The world of internet marketing is crowded. So many people are pedaling the same products that the typical methods (PPC, SEO, etc) are just too hard. Below you will find what I consider to be the top 5 traffic/lead generating techniques for internet marketers.
Forums and mailing lists are the most important things for internet marketers, at least in my opinion. Forums are great because they are very targeted, and most forums allow you to have a signature link or two, so its essentially free traffic. There are thousands, probably millions of forums out there, so no matter what your niche is, chances are you can find what you are looking for. Just do a quick Google search for forums in your niche, and start posting! Be sure to contribute to the community, and not just spam your links. Throw your link in your signature, and start answering questions, participating in conversations, and contributing valuable information. If you are an active member of the forum you will get much more traffic from your signature link.
Mailing lists are great because they can turn one-time customers in to long-term, repeat customers. Lists are built in many ways, but most often they are built through a squeeze page, product give away, or other incentivized offer. If you plan on building a targeted mailing list, whether it is an email mailing list or a physical mail list, the best way to do it is to give away free products. Write an ebook, give away articles, software whatever, and keep giving your list free stuff. Then, try to sell them products. Dont spam them, but an email every few weeks is fine.
Contests are powerful to say the least. People love competition, and they love free stuff. Combine the two, and you have a way to generate massive amounts of traffic. What you do with that traffic is up to you, but suffice it to say that the more traffic you get the more money you make.
Contests are usually run on blogs, but they could be run on any site that has some traffic. Run a simple contest with a cash or item prize, and ask entrants to blog about the contest in their own blogs. This brings more entrants, as well as more traffic in general. Also, if the prize is good enough, submit the contest to Digg and other bookmarking sites. Who knows it could take off!
Think of how many emails you send daily. Personally, I send about 20-30 a day, and thats just my personal email. I send an additional 15-25 from my business email. Im sure you send a lot of emails too, and Im also sure that you probably arent taking advantage of the signature system that most mail clients have. Its pretty simple just make a signature and attach it to all outgoing email. Think of it as a forum signature, and go from there.
Articles fuel most of the internet marketing world. A single well-written article can potentially bring you hundreds, even thousands of dollars in sales. So, if youre not already, start writing articles! If you cant write, hire someone to write for you. Its pretty simple! As far as getting exposure, submitting the articles to EzineArticles and other directories is a good idea, as those sites are priority sites, so they generally rank higher in the search engines, so they can drive more traffic to your article. Also do guest blogging. Guest blogging has great advantages, if you can do it right.
I know its called internet marketing, but that doesnt mean it has to be ONLY on the internet! The fact is that offline advertising can be very successful if done right. The most important thing to do if you are thinking about advertising offline is to get a great, memorable domain. Try to go for something short and sweet something that people will remember. Then, simply make business cards, fliers, posters, etc, and put them wherever you can. If you are a big-time affiliate, you could even consider TV or radio ad spots, though I personally have never tried that.
Now lets hear it from you. What techniques you have used to your advantage? What worked, what hasnt?