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Microsites and subdomains fulfill different strategies for website visibility.Microsites are an offshoot of a main website. You can create microsites under the same root directory as the main site. The definition of microsite varies from a completely separate site to a detailed focus on one page of a site. The microsite may ha...


Increasing the number of private messages users can receive on your VBulletin message board ensures that messages aren't returned to the sender when a mailbox is full. Changes to private message settings are made via a user group's Private Message Pe...

What went wrong?Most observers are scratching their heads over the surprising announcement that Facebook is winding down Parse, the app-hosting service it bought in 2013 as part of a larger effort to woo mobile developers.Developers will have a year to move their apps off of Facebook's servers, and ...

Share Access data with the world by putting it on the Web.Your Access database may contain valuable information that your website visitors might find useful. While you could copy data from an Access form and paste it into an HTML table, you'd probably spend a lot of time doing that. Use the application's ex...


Website domain names are fairly cheap and easy to come by, allowing just about anyone with an interest to carve out their own piece of the Net. These domains must be renewed on a regular basis, however, otherwise you lose your claim to that particula...


This post is sponsored by ChameleonJohn, a provider of online coupons, promo codes, and daily deals. It reflects the views of the sponsor, not ReadWrite's editors.

When the Internet was introduced to the general public, it brought changes of all sorts. Some, we could have predicted; some, we couldn’t. Through the Internet, we now have conveniences like buying items from halfway around the globe, learning any language we desire, making friends, expanding our knowledge, marketing our businesses, and even saving money. 

Hey, the cost of living is rising and our payche

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cks don't always keep up. So these tactics may well be useful for you when you shop online—because every penny counts.

Add Items To Your Shopping Cart—And Leave Them There

This strange-sounding method works because, the way most sites work, the price of an item you leave in your cart without checking out will always be updated with current discounts and promotions. (Look out for websites that automatically remove items in your cart after a certain amount of time—they're on to you.) Some sites will email you if you leave an item in your cart—and give you an incentive to complete your purchase by offering you a discount! You'll never rush to check out again.

Add "Coupons" To Your Search

The Internet is filled with coupon websites that are ready to offer you savings when you purchase online or offline. You can search on Google for the brand you desire and include the word "coupon," and you’ll be rewarded with a number of promotions that will help you save some dollars. One popular coupon site you might find as you search is ChameleonJohn.

Compare In-Store And Online Prices

Sometimes your favorite brand may sell certain products at cheaper prices online than they do in their physical stores. This can be for several reasons—to increase traffic on their website, achieve more online reach, or hit a certain target for online sales. There are also companies that are secondary sellers for products that you’re looking for or regularly buy. For instance, buying your preferred brand of protein shake from Supplement Warehouse may be cheaper than buying from the brand's website.

Sign Up For Email Newsletters And Use Social Media

Most brands and companies would want to divert customers’ attention to their store, and a popular way of doing so is by giving discounts and offers to those who’d sign up for their newsletters and emails. At Rebecca Minkoff’s, you’ll be entitled to a 15% discount on their products when you sign up with your email address. When it comes to social media, companies do engage their customers and potential customers in contests where they can win products, coupons or even cash prizes. These contests are a great way to save some money or to win some money!

About ChameleonJohn

ChameleonJohn is a brand-new website where everyone can get the best coupons, discount codes, and learn other ways how to save online. It's worth your time to explore, with a vast amount of stores, services and fun activities to choose from. At ChameleonJohn, you will find all the places you want to shop at, and always get the best discount deals, too. This online-coupons website offers excellent discounts from thousands of the largest online retailers. You'll always be able to save money!

This post is sponsored by ChameleonJohn, a provider of online coupons, promo codes, and daily deals. It reflects the views of the sponsor, not ReadWrite's editors.


If you use ClickBank to promote digital products, you can monitor your efforts by setting up tracking with Google Analytics. The Google Analytics program helps you gain valuable insight into how people interact with your product page. For example, yo...


You can't export Tumblr to Blogger directly, but you can use a few tools to help you move your posts.Blogger lacks the capability to import Tumblr blogs directly. However, you can get around this limitation, taking advantage of the fact that Blogger can import WordPress XML files. You can use a tool created by programmer Ben Ward to export your Tumb...


Brian Solis is a digital analyst, anthropologist, futurist and author of X, What’s the Future of Business (WTF), Engage! and The End of Business As Usual.

So many companies entrust customer engagement to marketing. At the same time, many customers blame marketing’s inability to engage them in relevant and meaningful ways as one of the top roadblocks for referring brands or becoming loyal. If companies don’t change how they engage customers, including people, tools and practices, customers will

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simply go elsewhere.

This is what blows my mind about customer engagement today. Customers are the lifeblood of any organization, yet engagement is relegated to departments that run disengaged and disparate strategies, such as email marketing, social media broadcasting, product registration programs, and net-promoter-score surveys, among others. Companies really don’t invest the time or resources in technology or initiatives that engage people in ways that are contextually relevant, useful and meaningful. 

This has to change.

The Product Is The Message

In part 1 of this series, I shared the promise of “in-product communication” as a new channel for customer engagement. I noted that as products are increasingly connected to the Internet (wearables, smart devices, intelligent appliances, etc.) as part of the Internet of Things movement, companies now have the ability to communicate with users directly through products. 

Companies can also understand the context of product usage to anticipate customer needs, better support customers, and more effectively personalize engagement. 

If customer experience is defined as the sum of all interactions a customer has with your brand throughout the customer lifecycle, improving engagement becomes a significant competitive advantage. 

In everything from marketing and messaging, to service and support, to loyalty and rewards, and customer advocacy, companies that activate the Internet of Things as a channel for relationship building and enhancing the customer experience introduce a new standard of business. 

Yet, according to a 2013 Econsultancy report, 89% of companies said they planned to compete on the basis of customer experience while only 8% of companies said they currently provide a "very integrated" customer experience.

Throwing An Engagement Party

This is why I see in-product engagement as the next big thing for customer experience. Traditional programs are limited. They are inhibiting the ability for any company to foster dialogue and relationships with the very people using their products. 

For example, any company that sells through retail does not receive a complete roster of those using the products unless customers register them and create an account or contact support. With email marketing, companies can only reach out to customers who have provided their email addresses. 

 With in-product engagement—something now possible with modern, connected devices—companies can communicate based on device ID or serial number, essentially reaching 100% of customers' devices that go online.

Right now, only 15% of customers typically register a device, thus providing means for future contact. Even still, email marketing sucks. Only 20% of those registered customers might open an email and only 5% might click through with a lackluster 1% likely to convert.  

This emergent platform of in-product engagement is also important through later stages of the product lifecycle, like repair or replacement. Often product managers struggle to understand which customer-support issues need to be resolved in a product update and also how to be more competitive in providing differentiated, value-added features. 

Talk To The Customer—Not To The Channel

 In-product communication opens new doors. Short, context-based surveys, broken down by the specific serial number, lot, location, and so on can be very revealing. And delivering a survey through the device, as opposed to a channel like phone calls, direct mail, or email, yields substantially higher completion rates.

As I wrote this post, Apple was just issuing a hardware repair notice for owners of the iPhone 6 Plus. Turns out that an early version of the smartphone included potentially faulty camera lenses, mine included, which caused blurry images. 

As a user, if you didn’t hear about it in the news, you most likely wouldn’t have known there was a solution. iPhones have push notifications—Apple wrote the software and runs the service that delivers them! Why didn't I hear about the problem this way?

Apple could have alerted known users of the affected devices one by one, in a direct, personal, highly engaging manner to: 

  1. Repair the problem directly and efficiently
  2. Control the inevitable press about the issue in a way that positively becomes part of the inevitable story

Right now, Apple still doesn't fully control its relationship with all of its customers, since phone-company retail stores sell many of its smartphones for it. But as it adds more cloud-based services and new services like the iPhone Upgrade Program, it will have more direct access to those customers—and fewer excuses for not communicating directly about problems. 

While new, in-product communication also introduces a new opportunity for customer engagement and ultimately sets the stage for a new genre of customer experience. Because it’s new, we must also rethink what it takes to manage it effectively. Using an entirely new channel for customer relationship management the way we use old channels only equates to mediumism at best.

See, no matter how ambitious we get with new technology, it doesn’t matter. Without aligning with a bigger mission or vision with what we are trying to do—something that is going to matter to your customers—we are just communicating the way we always have. We are not moving in any new direction. 

We may talk about the "Internet of Things," but really what matters to you is the network of humans who pay money to use your products. It’s time to move in a new direction. It’s past time to invest in customer experiences in ways that improve relationships, cultivate loyalty and advocacy, and take advantage of this new, connected world.


Etsy enables users to buy and sell handmade items through a virtual storefront.The items you sell on Etsy are products of your own hard work and creativity, so your storefront should also reflect your personality. Customizing your Etsy storefront also makes your page stand out from the others and gives your products a form of b...

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