There is a fine line between advertising and SPAM. Sadly, many online business owners do not understand the difference.

Learning how to effectively advertise your Internet business is critical to your success. You cannot make money online without knowing how to get customers. We explain this in great detail in a free ebook The Ultimate Online Profit Model.

Understanding how to get customers is the most important aspect of your business.  The math is simple: no customers = no revenue.

An old selling maxim says, “A fish lays a million eggs in obscurity and a chicken lays one and cackles the news to the world.”

Your job is to offer something of value and make it easy for people to understand what it is and how to get it.

An interesting, well thought out Internet marketing campaign makes it easy for people to decide to buy a product. Some of us are better at this than others, but we all can do a decent job marketing our products.

The first thing to learn is to get out of your own way. Do nothing that kills sales opportunities. Sure, you can sell junk to some people. When they learn it is junk they return it for a refund. And you’ve damaged your brand.

On the other hand offer a good product to the right audience and you make sales. Pricing is often not an issue. The price of anything is what people will pay. Too many of us price products too low.

Paid advertising is the best way to communicate a product’s value to the target. Free exposure helps. But, in the end you make the bulk of your sales via solid ad campaigns.

Click here to learn how to effectively use Facebook to promote sales.

As an online business owner your job is to develop campaigns that bring customers to your products. Part of the ad strategy is placement that doesn’t come across as SPAM.

SPAM is likely to alienate both new customers and existing customers.

REMEMBER THIS: The purpose of business is to create customers.

After the sale your job is keeping that buyer as a customer. You must nurture the relationship.

People do business with people they like, people who act like they want their business, people who deliver what they promise, and people who do not give them a headache.

When someone opts in to your list they give you permission to send them messages. They stay on the list until you give them a reason to opt out. SPAM is often the reason.

SPAM is unsolicited electronic messages.

SPAM is not limited to email. Consider other Internet marketing strategies such as banner ads and message board posts. Each can be welcome and clever or slip over the SPAM line.

Banner ads are one of the most popular elements in an effective Internet marketing strategy. These ads usually appear at the top of website pages. They may span the width of the website.

It is from this appearance that they earned the name banner ads.  Actually banner ads can refer to ads of a variety of different sizes and shapes.  They may appear in an array of different locations on a website.

In many cases the business owner purchases advertising space on these websites.  Another way is to strike an ad exchange deal. Or build them into an affiliate marketing campaign.

Banner ad exchanges are situations in which one business owner posts a banner ad on his website in exchange for another business owner posting his banner ad on the other website.

These agreements may be made individually between business owners with complementary businesses or as part of exchanges facilitated by a third party. In the case of affiliate marketing, an affiliate posts and advertisement for your business in exchange for compensation when the banner ad produces a desired effect such as generating website traffic or generating a sale.

The terms of these agreements are determined beforehand and are generally based on a scale of pay per impression, pay per click or pay per sale or lead.

Many of us pay little attention to Internet ads. There are so many ads these days that unless the ad is truly creative we simply tune it out.

It’s not unusual to have multiple popup ads, one after another on a web site. To me, that is SPAM. The same is for banner ads that clutter a page. My solution is I do not visit sites that SPAM me with ads.

The key is to judiciously place banner ads on a few websites. This way you are more likely to attract an audience similar to your target audience. Careful ad placement is just smart.

Years ago when I bought print, radio, and television advertising I knew how to get share of mind and not saturate with too many ads. I learned the best placement days, hours, and ad sizes.

I was one of the best media buyers in my industry and proved it time and again.

I produced the ads and wrote the copy. I hired professional designers and video production houses to do the critical layout and visual work.

We were very successful with our television commercials earning Clio Awards along with the Chicago Film Festival, Toronto Film Festival, New York Art Directors Club awards and others.

There were times I used saturation radio ads, depending on the market and time of year. Now, I do what I did back then, except today my ads are digital. They are static banner ads, banner ads that jiggle, video ads, or a combination.

As Internet users and go to a website we are seeking content, not ads. However, we are human. And we are easily distracted.

Think of visiting YouTube to see a particular video and are distracted by the right column ads and video listings. Or we go to a site for specific content and an ad catches our eye.

Ad placement is critical just as ad size and appearance. As advertisers we want to use our ads to pull prospects into our sales funnel, not offend prospects and cause them to tune us out.

Be careful placing your banner ads. Internet users who feel as though your banner ads are everywhere they turn may not take your business seriously. They will tune you out.

I use email campaigns to sell a variety of products. I think email is the most powerful marketing tool around. Remember – the money is in the list.

Effective email campaigns may involve sending periodic e-newsletters filled with information as well as advertisements, short, informative email courses or emails offering discounts on products and services.

Loyal customers who opt into your email list will likely not view these emails as SPAM.  If you nurture the relationship well email recipients are more likely to buy than not. That is the value of your list.

Top online money-makers with huge email lists have an ATM at hand, not just a lot of emails. Loyal customers buy again and again.

Think of the return when just 2% of the people on your list buy each new offer. Suppose the average sale is $35 and you have a 10,000 name list and you promote just one offer a month. That’s $7,000 a month.

With numbers like that it’s easy to understand how many make six and seven figure incomes online.  But you can make money online without a big list. This book explains how Ultimate Online Profit Model.

There’s another incentive to use email marketing carefully. People asked to be on your list. They initially sought specific information or a specific product. Be sure to communicate only about their original area of interest.

Don’t SPAM your pet care list with health care product information. Send the wrong content to a list and that content is SPAM.

Also, never harvest email addresses in a deceptive manner.  Don’t bait and switch. That’s promising one thing and delivering another. Email marketing gets a black eye from people sending out mass emails to lists they purchase.

Here’s another area for caution. Message boards are great for placement of no-cost advertising. Don’t abuse them with inappropriate content placement. Follow the rules posted by the forum moderator.

If the products and services you offer appeal to a specific niche, it is worthwhile to join message boards and online forums related to your industry of choice.

It is a good idea to include a link to your business in your signature. It is also okay to post the link when it is applicable to the conversation.

However, care should be taken to carefully review the message board guidelines to ensure you are not doing anything inappropriate. This technique is smart marketing.

I get a lot of mileage posting comments on social marketing sites. However, I do not ‘sell’ with these comments. I use social media to build my brand and post only when I have a considered contribution to the discussion.

The best advice is to become an authority on a specific Internet advertising method. You are ahead of the game when you can teach others how to use email marketing, pay-per-click advertising, banner ads, solo ads, or social media marketing.

It is much better to be an expert at one and not have a smattering knowledge of all.

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