Algemene webmarketing tips



Newsgroups can be an effective way to get the word out about your product or service.

door: David Callan

Marketing to newsgroups


Nowadays however it's a lot harder to utilize them because everyone thinks that your just spamming. Newsgroups are also useful for product feedback, you can easily find out what is being said about you and your product.

The most important thing when looking to market and promote something to the newsgroups is to stay related to your product or website theme. This means if you're promoting golf clubs don't post in newsgroups about computer software because there'll be war. People will get angry that you're blatantly spamming the newsgroup. They'll post insulting replies which will damage your websites reputation and of course you won't make any sales. It's just a waste of time posting in non-related groups so always post to relevant groups. To find a list of newsgroups relevant to you simply use the find and search functions found on most newsgroup readers.

Gain the trust of other posters.

This requires a lot of time and effort, it can be done two main ways by providing valuable replies to people who look for help or ask an opinion of some sort. The other is to post new topics yourself to show you're interested and know about the subject of the newsgroup. When people trust you they're much more likely to be interested in what you have to offer.

Include a signature with all your posts.

A signature should be attached at the bottom of all your posts. Most newsgroup and mail reading software can attach it automatically. Generally signatures are three to five lines in length. They include your website name, email, URL and a one or two line advert. Here's one I made earlier

==============================
AKA Marketing
admin@akamarketing.com
http://www.akamarketing.com
Free Internet Marketing Articles and resources
==============================

The idea is to get your signature seen as many times as possible by as many newsgroups as possible, if you've a trusted and respected reputation within newsgroups related to your website your signature will create some extra traffic for you. Set your name to the URL of your website or company name, this will attract attention just like your subject line, the difference is that people at newsgroups don't have to read your post to see your URL as their newsgroup viewer always shows the name of who posted what.

Well that's about it, just remember to offer advice or answers to questions that are being asked in the newsgroups. This is a way to gain trust and it also gives you credibility, establishing you as an expert in your field. When you help someone with a problem or concern you've already gained their trust and respect therefore it becomes much easier to suggest your product or service to that individual. Remember after you give the advice or answer the question you'll have your "sig" file at the end of the message, this hopefully will lead people to your site.

Marketing with classified ads.

You have all read them, offline anyway, in papers, magazines and journals among other places. Well online classified ads work the same way. You write a headline, description and post some contact details for potential buyers to get in touch with you. Offline classifieds would direct people to a phone number while online classified ads would contain your URL and an email address. Offline you'll have to pay for almost all classifieds you post, however online there are thousands of free sites which will allow you to post your ad and of course there are plenty of low-cost sites which will also except your ad. Apart from the fact you can get free classifieds online, online ads have a few advantages compared to offline ones.

The Internet has a much much larger audience than your local or national newspaper has so more people can potentially see your ad and act upon it. You can post your ads online and you could have feedback and sales within a very short time as usually people just have to click on your URL for more info rather than make a phone call or send a letter. Ads that are placed online are much cheaper than their offline counterparts, this is because space is not tight on the Internet as it is in a magazine or newspaper. A user looking for a particular product can usually perform a search for a particular word or phrase from the classified ad site whereas offline people have to manually scan through the different categories.

A disadvantage of online classified ads to the webmaster is that it can be quite time consuming to do especially if you want any sort of success with them, which you obviously do. However many good pieces of software are becoming available which can automatically submit your ad to lots of these sites, they aren't cheap but if you're interested try doing a search for 'classified ad software' or something similar on Google.com or Yahoo.com. Let's get on to the good part, how to make the most out of posting to classified ads. Stay specific, always post to the most appropriate category or categories there are, this way you'll be posting to an area where people will actually be interested in your product, this is vital.

Remember especially with free classified sites that a lot of other webmasters will be trying to promote their products and websites with ads too so you'll have to repost your ad regularly to stay near the top of the bunch, nobody will even see your ad if it's at the bottom of another 50 ads, will they? Now on to the actual copy of your ad, since few classified sites allow you to post graphics you'll have to rely on your headline to grab the attention of the people scanning the ads in front of them. You can do this by using words like 'free', 'secrets', 'how-to' and other words which will make them curious to find out more. If you can, include your keywords in your headline as some classified sites will use the headline as the link to your site this in turn will help you when the search engines examine your link popularity.

Always target your market, if you sell a product for webmasters mention 'webmasters' in the headline and body, next you should mention what your product will do for them (i.e. the benefits of it. - how will it make their life easier). I have read this in numerous places and now you're going to read it too, the idea with classified ads is to generate interest and not to actually sell anything there and then, that's far to hard to do, you want to get the reader wanting more information and you should give this to them through your website or autoresponder. This is why your ad body should always be short, concise and to the point, a big long page sales letter will scare people off.

Follow the above few tips and you should see some results, before you go I want to put this to you. Which is better paid or free classifieds? Well for me paid classifieds have always produced much better results, I think this is because advertising in "Free Classified Sites" has now become an almost automated task which means not many people actually visit and respond to classified ads. Submission spiders are wonderful creatures but aren't often interested in clicking on your well-crafted classified ad. Two of the best places where you can place fee based ads which do bring results are AOL.com and Yahoo.com. Good luck!

FFA marketing.

FFA marketing involves using free-for-all pages to promote your site. In my opinion FFA pages are one of the most overrated forms of Internet marketing there is. No serious web marketer spends much time with this method of marketing because the results are far from positive but are in fact very negative meaning you're worse of after using them then your were before using them. Sound strange? Well it's not really strange, it's what the industry calls a scam, a scam which benefits the owner of the FFA page. The idea is that these things will get you more traffic because you're getting links on other peoples websites which you don't have to reciprocate. It sound good at the start but the problem is that nobody visits these pages while surfing normally, the only people that visit these are webmasters trying to get extra traffic to their sites. As well as webmasters software bots designed to add links and of course the dreaded email harvesters will visit. This means that your link will be up for a day or two at most and will then be replaced by the next web marketers link. Rarely do real people visit these pages.

In fact the most visits you could expect from a FFA posting campaign would be about 20 and in saying that around ten of those visits would come from email harvesters. Usually FFA submission software can submit to 500+ FFA pages and 500+ pages is what I mean by a 'FFA posting campaign'. So you've posted your link to 500+ webpages and you've got 10 real visitors, even after using some automatic software it's just not worth your time and effort. Once again it's simply not worth your effort to post to these things. The results aren't positive, far from it, OK you get about ten people to your site but where's the catch? What do the FFA page owners get? Well like it or not they get to send you about 30 spam emails each, some send more but generally after a month of being spammed constantly with useless ads you'll start to see a drop-off in the amount you get each day.

The problem with disputes brought to the courts related to the sale of and use of software prior to the St. Albans v ICL case was the presence of some very important questions: are suppliers of software systems supplying goods or services? Clearly computer hardware is "goods" but what about intangible software, what is the legal status of software - goods or services? The aforementioned questions are some of the most debated in computer law.

The first ones usually a confirmation email with a few ads and from then on they'll use your email address to send you lots of spam everyday even if your link has gone from their FFA page. That's why they started the FFA page in the beginning, to have people to advertise to. If you do decide to try your hand at FFA pages make sure you use some good software to do the job and what's most important is to use a throw away email account like a Yahoo or Hotmail one. Never use your personal or official website email because you'll have great difficulty in locating the real emails from the spam emails sent from the FFA pages. One more thing to tell you about FFA pages, yes you guessed it, it's a negative thing. The quality of the small amount of visitors you do get is very low, many visitors stay for only a few seconds and will never buy anything as they're mostly webmasters who were posting themselves and came across an interesting sounding link and decided to check it out. They're currently online to promote their site not to buy anything from you so they'll quickly continue on to the next FFA page on their list. The bottom line is that FFA pages are a waste of time and always will be. You should be concentrating on marketing methods that work if you want to make money online.

Offline promotion guide.

Banner ads, search engines and link exchanges. We've all tried them while promoting our sites and online businesses, some have worked more successfully than others mind you but just because you run an online business doesn't mean you've to always promote it online. In fact on many occasions a websites marketing budget can be spent just as effectively using offline methods as it can be using online methods such as the ones mentioned above. Indeed website branding seems to be much more successful using offline methods such as TV and Radio. This article is your guide to promoting your website offline, I hope you enjoy it.

Your URL is very important.

The basis behind any offline promotion campaign for your website is of course to get your website visited more often and if your sales letter is good enough to get more sales from these extra visitors. This can only be done by getting the address of your site 'out there' and visible to lots and lots of people. It's for this reason that your URL is very important, it's your lifeline in the offline world, the amount of exposure it receives will make or break your offline campaign. It should appear on any material you send to customers or clients, others businesses you deal with and most importantly potential customers.

More on where you can put your URL offline a little later, but for now here's a little paragraph or two regarding things which you can do online to help your offline marketing efforts. First off your website should always have a banner (a standard 468 x 60 or larger banner works best) at the top of every page with your website address clearly visible on it. The reasoning behind this it that many people prefer to print out larger webpages with articles, stories, tutorials and the like to read later and then keep for reference rather than read them online as they're surfing. Without your URL on your banner people may re-read your content but never revisit your site due to them simply forgetting your website address and you may have lost a customer.

It's also a good idea to make available online any recent press releases you may have issued. This is due to the fact that many journalists and editors surf the web, if they like your company and product they might be inclined to let their readers know why. A press release will provide them with the latest information regarding your company helping them to do this. Now we'll go through where you can promote your site offline.

Put your URL on all day to day business items.

In the day to day running of your business you'll use many document type items. By these I refer to invoices you send, faxes you send, checks you send, product packaging, business cards etc. Your URL, email address and an attractive website slogan which makes people want to visit should all be present on each of these items either in the form of a banner used with faxes, invoices or other letterhead paper items or simple text which is generally used for business cards and checks. You could even include your URL and if space permits your website slogan on all the simple letter envelopes you send out.

Television.

Next we'll talk about the big one - TV. This may well appear to be financially out of reach of all but the biggest websites with very large advertising budgets, but no this is not true. OK admittedly you probably don't and never will have the financial capability to run ads on mainstream Cable such as Fox in America or Sky in Britain and Ireland, not to worry though as such advertising is usually targeted very generally and is useful only to sites with broad appeal such as Amazon.com or Yahoo.com.

Local cable television advertising is much more feasible and effective for the more 'ordinary website'. This type of advertising appears to be very reasonably priced at the moment and is particularly effective if your product or services is oriented toward a specific geographic target market, for example imagine if you were a Detroit web design company, simply advertise your company and URL on a local Detroit channel. Contact a Sales representative from your local cable company to find out more. You should of course mention your URL on numerous occasions within your ad spot.

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