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November 13, 2018

Yotpo: Happy Customers = Happier You

Happy customers. The goal of every direct-to-consumer business. Getting a happy customer can be a difficult process. However, maybe that’s not your problem. You may have a business that has that clientele with satisfied customers. Now you want to grow your business and you want to have more people knowing about your amazing product or service. But how do you use your happy customers to scale more happiness and more success for your company? That is where Yotpo comes in to make a happier you!

What is Yotpo?
Yotpo is a Content Marketing Software specifically designed for e-commerce stores and retail businesses. Yotpo’s main goal is to help your business create satisfied customers at scale which at the end of the day helps your bottom line. They do this for your business through assistance in social proofing, traffic acquisition, customer insights, and shopper experience. Yotpo can also be seamlessly integrated with whatever e-commerce platform your company may be using.

Pricing Model:
This is where Yotpo should get even more enticing for your business. Yotpo offers a free trial, for life. You heard that right, you could use a free version of Yotpo for life, given you only do up to 50 orders per month. There are limitations to the free version, but even with that, the free version can be proven to be very useful especially to get a taste of how Yotpo could help your business. Those features are talked about in the sections below.
Yotpo also offers a Premium Version which offers more features and ways to help your business succeed. The pricing plans are set to grow with your company’s needs. As you make more sales and the amount of monthly orders increase, so does the pricing plan. If you find that you like what Yotpo offers for your business, you can start the Premium Version which is broken into 5 different plans:
• Growth 50:
o 50 Monthly Order Amount
o $29 Per Month
• Growth 100:
o 100 Monthly Order Amount
o $49 Per Month
• Growth 200:
o 200 Monthly Order Amount
o $99 Per Month
• Growth 500
o 500 Monthly Order Amount
o $199 Per Month
• Anything after 500 monthly orders is quote based and you will need to contact Yotpo for pricing that suits your business.

Key Features of Free Version:
• Review Request Emails
• Advanced Analytics
• On-Site Widgets
• Social Push
• Moderation and Commenting
• SEO Page

Key Features of Premium Version:
Everything included in the Free Version plus:
• Reviews Carousel
• Coupons
• Rich Snippets
• Email Upsells
• Product Recommendations
• Targeted Site Reviews

Should You Use Yotpo?
Absolutely. Yotpo’s Free Version should be incentive enough to create an account to try it out for your business. The features they offer in the Free Version is worth testing to see if it increases sales for your company. From there you can decide to upgrade to the Premium Version, which again would be beneficial for your business’s best interest. I believe the pricing model is fairly set and I enjoy how they have it set to grow in price only as much as you grow in sales. To put things in perspective, Yotpo will only make money to extent of how much they help you to make more sales and have more happy customers. They’re best interests will be in your business’s best interests as well. And that alone gives me the piece of mind to choose Yotpo as the Content Marketing Software for any direct-to-consumer business.

Nuzzle: It’s okay for small businesses

What is Nuzzle?

Nuzzle is a media intelligence reporting software. The product allows you to select any type of topic that you might want to follow. This might be important for certain businesses who want to know whenever their company or their competition is mentioned in the media. The idea is to get updates so that you know when sometimes is being said about your company, whether good or bad.

Nuzzle can also be helpful if you are trying to research a certain product or whole industry. It gives you the ability to follow whatever keywords you can think of. Then it gives you other feature to target certain areas or exclude specific phrases.

Pricing
Nuzzle has 3 different pricing tiers: professional, team and enterprise. The professional package cost $49 a month and includes 5 intelligence reports and 10 recipients per report. The team package cost $79 a month and includes 10 intelligence reports and 25 recipients per report. The enterprise package cost $169 a month and includes 30 intelligence reports and 50 recipients per report. All three of the packages have discounted rates if you get billed annually.

Recommendation
Nuzzle can be very useful for a fairly small business. The features are pretty minimal and they don’t really have a great way to organize any data or articles, but it is very cheap. If you are just starting a business where media intelligence is important Nuzzle might be a good place to start, but if you are a larger business I would recommend paying a little more for a more enterprise level software.

Coding Is So 2018: Bubble and the Future of App Development

Have you ever had an idea for a mobile app that you’re certain would change the world? Maybe it was an app to help make shopping easy by keeping an inventory of what you have and need? Perhaps it was simply a better way to buy and sell textbooks with other students? If you’ve had the opportunity to experience one of these epiphanies, it’s likely that after doing a bit of research on how to bring your idea to life, you realized that it was far too difficult, expensive, and time-consuming. App development can cost anywhere between $10,000 to $500,000 and can take years. What if I told you that there was a way to build your dream app in less than 2 weeks for free? And I’ve done it–several times.

Just a few years ago I was a broke student beginning a Bachelor’s degree in Marketing at Utah Valley University’s Woodbury School of Business. I decided on Marketing because I liked to do a lot of different things–and Marketing allows you to be a writer, graphic designer, conversion specialist, and business strategist all at once. What you won’t find in most Marketing degrees is a single class on programming–not even HTML. Those classes are for the computer engineers across campus who love math and late-night RPG-ing (dressing up encouraged!). I avoided both. However, I had one of those “lightbulb” moments. I had a great idea for an app–a game changer in my mind. My idea was this: a mobile app where users can submit their dance videos and compete head-to-head with other dancers to win votes and rise to fame and glory. Great, right? Unfortunately, I hated math and RPG’s–so I couldn’t code. I also didn’t have any money to pay a developer. This is where my journey with no-code app development began.

As soon as you mention “no-code development”, people become skeptical. Their minds immediately go to WYSIWYG tools like Wix, Squarespace, or Weebly. Most people believe that to build anything more advanced than a blog or eCommerce site, you need to be a developer. That’s what I thought too–until I discovered Bubble. I soon realized that it was different. I started by following their tutorial and building a simple app where users are shown two pictures of puppies and they vote on which is cuter. Sounds simple, right? Try and do that on Wix–it’s not possible. How would you set up the logic to add a vote to a puppy each time a button is clicked and where would you store the data? With Bubble, it was easy. It allowed you to manage the front-end and back-end together, seamlessly. Rather than being a WYSIWYG, I think of it more like coding in plain English. You still need to understand basic programming concepts, which takes a bit of practice, but once you learn how their logic builder works, the sky’s the limit with what you can create.

In a couple of weeks, I had my app built. I called it DanceSmasher and I released it on the Apple App Store for iOS and Google Play for Android. I purchased my domain for $0.99 and up to that point I had paid nothing to Bubble. I upgraded my Bubble account to remove their banner ad and connect my personal domain once I released the app, which would cost me $11 per month on my student account. So for $11.99, and some time on my part (which wasn’t that valuable at the time, anyway), and my dream app was live. In total, 27 people downloaded my app and I realized that (1) I didn’t understand my market at all and (2) that I didn’t have the budget to advertise. But, from that day on, I knew that I could build and release an app to the world without spending hardly a dime. This realization opened the “great app idea” floodgates and I have been building no-code apps ever since, each one pushing what I thought would be the limits of no-code development, but never running into any lasting roadblocks.

Before you fire your developers, let me talk briefly about the limitations of no-code development. Firstly, you should understand that these are web apps. So if you release it on the App Store, you will build it as a web-view. This means that it won’t work if you’re offline. I haven’t found this to be a problem in my use case because, unless they’re camping in a very remote location, most people are always online. A benefit of a web app is that any updates you make will happen instantly and don’t require an update from the App Store. The second limitation is that you’re not going to be building games with a no-code builder unless it’s tic-tac-toe or hangman. Bubble’s specialty is CRUD (create, read, update, delete) programming. Any data storage and manipulation, like voting on your favorite dancers, or creating an online marketplace and uploading user-generated content, can be done much more easily on Bubble than using traditional coding methods. Finally, no-code apps are exclusive to their platform. So, if you build an app using Bubble, you wouldn’t be able to export that code and edit it somewhere else. Think of it as its own programming language–only someone who knows it will be able to continue working on it. As the Bubble language becomes more common this will become less of a problem.

Though the no-code community has grown in the years since I discovered it, I have yet to meet anyone in person who has heard of Bubble or uses a no-code platform. I strongly believe that in the coming years we’re going to be increasingly less reliant on coders. They’ll still have their place in gaming and larger, traditional projects. But for the majority of small businesses and entrepreneurs, no-code is the future. Just take my own story: a Marketer turned full-stack developer in a few weeks. That, in itself, is a testament to the power of no-code and the future of app development.