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Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Follow up emails to send instead of just "checking-in"

The action of performing sales places people in front of the task of convincing another person that the offer being presented is going to improve their current situation. Notice how sales is described as "a task of convincing another person...". Often sales people forget that behind the email that they're sending out they are in actuality trying to reach out to someone that they have not before in an attempt to request that they act on something you're selling to them. Take a moment and think this through, it's already a long shot to get a friend to do something for you, and it's even tougher to get someone that does not know you to do anything you ask of them.

Described here involves the "checking-in" scenario when the person you're trying to reach out to does not respond in a favorable manner. The secret to it is to always remember, you're talking to a human being and sending out emails "just checking in..." is like a virtual nudge that not many people like to receive.

Scenario: If they have never responded

(1) Bring up a common challenge that your buyers face and ask if they're currently facing it. 


Hi Nurul,

The clients I worked with are often struggling to find creative low cost ways of engaging with their local communities.

If so I have several ideas that may help -- like [idea]. If you'd like to discuss more I'm free for a call on [date at time] or [date at time].

(2) Bump your email up using the buried email technique. 


Hi Mohammad,

Just wanted to follow up in case this email got buried.

(3) Call attention to what they're competitor is doing and ask how they'll resolve it.


Hi Lee,

I saw that [competitor] has been doing well in [area] lately. Do you have any plans in place for addressing it?

I have some ideas -- if you want to hear them. Let's schedule a call.

Scenario: If you lost the deal

(1) Check how things are going after implementing a competitor's product.


Hi Tan,

It's been a [time period] you signed on with [competitor]. How are things going?


Often salespeople get caught up in sending standard touching base message often because of time. With some of these examples, sending a thoughtful email message takes mere minutes -- with an increased chance of converting into a large payoff.

Try reaching out to customers using unique channels. Get they're attention through SMS, it's cheap and is guaranteed to reach the target recipient. Find out more here.

Wednesday, 6 September 2017

How to get more followers on Instagram

If you're here reading this then you already must know the potential that Instagram offers as a channel for you to sell and market your brand. It's ever more so important for your business to humanize your approach so that you attract employees that share the same goals as you and delight your customers as their growing needs and expectations change.

Here's the crunch. Unless you're famous it's actually nearly impossible to get a large following on Instagram without hard work or money $$.

For an average business, growing a fanbase or following takes dedicated daily attention and time. That being said, there is a way to get at least your first 1,000 followers on your Instagram account (Disclaimer: this still requires time and effort, but rest assured it is more focused and efficient). The secret is to know where to invest your time and effort, by customizing your profile, curating content, writing clever copy, using hashtags and working with influencers and fans through actions that incentivize engagement.

Let's go through how you could gain your first 1,000 followers by creating an Instagram worthy profile through to using contests while staying true to your brand.

How to get more followers on Instagram

1) Make your profile cool

The easiest and often missed, make sure your profile is public (you can do this by navigating to your Instagram account's "Options" and make sure the "Private Account" is turned off.

Make sure your username is recognizable and easily searchable. How? If your business name is already taken try keeping the first part of your username as your business name so people who are searching for your business are more likely to find you. For example @lornajaneactive

2) Dedicate to content creation

Commit to have someone or yourself to creating content so that there is a good variety of postings that comes handy when you need it!

3) Improve your photo taking and editing skills

On Instagram post quality matters. I should emphasize that it matters A LOT. Do not put a bad photo up and always have a good eye for great photos. You can beef up on your photography skills here and your editing skills (there's a list of great websites to learn editing posted at despreneur).

4) Populate your Instagram page

If it's your first time it's a good idea to get posts up (around 20 or so) before you start engaging with people and working down this list.

5) Use relevant hashtags

To help relate to your followers try getting on a hashtag campaign. Like above ^

6) Run contests

A great way to expand your reach while increasing engagement on your profile would be to publish a promotion contest post then ask your audience to follow, like and comment on the photo to enter. Include hashtags like the example above #letsbefrank so you can include user generated content in your postings.

7) Make your Instagram profile easy to find and follow

Place a follow button link, icon on your website / email newsletters so it's easy for people to find your profile and interact with you. More often than not most audiences don't even know that a brand is actively engaging on Social Media. See our website for an example above.


These marketing tips are to help you improve your business and what you can do to ensure that the business you're running drives leads in a variety of ways for you. Consider SMS Marketing and alternative direct approach to CRM for existing customers or to reach out to customers that have interest but have yet to covert. Find out more here.

Saturday, 2 September 2017

Marketers like SMS. With a 99% Open Rate and a 36% Click Through Rate It's Hard Not To.

We'd like to wish all Malaysians Selamat Hari Merdeka! This year's Merdeka is special with the SEA Games being hosted in Kuala Lumpur. Learn more about the SEA Games here.

Find out how you can spice up your holiday with mobile marketing below.

During Merdeka there are major discounts and deals given to consumers and this has been the highlight and trend that majority of Malaysians look forward to.

Redbox turned the opportunity into their benefit when they SMSed text messages to their followers to follow them on their Instagram account. This is a cross-channel approach to encourage users to participate with their different marketing channels.

With the average SMS open rate at 99% and the average click through rate at 36% it is easy for brands to direct their customers to other owned marketing channels. The statistics are also the reason why a lot of brands are attracted to the possibility of SMS.

Hey it's the holiday season in Malaysia with a lot of brands taking advantage of the festivities by testing and making returns on alternative marketing methods and channels.

Learn other ways you could use SMS for your business here: How to conduct a SMS giveaway and Here are 10 reasons why your cafe should use SMS marketing.

We believe that Malaysia is a beautiful country with abundant opportunity. Here is to the future :)


Wednesday, 23 August 2017

5 Posts-pitch follow up mistakes keeping you from closing more sales

You have a great feeling. You feel great after the killer pitch. But then there's suddenly a silence. Everyone in sales has felt this pain at some time or another. It's tough. So here's a list of mistakes to avoid right after the pitch.

1) Not turning down a prospect.

You know that a client isn't a good fit for your company. Often before you hang up the phone or leave the meeting room. There's also a high chance that you even knew beforehand. The chances are also that they knew it to -- which is likely the reason why they have little motivation to follow up with you.

Know when it's right to politely follow up with your lead and let them know your company can't meet their needs right now. It's also a good idea to provide them with a few recommendations of other vendors that might be a better fit.

2) Sending a generic follow-up.

Don't do this. You've worked hard to get to know your lead (to make friends) and imagine what it would be like to receive a templated email with an <insert name here> you forgot to fill in?

Have a template to follow, but take a bit of time to put some details either about their company or personal bits from previous conversations into your email to spice it up. Try "Ready to blow away your customers with a great new website that helps you to support your sales teams close deals?" rather than "just following up".

3) Being too "pushy".

At the end of your pitch, you should have a good understanding of your prospect's challenges and how you can help them to solve them.

Because you know all of this, it can be easy to fall into the trap of thrusting hard deadlines on them, or "just checking in" emails that sound threatening: "This is my third attempt to reach you ... "

Always remember that giving your prospect the space they need, when they need it, can be more effective than pushing them for a close.

4) Not listening

You've done it! Aced the pitch, but the sale hasn't happened yet. This doesn't mean that you should stop listening to your prospect. You should make every effort to keep the dialogue open and willing to shift your current approach if there are new goals or challenges that emerge after the pitch.

5) Refusing to take "no" for an answer

Be persistent, but also know if they're just not going to get back to you right now. Numbers might work against you this month but step away for a bit and see if you can check in and salvage the opportunity at a later date.


Take note that when a prospect doesn't choose your company, it's not about you. Learn from it. Grow from it. Turn it into part of the reason you earn the business on your next deal. Make your sales process incrementally better by focusing on the details, and you'll be surprised that with more direct leads it might lead you the better numbers month on month. Find out more click here.

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

3 Data-driven topics to choose for your blog

The topic of crafting a viral topic is always a heated argument amongst different groups of content creators. There's an issue here that is apparent, we use a lot of our intuition when making these decisions. What we feel our readers may like does not necessarily mean that our readers feel the same way.

Instead of relying on our own personal tastes, we should let our audiences dictate what are the topics they want to read -- or else we risk publishing content that is irrelevant to our audience group.

Here's our suggestion on how to choose topics for your blog using data-driven methods:

(1) Find out what already works for you

You need to first tag your blog posts to identify clearly between the types of posts you are putting for your readers. You'll need to track the performance of your posts and to do that you'll need to decide on a performance metric to measure against. Options such as page views, time on page, subscribers gained, etc. are amongst the few measures you can rely on.

(2) Ask Sales about your customer's pain points

Sales always consult with your customer's on a daily basis and they are most familiar with your customer's actual needs and and pain points. Collaborating is the best way to identify what are the likely topics your readers may relate to as potential or existing customers.

(3) See what works for your competitors

The probability of your competitors having similar audiences with yours is high. This means their popular content is likely to be popular for you too. Once you've discovered their popular content, try to ask yourself how you can improve their work. It's important to provide your own unique view and opinion on the topic and new insights to your audience.

Get EVERWORKS Web Hosting now for collocated hosting now. Start creating high quality content for your readers without worrying about technical computer jargon. Find out more now.

Wednesday, 9 August 2017

Kuala Lumpur 2017 Sea Games Stadium and Venues

It's been 16 years since Malaysia last hosted the Sea Games. The opening and closing ceremonies are going to be held at the National Stadium Bukit Jalil. In addition to the National Stadium, 32 other venues will be used, where mostly will be spread over the Kuala Lumpur, Selangor, Putrajaya regions, with 2 other regions further away with 1 in Langkawi and another in Terengganu.

image credit: Sport Stardom

For transportation both Grab Car/Taxi and Touch N Go are the most convenient ways you will be able to travel quickly and easily to all Sea Games locations. Some locations are easily accessible by public transport (you can use your Touch N Go), but for other locations that is difficult to access to using public transport the ever popular Malaysian ride hailing app Grab is reliable, affordable, and widely used in Malaysia.

The closest station to the Bukit Jalil National Stadium is the Bukit Jalil LRT Station, which you can access on the Sri Petaling Line (Line 4 on the Rapid KL Klang Valley Transit Map).

Important links:

Keep up with the latest news on Kuala Lumpur 2017 through their official website here.
You can follow the latest happenings on the games through their official YouTube channel here.

For emergencies call 999

This connects you to the fire and rescue departments, police, maritime enforcement agency, civil defense department, and the hospital.

Weather in Malaysia is expected to be cloudy with rain. Do bring along umbrellas, and plenty of water to keep hydrated. It's also good to keep a bag ready for you to change into clean clothes when needed.

All in all enjoy the Sea Games, and welcome to Malaysia :)


If you're a local business that is looking to take this opportunity to reach out to your existing customer base you can do so directly by using SMS Marketing. Here are 10 reasons why you should, how to run an sms campaign, and how to run a successful giveaway using sms, or if you'd like get in touch with us and we'd be happy to discuss how we can help you.

Wednesday, 2 August 2017

5 Questions to Ask Before Creating a Marketing Budget

A smart marketing budget is one of the most important things you can do for your business. However, a lot of small companies are afraid of it.

A small business owner recently brought up in a conversation saying that he wants to bring his business to the next level. Not knowing what the next level meant I asked him him to elaborate further, which he responded that he wanted more. After further probing I found out that he wanted more clients who could spend more money with him and that he wanted to do it in a profitable way.

Now the conversation was starting to become productive with a strong statement of intent, because there was a well defined objective. Our conversation after was heated and there was a sense of connection until the topic of budget was brought up. This is something all business owners / managers hate to hear.

There are multiple perspectives on having a budget. A bad perception on a marketing budget would be that having one would promote wastefulness. That is far from the truth.

An intelligent budget is the most important thing you can do for your business. It's as good as creating an action plan that would guide the actions required to accomplish an objective moving forward. It is important to figure out how to spend the marketing budget as much as figuring out how to do marketing.

Here are the 5 questions you to ask yourself before creating a marketing budget for your small business.

Q1: What are my needs?

Analysis: Do you need more leads? More sales? More people to know about your brand (also known as brand awareness)? With those goals in place you'll be able to better grasp the task at hand and to determine the actions you need to take moving forward.

Q2: What are you currently paying to obtain your sales?

Analysis: In running your day-to-day business we need to find out how much you are currently spending to obtain clients or to get people to know about your brand. If you have sales representatives the cost of their labor and benefits will be set against your new sales. On the other hand if you have a storefront in a prime address you are perhaps spending more than you need to for foot traffic.

Q3: How fast can you afford to grow?

Analysis: If you make RM 1,000 for every RM 5,000 in sales and you determine that you are willing to spend 20% on each lead for a sale, that's RM 200 you can afford to pay. Now you can ask yourself how many clients like that are you able to buy? (You can learn how to calculate your minimum and maximum ad spend budget here)

Q4: Am I able to take that risk?

Analysis: Marketing is testing. There is no way for you to know if you will indeed get 10 clients if you spend it and ultimately risk not getting any clients at all. There's always an apparent risk that you may not get the ROI you are looking for when you are marketing your business.

Q5: How do I minimise my risk?

Analysis: Before starting on your marketing journey and spending all of your money, even with you knowing that there are apparent risks involved with marketing, you should come to expect that you might fail. With a marketing strategy in place you are able to determine your maximum daily spend and you can therefore test in micro spends and hopefully it will lead you to your final objective.

Start your journey with SMS Marketing, it's cost effective and its delivery rate is 100% and direct to the consumer. Find out more information here.