Tuesday, September 19, 2017
     Interactive Web Design, Database Integration, Online Promotion, ECommerce Tools & Business Resources


HOW MANY WAYS TO PROMOTE? (Part 1)

By Mark Idzik

Is search engine positioning the best way to promote a site?

Using search engines is probably the most cost effective way to gain traffic, but there are other ways to supplement your promotion efforts. I recommend a mix of many methods when promoting a site, depending on your time, goals, budget and audience.

Here's a list of my favorites:

-Opt-in Email (Online)

Unsolicted email is never recommended - don't try it. The reputation you will earn is not worth the meager results.

Opt-in email is different. These are names of people who request information on specific topics. They voluntarily sign up to receive messages, so you have a very targeted list of people who want to hear from you. Response rates can vary on the offer, but from our experience and those that we work with, 4-20% rates are not uncommon. This of course depends on your email copy and the product or service you offer.

The most important part of doing an opt-in email campaign is your email "Subject Line" and message. Spend 4 times as much on the "Subject" because if the person receiving it doesn't open your email, it doesn't matter what's inside.

Avoid using "ADV", "$" signs and dollar amounts; many users have messages with those characters in the subject line filtered into the trash. Use a strong message and entice the reader with a line that will make them curious enough to open.

Make your email copy short (limit it to 2-3 paragraphs) and include your URL on the top, middle and bottom of the message. Create a special page on your web site for each message you send so you can gauge your click-thru rate and effectiveness.

When writing your copy, always remember, the reader is looking for "what's in it for me?" Make sure to use the words "you" and "your" and give them a reason to click on your URL and visit your site. Put yourself in the position of the reader. Are there enough reasons in this email message to take action and go to the web site?

Be careful when you begin your search for an opt-in list. Some list brokers offer "targeted" email lists, but they aren't opt-in. To them targeted means they scanned usergroups, discussion groups and web sites of a particular subject matter, and extracted the email addresses from them.

Normally, the price will range from .15 to .30 cents per name, so if you see a quote for much less, run quickly.

The leader in this field is PostMasterDirect. They maintain over 2 million unique names with over 9000 lists. You can search their database and target your market as close as you'd like. We are both list owners and renters with PostMasterDirect and have had excellent results on both sides.

For more information, visit PostMasterDirect at: http://www.postmasterdirect.com

-WebCards (Offline)

One way to reach your potential market is to snail mail (US Mail) them a postcard. Not any postcard, but a WebCard.

A WebCard is a postcard that includes a picture of your web site on the front (including your URL if you'd like), and either blank on the back, or printed with your custom message.

A WebCard is perfect to mail to:

  • off-line customers (introduce them to your site)
  • on-line customers (remind them of your site)
  • past customers (announce your new web site)
  • press contacts (great way to let them know about you)
  • vendors
  • prospects that have inquired about your product or service
  • association members

For example, at HelpTalk.com, we offer a postcard to visitors who would like to share the resources at our site with their clients, associates, family and friends. We regularly get 2-3 requests a week. Go to: http://www.helptalk.com/cardrequest.htm to see it in action.

To request a free sample kit of WebCards, visit:

http://www.printing.com

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