E-Marketing: Definition, Tips, and Best Practices
E-marketing is the mix of modern communication technology and traditional principles that marketers usually apply. When we talk about modern communication technology, this is electronic media, more known as the internet (in the realm of e-marketing, the terms of online marketing and internet marketing are usually interchangeable).
E-marketing focuses on marketing your company online. You may use direct or indirect marketing features on the internet to connect your company to new customers, retain present customers, and build a brand identity.
E-marketing, through online tools and resources, can be used by your company via direct emails, blogs, SMS or text messaging, web pages, videos, banners, pictures, advertisements (like pay per click, display or social media advertising), search engine optimization, social media, affiliate marketing, and many more.
Although there are many tools used in e-marketing, you can choose to go into many or all of its activities, according to your company’s goals, product types, business capacity, target market, and other criteria related to your decision making processes.
E-marketing is important for your business because when it is executed properly, the ROI or return on investment can be greater than more traditional marketing strategies.
You have to realize, whether you are a business with a physical presence or work completely online, marketing in the internet is something you have to work with and put to your advantage. This would mean that you could reach millions of people around the world. It is unsurprising, then, that businesses have been moving more and more of their marketing resources online.
In this article, we discuss the main principles, tips, and best practices of e-marketing.
E-marketing includes of the main principles of traditional marketing but with a couple of differentiating characteristics. One main benefit of e-marketing is that its impacts are quantifiable.
This enables your company to work more efficiently and effectively, thus creating higher ROIs and profits. Moreover, an e-marketing strategy that has been implemented well can reach a cost effective consumer acquisition as compared to traditional marketing.
- Increased Reach and Audience. Due to the features of the internet, your target customers can be anywhere in the world. Different from typical marketing methodologies, the internet’s advantage is that your prospects and your customers can be included in the marketing mix of your business at any time of the day, at any place in the world.
- New Marketing Routes. E-marketing has marketing routes that simply are not there in traditional marketing. It is not just advertising via broadcast email and search engines. New opportunities in viral marketing, social networking, and other approaches solely found on the internet offers access to customer groups that were previously unreachable.
- Cost Effective Marketing. Using online technologies can create a large reduction in your marketing budget. When your company precisely targets your core customers, e-marketing can usually give the most cost effective approach to raise the customer base, increase brand awareness, and keep yourself in touch with your consumers.
- Complete Accountability. When executed properly, e-marketing gives complete accountability for its results. Activities that are online are completely trackable since tools can precisely show your company’s ROI, indicating that there is value in each cent you spend on e-marketing.
Here are some tips on how you can use e-marketing for acquiring new customers effectively.
Optimize for Google
The top source of new site visitors are search engines. Actually, Google already has eighty-eight-percent (88%) of the market. So try to prioritize ranking your company well in Google. You can accomplish this through three main steps.
- Appear on top in Google search results. The title of your web page is used by Google as the suggested title of its search results. In addition, describe your company in an informative but precise manner. Domain names are also a significant portion of the search results of Google. Hence, pick an easy-to-read and descriptive domain name for your website. Moreover, subpages must also be easy to read. Moreover, meta descriptions are defined as page summaries usually made use of by Google on their results page. Write meta descriptions that are unique for every page using 160 characters or less.
- Make Google understand your pictures. Put in short but descriptive file names for your pictures. The attribute, “alt” describes the picture. This aids Google in understanding what the picture is. Moreover, write a caption that is short below every picture. You must include significant information through text instead of pictures.
- Update your website and continuously offer useful and updated content. Think of your website as a storefront but in the virtual world. In the same way that you do not leave your physical store unattended for a month, you would not do the same to your website. Always update your website and keep it fresh by having a blog, announcing sales, special offers, and new products. Think that you are a customer yourself, so give them the information that they want.
Some great tips on internet marketing strategies.
Research on what phrases and keywords your target market uses to locate the items you are selling. You can make use of Wordtracker to note those words or phrases that are used a lot, yet create a few than the usual search results.
These phrases that create high keyword effectiveness index or KEI will often offer you the most optimal return. You can also try the keyword planner tool of Google. It also comes with an account for free ad words.
Google’s tool would provide you with an estimated monthly search for any search term you provide. The tool would also provide you with other keyword lists that Google thinks are connected to your search term and their monthly traffic.
Optimize High Ranking Pages
Go to the search box of Google. Type in the phrase you need optimization for and then type a space and afterwards, site: www.yourcompanyurl.com.
The first web page you will find listed coming from your site is the easiest to optimize for using that phrase. Afterwards, optimize that web page, especially using the tips given in the section on optimizing for Google.
Avoid Meta Keywords
This may seem odd, but do avoid meta keywords. Meta keywords are particular kinds of meta tag that show up on your web page’s HTML code and tell your search engines your web page’s topic.
Meta keywords are different from usual keywords since they are only in the source code of your web page, instead of the living, visible web page. Anyway, meta keywords can be filled out later on if you need to, but focus on the things that matter first. Integrate keywords for the meta description tag. Do this just for the page description that comes up in search engines.
You can now avoid meta keywords because they are no longer as important as they were before for search engine optimization. Many search engines know that websites can “game” their meta keywords field through black hat keyword stuffing. Hence, Google puts no importance on meta keywords in its ranking algorithm. Google puts more importance on meta descriptions and title tags, as previously mentioned. Nevertheless, they still form a helpful part in the communication of your message.
Optimize Important Page Elements
To optimize your web page, incorporate all key phrases into the text in a natural manner, for at least 3 to 4 times. It is significant to incorporate it into the tag, Title. The tag should not be greater than 9 or 10 words.
Hence, it is difficult to create optimization for one web page for greater than 3 to 4 phrases. Make use of every phrase at least once in the heading or subheading within the tags, H1, H2, or H3.
Develop a Strategy of Link-Building
Note that your site will rank higher if you have more hyperlinks coming from websites that rank high, are of good quality, and are relevant. If you can do so, access text hyperlinks that have important keywords.
Try to contribute to discussion groups and forums, with a text hyperlink in your signature. Check for reciprocal hyperlinks from websites that complement yours. Moreover, here are more ways to build links:
- Guest Posts – This is probably the best way to get a link from an authoritative page or domain. Having guest posts is also a pure approach to building links, since it seems you are giving something in return for a link. This means that your content can be hosted on a good domain; that the domain has its syndication, attracting links; and you can create a link using good anchor text.
- Employee Links – Based on the focus and size of your business, your employees might have personal sites, blogs, or other sources of links where you can place your link building efforts on. Having links coming from the inside is a great way to get links coming from sources that are of quality.
- Testimonials – If you work with contractors or freelancers, you can reach out to them to offer your testimonials in exchange for a link. Moreover, if you are using consultants’ or specialists’ services, you can also do the same as you do with contractors. Lastly, if there are customers who are happy with your product or service offering and they do not mind you linking to their site, this could be a good opportunity for your business.
Learn from Competitors
Keep track of your competitors. If they have had a banner advertisement for a couple of weeks but get rid of it eventually, it could mean that it did not work out. In this case, do not attempt to copy that approach.
What they persist with is most likely working and thus, worth trying out. Figure out where they usually get links by typing “link: www.theirurl.com” in Google. Here are a couple of tools you can use to learn from your competitors:
- Google Alerts – This could help you find out the backlinks of your competitors.
- Marketing Grader – This is great because you can see the overall score of all of your competitors according to blogging success, social media activity, lead generation, and SEO. You can see your competitors’ scores change and whether your own score would change.
- Infinigraph – Infinigraph follows the trends in social media circles for particular industries. You can use this tool to check what brands and content are trending for your audience. Not only is this helpful for your competitive analysis, but also for your own company.
- Monitor Backlinks – Through this tool, you can monitor the backlinks of your competitors and get them sent to your email. It also contains a description of the highest and lowest domains.
- SEMRush – Specializing in your competitors’ data, you can visit their homepage and type your competitor’s site. You can receive information immediately on their rank and organic keywords, traffic, and ad keywords.
Use Marketplaces Smartly
Although Amazon and eBay are popular, the margins they offer you are low. Do not use them as the main method to sell for your company. Make use of them to release your inventory of end of life and overstock items.
You can also use them to gain new customers and bring them to your main website. However, it is still notable that Amazon draws in almost 85 million unique visitors every month. Sellers usually report an estimated fifty-percent (50%) rise in their sales upon joining Amazon Marketplace.
Nevertheless, always keep in mind marketplace fees (deducted as a percentage per sale), marketplace infrastructure (restrictions on your branding), and inventory (challenge to coordinate your stocks). In the end, consider the marketplaces that you join. Every marketplace has its own system, limitations, and processes.
Merchandise for Revenues
Use the offer of “3 for 2,” “also bought” tool, and related product hyperlinks to raise the value of every sale.
Email your regular customers using exclusive offers so that they would come back. Incorporate significant tips and information, so that people who unsubscribe would be kept at a minimum.
Measure and Adopt
Make use of a web analytics product like Google Analytics. This package powerful is not only powerful, it is also free. Use Google Analytics to measure your results. Scale up what would work and get rid of those that do not. Here are some more tricks to maximizing your use of Google Analytics:
- Make goals. You can create a goal on Google Analytics. You can put in that conversion is your most important objective, for example—Google Analytics has a lot of templates to track conversions well.
- Incorporate Google Webmaster Tools. Set up Google Webmaster Tools for your website. This would provide you with index issues, impression data, links connected to your site, manual spam actions, organic search keyword impression, click data, and the like.
- Group your audience. You may have different kinds of target audience going to your website. But it is also significant to differentiate them. You may do so by using gender, age, location, language, technology used, user behavior, and traffic sources.
- Access behavior flows. You can check for behavior flows on Google Analytics, mapping the behavior of your users. You may narrow it down for particular variables.
- Follow the status of your email campaigns. Track your company’s email campaigns on Google Analytics.
- Use custom campaign URLs. Google provides a tool where you can create your own unique URL for your particular marketing campaigns. You may include parameters such as your medium, source, content, term, and campaign name. As soon as you have a customized link, you may use it in its complete form or shorten it by using a link shortening tool such as bit.ly.
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E-MARKETING BEST PRACTICES
After discussing the tips of e-marketing, here are a few best practices you can emulate, particularly for small businesses.
Make it convenient to subscribe.
Ease of subscription applies for both your website and your emails. Create a signup page on your website, blog, Facebook, as well as other social media sites, where you know your customers or targeted prospects are active.
Even though you might want to get their names, birthdays, etc. so you can give a special gift or an offer or invite them to join your groups, do not put in too many required fields. A subscription form that is simply too long will turn your customers off your product or service.
Guarantee that you send to customers on a permission-based list.
You should not always assume that you have the permission. Just ask for it. Moreover, as soon as you get permission, do not take it for granted.
There are studies that of those who would join email lists, 77% would unsubscribe because they receive information excessively or the information is not interesting or relevant to them at all.
Be wary of bought or rented third-party lists.
If you find third-party lists that can be bought or rented and if it is too good be true, it probably is. Work on making your very own permission-based list by asking your target customers to sign up for your subscriptions as often as you can.
Place a “Subscribe Now” option on your site, emails, invoices, trade shows, advertisements, and the like.
Create a good and working content formula.
Create a good and working content formula for yourself and for your customers. Some components of good e-newsletters, emails, or blogs, for example, incorporate tips, expertise, success stories, case studies, Q&As, industry news, industry trends, industry statistics, did-you-knows, how-to articles, contributed expert articles, and short surveys.
You can also have special or exclusive offers, as long as they do not sound like you are selling something. Since many have their own cluttered inboxes, it is good to make these interesting yet short. If you are unsure of what to send or convey to your customers, perform a short and quick survey from your database and ask for their feedback.
Create suitable timing for e-communications.
Although timely sending of emails to your customers per month is safe, you can do more (like weekly) or less (like quarterly). A typical complaint from customers is that permission-based emails are sent too often.
You can ask your readers which frequency they would like. This is also a good question to ask in your surveys.
Know your customers’ preferences.
Know the preferences of your customers or readers. Provide them with content in the popular formats, whether it may be in text, AOL-friendly, or HTML versions. It is important to have a multi-format deployment because it satisfies all the preferences of your customers.
Avoid big files and attachments.
Many people are afraid of viruses and spam. This means that people try to avoid opening emails with attachments. They are also afraid of having their web browser or laptop crash, since opening large files sometimes does this. If you have an attachment you would like to share, post it on a web page and turn it into a trackable hyperlink.
Continuously measure and refine.
Customers can be flexible and adaptable when it comes to email or website loyalty. So make sure you continuously measure and refine your communications. Focus on click-throughs, opt-outs, bounce rates, open rates, etc. and respond as needed.
If no one clicks on a particular topic, you may have to take that topic out and look for a new and more interesting one. Focus on the open rates and requests for unsubscribing because it is a significant metric to look at.
Personalize your content.
Personalize your website by knowing your customer well. If you will email your customers, use the readers’ first names and related personal information that is significant to the reader. This increases your response rate. Hence, personalize as much as possible.
Place an enticement.
Place in enticing title lines on your website or enticing subject lines for your emails. This should make them want to read further or open your email. Try not to sound like you are a spam email by putting in words such as “urgent” or “free.”