Friday, November 21, 2008

Greetings friends. Steve Schneiderman here with a
pre-holiday blog update. We're trying to tie up loose ends
before we drive on down to my wife's family in Canyon,
Texas located near Amarillo. So much to do and so little
time: tree limbs need to be cut, garage needs to be
cleaned, plants moved in, pool winterized, and home repairs

You know, just as you begin to winterize your home, you
also need to winterize your business. Now is the time to be
planting seeds with prospects through direct mail, email
drip campaigns, telemarketing, seeking referrals from
friends and satisfied customers, and upselling new services
to existing customers. Let me know if you need any help.

Some folks have no money left in their budgets, but many
company's will lose their remaining budget if they don't
use it before year's end. In some cases, they may not have
projects pending, but they can use those funds to pre-pay
for projects next year. Don't leave money on the table.
Seek and ye shall find.

I came across two cool tools you may have a need for at
some time in the future:

Barcode Label Maker does just that -- make bar code
graphics. Most of you won't be interested in this, but to
the several hundred authors this newsletter goes out to,
check it out. If you need to create a barcode based upon
your book's ISBN number, this tool will do it for you fast
and easy. Check it out here.

XHeader may be of interest to anyone with a web site. As you
know from my past newsletters, I believe the graphical
header at the top of your page is the most important
element because it is the first place visitors will look to
find out what value you offer them in their search for
information. Then their eyes go straight down the page.

There are many ways you can create these graphical headers
from paying someone like me to do it or buying tools and
templates and royalty free art to create your own.

XHeader won't cost you a dime. It's from the same people
who brought you XSite Pro -- one of the best web page design
tools around. Learn more about XSite Pro here.

Learn more about their new no-cost header design tool here.

Speaking of web site design, we're preparing to launch a
series of new sites for multiple customers. You can see the
diversity in design and functionality and get a sneak peak

ESPO Construction

Clubhouse Tulsa


I'll have some more sites to show you shortly.

In case I don't have a chance to write until after the
holiday, I wish you and yours well and have a happy and safe
Thanksgiving. Drive carefully!

All my best,

Steven Schneiderman

Schneiderman & Associates, LLC
3504 E 99 Street
OK 74137
United States

Monday, November 17, 2008

Ebook Promotion Options

Good morning ebook authors! I just responded to an email from a fellow author and member of EbookoMatic. She asked me for suggestions to help promote her ebook. I decided my response was important enough to share with all of you, so here goes:

I think the first thing you need to examine is the element of time and money. If you've written an ebook that is selling for only a few bucks, you need to ask yourself how much time and money you can reasonably spend to promote the ebook. If you are selling it for $5.00 and are going to have to spend several hours/week as well as invest hundreds or even thousands of dollars for promotion, is it worth it?

Sometimes it is a matter or ego -- you feel you have written the most important ebook ever and you must let the world know about it. Hey, I am not dissing anyone here -- I understand that feeling. I also outgrew it over time.

Sometimes it is a matter of importance -- your ebook covers new ground and the information must be shared to warn people about something or to help people who might not be able to help themselves. This is the more altruistic cause. And sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do to get the word out because what you've written is simply that important -- and it's not about the money -- it's about the cause.

Luckily, you have many options for promotion. Some are reasonable, some are costly. Here are some to consider:

1, Amazon Services does charge $39.99/month plus transaction fees but it doesn't require any time after the initial set-up (won't make much though on a low-cost ebook)

2. Article marketing will cost around $100.00 one time for a piece of software to assist in semi-automated article submission to multiple sites (or you can do manually for free but it takes longer)

3. Google AdWords will require a monthly budget (~$50.00/month) for keywords and phrases you select (it takes time to do research and learn how to use this service but can direct targeted traffic to your site)

Given these options, you could easily spend around $500.00 a year with options 1 or 3. Option 2 is therefore more cost effective and requires less time (though you still must take time to write articles). Article submission tools and their reviews may be found here:

Another consideration is to just publish a print on demand version for $499.00 through my strategic partner here in Tulsa.

They will get your book listed through the Lightning Source system, so your book will become available in print through Barnes and Nobles and other major book distributors.

They also work with their authors to promote them through web, radio, speaking engagements, etc. These promotional services do come at a cost, but it is their goal to make serious authors successful.

I'd be happy to introduce you: Todd Rutherford, VP, Yorkshire Publishing: or 918-394-2665. Tell him I sent you his way.

Of course, for those of you who have still not joined, you really should. It's a low-cost way to get your work seen across multiple sites. It provides a presence -- a destination to send people -- so they can learn more about you and your work.

Hope this info helps.

All my best,

Steven Schneiderman

Friday, November 07, 2008

More Tips on Email Marketing.

Good morning, my friends. As long as people keep responding
to my posts positively, I'm going to keep writing them. If
you feel the frequency this week has been too much, I'll
try to show some restraint next week. Just want to do my
part to help you stay focused and to use your marketing
dollars wisely during these troubled times.

A question was sent in by a subscriber: "Is it better to
use an autoresponder service or to use your own software to
send email?"

A lot of people just starting out tend to use Outlook to
send mail to their list. This is a bad idea.

Never include your list of intended recipients in the CC;
field. When you do that you are sharing your list with all
of your recipients. This causes 3 problems for you: (1)
if a recipient accidentally hits Reply All when sending you
a message, everyone on the cc: list will receive it. That
will start an avalanche of email complaints. (2)
disreputable people can steal your mailing list. (3) your email is
sent without personalization ("Dear Steve...).

Some people have learned their lessons the hard way and
understand that the correct way to do this is to place your
mailing list in the BCC: field and to send the email to
yourself. This eliminates unintended list sharing and
complaints and list theft.

But this is not a good long-term solution.

Internet Service Providers (ISP) do not like to see their
home users or even their business users use their networks
for large email blasts. In my early days with Cox Cable I
would start doing a blast from my home office only to find
my Net service disconnected within an hour. Or they would
send me an email telling me that my account looked
compromised and was being used for bulk email. Then they
tried to upsell me to a business account.

You don't need these kinds of problems.

Lastly, there's the problem of getting blacklisted by other
ISPs and they will make it virtually impossible for your
recipients to ever receive your emails. Your messages will
start bouncing, and your response rate will drop to nil.

So what do you do?

Infacta makes a good tool called GroupMail. It's been
around for years and I believe is in Version 5.x right now
so it very mature. They are responsive when it comes to
support, too.

Basically, GroupMail allows you to maintain an email
list(or many lists for different groups). Then you write
your email and pick your database and click send. GroupMail
then personalizes each email (Dear Steve ....) and starts
pushing them out in small groups so as not to tick off the

It has many other features too numerous to mention but you
can read more about it here:

It is better than using Outlook. Much better.

My preference though is to use an autoresponder service such as
GetResponse. Why?

First, autoresponder companies have one focus in life: to
manage and deliver email. They are experts in list grooming
(which keeps you safe and saves you time) and they use
multiple IP addresses to ensure your email is never
perceived as being s-p-a-m.

Now there are some downsides. Yes, you have to pay for the
service, but at $147/yr, it's about the same cost as a copy
of GroupMail, so that's a wash.

The big downside is that they insist on reviewing any
existing lists you have. They remove invalid email
addresses and those that have requested to not be sent
email. That keeps you safe. But when I moved to
GetResponse, my list of 5000 got whittled down to about
1000. But it is 1000 people who really want to hear from me!

The good news is my deliverability and responses are up.
When I tried to send my own campaigns, I was lucky if
40-60% received my email. Now I am probably 80-100%.

An autoeresponder services has the added benefits of being
able to schedule a series of email messages over a period
of time. They manage the bounces and the unsubscribe
requests. They provide you with tracking so you can see
email opens and forwards. These features are invaluable.
The three most used services are these:



Constant Contact

Check them out and choose one. They will make your life
much easier.

You can purchase your own autoresponder software and run it
on your own server if you want to install PHP scripts and
MYSQL and lease a server. One of the most popular scripts
is Email Marketing Assistant. You can read a review here.

At the end of the day, you should put a stake in the ground
and choose an email marketing direction that makes sense for
you, but do make a choice and do start using email more.

Remember: email marketing is as much about using your list
to make short-term money as it is about building long-term
relationships with people. There are people on my lists who
have been there for 10 years. I have credibility with people
the longer they remain a subscriber.

Another question that popped up was should I maintain
multiple smaller lists or one big one? That depends upon
your subject matter expertise and your sales goals -- does
what you sell work across different groups or is it more
appropriate for a single group?

There are some gurus out there who believe that each email
should be laser focused to the interests of a specific
group. I used to write and send a dozen different emails
each week to a dozen different groups. That's a lot of

And I realized over time, that despite the differences in
my smaller lists, most of what I talk about is of interest
across the lists, so now I tend to write one newsletter and
send it to everyone.

I expected a lot of unsubscribe requests but just the
opposite happened. My list is growing, I receive more
responses, and I am very encouraged by comments from

Should you get upset when someone unsubscribes. Frankly, I
don't even bother thinking about it anymore. GetResponse
handles that for me while I sleep! As long as I see new
subscribers signing up every week, I know something must be

OK, enough rambling. Think about what I've talked about
this week. Drop me a line. Let me know how I can help. Feel
free to ask questions. That's what I'm here for!

Thursday, November 06, 2008

More Ways To Save Marketing Dollars During Troubled Times

Good day, friends. I received some interesting emails from
subscribers yesterday, so I felt compelled to keep the
momentum going with some more ways to save money during
these economic periods of uncertainty.

As I said before, most companies will avoid spending money
on their marketing when the economy appears to be
stumbling. Penny wise, pound foolish. Bad strategy.

The wise marketer will take advantage of their competitors'
mistakes and spend their limited marketing budget carefully
and intelligently. While their competitors suddenly
disappear from the limelight, they will step into the
limelight to grab the attention of their audience.

Email is the best way to do this as opposed to direct mail
because your costs are far lower and you can track response

Some people are staunch believers in direct mail. Direct
mail can work when your audience has demonstrated a desire
to hear from you in the past, and they have proven to act
on your call to action.

If they are quiet and you do not receive responses
immediately after your direct mail campaign, then that
tells you the direct mail may be ineffective or you have
not touched them frequently enough to trigger your call to
action. You need to touch them 7-10 times, depending upon
the level of your existing relationship. The better you
know them, the faster the response.

One interesting option that has crossed my desk recently is
Send Out Cards which enables you to send custom post cards
and greeting cards from your desktop. I think this can work
with the right audience and right messaging. If you want to
learn more about it, you can visit my friend's site:

Many folks have asked me about product shots. Do you need
them? I think for ebooks and software and special reports
or DVDs, product shots are a must.

Now you can hire a designer, and most will charge $97.00 or
higher for a single image. Yes, I do some design work as
part of my overall marketing services, but it is not how I
earn my money. I charge $49.95 for a single image, but
there is a new product I have learned about -- for the same
cost -- that will enable you to create virtually unlimited
product shots from the same base image.

What this means is you can create your own flat 2D cover in
any package, and then load it into this new tool and the
tool will rapidly generate in batch mode just about
everything you will ever need. I can't tell you about it. I
need to show you. Go here:

It's worth your time and money and will save you time and
money. Trust me. I bought my copy yesterday and have
already used it this morning for a project.

All my best,


Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Importance of Email Marketing

Good afternoon, readers. With all the depressing talk
about the economy, I thought it would be a good idea to
discuss the things you can do to generate revenue with
minimal costs and effort.

As I said last week, during tough times most companies will
freeze their spending, especially in their marketing
efforts. This means they are taking an invisibility pill
for several months, so now is the time for a smart marketer
to market stronger than ever before.

But marketing stronger does not mean spending more money.

For instance, use email marketing instead of direct mail.
Save money on the printing of postcards, letters and
brochures. Eliminate postage and preparation of materials
for bulk mail.

Effectiveness of your email marketing is easily measured
while direct mail is not. If someone receives your brochure
in the mail, they may never even open it. This means you are
paying to print the piece and mail the piece and the vast
majority of the recipients will toss it in the garbage. You
are flushing money down the toilet. Save yourself the
trouble, just write me a check instead!

Seriously, you will never know if someone opened and read
your direct mail piece or forwarded it to another person to
read unless they respond to your call to action.

With email, you know who opened it, you know who forwarded
it, and you know who clicked through on your call to your
action link. You can test your headlines and graphics with
different pieces for zero incremental cost, too.

This single move away from direct mail to direct email can
save you money and make you money at the same time.

So many of the web sites I see do not have a subscribe form
on their home page or anywhere else on their site.

Big mistake.

You need to capture the first name and email address of
every visitor to your site. This list becomes your life
blood. It is easier to market to someone who has expressed
an interest in you by visiting your site. Visiting is only
the first prospect qualifier. When they subscribe, they are
inviting you to send them more information. This means on a
scale of 1 to 10, that they are moving up the scale of
importance to you. They want you to sell them something

I also see many sites that do have a subscribe form but
never or rarely communicate with their list. This is
another huge mistake. If you subscribed to a new magazine
and did not get anything for the first 6 months, would you
ever remember why you subscribed?

You need to be reaching out to your lists constantly
enforcing the value of your relationship. When people begin
to think of you as a friend or confidant then it is easy to
sell them something.

So subscribe form is a must.

Regular email campaigns are a must.

An autoresponder with a series of pre-written emails is
also required. You don't have the time to personally
welcome each and every new subscriber to your list. You
need a series of communications that works at building that
relationship and your credibility and value.

Most people do not do this or they make the mistake of
writing the series of communications themselves. They are
frequently too close to their site and business to
understand what they should say and how they should say it.
An outside perspective is important and adds value.

So an autoresponder series is important, too. A good series
of communications for 10-26 weeks can put your lead
generation and sales on auto-pilot.

Don't believe me?

Then hire me to help you.

All my best,


P.S.: Recommended email marketing tools may be found here: