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 Adland Digest FREE Edition #539
  Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Information Your Business Needs RIGHT NOW

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Shotguns Vs. Sniper Rifles

Choose Your Marketing Weapon

In any battle, a weapon must be used.  The weapon you choose to wield and how skilled you are in using it can mean the difference between success or failure.  In a way, the same can be said about your marketing and the type that you choose.

Have a look at any of your sales letters or sales copy on your website.  Can you identify precisely who you're talking to?  Can you picture in your mind who would be reading your web page in vivid detail?  How old?  Male or Female?  Where do they live?  How much do they earn?  What kind of work do they do?  What are their challenges?  What makes them happy?  If you can't, then you may not be tapping into the full potential of your marketing. 

A large part of marketing has to do with identifying your market down to the very last detail and then applying this knowledge to craft a laser-targeted marketing message.  A marketing message directly focused on solving the problems and easing the challenges of a very specific and usually narrow group of people.  Are you using a shotgun or a sniper rifle to take aim at your market?

Why The Numbers Game in Marketing is a Losing Strategy

Many novice marketers play the numbers game using a shotgun approach when they advertise.  Wherever they can, they fire their message at as many people as possible in as little time as possible for as little cost as possible.  They're under the impression that the more people they can reach, the more effective their advertising will be when in fact, nothing could be further from the truth. 

Today's consumer is bombarded each day by literally thousands of ads.  Think of the drive thru at McDonald's, the Billboards standing by the freeway, the "hey there hi there ho there" guy on your car radio, the grocery coupons sitting above your visor, the Cashier at the electronics store who asks if you want extra warranty, the brand name tag on the waistline of  your jeans.  We're overloaded with advertising and we've adapted by learning to distinguish in a microsecond what's relevant to us and what constitutes garbage.  We see so much of it that a large number of ads don't even register with us anymore.  In response to this sensory overload, \We're just so desensitized to advertising...until we see that one ad that talks to us personally.

One very effective way to advertise when you are just starting out is to actually identify several markets whose needs your product satisfies and then help them understand how your product benefits them.  If your product is a generic product that will appeal to everyone then you should still identify sub markets and tailor your message to each different one.  No matter how broad your main market could be, each sub market within it will have different buying triggers and by not catering your advertising to them specifically, you probably won't even manage to get their attention.

Your Market is Smarter Than You Think

A good example of this is the Automobile.  Different makes and models can mean so many different things to so many different people.  A person who looking for a high-end sports convertible has different buying motivators than a person who is in the market for an affordable family sedan.  A Full-Size SUV prospect is vastly different from a Sport Compact buyer and so on and so forth.  You cannot use use the exact same message for all of types of buyers and expect to resonate with every single one.  In fact, if you try to, you might lose the attention of all of them.

The same can be said of opportunities to make money.  Don't just say "Hey, I know you're always on the look out for new ways to make extra money."  Personally, I'm not always on the prowl to make an extra buck here and there.  You've lost me in a single sentence.  I belong to a specific market and that headline just doesn't strike a chord with me so guess what.  It gets tossed out with the rest of the junk mail. 

Assembling Your New Weapon

Change the message above slightly to something like "Show your girlfriend she chose the right guy out of all your friends..."

Now you've got my interest.  Build your case slowly, point by point showing me how your system could put wealth in my pockets that will be the envy of all my friends and make my girlfriend go "Oh yeah, that's my man.  Keep your paws off him." Go ahead, I'm listening.  Show me how in less than 24 months it could put that brand new Ford GT in my driveway paid for in cold hard cash, all 162 grand of it.  Now you're talking.  Use your words to describe the beach I'll be sitting on drinking pina coladas from a coconut while all my friends are away at work...all the way down to the color of my beach chair and how white the sand is.  Excite my senses, appeal to my imagination and like a fish on a hook...well, you get the picture. 

If you're serious about delivering the full blow of your marketing to your intended audience and literally doubling your conversion rates, never ever forget the "aim" in "Ready...Aim...FIRE!" when you advertise. 


Michael Dela Cruz,
Adland Digest Pro Editor


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Email Marketing: On Keeping Online Businesses Profitable
by: Eugenijus Sakalauskas

The following article covers a topic that has recently moved to center stage--at least it seems that way. If you've been thinking you need to know more about it, here's your opportunity.

Since the advent of the information technology, the Internet had been a valuable commodity to most people. Here, they find ways on how to earn more money even without having to spend more capital on building a business.

Nowadays, many business people are realizing the importance of email marketing. Through emails, an online business can market their product directly through their customers.

Generally, the main purpose of email marketing is to reach their target audience as quickly and as direct as possible. They need to reach their target market so as to promote their products and services that would benefit their customers.

However, some businesses use email marketing in order to maintain their contact and relationship with their customers.

The reason why email marketing has grown in such unprecedented rate is based on the fact that people in the virtual community are always hungry for information. They subscribe to information that they are interested in.

On the other hand, not all people are willing to subscribe to such information. They may be interested on your products once but may no longer be interested to buy again. Moreover, when you continue to send those emails that do not have their permissions, you can be accused of spamming.

Today, spamming is a serious offense especially in the world of information technology. Because the Internet is such a wild place, most authorities regard the privacy of each person as valuable and they continue to uphold this thinking even on the Internet.

With this, the creation of opt in list had gained tremendous acceptance. Because of its viability and feasibility to most online businesses, a lot of people have realized how important opt in lists are in email marketing.

Basically, opt in list refers to the list of email addresses of people who have agreed to subscribe to your mailing list. In this way, you can freely send emails that entail promotions, brochures, new product announcements, and every aspect of your marketing campaign.

Hopefully the information presented so far has been applicable. You might also want to consider the following:

When you build an opt in list, you do not only increase the probability of being successful in email marketing but also boost your sales and profits as well. This is because building an opt in list will give you the chance to stay in contact with your customers by getting their email address.

In this manner, you can continue to promote your products and services in which they are interested in because they have opted to subscribe in your mailing list. Hence, whatever it is that you feed them, chances are, they will most likely respond positively.

In reality, building an opt in list is actually letting the people realize the charisma and magic of email marketing. In this way, spams will be avoided, if not eliminated, and will not ruin the positive image of email marketing.

With spamming, email marketing becomes a disgraceful activity in the Internet. But with opt in list, online businesses can continue to boost their businesses through email marketing without having to worry about being accused of spamming.

In building opt in list, there are two types to be considered. The first one is the single opt-in and the other one is the double opt-in or the confirmed opt-in.

In building single opt-in list, online businesses would simply use a “sign-up tag” in their web sites so that every time a person visits their website, he or she can opt to subscribe in the business’ email list.
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On the other hand, a confirmed opt-in list or double opt-in entails a confirmation message after the customer had subscribed to the particular web site’s email list.

Usually, the confirmation takes place by replying on a system-generated message that asks for a confirmation of the subscription or by clicking on a link that entails the confirmation of the customer.

Whatever type of opt in list you would prefer, each has its own pros and cons when it comes to email marketing. But nevertheless, both are designed to give your online business the best solution possible in order to generate emails and permissions without having to get into trouble.

Indeed, email marketing is such a profitable business in the Internet. But it would not be complete and will never succeed without the help of the opt-in lists. These two must always go hand-in-hand in order to be successful in the virtual world of Internet marketing.

As your knowledge about email marketing continues to grow, you will begin to see how email marketing fits into the overall scheme of things. Knowing how something relates to the rest of the world is important too.

Ready Set Go - The 30 Minute Article
by: Kevin Sinclair

You need an article for your newsletter, and you need it now. As a matter of fact, you can spare only forty minutes to get the article written, edited and slotted into place.

Breaking it down, that means you pretty much have to write the first draft in around 30 minutes. Not a lot of time - especially if you don't consider yourself to be much of a writer. The good news is that it can be done - and done well. Here's how to generate a 400-500-word article in a short time.

1. Turbo-Outlining

Give yourself 5-10 minutes for this part of the process. If you already have a topic in mind, you're in front. If not, you have exactly 90 seconds to decide. Presumably you understand where your readers are coming from (if not, you're in big trouble.) Use those 90 seconds to jot down words or phrases that summarize anything that is likely to be causing them a problem. Naturally this needs to be a problem that YOU can help solve in your article.

From this list, choose the topic that appeals to you most. Now - in three and a half minutes - it's time to outline the article. Use these headers to guide you:

a. State the problem - and promise a solution. (Just jot down quick notes at this stage.)

b. Outline the process for solving the problem. Divide this into 3-5 logical steps. Label each step (this will become a sub-heading in your article).

c. Jot down points you want to make in your conclusion. This can be advice on how to ensure that the problem doesn't recur, or offer links to resources that can help. End on a positive note that leaves the reader feeling glad that he read your advice.

2. Speed-Writing Your First Draft

Allow 20-25 minutes to write the first draft. Spend an extra few minutes on the first paragraph. This is where your reader will decide whether or not to continue reading. Your job is to show that you understand exactly what the problem is and to sound confident that you can help them solve it. Don't use long-winded sentences or ramble on about how awful it is - just get to the point. By the end of the first half-dozen sentences, your reader needs to feel keen to read on and find out the solution.

Each of your 3-5 sub-headings should clearly indicate what the following paragraphs are about. Remember that many readers skim-read an article to see if it's worth reading. Look at the words you've chosen - can you rephrase these headings to make the whole process sound simpler or faster?

Under each sub-heading, write two or three paragraphs on the part of the problem-solving strategy you are outlining. Since you are writing this quickly, it is likely that you will automatically adopt a forthright, casual tone. If you find yourself writing in overly formal language, stop and reconsider. The best 'how to' articles use simple language and everyday terminology. Make it all as easy as possible for your reader to follow.

The ending is just as important as the opening paragraph. It's vital not to let the article fizzle out in a weak conclusion. You need to leave your reader feeling inspired, energized and confident that they can follow your advice and fix the problem. You can:

- tell them how much time/energy/money they will save by following your advice
- share a 'secret' of some kind that will help them move on to the next step (be more successful, save even more time, etc)
- point them at further help or resources. (These can be provided by you and your web site, or by others who have a level of expertise.)

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3. Tweak and Polish

After thirty minutes you should have an excellent basis for your article. If you can afford to take fifteen minutes out at this stage for a cup of coffee or a quick walk, do so. It's always better to take a break before editing your work. If not, just start reading it from the beginning. Check for these things:

a. Spelling and grammar. Your computer should do most of the work here, but a computer can miss typos or offer strange advice when it comes to grammar. You need to read it through yourself for flow and overall impact.

b. Wordy sentences or phrases. Weed them out!

c. Badly-phrased advice. If a sentence doesn't flow, write it again. Think of how you'd explain to someone else in a casual conversation. Does your writing reflect this?

d. Missing steps. When you're familiar with a process, or trouble-shooting, it's all too easy to leave out a step or a small but vital piece of information. Run over the whole process in your mind to make sure you haven't left anything out.

Now, you should have a finished article that will prove both interesting and helpful to many of your readers. At worst, it will be competent. At best, it will surprise you with what you can achieve in a short time!

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