Online marketing is in fashion, and it is a fact that some companies are already making millions in profits by selling their products and services on the so-called Network of Networks (Internet).
But, just as many are making millions, others are failing terribly. What are the secrets to being successful online?
To answer this question, we turned to Bruce Judson, author of NetMarketing (Wolf New Media) and creator of Pathfinder , the website of the giant media company Time Warner ( http://www.pathfinder.com ), which offers Your visitors links to all of your posts.
Judson offered us the following practical tips:
1. Set a clear goal. Don’t go and design a website just because everyone else is doing it. Know exactly why you are building a website and design it with that goal in mind. But don’t limit yourself: websites can serve a number of things: they can advertise your business, sell products or services, build a customer or prospect base, or much more.
2. Start by experimenting. We are talking about a new means of communication, in which not everything is said. Learn through experience. It is much more important to have a site up and running than to spend months and months planning it.
3. Find ways to save the most. An 800 or toll-free number to take orders from your customers costs about US $ 1 per minute. On the other hand, if your clients communicate with you through the Network, these costs will be totally eliminated and the savings will go directly to your income statement.
4. Set aside a budget to carry out what you have learned . Interactive marketing is still very new; no one knows for sure what will work and what won’t. Therefore, you should modify your site (no matter how much you have planned it) based on what you learn during your operation.
5. Design a promotion plan. More than 5,000 new business websites emerge each month around the world. You will be competing for that audience, so you need a promotional plan. A strategy based on the premise of “I’m going to build a site and the customers will come by themselves” will never work.
6. Promote your website everywhere you can. Include your email address and website on all your corporate stationery and product packaging, as well as on your business cards and in any mass advertising you decide to carry out. Consider buying media online so that potential customers come directly to your site from someone else. Use active ads, in which with a click, the navigator will arrive directly at your site.
7. Register your website on all search engines . The Internet has many search engines that send surfers to different sites depending on the information they are looking for. There are, for example, Yahoo! ( http://www.yahoo.com ), Lycos ( http://www.lycos.com ), Altavista ( http://www.altavista.com ) and Excite ( http://www.excite.com ) , in English, or Starmedia ( http://www.Starmedia.com ), El Sitio ( http://www.elsitio.com ) or QuePasa ( http://www.quepasa.com ) in Spanish. Registration is free. Seek to register in as many as possible.
8. Offer a referral service . If you have an extensive line of products for sale, ask your visitors for information about their needs so that you can program your website to recommend a certain product or service. By offering these options and offering your customers just what they are looking for, you are offering an invaluable value-added service.
9. Seek feedback. Ask your visitors if they want to be notified about new products or services or about an offer you plan to launch. It is very easy and not at all expensive to collect the names and email addresses of your visitors who want to receive these notifications via e-mail.
10. Include the best of your business. Take a good look at how your best sales rep promotes your product or service. The essence of what he or she says is the basis for building a successful website, as it should contain a lot of information about the benefits of your product or service.
11. Visit your competition. A frequent monitoring of your competitors’ websites will help you not only to generate new ideas, but to always think about doing something better and offering more and better tools to help your customers online.