Jul 27, 2010

Discover the hidden profits that lie in your online advertising budget

If you are like most marketers today, you are losing money online – and you don’t know it. Read this and I will tell how you can discover the fortune that lies hidden in your online advertising budget.

There are three ways you can advertise on the internet:

1. Display advertising
You pay for attention. You buy time on the media or views. Media owner’s pet. This model is familiar from TV and print advertising. You don’t have to pay for clicks or sales that your advertising may produce. Easy to buy and budget.

The least interactive – and usually the most expensive – way to communicate online.

2. Pay Per Click advertising
You buy visitors to your web site. You pay only when someone clicks your ad. You get the views for free. Easy to buy and budget. Google makes their money here.

You don’t know who clicks your ad. You need be ready to “invite people in” at your web site. Don’t make the mistake most companies make; flush your visitors down the toilet. Try get the people to your database to start a relationship with them.

3. Cost Per Order advertising
You only pay when someone buys something from you. If you don’t sell anything online you can use this model when someone registers to your service, signs-up to your newsletter, inquires for more information, for example. You get the views and clicks for free. This is risk-free advertising.

For an advertiser, the Cost Per Order / Cost Per Action advertising is easy to buy, but challenging to budget because no one can guarantee sales in advance without testing.

Can you guess which models are the most popular? The first and the second. Hard to believe? You are not alone.

Why the Cost Per Order / Cost Per Action advertising is the underdog of online advertising and how you can profit from it:
It’s a sad truth that an average marketing director rather spends his budget on something that doesn’t produce results than to budget a part of it to something that guarantees profit.

“What if no one buys from us?” “What if I’m not able to spend my budget by the end of the year?” “I may not get as much money again.”

What many marketers and agencies fail to understand:
You can’t lose money with Cost Per Order advertising, because you only pay for your advertising when someone buys something from you. The commission is fixed, your cost will never outmaneuver you – even if you are poor in math like I am. It's an investment that feeds itself. You can’t lose.

PS. Please share this message with anyone you think could profit from learning more about risk-free online advertising.

Jul 20, 2010

How to sell: Why keeping your mouth shut pays you more than talking

Don’t know how to sell? Shut up and listen.

It’s that easy. When was the last time you met salesman who listened you? Was he or she a someone who asked lots of questions before the sales pitch? If you met a person like that, chances are you didn’t see him or her as a someone in sales, but as a someone who was genuinely interested in you and your problem. 

Discover why keeping your mouth shut pays you more than talking
  1. How do you know your prospect really interested in your offer if you don't get to know his or her situation?
  2. You spend less time with your prospect after you have asked enough questions about his business and field to understand it better, rather than shooting with eyes blinded. With more information you can tailor your offer to match his needs.
  3. How many times when a telemarketer has called you, you would have told that you have already a similar product or that you just don’t need it right now – but never got the opportunity to speak? Instead of questions about you, they talk how great their magazine is, even though you may only read articles and news online. If they asked more questions, they would know that, and could be already talking to the next, more potential customer instead of wasting time with you.
  4. Next time when you run out of words with your customer, hold your tongue. Watch what happens. Often it is the customer who starts to talk to fill in the silence. That new information you get might help you to make the sale.
  5. It is much easier, and smarter, to keep the prospect talking than try to come up with clever lines just to impress a silent rock. You need feedback to target your message. Your questions produce that feedback. Questions are also a great tool to build trust between you and your customer. It shows that you care about them.
  6. During all my time in sales, no person has ever asked me to stop asking questions about him or her. (Do you enjoy talking about yourself or do you enjoy a pushy salesperson who tries to force you to buy instantly the new super glue? Frankly, I’m more interested in myself.)

How to make people buy from you  
People buy from people whom they believe and trust. Your first goal as a salesperson is to make your customer trust you. You can't start selling before that. Trust is the only way they will buy ever from you. Ten odd years ago I learned that the job of a salesman was to ask excellent questions from customers, not to create sleek sales presentations. Don't believe me? Try it.

For more information about listening your way into sales, listen Brian Tracy’s The Psychology of Selling audio cd and read Dale Carnegie’s How to win friends and influence people

As Dale Carnegie's book says: “From now on, I keep my mouth shut. It pays.”

Jul 15, 2010

Ad Man's Book Club: July 2010 Choice

How to Write Sales Letters That Sell: 
Learn The Secrets to Successful Direct Mail 
- Drayton Bird

David Ogilvy said, "Drayton Bird knows more about direct marketing than anyone in the world." That's the statement that got me curious about Mr. Bird. To my surprise – and maybe to his own – Drayton Bird is still around writing copy after 50 years in the business.

He has written four books so far. I think How to Write Sales Letters That Sell is the most practical. There is very little theory. The book is filled with examples from companies you would never guess use direct mail. 

Who uses direct mail today

One letter sells frozen steaks, one is from Richard Branson offering free drinks on a Virgin airplane, another one is the famous "Quite frankly, the American Express card is not everyone" -letter. There is also a copy of the Wall Street Journal's two-page letter that sold subscriptions for over ONE BILLION dollars.

Bird doesn't just show you successful direct mail, he explains why they worked or didn't work, and how you too can write successful letters that make people buy.

Why direct mail is more than just paper in a flashy envelope screaming "Buy!"

On the page 129, there's a story how Ogilvy & Mather used live pigeons to deliver their sales message to Cessna airplanes' prospects. To get a free test flight, the prospect had to let the bird out. The story goes that many of the pigeons never returned because, according to David Ogilvy, "Some of those mean bastards cooked and ate the birds."

On the page 18: The most important letter you will ever write... 

... Your job application. And you will learn to do it better than most of your competitors by reading this over 300-page book. Did you know that Victor Ross, the former Chairman of Reader's Digest said it is, "the ultimate how-to book of direct mail letter writing."

You can get How to Write Sales Letters That Sell from Amazon.

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