Many online business people need to use marketing to get their message out into the online world. This is all well and good, but a lot of the traditional marketing paradigms either do not work, or have been adapted for use in an electronic age.
Email marketing is one of them; adapted from direct mail, but taking advantage of the improved technology that email offers over standard postcards, it is an area which can be extremely effective, but also a big money sink for the uninitiated. Digital strategies should be adapted asap. Social media, squeeze pages and more can have a profound increase in your bottom line when done correctly.
This is why many people turn to email marketing companies to run campaigns for them, or at least buy in consulting services to help them get started on their own.
What is Email Marketing Consulting?
Companies that offer email marketing consulting services usually do so within certain parameters. They can usually help in one or more of the following areas:
- Help to build a list;
- Find Joint Venture partners with compatible, targeted, lists;
- Formulate the campaign;
- Execute and track the marketing campaign;
- Provide a long term marketing strategy.
Naturally, these services come at a variety of price points. The business owner needs to select which approach is best for them – those looking for a quick hit will have different needs to those attempting to build a long term electronic relationship with prospects.
Research has shown that prospects are most likely to become a customer only after three or four interactions. This means that unless a product is being tested, an email marketing approach needs to encompass an ongoing relationship.
What are the Types of Internet Marketing Services Available?
Besides direct email marketing (the advert emailed straight to the prospect, sometimes called a “Solo Ad”), there are a number of ways that the marketing message can be delivered via email:
- Ezine sponsorship or guest posting;
- Information product (free) insert or in-line advert;
- Joint venture marketing (list sharing);
- List rental.
The last of these is the easiest to get started with, but will usually yield the poorest results as it comes with no additional authority. If an advert is placed in a respected ezine that already has a following, then it will capture some of that authority and be a much more effective advert.
How to set Criteria for Selecting an Email Marketing Company
The criteria for selecting an email marketing company will depend on the type of relationship that the business would like to have with it’s prospects. For a short term relationship, for example, critical criteria might be:
- Target list size;
- Real time tracking;
- Split testing (different adverts to different parts of the target audience);
- Time to email prospects.
However, for those looking for a longer term relationship, the following are more important:
- List building experience;
- Bundled software or online tools;
- Split testing;
Of course, it is always possible to go it alone with specialized email marketing campaign software. This last possibility will require that the business owner understands the purpose of email marketing as opposed to direct advertising using one-off mail shots, as well as having some competence with online and offline tools. Last but not least let’s not forget about how important web design is for converting visitors into buyers. A properly laid out site will increase your ROI and make your email marketing that much more effective.
Again, the points above are important – tracking and evaluating results are chief amongst them – but at the end of the day, building a targeted list from scratch is a long-term, but very worthwhile approach to email and internet marketing.