by Tim Choate
As Internet moarketing continues to get more sophisticated, marketers will be introduced to more effective ways to get the right offer to the right customer in the right context at the right time. Traditional means of Internet advertising, such as banners, links and affiliates, are not working as well as they could, decreasing in click-throughs every quarter. Better advertising methods exist that provide better targeting and in return, much higher order conversion rates:
In-process marketing partners a product with another site’s ordering or registration process. For example, Web sites dedicated to online auctions generally require consumers to register in order to participate. Providing there are no conflicts with the auction site’s business model, you could offer your product as an add-on to the registration page. The auction site processes the customer information and sends you the correct product information while keeping the whole transaction on its site.
Affiliate marketing is an excellent way to drive traffic to your site, however to be successful, it is crucial to provide affiliates with the tools they need to convert those visits to orders. Provide tailored banners, text links and storefronts with direct, targeted offers while giving the audience fun and creative content. It is a good idea to work with a third-party supplier or use in-house technology that can provide affiliates with links that automatically update content so affiliate sites constantly maintain a fresh, new look.
Keyword searches on search engine portals are excellent ways to provide a targeted offer to a large traffic base. When you take advantage of the search capabilities on a partner site, you can present your product or offer to a potential customer at the exact moment he is looking for it. It is ideal to have your offer featured as closely as possible to the keyword so it is the first thing the searcher sees when scanning the list. Another idea is to tie your offer together with the engine’s brand name, which may result in the search engine specifically recommending your offer.
Finally, don’t underestimate the value of one of the most established advertising mediums: e-mail marketing. In addition to marketing your own site’s e-mail list, use other e-mail newsletters to gain more customers. E-mail agencies or list rentals are additional ways to target your offers to demographic-specific e-mails.
Whichever avenue you choose – in-process marketing, affiliate marketing, keyword searches or e-mail marketing – keep your offers fresh and make sure you have a dedicated staff to analyze and optimize results. Targeted Internet marketing tools offer high value to consumers while generating cost-effective, qualified prospects based on your company’s own target customer profiles.
With more than 10 years of
management experience in the Internet and computer industries, Aptimus Founder Timothy C. Choate is a renowned industry expert in online direct marketing and an eCommerce pioneer.
He has been chairman, president and CEO of Aptimus since 1994. Prior to joining Aptimus, Mr. Choate served as a vice president of Micro Warehouse. In 1994, he co-founded Online Interactive, Inc., the former parent company of Aptimus, and was its chairman, president and CEO until June 1997.
Before 1994, Mr. Choate was president of Softdisk Publishing LLC, a software publishing company. His experience includes working as senior marketing manager at Prodigy, an Internet access and content provider; and developing and launching the New Products Division for Business Week, a division of the McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. Mr. Choate serves on the board of directors of Digital River, Inc., a provider of eCommerce outsourcing solutions; and Traveling Software, Inc., a software publishing company. Additionally, he earned a Bachelor of Science in economics, with a concentration in marketing and entrepreneurial management, from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania.