How to E marketing Strategy

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Chapter 1 Introduction to eMarketing 1.1 Introduction There is no doubt about it—the Internet has changed the world we live in. Never before has it been so easy to access information; communicate with people all over the globe; and share articles, videos, photos, and all manner of media. The Internet has led to an increasingly connected environment, and the growth of Internet usage has resulted in the declining distribution of traditional media: television, radio, newspapers, and magazines. Marketing in this connected environment and using that connectivity to market is eMarketing. EMarketing embraces a wide range of strategies, but what underpins successful eMarketing is a user- centric and cohesive approach to these strategies. While the Internet and the World Wide Web have enabled what we call new media, the theories that led to the development of the Internet have been developing since the 1950s. Saylor URL: http://www.saylor.org/books Saylor.org 2 1.2 A Brief Timeline in Internet Development LEARNING OBJECTIVE 1. Develop an understanding of how the Internet evolved. The following is a brief timeline of the key events that led to the development of the Internet as it is known today: • 1958. U.S. Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) is established to lead science and military technological developments. • 1961. Massachusetts Institute of Technology publishes a research paper on packet-switching theory. • 1961–69. Research into intercomputer communications and networks is ongoing. • 1969. Advanced Research Projects Agency Network (ARPANET), commissioned by the U.S. Department of Defense, goes live; U.S. universities connect network facilities for the first time. • 1971. Ray Tomlinson creates the first network e-mail application. • 1973. Protocols to enable multinetwork Internet opportunities are developed; first international ARPANET connections are made. • 1976. Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II sends an e-mail. • 1978. First spam e-mail is recorded. • 1980. Tim Berners-Lee develops rules for the World Wide Web and is credited as being the “Web’s father”; Alan Emtage develops the first search tool, known as “Archie.” • 1982. Standard network protocols are established: transmission control protocol (TCP) and Internet protocol (IP), commonly referred to as TCP/IP. • 1984. Joint Academic Network (JANET) is established, linking higher-education institutions; domain name system (DNS) is introduced. • 1985. A company named Symbolics becomes the first registered dot-com domain. • 1987. U.S. National Science Foundation is the catalyst for the surge in funded work into the Internet; number of Internet hosts increases significantly in this period. • 1988–1990. Twenty-eight countries sign up to hook up to the National Science Foundation Network (NSFNET), reinforcing international Internet potential. • 1990. U.S. Senator Al Gore coins the term “information superhighway.” Saylor URL: http://www.saylor.org/books Saylor.org 3 • 1991. Web father Tim Berners-Lee releases the World Wide Web (WWW) with scientists from the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN). • 1992. America Online (AOL) is launched and raises 23 million in flotation; the phrase “surfing the Net” is introduced by Jean Armour Polly; the World Bank goes online. • 1993. Mainstream media attention increases awareness of the Internet; first Internet publication, Wired, goes on sale; Mosaic introduces the first Web browser with graphical user interface and is the forerunner of Netscape Navigator; first online shopping malls and virtual banks emerge, as does evidence of spam; first clickable banner advertisement is sold by Global Network Navigator to a law firm. • 1995. Amazon is launched by Jeff Bezos; trial dial-up systems such as AOL and CompuServe launch; charging is introduced for domain names; search technology companies such as Alta Vista, Infoseek, Excite, and MetaCrawler rapidly appear. • 1996. Yahoo is launched on the stock exchange, and shares are up nearly 300 percent on its first day. • 1997. MP3.com is founded; the phrase “search engine optimization” is used for the first time in a Web forum. • 1998. XML (extensible markup language) is released to enable compatibility between different computer systems; Google is founded by Larry Page and Sergey Brin. • 1999. Peter Merholz coins the word “blog.” • 2000. AOL and Time Warner announce they are merging; pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns are introduced for top-ten search rankings; Google AdWords launches, charging for advertisements on a cost-per-mille (CPM, or cost-per-thousand impressions) basis. • 2002. UK online monthly consumer shopping breaks through the £1 billion barrier; Google AdWords charges on a PPC basis instead of a CPM. • 2003. EBay topples Amazon as the most visited UK Web site. • 2004. CD WOW loses court case and rights to source cheaper compact discs (CDs) outside the European Union, undermining the global concept of the Internet. • 2005. Iceland leads the world with broadband penetration: 26.7 inhabitants per 100 have broadband compared with 15.9 per 100 in the United Kingdom. Saylor URL: http://www.saylor.org/books Saylor.org 4 • 2006. Google buys YouTube for 1.6 billion; Facebook membership opens to anyone; Technorati.com notes that a blog is created every second of every day; Time magazine names “You” as person of the year due to online activity. • 2008. Firefox 3.0 launches with over eight million downloads in twenty-four hours; Internet usage tops 1,407,724,920 worldwide. 1 • 2009. An estimated 1,802,330,457 are using the Internet worldwide as of December 31. 1 Miniwatts Marketing Group, “Internet Usage Statistics,” Internet World Stats, June 19, 2010, http://www.internetworldstats.com/stats.htm (accessed June 22, 2010). Saylor URL: http://www.saylor.org/books Saylor.org 5 1.3 It’s All about Being Connected LEARNING OBJECTIVE 1. Understand how a domain name works. In its simplest form, the Internet is a collection of connected documents or objects. Hyperlinks are what connect these documents. The Internet is a worldwide network that allows for information to be shared between users (also known as “nodes”). The World Wide Web is a subset of this that caters specifically to Web sites. A hyperlink is a virtual link from one document on the World Wide Web to another. It includes the uniform resource locator (URL) of the linked-to document, which describes where on the Internet a document is. It is what you enter in the address bar of the browser because it is the address of that document on the Internet. A URL provides information to both browsers and people. URLs include domain names, which translate to Internet protocol (IP) addresses. Every Web site corresponds to an Internet protocol (IP) address, which is a structured series of dots and numbers indicating where it is physically located. When you enter a URL into the address bar of a browser, the DNS record indicates where the document is that you are linking to. Many domains can translate to the same IP address. Confused? Look at the domain name and IP address for Quirk’s Web site: • Domain name. http://www.quirk.biz • IP address. 212.100.243.204 A domain name looks something like this: http://www.domainname.com But a lot more information can be included in this. Domain names can carry the following information: Saylor URL: http://www.saylor.org/books Saylor.org 6 subdomain.domain.tld/directory • Domain. The registered domain name of the Web site. • Subdomain. A domain that is part of a larger domain. • TLD. The top-level domain, uppermost in the hierarchy of domain names, also known as the domain extension. • Directory. A folder to organize content. The TLD can indicate the country in which a domain is registered and can also give information about the nature of the domain: • .com. The most common TLD. • .co.za, .co.uk, .com.au. These TLDs give country information. • .org. Used by nonprofit organizations. • .gov. Used by governments. • .ac, .edu. Used by academic institutions. Domain names must be registered, and there is a fee for doing so. KEY TAKEAWAYS • The Internet is a worldwide network that allows for information to be shared between users (also known as “nodes”). The World Wide Web is a subset of this that caters specifically to Web sites. • The anatomy of the domain is as follows: subdomain.domain.tld/directory o Domain: the registered domain name of the Web site o Subdomain: a domain that is part of a larger domain o TLD (also known as the domain extension): the top-level domain, uppermost in the hierarchy of domain names o Directory: a folder to organize content • Domain names must be registered, and there is a fee for doing so. Saylor URL: http://www.saylor.org/books Saylor.org 7 1.4 How Do People Access the Internet? LEARNING OBJECTIVE 1. Understand the various ways in which people can access and connect to the Internet. People connect to the Internet and access content in many different ways. When it comes to the physical connection to the Internet, the market presents a number of options: • Dial-up • 3G (third-generation mobile and wireless communication) • Wi-Fi and WiMAX • Broadband • ADSL (asymmetric digital subscriber line) And that list goes on. The devices people use vary from mobile phones and small handheld devices to personal notebooks and desktop computers. The environment that people are in when they access the Internet also differs: • At home • At the office or place of work • In libraries and education centers • In Internet cafés and coffee shops Not only do these environmental factors affect how people use the Internet, but also their reasons for using the Internet can have an effect on how they interact online. For some people, it is primarily a communication channel, and their online activity is focused on their e-mail in-box, while for others it may be a research channel, with search engines playing a large role in their online experience. Having such a diverse audience means that there are many channels available to marketers when it comes to eMarketing. Saylor URL: http://www.saylor.org/books Saylor.org 8 So what does this all have to do with marketing? Marketing is about conversations, and the Internet has become a hub of conversations. The connected nature of the Internet allows us to follow and track these conversations and provides entry points for all parties. What follows in this book are ways of conversing with potential and existing customers using the Internet. KEY TAKEAWAYS • People can access the Internet in a variety of ways. • People access the Internet in a variety of places. • People use the Internet in many different ways (e.g., for e-mail or research). E X ER C IS E 1. Marketing is about conversation. List a few examples of online conversations you have noticed as a user. Name some of the brands you have seen engage in online conversation. Saylor URL: http://www.saylor.org/books Saylor.org 9 1.5 References Dave Crocker, “Email History,” http://www.livingInternet.com/e/ei.htm(accessed March 18, 2008). Richard Gay, Alan Charlesworth, and Rita Esen, Online Marketing: A Customer-Led Approach (Oxford, England: Oxford University Press), 8–9. Peter Merholz, “Play with Your Words,” peterme.com, May 17, 2002,http://www.peterme.com/archives/00000205.html (accessed May 27, 2008). Rachel Rosmarin, “Open Facebook,” Forbes, September 11, 2006,http://www.forbes.com/2006/09/11/facebook-opens-up-cx_rr_0911facebook.html (accessed June 22, 2008). David Sifry, “State of the Blogosphere, April 2006, Part 1: On Blogosphere Growth,” Sifry’s Alerts, April 17, 2006,http://www.sifry.com/alerts/archives/000432.html (accessed May 27, 2008). William Stewart, “Living Internet,” http://www.livingInternet.com (accessed June 21, 2008). Danny Sullivan, “Who Invented the Term ‘Search Engine Optimization’?” Search Engine Watch, June 14, 2004,http://forums.searchenginewatch.com/showthread.php?t=78 (accessed June 6, 2008). Saylor URL: http://www.saylor.org/books Saylor.org 10 Chapter 2 E-mail Marketing 2.1 Introduction At its core, e-mail marketing is a tool for customer relationship management (CRM). Used effectively, this extension of permission-based marketing can deliver one of the highest returns on investment (ROI) of any eMarketing activity. Simply put, e-mail marketing is a form of direct marketing that utilizes electronic means to deliver commercial messages to an audience. It is one of the oldest and yet still one of the most powerful of all eMarketing tactics. The power comes from the fact that it is the following: • Extremely cost effective due to a low cost per contact • Highly targeted • Customizable on a mass scale • Completely measurable Furthermore, e-mail marketing’s main strength is that it takes advantage of a customer’s most prolific touch point with the Internet: their in-box. E-mail marketing is a tool for building relationships with both existing and potential customers. It should maximize the retention and value of these customers, which should ultimately lead to greater profitability. Saylor URL: http://www.saylor.org/books Saylor.org 11 2.2 History LEARNING OBJECTIVE 1. Understand how e-mail developed into an important eMarketing tool. E-mail is probably ubiquitous to you, but there was a time when there was no e-mail E-mail actually predates the Internet and was first used way back in 1961 as a way for users of the same computer to leave messages for each other. Ray Tomlinson is credited with creating the first network e-mail application in 1971. He initiated the use of the “” sign and the address structure 1 that we use today (usernamehostname). E-mail was used to send messages to computers on the same network and is still used for this purpose today. It was only in 1993 that large network service providers, such as America Online and Delphi, started to connect their proprietary e-mail systems to the Internet. This began the large-scale adoption of Internet e-mail as a global standard. Coupled with standards that had been created in the preceding twenty years, the Internet allowed users on different networks to send each other messages. The first e-mail spam dates back to 1978. Spam is defined as unsolicited commercial or bulk e-mail. 2 In fact, more than 97 percent of all e-mails sent over the Net are spam Direct marketing has long played an integral part in marketing campaigns, but the high cost meant that only large companies were able to pursue it. However, with the growth of the Internet, and the use of e-mail to market directly to consumers, marketers have found these costs dropping and the effectiveness increasing. KEY TAKEAWAYS • E-mail was first used as a way for users of the same computer to leave messages for each other. • Spam is defined as unsolicited commercial or bulk e-mail, and today is said to account for 97 percent of all e-mail. 1 Dave Crocker, “Email History,” http://www.livingInternet.com/e/ei.htm (accessed March 18, 2008). Saylor URL: http://www.saylor.org/books Saylor.org 12 2 Darren Waters, “Spam Overwhelms E-mail Messages,” BBC News, April 8, 2009, http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/7988579.stm (accessed May 7, 2010). 2.3 How It Works L EA R N IN G O B JE C TI V E 1. Understand the different types of e-mail and how they are used. If you consider marketing as communicating with current and potential customers, you will see that every e-mail that is sent from your organization should be considered as part of your holistic e-mail marketing strategy. Does that sound a little complicated? Consider an online retailer, http://www.zappos.com. Zappos is an online shoe retailer. What are the ways that, as a customer, you might receive e-mails from Zappos? • Transactional e-mails. When you place an order, there will be a number of e-mails that you receive, from confirmation of your order to notice of shipping. Should you need to return an item, you will no doubt communicate with Zappos via e-mail. • Newsletters. These are e-mails that are sent to provide information and keep customers informed. They do not necessarily carry an overt promotion but instead ensure that a customer is in regular contact with the brand. These build relationships and foster trust between customers and their chosen brands. • Promotional e-mails. Should Zappos have a summer sale, they will send an e-mail relating directly to that promotion. The following are examples of other e-mails sent by Zappos: • E-mails to suppliers • Communication with affiliates All the communication sent out can be used to convey your marketing message. Every touch point will market the organization. However, here we will focus on commercial e-mails. There are two types of commercial e-mails: Saylor URL: http://www.saylor.org/books Saylor.org 13 1. Promotional e-mails. These are more direct and are geared at enticing the user to take an immediate action. They always feature a call to action and are designed around a specific goal. 2. Retention-based e-mails. Also referred to as newsletters, these may include promotional messages but should be focused on providing information of value to the user, geared at building a long-term relationship with the user. As with all eMarketing activities, careful planning is called for, as is careful testing and evaluating, so as to optimize your revenue. E-mail marketing may be highly cost effective, but the cost of getting it wrong can be very high indeed. KEY TAKEAWAYS • There are two types of commercial e-mails: promotional e-mails and retention-based e-mails. • E-mail can be categorized as follows: transactional e-mails, newsletters, and promotional e-mails. E X ER C IS ES 1. Search through your e-mail in-box. Can you find an example of a newsletter? Of a promotional e-mail? Of a transactional e-mail? 2. Using an advertiser of your choice, write mock copy that may be used in either a promotion e-mail or a newsletter. 3. As indicated above, the cost of getting e-mail marketing wrong can be very high. Can you think of an example where that may be the case? Saylor URL: http://www.saylor.org/books Saylor.org 14 2.4 Nine Steps to Executing an E-mail Campaign LEARNING OBJECTIVES 1. Understand what the nine steps of an e-mail campaign are. 2. Learn how to prepare for an e-mail campaign. 3. Learn best practices for executing an e-mail campaign. 4. Learn what steps to take after the completion of the campaign. There are nine steps to executing an e-mail campaign properly. These nine steps should be considered best practices for e-mail campaigns. If followed closely, a marketer can expect great results. The nine steps are as follows and will be addressed in the following subsections: 1. Strategic planning 2. Definition of list 3. Creative execution 4. Integration of campaign with other channels 5. Personalization of the message 6. Deployment 7. Interaction handling 8. Generation of reports 9. Analysis of results Saylor URL: http://www.saylor.org/books Saylor.org 15 Figure 2.1 Steps to Executing an E-mail Campaign Precampaign Step 1: Strategic Planning The first part of any e-mail campaign should involve planning around the goals you want to achieve. These will probably be in line with the goals of your Web site, with e-mail marketing being used as a tool to help you achieve those goals. As discussed in , you will decide on the key performance indicators (KPIs)for your campaign as well. Promotional e-mails will usually have an immediate goal: • Users make a purchase • Users download a white paper Saylor URL: http://www.saylor.org/books Saylor.org 16 • Users request further information Newsletters tend to focus on longer-term goals, and so your KPIs become more important here. KPIs include the following: • Open rate • Click-through rate • Number of e-mails forwarded • Return on investment (ROI) ROI can be a goal of the campaign, and it can be used as a KPI. A successful e-mail campaign is most likely to be the one geared at retaining and creating a long-term relationship with the reader. Know your audience; they will dictate the interactions. For more information on writing for your audience, please refer to . Step 2: Definition of List Running a successful e-mail campaign requires that a business has a genuine opt-in database. This database, the list of subscribers who have agreed to allow a company to send them e-mails with marketing messages, is the most valuable asset of an e-mail campaign. Permission must be explicitly given by all people to whom e-mails are sent. Companies that abuse this can put their reputation in jeopardy, and in some countries, legal action can be taken against companies that send unsolicited bulk e-mail—spam. Growing this database, while keeping it targeted, is a key factor in any e-mail campaign. The database needs only one entry—the prospect’s e-mail—but the following should also be considered: • First name, surname, and title • Date permission granted Saylor URL: http://www.saylor.org/books Saylor.org 17 • Source of permission • Gender • Country • Telephone number • Date of birth Fields such as name, surname, and title should be separated in your database. You should also gather date of birth as opposed to a prospect’s age—it ensures your database can stay up to date. Don Pepper and Martha Rogers refer to gathering information over a period of time as “drip irrigation,” 1 since it neither overwhelms nor parches the prospect. However, don’t be tempted to ask for more information than is required. The more information marketers can gather, the better they can customize their marketing messages. However, the more information a prospect is required to give, the more apprehensive he will be about parting with these details. This is in part because of the hassle involved and in part as a result of fear around Internet fraud. Following the initial sign-up, further information can be requested over a period of time. There are a myriad of ways to attract prospects to opt in to a database. An e-mail sign-up form on a company Web site is key. Visitors to a Web site have already expressed an interest in a company by clicking through to the Web site—this is an opportunity to develop that interest further. The best practice for sign-up forms is as follows: • Put the sign-up form where it can be seen—on every page and above the fold (i.e., on the page where it can be seen without scrolling down). • State your antispam stance explicitly, and be clear about how you value subscribers’ privacy. • Use a clear call to action. • Tell subscribers what they will get, and how often they will get it. Include a benefit statement. • Ensure the e-mail address is correct by checking the syntax. • Test to see what works best. Saylor URL: http://www.saylor.org/books Saylor.org 18 Every interaction can be used to ask permission to send e-mails. • Offer something valuable for free (e.g., white paper, gift voucher, music track), and ask if they would sign up to your newsletter at the same time. • Add a subscribe box to the checkout process of your retail site. • Use interactions at trade shows to request e-mail addresses. Opt-in and double opt-in: the integrity of the database can be safeguarded with a double opt-in process. An e-mail is sent to the e-mail address supplied, and the user has to click on a link within that e-mail to confirm their subscription. This means that dud e-mail addresses are kept out of the database and confirms that the user has granted explicit permission. Step 3: Creative Execution E-mails can be created and viewed as hypertext markup language (HTML) e-mails or as text e-mails. Bear in mind, though, that sometimes HTML e-mails are rendered as text e-mails. Text e-mails are the plain ones—text only, as the name suggests. If you have a Windows computer and you open up Notepad and type there, then you will be creating a text file. These e-mails are smaller and plainer. While copy is always important, it is particularly critical in this case, as it is the key driver of action and interaction. HTML e-mails are the e-mails with all the bells and whistles. These e-mails can contain images, different fonts, and hyperlinks. It’s probably what you’ve had in mind throughout this chapter when we have referred to e-mail marketing. Parts of an E-mail There are six main parts of an e-mail. Header. This has the “to,” “from,” and “reply to” fields. These are also opportunities to build a relationship through creating a perception of familiarity. In other words, the reader needs to perceive that the newsletter is somewhat unique for them and sent personally by the publisher. Using a personalized Saylor URL: http://www.saylor.org/books Saylor.org 19 company e-mail address (e.g., trevorcompanyname.com) for the “reply” field creates familiarity and builds trust with the reader. The “from” address should also include the organization’s name. A meaningless “from” address that the reader cannot identify only serves to confuse the origin of the newsletter and spark apprehension. Subject line. The subject line could be considered the most important part of an e-mail. Subject lines aid the reader in identifying the e-mail and also entice the reader to open it. The subject line is also scrutinized by spam filters and so should avoid words like “free,” “win,” and “buy now.” Consistent subject lines, using the name of the company and the newsletter edition, can build familiarity and help readers to sort their in-box. As with everything online, testing different subject lines will lead marketers to the formula that works for them. Personalized greeting. With a database that has entries for readers’ names, it is possible to personalize the greeting of the e-mail. “Hi, Kim Morgan” can elicit far better responses than “Dear Valued Customer,” but it is possible to create a greeting with personality without personalizing it. Occasionally, the subject line can be personalized as well to boost responses. Body. This is where the content of the e-mail goes. Don’t be tempted to use too many images: it can increase the size of the e-mail, and it can obscure text when images do not load. Be sure that text is not on the image but rather can be read without an image being loaded. Readers want value, so where images are used, make sure they are relevant and not just space fillers. Footer. A standard footer for e-mails helps to build consistency, and is the customary place to keep the contact details of the company sending the e-mail. At the very least, this should include the name and contact e-mail of the company. It can also include the privacy policy of the sender. One way to grow the e- mail list is add a “forward to a friend” link in the footer. The most important part of the footer is a clear unsubscribe link. Unsubscribe link. It is mandatory to have an unsubscribe link on all commercial e-mails. Interactive e- mails are best constructed with lightweight HTML capability allowing the e-mail to open quickly. This helps to capture the user’s attention before she moves on. The structure must allow readers to scan and Saylor URL: http://www.saylor.org/books Saylor.org 20 navigate the e-mail easily. For more on usability, refer to . The length of paragraphs, emphasis through bolding and colors, as well as sectioning information with bullets and borders all contribute to a well- structured e-mail. Figure 2.2 HTML E-mail with Key Elements Shown Saylor URL: http://www.saylor.org/books Saylor.org 21

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