HOW MANY WAYS TO PROMOTE? (Part 1)
By Mark Idzik
Is search engine positioning the best way to promote a site?
Using search engines is probably the most cost effective way
to gain traffic, but there are other ways to supplement
your promotion efforts. I recommend a mix of many methods
when promoting a site, depending on your time, goals, budget
Here's a list of my favorites:
-Opt-in Email (Online)
Unsolicted email is never recommended - don't try it. The
reputation you will earn is not worth the meager results.
Opt-in email is different. These are names of people who
request information on specific topics. They voluntarily
sign up to receive messages, so you have a very targeted
list of people who want to hear from you. Response rates
can vary on the offer, but from our experience and those
that we work with, 4-20% rates are not uncommon. This
of course depends on your email copy and the product
or service you offer.
The most important part of doing an opt-in email campaign
is your email "Subject Line" and message. Spend 4 times as
much on the "Subject" because if the person receiving it
doesn't open your email, it doesn't matter what's inside.
Avoid using "ADV", "$" signs and dollar amounts; many users
have messages with those characters in the subject line
filtered into the trash. Use a strong message and entice
the reader with a line that will make them curious enough
Make your email copy short (limit it to 2-3 paragraphs)
and include your URL on the top, middle and bottom of the
message. Create a special page on your web site for each
message you send so you can gauge your click-thru rate
When writing your copy, always remember, the reader is
looking for "what's in it for me?" Make sure to use the
words "you" and "your" and give them a reason to click
on your URL and visit your site. Put yourself in the
position of the reader. Are there enough reasons in this
email message to take action and go to the web site?
Be careful when you begin your search for an opt-in list.
Some list brokers offer "targeted" email lists, but they
aren't opt-in. To them targeted means they scanned usergroups,
discussion groups and web sites of a particular subject
matter, and extracted the email addresses from them.
Normally, the price will range from .15 to .30 cents per
name, so if you see a quote for much less, run quickly.
The leader in this field is PostMasterDirect. They maintain
over 2 million unique names with over 9000 lists. You can
search their database and target your market as close as
you'd like. We are both list owners and renters with
PostMasterDirect and have had excellent results on both
For more information, visit PostMasterDirect at:
One way to reach your potential market is to snail mail (US Mail)
them a postcard. Not any postcard, but a WebCard.
A WebCard is a postcard that includes a picture of your web
site on the front (including your URL if you'd like), and either
blank on the back, or printed with your custom message.
A WebCard is perfect to mail to:
- off-line customers (introduce them to your site)
- on-line customers (remind them of your site)
- past customers (announce your new web site)
- press contacts (great way to let them know about you)
- prospects that have inquired about your product or service
- association members
For example, at HelpTalk.com, we offer a postcard to visitors
who would like to share the resources at our site with their
clients, associates, family and friends. We regularly get
2-3 requests a week. Go to:
http://www.helptalk.com/cardrequest.htm to see it in action.
To request a free sample kit of WebCards, visit:
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