The following is a summary of a business breakfast presentation by Graeme Morris of Info-Design Online, November 2001 in Toowoomba.
The answer to this question comes in two parts: advertising via the Web and via email
A Web Site can serve many purposes, but in terms of advertising two areas are worth considering.
A. Direct advertising: This creating an environment in which potential buyers are moved to - or closer to - product purchase. Happy is the Web Site owner who can achieve this outcome. However, such a site requires:
B. Indirect advertising: This supports & extends an existing marketing environment. Think, not so much of generating sales online, but of reducing your customer acquisition, service or reordering costs.
In this role your Web Site can be highly cost-effective way of indirect advertising. Consider some examples:
With modest design costs, near zero distribution costs a well designed Web Site can be a powerful advertising tool. Whether direct or indirect advertising, a commercial Web Site needs a call to action, a clear pathway to that action and minimal barriers to completion. Systems must be in place to respond to people's action. Test your own site in this respect.
Email advertising can reap large returns because of the potential for sales together with near zero deliver costs. But beware, the pitfalls are many and they can be deep! While a ill-conceived Web Site is ineffective, an ill-conceived email marketing campaign can make your business name to be like mud.
To be effective, three resources are necessary:
Broadcasting emails to people who haven't consciously requested them is now considered unbecoming and even commercially dangerous. It can damage your brand, your name & reputation. It can result in abusive emails, malicious cyber attacks, cancelled email accounts, and under soon to be enforced legislation may adjudged illegal in this or other countries. There is much debate on this whole issues, but so called "permission marketing" is seen as the best way.
Important email marketing points:
Good uses of email advertising:
Rather than another form of mass advertising, think of email marketing as an extended personal contact with your customers. What benefits can be gained from writing individual emails to existing customers?
Thoughts compiled by Graeme Morris, Manager of Info-Design Online Pty Ltd.
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