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Archive for December, 2008

The simple marketing power of promotional gifts

The Simple Marketing Power of Promotional Gifts

Internet marketing techniques have always fascinated me. For years I have been searching for the most effective tools and methods for marketing in this so called Internet Age. What tools, what methods should an Internet marketer be using to bring in the most traffic and the most sales

Since becoming a full time online marketer around four years ago, that question has taken on much more significance because my very livelihood depends upon it. Not only that, discovering the most effective marketing tools and methods has really become my full time job. It s what I do

I spend my work days testing different marketing techniques, trying out new ways of gathering traffic, and trying every new tool or gadget I can get my hands on. I have spent a small fortune on web marketing info products, different web marketing tools  not to mention all the companies who have asked me to check out their products for free.

Over the years, some very simple concepts or methods of marketing online have proven the most effective for me. They have proven so valuable I use them on all of my sites. Simple effective techniques that work.

What are these marketing techniques

Actually, they are nothing new, marketers have been using these methods for hundreds of years. It all centers around the idea of gift giving and the promotional gift. Companies have always found the idea of giving small promotional gifts to their present and future clients to be a very effective way of marketing.

Like countless other online marketers, I have perfected this practice of giving promotional gifts to increase my targeted traffic and to boost my sales. It is a very simple marketing technique any website owner or online marketer can use to achieve the same results.

I believe a very detailed description of my own promotional gifts and how I effectively use them in my online marketing would prove helpful to you. Then you can look at what I have done and model the same marketing techniques with your own niche or website.

First, you have to briefly understand the psychology behind gift giving and gifts. There s no denying it, we all like free gifts. We all like receiving gifts mainly because we all have been hot wired or conditioned to receiving gifts since we were two years old and up. Getting a gift never fails to put a smile on our faces or a warm feeling in our hearts. Corny as that may sound, it is nonetheless very true for the majority of the non scrooge humans living on the planet. We are all still that small child receiving a gift.

We simply love getting gifts.

However, I believe many marketers, including many small website owners, maybe even you, highly appreciated reader fail to realize the marketing power of these small promotional gifts. It can be a truly effective way of promoting and marketing your site or product. One that every marketer should be using.

Nor should you underestimate the power of giving away free gifts to your site s visitors it can be an effective way of branding your name and for acquiring repeat customers. Especially on the web where you sometimes only have a few seconds to make contact or engage a visitor so handing out a free gift is often an excellent way of making a first good impression with your visitor and potential client/customer.

It is a marketing tactic I use with all my sites. I try to give them something of real value, or perceived value in the eye of the receiver  something of high quality that they will appreciate and remember. Of course, that something also has my site s URL and Logo on it calling visitors back to my site, time and time again.

That s why on many of my sites you will see a Free Desktop Calendar that visitors can download and place on their computer desktop this is a simple software program consisting of an ecalendar and daily planner which contains my site s information, logo message, plus a direct link back to my site. Something simple, practical and my visitors like and use it I get tons of emails from these calendar users telling me how much they enjoy it.

A simple promotional gift that works. My own simple virtual version of the fridge magnet

Another effective marketing tactic I use with most of my sites is the giving away of free guides. These are simple handy guides in PDF or EXE file format that I pass out to my visitors  to anyone who wants one. These guides can even be re branded so that your visitors can pass them out for you creating a viral gift that keeps on giving.

An extremely easy way to build your list of potential customers for your products. Anyone can create these guides and give them out to your visitors. Just use Google Docs to make the PDF files of your Favorite Tips, How To Articles, Special Reports or Buyers Guides… you may be totally amazed at how effective these free promotional gifts can be to your marketing.

Since everything is in video format these days, creating free How To Videos is within everyone s reach. These videos can have a viral effect and land up on countless sites all over the web. If you’re like me and lack the Spielberg gene, you can always use the videos made by your affiliate companies and promote these on your sites. Free videos work great as promotional gifts, especially if you can embed them with your affiliate links.

In the same way, I also like using re branding software so that your visitors can re brand these promotional products and make them their own. Also you can purchase software that will allow you to have Pop up Forms and Subscription Boxes on PDF files   very useful for list building and boosting traffic back to your site. I use PDF Pop Up Pro for this.

But most of all, my favorite promotional tool is the handy little buyer s guide. I especially like giving away free Buyer s Guides of the products I am promoting, mainly because you know these are the targeted group potential buyers who are at the right stage in the marketing process  when they re seriously considering buying the product. You get their attention at the most opportune time.

It makes for very smart marketing.

These helpful buyer s guides are in reality, very effective promotional gifts that will increase your traffic and sales. Again, you can use PDF or EXE formats for these guides, another option which I occasionally use is to deliver this buying guide in 6 or 7 follow up emails. This accomplishes two important objectives of my online marketing it builds my lists of potential customers and it also lets me cookie all these potential buyers with my affiliate IDs. If you re new to online marketing, cookies are used to mark your customers as your referrals, these cookies can last anywhere to a few days up to a lifetime  when a customer buys within that time frame, you get credit for the sale.

The savvy online marketer will use promotional gifts as a way of tagging the receiver as their cookied referral. If you can t create your own guides, reports, articles… there are tons of free ebooks, instructive videos, and how to products on the web that you can use. Many of the major affiliate companies and marketers will provide these gifts re branded with your affiliate IDs for you to hand out to your site s visitors.

Promotional gifts in the virtual world can take on all these different disguises downloadable software programs, ebooks, articles, special reports, How to Videos, buying guides… and the list goes on. Don t overlook this simple way of marketing. Instead, use these promotional gifts and techniques on your own site or with your own products. A proven method of increasing both your brand recognition and your sales.

Basically, what you re doing is taking the old concept of the promotional gift that has been around for centuries such calendars, pens, mugs, fridge magnets… and applying this concept to your website or online marketing. Of course, you can still use these real world trinkets to promote your site and products, but d
on t forget about the virtual online version such as desktop software, ebooks, special reports, buyer s guides, viral videos… these can prove very effective marketing tools in this brave new online world.

Don t look a gift horse in the mouth, instead, ride it all the way to the bank. Discover the true effectiveness of online promotional gifts for yourself and you will quickly reap the rewards.

Are you leaving your opportunity to be successful to chance

Are You Leaving Your Opportunity To Be Successful To Chance?

Copyright (c) 2009 Bryan Beckstead

Are You Leaving Your Opportunity To Be Successful To Chance? Without These, You Are

I interchange the words happy and successful. Happy has a personal connotation where successful has a business or professional connotation. Either way, you don’t want to leave your chance to be successful and or happy to chance, you will be doing that without these.

Standards

“Standards” is the word I use for how we determine when we are happy with our results. It’s a simple and easily understood criterion to be used when assessing when we will or will not be happy with our end results. Standards are one of those critical areas that seem to slip under the radar for most people. Ask some one, quickly, what their standards are for a certain task; what they expect to happen at the end of it and most importantly, how rigidly do they enforce their own standards. Most people will look at you with a blank stare as if you just talked to them in a foreign language.

One way that I suggest you start to address this critical area is to develop a set of Irrefutables; a way to internally develop standards that you define, monitor and use as a yard-stick to judge your performance as well as those around you. By addressing the issue of standards, by establishing your own set of standards and then enforcing them, you are now taking control of your own destiny and not leaving it up to chance.

There are some criteria that you should use to help you set up your standards that will make them more productive and useful to you. Always remember; standards are there to help you, to make you as successful and profitable as possible. They are there to benefit you, not hinder you. With this in mind, here are some tips on establishing your standards and Irrefutables.

Written

If they are not written, they are pretty well going to be useless to you. I’ve heard every argument to the contrary over the years and at the end of all the debates, the standards that are written down are the ones that have the greatest chance of doing you some good. Written standards reflect the fact that you took the time to write them down. That also means you took the time to think about them during the process. Standards will not be a static concept in your operations, they will evolve, be massaged, they will change over time. With them in a written form, all of these changes can be more readily identified and then rewritten for all to see.

This brings up an important point, standards are not just for you, they are for everyone you come in contact with. Standards are not much good to you if no one knows you have them and if they know you have them, they don’t know what they are. Once you are past being a one-person band, having written standards become even more important to you. We all know the party game, put 10 people in a row, whisper a couple of sentences into the first persons ear, he then whispers what he thinks he heard into the next persons ear and so on until it reaches the end person. The end person says out loud what he was told by the last person, keeping in mind this has been filtered through 9 people. What the last person says out loud and what the first person started with are wildly different.

Forget filtering your unwritten standards through 9 people, just try to pass on a set of standards, unwritten standards to one or two other people and see what develops.

They Have To Be Enforced

Some nice sounding words on a piece of paper are not standards. They only start to become standards when someone breathes life into them and makes them real by making them part of the fabric of your organization. They become real when an individual does not live up to the standards are then someone steps in and says, “this is not how we do things here, I will help you redo it”. When that happens, you will start to have real standards in your organization.

Enforcement sounds like some one is running around spying on people and when they find someone not toeing the line, starts to scream and shout at them. This is not the case. What you want to create is an environment where all the people involved are committed to doing the best possible work and reaping the maximum benefit from that effort. Whether you are a one-man band or part of a 200-person company, the concept remains the same, standards are there to help us become more successful, and standards are a good thing.

Give standards the due they deserve. Spend some time, maybe a lot of time, on this topic. It is one of those maximizers that keeps on giving and giving, just like the rabbit.