In today's market, Internet marketing is direct
marketing. It's not advertising. It's not branding. It's direct
marketing. And that's good news for companies trying to move products
Internet marketing (whether it's the Web, e-zines or e-mail) has
the one key element that enables it to operate like direct marketing:
It can be tracked. The ability to track Internet marketing drives
almost all your decisions on how to structure your marketing. Those
tracking numbers on every direct mail piece that gets into your
mail box drive programs just as the unique URLs embedded within
banners and e-mails.
The results driven from properly run Internet and direct marketing
can be impressive. As an example, one client's cost per new sale
reduced from more than $1,000 to under $200 in four months through
effective Internet marketing.
Here's a basic outline of the process.
up your tracking systems the more that can be tracked,
the better. With Internet marketing, you want to know who saw
the ad (banner, e-zine, e-mail, etc.), who clicked through, who
browsed around the site and who purchased your product or service.
Know these numbers, and you'll have the power to master your marketing.
Second, creating direct
marketing packages has been honed to a science. Internet marketing
is not there yet. The combination of the product, the offer, and
the package is magic, when it works. Always use professionals
who specialize in direct marketing; many of them are developing
a powerful array of Internet marketing tools. In selecting an
agency or creative director for this product, you want to see
the work he or she has done, and the results they've achieved.
If a prospective vendor won't share their results, run.
The third step is
testing testing, testing and more testing. Test lists,
test creative and test offers. Then, after you know what works,
keep testing. Your goal is to select the best combination of offer,
creative and list. Focus your marketing efforts on that mixture
while searching for a better program. You should never be satisfied,
and your vendors need to know that.
Fourth, your Internet
marketing (and your direct marketing) efforts have two distinct
advantages over traditional advertising. The most important is
its immediacy. Unlike advertising, these direct messages can create
a need, and fulfill that need immediately. The ability to personalize
your message also is important. Banners and e-zines can contain
personalization as well. Take advantage of the improved capabilities,
but track the results versus less personalized versions.
Fifth, once you have selected a package and list, and you
know it works based on your test, buy as much as you can. Tested
and tracked results are statistically projectable over the rest
of that population. Concentrate your efforts on the combinations
that work, and you'll have the efficiency to drive great results
Remember, Internet marketing,
like direct marketing is driven by reason, not emotion. Its goal
is to create action, usually sales, not to raise awareness and create
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us your comments
is the President of Results Network, Inc., an executive coaching
and consulting company. Located in Irvine, CalifA, the company has
driven improved results for a variety of companies, ranging from
Internet-based start-ups to large telecommunications companies.
Michael can be reached at (949) 653-0401 or via email at Michael@Scharf.ws)