The 8 BIG Dumb Mistakes People Make When Marketing Online

The 8 BIG Dumb Mistakes People Make When Marketing Online


The truth is the dreamers were right back in the early 90s. The internet really is the “cash spewing, money spitting opportunity” they said it was except back then they were ahead of their time by about 10 years.

Today of course, if you haven’t figured that sucker out (the internet) yet or you’re not at least trying to figure it out, then it will probably be desolation for you and your business 5 years from now.

The truth is the internet really is a BIG DEAL. That said, it hasn’t and won’t wipe out other media like print, radio and TV.

It has and will affect other media though, in some cases dramatically.

These other media have a battle on their hands but it won’t wipe any of them out.

Like all marketing there’s right ways and wrong ways to do it and where the internet’s concerned people screw this one up more than any other.

The bad news is this media, the internet, is unforgiving. It won’t tolerate any sloppiness unlike the other media which does.

So if you get it right, the rewards are unmatched but if you get it wrong you’ll wonder where the money is hiding.

Big Dumb Mistakes People Make Marketing Online #1

Not understanding that the internet is just another media and it’s not actually a business. When people say “I’m in the internet business”, that’s as silly as saying, “I’m in the radio business or the yellow pages business” just because you advertise on them.

What the internet is, is just another media tool in the media toolbox to be used correctly just like other media. By that I mean you should integrate the internet with all your other media to reinforce and assist you in your marketing efforts.

Big Dumb Mistakes People Make Marketing Online #2

Not realising that direct marketing principles from the offline world transfer perfectly to the online world. After all, we’re dealing with the thousand year old reptilian brain in your head and mine whether you’re online or whether you’re offline.

It’s the reptilian brain in my head that makes me chase my wife around a coffee table every so often in the hope she lets me catch her. 🙂

Things that motivated you to action a hundred years ago, things that motivate you today and a hundred years from now are the same emotional factors.

That’s why becoming a master of emotional direct response marketing is mandatory for anyone that wants to succeed online or offline.

The reptilian won’t change, just the media changes.

Whatever you do, only take advice in relation to your online success from someone who is an offline direct response marketer.

Whatever you do, don’t willingly turn over your web creation to non-direct response people.

Big Dumb Mistakes People Make Marketing Online #3

Never let the arty farty, graphic artist crowd lose on any of your online marketing without adult supervision.

Quite simply and not wishing to offend the arty farty, graphic artist crowd here, the thought of using emotional direct response marketing, asking for a sale, using urgency and scarcity on your website to get them to buy is most probably alien to this bunch and whatever you do, DON’T let them derail your online marketing endeavours.

I’ve known lots, I’ve worked with lots, I have one employed full time in this business and we had to totally re-educate her too. So I’m speaking from experience here.

Now don’t get me wrong, believe it or not, graphics, colours and fonts are very important but just because you can throw graphics all over this online real estate doesn’t mean you should.

In my opinion, the best at it is Apple MAC. Go and visit their site, they are known as “masters of design” and they are. Here’s what you’ll discover, there’s a dominant visual element.

Their websites follow eye gravity. They use one font, may be a maximum of two, probably Serif and Sans Serif.

They used high contrast, by that I mean in a sentence they might want to make a word or two stand out by making it much much larger than the other words and in capitals. That’s high contrast.

They only use 2 to 3 colours on their website. Everything is left-aligned unless it’s a subhead line.

Finally they keep it VERY simple. That’s certainly not the case with a lot of other trash on the internet.

You want to know how important visuals are? Well, in the past I’ve flashed websites up on a screen and I’ve said to the audience, “trust” or “don’t trust”, “trust” or “don’t trust”. The audience in a split second replies whether they do or they don’t and it’s all based on visual impact.

In that space of time they don’t have a chance to evaluate anything else.

Well that’s what’s happening when they come to your website, they decide instantly whether they’ll trust you or whether they won’t trust you. Just based on what they see or don’t see.

SO FIX IT! AND FIX IT NOW! Because it’s costing you a fortune if you don’t.

Big Dumb Mistakes People Make Marketing Online #4

Not having solid walls, single paths and narrow roads for your prospects to follow when they come to your website. Bottom line, most of the websites I see and I see plenty, don’t deliberately take the prospect on a journey to the outcome you want to achieve with them.

They are literally allowed to meander and wander around your website at will, landing and starting wherever they want and that’s not good enough.

This is a precise science.

You want to literally take them by the hand “on a slippery slide” if you like to where you want them to go and what you want them to do, give you their details, order your product or service etc.

Another name for this is “eye-path” or “eye-gravity”.

Eye-path in all media goes from left to right and down the page, online or offline. What you’re attempting to do is to force compliance on behalf of the prospect for the good of all concerned, you and them.

Big Dumb Mistakes People Make Marketing Online #5

Just because you have all the space you like at your disposal on your website, doesn’t mean you make it any longer than it needs to be to get the job done. By that I mean get the prospect to take the action you want them to take. Just as if you were writing a radio ad for 60 seconds or the same on TV or even print.

Every word MUST earn it’s spot.

Every graphic MUST be there for a reason.

Whatever you do, don’t get carried away with the Whiz Bang gadgets you can use on your website unless it helps you achieve a specific outcome.

This is a media that is unforgiving. It won’t tolerate lack of tactical strategy, you won’t make a cent by accident where the internet is concerned.

With landing pages it’s short and sharp, bold headline and a bunch of powerful bullet points, 30 to 120 second video, two opt-in boxes (one at the top, one at the bottom).

Okay, I’m feeling generous. Here’s the video script template we use at Streetsmart Marketing.

Key #1 – Build a better bait – “Complementary Video Presentation (Book) Reveals the Secrets of How to Safely Buying 7 Properties in 7 years and Retire Early with Financial Freedom and Peace of Mind”

Key#2 – Call the video a presentation (Complementary Video Presentation Reveals the Secret to…)

Key #3 – Video should run for 30 – 120 seconds

Key #4 – Always have the video on auto play

Key #5 – Step-by-step video formula:

  • Who you are
  • What you have (Free Video)
  • Why do they need it (Bullet Points)
  • How they can get it (Fill in your first name and email address here and you will get instant access to my FREE video presentation “How to Safely Buy 7 Properties in 7 Years and Retire Early with Financial Freedom and Peace of Mind”
  • Videos are a very very big deal online. Why? Because you get to connect with the prospect on another level.

    They get to hear you, they get to see you, the connection you have with them is better. It builds trust and there’s some transparency involved in that you are just like them.

    Big Dumb Mistakes People Make Marketing Online #6

    In business today and particularly online you need to use bigger, better lead generation magnets and baits to ethically trap and bribe your prospect into giving you what you want. These days the power has been shifted to the prospect, to buy or not to buy, like never before.

    It means that the free line has been moved particularly online. Once upon a time, we could charge for a video we now give away, the same with the free report or manual. Now everything is free to start with.

    In fact, 89 of the top 100 websites online begin their relationship with the prospect by offering something for free.

    Guess what Google, Youtube, Yahoo, Myspace, Facebook, Mozilla Firefox have in common? – everything is FREE for the prospect.

    Another reason the baits need to be bigger and better is because they’re being bombarded with clutter and noise from all manner of media.

    Big Dumb Mistakes People Make Marketing Online #7

    The worst type of website you can have is a “one size fits all”. Everybody seems to want to take a shortcut, particularly on the Internet, and most wont like what I’m going to reveal here.

    Why? Because it costs a little more to get it right, and it takes a bit more work. But the rewards far outweigh any of that.

    You see most people want to have one site where they wedge everything into that; generally it has a bunch of buttons that allow people to meander around confused, and of course confused prospects do nothing.

    Mostly this behaviour is born out of laziness, lack of knowledge, stupidity or all three.

    Reminds me of a client and his wife I spoke to today about their web presence, and their actually doing ok, but they are leaving more money unbanked than they are banking. They have what is commonly known as an “e-commerce cafeteria site”, where you get to meander around and choose what you want to buy or not want to buy.

    Fortunately I asked them the right question.

    “What’s you best selling product, and how much of your sales does it make up”

    Turns out one product alone accounted for about 60% of their sales. So the obvious thing to do it to build a dedicated site that sells that, and that only.

    Then market that (and that only) online, communicating correctly only with an audience who has a pre-disposed interest in that product.

    Its called “a dedicated website” and oh my god we just found this guy and his wife a tonne of money, if of course they take the advice, and I know they will.

    I could tell be the conversation we had, in fact I wouldn’t mind betting that it’s half done already.

    Think about it, niche works better everywhere and it certainly works better online given that Google rate you and your website according to its RELEVANCY.

    RELEVANCY meaning it’s relevant to the person or prospect searching on that topic, Googles big plan is to be the best search engine, that’s why it’s important. You see they decide if you get found online, or not.

    Bottom line, Google owns the sandpit and you want to play in their sandpit and one of their rules is RELEVANCY, in particularly relevancy in search.

    Ok, I’m feeling really really generous, here is a list of some of the things important to Google that you should comply with if your wanting to drive traffic to your website through various online channels such as adwords, adsense, SEO, social media etc, and if you want to achieve any sort of success online.

    • Don’t use hype – Google hates it
    • Use a separate URL and separate web pages.
    • It even pays to take the hype out of your offers.
    • Never use fear based copy.
    • Never talk about making money
    • Use a professional logo
    • Google loves navigation
    • Use relevant images
    • Use video
    • Use additional articles and content below the fold
    • Have your opt-in box below the fold as well
    • Use product photos
    • Use terms and conditions, privacy and policy

    By the way if your using offline media to drive them online to your website you can say and do what you damn well like (within reason of course), so there’s another reason to have two different sites for the same product or service, one that’s Google friendly that relies upon online search and one that’s completely dedicated to offline driven to online.

    Please don’t be lazy or stupid about all of this.

    Big Dumb Mistakes People Make Marketing Online #8

    Hastily chucking up a website without careful consideration. I’ve mentioned it previously in this blog that you MUST have a clear outcome and then you MUST build your website according to the outcome.

    Being sloppy in this regard will have a devastating effect on your results. You see, people say to me, “Mal I want more leads.” Actually they do and they don’t.

    What they need to do FIRST, is fix the conversion process.

    I rarely see a website where they get conversion right. Only when you fix this aspect are you then entitled to do more lead generation. Make sense doesn’t it?

    Why would you want to spend more money increasing leads to send them to a flawed website? You might as well just put your money in a trash can.

    Okay there you have it, damn it’s about 2500 words here. I never intended it to be this long but I got on a roll and didn’t want to leave anything out.

    Hopefully you get on the same roll where your website is concerned.

    Remember this is a precise science. Mess with it and you know what you get.

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  1. Hi Mal,

    This is an awesome article. I am sure this will dramatically change how I market online!!! Just one question: in “mistake #5” about the video you say that the video should always be on auto-play. And then you say that the potential customer will get access to the video if they fill in their details. Do you mean that the short video is on auto-play to advertise the long video (presentation)?


  2. G’day Mal,

    Thanks so much for sharing all of that. I am constantly amazed how every time I read your stuff, I realise how little I know.

    I really appreciate all of the advice you give out, and hope that I can implement it as fast as you share it.

    Daniel Lyne

  3. Hi Mal. As always you deliver! I am currently preparing a new video for my site and your blog arrives. My new video will last about 4 mins on I now have great ideas for the content. Can you help me with my presentation? Ha.

  4. Hi Alex,

    Thank you for your comment.

    The 30-120 seconds video is on the landing page which is for lead generation only and I prefer it to autoplay although not everybody agrees with that.

    The best way to determine all this is to split test, one with autoplay and one without.

    The other video I refer to in the copy is your bait or offer they get to give you their first name and email address. It is their FREE gift.

    Of course the bigger the better the bait, the more likely they are to fill in the opt-in box

    The example I gave was for DVD which goes for an hour or so that shows you how to “safely buy 7 properties in 7 years, retire early with financial freedom and peace of mind”.

    Hope this helps.

    All the Best,

  5. Hi Chris,

    Just follow the formula I revealed here on the blog. That’s exaclty how we write them. It’s a template.

    If you get stuck, my copywriters can write it for you. It shouldn’t cost much.

    All the Best,

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