Advantages of Direct Linking For Affiliates

For many computer users interested in becoming involved in Internet marketing, namely affiliate marketing, they are stymied by the chore of creating their own web page or website to link to their affiliate’s site. A landing page is used by those seasoned affiliates that are well-versed in writing code and have great success guiding would be purchasers on to the target site via links on their specially created landing page. But is a landing page really necessary? Many new affiliates are conflicted because there exists another way of leading online customers to the target for purchase without investing the time and money necessary in creating that individual, fully functioning site. Direct linking is being used by some affiliate programs interested in directing traffic in an efficient way, without the knowledge and know-how needed for website design.

In order to create your own website, it is necessary to possess at least a working knowledge of HTML. A beginner could take a month or more to learn enough of about simple programming in order to get a semi-decent site together and up and running. With direct linking, that same beginner could begin making commissions in a quicker fashion with help of tutorials about PPC direct linking that are often offered free or at a minimal charge when joining up with an established affiliate marketing program. Pay-per-click (PPC) direct linking uses the same URL twice. The target site’s URL is used as a display URL in the affiliate advertisement and the destination URL as opposed to sending the viewer first to the affiliate marketer’s specially designed landing page for a pre-sale attempt.

This PPC direct linking, in essence, skips the middleman (middle site), sending viewers on to the target site to spend their money on the product or service offered. This is an excellent way to introduce a novice to affiliate marketing. Admittedly, the cost per click does not always exceed the commissions, yet in order to gain a working knowledge of anything new, it is often beneficial to start simply at first. As with most things in life, the more time and knowledge invested can mean more profits. However, making profits now, while learning how to make larger profits later just might not be the worst case scenario for most people. Direct linking can provide the beginnings of what, with more knowledge and know how, could be a lucrative new side career for those looking to try affiliate marketing now.

Secret Confessions of a Direct Response Marketing Pro

I’m going to go out on a limb and say something that may surprise you.

Everyone out there is either selling a product or service. No surprise there. But even those who are not in sales or marketing in any fashion actually are. Here’s why. Everyone out there has to ‘sell themselves’ in order to convert their ‘wants/desires’ into reality.

For example, if you are unemployed you would polish up your resume and send it off to prospective employers. If you think you deserve a promotion due to performance or tenure than you would have to convince your employer to see things in your eyes. Same goes for a pay raise. If you are a child and you want a toy you have to make a compelling argument why. Many more examples could follow but there is no room or time to expound.

Assuming you agree with what I am saying thus far, I’ll move into the meat and potatoes of this ezine article. Let’s look at one item in particular that has proven effective time and time again for anyone involved in direct response sales and marketing.

The Good ‘Ol Fashioned Stress Ball

Today, millions of people stuck in cubicles around the world will pick up one of these little babies and squeeze them repeatedly until the sudden onset of work-related tension they experienced subsides. As you can imagine, this happens repeatedly throughout the day for many folks who work in high stress-related environments. Without putting much thought into it, examples (you may call them prospects if you like) include those working in:

• customer service
• in-bound and outbound call centers
• telemarketers
• accountants
• executives in any industry
• computer programmers
• internet marketers
• and anyone who works on commission or sits behind a desk

What does Facebook®have in common with stress relief balls?

Those who are fortunate enough to make a living from a job that has little stress cannot escape the innate human response attached to squeezing a stress ball. Not so much because the act of squishing something is fun. No, I’m more interested in the psychological effects of the act itself.

Because the mere act of playing with it breaks up the monotony of the workday, it can become quite NATURAL for you to reach for a squishy stress relief ball any time the urge presents itself. And for those who get bored with their work quite often this can be many times.

How many times have you found yourself playing computer solitaire when no one is looking or checking your Facebook®page on company time? Most people are guilty of succumbing to acts like these.

And this leads me to the secret weapon the best direct response marketers and sales professionals use to their advantage: By giving away branded promotional items that beg to be “touched” or “played with” the amount of impressions created from the item are priceless. What you have is a silent salesperson working on your behalf without any of the added cost – and a reliable means of advertising that beats the cost-per-impression rates of any T.V. or radio commercial, magazine or newspaper print advertisement. That’ not my opinion; it’s a FACT.

Put your advertising on auto-pilot

All successful advertising has the same thing in common: consistency ultimately yields compliance. Remember the last time you went to watch the game at a sports bar and you were blanketed by a healthy mix of Budweiser commercials, Budweiser bucket specials, Budweiser coasters, Budweiser banners…you get the point. By the time the waitress came around you were ordering a bucket of Buds even though you drink imported beer.

Same goes for the stress relief balls – or any other promotional product that affords some sort of utility for the recipient. Your message, logo, name, contact info – whatever it is – gets subliminally implanted into their subconscious each and every day they see it or use it that the next time they need whatever you are selling they know exactly who to call. That promotional magnet with the pizza parlor’s number on it works the same way, as does that wall calendar with your realtor’s mug on it.

It’s almost as if stress relief balls and other highly effective promotional products put your advertising on auto-pilot so you can spend more time getting other things done.

P.S.Now you are aware of something the average sales person or marketer in your field overlooks. Now is the time to help your customers relieve their stress – and meet your quota – by leveraging this marketing weapon in your favor. And who knows… you might just get that elusive pay raise just for telling your boss another one of your brilliant ideas.

P.P.S.Just print this page out. It’ll show you actually did some research. But make sure to cut off the P.S. wording or you can kiss that raise goodbye.

Planning Your Local Business Marketing

When planning your local business marketing, replicating what practically all major advertisers do is a good idea. Local businesses of all sizes, particularly smaller concerns with more limited resources, can follow the same methods as far as time and budgets permit. These marketing methods already have many of the bugs worked out, but a business must take the first step in planning a marketing campaign of clearing the decks of opinions, theories and conjectures. This allows for a much more creative and “organic” approach to the campaign.

A second step should be to find a scientific method of testing the real strength of the different advertisements on the local level, as well as the various advertising media, such as publications, broadcasting, outdoor and direct mail advertising.

This takes a three-phase approach. The first phase is initial testing. Test the different ads, commercials, Internet sites, and direct mailing packages against one another in their own media. The second phase for the business is to expand testing of winners. Once the company have found what works best in each medium, test a much expanded list of individual publications and sites on the Internet, radio stations, or direct mail against one another. Phase three is learning from the results. As a business learns from what works and does not work, it will be testing whole media, such as newspapers, magazines, the Internet and broadcasting, against one another for future attempts at selling similar products or services. In other words, a business is not only testing individual newspapers or the sites on the Internet against one another, the business is, at the same time, testing newspapers as a class against the Internet against direct mail, and so on, to learn how each class ranks in providing cost-effective sales results. They may in the end be used together to garner even more new customers from different genres for a more effective campaign.

This preliminary three-phase research takes time. The smart business will allow for the time, as it is well spent. To get started on the right foot, to find the right appeal and the right place for local business marketing, is so important that other considerations are insignificant by comparison. Finding the right appeal is part of this process, and the local demand for a product or service will surface during and after the research is conducted. Discovering the most effective appeal can be difficult, because often there are many seemingly attractive appeals. The optimal appeal will drive future marketing efforts in part or as a whole, and it will inevitably lead to a successful campaign.