About Michel Fortin

Michel Fortin is a direct response copywriter and consultant dedicated to turning sales messages into powerful magnets. Get a free copy of his book, "The 10 Commandments of Power Positioning," when you subscribe to his free monthly ezine, "The Profit Pill." See http://SuccessDoctor.com/ now!
Damming The Electronic Floodgates

am a college professor. And beyond classes in marketing management in the business administration department, I also teach the ecommerce and web marketing aspects of the college’s ebusiness web development certificate program. And this week, which marked the return to school, I taught the first section of the program — called “ebusiness basics.”

How to Harness the Power of Electronic Books

The underlying drive behind the Internet is the speed at which information can be retrieved — especially at little or no cost. People can literally find out pretty much anything about anything at the simple click of a mouse. They are more informed, more educated and certainly more sophisticated than ever before.

Private Minisites Pave Paths To Profits!

A recent, growing trend on the Internet is the private minisite — it’s a small, password-protected website that offers “insider information” on a topic that might be of interest to a specific audience. Similar to an ebook, it offers information that’s geared for a specific group, niche or vertical industry.

Privacy Policies Promote Purchases

Today, one of the most important aspects of doing business online is the ability to build a certain trust among the people with whom you do business. What I call the infamous “3 S’s” (i.e., scams, snake oils and get-rich-quick schemes) have somewhat found a niche on the web, and people are understandably cautious and leery of making a purchase online.

Simple Steps to Success

The one thing that I am asked the most is: “How does one successfully market on the web?” The answer that I usually give, one that is as effective, as precise and yet as straightforward as possible, is this (read carefully because it’s the big one)…

To Up Sales, Up Words

The challenge for many webmasters and Internet marketers is certainly that of ensuring a site communicates effectively to its audience — especially when communication is at the heart of making profitable online sales. Of course, less than a decade ago the need to communicate in a language that the vast majority of people can understand was not an important element — technolese was commonplace since the web was mostly used by programmers.

Does Your Site Extend its Welcome?

On the web, targeted traffic is essential to an online business’ survival. Al Ries, in his book “Focus: The Future of your Company Depends on it,” wrote that our rapidly changing, technology-driven marketplace will mandate a sharper marketing aim — particularly in the new millennium as increased competition will give more choice to the electronic consumer.

Website Planning Can be a Sticky Situation

“Failure to plan means planning to fail.” — Brian Tracy

People Make The Web, Not Computers

As the Internet matures, I see a trend starting to surface. As we know, Maslow’s hierarchy of human needs states that a foundational, human need, after survival and safety needs, is the need for social interaction. Like it or not, we are social animals — and the web doesn’t change that.

Consistency Breeds Consistency

Surprisingly, the most important part of good website design has really nothing to do with what most people think. It is true that they all play a big part:

Technically, Who’s Your Perfect Customer?

I purchased a book this week and I must admit that the content really fascinates me. The book is entitled “Now or Never: How Companies Must Change Today to Win the Battle for Internet Consumers” by Mary Modahl (VP of research for Forrester Research at http://www.Forrester.com/).

Master Marketing by Mustering Clusters

A great benefit of ecommerce, when compared to the traditional brick-and-mortar world, is the ability for an online marketer to track, assess and correct marketing endeavors — almost at the click of a mouse. A specific product, service of offer is hot (or not) right now? A particular marketing effort is doing (or not doing) so well? A specific sales letter, text or even graphic on your website is causing sales to go way up (or way down)? Or one webpage is more popular than the others?

From Inertia Into Infestation

Viral marketing is quite a popular term, these days. If you’re not in the know, which I seriously doubt, viral marketing is, in its simplest definition, the process of implementing means through which the knowledge of your existence self-propagates.

Gain Fame Playing The Domain Name Game

As of June 2001, over 22.7 million “.com” top level domains (or “TLDs”) have been registered. In other words, the Internet consists of close to 23,000,000 dot-coms,which,in turn, are 76% of all TLDs. It means that you’re more likely to win the lottery than find a good domain name.

Delegate, Relegate, Affiliate!

My courseload this semester at the college was, at first, very light. I was scheduled to teach only one class out of my usual four or five each semester. (By the way, the course is called Information Technology Marketing.) Although a rare occurrence, I was told, “We’re in the off-cycle.” Said one professor, “The winter semester is usually pretty ‘dead’.” Okay. No problem.

Take Your Visitors By The Hand

“What am I supposed to do?”

That’s a question your visitors may be asking, and one you need to avoid at all costs. It’s like a disease that will do nothing more than cost you sales and traffic. The solution is to “take them by the hand.” Tell or show them, literally, what you want them to do — even if it’s simple or obvious.

Music To My Marketing Ears

If you have been a subscriber to my newsletter for a while, then you know that, aside from copywriting and marketing consulting, I also taught at a local college (see http://www.algonquincollege.com/).

“Directional” (Not Direct) Marketing

Those who believe the web is not a direct response medium should think again. A recent study conducted by AdKnowledge and published in their recent “Online Advertising Report” suggests that 60 percent of total website conversions occurs in the first half-hour. In other words, based on the study the bulk of your visitors will likely buy within the first 30 minutes.

Priceless Publicity For The Pennywise

Undeniably, there are innumerable advertising and publicity opportunities, especially free ones, online. And listing all of them, even a good number of them, within the confines of this simple editorial is impossible. But there is a handful of free publicity tactics I have personally used in the last five years that have worked very effectively in my practice.

Don’t Duplicate… Differentiate!

In the competitive marketplace of the new millennium, the demand for specialized products or services will increase. If your site sells everything or to everyone, chances are that your audience will not perceive any greater value in shopping from you than anyone else. Keep in mind that price is *never* an issue — what’s important is the value behind the price.

Make it Easy for People to Find You

Due to the growing overload of information on the web, people no longer have the time to search the Internet let alone search engine results in order to find exactly what they want. More and more people would love to skip search engines and their plethora of irrelevant, or misleading, links. And many attempt to reach websites directly by typing plausible URLs into their browsers.

Courses, Sources and Resources

I often receive emails from people asking me where do I get my sources, statistics, news and information for my editorials in my newsletters. Some of these resources offer superb information as well as links to other pertinent sites — while I use them as editor these sites can be of tremendous help to any Internet marketer. So without further ado, here’s a partial list of the many sources and resources that I often visit:

Written Words Help Walk Your Talk

One of the commandments in my free ebook, “The 10 Commandments of Power Positioning” (at http://SuccessDoctor.com/free/), stresses the importance of putting things down in writing. While it may sound somewhat facetious (especially in this overcommunicated, information-overloaded, click-happy, “read-it-as-fast-as-it-shoots-across-your-screen” world), it’s not.

Be Credible To Be Incredible

Along with the increasing population of new online businesses, as well as the recent wave of “dotbombs” and online scams, the competitive nature of the Internet will simply make the need to establish credibility an even more important issue. And in order to establish it, one must *communicate* it.