Monthly Archives: June 2006

Gain and retain customers by giving exceptional value!!

It may seem obvious but if you offer your customers exceptional value for money, you will gain new customers AND retain existing ones.  Unfortunately not everyone seems to realize this. 

I don’t know whether it is just me but I do get the feeling that many online sellers are more interested in lining their own pockets than providing a top quality service and superb value for money.

Now, don’t get me wrong, we all need to make a living BUT the ideal business transaction is one where everybody involved wins and that means both the seller AND the buyer.

Regardless of what you are selling, be it tangible or intangible products, there is always a way of going the extra mile to give your customer that little bit extra.  The benefits to you and your business will far outweigh any small cost that might be involved.

For example, let’s say you are selling a tangible product online and it requires batteries.  Instead of shipping the product without batteries, include them in the package.  Batteries are incredibly cheap and you don’t have to send your buyers the top of the range Duracells!  If they weren’t expecting them, it makes a nice surprise especially if you include a note pointing out that you have included them as a goodwill gesture. 

Some years ago that was a seller on eBay who would include a handful of sweets with every package that he/she sent – for all I know they are still doing it.  How much effort/cost did that take?  Hardly anything but nearly all of the seller’s feedback comments referred to the sweets and ‘what a nice gesture’ they were.

If it is appropriate, why not consider including some form of intangible digital product with your sales?  There are numerous ways of wrapping a digital product around a tangible one – an eBook about the product, a training video explaining how to use it, an audio CD detailing how to get the best results from the product and so on.  Digital products are extremely cheap to reproduce and again whenever the buyer gets something more than they are expecting, it gives them a pleasant warm feeling inside 🙂

At the end of the day, the ideal situation is to make your buyers feel like the money they have spent with you is the best they have ever spent and that they have really been looked after.  It doesn’t matter if they are spending £5 or £500, they have chosen to give their money to you and you should respect that and ensure that they receive fair value in return.  Personally I like to give my customers fair value and then some!

Take my recently launched SimplyWholesale website…  Anyone that has joined in the past month received access to hundreds of pounds worth of products and resources on day one (which is already great value for money given that membership costs from just £3.08 per month) but I didn’t stop there.  All members have also received the following ‘extras’ over the last few weeks, all at no extra cost:

1.  Almost 200 new wholesale offers from UK wholesalers

2.  An 80 minute Adsense training video (normal price about £15)

3.  ‘Be Found’ ebook by Martin Pickering (normal price £7.95)

4.  ‘Lazy Mans Guide to Making Big Money’ eBook by Martin Pickering (normal price £19.95)

5.  Special wholesale pricing and free shipping on orders for PowerBall products available to members only.

6.  Entry into a free prize draw – one member walked away with an iPod Nano (not bad value for his £4.99 membership fee!)

It would be very hard for any member to claim that they hadn’t received their moneys worth which brings me to another benefit of giving great value for money – refunds – you won’t get asked to give them!

Think about it, if your customer has received unbeatable value for money, they aren’t going to ask for their money back are they? 

Bottom line – offer real value to your customers and you will keep them coming back.  It is far better to have a customer that is happy to buy from you again and again as opposed to offering a sloppy deal which makes you a few quid but means that the buyer will never buy from you again…

The Best Traffic Money Can Buy…?

I will be honest; the title of this newsletter is slightly misleading.  You see, in my opinion, the best traffic that money can buy actually doesn’t cost anything – it’s free!

I am talking of course about the magical traffic that we have all heard of but that only a select few have experienced: free search engine traffic.

We all know that it is possible to get tons of free traffic from the big search engines – Google, MSN, Yahoo and so on but getting to the top of these engines has always been incredibly tough.  Actually, I am being slightly dishonest again.  Going back a few years, it was in fact very easy to get a high search engine ranking, you just put a page together, threw in a few meta keywords and a decent page title and scattered your keywords across the text content a bit and that was it.  Wait a week or so and bingo, you’ve got yourself a front page ranking on Google!  Ok, it wasn’t quite that simple but it wasn’t much harder than that.

Nowadays getting to the top of the engines is much harder and even if you do make it to the top, you can be dropped just as quickly if the search engine decides to change the way in which they rank websites.

However, whilst getting your site indexed and ranked in a decent position does take a bit of effort, it isn’t impossible, especially if you know what the search engines are looking for.  I am no expert on the topic of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) but I have studied the subject on a casual basis since I first started online in 1998.  I am really a lazy SEO’er and part of the reason for this is that I have spent the time in past optimizing sites, only to have Google (or whoever) suddenly decide that they don’t like my site quite as much as they did last week and dropping me way down their rankings.  All that lovely free traffic gone overnight 🙁  I got fed up with this a couple of years ago and vowed never to chase search engine traffic again!

That said, there is nothing quite like top quality, targeted, free traffic and the buzz of getting several hundred (or even thousand) visitors every single day without spending out a single penny can’t be beaten.  Just think how much it would cost you to buy 500 visitors each day using Google Adwords or similar (and this form of advertising isn’t anywhere near as effective as it used to be but that’s a story for another day!).

Anyway, back to the point of this newsletter…  It is possible to get very good search engine rankings very quickly IF you follow some basic rules when you build your websites.  To illustrate this (and remember, I am no expert), I noticed this week that my new site, SimplyWholesale already has several number one (and front page) rankings on Google, MSN and several other smaller search engines!  I am even beating eBay on some keywords and phrases 🙂  Now, bear in mind that this site was launched just two weeks ago.  I haven’t done any ‘major’ search engine optimization on it – just the absolute basics.  There are hardly any inbound links to the site (seriously, like a dozen absolute maximum) AND none of the search engines have crawled anywhere near the entire site.  At the time of writing, Google has indexed just 17 pages out of almost 1500!!  Despite this, Google and the other engines are sending me some fairly healthy traffic everyday.  Just think how much traffic I could be getting in a few weeks time once the site has been fully indexed?!

So, why am I telling you this?  Simple.  Because getting good search engine rankings doesn’t have to be an impossible task.  If you know the basics and apply them to your site, there is no reason why you shouldn’t start to see some free traffic coming your way.  Now of course, you can’t expect to do a bit of work on your site and suddenly rank no.1 on Google for a really competitive search term such as ‘earn money online’ BUT you don’t need to.  At the end of the day all you need to do is make sure that your site ranks well for a handful of relevant keywords/phrases and as long as they are words that people are actually searching for, you will see the benefits.

Unfortunately most people don’t know the basics of SEO and either try and work it out for themselves or get misled by the army of so-called experts who really don’t know what they are talking about.  Fortunately, one of my online colleagues does know what he is talking about when it comes to SEO and he has created a series of videos which will take anyone through the different steps that they need to take in order to win themselves some top search engine rankings. 

The videos haven’t actually been released for sale yet so I can’t give you any further details but all being well, they will be available next week.  If you have any interest in getting your website/s on the front page of Google, MSN, Yahoo or any other search engine, look out for an email from me next week and I’ll see you at the top!