To Get The Best Credit Cards – Credit Repair = Prime Rate Cards

There are literally thousands, of different credit cards out there for consumers to sift through. Some cards are extremely good, others; not so much. Finding the right credit card can be difficult, especially with so many choices, but most consumers understand one basic principle of credit cards: the lower the interest rate, the better.

The best interest rates on credit cards will be less than 10%, though these credit cards are difficult for many people to get a hold of. They are reserved for people with the absolute best credit scores — people whom banks and other credit agencies view as extremely safe investments. These are people who the financial institutions know are more likely to have the money to pay them back without any bumps along the way.

The best cards are called “prime rate cards” because these credit cards are often tied very closely to the prime rate set by the credit marketplace, one of the main factors used in determining the interest rates for loans and credit cards alike. These cards are going to have the lowest interest rates, and will almost never have any additional fees.

If you don’t already have a top notch credit score, then your chances of scoring a prime rate card isn’t good, but that doesn’t mean you can’t work yourself up to a point where you qualify. No matter how bad your credit is, it can be repaired given time and the right advocate on your side.

If you’re credit score is bad or even just average — you will want a prime rate card, then you need to remember that credit repair equals prime rate cards. There is no easy way to “cheat” the system, and having good credit is far more important than getting one prime rate card. Besides, if you repair your credit correctly and maintain a high score, then you won’t have to chase after a prime rate credit card because the banks and lenders that make these cards will start coming after you.

Credit repair can be done by anyone, and many people would be surprised by how quickly a score can recover if you do the right things. A friend of mine at one point in his life had about $3,000 in credit card debt in grad school, and late payments on his credit report from as early as two years before, and a score around 550. Not good. But he paid all his bills on time after that initial missed payment (and always added a little extra just to make sure he was over) and paid all his debt off so his balance was $0.

The result? In about four months of not having any balance, his credit score was a 729. That’s an excellent score, especially considering how close those last delinquent payments were. In addition to that, my friend had less than seven years of total credit history, meaning if the balance stayed at zero the score was only going to continue to climb and get better.

The point of is that it doesn’t have to take ten years to clean up a credit report. If credit repair is one of your tactics then a score can improve rapidly. Even if it takes more time, doing the right thing tends to have a snowball effect. Don’t be surprised if your score goes up five points in one month, then seven, then seven, then thirty-eight. More often than not — that’s exactly how it will happen when you represented by a reputable credit repair company such as Lexington Law.

When aiming for the best credit cards possible: all you need to remember is that credit repair = prime rate cards. It really is that simple. If you want the best cards, get your credit repaired and before you know it the companies will be flooding your mailbox with prime credit card offers and low interest financing.

Being a Patient Advocate: A Guide for Minority Families

If your loved one has a complex or chronic disease, finding your way through the health care maze can be a daunting task. And if you are a member of a racial or ethnic minority, this can be even harder. Minorities often suffer and die from disease at higher rates than non-Hispanic whites.

There are three main points that the health care system fails people of color–access to care, quality of care, and effectiveness of treatments. Patient advocates can help address several of these.

Access

Access is perhaps the largest problem–minorities are more likely to be uninsured or underinsured than whites. Fortunately, this is the best recognized issue, and there are often community resources to help. Your local department of social services, health care clinic, or hospital should be able to provide information on what is available. Sometimes, it is possible to find doctors who will reduce their fees for those with difficulty paying.

Be aware that many doctors forget to consider the patient’s financial situation when prescribing. Ask if generics are available, or whether medications are covered under one of your local pharmacy’s lower price deals.

Quality of Care

Quality of care is a trickier problem. Studies have shown that minorities are less likely to get the interventions they need. For example, a minority patient is less likely to receive adequate medication for pain than a white patient. The reasons for this depend on multiple factors, including provider bias and cultural differences. For instance, with pain, some groups may tend to under-report pain or to describe pain in non-specific ways, or providers may be reluctant to prescribe opiates.

Advocates push the odds more toward the minority patient’s favor by participating in the decision-making process. If the doctor doesn’t seem to understand that your loved one is hurting, you can clearly communicate this information and push for solutions.

You don’t have to be a doctor to be an advocate. Here are some strategies you can use to get your loved one the best possible care

  • Identify the gatekeepers. Every health care organization has people who control access to providers. Generally, these people are the people you will have the most contact with-your loved one’s nurses in a doctor’s office or hospital, or nursing assistants in a long-term care facility. Be aware of shift changes.
  • Cultivate relationships with staff
  • Ask questions and keep asking until you understand your loved one’s diagnosis, prognosis, treatment options, and care routine. Ask about how the patient’s medications work and any side effects. You should also ask about possible drug interactions, as this is a common mistake doctors make, especially when there are multiple providers writing prescriptions.
  • Educate yourself about your loved one’s condition. If you need help in finding resources, ask.
  • Once you have all agreed on a treatment plan, make sure your loved one is receiving the care ordered.
  • Trust your intuition. If something seems wrong, it may well be. If you are not satisfied, get a second opinion.
  • Learn who to talk to and how to contact them in case of problems.

Effectiveness of Treatments

Sometimes, your loved one may be receiving standard treatment, but it may not be working well. There can be many reasons for this, most of them having to do with the severity of the disease and other illnesses your loved one may have at the same time. If your loved one has both diabetes and heart disease, treatment for one can be complicated by the other. However, research also shows that in some instances medications may affect people differently depending on genetic background (which race can provide some clues to).

For example, gefitinib is a drug that works better than other medications for certain types of cancer in most people with Japanese heritage. It has the same effect on American patients (of all backgrounds) with a specific genetic mutation, but may not work as well as other treatments for the majority of the US population.

Psychoactive drugs are particularly sensitive to genetic differences. African Americans and Native Americans may experience more side effects–and the drugs may not work as well–with these medications than other populations.

If you feel that the medications your loved one has been given are not working, or if the side effects are intolerable, ask your doctor if more appropriate drugs are available.

You’re the Expert

Though doctors and nurses may have specialized knowledge about disease, you are the expert on your loved one. And you can make a big difference in their care.

Double Your Conversion Rate in Four Steps

Introduction

Increasing conversion rates is a top priority for many B2B marketing and sales teams today. While some B2B marketing campaigns achieve conversion rates of 50% or higher, many are in the 1.5%-3% range. Even though CSOs worldwide identified investments in optimized lead generation programs as a number-one priority, only about half of all B2B marketers currently utilize programs.

Converting a prospect to a customer and a customer to an advocate relies on solid data and continuous communication with customers. By driving more traffic to highly effective web pages, marketers can achieve higher conversion rates that ultimately lead to higher sales and profits.

Knowing that improved conversion rates are key to an email marketing or promotions campaign, many questions remain. How can B2B marketers increase conversion rates without a substantial investment in costly software and IT involvement? What are the characteristics of a successful campaign? What are the steps involved?

This white paper will identify four steps required to double the conversion rates of B2B companies of all industries and sizes.

Step One: Deliver Relevant Content and Targeted Messaging

Email is the marketing channel of choice for B2B marketers today. In a recent survey, 72% of marketers indicated that they use email as the primary means of communicating with their target markets.iii There is also a resurgence in the popularity of email marketing. Although its returns have diminished somewhat in the past couple of years, email marketing still outperforms other direct marketing channels such as print catalogsiv and paid ads.v A Forrester Research survey in 2008 revealed that 95% of marketers use email marketing, with another 4% planning to do so by the end of 2008vi.

To deliver an email marketing campaign’s desired results and increase conversion rates, marketers must deliver content that is relevant to and personalized for their targets. Customized content provides deeper insights about a company, service, or promotional campaign to prospects and customers. In essence, marketers need to start the “right” conversation with the “right” targets. But how do companies go about achieving this? To double conversion rates, successful marketers drive their targets to effective and action-oriented landing pages. These are distinct, stand-alone URLs created specifically for a target market for a specific promotion or email marketing campaign. Landing pages offer detailed information on a particular topic, product, promotion, or event.

When linking these personalized landing pages to targets, however, it is vital that marketers retain consistent branding and messaging. In the interest of delivering highly personalized information to key prospects and customers, a company’s identity often gets lost. Marketers need to deliver consistent messages that speak to the company’s brand and value propositions at all times, or conversion rates will drop and ROI will plummet.

After starting the “right” conversation with the “right” prospects and customers with optimized landing pages, the next step for B2B marketers is to continue that conversation, using many of the same basic principles.

Step Two: Drive an Always-On, One-on-One Dialog

In Step One, B2B marketers become connected with their targets. The goal in Step Two is to stay connected. When marketers stay connected and engaged with their targets, this leads to increased customer response rate, interaction, and advocacy. How can this be accomplished? To continue to deliver personalized communication, effective marketers solicit information such as identity, demographics, and profile details from their targets. This allows marketers to create and deliver continuous information that is customized and personalized to this target, or drive the most relevant content. It allows marketers to “keep the conversation going.”

Personalized URLs, or PURLs, offer an effective tool for staying connected to key prospects and customers. PURLs contain detailed, customer-driven information and communicate relevant messaging, which results in better marketing ROI. Communications populated by customer-driven data contain targeted messages and specific actions that marketers could only dream of 10 years ago. Today’s B2B marketers have the right tools to increase conversions. By knowing how to use these tools, the desired results can be achieved.

At this point there needs to be a reminder about branding. At this stage-as well as all stages-marketers must keep branding top-of-mind. Content that is both personalized and incorporates brand is a tricky balancing act. Customers demand a personalized experience today, but companies need to always communicate their brand to their key targets. When marketers employ these best practice marketing campaigns, they are able to influence the discussion about their brand. This can be achieved as long as marketers are able to optimize content easily, instantly, and continuously.

Step Three: Close the Loop on Campaign Conversions

One of the biggest mistakes B2B marketers can make when deploying an email marketing campaign is to send targets to their company’s home page. To increase conversions, marketers must instead create and deploy optimized landing pages. A landing page is a Web page designed specifically for a promotion or marketing campaign. These pages are designed to close the loop on marketing campaign-related activities; they are used to support marketing, brand, and customer communications and can contain brand messaging, data gathering, or both of these. Optimized landing pages, or pages created with personalized and relevant communication based on valuable data, will double customer conversion rates.

Optimized landing pages are the “missing link” for any promotional or email campaign. However, only half of marketers surveyed indicated that they optimize their landing pages to increase customer conversion rates.vii There are many ways to optimize a landing page. It can be as simple as using a customized headline or customized copy. However, when marketers are able to optimize their landing pages “on the fly,” this results in the highest possible customer conversion rates. This means having the functionality to quickly and easily incorporate personalized data. This functionality enables marketers to deliver personalized thankyou pages, personalized email confirmations, secure lead collection, and even storage for each and every client account. Deploying optimized landing pages will ultimately lead to increased sales and company growth.

Step Four: Access Instant and Actionable Analytics

The “right” conversation with key prospects and customers is continuous and never completely ends. In order to deploy email marketing campaigns that achieve higher conversion rates, B2B marketers need to be able to track clicks, conversion rates, cost per conversion, cost per click, and other pertinent marketing metrics throughout the entire campaign. Every marketer has different needs and should be able to utilize a reporting system that provides instant and actionable analytics tailored to their needs. Effective reporting systems contain the parameters required of each individual and provide access to appropriate information needed to assess each campaign and make any necessary adjustments.

Conclusion

As this white paper indicates, doubling conversion rates with effective email marketing tools is not only possible for B2B marketers but can be accomplished without expensive software or IT involvement. With optimized microsites, PURLs, and landing pages, marketers can provide continuous, personalized content to connect and engage with key prospects and customers while keeping brand top-of-mind.

Optimized lead generation programs lead to other benefits, as well. Continuous, relevant content builds customer relationships and loyalty, thereby converting customers to advocates. This in turn decreases customer churn and increases customer retention, which lead to substantial cost savings. As companies plan to invest more and more on email marketing in the next few years,viii it is imperative they turn to optimized lead generation programs to truly cash in on these investments. By crafting relevant messages to key prospects and customers and incorporating the proper analytics, B2B marketers will not only double their current conversion rates but cultivate loyal customer advocates for the long-term.

Resources

I CSO Insights

II Marketing Sherpa’s “Landing Page Handbook, 2nd Edition”

III Direct Magazine’s Annual Forecast Survey

IV October 23, 2007. Magill, Ken. “E-mail ROI Is Still a Stunner, but Diminishing: DMA.” Retrieved from http://directmag.com/disciplines/email/email_roi_diminishing/ on October 14, 2008.

V February 12, 2008. Marketing Sherpa. “Marketing Sherpa’s Fifth Annual Ad:Tech Survey: Top Web Advertisers Rate Best & Worst Online Tactics & Budget Plans.” Retrieved from https://www.marketingsherpa.com/barrier.html?ident=30337 on October 14, 2008.

VI September 9, 2008. Magill,

VII Marketing Sherpa’s “Landing Page Handbook, 2nd Edition”

VIII September 21, 2007. eMarketer. “Email Marketing: Getting Through to Customers.”