Category Archives for Random Marketing Lessons

5 Ways To Make Your Product Or Service More Convenient

In yesterdays post I revealed why making your product or service more convenient for your prospects and customers will boost your short-term conversions as well as your long-term business growth.

Today… I’m going to give you 5 ways to make your product or service more convenient. The goal is to get your creative juices flowing and get you thinking in the right direction!

Just remember… in today’s society – convenience often trumps many other decision-making factors, so don’t take these ideas lightly!

5 Ways To Make Your Product Or Service More Convenient

  1. Save Them Time – This is a pretty obvious one. If you can add something into your service or product that helps save time for your prospect or customer… do it! Time is a huge commodity these days, and for good reason. People are more busy than ever (even if it’s a “false-busy”, which is a completely different subject), and feel more stressed out and overwhelmed because of it.

  2. Do The Homework For Them – What I mean by this is that you need to know specialized knowledge about whatever product or service you have… as well as generalized knowledge about your entire industry as a whole. If I get a client who needs help doing anything else that has to do with increasing their business, I do it for them – many times absolutely free.
  3. Do The “Remembering” For Them – Let’s say you’re the kind of guy or girl who likes to get flowers from your local florist for special occasions, such as your wedding anniversary, birthdays, etc. etc. Wouldn’t you think your florist was amazing if, a week or so before all the “big dates”… they called you up and offered you a great deal on flowers for your wife’s birthday?
  4. Offer Related Products – Many people get all shy and nervous when even thinking about offering related products and services to a customer. If this is you… you need to either get out of business… or grow a set. 95% of people will NOT get upset with you if you offer them related products and services. Why? Because they NEED it! Plus… the more of a 1-stop-shop you can make your company – the more money will go through your business because your customers will come to you whenever they need anything that has to do with their business.

  5. Offer Bulk Packages – This is another one people get nervous about. Most people refer to this as an “upsell” (same as #4). Listen… some people WANT to buy bulk packages and just get it over with all in one shot. Here’s a good example for copywriters. If a client comes to you and says they want 10 emails… offer to write them “X” emails – usable any time during the next 12 months… at a good discount. Obviously this will only work with clients who write a lot of emails and you need to play it by ear to see if you should even ask – but for the right client – it gives YOU a nice chunk of cash upfront – and gives your client a great deal on what he/she is going to need over the next year anyway.

As you can see this is only a limited list of things you can do to make your product or service more convenient for your customers. This was ONLY to get your creative juices flowing and allow you to model off the examples I gave and make it work for YOUR business.

I suggest taking 30 minutes out of your day today and writing a list of 10 ways you can start making YOUR product or service more convenient to your customers.

Increase Sales In ANY Business Using This Rarely Implemented Technique

Here’s a lesson I already knew yet recently experienced first-hand in a niche business I own.

Actually it’s really more of a hobby than a business – I review cigars on a blog (www.CigarLoversBlog.com). It’s just a little something I have on the side that makes a few bucks per month and let’s me write in a different subject than business 😉

Anyway… in that niche there are 2 affiliate programs I normally use. One of them has higher commissions – the other is a little better of a business overall (in terms of sales, reputation, etc.)

So… normally I split up the links to give both the companies a little extra love.

However, I just noticed something the other day… and felt compelled to write about it.

Here’s the secret.

If You Make It Easier For Your Customer – They WILL Choose You Over Their Competitors!

What I noticed a few days ago is that when creating the affiliate links, I could actually use a URL re-direct instead of only have 1 or 2 options to choose from.

So instead of “having” to link to a page where they are selling 1 specific cigar in a box of 50 for maybe $200… I could link it to ANY page on their website.

(And the way they have it setup… it’s REALLY easy to do).

This allows me to give my followers better choices when they click on the link. For example if I’m reviewing a cigar that’s a bit more on the expensive side simply because in the affiliate section they only have links going to a $300 product… I can hop on their website to find a page where they sell it in lower quantities – and link to that.

It makes ME happier because it’s much less time consuming, plus I’m giving my followers better choices.

And… because of that 1 little thing – I’m going to be using that particular company for probably 90% of my affiliate links on that website, adding THOUSANDS of extra dollars per month to their bottom-line.

Here’s The Take-Away

The easier you make it for your prospect or current customer to either buy from you the first time… or continue investing in your products or services – the more sales you make.

In today’s society – convenience often trumps price, reputation or many of the other factors that go into making a buying decision.

Tomorrow, I’ll give you a few ways you can make your business more convenient for your prospects and customers which will not only increase your conversions, but is also a kick-ass strategy for long-term growth.

5 Components To The Perfect Business Plan

There are many dozens of millions, maybe even hundreds of millions of businesses around this country…and hundreds of millions of other business around the world.

And for probably 99.9% of those businesses, they’re following the wrong business plan.

Maybe they aren’t doing anything as stupid as trying to sell high-ticketed items to teenagers…but in my experience – every single business in this world is missing SOME element that could be making them more money.

So lately I’ve been thinking about what the “perfect” business plan would be.

Maybe I’m wrong, maybe I’m right…but below this is what I consider to be the perfect business plan.

The Perfect Business Plan

Below I’ve put together what I think are the 5 necessary components to the perfect business plan. Could I have included other ideas? Of course. However, these are the 5 absolutely necessary building blocks you need to creating a highly successful business.

#1 – To start off, they would be selling information products. Information products are cheap to produce with huge margins. In fact, selling downloadable Ebooks can net you profits as high as 90% or higher (yes, including marketing costs) if you do it right!

#2 – The perfect business plan would also include an affiliate system. Not just any affiliate system mind you – a REAL affiliate system. The type of system which trained buyers and customers how to sell that same product, which allows for continuous growth whether or not you’re at your computer desk or in the Caribbean soaking up the sun and drinking Painkillers (trust me…they’re named that for a reason).

#3 – It would also have an ascension ladder, starting with free content. Most people, especially online marketers, get too distracted with wanting to create “multiple streams of income”, producing product after product but hardly doing anything with each of those products before moving onto the next one. After doing the same thing myself for YEARS, I recently decided to go much deeper instead of wider.

This means sucking every single penny out of a specific product through the use of an ascension ladder, and then and only then moving onto the next project.

#4 – The perfect business plan would also include continuity. I know continuity is the “latest fad” for the Internet marketing world but guess what – it’s there for a reason! If you and your clients having done anything continuity-based, having people hand you checks every single month, you’re insane.

#5 – Finally, the perfect business plan would go through what I call the traffic gamut. This would start off as testing the product online through PPC, email, and other cheap sources of traffic. Then quickly maximizing traffic online through all other means (JV’s, ezines, maybe some SEO over time, CPA, CPV, etc.) and having the profits rolled into marketing it offline via magazines, radio, TV, direct mail, etc.

And yes, I realize some products can’t be marketed offline because they aren’t big enough. That’s why I wouldn’t recommend #5 if you’re a beginner since beginners should go for niche products.

If you follow those 5 key points to creating the perfect business plan, you should have NO problem making money. In fact if you stick with them long enough – it’ll be hard NOT to make money!

Why Following In The Guru's Footsteps Is Marketing Suicide

One of the biggest mistakes I see people making is doing something in their business simply because they saw a guru doing it.

In fact, I can’t count how many times I’ve had clients come to me with a “brilliant” marketing idea they saw their favorite guru doing and absolutely insisting we do the same thing.

Even after I tell them it probably won’t work.

Their are a few reasons that, in my opinion, lesser-known business absolutely should NOT be doing what the guru’s are doing. Sometimes, yes, but the main lesson in today’s post is that in every single case – you absolutely must think about how any marketing idea correlates with YOUR business.

Here are 4 reasons I don’t think you should be copying what the guru’s are doing.

#1 – They Have Credibility, You Don’t – In the majority of cases, the person copying a guru is someone that does NOT have any authority or credibility in their market. I always hear people saying “well guru “X” got “X” conversion but I can’t get anywhere near that – and I’m doing the same thing!”

Ummm, yeah – that’s because no matter what that salesletter says, people are still going to buy!

I heard Frank Kern once say that he was going to test a page where it was nothing but a middle-finger and a “buy now” button. And you know what? It would probably convert better than any salesletter I could ever write for a person with no stance in the market.

#2 – They Have Money, You Don’t -When you get to guru status, you obviously have built up a big enough business that you can be called that. And with that huge business comes huge money. A lot of times, guru’s are simply trying things as a test to see if they work or not. What you might not realize is that they have deep enough pockets to re-gain that money after 6 months and it wouldn’t even bother them. For “normal” business owners – it would put them out of business.

#3 – They’re Usually Launching, You’re Not – Product launches are amazingly effective. I’ve heard people talk about having dozens of people order within the first 30-60 seconds of opening a product on launch day. Do you honestly think those people read the letter? Hell no! They were ready to buy the second the guru said they were coming out with something. This relates directly with #1.

#4 – They Have  A Different Business Than You – For some reason, this is a concept many people have a hard time understanding. I don’t care if Guru X made 85 billion dollars with some new marketing technique. If you’re not in his or her market, it may absolutely BOMB in your niche. That’s why testing is so important – you never have a clue whether or not something is going to work unless you test it!

Just in case you don’t believe me, here are 2 examples.

(And by the way I know I “should have” added a 5th one in their because that’s “what you’re supposed to do”…but I feel like being a little unorthodox today.)

Anyway, back to my 2 examples.

Case #1 – Do you know how it’s a “fact” that ending your price in 7, or at least not using an even number…”always” increases response? Well, it’s not true. I heard someone talking the other day and said when they tested $9.95 against $10 – their conversion went up 50% with the $10 price point.

Myth #1 – busted.

Case #2 – Do you know how video “always” increases response? That’s not true either. I was listening to someone else who said they tried both audio and video, and just the text alone out-pulled both by around 30%. So audio and video both decreased response by 30% or so.

Myth #2 – busted.

Need I give more examples and embarrass even more people who claim these techniques to be practically godly? I’ll save them the humility and wrap this up 🙂

All in all there are a few takeaways from today that, if you haven’t discovered them yet, I’ll reiterate because they’re so important.

First…always, always, always test.

Second…while many “guru” marketing ideas are great, almost none of them are anything new, and they may NOT work in your particular business.

Third…always THINK before doing something new with your business. If it helps, sit down with a piece of paper and pen, draw a line down the center of the page and write out “advantages” and “disadvantages” at the top of the page. Then brainstorm for 30 minutes. If the idea is still good, test it out on a small scale and see if it works.

The Best Way To Learn And Understand Marketing?

Over the past 2 weeks or so I’ve been in the process of buying new furniture, TV’s, moving, and dealing with various businesses for deliveries and getting systems (cable, phone, Internet) hooked up.

And one thing I noticed is…

I’m learning a hell of a lot about the right and wrong ways to run a business – just by studying the techniques these businesses are using!

Now most of the things I’ve seen, I already knew. And most I’ve personally used either in my own business or with clients, but I’ve noticed that by simply studying the techniques of other businesses – these various things they’ve done have helped it become kind of “grounded” in my brain.

And although I don’t have any to share with you today (I made a few videos that I’ll be putting on the blog over the next few weeks after I “officially” move in on Tuesday) – the lesson for today is this:

Starting right now…I want you to start studying other businesses and seeing what you can take from those businesses to use in your own business.

For example, did they do something that got you ticked-off? Make sure you NEVER do that in your business.

Or maybe they did something that you absolutely loved? If so, see how you can do the ‘ole switcheroo and make it work for your own business.

Instead of reading books, read businesses. Study them, model off what they’re doing – and you’ll get a much better sense of what a successful business should look like.

And before I end this I just want to give you a little update.

I’ve been making a whole boatload of videos lately – I just need to figure out how to get them from my Flip camera to the Internet (compatibility issues). So once I figure it out, be prepared for a few hours worth of videos, blog posts and podcasts to be coming your way!