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The EBiz Developer - November 2001 - Article Two

Marlon Sanders - Survival Secrets

QUESTION: Marlon, are you coming out with any new products?

Answer: Our latest product is called "The Web Site Power System." You will find it at:

QUESTION: Marlon, what do you see as the secret of surviving and thriving in the months ahead in light of war, possible recession, the anthrax scare and so forth.

Answer: Find out what your customers want through surveys and by talking to them. Then offer your customers and prospects the opportunity to buy what they've told you they want to buy.

Here's an embarrassing example:

This past week I emailed an offer to my customers for a series of 4 teleconference calls with my mentor Lew Williams priced at $1,000. The offer flopped. I wrote it quickly at 2 a.m. or something like that. Because of Lew's impeccable credentials, I didn't feel I needed a strong promotion. I was wrong.

For one thing, since I did the promo late at night, I screwed up the dates and had October dates in the offer instead of November dates!

That isn't a real response getter! I am changing the program into one that gives you personal feedback from Lew. He emails you step-by-step instructions. You do them and email Lew back and he gives you his feedback. You can also call him if you want. It's $1500 for 6 weeks. If you want me to email you when the program is rolled out, send an email to: mentoring@amazingformula.com.

Now, if THAT doesn't work, then we will do an extensive customer survey to see what we're missing or overlooking. The lessons from this are:

1. Find out what your customers want.

2. Promote

3. Test

4. Try again

QUESTION: Marlon, how do I get people to take surveys?

Answer: I get this question a lot. If you have a problem getting people to take surveys, then you have to reward them. It's a very simple law of human behavior that people do what they are rewarded for. How do you reward them?

Go to http://www.ezinearticles.com and assemble some free articles into an ebook you can give them free.

Or pay them $10.00-$20.00 per survey. Or give them a free product. Do whatever it takes.

QUESTION: Where do I find people to take my survey?

Answer: Remember, your survey can be verbal. It doesn't have to be written. A talented marketer named Bob Serling used to just call people and ask them to rank statements A, B and C.

Another friend of mine invites people over to her house and does a little informal survey there. If you don't have customers, and you don't have an opt-in list, then try doing a solo mailing to one or more ezines that target your market.

I have never done solo mailings much. I just got turned onto them by fellow marketer Terry Dean who does a lot of them. I think they're a terrific way to promote when you're on a limited budget. A solo mailing means the ezine sends out your offer as a stand alone to its list.

Be careful with ezines that have over 50,000 subscribers. Make sure they are opt-in only and don't promote via spam.

QUESTION: Where do I find ezines for solo mailings.

Answer: Type "solo mailings and ezines" in momma.com, google.com, or other search engines. I've had good success searching in momma.com. If you're targeting your market as you should be, then you KNOW what the ezines are that your people read. If you don't, then it's your job to find out.

QUESTION: Where do I get the product ideas for my survey?

Answer: By talking to people. What are their questions, their problems, their complaints? I get some of my best ideas in talking with other marketers and joking around. Oftentimes, you'll joke about an outrageous idea that has a seed of a good idea in it.

For example, the other day I was complaining to a friend of mine about how other marketers have knocked off some of my products and caused refunds to go up. I said, "Man, I feel like producing a product called 'How to get a freakin' original idea' and then giving it to some of my competitors!'" Then I thought, "Wow, that IS a good product idea." I'll include it or a variation of it in future surveys."

QUESTION: Once I do the survey, how do I promote?

Answer: You let people tell you what they want to buy, then you offer it to them. How do you do that?

1. Email your customer list

2. Email your opt-in list

3. Do top sponsor ads in ezines

4. Do ezine solo mailings

5. Do joint ventures with other business owners

6. Buy pay-per-click traffic Those are a few good ways to get started.

QUESTION: How do I write an ad for a solo mailing to an ezine?


1. Promise a specific benefit

2. Explain why your competitors don't offer this benefit

3. Give some bullet benefits

4. Give an action point If you read the beginning of this email, my little promo for "The Web Site Power System" pretty much follows that formula. The USP isn't real apparent. If I had time, I would improve that. Let me know if this interview was helpful.

Marlon Sanders



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