Success Without a WebsiteBy: Heather Reimer
Can it be done? That's what one webmaster who recently joined our affiliate program wanted to know. She wrote:
"All your marketing tips and questions and answers in your e-zine are geared to the webmasters who have a web page. Could you please let me know some tips on marketing without a website."Yes, it can be done.
For those who do not have a website and are, for example, involved in affiliate marketing programs, we recommend promoting with opt-in mailing lists. This is one of the best means to drive visitors to any website... even if it's not your own.
E-MAIL IS THE KEY
First, you need to build up a mailing list of opt-in subscribers. These are people who have agreed to let you send them mail. You can also buy lists from opt-in services although you can't always be 100% certain that they're providing you with e-mails that target your exact demographic.
Then, send out special e-mail news releases on your product or service and announce any new promotions. Make this process a regular part of your schedule, say weekly. Just sending out one mailing won't do the trick.
Include in that e-mail a few testimonials about the product you promote. Personal endorsements add a human touch and can be even more effective than banner ads in drawing traffic.
Create a signature file that automatically attaches itself to the bottom of all your outgoing e-mails. It should include a grabby headline and 4 or 5 lines of text about your business. It works like a free ad. Your e-mail software "help" pages can show you how.
SUBMISSION IS THE PATH
Submit your link to the search engines and directories. Pick out a few of the best-known ones, then submit your URL to them yourself, carefully choosing the best category for your link.
Read the search engine's submission rules carefully and don't break them, or you may never get listed. Be persistent. Search engine submission is a science in itself and can't be mastered overnight.
You can also post your link in classified ads, FFAs and newsgroups, remembering the following:
Classified ads and e-zine ads can be a very effective means of advertising. Your ad needs to attract the readers attention, involve their emotions and motivate them to action.
It's not necessary to use banners, if you don't have them... text ads can be even more clickable if written effectively.
Target your ad, focusing on the kind of customer who buys your product. Keep it short, clear and concise and use strong emotional words in the headline.
Don't use all capital letters to get attention; it's hard on the eye and some webmasters will delete messages that are all in caps.
Finally, plan for the future. Start thinking about the website you'd like to own someday. Brainstorm a few domain names and register them to make sure they're still available when you're ready to launch the second phase of your e-business: your very own website!
© Copyright 2000, Heather Reimer
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