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Flat Tires, Slow Leaks, and Online Marketing

By Richard Kraneis
Posted Wednesday, October 6, 2004

Does your online marketing campaign have a flat tire? Or is it more like a slow leak?

Today my 16 year old son Fritz called on the cell phone from high school. Mom took the call. Could Dad fix my flat tire during the day? Of course I would fix it.

And then it hit me. Knowing you have a flat tire is a lot better than not knowing. Unfortunately, when your online marketing campaign has a flat tire or a slow leak, it may take a while before you realize it or fix it.

My e-book website has had a few flat tires and a few slow leaks. Bad e-book cover, slow website loads, advertising to people who would never buy, and other problems. But I think Ive repaired the flats and the slow leaks. I hope.

Heres my first online flat tire. When I first published my e-book on the Internet in November of 2003, my e-book cover was running at a loss. As I remember, I was making a dollar for every 3 dollars I spent on advertising. What was the flat tire? Please take a look at my original e-book cover. Its below. It was horrible.

(http://www.theworldsshortestexcelbook.com/HorribleBookCover.jpg)

Actually, my website didnt have a flat tire; it was more like a car wreck. But if you looked at my e-book cover on the link shown above, I definitely had an online flat tire. (Theres a reason why I earned only passing grades in art classes). I went cheap on the e-book cover and built my own. I took a fishing photo of myself and put it on a book cover. Not only did I have a flat tire, I had slashed all my tires with a knife, to save pennies.

Then I found Vaughan Davidson at (http://killercovers.com/covers) and he did a professional e-book cover for me. Visit my new e-book cover shown below.

(http://www.theworldsshortestexcelbook.com/BookC.gif)

I think I changed the e-book cover in mid-December 2003, turned off my Google advertising, and took a holiday break. It was nice being away from email for a change. When I checked my email on January 2, 2004, I had sold 3 e-books.

Using Excel to measure my conversion rates, my conversion rate during late 2003 was about .003. I was selling 3 books for every 1000 visitors. That was selling at a loss. After my new e-book cover from (http://killercovers.com/covers) and a week of web page changes, my e-book conversion rate rocketed to .009. A 300% increase. A profit.

So keep a good lookout for the flat tires and slow leaks of online marketing. Using Excel to track your online marketing successes (or not so great successes) would be a great idea.

About the Author
Richard Kraneis is a computer training consultant, e-book author, and an aspiring online marketer. Online marketing on the Internet reminds him of his favorite hobby, fishing. His website (http://www.TheWorldsShortestExcelBook.com) can help you improve your Excel skills so you can measure your online marketing success. If youd like to locate some of the best e-books in the world, visit his 2nd website, (http://www.WorldClassEbooks.com). You can reach Richard at rich@TheWorldsShortestExcelBook.com if youd like to share your online marketing flat tire story with him.