How to Get Started in Online Marketing – Go Back to School

Whether you own a traditional brick and mortar business, or whether you are making a go of business online, you will need to learn how to use some of the latest tools of the trade to market your business on the internet.

Yes, even business owners with a physical location need to have a virtual presence. Why? It makes simple sense – that is where the business is coming from more and more as our technology-saturated youth become prolific consumers themselves.

So how do you get an education in online marketing? Will you need to go back to school for something like that?

In a word, yes. You need to educate yourself on the tools available to you online. Whether you are looking to launch a social campaign using free media, or a full-blown pay-per-click Google AdWords campaign, you need to look before you leap. The consequences of jumping off too soon could be thousands of wasted dollars with very little or no return.

So where do you go to get this kind of information? There are a number of really good resources out there, some are free, and some cost hundreds, even thousands of dollars. Over the coming weeks we will be taking a look at a number of these opportunities. We do not necessarily endorse any one of these, we simply make them available to you as a resource, you can do your own homework and decide if it will benefit you and your business. We will give you tips, though, on what we feel are valuable resources (of course, we wouldn’t include them if we didn’t think they were valuable), and we will tell you which ones are free and which ones will cost you money.

So where do we start?

Tonight we want to point in the direction of a brand new start-up opportunity, and we have a good reason for this, which I will explain momentarily. A site called theTRAFFICplan was just launched last month by creators and long time internet marketing entrepreneurs Jeff Long, Bob DeCecco and Franco Gonzales. Together this trio brings more than 40 years online marketing experience to the table, and they are building what is likely to become one of the internet’s premier training and development sites.

Currently the site has two membership levels, Basic and Premier. The basic level is free, and offers a wealth of information on various online marketing opportunities, including social medias such as facebook, MySpace, Youtube, Twitter, Blogs and many others, as well as paid sources of advertising such as pay-per-click, banner advertising and more. The training is offered both in online printable and recorded media, as well as through various live webinars and conference calls. The basic information that exists on the website today is only a precursor of what is to come as the site grows and expands, adding valuable materials in all forms of online marketing. And remember, all of this information is free to the basic members.

The premier level costs a little bit, and depending on the plan you enroll under you could pay an initial fee with an ongoing monthly subscription fee, or right now during their Grand Opening phase you can lock in a lifetime membership for a one time payment. The premier level content is still in the development phases so it is sparse on the site at this time, however, the benefits are worth considering. For example, future co-op advertising leads will be shared among the premier members, thus driving additional members to their primary business opportunities. The premier membership also includes the printed and media resources: Social Profit Streams 101, 201 and 301. These comprehensive manuals and training videos are designed to teach the members everything about Web 3.0, a unique combination of online marketing and social advertising.

The concept is simple: users, whether free or premier members, can help direct traffic to the site, providing a valuable resource for all would-be internet marketers. On the site they can also provide information to their referrals about their primary business opportunities. Many people who are looking for online marketing resources are also looking for the product to promote. The members also receive a commission from theTRAFFICplan when their referrals purchase any of the site’s materials.

In addition, the members can enroll in multiple free affiliate programs promoted by the site, and gain additional streams of income through affiliate sales of additional web marketing resources. And this is the primary reason we chose to highlight this opportunity ahead of all others: even the free members can earn a profit using this system. Free members can earn commissions direct from theTRAFFICplan site, from its affiliates, and through the promotion of their primary business opportunity – and all without ever investing a single penny. Of course, premier members earn higher commissions, but we think this is a stellar and (as far as we know) absolutely unique opportunity for beginners to the online marketing business to both learn and earn without risking anything.

Of course, there is always a risk to that approach: invest nothing, gain nothing. In other words, when someone is handed something for free they often do not treat it as diligently as they would something they had to work for. So, my question is, with such a tremendous opportunity in front of you, will you strike while the iron is hot, or will you sit back and wait to see what develops, and very likely miss the golden opportunity? The choice is yours. Be sure to check back with us over the coming weeks as we explore more of what the web has to offer serious online marketers and entrepreneurs.

Direct Mail Marketing: How Can You Reach New Customers?

Recently credit card companies discovered that direct mail marketing will work for their advantage. They also found out that the best way to be able to reach new customers is by direct mailing. According to a recent survey, 77% of consumers who were not customers before were already driven online. Before, credit card companies spent a lot of money for their massive marketing through T.V. and radio advertisements. But now they turn their heads to direct mailing campaign.

With direct mail campaign, credit card companies know that they can reach every place in the globe with lesser cost. They are now targeting new high school graduates or college freshmen. They know that a college student is very much eager to have a credit card in their wallets and the response rate from a college student is very high. As soon as they have graduated high school, college students are now receiving credit card offers through mails. And in most cases almost all college students whom they offered credit cards applied within months of mailing.

For smaller business, this is how direct mail marketing works for them. Let’s say that your products are golf gadgets:

Step 1:You should determine who purchases golf gadgets

Your product costs so much and mostly only men purchase golf gadgets. Clients aging between 30 to 45 years old with an annual net salary of $80,000 or more are the only ones who will most likely buy your products.

Step 2: You should determine the locations of your clients.

Your target clients should probably live in nice exclusive subdivisions or villages or have houses with values greater than $200,000. You can get your list if you will go to directories and gather contact information of those people who live in places like this or those people who live near golf courses.

Step 3: You should determine how many mailings

You should always plan ahead on how many mails you are going to send and when will you send them. Your golf gadgets are expensive items and usually if you are selling expensive items, it needs longer time for you to generate sales. This only means that you have to send more mails in order to be noticed by your targeted clients. The secret to generating more sales is that you should let your clients see your advertisements often. The more they see your advertisements the higher the possibilities that they will purchase your products.

Step 4: Consider your Design and Printing

Almost all of the printing houses have in-house designers that will assist you in designing your mailing piece for your targeted clients. When the design is already done the printing house will now print your mail piece. But, before you proceed in printing your mail piece, you should review and be sure that all texts are printed correctly. Check the grammar, the spelling and check if the design is pleasing to the eye.

Step 5: Start Mailing your Mail Piece

After printing your mail piece you are now ready to start sending your mails to your targeted clients. Let the mailing house do the job. A mailing house is a service provider who handles the addressing and the sending of the actual mails. They can deliver your mail piece in volume in a certain area by just giving them one address and the mailing house will deliver all the mails surrounding the area.

Using the services of a mail house is a much cheaper choice compared to sending mails individually through a post office. There are a lot of mail houses that can help you send your mail piece. Choose what is best for you.

Marketing Tips – Marketing With Testimonials

How often do you get testimonials in your business? Do you get them automatically? Does it take time for you to start bringing them in? Or do you go out and get video testimonials from these people? No matter how you get them, it’s important that you understand their value when it comes to getting more sales and profits in your business.

Testimonials are a great way to build credibility. With testimonials, people get to say things about you that you could almost never say about yourself. And if you’re wondering how to get testimonials from your customers, then this article is for you.

This article will show you how to get testimonials from your customer and clients, without begging them to do so. Actually these tactics are discreet, so you won’t have to worry about coming across as a spammer or something.

Testimonials is a great way to increase your conversion rates. Without testimonials, you’ll be hard pressed to find that it’s hard to sell without them. So the next time you get a customer, work these customers so that you can get as many testimonials as possible.

One of the best ways to get testimonials from your clients is to follow up on them on a monthly basis. This could be to sell a product, to ask for a referral, or even just to say “hi.” Keeping yourself in their minds will help you to get a referral, all while increasing the chances of getting a testimonial from them.

With a lot of testimonials, you can really portray yourself as the obvious expert in your niche. You may even want to run ads with one of your customers doing all the talking for you. This is known as an “endorsement ad”, and it’s one of the most powerful ways to market your business.

But if you don’t have any testimonials right now, don’t be discouraged. You can still increase your sales without testimonials, but it’s just the fact that with a testimonial, you can increase your conversion rates. But you’re definitely not in the water when it comes to selling without testimonials.

Testimonials are a great way to improve your sales and profits, so you should consider doing it right now as soon as possible. I think you can increase your sales and profits with the use of testimonials, but you just have to deliver excellent customer service to do so.

Plus… it never hurts to ask. Ask them for a testimonial via letter or email, and offer a free gift for doing so. Some will take you up on your offer immediately, some will miss this email (so send it again 14 days later), and some just won’t respond. This is just the dynamics of these things.

Getting testimonials doesn’t have to be hard – all you need is a good follow up campaign, and a gift to give the people who took you up on your offer. Once you can do these things, you’ll stand a chance of making more money from your marketing efforts.

Good luck with using these tips to get more new testimonials today.