10 Marketing Mistakes Revealed!

By Sandi Hunter

I’ve been in the home business and online marketing industry for nearly 20 years. These are 10 of the most common marketing mistakes I hear or see most often from both Newbies but also from people who assure me they know what they are doing. Here’s the critical mistakes to avoid and what you should be doing instead to maximize your results.

Marketing Mistake #1

You send all your traffic to your primary website. Most people involved in online marketing or affiliate marketing,  are selling more than one product or service. By all means, list all your products and services on your site, but don’t rely on your website for lead generation.  Your website can be too busy and too big to funnel your buyers into the section or item they are looking for.  Fussy, large, poorly organized websites can cost you leads and sales.

What you should do.

You should send all your traffic to landing pages NOT to your website. Ideally you should have one landing page for each product or service you offer.  This way you can target specific markets and cater your copy and offers to that population. Landing pages are clean lead-generating machines. Effective landing pages start with a compelling attention-getting headline, then drive home the benefits of what you offer, point by point. Landing pages that get results always have an OFFER to generate an action by the reader – in most cases this action is either to get a contact form completed, or an instant sale.   Every person who lands on your landing page (squeeze page) is a highly valued prospect.

Marketing Mistake #2

You focus only on lead generation and not list building. Newcomers to online marketing, and even seasoned marketers often make the mistake of posting static information on a website or a landing page.  They fail to do the most important task of all. That task is to include an opt-in form on your landing page that encourages the prospect to sign up for your newsletter, or your email updates, or your special promotions email.

What you should do.

Every landing page you create should include OPTIN boxes so respondents can check off interest in other services you offer including your newsletter, special promotions, or related products and services. Every successful marketer knows that the key to sales now, today, and the future is based on a solid mailing list.  The best way to generate your own email marketing list is to encourage people to agree  (opt-in) to receive your email.  This can be made easy for prospects by having check boxes on the lead form included on your landing page. They simply check off what they would like to receive additional information about.   Mail order companies have known the power of a good mailing list for years, now online marketers need to understand this too.

Marketing Mistake #3

You tell not sell.  You ramble on with details and jargon that bores your prospect to tears. You don’t offer the exciting benefits of what your product or service offers –  what it will do for them to make their life better, or solve or eliminate a problem. Prospects stop reading long before they get anywhere near becoming a lead or a buyer.

What you should do.

Use sales-generating copy tells the prospect the BENEFITS of what you offer. Include a special offers that motivates a response!   Stop boring people by TELLING  the minutiae of what they are buying and start SELLING them on why they must get your incredible product TODAY.  Sell all the benefits of what you offer, make an offer to get it today, then limit that offer so they understand they will miss out if they don’t act now – right now!   Every statement in your copy should be moving towards the sale.  You get this, this and this too but you must act now! Punchy copy that is laden with value and excitement gets a response.  Your marketing copy must speak directly to the needs of the reader, they want to know what is in it for them. Your only need as the marketer is to get the point across that your offer is outstanding and must be responded to right now.

Marketing Mistake #4

You are trying to BUY success. Many inexperienced marketers will buy the services of an SEO company in an attempt to artificially force their website to the first page of Google and other search engine sites.   I hope you have a money tree because you are going to need one. You’ll be out of money before you know it with no sales to show for it.

What you should do.

Learn how to do Search Engine Optimization (SEO) yourself. If you don’t you will always find people with their hand out ready to take your money, and your return for this kind of service will be minimal. Here’s why. SEO is not that hard, you can easily learn how to do this yourself if you are willing to learn, give it time and are very patient.  There are TONS of free courses, free ebooks, low cost software and training programs that teach you how to increase your website ranking.  At least first give it a try yourself, save yourself a lot of money, learn for the sake of long term growth of your online business. See Marketing Mistake # 5 for more on this.

Marketing Mistake #5

You rely on automation or short cuts to fast-track your marketing. You’ve bought software or services that allow you to:  – Spin articles – Mass blast ads – Generate mass link submissions – Blast messages out to Twitter and other social media sites   – Mass product fake content pages

Guess what? The folks at Google and Bing are smart cookies.  Every day they tighten their algorithms a little bit more to decrease or eliminate the search returns generated by automated programs. The result: one day you are on the first page and the top 10 search returns, the next day your site is dropped for no reason and no recourse for the unfortunate site owner.  I don’t have to tell you that this can cost you a LOT of money.   The search engine sites don’t have to tell you why your listing disappeared, they change how they rank sites all the time. As soon as there is an obvious pattern, or sometimes just a hint of artificial attempts to jimmy your rankings from automated software, look out!

What you should do.

Forget about automation, it may work now, you may get away with it for the short term but in the long term, it won’t.  Google themselves will tell you the best way to get high ranking is with fresh, natural content posted frequently.    Yup. That takes time, sorry folks, no way around that but it is time well spent. Stop thinking you have to get rich over night, start thinking of your online business as a REAL business, not a hobby. A legitimate business takes time to build, consistent effort and some learning along the way.   Read, learn, download ebooks on the topic, take a Bootcamp training course such as the one offered at Worldprofit, and work on building your web footprint one day at a time.  Every had a tap dripping into your bathtub. It doesn’t take long till the tub fills then starts to overflow. Use the FREE and plentiful tools available on the web to learn and understand how to increase your ranking.  You can get started right now! Set time aside as you learn and do a little every day. Create social media profiles, create blogs, post an ad, build a WordPress site (the SEO is built in already), write an article, comment on an article, be a guest blogger, tweet, Facebook, LinkedIn.

Marketing Mistake # 6

You don’t track your advertising results.  No clicks on your ads means no intelligence on which ads are working at which places.  You are marketing with a blindfold.

What you should do.

The beauty of online advertising is that when you post an ad you can check to see if you get hits. This is smart!  The only way of knowing if your ads are working, if your time was well spent, or your advertising dollars were well spent is to know if you get clicks on your ads.   Tracking your ads and the response allows you to tweak your ad copy, better your offer, identify both good and poor advertising sources.  Most online advertising sites provide you with a Member area where you can login to check your statistical data on your advertising response.

Marketing Mistake # 7

Buying ads on Google and Bing without knowing what you are doing. Newcomers to online marketing do this all the time. They put up a website then buy ads at Google. Google loves you for this but you won’t fall in love with the cost.

What you should do.

Research key words in your industry so you know what people are using to find businesses, products or services that you offer. How do you do that? Easy. Google has a key words tools within their Webmaster Tools to help you with your ad campaigns. It’s free whether you advertise with them or not, and a great way to get started learning about key works so you can use this information in your marketing.

Marketing Mistake # 8

Not promoting consistently.  You are short on time, and short on money, so you post infrequently.  You don’t vary your offer, your products, your ad copy.

What you should do.

Successful marketers know that promotion is something you must do every day, and if not every day as often as you can.  People short on time make the grave error of buying large quantity mailings to massive amounts of people in one shot, instead of doing  small amounts of promotion to target markets on a continual consistent basis.  Do you ever notice that big companies NEVER stop marketing? They are always in your face.  What do they know that you don’t know? The consumer has a very short attention span and if you are not in their face they quickly forget about you.  My colleague Dr. Jeffrey Lant impressed on me the 7 time rule of marketing.  The idea of this is that people have to see an offer, or an ad as much as 7 times before they do anything.  Ever notice that when you watch the morning news while getting ready for work, that the same McDonald’s commercial plays over and over again! Why? They know you are watching the news getting ready for work and want you to stop in for a breakfast sandwich. Repetition in marketing is key and give the competition out there for various offers, it’s important that your message be seen.  Post your ads often. You are NEVER done promoting. As an online marketer your job is simple. Promote often, promote consistently.  This leads into our next critical mistake.

Marketing Mistake # 9

Only advertising at a few places and not constantly looking for new advertising sources.

What you should do.

New marketers tend to find one or two places to advertise then only advertise there. The web is filled with great places to advertise. You must try to continually expand your reach, tap into new markets, target new customers.  Don’t put all your eggs in one basket and rely exclusively on single sources or you will be cutting off your profit potential.  Look into all kinds of different types of advertising including pay per click, login ads, banner ads, safelists, traffic exchanges, ad swaps, classified ads, joint ventures. Avoid vendors that sell extremely large lists or leads for a ridiculously low cost, chances are good they will be fake or computer generated.

Marketing Mistake # 10

Underestimating how much marketing focus is required to drive your business.

What you should do.

Understand that marketing is and should be 90% of how you spend your time in building your online business.  This one thing alone dooms so many Newbies to failure, they don’t spend enough time on marketing in order to get results.  I hear people say ‘this product is so good it will sell itself”. That has got to be one of the worst errors in thinking I have heard when it comes to making money.  You’ve got your products or services you want to sell, now focus on promotion. When, where, and how. Then stick to it.         I’ve had people tell me they are spending 12 hours a day promoting a product and not getting results. I tell each and everyone of them this. “If that’s actually true, you are doing something terribly wrong.”  If this is you then go back and read over these common marketing mistakes. You are making one or more and this is sabotaging your own success. Sometimes you just need to step away, take a breather, and review what you are doing. You may think you are working hard but you aren’t focusing on what will get you results. Something is perhaps distracting you, something is eating up your time, something you are doing is not what you should be doing.  One person who told me they were spending dozens of hours a day with no result, was actually spending most of their time blogging and Facebooking. When they evaluated what they were actually doing they then saw that what felt like work was really just time wasted in front of a computer. The bottom line is this, reassess but never never give up.

Summary: There is so much money to be made online it’s mind-boggling. It’s a type of money making that is not what most people are familiar, it’s a steep learning curve for many but it’s worth the time to learn.  There’s unlimited choices of products and services to sell.  You can build an online business for very little cost but treat it seriously. Be realistic about what you can earn  and put in the necessary time to learn and understand what you are doing.

About the Author

Sandi Hunter is the President of Worldprofit, Inc., a company providing a wide range of online services for small and-home based businesses. Services include home business training, affiliate marketing training, earn-at-home programs, traffic tools, advertising, webcasting, hosting, design, WordPress Blogs and more. Find out why Worldprofit is considered the # 1 online Home Business Training program by getting a free Associate Membership today at http://www.WorldprofitAssociates.com