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The SBC Small Business Newsletter

presented by the Peak Small Business Center

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February 14, 2002

HAPPY VALENTINES DAY!

Table of Contents

Welcome

Quote of the Week

Administrative Stuff

Staff Alerts
Tech Tip of the Week

Guest Article -  The One Thing Most People Forget!
Parting Comments

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Welcome

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Quote of the Week

In times like these, it is helpful to remember that there have always been times like these.

- Paul Harvey


Administrative Stuff


Don't forget to download your free ebooks. These are quality offerings and you can redistribute them to anyone you like.
http://www.peakconsultinginc.com/download.htm

We've opened a new section of our website for our program recommendations. We have more than 140 programs currently under evaluation and we will use this section to provide information on the programs that pass. We are also constructing a section on programs we do NOT recommend which should be ready within a few weeks. The program evaluations are located at:
http://www.peakconsultinginc.com/program_recs.htm


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Staff Alerts

Periodically, we replace our staff article with tips, news and
alerts that we believe are important and will be of interest to
you. This is one of those occasions.

We received an email yesterday from a colleague that contained
information we want to pass on to you. If you host FFA pages
and use the confirmations for promotion or if you run your own
newsletter or use email for any type of promotion, you need to
read this. The following is the body of the original email and
a follow-up transcribed as received:

BEGINNING OF EMAILS

"I was reported for SPAM and the person has done an excellent
job of reporting to all of the correct SPAM agencies and ISPs.
I'd like to warn you about this person as he is out to close
down anyone using FFAs (Free For All Owners/Users) and doing any
business on the internet using email advertising.

He uses as many as 4 different email addresses (known) then
files SPAM complaints against each email received to those email
addresses. This gives the appearance that a lot of spamming is
being sent by you and more believable to the ISPs

This guy is good so if you have any of the following email
addresses in your systems - REMOVE THEM IMMEDIATELY! He does
not ask to be removed from your list - he just reports you - YES
even though he opted in. The problem is that YOU never have a
chance to defend yourself.

At this moment I am still alive but I don't know for how long
at this point.

If you have an email address of
jbl@levin.xxx.xxx or
jblxxx@xxx or
Traffic@mercury.xxx.xxx or
seekers@levin.xxx.xxx
PLEASE REMOVE IT IMMEDIATELY !!!!!!

I used the xxx to remove info so no one can send email to him
but you can still recognize the name if you have it in your
systems.

He claims to have been set up by someone else who did not like
him and they posted his email addresses to hundreds of FFA
pages. There is evidence to the contrary..

Please be careful as when these spam complaints get filed, if
they are filed with complete mailing headers, YOU have no
opportunity to defend yourself. The large backbone providers
simply shut you down without investigation or concern for you.

If you have an FFA system that does not require a double
confirmation - YOU MAY FIND YOUSELF IN TROUBLE SOON..

With a double confirmation system you at least have legal
documentation to support your defense if legal charges are filed
against you. YOU will still not be able to defend yourself in
any SPAM complaint handled at the "backbone" levels.

If I am missing for a while, you will know why..

Take Care and Protect Yourself against SPAM!
JUST FYI - I do not do spam, I do not condone spam and I
strongly encourage everyone to be careful using FFA systems
today...


Hello Again,

I've just been apraised of an additional email addresses for
the SPAM complainer mentioned in my previous post.

jasmxxh@hotmail.com
jbl@levin.xxx.xxx
jblxxx@xxx
Traffic@mercury.xxx.xxx
seekers@levin.xxx.xxx

PLEASE REMOVE IT IMMEDIATELY !!!!!!

It is obvious that I am not alone in this situation so please
everyone BE CAREFUL!!"

END OF EMAILS

As our colleague states, we also do not condone spam. But
apparently this person will register or subscribe, confirm the
registration or subscription, and then report you anyway.
Please be very careful with your email advertising and check
your lists thoroughly before using them.

BOGUS IRS REQUESTS FOR INFORMATION

There are reports of a new scam where you receive an email
supposedly from the IRS indicating that you are under audit and
must complete a questionnaire within 48 hours to avoid the
assessment of penalties and interest. The email refers to an "e-
audit" and references IRS form 1040. You are asked for social
security numbers, bank account information and other personal
data.

It turns out this particular report was a hoax but there are
plenty of email scams going on involving the IRS that are real.
These are nothing more than an attempt at identity theft. The
IRS does not perform "e-audits" or transact any business with
taxpayers via email.

 


Marketing Tip of the Week

Have you been thinking about delving into CGI scripting yourself to make your website a bit more interactive without having to hire a consultant to do it for you? Don't know where to start? http://www.howstuffworks.com/ is a terrific website for getting up to speed on almost anything that is new to you.  Check out the article "How CGI Scripting Works" at:

http://www.howstuffworks.com/cgi.htm
 


Guest Article

The One Thing Most People Forget!
by: Anthony Stillwell

TESTING!

Remember that word. There is no ONE WAY to do things online. You
always have to test to see what works and what doesn't. The
sites and businesses that pull in profits year after year always
test as many variables as possible to make sure they're using
their time in the most productive ways.

Here are a few things you can test:

1) Your Newsletter

I'm currently testing the Original Content format for my
newsletter because I wanted to know if writing my own content
would make a noticeable difference in the number of people who
read or more importantly pay attention to what I write.

The results have been great so far.

To get some hard evidence I sent out an email recently pointing
my subscribers to a "Refer-A-Friend" script. Mostly I was
curious about how many people would take the time to submit the
form and how many would use real email addresses.

After going through the first 100 or so entries I discovered
that not only did the overwhelming majority of my subscribers
use email addresses that were NOT their own to refer my site
they also used the "Add Your Own Comments" box to write in a
personal endorsement for "EnterNet P R O F I T S".

This is really what I was after. Feedback. You see it makes no
sense for me to take the time to write information I feel would
help people in their business and give it to them for FREE if
they don't appreciate it. Since I'm currently satisfied with the
results of publishing original content this format stays for now.

How much value do your subscribers put on your time and the
effort you put into trying to help them through your newsletter
and/or the other products and services you provide? There comes
a time when you really need to know this.

If you're currently just publishing articles by other authors,
try putting a little of yourself out there. Be a real person. If
you do nothing more than add a "Message From The Editor" and
ramble on about something that's on your mind it should get your
reader's attention.

Try different formats... Add harder to find articles instead of
the ones everyone else publishes... And write some of your own
material every once and a while. This may be the thing that
turns your newsletter around. You'll never know if you just
settle for what you already have. If you want better results
from your newsletter... "Do something about it!"

2) Pop-Ups

Say or believe what you will about them. They flat out work. I
test them constantly on my site and not only do people NOT
complain... pop-ups are responsible for a majority of my sales.

The way my pop-ups are structured... A person has to leave my
site without ordering to get them or they have to come to my
site through one of the free ebooks or reports I have
circulating the net. All of my pop-ups are used to collect leads.

Two rules:

* Limit the graphics

* Offer something free.

Offer something valuable for free in exchange for joining your
mailing list... Then follow-up until people buy. Forget what
some people say about pop-ups. They don't know what will work
for you. The ONLY way you will know for certain is to TEST!

3) Price - This Is Important!

This is something I continue to test. Basically I keep raising
my price until the market tells me "HEY... That's High Enough".
Doing that one thing lets me find my ideal price and keeps me in
the profit. Once my limit is established I keep adding value to
my product until it's worth far more than my asking price no
matter HOW high that is.

It's not just about how much money you can make by testing your
price. It makes no sense to sell a product for $29 when you
could easily be selling it for $49. Just make sure that the
price you charge is less than the actual value people get from it.

4) Upsells

"The Deluxe Edition" -- You could have two versions of the same
product. A Basic and a Deluxe Edition. Paul Hartunian does this
with his Free Publicity Course. It works like this: You see a
product you want to buy then you see that you can get X amount
more for only an extra 40% more. At this point you don't even
see the total price of the Deluxe Package. You only see how much
more it costs than the Basic.

For example: You're buying a $100 product and the Deluxe version
is only $30-$40 more. The original $100.00 you were going to pay
doesn't enter your mind when you see that the Deluxe costs $140.
You say to yourself... "Well, it's only $40 more than I was
going to spend anyway." This is basically Free Money to the
seller and you can do the exact same thing on your site.

Upsell At the Time Of Purchase -- I've seen this done by very
well-known marketers online for years and if they've been doin'
it for years it must be working. In fact one of them reported
that he was getting a full 60% of his customers to take him up
on his upsell! Here's an example of what he does.

You get to the order form, fill it out and then there's a small
check box that asks if you would like to order the "Gold
Edition" for only $30 more. As I said... "He's getting 60% of
the people that buy to order the "Gold Edition". He goes from a
$60+ product to a $90+ product without any extra effort...

Scenario - 100 Customers. If 60% of them go for the upsell
that's 60 people x $90 which equals... $5,400. The remaining 40
people x $60 = $2,400. The total gross sales is: $7,800.

Let's look at this without the upsell. One hundred customers at
$60 = $6,000. The difference between the $7,800 above and $6,000
is $1,800. This means that without the upsell... this marketer
would lose close to $2,000 per 100 customers.

Save Money Upsell -- Let's say you're offering a product that
your customers are paying for on a monthly basis. Access to a
monthly paid ezine for example that sells for $19.95 per month.
At the time of purchase you could state that if they order for a
Full Year they can save 20%, but only if they chose this option
Now. So instead of getting $19.95 a month (or $239.40 a year)
you would get $180.72 up front, plus any money you make by
promoting offers within your paid site.

Let's say that 10% of your customers take you up on your offer.
100 sales in a month. You get 90 customers at $19.95 and 10 at
$180.72. Your 90 customers brought in $1,795.50 while just 10
customers at $180.72 brought in $1,807.20. Something to think
about.

The Affiliate Upsell -- If you don't have a product to upsell
you can use an affiliate program for this purpose. Chose a
program that is very closely related to the product your
customer just bought. When you deliver your product, endorse the
affiliate product on another page on your site that you have
created specifically to sell that program.

Make sure that you only promote this program to your new
customers and not just any and everyone that hits your site.
Your recommendation is more credible that way.

The bottom line is that you NEED to know for sure what works and
what doesn't for your particular business if you want to be
successful. Test, Test and then Test again!

-------------------
Anthony Stillwell is the author of "Unlimited Free Traffic"
and publisher of the EnterNet P R O F I T S newsletter where
you'll get the hottest tips and the coolest resources to give
you the advantage. http://www.getfreeadvertising.com
 


Parting Comments

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