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Archive for the 'Online Marketing' Category

Packaging info profits for maximum profit

September 21st, 2018 by Bob Bly

The strangest thing, at least to me, about selling info products
is this:

You can take the same content, and sell it for different prices,
in a variety of formats, the price depending largely on how you
package it.

Which means if you are an info marketer, you should give some
serious thought to how you package your products.

A case in point: In the 20th century, an info marketer named DD
sold a course on how to make money in mail order, which he
marketed primarily through an infomercial.

The course had almost a dozen components — most of which he
called “manuals” — each selling for $19, $29, or $39 (one was
$12)

When you added them all up, they had a total list price of $250.

Then he offered them for only $39.95 — an 84% discount off the
combined retail value of the 11 components.

Each manual had a beautiful shiny color cover, making them look
valuable.

Curious, I ordered DD’s mail order course.

When I got the package, I discovered that the manuals were thin
saddle-stitched reports — only a few pages each.

When I stacked them up, in total they were much thinner and had
far fewer pages than the paperback books I was writing back then
on similar subjects … and my books sold for around $15 in
bookstores.

Because my books were sold in bookstores, I did not capture buyer
names and therefore could not market other offers to them.

But DD was marketing his course through direct response TV, and
so he rapidly built a list, which he upsold on other products and
expensive coaching services — making tons more money than I was.

The lesson: sell your info products via direct response — either
infomercials or online — and turn your content into a lucrative
info marketing empire like DD did.

And repackage the content so you can charge more than if it’s
just an ordinary book.

The more elements in your info product … especially one with
multimedia elements such as manuals, reports, resource
directories, video, audio, and live components such as webinars
or coaching — the higher the price you can command … and the
more money you will make.

If you sell only low-priced ebooks at say $19 each, you have to
make 26 sales to match the revenue of the marketer who sells one
high-priced course for $497.

Also, by selling his product at $497, he builds a list of people
who spend a lot of money for valuable information, while your
list prefers cheaper bargains.

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Category: Online Marketing | 7 Comments »

The awful truth about single-page websites

September 18th, 2018 by Bob Bly

A big fad in website design today is “single-page” sites.

This is where, rather than create separate web pages for each
major topic (e.g., testimonials, client list, about the company,
products), where you reach each page by selecting the topic from
a menu …

…all the topics are on one long home page, and you reach them by
scrolling down that home page.

Usually there is also a menu.

But when you click the topic button on a one-page website menu,
instead of taking you to a separate page, it just takes you
immediately to where that information appears on the home page —
eliminating the need to scroll.

Single-page sites are popular today, even “all the rage.” But I
don’t like them, and I recommend most businesses do not use them,
for three reasons:

>> First, Link-Assistant.com and others note that one-page
websites are not good for search engine optimization.

With a one-pager, you usually can’t drive a lot of organic search
traffic via SEO.

The reason is because you won’t have enough content to target a
wide range of keywords and topics.

So if you hope Google organic search to be the key source of new
customers for your business, a one-page website could be your
biggest mistake.

And if you already have a one-pager, and you seek Google traffic,
consider changing your site from single to multi-page.

>> Second, a lot of people like single-page websites because they
find them to be aesthetically pleasing.

Turns out, that’s not a good reason to have one.

According to a study by NN Group, 76% of users surveyed said the
most important factor to them when on a website is that it’s easy to
find what they want.

Traditional multi-page sites make it easy for visitors to quickly
go to the content they seek.

A beautiful design came in a distant second, with only 10% of
users saying the design is first in importance to them when
visiting websites.

Single-page websites were innovated for their cool look, not
their SEO or usability.

>> Third, your prospects prefer to consume content in small
chunks rather than big, huge gulps.

That’s why books are divided into chapter …

Why white papers have multiple sections …

Why CDs have tracks …

Why the high-school day is divided into one-hour periods …

And why symphonies are broken into movements.

Traditional multi-page sites accommodate the visitor’s natural
preference for modular content.

Single-page sites violate it, presenting all the content in one
enormous page that is intimidating to search and to read.

The “4 S” formula says that to make writing easy to read, you
should use small words … short sentences … short paragraphs … and
short sections.

Single-page websites violate the “short sections” part of the 4 S
formula for clear, comprehensible writing.

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Category: Online Marketing | 12 Comments »

Boost your ranking with these SEO hacks

August 10th, 2018 by Bob Bly

Many SEO experts advising you on optimizing your website for
Google focus on just a few things, mainly use of keywords in web
pages.

But here are some website problems and errors that cause search
engines to have a poor opinion of your site — and by fixing these
harmful errors, you can boost your SEO significantly higher:

1–Broken internal links.

An internal link is a hyperlink on one of your site pages that
clicks to another page on the site.

Not only do broken internal links frustrate visitors, but they cause
search engines to rank your site lower.

2–Broken external links.

Links from your site that do not work to other sites or pages can
lower your search engine ranking.

3–Duplicate content.

Duplication of page titles or copy may ultimately cause the
search engine to ban both pages from search results. In
particular, duplicate title tags can also confuse the search
engines. H1 tags and the HTML title on pages should not be
redundant but should use different wording.

4–Site map errors.

An error in site map code may make it impossible for search
engine crawlers to find certain pages.

5–Missing alt tags.

Without an alt tag to define the purpose of an image, the search
algorithms may find the whole page less relevant.

6–Pages that take more than 7 seconds to load can hurt your
search engine ranking.

7–Missing meta description tags.

Both users and search engines use description tags to understand
the content and value of pages.

8–Low word count.

Text length on web pages should be 200 words or more. Fewer make
it difficult for search engines to assign the page a topic and
index it.

9–Keywords.

Judiciously use keywords on pages while maintaining a natural
conversational tone. Overuse of keywords that render the page
awkward to read can depress the page ranking.

10–Title too short.

Pages with titles of less than 10 characters may not show up in
search results for different keywords.

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Category: Online Marketing | 11 Comments »

Why you should NOT clean your elist

July 17th, 2018 by Bob Bly

The conventional wisdom has long been to zap people from your
email list if they have not responded to any of your offers
within the last 6 months — and especially if they have not opened
any of your emails within that time.

But now, a new study from MailChimp suggests you should not.

The reason?

MailChimp found that inactive subscribers, contrary to what many
believe, are far from worthless.

The MailChimp study shows that just because an online subscriber
is inactive does not mean he will remain so.

In fact, many inactive subscribers eventually buy again — even
after a year or several years of taking no action.

MailChimp says that, on average, about one-third of online
revenues from your elist will come from inactive subscribers — so
clearly they have real value.

Because keeping the inactives on your list is relatively cheap,
and inactives are 26% more likely to purchase than
non-subscribers, to me it makes good sense to leave people on
your list until they opt out.

Many of my readers have confirmed with me the value of inactive
names on their list.

BS says: “Yes, we just had one of our leads who ignored all of
our emails and phone calls for 7 months buy a product from us
today.”

JH comments: “Dean Jackson is as good as it gets with email. He
recently said the people who convert to some of his highest level
stuff have been on his list for 2 years.”

SB: “I convert customers who’ve been on my lists for 1,2,3,4
years later. This purge thing was partly started by the advice of
not sending to unopens.”

JL: “If someone raises their hand in terms of going to a workshop
or seeing me, we keep them on our newsletter until they cry uncle
or die. We get at least a few new clients a year that have been
on that list for years. There is gold in unconverted leads.”

KD: “I had one guy order a product, then two weeks later bought
another product. Week after that bought another. So I checked him
out. He’d been on my list for years but never bought before.”

AR: “I’ve had email subscribers who tune out for months at a
time… and then suddenly hire me or buy stuff I recommend.”

The major argument in favor of purging inactives is that having a
lot of them on your list hurts your email delivery rate.

Well, yes and no. There are two types of services providing email
delivery. The first includes vendors such as Constant Contact and
Bronto, where the bigger your list, the more they charge you.

These email service providers make more money from clients with
large lists. So they have no incentive to penalize you for having
a big list. And as far as I know, they do not.

The other category is services that give you an unlimited number
of email distributions for a fixed monthly cost, such as
1shoppingcart.

Since it costs them money to distribute … and earns them no extra
money to email to large lists … they have a motive for actively
encouraging you to drop inactive subscribers from your list, and
some of them do so.

That being said, I agree with JL: In my experience, there is gold
in unconverted leads. And I am really not into throwing gold in
the trash (or delete folder).

The other argument in favor of purging inactive subscriber names
is that their non-responsiveness brings down your key metrics
including click-through rate and open rate. JA comments, “If your
open rate is below benchmark despite having consistently good
content, there’s probably some dead weight in your list.”

However, low CTR and open rates are a problem mainly if you have
a boss or client judging you by those numbers.

But if you are an entrepreneur with your own internet marketing
business, the most important key metric to use is weekly gross
sales.

And as MailChimp and others quoted above note, continuing to
email to your inactives can boost what is arguably the most
important key performance indicator — revenue — substantially.

So what’s more important to you — good-looking analytics reports
… or money in your bank account?

It’s your call.

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Category: Online Marketing | 39 Comments »

My info product pricing strategy in a nutshell

March 30th, 2018 by Bob Bly

Subscriber GK writes:

“Many of the big guns in info marketing believe in the concept of
charging very high prices, which sometimes annoys me with their
greed.

“On the other hand, Bob Bly, you make ongoing offers of
inexpensive info-products which seem to recur about every few
weeks.”

“Why do you do what you do? And which should I sell — big-ticket
items or less expensive programs?”

I can’t tell GK what to do. But let’s take a closer look at
strategic pricing of info products for greater ROI and maximum
customer satisfaction.

There are a couple of reasons why many info marketers, both the
top and others, charge what may seem like almost usurious prices
for their courses.

The first is obvious: to make more money.

If a guru has a $3,000 course on Topic X — and I cover the same
material in a $30 ebook — I have to sell 100 units to make the
same 3 grand he makes with just one sale.

The second reason these gurus give for their high prices is:
“Charging a lot of money is the only way to motivate customer to
take the information seriously.”

And to a certain degree, they’re right: If you pay only $30 for
my course on X, then get busy, put it aside, and never return to
it, you haven’t lost much — at least not much money paid for a
product you didn’t really use.

But if you paid 3K for Mr. Big Guru’s program, your large
investment makes you more likely to pay attention to it. Right?

Conversely, when you or I give someone free advice, that person
values our info based on what he or she paid for it: nothing.

So, why don’t I jump on the bandwagon and bring out a line of
super-expensive info products for my readers?

For these 5 good reasons:

>> First, one can argue that, in particular when selling to
first-time customers, it is better to make $3,000 in revenues by
selling 100 units of a $30 items vs. by selling just one unit of
a $3,000 item.

Reason: With the first order, you acquire 100 new customers
instead of just one, building your list 100X faster.

>> Second, with reasonable pricing, it is easier to deliver value
many times in excess of what the customer pays for the product.

Fred Gleeck says the info products you sell should be ideally
worth 10X or more the list price.

Well, creating a $30 ebook that delivers $300 or more in value is
an achievable goal for me and you.

On the other hand, it’s more difficult to create a $3,000 program
that you can honestly say is worth at least 30 grand.

>> Third, many consumers perceive, rightly or wrongly, that some
of the higher-priced info product marketers are really in the
“money extraction” business more than they are the value delivery
business.

So many buyers, like GK, feel they are being treated as a mark
rather than a student or valued client.

As for me, I want a reputation of delivering real value as well
as never ripping people off.

>> Fourth, big-ticket products — such as conferences, boot camps,
coaching, masterminds, and multimedia programs — are usually more
complex to produce than low-priced ebooks, DVDs, or audios.

Orchestrating the creation, production, delivery, and marketing
of big-ticket items takes a lot of time and effort.

That works if you are a full-time info marketer, especially if
you have a team to help you.

But for a little operator like me, for whom info marketing is a
spare-time income, the simplicity and ease of producing and
selling books, audios, and other lower-priced items is more
appealing.

>> Fifth, most big-ticket info products these day have live
elements, such as webinars, mentoring, meetings, or coaching.

For that reason, they are not purely passive income, but a mix of
active and passive.

And again, as a small operator who already had a full-time job
(in my case, freelance copywriting), I want my info products to
be purely passive, requiring zero time on my part to deliver and
support.

Which is why ebooks, DVDs, and other one-shot products are right
for me.

That being said, the best strategy in online information
marketing is to offer an extensive line of products covering the
full price spectrum:

Low … medium … and high-priced items.

That doesn’t necessarily mean all of these programs have to be
YOUR products: some can be those of other marketers, which you
offer as their affiliate or JV partner.

That way, you get a share of the profits from someone else’s
expensive info products — without doing the work!

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Category: Online Marketing | 45 Comments »

Why would any big marketer want YOU as an affiliate?

February 27th, 2018 by Bob Bly

The “99/1 rule” of affiliate marketing says that 99% of your
affiliates aren’t going to sell any product for you.

And conversely, the top 1% of your affiliates — the “super
affiliates” — will account for 99% of all your affiliate sales
revenues.

But the super affiliates are rather picky about whom they do
deals with … and they are incredibly difficult just to reach.

So, how do you stand out from the crowd of other newbies asking
super-affiliates to consider them for a JV deal?

Here are 3 proven methods:

1–The “commission bribe.”

On information products in the low to medium-price range, a
common affiliate commission is 50% of gross.

I wanted a marketer with a huge list of 450,000 subscribers to
promote one of my lower priced ebooks to his list.

To get him interested, I raised his affiliate commission to 100%.
And he bit!

Why would I do this and give up all my revenues to him?

Simple. To get new subscribers: everyone who buys becomes a
customer of mine, and therefore is on my e-list — meaning I can
e-mail them any time.

The affiliate promotion generated 989 orders from a single
e-mail, adding nearly a thousand new subscribers to my list
within 24 hours.

For me, that’s a list-building home run.

2–Event marketing.

I am not a fan of internet marketing conferences for several
reasons.

First, I hate to travel.

Second, I don’t have the time, as my copywriting clients and
publishers keep me plenty busy, and I have deadlines.

Third, a lot of the entrepreneurial internet marketing
conferences are a bit too high-testosterone for my taste.

But there is one reason you should go to internet marketing
conferences aside from the obvious one of learning:

To meet in person bigger players than you who can become your
super affiliates.

These are mega-successful marketers who normally don’t give small
fry like you and me the time of day.

But when you make their acquaintance face-to-face at a live
event, you have a much better chance of forging a relationship
that leads to affiliate and joint venture opportunities for a
win-win scenario.

3–A personal note.

There is a major player who is so far ahead of me in level of
online revenues it isn’t funny.

I read his book and liked it so much, I sent him a fan letter.

He responded with thanks and an open invitation to become an
affiliate of his!

By the way, I sent a postal letter, not an e-mail.

Reason: People perceive it as a more personal touch.

And, in a sea of e-mails, it stands out.

Try paper letters. You’ll like it!

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Category: General, Online Marketing | 13 Comments »

Why no one cares that you want to become their affiliate

February 23rd, 2018 by Bob Bly

Has this ever happened to you?

You are starting or have already started an internet marketing
business.

And you have begun asking some of the other marketers in your
space for information on how you can become an affiliate — so you
can sell their products, for a commission, to your list.

Much to your dismay, the bigger marketers … the ones whose
products you’d really love to sell … have little or no interest
in your offer — and many don’t even get back to you.

With a start, you realize that they don’t really give a fig
whether you become their affiliate or not!

So are they stupid? Well, yes and no.

Yes in the sense that it is just bad business and rude to ignore
people or be nonresponsive to them, regardless of who you are and
who they are.

But no, in the sense that these big marketers have correctly
surmised that the value to them of you promoting their products
is likely going to be zero … or close to it.

The reason is the “99/1 rule” of affiliate marketing.

The 99/1 rule says that 99% of your affiliates aren’t going to
sell hardly any product for you.

And conversely, the top 1% of your affiliates — known as “super
affiliates” — will account for 99% of all your affiliate sales
revenues.

It may seem odd. But it’s virtually always true. And here’s why….

There are countless well-meaning, ambitious internet marketing
newbies — and maybe you are one of them — who figure a good way
to get started is to sell other people’s products.

Unfortunately, because most of these newbies have no list or
traffic to speak of, they also have no means of generating a
significant volume of orders for any products, let whether theirs
or anyone else’s.

On the other hand, there are the “big dogs” — the known major
players in their respective niches and markets.

They make millions in sales … have huge lists … and get massive
web traffic.

So if you can convince these top dogs to become an affiliate of
yours, you stand to generate a lot of new sales, orders, and
customers from their efforts.

The problem is that, because these super affiliates are such
desirable joint venture partners, they are inundated with offers
— and very picky about whom they work with.

Just getting their attention and on their radar is a major
challenge.

So, the problem becomes: how can you recruit some of the big
super affiliate players and get them to offer YOUR products to
their huge and highly profitable lists … when they won’t even
respond to you?

That’s a question we’ll take up in my next article. Stay tuned.

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Category: General, Online Marketing | 7 Comments »

How I differ from my fellow info marketers

February 20th, 2018 by Bob Bly

PL writes:

“Bob, I am an internet marketing newbie.

“I am not on your list. But a friend forwarded me one of your
emails and suggested I might want to follow you.

“But there are already so many people out there teaching ‘how to
make money on the internet’ today — and some of them seem to be
making piles more money than you are.

“So why on Earth would I want to add your name to the list of
marketing teachers I follow, Bob?”

To begin with, PL — perhaps you should not.

No skin off my nose whether you do or you don’t. Either way works
for me.

But your question is not the first time I’ve been asked, “What
makes you better than other marketing teachers offering products
and courses?”

Well, truth be told, I don’t ever say I’m better.

But I can tell you the 6 things that I do feel may make me a bit
different than the others:

>> First, while I’m by far not the highest paid information
marketer online today — I do believe I am one of the highest paid
when calculated on a per hour basis.

That’s because my little info marketing empire makes me a mostly
passive six-figure annual income.

And I “work” in my internet marketing business just a few hours a
week to achieve it.

So who makes more money an hour?

Mr. X, pulling down a million dollars gross online a year, but
putting in grueling 60-hour weeks with his team every week of the
year to orchestrate his major product launches?

Or me, who produces low to mid-six-figures working literally less
than 2 hours a week selling digital info products delivered
automatically to customers by auto-responder?

>> Second, others teach a time-intensive approach to online
marketing that is pretty difficult to pull off if you are holding
a 9 to 5 job or have another career.

By comparison, I teach info marketing as a spare-time home
business — a second source of income to supplement your salary
while you keep your day job, if you so desire, as I do.

In my case, that “day job” is being a full-time freelance
copywriter, writing copy for clients.

>> Third, let’s say you want to quit working.

With my method, which I have nicknamed “The Internet Marketing
Retirement Plan,” you earn a “full-time” income with extremely
minimal part-time effort.

So in effect, you live as if you are retired, only with an online
passive income equal to a huge annuity or generous corporate
pension.

>> Fourth, a lot of people selling “how to make money on the
internet” have in reality only sold one thing in their life —
their course on “how to make money on the internet.”

Just as back in the day, there were some guys running mail order
ads selling books on how to get rich.

And when you got the book, it told you the way to get rich was
running ads selling mail order books.

In sharp contrast, I have had success selling the widest range of
products and services imaginable — everything from a $1 pocket
football season schedule to a $32 million corporate jet.

>> Fifth, all info marketers are teachers of a sort, yet most I
know have never actually worked as a teacher.

As for me, I have been doing corporate training classes for
decades … and I was an adjunct professor years ago at New York
University.

So I know my way around a classroom better than some.

>> Sixth, every teacher of info marketing has their strengths and
weaknesses.

Others are much more savvy in many areas than I am — most notably
in technical aspects of internet marketing, social media, and
online media buying … though I have experts at my beck and call
in these and any other areas where I am not stellar.

But, because of my nearly 4 decades as a freelance copywriter, I
am, among the sell “information” online crowd, on the strong end of
the spectrum as far as copywriting goes.

Also, because I have written more than 95 paperbound books for
mainstream publishing houses, my content writing skills are also
quite respectable.

So if you are particularly keen on improving your info marketing
sales with killer copy …

… and boosting repeat orders by offering A-level content …
perhaps I’m your guy.

On the other hand, if you want to get rich with a Facebook group
or a zillion Twitter followers, I may not be.

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Category: Online Marketing | 27 Comments »