How's your internet marketing strategy?

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How's your internet marketing strategy?

Postby Joseph Ivy » Fri Oct 27, 2006 1:54 pm

In deciding on my marketing strategy, I split up the types of marketing into a few groups. I plan on trying everything except maybe TV. For the first year of my business, I have focused on internet marketing. Next year, I may do a few bridal shows.

I had been hovering around 180 unique visitors each month for about 5 months until September. In September, my site visitors jumped to around 350. Still, I am not getting the number of bookings that I want. I think that part of the reason is that I am more expensive than most DJs in my market and I post my prices online.

Right now, I'm evaluating my online investments. I am wondering how much everyone thinks online marketing is worth.

Have you calculated your return on that investment?
(I am in the process.)

How many visitors are you getting each month?
(about 350 for me.)

How focused are you on internet marketing vs other marketing?
(I am begining to branch out.)

Are you managing your own internet marketing?
(I am.)

Thanks all
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Postby djdonny » Fri Oct 27, 2006 5:35 pm

Have you calculated your return on that investment?

I used to, and internet advertising was always by far the greatest ROI. (Magazine ads were undeniably the worst.) I no longer calculate ROI, but it has only gotten higher.

How many visitors are you getting each month?

This year, I've averaged about 1300 unique visitors a month

How focused are you on internet marketing vs other marketing?

I have completely eliminated any other form of advertising except internet.

Are you managing your own internet marketing?

Yes
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Postby Dj Sean » Sat Oct 28, 2006 1:34 am

Be careful how you interpret your unique visits number, it may be very artificially inflated.

1) If you have a traffic tracker, does it allow you to block your OWN IP address, so visiting your own site doesn't count?

2) How many visits are really bots (or robots), google bot, yahoo bot, msn bot, etc.??

3) The last and probably the biggest, how many are spammers or spammer bots collecting your email address, so they can give you inside stock market info, sell you improve your s*x life pills, oh and of course my favorite the son of some small wealthy king in Nigeria wants to give you half of his wealth because only Jah knows why!!!

What's left? Maybe half your U. V. # if your lucky. Then half to 2/3 of those people are just window shopping or may go with another company.

As far as RIO, word of mouth is and will always be the best, this can only be invested in by going above and beyond your clients expectations, in hopes they tell their friends and family.

The internet is a close second, why, because its cheaper, faster, and depending on who you ask, 70-80% of your clients use the internet to find YOU.
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Postby Joseph Ivy » Sat Oct 28, 2006 1:52 pm

My site tracks separate IP addresses. In any case, that would only amount to 4-5 unique hits on my site because I only access the site from 4 or 5 computers. I am not inflating my numbers much.

My website also identifies bots from most search engine spiders and webcrawlers by name and it will assume that an unidentified user is a bot if it hits my robots.txt file. These are not added to my unique hits. Search engines are not inflating my numbers much.

I don't know where you get your estimates for spam-bots. I get around 20 spam emails each month and some of those are from the same email address. I expect to get considerably more spam if many of my UVs are coming from spam-bots.

The problem with references (and that's different than general word of mouth) is that you cannot track them. You don't know how often a guest is impressed with your services and tells other people about it. How do you calculate the cost of going "above and beyond" your clients expectations? With references, all you can do is hope that your clients tell their friends.

The good thing about internet advertising is that I can track track my ROI without a lot of client input.
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Postby Dj Sean » Sat Oct 28, 2006 5:15 pm

Yes internet has the ability to track ROI, fairly well. But, you can track how well references and word of mouth pay off just as easily and accurately, and you probably already do it.

You ask prospective clients, how did you hear about us??

9 times out of 10 they will tell you. And you probably already keep track of that number, right? That means you CAN calculate the ROI of these clients.

There you go.

The internet may have made phonebooks and magazines obsolete but it will never replace references and word of mouth. Thats all I was trying to get across in my original post.
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Postby Jim Weisz » Mon Oct 30, 2006 10:52 am

Just taking a quick look at your site, here are a few things I noticed:

- Where's your CTA (call to action)? I saw an availability checker or two but it didn't stand out. Also, where's a phone number? It should be at the top of every page.

- You have way too much text and not enough pictures. I'd cut about 1/2 the text and add some pictures.

- While your site design is pretty neat and clean I can tell it's a Frontpage template. That's not bad but there are probably tons of other people using that same design. I'd recommend hiring a designer or getting a template specifically for DJs: http://www.discjockeytemplates.com

I hope you don't mind the constructive criticism but making a few of those changes might help with increasing your bookings from the people who visit your website.
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Postby Jim Weisz » Mon Oct 30, 2006 10:55 am

Just taking a quick look at your site, here are a few things I noticed:

- Where's your CTA (call to action)? I saw an availability checker or two but it didn't stand out. Also, where's a phone number? It should be at the top of every page.

- You have way too much text and not enough pictures. I'd cut about 1/2 the text and add some pictures.

- While your site design is pretty neat and clean I can tell it's a Frontpage template. That's not bad but there are probably tons of other people using that same design. I'd recommend hiring a designer or getting a template specifically for DJs: http://www.discjockeytemplates.com

I hope you don't mind the constructive criticism but making a few of those changes might help with increasing your bookings from the people who visit your website.
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Postby TheBartman47 » Mon Oct 30, 2006 1:09 pm

If you want to do some more contsructive criticism, my web page design really sucks as it curently stands...
http://bartman.topcities.com

I'll check out those DJ templates you mention though. I've been wanting to redesign my web site for a long time.
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Postby Joseph Ivy » Mon Oct 30, 2006 3:30 pm

Sometimes I seem like an a$$ because I don't have a problem disagreeing with people, but I always appreciate constructive criticism. Now, onto the disagreeing :)

My original site design was geared towards getting an initial contact and it worked fantastically. If you compare my header picture with the rest of my header, you'll notice that there is enough space for a one-line date checker beneath the menu. That's what used to be there. The problem was that I kept getting contacts by clients that I didn't want to work for.

I moved the date checker just below my pricing schedules so that the people who contact me will already know my prices. My contacts have taken a nose-dive but I now rarely get emailed with questions about my prices. Similarly, people were calling me just to ask about my prices. Now that my phone number isn't on my website, I don't get that question. I send out my phone number when people fill out the date-checker.

I have a simple goal. I want to be exposed to as many people as I can, but only be contacted by people who are willing to pay my prices. To accomplish this, I think that I need to be honest and unique. Nearly ALL of the DJ sites have gobs of pictures, little text, and a forceful CTA so I went the other way. I am going for simplicity and openness.

If you think that a lot of DJs are using frontpage, why wouldn't you think that gobs of DJs are using DJ templates?

I have been bothered by the amount of text on the first page. That's something that will be changed in the next version of my website.
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Postby Joseph Ivy » Mon Oct 30, 2006 3:37 pm

Dj Sean,

The biggest compliment I get is when someone tells me that they hope to see me again next year because that means they are going to go tell someone specific about me and I think that even the bottom-feeders can figure out the references are the preferred method of booking, but you can't calculate it by just asking clients how they have heard of you.

I'm talking about ACTUALLY calculating ROI. ROI is an accounting formula. You have to be able to calculate the cost involved in getting a reference. It seems to me that I would have to calculate the difference in the cost of doing a decent job versus going above and beyond. I don't know how to do that.
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Postby Dj Sean » Mon Oct 30, 2006 5:02 pm

I can tell you love to debate Joseph.
Were you a lawyer in your last life??

And Bartman, you know what everyone is gonna say about your site,
get your own domain and hire someone to design it, nothing screams unprofessionalism more than a free site that is not very pleasant to look at.

Sorry to be blunt, but, take a look at my site, you won't believe what I paid for it:

Domain: Around $9 a year thru godaddyDOTcom
Hosting group rate thru my webdesigner: Around $80 a year
Site Design: Around $300

Total: Under $400 bucks, that is cheaper than the smallest ad in my local phonebook and that only lasts maybe a year, PLUS no one uses the phonebook anymore!!!

Here's a great tip if you want a fabulous site for cheap, go to your local college put up a flyer that you want a site designed for your DJ business and/or go and talk with some to the young GEEKS taking design, photoshop, or Flash, and I guarentee you will find some kid with major talent, tons of ideas, and he or she will be more than hungery for some extra money, as ALL college kids are broke!!

Or you can do what I did and ask a friend in the biz to design it, but of course hook them up for the trouble.
Last edited by Dj Sean on Mon Oct 30, 2006 5:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby djdonny » Mon Oct 30, 2006 5:08 pm

Joseph,

I like your web site, and I completely agree with you about the phone number and prices. On my site, clients can get to my phone number on a contact page without seeing prices, but I do keep pushing for them to get a Price Quote first. Except that I have even one more challenge -- I require the clients to check zip code and date availability, and to enter their event details, before they can even get to the price quote. This way, an out of area or booked date won't see the prices. And for those who do get to the prices, they would have also form-mailed me their event information.

One small note -- your Corporate page says a $1200 minimum price, but even the price guide at the bottom of that page shows a $1000 minimum.
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Postby Dj Sean » Mon Oct 30, 2006 6:05 pm

I did a little digging in Joseph's site as well and found in this:

meta name="description" content="100% Money Back Satisfaction Guarantee. Phoenix wedding DJ and Master of Ceremonies service providing Phoenix Disc Jockey services to weddings, corporate events and private parties."

meta name="keywords" content="Phoenix DJ, Arizona, Glendale, Peoria, Phoenix Disc Jockey, Disc Jockey, Phoenix DJs, Glendale DJs, DJs, Disc Jockeys, Corporate, Wedding, Master of Ceremonies, MC, Money Back, Satisfaction Guarantee"

If your gonna offer a money back guarantee, wouldn't you want to advertise that all over your website, not just in your HTML tags??

Seems wishy washy.
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Postby Joseph Ivy » Tue Oct 31, 2006 1:54 am

djdonny and DJ Sean, thanks for pointing those things out. I recently changed my package from a $1200 minimum with a satisfaction gaurantee to a $1000 minimum with a service gaurantee. I'll change those errors tonight.

Feel free to point out anything else that you noticed.
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Re: How's your internet marketing strategy?

Postby Jim Weisz » Tue Oct 31, 2006 2:26 am

Joseph:

I too like to pre-qualify my leads so I don't get every price shopper contacting me. As a part-time DJ I don't have time for that. On the other hand most full-time DJs I know want everyone to contact them so they can try to sell them, but that's another topic.

My system is similar to Donny's. I have an availability checker on just about every page. I also have 2 buttons that are for pricing (I had people somehow miss one so I have 2 that say 2 different things). That takes them to my quote generator, where they fill out a form to get a quote for their event. Then, I have their info if I want to contact them and they have a price. They get an automatic e-mail reply thanking them for contacting me, usually with a special offer if they book after getting the quote. This is another subtle CTA that works quite well.

With the amount of text you have on your website I didn't even see your prices until you pointed out that you list them. Then I did find it after a little searching. Some people might read all the text above the price...some might just scroll to the bottom...and some might just go to another website because they don't find a price. My personality is I want to find out the info I'm looking for quickly & easily, which is probably why I didn't look around too much for the price the first time through.

As far as the phone number, that's your preference but I would estimate I find 90%+ of the products & services I buy from I find online or do research for online...I can't remember the last time I touched a phone book. Many of my friends are the same way as we were among the first generation to grow-up with the internet to find what we're looking for. With that said, I would not do business with a company that doesn't have a phone number on their website. Why? Makes them seem like their fly-by-night.

I like that you're trying to be different from all the DJ websites but you're saying you aren't getting as many bookings as you'd like. I'm not saying it's just because of your website but maybe people aren't finding on your website what they're looking for. For example, I didn't see a company information or bio page. It's not necessary but I have one and personally I like them for websites for small companies so I get an idea who I'm buying from....gives it a little personal touch.

Finally the template....I didn't mean that tons of DJs are using that template...I meant tons of businesses in general. If that person sees that same design for their plumber, their lawyer and then you, do you stand out? (I know odds of that happening is rare but it's not unlikely they've seen that design before). The DJ template site I pointed you to has regional protection so no other DJ in your market will have the same design. You could also try some other template websites or hire a designer, I just recommended that site 'cause the templates are for DJs, I think they look good and there's the market protection.

I apologize for the lengthy reply and am glad you weren't offended by my constructive criticism. I think we all have our personal preferences for how we run our businesses and that's why we're each successful in our own way. I'm not trying to change how you run yours, just giving some feedback on your comments. :)

BTW: If you're interested, here's a link to my DJ website: http://www.discoverydjs.com/
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Postby Joseph Ivy » Tue Oct 31, 2006 3:06 am

Jim, I appreciate the long reply and you've raised many issues that I am planning on addressing. I just moved my pricing schedule to the top of the page so that will be one of the first things that people see.

Also, I am planning on buying a more powerful web authoring tool because I'm not satisfied with my site. However, the changes that I want to make are subtle and my site will still be drastically different from other DJ websites.

Thanks again for your feedback.
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Postby Dj Sean » Tue Oct 31, 2006 5:26 am

Hey Jim, I checked out your site, it seems nice.

One quick thing I noticed though, your availability checker doesn't seem to work well. It goes right to your prices page without saying IF you are available.

Also there is no way back to your home page on any of your other pages.

Both minor things, otherwise not a bad site, like most DJ sites I've seen, it doesn't (speak) high-end DJ company but I don't think mine does either.

I only say that about your site because it seems like you and Joseph want only high-end clients. Stepping up your site's look would most likely make huge improvements in that area.
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Postby Digital Scott » Tue Oct 31, 2006 11:27 am

Mine is working great. about 400 + a month.
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Postby Jim Weisz » Tue Oct 31, 2006 12:50 pm

Sean:

Thanks for the heads-up on the availability checker. There used to be some text at the top of that page that said something about me being available and they could get a free price quote below. I'll need to fix that.

Many websites don't have 'home' buttons anymore...they're pretty much a waste of a button/link. If you click on my logo you'll notice that takes you to the home page. Look at most big company websites...you won't see a home button but rather you'd click on their logo to go to their home page (UPS.com, Ebay.com, AA.com....).

I can't speak for Joseph but I don't only want high-end clients...I just don't want price shoppers or those who want $300 DJs. My wedding pricing starts at $849 (for 4-hours) and definitely isn't high-end compared to several other DJs around here who charge between $1500-$2500. I have a full-time job so I don't have time to call/e-mail people all day if they're just looking for a really cheap DJ. So I try to weed out price shoppers and let my website do a lot of the work for me.
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Postby Joseph Ivy » Tue Oct 31, 2006 7:00 pm

I'm right there with Jim,

I also have a day job and don't want to have to deal with people who expect to pay less than $500 for a DJ. I can't even recoment a DJ for that price.
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