How to (un)successfully advertise on the Internet, Part 1 January 27, 2010
This is Part 1 of a series by Oban Lambie. Part II is here.
I’ve done some hard time on the ‘Net. For years, stretching into decades, I’ve coded sites, run servers, and held the hands of customers both big and small to get my little business to where it is now; a hosting and programming shop in Taos, New Mexico. I love the work, my staff is great, our customers are loyal and happy, and though we’re not getting rich, it pays the bills.
Now I’m going to try to do three things, none of which I’ve successfully done before:
- Launch a new product on the ‘Net.
- Find some people that have never heard of me, or my business, and persuade them to buy the product online.
- Show you exactly how I do it.
I’ll expose everything, pants on the ground style, while I do it - from the under-the-hood technology, to the how-we-target-Keywords techniques, to the Search Engine Optimization tricks that we’ll employ and finally through a wee bit of email marketing. I’ll also show you what tools I use to track my successes and failures and detail exactly how much money we make, or lose, in the process.
I’ve never once landed a paying customer by using keyword advertising on the Internet. Not once.
I’ve advertised using Google Adwords twice and blown about $750 each time competing for clicks. And I didn’t reel in a single customer.
A few of our customers, maybe ten, came from a smattering of local, and expensive, print advertisements that we’ve run semi-regularly over the last few years.
Though we have gained many customers, and good ones at that, because of some nice search engine rankings, the vast majority of our customers have come via word of mouth.
So here’s a recap my advertising prowess over the last two years:
Print Advertising: Spent approximately $20k which netted around 10 customers who pay about $20 per month.
Internet Advertising: Spent approximately $1.5k which netted exactly zero paying customers.
That’s roughly $21,500 spent for $200 per month of revenue. If all of these customers stay with us it’ll take a mere 8.75 years to recoup my investment. I’m clearly an advertising genius.
But Google is making billions per month on Adwords for the hordes of businesses that spend money on keyword advertising. They can’t all be fools like me.
This fool and is going to try again.
Watch (and feel free to comment.)
Stay tuned for Part 2: The Product and the Keywords.