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A Killer App Many Online Marketers Missed

Have you completely missed a simple, yet extremely powerful "killer application" that MOST online businesses seem to have missed?

This simple app can help you completely solve the following problems:

1) Your server logs show plenty of hits to your home page but the vast majority stay less than a minute. They stop by, look and leave...never to be heard from again.

2) You've done everything to your site the "Guru's" have recommended... and yet your sales-to-traffic ratios are far below what you expected them to be at the ABSOLUTE minimum.

3) Your competition seems to be flourishing, constantly introducing new offers, able to profitably offer deep discounts, and constantly updating their sites with marketing tools you can only dream of. Are they getting your sales? Maybe! But WHY?

What Is It That They Have That You Don't?

You think you have everything in place for your online marketing campaign... Killer site copy, advertising in all the right places through all the right venues...

But, are you missing the obvious solution to the problems above... one that is such simple technology that practically every person on the face of the planet feels totally at easy using it. This simple solution can't be blocked by ISPs, requires no software to be installed by end users, and can't get you accused of spamming.

What is this "killer app?" It's simply your own toll-free phone number. Just adding this one tool to your marketing arsenal is so powerful that it should be a complete no-brainer! Let's look briefly at a few of the benefits of offering a toll-free number for your customers...

1) Customers associate a company offering a toll-free number with higher quality. A recent survey by the Atlanta Business Chronicle showed that "86% of customers believe an 800 number connotes high quality products or services."

If you are an online marketer, this is a good area to take your cues from offline advertising. Direct mail and media advertising can be very expensive. It HAS to work or the marketer loses BIG.

There's a thoroughly tested reason why 58% of magazine ads display a toll-free number... it dramatically increases response. Offering a toll-free order option in an ad boosts response even if the customer mails in the order or places it online.

A recent Bellcore study revealed that 800 number ads outperform even local number ads by six-to-one.

2) Toll-free numbers build TRUST. Study after study have proven that the single biggest reason your customers - who actually want what you have to offer - won't buy from you is...

They don't trust you!

I know from personal experience that many customers just want the reassurance of hearing a human voice on the other end. This assures them that the company is legitimate, and that they can reach someone if there's a problem.

I've had literally hundreds of customers hesitate to use my online order forms but call and within a few seconds of reaching my office, place the order by phone. There are still a lot of people who don't trust online technology but who will not hesitate to give their credit card information over the phone to a complete stranger. Hearing the voice of another person breaks down a major barrier... making the cold impersonal internet a more pleasant experience.

3) A customer who calls you about a product or service has already SERIOUSLY qualified themselves. The fact that they pick up the phone and call to ask you a question says that they're interested in what you have to offer. These are some of the most highly qualified prospects you could ever hope for. They're interested enough to actually have taken some action. You just need to make it easy for them to "raise their hand."

Whether you realize it or not, you lose serious business to your competitors who do offer this option if you don't. The reason is very simple - people don't generally go online to buy things, they go online to research their purchase decisions. The Internet is a very convenient tool for comparison-shopping.

You Mean I'll Actually Have To Talk To People?

Yeah, I know there are those that are thinking right now, "Willie, I got into marketing online, so my website would do the selling for me and I wouldn't HAVE to talk to anybody."

Yes, I understand that some online marketers would rather let their websites, sales letters and FAQ's do all the work. But if you can get excited about your offering and communicate that to a friend, you can commuinicate that to a stranger. It's hard to convey that excitement and tone of voice from a webpage...

It does takes a little practice and know how. But they're CALLING you for help. That puts you in control and who better to explain how your product is a perfect solution to their problems. Who better to explain how your product is the only real solution to their problems.

Listen... toll-free phone number for customers to contact you is very affordable, and a proven, time-tested way to make additional sales...

After your prospects have finished their research they LOOK for a toll-free number so that their orders can go through quickly. Once they've decided that they want an item, they want it "yesterday." They order from those who make it real easy, and since they use their credit cards, they place bigger orders. In fact, the average phone order even from a catalog is a well documented 30% to 70% higher than the average mail order.

All of these reasons are why those who spend many hours studying trends see offering a simple toll-free number from your website as the next killer app.

For a long-time this was a tool that many small businesses considered too costly. However, recent industry deregulation and changes has driven the costs WAY down. My research has turned up numerous plans that are under $50 per month. The single best plan that I discovered provided unlimited toll-free calls for only $39.95 per month. (with no per-minute charges and no additional charges for in-state calls... no set up fee or hidden charges of any kind.)

That's the one I jumped on while they are running this special :-)

There are a few things you need to know before you sign up for a toll-free plan. The biggest one is that even though they're advertised as unlimited, there are limits. Every service provider does have "reasonable use limits."

If you are on a dial-up Internet connection, your ISP has clearly spelled-out limits. They will give you a call if you exceed these.

If your website is on a shared server, there are limits not only on bandwidth, but on the amount of CPU capacity that your website can tie up at one time. If your website runs so many scripts and programs that they slow the server down for all users, you WILL be invited to get a dedicated server.

With long-distance and toll-free phone service, if you exceed the reasonable use limits consistently, you will be asked to upgrade to a different plan. The SECRET is that many service providers don't tell you specifically what their limits are. They are big enough, and tricky enough, where the can sneak that one past less savvy customers...

The company that I use, I chose both because of their rates and because they offer more minutes under their "normal use" definition than any other company I researched. I can received 1,700 minutes per month before I begin to raise eyebrows :-)

I got this great deal as a result of a market study they are doing. I'm actually getting a "Home Office Plan" at "Personal/Residential Plan" cost. By the time that you read this, I'm not sure how many accounts will be left that are earmarked for this study At this special price they are going fast. And you know the saying, "When they're gone, they're gone!"

As a sidenote: If your business doesn't receive this volume of calls, give this number to family members who seldom call, your kids away at college, and your mother who calls every day from across the country. Just make it an inexpensive way to just stay in touch. Until the word gets out about your new business toll-free number, you may as well use the minutes anyway :-)

Check out the company I use now while the special is on. They're at: ==>

They can have you set up with your own permanent toll-free number in one business day. By permanent, I mean that when you move you can take that number with you. This service is only available in the continental United States. I'm researching offerings in other areas but that's not complete yet. It's a big job.

If you do have any questions about the service that I use, you can even give me a call (toll-free from within the continental US at 1-877-262-3367).

Do your research and you'll see that this really IS the next "killer app" for online marketers ;-)

Copyright 2004 by Willie Crawford

Willie Crawford has been teaching others how to build an on-line business since late 1996. Frequently featured in radio, magazine and newspaper articles and interviews, Willie teaches the average guy what the top marketers are doing but seldom talk about. Willie provides detailed how to information in his newsletter, through his personal coaching, and at his annual how to workshop. Subscribe to Willie's free course at:


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