October 2006 - Online Strategies

The Good Old-Fashioned Telephone

By Marty M. Fahncke

The “Online Strategies” column usually features some cutting-edge new tool or tactic to increase your sales and profits online. For a change, let’s talk about a tool that’s been around for over 100 years, but can be used in very cutting-edge and profitable ways by smart online marketers. The tool I’m talking about is the telephone, and the tactic is the teleseminar.

A teleseminar is a mode of communication that allows hundreds, even thousands, of people to be on the same phone call at one time. Generally, the audience dials into a “bridge line” that connects everyone together. Usually there are one or two main presenters. However, the audience is usually “muted out” so that the background noise of hundreds of people cannot be heard.

Here are examples of how electronic retailers are using teleseminars to grow their business:

Online affiliate marketing - By utilizing teleseminars in your affiliate marketing program, your program will rise above the clutter of boring e-mails that affiliates receive by the hundreds or thousands.

Recruiting. Host a teleseminar featuring a topic or guest of value to your target affiliate audience. As part of the presentation, invite affiliates to join your program.

Affiliate training. Conduct training on new products or marketing strategies to increase the affiliates’ ability to sell your products. You also can have Q&A teleseminars, which allow your affiliates to have a dialogue with you, the affiliate manager. This is something most affiliates don’t have (but wish they did).

Revenue generation - Need a unique upsell? How about offering a live teleseminar featuring your spokesperson or celebrity? This will give customers a feeling of “inner circle” access to the person they just saw on TV or heard on the radio. This could be a one-time shot-or used as a continuity tool-with recurring participation (and payment) on a monthly basis.

Profit boosting - Host a teleseminar to teach customers how to use your product more effectively. If you have a real estate investing program, how much value to customers would there be if they could participate in a live Q&A session with an expert once a month?

Perhaps you have a fitness or weight-loss product. Regularly scheduled motivational teleseminars would increase customer satisfaction, decrease returns and increase continuity retention levels.

There are dozens more ways teleseminars can boost your business. Effective use of teleseminars can do the following:

  • Increase contact with your customers.
  • Leverage your time and effort by getting your message out to many people at once.
  • Teleseminars can be recorded, so even those who miss the live event can participate by downloading an MP3 podcast or webstream replay. The recording also can be used to create products in the form of CDs, e-books, etc., that can be upsold or used as bonus items.
  • Generate immediate revenue.
  • Increase traffic to your website.

Marty M. Fahncke is president of FawnKey & Associates, a business advisory and consulting firm. He can be reached at (801) 352-1337, or via e-mail at [email protected].


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