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Old May 27, 2003, 11:40 AM
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Default Re: How I reduced costs and laber by 90% while maintaining sales

Here's something to consider...

About 7 years ago I used to sell an info product to a small niche market of professionals. It contained videos, printed manuals, etc. My hard cost for the course was about $30 and I sold it for $300.

I marketed it by taking out 2-3 small very inexpensive classified ads in niche magazines ($25/ad), had them call a toll free number to listen to a recorded message, sent 3-4 direct mailings to everyone who left their name, etc.

It's called a marketing funnel and it worked quite well. Anyone who read the ad and responded, got in the big opening of my funnel where the direct mail, and other marketing would really begin and move them to the lower end of the funnel where they would become customers.

Because of the high price points (I eventually raised the price to as high as $600) it was profitable even if I only sold a few a month. When I started averging over 10 a month I was pretty happy.

It was my first real success in world of mail order/direct response.

After a few years, sales started slowing down as they often do in a small niche market, and although it was still worth my time, it was very labor intensive and the printing, postage, etc. took a healthy chunk of the gross income. I never could make the numbers work for direct mail. After a couple of years I stopped taking out ads and let it "die."

About a year ago I decided to revive it. Because of the nature of the product, I would still sell the course in a hard format, video tapes, manuals, etc. but I wanted to see if I could get people to buy from a MINI WEB SITE ONLY, no recorded messages, no direct mail, no printing costs, no stuffing envelopes, no mailing costs. Frankly I didn't know if people would plunk down $300 after going to just a mini site. But I was determined to see if combining online and offline marketing methods would work.

I don't have time or space to detail what I did but here are the results.

I'm still running the same cheap ads in trade magazines for only about $60/months but instead of directing them to my old "funnel" I'm sending them to my website.

Since the classified ads I'm running are "til forbid" meaning the magazines run them each month until I tell them to stop, it takes no time on my part.

If they don't buy on my first visit, instead of direct mailing them followups, my autoresponder does it automatically. This combined approach has reduced my marketing costs from about $1,000/month per month to about $75/month. It's reduced my marketing workload from 2 hrs PER DAY to about 2 hours PER MONTH.

How well is all this working?

With only $60/month in offline advertising, I'm selling thousands of dollars in courses each month, in fact almost as many courses per month as I used using my "old manul labor" funnel system but at a fraction of the cost and in a fraction of the time... so it's MUCH more profitable. (I raised the price of the product to $400 with no fall off)

It's not a million dollar product but it sure is nice having thousands of dollars of extra income come in each month with almost no effort or expense.

Combining offline/online marketing is a terrific model. Advertising offline to generate traffic to your website brings in a whole fresh influx of prospects that aren't nearly so jaded as the "hard core" internet junkie. As a result, instead of needing to get large numbers of website visitors like you do with traditional online traffic generation methods to be successful, I've done very well with an average of less than 10 website visitors/day!

Ron Ruiz

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