Sunday, December 25, 2005

Off-Line Marketing - The Secret to Getting More Customers

Copyright © 2005 Stephen Wright

It's an on going saga. How can business owners locate potential customers who are willing to buy your programs and products? What are the techniques that work effectively in making this happen? How to attract more customers willing spend more money and bring more profits and revenues in?

A perfectly reasonable question unless you are in business only to give away your programs, products, or services. As a general rule, most business owners are not in business just to provide charity and they need some way to attract more customers who will spend more money.

The official name for attracting customers in this manner is customer acquisition. Buying office furniture, designing business cards, applying for licenses, purchasing computer systems -- none of these counts more in a business than customer acquisition. To make a profit and stay in business, every business owner needs a reliable way to get more customers in the door, who are willing to spend money on what you have to offer.

Hands down, the very best way to acquire more customers is through a direct response marketing system for off-line marketing with the capability of carefully tracking and accounting for the source of the traffic. This simply means that whatever method a business owner chooses to seek out new customers should have a built-in way of tracking response so the owner knows where the customer came from.

You must tell your potential customers where they can find you AND give them a compelling reason for doing business with you. This actually is the secret behind all marketing. All marketing practices can be boiled down to this one thought. Tell your potential customers where they can find you and why they should do business with you. It sounds so simple when you think about it, but this is one of the major stumbling blocks to a successful business. The owner thinks potential customers will spend time and energy searching out a company to do business with. Wrong!

Most potential customers will shop only at places they already know. Stop and really think about this for a minute. Most potential customers will only shop at places they already know -- AND they need a good reason to do business with you. If they do not know how to find you, they will not be coming to buy from you. You must find a way to tell potential customers where your business can be found.

To accomplish this is easy, if you follow a few basic steps. Following is a sampling of the possibilities that can be used for this purpose:

1. Distribute a press release detailing the latest breakthrough in your business field, available only at your place of business. AND include a special telephone number for customers to call for more information.

2. Place an add in your local yellow pages publication. It doesn't have to be huge, elobrate, or expensive. Something modest, but consistenly run will do. Readers become comfortable with ads they have seen before. After your ad runs a feww times, you will be surprised how many people begin to feel they can trust giving your ad a try. Additionaly, it can be quite an added attraction to couple your local ad with such things as special discount offers in the ad.

3. Send everyone in your zip code a postcard announcing a sale at your place of business. AND have them bring in the postcard to receive the discounted price.

4. Become the local expert in your business field by being interviewed on the radio. AND include a special phone number for customers to call during the broadcast to get more information.

5. Give a speech at the Chamber of Commerce. AND hand out problem solving brochures with your address, phone number and a special code number for customers to use to get a discount.

Many business owners regard marketing only as a necessary evil. They would rather concentrate on their core business activities. But when they use these simple methods to harness the powerful secret to getting more customers, they can eliminate the pain of marketing. Then their businesses will be truly successful in bringing in more customers, more money and more profits.

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:

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Monday, December 12, 2005

Blogging – A Critical Part of Your Web Business Strategy

Copyright © 2005 Stephen Wright

The methods by which we use to contact each other, especially in internet marketing activities continue to undergo dramatic transformation. In the not to distant past (only a couple of years ago!) we kept in touch with customers – existing or potential new ones, using the telephone, fax machines, direct mail marketing and even in-person meetings. Today, people expect more frequent updates, new information, and the latest of everything. So much so that it is literally impossible to keep up with this dizzying pace and certainly not on a continuing or ongoing basis with any consistency.

Thankfully, blogging has come to the rescue. Setting up a blog on your web site - and having an associated RSS feed - means you can keep in constant touch with your clients and potential customers. Plus you don't have to email them and they can get your latest news without having to visit your web site.

So how does this all work? A blog is really a fancy name for a web page that gets updated regularly. It's nothing special. There are several methods of writing 'blogs', but they are nothing more than computer programs which allow you to easily update a web page. Far and away the easiest way to start a blog is with a popular blog website. One example is called

However, for keeping in touch with your customers, RSS is the key. RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication. What this means is that your blog can be automatically delivered to people who want to read it - you don't have to send it to them and neither do they have to come and collect it. All they need is the address of your RSS Feed and their RSS Newsreader can do the job for them. There are several RSS readers available and new web browsers incorporate the ability to read RSS feeds and keep them updated.

Whenever you add new content to your blog, the RSS Feed automatically gets updated in everyone's Reader program or web browser. That means you are guaranteed to be able to keep in touch with clients and prospects. You don't have to do anything other than produce the content. Equally, you don't face the problems of email filters and anti-spam programs blocking your email. Furthermore, people tend to read

RSS Feeds because they have subscribed to them whereas they tend to ignore non urgent emails. After a small amount of basic research and reading, you will quickly see, there are numerous advantages to Blogs and RSS Feeds. One of the biggest reasons is that search engines love them. This is because blogs provide fresh and new content - precisely the thing that searchers are looking for. Hence the search engines are actively pushing blogs higher up the search engine ranking. What this means to internet marketers is that if you don't have a blog for your business, you are potentially reducing your chances of a high search engine ranking. You need a blog nowadays to get noticed by the search engines.

For all the reasons mentioned above (and many, many more), blogging is essential. Not only does it improve your web presence, it also means you can keep in touch with clients and prospects more easily. All the marketing research you can find will tell you that regular contact with your customers is a vital component in retaining existing clients, as well as gaining new business. Don’t put it off any longer; it is time to get your blog going---today!

Friday, December 09, 2005

Phishing Kicked Up a Notch--The IRS Scam

I keep reading countless articles and forum posts about various scams. Scammers are cooking up a growing number of so-called phishing schemes, using e-mails that look like they are from reputable sources to cull personal data needed to steal your hard-earned money. Scam artists are so much in hot pursuit of your identity that using popular targets like eBay and PayPal is only the tip of the iceberg.

I heard about a new one that really seems to be just starting up and is predicted to escalate dramatically; the closer we get to the official tax filing season. The scam involves e-mails promising income-tax refunds. The message directs recipients to a scam site where they are asked for private and personal details such as credit-card and Social Security numbers.

What makes this hoax especially effective is that it used a legitimate government site,, to direct would-be victims to its own page. The government quickly caught wind of the hoax and on Dec. 1 fixed the loophole that enabled phishers to use its site as a conduit.

As the online shopping season kicks into full gear, you're probably spending plenty of time wielding your credit card while on the Net. And with tax-preparation time just around the corner, refund-related frauds could reappear.

How does the tax-refund scheme work?
Recipients get an e-mail from that appears to promise a tax refund and asks users to click on a URL, described as the place to go for accessing tax returns. But when victims copy and paste that link into their Web browsers, directs them instead to a criminal Web site that has a fake IRS form asking for personal information.

Here is some information I obtained from the GovBenefits site about what to do, what you should look out for:

What should I do if I receive one of these e-mails?
You can file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission, which maintains a database of identity theft cases used by law enforcement agencies for investigations. If you go to the FTC's identity theft site, you can find a link to a complaint input form that's secured with encryption.

Skittish about links? Then call the FTC's Identity Theft Hotline, toll-free: 877 ID-THEFT (438-4338) or write the Identity Theft Clearinghouse, Federal Trade Commission, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, D.C. 20580.

Phishing is one of many ways that thieves can gather information used to steal identity. The Anti-Phishing Working Group received 15,820 unique reports in October, compared with only 6,957 the same month last year. The industry association discovered 4,210 phishing sites in October, an explosion from 1,142 a year earlier.

And, of course, be leery of any e-mail that requests account information, Social Security numbers, or passwords. Banks and other legitimate establishments won't ask for these details through e-mail.

Let's be careful out there!!

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:

(Source: Business Week Magazine (12-05-05),, and