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of 2320 subscribers
on web marketing and promotion
Bogdan Fiedur, Publisher
Vol. 1, #52, November 30, 1998
POST AND UNSUBSCRIBE INFO AT BOTTOM
Topics in this issue:
Word from publisher
S i t e R e v i e w R e s p o n s e s
~ Michael Bryant
R e q u e s t f o r R e v i e w
~ Howard Arzt
~ Susan Nichols
N e w P o s t s
1. Thank You!
~ Debbie Ducker
2. marketing a product
G u e s t A r t i c l e
HOW TO ADVERTISE YOUR SITE ON A SLIM BUDGET
by Dr. Ralph F. Wilson, E-Commerce Consultant
A d l a n d T i p
Please read item 4 of Adland tip.
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Get results right away using Adland personals.
============ Word from publisher =============
~ We are getting more site review requests than three per
issue. I will include only these which have clear objective
as to what should be reviewed.
~ In 10 days David Bredeweg will take over role of moderating
and publishing digest for about three weeks.
David was the one who helped me with starting it.
=============Review Responses (1) ==============
From: Michael Bryant <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Hi Adlands subscribers,
Hi Susan Lamb <email@example.com>
Youe site at http://members.aol.com:/yumalamb/index.htm Doesn't
really have alot wrong with it. Just that it is a "fledgling site" As
far as HTML goes make your title longer and include some of the
keywords. Place a few of those keywords in your paragraph on the front
page. This will help your placement in the search engines. If your
site is real new then you are not even in the engines yet and the
change will help.
No, you don't have to buy advertising but it does get more
visitors. Just place more ads and make them classifieds. Don't
overlook FFA pages either. Get one and add it to autolinks database
and link-o-matics too! (located at :
http://www.linkomatic.com/addurl.cgi?10748 )This will get some one
your email each time they submit a link. Also people DO surf FFA
pages. You can see what a link page is at
http://www.max-host.com/links/links.htm and you can get your own link
page at http://www.career-pro.com/autolink/index.cgi?haelxbry
Hope this helps! Just remember that it takes time to get the
visitor rate up. If you are averaging 20-50 a week after a week in
business , You are ahead of the game. Oh, and build up a link page and
fill it with links you exchanged with other pages. The more links to
your site you have out there, the more people who see your link and
the more who visit.
'Till next issue, good luck and have fun!
=================Request for Review (1) =============
From: "CAMBOOKS" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
1. URL of the site
2. Purpose of the site (one sentence)
To assist "For Sale By Owner Real Estate" Sellers and Buyers
3. Name and email address of requestor
DotComUSA Homes, Inc - Support Team
4. What kind of feedback is expected
Please tell us all. The value, usefulness, features, and design of
the site. Good or otherwise.
=================Request for Review (2) =============
From:Howard Arzt email@example.com
I would like some feedback on my site at
The purpose of this site is to introduce visitors to a new educational
product and encourage them to purchase it as a great holiday gift.
I would like to know if I am giving my visitors a clear description of
the product. Did I include enough information and answer all the
questions that a potential customer may have.
=================Request for Review (2) =============
From: "Susan Nichols" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Hello, I would like the Pro's to Review my site and tell me what they think,
be honest and don't try to spare my feelings I'm looking for an outsiders
Advanced Real Estate Listing Service
Looking for your Dream Home. We have over 850 Properties to choose from with
New Listings posted daily. Search our National & International Listings or
Submit your Property to be Listed. We welcome FSBO's, Agent's & Broker's.
=================New Post (1) =============
From: Debbie <email@example.com>
Subject: Thank You!
A very sincere "Thank You" to everyone who replied to my site review!
Great learning experience for me! I will apply all I have learned, as
I go back to the drawing board on this site. Thank you also for the
compliments on my design, it is always nice to know that your hard
work has may be accomplished some good, especially when you have a
paying client involved.
Thanks also to Adland for giving us this great learning opportunity!
Sincerely, Debbie Ducker
Christmas is almost here! Fill your gift list
right from the comfort of home! Online shopping.
=================New Post (2) =============
From: "Kevin Farris" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: marketing a product
I need to market a product very quickly and very effectively without
spending alot of money. Does anyone have any good suggestions besides free
==================Guest Article ===================
HOW TO ADVERTISE YOUR SITE ON A SLIM BUDGET
by Dr. Ralph F. Wilson, E-Commerce Consultant
You can do a lot to promote your site for free. And I hope you're
doing many of the things listed in our article "23 Ways to Promote
Your Website" (http://www.wilsonweb.com/articles/checklist.htm).
But there comes a point where you need to outsource certain
aspects of promotion in order to move up a notch in bringing
traffic to your site.
First, though, you need to be clear about your goals. To
oversimplify, there are two main goals for purchasing advertising
on the Web: (1) developing name recognition for your business
(branding) and (2) bringing visitors to your site so they will
purchase your goods or services (direct marketing).
BRANDING USING BANNER ADVERTISING
The larger your company is or wants to be, the more important it
is to develop a recognition of your name on the Internet. Your
ideal is to become a household word. But failing that, you want
people to recognize your name and associate good feelings with it,
so they will prefer your products or services over your less-known
competitors. (Much more information on this subject may be found
at the Branding on the Web section of our Web Marketing Info
Branding deals with ad industry buzz words such as "impressions"
and "page views." Clicking on the banner to visit your site is
ideal, of course, but just seeing your banner there again and
again will gradually reinforce the impression that you are an
industry leader. A good example is IBM, whose e-business campaign
is widely known.
CRUNCHING CPMs AND CTRs
But branding is expensive. Let's look at the numbers, something we
hope will become second nature to you as you consider paying for
advertising. The average banner ad is sold on the basis of CPM
(cost per thousand "impressions" or "page views"), a metric
inherited from traditional advertising media. The current average
cost of banner ads is $35 CPM, or $35 for each 1,000 people who
see your ad. Each "impression" at this rate would cost you 3.5
cents. (Another acronym you might run across is ROS, which stands
for Run of Site, meaning displaying a banner ad at random
throughout a particular website.)
The second important metric is CTR (click-through rate). This is
the percentage of people who see your banner ad and click on it,
thus being sent to your site. This rate has fallen from an average
of 2% down to less than 1% currently. (Though the average click-
through rates on our Web marketing and e-commerce sites is much
higher, in the range of 3% to 6%, since our site is highly
targeted, http://www.wilsonweb.com/ads/). So with a click-through
rate of 1%, what would a visitor to your site cost you? 1% of
1,000 page views is 10 people. So with a $35 CPM ad campaign at 1%
CTR, each visitor to your site costs you $3.50.
There's a third important metric: conversion rate. This is the
percentage of visitors to your site who convert from shoppers into
buyers, and actually purchase something from you. The conversion
rate for first-time shoppers can vary from 0.5% to 5% (or perhaps
more, depending upon your offer). Let's assume for a moment that
the conversion rate on your site is 10% (which is very high!).
That means that it takes 10 shoppers at $3.50 each to bring you
one sale. So the initial sale cost (called the "customer
acquisition cost") is $35. If the average sale on your site is $25
(of which your net profit is $5 to $10), you're losing money on
every initial sale. (Note that the assumption of a 10% conversion
rate may be ten times too high.)
However, many companies operate in this fashion. They lose money
on the first sale, but work very hard at delighting their
customers, so they make money in repeat sales in the long run. Now
you can see the real crunch points in making money in an online
store: (1) increasing the click-through rate, (2) increasing the
conversion rate, (3) fine-tuning your fulfillment system and
supply chain so you can provide the superb customer service that
enables you to retain customers, and (4) marketing effectively to
your existing customers. Many companies with a "no inventory drop-
ship model" lose out on their ability to provide superb customer
service, and eventually die because they can't retain customers
for the lucrative second, third, and fourth time sales.
To recap: The branding approach that purchases strategically-
placed banner ads costs out this way: 3.5 cents per page view,
$3.50 per visitor to your site, and $35 (or much more) for the
Now don't get me wrong. Branding is very important if your goal is
to be one of the few top online businesses in your industry a year
or two from now. You talk to venture capitalists who share your
dream, and you build your name with branding strategies. You've
got to capture top-of-mind awareness or be left in the ditch -- or
perhaps the niche.
NICHE LEAGUE TECHNIQUES
The fact is that most of you don't have the capital to play in the
Branding League. All is not lost -- not by any means. There is a
Niche League, too. Niche League players aren't as interested in
playing in the big leagues. They have a bottom line. They want to
earn money now, not two or three years down the road like the
Amazon.coms of this world. And many companies have developed very
successful teams in this League. You can, too. Most companies in
the Niche League set their goal not on branding but on
transactions -- maximizing the number of transactions at the
lowest possible cost per transaction. One of the keys (and there
are several keys we can't talk about in this article) is to find a
mix of less-expensive ways to advertise their site.
I want to suggest six advertising techniques that seem to offer
the highest return on the dollar. (We're assuming, of course, that
you have already built an effective website.) These are some of
the strategies I am pursuing to increase traffic to my site, and
each of these we'll be looking at in greater detail in future
1. PUBLIC RELATIONS
You can't pay to have your site mentioned positively in an article
or news story. Such a mention could being you thousands of
visitors overnight. How do you accomplish this? There are several
inexpensive ways to send out news releases that will be picked up
by both print and online media. Some of these include:
PR Newswire (http://www.prnewswire.com/) and Business Wire
(http://www.businesswire.com/aboutbw/) both deal with traditional
as well as online media.
Internet News Bureau (http://www.newsbureau.com/welcome.cgi?1017)
charges $225 per release, and also will assist in writing your
release for you for an extra fee.
Eric Ward's NetPOST (http://www.netpost.com) offers personalized
releases via e-mail to journalists who have requested to receive
The trick here is to come up with something actually newsworthy
about your company. Launching a website is no longer news. But a
contest, an event, a new product or service might have the makings
of a newsworthy story. I suggest you read Larry Chase's Essential
Business Tactics for the Net (Wiley, 1998) for ideas. You can
purchase a copy at discount at this URL:
Another approach is to hire a public relations firm to help get
your company press coverage. They will work with you to develop
newsworthy events and use the relationships they've developed with
the press to get you coverage. Outsourcing public relations may
bring you much more traffic than you could get otherwise for a
relatively low cost per visitor. Advice: shop around. You can find
resources on public relations and writing news releases in our Web
Marketing Info Center (http://www.wilsonweb.com/webmarket/pr.htm)
as well as the Internet News Bureau
2. LOW-COST BANNER ADS
The cost of banner ads averages $35 CPM. Most ad agencies work on
a 15% commission, paid by the site owner that carries your banner.
If you have only a few dollars to spend, there may be enough money
in your project to make it worth their while. But if you have a
larger budget, getting the right media agency is a real bargain
and will save you lots of time and mistakes. (We can steer you to
some trustworthy and competent agencies.)
For low cost solutions, however, you'll need to shop carefully,
but you can purchase banner ads much more cheaply. Take a look at
they're offering two options:
UNTARGETED ADS (LinkExchange Broadcast) that appear randomly
throughout the 250,000-site LinkExchange network. Stated rates run
from $8 to $10 CPM.
SEMI-TARGETED ADS (LinkExchange Midcast) place your ad on sites
within one of 22 top-level categories: arts & humanities, autos
boats & planes, business, computer & Internet, culture & religion,
education & reference, entertainment & leisure, games, health &
fitness, hobbies & interests, life family issues, money & finance,
movies & television, music & radio, non-profit & resource
organizations, personal homepages, pets home & garden, science &
technology, shopping & services, society & issues, sports, and
travel. Stated rates are from $14 to $16 CPM.
These are lower rates: however, purchase over $2,000, and you may
be able to negotiate a CPM below their rate card. It may look like
CPM rates are fixed -- and they are if you use their automated
purchasing system. If you're a willing buyer, however, and they
have unsold inventory (You can be sure that LinkExchange has
plenty of inventory!) -- and you negotiate carefully with a real
person, you can probably get a better rate.
Suggestion: Do some testing with a small purchase of 1,000 to
5,000 impressions and see what kind of click-through rate you get.
Only then negotiate to make larger buys.
You might also want to check out AdAuction.com
(http://www.adauction.com/) that auctions off last minute
inventory to the highest bidder. You may find some bargains here,
especially if you are purchasing a large enough number of
impressions at a time. (Need a banner made? See our sidebar "Made-
to-Order Banners" below.)
3. NEWSLETTER ADVERTISING
Businesses are finding that some of the best click-through rates
are not from banners, but from ads in targeted e-mail newsletters
(such as Web Marketing Today, http://www.wilsonweb.com/wmt/). Here
you're getting an ad in the context of interesting material, and
people will often read your ad as they are scrolling down through
the issue. The newer e-mail programs show URLs as clickable
hyperlinks, so readers can go directly to your site by just
clicking on the URL in the newsletter.
Find the free ezines that are serving people who would make your
best customers and subscribe to them. After you get an idea of the
flavor of each, look into prices for advertising in or sponsoring
an issue. While some charge rates based on CPM (such as our
newsletters), others have flat rates for ads. You'll have to do
some searching for the right newsletters, but this could be an
especially rewarding strategy that won't break your budget.
4. KEYWORD PURCHASE
Connecting with the people who are actually searching for your
product or service is the most ideal situation. You're probably
aware that you can purchase keywords on the major search engines
and directories. For example, when someone enters the search
phrase "mountain bikes" your colorful animated banner pops up
above all the search responses and takes advantage of people's
demonstrated interest. Often they'll click on your banner and not
even go to the search results below.
This kind of advertising is sold on a CPM basis. Since it is quite
targeted, the cost is higher than more general advertising.
LinkExchange Express, for example, allows you to purchase
advertising on Yahoo! for between $100 and $2,000 at a time
(http://www.le-express.com/yahoo/). At this writing the cost is
$20 CPM for targeted banners related to keywords, and $10 CPM for
run of site banners on Yahoo.
A great bargain for smaller companies can be found at GoTo.com
(http://www.goto.com). Here's a search engine where the top spots
are paid for by advertisers such as yourself. After the paid ads,
the search results from an Inktomi-powered search engine are
displayed. When I search on "cats" for example, the first entry
was for "VHS Videos Designed for Cats to Watch." Now there's a
thought. At the end of the entry was the phrase: Cost to
advertiser: $0.09. That means that every time a cat-lover clicks
on the link -- Ka-ching! -- the advertiser pays 9 cents. "Cats"
must not be too competitive a keyword just yet.
When I put in "Web marketing" however, ouch! the top ranked spot
was paying 32 cents per click. But my "ouch" must be modified
considerably. While the Web marketing firms are paying 3 times
what cat video firms are paying, 32 cents per click is
substantially less than the $3.50 we calculated per visitor using
banner ads at an average $35 CPM. Nor do you need to grab top spot
to get some click-throughs. Fourth position in the "Web marketing"
list was down to 14 cents per click, giving you quite adequate
But expect rates to go up as your competitor covets the position
just above you. When you think of it, this is a great business
model. GoTo.com inspires advertisers to outbid each other and
GoTo's revenue only climbs. One of my desired keywords rose from
30 cents to 36 cents within a week's time.
Advertisers can purchase several keywords or phrases at a time,
using whatever title and description they want for each. Titles
can be up to 40 characters, with the description up to 190
characters. If you wonder how many clicks you are likely to get on
a keyword, you can see last month's total for a word and related
For example, the search word "web marketing" was entered 81 times
in September, so if I had purchased first spot (assuming it stayed
at 32 cents for the whole month), my total for that phrase would
have been $25.92. While GoTo.com doesn't get near the traffic of a
Lycos or Yahoo, you are only paying for actual visits to your
site, and -- I'm sure GoTo.com won't mind me saying so -- you
won't break the bank to bid for the number one spot. "Marketing"
got 1,423 searches in September, and currently the top site is
paying 32 cents. On the other hand "cats" had 5,293 searches in
September, Egyptian cats 176, Persian cats 117. You get the
5. PAY PER CLICK OR PAY PER ACTION
This brings us directly to the Pay Per Click (PPC) or Pay Per
Action (PPA) models.
Some sites will take advertising on a Pay Per Click basis (though
we won't, since the click-through rate varies a great deal based
on the quality and targeted-ness of the banner ad). Ask about it
when you find a site you like. Many sites have unsold inventory
and are willing to consider any reasonable offer.
ValueClick (http://www.valueclick.com), "the pay for results
advertising network," is made up of 6,000 member sites. You can
purchase advertising with ValueClick on a quite reasonable pay-
per-click basis; the minimum purchase is $2,000. Sites are grouped
within 14 different categories, such as computers & technology,
entertainment & media, shopping, travel, sports and recreation,
While pay per click is pretty obvious, you can also set up
arrangements to pay only when someone fills out your form or
purchases a product, i.e. performs an "Action." Irv Brechner of
the Transact! Network (http://smartbiz.com/sbs/transact.htm)
offers this kind of service.
A closely related model is to develop an affiliate network. An
affiliate puts a link or banner on their site, and are paid when a
shopper from their site makes a purchase at the store. While this
model is extremely attractive, and has been showcased expertly by
Amazon.com, this kind of program is very difficult to administer
well. Unless you can invest considerable time in setting up and
running an affiliate program, don't bother to start. (More
information can be found in the Affiliate Programs section our Web
Commerce Today Research Room,
There is however an another approach. For a fee, ClickTrade
(http://clicktrade.linkexchange.com/mpricing.htm) will administer
a program for you, taking 30% (on top of the payment to the
affiliate) for their trouble. For example, you can set up an
affiliate program that pays affiliates 25 cents per click-through
from a link on their site to yours. The minimum deposit to set
this up is $100. Sure, it costs money, perhaps 32.5 cents per
click (25 cents, plus ClickTrade's 30% commission or
administration fee), but for the small business, having ClickTrade
take care of administering the program will be well worth it.
ClickTrade also offers pay-per-lead and pay-per-sale programs.
6. SEARCH ENGINE POSITIONING
The final approach you should consider is paying for a company to
do search engine positioning for you. We wrote about this last
month (http://www.wilsonweb.com/wmt3/issue49.htm), and will focus
on it again in the near future, so we won't spend much time on it
now. But at the going rate, you can get a shopper in your store
for 25 cents a head, when they click on a top ranked search engine
link set up by the position company. Your customers are qualified
by having seen your link, read your site description, and choosing
to click on your site, so they're pretty well targeted. (We can
suggest some trustworthy, competent positioning firms.) Sure, you
can do search engine positioning yourself, but the time you'll
spend in the process will be exorbitant (trust me, I know). This
is one you'll probably want to outsource. For do-it-yourselfers,
however, I strongly recommend WebPosition
so you can track where you are in the search engines as you
inch your way to the top.
Now you can probably think of other low-cost, budget-friendly
advertising approaches in addition to these, but I have a feeling
that these will keep you busy for a while. Happy marketing!
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