VirtualPBX 5

Maximize Your Profits with the 5 Best Tools for Affiliate Marketing

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5 Tools for Affiliate MarketingWelcome to Edition 17.0 of The VirtualPBX 5 where we share our favorite topics, gadgets, and apps!

The world of affiliate marketing tools is more competitive than ever in 2017. Cutting-edge tools are sprouting up left and right in the hopes of profiting from the booming e-commerce sector. In this edition of the VirtualPBX 5 we’ve cut out the clutter and narrowed down a list of tools which are tried and true. Here are our top 5 tools for affiliate marketing.

Top 5 Tools for Affiliate Marketing

1. Skimlinks

Skimlinks provides a simplistic method for affiliates to monetize content on their sites. Their secret sauce is being able to turn any retailer link on your site into an affiliate link. If you’re fine with giving Skimlinks a 25% cut for being the middleman, it’s not too shabby of a deal for busy affiliate marketers.

2. WordPress SEO by Yoast

WordPress SEO Plugin by Yoast tackles the largest challenge faced by affiliates – generating traffic. Yoast gives you the ability to tweak and visualize your content in a way that gives on-page SEO boosts and increases organic ranking. With Yoast, you’ll be generating more traffic per page and thereby creating more opportunities to make sales.

3. GetResponse

There are many email marketing solutions on the market, but only one can rise to the top of the affiliate ranks. GetResponse gets our vote here because it runs the gamut of affiliate marketing solutions. Features such as autoresponder, email marketing, e-commerce integrations, and more all serve as valuable tools for marketers who like expansive feature sets.

4. Thirsty Affiliates Plugin

Thirsty Affiliates is a WordPress plugin that manages the entire lifecycle of affiliate links. WordPress links are saved and categorized instantly so you don’t have to log-in and out of affiliate networks to insert product links. And if that wasn’t helpful enough, Thirsty Affiliates also gives you the ability to beautify links and auto-link keywords that are not already effectively monetized.

5. Shareasale

Last but not least, our top affiliate tool is our own affiliate network! Shareasale was the network of choice for the VirtualPBX Affiliate Program because of its longstanding reputation for honest, efficient and fast affiliate transactions. We can also appreciate the fact that they’ve stood toe-to-toe with top affiliate networks for over 17 years and still just seem to be getting better with age. We can’t say enough good things about Shareasale. You won’t regret your decision to sign up today! The process is simple and free.

We hope you enjoyed our top 5 tools for affiliate marketing in our VirtualPBX 5 series! If you liked these Top 5 Affiliate Tools, be sure to check out the VirtualPBX blog for more affiliate marketing related content. We would also love to hear any tool suggestions on Facebook and Twitter!

5 Star-Spangled 4th of July Marketing Strategies

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Welcome to Edition 16.0 of The VirtualPBX 5 where we share our favorite topics, gadgets, and apps!

4th of July Marketing StrategiesThis Independence Day is gearing up to be the grandest display of red, white, and blue of all time. According to the National Retail Foundation 219 million Americans are predicted to spend 7.1 billion on 4th of July festivities in 2017.

So how do marketers ignite a campaign that takes off like a bottle rocket this 4th of July? We have created the below 5 star-spangled 4th of July marketing strategies to get the most out of your holiday.

Here are 5 Star-Spangled 4th of July Marketing Strategies that’ll make Uncle Sam Proud

1. Create an Experience

The telltale sign of a one-of-a-kind customer experience is when customers are smiling and capturing content that is good enough to share with their friends. Macy’s does a great job of providing an experience like this by hosting a 4th of July fireworks show every year. You can surprise customers with an unexpected delight too that will create buzz and further brand loyalty. Putting on a fireworks show like the retail giant Macy’s is not achievable for every company. However, a 4th of July themed social media promotion can provide great brand exposure and encourage repeat traffic.

2. Engage Followers on Social Media

It’s no surprise that there is a lot of competition on social media in 2017, but that’s because it’s still one of the most effective marketing channels for promoting brands. Social platforms have a smaller window of relevancy and visitors are often browse for non-work purposes. This makes holiday specials and events even more powerful on social platforms. Brands can cut through the noise of newsfeeds by creating unique content that engages their community. Brands can host giveaways, run photo contests, or create a fun video to get people raving about their brand. Products like Adobe Spark are easy to use and provide video templates that allow you to create professional quality videos in less than 30 minutes.

3. Curate a 4th of July Collection

Businesses of all types have the opportunity to curate a collection of items that help 4th of July revelers find what they are looking for. E-commerce stores can boost sales by creating a collection of “4th of July Favorites.” Or perhaps a blogger can create a list of “Top 4th of July Recipes.” Creating a collection of items for consumers is an excellent way to deliver a tailored shopping experience or receive online shares which can eventually lead to sales.

4. Donate to a Charitable Cause

Legend has it that Uncle Sam was linked to one of the largest acts of philanthropy turned branding of all time. History suggests that Uncle Sam was named after Samuel Wilson, a meat packer in New York who donated barrels of beef to the U.S. Army in 1812. Samuel’s kind deed left such a lasting impression on the U.S. Army that they referred to the meat as “Uncle Sam’s.” The local newspaper picked up the story and the rest is history. The lesson of this story is that freebies can create buzz.

5. Utilize Business Phone System Features

One of the most effective and economical marketing strategies is utilizing your current business phone system. If you will have extended hours to accommodate the extra traffic over the 4th of July holiday make sure to set your business hours so your customers know that you’ll be in full service. You can also utilize Custom Greetings to let your customers know all about your special promotions and upcoming events.

I hope you enjoyed our five 4th of July marketing strategies. Want to learn more about creating unforgettable holiday experiences for your business? The Marketing Team at VirtualPBX has put together a list of business phone system best practices so you can get the most out of your call traffic.

Also, if you have any Independence Day marketing ideas that you would like to share with us, feel free to let us know on Twitter and Facebook.

We hope you have a wonderful 4th of July!

Five Reasons Why Americans Should Use PTO This Summer

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Welcome to Edition 15.0 of The VirtualPBX 5 where we share our favorite topics, gadgets, and apps!

Americans Should Use PTO This SummerIt’s that time of year again, it’s PTO season. But why aren’t we using it? According to a survey conducted by Glassdoor, 54% of Americans only use half of their vacation days. Which begs the question: why are we leaving so much PTO on the table?

Is it because Americans love working? Or maybe we feel we will be penalized for taking personal time off? Whatever a person’s reason for not using his or her earned PTO is that person’s business. We won’t tell you what to do, but we can tell you why taking a break from the grind is good for you.

Here are the Top Five Reasons why Americans Should use PTO This Summer:

1. Stimulate Eustress by Traveling the World

Flying to an exotic destination stimulates good stress, also known as eustress. It is when your body feels the psychological, biochemical, or physical implications of stress. Traveling to a new country heightens this type of stress due to the unfamiliarity of the local customs and language – forcing you to be more cognizant of your surroundings and more culturally aware. In addition to expanding your cultural horizons, eustress aids personal growth and creativity.

2. Reboot your Mental and Physical Health

Daily stressors are a normal part of work life. Counteracting those stressors is an essential part of human health. If you feel your mental and physical health are rapidly declining due to an overbearing workload, it’s time to put in a PTO request. Our bodies are like computers. When we have dozens of programs open, and we neglect to reboot the computer, it becomes slower and eventually crashes. When you proactively take time to recharge, you can avoid a crash altogether.

3. Boost the Economy by Shopping Small

We’d never advocate overspending, but it’s okay to indulge in some quality experiences every now and then. In fact, studies show that vacation days are great for the economy. According to Forbes, if Americans took off one additional day of PTO each year that would result in a $73 billion dollar boost in the U.S. economy. I mean, if taking a vacation wasn’t already a good enough idea, then you should at least consider doing it for your country!

4. Foster Relationships with Family and Friends

We’ve become a society so focused on career advancement, that we’ve reduced the amount of quality time spent with our loved ones. Fostering healthy relationships with our friends and family is a key aspect of our personal happiness. Disconnecting from the workplace is an essential part of growing tighter bonds and striking a better work-life balance.

5. Increase Quality of Life

The negative toll of stress compounds over time causing our quality of life to suffer. Our happiness is shaped by our ability to have control over our daily stressors such as finances, traffic, health, etc. Due to the subjective nature of quality of life, it’s important to take personal time to discover what factors make us most happy. Taking a hiatus in the summer months allows us to discover ourselves and pursue the quality of life we desire.

The Show Must Go On (Even When You’re on PTO)

If you need help crafting an out of the office greeting for your clients while you’re away on PTO, look no further than our Custom Greeting options. While you’re at it, you can set Holiday Hours, Do-Not-Disturb, or even re-route your calls to another department while you’re out having some fun in the sun this summer.

Lastly, I hope everyone takes a moment this Memorial Day weekend to remember the heroes that gave their lives for our country. Without their sacrifice, we wouldn’t be able to enjoy the safety and freedom that we have today. Stay safe wherever you find yourself this weekend, and have a wonderful time with your loved ones.

Building a remote team from scratch? Start with these 5 tools.

Welcome to Edition 14.0 of The VirtualPBX 5. It’s that time of the month when we share our 5 favorite topics, tips, gadgets, and apps.

Building a remote team from the ground up is a big undertaking. Having the right tools in place is essential to building a rock-solid foundation for your remote team. Lucky for remote team managers, there are many excellent tools available in 2017.

As remote workers ourselves, we have experience testing a plethora of remote working tools. Through many years of trial and error, we have discovered which tools have improved our team communication, connection, and collaboration.

Here are our top 5 tools to build your remote team around! Ready to take your remote teams communications to the next level? Test drive VirtualPBX with a 14-day free trial.

top 5 tools to build your remote team around

5 Ways Small Businesses Can Profit From The Super Bowl

5 Ways Small Businesses can Profit from the Super BowlWhen it comes to masterminding for the Super Bowl, small businesses have the ability to win big. The Super Bowl is a valuable opportunity for businesses to increase sales and boost brand awareness. Here are 5 ways small businesses can profit from the Super Bowl.

1. Gear up

The Super Bowl is one of the most profitable days of the year for the restaurant and bar industry. Due to the high demand for beer, pizza, and wings, businesses can score big profits by stocking up on the best sellers. In order to ensure a happy experience for the crowds of wing eating revelers, it is important to have enough staff to accommodate them. If all goes well, they will return for years to come.

2. Event Marketing

If your business is hosting a Super Bowl event or providing specials, it is important to get the word out. Hand out flyers ahead of the big event and create a digital version to be shared on social media. It’s important to not neglect your business phone, which will likely be ringing non-stop. Create a custom greeting to highlight your specials and hours of operation during the event. Building excitement is an integral part of driving foot traffic to your business.

3. Live Posting

A well-timed tweet is free and can provide more exposure to your business than a prime time television commercial during the Super Bowl. Just ask Oreo, whose social media associate threw a hail mary tweet to win the marketing Super Bowl in 2014. Being able to react and respond in real time with a witty tweet can be a game changer for your business.

4. Online Advertising

It’s 2017, which means businesses don’t have to pay millions of dollars to advertise in front of millions of viewers. When commercial breaks happen, people naturally turn to their phones to check social media. When it comes to receiving viral social media status, users want to see creative and humorous video ads. The opportunities to create brand awareness from your advertising efforts are limitless.

5. Business Connect

Business Connect was created to level the playing field between small businesses and big businesses during the Super Bowl. Local small businesses have the opportunity to win big contracts and become official NFL vendors. It’s too late to sign up this year, but you should sign up next year if a Super Bowl comes to a city near your business.

Go Get ‘Em Champ!

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