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Archive for June, 2011

Does Your Landing Page Add Incentive or Repeat What Recipients Already Heard?

Monday, June 27th, 2011

Every offer made online through email, social media, ads, or sponsored links should direct people to a webpage on your site dedicated to that offer.  These landing pages are a tried and true best practice because if people land on a page that doesn’t reinforce the offer they were interested in, confusion and abandonment multiply.  However, good landing pages bring additional reasons for recipients to take advantage of an offer.

Your online target audience is looking for reasons not to take advantage of your offer.  And with good reason, there are so many opportunities and promotions online that we tend to have a strict filter.  There simply isn’t enough time in the day to keep up with every marketing message we encounter online.  So your landing page needs to reinforce the benefit of completing the offer.

The problem is that many landing pages repeat information rather than build on it.  How is this done? Many landing pages just repeat the initial marketing message.  For example, it’s not uncommon to receive an email marketing communication, click on the offer link, and find the exact same info and layout but with a form at the bottom.  Sometimes this is done strategically like if the page has a promotional video that couldn’t be delivered directly via email.  Many times, however, it’s done because it’s quicker to copy and paste the information than to build a custom landing page.

It’s a good idea to use some formatting and content from your online promotions to create consistency.  It’s a bad idea to copy it verbatim with no additional selling points.

The reason is that you usually don’t need to repeat yourself.  Some people will be very motivated to take advantage of your promotion.  They won’t look at your landing page and complete it as long as they clearly see the offer is the same.  Reinforcing the offer on the landing page is for the group of people who are interested but not quite convinced.  Repeating what they already saw is a poor way to convince them to complete the offer.  The landing page should have additional information about the offer that highlights subsequent or additional advantages.

There are a lot of schools of thought on landing page effectiveness and optimization.  Only two rules apply to everyone.  Your landing page needs to have a single focus of getting visitors to complete the offer and tests should be run to improve results.  Beyond that you are free to customize your content and layout.  Use that freedom to build a page that reinforces the promotions done for the offer.  Reinforce the offer with additional benefits and more in depth information so that people that need to know more to complete a landing page conversion are reassured to do so.

Online Marketing Success Takes Work and Diligence

Friday, June 3rd, 2011

The myth of getting rich quick through the internet still seems to have a pulse. Many people looking to start an internet based venture still have delusions of a “set it and forget it” situation. If only it were so easy to promote your business and generate revenue online. Online marketing is a process, not a task. Overall the process does not have a completion date, rather it’s a system of maintenance and gradual improvement.

The set and forget mindset typically sounds like this, “I’ll build a website with a great tool, product, or service. Then I’ll do some initial promotions, SEO, ads, emails, social media etc. Then I’ll rake in the money.” There’s a lot wrong with this idea.

The first might be that your tool, product, or service is great. It’s extremely hard to offer something online that doesn’t exist in some form. Check your assumptions and make sure that you are filling a need by focusing on a certain niche, geography, or competency.

The second false assumption is that initial work is the completion of your online marketing. It’s almost always just the beginning. SEO’s a good example, if you set your sites parameters and then leave it alone, you won’t rank well for long, if at all. SEO only works well when it is actively managed and content is added or updated.

Generating money as a blogger (FYI this blog makes me exactly $0 in direct revenue) is a great example of people’s misconceptions. There’s a general belief that blogging is a no-sweat way to make money. The reality is it’s difficult to make significant direct revenue from a blog as generating an audience is challenging. The other misconception is how much work it takes to maintain a “career blog”. Professional bloggers work full time keeping their content updated, fresh, and audience appropriate.

Everyone likes the raking in cash part of the process. However, when starting, people need to be aware that internet marketing is not synonymous with turnkey business. You can make good money, but not without putting in the work. Most people that promote their business through the internet have to work at it to be successful. It’s rarely a situation where they take months off at a time and just check in to see how large their bank account has grown. If you’re going to be successful with your internet marketing, you need to understand that it’s going to take work and diligence.