Archive for February, 2007
Let’s face it. Email marketing is here to stay. Many people use email in their daily communications, many use it even more than a phone. Many companies use email to build and strengthen connection between them and their customers, to have good customer relationship. How effective is direct email marketing compared to traditional marketing? You will find out in this article.
Advertising and marketing online and offline have at least one thing in common – you have to know your target audience. Market segmentation is very important because you don’t want to loose your money sending your ads to someone who has no interest in it.
With direct email marketing, you can have 1-1 communication with your customers and prospects. With Group Mail product, award-winning email marketing, you can start creating your email marketing campaigns inexpensively. You will have ability to send HTML email newsletters in order to get better conversion rates and to include your graphics. Also, if you prefer hosted ASP services you can use services like Constant Contact, Vertical Response or some other quality service.
Using Opt-In Manager from Group Metrics package you will be able to get the necessary info from your subscribers and store it in your database. Importing data from existing applications or databases couldn’t be easier. Group Mail can import practically any file type, text, CSV, binary, databases, and email address books. At present any database that supports ODBC or OLEDB (SQL Server, Oracle, MySQL, Access, FoxPro, Excel, etc.) can be imported directly into Group Mail using the free Database Importer plug-in. This is very important in order to create highly-personalized campaigns, and with the advanced IF THEN ELSE personalization you will have real 1-1 communication.
Using Group Mail for your direct email marketing campaign you will be able to create unlimited lists with unlimited recipients in each and to make list segmentation. So this way you can send different emails to your prospects, clients, business partners, press or any other group about your company.
Traditional marketing is much more expensive than direct email marketing. If you want to start a direct mail campaign you will have costs for creating and printing your brochures and delivery expenses. Not to mention TV or print advertising. Beside that it is much more expensive, it takes much more time to create and implement any of the traditional marketing campaigns or offline advertising and response ratio is usually much lower than with using email marketing. If you use double opt-in practice for getting subscribers (we always recommend that practice), so that you require that people confirm their request to be on your list, it means that they are interested in what you have to say so they will be interested in your products, too.
Imagine that you want to announce your new software product, update, conference or webinar. You want to inform your business partners and clients because it is most likely that they will be interested in it. You have two choices: to use email to notify them or to use traditional techniques like sending letters or using a phone? What is better for you? You already know what is cheaper.
The second advantage using direct email marketing compared to traditional marketing is tracking. Practically, you can find anything about your email marketing campaign with Group Metrics product. You will get detailed statistics about how many people have opened your emails, what is your click-thru rate, which articles or ads were the most popular in your email newsletter. You can get some of that data without services like Group Metrics but there is more hassle. For example, you can embed a 1×1 pixel in your email newsletter and you will count the open ratio. Also, you can use PhpAdsNew for tracking clicks on your links.
There are no such precise techniques for tracking in traditional marketing. Can you know precisely how many people have seen your last TV commercial? No! Can you know precisely how many people have seen your last radio commercial? No! It is the same like with advertising in print magazines. There are some techniques like using equipment like “people meters” or some surveys regarding popularity of certain programs in which your ad was broadcasted but it is not so accurate, at least not that accurate like email marketing tracking. In this case you will usually have to pay to some marketing agency that will make that research. Another option is to include a special phone number or web site in your offline campaigns but even then you won’t know exactly how many people have seen your ad like black people meet reviews.
Another advantage that you get using email marketing is in getting feedback. With products like free PollDaddy you have ability to easily create polls and to get feedback from your visitors, prospects and clients, whether you want to use it on your web site or email newsletter. Using polls in your email marketing campaigns, you will get feedback about your company or products very fast and inexpensively.
How about if you want to get feedbacks from people using traditional survey techniques? Depending about your survey size, you will have to hire people who will ask questions. Later, they will need to make survey analysis. You already know that this way your costs will be much higher and you will get the feedback much later than using email marketing.
New technologies like the Internet offer countless business opportunities like finding information fast, work from home, real-time communication… One of those advantages is e-publishing with special aspect on e-books.
E-book is file or application that can be downloaded from the Internet and which enables that users can read and learn about different topics using computers, Pocket PC or even mobile phones! Many people read e-books while they are waiting someone or something or while they are traveling.
E-book can be made with different extensions. The most used extensions are in .pdf and .exe extensions, depending on the software that is used.
How to make an e-book
There are several ways how you can make an e-book. You can make an e-book using the simplest html or pdf editor or using specialized software which will compile, for example, several html files in one exe file.
Useful software for making e-books
Any text editor or html editor like Macromedia Dreamweaver http://www.macromedia.com
Adobe Acrobat for books in pdf format http://www.adobe.com
In case you want an e-book with exe extension
Web Compiler http://www.webcompiler.com
Ebook Compiler http://www.ebookcompiler.com
Ebooks Writer http://www.ebookswriter.com
Ebook Gold http://www.ebookgold.com
Making an e-book using above mentioned compilers have several advantages. When you make an e-book using an e-book compiler you will have a user interface similar like Internet Explorer. So, comparing with pdf documents people who download your e-book won’t need additional software for reading it.
More quality e-book compilers offer more opportunities for e-book protection which enable you to protect the whole book or only some parts with 128-bit protection. Opportunity to assign different password to different users, disabling printing, copying and right-click. Also, you can set an “expiration date” that is common thing with shareware programs. When we are speaking about protection we have to say that some e-book software offer a so called “lock to PC” feature, protection with a personal key that disables using your e-book on some other computer. Some software offers Digital Signatures feature and a search feature.
Why you should make an e-book
If you think that you have what it takes to write a good e-book – good knowledge, something interesting to write about and talent for writing you should consider writing your e-book.
Read carefuly: e-book, like every other book or business project, if it is done right offers many benefits for the author that can be material or non-material. Please be aware that non-material benefits often can be much bigger than material benefits. Under non-material benefits we mean goodwill and branding of the author. Depending on e-book critics it will influence on your image in your business. You can be considered as an expert in your industry. We don’t have to mention that successful e-book can get you benefits like invitations to seminars and conferences as a speaker, writing for well-known magazines, consultant jobs…
One more reason is that e-books are cost-effective. Simply, it is cheaper and there are much less risk involved than in writing a so caled “real book”. In case that you don’t have a publishing house that will finance your book, you will have to pay for your book publishing without knowing what will be your return-on-investment (ROI).
Free or fee-based
This is important decision that can influence on your e-book success. When you make a free e-book it is most likely that many more people will read it than if it is fee-based. That’s why you can make a revenue with selling ads. Beside selling your ad inventory, you can make partnerships with web sites or email newsletters that focus on similar topics like your e-book. You will place their ads and they will place your ad. For this purpose there is useful feature that every quality ebook software has and that is a so called re-branding or ability that the site that promote your e-book customize your e-book look for their needs. They can make it like if they are your general sponsors of your e-book and give it away to their readers and clients as a value-added service. You can do the same. You can use your e-book as a way to say “Thank You!“ to people who have subscribed to your email newsletter or bought your products. Many authors use e-books to syndicate first several chapters of their “real books” and use them as free trials for their books in order to have better sales.