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E-COMMERCE ­ IT430
VU
Lesson 31
E-MAIL MARKETING
E-mail marketing campaigns are cheap and effective way to target potential customers. E-mails can
instantaneously convey a marketing message to customers at distant areas. Personalized direct e-mails target
customers with specific information ­ name, right product at the right time, special promotions etc. When
your e-business is doing global marketing, e-mails can be first translated into proper languages as a
personalization measure using specific translation software. Personalization technology (data mining) can
also improve response rate tremendously. Where an e-business lacks resources for doing e-mail marketing
on its own, it can outsource such campaign to outside firms. For instance, outsourcing services should be
used when direct e-mailing becomes too difficult to manage and there is inadequate staff or technical
support at the e-business level itself.
E-mails can be used to improve customer service by adding an e-mail link to your web site. Thus, you can
receive your customers' complaints through e-mails. It should be ensured that your e-business is capable of
handling expected volume of e-mails; otherwise it can bring poor reputation to your business when you
receive complaints through emails but are unable to respond. Another advantage with emails is that they
can be automatically sorted and sent to the relevant persons. E-mails can be used to inform customers
about their order/shipment status etc. Internet mailing lists can also be conveniently used to send targeted
personalized emails. You can also provide the "opt-in e-mail" option to your customers on your web site. If
they opt for it, this means that they want to receive through email any product information, offers or
promotions etc. in the future. Spamming is a term used to refer to mass e-mailing to customers who have
not expressed any interest in a specific product or service. In different countries, spamming has been
declared as an offence. E-mails can be combined with traditional direct marketing. Telemarketing (live
interaction through telephone) and e-mails can be combined to reach prospective customers. Similarly,
direct mailing and e-mails can also be combined.
Promotions
E-business promotions can attract visitors to your site and induce them to purchase. Promotional messages
can be sent both online and offline. Some popular promotional methods are as under:
Frequent-flyer miles
The online business has a contract with an airline such that the customer of the business earns specific miles
from the airline free of charge if he purchases from the online business items up to a certain value.
Point-based rewards
On the performance of a pre-specified action, customers can be entitled to point-based rewards ­ t-shirts,
mugs etc. with the company's logo etc.
Discounts
Discount advertisements through magazines, newspapers, web sites etc. can attract new and repeat
customers.
Free-trials
Customers can sign up for a free service. For example, they can be allowed to download software for certain
days free of cost on trial basis before buying it.
Free shipping
Shipping cost may not be charged on the delivery of certain items as an incentive for the customers.
Coupons
Online coupons are placed on certain popular sites to attract customers for online shopping. They can use
these coupons for shopping through specific web sites.
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E-Business Advertising
Advertising is an attempt to disseminate information in order to effect a buyer-seller transaction. It is an
impersonal and one-way mass communication paid for by the sponsors. Televisions, movies, newspapers
and magazines are traditional ways for e-business advertising. On the other hand, Telemarketing and Direct
marketing are attempts to personalize advertising in order to make it more effective. For e-business
advertising it is important that your brand is unique and easy to remember. Publicizing URL on direct mails
or business cards can increase brand awareness.
Banner Advertising
Web page banner ads are like small billboards containing graphics and an advertising message. These
advertising messages are placed on popular web sites (host sites) which are frequently accessed and thus
those who access a host site can look at the banner/advertising message and come to know about the
brand/business which is advertising itself through the host site. The host site charges certain fee for
providing space to the banner on its web site and thus generates income/revenue. This concept therefore is
mutually beneficial for both the parties. Banners have different sizes and are placed on different positions
on the web site. Banners can be simply for viewing as well as having link to the home page of the product
or service. Business logo on a banner may increase brand recognition. Flashing, scrolling text, pop-up boxes
and color changes grab viewer's attention. So, these techniques can effectively be used for creating a banner.
As a marketer you should note how many ads the host site already carries. Also, note which position has a
better chance of click through. There can be specific times for banner advertisement. Banner advertising
space can be expensive for peak traffic times. Exchanging banners with another site is also an option. Some
sites carry banner ads for free. For example, a business selling computers can host the banner of business
selling computer books free of charge. These are related businesses which support each other so there can
be an indirect benefit to the computer business for carrying the banner of computer books business in the
sense that the latter is likely to spread more awareness about computers.
Advertising payment modes
Following payment modes can be accepted between the parties:
Monthly charges for online advertising
Cost per thousand (CPM) ­ fee for every thousand people viewing the banner
Pay-Per-Performance that includes:
Pay-per-click ­ fee according to no. of click to your site
Pay-per-lead ­ pay for every lead generated from the advertisement
Pay-per-sale ­ pay the host for every sale resulting form a click through
Exchanging advertising space on your site for advertising space on another's site
Note that the log file of the web server where the advertising web site is hosted contains a column in which
the IP address of top-referring web site is recorded. Thus by studying the log file it can be found that how
many visitors were diverted to the advertising site from the host web site (top-referring web site).
Web casting
Web casting is a term used to refer to internet-based broadcasting of audio and video content. It can
provide two-way communication between the broadcaster and the listener or viewer. Marketers should
consider some people may have slow internet access. Video conferencing is an example of web casting. For
example, using this technique, doctors sitting in China, England and Pakistan etc. can, in real time, exchange
and benefit from each other's ideas as if they are physically holding a meeting.
Interactive Advertising
It uses a combination of rich media (such as audio, video, animations) and traditional forms (such as print,
TV or radio ads) in order to involve customers in advertising process to increase brand recognition. For
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example, there is a famous business that uses this marketing technique. Its TV commercial
induces/encourages viewers to access its website from where customers can select/download various action
pictures and background music. Thus, by involving a customer in the advertising process itself, it attempts
to increase its brand recognition for the customers.
E-business Public Relations
Public Relations (PR) keeps the customers and employees of a business current or updated as regards
information about products, services and internal and external issues such as any promotional activities, new
products, customer reactions etc. Following different modes can be used to disseminate information:
Press releases
Speeches
Special events ­ seminars, video conferencing etc
E-mails
Chat sessions
Bulletin board ­ people can post comments
Presentations/exhibitions
Press releases can provide information about current events and other important news to the press or media
via internet. There can be a press release section of your online business which can be accessed through a
hyperlink. Moreover, video clips of news appearances, speeches, commercials can also prove to be an
effective way of publicity.
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