When Email Marketing Yields Unexpectedly Great Results

The basic concept

Sometimes the benefits of email marketing are quite different than anticipated. Most Web marketers understand the basic concept of email marketing which is to email promotional materials to a large group of Internet users in an effort to promote interest in particular products or services. This concept is easy for many to understand, but we will attempt to describe and, perhaps, elaborate on a few of the more beneficial aspects of email marketing.

In the following paragraphs we discuss the basics of email marketing, but we will also explain how – sometimes – email marketing can encompass much more than originally planned. This additional reach can be either a positive or negative influence depending on the quality of original emails and the reactions of subscriber list recipients.

Simple & cost effective

Email marketing is a very simple concept which can also be extremely cost effective; but the general idea behind email marketing can be narrowed down to this simple characterization: An email is sent to an email subscription (or distribution) list with the single purpose of creating an interest in the products or services being offered by the originator of that email. In theory this concept could not be simpler but email marketing can get significantly more complicated when being implemented.

One of the biggest complicating factors is the potential for emails used in a marketing campaign occur when one or more of those emails are misinterpreted as spam, either recipient of such emails or a spam filter provided by the Internet service provider. This potential alone creates a major complication because Web marketers have to make a significant effort to ensure that their messages are not trapped by a spam filter or immediately deleted by the recipients for appearing to be spam.

After clearing initial hurdle

Once the misinterpretation hurdle is cleared and email messages get through to recipients, they have a small window of opportunity to make a positive impression on those recipients and influence them to make a purchase or at least visit the business owner’s website. One effective method of getting such a result is to provide quality content while keeping advertising subtle and at a minimum while making sure to feature a clear call to action. These are all factors which have been proven to help get the message across and entice potential customers to make a purchase or at least visit a website to get a closer look at those products and services.

As previously stated the goal of an email marketing campaign is to subtlely persuade email recipients to either make a purchase or visit a particular website for more detailed information; and when an email recipient performs either of these actions, it is considered a huge success. However, thanks to the power of a forward button, email marketing can actually be much more successful than even the business owner intended.

Better than word-of-mouth

One of the great aspects of email marketing becomes evident when email recipients receive an email that they think is worthwhile and are likely to make a purchase, but may also forward the same information on to a friend or family member they believe may also be interested in learning more about the particular product or service. This ability to forward email messages can be compared to satisfied customers in the offline world using word of mouth to tout the quality of products or services they have bought and like.

However, the ability to forward a worthwhile email message is exponentially more effective than using word of mouth to spread the word; because with just a few clicks of the mouse the original email recipient can forward any message to several of his/her friends simultaneously. This can result in significantly better results than the business owner had originally expected with no additional effort and time being exerted or money being spent.

Blend Email With Other Marketing Strategies!

The concept

Whether you choose to do your marketing online or offline one thing does not change: The concept that no single marketing strategy will be as effective as utilizing a blend of two or more marketing strategies. This does not mean that it is necessary to implement every known marketing strategy to promote your business; but rather, it implies that it’s worthwhile to market from a few different perspectives in order to help achieve business-related goals.

In this article we will take a look at the viability, need and practicality of combining email marketing with other types of marketing to create a successful, multi-tiered marketing strategy and in addition, offer a few observations on managing more than one marketing strategy simultaneously in the hopes that they will prove useful to you in your Web marketing efforts.

The adage

There is an old adage which states that, “Two heads are better than one,” and this could certainly be applied to a multi-pronged approach to Web marketing; because although you may enjoy a great deal of success with your current email marketing efforts it does not mean you should refuse to try other types of Web marketing strategies such as, website creation, participation in industry-related message boards, placing banner ads on your website(s), orchestrating an affiliate marketing campaign and generating inbound links to your website.

It is important to keep in mind that, while the possibility exists that not all of these strategies will be effective for your business, the liklihood that at least one other option which complements your email marketing will help you to achieve your business-related goals. But there is only one way to actually test the blend of marketing types, and that is to test each one in a methodical fashion simililar to the kind of “split testing” that proved to be so effective for many marketers a decade or so ago, and is still utilized by marketers to evaluate the effectiveness of their marketing strategies.

The offline factor

Alternately you even wish to combine your email marketing campaign with more traditional marketing strategies such as radio ads, television ads and the print media. Let’s face it, just because these types of advertising do not take place the Web does not mean they will be ineffective in helping you generate more business and profits.

In fact advertising both online and offline can allow you to reach a larger audience to which you can target your advertising. This is especially true in view of the fact that you can reach Web users around the world, but reaching potential customers who do not utilize the Web for purchasing or researching products or services similar to the ones you offer can only be accomplished using offline marketing strategies.

A powerful statement

Popular marketing strategies to combine with email marketing include banner ads and message board participation, but these are all online activities and each one individually is fairly simple. However, in combination these simple activities can create a powerful statement, in the sense that when you send out emails offering useful information about your products or services, while simultaneously purchasing banner ad space on websites with content which may also be of interest to your potential customers, you can earn the respect and pique the interest of potential customers.

Furthermore, let’s say you add a third marketing strategy like participation in industry-related message boards. When done right this could well be a powerful representation of your business, even if your potential customers are not currently in need of the products and services you offer; because seeing your business name so often will most likely have a branding effect that is credible and positive in their minds. And branding, which is essentially a process during which consumers see a company name so often that they are more likely to select a product from this company when they are in need of an item the company offers, will go a long way in boosting your reputation and customer base.

The caveat emptor mindset

Of course you must approach your experiment in blending marketing strategies with a “Caveat Emptor” mindset, because if you are planning to combine multiple forms of advertising, you should be aware that this might involve a degree of difficulty when evaluating the effectiveness of each marketing strategy.

This difficulty is especially true when the marketing strategies are implemented simultaneously. When using only one type of marketing strategy, you can generally attribute increases in sales or website traffic to changes in the marketing strategy. However, when more than one type of marketing strategy is in effect, determining which strategy is producing the most success can be quite difficult.

Methodical work

But remember, this experiment must be done in a careful and methodical manner. Meaning that the best way this situation can be handled is by not making changes to more than one marketing strategy at a time. By doing so you will be able to pinpoint which changes produce an increase in sales or website traffic. The methodical approach can also help you to determine when changes to your marketing strategy have a detrimental effect on your sales and website traffic. However, if you are having difficulty determining which marketing strategy is most effective you can consider asking customers to answer survey questions and provide information as to how they learned about the products or services your business offers.

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I recently viewed a video in which the presenter said, “there are two things you need to do in order to make money online. The first is to find a product to promote and sell, and the second is to find an audience…” (a market) to sell that product (in this case product refers also to service) to. With that in mind the product can be your own which you developed and created yourself, or belonging to someone else, in which case you can get authorization from that person/vendor to promote and sell the product as an affiliate and get paid a percentage of the sale in the form of a commission.

The first part of this equation – finding a product to sell – has been made exceedingly easy over the two decades since the introduction of digital products – created and made available – via the WWW (World Wide Web), so anyone looking for products to promote and sell can take his/her pick from among the vast numbers available in the eCommerce marketplace. It is the second part of the equation and all the various aspects of finding an audience, as well as the inherent challenges that must be dealt with in pursuading – friendly, though it may be – that audience to buy a product from you.

Traffic to your website

Of course it is understood in most marketing circles that the first step in finding an audience is getting exposure for your product, which is another way of saying attracting Internet users, also referred to as traffic to your website or product page

In order to achieve this most basic of goals many Web marketers advertise their websites utilizing some of the more popular advertising resources such as Google AdWords, Facebook Ads, and Bing/Yahoo! Ads, while others utilize the more economical methods like Traffic Exchanges, Link Exchanges and Email Marketing Campaigns. A third category of website owner relies on their own SEO techniques and formatting directly on their sites to induce the search engines to place their site on the SERPs (search engine results pages) which they expect would gain the site maximum exposure.

The conversion principle

It is important to point out at this juncture that whether a website owner succeeds in getting traffic that is costly, economical or free s/he must still convert that traffic into an audience that knows, trusts and likes who s/he is and what s/he represents (reputation and credibility) before that audience will buy a product s/he is promoting and selling. Therefore certain steps must be taken by the website owner in order to achieve this goal.

This is where the importance of conversion rates comes into play, along with the steps needed to convert visitors into buyers, and the skill with which to adebtly initiate and execute the conversion process. It is only then that a website owne, Web marketer, product owner or any other entity attempting to promote and sell a product that s/he will be successful in doing so.

The cold, hard cash factor

In the Ebook, 110 Bite-Sized Tips to Boost Website Conversion Rates, the author states that, “A lot of factors are involved with ensuring that visitors click on, and then actually buy items they see. There are many things you can do to get the most conversion rates possible which means those website views and random clicks actually turn into cold, hard cash (otherwise known as sales).” It is in the manner of this approach that an affiliate marketer or product owner shoud view the traffic that s/he manages to attract to a website or product page.

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The Easy Cash Phenomenon

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