INTERNET MARKETING

“Yahoo! has a market capitalization more than the New York Times Corp., which owns newspapers and magazines around the country…The Internet is the greatest direct marketing medium ever invented.” –
Seth Godin, Vice President, Yahoo!

One of the greatest advantages of direct marketing is that advertisers have many marketing channels available to them.  While all these marketing channels can be used to generate revenues – understanding the advantages of each and how they can best be used to generate profits is essential for direct marketers. 

The Internet offers several unique advantages that no other form of direct marketing enjoys: it’s cost-effective, it’s worldwide, and it works for you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week – even while you’re sleeping.  While these are incredible benefits, possibly the greatest advantage of all the Internet offers is that it IS, for many products and services the number one way people want to be informed and buy – online!.

“This is the information age, the age of empowerment, a time when consumers want to be in charge of every aspect of the buying experience.  We want to have instant access to all the information in the world – at our fingertips NOW.  This is what the Internet provides!”

So how do consumers find this information?  Through online searches that scan unlimited amounts of data instantly – and provide results in seconds.  Presto!  Need information about a product, here it is.  Need to know the lowest price nationwide on a product or service. Voila!  Want to shop online for a new or used car, here are the dealers within a 10 mile radius of your home who would like to compete for your business.  With the Internet, the consumer is in control, the captain of his or her own ship – and one can go anywhere in the world with the click of a mouse.

“It is in this online permission-based environment that companies have an incredible opportunity to educate, inform, build credibility, and SELL – establishing two-way relationships that can be incredibly profitable, and last for the lifetime of a consumer.”

 Is it any wonder then that, for those companies who know how to leverage the power of the Internet, the online direct marketplace offers virtually unlimited potential?

Internet is a critical marketing strategy that can cost-effectively leverage all spokes of the Integrated Marketing Wheel.  That is, it has the potential to bring all elements of the electronic goldmine into one locale – a single web address.  In this way, you can tell one universal and compelling story for your company, product, or service and deliver it to prospects all over the world, instantly via:

  • Printed web pages using high-impact pictures and graphics.
  • Television commercials or select segments through embedded or streaming video.
  • Radio commercials with sound files or links contained on your site
  • Electronic Sales Presentations via streaming video or flash
  • Online Newsletters
  • Rich-Media email
  • Banners/Animated Ads

Another benefit of Internet Marketing is that prospects are actively searching for you.  If they spend a few moments of their life, investing even a little of their time searching for you – when they reach your website, they are likely to be in a receptive, open frame of mind.  After all, even though the journey may have only lasted a few seconds, they traveled all over cyberspace looking for you!  They didn’t receive a phone call from a telemarketer or solicitor.  They went on a journey, looking for something.  When they arrive at your website, if they are among your target audience, it is up to you to greet them with a clear homepage and well-designed website that will bring credibility to you—and eventual sales!

The Internet offers another very important and unique benefit: It allows you the opportunity to establish an on-going relationship with your customers.  Through permission-based marketing, online surveys and opt-in email programs, you can build an incredibly profitable, long-term relationships with customers!   

DIRECT E-MAIL MARKETING

A powerful Internet application used for marketing is Direct E-Mail Marketing.   According to Tony Priore, author of the book, “E-Mail Marketing,” “E-mail marketing has boasted response rates ranging from 5 percent to 15 percent, far better than online banner ad click-throughs and traditional direct mail response rates.”  It should be noted that a good direct mail response might be 1 or 2 percent.   Mr. Priore adds that “E-mail Marketing should be used as an essential channel for engaging potential customers and cultivating existing customer relationships.”

 “…(via the Internet) more robust database technology and more sophisticated data mining and tracking tools are converging, permitting marketers to better understand who their customers are, what their interests are and to what offers they respond.”  - Tony Priore, Author, E-Mail Marketing

Marketers will use that information to target individuals with pinpoint accuracy and to tailor messages to their interests. E-mail’s lower implementation cost permit marketers to test a variety of offers through small, tactical e-mailings to determine the most effective strategy on a large scale.  E-mail messages also are becoming more compelling with innovations such as rich media, streaming audio and video and shop-within-email. 

PERMISSION-BASED E-MAIL MARKETING

Another form of Direct E-Marketing that produces highly qualified prospects or immediate sales is “Permission-based E-mail marketing.”   This form of direct marketing occurs when the prospective consumers receive messages only on topics they have requested.  FMS clients use this targeted direct response marketing technique through standard E-Marketing to pre-qualify prospects for Permission-based E-mail Marketing. 

Permission-based E-mail marketing offers even higher response rates than those of standard E-mail marketing campaigns because the message is reaching only the primary target market for the offer.  There are never any “missed impressions” or “unwanted solicitations” when utilizing this marketing strategy.  According to the author of “E-Marketing”, “Using permission e-mail, marketers can apply direct marketing principles to target prospects with relevant offers more precisely than ever before.  Marketers must prove the value of e-mail marketing by providing compelling offers unavailable offline, and they must adhere to strict interpretation of permission by providing information about products and services that truly match consumer interests.”  This is one of the ways to follow up on the second step of the two-step process. The qualified prospect has already given permission allowing us to send results-oriented advertisements via E-mail ---Direct E-Marketing.

RICH MEDIA E-MAIL MARKETING

The latest innovation in the Internet world is the use of broadband audio and video streaming in one’s email.  The term Rich Media E-Mail Marketing is used to describe the process of streaming audio and video presentations (TV commercial or Infomercial, etc.) right to the primary targets e-mail address.  Once the prospect clicks on the link, our Internet Servers send a streaming audio or video presentation. 

The Rich Media E-Mail Marketing is one of the most popular tools for direct marketers because:

  • its electronic selling presentation is entertaining and persuasive,
  • its immediate, measurable and cost-effectiveness,
  • its ability to pinpoint its target audience,
  • its growing trend of faster connectivity (broadband),
  • along with an increased number of users online.

I firmly believe Rich Media E-mails will become the digital equivalent of a good electronic sales presentation or direct mail piece at perhaps one tenth the overall cost.  For example, a highly personalized E-Mail campaign costs $0.05 to $0.10 per E-Mail to distribute, whereas a direct mail piece or catalog mailing might cost between $0.50 to $1.50 to distribute. Is it any wonder that more and more companies are utilizing enhanced online messaging and video segments to increase their profits?

“Call Now 1-800 -  How to Profit from Direct Response Television Advertising”  Copyright 2006  Rodney H. Buchser

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