Monday, September 18, 2006

Tips for Online Selling Success

The Money Is In The List:

I am certain you have heard the online marketing Super Quote 'The money is in the list'. I can guarantee you there is no greater method that will bring you greater success online than this method.

For those of you who have not heard of this quote before, I will give you the basic outline for what is involved in starting an autoresponder email service yourself.

1. You sign up to an autoresponder service. A large proportion of these services are free. But each service differs in the services that they provide. For example, the format that is available for sending your autoresponder messages in e.g., text or html format.

The choice in providers of autoresponder services is up to you. I won't give you any biased links here, but please do the research and make a decision, decided around the ideas and/or requirements you want to create in this exact task.

2. Set up your autoresponder messages in a sequence that you want your prospects to receive them. (A more detailed mention shortly about this important task.)

3. Cut and paste your html code etc, provided by your autoresponder service. So that your prospects can sign-up to your email list from your website.

This is a basic 3 step process which gives you an outline of just how simple this set-up process is.

The real skill, mentioned in step 2 above, although not difficult, is in writing the autoresponder messages you are going to send to your signed-up prospects. There is a need for a real structure and purpose in the way you attempt this task. And I will tell you how right now! So lets begin.

We all from an early age have been trained as consumers. From the first moment for example, we saw our first 30 seconds of television, we were instantly introduced to the wonderful world of both 'Direct and Indirect Advertising'. Both these words direct and indirect are very important when it comes to online marketing. In my opinion direct advertising does not work online at first, and should not be attempted until later. This direct advertising may have worked online initially in the past, but thanks to such online issues as spam, this method is not effective at all in the beginning. Indirect advertising however is what should be used, and this provides a 'Conditioning' phase for your potential buyers who have newly signed-up to your autoresponder list.

When targeted potential customers visit your website for the first time, they arrive because they are searching for specific information. And secondly, they may choose to purchase an item or service from your website, as a pure result of the information you are providing, in order to complete or complement the provided information contained on your website.

The structure of the information you provide in your autoresponder messages should therefore follow this same 'Cause & Effect'
structure. Simply put, you are providing information that will complete or complement a product or service you are promoting indirectly. In online marketing you will hear the word 'Pre-selling' mentioned a lot, and this is what pre-selling is, a simple providing for a cause and effect event.

I must mention the word 'Trust' at this point, because it is an absolute needed commodity on the internet, and leads into the whole concept and purpose of 'Branding'. We have all heard of the bad things that can happen online with credit card fraud etc, its a long list. And it is absolutely 100% certain that your potential customers have also heard of these facts. So you should be aware that every person who visits your website for the first time is already on the back foot. So it is your job to build a potential customers trust in your website, so that when they may visit your website again, they have a feeling of complete ease. And let me assure you this trust does need to be earned on your behalf and you should be aware of this always. I will add at this point the statement, 'If you are not serious about the product or service you are promoting then just don't bother doing it in the first place'.

If you are not committed, you as a result, have no set purpose for what you are trying to achieve. If your customers suffer your website will suffer. So how do we build 'Trust'?

Branding is a tool by which we associate trust. Think of a brand name product. Ask yourself the question how do you feel about that product? Do you feel at ease buying that product? If the answer is yes, then it is for the reason that you know and trust that product.

Why? Because you know when you buy it, you know exactly what to expect. If you answer no, it would be mainly for the reason that the product is unreliable, because you are not sure about what to expect. This idea of branding is essential in your autoresponder messages, because you have the task to condition your potential customers to positively associate your website, business name or logo etc, to what they should positively expect from your website and its products.

(Note: If a customer or website visitor sends you a question etc, you should always respond ASAP. If there is a problem work out a solution ASAP. Treat your customers etc, the exact way you want to be treated yourself. This note is absolutely essential, if you want to retain your brand image)

So how do I use all this information in my own autoresponder messages? Good question, so lets answer it! What I have discovered that works effectively, lies in the exact structure of your autoresponder emails.

1. Introduce yourself, both personally and the website ideas you represent.

2. Send your subscribers only value information which helps their own website or internet purpose. These emails need to be set-up in an autoresponder process multiple times. Over time through this strategy, you are making your subscribers feel completely at ease.
By constructing informal high value informational autoresponder messages, you are indirectly consistantly associating your 'Brand Name' with a feeling of 'Ease' and 'Trust'.

3. Once you have established point 2 effectively. You can begin to indirectly pre-sell different products. Why? Because your subscriber is now at ease and your subscriber trusts exactly what you are saying, because you have conditioned this behavior. Value informal information supplied at first simply lets a potential customer associate your brand with exactly what it represents.

4. After a set period of time you can at this point 'Direct Sell' a customer, because they absolutely know your brand and trust your purpose. And if you have been effective from points 1 through 3 your strategy will have a maximum effect in sales.

The big players online have email lists that consist of up-to and over 300,000 subscribers. How did they achieve these numbers of subscribers?

Subscriber lists can be gained from numerous traffic means. Search engines, PPC, e-Book links, forming joint ventures, word of mouth, this list can just go on and on. But no matter what means you use in gaining traffic to your website, a very large proportion of website visitors will be untargeted. In that they will have little interest in what your website provides, they are just simply surfing the net and/or do not know what they are looking for. This is wasted traffic and a pure waste of potential customers, but only if you are not aware of this. So it is essential, I have found to position your autoresponder subscribe box on multiple website pages, and I try to use a (1) x (2) format.

(1) Is the question that I pose to my targeted traffic so that they may sign-up for further information. And (2) are the 2 seperate questions that I pose that are open and appeal to a larger audience.

For example: (1) Learn exact answers to effective affiliate marketing methods by subscribing here. (2) Making an income online is easier than you imagine when you gain these skills. (2) Free - This is your complete guide to show you how to create a real online income stream.

This is only a general example guide, but gives you an exact idea of my own 1 x 2 strategy. It is open in its format, and just does not only appeal to your target audience who may just be interested in affiliate marketing. But is also open to untargeted traffic who may have never even considered the idea of being able to make money online.

Tip: Free Manual traffic surfing sites are ignored by most as a source of website traffic of any value, and so they should be if they are not approached with purpose. But they can be a real source of potential subscribers. Build yourself a webpage containing your subscriber box and write content within the page that appeals to all who may read it. Use this page as you would with your first autoresponder message. Introduce yourself and your website purpose.
I myself have built a very large responsive email list using this exact strategy.

*The Absolute Ultimate Autoresponder Tip: Provide your autoresponder messages with a link where potential customers can simply download your messages in a pdf format. Why?

1. This gives your sign-ups the opportunity to gain an online solid product that they download to their own computers desktop. Your pdf document may even remain on their desktop for quite a while. PDF is harder to discard, you have to manually move it to your trash can.
Plain Email messages are just read once and are very easily discarded as you know.

2. You can give your potential customers the opportunity to use your pdf documents in there own autoresponder messages or on their own websites. Thus you have created an effective form of viral marketing, simply because you should have at least your website address embedded in the pdf document. There are many ideas in the ways you can use pdf format. I am certain you will come up with hundreds of new ideas in the way you can use effectively this exact method.

I hope that the information provided in this not so quite short article is of a real value in your own internet marketing efforts.
Selling online in all forms, is a task that requires an immense ongoing knowledge and effort if you plan to be really successful, but this task should always remain fun, this is exactly how I treat it. Internet marketing as a general topic has so much value information readily available, and I challenge you at this point to go and seek it out. Try differnet ideas and methods, try completely new ideas of your own. Find that system that simply works well for you and expand on it. Remember always, there are no limits in your life or online, only the limits you place upon yourself. So go, seek and succeed
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Gbuy coming

Google's online payment system, Gbuy, is expected to launch June 28, further pitting the Internet giant against industry titan and rival eBay, according to a research note released last week by a Wall Street analyst.

Gbuy is expected to be free during the initial phase, but merchants may eventually be charged a 1.5 percent to 2 percent per-transaction fee, Jordan Rohan, an RBC Capital Markets analyst, said in his research note. A fee of that size would be slightly less than that charged by eBay's online payment system, PayPal.

Google was not immediately available to comment.

"The brilliance of Google's Gbuy merchant-to-consumer payment platform lies in what Google may do with the transactional data it captures from the thousands of merchants that may ultimately offer Gbuy," Rohan said.

Google is able to gather the data when users click on a merchant's Gbuy feature. Consumers are then transferred to Google's Gbuy site, where they complete the transaction.

Google's payment system, as a result, holds the potential to monitor which paid-search results users click on and of that group, which ones turn into actual sales. With that information, Google may find itself in the enviable position of being able to identify which categories bring in the highest return on investment for advertisers, Rohan stated.

But Derek Brown, an analyst at Pacific Growth Equities, cites other reasons why the data may prove valuable to Google.

The data could provide useful guidance on where to place its sponsored links, in order to generate higher traffic, as well as give greater insight into the buying habits of its users. And that, as a result, may prompt the Internet titan to deliver targeted ads to those users, Brown said.

Some merchants, however, may fear that Google would use this information to deactivate keywords and then require a merchant to pay a higher minimum bid to reactivate the keyword, Rohan said.

But merchants may find the lure of having the Gbuy logo next to their sponsored search link too appealing to pass up, even if it potentially means giving Google a closer view into their business, Rohan noted in his research note.

"From the merchant's perspective, the placement of a Gbuy logo and the designation as a 'trusted Gbuy merchant' will be a point of distinction and theoretically raise conversion rates and traffic," Rohan states in his research report.

Merchants who are already involved in Google's Gbuy beta test are set for a June 28 launch, but those who are new to the program can expect an implementation period of six to eight weeks, the report states.
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