Web Hosting Blog

Build Your Own Business Website

posted by Tom Sullivan

And build for business success with Business Website Plus

Today we’d like to provide anyone thinking about launching a business website for the first time some tips by focusing on one of our top web hosting services: our Business Website Plus web hosting package.

We’re going to go through and highlight its features and try to explain why features like these matter to business owners so you can make more informed decisions and ultimately choose the best web hosting service for your business.

business website plus - web hosting serviceWEB HOSTING OVERVIEW

Our Business Website Plus package is designed for small businesses that want an easy and effective way to build, manage, and market their own website. It offers an easy-to-use website builder with advanced business web templates, an easy-to-install WordPress blog, email marketing and social media tools, and a mobile-optimized website.

BUILDING YOUR BUSINESS WEBSITE

When getting started with web hosting, you’ll want to feel confident you’ve got everything you need to get a really professional and effective website launched – with minimal time and stress. So you’ll want to look for features like these offered with Business Website Plus.

  • Website Builder: An easy-to-use website builder like ours can empower you to quickly create a professional-looking website. You shouldn’t need to know an HTML or anything about coding or websites. (If you really don’t want to do it yourself you should look for a web hosting plan that includes professional website design.)
  • Mobile Website Builder: It’s more and more important to have a mobile-friendly website to reach smartphone & tablet users. So you’ll want to make sure you have an easy-to use mobile website builder, too.
  • Website Templates: Templates make site building as easy as possible. Simply select the business-themed template that works best for your business and add your business and product information. Click. Publish.
  • Advanced Web Templates: Having more options is always good. Business Website Plus offers thousands of highly customizable, advanced templates along with the more basic templates.
  • WordPress Blog Installer: Even if you know you won’t start blogging right away, you should be read to do so. Blogging is a great way to promote your business, engage your customers, and get search engine results. WordPress is the #1 blogging software, and having a simple WordPress Installer lets you add a blog to your business website in no time.
  • Photo Gallery Installer: A picture gallery is another feature that can help you showcase your business. Having an installer to seamlessly set this up on your business website is key.

OPTIMIZING & MARKETING YOUR WEBSITE

Getting your business website online is a huge first step. Next is making sure you can optimize it so search engines rank it, effectively marketing to attract visitors, and measuring your success. So, you’ll want to look for web hosting features like these from our Business Website Plus plan.

  • Search Engine Optimization: Search engine optimization (a.k.a. SEO) are the techniques you use to help your web pages rank higher in search engine results. And higher rankings equals more traffic to your business website. Our EasySiteOptimizer too helps you with SEO; select keywords for each webpage, analyze site content and layout, and identify areas that require changes.
  • Directory Listings: While search engines are more important for most businesses, online directories can also help send traffic to your website and your local business. Easily submit your business information to more than 60 online business directories and GPS navigation systems at one time.
  • Email Marketing: Email is still an effective way to market your business and keep your customer base engaged. Our Announcer Pro tool lets Business Website Plus subscribers store 500 contacts, and create and send HTML emails (campaigns and newsletters). You can choose from 300+ easy email templates and get detailed reporting on your email marketing results.
  • Call Tracking: Get valuable insights into your marketing with a unique phone number for marketing campaign measurement; features include call recording, lead capture, call forwarding, voicemail-to-email, virtual receptionist, click-to-call and more.
  • Social Media Marketing: Social media is an important place to engage your customers and reach out to new ones. But it can be a lot of work. Our social media tool helps you manage multiple social media accounts from one simple interface. Post to your Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn networks simultaneously.
  • Website Analytics: Knowledge is power, right? That’s why you’ll want to learn as much as you can about your visitors. Use our website analytics tools to track site visits, duration on page, referrals and more so you can optimize your site.

In addition to these web hosting plan features, you’ll want to make sure you get a domain name (Business Website Plus includes a free domain and supports up to 10 domains), domain email addresses (Business Website Plus includes 200 of them, with 1GB of storage for each address), and enough storage space and bandwidth for your business website (Business Website Plus includes 300GB of storage and 3,000GB per month of bandwidth).

Whether you choose our Business Website Plus or another web hosting service, we hope this information helped you make a decision and we wish you the best of luck with your business online.

The post Build Your Own Business Website appeared first on EarthLink Blog: Internet services, Web Hosting, IT services.



Let’s Chat … About Adding Chat to Your Website

posted by Tom Sullivan

If you’re an EarthLink Web Hosting customer, we expect you’ve come to appreciate how your website helps you promote your business, pull in new customers and keep current customers engaged and loyal.

But you might also be missing the kind of one-on-one interaction you can have with your customers when they walk into your store or offices: asking them if they need any help, chatting about their needs, and answering their questions.

Well, there are ways to add back some of that customer interaction on your website. We’ve previously posted about adding PhpBB website discussion forums and adding online photo galleries as ways to add interactivity to your business website.

Add Online Chat to Your Website - EasyLiveChatBut perhaps the best way to incorporate that one-on-one interactivity on your website is to add EasyLiveChat.

As the name suggests, EasyLiveChat is an easy way to chat live with your website visitors, offering real-time support and guidance that can lead to increased customer satisfaction, loyalty, and sales.

How to Add EasyLiveChat to Your Website

  1. Sign into your Web Hosting Control Center at https://control.earthlink.net with your web hosting domain nameusername and password.
  2. From the Build tab, click on the EasyLiveChat icon.
  3. From the new window that opens, click Install EasyLiveChat.
  4. On the next screen, click Configure EasyLiveChat.
  5. Next you should add an agent for your chat service. Click the Add button to get started.
  6. Enter a name and password for your agent. You may also decide to add a maximum number of chats your agent can handle at once and an email address (though these are not mandatory). Click Finished when you’re done.
  7. Click the Setup tab (top right) to choose colors for your Visitor and Agent themes, add a logo, add a Chat subject label, add a Not in service message, allow chat transfers between agents, and decide what questions should be initially asked in all chats (such as requests for name, the customer issue, customer email address; choose Other if you want a custom question).
  8. If you’ve set up a support email address and included a request for customer email address, you can click a checkbox to have a transcript of the chat sent to the customer automatically.
  9. Click on the Agent/Client Code Snippet link to get the source code that should be put into your support pages. Copy the code that appears in the pop-up window and paste it into the HTML of your pages. You can change the text that says Client Login to something else, like Chat with Us or Start Chat if you like.
  10. Click OK to complete setup.
  11. Once setup is complete, agents can click back on the EasyLiveChat icon, and then Agent Login. Enter the username and password you chose in step 6 above to log into the EasyLiveChat service.

We’ll cover the details of how an agent can log in and manage chats with customers visiting your business website in a future post.

The post Let’s Chat … About Adding Chat to Your Website appeared first on EarthLink Blog: Internet services, Web Hosting, IT services.



Website Security: How to Use Our IP Blocker

posted by Tom Sullivan

ip blocker - website security tool for web hostingOne of the many free tools available to EarthLink Web Hosting customers in their Web Hosting Control Center is our easy-to-use IP Blocker.

The IP Blocker is one of the ways you can keep your website secure and protect your business. Using this tool, you can protect your website from being viewed from particular IP addresses or a range of IPs.

Why would you want to do that? We’ll, you may become aware, by looking at your website visitor logs or, especially, error logs, that there are huge numbers of requests for files that don’t exist.

Many of these “visitors” (likely robots)  may be from countries like China or Russia, even though your products or services are not available in those countries. So these visits to your website are likely made by malicious spammers or hackers trying to find a backdoor to damage your site, hijack your mail program, or harm you in some other way.

So, whenever you are aware of any malicious visitors to your website, you can use the IP Blocker tool to block their access so they can’t return to cause problems for you.

How to Use IP Blocker

  1. Sign in to your EarthLink Web Hosting Control Center at control.earthlink.net with your domain nameusername and password.
  2. Click on the Manage Site tab.
  3. Click on the IP Blocker icon (see screenshot above).
  4. Choose a location (within your /public directory) that you would like to protect. Note: Protecting any website directory blocks access to all its sub-directories as well. So, for example, if you protect your main /public/ directory, your whole website will be protected from being viewed by your list of blocked IP addresses.
  5. Enter an IP address you want to block in the text field and click Add IP. To block multiple IP addresses, click the Add more IPs link, which will expand the text field (enter multiple IPs separated by a space, comma or semi-colon). You can specify either full, individual IP addresses or partial networks. For example, entering 10.10.1 – will block the entire network 10.10.1.x but entering 10.10.1.5 will block only that particular IP address.
  6. Click the Protect Location button and the IP addresses you entered will not be able to access your website.
  7. Use the Manage Protected Locations section to block additional IP addresses or to remove IPs you had previously blocked.

The post Website Security: How to Use Our IP Blocker appeared first on EarthLink Blog: Internet services, Web Hosting, IT services.



4 Types of Online Marketing … and How We Can Help

posted by Tom Sullivan

EarthLink Web Hosting is designed not only to help businesses easily get a professional website online, but also to help them market their website and their business.

That’s why each of our web hosting and ecommerce hosting plans includes free online marketing tools.

In this post, we’ll highlight four types of online marketing – content marketing, social media marketing, search engine marketing and email marketing – that are important for businesses to master and the EarthLink Web Hosting tools that can help you do just that.

1. Content marketing: Content marketing is a hot term these days, but it’s not always well understood – because it’s a very broad term. Wikipedia gives this definition of content marketing:

Content marketing is any marketing format that involves the creation and sharing of media and publishing content in order to acquire customers.”

The content marketing you are likely most familiar with is a business blog with regular text posts. But content marketing can take many other forms and formats, including videos, photos, PowerPoint presentations, infographics, white papers, case studies, webinars, podcasts and more.

What distinguishes content marketing from the more direct online marketing you do on your business website is that it focuses primarily on communicating with customers/readers/viewers rather than selling to them directly and overtly. Content marketing done well can generate awareness for your business, consideration of your products and services, and increased loyalty from current customers. Sometimes you’ll get direct sales from content marketing, but it’s usually a two-step (or more) process.

Content marketing can also help you with some of your other marketing efforts. Blog content can often be very helpful for your website SEO, part of your overall search engine marketing (SEM) efforts. It can also aid your social media marketing by giving you valuable original content to share with your social network followers. And it can likewise filter into your email marketing by giving you some non-sales content to include in email newsletters.

WordPress blogging software makes it easy to publish your first blog post

How EarthLink Web Hosting helps with content marketing: Our Web Hosting Control Center offers a simple WordPress installer to make it simple to add a WordPress blog to your EarthLink-hosted website. WordPress is the #1 blogging platform in the world. Your blog can then be the bedrock of all your content marketing efforts. See how to install a WordPress blog on your website and how to publish your first blog post using WordPress for help getting started.

2. Social media marketing: Let’s head back to Wikipedia for a quick definition of social media marketing:

“Social media marketing refers to the process of gaining website traffic or attention through social media sites.”

Typically it looks like this: businesses establish a presence on social networks like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+ in order to engage their online audience, build a following, and drive traffic back to their website and/or blog. You’ve bee a part of social media marketing if you’ve Liked a company on Facebook, retweeted a company tweet, or downloaded an online coupon from another social network.

As we noted above with content marketing, success with social media marketing (SMM) can aid in other online marketing efforts. Social network sharing is an effective way to promote your content marketing efforts. Every new blog post, white paper, infographic or other form of content you create should be shared with your social networks. Social media activity can also help you with your search engine marketing’s SEO efforts. Though the major search engines haven’t specified just how much it matters, they’ve all said that social media “signals” factor into the search algorithms that translate into search engine rankings. In other words, if there’s a lot of social network activity around your brand, you’ll be more likely to rank high for relevant terms.

social media integration with SocialStream and EarthLink Web HostingHow EarthLink Web Hosting helps with social media marketing: All of our Web Hosting services include a free tool, found in the Web Hosting Control Center, called SocialStream, that can help you simplify and streamline your social media marketing. SocialStream gives you one easy-to-use dashboard to manage your social networks and lets you post to Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn simultaneously. See our Social Media Made Simple for help getting started.

3. Search engine marketing: There are two main forms of search engine marketing (SEM): PPC, which stands for Pay Per Click and SEO, which stands for Search Engine Optimization.

When you do a Google search, you see results based on both PPC and SEO. Typically at the top of the search results page and along the right side of the page, you see sponsored ads. Businesses have used Google AdWords program to bid on this search engine placement and will pay money to Google for each ad that gets clicked on, which is why it’s called Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising.

All the other search results in the middle of the page are considered “organic” or unpaid results based on Google’s perception of how relevant those results are for the search. That’s where SEO comes in. SEO techniques can make it more likely that Google ranks your site higher in these organic search results.

basic-seo-easy-website-optimizerHow EarthLink Web Hosting helps with search engine marketing: While EarthLink Web Hosting doesn’t directly offer a PPC tool (you have to work with and pay Google or Bing directly), our website builder and other tools that help you build and maintain a quality website ultimately help you with PPC. Because you have to have high-quality website pages to link to from your AdWords and other PPC ads.

We do offer free SEO tools that help you submit your website to 60+ search engines and online directories, and SEO tools that help you optimize your individual website pages for search engines. See our SEO Basics posts to see how to use EasySiteOptimizer for SEO, how to create sitemaps and submit to search engines, and how to do code validation for SEO.

4. Email marketing: Because it’s been around for such a long time, email marketing doesn’t have the buzz associated with the marketing techniques above. But it’s been around such a long time because it works. As we reported in this previous blog post about email marketing:

    • People who buy products marketed through email spend 138% more than people who don’t receive email offers
    • 44% of email recipients made at least one purchase last year based on a marketing email

Email marketing can include customer newsletters, product offers, coupons, or more informational updates. Regardless of what type or types of email marketing you want to do, having an email marketing platform can streamline and simplify your efforts, and help you track your success.

How EarthLink Web Hosting helps with email marketing: All EarthLink Web Hosting plans include free access to our Announcer Pro email marketing tool. With Announcer Pro you can create graphic-rich emails, manage contact lists of email addresses, send email emails to these lists, as well as track and report the results. See this post for help getting started creating and sending your first marketing email with Announcer Pro.

Good luck with all your online marketing efforts. And let us know how you’re doing.

The post 4 Types of Online Marketing … and How We Can Help appeared first on EarthLink Blog: Internet services, Web Hosting, IT services.



Your Business Website as a Labor Saver

posted by Tom Sullivan

1st Labor Day in NYCHappy Labor Day!

In honor of the holiday (and the fact that you’re not likely to be doing a lot of heavy web hosting reading today), we’re giving you a quick list of some ways you can save labor when creating your website, along with some labor-saving features of a business website from EarthLink.

  1. Professional website design: The ultimate labor saving strategy for you – have someone else do it for you. With this professional design option, our web experts take care of everything needed to launch your website while you take care of your business. Ongoing, monthly website design and copywriting maintenance is also included to save you the labor for upkeep.
  2. Website builder: The next best thing (in terms of labor) to having someone else create your website for you would be to use our super-simple, template-driven EasySiteWizard Pro website builder. Just pick a template that fits your business, enter some information about your business, and click to publish a good-looking 3-page site.
  3. Location information: When your website prominently displays location information, perhaps including online maps and directions, you not only encourage visits to your store or office, you reduce the need to answer the phone to provide this information.
  4. Hours: Questions about your business hours can drive calls and staffing needs. Offering this information online can cut phone labor.
  5. Mobile website: Mobile websites that offer smartphone users the information they need without calling you extends the labor-saving benefits of the previous two bullets.
  6. SEO: The more you are able to get your website to rank “organically” in the main Google or Bing search results, the less extra work you’re going to need to do to market your business. Our SEO tools help EarthLink Web Hosting customers optimize their websites for search engine rankings. Not only that, you can use them to submit your site to more than 60 online business directories and search engines all at once – saving you time and effort.
  7. Social media: Save time promoting your business on social networks. EarthLink Web Hosting customers can easily manage multiple social media accounts from one simple interface and post to Facebook, Twitter & LinkedIn simultaneously.
  8. Email marketing: Announcer Pro reduces the time and effort needed to set up and track an email marketing campaign.

We hope you have a great Labor Day with family and friends.

The post Your Business Website as a Labor Saver appeared first on EarthLink Blog: Internet services, Web Hosting, IT services.



Is Your Business Like Salad Dressing?

posted by Tom Sullivan

business tips from the salad dressing marketWhat can salad dressing tell you about where your business is headed?

Possibly a lot.

And the answer just might be in two directions simultaneously: up and down.

The Wall Street Journal recently reported (subscription required) about how the salad dressing market is a good indicator of how many markets in the U.S. economy are bifurcating – splitting into a discount market catering to lower income consumers and a premium market catering to the wealthy.

The middle, where you find the most popular brands, is getting squeezed as hard as an almost empty bottle of ketchup.

In the dressing world, the low end is represented by private-label/supermarket brands, while the high-end is represented by fresh and organic dressings and more upscale or exotic flavors.

Premium dressings that you find on refrigerated shelves near the produce section of the grocery store are growing two to three times faster than the regular brands.

If you’re one of our business web hosting customers trying to grow your business online, you might want to think about this up/down market bifurcation and how it may or may not be affecting your business.

Are you well positioned to appeal to the cost-conscious consumers looking to pinch pennies and cut corners? Are you positioned as a premium product or service provider able to command premium pricing? Do you offer options to appeal to both segments?

If not, you may be able to use your web site to test out some alternate products that appeal to either the high or low end of your market, or both.

For example, you might test offering product or service discounts through search engine marketing with Google Adwords (see our previous blog post about getting started with AdWords).

If you can’t (or don’t want to compete on price), you may want to see if you can put together a more premium package that you try to upsell to current customers via email marketing (our previous posts about getting started with email marketing and tracking your email marketing results can help you with that).

See how you can innovate with your product or service (or your marketing) to set it apart from the shrinking middle and help you generate increased growth and higher margins.

Good luck. And let us know how you’re doing.

The post Is Your Business Like Salad Dressing? appeared first on EarthLink Blog: Internet services, Web Hosting, IT services.



7 Website Tips to Help You Get Started Right

posted by Tom Sullivan

7 Top Website Tips - Good ideas for your business website

Creating a business website can be an intimidating prospect. You want everything to be perfect … but don’t have the expertise to be confident you’ll get it right.

That’s one reason we offer professional website design. Our experts can take all that stress off you and ensure you get a business website you can be proud of.

But you definitely can do it yourself. In fact, we offer three DIY website hosting packages that include an easy-to-use website builder and plenty of other tools to help you out.

Today we’ll offer you some basic website tips to help you get started with your business website.

Even before the list of tips, our first advice would be not to stress out about making your website perfect right off the bat. It won’t be perfect. But if you get the basics right, it will work well for you and you can easily update and optimize your site over time.

When Building Your Business Website, Don’t Forget…

  1. Contact information: Make it as easy as possible for website visitors to contact you and find you if you have a local, real-world presence. Create an easy-to-find Contact Us page and think about adding your phone number and address to the top header (or at least bottom footer) of all pages. An address can also help with your local SEO efforts.
  2. Business information: Make it as clear as possible who you are and what you provide. Keep in mind, people will be visiting your site who don’t know anything about your business or maybe even the category of products and services you are offering. Don’t rely on industry jargon that people may not understand or on vague marketing language that doesn’t answer people’s questions. Your business information can be on your homepage or an About Us page. One technique is to have some abbreviated introductory information on the homepage so people are sure to see it and then have more detailed information about your company on an About page, Product or Services pages, Pricing page, etc.
  3. Logo/Branding: If you already have an established logo or other brand elements, try to have them incorporated into your website so your customers will feel at home on your website. Doing this will also help customers trust you online, which can help translate into sales. If you do have a logo, make sure it is prominently displayed at the top of all website pages: upper-left is the standard position. (Our professional website design services offer logo design as an add-on service if you don’t already have a logo.)
  4. Easy navigation: Take some time to plan out all your pages and link to them using easy-to-understand keywords in your navigation. If you have lots of pages, group them into logical, well-understood categories in your navigation. If you are having trouble deciding on category names, look around the web at similar websites. Using common online terminology is a good strategy; you don’t want to rely on customers relearning terminology that’s unique to you if they are used to seeing it another way.
  5. Site map: Ideally your website navigation makes it simple for visitors to get to all your website pages, but having a sitemap that lists all your pages in one place is a good backup plan. Site maps are often linked to from the header or footer of all pages.
  6. Easy to read: While you do want to use your brand’s colors on your website, that doesn’t mean if your logo is red and green you want to have red pages with green text on them (or visa versa). You want to make sure all your pages are easy to read. So pick page and text colors that contrast well for readability (good ol’ black text on white pages is the most readable) and make sure the font size is big enough for most people (larger if you specialize in products/services for seniors or people with vision issues). Of course, you should also make an effort to keep your writing clear, focused and easy to read.
  7. Easy to find: Take advantage of the free SEO tools that come with EarthLink Web Hosting and Ecommerce Hosting plans. They can help you optimize your website and get ranked on search engine sites, making it easier for your customers to find you. There are also free tools so you can submit your business information to more than 60 online business directories and search engines at once. Just be patient; new websites always take a while to move up the search engine rankings.

Bonus Tip: Go Mobile! A mobile website is becoming a more and more important addition to your regular website. Five of our six web hosting plans include a free mobile website with an easy to use mobile website builder. But don’t worry if you have a plan that doesn’t include the mobile site; you can upgrade any time you’re ready.

The post 7 Website Tips to Help You Get Started Right appeared first on EarthLink Blog: Internet services, Web Hosting, IT services.



How to Keep Your Email Marketing from Being Labeled as Spam

posted by Tom Sullivan

email marketing tips, advice, and warnings about spamEmail marketing is still a very effective way to generate sales and enhance loyalty.

But here are some statistics (from ConvinceandConvert.com) about email and spam that should worry you as a business owner using email to market your products and services:

  • 21% of email recipients report email as spam even if they know it isn’t
  • 43% of email recipients report email as spam based on the email from line or email address
  • 69% of email recipients report email as spam based on the subject line alone

However, here are some additional stats, from the same source, to keep you motivated as an email marketer:

  • People who buy products marketed through email spend 138% more than people who don’t receive email offers
  • 44% of email recipients made at least one purchase last year based on a marketing email
  • 35% of email recipients opened an email based solely on the subject line

The first three stats should tell you loud and clear to be careful about your email marketing being labeled as spam because people are sometimes quick to hit the spam button. And that would mean at least losing a customer for your business (one that may spend 138% more than other customers) and at worst losing your business reputation. Not to mention the $11,000 per recipient you could be liable for based on the CAN-SPAM Act.

So, what can you do? Here’s some advice to help you steer clear of the spam button:

  1. Make your promotional emails and newsletters Opt In, so that customers have to actively sign up vs. Opt Out if they don’t like them (they may opt out by labeling you a spammer).
  2. On your email sign-up forms, clearly state your newsletter or marketing email name so customers will later recognize it.
  3. Make it clear what frequency you will be emailing customers: if they think they’re getting a once-a-month newsletter and it comes weekly or (worse) daily, they may decide it’s spam.
  4. Make it clear what the content of your emails will be: if customers think they’re signing up for one thing and they get another, they’re more likely to label it spam.
  5. Try to match your online branding in your email (graphics, logos, tone) so your customers feel more at home and trust your emails more.
  6. Use a familiar or easy to understand email address and From line. You could choose an address like like NewsletterName@DomainName.com or Customers@DomainName.com or CustomerOffers@DomainName.com. The From line could be your newsletter name, your business name or your name if it is well known to your customers.
  7.  Make sure your headlines aren’t deceptive (that goes for from lines and email addresses too): If people feel deceived, they’re more likely to lash out and label you a spammer.
  8. Keep your subject lines as short as you can: best practices typically is 5 to 8 words and about 40 characters long because many email programs will cut off the rest.
  9. Make sure the most important words in your subject line are towards the beginning – or at least not at the end where they could be cut off.
  10. Take time writing your subject lines: think about customer needs, hot topics or products, what’s in the news, etc. Think about what you might respond to (make a list of subject lines you’ve received that you liked and clicked on).
  11. Take time writing your emails. Edit them. Proofread them. Ideally get more than one person to look at them to help find potentially embarrassing mistakes. Sloppy emails may be more likely to be identified as spam.
  12. Test your subject lines. If you can, create multiple subject lines and send out a small group of emails with each subject line. Monitor the results for opt-outs, clicks, purchases, etc. Then send the winner out to the whole list.
  13. And finally, be careful with spammy sounding subject lines since most people will mark an email as spam based solely on the subject line. That’s a difficult thing to balance if you are trying to promote offers with your marketing emails. But here are a few best practices:
    • Avoid using ALL CAPS
    • Avoid multiple exclamation points!!!
    • Avoid over-the-top sales phrases
    • Avoid repeating words like FREE FREE FREE
    • Be clear about benefits and drive urgency: promote your latest sale, highlight free shipping or new products, and specify what % OFF customers can get now.
    • According to a 2013 report by Adestra, the words AlertBulletin, and News in subject lines drive more opens and clicks than LearnReportNewsletter or WebinarSale seems to be working better than Free but Free Delivery is very effective.

If you’re an EarthLink Web Hosting customer, don’t forget to try our AnnouncerPro email marketing tools. Read this previous blog post to learn more.

The post How to Keep Your Email Marketing from Being Labeled as Spam appeared first on EarthLink Blog: Internet services, Web Hosting, IT services.



FTP Dropboxes – For Online File Sharing

posted by Tom Sullivan

Do you ever have documents, presentations or other business files that are too large to send by email? Wish you had a convenient online location to store and share the most current version your documents?

Then you might want to create some FTP Dropboxes.

An FTP Dropbox is a password-protected area of your Web Hosting space that you can access with an FTP program such as FileZilla or SmartFTP.

FTP Dropboxes make it easy to share files with colleagues, partners, and clients on the Internet.

With EarthLink Web Hosting services you can have as many FTP Dropboxes as you have mailboxes on your Web Hosting or Ecommerce Hosting account, from 100 – 1,000 depending on your plan.

Note: Any FTP Dropbox you create is associated with an email address/box and the dropbox will share the same email password. But your dropboxes do not use your mailbox space – they share your Web site’s disk space allowance.

How to Create an FTP Dropbox

  1. Sign in to your EarthLink Web Hosting Control Center https://control.earthlink.net/ at control.earthlink.net with your domain nameusername and password.
  2. Click on the Email tab.
  3. If you want to create a new email mailbox and FTP dropbox together in one step, click the Add Mailbox button.Add FTP Dropbox and Mailbox
  4. Enter the email address you want for the mailbox, create and confirm a password, check Add an FTP Dropbox to this mailbox, and click the Save button.
  5. If you’ve already created a mailbox and you want to add an FTP Dropbox, click the Edit account icon (looks like paper and pencil) under Accounts on the left side of the Email page.
  6. At the bottom of the new Edit Mailbox page, under FTP Dropbox: Disabled, click the Enable button.

Warnings: Before you share an FTP Dropbox, remember that the password for the FTP Dropbox is the same as its corresponding mailbox. Anyone with access to the dropbox has access to the mailbox and its contents.

Accessing Your FTP Dropbox

After you’ve created your dropbox, you will use an FTP program such as SmartFTP, FireFTP or FileZilla to access it.

Open the FTP program installed on your computer, and enter the FTP Dropbox Settings listed on the Account tab of your Control Center, under Client Settings (on the left side of the page). Your settings will look like this (substitute your domain name for your-domain.com and your mailbox name for mailbox):

  • FTP server: ftp.your-domain.com
  • Username: mailbox@your-domain.com
  • Password: your mailbox password

You can also use a Web browser, such as Internet Explorer, Firefox or Chrome to access an FTP Dropbox via a special URL:

ftp://mailboxname.yourdomain.com@ftp.yourdomain.com

Note that the first part of this URL is your mailbox email address with a period instead of an @ sign. When you visit this URL in a Web browser, your Web browser will ask you for your mailbox password.

Disabling a Dropbox

Keep in mind that when you disable an FTP Dropbox, you are not deleting the files in the box. You are merely disabling access to the dropbox. To delete the contents of a dropbox you must sign in to your domain via FTP (or by using the File Manager) and delete them from the /dropbox/mailboxname directory. When you sign in via FTP, the /dropbox directory will normally be one level up. To get there, click Parent Directory in your FTP program.

The post FTP Dropboxes – For Online File Sharing appeared first on EarthLink Blog: Internet services, Web Hosting, IT services.



Survey Says … Find Out What Your Customers Want

posted by Tom Sullivan

Learn what your customers want with an online customer survey.Focusing on real customer needs and desires is a proven strategy for business success. But how can you be sure you know what your customers want?

Just ask them. With an online customer survey.

EarthLink Web Hosting can help – with an easy-to-use Customer Survey tool built into our Web Hosting Control Center.

We’ll show you how to create a new survey with our survey templates, how to customize your survey, how to manage your surveys and how to generate reports with survey results.

How to Create and Customize a Customer Survey

  1. Sign in to your EarthLink Web Hosting Control Center https://control.earthlink.net/ at control.earthlink.net with your domain name, username and password.
  2. From the Build tab, click the Customer Survey icon.customer survey tool
  3. Click Create New Survey.
  4. Type the name of your survey in the first text box (this name is for your use and isn’t customer-facing).
  5. Select a survey template from the drop-down menu.
  6. Enter a survey title in the text box. This is the text customers will see on top of your survey.
  7. Enter some text to describe the purpose of your survey in the Introduction text box. Your survey description will appear below the survey title.
  8. Enter a privacy statement or other comments. This text will appear below the last question in the survey.
  9. Click Next to proceed to the next step, which lets you customize your survey template and add your own questions and the types of answers you want to allow.
  10. Click where it says Type your question and then click the Edit question icon (looks like blue gears).
  11. Type your first survey question into the top text box.
  12. Select the type of answer you want: checkbox (lets users pick multiple answers), radio button (allows only one answer), text area or text field.
  13. Enter a possible answer and click the Add answer button. Repeat for as many possible answers you want to display.
  14. Click Accept when you have finished adding answers for this question.
  15. To add another question either below or above the one you just created, click one of the two buttons to the right of the Edit question button: one has a capital Q with a + sign below the Q and the  other has a capital Q with a + sign above the Q.
  16. Repeat the process of editing the question and providing possible answers as you did above in steps 10 – 14.
  17. Repeat the process of adding additional questions until you have completed your survey.
  18. Click the Next button to save your survey.

After your survey is saved, you’ll have the option to create another survey, go to reports, or manage your survey.

If you want to edit and/or publish the survey you just created, click the Manage Surveys link. This will bring you to a page listing all of your surveys.

  1. Click on the survey you’d like to publish, download, email, copy or delete. You’ll see icons on the right side of the page that correspond with these actions. Hover your mouse over any icon to see what it’s for. The first icon for the survey you just worked on should say Draft.
  2. Click the second icon, a green circle with a triangle on it, to publish your survey.
  3. You should get a confirmation that the survey was published along with the URL for the survey. Click OK to close the confirmation window.
  4. If you want to edit any of your surveys, click on the survey name and then click the Next button. Make any edits you have on the Survey Properties page and click Next again. Click on any of the questions you wish to edit and click the Edit question icon. Click Next when you are done editing the questions and/or answers.

After you’ve had a survey up for a while, you’ll want to view the results. When you’re ready to do that, click the Reports tab or Reports link on the Main Menu of the Customer Survey page.

  1. Select a survey from the list of available surveys.
  2. Click Next.
  3. A new page will show you how customers answered your questions.
  4. Click Next to get additional statistics until you reach the confirmation page at the end of the report.

Good luck with your surveys. Let us know how it works for you by leaving a comment below.

The post Survey Says … Find Out What Your Customers Want appeared first on EarthLink Blog: Internet services, Web Hosting, IT services.





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