AWeber is the company that looks after my subscriber list. The list is the most valuable thing that I own.
So I was less than happy when I received a message as I worked on my account which read: “Your AWeber account has been blocked.”
No explanation. No clues as to why my account was blocked.
Maybe it was blocked for good.
It was 2.00 AM US Eastern Standard Time. AWeber wouldn’t be open for another six hours. So who – or what process – closed the account and why?
I checked my AWeber account backup. I’d saved my account. But only up to four weeks ago. So I stood to lose thousands of subscribers.
A call to AWeber at 8 AM EST cleared most of the mystery up. There are some websites that trigger account blocks – something I had no idea of before. AWeber agreed to unblock my account but warned that the account I was promoting was a spam site.
So I checked the page. It’s a trade swap I did with another internet marketer. As usual I’d opted in to check that the offer was good. It was a standard internet marketing offer. Nothing wrong with it.
But I’d not found out what happened when visitors tried to close the page and NOT opt in. Every time I clicked to close the site another Exit Splash offer appeared. Offer after offer appeared to get me to stay on the site. In total EIGHT Exit Splash offers appeared.
Exit Splash is an essential piece of internet marketing kit. In fact I highly recommend it. But using it once, or twice at the most, is enough per page.
I’m not out to name and shame this marketer, despite the problems he caused me. I wrote to him. He agreed to – and did – amend his site. End of story.
Lessons learnt for me: back up AWeber weekly, not monthly. Check offers backwards, as well as forwards. And I’ll still keep using Exit Splash.
But never eight times per page.
Suspicious subscriber Mary Bradley writes regarding my subscribers list. She asks:
“Why do you want me to join your buyers list? I’m already subscribed. How many lists am I supposed to be on?”
First of all, this is my fault for assuming everyone knows how an autoresponder mailing service works. So here goes…
I’ve got two lists. One is for freebies: people who’ve not bought anything from me yet. The second is for buyers, who’ve bought one of my products or something I’ve recommended.
Once you buy from me you’re automatically cancelled from the freebies list. The catch is you have to fill in a form in order to be cancelled from the freebies. So I usually offer you a free gift as a thank you for buying.
Just about everyone who markets on and offline keeps a buyers list. A buyer is worth about ten times the value of a freebie seeker – some people estimate even more.
Who do you think gets the best offers? Who’s more likely to get mailed the least amount of times and get the best quality offers? Of course it’s the buyers.
I’ll send about fifteen emails a week to freebie seekers. Buyers can expect three a week on average.
Most marketers have a similar strategy. Few tell you that they do it. And of course you’ll only see the difference when you actually buy from them.
I’ll do my best to get you to internet marketing success. You’ll get the best content and offers that I can provide.
But freebies travel economy. Buyers travel club class. OK?
And if you’re not building a buyers list from your customers, what better time to start doing it than now?
Did you know that Amazon bans sellers from undercutting prices on some products that they sell? As a result it’s difficult for private sellers to compete effectively on Amazon.
Thinking about selling at a high price on Amazon, and a lower price for the same product on your own website? Amazon will ban you from their site if they find out.
To sell on Amazon you need to
- Research a niche
- Ensure that niche is not dominated by Amazon
- Source products via wholesale or liquidation. Or sell your own product.
- Make buying from you the most attractive choice for potential buyers.
- Have your goods shipped on time to customers.
- 6. Keep popular products in stock to meet customer demand.
There’s more – that’s just for starters! No wonder some people give up before they’ve even started selling on Amazon.
But there is another way. And that’s affiliate marketing.
- Cut down on niche research.
- Eliminate worry about Amazon niche domination.
- End product sourcing problems.
- Send your prospects to your own site and cut down on the competition.
- Leave it to the sellers to ship goods.
- Stop all your worries about stock problems.
So if affiliate marketing is so much easier, why don’t more people do it?
The feedback I’m getting is that some people far prefer the idea of selling physical goods to benefiting from other peoples’ efforts. Selling your own products is somehow more honest and understandable that affiliate marketing.
If you can get past that… what do you need to market as an affiliate?
First sign up as an Amazon Associate. It’s easy and free.
Then decide on a niche to market in.
Get a website and traffic to drive to your offers. So some basic HTML and search engine optimization skills are required here.
What if you could get most of the work in these tasks Done For You?
There are dozens of DFY Amazon website packages available at the moment. The refund rate is usually 0 – 2%. So it’s odds on that people are buying these website packages because they WORK.
Stuck for a niche to sell in? Try Photographic Equipment. Photographers are fanatical hobbyists and this niche is very popular on Amazon.
What about Motorcycle Equipment? Again, bike owners are often obsessive about their hobby. And of course they need some accessories to keep their bikes running. And they often get them from Amazon.
An easy way of driving traffic to your offers is to create Squidoo lenses. Amazon and Google love Squidoo so with a bit of niche research you can get your lenses to rank high in the search engines, and sell well as a result. Find out more here.
Of course affiliate marketing isn’t for everyone. But if you’re prepared to try something different it could well be your route to big profits with Amazon.
If you think about any of your sales transactions on eBay, you’re given access to information which marketers in other businesses would be happy to pay for. In a store, you select something off the shelf, take it to the checkout and pay for it.
Now, if you by pay cash or credit card, the store has gained zero market intelligence about you and your buying habits. It doesn’t know who you are, or how to get hold of you to make future related offers to you.
Of course if you use a loyalty or store card, then they DO get the market information they need. They know who you are and what you’ve bought. And this is added to your record which the store maintains about your buying habits.
As an eBay seller, you really are in a great position.
You know that your buyer is interested in a specific category of products i.e. the category in which the item they purchased from you was listed. You have their email address and, better still, you’re on personal terms with that buyer – most emails in connection with eBay transactions are carried out at the first name level.
And, having delivered to them once, as far as your buyer is concerned you are now in the position of being a trusted supplier. They are more likely to buy from you again, knowing that you have performed responsibly in the past. And they, having paid you, become your trusted customer. You know that should they buy from you again, they will pay you!
You can now take advantage of all of this to market some other appropriate product to your customer directly.
The simplest form of direct marketing is an email newsletter. All you have to do is to ask people who buy from you if they’d like to be added to your mailing list to learn of your latest offers. Then you send them a monthly update on your new items. Don’t forget to include some useful “none-sales” information to give your newsletter more value.
This is obviously easier if the items you sell are frequently updated. For example, here’s an outline of an email newsletter you might write if you were selling DVDs.
“Here are the dates for this month’s new DVD releases:
[list of release dates].
If you want to pre-order anything on this list, just click here [your website/email] and let us know. Meanwhile, we’ve got some great deals for you this month! [links to your best ebay auctions]”
You might also include a DVD review, which you can get from any number of DVD movie sites on the internet. If you produce your newsletter regularly, people will begin to get used to you, and your own reputation and integrity will grow. They will also be more likely to take a look at some of the things you’re offering.
But remember it’s not a newsletter without the news. You might want to try writing an article. Think of it as a free gift for your customers: the gift of useful information. Apart from anything else, it’s quite fun to have your own newsletter.
Plus, don’t forget to abide by spam regulations and give subscribers the chance to unsubscribe from your newsletter.
If your items are such that a buyer may be interested in something similar, like a collectable, then you can try more targeted emails along the lines of:
“I’m sending you this email today because you bought a [item name] from me a while ago, and I thought you might be interested in this new item I’m auctioning.
You can see the item here [link to website or eBay auction].”
Newsletter and email communications such as these couldn’t be simpler. Give it a go. Keep communicating with your eBay buyers and you’ll soon see that you can bring in more business.
On Tuesday 8th May I’ll be running my first ever webinars.
One of the things that has put me off webinars in the past is the expense. The main webinar platform is GoToMeeting.com. It costs $499 per month to use their 1,000 subscriber option. It must be worthwhile or people wouldn’t use the service. But for a first time, it’s too expensive for me.
The webinar service I’m using is AnyMeeting.com. For 200 subscribers it’s completely free. The only downside is that there is an ad at the side of the screen when the webinar’s running. I’ve had a couple of trials to get used to their setup and the ads don’t get in the way. The interface is easy to use and well designed. Tutorial videos for the site are good too.
So if you’re planning to run a webinar yourself this is a service I would recommend.
If you’re on my list and received an invitation, there’s something I want to make clear. Both webinars will contain the same content. I noticed some people were signing up for both dates, and I should’ve made things clearer.
There’s no need for anyone to be there for both – except for me! Because of the time difference, the fact that I’ve scheduled both webinars eleven hours apart should make it easy for most of you to attend at a convenient time regardless of where you live.
If you’re signed up already you can look forward to some quality information on eBay, Amazon, own physical product design and creation and more. I also cover dropshipping in depth. And I’m offering you my eBay Essentials 18 video course for free when you attend.
Some paid products and services will be available at the end of the webinar. But I’m sure you’ll benefit from the free content if that’s all you want.
And remember that there are only 400 positions available on the webinars so I suggest you get there early. If you’ve not joined up yet, just visit this link.
And changing the subject, congratulations to Andrew Mackow, the winner of my One Month Mentor competition. He won a $15 rebate on the product. Andrew has achieved great success with my eBay eClass. But more about that on Tuesday.
I hope you can make it. Wish me luck…
Spam filters are great for stopping the floods of unwanted email that we all get to our inbox. But how do you ensure that emails that you want to look at don’t get marked as spam?
I’ve recently noticed emails sent to me from friends and business contacts getting marked as spam. It’s only by wading through my spam folder that I’ve found important messages that I needed to read.
If you’ve signed up to my list recently, you should have received a sequence of five emails giving away my free products. In the last month I’ve had over a dozen complaints from subscribers who’ve not received all five of these emails.
So what’s the solution?
The best way to ensure that you get emails from me is to whitelist my email address.
Not clear on whitelisting? Here’s Wikipedia’s definition:
“An e-mail whitelist is a list of contacts that the user deems are acceptable to receive email from and should not be sent to the trash folder.
Spam filters that come with e-mail clients have both whitelists and blacklists of senders and keywords to look for in e-mails. If a spam filter keeps a whitelist, mail from the listed e-mail addresses, domains, and/or IP address will always be allowed.
Some internet service providers have whitelists that they use to filter e-mail to be delivered to their customers.
If a whitelist is exclusive, only e-mail from those on the whitelist will get through. If it is not exclusive, it prevents e-mail from being deleted or sent to the junk mail folder by the spam filter. Usually, only end-users would set a spam filter to delete all e-mails from sources not on the whitelist, not internet service providers or e-mail services.”
I’ve now whitelisted all my important email contacts – something I should’ve done before but never got around to. I recommend you do the same if you’ve not done so already.
Years of refusal.
But finally I’ve started to use Facebook and Twitter for my marketing. Why the wait? Partly because I wanted to get things right. Plus I knew there’d be a bit of a learning curve ahead…
First I wanted to launch a page on Facebook. So I bought some software to help me create the page.
Long story short: After three hours of apps, timelines, Facebook mark up text and more I was ready to give up.
Fortunately Frank Salinas’s guide EZ Free Fan Pages helped me out. No apps needed with this one. With EZ Free Fan Pages I had what I wanted done in under an hour.
If you’ve more experience with Facebook than me, you might not need help with page creation. But if you do, EZ Free Fan Pages is the product to go for.
Have a look at the results here.
You can see that after you click Like (thanks for that!) you’re lead to a splash page. Then you’re taken to the squeeze page. It’s only after filling in the form that you finally get your free gifts.
Why turn a simple ‘click the Like button to get your freebies’ request into a three step process?
With 800 million Facebook users there’s no shortage of traffic.
But overall, Facebook traffic is lower than average quality. It costs me money to keep freebie seekers on my list. The three step system encourages the higher quality targeted prospects to opt in.
Next I wanted to start using my Twitter account. I’ve even less interest in publishing ‘what I had for breakfast’ messages on Twitter than I have in reading them. I want an automated system that fires out eBay/Amazon/IM related tweets.
If you’re interested in an automated Twitter account, I recommend Auto Tweet Cash. This course is (thankfully!) straightforward and easily implemented.
Within 72 hours after putting Auto Tweet Cash into place I had my first affiliate product sale from Twitter.
How many followers you add to your account after that is up to you. But just making a couple of return visits per week to the Auto Tweet Cash system will ensure your account keeps growing.
Check out my Twitter account here.
“What do I sell on Amazon Pete?”
This is one of the most frequent questions I get asked. Competition for ecommerce products of all kinds is fierce on Amazon. So from the outset, you need to think outside the box. Here are a few ideas for you…
Sell multiples of your item in one listing
Can your customer use more than one of the products you’re selling? Then sell more than one product in each listing. For example, if you’re selling bottles of wine, why not take a red and a white and call it a Selection Pack? It’s easier to undercut your competition on pricing whilst still making a good profit. AND you’ve created a unique product.
Create bundled items of different accessories
This works particularly well for Playstation, iPhone, iPad, etc. related accessories. Amazon has allowed bundled products since November 2011 and a lot of sellers have been making good money with accessory bundles since then. My Auction Profit Formula contains more on this method.
Sell your own one of a kind items
Do you have a particular talent for creating anything? I’ve sold over 2,000 of my own pop art canvas prints on Amazon, for instance. Or can you outsource creation of a product you’ve got in mind? Research what’s selling now on Amazon, and how you can put your own unique spin on it.
Set up an Amazon affiliate website
Like any other affiliate program, this involves promoting products already listed on Amazon. You get a percentage from the sale price of each product sold. Affiliate commission percentages are low on Amazon products, so it’s important to target high demand, expensive niches to make good profits.
Azon Profit Store is a particularly good site theme. Amongst features that make it stand out:
When you Google to find a product that’s on Amazon, a short review and a star rating often appear in your search results. These are called rich snippets. Google loves rich snippets – Azon Profit Store utilizes them.
A prospective customer clicking to buy a product in your store is sent directly to the Amazon checkout page, unlike other site themes that send visitors to the product page. It cuts a step out in the buying process, and closely aligns your site with Amazon in your prospect’s mind. This is a big deal!
Azon Profit Store is newbie and advanced friendly. Find out more here.
Look out for Part Two tomorrow with more about affilate sites and selling on Amazon.
You can also buy pre designed Amazon affiliate websites that focus on one topic. High demand, high profit niches are the ones to go for. Have a look at this offer targeted at Amazon Affiliate Baby Essentials.
Similar eBay targeted sites were popular in the past. However as Amazon has eclipsed eBay as the premier ecommerce store, these have become rarer.
It can be difficult for the average seller to gain a foothold with Amazon selling. An Amazon affiliate site gives you a chance to join rather than beat the competition. Amazon stops other sellers from undercutting them on price on any of the products they sell, so it’s important to find other ways to profit on Amazon, instead of fighting an impossible battle of pricing competition with Amazon themselves.
Another major cash making opportunity on Amazon is with ebooks designed for the Amazon Kindle. This is a blog post in itself, so more on that later…