Email Marketing – It’s All About The Content

Internet Marketing SpecialistDid you know you could combine email marketing, list building and podcasting? This process allows you to work your marketing strategy on three separate fronts.

I have always been an advocate of powerful content for your email marketing. The difficulty is attempting to blend quality content with the potential for interactive features. In most cases the more bells and whistles you have in your email the greater the possibility it will be rejected as spam or because the filtering system believes it may have a virus.

It’s at this point that you develop, within the framework of your website, pages dedicated to additional information.

The practical application of a direct website link is driving traffic to your website while seeing which topics receive the most visits. This information can be used to develop popular subject matter for future editions of your email.

You can also develop a podcast with information that can be accessed through your email marketing. This information should be targeted toward existing email recipients, but it also serves a secondary purpose.

You can take an excerpt from the audio file you’ve created and make it available on your website and other applicable third-party sites. This is where list building comes in. Visitors can freely access the excerpted portion of your podcast, but will need to sign up (free) to gain access to the rest of the podcast.

The expense of developing a podcast is minimal and may be a powerful tool in your email marketing campaign. There is a growing power in trusted links within your email campaign. This process allows further exploration by those most interested without weighing your email marketing campaign down with what might be perceived as information overload.

Make sure you stay on target and give your email recipient list a reason to come back. Think about it, there are millions of email marketing campaigns that are being sent. Information consumers are becoming more particular about what they want and will accept. Do not insult your recipient list with something either simply thrown together or something that is off target.

It could become very easy to treat your email campaign a bit like you would a blog, but you need to realize the expectations are different for individuals that use and enjoy both mediums. Stay disciplined in your approach to email marketing, give more than is expected and find ways to use that information to bring more potential customers on board.

Article Marketing – A Powerful Tool

online marketing with articlesArticle marketing has many benefits which may include establishing yourself as an Author, lead generation, more traffic to your web site, improved search engine position and is becoming a necessary tool for doing business on the World Wide Web. Article marketing has become a proven strategy for raising your link popularity. It can also be a cheap way to compete with larger companies in your field.

It’s best to write on topics that are closely related to your business type, while making sure that the article provides good content for the reader, no one wants to read a sales page. Every article that you write will need a resource box section that will contain your sales info including an (anchor text) link or two pointing to your Web site. You could have a terrific product and a wonderful sales strategy, but without the targeted traffic your online business could be going no-where.

You can take advantage of a ton of free article submission sites on the internet, where you can submit your articles for free, some also offer software and services to help in the process. Once approved, the sites will make your articles available for distribution and publication to ezines, webmasters etc… Now there is no more need to beg for reciprocal link exchanges, pay for text links, or spend hours posting free ads to link farms that no one will read anyway. Articles, written yourself, are becoming the fastest and cheapest way to see results from your efforts.

When done properly, article marketing can be a very powerful tool to drive loads of targeted traffic to your web site. Whether your business is brand new or you have been in business for a while, you can gain new customers from marketing your own articles. To be the most effective, article marketing should just be part of a larger, more comprehensive SEO strategy. Remember, the goal of successful marketing is increased business and most importantly profit and this can be achieved with the help of article marketing.

10 Easy Ways To Keep Your Customers Coming Back & Spending Money Forever!

Internet marketingYou want customer loyalty in your business. You want repeat business. How about making your customers into valued friends? Showing concern and empathy for their situation. The more your able to treat your customers as friends, the more business they will want to do with you. You’ll watch your profits soar.

Let’s go through 10 ways you can keep your customers coming back to you, time and time again. And you will no doubt make “friends” in the process.

1. Send Birthday Cards

Do you like to be remembered on your birthday? How about doing something really easy and sending birthday cards to your customers. Could you send a little gift with it? What about a “special offer” coupon? Free tickets to an event.

Dear ,

There’s something REALLY special happening this month on the 17th.

It’s your Birthday!!

We wanted to be one of the first to wish you a HAPPY BIRTHDAY.

From the _______ at XYZ Company we wish you a Happy Birthday and would like to offer you this special gift we’ve been saving for this special occasion.

2. Make “How’s thing’s going” calls regularly

Section out 15 minutes a day to call your customers for no other reason then saying ” Hi ______, I just called to see how things are going?”

Have you ever called your customers to do that? Watch your customers appreciate you thinking of them. It makes them feel that you do care. If you want to have more business, do this regularly.

3. Send out small bags of jelly beans or candies.

Could you include a bag of jelly beans, with a handwritten note on your next sale, with the note saying, ” I thought you may like these, they are my favorites.” Or a note saying “Here’s something for you to enjoy” Watch their eyes light up.

4. Send unexpected gifts.

If you find an article, audiotape, or anything specific customers might be interested in,send it with a note saying ” I thought you’d enjoy this. I just finished reading it and there are some interesting deas here. Also, if you educate your customers they will send you more business.

5. Send Holiday Cards.

What about sending a Holiday Card that is different then all the “others” your customers are getting? Make it UNIQUE.

6. Send Thank You notes.

Send Thank you notes for everything. Even when they pay their bills on time. What about thanking them for referring business, coming to see you. Whatever you want more of, reward. It works. Send a little note saying, “Hi _______, Thank you for paying your account so promptly”

7. Make Thank You calls

Now, you should started making Thank you calls, A variation from the letters. Saying, “Hi ________, Just wanted to say Thank you for referring Mr. Smith to XYZ Co.”

8. Give your customers recognition

Can you put photo’s of your customers in your business. How about a photo and a testimonial. They’ll be flattered and you business will increase. People love recognition.

9.Give your customer awards

Yes, you read that right. Have customers of the month. Send them a award certificate or even plaque.

Dear _______,

Just the other day I was going through my records and I realized that you are one of the top (10,20,50,) customers.

We really appreciate your business. That’s why I want to send you this “Top Customer Certificate” that is enclosed.

XYZ Company looks forward to seeing you soon.

10. Hold seminars, breakfasts, lunches.

If you want to give recognition to your customers and stay in touch, have monthly or quarterly functions for your customers. Have a speaker and an interesting topic.

Dear _______,

I would like to invite you to our “Special Customers” lunch.

It will be held at ______ on ______.

It’s FREE

It’s our way of saying Thank you. etc…

8 Dynamic Internet Marketing Tips

internet marketing tipsHere are 8 dynamic internet marketing tips to help you increase your sales and profits fast.

1. Don’t Just Sell Benefits

Don’t just tell prospects what they gain when they buy your product or service. Tell them what they lose if they do not buy it. Most people fear loss more than they desire gain. Customers want your product or service to enjoy the benefits it provides. They will want it even more when you remind them of what they lose by not buying it.

2. Use Pleasant Surprises to Close Sales

An unpleasant surprise can kill a sale. But a pleasant surprise can help close a sale. For example, adding an unexpected bonus immediately before your prospect takes the last action to complete a sale will eliminate any last minute hesitation.

3. Provide Fast Delivery – Even When You Can’t

The faster you can deliver your product or service the more sales you will get. If you cannot deliver all or part of your product immediately, add something to the purchase that you CAN deliver immediately. It could be as simple as a series of helpful tips related to your product posted on your web site …available only to new customers.

4. Make Buying Easier

Every non-essential action in the buying process is an opportunity for customers to reverse their decision to buy. Look for ways you can make your buying procedure easier and faster. For example, many marketers use a multi-step shopping cart to get online orders when a simple online order form would do the job with just 1 or 2 quick clicks.

5. Improve Your Offers without Lowering Your Price

You don’t have to reduce your price to improve your offer. Instead, simply load it up with bonuses. Make sure your bonuses have a high perceived value to your customers …even if they cost you little or nothing.

6. Keep Your Advertising Up to Date

If you never make any changes in your advertising, your sales will eventually decline. Don’t abandon advertising that’s working – but do keep trying to improve it. And regularly test new advertising to see how it works for you.

7. Outsmart Your Competitors with Alternative Marketing

Look for some alternative marketing methods your competitors are overlooking. That’s how one internet marketer discovered direct mail postcards. They proved to be a highly effective and very low-cost way to generate traffic to her web site …while concealing her marketing activity from competitors.

8. Neutralize Customer Complaints Quickly

Handle customer complaints quickly and with a positive attitude. Strive to preserve your relationship with the customer instead of your immediate profit from them. They will reward you with repeat sales and referrals instead of punishing you by telling everybody they know about their unhappy experience …causing you to lose future customers.

Each of these 8 internet marketing tips reveals a proven low-cost marketing tactic many other small businesses have used to boost their sales and profits. Integrate them into your marketing program now and you’ll quickly start enjoying the same results too.

10 Viral Marketing Strategies To Implement

Internet Marketing SpecialistViral advertising and viral marketing are popular means of allowing people to freely pass along or distribute your free product, service and / or information to others. The main viral concept is that you include your targeted ad with the freebie so that hopefully a percentage of the recipients will read your ad and order paid products and services from you at some point in the future.

To help you kick start some viral campaigns, here are 10 viral marketing strategies:

1. Give other people the right to reprint your articles. They can use them on websites, in ecourses, guides, ezines, print newsletters, magazines, reports, ebooks and more, so in your resource box or byline at the end of the article, include permission for others to reprint the piece, keeping the resource box intact.

2. Set up an online forum or discussion board with your banner ad at the top and share it with others who do not have anything similar for their sites. Invite forum subscribers to link up in a similar manner.

3. Create and package a special report, an ebook, learning series or other item from time to time, and insert your ads in all of them. Invite your clients, prospects and others to include these specials as freebies or free bonuses for their own clients, prospects, members and others.

4. Set up free web sites on your server and include your company banner with link somewhere on the page for promotions. Then give away the free space, requiring people to keep your banner ad in place in exchange for the hosting service at no charge.

5. Set up a free link directory. Then invite others to add their links to your directory in exchange for a return a link back to your directory site.

6. Offer some type of free online service like free 5-minute consulting sessions or e-mails, search engine, domain or RSS submissions, etc. Then invite others to share these services with their subscribers, website visitors and others.

7. Create or outsource the creation of new software. Brand it. Then invite people to give it away free to others.

8. Create or outsource the creation of some awesome web site templates and / or graphics. Brand them. Then invite people to use them and give them away free to others.

9. Create or outsource the creation of an ebook, report or other info product. Brand the content with your ads. Then invite others to insert their own free ads in exchange for promoting the item(s) to their lists, in their ezines, on their websites, etc.

10. Once again, create or outsource the creation of an ebook, report or other info product. And brand the content with your ads. This time simply give the item(s) away, and invite recipients to also give the item(s) away.

So kick start your own viral campaigns. See what works best for your products and services, and then repeat accordingly with new campaigns all year long to keep a healthy flow of leads coming your way.

3 High-Impact Fixes For Your Marketing Woes

article marketingHow many times has your competitor gotten one over on you? The feeling of being left behind just eats away, until you do something about. The problem is that we often feel that we’ve got to come up with some grand plan in order to get our business skyrocketing again. Don’t be fooled! Getting back on top of the market isn’t as tough as it seems with these high-impact, easy-to-use fixes.

1. The Magic Number – 1
Implement a “advertise 1 item at a time” motto for your advertising strategy. Does that mean you can’t SELL more than one item at a time? No… but wait until AFTER the sale.

When a customer sees more than one of a product offered at unbelievably low prices, he’s confused. Which one is the better deal? Which one does he prefer? These questions encourage procrastination – one of marketing’s greatest thieves. Instead, offer the consumer a product that compliments his purchase in a nearby display… or even at the register. You’ll make extra profits instead of losing a sale.

2. Outsmart Your Competitors
Your competition is looking for you in all of the usual places. Don’t go there. Quietly look for new methods of advertising and new markets to target.

Niche markets provide the perfect sneak tactic for reaching new clients. Here’s they key… sub-divide your current market into smaller, more specific niche markets. Familiarize yourself with the needs and concerns of the niche, then present yourself as the pro in their corner. Leave your competition in the dust with the intensity of new prospects that will come your way.

Modernize an old marketing technique that still carries a wallop – postcards. Yeah, these small, inexpensive marketing tools still carry a personal message that is quick and easy to read, but with new high-impact colors and designs that capture the attention of readers. Your competition won’t even know that you’re using them!

3. Encourage Communication
Communication is crucial to understanding your consumers. Encourage questions before the sale, during the sale and after the sale. Make it easy and comfortable.

Provide convenient contact information on all of your sales materials, including Websites. If you find yourself overloaded with questions, create a frequently asked question page where clients can get the answers they need without claiming as much of your time.

Confused customers, tough competitors and communication mishaps won’t steal profits from your account when you fix things up with the 3 quick tips.

Seven Myths about Search Engines Demystified

Search Engine OptimizationToday there is a lot of information available on the web about how to get good search engine rankings, some information is good and some information is bad. Over the few years search engines have been around, some myths have developed. Some of these myths are actually just out dated techniques and some are misunderstandings because the web is such a new medium. Below I have explained the top seven myths I have seen floating around the net.

$45 will get you #1 position
This is my number one pet peeve. The ads that say for $45 you can get a top page listing with Google, Msn and others. This is not a myth it is an out and out lie. It’s absolutely impossible to guarantee any rankings. All you can do is have someone optimize your pages, apply an Internet Marketing Plan to your website and hope for the best. It is also a lot more complicated then paying for your listing. If that’s the case the highest bidder would receive the highest listing.

Multiple submissions help your rank
The truth is submit your website once, if in a few months your website has not been indexed then submit it again. Chances are that your site will be indexed by Google (indexed pages are pages that a search engine has added to its list of pages it has already looked at and uses when a searcher performs a search) and Yahoo and many other search engines because the search engines want to supply as much relevant information to the searcher, therefore they need to have more indexed pages. That’s the bottom line. Also, if submitting your website to the search engines is something you are doing yourself, then think about only submitting to a few of the important ones that feed the other search engines, this cuts down the time.

It’s all about meta-tags
First I’ll explain meta-tags. They are HTML tags that can be used to define the HTML specifications a webpage follows, keywords and description of the page, etc..
The most common use of a meta-tag in online marketing is the keyword and description tags, which tell the search engines that index meta-tags what description to use in their SERP (search engine rankings page). Meta tags are good, they definitely can’t hurt. Unfortunately they are not everything the search engine uses to determine the topic of your site or it’s ranking. There are many other key factors you need to consider. The best thing to do is not to cram 50 keywords in your meta tags. The best practice is to put one or two per page with, each page having different keywords relevant to the page. The truth is that most meta-tags aren’t particularly important and aren’t used by search engines at all. Google has already stated it ignores most meta-tags. They can be useful to show the description that comes up after your listing in the SERP.

Page Rank is God
Page Rank is definitely not God. Although, it is a good tool. As a web designer, I like to use it determine whether I would like to trade links with another website. Again, there are many things search engines use to determine rankings. Page Rank is not the only thing used to determine your placement in the SERP. There are a load of other factors that come into play. Basically Page Rank is over rated by a lot of people. For example I searched Google for “purple monkey” and the first page on the SERP had a Page Rank of 5 and the second result has a Page Rank of 5 and the term “purple monkey” was in the url. The third page had a Page Rank of 7. Therefore higher Page Ranks do not necessarily mean higher listings but, it does help.

All website designers and developers understand search engines.
The answer is no, not all designers understand search engines. Just because they can create websites doesn’t mean they know how to optimize them. Some designers tend to show off what they can produce, such as a fully flash site with all kinds of “bells and whistles” and no text for the search engine to read. Before you hire a website designer/developer or SEO expert ask for some case studies of sites they have optimized.

The more links the better…
The truth is the more relevant links the better. You can add your site to a gazillion free directories and it’s not going to help your SERP ranking. What helps your rankings is relevant links. Links from sites on the same topic or a site that would be relevant to your visitors.

Search Engine Optimization is technical
Honestly, it’s boring and time consuming. It takes a lot of time in front of your computer and knowledge of how search engines work. It is something you can do yourself, but the easy and cost effective way would be to hire an expert. SEO is one of the most cost effective marketing strategies you can use for your business.

The bottom line in Search Engine Optimization is it’s time consuming, hard work and it has to be done by a human. If you are a small business and have a little knowledge you can do it yourself, as long you have a lot of time on your hands. If you don’t have a lot of time to waste, hire an expert.

Ten Indications That Point To A Rogue SEO Company

Internet Marketing SpecialistSearch engine optimizers are everywhere, it is a booming business. SEOs as they are known help websites in numerous ways. They handle writing of copy, site architecture, as well as submission to directories.

With rampant development of the web and its related services it is becoming harder and harder to separate the “wheat from the chaff.” Sadly along with genuine SEOs are present unethical or rogue SEOs who play the game by unfair rules.

You need to be savy and think on your feet and learn to recognize a rotten apple quickly. Be wary of SEOs who send you e-mails unsolicited and make statements about getting you no 1 rank on large and popular sites like Google, Yahoo, and so on.

1. If a SEO beats around the bush and does not lay cards on the table then the company is suspect. An established SEO will have nothing to hide and will utilize only ethical practices. So, any SEO should explain with clarity what they will do for you. Never get taken in by big statements like “we have special arrangements with x,y, z so your site will get priority listings.” Watch out for misrepresentation of the SEOs success rate and false promises.

2. Unethical SEOs present what look like impressive lists of search engines that your site will appear on. Often many of the search engines listed will be dead sites. If the SEO was a professional outfit they would make efforts to ensure that the information they provide will withstand scrutiny.

3. There are companies that are in actuality just telemarketing business that will hound you, take an advance, and fail to deliver whatever they promise. Beware of companies that plague you on the e-mail and phone.

4. SEOs often abuse search engines. They buy links with high page ranks and link the site to yours. Often the link site is not of quality or good content. Practices like this can get your site banned by search engines, damaging your reputation. You need to check the references provided by the SEO and do a market survey to establish their credentials and business standing.

5. SEOs who work in the dark manipulate key word frequency by producing content that is nonsensical with the correct frequency of key words. This is done to ensure that your ranking improves. Avoid this and determine exactly how the SEO is going to help you.

6. Any SEO that promotes free-for-all links or popularity schemes is to be avoided. These are just meaningless exercises and embellishments of a grandiose scheme. This will never improve your ranking or lead anywhere.

7. Beware of SEOs that use shadow domains to gather hits. SEOs create and own such domains to fulfill false promises.

8. Tools like spyware and scumware are used to generate traffic. Generating fake traffic is not going to do your website any good in the long run. No business can sustain on the creation of a mirage.

9. SEOs club search engine results with pay-per-click and pay-per-inclusion and even place you in the advertising section than in the search engine itself. Be clear what they are charging you for and what the SEOs plan of action will be.

10. Unscrupulous SEOs even urge customers to pay for the ability to type keywords directly into the browsers address bar. Be cautious and never take a SEOs claim at face value.

Be wise and careful. Do your homework thoroughly and check the credentials of any SEO you are considering. If you are suspicious check them out. If you feel you are deceived by a SEO complaint at http://www.ftc.gov/ . And, do include a money back guarantee in your contract.

SEO Dos And Don’ts

search engine optimizationYou don’t have to be a SEO expert to make a fortune on the web. Search engine optimization is not complicated at all. It may be exhausting and annoying. You may get frustrated. But it is so easy if you know the basic rules. Read the following SEO Dos and Don’ts and start making money.

SEO Dos :

1. Stay natural – Search engines like natural behavior. Remember it whenever you get a tempting proposal to pay for software that will boost your search engine optimization and get you to the top search engine ranks.

2. Links, Links, Links – The online world equivalent to: “Location, location, location”. Links are the foundation stones of your SEO strategy. The quantity and quality of the links pointing to your site are the main criteria that affect your search engine ranking. Never stop creating new links to your site using techniques like links exchanging, articles submitting, affiliate marketing, link buying etc.

3. Page and site optimization – Remember, Search Engines like what human like. Optimize your site according to valuable keywords, you have found on wordcount.com or overture. Make the navigation on your site easy and clear.

4. Automate and delegate – Do not work on your own – use software to automate processes and outsource some of the search engine optimization to others.

SEO Don’ts:

1. Do not shoot and forget – Search engine optimization is an ongoing task. You will not see results in a day or in a month. Do not work on one site too much too fast. In other words, add links and pages to your site gradually.

2. Do not optimize only for the best search engine – Google is not the only search engine and all search engine change their ranking algorithms every once in a while. Do your best to get your site in a high place in at least three of the best search engines.

Now that you have read the SEO Dos and Don’ts, all there is to do is work on your sites’ search engine optimization. It may take time but it sure worth it – You can have fun and lots of money. Good luck.

15 Tips To Drive Traffic To Your Blog

Search Engine Optimization SpecialistThere are many factors that make blogs much better than normal WebPages including the speed at which blogs are indexed, ability to submit to blog directories & normal directories, pings and track backs. All these little things can help drive more traffic to blogs. Here are 15 popular techniques you can use:

1.) Create at least four keyword posts per day. Most of the top blogs such as Boing Boing, Daily Kos, and Instapundit (with literally tens of thousands of visitors per day) publish an average of 30 small 100-150 word posts per day according to “Secrets of the A-list Bloggers: Lots of Short Posts”.

2.) Submit to My Yahoo! When you submit your own RSS to My Yahoo it is indexed by Yahoo.

3.) Submit to Google’s Reader. When you submit your own blog RSS to Google’s Reader the Google Blog Search will index your site.

4.) Add a relevant link directory to your blog and trade links like a demon possessed! Although it may take more time than simply submitting to a search engine one time, this method is perhaps the best way to drive traffic to your site. Use software such as Zeus to speed up the link trading process.

5.) Use ping sites like ping-o-matic. Ping your site every time you add a new post.

6.) Submit your blog to traditional search engines such as AltaVista, and MSN.

7.) Submit your blog to traditional directories such as DMOZ. Directories (particularly DMOZ) increase relevance with Google. DMOZ is very picky, but what do you have to lose by trying?

8.) Submit to as many RSS Directories and Search Engines as possible. This is a simple but repetitive process that can be done with software such as RSS SUBMIT.

9.) Comment on other blogs. Do not just leave short, lazy comments like “I agree.” Leave well thought out replies that will force readers to wonder “who wrote this?”

10.) Use track backs. If there is a blog that you refer to or quote and it is highly relevant to your subject, leave a track back. It increases your link popularity and may even score a few interested readers from the linked site.

11.) Go offline. Use newspaper ads, public bulletin boards, business cards, even stickers to let as many people as possible know your blog exists.

12.) Ad a link to your blog in your e-mail signature block.

13.) Use Groups (Usenet). Find a relevant group on Google groups, Yahoo groups, MSN groups or any of the thousands of other FREE group services and find like minded people and talk with them. Make sure your use your blog URL like it is your name.

14.) Use Forums. Forums are one of the best places to go for advice. Go to forums and find problems to solve. Make sure you leave your blog name, but be tactful about it; some forums get annoyed with those who selfishly drop a few links to their own site and leave.

15.) Tag your website. Tagging is a new idea that has erupted across the web. Sites like http://Del.icio.us, Technorati and many others have a social feature that allows you to place your article under keywords or “tags” that everyone interested in that tag can see.

Although these are some of the most popular ways to drive traffic to your blog, do not limit your self to tips and lists. Use your imagination and you will come up with thousands of ways to drive traffic to your blog!

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