There are certain things that I always have to look up when creating HTML / javascript , no matter how many times I use them I never remember. So this is my cheat sheet which you may also find useful. Also I’ll always know where to look – so it’s as much for me as you. I usually use the entity numbers as I’m never convinced all browsers support the entity names.

Javascript / CSS

. for classes

# for ids


£    £ or £

€    € or €

¥    ¥ or ¥

Copyright Symbols

©   © or ©

®   ® or ®

™   ™ or ™


°     ° or °

±    ± or ±

×    × or ×

÷    ÷ or ÷

≤    ≤ or ≤

≥    ≥ or ≥

¹    ¹ or ¹

²    ² or ²

³    ³ or ³


…    … or @hellip;

And some I don’t usually forget

<    &lt; or &#60;

>    &gt; or &#62;

&    &amp; or &#38;

non breaking space    &nbsp; or &#160;

Seth Godin posted a blog “The complaining customer doesn’t want a refund” and it reminded me of a lesson I learnt many years ago.

Back in the mists of time when I was doing a stint in a sales office when one of the reps received a call from a disgruntled customer. The rep, while raising his eyes to the roof, tried some platitudes but this was a serious complaint. The rep decided he’d had a enough and transferred the call to the area manager (sitting in the same office as it happened). What a difference. He was only in the phone for a couple of minutes with the customer. Hanging up he grabbed his jacket and drove the 100 or so miles to visit the customer. He arrived back a few hours later, not only with an appeased customer but with an order for mush more than the original one. We also used the feedback to put in place procedures so that wouldn’t happen again.

Customers who complain are likely to value what you offer – those that don’t just walk. The complaining customer can become your best advocate.


I get to see a fair few business cards when I’m out and about.

Many are absolutely fine, some are tacky, some flashy, some are even whole little booklets (which I will probably never read). The problem I have, and I am sure I am not alone, is that when I am going through them later (sometimes a lot later) can I remember where I met this person?

Taragh's card

If I have time just after, or even when, I get given a card I do make notes on it, but I was impressed by Taragh Bissett‘s card when she gave it to me.

It actually takes into account that you want to remember these things! And as she stands there filling in the details it makes you feel that the card’s worth having – and is one you’ll keep.

Sometimes all it takes is a little bit of thought.



logo-evolution-1While we were building the new website I came across our original brochure which was written in the early 1990s (I’d been prompted to do this by something said at a recent conference) and was surprised at how little had really changed. Yes the technology has moved on a bit and we are using a lot more of it, a lot more, in a lot more places. But the underlying principles haven’t changed, especially here at SMXi.

So I thought I’d add it to the website exactly as written (except phone numbers, because that would just be really confusing) and you can see it here.

From the end of September Gift Aid Claims will be different. The current R68(i) form will be no more and you will have to submit using one of 3 options:

  1. Complete on-line forms with attached spreadsheet (up to 1,000 claims per submission, but as many submissions as you like);
  2. Submit from your database on-line [direct submission] (up to 500,000 claims per submission, one claim per day);
  3. If you don’t have access to the internet you can use the new ChR1 form (up to 90 claims per submission).

For more information on the options check out the HMRC details of the options so you can choose the best one for your charity.

If you want to use either the on-line forms or direct submission you will need to sign your organisation up for a Government Gateway account.

If you have a database but it doesn’t have support for HMRC submissions then our GiftAider application can help you.

Make sure that you donor records are complete and up to date.

For standard claims the donors first name, last name and first line of address are mandatory. If any of these are missing then the claim will fail.

The post code is not mandatory, but if used only UK post codes are accepted. Not providing a post code for UK addresses will pass initial validation but can hold up payments.

If you need help cleaning up your database, then get in touch (020 7100 6010 or complete our enquiry form)

Useful Links

GiftAider – submit your data to HMRC

HMRC Charities On-Line FAQ

HMRC Submission Options

Signing up for a Government Gateway Account


HMRC will stop accepting paper Gift Aid claims on 30th September 2013. From October 1st you will have to use their on-line service – the official announcement is here.

I’m really pleased to say that we have 2 products that have received HMRC recognition: Our Patron Supporter Management System – our fully integrated CRM and donation management system for charities; and Gift Aider – an application that will enable you to submit claims on-line even if your package doesn’t support it, or even if you just keep them is spreadsheet.

Take a look and let me know if we can help you.

gift aid it logo

Caught with your pants downBought a pair of trousers the other day – nothing strange about that. In fact they are the same trousers I have been buying for quite a few years (different colours of course). But what struck me was that the price hadn’t changed much over the years, if at all.

What has changed are little things. The number of pockets has gone from 4 to 3; the pockets have got slightly smaller year by year – this year though that stood out as I can’t quite do the button up on the back pocket once my wallet is in (and before you mention it, it hasn’t got fatter unfortunately) and I now have to take care that my phone doesn’t fall out of the front pocket.

The prices might not show inflation, but it’s there – if you get less for the money you spend, then prices have gone up. We’ve seen it in the supermarket less grams in a packet but the same price, but it is happening everywhere.

Any unexpected places you have seen this?

I’ve often heard people complain that they can’t afford to test their marketing, that it costs too much.

That’s the first problem – treating it as a cost rather than in investment. When you test you are buying knowledge that will let you improve your return on your marketing investment.

Marketing costs (time and money), it’s our job to make sure we make the most out of it so invest in your testing.