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The SBC Small Business Newsletter

presented by the Peak Small Business Center

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April 17, 2002

Table of Contents

 

Welcome

Quote of the Week

Administrative Stuff

Staff Article - USING MINI-SITES TO INCREASE YOUR SALES
Tax Tip of the Week

Guest Article -  IF ALL ELSE FAILS, BRIBE THEM
Parting Comments

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Welcome

Thank you for subscribing to the Peak 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.

For those of you who prefer the html version, you can find it on our website at the following location:

http://www.peakconsultinginc.com/newsletters/sbnl_apr1702.htm

If you still prefer to receive the html version in your email inbox, let us know by emailing us at mailto:cary@peakconsultinginc.com with "html" in the subject line.
 


Quote of the Week

The person who makes a success of living is one who sees his
goal steadily and aims for it unswervingly. That's dedication.

- Cecil B. De Mille


Administrative Stuff

FREE EXPOSURE FOR YOUR BUSINESS!

We want to give you an opportunity to gain free exposure for
your business! We are asking each of you to send us an email
and tell us about yourself and your business. We have added a
section to this newsletter where we will periodically spotlight your websites or businesses so our other subscribers can get to know you and possibly do business with you.  We hope many more of you will
respond in the coming weeks. This is FREE EXPOSURE to THOUSANDS
of people! THIS IS VALUABLE so please act TODAY!

Don't have your own website? You can still send us an affiliate link and a little information on your goals online.  We want to know about YOU!

Just send your email to mailto:mybiz@peakconsultinginc.com with
"Info on my business" in the subject line.


Staff Article

USING MINI-SITES TO INCREASE YOUR SALES

by: Cary Christian

For those of you who have your own websites, they serve one major purpose: to sell your products or services. You may also include interesting complementary content, links to other sites, ads for affiliate programs you belong to, and lots of information on you or your company. But let's face it. Your main purpose is to sell your products or services.

There are many others among you who do not yet have a website but are interested in getting one.

The same simple marketing tool will work wonders for both groups: the mini-site.

WHAT IS A MINI-SITE?

A mini-site is a one or two page web site that focuses completely on one single product. The content of the mini-site has only one purpose - to convince your visitors to buy the single product to which your mini-site relates.

Why would you not include other content on your mini-site?  Because that is not its purpose. You can still maintain your content website and you should still offer your products for sale there. But the mini-site is extremely focused to enable you to direct highly-targeted visitors who are motivated to buy directly to your product.

WHAT MAKES A MINI-SITE EASIER TO PROMOTE?

Since a mini-site deals with only one product or service, it is much easier to optimize your site for the search engines. Your title should be keyword rich. Think of what people might type in as a search phrase to find your product and adopt that as your title. (I'm talking about the HTML "TITLE" tag, not necessarily the title your visitors see at the top of your page).

The description tag for your site should focus only on the product your mini-site is designed to sell. Begin your description with a keyword-rich phrase and describe your site and the product being sold in detail. Avoid generalizing. Your goal is to produce highly-targeted visitors so let them know exactly what they're getting when they click through to your site.

Limit your keywords (in the "keywords" tag) to phrases strictly related to your product. Again, you want only targeted traffic.  Concentrate on the keyword phrases you think people will use to find your site. You can use Overture's keyword tools to see what phrases people are using most frequently.

Place important keyword phrases in the alt-text tags for any graphics you include on the page.

The text on your page should deal exclusively with the product or service being offered on your site. Your text should have one purpose only: to sell! Remember, you've worked hard to this point to attract only highly-targeted visitors. These people want your product. Don't disappoint them. Sell it to them!

HOW YOUR PAGE SHOULD LOOK

Design your mini-site using standard HTML coding. Do not use flash or tons of fancy graphics. Do not include links to other sites or banners of any kind whatsoever. This site needs to be a straightforward, professional, no-frills, selling machine. It needs to load fast, get to the point, get the sale, and allow your new customer to purchase easily and hassle-free.

HOSTING YOUR MINI-SITE

You will need your own domain name and hosting service for your mini-site or sites. If you already own your own domain but decide to purchase a new domain name for each of your mini-sites, you can have the mini-site domain names redirected to subdirectories within your main site that contain your mini-site web pages. This means you won't have to have a separate hosting service for each domain.

However, a word of caution is needed here. Check with your host and with the redirection service to make sure the redirection will not adversely affect how the search engines see your HTML tags.

BUT I DON'T HAVE ANY PRODUCTS!

If your Internet marketing efforts are geared toward promoting affiliate programs, you can use mini-sites to stand out from the crowd. Use a mini-site to attract targeted traffic and presell your visitors on your affiliate programs. Using the mini-site you can offer a bonus for joining your affiliate program or for buying the affiliate program product. Or you can simply use it so that you are not promoting the exact same site all other affiliates of the program are promoting. Preselling in this manner will increase your affiliate sales.

DRIVING TRAFFIC TO YOUR MINI-SITE

Once you have developed your mini-site, do some test marketing and fine tune your site to sell. Once you have achieved what you believe is a good conversion rate of sales to visitors, purchase some traffic using the pay-per-click engines and/or ezine advertising. If you have designed your site properly and crafted your sales message well, your sales should take an immediate and substantial jump.

TOOLS TO HELP YOU CREATE YOUR MINI-SITES

If you want to build your own site from scratch, Shelley Lowery's new book, Web Design Mastery, will be invaluable to you. (See our recommendation of this new work near the beginning of this newsletter). You can find it at:

http://www.ebookstarter.com/click.php?lid=3&af=philcary

If you prefer to build your site using simpler, online tools, try Site Build It! at:

http://buildit.sitesell.com/peaksbc.html

Site Build It! includes your own domain name, web hosting for the year, regular submissions to the search engines and much more.

BOTTOM LINE

No matter what you are selling, and whether you currently have your own website or not, properly built mini-sites can create a tremendous increase in sales and help you to minutely focus your marketing efforts.


Copyright (c) 2002


Tax Tip of the Week

People often ask us about the importance of good accounting records. Here are two examples that illustrate the point very well from a tax standpoint.

We had a client who ran four corporations and five partnerships in the cable television industry. Their books and records were in horrendous shape. The IRS came in to audit and, based on the poor quality of the accounting records, two agents spent the next two years at the client's offices reconstructing the books from the source documents. He ended up not owing anything in taxes, but it cost him $250,000 in professional fees to fight the IRS.

We had another large multinational client that had a very large issue related to their leasing operations. The issue could not be resolved and was headed for Tax Court. We prepared very detailed lease calculations under our theory of how the transactions should be accounted for and under the IRS theory as well. It became very important to us that the IRS accept our calculations rather than redo the calculations on their own.  The IRS Special Trial Attorney spent a week with us to review
how our source data tied into our calculations. He would pick transactions at random and we would have to pull the source documents and prove that they supported our treatment of the transaction.

We spent two weeks before the attorney's visit organizing the source documents and indexing all the files so they could be pulled very quickly. The attorney came, we were able to find everything asked for, and the trial attorney agreed to stipulate to our numbers at trial. The client won the case. (Cite provided upon request).

The moral of the story? Keep your accounting records reconciled, up to date and in good shape and make sure your source documents support what you have recorded.
 


Guest Article

"IF ALL ELSE FAILS, BRIBE THEM"

By Terry Dean
 

FREE is the magic word.

Always include a free bonus to go along with whatever product or service you're selling. If you don't, you won't be able to use the MAGIC word.

It is a proven fact that if you add Free Bonus offers to your advertising, you can increase your sales by 300% or more!

This means if your ad would have brought in $1,000, then it could bring in $3,000 or more with the right free offer to go along with it! Is that worth the few extra bucks or little extra time it costs to include these free bonuses?

How many times have you seen someone have 5 Free Bonuses attached to their item that are worth MORE than the actual product you're purchasing?

It is used constantly, because it works! People will often buy a product JUST because they want the free bonuses which come along with it.

What makes a good Free Bonus? There are a couple of things to remember with Free Bonuses:

1. It should go along with and complement the main product you're selling!

In other words, don't give a bonus ebook about Internet marketing along with your Arizona boating report. It doesn't make sense and it doesn't fit the market.

If you're teaching people how to make money from online auctions, then the Internet marketing ebook bonus would fit the situation. It would be a subject those customers are directly interested in.

2. It should be low cost and easy to reproduce!

Ebooks make a perfect bonus item...since they have zero cost in reproducing. They are instantly downloadable by your customers . . . and they can have a great value.

Audio tapes, videos, special reports, and other information products can also make great bonus items. An audio tape, for example, can be reproduced for under $1 each, but has a value of $25 - $200!

A Free Report is similar. It is very cheap to reproduce and can have an extremely high value because of the information contained in it.

Some companies prefer to offer advertising specialties as free bonuses. These are pens, hats, coffee mugs, shirts, etc. with the companies name and logos on it.

I personally prefer free reports and audio's, because they have a higher perceived value. Advertising specialties do have one advantage though. They actually give you an element of viral marketing, since you can print your company logo and web site address on them...and your customers end up advertising for you.

3. It should have a HIGH perceived value

Free Consultations make a great bonus item. If you're good at what you do (which you should be if you are selling it), you can offer a FREE Consultation along with your packages at a value of anywhere between $100 - $1000 an hour or more depending on your expertise and your industry.

The beauty of free consultations is that rarely do more than 10% of your customers ever use them. So you don't have to afraid of being overwhelmed by too many requests for your time.

The consultation you include won't cost you a penny...and the majority of your customers will never take advantage of it. The ones who do though will be getting a wonderful value for their money!

- Special Warning -

Don't just include anything as a bonus with your product. It has also been proven that including an item nobody wants can actually decrease response to your overall offer.

The real way to pick a good bonus is to decide if you could sell the bonus on it's own. Are people willing to buy the bonus or bonuses even if there isn't a main product attached.

If so, then you're right on track for increasing your sales exponentially.

--------------------

Terry Dean, a 5 year veteran of Internet marketing, will Take You By The Hand and Show You Exact Results of All the Internet Marketing Techniques he tests and Uses Every Single Month" Click here to Find Out More:
http://www.peakconsultinginc.com/nbt.htm


Parting Comments

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