Thursday, January 18, 2007

How To Use An Autoresponder Effectively With Your Home-Based Business

Do you use an autoresponder with your home-based business? If not, this useful tool can save you tons of time. Plus, it's a great way to keep in contact with your customers and clients. Here is why this is so.


If you've reached the point of exhaustion trying to keep up

with answering the mountain of emails that threatens to

bury you alive every single day, you're ready to learn

about autoresponders.

The bad news is that people expect prompt replies to their

email inquiries. However, unless you can figure out how to

work continual twenty-four hour shifts, or hire enough

people to constantly monitor incoming emails (while they're

eating up your revenue), you have a problem. The good news

is an autoresponder is an inexpensive - or even free -

method of quickly responding to emails. What these programs do is

automatically respond to incoming emails as soon as they are received.

Emails are essential to your business for many different

reasons. Most importantly, these invisible email voices

give you their feedback about your website - for free!

However, if you spend all your working hours answering

these emails, how are you supposed to run your business?

The answer is simple: use autoresponders. Autoresponders

are programs that automatically respond to your emails

without you so much as having to click on your mouse.

There are a number of good reasons why you need an

autoresponder besides just answering your email. For

example, autoresponders can be used if you need a way to

send information about your services or products, price

lists, or if there are repeated questions asked across

large numbers of emails. Maybe you want to offer your site

visitors a special bonus of some kind, such as advice or

relevant articles. All of this can be handled by an

autoresponder. Additionally, you can advertise your

business and then build stable relationships with your

customers by using autoresponders.

Autoresponder programs vary from software that runs with

your email program to a specialized script that runs on

your web hosting company's server. This kind of script may

use a web page form or simply operate with your email

account. This kind of script is programmed to send out a

standardized message whenever an email is received. The

message is sent to a particular script or email address.

Some autoresponders can do more than simply send out

standardized messages. They can send out an unlimited

number of follow-up messages sent at predetermined interval

of time. For example, you can set your autoresponder to

send out a new message every day for as long a period as

you desire.

There are numerous companies who offer autoresponders free

of charge. Your website hosting company often provides

autoresponders as a free service. If this is not the case

with your web hosting company, there are numerous companies

who offer this service for a small fee, or free of charge,

providing you attach an advertisement for their company to

your emails.

To personalize your autoresponder messages, you can attach

a signature. Signatures in this case are much like business

cards. You can include your name, company, all your contact

numbers and addresses, and a brief message.

It's a good idea to attach a signature to every email that

is sent out. This works as a repeated reminder of your

business identity every time a customer sees it. The more

they look at your signature, the more likely your company

will spring to mind when your particular service or product

is needed.

You can create a standardized signature that every employee

in your business uses, or you can go wild, and let every

staff member create their own personal signature. Of

course, like everything in life, there are some rules and

guidelines to creating a personal signature.

Keep the length of your signature between four to six lines

of text, with no more than 70 characters in a single line. Make sure that

your email program does not cut off your

text! The content should include your name, your company

name, your email address, fax number, and any other contactdetails,

such as 800 numbers. Lastly, always include ashort personal message

about your company. It should be asubtle sell of your services or your products,

and possiblyyour company's reliability and longevity.

Another specialized use of autoresponders is to create

courses that you can then offer your site visitors for

free. You must choose a topic in which you are an expert

and that precisely targets your potential customers.

Once you have carefully chosen your subject, divide it into

a number of different sub-topics. Then offer your site

visitor a free 10 or 15 day course, each day offering a

different sub-topic. The first topic should always be a

welcome message to your site visitor and an explanation

about what is to follow. Your explanation should be

enticing, getting the point across that you are offering

free, quality information that your target audience will

find of great value.

With every lesson, include the number of the lesson, the

topic title, information about your company and its

services or products. At the end, include a few blurbs

about the next lesson to entice the subscriber to continue

on.

Make sure each topic is packed with essential and valuable

information, and leaves the visitor lusting to know more.

Otherwise, you may lose them in the very beginning.

Of course, you have to write up your course before you can

offer it. Once you have done this, and gone over the

material carefully, employing a professional writer or

editor if necessary, you must transfer your text to your

autoresponder.

There are a number of free autoresponders you can use. Try

http:/www.getresponse.com, or http://www.fastfacts.net. Or

go onto Google and you will find a long list of free

autoresponder companies. Then sign-up for your chosen

autoresponder. Once you do, you will receive instructions

as to how to set it up and transfer your text.

Email is an excellent marketing tool; it is inexpensive and

it is fast. Use it to advertise your business by choosing

your email address carefully. Your website should contain

different email addresses for different contact requests.

For example, use info@yourdomain.com for information

requests, or sales@yourdomain.com for questions about

sales. It's a good idea to set up one for the owner, such

as president@yourdomain.com. This presents your company in

a personal, approachable light and insures that direct

contact is provided.

Autoresponders are an effective and powerful marketing

tool, allowing you to make contact with thousands of

potential customers. This is an invaluable asset

considering how many potential customers you usually have

contact with before you make an actual sale. Essentially,

an autoresponser allows you to automate part of your

marketing campaign.

How To Use An Autoresponder Effectively With Your Home-Based Business

Do you use an autoresponder with your home-based business? If not, this useful tool can save you tons of time. Plus, it's a great way to keep in contact with your customers and clients. Here is why this is so.


If you've reached the point of exhaustion trying to keep up

with answering the mountain of emails that threatens to

bury you alive every single day, you're ready to learn

about autoresponders.

The bad news is that people expect prompt replies to their

email inquiries. However, unless you can figure out how to

work continual twenty-four hour shifts, or hire enough

people to constantly monitor incoming emails (while they're

eating up your revenue), you have a problem. The good news

is an autoresponder is an inexpensive - or even free -

method of quickly responding to emails. What these programs do is

automatically respond to incoming emails as soon as they are received.

Emails are essential to your business for many different

reasons. Most importantly, these invisible email voices

give you their feedback about your website - for free!

However, if you spend all your working hours answering

these emails, how are you supposed to run your business?

The answer is simple: use autoresponders. Autoresponders

are programs that automatically respond to your emails

without you so much as having to click on your mouse.

There are a number of good reasons why you need an

autoresponder besides just answering your email. For

example, autoresponders can be used if you need a way to

send information about your services or products, price

lists, or if there are repeated questions asked across

large numbers of emails. Maybe you want to offer your site

visitors a special bonus of some kind, such as advice or

relevant articles. All of this can be handled by an

autoresponder. Additionally, you can advertise your

business and then build stable relationships with your

customers by using autoresponders.

Autoresponder programs vary from software that runs with

your email program to a specialized script that runs on

your web hosting company's server. This kind of script may

use a web page form or simply operate with your email

account. This kind of script is programmed to send out a

standardized message whenever an email is received. The

message is sent to a particular script or email address.

Some autoresponders can do more than simply send out

standardized messages. They can send out an unlimited

number of follow-up messages sent at predetermined interval

of time. For example, you can set your autoresponder to

send out a new message every day for as long a period as

you desire.

There are numerous companies who offer autoresponders free

of charge. Your website hosting company often provides

autoresponders as a free service. If this is not the case

with your web hosting company, there are numerous companies

who offer this service for a small fee, or free of charge,

providing you attach an advertisement for their company to

your emails.

To personalize your autoresponder messages, you can attach

a signature. Signatures in this case are much like business

cards. You can include your name, company, all your contact

numbers and addresses, and a brief message.

It's a good idea to attach a signature to every email that

is sent out. This works as a repeated reminder of your

business identity every time a customer sees it. The more

they look at your signature, the more likely your company

will spring to mind when your particular service or product

is needed.

You can create a standardized signature that every employee

in your business uses, or you can go wild, and let every

staff member create their own personal signature. Of

course, like everything in life, there are some rules and

guidelines to creating a personal signature.

Keep the length of your signature between four to six lines

of text, with no more than 70 characters in a single line. Make sure that

your email program does not cut off your

text! The content should include your name, your company

name, your email address, fax number, and any other contactdetails,

such as 800 numbers. Lastly, always include ashort personal message

about your company. It should be asubtle sell of your services or your products,

and possiblyyour company's reliability and longevity.

Another specialized use of autoresponders is to create

courses that you can then offer your site visitors for

free. You must choose a topic in which you are an expert

and that precisely targets your potential customers.

Once you have carefully chosen your subject, divide it into

a number of different sub-topics. Then offer your site

visitor a free 10 or 15 day course, each day offering a

different sub-topic. The first topic should always be a

welcome message to your site visitor and an explanation

about what is to follow. Your explanation should be

enticing, getting the point across that you are offering

free, quality information that your target audience will

find of great value.

With every lesson, include the number of the lesson, the

topic title, information about your company and its

services or products. At the end, include a few blurbs

about the next lesson to entice the subscriber to continue

on.

Make sure each topic is packed with essential and valuable

information, and leaves the visitor lusting to know more.

Otherwise, you may lose them in the very beginning.

Of course, you have to write up your course before you can

offer it. Once you have done this, and gone over the

material carefully, employing a professional writer or

editor if necessary, you must transfer your text to your

autoresponder.

There are a number of free autoresponders you can use. Try

http:/www.getresponse.com, or http://www.fastfacts.net. Or

go onto Google and you will find a long list of free

autoresponder companies. Then sign-up for your chosen

autoresponder. Once you do, you will receive instructions

as to how to set it up and transfer your text.

Email is an excellent marketing tool; it is inexpensive and

it is fast. Use it to advertise your business by choosing

your email address carefully. Your website should contain

different email addresses for different contact requests.

For example, use info@yourdomain.com for information

requests, or sales@yourdomain.com for questions about

sales. It's a good idea to set up one for the owner, such

as president@yourdomain.com. This presents your company in

a personal, approachable light and insures that direct

contact is provided.

Autoresponders are an effective and powerful marketing

tool, allowing you to make contact with thousands of

potential customers. This is an invaluable asset

considering how many potential customers you usually have

contact with before you make an actual sale. Essentially,

an autoresponser allows you to automate part of your

marketing campaign.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

3 Steps To Better Sales Copywriting For Your Home-Based Business

We all have websites for our home-based business. We all will need powerful sales copy to make sales. Here are some tips to improve your sales copy. I know I sure could use these as well!


P.S. To save years of failure and frustration as you look to create additional income from home. click here to download your free ebook, Success in 10 Steps http://www.mentormonique.successin10steps.com

3 Steps To Better Sales Copywriting
by: J.L. Reid

Whether you’re wet-behind-the-ears or a seasoned copywriter, your craft will benefit by remembering one thing:

You’re nothing more than a salesperson.

There’s an old saying in the “business” that, “a copywriter is a salesperson sitting in front of a typewriter.” True, few of us are using typewriters these days. The principal, however, remains unchanged.

We’re in sales. I know this. You know this. We all know this. Yet why does much of the copy out there, especially ads produced by expensive agencies, seem to miss the point?

If all we’re doing is sales, albeit transmitted through a written or broadcast medium, then we’d better know what we’re doing.

Starting the process

While studying creative writing, I learned this storytelling maxim: every character has a motive for being in a scene. The same is true in a sales situation.

The salesperson’s motive is simple. He wants to make the sale and get his commission. But what does the potential customer want?

First, what type of customer are they? Are they ready to make an immediate buy? Are they information shopping, looking for a great deal? Are they even looking for our product or service?

Ask Questions, then Shut-up and Listen

When selling to prospective customers ask questions that get them to reveal their needs. It’s a mistake to sell the product on the tip of your tongue. “Model X” might work, but if you listen you might discover that the more expensive “Model Z” is what the customer really needs.

Once you know why the prospect is there--whether they have an unresolved need, an emotional reason for buying, or they’re just shopping around--tailor your pitch to their specific reason.

Now when you make the pitch, tell how your product benefits the customer, rather than rattling off product features you think he cares about.

When You’re Finished, Close the Door

By this point your spiel should be unforced. You know the customer’s “hot-buttons” so everything should be smooth sailing.

After you’ve explained the last product benefit, you (as the salesperson) are obligated to close the deal. The way you do that is simply to ask, “Are you ready to make your decision?” or “Is this the product you’d like to buy?”

Hopefully the answer is yes. If not, then you ask, “When would you be ready to make your decision? Can I contact you then?”

What Does This Have to Do with Copywriting?

Remember, you’re nothing more than a salesperson. So you, so while writing copy, you should go through similar steps.

1. Qualify the prospect. How you write your copy, and the ratio of hard selling to information-based soft selling, will change with the medium you’re working in. But the first thing your copy should do is state outright what business you’re in and what you’re selling.

If your pitch is too vague, if it’s implied, or it depends on prior knowledge for comprehension, then your prospect might never realize he needs what you’re selling.

2. Sell Benefits, not Features. I’ve heard many sales trainers say, “It’s not about you, it’s about them.” That’s golden advice. The best way to apply this idea to your copy is by focusing on your product’s benefits.

A sports car’s features might be power steering, fast acceleration, and fuel efficiency. The benefits of that same car to a man a mid-life crisis, however, are the social status and appearance of youth it gives him. Which reason, the benefits or the features, would cause him to buy?

In a face-to-face sales environment it’s easy to ask for a specific customer’s needs. When writing sales copy you can create the same rapport by being customer-centered. To do this, write in the second person, or “You” voice. If your copy repeatedly says your company does this, or your product does that, you’re being self-centered. Your prospect won’t see himself benefiting from your product.

3. Close the Deal. I can’t count how often I've read a brochure, watched a commercial, or visited a website and had no clue about what I was supposed to do.

Always end your copy with a Call-to-Action.

Tell the customer exactly what you want him to do. This isn’t the time to be cute, so be exact. Do you want him to call you? Click a “Buy This” button? Make a donation? Tell your customer, or else he won’t do anything.

When asked what I do I usually say I’m a freelance marketing and publicity copywriter. I’m might revise the statement to, “I’m a freelance sales copywriter,” because that’s what it all comes down to: sales. Whether your copy creates a direct response or creates publicity and general awareness of your company, if you don’t sell you might as well not be in business.

About The Author

J.L. Reid is a freelance marketing—er—freelance sales copywriter based in Raleigh NC. Visit his website, www.reidwrite.com, to learn more about his services.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

3 Reasons Your Home Business Website Might Fail To Attract Enough Customers

Do you have a website up and going and it's failing to attract the customers you want? If so, carefully read this article and then assess if you are making any of these mistakes. If you are, now would be the perfect time to correct them!



P.S. To save years of failure and frustration as you look to create additional income from home. click here to download your free ebook, Success in 10 Steps http://www.mentormonique.successin10steps.com

3 Reasons Your Website Might Fail To Attract Enough Customers
by: Michael Cheney

Virtually all website owners concentrate their efforts and energy into getting more visitors. With business owners this effort is spent on getting more and more new customers. What many people forget - with both their website and their business - is that getting new customers (or visitors) is only a small part of the equation for success…

Reason For Failure No. 1 - The 'I am God'-Syndrome

God got his name from being able to do anything and everything and be everywhere at once. Despite what we are taught from an early age many people still insist on believing they themselves are God.

Ever found yourself answering the phone, making a sale, running a sales meeting, welcoming customers and doing your company's accounts all in one day? Sure you have. You're trying to be God and do everything and be in more than one place at one time. You will fail. People do this with their website too.

Rather than just stopping at providing content (which is where you should stop and hand everything else over to the professionals) some people think that despite no professional training or education in the subject they are experts in web design, website marketing, graphic design and business consultancy. Remember - stick to what you know, leave everything else to the experts. Your job is to run your business - not to run around like a headless chicken trying to create a website, market a website, do the books, answer the phones and make the tea.

Reason For Failure No. 2 - 'Build It And They Will Come'

Ah yes. The halcyon days of the early 1990s when anything seemed possible and merely owning a domain name or funky web address meant certain success and riches beyond your wildest dreams. "Build it and they will come" is what they said. They were wrong.

Disaster after high profile disaster came crashing down into a pile of dotcom carnage as the millions poured into the idea pit were consumed by fast-spending entrepreneurs who possessed more pairs of trainers than they did explanations for where the profit was going to come from. Just remember - there are more web pages in the world than there are people so if you really think that just building a website is enough it's time for a serious re-think. You've spent the money on graphic design, content, domain names, hosting, web design and testing and your site has just gone live. Congratulations - you have just completed step 1 of 1000,001 in having a site that generates business for you.

You now need to market the site - just as you need to market your business when it first starts - advertising, fliers, yellow pages, referrals, networking, cold calls, direct marketing, mail shots, radio slots, events, conventions, product launches, press coverage etc. A website is exactly the same. Don't forget the new statement for the new age of new technology:

Build it and they will say - 'I can't find it!'

Reason For Failure No. 3 - You Choose The Wrong Website Marketing Company

It's difficult isn't it? There are so many to choose from how do you know where to start? Well word of mouth recommendation is always a good indication. Failing that you can look at the key areas that are likely to indicate the quality of their service. For example, ask these questions;
  • Do they offer guarantees of any kind on their results?
  • Do they proudly display testimonials from satisfied customers on their website?
  • What is their profile on the web like, can you find them easily?
  • Do they have detailed case studies explaining how they have helped other businesses?
  • Do they have a long-standing track record in the industry and wide client-base?
There is no real way to avoid making the wrong decision but if you keep learning more and more about website marketing you will be arming yourself with enough information to at least reduce the risk of choosing the wrong company.

About The Author
Mike Cheney, www.magnet4web.com ©
You can get free access to lots more of my articles plus a FREE Special Report "How To Turn Your Website Into A Customer Magnet" worth a value of £47 ($85) here: http://www.magnet4web.com/website_services/?page=freeguide

Monday, January 15, 2007

3 High-Impact Article Promotion Techniques for Your Home-Based Business

Are you using articles to promote your business? If not, you should be! Here are a couple of techniques you can use to get massive exposure.


P.S. To save years of failure and frustration as you look to create additional income from home. click here to download your free ebook, Success in 10 Steps http://www.mentormonique.successin10steps.com

3 High-Impact Article Promotion Techniques
by: Brett Krkosska

Well-written, tightly-focused articles are in high demand by thousands of online publishers. Why? Because publishers view good content as a value-added asset, enhancing their own brand awareness and deepening relationships with clients and customers.

As a content provider, you can attract a substantial and continuous flow of new prospects from online venues that might otherwise be inaccessible. And unlike other promotional methods, you get this traffic without spending a penny on advertising.

The three techniques below make it easy for publishers --your willing and enthusiastic partners-- to find and publish your material.

1. Syndicate Your Articles

Syndicating your articles makes it easy for site owners to put your content on their website. It's a real time-saver and totally hands-off for webmasters.

Automation is a big selling point of online syndication. The syndicating site simply inserts 2 lines of code on their web page, and your articles are distributed from your server to their web page automatically. You have total control over content and style, while the webmaster never lifts a finger again.

It's an ideal situation for you. Once a site agrees to accept your articles through syndication, you are freed from the job of marketing each article individually to the site owner. A marketer's dream!
For details on setting up your syndicated feed, read this article by William Bontrager:

http://www.homebiztools.com/syndication.htm

One of the first places to start marketing your syndicated feed is on your website. Post a sample article so others can see the quality of your work, and show them how to set up their web page to accept your articles.

For additional marketing muscle, solicit webmasters from the resource box of your article. Include a line to let them know your column is available for syndication.

Lastly, get listed in syndicated article directories such as those found at Freesticky.com and StickySuace.com. Traffic from directories is highly targeted and more likely to result in a syndication arrangement.

2. Publish Your Own News Channel

Your own news channel allows you to broadcast your content to the Web with one text file. The protocol to accomplish this is called RSS. This stands for Really Simple Syndication (or Rich Site Summary, depending on who you talk to). Weblogs are an example of content commonly available in RSS.

Once created, your RSS content file can be read by news aggregator programs. By registering with aggregator sites, your feed is indexed and made available for sites interested in receiving your feed. You can see my own news feed in action at NetBizHelpers.com.

Here are some excellent sites with articles on setting up and registering your news channel:
Mark Nottingham's RSS Tutorial

http://www.mnot.net/rss/tutorial/
Technology at Harvard Law

http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/tech/rss
O'Reilly XML.com

http://www.xml.com/pub/a/2002/12/18/dive-into-xml.html

3. Submit To Article Directories and Announcement Lists

Many publishers subscribe to announcement lists and browse article directories for content. High-quality articles are regularly picked up from these sources. It's not uncommon for a good article to be published in several ezines with combined readerships in the tens of thousands.
Here is a listing of popular spots to submit your articles online:

http://www.homebiztools.com/article-dir.htm
To begin posting your articles on announcement lists:

http://www.homebiztools.com/article-lists.htm
There you have it! Three great ways to market your articles and give publishers what they need, while you enjoy no-cost advertising.

About The Author
Brett Krkosska is a freelance writer and syndicated columnist. He is the owner and founder of http://www.HomeBizTools.com. an idea center for small/home-based business owners.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Assessing The Personality Profile of Your Home Business Prospects

Here is an article I recently wrote about how to relate to people more effectively when you talk to them about your home business. I hope you find it helpful!



P.S. To save years of failure and frustration as you look to create additional income from home. click here to download your free ebook, Success in 10 Steps http://www.mentormonique.successin10steps.com

Did you know there are distinct personality profiles that people have? This, of course, also includes the prospects for your network marketing home-based business.

The fact is, as you continue to build your business, it will be critical to understand the different personalities your prospects have. Understanding their profiles can not only have a huge positive impact on your business, but also your life.

Now, on the the four basic personality profiles.

Yellow-The Nurturers

Making up 35% of the population, yellows are involved in occupations such as nursing, teaching, social work, etc. When they give, they give with their whole heart. Usually, they don't have much time for themselves because they are so busy giving to others. Yellows have built very large organizations in network marketing when they have the confidence and belief in themselves that they can!

Working with Yellows

An important thing to remember is that yellows hate being sold to. They can't stand pushy, aggressive salespeople! When you are talking with a yellow, become a nurturer like they are. Slow down and don't be overexcited. If yellows see a lot of hype, they think they are receiving a sales pitch. Whatever you do, don't tell a yellow about earning thousands of dollars a month because this will turn them off.

Instead, just spend time visiting with them. Don't worry about presenting the business. Instead, talk about their families, their kids, and vacations. Yellows will let you know when they are ready to talk shop!

Blues-The Fun Loving

There is only one name for a blue: fun! They like fun and loads of it. Blues make up 15% of the population. They are highly creative people, and usually are involved in a sales business of some kind. They also have a tendency to jump from program to program.

When presenting your business to a blue, they usually can grasp the overall picture very quickly and don't need tons of details.

Working with Blues

When working with a blue, be excited! Talk about all the fun stuff: sailing, scuba diving, bungee jumping, skydiving, etc. You get the picture.

Blues don't mind talking about their family, vacations, and the like. They just love talking about the fun more. So rev up the fun thermometer when talking with a blue prospect for your network marketing home business!

Greens-The Analyzers

Greens are analyzers and make up 35% of the population. They are the types of folks that let business opportunities worth thousands of dollars go by because they analyze things to death.

Working with Greens

Greens think they are the most intelligent people around. In just a few minutes, you will be able to easily tell if you have a green prospect. Why? Because they will want to know everything!

Forget about selling to a green. They have to sell themselves on the home-based business opportunity. Greens will need to check everything out with a fine tooth comb. This includes the website and all the links in it, testimonials, conference calls, articles, etc. As you can see, you will need to be on your toes and have detailed information ready when working with a green.

Another thing to remember about greens is to speak very clearly, be upfront, answer all their questions, and send them to websites.

You do not need to call greens between phone calls. If you do, they likely will be abrupt and see you as pushy salesperson. Greens need to go at their own pace.

What usually happens is that in few weeks, they will call you for more information and to inform you they are ready to start.

Reds-The High Achievers

Reds are money motivated and money focused people. They make up only 15% of the population.

Don't even try to talk to a red about their families, vacations, and other personal issues. They just are not interested in talking about them.

Working with Reds

Reds are focused on the money. They are totally focused on sales and are the corporate CEO types, let's "get the job done now" people. Of course, everyone wants reds in their organizations!

However, its important to keep in mind that reds are not the mentoring and coaching types. Their egos are huge and they order people around. Reds want to do things their way. This type of attitude works well in the CEO world, but not well at all in the network marketing home business world!

So, there you have it. The four types of personalities that you will encounter when you get prospects for your home business. Interact with them based on their profiles, and you likely will see a huge difference in your sign-ups as well as in the activity of your downline.