+=+=+=+= SIM's INSIDER REPORT =+=+=+=+
August 13, 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
I've got an exclusive FREE GUIDE for our Insider Report subscribers this week:
"Internet Marketing Basics" by Shelley Lowery.
If you're not TOTALLY familiar with the BASICS of marketing online then you owe it to yourself to grab AND read this 39-page report. Shelley is tops!
If you've been following my reports on "DeskTopAuthor" you'll see first-hand what I mean about the neat design and functionality features offered in this software. Total filesize for this 39- page webbook is ONLY 223K. Go here to download...
In continuing with my DeskTopAuthor findings albeit a little removed from the subject of marketing, I've just finished up a major compilation of "short stories" by Michael Leahy, well known prospector in the Kirkland Lake area of Northern Ontario, Canada. "Northern Impressions" comes highly recommended to anyone with an outdoor interest and an appreciation for a good story well told.
I'm gathering emails from those downloading it as there will be updates to the book on an ongoing basis and knowing that once you've been bitten by the "mikey" bug, you won't want to miss any of them!
It's free for the moment... available here
Your comments are always welcome.
SIM'S TIP OF THE WEEK
Increase Your Site's Response Factor in Three Steps
"What am I supposed to do?"
You may not know it but that's a question your visitors may be asking right now. And it's also one you need to avoid at all costs, or else it will cost you in traffic and sales. In other words, if people become lost on your site at any point, you, in turn, will lose them. Forever.
Granted, your website may compel your visitor's attention and present an irresistible offer. But if it fails to propel their actions, too, you will probably wonder why it's not producing any sales or why it's getting such a poor response. If that's the case, let me offer a few suggestions you can implement.
Does Your Website Ask For The Order?
One solution is to visually take readers "by the hand." Tell them or show them what you want them to do, even if what you want them to do is simple, intuitive or obvious. Adding simple "hand-holding" components to your web copy may seem trite. But it's not about obeying the rules of web usability, it's about using common sense. And today, it's also about surviving.
For instance, I often make the case that a book or magazine is limited by its front and back covers. But a website, however, is not. If the goal is only to inform your visitors, and like the closing of a book once it's finished, the only thing left to do will be to close the browser window or leave the site.
But if you require some kind of response, even if it's to just to keep reading, then you must integrate words that direct the reader and elicit some kind of response. Whether it's to join, subscribe, buy, call, email, fill out a form, download or just click a link, incorporate words like "click here," "download this," "buy that," "join now," "read more" and so on.
Give Your Visitors A "HEAD" Start
In order to encourage longer stays, repeat visits and, above all, online sales, you need not only to direct your audience to take some kind of action but also to make it easy for them to do so. And the most important step in accomplishing that is to first direct your visitors' attention (i.e., their eyes).
Online, people don't read. They scan. Unlike a book that's read from cover to cover, people don't read entire web pages from top to bottom. How often do you read entire newspapers, for example? You likely scan them and stop at a headline that captures your attention, piques your curiosity and pulls you into the article. Reading web copy is a more wearying task.
Therefore, don't write to be read. Write to be scanned. Keep your paragraphs short at around four to five lines deep, and incorporate many headers throughout your copy by adding one at every two to five paragraphs. Use different sizes, colors or fonts that make them stand out. And above all, write a header with the assumption that the preceding text was not read.
Pull Them In To See What's In
When scanning, what people will read the most is what stands out the most. It includes headlines, headers and underlined text links. Therefore, use words that are inviting, invoking and intriguing with these components. The words you use must force them to stop and feel what follows cannot be ignored.
Avoid overused and hackneyed expressions, such as "Welcome to [Whatever]." Start with an active verb that tells your readers exactly what to do or what they will be doing. For example, if it's for a product description, don't use words like: "Here's a Description of Our Widget." Instead, use: "Discover how to get [benefit] with our widgets now!"
Here are more examples:
When I conduct copy critique consultations, about 97% of the websites I analyze are lifeless, confusing or unproductive, or fail to adequately lead visitors to take some kind of action. As an example, many of my clients tell me, "Our website is for branding, not sales!" But then they wonder why people aren't joining their mailing lists or returning to their websites.
Whether your website is for branding or direct marketing, the fact remains that you probably still want to elicit some kind of response from your visitors. Direct your visitors to take some kind of action or lead them to a specific outcome. Write your copy by integrating some form of direct response formula (i.e., words or mechanisms that compel readers to act).
For instance, add calls to action, even if they're as simple as asking your visitors to continue reading. Don't distract them with too many things to do, including too many external links or marketing messages. If you offer too many choices, visitors will find it hard to make one. Instead, offer choices later on based on the specific path or paths a user follows.
Ultimately, transform the words on your website into blinders that will steer visitors in the direction of your choosing.
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
Check Your Hosting Company
Here's an excellent resource that lets you enter in a domain name and then returns to you the uptime charts and graphs for that site. Netcraft.com also tells you when the server you are on was last re-booted, and what type of server OS your Web host is running. Great stuff!" http://www.netcraft.com
304 Photoshop Tips
Here's an excellent Photoshop v.6 resource. The tips have been devided into 10 categories making them extremely easy to browse. The entire tip list is also downloadable as a PDF file, for easy reference.
Internet Marketing Basics
This is a Startup Internet Marketing exclusive. If you're not TOTALLY familiar with the BASICS of marketing online then you owe it to yourself to grab AND read this 39-page report by Shelley Lowery! http://startupinternetmarketing.com/shelley
* 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
I've been affiliated with AWeber for 2 1/2 years now. They have the BEST autoresponder service in the business AND a first-class associate program.
Their program is two-tiered paying 20% commissions on the first tier and another 10% on the second.
Here's a quick recap of their program benefits:
NOTE: I incorrectly reported Dan Theis' commission structure last week in my "Affiliate of the Week" feature. Dan's "Search Engine Optimization Fast Start" pays 40% commissions to his resellers every 2 weeks through Clickbank... http://hop.clickbank.net/?danp16/canned
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
SIM's WEEKLY REPORTS
The Cocktail Wiener Strategy for Online Business
The Birth of a Successful Internet Business
Part two of ten - Tools of the Trade
Recipe For a LONG Sales Letter
Open A New Window With a Button or Link
Better Tech Support
FEEDBACK & CONTRIBUTIONS
A note from Michael Buck...
In response to the last pop-up tip, some have asked me what the difference is between an exit pop-up and a pop-under.
I thought I'd send you my response, in case you had the same question.
An exit pop-up is triggered to load when you leave a site, close your browser, or click the back button. A pop-under loads "under" the main browser when you enter the site, so you do not see it until you click on it or close the main browser.
The similarity between them is that they are both intended to be viewed as you leave your site. The following differences are why I prefer using pop-unders instead of exit pop-ups.
1 - Exit pop-ups load upon exiting a site, so there's some load time, however brief. A pop-under has no load time. It loads under the main browser window as soon as someone visits your home page (or any page that contains the pop-under code). When they eventually close your site, your visitors will see the pre-loaded pop-under window - without waiting for it to load.
2 - Without getting too technical, there are more potential bugs when programming an exit pop-up. And it's been my experience that it's harder to get them to perform exactly the way you want.
One trick I like to use with pop-unders is to have them load 10 seconds after someone enters the site. This way, it does not load while the main site is trying to load. They tend to flash just briefly in the foreground when loading immediately upon entry. The delayed load solves this problem.
I hope this is helpful!
Chief Operating Officer
"Breakthoughs in Growth & Profitability"
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
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