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GoTo.com (renamed Overture in 2001, and acquired by Yahoo! in 2003) created the first search advertising keyword auction in 1998.:119 Google launched its "AdWords" search advertising program in 2000 and introduced quality-based ranking allocation in 2002, which sorts search advertisements by a combination of bid price and searchers' likeliness to click on the ads.:123
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.
Your email list, on the other hand, is yours, free and clear. Using your website and social media to attract visitors and followers, and then encouraging them to sign up for your email list gives you the opportunity to contact your prospects at any point in the future, with any kind of messaging you want; and you’re not bound by search engine rankings or social media algorithms.
After all is said and done, you’ll be left with a handful of people that have come in and transacted business with you based purely on your piece of mail. You can track this in any number of ways (coupon codes, requiring them to bring the mail in, comparing sales numbers from highlighted items on sale versus when they’re not, etc.), but be sure to track it in an easily manageable fashion. This will allow you to re-engage with those customers with whom your mail marketing was successful.
After that, you need to make a choice about how to construct an online presence that helps you achieve that goal. Maybe you need to set up an e-commerce site. If you’re interested in publishing content to drive awareness and subscribers, look into setting up a blog. A simple website or landing page with a lead capture form can help you start developing your brand and generating traffic. A basic analytics platform (like Google Analytics, which is free) can help you start to measure how you are tracking towards your initial goal.
Use personalization. Personalizing the content of your emails (depending on your segment from Chapter 3) will make it infinitely more relevant and valuable to them. Personalization is so much more than inserting your subscriber’s first name into the email. You need to tailor the actual content of the email to address their needs. For instance, an online retailer will find it much more valuable to read an email with the subject line, “How to build backlinks to your eCommerce store” than just a generic subject line, “How to build backlinks.”
Due to the massive growth of the Internet, most countries have passed legislation to prevent companies from sending unsolicited emails. These laws determine what is and what is not considered acceptable email correspondence, and enforce restrictions on email communications. In the United States and Europe, for example, bulk email must contain an accurate from field and subject line, and the email content must include the sender’s physical address. In addition, a blast email must also offer its recipients the opportunity to unsubscribe from the email list — and such requests must be met within a specified period of time. As a result of these laws, it is very important for companies to maintain an updated list of subscriptions and cancellations at all times, and avoid sending out email that appears to be spam.
One hundred years ago, companies such as Sears, Roebuck & Co. and J.C. Penny Co. used customer data to send out catalogs and mailers. Back then, the companies possessed small sets of data, mainly names and addresses of customers. Now, marketers have mountains of complex data and are faced with a modern conundrum: How much personal data is too much to incorporate into the content?
Target Corp. inadvertently drew an early line in the sand between good data use and data use that was too personal for customer comfort. In 2012, Charles Duhigg reported in The New York Times that Target addressed a mailer, which featured coupons for cribs and baby clothes, to a high school girl. When her father complained to the company, yelling that his daughter was not pregnant, the company apologized; when the father called back a few days later, he was contrite. “It turns out there’s been some activities in my house I haven’t been completely aware of,” the father said, according to Duhigg. “She’s due in August. I owe you an apology.”
A trick banner is a banner ad where the ad copy imitates some screen element users commonly encounter, such as an operating system message or popular application message, to induce ad clicks. Trick banners typically do not mention the advertiser in the initial ad, and thus they are a form of bait-and-switch. Trick banners commonly attract a higher-than-average click-through rate, but tricked users may resent the advertiser for deceiving them.
QR codes and PURLs: To make landing page content unique to each person, create personalized QR codes or personalized URLs (PURLs). This landing page content can be changed and updated as needed, creating an easy way to keep people coming back for new content. Make sure that your content is using responsive design since people can use a mobile device or PC. You can use the same landing page for both the QR and the PURL, providing the recipient with the choice of which method they prefer.
A web-based interface is often available to allow people to subscribe, unsubscribe, and change their preferences. However, mailing list servers existed long before the World Wide Web, so most also accept commands over email to a special email address. This allows subscribers (or those who want to be subscribers) to perform such tasks as subscribing and unsubscribing, temporarily halting the sending of messages to them, or changing available preferences - all via email. The common format for sending these commands is to send an email that contains simply the command followed by the name of the electronic mailing list the command pertains to. Examples: subscribe anylist or subscribe anylist John Doe.
This is a process described by Seth Godin known as permission marketing. The core concept of this idea is that you never market to someone that doesn’t want it, you first have to ask them for their permission. When someone signs up to your email not only do they become a warm lead but they give you their permission to send them offers and to market to them.
Next up is building an email newsletter. The best services offer several ways to do this; you can import your own HTML, start from scratch, or use a pre-designed template. Most of these services have drag-and-drop UIs that let you choose exactly the elements you want to include, as well as image libraries in which you can store assets such as your logo or company photos. Tools that let you test your emails for spam are also essential since there are some seemingly innocuous terms that may send up red flags and drop all of your hard work into your subscribers' junk folders or, worse, get your emails banned before they ever reach their recipients.
Write great subject lines. David Ogilvy once said that 80 cents of your dollar should be spent on writing headlines. With emails, the subject line is just as important. If it doesn’t catch your attention, you won’t open it. So, spend the majority of your time writing and polishing your subject line. A great email subject line entices curiosity about the content of the email. It’s also personal, and highly relevant to the recipient. To learn more about how to write amazing subject lines, we have an entire blog post on the topic: 30 Successful Bloggers Share Their Best Converting Email Subject Line.
Scott Heimes serves as Chief Marketing Officer at SendGrid, where he is responsible for the company's brand strategy, driving demand for its solutions and leading global marketing operations. Scott oversees corporate marketing, demand generation, corporate communications, partnerships and alliances, international expansion and SendGrid’s community development team.
Molly K. McLaughlin is a New York-based writer and editor with more than a decade of experience covering technology. She has tested and reviewed all sorts of software, mobile apps, and gadgets. Before launching her freelance business, she was an editor at PC Magazine, covering consumer electronics, followed by a stint at ConsumerSearch.com, a revie... See Full Bio
Email marketing is all about expectations, and it’s up to you to set them. If your call to action is strong, and your follow-up is consistent, then you can count on a positive campaign. However, if you promise to send one email per week and instead send them daily, then you’re setting yourself up for failure. On the contrary, if someone is expecting daily updates or critical product updates and you don’t’ deliver, then they are likely to be just as upset in that case too.
These metrics give you a high-level overview of how your subscribers are interacting with your campaigns and allow you to compare the success of one campaign to another. If you want to go deeper and see the exact people who opened and clicked your campaign, what links they clicked, etc. you can do so by choosing some of the other reports from the right hand side menu.
You work with a list provider to find and purchase a list of names and email addresses based on demographic and/or psychographic information. For example, you might purchase a list of 50,000 names and email addresses of people who live in Minnesota and don't have children. There are several sustainable ways to use email marketing to grow your business. This isn't one of them.
“We’re always giving people the option to join our email list when they come into the spa, but we just recently added the option for people to sign up when they visit our website,” explains Christine Copertino, spa director for Allegria Spa. “The response has been great. We’re seeing a ton of people signing up, and we know that these are really engaged people who will be excited to receive our emails.”