Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The Wasteland - think twice before disposing your electronics

  • e-waste - a growing concern
  • one of the most toxic places on earth
  • a story about recycling electronics in US
  • how "green" can be transformed in death

Yahoo Pingbox - nice gadget for your blog

I spent 10 minutes today to look into Yahoo Pingbox. I found the option under the "Messenger" menu and I said to check it out.

Yahoo made a pretty nice job by developing this little nice gadget. Basically it can be added to any website/blog/forum as an online chat option.

Want to add it on your website? Simple as 1,2,3... Go to Yahoo Pingbox website and start the "Create a Pingbox" process; it will take you maximum 3 minutes to get the HTML code to be inserted in your blog. The nicest thing is that the installation instructions are made for most popular blogging platforms (like Blogger for instance).

The gadget can be seen in action on the right side of this blog :)

Can be used this tool as an alternative for chatting online with your customers? Certainly YES!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Casual Drinks with Avangate

We will host a free networking event here in Mountain View on November 20th. There will be 2 hours of food, drinks, business people and funny moments.

You are invited if:
* you are connected with the software industry
* you want to extend your business network
* you want to meet Avangate US team
* you want to have fun :)

Interested? Register online

We look forward to seeing you at the event!

UPDATE: The 2009 Spring Edition will be on 26th of March. More details in this post.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Keep the same course but in more steps

Spending a dollar these days is more than a shopping experience, it’s a challenge! The customers are looking for best values money can buy.

What can we do about it? Serve the customers, of course.

Let’s suppose that you have a piece of software which costs 49 dollars. Also the sales trends are not following the forecasts from the beginning of the year. Same product but different customer behavior.

It’s time for action! Hit the customers with many buying options! Everybody loves to choose. Expand your shopping cart by selling the same product but with monthly payments!

Puchase options:
=> one time fee: USD 49
=> monthly payment: USD 4.9 (12 months subscription service)

And, to follow market trends, add a support package that will dramatically increase the customer satisfaction and your conversion rates.

So, to keep your sale forecasts, make it possible today by respond in an elegant manner to your customers:

Puchase options:
=> one time fee: USD 49
=> monthly payment: USD 4.9 (12 months subscription service)

Purchase until 20th of November and get the Golden support package for free.

Can you share what measures have you implemented to respond to the actual economic situation?

Friday, September 26, 2008

Internet marketing from Avangate

I was recently asked how can we help a small company to promote its products. Suddenly I realized that there are so many marketing channels available from Avangate that can boost the product exposure very effective.

I will not talk about our webmarketing services which are tremendous (but also they are not free) but I will talk about all tools that are bundled with the e-commerce platform.

PAD Promoter
Avangate is offering a very efficient service by submiting a product PAD file to certain popular websites (such as,, etc). And yes, it's free :)

Google Base
Avangate is submitting on a daily basis your selected products to Google Base. Thus, you will receive an incredible market exposure to millions of potential customers.

Affiliates network
Thousands of affiliates are ready to sell new products. Not being a popular product there must be other ways to convince the affiliates to put it in front of other products; you will ask how. Now is depending an everybody sales talent but I would say that in all cases an offer that cannot be refused will win; and am not referring to Godfather's movie now but to money. Giving a big discount to affiliates can convenience them to make some easy money :)

Besides these free tools, Avangate can introduce you to additional marketing channels like Bits du Jour (which will sale the product with a great discount for one day), Giveawayoftheday (which is offering the product for free but for a different SLA, aquiring thousands of new customers and generate new revenue channels on them), (which is offering great discounts to all Avangate customers for the PR services).

At the end but not the last will be the Account Manager assigned for each vendor account. The consultancy services are included and coming from an e-commerce expert the benefits are obvious. Just log in to your Avangate account and start your Internet marketing plan :)

P.S. New customers can also sign up for an account :)

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Plan your business meeting

When you want to have a successful career in closing good business deals you need to prepare yourself for a very tough arena...

A very important asset will be for you to know very well how to prepare a business meeting. The first thing you should do is to search as many information as you can about your meeting parties.

Having the information, the first thing you should do is to propose the date for the meeting along with the place you suggest (as you can see, you will need a very good experience in places or at least a good database with restaurants, pubs); the date and the place must fit the taste of every party involved for the meeting.

Before the meeting
* make sure that all administrative tasks are assigned (travel tickets, hotel rooms, projectors, etc)
* find who are the players on the market
* find what's hot from the industry
* find a particular subject for each participants to leave a nice impression (e.g. "I heard that Giants made a great game last week")

The meeting request must contain
* the date and the location
* the starting time AND the ending time
* all parties involved
* very important: the meeting agenda (or meeting goals)

The meeting must be followed by a message to all participants; usually the follow-up is sent by the meeting initiator. The follow-up message:
* must be sent to all participants
* must be short and clear
* very important - must contain the conclusions and next steps

Other recommendations
* the place must be a "low-noise" one
* if possible, pay a visit to the place before the meeting in case that you don't know the place (it will help you when you ask for reservations also)
* confirm the reservations on the meeting day
* make sure that the meeting will have refreshments (water, coffee, snacks, etc)
* try to set a reason for each participant to make a follow-up (e.g. "Do you know a good restaurant in San Francisco?"); everyone will be pleased to help ;)
* be sure that you dress appropriately and you have a day perfume (sometimes makes the difference)

Of course that we can talk for days but I wanted to share with you something from my experience. What else that can be shared made you successful in a meeting?

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Symantec to acquire PC Tools

Symantec announced today it signed an agreement to buy PC Tools. The financial detail has not disclosed but anyone from the software industry can figure out that the numbers are very, very big (PC Tools being one of the biggest computer security company).

Thus, Symantec is starting to be one of the most appealing company these days ...

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Dell is using Avangate

This morning I performed a search on Google using "avangate" and I was surprised to see that this time a Dell company (License Technologies Group) is using our brand to promote itself.

The frequency of these kind of situations is very high lately and my question to these "competitors" is who should buy the beer for the marketing people?

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Google released "Insights for Search"

A few days ago, Google released a new tool for anyone involved in the online business. The service seems to be an extension of Google Trends and it's giving a deep analyze of searched keywords over the Internet: analyze multiple keywords, regional interest, worldwide interest map, etc.

So, enjoy Google Insights for Search.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Avangate is blogging!

I am happy to share with you that Avangate has finally an official blog:

Accordingly to Adriana, the blog will contain articles about software business, affiliate marketing, software marketing, software events, etc. Also, the latest news about Avangate will be published (in a 2.0 manner of course). The blog authors will be from inside Avangate team and also some special guests from the software industry.

Friday, July 11, 2008

How can you throw away your visitors

Hey, when you post some potential annoying content on your website or blog please keep in mind that it may hurt your visitors.

Today TechCruch published a video material that plays automatically and ... it cannot be stopped! Imagine what I did after 2 seconds I opened the website ....

Search BOSS from Yahoo

Yahoo opened this week the innovation gates: Search BOSS ("Build your Own Search Service"). The company is changing this way its strategy by offering access to the search engine to external applications. Thus, as Microsoft did with its ISV plan, Yahoo will have the opportunity to build a huge business around its search engine.

More details can be found on Yahoo Developer Network.

Monday, July 7, 2008

How to make 10,000 bucks

We will make a very simple math exercise today.

Let's suppose that your sales are going quite well for the summer time. Let's say that at the end of the day you have an average of 100 daily sales; in 30 days you will have 3000 sales; let's suppose that the product costs 29 bucks; that means that at the end of the month you have 87,000 USD in sales; applying the standard 8% processing fee will result in a 80,040 USD in your pocket.

Now, the little question is how can you generate more revenues with the same number of customers :)

The answer is quite simple: by selling additional services. For a small amount the customer can opt in to receive a backup CD along with the order or he can obtain to increase the download availability for 24 months. Now, adding a small profit of 5 USD on top of 70% of your existing 3000 sales, the final profit will be 90,540 USD - meaning that an additional 10,500 USD monthly profit just came up :)

Friday, July 4, 2008

Customized top level domains and the winners

ICANN recently agreed to support customized top level domain names (e.g. ".avangate", ".daniel"). I will not talk about this decision but about who will win on a long term from this decision.

If today it is quite simple to guess the website of a company of interest (e.g., in the feature the options you will have will be unlimited (or almost). The most recommended solution will be to search the company name using a preferred search engine. Now, can you guess who is the winner? :)

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Customer feedback

Today we had an email thread inside the company collecting feedback received from customers during last days.

A collection born very quick :

"You have the best techsupport in this world. Please take care of this!"

"NICE!!! You guys are awesome."

"you know that you are my friend, my friend"

" Absolutely fabulous, thank you and your team! Please send best regards to them! You know now, that with this quick work, we will expect everything done so fast??:-))) Really, we appreciate it very much! "

And the winner is:
"you are the God of e-commerce"

How should we feel after reading the feedback?

Internet black holes revealed

One of the biggest Internet black hole can be finally indexed by the search engines. The announcement has been made by Google and Yahoo.

The technical solution offered by Adobe is a special flash player that allows the search engines to harvest inside the binary SWF files.

After more than 10 years of flash technology, Adobe implemented this strategy to sustain the Flash market which will become a new wave of building the web. Why did it take so long?

Tips and hacks: Order interface

Following one of my previous posts regarding the CSS capabilities, we will discover today how the order interface can be controlled by using basic CSS commands.

In order to access the interface HTML code just access your Control Panel account and go to "Interface design" section.

Hide the languages selector
#order__header__languages {display: none;}

Hide the currencies selector
#order__header__currencies {display: none;}

Change the width of the shopping cart forms
#order__header, #order__content {width:760px !important;}

And so on... Basically the entire interface can be controlled by overwriting the CSS styles. All you have to do is to search in the HTML source for the specific style you want to change and add the CSS directives. On top of that, my colleagues from technical support are magicians and they will guide you if necessary.

Good luck!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Happy 1st of July

Today was a tremendous day for the Avangate platform. We released a lot of advanced new features:
  • license lifetime for pricing options
  • recurrent payments for American Express payments
  • PostePay payment method for the Italian customers
  • new information included in the IPN: sales costs for each product - for advanced integrations
What are the major benefits? The software industry is based on the "license" keyword. With Avangate the second keyword can be "imagination".

A software product can be set to be sold in a many combination by using the pricing options schemes, recurrent payment and the most advanced license management platform: buy for 1 month of for 12 months, for 5 users of for 10 users, with gold or platinum support, for MAC of for Windows platforms, etc.

Imagine how complex can be your offer now based on only one product :)

I dedicate this day to our development team. Congratulation guys!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Increase software downloads

The software industry has three major points to measure the success of the products:
  • number of downloads
  • number of licenses sold

We will address today only the first point: number of software downloads. What are the key factors that can affect these downloads?

Our webmarketing team released again a great article regarding how to increase the number of the downloads for a software product. The main factors are:
  1. Let users know what they are downloading. Don’t surprise them!
  2. Suggest the action: Download versus Try label
  3. Don't ask for user details (or do it in an elegant manner)
  4. How to handle a potential customer if interested
  5. Get proactive feedback
  6. How to manage the uninstall process
The entire article can be found on the Avangate website: The 66 Route to Selling Software Online


Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Open source as an advantage

Nokia announced today they will be acquiring (for $410 million) the remaining 52% of Symbian they don’t own. Thus, the Symbian platform will be released under the Eclipse open source license.

The big question now is how Android will respond on this one?

In my opinion Nokia made a great move by releasing Symbian as open source: the mobile applications made for Nokia phones will explode on the market :)

License renewal links - how to

During a meeting today we received a request to include into IPN (Instant Payment Notification) the license renewal link. The answer is very simple: the information is already there and the renewal link can be build very easy.

How the link looks like

Note: the COUPON parameter is optional and it is used to give a discount for the renewal order; the active discounts can be retreived by accessing the "Renewal discounts" section inside Avangate Control Panel.

How to get the necessary information
Along with the IPN communication, Avangate is sending the license information, including the "license code" which is used in the renewal link. The variable is called "IPN_LICENSE_REF"

Note: Please make sure that this variable is activated to be included in the IPN; to verify it, go to Avangate Control Panel > Account Settings > IPN settings

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Shorties for 9 months

After a long period, I decided to revive my notes.

Personal news
* I got married :)
* I have a Twitter account

Avangate news
* Avangate has an office in Silicon Valley
* Avangate Control Panel has reached the 3rd version
* Download Insurance Service (DIS) has been launched in February
* Referrer report - now the website sources can be measured
* Auto apply discount - set the promotions to start for Christmas and go to holiday
* New order process available: checkout page with shopping cart functionalities
* A/B testing scenarios
* GBP, YEN, AUD and CAD available as billing currencies
* Sales Source Report - track the sales sources
* Backup CD in DVD box
* Product upgrade - upgrade options for customers
* Avangate CodeBox - manage & protect software licenses by using AntiFraud, Uniloc and License management modules
* more to come...