Archive for June, 2008

While each sales page and sales letter is different, the good ones have  a number of things in common. They attract attention, tell a story, show proof, add a sense of urgency – in short, they have the ability to close the sale. Here is a list I gathered of just some of the things you should check for in your sales pages and letters:

Does the headline command attention?

Does the main subhead (“deck copy”) elaborate on the headline and make me want to read the next sentence?

Is your unique selling proposition evident?

Do you address the readers problem/pain?

Make it sound like a personal letter written to one person (the target audience)

Is your guarantee convincing?

Use active tense instead of passive tense

Use compelling details/facts/statistics to support your case

Don’t state your call to action too soon or too late

Answer the implicit question “so what?” throughout the letter

Keep in mind the 4U’s of effective sales copy: Urgent, Useful, Unique, and Ultra-specific

For a list of 36 suggestions and tips on more effective sales letters and pages, check my newsletter at http://www.yourmarketingroadmap.com/ezine6_23.htm

If you’re interested in using my services to craft more effective sales pages and letters for your business, call 1 888-650-9714.

Or check out my copy coaching program…

Looks like Microsoft will not be partnering with Yahoo in its quest to battle Google in seach traffic. Wel they better do something because according to the latest figures, Google is becoming  even more dominant in search

Take a look at the share of searches of May 2008 (U.S.)

Google: 71.5%
Yahoo: 13.3%
Microsoft Live + Live Search Club: 10.6%
(Microsoft Live: 7.9%)
(Microsoft Club Live: 2.6%)
Ask: 3.0%
AOL: 1.2%

For more on the study , click http://searchengineland.com/080617-173543.php

One of the decisions in spreading the word through social bookmarking is which sites to use. They each have their own strengths. I’ll tell you some preliminary results that I had about two of the big bookmarking sites..

From an article posted on my blog, I quickly received about 100 visitors, evenly divided between Digg and StumbleUpon as the source of the visitors. The real eyeopening statistic was time spent on the page. StumbleUpon visitors: 10 seconds, Digg visitors: 2 minutes and 30 seconds. Now that is a huge difference. People who spend more time on the page have more time to engage with the site.

What accounts for the difference? My instinct is that people using Stumbleupon have a browser’s mindset. They are willing to take a few seconds to view a page in the course of browsing through websites.

Digg users arrive with a reader’s mentality. Digg was  conceived as a site to post and vote for  news items that you think others might want to read.

So while these results are very preliminary, as of now I’d say if you had to choose between Digg and StumbleUpon to  spread the word, choose Digg.

Online press releases overcome some of the most difficult challenges in online marketing. They provide a great way to get traffic, improve your search rankings, and attract media attention in a highly targeted way.

Two of the biggest difficulties people say they have in using press releases are: 1) Don’t know how or what to write about 2) Think it’s too expensive.

Let’s start with what to write. Press releases are about news. If you don’t have news about your business, you can manufacture it. Companies do it all the time. One of the best ways to do this is to tie your business to current news items.

Use the news to create news for your business
Let’s say a new study or a book about stress-related illness was just published. If helping people deal with the consequences of stress is part of your business, you could offer comments about the news story.You can agree or disagree with parts of it. Show how the study supports what you are doing with your own clients/patients.

A great way to find out what people are interested in (reading, watching videos, blogging, etc.) is to go to www.popurl.com. The typeface is tough to read but the site offers a wealth of information about the latest articles, blogs, press releases, videos, etc. in order of popularity. You should be able to find many popular items that you can tie to your business in press releases.

In writing a press release for an online audience be sure to optimize it for the keywords you want. Include those keywords in the title, the summary, and at least 3 times in the body of the release (but don’t overdo it).

Press releases have traditionally been written in the AP, or inverted pyramid, style: State the who, what, where, when, and why up front. Online press releases are a bit different because they are also intended for a consumer audience, in addition to the media.

Online press releases shouldn’t be dry recitations of the facts. You need to attract attention as soon as you can. If that means starting with a story type opening, do it. You can talk about the facts later on in the release.

Want to keep your PR costs down? Here is a list of free online press release submission sites:

1)www.pr-inside.com
2)www.pr-usa.net
3)www.seenation.com
4)www.dbusinessnews.com
5)www.google.com/base
6)www.openpr.com
7)www.free-press-release-center.info
8)www.przoom.com
9)www.prlog.com
10)www.i-newswire.com

Many of these sites only put your release on their sites, though some also distribute to google news. In any case, they give you valuable backlinks to your site and improve your search engine rankings.

For $80 you can use prweb.com. While this service costs a bit, it is still far cheaper than prnewswire and businesswire, and the kind of distribution and SEO it gives you is extremely powerful.

Here’s a strategy I recommend to get lots of PR bang for your buck:

   •Distribute 2 releases a month.

   •Submit one to PRweb, and the other to the no-cost news release site of  your choice.

   •Make sure to use different releases for each of the two PR sites.

   •Use prweb for your most important releases, and use the free services for less important items.

With this system you’ll add losts of juice to your campaigns. Not only will you get immediate traffic, but your release will live on the web for years to come.
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Leon Altman is a Internet marketing consultant, copywriter and entrepreneur with 25 years of  experience. For his free marketing ecourse, go to www.YourMarketingRoadmap.com . For more about his PR services, go to:  http://www.yourmarketingroadmap.com/PRcoach.php

Posted a Bo Diddley tribute on my new site Marketing Roadmap Radio. Watch the guy combing his hair in the audience. One of the most entertaining videos you’ll see.