OpenSRS: Reseller Friendly since 1999
 

Talking About Ting

In our recent webinar about selling Ting, ultramarathoner James Koole suggested that you should “host more of the conversation on your side than ours.” I want to share a piece of data to support that point, elaborate on it a bit and see if I can offer you some help.

First the data. Looking at the traffic coming through our reseller landing pages on Ting, we see that 9% of the traffic has produced 80% of the accounts. Said differently, we are seeing a bunch of resellers who drive, for example, 200 visits with no conversions and a bunch of resellers who drive, for example, 4 visits with 3 conversions. The 200 visitors are probably coming through some sort of logo or link dropped on a homepage. The 4 visitors obviously knew quite a lot about Ting before they ever got there.

Your customers will likely not yet know anything about Ting. We do the best we can on our site to establish credibility and address potential concerns. But, in the end, we are still strangers. The best thing we have going for us is your endorsement.

Think about your own buying decisions. Familiarity and trust is everything. A blog post from you explaining the Ting plans will inevitably be so much more powerful than our own Ting plans page. Sharing how much you have saved a month with Ting will be so much more relevant than dozens of our own testimonials (from yet more strangers). Offering to walk your customers through the savings calculator to see if they will save money themselves will be absolutely invaluable.

The days of slapping affiliate links on your site and hoping to see conversions are over. Your customers rightfully expect to know what Ting is all about and why you are recommending it before they even visit our site. And they will not convert to any of our satisfaction if they don’t get that from you.

I don’t have more advice to offer on selling Ting in your own words. Be helpful. Be honest. I do, however, have one more thought on hosting more of the conversation on your side than ours.

We recently put the Ting savings calculator on our Ting Facebook page. Then, we took it a step further and put it on our separate Hover Facebook page. This work pretty much paves the way for you to embed this calculator on your site, Facebook page or anywhere else you want. Again, it might not seem profoundly different than sending your customers to our site. But I believe having this tool on your side, surrounded by your thoughts and suggestions, will drive more interaction and have far greater impact. It also does even more to reinforce your role as a trusted provider and expert.

You can add the savings calculator to your Facebook page easily. You’ll find more info and the link here.

If you want to add it to your site, there’s just a bit of work that needs to be done. We are happy to help. Just send an email to our own doctor of Ting reseller love, Mark Klein, at mark@ting.com.

Meanwhile, please join us in the Ting discussion forum to offer any questions, thoughts or concerns about how we can help you succeed.

Holiday Hours for Canada Day 2012

Sunday, July 1, 2012 is Canada Day up here in the Great White North, aka Canada. It’s the day we celebrate the day Canada became a nation way back in 1867. We’ve mentioned it before, but it bears repeating – Canadians are pretty predictable when it comes to long weekends in the summertime. The majority of us Canadians will celebrate Canada Day with BBQs, beer on the dock and some fireworks to cap it all off.

While Canada Day falls on a Sunday this year, our HR department assures us that taking the Monday off to recover is a-ok with them. That means a majority of our staff in our Toronto HQ will be off on Monday, July 2. Reseller Support will be staffed on Monday as usual – if you call in or email, please do thank them for coming in on a holiday.

Here are the hours of operation during the holiday:

Our Reseller Support team continues to be available 24/7 to assist you.

Hours by department:

Department Dates and Hours
Reseller Support Regular hours
Payments Email support: payments@opensrs.org
Compliance Closed July 2nd (Monday)
Service Bureau (for transactions requiring manual processing) Closed July 2nd (Monday)

Why Business Customers Should Use Organization Validated SSL Certificates

Of the three types of SSL certificate validation, which one do you understand the least? I’m willing to bet its organization validation (OV).

For the uninitiated, there are different validation methods for different types of SSL certificates. In simple terms:

  • Domain Validated (DV): This is the least rigorous validation method. The Certificate Authority (CA) checks to see that the applicant’s name and contact information matches what is stored in the WHOIS database for the domain name associated with the SSL Certificate.
  • Organization Validated (OV): In the case of an OV certificate, the CA performs a much more substantial validation process. This includes checking the applicant’s business credentials (through databases including the Articles of Incorporation) and even making sure that the company’s physical address matches the application.
  • Extended Validation (EV): This is the highest level of validation and can take as long as a few days to complete. The validation process includes checks of physical location, phone calls to ensure the applicant is authorized to order the certificate on behalf of the company or business represented, and more.

Offer at least an OV cert for your business customers

For individuals, a DV certificate is the most affordable and logical choice to provide simple encryption for things like logins.

But for business, a domain validated certificate simply isn’t the appropriate choice. If you have small- and mid-sized business customers, at the bare minimum, they should be using an organization validated certificate to ensure that visitors to their website see that additional information about the organization in the certificate.

A good rule of thumb is this: if the certificate is issued to a company, then it should be one that requires validation of that company – either OV or EV. And anytime there are transactions occurring on a website, an OV or EV certificate should be used to instill confidence in the customer that their data is safe and that they are dealing with who they think they are.

On-demand webinar: Tapping into Mobile Trends with goMobi

If you missed the webinar I hosted last week with Chris Campbell of goMobi, it’s now up and ready for on-demand viewing.

Chris did a great job presenting some super stats about the state of the mobile web in 2012 and about how goMobi provides an ideal solution for both resellers like you and your customers. He also took a look at some of the new features that were added to goMobi recently, and he gave us a bit of a sneak peek at what was on the roadmap for the next couple of releases.

Click here to head straight to the archive page. No signup required!

ccTLD of the Week Promotion Starts Now

Service Guy - FlagsTo celebrate the expansion of ccTLDs to the OpenSRS system, we’re putting a new ccTLD on sale every week for the rest of 2012. No rebates or sign ups required. Every OpenSRS reseller will automatically receive these discounted prices on new registrations every week from Monday to Sunday.

Fir.st up will be .ST for $20/year; normally $45.

You can follow along with the ccTLD-of-the-Week promotion by checking out this page, or following us on: Facebook, Twitter or Google+. We will be changing the ccTLD every Monday morning.

Have fun exploring ccTLDs from all around the world!

Free webinar: Tapping into Mobile Trends with goMobi

Mobile Internet usage continues to grow and your customers are likely looking to you for ways to ensure that their websites are mobile ready.

On June 14, 2012, I’ll be hosting a free webinar with Chris Campbell, Director of Business Development, Afilias (the people behind the .MOBI domain extension and our goMobi mobile website solution).

Chris will provide a state of the mobile web to ensure that you have a good sense of where things are at in 2012, as far as mobile in concerned.

We’ll also show you some of the great new features available in goMobi. Version 1.6 was released earlier this year and boasts some pretty neat new stuff like mobile commerce, improved themes and custom icon support, and more.

Like all OpenSRS webinars, it’s free to attend. We’re offering two sessions to accommodate resellers around the world. Take your pick – the content will be the same for both sessions.

Register now!

I hope to see you there!

On-Demand Webinar – Ting and OpenSRS Offers

Last week I teamed up with Scott Allan, Director at Ting, to host a webinar to talk about the addition of Ting to our OpenSRS Offers service.

For those who aren’t aware, Ting is a new mobile phone service that Tucows launched in the US earlier this year.

Through OpenSRS Offers, we’re providing our Resellers with a way to bring Ting to your customers and get a nice reward in the process. Your customers get $50 off their first device purchase, you get 25% of the net revenue that they generate as a Ting customer for the first two years.

If you missed the webinar, don’t worry. We recorded the whole thing, just like we do for all of our monthly webinars.

View the recorded version on-demand.

Over the course of the hour-long presentation, we covered how Ting works, what makes it different, and we explained Ting’s unique approach to billing and customer service. Plus we provided some tips on how to marketing Ting, what kinds of resources we offer and some guidelines about Ting trademarks.

.JOBS and .AERO domains now available

Granted, these are a pair of fairly specialized extensions, but for those who wish to offer either .JOBS or .AERO domains, you can now do it through your OpenSRS Reseller account.

Pricing is as follows:

  • .JOBS: USD$125/year
  • .AERO: USD$50/year

As you might expect, there are some additional requirements for registrants of both extensions:

  • .JOBS requires a company website to be provided along with some optional additional data that is outlined in the online help in the Control Panel. More information about .JOBS domains is available here.
  • .AERO domains are available only to members of the aviation community, incorporating airlines, airports, companies, organizations, associations, government agencies and qualified individuals. Registrants will need to provide an Aero ID & password which must be requested from the registry.

We’ve left both extensions turned off by default in the search within the Reseller Web Interface. You can turn either or both on through the “Settings” link next to the “Check Availability” button in the Domain Lookups section of the RWI.

Everything you need to know about Ting and OpenSRS Offers

A couple of weeks back we added Ting to OpenSRS Offers. It’s a pretty simple proposition: as a reseller you can generate a unique URL, use it to provide a $50 discount on a device purchase for your customers, and then get a share of the revenue generated for two years.

But there’s obviously much more to Ting, and a lot more for us to tell you about how to go about offering Ting service to your customers.

Free webinar!

Next Tuesday, May 29, 2012 at 2:00pm EDT, we’re hosting a free webinar to give you a deeper dive into Ting and the opportunity for OpenSRS Resellers.

It’ll be about an hour long with some time for questions at the end. Our aim is that you’ll have a great sense of what Ting is all about, and you’ll have a really good understanding of how to offer it to your customers using OpenSRS Offers.

Presenting will be Scott Allan, Director, Ting and myself, James Koole, Communications Lead, OpenSRS. Between the two of us, we’ll make sure you have the whole story. Scott knows Ting inside and out and will show you around the Ting site and explain the disruptive approach they have taken in creating Ting. I’ll handle the OpenSRS Offers side and make sure you go away with marketing advice and assets you can use to start offering Ting service right away.

Learn more and register today

You can read more about what we’ll talk about over on the webinar page. Like all of our webinars, it’s free and open to everyone to attend. We’ll record it as well, so if you can’t make it on May 29th, sign up anyways and we’ll be sure to send you the link to the recording as soon as it’s posted.

For those who like instant gratification, you can take my word for it that it’ll be great, and go straight to the sign up page by clicking here.

Meet our Reseller: Pickaweb/Merkaweb

We’re back with another article in our popular “Meet our Reseller” series. This time around we’re featuring OpenSRS Reseller Pickaweb.co.uk. They’ve been using OpenSRS since 2002 for both their UK-based brand, Pickaweb, as well as their Spanish sister company Merkaweb.com.

The story of Pickaweb is a great one – husband and wife team Tony Messer and Pilar Torres Wahlberg literally started the company in a spare room of their home and have grown steadily since, now serving 20,000 customers in the UK and Spain.

Pickaweb’s approach is simple – take the fear out of the Internet for their customers through a commitment to great customer service combined with a willingness and passion to take the time to explain how anyone can use the web to grow their business.

It’s a great success story! We’re very proud to have Pickaweb as an OpenSRS reseller. Read the full article.

Holiday Hours for Victoria Day, May 21, 2012

It’s already the May 2-4 weekend coming up here in Canada and that means a day off for most of us on Monday, May 21 to celebrate our beloved Queen Victoria.

She was the Queen of England, Great Britain and Ireland from 1838 until she died in 1901. Why do we care so much about Queen Victoria? She was the Queen when Canada became a country in 1867. Kudos to her for letting us go our own way from the motherland. I think we’ve done pretty well for ourselves, thank you very much.

As we’ve explained in past holiday hours posts, traditionally we celebrate Victoria Day by opening up the cottage, opening up some beers, and blowing up some stuff with fireworks. O Canada!

With the wit out of the way, we’ll move on to official business:

Our Technical Support team continues to be available 24/7 to assist you throughout the holiday weekend.

Please note that during this closure, there will be:

  • No orders or requests processed for the following TLD’s: .at, .ch, .li, .dk, .com.mx
  • No special processing for .ca (registrant transfers, conflicting and municipal registrations) or .eu/.be (redemptions).

Here are the hours by department:

 

Department Dates and Hours
Technical Support Regular hours
Payments Email support: payments@opensrs.org
Compliance Closed May 21st (Monday)
Service Bureau Closed May 21st (Monday)

CIRA 2012 Board of Directors Election

The Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA) Nomination Committee is seeking interested individuals from across Canada to apply to fill three open positions for the Nomination Committee Slate of CIRA’s Board of Directors Election. Canadians with governance experience and relevant background in industry, technology or the Internet are encouraged to apply.

Applications will be accepted from May 10 to June 8, 2012 at the CIRA website.

.CA Members and Registrants can play a key role in guiding the future of the Internet through their participation in the Nomination Committee Slate. CIRA will be inviting .CA Members and Registrants to participate in this stage of the 2012 CIRA Election.

Ting is now in OpenSRS Offers

Starting today OpenSRS Resellers can offer phone service from Tucows’ US mobile phone service, Ting.

You’ll find Ting in OpenSRS Offers – log into the new OpenSRS Control Panel and click the Offers Manager tab. Once you agree to the terms and conditions, and you’ll be assigned a unique Ting.com URL that you’ll use to send people to Ting to learn about the service.

What’s the Ting Offer?

  • For your customers: Through OpenSRS Offers, you’ll be able to provide a $50 discount off a device purchase to everyone who you send to Ting.

Ting provides cost-savings and better customer service – the mobile phone service your customers deserve. Businesses (and families) can have unlimited devices on one account and they can pool multiple users together usage for greater savings. You can trust that your customers are in good hands at Ting. We’re quite confident that they’ll thank you for telling them about it.

  • For OpenSRS Resellers: Ting provides an additional source of recurring revenue.

When someone signs up for Ting service using your URL or partner code, you get 25% of net revenue generated by that customer for two years.

More Information

The best place to learn more about Ting and see what makes it different is the Ting website. Try out the savings calculator, look at the plans, and maybe even try the service for yourself. Be sure to check out what people are saying about Ting on the Ting Facebook page and on Twitter.

Here’s an example:

My cell phone bill was so confounding, I'd have a better chance of grasping string theory. Switched to Ting, problem solved. @
@SeanGold3
Sean Gold

Getting Started

To get started with Ting in OpenSRS Offers, you can visit our OpenSRS Offers information page. There are some nice marketing resources for you including banner ads, logos, and email/web copy in the Offers section of our Resource Center. If you have any questions, drop by the OpenSRS Forums and ask away in the Ting area.

ORG, PRO and ASIA Promos

A couple of domain promotions that were scheduled to end today have been extended and we have a great new promo from .ASIA!

Extended Promotions

  • .ORG: Our .ORG promotion will continue through the end of June. Get $2 off the cost of .ORG domains. If you already signed up, we’ll extend the promo for you automatically. If you missed out the first time around, sign up today to start saving.
  • .PRO: The .PRO promotion was also extended through until May 30. Save big on .PRO domains – the registry cost is just $1.99 right now – and introduce your customers to .PRO. As with the .ORG promo, we’ll extend the promo for you automatically. If you missed out the first time around, sign up today to start saving.

.ASIA FreeBs

  • .ASIA: FreeBs from .ASIA! Registrants of .ASIA domains will get FreeBs like headphones, and even Android tablets! That starts today and runs through the end of July. There’s no sign up for this one – all resellers are automatically included. More information.

You can see all current promotions on our Domain Promotions page.

goMobi v1.6 Now Available for All Users

As of this morning, the goMobi mobile website publishing service has been updated to v1.6. There’s nothing you need to do – all users of goMobi will automatically get the update.

There are quite a few small changes and additions to the goMobi service, but the overall experience remains very similar to what it was for those using the Site Builder. It remains very intuitive and existing sites will continue to work just fine.

That said, there are quite a few new features in version 1.6:

New Features:

  • Ability to upload icons to features – a much requested feature!
  • Option to add smartphone bookmark – upload a custom icon to be used when users create a shortcut to the goMobi site on their supported smartphone.
  • Live site preview – the site preview in the Site Builder now emulates the experience on a smartphone.
  • Keywords – improve SEO with meta keywords.
  • New icon set – added a new theme.
  • WordPress and Drupal redirection modules – available from the Advanced Feature or Finish page of the Site Builder.
  • Site sharing options added to Finish page – easily promote your new goMobi site on Facebook, Twitter, Email or by QR code.

Enhancements:

  • Improved Advanced Options - makes it easier for users to access advanced options when desired.
  • New site colour options - users can more completely customize the goMobi site to match the colour palette of their existing site.
  • WYSIWYG Editor added to Coupons - make rich, HTML coupons with images and text.
  • Email option added to Find Us feature - let visitors send you an email to the email address of your choice.
  • Additional language options added to Site Translation feature - more languages supported by the built-in translation feature.
  • Email and SMS options added to the Create Link feature - create a link that opens email or SMS on certain smartphones.
  • Additional Currencies added to mCommerce option - support for ten additional currencies.
  • Video feature limit - increased from four to eight.
  • Number of locations - increased from four to six.

 

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