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Promotional Products International Association. Jeanne L. Allert, M.Ed. Ellipsis Partners Baltimore-Washington. E-Marketing Techniques to Grow Your Business. First, a few questions. What aspect of your business are you trying to grow?

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promotional products international association

Promotional Products International Association

Jeanne L. Allert, M.Ed.

Ellipsis Partners


E-Marketing Techniques to Grow Your Business

first a few questions
First, a few questions
  • What aspect of your business are you trying to grow?
  • Does “growing your business” mean “generating more business” or does it mean “doing business better”?


    • Expand customer base (by geography? number? Industry diversity? )
    • Expand inventory offering (and make market aware of it)?
    • Increase transactions (frequency, repeats, upsell, dollar amount)?


    • Expand brand awareness
    • Improve customer service/responsiveness
    • Offer contemporary services
  • Do you have the infrastructure to support the growth you desire?

Email Marketing - “PUSH”

  • Building & Managing Your Lists
  • Refining Your Emails

Website Marketing - “PULL”

  • Improving your Site’s Visibility
  • Enhancing the Visitor’s Experience
  • Learning from your Website

Gathering Customer Intelligence – “ASK”

And a few new tactics on the horizon…

Prentice Hall eMarketing report indicates that marketers have found online promotions achieve three to five times higher responserates than direct mail.

build your email lists
Build Your Email Lists
  • Blind Email Campaign
  • Ask for visitor’s email address on your website
  • Offer incentives for online customers to give you their email addresses.
  • Ask your recipients to forward your email onto their network of contacts
  • Provide your call center (receptionist) with script to ask for email addresses and get opt-in permission
  • Always ask for email addresses on your printed and Web order forms
  • Have a sign-up form on each page of your website
  • Encourage sign-up on signature lines
  • Sign-up requests on receipts, invoices, confirmations
  • Footer on Press Releases
manage your lists
Manage Your Lists
  • Ask for preferred email address and state what you will use it for
  • Practice Opt-in or Double Opt-in
  • Attend to Opt-outs immediately
  • Offer a gracious “you’re welcome to come back”
  • Let members manage their own Opt-in and email address changes via your website
  • Use Subject Line to remind recipients to reply for Double Opt-In
message presentation
Message Presentation
  • Use of branding/imagery
  • Use of stationery and colors
  • Do you expect the email to be printed?
  • What is the likelihood your audience can support the presentation you’ve created?
  • How important to have your brand associated with the content?
  • Does the graphical treatment lend value to the message or detract from it?
timing your campaigns
Timing Your Campaigns
  • Consider:
    • When do you want them to receive the email?
    • How long does it take for your emails to be received?
    • What offline media might coincide with the email? (news broadcast, magazine?)
    • What are the psychographics (behaviors) of your readers?
  • 62% of emails opened between Tuesday – Thursday
  • 80% of emails opened between 5am and 5pm PST.
  • News-oriented emails are best (expected) early in the morning
  • A high % of SPAM sent during middle of the night and on weekends; don’t compete with them
spam management
SPAM Management


Unwanted email, sent in bulk, to unfamiliar audiences for the purposes of solicitation


  • Teach staff how to set up their own filters
  • Inform staff what filters are operating at the server level
  • Know the difference between “blacklists” and “whitelists” and how to manage those
  • Preview pane display = Read
  • Outlook 2003 – does not automatically display images in HTML; also offers personal whitelists and blacklists
  • Do you list staff emails on your website ?


ANOTHER IDEA: “type first initial last name @”

  • Set up departmental email boxes and manage them
spam management1
SPAM Management


  • Avoid SPAM-prone words like “free,” “give-away,” or questionable adjectives
  • Use a consistent email address for sending
  • Use an external email service for large mailings
  • Send email in small, irregular batches
  • Post your privacy policy on your website
  • Train your market to look for your email (and whitelist it)
  • Have instructions on your website for whitelisting your emails
fighting back
Fighting Back !
  • Forward "unwanted or deceptive spam" to [email protected] maintained by the FTC. The data collected is used to prosecute perpetrators of scam or deceptive advertising
  • Cut and paste email header and full text and submit to
  • Look up the source of some SPAM mail by true domain at
  • SPAM’em back
a good example for marketing
A Good Example for Marketing





Call to action

Peer testimonial



Opt-out instructions

sms short messaging service marketing
SMS (short messaging service) Marketing

Text messaging enables information to be sent to groups of people quickly. The development of 3G (third generation) and smartphones, which have larger screens and can play music and video clips, has made multimedia messaging service (MMS) possible.

Advantages of SMS marketing

  • Personal nature of cellphones make SMS marketing a powerful tool.
  • Most people take their mobile phones everywhere - effective for time sensitive messages.
  • People tend to read virtually every text they get

Potential disadvantages of SMS marketing

  • A maximum 160 characters.
  • Get their permission and ensure that your SMS marketing complies with privacy and data protection rules.
  • Required to make it clear who the message is from and commercial communications must be clearly recognizable as such.
  • You need to use a mobile phone company to send out the texts for you.

the amount of money spent on advertising on mobile phones has been small but it has been growing rapidly. In 2005, advertisers spent $45 million on such messages, and should spend around $150 million in 2006, according to Ovum Research, which projects that such spending will reach $1.3 billion by 2010."

web marketing strategies

Web Marketing Strategies

Bring them in

Serve them well

Learn about them

Bring them back

your name and its visibility
Your Name and its Visibility
  • Secure a domain name that is recognizable, relevant, and memorable
  • If feasible, secure domains that are “too similar” and create a redirect to your site
  • Use branded email for staff. Most consumers don’t interpret free ISPs as a serious business email address
  • Optimize your website for Search Engines
  • List your site with Web Directories
  • Promote website on offline channels, publications, correspondence and merchandise
search engine optimization
Set up Tags and Design for Search Engines

Update Metatags based on site stats, organizational changes and seasonality

Pay special attention to the TITLE tag !

Search Engine Optimization
register your site
Register Your Site

Register with Directories: Yahoo, Google, AOL. Switchboard, CitySearch, Local Directories, Shopping portals, Chamber of Commerce, etc.

linking strategy
Local teams, organizations, companies, schools, colleges

(client) Conference or event archives

Suppliers, Distributors, Partners

Product brands

Your clients

Complimentary businesses

Related products or services

Local web calendars

Linking Strategy

Create reciprocal linking relationships with:

paid placements
Paid Placements
  • Google Adwords
  • no minimum budget
  • choose terms
  • pay only for CPC/click-thru
navigation options
Navigation Options
  • Audience Segmentation
  • Searching
  • Indexes
  • Context-Grouping
  • Site Map
  • “Ask Jeeves” model
  • Anchor your brand on each page
use their language
Use THEIR language
  • Communicate so as to be understood
  • Create website sections for markets where the language shifts dramatically
  • Watch search terms to review “user lexicon”
  • Have someone outside your industry “proofread” your site
  • Don’t “dub-dub-dub”
test your own transactions
Test Your Own Transactions
  • Be very cognizant of what steps you are asking the customer to take
  • Provide options
  • Anticipate errors
  • Communicate the PROCESS
  • Provide help at all junctures
  • Provide immediate confirmation of transaction
  • Be clear on how the customer can follow up
  • Products, services and communications targeting the individual
  • Based on robust database rules
  • Message Boards
  • Discussion Forums
  • Surveys/Polls
  • Member Networking
  • Images
  • Virtual/Interactive tours

What can the visitor DO on your site?

offer options for communicating with you
Offer options for Communicating with you
  • Provide a range of options for communicating with you
  • Communicate service levels and turnaround times for those options
  • Anticipate their questions
instant messenger chat
Instant Messenger/Chat
  • Real-time response to customer questions
  • Requires staffing during “off” hours
  • Requires minimal technical skills
  • Aids customer use of the website
  • Transactions can be recorded/ tracked for business intelligence
site concierge
Site Concierge
  • Uses video animation to simulate a personal assistant
  • Limited interaction
  • Impacted by user’s desktop
  • Impact on 508 compliance
bulletin message boards
Bulletin/Message Boards
  • Encourage your customers to talk about your products online
  • Regularly mine public boards for postings about your offerings
  • Periodically search the archives
  • Monitor boards for opportunities to provide information, resources and links back to your programs
  • Volunteer to moderate a public board
  • Seed the conversation with (legitimate) topics that promote your value
  • Have a purpose and stick to it
  • Offer real and unique value
  • Push customers to use it
  • Blog SPAM danger
  • frequent shoppers are rewarded when they reach a certain level of value or purchases
  • shoppers are encouraged to return with an e-coupon towards future purchases
  • incentives to encourage customers to purchase immediately rather than waiting for a better deal or shopping elsewhere
  • first time customers are offered special deals in order to help turn them from browsers into purchasers
  • Coupons usually include a code that the customer is required to enter before they finalize their order to receive the discount.
  • used to encourage customers to sign up for e-newsletters, with the newsletter helping to increase sales and build your customer database
rebate coupons
Rebate Coupons
  • For growing repeat business
  • Make the rebate meaningful to the customer
  • Be VERY clear about your offer and what you will do with their information
  • Test and adjust
what s important to learn about your online customer
What’s Important to Learn about your Online Customer

Web-Relevant Characteristics

  • Technology Access/Reception
  • Technology Reliance
  • Motivation
  • Time
  • Past Web performance

Classic Market Segments

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Income
  • Education
  • Geography
  • Industry
market intelligence gained by asking
Market Intelligence Gained By Asking
  • Interval Surveys / Polls
  • Constant Survey
  • Focus Groups
market intelligence gained by profiles
Market Intelligence Gained By Profiles
  • Customer profile forms
  • Interest Inventory
  • Preferences
market intelligence gained by tracking
Market Intelligence Gained By Tracking
  • Forums
  • Discussion Boards
  • Email Response
  • Chats
  • IM usage
  • Web Stats
remember those questions
Remember those questions
  • What aspect of your business are you trying to grow?
    • Be clear about your business goals
  • Does “growing your business” mean “generating more business” or does it mean “doing business better”?
    • Consider technology investments in both areas
  • Do you have the infrastructure to support the growth you desire?
    • Better to do less and do it well than try to do more and fail


  • Requires ongoing diligence to build and maintain your lists
  • May have to train your market to be on the lookout for your emails
  • Doesn’t have to be sizzle; should be mostly steak
  • Track performance and adjust


  • Be active about bringing them to your site (“out of sight, out of mind”)
  • Design from the users’ perspective
  • Create opportunities for interaction/engagement
  • Anticipate their needs and provide for them


  • Ask them!
  • Mine your data
  • Learn and adjust