3 Reasons Your Mobile Website Should Mimic Your Mobile App| By |Robert Woo

We all know by now that mobile apps should be your go-to mobile solution over web apps. But is there a reason to have a good mobile web presence anyway? Yes, especially now that Google is inching closer to launching their “mobile-first index,” which may drastically impact your site’s SEO and Google rankings.

You can read more about mobile-first indexing on googleblog, but the gist is that Google will soon be launching an “experiment” and using the mobile versions of websites as the primary pages to index. So instead of a company’s desktop site being the main consideration when Google ranks for search queries, it’ll be the company’s mobile site instead. Word on the street is that this experiment may be coming in a few months.

So how should you prepare? Well, if your company already has an app, then it’s a good idea to just mimic the app to your mobile site. Here are 3 reasons why.

1. Your app is the tip of the mobile spear.

We’re a broken record here, but it’s much more important to have a mobile app than a mobile website. Here’s the simple reason why:

mobile-app-vs-mobile-app-time-spent-2017

As the eMarketer chart (via dazeinfo) shows, consumers spend nearly all of their time in apps as opposed to mobile websites. Thus it just makes sense to put your design and development calories into your app first, and then port the work over to the mobile site. No matter how much Google’s spiders and robots want to crawl your website, your actual customers prefer an app when they’re on the go. Be sure to make the app experience great before anything else, and not the other way around.

2. Less of a learning curve.

From the data above, it’s safe to assume your mobile customers will be more familiar with your app than your mobile website. So making sure the latter looks and acts like the former gives them a better user experience. Having two different mobile experiences, be it layout or navigation or functionality, will only confuse and frustrate the user.

Take a look at the Dropbox app and mobile website:

Image4

Pretty identical. If you’ve used the app, you know how to use the mobile site too. Of course, for many companies it may not be this identical, but by mimicking as much of the design of your app as possible, your users will have a seamless transition if they ever do utilize the website. As a bonus, your mobile website can act as a “backup” to your app, in case the latter experiences some technical glitch.

3. It’s already optimized for speed.

If you’ve already got an app out, it’s likely that you’ve stripped it down to just the essentials in order to keep it small, light, and zippy. So if your app already is optimized for mobile use, why would you have a bloated mobile website that tries to cram in everything from the desktop site?

A mistake that many companies make is to just port the desktop site to mobile, but that can lead to a clunky and over-dense user experience. Even “mobile optimized” sites can have too much text that an on-the-go user won’t want to sift through. Consider this quote from appticles.

A global study by GfK and BlackBerry Limited has shown that 69% of business smartphone users are “constantly looking for new ways to get things done as efficiently as possible”. On the other hand, desktop users are more open to design elements, such as boxed testimonials of quotes, which may not support their main informational needs directly.

These days, no company should port over their desktop site. Port over your app instead.

Is your mobile app ready to become your mobile website?

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7 Ways Media Companies Drive Better In-App Engagement and Sales| By |Ashley Sefferman

When it comes to competing for viewers, the media industry leads the way. Media companies are in fierce competition to garner new customers, and ultimately, to drive customer love throughout their massive communities. But with consumers becoming more mobile by the day, media companies have had to adapt their content to consistently deliver a high-quality customer experience across all mediums.

To help connect with their customers, many international media companies use Apptentive to create brand affinity, and more importantly, to create a sense of continuity within their conversations. We help our media customers create personal dialogues with their consumers, and to share useful information about upcoming events and new experiences without disrupting their customer experiences.

We’re lucky to work with some of the largest international media companies in the business. To both share their incredible stories and respect their privacy, company names have been redacted.

Here’s how the biggest names in media use Apptentive to better engage with their customers.

1. Leverage in-app messaging to promote real-time content

Promoting live television content in your app leads to huge boosts in engagement, and ultimately, more viewers tuning in who you may not have reached elsewhere. Here’s an example about how one of our media customers used in-app messaging to drive 55% of their app’s consumers to watch the promoted content in real-time.

An international media company needed a way to promote their live television content during this year’s political events. In order to drive a large crowd to watch the political event in-app, they needed to send messages to customers that an important broadcast was happening in real-time in an effort to encourage app users to tune in.

The media company implemented Apptentive Notes to send in-app messages to promote three different broadcasts. The company created three different Notes tailored to each broadcast, and created separate versions of each Note for iPad and iPhone users. The Notes were distributed during the broadcast in order to encourage a large segment of users to tune in at different times.
Each Note included a message about the broadcast and an in-app deep link to take them directly to the piece of content within the app where the broadcast could be viewed live.

The media company was thrilled to be able to message people at the exact time that the program segments started. They were rewarded with extremely high conversion rates, which drove more viewers to their highly advertised broadcast. The three different Notes ran on both iPhone and iPad for 4 hours, 37 minutes. The media company received 116,978 total views of the Notes where users took action. Of those views, 64,422 people (55.1%) clicked Watch/Watch Now to access the live broadcast. For the second broadcast, which was the primary broadcast, 70% of viewers clicked Watch Now.

Use Notes to promote real-time content

2. Ask your mobile customers for real-time feedback and NPS on new shows

When launching a new show, customers are the best focus groups. Our media customers leverage Apptentive to help them understand how new shows are received from their consumers in real-time.

For example, an international media company launched a new show they wanted direct feedback on. The company leveraged Apptentive Surveys and NPS to survey viewers directly after watching the pilot and first few episodes of the show through their app.

The company asked two questions around the show: how likely the viewer was to recommend the show (NPS), and how the viewer would rate their advertising experience. After a response was received, the viewer was then asked to explain their response in an open-ended text box so the company could truly understand what they thought about the experience.

The surveys received a 35.5% response rate, and the company was able to hear from over 20,000 of the show’s earliest adopters to understand what they enjoyed about the experience and what they’d like improved.

NPS

3. Provide login support

The login process is one of the more frustrating, complicated issues most media companies face. Most media companies have little to no control over login problems as it’s up to cable providers to design and execute a flawless experience due to the nature of cable subscriptions being required to access the media company’s app content. Between password recovery struggles and consumers giving up when login gets tough, media companies who rely on cable providers to support a swift, easy login experience are typically let down and left dealing with frustrated customers. But fear no more! Apptentive is here to help.

Our media customers leverage Apptentive Message Center to connect one-on-one with customers struggling to log in. Through Message Center, consumers are able to get in touch directly with a person at your company when login—inevitably—gets tough. From there, customer support staff is able to help the consumer troubleshoot the problem, apologize for the headache, get feedback on the process to pass along to the cable provider, and ultimately, help the consumer know that their frustration is heard.

4. Trigger in-app prompts to support your event marketing

Awards shows are peak engagement opportunities for media companies with old and new consumers alike, and most engagement occurs outside of simply watching the show live. Our media companies leverage Apptentive Notes (in-app prompts) to drum up excitement around their upcoming awards shows, and to drive new viewers to the content while it’s live.

One of our amazing customers leveraged a Note for this year’s Golden Globe Awards. Before the event, the company released an app update viewers needed if they wanted to stream the show on their mobile device. In order to message this update, the company sent a Note to encourage consumers to upgrade their apps ahead of time so they could access the content, rather than updating the app once the show was already live.

As the Golden Globes began, the company sent a Note to consumers once they launched the app to ensure their audience knew what was going on with the show. They were able to reach over 700,000 consumers with their Note, which drove new views and engagement opportunities for the brand.

Use Notes to support event marketing

5. Use in-app prompts to promote new initiatives, flash sales, and more

Looking for a new way to promote marketing initiatives, flash sales, and other promotions that drive consumer engagement? Apptentive Notes is the perfect solution!

An Apptentive customer recently leveraged Notes to promote a number of new initiatives in-app. The first was a new charitable initiative called “Stream to Fight Hunger.” The company sent a Note to 1.5 million of their app’s consumers letting them know that, when they streamed their favorite show or movie through the app that month, the company would donate a meal to Feeding America.

Stream and Give campaign

The company also leverages Notes to promote three additional initiatives:

  • Marketing for new content. When celebrities announce a new tour or series/album, Notes are sent to consumers within the app to promote the news and to drum up excitement.
  • Promotion around “Free Preview Weekends.” To encourage upgrades for premium content and channels, the company leverages Notes to message that their premium content will be available for the weekend, driving in-app engagement and ultimately, customer upgrades.
  • Recommended content. Notes are leveraged to draw attention to new content people might be interested in but aren’t aware of. These Notes are not triggered on app launch, but are carefully placed throughout the app depending on the consumers’ in-app behavior.

6. Proactively provide in-app messages for quick announcements

As we’ve already seen, Notes are a great way to send one-way messages consumers don’t need to take an immediate action on, but when they still need to receive a message. Many of our media companies leverage Notes for general announcements, such as playback or app issues, version upgrades, scheduled maintenance, and more.

Recently, Amazon experienced an AWS issue that took down a significant portion of the Internet, including many of Apptentive’s customers. In order to notify consumers about what was going on, one of our media companies leveraged an Apptentive Note to send out real-time information about why people wouldn’t recieve content, and to apologize for the issue.

Apologies for playback issues

Notes are also a great way to share tips. The same company recently sent a Note with tips on how to leverage DVR capabilities through their mobile app. Talk about streamlining content!

DVR setup Note

7. Measure customer love

In general, offering customers the option to leave feedback gives them a place to vent. Sometimes just asking is enough for the customer, and turning your sights toward customer love is key to gauging sentiment. Focusing on customer love shows you’ve connected your in-app experience with your brand, which ultimately helps bring all your feedback channels together.

Measuring customer love is especially important around reviews. Our media customers leverage Apptentive Love Prompts to help gauge customer sentiment for their apps by using an emotional stop word: love. If customers don’t love the app, the company has an opportunity to gain valuable feedback on how to turn the in-app experience into something they DO love. The people who select “Yes” are perfect candidates to ask to leave a review in the app store. “Love” is a strong word people may not associate with most products or experiences. Therefore, you can be confident that the individuals who respond “yes” to your prompt will most likely leave a positive review.

For example, Viacom uses Apptentive’s Ratings Prompts in the MTV app in order to understand sentiment and measure customer love.

MTV app

Looking ahead

When it comes to driving better in-app engagement, there is a ton of opportunity for media companies to stand out and engage their customers in new, exciting ways. Hopefully these tips give your team an idea of where to start, or inspiration for a new campaign or offering.

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5 Unique Entertainment Gadgets| By |David Geer

As we progress through the digital age, technology is constantly helping us overcome obstacles in various areas of importance such as health and safety. The advances of technology have allowed us to live longer, better, and without as much trouble as before.

Of course, technology is not always a serious business. In fact, some of the most interesting technological concepts have become reality because they are simply fun. The year of 2017 is ripe with entertainment gadgets that will aid or even transform the ways you have fun.

Hypersuit – Become a superhero

Forget about the Oculus Rifts and HTC Vines of the world. For a truly immersive VR experience, take a look at the Hypersuit instead. Though the concept is still in its very early stages, this gadget is an entire exoskeleton that lets you do anything you want in virtual reality, including flying.

Soon, you will no longer have to use your imagination to be a superhero. Instead, you will be able to do in the comfort of the Hypersuit, or at least similar gadgets.

Mattel Aristotle – An AI assistant for your kids

Amazon Echo and Google Home are both great devices and many other companies are already following in their footsteps with their own home-based virtual assistants. All of them, however, are focused on providing adults with the entertainment that they crave. But will no one think of the children?

The Mattel Aristotle is an alternative suggestion, a virtual assistant/nanny cam with additional capabilities. This gadget will not only monitor your kids but will also soothe them if they cry during the night, help them learn a different language, and remind them to play well with each other.

Sennheiser Flex 5000 – Listen to your TV anywhere in the house

We have all been there. Your favorite music show is on, your favorite contestant is about to sing but you really need to answer the call of nature. Do you turn the music up as high as possible and potentially wake up everyone in the house or stay in the room and suffer?

Well Sennheiser has a different solution. Its docking station links to your TV and the companion wireless dongle lets you plug in your headphones so that you can listen to anything that’s happening in your TV, regardless of where you are in the house.

ET Mini – A compact but powerful entertainment system

Portable projects have existed for a few years now but no one has attempted to create an inclusive entertainment system in a single device, until now. The ET Mini is a portable entertainment system that contains a Full HD projector with 0 to 90 degrees no dead angle projection, a waterproof speaker with crystal-clear 360-degree audio, and an HD microphone.This project has already crushed its ~AU$39,000 goal by almost three times, and for good reason. Dubbed as the “world’s first all-in-one, portable entertainment system” as well as the “world’s smallest pocket entertainment system”, the ET Mini already looks very promising indeed.

All of those features come in the size of an iPhone Plus 7 and with a weight of approximately half a kilo. The device can project any media from any device including smartphones, tablets, and PCs.

Jack – All headphones are now wireless

When Apple announced that the standard headphone jack would no longer be present in its iPhone, many questioned the company’s decision and the future of mobile audio.

One industry that certainly rejoiced at the prospect of eliminating headphone jacks, however, was that of wireless headphones. Thanks to Jack by Podo Labs, any pair of headphones can now be a wireless pair of headphones.

All you need to do is plug your standard, wired headphones into Jack’s 3.5mm audio port, pair the device to your smartphone (via Bluetooth), and you are done. The Jack will transmit audio directly to your headphones, and you will be free from cables, as long as you can organize them correctly.

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3 Reasons Why Mobile Users Don’t Convert and How to Fix it| By |Adam Coombs

Imagine you’re the owner of a large retail store and seemingly overnight the world decides it wants to minimize…everything. So you fall in line and open up a smaller shop next to your big one. You shorten down on product descriptions, hack away at unnecessarily flashy product photos, and even make the buttons bigger on your payment terminals because for some reason everyone that comes to your little shop now has fat finger syndrome.

But no matter what you do your little shop never sells as well as your big one.

While the world hasn’t undergone such a crazy kind of transformation overnight, for many business owners and webmasters, this scenario seems a little too real with the increasing use of mobile devices.

You may be thinking that since you A/B tested for a successful desktop version, then simply using Responsive Design will make your mobile website optimized for mobile conversions too.

But really, why would it be?

If you start seeing people standing in lines at the supermarket holding open laptops or sitting on desktop towers waiting for the bus, then we can re-open the discussion. But in reality, the way people use mobile devices and desktop differ drastically, especially regarding how they convert.

share_of US_Digital_Commerce_Spending_by_Platform_Category

All in all, the mobile conversion rate is just about 1% compared to desktop’s almost 3%.

Thus, desktop devices outperform mobile devices in virtually every e-commerce category. We tend to use mobile as more of a research tool and the reason why mobile conversions aren’t as high as desktop can be for a variety of reasons.

Biggest Conversion Blockers for Mobile Users

Conversion blockers come in all shapes and sizes and can be different from user to user. Here are three of the biggest reasons why users don’t become mobile conversions.

User Intent in Mobile vs. Desktop Searches

Users on mobile devices perform searches differently and thus have different intent. Google stipulates that 95% of searches with the words “near me” come from mobile devices. These kinds of searches, whether they’re “close by”, “around me”, or “nearby”, mean that people are looking for a solution to their queries in their area which can result in their purchases being made in-store instead of on their mobile device.

This is a general symptom of a larger phenomenon, being that mobile searches typically average less keywords than desktop searches.

Brand_May_Be_Related_To_Term_Length

Moreover, a recent survey conducted by SessionM revealed that 90% of in-store shoppers consult their mobile devices while shopping. This is due to them either comparing product prices, acquiring additional product information, or sifting through product reviews.

Even though users didn’t specifically make a purchase on their mobile device, they still used the mobile website to inform themselves about their purchases. It’s a kind of pseudo conversion in a way, an assist from the mobile website to the in-store conversion.

So while users may be converting less on mobile devices, they still use their mobile devices in a majority of cases as a research tool to complete their purchases whether it’s in-store or later at home from their desktop devices.

Distractions: Real-world and On-Screen

In the age of multitasking, smartphones are at the pinnacle of distractions. We tend to be on our phones while doing the most menial everyday tasks from waiting in line to riding the bus. Thus, our concentration can break at any moment whether it’s something happening in the real world or a push notification coming from Snapchat that pulls us off the page and into another app entirely.

Essentially, it comes down to time. How much time does a mobile user have to peruse through a mobile site before they run into a walking and talking real-life distraction? Much less than the average desktop user, who usually has the benefit of a quiet space in the office or at home to make their decisions.

Why_Mobile_Users_Dont_Convert

But distractions don’t just mean off-page distractions. Having too much clutter on your mobile website in the form of lengthy copy and headlines or a multitude of images that take away from the CTA can cause people to lose sight of what task they’re on the page to actually complete.

Reduce the informational dump on users on your mobile sites and they’ll be less likely to become distracted. Give them what’s necessary and nothing more.

Real and Perceived Friction

Perceived friction happens when users get to your mobile pages and become discouraged because the buttons seem too small to click, the images are too small to see, the headlines are unclear, or there are too many form fields that look like they’ll require an FBI background check to complete. Basically, anything that, in the user’s mind, will be too time-consuming and strenuous to complete can be considered perceived friction.

Real friction is when the interface literally makes it too difficult to complete certain tasks. Your buttons are too close, and users click on the wrong link, they have to pinch and zoom in on certain items to read, or page loading times are extremely slow.

Whether real or perceived, literal or imagined, these types of problems can cause users to abandon the site altogether. However, there are methods that businesses’ have come up with to combat the above-mentioned grievances between desktop and mobile conversions.

Converting Mobile Users

Let’s start with how you choose to construct the mobile version of your website.

Responsive Web Design

Google first recommended that you use responsive web design; however, using it is not a ranking factor. Responsive Web Design (RWD) means that your website’s pages are adjusted according to screen size. Thus the same version of your site is displayed to users on desktop or mobile devices. This allows you to have your website on one URL, which is beneficial for SEO purposes as all of your link building efforts remain intact.

However, it also means that you’re not providing users with a unique mobile experience, which leaves them with the same on-page elements as your desktop users. Ultimately, what converts with desktop doesn’t always carry the same implications for mobile.

Why_Mobile_Users_Dont_Convert_1

Adaptive Web Design

Adaptive Web Design (AWD) or also known as Dynamic Serving means that you essentially create different HTML versions of a webpage that are displayed to users based on their devices. This allows you to offer a unique mobile experience to users and you can optimize each page this way for conversions based on user behaviors on each device.

Why_Mobile_Users_Dont_Convert_2

You’ll notice the slight different within each larger screen and the somewhat drastic difference between the tablet and smartphone versions.

The mobile version is clearly optimized for mobile conversions as it is less cluttered, uses larger buttons, and allows for scrolling in a vertical manner. Dynamic serving allows for you to publish different content within the same URL and will not affect your SEO.

However, AWD will cost more to maintain as it has to be consistently updated to be compatible with new devices, needs a unique HTML code per device, and requires different content for each depending on your strategy. In other words, it requires a lot more time and manpower.

From a conversion standpoint, AWD is the clear winner as you can optimize your content visually and rhetorically to benefit mobile users and steer them toward becoming conversions.

Separate URLs

Another more conversion-friendly way to build your mobile website is by using separate URLs. Separate URLs allow you to have a version of your website just for desktop users, such as http://www.mywebsite.com and a mobile website that looks like m.mywebsite.com respectively.

Why_Mobile_Users_Dont_Convert_3

Like dynamic serving, you can optimize separate content within each page for mobile or desktop users. With this method, the server will detect what device the user is on and redirect them to the appropriate page.

Unlike dynamic serving, having separate URLs can affect your SEO as you’ll have to link build and essentially perform SEO for two separate websites. This again adds to more stress in terms of having the time and resources to maintain two versions of your website. Also, if you have faulty redirects, users coming from mobile devices may be mistakenly directed to desktop pages and vice-versa.

Thus, separate URLs can be great for conversion purposes as you can streamline a user’s experience based on a device; however, the cost and time to maintain it is much more difficult.

On-Page Factors for Mobile Conversion

While most of us don’t have fat finger syndrome or the eyes of a senior citizen, many users still encounter a lot of problems with on-page elements as described above. But never fear! There are plenty of ways you can mitigate any user frustrations and expedite their experience on your mobile-friendly website.

Optimize Your Product Descriptions and Images Together

Nobody likes having to tap three times to check out a product description, view its image, and then go back to the CTA. In the words of Sweet Dee: “Ain’t nobody got time for that”.

While it’s completely true you have to be economical with space on mobile websites, it’s possible to do it in a visually pleasing manner without losing the integrity of your image resolution and downgrading your copy to a few ineffectual words.

Why_Mobile_Users_Dont_Convert_4

Here you have a clear, high-resolution image along with an effective product description in an easily readable font. The “customized item” link is between two non-tappable elements so the risk of a user accidentally tapping the wrong link is minimized. They also use white space effectively to showcase the image and feature a discreet coupon at the bottom for users to get.

With this kind of display, mobile users have all the information within a small space and can easily convert with just a few clicks.

Maximize Mobile-Only Features

Mobile only features are elements or attributes that can only be performed on mobile devices. Use these whenever possible to create a more fluid user experience and drive conversions.

Tap-and-hold: One feature I really like for e-commerce website’s is the tap-and-hold attribute, which lets users simply press down on an item to have a popup appear so they can send it straight to their shopping cart. That means less CTA taps and the user doesn’t have to be removed from the page.

Click-to-Call: The click-to-call feature allows users to quickly call your business when browsing your mobile site without having to manually enter the number themselves.

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Why_Mobile_Users_Dont_Convert_6

The click-to-call for Shake Shack is an easy to see button that doesn’t require much effort from the user. The other contact page has the phone number in small print that isn’t so easy to see above a form that requires a lot more information.

By enabling users to quickly get in touch with your business, you’ll minimize frustrations and increase your conversions from mobile users that want to know more about your business.

To create a click to call, you can add this html code with your relevant information:

Screen Shot 2017-04-18 at 3.52.23 PM

Mobile payment: By adding instant mobile payment options, you can increase your mobile conversions with the apps listed below. To learn how to allow these forms of payment on your website, simply click the links below.

In-store push notifications: geo-based push notifications can be a great way to promote existing deals and discounts to customers that have your app and are currently in your store.

Why_Mobile_Users_Dont_Convert_7

Forms

Users have finally made the journey through your mobile website and are now ready to purchase. Great! Now don’t scare them off with forms that resemble hospital intake documents.

Forms on desktop websites can scare users away if their not optimized correctly. With mobile conversion it’s even more important to make the process as painless as possible. Keep things simple with processed steps and the minimal amount of form fields required to get the information you need. You can also break it up into progress indicators as seen below:

Why_Mobile_Users_Dont_Convert_8

Design modo

Progress indicators that are used with only a minimal amount of form fields can be great to let user’s know the process is short and sweet. You can also stick to traditional methods of forms on a single page as long as you’re asking for required and relevant information only.

Avoid too many dropdowns as they aren’t very user-friendly on mobile devices. Easy-to-use payment options like the ones listed above are also great to expedite a mobile user’s experience into becoming a conversion.

Why_Mobile_Users_Dont_Convert_9

Monitoring Your Mobile Website

Just like with your desktop website, you should use a conversion analytics tool like Unamo Conversion to view how mobile users interact with your website. Specifically, mobile heatmaps can show you any conversion blockers that may be discouraging users from becoming conversions.

You can also use Google Analytics to track the demographics of users coming to your mobile website to see if you have any differences among conversion rates with certain groups of users.

Why_Mobile_Users_Dont_Convert_10

Takeaways

While desktop still owns the online conversion marketplace, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t optimize your mobile website to be as seamless and pain-free as possible for mobile users. Mobile conversion doesn’t have to be fool’s gold; it can be a very profitable outlet for your business.

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14 Circumstances in Which You Should Avoid Mobile Customer Communications| By |Young Entrepreneur Council

Q. In what cases should you NOT communicate with potential customers via mobile?

1. You Have Bad News

The rule is that you can communicate good news however you want, but you can only communicate bad news in person or over the phone. – Christopher Kelly, Convene


2. During Negotiations

Negotiations should be done in person, by phone, or at the very least, by video conference so that there is more personal contact. While mobile is good to attract traffic and stir interest, it can’t deliver the human touchpoint necessary to build trust and close a deal – John Rampton, Due


3. When You Need Details

When you know the communication with the customer is already digging deeper and beginning to require further details that you will need next time, email is the best option, so you have something to refer to or review when needed. The conversation will always be in the thread for note-taking and improved communication. – Daisy Jing, Banish


4. You’re Trying to Demonstrate the Benefits of Working Together

While I realize many people use their mobile phones for everything, I think more detailed discussions about how a product or service works shouldn’t take place on mobile, but on a larger screen or even in person. There’s just more of a presence and interaction there that’s hard to do on the smaller screen. – Murray Newlands, Sighted


5. A Contract Is Ready to Be Signed

When the potential customer is ready to sign a contract or just close to it, it’s important to arrange an in-person meeting. This will let them know that you are serious about working with them and ready to take the necessary steps forward. – Stanley Meytin, True Film Production


6. Before They Ask to Receive Messages From You

Let’s get real: The same etiquette you use with email marketing should also apply to your mobile communication. Don’t send messages or offers to people who never requested them. Don’t send irrelevant offers. Don’t forget to personalize. Don’t spam. – Ismael Wrixen, FE International


7. If There Could Be Legal Issues

I try to keep a paper trail for anything and everything from a legal standpoint. When I am negotiating a contract or agreement of any kind, it’s always best to get all terms in writing before moving forward, even if it may seem like an informal or minute detail. If there is any dispute, you can point to the exact language you each used in any and all correspondence. – Justin Lefkovitch, Mirrored Media


8. Their Number Is Not on Their Card

In this modern era, it’s important that we respect someone’s time and privacy. First, unless otherwise instructed, never use a cell phone number for business purposes unless it’s listed in someone’s email signature or on their business card. If they were open to taking calls on their cell phone, then it would available in those locations. – Michael Spinosa, Unleashed Technologies


9. After Normal Business Hours

While some customers may appreciate a text at all hours of the day, many will not. Make sure you clarify these boundaries early on and only send texts between normal business hours, until you have further clarification on the matter. Some people can get really annoyed if they are in China and get a text at 1 a.m., or when they are with their family for their kid’s birthday. – Andy Karuza, FenSens


10. When You Want to Follow Up

If someone hasn’t gotten back to you, chances are either it’s not important enough to them or it’s probably not the right time for them to address. Following up via phone will only make it worse by irritating the prospect. We always follow up via an email, using creative and ingenious messages that almost always gets a response from the prospect. Be creative, not pushy. – Rahul Varshneya, Arkenea


11. The Customer Is Angry

Something about a phone call feels like an invitation to escalate. I always try to arrange in-person meetings with customers when they have a problem that needs to be taken care of, and ask them to please send an email with all details instead of going over the issue on the phone. This is helpful because I can refer back to it if I need a written record for some reason. – Matt Doyle, Excel Builders


12. When Something Could Be Misinterpreted

Translating emotion and tone through text is not an easy task, regardless if it’s email or text. The key difference between email and text is the level of brevity, which makes text all the more difficult. So when you are communicating something that can easily be misinterpreted and tone is important, it is probably better to keep it face to face. – Christopher Swenor, East Coast Product


13. You’re Selling Low-Ticket Items

Engaging with customers over mobile, in particular by text message or WhatsApp, creates an open dialog with customers that can become a time hog. Making yourself available to text means multiple interruptions in your workflow, and in many cases, after work. If you are selling low-ticket items, then get your customers to buy from you on platforms that don’t require your immediate attention. – Diego Orjuela, Cables & Sensors


14. It’s a Non-Transactional Communication

Never market through mobile. Mobile should be reserved for transactional communication. For example, if my credit card company detects unusual activity, contacting me by mobile is totally appropriate, but if I received a promotion for points through mobile, that would turn me off. – Vincent Wong, mHelpDesk

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Steady Growth Estimated for Global Managed File Transfer Software & Service Market| By |Abhishek Budholiya

While dealing with critical business transactions involving crucial information, choosing the right tool becomes imperative. Managed file transfer (MFT) works excellently with back-office integration. MFT offers elimination of human errors in tasks such as deduplication, process automation, transactional integrations, and data extraction. MFT retains its essentiality in an IT environment. It has become a crucial element for secure & effective management of data. MFT, a mature technology, currently is more important and relevant than ever.

Increasing Cyber-Attacks are driving the Demand for MFT Solutions

MFT is deemed as more transparent and faster means of heavy data transfer across an organisation, or, between organisations. Future Market Insights (FMI), in its report on the global managed file transfer software and service market, estimates a steady growth of the market. The market was evaluated at US$ 1,227.7 Mn in 2016, and is estimated to account for more than US$ 2000 Mn through 2025, according to FMI. The ever-expanding online banking sector is considered to be a primary factor in propelling the market growth. There has been a tremendous rise in cyber-attacks owing to the increased number of customers in online banking over the past decade. This has necessitated financial institutions and banks to adopt MFT solutions since recent past. Burgeoning need for governance and security of data is expected to drive the demand for MFT software & service in the near future.

MFT Solutions Prevent Hindrances Associated with Technical Glitches

The arrival of technology has provided several benefits, along with secure transfer of data. The market is expected to gain an uptick in the upcoming years, owing to rising awareness on flexibility advantages of cloud-based file transfer, and increasing applications of cloud-based managed file transfer solutions. For achieving cost-effective scalability and maintenance, numerous banks and SMEs are making huge investments on cloud-based MFT solutions. Lucrative opportunities are foreseen to be created, owing to affordable infrastructure related to on-premise cloud-based MFT deployment.

Various medical institutes and hospitals utilise MRIs and X-rays for diagnostic purposes. Technical glitches in these diagnostic studies tend to provide incorrect reports, which result in distorting patient-related data, impacting treatment process, and posing threats to patient’s life. This has led medical institutions to adopt MFTs for secure data transactions within the institutions, avoiding the hindrances related to technical glitches. Sharing or collaboration of patient’s data, between multiple organisations, on patient’s health records is another challenge faced significantly by medical institutions. The security of such data transferring is reinforced through implementation of managed file transfer solutions.

MFT Solutions enable Organisations in Appropriate Delivery of Information

Organisations focus on huge investments on R&D activities, for innovation and advancement of services and products in various industries. However, vulnerabilities and loopholes may be associated to database security of an organisation. By processing and routing such data via secured MFT solutions, organisations ensure delivery of vital research information to destined user, through proper data transference system. The shifts of various companies to adoption of MFT solutions for managing files and securing data conveniently is mainly attributed to cloud-based storage applications. In addition MFT solutions provide extreme, people-centric, and system-centric file transfers, enabling convenient file and data management as per requirements. Among the aforementioned file transfers, the system-centric file transfers are likely to hold dominance over the global managed file transfer software & service market in the near future.

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American JobLink Alliance Breach Affects 4.8 Million| By |John Burcham

What happened?

American JobLink Alliance (AJLA), a web-based system that connects jobseekers to employers across the United States, recently reported a data breach affecting an estimated 4.8 million individuals.

The breach, caused by a hack, left jobseekers’ names, Social Security numbers and birthdates exposed. Hackers gained access into the company’s system by creating an account with the company, then exploited a vulnerability in the online application’s code.

The breach’s nationwide impact affected victims in ten different states.

Scope of Breach

On March 12, AJLA’s tech support team received system errors that indicated suspicious activity on their systems. The incident was reported to law enforcement, and a third-party forensic team helped determine the scope of the breach.

Investigators confirmed the suspicious activity on March 21, and the breach was publicly announced the next day. The investigation determined that anyone who had created an account, used their services or received insurance benefits through AJLA within the last four years may have been compromised. However, the AJLA announced the vulnerability had been fixed and that accounts created after March 14, 2017 were not impacted by the breach.


“As a society, we’ve reached the point where every organization entrusted with [personally identifiable information] should be constantly testing and hardening its external and internal defenses, and embracing more proactive, effective levels of defense such as consumer behavior analytics solutions, which can constantly validate legitimate users – even when the stolen but accurate credentials are presented.”

Lisa Baergen, NuData Security Director of Marketing
Source: ERE Media

The company’s national reach made this breach especially serious because hackers accessed user data from ten different states: Alabama, Arizona, Illinois, Arkansas, Delaware, Idaho, Kansas, Maine, Oklahoma and Vermont. Although two of the ten states have an unknown number of compromised victims, most states that reported estimated figures averaged between 100,000 to 400,000 individuals affected.

Illinois was the most affected with approximately 1.4 million users within the state compromised by the breach. On the other end of the scale, Arkansas only saw 19,000 impacted. However, the severity of the breach is also affected by the type of information breached – Social Security numbers being the most valuable piece of information from a hacker’s point of view. No matter how many records were affected, the information exposed indicates that victims may face more serious issues down the road such as fraud and identity theft.

AJLA stated in its press release about the breach that it would offer free credit monitoring services to those affected. Click here to visit AJLA’s Q&A section regarding the breach event.

What should you do?

If you’ve been affected by this breach, here are a few actions you can take:

  • Remove your data from AJLA’s systems. To do this, AJLA has instructed you to contact your local AJLA office for further assistance.
  • Review your credit reports and keep an eye out for suspicious activity on your bank accounts. The compromised information in this breach could allow hackers access to your accounts and make unauthorized purchases or create new accounts under your name. If you notice any inconsistent activity on your accounts, contact your bank immediately.
  • Place a credit freeze on your credit file. This gives you an extra layer of protection by requiring additional verification to open new lines of credit under your name.

Continue following Fighting Identity Crimes to stay up-to-date on the latest breach and scam news, as well as timely tips from our industry experts on protecting your identity and personal information.

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