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PayPal Steals from Its Customers with Hidden Fees

PayPal is stealing from its customers with hidden fees.

PayPal is stealing from its customers with hidden fees.

PayPal is used by millions. You can pay for pretty much everything from dollhouses and jumping castles to real apartments with it.

And if you run a small business, especially online, you’re going to at least consider using it to process payments because PayPal’s fees seem very reasonable.

It’s easy and free to set up. It works in most countries on this planet (I hear they’re expanding to Mars, too). And it gives you enough options to run a small business.

The transaction fees are also smaller than what you’d pay for similar services with most other companies.

But, if you look closely, and if you tally up the hidden fees, the real PayPal fees aren’t as favorable as they seem on the surface.

Simply put, PayPal steals from its customers.

Edit: PayPal has made some updates to the visuals. My point still stands, though: PayPal doesn’t provide a receipt for the charges—and that amounts to stealing (or maybe it’s “fraud” or some other legal term).

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What is Your Value Proposition

If you don't have a strong value proposition or you don't know how to use it, your marketing lacks persuasive substance.

If you don’t have a strong value proposition or you don’t know how to use it, your marketing lacks persuasive substance.

Definitions of value proposition are generally vague, confusing, and different depending on the source.

The usual definitions miss aspects of value proposition that could make the concept much more useful. A value proposition is much more than just an “internal tool” that has no practical application beyond helping you understand your business.

And when even marketing experts fail to see that it could be an almost unfair competitive advantage, it’s no wonder so many businesses don’t have strong value propositions.

I have my own definition, which makes it much more than just an internal tool. I explain it in detail in my upcoming book about creating and using value propositions.

In this article, you’ll learn the two necessary elements of a value proposition and what a strong, refined value proposition will give you.

But before we get to any of that, you should know that value proposition is arguably the most complex concept in business that you’ll ever come across.

And the way I define it doesn’t cut corners to make it simple. Instead, the purpose is to make it your unfair competitive advantage. Simplified concepts can’t really do that.

But it’s well worth the time it takes to get it just right because it forms the basis for your success.

And if it’s weak, your business is almost guaranteed to fail.

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Guarantee Blindness

Nowadays you need a guarantee to sell almost anything. But just any guarantee won't be enough.

Nowadays you need a guarantee to sell almost anything. But just any guarantee won’t be enough.

Do you offer a “30-day money-back” or “100% satisfaction” guarantee?

As great as those sound, they’re just not as effective as they used to be.

People don’t notice standard guarantees anymore. They’ve got guarantee blindness.

One of the most important things a good copywriter does is make your prospects believe—beyond a doubt—that they’re going to get incredible results.

But whether you hire a copywriter or you write your own sales pages, you should understand how guarantee blindness affects your sales; otherwise, you can only hope the copywriter knows how to form a great guarantee.

Strong guarantees are almost sure to create more sales than refunds, so offering them makes sense (as long as your product is as good as it’s supposed to be).

But to get really great results, you need to make the guarantee shine so brightly that even the blind will see it.

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Focus Points

Poor focus points is one of the most common reasons for low conversion rates.

Poor focus points is one of the most common reasons for low conversion rates.

When visitors come to your site, you need to give them something to focus on.

If nothing on the page captures their attention, the page looks unfinished and amateurish, at best.

And your visitors leave.

Sure, you need to grab their attention, but I’m not talking about writing strong headlines or understanding your customers’ innermost desires.

I’m talking about a critically important web design technique: how to use focus points to lead visitors to your conversion goals.

It’s something you need to be aware of even if you haven’t designed your own site and don’t do the updating.

Your designer might not know anything about it.

And that means your visitors might be leaving your site just as fast as they get there.

But a word of warning: focus points aren’t the easiest things to get right.

You should know how to use them, though, because they can make a huge difference in your conversion rates.

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White House Landing Page – Video Critique

White House Landing PageThe White House landing page is the page you see when you visit their site (for the first time).

The goal is to get people to join their emailing list.

The page is quite okay. But it could be better.

And here are some ways they could increase their conversion.

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Why Nokia’s Marketing Strategy Failed

Nokia's Marketing Strategy is Like Jumping Into a Well

Nokia’s marketing strategy gave them little chance of surviving—they practically jumped into a well.

Since Stephen Elop became Nokia’s CEO in September 2010, Nokia’s stock price has nosedived. That’s an impressive feat; Nokia’s stock was going up steadily at that time.

Now Microsoft bought Nokia—presumably to save the biggest Windows Phone manufacturer from looming bankruptcy.

But what made Nokia fail? After all, their products aren’t worse than the competitors’ products.

Their value proposition and marketing strategy, however, are shining examples of mistakes you just can’t afford to make.

Nokia’s marketing people don’t seem to understand what their value proposition is—what are the best reasons people should buy their products. And when you don’t know what your marketing should focus on, there’s little chance for it to work.

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Landing Page Video Tutorial – How to Build Opt In Landing Pages

Landing Page Video TutorialLanding pages are the most effective way to get visitors to take a specific action.

Opt in landing pages try to get people to opt in to an emailing list. And if done well, they can do that very, very effectively.

But most opt in landing pages are so poorly written and designed that their conversion is minimal.

What’s your opt in landing page’s conversion? Is it 70%? Is it 50%? Is it even 25%?

Would you be willing to do some changes to double your conversion? Or to get even 10 more percents of visitors to opt in.

Here’s a video tutorial that explains the most common mistakes and shows you how to increase your conversion.

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3 Common Beliefs that Will Ruin Your Business

Your business doesn’t mind if you believe in Santa.

Not even if you wait for his flying sleight every Christmas with a cup of milk and cookies ready for him.

Your business doesn’t mind if you’re Christian, Jewish, Zen Buddhist, Muslim, or Hindu.

But there are common beliefs your business doesn’t tolerate. They will make it crumble and you may not have any idea why it’s happening.

I learned them the hard way – maybe I can spare you the trouble.

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3 Copywriting Questions for Business Success

Louis Vuitton Handbag

Do you buy this Louis Vuitton handbag for its functionality (carry things around with you)? photo: Thomas Ogilvie

You don’t need to be a copywriter to run a business.

Actually, you only need to be a copywriter if you run a copywriting business.

But it can teach you three things you must know to run a successful business.

Copywriters can (and usually should) do the actual writing for you. But knowing these basics will give you a better understanding of your business and how to make it successful.

So, here are the core questions of effective copywriting.

And there’s a five-minute “exercise” at the end that puts all of this together and makes a real difference to your success, I promise 🙂

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How to Seduce a Goldfish

People have the attention-span of a goldfish. And that affects your marketing.

People have the attention span of a goldfish. And that affects your marketing.

Have you ever knocked on the side of a fish tank and felt betrayed by the goldfishes that ignored you?

You push your face against the side, yell at them—loudly enough to wake up a fossil—or serve their favorite purple treats that smell like chicken poo, and they’re still more fascinated by the water around them than you.

Does your website or marketing efforts remind you of that fish tank? No matter what you do, no one notices.

It could be that people have the attention span of a goldfish.

Depending on the goldfish, it’s somewhere between three and 10 seconds. (That’s actually a myth, but you get the idea.)

That’s how long you have to turn apathy into solid interest or risk losing your visitors and prospects to other sites and businesses.

Understanding what makes people excited about your message is the key to effective writing and marketing.

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