Archive for E-newsletters
Online marketing is perhaps the easiest kind of marketing to get into and potentially the cheapest form of promotion, but also the most elusive in some ways and certainly the most mind boggling for its vastness.
It’s easy, because you don’t have to actually talk to anyone (although I suppose it does require a modicum of internet savvy to get started) and somehow putting an electronic facimile of yourself out there is less excruciating than direct sales in person.
It’s cheap, because you’re not paying for expensive print runs and one good website will act as an anchor around which your work can be done – although how much you spend on the website itself is a “how long is a piece of string?” question.
Elusive, because it’s not a physically tangible thing and also the success of online marketing can be hard to measure, which isn’t to say it’s not being effective, it’s just difficult to quantify its effectiveness. But a bit of time spent looking at the capabilities of Google Analytics can help you understand who’s visiting your site, which pages they like and when, historically, you have had most hits – analysing these results over time will refine your approach and skills so that your online marketing is optimised for your own business.
Mind boggling, because that’s the nature of the web; trying to grasp the extent of the world wide web is a bit like trying to grasp the extent of our universe.
What I like most about online marketing is that it is totally customised to an indiviudal’s business. There is no ‘one size fits all’ approach. Granted, there are a number of core essentials – a search engine friendly website is at the top of the list for which some standard procedures apply; registering your site with search engines, including appropriate keywords, regularly updating your website with value content, obtaining appropriate links and so on. And, by the way, this is just a minuscule introduction to the 21st century Holy Grail (a.k.a. Search Engine Optimisation).
Apart from these givens, how much you do in the way of promoting your business online and the particular way you do it is down to the needs of the business itself: the type of industry, client’s ambition, time available and, of course, budget. What’s guaranteed is that there’s something to suit everyone. And regarding budget, it doesn’t have to be a big budget; you can pay for listings in multiple sites and spend thousands, but a bit of research and some canny placement can achieve the same results for considerably less cash output.
So where to start…?
For example, this case study is a very simple online marketing campaign that doesn’t even require a website. What would make this campaign more effective is to include an embedded link to the website taking you to a page that is regularly updated with new menus, events etc. so that those people interested might bookmark that page, send it to friends and become a regular customer of your website and your establishment.
Web marketing is an area I address with clients, week-in week-out, in one way or another – but I am rather flummoxed about where to begin describing ‘how to’ as it’s such a vast area. Let me think about it and I’ll come back to you next time with another case study to illustrate how you can apply some simple online marketing strategies yourself.
In the mean time, if you’re feeling brave here is a maze rich in resources on the subject of search engine optimisation, including linking, keywords, copywriting etc. Danny Dover is a Seattle-based SEO consultant. He might be King Arthur too.
Waikokopu Cafe is extending its opening hours – chef Hughie Blues is introducing a divine evening menu, available from 6pm from Thursday to Saturday. Waikokopu is a bit of a local institution and generally they don’t need to advertise or market too heavily – partly because reputation does most of the work and partly because of their location at the Treaty Grounds – almost every visitor to the Bay comes to Waitangi to see the Treaty House and invariably they want to be fed and watered at some stage of the day. Waikokopu is the dedicated spot.
However, on this occasion, Waikokopu needed a bit more than the power of word of mouth or excellent location to communicate their evening timetable, so we decided on an email newsletter. Employing the skills of a graphic designer we put together a simple graphic that could be embedded as a jpg in a regular email and sent out to the Waikokopu contact database along with a copy of the evening menu. We gathered a list of all the local motel operators and also sent the e-newflash out to them. Et voila! One mini marketing campaign complete.
It’s a cost-friendly way to talk to you customers. There are many more sophisticated methods of sending out enewsletters than using an image in Outlook; in fact there are countless software programmes and companies dedicated to this kind of e-marketing. But for first timers with a manageable contact list, this method is fine. You don’t need to be flash to marketing your product successfully. You just need to put in a bit of thought.
Note that there are some rules to e-newsletters.
Firstly, you need to make sure you have something to say and then make sure you are using this method of marketing legally – your email database should be honestly gathered from correspondence or individual selection. More on the rules of spam and the ways to set up a contact database next time.