Archive for April 2009
From the desk of Roy Furr, April 29th, 2009
You’re not going to like me for this.
Sure, Joe Karbo made a mint off his book sold through direct response, “The Lazy Man’s Way To Riches.”
Of course, he was selling a dream. Not reality.
When you look at reality, overnight successes come after years of nose-to-the-grindstone work. Lazy people just sit on the couch every night and about all they do is throw their own pity-party, wondering why they’re not getting ahead.
And even if you’re chasing the latest opportunity… You’re still lazy. That’s still lazy behavior. You’re wanting someone else to do the work for you.
To truly get ahead you have to blaze your own trail. You don’t play the game, you create it. And you make it happen — no matter how much sweat and pain and tears and joy and happiness and passion and drive and determination it takes.
There’s no resting on your laurels until you have them my friend. And even then, that’s a good way to lose them.
Do you want to get ahead?
Try this on for size (courtesy of the late, great Gary Halbert):
The best way to get started is to get started.
Movement always produces more results than meditation.
Attack life. Wait for nothing.
He has half the deed done who has made a beginning.
The future starts today (right now)… not tomorrow.
There’s no choice if you’re serious about success. You have to hustle. You have to move. You have to make things happen.
And then, it’s funny how the results often begin to add up to be more than the sum of your effort.
Posted in Business, Copywriting, Entrepreneurship, Marketing, Sales | 1 Comment »
From the desk of Roy Furr, April 22nd, 2009
Today I have a guest post for you from AWeber CEO Tom Kulzer. It’s about a marketing method I endorse highly — consistent “drip” follow up. Tom’s insight into this comes from helping thousands of online marketers make a bundle more sales by putting in place systems that automatically and consistently follow up with prospects through email. (It’s been one of my secrets to success online, both on my own projects and with clients!) And the system he describes below is a simple and proven system for making more sales, using consistent “drip” email follow up.
I use AWeber for email list management, email newsletters, and for sequential autoresponders (this is the tool that lets you do what Tom describes below). I highly endorse the service for having such a great feature set at a competitive price point. If you’d like to learn more about their service and take it for a free “test drive” check out the AWeber website.
Do Your Potential Customers Forget About You?
by Tom Kulzer (AWeber CEO)
Your web business probably gets product inquiries from potential customers around the globe. Inquiries come via e-mail and your web site, and you try to send information to each hot prospect as quickly as you can. You know that you can drastically increase the likelihood of making a sale by satisfying each person’s need for information quickly!
But, after you’ve delivered that first bit of information to your prospect, do you send him any further information?
If you are like most Internet marketers, you don’t.
When you don’t follow that initial message with additional information later on, you let a valuable prospect slip from your grasp! This is a potential customer who may have been very interested in your products, but who lost your contact information, or was too busy to make a purchase when your first message reached him.
Often, a prospect will purposely put off making a purchase, to see if you find him important enough to follow up with later. When he doesn’t receive a follow up message from you, he will take his business elsewhere.
Are you losing profits due to inconsistent and ineffective follow up?
Following up with leads is more than just a process – it’s an art. In order to be effective, you need to design a follow up system, and stick to it, EVERY DAY! If you don’t follow up with your prospects consistently, INDIVIDUALLY, and in a timely fashion, then you might as well forget the whole follow up process.
Consistent follow up gets results!
When I first started marketing and following up with prospects, I used a follow up method that I now call the “List Technique.” I had a large database containing the names and e-mail addresses of people who had specifically requested information about my products and services. These prospects had already received my first letter by the time they requested more information, so I used the company’s latest news as a follow up piece.
I would write follow up newsletters every now and then, and send them, in one mass mailing, to everyone who had previously requested information from me. While this probably did help me win a few additional orders, it wasn’t a very good follow up method. Why isn’t the “List Technique” very effective?
- The List Technique isn’t consistent. Proponents of the List Technique tend to only send out follow up messages when their companies have “big news”.
- List Technique messages don’t give the potential customer any additional information about the product or service in question. He can’t make a more informed buying decision after receiving a newsletter! If someone is wondering whether your company sells the best knick-knacks, what does he care that you’ve just moved your headquarters?
- List Technique messages convey a “big list” mentality to your potential customers. When I used to write follow up messages using the List Technique, I was writing news bulletins to everyone I knew! I should have been sending a personal message to each individual who wanted to know more about my products.
What follow up method really works?
Following up with each lead individually, multiple times, but at set intervals, and with pre-written messages, will dramatically increase sales! Others who use this same technique confirm that they have all at least doubled the sales of various products! In order to set this system up, though, you need to do some planning.
First, you’ll need to develop your follow up messages. If you’ve been marketing on the Internet for any length of time, then you should already have a first informative letter. Your second letter marks the beginning of the follow up process, and should go into more detail than the first letter. Fill this letter with details that you didn’t have the space to add to the first letter. Stress the BENEFITS of your products or services!
Your next 2-3 follow up messages should be rather short. Include lists of the benefits and potential uses of your products and services. Write each letter so that your prospects can skim the contents, and still see the full force of your message.
The next couple of follow up messages should create a sense of urgency in your prospect’s mind. Make a special offer, giving him a reason to order NOW instead of waiting any longer. After reading these follow up messages, your prospect should want to order immediately!
Phrase each of your final 1 or 2 follow up messages in the form of a question. Ask your prospect why he hasn’t yet placed an order? Try to get him to actually respond. Ask if the price is to high, the product isn’t the right color or doesn’t have the right features, or if he is looking for something else entirely. (By this time, it’s unlikely that this person will order from you. However, his feedback can help you modify your follow up letters or products, so that other prospects will order from you.)
The timing of your follow up letters is just as important as their content. You don’t want one prospect to receive a follow up the day after he gets your initial informative letter, while another prospect waits weeks for a follow up!
Always send an initial, informative letter as soon as it is requested, and send the first follow up 24 hours afterwards. You want your hot prospects to have information quickly, so that they can make informed buying decisions!
Send the next 2-3 follow up messages between 1 and 3 days apart. Your prospect is still hot, and is probably still shopping around! Tell him about the benefits of your products and services, as opposed to your competitors’. You will make the sale!
Send the final follow up messages later on. You certainly don’t want to annoy your prospect! Make sure that these last letters are at least 4 days apart.
Following up effectively seems complicated, but it doesn’t have to be! So many potential customers are lost because of poor follow up – don’t you want to be one of the few to get it right?
If you’d like to set up a system like Tom describes in this article, AWeber will let you do it easy, affordably, and pretty dang quick. Try a test-drive at the Aweber website.
Posted in Copywriting | 1 Comment »
From the desk of Roy Furr, April 16th, 2009
Hey, just wanted to post an article here in which I was featured as a source. It explains how you can more effectively measure the success (or failure) of your search engine optimization (SEO) copywriting and on-page SEO tweaks.
It’s a good article, and it’s always nice to be quoted as an expert source.
Here’s a link to the article in PDF form:
How to Make Sure Your SEO Client Realizes You’re Doing a Great Job
I’ll also copy in the article here:
This article is provided by Fresh Look, Inc. marketing consulting, http://www.FreshLookInc.com. Fresh Look, Inc. President Roy Furr is referenced in this article under “Track Your Visits by Keyword” on page 2.
How to Make Sure Your SEO Client
Realizes You’re Doing a Great Job
By Rebecca Matter, AWAI
Originally published online at: http://www.awaionline.com/2009/04/make-sure-your-seo-client-realizes-your-value/
One of the most important things you can do for yourself as an SEO copywriter is track the effectiveness of the work you do for your clients.
Why would you leave it up to guesswork?
Your income depends on it!
With concrete proof, your client will clearly understand the value you bring to his business.
Which, of course, will result in more work and more money for you.
Earlier this year, I sent out a note on measuring the effectiveness of your SEO work. (http://www.awaionline.com/2009/02/measuring-seo-copywriting-results/) Afterwards I received some additional techniques used by SEO copywriters to measure their results.
So to make sure you have all the tools you need, here are four more SEO tracking tips on ways you can prove to your client your SEO work accomplished its goal.
Have Your Client Add You to Their Google Analytics Account
Web writer Melissa Arnold uses a feature in Google Analytics that allows your customer to go in and set you up as a “view reports only” user. (In the “User Manager” section, they simply click on “Add User.”) This allows you to log in and view their web statistic reports. You can download any report you’d like to your computer (in either PDF or XML file format). Do this before you start your work and then after – and compare the results.
Use the Free Tool From HubSpot.com
This free report gives you all kinds of great information about your client’s website, such as metadata, heading and image summaries, readability level of the site, the number of pages indexed by Google, the current traffic rank of the site (according to Alexa.com), the number of inbound links to it, and so on.
It’s not as detailed as the information you’d get from Google Analytics (or other analytics software), but it’s not a bad snapshot of your client’s website.
Once again, you’ll want to do this before and after. So, after you do your SEO work, simply go to the site and run the report again.
Track Your Visits by Keyword
Copywriter Roy Furr uses the “track by keywords” statistic, which is available in most analytics packages. This shows you how many times a visitor arrives on site by typing specific keywords or keyphrases into a search engine. In Google Analytics you can even break it down on a page-by-page basis.
Before you do your work, make sure you take a snapshot of this statistic in the analytics program your client is using. After you optimize a page, track this statistic and show your customer the increased traffic that’s occurring as a result of your work. Roy cautions that you shouldn’t use the measurement alone, but it’s certainly one of the leading indicators.
Use the Free Tool at SEMRush.com
Input your client’s website into the search field at the top of the SEMRush.com website, and in seconds you’ll have the top 10 keywords and where specific pages rank with Google. If you need more than the top 10, you’ll have to upgrade to the paid version (which starts at $19.95 per month). With one click of the mouse, you can export this information in Excel or CSV format. As with the other methods, make sure you take “before and after” snapshots.
Tracking your results takes relatively little time when you consider the pay off.
And to make sure you’re being consistent, I recommend you keep a detailed “before and after” journal of results for each client. Every time you make a significant change to your client’s website, print out a report (at regular intervals) and record it in your journal. Then input the data into a spreadsheet, and use that information to put together an SEO results report for your client.
A results report is a great way to prove to your client that they made a good decision to hire you. Plus, the same reports can be used to sell the value of what you do to potential clients.
If there is one area of web writing everyone should learn, it’s SEO copywriting. And Heather Lloyd-Martin, the pioneer of SEO copywriting, has made it very easy for you to learn. With her 6-hour, inhome training DVDs, you will have the skills needed to start getting clients on Monday. Learn more about the program here. http://www.awaionline.com/seo-copywriting/learn/
And if you’re already working with clients, but haven’t been tracking your results, go ahead and start taking the snapshots of their websites today, so you’ll have a benchmark to compare to in the near future.
This article appears courtesy of The Golden Thread, an e-letter from AWAI that delivers original, no-nonsense advice on how to build your freelance copywriting business. For a free subscription, visit http://www.awaionline.com/thegoldenthread
Posted in Copywriting, Search Engine Optimization, Website Design | 1 Comment »
From the desk of Roy Furr, April 5th, 2009
I’ve been an insider on quite a few website designs, and it never ceases to amaze me that the first thing everyone seems to ask is, “What do we want this to look like?”
If that’s the first question you’re asking when you’re designing a new website — or even a new page on an existing website — then you’re asking the wrong question.
Instead, let’s think about it this way…
“What’s the single most important action my visitors can take when they hit my website?”
- Do you want them to sign up to download a piece of software, or a special report?
- Do you want them to subscribe for blog updates?
- Do you want them to watch an informative video?
- Do you want visitors to share your content with a friend?
- Do you want them to purchase your product?
What do you want them to do?
Once you have the answer to that question for every page on your website then designing the pages and the site as a whole is a simple two step process:
- How can we design this to make it as natural and easy as possible for our website visitors to complete our desired action?
- What should it look like?
And step 1 is more important than step 2.
Most web designers will disagree. However if you’re looking to grow your business this is how you ensure high ROI from your website.
Posted in Business, Marketing, Sales, Website Design | No Comments »
From the desk of Roy Furr, April 1st, 2009
”If you have some respect for people as they are, you can be more effective in helping them to become better than they are.” –John W. Gardner
Quick post today talking about respect and persuasion. If you’re interested in moving someone to take a certain action that’s in your best interest (like… buying your product), it helps immensely to start with complete respect for them.
Respect for where they’re at in life. For their accomplishments that have gotten them this far. Respect for the importance they see themselves as having. Respect for the difficulties that have prevented them from being even closer to their dreams, desires, and destiny.
This is not a show, either.
Your respect must be real.
Starting from this fundamental position of respect, it’s easy to get what you want.
Of course, when you respect someone you have no choice but to sell them a product or service that is in their best interest to purchase. When you respect them, you must believe that what you’re giving to them is of equivalent value to them as what you’re asking for in return.
With respect and something valuable to bring to the table, the sky is the limit.
Posted in Copywriting | No Comments »