To get the most out of advertising, don't underestimate
cyberspace. Here is how you can use it in your advertising
E-mail marketing is one of the most effective ways to
keep in touch with customers. It is generally cost-effective,
and if done properly, can help build brand awareness and
loyalty. At a typical cost of only a few cents per message,
it's a bargain compared to traditional direct mail at
$1 or more per piece. In addition, response rates on e-mail
marketing are strong, ranging from 5 to 35%. Response
rates for traditional mail average in the 1-3% range.
One of the benefits of e-mail marketing is the demographic
information that customers provide when signing up for
your email newsletter. Discovering who your customers
are – age, gender, income and special interests,
for example – can help you target your products
and services to their needs. Points to consider when creating
your e-mail newsletter:
- HTML vs. Plain Text: Response rates for HTML
newsletters are generally much higher than plain text,
and graphics and colors tend to make the publications
look far more professional. The downside is that HTML
e-mail is slower to download, and some e-mail providers
may screen out HTML e-mail.
- Provide incentive to subscribe: Advertise
the benefits of receiving your newsletter to get customers
to sign up for your newsletter, such as helpful tips,
informative content or early notification of special
offers or campaigns.
- Don't just sell: Many studies suggest that
e-mail newsletters are read more carefully when they
offer information that is useful to the customers' lives
rather than only selling products and services. Helpful
tips, engaging content and humor are often expected
to accompany e-mail newsletters.
- Limit questions: Each demographic question
you ask may reduce the number of customers signing up,
so limit the amount of information you require or give
customers the option of skipping the questionnaire.
Establishing a Web Presence
No matter if you choose to sell your goods or services
online or not, a business web site can be a virtual marketing
brochure that you can update easily and often with little
or no cost. Your presence on the Internet can be a useful
marketing tool by providing richer pre-sale information
or post-sale support and service. This may differentiate
your product or service from your competitors'.
Today's business emphasis is on e-commerce - rapid electronic
interactions enabled by the Internet and other connected
computer and telephone networks. Rapidly business transactions
and unparallelled access to information is changing consumer
behavior and expectations.
Many small businesses assume that the Internet has little
value to them because they feel that their product or
service cannot be easily sold online. But inexpensive
information processing and electronic media can help most
small businesses provide better and faster customer service
By USBA (United States Small Business Administration)