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Letter From Lugano

Five Top Digital Marketing Models: 3a PPC Marketing - Direct from Ad to Opt-in

James Atkinson - Thursday, April 03, 2014

In this blog I look at PPC Marketing and how the “Direct from Ad to Opt-in page” model works.

Today’s photo is a terraced garden. You find little gardens in almost every available space around the lake.


The next image shows a common PPC search marketing model - the PPC ad clicks to an eMail opt-in page rather than direct to a Sales Letter.

When the prospect completes the opt-in he or she is then moved direct to a Sales Letter:

This is a very common model for PPC marketers.

The ad links to a Landing Page on which there is an opt-in form. If the prospect fills out the form then he or she is placed on an eMail Marketing List for receiving eMail Autoresponders. See generally The Sales Process Back End.

After filling in the opt-in form the prospect is sent direct to a sales letter.

From a persuasion perspective this model is difficult to make a sale. It takes time to build up trust between the buyer and seller:

“I have found that my backend sales are so much more profitable than frontend (first) sales. This is because my existing customers buy more easily than “cold” prospects who have never bought from me before.

Wouldn’t it be great if you could set things up BEFORE the first sale so that prospects feel the same positive feelings towards you that existing customers do?

Well, you can – and it’s all the more powerful because most marketers are not doing it, and don’t even know how. Basically it comes down to one equation:

Relationships = Sales

The difference between selling to someone you have a relationship with vs. someone you don’t - is dramatic.

You can shift the prospect mindset before the sale so that by the time they buy, they’ve gone from seeing you as nobody they’ve ever heard of - to a trusted authority who has their best interests at heart.

Once this mindset shift is made, sales follow naturally.

See Buyer Persuasion Points.

And also:

“So, persuasion begins in search engine and social network content – then flows through into the eMails that you send out to your prospects. It must be a slow and well thought through process. Don’t start your sales messages immediately your prospect opts-in to your list.

Take your time and build the relationships – then give out the sales message. It has to be a “natural” process – not forced. It has to flow in a logical way.

Yes, it is time consuming and difficult. But remember this, once you have set up your content > sales process it’s pretty much automated. See Sales Force Automation and "The Direct Marketers System" for an example of the management issues you need to address.”

See also: The Sales Pitch.

Some PPC practitioners dispense with the opt-in page and take the sales prospect direct to a Sales Letter. This is not a good model – it is often pursued by PPC amateurs.

If you ARE going to use this type of model then at least consider alternative ways to making the model work: See – PPC Sales Automation and subsequent articles.

See also PPC List building.

Next blog: From PPC Ad To Incentive


Five Top Digital Marketing Models: 2(a) Social Marketing

James Atkinson - Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Today's photo: a typical Lugano lake scene in early autumn.


Here is a step-by-step formula you can use to achieve more traffic, sales, and higher rankings from social networks:

  • Become an expert:
    Learn about your market and what prospects want with your survey, by participating in social networks, and by following top influencers.
  • Create quality content:
    Create great content that meets your prospects’ needs.
  • Interact:
    Use two-way interactions on the social networks to build trust and relationships.
  • Compliment...
    your community members when they post good content. This encourages them to reciprocate when you post new content.

  • Deliver...
    your content through a targeted group of social networks and on your own blog or socially-enabled web site (allowing people to comment on and share your content).

  • Draw people onto your site:
    Use a content hook (for example, a special report) to draw people off the social networks onto your blog or site.

    Your blog / site should offer more great free content. Don’t link directly from a social network to your sales letter.

  • Get opt-ins...
    rom your blog / site.

  • Get sales:
    Sales WILL start to happen naturally as people explore your content and receive emails about your products.

  • Grow:
    Continue to look for NEW people participating socially in your market and interact with them.

Let’s look at this process in more detail.

Become an Expert

Learn about your market and what prospects want with your survey, by participating in social networks, and by following top influencers.

Software makes this easy - see my Social Media Software.

Market Research Survey

Doing an online market research survey is a good way to learn about your market. It provides you with detailed information about:

  • The unique segments in your market
    Use segment knowledge to personalize your content to speak directly to each sub-group, rather than using one broad message for the whole market. This makes your messages more compelling and influential.

  • The most-desired information, features, and benefits in order of priority for each segment.
    This gives you the outline for your content topics and order in which you present them, plus the features you need to include in your products and how to describe the benefits of those features.

  • The actual language prospects use to describe what they want – use this in your copy

  • The emotional benefits prospects are seeking. Remember, all buying is driven by emotional needs.

The survey gives you a blueprint for your content strategy, product development, and sales copy.

Find Your Social Networks

Start Googling and identify the most active and influential social networks in your market. These networks will be the vehicle to promote your content and connect with a large and hungry audience.

Software makes this easy - see my Social Media Software.

You DON’T have to be a member of tons of networks – often just a few networks will give you the same results.

Size is not an issue either – small market-specific networks are often more powerful than huge general sites like Facebook.

Here are some of the benefits of joining social networks:

  • Publish your content – this is how you develop trust and a community.

  • Interact with other users – two-way interactions build trust.

  • Keep up-to-date with new developments.

  • Take the pulse of the market – find out what people really think about issues in the market.

  • Identify the hottest issues in the market – see which topics have the most views and responses, and the most passionate discussions.

    What problems are mentioned, particularly those that people have had a hard time solving? This is a great way to get content and product ideas.

  • Start to introduce yourself and contribute to the community. Research shows that familiarity makes people more influenced by you and makes them like you more.

Follow Top Influencers

In every market there are top influencers: experts who are at the cutting edge, shaping the market. These experts control mindshare in the market – attention and trust.

You should find and pay attention to these influencers to build your own expertise and gain insight into your market. Follow their content to get access to high-level thinking on topics and trends in the market.

Use it to increase your own knowledge and get ideas for content and products.

Use Google and / or my Social Media Software to find experts, then subscribe to their blog RSS feeds with Google Reader or a similar tool. This lets you see when the blogs are updated and read the updates all in one place.

Usually, their influence on the market will be visible through high levels of traffic to their blog and high levels of participation in social networks such as forum posts and blog comments.

Yahoo's Site Explorer was a good tool to assess the quantity and quality of links to someone’s blog. Alas there are now no more free tools available.

But have no fear! Our own integrated SEO Software will help you determine a blogger's links and our Social Media Software will tell you a blogger's real level of influence in the marketplace.

Create Quality Content

Creating quality content (text, audio, and video) is the key way to build trust with your market and demonstrate your expertise.

Content should be relevant, interesting, and useful.

If people aren’t interested, they won’t share your content, which is the key to achieving the ever-increasing “influence ripple effect” that expands your community.

Your content has to meet their needs.

Use your market research (surveys, social networks, and following influencers) to take the guesswork out of creating content.

Rather than guessing what will appeal to your audience, you can simply ask them to tell you what they want to know about!

What questions do they want answered? What problems do they want solutions to?

Creating content on topics you know people are interested in makes your job so much easier.

Make sure you create different content streams to address the distinct needs of each segment in your market – each one will have its own characteristics, mindset and desired information.

The headline is very important in getting people interested in your content. Often it will be the only part of the content a user can see without clicking.

Develop your headline-writing skills – you can learn from the best by looking at the headlines of the most-shared content on social networks. You can also share other people’s content as long as you attribute it to them, but make sure you mostly write your own so people get to know you.

As you discover and follow the experts in your market you will get tons of content ideas from their topics and the new developments in the market. Of course, you should use other people’s ideas for inspiration only.

For content generally see: How to do Keyword Research, What Search Engines Want, and SEO Copywriting.


Use two-way interactions on the social networks to build trust and relationships. Share your knowledge in a helpful way to engage and build your communities. Join in existing conversations and engage people to try to draw them into new ones.

Let people get to know you. Transparency and “realness” are paramount in social media. Nothing that sounds like sales copy or a corporate press release will generate any interest! You have to be yourself.

Remember, familiarity makes people more influenced by what you say and makes them like you more, which also creates influence!

Helping people engages the reciprocation rule.

The next time you publish content, a number of the people you have interacted with will “repay” your attention by sharing and bookmarking your content. This builds your social influence, exposes more people to your content, and boosts your search engine rankings.


There is strong research evidence that people like those who compliment them – even when they know the person giving the compliment wants something from them. See: Liking and Partiality.

When people in your community post good content, compliment them!

A specific compliment is most compelling. Don’t just say “Great post!” – say something specific about what they have written.


You need a content strategy to develop the different types of content you’ll need to get results from social networks:

  • Content for the social networks - for example: forum posts, YouTube videos.

  • Incentive content that draws people from the social networks to your blog – e.g. a free report they can get by opting in to your email list from your blog

  • Content for your blog or socially-enabled site – deliver more of the type of great content people enjoy on the social networks

  • Content for your email list – this can be email-specific content, or notifications when you’ve made a new blog post (with the first few paragraphs included as a teaser).

  • Sales copy that describes your products or services.

Draw People onto Your Site

Your goal is eventually to draw the people who are viewing your content on social networks onto your own site or blog, where you offer more great content.

Once they’re on your site, your goal is to get them to opt-in to your email list so you can contact them whenever you choose. If you’re using a web site, use a CMS (Content Management System) to make organizing your content easier.

Persuasionworks system has a built-in CMS to make this easy for you.

And make sure your site is socially enabled to allow people to comment, share, and bookmark your content.

You’ll need to give people an incentive to visit your site or blog. A content “hook” like a special report offered only on your blog should draw them in.

Never link directly from the social networks to your sales letter. You need to bring people to your blog first to continue developing the relationship.

Get Opt-Ins

Your blog / site should offer an email opt-in form with an incentive to get people to join. You want to be able to contact people whenever you choose.

Once prospects have opted-in, continue to deliver great content and build community. Please review: Getting Sales from Social Networks, Prospects and the Educative Process; The Goal Of Social Marketing.

Get Sales

At this point, more sales will start to happen naturally as people explore your offerings. See Online Marketing Strategies.


Continue to look for new people participating socially in your market and interact with them. You will get the biggest results in the smallest time by engaging with the most active and influential market-shapers.

Do this easily through our Social Media Software.

Next Blog: PPC Marketing.

FIVE Top Digital Marketing Models: 1. Educative Content Marketing

James Atkinson - Sunday, March 30, 2014

Today's photo is the entrance to the Hermann Hesse museum in Montagnola. His work space balcony over looks a pedestrian walkway. The museum is run by very dedicated staff who know a lot about the writer. Montagnola is a mountain 'suburb' of Lugano.


There are many ways you can market online. In this series of blogs I present five core online marketing methods:

  1. Educative Content Marketing
  2. Social Media Marketing
  3. Pay-per-Click Marketing (PPC)
  4. Affiliate Marketing
  5. Public Relations (PR) Marketing

All the eMarketing methods shown are predicated on you setting up an eMail autoresponder system. Please see: How eMail Marketing Works.

Persuasionworks integrated business and marketing software includes an eMail Marketing System.

Educative Content Marketing

The image below gives an indication as to how you market using your educative content web site:

The image explanation:

  • Create educative content on your web site;
  • Invite prospects to download a free report or white paper which is of high value and upon which you state a value – such as $49;
  • The report leads to an opt-in offer or page; (Optionally, obtain the opt-in before delivering the Report or White Paper)
  • The prospect then is segmented and administered through your eMail List Management; (On segmentation see: Market Segmentation or preferably the whole section: Why you Must Survey);
  • The prospect is taken through the marketing and persuasion process;
  • The prospect is eventually sent to a Sales Letter;
  • f the prospect buys he or she is allocated to the next product sales stream;
  • If the prospect does not buy he or she is allocated to an appropriate sales stream. – See the series of articles: Sales Funnel: Setting Up an Online Sales Process.

The green dots represent persuasion points. For 'persuasion points' generally see the series of articles: SEO Strategy: Buyer Persuasion Points.

Long-Tail Keywords

Remember a great deal of traffic will arrive from long-tail keywords. For keyword research see: How to Find and Use Keyword Research to Improve Your SEO.

When you create first-rate content such as blog posts, articles, and videos and post them to your educative content site - you:

  • Deepen relationships with your prospects and customers;
  • increase familiarity - an important sales persuasion component;
  • control the ‘mindshare’ of your prospects and customers who may otherwise go to your competition;
  • remind prospects of your unique benefits;
  • strengthen customer loyalty to you; and
  • increase customer willingness to buy from you – again and again.

All of these are important add-ons to your persuasion and sales process strategy.

My next blog: Social Media Marketing.