Split testing

Now here’s an interesting question… Which do you think brings the most profit?

A discount of 10% offered to 5000 people or a discount of 15% offered to a different group of 5000 people?

If you want the answer to this you can find out at the Super Forum – Profitable Internet Marketing event being held at the Village Hotel in Ashton on Wednesday 7th March 2012.

For more info on this event look here

Profitable Internet Marketing Super Forum – Wednesday 7th March 2012

We’re really excited with the news about a Profitable Internet Marketing Super Forum event on Wednesday 7th March 2012 at the Village Hotel in Ashton.

If you have any interest in the Internet and most people do, then this could be the seminar you’ve been waiting to attend. If business is slow on the Internet… You’ll learn how to speed it up, if you lack a mailing list…. You’ll learn how to build one, if you need to just step up your Internet presence you’ll find that this event will fill you with ideas to achieve just that.

This is not your regular run of the mill, standing in front of a power point lecture…. This is the real deal!

You’re going to get the opportunity to attend a live event that dispels the myths and shows you techniques used to bring genuine traffic to your website and sales. the event is interactive with the chance to discuss with fellow delegates your Internet challenges and successes.

This is a full one day event that includes unlimited tea, coffee, cold drinks, pastries and of course a carvery lunch…. And to top it all off you can even go for a swim at the end of the day to help you relax.

This is a workshop with a difference but you can read all about it here

I hope you’ll be as thrilled as I am. I run my own online mail order business and you’ll get to see tricks and tips from that and from the hundreds of clients that my hosting company looks after.

This is a no nonsense event, dealing with the real hard day to day issues that we all face.

There will be web critiques, live conference calls, training on Adwords, analytics, keywords, email marketing, social media and much much more.

The event is live and engaging, by that I mean that you will see real live techniques that I’ll show you directly over the Internet using the hotels wifi.

Oh by the way the wifi is free to use at this venue and the cost for the full day with free parking, beverages, lunch and materials is just £149 plus VAT per delegate, but if you book right now the event has an early bird discount of £30 plus VAT making the delegate cost to you of just £119 plus VAT, just use the code PIM30DSF when making the booking. The early bird offer ends at midnight on 9th February 2012.

There are limited places to this event so you need to make a note in your diary now and book your place to guarantee that 2012 is a better year than most people are expecting.

To book just go here

Any questions please call 0161 766 1742.

Looking forward to seeing you there.

Retail Price or Discounted Price?

We live in a cruel world that appreciates the need to make a profit to help make the world go round, but then what do we all do??? We look for the cheapest we can find.

This weekend I ran an interesting experiment.

First of all I emailed 10,000 of our subscribers for one of my websites www.aquatics-online.co.uk and offered a gift that would expire on the 30th November at midnight.

I sent one half of the list a 10% discount voucher code and the other half 15% discount voucher code.

I also included in the email the website address three times, title, top of email and signature block. Unfortunately I made a mistake in the url in the signature block and I received a number of emails telling me my mistake. So I sent another email apologising, but did not include the voucher code.

The result … astounding.

4 orders used the 10% discount code 51 orders used the 15% discount code!

So what was really different here? I guess on the face of it you could just say that 10% was not as much as 15% … but you would not expect such a high response would you?

I looked back at my email. The email explained about recent changes, it talked of wanting to build loyalty and genuinely appreciated the business that we get. As a gift to you .. the reader.. I was giving you this 15% discount voucher code limited that could be used to purchase anything off the website, but not against carriage.

Why not just discount the price to begin with by 15%? Because as I have always argued I believe that most buyers evaluate the purchase on more than just the price. It is the perceived value, the service, the quality of information and the interaction that takes place with human rather than machine.

So if you are considering just dropping your prices, perhaps consider the less obvious. Create scarcity, in a limited timed window and make the offer a genuine one. Who know you might get more than you bargained for!

Internet World and what was on offer…

Well once again I found myself visiting Internet World 2011 held at Earls Court in London.

This is a fascinating exhibition where those offering the latest thoughts on Internet Marketing and activities can be found.

Of course there are more No1 SEO companies in this one room room than anywhere in the world! Everyone has the answers, everyone has their take on what you should do, what you shouldn’t do and why what you’re currently doing is wrong, not enough or even in one case too much!

Internet Marketing is without doubt one of the most fascinating subjects on the planet right now with regards to improving bottom line profits and ROI (return on investment).

So who is right. And how do you know if what you’re being told is correct.

Well if I wanted to know which was the the best and most recommended oil that I should use in my car, I would go to the manufacturer and ask.

There are times of course when new solutions come along that improve on old thinking, but in these cases you should look for what is tried and tested.

In the case of SEO all the No1 companies had their own take on what should and shouldn’t be done, but what they all failed to say to me was simply do everything that Google says is good practise and you’ll get good listings.

Even Googles own Webmaster tools give you guidance about your site, the problems experienced and which keywords the site is found under.

Of course if you’re selling apples and only talk about pears you have a problem, so picking the right words and phrases is critical.

Had lengthy one to one discussions with Facebook about business use and integration. Including discussions on advertising.

Discovered bizzy.co.UK where we can do free credit checks.

Also take a look at this website called etracker.co.UK they demoed the most fascinating analytics software I have ever seen. Take a look.

A lot of people pushing email marketing at very high costs but very clever tracking and many SEO companies including services from India.

Quite a lot of companies offering hosted solutions like Rackspace, but overall not interesting but not overly stimulating.

Would I go again…. Yes.

One day deals… So whats the catch?

Funny us humans the more you are told you can’t have something the more you want it. The more exclusive the more desirable.

And so it is in this world we live in, exclusive, precious, short supply and limited availability cause us often to behave in what we describe as irrational behaviour.

Look at the Olympics well over subscribed, but the 100 metre final where that limited number of seats created such demand amply demonstrated obsessive behaviour by individuals that most likely never watch athletics.

An offer in your emails to your subscribers or on your website demand more than a good deal. Think about this, if you can get a deal on a new product with 50% off at anytime for the next 10 years is it. Deal? Don’t think so.

But create a timed window where the primary deal is only available for a short period and you create a demand.

But what is the true effect of the one day deal? Does it bring Brand loyalty to the table? Maybe. What about new customers and long term at that?

So whats the point? Why give away a wacking great big discount when that buyer may not stay loyal?

Basically you should consider the one day deal as nothing more than an acquisition cost. You likely won’t make any money on the deal, but left with no prospects coming to try your wares you will be unlikely to increase your customer base.

So is a one day deal any good for your business? Why not? Seems to me you can’t lose.

How to breath sales back into your products and services

With literally hundreds of clients I often hear that “Sales could be better”.

My answer… “”What are you doing about it?”

Look, there is no point in you complaining that business is bad and you have a lack of sales if you are really not making an effort to stimulate sales and breathing life back into old products and services. There is some value to someone somewhere. But how do you bring those sales in? What makes the difference?

Well, let’s start at the beginning of the entire process…… I mean way back to the very beginning.

The idea, the concept, the sourcing of materials and the entire creation began way before you put it on sale. No matter what your selling, you need to enthuse to those around you as the salesman did when you first made the decision to offer the product or service.

Your customers need to feel that enthusiasm you have…. let me take an example.

Let’s say that you sell a product or a even an old established service. whatever.

A problem existed or a perhaps a process is more complex than it needs to be.

What we tend to do as individuals is talk about the issues that we face and wish to find better solutions for; so start that one to one discussion with your customers. Go back to the start discuss the issues that faced you or your customers.

Do this in a short email to your contacts, prospects, customers, etc.

Then follow up a week later with a new email but this time talk about the solutions that have been found… again on that one to one basis, ideally as personalised as possible. No selling.

Keep it simple, fairly short and above all keep the conversation going. It’s that type of conversation that you would have over the dinner table or when out for a drink with a close friend. Literally type as you would speak if you were face to face with a friend.

Now you need to send email number three… So this next email talks about what you believe will solve the problem or what offers a better solution to what you currently do now. Talk about the solution that you’ve found, recommend and why.

All that is left a week later would be to tell them where you found the best offer.

You see … building up a relationship and talking about an old product or service is actually quite easy really.

So why not start going through your products and services and start at the beginning too. Who knows… your sales might increase!

Oh…. and next month do the same again … choose something else to talk about.

Small Business Internet Marketing Relief

In the UK we are currently in the grip of not one but two full blown bank holiday weekends. People are warmed by beautiful, sunny, warm summer days in Spring.

Everyone feels good, bar-b-ques, boats, sea sides and country walks all over the British isles, traffic on the internet understandably slow.

Last weekend we visited lovely country villages and browsed through quaint shops and streets. There were people walking about with small fancy purchases, small gifts, lovely items for the home and friends.

As you walked from one shop to the next you noticed how relaxed and happy everyone was. Money freely being spent because the mood and atmosphere had been set. There were loads of tea shops, cake shops, pubs, restaurants and other food establishments which found themselves busier than usual.

Of course the world then came to a halt as William married Kate with all the pageantry that the British can muster and are so good at.

The press reported that there were 1 million people on the streets of London watching the procession and over 5000 street parties around the country.

So what does this have to do with internet marketing?

Well lets consider a graph and see these two weeks as spikes on the footfall going into local businesses.

As I said, last weekend I visited many small shops during that first bank holiday weekend. Not one of them asked for my email address. Not one of them offered their website address to me and not one said … “please .. take this voucher and buy from me online”.

Local and small businesses have got to wake up to the reality that they can smooth that line. They had so many opportunities to keep in touch with me.

They could send me a special voucher to return to that coffee shop for a free cake, they could email me about special hand made crafts, gifts for brothers, sisters, uncles, aunts…. the list goes on.

I heard over these two weeks business owners complaining that trade had been killed by the two bank holidays and yet I heard employees welcoming the wonderful additional break that the country enjoyed.

There is always an opportunity to market your business, wholesalers could have set up stall in markets, could have done promotional deals, taken part in joint ventures, the list goes on.

Right now the country is feeling good…. let’s hope it continues, but remember you need to be prepared to help yourselves too.

When is a deal really a deal?

I’ve just been running a very interesting promotion with a client and business that I am involved in.

But before I go into the nitty gritty of the promotion think about this… What actually turns you into a buyer when you didn’t want something in the first place.

I’ll give you an example, you sit down at a dining table and the waiter says “Would you like a bottle of wine with your meal?”

Would that make you buy?

What about if the waiter says “Would you like a bottle of wine with your meal, it’s on the house?”

Ah… Now we get down to the crux. You didn’t want wine when you had to pay… But now that it’s free suddenly you’ll have it.

To many marketeers this is not new in fact it’s a well tested and a proven technique known in the trade as moving the free line.

Let’s take another look at our waiter with the bottle of wine.

Suppose the meal is £25 for three courses… The bottle of wine is £15. Taking the meal is fine but the wine really hikes the price.

What if the meal was £40 and included the wine? Still too high?

Hmm… So the problem here appears to be the perception of the total meal and wine and price.

So what happens in the buyers mind when the meal is £25 and includes the wine.

At this point the buyer breaks down the purchase and concludes that whatever the price of the wine it would appear to be reasonably good value.

So is lowering the price of your goods the right tactic and will it bring more sales? More than likely you may get the odd sale but it is only when it is a bundle in a limited time frame that the sales pour in.

So when is a deal a deal? how do you know if something is a deal or not? Well most of us compare prices to determine a fair price for something. if you see product A in two different shops you conclude that the cheaper one is better value.

However you can change the buyers perception quite easily. You do this my offering longer money back guarantees. Free gift wrap, next day delivery, free delivery, buy one get one free, or deals that include vouchers against your next purchase.

Price is not everything. It helps, but is not the bottom line.

I once ran a promotion for a pond pump where we could not compete because we were always under cut. However when I added a free pair of pond waders and raised the price by the cost of the waders rather than their RRP sale price, the pond pump flew out the door.

In the promotion I just ran recently this was actually what happened here. The value of the service and products combined in the offer was quite substantial when bought individually, but by offering a large package to cover the cost of most and profitability of another the deal was seen as just that … A good deal.

So if you’re selling on the net and struggling, think again….. Could you sell that item at the RRP plus add on the COST price of some other item(s) so that this becomes a Great Deal? I bet you could!