P5M4 Websites & Emails

This module on lead conversion is about website conversion and email marketing.

This is how you turn the traffic that comes to your website into sales, profit and cash.

The Importance Of Your Website

  • Your website is the central element to
    • Search marketing – you need to be found
    • Outreach marketing – your website will often be the next contact point
    • Lead conversion – capturing details and building a relationship.
  • It is your 24/7 sales and money making machine
  • Pretty websites versus websites that work

Your website is your most important marketing media and it is essential that it does its job.

In search marketing, your website is the main focus as you drive traffic to it through search engine optimisation and pay per click campaigns. To the person doing the Internet search, your website, what it says and how you make the viewer feel is your business.

Its role is nearly as important for other search marketing techniques which often involve a two step approach, from Yellow Pages or classified advertisement to your website because advertising space is expensive and you need to pay for just enough to create the click.

It’s the same with outreach marketing.

How often do you receive a direct mail letter, see the website address and take a sneaky peak?

The same with networking. You meet someone who seems interesting and then when you get back to your PC, you take a look at what they are saying to the world (as opposed to what they are saying to you) in respect to your questions and feedback.

So what happens with a website?

If you feel uncomfortable or it doesn’t fit your perceptions, you flee in a second or two

If it feels right, you click around a bit, read a few pages, think about making a telephone call but if it’s not urgent you opt-in to an email list if there is an interesting freebie to give you more experience with the business.

It’s what I do, it’s what you do when you’re browsing and it’s what you want your website visitors to do when they land on your website.

Success depends on:

Having an email opt-in form.

Having a lead magnet strong enough to get the opt-ins.

Doing something to continue the contact with people who join your email list through autoresponders, email broadcasts and newsletters.

Your website can be a 24/7 money making machine if you decide that’s what you want and if you put your plans into action.

It may be hard but you’ve got a decision to make.

Would you prefer a pretty website that doesn’t sell or an ugly website that sells like crazy?

I’ve seen some great looking websites and I bet they don’t make a bean.

I’ve seen ugly websites that I know make money hand over fist because I’ve been an affiliate.

There may be a best of both worlds – a good looking website which converts well but it’s tough to find and you need to challenge yourself, every time you make a compromise to aesthetics.

Objectives of Your Website

  • To capture contact information through incentives to opt-in to your email list – free permission marketing to people who have an interest in what you offer
  • To filter prospects into channels – Amazon books, music, DVDs
  • To educate and entertain – to strengthen the connection and encourage repeat visits
  • To sell either directly or to create a call/email for appointment

If you’ve gone through the market planning process in Pillar 4 Your Lead Generation Systems, you’ll know that I believe you need to decide what you want to achieve and then work out how to do it.

That’s not what I see from many websites.

There it is more “I want to have a website… mmm now what?”

If you are clear on what you want, then your prospects will be clear on what is expected.

If you’re muddled on what you want, then your prospects will be muddled.

One key question is…

Is your website the beginning of the process or the end?

This website for example is the end – it is where all my other blogs and websites direct visitors to get people to join, initially as low cost Bronze members and then to upgrade to Silver to get full access to the content and the bonuses or to Gold to get my personal attention.

My Business Coaching Blog is a beginning.

A chance to get to know me and and my ideas in a non-scary environment open to the public designed to educate and entertain.

OK it is short of jokes but I’m aiming for intellectual entertainment.

I want readers to come back and opt-in to my email list. If you visit it, you will see that every page has an opt-in box

The red downward arrow attracts attention.

I also have a pop up box.

Personally I hate pop up boxes but because I tested, I noticed two interesting things happening

1 – A lot of people were signing up from the pop-up.

2 – I also had an increase in the number of people using the on page form. It’s as if the pop-up drew their attention to the lead generation magnet and while they rejected the pop-up, they remembered it when they’d finished reading the blog.

I then have a series of emails which provide more details on the Eight Pillars system to encourage people to sign up for Your Profit Club.

Another objective of a website may be to create calls from qualified prospects.

That’s certainly what I do with my main business coaching website as I encourage local business owners to sign up for the Business Assessment and coaching test drive to find an extra £2,500 of profit in 30 minutes.

Different keywords drive traffic to my blog or website depending on whether people are typing in information phrases or buying phrases. Because the visitors have different intentions, I also have a different aim.

In contrast, on my Online Profits blog which I use to promote affiliate products to make money online, my main objective is to drive relevant traffic to other websites where interested prospects might buy. I’m told my blog has a reputation for honest assessments/reviews and for stripping away the hype so people are happy to click through.

Another website may have its objective on funnelling visitors to areas of interest quickly so they can browse and buy. That’s how Amazon works as it funnels you into books, CDs or DVDs and then into different categories to browse unless you already know what you want. Amazon doesn’t bother with any email capture or free reports but provides massive amounts of information for those who want to know more and be entertained.

What is the objective of your website?

When you are clear whether you are going for an opt-in to an automatic selling system or you want to get a telephone call or a purchase, your next question is…

What do you need to get a prospective customer to do what you want?

For example to get an email opt-in, you need to have some bait – a special report, a video or an mp3, which is relevant to what your customer wants to do:

  • To solve an urgent problem
  • To move towards a desired goal
  • To be entertained

Competitors Website Exercise

  • Visit the websites of your competitors – local, national, international
  • Competitive intelligence – strengths, weaknesses, benefits, offers, join their email list
  • What good ideas can you pick up and adapt
  • Imagine you are a prospective buyer – what impression does the website give? How does it compare to yours? Does it encourage action?

The good and bad thing about the Internet is that everything you do and everything your competitors do is open to public scrutiny. In contrast, if you send a direct mail letter to your top 10 prospects, then no one else knows what that letter says but make on offer of your website and everyone has the chance to see.

This means you don’t have to start with a blank sheet of paper and design your website, your Internet strategy and your copy from scratch. You can look at what others are doing and in best copywriting traditions “swipe” their best ideas. Not blatantly steal but you can innovate around a theme.

If you compete locally, then check out what your local competitors are doing and then go up to the national level to look for the best practices you can see.

If you compete nationally, then look at your top national competitors and then check out the international markets and especially the Americans who do most of the innovation on the Internet.

Get a feel for the website you are looking at and in particular:

  • Design features and colour schemes. Is it text based, videos or audio presentations?
  • How clear is the purpose of the website?
  • How does it deal with the “problem to solution” issue and present the benefits? Is it focused on moving away from pain or moving towards a gain?
  • How easy and clear is it to navigate around?
  • Is it looking to capture your email details and if so, what is the bait? Does it tempt you and could it tempt your customers? (Sign up to competitors email lists – it’s good to see what they are up to).
  • Are there other ways that it gets involvement from readers? Blogs collect comments, some websites feature calculators and others might have surveys, quizzes, competitions and polls to encourage readers to think and respond.
  • Does it feel like a place people will want to come back to regularly? Is there anything strengthening the connection with you or scaring you away?

You are looking for ideas you can adapt.

You should always be alert to Funnel Vision, you may see ideas you can take from outside your niche which can be particularly powerful because they are new.

Encouraging Opt-Ins To Email Lists

  • Series of offers with strong bribes- lead magnets
  • Reports, audio recordings, videos, calculators, software, coupons, competitions
  • Legal issues – single vs double opt-ins
  • Squeeze page – how much info?
  • Above the fold, answer WIIFM
  • Opt-in opportunity on every page – if you don’t ask, you don’t get
  • Pop-ups and slide-ups – test for how quick?

Why You Want People On Your Email List

It’s out of sight out of mind for many Internet searchers even if you make a good first impression.

The nature of the Internet is that you land on a website from a search engine or social media link, find what you want and move on.

I am a regular commenter on blogs I like – a little “Paul was here” signal – because it rewards the blogger and takes a few minutes and can bring me traffic. I am amazed when I see blogs have filled in my details from a cookie when I don’t remember being there before.

Part of marketing is building awareness and reputation. Regular contact through emails helps you to build up the know, like and trust factors and be seen as helping.

Why People Don’t Want To Join Your Email List

It’s not personal.

Everyone gets more emails than they can handle.

First there’s the spam emails for viagra, pain killers, computer software and all the other usual suspects.

Then there’s the “it may as well be spam” emails.

These are the emails that you get when someone has bought a list of 10,000 or more email names in your niche to take advantage of the low cost of email marketing. You don’t know the business and the business doesn’t know you. The businesses may be genuine, making valuable offers but they are abusing the email system. Yes you probably opted in to an original list but you didn’t intend to open yourself up to offers from all and sundry.

Third, emails you know you opted into but you haven’t made a connection. You think there’s some good stuff but you don’t have the time to look. I get a lot in this category because I’m a sucker for attractive sounding lead magnets.

Fourth emails that have some good stuff and you check but some of it can be too promotional. I see this a lot with my Internet marketing affiliate business.

Fifth, mails from family and friends. This includes the people I have made a connection with.

Sixth, emails from companies I’m occasionally interested in. Two of my favourite holidays are safaris and cruises and I’ll take a look at most safari related emails because I like hearing about the animals but I only look at the cruise email offers if I’m thinking about taking another cruise.

Finally emails from clients, customers and leads.

It’s a lot of emails, hammering into your prospects’ inboxes, day after day.

One more email may not seem very much but many people don’t want another email – unless you become very relevant to them.

Your challenge is to be one of the few emails they look forward to receiving and always open and read/scan.

It is a tough challenge as your own behaviour suggests when you go through your emails. However if you stop to think about it,  you probably follow a few people very closely because they consistently deliver interesting and relevant information.

Getting A Yes To Join Your Email List

If you want people to opt-in to your email list, you need to give them a compelling reason to join.

There is some low hanging fruit.

Some people find FREE irresistible so whatever it is, provided it is free, they will sign up.

Unfortunately they’ve got no commitment to you, your email lead magnet or your future emails. They may not give you the right email address or they may use  a free email address for gmail or hotmail which they never check or forward on.

Even with the right email address, your emails are never read – either left unattended or deleted immediately.

You don’t want these “email tarts” because they are no use to you in future and you’ve got a huge task of getting their attention, especially in amongst all the other clutter they get. All they do is depress your conversion statistics.

You’ll also have the “out for what I can get” merchants who will take your freebie and unsubscribe immediately. They have no interest in you and your emails although, if your lead magnet is outstanding, they may come back and re-subscribe.

The people you want to attract and persuade to sign up are:

  • in your target market and niche
  • motivated to solve an urgent problem or move towards a much desired gain
  • will consume your lead magnet – watch, listen or read – and be impressed
  • stay on your list and read your emails because they respect what you have to say

You want these people to be discerning. To like you and not everyone else who offers a similar product or service.

Automating Your List and Your Opt-In Form

You need a system which lets you build up a database of names and gives you an opt-in box to put on your website and allow you to send messages into the future.

I currently use Profollow which is a white label version owned by Jeff Walker (creator of the Product Launch Formula) of  the market leader, Aweber. There is an annual charge based on the size of the list.

I used to use Campaign Monitor which gave me a lot of information about who was doing what but it wouldn’t let me create an autoresponder series of follow up emails and while free to set up, each broadcast to the list cost me a small fixed price plus one cent per name.

I’ll talk more later about the email systems technology. If I can do it, anybody can do it.

Your Lead Magnet

Let’s take a look at your lead magnet and think about:

  • Content
  • Format
  • Promotion

Let’s get format out of the way first.

Format Of Your Lead Magnet

It can be a digital report or voucher, an audio mp3 or a video… or even all three to give you maximum chance to connect with how your prospect likes to consume their information.

Video has been a huge attraction in recent years because it’s new and like television, it is so easy to consume.

From the marketing perspective, video can give the most intense experience as you see and hear the person presenting and you can feel you know them personally, even if it’s just a one way relationship. It also gives the marketer a chance to show the product or demonstrate it in action.

mp3s have been good for people who want to learn while they are out walking or away from their desks. Personality again comes through which helps to bump up the know, like and trust factors.

The digital report in trusty pdf format has been the last girl to be asked to dance.

Interestingly some of the big internet marketers are reporting a backlash away from videos and towards reports. Videos take time to produce and can take a lot of time to consume. They can’t be skimmed and referred back to as easy as reports.

The popularity of Apple iPads and Amazon Kindles will make reports much more convenient to deal with, easier to read than on a PC screen and portable so available at your convenience.

Some people find videos incredibly easy to do and will knock up a great video far faster than they could write a report to give away.  Others have a phobia about appearing on film and may be reluctant to record an audio.

Writing can be daunting for some.

You can cheat.

You can pay someone else to prepare a custom lead magnet for you to prepare and record a video presentation or write a report.

Or you can arrange to interview an expert when they are going to do most of the talking and record it – I use Skype & Pamela. Create your introduction and a list of six to ten questions, agree it with the expert so they know what’s coming and then work through the list, asking any supplementary questions as you go along.

You don’t even need to go that far.

I subscribe to a reports service who brand up their reports for me to give away. Each has my brand on the front and a back page of services and contact details. It works very well and it is certainly easy.

Or you could go down the Private Label Rights (PLR) route. These are reports and products prepared by someone else who then sells the licensing rights to other people. Depending on the individual rights, you can give things away as a lead magnet and the cost is very small.

You don’t even need to go this far. With YouTube and Google Videos, you could pick up some videos in your niche and use those as your lead magnet. You promote it on the benefits available from the video and you need to look out for strong branding at the start or end which may work against you.

You’ll see that I’ve used free videos in places in Your Profit Club because I can either bring in a top expert to emphasise a point or use a screen capture “how do I” style video which is much the same whoever does it.

One copywriter I follow regularly sends me to public videos but it’s a useful service because I wouldn’t have gone looking on my own. he’s found the good stuff and I’m happy to read his emails and click through on the stuff which interests me. The trouble is… I can’t remember his name at the moment, even though I recognise it in my inbox.

The Content of Your Lead Magnet

Information is the most common and the one I’ll go into most detail about.

Discount coupons can appeal to price shoppers and people likely to make a purchase anyway. Google promotes its pay per click program Adwords with money off coupons.

Competitions can also be used to encourage prospects to identify themselves and get involved. Just be careful to check on your local laws. In the UK for example, consumers are more protected than businesses so give people the chance to a) enter the competition without opting in to your email list and b) enter the competition and opt in to your email address for news of more competitions and coupons.

Software or tools. You can persuade people to opt-in for something they believe they will use. You see this a lot with software, add-ons for websites or applications like the Mozilla Firefox Internet browser.

Let’s take a look at information you can give:

  • A periodic newsletter – every week, fortnight, month – this used to be enough but these days if all you offer is a newsletter sign-up without any extra bribe, you won’t get many takers.
  • An email course – I have mixed feelings on these because a) my main autoresponders take people through the Eight Pillars of Business Prosperity because I don’t know which is the most relevant, biggest problem. It’s the curse of the generalist. I also know that for tightly focused courses, I don’t consume them day by day. I don’t want to read pieces but the whole so I ignore them and train myself to ignore subsequent emails from that person until something piques my interest to go back and read them all together.
  • Immediate gratification and solution to a problem – this is the traditional report, mp3 or video. The closer the time between registering and getting the information, the more chance it will be consumed. While the lead magnet may have done its job getting prospects on your email list, the real connection comes from helping someone solve their problem. The value of a few megabytes of ignored digital information is low and there s no desire to reciprocate.

Here’s a short video from one of my favourite Internet marketers Ryan Deiss explaining that your lead magnet needs to a) be sexy, b) deliver and c) frame what you want to sell .

Did you notice how part of the lead magnet’s job is to provide value while creating a void and establishing your credibility?

Think of it like the tasty appetiser that makes you hungry for the main course. It doesn’t satisfy the need on its own but it increases confidence that there is a solution, that the problem needs to be solved and you have the answers.

Rich Schefren of Strategic Profits is tremendous at using big reports to put the common symptoms together and painting a picture which redefines the way the readers look at their problems. The basis is that if you understand the problem so much better than the person suffering it, and you take people through a partial solution, they want the complete solution.

He did this with Internet marketers who were busy, busy, busy trying to do 101 different things by contrasting opportunity seekers who’d get distracted and charge left and then right but make little progress with strategic business builders who had a clear idea of where they were heading and what it would take to get there.

If you want some examples of his techniques, I recommend

The Internet Business Manifesto

Attention Age Doctrine

(Both are affiliate links but the reports are free – you might get an irresistible urge to buy)

You’ve got two ways of working when designing your lead magnet:

  1. From your prospective customers most urgent problems, needs, wants and desires
  2. From your product or service

Your lead magnet is the bridge between the two.

Let’s imagine you are a kitchen designer and you want customers to buy their new kitchen units and the fitting from your business.

Your prospective customer would like a new kitchen and thinks it would add value to the house but is feeling overwhelmed by the different options and the cost of the kitchen. There’s every danger that the purchase is sometime, never. It feels too difficult.

You create your report – 7 ways Your Dream Kitchen Can Add $000 To The Value Of Your Home And 5 Mistakes Which Can Knock Off $000 From The Value

This report has towards motivation (dream kitchen and a more valuable home) and away motivation (lower value even with the cost of the kitchen.

It would go on to describe how the kitchen needs to be designed to fit the style of the house and not clash with it. How certain colours lightened the mood of those who were there and how other colours were depressing and made you feel bad. How the small of fresh bread and cakes could waft through the house but smelly cabbage could be extracted straight outside.

The title is important and needs to grab attention and build desire.

Remember the three winning headline ideas from John Caples:

  1. Benefits targeted at their self interest
  2. News
  3. Curiosity – weak on its own but powerful when combined with one or both of the others.

You don’t want something that sounds like everyone of your competitors offer to avoid the “heard it all and seen it all before” syndrome.

Numbers are good  3 ways to…, 7 secrets of, 5 common mistakes to avoid when…

There are different theories about what numbers you should use

  1. The magic of three e.g. the 3 ways to grow a business – it has the sound of wonderful simplicity and suggests something quick and easy. What people really want is the magic pill which solves their problem, even if they also get suspicious when offered it.
  2. The magic of seven e.g. 7 secrets of direct mail success – seven is a number used a lot in marketing because tests prove (for whatever reason) it often works very well in pricing. It’s many people’s favourite number (the lucky seven). It’s also in the middle of Miller’s law – the number of things someone can hold in the minds at any one time – seven plus or minus two (i.e. 5 to 9).
  3. Large unusual numbers e.g. 101 ways to increase profit, 87 ways to market your business for free, 299 steps to website heaven – these imply something which is comprehensive.

Do use strange numbers for reports because they sound more unusual – “10 things you need to know” sounds like a round number you’ve made to work while “7 things you need to know” or “17 things you need to know” sound like you’ve shared everything you can think of.

The idea of magic numbers may sound cheesy and overdone but for some reason it works. It sounds more important, specific and factual, complete and it rouses curiosity.

The thinking is that numbers as figures works better than numbers as words on the Internet since they stand out more when skimming

Promotion Of Your Lead Magnet On Your Own Website or Blog

You want to make sure that anybody and everybody who encounters your business on the Internet is aware of your lead magnet and has a chance to get it easily.

There are four common practices:

  1. An email opt-in form on every page – this is what I recommend and do on my blogs.
  2. A banner advertisement promoting the lead magnet on every page but the person must be curious enough to click to get to the opt-in form.
  3. Linked text allowing someone to click through to the lead magnet if they notice it.
  4. Nothing – there’s either no lead magnet or it is buried on a page which no one knows about.

Heatmaps have been done of how people scan webpages to indicate the places which get most attention.

Google uses the heat map below to indicate to Adsense users (people who feature advertisements from Google on their website) the best place to put them to get clicks and more money.

My friends at StomperNet have also done a lot of work on eye tracking and found that there is a common F pattern. We scan across and down and focus in on particular areas.

I guess it works the other way for languages that go from right to left.

Our eyes are trained based on expectations so while I tend to go with the heat map research and have my opt-in boxes top left (and some times in the body copy), the common place is top right and that works well too. If you read a blog post and think you’d like more, you’re probably going to go back up the page and look in the top right corner.

Some of my blogs have two side columns to the right of the main content page rather than panel + content + panel. That’s because it is better for search engine optimisation to get the unique content in early which forces the opt-in box to the top right.

You can also draw attention to your opt-in box through the use of obvious and sneaky arrows to direct the eyes.

The obvious arrows which are often in red (like mine above) and may even flash demand attention. The better your lead magnet, the more opt-ins you will get.

I’ve also seen very subtle arrows featured into the design of the page which direct the eye to opt-in box.

Visual representations of the format of the lead magnet are good – report covers or books for pdfs, CDs for mp3s and a video snapshot for videos. It helps to lift the perceived value although you may find you get a few complaints from people who claim they have been misled because they wanted the CD and not an mp3 so choose your words carefully.

The Controversial Use Of Pop-Ups & Slide-Ups

The old pop-ups used to open up a new window for advertisers and drove people crazy. I’ve been on websites that seem to take over the PC. As soon as I closed it down, back it would come. Such aggressive promotion only causes you to click away from the website and hope you never have anything to do with it again.

Browser software like Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox can now block the pop-ups which open new windows but they still allow four kinds of intervention to force attention to your lead magnet.

  • Pop-overs – which slide over the web page being read from the top, bottom or side. One click and they are gone.
  • Lightboxes – which are identical to pop-overs but darken everything else on the page.
  • Slide-ups – which move up from the bottom of the screen and cover the bottom inch or two These attract attention because of the movement but don’t need to be closed immediately to read the page and are therefore left – it takes effort to close. People get to the end of some information, decide they liked it and want to learn more and opt-in. (Take a look at Instant Slide Up (affiliate link) which is the one I’ve had recommended to me by several top Internet marketers – unfortunately on my Typepad blog, there is a mis-match of technology.
  • Exit pop-ups – which appear when someone tries to close the page as a friendly “Did you miss my special report…” Aweber/Profollow used to have an exit pop-up but I couldn’t get it to work and the option seems to have gone away.n You can get plugins for WordPress blogs which create exit pop-ups or a little bit of code which does the same on other websites.

Based on my own experience and what I hear from others, all will increase your opt-ins into your list. I’ve also seen an increase in opt-ins through my normal form when I’ve used a pop-up.

They can be irritating which is why the slide-ups which stay at the bottom of the page and the exit pop-up are best since they are the kindest to your web visitors.

If like me on my Typepad blog, you are stuck with using a pop-up or find it testing it works best, there are some key settings to play with.

  1. How quickly the pop up appears – I hate it when a pop up appears after reading three or four words and I think it’s self defeating. Your reader hasn’t had a chance to be impressed with your knowledge and wit. I set mine to po-over after 60 seconds so some visitors never see it.
  2. How often it is shown to visitors – I got a lot of complaints when I accidentally set my pop up to appear every time so I changed it to once per week and currently it is set at once every 14 days. There are arguments for even less but regular exposure helps persuade. The best would keep showing the offer to people who haven’t subscribed but stop doing it to anyone who is already on the list.

On Page Promotion

If you’ve written a long article where your report is relevant, you can add a link into the main content with a call to action.

Squeeze Pages

A squeeze page is a web page designed to take away the users options by presenting two alternatives:

  1. Join the list to receive the lead magnet
  2. Click away

Many of the most successful squeeze pages are just one screen with a headline and a few bullet points to answer the “what’s in it for me” question and the opt-in form.

If you do add more copy, you should aim to have the (first) opt-in box above the fold so it is very clear what you want people to do.

Ryan Deiss has also started to test other types of squeeze page with involvement devices like calculators, polls and quizzes.

Note how Ryan is segmenting his list based on answers given and changing the offer to make it much more relevant with men adding muscle and women tightening their tummies and bums.

Ryan mentions Eben Pagan’s Psychic Sales Letter in the video which lets you put  a survey or quiz on your website and then reflect back the answers in the sales letter. The software is currently free to download at Psychic Sales Letters but it needs the Get Response email system or it can be changed to another provider by someone with good technical skills.

You may be thinking of sending traffic directly to your squeeze page with a pay per click campaign but Google doesn’t like squeeze pages because of the pressure on the visitor. The calculator idea may be more acceptable since it is giving valuable information without requiring an opt-in.

In Your Email Signature

You can have a call to action to your lead magnet in your email signature.

Promotion on Other Websites

You can also promote your Lead Magnet through

  • Tweets on Twitter – you make already have a lot of people following you but because of the short attention spans, you want to get your Twitter followers on to your email list.
  • Updates on Facebook – your updates get shown to your friends and it’s the same logic as Twitter. You have more influence through emails.
  • LinkedIn profiles – you’re proud of your Lead Magnet so make sure those who are connected to you know about it.
  • Forums – your lead magnet can be promoted in the your signature in any forum so it shows up every time you write a post.
  • Other people’s blogs – when leaving a relevant comment you can refer to your free report / video / mp3 as a way for readers to get more details. Some bloggers won’t like you trying to steal their traffic but many will allow it if it a) is highly relevant (otherwise it’s spam), b) you’ve left a quality comment which adds to the post or takes a contrary position and c) if they check it out themselves, it is good.
  • Recommendations from others – if you have a great lead magnet, you may find it goes viral as the word of mouth recommendations increase, even without the incentives created by affiliate schemes. You may get people to blog about it or even better, have some people include details of your lead magnet on their thank you page f you reciprocate.
  • Promotional video on YouTube – if you’ve created a short video to promote your lead magnet, pop it on YouTube and direct people back to your website.
  • Snippets on YouTube – if you’ve created a 60 minute video as your lead magnet, you can carve out 5 to 10 minutes as a sampler with a call to action to see the rest. Good quality information will be picked up and shared by others.
  • Part of your profile for articles you’ve written and posted on article directories
  • In the content for your Squidoo lenses and Hubpages.

Promotion Of Your Lead Magnet Offline

You can also promote your lead magnet offline through the various marketing techniques.

Make sure you use an easy website address – you can get away with a long string when all anyone has to do is to click on a link but if someone needs to type in the address, the shorter and simpler the better. I’m currently working on a new lead magnet myself and that will sit behind www.ProfitTippingPoint.com which is much nicer than the page it forwards through to on my blog at the moment http://businesscoaching.typepad.com/the_business_coaching_blo/2009/10/the-profit-tipping-point-.html

  • Direct mail to typical target prospects – letters or postcards
  • At network meetings during your one to two minutes
  • On your business card
  • Newspaper and magazine advertising – classified and banner ads
  • Your voice mail message.
  • Press releases

Any method used to promote your business and its products and services can be used to promote your lead magnet to get interested people to hold up their hands and join your list.

The costs need to be watched since you’re playing the long game and you need to have your follow up sequence in place.

Encouraging Consumption Of Your Lead Magnet

Be honest, how many reports, audios and videos have you downloaded to your hard disk and never given another moment’s thought to?

Videos and audios which you can’t download have the advantage that it forces a choice – consume now or miss out. I find them irritating since I prefer to watch/listen at an accelerated speed which I can only do when I’ve downloaded. Often it doesn’t say how long a video is or there is a mismatch between the time I can spare and the time required.

Your first few emails can be used to check that they have received the lead magnet and encourage consumption by:

  1. Quick summaries of controversial sections included designed to create curiosity
  2. Testimonials and case studies to show the benefits of using the information given
  3. Ask for comments and use the power of social proof to reinforce the value to others – big Internet marketing launches make a big thing of the 1,097 comments received in the first three days
  4. More advanced tips which build on the foundation in the freebie
  5. Emails with voice messages if you’ve laid out a 30 day improvement plan (although remember your task with your lead magnet is to show you have the solution and not solve the big problem from A to Z)

What To Do To Create Your Winning Lead Magnet

  1. Decide on your format – video, audio or report
  2. Scope out your content and how it’s going to bridge between the customers wants and your product
  3. Decide on a title.
  4. Prepare the content or arrange for it to be prepared.
  5. Decide how to promote it on your website – opt-in forms, pop-overs etc
  6. Decide how to promote it on other websites and offline
  7. Determine your follow up process (including encouraging consumption) and write your autoresponder emails

Encouraging Conversion In Your Website

  • Respect people’s time & attention – no flash intros
  • Appropriate design – personal
  • Easy to read & understand, write for buyers
  • Relevant offer – match to keywords, call to action
  • Easy to navigate
  • Videos (time) and strong copy – logic & emotion
  • Testimonials, case studies, examples & stories
  • Guarantees & reassurance (contact details, returns policy, reviews, 3rd party seals, shipping & tracking)
  • Payment options

Some times you more more direct action from your website visitors.

You want a telephone call or for them to buy your products and services direct from your website.

It is much less common now but I still see some flash intros which waste visitors time and stop them getting to your key content.

You only have a few seconds to pass the first impressions test which can cause people to turn and run. That’s why I recommend if you use a pop-over, you delay its appearance and I will click away from a website or blog heavily populated with Google Adsense (those Ads by Google).

Someone coming from a search engine expects to land on a page which looks like it will satisfy.

Design has to be appropriate. There’s an uncertain area between being “me too” and just like the other four websites clicked to from the search engine and being so different from your competitors that it just feels wrong.

Colours matter and bring associations with them.

For example:

  • Red – danger, passion, lust, strength, health, vigor
  • Green – money, fertility, luck, jealousy, nature, environment
  • Blue – professionalism, trust, calm, sky and water

For more information see Color Theory In Action

Unless you are a corporate, you should look to add the personal touch to your website. Anyone can create a website and pretend to be something they are not so I like to see the men and women behind the business.

A photo of you on each page, especially if you are a one person business, is good or on your About us page at a minimum. You mustn’t fall into the trap of trying to promote the personal touch without getting out there.

Use appropriate fonts and size.

Fonts come in two types.

Serif likes Times New Roman and Courier with little curly bits on the letters. It is great for printed materials since the curly bits help form line across the page.

Fonts without the lines are called sans serif like Arial and Verdana. These are easier to read on screen and present a cleaner appearance.

Follow the example of the big Internet websites like Google, Wikipedia and Amazon – and use sans serif for most of your online writing.

You can use serif fonts and various unusual fonts like the handwriting style to emphasise certain items but don’t over do it.

The size of the letters needs to be easily readable by all your likely visitors. When I get to a website with really small writing, I click away rather than squint because I know there are plenty of other websites out there.

Keep your line widths short. It gets uncomfortable trying to read text which goes all the way across the page. Not only does a reader have to keep turning their head, it’s tough to go straight to the next line. This is why newspapers are written in columns. The eyes also take in information by focusing on small blocks which is why ecommerce stores Amazon present the options in panels with a photo and words rather than a long list which is difficult to scan.

Copywriting is covered extensively in Pillar 4 Your Lead Generation System so I won’t go into the key elements again.

Write for your reader with relevant information which can help them.

Your About Us page is an exception (although it’s still useful to refer to the reader and explain why being in business, for example, for the last 17 years helps them know you are trustworthy and good at what you do.

Otherwise you want to replace the me, me, me or we, we, we with you, you, you.

There is a little tool called the We We Calculator which lets you type in your web page address and it will analyse and report back the balance between we wee and you you.

I tried it on my provisional home page and this is what is got back.

You may not be a great copywriter but since, your customers favourite subject is themselves, you can write about how they will benefit from buying and the experiences they will get.

You need to have a relevant offer. Any visitor landing on a website from the search engine has an intention – to find out information or to buy a particular product or type of product. he or she will be very quick to judge whether the web page is about what they are looking for and you won’t be given the benefit of doubt.

Make your website easy to navigate with an easy to understand menu structure and plenty of links to help readers move around to where they need to be. Remember internet links around your keywords are good for your search engine optimisation.

Videos are great for conversion since they present your information in a way which is easy for the visitor, it engages both sight and sound and it lets you present your complete story (provided you don’t bore the viewers so much they go away) rather than the part message picked up from quickly scanning a page of text.

I take a more detailed look at videos further down this guide. if you can’t do a video, then an audio recording can work well.

The downside is that your prospect knows they are being taken through a sales process which they can’t speed up and cut to the chase. If they are in a hurry, they may click away before they find out your irresistible offer.

However you present your message, it needs to follow the good copywriting principles covered in Pillar 4 with appeals to both the emotional and logical minds. A high emotional pitch comes over as hype unless you back it up with facts.

Examples and stories help to connect the solution to the problem and show the relevance to the website visitor.

Testimonials and case studies provide third party proof that the product is good although you need to comply with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) 2009 regulations if you fall into their reach – that is said to include where your website is hosted.

FTC press release – short summary

FTC Endorsements pdf – 81 page guide

I was expecting the “I lost 29 pounds in weight and dropped two dress sizes in two weeks on the ABC diet” or  “I earned $976,567 in just 7 days” type of endorsement to disappear completely but that doesn’t appear to be the case yet. Perhaps the more extreme claims have been watered down and they may reduce more when the FTC takes action against a few high profile cases.

Trust factors are huge on the Internet – or perhaps I should say mistrust.

Customers Are Nervous – Reverse The Risk With Guarantees

Customers will flee at the first sense that things don’t feel right.

Think of a small, defenceless antelope in the lion infested African bush.

It’s got every right to be nervous and will bolt at the slightest warning sign.

That’s how many people feel on websites.

They see an attractive offer but they’re looking for reasons not to believe the Magic Pill which can be theirs for ten monthly payments of just $29.97.

Your job is to take away the risk of losing money. You reverse the risk, so it lies with you through guarantees.

The bigger and bolder the better. The longer the better.

Read: Risk Reversal & Guarantees

Other factors also signal trustworthiness and their absence creates doubt.

Contact details needs to be easy to find in case there is a problem.

It’s the same with the returns policy which may be covered in specifically your guarantee or you can set out the terms elsewhere. The more difficult and unclear it sounds to return something that isn’t as promised, the more reasons the buyer has for deciding not to trust you.

You might like things returned in perfect condition and with all the original packaging so you can quickly check and put it back on the shelf to sell again but it sounds like a difficulty to a nervous customer.

Third party reviews on your website are good – again Amazon is the prime example or how your decision to buy can be swayed by what others, potentially just like you, say about the product.  The buyer knows you’re in control on testimonials, you have some control over reviews if you are selective in what you publish but on third party review sites (like TripAdvisor.com for hotels) the balance of good to bad and the issues raised are very influential.

Third party seals and endorsements like TrustGuard and Verisign increase trust.

Finally being able to get information on shipping and tracking is important and showing that it is going to be available upfront. It is frustrating to order something, receive a confirmation email, have the money charged to your credit card and then you hear nothing for weeks. There may not be a problem… but there might be.

Finally make it easy to pay.

Your shopping cart needs to be able to be able to process credit cards and PayPal which many users are familiar with from eBay and other sites. PayPal has a number of protections built in including the ability to easily cancel recurring billing when you’d have to cancel your credit card otherwise.

Consider some way to finance big payments. In the guru launches on Internet marketing it’s common to see one payment of $1,997 or three monthly payments of $797. It’s very expensive money (the total payable increases by 19.7% to $2,391 for a little bit of credit) but you’d be surprised how many take up the option.

Product Launches

  • Jeff Walker Product Launch Formula & Frank Kern Mass Control
  • The sideways sales letter
  • Build up anticipation with giveaways – prove the value, build up the desire
  • Build involvement & social proof – get people talking, affiliates emailing
  • Limited launch period – scarcity, fast action bonuses,
  • Continuous launches

Product launches have been used by big companies to create buzz for many years.

I remember the build up to the launch of the Mini Metro by British Leyland when I was a student. I remember walking past a dealer with its windows sheathed with paper to hide the cars from view and then walking back a few hours later when the launch party had started trying to get my first look at the cars between the people quaffing a glass of wine.

Big movies have a build up with mass publicity and promotional clips leading to star-filled premières to get people excited.

In recent years, the ideas behind product launches have been brought to Internet marketing with huge success by Jeff Walker and his Product Launch Formula and Frank Kern and Mass Control.

It’s the Product Launch Formula  and derivations of it in particular I want to focus on as it is more strategy and tactic based while Mass Control is more personality driven.

Traditional internet marketing is based on using various traffic techniques (search engine optimisation, pay per click, joint ventures) to send potential customers to a sales letter or a video sales letter with the hope of making a sale on the first contract. It’s tough and a really good sales letter written by a top copywriter may have a 3 to 5% chance of making the sale for a low priced item. The higher the price, the tougher it gets.

The sales letter or video has a lot of work to do if it is going t:

  • Attract attention with the headline
  • Build interest with a story and the content / product description
  • Create desire with the benefits, proof, the offer and guarantee
  • Demand action with the final close or call to action

The video sales letter gives you control of the process provided you can keep your prospects watching but with a sales letter, whjat usually happens is the prospect:

  • Reads the headline and possibly sub-head and opening paragraph
  • If relevant goes down to the bottom to find out the price
  • If that seems reasonable, comes back to the main body of the letter and skims for relevance, evidence of value and whether you can be trusted
  • Then decides to buy… or more likely not buy.

Jeff Walker describes this as hope marketing… as in “I hope they buy.”

He created what he calls the sideways says letter where the key elements are delivered in small bites.

Using the Product Launch Formula process:

  • You capture attention and set up the sale with your first prelaunch content which may be focused on moving towards a gain or away from a pain.
  • Then you go on to tell your story
  • Then tell more stories and give social proof that others are receiving the promised benefits.
  • Then you go into more detail on what you are selling and the specific benefits. You can explain your guarantee so you prospects see their potential gains and know there is little or no risk.
  • Finally you close the deal with your sales letter or video.

The product launch process works to help you sell more and it helps you to increase your list because your prelaunch can be a series of lead magnets. You also strengthen your relationship with those on your list.

The Product Launch Formula leans heavily on the work of Robert Cialdini on Influence and Joe Sugarman’s Triggers which I cover in Persuasion.

In particular reciprocity because you give value, people want to give back to you (although I think this is weakening with digital products), social proof with plenty of other people are excited by the launch and scarcity with limited quantities or a short time period.

You also want to get people involved in the launch:

  • Taking surveys
  • Sharing their experiences
  • Using the tips given in the prelaunch video and moving closer to their goals with tangible results.

The launches you see most of those with plenty of joint venture partners and it seems like almost everyone is tied up in the launch drama.

But they don’t have to be like that.

Many launches go out to internal house lists and do very well. Another alternative is a rolling launch which takes one JV partner at a time through the launch and avoids the massive hype which can turn some people off.

I’m planning to start looking in more detail at some specific product launches so you can see what is happening below the surface.

Email Marketing

  • “The money is in the list”
  • Tracking opt-in, read, click, buy – beware lists
  • Add value – don’t abuse permission – opt-out
  • Autoresponder – 3 in 7 – Aweber – spam filters
  • Open – familiar name, subject (bad news)
  • Salutation – polite, personal but… opt-in, friends
  • Easy to read, images often filtered, formats
  • Click – explain why & benefits, multiple links
  • Timing – Tuesday to Thursday, early am

It is a cliche but in Internet marketing you will hear “the money is in the list.”

It’s partly true.

If you don’t build a list, then you’re relying on either:

  • Visitors to buy from your website the first time they encounter it
  • That they will like it so much they will come back, either voluntarily because they’ve added it to their favourites or they will keep finding it in the search engines.

However a list of subscribers who don’t buy are worthless. In fact with the way the email services charge, the more names on your list, the more it costs you to maintain it. Not a problem for lists of a few hundred but a big issue for lists of a few hundred thousand.

Buyers make you money, regardless of whether they buy your products or affiliate products which earn you commissions.

You can buy email lists for marketing purposes but my advice is DON’T. I see little difference between this and spamming based on stripping email addresses from websites.

Use your lead bait to build your own list or arrange for endorsed mailings with friends and JV partners.

Your email system will allow you to track the results of your email marketing which is all about your numbers:

  1. How many on your list
  2. Your email open and read percentage
  3. Your click through rate on any link in your email
  4. The result of your call to action – purchases, blog comments, tweets and other social media actions which spread the world.

Your email list will generally be smaller and better quality if you use a double opt-in process where subscribers have to give their email address and then click through on a link in an automatic email to confirm their subscription. I’ve tried single opt-ins a little bit and seen garbage email addresses entered as people who to get your lead bait on the thank you page.

As you start sending out emails, your purpose is to strengthen the relationship, first by making sure they remember your name.

I send out three follow up messages in the first week on a two day, two day, three day basis and then follow up weekly so my subsequent emails arrive on the same day as the person first opted in. This is on the basis that it might be a “good day” when they have a little discretionary time to surf the web and read emails.

Try to add value in your early emails with useful content and news of free resources. This way there is a reward for looking at your emails and you’ll build up a loyal readership.

In particular you don’t want to abuse the permission you’ve been given by making too many strong pitches. If you’re using a mass mailing feature, then you should have an opt-out process for those who want to be removed from the list. This is usually one click on a link at the bottom of the email.

You’ve basically got two ways to send emails with a professional email system like Aweber:

  1. Automated emails based on when someone joins the list through an autoresponder
  2. Broadcasts where you write out an email and blast it out to all or part of your list

The first is a great way to automate your standard selling process although it does take some set up to write your autoresponders.

The second is excellent way to communicate news and short term promotions.

For example, imagine you owned a restaurant and you have built up an email list of your regular customers. If Monday to Wednesday are very quiet you can run special events and tell your customers about what’s happening this week. If one day is looking particularly lean, you can introduce the offer of a free bottle of win worth £15 for each every two main meals ordered.

Just like with direct mail, your first job is to get your message delivered. Many email systems operate spam filters which work on a series of points. Exceed the maximum points total (there is a default which can be changed by the user) and your message is either not delivered or goes straight into a spam folder. You can guess how much attention that gets!

Aweber includes a spam points checker so you can see whether your email – no matter how innocent and well intentioned – is using trigger words or trigger habits. I keep my emails scoring 5 and under.

Here are a couple of articles on other websites about the words and habits which cause an email to be flagged as spam.

Once you’re getting your emails delivered, your open rate is determined by the combination of the name and subject line.

Think of each having a separate probability of action.

There will be people who send you emails which you always open and people who you never open – just delete immediately and you can’t even be bothered to look for the unsubscribe link.

Your aim is to get your name recognised and welcomed which you do through providing quality information relevant to the recipient. Keep to a common format of your name.


  • Use a brand – email is a personal communication method – unless you have a deliberate intention of de-personalising. [It makes sense if you’re McDonalds,  Apple or another huge brand.]
  • Shorten it – emails from John, Bob and Peter without any surnames aren’t going to get read because I am curious which John, Bob or Peter is demanding my attention. What you can do is use “first name plus business” so you can be Peter from ABC Printers.
  • Use your email address as your name unless you are deliberately intending to be vague – support@abcprinters.com is OK if you are not trying to build a personal relationship but if it’s always Julie who sends out the support emails then Julie at ABC printers is much nicer.
  • Switch names – I get emails from names I don’t know, and assume someone is using an email list. Because I want to send a strong signal not to do it and stop them at source, I unsubscribe, only to find on the sorry to see you go page, I did know the name and may even have appreciated their emails. I can’t think of one time when I’ve gone back and re-subscribed.

There will be some subject lines which are an immediately “Yes I want to know more about that” of “No I don’t”. You can even use it to good advantage by qualifying readership so those who don’t qualify don’t need to give it any attention e.g. “For women business owners only”.

The same advice on headlines applies to subject lines – benefits based on self interest, news and curiosity.

Benefits again can be moving away from a problem or towards something better. Both will work but monitoring your email open rates may indicate your list responds better to one or the other. If so, then create a bias to the one that works best and use it 60% to 75% of the time.

First it creates some variety in your emails and second, some people have strong preferences and will not respond unless you use the right motivator.

On news, remember “Bad news sells newspapers”.

We’ve been conditioned to respond to something that sounds negative. Internet marketer Frank Kern told how one of his most opened emails had the subject line “Bad news” and went on to talk about the temptation of car drivers to rubber-neck when they pass an accident.

For a short time afterwards, I saw a lot of emails titled “bad news” which was silly in such a tight community and it lost its impact.

I’ve had high open rate success with subject lines like “Sorry” and “I made a mistake” which are self effacing.

If you’re giving something away, I’ve found it useful sending and receiving emails to highlight it and make it stand out in the inbox like [Free pdf] or (15 min video) How To Get More Clients In The Next 7 Days. It says there is some content here that isn’t a sales pitch.

Symbols can be useful to catch the eye e.g. *** Don’t miss this *** although you’ve got to get into reason why copy very quickly in the email.

Here are some of the subject lines sent by some of the best, most successful email marketers.

Frank Kern, Troy White , Dan Bradbury ,

Study them and see which you can either use directly (because they are so general) or model.

Whether you should personalise your email or not, in the title or at the start of your email is an interesting issue where you will hear different answers.

Personalisation… Dear Mr Jones or Dear Bob works in direct mail but it’s effect is not so good in email marketing even though it seems the polite thing to do.

How good is your email database built up from what users have entered?

When I subscribe to lists I try to be good and capitalise my name even though it takes a little effort because I hate getting back things like

Subject: “paul You Need To See This”

or “Hi paul” as a salutation.

It seems rude, even though I know it’s happening because I was lazy.

When I look through my own list of names, the majority of people don’t capitalise (although some email software will correct this), I see some first initials (or are they random letters), some “simister” or my website url because people want to keep track on who they’ve given their email address to and look out for abuses like passing names on.

When I first started list building and had about three people per week sign up, I used to go in to the email record and capitalise. That didn’t last long.

Now I don’t personalise and nor do many of the big Internet marketers – Armand Morin, Brad Fallon (StomperNet), Brian Tracy, Bill Glazer and Dan Kennedy, Eben Pagan… that’s just having a look at A to E in my emails.

It seems to work fine, it probably matches what your friends do and “Dear [firstname]” is said to earn you 3 points in the spam filters which doesn’t leave you much room to play with.

Your email should be easy to read:

  • Short is better than long – you need enough to create the action you want but many people are put off by long emails.
  • Narrow is better than wide – less movement of eyes and head (I haven’t found a way to narrow down my emails from the system in my membership site software yet.) 65 characters wide is said to be the rule. An easy way to use it is to write your emails in a text editor Notebook and at the top have:1245678901245678901245678901245678901245678901245678901234
  • Beware of images which are stripped out by your readers email settings- this is what I saw from a recent email from Bill Glazer of Glazer Kennedy. Because the image is blocked, there is only one line of copy to persuade me to dip into this email. It wasn’t enough and I don’t expect expert marketers to do this too often. I use Mozilla Thunderbird and before that I used Microsoft Outlook Express. Both took out the images automatically and while there was probably an option to change the setting, I never had any desire to do so.

  • Beware fancy formats – first, they immediately brand you as a business and not a friend who is sharing an interesting idea and or a nice resource. Second the image problem can be made much worse. This time I haven’t named the guilty but this is all I saw in the window.

My message here is to not make things difficult for yourself. The fancy format may look great your end but it is a disaster my end. Sure if I wanted to see the full details, I could but it takes effort and in the second (or fraction of a second) an email has to get attention, it’s not going to happen.

I recommend you stick with an html email made to look like text (but with click tracking) or if you do want to use a format to build your brand, test very carefully.

What you say in your email is important.

Armand Morin says your emails shouldn’t be more than 100 words. I’m not that strict but I do think your emails should be long enough to get the click to your website and no longer. Although I love his stuff, Jay Abraham is famous for sending very long emails and there’s just too much to read.

Email is about preselling your prospect and putting them in the right frame of mind to be receptive to what you want them to see.

I love the idea I learnt from copywriting coach Paul Hancox in his Presell Mastery when he talked about identity shaping.

This recognises that people act in ways consistent with who they think they are and as marketers we have three identities to focus on:

  • The identities of your prospects before they come into contact with your message
  • The identities of your prospects before they before
  • The identities of your prospects that they want to be and which your product will give them

Think of a product to help men get more dates with women – it is a very big market.

Men want to be confident, funny, charming and able to get the girl they want. That’s the identity after they’ve had the training.

But if they have those identities beforehand, they don’t need the product.

So men who might buy self help on dating will be shy, nervous, tongue-tied and not very successful with the girls. You’ve probably seen the geeks on Beauties And The Geeks.

But at that stage, whilst they may want the girls, they are not ready to buy a dating self help program. There’s an intermediate stage based on having hope that there is a solution and having the desire to change.

That is, they can do it and they will do it.

Internet marketer Frank Kern talks about a concept called Results In Advance. If you can help your prospects to take important steps in their journey from where they are to where they want to be, they will experience the excitement of making progress and the level of trust in you increases. As they get closer to what they want, desire also increases – it feels much more real.

This shifts their identity from someone with a problem but not ready to buy to someone who is eager to get the credit card out and finish their journey.

The end result of your email is a call to action – usually a click to a website. Two or three links are often used since some people will trust you and want to know more at the start of the email while others will want more reasons why they should click.

The last factor to influence your email conversions is timing. The big emailers who test extensively find Tuesday through to Thursday to be the best and for the email to be sent in the small hours of the morning so your email is waiting for them first thing.

I’ve never had an email list big enough to test the same subject line and email across different dates and times and I can’t see any clear pattern except late afternoon is bad. Getting your email into the inbox when the reader is thinking about going home, watching the game, having a beer… isn’t good news.

In an email sent out of December 30, 2010, Jay Conrad Levinson said

“Emails sent on a Friday results in at least 23% more sales than emails that are sent out on any other day; Friday emails out-pull the worst day (Wednesday!) by 89%.  Emails sent out on a Tuesday get the worst percentage of clicks (or views).  Wednesday emails get the worst sales. Thursday is the best day to send emails to get raw clicks.

You could earn 89% more money on a direct-response offer by simply changing when you send your emails.  Imagine the cumulative earnings you will generate by applying this information to your online business.  Combine this with the fact that many still believe the myth that Wednesday is the best day of the week to send email, and this information alone will give you a tremendous competitive edge.”

That’s pretty definite advice but other marketers I pay attention to say that Tuesday to Thursday is best. I think this makes sense because Friday is POETS day (push off early tomorrow is Saturday) so who has time to spend on discretionary activities.

As always, your customers will tell you what is right for them so test, test and test.

Finally on emails, the big question of how often you should send them?

It’s like asking how often you should talk to your friends.

You don’t want to be a bore – it’s about giving quality information which gives a return on the time you take.

You’ll resent a second wasted on the viagra spam email and be delighted to receive the 20 minute video on a topic which has been holding you back or keeping you awake at night.

But just like a friend who keeps demanding more of your time than you can spare, send too much and you’re teaching your email readers to ignore what you are sending. And the more they ignore, the more they see your email and automatically delete, then the more problems you are creating for yourself.

Take All Your Seven Red Bags Off The Airport Carousel

That may sound a strange heading but it refers to a super analogy Sean D’Souza of Psychotactics.com makes when he explains his ideas on the Brain Audit.

Sean talks about the situation where things look good with a prospective customer and you expect to make the sale, but then they back out (if you’re talking one-to-one) or disappear (if on your website).

You’ve taken them part way through the sales process – think Attention, Interest and Desire but they haven’t Acted, which of course is the bit which matters most to you because that’s when you get paid.

Wouldn’t you want to know why the deal fell apart?

Sean uses the story of travelling with seven red bags to explain the typical customer thinking.

You get to the carousel and you pick up bags 1, 2 and 3 pretty quickly.

You don’t leave (your desired action) because you’re not done.

If bags 4, 5 and 6 appear twenty minutes later you still don’t leave.

You want that last bag.

Well according to Sean, it’s the same with customers.

They want to hear certain things and until they do, your sale is incomplete – which means the money stays in their pocket and not yours.

In fact getting six of the seven bags causes tension for your customer – nearly but not quite there – it looks like this could be the solution but something seems missing. They don’t know what it is but they feel uneasy about your offer.

These seven red bags the brain is looking for are:

  1. The problem
  2. The solution
  3. The target customer profile
  4. The objections
  5. The testimonials
  6. The risk reversal
  7. The uniqueness

While I don’t want to impinge of Sean’s intellectual property, you can use these seven factors to audit your copy on your website to see if you have a gaping hole.

The Brain Audit is a super ebook with mp3 and while it doesn’t tell you much if anything not covered elsewhere in Your Profit Club, Sean has taken selling over the web and turned it into a system to help you a) write better copy and b) review your copy for reasons why your customers are not rushing to buy.

I also want to pick up on one of Sean’s other tactics – what I called the forced pricing choice of presenting two options where one is so much of a better deal than the other, that you lose perspective on whether the first option is a good deal or not.

You see, we find it easier to choose in relative terms than as a one-off. The second option is much better value so it’s the one to go for. It switches the decision in the mind from “should I buy this?” to “which should I buy?”

Behavioural economist and author of Predictably Irrational, Dan Ariely found The Economist magazine advertising three subscriptions:

  1. Online subscription $59
  2. Print subscription $125
  3. Print and online subscription $125

He found out when he tested it, the majority of his students would opt for number 3 because it was so obviously the best deal.

In one test with 100 MIT students, he gave them the choice of all three and came back with 16 for 1, zero for 2 and 84 for option 3.

When he took away option 2 which nobody selected, he got very different results – 68 chose option 1, Internet only while 32 chose option 3.

I’ll talk more about this kind of thing in the Pricing module of Hidden Profits but be aware, you can influence how your customers see relative value and it will influence whether they buy (in the case of The Brain Audit) or how much they buy.

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