|In the course of my Internet business consulting work, I am|
asked to review web sites and figure out why the sites
aren't achieving sales. The webmasters of these sites have
usually worked long and hard to make them attractive to the
search engines and appealing to visitors. Some of these
webmasters also invest in pay-per-click advertising to bring
even more traffic to their sites, but still there are no
sales to speak of.
In almost all of these cases, the first problem that I spot
is the absence of an ezine or e-newsletter signup form.
That's a problem of such significance that I rarely need to
look any farther.
When I ask why they haven't set up a autoresponder to
collect the names and email addresses of their visitors,
some tell me that they didn't know they needed one.
Others express concern about paying a monthly fee for an
autoresponder service when their site isn't making any
money, and still others balk at the thought of how much work
goes into producing a regular newsletter.
Fair enough. Maybe you are having a similar problem with
your site, or the same objections to setting up a mailing
Let's look at each concern and objection, and I'll show you
why email marketing is one of the most effective and
lucrative activities you can engage in during the course of
your business day.
First of all, an opt-in mailing list is the cornerstone to
success online. Without one, all that time spent tweaking a
site for search engine friendliness, is pretty much for
naught. You may be an expert at getting traffic to your
site. But unless you have a way to bring those visitors back
to your site repeatedly, the prospect is lost the first time
Imagine for a moment that you are single and looking for a
life partner. For the last half hour you've been speaking
with the most attractive, witty and intelligent person you
have ever met. Your heart is thumping loudly and that
person is likewise indicating their interest in you.
Unfortunately, it's time for them to be on their way.
What do you do? Do you simply say "I enjoyed talking to you"
and watch them walk away? Or do you say that you'd like to
stay in touch and ask for their telephone number?
Only the second scenario allows the opportunity to build
that relationship. As these things sometimes go, you may
call a few times, and it turns out not to be such a perfect
match. With someone else, you could be on your way to the
happiest relationship you'll ever enjoy. However, you'll
never know unless you ask for that number.
Email marketing works on much the same principle. If you
don't collect email addresses, a visitor comes to your site,
takes a look around and in most cases leaves and never comes
back. You have no way of bringing them back, because without
a list, you have no way to tell them about new products on
your site. A trusting, friendly relationship will never
develop and they'll never be 'the one' who buys what you're
Because it usually takes seven exposures before most people
trust a product enough to buy it, you might as well flush
your hard-earned money straight down the drain if you don't
follow-up with your visitors at least six times after their
first visit to your site.
For less than twenty bucks a month, you can automate this
follow-up process so that each new subscriber starts
receiving a series of six or more marketing messages as soon
as they opt-in to your list. It's an investment that pays
for itself over and over again, and the payoff gets bigger
and better as your list grows in size.
In addition to the follow-up campaign, you can notify your
subscribers of new products that you think they'll
interested in. Just type a quick note, press 'send' and
voila! your message is on its way.
And email marketing isn't just for merchants. It works
extremely well for affiliates too. On just one of my
affiliate sites, I've built a mailing list of more than
70,000 subscribers. Each time I pop a quick note or
newsletter out to that list, my sales take a huge leap for
up to a week after I send the message.
Although I personally use a couple of different
autoresponder services, I particularly like ProAutoresponder
because they offer an unlimited number of campaigns. That
means that unlike some other services that provide only one
autoresponder per account, you can set up as many
autoresponders as you like with only one ProAutoresponder
or Aweber account.
You can set up an autoresponder campaign for visitors who
stop by your site without buying, another for those who
accept your offer of a free product download, and still
others for buyers of your products. You can even set one up
for each individual product that you sell.
As to the amount of work that it take to produce a
newsletter - consider the alternatives. You could spend
lots of time honing your meta tags, or beautifying your site
instead, but unless you can get in touch with your visitors,
you won't have any customers. And turning visitors into
customers should be your top priority.
When you write a product endorsement for the site, just
write a shorter version to send as an invitation to visit
your site and learn more about the product.
Maximize your marketing efforts and save your advertising
dollars.. send your subscribers a note. It's that simple.
So, if you've been reluctant until now to start building
your contact list, I hope I've alleviated some of your
concerns, and helped you understand why 'OPT-in' isn't an
Article by Rosalind Gardner, speaker, consultant and
author of the best-selling "Super Affiliate Handbook: How I Made $436,797 in One Year Selling Other People's Stuff Online". To learn how you too can suceed in Internet and affiliate marketing, sign up for Rosalind's "Net Profits Today" newsletter at:
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