Browse Category


Internet Marketing And List Building ? It?s All About Getting Traffic


So, you?ve put together a great squeeze page. Your headline is a killer. Your bullet points are on it, and your opt-in box is all set up and ready to go. Your exited as now you have something to focus on, however, over the coming days and weeks you check you site stats and find that traffic is somewhat slow, if not non existent!

If this is true for you, then we need to discuss the ways to drive visitors to your squeeze page so that they have a chance to get onto your list. There are, of course, many ways to get traffic to your site and below are 5 methods that will not break the bank:-

1. Article writing/submission: This is a great method for generating traffic as it gives you a chance to show people you know what you are talking about and it is also a no cost option. When people read the information they’re looking for in one of your articles, they’re more likely to follow the links in them and come to your site. The more you write the more you start to establish yourself as an expert in you field. This makes people want to learn all they can from you.

2. Paid Ezine Ads: Ezine ads are like the small 3 ? 5 line ads you see in you local newspaper or in the back of magazines. The only difference being that they are circulated via online newsletters or mailing lists. They can be a great source of traffic as you can place your ads with newsletters that target your market of interest. They are also inexpensive with prices starting from $15 per ad. You can find Ezines by searching at Google for a keyword in your particular niche plus the word ?ezine?. When you find some, you want to target the ones that have the most subscribers for maximum exposure.

3. Viral Video: A short video about your marketing niche can be posted to the various video sharing sites, such as You-Tube. If your video gives some great information, and/or is funny and entertaining, you’ll see traffic coming to you site from this source. Also, others may put your video all over the web leading to a viral effect. Although most of the top video sharing sites do not allow you to link directly to your site, you can still get your URL placed visually in your video making it visible.

4. Pay-per-Click (PPC) Advertising: Google AdWords is the most well know and most responsive in the pay per click (PPC) world. Although this is a paid traffic generation method, you have total control over your spending. However, unless you know exactly what you are doing, this would not be my first recommendation to you for getting more traffic. PPC ads appear in search engine results pages on the right hand side (often referred to as sponsored links). You only pay for the ad if someone clicks on it and so can be very effective. However, as this type of advertising is used by many large corporations who have massive advertising budgets, it can be difficult to get the right balance between visitors and cost.

5. Blogging: Write a blog about what you know about your niche. Again, when you give great information, readers will be more likely to go to your squeeze page to learn more about you, and so opt-in to your list. You can also put an opt-in box directly on your blog, maybe on the sidebar, allowing people to join your list from there, too.

Using these 5 traffic generation methods will greatly increase the amount of traffic you get coming to your squeeze page. However, there are many other ways you can try, as well. The idea is that you have to do something. Traffic is the life blood of any online business. Without it you WILL fail.

Headshots in the Times of Covid

Photography has always been important in marketing, but since the lockdown, and with all the mess that came after that, small and medium businesses have found renewed interest in having great images to reach their audiences. Claudia Hoag, from Hoag Studio in Los Angeles, has witnessed this rush to business headshots, increasing as the lockdown continues to enforce online interactions. “The value of professional headshots has always been there,” says Hoag, “but suddenly the small biz entrepreneurs have realized the advantage they get from this instant connection.” Working with tighter budgets and with greater flexibility and speed of changes, these businesses are quick to realize where their best bets are, and the personal connection brought by a human face is very clear by now. The marketing guru Seth Godin has warned us that “people don’t buy goods and services; they buy relationships, stories, and magic.” By offering a person’s face as an introduction, a business is much closer to a personal relationship with the viewer. There is a lot that is communicated through displaying the actual face of the person providing the products and services.

Hoag Studio Business Portrait

That is not to say that most business owners are eager to step in front of a camera. “Being photographed, especially in these conditions – by a professional headshot photographer, to represent your products or services – can be very uncomfortable,” says Hoag, who has a headshot photography studio in Los Angeles, California. “It’s my belief that the photographer needs to interact with that person in front of the camera, and if needed actually coach them into delivering a relaxed, authentic expression of themselves, if that makes sense,” she explains. Acacia Reed, Chief Operating Officer at L.A. Care Health Plan, was particularly hesitant about having pictures taken, before her headshot session with Hoag. “I had an amazing time, Claudia was so patient with me – I was marble stiff,” says Reed, “and she really helped me to actually smile!”

It is also good to keep in mind the goals established for those portraits, and see the image creation as a team work. Each business has their specific characteristics and ideas that they need to come across in their photos, and each person brings something that is their own, their personality and their vision. And added to it, there’s the photographer’s style and interpretation, so both work together. Jonathan Pedrick from Pacific Palisades points that out, when he mentions how he went from being tentative to actually getting engaged in the headshot session. “I was nervous but that all went away as we started working,” Pedrick describes, adding that “pretty soon it felt like a mutual collaboration and it was a really fun time in the process.”

Hoag Studio Portrait

Another point that Hoag emphasizes is the necessary health safety precautions. Currently, photoshoots are done without extended team members such as hair and makeup personal, but with distancing, proper disinfection, and having the photographer wearing a mask at all times, it is still possible to obtain those great pictures that help business owners network and connect with their potential clients and investors.

Social Media Exposes The Corporate Psychopath


Truth or dare.

We dare you (CMO, brand manager, PR-communications specialist, CRM manager, or whoever you are) to have your company authentically enter into the innovative realm of online social media, the world of Facebook and other networking sites (or as it is known in shorthand, Web 2.0).

Not ready yet? Afraid you won’t have control of what happens? C’mon, we double dare you.

Still, not that daring? O.K. If you won’t take the dare, you have to tell the truth. Is your company customer-focused?

“Yes, of course” (you answer without thinking). Seriously now, be honest. Does your institution really care about its customers or only about itself? “Our customers,” you reply.

We believe you. But what we believe doesn’t matter. And the fact is, survey after survey says your customers don’t believe you. Ever.

The reason is obvious. Your organization is seen as a corporation, and corporations in the eyes of most people are evil. Large companies?with a 13% approval rating?rank just above Congress and law firms when people are asked to list the most admired institutions in America, according to Harris Interactive.

In fact, if people were to anthropomorphize your organization, your firm would be seen as highly antisocial at best and psychopathic at worst.

The impassioned polemic, otherwise known as the movie The Corporation, asked people to describe big business.

Among their answers:

? “Self-interested”

? “Inherently amoral”

? “Callous and deceitful”

? “It breaches social and legal standards to get its way.”

? “It does not suffer from guilt.”

Sure, the movie has an anticorporate slant. But Harris Interactive chose its people at random?companies would not have scored at the bottom of the pack if those surveyed thought of workplaces in the same light as Mother Teresa.

So this is what you are up against. People think companies are inherently bad. It’s no wonder they don’t believe you when you say you are customer-centric, no matter how many times you profess you are.

But you can change that. The 21st century, with wikis, blogs, and the millions of niche online communities, etc., allows us to create a more level playing field when it comes to customer relationships. It’s now possible for us to share with consumers what we as companies are really all about and what we believe, face-to-face, so to speak.

That’s a big responsibility. Is your company up to it?

The bad news is you can’t hide from these innovations. They are now part of the daily fabric of most of your customers’ lives. Even more bad news: If you’re opting out, by default your absence will brand you as antisocial and insincere when it comes to being customer-centric.

The good news is that the innovative technology you need to use is the easy part. The better news is if your intentions are authentic, your marketing budget is certain to experience exponential efficiency with infinite potential. And the best news, thanks to breakthrough software such as , is that it’s all measurable and trackable with real-time flexibility and control. (Full disclosure: we think Shoutlet is so wonderful we have invested in the company?nothing like putting your money where your mouth is.)

What are the fundamentals you need to master in this new world? There are three.

? Phase 1: Architect a Proper Presence

First, you need to identify where your target is and which communities are important to them. You want to be where your customers, and potential customers, hang out. Having identified those places, you need to understand the conventions and etiquette of those environments. Every site is different, but if you keep the following in mind, you won’t go too far astray. Do figure out ways to foster, nurture, and support the community you are interacting with. Don’t even think about a hard sell.

? Phase 2: Gain Credibility Based on Your Target’s World View

The content you enter in the social media arenas must be carefully selected and composed with that environment in mind. Your message and content need to be all about them and what you can do to make their lives better. This means: “Help Them, Don’t Sell Them.” Be unconditionally generous. Visit Nike, one example of a company that does this well, to see what it’s done for runners.

If we are adequately entertaining and educating customers, they will seize the opportunity to fully engage. They will share this content and perhaps even build on it?whether you invite them to or not?because that’s what social beings do.

When engagement reaches this level of co-creation, we move into the third phase:

? Phase 3: Co-Creating Dialogue Where Your Company Reaps the Benefit of Exchange

Once we have defined and built the right presence, along with crafting the appropriate, engaging content, we can begin fostering true exchange of ideas and emotions.

We can build promotions, campaigns, and dialogue based on user-generated content, and empower our customers to not just be a part of our story, but to erase the line between “us” and “them.”

It’s important for your company to build a presence in social media. These new communities are irrevocably changing the landscape for marketers and how we communicate. Increasingly we are being charged with delivering ideas that engage and influence the people in these living, breathing, and highly responsive human communities. For advertisers, this presents both a unique challenge and opportunity: We need to integrate our message and presence effectively, profitably, and appropriately into social media communities.

The presence you build within social media will be analyzed, scrutinized, and perhaps criticized. However, entering this territory?which is controlled by the digital swarms of consumers and their communities?with the right voice and then nurturing that conversation in a manner authentic to your brand, your products, and your customer will ultimately have a far greater positive impact on your level of opportunity over the existing risks. In fact, the greatest risk is being absent from that conversation in the first place while your competition gains a powerful foothold.

G. Michael Maddock is founding partner, and Raphael Louis Vit?n is president, of Maddock Douglas, a company that invents, brands, and markets products “for companies driven by innovation.” .

What Are The Secrets To Success In Niche Marketing


Article writing has become fashionable of late. Search engines have changed the means they rank net sites and have started to put a stronger worth on smart content. Correction: they need been converted into higher at filtering out business subject matter, sales pitches, and publicity posing as content. If you would like to create an epic flow of traffic to all of your sites and boost your online sales using a self contained traffic system then you should take a look at what Keith Baxter and Jon Shugart are saying in my Epic Traffic Systems amazingly good methodology of achieving a net authority with good matter is that of article writing. Why? It provides the subject matter that the search engines are wanting for. It offers significant substance for the individual looking the net for good information. And it offers an opportunity where the article author will be noticed on the internet.Where does niche promoting come in? Initial of all, lets outline niche promoting as selling that’s designed to satisfy the wants of a small cluster of people (a distinct segment), rather than the mass desires of individuals. For example, a specific sort of pet owner, a specific sort of net user, or a specific religious religion may be thought-about niche niche markets like these, ancient varieties of mass Web selling, such as banner ads, classifieds, and traffic generation programs, aren’t as effective. The mass advertising forms are a lot of additional effective, value-wise, when plugging a product that has wide market what does the niche marketer do? Assuming he includes a net presence, and offers a quality product or different resolution to the niche customer’s wants, he can become involved in article writing. The articles would be of a explicit interest to the niche customer. They would contain valuable information that the niche customer cannot realize anyplace else.Generally article writers will write generic articles that basically don’t give any real profit to the reader, thinking that an article is an article. That is merely not true. Assume concerning yourself. Once you read a piece, if you are doing not learn something new after you browse the article, are you disposed to learning more concerning the person, company, or product represented by the article writer? The explanation to writing articles for a distinct segment market and effectively earning net presence by doing it, is to put in writing quality. Fill the article with useful information. Demonstrate the reader that you actually are an professional in your niche. Provide the reader a burning need to need to hear additional of what you have to mention concerning their need. And the only means you’ll be able to create that blazing want is to administer them quality data in the primary place.Sensible, well-written, articles are the key to niche promoting in today’s Web promoting environment. Write articles, submit them to the foremost-used article databases, and watch your net site traffic grow. Note: You’ve got my consent to reprint and hand out this article so long as it’s distributed in its entirety, including all links.Further ResourcesArticles Hold The Key To Success In Niche Marketing Articles Hold The Key To Success In Niche Marketing Do Articles Hold The Key To Success In Niche Marketing

Information About Article Marketing – An Overview Of A Process That Really Works!


Information about article marketing – If you’re looking for any kind of information about Article Marketing today, you’ve probably had no luck finding a process that really works.

Well, the information about article marketing that I’m going to give you in this article really does work. And I’ll spell it out for you, FR*EE!

Most information about article marketing consists of a plan that probably involves a variation of the process (information about article marketing ) that I use and recommend:

1) You find the niche market that you’re going to target.

2) You do keyword research to evaluate your market to make certain it’s viable and profitable.

3) You put together a basic website.

4) You start writing articles based around certain keyword phrases you’ve targeted in Step #2.

5) You add new pages to your website written around the different keyword phrase in Step #4.

6) You rewrite the article and then submit the new version of the article to a number of Article Directories where it will quickly draw Google’s attention because, for whatever reason, Google loves these particular 7 Article Directories (hence the name “Big 7”).


Quick Tip: Step #6 is essential to your plan of attack (the information about how to improve your article marketing). However, you’ll find it takes a lot of time & effort to submit your articles to the “Big 7”. That’s one reason I developed my software “Your Article Marketing Assistant”. It makes the tedious parts of the process as easy as possible. It turns a tedious (but necessary) process into a “Semi-Automatic” process that gives you the control that purely manual article submissions do along with some automated processes that make the process faster & easier! You’ll get the best of both worlds!


7) After creating a number of articles and submitting them to the “Big 7”, you then start submitting the website itself to a number of Website Directories that accept submissions.

Here’s the theory behind all of this information about article marketing in a nutshell.

You want your website to show up in the Natural Search Engines Ranking Pages (SERPs) of the Big Three Search Engines (Google, Yahoo! And MSN).

Gaining Incoming Links will make your website more & more visible in the Natural SERPs which is what we are after. Incoming Links are one way links that are on other websites that point towards your Home Page. Links that you trade with other websites are called “Reciprocal Links” and while they’re good, especially from other websites in your niche market, they’re not considered to be as good as pure Incoming (one way) Links.

Steps #4 & #5 combine to do a number of things. The “Big 7” that I suggest submitting your articles to are recognized very strongly and quickly by all three of the major Search Engines. One of the things accomplished by Steps #4 & #5 is to gain Incoming Links from very well respected sources.

The entire point of Step #7 is to begin getting a massive amount of Incoming Links pointing towards the Home Page of your website. The more links you can get, the better – hence use of the term “Massive”.


Quick Tip: You’ll find Step #7 to be labor-intensive and boring. That’s why I developed “Your Article Marketing Assistant” – to make the process faster & easier!

My software makes it quick & painless to submit your website to almost 500 Website Directories and it’s not done in a way to make it seem like an automated submission (most Website Directories frown on automatic submissions.) Our package is a “Semi-Automatic” method that combines the attention to detail that you get with purely manual submissions while automating the task a bit to make it much, much faster and easier.


Article Marketing (done properly the way I’ve suggested) is one of the most powerful SEO techniques in use today, the end of February 2007.

When coupled with Website Submission to the directories I suggest (the 2nd prong of this powerful 2-Pronged Attack Plan, you have one of the most powerful strategies for quickly and easily getting a website indexed in the Natural SERPs being employed today!

Finding an SEM Company


SEM Business Blueprint is a new product recently released by the gurus of internet marketing, Tim and Steve. Their new product elaborates the important and crucial issue of search engine marketing for businesses online. Search Engine Marketing is online advertising, web presence optimization and reputation management of a business in order to attract new prospects and increase profits. Therefore, whether you are small business needing local marketing or a large corporation with national goals your reputation is your business.

A key point to remember about the search engines is that a company’s “competition” is not necessarily its “sworn business rival” down the street or across town that draws from its customers. In terms of search engines, the “competition” is any website, link, document, advertisement, etc. that is ranked above the business’s website, or showing up within a page or two of the business’s search engine listing for a given keyword phrase. Running an ad campaign can require careful analytics to optimize the click-through, and this is easier done through an agent acting on your behalf, as managing an advertising campaign can distract you from looking after your own business.

You would think that the extra value added by SEM would make it much more expensive. But really, this is kind of a myth. Here’s the deal-with SEM, you’re already getting SEO, so that’s kind of like a built in cost. This leaves the added “expense” of the long-tail Pay-Per-Click component. It is very different from the typical internet marketing products. The product teaches ways to tap into a rewarding market of the traditional business world. The product is very useful for the seasoned marketers as well the newbie’s who want to discover ways to earn money by providing valuable marketing services to offline businesses. There is a huge demand for this service in today’s market as this is the main method that prospective buyers are using to find what they need, which is through searching on Search Engines.

By providing this service to businesses, you fulfill their needs of allowing their prospects to find their websites easily, and they are willing to pay high, recurring wages for this type of service. Money has been tight and finding the best marketing possibility was tedious, but I came upon this Turn-Key Opportunity of an SEM (Search Engine Marketing) Business that comes stuffed with everything someone needs to start their own SEM Business in their Community. You also receive the website template Steven uses for his business – as a bonus, along with spreadsheets and formulas for budgeting, and PowerPoint presentations used to gain new clients. SEO is the part of online marketing strategy and it revolves around on how search engine works and how people use them. SEO begins from coding of a site to its presentation. The content and structure is the most vital part of SEO. All efforts are aimed to develop sites that are search engine friendly and to get top ranks when searched.

Discover How To Drive Traffic To Your Site | Discover How To Earn Money On The Web


Generating good content is not magic, but it is an indispensable skill to master. Here are some of my top tips that work well for me, and will for you too.

1. Have a point. Of course you need great material to bring traffic to your blog or domain but there is something you must do first.

It’s indispensable to have a objective before you start writing anything at all. You need to know what you want to get out of what you produce, whether that’s to drive more visitors to your site or to educate and inform your market.

2. Focus on getting it right first time. Of course this doesn’t happen without preparation, but take an instance from a daily newspaper journalist. Their deadlines mean they don’t get time to write, edit, re-write and touch up their copy, so they have got to get it as right as they can first time round.

This is particularly vital for any copy to your blog posts; they should be 95% right the first time you write them.

I know that speed and implementation are the toughest part of being an entrepreneur, and the biggest reason most people aren’t’ doing well. Being a perfectionist is not a good idea in commerce, good enough will do better than perfection every single time so do not fritter away time ‘perfecting’ your copy, just get on with it.

A bonus to this method is that if you really center on getting things right first time then you you don’t have to go back and fix them later.

3. Force demanding but realistic targets on yourself. It’s quality not quantity that counts here, so your aim should be to generate and share that every single day.

4. Give sound bites, not manifestos. A really great illustration of this is Twitter – you have to put your point across in140 characters, or less,. That forces you to be concise and to the point.

Most inboxes are filled to capacity and your message is easily lost so generate your emails short and punchy.

Save the big ideas for the right medium and time when your clientele have the time to sit down and take it in.

5. Have a point of view. people buy from individuals they trust, and they won’t trust you unless they feel they know you.

I know I say you have to have speed and execution, but it also has to have something of your own personality in there. people are interested in your thoughts and opinions on the topic, so don’t generate it neutral and bland but state your views clearly as someone who has a genuine interest in the topic.

6. The Insiders Scoop. This follows on from the previous point, because in order to become an authority to your prospects and customers you want to earn a real connection with them. people love to have the insider view, and you can give that to them, so tell them as much of your life and experience as you can.

BUT, it must have a point to it that is relevant to your market or product.

7. Always summarise! Back to school here. You remember with essays you were always told to ‘tell them what you’re going to tell them, tell them it and then tell them what you’ve told them.’

That is so true for material creation as well because you will make the greatest impression on your reader by repeating key points and making your message unmistakeable, and unforgettable.

A Residual Income Opportunity Through Affiliate Marketing


Some inndividuals may have heard or been involved in a residual income business opportunity in one fashion or another. Do you really understand what the “residual income” concept is? It also known recurring income and is an income that is generated over and over for the one time effort that you have put into your business at the very beginning.

The conventional residual income that we used to hear about comes in the form of being a movie star, writer or a singer. Now, not everyone of us is gifted enough to be an artist. Some have also ventured into real-estate. They rent out properties or apartments and collect rents as a source of residual income. This is a good way to go if you have the resources, but then not so many people can do that.

The residual income opportunity that I am most interested and involved with is online affiliate marketing programs. It is because I don’t need to go through the trouble of creating my own products and aslo no customer service to worry about. I don’t have to worry about getting a brick and mortar warehouse for my goods. But the best of all, is that the start up cost is extremely low compared to an offline business.

There are plenty of reputable and reliable companies that offer affiliate marketing programs with online residual income opportunities. The variety of products and services available are just amazing. There are affiliate programs that offer membership sales and even more offer digital downloadable products as well as physical products. You can start generating multiple streams of residual income by promoting just a few of these products.

You need to focus on promoting and selling items that you have an interest in. Statistics show that about 98% of online business owners give up on their businesses within the first 3 months of their business venture. Now, by being involved in an online business that is related to your interests, you will not get bored or de-motivated that easily when faced with obstacles along the way. As your business begins to grow and progress along the way, you can try several other promotions and expand your residual income.

This is a way that you will see the benefits of generating multiple streams of residual income in your home based business. After you sell these products or services and as long as your customers continue with the purchase, you will get paid. You sell once and get paid continuously. The more affiliate programs with residual income opportunity that you promote, the more profits you will generate. You just have to leveraged your time with your effort and this is an early retirement strategy you can bet on.

So, generating multiple residual income streams with affiliate marketing programs is a very powerful concept. Your will need to find companies that offer residual income opportunities that are legitimate and pays a substantial percentage of commissions. You need to also look for companies have been arounf for awhile and are reliable and prompt in paying out commissions. You can also receive your residual income checks for years to come.

Copyright (c) 2008 Jim Suzak

Rewriting Articles Maintaining Originality


There are so many rewrites floating across the web these days that one would often wonder whether there is anything left that is original. However, when it comes to writing qualitative and attractive rewrites, it would be an altogether different proposition. To be attractive and qualitative, rewriting has to be like the original article writing which means whatever is rewritten should maintain its originality despite the rewrite. Tremendous Growth of Internet Over the Last Few Years One of the reasons for massive growth of original and rewritten articles is the tremendous growth of Internet over the past few years. Such growth of Internet has resulted in growth of websites and huge competition in the market for grabbing the attention of the viewers. In result there has been a consequential growth of many article writing services on the web.

Thousands of Pages Appearing Every Moment; Not All Are Original Some of the features of Internet are – Why and How Article Rewriting Became Popular on the Web But why was article rewriting introduced and how it became so popular on the web. Several reasons have contributed to this. Different Versions of Same Article for Different Purposes One can have different versions of the same article for different purposes. It includes submission of articles to directories or publishing them on high traffic websites. In fact; in such cases the rewriters serve the purpose of SEO article writing by helping out the search engine optimization process. Is the Practice of Rewriting Unethical? One question that is pertinent is whether the rewriting practice is unethical.

While they may not be equivalent to stealing some other’s articles, they are not really ethical in nature. Most important part of it is that it does not violated copyright and at the same time uses the creation of others for own benefits of the rewriter or his and her employer. Rewriting One’s Own Articles is Not Unethical However, there is a great difference if you are rewriting your own article. In such cases it is something you have created after research and analysis from the scratch and you have every right to rewrite it in any way you like without going for the new article writing. This again is neither legal nor ethical if you already transferred the article for price to someone else who now owns the copyright. It has to be also remembered that search engines prefer unique contents and will not like the copied contents in any way.

Not Your Standard Marketing Mix


Not too long ago, a postcard mailing or a telemarketing campaign may have raked in sales. While those techniques can still serve specific functions, we?re in a whole new world, marketing-wise. Product placement has taken over large chunks of the television ad budget. Companies are sponsoring major events ? and even the stadiums where they take place. With texting, email, ezines, AdWords, and other media supplanting traditional ad venues, you?ve got more to think about when planning your marketing mix.

To be successful today, utilize many tools and mediums to create your own custom blend ? in other words, a ?marketing mix? that zeroes in on of customers. Think of it like a cup of gourmet coffee. It might require a little more effort to get it right, but the reward is far richer than the ordinary brew.

In the B2B market, think about how your buyers get their information. Are they reading the trade journals? Do they get their news online? Are the actual buyers seeing direct mail pieces or is someone filtering it for them? Do you know which trade shows they attend? Do you have an emailing resource that can get through the spam blockers? Have you optimized your Web site to so that the search engines are giving you a high page ranking? And what about the many ways you can use the Internet to boost sales? Podcasts, blogging, article directories, and pay-per-click are worth considering, depending on your products and target audience.

Because your company is unique in its offerings and your buyers have specific needs, there is no magic formula guaranteed to generate leads and increase sales for all resellers. It?s your job as a smart business person to blend the mix that works best for you by leveraging what you have and plugging holes where you fall short.

To determine your ideal combination, start by mirroring the mindset of the people you want to reach. If they are mostly Internet-savvy customers adept at collecting information and making comparisons online, provide the immediate information they want or you risk losing sales. If they still value a face-to-face interaction, be ready to accommodate their preferences in your mix.

If you?re not sure which marketing tool your customers prefer, look to your database. (Hint: Approximately 70-80 percent of all sales came from existing customers, so keep your database current!) Update the data if it?s dusty ? even if that means creating a small mailer with ?Return Service Requested?. The invalid addresses bounce back, allowing you to refresh your database, a smart investment for any list that has not been updated for two or more years.

With your database in order, segment your markets into meaningful categories. How many customers bought from you in the last year? Two years? Look at response rates to previous marketing efforts. What are you trying to achieve with the particular marketing method(s) you are considering? Acquire new customers? Write orders? Position yourself as an expert? Your desired results may dictate which method you should use.

When preparing your marketing mix, start by making a list of all the options available to you, like direct mail, email, telemarketing, trade shows, advertising, and publicity. Be specific. Make the Internet one category, as a means of ways to drive traffic to your site. Then put ?Web site? as another topic so you place the necessary emphasis on tending to your valuable site and not letting it stagnate.

Next to each category, list specific actions to use each method. Make another column where you will identify both the cost of the effort and the desired return. This will help you evaluate the best use of your marketing dollars.

While you?re exploring new components for your marketing mix, don?t abandon those that have performed well for you. Stick with what works, whether it?s a ?free trial? telemarketing campaign, a trade show promotional giveaway, a series of articles distributed to Web sites your customers frequent, or cool stuff on your own Web site. Many companies are getting good results with informative podcasts, audio testimonials, and screen captured demos. Whatever your customers respond to, repeat it!

Finally, once you?ve established your marketing mix, take the time to periodically assess it. Capitalize on campaigns with good response rates, and weed out anything that proved to be ineffective. Remember, each technique has a place in the mix, but no single method will be adequate to sustain you.

Finding your own marketing mix is not difficult. Simply give your customers what they want, how and when they want it. Do that and sales will escalate.