Most people who are prospering from this form of marketing areselling the sizzle and have forgotten the steak. This articlewill provide the facts behind the hype. You will get the straighttruth from someone who uses online marketing personally and whoisn't trying to get rich by selling direct response techniquesas realistic BBS marketing concepts.
Marketing Electronically is a hot topic especially in these daysof instant gratification. There are advantages and disadvantages to any form of marketing, but lately all I hear are theadvantages.
Let me first mention the benefits as expressed by others and thenI will provide the negatives that have been unvoiced.
(1) You can reach millions of people.
(2) Lower lead costs.
(3) Quickness of response.
(4) Lower inquiry fulfillment costs.
All of this sounds great huh?
The disadvantages include:
(1) You must consistently market, more than with direct responseadvertising or direct mail.
(2) Trying to keep your material on the boards.
(3) Your material can t be sales related.
(4) Finding out if there is an audience for your product orservice involves searching the online networks to determine ifit's large enough to even bother uploading your material to.
One major disadvantage to online marketing as I mentioned in itemthree is:
You can t blatantly promote your material, your product, oryour service. With conventional advertising you can go rightafter your potential customer with a salesletter, but, with bbsmarketing you have to provide up front information in theform of a how to article and at the closing of your article youcan include a resource box which invites the reader to respond toan offer that you make within it.
There are two advantages to utilizing a how to article. (1) Youare considered an expert on the subject that you have writtenabout. (2) Your material if information rich could remain on theboards for years.
You cannot provide information that points the reader to yourproduct or service. In effect it must be generic. Give plenty ofinformation up front. This is what the system operators want ontheir board and this will be what determines whether yourmaterial stays on the board.
The online services are like magazines, readers call back againand again if there is valuable information. If you re notproviding valuable information that they can read and download,then your material won't remain up on the boards. Packaging IsEverything.
One of the best ways I know of keeping your material on theboards is in a newsletter format.
You accomplish this by using a software program. I recommendWriters Dream (available from Infopreneur publishing for $5) It san easy but powerful program. You can create up to forty fiveindividual chapters, each chapter can be a separate article, aportion of a book, manual, directory, etc. The online publicationonce created can be compressed with PKZip and uploaded onto theboards. When you place material as an online newsletter yourchances are greater that it s going to remain up on the boards.I have a business associate who has had his material in thisformat on one large commercial network for over a year. Oneimportant point, you can't put your salesletter (water-down ornot) into this online publication format and expect for it tostay on the boards.
If you create an online newsletter in this IBM software drivenformat, also create an issue that is in a straight ascii format.This can be accomplished with a simple text editor or wordprocessor. This will cover all the bases and allow additionalcomputer platforms such as Macintosh, Amiga or Unix to read it.Direct Response Techniques Don t Work!
I must keep emphasizing that you must provide solid information. This form of marketing can not be approached using directresponse marketing techniques. It won t work! I warn you to becareful if your following the advice of those who have adirect response marketing mind set. You need to listen to thosewho use the computer bulletin boards personally and know how tooperate a computer. Such as myself.
Listening to those who don t market electronically or know how touse a computer is like trying to take advice on how to run asuccessful business from someone who has never started one. It ssimply foolish!
Direct response marketing involves hype in print, you don t tella lot, instead you sell a lot, offering the reader plenty ofbenefits that spell out wants in it for them." With onlinemarketing you need to tell a lot and I don t mean tell them whatthey re going to get if they buy your product or service. Whatdo they need to do to accomplish specific objectives. If you rewriting a report on 25 ways to make money staying at home, youcan t write order my book and I will reveal these 25 ways. No!You need to write an article that details the 25 specific(workable) ways to make money at home and within the resource boxat the close of this article you can mention that there arealso an additional 75 other ways to make money at home and ifthey would like to receive this valuable report simply contractyou.
An Effective MethodFocus on building a list by lead generating. Offer something forfree. Generate the name and address. Then follow-up with directmail. This approach allows you to present the salesmanship, theprofessionalism (straight ascii text is not very nice looking)the potential customer is getting your sales message.
You cannot do this on the boards, without gathering the names andaddresses and mailing to them. This is the method that I preferto use, and one method I see working.
If you don t have a computer then you need to get into thecomputer age. You can't utilize this new marketing method withoutone. Actually, this form of marketing is not new it s been aroundfor quite some time. It s just been brought to the generalpublics attention most recently. However, it s been presented ina false and misleading way. All the hype and misinformation thathas been given as fact has confused a lot of people.
Through a great deal of online research I have found that somethings are down right false, yet they are still being presentedby some individuals as fact. For your own benefit I highlyrecommend that you research this technology. I will tell you,from my own research that you re not going to make thousands ofdollars just uploading your sales material on the boards.
There are realistic methods that can make you one, two, three,or four thousand dollars or more a month. But, it s not going tobe instantaneous. You re not going to put your material up onthese bulletin boards one time and then overnight get floodedwith orders. I have discovered that online marketing is a method that must be consistent and met with strict regulations.Each board has it s own rules and you must adhere to them.Otherwise spending time uploading your material onto these boardsisn't going to do much good. Your material will get kicked rightoff. Ignore the hype associated with this marketing method anddo some research to determine what is true and what isn't.
One truth that will ring loud is that there are plenty of inconsistencies being promoted. If you do your homework you'llhave an advantage over those who are still being taken for amoney stealing ride.
Your first step should be of course to get a computer if youdon't have one.
If you are going to get serious about online marketing get acomputer if you don't ave one. I have dealt with clients in theservices end of my business (placing their material on theboards) and I can honestly say that if you want to get involvedin online marketing you need to do it yourself.
The online tools that are needed for electronic marketingsuccess can actually do a better job in your hands than mine oranother. It s similar to marketing a book that you have written, you have a love for it because it s your creation. Only you canpromote the book and sell it with the enthusiasm and intricatedetails that nobody else an. It s your own pride and joy. It sthe same way with online marketing.
E-MAIL & CLASSIFIED ADVERTISINGE-mail is a powerful tool to use. It s instantaneous delivery ofyour on-line classified ad inquiries. A lot of the boards likeCompuServe, America On-Line, Delphi, Genie all except classifiedads.
Classified ads on the various commercial on-line services areinexpensive. I placed a classified ad on CompuServe ( a userbase of 2 million) to run for 26 weeks and it's under fiftydollars. A benefit with on-line classified advertising is; readers of you ad can automatically respond to your ad via E-mailinstantly. E-mail is faster than the postal service, evenovernight delivery is slow compared to e-mail! The simple stepsthat it takes to place an ad on CompuServe for example include: (1) You type your advertisement into a classified section(exactly like those found in magazines), (2) The money iselectronically pulled out of your bank account or charged to yourcredit card for your advertising order, (3) Your ad is postedusually 24 hours later on the board, (4) Within minutes of itbeing posted you can start receiving replies in regards to yourclassified ad.
Once you receive your replies. You could E-mail back to yourinquiries your sales literature. This eliminates printing andpostage. However, I have found that orders increase if youactually mail them your material by snail mail (first class). Ibelieve that the professional hard copy appearance is a betterselling device then straight ascii text.
Detailed Know How Cheap!If you want to make money marketing online, then you need toorder a new 90 minute audio tape and special report (it s not asalesletter) entitled Electronic Marketing Bootcamp This istruly a need to listen to resource that will get you startedmaking money on the information superhighway. Send your order to:Infopreneur Publishing, Box 20412, Dept EMBC-R, El Cajon,California 92021.
A word of caution, don t become overly enthusiastic about onlinemarketing that you forget other forms of marketing such as directmail and print advertising. Online marketing is just anotherform of marketing not an end in itself. I would continue to doyour print advertising and direct mail, but also utilize onlinemarketing.
Electronic marketing like I've already mentioned is much moredemanding. Your not in complete control. You have to overcome alot of obstacles (as I have personally found out). If you cannotbe patient and you cannot be consistent with this form ofmarketing I would not market electronically. As a simple starter,place classified ads on the boards. Lead generate, gather namesand mail your offer.
Use this simple online marketing method. Gather your inquiries byplacing a lead generating (offer something for free) classifiedad or article. When you retrieve all your requests send out byfirst class mail your sales literature.
The following article was taken from The Infopreneur Report Newsletter which also discusses: Fax on Demand, voice mail,sending your sales material via E-mail, how to put together anonline newsletter, how to create an diskbased catalog and how topackage your how-to-reports, articles, or books that you can sellat a high mark up, but produce for under a $1 postage included! If your current information products are costing you two to fivedollars to produce. They can be produced for 23 cents. Thisinformation and more is available in the pages of thisinsightful newsletter. You can get 4 issues for just $5 bysending your subscription request to: Infopreneur Publishing Box20412-IRR, El Cajon, California 92021.
I want to mention one important and almost over looked point.Focus on the commercial boards, don t waste your time with thelittle boards. A great deal of these little boards don t have thefunds to promote their service in the massive scope thatCompuServe, America On-Line, Delphi and Genie can and do.
They also don t have many callers as the larger broads have. Evenif you got your material on 70,000 of the smaller boards, itstill would dwarf the number of callers on the larger boards in a24 hour period. You want a lot of people calling the board ifyour material or classified ad is on it. I would only utilizethe smaller local bbs for practice and fun. For serious onlinemarketing the only way to go is the larger commercial networks.
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