7 Easy Ways To Increase SalesWritten by David Bell
"What am I doing wrong?" That's a question business owners often ask themselves when business is slow. Often, answer is... "You're not doing anything wrong. You just need to do some things better -- and you need to start doing a few things you've been neglecting." Here's a list you can use to evaluate your own marketing efforts. It includes what I've found to be 7 most important marketing principles contributing to success of ANY business. 1. TARGET SPECIFIC NICHE MARKETS Everyone may be a prospect for your product or service. But your marketing efforts will produce best results for lowest cost when you target prospects with greatest need for what you offer. Identify a niche market. Customize your promotional material to appeal to their greatest need. Then multiply your results by defining several other niche markets and slanting your promotional materials to appeal biggest need of prospects in each market. 2. PROMOTE YOUR OWN USP USP is short for "Unique Selling Proposition". It's compelling reason why a prospect will do business with you instead of with your competition. You'll attract maximum number of customers when you offer a benefit they cannot get from your competitors. If you don't already have a USP, create one by adding something to your business you're not already offering. Convert it into a benefit statement and include that statement in all your advertising. 3. NEVER ADVERTISE WITHOUT AN OFFER Always include a powerful offer in your advertising. Offer free information related to your product or service to generate inquiries or website traffic. Then make most compelling discount or bonus offer you can afford -- to convert these inquiring prospects into paying customers. This automatically leads to next marketing principle... 4. COLLECT CONTACT INFORMATION AND USE IT TO FOLLOW UP Most prospects won't buy first time they hear or see your sales message. You need a system to collect contact information enabling you to reach them again with periodic reminders and offers. Many businesses develop over 50 percent of their sales by following up with prospects who previously requested information but didn't buy -- yet. Advertising is expensive. Maximize your return on it by following up periodically with prospects it produced to convert more of them into customers.
Search engines-To pay or not no pay?Written by David Bell
While Web is still a great place for free advertising and promotion, there are some times that you simply have to put out... money, that is.I hear a lot of whining about how Internet is meant to be FREE. Why should we have to pay to be listed on a search engine? The answer is simple. Money.Not your money. The search engine's money. As in payroll, rent, servers, insurance, computers and so on. Do math. Assume it takes even as little as 3 minutes to process a site submission. That means an average employee can review at most 20 sites each hour. Or only 160 sites each day. Let's pretend that Yahoo! only gets 200,000 submissions per day. That would require 1,250 employees just to keep up with reviews, not counting supervisors, managers, support staff and all of other needs that 1,250 employees would have. That only takes care of new submissions. What about all of maintenance required to a database as large as theirs? URL changes. Dead links. Name changes. So what it really comes down to is this: people that say Net should be "Free" really mean that it should be free to them, as in somebody else should pay for it. Unless you want to wait a long time to start getting traffic from search engines, you are going to have to pay a few fees. Consider following four directories and solid value they offer in return for very reasonable fees. LookSmart Not being listed in LookSmart is like being Invisible Man. Oops. I guess that should be Invisible Person. The reality is that LookSmart reaches a larger Internet audience than any other entity. Because they supply search results to such portals as CNN, MSN, Excite and AltaVista as well as through their own search site, LookSmart is able to expose your site to over 77% of Internet population, or in round numbers, 58 million people. That's an impossible market penetration to ignore. If your site is non-commercial, you can submit your site for a listing at no charge. However, there is no guarantee as to when, or even if your site will get reviewed. If your site is commercial in nature, or if you want to get listed quickly in order to start your traffic flow, you have two options. Option 1 allows you to submit for a review that is guaranteed to occur within 8 weeks. The fee is $99 US. Option 2 costs $199 US and you are guaranteed to have your review within 48 hours. This is fastest path you will find to long-term, free traffic as fee is one time only. These options do not guarantee that you will be listed in LookSmart directory, but rather a guarantee that your site will be considered with stated time frame. GoTo.com GoTo.com started whole business of paid listings. Their model was unique when it launched. Site owners don't pay for listings - they pay for each visitor GoTo sends them as a result of site's listing.