Having an eBusiness isn't just about getting gobs of people to your site and hope that a number of them buy. Having your little web counter screaming 50,000 visitors a day doesn't mean "jack" if no one buys from you. It isn't about the quantity of your visitors it's about the quality.
Steve Boutelle has realized this and it sparked this question from him...
Steve Boutelle here . . . LOVED the article on ethics! - something that's definitely a major part of any truly successful business practice. I'm sending in my Marketing question- here it is:
What are your top proven recommendations for getting qualified, targeted visitor traffic to your site that will continue over the long term?
Great question and one that is on the mind of every eBusiness owner "out there."
I know you are probably looking more for the "tactics" to put into place rather than going back and regrouping a bit and we will get to the tactics but first things first...
The main thing that has to be on your mind is to stay focused. When you first get into an eBusiness you have to do your homework. What I mean by that is find out what people want and need and then build a business around meeting those needs.
You CAN'T BE all things to EVERYONE. It just doesn't work. What you need to be is the "expert" per se in one or a group of related needs/wants and build your business around that.
When you are "focused" you will see that a great many things come together for you. You will find that you aren't spending gobs of money on traffic generating systems, with the hopes of getting "someone" to buy. You will have a better idea of where those people are and become more proactive in your marketing strategies and budget spending. There is a huge difference in terms of marketing dollars and success rates when you go from a mass marketing approach to a targeted approach ;o)
Go back and look at your web sites and look at it from the shoes of a visitor and see what they see. That little exercise will ALWAYS give you a lot of information in figuring out why people aren't buying and what needs to be adjusted.
So...first thing in getting long term targeted traffic is to stay focused and try not to be everything to all people. Meet the needs and wants of a targeted market and not the masses. One you know your target market and what they want then the following kicks in for you as far as specific marketing tactics is concerned...
1. List building - I have sprouted off here continually about the NEED to have a list (or several lists) of your own. A list that is separate from your affiliate programs so that it can follow you wherever you go. If you have a focus then of course your lists become more focused as well. You will have a list of people who have a want and need for your products/ services as opposed to just a bunch of tire kickers who aren't really sure what they want or need. Does that make sense??
Your business should have more than just one list. You can have a general list (ie, a subscribers list for your newsletter perhaps), and it should also have specific lists built around sales of certain products and services you offer. If you are in the health and nutrition market and sell several different products in the line, then for each product your sell, those customers become targeted to that product. You can then look at that and make targeted lists from that and act accordingly.
List building, as I said above, is THE KEY. You have the ability through your lists to be specific and target only those who want and need your products/services.
2. Advertising - once you know your market and who needs what you have, in the process you find out where they hang out. When you know what newsletters and forums they go to then it makes things easier for you. Again, you are focused with respect to your marketing and are going into newsletters that speak directly to your target as opposed to the masses. Prime example here...
ProfitSpace focuses on marketing and copywriting tactics for the eBusiness owner. My target market for ProfitSpace is eBusiness owners.I can't tell you how many classified ads I receive from people who are selling health and nutritional products. A person who is selling H&R products specifically is targeting people with health issues. While yes I am sure that there are eBusiness owners with health issues, they aren't in the frame of mind to read about it in a marketing newsletter. They are looking for business help. That person selling these products would have generated far better response by going to a newsletter which targets health related issues.
You NEED to target your advertising to fit the newsletter you are advertising in. If you are SELLING health products then go to a health related newsletter. If you are trying to build a downline for your mlm then fine, stick with a newsletter geared towards business.
Another thing about advertising that will certainly help you in building long term targeted traffic. DON'T SEND A PERSON TO YOUR SITE, send them instead to a no cost eReport, eBook or eCourse that ties in and relates to your target/focus. REMEMBER if you don't have a list then you are basically shooting yourself in the foot. You WANT the email address and the name of the visitor...you DON'T WANT them to go to your site, see what you have, hope they'll bookmark you and come back. They won't do it.
Let me give you an example of what I mean...
In the case of Mariangie who is promoting tele-communication products. Instead of placing a typical classified that leads a person to her site, she writes a no cost eReport on, oh...say...how to save money on your monthly cell phone charges and writes a classified promoting that report. BINGO she has a name and email address of someone who has a need to save money on their cell phone. You can go much farther in terms of marketing with a warm body to market to as opposed to marketing to a ghost ;o)
See how that works??
So...look at the focus of the newsletter you are advertising in and make sure it reaches your target market...AND...lead a person to a report or some other list generating tool...NOT TO JUST your web site ;o)
3. Articles - I can't tell you how effective writing articles has been for my eBusiness (actually, yes I can!!). Articles RULE!! For one issue all eyes are on you, you take center stage. Writing articles as it relates to your business is a fantastic way of generating trust and rapport, and gives you credibility. We mentioned about about targeting your advertising and articles work in much the same way. Find those newsletters who reach your target market then write good, informative articles that "talk to them." Share your knowledge and they will come and see what you have to offer, sign up for your reports/courses and spread the word about you.
I know that many people will not write an article because they feel they aren't writers. "Don't eat that Martha, it's ca ca!!" Anyone can write a simple "how to" article. Just do up an outline for yourself and use it as a guide to gather your thoughts and then just take your "how to" process and put it into steps for people to follow.
Articles not only promote you and your site in a subtle way but the Resource Box provides you with the PRIMO classified ad spot there is in the newsletter. See people will read your article, understand what you are saying and THEN read who wrote the article. That's where the resource box comes into play because that is essentially your ad. There they find who wrote the article, your site address and then of course an incentive to get them on YOUR LIST...by offering a them a no cost report ;o)
Keep in mind that that ONE ARTICLE can reach more people than you could ever possibly imagine. You aren't limiting yourself to just one newsletter...you can send that very article to several publishers within your TARGET MARKET and reach tens of thousands of people all at the same time. The great thing about using articles is the fact that it doesn't cost you a cent..just takes a little time in putting your knowledge to paper...oh, I mean to disk ;o)
4. Develop your own information products - Why rent if you can own. What I mean by that is why use someone else's information products when you can quite capably write your own and use it to it's full advantage. Developing your own eReport, eCourse, or eBook provides you with SUCH AN ADVANTAGE. You can use your own knowledge and create a product and then leverage your marketing through the efforts of others...AND like articles reach far more people than you can possibly imagine.
Now if the mere thought of developing your own info product really scares the heck out of you...well first off, don't let it. If you are writing articles then you can do a little formatting change and turn a group of articles into a report or course very easily. However, if that STILL makes you feel like a deer caught in the headlights, then your have an alternative. In terms of using information products in your marketing...opt for the reprint or customization rights ALWAYS.
Well, because as I said above you use these products to leverage YOUR marketing efforts. Yup, you didn't write the course you're using but your links and advertising is weaved throughout the particular course. When people who subscribe via your web form for the course will always know who they received that course from because your advertising is throughout, NOT someone else's. It just doesn't make sense to work hard at marketing a course and then NOT have your information somewhere inside. Why are you doing that to yourself?? If you are going to spend time and energy in marketing a product make sure that it leads to YOUR LIST and IT HAS YOUR INFO inside at least. If you are allowed within the confines of the license then let others give YOUR COPY of the product away and leverage your marketing through their efforts...but DON'T let someone else ride your coat tails without getting something out of it.
Do you see how that works???
I offer an eCourse and offer customization licenses, so people have an option. To me as the author it makes no difference if you opt for the license or not...it is still a win/win. The person gets to use my course to build their list so they are smiling. In that regard the win for me is that I am leveraging my marketing through their efforts and because they didn't buy the customization license ALL MY ads and links remain in place. Now if they took the time to see just how this works and what they can do to change it around a little they would see that by spending the $6.95 in the long run that ecourse just turned the tables for them. They STILL get to use the course as a list building tool AND they also stand to get hits by being able to add their own offers each day for the duration of the course. PLUS, by offering THEIR CUSTOMIZED version of that course to others to use for their list building...they have just turned the tables again by using the efforts of those who are using that course.
I can totally appreciate the fact that eBusiness owners have been through hell and back and have been burned many times by products and/or services offering them the moon. I understand the reluctance to spend money...HOWEVER, in the case of purchasing an eCourse or eReport customization license that gives you such a winfall of potential...it just makes for smart business ;o)
Ok, we have gone over four tools for help you gain targeted traffic. Now the other part of Steve's question involved "long term." Well, it stands to reason that if you keep up with the article writing, developing new information products are at least using those that are out there to YOUR full advantage, and using classified advertising the right way...that the long term will follow. This isn't rocket science and YOU DON'T need a degree in marketing to pull any of these off successfully. All you really need is to be persistent and consistent ;o)
Every eBusiness owner needs to start with some form of marketing strategy or foundation. These four tactics will certainly give you a good solid foundation. Once you have them in place and they are pulling for you, you'll then be able to look at the other tactics like pay-pe-click search engines and give that a shot. The point that I want to really stress is the fact that if you start with the four tactics I mentioned above and they will always be working. Then as you progress you add new tactics, test them and if they prove to be beneficial then you add them.
It does take a bit of time and effort to see the rewards, but they will happen...just stick with it and don't give up ;o)
Denise Ryder is a Marketing Coach writing from her home office in Northern Ontario (Canada). She is publisher of ProfitSpace Newsletter (http://www.profitspace.com). Download her no cost 7-Day eCourse "How to Guarantee eBusiness Success...Before You Even Get Started" http://www.profitspace.com/success/index.html