Monthly Archives: June 2012

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The List Building - Marketing Connection

The title of this post reflects the gist of a newbie question I heard at a recent Six Figure Mentor weekly webinar. The questioner can be forgiven for not grasping the important relationship between these two concepts, as most of us new to internet marketing take time to really appreciate and understand it - myself included!

Online Marketing
Your Email List = Foundation of a Good Marketing Strategy

The webinar presenters kindly and patiently pointed out that list building and marketing are really one and the same! Or at the very least, list building forms the foundation of an effective marketing strategy.

Let me use an example to explain... Suppose you have a wonderful new product you want to sell, let's say an e-book on organic gardening. You post it on your website with a nice image and description of the contents and... then what?

Do you just wait with crossed fingers for the avid organic gardeners who will somehow magically know they should flock to your site because you have a new product to offer them?

Of course not!

Worse yet, if you're new to your niche business, chances are that your site is so far down in SEO ranking, it wouldn't show up even if people DID search specifically for an organic gardening e-book!

So you advertise to get potential customers to come take a look and hopefully buy your book. The fastest way to do this is to purchase ads (banners or solo ads) on sites or e-zines that your niche market visits.

(And by the way, if an advertising offer sounds too good to be true, it probably is! I've been burned a few times myself! Now I use mostly tried and true sources I can trust, like the Directory of Ezines that has been around a long time and has an excellent track record!)

There are free ways to advertise as well of course, like writing and submitting e-zine articles, social media postings, news releases, etc. These can and do work, but they require a considerable amount of time and effort for uncertain results. (I actually try to use a combination of both paid and free advertising, especially until I can grow my advertising budget a bit more.)

So, let's imagine you do the advertising mentioned above (and remember, much of this is trial and error until you find an ad that produces lots of visitors to your site with good conversion rates, ie. a lot of them actually buy your book!)

You make some sales. Great!

Then...you come up with another product in your gardening niche and need to start all over again! Makes me tired just thinking about it!

The List Building Version

Now let's consider the list building version...

In this scenario, you still do the work of advertising, but this time, instead of immediately promoting your book, you offer something of real value absolutely free to your prospects. Some really useful gardening tips, for example. Or a coupon for some free seeds. And in exchange for this gift, you ask for their name and email address!

Now you are building a list!

You can and should keep building a good relationship with your list so they get to know you as the reliable, expert and reputable business owner you are! And they appreciate the value you give them in your free gifts, newsletter information, etc...

The List Building Advantage

Then and only then, you can begin offering your products to your list for sale. And they will be much more likely to purchase from you now because you have built a trusting relationship with them.

And you can keep offering new products to your list and they will keep buying from you...as long as they are happy customers, of course!

So to sum up, building a list allows you to do the hard work once and then keep reaping the rewards over time! So get started today building your list and watch your business grow!

To your success,

Graham & Pat

graham@grahamsnell.com

www.onlinebusinessmind.com

 

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This is a guest post written by my wife and partner, Pat Wolfe. Enjoy! Graham

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"What is affiliate marketing?" This is by far the most frequent question I get asked when I begin to explain our online business to friends and family. I'm guessing there are a lot of other people with the same question. So in this post, I thought I'd make an effort to explain affiliate marketing and why we chose it to supplement our online business.

So...What is Affiliate Marketing?

Very simply, affiliate marketing is the process of presenting products or services to your online visitors - preferably products that you have personally tried and can honestly recommend - and then when someone goes on to purchase said product, you earn a commission on the sale.

Why Did We Choose Affiliate Marketing?

Approaching our retirement years, my husband, Graham and I began researching supplemental income ideas a few years ago. We had to face the hard truth that government pension plans have pretty much dried up and, having been modestly self-employed most of our working lives, we had put away very little in retirement savings. Although we are thankfully still healthy, we decided that we would like to stop "trading time for money" and begin building an income stream that would allow us to take control of our financial future as well as give us time to enjoy our retirement years.

Affiliate marketing seemed to fit the bill.

Benefits of affiliate marketing

The benefits of affiliate marketing are many:

  • You don't need your own products, so...
  • No need to worry about inventory.
  • No shipping or handling hassles.
  • No need for a brick and mortar store (just an online presence.)
  • Compared to a brick and mortar store, cost and time to get set up is much less.
  • Merchants (good ones) supply product descriptions and promo materials for you to use in marketing their product.
  • Once set up, your affiliate marketing business earns you money while you sleep (or go for a walk, take vacation, enjoy your family...)
  • You can attend to those tasks that ARE necessary to keep your affiliate marketing business viable from the comfort of your home (or at the coffee shop, on the beach... wherever you can use your laptop) and according to a schedule of your own choosing.
  • There are so many products available to affiliate marketers, it is easy (and fun) to select only those high quality products that you will be proud to recommend to your online customers (an essential criteria for Graham and I!)

How to Get Started with Affiliate Marketing

Let's be honest. Affiliate marketing is a business. And starting any legitimate business requires effort, time, resources, skills and, perhaps most importantly, the right attitude. Affiliate marketing is NOT a get rich quick scheme - there is no magic button that you simply push and money starts rolling in (not to my knowledge, at least!)

Fortunately, neither Graham nor I are afraid of hard work, especially if the potential for significant rewards downstream is good. We are actually enjoying learning new skills and we get great satisfaction from figuring out a tricky problem! Still we realized we would need some guidance and support in setting up our new online business, as well as learning how to market it.

There are a lot (a confusingly lot!) of resources "out there" to help you acomplish the following essential tasks in setting up your affiliate marketing business:

  • Designing and building your own website
  • Purchasing a domain name and getting hosting for your site
  • Selecting your niche(s) (who you're going to sell to)
  • Finding products with good commissions
  • Organizing your affiliate marketing business
  • And the all important... marketing (because contrary to popular opinion, "build it and they will come" does NOT apply to online businesses!)

If you prefer working on your own, are reasonably comfortable with your computer skills and can follow written instructions easily, I highly recommend Rosalind Gardner's

Super Affiliate Handbook:      Rosalind's book is well written, clear and comprehensive, with step by step instructions and lots of good resources for getting your successful affiliate marketing business up and running. (And by the way, you may have guessed that if you click on the book image and go onto to purchase it, we'll earn a commission! Affiliate marketing in action!)

If you need a bit more support, like the idea of having a ready-made, proven system just waiting for your personal touch and want to learn internet marketing from a community of successful entrepreneurs, I suggest you check out the Six Figure Mentors. After considerable research, Graham and I chose to join the SFM and "earn while we learn!" And we continue to be more than happy with the quality and quantity of training, resources and knowledgeable tech support they provide (bonus: the IT guys are exceedingly friendly and patient with our newbie questions and mistakes!) SFM also has high ticket products that provide up to $1,000 in commissions for affiliate members!

So I hope this post has stimulated your interest in affiliate marketing. If you're looking for some supplemental income or for an entire new business, affiliate marketing just might fit the bill for you too!

Warm regards,

Pat