Sunday, November 22, 2009

Integrating Advertising into Your Web Design


by: Stephen Bucaro

If you are going to be placing ads on your website, you'll want to put some thought into how you'll integrate them. Poor integration of ads into your website will cause visitors to click away fast. Successful integration of ads into your site can be highly profitable. Before I show you where to position ads, I want to mention a few important points about ads.

1. Ratio of ads to content

How many ads should you place on your website? There is an optimum ratio of ads to content. If your website has too high a proportion of advertising relative to content, the traffic on your website will suffer and you will lose money. If your website has too low a portion of advertising relative to content, the sales on your website will suffer and you will lose money.

What is the optimum ratio of ads to content? I can't point to any studies, but I feel the optimum ratio is somewhere around 20 to 25 percent ads relative to content. Go much above that ratio and, despite more ads, the revenue from your site goes down. But, there are ways to exceed that ratio and still make more money.

Ads as a service

Advertisements can provide useful information, as well as content. In that case, the ads become content. Here's an example. Rather than post ads that pay you the highest commission, post ads that provide the best value to the visitors to your website. These are ads where the value is so good you might respond to the ad yourself. This type of ad is more of a service than an advertisement.

Another example is ads for gifts around the holidays. People expect and are not turned off by an increase in ads around the holidays. Finding gifts for everyone on your list is difficult work, and people appreciate gift ideas. Again, this type of ad is more of a service than an advertisement.

You can safely exceed the normal ratio of ads to content if you hide the ads in the content. An example of this is product "reviews". For example, computer magazines are almost 100 percent advertising posing as product reviews.

2. Repetition of ads and ad management

I have seen websites that display the exact same banner on every page. If I didn't respond to the banner on the first page, what makes them think I will repond to it on the second, third ... hundredth page?

Displaying the same banner on every page of your website is annoying to your website's visitors, and a money losing propostion for you. Keep your ads fresh. Ads are boring enough without repeating the same ad over and over. Display a variety of ads, and use an ad management system. An example of an ad management system is a banner rotator.

3. Ad type relative to response rate

I have heard claims that text ads receive the highest reponse. I'm sure these results are not related to whether the ad is text or graphics, but more likely related to the fact that text ads are usually placed in the more responsive areas of a webpage. All thing being equal, a graphic ad will always get better response than a text ad.

A graphic ad will get higher response than a text ad, and an animated graphic ad will get higher response than a static graphic ad. But animation can be taken to an extreme. Some types of animation are annoying and not only does the ad get a low response, but it also causes visitors to click away from your website.

Examples of annoying animated ads are banners that flash or jiggle or do something else that distracts the visitor so they can't read the webpage content. Those visitors that don't click away will scroll the webpage so this type of ad goes off screen while they try to read the webpage.

A secret few advertising designers know is that the graphic that will get the most attention is a picture of a human face. People are genetically predisposed to look at a human face in their view area. Try it yourself while you're browsing the web. If a webpage has a human face on it, that's the first thing you will look at.

Where to position ads on your webpage

To discuss where to place ads on a webpage, we need to divide a page into five sections as listed below.


  1. Header

  2. Footer

  3. Left Margin

  4. Right Margin

  5. Center column

Note: There is a sixth area of the webpage which is the popup window. There are many forms of popup windows; pop-over, pop-under, delayed, and exit. The polite way to use popup windows is the self-closing popup window. Because of popup window blockers, popup windows are much less effective today, and, from my own experience, when I tried using popup windows, the page views on my website dropped by 50 percent.

The most common position to place advertising banners is in the header section of a webpage. Web users have programmed themselves to ignore banners in this position. The response rate of banners in the header section of webpages has dropped to something like .0001 percent. The Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) has tried to overcome this problem by defining giant (what I call "battleship size") banners. I don't know of any studies that show this works.

Using banners in the head section of your webpage is a waste of processor time, but most webpages still use them. Making a sale this way is a long shot. Banners in the footer section of a webpage are even less responsive.

Actually Web users have programmed themselves to ignore all advertising on the web. However, from my own experience, you can get some response from ads in the left and right margins of a webpage. Most websites are designed with the menu in the left margin and possibly ads in the right margin. This means if the user has a low resolution display, depending upon the width of the webpage, the advertising may be off the screen.

Place your menu in the right margin and use the left margin for advertising. This places the user with a low resolution display in the positon of having to scroll to view the menu. Too bad. They should get a bigger display. Website revenue comes first.

The most responsive position to put your ads is in the center column of the webpage along with the content. As visitors are reading the article on the webpage, they come upon the ad. It's unavoidable.

If you imagine the center column of your webpage divided into three parts; top, middle, and bottom, the most responsive position for your ad will be right in the middle. As the visitors are reading the article on the webpage, they are forced to look at the ad as they continue to the lower part of the article. This might be a little annoying to the reader, but let's hope your content is worth that slight annoyance.

I would recommend placing your ad at the bottom of the center column. As visitors read the article on the webpage, they end up looking at your ad. This is almost as effective as placing the ad in the middle of the column, and a lot less annoying to the reader.

As you can see, how you integrate advertising into your webpages has a major impact on your ability to produce revenue from your website. Poor ad integration will cause visitors to click away. Proper integration can make your website highly profitable. But, ad positon is not the only determining factor, don't forget the ratio of ads to content, ad management, and ad type relative to response rate.

Permission is granted for the below article to forward, reprint, distribute, use for ezine, newsletter, website, offer as free bonus or part of a product for sale as long as no changes are made and the byline, copyright, and the resource box below is included.

Stephen Bucaro


To learn how to maintain your computer and use it more effectively to design a Web site and make money on the Web visit bucarotechelp.com. To subscribe to Bucaro TecHelp Newsletter visit http://bucarotechelp.com/search/000800.asp

Advertising Do's and Don'ts


by: Jeremy Gislason
As you begin marketing and promoting your online business you are going to run into some unbelievable advertising opportunities. Generally speaking if the ad offering sounds too good to be true--It is.

There are companies that will tell you they will get you listed in the top 10 search engines or place your link on millions of sites or they will get you listed in the top 10 returns of search engines. This last one sounds similar to the first, but there is a big difference.

Google searches over 3 billion pages during their searches. The companies that tell you they will get you listed in the top 10 of the major search engines would have to defy all the principles of math to do this. They could not work with more than a few companies in order to achieve this and honestly, there is no way they can get you listed in the top 10 of the search engines placements at all unless they make up their own search terms and people search on that specific term.

Stay away from the companies that tell you they are going to place you in search engines for a fee, for the most part they will do nothing more than use a site software submitter. You can get your own software for this or use an online service and submit your site yourself for a lot less than what most SEO companies charge for this service.

Guaranteed traffic-- They work fine for free sites or if your goal is to build a database of names, but if you are selling a product or service, you will get hits, but not many sales.

Mass email -- Any company that tells you they will send your ad to millions of people for $20 or $30 is simply taking your money. This might sound inviting, but do not waste your money. They are either using site submit tools or sending your ad to millions of harvested email addresses. The companies who tell you they are going to submit your site to millions of pages will most likely do what they say, but you will not see any return and may even get you Spam complaints.

Mass emails are a complete waste of your money regardless of what product you are selling. There are many sites that will tell you they will send your ad to double opt-in lists of people. We have tried over a dozen of these services and have barely received a hit, much less sales. The problem is you lose control over your ad when you use mass email companies. There is no way to verify the ad was sent and if you could verify it was sent, there is no way to tell it was sent to the numbers they promise. Plus, you run the risk of being accused of Spam.

Solo ads-- These are by far one of the best methods of promoting your product and service. They are targeted, you can verify the numbers and you can subscribe using a unique email and verify the ad was sent on the day and time it was supposed to be sent.

Consultants-- Use your best judgment when hiring consultants, call some or send an email and ask about a money back guarantee if they cannot meet the objectives they set forth. I am not a big believer in money-back guarantees because if a service is valuable and you can see the value before you buy, then a money back guarantee is not necessary. However, if someone comes to you and says, I can make your site profitable within 30 or 60 or 90 days and it is going to cost you X amount of money, then they should give you your money back if they do not achieve the desired results.

A good consultant will work with companies that he or she knows they can help by relying on their background and expertise in certain areas of marketing and advertising. Nobody knows everything, but if someone has an expertise in an area that I lack knowledge with, I would hire him or her in a second if they can honestly help me and they can prove they can help me and they will back up what they tell me.

We get emails every day from people who want to join ISOR with the plan of retiring in a month, making a million dollars without doing anything, etc. and we turn every one of them down. There is no business on the Internet or in traditional business where you can accomplish this type of unrealistic goal.

There are, however consultants who will tell you what you want to hear, just to get your business. They take your money and run and they will not help you a bit. We hired a copy writer one time who seemed like a good fit for our company and only after she finished the writing at $120 an hour did she tell me that she would not buy my product. Not because she could not benefit from it, but she refused to pay for anything online. Her copy was terrible and we ended up re--writing the entire sales page. Her feelings and beliefs came across in her writings. It was simply impossible for her to write positively when her mind was telling her negative things.

We have many marketing and advertising partners and all the companies we partner with have been tested by us to offer valuable services, but there are thousands of other companies on the Internet and you might find a very good company with a very good service that works for you and within your budget. Not all companies are out to cheat you, but the purpose of this article is to forewarn you regarding where you spend your advertising dollars.

We have spent a lot of money and time buying and trying different advertising options and by using our own ad campaign and link tracking system for all our advertising campaigns we have the data to back up what we say.

Research your advertising options carefully and do not get pulled into a good deal just because it sounds like a good deal. You do not need to spend a lot of money to advertise and promote your business, you just need to use your common sense and think long term.

About The Author

Jeremy Gislason has over 15 years of marketing experience and is the Vice President of ISORegister, Inc. We are dedicated to helping online businesses succeed by providing them with the tools and resources every online business should not be without. Discover how ISOR has helped 1000's of ordinary people and dozens of top Internet marketers earn a living online. Visit http://www.isoregister.com today.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Hit Counts and Advertising


by: Bob McElwain
hen you first open your new site, hits will be slow in
coming (unless you are an expert at generating them). And sales
will be correspondingly scarce. Even so, you need to be checking
your stats and sales with care. The number that matters most to
you is ...

The Value Of A Hit

By this, I mean, what is a hit worth to you? (By hit, I
mean one unique visitor or user session.) Compute this number
by dividing total sales amounts (gross profits) by the number
of hits. That is, find the total earned for say a month. This
includes your part of sales of products produced by others,
commissions on sales, and so forth. Your stats will provide
the number of unique hits.

For example, if you have a gross of $200 for the month, and
1000 hits, the value of a hit is 200/1000. Which is 0.20 or 20
cents. If gross was only $50, then this number is only 0.05 or
5 cents.

Moving Averages

With a mature site routinely generating hits, this number is
not likely to vary markedly from month to month. Even so, a good
plan is to include in your results a 3 (or 4) month moving
average. For example, given Jan: $0.30, Feb: $0.20, and Mar:
$0.10, add these three numbers and divide by 3. (30 + 20 + 10)/3
= 60/3 = 20.

The reason this helps is that looking only at the monthly
data, the above looks like an ugly downtrend. The 3 month
average eases that downer feeling. Equally important, it helps
you keep from getting too excited about an apparent up trend.

Suppose the value for April jumps to $0.40. For the new
average, January is excluded; you look at only the last three
months. This gives (20 + 10 + 40)/3 = 70/3 = 23.33 which is
roughly 23 cents. In considering 23 cents as opposed to 40 cents
for the month, there is a more reserved view of the sudden jump.

I chose numbers here to make things easier to follow. Actual
results for your site will look quite different. And since the
computations, while simple, can be tedious and prone to error,
most who take this sort of thing seriously use a spread sheet
program, such as Excel.

Why These Numbers Matter

The value of a hit is fundamental to what you can afford to
pay for advertising. And you'd like to stay a bit under this
figure. If the ad produces only this value per hit, the campaign
was a fizzle, for no profit was made. (The exception would be
the value of new customers as subscribers to your newsletter,
those who return to purchase other products, and so forth.)

There's a lot of trial and error in testing ads, but the ins
and outs of it are off topic here. For our purpose, suppose you
have a well tested ad that can be expected to generate 25 hits in
1000 impressions. If the value of a hit to you is 50 cents, then
you can expect a gross of 25 x $0.50 or $12.50.

What this means is you can afford to pay up to $12.50 CPM
(Cost per 1000 impressions) provided hits add to your subscriber
list or returns for other products. If you expect only a one
time sale, you probably will not want to pay more than $6.25 CPM,
so that half of revenue is immediate profit.

With an established site, even given troublesome variations
month to month, it is a fairly straightforward matter to decide
what you can afford to pay for advertising. Things are
different, though, for ...

New Or Small Sites

Initially you just don't have enough hits or sales to produce
numbers that make any sense at all. There is likely to be large
variations each month. Even so, it's best to begin this kind of
tracking even when only getting started.

Probably the best approach is to forget about a 3 or 4 month
moving average, and generate an average this month for all
earlier months. Whatever your results, you can not afford to
advertise until you have a tested ad and feel confident from the
value of a hit the ad will produce profits. For a new site,
unless you already know the advertising game, this may mean
waiting a year or more before even giving advertising a try.

Getting Started With Advertising

Most find advertising in ezines to be the most effective
approach on the Web. The trick is to find ezines directed at
your target. Then test your response to an ad in the least
expensive way. Given a poor or inadequate response, try another
ezine. But given a good response, go for it. In theory,
advertising that works can bring unlimited profits.

Ezine advertizing costs are often stated with a single price.
To make your numbers work, convert this price to CPM. This also
makes it easier to compare costs from ezine to ezine. For
example, if the circulation of an ezine is 4000 and the cost of
the ad is $20, you are paying $5 CPM.

Other Paths

I've haven't heard any recent reports of good success with
banner advertising using the CPM model. Some are reporting
success with the pay-per-click model, which means you pay only
for clickthroughs to your site. This is essentially the same
model used with the pay-per-click search engines such as the one
at GoTo.Com. There are no tough decisions here. If the value of
a hit to you is greater than what you must pay for a click to
your site, go for it. If it's not, ignore these avenues until
it is.

With an established site, several search engines, such as
Google, offer some interesting possibilities I have not tested.
Pricy, though, for new or small sites.

Directories

To submit a listing to Yahoo requires payment of $199.
Regardless of the value of a hit to you, submit as soon as your
site is sufficiently polished. Consider it a one time
advertising cost, and don't look back. Yahoo may deliver as
much as a third of search engine related traffic.

LookSmart is not such a sure thing. Also $199, they're
asking too much, in my opinion. But I still recommend paying the
fee. Again, it's a one time cost. Over time, a listing will pay
for itself, and may ultimately do so many times over.

SNAP is another matter. They also ask for $199 for a listing
in their "Top Sites" directory. I don't think it's worth it.
And I have not heard others recommend it. But it is an option.
Submit for free to their "Live Directory," then walk away.

DMOZ is a must. Submitting a listing is free. And if you
find a second category into which your site fits well, a second
submission about a month later works well.

So When Should An Advertising Campaign Be Launched?

As soon as the value of a hit and a tested ad will produce
profits. Until this point is reached, advertising is a waste
of money.

For a new or sluggish site, the way to go is to keep working
at boosting your CR (Conversion Ratio). That is, continuously
examine all elements in all paths leading to sales, in search of
improvements that bring a higher CR. By increasing your CR, you
increase the value of a hit. Ignore all thoughts of advertising
until your CR is sufficient to produce a hit value high enough
to cover the costs of placing ads.

But once this happens, go for it. All out.

About the Author

Bob McElwain
Want to build a winning site? Improve one you already
have? Fix one that's busted? Get ANSWERS. Subscribe
to "STAT News" now! mailto:join-stat@lyris.dundee.net
Web marketing and consulting since 1993
Site:
Phone: 209-742-6349


by: Diane Hughes
Everyone knows that advertising is essential to growing a business. One problem that small business owners have always faced is the high cost of marketing. Most, however don't realize that there is an effective way to reduce the cost of your advertising while - at the same time - increasing its reach.

Advertising co-ops are nothing new. Usually they are a "perk" offered by major manufacturers to encourage retailers to promote their products. Because the retailer has direct access to customers that would want to buy certain products, it only makes sense that they should do joint advertising. You've seen it - McDonalds mentioning Coke in their commercials, Dell stating that you get a free Epson printer with purchase and so on.

The retailer doesn't make the product the manufacturer is providing, but it IS a great match with what they DO offer. Nobody would want to eat a Big Mac without something to drink, and a computer wouldn't do a lot of good without a printer.

Now you can use this same strategy to create your own advertising co-op to increase the reach of your ads and drastically reduce the cost, too.


--- How It Works

Generally speaking, the cost of any advertisements (bulk emailings, ezine ads, banners, newspaper, etc.) would be split equally between all participants. If you and two associates decide to purchase a solo ad, you would each receive equal mentions in the ad and you would each pay equal portions of the cost.

So if the solo ad were going to a list of 200,000 and cost $150, each of the three would pay $50. You get to reach 200,000 people for 1/3 the cost you would have normally paid. And, because this ad relates you to other types of businesses, you actually expand your advertising reach.


--- Getting Started

So who would be qualified to enter into an ad co-op with you? It depends on the nature of your business. Think of others that reach your same target customer and make a list. If you design Web sites, you might approach hosting companies, graphic artists, copywriters or programmers. If your business is landscaping, you could invite yard maintenance companies to join you.

Once you have a list of one or more business types, think of current associates you know who belong to those groups. Also, ask others if they know of any reliable businesses that fall into the categories you've outlined.


--- Making the Approach

When you have a list of businesses to approach, simply write or email them with your offer. Be sure to point out the benefits such as:

* a win-win situation
* reduced cost of advertising
* expanded reach of advertising
* larger, more prominent ads for a fraction of the cost

Also, be sure to ask about the advertising outlets these businesses currently use. You will likely find new avenues that lead to greater exposure.


--- Finalizing the Deal

You'll need to work out payment arrangements with your partners prior to placing the ad(s). The best way I have found to handle the finances is for each party to pay me for their portion of the cost with a credit card. I then place the ad order with MY credit card. This way, you are assured of receiving the dollar amount due to you; and your partners have the assurance that - should you default on your end of the deal - they have recourse for getting their money back.

Working in cooperation with other businesses can lead to tremendous successes with advertising. When like-minded companies pool their resources to reach one target audience, the impact is doubled while the cost is reduced by at least half. That's the best advertising bargain around today!
About the author:

Diane C. Hughes * ProBizTips.com

FREE Report: Amazingly Simple (Yet Super Powerful)
Ways To Skyrocket Your Sales And Build Your Business
Into A Tower of Profits! ==>> http://madmarketer.com/diane

Friday, November 6, 2009

Advertising On A Budget -- Using Print To Drive Traffic Online


by: Michele Pariza Wacek

I decided to try something a little different and illustrate the marketing challenges of a small business. I'm using one of my clients, PrescottWeddings.com.

PWC is an online resource guide for couples planning their weddings. Along with a ton of information for brides and grooms, the site includes a resource guide where local businesses can advertise their products and services.

We launched PWC in November 2001. Like many start-up businesses, PWC didn't have much money for marketing. Yet we had two major challenges (three counting the limited budget):

1. PWC had to attract two kinds of target markets to the site -- advertisers and couples -- essentially at the same time. And if that wasn't bad enough, we had to appeal to each group even though one was dependent on the other -- advertisers wanted brides and grooms logging onto the site, and brides and grooms wanted a complete resource center.

2. Several bridal print publications had come and gone in Prescott -- and had burned their advertisers while racing out of town. Businesses were understandably hesitant about sinking their money into another bridal venture.

Armed with those challenges, we went to work. Now, just over two years later, PWC enjoys well over 40,000 hits a month and has increased its advertising base by over 600%. On top of that, PWC is well on its way to establishing a reliable brand in not just Prescott but throughout Yavapai County.

So how did we do it? A great Web site with great content plus three main marketing strategies:
1) Using print to drive traffic online
2) Thinking small
3) Frequency, frequency, frequency

I'll cover number two and three in the next two articles. Today we'll talk about number one: Using print to drive traffic online.

The cornerstone of PWC's marketing program has been print advertising, more specifically monthly advertising in the local newspaper. Print advertising is an excellent choice for many businesses -- from small to large. In fact, it's not uncommon for small and medium-sized businesses to build their advertising program around print.

The strength of print advertising is its flexibility. Print publications come in a variety of shapes and sizes. They can appeal to a broad readership or a narrow one. They can be published every day or once a year. This variety gives you a lot of flexibility in fitting print advertising into your campaigns.

You can also track print to a certain extent (coupons in newspapers for example). Print is physical, allowing your customers to carry something around with them.

However, print's weakness is also its strength. It's a visual medium only, so it requires more effort and interaction from your audience to make an impact (they need to stop and read it).

In the case of PWC, we chose monthly advertising in the local paper as the foundation of our marketing program. We decided upon the local newspaper because it has the broadest reach. Prescott isn't big enough to have its own evening television news, so the newspaper is the best vehicle for local news.

If you live in a big city, the local newspaper may not be practical because of cost. In that case, you may want to try a niche newspaper or magazine, like a business or lifestyle journal, or maybe a regionalized newspaper. In Phoenix for instance, the Arizona Republic is the main newspaper, but all the cities around Phoenix, like Scottsdale and Tempe, also have their own papers.

Because PWC is a Web site, there's an assumption we should be using only online methods to advertise. Online methods are good, and PWC does use them, but they only take you so far. Print is a part of the "real world" -- something you can touch and pick up, not virtual like a Web site. Print has also been around a lot longer, and carries more trust with it. We found by using print, some of that trust and "real world" essence rubbed off, making PWC seem less anonymous and more like a "bricks and mortar" business (a business with a store front).

Also, since we were trying to drive local traffic to the site, it made sense to advertise locally rather than attracting people from all over the world. But even with our local advertising, we still have a substantial number of visitors from around the state, including Phoenix and Tucson, as well as all over the globe.

The point of our marketing program was to advertise regularly so we could both build the PWC brand and drive traffic to the Web site. Yet it was essential to keep our costs down. So we leveraged our monthly newspaper advertising to stretch our marketing dollar as far as we could. More on that and how we "thought small" in the next article.

About the author:
Michele Pariza Wacek owns Creative Concepts and Copywriting, a writing, marketing and creativity agency. She offers two free e-newsletters that help subscribers combine their creativity with hard-hitting marketing and copywriting principles to become more successful at attracting new clients, selling products and services and boosting business. She can be reached at http://www.writingusa.com

Friday, October 30, 2009

Three Proven Steps to Improve Your Home Business Advertising


by: Bob Markovsky

Newspaper advertising is a tremendous source of new business that for so many businesses doesn’t ever reach its true potential. These 3 steps will help you change that forever!

You’re about to find out the mistakes that your competitors keep on making, and to start using techniques proven to grab your prospect’s attention and draw out responses that turn your ad into the 'customer producer' you always knew it should be.

Small Business Realities

All business owners want to increase sales, generate more customers, and make more money. Yet few take the necessary actions to do so. Providing a quality product or service is simply not enough.

Many business owners think they need to set an advertising budget, send out a few sales letters, put a few coupons in the local circular, run a newspaper ad, hand out flyers, and do a bunch of other things 'trying to get their name out there'.

The problem is... a small business that uses that approach wastes a lot of potential. Spending money on this type of exposure is known as advertising. The goal of advertising is to establish a brand name, build an image, and achieve top of the mind awareness. These are some fancy terms taught in business school, but unfortunately they steer everyone in the wrong direction.

You see, small businesses aren't supposed to advertise. Advertising is all about repeating exposures and building an image. Think about all of the many McDonalds commercials you see on television in a week. That's 'high frequency'. Don't they all seem to show a feeling of friendship, eating happily with family ("we love to see you smile")? That's image.

Do you think they intend to get you up out of your seat and go to your local McDonalds right as you're watching the commercial? Not really. OK, they hope you might, but that’s not what they intend. They are paying to have you see their message so many times that when you are ready to buy their product you will remember them and go there. Now,let’s get to work on your steps to advertising success.

Proven Step #1

So what method will work for your business? It's called direct response marketing. Here’s an example. Have you ever bought anything after watching an infomercial? Even if you haven’t, infomercials work, they make a lot of people a lot of money. It might surprise you, infomercials are not advertising - they don't try to build an image or get you to remember a brand, the products aren't even sold in stores!!

What do they do?

** They take a receptive audience.

** They get them excitedly to pick up the phone and buy. They create action!

This is why most newspaper ads don’t deliver big results. Most newspaper advertisers choose the commercial, but you want the infomercial. Your one and only goal in newspaper advertising is to create action.

In the usual types of Newspaper Directory ads you're dealing with very targeted prospects. These are people looking up your company type and ready to call you. That's the beauty and the curse of Newspaper Directory ads. The beauty is prospects can find you easily, the curse is that your competitors are right there with you!!

So how do we get them to pick up the phone and dial your number?

Use direct marketing...which is:

** Directly target a group of people who are in the market for your product or service.

** Offer them what it is they want.

** Generate a response by forcing them to respond to your offer.

Proven Step #2

Your competitors probably waste a lot of money because they're charged for people who will never even consider their offer. There is a definite and specific market for your service and these are the only people that you should aim your offer to.

For example, if you repair dental equipment you want to market your service to dentists, oral surgeons, etc.. But it's not generally that easy.

Consider a Home Cleaning Service in a suburb of Cleveland that advertises in the Cleveland Plain Dealer due to the tremendous readership. If 75% of the cleaning company's clients and target prospects are 3 person families and larger, with incomes of $100,000 per year, living in suburbs A, B and C., they've wasted a big chunk of money. Here’s why.

They just spent a lot of money for an ad that will be seen by college students, low-income families, and others that would never consider using their services anyway. Their high percentage prospects make up only a small readership of that paper. Who knows what percentage of those people will see the ad?

Maybe there's a magazine or community mailer that caters to middle/upper class families in a county neighboring Cleveland or in one of the many suburbs. Sure, maybe the readership is nowhere near as large but the lower cost and targeted readership will generate a much greater return on the company's investment.

A mailing list of 3-person households and larger with incomes above $100,000, who moved to such-n-such city or county within the last year can be purchased. Direct marketing targets the people most likely to respond to your offer.

Proven Step #3

Most advertising has no offer. And so the prospect has no incentive to respond right now. Direct response always tries to get a response by offering something of value to your prospect right now.

Using the home cleaning service in the example above, you could offer a free hour of cleaning, 20% off the first job, a free pack of sponges and a bottle of Simply Green or anything of value that will cause a person to act.

Since the offer is subject to your terms, you set a date when the offer expires, a number they have to call, a letter that they must bring in, a form that they must fill out.

So, at the end of your promotion you know exactly how much was spent reaching how many people. Also, you will know how many people responded and how much business was generated.

Most of your competitors don’t do this little analysis! They repeat campaigns that cost more than they bring in. So they are forced to set advertising budgets that limit the amount of advertising they can run each year.

But, if every one of your promotions cost you $55 and brought in $225 in business, why would you need a budget? Wouldn’t you just keep repeating the promotion over and over?

Your goal should be to repeat and improve what works for you. If you do, you will not need a budget and you will be able to predict what kinds of repeat and new business each promotion will generate.

Bob Markovsky


Millennium Services Group


Start Your Own High Profit Cleaning Business


http://www.Cleaning-Biz.com

There is no such thing as Free Advertising!


by: TBA ~ Tricia, Billie and baby Ashley
There is no such thing as Free Advertising.

Yep, you read right. There is NO such thing as FREE Advertising. The only kind of advertising you can get is inexpensive or expensive, good or bad, but you can’t get FREE advertising.

Why do we say there's no such thing as FREE advertising?

Because you’re advertising is paid for with either time or money. You either pay someone for advertising OR you take your time putting advertising up.

Whichever way, you’re paying for your advertising. There are some things you need to consider when advertising, whether you’re paying in time or money.

Groups Advertising - Is the group active? Do the group rules allow advertising? Is the group targeted to your target audience?

Signature Lines Exchanges - Does the other business compliment yours? Are they in different groups than what your in so you get more exposure.

Link Exchanges - Make sure the site has traffic; one way to find out is to ask. Make sure the site compliments your product. Make sure it has a Google ranking of at least a 3. Does the site target your audience?

Site Advertising – What are the site stats? Ask the Webmaster if you can't find it on the site. Check Google page ranking. Check to see if the site is updated with new information regularly. Does the site target your audience? Does the site compliment your product?

Ezine Advertising - Again ask for the stats, don't just ask how many subscribers they have. Ask how many are reading their newsletter. Make sure the ezine is geared towards your targeted audience.

We keep coming back to the check this and check that because you want to make sure that ezine or site is worth your payment, rather it be in money or time; because our time is valuable too.

So be selective in how you spend your time, just as you would in spending your money, when advertising your business.


About the Author

Written by TBA. TBA stands for Tricia Billie and baby Ashley. We are a mother, daughter, & granddaughter WAH team. We own and operate TBADeals.us

Pay-Per-Click Advertising & Search Engine Optimization


by: Carrie Reeder

There are pro's & con's to both Pay-Per-Click advertising and optimizing for natural search engine traffic.

PPC advertising has many great benefits. First of all, you get your traffic going quickly. I have used this advantage many times. I test new products and even new websites through PPC advertising before making a decision to promote or scrap my new website or product idea.

I am a firm believer in testing new products before throwing large amounts of money into advertising. PPC advertising is a great way to do this. For example, with Google's Adwords program, you can post your ad, pay a $5 sign-up fee and have highly targeted traffic to your website within an hour. How is that for efficiency?

Also, you can moniter your click charges and stop them before they get too expensive. By the time you have spent your budget on clicks, you should have a pretty good idea of how successful your product is going to be.

I think of PPC advertising as being the most useful when starting a new business or product. WIth PPC advertising, you can quickly and efficiently find out which keywords you need to target and which products are the most popular.

Once that testing period is over, however, it's time to look into Search Engine Optimization. PPC advertising can be very expensive, costing hundreds, even thousands a month in advertising costs. Once you know what keywords to target, it's time to put together a plan on how you are going to optimize your website. The drawbacks to search engine optimization is that it requires a lengthy amount of time to get your site to rank high with your keywords. That is why I suggest using this method after the testing period is over, when you already know your business will be profitable.

Search Engine Optimization is definately a slow way to get your website traffic if you plan on not using PPC traffic. It could be a long, expensive road before you even begin selling your product. Search engines can take months, even years to start pulling up high with the search engines. But, natural search engine traffic is definately the best long term way to get the majority of your traffic.

When getting your site to start pulling up in SE natural listings there are 2 main things that need to be done:


  1. Add Content

  2. Add Backlinks

Search engine traffic requires you to submit your site to many different search engines and wait, maybe even months for them to spider your website.

I have had much better luck with another route. You can pay a fee to have your website listed in a very high ranking directory like www.dmoz.com (free), www.yahoo.com's directory ($299), sbd.bcentral.com (only $50), or another website where your link is on a page that has a page ranking of 4,5,6 or higher. The sites I mentioned above have rankings of 8 or 9. When you have your link on a site with that high of a ranking, the search engines are spidering those sites constantly and will find your website and spider it very quickly. Not only will they find it quickly but because you are linked to a high ranking site, you will also rank higher with the SE.

When looking for backlinks, focus on sites with content related to yours and high page rankings of 4 or higher.

As for content on your site, try to include about 200-500 words of content or text on most of the pages of your site. Text makes your site bulkier. Make sure to integrate all of the keywords you want to target within the content of your site. Don't worry about cramming the same keywords in over and over. Search engines may possibly even blacklist your site for keyword stuffing, if you try to do that.

There is a lot to know about Search Engine Optimization but, those are the 2 main factors when getting started.

In summary, when starting out, I suggest using PPC advertising for testing products and keywords. Spend time optimizing your site for search engine traffic after you have tested your products and keywords.

Carrie Reeder has been a web marketer for 3 years and has various websites where she sells a variety of products from software to clothing accessories.


www.thelevelcollection.com


carrie@thelevelcollection.com

Monday, October 26, 2009

Advertising Your Home Business With Pay Per Click Can Be Risky


by: Kirk Bannerman
An unfortunate byproduct of the pay per click advertising
business is click fraud. Many people with an online business
spend large amounts of money on pay per click advertising only to
discover that many of the people clicking on their ads weren't
really interested in their products or services.

Bogus "visitors" to a pay per click ad represent click fraud.
This is a serious scam that threatens the viability of the pay
per click advertising business which has become enormously
profitable for all of the major search engine operators, namely
Google, Yahoo/Overture, and MSN.

Click fraud has different twists, but the end result is generally
the same. Advertisers are billed for fruitless traffic
generated by someone who repeatedly clicks on an advertiser's ad
without any intention of ever buying anything.

The search engine advertising market is currently about $3.8
billion per year and estimates vary widely on how much click
fraud is actually going on. Clearly, the search engine operators
would like to downplay the extent of this problem. Some industry
experts claim that a little click fraud exists but that it is
overblown by advertiser paranoia, while others estimate that ten
to twenty percent of all clicks are false (made by someone with
no legitimate interest in the ad itself).

Virtually everyone involved with pay per click advertising sees
click fraud and knows it's there, but no one is quite sure what
to do about it.

Both Google and Yahoo/Overture acknowledge that the click fraud
problem exists, but claim improved internal controls will prevent
the problem from escalating. Their stated position seems to be
that they are concerned about click fraud, but that it is not a
material issue so far. Both of them are touting their increasing
internal actions aimed at detecting and combating click fraud.

Such reassurances from search engine companies certainly aren't
surprising, given how much they stand to lose if advertisers
cut back on advertising spending. The stakes are huge and the
search engine companies are actively involved in public relations
campaigns. Industry research firm eMarketer expects $7.4 billion
to be spent on search engine advertising by 2008, up from only
$108.5 million back in 2000.

The incentives for click fraud have increased along with the
money devoted to search engine advertising. Advertising on search
engines has turned into a fast-spreading craze as more and more
marketers have realized substantially higher returns on search
engine ads than on more traditional marketing campaigns conducted
through print media.

Most pay per click advertisers set a spending limit and once the
spending limit is reached, the ads cease to appear in the search
results. Click fraud is a very unethical competitive tactic
where someone repeatedly clicks on a competitor's ad until the
spending limit is reached and the ad then disappears from the
search results. It seems that it's only a matter of time before
some advertisers become so exasperated with click fraud that they
file a class-action lawsuit against a major search engine.

The success of search engine advertising has substantially
raised prices that advertisers pay for top spots. Unfortunately,
these higher prices have turned click fraud into a dark little
industry of its own. Some crooks have hired cheap overseas
contractors to just sit in front of computers and constantly
click on targeted ads and others are developing sophisticated
software to help automate and conceal click fraud.

If you use pay per click advertising it would be wise to
carefully monitor your traffic to determine if you are the victim
of click fraud. In any event, it's probably safe to say that
pay per click advertisers are going to have to accept a certain
level of click fraud as just a cost of doing business.

About the Author

Kirk Bannerman operates his own successful home based business
and also coaches others seeking to start their own home based
business. For more information visit his website at Proven Work At
Home Business

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

13 Free or Cheap Effective Advertising Methods


by: Donnie Baird
Advertising is the life blood of any business, no matter how big or how small. No advertising usually means no business. Large companies have an almost unlimited source of advertising dollars. Small business owners on the other hand, are limited in the amount of money they have for advertising. So, the problem is how to make ones advertising dollar get the most bang for the buck. It's not enough to advertise. Your advertising must be effective. So, once you have a website or an ad to advertise, check out the following ways to advertise for little or no cost.
1. Advertising coop- Many businesses, especially work at home businesses, offer advertising coops. They will send people to your business for a fee. Usually the fee is relatively small. This is nice because you already know that these people have at least some interest in your business. Although they may not spend a penny with you, you at least get the exposure.
2. Website-The age of the internet has expanded the possibility of owning your own business to an almost unlimited number of people. It also has expanded the advertising audience to a tremendous amount of new people, world wide, who otherwise you would never have been able to reach. Although websites will cost you to get hosted, you can advertise it many ways for free. Things like link exchanges and article submissions allow you to get exposure to your website with no cost except for you time. And as we will see in a moment, your website can be advertised many other ways for free. The advantage of a website is that it centralizes all your business and products into one central location. It gives you somewhere to send people so that you don't have to do as much selling because you let your website do the selling for you.
3. Answering Machine-Change the message on your answering machine to reflect the fact that you are now in business for yourself. You could say something like," Hello. You have reached the home office of John Doe of My Business.com….." That way when you call that person back, they may ask you about your business and thus the door is open to discussing your business.
4. Put a sign in your front yard or in the yard of a friend or relative with your name and website address on it. This is a good way for your neighbors to find out about your new business as well as any people that ride by your house.
5. Place a magnetic sign or bumper sticker on your car. Now, when you are riding down the road, sitting at a stop sign, or leaving your car parked at the mall or grocery store, you are getting free advertising.
6. Wear your ad-Place your website on a sweatshirt, tee-shirt, or a hat. So, when you are out in public, people will see you ad and again it will open up the door to discussing your new business.
7. Flyers-There are many places that will allow you to place a flyer about your business. Businesses like grocery stores, libraries, laundromats, hair salons and others will let you place a free ad on their public bulletin board.
8. Business cards-Don't leave home without them. You never now when the chance to hand one out will happen. You may see an old friend, meet someone looking to get out of the 9-5 rut or who is in need of a new opportunity.
9. Free Classifieds-Use the internet and the many free classified ads on it to advertise your business. A search using "free classifieds" will give you an almost limitless number of places to submit your website and ad.
10.Ezines or electronic magazines are also a good place to advertise your business. Some charge a fee for placing your ad in the best location, some let you advertise for free. Again a web search will allow you find numerous ezines to place you ad in.
11.Place your web address in your e-mail signature.
12.Place a flyer or business card in your out going mail.
13.Word of Mouth-The least expensive form of advertising and maybe the most effective way to advertise your business is word of mouth. Simply tell those you come in contact with that you are in business for yourself. They will tell others and they will tell others and it can go on and on. Sooner or later someone will take a look at what you are doing.
Obviously, there are many more ways to advertise your business for little or no money. The point is you don't have to have the big bucks to successfully advertise you business or product. There are many people who have started and become extremely successful in their business on a shoe string advertising budget. There is hope for the small business owner. All you need is a website or add, a little creativity, a little time, and you too can advertise your way to success without going to the poor house.

About the Author

Donnie Baird has been involved with work at home businesses for 4 years and is the webmaster/owner of http://internet-work-at-home-opportunity.com . He lives in North Carolina with his wife and two children.

Friday, October 16, 2009

What is Advertising - and What Does it Mean on the Internet


by: Bret RIdgway
Today’s Quick Tip answers the question “What is advertising?”

“Advertising is salesmanship. The only purpose of advertising is to make sales. It is profitable or unprofitable according to its
actual sales.”

- Claude Hopkins, one of the early masters of advertising and author of My Life in Advertising and Scientific Advertising.

This #1 issue of Copywriting Classics Quick Tips focuses on the late, great Claude Hopkins and how you can apply his decades old marketing wisdom to your online efforts today.

Jay Abraham, renowned as 'America’s Number One Marketing
Wizard' said this about Hopkins. “Claude Hopkins is the master
of them all. His influence has easily added over $6 million to my personal Income…and still counting.”

So, what else did Claude have to say about advertising in addition to the quote above? Hopkins said “Advertising is not for general effect. It is not to keep your name before the people. It is not primarily to aid your other salesmen. Treat it as a salesman. Force it to justify itself.

Compare it with other salesmen. Figure its cost and result. Accept no excuses which good salesmen do not make. Then you will not go far wrong.”

So how many of us do a good job of this in the online world?

Obviously the only way you can know if your advertising is profitable is to be able to accurately track its results.

How many of us have thrown money at the concept of branding - of keeping our name before the people? Just hoping we'd get some results. I know I’ve been guilty of it in the past.

So when you’re getting ready to place that banner ad, or pay for some online or offline directory listing, or bid on that keyword at Overture.com, how are you going to track the cost and result?

And don’t delude yourself into thinking that any advertising is
“free.” The most valuable resource any of us have in our marketing arsenal is probably our own time.

What do you value yours at? $25 - $50 - $100 - $1000 per hour? Or more? So be sure and include the cost of your time or whoever you’re paying to perform that advertising task into calculating the true cost of your advertising.

This is truer then ever in the Internet world. So, know your costs
and measure your results. There are online tools available to help you do this, so don’t get careless or lazy. The effectiveness of your online advertising can only be measured by its actual sales.

Your task: Analyze all your advertising to determine its true
effectiveness. If you're not tracking your results you have to figure out a way to do it now. Why? Because Claude told you so.

Next week – you’ll get some more thoughts from Claude Hopkins. This time about how long you should make your ad copy in order to make the sales. Until then, my best wishes for success in all your marketing endeavors.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Bret Ridgway is President of TWI Press, Inc., supplier of hard-to-find classic marketing books via the http://www.twipress.com website. He provides a copywriting and advertising resource center at internet marketing conferences for well known internet marketers like Carl Galletti, Jonathan Mizel, Michael Penland, Ron LeGrand and Fred Gleeck.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Advertising And Generate New WebSite Traffic


by: Charles Kangethe

Here's a simple way to use "No Results, No Pay" radio advertising and build traffic for your website.

Step #1 - Understanding "PI" - Per Inquiry Advertising.

Radio has a unique advertising format known as "PI" or per inquiry advertising.

"PI's" main benefit is that your commercial is aired and you ONLY PAY for inquiries phoned into the station from listeners !

Inquiries are in the form of callers asking for more information.

The radio station counts each caller, and re-directs them to your web site address.

Step #2 - How To Start a "PI" Campaign.

Find a good directory of all commercial radio stations where you intend to advertise.

Some sample Internet resources :

http://www.mediauk.com - UK

http://www.web-radio.fm - USA

http://www.radiodirectory.com - International

Other online resources can be found by searching for keywords like "Radio Directories."

Alternatively, visit your library and in the references section ask for the Yearbook of Independent Local Radio Stations.

Note details such as :


  • Ad manager's names,

  • Telephone numbers,

  • e-mail addresses

  • Programming and schedules

Listener profiles:


  • Age,

  • Income,

  • Sex,

  • Location.

Step #3 - Decide on Strategy and "Wanted Response."

Before you contact the radio stations, be clear on strategy, goals and have your draft commercials in outline.

* Are you advertising a product offer at your website ?

Specify product details fully to avoid paying for "tyre kicker" inquiries.

* Is your "Wanted Response" to build an opt-in list ?

Decide how you will entice visitors to your web site. Will you offer FREEBIES, or a competition of some sort ?

* Are you advertising for market research purposes ?

Tell listeners how and why they should participate.

* Decide how much you are prepared to pay per inquiry.

Step #4 - Use Your Strategy To Build A "PI" Proposal

Two aims in this step :


  • Make it as easy as possible for the station to schedule your commercial.

  • Negotiate the lowest Per Inquiry cost during the best advertising time slots.

Keep in mind :


  • Listener profiles you want to reach.

  • Times you want your advert to go on air.

  • Which commercial will best deliver your "Wanted Response".

Write to the ad manager by e-mail or normal mail. In your letter :


  • Introduce yourself.

  • Inform them this is a "PI" Per Inquiry advertising proposal.

  • Inform them you of what you are trying to achieve, refer to your strategy.

  • Detail your product or service prices and how much you are considering paying for each inquiry.



Sidebar

If your "Wanted Response" is not selling a product, you must pay for inquiries out of your "own pocket". Negotiate a keen cost per inquiry !!


* Explain how you will handle all the administration

For instance writing the commercial Outline, handling product fulfilment, dealing with refunds and product support questions.

Depending on your negotiation skills and size of Radio station you might be able to work a deal where you only pay for *Converted Inquiries*.

This is practically *FREE* advertising, because you only pay for referrals once a sale is made !

Step #5 - How To Deal With Radio Ad Managers

If you do not hear back within a few days, call the station.

Commercial radio is a busy environment. Be prepared to explain yourself and answer questions quickly and clearly.

Radio ad managers are always looking for advertisers. That is their job and advertising fees are the lifeblood of Commercial Radio.

However, "PI" is not the only money earner for stations, so be prepared for a polite but cool reception.

If this happens, pick another station and start the process again.

The rewards of a successful "PI" campaign will pay back your effort many times over.

Step #6 - The Commercial Ad

Write your commercial's outline to maximise your "Wanted Response."

Write the outlines for at least two 30 second, and two 60 second commercials.

Writing commercials for broadcasting is very different to writing ad copy for printed media. However, stations will help you by taking your outlines and turning them into finished commercials for a fee.

Alternatively, if your copy writing is good and you have time to tweak it for broadcasting, then do it yourself.

Listen to the station's ads, jingles, and catch phrases and pre-record your own following a similar model. Ask objective people to listen to your ad and give you critical feedback.


Sidebar


When recording for radio you may or may not want to use your own voice. Radio stations have "Voices" to record your commercial for a fee before it goes on air.

They also have royalty free music to include with your ad.


Make your commercials memorable, with clear contact information for listeners to follow up on.

When such ads go on air during relevant programming, you cangenerate considerable traffic.


In closing, "just do it" and learn more than I can show you in a brief article.

Radio is often overlooked by online advertisers, but it can bring good results depending on your "Wanted Response" and at a surprisingly low cost.

Ad Managers are tasked with maximising revenue for the broadcaster. They are flexible and as long as you demonstrate a financial benefit to the station, they will listen to your "PI" proposal actively.

This is good news for you because for minimal outlay and sometimes for free you can drive quality traffic to your site, product and services.

"PI" is the lowest cost form of broadcast advertising. Make this a new part of your overall advertising strategy.

Charles Kangethe of http://www.simplyeasier.com is a leading new wave Netpreneur and a published author from England. The "Simply Easier" brand name is your guarantee of high value, quality Marketing Products, Services and Resources

Charles Kangethe has been involved in direct response marketing since 1982. He now lives in Suffolk County and spends his time working on new Online Marketing campaigns, with particular focus on helping new netpreneurs at http://www.simplyeasier.com

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

How To Turn an Ezine Advertising Strategy Into Thousands of


by: Marc Goldman

OK, so we have all heard the clamors from people who have made money from placing ads in ezines. The process is simple enough. You have a product or service (or an affiliate program of which you are a member) and you also have a small classified ad promoting the benefits of said product or service. You pay to advertise in ezines that have a circulation comprised of the audience you wish to target.

This sounds easy enough but these days ezine advertising has become so competitive that a smart marketer needs to rethink his/her ezine advertising strategy. This is necessary in order to stand apart from the competition, reach an audience of targeted customers and continue to reap the overwhelming benefits resulting from this highly effective medium.

One of the biggest problems with traditional ezine advertising is the fact that your ad gets sandwiched in between 5-15 other ads of similar content. This naturally dramatically decreases the effectiveness of your ad.

Not to mention the fact that with so many affiliate programs in existence, competition between affiliates has escalated to new heights leading to many affiliates of the same program saturating a once responsive market through their ezine advertising campaigns.

This has lead to decreased revenues for the affiliates and public apathy for the product/service. The situation has gotten so competitive that not only once but on several occasions I have witnessed ezines publish the exact same ad for an affiliate program (with different affiliate I.D.'s) all in the very same issue. How can this possibly benefit those advertisers?

However, this is not the fault of the ezine publisher either. The main purpose of an ezine (for many but not all publishers) is to sell advertising. When someone approaches a publisher with advertising dollars, you cannot fault him/her for taking the money and running the ad. That publisher is simply making an honest buck.

But there are some ingenious methods you can employ to get your ad in front of a responsive target market by utilizing ezine advertising. For starters, if you run an affiliate program provide your affiliates with several different, tested classified ads which they can use to place in different ezines.

Remember, your affiliates are your salespeople - you want them to make as much money as possible so that you too make as much money as possible. Therefore, it is in your best interest to help them as much as you can.

If you are an affiliate, try your hand at writing some killer classified ads of your own so as to stand out from the competition. If you are not a great writer, I highly recommend picking up Robert Boduch's Great Headlines Instantly and putting the ideas within to use immediately.

Next, I strongly recommend that you shell out a little more money for a sponsor ad or a solo mailing in a newsletter that offers these services. A sponsor ad is the ad at the very top or very bottom of an ezine. Since they are closer to the top or bottom they stand apart from the other ads and so they illicit a much greater, more favorable response from subscribers.

A solo mailing is a 3-7 paragraph ad which an ezine sends to its list separate from its regular newsletter mailing. The size of these ads vary from one newsletter to another but they have proven, by far, to be the most effective, most profitable ezine ad in which an advertiser could ever invest his/her money.

These two advertising methods are the most powerful tools in an ezine advertisers arsenal. There is only one problem, how do you find out which ezines offer these advertising opportunities? Well, first you will need to find a comprehensive list of ezines and then spend some time combing through the thousands of zines to find those that meet your demographic requirements.

When that is done you are ready to further narrow the list by sifting through to find the ones that accept ads (free and paid). Finally, you need to find those that specifically offer solo and sponsorship ad opportunities and do some price shopping. Naturally, you need quite a bit of free time to complete this process. But do not despair, you do have an intelligent alternative if time is an issue for you.

The Ultimate Media Magnet has compiled all of the newsletters that offer sponsor ads and solo mailings into one efficient directory. All the ezines are sorted by category so as to make it even easier for you to immediately pull out those targeted to your market.

The Ultimate Media Magnet is by far the best solution for any marketer selling any product or service. You will instantly find targeted ezines that offer the most effective methods of reaching a hungry, paying audience.

The Ultimate Media Magnet is only one tool available to members of The Ultimate Marketers Resource (http://success.goldbar.net).

Ezine advertising has been and will continue to be one of the most cost effective and profit generating tools at the internet marketers disposal. But, like everything else on the internet, for advertising methods to remain effective they must evolve.

Think of it this way, many marketing gurus and internet millionaires of today made their fortune from unsolicited email (SPAM). However, currently this method is considered unethical and these very same marketers now utilize opt-in email, ezine marketing and autoresponders instead.

To succeed using ezine advertising, you must change with the times and use the methods that work today!

Marc Goldman - Since 1999, The Ultimate Marketers Resource has been the only system enabling you to manage EVERY aspect of your business from Autoresponder services, Mailing List services and management, Lead Generation, and Ad Tracking, to Viral Marketing and much, much more remotely from anywhere in the world, anytime, from any computer for a low monthly fee. Click here to learn more before your competitors do: http://success.goldbar.net

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Seven Ways to Waste Your Money on Yellow Pages Advertising


by: Greg Chapman

Each year there is a Yellow Pages arms race where competitors in each category are encouraged to out spend each other. There is only one winner in this arms race, and it is not you! Too many advertisers waste their money on Yellow Pages advertising without first considering their marketing strategy. Here are seven ways you can waste your money.

1. Attempting to outspend your competitor
As soon as Yellow Pages has convinced you to increase the prominence of your ad, they get your competitors to match or outbid you. This becomes an annual auction, with some categories containing pages of half and full page ads. A buyer can be overwhelmed with choice and may make their decision before they even get to your ad. Priority in listing is given to those who have advertised the longest in a category for a given ad size. You can only get closer to the front by upsizing your ad or if someone else closer to the front ceases advertising.

2. Putting all your eggs in the Yellow Pages basket
An advertising decision is something you should only make after you have developed a marketing strategy. Many businesses rush into advertising in the Yellow Pages, just because that’s what everyone else does. You don’t become a leader by following the herd. You need to consider your payback for your investment in this marketing channel. Ask your Yellow Pages consultant how many leads a particular size ad generates in your category. Then ask yourself how many of these leads will you convert into sales, and then decide whether this is a good investment.

3. Engaging in destructive Head to Head Competition
When you advertise in the Yellow Pages, not only can potential customers see your ad and your offer, so can your competitors. This can result in price competition that can turn your product or service into a commodity. Yellow Pages make comparison shopping easy for buyers and market research easy for competitors.

4. Spending too much on prominence
When spending on a Yellow Pages ad, you can invest in size and colour. Size is important, but what you put in the ad, your copy, is far more important. It is better to go down a size and spend the money you save on a copywriter. Good copy can generate up to 20 times the response as poor copy. Colour is also important, but not as important as size, so go up a size rather than go to colour, which is expensive for its return. If your category is cluttered with large ads, investing in your copy is essential.

5. Relying on Yellow Pages free design service
Ad design is important. Yellow Pages do offer a free design service, but its worth what you pay. The typical design is done in 15 minutes. As they are designing tens of thousands of ads you can’t really expect any special attention- especially as there is no charge for the service! When they design your ad, they will appeal to your vanity rather than to your customers. So they will put “Joe’s Plumbing” in the headline. But buyers don’t care who Joe is, and are far more interested in why they should use Joe. This requires some marketing analysis of your points of difference and ultimate service benefits, which won’t happen in 15 minutes!

6. Putting your ad in the wrong category
If you are a plumber, the decision of where to place your ad is easy. But if your business is in a fairly specialised market such as oil refinery plumbing, there probably isn’t a good category for you. In fact, for many B2B businesses Yellow Pages is a poor marketing tool. Ask yourself the question, where would a buyer look to find out about your business- it might not even be in the Yellow Pages.

7. Depending on old technology advertising
Every year internet advertising increases, with less being spent on print advertising. Yellow Pages is now available online and for certain businesses this is a better option, particularly with a link to their website. When being sold paper Yellow Pages ads, you may be offered complimentary online advertising. However, unless your ad is near the front, you will be invisible to buyers who rarely will browse further than three pages. It is also worth paying for a link to your website.


The Yellow Pages consultants are on commission to sell you advertising. They only interested in getting you to spend as much as possible, not on providing the best marketing solution for your business. Advertising is not the same as marketing! Good marketing advice on whether and how you should advertise is money well spent. Not only can this increase sales, but it can save you thousands of dollars in advertising.

Before making a decision on Yellow Pages advertising, you should consider all your marketing channels, and make decisions on how much you invest in each dependent on their ability to attract leads. Having determined how much you will invest in Yellow Pages, do some market analysis and invest in your ad copy. This is particularly important for larger ad sizes. Yellow Pages advertising can be rewarding, but should only be considered as just one part of your overall marketing strategy.

About the Author

Dr Greg Chapman assists small to medium sized businesses with business planning, business systems and marketing strategy. To find out how you can Multiply Your Profits & Make Your Business Run without You, and to find out How Good Your Business Really Is with a Free Online Business Medical, go to Empower Business Solutions website at:
http://www.empowersolutions.com.au

Friday, October 2, 2009

Effective Advertising


by: Cathy Taylor

How do you know when your advertising dollars are being well spent?
Effective Advertising How do you know when your advertising dollars are being well spent? First, let’s expose two of the most common fallacies about advertising. Number one is that good advertising magically generates so many leads you have trouble keeping up with them. Number two is that advertising is some big executive’s hyped idea that never worked in the first place. The truth, I propose, lies somewhere in the middle.

If no one knows about your company and it’s product(s) and service(s), then you can bet you won’t be in business a long time. Advertising is just one method of getting your prospect’s attention, and because we live in a society where we have to fight for any even small piece of “mind share,” advertising has become even more of an art form.

When you learn a fine art such as painting, you discover how to put on the exact colors, utilize the right amount of raw material, as well as apply the proper strokes to shape your visual communication. So too in advertising. There are rules that take into consideration the psychological aspects of motivating your potential customer to intuitively respond to your message.

The first key in any marketing/sales process is building rapport – making a connection – and advertising can help create a “warm” environment where people become interested in listening to you. If you pique their interest with a good ad, as well as reach them at an emotional point where they need, or even better want, your product and services, you have a much better chance of getting the job or closing the sale. Advertising gives your company an edge by helping you to get your share of whatever business is around and by surpassing your competition.

What then comprises effective advertising? What are these aforementioned rules (not tricks) of the trade? Marketing experts have discovered three important elements in direct response advertising including direct mail and email campaigns that are “must knows.” These elements are: the Target List, the Copy, and the Graphics.

The Target List The key to knowing what mail or email list to buy lies within your company’s strategic positioning and differentiation. Ask yourself, what type of companies would benefit from my products(s) and service(s), what interests them, and why would they want to buy from our company versus anyone else? Keep your focus narrow, and don’t make the mistake of trying to provide everything to everyone.

Identify those firms within your geographical area (provided you have one) that you are willing to service. If the populous is large enough, you may want to buy from a reputable list broker. If you can create the list yourself from regional resources, make sure to put the information into an open database and obtain accurate information. Most important, be sure you have the correct contact name and phone number of the person who would make the buying decision.

The Copy Find your killer headline – that hook that makes them say “yes” so they continue to read your promotion and immediately recognize you in the future. Tell them why you are unique and the best choice to fulfill their construction needs. This, of course, requires you to know all of their needs – the more, the better.

Now state your benefits and then your features. Your benefits are what you provide that interests the prospect. Your features are what they expect to get. Good ad copy appeals to the buyer’s emotions first; then tells them what bang they are going to get for their buck. Then it asks for the order, or in the case of a longer sales cycle, requests action from the potential buyer; for example, to call you or visit your website for more information.

The Graphics Graphics create associations that enhance your image regarding credibility and whether or not you are successful and to be trusted. Visuals need to be interesting and eye-catching so your ad stands out and helps facilitate an emotional response of well-being.

In the case of construction companies, ads can also point out your most high profile projects and the excellence of your work. If your company does not have established branding guidelines, then you might want to consult a professional to create the right message and deliver it in a consistent manner that significantly increases your chances for success.

For small business owners, the task of learning marketing can be overwhelming and the cost of hiring professionals prohibitive. It does take time to master these skills, but with a little attention on a consistent basis, one can learn enough to market their firm successfully. To be really effective, any information you receive from people who make a living at marketing or public relations should come from those who have years of experience in your industry.

Carefully plan your campaigns for maximum effectivity, and don’t forget to employ the tried and true tactics of testing and tracking. On an enterprise level, business software for tracking advertising includes MarketingPilot and Aprimo. Among numerous packages for smaller companies are ProAnalyzer, Clearmetric and AdRevolver.

Numbers don’t lie, and the smartest business decision is to reinvest additional advertising dollars into the areas that are actually showing results for your company.

About the Author

Cathy Taylor is a marketing consultant with over 20 years experience. She specializes in strategy and plan development, as well as management of communications and public relations programs in both the high-tech and small business sectors. She can be reached at Creative Communications: creative--communications@cox.net.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Free Web Advertising - searchEstate – The search engine adve


by: Michael A Fowler, M.B.A.
Free Web Advertising - searchEstate – The search engine advertising solution for free web traffic.

searchEstate is the ultimate Internet Advertising Solution, optimised for Internet Explorer and Firefox.

To those who are not aware of searchEstate;

It’s a Major Search Engine that PAYS YOU to advertise and gets free web traffic to your website through its free web advertising ...

Quote:
“searchEstate is an Internet Advertising Solution based on an Internet search engine. We are member-based and share our advertising spaces and revenues with our members.”

About searchEstate...
searchEstate is an inversion of the ‘pay-per-click’ model employed by the major search engines. It’s like having your own SEO Company working for you 24/7. searchEstate is becoming known as ‘the peoples search engine’ because it allows the individual to profit from Internet advertising, instead of the major corporations.

searchEstate gives fast search results and you can even share revenue from the free web advertising. Internet advertising fees that the searchEstate search engine generates, is shared amongst its members..

The Difference...
Until now, free web advertising was only available to those who knew the search engine optimisation techniques required for top placement. searchEstate is a search engine that changes the way you advertise. Now it is possible, without specific technical knowledge, to attain top search engine rankings and get free web traffic to your site.

The Alternatives...
searchEstate has two modules, free and pro versions.

The free version allows you to build a Free Web Advertising network that rotates around the search engine on millions of pages, thus giving your business great exposure. The more people that are in your free advertising network, the greater that exposure becomes. SearchEstate search boxes are now starting to appear on many websites.

The Pro version of searchEstate offers a great deal more. A thousand automatically mailed ads each month. Twenty advertisements with 100 keywords and strategic exchanges with the top Internet search engines. Commissions on paid members through an affiliate program. Logo ads, Banner Ads, Text Ads and Search Engine Ads are all catered for and tracked by the searchEstate program.

Quote...
“The key to success is to sponsor others into searchEstate. You can do it by yourself or we can do it for you via our amazing Advertising Co-op. For a limited time, we help you build your downline easily through our 1000 fresh leads each month.”

Summary...
It seems that now there is an alternative and complete Internet Advertising Solution to paying the major search engines! As we are told, the best route to success is to actually own your own business. Your own Internet Advertising Solution is a great way to promote your main business.

Quote...
“What if we were to tell you that we can strategically go in and place ads in your billboards that other people will pay for? What if, say, the average pay-per-click fee was $0.10? Something really low cost, just to be on the safe side. Well, for 100,000 ad billboards, just having 1 ad get 1 click per day will net you $1,000 per day, minus our 5-10% service fee!”

Well, that’s certainly something I could live with! After a very concise conversation with the CEO, it seems a very viable proposition. A true “Swiss Army Knife” sort of business solution.

Why pay for your advertising when you get nothing in return? searchEstate seems the perfect solution. Why use anything else? The major search engines are fat enough already. Of course, there will be sceptics. That is why I took the trouble to talk about searchEstate with its founder and joint CEO.

When someone actually shows you how it works, it’s a lot different to just telling you.

There is no limit to a search engine database. It is not reliant upon sustained memberships. It is only reliant upon advertising. Isn’t it nice to know that now the Internet user can grab his/her share of some of the revenues generated?

From the inside, this certainly looks very lucrative. The Beta-Testing has shown amazing and consistent results on the Major Search Engines. searchEstate is certainly capable of achieving it's promise of free web advertising.
About the author:

Michael A Fowler, M.B.A.
Helping people online since 1998.
Creator and Author of 'The MBA Way' system. Expert Author and Web Writer.
Online Trainer and Coach.
E-Mail - Goldcard43@aol.com
Website - http://www.the-mba-way.com/freewebadvertising.htm

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Big Advertising Mistake - Don't Do This and It Will Save You


by: Farid Aziz

Advertising plays an important role in your business (every business, actually!). But, there is one BIG mistake advertisers frequently do and this mistake could cost you a bundle!

What is it?

The fact that you don't analyze what type of advertising is working for you and which are not doing so well!

Analyzing the results of your advertising campaigns will help you determine where your money should go. If you skip this task, then you'd probably spending too much money on a lousy campaign! Of course you don't want that to happen do you?

I know that this task is very time consuming and boring, that's why most advertisers always neglect this one. The fact is, it becomes time consuming and boring if you don't create a system for that. This system should inform you the performance of all of your advertising campaigns.

This is what makes online advertising so great. Many online advertising services give you ad campaign reports on a regular basis. They inform you which ads are working and which ones are not. Although not every type of online advertisings have this feature, one of them who does is Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising.

But what if you advertise in ezines (lots of ezines) and ad classifieds? What if you put several banners and text links here and there? How to monitor their performances?

Well, in case you didn't know, there are some services in the internet which really could track your ads and make your job a lot easier. To learn more about this service, you can go to
HyperTracker

Once you know exactly the performance of all of your ad campaigns, here are some steps that can save a lot of your advertising budget:

o Determine Your Target Market

Who would be interested in your products? What problems do your products solve? Believe me, reaching untargeted market would only hurt your advetising budget. Don't go for quantity, but go for quality! Many people love blasting ads to a huge community and ended up with no sales at all? Why? Because they are simply reaching the WRONG people.

o Set Up a Realistic Budget

How much money could you put aside for advertising? Remember, don't waste all of your advertising budget on a single campaign! You have to test what type of advertising that will work best for you.

o
A Great Sales Copy

Make people want to click through your URL. Your target here is to make them click, not to sell! Let your site do the selling for you.

o
Test Several Ads

Test several ads at the same time. Tweak your sales copy. You'll be amazed at how a little difference you add to an ad could result in a HUGE difference in the response. This part is a lot easier if you use the good old
HyperTracker

o Analyze and Re-invest

Analyze your ads performance. Stick to the ones that give you best results. Now that you know what works and what doesn't, you could re-invest your advertising budget ONLY on the best type of advertising.


About the Author

Farid Aziz is a full-time Internet Marketer. Reveal more of his FREE tips and strategies on Internet Marketing and get a FREE Course on How to Make Money Online with Your Hobby at http://www.InternetMarketerSells.com