Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Articles - A Great Big Ticket Marketing Tool

Ok, today we are going to talk about one of my favorite Big Ticket Marketing tools – writing articles!

You are probably thinking, what does writing articles have to do with Big Ticket Marketing?

Well, it turns out, it has plenty to do with it and I’m going to tell you why.

It’s about the relationship!

As a Big Ticket Marketer you have an even tougher job of convincing your potential customers to become actual customers.  That’s because Big Ticket items have a much higher price tag then other products.  And the higher price tag means that you have more skepticism to overcome than someone who is just selling a $37 e-book.

Also, you may be in an industry where there is a lot of competition with products that have very similar capabilities or features.  So how do you differentiate yourself and your Big Ticket product from the others?

In my opinion, the key factor that should make you different from the others is not price.  Although that is an important consideration it is not the only one when people are spending more to purchase a product.  The key factor, I believe, is the relationship that you create between yourself and your prospective and existing customers.

Prospective and Existing Customers Need to Know You, Like You and Trust You before They Will Buy From You

In order to sell to anyone, they have to know you, like you and trust you.  This is especially true for Big Ticket items.  Obviously there are lots of ways to help your prospective and existing customers to get to know you like you and trust you.  One way is to make sure you always provide them with value on an ongoing basis.

That means giving them great, highly relevant content for free.  Also, supplying free products relevant to their interests. Obviously, the quality of your product and your service must be high or you will quickly lose any customers you have!

For Big Ticket item purchasers, it will take them a lot longer to evaluate you and your product.  Let’s look at a couple of examples:

Let’s say you you sell real estate.  No one is going to jump and buy the first property they are presented with, unless it just happens to completely meet their needs.  Instead, they are going to rely on you to provide them with a bunch of choices based on what you tell them you want.  That process could take as little as a month or as long as several years depending on how demanding the buyer is.

Or say you are in the high tech industry where you sell computer solutions including all the hardware, software and support.  In some cases these deals could be worth 1/2 a million dollars or more.  Again, no one is going to just write you a check without very seriously evaluating your product and services and YOU!

One of the best ways to keep you and your products in the minds of your potential and existing customers is to consistently be in touch with them.  And this is where articles are a super Big Ticket Marketing strategy.

Why are Articles A Great Big Ticket Marketing Strategy?

Articles that are interesting, relevant, on target and useful to your target market are a great way to stay in touch (and in the mind) of your potential and existing customers.

Great articles do take some time to write but like anything else, the more you write the easier it becomes.  And heck, if you really hate writing articles, there are lots of people on elance.com or other free-lance websites who will be happy to do it for you.

All you have to do is publish or email the articles to your prospective and existing customers on a regular basis.  You give them value, maintain contact with them and stay in their mind.  You never know when the prospective or existing customer will decide that its time to make that purchase. 

And if you are the person most recently in their mind who do you think they will think of first for the product or service?

Here are the benefits of using articles as a Big Ticket Marketing strategy:

  • Articles provide great content for your e-zine or blog. By keeping in touch with customers and giving them valuable, relevant content you are helping build your relationship with them.
  • Articles help establish you as the expert in your area. You build a relationship by informing your readers about your area and about the benefits your product or service can provide.  This can be as subtle as just providing links in your resource box after the article or by writing “advertorial” content. 

    Note: “advertorial” is just a funny word that describes an article written to look like a newspaper or magazine column but is really an advertisement for your product or service.
  • Articles are generally followed by a resource box which may contain the author of the article, a short biography of the author, the authors websites and sales pages.  Readers who find your article interesting often click on the links in the resource box to learn more.  This is another source of traffic for you!
  • So the more e-zines and article directories you can publish articles means you get more exposure. It also means more readers who may click through to your sites.  It will also help you get a higher ranking in the search engines for your other sites.
  • Many search engines and especially Google, give higher ranking to websites that have other sites that link back to them.  The search engines consider sites with lots of other sites that link to them more relevant than sites with only a few links back to them.  So the more, different places you can get your articles published means that many more places that have your resource box and your links pointing back to your site there will be. 

    And that means that when people search using keywords related to the product or service that you sell, your sites will be returned higher up in the search results giving you a better chance that potential customers will check out your sites.

    And the nice thing about this method for obtaining a higher ranking is that it is unlikely to change even if search engines change their algorithms which is something they do on a constant basis.
  • Writing articles forces you to really know your area and communicate to your prospective and existing customers in an easy to understand way.  Your writing and communication skills improve and your readers appreciate the information you provide in a clear, easy to read fashion.  Again, helping you build a relationship with them.

If you haven’t realized it by now, I am a huge fan of using articles for my marketing.  I hope I have convinced you of the benefits and that you will start using articles in your own Big Ticket marketing efforts.

Copyright (C) 2005 Chuck Daniel, Like Magic Marketing, LLC -- All Rights Reserved.

By the way, for a package that can help you really understand how to take your article marketing to the next level including software that helps automate the process you can check  it out here:


Chuck is a former Microsoft software designer and program manager who spent more than a decade happily working on Email and CRM. Admittedly a seminar, workshop and information addict, Chuck left Microsoft to pursue his interests in personal development, internet, direct and information marketing and to promote and work for charitable causes.

Chuck Daniel
Would You Like to Make BIG Bucks
With BIG Ticket Items Online?


This article may be reprinted in its entirety in your E-zine or on your Site as long as the content is not modified, all links are left in place and you include the resource box as listed above.

If you do use this material, please send us a copy of the publication. Thanks.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

How *Crap* Can Dramatically Boost Your Profits!

I've had several readers make comments like:

"I would like to do something more than just enjoy reading it but something is holding me back."

"I am lost with all this info please help me find a starting point. I have never done this type of work before."

And I know that when I was getting started with Big Ticket Marketing, I felt exactly the same way!

So this week I thought I'd share with you an article by John Reese which I like to reread every time I feel a bit overwhelmed or caught up in trying to do everything perfectly.

John Reese is a Big Ticket Marketer who actually made over 1 Million Dollars in 1 Day with his promotion of his Traffic Secrets home study course.

John's article is humorous but the message is serious.

I hope you enjoy the article!

"How *Crap* Can Dramatically Boost Your Profits!"
By John Reese of MarketingSecrets.com

You're about to discover something that I honestly believe can CHANGE YOUR LIFE.

This is a concept that drives my marketing. This concept continues to make me a small fortune. Today I want to share this concept with you.

"Crap can make you rich."

Don't laugh. Let me explain.

The beautiful thing about marketing online is that we can achieve RESULTS for anything LIGHTNING FAST.

We can put up some Google AdWords, drive some traffic, and starting getting results in a matter of MINUTES.

I can essentially write a sales letter, include an opt-in form, and create a little infoproduct to sell, all in less than ONE HOUR and have it getting results.

Okay, so the product may completely STINK. i.e. it's CRAP. The sales letter may be nothing but CRAP too. And even if someone DOES order, they'll be getting that product which is CRAP and most likely will request a refund. Heck, after all, I only spent an hour on the entire thing.

But none of that matters. The GOLD is not in the crap itself, the gold is in the RESULTS.

Everything in marketing has a "Cause and Effect" -- everything.

If you put up the WORST CRAP EVER right now on a web site, something WILL happen. And those results are what eventually drives a few hundred dollars a month in profit, and eventually produces several thousand dollars a month, and can eventually create a small fortune.

Okay, so maybe your conversion rate will initially be 1 out of 1,000. That's okay. With enough data that 1 out of 1,000 will become a solid average and that site will CONSISTENTLY produce 1 sale out of 1,000 visitors.

Hey, welcome to a CRAP conversion rate. :-)

Hehe, but seriously...

The point is this. There is tremendous value in a 1 out of 1,000 visitor conversion rate -- no matter what the price of the product is. No matter that the offer is. Why? Because it's GUARANTEED that you can IMPROVE upon it. You can make it better. You CAN get MORE people to buy.

All you have to do is improve your marketing. Test small changes. Try a few little tweaks. Improve it little by little.

Get better and better RESULTS.

Here is something I want you to engrave deep into your brain...

You will NEVER, that's right, NEVER, launch a site or any marketing that will be even 10% of "perfect". You're never going to launch a site that starts pulling a 10% conversion ratio, let alone 100%.

(And before you email me and tell me that a site you launched pulled a 10%+ conversion rate, I'm not talking about the results of a strong endorsement someone did for you. I'm talking about an AVERAGE conversion rate from ALL the traffic sources you point at your site.)

So why are you spending SO MUCH TIME to get that latest project launched? What the heck are you waiting for?

Know this... everyday that goes by without you launching your latest project is a day that you could be using to test and IMPROVE upon what that project produces.

Yes, that means make you more money.

Your project will never be perfect. You could have always made it better. You could have always done this or done that.


"The biggest piece of crap ever created and launched online makes more money than an almost-perfect project that was never launched."

Is my point getting through to you?

The biggest mistake we entrepreneurs make is trying to make our little projects PERFECT before we are willing to launch them and see what they will do.

This can be the "kiss of death" for our businesses. Because until we launch projects we don't get any RESULTS.

What you need to realize is that RESULTS are the biggest ASSET to your online business. Even the CRAPPY RESULTS.

Because the results are what tells us what is working and what isn't. And believe me, I've probably made MORE MONEY from the results I discovered about things that weren't working, so don't just think it's all about what works.

So learn to produce projects on an ACCELERATED launch schedule. Just get the sucker to the quickest version that will allow you to launch it and start getting ANY results at all. Then spend your time IMPROVING on the results.

Let's face it. Many of our projects FLOP. It just happens. People just won't buy enough of something to make it profitable. So we must move on and work on another project. Get it out there and see if that one starts making money. Repeating the process again and again.

But think about what I just said and realize something. If you KNOW the reality that many of your projects will fail, why the heck are you taking so long to find out?

It's probably the same reason *I've* often delayed things... FEAR.

I'm AFRAID to see my "baby", my special project, fail. But since we've already come to realize that the reality of business is that some projects WILL FAIL, we just need to GET OVER IT.

Put that CRAP together and launch it! Unpolished. Unperfected. Ugly. Yes, I say let the crap fly! (no, not that crap.)

So get your projects launched absolutely, without a doubt, as quickly as possible. Get SOME results. Any results. THEN work on improving whatever those results are to increase your profits.

If you are planning on doing JVs with people for your new product, or rolling out an affiliate program for it, the  "JOHN REESE CRAP METHOD"
(as I will call it) still definitely works.

Here's how you use it...

You put together your web site and product as quickly as possible. Go jump on Google and buy some AdWords traffic to point at the site. Start tracking the results -- no matter what they are. Make changes and TEST them. Continuously work to improve the results of the site.

When you're able to get the site to a satisfactory conversion level, then and only then proceed with putting together JV deals and really rolling out the product.

You know, the biggest kiss of death for an online marketer can be to launch a product with JV partners WITHOUT having first tested and improved a site's conversion. Do you think your JV partners are going to promote your next project if the initial one completely FLOPS and doesn't make them
any money? Absolutely not.


1. Create and launch crap.
2. Test that crap.
3. Improve that crap.
4. Make money with crap that eventually becomes non-crap.

Seriously. Don't laugh. This process works. Again and again. It has made me rich.

Learn it. Live it. Love it. Let crap make YOU rich.

John Reese is an Internet Marketing pioneer that has been actively marketing online since 1990.  John has sold millions of dollars worth of products and services online and his network of Web Sites have received over 1.4 BILLION Web Site visitors since their inception. You can learn more about John, his home study courses, and subscribe to his free ezine by visiting:


(c)2003 MarketingSecrets.com.  All rights reserved.

Joel Christopher, my mentor and JV partner,calls this the Ready, Fire, Aim philosophy.
The most important thing to do is to START!

Do something even if it is initially *Crap* as John calls it in his article. 

Then you can refine it and make it better once you get feedback from your customers.

P.S. Let me know what you think of this article by posting a reply on my blog or by emailing me.  I love to hear from you!

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Another Big Ticket Marketing Tool - RSS

Ok, today we’re going to talk about RSS and why it’s an important tool for you Big Ticket Marketing efforts.

First, let’s define what RSS is. RSS actually stands for Real Simple Syndication, which is just a fancy name for a way of formatting content that can then be easily distributed across the internet and read using programs called RSS newsreaders.

RSS readers come in two types.  The first type is a standalone reader that you can download and install just like any other regular program.  The second type is an add on that runs in your internet browser.  I use an RSS reader called Pluck.  You can check Pluck out at pluck.com. If you want to see a screen shot of Pluck running as an add on to internet explorer, check out Figure 1 in the resource box below.

You don’t need to understand the format that the information gets published in in order to take advantage of RSS but just in case you are curious the format is XML (which stands for extensible markup language).

Ok, so where and why would you want to use RSS?

Well, as a user, RSS is a nice way to get access to content in areas that you are interested in without having to surf to a bunch of different sites or by cluttering up your email inbox subscribing to different email lists. 

Say, for example, you are interested in top news stories.  One way to do that is to surf over to Yahoo and then check out the top news stories category.  You could then surf over to the Associate Press site and check out what they have to offer.  And then you could go to USA Today for even more.

But an easier way is to subscribe to Yahoo Top News, Associated Press News and USA Today News using an RSS feed. 

An RSS feed is simply a specially formatted XML document, like I described earlier, that contains the content of the information you are interested in.  RSS adds information to the content like a title, date, brief description and creates a feed that RSS readers can subscribe to.  We’ll come back to how to create a feed later in this article.

If you have an RSS reader you can then read the news simply by browsing the list of RSS feeds you add to your RSS newsreader.  The newsreader will show you the titles of the main stories, the date of publication and also a brief description of the story.  If you are interested in that story you can simply click the RSS story link and read the whole thing right in your news reader.  No more surfing to all sorts of different sites to view the news!  And some newsreaders have a notification feature such that it tells you with a little popup when something new comes in under any of your chosen feeds.

Ok, ok you say, but how can I use RSS as a Big Ticket Marketer.  Well, lots of different ways.

Do you publish a newsletter or blog like I do?  Do you send out updates on a regular basis? How about publish news stories relevant to your target market.  If you are an entrepreneur or a marketer you should be doing at least some of these.  Remember, you need to build relationships with your prospects and customers.   They need to know you, like you and trust you before they will buy from you.  One way they can get to know you, like you and trust you is if you constantly give them great content, information, free stuff that is of interest to them.

Well, you can publish a newsletter or post to a blog or even send updates via email.  In fact I do that today.  But you should also be looking to leverage the power of additional technology to get your message out as well.  Remember everything little thing you do counts!

And there are some definite advantages to using RSS as well as your existing methods.  Here are some of the benefits:

  • No spam, virus or email filters turfing your messages.  RSS is what is known as a pull technology. You have to add an RSS feed to your RSS reader and then the reader polls on a regular basis to see if there are any updates to that feed.  It then downloads them for you to read whenever you want.  Email is a push technology which means that you are pushing your message to your customers.  Unfortunately so are all the spammers of the world.  In order to protect themselves, customers using spam filters.  But that also means that legitimate messages from you may get unexpectedly filtered.
  • Broader reach. Some people may sign up for your RSS feed even if they don’t sign up for your email list immediately.  So you can still reach more people with your message without them being on your list.  Now, they should probably still be on your list because some offers and specials only get sent to people on the list.  But they might start out just using the RSS feed until they get to know you better.  Also, RSS feeds are getting to be more universally distributed.  They can now be sent to Ipod type devices and hand held PDA’s.
  • Rich reading experience.  Instead of receiving an unordered list of messages in an email inbox, the RSS reader automatically organizes messages for a specific feed under that feeds topic.  I’m a hard core email reader but I can definitely see the appeal of having the messages organized by topic before I even read them. Chances are, some of your prospects and customers will like that too.

There are now also products on the market that allow you have autoresponders that send out RSS feed like messages directly to people on your list so they can choose how they get content from you. 

One potential downside is in the area of tracking.  I don’t know how or if RSS messages can be tracked to see if they have been opened or read.  This is currently possible (not perfectly) with certain types of email.  But I’d be willing to bet that someone will figure out how to do this soon if they haven’t already.

As you have probably guessed from reading the last few paragraphs, I am not telling you to stop using email as a way of communicating with your customers.  Certainly RSS has some advantages but it is still being adopted by users.  I suggest you take advantage of it as one more way you can communicate with your target market.

Ok, now on to some practical stuff.  I wanted to show you how to create your own RSS feed.  As an example I am going to tell you how I created an RSS feed for my blog.  My blog is hosted on my own site but is a blogger.com style of blog. I used feedburner.com to actually create the feed that I put on my blog so that anyone with an RSS reader can quickly add it (either by dragging or dropping it into the news reader or by copying the feed URL) to their list of feeds.

So today, I am going to assume you have a blog and that you can configure your blog to produce RSS style content that can then be distributed.  If you don’t yet have a blog you can set one up easily at blogger.com. You can tell blogger.com create the RSS style content on the Settings tab under the Site Feed Link.  Look at Figure 2 in the resource box below if you want to follow along as I talk about the various fields you need to fill in:

Publish Site Feed: The default here is No.  You need to change this setting to Yes.  This will tell blogger to publish an Atom style feed as part of publishing your blog.  Atom is another format that news readers can understand but is not as widely used as RSS is.  We’ll create a feedburner.com style of feed which will convert the Atom format into the one needed for RSS.

Descriptions: There are two choices here. Short and Full. If you choose the short description only the first paragraph or 255 characters of the content of each post will be made available to the news reader.  If you choose full description then all of the content of your post will be available to the news reader. I chose Full to make it easier for everyone to read the entire content of each post.

Site Feed Server Path: This is the path where the content will be formatted (using XML) and saved so that it can be distributed.  I have filled this in with the location of my blog on my FTP server.  If your blog is hosted by blogger you can just leave this blank.

Site Feed Filename: This is the name of the file that blogger will use to format your content. I picked atom.xml as suggested in their example.  I think if you leave this blank it defaults to atom.xml.

Site Feed URL: This is the full http URL to the blog.

Article Footer: I don’t use this so I left it blank.

Ok, now that we’ve got blogger setup to create our content in Atom Format, we’ll use Feedburner.com to create the actual RSS feed that people can add to their RSS newsreaders.  Refer to Figures 3 through 9 in the resource box below if you want to follow along as I talk about the various fields you need to fill in:

In Figure 3, which is the Feedburner.com main page, you simply enter your blog or feed address.  The feed address is a combination of Site Feed Server Path and the Site Feed Filename from above.  So for example if your Site Feed Server Path was http://www.mydomain.com/blogs/myblog/ and your Site Feed Filename was atom.xml then you would enter the feed address as http://www.mydomain.com/blogs/myblog/atom.xml. Click on the Next>> button to the right of where you entered the feed address.

In Figure 4, you can see Feedburner telling you the URL you just typed is what it will use as your feed address.  The 2nd page at Feedburner.com allows you to specify some services you want for your RSS feed.  There are many different types of services.  Under Statistics Service we will check the Standard Stats option (because it’s free :-).

In Figure 5, also on the 2nd page of Feedburner.com, under QuickFeed Services we will select the SmartFeed and Browser-Friendly Burner options.  SmartFeed allows Feedburner to translate your feed to whatever format is most acceptable to the target newsreader.  And it does this independent of the source feed format.  (Remember that Blogger publishes in Atom format… Well, using Feedburner ensures that your content is served up in the format that is most acceptable to the requesting newsreader). The Browser-Friendly Burner options simply makes sure that if someone does view your content in a plain browser and not a newsreader that they can read it easily. I just use all the other defaults under Browser-Friendly Burner.

In Figure 6, again on the 2nd page of Feedburner.com, you can customize the address used to republish your feed through FeedBurner.  So you can change the Feed Title to be something that represents your blog.  I typed in “Big Ticket Blog” for my Feed Title.  And in the FeedBurner URI I modified the URI to be specific to my blog by tacking on bigticketblog at the end of the default URL.

Leave all the other options unchanged.  Click on Next>> button to go the register or logon to your account (Figure 7).  If you don’t have a feedburner account, just follow the basic steps to create one.  If you already have an account, click on the Sign In link.

In Figure 8, you get a Feed Service Confirmation from Feedburner.com.  It will list the title of the feed, the feed URL and the services you selected. To activate the feed, click on the Activate My Feed>> button.

Figure 9 shows Feedburner.com confirming that you have activated your feed.

Now, the final step.  You need to put your feed URL and one of the standard RSS logos on your blog. You can click on the Launch your Publicity Tools link (from Figure 9) and follow the process or you can just copy this html code and add it to the template page for your blog on blogger.com.

HTML Code:

<a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/bigticketblog
  title="Subscribe to the Big Ticket Blog feed">
  <img src="http://www.feedburner.com/fb/images/pub/flchklt.gif
    style="border:0"/> Big Ticket Blog feed

You will have to replace the href= above with the URL for the feed you just created.  You will also have to change the title and text that people click on from something related to “Big Ticket Blog” to something which is more appropriate for your feed or blog.  If you don’t understand HTML or editing of web page, get your webmaster to make the changes for you.

If you look at the Big Ticket Blog website in the resource box below, you can see the little XML logo and Big Ticket Blog feed that I added in the sidebar at the right below the Archives and the I Power Blogger logo. 

Now for someone to add your blog to their RSS newsreader all they have to do is click on the XML logo or the Big Ticket Blog feed link and drag it over to their newsreader.  The blog will be added automatically and everytime the blog is updated they will receive the new content.  Now, I know for sure that drag and drop works with the Pluck newsreader but it may not work with all of them.  In that case, there will usually be another way to add the feed URL to the list of feeds the newsreader has.

I hope this helps you understand why RSS can be important in your Big Ticket Marketing efforts and gets you setup for distributing your Big Ticket Marketing information via RSS!

Copyright (C) 2005 Chuck Daniel, Like Magic Marketing, LLC -- All Rights Reserved.


Referenced Figures:

Figure 1
Figure 2
Figure 3
Figure 4
Figure 5
Figure 6
Figure 7
Figure 8
Figure 9

Chuck is a former Microsoft software designer and program manager who spent more than a decade happily working on Email and CRM. Admittedly a seminar, workshop and information addict, Chuck left Microsoft to pursue his interests in personal development, internet, direct and information marketing and to promote and work for charitable causes.

Chuck Daniel
Would You Like to Make BIG Bucks
With BIG Ticket Items Online?


This article may be reprinted in its entirety in your E-zine or on your Site as long as the content is not modified, all links are left in place and you include the resource box as listed above. If you do use this material, please send us a copy of the publication. Thanks.

Sunday, June 05, 2005

A Great Loss - Big Ticket Internet Marketer Corey Rudl

Corey Rudl (1971- 2005)


On Thursday morning, June 2nd, 2005, Corey Rudl died in a car crash, while riding as a passenger, at the California Speedway in Fontana.  You can read some of the news reports here:



Now, if you don’t know who Corey Rudl was let me just pass on a few things about him.

  • Corey had more than 40 Million in Internet Sales including 7.6 Million last year.
  • He is most well known for his sites http://www.marketingtips.com and http://www.secretstotheirsuccess.com
  • He was the President and CEO of The Internet Marketing Center located in Blaine, WA (about 2 hours from where I live)
  • He had many bestselling products but is probably best known for the “Insiders Secrets To Marketing Your Business on The Internet” and more recently the “Accelerated Internet Wealth” Series. (I own both of these and can recommend them to you)

Corey also ran a mentoring program and was the creator of many software tools to help internet marketers.

Now, I did not know Corey personally but I loved what he shared through his courses.  He had a way of explaining concepts and information in a way that made it very easy for people to learn and put into action.

e.g. In his Insiders Secrets course which comes in 2 overflowing binders.  In Part 1, Corey explained “The Basics & Necessities” and in Part 2, he explained “Advanced Techniques.  And he really did.  The first part is designed to get someone totally new to the internet marketing business up to speed quickly and easily.  And for those who are more advanced, there were always a bunch of nuggets in part 2.

Also, Corey’s passion was easy to see in the DVDs which make up his Accelerated Internet Wealth series. It was contagious.  It made you want to learn and to take the necessary steps to succeed.

Probably the most unfortunate thing was that Corey was so young.  At age 34 he had so much life ahead of him and he was also just recently married to Tracy last fall.

I feel saddened by Corey’s passing even though I never met him personally.  I learned a lot from him.  My sincerest sympathies to his family and to Tracy.  He will be remembered by the many people who’s lives he has touched directly or through his courses.