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.

The Use of Links on Email Marketing

One of the key elements that generally helps to distinguish direct marketing campaigns from advertising is the fact that a marketing campaign seeks to provoke an action more or less immediate in the receiver. Naturally, email marketing is quicker to provoke an action in the receiver because of its interactive nature. The response from the receiver is immediate.

The most common reaction elicited by email marketing is expressed by clicking on a link or an icon. Some responses may even involve calling a 1800 number or request some vendor to call back. The main goal of email marketing is leading people into acting. There are various techniques that email marketers use to encourage people to click on a link or to send emails.

The main action in email marketing may be implicit, but the receiver of the email needs to feel attracted to clicking on icons. This can be done by the use of the appropriate trigger words or a series of appealing images. It is a proven fact that when a piece or advertisement has the “click” in it, it draws attention to it and therefore increases the amount of times it is clicked.

Email marketers use their creativity to come up with new words and terms every day in order to encourage the customer to want to know more about the product.

Clicking is everything in an email marketing campaign. Marketers want their customers or receivers of the information to click in the different links in the text. For this purpose, it is the job of the marketer to make sure that the links are easy to follow and prompt the site that contains the information they want.

Studies have shown that in an offer for a product using both an image and some text with a link, the link text records the most clicks. If the offer relates to a specific product, you can also insert a direct link to the product, which will avoid the user to go through the preliminary pages.

There is a proliferation of the usage of links in email marketing. If the message is relatively long, do not hesitate to increase the presence of a link within the message. It is always to offer the user a link to visual range and a mouse, without recourse to the lift frame is necessary.

The use of an accelerator or incentives in email marketing. As in traditional direct marketing, an accelerator in the form of a bonus or gift reserved for first responders or linked to a deadline for response is a technique to increase response rates.

The Direct Mail Game – Be In It To Win It Or Go Home

Direct Mail is one of the most powerful tactics used in marketing different products and services. If done correctly, it can surely be an instrument to boost your sales and investment returns. It’s competitive and time consuming, but it works. You better be ready to compete on a whole new level. Thankfully, technology has lowered the costs of entry for direct mail campaigns.

Have you ever asked yourself why is it called direct mail? Well, it is called so because it asks for a direct response from its recipients. Mail can be sent in a form of a letter, post card, door hanger, or other stuff that catches much attention.

There are also a lot of factors that affect the response rate of every direct mail campaign. Quality of the list is one of these factors. Timing of the mailing is also another factor since time of the week, month, or year that you send your mail to your targeted clients also has an effect on the response rate of the customers.

Response rate is also affected with the quality of the mails that you’re sending. A mailing piece should have the following components like well-thought headline, good consumer benefits, well-established credibility, good offer and good quality of paper used.

To achieve great results in your direct mail campaign, it is necessary that after every campaign you keep track on the timing, the special offers given, response rates, and sales that are generated. Through this analysis, you can work on the things that need improvement and changes to boost more your sales growth.

While doing the analysis, don’t be fooled with very high response rates. Of course having 100 responses and 2 sales is not that impressive compared to 5 responses and 4 sales. While it is good to have high response rates, generating much higher sales through your marketing investment is still the ultimate measurement of success.

Going back to the components of a well-made direct mail piece, it’s essential that you consider if the mail that you are making is actually addressing the concerns and needs of your clients.

If you want it to grab attention, don’t send out a vanilla or, shall we say, a “yellow-paged” type ad.

A Good Mailing Piece Should:

  • Be personalized if possible (Use PURLS or personal URLS on your print ads. Send people to their very own personal URL!)
  • Be crafted as an ad in letter form
  • Address the concerns of the recipient
  • Be stated in terms of benefits rather than features or advantages
  • Highlight the things that set you and your service/product apart
  • Ask for a direct response from the recipient; and
  • Include an incentive to take action now.

So to wrap up, direct mail can be a great instrument in boosting your sales if done correctly. While crafting your mailings, you have to always check your marketing investment and at the same time track the timing, response rate, conversion rate, and the sales generated as a result of your direct mail campaign.

If you craft an excellent direct mail piece and run a campaign often, you’ll be better positioned to reach your targeted sales sooner than what you were expecting.