+=+=+=+= INSIDER REPORT =+=+=+=+

ISSN 1710-0747
E-Zine #147
December, 2004

The SIM INSIDER REPORT is dedicated to helping readers succeed online while saving time and money with cutting-
edge tools, tips and strategies for internet marketing,
online advertising and website promotion.

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SIM's Insider Report free marketing newsletter

First, a warm WELCOME to all new subscribers.

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Dan Porteous

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15 Irrefutable Marketing Proficiencies

Time and again I talk to people who try one or two promotional strategies, don't get the desired results and give up. They are confused about what marketing is and convinced that it will never work for their business. Does this sound like you?

You see, marketing is more than just one technique. It's about becoming proficient at many "little" things. Here is my list of a few of those "little things". I call them '15 Irrefutable Marketing Proficiencies'. Check to see how many of them you've already mastered.


I'm passionate about why I'm in business. What I do impacts who and what I care about. Performing my regular work activities gives me joy, re-energizes me and is my way of contributing to the world.


I can see where my business will be in the future. I'm excited to undertake the tasks necessary to get there. When I talk about my business people around me become enthusiastic and willingly lend their support.


My business is strategically-driven by a long term plan. I don't get distracted by "busy work". All activities are results driven. I evaluate all opportunities based on my strategic plan.


I'm clear about who my ideal clients are, what problems I solve for them and how I do it. This clarity allows me to save time, money and energy; I only contact and follow-up with people who want and appreciate my services.


What I do and how I do it differentiates me from others and creates "top-of-mind" awareness in my chosen niche. My business is unique so I don't have competition. Others, who offer similar services, simply provide an opportunity for me to sharpen my skills, outsource overflow work and create strategic alliances.


My introduction easily and powerfully communicates who I am and what I do. My message is clear and memorable even to people who don't need my services. My introduction is benefit-based, jargon-free, describes my ideal clients, their biggest problem and the solution I provide.


My business identity is an extension of who I am. All aspects of my business - from my business cards, to stationary, to web site, to my personal appearance - present a consistent, attractive image that's appropriate for my industry.


My marketing strategies and activities are in line with my strengths and talents. It's easy for me to promote my business because I love what I do, know the value I create and use only promotional activities I enjoy. I promote my business consistently and continuously and never allow the work I do for clients to break my marketing momentum.


I don't guess how well my business is doing. I have identified and regularly track specific, easy to measure performance indicators. At any point I can assess my progress against my written 90-day, six-month and one-year benchmarks.


All routine functions of my business are systematic; they are always done the same way and create predictable results every time. Lead generation, follow-up, keeping up clients' files, tracking important dates, submitting proposals, sales process - I have a system for each one of those activities that allows me to complete them effectively and efficiently.


I recognize that my clients buy not what I do but the value my work creates. I regularly attend training events and schedule activities that support me in learning fresh, valuable information (in- and outside of my area of expertise) so I become more indispensable to my clients. I'm clear about the value I deliver so I never hesitate to state my fees, recommend my business and ask for the job.


My promotional resources are limited so I make them count; they illustrate my expertise and pre-sell my services. All my marketing materials describe my ideal clients, list the problems I solve and communicate the benefits of working with me. I use tools like articles, public presentations, teleclasses, workshops, regularly updated content on my web site, and regularly published newsletter to attract new business and maintain connection with clients and strategic partners.


I love my clients. I respect who they are and cherish the opportunity to be on their team. I recognize that they are people first and clients next. I strive to learn about their personal lives. I take note of and acknowledge their important dates - like birthdays and anniversaries. I'm there when they need support and celebrate their victories.

14. TEAM

I recognize my weaknesses and that I'm not an expert at everything. To bridge my shortcomings, I surround myself with other experts on whom I can readily call for support or refer clients to. They become my partners and board of advisors and help me grow my business.


I recognize that how I think about marketing and selling my services may limit my ability to grow my business. I make a conscious effort to continuously expand my marketing mindset. I look for and learn strategies that allow me to better leverage my unique talents and expertise as my best promotional tools.

That's the list. Did you keep track of your "score"?

If most of those statements are true for your business - congratulations. But if you realized you've got some work to do - don't despair. There are many ways you can quickly elevate your level of mastery of these proficiencies. Here are the three that come to mind right away:
  • Regularly buy and read marketing books. Start by focusing on topics you need most help with. (If you don't know what books to get visit my marketing bookstore for ideas where to get started.)

  • Attend a marketing seminar. An intense, day-long session with a few experts can give you a jump start you need.

  • Work with a marketing consultant. When your problem is too many ideas and not enough action - perhaps a more "hands-on" help is best for you. A marketing mentor can help you focus on a long term strategy and identify action steps you will feel comfortable taking on a daily basis.
Finally, keep this one thing in mind - mastering these proficiencies is not a matter of one day - it's a matter of doing it daily.

. . .

2004 Adam M. Urbanski

The Author, Adam Urbanski, a Marketing Mentor, helps Service Professionals and Small Business Owners attract more clients. For more free tutorial articles, hot how-to tips and a FREE 32-page marketing guide go to http://www.themarketingmentors.com

SIM's "Tip of the Week" back issues available at... http://www.startupinternetmarketing.com/ezines

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How To Create And Send HTML Email

I am frequently asked how to create and send HTML email, usually with regard to how to broadcast it to a mailing list. This report presents the various options available to you.

How to create HTML email:

Creating the content of an HTML email is very similar to how you would create a basic web page. Just use your normal web page editor, such as FrontPage or Dreamweaver (or even Notepad can be used, in conjunction with a browser to preview the code), and construct a web page in the normal way, saving it as an .html or .htm file.

You may consider creating an HTML email template that you can use as a basis for all your future HTML emails. If so, once you're happy with the basic look, save it and then just open and re-edit for your future emails.

There is an important difference that you need to remember between writing HTML for your web site, and writing HTML for email. All the URLs in your code need to be absolute, rather than relative, for all links and images,
eg. http://www.yourdomain.com/image.gif,
rather than something like just /image.gif.
This also means of course that any images used in your HTML email need to be stored on a web server, the same as when you use images on a web site.

How to send HTML email:

To send the HTML email to an individual, such as to yourself in order to check on its appearance, you can open the web page (i.e. the HTML email) you have created in the latest version of IE (File -> Open...), and then click File -> Send.

However, if you're creating HTML email for use in email marketing, you will normally want to use a completely different tool in order to send it to numerous recipients.

There are two main options to enable you to send email to a mailing list - you can either use some special software on your own computer; or use a web-based solution, either on your own web site, or via a service run by a third party.

If you are looking for software, you can find a variety of solutions by going to somewhere like download.com, and searching for 'send email'.

You can also install some software onto your own web site, which can give you more control but also gives you all the responsibility for maintenance of the software/script if things go wrong.

I personally have a preference for using a third-party web- based service when sending out my newsletter. For one, it means my broadcasts are not reliant on my own Internet connection or PC, and it also let's someone else take care of delivering my messages to several thousand recipients.

There are literally hundreds of third-party web-based services available, all varying widely in quality and ease of use, and suiting different budgets and email requirements.

One of the best ways to do your research on this is to check out your competitors or your favourite newsletters and ezines, and, if they send out HTML email, find out what service they use. Often the unsubscribe link at the bottom of their messages will point towards the relevant web site.

Finally, and importantly, should you send out HTML email?

It entirely depends on the preferences of your own list. But, in general, look towards big business. Most big businesses tend to send out HTML email, and there's only going to be one main reason for that - response rates. But make certain your HTML email is professional, easy to read, and has an attractive layout.

Copyright 2004 Steve Shaw - all rights reserved.

Steve Shaw creates systems and software for effective e-marketing. His powerful PopUpMaster Pro software creates popups that beat the popup blockers and can significantly increase your conversion rates. Go to http://startupinternetmarketing.com/pmp Sign up for Steve's newsletter at http://takanomi.com/newsletter

. . .

If you have a promotion tip to share (or an affiliate program that would be of interest to the rest of us) or if you have a web design tip, or a specific question, please feel free to post all tips, questions, or answers to posted questions here and I will add your email or URL with it. It's FREE promotion!

Send your tips, questions or answers to:

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Is it Time For a Copy Facelift?

I just had to laugh! During a recent conversation about how often you should change your copy, I had one person tell me ''Well, if there were any *good* copywriters out there, they'd be able to write it once, and it would work forever!'' Oh really? Actually, nothing could be further from the truth.

It is extremely rare for advertising copy to last for extended periods of time. Changing your copy is a given, the reason being that people and events change. Since we, as copywriters, are reaching our customers on an emotional level, we have to stay in tune with what's going on in their lives and their worlds. Let's look at an example.

Say you rent mailing lists. Your primary benefit might be that you have the largest lists available offering a minimum of 100,000 names per category. Things are going great, and you're renting lists like wildfire. But then - right in the middle of your success - the postal service increases rates substantially.

All of a sudden, your rentals begin to drop dramatically. Here you are screaming about the largest lists available anywhere, and your customer is thinking about how much his postage expense is going to skyrocket.

The businesses you rent lists to are now very concerned. What *used* to be your biggest benefit is now your biggest deterrent. Your customers no longer want to rent lists that have a minimum of 100,000 names. Instead, they'd love to be able to rent much smaller lists - in the 5,000 to 10,000 quantity range. Yep! You guessed it.

It's time to change your copy, USP and all!

Any number of aspects can cause a change in focus for your target customer, and therefore a need to rewrite your copy. Here are some of the more common ones for businesses:
  • New tax laws
  • New mandatory expenses (such as a postage increase)
  • Starting a new business
  • Closing a business
  • Stock price increase
  • Stock price decrease
Business to consumer sales can be affected, too. Personal circumstances that change every day include:
  • Buying a new home
  • Retiring
  • Getting married
  • Getting divorced
  • Having a baby
  • Receiving a tax refund
  • Receiving an inheritance
What do I recommend? Twice a year, take a good, long look at your copy. What has changed in your marketplace? What laws, regulations, or events have been implemented or have taken place? Will these things have an impact on your customers? How will you respond to them?

Take that information and compare it to what your current copy says. Is your message clear? Are there benefits you need to update or change? Is your copy still making the most positive impact on your potential customers that it can?

If not, don't hesitate to make changes. After all, your copy is your key to new customers and repeat customers. And, as I said in the beginning, hardly any copy will last forever. Eventually, everybody is due for a copy facelift.

About the Author:
Most buying decisions are emotional. Your ad copy should be, too! Let Karon write targeted copy and ezine articles for you. Visit her site at http://www.ktamarketing.com, or learn to write your own copy at http://www.copywritingcourse.com.

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Legal Stuff

We accept no responsibility whatsoever for the content, profitability or legality of any published articles or advertisements contained within SIM's Insider Report.

Although all of the articles have been selected for their content, the publishing of such articles within this newsletter does NOT constitute a recommendation of the products or services mentioned or advertised within those articles.

Be responsible! Always do your own Due Diligence before responding to any offer.

The SIM's INSIDER REPORT is a production of Startup Internet Marketing and is owned by Dan Porteous

ISSN 1710-0739

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