Internet Tip of the Week
       by Bob Osgoodby

Killer Ads

You went to all the trouble to develop a "Killer Ad Program",
tested response rates and heavily advertised your product,
service or opportunity, and then - nothing - no business. How
come, you might ask.

The object of the ads is really not to make an immediate sale,
but to get someone to do something - usually request more
particulars by email, or go to a web site for further
information. This is where many ad programs fall apart.

If you are trying to make sales from your web site, there must
be some continuity between the ad, and the web page they see.
Once in a while an ad will get my attention, I go to their web
site, and can't find the information I was looking for. Trying
to fight my way through a dozen or so banner ads, that have
nothing to do with their offer, I quickly give up. If you are
going to have a web site to sell your opportunity, forget the
banner ads - they are simply a distraction.

A smart entrepreneur will make their ad and the web page
complementary to each other. If someone visits your site, they
should immediately find what brought them there in the first
place. They shouldn't have to search all over the place as they
will quickly lose interest. Remember that people came there to
get information, and not view graphics that bear no relation to
what they want.

While an image of an ocean view might be attractive, unless you
are selling a vacation package, forget about it. The page must
load quickly, and while large images will simply slow it down,
there should be some balance to make the page attractive. Many
of the web pages are simply "boring". People are looking for a
professional image.

Most people who buy on the web are not idiots. Just because your
ad is on the web doesn't give it any magic. If your product is
overpriced, you will not do a whole lot of business.

Someone recently told me that trying to run a web business was a
waste of time. Investigation into what he was trying to do,
quickly revealed he was selling a product for $49.95, that was
available in local stores for $19.95. In this case, he was
right. You should really not try to compete with a large company
or a "brick and mortar" business. The pockets that contain their
advertising dollars are a lot deeper than yours.

But the Internet is a fantastic opportunity for the small
entrepreneur. You just don't want to try and compete with
"Walmart" in the process. Some people are making money every
single day however, so what is their secret? They have found a
"niche" not normally available in the chains, and are
capitalizing on that.

There are thousands of "niche markets" around. Take a look
and see what others are doing. One good example I have found is
someone who has extended his "brick and mortar" business to the
Internet. Andrae, at http://valuecarpetonline.com basically runs
a specialty carpet store, and decided to go online as well. His
web site is complementary to his ads, and the user can quickly
find what they are looking for.

Do you have to have a "brick and mortar" business like Andrae?

No, in point of fact, the majority of people in business on the
web do not. In his case, it is an extension of his regular
business, that happens to work well. Many people however, do not
have a "brick and mortar" business, and operate solely on the
web.

Do you have a hobby that could be turned into a business. I know
a person who collects stamps. His hobby has turned into an
active business. Another person who is an avid gardener, has
started marketing her own herbal remedies. Yet another is an
author who writes copy for other web based businesses.

Time and space prohibit trying to list every opportunity that one
can pursue. What might be of interest to one person, may not be
to another. Everyone is different with different interests and
backgrounds. If you can find your proper "niche market", develop
some "killer ads" and have a complementary web site, you will
succeed.

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