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What I learned from Jonathan Mizel, part 1


What business are you really in? Have you asked yourself that question? Have you targeted your end user? What do you provide? What is the end result? What is the core benefit? Is it a relaxing time, a productivity tool, car rentals, oil changes, or cell phone accessories?

If it is the training and education business, are you targeting and focusing on a specific market? Pick one area and focus on it. If you have more than one business, or area of expertise, put it on a separate web site. People want to arrive at your web site and say "Hey, this page is all about me!"

Don't be afraid to turning people away for a particular end result. Don't be afraid of offending people. Create someone's dream come true, a small niche market, catering expressly to them.


Put your USP (unique selling proposition) front and center, in headline text as the very first thing people see when they arrive at your home page. It should be that one special thing that people can't get anywhere else.

A USP should state what specific results you are offering. It should not be a mission statement or about the company. If people want to know additional information they will go looking for it. So if you are a car rental company, your home page should not state how long you've been in business or have a photo of the president, it should simply state... Clean, fast, safe, nation wide car rentals, click here to rent a car or click here to find the rental center nearest you.

Just be aware that the consumer's mind is lazy. They will quickly scan your page and if they cannot find your USP, and something relating to them, within moments, they will be gone. They will simply assume what they want is not there and move on. Remember, customers are selfish, they're lazy, and they're RIGHT!

Lead Product

If you are not an online store offering an entire product line, attract customers with a single, small, inexpensive product. The lead product is often the lost leader, under the $40.00 mark, or even given away free to attract a new customer. Use the inexpensive lead product sell a larger product behind it. This is what they call the front end sale leading to the back end sale, or several back end sales.

Depending on the type of product you offer as a front end, you can attract the type of client the you WANT to deal with. They become used to giving you money. Once people buy from you they are far more likely to buy from you again - and the products you recommend - rather than purchase from a stranger, whom they must learn to trust all over again. The logic we humans equate with the process is "if you can deliver on the little thing, you can deliver on the big thing".

Another benefit of offering an inexpensive lead item is that it gives cash flow between big jobs, higher ticket items, or big back end sales. Usually there is a need to be educate the client about the big job or sell them on the idea of why they need the more expensive back end product. Once they come to know you and trust you, you can almost bank on a percentage of back end sales.

Choosing A Target Market

Never develop the product first. Doing so is doing it the hard way. Develop the market or find the market, then develop the product. Ideally, you want to position yourself in the middle of an existing revenue stream.

For example, there may be a popular product on the internet called the "Combobulator" that has a rather vague user manual. You could create a friendly user manual to the Combobulator, as well as create accessories like the DeCombobulator and the Recombobulator. You might even be able to joint venture with the Combobulator's manufacturer and persuade them to email their opt-in list, endorsing your products, for a percentage of the profits.

If you look at a pile of paper, there is a real need to hold the related pieces of paper together. Whoever invented the paper clip is now a billionaire. Don't try and cater to the rich, the people that do so, are known as maids, servants and butlers. Try to solve the problem of the common man. The bigger the problem or more common the problem you solve, the more money you will make.

Try to pick a market large enough so that the product you create will have an impact. Ask yourself, what's the maximum you can sell? Is it going to be worth the effort? Try and find simple products that if you sell 20 units, you'll break even. Look for the simple, down and dirty solutions.

Look for a natural market, one that already exists, such as the one on the internet. People on the internet already have a predisposition. They have certain characteristics. You know that they have a computer, surf the web, probably use software, read ezines and already belong to several mailing lists. This "natural" market is easy to target and should be the first place you look.

Start by using the search engine and WordSpot reports to find out how people are searching the internet.

There is room for everyone on the internet. All you need to do is find an existing market, something you are passionate about, identify a key problem area, solve the problem, sell the solution, repeat the process.

Successful Products Online

The most successful products online are electronic, digitally delivered products. Mostly informational products. They rarely get returned. No plant or factory is required. Carrying an inventory in a warehouse is a liability, not an asset.

With digital products you make one copy and people come to you to buy it. It follows a distribute and print model, as opposed to the costly print and then distribute model. And that's only IF the purchaser ends up deciding to print the product. There's NO delivery cost for electronic products.

Only zeros and ones are being delivered and at the speed of light. All you need is a password protected directory, with a username and password, and an autoresponder to say thanks for the order.

To get started, all you need is a clue. You can create your own digital product on any topic you are passionate about. With hundreds of millions of internet users, there's got to be at least 5000 people that will see you as the expert, or will come to like you, and want to buy from you.

Just be sure you are passionate about your topic, so that it carries a high perceived value. Don't worry about the competition, no one else is you. No one else sees the world quite the same way as you do. They cannot compete with WHO YOU ARE.

Build The Database Now

Once you've created a first product, it becomes easy to create additional products for your target market, along the same lines. The most important things are not to grow faster than your customer service capabilities, and to send a thank you note when customers order anything, or do any transaction with you online. Send the note within 24 hours, or use an autoresponder to say thank you within minutes of them placing the order.

Use an opt-in form and build your list of customers and prospects before you do anything else. You essentially get permission to email them. The opt-in list, especially customers, are your biggest business asset. They should be emailed first, with any new offer or special announcements.

The trick is to get the customer's email address on all orders. Start sending them email right away in the form of an autoresponder thank you, an order confirmation, and a followup to see how the are enjoying the product.

Put an opt-in form on every page and require nothing more than a name and an email address. Capture email addresses and automate the process of adding people to your database.

The database must be relational, allow common import/export formats and fields. It must allow customization of the email, so it appears as though it is coming from a friend. It should allow the recipients name to be entered in the subject line as well as in various places throughout the email body.

If you have enjoyed this article, or have gleaned even one tidbit you didn't know about before, you owe it to yourself to check out Jonathan's newsletter. I've been a subscriber since 1996 and as you can see, I've learned a lot in a very short time. I've gone from struggling web site designer to internet marketing guru in less than three years, and I owe it all to one man, Jonathan Mizel.

Yours very truly,

Michael Campbell

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