When you boil it right down, there are really only three things that you need to do exceedingly well to market your business effectively online, and you should think of all three simultaneously with each new advertising campaign you entertain.
And they are,
Obtaining an Opportunity to Sell - Lead generation, driving traffic to your web site.
Closing the Sale - The sales presentation, online sales copy & order page etc., to close the sale.
Following Up on Your Maybes - Follow up call, opt-in email, offline newsletter, mailing list etc. Think of your market as an orchard, with some ripe & ready plums, and many more green ones. Pick the ripe ones yes, but be sure to irrigate & fertilize the soil, prune & bug spray the trees with care, and nurture the fruit along.
Mastering all three of these activities is critically important to the profitability of your advertising campaigns, and online marketing in general.
But when you're starting a new venture, which one do you master first?
In my experience, the overwhelming tendency is to start at the beginning. That is, spending maximum time & effort attracting traffic.
Unfortunately, this all to common approach often results in failure.
Frequently, those that go this route never really get off the ground, because they can't turn a profit. They invariably discover, after spending boatloads of cash, that some of the estimates they made in their online marketing business plan were off the mark.
Speaking of getting off the ground, allow me relate a story to illustrate my point.
I'm betting you all know the story of Orville & Wilbur Wright. They went down in history as the first human beings to really fly. But how many people remember Dr. Samuel Pierpont Langley?
In 1896 the Wright Brothers, and Langley were engaged in a fierce competition.
Who would be first to conquer the skies?
Langley, a distinguished scholar and secretary of the Smithsonian institute was the clear favorite. He had already achieved impressive unmanned flight over the Potomac River with his steam powered Aerodrome No. 6.
Based on this success, Langley was able to raise $100,000 in funding, and set out to develop an extraordinary radial-cylinder internal combustion engine that would produce an astonishing 52 horsepower. In his estimation, capable of powering an aerodrome large enough for manned flight.
The Wright Brothers, by contrast were convinced that the secret to success lay in their ability to control the aircraft, once in flight. They therefore spent their time experimenting with gliders over the forgiving sands of Kitty Hawk.
For several seasons they worked on manipulating the wings, nose, and tail of the aircraft, so as to allow the operator to actively control it.
Wilbur, who most often piloted, suffered a multitude of minor cuts and bruises. But on each successive trial, much was learnt.
On October 7, 1903, it looked like the Wright's had lost, as Langley made ready his first manned launch. Langley's plane would go from a dead stop to the 60 m. p. h. flying speed in only 70 feet.
But the stress of the catapult launch proved greater than the flimsy wood-and-fabric airplane could stand, and the front wing was badly damaged on take off.
The nose heavy Aerodrome "A" then plunged into the Potomac.
A reporter who witnessed the event claimed it flew "like a handful of mortar".
Things went even worse during the second launch of December 9, 1903, where the rear wing and tail completely collapsed during launch.
Langley had succeeded in burning through almost all of his $100,000 in capital.
Just 8 days after Langley's spectacular failure, a sturdy, well designed craft, powered by a tiny 8 horse power engine, costing about $1,000, struggled into the air at Kitty Hawk, defining for all time the moment when humankind, mastered the skies.
Langley died in 1906 after a series of strokes, a broken and disappointed man.
"What on Earth Does Flying Wooden Airplanes Have to Do With Marketing My Business?"
The moral of the story is this.
Test, test, and retest your prime online marketing value proposition to be sure it converts customers, BEFORE committing yourself to major capital outlays, and the start of your advertising campaign.
Like the Wright brothers, who focused on control, versus brute force, you will dramatically improve your chances of online marketing success, if you make the development of a persuasive, & compelling closing pitch, your number 1 priority.
TESTED, to bring home the bacon! Don't even consider launching your production advertising campaigns until this is done.
And then, BRING ON THE TRAFFIC!
It's all about your ability to control, influence and motivate the minds of your prospects, once you've attracted them to your website. Just the way the Wright brothers were able to manipulate the wings, rudder, and nose of the aircraft.
Copyright 2005 Daniel Levis
Daniel Levis is a top marketing consultant & direct response copywriter based in Toronto Canada. Recently, Daniel & world-renowned publicist & copywriter Joe Vitale teamed up to co author "Million Dollar Online Advertising Strategies - From The Greatest Letter Writer Of The 20th Century!", a tribute to the late, great Robert Collier.
Let the legendary Robert Collier show you how to write words that sell... Visit the below site & get 3 FREE Chapters!