thebestkeptsecrets.com: internet business: strategy
THE HOME BUSINESS/CAREER RELATIONSHIPS INTERNET RETURN TO MAIN INDEX
"13 Breakthroughs For Immediate Profits..."
By Terry Dean
Too often businesses and individuals only think of profits in a linear fashion. They think of adding 10% more customers this month or this year. They think of growing in small little steps.
You must break out of this mold. The Internet has leveled the playing field. Businesses you have never heard of before have become household names in only a few short years. Think about it. Have you ever heard of Amazon, eBay, Yahoo, or Napster a few years ago? Now, they are front page news on every newspaper every single day.
Fortunes are being made and lost in a single year online. As a matter of fact, there have been more millionaires created in the past 2 years than in the last 200 combined. This new market is still wide open and it is up for grabs to those with the ambition, guts, and speed to take control of it.
The Internet is wide open to you and your business. While the major corporations throw millions of dollars at billboards and TV ads trying to gain the eyeballs of the average population, you can quickly and easily corner a very specialized niche market of your own.
Here are a few ways you can produce immediate breakthroughs at your web sites. Below are thirteen strategies that can and will produce an immediate increase in profits in your web business.
If you are just getting started in your own business, then take the following as an introduction to a profitable web business. Take notes and give yourself ideas you will be able to add into your web site later on in the growth process.
1. Design a High Quality Web Site
The biggest mistake that I see 95% of small business webmasters making is in the area of designing their web site. There are two primary mistakes that I see made over and over again.
The first mistake is to focus so much on the web site design and graphics that they overwhelm the actual product itself. A gorgeous web site is created using Flash, Real Audio, Real Video, etc. but it is never tested to be effective or not. In my own tests, I have found that a simple professional looking site produces the best results...without all the bells and whistles.
The second major mistake that webmasters make is to use the wrong tools to design their site in the first place...and they end up with a very unprofessional looking site. The real idea of the web site design process is to produce something that looks professional, but that doesnt draw away from the text. The key to your web site is have all images and graphics focus your visitors back to your advertising message.
2. Automate Your Email Follow-Up
The key to selling online or selling anywhere for that matter is to follow up with your prospects at least 7 times. You cannot rely on just one visit to your web site to cut the mustard. The biggest profit producing strategy I ever came up with was to start working on getting people to subscribe or opt-in to an email follow-up list by giving them a free training series on my subject.
The easiest tool to use for email follow-up is from Postmaster Online which you can go to from http://www.postmasteronline.com/home/10683/
They give you 50 autoresponders which automatically follow-up, a complete database system to track all of your prospects and customers, a contact system, and more. It is the best tool I have found to help you increase your Internet response rates immediately.
3. Start an Opt-In Email List
Even with all of my advertising, web site traffic, and promotions, over 50% of my income still comes in through my opt-in email list which I send out almost every week. Starting your own opt-in list is the key to long-term Internet profits. Just like in direct mail, the profit is in the list. Build your list.
The best strategy to handle your email list is to use the Postmaster Online system from above. It can give you a personalized ezine (if you are collecting names with your email addresses) and can handle all of the removes, unsubscribes, and undeliverables for you.
If you can't afford the Postmaster system (even though it is a low monthly cost), then you could get started with the free service from Listbot at http://www.lisbot.com
4. Place a Sponsor or Solo Ad in Ezines
People are always asking me the quickest way to build traffic to their sites. Search Engines usually take a while, banner ads are expensive, and offline advertising takes months. The quickest, lowest cost, and most effective form of online advertising is placing sponsorships and solo ads in ezines and online newsletters.
Nothing else will even come close to the results which you can produce through this method. You can purchase sponsorships and solo ads for $100 to $1000 and often produce results of three to ten times the ad costs if you have an effective ad for the appropriate audience. There isnt anywhere else in the world that you can get this kind of bang for your buck when it comes to spending money on your marketing.
5. Use a Pay-Per-Click Search Engine
Regular search engines take months to get positions in and start bringing the traffic (although you can pay Yahoos special fee of $199 to get in there quicker). The way to get traffic immediately from the search engines is to start dealing with the pay-per-click search engines such as Goto.com.
Goto.com allows you to set up an account and then you only pay a set fee (almost in an auction model) for each visitor to your site. If you bid one penny per visitor, then you only have to pay a single penny for every visitor to your site. If you bid ten cents, you pay ten cents. If you have tested and can bid a dollar per visitor, then that is what you will pay. How much you pay for traffic is up to you.
There are now several hundred search engines following this model. Most of them dont produce nearly as much traffic as Goto.com, but some of them can be used once you have proven the effectiveness of your keywords at Goto.com first.
You can find thirty of them at: http://www.payperclicksearchengines.com/
6. Participate in Online Schmoozing
Beginning marketers online are always looking for the best free advertising methods, but as the years go by, more and more of these methods are disappearing. The quickest free advertising method available to start participating in online newsgroups, mailing lists, and forums.
You dont directly advertise in any of these groups. You participate in the discussions and allow your small signature file to appear at the bottom of the messages you post. If you post good comments and participate in the discussions, then you will quickly build a good reputation and will generate traffic and sales at your web site.
Mailing Lists: http://www.liszt.com
7. Make a Special Offer
If you have built up an opt-in email list (as in number two above), then you can run a special members only sale or special offer. Only current members will get these discount prices or an added bonus that you can create or purchase wholesale.
You could also do a customers only sale. Send out an email to everyone who has purchased something from you in the past offering them a new special product at a discount price or other bonuses added to current products you sell. Nothing will produce
income faster for a business than to contact their previous customers with a special offer.
8. Create a Point-Of-Sale Upsell
This technique can usually increase your web site profits by 10% to 20% immediately the moment you put it in place. It is also very simple to put in place. Once someone orders a product from you, have the thank you page on your web site which comes up show several other products or services that you have available for immediate purchase at a special discounted price.
You will find that often 10% to 25% of your customers will immediately take this opportunity to purchase the other product at the special price (maybe 10% off or something similar).
Stores use this idea all the time. Look at all the small items like magazines, candy, etc. that they pack at the checkout counters. How often do you pick up something else you didnt need just because it was there and you were already in a buying mood?
9. Set Up an Affiliate Program
The king of affiliate programs is Amazon with their group of over 300,000 affiliates. While you dont want or need this large of a number to be successful, think about what it would be like to have 1,000 to 5,000 people eagerly selling your products and services for you with a small share of the profits.
If you don't want to have to deal with any CGI script of any software to run the affiliate program, then you can have it outsourced. Companies such as Clickbank not only take orders for electronic products, but they will also run your affiliate program for you. Many of the other online processing services are now following their example.
You should be able to sign up 300 to 500 new affiliates for a good paying program in less than a month by using the Affiliate Announce program at
10. Spread a Virus
If you havent heard of viral marketing yet, then you must have been hiding in a cave somewhere. For many, it is considered the ultimate online marketing technique. How else would a company such as Hotmail.com grow to over 40 million users while spending next to nothing in ad costs? ICQ quickly spread itself around the Internet without having an ad budget.
Viral marketing basically entails created something for free that others will pass around for you. It could be as simple as a free report or a free ebook, or as complicated as creating a unique software program to be passed around.
11. Send an Online Press Release
The quickest way to generate ten thousand hits or more immediately to your web site at very little cost is to send out an online press release. All it takes is one mention in a newspaper, magazine, radio program, or TV show to drive more traffic to your site in the next 24 hours than you will through all of your other promotions for the next month.
Successful entrepreneurs make it a habit to regularly send out press releases about any new benefits that they offer to their customers. This used to be cost prohibitive through the cost of postal mail and long distance faxing. Now, you can send out the press releases by email or pay only $200 or so to have them sent out for you. Two hundred dollars could never buy you a write-up in a magazine, but a press release could potentially give you dozens.
Personally, I have found Paul Hartunian's system to be the easiest system in the world to follow to get more publicity than you can handle. It is a little pricey, but it is worth every penny: http://www.instantpublicity.com
12. Send Out Articles to Ezines
Here is another zero cost strategy for selling your products or services. Write up a good article with valuable information in it (you could even use our simple article writing strategy) and submit it to the ezines in your niche market. If your article is well done, you will find that much of the time it will be the featured article in many of them.
This is better than having a featured ad in an ezine (and you know how I feel about those)!
13. Start an eBay Auction
This idea wont work for every business, but it could be a significant source of income and traffic for your web site. Over 40,000 powersellers currently sell $2,000 or more per month on eBay (all the way up to $500,000 a month for a few of them). All you have to do is go over to eBay and find out what products are HOT sellers...If yours is one of the hot topics, then you could have a built in money and traffic generator for your site at almost no cost whatsoever...
Terry Dean, a 5 year veteran of Internet marketing, will Take You By The Hand and Show You Exact Results of All the Internet Marketing Techniques he tests and Uses Every Single Month" Click here to Find Out More:
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