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Increase your Net profits with online marketing tools

By Dave Chalk

It used to be the case that keeping track of your clients and their purchases, let alone keeping in touch with them, was a time-consuming and arduous process. Today, a number of Web-based programs are making the lives of business owners easier and more effective through the benefits of Web- and email-driven marketing. From getting clients directed to your site to keeping track of their purchases and driving repeat business, there’s likely a tool out there that can help you generate revenue.

One of the first things you need to consider when using the Internet to generate revenue for your business is the undeniable power of search engines. If you and a bunch of other companies are all in the same field and vying for the same clients, you need to make sure that when a client searches for what you have to sell online, your company name comes up first. It’s a competitive world out there on the Internet, which is why I would suggest using a program tool to help you understand and reap the rewards of search engine optimization. A company called Emcon is doing just that (www.cms-content-management.com). Emcon is an online program geared towards managing and marketing your website. It’s all DIY, and Emcon includes a number of helpful tools: search engine optimization wizards, email marketing software, tell-a-friend viral marketing tools, stats tracking, and step-by-step Internet marketing videos. Emcon is a great way to get you started towards collecting clients and their valuable contact information.

If you’ve been collecting client email addresses already for quite some time, then good for you! You’re already well on your way to effectively marketing via email. Email campaigns are a great way to keep in touch with your clients and remind them about the products and services you offer. And it’s not as difficult as you might imagine. In fact, there are a number of programs available today that can help you to create a custom newsletter you can send to clients, and they’re all very user friendly. One company I’ve discovered is called Emma (www.myemma.com). Emma has a great look and feel to their website that makes the email marketing aspect of your business more like fun than work. Emma differs from other list builders in a number of ways. For one, a tour of the way Emma works is actually done via telephone and a real live person that walks you through the steps to creating an email campaign. If you decide to go with Emma as an email marketing system, the company will assign you a designer to create a custom template for your company. This too is a unique service, as most list servers only give you stock templates to choose from. With Emma, you can really personalize your targeted emails and make them more identifiable with your company and your audience. Once you’ve had your template designed, Emma is easy to use. You simply import your contacts into your new online database and create target groups, then organize them by location and demographics. You can build as many lists as you want and you can export all of your email groups to your computer at any time. Emma also keeps track of bounced emails, click through rates and campaign successes.

Another popular online program for client contact is Topica (www.topica.com), a Web-based marketing company that helps you manage all client information with ease. Unlike My Emma, you only have a set number of newsletter templates to choose from, but the format for adding new contact info and getting your campaigns out to clients is again very user friendly. Email campaigns can easily be triggered by a number of Topica settings: a new contact adding to your system, a link that was clicked, or a purchase that was made online. You can also segment your Topica database and create targeted email campaigns based on demographics, interests, age, anything! Wondering what all of this means? I’ll give you an example. Let’s say you own a small business that sells sporting goods. Using Topica’s targeted fields and content management tools, you could email all of your clients who purchased ski boots that ski pants are going to be on sale at 40% off. Only the customers interested in ski pants would be notified of the sale, so you would know that only relevant customers would receive the message. Topica is definitely one of the more advanced programs when it comes to contact management, and focuses a lot on marketing tools that will make your emails more targeted and relevant.

No matter what you decide to use to keep your clients up to date on your products and services, these days there’s no better way to keep in touch with those all-important customers than through the power of Internet marketing

 

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Copyright 2006 SOHO Business Report
a Dream Launchers Partner






SOHO Business report magazine, a Dream Launchers project publication, helps Small Office / Home Office Entrepreneurs succeed. We help home-based business and small business with free articles, multimedia (audio, video & interactive), tools and tips. Topics for home business and small business include business planning (e.g. business plan and marketing templates), strategy, guerrilla marketing, Internet marketing, publicity, project management, importing, exporting, taxes, finance, trade shows, technology, negotiation, consulting, sales techniques and tactics, work life balance, growth management, profit optimization, team work, leadership, human resources (recruiting, hiring, training & firing) and network marketing (referrals and contact building). SBR can help you start your home business or small business and give you the management tools and resources to succeed by making a business plan or marketing plan with expert input. All of that without getting an MBA, going through training or school. Start increasing your profits, improving your cash flow and building the business your entrepreneurial aspirations demand.