Online Marketing Strategies


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My goal with this report is to help you overcome challenges, attract clients, increase your cash flow and grow your business. To provide you with actionable strategies that you can use to grow your business. The information in this report will help you thrive and survive and help your business succeed. It will help you create meaningful advertising and sales campaigns that will boost your sales and help attract new customers. This report is action focused to help you understand that there are many effective and profitable marketing strategies and options available to you to use. The report will sharpen your judgment and communication strategies with your clients. The strategies and skills you will learn from this report are vital and essential traits necessary to establish, lead and effectively grow your business.

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Online Marketing Strategies

  1. 1. Copyright Notice © 2010 Justice Mandhla, Johannesburg, South Africa. All Rights Reserved. This writing is protected by International Copyright Laws. No part of this text may be reproduced in any format without the expressed and written permission of the copyright owner. The content of this e-book may not be extracted, disassembled, forwarded, copied, emailed, published on any website, referenced or otherwise used by the purchaser and/or reader without the explicit and written permission by the author and copyright owner. Violation of this notice and/or the copyright/publisher’s notices may subject you to heavy fines, penalties or legal action. Manuscript Editor This text was edited and prepared by Joyce A. Leggette, Ph.D., senior editor of Shulamite Publishing House, 2600 East Southlake Boulevard, Suite 120-180, Southlake, Texas 76092 U.S.A. Phone: 1+ 817.948.6244 Editor’s Notice: This free eBook was designed to help new business people and the intention of the author and publisher is that you will read the book thoroughly. In the interest of helping you to get the most from this eBook, the editor did not include a Table of Contents. For your convenience, you may utilize the “Bookmark” feature in the Acrobat Reader while reading this text to make it easier to return to points of interest. Neither the editor nor Shulamite Publishing House is the Publisher of this book. On the web at: Email: Publishers Notice Nothing in this manuscript may be interpreted as financial or legal advice. The publisher and the author make no financial or legal promises. The publisher explicitly expresses herein that neither the publisher nor the author are responsible for any misuse of information within this text. You are hereby advised to seek a licensed financial planner and business advisor concerning financial and business issues related to your personal financial and business investments. You are encouraged to research everything in this text to your own satisfaction. The publisher has no financial or legal liability for the reader’s misapplication of this information or for the reader’s misunderstanding of the writing. For Permissions to reprint or quote the material in this text, contact the copyright holder and the publisher at any of these sites: ; ; and §
  2. 2. Powerful Tactics To Overcome Economic Challenges, Attract Clients, Increase Your Cash Flow And Grow Your Business Major ad copy concerns: • Headline – Make yours forceful; a call to action. • Testimonials – Make them believable; not the end all or cure all. • Subtitles – Subtitles sell; content descriptions in 5 words or less. • Benefits – Make sure your listed benefits actually attract your prospective clients and are proven in the public’s mind. • Features – List features in your ad content. • Guarantees – Make them solid, not flimsy. • Ask and Answer Questions – Conveys sensitivity to the client’s needs and answers hidden objections. • Contact Information – Expresses openness for client questions. • Endorsements – Build public confidence. • Conversational Writing – Sterile writing conveys coldness; make your ad copy warm by personalizing it and using a conversational style. • Sentences Too Long – More than one and a half lines distracts from the ad copy’s snap. • Deadlines – Help clients to decide and act by including deadlines. • Free trials – Introduce clients to your services and products with samples and freebies. • Spelling – Make your ad copy error free to be received as an expert. Errors make the ad copy seem amateurish and unprofessional. • Grammar – Like spelling mistakes, poor grammar reflects poorly on your company and its public image. • White space – 20% to 25% of the page copy should be white space; without packing the text too tight. Eyes need rest and white space encourages reception of the message. • Background – When the background is too dark the image distracts from the message. • Blending – Visually your image should blend well. Too much contrast is kitsch. • Breaks – Up there with white space; the eyes need breaks for the message to be effective. • Bullets – Bullets are psychological highlighters; be sure to include them. • ALL CAPS – A big “no-no” and the equivalent of SCREAMING at your prospect. • Ordering options – Offer as many as possible; people like payment options. • Visual Aids – Kodak said it best, “A picture is worth a thousand words” -2-
  3. 3. • Compared to Your Competition – You do it or your customer will; if they do it, you risk them never returning to you. • Deadline Reminders – Your clients are busy; give them the courtesy of reminding them of your sale deadlines. • Business Information – Similar to comparisons; offer your clients your business information or they will dig for it. Expect them to dig anyway, but offering your business information strikes a cord of authenticity with clients. • Colorful Adjectives – Make your ad copy interesting by adding spiffy adjectives. • Phrases that Appeal – People like memorable phrases; snazz and jazz will project an image of cool – everyone wants to be cool. • Text Size – Larger than 14 point font in the body of your ad copy is obnoxious; smaller than 10 point font in the body and you seem shady as if you want to hide details. • Emotions – Appeal to your clients’ emotions; the more positive emotions are usually more productive unless you sell alarms or a related product; then you will want to tap the fear factor. • Paragraph Size – More than 4 page lines is too large; less than 2 is too small. • Tell Your Story – An authentic story grabs the client because they relate; your client wants to relate to you; he wants to like you. • Underline, Bold or Italicize Keywords – Visual emphasizers, such as font features, will sell your product even to speed readers and those who skim everything. • Length of Ad Copy – Ideal ad length is 40% to 65% of the page; more or less will fail you with too little or too much information to the customer. • Facts and Case Studies – Facts are always helpful to sell your client; case studies are ideal where they can be referenced. These lend you legitimacy in the eyes of the client. • Industry Jargon – Ad copy that talks to your ISP about the HTML in your Guru site is both nonsensical and annoying; Avoid industry jargon and use simple terms. [i.e. Your service provider knows nothing about or has anything to do with the images on any site.] • Free Bonuses – Free stuff communicates a spirit of generosity to the client; generosity attracts people regardless of what you are selling. • Pricing – Keep your price competitive. Prices that are too low raise a question of quality in the client’s mind; prices that are too high should be supported by above and beyond the industry standard. Too far out of your competitor’s range and you simply look ignorant or arrogant and lose clients. -3-
  4. 4. A free eBook is the perfect enticer for people to visit your site, sign up for your newsletter, or give you their email address. Writing and giving away an eBook will make you an expert in your field. Your generosity with the free information contained in your eBook builds trust with people. You have now established a basis for people to buy your main product or service. Put your eBook on a CD and include it with your direct mail packages and with your product order packages. This will increase your product or service exposure and will circulate your information and expertise. In your ad copy and on your company’s site, offer your eBook as a free bonus for buying one of your main products or services. Make sure the eBook is packed with industry specific, valuable information. Allow other companies or sites to make your free eBook available through them. Be sure to include a mini directory of your products or services inside the front and back covers of your eBook. Utilize a “squeeze page” on a separate URL that entices visitors to give their email address in exchange for your free eBook. This is effective for building your email marketing list. Submit your eBook to freebie and freeware/shareware sites. This will give you additional free advertising all over the web and will increase the number of people to see your ad. Give away the master rights to your eBook, this allows others to sell the book and the reprint rights. This places your eBook in even more hands with even more exposure for your site, products, services and anything else that you have included in the eBook. Cross promote your eBook with other people's products or services by exchanging content plugs as well as site plugs. You will increase your marketing effort without spending a lot more time or money. Give away your eBook to Ezine subscribers and increase your Ezine subscriptions and your product sales. Be sure to give your eBook to your affiliates. You can also create an eBook that emphasizes your products or services so that your affiliates have an extra tool to use in promoting what you offer. Alternatively to giving away the entire eBook, give away a free mini-eBook that contains only a couple of sample chapters of the main eBook. If they like it, then they can order the full version. It works like a software demo or shareware. -4-
  5. 5. Pricing – Do you offer a price that regularly blows out your competition? Can you list higher pricing and increase the perceived value of your product? Do you offer easier payment options than your competition? Packaging - Can you package your product more attractively? Do the colors of your package relate to your product? Can you package your product into a smaller or larger package? Delivery - Can you offering cheaper shipping? Do you have a high enough profit margin to offer free shipping? Can you ship your products faster? Benefits - Can you offer more benefits than your competition? Are your benefits stronger? Do you have believable proof that supports your claims? Quality - Is your product built and tested to last longer than your competition? Can you improve the overall quality of your product? Performance- Does your product solve your customer’s problems faster than your competition? Is it easier to us your product than your competition’s product? Features – Does your product offer more features than your competition’s product? Do your features support your stated benefits? Availability – What is the time lag in availability? Do your suppliers make it possible to drop ship directly to your customer? Is your product regularly stocked? Extras – Do you give valuable free bonuses with each order? Are your bonuses coveted and perceived as rare and valuable? Service – What type of service is needed for your industry? Do your competitors provide free 24 hour customer service and is this a feature that is required in your industry? Does your product or service require repair and if so, do you provide repair at no extra charge? Do your customers receive personalized customer service when they call in, talking to a live person rather than a machine? Proof – Do you provide substantial proof that your product is reliable? Is your proof persuasive? Do you offer testimonials and endorsements that strongly support your claims? Guarantees – Do you offer strong warranties and guarantees? How easy is your company’s return policy? -5-
  6. 6. HOW TO INCREASE SALES OR CREATE NEW SALES: • Solve an existing problem for people. Problems that people face in life are a never ending fact of life. If you can create a product that provides a solution to people’s problems, then you have a seller. • Tap into a current hot trend. Check out television, magazines, the net and the local clubs to discern the current trend of what’s hot. Create a top product in any of the “hot” areas and you have a top seller. • Improve a product currently on the market. Make a significant improvement on a product already in the market place and you have a “new” or “improved” hot item. • Create a new niche for a current product in the market place by giving the product new features that your competition does not have. • Package your product with add-on products that are related to the product or which are a natural next buy for your clients. • Recreate an older product that is an attractive product, but not necessarily one that is easily available in the market place. • Republish books that are in public domain. Public domain books are those whose copyrights have expired or are no longer held by the author, his family or the previous copyright owner. To accomplish this you must research the title and author to verify the book is, in fact, in public domain so that you are not in copyright violations. • Survey current customers to find out what type of new products they are seeking that you could perhaps provide for them. Open up your site to suggestion input pages or send surveys via or Constant Contact. • Create a new product by combining two or more products. A great example of this is the suitcase on wheels. Originally a portable dolly and an old-fashioned suitcase, the suitcase on wheels is now commonplace in airports around the world. • Redirect your marketing efforts to include sectors previously unconsidered. For example, a publishing house could easily market specialized English tutoring to students at all stages of education given by staff writers and editors. • Market your product to appeal to people’s natural desire to make more money. Whether marketing to entrepreneurs or career climbers, you will want to market your product with a “success appeal”. • Market your product to appeal to people’s sense of security or financial stability. Market to appeal to their sense of budget without seeming cheap about it. People like value and cheap is not value, but quality at a good price is value that appeals to most people’s sense of financial stability and their overall security. -6-
  7. 7. • Appeal to your client’s need to spend more of their time enjoying the rewards of their labours. Pleasure helps people to relax; show them how your product saves them time and you will appeal to their natural tendency to seek more pleasure in life. • If your product will help others to look better, feel better, view themselves as more attractive, then you will naturally draw people to your product. • Help others to feel more intelligent by giving them information that expands their knowledge base and you will attract them to your company and your product. Blogs are a great place to pour out industry specific information that helps people feel like they are well informed clients. • Show others how your product will help them to live longer, better or in overall greater health and you will draw clients to your product. People want to live longer, more quality lives. • Appeal to your client’s need to be comfortable, including the comfort of living pain-free and resting well each night. This may include peace of mind, financial security, a spiritual peace or a physical comfort. • Appeal to people’s needs and desires to love and be loved by another. Whether this means opening a dating service, providing radical make-overs, writing an online dating advice blog or some other image or esteem building service. • Praise and expressed admiration for your clients as individuals will help build their esteem and make them to feel desired. Everyone wants to feel wanted and desired and this is merely a conversational effort for you and costs you nothing other than the breath you breathe. BUILDING BUSINESS WITH SOCIAL NETWORKS • Social networking such as FaceBook, LinkedIn, MySpace or Twitter can improve customer relations by keeping you available and “in-touch” with your biggest brand fans. • Unique “wallpapers” or logo emblazoned backgrounds on the social networks help to build brand recognition and make your brand name popular in these networks. • Twitter and LinkedIn are considered the most “professional” of the social networks. Xing comes in third place and is primarily an international business network. Be sure to include the social network IDs on your business cards and websites to help people find you and give you an accessibility appeal to clients. • Value packed “Tweets” on Twitter is very similar to free advice that you give on your company’s blog: Keep it short, simple and very informative in non-ordinary ways. • Remember to avoid spam and everything that is not a soft-sell on these networks. The idea of a social network is to make us all sociable; the idea of the sociability is that people buy from folks they like. Keep yourself likeable on your social networks. Hard selling is rarely a likeable trait amongst friends. -7-
  8. 8. SMART RULES FOR EMAIL MARKETING #1 – Always Respect Your Prospective Client There are many ways to offend your prospect. The short and simple of it is basic human respect. Earn their respect by freely giving respect in the language and tone of your email. #2 – Always Set Your Margins For A 60 Character Line All email marketing pieces should be formatted at 60 characters to help hold the reader’s attention. The shorter line width eases eye fatigue of your reader and helps to increase the likelihood of your message being read. If your reader’s email system enforces line-wrapping, then your message will look chopped and unsightly. Visual garbage has a decreased likelihood of being read. If you use a system such as Outlook Express, then you can set the line wrap so that you do not have to press “enter” at the end of each line. # 3 – Be Careful Not To Use All CAPS An email message in all caps is considered yelling. It is okay to all cap one or two words, but be careful with it. Email messages in all caps reduce client trust because you are perceived as uneducated or a scam. Be very careful with the all caps habit. #4 – Spelling and Grammar When your client reads a sales message filled with poor writing and basic errors, they think to themselves, "Unbelievable! This company can’t get their emails out with style and clarity. Their products are probably just as sloppy.” #5 – Your Image Is Your Reputation Remember: Your reputation and the way your company treats your clients are the primary reasons people buy from you. Your image must display integrity, credibility and honesty to your clients. Your email marketing is a primary tool for creating your public image. Make it clean, attractive, articulate, and error free and you’re on your way to success with email marketing. -8-
  9. 9. A WORD ABOUT AESTHETICS Remember: You email marketing is like a job interview and you have only one chance to make a good first impression. Your first impression with email marketing is a visual one; make it pleasing to your reader’s eye and you are half-way there. YOUR DO and DON`T LIST DON’T use various colors in the fonts of your messages. DO use a standard black text on a white background rather than a wall papered background. Black and white comes across as straight forward and trustworthy. DON`T use uncommon fonts. The more common the fonts, the better likelihood your message will be read by your targeted readers. When a person’s computer system does not have your email font, the message becomes messy and ugly, sometimes even illegibly cluttered with machine language. DO use the industry standard fonts: Arial, Times New Roman, and Courier New. DON`T insert flashing buttons or banners into your email marketing piece. A WORD ABOUT HYPERLINKS An email hyperlink is simply an email or website link that is inserted into the page, advertisement or email. The hyperlink usually connects you to that email or site unless you or the prospect uses AOL. Some AOL accounts cannot receive links and are effectively disabled from your content in their system. As in everything else in your computer, there is a simple fix for using hyperlinks with AOL recipients. When creating the “to” in the email send, type in mailto: [with no spaces] in front of the AOL email address. To insert a link in an AOL recipient’s email, write the link in this format: <a href=http:// /> This inserts the HTML code that should cause the link to highlight in their email. Be sure to tell the recipient they can copy and paste it if it does not highlight in their system. -9-
  10. 10. BE SURE TO USE SIGNATURE TAGS A signature tag is a set of text lines automatically inserted into every email you send at the end of the email. In a traditional letter, or old fashioned typed letter it was called the signature block. Using a signature tag gives your email an air of professionalism that every marketer wants in their email marketing. To use the signature tag feature in your email program, look for the TOOLS/OPTIONS menu. Follow the prompts and instructions in your system, whether Yahoo or Outlook or some other, block your signature and keep it simple for a professional look. Remember, the purpose of your email list and system is to build a large list so you can begin to make serious money. Without a significant list, your income is limited. Take the time to master the basic strategies for integrating email into your traditional marketing campaign so that you do not repeat the problems of traditional marketers. #1 – OFFER SOMETHING FOR FREE Nowhere else on the internet is the law of sowing and reaping more pronounced than in email marketing campaigns. If you sow a gift [and aren’t all true gifts free?], then you will reap your desired email list. People will naturally give you their email address in return for something they perceive as valuable. Often this is accomplished with a “squeeze page” in which the free thing is advertised and the email address is required in order to receive it. Some of the best things to give for free include: eBooks, lessons and a valuable discount on a coveted product. Remember to offer your prospect something they need or perceive as valuable for free. If you don’t give something meaningful, your prospects will quickly run in the other direction and it could damage your reputation in cyberspace. #2 – A WORD ABOUT POP-UPS AND SQUEEZE PAGES Although pop-ups have been traditionally viewed as excellent email capture tools, they are much less so today. Most computers and firewalls provide pop-up blockers that automatically block the pop-up from the operator’s side. The visitor NEVER even sees the pop-up if the blocker is turned on in their computer. - 10 -
  11. 11. Part of what has happened with pop-ups is a reflection of what is happening in the larger context of marketing. People are on overload and they are exhausted with being advertised to on every turn. The pop-up blocker is a sort of rebellion against what is perceived as forced advertising. So, you have to take another route in order to be effective. The solution to the pop-up is the “squeeze page” which is now popularly used by most marketers to squeeze out of the prospect their email address. In short, the squeeze page has replaced the pop-up. Simply put a squeeze page is a single paged URL that is promoted and advertised around the internet. The advertisement and promotion of the squeeze page is based on the freebie offered on the squeeze page. It is subject based, but it is not identified as a single page site. In order to get the freebie that is offered, the site visitor MUST put in their email address into the boxes at the bottom of the page. The page itself contains very brief advertising and generally is not long enough to roll down after the initial click. #3 – POSTCARDS To convert your old-fashioned snail mail list to this century, send your marketing list a postcard that invites your prospects to visit your site. Include language that offers them a BONUS IF they enter their email address during their visit. You will want to use a postcard to save postage costs and increase effectiveness for your conversion. The prospect is much more likely to read your message since they can do so at a glance rather than having to sort and open that particular piece of mail. #4 - SUBSCRIPTION BOX ON EVERY SITE PAGE This marketing trick may seem clever to some marketers, but it becomes annoying to your site visitors unless it is done in a classy manner. The classiest way to make this happen without putting off your prospect or client is to insert the subscription box, response form, newsletter or freebie offer in the sidebar of your site pages or at the bottom of the page. Ideally, the sidebar is the best place since some page visitors never make it to the bottom of the page. Remember, the reason to add subscription boxes of some sort on every page of your site is because you have many visitors that completely bypass your homepage. If your subscription box is only on your front page, then you miss many visitors. - 11 -
  12. 12. #5 – CONTESTS Contests help to generate traffic to your site and buzz in the internet about your business. You will want to put a contest form on your site. The only entry requirement for the contest is that they enter a valid email address. A word of caution: Contest players are not always your best prospects. Many people just travel from contest to contest hoping to win something for free. They are simply there for the “free-stuff” and never intend to buy anything from you. Another warning: Make sure you contact your local state or county regulator to make sure you are in compliance with local contest laws. In some instances heavy fines or legal action could be waged against you. #6 – PLACE YOUR AUTORESPONDER ADDRESS IN YOUR SIGNATURE TAG Use your auto responder address in your ads, marketing messages or email rather than simply inserting your web URL. This will give you an opportunity to capture email addresses and funnel them into your system for future marketing. #7 – SIMPLY ASK YOUR PROSPECT FOR THE SALE ”You have not because you ask not.” Besides being a proverb, it is a cornerstone of sales philosophy. Every good sales manager will tell you that you MUST ask for the sale. Yet we sometimes shy away from asking for the email address when the email address is vital to our sales results. You already ask your prospect for their address and phone number; it’s not that hard to ask for one more piece of information. OTHER MARKETING STRATEGIES Send out an email campaign. It is much easier and less expensive than other marketing methods. Also consider: Direct Mail costs about $1.25 per piece including postage. The average return rate on direct mail is between 1% and 4%. That’s a lot of bucks for such a low return. - 12 -
  13. 13. Phone calls can cost as much or more than direct mail. This is especially true if you hire a sales staff to make the calls. If you make the calls yourself, you still have to be on an unlimited calls plan to avoid being swallowed by the phone bill. Voice mail messages are usually a waste of time and money. Article Marketing There are several ways to market your product, services or company using articles. Some of the popular sources for creating articles and avenues for exposure today on the internet include: Ezine articles; Forum posts; Blog posts; Out-of-date books; Your own current eBook. Here are things to keep in mind: Ezines – Great sources for publishing small articles that give valuable information to prospects in small, bite sized chunks. When you submit your articles to Ezines, the articles should be ideally between 500 and 700 words. If you have an already written collection of Ezine articles from the last several years, then you simply trim, revise and update the information in them and there you are with “new” articles to submit to the Ezines. Forum posts – Basically work in the same manner as Ezines. Be sure to include your links and personal blurb at the bottom of your articles. Forums are a great way to establish yourself as the resident expert on your particular subject or specialty. Blogs – A great way to build your article marketing resources is to draw out from your better blogs, especially if you have been blogging for several years. Be sure to weed out the short blogs and re-market the blogs that are longer than 300 words along with a “resource box” and site pitch. When you post on your blog, make sure you are RSS syndicated so that you are automatically distributed around the blog world. Out-of-Date Books – If you are the author of a book that is no longer in print and you own the copyrights to the book, then you can literally slice your book up into article sized chunks and create hundreds of high quality articles that you can post in any of the online venues. You will spend very little time editing and you can crank out a volume that can feed many sources for quite some time. Think “drip” when it comes to your articles. One a week is a good drip rate. Current eBooks – You will want to create articles that entice the reader into purchasing your complete eBook. You will need to deliver substance in your content. A word of warning – don’t use - 13 -
  14. 14. “teaser tactics” here; it makes you seem cheesy and sleazy. Keep the articles around 500 words, but meaty. OTHER IMPORTANT STUFF Auto-responders Auto-responders help you to follow up with your prospect without having to sit by your system and personally handle the response. Auto-responders function primarily in three areas: 1) Email marketing systems such as Constant Contact; 2) Your email system or site email; and 3) Through your system software such as InfusionSoft. Most commonly, small businesses use Constant Contact or another email marketing system to create their auto-responses to people signing up on their website. Email marketing systems are designed to automatically feed into your database of email addresses. From there the system automatically sends out your responders in sequence. Most business people create a series of responders with gaps in the delivery dates so they create a “drip” effect to market to the prospect. Wash-Rinse-Repeat Repeat contact is important and effective in online marketing. Your prospect must be contacted on an average of seven times before you have a real opportunity to close them. Using auto-responders and email marketing systems give your business an advantage over the 90% of businesses that never follow up with their prospects. Timing The more matured your business is, the more frequently you can send out email marketing pieces to your prospects. Even in really matured companies, it is best to time your marketing pieces so that the prospect is not overloaded or annoyed by your emails. Ideally, do not send emails closer than one-week unless you are having special events. More frequently than this will land you in their “spam” box or the “delete me” option will be exercised. Valuable Information Valuable information is considered the number one way to feed your prospect so that they purchase from you. Although it is a “soft-sell” approach, it is effective precisely because people are overloaded - 14 -
  15. 15. advertisements. Make your messages alternately soft and hard sell pitches with 30% to 40% of your email containing the hard pitch and the rest very soft/informational. Get Your Email Opened Ideally, you want all of your email opened by your prospects. In reality, this is an art and it takes time to cultivate. Until your email marketing piece is opened, it cannot help you generate a sale. So, you will want to practice or at least learn tips from experts such as and others. Guarantees and Warranties Guarantees and warranties create a sense of trust with your prospect or client. Most clients do not ask for a refund, but they feel secure doing business with you if they know you stand behind your product or services. Generally speaking guarantees are made on services and warranties are made on products. The longer the period of your guarantee or warranty, the less likely you will redo or refund your product or service. It is simply human nature to procrastinate and the more time they think they have to get a refund, the less likely they are to pursue it. Ask For The Order In the sales world it is known as the “ask and ask again principle”. Also known as “no isn’t really no, it’s not now”. As they used to say, one “no” is just one step closer to “yes.” You get the idea: ask for the order. Estimates are that it takes between three and seven attempts to close your client to make the sale, depending on the size of the purchase. Content Design Large blocks of content are hard on the eyes and intellectually intimidating. Most people look at large blocks of words as work. Your prospects will delete you before they will work to figure out what you want to say. - 15 -
  16. 16. A popular solution to this fact of email marketing is to break your paragraphs into three to four sentences each. Keep each section under 200 words and use a good amount of subheadings. Astericks, dashes and ellipses [. . .] are okay to use IF you do not overuse them. If they are used too frequently, then your content looks ignorant, uneducated or lazy. Of course, you never want to appear in these ways to your prospects so limit your use of these page breakers. Spam Filters Even though you may have the perfect marketing plan and other material, you will have to make it past the spam filters. Spam filters are automatic, exacting and permanent. When your message is blocked or filtered before it reaches your recipient’s box, it is permanently removed and cannot be retrieved except by a recipient’s fishing actions in their spam box. Junk, spam and adult content filters work by scanning for specific keywords, key phrases, and key characters. Filters check the “To” and “From” addresses for these keywords. Then they look for keywords in the subject line and the body of the message or both to see what words are repeated. Over- used words trigger spam filters. Trigger words and characters that prompt filters to delete your email are listed below: First 8 spaces of the “From” address are digits/numerical Subject line contains: o the word "advertisement" or "adv" o "!" AND Subject contains "$" o "!" AND Subject contains "free" o "$$" Body contents include: o the words "money back" o the words "cards accepted" o the words "spam removal instructions" o the words "extra income" o ",000" AND Body contains "!!" AND Body contains "$" o "Dear friend" - 16 -
  17. 17. o "for free?" o "for free!" o "Guarantee" AND Body contains "satisfaction" OR "absolute" o "more info" AND Body contains "visit " AND Body contains "$" o "SPECIAL PROMOTION" o "one-time mail" o "$" o “order today” o "order now!" o "money-back guarantee" o "100% satisfied" o " mlm" o "@mlm" o "///////////////" o "check or money order" o "click here" or "click below" “To” address contains: o "friend@" o "public@" o "success@" “From” address contains: o "sales@" o "success" o "success@" o "mail@" o "@public" o "@savvy" o "profits@" o "hello@" - 17 -
  18. 18. You will need more creativity to write effective emails that actually get into your prospect’s box. Unsafe Email Marketing Practices Sending unsolicited email is Spam and is unlawful in many countries, including the U.S. Someone who becomes angry by your unsolicited email can turn you over to local or federal authorities and prosecute you. Unsolicited email more often than not lands in the Spam box and wastes your marketing efforts and dollars. Unsolicited email is commonly treated like trash and you are seen by your recipients as a pusher of trash rather than a reputable business. Bulking Your Email Solicitations A marketing campaign that uses bulk email will gain the same results as spam. Ads that say "100,000 email addresses for only $29.95" are nothing more than email addresses harvested from sites all over the web. Spiders and other web tools that crawl sites gather site information and the owners sell the information repeatedly as “targeted” bulk email. Simply put, this wastes your time and money. A legitimate business person will not send thousands of emails to random, unknown people culled from various sites. Bulk mailing is unprofessional and makes you look unprofessional. Safe Email Marketing Safe email marketing in the direct marketing/internet world is called “opt-in email marketing”. "Opt-in email lists" are your best bet when conducting a direct marketing campaign on the internet. Opt-in lists help identify people that are "pre-sold" on the idea of receiving email offers. By “opting-in” to a list the person on the list has essentially “signed up” to learn more about your company and products. They have agreed to receive from you for their own personal interests. Safe email marketing practices consists of two categories: - 18 -
  19. 19. > Paid safe lists – a service provided by the list owner from their server. > Opt-in lists – either rented or self-generated through your own site. Successful Subject Lines The following are subject lines that have outstanding results in marketing campaigns for a broad spectrum of goods, products, and services. 1. Who really wants to be a(n) X? 2. You have to see this… 3. Doctors tell all about … 4. I goofed… 5. Special Pre-release Announcement 6. You will love this one… 7. Here is the answer you are looking for 8. Three minutes to greater [X] 9. Discovered! The secret to [X] 10. Urgent News! …. 11. Our Loss Is Your Gain 12. I need your help… 13. Check this out and tell me your opinion 14. Something I thought would interest you… 15. Before you give up, here is something to consider. 16. Make [X] work for you! 17. Have you seen this yet? 18. Get a sneak peak today at - 19 -
  20. 20. The following elements are essential to create email marketing that works. Whether you invite customers back to buy again or seek new customers. #1 - Headline with a unique position statement #2 - Benefit-oriented copy #3 - Testimonials #4 - The offer - with bonuses #5 – The guarantee/warranty #6 - Call to action #7 - Postscript When you make a sale, be sure to follow-up with the customer. This can be in the form of a thank you or an ad for related products. Ideally, you want to follow up with your customer at least once a month, perhaps every two weeks if your market is suitable. It is a good idea to up sell at the order page by listing a few other products that are popular in your company sales. Make it easy for the customer to add on to the original order at the time of check out. It is a good practice to offer your clients a full refund of their purchase price if they refer four other clients to you. This practice will give you four fully paid orders and one courtesy order. Clients who are motivated by money or on a tight budget will respond with referrals and your client base will grow as a result. This type of offer also has a humanitarian appeal in that it makes it possible for low-income or struggling clients to obtain a product they may not otherwise be able to afford. When you sell a product, offer your customers an opportunity to join your affiliate program so they can earn commissions by selling your product. This practice will increase your sales power by utilizing both the power of referrals and the viral effect of the internet. You can cross promote your product with other business’ products in a package deal. Include an ad or flyer for other products you sell and have other businesses sell for you. When you deliver your product, include a coupon or sale flyer for other related products you sell in the package. Large companies such as Sears and Radio Shack are notorious for this practice and it is a practice that has won them their success. It is called “seed selling”; the idea being that you plant the seed of the idea of an additional product and in time the harvest manifests in your increased sales. - 20 -
  21. 21. Sell gift certificates for your products. You will make guaranteed sales from the purchase of the gift certificate. You can also design the certificate so that it is valid for purchases on your site and increase your online sales. You can send free products with the product package when you ship. The freebies should have your company name printed on them. There are numerous promo product companies that sell volumes of these items at bulk rates. Such items are a good investment because they create good will with your clients and they get your company name out into the community. Sample items include: bumper stickers, ball caps, t-shirts, piggy banks, writing pens, etc. Internet Marketing Includes: Pay-per-click advertising Search engine marketing Banner ads Online classifieds Press releases Ezines & other article marketing venues Social networking sites like YouTube and FaceBook Online bulletin boards It is a combination of marketing techniques that will yield the most traffic with the least expense. Most business consultants and internet marketing experts tend to lean heavily into one method over the others because they benefit directly or indirectly from that method. New marketing strategies are created all the time. That is why you have to constantly examine the latest and greatest strategies. You will always want to stay on top of the most effective new tactics for your company. Other Tips For Marketing Success Find a strategic business partner. Look for partners whose businesses compliment yours or who have similar objectives – not your competitors. - 21 -
  22. 22. Brand your name, product or business. You can accomplish branding by hiring a professional branding company or by writing any number of articles for Ezines and other sites for publication. Start an auction on your site. Of course, you will need products, services, materials or other assets to auction off. The type of auction will be determined by the nature of your business and the theme of your site. Include emotional words, such as love, security, relief, happy, fun, in your advertisements. We are emotional beings and we respond emotionally, especially to ideas that bring increased pleasure. Make sure you have a “Feedback” page where your site visitors can constructively contribute to your company’s improvement. Outsource part of your workload. Especially in upstart businesses there is a lot of the business work that can be easily outsourced or managed with a part-time worker. Create a free eBook or a directory on a specific topic on your website. People will visit your site to read the free eBook and will develop an interest in your product ad. Turn part of your site into a “member’s only” section. Depending on your product or service line, you may either charge for this section or make it a bonus for your clients who do a certain amount of business with your company. Publish your Ezine only on your site. Invite people to subscribe directly online or in your email marketing piece. Offer daily or weekly visitor bonuses worth a purchase discount, but good only through a certain period of time so you can prompt purchases. This will increase your repeat traffic and sales because your visitors will visit regularly for the visitor bonuses. Allow people to download software or eBooks from your site at no cost. Just ask your visitors to return if they'll refer their friends to your site. Build up the number of people that join your affiliate program quickly by temporarily offering your product for free when they sign up. Negotiate with Ezine publishers to get free or discounted ads by letting them join your affiliate program and earn commissions on the ad you run. - 22 -
  23. 23. Brand your site and your business by submitting articles to online Ezines. You can include your name, business name, credentials, website address and email address in your resource box. If you write about your business topic, then you become the “expert” on your topic. This gives you and your business extra credibility and helps you compete in the marketplace. You may place an article on a publisher's home page. If they publish every issue of their Ezine on their home page, this will give you extra exposure. You can get extra exposure if the Ezine publisher archives their publications on site. People might want to read back issues on a product, especially when they know very little or nothing about the product. You will get free advertising. This will allow you to spend your profits on other forms of advertising. You can buy advertisements in Ezines that don't publish your articles. You may earn extra income from people who want to hire you to write articles or books. You can also earn extra income as a feature seminar speaker on your specialty. You can allow Ezine publishers to add your articles into the content of their free eBooks. Since eBooks are give-aways, your advertising will multiply all over the internet. You will get your article published all over the web when you submit it to an Ezine publisher that has a free content directory on their website. They allow their visitors to republish the articles listed in their free content page. When you publish online articles, you gain people's trust. You become known as the expert in your field. If they read your article and like it, they are quicker to buy from you. Use a "P.S." at the end of your ad copy. This is where you either want to repeat a strong benefit or use a strong close like a free bonus. Publish a free eBook and give it away to increase site traffic and sales. Create multiple streams of income with your site by selling your own products, making affiliate programs available, selling advertising space on your site, selling other people’s products, etc. Create new products or services only after a strong need for them is determined. - 23 -
  24. 24. Sell your back-end products to your customers immediately after they place an order with you. At the check out, take them to a "Thank You" page that showcases some of your best sellers. Include content and free stuff on your site that helps to promote products you sell. Give your site a human face and human appeal by publishing pictures of your staff or family with a summary profile of the people working with you. Provide a "Contact Page" on your site. Give visitors phone, email and street address information so they have a sense of comfort about how they can reach you. Sites that do not have these basics are suspect in the minds of the visitors or new potential clients. You want as much creditability as possible and contact information increases your public credibility and image. Provide sign-up boxes to win awards or give away gifts on your site. When the award is given, you can publish the names of the winners. Join online business associations to gain extra business exposure through their members. You will have full or limited access to the names and contact information of the other members and you can promote your business using this information. Use this information wisely, however, because many of these associations work with the same protocol as your local chamber. Utilize a simple form of viral marketing. Write or have someone else write an article or small report with your name as the author or your ad included on the bottom of it. Allow others to republish it or give it away to increase your exposure and your status as an expert. Improve your business by including a “feedback page” on your site. This helps your site visitors and clients alike to feel that their input matters and that you are sensitive to their needs. Design your product package so that it is colourful, smart and more attractive than your competitors’ packages. Study your competitor’s guarantees and write yours so that it is more powerful and more attractive, offering the client more of what they want in a guarantee. Keep your ad copy simple. Assume that your prospects do not understand industry lingo and use wording in your ad copy that makes your ad clear to them. Design your site so that your visitors gain valuable resources even when they do not purchase from you. You will want to include links, eBooks, software and other tangible and useful tools for them. Make your site “worth the visit” without overselling. - 24 -
  25. 25. Find out who your strongest leads are by offering a free Ezine. Visitors that subscribe to your Ezine are your strongest leads. Draw your competition in and gain access to them by starting a new industry association that is attractive to you. Search for your business' name in newsgroups and discussion boards. Some of the comments you find will give you a fresh perspective concerning the public’s view of your company and will help improve your business. Attract people to link to your site. Offer them a product discount or give them a free bonus for linking. Develop your opt-in email list by giving your visitors a reason to give you their email address such as a free eBook or subscription to something they will find valuable. Create a "PR" web page for your business. You can make this a “What’s Happening At XYZ Company”. This page should contain information that is news worthy content for Ezines, newspapers, magazines, etc. Help expose the positive stories written about your company or business by posting the article links on your site. Offer a free online directory. Your directory can be full of interesting eBooks, Ezines, websites etc. Conversely, you may choose to create a directory that lists related businesses your clients need to help finish their project, depending on your line of business. Hold free online classes, seminars or webinars. Be sure your top salesman or product expert is the facilitator for such courses so that you capitalize on the added exposure of industry information. Your company will become known as top in your field and you will become known as an expert on the topic. Give free product consultation to people who visit your site. Offer your knowledge via email or by telephone. People will consider this a huge value because they have instant access to an expert and because consulting fees are normally very expensive. - 25 -
  26. 26. NON-TRADITIONAL MARKETING SYSTEMS & SMART BUSINESS Barter If you have a business, bartering goods and services will help with your cash flow and will lower your overhead expenses. When you barter with a non-profit organization, you may be able to write off a portion of your exchange as a donation. Of course, you will first check with your tax accountant to see which tax rules apply to your situation. Network Networking creates opportunities to exchange mailing lists and trade leads. Business networks open opportunity for new types of advertising and a more targeted use of your advertising dollars. Wholesale/Bulk Purchasing your business supplies in bulk or wholesale quantities is simply smart business. It is not always possible when upstarting a business to be able to take advantage of such discounts, so you may want to partner with another business person in your community to pool resources for bulk discounts. Free Stuff In your spare time, visit as many freebie sites as possible to find free software, graphics, backgrounds, online business services and many more pluses in “free stuff”. Borrow/Rent For rare or one-time use equipment, consider borrowing or renting the tools from a business equipment rental warehouse. There is little point in investing in equipment that you rarely or ever use, but there are times when that equipment is necessary to “seal the deal” with a potential client. Don’t forfeit your business deal or your cash. Make the phone call and rent it or borrow it so that more of your profit line stays on the bottom line. Online/Offline Auctions Auctions can be a great resource for supplies and equipment, especially when shopping on a budget for an expensive equipment purchase. Government agencies as well as state/city offices can be terrific resources, but prepare to shop and bid quickly. - 26 -
  27. 27. Plan Ahead Make a list of business supplies or equipment you'll need in the future. Keep an eye out for stores that have big sales. Purchase the supplies when they go on sale before you need them. Used Stuff If your business equipment and supplies don't need to be new, then by all means buy them used. Public auctions for businesses going out of business are a significant source for used items. Check your local internet message boards and newsgroups for businesses trying to shed their equipment or supplies. Negotiate Always try to negotiate a lower price for everything from equipment and supplies to your vendor’s prices. The best way to set your mind to negotiate with everyone is to think of yourself as talking to a salesman at a car lot. But always remember what it is you need and what you are merely “shopping for” when you’re out there. Search You can always search for new suppliers for your business. Simply keep your ears and eyes open and invite your site visitors to communicate with you. A monthly evening of searching the internet will invariably yield new doors to knock on. Go a-knocking and compare prices. New businesses are great to knock on because they simply need an opportunity to provide to new clients in order to build business. Professional Writing Many websites lose their prospective clients because they let the Bubba-In-Charge of sales write their site content. While it is important to have Bubba’s input so that the product line is sold with the right slant, it is a major faux pas to assume that because a person can speak the language they are qualified to write the site content. Nothing turns off clients more quickly than to see spelling and grammar errors on your site page. Such mistakes make your company look unprofessional and ignorant. If you are this careless about your public presentation, the client wants to know what else you are careless about – especially concerning his purchase? It is wisdom and good marketing to spice-up your site's wording with plenty of adjectives. Such language gives your visitors a clearer vision of what you are selling or describing to them and gives them a more comprehensive understanding of your business. Again, spend the extra dollars to enlist a professional writer; it is money well spent. - 27 -
  28. 28. Customer Interaction Whether it’s through FaceBook, email marketing, a chat room or some other online forum, a regular interaction with your clients and prospective clients builds your business and your client’s confidence in you. Regular communication shows concern and care and everyone wants to count. Web Links A “Code 404 – Page Not Found” message on any of your site’s links is the quickest way to lose a visitor or prospective client. Check your website links regularly. A Word On “Free” Stuff When you offer something free, make sure it is really free. If people go to your site and what you said was free really isn't free, then you will lose their trust and they won't buy anything. Aside from the immediate lost sale, your company will also lose its reputation when others find out the dishonesty and word spreads about your practice. Ezine Emailing Increase your sales by emailing full page ads to your Ezine subscribers. Remember to tell people that your Ezine carries advertising before they subscribe or they may count it as spam. Negative Marketing Ad copy that asks people questions to make them think of their problems is known as “negative marketing”. An example of negative marketing is: Do you want to be free of your debts? The idea is that if your target market is focused on their problems, then your solution becomes very attractive. The bigger the target market is that is affected by the particular problem you solve, the more sales your company will realize. Positive Marketing Of course, the opposite of the negative marketing technique is “positive marketing” technique in which you spend more ad copy focusing on the numerous benefits of your product rather than the customer’s problem. While both type of marketing deal with the positive and the negative aspects of a problem, what makes each type its own is the focal point of the ad content. - 28 -
  29. 29. Your Knowledge Base Buy internet business books, eBooks, private site memberships, etc. and study to learn all the new website promotional ideas that are working for online businesses. As Zig Ziglar, the “grandfather of sales” says, your life should be a continual learning experience. Never assume you have it all figured out. Stay open to new ideas and promotional techniques in order to stay on top of the current market. Results Talk Nonsense Walks Analyze the results of all of your promotional efforts. All major marketing courses in the colleges and conventional wisdom both dictate that you must give every new effort at least 90 to 120 days in the marketplace to accurately measure your results. This is also known as “sowing season” which strongly implies a portion of the year dedicated to putting effort in your new technique. Farmers never plant one day and expect a crop the next and neither should a wise business person. Study the results of your efforts after 90 days and evaluate it as it measures against other marketing efforts you have made. As they say in motivational groups: “Keep the best and toss the rest”. Don't waste your valuable resources. Product Availability Keep your product available to your customers at all times. If you have to backorder it, they may end up cancelling their order. If you anticipate a high run on your product, contact your supplier and get a verbal commitment from them about replenishing your supply in case of high volume sales. This helps you to cut turn around time in the event of a backorder and imparts confidence to your clients when you can commit to a shorter delivery. Fame Famous endorsements are normally expensive to afford so make sure your marketing budget can handle their fee or whatever you are exchanging with them. Make sure the person is well known and well liked among your target audience. Include their picture and endorsement statement on your ad copy. Charity Advertise on your ad copy that your organization donates a percentage of your client’s purchase price to a specific charity. You want to make this a charity that is generally approved of by your client base. Charitable donations based on sales show your clients that people matter to your company and that you have more than a seasonal commitment to people in the community. - 29 -
  30. 30. Order Incentives Free shipping, a faster shipping option, free gift wrapping and a free bonus gift are all examples of incentives you can offer clients who order by a specific time or date. You want to make it easy for them to meet their deadlines and you want to improve your bottom line. Incentives make both goals easily possible and very attractive. Web Presence Your small business will look larger on the web if you utilize the best graphics and professional design. An ordering system that operates smoothly and is well organized make your company look sophisticated and competent; characteristics of large businesses. Order Process Easy and clear instructions on your order page is attractive and a confidence builder. Your order page should be easy to understand and easy to follow. The more complicated it is, the less likely your client will successfully complete the order process. Software Use marketing software so that your direct contact with your prospects is automated and tracked. Automate your search engine submissions, posting to online classified sites, and more using the right software. Keep in mind, marketing software is normally used by companies that have a solid financial start. So, if you are an upstart and still scratching out your niche, you may want to wait until your financial base is solid. Some of the best software out there includes and Free Ads & Viral Marketing Most communities and larger cities have free ad spaces on the internet. Organizations such as Craig’s List also host a number of city related sites in numerous countries. You will want to take advantage of their free advertising areas on the internet. Viral Marketing allows others to give away or use your product or service for free. This quickly multiplies your online marketing efforts as your product or service becomes a household name. - 30 -
  31. 31. Do Your Homework Know your target market and your visitors. Take the time to research them, solicit their input and get to know their likes and dislikes. Put yourself in your visitors’ shoes and act accordingly. Design your site for their likes and tastes rather than your own. The Benefit Of Authority Most people have been taught their entire lives to those who hold positions of authority. Don’t be shy about your position in the company. Be sure to tell your visitors that you are the president or CEO of your business. Besides automatic respect, this gives the prospect extra assurance that they are speaking to the best person in the company for final decisions and ultimate expertise. When a client speaks to you, they gain confidence in your company by the confidence you impart in the conversation. Be sure to impart a sense of expertise and confidence. Free Courses Attract new clients to your site by offering a free course on a topic relating to your area of expertise. This should be something that prospective clients view as a valuable freebie. You can utilize the features of an auto responder and send lessons daily to those who sign up. Prospect Ownership Invite your reader to see himself in possession of your product by writing your ad copy with language that spells out present or future results of the client’s use of your product. In other words, you invite your prospect to become emotionally attached to the idea of gaining the desired results by using language that indicates those results are a “done deal” and within their grasp. Personalized Headlines Personalize your ad copy headlines to your particular target audience for each segment of your marketing campaign. This invites readers to feel exclusive and important by belonging to the target group. For example: "Attention! Accountants, Discover A New Way To Increase Your Client Base!" Selling Benefits Benefits can include anything from delivery speed to pricing to exclusivity. Be sure you know the benefits that appeal most to your target market. Use bullets, dots or dashes, but make your benefits stand out visually in your ad copy. - 31 -
  32. 32. Limited Offer A limited offer creates an urgency that will help prompt your prospects to buy now. If you make a “limited offer”, then make sure it is indeed limited. You can limit the bonus package that is included with the purchase or the purchase discount, but make sure you limit the offer so that you achieve the desired sense of urgency. Increased Credibility If you include tips in your ad copy that helps your prospect, then you help close the sale on the spot because you immediately gain credibility as an expert. You will also increase the prospect’s trust in you and will be seen as a generous company that is concerned with solving their client’s problems. Your added credibility will also increase word-of-mouth advertising and increase your sales. Blog On Your Own Domain Rather than blogging on WordPress or a similar site, move your blog site to a page on your own company URL. This will help to drive prospects to your business and will set you apart as an expert in your field. Some hosts now include a blog page option in their site templates so it’s fairly easy to make your blog part of your site. Your Auto-Responder Constant Contact and Get Response are two of the largest, most popular and affordable auto responders on the market today. Your auto responder can help with everything from squeeze pages, to newsletter sign ups to eBook sales. Most auto responders have a free introductory period and are fairly affordable once the intro has passed. You want to use your auto responder in every possible opportunity so that your leads list builds and so that you have a perceived “relationship” with your warm market. You can also use your auto responder to distribute free online courses, newsletters, reports and other desired information for your prospects. If you publish an Ezine, then you will want to keep your back issues available on a site page with the auto responder plugged into the request so that your system automatically answers the client. The function of the auto responder is to keep your warm, interested market warm and ripe for purchase. - 32 -
  33. 33. Unique Selling Proposition Research your competitor’s weaknesses and use them as reasons for purchasing from your company. When you offer and support what your competitors do not, then you are in the unique position to appeal to your prospects based on what they cannot get from your competition. Exploit these facts. Niche Marketing The internet has made the marketplace larger and smaller at the same time. While we are exposed to “the world” when we launch a site for our businesses, the smart business person will seek to target a small, but specialized niche in the marketplace of their product. While it may seem to make your business smaller, it actually makes it larger because you are now online and specialized. The more readily you identify what your company can offer that is not offered in the marketplace, the larger of a market you can appeal to. You will likely never eliminate competition, but you can seriously shrink the pool of your competitors through savvy research and target marketing. FAQ Pages Frequently Asked Questions [FAQ] Pages help your site visitors and yourself since they answer anticipated questions that most of your clients may ask. These questions will be constructed over time and from experience as you get a feel for the questions that most frequently block your visitor’s purchase from your company. You want to remove all barriers to purchase and the FAQ pages are the place to do it. By easing the prospect’s mind before they speak with you by posting answers to the most common questions, you will increase your sales ratio. Customer Service Customer service is important at every level of business. Whether products, services, consulting or eBooks your client’s perception of your customer service will determine your success. Work to improve your customer service on a regular basis. Back-end Product Sales A “back-end sale” is a sale made on the back side of the purchase process – after the original sale and at the point of purchase. Also known as “add-ons”, back-end sales are made after the product that originally appealed to the client is in the shopping cart and in the card process. When you sell eBooks or other electronic products, you will want to insert an ad in the book that prompts the client to purchase other items in your company’s line of products. This too is back-end marketing. - 33 -
  34. 34. Catchy Names Your company name and product names should be memorable and original. A fresh twist on an old idea can be conveyed by giving the product a catchy name. For example: When drink manufacturers wanted to capitalize on a drink tradition, they utilized the “ade” sound of Koolaid, changed the spelling, added color to the drink and marketed their new hydrating invention as “Gatorade”. Watch Your Language Remember, customers buy or purchase books, CDs, shoes, clothes and other personal items. They invest in vacuum cleaners, refrigerators, water filter systems and other household items designed to function for the family for a number of years. Be sure to use the appropriate language with your client concerning their purchase of your product or service. Most services are an investment, and the only books, CDs or clothes that are investments are those designed to benefit the client for a long period of time or for personal investment purposes. Choose your language carefully when crafting your ad copy; words affect the buyer’s perception of your product’s value. Words That Work Fast – For results, delivery and ordering. Guaranteed – For products, services, delivery and quality. Limited – For issues, time, availability and price. Easy/Simple – For ordering, instructions, use and payments. Testimonial – To offer proof of your claims. Discount/Sale – To emphasize bargains, rebates and one-time discounts. You/Your – Personalize the voice of your ad to effectively transfer ownership/increase sales. Important – People do not want to miss important information that can affect their lives. Be Likeable People buy from people they like. As we say here, “If you want a friend, be friendly.” When you talk to people in person or on the phone, make sure you are approachable and friendly toward all at all times. Avoid condescending and never talk badly about your clients to prospective clients. When you gain a - 34 -
  35. 35. rapport with a person, tell a joke here or there or offer a compliment. Everyone likes to receive compliments now and then, especially when the day is going rough. Free Consultation A free consultation is an excellent offer to your site visitors, especially for professionals and those that handle technical or specialized products or services. Some consultations can run as much as $300 for a half an hour session with the expert, so when you offer a “free consultation” you will add a sense of value to your client’s experience with you. Targeted Advertising Especially for a niche market, target advertising is a much better use of your ad dollars. You want to speak directly to your market, so there is little sense it soliciting clients from a base of people who are totally uninterested in what you offer. Advantages To Strategic Alliances Your sales staff will increase. Your marketing and advertising budget will increase. Your business will gain a larger number of skilled people to work on your projects. You gain the knowledge of the other businesses employees. You will become very competitive in the marketplace by appealing to a larger audience. The total number of existing clients in your client base will increase dramatically. You will want to exchange endorsements with your alliance partners. Your business will expand more rapidly. You will develop new products and services faster and more effectively with a larger work force. You will have a larger number of strategic thinkers on staff with you which increases profitable business ideas and brings them to market sooner than when you go alone. About Us Be sure to include an About Us page on your site to help your visitors get to know you as a company and as a group of professionals. Visitors want to do business with people they feel like they know. You will want to include a few blurbs on this page about your company history, its public profile or points of significant recognition in the field, professional profiles of your employees, contact information and emergency contacts. - 35 -
  36. 36. Website Via eBook Many people commute to work and back on public transportation within urban areas and spend a fair amount of that time reading while in transit. At the same time, people find they do not always have time to sit at the computer to browse through a site of interest. If you copy your site content into an eBook format and include the link on the front page as a download, this allows visitors to take your site with them, download it, print it, and carry it with them for viewing at a time convenient to them. It’s like looking at your favourite catalogue while on the subway. Site Evaluations Online marketing gurus offer free site evaluations that will give you valuable information about the effectiveness of your site. Be sure to sign up for their evaluations and apply needed changes to your site to increase your traffic and effectiveness. Payment Options Traditional credit card and brick-and-mortar payment practices can be utilized in your online store if you handle it well. For instance, you can give a “30-day Free Trial” where the client receives the product, but is not billed for 30 days. You can also offer “3 Easy Monthly Payments” for larger ticket items that clients often need spread out over time. Or offer “12 Monthly Installments” for high end items. Offering clients payment options also removes cost objections by making it easier for your clients to budget their purchase. Rewards/Discounts Discounts are encouraging to clients, but don’t offer them too hastily or too deep. A 10% discount is always a happy percentage for both you and the client and does not usually cut too far into your profit margin. Never offer extremely deep discounts on products unless your wholesale price was deeply discounted on a batch or shipment; such practices are self-defeating. On the other hand, you can offer deep discounts on services since the primary cost for services is pure talent; but again, be careful here or you will work long hours for pennies. Perceived Value The lowest price for your product or service is not always the best price. There is an old adage that says, “You get what you pay for.” People perceive your value/your product’s value in proportion to your pricing. Raising the price can increase the perceived value by the client and lower prices may actually decrease your sales. - 36 -
  37. 37. Features and Benefits Features are equally as important as benefits, but are often forgotten in the ad copy. Your client wants to know the features of your products or services at least as much as they want to know the benefits. Remember to list features as well as the benefits. Manners & A Lack Of Them The old adage, “The customer is always right” was never taught so that employees would think the customer was never wrong. It was taught to set the right tone and mindset so employees would handle clients with care, consideration and manners. A lack of manners from your employees will run off your clients and in today’s changing and ever expanding/competing world, the client can easily go to another provider with polite and thoughtful staff. Service With A Smile Hand in hand with manners is the idea of service. Today, many of our traditional services have been replaced by machines. But to make your business stand out, find a way to embed customer service into your profit plan. That is really not a “too-tall order” and it should be transparent to the customer; they should not feel they are being “nickeled and dimed” because they want service. Society is training us to all do our own work everywhere we go – all day long, even when we shop. The gas station expects you to pump your own gas. The bank expects you to do your own paperwork via the ATM. The grocer now expects you to check out, bag and carry your own groceries. And the restaurant expects you to serve yourself, clean your own table and properly discard your eating utensils. Many people are overworked or work several jobs and simply need more service. Others simply refuse to pay a company a profit so they can have the privilege of doing their work for them. After all, if we are to check out, bag and carry our own groceries, then the discount on the items purchased should be huge! My personal motto is: I work for my money and I will not work to spend it; you, too, must earn your money. Where ever there is a lazy salesperson or service person I refuse to do business with that company. Bringing service back to business will, indeed, give your company a competitive edge and make you stand out in your field. Ideas Journal An ideas journal is always a good thing to carry with you. You will want to keep track of “the good, the bad, and the ugly” ideas that roll through your head. What may seem ugly or dumb today may turn into - 37 -
  38. 38. a jewel tomorrow with a slight adjustment or new person on board. Never toss out your ideas completely. I keep a simple $2 composition notebook with me at all times, and I start a new one every year or two [whenever I fill it]. At least once a season, I sit and go reading through my notebooks in my file cabinet to see if anything pops out as something that can be used today in my business. You really do have gems in your ideas journal. "Bookmark This Web Site Now" Tell your visitors to bookmark your site. Some do not think to do so unless you tell them to mark it. They will see your site listed in their bookmarks and return to your site. If you are the resource they need, then you have given them a good reason to bookmark your site in their system. Ways To Up-Sell Deluxe Up-sell - You can take your basic product and up-sell to a “deluxe edition” for a few more dollars. Money Up-sell - You can offer others the right to sell the product they are buying from your business. This is especially true for eBooks and other electronic products. You can easily charge an extra $30 dollars for the reproduction/distribution rights. Discount Up-sell - If you sell a product people will likely order again in the future such as shaving gel, you can offer a second can of gel at a discount. Time Up-sell - If you sell a product or service people subscribe to, such as a magazine, you can discount the subscription if they order the longer subscription. Quantity Up-sell - This is similar to the discount up sell except you increase the discount according to how many products they order. If they order 3 it's a 10% discount, if they order 5 it's a 15% discount, etc. Package Up-sell - When you sell a product you can offer similar products in a package deal. The products are cheaper with the package deal than purchasing them separately. Affiliate Up-sell - When you sell a product you can also offer someone else's product as part of an up-sell. You will have to make a commission on the product in order to profit, which is called affiliate selling. Extra Up-sell - There are many things you can charge extra for at the time of sale. It may include gift wrapping, imprinting, engraving, custom designs, express shipping, etc. Extended Up-sell - If your product comes with a warranty, you can ask your clients if they want an extended warranty for one more year for only $30. §§§ - 38 -
  39. 39. About the Author Justice Mandhla is the CEO of ; ; and Mr. Mandhla is a dedicated online business educator and the author of several books. He specializes in helping new and small businesses grow to their full potential. He resides with his family in Johannesburg, South Africa. §§§ - 39 -