RPMWare Support 2.0

April 15th, 2011 by Kyle West

Yesterday we launched our new Support Portal. I’m hoping it helps you find answers to your questions more quickly, and helps us answer the ones you send in more efficiently. If you haven’t done so already, head on over to http://support.rpmware.com and try it out.

Over the next week or two we will be adding about 100 more articles that we (mostly Tom) have written over the past couple months. We’ll also be switching on a feature called Questions & Answers that will allow you to post your questions publicly and get answers from us and other RPMWare users. It’s all very exciting, please let us know what you think.

Tesla vs. Top Gear – Really?

March 31st, 2011 by Kyle West

Tesla, the electric car company, not the scientist, recently filed a libel suit against the BBC and Top Gear over a bad review their roadster received on the show.

Really?

Seriously?

I’m surprised by Tesla. I’m surprised they boxed up their roadster, sent it over to Top Gear, and didn’t expect a (somewhat) bad review from the self-proclaimed “petrol-heads.” What’s even more shocking though is their reaction to this quasi-negative review.

The Review

The review wasn’t completely bad; it was a typical Top Gear review: an honest, opinionated rant on the pros and cons of the car being tested. Yes, the Tesla ran out of battery after 55 miles, but they were flogging it around the Top Gear Test Track. What educated person in this world wouldn’t expect that?

Better yet, who at Tesla didn’t know the entire premise of the show was pushing cars to their absolute limit (anyone remember the crashed Koenigsegg)? Who at Tesla didn’t know that battery life would be severely affected by that abuse? I’m betting a bunch of people knew and that’s exactly why they sent two roadsters. I can’t think of any other manufacturer that sends two identical cars. Tesla knew the battery was going to die. They planned for it.

Maybe Tesla is more upset about the “staged breakdowns” – the motor overheated in one of the test cars, the brakes failed in the other. That’s a reasonable claim if you believe Top Gear actually staged the breakdowns. To me though that entire claim seems ludicrous. There isn’t a car company in the world that would send their flagship car to the most watched car show on the planet without sending a private jet or two full of executives, engineers and mechanics along with it. It simply doesn’t happen. If the breakdowns where staged why weren’t the engineers and mechanics able to jump in and fix it? Wouldn’t one of the executives protested about the film crew staging a breakdown.

Finally, the review really wasn’t that bad:

The Reaction

I’m incredibly disappointed by Tesla vs. Top Gear. Tesla is supposed to the be American car company of the future, yet in one incredibly stupid move they have ruined that perception. Instead of the scrappy underdog out to prove a point, they have cemented themselves as an entitled, whiney corporation. One that relies on throngs of well paid lawyers suing journalists to prove the merit of their product. It’s weak.

Maybe I’m too old fashioned, but where I’m from if someone tells you that you suck: you prove them wrong. If your customer doesn’t like your product: you make it better. If you screw up: you admit it, take responsibility and work your ass off to make it better. It all revolves around honesty and hard work, not lawyers, libel suits, and PR stunts. I may be naïve, but that simple formula seems to be at the heart of a lot of incredible companies.

Quick show of hands. How many of you are going to go buy a Tesla because of that awesome lawsuit they filed against BBC? How often will you overhear this at a restaurant:

When I first started thinking about buying a Tesla Roadster I was concerned about the battery life. BUT THEN Tesla sued BBC and Jeremy Clarkson. That showed strength and alleviated my concerns. I just put my deposit down, delivery is in June.

So What Should Have Telsa Done?

Telsa should have fought back in a way that proves that their product is what they claim it to be. They’ve had 3 years since that episode aired to improve the roadster. Send it back and make Jeremy Clarkson eat his words.

Instead, Tesla has taken the cowardly approach: they hired a bunch of lawyers that will inevitably go sit in a posh boardroom in London with the BBC’s lawyers and quibble over the letter of the law. Ultimately, after billing their clients ridiculous amounts of money, they will reach an out of court settlement and both with post triumphant press releases.

Unless, of course, BBC takes my advice and fights back!

Our Marketing Toolkit = ROI For You!

February 10th, 2011 by Tom Masiero

I’m thrilled to announce something many of you have been requesting for quite a while: the RPMWare Marketing Toolkit.

What Is It?

RPMWare is in business to help you succeed. The Marketing Toolkit is a collection of tools we’ve put together to help you compete online. You’ve had sitemaps, enhanced sitemaps, SEO friendly URLs, and SEO extensions for quite some time now. Today, you have access to product data feeds.

Data feeds syndicate your products to three online marketplaces: Google Shopping, Bing Shopping, and StreetPerformance. These feeds put your store in front of thousands of online shoppers actively looking to buy! The added visibility these sites provide will drive more visitors to your site and more orders to your cart.

The data feed is absolutely free for brands you have added yourself. Plans start at $99/mo with no contract if you’d like to syndicate the products we maintain for you.

Why Bother?

These product feeds get you in front of those customers actively looking to buy. I’m not simply window shopping while on a site like Google Shopping. I have my decision made, my wallet out, and am ready to commit. Make the most of your marketing dollars and get yourself in front of those customers. The ROI simply can’t be beat.

Signup Today

Signup is literally one-click. Login to your account, click Marketing Toolkit, then Data Feed.

Shopping Site Traffic

Thursday’s With Tom: Top Selling Groups of 2010

January 27th, 2011 by Tom Masiero

Thursday’s With Tom: Top Selling Parts of 2010!!

January 20th, 2011 by Tom Masiero

A couple of weeks ago I posted a  question on our Facebook fan page asking if there was any interest in knowing what was the most successful selling part in the RPMWare database.   We got some instant feedback and wanted to compile a top 10 list of the top selling parts in our RPMWare database.  I was definitely surprised by some of these part #’s.  How about you guys?

Part Number  ///    Group Name
32009-BN001 /// HKS Hi-Power Exhaust (Nissan 350Z)
24-6110C /// AEM V2 Intake (Accord/TL)
32009-BN002 /// HKS Hi-Power Exhaust (Infiniti G35)
30-4100 /// AEM Digital Wideband UEGO Gauge (Universal)
401-A917 /// APEXi Electronics – SAFC NEO (Universal)
ST-SXE10-GR /// Stance Coilovers – GR+ (Lexus IS300)
116-KH01 /// APEXi Exhaust – WorldSport 2 (92-00 Honda Civic)
BC02-NP06FG /// Buddy Club Coilovers – N+ Spec (06+ Honda Civic Si)
208-4303 /// ARP Head Stud/Bolt Kits (94-01 Acura Integra GSR/Type-R)
412-05-0930 /// Skunk2 Mega Power Header (06+ Honda Civic Si)



Be on the lookout for more metrics going forward.  Next post will highlight a list of our Top 20 Groups.  What other data would would you guys like to see?  Please comment below with suggestions.

Thursdays With Tom: Email Marketing it's all in the details

January 13th, 2011 by Tom Masiero

I stumbled upon this post over at ConversionVoodo.com and found it pretty cool.. Sometimes we take for granted small tasks like sending email blasts out and the impact of choosing the best subject line can pay off big time. Check out this small sample of the article.

Merry Christmas” vs. “Happy Holidays” showdown – nearly double the conversion rate!

“So how does emailing customers with one or the other impact conversion rates?

We selected a 100,000 customer list for a client who tested these subject lines:

A few additional notes on the test:

  • The client is a large retailer, their customers mirror a general sample of the USA.
  • The email mirrored the subject line’s message; all other elements were the same.
  • We sent the email on the 21st of December.

The results show a HUGE difference . . .

“Merry Christmas” vs. “Happy Holidays” showdown nearly double the conversion rate!

As you can see the “Merry Christmas” subject line drove nearly double the click through rate of the other subject lines.

While we haven’t included the “buy rate” in the chart above due to client confidentiality, the results were similarly impressive.

Nearly doubling the number of transactions by changing an email subject line fairly well illustrates why if you’re not rigorously testing every facet of your online business you’re throwing money away.”

Something to think about.. next week I plan on posting an article on a/b split testing for dummies.. stay tuned!

PRI in it’s 23rd Year Starts Today!

December 9th, 2010 by Matt Gold

The Performance Racing Industry’s annual trade show kicks off today.  Running from December 9th through the 11th, PRI is the trade show for hardcore racers, fabricators and and shop that is more about the go then the show.  The even is held in sunny (albeit,  tad chilly today) Orlando Florida at the Orange County Convention Center.

The show is not open to the public, but free to attend by anyone in the racing industry.  If you’re not pre-registered don’t worry, just bring credentials and register at the show.

For more info, check out PRI

Happy Thanksgiving and Holiday Hours

November 25th, 2010 by Matt Gold

Hey guys – everyone at RPMWare wants to wish a Happy Thanksgiving to all of you!

Additionally, please note our holiday hours.

  • Thanksgiving – CLOSED – Nov 25th & 26th
  • Christmas – CLOSED – Dec 24th
  • New Years – CLOSED – Dec 31st

Thanks again and Happy Holidays!

Thusday's with Tom – Learn from Diapers.com… Nail your Niche!

November 18th, 2010 by Tom Masiero

As word spreads this week that Amazon purchased Diapers.com for a whopping $545,000,000, I wanted to make sure and give you a little background on how this business grew in less that 5 years.   The team at Diapers.com focused on one type of customer and for the most part one product and built in value added products in which they made good margins while selling diapers for little to no profit. The key to this strategy is that customers come back over and over and over again.  They place multiple orders for diapers but add wipes or lotion etc.  This company was so successful that Walmart and Amazon.com got into quite the bidding war for the 5 year old startup.  I also admire the passion in which they started the business check out this quote below and the corresponding article from businessweek.com.

“Unable to buy from the major manufacturers, Lore and Bharara forged a practical solution. When an order came into the website, DePaola would run down to the local BJ’s Wholesale Club in her minivan to pick up diapers. Then she would ship them out. Orders started to come in almost as soon as the site went live. By the end of the first week, she was shipping 20 to 30 packages a night. The partners lost money on every shipment but learned that there was a market for diapers on the Internet. They began with a few hundred thousand dollars in seed money, which they spent, and then raised $4 million, and later $54 million, in venture financing. “Our gross margins at the beginning were 4 percent,” says Lore. “We were losing money on every package.”

After a one-line item ran in babytalk magazine, about six weeks in, DePaola was shipping 180 packages a night and could no longer fit all the diapers she needed into her minivan—so she got her father, who had a GMC Envoy, to help. They would push cases of diapers through the store and customers would make jokes like, “Triplets, eh?” Eventually she had to start renting trucks from U-Haul and clearing out the entire store. Then she bought from Costco (COST) and BJ’s stores farther away. (Strangely, losing money on each shipment increased their cash flow, as they were buying on credit cards with standard 30-day billing periods and selling for payments that came through in two days.) “Pretty soon,” says Lore, “we would clear out all the stores in a hundred-mile radius.” The diapers filled DePaola’s garage and started to pile up on the lawn, until one night, when it was about to rain, they realized they needed a real warehouse.”

Also check out below the AMAZING warehouse operation and their relentless approach to solving some of the most difficult problems e-commerce presents. Bottom line is you don’t have to be the Walmart of aftermarket parts you can create a thriving business focused on particular vertical or niche customer. RPMWare is the perfect platform for this as well. Have you ever thought of creating a vehicle specific site or a category site designed around brakes for example?

Check out the video below:

Techy Tuesday – Manage your Follow Up with EMail Oracle

November 16th, 2010 by Matt Gold

The EMail Oracle sees and knows all – now it’s willing to talk.  This new plug in for GMail is fantastic for those that are juggling e-mails, call backs and follow ups.  A plug in that intergrates effortlessly into your current GMail interface, EMail Oracle will track and confirm whether a recipient has opened your e-mail – but even more useful – will remind you to follow up if you haven’t heard back in a preset amount of days.

Too many e-mails get sent with a request for an ‘activator’ in a response.  If you don’t hear back, that next step doesn’t happen.  So don’t let tasks and to-do’s get buried, now you can follow up and make sure everything you need to get accomplished, get’s accomplished – regardless of the other party responding.

To get this GMail plug-in, mosey on over to EMail Oracle – it’s a quick install.  If you’re feeling particularly amiable, you can even use our coupon code UGOO7SICTSMY8.

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