Elayne Whitfield, BA, MVA ~ VA Industry ExpertSubscribe Now

Are These Kinds Of Proof On Your Sales Page?

Man Payment Online With Credit CardWe all know what goes into selling a new product online - an awesome product, lots of traffic, an excellent sales page, and good conversion rates. Having the awesome product is probably the easiest part, while getting good conversion rates may be the hardest. So what will help you convert visitors into buyers?

Proof.

People want to see proof that your product is and does what you promise it will be and do. They want to know other people have used it successfully without complications. They'd also like to see, touch, and try, if possible. If they're convinced it will solve their problem(s), they'll head right over to the buy button and purchase the product.

Here, then, are some types of proof that will help prove your product is the one for them:

Testimonials
While the US government has now put some restrictions on what testimonials can say, and the need to include a disclaimer noting atypical results, they are still an effective form of proof. Testimonials can be in writing with a photo, video, or audio. What types of testimonials do you like to see? I like the ones that say how the customer put the product to work for them and increased their income by xx dollars, lost xx amount of weight, or cleared up acne in xx days. These are customers who have used the product and found success so it's likely, or at least possible, other buyers will get good results too.

Case studies
These are a form of a testimonial, but more involved. A case study shows where the person was at before the purchase, how he used the product, how long the results took, and what the results were. People like the specifics, so it might also include a negative or two.

Video tour
Not only tell them about your product, take them inside. A video look around with maybe a demonstration of how to use the product will show potential customers exactly what they will be getting. If your product is an ebook, show them the table of contents and a page here and there; similar to what Amazon does with their Look Inside! feature. Show off and talk about any bonuses as well.

Flash your credentials
Are you a published author, been an expert in the field for over 10 years, been quoted in the newspaper, been interviewed by other experts in the field? Without being a show-off, weave in this kind of proof as to why you're capable of talking and teaching on this subject.

Free trial period
This is more like advanced proof and goes a long way in comforting a potential buyer's fear. Sometimes you can get the tire-kickers to buy if you get them behind the wheel for a test drive. Offer a 14 or 30 day trial and encourage them to try it out. Offer assistance during the trial period and remind them at the end of the trial to buy.

To convert readers to buyers, you definitely need to have some proof on your sales page. Consider using video, audio, or written testimonials, case studies, a free trial period, showing your credentials, and doing a video tour of your product. And remember to test to see which type of proof converts the best with your audience.

What Color Is Your Hat – Black, Blue, Gray Or White?

What Color Is Your Hat - ImageMany people wear hats of different shapes and colors in their lives. While most parents and business owners might just consider those hats to be a necessary part of a work outfit or a fashion statement, on the Internet, specifically with Internet marketing, they have a very different meaning.

Knowing the differences between the “hat” colors and the risks you take when you choose one over the other will help keep you out of Google death as you attempt to manipulate search engines. Google has a very short tolerance for unethical practices that attempt to work around their rules.

It is commonly agreed that the safest techniques to follow in your marketing campaigns are the White Hat strategies. If you remember the old cowboy movies where the hero always wore the white hat and triumphed over the bad guys who wore black hats, you will see the implied differences in hat colors.

White Hat
A marketer using white hat techniques is not malicious in intent or actual practice. They follow business practices that are considered ethical and acceptable by the industry and do nothing that could be considered spamming others. They are not trying to find and exploit loopholes in the systems.

Grey Hat
Practices start veering off the benign white hat techniques when marketers start pushing the edges of legality and use somewhat shady methods to get what they want on other sites or to get around Google’s rules. Some of the techniques used might be reverse engineering of copyrighted or trademarked software, or copying small sections of articles and passing them off as their own. They may have found a loophole that will be closed once Google figures out what they are doing.

Blue Hat
This term is used by firms involved in computer security and refers to hackers hired to unearth bugs in a system before it is launched. When the blue hat hackers find unprotected areas of a client’s security, they quickly close the hole in the company’s software or report it to the security team.

Black Hat
A black hat can be a person who breaks computer security without permission to vandalize a site, steal credit card information, steal identities or pirate another marketer’s proprietary information or processes. A black hat marketer is someone who participates in illegal ways of getting better search engine rankings including keyword stuffing, spamdexing, spam linking, scraped content and article spinning of copyrighted material, hidden website links, or excessive cross-linking, etc., that is for rank gain rather than for a better user experience.

Again, it is usually better to keep your White Hat on or you'll always be looking over your shoulder for the Google police. If you're wearing a Black Hat, you may find yourself with a spike in results, but it won't last and is not a steady income you can count on.

The Top 7 Time Management Tactics of Successful Internet Marketers

The Top 7 Time Management Tactics - ImageThe really successful internet marketers seem to get so much done in a small amount of time. To some degree, that's because they are doing the same thing over and over and they have it down to a science. However, they also follow some tried and true time management tactics to stay focused and make the most of every minute. Here are 7 top time management tips that will help you get more done every day, leading you to the success you deserve.

Tip 1. Schedule Your Work

Whether you are working on your business full time, part time, or sporadically, make sure you set aside specific time each day or week to focus on work. Put your personal life into a separate compartment that you can open at a different time in the day.

Tip 2. Chunk Everything

Break down your work into tasks and priorities for each day. You should identify 3 key things you want to accomplish that day, plus minor tasks that come second.

Tip 3. Time Yourself

It’s amazing how much faster you can work if you know you have a time limit. Allow yourself about 20 to 30 minutes to complete a specific task. Then use a timer to keep yourself honest. You’ll spend less time perfecting every little detail and more time just getting everything done. A kitchen timer works perfectly, or you can use a timer app or alarm on your smart phone or computer.

Tip 4. Go With Your Rhythms

Most people have a specific time of day when they are most productive and focused. Take advantage of your best time of day and schedule the work that requires your highest concentration for then.

Tip 5. Make a List

Creating a list of tasks is akin to developing an action plan. At the beginning of the week, preferably Sunday night, make a list of priority tasks that you need to complete by the end of the week. Put them in a logical order based on how big a difference they will make to the growth of your business. Also consider whether there are other people or tasks that depend on whether you get your part done.

Tip 6. Keep Your Momentum

Some people find it most effective to set aside specific types of tasks for different days of the week to take advantage of the momentum they gain focusing on one item. For example, do your keyword research on Mondays, email list building on Tuesdays, product development on Wednesdays, etc.

Tip 7. Put on Blinders

Block out everything except the task you need to get done. Shut down or close any other windows or applications except the one you’re working on. The elimination of distractions alone will help you get more done in a short space of time.

While not every one of these tactics will work for everyone, they are the top proven ones used by successful marketers. You'll hear them being recommended over and over again. That's because they work.

Key Tips For Getting Lots of Article Click Thrus

Key Tips for Getting Lots of Article Click Thrus - ImageIt's a no-brainer that in order to get people to your site, they need to click on your link at the bottom of your article first. But before that, they need to read your article. So let's back up here and look at the 3 most important things your article needs to have in order to get lots of click thrus.

A great headline
An interesting opening paragraph
A compelling call to action

To put it another way, you want a great headline that will interest a person enough to want to read your article. Then you need a good first paragraph that entices the reader to really read the article. Lastly, you need to flow into a compelling bio call to action that makes the reader want to click your link.

A great headline
Certainly you should include your keywords in the title to help search engine traffic find your article, but your headline, or your title, should be more than that. The title's other important job is to get people interested in reading the article.

Think about making the title eye-catching, humorous, emotionally appealing, curiosity-arousing, attention-getting, a bit outrageous, and certainly NOT boring. And use trigger words in your headline: how to, question, tips, numbers, story, the benefit, secret, the truth, the cure for, or mistakes.

An interesting opening paragraph
You've only got a couple of sentences, at most, to really get the reader's attention before he's lost interest and has moved on. So when writing the article you'll probably want to spend most of your time on this.

If you want good examples of opening paragraphs, just read the newspaper. You'll notice each newspaper story uses a technique to entice the reader. They might make an outrageous claim, stir up some controversy, hit our hot buttons, use a scare tactic, predict the future, or use some similar technique that draws us in. That's what you want to do with your article.

A compelling call to action
When you write your bio, you should always include a call to action. Don't just give them details about you and include your website. Ask them to come to your site by offering something they value for free. What do they value? What would motivate them to click thru to your site? Perhaps you can give information away for free that other marketers are selling. Make it clear, easy, and irresistible.

Take a look at other successful article marketers' bios to get some examples of what works. If you visit EzineArticles, check out some of the articles that interest you and examine which bios make you want to click thru.

Last but not least, test your bio. Sometimes you need more creative wording, or sometimes a better offer, but you won't know until you test.

The more articles you write with purpose, the better you'll get at it. Concentrating on these three areas – the title, opening paragraph and bio – whenever you write an article should help your article click thru rates increase.

Tips On Using Facebook For Marketing

Tips on Using Facebook for Marketing - ImageFacebook’s popularity with Internet users has run into the millions since its acceptance of anyone with a valid email address in 2006. Most members play games, update their profiles and upload photos or videos for their friends to view. While planting crops on Farmville, drinking virtual coffee in the cafe or beating off snakes in FrontierVille is addicting, Facebook can also be a powerful marketing tool for Internet marketers.

Marketers, including those using the Internet to market their products, know that in order to attract potential customers, they need to announce the benefits of their products to a large audience and give their readers a reason to visit their site. Simply put, No Visitors = No Sales.

Facebook members make connections with each other, called Friends, and you are only allowed to contact or message those friends. Member profiles are only available to other Facebook members, which creates a loose pool to specifically market to. Some of Facebook’s most popular applications, those you probably use every day are specifically for Internet marketers.

In fact, marketers who know how to market on Facebook start that huge marketing process with their Profile, adding games, puzzles or videos that are interesting to other users. Facebook’s underlying purpose is to make the site a fun place to be. An RSS feature allows users to syndicate their blogs, increasing their exposure dramatically.

Users can use Facebook to promote products from Clickbank and Amazon as an affiliate, whether they have their own website or not.

Here are some tips to get you started and to keep you out of trouble with this very powerful social networking site.

Each user has a profile page and part of that page is used for The Wall; effectively a place to post messages for each user to see. If your “friends” have access to your full profile, friend marketers can post messages on your Wall. Perhaps a more effective application might be posting attachments to your Wall promoting products.

Use The Marketplace. Free classified ads are allowed in a few categories. Marketers are jumping all over this free application in the four allowable categories, For Sale, Housing, Jobs and Other. Any Facebook user can take advantage of this treasure trove of opportunities.

Application developers have found a home with Facebook and are happy to design applications that rapidly become standard Facebook apps, taking advantage of the Web 2.0 graphic and audio options available to users.

One feature that's used by those who scan posts instead of reading them is the Status feature. This feature is a quick update on what you are doing and, used carefully, can be a powerful marketing tool. For instance, using Facebook’s format, “John Thomas just finished his new software.” A convenient link to that sales page for that software would get a lot of traffic just from curious members.

A Facebook Event is used for keeping friends aware of upcoming events. Here is where a marketer can advertise seminars, podcasts and ecourses, to name a few. Facebook’s rules about announcing an event should be carefully read in order to avoid being branded a spammer.

Videos are everywhere and have rapidly become the most popular method to use to market many Internet products. Videos can be added to Facebook with a Facebook Mobile application, which has a webcam feature. The videos cannot be shared outside of Facebook, but with the huge membership ranging in the 60 to 70 million users and growing daily, that shouldn’t be too much of a setback to a smart marketer.

Facebook is the perfect versatile application for creative marketers to increase their traffic and, therefore, their customer base. Simple processes can be powerful marketing tools and Facebook is no exception.

Driving Traffic To Your Site With YouTube

Driving Traffic To Your Site With YouTube - ImageYouTube has had a dramatic effect on the Internet marketing landscape, making huge changes in how marketers promote their products and services. For years, Internet marketing was confined to text-based websites with a photo or graphic and beautiful headers.

The new software that makes creating videos easy has generated millions of video sales pages and other graphic presentations that can go viral quickly. It seems like the browsing public, regardless of their choice of subjects cannot get enough of videos.

Successful marketers always know they have to stay current with the latest and greatest marketing processes if they want to continue to attract buyers. The hottest marketing tool right now is YouTube.

To take advantage of marketing with YouTube, you first need to register for a YouTube account. If your video grabs attention and is well-done, it has a chance of going viral, which means that it will move around the Internet as people upload it and send it to their lists or it gets mentioned in forums, membership sites, newsletters and blogs.

When posting your videos on YouTube, do not upload long videos. Three to four minutes is a good length for marketing videos. Your intention is to create enough curiosity to make your viewers click on your site link at the bottom of your video. Traffic generated from your link can mean steady income for you.

Keywords are still valuable and should be included in your video title. Do not forget the basic marketing practice of using your keywords in your first paragraph and intermittently in the rest of your presentation. What you want to do is make your videos interesting enough to have others send an email or the link to their friends and subscribers, which makes your video a viral marketing tool. The more people who click the link to your video, the better your ranking, the more Google will love you, and the more chance you have to make sales.

What should you do videos about? Remember you're a marketer - the only difference is the delivery media, in this case, YouTube videos. Instructional videos, PowerPoint presentations, your personal story about finding the solution to a problem, or your sales copy for your product are good examples.

Check out your YouTube competitors to not only see what they are doing, but to find possible opportunities to add your video as a response to what they are posting. People will find your video and follow your links if they are interested in what you are saying or offering. Targeted traffic is pure gold.

YouTube has a couple of interesting and useful tools for you to use. One is the “Statistics and Data” section, which lists the numbers of visitors sent by other websites. You are free to copy the tags popular sites use to keep their videos and websites popular. Use them in your videos to improve your listings.

Keep in mind these facts about YouTube’s popularity and don't dismiss the site’s power as a marketing tool without giving it a try yourself. YouTube has monthly visitors that number way over several million each month. Almost 100,000 new videos are uploaded each day and your possible customers generate hundreds of million clicks on a daily basis. Those numbers alone should get you to start your video marketing immediately.