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Marketing on the Internet by Marty Fox
MARKETING ON THE INTERNET
By Marty Fox
Hold on to your hat because you are about to enter the new frontier. The
Internet is the most extraordinary and cost effective marketing tool you
could possibly imagine. If you are like me and you do not have an
unlimited advertising budget read on because the dynamics of marketing are
about to change in your favor forever!
I have had great success marketing a variety of products on the Internet.
I receive orders from every continent, every day, even as I sleep. I am
doing a thriving business with people I never would have been able to reach
through traditional advertising, My monthly marketing costs are negligible
- less than you might pay for dinner for two and a movie. This success has
come as a result of studying the Internet culture, experimentation and just
plain hard work. I want to take this opportunity, in the course of this
article, to pass along to you what I have learned. I will tell you why I
think you should be using the Internet as part of your marketing campaign
and what has worked for me.
Let's begin by discussing some of the advantages of marketing on the
* One of the beauties of Internet Marketing is that you control the entire
process from start to finish. You do not have to rely on printers,
manufacturers, media people or anyone else. Marketing on the Internet is
fast and it is effective. With some products you can bring you
manufacturing and distribution costs to practically `zilch'.
* You can support users on your terms for very little cost to you or the
* You can establish one-to-one or one-to-many communication directly with
the customer. In many cases the customer will approach you for
* Your message can easily be tailored to meet the specific needs of the
customer and much of this can be automated to minimize the work involved.
Your message can be delivered to your customer, or customers, by e-mail
* The Internet is a great leveler. For the first time in history big
corporations and small businesses are put on an equal footing. The clever
businessperson no longer has to worry that he or she will not be able to
compete because they do not have the resources to foot a multimillion
dollar marketing campaign.
* You receive immediate feedback from potential customers and can adjust
your marketing campaign accordingly.
* You can create order forms and receive orders electronically. I do it
today even with all of the controversy about the insecurity of financial
transactions on the Net. If customers do not feel comfortable sending
credit card information over the Net they will certainly pick up their
telephone and call your 800 number without any hesitation.
I believe that marketing successfully on the Internet is more of an art
than a science. It is an art that is well worth learning because the
rewards can be enormous.
Let's jump right in and see how you can take begin marketing on the
ADVERTISING IS WELCOMED ON THE INTERNET!
Well, you might say, `I thought advertising on the Internet and World Wide
Web is a no-no'. Nothing could be further from the truth. Let's clarify
this once and for all, advertising on the Internet is welcome. Netizens
want information on useful products and have the capacity to buy lots of
If businesses follow a few simple steps and abide by proper Netiquette they
will be welcomed on the Internet and will reap tremendous rewards for
little investment. I am living proof of this and you can do the same.
The secret to doing business on the Internet is to make sure that Netizens
know about your business in a non-obtrusive manner. There are an estimated
30,000,000 million Internet users out there. But, it really is a small
community in many ways. Word travels fast and if you have a good product or
service Internauts will find out about it. It is also easy to get the word
out to a large portion of the Internet population.. If you use the proper
techniques you can do great business on the Internet, but I must stress if
you use improper techniques contrary to the philosophy of the Net you will
receive a tremendous backlash that can paralyze your business. You must
realize this. People who begin marketing on the Net blindly are in for a
THE WORLD WIDE WEB
The Web is the fastest growing and, in my opinion, the most exciting
section of the Internet. And to the person who wishes to sell on-line it
is a dream come true. The Web is making front page news in major newspapers
and magazines every day. Time, Newsweek, The New York Times and the Wall
Street Journal have all carried prominent stories extolling the popularity
of the World Wide Web.
If you are a business person The `Web' is a great way to get your marketing
material into the hands of millions of affluent computer users or to make
direct sales to a global community. And you can do it for very little
One of the things that immediately grabs your attention when using the Web
is it's ability to show graphics and handle video and audio files on the
fly. It is the only portion of the Internet that has these capabilities.
The Web is easily accessed with a browser such as Mosaic, Netscape or
Cello. You can read information on-line or print it to paper.
Many popular Web sites get in excess of 25,000 accesses called `hits' per
day! Imagine have thousands of people reading about your product or
service in a given day. Every day. And beside the direct orders you receive
from on-line buyers you also have the advantage over your competition as
being perceived as `high tech' and differentiating you from the crowd. You
can and will use your World Wide Web address in your conventional marketing
What's selling on the Web today? People are successfully selling
everything on the Internet from pizza to flowers to automobiles. From my
experience the products with the biggest potential are computer related
products - software, books, reports, magazines, hardware, videos, supplies,
GETTING NOTICED ON THE WEB
The question I am frequently asked is, with the thousands of Web pages out
there how can I generate traffic on my Web page? How will people find out
about me? Both very good questions.
There is no central directory or official top to the Web. On CompuServe you
have the Find function and on AOL you have the Keyword function. But on the
Web there is nothing comparable. There is no comprehensive index where
everyone does their searching. In a way this can be used to your
advantage. If you are a little more resourceful than your competition you
can get the business by listing your site in the proper places.
LIST IN THE MAJOR WEB DIRECTORIES
Even though there is no official Top to the Web, the unofficial top is the
Web is generally acknowledged to be the site at CERN. This is the first
directory in which you will want to list your Web site. In addition, you
should also list your site with Lycos, the World Wide Web Worm, What's New
on the Web and the World Wide Web Yellow pages. When I bring new
businesses on-line we make sure that we list them in at least six of the
most popular Web directories and sometimes in as many as 15. It is very
important. Some of the popular directories get in excess of 2,000,000
accesses per month. I get many hits as a result of being listed in so many
directories. In The Internet Marketing Video/Software Suite I list 20 Web
directories you should list your site on for maximum exposure.
It is extremely important that you make your Web site visually attractive.
Use a nice splash image on your home page. Try to keep the image under 70k.
SET UP LINKS, LINKS and MORE LINKS
Links - hypertext links can bring a tremendous number of people to your Web
site. In fact links are so important that some of the popular sites, such
as Hot Wired, are selling link space on the their Web pages. A link on the
What's New page can cost thousands of dollars a week. But because a popular
site can generate 300,000 hits per week they may be worth it as an avenue
to your site.
Many people will do a reciprocal agreement for free. You place a link to
the other persons site on your page and they will place a link for your
page on their site.
When the person clicks on the link they are magically brought to your Web
By listing other interesting sites on your Web page you are making your
site that much more interesting and of value to your readers.
MAKE YOUR SITE A CLEARINGHOUSE
Another great way to keep people coming back for more is to establish your
site as a clearinghouse of links to other exciting related site. This can
be an invaluable service and can quickly generate lots of steady traffic.
For example you could create links to all of the music oriented sites on
the Web, or all of the museum sites, or all of the colleges. Or all of the
restaurants, and charge the restaurants to be part of the directory. Many
businesses will realize the advantage of being a part of a centralized
location on the Internet and will be happy to pay you if you can lead
people to their sites.
KEEP YOUR SITE CURRENT
It is important to keep people coming back to your site on a regular basis.
Make sure your site is up-to-date and constantly changing. A real estate
broker should have new houses on line and mortgage rates listed, a
financial firm should have the latest market happenings. Lists are always a
good way to keep people interested.
Give something away to people who visit your site, I give away free
software to entice people to visit my site and try out my products. Some
people have even giving away cars as a promotion. But it could be something
small - maybe a mouspad or a free video rental. A publisher could certainly
consider giving away the first chapter or two of a new book. I know of one
instance in which a publisher brought in over $100,000 in sales for one
book by letting people try the first chapter for free.. For a recent offer
of mine instead of giving demo software away for free I decided to
experiment and charge $12.95 which could be used toward the purchase of the
product. This pulled many responses.
Remember, the paradigm of the Internet, first give the consumer something
of value and then lead them to your offer. This is by far the most
effective way to do business on the Net. In traditional advertising you
are invading the consumers space and trying to sell them with a hard sell.
On the Internet you are softly leading them to your offer, and it works!
POST TO SELECTED NEWSGROUPS
Another great way to generate traffic on your Web site or to sell directly
to the Internet Community is by posting selected messages in appropriate
Usenet newsgroups. There are over 10,000 different newsgroups on the
Internet so you have a broad choice of subjects to choose from.
Step one is to make a list of the newsgroups you feel are appropriate for
your posting. Here is where you have to be careful. Whereas, on the Web
advertising is accepted and expected on Newsgroups it is controversial.
Although no one can stop you from posting messages, if your posting is
deemed as inappropriate you may get flamed by some readers.
Flaming is the sending of nasty e-mail messages. That is not to say that
you won't get many orders and inquiries as well. Maybe even thousands of
orders. There have been numerous documented cases of companies which have
spammed the Internet. Spamming is posting the same message in many
newsgroups. The name spam originates from a famous Monty Python comedy
skit. One company posted to over 5,000 newsgroups in one felt swoop. They
were flamed incessantly but they also made a killing for one nights work -.
more than most people make in a year. I do not condone spamming and feel
that it is a bad way to do business but I do mention it so that you are
aware of everything that occurs on the Internet.
Even if you do everything by the book you may still get flamed so I want to
prepare you. I remember the first time I was flamed. It was many years ago
on CompuServe. The message came from someone who did not think it was
appropriate that I mentioned a book that I had published about FoxPro in
the FoxForum - specifically for FoxPro users. I could not understand this,
nonetheless this person wrote me a very harsh message and made me feel
really bad about what I had innocently done. I couldn't believe that
someone had actually spent time writing a two page message to me in
response to a tiny message I had posted.
He later must have realized that he had gone too far as he sent me an
apology, after the fact. To this day that message left a mark on me. I had
never even heard the term `flame' and didn't even realize that what was
done to me. P.S. the positive response to my message was fantastic. I
went on to publish 9 more computer books and marketed all of them
No matter how much care you take you will probably offend someone. If you
are playing by the rules and you get flamed don't let it concern you. It is
just part of doing business on the Internet and the potential rewards are
My advice is before you post to a newsgroup read the FAQ's which are the
frequently asked questions concerning the group, most newsgroups have them.
Also become familiar with the culture of the newsgroup so that you do not
Beside posting messages about your relevant product answering newsgroup
participants questions is a great way to generate lots of goodwill and
business. For example I frequently answer peoples questions in the
Entrepreneur newsgroup. At the end of the message I always include my
signature which mentions my Internet Marketing 101 Video/Software Suite.
This is perfectly acceptable and generates a lot of business for me. I
also include my signature with any e-mail that I send out. You might think
of it as your on-line business card.
All told using newsgroups and mailing lists can potentially make your
marketing material instantaneously available to over 30,000,000 Internet
users. And the cost to reach this huge market is minute compared with
GO THE EXTRA STEP!!
If you do all of the things we have spoken about you will be off to a great
start and with time will be able to build up a thriving on-line marketing
At this point you should have a good feel for what the Internet and the
World Wide Web are all about. Now, you will want to get hands on experience
with Newsgroups, mailing lists, e-mail, FTP, Archie, Vernica, Gopher Telnet
and the Web. There is nothing like experimenting with each of these
Internet components. At the beginning it will all be a little overwhelming
but take my word that everything will eventually become very clear with
practice. And it won't take that long. It is time well spent because the
rewards can be great indeed. This is knowledge you can use to promote your
business or sell to others. It is very much in demand.
In The Internet Marketing 101 Video/Software Suite we cover every step in a
successful Internet Marketing Campaign. The types of messages to post,
where to post messages, marketing with mailing lists, maximizing e-mail in
your marketing campaign, using Mailbots to automate your reponses, using
HTML to create a Web home page, the most cost effective way to get on the
Web and much, much more .
Best of luck and I hope to see you on the Net!.
Marty Fox is the publisher of The Internet Marketing 101 Video/Software
Suite (2 hour video plus software) available for $59 from Future
Communications Systems, Inc. 92 Summit Way, Syosset NY 11791. His voice
number and order line is (516) 496-7121 He can be reached on the Internet
at firstname.lastname@example.org or CompuServe: 70461,1117
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