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

June 18, 2002

E-Zine #93

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.

==> Tip of the Week
==> Tips, Tools & Resources
==> Affiliate Spotlight
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SIM's Insider Report free marketing newsletter
Hello all. I continue to receive numerous questions from readers in regards to autoresponders - the most common being how to write an effective follow up message... and second, how to effectively structure a series of follow up messasges.

Todays "Tip of the Week" is titled "How Top Write A Follow Up Message" and comes to us compliments of Beka Ruse of Aweber Communications.

I expect you'll find this report both short AND informative, so do take the time to check it out.

As for the second most common question regarding autoresponders, we have scheduled a report titled "How to Structure A Follow Up Series" to appear in the next Insider Report so watch for that one...

Also, our weekly Marketing Tip feed from Shelly Lowery discusses Autoresponder Basics and it can be read this week at... http://www.startupinternetmarketing.com/tips/tipmarketing.html

Your comments are always welcome.

Dan Porteous

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How to Write A Follow Up Message

Smart marketers know that follow up autoresponders drive sales. But, many don't know how to write the e-mail messages they need in order to use these tools. Don't let that keep you from increased profits! Write masterful messages with these simple steps: (Examples in this article use the fictional product "Green Garden Lawn Fertilizer". Any similarity to actual products is unintended and coincidental.)

Pull the Reader in
First, convince your audience that your text is worth reading. Make your first sentence or two very interesting: Make a bold statement, say something seemingly ridiculous, or appeal to your prospect's emotional side. Later, tie this grabber in with the rest of your copy. For instance:

    "Want to make your neighbors jealous? How about with a lush, green lawn in just 2 weeks?"
Introduce the Product
What is the product you're advertising? What does it do? Directly after your grabber, give a compact explanation of your product. Keep this explanation short, while still being very clear. For example:

    "Green Garden Lawn Fertilizer is taking the landscaping industry by storm. What else can give you the lawn of your dreams in just 15 minutes a day?"
Explain the Product's Significance
What will it do for me? This is the time for details - make this section long and rich. Suggest a variety of product uses, and give examples. Make the most of this opportunity to directly target your unique audience! Clearly explain how your readers will benefit from your product.
Tell the Reader to Make a Purchase
You've come so far - you've laid out exactly what the product is and how it will help your unique audience. Now, seal the deal - tell your readers to purchase the product!

This step may sound strange, but it's necessary. Often, people hear about a product and are genuinely interested, but fail to actually make a purchase. A clear call to a simple action cuts down on buyer ambivalence. Don't be pushy - just change your verb tenses to the imperative. Instead of:

    "If you think that you fit this profile, you might want to think about buying Green Garden Lawn Fertilizer."

    "Click here to order Green Garden Lawn Fertilizer today."
An Eye for Continuity
More and more opt-in e-mail is being sent around the Internet. Remind your prospect that he requested your messages by keeping an eye on continuity.

Start and end each message in a similar way. At the top, let your prospect know who you are, why he is getting e-mail from you, and where he is in the follow up sequence. This can be as simple as saying:

    "Last week, you requested more information about Green Garden Fertilizer..."
Then, end each message with your own contact information. Use your autoresponder's personalization features to list details about your lead. Also, include a way for the lead to unsubscribe. For example:

    "This message was sent to Dusty Dan at dustydan@needsanewlawn.com. On April 5th, Dusty Dan requested information about Green Garden Fertilizer. Questions? Call us at 000-000-0000. Or, to unsubscribe, click here."
Create With Confidence
    Don't sweat over follow up messages - your prospects are waiting for you! Print and follow the guidelines in this article, and follow up with confidence.

Beka Ruse is the Business Development Manager at AWeber Communications. Experience the acclaimed customer support and reliability of AWeber autoresponders. http://www.aweber.com/lfs.htm

SIM's "Tip of the Week" back issues available at... http://www.startupinternetmarketing.com/ezines
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Simply fill out the specifications of the popup window you would like to create, including the URL and the various options such as menubars, toolbars, scrollbars, etc, and click the generate button. Just add this generated code to your site. They'll even have us mail it to you! Neat! http://javascript.internet.com/generators/popup-window.html

Wayne Yeager from trafficology.com has put together this very interesting chart that shows the connections between all the major search engines. This little chart helps you know all the engines you've covered when submitting your site. You can stop wasting time submitting to certain search engines only to find that they get their results from another engine you already submitted to. http://www.trafficology.com/searchenginechart.html

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

*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 November 15, 2001

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Internet Marketing Tools - Autoresponder Basics http://www.startupinternetmarketing.com/tips/tipmarketing.html
Do-it-Yourself News Releases for Small Business http://www.startupinternetmarketing.com/tips/tipsales.html
How to Write a Book
Customizing Link Styles
Basic JavaScript Date and Time Functions
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Maximizing ROI via Web Site Traffic Analysis

We are clearly well past the innocent "golden age" of the Internet - Darwinian economics have become the order of the day today. Any company worth their salt must maintain a web site as an information resource and/or to generate incremental ecommerce revenue. Qualified traffic is the name of the game, as it's the oxygen that keeps a good ecommerce web site thriving.

Consequently, it's very important to have an understanding of your web site traffic or visitor activity; i.e. baseline information that includes the number of visitors during specific time periods, originating location (domain), where the visitors went on a site and how long they stayed on specific sections or pages of a web site. The de facto industry standard traffic analysis tool application is Web Trends, manufactured/supported by netiQ, Inc., which we will focus on in this article.

Fundamentals and Jargon Watch

All traffic analysis tools rely primarily upon information that is extracted from log files; i.e. files that are maintained on your server which show where a visitor came from, what keyword(s) they used to find your site (if applicable), what Operating System and Browser versions they are using, etc. There are literally hundreds of excellent log file analysis tools that can be located via CNet's Download.com or TuCows - both sites are excellent resources for software and information.

It's critical in today's bottom line business environment to have the ability to analyze web traffic (visitors) and patterns and then integrate this knowledge with your overall business processes - what do you pay for traffic, is it converting (people are buying your goods and services), how long are people staying on specific sections or pages of your web site, what marketing expenditures are working and which aren't!

You know your entering the reality distortion field (we marketing types need to justify our fees & services) and need to raise your jargon filters to stun level when you here and/or see these keywords; i.e. clickstream traffic (fancy way of saying traffic or visitors delivered via mouse clicks to your web site), ebusiness solutions (meaning - selling your products/services via an ecommerce site) or my all-time personal favorite, "ebusiness intelligence" (what's ebusiness and what determines if it's "intelligent").

Traffic Counter Applications

First and foremost, do you really need a comprehensive product like Web Trends (more on the different applications later) or can you get by with a click (traffic) counter application like the Hit Box? The latter company provides a free plain vanilla traffic counter which can be easily set up in minutes via your web site. Hit Box is a great product and used by hundreds of thousands of web sites, so it may be sufficient for your business, if you just want very basic info ("Page Views and Daily Unique Visitors) and don't mind advertising for another company via your web site.

But, there are some downsides to utilizing Hit Box, you must install their "button" on your Index (home) page and it only provides you with basic traffic information (how much per day with a forecast based on these numbers). You can upgrade to their HitBox Professional which is very similar to Web Trends basic application ("Web Trends Log Analyzer") - but, you have to pay for this service on a traffic basis which can get expensive, depending on your overall traffic.

Web Trends Applications and Interface

Web Trends (the company) was acquired by netiQ, Inc. the parent company about 18 months ago due to their strong market leadership position with web traffic analysis software. Like many good web- focused software companies, netiQ enables you to download all of their apps for a 30 day trial period. Estimates range from 60-80% market share for one of their three primary products; i.e. "Web Trends Log Analyzer," their baseline $500. USD application which is a good solution for most web sites that have a single domain or under 25 in total; "Web Trends Analysis Suite" (SRP $2.5K USD), which incorporates the functionality of the Log Analyzer product and adds more features for managing bandwidth usage (interior and external), monitoring and alerting an IT Manager or Department for server related problems and handles up to 100 domains (sites); the "Web Trends Intelligence Suite" is their top of the line product (pricing varies depending on bundled services) geared for enterprise customers, it includes integration and training services for integrating the application with Online Analytics Processing Tools ("OLAP" yes another ebiz acronym) or other types of reporting tools.

We've been using and recommending Web Trends to clients for years primarily because of its interface and functionality. It's a browser-enabled app, meaning anyone with a browser (IE or Netscape) can view reports and data. The reports are presented in a straightforward manner that includes basic pie chart or bar types of graphics - you can easily tell at a glance what your visitor traffic was for a given period, where they came from, what pages they visited and how long they stayed on specific pages. You don't need to be a technologist or a marketing geek to use this application - see below for practical tips.

Using Web Trends

So what do you want to measure and what type of custom reports do you want to run once you get the software installed? You will want to measure how much traffic (visitors) is coming to your web site per day, week, month, where they are coming from (country of origin), and where visitors going on your web site; i.e. home page, internal pages and of these what specific pages; i.e. About Us Products, Services your Shopping Cart, etc. Pay careful attention to usage times, how long people are staying on specific pages; too long may indicate they can't figure out your content, or your content is so good its meaningful and educational. For example, if your "White Paper Resource" section is the most frequently visited and the visitor sessions (time elements) are long (2-4 minutes) then this means your content is being well received. But, if everyone is just reading your White Papers but not filling out your response forms then you may need to alter some aspects of your business processes and how you communicate them via your web site.

Web Trends compliments ongoing advertising campaigns and processes - it lets you capture critical ROI ("Return on Investment") information by giving you an accurate picture of traffic and usage patterns that should correlate with what your ad agency or marketing partner is telling you or confirming with their own reports. For example: If your deploying an opt-in e- mail campaign and bringing people to a specific "landing page" (specific page where people are directed to that may include an "offer") you need to carefully monitor if people are clicking through to the page and how long they are staying and/or going to your shopping cart to purchase a product or a registration fulfillment page. If the session times (how long they stay on a page) are short and people aren't filling out a form or converting (purchasing or taking a specific action) then you clearly have some work to do on your web site content and or business processes.

. . .

Lee Traupel has 20 plus years of business development and marketing experience - he is the founder of Intelective Communications, Inc. http://www.intelective.com, a marketing services and software company which provides strategic and tactical marketing services exclusively to small to medium sized companies. Lee@intelective.com (c) 2001-2002 by Intelective Communications, Inc. Reprinted with permission from Intelective Communications - this article may be reprinted freely, providing this attribution box remains intact.

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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"Wealth is automatically attracted to those with Wealth Consciousness. Your success in your relationships, finances and health starts within and automatically demonstrates itself without. If you don't go within, you go without."
--David Cameron Gikandi - http://www.imagesofone.com/

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