6 Simple Steps to Start e-Marketing with a Success

By Matthew Kwan © Copyright. All rights reserved. Principal Consultant

Adams Company Limited www.adamshk.com

Starting e-Marketing is easy but walking on the right path is not so easy. There are just too may options you can consider! However, typically I would recommend my clients to follow 6 simple steps to plan and start doing e-Marketing and they are:

1. Building Effective Website
2. Designing Compelling Messaging
3. Sending Strategic Newsletters
4. Online Advertising
5. Managing Customer Databases
6. Building Alliances

1. Building Effective Website – I have shared in other articles how important it is a website for e-Marketing to be successful. It is not only design and layout but also the real business strategy behind. You have to consciously to make your website effective for your business and engaging your customers interactively. A website will only perform well when it is being revised and updated according to the environmental changes with Compelling Messaging.

2. Designing Compelling Messaging – It is really back to marketing basics about communications. You have to high play your products/services’ benefits rather than functionality in order to distinguish your differential advantages over your competition. A lot of time, customers’ buying decisions are based on trusts that built on the success references you are giving of other cases. Before you get this right, e-Marketing will never be a success.

3. Sending Strategic Newsletters – e-Newsletters are so easy to send out if you have any emails of our suppliers, partners, customers and prospects. However, your compelling messaging must be ready before your e-Newsletters can be successful. In additional, you need to send out useful information or knowledge occasionally other than sales promotions in order to attract your target audience to keep subscribing your newsletter

4. Online Advertising – The most basic Online Advertising option I recommend is Search Engine Marketing. It is becoming mandatory for any companies nowadays to make sure their company information/advertisements are showing on the first page of search results. Without doing this, your website will just never be found in a very long while!! Other Online Advertising options can be Web Banner Ad on your target customers populated websites or contextual advertising…etc

5. Managing Customer Databases – When you start doing e-Marketing, the next important thing is to keep up with your customer database(s). This is very crucial because your customer database will grow throughout your e-Marketing activities. The most basic way to do this is to use Excel or Outlook or any other mail clients but as you grow your customer database, it is better to adopt a Customer Relationship Management software or a e-Marketing campaign software.

6. Building Alliances – No one can be successful by doing e-Marketing alone and this is the fact! Hence, building alliances and letting your alliances to promote your products/services in their websites and other channels are the very key to success with e-Marketing. You potential return on investment (ROI) will grow even better than you can imagine.

After all, e-Marketing is just Marketing, companies need to be applying the basic marketing techniques in order to be successful. However, this internet age is making the situation so interesting that you can exercise your marketing creativities with a lot of opportunities and alternatives!

Making your e-Marketing Campaign a Success

By Matthew Kwan © Copyright. All rights reserved.
Principal Consultant

Adams Company Limited www.adamshk.com

Obviously, when you ask any marketing professionals, they will tell you Return On Investment (ROI) is the way to measure success of any marketing activity. However, what are the returns should we expect from e-Marketing campaigns that would make them really successful? I have shared these many times in public and would like to reiterate here with the following 3 most important indicators.

  • Sales Oriented – Any marketing activities fundamentally are tools for generating sales. Somebody may argue on this point but it is the reality we have to face that the reason of any business organization is to make money through sales. Hence, if your e-Marketing campaign is not helping you to generate sales, there must be something you should change to make sales happened.

  • Community Building – Many times, sales volume is a function of your customer reach/base. The larger the set of your target customers, the greater chance you may get higher sales. If your e-Marketing campaign is not expanding your customer base and they are not coming back to visit your website frequently, your e-Marketing budget will never be effectively used.

  • Affiliated Websites – The more business partners are willing to put up your website link to their websites, the higher chance to get “free” marketing opportunities and let search engines to search your website easier. At the same time you may be able to reach broader customer based through your business partner network. Eventually, your expanded network will help you to grow your customer community and sales.

These 3 indicators are very much inter-related and they are influencing each other in a lot of sense. If you can master your e-Marketing campaign with good results of these 3 indicators, I can guarantee you your e-Marketing campaign will differently a successful one!

Starting Your e-Mail Campaign with Your Allies

By Matthew Kwan © Copyright. All rights reserved.
Principal Consultant

Adams Company Limited www.adamshk.com

It is too easy to get bounced back or blocked by Spam Analyzer of any email system whenever you send out anything to anyone these days. First of all, you should try your best to convince the receiver on your distribution list to add your email address to their address book to decrease the chance of classifying your email as junk email sender. Even your e-Mail is safely landed in their In-Box, there are four categories of people are likely to have better interest to read through your message and they are your:

1. Suppliers: Suppliers are the group of people who want to keep up with your relationship and continue to sell you products & services. They are very likely to read through everything you send in order to know you better. We have so many experiences that our Suppliers became our customers along the way! Nice!

2. Business Partners: Business Partners are the group of people who want to leverage your network and business opportunities to grow business together. Since your business direction may impact their business direction, they are typically paying close attention to your e-Mail campaign messages to make sure they are keeping up the pace with you. The power of word of mouth and referral is exponential and greater than you can imagine. However, it takes time to build up a good and solid Business Partner Network!

3. Existing Customers: Existing Customers are the group of people who want to make sure they are getting the value for money from your products and services. As they have already lowered their barrier to your products/services, they have high interests to continue business with you provided the quality of your products/services are fine. Same again, word of mouth will eventually become a power tool of marketing to grow your business when your existing customer base grows larger.

4. Prospects: Prospects are the ones who already took action to call you up for enquiries and explore the opportunities for building up business relationships. Any new promotion and new products/services may trigger their buying desires. We have seen many cases that prospects may not purchase our products/services at the first instance but over time, they come back to purchase other products and services or refer other people to do business with us. So never give up of selling!

E-Marketing Strategy: Generate Sales or Build a Brand?

By Matthew Kwan © Copyright. All rights reserved.
Principal Consultant
Adams Company Limited www.adamshk.com

When you define your objectives of e-Marketing it is not any different from traditional marketing. The simpliest way is to make sure whether you want to Generate Sales or Build a Brand. However, a lot of time, you may not be able to segregate the two. Depending on your markeing budget, but I am too sales oriented to always recommend my clients to start with generating sales as your primary objective in any e-Marketing activity since the more exposure you have through e-Marketing activities, the stronger the brand may become.

So, what are the better channels to Generate Sales? It is really related to the services and products you are promoting but here are some general tips:
1. e-Mail Campaign:

  • e-coupons: design e-coupons for people to print out and redeem discounted products/services or even encourage receivers to forward to their friends to create an exponential reach of your target customers. This is especially effective for resturants promotions and retail shops or similar industries.
  • online purchase and lucky draw: e-Marketing is very much impulse (buying) base behaviour. Hence, you have to encourage your target customers to make the decision of purchase at the spot when they receive your e-Mail with HUGE Discount and Extremely Attractive Prize of lucky draw.

2. Web Banner Ad & Search Engine Marketing:

  • Beautiful Web Page: Whether you are doing e-coupons or online purchase & etc…you need to have a beautiful web page before you can do Web Banner Ad & Search Engine Marketing.
  • Popular High Traffic Websites/Portals: You do not neccessarily need to own a website to set up your web beautiful web page as there are many popular (high traffic) websites/portals can provide such services at a cost. Nevertheless, you really have to choose the better (and relevant) websites/portals. Web Banners will only be effective if you are exposing to the right target audience in volume. You have to make sure your choice of search engines are including the Local Kings.

Ahead of the e-Marketing Game with Right Search Engine Marketing Strategy

By Matthew Kwan © Copyright. All rights reserved.
Principal Consultant

Adams Company Limited www.adamshk.com
As it is so dynamic the (internet) world getting to be, Search Engine Marketing is something you cannot ignore in order to win the e-Marketing game. So, how to make sure our strategy is the right one? Here are some tips I would recommend anyone who want to be ahead of the game:

  1. Identify Local King: Each market/country may have the Local King you must aware of that most people (80%?) may have preference to use that search engine. e.g. Yahoo in Hong Kong, BaiDu in China and Google in a lot of other countries…etc. However, you still should advertise on other search engines even they are not the Local King to make sure you have a presence.
  2. Smaller Budget with Specific Keywords: If you are not sure what budget to use at the start, try always with smaller amount with the more specific keywords (i.e. phrases instead of single words) first.
  3. Register on Web Business Directories: Other than paid advertising, you should also go aggressively to register as many web business directories as possible. This is very strategic as typically these directories are easier to be searched by search engines.
  4. Exchange Banners/Links: Your business partners including suppliers and customers are very valuable to you and you should always ask them to exchange banner or links with you to cross promote each other. The more links are referring your website the higher chance search engines can show you with higher position.
  5. Grow Your Website Hit Rate: Grow your website hit rate to let your website listed higher by search engine. However, it is easier said than done to grow your website hit rate. One important thing to bear in mind is to encourage your visitor to use your website rather than viewing only!

Good e-Mail Campaign Begins with Subject Line

By Matthew Kwan © Copyright. All rights reserved.
Principal Consultant
Adams Company Limited www.adamshk.com

We receive too many e-Mail advertising messages nowadays. A lot of them will automatically drop into our junk e-Mail box instantly and some of them may not. Nonetheless, the chances of us opening an e-Mail message depends largely on the sender and the subject line. Hence, writing a good subject line is the key success factor for a good e-Mail Campaign.

So, what is a good subject line? I attended a training course conducted by Bill Jenson, the author of Simiplicity Survival Handbook, a few years ago. He taught us a very simple way of communication which is based on 3 things: Know, Feel, Do. I think this is very useful for use to bear in mind whenever we write anything and especially for writing e-Mail Campaign subject line. Here is the simple explanations:
  • Know: Write what is the real subject to let the readers know what it is about instantly.
  • Feel: Write what is related to the readers especially some emotional facts to get them echoed the facts or to feel the importance of the matter
  • Do: Write clearly the desired actions you what the readers to take after reading the message
It is not easy to do the above when you only have limited space for the subject line. However, the shorter you can write more, the better chance you will get higher response! In fact, not only the subject line should be written in Know-Feel-Do format, the mail body content should be written in the same way!

Search Engine Keywords Must Be Cost Effective

By Matthew Kwan © Copyright. All rights reserved.
Principal Consultant

Adams Company Limited www.adamshk.com

A lot of companies now are advertising on the popular search engines to promote their products and services. However, how many keywords should you advertise to get the best results? Some servicing companies are suggesting clients to publish only a few “top most important” keywords but in my opinion you got to advertise with the Most Cost Effective keywords.

So how do we quantify cost effective, it is a matter of getting the maximum exposure with the best prices. For example, you may get maximum exposure when you are bidding for the first 5 positions but your prices must be high. However, you may get 70% of the same exposure of the top 5 positions on the first page of search results with just a fraction of the costs of the first 5 positions. There is not formula to help you to do this but you need to experiment your bid prices in order to achieve a optimal point. The bad news is as it is a dynamic business, that means you have to do this constantly!

The other point to make is that you have to look out for other Cost Effective keywords by evolving your keywords with variations like in plural forms, adding verb before nouns, specifying your targeted locations to make your search keywords list more specific and like a sentence/questions you would type when you try to search for something. This takes a lot of creativity in order to perfect your keywords list but over time you will certainly get the pay back, I can guaranteed!

Building up Affiliated Links to Grow Your Web Presence!

By Matthew Kwan © Copyright. All rights reserved.
Principal Consultant

Adams Company Limited www.adamshk.com

In order to let people find you on internet with higher chance, one trick is your website must be linked by many other affiliated websites. The more affiliated partners or websites you are linked, the better chance more people may find you easier as well as your search engine(s) results/appearance will be higher.

One thing I do very often myself is whenever I do new business with new partners or suppliers, I would ask if they are willing to exchange banner/link to increase our mutual exposures on the internet.

Other than getting your partners to link your website, you can go and register on a lot of internet (business, B2B, B2C…etc) directories. A lot of these directories are location specific, so if your target customers are located in multiple countries, you may have to go to multiple web directories for different countries to register your company information.

However, affliations take time to build and there are many more other considerations than just technical concerns!

Websites are so important to make e-Marketing campaigns successful!

By Matthew Kwan © Copyright. All rights reserved.
Principal Consultant
Adams Company Limited www.adamshk.com
2008 July 17

Most e-Marketing campaigns will redirect potential customers to the target landing (web) page you want people to view the specific promotional contents. If you don’t have a good look and feel of your web page, the chances of your potential customers would take any action are very slim.

4 ground rules I often use and coach my clients are:
  • Customer Oriented: Your website should be laid out according to your target customers. Your target customers, especially those new to your website, can find relevant content of their interest very easy and fast.
  • Context Driven Content: Generally, you may only 10 seconds to capture the interest of new visitors of your website. So the contents must be of best interest and most relevant to them.
  • Call to Action: In order to generate business, you really have to make extra effort to encourage your visitors to call you, to e-mail to you or fill in enquiry forms to give you contact persons. Basically, no enquiry no business!
  • Community Building: You would have to spend a lot in advertisement if you are only getting new visitors to your website all the time. However, you could never imagine the power of word of mouth when your website is being referred and invited by your existing customers to their friends. Your website hit rate and visit rate will significantly increase when a communinity of your website supporters is built up.

Messaging on your web page is the next most import thing you have to deal with. It is an art to do good copywriting. By internet term, SHORT IS Beautiful!