A few weeks ago I began taking dance lessons at a local dance studio in Chicago. I loved what I was learning so I volunteered to put together a list of online marketing suggestions and notes my instructor could use in growing her business.(more...)
Understanding landing page, email collection and affiliate program best practices has been a huge part of improving my marketing skills. Below I provide some of the resources and articles that were the easiest to understand and helped me most reach my marketing goals.
Landing Pages are the Keys to Improving Conversion Rates
Lately, I’ve been studying the illusive art of improving conversion rates on my clients’ websites. Here are two great infographics I pulled from the Landing Page Rehab Program article I recently read on SEOMoz:
I think that these graphics prove that a webpage always has room to improve.
Translating Conversions into Sales
That’s a tough one.
Since it’s not always possible to make the sale the first time around, an additional goal of almost all websites should be to collect customer information (specifically, visitor names and more importantly, email addresses). Without that information, those visitors might be lost forever. With an email address combined with marketing permission, though, you have a variety of opportunities to:
- Solicit feedback to improve your products,
- Make future sales,
- Build a community,
- Encourage your community to sell your products for you.
Historically, bloggers and other web workers have given away their knowledge without asking for anything in return. I say you should always ask for an email address before giving visitors access to the most valuable information on your site. Even better–make them tweet or post on Facebook using Cloud:Flood from ViperChill. That will certainly alleviate a lot of the time and energy you spent working on building something interesting and useful.
Those are just a few little ideas and thoughts, but you want to go deeper, I suggest The Noob Guide to Online Marketing (another beautiful SEOMoz/Oli Gardner infographic-based novel of a guide). It’s insanely thorough and would provide your team of marketing interns at least two or three years of projects to increase visitors, convert customers and ultimately, make your company more profitable.
Products and Affiliate Programs are Key to Monetization
The final resource I’m suggesting is the Site Profit Domination learning package from Michael Dunlop. Although it’s a $47 product, I consider it an investment to learn how to begin moving from a service-based firm to one that’s more product-based (and hopefully, better at making sales).
A big takeaway from the first of Michael’s six SPD videos and accompanying literature is that compared to services, it’s much, much easier to create affiliate programs for products. To note, affiliate programs are absolutely crucial to monetization because they:
- Create a motivated and inexpensive sales force for your products
- Exponentially grow sales due to affiliates creating affiliates, creating affiliates.
On the flip-side, too, affiliate programs offer easy sales opportunities for products that you didn’t necessarily create but do endorse. It’s supplemental income for something that might have come up in normal conversation anyway and they fit right in with your email campaigns and blog posts.
I made a goal one year ago to begin focusing on improving my marketing skills. Understanding and applying the above three elements has been a huge part of that goal.
There is so much information available on the internet (how meta!) but unfortunately, a lot of it is either poorly written, poorly synthesized or just plain inaccurate. I’m going to keep weeding through the junk, though, to find the good stuff. If you have any special resources you’d like to share, feel free to post them in the comments. It takes a community to learn, and I would definitely appreciate your feedback. Thanks and good luck!
Today, I want to drop some love for my marketing heroes—guys like Tim Ferris, Jason Fried and Seth Godin—all of whom I can honestly say make me a smarter and more effective business guy than I would be without them.(more...)
I wonder if these two articles know about each other?
The first one is from Smashing Magazine (which we’ll have to include in a future “stuff we love” article) and the second is from Zygote, a marketing blog from Egg Co. (neither entity I had heard of until yesterday).
The funny thing is that the Zygote article was published a week before the Smashing one. It might be a coincidence, but I have my doubts. Either way, they both have some great information on the [marketing] science of web design, unusual because 99% of web design articles focus on the art of building a website. Both articles come together on the AIDA technique. For those who haven’t seen Alec Baldwin’s famous monologue in Glengarry Glen Ross, AIDA is an acronym for:
- Attention – Attract the attention of the customer
- Interest – Raise customer interest by focusing on and demonstrating advantages and benefits
- Desire – Convince customers that they want and desire the product or service and that it will satisfy their needs
- Action – Lead customers towards taking action and/or purchasing.
For more information, I highly recommend checking out the aforementioned articles. They finally help close the gap of how to properly plan a website’s development.
Remember the other famous acronym from Glengarry: ABC—ALWAYS BE CLOSING. “Only one thing matters in life. Get them to sign on the line that is dotted!” I’m going to make a bold statement; any other goal for a sales tool, including (and especially) a website, is masturbation.