Archive for February, 2009

E-Commerce Website Design, Direct Response, and Infomercials

If you’re looking for an e-commerce web design, you undoubtedly want to sell stuff online. The most effective way to sell online is by using direct response websites. Why direct response for your website design? In traditional web design, the point is to sell the customer to the advertisers, or to sell the customers on your website (and to make enough of an impression that they buy your products or otherwise subsidize the site.) This can be more satisfying aesthetically, yes — but in order for a traditionally designed website to be successful, it needs to offer a wide variety of content from which users can freely choose.

In simple terms, you need to offer your potential customer 20 things to do on your website — only one of which is buying your product. Ideally, that gives you a 5% chance to turn a visitor to your website into a sale. The basic idea behind direct response marketing is to give your potential customer just one thing to do on your website — buy the product. Ideally, this gives you a 100% conversion rate. Assuming that each type of website gets the same amount of traffic — and assuming that your goal here is to sell products rather than to entertain casual web surfers — direct response websites simply make more sense as an online marketing tool.

Staunch television fans might find the comparison between direct response marketing and infomercials troubling — after all, very few people turn on the television in order to watch an infomercial, and the ability to eliminate commercials and other televised advertising from “shows” is one of the central features used to market the successful TiVo product and other DVRs. But if you intend to run a successful online business, it’s important to remember to think in these terms: you’re no longer a consumer of products; you’re a producer. In television terms, you’re no longer watching shows for entertainment, or even producing entertaining shows — you’re producing commercials for a product, and the success of your business depends on how successfully you can convert viewers into customers. And infomercials, for all the disadvantages they have in terms of entertainment, are infinitely more effective than “shows” when it comes to producing customers. (Yet by no means does your own “infomercial” have to be devoid of art, entertainment, or other such content — a topic which we’ll get into in upcoming blog articles.)

Internet Marketing and Advertising Company Recommends Direct Response

One of the most effective ways of promoting products in the modern Internet age is direct response website marketing. This is often the finding of any experienced internet marketing and advertising company. Here is why we recommend direct response marketing for your online business.

In order to understand what differentiates direct response from other commercial websites, it’s helpful to think of the mass communication medium of yesterday — television.

When most of us think of television programming, we tend to think of “shows.” Television “shows” have two distinctive features in common:

They focus on providing content to an end user (the viewer). The quality of the content determines the quality of the show. They make their money by convincing other people to invest in the show.

Neither of these points determines what the content of the show will be, or what exactly will make the investors give their money to the producers of the show. The show could be a drama, a comedy, a variety show, a “reality show”, a documentary, or any of a hundred other categories. The investors might pay for advertising space on the show, buy tapes or DVDs of old episodes of the show, or even send money directly to the producers in response to solicitations (as with the pledge drives public television uses to raise funds.) Whatever form the show or the revenue-building strategy takes, however, one key principle holds: content over marketing.

If traditional web design can be thought of as “shows,” direct response website marketing can be thought of as infomercials. Infomercials have the following two features in common:

  • They focus on describing a product to the end user. All content in the show is subordinated to the central goal of describing, promoting, and ultimately selling the product.
  • The show makes its money through direct product sales.

Again, neither of these points determines absolutely what form the infomercial will take. An infomercial might include a short dramatic sketch, a mock “panel discussion,” a comedy act, or simply a straightforward list of features and advantages for a given product. But as the first point states, all of these entertaining or informative pieces of content have to be subordinated to the central goal of selling products. A show’s central point is, essentially, to get people to watch the show (and to make their money based on the number of people who watch the show). Whereas an infomercial’s central point is ultimately to get people to stop watching the show and to start ordering the product.

In the online world, a successful commerce website should have the primary goal of getting people to stop browsing the site and to take action and order the product. And how do we do this? What are the key elements of a direct response website? Some internet marketing and advertising companies would have you believe that flash sells. Our experience, and the empirical data of direct response internet marketers show otherwise. We’ll cover more in our next article.

Lifetime Value of a Customer

The lifetime value of a customer warrants serious thought. Knowing your customer lifetime value can mean the difference between success and failure for your business. Here is how to calculate this important value.

You will be surprised once you find out how much each customer is worth to your business. To find out the lifetime value of the customer you will need to know two pieces of information: One is the average amount of money each customer buys from you while they are with you; two is how long the average customer does business with you.

Once you get these two vital pieces of information, multiply both the values. The product of the two values gives you the lifetime value of the customer.

Now that we know how much each customer is worth to our business, we know how much we can spend to acquire a new customer. For example, if the lifetime value of our customer is $3,650, we know that we can spend up to $3,650 to acquire this customer and still break even. But there is another important insight to this number.

By working to retain the customer, we can actually increase our profitability. It’s also cheaper to use our customer base as a source for new customer referrals. It goes without saying that customers who are happy with our product and/or service are more likely to make referrals. However, we could also introduce incentives to help with our referrals. This method is still cheaper than acquiring a new customer from scratch.

So what is the lifetime value of your customer? If you don’t know, find out. Without this number, you really don’t know the profitability of your business.

AD Publishing, How Much Should You Pay?

To maximize the number of customers to your business, you need to spend regularly on ad publishing… This much is clear. What’s not so clear is how much to pay for ad publishing — an important question in the current economy where every marketing dollar must have a clear ROI.

Fortunately for businesses that make money online with their websites, there are a couple of key measurements for determining marketing ROI. Suppose you have a business selling t-shirts online. In order to make it known to the world that you are selling t-shirts on your website, you do some ad publishing. How much should you spend?

To answer this question, you must determine your visitor value. In other words, how much is each visitor to your website worth to you in monetary value? In order to calculate this visitor value (VV), follow these steps:

  1. Look in your web stats to see how many people visit your website per month. Let’s assume 1,000 people visit your website per month.
  2. Based on your sales history, of the 1,000 website visitors, how many of them bought your t-shirt? Let’s say 10 people bought.
  3. How much did you make per t-shirt sale? Let’s assume you make $9.00.
  4. Based on the sample numbers, your conversion rate is 10/1000 = 1%. Your visitor value is 1% x $9 = $0.09.

Now that you know your visitor value, you know that you can spend up to $0.09 on ad publishing and still break even. So if you spend $0.05 per visitor, you would make a profit of $0.04 or 80%. If you spend $0.10 to get each visitor, you would lose money.

There are two ways to increase your profitability according to VV, one is to increase your conversion rate, and the other is to increase your profit margin per t-shirt. Let’s look at what happens when you increase your conversion rate from 1% to 1.5%. Your VV jumps to 1.5% x $9 = $0.135. With the same amount of ad spend ($0.05), your profit per visitor increases to $0.09 or 180%.

Imagine that… If you increased your conversion rate by 0.5%, your profit per visitor jumps by 100%! What would happen if you further increased your conversion rate and/or decreased your production expense per t-shirt? I’ll let you do the math. The net effect is that you can spend more money to get even more visitors to your website, thus increasing your overall sales volume. This would blow away all your competitors.

This is the power of using AD Publishing .org to maximize your income potential online.


Direct Response Website Design 3-Click Rule

Today we'll talk about what is involved in the designing of the direct response website. As with everything, you need to get the basics right in order for direct response to work.

First, work out a detailed site map and design before you think of proceeding any further. This is because without a proper site map you would add to your cost if the page does not work the way you imagined. This could be your basic business plan – once you have the blueprint, you can always change it after it goes live.

The best and most effective direct response website functions on the three click rule. If there are any more steps between the visitor’s wish to buy and the completion of the buying process – you will lose the customer. So, a direct response site needs to be built in such a manner that the customer never needs to click more than three times to buy the product or service.

If you feel comfortable with html and have a basic technical understanding of computers, you can easily create the flow of the direct response website. Otherwise, we highly recommend that you hire a professional website programmer. This is the very foundation on which your online business is being built. You definitely cannot afford any mistakes here – nor can you afford to take any chances.

The Basics of Direct Response Websites

Setting up a direct response website is necessary in order to effectively sell your product or business online. The first step is to understand the basics of the commercial Internet and direct response concept. These are simple and vital things in the promotion of any online businesses – the sale of a product or service.

There is indeed a lot to learn from this strategy. Consider the following questions for example. Why do you need to keep a small user base to enhance your profit? How you could get the highest possible conversion rate? What are the basic rules that you need to apply to your business in order to make it a runaway success?

There are many factors that need to be considered – each one of them a key to your success; each one of them needs to be used in such as way that it promotes your product sale towards runaway success.

Most of the time, people build websites that have too much information. This type of website may attract a broad range of visitors, but most will not buy. In other words, your traffic rate may be high – but the conversion rate is low.

What you actually need is a bulls-eye approach. You need to have people herded to your website for only one thing. And that is to buy your product. There is nothing more to it that this particular aim – to buy your product or service.

The key to your success is to have a website that is single purpose and does not allow for any distractions to your visitor. When your visitor arrives at your site, they only have two choices: buy or click away. This is a direct response website. This is what can turn your online business into a gold mine.

A good web design is great, but what about the content? You might want to write it yourself, but you might want to think about using a professional content writer at the beginning. Take advantage of their SEO knowledge to get your site noticed.

Linking up with an online professional who knows direct response can teach you many things. For example, you will lean why you should not add any external links to your direct response website and what happens if you do. You will also learn the basic KISS rule and how it can change everything you know about selling strategy. You will learn about the wisdom of keeping a small user base so you can have a high conversion rate.

Now, don’t be fooled by people who want you to believe you can bypass these important steps and go straight to making money. That just isn’t going to happen.

You have to go through the process of putting your business together step by step, in the right way, if you’re going to make it successful. This groundwork may seem a bit tedious, but with the right kind of information an expert guidance, you can breeze right through it with ease.

Where can you find this kind of information on building direct response websites?

Contact us at

The Great Audio Fix

Today we are going to be going over the big fix when creating multimedia on the internet.

In the last post, we talked about the biggest pitfall that we face when trying to use audio in our online business. Now we are going to go over the big fix when creating multimedia on the internet.

The solution is to use professional background music for intros and “outros” to all of your audio and video projects. You should also use audio for the transition music in the background of your multimedia files.

This is the secret to giving your multimedia creations that professional appeal that makes people stand up and take notice.

Take it from us, when someone sees two videos on the same subject and one is a sloppy homemade job and the other professional…who do you think they’ll pick? Obviously they are going to opt for the more professional one because they want to deal with a real business.

If you just look like a dude (or a dudette) in your t-shirt, they may run off before you can ever sell them something. That’s why it’s vital that you add this professional music to everything you do multimedia wise.

But there is a big problem with getting access to (and keeping it) when it comes to using audio online… You either have to hire a studio musician for thousands of dollars or buy stock music online for hundreds, which doesn’t include the additional royalties!

That may probably freak you out, but not to worry…next time we will go over the solution to this.

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