Saturday, November 26, 2005

Writing Emails With A Purpose

Copyright © 2005 Stephen Wright

How many times have you seen it? You open your inbox just to see another long, seemingly endless list of emails. You cautiously open each one, giving “some” of them 10-20 seconds of a quick scan. If something captures your interest, you read on. If not, it’s a quick click (delete key) and you move on.

If this is your pattern, you are not alone. This scenario is repeated by thousands, if not millions of internet users each and every day. Knowing this pattern makes the job of internet marketers even more difficult. Our ability to cultivate and retain any significant numbers in a downline is directly determined by our ability to maximize these precious few seconds of reading time. Have you got what it takes to write an email and get the replies flying in?

Most of us send out emails almost every day. We do it all too often with out carefully thinking about it. As a result these emails are often written and sent out less than perfect and fail to produce the desired result.

The purpose of sending out mass email is usually intended to attract visitors to view a website rather than make a sale, therefore it is important to take your time and define your aim precisely before writing the email.

Keep it simple and brief; avoid using long or technical words as some people may not understand them. Do not use three words where one will suffice. If the email is long and full of waffle boredom will set in and without a doubt it is likely to be deleted before reaching the end of it.

The opening paragraph is vital. If it does not click with the reader right away you have wasted your time sending it. It's true that even the best writers spend time editing and rewriting their articles and emails.

Start with an eye catching headline. It might be a question or statement. You must grab their attention right away. Make sure to look at it from your readers point of view, is it forceful enough or exciting to make you want to read on and discover the end result?

Headlines hook prospects and lead them to the next line. There you start to build their interest to ensure they read the next sentence... and each subsequent one. You might even find it is worth offering a free gift or a monthly newsletter that would help their business. There are plenty of free e-books on the web that you can give away.

If the intention of your email is to make a sale then offer a guarantee or a full refund this should dispel any fears they may have.

A cheeky way to test out your email is to send it to a couple of friends who are interested in business, add a message at the end of it and ask them to email you. If you don't receive a reply, take it as a sign that perhaps your email was discarded before they made it far enough down the message, to get your message. When this happens it is a good idea to edit your email and remove any unneeded text before sending back out to your master list.

The exact techniques and methods you use will vary depending on personal preferences, product differences, market circumstances, etc. However, the basic approach is to make sure you give it some advance preparation and work, before sending them out. You will be pleasantly amazed at the difference it makes.

About The Author:
Stephen Wright is President & CEO of
Get everything you need to make money online in "Dotcomology: The Science of Making Money Online". Includes Over 30 Time-Saving, Profit-Producing, Influence-Expanding Tools And Software Programs Absolutely Free at:

Friday, November 18, 2005

Getting The Most From Your Advertising Dollars

Copyright © 2005 Stephen Wright

You now have that website up and running. You have a great product. You are all set to start taking orders and making those trips to the bank to make deposits! And then you wait, and wait, and wait some more! Unless someone can find your site, you will have a very long wait! That is where the value and benefit of advertising comes in. Advertising is what brings potential customers into your "virtual business door". As a business owner, every dollar you spend is a dollar right out of your pocket. This affects your profit margin and revenues. This can be especially difficult if it comes at a time when you're trying to grow your business. If you're going to succeed, you have to pay close attention to your bottom line and look for creative, innovative ways to cut costs while still getting what you need.

That old saying that it "takes money to make money" has never been truer than when it comes to promoting your business. And when it comes to spending money on advertising, how do you make sure that your advertising is working hard enough, without spending a fortune that consumes all your profits or even worse money that far exceeds your business revenues?

Thanks to the Internet, you've got lots of options for finding cost-effective advertising that does what it's supposed to -- bring targeted customers who are hungry for what you're selling, right to your door. But don't forget about cost-effective offline methods as well. Here are a few ideas to help you get started:

Always make sure you focus your advertising dollars on your target market. The tighter your niche, the better your chances of finding the customers who are looking for exactly what you've got to sell! So rather than going wide, and trying to sell to everyone, narrow your focus, and then, if possible, narrow it some more! Figure out who your "ideal" customer is, and then create an advertising campaign for them. Once you know who you're selling to, look for media that targets that demographic. Depending on your product or service, think community and neighborhood newspapers, high school sponsor advertising, chamber of commerce directories, etc.

If your ideal customers aren't defined by a specific geographic location, look at regional or specific demographic publications. Perhaps a regional paper runs an annual issue that focuses on an issue or activity that reaches your target market. Use local cable television to broadcast your ads only in certain markets. You'll get cheaper rates and a more focused demographic.

Always ask for a discounted rate. (Many publications offer an "agency" discount of up to 15 percent. If you are acting as your own in-house advertising agency, you might qualify for the special rate. Sure, you might be turned down more often than not, but make it a habit to ask. It will be worth it every time it works for you.

Some monthly magazines offer discounts for multi-ads placed over a 3, 6 or 12 month time period. Most publications have a different rate schedule for different types of advertisers -- so depending on your product or service, you could qualify. And if not, sometimes just asking for the discount will give it to you.

Buy leftover space or airtime. This is advertising that the publication, radio or television station hasn't filled by their usual deadline. Of course you'll have to take the spots that are available, but again, depending on your business and the product or service you're selling, that inconvenience could still be worth the discount and the exposure you'll receive.

Use classified ads. They're not just for employment offers any more. You'll find classified ads in magazines and newspapers. Before writing your ad, go to your local library, and look through the back issues of the magazine or newspaper that you're considering. Look at the ads that catch your eye, or that are repeated month after month. Those ads wouldn't be in there each month, if they weren't making the advertiser money. Use those ads as springboards for ideas when you're ready to start writing your own classifieds.

Test your ads. Start out with the cheaper publications, so you can find out what's working and what's not. Play with them, and tweak them. Once you've got an ad that works, keep using it. You can run it more than once, or in more than one publication at a time. When it quits bringing in customers, or you start noticing a drop in effectiveness, then it's time to change it.

Do you own a retail business? If so, check into co-op advertising funds that may be offered by your vendors. Co-op programs provide joint advertising for your and your vendor, and you'll get a portion of the cost of the ad reimbursed because the ad mentions the vendor. (Note: most Co-op programs have strict guidelines, so check with your vendors and make sure you're following the rules).

Barter for goods and services. This can be especially effective with radio stations and local papers. See if you can provide your products or services in trade for the cost of advertising. (Also called "trade" or "In-kind" ads, the radio station or publication gives you the ad in exchange for products or services of equal value, and then uses those products or services as part of a promotion or contest for their listeners or readers). This can also be a great way to get additional free publicity, so if you decide to try this method, get creative and think outside the box!

Don't forget or be afraid to recycle the good ads in other advertising medium. If you've got an ad that's especially effective, looks great (or more importantly that is profitable), by all means reuse it in a circular, brochure, handout, flyer or direct mail piece. Use the graphics on your Webpages if available.

In summary, your goal should be to find a balanced mix of online and offline advertising. This will go a long way towards getting the greatest bang for your advertising buck! With a little creativity you will be maximizing your profits while minimizing your expenses.

About The Author:
Stephen Wright is President & CEO of
Get everything you need to make money online in "Dotcomology: The Science of Making Money Online". Includes Over 30 Time-Saving, Profit-Producing, Influence-Expanding Tools And Software Programs Absolutely Free at:

Monday, November 14, 2005

Do you have what it takes to be an e-entrepreneur?
Copyright © Stone Evans, The Home Biz Guy
Author of "Dotcomology - The Science of Making Money Online"

These days, it seems like everyone wants to work
from home and make money on the Internet. But
before you even turn on your computer, the first
question you have to ask yourself is whether
you’re cut out for this kind of work.

The fact is, building a home-based business isn’t
for everyone. Some people like the commute. They
really do enjoy having a boss who tells them what
to do, and they like the routine of working
nine-to-five for an ordinary salary that can
barely pay the mortgage. Personally, I think
they’re nuts.

More reasonably, there are people who are
concerned about the risk of starting up their own
business. They’re not sure it’s worth the
investment of time and money, and they’re scared
of the responsibility that comes with running
their own company. They wonder if there is
another way to escape the rat race.

I’m sure there is. You could win the lottery or
wait for your Aunt Sue to keel over and leave you
her condo. Or maybe you could sit down with a pen
and paper and draw the blueprint for "The Next
Big Thing". Anything can happen... Right?

For me, what happened was creating a successful,
self-running Internet marketing system. It didn’t
happen without effort. It didn’t happen without
at least some initial investment of both time and
money and, of course, it doesn’t happen now
without me making sure that the taxes are filed
and the paperwork is done. But it happened.

I’m my own boss. I work from home according to my
own schedule and I get to pocket all the cash my
business makes. If you’re prepared to give an
e-business the time, the work and the money it
needs to get started and get growing, it can
happen for you too.

Article excerpted from "Dotcomology":
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Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Designing Websites with Sales In Mind

Copyright © 2005 Stephen Wright
One of the very first decisions we make as internet marketers involves the critical choices in designing websites. We each have differing opinions and viewpoints of just what our site should look like. More often than not, these decisions are based on personal opinions or selections limited to the templates of the respective applications utilized for building the site. But there has to be more to this than personal preference - with no real basis for the logic and methodology that should go into making the decisions!

What about this logic ---beyond the appearance - lets also look at the "sales" potential of one design versus another. Think about it, why do some websites sell better than anothers? Do you need a marketing degree to create a website? Does design have much impact on sales?

You may not realize this but many of the successful internet marketing businesses already figured out that design, or layout of the website should be as much of a marketing decision as the ad copy. Why is that?

Web designers (and individuals with software apps) can do some amazing things with graphics and colors. You will also have a much more professional looking site when an expert applies his or her handiwork. However, it is critically important to understand some of the key elements that smart marketers make certain appear (or NOT appear) on highly profitable sites. After all, having a "pretty" site does you no good if you are not getting traffic or revenue from sales. Being aware of these will enable you (or your selected designer) to keep in mind this balance between marketing and design. The three key elements are color, graphics, and layout.

COLOR: Designs with a dramatic color can make compelling choices for setting a mood. But reading on a computer screen demands as much contrast as possible, otherwise the reader will develop vision fatigue. You do not want to irritate or tire your visitors in any way or they may leave, so be certain that the main body of your website copy is black writing on a white background - or as close to that ideal as possible.

Colors also change appearance on different monitors, so what looks cool and calm on one monitor may be bright and glaring on another. Simple works.

GRAPHICS: Striking, bold graphics can be a real eye-catcher for visitors. Still, successful internet marketers are pretty much unanimous in stating that you should avoid flash graphics as much as possible. Again, they tend to tire visitors eyes or create a distraction from the written copy. Even if they are initially impressed by the work it may subconsciously annoy them. Simplicity is again the best way to go.

LAYOUT: The first 'fold' of your site is similar to opening a tractional paper letter. If you remove a letter from an envelope that is folded in three, you will obviously view the top 'fold' first.

This fold is what individuals will see without scrolling down the page. It is CRUCIAL that important elements like descriptive headlines, your contact number, newsletter subscription form etc. all show in the first fold. Do NOT place banners here unless they are the main element of your business as you will be giving prime space to other websites and your customer (which you fought hard to get in the first place) will be gone just as quickly.

These are just some of the important elements you should be aware of when designing your site. This "balance" will greatly increase your sales potential - once you incorporate this into your design criteria. With both design and "sales-ability" used as the foundation for the website in the initial design phases you will reap the financial benefits for years and years.

Stephen Wright is President & CEO of
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