Don’t be overwhelmed by
internet marketing. It’s really
rather simple, says advertising
guru and award-winning entrepreneur Siimon Reynolds.
What are the key e-commerce mistakes you see businesses making?
They design their website like a brochure. The number one purpose of a website should be to capture an email address. It might be by giving away a free report or a free guide – that way you can continue to communicate with people. If you don’t do that – and 99 per cent of websites don’t – fewer than one out of 100 people who visit your website will contact you.
What are the essential ingredients of a successful internet marketing campaign?
The most important thing is to experiment with different online media. Every business owner should try email, webinars and Google Ads, for instance. Nobody knows which one of those will work unless they try. The biggest mistake people make is they only do one of those. They might be spending all their money on Google Ads when they would have been better off conducting an email campaign.
What does a business need to know about its customers before it launches an online marketing campaign?
Most people don’t know what their customers want. There are two ways of finding out. The first is to ask them – to literally ring them or send out a questionnaire. Find out from a list of perhaps five things what exactly is important to them. The second way is to send a marketing campaign of one particular strategy to just 10 per cent of your market. See if it works. Then send a different campaign to another 10 per cent. You should send whichever campaign works best to the remaining 80 per cent.
What must a business do in the background to prepare for success?
I think people should split their campaign into before, during and after. “Before” is how you get customers in. “During” is what you are going to say once you’ve got them. “After” is how you follow up to try to convince them to buy that product. One of the faults of many campaigns is that there is no follow-up.
What are those who are succeeding in e-commerce doing differently to those who claim it is a waste of money?
With any new media, people usually use what worked in the old media and it often doesn’t work very well. The people who are not doing well should take the time to study how the new media works, how online media works. They should buy books and do courses in online marketing. What they’ll find out is that online marketing is not an outrageously difficult subject to master.
How does online marketing differ from offline?
With online you can target people more precisely. For example, you can not only get through to men, but you can get through to men who have shown an interest in buying fishing rods in the past week. And the measurement is much better. You can tell who read your ad, if they read it twice, who opened your newsletter and what pages they read. It’s the ultimate medium from the point of view of clarity of targeting and measurement.
The views expressed in this article are those of the author and the interviewees, and not of Australia Post.
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