Monday, October 17, 2005
What is the most profitable internet application?
Have you ever wondered what the most profitable internet application is?
Book or CD selling?
Merchant account providers?
You may be surprised to learn that it is none of the above although they can all be profitable in their own right (particularly industry leaders such as Amazon and Paypal).
Why did I choose the above examples?
Because they are perceived to be ideally suited to online marketing and the fact that there are so many offering those very same products/services means they have to be profitable, right? Wrong!
The problem with the above examples and for merchants in general are that for the vast majority it is just too competitive to succeed online without viable offline sales channels as well.
Without any shadow of a doubt, the most profitable of all internet applications are those that provide exchange services. That is the single most important ingredient to any online success story. The reason is simple, they match buyers and sellers of a myriad of wants and needs. Economically speaking, they match supply and demand.
Lets look at some examples.
Perhaps the most obvious success story is Ebay - an online auction service that matches buyers and sellers for an unrestricted choice of product.
Other good examples are search engines like Google and Yahoo which match information demand with supply.
Another biggie is MSN messenger which matches communication desires between friends (although they face stiff opposition from mobile phones in the offline world).
And I don't want to elaborate on the hugely successful marriage of pornographic sites to the demand for sexual fantasy.
High usage demand for these exchange services means huge exposure and advertising revenue in addition to any actual cost of using the service itself.
Many wise heads have identified the huge profit potential of online exchange services.
Online dating, gambling, school reunion, broking (share and real estate), affiliate networking, and even customer acquisition exchange websites all utilise the exchange application.
The trick is to go out and find a niche exchange service, one that hasn't already got 10,000,000 search listings for it. If you can be one of the first to develop and market a new exchange service then watch out - your profits will be about to soar!
Michael Lever is a co-founder and CEO of SpinningTornado.com, an independent company offering unbiased tools and services to help affiliate and network marketers build profitable online businesses. http://www.SpinningTornado.com Partnering affiliates the world over.
Monday, October 10, 2005
Is your Affiliate Network upto scratch? Put them through a 30 pt. checklist.
Isn't it time you put your Affiliate Network under the microscope?
Thursday, October 06, 2005
Turning online purchases into profit.
I have some advice for improving your bottom line, whatever that may be.
It could be many things ranging from improving website traffic to increasing sales or even just expanding your mailing list.
But whatever your bottom line is, you have two choices when setting out to achieve it.
Your first choice is to employ an assortment of free traffic, sales, or opt-in subscriber generating techniques.
These can be effective but generally take time and results are usually slow.
Most people adopting solely this choice end up failing and frustrated. But at least they haven't lost their pants in the process.
The second choice you have is to pay for services designed to improve your bottom line. This will almost certainly speed things up and improve the results you achieve both short and long term.
If you find yourself choosing this second option, make sure you can measure quantitative results as you need to know what ROI (return on investment) is being achieved for each paid service.
Most of you are probably a combination of both choices. And if you're anything like me, you probably started using free techniques before moving to paid alternatives.
Enough beating about the bush.
What's my advice? Simply this.
If you pay for any form of online advertising or promotion, do yourself a big favour and explore services designed to assist this process without attempting to influence your decision-making in any way.
Affiliate directories and Customer Acquisition Exchanges also known as "Customer Reciprocation" are 2 such services.
These are really an extension or improved version of link exchanges as they can provide paying customers instead of potential traffic generation (leads, click-throughs, or visitors).
It's that simple. These paying customers earn you sales or commission, depending whether they purchase your own products or products from your affiliated merchants.
So what are you waiting for?
Each time you purchase online and don't take my advice, you're missing out on paying customers willing to purchase through your own referral URLs.
Choose wisely and turn your online purchases into profit.
Side note - I've mentioned thus far your online advertising and promotion purchase intentions but did you know that all online purchases you make can gain you paying customers?
That's because customer reciprocation services incorporate unrestricted global shopping directories.
A comparison with Ebay makes interesting reading.
Whereas Ebay matches buyers and sellers of products through an auction process, customer reciprocation services match buyers and sellers through referral URLs via their own exchange engines.
In effect, they work like limited versions of Ebay.
The exchange process can only be completed for people who promote product using referral URLs.
However, they expand on the Ebay model in the sense that with Ebay, sellers can only offer their own product whereas sellers are able to offer both their own product and those of other merchants through the use of customer reciprocation services.