Archive for June, 2009

Can You Really Get Rich Quick Selling Info Products Online?

June 30th, 2009 by Bob Bly

There are more gurus out there than you can shake a stick at selling courses on how to “get rich quick” selling information products on the Internet.

But how many are the real deal?

I’ve listed the reputable ones I can think of on the site below:

www.internetmarketinghallofame.com

Have you had experience with any of these folks and their products — pro or con?

Any good Internet marketing teachers I should ADD to the list?

Any I should delete?

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Category: Online Marketing | 36 Comments »

Discounts: An Overlooked Internet Marketing Tactic

June 27th, 2009 by Bob Bly

Internet buyers LOVE discounts, yet most info marketers don’t use them nearly enough.

A case in point: on 4/9/09, we sent an e-mail to my list offering one of my e-books at the cover price of $79.

It generated 32 orders and $2,528 in revenues — not great, not bad.

Thursday of this week we sent the identical e-mail to the same list but added a P.S. offering the book at $49 — a $30 savings — if they ordered by midnight Sunday.

While orders are still coming in, we have already sold 155 copies at $49 each, generating $7,625 in revenues so far.

Does it bother me to let people have a $79 product for only $49?

Of course not. What’s important is not profit per sale, but profit per e-mail blast … which the discounting tactic will more than triple before the weekend is over.

P.S. Of course, discounting works with products where you have a large enough margin to sustain it — and in the case of e-books, the margin is close to 100%.

I wouldn’t do this with my own services, because discounting would lower my revenue per hour.

While my supply of e-books is limitless, time is not: you only have so many hours in the day to work, and when you work for less per hour, you are working harder to make less money.

Who wants that?

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Category: Online Marketing | 20 Comments »

Can Social Networking Help You Reach Executives?

June 26th, 2009 by Bob Bly

Not according to an article published this week in BtoB’s Vertical Insight Guide.

The article reports that only 20% of senior executives belong to one or more social networking sites — which would seem to indicate that all the noise about marketing with social media is either misplaced or premature.

If you want to reach senior executives on the web, your best vehicle, according to the article, is webinars, which 77% of C-level execs listen to at work.

Close behind are blogs, read by 58% of executives, and streaming videos, watched by 56%. In addition, 41% listen to podcasts.

And how do these senior executives spend their time at home? Blogging? Participating in virtual worlds like Second Life?

No — 76% say they watch television after work.

So TV advertising may not be as old school and archaic as the new media evangelists would lead us to believe.

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Category: General | 144 Comments »

Build your elist fast and affordably with this crafty ?Internet Loss Leader Strategy?

June 25th, 2009 by Bob Bly

For decades, retailers and direct marketers have used ?loss leaders? ? inexpensive items sold at or below cost ? to acquire new customers. Now, my new,free special report, ?The Internet Loss Leader Strategy,? shows Internet marketers how to build their email lists using an online variation of the offline loss leader technique.

To download the complete report, visit: www.theinternetlossleaderstrategy.com

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Category: Online Marketing | No Comments »

When Freelancers Piss Off Clients

June 24th, 2009 by Bob Bly

HH, a freelancer I hired to write an e-book for me, sent me the first draft of the manuscript today as an attached Word file with his e-mail.

He ends the e-mail: “P.S. I’ll send me [sic] invoice under separate email.”

My question: Why, HH?

I just got your FIRST draft a minute ago. I haven’t even opened the file, much less reviewed it. And I certainly haven’t given you my comments so you can make the necessary revisions for the next draft.

Sending an invoice along with your product is bad form — it leaves a bad taste in the client’s mouth. He feels the only thing you care about is getting paid, not whether the copy is good.

But sending an invoice with a FIRST draft — when the project is not yet completed — can really piss off the client, as it did me in this case.

BTW, our agreement calls for payment upon completion.

To me, completion is an acceptable manuscript. Most publishers and business clients feel that way.

If the term “completion” is too vague, this rule of thumb applies: any ambiguity in the agreement is the fault of the vendor, not the customer.

If HH expected a check upon submission of a first draft, he should have specified that in his agreement and has me sign it.

He did not.

So what do you think?

Did HH make a major faux pas with his client — me?

Or am I getting crabby and difficult in my old age?

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Category: Writing | 110 Comments »

A New Low for the Copywriting Profession

June 22nd, 2009 by Bob Bly

Copywriters are at risk of becoming a commodity service provider.

As proof, during a search I stumbled across a pay-per-click ad today offering online writing services.

Specifically, the ad promised “unique custom-written SEO web content.”

What do you think they charge for 500 words of custom content (total, not per word), including optimization of the page?

A–$5,000.
B–$500.
C–$50.
D–$5.

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Category: General, Online Marketing | 40 Comments »

John Carlton Says Long Copy Works Best — Period.

June 20th, 2009 by Bob Bly

In my 6/14/09 post, I invited a debate on which works best — long copy vs. short copy.

But superstar copywriter John Carlton doesn’t thinks there’s much of a debate to be had.

“If I woke up tomorrow and realized the universe had changed in such a way that a decent sales pitch no longer required persuasion, proof, credibility, offers, and all the other classic ingredients, I’d be the first one writing short copy,” writes John in Early to Rise (6/20/09).

John disputes the Web 2.0 evangelists, who claim that you can create sales with just a smidgen of copy here and there, like dabs of gray ink in the colorful wonder of an over-designed web page.

“I don’t write long copy because I like long copy,” asserts John. “I write long copy because that’s what works.”

His formula for writing effective long copy promotions:

1–Start at the beginning of your sales message.
2–Cover the points your prospect needs to hear to make a decision.
3–Urge him toward the right decision — to buy your product.
4–Close with panache.

“When you can do that in a few terse sentences or in a single, brief, whiz-bang video, let me know,” concludes John. “I’m not holding my breath.”

Do you want to let John know that you AGREE with him — and that, online and offline, long copy is still king, even in this era of online video, Twitter, YouTube, sound bytes, Susan Boyle, and child-like attention spans?

Or can you offer arguments and evidence to prove John wrong by showing that short copy sites, videos, and the like can sometimes clobber long copy?

What say you?

Source: Early to Rise, 6/20/09.

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Category: Direct Marketing | 16 Comments »

Will Obama Bail-Out Your Internet Marketing Business?

June 18th, 2009 by Bob Bly

If you sink money into starting an Internet marketing, copywriting, or other small business, and you aren’t successful, will the government write a check to tide you over until you turn a profit? Not on your life.

So why should they do it for car manufacturers and banks? The answer, of course, is that they should not.

As Ed Konecnik points out in a letter to NYC’s Libertarian newspaper Serf City (vol. 5, no. 1, p. 2): “Success is a result of manuy factors. By eliminating the consequences of failure, we inspire and encourage mediocrity.”

Plus, a government bail-out of big business is just grossly unfair to small business. If we run our businesses poorly, we are out of business. Why should the same rules not apply to large corporations and financial institutions?

“In the real world, bankruptcy and failure are options that serve to cleanse and filter out incompetence,” writes Konecnik.

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Category: General | 22 Comments »