Peak SBC, LLC  


Peak Small Business Newsletter

April 19, 2003

Year 2003, Issue 16

In this issue:

Opening Remarks

Quote of the Week

Featured Resource - LeechFTP 1.3

Featured Article - NUMBERS YOU CAN LIVE BY

Resources We Recommend

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Opening Remarks


I hope all of you have had a profitable and safe week.  Welcome to our new subscribers!


As I mentioned last week, I have put up a new page on our website that explains the NewsMon option for receiving our newsletter.  The URL is:


The page is a little graphics intense, so give it a moment to load.


For those of you who did not receive last weeks issue, NewsMon is a small downloadable program that allows you to subscribe to ezines without giving out your email address.  It puts you more in control of your subscriptions and saves bandwidth.  I won't go into a great deal of detail here since you can read about it at the URL above on the website.


Of course, you can still subscribe to the email version of the newsletter if you prefer to receive it that way.  If you choose to use NewsMon rather than continue your subscription via email, please send me an email letting me know your preference and I'll remove you from the email list.  Send your email to


I also mentioned to you that I have been thinking of changing our newsletters somewhat.  Here are the decisions I've made:

  1. I'm going to begin publishing the newsletter once every two weeks.  The Small Business and Home Business versions will go out on alternating weekends.  For example, this week I'll publish the Small Business version only.  Next week, I'll publish the Home Business version only.

  2. I'm going to cease including a guest article in the newsletter.  Instead, I'm going to be adding guest articles to our Small Business Articles and Home Business Articles web pages each week.  I'll include a link in the newsletter to those articles so you'll know which new articles have been posted.

  3. I have decided that we will no longer accept paid advertising.  We have always limited the number of ads we allow, but now there will no longer be top and middle sponsor ads and no classified ad.  We will continue to feature a free resource each week and have added a new section called "Resources We Recommend" which will contain resource links to various categories of business tools but no advertising copy.  The resources listed will probably rotate each week although I may make this a static list over time.  I may also have it link to a categorized resource listing on our website.

  4. This opening section will be used for any administration, updates, news notifications or editorials I believe are called for in a given week.  Some weeks it may be no more than a "Welcome" and link to the online version.  Other weeks, like this week, I will use it to update you on administrative matters or news I think you should be apprised of.  Some weeks it might take the place of a featured article if the subject is meaty enough.

  5. You may notice I've updated the format of the HTML version of the newsletter to a leaner, cleaner look.  I like simple!

And that's it for now!  I may make more changes in the coming weeks.  If you have any suggestions or prefer I leave in something I've removed, let me know.  Please.


As usual, if you prefer to view this newsletter online, the URL is:


(Or, download and use NewsMon)!


Cary Christian


Quote of the Week


The person who is willing to say yes to experience is the person who discovers new frontiers.

- John Marks Templeton


Featured Resource


LeechFTP 1.3


This is a very simple and terrific little FTP client!  We've downloaded and tried quite a few, including most of the more popular offerings, and we like this little jewel better than most.  It's super easy to use, very intuitive, and the price is certainly right: fr^e!


Featured Article


by: Cary Christian

I participated in a marketing survey last week. The survey was run in a forum format which made it possible to see everyone else's responses to the questions.

The respondents were all small business people, much like most of you, and most seemed to be running successful businesses. There were many good ideas set forth and many interesting answers to questions that dealt with how individual companies deal with online marketing mediums.

There was one question about the maximum amount people would bid for cost per click advertising, such as Pay-Per-Click search engines. Some of the answers floored me!

Quite a few of the respondents answered that they would never bid more than 10 cents or 25 cents on keywords or keyword phrases. It made me wonder how many other people set these types of limits on themselves. More specifically, it made me wonder how many of YOU set these types of limits.


The people who responded to this question by quoting a limit on what they would bid are looking at the issue from the standpoint of "100 clicks will cost me $10" or "100 clicks will cost me $25." By itself, this information is meaningless. People who approach the issue in this manner might or might not be saving money, but they are very likely missing opportunities.


A marketer needs to answer three other questions before considering whether 100 clicks is worth $10, $25 or even $100. The three questions are:

1. How many TARGETED visitors do I need to attract to the sales page for this product to make one sale?

2. What is my gross profit margin on this product before advertising costs?

3. What profit after advertising costs will I be satisfied with?

With the answers to those three questions there is no guesswork to what the bid will be. It will become readily apparent and there will be no need to set artificial limits.


Let's say you sell product A for $100. It costs you $50 to buy it from your supplier or to manufacture it yourself. That leaves you a gross profit before advertising of $50. You want to make at least $25 on this product after advertising.

You sell product B for $75. It is an information product that costs you nothing to produce. You want to make at least $40 on this product after advertising.

You have tracked the visitors to your sales pages for these products and have found that you need 100 targeted visitors to make one sale of product A and only 50 targeted visitors to make one sale of product B.

What will your bids be for each product?


You know it will take 100 visitors to make a sale. Take your gross profit of $50 and subtract the minimum profit you will accept after advertising of $25 and you know you have $25 per sale to spend on advertising. $25 divided by 100 visitors gives you a maximum bid of 25 cents for product A.


You know it will take 50 visitors to make a sale. Take your gross profit of $75 and subtract the minimum profit you will accept after advertising of $40 and you know you have $35 per sale to spend on advertising. $35 divided by 50 visitors gives you a maximum bid of 70 cents for product B.

Perform this analysis on all the products you sell using pay-per-click marketing resources and you will never over or under bid for any product.


Once you have your bids nailed down, you need to consider where this bid puts you in the rankings. If you have 70 cents to spend on each visitor for product B but your competition for a particular keyword is spending more like $1.50, how far down in the listings will your 70 cent bid place you?

Resist the temptation to artificially raise your bid to compete and, likewise, resist the temptation to bid 70 cents for a particular keyword or keyword phrase if it will only get you ranked 60th on the third page of search results. Find different keywords! It's the combination of the right bid and creative selection of keywords and phrases that yields success.


You can also average your bids across keywords to come up to an average bid that equals your maximum bid price. Using our maximum bid of 70 cents for product B, an example of bid averaging would be bidding $1 on a highly competitive keyword that produces 1,000 hits per month and only 40 cents each on two keywords that each produce 500 hits per month. In a perfect world you would get 1,000 hits at $1, 1,000 hits at 40 cents, and your average bid would still be 70 cents.

Of course, it's not a perfect world. You're just as likely to get 1,000 hits at $1 and 100 hits at 40 cents which would give you an average bid of 95 cents. If you're going to attempt to use bid averaging, follow these guidelines:

1. Give yourself a cushion. Calculate your average bid up front to be less than your maximum. If you're working with a maximum bid of 70 cents, average it down to 50 cents, 60 cents max.

2. Make sure you average using similar keywords. Don't bid high on a really targeted keyword and low on keywords that are not likely to be nearly as targeted.

3. Always calculate your average bids based on a single product. Do not mix and match products that have different gross profit margins.

After you've gained some specific experience using bid averaging on a particular product, you can gradually work your average bid back up to your normal maximum.


It's all about opportunity. Pay-per-click advertising allows you to finitely target your sales message and attract visitors who are much more likely to buy. If you understand your products and what it takes to sell them, you will gain the maximum benefit from this type of advertising at the least cost. Anything less, and you are wasting money.

Copyright 2003

Resources We Recommend


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