Merchant Copy and Sales Tools

Many merchants provide advertising tools and copy that you can place on your site. Cutting and pasting merchant copy onto your pages is great way to save time when you’re just starting out.

Here are 8 different sales tools merchants may offer their affiliates:

1.   Banners – Banners are graphic images that come in a variety of different sizes.

The most popular sizes are 468 x 60 pixels, 125 x 125, 234 x 60, 120 x 60, 120 x 90, and 88 x 31. ‘Skyscrapers’ are generally 120 x 600, which is the average window height of a computer display. Some companies have half page banners that are about 480 x 480 pixels in size. I’ve seen others that are a full page with numerous graphics and text and come as a zipped file that you extract to a file on your computer.

2.  Interstitial (Popup) Banners – An interstitial banner ad is advertisement that appears in a separate pop-up browser window while the main page is still loading, forcing exposure to the advertisement before visitors can see the main content.

Be careful if you choose to use this type of advertising. While the response rates may be higher, many more Internet users are installing ‘popup killers’ on their computers, so they won’t see your ad. They also may not be able to move forward within your site if they’re using the popup-stopping software.

Because they interrupt the surfing flow, popups also breed resentment. I stopped visiting About.com for a very long time due to their extremely annoying use of interstitials. They’ve ceased their use of ‘inessentials’, but still use popups far too frequently for my liking.

3.  Text Links – These are usually a one line description of the merchant property that includes the HMTL. For example, this is a snippet of code that I got from Commission Junction when looking for links for Yahoo! personals.

<a href=”http://www.qksrv.net/click-168978-10278403″ target=”_top”>Find romance at Yahoo!Personals</a><img src=”http://www.qksrv.net/image-168978-10278403″ width=”1″ height=”1″ border=”0″>

All I do is cut and paste HTML code into my Web page, and my visitors see the text ‘Find romance at Yahoo! Personals’.

4.  Email Promotions – Easier than creating a page for your site with banners and text is sending a promotional email to your list of subscribers. Easier still is not having to write it yourself! Really smart merchants write their own “advertorials” and format them both in HTML and in plain text for distribution via email.

Smart affiliates customize merchants’ email promotions to give it their own ‘voice’. They recognize that hundreds of other affiliates will be using the same material, so their efforts look cheesy when they’re caught trying to pass off someone else’s material as their own.

5.  Classified Ads – Shorter than advertorials, classified ads are presented in plain text to be ‘ copied and pasted’ into your newsletter.

The following is a classified ad for Corey Rudl’s affiliates to promote his ‘Internet Marketing Tips’ package. Because it sounds like a personal endorsement of his product, your subscribers will never know that Corey’s team of professional copywriters actually wrote it….unless of course they subscribe to a number of other Internet marketers’ newsletters who recently used the same ad.

====================================================== Over 1,000+ PAGES of the Hottest, Proven Profitable Internet

Business Secrets Broken Down Into An EASY-TO-DUPLICATE

System.

Corey Rudl is the owner of four highly successful online businesses that attract more than 1,800,000 visitors each month and generate over $6.6 million each year. He is also the author of the #1 best-selling Internet Marketing course online.

To check out his site that’s jam-packed with THE EXACT INFORMATION YOU NEED to start, build, and grow your very own, profitable Internet business, I highly recommend visiting:

http://www.marketingtips.com/t.cgi/3885

This guy really knows what he’s talking about!

======================================================

6.  Interviews – Few online marketers use this technique, but I think it’s absolutely brilliant. Affiliates are allowed to publish interviews that the merchant marketers have given. The interviews tend to have great conversion rates because it appears that more information is being shared with the reader than through typical product advertising. Think of the ‘infomercials’ that you’ve seen in which the creator of some miracle gel extols its benefits in response to an interviewer’s questions. It’s the same principle, and it sells products like crazy!.

7.   Periodic Articles – Unlike interviews and email advertorials that get stale from overuse, periodic articles are always new and fresh. Jim Edwards is especially good at offering his affiliates up-to-date topical articles to help promote his line of Internet marketing products. These are especially helpful if you don’t have an idea for this week’s feature article in your newsletter.

8.  eCourses – How many 5 or 7-day email courses have you signed up for? Five, 10, 20? If you’ve been searching for money-making opportunities on the Net for any length of time, I bet you’ve signed up for a few. They’re enticing, and they all include links to sales pages or affiliate products. But do you really want to do all the writing that goes into preparing a 7-part ecourse? Probably not. That’s why it surprises me that few marketers give their affiliates ecourses to offer their visitors. They’re missing out on sales. If you have a one-page advertorial for a specific product that actually does have an ecourse for its affiliates – use it! They’re great money-makers.

9.  Product Datafeeds – Suppose you planned to start a site that offered nothing but magazines. How long do you think it would take you to build a site containing 1,000 different magazines in 50+ categories? A year? Well, it would certainly feel that way if you had to hand-code all those titles, graphics and descriptions into your pages. However, with product datafeeds, building a 1,000 item site could take but mere seconds. The use of product datafeeds is cover in more detail in the following chapter.

Kick-start your site and sales campaign using merchant ad copy.

However, here’s a word to the wise. Use merchant copy sparingly. Visitors tend to click ‘Back’ buttons when they’ve seen the same copy a hundred times on other affiliate sites.

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