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December 2001
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Antion & Associates
tom@antion.com
301-459-0738

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Primiere Issue December 2001

Print and Go

Here is the entire ezine for you to print and take with you. Simply print this entire web page by using your "File/print" command. All of this month's articles are included and there is plenty of room in the margins for notes

Introduction from Tom

About 5 years ago I got my first website up at http://www.antion.com . I was certain that I was going to become rich overnight because I was one of the first in the speaking industry to have a website. After two years of nothing happening  I found that there was something associated with my website called "statistics." When I saw these statistics they said that only 400 people had visited my site in two whole years. TWO YEARS AND ONLY 400 PEOPLE! This was my proverbial 2 x 4 in the head that made me wake up and start studying the Internet and how to make money with it. 

Since then I have spent thousands of hours and tens of thousands of dollars figuring out what works and what doesn't work for small businesspeople on the Internet. I have spent many thousands of dollars consulting with the top Internet marketers in the world. I have had them rip me to shreds to make my Internet operation better. I've bought and tried all kinds of Internet marketing products to see what really works and what doesn't. I've built an Internet marketing machine that brings in anywhere from $20,000.00 to $50,000.00 per month.

Occasionally I'll hear a naysayer attack my credibility by commenting that I am selling "How to make money on the Internet" materials. Here's my answer to them. I never intended to be Mr. Internet guru. I was selling "How to be a better public speaker" tapes on the Internet. I still sell them . . .and lots of them I might add. Why is this significant? Because most people hate public speaking. It's a very small market, yet I learned how to capture it and make lots of money while sitting home in front of my computer. 

I was literally forced to become an Internet expert speaker and consultant because people were bugging me to death to help them have the same success on the Internet in their respective fields. 

Since then, I've helped hundreds of small businesspeople in many different fields learn what they need to know to capture a market or multiple markets on the Internet and make a small fortune selling their markets products and services.

Here is just a sampling of some of the small businesses I've helped:

  • Sewing website

  • Artists

  • Sales trainers

  • Image consultants

  • Russian Bride Service

  • Management consultants

  • Dummies Book Author

  • Futurist

  • Humorists

  • Magicians

  • Professional speakers on many different topics

  • Alternative medicine practitioner

  • Chiropractor

  • Attorneys

and the list goes on and on

I was even selected as a spokesperson by CBS owned Switchboard.com in their small business outreach program "Main Streets Online." I beat out thousands of other so called Internet experts who never actually sold anything on the Internet. Do you know why I beat them out? It's because I really sell on the Internet . . . I wasn't just giving a book report.

I'm regularly asked for my opinion by periodicals like "Newsweek," "Fortune Small Business," and "Entrepreneur." Just a few months ago a website I built for $650.00 got Best-of-the-Web in "Inc. Magazine" and beat out other websites costing hundreds of thousands of dollars. Your subscription to "Great Internet Marketing" will help you learn all the techniques that got me Best-of-the-Web and also the techniques that can make the money pour into your bank account.

What you'll get from your subscription

Me and my staff review over 50 of the major Internet marketing Ezines every month to keep up with the latest and greatest in Internet marketing techniques. I'll also be telling you all the successes and failures I've been having along with instructional techniques on:

Website Techniques
Traffic Generation Techniques
Product Development Techniques
Email Techniques
Copywriting Techniques
Search Engine Tips
Cool Gadgets
Useful Websites
Computer / Automation Techniques
Miscellaneous Stuff You Need to Know

And we'll even do monthly case studies so you can see how people in real life are using the techniques they learn here in "Great Internet Marketing"  magazine and in my rapidly becoming infamous Electronic Marketing ButtCamp where you learn how to make money while sitting at home on your rear end.

It's my goal to fiercely cut your learning curve and get you making money quickly. I don't want you going two years like I did with no traffic and no sales. Please feel free to email me with suggested topics and I'll do my best to work them in whenever possible.

Why monthly?

I've read tons of daily and weekly ezines on Internet marketing and I can tell you that any one of them can put you on overload quickly. What happens when you are on overload? . . . NOTHING.  That's exactly what I want to avoid. I want to give you thirty days between issues to implement all or part of what you read here. The people that do something every month march to victory. The people that get on overload turn on the TV.

For those of you that are more Internet savvy, you will knock out the work outlined in each issue in a couple weeks and can spend the next couple weeks working the useful website section to glean additional tips that are right for you.

In addition, when I get you really excited about product development, you may spend an entire month writing or recording and I don't want to interrupt you from knocking out new and extremely lucrative products.

Well, let's kick this thing off and get you moving. I can't wait to hear about your successes.

 

Website Technique

Take a Good Hard Look

In this premiere issue I'm going to encourage you to take a hard and objective look at your website. I'm even going to encourage you to call your most blunt and tactless friends to help out with this. Why? Because I want you to get the 2 x 4 to the head wake up call like I mentioned in the introduction.

The usability of your site is critical to getting people to stay on your site. If they get frustrated with too many choices and confusing navigation, they will be gone in no time and you can be sure they won't be back.

Here's what I want you to do:

1. Think about the main types of visitors that you want to come to your website. In my case at http://www.antion.com there are two types of visitors. One is a person who wants to be a speaker and the other is a person who needs a speaker for an event. Who do you want to visit your site?

2. Pretend you are one of those people. Go to your home page and see if the choices are really simple and that you have a choice specifically designed for that type of visitor. In my case I have a navigation button called "Need a Speaker." This button takes that type of visitor down a path specifically designed to give them the information they need. I don't want to give them too many choices right at the home page because it will likely confuse them.

The other type of visitor I have is a person who wants to be a speaker. I give them a navigation button all their own to take them down a separate path. I don't want the person who wants to be a speaker having to wade through all the stuff that the other type of visitor is looking for. I give them both separate paths right from the home page. It's kind of like separating them at birth.

I don't expect you to be very good at this because you are way too close to the situation. This leads us to number 3.

3. Get someone else to play the role of one of your types of visitors. Get them to sit at their computer and seek out the information that that type of visitor would want. Have them jot down every question that comes to their mind along the way. Do not coach them in advance of what to look for and do not talk to them on the phone while they are doing this. Just let them do it. When they are done have them report to you the trouble they had along with the questions that arose while they were trying to get the information.

Next, have someone sit at your computer and do the same thing. Get a piece of leather to bite on to keep yourself from talking to them while they are doing this. Videotape them if you can. You will be amazed at the questions that will come up and the trouble that they will have finding the information. Absolutely refuse to talk to them until they are done or so frustrated that they quit. This may hurt, but it is better to uncover problems with the usability of your site now rather than two years down the road when you have no traffic and no sales.

Repeat number 3 for each type of visitor that you are looking for and use several different people that don't know much about your business to do this exercise.

This Hurts

This exercise is a pain in the neck, hurtful emotionally and probably one of the best learning experiences you'll ever have. Don't cheat. Don't say a word to the people helping you because no one will be there to coach a real potential client who visits your site from their home or office. If your site isn't usable, then they'll leave and go find another one that is.

Follow Up

After you compile the information and uncover the problem area, look at your site again and reduce the number of choices on your home page to the bare minimum to send the visitors down their separate paths. Fix any other usability problems you uncover.

Now go to the library. Look at your website on the older, crumby and cheap computers they have there. You again will be shocked at what you learn. Your site will likely look much different on a different computer.

Also, download and install both Internet explorer (about 85% of the big two browser market) and Netscape Navigator (about 15% of the big two browser market). Don't forget to look at it on AOL which is a different animal all together.

Remember to always create your site for the lowest common denominator so that it loads lightening fast and looks relatively good on all the major browsers.

Next month we'll talk about creating a sales flow on your site to get customers to pull their wallet out and spend money with you.

Upcoming web techniques

  • Pop Up Boxes

  • Recommend this site forms

  • Discussion Boards

  • Ask the expert

  • Shopping Systems

  • How to make your website sell

  • How to get free and cool content

  • Web customer service

 

Product Development Technique
Basic Audio Tape Production

Although very, very slowly on the way out, the simple audio tape can still bring a great deal of money to your business. Not only that, it is extremely easy to create compared to other audio and video products.

My philosophy is to create informational products and giveaways that help push your agenda. I've sold as much as $32,000.00 worth of audio tapes at the back of the room on one speech and $8500.00 in one teleseminar. 

One of the easiest information products to create is the audio tape. You don't even have to know how to type to create an audio tape although it will be easier on you if you choose to write a script to use while recording your tape. 

Before we get into the details lets dispense with some myths:

Myth 1: You have to go to a studio and pay big hourly fees to create a decent audio tape

Tom's Response: I have only done one audio tape project in a studio. It worked out just fine and wasn't really that expensive in the long run. I think it cost about $40.00 per hour for a digital studio in someone's basement. If you practice before you get there you can save lots of time and money.

The rest of my audio tapes have been recorded in my office using my own equipment, or by the company providing the phone service when I was doing a telephone seminar. When necessary, I edited the tapes right on my personal computer with inexpensive software.

Myth 2: You must have music on the tape and make it sound like Nightingale Conant to be successful with audio tapes.

Tom's Response: None of my tapes have music on them. They are completely informational and sell around the world with virtually zero returns.

Myth 3: You need four color packaging and lots of expensive graphics so the product looks professional

Tom's Response: I make my packaging look as good as I can, but I never spend big money on graphics. About the most I've ever spent is $85.00 for an artist to draw a color picture for me which I scanned and used both on the web as an advertisement for the product and on the cover of the product. Want to see? Click here http://www.antion.com/teleseminarkit.htm 

This is fairly easy
The human voice is just about the easiest thing to record. I have literally used a radio shack portable cassette recorder to create demonstration tapes and tapes for sale. You don't need the fanciest and most expensive recorders to create your products. Of course I recommend that you buy the best that you can afford because you will get a greater clarity with higher grade equipment . . . up to a point. 

You see there comes a point when the extra clarity and quality is not enough to be worth the extra expense. Also, when you consider that the tape will most likely be listened to in a car or while someone is jogging, the extra little increase in clarity (which may cost a bundle to get) is just not worth it.

Methods and equipment I use

Small TeleSeminar Recording
When I'm recording something at my home office here are the methods and equipment I use:

If I'm recording a small TeleSeminar, I usually use a Marantz portable cassette recorder. I use it just because I happened to buy it a long time ago when I had some extra money. You certainly don't need a $300.00 machine to do this.

I put it next to me on my desk where I can actually see the amount of tape left as the recording goes along. I'm also timing with my watch. I use a one hour tape which gives you 30 minutes on each side. During the seminar, when I see both by my watch and by the amount of tape left on the first side that it's time to turn the tape over, I call for a halt to the seminar. I come right out and say, "Let's hold it for a moment folks while I turn the tape over." This keeps me from missing anything that was said during the tape turnover.

I continue recording until I get near the end of the second side and then I take tight control of the seminar so that I finish up totally before the tape runs out. This really reduces or in most cases eliminates the need for extensive editing and recreation of things that didn't get on the original recording.

I then take this tape that I call "Original Footage" into my bedroom where my personal stereo is located. I have a dual cassette player/recorder as part of my stereo. This allows me to make copies of cassette tapes. I carefully load in the original footage tape and fast forward it to the end of side one. I locate the last thing I said on side one. I have already pre recorded another tape that says, "You have reached the end of side one. Please turn the cassette over to listen to side two."

I put the pre-recorded tape in one side of the dual cassette machine and copy the turn the tape over stuff on to the end of side one of the original footage.

I have another tape that has pre-recorded "You have reached the end of this tape please fast forward to be ready for your next listening."

A variation of the above would be, "You have reached the end of this tape please fast forward to the end and proceed to the next tape."

You could also do custom responses for each tape like, "You have reached the end of tape 1 side 2. Please fast forward to the end to prepare this tape for it's next listening and proceed to tape 2."

I then turn the original tape over to side 2 and fast forward to the last thing I say at the end of the tape. I then record one of the above closing statements on to the end of the original tape.

Once I have the original tape doctored up with the turn the tape over and closing statements, I make a regular speed dub. This means that I copy the original tape at regular speed on to a brand new high quality cassette. Of course, it is also an hour long tape. I use regular speed because that gives me the highest possible quality copy. This takes about an hour because it is copying at the same speed at which you recorded.

Next, I put the original tape into a fireproof media safe. The copy of it that I made is called the "dub master." This is the tape I'll use to make all other copies.  Remember, with audio tape you are eventually going to wear out the dub master. When it wears out, I make another regular speed copy off the original that was in the safe and begin using that copy as the dub master until it wears out and so on.

Duplication
If you are on a budget and don't have money or time to wait to ship the tape out to a duplicator, then you can make copies one at a time on your home stereo. Most dual cassette decks have a high speed dub mode which will cut down on the time needed to make a copy or "dub."

If your sales volume increases somewhat you can purchase a small office size cassette duplicator. I use a Telex mono3 http://www.longselectronics.com/category.jsp?path=
1135|3463&id=3463
that cost me about $900.00 when I bought it, but they have smaller versions.

My duplicator makes three copies of an hour long tape and rewinds them  in about 4 minutes.

When I have a big job, I farm it out to a duplicating company. I recommend you find one near you to reduce the shipping costs. Look on the web or in your Yellow Pages under "audio tape duplication."

Regular or Bin Loop
If you are only doing a one shot deal for a couple hundred tapes you can just supply your dub master to the tape company and they will duplicate it from your master (they will probably make another dub master as a backup).

If you are doing large numbers of tapes or you expect to comeback for more copies regularly, you probably want to let the duplicating company prepare a "bin loop master." This is a special master that allows them to duplicate your tape at very high speed. This costs you more up front, but you save in the long run because the dubs are cheaper.

Record directly on to your computer
I don't normally record directly on my computer if I'm doing a live Teleseminar because I'm afraid of computer crashes which rarely if ever happen to a tape recorder. If I'm not doing an event live, I will most likely record directly onto the hard drive of my computer. This will immediately create a high quality digital file.

I know Macs can do this easily although I don't know how. On a PC the record capability is included with Windows. It's called the sound recorder and can be found by clicking Start > Programs > Accessories > Entertainment > Sound Recorder. This is definitely the "el cheapo" method and I don't recommend it because you don't have much control over the sound quality.

I use an $80.00 program called Sound Forge XP. You can find it at http://www.sonicfoundry.com/products/default.asp This is a streamlined version of their professional grade sound editing software that is far too sophisticated for our needs. You will have a little learning curve with this software, especially if you have never edited sound before on a computer. I can tell you though, once you get the hang of it, it's really fun and cool. You can actually see your voice on the screen and cut and paste just like with a word processor.

Let's say you stumble over a word during a speech or teleseminar and then correct yourself. You simply highlight the stumble, hit delete and it's as if the stumble never happened.

You can also adjust the sound quality by adjusting the different frequencies. For instance one time my voice was recorded over the phone lines and it had a high frequency noise on the tape. By using the Equalization (EQ) part of the software I was able to completely remove the annoying sound. This takes a little experimentation, but you don't have to be any great expert to do it.

Large TeleSeminar recording
I generally have the TelePhone bridge company record my seminars now. The reason is that I've got plenty of money and it takes the recording load off my mind. I can better concentrate on emails coming in from participants during the seminar and the seminar itself. I happen to presently use http://www.voicetext.com for my large TeleSeminars.

Microphones
The microphone for TelePhone seminars is obviously the telephone microphone. I use a Plantronics headset microphone, but I have found overall that their reliability is in question. I've been fortunate not to have a problem during a TeleSeminar.

For direct recordings again, you don't have to have the best of the best to make this work. My Butt Camp CD was recorded with a $9.95 headset microphone I got at Radio Shack. 

I highly recommend that you use a headset microphone because it is just more handy. It leaves your hands free to manipulate your notes without stopping or making excess noise. Also if you are doing TeleSeminars headsets are much less tiring than trying to hold a handset to your head. 

If you can afford a really high quality microphone and don't mind spending a few bucks you can visit a large music store and try out ones like the rock stars use. You'll have to adapt the connections to use it in your computer. This is generally overkill, but be my guest if money isn't an issue.

Hookups
When recording a TelePhone seminar I take the telephone cord that is coming out of the wall and put a "Y" adapter on it. I send one part of the "Y" to the telephone and the other part of the "Y" to the recorder. Make sure you test this out thoroughly before you try a live TeleSeminar. If in any doubt about the connections, take the recorder and your telephone to Radio Shack and ask them to help you with the connections. Just ask them what connections you need. You probably will only need the "y" adapter and a few short telephone lines. Bring the entire deal home and test, test, test with a friend calling you (make sure you tell them you are recording unless you want to end up like Linda Tripp of the Clinton era).

For direct recording to your computer you plug the microphone into the sound card that is in the back of your computer. There will be a very tiny icon (either a sticker or a picture of a microphone etched into the metal of the sound card) on the back of your computer. You might need a flashlight and a magnifying glass to find it. Once it's plugged in the right hole you can generally leave it there forever.

Other recording options
Two other recorders are being used that are very high quality. They are digital in nature instead of analog (analog generally means normal magnetic tape). Recording directly to a digital signal generally gives you a higher quality.

The first is a DAT (Digital Audio Tape) recorder and the second is the Sony Mini Disc.

Here's a link to compare a few DAT recorders http://www.storescanner.com/cat/Portable-DAT-Players.asp They can be had for under $600.00

Here's a link for the Sony minidisc which can record up to 320 minutes at a shot for under $400.00  http://www.minidiscaccess.com/generic.html?pid=38 

Both of these machines have the advantage of being extremely portable, yet extremely high quality in their recordings. You can take them on the road with no problem and record speeches, interviews and the like.

Tips to get good sound quality at home

  • Record in a room with lots of clutter. This reduces echoes and harsh sounding sound.

  • Unplug your phones so they don't ring in the middle of your recording (although you can go back to your last sentence and record over the ringing using your Sound Forge XP software)

  • Turn off your air conditioner/heater. The background noise may be heard on your recording.

  • If you have lots of street noises you may want to record in your basement or at a time when their is the least traffic.

  • Some people sit in the doorway to their closet. Talking toward the hanging clothes makes a really good dead space with no echoes.

Well there you have it. A simple way to make extremely high profit information products that can make you a fortune.

Next month we'll talk about writing your script/outline and other ways to get content for your audio tape products

In future issues we'll discuss really cheap but gorgeous packaging for your tapes, CDs and other products.

Other upcoming topics

  • CD Production

  • Email courses

  • Ebooks

  • TeleSeminars

  • Consulting

  • Video Tapes

  • Webcasts

  • Radio Shows

  • Videoconferencing from home

  • Streaming audio courses

  • Streaming video courses

 

Email Technique
Mail Merge
by Tom Antion

Sending out permission based* emails has been the most profitable thing I have ever done in 25 years of business. One way to maximize the response from any emails you send is to personalize them. In email marketing this is known as "mail merge." 

Mail merges can get a much higher response from people because it appears personalized when it is received in the email box of the recipient. Although you can overdo this, in most cases you will get more people to open and respond to your email when using this technique.

A mail merged email message may look something like this before you send it out.

Subject: [Name], we have a special on ButtCamp CDs

Body of message:

Dear [Name],

Thanks so much for purchasing the [Product] on [Date]. By now you are certainly putting all the techniques you learned into action. 

(Insert good copywriting paragraphs here . . . )

[Name], don't you think it's about time to make the next move and get the knowledge you need to increase your revenues on the Internet.

If so, order easily from our secure shopping cart  . . . . .

 

In the above example [Name], [Product] and [Date] are placeholder fields.. When you send out a mail merge the person's name is inserted where the [Name] field is. The product they purchased is inserted where the [Product] field is and so on. You can make any number of custom fields and insert the actual data in each email that goes out.

You actually have two files that are "merged" as each email is delivered. One file is called the data file. This is where all the real information about your email recipients is housed. 

The other file is the message file (like the sample above). This is the structure of the message you wish to send. It contains the placeholders [fields] that will be replaced by the real information from the data file.

The data file typically looks like this:

"[Name]","[Product]","[Date]"
"Joe","Wake em Up System","11/2/01"
"Sally","TeleSeminar Kit","11/3/01"
"Pete","Publicity Hound Book","11/4/01"
"Joan","Click CD","11/4/01"

You usually create this by exporting from your database program in "comma delimited" text. You'll have to learn how to do this if your mail merge email program needs this kind of file.

Some programs you may want to use run on someone else's server and do the mail merge automatically for you. Two examples of programs that I use that handle this for me are 

http://www.aweber.com/?23558 This is a sequential autoresponder program. When people sign up for my free electronic marketing 7 day minicourse mailto:minicourse@aweber.com  the company captures their email address and first name and the date they signed up. Anytime I want I can log into their site and send a mail merge email to all the people that signed up. Or I can send it to just the people that signed up after a certain date. They have lots of options.

The downside is that some people put in goofy or fake names or no name at all which makes their email look funny when they receive it because information will be missing from the data file.

Another program I use is the shopping system that I promote called http://www.kickstartcart.com It has it's own database that does automatic mail merges so I don't have to go through the creation of the comma delimited data file like the example above.

For most of my email merges (you've probably gotten one if you are a customer) I use the sophisticated program called Mailloop. http://www.marketingtips.com/mailloop/t.x/12273 

This program uses two plain text files as I outlined above. One is the data file of my customers and the other is the file with my message. I fire the program up and it sends out all the personalized emails while I do other work on my computer.

Presently I personally only use mail merge for my customer database. I have all the first names of the customers so virtually every email that goes out looks good and makes sense. There are no missing fields.

Make it really personal
Once in awhile I have a little trouble with someone who bought something and listed his/her name as R. Wilson or something like that. If you mail merge this person the message would read "Dear R." which sounds and looks stupid. When we run across a record like this we do everything possible to find out the real first name.

One way to make an educated guess of their name is to look at their email address. It might say Rob@123.com . In that case we change the database to say Rob Wilson instead of R. Wilson.

In some cases we visit 123.com and see if they own the site. Their real name is usually listed.

Another thing we'll do is call the customer to make sure their order is OK and in the course of conversation make sure we get the first name.

One more tip. 
The database may say the customer's name is William Harrison because William used his legal name on the order form to make sure his credit card authorized properly. If we see a formal name like William we make every effort to determine if William is actually "Bill." It doesn't sound very personal to get an email marked "Dear William" if William goes by Bill. Mail merging to Dear William could actually be counterproductive because Bill will know immediately that you are not very familiar with him and he may delete the email as soon as he sees the name William in the Subject Line of the email or the Dear William inside the email.

Mail merge can really increase the amount of money you make from your existing database.

Here are some other programs to check out. I haven't used any of them:

http://www.azuremountainsoft.com/lbook/worldmerge.htm for small lists. Free if you let them advertise.

http://www.fairlogic.com/worldcast/manual/noframesmall/
mailmergeoverview.htm
 

http://www.fairlogic.com/worldcast/ More serious bulk email and mail merge program.

* Permission based means that people have asked to receive my emails

Upcoming topics for this section:

  • Email strategy

  • HTML email

  • Plain Text Email 

  • Link tricks

  • List management companies

  • Getting subscribers fast

  • Getting content fast

  • How to make money with your zine

  • How to gain clout with your zine

  • How to maximize the signups on your website

 

Copywriting Technique

Headlines
by Tom Antion
&
The Secret Behind Million-Dollar Ads 
by David Garfinkel

The headline is by far the most critical part of marketing both on your website and via email. The headline consists of the words that get people to read further on your webpage. When it comes to email, the headline is actually the subject line. If the subject line doesn't grab the person immediately, it is doubtful that the email will be opened at all.

Headlines have meant the difference between a multi-thousand dollar promotion and a total bust. I've put the exact same promotion out to my list with one headline pulling almost nothing and another headline having my email box light up with orders all day.

The fastest, cheapest and easiest way to get started learning about headlines is to pick up the classic book by Dan Kennedy "The Ultimate Sales Letter." It has a simple section with fill in the blank headlines.

One of my biggest drawing email headlines of all time was:

"Great Speaking: Boy did I get in trouble . . ."

The people on my email list couldn't wait to see what I had done to get in trouble. I'll be relating more of this story in future issues as we get into other aspects of copywriting.

Start collecting headlines so you get a feel for the thoughts that went into creating them. Ask yourself if you want to read more because you read the headline.

Here's another one that hit big for me:

"They laughed when I sat down at the computer . . ."

The first line inside the email then followed:

"but when I started to click"

This was a spin off of one of the greatest headlines of all times

"They laughed when I sat down at the piano . . . but when I started to play."

There is nothing wrong with taking successful headlines and spinning them off to include your information. In fact that's what Dan Kennedy's headline section is all about. He gives you successful formulas and you just fill in the blanks with your info. Here's an example from his book:

Formula: How _____ made me _____.

Examples:
"How a fool stunt made me a star salesman."

"How a simple idea made me plant manager of the year."

Get Dan's book. It's only about 10 bucks.

Evoke Emotions
"This business mistake could make your child go hungry"

I don't have any kids, but if I did I'd be reading the rest of this letter so I can find out the mistake I better avoid.

Target when you can
"Every author must know this publishing secret."

You are targeting a certain group which cuts out all those except the people you  really want to open your email.

Get a big benefit in when you can
Dentists that read this letter increase sales by 35%

What dentist wouldn't want to read the letter?

Be extremely careful with email headlines
Many people and companies screen the subject lines of incoming email (some screen the entire email). If you put $$$, all capital letters or even the word "Free" in the subject line, your email may be immediately deleted because the filters see the words and think that the email is spam (unwanted commercial email). When I promote my Emarketing camp I combine the words Butt and Camp into ButtCamp in hopes that it slides by the electronic filters that might see the word "Butt" as part of a porn email. Many times I eliminate the Butt word altogether to avoid the filters.

Spend lots of time on your headline

I'd say about 75% of your time should be spent on your headline. Brainstorm as many as you possibly can. 

Use em all
Pick the best headline as the main headline and use the others as subheads throughout the sales letter. Many people scan the letter or webpage before they read it. They scan the sub heads. If each subhead is a pretty good headline, then you have a pretty good chance the person will take time to read the rest of the letter.

Study the heck out of headlines. It will make you a fortune in all your Internet operations AND your printed promotional material.

Here's a good course on writing headlines:

http://www.adheadlines.com 

The Secret Behind Million-Dollar Ads

By David Garfinkel

Want a little secret to turn your advertising into an irresistible magnet for customers?

Dale Carnegie knew the secret, and that's one reason his book "How to Win Friends and Influence People" has sold more than 15 million copies. In fact, British Airways recently named it "The Business Book of the 20th Century."

It's a great book. But if Dale had titled it "How to Remember People's Names and Curb Your Incessant Urge to Argue," do you think it would have sold as well? Probably not. There's great power in good titles.

What you may not realize is the words "How to Win Friends and Influence People" are not only the title of the book. Those words were also the headline of a mail-order ad, which sold the book. The ad ran successfully for many years and sold hundreds of thousands of copies.

So what does this have to do with turning your advertising into an irresistible customer magnet?

Here's what. Behind the title and headline is a "secret code" that makes it powerful. Dale knew it. Great advertising copywriters know it. And now, you're going to know it, too.

The "secret code" is actually a generic formula that gets attention and creates desire in your prospect's mind. Every winning headline has a unique generic formula hidden inside. Here's the formula in Dale Carnegie's book title and headline:

How to _____ and _____.

Let's see the formula at work. Say you are an executive recruiter, and you help companies find new executives. In reality, your biggest problem is finding the executive candidates in the first place. So, to increase your group of candidtates, you decide to run an ad in your local business journal. Here's how you could use this formula to write a headline for your ad:

How to Get a Better Job and Make More Money

and right after reading that headline, anyone who's even a little interested would want to read your ad immediately. Then, if your copy (text) is even halfway decent, you'd get plenty of calls.

Or, let's say you run a martial arts school. Here's how you could apply the formula in an advertising headline to get you new students:

How to Stay Fit and Protect Yourself

Do you see how powerful that is? You've just zeroed-in on people who are likely to be interested in learning martial arts.

The brutal reality of advertising: An ad with a good headline and even mediocre copy will get you a response and generate sales. But with a poor headline, even the most brilliant copy will get you little or no response. Why? Because without a good headline to get their attention, most people won't read any further.

The good news is, once you have identified a good headline that works in one industry or market, you can adapt it (like we did with the Dale Carnegie headline, above) for your own business. Great headlines work as subject lines in emails, titles on Web pages, and of course as headlines in print ads and sales letters. Great headlines will literally transform your sales.

How does this work in today's economy?

Recently a client asked me to help him introduce a new service to Internet Service Providers. (Note: To understand what you are about to read, you should know that ISPs call their suppliers "backbone providers.") I wrote a direct mail letter and my client sent it out to ISPs. Because my client was revealing new information his prospects hadn't heard before, we used the following "teaser headline" on the front of the envelope:

What Your Backbone Provider Isn't Telling You

Was this an entirely original headline? No. I had seen a similar "teaser headline" on a successful mailing to promote an investment newsletter:

What Your Broker Isn't Telling You About High-Tech Stocks

So I merely identified the "secret code" in the original winning headline, and applied it to my client's market, ISPs.

The response to the mailing was overwhelming! Nearly 10% of the entire ISP industry responded to our letter - and my client has added eight figures of new annual revenues as a result of the business that developed.

I'm telling you this not to brag, but to point out the awesome power of good headlines. While many people spend hours and hours trying to come up with "the perfect headline" for their ads, there is an easier way. Find proven headlines that already work for another business in another industry, and adapt them to your business. 

Then prepare for a flood of new customers!


David Garfinkel is a successful results oriented copywriter and the author of Advertising Headlines That Make You Rich, which shows you exactly how to adapt proven money-making headlines to your business. For more information about the book, and to purchase a copy, visit http://www.adheadlines.com  .


Search Engine Tips
Picking Keywords

Picking keywords is the FIRST thing you should do before creating or overhauling a website. This area is the one that most people (including web designers) totally ignore and it is the most important part if you want to be found by search engines.

There are two critical methods used by search engines to find pages. The first is by keywords, and the second is metawords or META Tags. An extremely critical part of this whole mix is the keywords and keyword phrases you select that match the services and products you offer. A keyword is the term someone uses when they look for information. What are they actually going to type into their computer? It's really to your benefit to find out what they would enter into the search engine. It may not be what you would use and in many cases it will totally surprise you. What they type would be the "keywords" that the search engine uses to look for the information.

If you kill yourself designing your site based around certain keywords that you think are great, but the searcher is searching using other keywords, then they'll simply find your competition who did a better job of picking out keywords. We don't want that to happen, do we?

Each page of your site may have different keywords associated with it's content, or you could have a site that has every single page optimized to the same keyword. The important thing is that it MUST BE THE RIGHT KEYWORD or you will never be found.

For example, let's say someone goes to the search engine Alta Vista and types in the keyword phrase "presentation skills." Alta Vista has cataloged millions and millions of pages, so they can find the pages on the Internet that are most relevant to that particular keyword phrase. Their goal is to return the proper list to the person that is looking for information on "presentation skills."

What Makes a Good Keyword?
General keywords are not so hot. Here's why. Let's say you are a public speaker an you use "speaker" for your keyword. Go ahead and try typing it into a search engine like Alta Vista and see what you get. http://www.av.com  For the most part you get information on stereo speakers. Yes, some public speaker related stuff slips in, but using a general keyword like that gives you incredible competition fighting for the top ten results. And that competition isn't even from other public speakers. It's mainly from stereo speaker companies. Yes, you should use the word, but it should not be number one on your list. There are much smarter words to use.

What products and services do you provide? Let's say you are a customer service speaker based in Los Angeles. Some keyword phrases for you to use would be "customer service speaker," "customer service trainer," or "customer service training."

Here's an even better one: "customer service training Los Angeles." You could add the city name to any of the above keyword phrases to make it more specific. The more specific it is, the better. There will be less people typing this in, but they will be highly targeted people who are better for you than general people. The only exception to this is if you use a keyword phrase so specific that no one is using it. 

OK, OK, I hear you saying, "but Tom, I speak all around the country or the world. Using this technique would eliminate me from all business other an Los Angeles." No it won't! Here are some more keyword phrases that might make you start getting the idea: "customer service speaker San Francisco," "customer service speaker Seattle," "customer service speaker Las Vegas," "customer service speaker New York." 
"WAIT A MINUTE TOM. I DON'T LIVE IN ALL THESE AREAS!"

Tom's answer, "So what?" When someone finds one of these pages in a search engine, the top of the page could read, "Special Discount to Programs in Las Vegas Area" or something like that. You make a special deal for these people. The Las Vegas people won't know OR CARE that you make the same deal for someone in Miami, or San Antonio. REMEMBER: We're playing the search engine game here. Someone searching for customer service training in San Francisco is never going to see the page that says customer service training Detroit. You'll at least get a shot at the business, even though some of the people typing in these phrases are looking for locals so they get out of travel expenses.

[NOTE: If you want the job, and they don't want to pay travel expenses, you could use frequent flyer miles to get there which just might seal the deal.]

Regional Keywords
People in different parts of the world use different terminology for the same product. Where I come from, if you want a soft drink you might say, "I want a bottle of pop." In other areas of the country they might use the term "soda." In some areas they even say, "give me a cherry Coke," when they actually mean a cherry-flavored soft drink. You can seek out and use these alternative keywords by checking with friends or colleagues from different parts of the country.

You can do the same for other countries. The folks in England use the word "bonnet" for the hood of a car. Finding all the name variations for those products and services you sell can be an easy way to get lots of traffic and qualified buyers to your website.

Finding Keywords
How do you find out what people are using for keywords when they find your site? This is where you get into the field of statistics. Statistics are another thing that your ISP might provide for you. Everybody here that has a website or that's thinking about getting a website should ask their ISP, "Do you provide a statistic package? If you do, what does it tell me?" What you'll find out is it tells you what hours of the day people are coming to visit you. It will say where they're coming from and it will tell how long they stayed there.

The more sophisticated ones have the keywords that people typed in and which search engine they used. These are critical pieces of information. The first package I had from my provider did not give me that information. I knew I was getting many people. I knew when and from where they were coming, but I did not know what keywords they were using. This is critical information. I currently use a package called Web Trends. It's actually about a $500 program but my service provider gives it to me for free. Verify these things with your service provider. 

If your own service provider does not have that kind of tracking for you, there are other companies who will do the tracking for you. Here are some paid and free places to get stats. I'm in favor of WebTrends because I use them, but you can check out some of these other places:

http://www.idstat.com/counter/index.html  
http://www.statpak.com/  
http://www.webtrends.com/  

That's great information and yes, there are companies that will do it for you for a fee. I have to tell you that the Web Trends thing is a little bit of a hassle because it's got to run all the log files. This can take a long time so I do it in the middle of the night, and you must learn the program. It's something I usually have a guy in Tucson do for me every once in a while. I don't do it every week anymore because I'm just too busy. You definitely want one that has the keywords though . . . that's one of the critical pieces.

The keywords you find through your statistics package are great to have. The only drawback is that you are getting only those keywords people are typing in that actually find your site. What are the keywords people are typing in that don't find your site? If you find out what those keywords are, you can design pages in your site that are optimized for those new keywords. 

One of the best tools for finding other keywords is a free tool at http://www.overture.com (formerly goto.com) called the search term suggestion list. This tool gives you all kinds of variations for terms that people are actually using. If you can't find the tool at Overture's site they may have hidden it again. They do this regularly because it is such a popular tool and it's free. I guess it gets used so much that it bogs down their system. The way to get around it is to sign up as an advertiser and put up a $50.00 deposit. Believe me, it's worth it to get to use this tool.

There is another site called http://www.Wordspot.com  that has both a paid and a free service. In the paid service, you can enter your keywords. They will search the Internet, doing millions and millions of searches, and find out where those keywords come up and how often they are used. You might find out that one of your keywords is used a lot more than another keyword. With that information in hand, you design around specific keywords because more people type them in. 

You can also take a free trial at http://www.wordtracker.com / , another service that has tools to help you pick the best keywords for your product or service. Take a peek at this site too: http://keywordwizard.com/  .

Using these tools can save you lots of wasted effort and money. A client of mine wanted to build his site around the keyword "Value Added Selling." I found out for him that no one was typing that phrase when they were looking for sales training. Knowing this saved him a fortune of wasted time and money.

Want to see exactly what people are typing into the Internet right now in real time? Click here http://www.metaspy.com/  .

One additional word on what to do with all these keywords. If you find a keyword that applies to you that doesn't get searched on much, don't discard it. Always keep in mind two things: 1. the big target theory; and 2. time management. Work on your most popular keywords first because obviously they will bring in the most traffic the fastest. As your time allows, go down your list of keywords from the most popular to the least popular. After you have worked on the most popular words, start making pages based around the words that are not as popular. People are still typing them in all around the world and they add up to increased, targeted traffic.

An alternative approach is to work on the least popular words first. This is a good idea especially if you are just learning how to make pages. The less popular keywords also have less competition from other websites. You might be able to get high rankings easier on these less competitive keywords. When you add up all the people searching for these less popular keywords it could be quite a bit of traffic for you.

It is very difficult for you to be totally objective when it comes to your own site. It's hard for you to know what someone sitting at their computer in the middle of the day, or the middle of the night, will type in to find your service. Remember -- don't put your name as a main keyword unless you are a celebrity! 

You must make sure your designer knows about keywords 
You need to put a great deal of effort locating keywords that apply to your products and services. These keywords need to be worked into the design of the site. Most designers don't know about this. You must demand that they either learn, or you should find someone who does have this kind of knowledge. If you don't, it is unlikely your site will be found by someone searching for your product or service. You also can't let fancy designers talk you into design elements that will hurt your chance of being found.

For Search Engine Resources click here

Future topics for this section

  • How to submit your website and individual pages

  • How to beat Search directories like Yahoo

  • Using side door / gateway pages to grab lots of traffic

  • Side Doors: How to make pages that get high rankings

  • Search engine ranking software

  • Why you should have lots of links

  • Site Popularity: Writing descriptions that make people click on your site

  • How to keep up with search engine changes

  • The inside scoop on paid top ten placement services

  • How to be sure your web designer knows what he/she is doing

 

Cool Software and Gadgets

Software

http://www.girafa.com Incredibly increase the efficiency of your web searches and it's FREE. Opens up a small window that runs next to your Internet Explorer browser that gives you thumbnail looks at the results of a search BEFORE you bother visiting the site. Lots of other cool features.

http://www.secure-it.com/ztrace/index.htm Like lo jack for your computer. Invisible software that the police can track if your computer is stolen.

http://www.copytele.com/ulp1.htm Even if they get your computer they won't get the data with this high end encryption software.

http://www.disappearinginc.com/ Makes your email unreadable after a specific time period set by you. Your confidential emails won't be hanging around for ever for prying eyes to see.

Gadgets

http://www.agatetech.com Keychain USB hard drives. Keep your important files with you wherever you go.

http://www.aiptek.com Take digital pictures with a hidden camera. 

http://www.olympusamerica.com/cpg_section/cpg_vr_
digitalrecorders.asp

Olympus digital voice recorder. It's very, very tiny. Weighs only 3 oz. Up to 90 minutes record time. Street prices as low as $44.00 US

http://www.e.sit4less.com Spend lots of time sitting in front of your computer? This site will sell you a chair totally customizable to your butt and back :)

 

Useful Websites

http://www.coolemail.com
Keep in touch from any telephone. You get a personal toll free number to call to have your email and faxes read to you over the phone. You can even get notice of your favorite stock moves radically. About $14.95 per month for 60 minutes of access.
Other competitors to coolemail

http://www.j2.com

http://www.thinklink.com

http://www.qrio.com

http://www.dialpad.com Voted best free Internet telephone by Yahoo Magazine. I used this from Thailand when my international cell phone was on the blink.

http://www.refdesk.com Tremendous site for finding all kinds of facts. Area codes, encyclopedias, flight trackers, almanacs and tons of other stuff.

http://www.marketingchallenge.com/cgi-bin/t.cgi/178817 Really top notch and up to date Internet marketing info.

 

Computer / Automation Technique
A Better Way 
to Use the Signature File Function
More techniques

People ask me all the time how I get so much done. My answer is always the same. "I learn to make the computer do the work for me." Now don't get me wrong. I don't want to get the reputation that I'm a techie because I'm not. I just learn the bare minimum necessary to get my job done.

Many of the tools that you probably already have on your computer are very powerful if you would only learn how to use them. Today we are going to talk about one specific email automation feature that I'm virtually sure you already have that can enormously increase your productivity. 

Signature Files
Most email programs have a function that allows you to add your name, address, phone number, email address, website, brief advertisement, etc. to the end of your emails. You can either set it to add the information automatically or you can add the information manually. It's normally your choice. This block of information is called a "Signature file" or "Sig file" for short.

Here's a sample of one of mine:

Get your free Subscription to Great Speaking Ezine
http://www.antion.com/ezinesubscribe.htm 
===========================================
New Speaker Video http://www.antion.com/speakervideo.htm 

Tom Antion Communications http://www.antion.com 

"A Rare Mix of Business and Entertainment"

Keynotes/Seminars and Advanced Presentation Skills

Voice 1-301-459-0738 Fax 1-301-552-0225
Box 2630, Landover Hills, Maryland USA 20784

Trade Links with Us - mailto:Linktrade@antion.com ============================================

This is added automatically to the end of emails I send out through Microsoft Outlook. If I don't want this sig file to be used, I have a variety of them ready to go to suit the nature of the recipient to which I'm sending the email. For instance if the recipient is already on my Ezine, I might sent them a different sig file encouraging them to join my associate program. 

Even AOL gives you the capability to have five or six different sig files. Outlook gives me an unlimited number that I can create and choose from and this is where it starts to get really helpful. 

Repetitive text
The cool thing is that you don't have to use the sig file as a sig file. It can be used for any kind of text and popped into your email anywhere you want it.. You can imagine that with the size of my "Great Speaking" Ezine (over 100,000 subscribers) I get all kinds of questions that are similar. If I had to take the time to create a custom response for each person that wrote me, I would never get anything else done. When I recognize that I've had a question before, I type the response and then copy it to use in the sig file area. That way I never have to type it again when I get a similar email from someone else.

You can use this for all types of boilerplate text about your products and services. It will save you an enormous amount of time.

Here's a sample of my response when people ask me about my Internet consulting services: (all I have to do is put in their first name and hit send. My investment in time is no more than 10 seconds)

Dear

I help people get their websites designed "properly." By properly I mean that anyone can make one that looks nice. The marketing aspects to suit the nature of search engines and directories must be worked into the site.

Then I teach them how to use email effectively (this is where all the money comes from).

Then I teach them product development.

I also keep them from making the costly mistakes that I made along the way and provide a sounding board for their ideas and someone to talk to when they need expert help.

I also find trustworthy people to do the work that they either can't or don't want to do. These people don't mess up with my referrals because they know they won't get any more from me if they do.

I highly recommend that you find some way to get to one of my Butt Camps. This way you gain most of the knowledge you need to get started at a minimum cost. I can tell you these things on the phone, but it will cost alot more.

Next best would be to get the Butt Camp CD. It will give you five hours of training and you can watch it over and over. We now also have the entire Butt Camp on audio tape.

For distance consulting my three hour starter package is $750 and eight hours is $1600.00

Let me know what works best for you.

Sincerely,

Tom

You should still customize
When you pop in one of these boilerplate responses it's still a good idea to put the name of the person at the top in the Dear Joe area. Also, just because you've popped in a block of text, doesn't mean that you can't edit it a little bit as necessary to make sense in a particular email.

Sometimes you don't have to customize. I remember recently doing a large TeleSeminar and at the last minute people were emailing because they lost the instruction email and the phone number to call. No problem. I already had all the details set up in a sig file. I was busy as heck, but in less than two seconds I was able to get them the info they needed.

More techniques:

  • To get to your desktop immediately without minimizing all your programs hold down the Windows key (little Windows icon near the bottom left of your keyboard) and hit letter "D"

  • To get to your file listings in Windows explorer again hold down the Windows key and hit the letter "E"

 

Upcoming topics for this section

  • Pop in strings of repetitive text anywhere (not just in email)

  • Organize your email

  • Reduce the impact of SPAM email

  • The greatest keyboard shortcuts

  • Respond to emails while you sleep with autoresponders

  • Using templates so you never have to reinvent the wheel

 

Miscellaneous Stuff You Need to Know

Viruses

  • So far viruses can't get into compressed files so if you have important material you want to protect you might want to use a compression utility like zip.

  • Make it a rule in your business to not open attachments. In most cases you can simply reply to the sender and ask them to resend the info in the body of an email.

  • Avoid suspicious file names. Like ILoveYou.exe  something like this is probably a virus that has been renamed to fool you.

  • Back up, Back up, Back up. You'll be crying big elephant tears if you put off this critical component to making money on the web

Internet Fraud and Security

  • http://www.merchantfraudsquad.com/ Free site to teach you all the ways to keep from getting ripped off by criminal customers. 

  • http://www.verisign.com They have a free ebook on keeping your website secure. 
    Note: Don't feel you have to spend a ton for one of their secure pages. In many cases they are given to you for your use when you buy some other service. For instance if you use http://www.kickstartcart.com as your shopping system you are given a secure Verisign site to use and it's included in your shopping system fee.

Do yourself and everyone else a favor and don't look like an idiot

  • Don't forward virus warnings

  • Don't forward requests for donations for a child with seven heads

  • Don't forward info about the post office trying to charge us 5 cents an email.

  • Don't forward something just because it came from a trusted friend that appears to know one of the people involved in the stupid email you are considering forwarding

Pretty much don't forward anything. There is a 99.9 percent chance that it is a hoax and you will hurt your business reputation and waste lots of time by participating. Just delete them when you get them.

Visit the sites below to see why you will look really stupid for forwarding all this crap.

http://www.vmyths.com
http://www.hoaxkill.com
 
http://vil.mcafee.com/hoax.asp
 

 

Case Study
Gloria Starr

Ignorance is bliss, they say and was I ignorant as to the ways of a successful internet presence until I participated in Tom Antion's Internet Marketing Butt Camp.

This program and the key strategies I learned and implemented has been the most successful and profitable learning curve to position me as the expert in my field in the entire 19 years I have been in business.

I was already successful in my business. My seminars and executive coaching on image, etiquette and power communication skills have taken me to Italy, Canada, Asia, South Africa, South America and Australia. I had a presence in the marketplace and I had a presence on the web. However, my web presence "looked good" but I had not booked any business from my web site.

I met Tom when he spoke at the  Florida Speaker's Association. He told us our web sites looked good, but most of them were useless pieces of artwork and he was right!

I took the plunge and signed up for the Butt Camp. The information Tom presented far exceeded my expectations and it was presented in a way that made sense to a non-technical person. One by one I incorporated the strategies beginning with the meta tags and imbedded links throughout the pages. I made the site easier to navigate and then began to submit the site to the search engines for positioning. I followed the advice from Tom and then I was hooked. It WORKED!

I was getting up in the middle of the night to check the statistics. I was consumed. I implemented the strategies he presented and it worked! . . . .Immediate results. Now that's my idea of success!

Then I took him up on his offer to take Butt Camp again free as a graduate of the program. I then incorporated all of the new things I learned that I missed the first time around. Next, I purchased Tom's electronic book "Click" and downloaded it and read all night with my yellow highlighter and started on the campaign to make my site even better.

Within a few months my site went from 30 to 50 users a day to 500 to 950 users a day. From zero sales or inquiries about my seminars to $150,000.00 worth of business booked directly from my site in about seven months.

At Tom's advice, I also wrote and added an electronic book to my site. "Tips and Tactics to Outclass the Competition" is selling and exceeding my expectations as a positioning tool for me as the expert in my field.

Now I really like to get good value for my dollar investment. Did I get good value? Absolutely. I liked the nuts and bolts of how Tom presented the material. It made sense. I could understand it and I became my own web master and was able to make instant changes to the copy and design immediately.

I took action and I am totally responsible for my success. The internet is a global highway that has a very low toll to drive on if you know where you are going. And yes it has worked very well for me.

Gloria Starr

********************************************
Want a New Perspective on Your Business?
You are the Message.....

NEW: Tips and Tactics to Outclass the Competition E-Book available online at:
http://www.globalsuccessstrategies.com/tipsandtactics.htm
Gloria Starr SUCCESS STRATEGIES
Life Strategist, Professional Speaker, Executive Coach

Phone: (561) 547-1802 Fax: (561) 547-1872
Palm Beach, Florida

Email: info@gloriastarr.com  mailto:info@gloriastarr.com
Web Sites:
http://www.globalsuccessstrategies.com
http://www.visualimageplanning.com
Winner of the Golden Web Award for excellence
in design and content 1999, 2000, 2001
********************************************
Upcoming case studies

  • Patricia Fripp

  • Robert Middleton

  • Michael Stahl

  • Rob Dale

  • Caroline Corser

  • Jeffrey Mayer

  • Bill Brooks

If you would like your case study used, attend Butt Camp, apply what you learned and tell us what happened to your business. mailto:tom@antion.com 

TRENDS

  • US consumers like permission based email. According to a survey done by Doubleclick in October 2001, 78% of US consumers preferred permission based email as their main form of contact with online merchants. -- So where is your ezine?

  • More people are likely to participate in some form of online group discussion because of the fear of flying. The Pew Internet & American Life Project said that 71% of those surveyed are getting involved with or learning more about group activities on the net. -- This website is housing my first discussion board ever.

  • The 2001 "Holiday Readiness Report" from Vividence finds that 71% of US online consumers are concerned about the economy. And because of attacks on the country,  40% plan to shop less is stores this holiday season. 29% say they will shop more online this holiday season because they are concerned about store safety. -- Do you have anything that would be a good gift to be purchased from your site. Get it ready now!

  • According to a survey from the National Consumers League (NCL) as of August 2001, 59% believe it is safer to pay for something bought online with a check or money order than with a credit card. -- It's up to you to continue to build confidence on your site and with all your dealings with customers.

  • Consumers International, employed 15 consumer organizations from 14 countries to make online orders between November 2000 and January 2001. They found that 63% of worldwide business-to-consumer (B2C) websites provide instant, online acknowledgement that orders have been processed. Additionally, 82% calculate total order costs. Only 11% include guarantees or warranties with orders. -- This means that the expectations are for you to have real time credit card processing. This also means that it is no surprise that people are afraid to order when only 11% are displaying  guarantees and warranties.

  • Yippee for online retailers! There will be two additional years added to the moratorium on taxes for Internet businesses. The White house said in a statement supporting the moratorium, "The administration believes that government should be promoting Internet usage and availability, not discouraging it with access taxes and discriminatory taxes." -- Just another reason to start selling stuff on the Internet. It's much easier because you don't have to fool around with collecting sales taxes on your out of state sales.

     

You will have to print out the following reference pages separately. They are included in each issue, so there is no need to print them out every time. Do, however, check them frequently because I will put new additions to these pages at the top of each page until the next issue comes out.

Recommended Learning Tools

Search Engine Resources

Suppliers

Back to December 2001 Index page

 

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