Category Archives: Marketing

What Will A Blog Do For Your Business?

Today’s post is by far the most popular on tonyseel.com, and it’s been vastly expanded to include 16 reasons why you should blog and 10 tips for maximizing your blogging impact.  It returns from May 2015.

A post on Warrior Forum, “Must you have a blog?” generated nearly 4,000 replies.   The question is framed in terms of affiliate marketing but it relates to product creators also.

Is a blog essential for an online business?

Dave O said, I don’t think a blog is necessary but it certainly can be helpful in building an audience or fan base.

I started with trying to build a blog about something I’m personally passionate about. After a few postings I realized that I had turned something I loved into work. I’ve killed off my blog and am now looking at other avenues.

icoachu replied, I tend to lean toward the MUST camp.

Why?

You do all sorts of branding online.

You do all sorts of things to get your message out there.

You need all the signals you send through links and content to have a BASE.

Your blog is the BASE of your brand.

Otherwise, you’re just a link spammer or squeeze page spammer OR you’re more than perfectly happy to sell all that work vanish into the ether after some time.

While that works (to what extent is debatable) if you’re just SIG SPAMMING on forums, if you want to do LEGIT types of marketing, you need to brand and a BLOG is a great home for your brand.

Clear?

Yes, that’s clear and I agree.  I believe that a blogging is essential.  You can do affiliate marketing without it, but how are you going to establish yourself as someone who your prospects can trust?  If you are creating your own products, where will you display them in a way that will convince prospects that you know what you’re doing?

You can try to do that through emails, and if they read them you can make some headway.  But with blogging, you can offer valuable content that demonstrates that you know your stuff.  Sure, they can skip that too, but with post after post, you can create a body of work that’s hard to ignore.

As icoachu suggests, your blog should be used to build your brand.  Your blog can be one of the most important ways that you establish with your prospects that you know what you’re talking about.  Your blog becomes your home base where people can see that you know what you’re talking about.

Marian says, “I can’t imagine my marketing without my own site/blog. There is so much more that you can do when you have it.. like promoting more of your and affiliate products, interacting with visitors, branding…”

I can’t imagine my marketing without my own site/blog either.  So, do you have a blog?   Are you putting valuable content on it regularly (regularly is important too!)?  Are you using your blog to brand yourself and your business?

Why Should Your Blog?

  1. 79% of online shoppers spend 50% of their shopping time researching products online.  Wouldn’t your blog be a fantastic place for people to research products in your niche?
  2. 77% of Internet users read blogs.  Isn’t that a good enough reason to have one?
  3.  51% of blog readers shop online.  If you want to reach buyers, blogging is a proven way.
  4. 45% of marketers say blogging is the #1 most important piece of their content strategy.  Yes, there are other ways to do business on the internet, but for many of us, this is how we build our traffic, leads, and sales.
  5. 25% of marketers report that their company blog is “critical” to their business (I’m one of them).
  6. 81% of businesses reported that their company blog is useful to critical for their business.
  7. Companies that blog get 55% more website visitors, 97% more inbound links, and 434% more indexed pages.
  8. 69% of businesses attribute their lead generation success to blogging.
  9. B2B marketers who use blogs generate 67% more leads per month than those who do not.
  10.  B2C companies that blog generate 88% more leads per month than those that do not.
  11. 89% of companies think blogs will be more important in the next five years.  If you’re not blogging, you may ask yourself what they know that you don’t know.
  12. This is one thing they believe: 56% of bloggers who maintain blogs for a business say that their blog has helped their company establish a position as a thought leader in the industry.
  13. Internet users in the US spend 3x more time on blogs than they do on email.  If your target are U.S. buyers, blogging is a great way to reach them.
  14. 61% of U.S. online consumers have made a purchase based on recommendations from a blog.  Again, wouldn’t it be fantastic if the blog they visit is your blog?
  15. 346 million people read blogs throughout the world.  Americans aren’t the only ones who read blogs – adding a blog to your website attracts many readers from other countries too.
  16. On average, Google gets over 100 billion searches a month. Additionally, more than half of those searches are coming from mobile devices.  How much of that traffic that your blog receives depends on your blogging and your SEO.  Start with great content before looking to amp up your SEO.

    10 Tips For Maximum Impact From Blogging

    1. On average, compounding blog posts make up 10% of all blog posts and generate 38% of overall traffic.  Compounding blog posts are posts from six months ago or longer.  This post has continued to garner new views and it’s over two years old (but I added these tips to this posting).
    2. Once you write 21-54 blog posts, blog traffic generation increases by up to 30%.
    3. Once you write 52 or more blog posts, blog traffic generation increases by up to 77%.
    4. 94% of people who share posts do so because they think it might be helpful to others.  When you create valuable content, shares will build your audience.
    5. B2B companies that blog more than 4 times a week see the biggest increase in traffic and leads.  In 2015, 66% of bloggers reported blogging daily.  70% of marketers indicate that they blog at least weekly.
    6. Use images – blog articles with images get 94% more views, so definitely use images with your blog posts.
    7. Use video -the average person watches 182 online videos per month.  By including video content in your blog, you can greatly increase your website traffic.
    8. The average word count of top-ranking content (in Google) is between 1,140-1,285 words.  If you want to rank highest on Google, create long copy blog posts.
    9. Once a site has over 300 indexed pages, traffic generation increases by 236%.  Blogs greatly increase the number of indexed pages a site has.
    10. Want to increase your website visitors?  Buying paid advertising to promote your new blog content is one way to build your traffic.

As always, I welcome your comments and questions, and your likes and shares.

Sources for reasons and tips: https://www.impactbnd.com/blogging-statistics-55-reasons-blogging-creates-55-more-traffic and https://www.impactbnd.com/blog/25-little-known-blogging-statistics-to-boost-your-strategy-in-2016.

What type of blogger are you?

Blogging has come a long way from the personal weblog days.  Sure, there are still personal weblogs around, lots of them, but entrepreneurs quickly understood how blogging could become a source of income.  In a blog post on the Mindler blog, Preena Gadra writes about four types of blogger.   To her four types, we’ll add a fifth.

  1. A hobby blogger.  The hobby blogger is the one who blogs out of a love of blogging, writing. or a particular interest.  There may be a passion for a topic, maybe something deeply personal, and they build an audience, maybe small, maybe large, around a common interest.  A hobby blogger may make a few pennies a month.
  2. A part-time blogger.  The part-time blogger may spend two hours a day or more to blog as a means to supplement their income.  The part-time blogger uses their blog to share their wisdom, knowledge, or expertise.  Gadra reports that there are part-time bloggers who earn a few thousand dollars a year.
  3. A full-time blogger.  For full-time bloggers, blogging is their job.  They devote the bulk of their days to blogging and can earn five to six figure incomes, or more.  Professional bloggers make their living from blogging through a multiple of income sources: website ads, affiliate marketing, personally created products, and for the superstars, speaking engagements at seminars and conferences.
  4. The corporate blogger creates content for a business either as part of their job or as the primary responsibility of their job.  Corporate bloggers create content to promote products and services, and to meet the public relation needs of the corporation through communication to the public, employees, and stockholders.
  5. The entrepreneur uses their blog as part of the marketing mix for their business.  The entrepreneur blogger can be a part-time or full-time blogger.

Problogger reports that most bloggers earn less than $100 a month with 30% making less than $10 a month.  16% of the 4,000 respondents said that they earn more than $2,500 a month.  Blogging is not the way to quick riches, but given time and the right approach you can build a business around a blog.

How can your blog become the primary source of your income or a source for extra income?

16 Tips For Blogging For Fun and Profit

  1. Find a niche that you love and start writing.
  2. Pay attention to the design of your blog.  Does it look professional?  Is it easy to navigate?  Is it easy to read and otherwise use?
  3. Focus your writing on a target audience within your niche.  Create content that will help those in your target audience – meet their needs, wants, and expectations to build your audience.  This should go without saying, but always be truthful in what you write if you want to be trusted by your audience.
  4. Write valuable content.  Don’t be afraid to give away valuable content in your blog posts – you will be rewarded as you build your reputation as a go-to guy or gal in your niche.
  5. Write evergreen content.  Evergreen content is content that stays current no matter what changes happen in your niche.
  6. Write great headlines.  Great headlines get your audience to read your posts.  If this is difficult for you, get my free headlines report to discover the 10 ultimate headline formulas that will expand your readership (and sales).
  7. 300-1000 words is generally the range you want to shoot for when you are creating blog posts.  You need 300 words to get ranked by search engines, but too many words will scare away some readers.  Keep your writing tight – don’t just write to fill a word quota (that can be really boring for readers).  Don’t be afraid to ruthlessly edit your work.  Joe Pulizzi compares a blog post to a miniskirt.  It has to be short enough to be interesting, but long enough to cover the subject.
  8. Put your own spin on everything you write.  There is little need to regurgitate other people’s content;  me-too content is not likely to draw a loyal tribe of followers.  Put your personality and viewpoint into your writing and those who like your voice will become your loyal tribe of followers.  People follow people more than they follow websites.
  9. Read others for inspiration and to stay current in your niche.
  10. Write frequently.  SEO rewards new content and the more new content you can put up, the better your SEO results will likely be.  This also gives your loyal tribe a reason to check in with your blog frequently.
  11. Have a consistent schedule for adding new content to your blog.  Blogger and internet marketer extraordinaire Neil Patel points out that keeping existing readers is a whole lot easier than finding new ones.  However, regular blogging will build your subscriber base as the following graph shows.
  12. Engage with your audience.  Social media announcements of new content can be one way for engagement, but certainly accept comments on your blog.  Encourage your readers to comment on your posts.  You can even solicit post ideas from your audience.
  13. Utilize your blog to let readers and email subscribers stay current on what’s going on in your business (if you are a business blogger).
  14. Use share buttons on your website and encourage your readers to share your content on social media.
  15. Use marketing, free and paid, to build your audience.  Ads, promotions, lead magnets, commenting on other blogs in your niche, and guest posting are ways to market your blog and business.
  16. Use your blog to build an email subscriber list.  Your email list is the best way to promote new content on your blog.  This list will also become the source of the bulk of whatever income you receive from your blog.

Those are my best tips for blogging.  What would you add?  I welcome your comments and questions, and your likes and shares.

7 Tips for Powering Up Your Business Website

Today’s Throwback Thursday post returns from November 2014 and it’s been revised and expanded.

your website

Have you ever thought of your business website like a bricks and mortar store?  Your website can have a showroom, a salesroom, and a stock room. There can be a conference room, and a break room.  You can even put in a private office.

For internet marketing, your website can be the most versatile part of your business. People can find your business through many sources, including social media.  Once they come to your home page they will see your banner, which is like the signage of a bricks and mortar store.

With your banner, you introduce yourself and your business.  Everything “above the fold” is like looking into a store window to the showroom floor.  Everything “below the fold” is part of the showroom that isn’t as visible through the front window.

Other pages are salesrooms in the form of sales pages and landing pages. Thank you pages (also called content delivery pages) are in your stockroom.

You can set up your site as a blog and offer valuable content, the kind that businesses routinely present in conference rooms.  Your comments section is like a break room where you can exchange ideas with readers who become customers and friends.  Your private office is where you work on new elements of your business that you will shortly display on your website.

Your website is the most powerful element of your online business.  One thing that’s great about a website is that your overhead infinitely less than the overhead on a bricks and mortar store.  Use your website to full advantage and watch as it pays you over and over again!  Here are my best 7 tips for fully powering up your business website.

7 Tips for Powering Up Your  Business Website

  1. Start with your name as your domain.  The first thing in politics and business is name recognition.  You are your own personal brand, and your self-named domain identifies you as such.  If you set up your website as a blog, as I have done, you can use any business name you choose as a header.  In this case, my domain is my name, and my header identifies my business, Irresistible Influence Marketing.  Owning your name as a domain also ensures that you can protect your online personal identity.
  2. Keep your website simple so that prospects and customers can easily find what they’re looking for.  This means having just a few buttons in your navigation toolbar, not too many widgets, and a simple, uncluttered layout.
  3. Do have an “About Me” or “About Us” page where you introduce yourself.  Tell your story about how and why you started your business.  Help potential customers and clients get to know, like, and trust you through a page designed to introduce yourself to them.
  4. Make sure that the way to contact you is easy to find.  Is your email address easily found on your home page and other web pages?
  5. Keep your website fresh to keep people coming back.  If your website is set up as a blog, add new content on a regular basis.  On this website, there is generally new content at least once a week and a weekly Throwback Thursday post like this one.  Some business blogs with big staffs add new content daily.
  6. Feature a variety of content on your website.  This could include original content on different topics related to your business niche, guest bloggers, great images including infographics and GIFs, video, slideshare presentations, and free offers for lead magnets that are tailored to appeal to prospects in your business niche.
  7. Is your website mobile friendly?  Here’s why this is important:

What would you add to these 7 tips?  I welcome your comments and questions and your likes and shares.

How To Maximize Your Sales With Confirmation Pages and Emails

According to digital strategist Aviva Pinchas, “confirmation emails may be the least developed customer touch point.”  Most confirmation emails are about exciting as the receipt you’re handed when you buy something at your usual bricks and mortar store, which is not exciting at all.  Text-only confirmations are boring and miss one of the best opportunities you have to invite additional purchases.

Experian Marketing Services reports that “transaction-related emails, triggered by customers’ buying behavior, can provide marketers with great opportunity for improving customer service, gaining repeat sales and deepening customer engagement.”  Isn’t that what you want for your business?  If so, read on.

If you are looking for exceptionally high open and click-through rates, your confirmation emails are where you will find them.  According to Experian, open rates for transactional emails, that is those related to purchases, shipping, return, or exchange are incredibly higher than for your typical broadcast emails.  Look at these stats from magemail:

Your confirmation email will be read, so why not leverage this opportunity by putting something in it about products and services related to your customer’s purchase?  It’s the perfect place for cross-selling, so why not strike while the iron is hot?  As with all your marketing, the goal is to make your confirmation emails memorable.  Here are 12 tips to get the most bang out of your confirmations.

12 Tips for Maximizing Your Confirmation Pages and Emails

  1. Don’t forget to say thank you for the order.  Do this at the top of the page as Gilt does in the following example.
  2. Consider where the transaction fits into your sales process.  Is it an opt-in to your email list, a registration to a webinar or other event, a request for product information, a sign-up for a trial, or a purchase?  Use your confirmation to set the terms of your relationship and clarify expectations.  Tailor each confirmation to the specific action that your prospects or customers have taken and the actions that you’d like them to take in the future.
  3. If the confirmation is following a purchase, make sure that order information, including shipping information, is prominent.  This is what your customers are expecting and this is a bad place to disappoint them.   Website navigation buttons are also a welcome part of a good confirmation email.  Did you notice how Gilt did that in the confirmation page above?  The following email example includes all kinds of great information including sidebar product suggestions along with shipping information.
  4. Experian offers a caution on placing offers in your confirmation emails – the Can-Spam Act in America forbids including the offer in the subject line or in a priority position in the email.
  5. Make your confirmation page or email highly visual.  It shouldn’t look like a receipt from your local hardware store.  It should be visually engaging, like the following example.
  6. If a customer is not yet on your email subscriber list, include a link so that they can opt in.
  7. Include links to your social media pages.  Did you know that 46% of online users rely on social media when making purchase decisions?  Social media is another great way to strengthen your connection with your customers.  Here’s how Pottery Barn encourages social media engagement AND promotes a sale:
  8. Getting a new customer can cost as much as seven times more than gaining repeat business from an existing customer.  Plus, new customers spend less than half as much as existing customers.  Use your confirmation page or email to upsell or downsell.  If you are going to use a recommended products sidebar, eCommerce consultant Blue Stout recommends featuring no more than five products.  Notice how many products are in Wal-Mart’s sidebar in the next example.
  9. Share useful content in your confirmation pertaining to the purchase.  Add a call to action like, “Get Started,” “See How,” or “Learn More.”
  10. One of the best ways to encourage repeat business from your customers is to offer a discount.  10% off is a powerful incentive for many buyers.  For a limited time offer, a bigger discount coupled with the time pressure can be a strong incentive to buy.
  11. Reward your customer base with incentives to spread the word about your business, products, and services.  Testimonials and referrals are powerful social proof that will help you build your business.  The New York Times reports that 65% of new business comes from referrals.  Neilson reports that in one survey they conducted, 92% trust referrals from someone they know.   Notice how Dollar Shave Club solicits referrals in the following confirmation.
  12. Product reviews can also be influential in the buying process.  Consider this:

    Here’s a great example of how to ask for a product review:

Those are my 12 best tips for maximizing the potential of your confirmation pages and emails.  What would you add?  I welcome your comments and questions, and your likes and shares.

 

tonyseel

October 4, 2017

I read something on Friday that astounded me.  Barry Feldman, writing for Social Media Today, says that he recently opted onto 25 email lists and more often than not, he did not receive a welcome email.  That’s almost criminal, but here’s the stat on this:

Feldman’s experience doesn’t square with the stat, but my question for you is this: are you part of the 42.3%?  Here’s the first reason to send a welcome email: in a recent survey 74.4% of people said that they expect a welcome email when they opt in to an email list.  They are expecting it and waiting for it – this is the worst possible time in a new relationship to disappoint.  When you send a thank you, you are showing that you value your new subsciber customer, or client.  Besides, it’s the polite thing to do!  Plus, it starts a conversation with your new subscriber.

AWeber calls the welcome email, “the one email you should always send – no matter what.”  The welcome email is the first email that new subscribers receive from you when they opt in to your list, and it will likely be the one email most opened.  AWeber says “they get open rates that are 4 times higher and click-through rates that are 5 times higher than other emails.”

With your welcome email, you set the stage for a growing relationship with a potential customer, client, patient, or donor.  With a great welcome email, you improve your open rates and click-through rates for future emails that you will send.  This all starts with your first welcome email, and a good welcome sequence can build this out for you and increase your sales and income.

Think about it – your welcome email arrives shortly after someone has joined your tribe – their interest is at the highest level.  Look at this:

Not only do your new subscribers expect a welcome email, they are likely to open and read it.  Not only that, they are three times more likely to buy from you during your welcome email sequence.  The welcome emails that you create and use give you a great advantage over any competitors that aren’t using them.  They give you the best possible opportunity to build your reputation with your new subscriber. Do you need more reasons to send welcome emails?  If not, let’s dig in.

The following infographic offers a boatload more of reasons to use welcome emails along with tips:

Did any of the numbers in the infographic grab you?  How about the 336% jump in transaction rate?  Or the 196% lift in unique clicks?  Those are certainly impressive, but don’t miss the other impressive rates in the infographic.  The point is welcome emails can dramatically help your business.

In a series of welcome emails, you can do a number of things that are beneficial to your business like helping your subscribers see why they should get to know, like and trust you.  By establishing trust, and building your authority and affinity with your subscribers you give them reasons to do business with you.   One of the best parts of welcome emails is that you can automate this process through your autoresponder.

Here’s another stat that should be a strong motivator for you –  the open rate for your welcome emails can be 70% better than the open rate for the broadcast emails that follow your welcome sequence.  If you have a welcome sequence and it’s not performing this well, it’s time to rework the emails in that sequence.  Start by rewriting the headlines.

What will you say in your welcome emails?

  1. The first priority of your welcome email is to make a great first impression.  Part of this priority is the delivery of your lead magnet, the incentive that you offered to encourage new subscribers to put their faith in you and give you their email address.  Your welcome email is the best way to deliver your lead magnet since it also verifies that you’ve been given a legitimate email address.
  2. Your first welcome email is a perfect place to introduce yourself.  Make that great first impression by establishing your authority in your niche.  Why should you be the go-to person in your field?  Convince your new leads that they should listen to you.  You also want to build an emotional connection, and there’s no better way to do that than to judiciously sharing your story.  Judicious means don’t go overboard with this (keep it concise)!
  3. Start a conversation with your new subscriber.  What question can you ask that will get your subscribers talking to you?  As long as it is related to your niche and their struggles, you’ve got a great opportunity to build a great business relationship right from the start.
  4. Set the expectations of your new subscriber by telling them about the kind of valuable information that you will be sending them via email.  You can reinforce this objective by including links to your most popular posts.  You can also tell them how often you will be emailing them.
  5. Tell your new subscriber where they can find you on social media.  Social media is a fabulous way to establish a growing bond.
  6. Encourage them to whitelist you.  If their email program is sending your emails into a spam folder, you’re sunk, at least with them.  A P.S. is a good place to place your whitelist request.
  7. What do you expect from your new subscribers?  Tell them.  This is an important place to be clear about what goals you have for your new subscribers.  Do you want them to follow you on social media?  Ask them to do so.  Do you want to introduce your product line?  Make that clear.  What kind of feedback do you want from your new subscribers?  Let them know how they can help you meet their needs through their feedback to you in replies and through participating in surveys.
  8. In your sequence of welcome emails, each email should have one specific purpose.  Ask for one action, whether it’s a download of your lead magnet, a look at the sales page for your tripwire product or main product, or some other action related to your business.
  9. In your emails to your subscribers, ask for referrals.  Referrals are one of the best ways to build your business since satisfied customers and clients can become your greatest advocates for you with people that they know.
  10. Make sure that there’s a clear call to action in every email that you send.

A Welcome Email Sequence That You Can Use Right Now!

Let’s go through a typical welcome email sequence.  This sequence utilizes six emails.  There is no hard and fast rule on how many emails should be in your welcome sequence.  Starting out, you may wish to experiment and make adjustments based on the open rates of your welcome emails.  Adjustments should start with your headlines if the problem is open rates. As my loyal email subscribers know,

As my loyal subscribers know, I like to send welcome emails each day until the sequence is completed.  Others suggest spacing them 2-3 days apart.  Here’s a good sequence that you can use:

  1. The first welcome email is sent immediately after someone opts in to your list.  This is your introduction to your new subscriber, and the work done with this email is to establish a bond with them.  This bonding starts with the delivery of the lead magnet that interested them.  Second, this bonding is done by being crystal clear on identifying your target audience in this email.  Help your new subscriber understand what you’re about and what you have to offer them. Your goal in doing so is to establish that your new subscriber is a legitimate member of your tribe.
  2. Your second welcome email is your opportunity to encourage your new subscriber to get your lead magnet if they haven’t yet done so.  Provide the link for them again. You can also go a little further in helping them understand how valuable you are to them.  This is a great place to ask your new subscribers to reply to you.  The personal contact will deepen your bonding with them.
  3. In your third email, you can go a bit deeper in introducing yourself.  It’s essential that you tell your story in a way that helps your new leads connect with you.  They need to be able to see themselves in whatever story that you tell about yourself.  Show them how you overcame the kinds of challenges, problems, or issues that your products address.
  4. Make the fourth email educational in nature – tell your new leads something related to your niche that they can use.  They opted into your list because they believed you had something of value that would help them.  Now, in this email, add to the help that you offered them in your lead magnet.  Your fourth email help may be a video, another lead magnet, a tripwire product, or your main product.  Any selling should be soft selling at this point.  It is counterproductive to have prospects opt out at this point when they really haven’t gone very far with you.
  5. For those who respond to your fourth email, you can segment them to another list based on what they responded to.  For those who didn’t respond, you can offer something else, or deepen the sale on your tripwire or main product.
  6. This email can be a variation on email five.

What would you add to this?  I welcome your comments, suggestions, and questions, and your likes and shares.

 

Do You Need A Bridge Page?

I received an email from Igor Kheifets about a new product that he’s introducing on building bridge pages and thought that I’d save you the time, money and trouble by explaining here how you can build a bridge page to increase your sales.

So, what’s a bridge page?  It’s a type of landing page for pre-selling for an affiliate product or your own product to a target audience that is different than the target audience that your sales page is designed for.

You can send email subscribers to your bridge page, or send traffic from a webinar or video.  You can create your bridge page for product reviews, recommendations, tips, lead capture, or a place to offer bonuses in conjunction with an affiliate product offer.  One way bridge pages are used is to review an affiliate product AND add bonuses to the affiliate offer.

Bridge pages are an opportunity for you to introduce yourself as an expert in your niche, which will strengthen your authority for selling affiliate products in your niche.

How to Create Bridge Pages

Here’s an effective way to build bridge pages:

First, put your offer in your headline.  What are you selling and what is the most appealing way that you can introduce your bridge page to your target audience?  If you’re writing a review article on a product, make that clear in your headline.

The body copy of the bridge page is designed around the benefits and features that are most advantageous for the target audience you have selected for the bridge page.

The “But Wait, There’s More” section is where you offer bonuses that are especially attractive to your new target audience.

Urgency is always important for closing the sale, so after the bonuses section, put a time limit on your offer.

Following your “limited time only” pitch, it is best to offer social proof.  This comes in the form of testimonials from happy customers.  Who has already used your product and gotten great results?

Finally, you make your personal pitch – put your picture on this call to action and make your persuasive appeal for action.

There’s a bonus for you in bridge pages if you design them correctly: new leads.  Put an opt-in form in your bridge pages so that the traffic that you drive to them is not lost to you forever. Use your bridge pages to build your list!

Bridge pages are especially effective when used with Facebook advertising. Write your ad in a conversational tone with an offer to provide more information valuable information for those who click through to your bridge page.  On your bridge page, develop the issue that sent prospects from Facebook to your page, and invite them to the sales page for the complete solution to the issue.  According to William Martin of iMarketForce.com, this process has increased conversations by as much as 300% in market tests.

Here’s a bridge page that I created.

Even if you don’t deploy bridge pages on your website, there are some insights that you can use from them.  For example, on your website, present valuable information that others can use for their lives or businesses, or both.  Keep your content informational and less salesy.  Do product reviews, tips, and recommendations, and definitely include opt-in forms.

Allow bridge pages to be your bridge to sales and profits, there’s no telling where they will take you!

I encourage your comments and questions and your likes and shares.

 

Have Your Discovered The Internet Lifestyle?

Today’s Throwback Thursday post returns from July 2014.


free

Have you heard of the internet lifestyle?  It’s about freedom – freedom to be your own boss, set your own hours, and work as hard as you want or as little as you want.  The internet lifestyle is being enjoyed all over the world by smart and savvy internet marketers.

Are you living the internet lifestyle?  Last week I read about a former substitute teacher who had just taught “the class from hell” and knew she needed to be doing something different. She was burned out and broke.

Not only was the pay bad, but she was working at a school in a bad area where she had to stand outside on the playground holding a walkie-talkie with an eye out for potential gunmen walking onto school grounds.

She found her way out of that stressful lifestyle and into the internet marketing lifestyle. Her life has (thankfully) never been the same.  It could happen to you, but you are the only one who can make it happen.  If you haven’t taken the plunge, what’s holding you back?

Sound Too Risky?

Does it seem too risky?  Then start slowly.  Don’t plunge a huge amount of money into this new venture.  Start small, build your business, and reinvest your profits to grow your business. That’s how small businesses become life-sustaining businesses.

Yes, there are some who take the all-in approach.  A few succeed and many more fail.  As they say in the gambling world, bet with your head, not over it.

Too Unknown?

Is it too unknown?  Then read up on it.  There’s plenty of free information about internet marketing on the internet – funny how that happens!  Read up, soak up what you read, and when your knowledge is sufficient, get started.

If you’re the kind of person who has to know every detail about everything before you start, chances are the internet lifestyle is not for you.  If you research internet marketing you’ll find that a lot of it is like building a plane while flying it.  Most internet marketers that I know learned along the way to building their businesses.  Many will tell you that they failed for a long time before they succeeded.  Does that scare you?

For many internet marketing millionaires, and there are many of them, they learned by trial and error and after enough errors they hired a mentor (see my two posts below this one on the importance of mentoring for this field).  I work with a mentor and it has been a rewarding experience in a number of ways.  If you feel that getting a mentor is a sign of weakness, get over it.  Getting a mentor is the smartest move you can make on your way to a successful internet marketing business.

Are You Ready For Financial Freedom?

The best part of the internet lifestyle is financial freedom.  Without the financial freedom that the internet lifestyle produces, there is no internet lifestyle.  That freedom is out there for you, but you have to have the desire to reach for it.  The good news is that the internet lifestyle is alive and well and pretty much available to anyone who wants it.  Is that you?

If you haven’t yet discovered the internet lifestyle, click here for my free guide.

I invite your comments and questions, and your likes and shares.

 

 

The Essentials: A Sales Funnel

Today’s Throwback Thursday post returns from March, 2014.  It has been thoroughly revised.

 

To be a successful online marketer you absolutely, positively, have to have a sales funnel. One sale here, one sale there, is not going to make you successful. You need a sales funnel that can handle massive amounts of traffic and generate good and consistent sales. So, what is a sales funnel?  Here’s a typical one:

A sales funnel is a process that can begin in a number of places, but which leads toward sales. An online sales funnel could start with a Facebook ad, a blog post, Twitter, YouTube, an email letter, or a number of other places, or all of the above.  The point of a funnel is to take lots of volume and direct it all into one, tight stream.

The sales funnel online begins just as it does offline, with an initial contact.  From the initial contact, interested persons provide information so that you can have further contact with them.  They might respond to an ad, blog post, Facebook post, or some other form of marketing and click to go to a landing page (often called a squeeze page).  The landing page is where you ask a potential customer or client for their email address in exchange for a free offer.

If someone responds favorably and enters your sales funnel by giving you their email address, this means that they have accepted your offer, and have given you permission to send them valuable information.  This information could be in the form of a video, pdf, or some other form of communication.  That exchange of email address for your offer is the beginning of what can become a profitable relationship for you and your prospects.

The email follow-ups that you send after the initial contact are a way to nurture prospects and customers and clients.  This is the qualification stage for you and your prospects.  They are checking you out as your qualify them.  By providing quality content in your free offer and emails, you provide reasons to know, like, and trust you.  This is important since people don’t initially know you, and are understandably cautious.  Your emails are part of the process of them getting to know you.

Most people on the internet see lots of ads with lots of promises.  Why will they choose yours? Your sales presentation, through emails, sales pages, video sales letters or pages, are ways that you can move the sales process along.  Addressing your prospect’s concerns is part of this stage.  Your call to action is your closing, where you ask for the sale.

If you google “sales funnel”  you’ll find sales funnel templates, articles on sales funnels, and even posts that want to persuade you that the sales funnel is dead!  Read what you want, but the truth is that without a sales funnel, you will have no way to establish an ongoing relationship with potential clients or customers.  Which is why I call a sales funnel one of the essentials.

I welcome your comments and questions, and your likes and shares.

 

 

 

3 Ways Video Will Help Grow Your Business

Today’s Throwback Thursday post returns from October 2014.

this way

My wife tells  me all the time that I talk too much about some things.  If she knew how much I talk about using video for online marketing she would tell me to shut up already!  But video is such a great way to market and I believe so strongly that you can profit from this that I believe it would be a disservice to you to shut up now.

SEOmoz.org did a study of posts with and without video.  On average, for posts with only text, readers stayed on the page for 4:34 minutes.  For posts with images and text, the average increased to 4:48, not a really big jump.  This is where it gets interesting: posts with only video averaged 6:00 minutes of engagement.  That’s huge!

Broken down a different way, posts with videos averaged 5:29 minutes of engagement versus 4:46 minutes for posts without video.  Again, that’s huge.  Video also outpaces text and text with images for social sharing, Facebook likes, Tweets, and Google+ 1s.  Are you convinced yet that video needs to be a part of your marketing strategy?

Video is expected to capture 69% of consumer traffic this year (2017), and businesses large and small are using video effectively for promotion, training, and as a means to communicate free and paid content.  On-demand video is growing exponentially and you can tap into this growing trend to deliver content for your own sales and profits.  You can do so on your web pages or blog, youtube, Vimeo, and in email marketing.

Why is Video So Effective?

One of the reasons that video marketing is so powerful has to do with a key dynamic of video. With reading, many skim and scan, but you can’t do that with video.  With reading, we set our own pace and read what we want to read.  Video is much different.

Watching video is a passive experience for which the audience has little control.  The video sets the pace and delivers an experience that combines images, graphics, and text with audio for a more emotional experience than text alone.  Plus, because of the variety and amount of different stimuli in a video presentation, this medium can deliver much more content than reading alone.

Because of this, the emotional engagement of the viewer is much stronger than the engagement of a reader.  With video you can create an emotional bond with your prospects and customers that is much stronger than by using mere words (and I truly believe in the power of words!).

It’s been said that if a picture is worth 1,000 words, then a video is worth a 1,000 words, 25 times a second.

Combine videos with social media for marketing and you’ve created a very powerful synergy. With nearly 250 million users, Twitter is a fabulous place to publicize your videos.  Many videos can be played directly from Twitter or Facebook which makes for seamless marketing. If you have business-related content, LinkedIn is a solid platform for reaching business professionals.

3 Ways to Use Video to Grow Your Business

First, video will help you with your branding.  When you are creating your own videos, people will connect with you in a much stronger way.  We talk about writing your own copy so that your voice comes out, but how about combining your copy with your actual voice?  That’s powerful!  The real you will come out in videos in ways that aren’t possible with text alone.

That is important for your business success because it helps people know, like, and trust you on a much deeper level.  When that happens your business can explode with sales and growth.  Isn’t that what you’re after?  If not, internet marketing can be an expensive hobby.

Second, search engines love video!  You’ll benefit as Google often includes an image from a video in search results.  Search results with images get higher click-through rates which means higher viewership for your videos.

Did you know that youtube is the second largest search engine behind Google?  Have you ever thought of youtube as a search engine?  When you put your video content on youtube you are opening another channel for people to find you and youtube as a search engine will help people find you.  This will help your brand awareness and help you grow your business.

Third, for some of the same reasons that video helps your branding, it also helps your sales conversions.  Increased engagement and trust leads to higher sales and that’s exactly what video can deliver.

If you’re not yet using video, why not?  Do you see how not doing so is limiting your sales and profits?  If you do, it’s time to take action to propel your business into the 21st century!