Section Two: Fundamental Tools All Internet Marketers Must Have continued
Direct email campaigns can be costly, and the promise of return is going to be small. Approach this tool with caution, and with an eye to whether or not it will really help your business.
Of course, over time you can build up your own qualified list of email subscribers who want to receive product notices, special offers, and other sorts of marketing information. Adding the ability to opt-in to an email listing that is maintained by you alone is a great way to build up a list that you can rely on.
Make sure people understand that you will not share or sell the list to any third party, and that they have the option of always opting out of the mailing list if they change their minds. This type of courtesy will enhance your reputation as a professional, while also providing you with a targeted direct email audience that wants to see your advertising.
Other online resources are available to market your products and services. Research and find message boards, online yellow pages, business associations, want ads at chamber of commerce web sites, and other locations that will welcome the presence of your contact information and an ad about your business.
Many of these are free, although some may have a modest fee. In some cases, you may be able to find a web site that has to do with an industry type that would benefit from your product or service and arrange for a permanent ad on the site.
One helpful tool is to get a firm idea of the type of customer that would be interested in what you are marketing. For years, traditional marketing has relied on a tool that is known as profiling. Essentially, you want to create an image of your typical customer, including all sorts of details about their lives, likes and dislikes.
For example, would your product be more attractive to single people or persons in a committed relationship and/or married? Does your product appeal more to persons who are just starting out, perhaps in their twenties?
Maybe your product has more of an appeal to people who are in the middle years of life, or to persons who are retired. Will people living in metropolitan areas tend to gravitate toward your offering, or will it have more appeal for persons who live in rural areas?
Asking yourself these important questions about what type of people are most likely to be interested in your product, and why they would be interested, will help you in a couple of ways.
First, you can seek out marketing methods that focus on effectively reaching people who fit the profile you developed. This means you will spend more time getting your product and contact information in front of people who are highly likely to take the time to learn about what you have to offer.
Second, this profile can form the basis for your marketing content. Why waste time talking about the big city when your services are geared toward people who live in a small town? Profiling helps to give your campaign focus, because it opens you up to the possibility of talking points that will grab the attention of the right people.
There is one thing that you should remember about advertising online. What worked very well a few years ago has become commonplace and somewhat stale in some instances. Simply put, there are electronic advertising methods that are not all that effective anymore.
Still, some of these methods may be effective, depending on the customer you are trying to reach. The key thing to remember about online advertising is to not lock yourself into one particular method to the exclusion of all other methods. Investigate your options carefully and always have at least three or four strategies taking place at the same time.
If you can’t identify at least three of these methods that will allow you to reach your target audience, something is wrong. Either you are being too narrow with your basic client profile, or you need to do some more research on available marketing options.
As a last tool in your arsenal, make yourself available. Businesses are not built on the basis of your web site and snappy advertising alone. Sometimes, people will want to talk with your about what you have to offer. This means you should always make sure you have contact information readily available to customers and prospects.
A branded email, rather than one of those free ones, sends a clear message of being a professional and makes you accessible. Including a phone number if possible is also a good approach. However, make sure it is a business line, and not your home phone. Prospective clients are not likely to appreciate your three year old picking up the line. Put in a second phone line and make sure it is always answered with the name of your business.
As a third option, set up a message board as part of your web presence. People can interact with you Being accessible and responsive to queries by customers and prospects will do a lot to enhance your professional status with the general public. in that manner as well, plus it allows happy customers to share what they liked about your company, your service, and the product they s purchased.