A blog about smart marketing and conversion optimization.

The Difference Between REI and HostGator: A Customer Service Review

REI, the biggest retailer of outdoor gear, does a lot of things well but probably none is as brilliant as its return policy. You can return anything, at any time, regardless of how much you’ve used it for a refund or replacement — no questions, no argument, nothing but a friendly smile.

A few days ago to launch this site I started a new hosting account at HostGator and was disconcerted to find that theRead more…

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REI, the biggest retailer of outdoor gear, does a lot of things well but probably none is as brilliant as its return policy. You can return anything, at any time, regardless of how much you’ve used it for a refund or replacement — no questions, no argument, nothing but a friendly smile.

A few days ago to launch this site I started a new hosting account at HostGator and was disconcerted to find that the site was slowwww. After bugging the coder to tell me what he’d done wrong, he convinced me to call Host Gator. It turned out they were having issues with the server. That’s fine. What wasn’t fine was that the customer service folks refused to give an ETA of when the issue would be resolved or agree to send an email notifying me when it was solved — I’d have to keep checking their support forum. They also wouldn’t issue any credit on the phone; instead telling me I’d have to send an email to some customer service box.

Then the site completely went down. I called back. Same story. Wouldn’t tell me when I’d have the site back, no email notification when back up, no compensation over the phone.

I wouldn’t have even thought to write this had the phone rep agreed to ping me when the server was fixed and given me some token discount so I felt like I won a small battle. Host Gator team, was it worth alienating a new customer not to change your policy of notifications and phone downtime compensation?

Btw, for a great uptime monitoring tool, check out: Pingdom.com.

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Content marketing is king, but what do I write?

Content marketing works. There’s just no question about it. Companies, thinkers, and movers with great content wildly amplify their reach. The only question left is: WHAT DO YOU WRITE?

There are those gifted few for whom creating interesting, insightful, engaging content is pleasurable and plentiful. These natural writers churn out tweets, articles, blog posts, and books and still manage to be on time for cocktails. Their expertise is seemingly limitless, their wit inexhaustible, challenges toRead more…

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Content marketing works. There’s just no question about it. Companies, thinkers, and movers with great content wildly amplify their reach. The only question left is: WHAT DO YOU WRITE?

There are those gifted few for whom creating interesting, insightful, engaging content is pleasurable and plentiful. These natural writers churn out tweets, articles, blog posts, and books and still manage to be on time for cocktails. Their expertise is seemingly limitless, their wit inexhaustible, challenges to their authority swept away with written eloquence.

For the rest of us writing hunters-and-peckers, creating great content is laborious, stress-inducing, and time-consuming. There are days it takes HOURS to put together a simple marketing email. Already while writing this post, I’ve asked two questions on Quora, chatted with a friend on Facebook, flipped on Pandora, gone to the bathroom, and eaten a Clif Bar. This is not elegance! But I’m getting the job done. Why?

Prolific, successful writers are interested in what they write about. They get interested in an idea, event, person, or statistic and can’t help themselves but explore it and report back on the findings. Although details are great, delaying sending that blast email for days to get that one sentence from 99% to 100% perfect ends up being counter-productive.

The key to content marketing isn’t to get it all right; the key is to write about what’s interesting and get it out there. My trap is that my head will go to what’s interesting to YOU/THEM — of course I want you to keep reading, but if I never click publish then the discussion is over before it began.

What works is that I wanted to write about how following one’s interest is the first crucial step on the path to content marketing nirvana, and so I did it. Don’t hesitate, follow what interests you, and get heard.

 

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