Social Media Marketing
How to Surmount the Constraints of Email Marketing
Email marketing is the revolutionary way of selling ideas or products to clients through the use of emails. It took the place of snail mailing or sending product information through the post office.
Email marketing is now widely used by internet marketers, not only for product information but to acquire as well as maintain their clients. Others use email marketing to keep important information about their clients and use these to profile them as to their wants and interests.
To say the least, email marketing has become a very useful tool as it is not only efficient but also cost effective. Imagine the time it would take and the cost involved in sending thousands of letters just to announce your product to prospective clients. With email marketing, you can send any information, at any time and with the least cost.
However, despite the advantages offered by email marketing, the majority of those who are using the strategy to market their products are faced with some difficulties identified with email marketing.
If you come across a website asking you to sign up for a free newsletter or free recipes, would you sign up and reveal your email? A recent survey revealed that 83 people out of 100 would not reveal their email, for fear of safety issues.
This is one among the many constraints faced by email marketers. How can they encourage prospective clients to sign up and reveal their email addresses when the clients are hesitant to reveal their emails for fear that it will be used for the wrong reasons?
Other prospective clients do not wish to reveal their emails for fear of receiving spam or unsolicited emails. This is a valid fear because most often spam messages crowd out emails more than the important messages. Most email accounts are cancelled by the site administrators because they have reached their maximum amount of messages, no thanks to spam.
Make sure you avoid these pitfalls in email marketing by committing to keeping your prospective clients’ email addresses safe.
So how will you encourage prospective clients to sign up for your newsletters despite their fear of being bombarded with useless and irritating emails? For one, dangle something that would make them drool. If your target clients are female members of the spending public, then look for topics that are close to their hearts, that which would make them sign up and reveal their addresses despite their fear.
One strategy is by offering them topics that will be very useful to them like free recipes, household tips, lifestyle articles, beauty and fashion—there are lots of topics that would interest this lot. For the male clients, why not dangle topics on racing, motoring, all about cars, or how about beautiful women?
By featuring interesting and useful topics in your newsletters, your clients will look forward to receiving emails from you rather than dread the thought of being bombarded with useless emails. Ask your prospective clients what their interests are so you would know what topics could be useful for them. Remember, knowing your market is already an edge in the competitive world of email marketing.
But offering prospective clients with informative and interesting topics is not enough. You should emphasize that your site commits to the protection of their privacy. How can you conduct effective email marketing when your prospective clients would not even sign up and reveal their email accounts for fear of being hounded by spam?
Be up-front with your future subscribers. You have to understand their fear of not getting the privacy that they deserve and assuage this fear by confirming that your company adheres to email’s best practices and that you do not sell email addresses, and that their accounts would only be used for the very purpose they intended for in signing up.
Despite the efforts of legitimate organizations to protect their clients from spam, unwanted email messages continue to flood email accounts and this is becoming the number one problem of email marketing. How can your clients read through your emails when they have to wade through numerous spam emails? Others just delete all the messages at one time—including the informative newsletters you send them.
The other constraints faced by email marketers are mostly related to their individual methods and styles of sending newsletters. These involve informative versus uninformative articles, problems with auto responders, best time to send emails, and other constraints that are best addressed by the email marketer. Whatever these constraints are, they can definitely be solved with a proper review of one’s email marketing strategies.
Locating Links: Enhancing Website Usability
The Internet is what it is because of connections, bridging one computer to a host of others. Because of this we are able to access information at a click of a button.
The things we click are called links, and they can be likened to the synapses of a brain – connecting the user from one document to another.
One of the main tenets of website design is that a page must be able to link to another page. Failure to do so renders the page dead – and is a lot like crashing into a brick wall as you speed down the information highway.
That said, website designers, both pro and amateur, make it a point to include links into every single page they design. But it is simply more than just slapping on links anywhere. Links are as vital to a web page as the content on it for without it, a visitor will be hard pressed to connect to other documents on the Internet.
In any website, there are different kinds of links. There is no hard and fast rule when it comes to laying out links on a web page. But over time, certain conventions have emerged that seem to have become an unspoken standard in design. Deviations certainly will not depreciate a website’s over-all impact, but it may require some amount of time for the visitor to get oriented.
Whether you tend to follow conventions or not, it is best to be acquainted first with the rules, so that you will know what to break and how to break them.
But first of all, for the sake of clarification, imagine a website to be like a book. Of course, you know that a book holds several pages. In the case of a website, the pages are called web pages.
A web page basically has two kinds of links: Internal and External.
Internal links are what connect pages of the same website to each other. Going back to our book analogy, an internal link connects a page to another from the same book. So a visitor can access the contact page of a website from the home (or index) page via an internal link.
An external link, on the other hand, connects a web page to another web page from a different website. So an external link is something like a connection between two pages from two separate books.
Over the years, as more and more users and websites are added to the Internet, certain conventions or assumptions about the location of links have been formed.
The most common of which are the internal links on either the top or left margin of a page. Seeing that these two areas are the ones first noticed by a user, designers felt it was natural to place internal links that would connect the pages of the same website together. Because of the nature of its location, links on these sides of the page are prominent and usually have graphic designs on them.
Another area where internal links are located is at the bottom of the page, usually where the copyright information is placed. However, unlike the top and left margin areas, the links at the bottom are discreet and usually rendered in small fonts (like the copyright info). This is done primarily to avoid redundancies in design, while still providing alternate sources of links should the others fail.
External links are usually found in the body of the text or in the right hand margins of the page. No specific rule exists for this, and the conventions arise merely out of common usage.
However, some designers have surmised that the tendency to place external links within the body of the text is done because references to information outside the website should be described or explained, whereas internal links need little to no explanation at all.
Another theory is that the right side feels like the outer part of page. This assumption is built on the observation that reading is done from the left to the right. So the right part of the page indicates the end of a page, thus references outside the website find themselves allocated to this area.
For some reason as more and more text advertisements (such as Google AdSense) proliferate, the location for such external links are designated at the center or the right side of a web page.
And yet, as mentioned before, these are merely conventions and NOT rules set in stone. Designers have all the freedom to layout information and links however they want. Deviations from such standard practices simply make the surfing experience for these websites slightly more interesting than the rest. The important thing is that connections are made and everyone can continue to cruise and surf the Web one link to one page at a time.
Blogging, what is it?
There are still people who do not know what blogs are. Because of the unusual name, people tend to think unpleasant things when they hear the word “blog”. Is it a murky mixture of sand, water, and dirt?
Blogs are like bulletin boards on the Internet that are updated regularly, often on a daily basis. The contents of blogs are information about a specific topic; in some types of blogs people will sometimes use them as a journal or diary where they share the details of their personal lives, or their opinions about certain topics or even social commentaries. To put this in simple terms, blogs are used by the person who created the blog anyway he or she wants them to be. The creator of a certain blog is the author and it is his or her responsibility to provide the contents.
Blogging is simple and easy to do. All you need is a computer and an Internet connection.
To start or create a blog, there are a few guidelines to get readers to actually read your blog.
Pick a topic and stay on it.
To create a successful blog, you first have to pick a topic that you are interested or knowledgeable in, then write an article about it. Although your opinion on a certain topic is acceptable, it is wise that you stick to facts as much as possible. You can also mix in some humor if you want it to be more fun to read, and you can also include your personal experiences about the topic. This will persuade the readers to think that you have actually experienced that which is being discussed.
For example: If your topic is about tennis, people who will be reading this are going to be interested in tennis, therefore, you should not write about what you watched on TV last night. Instead, include some tips that may interest readers; like how to improve your forehand or backhand, and even how to prolong their tennis ball’s life. Stick to the topic, although you could also include some humor you have experienced in the tennis court. Everyone has done something stupid or embarrassing in the tennis court, it is good to share these experiences with people; it creates a more personal view of your blog and may seem friendlier to read.
If you are going to include your humor or opinions in your blog, it is important that you balance it with factual information. Talking about your personal experiences—whether good or bad—affects your reputation on the web. Include some up-to-date news about whatever product or service you are discussing. It is good that you base your opinions on facts and that you include some advantages and disadvantages; remember to balance it.
Also, remember that no one wants to read old news, so always keep your blog updated. Present it with factual news that is accurate and informative. If you write about something that happened a few months ago it will not grab the reader’s interest. Writing about someone who won the Wimbledon Tournament that happened a few months ago will make readers think that you are not updating your blogs, and consequently, will not read your blogs again, ever.
However, updating blogs is a very strenuous task; plan a schedule on when to update your blog and stick to it. Twice or thrice a week would be sufficient to keep your readers loyal. Inform your readers when you will be updating your blogs by posting it on the website as well. Remember that communication is the key to success for attracting readers to your blog. No communication—no readers.
Keep you blog simple to understand, for example: If your blog is about your gun hobby, do not put in technical terms and too many numbers. Such as: “This .50-70 M-1874 Belcher, 12 pounds, .50 cal. 2 1/2-in. 70 grn or FFG & 370 gr. PP” and so on. This will encourage readers to close your blog page the first second that they see it. Put it in simple terms as much as possible. Remember that many people are interested about a certain topic but do not actually know the technical terms, in this case, about guns.
Your headline should be large, bold letters that can easily catch a reader’s attention. Naming your headline is also important. Do not just put in “Guns” or “Tennis”, but think of a catchy phrase to get your readers to actually view your content.
Put your old, similarly themed blogs in an archive. This is great for someone who is interested to read your old blogs. The keywords in your archived blog are also important to generate targeted traffic to your blog.
If you have written an article before, you probably know that it is important to spell check and proof-read what you write. Remember that what you write reflects your reputation. If you stumble upon a sentence, redo it.
These are some of the things to consider if you are planning to blog. By following these few simple guides, you can be sure you will get plenty of readers, and also keep them reading.