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Posted by Steve Maziarz - September 7, 2010 at 9:29 am

Categories: Marketing   Tags:

Tips for Building a Successful Website

Having a website is virtually essential for the typical business. Based on my experience, there are far more websites that DO NOT make any money for their owners.  It boils down to this: Understanding the Basics of Marketing.

Here are some tips for creating a “successful” website:

1. TRAFFIC- Just having a website doesn’t mean that people will know it exists. You need to make sure it is “highly visible” to YOUR POTENTIAL CLIENTS. This involves generating traffic to your website.  The most common way of doing this is through Search Engine Optimization or SEO.  This is a key element to long term success. There are a number of methods to generate traffic to your site, such as:  (a) print and online  advertising; (b) using Social Media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Linked In to spread the word;  (c) building an e-mail list;  (d) blogging; (e) podcasting; (f) posting videos; (g) bookmark sharing; (h) article marketing; (i) buzz marketing.

But generating “visits” to your website is meaningless unless those “visits” are from TARGETED visitors who have a potential interest in what you have to sell.

2. CONVERSIONS (CONTENT)- Once at your site, you need to engage the user and have them take an action. Either contact you, remember you or make a purchase. This involves effective, convincing COPY. The words that will be used to sell or motivate your prospect to take action. These words can come in a few forms: a) written words b) words in a video you may have on your site. c) words in an audio on your site d) any combination of a-c.

The critical component of copywriting is something that most site owners forget about or do not budget properly for.  A good copywriter who can create engaging words and stimulate your site’s visitors to take action does not come cheaply. But they are often worth far more than what you pay them in terms of your long term return on investment.

Search Engine spiders love to see a site that has fresh and ever changing content. It shows that the site is alive and has activity.

3. FOLLOW THROUGH – So, you have your customer hooked on the line. They’ve found your site and been convinced to take an action. Just like in fishing, it isn’t over until they’re reeled in and on the boat in the cooler.
Let’s say you’ve come as far as capturing their name, address and phone number. How well do you respond to and treat that lead? This is the same whether you have a website or a brick-and-mortar business.

After the sale has been made, I’ve seen countless businesses lose a critical marketing opportunity by failing to Follow Up with the client and take some basic steps such as asking for referrals or getting a testimonial.  Even more businesses lose the opportunities afforded by developing a long term relationship with their clients. It’s a well known fact in the marketing world that

4. MEASUREMENT - I’ve been in marketing for a number of years and am constantly surprised by the number of business owners who have little clue as to how their customers came to do business with them and what their customers thought of the experience.

You need a system in place to measure your success and failures and analyze them, taking appropriate actions to constantly refine your methods to make them better and increase your rate of success. This will help insure that your website and your business will be there for the long haul.

In Conclusion, let me point out that I offer SOLUTIONS to all the pitfalls pointed out above. I’d love the chance to work with you to help create a long term success for your website and your business.

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Posted by Steve Maziarz - March 9, 2010 at 6:51 am

Categories: Business, Marketing   Tags: , ,

Do Your Potential Customers Forget You?

Your web business probably gets product inquiries from potential customers around the globe.  Inquiries come via e-mail and your web site, and you try to send information to each hot prospect as quickly as you can. You know that you can drastically increase the likelihood of making a sale by satisfying each person’s need for information quickly!

What?  You DON’T have a website? Well just give me a call and we can correct that oversight. My expert team of Designers, Project Managers, SEO Specialists and Copywriters can create a complete look for your business.

But, after you’ve delivered that first bit of information to your prospect, do you send him any further information?

If you are like most Internet marketers, you don’t.  Probably because of all the effort you think it will take and the subtle doubts floating in your mind that all that work may NOT lead to a sale.

Yet, when you don’t follow that initial message with additional information later on, you let a valuable prospect slip from your grasp! This is a potential customer who may have been very interested in your products, but who lost your contact information, or was too busy to make a purchase when your first message reached him.

Often, a prospect will purposely put off making a purchase, to see if you find him important enough to follow up with later. When he doesn’t receive a follow up message from you, he will take his business elsewhere.

Are you losing profits due to inconsistent and ineffective follow up?

Following up with leads is more than just a process – it’s an art. In order to be effective, you need to design a follow up system, and stick to it, EVERY DAY! If you don’t follow up with your prospects consistently, INDIVIDUALLY, and in a timely fashion, then you might as well forget the whole follow up process.

Consistent follow up gets results!

When I first started marketing and following up with prospects, I used a follow up method that I now call the “List Technique.” I had a large database containing the names and e-mail addresses of people who had specifically requested information about my products and services. These prospects had already received my first letter by the time they requested more information, so I used the company’s latest news as a follow up piece.

I would write follow up newsletters every now and then, and send them, in one mass mailing, to everyone who had previously requested information from me. While this probably did help me win a few additional orders, it wasn’t a very good follow up method. Why isn’t the “List Technique” very effective?

  • The List Technique isn’t consistent. Proponents of the List Technique tend to only send out follow up messages when their companies have “big news”.
  • List Technique messages don’t give the potential customer any additional information about the product or service in question. He can’t make a more informed buying decision after receiving a newsletter! If someone is wondering whether your company sells the best knick-knacks, what does he care that you’ve just moved your headquarters?
  • List Technique messages convey a “big list” mentality to your potential customers. When I used to write follow up messages using the List Technique, I was writing news bulletins to everyone I knew! I should have been sending a personal message to each individual who wanted to know more about my products.

What follow up method really works?

Following up with each lead individually, multiple times, but at set intervals, and with pre-written messages, will dramatically increase sales! Others who use this same technique confirm that they have all at least doubled the sales of various products! In order to set this system up, though, you need to do some planning.

First, you’ll need to develop your follow up messages. If you’ve been marketing on the Internet for any length of time, then you should already have a first informative letter. Your second letter marks the beginning of the follow up process, and should go into more detail than the first letter. Fill this letter with details that you didn’t have the space to add to the first letter. Stress the BENEFITS of your products or services!

Your next 2-3 follow up messages should be rather short. Include lists of the benefits and potential uses of your products and services. Write each letter so that your prospects can skim the contents, and still see the full force of your message.

The next couple of follow up messages should create a sense of urgency in your prospect’s mind. Make a special offer, giving him a reason to order NOW instead of waiting any longer. After reading these follow up messages, your prospect should want to order immediately!

Phrase each of your final 1 or 2 follow up messages in the form of a question. Ask your prospect why he hasn’t yet placed an order? Try to get him to actually respond. Ask if the price is to high, the product isn’t the right color or doesn’t have the right features, or if he is looking for something else entirely. (By this time, it’s unlikely that this person will order from you. However, his feedback can help you modify your follow up letters or products, so that other prospects will order from you.)

The timing of your follow up letters is just as important as their content. You don’t want one prospect to receive a follow up the day after he gets your initial informative letter, while another prospect waits weeks for a follow up!

Always send an initial, informative letter as soon as it is requested, and send the first follow up 24 hours afterwards. You want your hot prospects to have information quickly, so that they can make informed buying decisions!

Send the next 2-3 follow up messages between 1 and 3 days apart. Your prospect is still hot, and is probably still shopping around! Tell him about the benefits of your products and services, as opposed to your competitors’. You will make the sale!

Send the final follow up messages later on. You certainly don’t want to annoy your prospect! Make sure that these last letters are at least 4 days apart.

Following up effectively seems complicated, but it doesn’t have to be! So many potential customers are lost because of poor follow up – don’t you want to be one of the few to get it right?

Our team can create a series of follow up e-mail messages that can be delivered via an Autoresponder. We’ll do the design, copy, graphics – everything you need.  We’ll even help you secure your own automated Genie and system to help you consistently keep track of your prospects;  send out promotional mailings; deliver newsletters to clients; track the effectiveness of your marketing efforts and so much more.  All with minimal initial effort on your part.

Or, if you prefer to get started right away, you can sign up for your own affordable Autoresponder marketing system by clicking here.  Then, give us a call at 877-MAZIARZ and we’ll get started on creating your own personalized “Follow Up Genie.”

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Posted by Steve Maziarz - February 12, 2010 at 5:46 pm

Categories: Marketing   Tags:

Online Marketing Perfection

Sometimes you have to lead by example.  I want you all to see how a brick-and-mortar business has made the PERFECT TRANSITION to marketing in the Online World.

It all started when I recently checked my e-mail and saw one of the typical “so and so is now following you on Twitter” e-mails.  Except this one said Maggiano’s.  It was different and it was a name that I thought I recognized. So, I opened the  e-mail to find out more about this new follower… Read more…

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Posted by Steve Maziarz - January 6, 2010 at 2:33 pm

Categories: Kudos, Marketing, Observations   Tags: , , ,