The Sweet Spot Of The Opt-In

This topic is something I see too often and have never addressed before. So, here it goes. It’s about the opt-in process and how much information you should ask for. So many people overlook this process and as a result the impact is a massive lost opportunity to consistently build their list.

In this article I share some of the reasons why determining the exact “sweet spot” of information to ask for from new subscribers will ultimately impact the size and quality of your list.

It boils down to this: the more information you ask for, the less number of people will opt-in. Yes, that is the formula. Ask for the farm and you’ll get squat. Ask for basically the least amount of information (email only) and you’ll be treating more people on your list like a number – not a person. That’s not very authentic.

So, how do you balance authenticity with quantity when it comes to the opt-in process? Let’s look at different options of what to ask for and review each.

Email

No personalization at all means your ability to reference even a first name in your email marketing is non-existent. I personally don’t love this approach at all based on this fact alone. I do get a lot of emails from people in the Internet Marketing niche that don’t use first name or personalization and I do feel it’s somewhat inauthentic. But, you’re only asking for email so you don’t have to worry about asking for too much and thinking people won’t opt-in as a result.

Name and Email

This is the most popular combination to ask for since it allows you to personalize your email marketing AND you’re not asking for anything else during the opt-in process. It’s clean and simple. But, please be sure to use the name in the email marketing and reference it in the actual email body to make it even more personalized and conversation-like.

Name; Phone Number and Email

This is where asking for too much information starts to impact your ability to consistently build your list. For example – asking for a phone number raises a red flag that translates to you calling me and trying to sell me something. Why else would you be asking for my phone number? I’ve not even subscribed or received your IFO yet and you’re asking for my phone number? A lot of people use this as an approach to build phone numbers for prospects to call about selling a product or program – but I’m sure as a result it will significantly impact their ability to build their list first. You’ve got to build the list and build the trust before you try to sell something.

Name; Phone Number; Physical Address and Email

You need to think strategy if you’re asking for their address. If you’re not doing any sort of direct mail marketing (like postcard or letters in the mail) than I don’t see why you’d need to ask for all of their shipping information. If your IFO is a physical item like a free audio CD – than of course it makes sense. But filling out all those address fields takes a long time for people and as a result – less number of people will take the time to do it and as a result not opt into your list. If you’re asking for their address, do your prospect a favor and spend 30 minutes to build the web form for state and country logic so the user will choose from a pre-defined list – not some free form text field where they can incorrectly type the state or country information and make it impossible to ever send them something.

Name; Phone Number; Physical Address; Personal Information and Email

By personal information here I mean other subscriber info that may well be extremely helpful and knowledgeable to have – but will massively impact your ability to consistently build your list. I once had a 6-question survey presented to me during the opt-in process BEFORE I even opted into a list and I ended up not bothering at all. And, I was pretty motivated to subscribe – but based on all this other information they were asking for – it became too much. Questions like what industry I’m in or what business I’m in or how many years I’ve been in business, etc. I mean this is not ALL about you – it has to be about ME. Trick: send a follow up email or survey AFTER someone has subscribed and you can ask some of these questions. But, don’t bang them over the head before they even have opted in.

So, let the balance for you be what you think is best. There is no magic formula here. Personally, I like name and email to start and then follow up by asking for the other information (phone, address, survey questions) only when I have a DIRECT purpose for using that information. I would never ask for all of this beforehand. Think about what you are willing to provide when you opt-in and use that as a rule of thumb for your own list. Again, we are often times our best case study as a prospect for our own niche or market.

Until Next Time… Learn It, Love It, Live It!

Your Assignment:
Take some time to consider the different options for the amount of opt-in information you’re asking new prospects to enter before they join your list. What works best in your market and what would YOU be willing to enter when you opt-in to a list? Develop a strategy for the right balance of information so you can ensure you’re authentically and personally connecting with the people on your list and you’re not overwhelming them at the same time. Interested in finding out more about the opt-in process and other authentic Internet marketing strategies to help grow your online business? The Authentic List Building Coaching program can show you exactly how you can authentically add up to 1,000 new qualified prospects to your business each month. People who really “get” your message and are eager and ready to become your client or buy your products. And, you could do this authentically, quickly and consistently, without being spammy or icky, but just by being you. How would that make a difference in your life? I created this one-of-a-kind program to personally walk you through the same secrets we used (and continue to use daily) to add over 1,000 highly targeted and qualified leads to our list each month for the last 12 months. To see the presentation I created for you about authentic list building principles [IMPORTANT VIDEO], go here.
**********************
Want to use this article on your website or your own ezine? No problem! But here is what you MUST include:
Derek Fredrickson, Authentic Internet Marketing Specialist, is founder of the Authentic Internet Marketing System, the proven step-by-step program that shows you exactly how to authentically market your business online, in record time…guaranteed. To get your F.R.E.E. videos and receive his authentic internet marketing articles on attracting more leads and converting more sales online to multiply your current revenues, visit www.derekfredrickson.com.

Lights, Camera… Be You!

I see it too many times. And, perhaps you have too. You know someone too well for him or her to be doing video this way. They have a certain personality in person – but when they’re in front of the camera for online video – it’s totally different. It’s like a bait and switch leaving you scratching your head and saying, “Huh?”

You know the power of online video. I don’t have to sell you on that. It helps conversion everywhere online from sales pages to landing pages to delivering content and information to your prospects and clients. So, why do so many people not get it? Authentic online video is all about being you – not someone else.

You have to inject your personality and be who you are in “real life” when you step in front of the camera – else the message and connection with your viewers will be incongruent and they’ll see right through you. Viewers want to connect with you – the real you – not someone you’re trying to be.

In this article I share some of the tips and strategies to inject personality into your videos so you will come across as “you” – allowing you to be more authentic and connect with your viewers to massively help conversion with your online videos.

Audience

It depends on your viewers. What type of videos would they expect from you? If you’re prospects and clients are the serious types (a.k.a. button shirt / tie / suit executives) than injecting your personality of you hanging in your pajamas at the home office just won’t cut it. Perhaps focus more on a business casual look and focus more on the “business” personality to make that connection. On the contrary, if you’re audience is the stay-at-home-mom market – you can totally do that and make a massive connection with your viewers. It all depends on your audience.

Brand

What do people think of when they think of you and your company? What words come to mind when they think of your brand? You want to ensure your videos are consistent with that theme and your personality will match. Part of my brand (if you haven’t guessed it already) is skiing. Can you tell that I love it? It’s part of who I am and a huge part of my personality. So, I showcase that in not only my message and my marketing – but directly as part of my videos. See below as a quick example:

Silly or Serious?

Which are you? Both? I’m a little bit of both so some of my videos are serious – about a topic I love like Internet Marketing – or silly – like the videos I shoot with my kids about skiing and having a great time. I often times see videos that look too “polished” or “scripted.” Don’t get me wrong – I love the idea of a well looking and well done video – but you can still inject your personality and be yourself so people can see that part of you and not feel like they’re watching something that really doesn’t represent you.

Expression

Videos are all about expressing yourself. Yes, you can express yourself in social media and emails and articles – but video will by far “expose” you to your audience like no other format. So, as a result you need to feel the capacity and confidence to fully express yourself and be who you are in your videos. If you make a mistake, it’s ok. It’s part of life and part of who we are.

At the end of the day that’s what your viewers want – you. So, don’t be stingy and not be who you are AND express who you are in your videos. Once you truly be yourself in front of the camera as you are in real life with your friends and the people who know you – you’ll find a stronger bond and connection with your network. This is what will help catapult you to bigger sales and bigger conversion with your online marketing.

Until Next Time… Learn It, Love It, Live It!

Your Assignment:
If you’re doing video in your online marketing (and if you’re not – you should be) how can you be more YOU in the videos? Where is your personality hiding when you step in front of the camera? Don’t be afraid to step out there and really be who you are – your viewers will connect with you even more. As an experiment you can try shooting some “personality” style videos – but perhaps share them with close friends and family first to get feedback – before you share it with your network online. Interested in finding out more about authentic video and other authentic Internet marketing strategies to help grow your online business? The Authentic List Building Coaching program can show you exactly how you can authentically add up to 1,000 new qualified prospects to your business each month. People who really “get” your message and are eager and ready to become your client or buy your products. And, you could do this authentically, quickly and consistently, without being spammy or icky, but just by being you. How would that make a difference in your life? I created this one-of-a-kind program to personally walk you through the same secrets we used (and continue to use daily) to add over 1,000 highly targeted and qualified leads to our list each month for the last 12 months. To see the presentation I created for you about authentic list building principles [IMPORTANT VIDEO], go here.
**********************
Want to use this article on your website or your own ezine? No problem! But here is what you MUST include:
Derek Fredrickson, Authentic Internet Marketing Specialist, is founder of the Authentic Internet Marketing System, the proven step-by-step program that shows you exactly how to authentically market your business online, in record time…guaranteed. To get your F.R.E.E. videos and receive his authentic internet marketing articles on attracting more leads and converting more sales online to multiply your current revenues, visit www.derekfredrickson.com.

Successful Product Launch Secrets

It’s a new year and if you’re like most other business owners – you’re planning out the year to launch your programs and/or products. Perhaps you have a new program you can’t wait to get out there – or a product that you’ve recently completed that you want to sell online to your list.

But, most people make the mistake of just popping it up on their website and hoping for the day when someone will buy. Not a great strategy. Don’t get me wrong – someone could buy – but it might take months before you make your first sale.

You’ve got to launch your product big-time to make more money and get more clients!

I’m in a Mastermind with Jeff Walker (creator of the Product Launch Formula), and we were chatting about product launches and what works these days when selling something online. Fabienne and I have also had some very successful product launches here at Client Attraction. So, I figured what better time to reveal some secrets for you to put into action immediately for your next product launch.

In this article I reveal 6 successful product launch strategies you can immediately use to bring in new income and convert prospects into clients.

Now, a product launch (or program) can be really anything you’re looking to sell online. Examples can be any of the following:

  • Bootcamp
  • Tele-class series
  • Event
  • Coaching program
  • Home study course
  • Etc…

Why a product launch? It’s better and more effective to sell something. The concept of a “launch” builds up momentum and creates frenzy towards what you’re offering. It’s easier than just putting your product on your site and hoping people will eventually come around and take it.

Here are my six strategies:

Planning
You’ve got to plan ahead. You can’t just haphazardly decide to launch something and have it all magically fall into place. You need to plan ahead across all levels. Your audience – are they ripe for it? Would they want it? Have you been offering too much or too little and where does this launch fit into the rest of your planned offerings? Your communication – the dates you plan for sending emails, launching your product on your website, dates for communication to JV partners to support your launch, etc. You need to select a “launch” date and then work backward from there to plan out all the various communications you require.

Support
Without support – the launch won’t be a success. And, I mean support from ALL places. Joint ventures – ample support from JV partners or strategic alliances to help promote your launch will help build up momentum. Why? The more people who are aware of your launch will create even more anticipation. Affiliates – getting affiliates on board so they can plan ahead to notify their network of your launch and ensure it fits with their schedule. Team – can’t do it all alone. Between the promotion, planning, emails, website, product creation, etc., it takes more than just you. Get some help from your team (even if temporary help) to make it all happen. Family/friends – tell them about the launch so they can support you during what will be one of the busiest times of your business.

Anticipation
A successful launch is all about anticipation. Remember when the iPhone 4 came out from Apple and there was all this build up for months before they actually had it available for sale? That’s a killer launch tactic. You want to create the momentum of leading up to something – something really big. This creates buzz and anticipation from people who want to find out about your launch. Hint: for online product launches – it usually is a big build up to a tele-seminar or webinar where you announce your product – and finally make it available for sale. Reminding people constantly about the event date before it takes place is another strategy to create more build up and anticipation.

Creativity
You’ve got to be creative about what you’re launching. Let’s not forget the most important part of a launch is the content of what you’re actually selling. It’s got to be good stuff. But, what makes your product different? Why are people going to want it? Be creative with your marketing as part of the launch with everything from the angle/message for your tele-seminar to the videos you’re producing – it’s got to be different. Your sales page needs to be creative. How well can you present what you have?

Incentives
A launch is all about giving people a reason to buy. Additional bonuses, a strong call to action, reduced pricing, pricing payment plans, etc. These are all reasons that will help make the case for the product. You want to give people an offer they can’t refuse and using incentives is a key to trigger people from prospect to buyer. One incentive to consider is planning a preview call or webinar to showcase what you have to offer (what you’re launching.) I would never recommend launching a new product or program to your entire list. Not everyone would be interested. But, inviting people to a free call or webinar where you deliver good content and essentially “preview” what you have to offer – and giving them a really good offer at the end of the call – is a great way to launch your product and get immediate sales.

Scarcity
If you’re selling a product with limited copies or a program with limited spaces –being transparent about the limited availability will definitely increase your selling conversion. People aren’t compelled to buy if they know they can some around anytime to buy if you have unlimited copies or spots. But, if there is only a certain number available – they will take action. Now, you need to be honest here and not pretend to have 10 copies of something to sell when in reality you have 100. That’s not very authentic. If the offer is ending soon because the event starts on a certain date or a program begins on a certain date – you should leverage that and showcase it to prospects so they know they need to take action.

Follow some of thee strategies for your next product launch and you’ll be sure to increase sales and convert more prospects into buyers.

Until Next Time… Learn It, Love It, Live It!

Your Assignment:
What are your launch plans for 2011? Do you have a new product or program you’re ready to sell to your list? It’s not as easy as just putting it up on your website and hoping for sales. Map out 2-3 action steps to implement from each of my 6 launch strategies above to ensure you can effectively and efficiently launch your next product or program for the best results possible. Don’t be afraid to try something different and be creative. And, your content has got to be killer more than anything – so don’t overlook delivering an amazing value to your clients or customers!
Interested in finding out more about product launches and other authentic Internet marketing strategies to help grow your online business? The Authentic List Building Coaching program can show you exactly how you can authentically add up to 1,000 new qualified prospects to your business each month. People who really “get” your message and are eager and ready to become your client or buy your products. And, you could do this authentically, quickly and consistently, without being spammy or icky, but just by being you. How would that make a difference in your life? I created this one-of-a-kind program to personally walk you through the same secrets we used (and continue to use daily) to add over 1,000 highly targeted and qualified leads to our list each month for the last 12 months. To see the presentation I created for you about authentic list building principles [IMPORTANT VIDEO], go here.
**********************
Want to use this article on your website or your own ezine? No problem! But here is what you MUST include:
Derek Fredrickson, Authentic Internet Marketing Specialist, is founder of the Authentic Internet Marketing System, the proven step-by-step program that shows you exactly how to authentically market your business online, in record time…guaranteed. To get your F.R.E.E. videos and receive his authentic internet marketing articles on attracting more leads and converting more sales online to multiply your current revenues, visit www.derekfredrickson.com.

Think! So Your Prospects Don’t Have To

Often times people spend way too much effort designing or building their website. Don’t get me wrong – it’s super important – but many times when I look at a website I say to myself, “What were they thinking?” So much going on and just not logical at all in terms of what the visitor is supposed to do.

In this article I reveal the 5 most important elements to consider with your website to ensure you are authentically connecting with your prospects to build your list and get more clients.

Make a Personal Connection
Many times people build their website with fancy logos and design elements as part of their brand. That’s fine – but I want to connect with YOU when I visit your website. People want connection with people – not companies or logos. You need to bond with your prospect and establish that connection to immediately build the know-like-trust factor. The best way to do this is through video. Having a welcome video on your homepage introducing you and who you are is a great way to immediately connect with prospects. Other ways can be a web page “About You” or an “Interview with You” where you get to tell more of your story and build in who you are and why they should care. Photos work really well if they make a personal connection. I would place less emphasis on branding and taglines and headlines. You can have them, but don’t have that be the only thing they first see on your site.

Give Them Content
They came to your site for a reason – to look for content or information and something that will help then. Give them what want. If it was content or articles about your niche – show it to them. If it was information about your industry and how you provide value – show it to them. Too many times people miss this connection and provide information on the site that is not relevant to why the visitor was coming in the first place. Or, the content they have to share is not easily displayed or available. If it’s a blog (like my site) give them the blog posts and articles right on the main page so they can’t miss it – that will be what they’re looking for most.

K.I.S.S. (Keep It Simple, Sweetheart)
It wouldn’t be “authentic” if I said “stupid” there so I softened it down and used “sweetheart” instead. This is one of my biggest issues with websites out there. They are too busy! Too many choices is not a good thing. Over the top colors, fancy and animated images – irrelevant banners or sections of the site. Remember, less is more. Think about the design of the site from the view of the visitor and what initial reaction will they have. Make good use of the top 1/3 of the site (above the fold) to place your most relevant content and important message. Is it easy to find things? If you’re pulling leads in with your IFO – is it obvious and easy to find on your site? Where do you have wasted space on your website and where you can be more strategic about your design and just keep it plain and simple for the visitor?

Be a Leader
People arrive at your website are looking to be led. They don’t know what to do on their own so please do them the favor and lead them where you want them to go. Think of it this way – people come to your site and either feel they have arrived or will feel overwhelmed and click away. Present logical options of what you want them to do and lead them down that path of doing so.

Call to Action
Last but definitely not least – you need to answer the question “What’s next?” Where do they go from here? I’m a big believer in giving them a strong call to action about an offer – but not trying to sell them something on the spot. This is a more authentic and trustworthy approach than immediately trying to make a sale. You want to have given them enough to whet their appetite and leave them wanting more – but you need to tell them how to do it. Most people overlook this step and wonder why people don’t reach out to them. You need to tell them what you want them to do! The “call to action” has to be common sense for them and your job is to make it simple, easy, and straightforward. Don’t over complicate the process and make it cumbersome (see K.I.S.S. above) so it can be quick, ordinary and obvious. Hint: think of the process from their point of view (actually go through it) and ensure that it’s common sense for you with the call to action – it will be for them as well.

Think about these elements with your own website to ensure you’re properly engaging your prospects and what you have to offer online. It’s often times overlooked and ignored – but so important!

Until Next Time… Learn It, Love It, Live It!

**********************
Want to use this article on your website or your own ezine? No problem! But here is what you MUST include:
Derek Fredrickson, Authentic Internet Marketing Specialist, is founder of the Authentic Internet Marketing System, the proven step-by-step program that shows you exactly how to authentically market your business online, in record time…guaranteed. To get your F.R.E.E. videos and receive his authentic internet marketing articles on attracting more leads and converting more sales online to multiply your current revenues, visit www.derekfredrickson.com.

Tweet Your Way To New Clients

I did a call this week for a Social Media Telesummit that is launching soon and it was about Twitter Marketing. As you probably have seen by now, I’m a Twitter (and social media) fanatic and a huge proponent of Twitter to help build your business. In fact, my success in building my email list to well over 500 people in just a few months is comprised of nothing more than article marketing and social media. People who discount the value of Twitter as an authentic Internet marketing strategy are probably not doing it correctly.

In this article, I reveal 5 Twitter strategies to authentically build your list, connect with prospects, and ultimately get new clients.

  1. Have a plan. Most people jump into Twitter and think the quickest and most effective way to market is by following a bunch of random people and send out a series pre-canned tweets hoping their message will convince someone to opt-in or buy. I like to call it the “spray and pray” method using Twitter. After a few weeks when they hardly anyone clicks their tweets and nobody opted-in, they discount Twitter by saying this doesn’t work. You must have a strategy and a plan in place for Twitter. Think about who you want to follow and why. Ideas: Prospects? Potential leads? Clients? JV partners? Don’t follow people purely with the intent to get followed back. One of the best ways to find people in your niche is to simply use serarch.twitter.com and type in some keywords or phrases for your market and see who’s talking about it on Twitter. Follow with the intent to engage them. Once a plan is in place and you’re strategically following the right people for the right reasons, have an end goal in sight. One of the best goals is to ultimately drive your Twitter followers back to your site or blog where they can access more of what you have offer by joining your list!
  2. Twitter is a conversation. Twitter is the like the modern day networking group, but online. You need to engage with people on Twitter the same you would engage with people at a networking event. You show up, you contribute to the conversation by engaging your audience and provide good content and add value. Remember the lifetime of a tweet is often just seconds. The conversation is always happening whether you’re in it or not. So, show up and participate in the conversation! So, you need to do the work on Twitter. Expecting Twitter to be the magic bullet for building your list or getting clients is like showing up at networking event and leaving all your business cards around the room and then going back home – hoping for a prospect to ask you if they can work with you. Where is the engagement in that relationship? If you’re using a Twitter system to blast 10 tweets a day with nothing but your own promotional stuff, I say shame on you. Yes, systems are good (but in moderation.) Yes, you can promote your stuff (but in addition to other high value content you provide. It’s got to be more about them then you.
  3. Implement tools and systems. I’m a huge fan of combining automation and your own efforts so that marketing on Twitter works for you. This is where you might want to think about hiring a social media VA. Not for the purposes of doing your tweets for you, but to assist in the setup and some of the automation in using Twitter. It cannot be outsourced 100%. But, hiring someone to help setup Twitter so are following the right people, responding to DM messages in a timely manner, and most importantly, setting up the automation aspect of feeding select tweets to other social media outlets like Facebook. You can auto-post your blog articles to Twitter (and Facebook) as well as auto-post photos (say from your iPhone) to both Twitter and Facewbook. Yes, you could take time to try and figure all this out and set it up but there are people out there that are highly skilled and willing to do this setup work for you. It will take a fraction of the time. Be sure to use services like Tweetdeck and Ping.fm to assist you in multi-tasking your Twitter and social media efforts. Then you can focus on the most important aspects of Twitter marketing (i.e. see points #1 and #2 above).
  4. Measure your ROI. I’m a huge fan of making sure whatever it is you do to market your business you measure the results and ensure it’s actually providing value for your business. A lot of people spend hours a day on Twitter and get no leads and no sales. In my book, that’s a surefire way to go out of business pretty soon. I like to measure ROI by using “hard” analytics and “soft” analytics. Hard analytics are using tools like bit.ly as a URL shortener so you can track the number of clicks on the links included in your tweets. It’s like measuring the click-through-rate of your emails. Are you sending tweets but nobody is clicking on them? You need to change and improve what you’re sending. Again, a social media VA can help set this up and measure the ROI for your Twitter efforts. Soft analytics does not use numbers or stats, but the feedback and comments you get from people you connect with through Twitter. I love to hear when people say “I love following you on Twitter because you put out such good content!” You can’t put a number on that to measure the return on investment. My favorite? Hearing from clients who work with us that tell us they found us through Twitter. How cool is that? A 5-figure coaching client originated from Twitter and not from any other lead source. In my book, Twitter pays off BIG time.
  5. You can expect to get clients FROM Twitter, not ON Twitter. Twitter is a relationship-marketing tool. You can’t just provide content and value on Twitter and expect them to immediately want to work with you. It often will take time to build the know-like-trust factor in the same way it takes time with the articles and emails you’re providing. This is how relationship-marketing works! You need to first establish that connection with your prospects by providing value and then over time establish goodwill by serving them above and beyond what they’re expecting. People want to feel a sense of connection these days as we’re constantly trying to be high-touch in a high-tech world. Eventually, those prospects will perhaps read more of your articles or perhaps join your list by ordering your irresistible free offer. From there, you can give more content and value so they will want to work with you.

So, get out there and tweet your way to new clients! You can connect with me on Twitter at twitter.com/derekfred.

Until Next Time… Learn It, Love It, Live It!

Your Assignment:

Are you using a “spray and pray” approach to connecting with followers on Twitter? If so, we’ve got to change that. Spend some time to see who you’re following – and why. Who else could you connect with perhaps outside of your current list? JV’s? Prospects? Competitors? How are you sourcing your content for your tweets? I like people to use a 5 minute three times a day rule where they spend 5 minutes each time to provide content and connect with people on Twitter. Where are you not engaging with people and spend the time to be more pro-active and see results!

Interested in finding out more about Twitter and other authentic Internet marketing strategies to help grow your online business? The Authentic List Building Coaching program can show you exactly how you can authentically add up to 1,000 new qualified prospects to your business each month. People who really “get” your message and are eager and ready to become your client or buy your products. And, you could do this authentically, quickly and consistently, without being spammy or icky, but just by being you. How would that make a difference in your life? I created this one-of-a-kind program to personally walk you through the same secrets we used (and continue to use daily) to add over 1,000 highly targeted and qualified leads to our list each month for the last 12 months. To see the presentation I created for you about authentic list building principles [IMPORTANT VIDEO], go here.

**********************

Want to use this article on your website or your own ezine? No problem! But here is what you MUST include:

Derek Fredrickson, Authentic Internet Marketing Specialist, is founder of the Authentic Internet Marketing System, the proven step-by-step program that shows you exactly how to authentically market your business online, in record time…guaranteed. To get your F.R.E.E. videos and receive his authentic internet marketing articles on attracting more leads and converting more sales online to multiply your current revenues, visit www.derekfredrickson.com.

Get Clients With A “Wow” IFO

Most people think the most important starting point for converting prospects into clients is their website. They think if I just have a really snazzy looking and content rich website – that will bring the clients. Or, they think it’s all about the fantastic product or service they’re offering. But, here’s the rub. You may have an amazing website and a super product, but if you haven’t ‘WOWED’ them yet with your irresistible free offer – it’s all an uphill battle to get them as a client.

Yes, the IFO is the ‘hook’ to get your prospects to join your list – but you gotta over deliver BIG TIME. Even though your IFO is “free” – it says so much about what you have to offer for your paid products or services. Think of it this way – the IFO is the first experience your prospect has with you. You want to really give them super content and high value. You may have heard the expression from renowned Internet Marketer Eben Pagan about “pushing the free line.” The idea is this – give some of your best stuff away for free to get people to join your list and then over time – they will say to themselves:

“If the free stuff is this good – imagine what the paid stuff will be like!”

If you’ve not delivered 100% of your best content – your prospect may not get the result you’ve intended them to receive by consuming your IFO – and to them there was not a ‘big value add’ to what you’ve provided. Now what? In a way you’ve lost a big chance to spark their interest even more and as a result it’s much harder to get back them to see what’s next. Leads are most ripe when they’ve just opted-in. I like the expression they are “hot to trot” to consume and digest your IFO right away – so why not give them the good stuff right away for them to want even more?

Now, you might be wondering – what format do I use to make my IFO the best high content offer I can provide? Well, below I break down some of the most commonly used IFO’s out there and some of the pros and cons of each. I also share what I believe is the best IFO out there – and you might be surprised.

No IFO (i.e. Join my Newsletter!)

I mean really, why bother?

Free report/e-Book

Easy to produce and provide. It’s digital so no physical cost for production or shipment. But, it doesn’t carry a lot of ‘WOW’ factor since it’s so commonly used online. You really want to ensure you can ‘snaz’ it up to include images and graphics so it will ‘pop’ and people will want to read it.

Audio download

In my personal opinion, more people would prefer to listen than read. The drawback though is people love to multitask and listen to something while doing 5 other things at once. Result? You don’t get the attention from someone listening to your free audio download as opposed to reading your free report. But, people do love the convenience of instant download and playing on iPhone, computer, etc. And, you have the opportunity to demonstrate your personality and some emotion when you’re providing an audio IFO.

Video

I love video IFO’s because they are short and sweet. And, if you can really pack a wallop piece of content in the video – I say go for it. But, you need to have an excellent-looking video. Using your son or daughters cell phone flip for shooting your IFO video doesn’t cut it. The quality has to be rocking. And, like the audio – you have an amazing opportunity to establish a connection with your viewer that you can’t just get by text or audio. But, video is intimidating still for a lot of people – especially when it comes to providing some of your best content. There is the option of the DVD – but in my opinion, the production and shipment costs associated with it outweigh the benefits.

Kit

This is a relatively new one and one of my favorites. A “kit” usually consists of a number of other IFO’s packaged together. Like – a video, e-book and worksheet. Or, an audio download along with a PDF handout and checklist. It just adds more bang and value and people respond more favorably to “kit” or even “manifesto” than just those items separated out and presented individually.

Audio CD

It’s my personal favorite. Why? Audio is still the best format out there in my opinion because it has the widest mass appeal for usage. You can play it on the computer, stereo at home, car, iPod, phone, etc. People can always find a way to listen to it. And, the physical CD carries so much “oomph” factor and stands out from the rest. Example – ClientAttraction.com started using the free CD few years back and we’ve practically tripled the list each and every year as a result. It just works! Even more so than a DVD – I believe audio CD has the highest perceived value. And, you can collect physical mailing addresses for the people on your list for direct mail purposes by requesting their shipping address to send them the CD!

Now – these ideas don’t apply to all markets. The IFO that works best in one market or niche may not work best in others. For example, free IFO videos work really well in the Internet Marketing space – where Audio CD IFO works great for small business building and Client Attraction. I suggest doing some research and see what’s out there before you choose. And, here’s a trick in choosing which one is best for your market. What would you respond to most? You are most likely your ideal client / prospect – so what works for you? You’re a good case test for your own clients’ opinion and preferences.

Until Next Time… Learn It, Love It, Live It!

Your Assignment:

Consider your IFO that you have in place now to build your list. Does it really WOW them? If it’s an eBook or simple audio download, consider combining them and making it more of a “kit” which will help with conversion. Take the time to do the research and see what other IFO’s are really converting well in your niche and consider either doing the same or taking it one step more to really impress your prospects. Also, does the IFO you currently have in place contain some of your best content? Consider adding some of your best tips or information to really help your newly added leads and they will quickly become clients.

Interested in finding out more about IFO’s and other authentic Internet marketing strategies to help grow your online business? The Authentic List Building Coaching program can show you exactly how you can authentically add up to 1,000 new qualified prospects to your business each month. People who really “get” your message and are eager and ready to become your client or buy your products. And, you could do this authentically, quickly and consistently, without being spammy or icky, but just by being you. How would that make a difference in your life? I created this one-of-a-kind program to personally walk you through the same secrets we used (and continue to use daily) to add over 1,000 highly targeted and qualified leads to our list each month for the last 12 months. To see the presentation I created for you about authentic list building principles [IMPORTANT VIDEO], go here.

**********************

Want to use this article on your website or your own ezine? No problem! But here is what you MUST include:

Derek Fredrickson, Authentic Internet Marketing Specialist, is founder of the Authentic Internet Marketing System, the proven step-by-step program that shows you exactly how to authentically market your business online, in record time…guaranteed. To get your F.R.E.E. videos and receive his authentic internet marketing articles on attracting more leads and converting more sales online to multiply your current revenues, visit www.derekfredrickson.com.

Choose Your Call To Action Wisely

We all know the importance of using a call to action. It’s a critical online marketing strategy to drive traffic back to your site by inviting prospects to get your irresistible free offer (IFO) and join your list. But, do you know what type of call-to-action to use with all the different social networking and online sites out there?

Yes, it’s about adding value by contributing relevant and high-content information, but if you don’t have a clear strategy in place by using the right type of call-to-action to bring people back to your site to join your list, it really doesn’t matter.

I share some of the most common places where your prospects hang out – and how to drive them back to your site and join your email list by using the right type of call-to-action that is appropriate to each site.

Now, let’s look at some of the most common places where your prospects hang out online and which type of call-to-action type to use.

Blogs

Let’s first look at YOUR blog. Prospects are hanging out on your blog viewing your content and perhaps already subscribed to your feed but are not yet on your email list. With the posts you create on your blog, end them all with a strong call-to-action to opt-in in order to be notified of new posts or receive whatever your IFO is.

Your prospects also hang out on OTHER blogs relevant to your market or niche. Here you can comment and contribute content in the form of helpful and relevant information – with a light call-to-action back to your blog for more information. Notice the difference between the two call-to-action strategies depending on which blog you are referencing. On other blogs, keep the call-to-action light else it will feel like sales / pushy.

Facebook

There are millions of your prospects and potential leads hanging out on Facebook. I see so many people using Facebook without a clear strategy in place to build their list. In the same way as blogs, you want to add value and contribute to the conversation (social media outlets like Facebook are for engaging in relationships and conversations) by commenting and contributing relevant content and information. You can do this in two places. Facebook profiles and Facebook fanpages. Prospects are hanging out on your profile via your news feed and looking at the content you have to share on your fanpage. Be sure to mix up the content and information you have to share by giving them both a medium call-to-action (not too strong like on your blog and not too light like on other blogs) back to your site to receive more tips and information from your email list.

YouTube

As Facebook is increasingly popular for users as a search engine tool, as is YouTube. People these days are just as likely to search for video content on YouTube as they do search for regular content via Google. When posting your videos on YouTube, be sure to include your URL / website in the description of the video so your subscribers can go back to your site and see more videos or find out more information. I suggest doing this using a strong call-to-action to drive them back to your site.

LinkedIn

You want to give the connections you have on LinkedIn a lot of valuable content and relevant information to position yourself as a subject matter expert in your community. As a result, always provide a medium call-to-action back to your site.

Twitter

If there is one place I would suggest a very light call-to-action, it would be Twitter. Twitter is an online conversation with your marketplace about the value and information you have to offer. You would seem overly pushy if you were constantly giving a strong call-to-action with every “tweet” you provided. As a result, I would recommend only giving a very light call-to-action and only when it will clearly provide a link between the tweet/content you provide and the additional information you have to share back on your site.

Podcasts

I don’t have any personal experience of using my own podcast for list building but I do see how it can be used as an effective strategy to drive your listeners back to your list to join your list. At the end of an audio podcast, it’s important to have a strong call-to-action to invite listeners back to your site to sign up and receive more information by joining your list.

At the end of the day it’s just as important to have a clear and consistent call-to-action strategy in place for all the different places where your prospects hang out and how to strategically drive them back to your site to join your list.

Until next time… Learn It, Love It, Live It!

**********************
Want to use this article on your website or your own ezine? No problem! But here is what you MUST include:

Derek Fredrickson, Authentic Internet Marketing Specialist, is founder of the Authentic Internet Marketing System, the proven step-by-step program that shows you exactly how to authentically market your business online, in record time…guaranteed. To get your F.R.E.E. videos and receive his authentic internet marketing articles on attracting more leads and converting more sales online to multiply your current revenues, visit www.derekfredrickson.com.

You Must Convert In All The Right Places

In my last article I talked about the importance of writing compelling email subject lines that will help get you clients by having your subscribers open more of your emails. It’s really the very first step as part of an overall and ongoing conversion process with your list. After a prospect decides to take your IFO (irresistible free offer) and join your list, the conversion process is nowhere near complete. It’s actually just beginning.

Throughout the life cycle of the people on your list, there are countless opportunities for bettering your conversion. By bettering your conversion, you have a higher likelihood of converting more prospects to clients, clients to buyers and buyers into raving fans.

Let’s take a look at some categories where conversion is KEY and how you can improve your online conversion:

Email

As previously mentioned, the email subject is the first indicator of how well your emails will convert by the showing the % of people that are opening and reading your emails. This conversion is known as the “open-rate”. The actual email body – the images, text, URL’S and overall message in your email, convert your email readers into website visitors – by clicking through to your website, sales page or landing page. This conversion is known as the email “click-through-rate”.

Website

Throughout your website, there are numerous factors that influence your overall conversion. And by website conversion it could be how many people sign up for your free teleseminar (i.e. on a landing page) or how many people order your IFO (i.e. on a squeeze page). Both of these conversions are known as “opt-in-rate” and indicate the % of people who visit that page and opt-in to your list.

For more general websites (such as a sales page) there is first and foremost the headline. The headline has to speak to the visitor and grab their attention. It’s usually at the top of the sales page in big and bold letters. Think of it this way – the headline is to a sales page what the email subject is to email. If it’s not interesting or compelling – it won’t necessarily convert and visitors won’t continue in the process.

Next is the sub headline – not as visible as the main headline but in many ways just important.

The actual sales copy gets the most attention and is the overall driving factor that will help conversion. There are so many elements of writing compelling sales copy (I will cover them all in a future post).

Then, you have testimonials – critical for demonstrating the social proof of your product or service and will help converting the skeptics and those wondering if this really works and could it really work for them.

Lastly, there are other minor factors but those can influence overall conversion. These are mostly semantic like format (video vs. text), graphics and images, color, font type, etc.

All of these factors impact the “conversion” rate of your website – what % of visitors who visit ultimately buy.

Now come the actual elements of your product or service that will impact your conversion. The most obvious is price. Priced too high – and people will click away and look elsewhere. Priced too low – you might get a low conversion based on people not feeling the value for your product or service since the price is too low.

The options for payment have a big impact on the conversion. Do you offer an incentive for clients to pay in full? What payment plans do you offer in terms of monthly plans and for how many months?

What about a guarantee? Do you have one in place to help address the objections of those who want to buy but feel more comfortable there is a guarantee? Does it include a refund policy and if so, for how long and what conditions apply? These will also ultimately affect the overall conversion of your product or service.

At the end of the day, you want to address as many of these factors in the most authentic way possible in order to best increase your conversion in all of your online marketing efforts. By authentic I mean the following:

  • Doing things in integrity
  • Building a mutual long term goodwill with your list
  • Becoming their problem solver
  • Giving them good value
  • It’s about the ”feel good”

Focus on these and it will most likely not only help your conversion but your overall authentic internet marketing!

Until next time… Learn It, Love It, Live It!

**********************
Want to use this article on your website or your own ezine? No problem! But here is what you MUST include:

Derek Fredrickson, Authentic Internet Marketing Specialist, is founder of the Authentic Internet Marketing System, the proven step-by-step program that shows you exactly how to authentically market your business online, in record time…guaranteed. To get your F.R.E.E. videos and receive his authentic internet marketing articles on attracting more leads and converting more sales online to multiply your current revenues, visit www.derekfredrickson.com.

Ending The Debate On Single vs. Double Opt-In

I know there is so much debate out there on opt-in. Single opt-in vs. Double opt-in. Which is better? What should I use? Does it matter? I get this question all the time when I coach clients – especially if they are just starting out or migrating from one email marketing platform to another.

So, I wanted to end the debate – here and now.

Now, perhaps you are thinking opt-in is such a trivial of an issue as it pertains to authentic list building. It is basic – but it matters!

In my option, there is a right answer that will end the debate– and I will share my personal view on the matter.

Now, let’s review some facts of single and double opt-in.

Single opt-in
This process requires someone to send a subscription request before the prospect is added to the email list. Supporters strongly believe that it’s the quickest way to build a large list.

Double opt-in
This process requires two requests before the prospect is added to the email list — the initial subscription request, plus a confirmation of the request. Supporters strongly believe that this is the best way to a ‘quality’ list and avoid potential problems.

Now, the pro’s and con’s of both.

Pros of single opt-in

  • No distraction or extra step needed can lead to bigger list. The prospect enters their email address, clicks submit, and immediately they are added to the list.

Cons of single opt-in

  • No verification may impact list integrity. Without verification, you never know each and every prospect that opted-in. There could be spammers or invalid addresses that are not going to be valid when opening or reading your emails.
  • Subscribers may not realize they are on a ‘list’. Prospects may opt-in for a teleseminar thinking it’s a one-time opt-in for an event, and not realized they’ve been added to the main marketing email list. Result? They will most likely opt-out.
  • Difficult to value metrics. With invalid addresses or faulty emails, it’s hard to analyze email metrics such as open rates and readability.

Pros of double opt-in

  • Reduces possibility of SPAM complaints with Internet Service Providers. It’s unlikely someone who has confirmed their subscription to your list will report you as SPAM to their ISP. They will either contact you or simply just opt-out.
  • Cleaner list (removes bad emails and mistypes). The process ensures people are entering their information correctly. Prospect opted-in with a bad email address? They won’t receive confirmation they’ve been added and will most likely opt-in again to ensure they are correctly added to your list.
  • Potentially more responsive. As the list is of higher quality based on the double opt-in process, the readers are more likely to want to click and open your emails – improving your readability and open rates.

Cons of double opt-in

  • May lose subscribers due to user confusion and requiring extra steps in the process. Prospects may not know they need to confirm their subscription. They might not see the notice on the thank you page or see the email asking them to confirm their subscription. As a result, you’re potentially losing out on new leads to your list.

The verdict? Do both!

You can ask (but not require) your new subscribers to confirm their subscription. It’s the best of both worlds. You’re not being limited by the chance of losing unconfirmed subscribers by having double opt-in AND you are allowing subscribers to confirm their subscription immediately after joining (which they wouldn’t be able to do with just single opt-in.)

Here’s an example of how we do it at Client Attraction.

As you can see in the red box, we ask our new subscribers to confirm their subscription after they opt-in. This is the email confirmation someone receives when they opt-in to our Client Attraction ezine list. It’s a very authentic and simple process for new subscribers to follow.

We don’t require it – it’s suggested. And, it has worked well for us by blending a good balance of the pros of both single and double opt-in. Try it, and it will help with authentically building your list!

Until next time… Learn It, Love It, Live It!

**********************
Want to use this article on your website or your own ezine? No problem! But here is what you MUST include:

Derek Fredrickson, Authentic Internet Marketing Specialist, is founder of the Authentic Internet Marketing System, the proven step-by-step program that shows you exactly how to authentically market your business online, in record time…guaranteed. To get your F.R.E.E. videos and receive his authentic internet marketing articles on attracting more leads and converting more sales online to multiply your current revenues, visit www.derekfredrickson.com.

Squeeze It Out Of Them… Authentically

I love squeeze pages. They are essential for authentic list building and an invaluable strategy for authentic internet marketing. I’m going to reveal the 5 most critical elements of a squeeze page. I’m also going to give you my exact script to use for either a video or audio squeeze page so you can convert more traffic into highly qualified subscribers and dramatically build your list, authentically.

First – some basics. You might be wondering – what exactly is a squeeze page? Perhaps you’ve heard of squeeze pages but think they seem yucky and not very authentic. It’s not ‘yucky’. In fact, it makes total sense when you value what you are offering and value the time of your prospect. In essence, they are essential for list building.

Now, the definition of a squeeze page: You are literally ‘squeezing’ their contact information from them before they can access your content. In order for a visitor to enter your website and access the information you have to offer – they need to usually enter in their name and email information. Your content in this case is typically your IFO – or ‘Irresistible Free Offer’ such as your video, audio (CD or MP3), e-book/e-course, etc. There are no other options on a squeeze page. You either opt-in with your contact information or you click away. That is known as a ‘hard’ squeeze page. A ‘soft’ squeeze page will allow the visitor to bypass the squeeze process and enter your website without entering their contact information. Check out www.clientattraction.com as an example of a soft squeeze.

In my opinion, people are either not doing it at all or it’s not being done correctly. And, because of that it seems very inauthentic to many people and so they are not using it in their own website or list building strategy.

Let me break down the 5 essential ingredients of a squeeze page script. The script is used to welcome and explain to the visitor to the site what to do when they arrive at your squeeze page. This script works best when using either video or audio.

1. Who – Explain ‘who’ you are such as your name and/or tagline

2. What – Identify ‘what’ you offer or what you provide (this is your IFO)

3. Why – Answer the question ‘Why do they need it?’ This is KEY. You need to identify a pain point or struggle they have and pinpoint exactly what they are looking for and why they need it

4. How – Explain ‘how’ they get it. Spell out the process of how they actually get your IFO. It’s important to make it as simple and straight forward as possible. Don’t over complicate the process

5. When – Tell them ‘when’ they will get IFO. Is it immediate (next web page, in an email, etc.) or delayed (5 days because it’s physically shipped)

Here is my script, revealed:

WHO: Hi, my name is Derek Fredrickson – your Authentic Internet Marketing Specialist – and I’m here to show you how to use authentic and practical online marketing techniques to help you attract more leads, convert more sales and make more money.

WHAT: In fact, I’d like to reveal to you now the one thing you need to know when it comes to AUTHENTICALLY marketing your business online.

WHY: This one SECRET is the difference between marketing online authentically with RESULTS, or doing the same as you’ve done before with no change.

HOW: Just enter your name and email on the boxes on this page and

WHEN: I’ll share with you right away on the next page in another video the one SECRET you need to know – I’ll see you then – so enter your information right away

That’s it! Short, simple, sweet – and to the point. When you follow this model it allows you to easily present your IFO to your prospect in an authentic manner so they can efficiently decide whether they opt-in or not. And, using this model will in fact build your list as opposed to more traditional models where you merely put all your content online without presenting the visitor an opportunity to decide on whether they want your IFO or not before proceeding.

Feel free to model this and use it for your own business. If you follow these steps and keep these important ideas in mind – your list will surely to start to grow!

Until then… Learn it, Love it, Live it!

Derek Fredrickson

Your Assignment:
Develop your own script for your new squeeze page and follow the script I provided. Be sure to cover each of the 5 main ingredients (Who, What, Why, How, When) and keep it super simple and to the point. You can either use audio or video – just don’t over-complicate the process for them. If you like – I’ll even review your new squeeze page and give you my thoughts to ensure it’s exactly what you need.
Interested in finding out more about squeeze pages and other authentic internet marketing strategic to help grow your online business? The Authentic List Building Coaching program can show you exactly how you can authentically add up to 1,000 new qualified prospects to your business each month. People who really “get” your message and are eager and ready to become your client or buy your products. And, you could do this authentically, quickly and consistently, without being spammy or icky, but just by being you. How would that make a difference in your life? I created this one-of-a-kind program to personally walk you through the same secrets we used (and continue to use daily) to add over 1,000 highly targeted and qualified leads to our list each month for the last 12 months. To see the presentation I created for you about authentic list building principles [IMPORTANT VIDEO], go here.

**********************

Want to use this article on your website or your own ezine? No problem! But here is what you MUST include:

Derek Fredrickson, Authentic Internet Marketing Specialist, is founder of the Authentic Internet Marketing System, the proven step-by-step program that shows you exactly how to authentically market your business online, in record time…guaranteed. To get your F.R.E.E. videos and receive his authentic internet marketing articles on attracting more leads and converting more sales online to multiply your current revenues, visit www.derekfredrickson.com.