Mac vs PC Buying Experience

Yesterday I purchased a new Dell Inspiron laptop from Best Buy (I have been traveling with a bulky PC desktop… and it was time for it to go).  This was the first time I actually purchased a new PC from a major retailer like this.  What I could not believe was the difference in buying experience from a Mac to a PC.

After I decided on the exact model, I told the Best Buy sales representative.  I wanted to just pick up the box and head towards the checkout, but of course they had this model stored as a “package deal”.  Ok, Ok.. I’ll purchase the entire package that includes a carrying case, mouse, printer, etc…

Standing there in the isle, our conversation goes…

“Now before we checkout can I interests you in our geek squad protection program?”
No Thanks
“We also offer a great warranty protection program that covers xyz” (This description took over 2 minutes).
“Nope.. I’m Good”
[we walk to the checkout]
“Before we checkout what about this extra service”
No No.. thanks anyways
” Do you want to participate in Best Buy’s buyers program and receive $x for every $x you spend?”
Ok.. fine

So I finally get out of the store feeling completely overwhelmed. I get home and turn on the computer. I’m asked if I want to register the computer.  I click no thanks.  Then the computer asks AGAIN.  “Are you sure… this really helps us…”  Ok Ok fine.. I’ll register.

After I refuse 4 additional offers from Dell, I am finally taken to my desktop.  I thought I was finally free from the solicitations when literally minutes later, a window pops up asking me to purchase McAfree Anti-Virus!  I never asked for this, and can’t figure out how to get the window to go away!

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Compare all of this with my latest shopping experience at the mac store purchasing my new MacBook Pro.  I walk in and out in literally a few minutes.  The mac guy ofcourse asked me if I wanted Apple protection, but a very friendly buying experience.

I get home, turn on my computer and I’m off and runnign with 0.. thats ZERO… solicitations or popups getting me to purchase more things.

THE MORAL: Keep things simple and don’t push services.  If people want something they will ask for it!

Mailing Personalized URL Postcards

Trying to decide the best way to mail your  personalized url postcards can be very overwhelming. There seems to be a million different options. The short answer is to let your printer handle the mailing. Most print shops have mailing services, and if they don’t, they know somebody who does. From my experience, you can plan on paying $80 – $150 to have your printer prep your mailing to send to the postoffice. Preping includes Address verification/NCOA certification/Cass certification & Presorting.

Benefits of mailing through your printer is that they understand how to get the lowest possible mailing rate with the postoffice. Chances are you will make the mailing service fees back in the amount you will save on postage. For example, if you were to mail a standard size (4″x6″) postcard, you would normally pay the full first class postage rate of 28¢. But a printer can usually bring that price down to 23¢ using their mailing services.

The only time to consider using standard postage (as opposed to first class) would be when you are sending postcards that are larger than 6 inches long by 4-1/4 inches high. In this case it you could save up to 10¢ per card mailing standard. The two big drawbacks of using standard mail typically will take an additional 10-15 days to deliver, and it is not undeliverable addresses are not forwarded or returned. A typical mailing will have 8% undeliverable addresses, so it is valuable to know which addresses these are for future mailings.

Avatar – Where is the 1:1 Marketing?

I’m typically not a sci-fi fan, so I went to see Avatar last night with low expectations.  Really, just wanted to see it for the new 3D technology before it left theaters.  But I left extremely impressed.  I would go as far as to say it is the best movie I have seen in years. Even my wife, who I had to drag to the movie, thought it was great.

But what I really thought was intersting about the success of Avatar is how they utilized Web 2.0 technologies to promote their brand.  They of-course had Twitter and Facebook pages. This is standard for every movie today.  But they took it a step further by reinventing the online preview with Adobe Air, and a MTV webcast with James Cameron himself.  The premier was even broadcast online on ustream.

But where is the personalization?  Couldn’t a movie such as Avatar really knock it out o the park with some quality 1:1 marketing techniques?  I think we will soon see movies start to market this was as 1:1 marketing hits main stream….

New from the Twitter Dude…

A neat little payment processing system from the guy that created twitter. Picture 2

Looks interesting. Do you think it will ever catch on? If so there could be some pretty interesting opportunities for marketing with the system. It could take personalized marketing to an entirely new level.

http://squareup.com/

Augmented Reality

I was just introduced to Augmented Reality today. My initial thought was “Well thats great.. but your going to look goofy wearing those glasses everywhere you go!”  But you don’t have to!  There are already iPhone apps being developed that allow you to view augmented reality through your phone.  Imagine the use in conjunction with yelp.  You point your phone down a downtown street full of restaurants, and you see reviews of each restaurant magically appear. I don’t  know. Maybe that would never catch on.  I would probably rather just look at a google map for that.

But what I’m more concerned with is how you can use this as a marketing tool.  How is augmented reality going to take form in the future, and in what ways could it be used to market your product or service? And could it be used somehow with Personal URLs? Well this will give me something to think about for a while!

Check out how Esquire used the technology:  http://www.esquire.com/the-side/augmented-reality

Need I say more?

“Personalized, full-color direct-marketing campaigns are recession fighters; we’ve seen our customers and their clients succeed in these tough economic times with highly-targeted, customized projects that touch the consumer in a personal, direct way,” said Shelley Sweeney, vice president, Direct Mail and Service Bureau Segment, Xerox Corporation.

Another Personalized URL Landing Page Example

Here is another example of how a private country club in Florida used Personalized URLs to attract new members. They used a sequence of several landing pages to gradually lead the visitor to enter their email to receive their “gift.”

Personalized URL Landing Page

Personalized URL Landing Page Example

Below is an example of a Purlem personalized url landing page created by one of my clients. Using Purlem’s campaign import/export feature, he can easily copy the entire campaign and landing page to new client accounts. He can then make minor alterations for each client, and he is up and running. This feature alone has saved him thousands of dollars on each campaign.

Picture 1

Testimonials for Purlem’s Personal URL Site

Purlem is much more than a personal URL system as we organize our clients marketing to manage their prospects. It is the simplest solution we have used that integrates with our cross-media campaigns. They are constantly advancing and improving the technology to adapt to our needs. Great service as well and very responsive.

As a programmer myself looking for a solution that I could incorporate in my products for my customers I have to honestly say I think I have met my match. As I said to you, I will use your PURL solution instead of programming our own. You have created a product that is not only user friendly, it is user minded. Your support staff are all hired if they decide to leave you, which I doubt they ever will. Thanks Marty… Heres to long term relationships!!