What "Internet Marketers" Can Teach Search Marketers

Don’t you just hate "that kind of marketing?"

Most of my readers, and in fact most search marketers, have at best an uneasy arms-length relationship with "internet marketing."

You know, the kind of marketing that uses long sales letters with with big red headlines, bold claims, and gushing testimonials. The kind of marketing that bombards your inbox with the latest and greatest "new" thing.

Most of us naturally recoil at "that kind of marketing." We don’t want to use it in our own businesses, because it just makes us feel kind of slimy. I get that. I’m with you… but the truth is, "that kind of marketing" does work.

With a little understanding of the principles behind it, you can make it work just as well without all the hype. When you understand how it works, you can use it to sell more of whatever you sell, not just information products.

In fact, if you’re reading this, there’s a good chance that I used "that kind of marketing" to get your attention in the first place.

You probably didn’t think of it as an "internet marketing" type of promotion, but when I relaunched SEO Fast Start last May, the process was the same. Same principles, same methods, the only difference is that I used my "inside voice" instead of shouting… and it worked.

How well did it work? Well, we’ve had over 20,000 downloads since last May, and a huge portion of that audience actually read the book and took the time to register for my newsletter.

It’s Not About The Hype & Claims, It’s About Building Anticipation

I’ve been getting a lot of emails about Jeff Walker’s "Product Launch Formula" for the past couple weeks. I’m sure some of my readers have as well, because it seems like every "internet marketing guru" is pushing it like mad.

Some of you may already be jumping out of your pants with excitement about it. Or, if you’re like me, all that hype makes you skeptical.

In this case, though, the product merits the attention. Having purchased and used the first edition of Jeff’s course a couple years ago, I can tell you that it has been tremendously helpful, and not just in selling information products about online marketing.

Jeff has distilled what’s true out of the hype-laden world of internet marketing. You can use Jeff’s formula to sell more of anything you sell.

You don’t have to launch a "product" at all – it could be a special sale or promotion, an end-of-the-month inventory blowout, anything. The point is to get your customers and prospects interested, and make whatever you’re doing into an event.

How Does Selling Out Amazon Sound?

The most recent email I got about the PLF was from Andy Jenkins at Stompernet. Andy’s a good friend, and a business partner, but make no mistake about it, he’s a lot closer to being one of "those types of marketers" than I’ll ever be. He just happens to be one of the honest ones.

Jeff Walker helped us out (a lot) with Stompernet’s most recent launch of SMARTS, a social marketing course & coaching program that I helped put together. He was deeply involved in Stompernet’s initial launch in October 2006, which set all kinds of records in the IM world.

Jeff has talked about those launches in depth… but Andy’s email didn’t mention those "internet marketing" launches at all.

Andy tells the story, in great detail, of how he used Jeff’s product launch methods last year. Not to promote Stompernet, but to save a movie that he produced from dying on the DVD racks.

Even though they had a major studio involved in distribution, it was the producers’ own online promotion that really made the DVD release into an event. Such an event, in fact, that they caused Amazon to sell out their entire inventory in 36 minutes.

How Do You Hype A DVD?

This is where it gets interesting. "That kind of marketing" was used to sell a movie, folks.

They didn’t use a big red headline. They didn’t tell everyone that they’d made millions of dollars just by watching the movie. How could they? For one thing it wasn’t true, and unlike some internet marketers, Andy doesn’t just make stuff up. More importantly, that kind of hype wasn’t what the audience wanted!*

What did the audience want? They wanted what movie geeks always want – insider information, behind the scenes stuff, trivia… so that’s what Andy offered them. People watched the trailer, signed up for the mailing list, and got a PDF chock full of that stuff for their trouble.

When it came time to "launch" they had a huge list that was eagerly anticipating the release… and it sold like crazy.

Chances are pretty good that if you walk into a Blockbuster store today, you’ll find Andy’s film, Altered, occupying prime shelf space. Internet marketing, done the right way, has a lot to do with that.

What does your audience want?

I don’t know your customers like you do, but I do know that they want… something. I know that Jeff’s course can help you identify that something, and show you step by step, how to use that knowledge to sell more stuff.

I don’t promote or recommend products that I don’t believe in. I wouldn’t suggest that you run out and buy something, unless I would buy it myself. I have no idea what the price of Jeff’s course will be, but I do expect it to be worth every penny.

Hey Dan, Is That An Affiliate Link?

Yes, it is, and I think the product actually goes on sale this week. If you buy Jeff’s course through my links, I will earn a commission, and *you* will earn a free pass to my next online class.

If you bounce over to Andy’s blog and buy through their links, then Stompernet will earn a commission, and you’ll get whatever they decide to offer as a bonus. Naturally, I like my bonus better.

BTW, like Jason Calacanis, I do believe that affiliate links should be disclosed in some fashion… and I think we’re all better off doing so before the FTC forces us to do it. It’s kind of a no brainer, and if anyone but Jason "Hate Bait" Calacanis had said it, I think the reaction would have been very different.

Go Watch Jeff’s Videos For A Free Education

The  good news is that you don’t need to buy anything to learn a lot. Jeff Walker has produced several case study videos that are themselves an excellent course on his methods. The first video is here, but I recommend that you start with this case study instead. You can watch a short sample and then opt in to his list to get access to all of the videos.

Since it’s easy to unsubscribe, I recommend just opting in first, and then watching them all. The sample video is just the first part of a longer video, so if you watch the sample and then opt in, you get to watch the same part twice. Seems a little silly to me, but hey, I never said he was perfect!

Trust me, whether you buy Jeff’s course or not, these videos are worth the time.

You may not like "that kind of marketing" as it’s practiced by most internet marketers, and I don’t either… but  it does have some real value when you understand the principles behind it.

* note: sometimes, red headlines and bold claims are exactly what the audience wants… knowing their audience is why a lot of these guys are successful. What makes so many of us uncomfortable about "that kind of marketing" is that we’re often exposed to messages that were written for an audience that we aren’t part of.

Adwords "Landing Page Quality" & Search Ads

Google has announced that "landing page load time" will "soon" become a factor in "landing page quality scoring."

Okay, so what does that mean to you? Well, if you listen to the blogs & forums since the announcement, it means, of course, the end of civilization as we know it. You’ll need to buy a dedicated server, stream every bit via Akamai, blah, blah… Hold on. Stop panicking. Use your inside voice. Think for a minute…

First of all, if you don’t advertise on the content network (Adsense), this shouldn’t be a big deal, unless it actually creates a minimum bid issue for you. Why do I say this? Well, because Google says so – "landing page quality" is not a factor in ranking search ads.

Is it possible that Google could change their policy, and let landing page load time influence search ad rankings? Sure they could, but to date, they haven’t said so.

Otherwise sane people are insisting that they’ve already been slapped over landing page load times. I’m sure some folks have noticed higher minimum bids this week, but that happens every week. I’m not buying cause & effect with this announcement, because that idea makes no sense. Some of them are even prescribing fixes based on nothing more than complete speculation. Fixes that, if done wrong, could leave your site offline until a professional fixes your mistakes… Relax, people!

According to Google’s announcement, this hasn’t even rolled out yet. When it does happen, we’ll get another announcement and we’ll be able to see the load time score in our Keyword Analysis Page. We will then have an entire month to make adjustments, if it’s even necessary. Until then, take a chill pill, and just wait to see if this means anything to you. My bet is that very few advertisers will be affected.