Technology & Productivity Weekly

June 05, 2014

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Technology & Productivity Weekly is an NDSCPA member benefit and is intended for your personal use, only.

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This week's sponsor is:  Information, Inc.

Information Inc.'s handcrafted business intelligence services provide up-to-the-minute information on critical issues. Decision-makers in more than 2,000 major corporations, associations and government agencies worldwide have relied on our comprehensive news services for the past 22 years.  To learn how our timely, targeted, custom services can help you compete in the 21st century, go to:  http://www.infoinc.com/statecpa/contact.html

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This Week's Headlines

"Eight Essential Elements for Small Business Email"
"Five Ways Top Marketers Are Kicking Your Butt in Conversion Rate Optimization"
How a Standard Email Format Changed Our Relationships With Clients"
"Office Productivity in the Cloud: A Zoho Case Study"
"Biz Bits: Tips to Help Small Businesses Stay Competitive With Larger Companies"
"Implement a Mobile Device Management Program"

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The links at the end of each abstract are to the publisher, publication, or article. Some links may require registration or subscription. Information, Inc. is not affiliated with the referenced publications.

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"Eight Essential Elements for Small Business Email"

Small Business Computing (05/28/14); Popick, Janine

There are eight essential elements that comprise small business email.  The first component of business email is a legitimate "from" label, which is the first part of the email users will notice.  A compelling subject line is equally important, since subscribers will decide within seconds whether to click on an email and open it or delete it.  SMBs should keep email subject lines 50 characters or less and use engaging phrases that are time-sensitive.  Complimentary pre-headers allow SMBs an additional opportunity to grab the attention of subscribers, while SMBs should use product-specific promotions to engage users with relevant content.  A call to action is recommended, since creating a sense of urgency will encourage subscribers to become clients.  Using creative images and social media buttons are additional ways to engage with subscribers and increase conversion rates.

(http://www.smallbusinesscomputing.com/biztools/8-essential-elements...

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"Five Ways Top Marketers Are Killing You in Conversion Rate Optimization"

Small Business Trends (05/28/14); Kim, Larry

Conversion rates are an integral part of gauging a business' rate of success.  There are five ways that marketers trump SMBs in conversion rate optimization, starting with marketers understanding differences between best practices and meaningful optimizations.  Google AdWords advertisers boast 3 to 5 times higher conversion rates than their competitors, underscoring the need for SMBs to focus on meaningful optimizations that are beyond simply upgrading a page's aesthetics.  Marketers also aim for higher conversion rates and higher performance rates across entire accounts, rather than just focusing on individual landing pages.  Creative offers are another tactic used by marketers, which can lead to tremendous conversion rates.  Marketers generally understand the path to conversion, which allows them to gauge when users are engaged versus disinterested. 

Finally, marketers test frequently, which allows them to refocus their efforts for unsuccessful strategies and tactics.  (http://smallbiztrends.com/2014/05/conversion-rate... 

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"How a Standard Email Format Changed Our Relationships With Clients"

CPA Practice Advisor (05/15/14); Kildal, Stacy

Sending email is a primary form of communication between clients and businesses.  Deterring clients from responding to email is a simple faux-pas, although many businesses might not be aware of their missteps. 

To send an effective email, SMBs should adhere to a simple format.  Starting an email with a simple greeting is the first step.  Then, SMBs should bullet their updates in a set of three.  Most importantly, next steps and a call to action should be clearly outlined.  Using a standard form of communicating with clients will help SMBs be more productive, saving time and getting the information they need.

(http://www.cpapracticeadvisor.com/blog/11461922/how-a-standard-email-format

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"Office Productivity in the Cloud: A Zoho Case Study"

Small Business Computing (05/14/14); Rubens, Paul

Youth Routes is an example of an organization that needed a competitive customer relationship management (CRM) solution.  Youth Routes offers work experience to musicians through music festivals.  Initially, the Youth Routes used Microsoft Office solely for their business, but quickly learned the software lacked collaboration features.  The organization then adopted cloud-based Zoho for automating sales, streamlining email, and integrating with major applications.  Youth Routes found Zoho's word processing, spreadsheet, and document management system specifically useful.  The cloud-based app also includes calendar and scheduling features, as well as time tracking and reporting.  Youth Routes advises businesses to consider the amount of support available via cloud-based CRM providers, as well as their levels of integration.

(http://www.smallbusinesscomputing.com/biztools/office-productivity ...

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"Biz Bits: Tips to Help Small Businesses Stay Competitive With Larger Companies"

Herald News (Fall River, MA) (05/14/2014)

Unified communications (UC) systems have provided smaller businesses with a competitive advantage similar to larger enterprises.  There are five necessary features of UC systems, according to electronics provider Plantronics.  Unified messaging is the first essential feature, which centralizes multiple forms of electronic communication for simpler viewing in one location.  Unified messaging also includes capabilities for remote access of phone messages via Bluetooth, improving productivity.  Presence features allow workers to stay connected remotely, while integrated conferencing supports employees' participation in meetings remotely. 

Instant messaging capabilities support collaboration and connectivity among employees.  The last UC feature, one-number reach, allows clients to have direct access to employees through calling multiple numbers simultaneously to reach an employee.

(http://www.heraldnews.com/article/20140514/NEWS/140518759/-1/business)

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IMPLEMENT a DEVICE MANAGEMENT PROGRAM

Processor.com (05/02/14) Vol. 36, No. 9, P. 18

The mobile device phenomenon underscores the need for offices to create mobile device management (MDM) policies for employees.  IDC research director Christopher Chute says mobile device management encompasses three components: device management, application management, and content management.  Authorizing specific user access is another part of MDM policies, which provides more control over data security and devices. 

Chute notes that MDM security extends to the way that data, applications, and overall content is accessed.  Analysts recommend strategizing, discussing, and testing as part of a comprehensive MDM strategy, in addition to evaluating MDM solutions that are specific to their needs. 

Although controlling all aspects of employee mobile device usage will be ultimately impossible, businesses can create specific protocols that will help mitigate risk at all levels of device management.

(http://www.processor.com/articles//P3609/08p09/08p09.pdf?guid)

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This week's sponsor is:  Information, Inc.

Information Inc.'s handcrafted business intelligence services provide up-to-the-minute information on critical issues. Decision-makers in more than 2,000 major corporations, associations and government agencies worldwide have relied on our comprehensive news services for the past 22 years.  To learn how our timely, targeted, custom services can help you compete in the 21st century, go to:  http://www.infoinc.com/statecpa/contact.html

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News Abstracts © Copyright 2014 Information Inc., Bethesda, MD 20817 USA

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