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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!
Boost Your Conversion Rate In Three Steps

When I critique, edit or rewrite sales copy, I discover that many clients commit common errors. Granted, not all of them are writers. But most of them fail to drive customer actions not because they lack writing skills but because they fail to look at their copy from their readers’ perspective.

Prepare for the Proliferation of Personalization

This week I read two really neat books. One of them is called “Weaving the Web: The Original Design and Ultimate Destiny of the World Wide Web” by Tim Berners-Lee, the original creator of the web. While the first half of the book Berners-Lee gives a brief history of how his invention came into being, the second half provides some fascinating insights on where it’s heading.

Be Uniquely Ubiquitous

Many have asked me, “Mike, why have so many dotcoms crashed when they were unique?” They explain, “You preach that being unique is a prerequisite for being successful — but if these companies were unique, why did they fail?” Good question.

Be Contagious… Spread The Word!

“Melissa” invaded our computers in late 1999, then “I Love You” in 2000. A year later, the “homepage.htm” attachment virus is wreaking havoc online. And now, in 2002, we have not been spared. A fury of Klez.Gen worms as they spread like wildfire has brought the web to a crawl at times.

Simple Search Engine Savvy

The smart Internet marketer knows that she must go beyond the search engine to produce good quality traffic. Granted, search engines do help. But they are not a panacea. (And most people they are.) They’re simply a lazy way to do so with results that can often be mediocre at best.

Forum Frenzy Fumigates Online

Chris Locke, co-author of the book “The Cluetrain Manifesto,” claimed that the Web is not comprised of computers, companies, or even consumers for that matter, but of conversations. One of the best books I’ve read on Internet culture, Cluetrain is a “must-read” for all Internet marketers.

How to Make the Intangible Tangible

Surveys show that the one great challenge people have found — as both online marketers and consumers — is the lack of tangibility in transacting over the web. In other words, how does one sell let alone buy something that one can not touch, feel, taste, hear or smell (or even see in person)? When one comes to think about it, it’s a great challenge indeed.

How to Fish Where the Fish Swim

Vertical portals (often called “vortals”) are online directories and content-rich websites that provide information, tools and resources for a particular industry. Within a more focused environment, vortals typically provide articles, news, research data, statistics, discussions, newsletters, chat rooms, online tools and many other services pertaining to a specific niche.

Superior Value Equals Superior Sales

If your car needed some repair work, would you go to a garage that offers free estimates? More than likely, you would. Most garages offer them. Not only has it become customary but also everyone expects a free estimate from mechanics these days.

Modeling on the Web for Money

A question I’m often asked is “what should I sell on the web?” There is no doubt that this is the vaguest question one can ever be asked. Everybody has a unique perspective on things and a unique set of goals. If finding something to sell was as easy as the question implies, then people could sell pretty much anything they want. But the sense I’m getting from most of these queries is that people are looking for winning products or businesses.

Create, Replicate And Proliferate

Each time a new, fast-spreading virus makes its way online, like the recent “Nimda” virus, it’s always an opportune time to talk about viral marketing. I like to analyze how we can apply the same dynamics to our Internet marketing efforts, for viral marketing is the most efficient and effective marketing tactic currently in existence. This tactic alone has helped a great number of online businesses to propagate very rapidly.

Secrets of Successful Headlines

In directional marketing, the first and most important element that can help turn a website into a truly compelling, action- generating mechanism is the headline. A headline is more than a mere summary of the website.

Selling Is a Contact Sport

“It’s not what you know that counts. And it’s not who you know. It’s what you know about who you know that counts.”
- Harvey Mackay

The Seven Irrefutable Laws of Sizzling Copy

There are certain things you can do immediately to help you drastically improve your sales copy. Granted, writing persuasive content is in itself deserving of an entire book. But given a choice, I believe there are seven simple tips for increasing attention, readership and desire. Here they are.

Thinking “Global” in Global Terms

Final exams are around the corner and another semester is about to end. And this week in college the curriculum in my marketing management class is centered on global marketing and the new, global economy (which of course is primarily knowledge-based). Undeniably, my students were quick to point out that the catalyst, which is “shrinking” the world and giving new meaning to the expression “the global marketplace,” is certainly the Internet.

Mailing List Management Mechanics
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Obviously, having an Internet presence is important for doing business online. But it doesn’t mean simply being a mere silent billboard in cyberspace. In addition to online (and offline) promotional activities, one has to maintain a consistent contact with web site visitors who, in most part, are potential customers. And one must interact with them as well.

They’ve Got Me Under Their Skins

For the longest time, I’ve been a big fan of skins; no, not the kind of which you’re thinking. I’m referring to GUIs (i.e., graphical user interfaces, which create the look and feel of a computer desktop or application). Skinning is becoming very popular. I, like many PC owners out there, are bored with that same old Windows look and feel. (Mac users are surely not excluded.)

Blog Your Site to Unblock Your Traffic
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The blogs are upon us.

About twenty years ago in his book “Megatrends,” John Naisbitt predicted that our society will become not only more high-tech but also more high-touch.

Helpful Hints for Writing Articles

An interesting question was recently asked of me in one of the Marketing Challenge’s Private Site discussion forums by Yasser Masood, the owner and webmaster of http://www.computerarticles.com/.

So, What’s in it For Me?

In the past, I often declared that the Internet is not a communications medium. It’s much more than that. I’m not alone as even the government thinks the same way I do. For example, my country’s telecommunications watchdog — the Canadian Radio and Telecommunications Commission (or CRTC, which is comparable to the American FCC) — officially declared so in 1999.

Increase Perceived Value By Trading Off

A student of mine, Jeff, recently graduated from my web development class. He’s new to the industry and trying to build his own business. He once asked me the following question, which I thought was interesting:

If Cash is King, Cashflow is The Castle

Very often, I am confronted with a dilemma. One was surely an event that took place last week. During midterm exams at the college, in one of my marketing management classes, I caught a student cheating. This person had copies of class notes tucked underneath his chair, which he discreetly read from time to time, particularly when I was not looking his way.

How to be Sequentially Superior

Email is certainly an important aspect of marketing on the web. But a single email is never enough — and in fact can be more costly down the road. Like all marketing messages, it takes repetition in order to get people to first absorb the message, understand it and then take action. Naturally, some people will immediately respond while others need to see the message more than once before they even think about responding to the offer.

Narrow Your Focus to Broaden Your Sales

An important aspect of marketing online is the fact that people have the opportunity to effectively achieve targeted, measurable results. Too often however, marketers are told again and again by the Internet establishment that traffic is the solution to online success.