Is Email Marketing Dead?

email-marketing-150x150Internet marketers who have been at this for a while and have actually studied what we do know that there is no online marketing technique that works forever. Great marketing methods that worked well six months ago may not work at all today, and the things that produce wonderful results today may end up becoming a waste of time six months from now.

Unfortunately, such is the nature of the Internet marketing beast, and I think it is quite possible we may be witnessing this process in action as I write this in regards to email marketing.

Back in the day, (when the Internet was in its infancy), email marketing was a wonderful way to make thousands of dollars at the click of a button by sending one email to a random list of people. There was no regulation, the unethical and shady fly-by-night email marketers that prey on the public today were few and far between, and Internet users still got excited whenever they got email of any kind. Those were the days, my friends…{:-(

Now we have tons of regulation that was created as a result of the work of said unethical miscreants, and people have started to view email as another source of unwelcome aggravation, (again, thanks to the junk email they have been buried under by these shady individuals). I read a statistic the other day that said that almost 90% of the email that gets sent and received is nothing but unsolicited sales drivel that does nothing but irritate the average recipient, and work against those of us who are legitimate Internet marketers trying to make a living online.

To top that circumstance off, the main email service providers like Google and Yahoo have been taking ever more serious and restrictive steps to curb the junk email epidemic, and the latest step is nothing short of a marketing killer.

A couple of weeks ago, Google announced that it would introduce the division of email inboxes with tabs labeled “Personal”, “Social”, and “Promotion”. It did, and now the email that goes to your Gmail inbox gets sorted automatically and quite arbitrarily, with marketing email automatically going into the “Promotions” tab.

This is a HUGE problem for us Internet marketers, because now reaching a prospect with our marketing message has become exponentially more difficult than it was before. Even when a prospect decides to opt into our squeeze pages, our follow-up autoresponder emails will get automatically dumped into his “Promotion” tab. Maybe I am being overly pessimistic, but I happen to believe that most people will look at the “Promotion” tab and experience an overwhelming urge to erase its contents without reading them, (due to the generally strong aversion towards junk email that exists out there).

A vast number of email users have free Gmail accounts, and I believe that Yahoo and the other email service providers out there may not be far behind Google in taking similar measures. To me, this trend means that email is on the way out as an effective method to put our marketing message out there, at least until some marketing genius comes up with a way to counter the trend. That will probably happen, but it will take some time.

In view of this, I have decided to walk away from email marketing for now and concentrate on things like SEO through Article Marketing, Pay-Per-Click, Banner Advertising, and offline methods like Postcards and Display Ads in home business publications like Entrepreneur, etc. Successful marketers learn to adapt and roll with changes like this one in the Internet Marketing industry, but we don’t necessarily have to like it…  };-)

Wolf Enterprises…An AWESOME Offline Marketing Resource!

wolfentlogo1Any smart Internet marketer knows that success comes from a blend of marketing efforts, both online and offline. This is especially true where the home-based business industry is concerned, and no advertising company supports home-based business marketers with offline marketing options better than Wolf Enterprises.

Wolf Enterprises is run by Randy and Carol Wolf of Merritt Island, Florida. The company specializes in the brokerage of classified and display ads, and in putting together some of the most responsive mailing lists of business opportunity seekers in the industry. It offers affordable advertising packages in all the important business opportunity magazines of wide circulation, including Entrepreneur Magazine and the business section of the USA Today newspaper.

I have had good results using Mr. Wolf’s mailing lists in my direct mail campaigns, and had good results with the display ads he designs for magazines as well. The display ads are usually more expensive than plain classified ads, but generally garner higher visibility and yield better results.

The key to success with this type of advertising is consistency, and Wolf Enterprises offers affordable options that will allow you to run lasting advertising campaigns that will build credibility for you in the minds of your prospects. As you probably know, one of the basic rules of thumb in marketing says that a prospect needs to be exposed to your marketing message an average of seven times before he/she will make the decision to buy from you, and Mr. Wolf’s ad campaigns are designed specifically to that end.

And if you decide to run direct mail campaigns using postcards to market your online business systems like I do, you can’t do better than going with Wolf Enterprises when it comes to quality, responsive, affordable mailing lists of business opportunity seekers. I have had great response rates of up to 3% using Mr. Wolf’s lists, which is way above average for the industry as a whole.

Do yourself and your business a favor and combine your online marketing efforts with the offline services provided by Wolf Enterprises. I guarantee you will be pleased with the results…And tell Mr. Wolf I say hello!  };-)

The All-Important Subject Line!

compellingemailsubjectlinesWhen it comes to email marketing, you can have the best marketing message and the best list of prospects in the world, but if your email’s subject line stinks you will go NOWHERE.

Why? Because your subject line will determine whether your email gets opened or it doesn’t. If it doesn’t, your entire effort has been useless. Conversely, you could have a mediocre marketing message that goes out under a winning subject line, and then you will see success due to the high amount of messages that will be opened.

Like much everything else in marketing, the numbers game is a strong factor for success. But you still need the right tools, and the subject line is one such tool that will definitely make you or break you.

With subject lines you need to get creative. The CAN-SPAM law that governs email marketing says that subject lines cannot be deceiving and must accurately reflect the nature of your offer. There are ways to satisfy this requirement without coming across as a cheap spammer, but still managing to spark your prospect’s curiosity enough to compel him/her to open your email.

What I would suggest you do is take all the messages that land in your SPAM box and analyze them. Most of them will be junk, but a few of them will feature subject lines and content that were expertly written, and will compel you to open them and look at the content. The reason why they end up in the SPAM box is because the different email service providers like Yahoo, Google, etc. keep getting more and more restrictive and strict by the day where email marketing is concerned.

Emulate these good emails when writing yours and imprint your own personal style unto them without copying word for word. The important thing is that you understand why that specific email and its subject line compelled you to find out more about whatever offer was being advertised.

When writing subject lines for our industry keep in mind who our prospects are. The subject line should feature a benefit or a solution in a way that will compel the prospect to want to learn more.

For example, I work almost exclusively with online business models that require no selling, “closing”, or overcoming objections, because the automated systems involved do all of that for me. That is a very attractive feature that can be described succinctly in the form of a subject line: “Earn 6 Figures Without Selling, “Closing”, or Overcoming Objections!”

When someone looking to make money using the Internet receives an email with that subject line, chances are he/she will open it to see what it is about, and that is exactly your goal. The email under this subject line should be short, concise, to the point, and should point your prospect to a squeeze page where they enter their email address and other pertinent information and opt into your list of subscribers.

Remember…An effective subject line is worth its weight in gold, because it will help you build your list of subscribers and grow your business!

Advertise to 1,398,100 Prospects for FREE!

leadsleapThe following are the IDEAL conditions for any income opportunity:

It must have passive income potential (you work one-time and get paid forever!), it must have multiple streams of income (so that you can make money in many ways), it must provide excellent training so that you know exactly what to do to build your income, and it must build YOU a network of leads so that you can tap into this network for ALL your other businesses in the future!

I have found such an opportunity, and it is called LeadsLeap!

LeadsLeap is a leads generation system that allows you to advertise and build leads for FREE while giving you an opportunity to make money through several streams of income.

First, you earn commissions from their super-strong one-time offer for new members, which is crazy good and very, VERY hard to reject.

Then, you earn monthly recurring commissions from their PRO advertising membership, which is the upgrade of the free membership offer and provides much more in the way of advertising opportunities and reach. This PRO advertising membership provides tremendous value that can massively increase the PRO members’ earnings. When the PRO members make more money, they will continue to stay as a PRO member. This means you will continue to earn commissions every month!

Lastly, you earn 50% from all other LeadsLeap products FOR LIFE. This means whenever your referrals purchase any products in the future, you will still earn 50% commission.

The best part is that there is nothing extra you need to do besides setting up your account and promoting your affiliate link. You don’t have to worry about maintaining a list, sending an email newsletter or anything of that sort! This is truly a hands-free business opportunity if I ever saw one…Create your FREE account NOW!

Point and Click your Way to Prosperity on the Web!

optimizepress-150x150There are many good business systems on the Internet that attract thousands of prospective webpreneurs every day, but most of these systems fail to provide the tools or the control needed to achieve real success. As a result, most of these well-meaning people get frustrated and quit soon after they began their quest for Internet wealth.

Most online business systems will provide new members with a replicated website that can be used to generate leads and sales, and that’s great. However, in many instances, (if not most), these replicated websites come with built-in autoresponders that cannot be edited, or what’s worse, they don’t come with an autoresponder system at all, and this is a BIG problem!

In order to get around this problem, the new member must create a personal lead generation page and link it to an autoresponder that he/she controls, and that contains the specific sales messages he/she wants to send out. There’s no tool better for that purpose than OptimizePress.

OptimizePress is a WordPress theme that allows Internet marketers to create professional lead generation and sales pages that can be integrated to the autoresponder system of their choice. This allows for the creation of a comprehensive marketing funnel that allows the marketer to exercise complete control of the process, from lead capture to final sale.

With OptimizePress, new Internet marketers can create high-quality websites that feature high conversion rates by using a very simple point-and-click interface, without the ridiculously high costs of hiring web designers or code programmers. If you know how to check your email and cut and paste, you can use OptimizePress.

There are many good business systems that I work with that don’t provide me the opportunity to set up complete marketing funnels, either because they lack flexibility or they lack basic tools like autoresponders and such, and the way I get around that limitation is by using OptimizePress. This way I can attract prospects, build subscriber lists, and gain paying customers with any program I want, regardless of any limitations or flaws the program may suffer from.

OptimizePress is a WordPress theme that must be set up by itself in its own hosting solution, and the set up is pretty much the same you would find with any WordPress installation, quite easy and self-explanatory.

One of the best features of the theme is that there are no monthly fees, (other than your monthly hosting fee of $4 to $8). You only have to make a one-time payment of $97 for the theme and pay for the initial hosting set-up, which will run you about $120. When all is said and done you’ll have spent about $220, but you’ll have a powerful marketing platform that will allow you to function like the big-time marketers for a fraction of the cost.

If you are serious about making money on the Web, you should consider getting this valuable marketing tool. Check it out HERE!

The Web Marketing Process Simplified

online-marketing-150x150So, you decide you want to start making money using the Internet. Then you start looking for an online business opportunity that appeals to you and seems easily workable. You find one such opportunity you like and decide to join…So far, so good…

Many Internet business systems nowadays will give you what is called a replicated website, along with some kind of lead generation mechanism so you can get started. However, in order to really be successful you need to have control of the entire process, and most of the time these business systems won’t give you full control.

When this happens you can stay with the system, but you have to develop sales pages and email marketing messages of your own. And you will also have to develop a mechanism that will allow you to attract your own prospects and follow up with them consistently until they either join your program or buy your product, or ask to opt out and stop receiving communication from you. This mechanism is commonly known as a marketing funnel.

This may sound overwhelming at first, and may give you the impression that you won’t be able to do any of it unless you are some kind of web programming wizard, but nothing could be further from the truth. You can do all of this if you know how to do basic things like surfing the Web, cutting and pasting, and checking your email. All you need is the right tools, and we’ll discuss what those are next.

First, you need a lead generation or “squeeze” page that can be integrated with an autoresponder that you control. A squeeze page is called that because it is designed to squeeze your prospect’s email address from him, so that it can go into your autoresponder and you can start sending him marketing messages after he opts in. A squeeze page normally looks like this. A few Internet business systems out there will provide you with already-made squeeze pages that can be integrated with your own autoresponder, but most won’t.

If the business system of your choice doesn’t provide you with a squeeze page that can be integrated with your own autoresponder, you can create one with a wonderful tool called OptimizePress. Once you have created your squeeze page, you need to integrate it with your autoresponder. No need to worry, because OptimizePress makes all of this very easy to do! It can be done in about ten minutes with only a few clicks of the mouse.

Once you have all of this ready, when a prospect drops his email address into your squeeze page your autoresponder will take over and start sending him your sales messages in the sequence and frequency you choose.

Some business systems provide these messages and some don’t, and if yours doesn’t, I can show you where to get some powerful sales messages that will do the awkward sales work for you. In these messages you must point your prospect to the sales/order page that your business system provides, so that if he decides to buy or join he’ll be able to do it right away and without complications.

And that is pretty much it! This certainly isn’t rocket science, but there are details that can be easily overlooked or not executed the right way that can derail the whole process for you, so you have to be careful and do things right. I have linked this page to others that explain OptimizePress and autoresponders in detail, so just click on the links for more info…Happy Marketing!

Email Marketing and the Law…Stay out of Trouble!

shutterstock_spamwordcloud170If you use email regularly, you know how frustrating it is to receive hundreds of spam messages every day that do nothing but create clutter in your inbox, and in many cases act as malware and spyware that crooks use to steal your personal financial information.  Statistics show that in recent years, close to 90% of all email messages sent have been classified as spam!

In response to that, the U.S. Government enacted a law called the CAN-SPAM Act in 2003, and has been updating it every year since in order to reflect changes in the Internet marketing industry as they take place. This law mandates Internet marketers to abide by some rules when using email for business purposes.

These rules include things like giving recipients a clear way of “opting out” or unsubscribing from your list if they wish to do so, using subject lines that are not deceptive and that clearly relate to the message’s content, and including a physical snail-mail address for your business. This law also prohibits the “harvesting”, “scraping”, or gathering of random email addresses for marketing purposes. In other words, this law bans the sending of unsolicited marketing email to anyone who hasn’t explicitly requested it.

The CAN-SPAM Act is enforced by the FTC, (Federal Trade Commission), and the basic penalty for violating it the first time is a fine of $16,000, which escalates progressively with further violations. The seven main things you need to do to comply with this law are as follows:

  1. Do not use false or misleading header information.
  2. Do not use deceptive subject lines.
  3. Identify the message as an advertisement.
  4. Tell recipients your physical location by including a valid physical postal address.
  5. Tell recipients how to opt out of receiving future email from you.
  6. Honor opt-out requests promptly.
  7. Monitor what any third-party might be doing on your behalf. If you hire another company to do your email marketing for you, you are still responsible for complying with the law.

As responsible Internet marketers, we always want to be in compliance with the law, but we also have to figure out ways to run our businesses successfully. To that end, I have devised a simple email marketing strategy that is 100% CAN-SPAM compliant and works well. I want to share it with you, but will do so separately….Stay Tuned!

The Problem with YouTube

youtube1-150x150So, we all know that YouTube is a gigantic presence on the Internet, and that it can help us take our business to the next level. After Facebook and Google, YouTube is the site that receives the most traffic in all of the web. That’s a fact.

Another fact is that YouTube has been going through many changes in recent years, and it isn’t what it used to be anymore. Now the site administrators have become much more finicky about who they’ll let operate on the site unmolested and who they won’t.

Since YouTube was bought by Google, home-based online marketers have been finding it harder and harder to use the site to their advantage. Many of them have even had their accounts terminated arbitrarily, because the people who run YouTube now have developed a dislike for folks who want to use the site for business purposes from their home. That is, the big business hitters are welcome but the little people like us are not.

I know many successful online marketers who have been hit by YouTube’s whimsical attitudes, and who have opted to abandon the site altogether. I can’t say I blame them, but the truth is that those of us who are not big hitters can really benefit from using the huge, free platform that YouTube offers for massive exposure.

This can still be done, but you have to be a lot more discreet and careful than you were in the past while using the site. The following tips should allow you to use YouTube without running the constant risk of immediate termination:

a) Don’t be overtly open about the fact that you are trying to make money from home. Be tactful and turn your video into an informational product instead of having it be a crass advertisement for whatever it is you are selling. Remember the concept of Attraction Marketing? YouTube is the perfect venue for it!

b) Don’t use obvious marketing words or gimmicks as titles or tags for your video. You’re going to have to get creative and find a way to come up with titles and tags that relate closely to your business, but that don’t automatically advertise the fact that you are soliciting business from anyone.

c) Don’t accept comments or ratings to your videos. Shut this function down, because if your video starts getting a lot of hits quickly, the YouTube police get alerted immediately and come around checking to see what your video is all about. If they see that you are advertising a home-based Internet business, chances are good that they’ll take down the video and terminate your account.

In summary, you can still use YouTube for business purposes, but you have to be careful and discreet about it. Use YouTube to establish yourself as someone who is knowledgeable about running a business from home. Use YouTube to develop the “know-like-trust” relationship with your prospective customers that I talk about in my web marketing course, instead of using it to hawk your product or service willy-nilly.

Be smart about using YouTube and you’ll see your business benefit from it!

Stay away from “Lame Marketing”!!

CartmanLAME-150x150Most prospective online entrepreneurs are faced with the following scenario when they decide to dive into Web Marketing,  (and this happens with all kinds of marketing, to be honest): The first thing they are told to do is write a list of their “circle of influence”.

This so-called “circle of influence” is really a list of all the people the new marketer knows. When this list is completed, the new marketer is told to present his/her offer to all these people at the earliest possible opportunity and repeatedly, regardless of whether these people are interested or not. I call this “Lame Marketing 101”.

This is a big part of the “training” that a vast majority of newbies in the marketing industry get, (if it can be qualified as such). When I entered the automotive sales industry, for example, the first thing I was told to do was to go and hound my friends and family relentlessly with new car pamphlets and ads about the latest sale at the dealership. Needless to say, a lot of friends and relatives still cringe when they see me coming their way today, and I can’t say I blame them.

At some point along the path I realized that this is EXACTLY the wrong way to go about marketing anything. Then I came to the Internet marketing industry, and I learned a whole new way of marketing that consists SIMPLY on finding your target audience, (the people interested in your product or service), and presenting them with your offer. Sounds very basic, but you’d be surprised at how difficult it is to get people to understand this very simple proposition sometimes.

I don’t do “Lame Marketing” now, haven’t done it in years, and will never advise anyone to do it, because it is counter-productive, time-wasting, irritating, stressful, and frankly, JUST PLAIN STUPID. Do you want to alienate a prospective customer in a hurry? Start trying to sell him or her on something that they haven’t expressed the slightest bit of interest in!

Today’s web technology enables us to find the people who are interested in what we have to offer through a variety of means, such as Pay-Per-Click and Search Engine Optimization to name a couple. This is the beauty of the Internet!

However, smart marketing can be practiced offline as well through the use of print ads published in the right publications and postcards sent to a reputable, appropriately targeted mailing list. The Internet has simplified marketing and made it more sophisticated at the same time, but it is by no means the only way to go.

So stay away from “Lame Marketing” if you want to be successful as a marketer on and off the Web. Stick with me and I’ll be happy to show you the do’s and don’ts, and share with you the knowledge that I have acquired from experience!

Use dropship products to make a great living from home!

online-auction-site-reviews-150x150About 750,000 people currently make a great living from home selling products on eBay, Amazon.com, eBid.com, Ubid.com, and other similar online auction websites, and you can do that too with dropship products.

Dropship products are those which you can sell without having to stock or even physically handle inventory. The buyer sees an item he or she likes in your website, pays you for it, you deduct your commission and turn around and pay the supplier, and the supplier ships the item straight to the buyer…No hassles!

You can get your dropshipping website from the good folks at DropShipDesign.com, without having to enter into a contract with them or having to make a huge investment right out of the gate. You can get a basic website that only gives you access to the products, or you can go with the fully-loaded turnkey auction management website, which comes fully automated with the eBay Wizard auction management option, and ready to process credit card and PayPal payments without you needing to get a merchant account.

This online income system features no monthly fees, (unless you decide to go with the turnkey solution), and comes with daily updates as new products get added. It also issues monthly reports on your sales. And it offers you the opportunity to add one more stream of income to your marketing efforts through their free two-tier affiliate reseller program!

You can get more information about this opportunity and join HERE.

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