My Most Powerful Email Ever

Here’s a story as told to me by a fellow online marketer:

There was a time, back in the 90’s, when some of us were doing something called “fax blasting.”

This was similar to email marketing, in that we were sending out faxes via a service to people who had expressed interest in our niche.

And frankly, we made very good money using this method.

Obviously it wouldn’t work today, but there was one lesson I learned via fax blasting that I’ve never forgotten.

I was working one of those multi-level programs that were so popular then.

I’d send out a blast of 1,000 faxes, and recruit several people into the program without even talking to them. Yes, it was that easy, if you had the right copy.

I would then continue to keep them updated via fax or email, their choice.

And there was one message I sent out that got more response than all of my other messages combined.

In fact, I was frankly shocked at the response. People referred to that message on personal calls, conference calls, in emails and so forth.

Quite simply, it resonated like nothing else I ever sent.

So what was the message? It was simply me rambling on a bit about my typical working day: When I got up; when, where and how I worked; when I finally got to bed and a couple of amusing but personal anecdotes.

It was something I dashed off without much thought, yet it was the message that everyone wanted to hear.

Why? Because it was personal stuff about me.

I was their upline. And in marketing, people like to buy people, not things. If you think about it, there are probably a dozen or maybe a hundred other people selling the same or nearly the same things you’re selling.

Yet your customers buy from you. Why? Because they like YOU. Maybe they like the way you write, or talk, or the look of you… I don’t know. But I do know there is something about you that they relate to.

So next time you send out an email or write a blogpost, put a little bit of YOU into it, and see what happens.

And make that a pattern, always offering a little insight into the mystery that is you.

While it will never be your main message, it will go a long way to bridging the distance between you, your customers and making sales.

Sneaky Tips To Get Your Emails Opened

You work hard to write the perfect email – and then nobody even opens the darn thing.  Sigh.

What’s a marketer to do?

Try a new subject line using one of the following tactics:

Insert your personality and get personal.

Let’s face it – no one gets excited by dry toast, which is precisely why you need to let your own personality shine in your subject line.

True, some people won’t like your personality. So what? Others will love your personality because they see themselves in you, and they’ll become rabid fans.

Examples: “Three experts in our niche that are flat out WRONG,” “Why I loathe beets and want them exterminated from the planet,” “Why I check under my bed before going to sleep,” and “10 things the worst world leader in history taught me.”

Use numbers.

In a big field of words (think your Gmail inbox) numbers and symbols stand out.

For example: “7 ways to screw this up,” “3 people I hate” and “5 days in the doghouse.”

Ask a question.

For whatever reason, questions just seem to work better than statements.

For example, instead of, “How to do this,” you might ask, “Can you tell me how to do this?”

Other examples: “Why can’t you go to the bathroom?” “Where do you want me to ship this?” “Is the dorky look back in style?”

Invoke Curiosity.

Strange headlines get clicks – sometimes. This one is a little tricky, but if you can arouse enough curiosity, you’ll be blown away at how many subscribers open your emails.

Examples: “My Dr. told me to eat dirt,” “How to know you’re about to have a heart attack” and “The dessert only diet.”

Super short subject lines:

There was a reason why, for a while, you kept seeing the subject line, “Hey.”

It worked.

But like anything else, once it’s used too much, its effectiveness wears off.

Still, every once in awhile try using either a one word subject line, or a short subject line that you use as a great opening to a story. Examples:

“Damn,” “That’s when I knew,” “Groan…” “Facepalming AGAIN,” “Yikes!” “Oh no!” “How did THAT happen?” “Unbelievable!” and so forth.

And one last sneaky but ultra-important tip: Always send out your emails a second time to everyone who didn’t open them the first time.

How this works: Nearly every autoresponder has this option now, and if yours doesn’t, ask for it.

Send out an email in the morning. Wait 8 to 12 hours, and then resend it to everyone who didn’t open it the first time.

Use a different subject line the second time, but keep the email the same.

Your second subject line can be entirely different from the first, thus (hopefully) sparking interest in those subscribers who didn’t open the first one.

Or you can simply say, “You missed this earlier email,” or some such.

Typically, I get nearly as many opens the second time I send an email as I do the first time.

It’s a great way to reuse your emails. You’re not bugging those subscribers who did open your first email. And you will get more clicks and make more sales with almost no additional effort.

You can even schedule the second email when you send out the first. Just make sure to send it only to those readers who did not open it the first time.

How To KNOW You’ll Get Paid Every Month

Yes, you made sales this month. But will you make sales NEXT month? And how will you pay the bills if you don’t make sales?

It can be scary going from a job where you know exactly how much you’ll get paid and when you’ll get paid to working your own business online.

In your business you might have a banner month and then two months of starving followed by a mediocre month followed by (hopefully) another banner month.

Thus, the question becomes, “How do you get stability in your business – and your income -as quickly as possible?”

Or… how do you KNOW for a FACT that next month you can make the mortgage and eat, too?

Simple – continuity programs. Call it what you want – memberships, recurring payments, monthlies, etc.

It all boils down to getting people signed up into a continuity program so you can continue to get paid month after month.

Now you have a choice here: You can either promote other people’s continuity programs, or create and promote your own.

If you’re acting as an affiliate, then you don’t have to worry about sales funnels, membership content, customer service and all of that. You just need to focus on making the sales.

Drive the traffic, offer your own bonuses and do what you’ve got to do to get people signed up.

The problem, of course, is that in exchange for less responsibility, you also have less control and more competition.

The membership site owner has control over content. If s/he takes a “churn and burn” mentality and doesn’t care about keeping members happy, then people won’t stay long. You’ll have to continually make new sales, which isn’t what you’re looking for.

You want stability. That’s why you only want to promote truly great memberships and continuity programs that deliver a ton of value.

As to competition, you are competing with every other affiliate who is promoting the same program.

If you have your own list, then this isn’t that big of a problem. After all, people on your list know and love you, right? And so they’ll follow your recommendation.

Unless they’re on someone else’s list (they are) who has already promoted the program. In which case, you’re not going to make many sales.

Promoting affiliate memberships is a give and take. Less responsibility, no control and lots of competition.

And this is why you might want to start your own membership. Look around and see what people in your niche desperately want and need, and then fill that want with your site.

Outsource the content creation if you can, so you can focus on the important part – filling it with people.

Once you’ve got your membership site up and running, it’s time to get busy promoting it. Use every technique you can think of and track everything.

Find out what your best sources of traffic are, and then put all of your effort into just those methods.

For example, maybe you buy traffic from Facebook, Adwords and solo ads. You also get free traffic from guest posting, forums and social media.

9 out of 10 new members are coming from Facebook, so what are you going to do?

Your Vision for Your Online Business

Visualization of your goals can’t stop in your imagination. For goals to become reality you need to make a concerted action now and into the future. That means w-o-r-k to make it happen. There is no such thing as wealth without work. Day dreaming can be fun, but it can be counter-productive.

See It!
When we are not being logical or realistic or we have not really defined achievable goals, we can quickly become disenchanted when nothing works out as we thought it would. It is good to ‘aim high’ and ‘dream big’, but if we set unrealistic goals that may not be possible to achieve at this juncture, this can become discouraging.

This is sadly ironic if the person actually believed he could earn money instantly, without first building and developing a plan and then working it. Nothing will ever happen by magic or because we have a vision. It won’t happen unless we tune in to reality and do the work.

If you have never started a business before, there may be lots of false starts. Until we get real and create a plan with reasonable expectations, we are just wasting time and resources – ‘spinning our wheels’, never more than a wannabe. We need to make a commitment just as we would when we start a new job. I will show up and I will work to accomplish goals.

The key to success is to persevere. There will not be even a slim chance of accomplishing our goals if we give up and quit too soon. However, if we can just keep trying, even without seeing any tangible results, there is still a chance things will improve. You never know what is right around the corner so don’t miss it because you quit too soon. If we quit too soon without giving ourselves and the program a fair chance, we will never know what we might have achieved.

With all that said, everybody is not necessarily going to relate to this environment. We need to seriously admit that we do not like working online and do not want to do this — and then move on. There is no shame in this. Not everybody can ride a horse – or even wants to. What we all have in common either way is we need more money. We may as well find a way to earn an income that we enjoy and feel that we can succeed with.

Although it is important to take action while we feel inspired, it is super important to be logical about what we need to do and what we can realistically expect to achieve. If we can build on that, we will have the foundation for a profitable home business.

Where to Begin If You Are Thinking of Starting a Business Online

To begin with, you need a real plan — a plan that would organize resources that you have to invest, as far as money, time and skills. Even if you have very few resources you can still start a business on the Internet. If you are determined, there are ways to make up for anything you feel you need but do not feel strong about.

Get started!
If you have no money to work with then start to save a few dollars whenever you get money. You will be surprised that even a little bit of ‘spare change’ will add up if you don’t spend it. It is also a good thing when planning to take stock of what you spend your money on. If you are really committed to having your own business at home, you can make some small sacrifices as far as things in your life that are not essentials, for example – entertainment, trips, and luxuries.

You can be direct and for example when you would normally pay for tickets to an event, take that amount and put it away in a savings account for your business operating expenses. You can also help yourself to motivate your saving, figure how much gas you saved and the bridge tolls, etc. and put that away in savings too.

Time is a major concern especially if you have no money. You will need to spend more time researching and working in performing tasks for yourself. You can always learn how to do things if you feel you don’t have strong enough skills when you come to the table.

Rest assured though that you have access to major important, free resources, rich or poor. Search engines like Google.com are where almost anything you ask under the sun will be answered within minutes. It may take some time to go through all the results you get though, to decide on the best.

There are free courses online at organizations like W3schools.com. This is technical and provides just enough information that you can learn how to maintain and even build websites. There are also community colleges online where you can take excellent courses for just a few dollars and you can do it whenever you have free time.

Determination and sacrifice are key ‘skills’ that you need. After working all day, commuting, and family responsibilities, devoting yourself to starting a business may take your last ounce of strength! Many do it and it is very gratifying for them to know they have taken control of their own lives.

Transform your Life With a Home-Based Business

Whether personally or globally, our economy can have radical shifts. ‘Feast or Famine’. Unfortunately the ‘cost of living’ doesn’t change very often. Many are thinking of or already working from home. For several reasons it is probably best to do this part-time at first.

make your home pay its own biills
Working from home has many advantages. Besides being able to have extra money to save or use for something your salary alone may not afford, a close second is probably being your own boss and to do the kind of work you want to do. Most plan on eventually working from home full –time. (make sure you have proven full-time income before you quit your day job!)

A full-time home business provides freedom. You have the freedom to create and maintain your own work schedule and to save money on gas, food and clothes. If you ever calculated it you probably spend a lot of time commuting that you are never paid for if you are working away from home. When you work from home, you are able to keep more of the money you make.

Another advantage of having a home based business is that you can spend more time being around your family and friends. You will not have nearly as much stress all the way around as you would have with a job. Remember your kids are only kids once. Don’t miss all the ‘firsts’.

A home business gives you more opportunity to progress professionally. To run your own business gives you experience in management. Having your own plan gives you a chance to be more creative. You may even be able to use talents you haven’t been able to use before as well as ones you have honed through years in your career.

To make your home business work, you need to put together a well thought-out, written business plan. There are many online websites that can help you think this through. Don’t be in denial about this because you really need to know how much time and money will be required at different stages. There are many ways you can do this as your assets allow. Use the skills you have to do things for free to promote your business.

How to Start a Home Business

If you are expecting to start a home business, and for it to be successful, you really need to get serious. You should see it as if it was a paying job, even though it may not be yet. Schedule your working time to just like you would have hours where you are expected to perform for a job. Keep in mind that you don’t have to stress about time and deadlines quite as much when it is your home business and not your job.

get started!
If your business was a job, would you have the attitude that whenever you get a chance you will do whatever it is? Would you do what you need to do only if you can squeeze it in to your social calendar? No way, because you wouldn’t keep the job long enough to be worried. It is the same concept with your business – take it seriously. It has to be on top of your list of priorities. Top of the charts, you need to make your home work schedule part of your business plan. Determine how much time you can commit to spend per day or per week to work on your business.

You may have a day job, a family and pets, etc., that demand your attention and are first priorities, if you want to add a home business to your life you need to create some structured time for it. Whether it is 2 hours or 8 hours you need to use the time wisely, and be consistent. Looking at your day as 24-hours you can be flexible and can do some hours in the AM and some in the PM or whatever fits your lifestyle. It can always be flexible, changing as need be when there are things that come up, or just because you feel like it.

Realizing that one of the most important (free and effective) ways to promote your online business is to use your blog, try to spend at least 30 minutes to publish at least a few paragraphs. Original content is always best, but if you don’t have anything unique, then maybe post an article by someone else, and of course including their links, etc. to give them full credit. (this is another important legal issue).

Also typical to an online marketing business would be to manage your list of subscribers in your autoresponder, (15 minutes); and to do some advertising using whatever strategies you have chosen to use presently – for instance solo ads, traffic exchanges, and list builders (30 minutes).

It won’t be too hard to forget to check your affiliate programs for commissions by logging in to each one and looking for your reports (15 minutes); Check in to your social networks, etc., to see if you have any messages (business-related) to respond to. This is no time to socialize unless it is business related. This is work time. You can go back on your own time to chat it up. Just remember not to get ‘lost’ on any site that you are on.

Home Business – You Have to Do it Your Way

It really shows you are creative and brighter than average if you want to develop a business on your own. Why blow it by being a jackass? Reference is to people with no experience who will ignore training and even minor documentation that might help them to formulate a plan. Oh but no, they are the center of the universe. They will pester support for answers in that they feel they are entitled to know without reading it.

listen up!
It says ‘free’ and/or it says ‘no experience’ necessary. Did it ever occur to you that you have to start somewhere? These two qualifications do in fact require your participation even if just so far as to give you a place to start from. Did I mention that you contact support usually after you mess everything up by doing it without having any reference? That’s ok support lives for you. Forget their other 100 people that they need to help. They will be glad to do everything 2 or 3 times just to cater to you.

If you are paying for service that is a different ballgame. They owe you, but still only to a reasonable degree. Why do you not recognize harassment when several times a day you are running to them with questions that are either not relevant to what you should be doing at this point or worse something that has already messed everything up and now needs to be recovered – on their time. Oh! But you are entitled more so than anyone else. (Where did you get this silly idea?).

Unfortunately the other side of the entitlement allows that you will tell people how to do their job. If they try to tell you where you should get your direction (as a kindness) you will badger them and infer threats. You as support are expected to know everything and do everything. If you are avoiding telling the person they are a pest who you feel is harassing you, or to say ‘it is not my job’, they will likely consider you hostile and condescending. Which is best, tell the truth or go with ‘the customer is always right’. (not)

The point is allow the people who want to guide you to the point where you can start to use your own ideas. Don’t be ignorant and start right in destroying everything before you access what has been provided. This especially refers to changing technical settings that you have no idea how to understand or what will happen other than somebody else will need to fix it for you.

(End of Rant)

Affiliate Marketing – Earn While You Learn

There are many affiliate programs that offer some level of training with regard to promoting a business online. When you join, the company will assign your affiliate ID and give you a link to your own sales page so that you can actually start advertising on day one. You can start earning commissions while you are still learning how! However, it is probably a good idea to read over the documentation on the site. This will give you ideas on what to say in your blog, ads, etc..

learn to earn
There are some that feel ‘safer’ just to keep learning endlessly because they don’t feel that they can actually do anything yet. This is a waste of time. Often these folks suffer from what can be referred to as ‘paralysis by analysis. They hide behind the learning and never believe they know enough to start taking action. They waste months and sometimes even years thinking that they don’t know anything.

Affiliate marketing is very attractive, especially as a first effort to start a home business online. This is so in large part because they provide everything you need to get started on the first day. There is really no reason to wait. If they don’t have official training, then read all the FAQs and other documentation in your member back office.

An affiliate program has the product ready for you. They allow you to earn money from their intellectual property. This has taken them possibly years and many dollars to develop. There are also costs they pay associated with running the membership program. This is why when you become a member you will eventually pay a monthly membership fee. What you get in return is far and above more than you will pay. If you were to pay for a website, a web page, maintaining software, hosting, etc. you will realize how much time and money you save by affiliating yourself with an existing company.

It can take a while where you are learning and advertising, and it may be unlikely as a beginner that you will make sales the first day. It is possible though so why not dive right in as it will probably take some time to see substantial results.

However usually when you see statements that you can make money today it assumes you have a list of existing customers or prospects -or at the very least marketing experience.

Unfortunately there is no magic that will create sales. You have to promote your links constantly over time to build momentum. What they are actually saying is that it is possible to START the process to earn money; meaning at the least to become a member and start the process of developing your business today.

Did You Know What Goes Around Comes Around

Never be afraid to share, regardless of if it is information or even money. Somebody must have given you the information you were seeking, right? Fortunate for you. Think of the difference if they had the attitude that they better not be so honest, because if they told you, you might beat them out of something. (competition vs friendship). Somebody taught you what they knew (shared) and hoped that maybe they had helped you.

Share!
Since mankind is not 100% evil, it may just be the case that you are lucky to meet someone who had been successful themselves and wanted to ‘share the wealth’. If they were really good, they may have felt that they needed to ‘give back’ to the universe some of the blessings that they had received. It’s a beautiful way to think, especially when compared to folks that figure ‘I got mine’ (so that is all that matters).

Something really amazing is when someone has been given some real breaks – tangible resources, training, content, etc. for free – and instead of being grateful, they would begrudge their benefactors from making money “off” of them. They would actually seem to go out of their way to do business with anyone but those that had gifted them. Is it some kind of foolish pride? Shallow competition or just plain cruelty?

It may be somewhat understandable when in direct competition to do all you can to ‘win’. It is also possible to have a ‘win/win’ situation where everybody helps everybody and all can benefit. If I am trying to teach you something and you are able to learn, then I succeeded. However if you refuse to learn then we both failed.

If I share something with you that someone shared with me, and you don’t pass it on to someone who is in a position to need it, as you were, then it just dies. Maybe somebody who would have benefited from the information will fail because they didn’t know. Will that make you more of a winner? Hardly.

That is the mindset of someone who doesn’t understand that ‘what goes around comes around’. Maybe when a door slams in his face he will get it. Good or bad – we never know when we will get what we have coming to us. It works both ways – the more good we do the more good we receive and the other way around. So be a winner and don’t be afraid to give it up. Share what you have and be thankful for all that you have been able to benefit from.