Money

The button that left $10,000 on the table

There is one key thing all webpages need that will make you thousands of dollars every time. Its something so simple but can make or break your campaigns. Let me tell you a story before I let you in on the $10,000 secret.

Would HP leave money on the table?
I have been researching computers recently and noticed on our friendly SmartCompany site a banner ad for HP. See below:

Latest banner ad campaign with pocket hard disk offer got me excited

Essentially you can get a Free 160GB pocket media drive for any order of a specific notebook or desktop. I clicked through and looked at the landing page to see what types of models this would come with. The page loaded up and I could see the offer presented nicely.


The HP landing page for the user to get details and purchase

Landing page of HP special offer
To be honest I wasn’t ready to buy because I wanted to see how much it would cost to ship so I decided I would add it to my cart and checkout till it calculated my shipping price. Unfortunately, HP left me hanging and didn’t give me a button to add it to my cart.

The secret revealed
So there is one button that prevented HP from making their sales. Just like HP have left money on the table do you have a money button on all pages?

Money buttons
Money buttons mean different things to users, its important to connect the action you want them to take with the text on the button. This plays into what convention has taught people and increases your conversion rate.

  • Buy now – And easy action to take which also includes some time pressure.
  • Apply now – Not everyone can join this particular item and instead you are required to apply.
  • Free Instant Download – Get this whitepaper for free, immediately and straight to your computer. No need to wait for the boys at the snail mail factory.
  • Book Now – There are quite a few people and tend to be limited places so you will need to register your interest. Usually a confirmation will come back after this.
  • Apply online – Complete a form but do it online, there is no offline method to get this benefit.
Marketing

Are you Struggling to Write your Online Marketing Business…

Breaking through Online Marketing Business Plan Block

When I started my business everything I read, everyone I spoke to and my own logic told me that I needed to write a business plan. But I always struggled to write one. I never knew why until 5 years on, when I can look back with a bit of perspective. Sure the time was always hard to find although I would find the time and just start writing. I realise now that the real problem was because I didn’t really understand how a business worked nor how it grew, I lacked experience. I honestly didn’t know what to plan for.

After all my experiences with building and continuing to grow Freestyle Media, I feel I could easily write a business plan for a new business. I could probably estimate expenses and predict revenues quite easily. I have learnt that I won’t be able to predict to 1 decimal place since business is dynamic and things change. I have learnt that businesses grow slowly to be sustainable and they tend to grow at the speed of experience the people running it have.

Throughout my journeys the way in which I learnt what to plan for in the business was through asking other people who had already been down the path. I also hired more experienced people to guide me and give me insights as to what to consider.

Is your 2008 online marketing plan like your business plan tough to write? Do you feel you need some more experience? Online marketing experience is rare to find although easily learnt.

4 Tips to Quickly Build Your Online Marketing Experience

  1. Read voraciously – Consume books, videos, dvds, articles and whitepapers to fuel your hunger for knowledge. Normally, you will take out 3 or 4 things from each piece of material. Most of it is usually filled with filler or things you already knew. Read it quickly and skip over areas that you feel are not valuable. Because you have so much information to read try and be conscious of how fast you are reading and try and speed it up.
  2. Test your new knowledge – Create experiments and little websites, emails, buy small amounts of paid search engine marketing or tinker with a current website. Your experience will grow in the mistakes and wins that you get from these and your real experiments. Copy a competitor’s tinkerings and create a similar experiment to learn from what they have done.
  3. Talk to people in a similar situation – Other people in other niches will have brilliant ways of solving problems that you experience right now. Sometimes they can illuminate a long way down a knowledge path. For example, how do they use analytics and what program have they put in place to manage and maintain it.
  4. Go to events – The difficultly with just reading is its 1 way learning its not 2 way, where you can ask questions and immediately solve that little problem in your mind. After you read things on your own you tend to build up a series of learnings but also a whole knew series of other questions. If you can solve those then and there on the spot that is when you get speed learning.

If you want to help points 1, 3 and 4 perhaps consider my online marketing seminar “Online Traffic Power” on the 28th of February. Meet other marketers in your position, share experiences and ideas and most of all improve your online marketing knowledge to gain more traffic and leads from your website.

Online marketing

Website Traffic Problems Solved!

Has your website traffic hit a plateau?
Let me tell you the story of how websites get built. You get all excited, you burst out of the starting blocks because finally you have decided to build a new website! Your team buys into the project, everyone is pitching in to get this project live. You are so happy and relieved at the same time that it goes live. You tell everyone about it – ‘go take a look at it’. It’s new! It’s sparkling! It’s marketing your business!
Normally at this point you check your website stats and you see a good progression of increased visitors! It’s great news! But as the first visitors to the site leave and the developers stop testing it, you notice your website hits a stage I call, Buy Out. Six weeks pass and nothing has changed on the website. The news section is now not news at all, its old content. People start buying out of the project and the website project loses its shine because you start to realise that you need to maintain it and send new people to it. Essentially, people start buying out of the project. The website is tiring, it’s boring and no one wants to be involved anymore. Now it’s not marketing your business and you have a website traffic problem.
How to solve your traffic problem
Increasing traffic is a sign of a traffic problem solved.

Above is what you want to see with your website traffic. Movement, up or down, preferably up is best. The reason why movement in your traffic is so important is because it is a sign that there is activity. The website is doing something.

4 ways quick ways to increase your traffic

  1. Write new content – Add some new content about some recent news, a review of a latest trend or even review the content and add to some of your services pages. This will give Google some new content food to eat and hopefully give you another chance to get more traffic.
  2. Start search engine marketing – Get yourself on Google and run a little test of Google adwords. If you want to take it to another level hire a search engine marketer and do an audit of your website.
  3. Send an email – Sending an email to your database with links back to new content on your website will get you instant traffic. People in your database already know who you are and have already shown interest in what you have to offer. Give them another reason to come back and you will see an increase in traffic.
  4. Audit where you promote your website – make sure your website address is listed at every promotional opportunity such as :
    • Business card
    • Email signature
    • Print advertisements
    • Business shirts
    • Promo cars
    • Brochures
    • Blog comments
    • Proposals
    • Whitepapers
    • TV ads
    • Signatures in forums
    • Facebook profile
    • And every single other interaction you have with the web
  5. Bonus Tip! – Swap databases with a partner and promote your content in their newsletter. If you are a florist partner with a wedding planning company and include a little snippet promoting your article on “How to choose the perfect wedding flowers for your wedding?”
Online marketing

Whitepaper marketing strategy

My colleague Angela Schuster (A great online marketer) recently received a follow-up email from a business development manager regarding a whitepaper she downloaded from a website. Now Whitepapers are one of the key ways to sell complex service products or complex products. Many people not in the business to business marketing game don’t understand whitepapers so here is the strategy.

Whitepaper marketing strategy

Create a document which outlines a potential problem or business issue, lets take the example of Entreprise VoIP management software. (This is a topic close to Angela!) Now entreprise VoIP management software isn’t something you just walk down to Harvey Norman bargain a price then walk over to JB HI Fi and get a better price then walk back to Harvey Norman and get them to drop their price even more and finally choose to buy. It’s not a commodity and it’s something that needs a lot of expert thought in putting together as well as purchasing. The purchaser needs to be educated in the field and needs to be able to determine what a good purchase is and what is right for their business. How can they do that? There exists a major gap in information from what the supplier of the software knows about the area and business requirements and what the buyer knows about their business problem (i.e. what things to look for) and what they know about software solutions for this area.

Whitepaper solution selling

The whitepaper is written by the software vendor to describe the business situation the company is in and show what things are required for a successful software deployment, in this case a deployment of VoIP and the management software that you will need along with this.

What kinds of things does the whitepaper contain?

1. A description of the business problem and what companies are trying to achieve.
2. An overview of the potential solutions.
3. A critique of how these solutions compare and information what kinds of companies should purchase which piece of software.
4. Usually there is a bit of a spin as to how this particular software vendor fits into the piece and how their solution fits the bill. I.e. If you are This kind of company then you should purchase our software because you fit our software perfectly. The software company will describe their perfect target market and lead the reader through to find out if they are right for the software. It’s almost like self service with a bit of user education beforehand.

How effective are whitepapers?

Whitepapers have been the bread and butter of major corporates who have successfully built a business on educating their customers to buy from them. Companies like IBM, Prognosis, Cisco, SAP, SAS and Unisys. These companies’ offerings are so complex that the selling process is more of an education process rather than a Television ad and a good personality to represent the brand.

Now, Angela downloaded this whitepaper from their company and here is the email that followed her up:

Greetings,
I would welcome an opportunity to speak with you in more detail about our customized Strategic Optimization Program(r). It is important that you understand the value your website brings to your business. Many companies are reaching out to us about optimization because of the increasingly high cost of bidding on keywords in Google. Once you optimize your site you are gaining FREE traffic and exposed to 85% of searchers, this is on the left hand side of the page.

Websites are no longer just a place to send people for information about you. It’s all about meeting the requirements that the search engines have established and this takes place in the coding of the site. We assist many companies in gaining on line presence by guiding them through this process.

For companies who want to comprehensively and economically seize the opportunities that Search Engines offer, we recommend this multi-faceted strategy.

First, a detailed initiative is undertaken to make sure the site is aligned (from a Best Practices standpoint) with Search Engines that rank sites via Natural Search (such as Google and MSN). Next, we combine the cost benefits of Natural Search with a performance-based, Paid Inclusion Program, via a fixed-rate Cost Per Click (CPC) to produce highly targeted traffic and verifiable results in Yahoo. This is further enhanced by targeted Directory Listings designed to generate effective link popularity and a strong linking strategy program.

Here’s what you get:

Ongoing Support with a Dedicated Team including a Strategist (pro-active), Tactian (Google Certified), and Optimization Engineer

Web site Review and Guidance

Paid Inclusion (XML) Traffic via a Fixed-rate, Cost Per Click (CPC) through Yahoo Search Technology

Flat rate program for Google, Yahoo, MSN, Business.com, Shopping Feeds, Bizrate, Verizon Superpages

Organic Search Optimization Strategy and Implementation (for Natural Search results)

Directory Submissions

On Going Linking Strategy

Online Reporting

If you would like to set up a convenient day for us to chat via the telephone about this program in more detail, please do not hesitate to contact me directly.

I encourage you to visit our website”

One of my specialities lies in search engine marketing but online marketing strategy is my passion. I like the strategy but the execution has stabbed the whole plan in the back. I can understand what she is meaning to say but it is not making a single grain of sense to any customer trying to purchase from her. Why the hell do I need a strategist, a tactician and an optimization engineer?? I thought I was trying to get my website to the top of the search engines.

I suggest the following rewrite:

“Dear Angela,

Thank you for downloading the whitepaper on “Search engine optimization” I hope your enjoyed it. We would welcome the opportunity to work with you to get your website to the top of the search engines using are expert services. Our specialised team ensures your search engine listings reach the highest rankings and helps keep the cost to acquire a customer from the search engine down.

I was wondering if you had 25 minutes to have a chat around getting your website to the top of the search engines. How are you placed for 10:30am on Tuesday?

Best Regards,

Fred Schebesta”

I might use that email. 🙂

Blog on!

Fred Schebesta

P.S. If you do want to discuss whitepaper marketing strategies further just email me (fred at freestylemedia dot com dot au) and we can devise a strategy for you.