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  • Update: 9 Feb 2017 Foot in the Door (non-SEO) Local Marketing Services

    local marketing sms marketing mobile marketing loyalty marketing Birthday marketing Facebook marketing social media marketing

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    #1 _Richard

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    Posted 20 December 2016 - 02:12 AM

    I have mentioned in a few different threads some of the (non-seo) services that I offer to local businesses. After a few requests I am going to put all the info in one thread and drill down a bit deeper than I have done before.

     

    I was going to wait until I had all the info written up and polished but the wait for that would have been long and as they say "perfect is the enemy of the good" so I will post as I have the time which will also elaborate more on what you guys and gals are interested in reading.

     

    The main question I get a lot is why do I start out with non-seo marketing offers? There are a couple of main reasons that are somewhat related.

     

    1. A lot of local businesses have been burned by "SEO Experts" over the last few years. This makes a lot of them twitch a bit when you mention SEO to them which of course makes for a harder sell. SEO and internet marketing is not something most of them understand at all to begin with so add in a bad experience or two and there is a huge amount of friction to say the least.

     

    2. SEO is a slow process which is not something that sells easily to twitchy clients. In my mind the best thing to do is to start with something that has a quick visible and measurable result. Something  you can easily track that takes a few weeks or a month  at most. Also something that is easy (and cheap) to deliver.

     

    SEO does not really fit the criteria of a foot in door "show them I help them" service. Keep in mind that the only thing the business owner wants to know is that you are delivering him/her more sales and profits than they are paying you. Rankings, pretty reports, Facebook friends, etc none of that stuff matters to them at all. They want to know that you are making them profitable,  nothing else matters.

     

    Now one thing to keep in mind if you are going to go after local businesses is to go after ones that are already marketing. Mainly for two reasons. First if a business does not believe in marketing there is no reason to waste time trying to convince them. Move on life is too short for that kind of selling. You want to talk to business owners that already know that marketing is worth doing.  Second it allows you to offer something that makes what they are doing better. You do not have to go in and say "My stuff is better so stop doing that stuff and do mine instead" Again that makes for a harder sell. You can go in and say " I have something that will make what you are doing better and more effective" That makes for an easier sale.

     

    What you want in the beginning is easy sales and easy fulfillment. This lets you get in cheap both in time and money.

     

     

    Now on to some specific services:

     

    Most of my initial offers are mobile/sms related and I modify them depending on the business type and what other advertising they are already doing and when possible I tie into existing marketing.

     

    I generally start with trying to build an SMS list for the client. SMS is great for a couple of reasons. It is cheap to do and everybody still checks their texts,90+% (I forget the exact percent) of texts are opened in 15 mins. That is obviously much better than email. 

     

    If they are already doing mailers, newspaper, or other print ads we can incorporate the the sms list into what they are already doing.

     

    For instance for restaurants that print out different specials we can change them up and make them all the same adding a QR code and text number to them. This lets the restaurant save money on printing as they can do a larger run. The customer gets added to the list when they check out the new special and it can be changed weekly or even daily which is not something they were able to do before.

     

    For Realtors and Auto sales you can add a code to their ad so the reader can get a video walk-through of the house or car they are interested in. Not only does the potential buyer get to look at something better than a paper ad but I now have their mobile number in the system and the sales person gets a text telling them that someone is interested in the house/car and what their mobile number is. This allows the seller to call them and start the sales process before the prospect gets lost to someone else.

     

    You can setup contests where people get added to a list.

     

    You can run a loyalty program and use mobile coupons rather than those old punch cards.

     

    Birthday discounts work great for restaurants. You give them a mobile coupon that they can use and they are on your birthday list so you can now market to them down the road rather than just hoping they will come back.

     

    Well that ends day one....

     

    Update: 29 Dec 2016

     

    I will go with the birthday club promotion which works great with restaurants. This is a combination of mobile and Facebook marketing.

     

    What you do is work with the owner/manager and come up with a good birthday special coupon. What we are going to do is deliver it via an sms message to people who text in from the Facebook ad we are going to run. 

     

    We setup a page in Facebook and then run ads targeting the restaurants demographic and anyone who is going to have a birthday in 7 days. Facebook has a huge amount of information (while useful it is kind of scary). You target the geographical location, the birthdate (obviously), and then drill down to the actual demographic of the restaurant by age and interests. The targeting is important as you do not want to waste money targeting the wrong people. 

     

    Then we setup a delivery sequence just like you do when you setup your emails in a sales funnel.

    The first text is gong to be a confirmation text to weed out anybody who did not actually want the info, the second is the coupon itself. Then I generally do a set of reminders at 5,3,1, and then the morning of their birthday.

     

    There are a couple of ways to work this and it depends on the business owner/manager. Some will want to only have the specials on the person's birthday and some will be OK as long as it is "around" the person's birthday. It works either way but you will get a bit more of a response if there is some flexibility.

     

    If the business owner is OK with being flexible instead of a countdown to the birthday date you do a countdown to when the coupon expires.

     

    Now you can do this with businesses other than restaurants but they generally get the best results. For instance I have done spas and nail salons and had them work pretty well. You just need to tweak the demographic targeting to match the business. You are not going to target men for a nail salon promotion for example.

     

    If you have any questions on this one let me know....

     

    Update: 5 Jan 2017

     

     

    This update I will talk about one of my lead generation methods. I actually wrote it up once on Tues but then FireFox crashed on me and I lost it all and did not have time yesterday to redo it.  
     
    This particular method does two things.  
     
    First it attempts and is successful for the most part of creating a relationship between me and the potential client that is something other than a "sales" relationship. Honestly I not much of a sales guy, it is more than a bit outside my comfort zone. What I do with this and my other lead gen methods is try and create a "helping/teaching" relationship between the business owner and myself.  
     
    This does a couple of things. First off it is a much easier transition (at least for myself) from "doing magic stuff on the Internet" to selling face to face. Second a helping relationship is much less adversarial than a selling one. People tend to have their guard up when you are trying to sell them something. Now obviously I am trying to sell them something so on the surface the relationship does not seem all that much different, however from a mental/psychological point of view there is a large difference. With a helping relationship the potential client and I are on the same side of the table trying to solve a problem rather than being on opposite sites with my trying to convince him (or her) to buy something.  
     
    Second it creates a problem in the mind of potential clients that was not there before.  
     
    In this particular case the problem is the fact that the business owner does not have a good way to track most of his marketing and advertising for an accurate ROI on each of his channels.  
     
    Now the problem has always been there for business owners as this quote from over 100 years ago shows.  
     
    Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don't know which half.
    John Wanamaker, (attributed)
    US department store merchant (1838 - 1922)   
     
    However with most business owners it is either way in the back of their mind or something they just ignore because to them it is a problem without a solution and there is really no sense in spending time on something you can not solve when there are plenty of problems to work on that you can.  
     
    Now onto the method itself:
     
    I created a simple worksheet with the purpose of letting business owners calculate the ROI of all their marketing channels. Across the top I have the following columns ($ Cost per Month,     Number of Leads, $ Cost per Lead, Number of Customers, $ Cost per Customer, and    Life Time Value of Customer) and the down the side I have a list of marketing channels such as newspaper ads, Groupon, Radio, Yellow Pages, etc with space for them to add any additional ones they use.  
     
    Now on the face of it I have just handed the business owner a method to solve his problem without the need to pay me any money to help him solve it. The fact is that less than 10% have the information to even come close to filling out the worksheet. They generally have no idea of how many leads or customers they get from each channel. So rather than helping them what I have done is create a problem that is much harder for them to ignore. I bring to the front of their mind this problem that exists that was basically being ignored so for all intensive purposes I have created the problem. Then I am telling them that yes there is a solution and that they no longer have to guess about which advertising is actually bringing in the sales and which ones are not.  
     
    So they download the worksheet with instructions at the end of which I tell them that if they need any assistance to contact me. When they do I tell them exactly what they need to do to setup tracking on their different marketing channels. This does two things. It enforces the fact that yes there is a solution and earns me "friend" points by telling them exactly what needs to be done.  
     
    Now we have arrived at the point of the conversation where I offer my services but like I said earlier rather than me trying to sell them my services we are both on the same side of the table working together to solve the same problem.  
     
    Let me know if you have any questions....

     

     

    Update: 11 Jan 2017 (I was originally planning on twice a week updates but it appears that  it is going to be closer to once a week with the way my workload is looking) 

     

    When looking at building an sms list for a business there are a few ways to incentivize  the list building. Generally when building email lists we give out a lead magnet or something free to get the info. When it comes to sms lists most of the time we use the promise of future benefits. This is usually in the form of coupons, discounts, special deals and offers, or even special events. This a bit of a change but the thinking is the same, get contact info so you can market/sell to the people on your list in the future. 

     

    Loyalty programs are a good way to build a list for restaurants and other service businesses like nail salons and hair dressers. They have been around for pretty much forever using punched cards and other methods but the ability to do them using sms via people's smart phones allows you to bring it to a whole new level. 

     

    There are two main ways to grow sales for a local ( or any for that matter) business. You can get new customers or you can get more money out of your existing customers. Loyalty and club programs attack your existing customer base. For the most part local businesses have a hard time tracking and marketing to their customers. The come in and eat or drink, get a haircut and then leave without leaving a good way to market to them, these programs change that.  

     

    You can do loyalty as in the customer gets something free or a discount every so many purchases. 

     

    You can do clubs where you send them out certain "club only" specials once a week.  You can even do events, I have a bar client that has a special "for club members only" nights once a month. In addition to seeing daily/weekly specials he has one night every month for only club members where they do different beer and other booze tastings as well as try out new menu items. When we first tried it we had no idea if it would work but it has been a huge success. 

     

    Things to keep in mind. 

     

    You may need to segment your list and deals. For instance there is a good chance a restaurants lunch clients who may be traveling to that location to work are going to be different than the dinner customers who live in the area. It is a waste to market dinner specials to the lunch customers and vice versa. You will need to dig into the business a bit with the business owner/manager to make sure you have the correct targeting. 

     

    Be flexible and keep track of which offers get the best results. If something is not working be quick to cull it from the offer list. 

     

    Do not spam the hell out of the list...  The same thing will happen that happens to email lists that are spammed all to hell, people unsubscribe. Make very clear upfront how often they can expect to get an offer and stick with that plan. Now this is not gong to be the same for all lists. For example a lunch club list is something you might want to do 5 days a week for the daily specials where other businesses like a nail salon would most likely be a weekly send out. 

     

    Match the offers to the needs. As another example restaurants tend to be slow on Monday and Tuesday so not only are those good days to send out your offers but you are probably going to need to make the offers deeper to get people out those days. Generally no real need to deep discount Fridays as they are going to be busy those days anyway. Target the slow times...

     

    Well that looks good for today, if you have any questions let me know. 

     

     

    Update: 9 Feb 2017 Well hell it has been way too long since my last update. Sorry about that guys I never added it to my calendar and it just sort of escaped me...

     
    Anyway here we go. 
     
    This next method is both a service and a sales tool/method. 
     
     
    As with most of what I do this is SMS based. 
     
    What you want to do is create and build up a "personal" marketing sms list. What I mean by personal is that it is not going to be tied to one of your clients but is going to be something you build for own marketing use. 
     
    You generally want it do be Geo targeted so if you live in a large city like say Houston or Dallas you are going to want to have different lists for different parts of the city.
     
    So like the email lists that most everyone is familiar with it is going to take some bribes to get people to sign up for the list. There are different ways to do this. 
     
    1. Buy some stuff and run a contest where every xx caller wins something.
     
    I have done this a few times and it can be very effective, I have found it especially true with the college campus as it is easier to get the word out. Buy a few hundred dollars worth of cheap electronics to give away and people will flock to it. 
     
    2. Partner with local merchants. What you do here is trade discounts to give away with a free sms blast. This is a great deal for the businesses as they end up getting two hits from it. Once from the initial giveaway and once from a full blast later on. 
     
    Now you spend a few weeks building a list of a few thousand people. What do you do with it??
     
    The first thing you want to do is break it up a bit. I break mine up into lists of about 1500 each. I do this so that I can have more control over how many people get sent a particular offer. For instance if I am going to be trying it out on a small restaurant I do not want to slam them so hard that they get overwhelmed and do a bad job with the new business. That would be a complete waste. This also allows me to rotate through the list so I am not hitting everyone daily or even multiple times a day. I generally shoot for 3 times a week for this promotion. 
     
    The list can be used in two different ways. 
     
    First as a service. I can sell blasts to businesses. They will give me an offer or coupon and I can send it out to the list. I generally charge $249 and up depending on how many people we are going to send it to. It takes me 15 mins to set it up and my cost is maybe $10 so a pretty good margin. What you want to do is get the business to get on a regular weekly or twice a month schedule. 
     
    Second I can use the list as a sales tool. I have someone who likes the idea but is somewhat scared of or does not really understand the whole technology and marketing thing. That is somewhat of an issue here with a lot of the older business owners. 
     
    What I do for this is get them to commit to a strong offer. If they will not do that then I just call it a day and move on. The offer has to be a good one or it is not worth doing. 
     
    You also want to make the offer time specific if possible like for a restaurant we want to pick a slow night like Monday. The selling point here is that I can pack his restaurant out on a slow night where he is usually really slow. This is what sells the service because there is unmistakable evidence that it works. 
     
    Once we have the offer and time I set it up and send it out at the correct time. Again the process takes me ~15 minutes and costs a few bucks so it is easy cheap proof of what I can deliver. 
     
    As a sales tool this always gets the sale. Sometimes they just want a weekly blast and sometimes I can move them to one of the services where we build the business their own list. I generally prefer the second as that ends up making me more money but either one works. 
     
    The key is that it takes very little time,  very little money to deliver and shows very visible results very quickly. 
     
    As always if you have any questions let me know. 

    Edited by _Richard, 09 February 2017 - 07:11 PM.
    added new update

    Sometimes I have a link in my signature to a product. If I do assume it is an affiliate link and I might make a couple of bucks off it...................................


    #2 _Richard

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    Posted 23 December 2016 - 02:07 AM

    Reserving this post as well in case I decide to break things up a bit later on....

     

    Actually I will probably use this for a Q&A FAQ section.


    Sometimes I have a link in my signature to a product. If I do assume it is an affiliate link and I might make a couple of bucks off it...................................


    #3 ValentinaZ

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    Posted 24 December 2016 - 11:59 PM

    What do you look at to know if a business is doing enough advertising or not?



    #4 _Richard

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    Posted 25 December 2016 - 12:39 AM

    What do you look at to know if a business is doing enough advertising or not?

     

    There are plenty of places to look. Groupon, local value packs ( those big coupon mailers you get every week and throw out), newspapers, billboards, local TV, radio, and even local websites. You are surrounded by ads and marketing so just look for the local companies. 


    Sometimes I have a link in my signature to a product. If I do assume it is an affiliate link and I might make a couple of bucks off it...................................


    #5 Chadrick

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    Posted 25 December 2016 - 11:58 PM

    There are plenty of places to look. Groupon, local value packs ( those big coupon mailers you get every week and throw out), newspapers, billboards, local TV, radio, and even local websites. You are surrounded by ads and marketing so just look for the local companies. 

     

    How are you contacting the business owners? Are you cold calling them?



    #6 _Richard

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    Posted 26 December 2016 - 01:31 AM

    How are you contacting the business owners? Are you cold calling them?

     

    Not if I can help it...

     

    It depends on how I find them, what kind of advertising they are already doing, how much information I can find on the decision maker, and what service I think will be the best "first sale" .

     

    I have two things that I usually use to target new businesses.

     

    First is I have a worksheet that allows them to figure out the ROI on all the marketing channels they are already using. That is they could do that if they had all the information they needed but very few of them do. Once they realize they have no idea which marketing is actually working I can usually get an appointment that leads to an easy sale. I have a funnel that goes along with with the worksheet so they get multiple educational hits.

     

    Second is I have  nice report I get done through Vandesta which grades their website and social and web presence.. It is a good looking report that actually does a good job of selling all by itself. It costs me a few bucks to run each one but the conversions make it worth doing.

     

    I also do Linkedin and Facebook ads along with getting referrals from existing clients.


    Sometimes I have a link in my signature to a product. If I do assume it is an affiliate link and I might make a couple of bucks off it...................................


    #7 Silver Fox

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    Posted 26 December 2016 - 12:35 PM

    Not if I can help it...

     

    It depends on how I find them, what kind of advertising they are already doing, how much information I can find on the decision maker, and what service I think will be the best "first sale" .

     

    I have two things that I usually use to target new businesses.

     

    First is I have a worksheet that allows them to figure out the ROI on all the marketing channels they are already using. That is they could do that if they had all the information they needed but very few of them do. Once they realize they have no idea which marketing is actually working I can usually get an appointment that leads to an easy sale. I have a funnel that goes along with with the worksheet so they get multiple educational hits.

     

    Second is I have  nice report I get done through Vandesta which grades their website and social and web presence.. It is a good looking report that actually does a good job of selling all by itself. It costs me a few bucks to run each one but the conversions make it worth doing.

     

    I also do Linkedin and Facebook ads along with getting referrals from existing clients.

     

    Your prospecting methods and sales process would probably be as or more useful than the info on your services. For someone moving from seo related activities to more general marketing the sales process is going to be the biggest change. 



    #8 _Richard

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    Posted 27 December 2016 - 03:29 AM

    Your prospecting methods and sales process would probably be as or more useful than the info on your services. For someone moving from seo related activities to more general marketing the sales process is going to be the biggest change. 

     

    I had not really thought of that but you may be right. I will work in some of the things that work for me as well as what had not.


    Sometimes I have a link in my signature to a product. If I do assume it is an affiliate link and I might make a couple of bucks off it...................................


    #9 Agent Smith

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    Posted 28 December 2016 - 12:31 AM

    I had not really thought of that but you may be right. I will work in some of the things that work for me as well as what had not.

     

    I also think it would be very useful info to share. 



    #10 JoeB

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    Posted 28 December 2016 - 12:49 AM

    I had not really thought of that but you may be right. I will work in some of the things that work for me as well as what had not.

     

    Just curious but why did you move to local non seo marketing from non local seo? it seems like a fairly big change of direction.



    #11 _Richard

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    Posted 28 December 2016 - 03:04 AM

    Just curious but why did you move to local non seo marketing from non local seo? it seems like a fairly big change of direction.

     

    Diversification...

     

    After the PBN bloodbath back in 2012 which while did not affect me totally destroyed a lot of sites and killed a large amount of income. You can read the posts on this and other IM/SEO forums and see how many people lost all or most of their income, it was pretty brutal.

     

    It got me to thinking about depending on Google for the majority of my income might not be the best thing to do. Especially as the rules could change at any point and if they did most of my income could be gone in a day. It actually took me awhile to start working on it but since then I have worked to make sure that no one type of income stream going down would be enough to make a big dent in my total income.

     

    The first thing I did was start with alternative sources of traffic and sales for my websites. Over the course of about 18 months I went through all of them and matched the numbers I was getting from Google. Then I started thinking about income not related to having websites or for the most part the internet which brought me to local marketing that was mostly mobile/sms driven. Right now my income is diversified enough that losing one part of it would not really harm me all that much financially. I particularly like local because it tends to be easy to fulfill with quick results and for the most part is a fairly easy sale. 

     

    I will be adding to the initial post this week (probably tomorrow). While not really taking a vacation this week I have been slacking a bit.


    Sometimes I have a link in my signature to a product. If I do assume it is an affiliate link and I might make a couple of bucks off it...................................


    #12 mhiweb

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    Posted 28 December 2016 - 11:02 PM

    You say that moving into local services is diversifying does that mean you are still doing as much seo as you were before or have you cut back and replacing seo with local? 



    #13 RetaX77

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    Posted 29 December 2016 - 02:53 AM

    Diversification...

     

    After the PBN bloodbath back in 2012 which while did not affect me totally destroyed a lot of sites and killed a large amount of income. You can read the posts on this and other IM/SEO forums and see how many people lost all or most of their income, it was pretty brutal.

     

    It got me to thinking about depending on Google for the majority of my income might not be the best thing to do. Especially as the rules could change at any point and if they did most of my income could be gone in a day. It actually took me awhile to start working on it but since then I have worked to make sure that no one type of income stream going down would be enough to make a big dent in my total income.

     

    The first thing I did was start with alternative sources of traffic and sales for my websites. Over the course of about 18 months I went through all of them and matched the numbers I was getting from Google. Then I started thinking about income not related to having websites or for the most part the internet which brought me to local marketing that was mostly mobile/sms driven. Right now my income is diversified enough that losing one part of it would not really harm me all that much financially. I particularly like local because it tends to be easy to fulfill with quick results and for the most part is a fairly easy sale. 

     

    I will be adding to the initial post this week (probably tomorrow). While not really taking a vacation this week I have been slacking a bit.

     

    What alternative traffic sources did you use for all your sites?



    #14 _Richard

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    Posted 29 December 2016 - 04:06 AM

    You say that moving into local services is diversifying does that mean you are still doing as much seo as you were before or have you cut back and replacing seo with local? 

     

    I did not cut back on the sites that I already had but I did cut back on building new sites/niches. I only created two new ones this year and have another one that I have content for but just have not finished it up and get it added to the link building rotation.

     

    I have had several lose their rankings over the last few years but since they are still pulling in non-Google traffic I keep them around. The actual number is pretty low which considering how aggressively I build links which goes to show that link spam still works as long as you are smart and careful about it. 


    Sometimes I have a link in my signature to a product. If I do assume it is an affiliate link and I might make a couple of bucks off it...................................


    #15 _Richard

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    Posted 29 December 2016 - 04:07 AM

    What alternative traffic sources did you use for all your sites?

     

    Mostly paid ads. I have a post or two where I explained the process I used. Pretty sure they are in one of the traffic without Google threads. I will see if I can find them tomorrow.


    Sometimes I have a link in my signature to a product. If I do assume it is an affiliate link and I might make a couple of bucks off it...................................


    #16 _Richard

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    Posted 30 December 2016 - 01:35 AM

    What alternative traffic sources did you use for all your sites?

     

    Here is one post I did on my process. I have another somewhere with additional info and if I can find it I will post it as well.

     

    https://trafficplanet.com/topic/5709-my-big-2013-live-google-less-traffic-generation-experiment/?p=73342


    Sometimes I have a link in my signature to a product. If I do assume it is an affiliate link and I might make a couple of bucks off it...................................


    #17 SharonPG

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    Posted 31 December 2016 - 07:26 PM

    What do you use to send the texts and coupons out?



    #18 LaceyTaylor 007

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    Posted 31 December 2016 - 11:36 PM

    I did not cut back on the sites that I already had but I did cut back on building new sites/niches. I only created two new ones this year and have another one that I have content for but just have not finished it up and get it added to the link building rotation.

     

    I have had several lose their rankings over the last few years but since they are still pulling in non-Google traffic I keep them around. The actual number is pretty low which considering how aggressively I build links which goes to show that link spam still works as long as you are smart and careful about it. 

     

    How do you do link spam smart and careful it seems that link spam is the opposite of careful.



    #19 RetaX77

    RetaX77

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    Posted 31 December 2016 - 11:48 PM

    Here is one post I did on my process. I have another somewhere with additional info and if I can find it I will post it as well.

     

    https://trafficplanet.com/topic/5709-my-big-2013-live-google-less-traffic-generation-experiment/?p=73342

     

    that  was helpful thanks.



    #20 _Richard

    _Richard

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    Posted 01 January 2017 - 04:14 PM

    What do you use to send the texts and coupons out?

     

    I have some different scripts I use but my main workhorse is woot text.

     

    How do you do link spam smart and careful it seems that link spam is the opposite of careful.

     

    By buffering your "link spam" from your money sites and making sure that all your tier one pages are of good quality and diversified.

     

    Basically I have a sliding scale of quality. The farther away the link building is to the money site (as well as my PBN sites) the more the scale tips in favor of quantity over quality.


    Sometimes I have a link in my signature to a product. If I do assume it is an affiliate link and I might make a couple of bucks off it...................................






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