing demographic on Facebook is 40-60 years old? In the old days, we used to network in the coffee shops, nowadays, it’s all happening on social media sites. Social media sites are like personal newspapers of people’s lives. Some call it “lifestreaming”. Smart marketers are building massive emotional equity with social media sites. Educational marketing on social sites will double your business this year, if executed properly (value-adds, not pitches). Did you know that Google is now crawling the Facebook Fan pages? Social media marketing also helps your SEO efforts (nice dual benefit). Permission based marketing is more important than ever in 2015 and beyond. Boost your “likes’ and your “followers”, and you’ll boost your sales and profits, and awareness for your cause. You don’t make money from social media sites, you make money from getting people to know, like and trust you. More listening. Less broadcasting. Half the process involves creating remarkable content that will “kick off” the conversation, and the other half is following up with remarkable listening skills. People do not care how much you know, until they know how much you care. If you take an active approach in listening to people, they will tell you what they want and in that, what you can provide to them. The effectiveness of push methods such as television, newspapers, direct mail have been on the decline in recent years. Many business owners today are finding that online marketing is a lower cost alternative for getting the message out. Specifically, pull marketing, also known as ‘listening marketing’. This includes social media, search engine optimization and online forums. Niche forums have emerged as an effective way to grow a business in today’s market. Modern day consumers are demanding that companies listen more and push less. This presents a big problem for business owners that are not savvy with pull marketing. Conversely, it presents a big advantage for business owners that capitalize on the trend. Social media and permission based marketing takes significantly more time, not just to learn, but to get results from, than that command and control advertising methods most of us are familiar with (i.e. post cards, radio ads, newspaper ads). Permission based marketing requires more education of your staff to learn how to efficiently take part in online conversations. Educating your staff on how to do social media marketing may take some time and a concerted effort on your part, but it is proving to be a phenomenal marketing method. For some business owners, it’s a matter of attending marketing “meet-ups” and learning the knowledge. The cost is actually free other than the time investment.

What are your three most important recommendations to business owners regarding overall marketing strategy?
A successful overall marketing strategy is largely a matter of knowing how to efficiently add value to strategic centers of influence around you. There are many ways to add value to those around you. For example, business owners can create educational top 10 list articles, sharing remarkable statistics and timesaving resources, and connecting their audience with trusted partners. The R.O.I. is much higher when web marketing activities are synchronized and deployed consistently over a period of six months. We keep our clients ‘top of mind’ every month with a professional web presence, which includes high touch email newsletters, SEO enhanced press releases, educational blog posts and entertaining social media status updates on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. The number of people making purchases online continues to increase, and the companies they find on the web are likely to be those with a fine-tuned Internet marketing strategy.

What are your three most important recommendations to business owners about web design?
1. Choose WordPress as your CMS 2. K.I.S.S. Design – (Keep it simple sweet heart) 3. Choose remarkable photos

What are your three most important recommendations to business owners about branding?

Consumers now co-author the stories brands’ tell. Push is now pull and monologue is now dialogue. Web branding, like newspaper advertising, requires consistency with messaging. The need to stay “top of mind” has not changed. What has changed are the vehicles that drive our brand messages. Modern day branding strategies are focused on building emotional equity through,,, and other pull-based marketing vehicles. Consistency in branding, both online and offline is a key ingredient to building massive emotional equity with customers, and emotional equity is the stuff that creates a “referral storm”. If you can connect with people on this level the likelihood of them engaging with your brand grows exponentially. If people see their friends recommending you, you will create a storm of referrals. It’s important to remember that marketing and branding is a battle of perception, not products. It is really important that people see you adding value in a remarkable way. When people see you as a helpful resource, they will be more likely to recommend you, and when you get recommended, your network will grow. Your network is your net worth, and growing your network is priority #1 in business. In order to grow your network, you need to find ways to efficiently add value to strategic partners, so they’ll recommend you to their network.

What’s all this talk about a whitepaper strategy?
A white paper strategy works particularly well for the B2B industry and for larger ticket, emotionally charged transactions. The idea with a white paper strategy is to create a whitepaper and advertise it on Google Adwords to collect emails and send people valuable information every month. What’s a whitepaper? -it’s like a “suit and tie” version of a free report. It’s literature – marketing material – that sits on a decision maker’s desk. This is a unique web marketing strategy for building an email list (and thus your bottom line). You will need to create 3 things: 1. an email opt in form on your web site 2. a PDF whitepaper with useful information 3. Google Adwords Ad saying: Download Free 3 Page Guide. Complex Terms. Simple Definitions. etc. The email opt in can occur on your web site. The Google Ad draws the visitor to your email opt in page. The email opt in should offer a download of a whitepaper. Inside the white paper – smart marketers will consider addressing specific “points of resistance” in the sales process, thereby accomplishing two goals at once; 1.) lowering your prospect’s sales resistance 2.) a customer you can market to for life by email. The idea is first to get your prospect to opt into the newsletter (so you can provide them ongoing information about your company.)

What is a PPC campaign and why is it important?
PPC stands for “Pay Per Click”. Many people try to go it alone with a PPC strategy. In most cases, a novice approach just isn’t going to cut it when you are swimming with the sharks on Google Adwords, you’ll lose your shirt quickly. An official fully optimized setup takes focused time and energy. A successful PPC campaign requires an experienced hand each month fine tuning to increase clicks to your site and decrease the costs of those clicks by optimizing your ad positions (more traffic for less cost). It’s important to spend time researching competitors strengths and capitalizing on the best keywords in their campaigns. A PPC consultant will help you discover the best keywords to target, find the low cost high traffic keywords with high commercial intent, create new ad copy, split test ads, adjust keyword bids to ensure maximum ROI, add negative keywords and optimize the account for conversions. Landing pages are another big part of the puzzle with PPC campaigns. A dynamic landing page will greatly increase your click through rates. To win the Google Adwords war, you must increase your CTR (Click through rates). The big mistake every makes with PPC is they send everyone to the homepage, rather than to a specific landing page. That’s the main reason why most people fail at PPC is because they don’t understand why Google is charging them so much money per click (it’s because secretly Google would rather not have them on the network). Google wants to send its visitors to highly targeted landing pages (creating a good experience for Google users). Imagine if all of the ads took you to a page which was not relevant to what you clicked on? You would be pretty upset right? Creating targeted landing pages is one of the big keys to success with a PPC campaign.

Describe SEO copywriting, how to do it and how it works.
Great SEO copywriting makes it easier for customers to find you on the web. SEO copyrighting is essentially writing content with “smart” keywords and adding visually appealing graphics to get the message across easier to your readers. When you write your content with high traffic “smart” keywords, you will get more first page listings on Google and other major search engines. Did you know that more than 80% of consumers are making buying decisions based off of web-based advertising? This begs the question; “How do I get my business to be #1 on Google?” Google’s ranking algorithm gives priority rankings to fresh content. “A blog post a day keeps the robots from going away…” To be a superstar on Google and dominate the first page of their search engine listings, you must publish remarkable content. Links and content are important vehicles, but what matters most is that you are remarkable in some way with your approach and delivery. Since fresh, remarkable content is king, today’s companies that pre-plan content are winning at the search engine wars and moving closer to the throne.

Describe a link manager and why it’s so important.
A link manager will help you develop a strategy to get more links to your web site. More links = More traffic = More Sales. Earlier I spoke about the importance of adding value to people around you. When your web strategy is focused on adding value to people, you will naturally increase the number of hyperlinks, or “votes,” for the website. If the business owner can successfully increase the number of hyperlinks pointing into his or her website each month, the owner will see a direct correlation with the increase in search engine rankings.

What is Marketing Automation and why is it important?
Robots haven’t taken over the world yet, but they certainly have taken over the marketing industry. It’s time to embrace them and use them as a tool for connecting with people. While robots can never replace humans, they can help us increase the number of opportunities we to get in front of humans to build emotional equity. By automating our processes of following up with clients and adding value we will increase the numbers of customers in the marketplace that are willing to listen to us. Note that I am not suggesting we automate the process of blasting offers to customers, but rather automating the process of adding value and striking the healthy balance of offers and value-adds. Tell them what you have and then tell them how having it will add value to their lives. In every industry there are certain documents which have a sense of ‘universal appeal’ and add a remarkable level of value to a wide demographic. It’s important to locate those documents and start streaming them out to your customer base (adding value). It is important to develop a content publishing plan to connect your customer base with your brand emotionally. Start organizing all of the remarkable content in your industry, and schedule the content to go out to your customer base in smart, targeted intervals and you’ll begin to increase the emotional equity with your customers. Emotional equity takes time. It’s difficult to automate emotional equity. Time is money. Robots are your friend here. Marketing automation facilitates the process of getting in front of people more often. When you get in front of people (with remarkable content), you’ll increase the numbers of people that know, like and trust you. Most importantly, when you do this successfully, you get more people to recommend you. Your network is your net worth. By automating the tedious tasks required to get in front of customers, you’ll be able to focus more on delivering excellent products or services to your customers.

How important is it to send out a monthly newsletter?
Email opens on smartphones and tablets have increased 80 percent over the last six months, according to a study done by Litmus. Email marketing remains the lowest cost return on investment marketing available to business owners today. Average return on email marketing investment: $44.25 for every dollar spent (Source: iContact) Internet marketing conferences typically have the same mantra over and over, COLLECT EMAIL ADDRESSES. The whole reason you have a web site, is to collect email addresses. Email marketing, across all industries, is the most effective weapon that business owners have in their marketing arsenal. Email marketing managers will show you the best and worst open rates for subject lines, according to recent studies. If you have been in business for a while, you know that email marketing is complex and take a specialist to really excel at this marketing platform. Some email marketing mistakes I see being made all the time include spam compliance issues, dull subject lines, emails not being compelling or too wordy, sending to your list too often, not collecting the right email addresses, not know list building techniques and how to get the right people to opt into your newsletter, not taking the time to create massive value in the newsletters you send out. Autoresponders are automated educational emails that go out after a prospect opts into your database. They help educate the client, and help reduce phone questions. Autoresponders are especially effective (and in our opinion, essential) for companies with large ticket transactions. You may heard the phrase “You don’t want to ask her to marry you on the first date…” This notion is true in the business world when it comes to large ticket transactions, such as real estate, mortgages, computer support, etc. These industries especially must start refining their email marketing strategies if they are to succeed in the coming decade. Email marketing is no different than any other type of marketing, the same rules apply. Your goal is to get as many prospects on your monthly newsletter as possible, that is, if you’re into that recurring income thing. Permission based marketing is the key to success. When you start collecting email addresses from visitors that come to your website you will see a definite increase in the success of your marketing efforts. To increase the number of people that you can market to every month, you might consider to offer them a free gift, report or subscription to your newsletter. With a newsletter you will have an excellent opportunity to build up a loyal readership. Then you can send a message to them every so often and remind them that you are still around. People are smart. Make sure you provide them with good information that is related to your product so that they will keep on reading. Be sure not to bombard them with just sales messages. Remember you want them to trust you!

What does an SEO manager do and why is it important to have one?
In 2015, SEO (search engine optimization) has a broader definition than it did five years ago. Generally, SEO encompasses web design, graphic design, press releases, blog posts, e-newsletters, list building and, in general, polishing a company’s web presence. Marketing methods today are shifting from offline to online, from push to pull, and from traditional to digital. This has created a ‘digital divide’ – a chasm as it were, separating digitally savvy marketers from traditional marketers. The good news is that the only thing that has changed is the methods in which basic marketing is done have evolved with the continued technological advances we continue to see. The basic principles of a successful marketing campaign have remained the same. Keeping the message out in front of people is still the main objective for most businesses looking to successfully market their brand. In the past 12 years I’ve worked on over 600 web projects, and the black swan of many web designs and marketing projects is the complexity of the strategies. The strategies have to be simple and easy to follow. If they are not, most business owners will not set aside time to execute them. There are many different marketing strategies to follow, but I believe most are ineffective due to the sheer complexity and time requirements to properly execute them. While the learning curves might be steep, internet marketing has dramatically decreased marketing costs in general. What used to cost $10,000 in the form of direct mail campaigns is in some cases, now free in the form of social media sites like Twitter and Facebook and email marketing. I help business owners follow a simple and easy to implement plan to keep their brands top of mind, nurture their networks, and increase their bottom line.

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May 21

iPrice, A One Stop Shop For Buying Online In Southeast Asia, Lands $550000

Amazon, eBay and other giants of online commerce are not fully present in Southeast Asia, and that has led to a glut of online shopping startups rising up across the region. At times it can get hard to keep with all the options — from Rocket Internet-backed Zalora and Lazada, to small players — and that’s where iPrice hopes to help.

The startup — which is based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia — is a single place where consumers can shop for products from a multitude of retailers. Initially focused on fashion, it has expanded into other verticals including electronics, jewelry and home and currently stocks over 3 million products. It claims to differentiate itself from price comparison sites by focusing on discovery rather than price, thanks to meta search and visual results.

“We’re trying to imitate the offline experience as best as possible,” Heinrich Wendel, iPrice CEO and a former product manager with Microsoft in Seattle, told TechCrunch in an interview. “New stores and services launch every week, it’s hard for young people to find their way through this e-commerce jungle.”

To help move things along, the startup — which makes money by commissions from sales — has raised $550,000 seed round from Asia Venture Group (AVG). The capital is set to be spent developing the iPrice product — in particular its search feature — and recruiting retail partners.

Screenshot 2015-05-21 12.28.42

Covering six countries in Southeast Asia and Hong Kong, iPrice started out as a coupon site and it still “tags” coupons into its deals, Wendel explained, because they are popular with shoppers.

iPrice initially launched in early 2015, but it began to ramp things up when a redesigned version of the site went live in March. Over the past three months, the service has handled $1 million in sales, and it clocked 250,000 sessions last month, Wendel revealed.

The iPrice CEO said the company banks anything from 5-15 percent commission on purchases depending on the retail partner. With zero cost and effort needed on the part of e-commerce stores, he said he believes the model is a “no-brainer” for partners.

“Our pitch to e-commerce stores is simple,” he explained. “We give you traffic and get commission if someone buys your product.”

Screenshot 2015-05-21 11.59.01

Despite the simplicity of the offering — Wendel likens iPrice’s role to that of an online marketing partner — Tim Marbach, the founder of AVG, said the niche hasn’t been a focus for many entrepreneurs in the region.

“E-commerce is growing so fast in Southeast Asia that there are so many opportunities in lead-generation,” Marbach, who is a co-founder of grocery delivery startup HappyFresh and an investor in iMoney, told us. “Everyone is paying attention to price comparison, but iPrice is well positioned to take a large slice of the market.”

Wendel and Marbach said that iPrice decided to raise a relatively modest round because the team didn’t want to overly dilute its holdings and, besides salaries, its business isn’t overly capital intensive.

“The deal is about horses and jockeys,” Marbach added. “I really like the horse and I really like the jockey, Heinrich is a really strong product and tech guy.”

Featured Image: vitma/Shutterstock

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May 20

Premier design licensing business expands team and services, adopts new …

SAN FRANCISCO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Eye For Art, founded by Art Libera in 2000, officially re-launched its
premier design licensing business as Design Commerce Agency today, after
industry previews at the Hospitality and Design Expo trade show in Las
Vegas, Nevada last week. The web site and blog can be viewed at,
and the company’s social media presence @DesignCommerce is now live on
Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest.

The Design Commerce Agency is a design licensing firm that matches
talented designers specializing in the luxury interior design market
with manufacturers and retailers that need great design. The company’s
new identity reflects the culmination of nearly a year of work to
re-position the company for today’s rapidly changing interior design
industry. With the advent of Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and
Twitter, this highly visual industry is changing rapidly – in terms of
how consumers look for home furnishings and how the design industry
promotes designers and their product lines.

“These changes are creating exciting new opportunities for designers to
broaden their range,” says Art Libera, Eye for Art’s founder and a
Founding Partner of DCA. “Our new identity and expanded scope of
operations will enable us to help designers find new ways to make the
most of these trends, and help manufacturers and retailers find the best
new creative ideas.”

To provide its interior design clients the very best representation in
pursuing design licensing opportunities, the new Design Commerce Agency
has two new partners on board: Bryan Calkins and Mark McDonough. Calkins
has extensive technology, ecommerce, and online marketing experience,
coupled with an equally deep background in home furnishings retail and
the luxury residential design showroom industry. McDonough’s expertise
lies in both core Internet technology and online marketing fields, with
extensive experience in search engine marketing, paid online
advertising, social media brand building, and web and mobile content
strategy. “Social media is changing everything in the interior design
marketplace – brand management, product introductions, business
development and sales lead generation, trade communications – and
especially the way marketing and advertising dollars are invested,”
Libera says.

Design Commerce Agency now offers designers an unparalleled opportunity
to build their brands and social media presence online – in a highly
cost effective manner when compared to more traditional offline
marketing approaches. When combined with Mr. Libera’s deep
relationships, long experience and market expertise in the interior
design industry – in the hospitality, commercial, private label retail,
and large-scale manufacturer segments – peerless opportunities for
design licensing are created. Each of these segments includes large
potential end customers of design licensing, and Design Commerce Agency
matches its growing stable of top luxury interior designers with
substantial licensing opportunities in all interior design market

The agency has developed a full range of Digital Marketing Services,
which includes web site and brand refreshes, social media brand
building, content marketing strategy, and paid online advertising


Design Commerce Agency is a design licensing agency that matches
talented designers specializing in the luxury interior design market
with manufacturers and retailers that need great design. The privately
held company is based in Fairfax, California. For more information,
please visit

NOTE: Design Commerce Agency and @DesignCommerce are trademarks of
Design Commerce Agency, Inc. All other company and product names
mentioned are used only for identification and may be trademarks or
registered trademarks of their respective companies.

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May 19

Lucrazon Global – Integrates All Cryptocurrency and E-Wallets Making E … – SYS

IRVINE, CA — (Marketwired) — 05/19/15 — The fully integrated e-commerce platform, Lucrazon Global has blended cryptocurrency with e-wallets for all e-commerce solutions, changing the way online businesses launch their payment gateways. The new service will benefit a variety of businesses, from organizations providing services, such as insurance and marketing firms, to retailers that rely strictly on e-commerce. Small startups have been able to see astronomical growth to the point where they are worth millions. Inspired by these success stories, many decide to make the move to the $1.5 trillion e-commerce industry (source: — only to discover starting an online business is far more complex and expensive than one might think. Lucrazon Global has addressed this problem with the release of their latest product offering.

Using a patent-pending, fully integrated e-commerce system technology, Lucrazon Global combines all the necessary steps to start and run a successful online business, including web design and development, procuring a payment gateway, Merchant Account and Payment Processor, and finding a reliable product supplier. Integrating all these steps into one convenient system, Lucrazon Global makes it possible to activate the included Merchant Account and begin accepting payments on the same day. For businesses that already have an inventory, a basic e-commerce store provides everything necessary to instantly begin selling products. For start-ups without an inventory in place, the company has created an e-store with over 15,000 top-selling brand name products, including Tom’s of Maine, Ecover, Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day, and Method home products. Clients can take advantage of the lucrative opportunity to become a Lucrazon Global Brand Partner, offering the same revolutionary services with the added bonus of multiple revenue streams, including direct sales, merchant account portfolios, merchant services, and monthly residuals and hosting.

In keeping with its innovative stance, Lucrazon Global not only facilitates the use of all credit cards, but also integrates alternative payments, including cryptocurrency and E-wallet support. Cryptocurrency, a digital medium of exchange, is inherently secure due to the use of cryptography and facilitates the quicker sending and receipt of payments. Bitcoin, the first and most widely used decentralized digital currency, is extensively supported. Other e-wallets, including Bitpay, BitGo, Coinbase, Coinkite, and Hive, are also incorporated into Lucrazon Global’s payments system, making the integration of potential customers’ preferred e-wallets into a website’s store an attractive selling point. To ensure that all clients worldwide are taken care of, the company hosts Brand Partners in US, EU, and Canada, offering an expansive international e-wallet that supports global payments across 200 countries in over 20 currencies. While Ecommerce allows for global business transactions, these considerations ensure that doing so is actually viable.

Lucrazon Global is a fully integrated e-commerce platform and Global Business Network, designed specifically for Internet Entrepreneurs, Work from Home and Network Marketing professionals, and businesses of any type. A leader in ecommerce solutions, the company specializes in providing multi functional websites, such as e-stores, with product inventories, integrated shopping carts, drop shipments, access to multiple suppliers, and real time account activation.

For more information, visit:

Lucrazon Global’s blog:

Lucrazon Global Releases Complete e-Commerce Solution:

Lucrazon Global Helps Merchants:

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Lucrazon Global
8855 Research Drive
Irvine, CA 92618
[email protected]

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May 18

The secret to building startup buzz online

There’s a lot being published these days about how to break into noisy digital environments and capture the interest of people whose attention spans are shorter than ever.

Yes, you can achieve this goal with things like paid Facebook ads and sponsored tweets. You can do it by pushing content on native advertising platforms like Outbrain and Taboola.

But I’m going to let you in on a little secret… There’s another approach that’s guaranteed to help your startup build buzz without the time and expense associated with digital marketing campaigns. If you really want to make a splash, what you need is an army of advocates.

Think about Apple’s fanboys. How many additional sales do you think Apple made – not because their products were the best, but because the social buzz surrounding them was so strong that people just had to be a part of it?

Every loyal brand advocate is a walking, talking advertisement for your company. And when you consider that 84 percent of respondents in Nielsen’s latest Trust in Advertising report cite word-of-mouth recommendations from friends and family members as the most trustworthy source of advertising, it’s clear that these power users have the potential to pay off big for your brand.

But the best news? Building an army of these advocates is easier than you think. Here’s how four entrepreneurs and startups are leveraging the power of social advocacy:

Noah Kagan

Noah Kagan is pretty much an internet business legend at this point, but if you aren’t familiar with his work, he was employee #30 at Facebook, and is consistently ranked one of the best growth hackers working today.

a man

With credentials like that, you’d expect that Noah would have locked himself away in a tower by now – spending his days counting stacks of money – but instead, he’s currently the Chief Sumo at AppSumo, his tech tools startup that offers products at extremely low (and sometimes free) prices.

Giving away great products at a great price certainly goes a long way towards delighting customers and converting fans into brand advocates, but Noah doesn’t stop there. Consider the following anecdote from Danny Boice of Speek:

“At Speek, we use AppSumo religiously for great deals on the tools we use to run our business. One day, I got a box from Noah Kagan (the CEO of AppSumo) that contained some amazing cookies—completely out of the blue! It was a random, simple gesture that meant so much to me as a loyal customer. I thought it was absolutely brilliant of Noah to do this.”

Losing a customer here and there won’t break Noah, but it’s not just about the money for him. It’s about finding fun and exciting ways to connect with his clients – and that’s something you can do as well.

Tip: Send swag to loyal customers

The great thing about sending small gifts to customers is that it really is the thought that counts. You don’t need to send something big to make an impression – even a simple, handwritten card is enough to stand out, brighten people’s day and turn them into the kind of customers that’ll go on to recommend your products to everyone you meet.


Few startups take sending gifts of swag more seriously than Buffer. The company employs a dedicated Community Champion – Nicole Miller – who spends 50-60 percent of her time “managing swag stock, packaging writing cards and gathering addresses.” Miller estimates that she spends 1-1.5 days a week where her entire focus is “Buffer love.”


So what does that translate to in real terms? Miller estimates that her office ships out 40 to 60 cards and packages a week, for a total of more than 1,200 hand-written cards, gifts and more.

Miller also provides a helpful breakdown of the costs associated with all of this mailing:

  • Notecards – $.92 per card/envelope (+$.49 domestic mailing)
  • T-shirts – $9.47 per shirt (+ $5.00 domestic mailing)
  • Hoodies – $23.07 per hoodie (+$8.00-$15.00 domestic mailing)
  • Moleskine notebooks – $6.80-$19.74 each (+$2.00-$8.00 domestic mailing)
  • Stickers – $.29-$.56 per sticker
  • Mugs – $9.11 each (+$15.00 domestic mailing)

A full read of Miller’s recent blog post on how Buffer delights its community is well-worth a read, but in the meantime, here’s one of the best takeaway tips for you:

Tip: Listen to your audience

Many of Buffer’s best ideas for sending swag come from checking in on its customers’ social profiles. In one particularly delightful case, the resulting care package wound up being sent not to the customer, but to her dog – with a package full of the dog’s favorite treats and some stickers to give to “her human.”

buffergiftsNeil Patel

Like Noah Kagan, Neil Patel is well-known in digital marketing circles as the founder of KISSMetrics, CrazyEgg and the popular QuickSprout blog.

With all these competing demands, you’d think that Neil would be too busy to connect with everybody who’s interested in engaging with his brand. But take a look at any of his recent blog posts, and you’ll find Neil himself there – responding to each and every comment he receives.

The time costs of doing so are substantial. As of August 20th, 2014, Neil estimated that, to date, he’d responded to 50,969 web comments (plus several thousand others across the web), spending an average of one minute reading and responding to each message. That’s a staggering amount of time, but Neil views it as an essential part of his marketing strategy, saying:


Sure, Neil admits that there have been financial benefits resulting from this high level of engagement, but even more important is the way that these actions make his customers feel.

Tip: Find a way to help

That’s what it all comes down to for Neil – helping people. Adopt that same philosophy at your startup, and do whatever it takes to help your prospects and customers solve their most pressing problems. Even if you can’t end world hunger or make PC software run smoothly on a Mac, your willingness to help out will leave a lasting impression and go a long way towards converting neutral customers to true brand advocates.

When I Work

At When I Work – an employee scheduling app that helps small business owners create employee schedules in just minutes – we’ve made customer delight a top priority.

The following are just a few of the steps we’ve taken, as well as how they’ve paid off for our business:

  • Whenever our team brings on a new customer, we send out a handwritten thank you card. The cost is virtually nothing, but so far, we’ve seen that the cards are shared about 70 percent of the time on the customer’s social profiles. We’ve also seen our referrals go up by 23 percent since we started doing this.
  • We also send out free branded t-shirts to customers. Of those that have received the shirts, roughly 17 percent have recommended our product to a friend.
  • Finally – and this is one of my favorites – if you ever have an issue with our product, we’ll mail you your favorite candy to ensure that you have the sweetest experience possible with When I Work (get it?).

Again, these aren’t big gestures. A candy bar costs a dollar, and shipping it to a customer isn’t much more than that. But when you consider the financial impact this small gesture could have in terms of customer retention and future referrals, it’s practically a no-brainer.

Tip: Measure the impact of your efforts

I’m a data junkie, but even if you aren’t analytically-inclined, I’d still recommend putting some effort into tracking the impact of your efforts, whether in terms of brand sentiment, conversions or some other metric. Doing so will tell you whether or not your efforts are paying off, as well as whether some types of promotions inspire more positive feelings than others.

So now, I want to hear from you. What do you do to make your customers feel special and to encourage them to advocate for your brand to their friends and family? If you have any tips or tricks of your own, leave them in a comment below!

Read Next: 9 qualities of world class growth hacking teams

Image credits: Shutterstock

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May 17

Recession not over yet for retailers, other small businesses

The recession isn’t a dim memory for many small businesses.

Nearly two-thirds of owners in a Bank of America survey said their companies are still recovering from the downturn that officially ended nearly six years ago. Only 21 percent of the owners surveyed last month said their businesses have fully recovered.

The numbers present a different side of small business than surveys that focus on companies’ increasing optimism and healthy cash flow.

The Bank of America findings are a reminder that the economic recovery is not only slow-paced but also fragmented, with companies whose customers are consumers and other small businesses lagging behind.

Retailers and homebuilders are among those whose revenue is below the levels they enjoyed before the recession’s December 2007 official beginning.

At Razzle Dazzle, a young women’s clothing boutique in Atlanta, revenue is down 65 percent from 2007. Owner Carol Avendano says customers think carefully before spending.

“It used to be nothing for a mom to come in here and spend $1,000 on her eighth-grader and not even blink an eye,” Avendano says. “Now, if a purse is $300, they have to think about it.”

Avendano, who opened her store in 1975, stays in business because she has loyal customers. She’s been through many ups and downs over the decades, but this downturn has surprised her.

“I thought it was going to come back,” she says.

What’s wrong?

Companies are still recovering for a number of reasons, some of them related to the industries they’re in.

Retailers struggle because consumer spending remains weak, says Scott Anderson, chief economist at Bank of the West. And the housing industry, which includes many small businesses, is still in the early stages of recovery from the collapse that began in 2006. But small manufacturers are doing well and leading the recovery, Anderson says.

A homebuilding rebound will help consumer spending, economists say. If people buy more houses, industries related to construction will hire more workers who will be able to spend. And people buying houses tend to shop for appliances, furniture and home decor.

The difficulty many small companies have in getting loans has prolonged the recovery, says Karen Mills, a Harvard Business School faculty member and former head of the Small Business Administration. Banks are still reluctant to lend to many companies, especially the smallest ones.

“There’s no question we haven’t fully recovered in terms of access to capital,” Mills says.

Small companies’ struggles to get loans were clear in a first-quarter survey by Pepperdine University’s Graziadio School of Business and Management and Dun Bradstreet Credibility Corp. Sixty-three percent of small companies said it was difficult to get loans, while only 36 percent of larger businesses said it was difficult.

What’s the solution?

Owners need to re-examine every aspect of their companies to adapt to a business climate that has permanently changed, says Kathleen Allen, a professor of entrepreneurship at the University of Southern California’s Marshall School of Business. That means asking whether a company is giving customers what they need — and whether they’re targeting the right customers.

“We have to question even whether this business makes sense,” Allen says.

John Reiner has used that strategy at his printing and packaging company. Revenue dropped 25 percent in 2009 and kept falling the next two years; it hasn’t returned to pre-recession levels. Several of PakCom’s best business customers shut down. Others cut back on marketing materials and promotional products. The recession also encouraged companies to switch to email and the Internet from snail mail.

“When you have that domino effect, it crushes you,” says Reiner, whose company is based in Waltham, Mass.

Another change: More companies prefer ordering online instead of dealing with a human. So Reiner has started a website called Logical Promotions to sell shirts, backpacks and other items companies and organizations can print logos on. The website opened for business in March, and he’s optimistic it will bolster his PakCom revenue.

“The printing business will not return,” Reiner says.

Joyce M. Rosenberg,

The Associated Press

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