Bullet 18

A Simple 7-Step Formula
for Succeeding Online

Dear Marketing Top Gun,

If you want the easiest, surest and most rewarding way I’ve found to succeed online, here is the simple 7-step formula:

  1. Carve out a niche. Be known for something specific. Use the rifle, not the shotgun. When in doubt, go narrower than others in your field. For specific examples, see Bullet #16, “The Fuzzy Dice Secret for Exploding Your Sales.” You can find it in the BulletArchive (link below). 
  2. Give something valuable away free. Within your narrow specialty, create an ezine (or course, collection of tips, series of mistakes to avoid, seasonal recipes, any regular communication) that demonstrates your expertise and is so helpful, interesting and informative, your prospects will want to keep getting it regularly. 
  3. Promote your free ezine every way you can—in Google ads, articles you write for the media, speeches before trade groups, press releases, radio interviews, communications with your customers, take-ones at related retail outlets, space ads, newspaper classifieds, direct mail, co-ops and swaps with others in your industry, etc. Explore any and all avenues. 
  4. Capture email addresses. Never give away your valuable free tips on your website! Share them only in exchange for an email address when someone signs up for your ezine. Consider offering one of your best free tips in the form of a free report to induce people to sign up. This automatically gives you permission—and the means—to stay in touch with your market, building your most valuable direct marketing asset, your list. 
  5. Pile on the value. Work hard to make your free ezine so valuable and interesting, your prospects eagerly open it. As in romance, woo your new prospects with your bouquets of insight and pearls of wisdom. Don’t be shy about opening up and getting personal. Become a friend. Resist the urge to keep lunging at them with sales lust. Your goal: get your prospects into the habit of welcoming your emails like love letters because they are so valuable, useful and interesting…not in the habit of deleting them on sight because they are self-serving sales pitches. The rule: establish trust before you sell with lust. 
  6. Never sell hard in your ezine or free course. Instead, dance the two-step. The biggest mistake even savvy marketers make in their ezines is selling too much, too soon, too hard, and too often. Let your ezine be an oasis of value in a desert of hype. Always, and especially in your first several communications, let the value of your free information far outweigh your sales copy.

Eventually, after you’ve proved your value to readers and it’s time to sell something, dance the two-step…

First, mention that you have a great product that enhances the valuable, free tip you’ve just shared in your ezine. To learn more, “click here.”

Second, when readers click on the link, they land on a dedicated page elsewhere, where you can sell your product or service as hard as you want.

In other words, never sell too hard, too often or too early in your ezine! Doing so makes your reader perceive it as a vehicle of hype, not a trusted vehicle of value.

Once your prospects categorize your ezine as sales hype, you will lose them by the score. Game over! Their door will shut as closed as a coffin, as tight as a tomb. Your emails will bounce off their mailboxes like corks off granite. In your eagerness to sell, you will have trained your best prospects to shun you. You will have taught the legions of people who were ready to trust you, who had hoped you were different, to conclude that you’re just like all the rest—just another “me-first” marketer pushing too hard to sell, not serve.

Once you’ve painted yourself into this portrait, your identity remains fixed. Every time your prospects see your name on an email, they’ll automatically think “sales pitch” and most will delete you on sight. You will have committed list suicide. Don’t make this fatal mistake!

Remember—use your ezine to deliver pure, rare, refreshing, beautifulvalue—interesting, useful tips that your market is yearning for and delighted to receive. Introduce sales messages only occasionally, briefly, lightly, as I’ve described above, using the soft two-step—tying a brief mention of your product into the valuable tip you’ve just shared, then using a link to a hard-selling page that resides elsewhere.

A Little Secret for Boosting Your Sales Up to 400%

  1. For even better results, capture their physical addresses. Once your prospects have a relationship with your ezine, offer them another free gift. It must not only be valuable, but something you have to send to their home, such as a report, CD, DVD, paperback book, newsletter, cool poster, free sample, gift certificate, etc.

    Why something physical? Because this gives you the right to ask for—and get—their physical address. And why is that so important? Two reasons…

    First, a physical gift normally has higher perceived value than, say, an ebook. But far more important, getting a physical address enables you to send a compelling direct mail promotion with your gift, and to follow up later with additional direct mail.

    And why is that important? Let me relay the experience of my friend Gary Halbert, from whom I originally heard this idea.

    Gary reports that sending your direct mail promotion to the physical addresses of prospects who originally signed up online usually pulls up to 400% higher sales than the same copy delivered on the web only.

* * *

And that’s all there is to it. Repeat these 7 simple steps for every major product or service you want to sell.

Are there other roads to Rome? Of course! But for me and others I respect in direct response, this has been our express lane.

This simple, 7-step plan is a good illustration of what these Bullets are—highly concentrated packets of knowledge…small, fast and powerful, like Bullets.

So saddle up, marketing gunslinger, and ride out to claim your stake of the wild web frontier. Yes, the hills are full of renegades, bandits, and wolves. But you will prevail. You, Top Gun, are packin’ better ammo!

Sincere wishes for a good life
and (always!) higher response,
Gary Bencivenga Signature

P.S. If you know any copywriters or marketers who would enjoy this Bullet, just send them an email with this link:http://marketingbullets.com/

P.P.S. Your e-mail address will never be shared. And if you ever wish to unsubscribe, just let me know and I will vanish from your life like a shadow in the night.

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