December 2006 Archives


Here’s a new and somewhat troubling development to start off the year 2007.

On December 11, 2006 a FTC Staff Opinion was released that has the potential to affect Internet marketers in a number of ways.

The basic thrust of the opinion is aimed at "Buzz marketing" or what in the past has been known as "Word of mouth" marketing.

Historically this type of marketing was something that occurred naturally and was not cause for concern.

Now, marketers have latched on to the various ways of creating "Buzz" and are exploiting and manipulating it.

I’m not saying this sort of marketing is a bad thing (that would be the pot calling the kettle black ).  I myself use a variety of marketing techniques that fall under the "Buzz" or "Viral" label.

The aspect the FTC has issue with is the potential for deception.  Their concern seems to be that consumers will act upon what appears to be independent opinion or advice on the part of the writer when their is actually a paid relationship between the writer and the product/service owner.

Now, I am far from an attorney and will be the first one to admit that.  In light of that I recommend two things here.

1 – Download and read the paper yourself (it is only 5 pages long).  You can get it here.

2 – Read more about it.  Here are a few articles from attorneys (No, I do not know them personally) who have written on the subject: Mike Young & Brian Clark

As I see it, on the surface this does not affect all affiliate marketers.  It has the potential to though which means we need to pay attention.

I urge you to read the opinion letter yourself.

This is important food for thought.

Sam Knoll

Filed under Blog, General Musings, Online Marketing by  #


Email marketing is an interesting creature.

The volume of messages hitting consumers these days (not even taking Spam into account!) can be quite staggering.

I’ve read at times that email marketing is dying and we as business owners need to look at alternative vehicles through which to reach our market.

This is largely due to the increasing level of competition within the consumer’s inboxes.

Then I read an article like the the most recent Marketing Sherpa piece I received and I see that the oposite CAN be true.

The article is a case study (like all Marketing Sherpa pieces) of how an online business converted their email marketing efforts from double to single optin… and thrived siginificantly.

You can read the article by visiting Marketing Sherpa where it will be available for the next 10 days.  After that you have to pay for access.

Now, on the subject of Marketing Sherpa, if you aren’t familiar with them… you need to be.  Founder Anne Holland has created an incredible resource and thriving business.  Their business model alone is very worth investigating.

Basically, they produce reports covering a variety of aspects of marketing.  These reports they make available online for free for 10 days.  As I said above, after that you have to pay for access.  In the process they establish themselves as a "go to" agency for research and information and they pull in tons of prospective buyers.

Subscribing is free and you can pick and choose which areas of marketing you wish to hear about.

I urge you to become a subscriber now.

Onward & Upward!

Sam Knoll


Well I suppose it was only a matter of time.

Google has announced they are branching out of the online world into offline advertising.

Their Adwords and Adsense programs have proven to be so profitable (estimated revenues to exceed 10 billion this year) and in-demand that they are now going to try their hand in a number of additional arenas.

They did try a print ad program earlier this year which bombed.  They are apparently reworking that concept. 

In the mean time they are trying their hand at radio of all things.

You can read all about it in this Washington Post article.

There is also more coming out regarding their efforts in television and print.  In fact, Google plans to all but dominate the advertising world it seems.

Here’s an excerpt from today’s Wall Street Journal (If you are not yet an online subscriber to the Journal, I recommend you join for just $40/year)

"The ultimate goal, Google Chief Executive Eric Schmidt told reporters in October, is to let advertisers buy a broad menu of ad types and distribution through Google’s single Web-based interface. "The long-term fantasy is we walk up to you and you give us, say, $10 million and we’ll completely allocate it for you" across different media and ad types, he said in an interview last month. All types of ads can be made more effective, for instance by targeting them to consumers more likely to be interested in them, Mr. Schmidt said. By tackling that problem, Google expects to expand its share of global advertising sales."

Amazing what you can do with Billions of dollars in revenue!

Onward & Upward!

Sam Knoll


If you put any of your online time and effort into Google Adsense then you must be aware of this new development.

Google has decided, as Google is prone to do, that they are changing the way they allow the use of graphics near Adsense ad blocks.

Who knows what enforcement will be like on this but it is quite worth your being aware of.

If you’re using images near your ads you probably have some time to make the appropriate changes to be in compliance.  That said, it is your call as to how fine a line you wish to walk.

The official Google Adsense guidlines can be found in Google’s Adsense Blog.

Now, there was one more element in these guidelines that could affect most any Adsense user.

Here’s the quote:

Publishers should also be careful to avoid similar implementations that people could find misleading. For instance, if your site contains a directory of Flash games, you should not format the ads to mimic the game descriptions.

Hmmm, seems to be taking aim at blending your ads in with the content of your site.

This could get ugly!

Onward & Upward!

Sam Knoll

Filed under Adsense, Blog, Online Marketing by  #


Gary Halbert is undeniably one of the greatest copywriters/marketers around.

He is brash, ireverant, smart as you know what, seemingly afraid of no one, and also one of the keener, sneekier marketing minds.

The Gary Halbert letter is a resource that all to many people do not ever tap into.

Inside Gary lays it all out pretty darned openly.

As long as you can handle his use of "special words" you’ll learn a ton from his site.

Now, one of Gary’s claims to fame is a coat-of-arms business.  This business ran for roughly 30 years using the same ad over 600,000,000 times!

Yes, you read that right… six hundred million!

Gee, do you think it was working?

Well, what I have for you today is a look at the simple one page letter that did it all and an audio of Mark Joyner pulling how he did it from Gary.

You do have to refer a few friends to get it but in my book it is well worth it. 

Get it.

Read it.

Listen to it.

Listen to it while reading it.

Then use it!

Onward & Upward!

Sam Knoll

Filed under Audio, Blog, Copywriting, Ebooks, Free Resources by  #

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