+=+=+=+= SIM's INSIDER REPORT =+=+=+=+
April 8, 2003
SIM's INSIDER REPORT is a free bi-monthly newsletter dedicated to helping readers succeed online while saving both time and money with cutting-edge tools, tips and strategies for internet marketing, online advertising and website promotion.
IN THIS ISSUE
==> Tip of the Week
==> Tips, Tools & Resources
==> Affiliate Spotlight
==> SIM's Weekly Reports
==> Feedback & Contributions
==> Food for Thought
My friend Dirk Dupon has created a new ebook that you will find both useful and informative. It's titled "5 Simple Ways To Use eBranding To Your Advantage" and can be branded with YOUR own Clickbank affiliate links.
It's in PDF format and is brandible so everyone can read it, be it on a PC or Mac. The book also contains 44 links to other Ebooks that you can sell or give away from your own site!
Get it here: http://startupinternetmarketing.com/ebranding.pdf
Right-click on the above link and choose "Save Target As.."
TIP OF THE WEEK
Testing For Success
The simplest path to a successful web business is to identify a great product that lots of people want. People you can convince to buy from you, rather than from others. Then discover where they hang out on the Web. And figure how to reach them.
Those new to the Web often overlook the above. For one thing, it takes more time and effort to define a product and target than most realize. Often more than beginners are willing to commit.
Having done the research, don't mortgage the farm and go hog wild. Quite the contrary. Follow the lead of major marketers. Build a simple, inexpensive test site and see if you can sell anything.
One Test Model
Think simple. A very plain no-graphics site. Only a few pages. Or maybe only one. Put your time into creating great copy tightly focused on your target.
The key is in the sales copy. If you're not good at this kind of writing, you may have to hire someone to create it for you. But not for a test site; costs are high. Shoot your own best shot and call it good. (For an excellent tutorial on this topic, visit http://www.adcopywriting.com. Joe Robson is tops in my book.)
Here's a very simple page I built for another purpose, then modified for this article. Use the ideas. Or copy the page and add your content. http://sitetipsandtricks.com/ex/
You don't need the expense of a merchant account. PayPal or ClickBank will do fine for testing. While free hosting won't do, hold costs down. If your host doesn't offer good stats, visit a script site and pick up a free counter. (Never use one on a site that's for real, but for testing, this is a simple solution.)
Now scour the Web. Find sites drawing traffic that includes a pretty good percentage of the traffic you need. Arrange an advertising deal on the site or in the site newsletter.
This will cost. But trying to test with search engines is tough these days. It takes months to get listed, and with the popularity factors in use today, you are unlikely to get enough hits within a reasonable time.
How Many Hits Do You Need?
100 won't do. You may make no sales at all. Or you may make 2 or 3. Three would be nice, for 3 in 100 is often considered excellent.
The catch is 100 hits is not a sufficient sample. Those hits that converted to buyers may be the sort of people your test uncovered almost by accident, people you are unlikely to ever reach again.
With anything less than a thousand, the likelihood of accurately evaluating your test site is low. 10,000 is considered minimum by many. But for a reasonably good indication, 1000 works pretty well. Of course, 2000 is better.
Suppose you paid $500 for your advertising and generated only $300 to $500 in sales. You have likely demonstrated it's time to find another product. Certainly you would not proceed without further information and major changes. On the other hand, if you generated $1000, cheer. You likely have a winner.
Tough decisions are needed when you make a profit, but not much. Suppose you grossed $700. $200 in profit is great, provided you are confident volume will remain high. And this is a serious consideration. Big timers know what to expect from such results. Without experience, you'll be doing a lot of guessing. Likely this is a bit low for most.
The CR (Conversion Ratio) Matters
If you generated 10 sales on 1000 hits, your CR is 1 in 100 or 1%. The thinking is tricky here.
Since you generated these sales from an ultra-simple site, you may feel confident a full blown site will increase the CR to 2%. On an advertising cost of $500, this means the cost per sale drops from $50 to $25.
There are lots of variables here, but common sense shows you the way in most cases. An ad cost of $25/sale won't do when selling a $20 product, but it will work fine for one at $100, provided your wholesale cost for the product is reasonable.
While advertising will likely remain the mainstay of your business, it is reasonable to factor in free traffic from search engines and directories, from link exchanges, and other ways in which you can interact with other sites.
So You Lose; Is This bad?
If you spent the time doing the research, then forked over $500 for advertising, and clearly demonstrated you have a loser, it's sure not good news. But do take heart. This beats the heck out of working and growing a site for two years only to find in the end that not enough people want what you offer.
How To Handle A Win
If you're satisfied with your results, still hasten slowly. Don't rush out and spend major bucks. Hit the search engines and directories. Find an artist to brighten up your site template without busting your budget. Maybe add a few pages to your site.
For example, Feedback and Tell A Friend pages continue to work effectively. And also consider adding some great content pages; both search engines and visitors like them.
Be sure your business plan is solid. Then continue step by step, building an ever more profitable site.
So What If You're Not Sure?
This is the common dilemma. Quite often results do not clearly show you have a loser or a winner. If you can afford to risk the cash, it may be wise to brighten up the site a bit and try once more, seeking to reach a greater number of prospects. Fundamental to such an effort is to improve the sales copy. While a few can make this work, most will find once again, results are inconclusive.
For most, the better path is to find a new domain name appropriate to another product, and repeat the above. In doing so, you can lean heavily on those elements of the first site that seemed most effective. And you'll find much of the necessary research has already been done.
This may sound harsh to some. But again, it beats busting to grow a site for three years, only to be forced to abandon it. $20/month in hosting alone will have cost $720. And your lost time will far exceed what it takes to build another test site.
An Option To Consider
As you think about shifting your focus to a new site and another set of products, look closely at your target. It may be that your failed site is drawing people who would be interested in your new products. Check costs with care, but you may be able to put your previous site on auto-pilot and attract some traffic to your new site.
Some argue that drawing such traffic matters so, that it's unwise to close any site. Certainly if it is close to covering costs, this can be a very smart move.
Testing Is The Answer
Whatever the outcome of your testing, be guided by the results. This works for the pros. Let it work for you. You'll save a ton of time and bucks on ideas that don't prove out. And you'll have a solid foundation upon which to build successfully, given a winner.
. . .
Bob McElwain, author of "Your Path To Success" and "Secrets To A Really Successful Website." For info, see http://sitetipsandtricks.com/webways/~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
SIM's "Tip of the Week" back issues available at... http://www.startupinternetmarketing.com/ezines
TIPS, TOOLS & RESOURCES
The Internet is all about information. Business trends, humor, entertainment, self-improvement and more. It's not supposed to be about a mailbox full of spam hiding the stuff you want, ISPs throwing out the stuff you asked for or getting shut down for talking to the people who want to hear from you. NewsMon answers all those concerns. It's a free downloadable software that lets you 'fetch' issues and opt-in email without the hassle. Publishers can list their ezines for free, too! http://www.newsmon.com/
SiteSnagger lets you download the contents of a Web site to your PC's hard disk. You can download as much or as little of the site as you wish, and you can browse the information anytime and anywhere. SiteSnagger organizes the site information in a tree display. A Table of Contents page provides links to each of the pages you've downloaded. http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,4149,20161,00.asp
IEDocMan is a tool that runs in an explorer bar in Microsoft Internet Explorer. It's useful for exploring elements, events, and interfaces in HTML documents.
By visiting a page with IEDocMan you can learn what code elements where used, and where. A treeview of how each element ties into the others on the page is also provided.
It's a great tool for dissecting those hard-to-comprehend sites. IEDocMan runs under Windows and it's freeware. http://www.cheztabor.com/IEDocMon/index.htm
* For more great tips and tools, visit our website:
FREE 5 DAY INTENSIVE COURSES
*Mastering Search Engine Placement
*Becoming a high-earning affiliate champion
*Creating, producing and selling your very own infoproduct
*Finding the Perfect Price that will maximize your profit
*How to write sales-clinching copy on the Net
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UPDATED Affiliate Masters Course
The Affiliate Masters Course is a fantastic stand-alone information resource. This course REALLY has ALL the info and strategies required to build a profitable affiliate-based e-biz from the ground up.
It's the best product available for affiliates AT ANY PRICE...
and it's free - Click here to download immediately... http://startupinternetmarketing.com/Aff-Masters.zip
* Check out SIM's Top "10" Affiliate Review at
SIM's WEEKLY REPORTS
5 Reasons Why You CAN'T Create Your Own eProducts
How To Use a Message Sequence to Increase Your Sales
Marketing Your Reliability
Creating a Stationary Background
FEEDBACK & CONTRIBUTIONS
The Headline Advantage
Joe Robson, and many other top marketers, claim 80% of their effort in producing great ad copy goes into creating an even better headline. I'm for sure not a copywriter. Likely, you're not either. Still, we continue to seek to come up with good copy and this often means stronger headlines.
Well the job just got a whole lot easier...
Joe Robson has created "Headline Creator Pro" which is taking the Web by storm.
I tried it and it blew my mind. Make just four entries in a form, click a button, and up pop a hundred headlines. And yes, it is that simple.
This really grabbed me. So I gave this program a workout. Sure, not all headlines created are good, or even workable. But a surprising number on each attempt were better than I would have written. And a few were absolutely great.
Tip: You don't have to fill in all four fields. When I experimented with leaving one or another out, I got even more exciting results. Exciting to me, that is, for they were closer to what I like to produce.
In very short time, I was able to direct this program into creating the kind of headlines I want. Not only for ad copy, but for web pages, articles, eBay ads, email signatures, ezine ads, ebook titles, search engine descriptors, classifieds and everything else under the sun.
Click below for Joe's presentation of this awesome new tool. If you've ever struggled with even one headline, you'll quickly recognize this as pure gold. What a time saver.
And after you've tried it, go to the bottom of the page above and sign up for Joe's affilate program. You won't get rich with a product at this price. But those of your visitors who struggle creating headlines as I do, will thank you in grand fashion for recommending this software.
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:
FOOD FOR THOUGHT
You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by
trying to get other people interested in you.
-- Dale Carnegie
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