Wednesday, June 25, 2008

SOS for SMS?

Apple's iPhone has proved wildly popular, even at a price point that made it prohibitively expensive for a large portion of the population. So, as the new version (iPhone 3G) hits the market in July with a price tag of only $199, we'll probably see a flood of new iPhone users. How will this impact the technology you use for email campaigns? In a post at the mobileStorm blog, Eydie Cubarrubia says, not much: "[I] believe older messaging technologies will stay relevant for iPhone users." Here's why SMS and mobile email, not Web ads, will still work best to reach iPhone users:

-AT&T's new data plan is $10 more than before. Even though AT&T is subsidizing the cost of the iPhone to get the price down, it's making up costs with a new monthly fee. "Since it will cost more to use mobile Internet," she says, "consumers might not want to spend as much time online with their phones—and thus could be less likely to stop and look at ads, or let themselves be directed to Web sites they didn't intend on viewing."

-The iPhone still lacks MMS (multimedia messaging). According to Cubarrubia, this leaves good 'ole SMS the top pick for text-only messages and mobile email. Further, these are also the technologies used by most everyone else.
"[T]hose on a budget—and let's face it, that's the majority of cell phone users in both the US and around the world—are going to stick with cheap phones with SMS," Cubarrubia concludes.

The Po!nt: SMS and mobile email are here to stay. Says Cubarrubia, "SMS and mobile email will remain at the forefront, no matter what Apple does."

Source: mobileStorm. Read the full post here.

How To Market Your Products and Services On Twitter‏

By Willie Crawford

Twitter is one of well over 1000 social networking sites that I know of. I actually have a list of that many, but have only checked out a handful of the most popular ones.

Actually, my list is about 1800 bookmarking and social networking sites. I may share that list with my inner circle soon... after my assistant goes over it with a fine toothed comb :-)

I've already shared my list of the most popular (and productive) bookmarking sites in an ebook called, "How To Bookmark Effectively For Massive Free Websíte Traffic!" You can actually download that ebook for free, without needing to opt-ín or fill out any forms at:

Back to Twitter... Twitter is actually a micro-blogging platform. You register, and then you can "follow" others, and others can "follow" you.

When you log into Twitter, on the homepage you have a window where you can type in messages ("tweets") of up to 140 characters. When you click the "update" button, everyone who has subscribed to your updates... everyone following you, sees that message instantly... provided they are logged-in to Twitter.

When someone that you're following updates, and you're logged-in, you see their posts instantly.

There are Twitter users who post dozens of messages a day. There are Twitter users who seem to stay logged into Twitter and following their friends tweets for hours each day.

At a recent JV Alert Seminar where I was on the expert panel, I watched other panel members, who are also avid Twitter users, actually carrying on conversations over Twitter... right from the stage. They simply pulled out their handheld devices, and twittered away!

While Twitter is fun to just chat with friends, many "capitalists"... like me, wonder if it can be used for conducting business and making sales.

The answer is "Yes, but you shouldn't post blatant ads on Twitter."

Instead, you should post links to resources and news, and those links CAN be your affiliate links.

Twitter also has a "Direct Message" feature where you can post a message directly to someone who is following you. No one else sees that message, and using that feature is more appropriate when your post only pertains to one person.

I have made numerous sales via Twitter. Some examples include:

1) When I noticed that the World Internet Summit was hosting a live event in Auckland, New Zealand, on July 17th - 20th, 2008, I twittered about it. This is the first time that they are holding an Internet marketing seminar in a location that doesn't get very many of those type of events, so I considered it news.

Shortly thereafter, one of my followers from that area, posted a thank you. The next time that I checked my email, I DID notice that he had already registered for the event and that I had earned a nice commission.

2) When Jeff Walker launched Product Launch Formula 2, I tweeted about the bonus package that I offered. I had several followers ask me questions about my package (via direct message) and two of those purchased the package. That earned me nearly $2000.

3) When a friend noticed that I was twittering about how easy it is to earn money marketing to offline businesses as compared to the Internet marketing niche, she posted a link to a product that she suggested I check out.

I clicked on her link and saw that a friend, Rachel Rofe, along with a co-author, Jaime Mintun, had a product that they were selling called "How To Makë $10K In A Weekend." The product was literally "a seminar in a box." It contained everything that I needed to conduct local seminars teaching offline businesses about the internet. In fact, the product even included:

-A PowerPoint Presentation that I could use to conduct a 1 or 2-day live seminar.
Ads that I could run to get commission-only sales people to actually sell the seminar seats for me.

-A script that I could use along with the slides or even give to someone else to conduct the seminar for me.

-Supplemental materials that I could use as bonuses, handouts, or products-for-sale at my seminars.

-Very detailed start-to-finish instructions.

The package literally contained everything that I needed for a local seminar that I was already planning on hosting quarterly in my hometown.

I drooled over the webpage, but didn't buy right away because I was getting ready to travel to JV Alert Live in Philadelphia that upcoming weekend, and I didn't want to get side-tracked. However, at the seminar, I got a chance to chat with Rachel Rofe, and she talked me into both getting a copy of the course, AND becoming an affiliate for it.

Wrapping up this story... After going through the course, I fell so "in love" with it, that I twittered about it as well as mentioned it in an ezine editorial. The ezine editorial sold enough copies to earn me nearly $1000, and the tweet, triggered several old friends asking questions about the package. One of those friends subsequently purchased the package.

Those are just a few of the many sales that I'm sure that my twittering has generated. The key is not to just post blatant ads, but when you have something worthy of sharing, and that you know your followers will likely appreciate, then you can generate sales from just pointing out resources.

Aside from direct sales, I've noticed dozens of posts on my followers blogs about things that I've posted to Twitter. These blog posts were others indirectly promoting me and my products to their audiences.

Your posts on Twitter are also indexed by the search engines, so I've noticed my "tweets" showing up in Google for some of my prime keywords. That's very powerful.

So, there you have a proven formula for marketing your products and services on Twitter without being too "in your face." The only thing left for you to do is go over to and set up an account. It only takes a few minutes.

Be sure to add me as someone you're following. My Twitter URL is:

About The Author
Willie Crawford is founder of The Internet Marketing Inner Circle, Executive Directory of The International Association of Joint Venture Brokers, and co-host of the Internet Marketing Momentum Bootcamp. Have Willie teach you serious marketing firsthand at: InternetMarketingMomentumBootcamp

Monday, June 23, 2008

On Target

Not long ago, a MarketingProfs colleague went to Target for some laundry detergent and toothpaste. Because he only wanted two things—both easily carried to the register—he sailed right past the array of shopping carts and hand baskets located near the store's entrance. As often happens while shopping at Target, he noticed other products he could use, and soon found himself juggling a number of items.

When it started to get unmanageable, our colleague began to debate whether he should return to the front of the store for a cart, or ditch the extra stuff and get it later—perhaps at another store he planned to visit in the afternoon.

Just then, however, he glanced down and saw a small stack of hand baskets conveniently located in an aisle filled with the smaller items he was trying to carry. He took one, did some more shopping and wound up making a purchase that was four times the amount he initially planned to spend.

It's a good reminder to think about how your customers shop, and to consider the impediments they might encounter between selecting a product or service and completing the sale. If you reduce their effort, you'll in all likelihood increase your bottom line.

Making it easy for your customers to give you their money is essential Marketing Inspiration. Target's stylish campaigns, well-stocked aisles and good value got him into the store—but all it took was a simple rack of hand baskets to impress him with a thoughtful touch and quadruple the size of a sale.

You Can't Beat $5 Sunglasses ... So Don't Try

In a post at his Influential Marketing blog, Rohit Bhargava talks about walking down the street in New York and watching people as they buy $5 sunglasses from street vendors. He knows there's a rationale for purchasing cheap knock-offs, even though they are of clearly inferior quality:

-A customer might lose or break sunglasses on a regular basis, and so hesitate to spend $100 or $200 for the genuine article.
-It could be an impulse buy.
-Or someone might operate under the mistaken impression that they can pass a fake off as the real thing.

Whatever their reasons, says Bhargava, they point to an interesting lesson: "[F]or some people, good sunglasses just aren't worth paying for." In other words, you can demonstrate the features and benefits of your product or service until you're blue in the face, and still fail to get any traction with a certain audience.

"[I]f a consumer doesn't believe products in your category are worth paying for, you are unlikely to convince them to make an exception for you," he says.

The Po!nt: "Instead of asking if your marketing is selling the right messages, you really need to ask if you are targeting the right customers," says Bhargava. "The real question isn't whether you can compete with the guy selling sunglasses on the street … it is whether you should even be trying to."

Source: Influential Marketing.

How to Market on Social Networks - Effectively‏

By Dr. Mani Sivasubramanian

Online social networks, like the World Wide Web itself, are a microcosm of a vibrant human community. If you participate on services like Twitter, Facebook and MySpace for some time, you'll notice the same types of people as you might on a trip to the shopping mall or a weekend at the beach.

There is but one difference. While 'offline' you see people, on the Web you see their personality.

Understanding this is core to your effective use of social networks for marketing.

While others will rush into these digital fora blatantly spewing advertising messages willy-nilly, you'll be able to tap into their minds more intelligently. Because by following some simple principles, you'll create an online persona that people WANT to engage with and listen to.

Over 2 years of intensely being involved in various social media marketing channels, I have learned some lessons you may find useful too.

Less Is More

When you're getting started, it is natural to explore many different services. This 'flit and fleet, dip and dabble' approach is often necessary, because each of them vary in significant ways from the other.

But once you find the right one(s) with the ideal mix of audience, features and convenience to suit your personality, stick with it instead of trying desperately to sample all the available alternatives (there are over 1,000 of them as we go to press, so that's practically impossible).

By honing in on your preferred social networks, you can better carry out the important other steps of engaging your audience and participating actively in your online community.

Engage Your Audience

Be yourself. Let your personality shine through. It is your unique advantage over everyone else in the online social media marketing space.

Carried away by the potential to drive more traffic or make more sales, eager marketers often explode on the social networking scene like a bombshell. They launch into what is the online equivalent of a full-throated sales pitch right in the middle of a Sunday morning sermon in church!

Won't that shock the others? Of course. And then, they'll ignore you.

Engagement is not instant, automatic or easy. It is however powerfully effective. Over 9 months, I have 1,000 'followers' on Twitter. We share a relationship - even if it is at arm's length.

Build Your Following

The conventional approach of herding audiences into closed spaces so that you can market to them are long gone. Social media marketing is not as easy as shooting fish in a barrel. These fish are swimming in a vast ocean. You need to reel them in - by using powerful bait... intelligently!

The formula that works consistently is simple. Be interesting. If what you share on social networks is useful, valuable, funny, entertaining, new, insightful or soul-stirring, people will find you - and stay with you.

And because control is in their hands, you have little choice in the matter anyway. Social networks are all about 'attraction marketing'. You attract them into your circle - and keep them there.

Be Real

That does not mean you need to reveal every intimate detail of your life, like what you ate for breakfast or what you watched on TV this morning. Or even where you live, work or play.

It does mean that you should have a persona - and be true to it. All the time.

I'm a heart surgeon. I also have a little daughter, love reading, travel to interesting places and blog actively. All of these aspects of my life make their way into my posts on social networks.

Almost incidentally, I also slip in the stuff that makes my social networking effective - like my Internet infopreneur business and my non-profit Foundation that raises funds to help children from poor families receive expensive, life-saving heart surgery.

Give To Get

Many people are selfish and self-centered. And these people are on social networks online. While you may hope and wish it were different, in reality, they do it for what's in it for them!

To smartly leverage social media marketing, you must take advantage of this knowledge - and give enough value to satisfy your audience, and turn them into raving, loyal fans.

Only then do you ask for something in exchange - a visit, a click, a sale.

When you do this consistently, you'll notice a reciprocal benefit that grows and swells until you are swamped by a return far in excess of anything you ever gave.

Now, It's Up To You

Will you make your social networking and marketing effective using these simple insights?

They are deceptively simple. But when you try following these principles, you'll discover how effective and powerful they really are.

Another test of their impact is to try and ignore them. You'll see how badly social networks can burn you. But then, you're not going to try, are you? No way... You're smart!

About The Author
Dr.Mani Sivasubramanian is a social infopreneur and uses his Internet marketing to fund heart surgery for under-privileged children in India. He blogs at Money.Power.Wisdom - and is on Twitter (drmani), Facebook and MySpace too.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Using Social Media To Drive Traffic‏

By Matt Jackson

SMO, or Social Media Optimization, helps build website traffic by using social media based websites. The dawning of web 2.0 has seen many different social media websites crop up in an equally large number of different guises. Content sharing, social bookmarking, and collaborative websites form the basis of this initiative and it is these types of websites that you need to use in order to leverage the power of the social web.

SMO as Guerrilla Marketing

The nature of Social Media Optimization is such that it could be considered a form of guerrilla marketing. Website owners and blog owners have the choice of either investing money or their own skills and time in order to generate traffic from social sites. As long as your efforts are directed appropriately, the more work you put in the more reward you will reap.

SMO as a Link Building Technique

Social optimization also has a happy side effect - it helps to build your link profile so you will usually gain search engine traffic in the long term. Becoming a part of an online community is essential to your social optimization and this, in turn, will naturally provide links to your website. The links will usually be from relevant pages based on a similar topic to that of your page. The more popular social sites are also given a lot of weight by certain search engines.

Optimize Your Existing Site

Create genuinely interesting, intriguing, or informative pages. Include images, links, video, and collaborative tools so that visitors really get involved when they do visit your site. SMO is basically digital word-of-mouth and, if your website doesn't provide some kind of appealing experience to your visitors, then it simply won't attract the positive word-of-mouth that you want.

Add new pages, if necessary, so that you can include more information. However, don't just add pages for the sake of it - ensure that each page really does have something unique to offer. A website still needs to be well structured.

Get a Blog

Add a blog. Every website has potential blog posts in it so find yours and start blogging regularly. Blog posts tend to attract links from other blog posts and those in turn will spread the word of your website. The more popular your blog becomes, the more value it is perceived to provide and the more visitors you will continue to get.

Be active in those blogs that are within your industry and use your link where permitted and relevant. Don't spam because that will lose you more friends than it will make but, if you provide relevant information and a forum or blog allows you to link to it, then provide an insightful comment and provide a link.

Be Active

Being active is a vital part to your whole SMO campaign. Simply registering with social bookmarking sites and content sharing sites is not enough. You need to be involved, post regularly, and generally become a part of the community. If you don't have the time or the inclination to do this, then find somebody else to do it instead.

Some Social Sites To Join

You really do reap what you sow in terms of SMO. Determine the sites that are most suitable to your website, join them, and become an active member. Choose some broad topic sites as well as some that are specific to those interested in the industry in which you operate or topic that you cover. Look at social news submission sites, content sharing sites, bookmarking, and networking sites and try to get a broad coverage of all of them. Here are just a few of the sites you should seriously consider using:

Social News/Media Sharing Websites

• Reddit - Reddit is a very popular social news website that boasts a lot of subscribers and covers a wide range of topics.

• Digg - Initially, Digg was reserved to technology and related topics but is now a broad topic news site that again has a lot of subscribers and regular readers.

• Newsvine - Not as popular as the two above but offering a slightly more formal tone to its content. Again, a good range of topics are covered.

Social Networking Sites

• MySpace - It may be largely riddled with spam, but there are still too many genuine users for you to ignore MySpace. You don't have to be an unsigned band to take advantage either.

• Facebook - Has caused quite a stir and offers users the chance to create and distribute their own applications as well as content. Another very popular site.

• LinkedIn - LinkedIn is a social networking site dedicated to professionals and businesses. It can really help to build a huge network of partners, customers, and other useful contacts in a business network.

Social Bookmarking Websites

• - Register, store bookmarks that you find useful, and include a bookmark to your website and use a public profile.

• Stumble Upon - Same again. Alternatively, you can add a Stumble icon to each of your pages, blog posts, and other media and let your readers do the walking for you.

Buttons For Your Pages

Many social websites provide a button that your readers or visitors can use to automatically add a page. Bookmarking and content sharing sites, in particular, have these buttons and, if you've ever read a website or an article site, then you will have seen the Digg This and Stumble buttons at the bottom of each entry. Users registered with these sites can click the button and quickly add your page. The most popular websites are usually displayed on the high traffic home pages delivering yet more visitors to your site.

Offering Quality

The Social Internet has opened up a whole new avenue for promoting your business, but it needs to be done properly and carefully. Simply tagging, bookmarking, and sharing every page you have regardless of its quality will not bring you the desired results. You may find that it does you more harm than good in the long run.

About The Author
Matt Jackson is a web content writer offering appealing and professional web content. Whether you are looking to implement an SEO or SMO campaign, or you want to improve your visitor's experience while on your website WebWiseWords can create the content you need.