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Free internet music marketing ideas that bring in the traffic.

Referrals are the unknown, most least used, and most improperly used Internet music marketing tool. But, they have huge traffic and profit generator potentials.

You might say, yeah sure, I already know about them. But do you? Referrals are not just stating:

"Mrs B says thanks and great product!"

There is just so, so much more to them. Offline companies have been using them for ages, but the Internet has not really woken up to these easy and free strategies. For your Internet music marketing plan referrals will make or break any sales plan, any chance of spreading MP3s, or finding a name for yourself.

Knowing how to utilise referrals and when to use them properly greatly increases:

1) repeat sales

2) customer satisfaction

3) profits

4) site traffic

There are SEVEN golden ways to refer, and they all have a place in your Internet music marketing sales (the word sales can be used for money sales and for downloading of your MP3s) plan.

1) Offer a coupon or gift certificate in the package with your product (Amazon utilised this idea as a thank you and welcome gift on first purchases). Offer a free item with an MP3, a player or useful utility (even better if it is freeware, even contact the author and ask if you can do that and put your logo on the util as well, authors will love the idea of free spreading, it is a win-win situation).

2) Offer a reward per referral to a customer who has recommended your product to someone else. Affiliates work in this way- let someone else advertise your products while you are doing the minimalist of work.

3) Sell gift certificates on your site- promote for certain yearly celebrations. A gift certificate forces a customer to use your site- make sure though that it is not redeemable for cash.

4) Offer gifts or discounted products to businesses who could use your product and you could use theirs. The theory goes that they will advertise your products and you will advertise theirs. Or, if the company refers your items then you will give them some at a discount.

5) Say thanks to new customers and offer specific sales/ gifts/ discounts to repeat buyers. This is a music marketing must really, showing your customers that your are pleased of their custom, and by giving them a loyalty "thank-you back" is the start of a customer-vendor bond.

Example 1. I am a member of a computer games shop and they send me yearly a small book full of coupons to use in their store because I am a member. Some coupons state that I will get 25% off my next purchase above $30 pushing me for that greater purchase.

Example 2. A local store holds discount evenings for members only.

6) Make sure that customers sign up to an email list (for free), and then email the registered users of up and coming members only offers. A reward or loyalty scheme is a great way to encourage repeat sales. They usually work by stating that say for every $1 the customer spends they get 10 points in return which can then be exchanged for various gifts listed with the number of points needed in a special "members area". This type of scheme is very big off line, and people love it. They love being part of a special group. This is a music marketing must and you will probably see the same idea banded around this site...you need a mailing list!

7) Offer testimonials. A "set-in-stone music marketing idea" this one. Yes they do work but only in the right way. If used wrongly they can do much more harm than good- guaranteed. Ask customers for a few words about your business- they won't volunteer. Ask your mailing list. Offer them something i) it will pull in a better response, and ii) your testimonials will be nicer, and more pleasant. Put the testimonials anywhere you can- a) on sales letters, b) Internet sites (what our customers say about us), c) mailings, and d) emails. However. NEVER use an anonymous testimonial, like Mrs B, as people do not believe them anymore- it will be an Internet music marketing disaster. If you can, the best one is to put a link to your customer at the bottom of the referral- (ask first, they will usually say yes as it publicises their site, again another win-win situation). Adding a photo of your testimonial is good- it puts a human face and gives credibility.

Remember testimonials are VITAL to your business. Ebay have done something similar by establishing the user seller ratings- which if you look at it, is a testimonial to the sellers and buyers competence. Most people will go ALWAYS to the highest seller score.

Generally customers on the Internet are still very wary. Someone has to buy your product. So you must make that decision as easy as pie, friendly, and non-threatening so to ease them through the buying process. Once a person has bought your stock and you have given them plenty of customer service, then recommendation kicks in.

A good music marketing tip that utilises your competitors and actually gets your competitors to give you traffic...for free.

Nice idea isn't it?

It is a really cool way as well. Sneaky, but really beneficial to all. It is not really thought of as an Internet music marketing idea, but that is good for you- not that many people have done it.

First thing is to create an award. Yep, you create an award, and title it (remembering it has to be small in file size, noticeable, and "proud looking").

Then we need to make sure the award is linkable back to our site, i.e. if you click on it our site will pop up in a different window (but never the same window).

We must find a site and review it, then we present the award to the site for good content, or good work for highlighting newcomer needs. Something that your site could focus on. In the UK they have a Which? Magazine award. The magazine reviews and tests most products then gives an award to the best. Some car manufacturers have even used the award for their advertisements- it is that valued.

If you can focus on a single topic that you would like to award sites on, your award could become prestigious, and sought after. Especially if you have reviewed the site well- people will believe you, and you will gain and gather a good reputation. Remember to list what you test, mark and how you rate.

Sites who have any awards always display them in a well-seen area. It heightens their credibility (yes that word again, told you most sites strive for it), and increases their sales. Also web sites like to show off an achievement, and anything that helps them get ahead of the competition is worth while.

An award is not really a banner ad either, you are not advertising anything really are you? So you will obtain a rating of people who will click your award.

But, inquisitive folks will want to see why they have that award. I know I like to see what a site has said and why they have actually given them the award. So I click on the award. Now I get transported to the award makers site to look at the review. More than likely I will look around.

Even if we are really pessimistic about how many people will come to our site, those figures could add up. If you awarded 10 sites, and 10 people per week (per site) were inquisitive and clicked through to your site for a review then that would be...100 free visitors a week, 5200 visitors a year...hmmm, pretty good really. That is 100 potential mailing list subscribers, but it is 100 people who are interested in a style, and topic similar to you...a targeted audience.

What has it cost you? Nothing really, apart from say half an hour of your time to write a review and to design an award in a paint programme.

That should be the basis of your music marketing plan really, free ideas first, see if they work (track ideas), then when you get some money then spend on better campaigns. But when the Internet is offering different ways for you to design a free music marketing plan, at this stage always go with free.

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