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Home / Reviews / Features / Marketing / A little knowledge...

A little knowledge...

How to direct traffic to your website.

The best website in the world is pointless unless anybody sees it. So - other than just aiming to get yourself higher up the Google rankings and hoping that people find you - how do your direct traffic to your very particular corner of the internet?

It’s called e-marketing.

You may already be doing this, and think you have it sussed. But a little knowledge can be a dangerous thing. And in the wrong hands, it can actually damage the way you are perceived in the market place. Computers can’t think, but you can. So before you send out the next potentially pointless, irrelevant, annoying or error-strewn email broadcast or newsletter, ask yourself some key questions about your e-marketing.

Databases: what information do you actually need?

Brainstorm ideas and come up with a list of things you really need to know about your customer, and how that will actually help you provide a better service and generate business. If you’re never going to use certain information, don’t waste your customer’s time by asking for it in the first place.

Are your systems up to processing the information?

Don’t collect business cards if all you are going to do is stuff them in a shoebox, waiting for somebody to load them onto a computer. It never happens. Don’t spend a fortune on sophisticated database management and customer relationship software if you are never going to use it. And make sure all the information you have is as up to date as possible. It’s no good sending out a carefully-crafted sales pitch to somebody who has no real interest in what you do, changed their contact details, moved on, or - in some cases - died.

Less is more

E-marketing has its place, and can be very effective. But don’t overdo it. Don’t bombard people with lots of emails over a short period. De-dupe your database so that the same customer doesn’t get the same email twice. And time your email-shots sensibly. Avoid Monday mornings, Friday afternoons, weekends and overnight mailings - the recipients are far more likely to hit the delete button the busier they are, and the more they have sitting in their in-box.

Identity crisis

You have (or should have) a strong corporate identity. It’s there for all to see on your website, your promotional material, your business cards - and it’s what makes your company instantly recognisable. It needs to be carried through to email, whether it’s a specially-designed mailshot or newsletter, or simply on every email signature. Stick to pre-determined fonts, font sizes, corporate colours and the dimensions of your logo. You used to do it in the old days when you sent out letters or faxes on company stationery. Nothing has changed.

And finally...

Don’t over-rely on email and e-marketing to do everything for you. It should complement what you do, not be your only contact with customers. And whilst what you do might be at the centre of your universe, it’s not at the centre of anybody else’s. They’re busy. Away from their computers. Not interested. Don’t have the money. Or - horror of horrors - prefer dealing with your competitors. Remember. Customers aren’t waiting for your email to drop into their in-box, nor are they going to respond to it immediately. If at all.

PAUL ROUSE


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