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How To Use Competitive Intelligence On The Web

How To Use Competitive Intelligence On The Web

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Published by: kantti on Dec 11, 2008
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How To Use Competitive Intelligence On The Internet

The Ultimate Strategy To Win Your Competitors Without Paying.

Brought To You By Patric Chan

No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior written permission. Please note that much of this publication is based on personal experience and anecdotal evidence. Although the author and publisher have made every reasonable attempt to achieve complete accuracy of the content in this guide, they assume no responsibility for errors or omissions. Also, you should use this information as you see fit, and at your own risk. Your particular situation may not be exactly suited to the examples illustrated here; in fact, it's likely that they won't be the same, and you should adjust your use of the information and recommendations accordingly. Any trademarks, service marks, product names or named features are assumed to be the property of their respective owners, and are used only for reference. There is no implied endorsement if we use one of these terms. Finally, nothing in this guide is intended to replace common sense, legal, medical or other professional advice, and is meant to inform and entertain the reader.

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Competitive Intelligence
Competitive intelligence is a rarely talked about in books, courses or forums. Many of them would never reveal to you even a single strategy they use to stay on top of the increasing amount of competition, but I will in this report. This report is centered on the fact that others sometimes have a level of understanding about your particular business that it would take you years to uncover. So, instead of spending years painfully learning what a competitor already knows or has done... you copy some of the things that make their business successful and apply it to yours. What I‟m about to reveal isn‟t some secret formula... it‟s a proven strategy for tightening your grip on your chosen field. It requires persistence and some work, but the pay off is tremendous. Business evolves fast and it has become even faster because of the Internet. You should know that by now and you should also need to know that you need to stay on top of what‟s going on -- what you need to do to stay competitive in a growing market. That being the case, what you want to do is take advantage of current trends that allow you to reap the maximum benefit for the least amount of real effort. Competitive intelligence allows you to profit from some of your competitors existing sources of traffic and affiliates for free. None of that is possible if you don‟t have a way to keep your eye on what your competition is up to. True competitive intelligence really boils down to people and how well you can influence the ones who are helping your competitors succeed to “come over to the dark side” and help you make money. This can be done directly or indirectly. It doesn‟t matter which because the end result is the same; More money in your pockets. Now don‟t get the wrong idea and think that this is some sort of underhanded trick to hurt your competitors because “CI” has been an accepted form of business for a long time. It‟s just easier now because of the Internet so make the most of it.

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Many times, your more financially successful competitors have the money to try a lot of new things to see what works whereas you may not. Let them make mistakes with their money while you learn from their successes and failures. The primary ethical goal of any business is to make money and that‟s why you should take advantage of as many legal avenues that allow your business to profit as you can. Being successful means adapting to change. It‟s just the way the world works. If you don‟t adapt to your surroundings, you cease to exist. By its very nature, competition evolves and you need to evolve with it by studying how others are flourishing in your environment.

Is Competitive Intelligence Ethical?
Any action you take in the public eye such as putting up a sales page, sending an email, responding to questions in forums, etc can be used to gather information about the way you do business. It is the ethical obligation of every business to make money and it is perfectly legal to use free publicly available tools and resources to do that. Of course your competitors aren‟t going to like what you‟re doing because ultimately you‟re taking business away from them, but there‟s nothing unethical or illegal about it. For the most part, many of your successful competitors have gotten comfortable with their success and the methods outlined in this report allow you (if you‟re hungry) to make them pay for it. One of the easiest ways to make money online is to find out what someone else is doing profitably and put a little effort into using that new knowledge in a “better” or more creative way. You don‟t have to reinvent the wheel to make money. Your competitors won‟t just all of a sudden decide to reveal their secrets to you and that‟s why you have to study their actions and watch for changes in case

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they tap into something wildly profitable they wouldn‟t willingly want to share with others.

Two Basic And Yet Powerful Methods You Can Use Immediately
I always like to have more than one way to go about things and that‟s why I‟m going to give you 2 choices. Method #1: Spy on the competition by email to see how they go about operating their business. Pay special attention to the affiliate products they are promoting and how they do it. Use “EGO searches” to find your competitors affiliates and aggressively persuade them to promote your products for free.

Method #2:

Throughout this report I‟ll go into more detail and show you how to apply these methods to your business no matter what type it is. Always remember that your most successful competitors had to start somewhere. They didn‟t always know what they know now and they didn‟t always run their business the way they do now. One of the best things you can do is explore how the sites of your competitors have evolved over time. You can see changes they made to their sites, presumably for the better and study those changes they make to shorten your own learning curve. How do you find out how a competitor‟s site looked last week? Last year? Three years ago? http://www.Archive.org I spend time there studying the moves certain people have made over the years to see exactly what they changed and gauge their position in the marketplace now to see how those changes have affected their business. You can see things like how often a site changes their copy, how often a product offer has changed (including testimonials, price points, guarantees, bonuses, etc); if a site has been split testing their copy to see which one brings in the best results, etc.

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There is a lot you can learn from what other people have done to their own businesses as opposed to what they tell you to do to yours. Always take what other people tell you with a grain of salt. Pay attention to what people do on top of what they say.

The Competitive Intelligence Process
You need to organize the process so you don‟t get swamped with details that have nothing to do with what you‟re trying to accomplish. Step 1: Determine what your goals are. Step 2: Collect and organize your information. Step 3: Analyze the information you‟ve collected. Step 4: Apply the information you‟ve collected. I‟ll go over each of the steps. Step 1: Determine what your goals are. You don‟t take a road trip without planning a route or a destination and the same rational applies here. Don‟t just start collecting information on your competitors. It will do you no good unless you know why you‟re collecting it. What is your main objective right now? Are you trying to make your product better? If so, you‟ll know that you need to collect information about similar products to determine the quality of what‟s already out there and discover the weak points those products have that you could improve upon in your product. One of the best ways to do this is to buy competitive products and tear them apart so you can analyze them from a customer‟s point of view. Are you trying to make your email follow ups better? If so, you‟ll know that you need to collect information about email follow ups that cater to the same market you‟re trying to reach. Again, your goal would be to

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sign up for as many email courses (related to what you‟re selling) as you can to see what‟s out there and to see how to make your follow ups better. Are you trying to write a better sales letter for your offer? If so, you‟ll know that you need to collect sales letters related to the product you‟re selling to see how your competitors approach your market and which “hot buttons” they try to hit. Put yourself in the mind set of a potential customer and judge the letters you collect based on the emotional responses they trigger in you. Collect as many letters as you can and you‟ll start to get a feel for how to make your own sales letter better without copying anyone else‟s. It takes a little time but you‟ll get it. Do you see how knowing what you‟re trying to accomplish helps you focus on the information you need to collect? Step 2: Collect and organize your information. Now that you know what you‟re going to collect (based on the goal you‟re trying to accomplish) it‟s time to collect and analyze that information so you can make good use of it. The most obvious ways to collect your information is in forums where you competitors hang out, their websites, their newsletters, their blogs, their article archive, their products, search engines, etc. Collecting this information is as simple as creating a folder on your computer named “CI” and creating another folder with the name of the information you‟re collecting such as “Follow Ups”. You may also want to create categories for the types of products you‟re collecting information on. For example: If you have a product about getting traffic and you want to make your follow up messages more effective you might do this... Create a main folder named “CI”. A folder inside of that named “Traffic” and a folder inside of that named “Follow Ups”. That way, once you get ready to start collecting other data related to that product you can put it into the “Traffic” folder

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inside of the “CI” folder. Doing this allows you to collect data for many different products at once while still keeping things organized. Step 3: Analyze the information you‟ve collected. Analyzing your data is the core of competitive intelligence. To analyze your data you want to establish a baseline or “benchmark” if you will. This simply means that you want to objectively identify where your competitors information ranks in comparison to yours. You want to look at things like your current goals in comparison to the goals your competitors are seeking to accomplish. Your current marketing strategy in comparison to the strategies you see your competitors using to beat you to the bank. Your future goals and strategies in comparison to where you see your competitors headed and if you think they‟re headed in a direction that will eventually leave you and your business out in the cold. You (at the very least) want to make sure you‟re keeping pace with your competitors and it becomes obvious if you aren‟t after you‟ve spent some time going over their products, newsletters, blogs and articles. Many of your competitors like to pat themselves on the back in public so they‟ll tell you much of what you want to know if you take a little time to analyze the free and paid information they put out. Step 4: Apply the information you‟ve collected. By starting out with a specific goal in mind, you‟re able to focus on the things that are directly related to what you want to accomplish. This is admittedly a slow process but progress is sometimes slow. The thing you have to look at is it faster to collect and analyze information your competitors are providing for you to learn from or to learn everything from scratch on your own? When you look at a competitive product that is better than your product it‟s obvious and it gives you ideas on how to improve the quality of your information. Realize that you are a part of your target market in some way so when a competitive product strikes a cord with you, take note and see how you can make your product generate a similar feeling in others.

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Some Things You Can Do Now To Stay Competitive In Your Internet Business
To stay competitive you have to keep your eyes open. You have to recognize the fact that you‟re never going to learn it all. In other words, you have to be teachable. Some things you should focus on...  Get your hands on as much of the promotional material your competitors use as you possibly can. Create folders on your computer separated by emails, sales letters, affiliate offers, surveys, types of products, newsletter issues, etc. You can find a lot of promotional material by paying attention to the emails you get, websites you see in online forums, through web searches, through Archive.org and by following links inside of the products you buy.  Get your hands on as many of your competitor‟s products as you possibly can. Analyze, dissect, rip apart, evaluate and rate them. You also want to spend some time figuring out the weak and strong points of their products. Read between the lines. Look at what you actually see them doing on top of what they tell you to do in their products. Get a feel for how your competitors do business. This has been done forever in mail order. Doing this gives you a true sense of how your competition operates and just may give you the one insight you need to truly deliver a product your customers will love you for.  Subscribe to their newsletters. I subscribe to more newsletters than I care to count, but it‟s for a reason. I want to see the emails my competitors send out to their lists. I want to see the information they send out in their newsletters. I want to see what products they‟re promoting... etc.  Ask them questions via email to see how long it takes someone to respond. One issue many people have with online businesses is response time. If your competitors are seriously deficient in this area, customer service is something that you can stress when you sell your product.

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Make it easy to get in touch with you and be sure to let your customers and visitors know that they will get a prompt reply to their questions. No need to bash your competitors because it‟s likely that people already know they don‟t respond well to questions and other customer service issues.  Find out how they (or if they) up sell to their customers. Up selling is basically having an extra offer on your order page for a few dollars more (or many more dollars more) than your original offer. If your competitors have an up sell offer you may consider creating one of your own.  Find out if they have back-end products. Selling only one product will almost never make you any real money unless you sell a ton of them. Learn the “secrets” your competitors use to present these back-end products to their customers. Do they use follow-up emails? Links embedded in the product(s) you bought? What do they do?  Find out if they created their own back-end products or use affiliate programs. Many people have figured out that they don‟t have to create everything they sell. That‟s what affiliate programs are for. Other people have already done the work of creating a product for you and dealing with the things that go along with selling your own product. If your competitors are using affiliate programs as their back end products, take note of how they present them. Do they casually present them on their download page or do they put some effort into it by sending you emails with their recommendations? Take note of everything. Compare everything with your business. Whenever you find out about something your competition doesn‟t do well and you see people complaining about it; that‟s your chance to jump in and make that your strong point. Make a big deal about your strong point because potential customers already know your competitors are weak in that area. Look through the eyes of a potential customer and compare your competitor‟s customer service, products, prices, bonuses, website layouts, headlines, follow ups, articles, quality, etc.

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You want to make sure that you at least match up even though it would be better to try and edge them out by doing a better job in every area where their business is lacking. The bottom line: Don‟t guess about what your competitors are doing. Find out. I buy a lot of products from a lot of different people so that I can find any “holes” or “cashcows” in what they‟re doing. I look for ideas that I can test in my own business. I look for any way I can step in and give customers what my competitors do not and so should you. I know all of this so far sounds like work and that‟s because it is. Your most successful competitors are NOT lazy. At one point they used to spend time doing what I‟m suggesting. If they‟re smart, they still spend time checking up on what others are doing to stay on top. You really only need to do this with a few of your more successful competitors who sell to the same market as you and sell the same types of products you sell. People tend to buy more than one product on a subject they‟re interested in so by analyzing a successful competitor‟s products and sales letters you can go about putting together “better” offers and out compete them by wowing their previous customers. Always remember, you want to make your competitor’s strengths your strengths and their weaknesses your competitive advantage. You can make your competitors look weak in a certain area by telling and showing customers how strong you are in that area.

“CI” Method #1: Keep Tabs On The Competition By Email And Use That Information To Profit
This is one of the easiest and most overlooked things you can do. By paying attention to the good things your competitors are doing and the mistakes they‟re making you can progress faster than if you had to figure everything out on your own. Much of what your competitors don‟t tell you about how they operate their business can be learned simply by watching their emails.

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One of the biggest reasons more people don‟t take advantage of this simple “CI” resource is that you don‟t have your email inbox organized to deal with all of the subscriptions you have. Take a few minutes to set up some email filters: http://www.ehow.com/how_5378_set-e-mail.html Get organized. From now on, take the time to set up email filters for all the newsletters you subscribe to so the emails you get are easy to find. You‟re not subscribed to your competitor‟s lists for entertainment. You should learn something from everything they send out. Learn what to do and just as important what NOT to do. For example recently I‟ve noticed people sending out one email with a mistake in it then sending out another email the very next day where they “apologize” for the mistake. To me it seems like a cheap way to get their sales message in front of me for two straight days and others agree judging by the complaints I‟ve seen. Now I know this isn‟t something I can try and benefit from because of the negative feedback I‟ve seen others getting from using tactics like this. This helps me by giving me the understanding that people in our market are getting savvier so I have to be more careful of how I present myself and my offers to them by email. That‟s a free lesson in email marketing courtesy of my competitors. To look at that whole situation objectively, I would say that the only reason people were using that tactic is because it‟s profitable to have your sales message in front of people as much as possible to give them a chance to make a buying decision. So, instead of using a tactic like the one they‟re getting blasted for using, I would look around at other competitors to see how they are approaching their lists with offers and if I don‟t see anything I like I would come up with a method to put my offer in front of my subscribers as many times as possible without insulting their intelligence in the process. Some things you should keep an eye on...

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Are your competitors sending out emails that are helpful in nature or are they only sending out emails when they have something to promote? Are they actively trying to build a relationship with you or do you feel like they only see you as a way to make money? Take note of how you feel when you get an email from your more established competitors and take note of what they did to make you feel that way. We sometimes get so caught up in buying the latest and greatest product that we sometimes don‟t notice that some of the most profitable lessons we can learn from others are free.

When they promote an affiliate product, do they offer bonuses for ordering through their link? If so, what kind? You may be able to outsource the creation of similar bonuses to make competitive bonus offers to your list. When they promote an affiliate product, do they use the generic promotional tools the product owner gives them, or do they come up with their own original material? If so, take note of exactly what they do because if you see them doing that more often, it‟s a good indication that it‟s working. When they promote an affiliate product, do they use videos to pre sell you before sending you over the affiliate site? If so, take not of exactly how they do it. Save the page to your computer and save the video if you can. With the free and low cost tools at your disposal you can easily create your own videos to do the same with the affiliate products you promote. When they launch a new product, do they just hit you with it all at once or do they build some anticipation first and tease you a little with what‟s coming up? Save every promotional email and web page they use to build anticipation in their offer because if their launch is successful you can model it for future products. When they send you a link to download something free, is it just a thinly veiled sales letter or does their freebie actually provide you with valuable information you can use? If it does a good job of warming you up to buy a product, don‟t just blindly buy their product. Take note of the process

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they used to warm you up to buy from you and use that with your own leads. That‟s a simple list of things to keep your eye on and I‟m sure you can come up with others. The point I‟m trying to make is that your competitors are not generally in the business of telling you how to become as successful as they are. Sure, they tell you about some things that work but they never reveal the real techniques and tactics they consistently use to out perform you in the marketplace. They simply use those techniques in plain site hoping that you won‟t take notice and copy their methods. Their whole goal is to keep their business on top of yours. You can often learn more watching how they launch and promote their products than you can from the products they sell simply because they use what they know really works when they promote their own stuff and many times fill their products with ideas, concepts and generalities they haven‟t really tested but tell you to follow. I hate to say that but you know it’s true. Pay more attention to what people actually do than to what they tell you to do. Learn as much as you can from people by observing their actions because those actions are hard to hide if you‟re willing to look for them. Now before I get myself into too much trouble let me make something crystal clear. When I say that your main competition will say one thing and do another, I‟m not necessarily saying that they‟re misleading you on purpose. Some are really trying to help you by telling you the truth, but for one reason or another, their intent to help you doesn‟t always produce that result. It‟s always easier to do something than it is to explain to someone else how you did it. Details always get lost in the translation. That‟s why if you train yourself to look at what other people do objectively, you can often pick up on things they were either unable or unwilling to explain. For instance, I was once given an advice to subscribe to a well-known guru‟s mailing list. Every time that guru mails out, just mail out the same product he‟s

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promoting. I know it sounds blatant but guess what – this technique is actually shared by an internet millionaire and this is exactly what he‟s doing.

“CI” Method #2: Profit From “EGO” Searches
What is an “EGO” search? This is simply a search where you look for the name of a competitor or the names of their products directly. Many of your biggest competitors like to have their names and/or the names of their products plastered all over the net and you can use their “ego” to put money in your pockets. The main tools you need to make this work are free. What are they? Search engines. What I want to talk about is how you can use the search engine positions other marketers already have to your advantage. This method reveals exactly how to get hundreds or thousands of sites to link to yours and help you sell more of whatever it is that you sell even if you‟re only an affiliate marketer. Inbound links from related websites will prove to be one of your most effective competitive advantages simply because they will allow you ethically “steal” high volumes of traffic right from under your competitor‟s noses for free. This is different than the usual exchange of links because not only will other sites that could eventually number in the hundreds or thousands willingly link to your site, they will link to you in a way that guarantees you‟ll be highly visible to their incoming traffic. The link to your site won‟t be hidden away on some link exchange page. This can generate at least 500 extra targeted visitors to your site every single week on an ongoing basis. Many of your toughest competitors have been online long enough to have people linking to them (affiliates) who‟s sites can easily be found on the search

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engines. You can actually track down the sites linked to your competitors that are the major sources for their traffic. Once you‟ve found these links... It‟s just a matter of using this information to your advantage. This is actually easier than you think if you approach these sites with the mindset of “What Can I Do For Them?” instead of thinking only about the traffic you want to get. Your Search Tools What you‟re looking for are the sources your competitors get free traffic from in the form of affiliate promotion. You can do this by searching for your competitor‟s name directly or by searching for the name(s) of their products and services. A few resources to help you do that: http://www.Ask.com http://www.Clusty.com Enter a search term, and Clusty will not only pull back matching responses from major search engines but also automatically organize the pages into categories. http://www.Copernic.com/en/products/agent/index.html Copernic Agent Basic queries leading search engines to bring you back relevant, high quality results. http://www.DogPile.com It sends your searches to a customizable list of search engines, directories and specialty search sites, then displays results from each search engine individually. http://www.IceRocket.com Meta search engine with thumbnail displays. http://www.IXquick.com This search engine organizes your results based on the number of top 10 rankings a site receives from various search engines.

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http://www.Google.com One of the biggest search engines around. http://www.Google.com/alerts Some handy uses of Google Alerts include monitoring a developing news story and keeping current on a competitor or industry. http://www.Quirk.Biz/searchstatus/ For every site you visit using, SearchStatus lets you view its Google PageRank, Google Category, Alexa popularity ranking, Compete.com ranking, Alexa incoming links, Alexa related links and backward links from Google, Yahoo! and MSN. http://www.ferretsoft.com/learn.htm - WebFerret directly queries almost a dozen popular search engines in parallel, virtually guaranteeing quality results for most searches, in seconds. This is a very basic list but it‟s more than enough to get you started.

How To Profit From “Ego” Searches
By following the steps I‟ve outlined below, you‟ll be able to effectively steal much of the traffic your competitors are profiting from. Step 1 Find your competitors free traffic sources...

Use the search resources above to search for keywords related to your site and your products to find out who is giving your competitors free traffic and an advantage over you. In addition to the meta search engines you should also use Google’s link feature. link:http://www.yourcompetition.com link:www.yourcompetition.com This typically won‟t yield many results but it‟s worth doing.

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A better way to go about this would be to search for your competitor‟s url with Google.com This will show you all the pages that are indexed by this search engine that contain a certain url: "+www.yourcompetitor.+com" You must search exactly like that with the “quotes” and + signs. This is an easy way to find out who is linking to your competitor‟s site and how many links they have pointing to them. This method of searching brings in more results than your standard link:www.yourcompetitor.com Searching for your competitor’s names or the names of their products directly produces the biggest results.  Search for keywords related to your site. Get into the head of your visitors. What keywords would they be searching for? When you get the results, look at the high ranking sites. Do they promote any of your competitor‟s products? If so, you have a good chance in getting some of that traffic.  Search for the names of your competitor‟s products. This is a good way to find sites that promote your competitors. Wherever a competitor is getting free advertising... You want free advertising there too. I‟ll show you how a little later. Check out the sites with high search engine rankings for the keywords that you select, which also promote your competitor‟s products. Those are the sites you really want to focus on, but do NOT neglect sites with lower rankings. There are plenty of people out there who get a ton of traffic from paid advertising and don‟t know much about optimizing their sites to get solid rankings in the search engines. You want to contact as many sites as possible regardless of how high or low they rank. You want volume. Dozens, hundreds, even thousands of sites linking to yours. You can do this whether you already have your own products or you‟re just an affiliate for someone else‟s. Here’s an example...

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Let‟s say that I have a product about social marketing and I want free traffic. What I would do is find a competitor‟s product that is also about social marketing and go find his affiliates or people who have bought reprint rights to his course if available. . Using Google.com as an example I would type in: Product Name Creator Name That is both the name of my competitor‟s product and my competitor‟s name. I can search for one or both. Doing that pulls up the thousands results but not all of those will be relevant. Adding your competitor‟s name narrows the results and gives you a more accurate account. What I now have in front of me is a starting point. These are the websites I need to visit. The owners of these sites are the ones I need to contact. They are already promoting a product similar to mine on their sites and newsletters. I could also search for variations. Potentially, any site promoting products sold by my competitor could be a site that I‟d want to promote my products. The reason I searched for a specific product was so that I could put the url of that product in the emails I send out to each site owner. Why? I want to show that they already promote a product similar to mine and show that I‟ve actually been to their site. This is a slow process, but the little things add up. Contacting hundreds of site owners a year like this puts you light years ahead of 99% of your competitors. They won‟t take the time to do this which is why your site will be getting thousands of free targeted visitors in a few months time while many of your competitors will give up on their business because they have little to no traffic and only a handful of customers. Later, I‟ll show you how to still get sites to send you targeted free traffic without the need to have an affiliate program in place. This is one of my favorite tactics and I‟m sure you‟ll love it too.

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Step 2

The information you need to collect...

You can use a simple text editor to gather this information. Make a template and then just copy and paste this information as you find it on the sites you turn up using the meta search engines tools above. When you visit sites you want traffic from you‟ll need to write down...    The main website url. The name of the website owner if available. The specific page your competitor‟s product is listed on.

Almost none of your truly successful competitors will tell you that they went out and took the success they wanted. They didn‟t just sit back and wait for fame and fortune to come to them. In the beginning, they spent time doing exactly what I‟m outlining here. Find out what sites give free advertising to your competitors and you can get free advertising on those same sites. When you find sites that are a good match for yours and also promote products sold by your competitors you‟ll need the information above when you contact the site owners. Blasting out hundreds of emails to random sites is a BIG NO NO. You want to personally send out these emails. Do be accused of being a SPAMMER. Personalized one-on-one unsolicited emails are not SPAM. Many of the emails I send out are unsolicited, but to a specific person for a specific reason. I never get accused of SPAM by doing this. People can tell when you‟re blasting out a mass message hoping to strike up a deal. Make it a goal to track down and contact 5-10 website owners a day. If you get close to those numbers you‟ll put your business so far ahead of where it is today it‟s not even funny. Step 3 Show me the incentive...

A person promoting your competitor‟s products on their site should have no problem promoting yours if you show them why they should.

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You best bet is to offer the people you contact little something extra for giving your product priority exposure on their site(s).  A higher affiliate commission. This goes on more often than you realize. It‟s in an affiliate program owner‟s best interest to do this because it gives certain affiliates a greater incentive to promote their program. Some affiliate programs don‟t allow you to individually give one affiliate more commissions than another. In that instance you want to give people as high a commission as you can 60%-75%+ to ensure they spend at least some time sending traffic to you. It‟s your job to set up a system where you capture the email addresses of that traffic for future promotion.  An extra promotion tool not readily available to others. This gives the person you‟re asking to promote your site a feeling of control that makes it easier for them to say yes.  Articles ready for their affiliate id so they can send them out to their list. This makes it easy to promote you and the easier you can make something, the more likely it is that people will do it. You have to remember that you‟re going to be asking people to promote your products so make it easy.  Reprint rights to a report they can sell with your website (their affiliate) information all over it. People want to benefit from viral marketing but without doing any real work. Spend some time coming up with a desirable PDF report on an interesting topic people will want to pass on to others. Make it informative and not just a hidden sales letter.  Free access to the product you‟re asking them to promote. The most successful affiliates are ones who own the products they promote. Again, this may prove very profitable in the short and long-term. This should mainly only be done with people who own high-traffic sites.  Give people demo videos to help promote your site. All you have to do is give people a page that has two links and a video on it. The two links are for people to click and get more information about your product after viewing the pre sell video. The video should be flash embedded into a web page. You can also create a video and host it with Google video. That way, when people view it, you won‟t use any of your bandwidth.

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Remember... you want to approach sites with the mindset of “What Can I Do For Them?” If you want people to willingly promote you over someone else, you have to look at what your competitors are doing for them and do more. Step 4 Your turn to get free traffic...

To increase your chances of getting promoted on a site where your competitor‟s are being promoted you have to visit each site and see how each site owner is giving your competitors recognition. The reason is that you want to approach each site owner with a clear idea of what you want them to do and a plan for how you would like your free exposure to take shape.  If a competitor has given them a free report to advertise their program with... create one of your own. You can compile word docs into pdf‟s for free using these resources.  If a competitor gives them affiliate articles to post to their sites and use in their newsletter... Then ask this particular site owner to host your articles too. And give them free access to your affiliate program so they can get paid for giving you free exposure.  If a competitor gives anything to the site owners that makes them eager to promote your competitor‟s products... you want to approach those site owners with something similar, but slightly better. Use your imagination. Your goal is to find out why someone is linking to your competitor and use that knowledge to get this same person to link to you. This is an admittedly slow process, but the key is persistence. All of the link requests add up.

Here’s An Easy Way To Make This Work
If you‟re going after a specific competitor‟s affiliates, you can create a special report that‟s designed to promote your competitor‟s product and yours. I know at first it may not seem like you would want to do this but there‟s a very good reason why you should.

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This is an easy way to break into a market dominated by someone else even if you‟re starting out with no name recognition. You see, people are already out there promoting your more established competitor and they are constantly looking for new ways to send them traffic. With that in mind, give them more ways to send traffic to that competitor. Why? Because when you give someone an affiliate tool to help promote a site they‟re already promoting, they‟ll jump at the chance. If you have taken the time to analyze a competitor‟s product to make sure your product stacks up, you can promote your product in the affiliate tools you give people as well. They know who your competitor is so it‟s easier for them to promote your site and your products if they also get to promote someone who‟s already established in their mind. Basically you‟re going to “piggyback” off the reputation your competitor has built to promote your own products. Here‟s a sample email I use to get free traffic:
Hi Name, My name is My Name http://www.mywebsite.com I’m on your site right now looking at this page: http://www.otherpersonssite.com/specificpage.html I see that this page is set up specifically to promote “Name Of Competitor’s Product” and it caught my attention because I recently wrote a free report to promote that product as well. The reason I’m contacting you is because I wanted to know if you would like a copy of my report to help you promote “Name Of Competitor’s Product”. Of course there is no charge. You can download a review copy of the report here: Download Link I just happened to see your site and thought that you might benefit from my new report since you’re actively promoting a product recommended inside of it.

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I also have a product that’s promoted inside the report and it pays out 75% in commissions. You would be able to join my affiliate program and profit from my product as well. If you would like a custom copy of the report with your affiliate links in it instead of mine, just let me know and I’ll show you where to get it for free. Thank you for your time Name. My Name http://www.mywebsite.com ----------------

In the above example I would be giving this person a free custom copy of a manual designed to promote an affiliate program I know they‟re already promoting and my product. By doing this, I can get easy exposure from people who simply want more ways to promote products they already promote. If You’re Selling Your Product Through ClickBank.com This Process Is Even Easier Why? Because you can find out what someone‟s http://Clickbank.com id is and customize your report with their affiliate links before sending them an email. You would then offer them your report in that email with their affiliate links already in it ready to promote. I don‟t like trying to convince people they need what I‟m offering. Find out what they want ahead of time and offer them more ways to do it while promoting you and your site in the process. How To Beat The Competition You have to realize that 90% or more of the people who read this report will never do anything with it. Because of that, you‟ll have a competitive advantage just by taking action. Right now there are certain things your major competitors do better than you and by learning from what they teach as well as what they do; you can put

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yourself in a position to grab a bigger share of your market. More money goes along with that.

How To Get The Edge
Like I said earlier, people tend to buy more than one product on a topic they‟re interested in so just because someone else has already sold them a product similar to yours doesn‟t mean they won‟t buy yours. You just have to show them why they should. It‟s actually a good thing that some of your competitors are successfully selling products similar to yours because it shows that there is a strong demand for your type of product. Customers will usually buy competing products when one product can show how it is has benefits the other product they bought does not. That‟s why it‟s so important to tear apart and analyze competing products to see how you give customers something that was lacking in the products they‟ve bought before. When you identify what‟s lacking, you can put that benefit right up front so potential customers know why they should buy your product even though they already bought something similar. Eight Sold Ways To Position Yourself Against Competing Products Knowing how your competitors operate is one thing. Out competing them in the marketplace is another. 1) Offer A Basic And Deluxe Package. This can be as easy as offering audios or videos to go along with your package. The audios can simply be a spoken version of your product and the video tutorials can simply be you demonstrating certain things you talk about in your product. If competing products only offer one version of their product at one price, this may be something you want to try. You could even turn your digital product into a physical CD or DVD giving you an added distinction over competing products. 2) Narrow Your Focus. If a competitor is offering a generic product, you can target a specific group of people with your offer. An example would be if you sell a “How To Attract Women” or “How To Attract Men” course, you could instead offer a “How Divorced Moms Can Easily Get Back Into

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The Dating Scene” or “How Single Men With Children Can Attract Quality Women Into Their Lives”, etc. When your product can speak directly to a specific group of people, you have a better chance at closing the sale. 3) Target A Competitor’s Old Product With Your New And Updated Version. Over time any product can become outdated so if a competitor gets lazy and doesn‟t want to update their product you can step in and show how your product offers current information competitors do not. 4) Offer Higher Quality. If competing products are relatively low priced, you should strive to offer a higher quality product with a higher price tag. As long as you can back up the price tag with a quality product, many people should take you up on your offer and many may pass up the lower priced product. Again, when you buy competing products, you know what to offer to give your customers a better value for the money. You might be surprised to know how little effort it actually takes to produce a product of higher quality than competitors. You want to offer at least $1 in value for every $0.10 you charge. Sometimes competitors get a little complacent and don‟t put as much effort into creating quality products as they should and you can make them pay for that by taking their customers. 5) Offer Better Education. If competing products gloss over certain points, make an effort to fully explain (to the best of your ability) how to do something and make a big deal about it. Give people previews of your product letting them see first hand how your product demolishes competing products. Where competing products offer printed material only, add video and/or audio to yours. Add graphics to your information to fully illustrate points and assume that everyone who reads your information has absolutely no knowledge about the subject and need to have absolutely everything explained. 6) Offer A Longer Warranty Or Guarantee. By adding time to your guarantee it‟s easy to think that you‟d get more refunds when actually the opposite is true. Most people offer the lowest guarantee time they can

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get away with and it screams “I don‟t believe in my product!” If competing products are offer 30-day guarantees you may want to offer 90, 180, 365-day or even two-year guarantees. If your closest competitors is offering a 30-day guarantee then your two year guarantee sticks out and tells people that you believe in your products and are willing to place the risk of the purchase on your shoulders where it should be. 7) Offer Better Bonuses. What many of your competitors don‟t know is that you can actually outsource a lot of your product creation. Use sites like http://www.RentACoder.com and http://www.Elance.com to find writers, programmers, graphic artists, voice talent for adding audio to products, search engine specialists, website designers, etc. Look at what your closest competitors offer in the way of bonuses and set out to create (or hire someone else to create) something better. Bonuses that are directly related to the content of your product will help you the most. 8) Offer Better Customer Service. If you‟ll remember, earlier in this report I talked about contacting your competitors as if you were a potential customer to see how their customer service stacks up. If they do a poor job in this area, you may want to let potential customers know up front that you are reachable by email, phone, website, etc and will provide them with prompt responses to their questions and concerns. Put this message as close to your headline as possible to make sure people see it and know that‟s how you differ from other competing products and services out there. The whole point of doing this is because if you wow people on how much better your product is compared to someone else‟s, you set the stage for them to buy other products from you believing they‟ll get the same type of quality from everything you sell.

Closing Remarks?
Quality competitive intelligence may not come easy but it‟s worth the effort. Most of the people you see who constantly whine about the success other people are having aren‟t likely to have any themselves mainly because they are not willing to do any real work.

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Your most financially successful competitors either out work you now or they have in the past to get them to the stage they‟re at now. Just because you run your business on the Internet doesn‟t mean it isn‟t a real business. It is and you have to treat it like one and do the things that need to be done to keep pace with the competition. Don‟t get left behind. Find out what your competition already knows. Talk soon,

Patric Chan
P.S: Competitive intelligence is NOT part of the content revealed in the “Inside The Underground Marketing Lab” Workshop. That‟s why I highly recommend you to get the recorded version of the workshop. I know for sure, accessing my internet money making formulas, proven tactics and strategies will definitely make you rich online. Go to www.insidemarketinglab.com. Don’t wait. The longer you delay the more competitors you‟re going to have and they will „eat‟ your business up before you know what hit you. Then it‟s gonna be too late.

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