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Bogdan Fiedur, Publisher
Vol. 1, #186, July 27, 2000
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With four years of network marketing experience under my belt I had little
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Topics in this issue:
Word from Publisher
C o n t i n u i n g D i s c u s s i o n s (2)
2.) Still No Sales
~ Rafael Aguilo
N e w P o s t s (3)
~Site Review Request and free hosting question
~ Promotion Idea
A l e r t S e c t i o n (0)
Site Review Responses (1)
~ Tony Murtagh
Site Review Requests (2)
G u e s t A r t i c l e (1)
Don't loose visitors because of poor site desing
By Tony Murtagh
Joke of the Day
THE RICHEST MAN IN THE WORLD!
In ten years Bill Gates will be worth an incredible $250 billion...
but he will no longer be the Richest Man in the world.
That person will be a Japanese businessman you've never heard of,
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Digest sponsorship info
================== Word from publisher ====================
Welcome 110 new subscribers who joined list since last mailing.
In issue #184 I was writing about Free Merchant Accounts.
I know for the fact, that around 100 of you applied for it.
I would like to know if you find this service useful and
what are your impressions or comparisons to other merchant
If you think, you have an interesting success story to tell, please send
it to digest as usual and indicate as such.
At the end of year I will create web page and will invite everybody
to vote for the "Success Story Of The Year"
Best voted story will receive one FREE year of advertising
in the form of small button at the bottom of each AdlandPro page.
AdlandPro receives 450,000 page viewings , 75,000 unique
visitors each month.
To be eligible for the prize, this story has to be from your own
See existing success stories here
From: "Mike Manoske" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
My wife and I have had our site Timesharevalues up since November 1999. We
sell timeshares through Internet auctions - a unique and profitable sideline
business we developed.
Both us are technical: my wife is a Systems administrator who worked for a
very successful Ecommerce firm.
I am the Managing Director of an Ecommerce Solutions and Consulting Firm.
Our site has been an experiment on how to market successfully, without
spending all the profits on banners!
Our biggest win came in April. We belong to several timeshare users groups,
and we were asked to be interviewed - by USA Today. We told them about our
business. They sent out a photographer. Two weeks later, we got a call
telling us the story was on the Front Page of the Money Section. Our
picture ended up across 3 columns on Page 2. We were the site quoted in the
article - and the only auction site listed in a table. We beat out several
multimillion dollar sites!
This kind of publicity was free, and resulted in a 5000% increase in site
activity and sales. We sold out our entire inventory, saw our mailing list
triple in 2 weeks - and all for free.
Since then we have ended up in eBay magazine and several other large
circulation web zines.
The moral of the story - User groups are amazing places to build business.
Also, be bold about asking for publicity. I took the USA Today article and
emailed it too several other magazines and sites, ending up with the full
page story in eBay magazine. My only expense was time.
Footnote: my wife has resigned from her firm to run our site full time. We
made more part time than her full time salary! She has since doubled our
Shy web owners are lonely web owners!
==========C o n t i n u i n g D i s c u s s i o n (1.1)=============
From: Mike <email@example.com>
I just read with interest your response to my recent
recommendation about using Topica as a list manager. And based
on what you have experienced with them, I would question their
ability to handle this size of a list. (could that be the real reason?)
I say that, because I am subscribed to a news letter 'Monday
Memo" and was informed (after I recommended Topica to Ward)
that they would be moving away from Topica because of a
nightmarish situation that arose right after they moved their service
to over to Topica. It seems that they out grew their previous list
service, went to Topica, and now have left there. All in a period of a
While I have had no problems (small newsletter) it appears that
they can't handle a large list without glitches.
There is a saying that "free is not always free" and this may be
more proof. As my list grows, I too may be looking for another list
managing service. So, Ward...(and all) I apologize if my
recommendation has caused any problems (spitting feathers from
I am glad for Adland tho, and the information shared here is helpful,
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==========C o n t i n u i n g D i s c u s s i o n (2.1)=============
From: Rafael Aguilo <email@example.com>
Subject: Re: Still No Sales
Dear Bogdan and All Adlanders,
I'll try to do this as painless as possible for
95% of all businessess FAIL within one year.
Doing business online is NO Different.
It could be WORSE!
Just because you think you have a GREAT product
doesn't mean others will.
People buy what they WANT, not necessarily what
Don't create a product to chase a market (unless it's a
"killer" or you have TONS of money to do marketing
and advertising). That's the HARD WAY!
You MUST find out if there is a NEED and
DEMAND for your product, and THEN proceed.
Find out what people ARE LOOKING FOR, and
GIVE it to them.
Be willing to STUDY, LEARN, and APPLY
Even this part can be done mostly free.
Think of how many "overnight success" stories
took place after many months, and even years
of dedicated hard work.
No amount of coding, tweaking, "magic" or
what-have-you will bring people, and hopefully
customers, to your site unless
THEY are LOOKING for YOU!
Let's say that you have the best "Left Sleeve
Badge Stitcher". You make a website for it.
You salivate over how many sales you'll make.
Guess what. Unless someone happens to be
searching for(you guessed it) a "left sleeve
badge stitcher", your site will have as many visitors
as humans go to MARS! EVEN if you have
a #1 listing (most likely).
Which brings me to another point: A #1 spot in a
Search Engine doesn't guarantee ANY traffic.
If NO ONE is searching for what
you offer, it's as good as being the last.
Whomever tells you different is just plain lying
I have just finished Part Two of my very
popular and FREE Internet Marketing Course,
and it covers these and other very important
points anyone trying to do business online
I hope this little bit of advice helps;
Rafael is the Webmaster-Owner of
Take our NEW and Free 36 chapter
Internet Marketing Course...Part 2
======================N e w P o s t i n g (1)========================
From: "Don Wetmore" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
One of the more difficult tasks we have each day is to
maintain personal balance so that we do not undermine our
success. I have a short article that discusses this topic
entitled, "Maintaining Balance". I am happy to share it with
members of this list. To get your free copy, email your
request for "maintaining" to: email@example.com
Dr. Donald E. Wetmore-Professional Speaker
Free Time Management Tips Newsletter:
Visit our Supersite: http://www.balancetime.com
======================N e w P o s t i n g (2)========================
From: Jamie McDowell<firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Site Review Request and free hosting question
I would like to request a site review. http://www.bcountry.net
My biggest concern is I think I tend to confuse my customers.
(smiles). I have not been using a shopping cart because my ordering
process requires very specific information... which they provide me
through an email form. Is this hindering my sales? Would anyone have a
suggestion that might make it easier for my customers? Is my site easy
to navigate or do you get lost? And one last thing, Bogdan, I hear so
much flack about free hosting, but for now I have chosen this route...
does that little banner at the top really make a difference to a
Thanks so much for any help you can offer!
======================N e w P o s t i n g (3)========================
From: "Mary Gordon" <email@example.com>
Subject: Promotion Idea
First off, I love the Adland Digest. I read it religiously every week and
have learned more from you and your readers than I have anywhere else. So I
wanted to share a little advertising trick I found recently with everyone.
There's a software site called Wise Wolf that offers four different software
programs available for free download. I downloaded Wise Wolf Pages 4, which
is a free desktop advertising program, and also the Wise Wolf Opt-in and
began using them. The Free Version of Wise Wolf Pages 4 lets you place two
ads a day, and by reading others' ads you gain points toward upgraded
advertising. The Opt-in program allows you to send letters to their Opt-in
database. I have a feeling it's a rather small database, but I have had
results from it so far.
The programs were free, but you can upgrade Wise Wolf Pages 4 for only
$12.95. The other programs are apparently always free. So far this is a
very small advertising resource, but I think it's going to grow and the
quality of the hits I'm getting is better than many other resources I've
tried. I'm using it along with my regular advertising on my Adland
If you'd like to look over the software, visit:
Sorry for the long post. Please edit it if you'd like. I hope this helps
your readers as much as they've all helped me.
========= Site Review Request (1)===========
From: Mark Crisp <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Great E-zine. Especially the section on web site reviews.
How can I have my site reviewed?
========= Site Review Request (2)===========
From: "Boris Erickson" <email@example.com>
I am looking for a critique of my newest site
This site has only been active for about two weeks and every time I have
asked for a critique, nobody has answered the call, but I know the readers
of this ezine are different.
You all actually take a look at sites a recommend changes for them
(sometimes you get three or four reviews of the site) and since I have been
a reader for a while now, I figure that you all are the ones I need.
I know the site can look a little better and any suggestions would help.
We didn't invent the link. We just help make it work better.
===========Site Review Response(1)=============
From: "Tony Murtagh" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
I looked at your site http://asapReps.com/isp but found that there was
nothing there to attract me to stay.
There were no obvious benefits to me. While the technical jargon in
the first paragraph obviously means a great deal to you, to the site visitor
it is totally off-putting.
The first sentence needs to grab the visitors attention. My reaction to
your first paragraph is "so what?" One way of attracting attention is to
state your products/services USP (Unique Selling Point) and follow it up by
"which means that".
For example "Flashnets exceptional Internet service MEANS THAT you will save
money and time"
You have now given the visitor a reason to stay a little longer.
You are should be selling benefits -What's in it For Me - not the features
of the service.
Selling on the net is in many ways no diferent from selling face to face.
The old sales maxim "you never get a second chance to make a first
impression" is even more true on a web site. By all means be honest, open
and informative to your visitors, but not on the first page!
If you can attract their interest, you can then take them inside to give
them the accurate information they need. Remember that web users attention
span is notoriously short - perhaps a comprehensive FAQ page on your site
will give them the opportunity to gather whatever info. they need.
You second and third paragraphs then go on to talk about becoming a rep.
This needs to be separated from the first paragraph. You have to decide if
your home page is to sell to the public or to recruit reps. Trying to do
both only confuses both sets of visitors.
Finally, I would strongly suggest that you take those banners of the second
half of your page.
a) they look just like a series of link exchange banners and most people
will not even read them
b) you are mixing up customers and reps again
c) use text links instead, again showing the benefit you are promoting i.e.
"afraid of you children seeing adult sites - click here to see how you can
let them surf in safety" - when I first glanced at the banner relating to
this I thought you were promoting a type of drain cleaning service.
As far as your actual search engine placement is concerned I think you need
to do a great deal more work on your meta tags, particularly in
co-ordinating your title, description and keywords. I could go into more
detail but I think that my reply is probably too long already! I am sure you
can find many useful articles on search engine placement etc.
As one final thought - I think you should stick with an easy to read site
and not get too worried about "jazzing" it up - and keep on persevering -
you WILL get there in the end.
I trust you take the above comments in the constructive way in which they
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===================G u e s t A r t i c l e (1)=====================
DON'T LOOSE VISITORS BECAUSE OF POOR SITE DESIGN
By Tony Murtagh
However good your products/service, if your site is poorly designed you will
not succeed at turning visitors into customers. The following article will
help you avoid many of the common mistakes that novice (and expert)
designers make. Whether you are going to design the site yourself, or
contract out to a design consultant, there are several key elements to good
site design that you (or your designer) need to work to.
The most important part of your site is the home page - that is what your
potential customers will see when they first visit the site. If that is not
right, it doesn't matter what the remainder of the site is like - no one
will ever get to see it!
Think of your front page as the cover of a book, and the Web as a giant
bookstore. Most of the people in the store are there to browse around for a
while, either not sure of what they want or just passing the time away. They
will not pick up the first book they see and start reading it, but they will
glance at the book covers until one catches their eye. They will then pick
it up and look at the back cover for further information. If that still
retains their interest, they may then actually open the book. By this time
they have probably glanced at the covers of two or three dozen books and
read the back covers of another dozen.
They will then read a few paragraphs here and there and then they will
probably put the book back on the shelf and continue browsing. Eventually
they may buy and read one of the many books they have glanced at.
This is like many of the browsers on the Web. They will surf through many
sites before stopping long enough to navigate through one particular site.
Even then they will probably leave before buying anything. It would be an
achievement for you if they go as far as adding your site to their
"But," I hear you all saying, "when visitors come to my site, it is because
they are interested in the product/service/information that I offer so they
Really? And do you believe in the Tooth Fairy as well?
Let's go back to that bookstore. Say you were to visit that store with the
specific intention of buying a book on Web Site Marketing, and you had an
idea of the book you wanted because a friend had recommended it. You would
go to the computer section, find the book you were looking for and probably
pick it up and glance through it. I doubt if you would buy it purely on your
Now even if you did like the look of the book and felt that it was just what
you wanted, wouldn't you at least glance at the other books in the section?
Isn't there a chance that you would pick one or two of them up and browse
through them? After all, you do want to ensure that you buy the best and
most suitable book don't you? So even if you went to the bookstore with the
express intention of buying one particular book, there is a possibility that
you could change your mind because you have seen something better.
If you found that the recommended book was poorly designed and you didn't
like the way it was written, would you still buy it? I don't think so!
So you see, even if visitors have gone to your site because they were
interested in what you have to offer, it is by no means certain that they
will stay there, let alone buy anything!
OK, so now, I hope, you appreciate the need for good site design.
The following pointers will help you to design a site that your customers
will find attractive and will stay at for at least a few minutes! I would
recommend that you list these points and ensure that they are followed -
especially if you are paying someone else to design the site for you - make
sure you get the site that will work for you - not one that shows what
clever designers they are!
Downloads Quickly - most accepted research has shown that a visitor will
only wait six to eight seconds for a site to download - after that he will
skip on somewhere else - so don't have lots of graphics on your home page!
Easy to Read - don't have a heavily patterned background or lots of
colours - it might look pretty but people wont strain their eyes trying to
read a light blue text on a purple background. (If you think I'm
exaggerating, believe me, I'm not - I have seen that on a site of a company
trying to sell a web design service - I could hardly read it so naturally I
left and have never been back!). Black or dark blue on white is usually best
for the main body text.
Make it Clear - show your visitors exactly what they have to do to navigate
your site/obtain information/buy goods etc. Don't leave them thinking what
to do next.
Build Confidence - they probably don't know you, so build confidence in your
site. Do this by having an "About Us" page, contact information, site
security information (if you are taking credit card details), testimonials,
a FAQ page if appropriate (Frequently Asked Questions).
Keep Banners to a Minimum - particularly on your home page - people either
don't like them, ignore them, or worse still, click on them and leave your
Ensure Visitors can Navigate Easily - at a minimum, have a "top of page"
link at the bottom of every page that is longer than the visitor can see at
normal browser settings, and have a "home page" link on every page. Don't
send visitors down a cul-de-sac with no obvious way out. Yes, I know they
can use the back button on their browsers, but it is surprising how many
people do not and will simply exit your site if it is unclear where to go
How Do I Buy? - If you are selling goods directly from your site, make it
crystal clear to visitors how to buy.
Build up a Database of Customers - collect their e-mail addresses (getting
permission to contact them in the future). This can be accomplished by the
use of surveys, questionnaires, a quiz, or asking them to sign up to a
I trust that the above tips will help you in designing a web site that will
not only look good but, more importantly, make visitors want to look at the
remainder of your site.
Tony Murtagh has spent all of his career involved in sales, sales
management, marketing and PR. He was a UK National Sales Manger (Major
Accounts) for a mobile communications company, had his own publishing
company producing a monthly Business to Business magazine and has acted as a
PR consultant for a number of small businesses.
He is now sharing his wide experience of sales, marketing and promotion in
his new web site: -
and in a fortnightly e-ezine Aardvark Marketing, which you can subscribe to
from the site, or at http://AardvarkMarketing.listbot.com/
======================Joke of the Day=====================
Taken from Joke a Day
It was mealtime during our trip on a small airline in the
Northwest. "Would you like dinner?" the flight attendant
asked the man seated in front of me.
"What are my choices?" he asked.
"Yes or no," she replied.
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