Will Online Marketing Work for Your Business?

This is an extremely difficult question to answer because there are so many complex factors involved. Specifically, the techniques you employ in your Internet marketing campaign as well as the execution of those techniques can determine whether Internet marketing will work for your business. Additionally, the likelihood of your target audience using the Internet and responding to your marketing efforts should also be factored into the equation. This article will outline the potential for success in an Internet marketing campaign.

When is Internet Marketing Worthwhile?
In general, the answer to this question is always but the answer is much more involved. Sure, Internet marketing is worthwhile but as with any type of marketing it is only worthwhile if it is done well. For example, you can spend thousands of dollars on a television marketing campaign but if no one sees your commercials or your commercials do not reach your target audience and generate sales, the advertising was not worthwhile. So, perhaps a more appropriate answer to this question would be that Internet marketing is worthwhile when it works.

What is your target audience?
Before making the decision to embark on an Internet marketing campaign you should carefully consider your target audience. One of the most basic principles of marketing is to make sure that you reach your target audience. This is so important because your target audience is composed of the people who are most likely going to be interested in purchasing your products or services. It is much easier to sell your products or services to those who already have an interest in the products and services you have to offer than it is to convince those who are not interested in your products or services at all. As an example, consider a business that sells fishing rods. You will want to market your products to those who enjoy fishing either competitively or as a leisure activity because, with this audience, you are likely to find people who may be interested in purchasing a new fishing rod. It would make sense to place an advertisement for your business on a website selling bait and tackle or a website that organizes fishing trips in exotic locations. Conversely, it would not make sense to place your advertisement on a website selling telescopes because you are not likely to reach a large target audience there. There may be some stargazers with an interest in fishing but your advertising dollars and efforts would be better spent placing advertisements with websites more closely related to your business.

Analyze your competition
Conducting a competitor analysis can do a great deal to help you determine whether you should invest in an Internet marketing campaign for your business. This step is very important because it will give you a good indication if you should even begin marketing your business on the Internet. Hiring a firm that specializes in Internet marketing is recommended because they can conduct this research quickly and efficiently and will likely gain a great deal of valuable information as a result of their research efforts. If they determine that your business can benefit from an Internet marketing campaign, it is time to start thinking about how you want to advertise your business online.

Again, seeking the help of professionals can be an extremely worthwhile investment. If you are not well versed in the industry of Internet marketing, hiring a firm with a great deal of expertise in this industry can be very helpful. They can assist you by consulting with you to determine which marketing strategies will be most effective, designing advertisements for your campaign, helping you to orchestrate your Internet marketing campaign and evaluating the results of marketing efforts to determine which strategies are working and which are not.

Optimize your online marketing
The potential for success with an Internet marketing campaign is virtually limitless. The success you enjoy is only limited by your ability to promote your products and services and execute effective marketing strategies. Some of the marketing strategies you may wish to employ may include optimizing your website for relevant search terms, placing links to your website judiciously on the Internet, writing and publishing e-newsletters and using affiliates to promote your website.

Search engine optimization (SEO) is one of the most important aspects of any Internet marketing campaign. SEO is so important because it dictates the ranking of your website on popular search engines. Internet users value these results and are not likely to seek out websites that do not rank well with search engines. Conversely, high-ranking websites can enjoy a great deal of increased website traffic as a result of these rankings.

There are several elements to consider when attempting to optimize your website for search engines. This may include keyword density, prominence, META tags, titles and inbound links. Keyword density is one of the most common SEO strategies and essentially involves using relevant keywords often in the content of a website to demonstrate the relevance of these keywords to the website. This is important because search engines are likely to reward websites with optimal keyword densities with favorable search engine rankings in an effort to provide Internet users with the most relevant websites for particular search terms.

The prominence of keywords should also be considered. This includes how close the keywords are placed relative to the beginning of the website. The common mistake with this strategy is to believe the first opportunity to incorporate keywords is in the first line of visible text on the webpage. This is not true because search engines crawl the code of a website as opposed to the visible content on the website. This means that there are multiple opportunities to incorporate relevant keywords long before the actual visible content on the website. This might include the code for the title as well as the META tags. Business owners who realize the potential for incorporating keywords into the code gain an advantage over competitors who only incorporate keywords into the content on their website.

Inbound links to your website are also important in Internet marketing. Inbound links are links on other websites that direct users to your website. These links are important in an Internet marketing campaign. First of all, many search engines factor inbound links into their ranking algorithms, which means that inbound links can result in higher search engines rankings. Also, these links can be used directly by website users to access your website. This means that you can gain traffic directly from these links.

Do not spam
When it comes to Internet advertising, there is a fine line between great advertising and spam. Some business owners get carried away trying to get as much exposure as possible and can sometimes go overboard and wind up posting what is considered spam. Internet users who see your advertisement in a couple of key locations will likely notice the advertisement and may be compelled to visit your website immediately or may keep your website in mind for future use. However, Internet users who see your advertisement everywhere they look are likely to view your advertisement as spam. This can be harmful because they are not likely to visit your website because they expect it to not be worthwhile.

Conclusion
In any Internet marketing campaign, it is important to carefully monitor the results of your marketing efforts and to make changes to your campaign as necessary. This is important because you want to make sure that your marketing efforts are paying off and the best way to do that is to evaluate the results of your advertising carefully. One way to do this is to place special coding in each one of your advertisements so that you will know which advertisements are generating business for you and which ones are not. You can use this information to decide whether you should modify the ineffective website or stop running those advertisements. If you decide to modify them, you will want to continue to monitor the results to determine whether or not the changes made the advertisements more effective.

We are pleased to provide you with the insightful comments contained herein. For a complimentary assessment of your online presence, let’s have coffee.

Michael Cohn is the founder and Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of CompuKol Communications. He has over 25 years of experience in IT and web technologies. Mr. Cohn spent a significant amount of time at a major telecommunications company, where his main focus was on initiating and leading synergy efforts across all business units by dramatically improving efficiency, online collaboration, and the company’s Intranet capabilities, which accelerated gains in business productivity. He also reduced company travel and travel costs by introducing and implementing various collaboration technologies.

His expertise includes business analysis; project management; management of global cross-matrix teams; systems engineering and analysis, architecture, prototyping and integration; technology evaluation and assessment; systems development; performance evaluation; and management of off-shore development.

Bulk Mail Tips – 2 Ways to Save on Direct Mailings

When trying to save on postage for your direct mail campaigns, you run into a dizzying array of potential bulk mail discounts. Let me simplify the process for you by telling you there are basically two ways to save.

Bulk mail, as defined by the United States Postal Service, is “quantities of mail prepared for mailing at reduced postage rates.” The key word here is “prepared,” because essentially you do part of the work for the USPS, and in return they give you a break on postage.

Here are 2 ways to save:

1. Use a Mail House

Usually I would put this option second, but the process of preparing bulk mail is so convoluted, I think it needs to go first.

There are many guidelines to follow and requirements to meet before your mailing qualifies for discounts. For a majority of businesses, the easiest way to save is to go through a registered mail house with trained professionals.Finding a direct mail firm that offers mailing services is ideal for small businesses. You get the discount without jumping through the hoops.

2. Go Your Own Way

If you are really going to do this, understand it will take several hours to get the work done depending on how many pieces you intend to mail. You may need a staff member that doesn’t have very many other duties to help. Or you can get your whole crew to stay late and have a bulk mail preparation party! To qualify for Standard Class, the most common bulk mail option, all of your pieces must be essentially identical. The discount for Standard Class can be pretty darn good – sometimes up to $0.20 off standard postage – but you pay the price with the work it takes to get the mailing prepared.

To qualify for Standard Class, your mailing must be:

· At least 200 pieces or 50 lbs.

· Less than 16 oz.

· Marked with your registered bulk mail indicia (If you register through your local post office and pay the fee, you can get one.)

· Pre-sorted according to USPS standards and the exact 9 digit ZIP code

So there you go. If you really want to tackle bulk mail on your own – you can do it! But remember, the easiest way to save is through a direct mail company that can mail for you.Make sure your mail house of choice passes the postage savings on to you, because some companies keep it for themselves!

Windows for Self Improvement / Online Marketing

Windows for Self Improvement / Online Marketing

How Clear Are Mine?

On the Road of Life there are basically three types of people. The first is the DRIVER, whose purpose and objective is to control the movement and direction of the vehicle. They are in charge of the situation as they have access to the gas pedal, the steering wheel, and the brake pedal. The second is the PASSENGER, whose choice is to be the person being taken somewhere. They basically sit there and hope the driver gets them where they wanted to go. The third is the BACK SEAT DRIVER, whose purpose is to let everyone in the vehicle know when to turn, to stop, and even to turn. Because they are not in control of the vehicle, they are basically a passenger, although their constant stream of directions would have you think that they are the one driving the vehicle.

Which of these three are you? On the road of life, once you know where you want to go it is a lot easier if you are the driver. The other two are passengers at best, with no real control of the vehicle. Use these online business ideas to add more impact to what you are working on as an online marketer.

The following list of Windows of Opportunity is designed to challenge your mind into evaluating the total picture; where you are today, with a bird’s eye view of where you want to go. The objective of the presentation is to give you a checklist of items that may be holding you back; in your career, your relationships, and general happiness in life. Look and evaluate each one objectively. This is a self-evaluation tool for your use in determining what needs to be done for a stronger self-image and easier approach to reaching all of your set goals. This list allows you to understand what works well for you and of course your shortcomings. The final evaluation should give you a good objective look at your strong and weaker areas of development, with the opportunity to become the DRIVER on your road of life. Visualization creates Realization. What you see, in your mind’s eye, is what you get.

You create your own reality. Take charge and march off. It doesn’t matter who you are, what line of work you are in, or what phase of life you are currently in. These windows apply to anyone and in particular the DRIVERS in life who are always looking to become better at who they are.

RESPONSIBILITY

Question to ask yourself: Am I willing to accept total control of my life? Many of us say we have control, but the fact is that it is always easier to point the finger at someone else. It’s their fault, not mine. You know people that think this way. They are in both our personal as well as business life. The only person staring back at you when looking in a mirror is yourself. This ultimately is the only person you are responsible for. You as well as everyone on the face of the planet are uniquely different. Our unique set of life experiences is completely different then others. Your world is unique to you, and everyone has one. Even identical twins, with some separate life experiences, will ultimately look at life differently. Once you understand how unique and different a person you are compared to the other multi billion humans on the planet, then change starts to take place. You are uniquely different. Be proud of it, and in doing so accept the responsibility for who you with the understanding that you can be whomever you want to be. If you are unhappy with your life, you are the only one that can change the status quo. Take the first step and take over the driving. It is your vehicle.

VISION

Question to ask yourself: Where am I going? Where are you going? Do you know or is someone else driving you there? Vision is a long-range view of where the road is going. Unlike bifocals that allow you to see things close up, you need binoculars to see the long view. Large companies look at their business up to ten years out. To see where they will be with the changing trends etc. You should be the same way, wanting to know how the end result will be, based on knowing what is down the road. When setting goals, they should be set one year out, three years out, and even five years out. Remember the old cliché Fail to Plan – Plan to Fail. Without the use of vision, we are working with the smaller picture. Great at the moment, but not useful long term because of the broader view needed of the bigger picture. With vision the road of life becomes straighter and easier to maneuver.

COMMITMENT

Question to ask yourself: What am I willing to do to get there? Stand for nothing, fall for anything. Is this you, or do you really believe in yourself so much that no challenge is too big to handle? Commitment is an internal mechanism that drives us to higher levels of performance. It is built on the principle that we understand and support what we believe in. Whatever the challenge, there is always a way to achieve the goal. The key words are Find A Way! The road of life is not always straight and smooth. We know that only too well, but once this is understood, we can reduce the bumps and potholes to minor inconveniences. Life is not a destination, but rather a journey. The journey has its ups and downs. The point being made is that once this information has made us aware of the road conditions, nothing will hold us back from preparing for the worst case scenario, and taking off for our destination.

ATTITUDE

Question to ask yourself: Do I have the disposition to achieve happiness? The disposition is the condition of your subconscious mind, approximately 88% of the total capacity, and a storehouse of life experiences. Compare this area of the mind to a file room of information that holds every bit of information that has come into your mind since birth. The other mind, the conscious mind is what critically analyses and makes our waking decisions. It is only approximately 12% of your capacity and clearly the minority when life decisions are made. If there is conflict between the conscious and sub conscious minds, the subconscious will always rule. That is why many times as an adult you question why you made the same decision numerous times, even though consciously it made no sense. The reason is that the subconscious mind with its strong file room of beliefs, emotions, and values over rides it. Your attitude is a direct reflection of the state of your file room. A long life of praise, admiration, and support will have given you a positive outlook on life. A long life of criticism, put down, and sometimes abuse will have shaped a negative view of life and your place in it. See the difference? The positive person is the optimist; the negative person is the pessimist. Can you change these factors? Of course you can. It takes a lot of the first window, Responsibility, with a commitment to change. Learn about hypnosis and in particular self-hypnosis. These tools allow you to change behavioral patterns or habits. Your tomorrow starts today. Become whom ever you want to be.

SELF IMAGE

Question to ask yourself: Do I feel, look, and act the part? I always say you don’t get a second chance to make a first impression. People in general will create an opinion of another on a first meeting in less then ten seconds. If you are in sales, do you believe in yourself enough to create the impression physically as well as mentally? It is amazing how many people do not believe in themselves and lose credibility when involved with others. Your self-image many times is a direct reflection of your attitude. If you are the positive person we described earlier, you probably project that feeling outwardly with your personality, conduct, and even the way you dress. Work on mating the two, your attitude and self-image, as these are what people see as the person – you.

PRIORITIES

Question to ask yourself: Do I have a map to follow for the rest of my life? It is sad to say but many people on the road of life only plan one day at a time. Ask your friends, associates etc., where they will be in ten years and I am willing to bet that many of them will tell you, “How do I know?” I am not even sure of where I’ll be next week. Without a roadmap, how can you possibly find the shortest and most convenient route to follow from point A to point G.? A map makes a world of difference? This map should be looked at as your set of short, medium, and long range goals. Without setting goals or objectives, you are going out with less than a full set of directions and probably will get lost in the process. Learn to work with goals even if you start with short term ones. Get the feel for them; see that they do help in reaching the objective easier and faster. Then move into setting longer ones. Learn to break dreams down into specific goals that can be measured and evaluated. This is the key to driving on the road of life with less stress and heartache. Before setting goals, set your priorities. The road of life changes as we move down it. As teens our mantra was “Party”, as more seasoned drivers – education, families, and other developed experiences become the priority, and in our mature years it is security. Our drive on the road of life changes as we age and season. Priorities at different points in life change. Change is the only constant. Become more aware of where you are today and where you want to go tomorrow. Don’t forget; plan for it – the way you want the outcome to be. You will be surprised at what your mind can achieve.

NETWORKING

Question to ask yourself: Am I sharing my experience with others? It is said that no man is an island. The point drawn from this old cliché is that we are always in contact with others. Whether in business or social life, we interact with other humans, sometimes daily. Remember from an earlier statement, we are all unique individuals. Our individuality stems from our life script or full life experiences. What we bring to the table in any relationship is that unique application and world full of our experience, that when coupled with another’s can create synergy and dynamic performance. Never sell yourself short. You bring a lot to the table. At the same time become aware that the other person has the same, yet different qualities. You can benefit from them as well as they can benefit from you. It now becomes a dance, following a rhythm that both of you create. Life progression is about sharing life experiences for maximum benefit. It happens in business as well as in our ordinary social lives. Become a networker, challenging yourself to meet new and interesting people on a regular basis for a broader view of life and your specific place in it.

EVALUATION

Question to ask yourself: Am I willing to constructively criticize myself for continued growth? In reality the two most important windows of opportunity on this list are the widows of Responsibility and the window of Evaluation. If you have accepted total responsibility for yourself, then it makes sense that on a regular basis you look at the big picture and challenge yourself to change. Change brought about by your growing life experience, circle of friends and associates, career path, etc. Remember you are the only one that talks to yourself on a regular basis. Even while reading this report your mind is wandering and sometimes chattering to you. No one really knows your world well enough to make constructive evaluations but yourself. If you are going to grow as a person, as an active member of society, then it falls upon your shoulders to constructively evaluate your life performance on a frequent basis. This might be done quarterly, semi-annually or worst-case scenario, at least once a year. I recommend that you do it monthly for best effect.