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Sydney, Australia

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Email Marketing - The Backbone of
Online Sales

A Critical Part of Your On-Line Marketing Mix
 
Paul Smithson - 28th October 2008
   
paul smithsonEmail marketing is probably the most critical component of the vast majority of extremely successful online businesses.  I’m not talking about spam, or unsolicited bulk email - that is obviously a complete no-no for any ethical marketer with an ounce of integrity. No, I’m talking about emails that are sent to a list of people who have opted in to receive your information. 

This could be a list you’ve built through offering incentives. It could be a list of previous customers.  It could even be a list of people who have signed up because they like you and want to hear what you have to say.  But the point is, they’ve signed up to receive information from you for some reason.

Building a list is absolutely crucial, because it increases the lifetime value of the customer.  Studies have shown that most people don’t buy a product the first time they see an ad for it. It may take several times of being exposed to a particular product for a person to finally make the decision to buy it. 

If you don’t build a list of prospects, then you could be losing out on hundreds, or even thousands of sales each year.  By building a list, you can expose your subscribers to your offers multiple times, and you can also expose them to other offers.  This increases your chances of making multiple sales from a single customer.

Almost any type of business trading online can benefit from using email marketing just by building a list of their existing customers. This list is incredibly valuable, because these people are proven buyers.  They’ve proven that they’re willing to buy online, and that they’re willing to buy from you.  By collecting their email addresses, you can mail them information about new merchandise, sales, and special offers. 

Information marketers can greatly benefit from building a list.  You can build a list of previous buyers or people who have simply opted in to receive a free report or other incentive. Not only will you be able to market your own products to these lists, but you’ll be able to use your list as an incentive to get people to JV with you, and also as a powerful method of promoting affiliate products.

Even if you only run AdSense-style information websites, you can benefit from the power of email marketing.  Let’s say you run a site about trout fishing. You provide articles and information about it, and you have AdSense and a few affiliate ads on your site. If you fail to build a list of your visitors, you’ll probably only have a single chance to sell to them, which is the first time they visit your site.  Most people don’t return to small niche sites, unless you have unusually sticky content such as a forum or a blog that’s updated regularly. 

If you grab their email addresses when they are first on your site, you’ll have the ability to market to them over and over for a long time.  Just make sure you provide solid content when sending out your mailings so as to minimize opt-outs and to keep people reading the messages you send out. People who visit content sites are usually more finicky about the newsletters and mailings they receive, and will want to receive good content on a regular basis, not just sales letters.

No matter what type of online business you’re running, you’ll benefit greatly by adding email marketing to your repertoire. You’ll increase the lifetime value of your customers, and provide yourself with an ongoing way to monetize them.

About Paul Smithson - Paul Smithson is the founder of Intellimon and the driving force behind the best-selling XSitePro web site development tool. Since graduating in Business Strategy and Direct Marketing from two of Europe’s leading business schools, Paul has set up five multi-million dollar companies, one of which is now owned by the BBC. His areas of expertise include business strategy, e-commerce, on-line and off-line marketing, software development, and maximizing the potential of on-line businesses.


For more information about this, and many other Internet Marketing-related topics, visit Paul Smithson's site, www.xsitepro.com.

Source: http://www.xsitepro.com/email-marketing-the-backbone-of-online-sales.html


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