What do People Want Online? It’s not what you think it is. by Jay Conrad Levinson
What people want online is a question guerrillas ask themselves a lot. Whether it's for fun or work or something else, understanding a consumer's motives once he or she logs on is a necessity. But the experts don't seem to agree on what people want.
Some folks see the web as a vast, new field for advertising messages, assuming that while people may want to do something else, if we can entice them with flash, we can sort of trick them into paying attention to our products and services.
Guess what. That’s not gonna happen.
Other folks seem to subscribe to the notion that people online are looking for entertainment on the Internet, and therefore they construct messages aimed at persuading while playing. And, in other cases, the time-honored direct-response model wins out: Grab people when you can, get 'em to take an action, and then market, market, market. The answer may be that the consumer has and wants a lot more control than we give him/her credit for.
Today, webmeisters are in control. Sort of. In a perfect cyberworld, people will be in control. Sort of.
Two recent studies shed light upon this dilemma. One was conducted by Zatso. The other was conducted by the Pew Research Center. Zatso and Pew. (Those guys didn’t spend much time reading "how-to-name-your-company" books, I guess.) Still, both of their studies illuminated the answer as to what people want to do online.
The answer, as most answers, is very utilitarian: People want to accomplish something online. They're not aimless surfers hoping to discover a cybertreasure. Instead, the average Net user turns out to be a goal-oriented person interested in finding information and communicating with others – in doing something he or she set out to do.
Look at the Zatso study. "A View of the 21st Century News Consumer" looked at people's news reading habits on the web. It revealed that reading and getting news was the most popular online activity after email. The guerrilla thinks, "That means email is number one. How might I capitalize on that?"
One out of three respondents reported that they read news online every day, with their interests expanding geographically — local news was of the most interest, U.S. news the least.
Personalization was seen as a benefit, too. Seventy-five percent of respondents said that they wanted news on demand and nearly two out of three wanted personalized news. The subjects surveyed liked the idea that they, not some media outlet, controlled the news they saw. They feel they're better equipped to select what they want to see than a professional editor. Again, control seems to be the issue. Again, guerrillas think of ways to market by putting the prospect in control.
The Pew Research Center study revealed that regular net users were more connected with their friends and family than those who didn't use the Internet on a regular basis.
Jay Conrad Levinson is probably the most respected marketer in the world. He is the inventor of "Guerrilla Marketing" and is responsible for some of the most outrageous marketing campaigns in history -- including the "Marlboro Man" -- the most successful ad campaign in history. In his latest book, "Put Your Internet Marketing on Steroids" Jay reveals how you can use marketing steroids legally to make your business insanely profitable.
Give Me 30 Minutes…Discover 4 Easy Steps…And I Guarantee Your Online Business Will Double or Quadruple Within 48 Hours…
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Understanding How Affiliates Think When Deciding on Whether to Promote Your Product
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"How to Stop Digital Thieves with CGI" by Steve Humphrey
I'm going to assume you're serious about your business. If you're not, I can't help you anyway. You've gone as far as getting a real merchant account to accept credit card payments online.
You know that this was neither easy or cheap. So does everyone else! So, a merchant account shows that you've made a serious commitment to your business. That's good for customer confidence, which is good for business. So far so good...
Now there's the issue of selling stuff to people online. Your order form leads them to feed their credit card info to a secure gateway, using software you bought or leased from (or through) your merchant account provider. Finally, the transaction is approved or denied.
If approved, the software generates a receipt and e-mails you and the customer each a copy. At this point, the customer is returned to a page you specified. In the case of downloadable products, this is often the page where they download your product. So, you've got the entire process fully automated.
For a product or service with a fairly low price point and a potential for many thousands of sales, this seems ideal. You can quite literally make sales and earn income 24 hours a day. So, what's the problem?