Thursday, May 21, 2009

Email Marketing Secrets

Marketing on the Internet: Building a relationship

Take advantage of the Internet's interactive two-way communication channels to build responsive relationships with customers and prospects.

Create customised web content for each visitor to make them feel special:
  • Some retail sites 'remember' a customer's preferences, greet him or her by name and offer a tailored selection of goods.
  • Capture the information each visitor enters into forms on your site. If a name is given, store it so that it can be used for a personalised greeting.
Maximise the chance of your emails reaching their intended target:
  • Use the online tools available to analyse your emails before you send them to assess the likelihood of them being identified as spam. For example,
  • Regularly clean your list and give recipients the option to 'opt-out'.
Provide mechanisms to encourage people to respond to your email mailshots:
  • Always provide an email address in your mailings which customers can use to contact you.
  • Set up an autoresponder, which automatically sends a standard message in response to emailed enquiries.
  • Set up different email addresses for different campaigns, to make it easy to compare responses.
  • Using an individual's name as part of your email address for enquiries is more inviting than ''.

New Generation of EMAIL MARKETING F5

Marketing on the Internet: Net v traditional marketing

Internet marketing has many advantages - and a few major disadvantages - compared with traditional methods. You should always use it in conjunction with your existing marketing plans and techniques.

Internet advertising statistics always sound impressive, but consider all the extra costs before launching an ad campaign:
  • Finding the right sites and negotiating sensible prices for advertising space on them may be harder than you think.
  • You will need to hire a specialist designer to produce a good banner advert within the tight technical constraints.
  • Visit the Interactive Advertising Bureau’s website ( for the specifications of standard banner sizes.
The Internet may provide a better way of reaching a particular target audience than traditional advertising or direct mail:
  • Hard-to-reach niche audiences are often accessible directly through email lists, newsgroups or by advertising on a specialist website.
  • Web adverts are better at getting people to visit your website than print ads, partly because people can immediately click through to your site.
Brand values must be handled with care in the web environment:
  • Your online brand must reflect your real brand image in design and name. Register your brand name as a domain name.
Internet delivery of mailshots and newsletters offers some real benefits:
  • Selective lists of good quality prospects will normally be priced at about £100 per thousand names, as against, say, £150 per thousand for a good direct mail list.
  • Only mail those that have specifically opted to receive marketing mailings.
  • Your own customer lists are likely to be more effective than any you can buy.
Marketing using the Internet does not guarantee low cost. Traditional marketing methods can be cheaper:
  • Internet marketing is generally less expensive for small, niche campaigns, where traditional print and postage costs are prohibitive or lists are not available.
  • Per-customer costs for Internet advertising may be as high as for print advertising.
  • Internet marketing is more cost-effective for distributing information to customers and the press on a regular basis.
  • Most businesses now use spam filters to automatically filter out all email from unknown sources to reduce the threat of spamming or virus attacks. It is not unusual for legitimate emails to be identified as spam and deleted. This means fewer successful deliveries and a higher net cost per customer.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Email Marketing Strategy - Expert Interview with Marc Chesley of Infusionsoft

Marketing on the Internet: How much will it cost?

Marketing on the Internet need not be costly. The impact you make will depend as much on the ingenuity and effort you are prepared to put in as on your budget. You will need to pay for specialist expertise to set up your site, but not for day-to-day running.

You will need to allow for set-up costs to purchase suitable computer hardware and software and to register an Internet domain name:
  • Choose a domain name that echoes your brand or business name. Ideally, your address should be exactly what people would guess it was.
  • Registration can cost as little as £20 for two years. Shop around for the best deal.
  • Specialist software to manage email and newsletter postings costs £50 to £100.
Search engine and directory submission fees can add up:
  • Registering with search engines is essential - they are the starting point for keyword-based information searches.
  • Most search engines and directories charge for submissions.
  • Make sure you have put the key words that people will use to find your site in every page of your website.
  • Exchange free links with relevant non-competing websites.
  • Some search engines look at the number of links there are to your site as ranking criteria during searches.
Running costs will usually be low:
  • Allow regular updating of your website to keep visitors coming back.
  • Unless you are using broadband, phone bills will be higher if employees are making the most of the web.
  • Invest in training. If your employees know how to use the Internet efficiently, online time and other costs will fall.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

5 Secret Marketing Strategies

Marketing on the Internet: Making it work

Launch a website to promote your company and its products:
  • Make your site an information resource that visitors will value.
  • Create a website that involves visitors and encourages them to return by inviting feedback through questionnaires, offers of emailed bulletins and email reply links.
  • Update your site frequently to keep the look and the content fresh.
  • Keep your website simple and easy to use. Visitors can be put off by flashy graphics, intro pages or sites that are slow to download.
  • Make sure your site is search engine friendly. Search engines do not like complicated websites and you will need to ensure that the key words visitors will use to find your site are embedded in every page.
Consider using web advertising to attract visitors:
  • The most cost-effective web advertising is based on the number of people who click on the ad and follow the link to your site - known as a 'click-through rate'.
  • 'Cost-per-click' advertising such as Google AdWords or Overture send visitors looking for your products directly to your site.
  • Avoid online advertising where you pay 'per impression', such as banner ads, which are more expensive and less effective for smaller businesses.
  • Make sure all your traditional advertising includes your web address.
Collect email addresses for customers and other contacts and keep them informed through email newsletters:
  • Take every legitimate opportunity to build your own list by capturing email addresses from visitors to your website and from people enquiring about your products.
  • Give existing customers news of product launches, discount schemes, service improvements and technical changes.
  • Keep representatives, distributors and dealers up to date with company news.
  • Use announcements of special offers to keep attracting visitors back to your website.
Target new customers by renting email lists:
  • Only use lists where people have specifically agreed to receive unsolicited email ads about a certain topic. These are called 'opt-in lists'.
  • Use a reputable broker. Email works best in focused campaigns. Use targeted lists to reach niche markets.
Gain press publicity for your activities by sending out email press releases:
  • Email makes it quick and cheap to prepare and send your own releases.
  • For most small firms, the aim is simply coverage in a couple of key trade journals or a few local papers.
  • Many journalists, especially in high-tech fields, now prefer emailed press releases.
  • For more ambitious campaigns, online PR agencies can provide low-cost targeted lists of journalists in your product area.
Raise your profile with niche audiences by joining newsgroup discussions:
  • Visit and click on 'Groups' to find relevant newsgroups.
  • Give helpful, practical, unbiased answers to specialist questions, without blatantly plugging your product.
  • Make sure your messages have a signature section with the company name and your web address. This should be your only overt promotional tool.
  • Guerrilla marketing (asking friends to pose as satisfied customers recommending your goods or services) can be an effective way of promoting your business, but avoid breaching the strict newsgroup etiquette.

Monday, May 18, 2009

20 Free Marketing Strategies & Tips!!!

Email marketing: The business advantage

Email can offer an effective and flexible tool for low-budget marketing:
  • With the right list, you can reach customers anywhere with no delay, no print bills and no distribution costs.
  • Your message can be sent to hundreds of people and companies around the world for the cost of a local phone call.
  • Your email can be precisely targeted. It goes direct to a named person’s desktop.
  • Emailed newsletters and mailing lists can be developed to give regularly updated information and build customer loyalty.
  • Automated systems can save handling time and reduce costs when reacting to sales enquiries or requests for product details.
  • Email provides instant, simultaneous distribution of press releases to the media.
The Web can help you promote products, and launch new ones:
  • For a few pounds a month, your product details, catalogue and price list can be available to the world, all day, every day.
  • A website, with a hotlink for email replies, provides a great channel for customer feedback.
  • You can improve your customer service by providing tips, answers to frequently asked questions, background information and links to other sites.
Joining in relevant newsgroup discussions creates opportunities for marketing and business intelligence activity:
  • Exploring the universe represented by many thousands of newsgroups can help you uncover new niche markets.
  • Newsgroup debates can provide openings for careful but effective PR initiatives.
  • By assessing participants’ views on your industry or your products, you can pick up ideas and focus on what customers want.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Tom Murrell's "Secrets of Email Marketing"

Marketing Service: Print Materials & Ads

Print materials can be an important component of marketing your service to specific user groups. When targeted to your likely service users, advertising or print mailings can be very effective for generating interest in your service. The key is to incorporate print materials into your overall marketing plan, so that your ads or materials are truly reaching your customer groups.

InforME can assist you with marketing and design expertise for print materials, as part of our partnership with you in building an eGovernment service.
Common print materials include:
  • postcard announcing the service and URL
  • 1/3 flyer that can be inserted into normal mailings to target audience
  • brochure for mailing or distribution at events
  • poster for display in agency offices
  • advertisement for newspaper, trade journal, or local publications

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Marketing Service: Press releases and Events

Press Relations

Communication with the local and national media is an important part of any marketing plan.

We recommend that you create a press release announcing your new online service, and you may even want to follow up with additional press releases over time to promote the service or praise the success of the service. InforME can assist with the press release if desired, and has access to national media outlets.

Press Release Tips

Keeping these few tips in mind when writing and submitting your press release will increase your chances of news coverage.

Be creative. Using a catchy headline will compel the reader to continue. Keep it to one sentence and capitalize the first letter of all words but do not use all caps.
Opening Paragraph

The opening paragraph should include the 5 W's and an H: who, what, where, when, why and how, but not necessarily in that order. Your first paragraph should give the reader as much information as possible in as short a space as possible. Provide a brief summary of the press release and include a hook to get your audience attention.
Second & Third Paragraphs

These paragraphs make up the body of the release and provide more detailed information for the reader. Pick up the information provided in your first paragraph.

Include quotes from key staff, customers, or subject experts. Use short quotes to evoke emotion about the service. Never release a PR without first obtaining permission and approval of any quotes you've included.

Try to keep these paragraphs short and sweet. Limit paragraphs to about 4 sentences and the body should be fewer than 400 words.
Final Paragraphs

The final paragraphs wrap up the press release and should include:
  • Agency acknowledgment, event timelines, availability, etc.
  • A brief history section that provides background information about the company featured in the release.
Acknowledging InforME as a Partner

There are several ways to mention InforME as a service/website development partner. You could simply start this paragraph with:

" (name of website or service) is a service of (agency name), in partnership with InforME, Maine's private-sector partner and official web portal provider. All online services and official State of Maine web pages can be accessed from the state portal:"

You may also want to include:

About is the official web portal of the State of Maine ( and is the winner of the Center for Digital Government's 2004 Best of Web competition. is a service of the Information Resource of Maine (InforME), a collaborative effort between the State of Maine and New England Interactive, LLC that helps Maine government entities Web-enable their information services. was built and is marketed, operated, and maintained by New England Interactive, LLC.

Type a ### at the end of your release to indicate there are no more pages.

Press Events

Along with your press release, you may want to schedule a press event to generate more interest and excitement. Press events at the Governor's Office are particularly effective for attracting media attention. InforME can help coordinate your press event and can attend the event to help things run smoothly.

Press Event Tips

If you're planning a press event at the Governor’s Office, the following guidelines will make your event go smoothly.

It is important for the Governor's Office and the agency to be as prepared as possible. Preparations should include the following:

Coordination with the Governor's staff on how the website will be viewed - Will the Governor be viewing the website from his PC or will you be projecting the site? A laptop and projector will be needed for the latter decision. (We've found that a projection on a window shade in the Governor's office works well enough so that a separate screen is not needed
  • It's very important to prep the Governor prior to the press event. Provide the Governor with talking points to expand upon while highlighting these points of the website.
  • Make sure a copy of the website is put on a CD for back-up! The state Internet connection has an uncanny way of going down when the Governor is in the middle of presenting an Internet website or service to the media.
  • It may be beneficial to plan on using a CD demo instead of a live Internet connection. We can provide the walk through on a CD.
  • A copy of this or a link to the site must be available to the Governor's Office prior to the event. The talking points should be included with this.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Successful Email Marketing - How It's Done

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Create and deploy a marketing plan

Writing a marketing plan is a crucial step in the promotion of your new online service. InforME can assist you with this task.

View Example Marketing Plan - Driver's License & ID Card Renewal Service (RTF) (state agencies only)

Marketing Plan Checklist

Some suggestions and possibilities for inclusion in your plan:
  • Press Release
  • Newspaper Ads/Articles
  • Trade Publication Ads/Articles
  • Public Service Announcements
  • Posters
  • Brochures
  • Giveaways (pens/pencils, mousepads, bumper stickers, post-its)
  • Direct Mailing
  • Telemarketing
  • Newsletter article
  • Email Distribution List
  • Speaking Opportunities
  • Launch Events/Open House
  • Focus Group - look for suite opportunity
  • Feedback Survey
  • Subscriber Newsletter
  • CD-ROM
  • List of applications that be cross-marketed with this service
  • Agency communications - voicemail, email, letterhead

Monday, May 11, 2009

Secrets of Marketing Success

Marketing and incentives are very important for the success of your online services. Agency commitment is vital in ensuring the high adoption of an electronic service. Comprehensive internal and external marketing are also critical to continue to meet customer needs and expectations.

We understand that your budget for service marketing is probably small (if any), and we have experience in developing creative marketing ideas that are free or very low cost. Over the years, we have found that reaching out to your known customer groups through existing events, publications, newsletters, routine mailings, etc., is very effective. Such targeted marketing efforts to your known customer groups are more effective than large scale and often costly broad advertising campaigns.

Marketing an online service includes:
The marketing methods for your online service may include:
A marketing plan will ensure optimum exposure. Ultimately, your marketing goals are to provide high customer satisfaction which, in turn, generates additional use of the online service.

Secrets of Marketing Success
  • Direct Mailings
  • In-person customer training
  • Offer online services at a less expensive rate than the traditional methods
  • Provide customer service via telephone and email for users learning the new system
  • Provide outreach and education at user association meetings
  • Provide easy to use and varying billing options
  • Attend user association events and conferences