The United Airlines saga is just a total mess from start-to-finish, and it’s really difficult to know where to start in unpicking the sorry saga.
I have flown United (from New York to New Orleans) and yes they really do pack them in, they have to be the most Easy-Jet like US carrier there is.
So when you have a market, the bulk of which just wants the cheapest price to get from A to B, rather than the “luxury” of being treated like real people……. This is what you get……..
The other part of this is that it is clear the airlines PR and advertising paints a picture of the business that bears absolutely no relationship to reality.
Maybe the senior management buy into the rose-tinted image of their company – have they ever actually experienced what it is like to be bumped off one of their own flights?
Indeed the question might be asked as to why they need to advertise at all in the glowing corporate way they have – just advertise you have the lowest price on these routes and have done with it.
So there is a massive disconnect between the image United wants to put across and the reality on the ground.
And this is really important, because the last thing you want to do in business is raise expectations that you know your systems can’t deliver.
The thing that is puzzling to us Europeans is why it has taken so long for this massive disconnect to appear, and for people to do something about it.
And now let’s talk about the the customer-oriented skills of the staff.
And the staff training.
And the internal operating systems of the airline that created this incident.
That’s it – enough said !
And finally – lets talk about the PR response by the CEO Carlos Munoz.
Dave knows Carlos Munoz, because Dave worked at PepsiCO when Carlos was just a finance guy, a bean counter.
The truth is that Carlos has never had a customer facing job in his life !
And that, for me, is a major drawback in the man, and much of corporate America.
Carlos doesn’t understand brands and brand value, he only understands money and the short-term.
We, Sarah Staar Business School, will not be flying United, ever.
Let’s say there is a miss-match between our values and those of United Airlines.
Electric car meetups
It is very rare that you can talk about there being a “community”.
But amongst electric car owners there really is a community.
Everywhere I go to recharge I finish up having a chat with other electric car owners, and lots of the time it has relatively little to do with the tech or the vehicle.
There are a lot more chargers around where I live than I first thought, and it turned out that my nearby Waitrose / supermarket has a few – not fast chargers but enough to give it a quick zap while shopping.
Yesterday I thought I would give it a try.
I arrived at the supermarket, plugged my car in, and went inside to do my weekly shop.
After about 45 minutes I came out to the car park to see that there were two other electric cars parked next to mine. There was a very confused looking lady trying to work out how to plug her brand-new Nissan Leaf into the charger.
I asked her if she’d like a hand, she told me that she had just bought her new car two days ago and this was the first time she’d ever tried to charge it away from home.
It was quite funny because after about two minutes I was joined by an elderly gentleman who was the owner of the other car, another Nissan Leaf owner.
We all ended up having a chat for about half an hour, kind of comparing notes on cars and giving each other tips and strategies!
Quite bizarre really, I don’t ever remember standing around chatting in a car park to complete strangers before… It shows when you have something in common it can be a great way to break the ice.
Hmm, Maybe I could organise the electric car meet up….
An electric car newsletter ….
This could be quite an interesting niche to get into….
All the best,
Sarah Staar business school products
No no……. that’s not me that’s windy !!
I am spending Christmas in a house up in Northumbria, near to relatives of my sister’s husband. The house is in a National Park where everything is strictly controlled to keep modern civilisation from spoiling the historic beauty of the land.
Not far from here is Hadrian’s Wall, built by the Emperor Hadrian in the 2nd Century AD to mark what was effectively the northern limit of the Roman Empire. (1800 years ago and it’s still standing – they don’t build them like that anymore !)
So this morning we went for a family walk amongst the hills, moorland, and forests of the area. The temperature here is about + 4C / 40F. The wind is about 20 miles per hour.
And then it started raining……. Fortunately, some among us decided to turn back early and got the fire going, so when the rest of the party arrived back soaking wet the house was reasonably warm.
I can see why the Romans invented hypocausts and underfloor central heating. Nevertheless I can understand why the Romans didn’t hang around here for long……
Getting away from Modern Technology
I am quite comfortable with modern technology, but I use it rather than have it use me, if you see what I mean.
Certainly what is going on in Facebook is something I stay clear of, and I don’t need to chase attention or “likes”.
And email…… well I use it for business but again I don’t feel the need to be in 24 hour contact with it either to run my business or keep in contact with stuff.
I mean, like, what is really important ?? And do I have to respond right now ?? And sometimes I think that mobile phones, the internet, gmail, and Facebook are more curses than blessings because they are just so intrusive and create that “knee jerk” response.
Dave is of a similar view and is trying to keep the technology in France unobtrusive. Now the house we are staying at has no internet access at all.
It sits in a fold in the ground and consequently there is no mobile phone signal. There is no wi-fi. There are no outdoor lights (apparently because in a National Park light pollution is a big No No)
Then I spotted that the owners house has 2 way satellite broadband, identical to the system we have in France. I chatted to one of the owners and asked if they had thought about offering broadband and wi-fi as an upsell.
From their reaction you would have thought I was proposing building a nuclear reactor next door !!
Angela and Kathy on my support team have created and launched their first product called “AdSense HQ” (round of applause for them please !!)
Adsense is where you put Google adverts on your site and you get paid by Google. It works well where you have a niche of customers and you build sites to match.
It’s more of what I call a hobby income, but it does have the virtue of being “fire and forget ” You do the work once to build and market the site and continue to get paid week after week for years to come.
I have a few sites I built way back before I got into internet marketing properly and they still generate me a bit of money each month.
So if you are looking for something to do this Christmas then check this out Adsense HQ
WHOIS This is a tool to look up domain name information such as who owns a website and IP address.
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All the best,
Some of Sarah Staar’s Products
A four-week training program teaching everything about affiliate marketing.
Recording of a live seminar with talks from experts in their fields of Internet marketing.
This course teaches you how to increase your productivity so you can spend more time doing the things that generate you income.
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One of my favourite ways to get traffic to my squeeze pages is by using something called solo ads.
Solo ads can be a bit of a minefield if done incorrectly, so I decided to make a video showing you exactly how I get traffic using solo ads.
And I just want to show you how I did that. So, what I did was, I was using a technique called solo ads. And a solo ad, basically, is a fantastic way of getting traffic but only if you do it correctly. So, basically, what a solo ad is, you find somebody who has like a really big e-mail list and you pay them to send an e-mail out for you. That email, obviously, could be to an affiliate offer or something like that but, usually, what we do with solo ads is we pay for somebody to promote our squeeze page. So I have latest squeeze pages on the internet where I try and get people to sign up to my e-mail list, like I give away a free gift in return for somebody to sign up to my e-mail list, and I try to drive as much traffic to these email squeeze pages as possible. And one of the ways I like to do it is, with a solo ad.
So, usually what I do is, I find somebody who is selling solo ads and I write an email, I give it to them and they send it out to their email list and a portion of that email list will click on the link in the email and go to my squeeze page, and some of those people will opt in to my email list and then some of those people, not all of them but some of those people, will then purchase my products, a little bit further down the line. The problem with solo ads, as you can imagine, is how do you know who you are buying from? How do you know that the company you are buying from, or the person you are buying from, is a legit seller? And this has always been the problem with solo ads, it’s always been a bit of an inside thing, really. You had to know somebody who had bought solo ads from somebody successfully in the past and kind of got the list of people from a friend or something like that.
It’s always been very, very difficult because there is something called click fraud. So, sometimes, you see advert saying, “We’ll send a thousand people to your website for $20 or gigs on five.” Or things like that. You may have seen them before, and you purchase and you get a ton of traffic but no one opts in to your email list. All the traffic might come from a third world country or it might be automatically generated, like traffic from a software bot or something like that. So this has always been kind of a problem with solo ads and… they’ve got a bad names for themselves. However, there is a great company called Udimi. Now, this is the site here. Originally, they were called Safe-Swaps.com and Safe-Swaps.com was a company which had a number of different email services and one of the things they provided was solo ads. However, they’ve just let it out to this new website called Udimi and it’s udimi.com. And I’ll put a link to it below this video.
But this it basically here, and the great thing about it is, when you buy a solo ad from udimi.com what’s actually happened is, they’ve kind of like vetted all the people who sell solo ads. So everybody on www.udimi.com has feedback, a bit like eBay. So, if we…we can look at anyone’s profile who is selling and kind of like read feedback from previous people who’ve purchased solo ads. So that’s really important.
The other thing is, Udimi has special software. The same kind of software that Google uses and Yahoo uses, these big companies use, to check for things like click fraud, where the traffic is coming from, etcetera, etcetera. So they monitor all the traffic that’s going to your squeeze page for you to make sure that you are only purchasing from genuine clicks, not things from like autobots or software or kind of dodgy clicks, things like that. These are actually real people and they actually monitor that for you automatically. Plus, they have an escrow service. So, when you are paying money to a solo ad, sometimes you might buy solo ad from some person you’ve never heard of, and you might give them the money, and you might not even get any clicks. But with Udimi, they hold the money and then, once all your clicks have actually been delivered and verified by the software on Udimi, then the seller will actually get paid. So it’s really cool.
Let me just show you how it works. I am just logged in at the moment and I’ve been buying a ton of solos over the last couple of weeks. And if I want to buy one now, I could just click on here, it says, “Find Solos” and then we can say how many clicks we want. So this is how they are normally sold. So a solo ad is sold with regards to how much traffic that the vendor can deliver. So we can say, actually, we want around, let’s say, between 200 and 400 clicks. We want to get about kind of between 200 and 400 people to our website, or our squeeze page, and we can look here. Mark have actually bought a solo ad off this guy here. So we can have a look at this, and then we can go and have a look at Mark’s profile. So this what I always do before I buy a solo ad. So we can have look at Mark’s profile here.
We can see he’s got quite a large list. We can see his list size, we can see the niches that he’s in, and then we can have a look at the feedback. He’s got over 1,347 people that have actually left feedback here, or he has actually sold that many solo ads. And we can click here, people have said, “Great solo. Great delivery,” “Thank you,” “Amazing solo,” “Always good to buy,” “Thank you for your solo,” etcetera, etcetera. So these are all satisfied customers. People can leave bad feedback as well. So sometimes, it’s not that often, but sometimes you might have a thumbs down, and then you read it there and you can find out what happened, or etcetera, etcetera. So, we know here this guy Mark, he is pretty good, he has got some really good feedback, so that’s why I purchase a solo ad from Mark. And then, what we can do is, we can actually select the offer which we want to send out. So I’ve actually preloaded in two separate offers. So I had a webinar last week, so I actually had an email which Mark actually sent out for my webinar. So this was an email which he sent out. And then I had another generic offer which is just getting traffic to my squeeze page basically, and you can load these emails in the back end so you can have as many of these emails as you like.
And this is the email which he is going to send out to his list, and that link there, basically, just links to my squeeze page. And then we can decide how much traffic we want. So, you know, I actually bought 300 clicks from Mark and that cost me $126. So, for $126, I got 300 people to visit my squeeze page. And I think from Mark, I was getting about 40% opt-in rate. So, for every 100 people Mark was sending me, 40 of those people were actually being added to my email list. So pretty good and it actually… for me right now, it’s a very, very cheap way of advertising because that’s what it is, it’s paid advertising, if you like, but it’s very, very quick and easy to get started. Yes, I just want to cancel out of that.
As you can see, lots and lots of people there. What I would recommend that you do, a little strategy which I learned from Reed Floren actually, he kind of got me into solos years ago, is when you’re first starting out, and really this is something I’m doing as well, is you want to buy kind of a small quantity of clicks from lots of people. So even if you want to pay for… let’s say you think, “Okay, I’ve got a big budget. I want, let’s say, 1000 clicks. I’ve got little bit of money.” Don’t buy 1000 clicks from one person. You’re much better off buying 50 clicks from lots of people. In that way, you may get one person really over-delivers, or two or three people who’ve got amazing quality traffic. So it’s not the same quality traffic from everybody. Different people have different types of list. Some people have more buyers on their list as well.
So, what I tend to do, I’ve got some quite good tracking software with Infusionsoft, so what I can actually do is I can buy 50 clicks from every single person. And then the one might get a couple of people who generate a lot of sales for me and then I’ll go back and buy more clicks from those people. Or I might have a couple of people who have really good opt-in rates. So, if I put in, let’s say, a solo ad from Alex here, and let’s say he’s giving an opt-in of 50% or something, I’d probably come back and buy more traffic more him. Yeah, the same way if I bought a solo from any of these other people and I got a sales straight away from a one-time offer, or something like that, then I’ll come back and buy more traffic from them.
So solo ads are really fantastic way of getting traffic. Udimi just really simplifies the whole process. You can pay for your solos using PayPal. Everybody has feedback, remember, a bit like eBay, and they have an escrow service plus this kind of like click frauds software which is actually built into Udimi so you know, either they gave you like a heap map of exactly where the traffic is coming from in the world. So, once your solo is finish, you can actually have a look and see what countries the traffic came from, which is pretty unique actually. I’ve never seen that before from a solo ad seller. And the clicks aren’t coming from some like software bot, or they’ve got like 10 friends out there, just clicking on your link loads of times, and you know the traffic is genuine, which I think is really important. Plus, they also have a forum as well, so you can request stuff on the forum, or get help with things, and they also have click tracking as well. So, if you want to know what your opt-in rate is from different sellers, and they’ll give you a little bit code which you can put on your auto-respond a Thank You page, and then you can track your opt-in rate across different people on Udimi. So, when you buy solo ads from lots of different vendors, you can then see what your opt-in rate is from different sellers.
So I just thought I’d make that quick video for you today. Hope you found that useful and remember, you know, paid traffic doesn’t have to be scary, especially with solo ads. You can actually start off with just buying 25 clicks, five clicks, and that thing of telling… little tip there of just getting 50 clicks or 100 clicks from lots of people, really good tip there. Like Reed Floren, he spent over, I think, two grand last week on solo ads, he was telling me. And he is just buying like 50 clicks from lots and lots of people, and obviously, if one really works then he goes back and buys more traffic. I bought a ton of solo traffic last week. Actually I spent about $800 or $900 on solo traffic, and I’ve actually made all that money back in sales this week, purely, just because those people have joined my list and they’ve really purchased things in email sequence. So it can very, very profitable but, remember, be very careful if you are buying solo ads outside of a network like Udimi.
Hope you found that useful. I am Sarah Staar, and I’ll see you next time.