Why There's Never Been a Better Time to Start Your Home Business

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Why There's Never Been a Better Time to Start Your Home Business

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Why There's Never Been a Better Time to Start Your Home Business - PAGE 2

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#2: Make sure your e-mail gets delivered... the critical changes you need to be aware of

E-mail marketing is still highly profitable. In fact, we made $2.4 million last year from e-mail marketing alone!

Not only is it a great -- and inexpensive -- way to establish relationships with your customers, but your promotions and follow-up offers can be completely automated.

However, while you used to be able to send e-mail to absolutely everyone, these days you have to be very careful. Spam -- a growing problem on the 'Net -- cost US businesses an estimated $17 billion in 2005 (Ferris Research) and now accounts for 57% of all e-mail (Ipswitch 2006)!

The consequences of spamming have grown far beyond a slap on the wrist from your Internet Service Provider or a few nasty e-mails from angry recipients. For example...

  • Internet Service Providers now filter all incoming e-mail for spam by blocking messages that contain particular combinations of words or phrases and shutting out ALL e-mail from the domains and IP addresses of known spammers. So if you get mistakenly labeled as a spammer, as much as 50% of your e-mail may be "filtered" and never reach your subscribers. And it can take weeks or months to resolve the issue!

  • The CAN-SPAM Act (January 2004) introduced laws that allowed spammers to be prosecuted if specific guidelines aren't being met. Under this Act you can be fined, and even jailed, if your e-mails don't meet certain requirements, such as an "unsubscribe" link in the body of each e-mail you send out.

The bottom line is that if you want to take advantage of the profit-boosting power of e-mail marketing, you MUST make sure that your e-mails comply with the CAN-SPAM Act. You can read the full text of the CAN-SPAM regulations at www.spamlaws.com/federal/can-spam.shtml.

Once you've made sure your e-mails will be delivered, you need to think about their content. In the face of overflowing inboxes, your e-mails and newsletters need to be particularly appealing and valuable if you want them to be opened.

#3: Keep up with the search engines and take advantage of FREE sources of traffic

The search engine landscape has changed dramatically since we published the first edition of our course. We used to recommend getting listed on eight major search engines: Altavista, Excite, HotBot, InfoSeek, Lycos, Northern Light, WebCrawler, and Yahoo.

Today, clear leaders have emerged, narrowing our recommendations to the top three contenders:

  • Google: The most important of the three, Google has a 49% share of the search market.

  • Yahoo: A distant second, Yahoo has a 22% market share.

  • MSN: With 11% of the market, MSN is still worth focusing on.

With fewer search engines, keeping on top of their ever-shifting algorithms has become critical. If you can get a top listing on Google, for example, you can double your potential customers!

A new way to drive free traffic to your site is to write short articles related to your industry and post them on e-zine article directories such as Ezinearticles.com. Include your tagline at the bottom of each article you write and watch your traffic increase exponentially -- as well as your inbound links (which the search engines consider when ranking your site!).

Take advantage of as many FREE sources of traffic as you can to drive tons of targeted traffic to your site!

#4: Instantly boost your traffic with pay-per-click advertising

Paid search has exploded, becoming a widely accepted way to drive qualified traffic to your site -- fast. And with each passing year, it becomes more sophisticated, allowing you to zero in on your target market with greater precision.

Today, the major players are...

  • Yahoo! Search Marketing (http://searchmarketing.yahoo.com/): Yahoo's sponsored search lets you advertise your site in the search results of the following search engines: MSN, Yahoo, AltaVista, InfoSpace, AlltheWeb, and NetZero.

  • ... you can have your ads show up in sponsored search listings for certain keywords -- and you can also advertise on other sites that match your audience.

  • MSN AdCenter (https://adcenter.msn.com/): MSN has recently entered the arena of paid search with MSN AdCenter. So far, it's the only PPC engine to offer keyword-based demographic targeting.

Paid search is one of the fastest ways to drive qualified traffic to your site... and if done properly, won't break the bank.

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Disclaimer: The information presented and opinions expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of Work-at-Home-Business.com and/or its partners.
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