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Getting Influencers to Share Your Content

Every niche has its share of movers and shakers, including yours. So how do you get those big personalities to share your amazing content with their readers?

Getting Influencers to Share Your Content

First, you should have built a foundation of quality content. Have at least a half dozen posts on your blog, and make sure that each one of them is either chock full of well-written targeted content, or entertaining or both. No one with a reputation is going to send traffic to your site if they can’t vouch that it’s worth their audience’s time.

Now then – make a list of the interesting personalities, experts and big movers in your niche for a blog post you’re going to write. Include background information on them, accomplishments and why they’re important. If you like, rank them according to any criteria you choose – influence, charm, good looks – it’s your post so you can do it as you choose.

For example, depending on your niche, your post might be titled: The Top 50 Flower Bloggers or The Top 25 Movers and Shakers in Finance.

These lists of top people in a niche or industry make for extremely share-worthy content, but you’re going to take it one step further to ensure it gets passed around. Contact each person on the list and congratulate them for making it onto the list. Some of them are sure to tell their own readers about your article through social media and their own blogs and websites.

About ranking these experts – what if some of them are upset with you for not ranking them at the top? First, not everyone can be number 1 – it simply is not possible. Second, even if they are a bit miffed, you can use that to your advantage by gleaming additional blog posts and even publicity out of it. Third, you can write this post annually.

That way, next year those same people may have gone up in the ranking, in which case they are likely to brag about this to their audience. In fact those who are lower on the list may try to curry your favor, and those higher on the list may add you to their inner circle. Really, it’s a win-win no matter what happens, and in the process your content gets shared multiple times.

BONUS TIP: Now that you have the attention of the experts, choose a hot topic and ask them to weigh in. Even if you just get 2 or 3 to share their opinions, you’ll have another piece of great content that is likely to get shared throughout your industry.

BONUS TIP #2: Do a blog post on “What 22 Top ___ Say About ___.” This is easy and practically writes itself. Simply email the experts from your list of experts and ask them for a quote about a current topic or trend in your niche. Then compile their responses into an article or blog post. Be sure to let your contributors know when you make your post, so they can share the link with their audiences, too.

Why is PayPal Limiting Accounts Again?

For those marketers who have been around for a few years, you’ll remember back when PayPal was suddenly and often mysteriously limiting people’s accounts without warning. Well, as Yogi Berra used to say, “It’s déjà vu all over again.”

PayPal

In the past month, PayPal has placed limits on accounts of some pretty serious (ie: BIG) online marketers.

As you know, PayPal is one of the largest payment platforms on the planet. They make it super easy for marketers to take payments and sell just about anything online and offline, too.

But here’s the problem that crops up from time to time… when PayPal doesn’t like something about your business, they don’t call you to talk about it. They don’t send a warning letter or give any kind of indication that they’re not happy with how you’re doing things. Instead, without warning, they ‘limit’ your account.

What are account limitations?

According to PayPal, account limitations are temporary restrictions placed on a specific account that could prevent withdrawing, sending, or receiving money.

Having limitations on an account doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ve done anything wrong. Rather, they are used to help protect both the buyer and the seller.

PayPal will sometimes tell you why they’ve limited your account. Other times, it’s anyone’s guess, and you can spend hours on the phone with their representatives and still not have an answer.

It can be frustrating, infuriating, and even business killing if you don’t have an alternate way to take and send payments.

Possible reasons a PayPal account is ‘limited’ may include:

1: Selling things that are against the PayPal acceptable use policy (AUP) or terms of service (TOS).

This one is obvious. Read their AUP and TOS, and if you have questions, call PayPal and ask them. Examples of items you can’t sell using PayPal include guns and prescription medicines, as well as illegal drugs.

2: Making claims you shouldn’t be making.

If you’re promising monetary results, using misleading copy or doing anything that implies people will get certain results – stop.

Possible examples: “This diet will remove 22 pounds of ugly fat in 11 days.” Or… “This system will make you $100 a day.” Never promise certain results, or any results, for that matter. You can share the results others have gotten without implying that anyone else will get the same results.

3: Too many disputes and chargebacks.

No payment processor likes getting disputes and chargebacks, and too many of them will raise an instant red flag. Take care of your customer service and make it super easy for customers to contact you. If someone asks for a refund, take care of it as soon as possible. Have a clear refund policy in place that is easy to find.

4: PayPal suspects an unauthorized person is using your account.

According to PayPal: If PayPal believes someone is using your account without your knowledge, the account could be limited to protect you from fraudulent charges while PayPal investigates the suspicious transactions.

Similar steps may be taken if your debit or credit card issuer or bank notifies PayPal that someone has used your card or bank account without permission.

5: Encouraging customers to somehow break the law.

For example, if you’re selling software that steals something from websites or people, you’re encouraging your buyers to do something illegal. There might be a lot of grey area here. For example, a car could be used to run someone over, but no one is going to shut you down for selling a car. However, the same might not apply to a tool used to break into a car. If you’re selling information, software or items that could be used to harm someone else (within reason) you might want to reconsider.

6: Taking donations.

If you haven’t provided documents confirming you’re a registered nonprofit organization, PayPal will limit your account until you gather the documents necessary to satisfy regulatory requirements.

7: Using the term, “Lifetime” in your guarantee.

What is a lifetime guarantee, anyway, and how do you issue a refund a year later? You don’t.

Payment processors have a certain time limit for refunds. In PayPal’s case, it’s 6 months, subject to terms, conditions and changes.

If you are offering support, do it for a reasonable time period. After all, you can’t support software or answer questions for the rest of eternity, or even the rest of your life.

If you are offering a refund, 60 days works well. It’s long enough to make the buyer feel confident, and also long enough that they often forget to ask for a refund even if they want one.

8: Traveling abroad.

According to Paypal, here’s how to avoid account limitations while traveling.

Traveling outside of the country may trigger a warning with your account and can lead to account limitations, but you may be able to skip the hassle.

– Before your trip, set up a travel profile in your account by logging in to your PayPal account from a trusted device, such as your home computer.

– Select Profile and Settings.

– Enter information about your trip, including the dates and location of travel. You’ll also be prompted to provide a phone number and email address PayPal can use to contact you while you’re traveling if necessary.

Tip: In order to successfully set up your Travel Profile, your trip must begin within 30 days and cannot last more than one year.

9: Sudden, rapid changes in what or how much you sell.

If you start to sell an entirely new type of product, specifically higher-end items like jewelry; or there’s a rapid increase in sales volume, your account may be limited while PayPal reviews it.

10: Being An affiliate For Your Own Product Via A Separate PayPal Account

PayPal has something called the PayPal Adaptive Payments API that is used to pay instant commissions.

For example, as an affiliate you sell Bob’s eBook. For each sale you make, you receive an Instant commission right away, the moment the sale is made.

This is possible because your PayPal account is linked to Bob’s, or to a system such as JVZoo that allows for instant payments.

Whilst this is perfectly acceptable in the scenario mentioned above, when you are an affiliate for Bob’s eBook… PayPal may look very differently at this if you are an Affiliate for your own product and receiving Affiliate Commissions into your Personal PayPal account as a result of the marketing efforts you are making to sell your own eBook.

If you are either paying or receiving instant commissions, to yourself in this way my best recommendation is to immediately stop. It could like money laundering.

The concern that PayPal Adaptive Payments API is responsible for accounts being banned was recently squashed when JVZoo CEO Laura Casselman published an update on the companies social media channel.

Casselman said “There’s been a lot of discussion lately about the risks of your PayPal accounts becoming limited or banned, Unfortunately, with the lack of information supplied to those who have had their accounts negatively impacted. We can tell you that PayPal is NOT against the use of their adaptive payments, instant payments, or our industry as a whole. JVZoo has always worked closely with PayPal and we have a dedicated team there who we’ve been sharing your concerns, posts, as well as the mass misinformation being shared.”

To further settle concerns, JVZoo have also released a new feature which now allows you to manually go into your JVZoo account and set your affiliate commissions to delayed / manual payouts rather than instant if the affiliate prefers.

WarriorPlus, another popular Affiliate platform has decided to handle things differently. Here they suggest using the Warrior “Wallet” system which puts a layer of protection between vendors, affiliates and partners. Payment goes into the wallet for seven days, and then can be drawn out via PayPal, Stripe or Veem.

We don’t know if the latest round of PayPal limits was caused by instant commissions, adaptive payments or… what. No one outside of PayPal seems to have the answer.

What we do know is the following:

If you use PayPal, you’ll want to follow all their rules and stay away from instant commissions.

Have a backup. Always have a backup. If PayPal one day tells you to take a flying leap, you want to be able to flip the switch to your back up system, whether that’s Warrior, ClickBank, your own merchant account or something else.

Never keep more money in PayPal than you can afford to lose, should the worst happen and your account is permanently limited or closed.

This means keeping enough in your account to pay vendors and issue refunds, and continually transferring the excess into your checking account.

If your account is limited, you might receive a notification via email or on your account overview page.

Respond to this warning immediately by logging into your PayPal account and taking the necessary actions to help you avoid account limitations altogether.

Visit the Resolution Center to review details of why your account has been limited. This is also where you’ll find the requested information from PayPal.

Requests will vary depending on the issue but some possibilities are:

– Invoices from your suppliers
– Information about payments
– Proof of shipment, tracking information, and buyers’ information
– Proof of address
– Proof of identity

When does PayPal remove account limitations?

From their website: The time it takes to have account limitations lifted varies depending on the issue. The fastest way to keep the process moving is to submit the requested information as quickly as you can. Once you have, we’ll get back to you, usually in three business days or less, with next steps. We may request additional information. Tip: You can view your account status at any time in the Resolution Center. If for any reason you can’t complete the necessary steps to remove the limitations, contact Customer Service directly for help.

According to the PayPal website, if you’ve completed the steps to remove the limitation and your account is still limited, it means one of their specialists still needs to review your information. And if they need more information, they will email you.

Once their review is complete, they will email you. And they also want you to know that their customer service specialist can’t lift your limitation over the phone. Meaning, I imagine, that no amount of pleading, begging or badgering will get the account limit removed when you talk to them.

A few more tips to avoid limits on your PayPal account:

If you haven’t already done so, verify your account. PayPal closely monitors new accounts since these are the accounts most likely to be connected to crimes and scams.

To verify your PayPal account, add a credit card and a bank account, and verify both of them.

Verification of a credit card is automatic (make sure the credit card has the same address you gave PayPal.)

Verification of a bank account involves PayPal sending two deposits to your account of less than a dollar each. Once you see these amounts in your account, log into PayPal and enter the amounts to verify the account is indeed yours.

Your new account will have limits on how much you can receive and withdraw until you provide information on your identity. This can be as simple as providing a tax number, or in some cases sending copies of national ID cards.

If you’re just opening a new PayPal account, use it sparingly the first month. Since most fraud happens within 30 days, PayPal is especially vigilant during this period.

If you are expecting to receive a large sum of money, then you should call PayPal ahead of time so they expect to see the extra funds. In other words, if you are planning a large product launch, make sure you let them know ahead of time.

When you first signup for Paypal Website Payments Pro, there’s a survey that you have to take. Make sure that you check off higher numbers in terms of how much money you anticipate making every month.

Contact Paypal to make sure that your account is not limited in any way in terms of how much money you can accept per day. Sometimes limits are placed depending on various factors relating to your credit history or background checks.

Make sure your name or the name of your business is on your PayPal account and that it exactly matches your bank account and credit cards.

Use the exact same addresses and phone numbers that match your bank account and credit cards.

Always use trackable methods of shipping if you ship physical goods in case a dispute is filed against you.

Make sure that your FEIN or social security number exactly matches the name of your business on the account.

Stay away from using proxies for your IP address. There have been rumors that the company logs the first IP address each user uses to create his or her account with. Using a proxy would hide your real identity, providing you anonymity; however, this action raises a red flag at PayPal, often resulting in your account getting limited.

If your account does get limited, opening a second account likely won’t be much help. By the Terms of Service of the company, you can have one personal and one business account. If you create, for example, a personal account, and it ends up getting limited, and if you register for another personal account at the firm, it will likely get limited as well.

What if the Account Limitation is NOT Removed?

PayPal can hold your money for 180 days. And even then, you might have to remind them to send you your money. There have been stories of people who, once they exhausted all other avenues, contacted one or more government agencies. Which agencies you contact will depend on which country you live in. And as some of these stories go, their money was (or was not) released within days.

Without providing legal advice, if you’ve done all you can with PayPal and they are still holding onto your money, there is no reason NOT to seek help from any agency willing to look into it, such as your state attorney general or consumer protection office if you’re in the U.S.

And if the amount is large enough, you might even seek legal help.

Here are the two big takeaways from all of this:

1: Follow PayPal’s rules, and always err on the side of caution.

2: Be ready for anything, meaning don’t leave large sums of money in PayPal, and do have a backup payment processor ready to go at a moment’s notice.

As Yogi Berra used to say, “It’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future.”

9 Proven Ways to Reduce Product Refunds

No one likes refunds. You don’t like them because they’re a hassle and they (seemingly) cut into your profits. Your payment processor doesn’t like them because it makes them nervous. While not as bad as chargebacks, too many refunds will raise a red flag and cause your processor to wonder if you’re a bad risk. Your customer doesn’t like them because it means they’re unhappy. Here’s 9 ways to reduce refunds so everyone wins…

9 Proven Ways to Reduce Product Refunds

1: Lengthen your return period.

It might seem counter-intuitive to offer a longer return period, but studies show it can actually reduce refunds.

Let’s say that right now you offer a 30 day guarantee. This gives your customer a sense of urgency and pressures them into initiating a return faster. But if you lengthen your return window to 45 to 90 days, you trigger what researchers call an endowment effect. The longer a customer has a product, the more of an attachment they form with it, which means they are less likely to return it.

And, because customers tend to wait until the last moment to return an item, extending the guarantee period also means they are more likely to forget to initiate the return.

In addition, a well-crafted and value added return policy can boost sales and reduce cart abandonment. Prospects are more likely to take the plunge and buy your product if they feel safe and secure doing so, and a liberal return policy does just that.

2: Include a welcome letter.

You used a sales device (video, sales letter, etc.) to sell them on buying the product. Now you’re going to sell them again on what a great decision they made.

Buyer’s remorse is a powerful thing, but you can head it off with a carefully crafted letter that reminds them of the biggest benefits they’re about to enjoy with your product, as well as what a great deal they got, and how this is going to help them to achieve their goals.

You might also include additional information and resources (such as a gift) or just generally build up their excitement level to fever pitch. A gift might be as simple as, “Because you are one of the elite cyclists who took advantage of this once in a lifetime offer, we’ve included a free gift as our way of saying thank you, and to welcome you into our tight-knit group of world class cyclists. Simply go to YourAmazingWebsite.com/freegift to claim it.”

The idea is to make your customer feel that you are overdelivering on value, which hopefully, you are.

3: Get them off to a fast start.

If you’re selling a large information product, add a Quickstart Video or Guide to get the customer oriented and started in the right direction.

You’re letting them know where to begin, and you’re helping them to consume the material more easily. Remember, if your customer feels overwhelmed or they think there isn’t enough time to figure all this ‘stuff’ out, they may give up and decide it’s just not for them.

But if they get a result quickly – even a small result – then they’ve got the positive feedback that tells them they can be successful at this.

4: Send out bonuses over time.

Let them know before and after the sale that they are going to be receiving some extraordinarily valuable bonuses over the coming weeks.

Before sending each bonus, send out a teaser that tells them to be on the lookout for the bonus. Often the anticipation is just as important as the bonus itself, so really heighten the suspense and get them excited for what’s coming.

Then send out the bonuses periodically – perhaps once or twice per week. Keep the bonuses coming for a period of time longer than your guarantee. For example, if you have a 60 day guarantee, offer 10 bonuses, one per week. These could be 10 videos from another course on how to do something, or they could actually be 10 separate bonuses.

If the bonuses are all stand alone products (and not split up over several weeks) then be sure that the very best bonuses are given out LAST. This can greatly reduce refunds, since people are looking forward to receiving that BIG bonus and they know they will miss it if they refund.

You can also send out just one large bonus after the refund period if you like, but I prefer to send a chain of them. This way my new customers become accustomed to opening and reading all of my emails, because they are watching out for the next bonus, and the next, and the next and so forth.

5. Call them on the phone and thank them.

Yes, you read that right. If you’re selling big ticket items, or even small ticket items and you want to give unbelievable service, CALL your customer and thank them personally for their purchase.

Welcome them into the fold and be prepared for their amazement. Nearly no one online CALLS their customers to say thank you. You’re going to stand out and apart from your competitors like never before. Your customer is now going to REMEMBER you as “That guy (or gal) who actually CALLED me on the phone to say THANK YOU!”

They’ll read your emails like they know you, because they feel like they do know you. They’ll feel connected to you in a way they don’t feel connected to any other marketer in your niche.

And they’ll be a whole lot more likely to promote you on social media and buy more products from you. Plus, they’ll also be far less likely to refund the product they just bought from you.

6. Create an autoresponder welcome series.

Make a 7 day or even 30 day follow up email campaign for your customers that:

– Reassures them they made a good decision by purchasing your product
– Gets them excited to dive into your product and get started, because people who use your product are far less likely to refund
– Gives them some additional tips for using the product
– Asks them for a testimonial (nicely, of course, don’t be pushy) and maybe even encourages them to refer a friend
– Upsells them to the next product or the next level

7. Add live calls to the product.

If you’re selling a product for top dollar, you need to give your customers the chance to interact with you and ask you questions. By adding training calls, coaching calls or question and answer calls, you can charge the higher prices while reducing your refund rate.

One great thing to do is hold people accountable as they go through the program. For example, to keep up with the calls, they need to keep progressing through the program. Call one covers the first two modules and answers any questions about those modules. Call two covers the next two modules, and so forth.

People just want a chance to interact with you. As the product creator, you’re like an author. People want to be able to say they not only read your book or took your course, but they also spoke with you, too.

One more thing: Any time you get a chance to compliment a customer on one of your calls, do it. That person will be your customer for life, and the other customers will try that much harder to get recognized by you, as well.

8. Reverse refund requests.

The first 7 methods are all about preventing refunds. This method – one I don’t see talked about very much – is something you can do after you’ve received a refund request.

Reach out to the person asking for the refund and let them know you’d be happy to process that for them.

Just one thing before you do… you realize that perhaps this wasn’t the right product for them. It happens. And so, you’d like a chance to make it right and keep them as a customer, because you want them to be happy.

Which is why you’re offering them ____. And you fill in the blank.

It could be their choice of any of your other courses, for example, or even some personal one-on-one help. If they want the benefit your product offers (and clearly they do, since they made the purchase) but they’re struggling to get results, sometimes they just need a little guidance to reach success and save your sale.

If you can offer your customers something of even greater benefit when they refund, not all will take you up on your offer, but I’ve found that many of them will.

The key is to be super polite and respectful and try to find a positive solution for both of you. If they still insist on a refund, then process it quickly, and thank them for their consideration.

9. Reduce the price.

If you ask your customer why s/he wants a refund, and the answer is that your product or service costs too much, ask them how much they are willing to pay.

If you can live with the answer they give you, then offer to let them keep it at that price, and just refund the difference.

If you want to reduce the hassle of refunds for you, your customers and your merchant account, apply these proven strategies to dramatically reduce your product’s refund rate.

11 Tips for Dominating Page 1 of Google

If your goal is to rank #1 on Google, that’s a great goal. But an even better goal is to rank #1, #2 and #0, totally dominating that first page. What’s #0? It’s the answer box at the top of the search results. Here are 11 tips for dominating Page #1…

11 Tips for Dominating Page 1 of Google

1: Have not one, but TWO authoritative websites with great content that both rank for the same keyword. This can get you the #1 and #2 spots.

2: Do a good job of optimizing your H1, of having great title tags, and providing the answer people are looking for with the particular search term or search query, and you can rank #0.

3: The most appealing title tags get the most clicks. The most clicks get Google’s attention and places you higher or even at the top of the listings. Use tools like Clickflow to check your pages and run A/B tests on multiple pages for your term.

4: When trying to rank for a term, have lots of similar content that is NOT duplicated. For example, if your term is dog training, have one post on basic dog training, one post on dog training for puppies, one on dog training for problem dogs, one on dog training mistakes and so forth.

5: Cross link all of your related posts for that search term.

6: Test your title tags to see how appealing they are. If people aren’t clicking, then Google’s not going to be ranking them.

7: If you don’t want to pay for Google Ads to be on page 1 of Google, consider paying for remarketing for search ads. Now you’re targeting people who have already been to your site, which means they have already qualified themselves as possibly good prospects.

8: If you get #0 and #1 and / or #2, and you also have an ad as well, it’s going to make you look like the authority for that term to anyone searching.

9: You can make multiple sites for your keywords. These don’t have to all be your sites. You could have a Facebook business page, a LinkedIn profile, guest posting on someone’s site, etc.

10: Update your content. The older your content, the lower it’s going to rank. If you update the content, your rankings will tend to improve.

11: Use Ahrefs Link Intersect to find out who links to your competitors, but not to your site. Contact them, let them know about your posts, and get them to link back to you to help you with your ranking.

It is possible to dominate page 1 of Google. Yes, it takes work and dedication. But the rewards can be significant.

The Omni-Channel Approach to Marketing

Old school marketing said to create a lot of written content and call it a day. And for a time, that worked really, really well. Fast forward to today, and written content is still great and it’s still needed, but it is not enough.

The Omni-Channel Approach to Marketing

You’ve also got to be doing podcasts, videos and live events; not only on your site, but on social media and also as a guest on other people’s shows and websites.

And while that might sound like a lot to do, consider this:

First, you write one long blog post.

Then from that blog post, you have enough information to do one or two short (5 to 10 minutes) podcasts. Yes, short podcasts work, and in fact they’re more likely to get listened to than long ones. When you do a short podcast, you cut straight to the heart of the matter, and that is what listeners want.

Also, from that same blog post, you can do a couple of videos and post those. And while you’re at it, you might have an infographic done, too.

Then maybe you do a Q and A on your site or social media.

Then you do some guest appearances on other people’s podcasts or live events, and so forth.

The information you offer in one really good blog post can be repurposed many times over and get you seen and heard all over the internet.

Good idea, right? This is exactly what some of the biggest people online are doing, which is why they’re big. They show up everywhere, they offer great info, and people really feel like they get to know them because they hear their voices or even see them in videos.

You might be thinking that people will get sick of you talking about the same info that’s already in your long blog post. But the people who read the blog post from start to finish are usually not the ones who listen to your podcasts, or the ones who watch you on video.

You’re expanding your reach and expanding your audience.

And if someone does read your post AND listen to your podcast AND watcs your live events or videos, do you think they will REMEMBER you?

That’s the point!

You’ve now made a lasting impression, and the next time they see your name on anything, they are much more likely to pay close attention to it.

If, right now, you’re only writing blog posts, don’t panic. Pick one thing – maybe podcasting – and learn how to do it. Then just start DOING it.

Yes, you might be terrible at first. That’s okay. If you’re really that bad, throw out the first few until you start to get the hang of it.

Once you master that channel, pick another one, and so forth.

It’s not about working harder – you don’t need original content for every single channel. It’s about working smarter.

Just as you would send out similar info on several different social media sites (perhaps letting people know about your latest blog post) so, too, you will be using similar info across these different marketing channels.

It’s what the most successful marketers are doing. And if they can learn how to do it, so can you.

Case Study: Set and Forget $2,850 a Month

First the disclaimer – your results will vary. Maybe greatly. I don’t have a clue. But what I’m about to share with you is definitely working for at least one individual, and he’s doing it simultaneously in 3 different niches, too.

Case Study: Set and Forget $2,850 a Month

This fellow (we’ll call him Joe) is a techie guy. He’s not a writer, he doesn’t consider himself to be a marketer, but he has latched onto a method that allows him to make money on autopilot, once he has his system set up.

Here’s how it works:

He chooses a niche. So far, he’s in weight loss, make money online and personal development. Actually, his niches are a little more targeted than that, but you get the idea. I have to keep some of this general so as to not step on his financial toes.

Once he’s chosen a niche, he goes digging for evergreen affiliate products that are a good fit. You can use products from any place you please, as long as those products are likely to be around for at least a few months or longer.

Depending on the niche, he chooses either 13 products or 26 products. Personally, I like 26 products, but it’s up to you.

Next, he hires someone to write emails for him – an entire year’s worth – to put in his autoresponder. Each week he promotes one of the products. Once he’s rotated through the list of products, he starts over with the first one again.

He’s sending out 3 emails each week, but you could do as many as you like. Of course, the more emails you have sent out, the more you’ll need to have written.

Or… if you’re good at writing, you can write your own emails. Yes, it takes time, but writing them in your own voice can be truly beneficial. That way if you decide to promote additional products to your list – for example, products that are only available for a short time – the emails will all be written in the same style.

Here’s what I would recommend: Either send out 5 or 7 emails a week via autoresponder and send nothing else to your list. This way you are truly hands off.

The emails should be a good mixture of content, sales, quotes, stories, observations, case studies and anything else that will interest your list.

Include a buy link in every email, even if it’s just in the P.S.

Once you have your emails ready to go in your autoresponder, you’ll need a big, fat, juicy lead magnet to attract tons of subscribers. For this, Joe likes to buy a course, have the entire thing rewritten and presented in an entirely new way (no plagiarism!) and give that away as his lead magnet.

His freebie is wonderful looking and so valuable, he gets over a 70% opt-in rate in 2 out of 3 of his niches. You’ll find your opt-in rates tend to be higher when you’re NOT in the internet marketing niche – hint hint.

Once you’ve got your squeeze page set up with your juicy lead magnet, it’s time to build your list. You can buy clicks from Facebook or where ever you like, but Joe buys all of his clicks from solo ads. Yes, it does take more digging to find solo ads outside of the online marketing niche, but they are available and totally worth it.

Joe spends less about $1,000 a month on solo ads, and he clears roughly $2,850 after expenses. This number is rising as more subscribers come onto his list.

Naturally, you can grow your list as fast or slow as you like, depending on how much money you’re willing to invest. But if you’re clearing $2.85 after expenses for each dollar you spend, wouldn’t you be sending a lot of traffic to your squeeze page? I would.

Notes:

1: You don’t have to write ALL of your emails ahead of time. If you stay one week ahead of your very first subscriber, you can write them throughout the year.

This way you can get started on list building sooner, and you’ll have plenty of incentive to keep writing those emails.

2: I’m using 1 year as an example because that’s how Joe set up his autoresponders, but there is no reason why you can’t continue to send out more emails beyond a year.

You can either write new emails promoting new products, or reuse your old emails. That’s right – send out the same year long sequence twice. Almost no one will ever notice.

I mean, think about it… do you remember the emails you got a YEAR ago? Not likely. You probably don’t even remember some of the products you bought a year ago.

3: There is some maintenance involved. You’ve got to check your links from time to time to make sure they still work. And of course, you’ve got to buy the solo ads or advertising.

4: This takes time to become profitable. You’ll be out of pocket for a bit. It took Joe several weeks to get into profit, but he did outsource his emails. If you write your own, it probably won’t take as long.

5: You could do this in as many niches as you like, as long as there are affiliate products to promote for that niche.

6: You can promote additional products to your lists. For example, if your friend Sue is doing a big launch of her new product that will only be available to two weeks, you might promote it to your list. Send those emails on the days when the autoresponder isn’t sending, or pause the autoresponder during this period of time.

7: Set your autoresponder to send out the emails a second time each day to those who didn’t open the first email. This little step can as much as double your income.

After all, not everyone will see your email the first time you send it out, so why not give them a second chance?

While there is nothing earth shattering or revolutionary about this method, it can work regardless of whether or not you’re a ‘marketer.’

Remember, Joe is a technical kind of guy. He doesn’t know much about marketing and doesn’t really want to learn marketing, either. He simply wanted some extra income, and that’s exactly what he’s got.

By outsourcing the writing to professionals if it’s not your cup of tea, you can still enjoy the profits of email marketing, and do it in a way that takes almost no time once you have it set up and running.

Proof is in the Pudding, and in Great Sales Copy (#1 Ingredient to Sell More Products)

Time and time again I see sales copy with one essential element that is completely missing in action. Any guesses as to what that might be?

It’s something that proves what you say is true. It’s the little thing that makes a believer out of a skeptic. Sometimes it’s off to the side, and sometimes it’s featured front and center. And the better it is, the more you need to show it off. It’s crucial for making sales.

Convinced

Have you guessed it?

It’s PROOF.

Proof that what you claim is true. Proof that your customers get the results you claim they will get. Proof that your product works. Proof that you won’t disappear in the night with your customer’s money.

It’s the difference from almost making a sale to MAKING the sale.

Here are seven different types of proof you can use in your copywriting, regardless of whether it’s an email, blogpost or sales page. Anytime you’re talking about your product, remember to include some proof.

1. Case studies – These are also known as customer success stories, and they tell a brief story about a customer who got results from your product or service.

For example, “Joe Smith uses this software, and in the first 30 days he saw a 22% increase in conversions.”

It’s best to keep your case studies short and concise, focusing on measurable results whenever you can. Remember, numbers are more persuasive than adjectives.

2. Testimonials – These are written statements from your customers or clients, explaining why they like your product or service. They’re typically quotes from people who’ve used your products or services.

The best testimonials don’t just sing your praises, they also explain details of why they customer endorses you or your product. For maximum impact, use testimonials that include numbers or quantitative results.

3. Endorsements – An endorsement is like a testimonial from someone widely recognized by your prospects.

If a well-known blogger or expert in your field endorses your product, by all means add this to your sales copy. People who trust this well-known individual will then trust your product by association.

4. Research studies – If there are any research studies that clearly show the effectiveness of your product or a component of your product, then use this data in your sales copy.

For example, if you sell an herbal supplement that contains 6 different ingredients, and the effectiveness of each ingredient is backed by research studies, you might include each study in your sales letter in the appropriate places.

The key here is to deliver the information concisely and in layman’s terms. Don’t use scientific lingo – you’ll lose your readers.

5. Visual representation of results – An image is truly worth a thousand words, if it’s the right image. You’re familiar with this technique from weight loss products. They use before and after photos of their clients to show the changes in their body sizes and shapes.

If you can use charts, photos, screenshots or other visuals to prove your product or service works, then by all means do it.

Place captions on your visuals. Studies show that captions are read more than almost any other element on a sales page (other than the headlines.)

Make your captions – well, captivating and self-explanatory. For example, a caption that says, “Janet Smith” doesn’t tell the prospect anything about the product. But the caption, “Janet Smith, after losing 42 pounds in 67 days on the XYZ diet” tells the whole story.

6. Press coverage – If you’ve received praise from a media outlet, then let your prospects know about it.

Quotes from well-known sources are best, since your home town paper might not hold much credibility with the rest of the world.

But if a well-known publication or media outlet has good things to say about your product or service, include that in your sales copy.

7. Social Shares – This is useful if you want to show you have a large audience.

For example, if you have a track record of writing blog posts that get thousands of social media shares, you might make the case that you are a trusted source for information in your field.

Next time you write any sort of copy that promotes a product or service, be sure to include at least one powerful element of proof in your copy.

Advanced technique: Use your proof as part of your headline or sub-headline.

For example, “Ex-Beautician Gets Four $100,000 Job Offers thanks to Our Job Getting System.”

I don’t know about you, but if I was in the market for a new job, I would be super excited to read that sales letter!

Why Stealing Magazines is a Good Thing

It used to be that when I went to the doctor, I would find my favorite magazine in the lobby and read it until the doctor was ready to see me. But this last time, I couldn’t find a single issue. I asked the lady at the desk about it, and she explained that the magazine was so popular, patients were taking it home, so the doctor stopped buying it.

Why Stealing Magazines is a Good Thing

Now there’s a business strategy I don’t recommend – find out what your customers want and then don’t give it to them…

Personally, I would have ordered more subscriptions, not less. Because not only do his patients like the magazine; it also keeps them occupied instead of watching the clock when the doctor is running late (and he is always running late.)

Many businesses do this – they find out what customers want and then don’t give it to them.

I used to have a restaurant I really liked, and one of the things I liked best was they would swap one side dish for another. Then one day they told me they couldn’t do it. It was too difficult to swap baked potato for French fries, or broccoli for green beans, even though they had all four in the kitchen.

I figured if they couldn’t swap sides to give me what I wanted, then I couldn’t eat there. And I don’t.

Another restaurant used to cook their ahi tuna all the way through if you asked. Then they got a new chef who insisted that patrons only eat food the way he liked to prepare it. In other words, I could eat raw tuna or I could go elsewhere. Now I go elsewhere.

The trick to a successful business is to truly understand what your customers want and then give it to them, and keep on giving it to them.

It’s not that difficult. Yet so many marketers and business people get this wrong.

And when in doubt, just ask. One time I was going to consolidate all of my courses into one big course and actually ship out a physical product, because I’d heard this was the thing to do.

But first I asked my customers how many thought they would buy it. The answer was, only about 1% would even consider it. Thank goodness I didn’t do it.

One last tip – develop your products or services based on what your customers really want, and not what they should want. Maybe your customers should want to learn how to do an easy task in their business, but they’d rather hand the task over to you to do.

Ok, so your customers have told you about another product they want to buy from you, and you can be obliged to sell it to them!

Giving customers what they actually want may be the greatest business secret of all.

Lying as a Short-Term Success Strategy

I’m going to try and NOT go on a rant here about how, “These days” no one in marketing is telling the truth, everything is exaggerated or an outright lie, lies of omission are so common they’re expected, and so forth.

Lying as a Short-Term Success Strategy

Okay, maybe that was my rant.

My point is, there are plenty of marketers out there streeeeeetching the truth until the truth is completely lost. And yes, these marketers often do experience short term success. If a person wanted to make money and run, this is the method they would use.

But they better keep running, because government agencies are getting a lot better at not only monitoring what happens online, but also apprehending and charging people when they out and out lie to customers.

In my opinion, a far better strategy is to look at the long picture and tell the truth.

Marketers and businesses who tell the truth might not make as much money up front, but in the long run their businesses will survive while so many others fail.

They’ll get recommended by their clients to other prospects. They’ll get more repeat business. And their proprietors can sleep at night, too.

“The most powerful element in advertising is the truth.” – William Bernbach, cofounder of international advertising agency Doyle Dane Bernbach (DDB), director of many breakthrough ad campaigns.

I don’t know when William said this quote, but I do know he died in 1982. Yes, truth has been scarce in advertising and marketing for a long time – perhaps as long as its been around.

Yet people want the truth. They crave the truth. And when they find someone who will tell them the truth, they will do one of two things: Either look elsewhere for the “quick fix,” and eventually come back to the person who told the truth, or recognize the truth as being what they need in the first place.

Either way, if you’re in it for the long term, the truth is the way to go.

Here’s a classic example: You teach people how to make money online. You tell them it doesn’t happen overnight. It takes work. There is a learning curve. They’ll need to invest both time and money. They’ll make mistakes along the way and get discouraged, and that’s okay, because it’s part of the process. But if they stick with you, and they do the work, in a year’s time they’ll have a very real, viable business that replaces their current income.

Or, you tell them they will make a gazillion dollars by Tuesday with no work… But they don’t make a gazillion dollars, or whatever you promised them. And they’re mad. They want their money back.

Hopefully at that point you’ve pulled up stakes and you’re running (just kidding) or you still have their money and refund it (that’s the right answer.) And when they get their money back from you, where are they going next? To the person who told them this takes time, effort and money. Because that person told them the truth, and they realize that’s exactly what they need.

Look, I understand how tempting it is to stretch the truth, to lie by omission (yes, that is a lie when you don’t tell them something they need to know) or to make things “rosier” than they are. It’s all a part of marketing and advertising.

But should it be? Only you can decide.

How to Get a Crash Course in Online Sales

… And see what your best competitors are doing, too. When you look at a marketing campaign from the outside in, you miss a lot. But when you join competitor’s lists and let them sell to you, you’ll get to dig beneath the surface and see what’s REALLY happening.

How to Get a Crash Course in Online Sales

Read their emails, subscribe to their membership sites and buy their products. Take note of their entire selling process from start to finish. You might do screen capture for upsells, download pages and so forth.

I am NOT advocating that you copy what they’re doing – at least not blatantly. But if you notice a step they take that seems to be working, you might add that step to your own funnel as well.

For example, I bought a product the other week that had sales offers on the download page. There is nothing new about additional sales offers in general, except these offers were increasing in price by a penny every 7 seconds, right on the download page. It was instantly clear these products were being sold, and the price was going up.

I forgot about downloading my product and instead went immediately to the sales page of one of the products, where I found the same thing – the price was increasing by a penny every 7 seconds.

The counter wasn’t obnoxious, but it was in plain view in the upper right-hand corner the entire time as I scrolled through the sales letter. And I never would have seen this if I hadn’t purchased the product.

So if you want to increase your own sales and profits online, find the top selling products in your niche, enter their sales funnel, buy the product and learn everything you can along the way that you can apply to your own business.

Do this, and instead of re-inventing the wheel, you’ll leverage the experience of other successful campaigns and businesses for your own benefit so you can grow your business faster, and help more people by ensuring your products and services are sold to the most buyers who will benefit from them as possible.

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