Data Breaches Big and Small: What Can We Learn?

Data Breaches Big and Small: What Can We Learn?

Author bio

Dan Fries is a freelance writer and full stack Rust developer. He looks for convergence in technology trends, with specific interests in cybersecurity, micro mobility, and smart cities. Dan enjoys snowboarding and is based in Hong Kong with his pet beagle, Teddy. His website is danfries.net.


 

If you own an online business or website, you need to actively take meaures to prevent a data breach. If you are considering selling your online business, you should make sure your across the best security practicesYou’ve probably heard that those who don’t learn the lessons from history will repeat its mistakes. In the world of cyber-security, failing to heed that advice could have devastating effects on your reputation and bottom line. 

 

That’s exactly what seems to have happened in 2018, which smashed all records set in 2017, itself a jaw-dropping year for data breaches. Not only was there major chaos in terms of financial loss and damaged reputations for corporate giants, about 60% of reported breaches targeted small businesses. Those are the ones that rarely make the news.

 

Only 10 percent of cybercrimes are even reported, so imagine how the actual numbers add up. 

 

Digging into Breaches

 

What kind of malfeasance are we talking about? More than half of the leaks exposed customer information, and a whopping 46% or more leaked credit card and other financial records, including account numbers. 

 

One of the most dangerous times for small companies is during a merger. With so many larger companies buying up smaller businesses and online properties changing hands like it was a poker game, all parties involved need to take care they don’t inadvertently release privileged data in the process

 

What can you learn from big and small data breaches in order to prevent future grief? 

 

Without further ado, and in no particular order, here are a few of our “favorite” breaches of 2018 and a handful of case studies to provide context and additional insight.

 

1. British Airways

From August 21 – September 5, hackers were able to access credit card payments of 380,000 travelers on both the airline website and mobile app. 

 

2. Orbitz

The travel aggregation portal experienced a database hack that exposed the credit card information of 880,000 travelers who booked through their website between January 1, 2016 and December 22, 2017. The hack wasn’t discovered until a year later.

 

3. SingHealth

Singapore’s health care information system was hacked in an attempt to gain information about the Prime Minister’s health. In the process, the hackers exposed the patient histories, names, and addresses of 1.5 million other citizens.

 

4. T-Mobile

On August 20, 2018, the telecommunications giant was hacked via an API interface. Encrypted passwords and billing information of two million customers was exposed. 

 

5. Saks/Lord and Taylor

On an undisclosed date (because no one is sure when) the credit card information of five million customers was accessed. The hacking group JokerStash claimed responsibility.

 

6. Timehop

From December 2017 to July 2018, names, addresses, and some phone numbers of 21 million Timehop members were left vulnerable due to insufficient authentication in their cloud computing environment.

 

7. Ticketfly

The online ticket seller was hacked by someone calling themselves “IsHaKdZ”. Personal information of 27 million customers was exposed. 

 

8. Facebook

It was a banner year for the social media giant. In addition to their problems with third-party data sales and congressional hearings, the accounts of 29 million users were exposed when hackers gained access tokens to their accounts. This occurred from July 2017 to September 2018.

 

9. Chegg

Personal information, shipping addresses, user names, and passwords of 40 million customers were accessed by an “unauthorized person” between April 29, 2018 and September 19, 2018. The eCommerce website is an online retailer selling such brands as EasyBib.

 

10. Google+

Personal information of 52.5 million account holders, including employers and job titles, was exposed due to a software glitch. This happened from March 2015 to 2018, and again from November 7 to November 13, 2018. Google has since shut down this platform for good.

 

One of the most dangerous times for small companies is during a merger. With so many larger companies buying up smaller businesses and online properties changing hands like it was a poker game, all parties involved need to take care they don’t inadvertently release privileged data in the process.

Data Breach Case Studies

Behind each data breach or leak lies a personal story of a company that didn’t pay attention to details. Taking a deeper dive into a few of them might more seriously demonstrate the gravity of what can happen when security isn’t emphasized. Does your business have the resources to withstand a million-dollar leak? How about $100,000? Most companies don’t. In fact, most small companies will go out of business within six months of a data breach, even without the negative publicity. Almost as bad as the difficulty you’ll likely encounter trying to sell a website with a data breach history.

 

Case Study: Aadhaar

Customers affected: 1.1 billion

What Happened?

 

Aadhaar is the national database that contains all Indian government identification cards. The database not only holds names and ID numbers but also biometric information like iris scans and fingerprints. Although registration in this database isn’t mandatory, some 1.1 billion Indian residents are enrolled. 

 

The system is used for everything from registering a sim card to obtaining government benefits. It was accessed via a leak from the state-owned utility company, Indane, allowing anyone with access to their website to download customer ID numbers. It was due to a vulnerable endpoint, something that is easily patched. 

 

This isn’t the first time the Aadhaar system has had security issues. The company has suffered numerous breaches, and the government did nothing about this latest leak for weeks, calling it fake news when the public learned of the breach. 

 

Key takeaway: Digging deeper into the breach, we find that the problem can actually be traced to Indane, an Indian LPG gas company with vendor access to Aardhaar but which was leaking data through unsecured website endpoints. Whether Indane specialized in incompetence or simply tried to cut website hosting costs related to development is unclear, but the bottom line lesson remains that a government database is only as secure as the vendors allowed to access it.  

 

 

Case Study: Starwood Hotels

Customers affected: 500 million records

What happened?

 

As we can see from numerous cases, hotels are a prime target for hackers and breaches. They hold credit card information for reservations and the dates that people will be away from their homes. This is an open invitation to various means of theft. 

 

In the case of Starwood, parent company of the Marriott chain, the guest database experienced “unauthorized access” that was only discovered on September 10, 2018, but the leaks may have been ongoing as far back as 2014. The database contained not only guest names, addresses, and phone numbers, but credit card information, reservation dates, and passport numbers. What a treasure trove for thieves!

 

Key takeaway: Starwood failed to implement even basic security strategies. Though the company has been short on details, it seems hackers were basically living on their servers. One method of entry was infiltration of a POS system. For a nominal fee, the best VPNs available today would have encrypted their POS network, ensuring that any leaked customer data stayed private. 

 

Additionally, in the case of Starwood, the guest database was not protected until November 2018, two months after the breach was discovered. Security suite software and a robust firewall might have prevented THIS unauthorized ingress. Since the company has hotels all over Europe, it’s also left itself open to potential fines of up to 4% of gross revenues under the new GDPR regulations

 

Case Study: PATCO Construction 

Customers affected: The company

What happened?

 

A Trojan Horse virus was slipped into the company’s system, allowing thieves to access their corporate account and drain it to the tune of just over half a million dollars in less than a week. The company was able to recoup just under $200,000 of the money, though they initially failed in a lawsuit against the bank that handles ACH transfers, which they believe didn’t use reasonable security during wire transfers. They won on appeal, but still had to pay interest on hundreds of thousands in overdraft fees.

 

Key takeaway: Before you conduct any business electronically, make sure that the bank and any third-parties involved in conducting transfers and other financial business use adequate security. You should also ask how they handle data breaches in the case that any occur.

 

How to Protect Yourself and Customers

 

What happened to Volunteer Voyages demonstrates that small business owners don’t have much recourse after the fact. If the banks won’t reimburse you and police have trouble catching cyber criminals, what’s left?

 

We’ve touched on the idea that a data breach can make it hard to sell an online business. At the very least, expect it to drive down the valuation to the point that your profit potential is downright depressing. Consider the following steps to boost site security for a reasonable expense. The money spent will likely be far less than the financial hit you’ll take in the event of a data leak or breach. 

 

The most important thing you can do is learn about data protection, and make sure that all of your employees and subcontractors understand the process and necessity. The second step is to perform a thorough assessment of where your network stands on cybersecurity. If you don’t have qualified personnel on-staff, outsource an audit to a reputable security consulting firm. However, the knowledge you gain is meaningless unless you use it, which is step three. 

 

The most relevant data security measures you can employ are:

 

  • Install a firewall

 

  • Buy security tools like an anti-virus software that are made especially for small businesses.

 

  • Evaluate and redesign security protocols to meet today’s threats.

 

  • Use a VPN with high-grade encryption and privacy protection on every network and connected device used by you, your employees, and vendors.

 

  • Educate staff about passwords. 

With a full 81% of breaches traced to weak or repetitive passwords, simply tending to this one area could greatly reduce your exposure to hacker mischief. Today’s acceptable passwords should be long and convoluted to evade ever-stronger cracking techniques.

Rather than try to manage passwords with faulty human brainpower, organizations should use password management software and two-factor authentication (2FA). This puts your computer to work creating and managing company passwords and forces a two-step login process that requires a second key generated to a different device (like your smartphone) in addition to the one you’re trying to log into.   

 

Final Thoughts

 

With a full 81% of breaches traced to weak or repetitive passwords, simply tending to this one area could greatly reduce your exposure to hacker mischief. Today’s acceptable passwords should be long and convoluted to evade ever-stronger cracking techniques. 

 

 

Don’t allow your company to become another statistic. You can avoid being the next hard-luck tech story by taking the offensive when it comes to data protection. 

 

Effective, enterprise-wide employee training, comprehensive security solutions, and automation are all best practices to incorporate without breaking your budget. Start today because tomorrow might be the day you get hacked.

The big increase in women-owned online businesses

The big increase in women-owned online businesses

The trajectory is clear. There is a surge in female business entrepreneurship. However, the finer details reveal a more complex pattern than appears at first impression. The 2018 American Express economic study ‘State of Women-Owned Businesses Report’, presented an exciting picture of the rise in female business ownership. It reported that in the US there are almost 2,000 new businesses being founded by women each day and that women now own around 40% of businesses overall. However, the devil is in the detail, and in stark contrast the highly regarded tech industry reviewer TechCrunch reports that only 17% of all business startups have a female founder, and that proportion has not grown significantly over the past 6 years. A glass ceiling also applies to female-owned businesses which have been backed by venture capital investment. So, what explains the apparent disparity in these reports?

The highest proportion of women-owned enterprises are in the small business and non-tech business sectors. Since the 1970s the number of all women-owned businesses in the US has increased by a staggering multiple of more than 30 times, and importantly the employment created by those businesses has increased 40-fold. Yet they still account for only 6% of total workforce employment and under 5% of all business revenues.

While there was considerable growth over the past decade in the proportion of businesses generating more than $1 million dollars per annum in revenue which are female-owned, women-owned businesses still remain predominantly small ones, with businesses generating more than $1 million dollars per annum accounting for only 1.7% of all female-owned businesses. For proper understanding of the statistics it’s important to clarify that where a business involves partnerships and multiple owners/founders, the classification of female-owned and female-founded is defined as at least 50% of the ownership is female. In this context TechCrunch clarifies that only one-third of female-founded businesses are entirely female-owned and led. 

So, notwithstanding the undeniable impression of a dramatic improvement in the overall level of female business ownership, the detail is complex and masks the reality that women are still under-represented in both online businesses and tech-based startups and particularly in VC-backed businesses. 

This is so notably the case that in 2018 a mere 2% of all VC investment funding for all startup businesses in the US went to enterprises with all-female founders. The reasons for this are clear. Firstly, the vast majority of all-female businesses are too small to attract venture capital. Secondly, investment decision-making in venture capital still remains so male-dominated that over 90% of those who allocate investment funding in the US are male. However, the consequent financial favoring of male enterprises is arguably based primarily on unconscious affinities and informal, unintentionally-gendered business networks rather than any deliberate bias.

As a potential change driver, the present under-representation of women in VC-backed businesses actually presents a massive opportunity. The current time seems poised at a critical turning point for a substantial and sustained increase in female entrepreneurship in online businesses. In February this year, Forbes published a report on the many reasons for women now being more motivated than ever to start up or buy into their own businesses, instead of being content to remain an employee of someone else’s business. 

Multiple large-scale surveys consistently establish that women are motivated to start their own businesses in the pursuit of freedom, financial independence and personal fulfillment. For many women, independent entrepreneurship is also a way of circumventing the glass ceiling they have encountered in their professional employment.

More and more women are recognizing unmet service and product needs in society and developing innovative solutions to create and capture a lucrative and professionally rewarding market niche. 

 

Key enablers for the trend to gather momentum

Increased Access to Business Finance

The National Women’s Business Council (NWBC) urges women to make greater use of network support opportunities including Small Business Administration support and loan programs and partner networks such as SCORE and the Women’s Business Center. Networking, including online support networks, can provide valuable encouragement, advice and practical resources. This can create access to existing networks of ‘angel investors’ who are specifically focused on female entrepreneurship – or at least consciously predisposed to financing women-founded, owned and led businesses. 

Greater female access to business startup capital is poised to be a powerful game-changer. As this development gains traction it may re-focus the targets of larger scale venture capital financing which, as stated, is currently deflected from female-founded and female-led business ventures.

Effective Mentoring for Women in Business

Successful established female entrepreneurs can provide crucially important role modeling and a powerful source of practical advice and guidance for aspiring and novice business founders and also for women who buy an existing online business with the intention of managing it well and developing it further. Female mentoring networks are thriving, widespread and very easy to connect with. They can be expected to result in real and sustained improvement in women’s participation in all kinds of business ventures, maybe particularly in the online and startup environments. Male mentors have a valuable role to play too and many women in business have found the supposed boys’ club is actually far more open, supportive and collaborative than it’s sometimes perceived to be. 

Time to Seize the Day

For women, this is the greatest of times to create your own business space and join the growing community of female online business leaders. The necessary success factors are in place, the momentum is gathering, and the opportunity awaits right here and now.

 

Translate.com sold on Flippa for $853,000

Translate.com sold on Flippa for $853,000

Translate.com is a translating website with almost 2m visitors per month. The business sold last November on Flippa with a winning bid of $853,000. The auction, which had no reserve created a lot of interest and attention in the buying community.  

We caught up with the buyer Volodymyr to discuss the purchase. In the interview below, he talks about how long he was looking for an online business before purchasing the site, his immediate plans and why Flippa is his preferred platform.

 

Interview with the buyer – Volodymyr Nesterenko

Were you looking for a website with this type of organic traffic for long before you bought this site on Flippa?

No, we were not looking specifically for translation traffic, we were just watching what was for sale. We started doing that about 2 years ago and normally we pay more attention to career and education (SaaS) and pet care goods (Amazon Affiliate model). Previously we had a couple of good deals there. There were also sporadic opportunities in the ESL (English as a Second Language) space too, but no deals, so when Oleksii spotted Translate.com, we decided it was a good place to start.

 

What made you choose to buy Translate.com? Where you aware of the site before it became available for sale?

We hadn’t heard of Translate.com before, but we were ready to buy something in the ESL space. The domain name is absolutely epic, but we’d have never done it if it was only about the domain. The previous owners did a good job, there was a real product with a well automated workflow under the hood. On top of this, tens of thousands of freelance translators from all around the world.

 

What were your immediate plans when you first bought this site? Have you executed these?

The immediate plan was to transfer everything smoothly and not to break anything. For example, we had to take over two mobile applications and numerous integrations, such as an integration with Zendesk which enables our B2B clients to translate support tickets. Translate.com carries out human translation in a really frictionless way and we didn’t want clients to feel any pain because of the ownership change. After the transfer, we audited the programming code, did some critical fixes. We are now renovating the site and apps and also working on a strategy for this line of our business. Realistically, we can increase revenues 10x in 2-3 years.  

 

How did you find your experience with Flippa?

The listing was hot (more than 170 bids) and the overall deal wasn’t easy but everything worked well. We spotted the sale on Flippa, which tells for itself, and we appreciated a simple process too. Listing page, chat with a seller, the auction, escrow service – everything was great and we didn’t need anything on top. Maybe some extra help with the asset purchase agreement, but that’s it. We are watching many platforms where people buy and sell business and Flippa is definitely one of the few on the top of our list

 

The 10 Best Shopify Apps for 2019

The 10 Best Shopify Apps for 2019

Author bio – Whitney Blankenship 

Content Marketing Manager for Omnisend. When not writing awesome content, Whitney is reading up on the latest in digital marketing, eCommerce, and social media trends. Obsessed with pop culture, art, and metal. Powered by coffee. Fastest Googler in the West. 


 

If you are in the process of growing your eCommerce business, then you are probably turning to Shopify for assistance.

There are no two ways about the fact that Shopify can help you achieve great results in a lesser amount of time.

It’s clear to see why. Shopify negates all the hassle involved in launching an online store and automates the whole process — from sales to shipping to marketing activities.  

Many Shopify merchants build up their stores to sell them and start over with a new one. With how easy Shopify makes creating a store, once an entrepreneur knows the right formula, this can be a profitable way to build and sell businesses.

I am sure you have devised some strategy. That said, along with your own marketing and sales strategy, you can get more bang for your business if you use the right  Shopify tools and apps.

And that’s why today we have rounded up some of the best Shopify apps to help you grow and sell your eCommerce store.

 

Omnisend grabs the first position in this list, and rightly so. But don’t take our word for it, Omnisend is indeed ranked as the number one email marketing automation platform on the Shopify App Store.

However, it is not your regular email marketing tool. Instead, it is an omnichannel marketing automation platform that helps you integrate all your marketing functions under one single roof.

Omnisend offers other prominent features, such as:

  • Brings you closer to your customers through channels such as mail, SMS messages, web push notifications, Facebook Messenger, and more
  • Helps you determine your customers’ behavior and send personalized messages that automatically react to that behavior
  • Sends laser-targeted automated messages which drive more sales

 

All in all, you can start selling on your eCommerce store with Omnisend without worrying over daily tasks like messaging, email capture, etc., as this Shopify App does everything on its own.

Pricing Details: For starters, you can try out Omnisend’s 14 days trial package to see whether it fulfills your specifications or not. For basic email marketing, Omnisend offers a free plan that lets you send up to 15,000 emails per month. After that, their paid plans start off at only $16 per month. 

If you are looking for an acclaimed printing and warehousing Shopify App, Printiful is just the app you need.

This Shopify app not only offers easy and customized drop shipping services but also allows you to track every step of your order delivery.

One of the greatest things about Printiful is that they don’t take any credit for their warehousing services. The parcel will reach your customer with your brand name, which makes it look like you carried out the warehousing process in-house

Just like Omnisend, they also integrate with plenty of famous eCommerce platforms other than Shopify, including Weebly, Woo Commerce, Ecwid, BigCommerce, and more.

Printiful is especially a favorite among eCommerce store owners for shipping merchandise such as tote bags, cups, t-shirts, and basically every other item that they avoid storing on their own.

Pricing Details: This Shopify app doesn’t have a rigid pricing policy. The pricing depends solely on your product.  

 

I hope you know that one happy customer spreads the word around to at least nine more people. So, if you are not leveraging these referrals, then you are missing out on a huge number of sales

And this is where ReferralCandy comes into the game.

If you want to give a nudge to your customers to refer your brand to their friends by giving them incentives, then ReferralCandy has you covered. This Shopify App allows you to choose a reward of your choice so as so gain unlimited referrals.

Some of its most important features include automatic reward delivery to the customers, regular referral reminders, a dashboard that allows you to keep track of your referrals, and so forth.

Pricing Details: ReferralCandy offers a generous trial plan of up to 30-days, which can be canceled anytime. The paid plans start at $49 per month and range up to $3999 per month (billed annually).

 

When it comes to driving traction to your eCommerce store, you have to work on your search engine optimization (SEO) strategy.

But how do you start building your SEO plan?

Go to the app store and install “SEO Manager.” With this Shopify App, you don’t have to worry about tedious tasks such as keyword research, advanced meta-setting, etc. SEO Manager will automatically find a way to make your eCommerce store rank higher in search engines. It does the hard part on its own, and you only have to supervise whether everything is on track or not.

Some of the most attractive features include:

  • Offers comprehensive help documents to navigate easily through the app
  • Gives real-time feedback pertaining to the success or failure of your eCommerce store and your SEO efforts
  • Advanced and intelligent analytics and reports
  • Runs a mobile-friendly test to ensure that your eCommerce store is optimized for mobile phones

 

Pricing Details:

SEO Manager is priced at $20 per month, but you can initially try out their 7-day free trial.

 

Collecting positive reviews is one of the most essential parts of your sales process — especially if you want to shorten your sales funnel.

In fact, statistics suggest that 72% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations from friends, and 90% of consumers claim that positive online reviews excessively influence their buying decisions. Thus, it makes no sense to not leverage reviews and testimonials.   

Yotpo Reviews lets you easily integrate your customers’ reviews to your Shopify store. Now when your prospects visit your eCommerce store, they feel more assured before buying your product as your reviews can vouch for its credibility.  

Key features to look out for:

  • Automatically collect ratings, site reviews, and product photos using the review widget
  • Showcase ratings, reviews, and Q&A throughout your website along with all your social media channels.
  • Easy to set up and no coding hassle.

 

Pricing Details:

If you are a beginner, you can use Yotpo’s base version, which is completely free. However, if you want to access more advanced features including coupons, carousels, and up-selling options, you can opt for the paid plans that start at $29 per month.

If you are indulging your customers through social media engagement, then I am sure you wish you could keep an eye on all your social media accounts at once. Social Media Stream fulfills this wish!

With this Shopify App, you can now view your posts from various social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube, Pinterest, and Tumblr onto one widget. This easy to set-up app is especially helpful if you are keen on growing your social media followers and make your website more dynamic at the same time.

Pricing Details: While this app offers great services, but the greatest thing about it is that it is completely free of cost. Yes, really!

Has it ever happened to you that you liked a pair of jeans so much that you decide to buy it right away? Reeling with excitement, you start to fill the signup form to finally place the order. But the signup form is too lengthy, so you exit the web page and start browsing for better options.

Don’t let your prospects face the same issues for they won’t think twice before abandoning your website.

The easier you make it for customers to create accounts, the better will be your ROI.

That’s why we highly recommend you integrate One-Click Social Login.

This Shopify App lets your customers create accounts by simply logging in with their existing social media account details. Apart from simplifying your login process, it also allows you to be socially connected with your customers. Two birds, one stone!

 

Moreover, One Click Social Login integrates with Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Amazon, and many more. You also get access to an admin panel to keep track of customer signup activities.

 

Pricing Details:

 

One Click Social Login’s services start at $4.99 per month. However, if you want premium features such additional customizations and the ability to track your customer’s social profile, then you will have to upgrade to higher packages.

8. Smile.io

Persuading people to make a purchase for the first time is hard enough – retaining them for a longer period of time makes salespeople break out in a sweat.

That said, customer retention isn’t as difficult if you do it right away and using the right tools.  And this is where Smile.io enters the picture. This popular Shopify app integrates an attractive loyalty program to your eCommerce store to help you retain your customers.

Key features include:

  • Integrates various attractive and engaging programs with your Shopify store, such as loyalty points, referral, and VIP programs
  • Allows you to customize your programs as per your preferences

 

Pricing Details:

The free plan is sufficient if you want to run a simple program, while the paid packages, starting from $49 per month, offer customization options, robust analytics, and more.

9. Oberlo

Recent years have seen a rise in people getting involved in the dropshipping business – in other words, selling other companies’ products to your customers. If you are also planning to start a dropshipping business with Shopify, then you should definitely try out Oberlo.

This popular Shopify app assists you in determining the items that are best suited for your business, add them to your eCommerce store, and start selling without any hassle.

Key features include:

  • Helps you keep your prices and inventory up-to-date
  • Automatically starts the shipping process as soon as you confirm an order
  • Allows you to track every step of your shipping process

 

Pricing Details:

You can try out Oberlo’s free plan that supports up to 50 orders per month. Paid plans, with more capacity and features, start from $29 per month and go up to $79 per month.

10. Loox

If you want to increase your conversion rate using photo reviews, then Loox is the Shopify app you need. It automatically sends out emails on your behalf, seeking positive feedback from your customers. Positive reviews allow your customers to shop confidently at your store, without worrying over quality.

Pricing Details:

You can use Loox’s free trial for up to 14-days, and should you wish to continue, you will have to pay $9.99 per month.

 

Conclusion

 

Selling your eCommerce business sounds difficult. However, if you are armed with these Shopify apps, you can get more traffic and optimize your eCommerce store with substantial ease, which will make it that much easier to find success. A successful eCommerce store is an easy sell. While there is no shortcut to success, your path will still become more optimized.

Broker Interview – Domain Magnate

Broker Interview – Domain Magnate

This week we caught up with Michael Bereslavsky, the founder of Domain Magnate a broker partner of Flippa. Michael has used Flippa for several years and has had 49 transactions on platform totaling $446k.  In the video interview below, Michael talks about his experiences on Flippa, his advice to buyers and sellers and a run through of three businesses he currently has listed for sale on Flippa. See the full interview below and a summary of Michaels advice. 

 

Advice for buyers

Don’t look at buying a website as a passive investment, but as a business. As such any business has risks, it needs a strategy, procedures, clients, employees/contractors, management and growth. Viewing it this way will help you get a clear picture of the main components of a deal: risks and how to assess and mitigate them; short and long term growth opportunities; trends and numbers.

 

Advice for sellers

Be more upfront about your numbers and risks, and what it really takes to manage the business, and provide good after sale support. Focusing on the long term perspective, and really helping your buyers, rather than simply trying to get the deal closed quick every time, will help you get repeat buyers, good deals, and even higher prices.

The three businesses in order as mentioned:

Business 1: TopTool Advisor $16,500

Business 2: Advertising business $64,500

Business 3: SaaS business $75,000

To find about more about how Domain Magante can help with your business sale, you can submit your site to see if it qualifies for direct acquisition. Domain Magnate is always looking for content businesses and likes to close deals quickly and professionally, and can often give you an offer and start a deal within days.

Alternatively, If you have a question on a specific listing you can reach out via Flippa. 

 

 

6 email marketing automation tips for eCommerce businesses

6 email marketing automation tips for eCommerce businesses

Gloria Kopp is a ecommerce digital marketer at Academized. She is an editor at Studydemic blog for writers and international students. Gloria is a contributor at Collective Evolution, Template Monster and Big Assignments. Follow her on Twitter: @Gloria_Kopp


 

With the rise of social media, SEO and paid advertising strategies, it seems like many businesses are letting their email campaigns slip off to the wayside. However, if used effectively, it’s still one of the most popular and most effective forms of marketing you can invest in.

In fact, according to one study by MarketingSherpa, they found that 72% of customers preferred communicating via email, that’s way more than calls, texts, instant message and social media combined.

So, as an e-commerce business, what can you do to implement an email strategy into marketing efforts? If you’re scratching your head for ideas, here are six tried and tested email automations you can set up and starting today.

Start with a Welcome Email

When a customer signs up to your business by joining your mailing list, what’s the first thing they receive from you? Is it an email a couple of weeks later featuring offers or a newsletter? KissMetrics found that implementing a welcome email into your marketing strategy will boost your click-through rate and revenue three times more than any other email you’ll send.

So, using automated email clients like GetResponse or ReachMail, you can set up triggers so as soon as a lead signs up to your mailing list, they’ll receive a welcoming email from you saying welcome to your community and a bit of information about your business and what they can do next.

Making Sure Everything is Okay

Following up the sales that you’ve made is a great way to improve the overall e-commerce experience that you’re offering your customers. It shows that you care about the service that you’ve provided them and that you simply haven’t taken their money and disappeared.

By using services like Litmus, you can send timed emails a few days from when the purchase is made to make sure that everything is okay, adding contact links and asking to get in touch if they have any problems. If you don’t have time to create these emails yourself, you can use email copywriting services such as UK Writings, as suggested by UK Top Writers.

The Importance of Upselling

Upselling has long been a successful marketing tactic used by businesses all over the world. With this process, you simply send out an email which details related products to the ones that certain customers have already been looking at or offers in regard to the products they are interested in.

This can be done with most email automation clients and can significantly boost your turnover and revenue, as well as increasing the chances of repeat purchases if implemented properly. As you can imagine, this is a lot of emails to create. To help you with this process, it can be beneficial to use free online tools like Easy Word Count or Cite It In.

Cart Abandonment Prompts

How many times do you see that a lead has added products to their basket and are just a few clicks away from making a purchase before they change their mind and leave your store? This could happen for a number of reasons from having simply no time to finish their purchase to changing their minds about what they’re buying.

However, using email automation, you can set up triggers that send off an email to your customer to remind them that they still have items in their cart waiting for them to buy, helping you claw back those all-important sales.

When generating these emails, be sure to maintain your credibility by checking the content to ensure it’s free from errors. You can make this process easier by using services like Essayroo (as recommended by Best Australian Writers ) or Boom Essays, another popular service recently featured in the Huffington Post.

Educate Your Customers

In marketing, there’s the 80/20 rule that refers to the content that a business sends to its customers. This means that 80% of the content you send should be educational while the remaining 20% is promotional.

So, in relation to your email marketing strategy, you’re going to need to plan what educational content you’re going to send. Luckily, there’s a lot of opportunities open to you, whether you’re talking about your products and their origin, industry related news and media, information about your business and more.

The most important thing to remember here is to keep the content relevant and relatable to your business. If you’re strapped for time, you can use writing services like State of Writing and Academadvisor for writing, editing or proofreading your emails.

Re-Engaging Customers

Sometimes you’ll see customers on your page analytics who regularly came to your website and interacted with your content and products but have since disappeared for whatever reason.

This is one of the easiest automated emails to set up as you can wait a month or two to remind customers that you exist as well as some information on what they are missing out on! “This can re-engage potentially lost customers, bringing them back to your business, customers you would have lost completely without email” – explains Richard Lainez, an Email Marketer at Assignment Help.

Conclusion

As you can see, there are many simple yet effective ways to implement email automation into the marketing process of your e-commerce store. All you need to do is get creative with what you want to achieve, and you can be sure your campaign will be a success.