Techniques and strategies for successful marketing on the Internet have been and continue to be written about in numerous ebooks, books, articles, etc; presented in teleseminars and at boot camps; recorded on DVD’s, CD’s, podcasts, etc. In fact, there is so much information about this topic that the new marketer can get overwhelmed and confused. The bottom line is that the basic requirements to successful marketing on the Internet can be broken down to 5 key elements… a quality product, traffic, building a list, relationship building and budget. Everything else is a further definition of what each element includes or is a tool to accomplish it..
The first key element is a quality product and a personal belief in the relevancy of that product. You must have a quality product for a couple of reasons. Initially you need people to want your product and for it to accomplish it’s purpose – it it’s no good, they won’t buy. But, even if you can get people to purchase an inferior product or scam the first time, they will never buy from you again and you have totally defeated the long term goal of your marketing… customer retention, i.e. people on your list buying over and over when you introduce new items. In addition, you need to believe in the worth of your product to the consumer… if you don’t, you simply will not be as successful in selling it.
Next, there must be traffic coming to your site. It may be true in the movies… “If you build it, they will come” but not so for websites! Just creating or being given a website(such as an affiliate site) is not enough. You need to create one or more methods of getting that traffic to your site and the best traffic is targeted. Targeted traffic (e.g. PPC, Adwords, classifieds, etc) results in a better conversion rate and therefore, more economical both in time and money. This can be accomplished in a number of different ways… from free on up. Once the traffic arrives at your site, it is very important to attempt to get the visitor’s contact information… name and email at a minimum.
It is true that “The money is in the List”. Often, the first time a prospect visits a site they won’t actually do anything and there is a very real risk that they will forget about it later… when they are interested or have the time to look. If you haven’t captured their contact information, you have forever lost that person… again, wasting marketing dollars. The page to do this is called a squeeze page, capture page or landing page with opt-in. It is also helpful to give something away, such as a repost, an ebook, etc. to entice the prospect to opt-in. However, that give-away must be of use to the person opting in so they feel that they received something of value. By doing this you are beginning to build a relationship. If the give-away provides nothing, you have done more harm than good to the budding relationship.
Relationship, or credibility is the next key to success in any form of marketing and online is not any different. People only purchase products or join programs when they trust and/or respect you. One of the best methods of creating this trust/respect on the impersonal “World Wide Web” is to use an autoresponder to deliver a series of emails to the prospect at regular intervals. In these messages you can continue to talk about the benefits of the product or program you are selling. In addition, occasional broadcasts with key events or timely information maintain contact and build credibility. The regular emails create name recognition and imply some level or skill (even when you are just staring out – you know… “Fake it til you make it!”) Audio and/or video on your website also helps to create come familiarity and develops trust. People make initial buying decisions based on trust and continue to be interested in other offers over time from the same source (you)…resulting in customer retention
Finally, but not necessarily last, you must have a budget set aside for marketing. Unless you have unlimited funds and don’t mind wasting them, it is important that your product or program produce income right away so that a portion can be funneled into marketing on a continual basis, thus funding the effort. So, you must take this requirement into consideration when selecting the product or program to offer when you are just starting out. By creating a habit of putting 10-20% of your income from your sales into your marketing effort, starting immediately, your business will continue to grow and flourish.
In conclusion, although the 5 key elements of success in marketing on the internet (quality product, traffic, list building, relationship building and marketing budget) are the basic requirements, each of them can become a topic of their own. There are numerous tools and products that will aid you in each of these phases and there are countless quality products and programs that can be effectively marketed online. In fact, most products and services can effectively utilize online marketing to increase the bottom line. However, if you want to ensure maximum success, incorporate the five keys we have discussed in some way. You can start small and then expand on your offering… but just get started.