Tip #13 — Sign Up With A Good Autoresponder Company
Having a good autoresponder company is absolutely essential to online business success. An autoresponder allows you to store your e-mail leads, gives you your opt-in form code, sends your autoresponder messages, and tracks how many of your readers opened and read the emails. It is an essential business tool, and, yes, all of the gurus use autoresponders.
Just like your hosting company needs to be reliable, so does your autoresponder company. The good news is that it isn’t expensive to get an account.
I use and recommend Aweber.
I do NOT recommend hosting your own autoresponder on your server. The SPAM laws make it very easy for your IP to get blacklisted as a spammer – which means that your leads and customers will not receive your emails. Professional services like Aweber, on the other hand, work tirelessly around the clock to stay on top of all industry updates and ensure a high level of email deliverability.
Tip #14 — Always Get Permission
This tip goes along with the one above dealing with spam. As an e-mail marketer you need to make sure that you have permission to send people e-mails. This means that they must opt-in to your list rather than you e-mailing them out of the blue.
You have two options for creating an autoresponder list:
- Single Opt-in: Your reader signs up on your website and is automatically added to your list.
- Double Opt-in: Your reader signs up on your website and is sent a confirmation email that contains a link that must be clicked before adding him/her to your mailing list.
Many marketers choose a double opt-in. Why?
The second step reminds people that they have, in fact, signed up to receive messages from you. This can cut down on many of the complaints that might otherwise occur. It also prevents spammers from submitting fake emails to your autoresponder and clogging up your account.
Tip #15 Make List Building A Priority
Building your list should not be an afterthought. If it is, it’s never going to be as large or responsive as you want it to be. Building your list needs to be at at the top of your mind as you build or expand your business. Making it a priority means studying the tips defined in this document, as well as tweaking and testing your own findings.
Magical Marketing, LLC
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Today, I’d like to share with you a business idea that is oftentimes overlooked by online marketers. We all know about writing and selling ebooks. Perhaps you don’t know HOW to do it, but we know that it’s a great business model.
But, ebooks can be a pain to write. I mean, really, who has time to write 50 to 100 pages before making a cent? I’d like to share with you a business model that’s not only profitable but a lot less work.
As many of you know, I’m a big fan of Jimmy D. Brown. He is able to consistently take big ideas and break them down into manageable steps so that almost anyone can make them work.
I’d like to share with you an excerpt from Jimmy’s actual paid course that he teaches on how to profit from producing small reports.
After you read this excerpt, be sure to grab the FREE report “5 STEPS TO A BIG-PROFIT, S.M.A.L.L.TM REPORT BUSINESS: How To Turn 7-15 Page Small Reports Into A Six-Figure Information Empire” by going here:
http://www.magicalmarketingllc.com/5steps_big_profit.pdf. But, first — I’ll share the first few pages of the actual paid course.
How To Make A Small Fortune Online With Small Reports
Hello, this is Jimmy D. Brown. Welcome to Small Reports FortuneTM where I’m going to teach you “How To Make A Small Fortune Online With Small Reports”.
We’ll talk at length about how to do this, but I want to kind of encapsulate everything into one opening statement as we begin our presentation -
The ultimate information business is finding a target audience and then convincing them to make repeated purchases from you.
An age-old marketing law is this: “it’s much easier to sell MORE to existing customers than it is to find new customers to sell to”. Your information business stands to gain serious momentum when you offer multiple, related offers to your customer base.
Instead of selling a customer a $20 ebook and then looking for the next customer, you’ll want to setup a system to offer her a $20 ebook, then a $40 product, then a $497 product and finally a $1997 offer. (These are just “generalities”, of course)
And it’s all going to build upon this foundation of creating short, 7-15 page reports.
The important thing is to get your existing customers to spend MORE money with you. Learn this: the more money each customer spends with you, the less customers you’ll need to reach $100K per year.
The idea is simple: get your target audience (subscribers + customers) to repeatedly spend money with you.
Once you have worked to secure a customer or subscriber, why not allow them to spend as much money with you as they are willing?
I’m not suggesting that you exploit your relationship with others and coerce them into purchasing sub-par products or things they don’t really have a need to buy. I’m talking about making products and services available that provide genuine usefulness to those who are in a position to buy.
There’s a big, big difference between these two statements:
“This product is going to change your business forever … it’s the best product I’ve seen in months … if you don’t buy this today, then you’re absolutely nuts … it’s what I consider to be a ‘must-have’ for anyone who’s serious!”
“If you’re ready to XYZ, then I’ve found this product to be very beneficial in my own business. I use it myself and here are the results that I’ve achieved. I highly recommend it and will even give you a free copy of XYZ if you are one of the first 50 who buy it.”
Both are attempting to get the sale. But one is full of hype and the other is reasonable.
Back to my point. You need to get your target audience to buy from you. And buy again. And again. And again.
Despite popular belief, you can do this without being a money-hungry, conscious-less, in-your-face, psychological mind-games coercer. (That’s a mouthful, huh?!)
So, that’s the backdrop of the Small Reports FortuneTM course. I’m going to teach you how to -
CHOOSE a market, CREATE small reports to sell to them and CASH-IN on your own money-making information business.
What I want to teach you to do in this series is to create small, 7-15 page reports that you sell to your list members in the $10-$20 range…and how to spiral them into premium-priced offers down the road.
You can make a “small fortune” with “small reports” – and I’m going to show you how to do it.
Here’s what it looks like 12 months from now:
You have 12 reports available for $10 each. (One per month) Customers buy the first one and, in time, buy most of the others. (Multiple customer purchases)
You put together package deals of 12 reports for $97. (Larger chunks of cash per transaction)
You launch an affiliate program for the $97 package and sell large quantities of the bundle. (Affiliates love ~$50 commission per order!)
You use your reports to launch “high ticket” offers that sell for $1,000 or more. (Skyrocket your profit!)
You make a “small fortune” with “small reports” (Yes, YOU!)
And it all begins right here.
SMALL Reports FortuneTM is one of the courses that I’ve taken and I highly recommend it.
On a scale of one to five — it’s an 11.
The great thing is that you can get more of a peek into this course by grabbing the FREE report “STEPS TO A BIG-PROFIT, S.M.A.L.L.TM REPORT BUSINESS: How To Turn 7-15 Page Small Reports Into A Six-Figure Information Empire” by clicking below or by going to our Free Reports section and downloading it there.
There’s no excuse not to. The information that Jimmy D. Brown gives away for free is, without a doubt, better than most courses that I’ve paid for. Seriously.
Again, check it out here: http://www.magicalmarketingllc.com/5steps_big_profit.pdf
Thanks and good luck!
Magical Marketing, LLC
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Many beginning marketers start their online career with affiliate marketing. This is a great way to begin establishing a base line income. Many marketers, however, do not know what to do to generate income once they have signed up as an affiliate to promote a particular product. In order to earn more commissions each month, then there are four things you need to do:
- Strategy #1 – Generate more traffic. The first thing you can do in order to increase the size of your commission checks is to actually get MORE people to click on your affiliate link and arrive at your affiliate site. Certainly this is doable. You simply do more marketing. You spend more money on advertising, write more ezine articles, publish more newsletters, create more viral eBooks, etc. You do whatever it takes to get more visitors to your affiliate page.
- Strategy #2 – Increase conversion rates. While this one has a great deal to do with the affiliate program itself – i.e., How good their sales letter is, their follow-up system, freebies, etc, there are some things that YOU can do to increase the number of visitors who actually buy. Chief among them is to offer an incentive to those who buy through your affiliate link.
- Strategy #3 – Earn more profit per sale. This one is typically out of your control. What it would involve is either (a) Raising the price of the product or service you are promoting, or (b) Raising your commission per sale. Both of these are generally up
to affiliate program managers, or the owner of the products and services you are promoting. If you find that you are producing quite a few sales, or have a lot to bring to the table as an affiliate, you may want to approach the affiliate program owner and ask for a HIGHER commission per sale
- Strategy #4 – Sell more to each customer. The idea is to get the same customer to consume more products or services, thus earning you more commissions. It is MUCH easier to sell MORE to existing customers than it is to find new customers. Learn that now. Existing customers are AVAILABLE and they are WARM as they have already made a purchase. New customers are OUT THERE SOMEWHERE but you have got to find them and they are COLD because you have got to convince them to buy. Which do you think will be easier to do business with? Your current customers, of course!
Obviously, the MORE of these strategies that you apply the greater the size of your commission checks each month. Certainly THREE of the FOUR strategies are under your control. The key is strategy #4, simply because it MAXIMIZES all of the others. It takes WHATEVER amount of visitors you generate and WHATEVER number of those folks who become customers and WHATEVER your profit per sale and it MULTIPLIES it over and over and over again.
The Real Affiliate Secret
One of the best ways to make Strategy # 4 work for you is to focus on promoting affiliate programs that bill monthly and pay commissions monthly. That way, you continue to earn profits from the same customer base. This produces residual income.
Residual income is any income that is derived from existing customers making additional purchases every month. For example: If a customer orders a web hosting package through your affiliate link, they pay a MONTHLY fee for that hosting service, and you earn a MONTHLY commission for your referral as long as the customer’s account remains active.
With REGULAR sales, the customer needs to click in order for you to generate profits. With “RESIDUAL” sales, the customer needs to click in order to cancel their subscription and to STOP you from generating income. Big difference! Not only should you promote membership sites as an affiliate, but you should consider starting your own site as well.
By implementing the four strategies discussed above and by creating residual income through the promotion of membership sites, your affiliate income will continue to grow.
Magical Marketing, LLC
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- An Honest Review Of WorldVentures First and foremost, I would like to say that I am not affiliated with WorldVentures at all. I have knowledge of the WorldVentures business opportunity and I also know a few people involved with WorldVentures. I am just distributing my information from WorldVentures with everybody. You can feel good in......
It’s important to set up your list right from the start.
Since you want the best possible relationship with your list members, let’s focus on planning ahead and using the right tools so that your efforts will be rewarded.
Tip #11 — Choose A Good Domain Name
Choosing a domain name might seem way too basic for a guide on list building. However, if you don’t have a trustworthy domain name it can affect your list building abilities in a negative way.
Your domain is important because you’re going to place your list’s opt-in form in several different places. Having a good domain will ensure that people visit your site in the first place, and see your opt-in form.
Some tips. Choose a domain that…
1. Ends with .com or .org (not .biz or .info)
2. Has no numbers, if possible.
3. Is easy to spell.
4. Is short.
5. Is not hyphenated.
You can purchase domain names at www.GoDaddy.com
Tip #12 — Get Reliable Hosting
Another important piece of the puzzle is having reliable hosting. If you are using a free service provider or one that is not reliable, your website will look unprofessional (if it’s even up and working).
In fact, the free service providers often have their own advertisements in place on YOUR website (which are distracting), or just do not look professional.
If your host is too cheap and not reliable, your website might not even be there for people when they want to sign up. Having reliable hosting is a very important first step if you want to build a massive list.
If you need reliable web hosting, you might check out www.HostGator.com or www.ReliableWebs.com At ReliableWebs.com they’ll install your blog for you, so you can get started right away.
Magical Marketing, LLC
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There are some common errors that people who are new to list building tend to make. In fact, some of these are mistakes that experienced marketers make time and time again. Correcting these mistakes can mean the difference between having a solid, unbreakable relationship with your list and having a list full of people who simply delete your e-mails and unsubscribe.
Pay close attention to these do’s and don’ts to ensure your list is a success.
Tip #6 — Don’t Buy Leads
If you’re just getting started online, buying leads can be very tempting. Don’t get lured, though, into the seemingly easy strategy of buying leads. While this can work to a certain point, it is not going to give you the responsive list that you want.
When you buy leads, the people who you get on your list have likely never heard of you and most of them probably don’t want to hear from you.
On the other hand, when you build your own list from scratch, you’re talking to people who are warmed up to you already and who are a lot more likely to buy.
Buying leads, for the most part, is a waste of money.
Tip #7 — Don’t Spam People!
It can seem awfully enticing that all you need to to make money is send an e-mail. This leads certain people to the dark side. Of course I’m talking about spamming. Even if their intentions started off good, spamming is highly tempting, and the laws can be confusing.
Spam is when you send unsolicited e-mails to people, and is actually against the law to do. The spam law states that you must make sure that you make it easy for people to unsubscribe from your list (a link at the bottom of the message is best) and that they have subscribed in the first place. You are also required by law to include your postal address with all messages that you send.
You can read the law here:
Building a relationship may take longer than spamming, but the profits will be far greater in the long run.
Tip #8 — Don’t Put Off Building a List
Many people think that they can put off building a list until they are more “established” or until [enter your excuse reason here]. This is a mistake. Even if your traffic is low and you’re brand new to online business, you need to build those relationships from the very start.
If you ask established Internet entrepreneurs what their biggest regret is, many of them will tell you their regret is that they did not build a list sooner. It doesn’t matter what your online business is – selling ebooks, offering a service, affiliate marketing, creating adsense sites, ecommerce, blogging, or direct selling – you need to build a list.
Tip #9 — Build a Relationship First, Think Of Money Later
We’ll dig into this tip in a lot more detail later on, but it’s important to understand it right now as well. You need to focus on the relationship building part of your list first, and think about the monetary aspect later.
Sure, you want to make money, but if all you do is hit up your list for money, you’re going to get a lot of unsubscribes and make some people angry. The chances are good that they signed up for your list in order to get something out of it. Whether it was an e-course, a free e-book, information, coupons, notices, an audio, or something else, they expect to receive a lot of value for being a part of your e-mail list.
If you’d like some free brandable items that you can give away, check out www.BrandableStuff.com/tools – you can enter your affiliate link into these items and make money from the sales that result.
If you provide this relationship first, the money will come.
Magical Marketing, LLC
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There must be some reason why some internet marketers seem to be highly successful while others struggle to make their first sale. Said another way, what is the secret that these top producers know and how can I learn it? Actually, the answer may be simpler than you think. In my opinion, there are three top reasons why most marketers fail. Learn to avoid these traps and you will be on your way to becoming one of those ‘top’ producers you read about. I call it ‘ESP’.
E – ELIMINATE distractions and become organized.
Having a successful internet business is a job and takes work. If you’re dreaming of having the money rolling in without having to do much of anything, it’s just simply not going to happen. However, if you are smart about how you structure your business, once you’ve done something, then you won’t have to do it again. The use of autoresponders is a great example.
Most of us try and do too much when we’re first getting started. We’re on the email ‘list’ of every marketer, download every free report, check out every new ‘Make $10,000 this month offer’, and look at so many options we never seem to get anything done. We spend so much time clicking on every email, answering every twitter, going to facebook, etc. throughout the day that we end up wondering where the day went and why nothing got done. Decide what are the important things you need to do, develop a schedule, and then do them!
S – SIMPLIFY your life and focus on what’s important.
When you get right down to it, there are only three things you need to do in order to be successful with your internet marketing and have it become a career for you. Once you recognize that this is the key, eliminate all the extraneous things you are doing and spend your time concentrating on these three:
1.Develop an offer. You have to have something you are selling or promoting. It can be your own product or a product you are promoting as an affiliate. Many affiliates develop a great income without ever having their own product to promote. Other marketers develop their own product and sell it through a membership site, clickbank, or through other affiliates. Decide on your product and then move to step 2
2. Develop a list to promote to. You’ve probably heard that ‘the money is in the list’. This is most definitely true. If you don’t have a list of people to send your offers to, then you don’t have anyone to buy your product. So many people work hard to develop a website and get it online, and then they can’t understand why the sales aren’t pouring in. The answer is simple – they have no list to promote to. If you are going to be successful in internet marketing, you must develop a list – no ifs, ands, or buts.
3. Promote to your list. Once you have a list, you have to continually promote your product or offer to your list. At some point, you will want to become an affiliate for others and seek out affiliates to help promote your product. Every wonder why every time a ‘guru’ gets ready to launch a new product, you get tons of emails from different marketers promoting that very product. They’re all in it together and are working together to help each other make money. In your marketing efforts, you want to be able to get to that point with your product promotion.
P – PARALYSIS by Analysis. Perhaps the biggest mistake most marketers succumb to is paralysis by analysis. They spend so much time analyzing every detail of what they’re doing and trying so hard to get everything ‘just right’ that they end up never getting anything accomplished. Whether it’s a website, a blog, a marketing newsletter, a membership site, or any type of informational product, the key is to not wait until every detail is absolutely perfect. Do what you need to do in order to get started, get it online and making money, and refine it as you go.
Learn the pitfalls of ESP and how to avoid them and you will be on your way to success as an internet marketer. There are resources on this site that can help you achieve your goals. Make a plan for what you what to do and accomplish, identify the resources to help you achieve your goals, and then just go do it!
Magical Marketing, LLC
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Welcome back! In today’s post, I’ll be covering List Building Tips 3 – 5. You may want to copy and paste all of the tips into a Word document so that you have easy access to them once we’re done. The key is to read the tips, make a plan as to how you can implement them, and then just go do it!
Tip #3 — Make A One-Time Customer Into A Lifetime Customer
The difference between the customers who buy from you one time and those who buy from you multiple times is oftentimes the amount of communication they receive after their initial transaction.
Even if your customer had a great experience with you, you are likely to fall to the back of their mind if they don’t hear from you for a while. If they receive follow-up emails from you, it’s an entirely different matter. You’ll be on their mind and you will likely create a lifetime customer after you consistently deliver.
I highly recommend that you implement a system of ongoing follow-up notices to your customers. If you don’t, you’ll be out of sight and out of mind. There are many other businesses out there that are vying for your customer’s attention and they’ll get the customer that you once had.
Tip #4 — Know That It’s Easier To Sell To A Previous Customer
This tip goes hand-in-hand with the previous tip. People are more likely to buy from someone they have bought from in the past, especially if it was a good experience. If you spend all your time chasing new customers, your profits are going to be far less than if you focus on keeping old customers happy and selling to them over and over again.
If you don’t have additional products to sell to your customers – send affiliate promotions for complementary products.
Tip #5 — Use List Building To Grow Your Income
There are so many different ways that having a list can add to your bottom line. We’ve already discussed that previous customers are more likely to buy from you, but that’s not where it stops. When you have a list, you can get people to look at your special offers and new products whenever you’d like. All it takes is a simple e-mail and you can literally pull in cash on demand.
Magical Marketing, LLC
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Before We Get Started…Quick, without thinking about it,
what’s your number one list building strategy?
Nothing … say that out loud with me. If “nothings” your answer, then it’s time to look at it from another perspective. “Nothing” … will grow your traffic or your list faster than an effective affiliate program. Nothing.
You are only one person who can only do so much on your own. You only have 24 hours each day to get things done.
But, what if you could tap into the profit pulling power of hundreds, even thousands of other people? What if there was an entire sales army marching across the web, all promoting your product for you and helping you to build your lists of leads and customers?
You’d like that, wouldn’t you?
Ask ANY successful internet marketer on the planet what their #1 source of traffic is and, if they are honest, I’ll assure you that they’ll tell you it’s their affiliate program.
Seriously, find your favorite “guru” and ask them. Ask them if there is ANYTHING that comes close to their affiliate team.
Ask Jimmy D. Brown. Ask John Reese. Ask Mike Filsaime. Ask Frank Kern. Ask Ken Evoy. Ask Marlon Sanders. Ask Russell Brunson. Ask Derek Gehl. Ask Yanik Silver.
Ask ANYONE – don’t take my word for it.
None of these guys would be where they are today without their affiliate program. None of them.
Now, you can find out the secret to their success and duplicate it.
Whenever you speak with another Internet Marketer you’re probably likely to hear the following questions come up at some point:
Do you have a list?
How big is your list?
If your answer to these questions was “no” and “zero,” then the information in this blog post is definitely a place to start. On the other hand, if you do have an established list, there’s always room for improvement. I recommend that you make it a priority to continue to learn strategies for increasing your list size and also increasing the amount of income generated from it.
Having a list can literally be your ticket to earning the kind of income you dream of earning. Many marketers focus on getting to the top of the search engines to build their businesses, but having a list can literally “Google-proof” your income. If, heaven-forbid, you get dropped from the search engines tomorrow, there’s no need to close up shop – if you have a list.
It doesn’t matter whether your business is online or off; having your own list of customers or prospective customers means that you can get them to visit your website, blog, or store on command. This ability to summon traffic on command can keep your income steady through good times with Google and the not-so-good times.
Over the next few weeks, I’ll be providing you with 101 List-Building tips. The tips are grouped by section. They are organized so that you can easily move through the different sections and apply the tips for list building, promotion, autoresponder copy, and making sales. I recommend that you read through all the tips, noting the tips that resonate with you. Then, go back through those tips and implement them into your business.
The important thing is that you don’t just read these tips — you have to put them into action. Whether you’re just starting with list-building or are an old pro, work through this document, applying the tips one tip per day or one section per day, and you’ll soon understand why the fortune is in the list.
Why Build A List?
Before you start building your list, it’s important to understand why you need one. Sure, you hear everyone saying that building a list is the “thing” to do, but if you don’t understand the reasons, you won’t be as motivated to do so.
Tip #1 — Build Your Own Business
While there is a lot to be said for getting to the top of the search engines and advertising to promote your business, there’s nothing like having your own list. A list is something that you control at all times. You control its size, your relationship with members, and even how much money you make.
By having a list, you are building your business on solid ground.
That’s not to say that search engine traffic isn’t wonderful and you should quit advertising. However, developing a list of leads or customers can be worth much more to you in the long run when combined with both of those methods of traffic.
Tip #2 — Understand That People Are More Likely To Buy From Those They Trust
You’ve probably noticed that it can be difficult to get new customers to buy from you. Some people simply will not buy from those they’ve never heard of and don’t have a relationship with. You will usually have to “presell” to them before they will make a purchase. This is especially true since identity theft and fraud have become more prevalent.
The good news is that people will join your list because they view it as a lower risk than making a purchase. All they need to do is hand over their e-mail address and they are “in.” This gives you the opportunity to gain their trust and build a relationship that can lead to repeat sales down the road.
That’s it for today! Stay tuned for more List Building Tips!
Magical Marketing, LLC
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Twitter Rockstar is an authoritative guide to learning how to use Twitter to dominate a niche or brand. Inside, you’ll find everything you need to get started from scratch and develop a targeted list of followers that you can market your brand or niche products to. There is no limit to what you can use Twitter for, especially once you start using the tactics you are shown.
Here’s what is included in the full Twitter Rockstar course:
• Module 1: Twitter Rockstar PDF (30 pages) and Video (15 minutes): The first portion of the course will take you step by step through the process of setting up and using your Twitter account. You’ll learn how to find people to follow and get them to follow you back. You’ll learn advanced targeting tactics to get you a giant list of followers in no time at all. The author talks about Twitter philosophy and then shows you how to implement it. Lastly, you’ll learn how you can avoid Twitter catastrophe and backup/funnel your Twitter followers. You’ll also get an additional video that teaches you how to get past the 2,000 follow limit. As an added bonus, two additional videos are provided that walk you through setting up an Instant Tweets plugin for Firefox and how to install, setup, and use Twhirl.
• Module 2: Rockstar Twitter Tools: This portion of the course consists of a 20 page PDF and a 35 minute video that teaches you how to infuse Twitter into your blog so that you can enable your community to do your work for you. You’ll learn step by step how to install plugins that will help you track your readers and get them to become more involved with your community. You’ll be hard pressed to find this information anywhere else.
• Module 3: Twitter widgets video that teaches you how to install Twitter widgets in your blog or website.
• Module 4: A Video introduction to Twitter analytics and Twitter payment systems. This is where the fun really starts!
• Module 5: Most powerful Twitter marketing tactic ever! 99% of marketers don’t know about this! A Twitter video and PDF that teaches you how to find out what works and what doesn’t with your Twitter campaigns. Learn how you can use Twitter analytics to monitor your brand’s performance. This is priceless information!
• Bonus Module: Twitter philosophy MP3, Twitter Processes and Tactics Mindmaps, and 2 bonus videos to help you measure Twitter influence!
• A final bonus – Twitter Rockstar glossary that lists practically every Twitter term known to man. You’ll find a list of nearly every Twitter resource ever made.
I recently purchased Twitter Rockstar and am completely satisfied with my purchase and recommend it to you highly. If you look around this blog, you will see many examples of things I learned through the course.
To find out more about how you can become a Twitter Rockstar, visit http://twurl.nl/06v3an
Magical Marketing, LLC
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Jay Conrad Levinson is the author of the best-selling marketing series in history, “Guerrilla Marketing,” plus 30 other books. His books have sold 14 million copies worldwide. His guerrilla concepts have influenced marketing so much that today his books appear in 41 languages and are required reading in many MBA programs worldwide. Here’s what he has to say about what people want online…
What do People Want Online? It’s not what you think it is.
by Jay Conrad Levinson
Some folks see the web as a vast, new field for advertising messages, assuming that while people may want to do something else, if we can entice them with flash, we can sort of trick them into paying attention to our products and services.
Guess what. That’s not gonna happen.
Other folks seem to subscribe to the notion that people online are looking for entertainment on the Internet, and therefore they construct messages aimed at persuading while playing. And, in other cases, the time-honored direct-response model wins out: Grab people when you can, get ‘em to take an action, and then market, market, market. The answer may be that the consumer has and wants a lot more control than we give him/her credit for.
Today, webmeisters are in control. Sort of. In a perfect cyberworld, people will be in control. Sort of.
Two recent studies shed light upon this dilemma. One was conducted by Zatso. The other was conducted by the Pew Research Center. Zatso and Pew. (Those guys didn’t spend much time reading “how-to-name-your-company” books, I guess.) Still, both of their studies illuminated the answer as to what people want to do online.
The answer, as most answers, is very utilitarian: People want to accomplish something online. They’re not aimless surfers hoping to discover a cybertreasure. Instead, the average Net user turns out to be a goal-oriented person interested in finding information and communicating with others – in doing something he or she set out to do.
Look at the Zatso study. “A View of the 21st Century News Consumer” looked at people’s news reading habits on the web. It revealed that reading and getting news was the most popular online activity after email. The guerrilla thinks, “That means email is number one. How might I capitalize on that?”
One out of three respondents reported that they read news online every day, with their interests expanding geographically — local news was of the most interest, U.S. news the least.
Personalization was seen as a benefit, too. Seventy-five percent of respondents said that they wanted news on demand and nearly two out of three wanted personalized news. The subjects surveyed liked the idea that they, not some media outlet, controlled the news they saw. They feel they’re better equipped to select what they want to see than a professional editor. Again, control seems to be the issue. Again, guerrillas think of ways to market by putting the prospect in control.
The Pew Research Center study revealed that regular net users were more connected with their friends and family than those who didn’t use the Internet on a regular basis.
Almost two-thirds of the 3,500 respondents said they felt that email brought them closer to family and friends — significant when combined with the fact that 91% of them used email on a regular basis. That’s 91%. It took VCRs 25 years to achieve such market penetration.
What did people in this study seem to be doing online when they weren’t doing email? Half were going online regularly to purchase products and services, and nearly 75 percent were going online to search for information about their hobbies or purchases they were planning to make. Sixty-four percent of respondents visited travel sites, and 62 percent visited weather-related sites. Over half did educational research, and 54 percent were hunting for data about health and medicine.
A surprising 47 percent regularly visited government web sites, and 38 percent researched job opportunities. Instant messaging was used by 45 percent of these users, and a third of them played games online. Even with all the hype in the media, only 12 percent said they traded stocks online.
What does this mean to e-marketers? It means that if you’re constructing a site for goal-oriented consumers, you’d better make sure you can help facilitate their seeking. Rather than focus on entertainment, flash, and useless splash screens, the most effective sites are those that help people get the information they want when they need it. Straightforward data, information that invites comparison, and straight talk are going to win the day.
A client buddy of mine showed me his website which heralds his retail location and attempts to sell nothing online. He said it has been the biggest moneymaker in the history of his 35-year old company. Then he apologized for its lack of glitter and special effects. He asked how his site could be so successful even though it lacked anything to add razzmatazz and dipsydazzle.
Now, you know the answer.
Jay Conrad Levinson is probably the most respected marketer in the world. He is the inventor of “Guerrilla Marketing” and is responsible for some of the most outrageous marketing campaigns in history — including the “Marlboro Man” — the most successful ad campaign in history. In his latest book, “Put Your Internet Marketing on Steroids” Jay reveals how you can use marketing steroids legally to make your business insanely profitable.
Magical Marketing, LLC
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