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Topic: ebook

Terrible Birthday Results

A young rider at a horse show in Australia.Unless you are on my email list (where you get 20 free buzz marketing lessons), this will not make so much sense.

Early in the week I tried an experiment with my email list. I sent out an email where I packaged 3 ebooks into one file and sold them for $9. Just for one day (Actually a day and a half) and in a more personal way.

This blog post is the details of the way I did it and the results I got.

Before I begin, let me say THANK YOU to the people that are on my list.

To Begin With

Some basic params – The list is small, under 1,000 people because I purged it a year or so ago. While my list is small now, I usually enjoy a 40% open rate. I frequently get people asking me to resend one of the buzz marketing courses because they keep them all saved, refer back to them and send them to clients. (Nutty, I know, but thanks)

This whole campaign took me about 2 hours. Imagine if my list was bigger, the results would have been bigger too.

Negativity Boost

Anyone studying email marketing knows that a negative subject line gets a higher open rate. But that does not take the creativity out of it. It just means you can pique someone’s interest more. So my subject line was “How to have a terrrible birthday.”

49% Open Rate - And still climbing.

Study Emails you like to read

I have also been paying attention to the emails that I like to read – very closely.

Here is what I have noticed. I do not care if you are selling something or not. I respect that people need to make money. However, it is an absolute crime if you do not make it interesting for me.

I read emails where the personality shows through.

I read emails where I feel like I know the person and I believe they know what they are talking about.

I read emails if the person has made me laugh in the past.

I read emails if the person has helped me make money in the past.

What I do not read

I have some good friends and I am on their email lists. I like them, but I do not open many of their emails. Why?

  • I know they publish long articles – and I do not have time to read a random article or long newsletter.
  • They only use their email to sell stuff.
  • They never provide instant gratification – You know, those people that always invite you to free webinars or tease you with things you have to buy.
  • They do not write in an authentic voice.
  • They do not seem like real people when they write.
  • They do not make me smile.

So, I am telling you this because I really do have an email strategy, and the above observations play into it.

My goal is to build a list of people that enjoy reading my emails, find value in quick tips and articles and really know me even if they have not met me.

Can email make you a Celebrity?

Since that email two days ago, I have attended two business events. In both cases, people came up to me and told me how much they enjoyed the email. Were they daffy? It was a sales letter! Emails also poured in with people saying they could not wait to find out what happened.

The Ultra-Secret Trick

I am not here to tell you I made millions off of a $9 product. I had nearly a 50% open rate, nearly 50% of those people clicked the link to look at the product and about 8% of the people that opened the email purchased the ebook. Great percentages, but small list. I made about $300.

If you did not get the email, let me tell you this was a very personal and fun email to write. I talked about how we spend money on our kids for birthdays, but not much on ourselves. (Gee, do you think that hit a cord with a couple of people) I promised to spend whatever I made on myself for my birthday. Plus, the three ebooks were worth about $40 if bought separately, so it was a great, one day deal if you were interested in them.

The Ultra-secret trick was no ultra-secret trick. I told a personal story that entertained (at least some) people. They seemed to appreciate it and want to know more. I was selling something, but not tricking them into it. People do not seem to mind that. I know I do not mind that.

So how am I spending my bonus wealth?

#1 – My kids get to buy me something with part of it. So they are taking me horseback riding. I thought it was my birthday!

#2 – A group of normal stuff like dinner, some clothing (I have lost 50lb in the last year and need some 1/2 sized clothes, replacing everything is expensive.)

#3 – I am going to set aside a portion for a new video camera I want. Video is a great way to entertain and teach – and I am committed to doing more of it. I am just not equiped properly yet.

Again thanks. I feel really privileged to have such a responsive and interested group of people signed up for my emails.

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Insane Buzz Marketing Deal

I am trying a little experiment with my email list and blog.

I like to do experiments with marketing to see what works. This week I am doing a special experiment to see what happens.

I am a parent, and we spend money and do fun things on our kids birthdays, but not really on our own. I am guessing I am not the only one like that out there.

So in about 1 week I turn 40-something.

I decided to package three things together and make them insanely low priced.

Then I would offer it for one day only and whatever I make will be what I spend on this unwelcome day.

If I sell a few things, maybe we will go to the movies.

If I sell 1,000, I will go to the beach. It could happen – I don’t know how many of you will want to take advantage of $20 off of a $29 3-pack of marketing eBooks.

The 3-pack includes:

- Buzzoodle Buzz marketing – a PDF of the published book.

- Buzzoodle Buzz marketing Strategy Guide – PDF worksheets to improve your buzz stories.

- How to Look Smart, Important and Attractive Online – PDF on personal branding.

Coupon Code: bday – $20 off of the $29 cost.

Click Here

The coupon expires at11:59 PM on Sept 23rd.


Keep an eye on the Buzzoodle Blog later in the week and I will let you know what happens. I am not sure I will ever offer those three things for $9 again, so if you have been on the fence, this is a good time to jump down and buy.

As always, thanks for reading.

Ron

How to Make Money Blogging

New Writers HandbookI recently had an article published in the New Writer’s Handbook.  It was about how to make money with your blog.

The interesting thing about this is that it was just a blog post I did a while back.  They approached me and I made money with my blog because they paid for the article rights and I also got great publicity by being in a wonderful book with a lot of great writers.

If you read that past article, you will see why it applealed to them.  If you are wondering How to make money blogging, you have to realize the  answer is diverse.

I have made money directly from my blog in the following areas:

  • Book Sales
  • eBook Sales
  • Consulting
  • Speaking Fees
  • Membership Dues
  • Article Sales – as in this example of the article making it into a book.
  • Affiliate Links
  • Reviews (I do not do paid reviews, but I sometimes mention clients as part of the broader effort)
  •  Web hosting sales via our reseller opportunity.
  • Affiliate Members
  • Plus great JV opportunities that eventually lead to making money from the blog.

That does not even include all the great free PR and visibility we get.

You really need to make money blogging if you want to be able to justify the time and effort it takes to do a good job.  And if you want a good income blogging, find many different revenue steams and cultivate them.

Stop Wasting Everyone’s Time

is anyone listening? OK, this one will piss a couple of people off.

Why do so many developers keep thinking their social media network is something new.  Sure, they may have a new feature or two, but since most people want to keep it simple, maybe development is too easy and now we are all just having our time wasted by everyone trying to promote their version of the same old thing.

I am a huge fan of innovation.  I love new technology that is interesting and makes life easier.  I hate me too sites.

The same could be said for blogging.  So I do not consider myself immune on this.  When I started my company 10 years ago I was a true thought leader on education and technology.  Now I feel like a social media pimp.

On the one hand, I can really help people be successful online and in new media.  However, since most people that we help spend far less time than me doing this, they really only need basic advice.  So no pushing the envelope or looking at the broader picture of how these tools will shape the world and someday stop being a mess and start making life easier.

I am calling on the Developers and Writers of the world to Stop Wasting Everyone’s Time.

No more me too technologies.   Any website can be cloned – that is not the point.  Any slightly curious person can set up a social network – but are you making the world a better place or adding to the noise?

Welcome to the Age of Noise

Forget the Information Age.  We are now living in the Age of Noise.

Until some technologies pull together the diverse oppportunities and opinions better, we will all just continue to get more distracted, more frustrated and work more dilligently than ever to game the system  in our own little way.

I think the people at Google know this.  They have had this discussion and are building many different pieces and they will eventually be able to say, “The web is too noisy, just play in our universe and get more focused and valuable information.”

I do not mean today.  They are still learning evaluation techniques, what people find valuable, etc.  Eventually they will be able to pull all those pieces together.  Even now, think of the number of websites that they never generate traffic to because they do not rank highly.

The Death of Advertising

Lots of people got excited when it seemed formal advertising was on the way out.  It is only less effective because it has gotten lost in the noise.   Now it just needs to be in even more places to reach the same number of people.

But You Love Social Media?

Sure you do.  Doesn’t it feel good to know you have 2 new friends you have never met every day or 5 new followers – you must be very important and interesting.  The numbers make your feel good, but wouldn’t you trade 100 virtual friends for one real friend?

Thinking Deeper

There is so much noise and distraction that people are losing the ability to think deeply.  I am talking about relaxing someplace with no cell phone or computer and really puzzling out problems or interesting issues.   I am talking about the kind of thing that can solve big problems, not just contribute to minor marketing or productivity increases.

Humans are most interesting when they think deeply.  When you wonder why people are not responding well to you, maybe it is because you are just creating more of the same old noise, and it is only special to you because you created it.

Am I a Hypocrite?

Yes and no.  I have been taking some time off to go for walks or sit in the hammock, and really think like I used to.  I am going to keep going through the motions (I have to eat) but expect changes.  My passion is to change the world for the better, not to teach people how to use facebook.  I am still pondering how it will all fit together.

NOTE:  This is an official rant.

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How to get testimonials

Building of w:The Spokesman-Review and w:Cowle... I recently reviewed a new website called Briz.com.  I added an honest blog post about the product and today the owners of Briz added it to their testimonial page.

While I do not do these things every month, when something good comes up it does pay off big.

Look at this testimonial on PlanHQ. (Very good product, by the way)

That testimonial generates a few visitors every week, and has for two years I believe.  And it lists me in there with a bunch of high poweredpublishers.  Not bad.

So how do you get testimonials?  Or maybe the question is, how do I get a chance to give testimonials?

Here are some tips.

  • Have apolished business name/logo that will make itlook good on the testimonial page.
  • Offer testimonials for anything you try.
  • Write so that the subject can pull out some killer quotes.
  • Point out your review to the owners.
  • Send an email suggesting the quote they may want to use
  • Let them know they can use it as a testimonial and link back to the full article/review.
  • Let people know you are interested in reviewing things.

I have reviewed software, books, ebooks, companies, authors and speakers.  They do not all pay off with traffic, but when they do it is great and even if they do not, you have created some good content.

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Grow During a Recession

Hopefully by now you are getting some visibility as an expert in your industry via your blog and other web resources.

One of my favorite things to do is be a part of someone else’s efforts.  This gets easier as all the other visibility stuff kicks in.

For example, I was invited to submit a contribution to an eBook on growing your business in a recession.

The author made it easy by asking specific questions so that I could hone my message and spend minimal time contributing.  He gets free content, I get buzz, plus he is allowing affiliates to get 65% of the sale.

Note a bad deal for me since it only took a few hours to think about the issues and write my portion.  And since this has gotten rave reviews from business owners, it is selling well and I am getting buzz and visibility.

So how can you do the same thing?  Here are several ways.

  • Write a testimonial for something you like and send it to the company or person.
  • Write a guest post on someones blog.
  • Contribute to an ebook
  • Contribute to a book
  • Participate in a case study

When I get a testimonial, I love to promote it and the people that give it.  It really is a win/win.

This comes down to asking one simple question:  How can I encourage other people to market me?

It is easier than you think.

Social Media Careers

The old door...Are there really careers in social media and networking?

Thanks to Womma for pointing this one out – The 7 Best Jobs forFacebook Addicts.

The fact is, online social networks are places of vast influence.  Any company that wants to tap into these groups needs to either hire a full time person to just focus on these audiences, or  hire a Virtual Buzz Assistant to do it for them.

I find that the biggest problem to running a successful business on the web is that marketing takes up so much time that I sometimes forget about the product and the business.  Social Media sucks you in.  Hiring someone dedicated to only growing influence online is a smart move.

Marketing Hype and Coffee

I love coffee.  I drink 1-2 pots per day.  (My wife has 2 or so cups of the two pots, even though I tell her not not touch it.)

There are those occasional days that I drink too much and the coffee starts to taste bad.  No matter how much I love coffee, there is a point where I’d rather drink water to clean the palate.

It is no wonder that we are all so immune to marketing hype as well.  I get a lot of newsletters, read a lot of blogs and talk to a lot of people.   Opening an email and seeing “Ready to make millions?” or “Think of it as 1,000 miles per gallon.” creates a very tire, annoyed reaction.

If you want to be 100% sure that I delete your email without reading beyond the first sentence, start out with some hype.  I maxed out on hype years ago and I would rather eat dirt than read hype now.

And don’t invite me to waste an hour of my life in your sales pitch/webinar.  I might come if you are giving away the farm, but if you are just selling me something, keep it to a decision I can make without wasting more than 30 seconds.

I cringe at hype.  I know the sales cycle.  Let’s just cut to the chase and get on with life.  You either have something that will make my life MUCH easier, or you do not.

The funny thing is that most of us like to buy things.  But we do not like to buy everything and we hate to be SOLD.

Do you want me to read your email?

Start out like this in a text only email:

Hi Ron,

I read your blog regularly and get a lot of value from it.  I have something that I am certain will interest you (or your readers.)

Since you read my blog, it really might be true and I have to read your email.  Probably twice, because it makes me feel all warm and fuzzy.

If you are still trying to force people to drink their 50th cut of hype for the day, maybe it is time to become a human being and appeal to them by showing them you care.

PS:  Buy My EBook and Get Richer Than Warren Buffet

Starting a Business?

I am copying over my article from the Virtual Buzz Assistant Blog.  You might want to follow the link for two reasons -

#1 – If you or someone you know is thinking about starting a business, that Free Business Launchpad eBook will help.

#2 – To download the eBook, you sign up for an email tip list on creative ways to use virtual assistants to enhance your buzz marketing.  Now all the visitors here should be interested in THAT.

30 Day Virtual Assistant Business Launch Pad

Business Launch PadThinking about launching a Virtual Assistant Business?

I started out writing this eBook as a members-only kind of resource.  Then I realized it could be very valuable to anyone starting any kind of home-based or small business.

People were getting lost in what seems like overwhelming issues, so we lay it out day by day and make it easy to move from idea to income in 30 days.

We are giving it away.  Click here to get your copy.

Since we have launched several ventures, we know the basic stuff you need to get in place, and how important it is to focus on generating revenue quickly.  If you are thinking about starting a business or are trying to figure out what things need done for a business you recently started, this resource is for you.

Employee Evangelism vs Virtual Buzz Assistants

I have had a difficult dilemma over the years I have been advocating Employee Evangelism.  On the one hand, it is a great way to increase sales and visibility at no additional cost.  On the other hand, the cost could be huge if your employees spend all their time evangelizing and not doing their core job.

shama_pic Shama Hyder did a research study on Twitter and the results are unfortunately in favor of not doing Employee Evangelism.  While twitter can be a great tool for marketing, it is also a great way to procrastinate and escape from the daily grind.  I have to admit that I expected that.

I also see a huge opportunity here.  If people are in businesses wasting time on Twitter, that is a great audience for you to tap into.  That is why you may not want to have your employees using twitter at work, but you definitely want to hire a Virtual Buzz Assistant to help you develop and bond with a great group of time wasters.

A Virtual Buzz Assistant is not going to impersonate you, but you can always set up an account that represents your organization and develop an audience of followers that care about the twitter feed.

You should check out Shama’s blog as well for information on using FaceBook.

Added Later: John Cow talks about twitter as well – The debate rages.

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