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Email marketing is incredibly effective at maintaining customer loyalty, as well as at converting interested prospects into customers. However, for the acquisition of a new prospect, email marketing may not be the most ideal method due to the proliferation of unwanted offers. So how do you get these "hand-raisers" to give you the permission to market to them in the first place? Here are some online marketing techniques that combine well with email marketing.
Search Engine Listings
Search engines and directories such as Yahoo and MSN are still one of the first sources that people go to when looking for information online. The searcher is trying to find a solution to a problem, and their psychology is such that they can be highly receptive to your message if it is relevant to solving that problem. Once they have clicked thru to your web site, your goal is to get them to volunteer their email address to allow you to continue the dialog with them. You can only achieve this by giving them a valid reason for doing so. For well-known brand names, simply asking for the information may be enough. For newer or niche-focused companies, techniques such as providing information of value like a report, or actual giveaways are needed to convince most visitors to participate.
Pay Per Click Search Listings
Pay Per Click (PPC) listing services such as Overture and Google’s AdWords have all of the same benefits as non-paid search engine listings. There may be somewhat less credibility, as searchers are more skeptical of paid listings. However, this is more than countered by the predictability of the results. PPC listings are far superior to traditional search engines from the perspective of an advertiser because of both the immediacy with which you can obtain a listing, as well as the ability to achieve a specific desired ranking. Promotion becomes simpler because you get the positioning you are willing to pay for. And once you have paid for a visitor to click-thru to your site, your next objective is getting them to tell you their email address, so you can maximize your Return On Investment (ROI).
Creating original content is one of the best ways to demonstrate expertise and establish credibility for a company as an authority in a particular field. Allowing other web sites and online newsletters to republish this content along with a link back to your site is an excellent way to acquire new prospects. Many people would like to receive further information from an expert that they respect, and are quite willing to not just receive, but also anticipate receiving email from said expert.
Although not quite as good at establishing credibility as is creating content, ads that are located in someone else’s email newsletter do tend to get noticed in a good light. By carefully selecting the correct target audience, along with proper timing, these ads can deliver qualified prospects to your site. And once they get there, your brilliant call to action and your well-crafted content will convince them to start a “conversation” by giving you their email address.
Like newsletter sponsorship, site sponsorship ads do tend to get noticed in a better light than banner advertising. Combining sponsorship with content (the so-called “Advertorial”) can get more attention than advertising alone. Again, proper targeting and a compelling call to action are critical for achieving a response.
Give people a reason to ‘talk’ to your company and you can concentrate on talking to the people that already want to hear from you. Anything else wastes your time and annoys non-prospects unnecessarily. You can generate new leads by using other forms of online marketing, and then stay in touch with these prospects over the courtship process of getting them to become customers by using email marketing, and you will have adopted a powerful online marketing strategy.