Email Marketing

Email MarketingYesterday, I decided to work late into the night and use the time to focus on “marketing my business”. I looked at what resources I had, and I decided to do “email marketing”.

Not with Aweber, Constant Contact, Vertical Response, or Intellicontact.

I didn’t blast out 7000 emails.

I sent 7 personally hand-crafted emails just from my Gmail account, asking for referrals from existing contacts and clients.

Guess what? Within 24 hours, now I have at least 5 potential deals lined up and I’ll be meeting up with some of these business owners tomorrow and on Friday to discuss their web design and SEO requirements… and that is not taking into the “broadcast” which one friend offered to help me do when he gets back from his holiday – to his colleagues, over on the other side of the world in Austin, Texas.

I was very surprised with the response and I’m so glad I have so wonderful clients and associates. I really appreciate their help!

The Money is in the List?

In the Internet Marketing arena, they always say that “the money is in the list”.

While that is true to an extent, I feel that what is more important is for you to have a good relationship with the people in your “list”. Many small businesses read too much into the idea of building a massive list, and really fail to focus on building those relationships.

Then we end up with “lists” that are so void of relationships that when we email out we need to track “open rates”.

I’ve certainly fell into this trap myself, and the short marketing exercise yesterday was a good wake up call for me to focus back on relationships. This will not be easy for me, since I can really be a total woodblock when it comes to socializing.

But I think it will be worth it.

How about you? When was the last time you sent a really personalized email?

The WHY, WHO, WHAT, HOW web asset creation strategy

Just in the last 2 weeks, I’ve been asked to create or install several new web platforms for my clients – new microsites, new forums, new blogs, new slideshows, videos… even database search engines! However, the trouble with these requests are that most of them don’t have a content strategy to start off with.

You see, web platforms like these are just… platforms. Platforms are useless without content. Having more blogs and forums for your web visitors to collaborate and connect and discuss is useful only when you HAVE sufficient visitors in the first place. Slideshows and videos are useful only when you have something to say, an experience to relate, or a story to tell. Content is and will always be king.

Follow the WHY -> WHO -> WHAT -> HOW method in your web assets creation strategy.

#1 Why

First and most importantly, WHY do you want to create a new web asset in the first place? Examine this. Will this really bring more profits to your company bottom line… or are you doing this because “XYZ company has it?”

#2 Who

You need to know WHO you are targeting. As they always say, targeting everyone is equivalent to targeting no one. Go niche. Identify the “ideal visitor”. Describe him with as much detail as possible. What does he do? Where does he live? When does he surf the net and end up on your site?

#3 What

Now that you have identified the WHO, you will decide WHAT kind of content appeals to him. Does he prefer videos, or text? How-to guides, or conceptual articles? Does he like to interact with others, or is he more of reader? What content can you present to him so he will take action?

#4 How

The HOW phase is only where the web platforms come in. If there is minimal need for interaction between visitors, don’t use a forum. If you want feedback and comments, use a blog. And if you just need a plain old information page with an enquiry form that emails you, a simple 3 page website can do the job faster, without fuzzing over plugins that don’t work or pulling your hair out over incompatibility issues.

… plus it’ll cost you cheaper.

Remember, technology is a tool. It is a means to an end. Listen and follow Stephen Covey’s principles – Begin with the end in mind.

Know your WHYs, WHOs and WHATs… and the HOWs becomes much easier for you to implement.

Free Adwords Online Course

Are you using Google Adwords to market your website, products and services? You should – it is VERY cost effective. At least, compared to the traditional media like the newspapers… and if you use it correctly.

Over on the Adwords blog today, Google announced the release of a new Free Adwords Online Classroom.

… (The) AdWords Online Classroom provides free online training, delivered by local AdWords experts, to help you achieve long-term advertising success with AdWords. Whether you’re new to AdWords and wish to learn the basics, or you’ve been with AdWords for a while and want to take your account to the next level, we offer a range of topics to suit your needs.

To participate, all you need is a computer with an internet connection and speakers or headphones.

Yes, its FREE. You know. Why pay “gurus” $197 for an ebook that they released 5 years ago, when you can get it free from the horse mouth?

In fact, when I signed up today, these were the courses already available – suitable for both “newbies” and advanced users! Frankly, even after over 2 years of using Adwords to drive traffic to my own clients’ sites, I feel I can still benefit from these courses!

Getting Started

  • Create your account
  • Get to know your account
  • How to build a successful AdWords account
  • Why can’t I see my ad?

Improving Your Account Performance

  • Improve your AdWords performance with key tips
  • Use AdWords data to strategically improve your account

Controlling Your Costs

  • Maximize your advertising ROI with Conversion Optimizer

Analyzing Your AdWords Performance

  1. Track your AdWords ROI using Google Analytics
  2. Set up your Analytics account to track ROI
  3. Track your AdWords ROI using Conversion Tracking
  4. Get the most from your website with Website Optimiser

Expanding Your Reach & Focusing On Your Audience

  1. Improve your Content Network performance
  2. Reach more potential customers through the Google Content Network

Yes, and these are 100% free, and delivered through on demand video streaming! Just like how you watch videos thru YouTube.

In fact, here’s what it looks like.

Google Adwords Course

Looks great isn’t it? What are you waiting for? Head on to the Google Adwords Online Classroom now!

AWeber’s New Web Form Generator

If you are using AWeber’s email marketing services, you should have heard from them regarding their new web form generator.

They’ve really taken a notch up with their new web form generator – allow you not only to choose color schemes and background designs for your forms, but also customize your thank you pages with smart videos that teach your subscriber how to confirm your subscription.


Aweber Webform Generator

Go read about it and have a video walkthrough on their blog post, and read what people have to say too!

Internet Marketing: Back to Basics

Last week, I got a mail by Derek Ghel, inviting me to a seminar in my area. Since I had some spare time and the venue was just five minutes away from my workplace, I registered for it and yesterday I attended the short session.

As I have expected, it was a training session catered for starters in the Internet marketing arena, and a preview for one of the training programs they are holding in Singapore.

However, I feel that I have still learnt a lot from the reinforcements that the speaker Albert Seah.

The Internet Marketing Center has been following these four step Internet marketing process for years – well, at least, since I got to know them.

#1. Find a hungry, easily targetable niche market

Do some keyword research and find a cluster of keywords that indicate to you that “Hey, I have this problem, and I am finding a solution”

#2. Create a website and compelling sales copy

What Albert shared last evening was good. Sales copy is about “heart sell” – you need to related to your potential customers, and get trust.

I also like what he mentioned about having a simple website structure. Most web design clients that I have want their site to be “unique”, and they are willing to pay for flashy stuff.

Nothing is wrong with that, if their site is not meant for marketing. If not, stick to the usability principles… in other words, make it easy for your customer to buy!

#3. Drive traffic!

There are several ways to drive traffic to your site, and the best one to get started on is PPC! Why? Because PPC guarantees your traffic, and anyway you just pay for what you get!

If you do it correctly, it will not cost much!

#4. Automate the whole thing!

In setting up Internet businesses, always keep in mind that you want to automate as much as possible.

The carpenter has tools – they need the hammer and the saws and screwdrivers. Can they work without the tools? Well… yes! He can hammer the nails with his head, saw the wood with his bare hands and try to screw in the nails with his fingers. If he tried hard enough, maybe it will work, who knows?

BUT, the tools make it so much easier.

So similarly, an Internet marketer also must have tools. Some very basic tools include – an email autoresponder system, your own domain and hosting, web statistics, an ad tracking software, and even membership to a forum where you can get answers to your questions, if you are really serious.

Don’t get me wrong, you could do without these tools (I know, they cost money!) but how long would it be, hitting the nail with your head before you start bleeding?

If you are looking for an “all-in-one” solution, I’d really recommend BeBiz. It is one of IMC’s latest products, and it literally takes you through everything, step by step!