Marketing

Sunday, July 24, 2005

 

I'm undoubtedly broaching the most controversial subject for Internet marketing. The title of this article shows the fine line between a morally criminal way of thinking and a viable and useful marketing tool. Sending SPAM (officially called UCE or Unsolicited Commercial Email) is wrong - I will go into the reasons for this later. However, sending commercial email for advertising is an effective and low-cost way to market your business or products.


Email marketing will probably be around for as long as the Internet is alive and supports email protocols (or any similar type of communication). Contrary to what some would say, it also has its place. Advertising is a form of communication. However, just like any other form of advertising, there are rules governing this medium as well.


No matter what country you live in, some sort of free speech law probably governs you. No matter which country you're in, however, that free speech law does not give you the right to take over the local newspaper and force them to print whatever you want printed on the front page because of your right to free speech. They are under no obligation to pay for your free speech. The same applies to the Internet. With email, the people receiving the email or that person's ISP (and most likely several others along the way) are flipping the bill for your message. This is akin to walking into the newspaper and demanding they print your words for free.


In addition to all of these moral issues, there are legal ones to consider as well. There are several laws governing the way that you are allowed to advertise anything anywhere in the United States and elsewhere. Since government is just a large committee of people making decisions (in most places), it is always one step behind when it comes to technology under the law. However, since the Internet is really just a large cooperative of commercial and private networks, it is a little more dynamic in its dealings with "perpetrators." One network can effectively ban whomever they deem a miscreant and others will eventually follow suit as the offender moves through the different networks to try and bypass the blockage.


With all of the hype and hysteria surrounding the use of email as a marketing tool, why do people continue to use it? Well...because it's effective. People wouldn't spend the money to send junk mail through the post if it wasn't effective and they wouldn't spend millions on a 30-second commercial during the Super Bowl if it weren't effective as well. If you follow some simple guidelines and use the email marketing tool wisely, you can reap great rewards.


If you are selling a product or service which rarely leads to residual sales to the same person or entity (i.e. they buy it once and will probably never ask for it again - coffins are a good example), then you can use email marketing effectively. Why? Because you aren't building a business name (aka "branding" your business) or consumer trust. You are just making one-time contacts and make more money by contacting en masse instead of by specifically targeting customers. You aren't building lasting relationships through your business.


There is nothing wrong with this business approach. For some types of businesses, it is just a fact of life. Customers don't need your product or service more than once. There are still some rules of etiquette which you should use when email advertising, however. Your incentive for following them? Less negative feedback and possibly higher return on your sales: more respect = better chances of success.


The first rule to follow is to make sure that yourself or the company you're paying to send out the emails includes a short note to the recipient that explains where their email came from. A hyperlink will suffice for this if you don't personalize your mails from a database. Make sure that you include the EXACT location they used to sign up for whatever list they are on. Not only does this give them a way to get off of that list, it also serves as a reminder as to how they signed up to receive your emails in the first place. If they opt-out of the list, then you're better off for having an unresponsive customer off of your list. Win-win.


If you're purchasing your list from someone else, get all of the information before you buy. Where did the list come from? How were the addresses culled? How targeted is this list to your expected market? Has anyone else used this list before? What is their guarantee as to the validity of the emails on the list? Some of these questions make sense from a marketing and business standpoint as well as a moral one.


The next step is choosing how to convey your message inside the email. If you visit www.scambusters.org, you'll see a huge list of Internet scams in all categories of "business." Everything from buying swampland in Florida to sending used credit cards to be used as paint scrapers instead of "filling landfills with environmentally nasty plastic" - yes this con has actually been used. Why do I bring up these scams? Because most of them have been perpetrated using unsolicited email at one time or another. Make sure your sales letter/email doesn't sound like one of them. Nothing enrages SPAM-conscious email readers more than a get-rich-quick scheme or any other senseless hype.


My next piece of advice is for you to get to the point. Whether you're sending email advertising using text email, HTML, or even Flash-embedded email to get the user's attention, KEEP that attention. Don't waste their time babbling on. Get to the point of your letter. You don't have to be blunt or unimaginative, but don't write a treatise on your great product either. People don't want you to waste their time. Some people pay for their online time by the minute, others are busy working or running a business, while still others may be hogging up the family phone to get to their email.


Everyone on the Internet has received one form of SPAM or another. The best rule you can follow is: if you received your email, would you respond to it? Would you really care about the product? Why not test this theory? Open up a free web-based email account somewhere and send your email to a test group - people you know personally and who won't hang you for using them this way-of five or ten people. Then wait a couple of days and ask them if they got an email about such-and-such product. If they remember getting that email, you're doing a good job. If they remember it and are mad or have bad things to say about it, then you need to rethink your strategy. At this point you can let them in on your scientific prodding. Be prepared to duck and run at this point.


In closing, I hope that this series of articles has been useful in some way. Remember that marketing is 80% of your business. Also remember that proper marketing, using both imagination and ethics, can carry you further and can help solidify your business better than anything else ever will.


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Aaron Turpen is the proprieter of Aaronz WebWorkz, a full- service provider of Web needs to small businesses. www.AaronzWebWorkz.com





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 July 1, 2003 ---Xtreme Cars and Stars, Las Vegas, NV is offering xtreme rare hot rod art; supercar art; die cast cars; new hot rod apparel and much more.

JP's Hand Engraved Hot Rod Art is unique and rare. JP is the only artist in the world creating this style of hand engraved hot rod art.
Hand Engraving is considered a lost art. JP is bringing this rare art form back to life.

Rare findings at Xtreme Cars and Stars include:
* JP Hand Engraved Hot Rod Art
* BHD Digital SuperCar Art
* New Hot Rod Apparel
* Xtreme Entertaining Products

Click www.xtremecarsandstars.com



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 Nottingham, England July 28, 2004 -- ClickThrough, a UK leading search engine marketing and online marketing agency has today announced the launch of its Partner Program, an exclusive program that gives web design firms, advertising and marketing agencies extra revenue, cost savings and client development opportunities.

The SEM (Search Engine Marketing) Partner Program delivers qualifying companies up to 40% off expert services such as search engine management, pay per click management, online target market analysis (advanced keyword and competitive analysis) and advanced web analytics services.

Phil Robinson, Founder of ClickThrough states, "Our SEM Program enables design, marketing and advertising agencies to offer professional, ethical, best practice online marketing services to their clients without the need to employ specialists. Qualifying partners can earn immediate sales revenue by leveraging their current client base"

Qualifying SEM Partners also get access to ClickThrough's leading web site analytics technology, ClickMetrix, that allows partners to easily track and quantify the results of online marketing campaigns for their clients in real time via a browser.

SEM Partners will be able to give their clients services that generate targeted traffic from natural and pay per click search listings, ongoing results-based management and return on investment analysis using ClickMetrix. Engines covered include Google, Overture, Espotting, BidSmart and Mirago.

Partners will benefit from 10 years experience of running search engine marketing and access to ClickThrough's certified search engine experts that are leaders in their fields and dedicate themselves to providing online brand visibility using trustworthy techniques that deliver internet traffic and ROI in the long term.

ClickThrough will be running tele-briefings about the program during Q3 2004. To apply for the program go to http://www.clickthrough-marketing.com/partners/become-partner.php

For more information on ClickThrough visit www.clickthrough-marketing.com

Notes for editors

PHOTO OF PHIL ROBINSON www.clickthrough-marketing.com/corporate/press-kit.php

INTERVIEWS
Contact Phil Robinson on 0845 057 3349
Email � probinson@clickthrough-marketing.com

About ClickThrough Marketing
ClickThrough Marketing are an international search engine marketing agency. Our industry credibility is a result of our deep commitment to providing ethical search engine optimisation and internet marketing services that increase online exposure, search engine rankings and web sites ROI.

We have 10 years experience of running search engine optimisation and online marketing campaigns. Our certified search engine experts are leaders in their field and dedicate themselves to providing online brand visibility using trustworthy techniques that deliver internet traffic in the long term.

Our services include; Search Engine Optimisation, Pay Per Click (PPC), Website Traffic Analysis, Link Building, Search Phrase Analysis





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 March 15, 2004--We are a group of automotive enthusiasts who provide our cars to the film industry. If there is a film or TV show that needs a good, classic car, chances are we have it or can get it. Many of the cars are pristine while others are just great examples of their time period.

Contact us and discuss your needs. Most of the cars are dearly loved by
the owners so don't expect to be able to blow them up in your film! Some can be driven by your driver and some will require the owner to drive.
                        
Contact us if you need a car in your production!     http://www.moviecars.cmall.ca

Sample cars in Victoria and Vancouver:
1928 Cadillac LaSalle
1958 Chevrolet Corvette
1959 Mercedes 220 4 door
1966 Cadillac DeVille    
1967 Chevrolet Nova 2 door
1967 Mercedes 250sl 2 door convertible
1968 Pontiac Firebird 2 door convertible
1973 Datsun 240z 2 door



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 SAN DIEGO, CA August, 2003 � In a down economy where businesses are slashing marketing budgets and advertising agencies are hard-pressed to keep existing clients, much less find new ones, one start-up advertising agency in San Diego is actually growing. Within six months of opening for business in January 2003, Epiphany Marketing brought on an additional marketing writer and moved to a larger office in the Golden Triangle area.

"To say I'm thrilled about where we are today is an understatement," said Ron Marcus, founder and principal of Epiphany Marketing. "I feel extremely fortunate for all the opportunities we've received in the past six months. We certainly hope to continue the momentum and to deliver the highest-value marketing services we can to our clients."

Epiphany Marketing serves a growing and diverse clientele, including Mission Federal Credit Union, KPBS public television and radio, Eye Care of La Jolla and non-profits like Photocharity, United Jewish Federation and Youth Tennis San Diego.

About Epiphany Marketing
Epiphany Marketing is a San Diego-based full-service advertising agency. The firm assists companies with strategic planning and tactical execution of entire marketing communications programs, from top-line branding and positioning strategies, to creative development of advertising, literature, and public relations.

Underlying Epiphany Marketing's strategy is its philosophy of building a personal connection between customers and the products, services and causes being promoted. The company was founded in 2003 by Ron Marcus, a 14-year marketing veteran, and serves a mix of profit-driven and not-for-profit organizations.

For more information about Epiphany Marketing contact Ron Marcus or Lisa Epstein at (858) 458-5842, or visit www.epiphanymarketing.net. ;   





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