Selling EBooks – Low Tech Solutions in a High Tech World

The Internet is all about technology, that’s a fact. Almost every week some now widget or technology comes out that alters the face of the information superhighway. And yet, sometimes the best solutions to high tech problems are old-school, tried and true marketing technologies. We will look at what I call a low-tech solution to marketing eBooks in this article.

I have two areas of marketing related to eBooks on-line. I have a line of materials aimed at people interested in writing and selling eBooks tech web post. The second, and the one I will use as an example here, is a group of materials aimed at K-12 teachers.

My problem with marketing to teachers is that the keywords I need to focus on in AdWords campaigns are expensive. There is a lot of competition from organizations who can afford to pay a couple bucks each for hits to their site; I am not willing to do that. So, I set up blogs and write articles to increase my exposure through organic listings on search engines. But I want more that.

Now, my background is in the area of direct-mail marketing. I spent over ten years marketing science materials to high school teachers through catalogs. What I decided to do was to use my expertise in direct mail promotions to help me drive visitors to my web site.

At first I tried mailing out attractive postcards to key personnel within school buildings. The postcards promoted my website which carried a number of products for teachers. The postcards worked; They showed a profit. I experimented with the direct mail technique over the months until I tried a technique which I believe will be my method of choice in the future.

What I did was to develop a 4-page sales letter for my two main products. It was printed on 11×17 inch paper–folded once to make a booklet, and a second tri-fold to allow it to fit into an envelope. Page one was an introduction. Page two promoted an eBook showing teachers how to create and market instructional aids the develop. Page three was an ad for an on-line course I have for K-12 teachers. And the final page–which was the key–was an ad for my course.

Now here’s how you can profit from this idea: Teachers are insulated in their work world. In many businesses, customers walk in the front door, make a purchase, and walk out the back door. But teachers are in the same building all day. There are no customers coming in and out the doors. And the teachers get to know each other very well. So what I did was to include in big bold letters at the top of the ad for my course, PLEASE POST and COPY AND DISTRIBUTE TO DEPARTMENT MEMBERS.

So, every teacher who received one of my sales letters became an advance agent, sort of an unpaid affiliate, for my on-line course. Sure, some of my materials got tossed out, but my enrollments increased by 25% within a few months of starting my mailings.

The key is this: If you are marketing to individuals who might be likely to pass your sales letter around in the workplace, you might profit from mailing hard copies of your sales materials out. Encourage the recipients to share the material with their peers.

According to Tim McKinney, Director of ADT Custom Home Services, home security technology has become so much more affordable that it’s really driving the trend towards more high tech home security systems.

“For years, business owners have used video surveillance systems to keep tabs on their operations remotely,” he says. “Now homeowners are taking advantage of the same technology to monitor their homes when they are away.”

The Safewatch Videoview service is ADT’s newest home security system offering to Canadian consumers. Using a series of video cameras, homeowners can make sure family members have arrived home safely, check on possible damage to their vacation home after a storm or monitor the progress of repairmen from anywhere.

“Homeowners are discovering that motion sensing video cameras can make busy lifestyles a little easier by providing customers with email notifications of triggered events and the ability to look in on their homes at any time,” McKinney said. “All they need is an Internet connection to log on to an encrypted and secure, password-protected Web site, which can be accessed even through a corporate firewall.”

Coupled with a standard home security system, Safewatch provides homeowners with a great way to enhance the services that the home security system would offer, and at an affordable price. The system starts at less than $700 (professionally installed) and costs only $10 month to maintain in addition to regular home security monitoring fee of $30.

“So for under $50 month you have the benefit of a full home security system for intrusion and fire, but you’d also be able to add the video camera component,” says McKinney.

The system allows homeowners to capture pre and post video footage of intruders in the event that the alarm is triggered by bringing up the cameras remotely from anywhere in the world. It also has the ability to take that signal and transmit it to anybody accessing the web. But Big Brother isn’t watching in this case. The video cameras are password encrypted so you can see your cameras but ADT cannot.

But you don’t have to be away from home to make good use of home security video cameras. If a parent is in the kitchen and the kids are in the pool, even if there is no line of sight the kids can be monitored on a television or computer screen from anywhere in the home.

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