July 2, 2014
by otoole

Are You Missing Out on One-Click Online Sales?

Make Online Sales Tomorrow by Leveraging Content You Already Have Today

You may not realize that you already have everything needed to start offering your own information products as early as tomorrow.

Online technologies make it super-simple for you to make online sales from your website, your Facebook page, your blog, or just about any other internet platform available to you.

One-Click Buying

My husband is an artist. About a year ago he agreed to allow me to revamp his website to include one-click art buying for those patrons who find his artwork online and want to make an impulsive purchase.

The website revision has paid off for him.

For example, two weeks ago, a doctor in California found his website (through Facebook), then found the perfect painting and purchased it online.

What a nice surprise to wake up to so much extra cash in his PayPal account! His website’s order screen shows contact info for buyers so it made it simple for Ken to follow up to make shipping arrangements with is new patron.

Packaged “Information” Sells in One Click

One of my other website clients is a local relationship counselor. A few years ago, I helped her electronically package a recording of a live workshop and other supporting documentation, hired a copywriter to make a sales letter,  and put it up on her website to capture online sales.

Now, it is very easy for her new clients to purchase and download the electronic package from her website. Not only do they get to consume an additional 60+ minutes of material from Carol, including a guided visualization process, she has added another revenue stream to her business – online sales.

What “information” do you already have that could be packaged electronically and put up for sale behind a buy button?

Think about the following, you may already have:informative articles or blog posts

  • frequently asked questions and answeras specific to your industry
  • audio recordings of workshops, trainings, or interviews
  • instructional videos of shortcut how-to’s or top tips

I hope this gives you pause to reflect and consider what untapped potential for sales resides within your business.

For a “potential revenue stream” audit, please schedule here:


Permission to Reprint:

You may reprint this article in your print or electronic newsletter. But please include the following paragraph:

Reprinted from the blog of Barbara O”Toole,,  featuring opinion, speculation, strategy, and creativity in the realm of marketing.

If you like what you read, please pass it along to your friends, clients and colleagues.


Free Kindle Reading Apps

June 16, 2014
by otoole

Amazon’s Top Marketing Strategy Every Business Can Use

by Barbara O’Toole

If you’ve explored the Amazon “Kindle” frontier, you know that it becomes denser each day. It was not too long ago that Amazon announced sales of Ebooks had overtaken sales of physical books.

It doesn’t take a genius to figure out why this has happened. Ebooks are much less expensive, take up no room on your bookshelf, don’t have to be “packed up” when you move, and they can be shared with friends and loved ones at the click of a button.

Amazon’s “Kindle” Marketing Strategy

Probably THE SINGLE biggest reason for the success of Amazon’s ebooks sales is contained in one phrase – the Kindle app.

By providing a free Kindle app for every type of device – PC, MAC, tablet, and smartphone, Amazon has made it super-easy for folks WHO DON’T EVEN OWN a Kindle to buy, read, and share Kindle ebooks. “Buy” is the operative word there.

Let me say that again.

People who DO NOT OWN Kindle devices can buy, read, and share Kindle ebooks.

And for extra icing on my Kindle App Cake, all of my Kindle apps sync together. So anything I download on my default download device (which happens to be my Android smartphone), I can access on my PC or my Android tablet. Did I mention these devices sync wherever I go?

In Forbes Magazine in April of 2014, the author surmised this about Amazon’s marketing strategy:

“Amazon sells several models of Kindle e-reader and Kindle Fire tablets aimed at capturing the fast growing market for mobile devices. We estimate that the sales of Kindle devices stood at roughly 20 million in 2013, bringing about $3.9 billion in revenues. However, the overall value of Kindle franchise extends beyond hardware sales and appears to be a strategic pursuit by Amazon to promote and sell digital content.” full article

Facilitating Repeat Customers and Referrals

Allowing their fans to deploy the Kindle app accomplishes two things for Amazon:

1. Keeps their customers coming back. As a customer, once I have a process for reading and enjoying books, am I likely to invest time and effort in learning another process? No. I’m going to keep doing what Amazon has trained me to do.

2. Makes it easy for their customers to share their books in real time. As a customer, now that I have a portable bookcase full of Kindle books with me wherever I go, I can easily take out my phone, open the Kindle app and pop one of those books open to show my friends and colleagues.

Free Kindle Reading Apps

Apply to Your Business

How can you apply this “free app” strategy to your business?

Put yourself in your customer’s place. Would you appreciate it if someone made it easy for you to place an order?

Make it Easy to Re-Order

Do you routinely send out email reminders for recurring appointments, refills and renewals? Do you routinely send out email offers to upsell your customers?

Depending upon your sales and ordering process, perhaps an app would make it push-button easy for your customers to re-order.

Make it Easy to Refer Others

It’s true that with the advent of online social media sharing sites in the last few years, your customers already have many ways to refer their friends to your business. That is, if they remember to do so!

What if you made it super-simple for your customers to share your products and services with others – and gave them rewards for doing so?

As more and more options and opportunities flood the marketplace, it will be the astute business that takes care of its customers and looks for ways to keep making it easy to do business.

Update from a recent Amazon press release I found in researching for this article:

“Amazon introduced Flow to the Amazon app for iPhone. Flow offers customers a convenient way to search for products they need to restock in their home without typing, scanning a barcode or taking a photo — simply move your phone over packaged goods you need to restock and the Amazon app recognizes the products and saves them in your search history, where they can be added to the shopping cart or saved for later.”


Barbara O’Toole is a published author and founder/owner of Emailwerks and Irish Lion Media.


EmailWerks provides a professional marketing email interface for advertising, marketing, and PR-savvy businesses who recognize the value and steadfastness of email in the marketplace. Powered by EMMA, a world-class email messaging platform, EmailWerks is owned and operated by O’Toole Marketing since 2006.


Irish Lion Media provides digital publishing services for e-properties such as books, magazines and business applications.
Permission to Reprint:

You may reprint this article in your print or electronic newsletter. But please include the following paragraph:

Reprinted from the blog of Barbara O”Toole,,  featuring opinion, speculation, strategy, and creativity in the realm of marketing.

If you like what you read, please pass it along to your friends, clients and colleagues.




May 18, 2014
by otoole

How to Do Your Marketing for the Rest of 2014 in a Weekend

If you’re the chief salesperson for your business, and you’re responsible for follow up and fulfillment of those sales, and then, you’re expected to do a little something they call “marketing” as you go, I can understand why you’re overwhelmed!

You’re doing a lot. And if you’re a sole proprietor, you’re wearing even MORE hats than sales, marketing, and customer service. You’re also performing accounting duties and, well, the list continues according to your particular business.

So let me tell you how you can make the marketing piece oh-so-much simpler.

Step # 1 – Sign up for an Email Newsletter Service

There are many services out there. I’m obviously going to tell you to signup for the one I think is the best – EmailWerks. It’s the easiest to use, and by that I mean that you don’t have to re-learn it every time you log in. It’s also visually oriented, so if you’re a visual learner/thinker, it’s perfect for you. There are many other great features but the point is, sign up for an email service.

Don’t worry. I’m not going to suggest you write a newsletter, so don’t sweat that.

Step # 2 – Get a Calendar

Sit down with a Girl Scout calendar or a freebie you got in the mail.  Which annual holidays and events are significant to your business, if any? For example, do you always have a “school’s out” or “summer vacation” type of special?

Or, have you always wanted to have a summer special, but by the time you got around to it, summer was halfway over?

Write one thing, per month, that you could feature or offer a “special” around. Highlight the standard recognized holidays, such as, Memorial Day, July 4th, to jump start the ideas if you need help. For the recognized holidays, it will make sense to make your offer before the actual holiday.

Step # 3 – Schedule Your Emails from Now ‘Til The End of the Year

Now that you’ve scoped the holidays and you have an idea of the special offers you want to make throughout the rest of the year, you’re almost finished. This is what to do next:

  • log in to your email account
  • type up your first month’s message with your special offer
  • add your call to action (what you want people to do when they read your offer) and a photo
  • include a link – to your website, your special offer webpage, or your email address
  • save, add a subject line, and schedule it

(in EmailWerks, you can specify a heads-up email sent out to you when the scheduled emails start rolling out!)

Now, type up your next message. This one should offer something of value – perhaps some tips or strategies specific to your industry that your customers will appreciate knowing. Perhaps you’ll send answers to a couple of FAQs that have come up a lot. You may want to send out a link to a helpful online resource.

Proceed doing the same for the remaining months of this year. If you’re doing a bi-monthly broadcast, you’ll plan accordingly.

What a relief you’ll feel knowing that marketing is getting done for you business while you’re taking care of other duties!

For an online walk-through of EmailWerks, visit, or send an email to and we’ll set up a time to answer your questions and give you a “virtual tour” of the program.












January 14, 2014
by otoole

How Trainers, Speakers, Coaches, and Consultants are Earning Monthly $ on Facebook

Care to find out how solo-preneurs are earning an extra monthly revenue stream by using Facebook every weekday?

Two words: “secret groups.”

The beautiful thing is, these groups are fairly easy to set up, and free, courtesy of Facebook.

How a Paid Coaching Group Works

The typical scenario looks like this:

  • offer a group coaching or group training with one goal or an ongoing educational or motivational mission
  • charge a recurring monthly fee (a Paypal subscription handles this, charging your client automatically each month) for as little as $5 – $10 or as much $100 – $500
  • deliver the coaching in a secret Facebook group where all posts and comments are seen only by the members
  • set your own hours/days of the week to moderate the group

You can set sharing parameters within your group. You may want to approve all the comments of group members before they become public to the rest of the group, for example.

As stated above, all comments made in the group will be seen only by other members of the group.

In fact, when you create a “secret” group, no one will even be able to find it when they search in Facebook. You’ll provide a link to those participants you want to invite, presumably once they’ve paid.

Use a Paid Group for One-on-One Delivery

Here’s a bonus you may not have expected. Perhaps you want to offer a more expensive recurring one-on-one coaching or training?

You can set up a secret group and specify that just one person is the other member. Conduct all of your sessions via text, in Facebook, and take advantage of being able to share links to outside articles, photos, and videos.

A Facebook secret group is a great virtual space to conduct a one-on-one-training, coaching, or consulting, where you and your clients’ comments are all in one place for easy reference.

Set Paid Groups to Deliver Auto-Buy, Auto-Access Training

Now join me as I think a little strategically here. Here’s a scenario I could live with (in grand style!):

  • offer a group coaching or group training with one goal or an ongoing educational or motivational mission with a landing page(presenting the offer) and online buy-button
  • charge a recurring monthly fee (a Paypal subscription handles this, charging your client automatically each month) for as little as $5 – $10 or as much $100 – $500
  • have a welcome email greet new members once payment is received and include the link to request access to the secret group
  • pin a welcome post at the top of the group page, with instructions on where to go, what to do to begin participating
  • have all the training materials pre-set in the “Files” section
  • pop into the group occasionally to see how things are progressing
  • count your new cash stream monthly

See a Secret Facebook Group in Action

To learn about my upcoming month-long challenge, “12-in-24 Kindle ‘How-to’ Book Challenge,” where you can learn at your own pace and create one, six, or twelve Kindle books in just one month, go here to sign up for early-bird notifications of when the next challenge opens:

Notify me when the early-bird opens for your next challenge




May 8, 2013
by otoole

Overcoming Free WordPress Theme Limitations

I am fairly new to WordPress. By “new,” I mean I’ve gotten on board only in the last two years or so.

In general, I’ve found the provided “free” themes (at somewhat lacking for sales and marketing efforts.

This is what I have learned about educating myself, developing, and investing (money and time) in WordPress over the past 18 – 24 months:

1. It’s okay to use one of the standard free themes if you see that the developer has received good ratings for it AND that the developer is actively engaged in his business of developing themes. You can usually check out a demo of the theme and usually there is a link to the developer’s site or blog where you can check out how up to date his posts are. Send an email inquiry to see how long it takes for a response.

What you don’t want to happen is that:

  •  you set up a website using a theme you invest a lot of time in
  •  you tweak it, taking a little more time to make it perfect
  • you upgrade WordPress three versions later and the site “breaks” because the developer doesn’t update the theme to match WP version updates

2. It basically comes down to finding a theme with good support.

Common sense tells you that as time goes along, technology makes the online marketplace more complex. There are so many new devices being introduced to interact with new browsers, all communicating with new coding structures (PHP, Java, XML, HTML5, Flash, and etc.). Whereas online communication used to be primarily HTML-based, there multiple “mainstream” coding options now, modified daily.

So, the reason you WANT to purchase a good theme is because it is well supported and updated regularly to successfully interact with all the other ongoing technological developments.

3. Keep an eye out for a theme you like.

When you land on a squeeze page you really like, or a theme that is perfect for what you want to do, you can check the online page source code and find out which theme is being used.

When you get in the habit of doing this, you’ll find several themes that keep popping up, like Optimize Press, for one. I invested in the Premise theme a while back. It is one of the Copyblogger products and, although I’m still learning it, I have been glad I invested when I did.

Premise allows a membership configuration, it has a sample salesletter template, and it has tons of training audio and video. It is also well-supported by the Copyblogger organization.

So the next time WordPress does a major version update, if I have a problem with one of my Premise-themed sites, I can submit a support ticket and be confident I’ll have help.

If WordPress is going to be one of your main site tools, you definitely need to get familiar with it. Then, when you’re ready to hand off the set-up tasks to someone else, you’ll know what to ask for, what to expect, and best of all, you’ll be ready to receive all the new info you’ll learn from that adventure!

November 28, 2012
by otoole
1 Comment

5-Point Checklist to Advance/Improve your Facebook Marketing

Facebook was the first really big behemoth of online social marketing. It’s been around for over five years. Intended as a purely fun, social “network” on college campuses, it has evolved into an effective marketing channel.

So, if you haven’t started using it yet, get on with it! Consider your wrist slapped, your shoulders shaken and your eyes (hopefully) opened!

Kudos to those who have dived in, ignorant and willing to explore. If you are one of those, I applaud you and ask you to please answer the following questions and make appropriate adjustments so you can benefit from your early adoption of Facebook as a marketing tool:

1. Are you using the correct page type? Personal or Business… or Both?  

There are two types of Facebook pages – a) personal profile pages and b) business pages. They look very much alike. You can tell the difference because personal pages collect “Friends” and business pages collect “Likes.”

Many businesses are using a personal profile page to try to do business and become confused when none of the directions they find online are operable.  Seek help if you are unsure what type of page you are currently using, and ask questions to get a correct type of business page set up. There are multiple types, providing slightly different options, limitations, and advantages.

Strategy tip: By the way (BTW), you can have an unlimited number of Facebook business pages! That’s right, one for each: product, service, event, contest, etc.

A Facebook business page is a necessity, not an option. Using a personal profile for business purposes is not only bad form in the marketplace, it is actually a violation of the Facebook terms of service.

2. Do you know what your Facebook Username/Id is and why it’s Important to Know?

One of the main benefits to using Facebook is that you can promote your Facebook entities in your printed materials as well as your online materials.

When we sit down at our computer to type in a web address from a business card, flyer or other ad materials, we actually speak the phrase to ourselves.

For example, this is what I say silently to read my business page address: “facebook-dot-com-foward-slash-Barbara-Ann-Otoole.”  That makes it quick to type in. This is what that looks like on my business card or in any printed materials I use:

Now, when I use this in my email signature, post it online on my website, or other entity, I use it with a hyperlink:

Now, glance at those two addresses and take note of how easy they are to remember, to type, to use.  Do you think more people will connect with you when you make it easy for them?

If I didn’t have a username/ID, I would have to include this in print marketing materials: ( or something close)

Your Facebook username/ID is managed under “Account Settings.”

3. Are you Using Cover and Profile Images to Your Advantage? 

Facebook is definitely a visual medium, isn’t it? And yet, many businesses are not using the valuable real estate that comes with their business “timeline” page.

The first image people will see is the “cover” image on your business page or “timeline.” The smaller, inserted image is referred to as a “profile” image. There are specific size requirements available for each. Facebook does allow you to “adjust” sizing and positioning of a cover or profile once they are uploaded. So you could select a photo from your phone, for example, and maneuver it to make it work.

The smaller “profile” image represents your business as your comments and engagement trickle down through other peoples’ newsfeeds. This profile image works well as a logo or “icon” that becomes easily identifiable with your business, your product, services, contest, events, etc. (See strategy tip referenced in number 1 above)

Facebook has set specific criteria for cover images, which include not using the cover for calls to action, specific business info, and advertising claims, etc. Seek the help of a professional if you are unsure what to include in your cover image. (Or search on Facebook or Google for more info)

4. Have you Completely Filled Out Basic Information on Your Business Page?

This question is self-explanatory, but it is a good idea to review the information periodically and update it. Make sure everything is exactly what you want people to see and use to contact you.

Don’t forget to include your website address in your description! Use the full address with the “http://” so it will hyperlink.

You may not realize it, but not too long ago Facebook made a global change to everyone’s email addresses. It inserted a Facebook email address. You can change it back to what you started out with, but you do have to make that change manually.

5. Do You Know Your Way Around Facebook?

The “milestone” for me in using Facebook came when I learned to navigate a business page.  My greatest frustration had always been that Facebook was configured differently every time I logged in. It seemed as if I had to “start over” every time I signed on.

Facebook is still evolving and changing. Here are two very basic functionalities that you must know:

a.) When you are logged in to your page, and you are looking at your timeline(cover and profile image, etc.) look at the very top blue menu bar and you can tell if you are sitting on one of your business pages or your personal profile. The tiny picture and name at the very top will identify it for you.

It’s important to know where you are because when you set about the work of commenting and liking other pages, you must now how your actions are being “read” by other pages. If you comment as you personally you won’t have the same impact as when you comment as your business.

b.) Click on the “Facebook” logo on the upper left hand side and you will find your page newsfeed. The newsfeed is very important because it lets you see, at a glance, all the activity of your “Friends,” if you’re logged in as your personal profile, or all the activity of your “Likes,” the businesses, events, products, services, etc. (see strategy tip referenced in number 1 above), if you’re logged in as your business page.

That’s a lot of information and these are just the very basics! Get these questions answered satisfactorily and you’ll be ready for all the articles out there that want to tell you how to position, engage, and yes, sell, from Facebook!



October 31, 2012
by otoole

How to Read Kindle Books if You Don’t Have a Kindle

How to Read a Kindle Book if You Don't Have a Kindle

There are now over 1 million Kindle eBooks on Amazon! Many are offered free or at far below prices for their hardback counterparts.

How to Get a Free Kindle App for Your Tablet, Smartphone, or Computer

It couldn’t be easier to get a free app for turning your smartphone, tablet, and PC into a Kindle Fire. Here’s how to do it:

Kindle for Smartphones

Download the Smartphone App from your Phone or Tablet. Look for this icon:

Kindle Icon

You can easily find the Kindle for iPhone or iPod Touch App in the iTunes store or the Kindle for Android App in the Google Play Marketplace.

Search for “Kindle” in the Windows Phone Marketplace. Visit in your BlackBerry browser to download.

Three Great eBooks to Start Your New Kindle Library

Here are a few of our eBooks you will want to check out:

Spirit of New Orleans Kindle Ebook - Digital Paintings of Ken O'Toole

Spirit of New Orleans: Digital Paintings by Ken O’Toole






Strings to Bones - Digital Paintings of Ernesto Rodriguez

Strings to Bones and Other Theories by Ernesto Rodriguez






Flash Cards: Subtraction for Kids

Flash Cards for Subtraction with BONUS: Spell Your Numbers 1- 15



Download the Kindle for PC or MAC

You can also download a Kindle for PC or MAC and sync your computer with your smartphone and Kindle devices.

When you make a purchase, you will be able to select which device you want to send the new book to first. Moving your Kindle book from device to device is simple.






Click the link below to select the type of App you wish to download:

Free Kindle Reading Apps

Of course, if you’re interested in a “real” Kindle, you’re advised to go the “Kindle Fire” route. Color makes it the handiest for browsing, watching, listening, AND, reading.

The newest edition to the Kindle family is the Kindle Fire. Here are a few details about it:

Kindle Fire (in color)
  • A Kindle for movies, music, apps, games, reading & more, with Amazon’s cloud-accelerated web browser
  • Light enough to be held in one hand, small enough to fit in a purse.
  • Read bestsellers, children’s books, comic books, and cookbooks on vibrant 7″ IPS touchscreen showing 16 million colors.
  • 1GHz processor; built-in Wi-Fi

Kindle Fire

There are no special charges to access the web on a Kindle or Kindle Fire. All you need is access to your regular internet Wi-Fi account, or any Wi-Fi Hotspot and you can surf the web, check email and Facebook, and even watch videos.



August 26, 2012
by otoole

What to Post on Facebook? These Questions are Good

Here are a few great questions offered by by colleague, Amy Porterfield, recently, that you can use “as is” or tweak for your own purposes:

Yes/no: These questions often get the most responses because they take just seconds to answer.

Fill in the blank: “When traveling, I can’t live without my __________.”

Tip: These questions often get the most responses because they take just seconds to answer and are often entertaining for others to read.

Feedback: “I need a flyer designed for our next event. Think I should run a design contest on Facebook? If I get 25 YES responses, I’ll announce details next week!”

Tip: Your audience is involved in the outcome, which means they’ll care more about the finished product.

Emotional/Provocative: “Who here feels like they’re fulfilling their LIFE’s PURPOSE right now, and how do you know?”

Tip: Provocative questions work best when you know the topics and themes most likely to ignite a reaction from your audience.

Value add: “I just finished my new e-book and I’ll release it next week. Who wants a free copy of chapter 1? Say YES and hit ‘like’!”

Tip: This is a great way to get momentum before a product launch.

Fun and fast: “Quick: ‘Hunger Games’ or ‘Avengers’?”

Tip: It’s nice to mix in entertaining questions to keep things interesting.

BONUS TIP! Add images to all your questions so they will stand out in the news feed. Images always make your posts more engaging.

Thanks again to Amy Porterfield for sharing these tips!

February 15, 2012
by otoole


 by Barbara O’Toole

With an initial mailing of 62 emails, an artist tests his audience, his offering, and his price-point, and nets $455 in non-refundable income in just five days.



After helping my husband, artist, Ken O’Toole, come up with a marketing plan for his art business, we wondered if he could help reach his income goals by simply teaching a two hour workshop once or twice a month, then targeting his email list of artists to promote the event.

After doing some market research, we came up with a workshop offering and created a landing page on Ken’s website for the event, along with a PayPal “click-here-to-pay” button for $65, just 10 days before the date of the first workshop (Saturday, January 30, 2012).


For the first campaign email, he hand-picked 62 email contacts from his artist group to test the idea and gauge whether his topic and price-point were viable, etc. The email went out Wednesday afternoon, January 18 at around 3:00pm.
Multiple links in the email sent click-ers to the landing page. Here are details:
Emails Received: 62
Opened: 21 (34%)
Clicked-thru: 9 (43%)
Direct Feedback: 2 people emailed to say they would rather take a weekday evening class.
Results: 4 workshop purchases for $260 (19% conversion) 1 from a forwarded email 


For the final email notice before his first workshop, we resent to the first group of 62 and added Ken’s friends, family, and patrons segment of his list. We also added a sign-up to his website homepage specifically for future workshop interest and added 2 more workshop dates. (see #1 take-away below)
Emails Received: 383
Opened: 96 (26%)
Clicked-thru: 12 (12.5%)
Results: 2 workshop purchase $130 (16% conversion)
Social share features were added on this e-mailing, accidentally omitted from the first. Ken netted one sign-up for future workshop interest.


After reviewing the statistics provided in his EmailWerks account, we determined the following, which will help Ken market more successfully in the future:
    1. The workshop purchase is definitely an “impulse buy.”  Having multiple choices for dates and times available for buyers when they first come to the “landing page” will yield better results in future campaigns.
    2. In doing the market research, we did not see any workshops with testimonials or comments from attendees, but we believe it may have helped our conversion rate to include them on the landing page.
    3. Two of the five purchases were the result of forwardsso including a specific written call to action for “forwarding to a friend” in future campaigns will be included.
    4. Ken has begun collecting a list of online art workshop posting locationsso he can share his future workshops with those entities. Likewise, by planning further ahead next time, he can prepare and distribute printed flyers for those locations in his area that will accept them.
    5. Although the “no refunds, no cancellations”policy may have deterred some, Ken has decided to keep it as a best practice because setting that boundary beforehand makes for an extremely smooth administrative experience.
    6. A sales promotion is as good as it’s offer, so attention was paid to the copywriting and composition of the landing page, as well as the composition of the outgoing emails. Ken is requesting a short written evaluation from his students and may add a follow-up email survey to future workshops.
Barbara O’Toole is a published author and founder/owner of Emailwerks, and Irish Lion Media.
EmailWerks provides a professional marketing email interface for advertising, marketing, and PR-savvy businesses who recognize the value and steadfastness of email in the marketplace. Powered by EMMA, a world-class email messaging platform, EmailWerks is owned and operated by O’Toole Marketing since 2006.

Permission to Reprint:

You may reprint this article in your print or electronic newsletter. But please include the following paragraph:

Reprinted from the blog of Barbara O”Toole,,  featuring opinion, speculation, strategy, and creativity in the realm of marketing.

If you like what you read, please pass it along to your friends, clients and colleagues.

February 6, 2012
by otoole
1 Comment

Number One Mistake in Managing Your Business Website

There is one comment that I hear often from small business owners. It is a comment based on an assumption. The assumption is as follows:

“I don’t have a lot of people telling me they found my website online so I must not have very much website traffic.”

When I ask the business owner how much website traffic they are getting, they cannot tell me, except to say they “don’t have time to look at website traffic reports.”

Imagine their surprise when they do examine their website statistics and find that they had 200 website visitors the month before. Only about 3 out of those 200 contacted them.

If I have 200 website visitors and I hear from only three of them, I have to wonder one of two things, 1. “Why is my website not converting better than that?” and 2. “What can I do to take advantage of the 200 visitors, possibly turning them into customers in the future?”

Let’s address each question separately:

1. Why is my website not converting better? In other words, why is my phone not ringing more?

This is a question worth examining, obviously. If you’ve gone to the expense of developing and maintaining a website, you might as well have one that works for you. There is not always one simple answer, however.

If this is a question that you believe is worth pursuing, here are some recommendations:

a. Re-examine the same issues you addressed when you first established your website. A lot has changed in the last two months, let alone the last two years. Has your website kept pace? For example, have you integrated the latest social media tools into your site? Facebook Fanpage? Video?

Your website visitor’s take – “Oh, this is a cool website. They’re using Facebook and looks like they’ll encourage good communication with their customers. Maybe I should try them out. Oh, great, and here’s a video that let’s me find out more about this business – almost like I’m meeting them in person!”

b. Generally speaking, how easy do you make it for people to do business with you? What calls to action does your website employ? What testimonials (social proof it is now called) are displayed and easy to find?  How many steps do they have to go through before a sale is made? Is there more information you can give them to help them make a buying decision with you more quickly?

Your website visitor’s take should be – “Perfect. All the info I need is right here. I know exactly what to expect before I make a call or send an email to hire this company.”

2. What can I do to better take advantage of the people that ARE coming to my website monthly?

This is where so many businesses are missing out on potential new business. They do not have a “lead capture system” in place. They do not have a basic “sales funnel” set up to handle prospects.  These terms are easy to search in Google for complete definitions, but suffice it to say that a lead capture system is being used by many, many successful online businesses.

The basic idea of the “lead capture system” is this: a desirable information package is offered to the site visitor as a “thank you” for finding the business online. This is often done in the form of an e-book or white paper or free report, which is delivered to the email inbox of the visitor when they supply their name and email address. Hence, their lead information is “captured” and can be used in future marketing campaigns.

Variations on a standard lead capture (as mentioned above) might be a free product or sample, a limited trial service offering, or some other way for a customer to “try out” your business.

Your website visitor’s take should be, ” This is great! This is information I can really use. If they give me this kind of great info before I even hire them, they’ll probably give me even better information when I’m paying for it! I’m confident my money will be well spent.”

 The number one mistake in managing your business website is the assumption that you don’t have enough – don’t have enough traffic, don’t have enough time, and don’t have enough ideas. The truth is that you have everything you need.  ~ Barbara O’Toole


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