+=+=+=+= SIM's INSIDER REPORT =+=+=+=+
May 21, 2002
SIM's INSIDER REPORT is a free biweekly 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
Hello all. Like me I know that many of you write and produce your own newsletters. Some as EZines via email and others as printed publications.
If this is so, then you've probably experienced what I call "writers blank" at one point or another.
This is where you stare at a blank computer screen and, well....nothing comes to mind. Or when it does, it just doesn't warrant publication.
In fact, although I actually author most my own newsletters, I sometimes do get caught in this frustrating situation too and it can be very annoying!
But then a few weeks back, I discovered a great solution....
A friend of mine who actually writes for a living, mentioned that she had come across a newsletter product by Michael Green called the "How To Write A Newsletter" TOOLKIT.
This is basically an Editors Toolkit (you could say an editors bible) and it contains a whole host of tools that make writing a newsletter a thousand times easier.
So just what does it contain?
Well for one thing you receive hundreds of high quality Copyright Free Articles that you can use to fill gaps in your own newsletter. They cover a very diverse range of subjects from general business through to lifestyle features and I've made good use of them myself where I've needed an additional article to finish a newsletter off.
Then you receive DTP Newsletter Templates, a complete eBook "How To" Manual which takes you through the many decisions involved in newsletter production and you also get a whole series of bonus publications that explain various pitfalls when producing a newsletter for either print or the Internet.
I'm extremely impressed, it has saved me a great deal of aggravation and so I thought I should bring it to your attention too.
Check out the "How To Write A Newsletter" Editors TOOLKIT by clicking here: http://hop.clickbank.net/?danp16/howtocorp
Your comments are always welcome.
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SIM'S TIP OF THE WEEK
Boost Your Conversion Rate In Three Easy Steps
When I critique, edit or rewrite sales copy, I discover that many clients commit common errors. Granted, not all of them are writers. But most of them fail to drive customer actions not because they lack writing skills but because they fail to look at their copy from their readers' perspective.
Although unintentional, they're so involved with their site, business or product that they tend to forget their prospects. They tend to explain things in ways that only they understand. They tend to forget the number one axiom in copywriting:
Different words mean different things to different people.
Let me share with you at least three simple steps you can take now to increase the readability of your copy, the excitement level of your offer and the responsiveness of your readers.
1) Lace Your Copy With Headers
On the Internet, people don't read. They scan. Unlike a book that's purchased for the purpose of being read from cover to cover, people seldom read entire web pages from top to bottom.
How often do you read entire newspapers, for example? Likely, you scan them quickly and stop at any headline that captures your attention, piques your curiosity and pulls you into the article. On the web, that behavior is even more prevalent.
Moreover, reading web copy, especially long copy salesletters, is a wearying task. So, don't write to be read. Instead, write to be scanned. Keep paragraphs brief, and incorporate headers throughout your copy in order to direct your readers' eyes.
Make your lines short, either within small tables or at about 65 characters in length. Refrain from writing your paragraphs deeper than four to five lines, too. If you have to, cut them up. Above all, add a header at every two to five paragraphs.
Make your headers prominent by using different sizes, colors or fonts. And avoid overused, stale and hackneyed expressions, like "Welcome to [Whatever]." Lace your copy with powerful yet brief headers that are inviting, invoking and informative.
When your readers scan your copy, your headers must be strong enough to stop what they're doing and to make them feel that the following text cannot be ignored. In fact, write headers with the assumption that the preceding text was not read.
Let's say you promote business opportunities or show people how to find them. Instead of, "Home-Based Business Success," use, "Uncover Profitable Opportunities Hidden In Your Home!" Rather than, "Affordable Diamond Business Opportunities," say "Mine Your Own Business ... At Rock Bottom Prices, Too!"
2) Blend Your Copy With Bullets
Directing the eye is an important element of copywriting. In order to direct your readers' actions, you must first direct their attention. While an effective headline will capture it, captivating their attention is a whole different issue.
Maintain your readers' attention with bullets. Bulleted lists are captivating, intriguing and pleasing to the eye. They can help to reinforce the offer, give readers a visual break and are clustered for greater impact, especially with long copy.
In fact, an effective way to use bullets within your copy is when they follow the words "you get" and "reasons why," such as "with this [product] you get" and "here are the reasons why [you must buy now]." They give the reader the ability to know, instantly, what they get out of reading further or responding.
Here's an example. Let's say you sell an exercising machine that helps to strengthen the abdominals. You can say, "With your new Abdominoflex Toning Machine, here's what you get," and then you follow it with a bulleted list of the various benefits a customer receives from your machine, such as ...
3) Paint Your Copy With Pictures
Another strategy is to use words and phrases that paint vivid pictures in the mind. When people can visualize the process of doing what you want them to do, including the enjoyment of the benefits of your offer, you instinctually drive their actions.
The brain, according to "Psycho-Cybernetics" by Maxwell Maltz, is a goal-seeking mechanism. For example, if I told you not to think of a white flower, you would still think of one because I directed your mind by giving it a goal. But if I told you to think of a pink one, you would then not think of a white one.
In order to direct your readers' actions, you must also direct their minds. Use mental imagery and picture words that invite, entice and incite. Guide the mind and you guide the action.
We think in relative terms. And we are predominantly visual, too. Our brains translate messages into visual equivalents in order to appreciate what they are being told. In other words, the mind thinks in pictures, and not in words or numbers.
For example, if I told you to think of a garbage can, you're not going to think of "G," "A," "R," etc. You'll visualize a garbage can. And the more I describe it to you as well as the more senses I engage in my description, the more realistic it becomes in your mind, including its color, smell and texture.
During a televised newscast, a reporter, flying over the scene of a forest fire in her station's helicopter, was asked, "How big is the fire?" In a voice partially drowned by the whizzing sounds of helicopter blades, she said, "It's over 140 acres of land, which is about 200 football fields back to back."
Similarly, compel your readers not only with vivid words and mental imagery but also with stories, examples, analogies and metaphors that they can intimately understand. Help them to paint the kinds of pictures you want them to paint.
The more vivid the words paint, the easier it will be for the mind to translate the message you are conveying into something readers can understand, appreciate, relate to and act upon.
In Conclusion, Remember This ...
I agree that copywriting may not be an easy task for many. But one of the most important steps you can take is this: look at your website through your readers' eyes. Imagine coming across your site for the first time. What would you read? Where would your eyes go? What would your mind think? What would you do?
If you hesitate at any point, realize that hesitation on your part is confusion on the part of your readers. And confusion often leads to procrastination. Your readers will do nothing.
About the Author
Michel Fortin is a copywriter, author and consultant dedicated to turning businesses into powerful magnets. His specialty are long copy, email and web sales letters. Get a FREE copy of his ebook and subscribe to his FREE monthly email newsletter, "The Profit Pill," by visiting http://SuccessDoctor.com/ right now!
SIM's "Tip of the Week" back issues available at... http://www.startupinternetmarketing.com/ezines
TIPS TOOLS & RESOURCES
Question & Answer Forms
Mouse Click Application
This is a simple browser plug-in that provides information about websites simply by clicking the right mouse button. It includes a search engine optimizer, position reporter, link popularity and keyword density reports. *Not recommended for older (4.x) browsers. http://www.mouseclickapplication.com/
* 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
The ScamFree Zone
Neil Shearing has just launched his latest product -"Internet Success Interviews," and it's getting rave reviews from marketing "heavies" everywhere. You can be checked out here: http://www.scamfreezone.com/interviews/
I've been very impressed with Neil's affiliate program since joining about a year ago. His support, stat reporting and tracking systems are all first-class as are his products.
Neil is the author of the best selling "Internet Success Blueprint" (http://scamfreezone.com/), as well as a new book earlier this year called "Internet Success Diamonds" (http://scamfreezone.com/diamonds/), and the recent software success "Internet Success Spider" (http://scamfreezone.com/spider/) which tracks down SUPER Affiliates for any site you choose.
He also moderates one of the best marketing discussion boards that you'll find anywhere online at... http://www.scamfreezone.com/forum/
Neil's program pays 50% commisssions through Paypal and he even picks up the cost of Paypal's transaction fees. You'll also earn 10% on any sales made by friends you sign up.
To join the ScamFree Affiliate program visit... http://www.startupinternetmarketing.com/scam
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://www.startupinternetmarketing.com/free/Aff-Masters.zip
* Check out SIM's Top "10" Affiliate Review at
Updated November 15, 2001
SIM's WEEKLY REPORTS
Internet Marketing Tools - Graphics Basics http://www.startupinternetmarketing.com/tips/tipmarketing.html
LookSmart Answer Their Critics http://www.startupinternetmarketing.com/tips/tipsales.html
Publicity For Business People
Adding an Image Background to Your Tables
FEEDBACK & CONTRIBUTIONS
THE FASTEST WAY TO SEND FILES ONLINE!
If you frequently send attached files to friends and business partners by email, you're wasting your time -- literally!
With email, you need to attach every single file one by one, and also need to watch and make sure you don't exceed the max. size limit of 1 to 3 MB.
If you go over the size limit, the email comes back as "non deliverable".
What a waste of time!
There's a super fast way to share files with friends, business partners, or customers, and there's NO limit as to how large the files can be!
It's by ICQ File Transfer...
This feature is so hot, we use it EVERY day.
You can literally "right click" on ANY file you have, and choose "ICQ - Send to User", and choose who you want to send the file to from anyone on your contact list.
Then, just click the SEND button, and it's on the way.
It's really that simple.
You can send image files, zip files, .exe programs, or whole folders filled with hundreds of single files all at once.
The speed is super fast too - up to 500 KB a second.
And, it gets even better than that...
The faster the connection you use, the faster the file gets sent.
If you both share a Cable/DSL connection, you can send a 100+ MB file in less than 5 minutes.
That's something you definitely can't do by email!
Of course even if you have a slower connection, you'll still be able to send/receive files this way.
If you don't have ICQ installed, you can download it for free here: http://www.icq.com
Resource of the Week
If you want to learn how to use other cool resources like this in your day to day marketing, check out the "Web Site Power System".
Just head over to: http://www.startupinternetmarketing.com/wps
If your website is continually under construction, then you really need to get it up, and get it going -- now!
The Web Site Power System is jam packed with useful resources, awesome tools, and step by step instructions that show you how to power up your web site.
Includes step-by-step instructions and tutorials on autoresponders, opt-in forms, popup windows, lead generators, FTP, ICQ, chat support, testimonials, order forms, credit card processing, databases, associate program, reseller tools -- and much more.
Click here to turn your site into a marketing machine: http://www.startupinternetmarkeeting.com/wps
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
Even if you're on the right track, you'll get run
over if you just sit there. --Will Rogers
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