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Monthly Archives: January 2011

Whether you are an entrepreneur just starting up a new venture or your enterprise is already bringing in seven figures, a great business marketing consultant can help you stay ahead of the pack, help you surpass your goal, and enable your organization to realize its full potential. So how do you find the right business marketing consultant?
If you are looking to expand and improve your advertising effectiveness, then you need to look at how potential business marketing consultants market themselves. You should be looking for someone who is utilizing the latest Internet and social media marketing tools and techniques so he can help you harness their power too.
Don’t forget to look at the basics. When choosing a business marketing consultant to work with, take a look at how the person has succeeded in business, whether he or she has created other successful businesses, and to what entrepreneurial and business associations he or she belongs. Also many of the best business marketing consultants will have authored books and have become in-demand speakers. While there may be many to choose from, it is also important to look for a business marketing consultant who shares some of the same ideals, style, and goals you have or desire. For example, if your ultimate goal is to build a successful business that still allows you to enjoy plenty of free time and the freedom to travel whenever you want, then employing a business marketing consultant who complains that she is constantly stuck behind her desk around the clock seven days a week may not be the right move for you.
The most successful athletes, generals, and business owners in the world and throughout history have all had great coaches in one form or another. So if you have been looking for an edge that will really take your company to the next level this year, perhaps a great business marketing consultant is the missing ingredient.

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In the past, individuals who wanted to make money online pretty much needed to develop their own websites, create or source products for selling, and have a lot of marketing savvy. But with the number of tools, programs, and opportunities available today, it is easy to make money online – without the need for a web designer or a marketing expert.

Before you get started, it is important to differentiate the hypes from the real deal. A lot of marketers out there would take advantage of your idealism without hesitation. In this regard, try to find as much information as you can before you get started. Here are three kinds of online marketing to look at:

  • Affiliate Marketing (Selling Products) – Many kinds of revenue programs for affiliate marketers are out there, but they basically fall into two categories: one-time payment or residual income. One-time payment is usually offered for products while the latter is for services. For example, if you refer individuals to a certain broadband provider, you can get a commission for every month they subscribe. The payment structure may be different; for instance, you may get 20 percent in the first three months and 10 percent in the next three months.
  • Affiliate Marketing (Referring People)– Affiliate marketing is closely associated with promoting products to get a commission for any sales generated. Today, a lot of programs will reward you for referring people to sign-up or join a website. If you promote the site properly to your friends, family, and readers, affiliate marketing referrals are a great way to make money fast.
  • Blogging – Blogging remains the most popular way to make money online because it is easy, flexible, and anyone can do it. Blogs are also free to set-up and you can start making money as soon as you set-up an account with Google Adwords or other similar programs. The key to success is to determine which keywords are relevant and to provide fresh content to readers regularly.

As with anything done well, your business success will generate people who want to feed off or piggyback on your success. This situation is especially true for web domain names and business phone numbers.

On one hand, you certainly can’t blame competitors for maximizing their own marketing ROI with this smart strategy. But it can be extremely frustrating and may mean losing potential deals and clients despite all of your hard work and dedication to growing your organization. Fortunately, you have the ability to stop the situation before it even begins!

First, you must understand how competitors can feed off your business phone number. Just as with having similar Internet domain names, other businesses can feed off your advertising, reputation, and marketing budget by acquiring similar business phone numbers to yours. For numeric numbers, this situation could mean obtaining similar numbers that could be incorrectly dialed. In terms of vanity numbers, competitors may try getting their hands on the same vanity numbers with different prefixes since dialing the wrong prefix is a common mistake by customers trying to call you, especially if you do not have the 800 number version. Worse, if you have a well known company name, but you do not have the matching vanity number that spells out your name, competitors might acquire it and be able to take large amounts of prospects and even current customers who were actually attempting to call your business phone number.

To protect yourself, begin by making sure you have a unified brand, including an easily recognizable vanity number. Then just as with reserving a domain name for your website, try to reserve as many variations of your business phone number as you can. Start with the 800, 888, 877, 866 and 855 prefixes and then move on to any other obvious combinations.

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1. Branding

Toll free vanity numbers are a critical part of any successful brand. An easy to memorize vanity number not only can unify your branding and make you easier to contact, but it is essential for those who really aspire to become long-term fixtures in their industries. If one of your business goals is to become a leader in your field, then you must have a vanity number.

2. Advertising Effectiveness

Whether you are a new start up, a large corporation, or a non-profit organization, toll free numbers have been proven to increase dramatically response rates to advertising. Isn’t it worth a few dollars a month for a winning toll free number that will increase the responses from your advertising by double digits? That could be the difference in only getting a handful of leads or getting several hundred from the same marketing campaign!

3. Better Closing Ratios

Getting lots of leads is great, but unless they become closed deals, they are just burning up your resources. Toll free numbers offer superior brand recognition and credibility and have been shown to increase closing ratios significantly. So if it is closed deals and actual revenues you want, and not just inquiries, then don’t even think about launching your next advertising campaign without a toll free number.

4. Enhanced BPM

In the last few years, toll free numbers have actually emerged as one of the most powerful tools for aiding more efficient business process management. Utilizing the latest toll free routing options, businesses can now offer increased service coverage and have staff working around the clock in every time zone at very affordable rates while streamlining their processes.

5. Business Continuity

One of the biggest buzz topics of the last couple years – "business continuity" – is not to be overlooked. Toll free numbers actually provide the most effective and affordable tools for business continuity in order to protect revenues, gain customer retention, and ensure your company does not miss a beat even in the face of natural disasters and terrorist threats.

With the surge in Internet marketing and the ability to launch virtual companies overnight without a massive budget, many entrepreneurs and business owners are sadly overlooking some of the basics and their branding in particular.

Branding is still more important than ever regardless of what industry you are in, whether you will have a local brick and mortar presence, and the size of your operation. When branding is mentioned, most people immediately think of logos and slogans; however, web domain names and 800 vanity numbers are just as important.

In fact, 800 vanity numbers could actually be the most essential and powerful part of your organization’s branding. It is no secret that some of the most successful, industry dominating companies right now have gained their influence and are enjoying such lofty revenues due to their 800 vanity numbers alone. But even if your goals aren’t that big, the bottom line is that anchoring your brand with a premium 800 vanity number will have a positive compounding effect on all areas of your business, resulting in better ROI and superior profit margins.

With a winning 800 vanity number as part of your core branding, your company will immediately benefit from increased credibility and recognition, which translates not only to more volume and customers seeking you out, but it makes closing deals a breeze. Of course, you can launch marketing campaigns without an 800 vanity number; you may even see some response although it is doubtful it will be anywhere near as successful as if you had one. The advantages of using toll free numbers and the impact they can have on advertising effectiveness are well known. So with premium vanity numbers available from as little $19 a month that will likely result in double digit improvements in response rates to your marketing, why would you even consider launching without one?

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Do you want to find a way to make money easy? Many people have discovered the limitless potential of affiliate Internet marketing. Unlike having your own product or offering a service, the amount of money you can generate with affiliate marketing is not hindered by a specific target market. For example, if you are selling mobile phones online, then your profit is only limited to the number of products you can source and the number of customers who are willing to buy them.

On the other hand, in an affiliate Internet marketing business, you can join a variety of companies! Basically, promote all you want and you can get a commission for every sale, subscription, or sign-up generated. It is virtually risk free because you are not involved in the company's manufacturing and operations in any way. The company is responsible for maintaining its brand while you only need to refer people to its website to get money. Everything is straightforward and easy.

Given this simplicity, it is not surprising that more people are joining the affiliate Internet marketing bandwagon. And the potential of this industry is still growing. You can get commissions from literally everything and anything. All you need to do is target the right market. Targeting does take a bit of marketing know-how, but after you gain some experience, the process just gets easier. The money just keeps coming in with little effort on your part after the foundation of the business has been set.

Despite all the new forms of Internet marketing and the plethora of social media networks that have sprouted up in the last couple of years, direct marketing through direct mail and email marketing still remains one of the most effective advertising channels for businesses of all sizes.

However, that does not mean that rushing and just sending out any direct mail or email campaigns is going to guarantee your success, achieve maximum advertising effectiveness, and result in the best ROI for your marketing budget. Throwing all of your resources into one large campaign that flops can not only stall your operation and income but could even cripple your organization.

Fortunately, by using web analytics and blocks of toll free numbers, you can perform affordable tests quickly in order to hone your direct marketing campaigns and maximize your marketing ROI. By acquiring blocks of toll free numbers, you can use different numbers in a split test campaign to improve the various factors that determine optimal advertising effectiveness, such as your lead and data lists, the copy of your direct marketing pieces, email subject lines, mail packaging, and the timing of your delivery.

Some marketers see testing as something that slows them down. However, testing means you can still get out a partial campaign and receive leads now while you will get a lot bigger return for your money when you go all out. Just look at the difference in not only leads but in actual dollars that a great direct marketing campaign offers. For both mail and email direct marketing campaigns, the response rates can range from less than 1 percent on the low end to over 10 percent for those who have honed and tested. Good campaigns will also yield higher closing ratios. So on the same 10,000 piece campaign, without testing you may end up with 100 responses and one closed deal, while those you have tested could be looking at over 1,000 responses and as many as 250 new deals. Which results do you want for your money?

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1. Not Developing a Brand

It doesn’t matter how creative and ingenious your advertising strategy is if you have not made the effort to develop a unified brand. Proper branding includes having a matching business name, web domain name, logo, and an easily recognizable and memorable vanity number. Don’t just have them either; make sure you use them!

2. Failure To Test

Whether your advertising strategy includes direct mail, telemarketing, or Internet marketing, those who do not test and ignore their metrics are asking for failure. You may need to temper the figures with a little common sense and insight into future trends, but the numbers do not lie. Use blocks of toll free numbers for split testing various elements of your campaigns and hone them.

3. Not Maximizing ROI

Many marketing channels and ideas that you can include in your overall advertising strategy may work, may generate leads, and may even bring in money. However, just generating some income is no longer enough to survive. You must strive to seek out those channels that provide maximum advertising effectiveness and the highest possible ROI for your marketing budget.

4. Working Harder Rather Than Smarter

Too many entrepreneurs and managers fail to harness the power of building blocks that can be re-purposed. This strategy means having to do a fraction of the work for much larger results; not only can it improve your advertising strategy profit margins, but it can enable your organization to reach more prospects for less money and grow faster than you ever imagined. This process can mean utilizing content more wisely and re-purposing article content for blogs, videos, and social media, or outsourcing your call center agents and using them to spin off new products and services.

5. Not Seeing The Full Potential

"If you are going to think, you might as well think big." Thinking big certainly doesn’t take any more effort. However, too many business owners and managers still fail to see the full potential of their businesses. With a little wider vision applied to an advertising strategy, and just a little more effort, the exponential rewards can make all the difference in being a one man band or the next Facebook.

With so many affiliate programs available online, how can you find the best ones for you? In this article, we’ll give you the lowdown on how to find affiliate programs that really make money. It is a straightforward process that can take you down the road to earning big bucks!

 

Check Affiliate Database – Companies like Clickbank enable you to find companies that offer commissions based on your sales. In the case of Clickbank, they only list digital products. This setup means that a percentage of the sale goes directly to you with little or no waiting time.

 

Amazon Associates – Amazon.com bases its success on the number of affiliates it has on its system. Their links are incredibly easy to set up for any website or blog. In addition, the astonishing number of products on the site ensures that whatever your niche, you can promote something.

 

Little-Known Affiliate Programs – While all other affiliate marketers are joining the bandwagon with the big names, lesser known companies are carving out niches of their own. A lot of people make good money by joining these sites, for the main reason that a limited number of marketers are selling the same product.

 

The first affiliate programs you join aren’t necessarily the best. That is where testing comes into play. Join a number of affiliate companies to determine which products/services convert and which do not.

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Is it a good idea to have multiple domain names? There are actually pros and cons to this move, but it all depends on the context of your strategy. Let’s take a look at some considerations you need to take into account to make a decision:

Multiple Entry Points – One of the main benefits of having multiple domain names is gaining a number of entry points. If your company focuses on the homemaking niche, for example, you can have sections about housecleaning, refurbishing, etc. Creating additional domains on these niches can also be beneficial (for linking purposes).

Search Engines – It used to be a common spamming technique to purchase hundreds, even thousands of domains, that all reference the same site. These sites were indexed and added to the ranking. Although this strategy worked for awhile, search engines are now cautious about such techniques. As a result, it is more important to be careful about what you put into your sites; and make sure the content is not similar.

Typos – Common typing errors can yield to significant search traffic once you consider that you’re catering to a global audience. Remember to use 301 redirects to ensure that these misspellings aren’t listed in the search engines results page (SERP).

Protection – Once your company becomes more renowned, it will need to battle opportunists who seek to benefit from your success. In this regard, it may be a good idea to purchase the .net, .org, and .us extensions among others.