5 Tweaks in Your Online Marketing Producing the Most Change

By now, everyone has heard the story of how Target uses predictive analytics to better target their customers. So why does Target engage in predictive marketing? Is it worth their time and money?

Online Marketing SuccessAs an outsider, you can only measure their success through company growth. Understanding how much of that growth is attributable to analytical efforts is known only to those inside the company.

I have seen small changes in ad copy increase conversions by 50%. The fact is that every company has a set of marketing levers they can tweak to improve performance. Target may have the resources to become optimal, but small businesses can make use of powerful yet simple tools and tactics and still achieve higher results.

Below is a consolidation of channels and improvement guidelines where I have seen the most potential for growth.

Update Your Email Marketing

Email marketing commonly becomes a routine to the marketer. Therefore the offers and driving content usually becomes boring and repetitive.

According to this study by Exact Target, the 2nd most important reason people unsubscribe is that the content becomes repetitive.

To avoid falling under this trap, marketers should consider creating various types of offers to each of their customer segments, at different times during the relationship.

A,B,C testing all the offers, imagery and content helps you understand what works and what doesn’t so you can disregard those without much success and continue to use the most popular ones. Small changes in click-through rates can significantly increase sales and conversion rates.

Check Your Frequency

The problem of mass email is twofold. Consumers are bombarded with emails and retailers cannot capture well the consumers’ attention. Opting out of newsletters and offers has become a common practice and it is estimated that 15% of people once on your list will opt out.

According to the study cited above, the top reason is “email came too frequently.” You have data on how often people purchase and what content drives engagement.

A simple segmentation exercise based on last customer interaction, products purchased, and response history can provide insight on the ideal frequency for each customer.

Ad Placement is Key

The websites your ads appear on and page placements are the two main factors of click-through success. It’s been found that ads that appear above the fold and seven times more successful than those delivered below the fold.

Frequency turns out to be very successful. Ads shown 5 or more times to a user are 12 to 14 times more successful than ads shown less than 5 times.

I personally witnessed significant increases in click-through rates as a database marketing consultant. Simple tweaks in messaging and location improved our conversions and lowered costs. Trial and error is key in understanding what drives people to your sight.

Keyword Selection

Keyword research is more of an art than science (although everything can be measured online.) Search is becoming very specific when people look for a specific product for their needs. Many of these keywords go unnoticed by vendors. These are likely to be cheaper, drive less traffic, but provide higher conversion rates.

There are many analytical tools to measure keyword success so there is no gut feeling. If you clearly see that a keyword drives more that 85% away then one would want to adjust.

By continually adjusting, you will find the right set of keywords and messaging needed to position yourself in a stronger position than your competitors.

Content is Still King

What you put on your email newsletter, offers, website, blog, and even ads is the most important aspect of any campaign. Companies like Target cited above understand this concept very well: “The right content at the right time.”

In the article it said that Target even purposely sent offers about un-targeted products so it didn’t concern the shopper of privacy issues.

The secret to good content is adding value first. A coupon or offer can be helpful when one is in the market for a specific product and the coupon has the right price and ease of purchase.

Other times, marketers need to engage the customers by sending important and useful information. This is where you develop your customer life cycle campaign.

Content and messaging directed at increasing trust and engagement in a brand in pursue of a purchase at a later stage.

Marketing is about execution, trial and error, and value creation. Big ideas come from creative minds and having a high quality product still triumphs, but there are various levers to adjust and improve results. Continually study your online measurements, try new ideas, and be flexible to adjust.

Jaime Brugueras the CEO of Mineful – a customer retention and analysis software. Jaime writes frequently about marketing analysis, customer retention, and email marketing. He has been published in several industry publications including eCommerce Times. Follow Mineful on Twitter for industry insight and conversations.

2012 Social Media Predictions

Unless you are living in the Stone Age, you should be aware that 2012 is an important year for 2012 Social Mediainternet marketing and social media evolution. Online and offline businesses are slowly moving away from traditional online marketing techniques and targeting social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter heavily.

2012 Social Media Predictions

Whether you are a seasoned or a newbie online marketer, you need to read about these 2012 social media predictions.

Your Gateway to Internet – Facebook

If you don’t have a Facebook personal or Page account, experts say, you are losing out on a huge repository of business information and potential consumers. Few days back, Facebook came out with a clarification statement explaining how they earn revenues and how the advertisements are optimized. You can read about them here.

Since advertisements form the core revenue model for Facebook, it turns into a big opportunity for online marketers because you get to target buyers according to various relevant specifications like geographical location, age, gender, skills, interests and others.

For instance, if you are a retailer of Football merchandise in Ohio and want to capture the local market, Facebook will display your ads to only those people in Ohio with interest in sports.

This optimization of advertisements is a major benefit of using Facebook and with Facebook introducing its IPO in 2012; its impact is bound to get heavier in the subsequent months.

With 700 million users and counting, it is impossible today to think about the web without Facebook. It has become a bridge for marketers and publishers alike to communicate on a common platform.

However, we also feel that Facebook should not become totally business-like, otherwise it will fail like Zynga and Microsoft once did in the last decade.

Multi-Media Social Network

2012 is the year of multi-media social network. Social media interaction through videos and photos will weed out the common – boring social networking. Uploading multi-media footages more than ever will force the social media user to take a long look at the changing way of communication between a seller and a buyer.

Of course, this depends on the kind of online business you are involved with. For instance, an Internet marketer selling personal development products may not be interested in using videos for promotion as compared to an Internet marketer selling SEO products who will definitely make use of video marketing to get more clients.

As compared to 2011, multi-media will see an extravagant use in 2012. It is predicted by Forbes that multi-media use by small business owners will increase drastically. It will become the new mode of client-consumer communication.

Rise of Global Apps

The Android application has revolutionized the way we used to look at the application technology even 5 years back. With Android, apps are so easy to create and use in the highly creative world of the web. These days, there are no mobile handsets that are workable without apps.

Apps are building international diversity and creating cultural connectivity. Freelancing businesses like oDesk.com or sports apps like PlayUp about football and rugby are increasingly finding its way as apps for mobile users.

If we have to talk about facts, China became the second largest iOS apps downloader in 2011 after the US. With 20% market penetration, Asia has surpassed the US in total Smartphone volume. As the global purchasing power shifts, India and China will quickly catch up and overtake the US as the largest app-economy.

Likewise, if this is the trend which will continue in 2012, it will be interesting to see Internet marketers coming out with their own apps.

Suppose Darren Rowse (ProBlogger.com) from the top bloggers in the world list has an app for a free download for his subscribers. Through this app, Rowse is able to customize the product choice of the subscribers and is able to cash in because the app subscribers get to know about new products almost instantly as compared to those who are email subscribers. Through this app, subscribers can browse the list of products, select and pay through mobile in a matter of few seconds.

Moreover, the apps can be optimized either locally or internationally, or both. The rise of the global apps will be yet another way for small, medium and large businesses to tap their potential market.

Conclusion

As online marketers ourselves, 2012 is going to be a great year in respect to social media marketing globally. We will have more resources and social media tools at our disposal to reach a wider consumer base.

Role of Networking in Online Marketing

Everything you can do to bring your online business dream to reality needs to be done.

what is networkingEven if you have to approach people offline to make them visit your site, you should do it so long as it will help to increase your number of sales. We can as well say that the end justifies the means.

Networking is a very wonderful way to get people to visit your site. It has proved to be very helpful in making sales online.

People who network have come to discover that it is very reliable and helpful in increasing targets. Through this write up, you will be able to learn several important things about network marketing and how it can help you to increase sales on your site.

What is networking?

Networking, in the real sense in which it is used as relating to online marketing, simply means linking up with other people or sites on the Internet.

In a network, you can decide to link up with as many individuals as you want. The number of sites you can create the link with is totally dependent on the acceptance of the site in question.

It depends on whether the site’s owner wants to link to yours or not. It is however, important that the site you are linking up with should be involved in the same line of business as yours.

This will go a long way in promoting your individual Internet marketing efforts. There are times that other individuals or websites may also want to link up with you for the same business purpose…but investigate if the business offers the same service as you.

Internet networking Tools

In today’s world, several networking tools have been made available for you to easily network online, meet new people or send them to your website to make purchases.

The original intention of these sites was never for business purposes. They were made available for social means until some shrewd business-minded people discovered the tons of cash that can be made from these sites.

Since then till now, these websites have become tools through which people make money. Some of the tools are social sites like Facebook and Twitter.

It is also very easy to link up your site with that of someone else who is marketing the same kind of product.

All these are tools to carry out Internet networking for the purpose of increasing your sales online.

All you need to do is to register with a common username and password on any of the social networking sites and you will be able to get things easily done. You can advertise your products right there on the social networking sites without any problem.

How networking can help you?

It is true that you can make tons of money online through networking on any of the social sites. But you still need to put some very important factors into consideration in order to make this happen.

There are some important steps you need to take before you can bring your dreams to reality.

It is very important that you don’t introduce your products and services to people on Facebook or Twitter immediately after you make friends with them.

It is better to start as ordinary friends. Communicate with them on a normal level and try to build a relationship with them.

By doing this, you are forming some kind of strong foundation on which the relationship can stand. You can do this with several individuals at the same time.

You can introduce yourself as an Internet marketer and even give them freebies that can contribute to their Internet success.

All you are trying to do in this regard is to win their trust as their friend. Once they begin to get to know you and accept you as a friend, it is just a question of time before you will be able to lead them to make purchases from your website.

The info on your website too can go a long way in helping you to get the ball rolling.

Make sure that you place constructive info on your website. Lead them to the website without asking them to make any purchase.

By the time they read the helpful content on your site, they will surely be taken in and they may decide to click on any of the links you have on the site without anyone prompting them. You can be sure that they will come back for more info on your site as time goes on.

Who knows… they may be wiling over and again to carry out some money yielding actions on your site each time they come visiting.

Forum at your service

You can also make tons of money by making use of forums to get contacts to your website.

What you have to do is to visit a forum that relates to your kind of business. Make posts on the forum or reply to various threads that relate with what you have on your website.

You can systematically direct them to your website with the promise that the solution they seek is placed on the website.

You will be able to get them hooked if the content on your site is actually helpful. They will keep coming back for more and you will be able to make money through them in the long run. They may even direct other people to your website on their own volition.

This will help to increase the number of targeted visitors you will be able to attract to your website as time goes on.

Networking factors that will help you

If you really want to make it through social networking, what you need to do is to consistently update the content on your website.

Make sure it is informative and not just some dull conglomeration of words. If the content is interesting to read, you can be sure that they will come back for more over and over again.

You can even decide to act boldly as time goes on and directly introduce them to a product that is selling on your website. You will be surprised at the rate by which they will jump at whatever you have to offer them simply because you have won their trust.

Social networking factor to consider

To make it through social networking, it is very important for you to note that things will not just work magically. There is no magic mantra. Success in social networking comes with time.

Rome was not built in a day, success will never be achieved in a day either. It will take time for things to materialize.

You can’t achieve success without hard work. You need to continually and consistently keep the content of your website updated if you really want to always have visitors coming over to your website for more of whatever you have to offer on your site.

Conclusion

I hope the info above has been informative. If this is the case, you will do well to apply each and every one of them. It will ensure that you end up a successful person online.

Must-Know Lessons on Internet Marketing

Billions of people around the world log on to the Internet everyday for surfing social networking sites, learning Internet marketing strategies, seeking entertainment and news.

Surfing from every corner of the world means that no two people are the same. Views differ so greatly from one person to the next that it can be difficult to find your target audience. And even more so to find the time to market your products to all of them! So without further ado, let’s see our first step – Time Management.

Time Management – Don’t Let Those Hours Slip Away!

Internet Marketing LessonsIn any type of Internet marketing, it is crucial to pace yourself. Finding out what works takes patience. Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither will your online business be.

Make a schedule for yourself and stick to it! If you know you only have two hours per day to devote to your business, make those two hours count! Break up tasks by day. A sample schedule might look like this:

Monday: utilize those two hours by calling current customers to check in on them, find out if they need to re-order. Get feedback on the products they have purchased, give them suggestions on new products. Show them you care and appreciate their business.

Tuesday: contact folks who have shown an interest in partnering with you, that is, become an affiliate member for your business. Tell them about the company and assess their interest. Meet with them for coffee (if possible) to show how the affiliate business really can work for them!

Wednesday: network with other marketers online and study the market trends. Having others to bounce ideas off of can greatly enhance your motivation and productivity.

Thursday: surf the web and make a list of places you would like to advertise your business. There are millions of websites out there so this can be an ongoing project! Use an excel workbook to keep notes on the URL, their audience and cost of advertising.

Friday: place ads on a few of the websites on your list. And make sure to check on traffic and sales from those ads. This will tell you later if it is worth marketing on those sites again.

Saturday: visit discussion forums and become part of the conversation! Make sure to place your website and blog address in your signature line to optimize traffic and networking opportunities.

Sunday: write on you blog! Blogging is an essential feature of an online money making business. You can personally connect with a wider audience through your blog marketing.

Now that our schedule is in place, it’s time to really understand the relationships between advertising, blogs and networking in forums. This brings us to our next step in Marketing.

Ripping Apart the Secrets of Internet Marketing Success – Right at the Seams

The biggest mistake in Internet marketing is that people assume they will place an ad on one website and they will be rich overnight. This does not happen.

Internet Marketing takes time, patience and a real understanding of your target audience. For instance, you would not want to sell dog biscuits on a website that caters to cat lovers. While you might get a few lucky hits, the majority of the traffic on our fictitious website will only be interested in cat related items.

Do your Research!

While Alexa Ratings and Google can give you a really good idea of the number of visitors a website is getting; data will not give you a feel for the audience. Go to the website, join the forum, and make friends before spending advertising dollars there.

The visitors who feel like they know you will be much more likely to spread the word about your business and bring you new customers than simply going to a website, paying for an ad and moving on.

Sell Yourself, Not Your Products!

People buy from you because they like you! Personality is the key to making any network marketing venture work. Let’s put it another way: since this is a really important lesson to learn, it is of utmost importance that you understand why your personality is your best sales technique!

For example, you want to buy a new radio. You go to the nearest electronic shop and take a peek around. The clerk at the desk shows no interest in you, instead he is playing a computer game. You walk over to the clerk to discuss a radio that you are interested in purchasing and the clerk answers your questions quickly and returns to his game. How likely are you to buy from that shop? Not very likely at all!

There is another electronic shop around the corner. You walk in and the clerk immediately responds, asking what you’re looking for, complimenting your jacket and making general conversation while you look around. This is the store you are going to buy from!

The other store clerk only showed an interest in his computer game. He was clearly not interested in you or if you were interested in purchasing a radio. The Second clerk was much friendlier and was willing to invest in the time with you in order to make a sale.

Like this, your blog should be an extension of your website. It should sell you NOT sell your products!

Make your posts interesting and upbeat, giving the reader a good sense of your personality. If you do product reviews, do them from a personal experience of your own or a customer. Use your blog to open discussions with potential costumers. For instance, if you are interested in glassblowing, give lots of information on glassblowing. Allow for comments on your posts to let others share in their opinions.

Remember everything takes time! There is no magic that will make you rich over night, but with persistence, each day will bring you a bit closer to that goal. If you dream it, you can achieve it!

Leave a comment on how you schedule your time and get closer to your goals…

7 Lifestyle Changes For A Home Based Internet Marketer

If you are Internet savvy, you’re well aware of the number of hours people spend online…searching for information – chatting up with friends – uploading pictures and downloading movies and music.

7 Lifestyle Changes For A Home Based Internet MarketerNow, imagine the number of hours that most Internet marketers spend working to create their income and sustaining it to support their lifestyle…

It wouldn’t be wrong to suggest that Internet marketers spend anywhere between 8 and 16, 17, 18… even more hours a day online.

Wouldn’t you agree this rigorous schedule could hamper one’s family and  lifestyle?

So, to maintain a balance between your home life and home based marketing business, read the 7 helpful tips below…


1. Have Fixed Waking and Sleeping Hours

As a marketer, you’ll probably not start out with fixed working hours, especially when you are beginning to set up the business.

Your entire day is spent in emailing, telecommunicating, setting up websites, developing promotions and what not!

In fact, if you plan to work globally then you need to take into consideration the working hours of the other clients and team members, living in different time zones.

Now, assuming your office is in your home, you can easily be online on your laptop 24-7, talking to clients and dealing with other businesses. But is it really feasible? Is this lifestyle suitable for your health? Keep in mind your other duties, your family and most importantly, yourself.

Otherwise, within a short period of time, you’ll begin to feel the pressure, get  stressed out and experience frustration over working those long hours.

You can become drowsy all the time and feel like throwing yourself on the couch for few hours of sleep! Prolonged stress also reduces business productivity and let us not forget creativity.

Therefore, the best way is to fix specific sleeping and waking hours. Depending on your lifestyle, set up a daily schedule and most importantly, follow it.

Also, keep in mind that it is necessary to spend a minimum of six to eight hours every night for sleeping. (Yea, right!)

You’ll wake up refreshed and rejuvenated. In the initial days, adhering to a new sleeping pattern may seem difficult but give yourself 10-15 days to try it on for size. You’ll be glad you did.

2. Spend Quality Time with Family

Spending all your valuable time working is not possible when you have a family that also needs your time.

The time you spend on Internet marketing and management should not clash with the time you are supposed to devote too the family; even though you are working from home. (I am stressing this point over and over again so that it becomes etched in your mind).

Try to wrap up your work by six or seven pm and spend the rest of the evening with your family. Or if mornings or afternoons is better scheduled time with your family, synchronize that time and put it aside on a consistent basis.

Now, some people think that managing a business from home is all the more beneficial but where “time” is concerned, it can spell trouble.

How? As a home based marketer, you will be inclined to spend more hours at ‘work’ than ‘in home.’ So the time you should be spending with the family gets spent on your work.

By the time this is realized, your family members have already begun to withdraw and are not trusting your words, creating a bit of unwanted tension.

If you are a home based Internet marketer, treat it as you would offline work. Maintain a separate working space and fix work hours as you would in a “coporate” office.

Separate specific work and family time. Believe it or not, if family life gets disrupted, it seriously impacts our work in a negative way…

You can’t concentrate on work, become frustrated and business starts spiraling downwards.

Therefore, maintain a healthy relationship with family and create a balance between the two – it undoubtedly helps in the long run.

3. Keep Work and Home Life Separate

If your wife, husband, kids, parents, sisters and brothers – anyone who lives with you – is not interested in the work you do even remotely, it is important to keep your work and personal life separate.

Discussing work issues at home may not be welcome. Many friends and family members have no clue of what you’re trying to accomplish.

Of course, this is a generic statement. There can be exceptions where your family members are eager to know about your daily work or business. In that case, you can discuss it with them but it is also necessary to be judgmental about what information to share and what not to.

But you have to consider another dimension. When the online Internet marketing business is home based, there cannot be much distinction between work and family life.

Apart from maintaining some kind of balance between work and home life, the distinction is necessary for another reason – to keep the business outside the influence of family members.

In other words, when you are discussing business with family on a daily basis, it’s human nature for others to start commenting or advising about the business.

Initially, you may welcome this but after a while, this may irritate you.  Uncalled for advices is not welcomed by everyone. Worse is when “what other people say” begins to cloud your judgment about your business.

Therefore, keep the work and home life separate. Seek advice or consultation when required; otherwise, believe in what you are doing.

4. Eat a Good Diet

A healthy diet is the door to a healthy mind and body. In the marketing business, the working hours are so erratic that one loses track of several other things, such as your diet.

Now, why is diet so important and how does it impact the business productivity?

Of course, diet is important, just like all of the other tips listed above and below. A good diet refreshes your mind and keeps your body healthy – a prerequisite to run a successful business.

With all the business pressures, it can be taxing for the mind and body. So, just imagine, if you have an erratic lifestyle and diet, how would you normally try to replenish your body’s resources? By eating pizzas and burgers? By eating all the fried unhealthy stuff? By eating canned foods?

Eating prepackaged and unhealthy food lowers your metabolism and weakens you from the inside. The process is extremely slow; it might take years to actually show the symptoms of unhealthy diet in your body.

The question is – can you afford ill health? No matter how wealthy you are, bad health should always be kept at bay.

So again, no matter how hectic your marketing business is, make sure to have four meals daily. Start with a healthy breakfast, lunch, snacks, and finish it off with a light dinner.

As a result, you won’t feel hungry, your mind is wholly concentrated on the work and thus, your business productivity is not affected.

5. Physical Exercise Is A Must!

Like a healthy diet is a necessity for the well being of your mind, physical exercise is a necessity to develop a healthy body. This is essential even more because the marketing business is home based.

You do not have to commute anywhere; there is no typical ‘running around’ that happens in office. All you do is sit at your work station and work on your computer. This is an example of sedentary lifestyle.

Sooner or later, you may notice a change in your weight especially… which no one wants.

To solely run a business, you need to be healthy. And well being does not only come from a good diet but by physical exercises as well. Take up a gym membership, do cycling, swimming, walking, jogging, running, and any other exercise you feel like. In fact, researches have proved that doing household chores helps a person to keep in shape.

In short, what is implied here is that never make your lifestyle sedentary. The kind of physical exercise needed depends on the work establishment – home based or non-home based.

When you are setting up your business, much of the time is spent traveling or in other words, you are active. But when the business is set up and running smoothly, it is human psyche to just sit back and relax. There is no harm in relaxing but keep your body active, and this can only be done through physical exercises.

Without a healthy body, you won’t be able to handle the demanding nature of the marketing business. As a result, the business will slow down, projects won’t be completed on time, clients will be dissatisfied, and business productivity reduces – all this because the business owner is not agile enough; not a sensible reason to lose business for!

6. Meditate!

Using power yoga and meditation are two examples of great stress busters. Meditation relaxes the mind and eases all the tension. It is normal to feel stressed and frustrated over certain business matters. With the amount of complications our modern lifestyle throws at us, stress has become a perpetual syndrome.

Therefore, meditation or power yoga once in the morning for 10-15 minutes helps a lot. Not only is meditation an excellent stress reliever but it also helps to build focus and concentration.

Ideally, this is how you should go about meditating – get up in the morning, freshen yourself, sit in an open or empty space (preferably in the direction of the rising sun), and meditate for 10-15 minutes.

If you do not have any idea on how to meditate, buy a book or CD to read and watch how meditation is done. Proper posture is essential in this; otherwise, it will have negative effect.

Make sure your surroundings are quiet and you are not disturbed by anyone. By creating a physical and mental balance, meditation increases business productivity.

A sense of satisfaction and fulfillment dawns on you and the experience of getting rewarded for the work accomplished helps to slingshot productivity upwards.

The more you practice meditation, you develop a better self and that change is clearly visible in the work you do. You are self – motivated, composed, relaxed, devoted, and committed to your work.

Meditation builds a sense of reassurance and equips you to handle problematic situations in a calm and composed manner.

7. Love Your Work and Yourself!

It is important that you actually love the work you are doing. The purpose of being an Internet marketer should not be solely based on materialistic gains.

Yes, it is a major part but it should not engulf your life completely. Be ethical and follow certain rules and regulations while running the business.

You should love yourself. Don’t get “consumed” by work. Devote time to yourself as well. The idea is to create a harmonic balance between your work and home life. When both are controlled, you”ll find yourself feeling more energetic and happy.

An online marketing business is a lucrative source of income, provided you build the right contacts and are aware of the know-how of running the business in a productive way. Like any other business, this also requires discipline, management, commitment, and devotion.

Divide the 24 hours in sections and assign each section to a particular task, and avoid overlapping working and home life together. Little changes in lifestyle and management practices go a long way for efficient business productivity.

The 7 suggested guide points will help in taking a step forward in organizing each business day for optimum utilization of time both for work and family.


List of Internet Marketing Dont’s

If you’ve been dabbling in the world of Internet Marketing, I’m sure you’ve purchased several Internet marketing reports advising you about ‘what you should do’… but, does the same report guide you about the things ‘not to do’? It’s necessary for you to combine both and apply them accordingly to your business. Let’s touch on a few…

Don’t Think It’s Easy

Internet Marketing DontsE-marketing is simply not that easy for the beginner. Never think that by purchasing a few DIY guides, you can replicate the same massive results as the ‘big guys’ with your website and ride the wave of wealth in a matter of days.

The successful marketing strategies and tactics other marketers discuss may be suitable for them, but that doesn’t mean these same techniques will work for you.

If you want to progress, you have to work hard and apply the same amount of devotion as the successful marketers do.  Internet marketing is not a ‘get rich quick’ scheme by any stretch of the imagination.

Don’t Buy Products Carelessly

On a start-up level, you may be hard pressed for cash so don’t go about buying every marketing strategy book, programs, guides and products online. On a score of 10, roughly 4 will be of any use to you. Be choosy…

…use your common sense here. Depending on your skill set, level of  online experience and knowledge, only purchase products or services that will allow you to attain the desired result you’re trying to achieve.

To get a feel for what product or service you’re needing, frequently visit marketing and affiliate forums – interact with fellow marketers and ask for recommendations from those you trust.

There is nothing more valuable than an honest review from the average person who has purchased a product or service and has actually used and applied it. Ask questions. They have the inside scoop on whether or not they felt the product was well worth their investment or not.

Prepare a list of DIY guides and products on Internet marketing that you feel would be useful and talk about them with other marketers. Don’t even think about wasting your hard earned cash on ones that are consistently getting bad responses. Purchase the ones that others are raving about.

Don’t Fall Into Paid Links Trap

Several Internet marketers fall into the trap of buying paid links and traffic for their website – this is the cardinal sin of Internet marketing. The Google search engine is not a fool to think that your website is receiving natural traffic in a wave of thousands all of a sudden.

Moreover, getting paid links and traffic proves to be a negative because Google can shut down your website instantly if its search engine finds out what you’re doing.

Another point is that most of the paid links are from useless sites; sites that do nothing to help your search engine rankings. Same case with paid traffic.

What few Internet marketers tend to do is space out their paid links and traffic exchange over a few months. Even then you have to put in a lot of hard work to get natural unique links and traffic to your website.

Don’t Spend Tons of Cash on Advertisement

Even ten or twenty years back, advertisement expenditure formed a major part of a company’s budget but with the Internets’ advanced technology, there are endless options of free advertisement.

No matter what kind of online business you have, you should not spend reckless amounts of cash unless you’re sure of what you are doing and your investment proves to yield a positive return.

Like any other business promotional strategy, you need to test and monitor different marketing methods to see which options work best for you. While some may earn a good deal of money with AdWords, many earn with free advertisement. Choose these options wisely that fit your budget.

Don’t Buy Lists

Purchasing lists of thousands of people’s names, email addresses and other details is expensive and kind of like taking a shot in the dark. There are several unscrupulous websites that collect personal information and sell them online.  These details are supposed to be private and should always stay private. Regardless… is the list truly targeted?  Not on all accounts they’re not.

Instead, put your efforts in major research to begin with, and you’ll find your true market…resulting in only marketing to potential customers searching for exactly what you have to offer.  Short cuts to ‘success’ never last.

Don’t Use Multi-Level Marketing if Unsure

There is quite a debate regarding Multi-level marketing because some critics consider this method to be illegal. Multi-level marketing is a business system where goods and services are sold through a pyramid scheme structure, with distributors on the top supplying others lower down the scale in return for commission.

Making the pyramid scheme work is rather difficult, very time consuming and the competition is stiff. Unless you research all the ins and outs and prefer that business model, you may want to choose an alternative if you’re just starting out.

Don’t Be Greedy

Several Internet marketers fail to find success online because they tend to get too greedy, too soon. These are people who are being fed to the wolves – so blinded by money they talk themselves right into thinking that earning money online is a piece of cake.

If you are one of them, it’s time for a sincere reality check. Nothing worth having ever comes easy in life so don’t disappoint yourself by thinking making money online is any different.

Internet marketing is not your money spinning machine. It’s a skill, one that needs to be mastered. You have to sweat it out, work hard and devote the time to expect decent returns. Patience my dear, lots of patience.

Don’t Make Tall Claims

Phil Greenough of Greenough Communications says that “even if you are not making a big splash, it is more important to be true than to dress a product to be different than it really is.”

In other words, what he’s saying is never make tall claims about a product or service if not true. Remember, those bad reviews catch on faster than you’ll ever know.

Sure in the short-term you may be able to drive 100 sales the first month but buyers are very smart. Once they hear the product is not up to par, you may as well kiss success good-bye. Negative reviews that go viral are simply unstoppable.

Don’t Create Replica Sites

Some people think they are too smart – they create replica sites of their main websites and promote them. It works but for a short while. Search engines can track them and if promotion gets too popular, people can easily identify these sites and may perceive them to be fraudulent. If you have too many products to sell, create different websites with unique content. Keep it simple and honest.

Don’t Use Black Hat Techniques

Have you read the not-so-recent JC Penney problem? Apparently they used black hat techniques and flourished the Internet with their links. They may have made millions for a few months but Google found out and now their search engine ranking is below 100!

Black Hat search optimization are techniques used to get higher search engine rankings in an unethical manner.  These characteristics include breaking the search engine rules and regulations and unproperly presents content in a different visual or non-visual way to search engine spiders and search engine users.

Black Hat techniques to avoid;

Keyword stuffing: Packing long lists of keywords and nothing else onto your site

Invisible text: This is putting lists of keywords in white text on a white background in hopes of attracting more search engine spiders.

Doorway Pages: A doorway page is basically a “fake” page that the user will never see.

Make sure you never follow black hat techniques and risk being banned or blacklisted. While they are tempting…stay away.

Don’t Ever Ignore Consumer Feedback

It is the consumer – not the advertisers that results in revenue. If you make the mistake of ignoring your customer’s feedback, you stand to lose repeat business.

Few years back Intel made the same mistake when buyers commented on a faulted chip. Soon media got wind of it and Intel had to announce product recalls – a loss of both time and money.

Therefore, honor all consumer’s feedback both positive and negative. And… don’t think twice about refunding anyone’s money if they are dissatisfied with your product.

What are some of your Internet marketing Don’ts. Leave a comment and let us know…