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Posts Tagged ‘Opt in Email Marketing’

Author: Tim Somers

Business success can be harder than ever these days. With more competition and a difficult economy the stakes behind every business decision can be the life or death of your business. One of the biggest challenges is to get the word about your company out and keep what you offer fresh in your customers minds. These issues can mean the difference between a thriving business and one about to go under, and should never be treated lightly. A great solution and winning move to accomplish these goals is using promotional products!

Here are some tips to consider regarding a promotional product campaign.

* Quick and Effective Advertising. Promotional products are a solid, efficient way to keep you on the customers mind and your name coming out of your customer’s lips. Put some thought into choosing the right sort of promotional product, one that represents your industry well and they’ll pay themselves off a hundred fold. For example coffee mugs may not be the best choice if you market children’s toys but calendars with cool and creative photos of the toys on them on the other hand may be spot on! Think about how many people throughout a work day would look at the images of your product, and the number of potential conversations it could inspire as well.

* Use The Best That’s Available. Be sure to have your promotional products made to the highest quality that your budget can afford. This is a reflection of your company when they are given to clients so not a time to skimp or cut corners. Think of it as an investment in smart advertising, which is exactly what it is.

* Test The Unconventional. Let’s not forget the value of other sorts of promotional products to raise your business’s street profile. Think of t-shirts, balloons or even umbrellas to get your name and logo in the public mind. It’s advertising that will pay off dividends, in many cases for a long time to come.

* Don’t Take Them Lightly. Think maximum exposure and how your promotional products can be a vital part of your overall campaign to spread the word about your business. Clients, people on the street, highly visual products that spread virally – when combined with more traditional methods of advertising all aspects of a common drive with the goal of generating more business. In this age this is what’s required for a successful business – covering all grounds available and exhausting all means of publicity.

* Free Is Key. Don’t forget the perception that you’re giving something away for free helps build a good vibe with your customers and potential customers. You send the message that you’re not money hungry and that they come first in your mind. It’s only the rare customer not charmed by this gesture of good will.

All in all a blistering promotional product campaign is one of the wisest moves a smart business can make in response to a challenging economy. Don’t neglect them if you intend on staying on the cutting edge and clearing out the competition.

Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/branding-articles/smart-tips-for-promotional-products-6381008.html

About the Author

Bizarre Marketing is a leader in promotional products in Nashville Tennessee with over 20 years of service offering over 750,000 imprintable items to businesses, clubs, churches and associations in Nashville TN and throughout the country.  http://www.promostuff4u.com/promotional-products-tennessee.html

Author: Vasco Doves

1. THE ROLE OF PUBLIC RELATIONS

Public relations (PR) is a term that is widely misunderstood and misused to describe anything from selling to hosting, when in fact it is a very specific communications process. Every company, organization, association, and government or says. They might be employees, customers, stockholders, competitors, suppliers, or Just the general population of consumers. Each of these groups may be referred to as one of the organization's publics. The process of public relations manages the organization's relationships with these publics.

As soon as word of the Valdez Spill got out, the PR staff at Exxon assumed responsibility for handling the barrage of phone calls from the press and the public and for managing all company communications with the media.

Simultaneously, other company departments had to deal with numerous local, state, and federal government agencies and with the community at large – not just in Valdez, Alaska, but anywhere in the world where someone was touched by the disaster. In addition, myriad other publics suddenly popped into the spotlight demanding special attention and care: Alaskan fishermen, both houses of congress, local politicians, the financial community, stockholder, employed, the local press, national networks, Exxon dealers, and environmental groups, for starters.

Companies and organizations know they must consider the public impact of their actions and decisions because of the powerful effect of public opinion. This is especially true in time of crisis, emergency, or disaster. But it is just as true for major policy decisions concerning changes in business management, pricing policies, labor negotiations, introduction of new products, or changes in distribution methods. Each of these decisions affects different groups in different ways. Conversely, effective administrators can use the power of these groups' opinions to bring about positive changes.

In short, the purpose of ever using labeled public relations is to influence public opinion toward building goodwill and a positive reputation for the organization. In one instance, the PR effort might be to rally public support; in another, to obtain public understanding or neutrality or in still another, simply to respond to inquiries. Well-executed public relations is a long-term activity that molds good relationships between an organization and its publics. Put yourself in the position of Exxon's top public relations manager at the time of the Valdez accident. What do you suppose was the major thrust of the PR staff's efforts in the days immediately following the discovery of the oil spill? What might they have been called on to do?

We will discuss these and other questions in this chapter. But first it is important to understand the relationship between public relations and advertising they are so closely related but so often misunderstood.

2. CORPORATE ADVERTISING

As mentioned earlier, corporate advertising is basic tool of public relations. It includes public relations advertising, institutional advertising, corporate identity advertising, and recruitment advertising. Their use depends on the particular situation, the audience or public being addressed, and the message the firm needs to communicate.

2.1 PUBLIC RELATIONS ADVERTISING

Public relations advertising is often used when a company wishes to communicate directly with one of its important publics to express its feelings or enhance its paint of view to that particular audience. The Claris ad in exhibit 18-7, for example, targets customers investors, and stock analysts. Public relations ads are typically used to improve the company's relations with labor, government, customers, or suppliers.

When companies sponsor art events, programs on public television, or charitable activities, they frequently place public relations ads in other media to promote the programs and their sponsorship. These ads are designed to enhance the company's general community citizenship and to create public goodwill. The ad in Exhibit 18-8 promotes an art exhibit ant southwestern Bell\'s sponsorship role.

2.2 CORPORATE/INSTITUTIONAL ADVERTISING

In recent years the term corporate advertising has come to denote that broad area of non-product advertising used specifically to enhance a company's image and increase lagging awareness. The traditional term for this its institutional advertising.

Institutional or corporate ad campaigns may serve a variety of purposes – to report the company's accomplishments, to position the company competitively in the market, to reflect a change in corporate personality, to shore up stock prices, to improve employee morale, or to avoid a communications problem with agents, suppliers, dealers, or customers.

Companies and even professional advertising people have historically questioned, or simply misunderstood, the effectiveness of corporate advertising. Retailers, in particular, have clung to the idea that institutional advertising may be pretty or nice, but that it ' doesn't make the cash register ring '. However, a series of marketing research studies sponsored by Time magazine and conducted by the Jankelovich, Kelly & White research firm offered dramatic evidence to the contrary.

In the first of these studies, 700 middle- and upper-management executives were interviewed in the top 25 U.S. markets. The researchers evaluated five companies that were currently doing corporate advertising and five that were not. They found that the companies using corporate advertising registered significantly better awareness, familiarity, and overall impression than companies using only product advertising. In fact, the five corporate advertisers in the study drew higher ratings in every one of 16 characteristics measured, including being known for quality products, having competent management, and paying higher dividends. Perhaps the most interesting aspect of the research was the fact that the five companies with no corporate advertising spent far more for total advertising than did the firms engaged in corporate advertising.

David Ogilvy, the founder and creative head of Ogilvy & Mather, has been an outspoken advocate of corporate advertising. However, he has been appalled by most corporate advertising, characterizing it as filled with ' pomposity ', ' Vague generalizations,' and ' fatuous platitudes'. Corporate advertising has also been criticized for oblivious to the needs of the audience.

Responding to such criticisms and to other forces in the marketplace, corporations have made policies and campaigns. Expenditures for this type over the last decade. The primary medium used for corporate advertising is consumer (primarily business) magazines, followed by network television.

A change in message strategy has also accompanied this increase in corporate ad spending. In the past, most corporate ads were designed primarily to create goodwill for the company. Today with many corporations diversifying and competition from for ling advertisers increasing, these same firms find their corporate ads must do much more. Their ads must accomplish specific objectives- develop awareness of the company and its activities, attract quality employees, tie a diverse product line together, and take a stand on important public issues.

Another category of corporate advertising is called advocacy advertising. Corporations use it to communicate their views on issues that affect tailors its stand to protect its position in the marketplace.

Corporate advertising is also increasingly being used to set the company up for future sales. Although this is traditionally the realm of product advertising, many advertisers have instituted ' umbrella ' campaigns that simultaneously communicate message about the products and the company. This has been termed market prep corporate advertising a GTE umbrella campaign, for example, emphasized the company\'s products and services in a way that pointed up its overall technological sophistication.

Of course, no amount of image advertising can accomplish desired goals if the image does not match the corporation. As noted image consultant Clive Chajet put it, 'You can't get away with a dies enounce between the image and the reality – at least not for long '. If, for example, a sophisticated high-tech corporation like IBM tried to project a homey, small-town family image. It would lose credibility very quickly.

2.3 CORPORATE IDENTITY ADVERTISING

Companies take pride in their logos and corporate signatures in fact, the graphic designs that identity corporate names and products are considered valuable assets of the company, and great effort is expended to protect their individuality and ownership. The corporate logo may even dominate advertisement. What does a company do, though, when it decides to change its name, logos, trademarks, or corporate signatures, as when it merges with another company? How does it communicate that change to the market it serves and to other influential publics? This is the job of corporate identity advertising.

When software publisher Productivity Products International changed its name to Stepstone Inc., it faced an interesting dilemma. It needed to advertise the change. But in Europe, a key market for the firm, a corporate name change implies that the business has gone bankrupt and is starting over with a new identity. So, rather than announcing its new name in the print media, stepson used a direct-mail campaign. It mailed an announcement of its name change to customers, prospects, investors, and the press. The campaign was a success: within days of the mailing, almost 70 customers and prospects called Stepstone to find out more about the company and its products. More familiar corporate name changes from the recent past include the switch from America of Western Bank corporation to First Intestate Bankcorp; the change of Consolidated Foods to replace the pre-merger identities of Boroughs and Sperry.

2.4 RECRUITMENT ADVERTISING

When the prime objective of corporate advertising is to attract employment applications, companies use recruitment advertising such as the Chiat/Da ad in Exhibit 18-10. Recruitment advertising is most frequently found in the classified sections of daily newspapers and is typically the responsibility of the personnel department rather than the advertising department. Recruitment advertising has become such a large field, though, that many advertising agencies now have recruitment specialists on their staffs. In fact, some agencies specialize completely in recruitment advertising, and their clients are corporate personnel managers rather than advertising department managers These agencies create, write, and place classified advertisements in news papers around the country and prepare recruitment display ads for specialized trade publications. So far in this chapter, we have discussed only the advertising of commercial organizations. But nonprofit organizations also advertise. The government charities, trade associations, and religious groups, for example, use the same kinds of creative and media strategies as their counterparts in the for-profit sector to convey messages to the public. But unlike commercial advertisers whose goal is to create awareness, image, or brand loyalty on the pan o\' consumers, noncommercial organizations use advertising to affect consume! opinions, perceptions, or behavior–with no profit motive. While commercial advertising is used to stimulate sales.

3. NON-COMMERCIAL ADVERTISING

Used to stimulate donations, to persuade people to vote one way or another or to bring attention to social causes.

If a specific commercial objective for a new shampoo is to change people\'; buying habits, the analogous noncommercial objective for an energy conservation program might be to change people\'s activity habits, such as turning off the lights. The latter is an example of demarcating, which means the advertiser is actually trying to get consumers to buy less of a product 01 service. Exhibit 18-11 compares objectives of commercial and noncommercial advertisers.

3.1 EXAMPLES OF NONCOMMERCIAL ADVERTISING

One example of noncommercial advertising conducted on a large scale is the anti-drug campaign created by the Partnership for a Drug-Free America. In 1987, this coalition of more than 200 ad agencies, the media and many other companies in the communications business launched an all-out attack on drug abuse. The coalition set its goal as the 'fundamental reshaping of social attitudes about illegal drug usage.' The $1.5 billion program entails the efforts of ad agencies across the country, each developing components of the campaign at their own cost.

The anti-drug program includes hundreds of newspaper and magazine ads as well as 200 different commercials and print ads. The space and time allotted for the ads, all donated by the media, are worth an estimated $310 million per year.24 Similarly, most of the creative and production suppliers have donated their services.

The wide variety of ads have been created to reach specific target groups. Some are aimed at cocaine users, some at marijuana smokers; some are aimed at parents, some at children. Most ads present hard-hitting messages about the dangers of drug abuse, depicting drug use as a sure route to the hospital or the cemetery. In a TV commercial targeted at teenaged marijuana smokers, for example, the Ayer agency suggests that pot smokers are subjecting themselves to the risk of physical and mental health problems. Other commercials compare the brain on drugs to an egg in frying pan or show dead rats that have succumbed to cocaine abuse. Print ads have also emphasized the dangers of cocaine abuse, including a series of ads developed by DDB Needham Worldwide that enumerate cocaine's effects. Exhibit 18-12 is from that series of ads. In addition, some ads speak to parents who use drugs ('If parents stop, kids won't start'), to women tempted to use cocaine ('What to do if he hands you a line'), and to parents who have put off talking to their children about drugs ('If everybody says it can\'t happen to their kids, then whose kids is it happening to?').

The effort is being billed as the 'largest and most ambitious private-sector, voluntary peacetime effort ever undertaken.' Believing that the United States cannot succeed as a drug culture and that advertising can 'demoralize' drug use, the organization wants nothing less than a drug-free America.

Not all public service advertising is done on such a massive scale. We see advertisements daily for intangible humanitarian social causes (Red Cross), political ideas or issues (political candidates), philosophical or religious positions (Church of Latter Day Saints), or particular attitudes and viewpoints (labor unions). In most cases, these advertisements are created and placed by nonprofit organizations, and the product they advertise is their particular mission in life, be it politics, welfare, religion, conservation, health, art, happiness, or love.

Research conducted by the Partnership for a Drug-Free America proves that noncommercial advertising does change consumer attitudes. Specifically, the coalition\'s ads have changed attitudes about drug use. Thus, by providing information to the public on issues such as health, safety, education, and the environment, noncommercial advertising helps build a better society. Public service announcements emphasizing the dangers of unsafe sex and drunk driving and those stressing the virtues of recycling and continuing education demonstrate that noncommercial advertising can help to enhance the quality of life.

3.2 TYPES OF NON-COMMERCIAL ADVERTISING

One way to categorize the various types of noncommercial advertising is by the organizations that use them. For instance, advertising is used by churches, schools, universities, charitable organizations, and many other non-business institutions. We also see advertising by associations, such as labor groups, professional organizations, and trade and civic associations. In addition, we witness millions of dollars' worth of advertising placed government organizations: the U.S. Army, Navy, Marine, Corps, and Postal Service; the Social Security Administration; the Internal Revenue Service; and various state chambers of commerce. In addition, in election years we are bombarded with all sorts of political advertising that qualifies as noncommercial. The Advertising Council Most of the national PSAs you see on television have been placed there by the Advertising Council, a private, nonprofit organization that links noncommercial campaign sponsors with ad agencies. The sponsors pay for production costs, while the ad agencies donate their creative services.

3.3 ADVERTISING COUNCIL

The Ad Council's policy today is basically the same as when it began during World War II: 'Accept no subsidy from government and remain independent of it. Conduct campaigns of service to the nation at large, avoiding regional, sectarian, or special-interest drives of all kinds. Remain nonpartisan and nonpolitical. Conduct the Council on a voluntary basis. Accept no project that does not lend itself to the advertising method. Accept no campaign with a commercial interest unless the public interest is obviously over riding.'

Among familiar campaigns created by the Ad Council are those for the United Negro College Fund ('A mind is a terrible thing to waste'); child abuse prevention ('Help destroy a family tradition'); the United Way ('It works for all of us'); crime prevention ('Take a bite out of crime'); and the U.S. Department of Transportation ('Drinking and driving can kill a friendship'). Exhibit 18-17 shows frames from an Ad Council commercial that advocates a healthy diet. The Ad Council's two longest-running campaigns are those for the American Red Cross and forest fire prevention. According to the Ad Council's research, the number of forest fires has been cut in half over the life of the Smokey Bear campaign.29 The council is currently playing a role in overseeing the Partnership for a Drug-Free America effort.

Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/advertising-articles/public-relations-corporate-advertising-and-noncommercial-advertising-4578973.html

This is our interview on "Fried on Business" on 880AM in Miami on Thursday 6/30/2011. 

FriedonBusiness-06-30-2011

eMarketing Part 2:  Developing Effective Processes and Expectations For eMailers

Overview
Many eMarketing channels, such as websites and pay-per click ads, have been staples of eMarketing since the mid-to-late 1990s.  Due to early abuse, direct eMailers experienced significantly lower adoption rates. 

With the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003, establishing requirements and penalties for commercial email, and the benefits and effectiveness of the medium, direct eMailers are quickly becoming one of the most popular eMarketing channels. 

Yet, many marketers are being exposed to direct eMailers for the first time.   

The following article attempts to provide some insights to help marketers looking to make the most of their purchased-list direct-email campaigns and develop realistic expectations for success. 

Getting Started
Selecting A Vendor – As with any marketing initiative, selecting the right direct-email vendor can be the difference between success and failure.  This decision becomes even more crucial considering the potential legal and financial ramifications. 

In 2003, the CAN-SPAM Act established requirements and penalties for commercial email. 

Therefore, not only should you vet vendors to ensure they have the experience and proven track record to help you effectively execute your direct-email campaign, but with six-figure penalties being levied against CAN-SPAM violators – a comprehensive understanding of the act’s regulations and process compliance are a must.

Since there have been less than reputable vendors in the industry, you will want to verify vendor claims with client references and, if doubt persists, contact the Better Business Bureau.

Effective Content:  There is the temptation to abuse the capacity of emails by cramming an abundance of information into them.

Keep in mind: you only have a few seconds of the reader’s attention and during that time; you want them to decide to take “the next step” – an action beyond reading the email that brings the closer to purchase. 

The larger your email, the less likely readers will be to comprehend your key messages.  Also, dense emails tend to create large file sizes, which also deter readers from opening them.   

Unfortunately, keep it short and simple has resulted in the practice by many marketers of “yelling” at recipients. 

There is a happy medium: if you are leveraging direct eMailers to develop relationships with customers and in turn long-term revenue, utilizing content that furthers that relationship has proven to be effective. 

While it may sound hyperbolic, show recipients you care:  from a personal letter from an executive to a special offer based on their history with the company, such as incentives/rewards for first-time/long-time customers. 

Balance Your Brand:  While there are obvious opportunities within the content of a direct email to expose readers to your brand, the structure of emails pose some interesting decisions for marketers. 

A company’s relationship with its email targets and the level of awareness of its brand play a role in deciding what information to include in the “from” and “subject” lines of an email.  Since these two areas can significantly impact a target’s decision to read an email, it’s important not to underestimate these factors.

Yes, you want to establish and reinforce your brand, but if a target receives an email from Company X or entitled Company X… but they are not familiar with the brand, then the potential success of the campaign significantly diminishes. 

Launching Your Campaign
Segment/Customize:  Content and messages will resonate differently among consumers depending on their age, gender, race, income, education, etc. 

The most successful direct eMailer campaigns segment targets through specific parameters and provide uniquely compelling content to each identified group. 

Test Your Emails:  To ensure effective content and brand balance it is beneficial to test your emails. 

Prior to launching your campaign, send variations of your emails to a sample of your target list. 

By reviewing the tracking results, you can decipher what aspects of your email readers find most compelling.   

Frequency:  Frequency is one of the most-debated aspects of direct-email campaigns:  where is the balance between informing/building a relationship and becoming an annoyance?

While the line for acceptable frequency tends to be drawn somewhere around one mailer every two-to-three weeks, the more important factor and indicator is consistency. 

The longer and more consistently a campaign is executed the more data will be provided effectively analyze its strengths and weaknesses.

Evaluating Campaign Effectiveness
Collecting Data – In order to evaluate the effectiveness of your direct eMail campaign, you first must have a reasonable set of data.  As with any marketing channel, message awareness, retention and customer activity will not necessarily be immediate.

Therefore, it would be premature to attempt to evaluate a direct eMail campaign with the goal of gleaning information that will influence strategy prior to the completion of three-to-five eMailers.

In addition to depth of data there are other factors that should be considered when evaluating a campaign:

  • Type Of Products/Services – what you are offering consumers can impact the results of a campaign and in turn its goal.  This is in no way unique to eMarketing or direct eMailers, but the immediacy of the medium can lead to unrealistic expectations. 
     
  • High-end products/services are not consumed as rapidly as durables or lower priced goods and eMailers do not change this behavior.  In these instances, eMailers should be viewed as opportunities to enhance awareness and reinforce product superiority, so that your organization is front of mind when the time comes for purchase. 
     
  • Timing – as a marketer, you are aware of whether there are traditionally slow sales periods throughout the year.  While eMailers can impact how many consumers you reach and when your messages touch them during the purchasing process, they should not be relied upon to significantly change consumer purchasing patterns.

What The Numbers Mean – Once you have collected your data, you will be able to discern what percentage of your targets read your emails and how many took an additional action: activity can range from going to your website to referencing an incentive included in the mailer at the time of purchase. 

This data does not always provide a clear and concise answer to the viability of direct eMailers, but it should be leveraged to refine strategy. The following are some results that should be anticipated:

  • High Reads and Low Click-throughs – the most common explanations for this result are: the expectations created by your subject line was not fulfilled by your content; targets are interested in your product or service, but are not ready for purchase; and activity occurred that was not tracked through the eMailer, i.e. readers enter a site by entering the URL or through a search engine, or they took action offline.
     
  • Low Reads and High Click-throughs – most commonly this occurs when:  an organization’s name is included in the “from” or “subject” lines and readers have yet to develop a trust of the brand; the subject line was not compelling, but targets are interested in the content; or the parameters of your targets are too broad.
     
  • Low Reads and Low Click-throughs – there are few if any industries that have not benefited from direct eMail campaigns, i.e. with more than 1B Internet users, your target market is on the web and the information they find is effecting billions of dollars in purchases.  If you have low reads and click-throughs, review the insights that have been provided to ensure they have been followed. 
     
  • High Reads and High Click-throughs – with time, direct eMail campaigns that follow the tips outlined in this series tend to recognize this result. 

While direct eMailers will require some unique processes, many traditional rules of thumb should still serve as the foundation for developing and evaluating campaigns. 

Given time, these steps, along with the tracking data provided by eMarketing channels, will allow marketers to effectively evaluate and strengthen campaigns:  helping to establish best practices for this emerging industry, while reinforcing awareness and revenue. 

Overview

For marketers developing eMarketing campaigns and those frustrated by the results of their initial efforts, the following article is the first in a series aimed at providing information on developing effective eMarketing processes, maximizing eMarketing channels and establishing realistic expectations.

Expectations of Real-time Results = Real-time Disappointments

With more than 1B global users, the Internet has emerged as a vital marketplace for businesses of all sizes, from Fortune 500 companies to mom-and-pop shops.

By 2012, they will be spend more than $40B a year on eMarketing [1] in order to create awareness amidst an already overcrowded medium (Google estimates that there are more than 200B web pages) and in turn drive leads and revenue.

Even though many industries will soon be investing more of their marketing budget online than any of the traditional methods, most are well short of developing a comprehensive and strategic approach to eMarketing:   as of 2005 almost half of SMBs did not even have a website [2] .

The complexities of creating, managing and publishing online content and the wide array of channels by which it can be communicated, combined with the infancy of the eMarketing practice provide significant challenges and too few proven processes for marketers.

The potential benefits of eMarketing, such as its reach, cost and accountability, compounded by the anxiety of investing in new approaches and the pressures for a rapid return on that spend have resulted in unreasonably high expectations:   real-time results.

While eMarketing poses numerous unique challenges, many of the rules of thumb of traditional marketing apply:   it is still a process that requires effective communication, repetition and the time necessary to build relationship with consumers.  

Successful marketers will avoid the temptation of expecting real-time results from eMarketing.   Instead, they will educate themselves on emerging best practices, work with proven and established vendors, and leverage the accountability of the medium to, over time, accurately access and evolve their strategy and tactics.  

eMarketing Tips
Since the Internet is a constantly evolving technology, eMarketing strategies and tactics must be flexible.

Regardless, there are a few principles that should serve as a foundation for any online marketing campaign.

Develop Your Brand – Through eMarketing you are most likely going to reach a significantly greater percentage of your target market than through other marketing mediums.  

Unless you are promoting a global leader, you will need to educate that new audience on your brand.

With the proliferation of legitimate and questionable information and businesses on the web, users are inherently skeptical.

Therefore, it is not only important to consistently reinforce your brand, but ensure that how it is leveraged is credible:   from the marketing channels you utilize to the online partners and vendors you engage.

Don’t Just Yell and Sell  One of the most common criticisms of online marketing is that in an attempt to “break through the noise,” marketers have resorted to yelling at consumers:   “Buy Now!” “Don’t Miss Out!” “Act Fast.”  

While the Internet is a cluttered medium, it also enables marketers to provide consumers with detailed and customized marketing.  

If marketers can leverage these capabilities to build relationships with consumers, instead of just trying to sell them, customers will be more informed, reducing burdens on sales staffs, and it is more likely that they will become long-term sources of revenue.

Leverage Internet Benefits To Develop The Strongest Strategy and Effective Tactics – One of the greatest benefits of eMarketing is the depth of data it can provide on who you are marketing to, the performance of your marketing channels and how consumers are acting/reacting..

Successful marketers not only incorporate the information gleaned from this data into strategy and tactics, but are nimble enough, when appropriate, to enact these changes in real time.

Remember Traditional Rules of Thumb – The speed, cost and capabilities of eMarketing can be beneficial to any marketing campaign.   Yet, this can be a double-edged sword if not properly executed:   i.e. just because you can act quickly, does not mean you always should act quickly.  

As with any form of marketing, standard rules of thumb apply for eMarketing.   Timing, repetition, quality of marketing vendors, and a comprehensive approach are just as important in eMarketing as they are with traditional marketing.

Because it is an emerging practice that is frequently more affordable and flexible than its traditional counterparts, there is a tendency for marketers to “dabble” in eMarketing and evaluate the viability of the online marketplace from the resulting data.

Most marketers would not place an ad in a weekly newspaper for a few months and if there were not a significant impact on business determine that marketing is ineffective for their organization.

It is equally impractical to draw conclusion on eMarketing campaigns based on a short-time period through a singular channel.  

eMarketing Channels

In order to successfully evaluate the most effective eMarketing channels for your campaign, it is necessary to understand their role and develop reasonable expectations for their impact.  

Websites – Tend to be the anchor of most eMarketing campaigns.   Businesses utilize their websites in various ways: from a basic-information source to a 24-hour salesperson/store.  

Regardless of a website’s purpose, the reality is, there are more than 100M of them and 200B pages on the Internet.

An eMarketing campaign that does not extend beyond a mere website is the electronic equivalent of placing a needle in a haystack and assuming consumers will find it.  

Pay Per Click Ads – Since users most commonly discover information on the web via search engines, many marketers employ pay per click (PPC) ads – ensuring that when words and phrases are entered into a search engine their ads will appear.

While many companies have seen benefits from PPCs, as part of a comprehensive eMarketing approach, 75% of marketers that employ them experience fraud [3] ; 80% of users never click on them [4] , 66% distrust them [5] and almost 1/3 are annoyed by them [6] .

Search Engine Optimization – A majority of website traffic comes from “organic” search engine results – those that are not pay per click ads.  

There are vendors that specialize in identifying key words and phrases that relate to an organization’s website and attaining high-ranking search-engine results for them.  

Fees for SEO can range from a few hundred dollars to mid=five figures.

Banner Ads/Portal Listings – A number of websites allow marketers to advertise on them or are designed for promotion of specific industries, i.e. portals.  

Banner ads/portal listing can be an effective, albeit sometimes costly, tactic in attracting an audience that you already know is interested in your industry or a complimentary service/product.

Since they are essentially ads on websites, marketers must realize that with banner ads and portal listings they will face many of the same challenges mentioned above in the website section.  

Direct eMailers – Are the electronic counterpart to traditional mailer campaigns.   With their numerous benefits, direct eMailers are one of the fastest growing eMarketing channels:   Jupiter Research reports that spending on email marketing will grow at a compound annual growth rate of 24%, reaching $6.1 billion in 2008.

Direct eMailers combine the most frequent online activity with proactive marketing that can be segmented, customized, updated in real time and tracked.  

Across almost every age group emailing is the most common use of the Internet.  

Unlike the other eMarketing channels that have been outlined, eMailers do not rely on users to find information. Instead, marketing collateral is delivered directly into email boxes of targets that can be defined by multiple parameters; age, sex, location, education, etc.

eMailers can be tracked so that marketers not only know what percentage of their targets read the emails, but how many take additional step, such as redeemed a special offer or clicked-through to a website.

With the numerous benefits of eMailers, along with the fact that their cost is significantly less than their traditional counterpart; only pennies per email, many organizations are viewing them alongside websites, as a must-have for their eMarketing campaigns.

[1] Forrester Research

[2] Yankee Group

[3] Outsell Report

[4] iProspect Search Engine User Behavior Study

[5] Emarketer

[6] Emarketer

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