**** BWMagic's Affiliate Marketing Guide

Internet Marketing Funnels - The Real Key To More Conversions And Sales

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  • Recently, I was once again brutally reminded just how important these marketing funnels are to one's online success. They truly are the little tireless engines which run your marketing and the key to all those sales.

    So what happened?

    Well, Google implemented the Panda Update, another one of their endless changes to their now complex and totally unmanageable algorithm which determines Google's listings - unmanageable in the sense that one has the feeling that Google throws these rules into place and hope/pray they do what they're expected to do. And many times one also has the feeling the fallout is as surprising to Google as they are to the helpless webmasters who have to cope and adjust to these never-ending upheavals.

    This latest update brought home the fact how important marketing funnels are to my online success. At first, the true effects of Google's recent changes didn't hit home, I lost some search traffic to some of my sites but nothing drastic or out of the ordinary. My traffic from Google has always been constant but it swings up and down from day to day. And since I cater to business/corporate services and products, my traffic numbers usually go down on the weekends and spring back up on Monday.

    Now, traffic is one thing but what really concerns me are my sales numbers. At first, I didn't notice any major changes/drops in sales and leads - this was possibly due to the power of the "cookie" and countless prospects already in my marketing funnels. Then I did start to see a drop - mainly in traffic/leads coming from article directories such as Ezinearticles which was hit hard by the Panda Update. Just as an indication, I track hundreds of keyword phrases, including my own name. For years when anyone typed my full name into Google, my Ezinearticles' account/profile would be listed in the first spot in Google. After the recent update, this listing has dropped to the third spot and my main sites are now currently listed in the top spots.

    The latest changes in Google "could" be targeting sites which can be seen as "keyword link stuffing"... as in the example above, my account/profile keyworded link is listed below all my articles which is only natural and right. But is Google now reading this as keyword stuffing and lowering these kinds of rankings? Again, reading or predicting Google's Algorithm is extremely tricky and somewhat foolhardy. Just as you figure out one element, they go and change the whole bloody thing on you! But back to our discussion here...

    I have a lot of different marketing funnels working for me on the web. These are autoresponder driven and can be tied into your sites and the products you're promoting. One of my most popular types of marketing funnels uses articles and can be explained as such:

    1. I write keyword targeted articles related to the products or services which I promote on my sites. Keyworded in the sense that I want these articles to be ranked in Google for the main keywords or phrases in the articles. Google and the other search engines are usually the starting points of my marketing funnels.

    2. I place these articles on my sites or on third-party sites such as online article directories like Ezinearticles and GoArticles. A well written article on a "long-tail phrase" will turn up on the first page of Google, usually in the top spot.

    3. These articles point out the benefits of using a product or service. I don't hard-sell with these articles but try to place valuable helpful information which the reader wants and needs in order to make a purchasing decision. This process is often referred to as pre-sell or pre-selling and it takes some time to master this art, but it can be easily done.

    4. Potential customers read these articles and those who are interested in discovering more about the products or services click the link in my resource box to go to my site. This link can also be directed to my "lead capture page" where I offer a free ebook or ecourse if they sign up to my list. Subscribers join my lists where they opt-in to receive follow-up information from my sites, again providing helpful information on the product or service being promoted.

    5. Gradually, as these subscribers read my follow-up emails, they are enticed with special bonuses and attractive discounts to buy my promoted products and services. Coupons where subscribers get $100 to $500 off popular top brand name electronic products such as laptops, desktop computers... works extremely well and you do get a lot of sales.

    This is a basic marketing funnel:

    Potential customers search Google for information on a particular product or service, a link to one of my articles pops-up (usually in a top directory such as Ezinearticles) in the SERPS and the prospect clicks the link. They read an informative and interesting article usually pointing out the major benefits and/or helpful buying tips (this works best with complex tech items) on the product or service. They click through to your site where they are offered more helpful information and product links... many will buy at this stage but many need more information so they sign up to receive a free ebook or ecourse for follow-up. These subscribers go onto your lists where they can be cookied with your affiliate links. Many will buy your promoted product or service, especially if you entice these prospects with attractive bonuses and discounts. I find special discount coupons and sales work really well, especially with high-end electronic products.

    Other marketing funnels can be created by using Videos, eBooks, Blog Posts or even Forum Posts if you can find an active community related to your niche. Your goal is the same, to get potential customers onto your lists for follow up marketing. You guide them through the different parts of your funnel until you get a sale. At any one time, I have thousands of potential customers flowing through the different marketing funnels associated with my sites. These really are the hidden engines which drive your online sales.

    Keep in mind, most savvy marketers don't just stop with their own marketing funnels. They can easily recommend other leading marketers, affiliate programs and sites to their lists, where your subscribers are then placed on respective marketing funnels associated with these marketers and sites. The whole marketing process is started again, and as long as these subscribers are "cookied" with your affiliate IDs - you will get credit for any sales. I try to find marketers and affiliate programs which will give you a "life-time" cookie, once you refer a potential customer, they are yours for life.

    The recent changes within Google sort of put a monkey wrench into some of my article marketing funnels. I have done some things to adjust to these changes, I am doing more unique articles and placing these on third party sites. Actually, Post-Panda, I have seen a drastic increase in requests from sites which ONLY want unique articles and content. I have also found it helpful to promote my article links on major directories, bringing them back into the top spots in Google, until the next update.

    So the next time you're trying to sell a product or service, don't forget that creating marketing funnels can be a very effective way to get the job done. They do take some time to put into place but once created, they will work automatically for you, night and day.

    The author is a full-time online marketer who has numerous websites, including two sites on Internet marketing. For the latest and most effective web marketing tools try: Internet Marketing Tools Or why not try these excellent free training manuals and videos: Free Marketing Courses Copyright © Titus Hoskins.

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