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December 12, 2001

Table of Contents

Welcome

Quote of the Week

Staff Article - Traditional Businesses and Traffic Programs

Classifieds

Tax Tip of the Week

Guest Article - Increase Sales by Building Credibility

Featured Resource

Parting Comments

Unsubscribe Information


Welcome

Thank you for subscribing to the Peak Small Business Center Small Business Newsletter! We take our obligation to provide you with useful information very seriously. As a result, we always welcome your input on articles or other information you would like to see presented here.

This week we are switching to a text-based version of our newsletters. Many of our readers subscribe to our newsletters from places on the web other than our website. On our website, you can choose whether you want to receive the html version or text. At other sites on the web, you don't have the choice. As a result, we are seeing a lot of "bounces" due to the size of the html newsletter and many seem to be having a problem viewing the html version in their email clients. For those of you who prefer the html version, you can find both the Small Business and Home Business versions on our website at the following locations:

Small Business Newsletter -
http://www.peakconsultinginc.com/newsletters/sbnl_dec1201.htm

Home Business Newsletter -
sbnl_dec1201.htm

The staff article in this issue deals with traditional businesses using the "new" traffic programs that are available today. Are these programs only for MLMs and affiliate programs? Can they be used to build brand awareness?

We also have a guest article by Shelley Lowery in this issue titled "Increase Sales by Building Credibility." Be sure to take some time to visit her site at http://www.web-source.net/ebookstarter.htm

If you have suggestions for future content, or have issues that you would like to see specifically addressed, please send an email to let us know. Our staff articles are focused directly on issues raised by you, our readers. We want to give you what you want to see!
 


Quote of the Week

Whatever you do or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius and power and magic in it.

-Johann Goethe


Staff Article

Traditional Businesses and Traffic Programs?
by: SBC Staff

You've seen them touted all over the Internet, and no doubt have received a marketing email or twenty regarding them. They're the start page, surf for credit and other similar programs that are so highly regarded as a source of traffic these days.

In case you're not familiar with these programs, they are free to join. You choose one of your web pages to display to your visitors. Some of these programs have you set your start page in your browser to their site so that every time you start your browser you see someone else's web page. When others start their browsers, they see yours. Instant exposure.

Some of these programs have you surf for credits. You log in, view a web page while a timer counts down from 20,25 or 30 seconds, then you click a button to view another site. You receive credits for every site you view.

Others are combination start page/surf for credits programs. You can either begin surfing from the start page or log in and surf.

Some of our customers and subscribers who run more traditional businesses have asked if these programs can be of any use to them. Some believe they are useful marketing tools only for MLM, affiliate and other home-based business opportunities.

Even if you run a traditional business you're obviously interested in doing business on the Internet. Doing business on the Internet involves getting traffic to your website. As a result, you can't afford to ignore any legitimate opportunity to put your site in front of as many people as you can, and these traffic programs can take your site to a lot of people!

Let's assume you sell gift items through one Internet store and office supplies through another. Let's further assume that almost everyone using these traffic programs is pushing MLM and affiliate opportunities (although that is far from the truth). Would that be your justification for not using them? Think about it for a moment. These MLM'ers and affiliates are people, too. They buy gifts for their family and friends. They use office supplies. Think of almost any product example you can and the answer will be the same.

Additionally, many of these traffic programs allow you to target your audience. When you sign up you select specific groups who will view your ads and your traffic credits are used to display your site only to those who are interested in the types of products you have to offer.

Some utilize a search engine approach, so anyone seeing your site will have searched on a topical category that includes your product.

It's obvious the traffic program founders intended these programs to be used by a broader audience than MLM'ers and affiliates.

Another reason to consider using these traffic programs for your traditional business, and use them a lot, is to build brand awareness.

Consider the marketing campaigns of Coca Cola using advertising of all types. Over the years the company's name has become synonymous with soft drinks. Is it because their product is so superior to anything else on the market? Not necessarily. It is because of massive exposure. We're not saying that using these traffic programs will make you the next Coca Cola, but brand awareness occurs on many levels.

Let's say you sell designer candles and you've developed a very inviting and interesting web page to use in all your traffic programs. Your page is tastefully designed and it is obvious from scanning the page that your company has great expertise in the candle business. Thousands of individuals will see your traffic page over and over and over again. Even if none of them have bought anything from you, when they are in the market for designer candles, who are they likely to think of? If they know someone who is interested in designer candles, whose name will they remember?

This is how brand awareness starts. It's a simple matter of massive exposure over a short period of time or steady exposure over an extended period of time. Using a combination of these traffic programs effectively is a terrific way to get both massive and steady exposure for the short and long term.

Okay, so you're sold on the concept and you're ready to start surfing for credits. I know that's a big step for many business traditionalists. Surfing just seems like a waste of time. Well, it is if that is the only way you use these programs.

In order to reap the big benefits you need to build a downline. You get people to sign up under you and you get a percentage of all the traffic credits they earn. Get enough people signed up under you and the day will come when you'll get traffic whether you surf or not. Of course, if you need a bunch of extra traffic at some point in time, you can always go online and surf until you get what you need.

I can hear some of you groaning now. Surfing for credits is bad enough, but build a downline? Don't worry. It's not that difficult. Instead of sending your traffic to your business web pages in the beginning, send your traffic to your referral traffic pages and let the traffic programs themselves build a downline for you. There are also several excellent programs available (also free) that will help you build downlines in many of these programs all at the same time. Of course, if you want to allocate some of your other online marketing efforts to building your downlines it will happen much more quickly.

Once your downlines are built start sending your traffic to your business pages and you're on your way. How long will it take? It's hard to say for sure, but it shouldn't take long. In our testing we've managed to put a lot of people into our downlines using two of the free systems mentioned earlier that help you build simultaneous downlines in multiple programs. And we did it in about two weeks time!

Assuming these people recruit others, we can probably cut back our own recruiting efforts in another two weeks and enjoy passive traffic from our downlines from that point forward. Think of building your downlines as being a special project that needs some of your resources for a month or so and then you're essentially done.

No matter how you feel about surfing for credits and building downlines, don't let your bias prevent you from taking advantage of the best viral marketing opportunity available today.

If you'd like to investigate these programs further, go to http://www.peakconsultinginc.com/traffic_programs.htm to read a brief overview of many of these programs and about free programs that exist to help you use them together as a unit.

Copyright 2001, all rights reserved
 


Classifieds

The Internet Marketing Center Internet Marketing Course - by far one of the most thorough, no nonsense guides available.  Not an email course.  More than 500 pages and two CD-Roms packaged in two binders.

Host4Profit - An amazing hosting service that pays you $10 per month for every referral you make.  It will be difficult for you to find a hosting package that gives you more.  Truly a terrific package and tremendous affiliate program.

Like the new traffic programs on the web?  What's not to like?  Here are two systems that will help you put together a group of traffic programs to create a complete, automated viral traffic explosion of hits to your site:

MPAM - Massive Passive Advertising Machine
LSN - LifeStyleNetworker
 


Tax Tip of the Week

If you're having a good year, expect to owe tax for 2001 and are looking for every deduction you can find, don't forget about the Section 179 deduction. This deduction allows you to deduct the cost of equipment and similar types of depreciable property rather than capitalizing the cost and depreciating the asset over five to seven years. The maximum amount of Section 179 property you can deduct in 2001 is $24,000. (This deduction is phased out dollar for dollar for investments in Section 179 property that exceed $200,000 and the deduction cannot exceed your taxable income from the active conduct of your trade or business).
 


Guest Article

Increase Sales by Building Credibility

By Shelley Lowery
 

The Internet has opened a whole New World of information and opportunity for all of us. However, it has also created a breeding ground for scam artists. For this reason, many Internet users are very reluctant to share their personal information and order products online.

As an Internet entrepreneur, it is your personal responsibility to ensure that your visitors feel very comfortable with you and your website. In order to gain your visitor's trust and confidence, you must build your credibility.

Domain Name

In order to establish credibility, you must be willing to invest in your own domain name and professional web hosting. Websites hosted on free servers are not taken seriously and will suffer a serious loss of business. Your visitors may feel that if you don't have your own domain, you may not be a credible company.  They'll simply take their business elsewhere.

Contact Information

Provide your visitors with your complete contact information.  This information should include your "real" postal address and not a Post Office box number. A business that hides behind a PO box loses credibility. It's perfectly acceptable to use a PO box as long as you also include your postal address.

Create a page to add to your website called "about" and include all of the following:

- A personal or professional biography
- A photograph of yourself
- A complete description of you and/or your company
- Your website and/or company objectives
- Your name, address, phone number and email address

It is very important that you include an "about" page, especially if you're selling a product or service. You must do everything in your power to put your visitor's mind at ease.

Privacy Statement

Internet users are becoming more and more concerned with their privacy. Create a page on your website called "privacy" and let your visitors know exactly how you will be using the information you collect.

This page should include all of the following:

- How do you plan on using their information?
- Is their information sold or shared with a third party?
- Why do you collect their email address and how will it be used?
- Why do you track their IP address?
- Let your visitors know that you're not responsible for the privacy issues of any outside websites you may be linking to.
- Why do you use order forms and what do you do with the information acquired?
- Do you run contests and what do you do with the information?
- Do you have a discussion forum or message board? Let your visitors know that any information that is disclosed in these areas becomes public information and they should exercise caution.
- Do you have security measures in place to protect the loss, misuse and alteration of the information under your control?  If so, let your visitors know.
- Let your visitors know how they can opt out of your mailing lists.
- Provide your visitors with your contact information, should they have any questions in regard to your privacy statement.

You can create your privacy statement right online with this free wizard:
http://www.truste.org/wizard/

Testimonials

Another great way to build your credibility is to display your customer testimonials. Include your customer's name, email address and web address with each unsolicited testimonial to increase believability.

You can find a nice script that will rotate your testimonials each day here:
http://willmaster.com/master/dailycontent/index.shtml

Money Back Guarantee

To further increase your credibility, you must completely remove your potential customer's risk. Provide them with a solid, no risk, money back guarantee. This will put their mind at ease by building their confidence in you and your product.  In addition, you must honor ALL refund requests in a timely manner with complete professionalism.

No matter what you're selling or how great your product is, you will receive refund requests. It's just a part of doing business. Don't take it personally or try to argue the point with your customers, simply give them a refund. You may be surprised to learn that the customers who ask for a refund  may purchase other products from you in the future.

Feedback

Many times, potential customers will have questions in regard to your products and services. Create a page on your website called "feedback" and place a form on this page to enable your visitors to contact you. It is very important that you answer these questions as quickly as possible. Your personal response to your potential customers can literally determine
whether or not you're going to make a sale.

A feedback form will also enable you to gather testimonials and receive suggestions to assist you in improving your website, products or services.

Secure Server

If you're processing your customer's orders online, you must place your order form on a secure server. This will protect your customer's personal information, while at the same time, provides your customers with added confidence in placing an order with you. In addition, make sure you let your visitors know that their information will be processed on a secure server.

By taking the time to build your credibility with your visitors, you will increase your Internet sales considerably.

Copyright 2001, all rights reserved

About the Author:

Shelley Lowery is the author of Ebook Starter. A complete ebook design kit including over fifty predesigned ebook templates and ebook covers.
http://www.web-source.net/ebookstarter.htm

 


Featured Resource

Need some banners to advertise your site? You can design and download professional-quality, animated banner ads quickly and easily at AdDesigner.com. And it's FREE! Very simple and easy to use and your banners can be custom built to work with your favorite exchanges.

http://www.addesigner.com/

 


Parting Comments

We hope you have enjoyed this issue of the Peak Small Business Center Small Business Newsletter and found it useful.  Please visit our website at http://www.peakconsultinginc.com to check out all the resources we provide. 

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