Archive for the ‘Advertising and Marketing’ Category

Advanced Expectations: New Developments in Email Marketing

The modern-day drive in marketing, particularly e-mail marketing, is concerned with the implications of the hyper-consumption experiences being identified within an emergent consumer branded the ‘expectation economy’. The expectation economy refers to a new-style economy that is characterized by well-informed consumers who have high expectations with regard to services and products, and who place a high premium on a superior buying experience. Over the years, the modern consumer has acquired specialist know-how through continuous self-training and in the process of hyperconsumption and exposure to new dynamic lifestyle models, has come to expect not only superior standards of quality but expects ‘best of the best’. The readily available always-on information networks have also promoted this new-style consumer culture that expects “only the best” and is not satisfied with just basic standards in services and products.

These high expectation trends in marketing also apply to the advancement and evolution of email marketing. Instead of simply sending batches of emails to random customers and prospects, the trend in recent years has been to rather develop strategic and sophisticated “smart” emailing campaigns. For example, the successful email marketer focuses on promotional methods to facilitate increasing customer response as well as stimulate conversion and retention rates. This is achieved through a combination of personalization, segmentation and “triggers.” In other words,” Increasingly segmented and triggered emails will be driven by behavioral data, such as which specific links a recipient clicked, whether someone did or did not open an email, what pages they visited on the company’s Web site or whether they did or did not make a purchase or take a specific action”. (http://www.emaillabs.com/email_marketing_articles/article_2005_email_marketing_trends.html) This process is often automated by companies using software to integrate email data with other customer data via an API (Application Protocol Interface)

Email marketing has also advanced beyond conventional technologies, with marketers switching between plain text and HTML formats. Some pundits state that, “E-mail's role is changing, the technology is advancing, and its horizons are broadening”. (http://www.clickz.com/showPage.html?page=3627210) Similarly, audio and video email has become a distinct possibly. These new modes of email marketing are aimed at enlarging and expanding the possibilities of email marketing. Yet, it was previously thought that these technologies were not practical because the size of audio and video mail had a negative impact on download times. However, both these new formats, and especially video emails, have become feasible because of the increase in bandwidth availability. Even in less developed countries, there has been a substantial increase in the required speed and bandwidth to deal with larger email formats.

A number of companies offer audio email services to the Webmaster and marketer and are hyping it as the “new wave” in increasing consumer response to email advertising. This is often referred to as “talking email” and offers a more direct and dramatic means of communication with the client or customer. Companies like Expedite Email Marketing suggest that, “By adding your voice, sound or music into your email marketing campaigns, you will set your email message apart from the rest”.

While many assume that simply adding an audio component to your email advertisement will improve click through rates, it should be borne in mind that the same problems that hinder mass mail marketing apply to this form of marketing. Simply adding technology without a well-planned marketing strategy in place that clearly identifies the key objective of the exercise will probably not do much to improve returns and customer response rates. As many pundits suggest, the art of effective email marketing requires focused selection and targeting of customer demographics and needs. Of course, one can create one’s own audio or video email attachment. However, the process can be slightly complex in terms of format and streaming audio and video; this area of expertise will be dealt with in more detail in future articles on this subject.

The features and advantages of audio email marketing include: The audio plays automatically once the email is opened; research has shown that an increased response rate results from the more intimate feel that audio communication provides the recipient in comparison to conventional text-based email messaging. The addition of music can also add impetus to any marketing campaign.

Video marketing is another advanced form of email marketing that has become increasingly popular over the last few years. However, this very exciting mode of communicating one’s advertising message to the customer is not without certain problem areas that one should be aware of. Video clips are usually not embedded or included directly in the email, as this would make the size of the download excessive for the ordinary user. Instead, video is usually linked to external sources that play on opening or by activating a link within the body of the email. The problem lies in the fact that to play external video the recipient of the email must access a plug-in application -- such as Windows Media or Macromedia Flash. Unfortunately, many email clients, like Microsoft Outlook, disable these plug-in options as default. There are however, ways around this problem and several companies such as VISMAIL (VisMail.com) and Pixelfish (PixelFish.com) offer technology to circumvent these problems. Conversely, marketers claim that video email works well as an effective marketing tool, as most users today have the required plug-ins actively installed to facilitate immediate application. Flash technology has also been used to implement email marketing as this often has a much lower download size.

Reports and studies on the use of video email marketing are encouraging. One such report states that, “Video e-mail recently made a comeback. While there are many recommended best practices for when and how to use video e-mail, the bottom line in early results show response rates (opens and clicks) 3 to 10 times higher than those for static e-mail.” (http://www.clickz.com/showPage.html?page=3625573) Research also shows that this form of email marketing increases landing page traffic and conversions.

The bottom line however with these more advanced forms of email marketing is that quality is more important than quantity. Building lists of thousands of email addresses as part of a marketing campaign has little worth if these addresses have not been selected with specific target clients in mind. As a pundit puts it; “Building a list of 10,000 names is not a goal. What value you are adding? You can offer quality content and something of value to the recipient, but that doesn't mean it's going to generate ROI." (http://www.clickz.com/showPage.html?page=3627210) Both audio and video email marketing have another advantage – they effectively promote viral marketing. Viral marketing is a method of encouraging recipients to pass along the marketing message to other potential consumers. The impact of video email and the quality of the information presented can facilitate the proliferation of this form of personalized marketing. There is also every indication from recent studies of the modern online environment that video and audio email marketing can have a marked increase on traffic and attract emergent hyper-consumption clients and customers that form part of the burgeoning ‘expectation economy’.

Internet Marketing – The Top 10 Deadly Sins Of New Internet Marketers

Creating Internet Income is quite a daunting task for anyone however the challenges seem insurmountable for most newbies, especially those who are technically challenged. If you're considering marketing online or engaging in any form of Internet Marketing there are a few common pitfalls that you should consider.

Though I'm no "Internet Guru, these are just a few of the common mistakes and pitfalls that beginner Marketers typically face. For many, these mistakes don't surface until the negative effects of these actions surface. Many new marketers develop tunnel vision early in the online business building process. Hopefully this top 10 list will help you avoid the most common pitfalls.

1. Procrastination - The King Of Failure

Procrastination is by far the KING of failure with respect to online business success. If you fall into the trap of "putting things off", you will e doomed to failure. Be certain that you develop a consistent habit of taking action. Even if you consistently make mistakes it is imperative that you take action on a consistent basis. Create some form of time management system that you can use consistently. Prioritize your tasks and keep lists of everything that needs to be done. If you feel that your confidence level concerning your online activities is not quite up to par, do not allow this to hinder the execution of your planned activities. What ultimately matters is the consistent execution of your key activities. Your comfort level with specific tasks will improve over time!

Develop A Plan And Work The Plan...

2. Seeking Perfection From The Very Beginning

Many new online marketers go to extreme lengths to create the perfect scenario as they begin to execute their online marketing plans. The fact is, no matter how hard you try, it's very unlikely that you'll hit the "home run" you seek right out of the gate. Many newbies seek the perfect web site, the perfect email marketing campaign, the perfect online ad or banner, unfortunately it's VERY unlikely happen. It really doesn't matter whether your efforts are perfect or not! What's important is that you get started as soon as possible with the plans that you've developed. Your online marketing efforts will always be a work in process. As you move forward, you can easily tweak things to your liking. Some people set specific scheduled times to review work that has been previously performed and update as necessary. If you try to get everything perfect from the start you will hamper your long term success..

3. Wasting Money By Not Prioritizing Your Spending

This is important and key to your long term success. If not handled properly, this simple mistake will kill your spirit and put you out of business immediately. If you don't have money to try each any every enticing offer that claims to help your business. DON'T spend money unnecessarily!

The Internet is full of fantastic copy and enticing offers, some of which are great others not so great. Don't get side tracked by jumping from opportunity to opportunity, help program to help program or buying everything that lands in your inbox. The fact is, most online business essentials can be obtained for FREE. This is particularly true when you're first starting out. If you commit to engage in a little research, you'll be quite surprised at what you will find. Not only can you find great resources you will find them in many cases at no charge. Try to control your urge to purchase resources and tools. Think and evaluate carefully before you make purchases for your online business. Write a list of what you need. Examine the pros and cons, and make sure that your purchases are essential to achieving your goals.

4. Not Investing Enough Money On The Right Resources

Converse to point #3, many new online marketers fail to make the proper investment in the proper things. Anyone that tells you that you don't have to spend ANY money to grow an online business is lying to you. Unfortunately you will have to spend money to sustain your business. When you initially start, you won't have to spend much, as most of your time should be spent engaging in RESEARCH. You will need more money as your business continues to grow. For starters, you'll need a domain, a hosting service and an autoresponder, all of which are pretty affordable. As you move forward, the bulk of your expenses will be on testing and promotion. If you're paying someone to create a product or you're buying resell rights to a product or service, you must account for these initial expenses as well. Starting out with affiliate products can greatly reduce these types of expenses and allow you to gain a greater understanding of the processes involved as you market online.

5. Pursuing Difficult Markets Due To Ineffective Market Research

This is a typical mistake but an easy mistake to make for the new online marketer. Most new marketers pursue markets that THEY THINK will be profitable. Before you decide on a product or market that you wish to target, make SURE that you've performed exhaustive market research. If you don't, it could be months, even years before you realize that you're involved in pursuing profits in a market that is NOT commercially viable for a beginning marketer. Perform thorough and exhaustive research BEFORE you invest time and money in your online marketing campaigns. Understand exactly what the term "niche" market means and adhere to that definition strictly. All niche markets are NOT profitable. Before you target your market make sure that customers within the targeted market are willing to spend money! If the market that you seek is not commercially viable, refocus your efforts and pursue a different market!

6. Lacking The Desire To Grow

You must develop an unquenchable desire to grow. Continual growth of your marketing knowledge and your perspective with respect to online marketing activities is essential. Learning online marketing is continual process not a destination. It's essential that you develop this mind set immediately. If you're not open to continual learning and growth you and your online business will become stagnant quickly. The skills needed to market online are constantly evolving and changing. One of the most important things you can do is to constantly update your skills and knowledge base with respect to your marketing internet marketing efforts. It is important to note that this doesn't always occur in a linear fashion. There will be times where you'll feel that your learning curve has stagnated but keep reading, listening and learning and your insights will continue to expand. Don't get stuck using the same skills and ideas or doing things the same way for long periods of time without exploring ways to improve what you are presently doing.

7. Trying To Do Everything That Needs To Be Done... Alone

When starting an online business there is lots of activities and tasks that you need to address. This doesn't always mean that you have to do it all yourself. Of course, you can do it alone but it will make the road ahead much harder, and in most cases a much longer road. Without the proper support and assistance you are more likely to experience burnout very quickly. You don't have to outsource each and every thing, however it is wise to target certain areas that will monopolize your time and obtain help when needed. On-line forums, blogs and other portals can be a valuable source of ideas, and sources to provide assistance from other people in this area. Leverage your efforts by seeking assistance in areas that are not your best strengths.

8. The Pursuit Of Smaller Profit Sources / Setting Your Internet Income Goals To Low

Many new online marketers find it less intimidating to sell products or services that cost 10-20 dollars. They are misled into believing that these types of products or services will be easier to market. The fact is, in most cases, it takes just as much time, energy and effort to successfully market a $20.00 product as it does to successfully market a $100.00 product or service. Don’t dismiss the idea of varying the types of offers that you intend to market. Be sure to include a few higher ticket items in your offerings. If you've done your research, and handled your marketing correctly you can find success marketing these types of items even during the infancy stages of your online internet marketing experience. Undoubtedly, you'll get less sales, but you'll also enjoy more profits. You won't know if you can market these types of offers unless you're willing to give them a try. Don't assume that these types of products and services are off limits to your internet marketing efforts. Do the research, target your market, develop your marketing campaigns and promote offers that give you a chance to earn higher commissions along with your small profit offers. Many high ticket offers perform better with existing customers. You typically have developed a relationship with these customers and many will try your offers based on your business relationship and your credibility.

9. The Failure To Separate Your Business Life and You Home Life

Many new online marketers start their online business in hopes to escape the hustle and bustle of traditional offline business activities. Don't fall into the trap of creating another JOB at home with your online business. Though initially, getting your online marketing efforts up to par may take a little extra time and commitment, you don't want your online business ventures to dominate your entire life. One of the biggest pitfalls of working from home is the fact that work s always accessible and so is your home life. Knowing how to separate the two is essential for maintaining balance and a healthy perspective.

You'll find that your personal home life can also creep into your work activities. The fact that you're at home makes it easy for the lines that separate these two aspects of life to become blurred. Try to separate the two by establishing fixed times when you work, and fixed times for your personal home life. In many cases it's a good idea to establish a specific work area for performing your business activities. Work doesn't have to take dominate your life, define distinct barriers that separate your home life and your work life.

10. The Inability To Remain Positive and Ambitious

When you start to pursue your Internet business, you will undoubtedly have those that will not have faith in your long term success. Conversely, you'll have others that will encourage you and cheer for you every step of the way. I encourage you to surround yourself with positive thoughts and uplifting people to help you maintain your belief in YOU. Starting any type of business can be a daunting task. You absolutely must believe in yourself and remain ambitious to move forward.

Don't allow ANYONE to tell you what YOU can't do. Focus on your goals and set them in stone. Decide to decide to decide.... Once you've made a quality decision about your online marketing goals stick to them and pursue them CONSISTENTLY. Over time you will experience tell tale signs of success that will keep you motivated and moving forward. Create your own profitable mind set and don't allow anyone to rob you of that mind set. If you THINK you can you CAN!

Creating an Internet business that consistently generates Internet income is no small task, however if you execute consistently and stay focused in a few key areas it is certainly accomplishable. Avoid these costly mistakes to help you as you pursue your internet marketing goals.

William Lockhart is Founder of CyberIncomeSolutions.com."Internet Income Solutions For The Technically Challenged". Take your online business idea to the nest level. Visit William at http://www.CyberIncomeSolutions.com

Free Internet Business Advertising

Having on online business means living and dying by the amount of website visitors you can generate. Advertising your business online can get very expensive; however, if you mix in some free advertising methods, you can lower the overall cost of advertising your business online.

One of the ways to do free internet business advertising is to create hub pages on other websites. Nowadays there are a lot of different sites that gives you the opportunity to create your own profile and put up content in the same way as you do on a blog. You can generate a lot of website traffic for free by creating hub pages on websites relevant to your business. You can write content that's promoting your website and that makes other people interested in it. You also get one way links from those pages that are great when you want to rank higher with the search engines.

Social marketing is a popular and smart way to advertise your business online for free, and hub pages are included in this. Social bookmarking is another part of social marketing and when you join social bookmarking websites you are able to both get one way links to your site and you can also submit your website or a part of it and in this way have people interested in the information and be redirected to your website. There are hundreds of popular social bookmarking sites such as Digg, StumbleUpon and Reddit, and better yet, you can find social bookmarking sites that are relevant to your online business. On these sites you are able to add tags to your submitted sites that makes people searching for content related to those keywords find your website easily.

By using these tools you can really get a lot more visitors to your website, and the best thing is that this type of internet business advertising is free. Not only do you get a lot of web traffic, but you also generate a lot of backlinks, or links back to your company's website, and this helps with your site's search engine rankings. Create a profile on some of the most popular sites and let this be one of the ways you are using to do free internet business advertising, along with other great tools, such as article submissions to some of the article directories and submission of your site to some of the great amount of web directories there are on the web. It is well worth the effort if you want to have your internet business being seen by others.

How would you like to get a stampede of laser-targeted visitors to your website for less than the price of a stick of gum? Learn more at TextOnlyAds.com at http://www.textonlyads.com

How Online Marketing Could Work for You

Like most of us, you're probably fed up with dealing with your boss and the usual nine-to-five grind. After months of careful research, you've decided to "take the plunge" and start your own business. You've set up a great business plan and your friends and family say they are behind you one hundred percent. Now it's time to advertise so that everyone else will know what a wonderful business you own. But where do you start?

Do you buy print advertising in your local newspaper?

Buy some air time on your local television or radio station?

Arrange to have a full page ad in the local yellow pages of your phone book?

Do you hand out flyers to everyone you meet?

Those methods work, but only insofar as reaching your immediate area and your ability to immediately track the results of anyone campaign.

You have big plans for growing your business in the future, but everyone keeps telling you to be careful and keep it local until you establish yourself. Besides, you're going to need to use any initial profits you make to pay for all that fancy advertising you've set up.

Unless your friends and family have their own booming business, why are you even listening to them? If you're reading this, then your aware of at least part of the power of the internet, so why not utilize this formidable promotional tool?

Power of Online Marketing At A Glance

Online advertising is plug and play: Any type of print advertising has to be set up and scheduled; flyers and newspapers may take several days and an ad in your local phone book may not come out until many months down the road.

Online advertising gives you control: You've decided to offer your customers a special discount: you can immediately add a coupon and adjust what you need to right on your website rather than having to wait for someone at the print shop or newspaper to get around to it.

Online advertising is not just cost effective...it is cheaper: you get more "bang for your buck" online. Rather than having to pay higher prices for print work and distribution costs, you can use the money you save on advertising to add to your merchandise. If you are looking to go "Green" (An added bonus is that you'll also help environmentally because you're using little, if any, natural resources to promote your business! )

Online advertising can be interactive: Instead of just seeing a flat, two dimensional image, you can catch your customer's eye with all sorts of "bells and whistles"! Audio and visual enhancements invite your customers to involve themselves to a much greater extent than just looking at a newspaper ad or flyer. There is an added benefit to advertising online and that is you can also include additional information as part of your customer testimonials and Frequently Asked Questions ( or FAQs ).

Online advertising can be easily tracked: If you do any sort of print advertising, the only tangible means of tracking how effective your campaign is, or at least part of it, is to use coupons that the customers have to redeem.

Even then, it's difficult to know exactly who is responding to any of your advertising. Online advertising can easily be measured and broken down into very specific results.

Aside from tracking individual sales, there are ways of tracking which web pages have been seen. This is a great tool to use to help you refine your advertising and be much more responsive to your customers.

Online advertising receives feedback: You can immediately change your sales process, product and promotion by asking your customers for feedback right on your site. If you know exactly what your customers want, your sales will go through the roof.

Online advertising works: If it didn't, it wouldn't be enticing national advertisers to continue to increase their online advertising budgets by twenty-five percent each year!

You have seen all the benefits of online marketing and how it can establish or improve you current business.

So what are you waiting for? Get your marketing started! What have you got to lose?

Ron Seawood is an experienced marketing consultant online and offline. As a former marketing consultant for top insurance and financial service companies, Ron now uses acquired skills to help fellow entrepreneurs start and build their businesses. Want to know the secrets of how heavy hitting online marketers earn 7 figure incomes? Get your free 5 day mini course that pulls back the curtain! http://www.7figuresblueprint.com/

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