Archive for July, 2007

Email List-Building: Sign Up Forms on Every Page

If you are an ezine publisher/email marketer, or you are considering becoming one in the near future, then the importance of having your own email list cannot be stressed enough: the money is in the list.

You can have the best widget on the planet, or the best service, but if there’s no one to offer it to, you do not have a business. Always remember, you are in the business of selling your products or services, so without sales, there will be no profit.

Size does matter here, but it is not crucial. However, the bigger your email list, the more likely you are to monetize it, so let’s see how we can build your list.

There are hundreds of ways you can attract prospects to join your email list. Some will work better than others, depending on your specific target market. For example, public speaking will do wonders for an IT professional, or a motivational speaker. However, if you sell powerboats, there will be less opportunity for you to attract new customers this way.

Here is the first of five tips on growing your list that should work for most businesses. The first three are purely on line strategies, while the last two are traditional, off line methods of generating leads.

1. Sign Up Forms

Weather your home page is a “squeeze page” or you have a regular, branding-type multiple-page web site (or blog), you must have a sign up form of some sort on every single page of your web site. Don’t think about your web site just in terms of your home page, because, if you have articles, about pages, resources, etc., any page can be an entry point for your visitors.This is because search engines will index all of your pages, and people searching the Net using keywords you used can land on any of those pages.

Lets say your web site consists of your home page and 9 other pages. Unless you have a sign up form on every page, you may be missing an opportunity to sign up 90% or even more visitors who may never see you home page. For this purpose, you can use regular HTML forms, hover pops, pop-ups or pop-unders.

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Make Your Business Green: Buy Carbon Offsets

Cool DriveBack in April, just after Earth Day, I wrote about switching my house (and my biz) to Bullfrog Power, a green energy retailer. Now that the summer is finally delivering higher temperatures I feel much better turning on the A/C knowing that the electricity it uses comes from 100% renewable sources.

Recently, to reduce my family’s carbon footprint even further, I purchased offsets for our vehicle emissions, through the Cool Drive Pass program. We’re now almost carbon neutral – how about you?

Not all of our efforts should go towards reduction, though: As ezine publishers and email marketers, we want to grow our list of subscribers, not reduce it. Today’s article should provide some effective means of achieving your list-building goals.

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Celebrating Canada Day 2007

Maja and I strawberry pickingJuly 1st is Canada Day, a public holiday in this country. My family celebrated it by going strawberry picking and making home-made jam on Saturday, then on Sunday we spent the day doing fun things with the kids around town.

Monday we took the kids to African Lion Safari, a special kind of zoo where you can actually drive your car among the wild animals. Since baboons have no fear, they climb up on passing vehicles and sometimes take souvenirs with them, like wipers. Worst yet, they sometimes leave their own souvenirs on the cars! That’s why we opted for the bus tour :-)

It took us almost half an hour to even get in the park, and that with five lanes coming in! Same thing with every tour – throngs of people = long waits. That’s what gave me the inspiration to this issue’s main article: driving traffic to your web site.

If generating traffic to your site feels like a hard nut to crack, implementing some or all of the ideas presented here will surely create a steady stream of people lining up to see you site.

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Driving Traffic to Your Site: 5 Simple Ways to Get Visitors

web trafficA few tips on how you can get visitors on a shoestring.

It will take some time to generate results, but you’ll be smiling knowing you’re not spending a dime on these techniques. Of course, if you need immediate results – say you’re having a promotion or sale – your must use other tactics, such as pay-per-click advertising (PPC).

1. Join on-line forums and communities.

The great thing about them is that you can target a certain demographic that you are looking for. You can discuss about lots of things about your niche. With on-line communities and forums you can build a reputation for your company. By sharing your knowledge, you will establish yourself as an expert in your field, and people will start to trust you.

2. Publish an e-newsletter, or ezine.

Write articles to share your expertise with your target audience. Make sure at least 50% of the content in your ezine is useful information, not devoted to promoting your services or products. If you make it really interesting, more people will sign up for your newsletter and recommend it to other people. The more people who sign up for your newsletter, the more people there will be that will go to your site. A simple 300-word article once a month will do wonders!

You will need to sign up with an Email Service Provider, such as Constant Contact, GetResponse, 1ShoppingCart and AWeber. Service costs range from about $10 per month, which could bring thousands in new revenue. Actually, you can host a web site and an ezine for $15 a month – peanuts compared to what it can bring to your business!

3. Trade links with other sites.

You don’t have to spend a cent. All you have to do is reach an agreement with another business owner. With exchanging links, the efforts both sites do will benefit both sites. Best policy here is to trade links with sites that are somehow related to yours, e.g. a photographer might share links with a graphic designer and a copywriter.

4. Write articles.

If you publish an ezine (but even if you don’t) reuse the articles and submit them to article directories. They will be found by people that have an interest in your product/service. Writing articles that provide good service and knowledge will position you as an expert.

There are many article directories where you can post your articles. When people find interest in your articles they are very likely to visit your web site as well. Make sure you include a link to you site and a brief description of your company at the end of the article (this is called a resource box). Here’s a list of highly-ranked article directories.

5. Write keyword-rich content for your web site or blog.

Most search engines look for the keywords and keyword phrases you use on your site. You can hire a professional copy-writer, or you could also write your own copy, but you have to write content for your site that is highly informational and relevant to your field of expertise.

Generally, internet users use search engines to find what they are looking for. Nadica, my ‘trouble-and-strife’, as my Cockney friends would put it, looks up recipes, finds a B&B that accepts both dogs and kids, which would be close to impossible without a search engine.
With the right keywords used throughout your site, you could get high rankings in search engine results without the costs of pay-per-click.

All of these methods will drive highly targeted visitors to your site. All it takes is a bit of effort on your part, and patience – so build it and they will come.

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