The effectiveness of an online marketing program is dependent on the extent to which it succeeds in reaching the intended target audience at a time when the marketing message is relevant to the target. Initially it was believed that the web, with its data mining capabilities, would open up dramatic new opportunities to marketers, but the initial enthusiasm has proven exaggerated, largely because marketers were unclear in how they defined relevant and bombarded consumers with automated marketing messages that proved to have little genuine relevance to the site visitor.
The real way to guarantee relevancy is to allow the user to determine what is relevant to him or her at any given moment. It's true that this is being done to some extent by having a presence where relevancy might occur. Still, the challenge for online marketers is to create new tactics or new twists on existing tactics that will serve the interests of online marketers by serving the needs of online buyers.
Search engines allow online users to declare relevancy by electing the topics to which they wish to be directed. Registering your site with search engines will help drive traffic to your site. Effective registration is a three-phase process. You need to (1) be identified by the search engines, (2) be placed relatively close to the top of the search list, and (3) get selected by the searcher.
You can then use the knowledge of their presence to welcome them and offer a level of personalized assistance. This will allow the consumer the chance to indicate their relevancy as they enter your website, giving you the chance to work on suggested products and impulse buys.
Merchandise - traditional retailers use a variety of physical elements to promote the sale of goods in their stores. Some of these include scent machines, music, lighting and shelf placement. Your online entity needs to merchandise its goods without the benefit of these subliminal influences. It is therefore essential that you present your products in an orderly and logical manner. Make sure to incorporate sophisticated search engines that provide the consumer with the ability to search regardless of their perspective of the product. Also, when presenting merchandise it is best to offer a photo, as well as in-depth product specifications. Some sites also offer consumer reviews and product of the day. Both of these are effective and useful merchandising strategies.
Have Good Web Architecture - when designing the architecture of your site, keep in mind the consumer experience and strive to construct a site that provides the greatest possible levels of convenience, information and comfort. The way products are presented is only part of the puzzle. You must also pay attention to the user path, the check-out and payment process, and the placement of special offers. You are aiming to create a gratifying and enjoyable consumer experience. Design your website to deliver.
Use e-mail - mail can serve as a valuable marketing tool provided you structure your messages well and avoid engaging in spam. Use your e-mail campaign to develop a relationship with your shoppers, allowing them access to special offers and updates about new product offerings.
Practice Loyalty Marketing - loyalty marketing is valuable because it creates a bond between you and your customers and gives them an incentive to come back and buy from your website again. Some loyalty programs allow buyers to earn points that can be redeemed at a variety of network-affiliated websites. Other programs allow points to be converted to cash. You also have the option of developing your own incentive loyalty program, although Tudog does not recommend this unless you are prepared to provide extremely attractive rewards. There is a consumer perception of added value in programs that allow for redemption through multiple sites or as cash. The important thing to keep in mind is that loyalty programs show customers that you appreciate their business and they in turn reward you with repeat purchases.
Develop an Affiliate Network - affiliates serve your site by creating points-of-awareness at various websites of similar or related interests. They can serve to create credibility through association that can lend exposure to your affiliate efforts.
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