Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Big Ticket Marketing Tools - Testimonials

Another extremely valuable tool in our Big Ticket Marketing toolkit is the use of testimonials.

First, What Is A Testimonial?

Dictionary.com has the following definitions:

  • A statement in support of a particular truth, fact, or claim.
  • A written affirmation of another's character or worth; a personal recommendation.
  • Something given in appreciation of a person's service or achievement; a tribute.

All of these are accurate, but a testimonial in the marketing sense is simply a recommendation of you, your business, or a specific product that you provided. 

We’re going to talk about testimonials from a Big Ticket Marketing viewpoint in this article:

  • What Makes A Great Testimonial
  • How To Get Testimonials
  • Where To Use Testimonials
  • Why You MUST Use Testimonials In Your Big Ticket Marketing
  • Why People Give Testimonials

But the most important factor about a testimonial is that it…

…should be given freely by someone who knows you, has done business with you or owns one of your products and had great results by using it.

Ok, First What Makes A Great Testimonial?

  • The testimonial should be real.  Don’t make up testimonials! Even if you currently don’t have any for your product or service, right now.  It’s dishonest and if people find out you will lose your credibility and your reputation. No one will buy from you.
  • Testimonials should be as specific as possible.  Let’s look at two examples:

    Example #1

    Your product rocks!
        -A.G. United States

    Example #2

    “I bought the Perpetual Money Stream Home Study course from Jody Foster of Cash Cow, Inc. in December of 2004.  I listened to the DVDs and CDs and made extensive notes as I went through the course.  Each month, I took just 2 ideas from Jody’s course and applied them to my online marketing business. And what a difference 8 months makes.  I went from making only around $200 per month to making over $2000.00 per month.  Get the Perpetual Money Stream Home Study course from Jody.  It helped me and it can help you too!”
        -Augusta Gorman, Portland, Oregon, USA

    Note: Both testimonials above are completely fictional.  I made the names of the people, companies, courses and websites up.

    I’m sure you’ll agree that although Example #1 is a testimonial, Example #2 is so much better.

    In Example #2 the both the product and the company that offers it are mentioned.  The person writing the testimonial tells explicitly the type of business they bought the product to help them in, what the results were and how they were able to do it.  They signed their full name and where they were from and also their website.  The testimonial has quotes around it indicating it is being stated just as the person original did.

    Because this testimonial is so much more specific, it gives a lot of credibility to both the person giving it and to the product and company it endorses.
  • The best testimonials include pictures of the people supplying the testimonial.  If you can getting an audio or video testimonial is even better.  You can have the audio or video testimonial transcribed from it and placed below the audio or video testimonial.  Having pictures with testimonials or audio and video testimonials are better because they are more convincing.  Readers of your sales message can actually see and hear what others thought about your product.  Some studies show that adding audio and video to a sales message can increase the number of people who buy your product. (i.e.. your conversion ratio is higher)
  • The testimonials are in the words of the person giving the testimonial.  Don’t edit testimonials except if you have to shorten them.  Leave any typos exactly as they were provided.  These are even more compelling in their own way because the people buying can see that this is a real person giving the testimonials. Real people make mistakes too :-)

How Do You Get Testimonials?

  • Ask! If you already have customers for your product you can simply ask them if they would be willing to share their experience with others.  Many people are happy to do this.
  • If you have a customer followup sequence of emails that you send out to everyone who buys your product, you can include an email asking if they would be willing to provide a testimonial for you.  Make it easy for them by providing a toll free number to call or just an easy form on the internet to provide the details.
  • If you are launching a new product you can give a small number of the product away for free or sell the product at a special price if the buyer agrees to give you a testimonial if they love your product.
  • If you are trying to get a celebrity to endorse your product you may have to pay them.  But even if you pay them, spend some time finding someone who you think reflects the values of your business and product and they will actually use your product.
  • In the direct and internet marketing field you might get testimonials from the “big names” by sending them a copy of your product for free.  You should already be planning to do this anyway as part of your joint venture marketing plans.  If they think your product is great and they are going to joint venture with you they will gladly provide you with a testimonial or at least endorse your product when they mail to their lists as part of your joint venture.
  • If you are doing a live event that you are recording to turn into an information product or home study system, its best to ask people for testimonials before they leave the event.  Get them while they have a clear feeling about the event and can remember more specific details. Try to get video and audio testimonials since you already have the equipment right at the event.

Where Do You Use Testimonials?

  • You should definitely have testimonials for your product on your sales page.  Some people like to lead with a testimonial immediately after the headline and sub-headline.  Other testimonials can be spread out throughout your sales copy.  If the testimonials are short, have them intermixed between chunks of copy.  If you have a special area just for testimonials then include a bunch of the best ones in that area.  In all cases, make the testimonials stand out from the copy in some specific way.  Many people put a box around each testimonial and change the background color.  They then use this same format for every testimonial
  • You can use testimonials in email.  If you have a series of messages that followup with a prospect even before they make a purchase you can include a testimonial as part of each email.  Maybe at the start, middle or end.  It’s best to be consistent in the same series of messages
  • If you broadcast messages to your list during a specific marketing campaign, its great to include messages that contain nothing but what other people had to say about the product you are promoting.
  • If you have a blog and you have testimonials about you specifically or for products that you advertise on your blog you can have testimonials for each on your blog
  • If you have a huge number of testimonials you can consider putting some of the best ones in your sales letter, email, blog and then have a link that launches a separate window that contains the many pages of testimonials you have collected if people are interested in reading them

Why You MUST Use Testimonials In Your Big Ticket Marketing!

  • People are naturally skeptical. Especially with Big Ticket Items with a higher price tag.  They might be willing to take a chance on a $17 e-book but not on an item that costs $500 or more.
  • Just because you say your product is great and you tell customers exactly the benefits they will get it’s still YOU telling them.  Testimonials are from independent, other real people who have used and loved your product.  So now its not just YOU saying your product is great, other people are saying it too!
  • We are all bombarded by advertising and sales messages in different mediums all the time.  Its easy to ignore a plain sales message. But if other people say that your product was the solution to their problems, then customers with the same problem are going to pay attention. 
  • Adding testimonials to a sales letter with no other changes has been shown to turn more prospects into buyers
  • Just having testimonials shows that you have built a relationship with those customers.  And since you trying to build a relationship with new customers this helps build their trust.  Remember, customers have to now you, like you and trust you before they will buy anything.

And finally, Why Do People Give Testimonials?

  • Many people like to share their experiences because it makes them feel good and because they hope that their experience can help some else solve the same problem by doing what they did.
  • Testimonials are a form of free advertising for the person that supplies the testimonial because they usually include that person’s name and their website.  But they need to think your product is great too because their reputation is on the line if they endorse it

A Couple Final Tips On Testimonials:

  • Always get permission to use someone’s testimonial
  • When asking for a testimonial be very specific about what you are looking for.  Tell them to be specific about the product or event and what they got out of it. How did it help their business financially or otherwise?  Make sure you get their full name, their city, state and country.  Make sure you get their website.  You don’t want to tell them what to say but you do need to give them guidelines about what to include.

That’s it for testimonials and why they are a great Big Ticket Marketing Tool.  I hope you enjoyed the article!

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


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.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Back in the Saddle

The week before last was a great week. My family and I did our yearly trip to the Shushwap area in the interior of British Columbia, Canada for a mini family reunion with Kim’s (my wife) side of the family.

I don’t know what it is about that area but every year I look forward to it because when I come back after that week I am soooooooo relaxed.

It could be the awesome weather (90F or 30C) pretty much every day.  It usually doesn’t rain at all (well, except for last year :-) and when it does it’s a nice brief rain and usually at night when we are sleeping.

But its also the natural beauty of the area as well.  The Shushwap is actually a lake that has 4 arms to it.  We camp near Celista which is this little tiny one store town not far from Kamloops.  That little store is awesome.  In the morning they bake fresh bread which we buy by the dozens to use for our sandwiches that we eat by the lake every day.  The store is actually a hardware store, bakery, grocery store, liquor store all in one. 

Of course it could also be the power boating, jet-skiing, swimming, pontoon boating and just generally hanging out with friends and relatives.  And there is also a cool rental place right down from our campsite where you can get kayaks and water tubes. You can check it out here if you like.  There is also a bit more information on Celista and that area itself.

Ok, ok… its probably a combination of everything that just totally relaxes me.  If you have a chance to visit this area, I highly recommend it to you.

Here’s a few pictures:

My wife Kim relaxing with our dog Toby
World’s largest frying pan for camp cooking
Portable Tented Village on the Beach
A Very Wet Toby Trying to Get Dry
BedTime for my son Zach and Toby
Me (Cool and Unshaven :-) and Zach
Copper Island In the Middle of the Shushwap

But enough about my vacation.  The hard thing about vacation is … coming back :-)  I had more than 700 e-mails to sort through and several items on my “get to do” list that were screaming at me.  Good thing I love what I do.  Anyway that explains why its been a bit longer since my last post to this blog.

Now here are a few things I wanted to pass on to you.  I am currently reading The E-Code: 33 Internet Superstars Reveal 43 Ways to Make Money Online Almost Instantly — Using Only E-Mail by Joe Vitale and Jo Han Mok.

If you click on the link above it will take you directly to the Amazon.com page for the book. 

Now, I haven’t read the whole book yet.  I started out reading the following chapters:

Chapter 38: How To Create A Simple Internet Marketing Business Plan for Maximum Profits — Part 1 by Terry Dean

Chapter 39: How To Create A Simple Internet Marketing Business Plan for Maximum Profits — Part 2 by Terry Dean

I was motivated to read them because I am coming up on my self imposed deadline to create my own marketing plan for the next quarter of my business.  I use a slightly modified version of a Guerrilla Marketing Calendar. 

You can read about Guerrilla Marketing Plans and Calendars in a previous article I posted to this blog.  You can find that article here. Search for the article called “6 MUST Have Strategies To Make Big Bucks Selling Big Ticket Items Online Or Off!” and look at Strategies #3 and #4.

But I am always looking for ways to improve my planning as I consider it essential to having a successful marketing business.

Anyway, I started out with the intention just to read those two chapters but I also ended up reading the following chapters as well:

Chapter 40: The Lazy Person’s Quick and Easy Guide to Affiliate Success — Part 1 by Terry Dean

Chapter 41: The Lazy Person’s Quick and Easy Guide to Affiliate Success — Part 2 by Terry Dean

Chapter 42: How To Earn Maximum Profits From Affiliate Programs by Frank Garon and Terry Dean

Here’s what I liked about the book so far.  The writing style of the chapters I read made it very easy to digest the information.  The information I got was good, solid information.  I’ll summarize what I consider the most important points below.  However, the book is supposedly about how to market using only e-mail.  But the topics I read about were much broader than that.  Which is good because its all interesting but bad because the book doesn’t necessarily stick to its theme all the time.

Ok, here’s what I thought were the important bits from the chapters I reviewed.  These are all important for your own Big Ticket Business!

  1. Have A Plan – Marketing is a business!
    This point was made over and over throughout the first two chapters I read.  Basically, the point was to set goals for 12 months and then have monthly, weekly and daily tasks that help you reach those goals.  I agree with this although what I do is to plan out what I want to do each quarter because I find that I don’t always get everything finished or that something with a higher priority comes up.  By having overall goals and only doing the planning each quarter, it makes it easier for me to be a bit more flexible in how I accomplish my goals.
  2. Keep Improving Your Education
    No matter how much you know or learn, there is always more to learn.  I spend a thousands of dollars per year on self and business improvement programs.  In the chapters I read from the book Terry Dean says he probably spends around $10,000 per year on improving his education.  You only have to get one good, profit producing idea from each investment to cover the cost of the investment and make even more of your money back.
  3. Make Sure Your Business Is Meeting Your Lifestyle Needs
    Make sure your business meets your lifestyle needs.  Terry Dean lists the following examples: no employees, limited phone contact, consistent monthly income, low overhead, writing, limited travel, long weekends.  Your list might be slightly different.  Personally, I love having no employees. Most of my business is done via email although I still do use the phone a lot (its a bit more personal). My business is low overhead in that the products I deal with are either pure information products that can be downloaded or are products that can be created as the orders come in.  Currently I only really travel when I want to attend an event.  And my schedule is flexible enough to allow vacations including the long weekend type. Anyway, the point is, make sure you build a Big Ticket Business that meets your lifestyle.
  4. Generate Multiple Streams of Income From the Same List Of Customers (including affiliate products)
    Two things: Make sure you are growing your list all the time.  And, then make sure you give your customers opportunities to buy multiple products or services from you.  Of course you need to keep the niches that members of your list signed up for in mind.  You want to target your promotions to people who already have an interest in that or a related area.  You also want to promote affiliate products and your own backend products to customers with similar interests based on what they may already have bought from you in the past.
  5. Article Submissions, Viral E-books and Hanging out in Forums are still the Best FREE Ways to Drive Traffic and Make Sales
    Despite the many different schemes for creating traffic to your websites and converting those prospects into sales, the best FREE ways to do that are still the simplest. 

    You can publish articles related to your niche and put your resource box at the bottom.  People who are interested in you articles can follow your resource box link to visit your site.  In some cases your article can have direct links to products you are promoting (both your own and affiliates.  By the way you can read my previous post on article writing here. If you are interested in a cool tool to help you get your articles published you can check out Article Announcer.

    Another great way to promote your or other peoples products is to create a viral e-book that provides high quality information but includes links to your own products or products you are recommending through your affiliate link.  You give people permission to redistribute the book for free as long as they leave the content and links unchanged.  In many cases you may even allow the person who is going to redistribute the book to brand the book with their own business information. 

    Finally, people love to buy from people who have helped them.  If you can find some decent forums to visit and then just genuinely try to help people in areas where you have expertise, you often get people checking out your products and services just by providing a link every time you answer a post for help or a question.
  6. Don’t Sell Anything You Don’t Own or Use Yourself
    Both Frank Garon and Terry Dean were very clear about this.  You shouldn’t recommend anything to your customers that you don’t own or have used and loved.  Your business is based on your reputation and your integrity.  Your customers and people on your list are on your list because they get value and expect your recommendations to be honest and worthwhile.  If you know other marketers that consistently release high quality information and products and you feel comfortable recommending those products then you can make that decision as well.  But it is your reputation and your business that is on the line.
  7. Make Sure You Put Your Own Personality Into Your Marketing for Differentiation, Branding and Building Relationships
    Finally, always remember that you are ultimately building relationships with other PEOPLE.  People like to get to know you.  In fact, you must let them get to know you in order for them to like you, trust you and eventually buy from you.  So make sure your communications are personal and reflect the way you are.  This lets your customers and people on your list know that you are in fact another person, just like them.  And because its your personality, you can use it to uniquely differentiate yourself from others and brand yourself as well.  In a world where everyone is flooded by messages, anything you can do to stand out and be different is critical.

By the way you can learn more about Terry Dean at http://www.bizpromo.com and about Frank Garon at http://www.internetcashplanet.com.

Also here is an article by Terry Dean that talks about developing your own Internet Marketing Strategy.  I think his thoughts can immediately relevant to your own Big Ticket Marketing business.

How to Develop Your Own $2,000 a Week Internet Strategy
By Terry Dean

In most of the articles on the web, probably 97% - 99%, you will read about the technical aspects of building a profitable business online. Most of the information I cover deals with that arena...but what most people forget to mention to you is that the technical aspects are ONLY half of the equation to your success on the internet.

When you really get down to the nitty-gritty of making money online, it all starts with your strategy. Even if you know exactly how to achieve top positions on the search engines or know exactly how a link campaign should be done, it still won't let you achieve the level of success you want if you don't know how to develop the strategy for your site.

To put it simply, tactics are your day to day actions in building your website. A strategy is your overall plan and goal for exactly what you would like to have your website and business accomplish for your customers.

The Random House College Dictionary defines strategy and tactics this way... "In military usage, a distinction is made between STRATEGY AND TACTICS. STRATEGY is the utilization of all of a nation's forces, through large-scale, long-range planning and development, to ensure security or victory. TACTICS deals with the use and deployment of troops in combat."

Have you ever stopped the day to day battle of trying to achieve top positions on search engines (And believe me...This is a battle) long enough to develop your long-term strategy? What is your overall vision for your site? In the Bible, Proverbs 29:18 states, "Where there is no vision, the people perish..."

I know some people who are brilliant strategists about online marketing who have achieved amazing success even though their actual tactical skills are only so-so. They hire out the web site design, the search engine registrations, the linking campaigns, and the copywriting. As a matter of fact, one of these brilliant minds once mentioned to me that "The Concept is Greater than The Copy."

In other words, the right marketing strategy can overcome slight problems in the copywriting or even the carrying out of the plans. Even the best copywriting on the planet won't make a success out of a poor business strategy or concept.

No contractor would ever consider starting work on a project without having a detailed blueprint already done and in their hands. It also doesn't matter how good they are at following the blueprints if the blueprints are all wrong. For many people, their internet businesses are in this exact state. They have many of the internet tactics ready, but they have yet to develop a powerful strategy to empower the whole process.

So exactly how do you choose the strategy for your Internet Marketing Empire? Below you will find a three step process in helping you develop your overall strategy. I don't want to over-complicate the process by any means, but I do want to help you create ideas through this. Your actual day to day internet marketing tactics will then flow out of your overall marketing strategy.

STEP ONE: Create Your Overall Theme to Your Online Business

You can't develop a business around a single product. Even if you are promoting a single product upfront, it is not the product that people want. They want the BENEFITS they receive out of the product. When designing your site, think about an "Ultimate Benefit" to build your site around.

I first heard the phrase "The Ultimate Benefit" through Dr. Jeffrey Lant and it has stuck with me ever since. It is that ever abiding "WANT" or "GOALS" that your prospects have with them continually. Ultimate Benefits are things such as: more money, weight loss, online success, being sexually attractive, self-defense, etc.

Ultimate benefits are what your prospects are really seeking after. So, don't base your business just on products. Base your business on this Ultimate Benefit. This will be the theme that binds everything else you do at your site together. It is what you want your site to become known for. It is why people will return to your site over and over again forever.

What is it that your prospects ultimately want?
More Money
Better Health
Weight Loss

Once you have defined your "Ultimate Benefit," that's where the products can come in. You will want to provide multiple products that all fall under the same Ultimate Benefit. This will help you to create "Multiple Streams of Income" all generated from one web site.

What mail order or internet company do you know of that only has one product? There aren't any really successful ones. Even the sites which seem only to have one main product still have dozens of different profit streams which all come out of the backend of that product. Your mission online is to help people reach their ultimate goals, and that cannot be done with just one product. It takes a variety of products to accomplish this goal.

One warning I do want to mention here though is that your site will be more successful if you have one LEAD product. By testing both multiple product sites and sites which focus on one lead product, I have found that the lead product sites will outsell the multiple product sites by a long shot in most cases.

So, the absolute best set-up is to focus on a main product, and then have many different backends or supporting products which will help your customers to further their goals. This type of system is often referred to as a marketing funnel. You may be selling a book about Ad Copy on your site, but you will also have consultations, seminars, audio tapes, and ad writing services which all support your theme.

If you are selling web sites as a primary lead product, you could also sell books on internet marketing, web design services, CGI programming, etc. If your theme is weight loss, your primary product may be a nutritional product. You could also sell weight loss and exercise books. A newsletter could be started. You could also do personal one-on-one consultations for specific individuals.

You also don't need to come up with all of these products yourself. Many of them can be found through Joint Venturing with other companies which have products you know your customers want.

STEP TWO: Develop A Unique Aspect to Your Business...Your USP

Your business cannot just be a me-too business online. You need to develop some type of uniqueness to it...something that sets you apart from all of the rest of your competition online. You need to create a "Unique Selling Position" which makes you stand out from the crowd online...

For example, everyone is selling books online. How did Amazon.com becomes the most well known bookstore on the Internet. They developed a USP which basically states "The World's Largest Bookstore" which is exactly what they are. They have stated in one phrase exactly what makes them unique from the rest of the bookstores in the world.

How can you develop your own USP? You probably aren't going to own the largest selection of anything in your business since most of us have started out bootstrapping at home or in our small business. Let me give you a simple little formula you can use which will help you immensely in the creation of a USP for your business.

To find your USP, pull out a blank sheet of paper. At the top of the paper, write "You know how most __________..." Then, halfway down the page, write "Well, What I do is..."

I want you to write how most of the businesses in your market are in the first section. Then, I want you to write what sets you apart from them. Avoid using words such as quality or better service, because those types of things don't really mean anything UNLESS you are more specific in your description. This may take you a while to do.

You probably will have to study your competition online for a while. Give yourself a few days to think it over. Then, write it down.

Next, I want you to boil down that entire sheet of paper to a single phrase or sentence. This takes some work. Write it out in a sentence or phrase as many times as you need to until you get just the right words. Again, if this takes you a few days, let it. Think about it when you are driving, eating, etc. Mull it over. Then, once you have just the right wording, that is your NEW USP which you will use to separate you from all of the competition.

Use it on your signature file online...Use it on your website...Use it in your ad copy. Let it become a guiding force to your online business that sets you apart and defines you as the person to deal with in this area.

STEP THREE: Concentrate on Building Relationships with Your Prospects

To fully develop an online business, you need to maximize your relationships with people. Although your goal in your Internet business may be to set it up on auto-pilot, you have to remember at all times that you are dealing with real people. Credibility online is a major issue because there are many fly-by-night get-rich-quick operators on the internet.

To help you develop this credibility with your prospects, your overall strategy has to include such tools as ezines, message boards, chats, conference calls, dealer programs, etc. Many people keep asking exactly why does it seem ezines are popping up everywhere...It is simply because they work. They help you to develop the relationships you need with your prospects. You are able to contact your prospects over and over again providing them with good useful information.

The same thing is true of the message boards. Once you have worked them up to a certain level of traffic, the same people will keep coming back day after day learning from you and the other experts you may have brought to your board.

Use your imagination and develop other free services such as these to help you develop your website and relationships online. How about doing JVs with other businesses? How about running a monthly conference call on your subject? Your business online is only limited by your imagination!

Get Started Today In Developing Your Online Strategy...

Don't let this report just sit there in your email box. Print it out. Start today in putting these strategy building tips to work for you. It is a proven fact that if you put this off for more than 24 hours, you will probably never come back to it.

Developing Your Internet Strategy can be the most important key to creating the internet business you dream of. Take action today and at least start thinking and working on it.

Terry Dean's Brand New Fr-e eBook, "10 Quick and Easy Ways to Increase Profits to ANY Web Site Overnight!" Reveals More Time Tested Proven Internet Marketing Secrets Than 99% of the Paid Products Available...Showing You Step-By-Step How to Increase Your Traffic, Drop Your Expenses, and Drive Your Profits Through the Roof:

That’s all for this week!


Friday, August 05, 2005

Another Secret To Selling More Big Ticket Items

This week I’m bringing you an article that shows the power of using multiple medias (both online and offline) in your marketing efforts for Big Ticket Items.   The article is written by Willie Crawford who I had a chance to hear speak at Joel Christopher and Ted Nicholas’s Double Birthday Bash this past March.

Enjoy the article!


My "Secret" To Selling More Big Ticket Items
Copyright 2005 By Willie Crawford

Many aspiring Internet marketers hear all of the talk about earning a six-figure income and assume that it's all hype. Some of it is hype, but earning a six-figure income really isn't difficult. I've watched friends generate "six figures" in sales as we sat together in conferences or meetings! Today I'm going to tell you how you CAN do it too. I'm going to give you a system that I guarantee you haven't seen before. It's one I created, tested, and now use extensively.

While I created this system, it's really just adaptations of things we've all seen. That's the beauty of it all. Earning six figures isn't rocket science, - it's just common sense in action.

First of all, the key to earning a higher income is selling more expensive "big ticket" items. You'll notice I market many products in the $497 to $2997 range. Many of these products are offered through affiliate programs and pay from 30-50% commission. It doesn't really take a lot of sales of a $2000 item before you're well on your way to six figures.

Before I share my secret system with you, I should tell you that I thought of turning this information into an ebook or special report and selling it. It's THAT valuable! It's valuable because it works. Proof that it works is the fact that at several recent Internet
marketing seminars, I've been the affiliate who sold the most seats :-)

Here's my big secret.... I use off-line methods to drive traffic on-line. I use off-line methods to make sure that my message gets through and gets read. I have two primary off-line tools that I use.

First of all, I use the phone a lot. If I have a contact who has indicated he/she is interested in attending a seminar or buying a product, I'll often call to see if they have any questions. I close the sale on the phone and then sometimes have them go to the on-line order form.
Lots of people selling seminar seats outside the Internet marketing niche do this. You should too where practical. Make a phone call and sell a seminar seat that pays you as much as $1000 in commission. It makes perfect sense doesn’t it?

The second tool that I use is snail mail... greeting cards to be more exact. I send out hundreds of these greeting cards to customers, and select prospects. It's a blend of on-line and off-line marketing methods you’ve probably never really considered. I've seen others using postcards but greeting cards have more impact.

Here's my system with the greeting cards:

1) I use a system called Send Out Cards. It a print-on-demand company that offers a number of different plans. The plan that I use costs me less than $1 per card (including first class postage). Basically, you select a card from an on-line catalog of more than 2500 cards, enter your message, enter the addresses, and click send. The company prints, stuffs, stamps, and mails the cards for you.

2) Send Out Cards offers the ability to set up campaigns. You can choose a series of cards to send out at specified intervals. This works just like the autoresponder systems Internet marketers are familiar with. You basically choose the cards that you want to send out, enter your messages, specify the interval for each card, and the system takes care of the rest.

Here's how a power user like myself uses that feature. The system also allows you to upload databases. So I've imported most of my contacts into the system. I've also subscribed many of these contacts to campaigns based upon certain criteria. Let me give you a powerful example, and continue spilling the beans...

As someone who has sponsored seminars and sold lots of seminar seats, I know that someone who lives within driving distance is more likely to attend a seminar than someone who has to fly thousands of miles. How I use that is that when I'm promoting a given seminar, I set up a series of 1-3 cards telling about that seminar and inviting people to meet me there. Then one of the searches of my database that I do is for everyone in the same state, or maybe just in nearby zip codes. I subscribe those people to that greeting card series.

I also know that people who have attended seminars before are more likely to attend other seminars. They've had the "value" proven to them already. So I have a sub-list of people that I know like to attend seminars. I subscribe these people to the card series for a given seminar too.

As you can see, I am selective in who I send these greeting cards to... sometimes. After all, these cards do cost me nearly $1 each to send. However, I don't have to worry about email filters or other deliverability issues. People like getting greeting cards and do open and read them. My
message gets through!

3) The greeting card system allows you to upload your own digital images. I use that in two powerful ways! Since it's common practice for affiliate marketers to sometimes offer discounts or rebates, I include those in my cards. Simply use your graphics program to create a "discount coupon." Then upload this digital image to your card to deliver your special offer right into the hands of your prospect. You don't have to
worry about them missing the special in your email. It's right in the card that you sent them.

A second way to use this feature is to take a photo of you together with the client or prospect. Then include that photo in cards you send them. This won't work with the campaign feature since you use that feature to keep from having to choose new cards for each individual. In fact, with the campaign feature, you can use "tags" just like you do with an autoresponder, to personalize each card’s message with first name, last name, etc. It's very powerful.

Now, I'm sharing this information with you for two reason. First of all, I want you to see, and understand, how you can actually earn that seemingly elusive six-figure income. It takes just a little thinking outside the box. Secondly, if you follow my advice and sign up as a customer for the greeting card service, I earn a commission. It's a multi-tiered affiliate program that you can sign up for and earn commissions from too.

To get full details on how to sign up as a representative with this company, simply visit: http://SendOutCards.com Click on the link labeled
"Income Opportunity" to find out how to become a distributor. Be sure to click on the link at the very bottom of that page to have the commissions explained to you. The system will ask for a referral number there. Enter 2663. That's my referral number.

Back to thinking outside the box... I do sometimes purchase co-registration leads. I don't always use these in the way most people do. I sort the database of 10,000 - 25,000 leads (which is the size batch that I buy) by state. I'm looking for all of the leads that are from an area near the event that I'm promoting. These are leads that are very fresh (usually less than 10 days old) and that have indicated they have started, or are
interested in starting, a home-based business. I simply upload those that are near the event and subscribe them to a campaign I set up JUST for them.

I know... you're thinking, that could get expensive. However, let's say that you find 1000 leads in that database that are within a convenient distance for driving to the seminar. If you're making $500 - $1000 for each seminar seat that you sell, you don't really need to make
many sales for the campaign to pay off.
You just have to "know your numbers" and test small at first. What you’re testing is the wording of the messages and quality of the lists.

When I send cards to these leads, I also include one card in the series that explains how they can profit by getting into the greeting card business. I earn $150 for each new representative that I sign up and fully train. The training is mostly automated. That means I could actually spend up to $150 for each new representative I find and still break even. As you can see, you don't need very high percentages. The greeting card system does sell itself to enough people to make it a no-brainer for me to even mail to purchased leads. Again, you do have to watch the
quality of your leads.

This system can be used to sell all types of big ticket items such as courses, video or CD sets, coaching etc. The key there is to mail the cards, generally with a "discount coupon" to people who already know you... your list members. This also means that you need to break with tradition a little by asking for more than just name and email address on your signup forms. On some of my signup forms (from select sites) I do ask for full address and even birth date. Why do I ask for birth date? So I can send them a birthday card of course.

If your prospects see the value in what you are offering, they will often give you their full contact information. You just need to ask for it.

Another secret... the Send Out Card system can be programmed to send a card automatically on a person's birthday, or it can just send you a reminder. It's the ultimate high-touch marketing tool, and secure on-line contact manager, that takes surprisingly little time to use. People like it when you remember their birthdays... sometimes you may be the only one who does :-)

I've just shared with you something that will allow you to totally trounce your competitors. Chances are that even if your competitors are reading this very same article, you can still out market them because most of them won't use this information. It's human nature. Your competitors will see that what I've just shared makes perfect sense, and they'll think “someday.”  Meanwhile, you take action and soon discover yourself with more money in your checking account than you use to make all year.

As you can see, making that six-figure income isn't hard. It does take doing just a few things differently from what everyone else is doing. It takes the ability to think things through, evaluate the risk, and then take action.

“The ball is now in your court!” If you didn't fully understand the plan, you can email me for clarification. Use willie@williecrawford.com :-)

I've just shared with you one of numerous ways that I "think outside the box" and separate myself from the pack. I'll be sharing a few more at Joel Christopher's and Ted Nicholas' Double Birthday Bash, March 18th and 19th in San Antonio, Texas. I'd love to see you there. You sign up for this mega networking and learning event at: http://WillieCrawford.com/birthdaybash.html

YES - After you've registered, using the url above, send me an email and I'll rebate 25% of what you paid. I do practice what I teach.

Willie Crawford is a corporate president, published author, seminar speaker and host, tele-seminar speaker and host, retired military officer, karate black belt, Master Network Marketing Trainer, and lifetime student of marketing. He shows people how to actually generate substantial income on-line using very simple, easily modeled systems. An example of such a system that you can study and duplicate is at: http://ProfitMagician.com