The Arrows in the eMarketer's quiver

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Email Marketing

Direct marketing via electronic means - email marketing is very powerful. It's also extremely cost effective, highly targeted, customisable, measurable and best of all, takes advantage of the consumer's most prolific touch point with the Internet, their inbox.

Email marketing is about building virtual relationships with existing and potential clients and maximising the retention and value of these customers. Push your message out to your audience and let it pull them into contact with your company.

With a correctly built mailing list, you have direct access to a targeted audience.

Customise and tweak your message, then measure and test to see what techniques are most effective for your particular market.

Email marketing is about creating, building up, and capitalising on the relationships you build with your clients.

Conversion Optimisation

You've built a fantastic site. You're bringing in lots of traffic thanks to the highly effective SEO, Email, PPC and WebPR techniques we've discussed.

Job done? Not quite. To maximise ROI, we need to make sure we turn traffic into customers. This is where Conversion Optimisation comes into play.

A Two Phase Process - Before we can optimise, we need to analyse.

Analyse

First we need to analyse the collaborative effect of our entire eMarketing effort, looking at the combined effectiveness of all our tactics.

We need to analyse:
Web usability
Site analytics
The relative ROI of each eMarketing technique used
Split and multivariate testing
Any other available measurable

This kind of analysis allows us to get a better idea for where the inefficiencies are. We've scoped things out. Now we need to...

Optimise

Simply put, this optimisation process is all about minimising the drop-off rate, and making the most of the traffic we're getting. Conversion is the whole reason the website exists.

Based on what we found with our analysis, we make incremental changes to the most inefficient factors. Then we analyse again. And we keep doing so for each of the factors we've identified.

By doing this, we're improving the conversion rate of traffic into customers. That means a lower CPA, and a better ROI.

Testing

If you want to know if something works, test it. Constant tweaking and testing means we can streamline our eMarketing techniques, fine-tuning them for our specific market.

In the long run, we're maximising efficiency by jettisoning the least effective practises and focussing on those that bring the most benefit. Darwin would be proud. It's evolutionary marketing - survival of only the fittest techniques.

Ready, Aim, Fire!

So there you have it. These are the weapons that you, as the aspiring eMarketer, have available in your arsenal. Of course, it's about more than just the tools. It's also about how they are put to use, and how they work together as part of a "big-picture" campaign vision.

Coming soon: Chapter 3. What should you expect?

OK, so now you know what's in the toolbox, it's time to learn how to put them to use.

The most common form of citizen media is the weblog or blog as it's more commonly known. In the next chapter, "Blogging - everyone else is doing it, so why can't I?", we look exclusively at blogs.

With more than 80 000 new blogs created each day, that's more than the number of books published in the US each year!

But what is a blog and how can it be used as part of a highly effective eMarketing strategy? - we'll tell you everything you need to know next fortnight...

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