Your social media strategy is more than just a Facebook profile or Twitter feed. When executed correctly, social media is a powerful customer engagement engine and web traffic driver. It’s easy to get sucked into the hype and create profiles on every single social site. This is the wrong approach. What you should do instead is to focus on a few key channels where your brand is most likely to reach key customers and prospects. This chapter will teach you how to make that judgment call.
Now that you’re all set up to starting collecting emails, the fun part begins (when I say ‘fun’, I actually mean ‘hard’). If your site receives a good amount of traffic and you have a truly compelling offer, this shouldn’t be too difficult. However, if you’re like most business owners, you’ll need to look outside your own audience to start building your list.
Adding visual elements to the email newsletter will help the reader to connect with the message and it can also help to illustrate the point even further. Using images and graphics to compliment the text can make it more digestible for the reader and it can be a great way to drive the message home. Additionally, you can use imagery as an opportunity for branding within the email blast.
“Paper direct mail can be a nuisance to most customers, but if you include a product sample, the direct mail instantly becomes more valuable as a trial tool. There are several companies that specialize in creating product samples, such as Arcade Marketing for the fragrance and makeup industries, and they often have interactive programs that aim to increase the ROI for your brand.” ~ Doreen Bloch, Poshly Inc.
Be sure to look at the tech support offered by each of these companies, as we felt many weren't as available as we would have liked. You'll find that some offer 24/7 phone support, live chat, and email help, while others leave you to rely on online documentation and limited live support hours. The best services offer a combination of self-serve help resources—where you can search FAQs and articles to find your own answers—as well as live support via chat or phone when you can't solve an issue yourself. We cover all of these concerns in our reviews, plus you can get an overview in the feature chart above.
You could use your Hotmail, Gmail or Yahoo accounts, but if you need something professional and fool-proof and want to avoid being labeled a spammer, it’s a far better idea to use an email blast program provided by a professional email marketing company such as Benchmark Email. Benchmark’s partnerships with elite consortiums like The Email Sender & Provider Coalition (EPSC) and leading delivery experts like Return Path give you the best chance of reaching a prospect’s inbox, which is a major challenge in email blast marketing. Benchmark Email even has built-in data merging features, which allow you to import contact information from different databases so you don’t need to re-enter long email lists. Besides this, you can also customize your mails in easy-to-use HTML editors before sending them to your customers and prospects.
“MailLift is basically an API for direct mail marketing. It allows you to integrate your CRM or customer service software directly into its messaging system. You can write out a message, and it will be transcribed as a handwritten letter and sent to your customer. It’s completely revolutionary because you can do mass mail customization efficiently for the first time.” ~ Liam Martin, Staff.com
In practice, Internet marketing will include the use of a company web site in conjunction with online promotional techniques described in Chapter 8 of the book such as search engine marketing, interactive advertising, e-mail marketing and partnership arrangements (affiliate marketing) with other web sites. Some businesses who "want to be top in Google", simply consider Internet marketing to simply equate to Search Engine Marketing, but while this is important this scope is too narrow to take full advantage of digital media.
Watch the growth of your list. Is your email list growing or shrinking? If more people are unsubscribing than are registering to your list, it's a good sign that you need an entire strategic overhaul on your email policies. If there are a lot of people unsubscribing it could be because your content is not relevant to the people that you're sending it to. In this case, try to segment your list differently or change the type of content that's being delivered through your email blasts.
By focusing on market research, the psychology of attraction, creativity and ingenuity, students learn the best ways of implementing a direct mail campaign. A marketing education informs a future marketer about what motivates people to purchase, donate, or vote; and gives them the practical and creative skills to produce media to achieve the desired results. (See also Consumer Psychology)
So, building up lists of emails is a task you must put some effort behind in order to kick your email marketing efforts into gear. The problem is nobody really wants more email, particularly spam from unknown sources. When I talk about buying email lists, I’m am not talking about buying or renting so called opt-in lists from list brokers. I’m talking about offering something of value as a way to motivate someone to willingly exchange their email address with you in order to receive your offers and additional contact.
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