Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Don't Underutilize Your "Thank You Page" and Your "404 Error Page"

Two of the most important pages on your site are your "Thank You Page" and your "404 Error Page". And while most online marketers spend vast amounts of time creating their sales copy and their sign up page, most don't spend any time at all on what's included on these 2 important pages.

Now before I show you some ways to use these pages to expand your business let me explain why these pages are so important.

First, the "Thank You Page" is what your site visitor sees after they have performed the action you desired. They have either signed up for your mailings or purchased your product.

Of course you'll want to thank them for their action and deliver what you've promised however, this is the time to start building a relationship with them. Don't just give them what they've decided to get and then tell them to go away. Give them more! Give them a reason to believe you deliver more than promised and start building a good relationship with them.

Now the "404 Error Page" is the page people see when they try to visit a page that doesn't exist on your site. And rather than have the universally defined "404 Error Page," you should create your own so those who get lost on your site see what you want them to see.

Here are 3 ways you can use "Thank You" and "Error" pages to build a relationship and expand your business:

  1. Give them something extra for seeing the page. Give them a special gift, a chance to sign up for a special mailing or a special 1 time offer. Here's an example of 1 of my "Thank You Pages":

  2. If they don't need to spend much time on your "Thank You" or "Error" page and you would like them to see another page on your site or your favorite affiliate program page, you can use some php code to send them where you want them to go next. Here's an example of what I mean:

    Here's how you can make your page redirect your page visitor:

    1. Put this line of code at the top of your web page code:

    <?php header('refresh: 5; URL=');

    2. You can change the number of seconds by changing the 5.

    3. Change the site url to the 1 you want.

    4. Save your file as a .php file type and upload.

  3. Offer to help them find more information. I use this primarily on my error page.

    Note: If you don't know how to customize your own "404 Error Page" you can see how it's done in "29 Easy and Instant Web Design Tricks - Volume 2." Download the PDF file here to get the link to this eBook free - no cost - no sign up - totally free.

Having an online business is just like having an offline business in that you don't want to waste or underutilize any of your space. While you may not be able to set up a product display on your payment page like offline merchants do at their cash registers, you can do something similar with your "Thank You Page." And, just like those smart merchants who ask, "Did you find what you were looking for?" when you leave their store, you can help those who get to your "Error Page" by helping them find what they are looking for. Be a smart online marketer and learn to use 2 of the most important pages on your site.

To Your Success,

P.S. If you found this tip useful please leave a comment.

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Wednesday, July 18, 2007

A Mistake No One Ever Talks About

This week I discovered I had made a dumb mistake with 1 of my web sites...

probably the dumbest one I've ever made.

Think you can guess what it was?

Did I not back up my web site in case the hosting company lost everything?

Nope, that wasn't it.

Did I forget to encrypt my email address so it couldn't be harvested?

Naw, I know better than that?

Did I leave my login information where someone could find it or have an easy to guess password to make it easy for someone to hack into my site?

Been there, done that and have already learned my lesson.

Since you'll probably never guess what I did, I'll tell you.

You know the default email address you get with a hosted site? Well, I've got 1 I've never used and since I don't use it, I never check it.

That is, I never checked it before this week.

You see, a few years back I got a domain name and a hosted site that I've never really gotten around to using very much. Oh, I put some affiliate stuff on it so it wouldn't just be sitting dormant and I've occasionally uploaded products that I was selling since it has tons of space and I've tested and debugged scripts on it. But I've never really used the site for it's intended purpose.

Well this week, I ran out of space on this site so I started to do some housecleaning. First I removed all the old products I was no longer selling and some of the pictures I no longer needed. That didn't seem to do much so I decided to remove everything except for the 5 pages of affiliate stuff.

Imagine my shock when I still had no space on this site. A 500 megabyte site holding 5 web pages and totally out of space!

So I started checking everything. I checked the file structure - only 5 small web pages. I checked the database area - no databases were there. I checked all the packages offered by the hosting company - none were in use. In desperation, I finally checked my email account...

More than 23,500 emails and more than 400 megabytes of space used!

And every bit of this email is - SPAM - !

In other words, this is unwanted email sent to some undefined email address on my domain. (Remember, I never created any email addresses on this domain.) And every email sent to my domain ended up in my default inbox - the 1 I haven't been checking.

Now I am virtually out of space since this inbox is grabbing everything I free up as new spam arrives. And because it's already taken over my site, it's got to be removed before I can place a limit on the size of my inbox.

And if you think removing 23,000+ emails will take a lot of time, try doing it when it takes 20 minutes to remove 40 of them at a time. (40 is what the current page size is set at.)

Actually, it's not quite that bad any more since I've gotten it down to just over 20,500 using 276 MB so it's only taking about 10 minutes per page.

So here are my tips this week.

  1. Don't use the default inbox on your host as your real email address and inbox. If you do you'll have to sort through all the email to find the good ones.

  2. Even though you don't use the default inbox as your real inbox, go in and clean it out regularly. (I've been doing this on FriendsWhoCare and will be doing it on all my sites in the future. Fortunately, my other sites are newer and it only took about an hour to get them cleaned up.)

  3. See if you can set a limit to the amount of space used by your email accounts. If you can, set it to something appropriate for the amount of space you've got. Since I've got 500 MB on this site, 10% should be sufficient if I really expected any email. Since I don't, I'll set it for the smallest amount possible.

I hope after you've read this you'll check any inboxes you don't use regularly before it's too late. Learn from my experience and don't make my dumb mistake of thinking that if you don't use an email inbox, no one else will.

To Your Success,
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If you found this tip useful, please leave a comment.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

4 Niche Marketing Problems Identified

Recently I was reading a fellow internet marketer's blog on list building and found the comments much more interesting than the posted article.

You see, while the article gave some very good information, was well written and gave enough information for the seasoned online marketer, it had a few major problems.

These 4 problems were explained in the first 10 comments:

Thanks for the tutorial. But I am just a beginner. Most of the terms you used are strange to me. Can you explain.


Thank you for the lesson. I think I am too old to get up the courage to have a go.


A good article, but seems it came earlier than it should have been.

Creating a good report is beyond the capacity of many like me. A sales/squeeze page requires explanation of obtaining HTML code for opt-in form from the autoresponder.

Hitting the subscribers with an attractive OTO doesn’t look as simple as you mentioned. Please explain as to how to go about this OTO particularly creating it in the first place?


I am also new and just getting started and funds are limited. I think this would be great for those of you who have the money and experience to do such a report.. But I am having trouble getting started. I don’t have a clue how to even start a report. But I am willing to try

To recap - the problems these readers had were:

  1. Not understanding the terms.

  2. Not having the courage to start.

  3. Not knowing how to do some of the basics.

  4. Limited funds.

Think only those going into internet marketing have these problems? Well maybe, but I doubt it.

You see...

  1. Almost every niche market has terms unique to that niche.

  2. Doing anything new and different for the first time requires some courage. Starting an online business, buying a car, playing your first game of golf or even making your first online purchase require some courage.

  3. Every niche has some basic information required before moving on to the next level.

  4. Limited funds - that's everyone's problem unless you've targeted the "endless money supply" market.

Can you solve all these problems for 100% of those in your targeted niche? Probably not.

But you can...

  1. Use terms most people understand and define those that may be new to the majority of your niche.

  2. Offer encouragement and reassurance to those who may be doing this the first time.

  3. Even when your target market is for the experienced, be prepared to give or offer something for those who have no experience.

  4. Only give and offer those things your targeted niche can afford and really use.

As you work your niche market, it's easy to forget about the problems listed above. But remember, you had to learn a lot to become the 'expert' and those looking to you for information and help don't know everything you've had to learn. So give those in your targeted niche a break and try to solve as many of these problems for them as you can.

To Your Success,

If you found this tip useful, please leave a comment.

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Wednesday, July 04, 2007

An Easy Free Way To Build Your List

Since today's a holiday for us in the US I'm taking an easy way out by giving you an audio tip from a New, Super Affiliate. And I have to agree with his advice since it's the #1 free way I build my list.

Hear today's tip (May take a few seconds to load.)

To Your Success,

P.S. Check the "What's New" page for a couple of new ones.

P.P.S. If you found this tip useful please leave a comment.

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