+=+=+=+= SIM's INSIDER REPORT =+=+=+=+

October 7, 2003

E-Zine #126

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.

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SIM's Insider Report free marketing newsletter

A warm WELCOME! to all new subscribers!

Here's something you may want to take a close look at. It's EBay's New "Hot Items List." It offers up-to-the moment reports on exactly what's selling and what people are looking for.

There's an excellent opportunity here for you and I to identify current niche markets. We can then focus on developing products and services to meet their needs.

Not only do we know there's a waiting market but we also know what they're willing to pay. ;-)

Here's Ebay's own description of this service...

"Within each category, we look at both recent bidding activity and new listings activity. "Hot" products are those where recent bidding growth has significantly outpaced new listings growth and where the bid-to-item ratios are higher than other products in the same parent category.

The growth metrics help us understand where buyer demand is growing more quickly than marketplace supply. The bid-to-item ratios provide another "check" to ensure that the demand is really greater than supply, and not simply "catching up" to existing supply on the site.

By looking at both factors together, we are able to identify our "hot" products. We are using the same criteria to identify "hot" products across all categories on eBay."

It certainly sounds useful! I hope Ebay keeps it up and posts to it on a regular basis. For now, there are very few people who know about this feature, so use it while the info is still "hot".

You can find the Hot Item Folder here...

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How to Build Sales With Extended Benefits

An area that can become profitable for many businesses in building the offer within sales copy is selling (or "upselling" customers with) extended services, products or packages, also often called the "extended warranty."

Extended warranties are subtle forms of insurance policies that guarantee a product or service's performance, especially after an initial period of time.

While the guarantee promises benefits, the warranty promises that the enjoyment of those benefits will continue. In other words, an extended warranty is like a "guarantee's guarantee," if you will.

A warranty promises that a product will perform the way it is supposed to for a very specific period of time. If your product comes with a guarantee, then consider selling an extended warranty that ensures its continuation.

But if your product can not be guaranteed for whatever reason, consider a warranty that may take the form of future upgrades, additional benefits, membership programs, points clubs or support service packages.

For example, if you sell computers, you can also offer a buy-back plan. For an additional fee, customers "buy" the privilege and ability to choose to trade in their systems for a better model within a year following their purchase.

The plan, which may appear in the form of an official certificate, coupon or letter, promises them a complete refund of the purchase price that's applied towards their upgrade. If they choose to exercise their option, they only pay the difference when they upgrade to a later model.

The Silent Profit Center

As for services, the extended warranty is a little different since services are intangible, do not break down, need repair or depreciate in value.

But they are just as profitable.

Warranties can take the shape of memberships, points clubs, preferred customer programs, priority service packages, extended service packages, prepayment plans, premium services, future discounts or upgrades plans, etc.

In short, warranties are much like service agreements. For example, if you're a consultant you can offer prepaid retainer packages that include several hours of consulting or on-call priority privileges, all at a discounted rate.

On the other hand, if you offer repetitive services such as a hairstylist or a chiropractor, you can offer a number of prepaid visits at a discount. If your cashflow is particular low during a specific month or season, you can arrange your packages so that they renew at that point in time.

The summer is a slow time for snowplowing services. But with prepaid packages, which are sold in the summer and renewing in the summer, it creates an income stream when things slow down.

These programs are often more advantageous to the client for a variety of reasons. And many marketers and businesses shy away from them. But they really don't see it from their client's perspective.

Beyond the obvious price incentive, the benefits of extended warranties include less billing, more convenience, preferred service, faster delivery, extra privileges and many others. Another is the sheer feeling of "belonging" to a special, elite group of people to which higher attention or priority is given.

Join the Club

That's why premium programs, or "preferred client clubs," are very popular. They have a mystique and a sense of extra value about them, which is being part of that elite group. As Amex says, "membership has its privileges."

For example, club members might enjoy a members-only 1-800 service number, extra premiums, discounts on joint-ventured partners, express checkout services, special members-only contests and so on.

Online, clients can become members of a private site, access premiums, receive additional web-based services (such as reminder services, automated shipping, real-time support, even special software, like eBay's Toolbar, etc).

But keep in mind that the savings factor in such programs is the greatest motivator. Consumable products translate into repeat sales. Therefore, an extended warranty in this case would be a repeat customer program.

(Also called "rewards programs.")

This could involve a flat discount rate on all purchases made at a particular store during a certain timeframe. What this program also does is to preemptively reduce the possible loss of a client to a competitor.

Bookstores sell avid reader membership programs. For an annual fee, they offer members a fixed discount rate on all subsequent books purchased during the time that the program is in force.

These programs can range from one month to a full year. Costco Price Club is another great example where an annual membership fee is charged but members enjoy wholesale or bulk prices.

Nevertheless, while extended benefits are in and of themselves profit centers, they're also powerful positioning tools since they help to increase your core business at the same time.

People love options and the feeling that they are being taken care of. They also want to reduce the element of risk in the buying process. People want to avoid pain, and that includes the pain that comes with the potential or future loss of a benefit. So, help them feel more secure with the knowledge that they will continue to enjoy your product or service.

Sell them an extended warranty!

Copyright 2003

About the Author
Michel Fortin is a direct response copywriter and consultant dedicated to turning sales messages into powerful magnets. Get a free copy of his book, "The 10 Commandments of Power Positioning," when you subscribe to his free monthly ezine, "The Profit Pill." See http://SuccessDoctor.com/ now!


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

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5 Free Audio Recordings (mp3)
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The LightSpeed Website Optimizer for Windows deletes any unnecessary characters like more than one white space in a row (New Line, Tab, Space) without damaging the content of the web page.

Another useful tool is the Change File (Change Dir) button which lets you replace certain substrings of a document by anything you like. You may also specify a directory which the program will process and it'll modify all files in it automatically. http://bladefist.moo3.at/lightspeed.php


The Birth of a Professional Website
This free download is brand new and available from the SIM site ONLY. It's a compilation of 10 articles by Shelley Lowery that completely covers the job of launching a professional website, as only Shelley can. HIGHLY recommended... http://startupinternetmarketing.com/birth.htm

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* For more great tips and tools, visit our website:

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*How to write sales-clinching copy on the Net

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Choo! Choo! All Aboard! -- CREATE A MARKETING TRAIN
Secrets For Serious Wealth Creators
How To Get Testimonials
Web Page Linking Methods
Moving CGI Scripts to a New Server

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How To Write An E-Book Faster Than It Takes To Read This

How fast can you write an e-book?

Though Jim Edwards and I wrote a #1 best-selling e-book titled "How to Write and Publish Your Own OUTRAGEOUSLY Profitable e-Book in as little as 7 days," you can do it even quicker than 7 days.


Here are at least three ways:
  1. Don't write it.

    That is, speak your book and then transcribe it using a service such as www.idictate.com. Or use one of the voice recognition software out there, such as Dragon Naturally Speaking. Either way, if you're more comfortable speaking rather than writing, speak your book first.

  2. Co-author it.

    You can make yourself almost instantly famous by associating yourself with someone who is already famous. Jim Edwards came to me over two years ago and asked to coauthor a book with me. He said he would do most of the work. I agreed. The result was the e-book I mentioned above, which continues to be a bestseller.

    Since then, Jim is now a recognized authority in his own right and has written numerous other e-books.

  3. Make soup.

    This is the "Chicken Soup for the Soul" approach to creating a book. You don't write a word. You simply ask people for contributions.

    Joe Kumar did this with his popular e-book "30 Days to Internet Marketing Success." Joe is a teenager in Singapore, totally unknown until he compiled his ebook and made himself an online celebrity.

    Jo Han Mok and I just did this with our new book, "The E-Code." We simply wrote people and asked for their contribution. It's amazingly easy to do. You can be unknown, and famous people will give you contributions.
Again, writing e-books doesn't have to be hard or take a lot of time. The trick is in delivering something people want. Do that and no one will care if you wrote your baby in an hour, a day, or a week.

But once it's written, you can make passive money from it for a long, long time.

Go for it!
. . .

Joe Vitale is the author of numerous books, including the bestselling e-book he coauthored with Jim Edwards, "How to Write and Publish Your Own OUTRAGEOUSLY Profitable eBook in as little as 7 days." See http://startupinternetmarketing.com/7days

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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I've suffered a great many catastrophes in my life.
Most of them never happened.
startup marketing and website promotion-- Will Rogers

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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.

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