An Internet "Handshake" and Gift

It's the most time-tested marketing strategy on the planet today. For effectiveness, it cannot be overlooked.

If you're familiar with the sales funnel or marketing funnel in business, you know that to offer something of value for free will often bring prospects in the doors of your business in droves. Using this technique for a store front with a physical presence is simple. Everyone knows how it works. You have to go down to the store in question to pick up the free gift in person.

Car dealerships have been known for offers where they mail you a key. You are told to bring that key to the dealership and drive one of their cars. It's very tempting as there is usually some other enticing offer with it, like the first 100 people to do a test drive on a car will receive a certain discount upon purchase – or some such offer.

We recently experienced a double treat in Atlanta where we drove a new hybrid Lexus to experience its quality in order to receive a free $ 15.00 gift card for a whole foods restaurant. A lot of people were stopping in and discovering new information about both products. It was a very successful marketing campaign. To drive the Lexus people had to give their contact information. It was genius.

If your business is an internet business, you might wonder how you can give a handshake and introduce yourself by name. On the internet people are often searching for information. As a gift you create information that can satisfy their curiosity on a subject or that can offer some solution to a problem they may have.

As with any store, when people visit your website to pick up the free information, the wise business owner will get the contact of the visitor when they choose to receive the free information. It's like the beginning of a conversation would be in a store. Your page is like a store clerk saying, "Hi, welcome to our store. How can I help you?" "Oh, the free gift card? Yes, may I have your contact information?" You gladly give it so you can have the gift. Only people who leave their information are able to receive the gift.

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For an internet business, people expect to leave their contact information to receive your free gift. If you are offering something valuable enough, they will feel compelled to leave their contact information.

When you have made your free gift valuable enough, people will remain subscribed to your email list after receiving their gift. They are giving you permission to send them even more information since they can see from the gift you already gave, your future information is probably going to match that value or better.

As you continue to offer valuable information, products and services to the person who has given their permission to be contacted, you gradually end up with a "cyber friend." Each time you offer a new gift to those people, even if you already know them now, it's important to offer the handshake page to receive their contact information for that new gift. This will automatically keep a record for you as to the diverse interests of your website guests even when you know them previous contact.

Copyright 2006 Juanita Bellavance

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