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Playing The Numbers Game

Mar 25, 2008
When I first started in sales and marketing over 25 years ago my manager made one thing completely clear from the beginning - selling anything to anyone is a numbers game. The more people you put your product in front of, the more you will sell. Even a really poor salesperson will make some sales if their activity means they put their product in front of enough prospects. Now you can improve the numbers by being a better salesperson, having a great product or by being smart about targeting your audience but whichever way you cut it, selling is a numbers game.

None more so is this true than with internet marketing. Derek Gehl who is CEO of the Internet Marketing Center and one of the best internet marketers in the world openly admits that his conversion rates are about 1 in 1,000. Think about that for a moment, Derek has to get 1,000 visitors to make just one sale. Now Derek has made over $60m worth of sales in the past 8 or 9 years but he has only achieved this because he has generated millions and millions of visitors to his sites.

Actually, we have a better success rate at netSuccess Partners than Derek's average. Around 1 in 300 visitors that we send to the Internet Marketing Center ends up making a purchase. That's because we use a pre-sell strategy. We provide our visitors with an overview of the opportunity through a short review so that when they click thru to Derek's site they are already interested - we call this a qualified prospect. Nonetheless, we still have to send 300 qualified prospects to make a single sale. That my friends, is the harsh reality of internet marketing.

Now I compare that to when I was at my peak as a face-to-face salesperson. I worked in an environment where I was being presented with qualified prospects and my sales conversion over an 18 month period was over 90%. That is, over 90% of people who I had a meeting with bought what I was selling. But the thing is they could look into my eyes and decide whether to trust me. I could show them the product and get their reaction. I could ask them about their circumstances and explain how the product would help them.

As internet marketers we simply don't have these luxuries. Our visitors decide whether to trust us based on the website image and message. And given that many people have already made a bad purchase online, their starting point is not to trust what we are telling them. We can only guess whether the product will be good for them by profiling an outline of their potential circumstances - in the case of our netSuccess sites this means we are presuming they are looking for methods and tools to help them make money online or to help them improve the performance of their own website.

Let me ask you something. If you walked down the street giving away $10 bills do you know what would happen? Surprisingly, not everyone would take the money off you because some people would be wondering what the catch was. We find this on our netSuccess Matrix site. We give away four free gifts on the site, all of them aimed at helping people improve their online success. But here's the thing, we have to get about 35 visitors before one of them accepts a free gift.

When you see this statistic, you begin to see why you have to get 300 visitors before you can make a sale. And remember, we are doing pretty well with this rate because Derek Gehl has to get 1,000 visitors to make a sale.

When I look at how our members perform with their promotional activities, I think many people just do not understand the harsh realities of the internet marketing numbers game.

Some people join and don't promote the site we give them - well hey, we might have a great website but it's not a magic website!

The majority of people join and maybe promote their site for a week or so, typically sending between 10 and 100 visitors to the site we give them. And then they give up, almost certainly because they haven't sold anything so they have decided to move onto the next opportunity.

A few people (about 10% of members) stick with it and follow the advice we give them in the members' area. They check out the traffic ideas and get active. And guess what, these are the people who make the money out of our programs. It's not rocket science. As soon as you accept that internet marketing is a numbers game you realize that what you need to do is find one or two great products and just promote, promote, promote.

If you hop from one opportunity to another, you will get lucky every now and then but by and large you won't make much money. If you don't promote at all, you will not earn a dime and frankly, if you fall into this category, you might as well shut your computer down and go and do something more productive with your life. As I say to our members, if you really want to make money online you need to focus on a small number of top quality opportunities and just go out there and promote them like made. You also need to be patient because people do not necessarily buy the products you are selling on impulse. Often they will bookmark a site and revisit later and sometimes they might need to wait for their next paycheck before buying.

They key qualities you need to have to be successful at internet marketing are:

1. Focus - Keep to just a small number of products
2. Effort - You have to invest time and/or money promoting these products
3. Patience - Stick with it and the money will follow.

Internet marketing is a numbers game - plain and simple. At netSuccess Partners we are continuously working on ways of improving the numbers for our members. We are integrating all our products to harness the power of viral marketing. We are making sure that only the best converting products appear on our sites. And we are putting a lot of effort into researching and recommending the best sources of generating targeted visitors.

But when all said and done, it is still a numbers game and online success will only come to those who are prepared to play that particular game.
About the Author
Simon Cooper is CEO of netSuccess Partners
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