I know. You're musing what to get Aunt Sophie. Or you're trying to figure out if this is the first year you might actually send one of those seasonal newslettery updates along with the card, to save time and you plan to get the cards tomorrow so you can post them by Friday.
So who has time to do serious thinking just now, right? Whether you are lighting candles, enjoying the Festival of Lights or trimming the tree, you really want to be relaxing, feeling all warm and rosy. It's that time of year.
So I'm going to celebrate. And I'm not going to make you think too hard. In fact, I'm letting you, my dear reader, do my thinking for me, and it won't even hurt! Herein, please find the five articles you guys have enjoyed most over the past two and a half years.
In Fifth Place: Pump Up Your Verbs (10/15/2001)
You woo and persuade most effectively when you write with verbs. Useful nouns and lots of verbs. Not adjectives or adverbs. So click that link, peruse the incredibly insightful ideas and see how to pack more copy punch with a verb.
In Fourth Place: Personality 101 Who Are They? (1/01/2002)
Okay, I'm being a little shifty here because I'm giving you the fourth most popular title, but I'm linking you to a later article that pulls it all together much better (and links you to the original). Everyone here at Future Now firmly believes in the importance of understanding exactly who is buying, so you can figure out how best to sell to them. We take the dazzling array of personality research and pare it down to four critical types. See who they are and learn what they need.
In Third Place: Think Active! (6/15/2001)
Funny how grammar comes back to haunt you. Didn't think it was that big a deal at the time, did you? And yet, some of those grammar fundamentals are really important to constructing persuasive copy. Like, for instance, the voice of your verbs. Don't know the difference between active voice and passive voice? Then let The Grok refresh your memory. It will make a difference in your bottom line.
In Second Place: (Wire)Frame Yourself (7/01/2001)
We've been thinking a long time about the importance of a methodology what we now call the Minerva Architectural Process (MAP) to help folks like you create a commercial Web site (or undertake a redesign) that accomplishes not only your goals, but also helps your visitors accomplish their goals. We consider such a Web site to be a form of Persuasive Architecture. One of the central ideas that make up the MAP process is Wireframing. And that concept made it's debut last year, courtesy of my brilliant buddy John Quarto-vonTivadar. So check out the preliminary shape of things to come.
In First Place: 12 Common Mistakes in Email Marketing (11/01/2001)
You know, you guys are incredibly nice. You almost never chew me out for some of the stuff I throw at you, and if you do, you say it so pleasantly, I barely notice the bite. But I got more fallout from this article than any other. Thing is, you guys didn't take issue with the substance, just with the delivery. It got to running so long, I decided to make it a two-parter. I promoted 12 mistakes in the title, but only delivered 5 (the other 7 came in the next issue). I was battered and bruised for weeks for over-promising and under-delivering (beat up with my own words, no less!). This time, guaranteed, you'll find all 12 in the same place.
Someone around here asked me if I saw a useful trend in the top articles. I squinted all my eyeballs, examined carefully and, beyond noticing there are two copy-related pieces, sighed. I'd like to conclude the only useful trend was they were all written by me. But I can't even do that. Sometimes life works out that way.
But rejoin me in 2003, for lots more of me and maybe the odd other here and there.
The best of the season to your and yours, from me and mine!
P.S. If you enjoyed this issue, why not share it with your colleagues and friends?
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Alright. Let me head off the grumbling at the pass. This is going to sound a lot like an infomercial and you guys are going to be tempted to gripe at me (no, I am not touchy about this at all whatever gave you that idea?). We generally keep these pages free of blatant advertising, at least the sort of stuff beyond promoting what we do at Future Now.
Then again, sometimes an idea is just too good to sit on. And my friend, Dan Janal, has a good idea for all of you who are dealing with declining budgets, downsizing, general cost-cutting and other misfortunes of scale. Yes, he happens to be Founder and President of GreatTeleseminars.com. 1 And if you think his ideas could work for you, Id love you to check him out.
So heres his overview of what to expect, including costs, when you examine the option of teleseminaring. I think he covers all the bases except the part about "lets do lunch."
Use the Phone to Deliver Your Message to Clients and
by Dan Janal
With travel becoming so expensive and challenging, what alternatives are there to meeting face-to-face to help build strong relations with our customers and employees?
Delivering your marketing messages and training lessons by telephone could be the answer.
These teleseminars, as they are called in the industry, are fantastic ways to deliver high-level content at low prices to a wide number of people in numerous locations!
To conduct a teleseminar you'll need to rent a "bridge line" which is another name for a conference line. But unlike the expensive conference lines from major telephone companies like AT&T which charge hundreds of dollars per session, these bridge lines are inexpensive about $25 an hour for up to 25 participants and offer a quality comparable with the major vendors.
Conducting a teleseminar session is as simple as a making a long-distance telephone call. Clients or employees call the central number of the bridge line and then press a private access code to connect to the session. The seminar leader calls in on another access code that enables him or her to control the flow of the training and to call on participants. The access code ensures your meetings are private and confidential.
The seminar leader delivers the content by talking on the phone. Participants can listen comfortably with headsets or speaker phones, by themselves or in a group setting.
Any topic that you would deliver in a sales meeting or a conference education setting could be an appropriate topic for your teleseminar.
Smart leaders send handouts to the participants ahead of time so clients, prospects or employees can concentrate more effectively instead of take notes non-stop. Smart participants review the material beforehand and develop questions that pertain to their situation. A good session allows for interactivity between the leader and the participants!
Another benefit of holding teleseminars is that these sessions can be recorded onto audiocassette tapes or CDs, so participants can listen again at a later date and get more value from the session. Also, people who could not attend can listen. Finally, you can sell the tapes to clients, prospects or other organizations if the content were appropriate (non-confidential) and the topic appealing. The recording can also be posted to your website, where people can listen to the entire session or selected portions for free or a fee. It all depends on your marketing goals.
The return on investment for a teleseminar is tremendous. For example, if a company charges $250 for a one-hour teleseminar with 25 people additional people may attend for $2 per person. So, if you charge $25 for your teleseminars, you can make your money back after the tenth person signs up!
Plus you can get a CD recording of the teleseminar that you can sell forever. A CD costs $3 and can be sold for $25 and up, so you make 8 times your investment in product sales. This is really a winning proposition for any information provider or coach who has content and a mailing list of loyal customers.
Teleseminars and webinars can help you deliver your message to your clients and your employees for a fraction of the price of travel.
1. Dan Janal also speaks on the topics of Internet Marketing, Marketing, Publicity, Branding and Entrepreneurship. He has spoken everywhere from Beijing to Berkeley to Budapest. His best-selling book, "Dan Janal's Guide to Marketing on the Internet" has been translated into six languages. You can contact Dan at firstname.lastname@example.org and his website is www.GreatTeleseminars.com.
P.S. To get a sense of a teleseminar, join Bryan Eisenberg from Future Now on 1/17/03 at 1 p.m. EST for "Persuading Your Online Visitor." For just $10 every attendee will also get an autographed copy of Persuasive Online Copywriting (an $18 value).
P.S. If you enjoyed this issue, why not share it with your colleagues and friends?