Friday, December 29, 2006

Internet Predictions For 2007

Really? Yeah, why not?

So here we go... 4 quick ones.

Happy New Year 2007:

1. Google Wins… Beats Microsoft

Google will acquire more online properties and offer more new services related to offline advertising in 2007. Radio, TV, newspaper and magazines are next on Google's radar.

AND with the further expansion of it’s ‘virtual office’ including online spreadsheets, documents, email, and calendars, in 2007, it will create a new way of storing, collecting and accessing data online. This newly dubbed “Google Office” will start the decline of the Microsoft Office Suite.

Don’t think it will happen?

Same usability and Google is free… and without the constant MS bugs and updates. Just wait… Google is the shit. And they know it. Remember, build a community…, right?

2. The public finally uses RSS. This time we mean it.

The Daily Reckoning started it’s first RSS feed in 2002 but no one used it. Today, the DR feed is logging some of its highest site views each day.

RSS overall is getting a boast from all the blogs and the online social networking. It’s no longer a foreign idea to Ma & Pa surfer.

Plus RSS is integrated into Microsoft's new 2007 release of its Vista Operating System, and also fully integrated into the new beta Yahoo Mail, and the new beta Google Base. (And if Google Base, a place where you can submit all types of online and offline content, making it searchable on Google, does not take off in 2007 - I’ll eat my new Orange Golden State Warriors hat that I just got for Christmas.) RSS is here and without question it becomes the norm in 2007.

3. Social Networks no longer a buzzword, now a reality.

The old dogs learn new tricks in 2007. The old-media sites will integrate online communities into their web strategies, i.e., Social bookmarking, Social downloading, Social networks, etc. The mainstream will do their best to recreate,, and

Will this kill those existing sites?

No. But expect those sites to lose some of their muster. The young surfers will find something new… damn kids are always ahead of the bell curve.

Business networks will explode… a site like will hit it’s peak in 2007 and be the next big acquisition. I think Microsoft buys it after Google tries and fails.

4. For you Web geeks – 2007 is all about AJAX.

Not Ajax the Great, the Greek hero most of us read from Homer's Iliad but the AJAX (Asynchronous Javascript and XML) development technique that is already working it’s way around the web. It’s the mainstream for Web development in 2007.

I'll stop at four... no one cares about predictions anyway, eh? I'll be back Jan. 2nd... enjoy the New Year celebration.



Thursday, December 28, 2006

Swaps & Opt-Ins On “Like Sites”

I often mention that you have no "competition"... just potential business partners. (This must be your mind set) These industry related companies have clients... buyers... and you need those names for your business.

How do you get access?

Show your "competitor" that they have a valuable resource and so do you. It's in both your interests to work together. Both will profit and grow.

You see, subscribers wants access to good offers... if you only give them a limited board of fare they will stop reading, stop clicking, and leave. But if you give them value, constantly changing, up to date value... be it additional offers, editorial, reports, etc., they keep reading, keep clicking, and remain a solid asset. Heck they will even invite their friends to join your community.

Don't be afraid... you may lose some subs but you may have lost them anyway, right?

AND you gain more in additional sales and the goodwill of the increased value.

Where do you find these partners?

I start with & Google. Research the niche, research the "competition" and you'll find numerous threads to follow. You can also hire so-called Competitive Intelligence companies that will research individual sites and give you a great breakdown for the source of their readers, buyers, or and/or leads.

When you contact these companies I'd suggest swapping editorial first. Introduce your editor and your voice to the new audience. Prep the file, as it were.

Editorial swaps are successful because publishers are always looking for articles to run on their websites, and eletters. Whether you re publish one of your articles or write something new for the target audience, make sure you include the URL to your sign-up page at the end. Remember the concept is to swap value. List space for list space.

From exchanging editorial... move to swapping "opt in" copy for your free eletters, i.e., a free offer, recommending each others e-letter to your respective subscriber bases. That should get you a real good amount of new subscribers.

Last but not least, now that the relationship is established with the publisher and their audience... swap paid offers.

Warning: If you have less than 1,000 subscribers on your list, ad swapping won't appeal to most publishers. But you could provide articles, content, research, or some other needed service in exchange for promoting your publication and sign-up page to their audience. Sell it to them - it's worth begging. Really...

Why not just pay for the space?

Some sites prefer that, but other don't allow it. They may still see you as the dreaded competition. It's a shame but they don't see the big picture. Or perhaps they are just dumb. It's a case by case determination. But keep in mind... just selling without a "prep" of the file doesn't work as well as using editorial to build credibility. So I prefer to start with swaps. No out of pocket cost either!

So try a reciprocal swap... it's a great tool with "like-minded" sites.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Use Your Website To Acquire Email Addresses

Hmmm, do you think this could this be more obvious...

But are you doing it? More importantly...

Are you doing it well?
Have you tested your copy?
Your Format?
Is it easy to find?
Easy to sign up?

TEST IT! And keep testing it.

Don’t over look your site for name collection... if you take it for granted you'll miss out on the highest producing dollar per "free" name available.

So make the sign up easy and accessible.

AND last, but not least... if you make sure every landing page leads to a sign up… then your doing just fine in my book.


Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Start With Your House Names

Well, Christmas is over... my son loved his Barbaro model horse and his new wheelbarrow. Really. No hip computer games or trendy BS. We're not the typical family, but hey, I'm a lawyer turned marketer. So not much should be a surprise.

So back to list building...

The best place to start your list is with your existing customers. These "paid names" or buyers are going to be your best names. The highest dollar per name.

So if you already have customers… get ALL the e-mail addresses from current customers. ALWAYS ask them for their email address. Be it via the mail, email, web site, post cards, and telephone customer service. By converting just 5%-10% of your DM list to email, you could see a 25% increase in revenue.

So it's worth the effort to review every contact with your customer base to ensure that you are asking for their email address at every opportunity.

Once you've triple checked that you are doing the best to acquire these addresses at each contact point, take the next step and hire an email append service that will research your DM or print names and find a corresponding email address for the subscriber.

Just a few sales will pay for this process. AND since they are your clients, sending them an email is not Spam. It's gray I admit, but with proper multiple unsubscribe opportunities on every mailing, this should not cause a problem.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

A New Day...

Tomorrow came and went. The Holidays are here, so I'm off to spend time with my family. I'm thankful to have them in my life. Marketing can wait - family comes first.

I'll see you all on the 26th. Happy Christmas.


Thursday, December 21, 2006

Before you begin your campaign...

Know your audience.

Who are they? What are their interests? What other sites are they visiting?

The best producing emails are going to be those in your niche. They are the readers you should be most familiar with, who share common likes, needs and wants. As such, you have the best opportunity of having these names join your community.

The question is where do you find them?

Start by researching your niche. I look at competitors and what online advertising they are doing.

Follow their lead... if they are successful online the odds are the source of their leads is where you want to be. (at least in the beginning) I start with & Google. Research the niche, research the competition and you'll find numerous threads to follow.

You can also hire "Competitive Intelligence" companies that will research individual sites and give you a great breakdown for the source of their readers, buyers, or and/or leads.

We could talk about this for weeks, and we will later on... but let's down to bass tacks. You want "opt in " names? Here are 12 tips to building your list... starting tomorrow

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Why is email marketing so popular?

People are always asking me this question... you'd think by now folks would get it. But they don't. Simply put - email works. I mean really well.

Why is Spam all over the place?

(Besides the fact that CANSPAM legalized it – don’t get me started!)

It works... spammers wouldn’t spend all that money changing servers and sending from overseas IP addresses if it lost money. Would they? No way – more Spam is coming because spammers are getting rich. But if spammers only knew how profitable “opt in” email could really be. Hmmm... maybe things would change…

Ah well… let’s keep that secret to us. I know it works... and you soon will know too!

Also keep in mind that sending email is much cheaper than most other forms of communication. Cheaper than mail, phone, fax, text message, etc. Plus compared to just having a web site, email lets you deliver your message to the people. (A website is pull marketing, where the people have to come to your message, email is push.) You send the message to them... a targeted marketing message delivered on your terms.

Advantage Email.

I've been involved in email marketing for 8 years now and no other direct response nor web-based marketing is more profitable. I’ve helped bring in hundreds of millions of dollars in the information publishing industry.

It's doesn't happen overnight... and it can seem overwhelming for just one person... but with a little help, some outsourcing and the right amount of technology... you too can bring in millions with email.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Play To Your Strengths

I'm not a writer... I'm a marketer. So let's talk marketing and my strength - list building.

If you're interested in making money on the Internet, there's one simple skill you absolutely, positively must excell in... acquiring "opt in" email addresses.

Why do I need a list?

When your business builds a list, you immediately have an incredibly valuable asset. It's a database of potential customers you can market to, as often as you like, for almost zero cost. Don’t under estimate the power, advantage, and opportunity this gives you. Having an in-house e-mail list gives you access to an ongoing conversation with people who like and trust you.

They have asked you (opted in to your eletter) to send them specific information that will enhance their life or business in some way. AND when someone asks you to send them information on a regular basis, they’re much more receptive to your advertising and/or promotions.

So get an email address and you’ll make money, right?

That’s half the battle. The other half is building a relationship. Like you have heard me say many times... you don’t build a business or a list – you must build a community.

As those on your list get to know you and the value of the information you provide them, they will start to trust you. You're goal is to create an eletter of value that readers will look forward to reading on a regular basis... and when it's time to buy a suggested product or service, chances are they will purchase from you instead of from someone else.

Make the content and the advertising as good as you can and odds are both will be read. Logic tells us... If no one reads the eletter can you really expect them to read the adverts?

Have you heard the phrase "the money is in the list”?

That’s true… but the money isn't so much "in the list" as it is in having a solid strategy for generating email addresses that are interested in your products and services, and having the opportunity to market your products and services directly TO that list.

At then end of the day, what really counts is (a) how many people are on your list and (b) what is the Relationship/Trust/Credibility that you have with your readers.

So get people to sign up to your e-letter. Keep them enthralled with value. In return they will trust you, and they will buy from you... over, and over, and over…

Monday, December 18, 2006

My mistake

On websites, blogs, discussion boards, we are continually arguing, repeating and discussing other people’s ideas. We read, we learn, we repeat. That is how content is often created online, and in everyday life. We read something we like and we then incorporate that idea, concept or theme into our own writing.

That being said, it is very important that we give credit where it is due.

Recently I found an article that I liked on SEM. It stated certain concepts that I share. I thought it would be a great topic for this blog. The theme was perfect, but my execution was faulty.

As I wrote the posts I was paraphrasing from the original text, but it was not enough. The end result was not the creation of a new idea, or an extention on the theme, but more of a restatement of the original idea and without clearly acknowledging the source of that information. That is wrong in print, web, or any medium.

That was my mistake… the mistake of a first time blogger.

How can we learn from this?

Here is a simple tip to avoid making a similar mistake. It’s simple attribution.

Give credit whenever you use another person’s idea, opinion, or theory; any facts, statistics, graphs, or any information that is not common knowledge.

Put in quotations everything that comes directly from the original text or speaker. Use the title, the author, the publisher (link) and the original publishing date.

You may paraphrase, but be sure you are not just rearranging or replacing a few words. Make sure you are creating something new. Check the paraphrase against the original text, and make certain that you have not accidentally used the same phrases or words. Then put it down, and come back later and double check. Trust me on this... 'cause in hindsight, this was my mistake.

This is a problem with self/online publishing, blogging and the immediate web gratification that we all have come to expect. Back in the day we used fact checkers, copy editors, and the like, and thus prevented these mistakes. This is not an excuse, but the reality we live in. Most bloggers are individual at home publishers and do not have employees. So, with blogging we'll continue to see more mistakes like these. I only hope that if it happens to you... that you'll stand up, admit the mistake, fix it and work to not repeat it.

In sum... although this blog is a work in progress... you deserve better.

On the Internet perception is reality, as such, I will do my best not to disappoint you again.

A Step Backward...

Last week I posted portions of a free report from

Since proper attribution was not present, I've removed those postings. I'll address this issue and the rules on proper reposting on Blogs above.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Nothing Is Free in Vegas... Except Me.

Just back from Las Vegas where I didn't lose a bet. What can I say but always bet on black.

The conference went well... but don't ask me... ask Kim Mateus, Managing Editor Mequoda Daily and Library.

Below she describes the conference and my roundtable on free content.


"Give them more than they asked for. Give them more than they expected."
- Andrew Palmer, 2006 SIPA Las Vegas

I write to you from lively and exciting Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas. Don and I are here attending SIPA's 23rd Annual Marketing Conference and it's so much fun! Fantastic content, smart, engaging people and of course, excellent location!

Yesterday I attended a roundtable moderated by one of my mentors, Andrew Palmer, Director of Ecommerce for Agora Financial and he's allowed me to share some of his thoughts on the Free Content Model.

After all, it's a question Don and I get asked a lot, so here goes:

"Free" is a great and powerful word. It will bring you leads faster than any other offer. Not only will it get you noticed, it will keep potential customers/readers coming back.

When you give away information or products, you are attracting your targeted market to you. With what you give them, you have the chance to do personal or company branding and also to establish yourself as a trusted expert in your industry.

"Should you really give away your content?"

Yes. But under the Free Content Model are you really giving it away? Or are you simply creating value for your business?

If you're not familiar with the Free Content Model, here it is in a nutshell:

Step One: Create Value
Step Two: Give It Away
Step Three: Build An Email Opt-In List
Step Four: Build a Community
Step Five: Convert names to Buyers

So are we really giving away value with no expectation of something in return? No. We give up something of value and what we get is something of value—an email address. An extremely valuable business asset that we use to build an email list.

"How much should you give away?"

Andrew uses the phrase "Create Value or Die." Your online business must give value at every opportunity. But how much do you give away and how much do you "reserve" for paying products or services?

Give everything you can think of, and only hold back premium information. As Andrew further explained at the roundtable... "If you have an A,B,C,D solution, give them A, or give them B, but you must retain the nugget of gold in order to get them to buy."

Look at it this way... if the information on your site doesn't change, why would someone come back? But if you give away value—they come... they stay... they come back... they buy... they buy again.

Better yet, send them interesting information via an email newsletter and you keep up the relationship on your terms. Plus, if this means you need to come up with new idea or services or products—good! It will only improve your business. It will make you develop a deep and profitable "back-end".

As you build their trust with an email newsletter, your free names will move closer to purchasing something from you. Andrew likes to use the phrase "Don't just build a business, build a community."

Many business owners see only up-front dollar signs when they formulate their online strategy. They cannot see why anyone would offer all of this great information or these services for FREE. They want to charge people to access tips and information or charge a membership fee for visitors to participate on their site. This owner asks "How can I make the most money with my site?" The question that should be asked is...

"How can I best serve my market?"

Don't focus on the short-term sale. Concentrate on the long-term benefit to the business. The money is in the name, and marketing to its lifetime value.

Will you earn more money selling your Special Report? Or will you earn more money giving your Special Report away free AND building a large mailing list of people who are specifically interested in your topic. A list that you can market your high-end services to on a long-term basis? We hope the answer is clear to you.

Your goal should be to serve your market. To create value and strategically organize your information and your offers so that you are able to funnel your visitors directly into your mailing list.

Do what makes sense. Instead of what makes quick cents. Do it by giving it away FREE!

Many thanks to Andrew for letting me publish this.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Vegas Baby!

I'm off to speak at SIPA's 23rd Annual Marketing Conference at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas!

Talk to you all Dec. 11th.

Here is the full conference schedule:

Thursday, December 7, 2006

8:30 – 8:45 a.m.

Welcome to the eCommerce Frontier

Phil Ash, President, NIBM and Guy Crossley, VP Marketing, M. Lee Smith Publishers LLC
This is our second year of focusing exclusively on e-commerce and we’ve rounded up an all-star herd of experts. Join Phil and Guy for a quick lay of the land that you’ll be surveying over the next day and a half.

8:45 – 9:45 a.m.

Keynote Address: "The Art of Usability"
Kara Pernice Coyne, Director of Research, Nielsen Norman Group
The Web is the user’s oyster, and most Websites are just a grain of sand. Make your Website the pearl.

Just getting hits is a challenge in itself, but that is just the beginning. Once a browser arrives, you must make him want to stay, coax him to explore, gain his trust and ease him into buying. A well-designed, well-written, usable Website will help you achieve this, and will vastly improve the user experience and enhance your business.

Understanding usability is the first step. Kara Pernice Coyne will discuss some of Nielsen Norman Group’s most recent usability research and examples in the areas of:

• general usability
• B2B
• e-mail newsletters
• eyetracking: what users actually look at

Kara is the Director of Research at NN/g, and heads the Company’s East Coast operations. She has more than 15 years of experience in product design and evaluating usability. Kara has also studied the emotional effects of designs.

9:45 – 10:30 a.m.

"The Search Landscape – Where We’ve Been, Where We’re Headed"
Kevin Wilk, Director, Channel Strategy and Development, Yahoo! Search Marketing
Internet search has quickly become one of the most effective ways to reach an online audience of more than 200 million people. The ability to link businesses with their customers at the very moment they are actively searching for products and services makes it a uniquely valuable tool that offers an attractive mix of message control, targeting and conversion-tracking capabilities. However, with all of the different products available, it can be tricky to figure out which product or combination best fits your marketing needs.

In this session, you will learn insight into the current state of search and what’s to come in the future:

How has search evolved into a highly targeted way to reach your customers?
Why does search matter? What activities relate into search behavior?
How can you integrate your marketing campaigns for both online and offline channels?
How is search becoming more personalized?
Where search headed? (Social search products such as Flickr, Answers, etc.)

11:00 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.

1.0 Breakout Sessions

1.1: Search Engine Marketing: Today’s Critical Tactics to Drive Traffic
Jason Dowdell, CEO & Founder, Labitat

SEO is a constantly evolving discipline. Social networking, local search, social bookmarking and vertical search are just a few of the latest trends. To dominate the keywords in your markets, you must first start with a solid foundation and then master the latest techniques to capitalize on today's trends. But that's only half of the story. You also need to drive the right traffic to the right places. Discover how from Jason Dowdell, a search pioneer who's been mastering the art since 1997 with clients such as Motorola, eDiets, iVillage, Lowes and hundreds more.

1.2: 5-Step Plan To Skyrocket Your Registration Funnel Conversion Rate
Jalali Hartman, Director of Strategy, Marketing

Discover from the researchers at the Marketing Experiments Journal how to apply an innovative new approach for boosting conversion through any type of Web process – ordering, registration, lead generation, e-mail sign-up and more. You will walk away with a step-by-step plan for generating more business from your existing Website. See how this methodology was applied to increase registrations for one B2B publisher by 816%! Gain early access to their groundbreaking new research on successfully driving customers through Web processes, including common mistakes, design and copy tactics that work, and best-practices to implement now.

1.3: 10 Online Marketing Strategies That Can Double or Triple Your Response
Craig Huey, President, Creative Direct Marketing Group, Inc.

Most information marketing Websites, e-mails and other electronic campaigns violate the proven rules of direct marketing. In this fast-paced session, you’ll find out what strategies and techniques are dramatically boosting response for online marketing. And you’ll learn how to better integrate your direct mail and your online marketing. You’ll discover:

9 essential online direct response copy rules for the Web
The #1 e-mail marketing mistake
The 7-point checklist for avoiding a costly pay-per-click campaign
How most home pages violate key direct-marketing principles
How to boost your online response rates by properly integrating direct mail
What NEVER to do on your Website
The little-known secret to increasing orders and leads by avoiding shopping cart abandonment

1.4: You've Got Their E-mail Address — Now What?
Jeanne Jennings, Publisher, The Jennings Report

Many companies focus all their resources on getting e-mail addresses — and neglect to develop a strategy for effectively communicating once they have them. Jeanne Jennings has helped numerous companies in the B2B and B2C realm develop e-mail marketing strategies based on the bottom line — be it lead generation, direct sales, cross-sell/upsell, retention or something else. Come get practical advice on making the most of your e-mail list.

2:15 – 3:15 p.m.


Saddle-up and choose two out of 20 different roundtable discussions to explore a particular subject area. Each ride will last about a half hour. Take full advantage of the experts sitting at each table to solve your problems, but come prepared to share as well.

The roundtables are:

1. “Usability: Improve the User Experience to Drive Sales”
Kara Pernice Coyne, Director of Research, Nielsen Norman Group

Research drives results. Apply the latest usability research to your site.

2. “Natural Search: How To ‘Own’ Your Niche Market”
Jason Dowdell, CEO & Founder, Labitat Inc.

With search, even small guys can dominate their vertical markets. Discover the best ways to spend your time and money to achieve that goal.

3. “Conversion Testing: The Power of Small Changes Tested”
Jalali Hartman, Director of Strategy, and Jimmy Ellis, Director of Optimization,

Small changes can lead to big results. Knowing what to change and when to change it can be the difference between millions of dollars. Join experts from Marketing Experiments as they discuss testing sequence and the importance of understanding your registration funnel.

4. “On/Offline Integration: Tips for Boosting Web Sales With Print Marketing”
Craig Huey, President, Creative Direct Marketing Group, Inc. (CDMG)

Direct mail, display ads, inserts and other print media can boost your Web sales. Discover little-known strategies and techniques to drive traffic, sales and profits. You’ll also learn of common blunders in marketing integration.

5. “Email Audit: Expert Critique of YOUR Email”
Jeanne Jennings, Publisher, The Jennings Report

Bring your email creative and metrics and get a quick “audit” of your initiative, based on best practices and what’s working now. Please bring 10 copies of the e-mail with metrics; attendees will swap creative and do a quick audit of each other’s work.

6. “Site Planning: Inject Relevance Into Your Site & Increase Conversions”
Howard Kaplan, VP Strategic Development, Future Now, Inc.

The key to increasing conversion isn’t found in any best practice or technology trick, nor can it be achieved from endless hours of testing or on-page optimization- it lies within a deep understanding of who truly impacts conversion (hint: it’s not the site owner). Learn how answering three critical questions on every page of your site will inject more relevance into your communications, create a richer customer experience, and lead to more visitors choosing to convert- to take the action you’ve laid out for them.

7. “Blogs: Why You Should Care”
Tom Lynch, Director, Search Engine Optimization, ePublishing

Blogs aren’t just for geeks! Learn five ways to make search engines LOVE your blogs, and discuss what’s working to attract new readers and make more money from your Websites.

8. “E-mail: Rendering and Deliverability Tips to Get to the Inbox as Intended”
Greg Martz, Director, E-mail Marketing/Management, The Motley Fool, Inc.

With ISPs and mailbox providers on the defensive against phishing and SPAM, legitimate e-mail marketers are having to be more responsible, attentive and creative than ever to ensure the proper display and placement of their emails. Learn about the realities of today’s e-mail rendering and delivery challenges and leave with a set of practical tips and best practices to get your e-mails delivered, as originally designed, to the recipient’s inbox.

9. “Free Content: How Much Should You Give Away?”
Andrew Palmer, Director eCommerce, Agora Financial LLC/ The Daily Reckoning

Discover how to profit from the free content model of Internet marketing. In short, you must “Create Value or Die!” We’ll discuss the steps you must take to determine what your market needs, how you can best serve them and ultimately how you can convert readers of free content into paying customers.

10. “Sticky Sites: Tips to Keep Your Visitors Longer”
Charles Plath, Senior Designer, ePublishing

Participate in a quick review of SIPA member sites and discover tips to present must-have content and exciting new site tools with the most user-friendly design. Because the longer they stay on your site, the better the chances that they’ll buy something.

11. “CMS: Effective Content Monetization Strategies”
Paul Russell, VP of Development, Think Subscription

To succeed online, you must effectively plan and test your content delivery strategies. Take the first, and most critical, step in that process now by identifying the latest delivery options, associated revenue possibilities and best platforms to ensure you deliver the right content to the right people.

12.”E-zines: Utilize High-value Content to Create New Prospect Segments”
Bill Sinagra, Associate Director of E-Marketing, HCPro, Inc.

Target your content as finely as possible to create receptive prospect audiences. Learn how to get e-zine recipients to tune in, not opt-out. We’ll also talk about deliverability and formats.

13. “Podcasting, RSS & More: The Latest Content Delivery Channels”
Dana Todd, Executive VP, SiteLab & President of SEMPO

Another day, another new way to deliver content. Discover which ones are delivering profits and how you can implement them now.

14. “PPC: Maximizing Your ROI From Paid Traffic”
Kevin Wallen, Search Marketing Manager, Eagle Publsihing, Inc.

Running a Pay-Per-Click campaign that’s below expectations? Or maybe you just want a little more bang for your buck? From selecting keywords and bidding strategies to alternative PPC networks, join in on a discussion that’ll give your ROI a kick.

15. “Landing Pages: Simple Tricks With Big Results”
Bill Baird, President, Baird Direct Marketing, Inc.

Like direct mail, small changes to Website landing pages can produce surprisingly big lifts in conversion — but you need to know which changes matter. Find out how to enhance your own landing page from an expert in Website conversion marketing.

16. “Web Writing: Online Copy Tips That Drive Conversion”
Adam Goldstein, Principal, KLA Group

This is not your father’s copywriting! While many traditional tactics still apply, writing for the short-attention-span Web audience requires a whole new set of rules. Discover how both people and spiders love to read online.

17. “Email ROI: Boosting Your Open and Click-Through Rates”
Tom Pines, President, Real Magnet LLC

As inboxes become more crowded, publishers need to focus on the ultimate end of e-mail marketing: ROI. Discover tips and tactics for getting your e-mail delivered, increasing the metrics that matter (open and click-through rates), and for developing long-term relationships with your subscribers.

18. “Lead Generation: Proven Methods for Developing Online Sales Leads”
Ryan Lake, CEO, Lake Group Media

Lead generation has long been identified as the #1 Website objective. Come discover the latest online techniques to identify and acquire the best prospects to become long-term profitable customers.

19. “E-mail-Lists: New Strategies for Depleted E-mail-Lists”
Dr. Harald Feldkamp, Head of E-Business, VNR Verlag für die Deutsche Wirtschaft AG

As your e-mail list ages, its effectiveness will decrease — undeliverables and opt-outs increase while open rates and response decline. We will discuss strategies to refresh old lists.

20. “Driving Traffic: Tips & Tactics to Bring More Visitors to Your Website”
Barbara Kaplowitz, President, Big Huge Ideas

3:45 – 5:00 p.m.
2.0 Breakout Sessions

2.1: Creating Persuasive Momentum: How to Move Your Visitors Toward the Close
Howard Kaplan, VP Strategic Development, Future Now, Inc.

Every online visitor is a volunteer. If they refuse to participate by clicking on a hyperlink, the communication ceases — and a lack of persuasive momentum becomes clear. In both the B2C and B2B worlds, visitors’ satisfaction with each click (or “micro-action”) strengthens their own, or their organization’s, confidence to buy or buy-in (the ultimate “macro-action”). The challenge for businesses, then, is to build Websites and multi-channel experiences that speak directly to the individual’s motivations. Find out how Persuasion Architecture can help your business plan for success by matching your key metrics to those of your visitors.

2.2: Why Every Website Needs an E-List, and How to Build One
Andrew Palmer, Director eCommerce, Agora Financial/The Daily Reckoning

To survive and compete in the online marketplace, a business needs a steady flow of qualified leads to sell its products and services. An e-mail database of potential customers you can market to is an incredibly valuable asset. In this session you'll learn how to methodically build an in-house e-mail subscriber list. At Agora Financial's The Daily Reckoning e-letter, it produces sales in the millions — and it can for you too!

2.3: Usability Demystified: What It Is and How It Can Make You Money
Bill Killam, President, User-Centered Design

“Usability” and Human Factors Engineering are well-researched sciences. But you don’t need an advanced degree to see how your company can benefit from user-centered design. Join Bill Killam to discover in plain-English how you can:

Make profitable site changes by properly measuring usability
Keep customers engaged with proven tips for migrating print content to the Web
Save money by integrating usability into the various stages of the product life cycle: Market research, product research and product development
Champion usability at your organization to ensure it gets implemented and properly supported
Realize hidden ROI by integrating usability into your entire Web process — yes, it’s not just for customers.

2.4: Making Key Decisions about E-Commerce When the Stakes are High
Tom Chaffee (moderator), CEO, ePublishing, Inc.
Colin Price, Manager, Media and Technology, Harvard Health Publications
Dave Singleton, Director of Marketing, HR and Payroll Division, BNA, Inc.
Pete Wood, Director, Internet Marketing, Business & Legal Reports, Inc.

Interested in boosting or implementing your e-commerce initiatives but faced with a lack of resources or funds, corporate bureaucracy and/or a shortage of expertise? Our panel of experts will discuss:

Technology: Choosing a workable solution from internal vs. external sources
Getting buy-in from influential stakeholders
Finding resources within your company to work on the e-commerce site
Sales channel conflict: Your field sales will actually INCREASE…
Ongoing management and metrics: Improving your site over time
And more…

This session will help you know your best options, with practical guidance on all aspects of building your e-commerce site, from creating an effective, seamless front-end customer experience to ensuring streamlined back-end operations. Technology, management, marketing, sales … there’s something for all stakeholders in this breakout.

5:00 – 6:30 p.m.
Cocktail Party – Bring your spurs!
Sponsored by Worldata


Friday, December 8, 2006
8:15 – 9:00 a.m.
International Vendor Rodeo Finals
Andy McLaughlin (moderator), President, PaperClip Communications

Join a select group of vendors for a fast-paced rodeo of best practices that they’ve picked up from working with their clients. Each vendor gets two chances to ride, and the crowd will award the championship to the vendor who can make us the most money. This is a no-bull event!

9:00 – 10:00 a.m.
3.0 Breakout Sessions

3.1: Why Search Research is Relevant: Using Research to Drive Traffic to Your Site
Bill Barnes, Co-founder & Executive Vice President, Enquiro Search Solutions Inc.

In this session you will hear the results from the latest search user behavior research and see eye-tracking results from extensive user interactions with Google, Yahoo and MSN. Learn how this research can be translated into your everyday online marketing efforts with examples of how to effectively capture the click from the search engine results pages. We’ll answer the question, where is the best place to be on the results page and how do I get there? Expect practical take-aways to help you plan your search strategy.

3.2: Using Analytics to Drive Conversions
John Brady (moderator), President, The Conversion Zone
Kevin Bobowski, Product Marketing Manager, WebTrends
Warren Raisch, Senior Vice President, Worldwide Professional Services, WebSideStory

You’re drowning in data — but how useful is it? Don’t miss two leading Web analytics’ providers as they share best practice ideas on how to use site user data to drive the most important Web visit outcome — a conversion. Learn types of conversions, tips on driving better outcomes, Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), and much more…

10:30 – 11:30 a.m.
Keynote Address: “Search and Publishing: Convergence or Collision Course?”
Dana Todd, Executive VP, SiteLab, and President of SEMPO

Search engines are quickly evolving the way users interact with content on the Internet, in their workplaces and on their mobile devices. With Google collecting approximately 25% of all U.S. online ad revenues and more users demanding “free” content, how can publishers compete?

Dana Todd, president of the Search Engine Marketing Professionals Organization, looks ahead at the trends of search and the impacts on publishing, as well as the opportunities that still remain. Discover case studies of publishers who have leveraged search for increased revenue and market share, formed strategic partnerships and learned how to tap new markets.

11:30 a.m. – Noon
2006 E-Commerce Round-Up

Phil Ash (moderator), President, NIBM, and Guy Crossley (moderator), VP Marketing, M. Lee Smith Publishers LLC

Unless you brought a whole team of ranch hands, you couldn’t possibly have roped-in every session. So gather ’round and corral the top five action points from every session.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Final Thoughts on Free Content

FREE can equate to highly valuable when it comes to the long-term success of your online business.

Will you earn more money selling your Special Report?

Or will you earn more money giving your Special Report away free AND building a large mailing list of people who are specifically interested in your topic. Creating a list that you can market your high-end services to on a long-term basis? (over and over and over)

I hope the answer is clear to you.

Your goal should be to serve your market. To create value and strategically organize your information and your offers so that you are able to funnel your visitors directly into your mailing list.

Do what makes sense. Instead of what makes quick cents. Do it by giving it away FREE!

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Market to the Lifetime Value

Many business owners see only up-front dollar signs when they formulate their online strategy. They cannot see why anyone would offer all of this great information or these services for FREE. They want to charge people to access tips & information, or charge a membership fee for visitors to participate on their site. This owner asks "How can I make the most money with my site?"

The question that should be asked is "How can I best serve my market?"

Don’t focus on the short-term sale. Concentrate on the long-term benefit to the business. The money is in the name, and marketing to its lifetime value.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Work to the Personal Level

As you build their trust with an eletter your free names will move closer to purchasing something from you. I use the phrase, “Don’t just build a business, and build a community”.

The Web is filled with thousands of websites that are little more than advertisements, drawing little or no traffic, and do not generate revenue. The question to ask is…

How can you make yours different?
How do you get visitors to stay?
How can you get them to return?
How can you close sales?

Simply put… one must create value for an Internet business. You can do this by focusing on a clear purpose, and being entertaining, interactive, informative, current, AND most importantly – giving away value.

Then if you can reach your readers on a personal level… creating an exchange of ideas, opinions and facts, you’ll have a solid relationship built on trust. That’s when they read your eletter everyday, read the ads everyday and buy when you ask them to. You’ll have something special. You can convert the free name to a paid “front end” buyer and the more involved the community the higher the conversion rate.

Such a content rich free site will make your online business a "resource", which will encourage repeat visits and word of mouth referrals. By incorporating a free eletter and sending this value via email allows for further follow up with people who have expressed interest or visited the site. It also encourages other related businesses to link to you because you offer valuable information that they want to share with their visitors. This brings more traffic and high rankings in the engines.