Marketing for Success: Four Strategies for Online Businesses
The success of any online business depends in large part on where and how it's
marketed. After all, a website sitting all by its lonesome in cyberspace isn't going
to do much good; people have to be able to find it first!
But that's only where it begins. Once your website is getting traffic, it's next job
is to convert visitors into paying customers. From there, your job is to try to turn
customers into repeat buyers or into a source of referrals. Here are four major types
of marketing to incorporate into your marketing plan:
1. Targeted Marketing
Who is your target audience, what do they want, and how do you reach them?
Understanding your audience is the first step to a successful marketing campaign.
There are many ways to reach your target audience on the Internet, including search
engines, links, ezine advertising, joint ventures, and more.
Don't neglect to research your 'offline' market as well -- many people still prefer
to be contacted in the 'real world', rather than through cyberspace! For more
information on offline marketing methods, visit
2. Permission Marketing
'Spam' -- unsolicited email -- can cause varied reactions from minor irritation to
outright rage. You don't have to spam in order to get business; people acknowledge
that there are products and services about which they're willing to receive
information. The Internet has proved this to be true: how many times have you
willingly signed up to receive a newsletter?
Some methods of permission marketing include publishing a newsletter; offering
product or service announcements or updates; and using an autoresponder to distribute
reports, articles, stories, etc. Subscription forms can be placed on your site so
that visitors can indicate their interest.
By getting a visitor's permission to contact them, you accomplish a couple of things:
a) You're able to market to them regularly (unless they choose to unsubscribe). For
various reasons, many people do not make immediate purchases. When you have
permission to contact them regularly, you are more likely to catch them at a time
that they're ready to buy.
b) Subscribers have automatically 'qualified' themselves as interested prospects. You
can focus your efforts on marketing to them, rather than to visitors who have no real
interest in your products and services.