Developing an E-Mail Newsletter

The creation of a newsletter is a serious decision because initiating one without the infrastructure and commitment to sustain it can wind up doing more harm than good. Your e-mail newsletter, once launched, will create an expectation among recipients and if you fail to deliver on that expectation it could lead to a backlash as your customers cll your reliability or commitment into question. The infrastructure you need includes content sources, graphic sources, and the e-mail capacity to send the newsletter. The commitment is eased when you create a timetable that details when the content needs to be concluded, when the graphics need to be completed, and when the newsletter needs to be edited and then ultimately sent.

In choosing your send date, you need to think about the other newsletters your readers are likely to receive and make sure that you do not become just one more newsletter in their inboxes. We recommend you send it during a time of the month when there is traditionally less traffic. For example, Tudog sends its e-mail newsletter at the end of each month because most of our competing newsletters are sent either at the beginning or middle of the month. We have found that this increases our readership by approximately 20%.

The construction of a successful newsletter has 6 phases. They are:

1. Content
The newsletter you send stands or falls on the relevance and quality of the content you incorporate. If your website is meant to entertain you content needs to be entertaining. If it is meant to educate, your content better be educational. Tudog does not believe in using the newsletter for self-promotional purposes, as we think that readers rapidly grow tired of reading commercials and self-serving material. There are other forums to engage in self-promotion. Your newsletter is a service to your customers and needs to be written from the perspective of what they need, and not from the view of how it can serve you. By having your newsletter serve your customers, it will ultimately serve you too.

2. Frequency
You need to decide how often you are going to issue your newsletter. There are two primary considerations that need to make up the decision. The first is how often your customer base would engage you newsletter. If your sector is flooded with newsletters, you may conclude that there is an excess of reading material and that a quarterly newsletter is appropriate. Conversely, you may notice that there is both an absence of other newsletters and a hunger for information, leading you to conclude that a bi-weekly newsletter would provide you with an excellent opportunity. The second consideration is your internal capacity. You do not want to create an expectation for a newsletter that exceeds your production capacity. How many newsletters you are able to release each month needs to be the underlying driver to the decision how often your newsletter is released.

3. Design
How your newsletter looks is crucial not only because it represents your company, but also because it could determine how people receive the newsletter and whether or not they are drawn to read it. A well designed newsletter includes a clear delineation of all areas of content, integrated, relevant images, and an identity that is consistent with your company’s identity. It is important that you view your newsletter as an extension of your company and that its personality is representative of the image you transmit to your sector.

4. Database
Your database is the list of people to whom you send your newsletter. Your list should be extracted from your client/customer base, prospective clients/customers, and your sector influencers. You should make sure that everyone receiving your e-mail newsletter either requested it or has a way to be removed from your list (clearly and easily marked in your e-mail). Your newsletter can be sent via snail mail, but the costs of printing and postage make e-mail a much more realistic and cost effective often. Using e-mail, you are able to send your newsletter as HTML, text, or in PDF format. You should pick your format based on customer preferences. Tudog uses PDF after our inquiries indicated that our clients were most interested in receiving our newsletter in that format. You clients/customers may prefer a different format, but it should be noted that the content, design, and frequency are not influenced by format.

5. Marketing
Your newsletter needs marketing support so that it can reach out to a wider audience and better serve your company as a marketing tool. The support it receives can be as simple as being listed on your website (with a sign-up option) to advertising and special attention. Tudog markets its website by permitted reprints of our articles in magazines and other newsletters, drawing attention to the company, our expertise, and that our newsletter offers continuing exposure to the ideas and hints we publish.

6. Testing
We recommend that you test your newsletter before you send it out to your widest audience so that you can benefit from the feedback of your test group and ultimately send out the best newsletter possible. You should pick a random group of people (between 50-200) to send your newsletter to, alongside a brief questionnaire asking for reviews on your look and content. Once you have their responses and incorporate some of their comments, you will know your newer version is close to the needs and wants of your target market.

Your e-mail newsletter is an excellent way to reach out to and become meaningful to your clients/customers. Embark on an e-mail newsletter only if you have the resources and commitment to sustain it. Done properly, it is a powerful and continuing tool for exposure and reinforcement of your expertise.

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An Internet Marketing Lesson I Learned From My 7 Year Old Grandson

A few weeks ago I was watching my 7 year old Grandson Joel as he was drawing a picture of a strawberry patch.

As he drew, it began to look more and more like a Christmas wreath than a strawberry patch. I told him that it looked pretty good, but suggested to him that “maybe you could put a few strawberries here, and here and here” as I pointed to the big white area in the middle of his drawing.

He looked at me in all seriousness and said…

“Grandpa, it doesn’t matter what YOU think, it’s what the artist thinks!”

It was funny at the time, but I have been thinking about this quite a bit.

You know what? He is right!

There is a great lesson to be learned here. The lesson applies very well to Internet marketing. Actually it applies well to ANY kind of marketing, it doesn’t necessarily have to be on the internet.

We have a tendency to come up with an idea that we think is the greatest thing since sliced bread. We’re absolutely convinced that everybody will beat a path to our door to buy our product. We spend lots of money to develop a sales campaign, build a website, buy advertising and so on, and spend a lot of time and effort to draw people to our website, get good search engine positioning, and then more often than not we’re disappointed because very few people buy our products.

Could it be that the marketplace doesn’t care about our opinion?

Does that hurt your ego? It shouldn’t. It should open your eyes to this very simple, but wildly profound truth.

IT DOESN’T MATTER WHAT YOU THINK, IT’S WHAT THE MARKETPLACE THINKS THAT IS IMPORTANT!

Big companies spend millions of dollars on market research, testing and surveys before they ever spend any money in developing a product or marketing a product. Doesn’t it make sense that before we ever spend a dime on any kind of product development, website development or whatever that we should spend some time first to find out what people are buying, when do they buy, and how do they buy?

By doing proper research in advance, you’ll save yourself a lot of wasted time and effort, and you’ll be rewarded many times over by successful, money making websites. Finding profitable “niches” is not a difficult process, but it can make all the difference in the world as to whether or not your website will be a huge success or a dismal failure.

As you consider what kind of websites you’ll be building, keep in mind the lesson learned from a 7 year old.

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10 Ways to Advertise Online (and where to get started)

Most business owners fully understand that not advertising is the surest way to kill your business.

However they are also bombarded by so much information and so many choices they quickly lose track of what options are available to them.

There are a number of cheap and easy online advertising options available to you.

1. Ezine Advertising

Ezine advertising is one of the best ways to reach your future customers because it is often inexpensive and flexible as well as offering you the option to match the ezine audience with your product and ad. It also often offers a double benefit–your initial ad plus longevity in the ezine archives.

2. Text Links

This simple tool is often overlooked by many. It is simply one of the least expensive and yet most powerful advertising option available. You can often buy text links for under $10 and the link will not only promote the specific site or page you choose but also connect it with the specific key words that will benefit you the most.

Text links also provide a double bonus. You can attract immediate traffic from the host site as well as achieve better search engine ranking which will further increase traffic.

3. Pay per click advertising

Just like it sounds pay per click advertising is simply paying for specifically targeted traffic. You can monitor and control these advertising programs very closely and tweak your ad copy and the key words that you are sponsoring. This can be a very expensive option but doesn’t have to be if you plan carefully and watch closely.

4. Email marketing

Despite ever-increasing vigilant attempts to stop spam, we all know that email marketing is still alive and well. While it is foolish in the extreme to risk your business, web host, or internet connection, by sending out spam you can still use email marketing as a way to reach out and touch your customers and your future customers.

You just need to make sure that no one receives mail except the people who ask for it. People are still willing to sign up for mailing lists–especially if you have something to offer them in return for sharing their email address. Sponsor a contest; give away an article, ebook, or tutorial; or offer a discount and you will have people sign up willingly.

Then if you don’t abuse the mailing list you will have the opportunity to reach them again and again!

5. Banner Ads

Banner ads have a bad reputation. In part because of the proliferation of banner farms that killed all the banner swap programs (or at least made them completely ineffectual). Also we all have memories of those hideous banners flashing across the top of so many web sites.

Banners have come along way since then and a cleverly designed banner can be a real asset to any advertising campaign. Also don’t forget that you don’t have to use one of those big giant banners that span the width of the screen. You can use smaller simple ads that can fit easily into the sidebar or special box on a web site so they can suit the design and work more effectively.

It is also important that you pay close attention to what sites you will choose for displaying your banner. IE. A site about web development for your web hosting service ad or a site about parenting for your ad promoting your potty training book.

Many text link and pay per click advertising vendors also offer the option of banner ads. Similarly many ezine and newsletter publishers sell space on their sites.

~~ Sell Your Knowledge ~~

These next five advertising methods are all free or relatively inexpensive because you are trading something of value — your knowledge and expertise — in return for advertising.

6. Publish a Newsletter

Creating your own regular newsletter or ezine offers you all the advantages of ezine advertising and email marketing offered above.

7. Publish a Blog and RSS Feed

While publishing a newsletter or ezine isn’t that difficult it is much easier to create a blog and make its content available via RSS feed. This can offer you the benefits of regularly updated material for your web site which will be attractive to visitors and search engines alike. It will also help establish you as an expert in your field.

I personally like using WordPress on your own site but many web hosts now offer blogging services and there are many free blogging sites around where you can create a blog on their site.

8. Write Articles

Take some of the material you have generated for your newsletter and/or blog and share it with others. Make it available in one of the many free content directories available on the web. This not only helps to establish your credibility but the contact info you provide in your resource box (which will run every time someone else publishes your material) will bring in both direct traffic as well as search engine attention.

9. Create an Ebook

Once you have enough material generated from your newsletter and blog then you can package it into a convenient Ebook and give it away. Make sure to collect names and email addresses and offer a coupon or discount to bring people back to your site!

10. Post in Forums

If you have the time you should start your own forum but even if you only have a few minutes a week to spare for this effort then it can be well worth the effort. Don’t offer blatant spam posts but find a forum where you have something to offer. Make sure that you include an appropriate url and description for your forum signature and you will attract the double benefit of traffic and search engine attention!

No successful advertising campaign embraces one single method of advertising and no single method of advertising works for everyone. Advertising cannot be treated as a one-size-fits all proposition. However you know what your business needs and can offer–mix and match methods and make sure to track your results–to optimize your choices.

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10 Powerful List Building Techniques

The lifeblood of any Internet marketer is their list. If you have an opt in email list then you are sitting on piles of cash, if you properly use your list then your earning potential is very high.

As many people ask “How do I build a list?” the following points describes some of the best ways for building your email list.

1) Newsletter / E-zine

We are in the Information Age and so people are desperate for information. Everyone is so busy with their lives they don’t have time to find the information for themselves. Publish a newsletter in your niche that is full of valuable content and you will get people flocking to you to sign up.

2) E-Courses

People are hungry for information, so a free e-course will persuade people to part with their email address. Create at least a seven part course that is delivered every few days into their inbox. Of course, the e-course also subtly sells your product!

3) Articles

Write articles and distribute them to article directories. Include your newsletter sign up in the resource box and if you have provided good quality content, you will get the visitors who will sign up to learn more.

4) Free Books

A free e-book is an excellent way to build your list. It doesn’t have to be an epic tome, just valuable information that people will exchange their email address for. You can write one yourself or get one ghostwritten for you. Make sure though that it is information that your visitors will want to have, and make sure you have included links to your products and sites in the book. You can also include affiliate links to further maximise your earnings.

5) Free Membership Site

Creating a free membership site is an excellent way to get people’s email addresses. Offer valuable content for free but only to signed up members. You can then upsell them other products or other levels of membership with more products and more resources available to them.

6) Squeeze Page

A squeeze page is a pre-sales letter page where you capture a person’s email address before they move on to view your sales letter. This is reportedly very effective and you can also personalise the sales letter with their name or other details from the squeeze page.

7) Pop Up

Pop up windows, particularly unique and different windows, can be very effective at persuading people to sign up for your newsletter. These can either pop up as the visitor enters your site, or when they leave, reminding them to sign up for more information.

8) Viral Marketing

Viral marketing is where you give away something of value that people want to pass to all their friends. It may be a video, a book, a game or anything similar. However, whatever it is, it has your web address in it so people can come and sign up to your newsletter and get more info.

9) Free Giveaways

A very popular new method of list building are the big Internet giveaways where lots of people submit products that are available for free in exchange for a newsletter sign up. These are excellent ways to rapidly build your list – though be aware that freebie seekers may not make for the most responsive of lists.

10) Sign up bonuses

Offer your visitors a bonus if they sign up for your newsletter, e.g. “20% off XYZ for readers” or a number of e-books or reports that will be of interest to them.

Using these 10 simple strategies you can build your list and then leverage their earning power.

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6 Internet Marketing Myths

Every day thousands of people go online to make money but most of them fail miserably because they either truly believe one of the 6 Internet Marketing Myths or or all of them. You can read them below and discover the grain of salt in all of them.

Myth #1: Internet Marketing is EASY

This is probably the biggest myth of all, and let me tell you Internet marketing is hard, takes time, effort not mention money and anyone who suggests otherwise is trying to sell you a bunch of horse hockey. Granted that it’s comparatively easier to brick and mortar in that there’s no inventory to carry, no shipping of goods no sales staff and virtually no overhead, but a lot of work is still involved.

Myth #2: ANYONE Can Make Money Online

Folks, this is simply not true. Unless someone gets off their lazy boy recliner and download/read everything they can about internet marketing, and put an action plan in motion, they will never make a dime on the internet. DO NOTHING, MAKE NOTHING.

Myth #3: You Can “GET RICH QUICK” On the Net!

This is the trap that a lot of newbie internet marketers falls into including myself when I first started, why? because scammers make it sounds so easy and let me tell you, chasing “get rich quick scheme” is a WASTE OF TIME!, money and energy. It just won’t happen overnight, instead do some research and find out what people really want and need then give it to them especially a sense of reality.

Myth #4: It’s FREE to Do Business Online

This is one of my favorite myths because I believed it during my first year of internet marketing and it just wasn’t true then, it isn’t true today. Compared to opening your first coffee shop or gift shop in downtown Los Angeles, internet business start-up cost and maintenance cost is pretty low. Once you have your domain set up, you only pay for internet connection, advertising and ongoing educations, that’s it. You can’t expect to make money selling free stuff and ask others to do the same. Folks! it takes money to
make money.

Myth #5: It’s TOO LATE to Start an Internet Business

Most internet marketers would love to hear people say “It’s too late now, too many competitions, I should just pack my bags and go home, the internet is too complicated, etc…”. You know why? the less people they have to compete with the better which in turn will make them more money.

The fact is, it’s never ever too late to start anything and that includes internet business. I firmly believe that the internet is not going anywhere and you should too. Every year the stats will show you the number of people shopping
online are increasing, their spending dollars are growing and the number of people going online is increasing also.

Myth #6: The BIG Money Talk is JUST HYPE

As I’ve told you before, “it takes money to make money?” Well it’s true, although you will be hard pressed to find experienced internet marketers to tell how much they spend on promoting and advertising. Sometimes, you have to dig a little deeper to find the truth in every hype you read. It’s a fact that the people that makes alot of money online also spends alot of money on advertising, tools, resources and know how to get the job done.

If you are willing to take the necessary action to make ‘big money’ happen for you – it will. It takes time. You can criticize, be skeptical and sure that ‘big money’ can’t happen for you – and it won’t. Sit down and write a financial and a sound business plan. Local Chamber of Commerce can give all the info you need to get started.

If you believe that you will succeed you’re right, if you believe that it won’t work, you’re right also.

To summarize, you have heard people’s story how they’re making a fortune on the internet and how easy it is but the reality is some stories are NOT out of this world or unrealistic but it just doesn’t happen overnight. You just have to apply a bit of common sense into it, find what you love to do, have a game plan, stay focus and you my friend might find the right opportunity to make all your dreams come true.

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4 Essential Things To Build Your Email List

Internet marketing may have developed a rapid surge for the past few years. As more internet based businesses are being established, you need to develop new marketing skills and knowledge to keep up with the competition and to cope with the changing in Internet business world.

The demand for Internet marketing tips and techniques have grown significantly and new strategies of online marketing has been born, one of them is Opt-in email marketing, also known as permission marketing. Believe it or not, this technique can spread the word about your sites subsistence in a very cost free and effective way.

Opt-in marketing requires the permission of customer before you are allowed to send or promote any marketing materials, usually in newsletters form delivered via e-mail. The more targeted opt-in marketing mail is sent, the more chances there is to generate sales and more sales. To do this, you must build a list of all those who are interested in your niche and wants to subscribe to your opt-in marketing list.

From your list, you will get your targeted customer, this is a good list since they already have shown interest in what you have to show and sell since they have willingly signed in for your list. These are the people who have liked what they have seen in your site and have decided they want to see more and maybe even purchase what ever product or service your site has to offer.

Many people would think that building their lists would take hard work and a lot of time to build and collect names and addresses. This is not so, it takes a bit of patience and some strategies but in doing this list, you open your site and your business to a whole new world of target market. Take the effort to take your business to a new level, if traffic increase and good profits are what you want, an opt-in list will do wonders for your business venture.

There are many sources and articles in the internet available for everyone to read and follow in building a list. Sometimes they may be confusing because there are so many and there different ways. Different groups of people would have different approaches in building an opt-in list, but no matter how diverse many methods are, there are always some crucial things to do to build your list. Here are four of them.

1) Put up a good web form in your site that immediately follows the end of your content. While some may say this is too soon to subscribe for a website visitors application, try to remember that your homepage should provide a quick good impression. If somehow a website visitor finds something that he or she doesn’t like and turns them off, they may just forget about signing up.

A good web form for subscribing to an opt-in list is not hard to do. Just write a simple short statement about how they would like to see more and get updated about the site. Then there should be an area where they could put in their names and e-mail address. This web form will automatically save and send you the data’s inputted. As more people sign in, your list will be growing.

2) As mentioned in the first tip, make your homepage very, very impressive. You need to have well written articles and descriptions of your site. Depending on what your site is all about, you need to capture your website visitor’s fancy. Make your site useful and very easy to use. Do not expect everyone to be tech savvy. Invest in having good programming in your site, make your graphics beautiful but don’t over do it.

Don’t waste your time making the homepage too overly large megabyte wise. Not all people have dedicated T1 connections, the faster your site gets loaded, the better. Go for a look that borders between simplicity and sophisticated knowledge.

3) Provide good service and products. A return customer is more likely to bring in more business. Even then and now, a satisfied customer will recommend a business always. Word of mouth and recommendations alone can rake in more business than an expensive ad. As your clientele roster grows so shall your list. With more members on the list, the more people will get to know about what you have new to offer.

4) Keep a clean and private list. Never lose the trust your customers have entrusted you. If you provide e-mails to others and they get spammed, many will probably unsubscribe to you. Remember, a good reputation will drive in more traffic and subscribers as well as strengthen the loyalty of your customers.

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3 Simple Steps For Newbies To Start In Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is an arrangement between an online merchant and affiliate, in which the affiliate earns a commission for generating sales, leads and/or clicks for the merchant’s web site.

Affiliate marketing works in a win-win situation for the merchant and the affiliate. The merchant gains opportunities to advertise his products for free to a larger market which will increase his sales. The more hard-working affiliates he gets, the more sales he can expect. By getting affiliates to market his products and services, he is saving himself time, effort and money in looking for possible markets and customers.

When a client clicks on the link in the affiliate website and purchases the product, recommends it to others who look for the same item or buys it again, this way the merchant leverage his chances of earning. On the other hand, the affiliate marketer benefits from each customer who clicks on the link in his website and who actually purchases the product or avails of the service provided by the merchant. Usually the affiliate gets commission per sale, which can be fixed percentage or fixed amount. The best is that it won’t cost a single dime to join an affiliate program.

If you want to be an affiliate marketer and make money out of the Internet, you may follow these three most basic steps to start your effective affiliate marketing campaign.

Your first step is to identify a particular niche you are interested in or passionate about so you won’t be bored and forced to develop your affiliate web site later on. Focusing on a specific area you known well, it will help you bring out your best. Here are a few places you can research on – ClickBank Marketplace, AssociatePrograms.com, LinkShare.com, CJ.com etc

Secondly is to look for good paying merchants and high converting products .Make a list of good paying and high converting affiliate programs for your chosen niche and create a website. In choosing the products, you must also consider the support they are giving – Marketing materials may include articles, text links, banner ads, classified ads, reports, etc.

There are many affiliate networks and affiliate solution providers that can give you info on the most profitable products and best paying merchants. So be wise enough to choose the right affiliate program.

Now that you have decided which products to promote and the merchant you are supporting and have created your own web site with a domain name and reliable hosting, you are ready to promote. This is the toughest part, since it is through this that you would be able to increase traffic to the business website, sales and of course, profit. In affiliate marketing, it is possible to earn large sums of money in a short span of time if you use the right strategies and methods.

On how to promote the products would need a separate discussion. You must continue to educate yourself by reading books, courses or other articles online about the best and proven advertising techniques.

Remember, there is no quick path towards success. Affiliate marketing may seem very tempting due to numerous encouraging testimonies of merchants and affiliate marketers alike who have benefited from it, but it really involves in a great deal of hard work and persistence. You also need to be creative and flexible.

Most affiliate marketers don’t understand this, so when they don’t make sales, they quit, look for other programs and carry on the same mistake. In the end, they said that affiliate marketing is just one of those scams in the Internet. You can work your way to great success if you employ the right strategies in affiliate marketing. You can make money as an affiliate marketer if you willing to do what it takes.

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