Monthly Archives: July 2017

Relationship Marketing and Ecommerce

When we talk about relationship marketing we have to also include words like: Trust, Brand, Needs, Reliability and Expertise. All of these qualities are encompassed in the success of an ecommerce business. Your ultimate goal is retention, the ability to retain a customer and gain repeat business.

The Viral Effect

There is another benefit to this type of marketing, it is what is called the Viral Effect. The viral effect is actually people talking to other people about your business. Now, this can be good or bad depending on how you build relationships with customers and potential customers. Realize that viral marketing is free and can be quite valuable to your business over time. It’s a multiplication factor, one person tells two and two people tell four, and so on from there. You can also use incentives to stimulate this type of marketing. One example of this is referrals, if your customer is given the incentive such as a ten dollar gift card if they refer three people to your business. Something of this nature, the compounding of a strategy like this can generate hundreds, if not thousands of new customers in the future.

Building a List

Technology has made it cost-effective and efficient to build lists. Since the world of ecommerce revolves around the internet and a website you have the opportunity to build lists. The general practice of list building consists of an autoresponder, an incentive offer and a sequence of messages. The process goes like this – A visitor comes to your website, you present them with an offer like a free booklet or other information that helps them, this is in exchange for their email and name. This information goes into your autoreponder list. Now, depending on you objective and business model a sequence of automated messages will be delivered to them and this is the beginning steps of building a relationship with your list.

Why Is Relationship Marketing So Vital?

There are basically two reasons this type of marketing is advantageous especially for ecommerce businesses. The first is the cost of getting new customers. It cost to advertise and get your product in front of potential customers, if you build a relationship you can retain that customer, sell to them without the added upfront overhead. The second advantage to building a relationship with a potential customer is trust. It is much easier for a customer to buy from you when they trust you, and the reverse is true, it is much easier to sell to a customer when they trust you.

A Hand Guide to Successful Internet Marketing

OK, I’m hot. I’m not complaining because back in the winter when it was the very opposite of hot, I swore I wouldn’t complain when it got hot. The fan on my computer seems to have a brain of its own and it is humming away at an unusually fast pace. I think the computer is hot.

So why oh why would want to be reading an article about eMarketing in the aftermarket? It gives you an excuse to put your feet up on the desk, sip that iced tea and learn something that can move your company forward in the branding and marketing arena at a very low cost. When your boss sees the increases in requests coming off the ‘Net and he knows he didn’t have to add bodies to the budget, he will think you have been working very, very hard. That’s a good thing.

A couple of weeks ago, I was asked to lead the eMarketing Panel at the Aftermarket eForum in Chicago. Some of the information herein was to be presented there, but due to scheduling and time conflicts, I had to move through it pretty quickly. So, if you attended the eForum and missed out, here’s your chance to catch up.

Let’s skip right to the goodies, now. Our project for today is foundational. If you haven’t already done so, (and you probably haven’t) you need to create a spreadsheet. Don’t fret, there isn’t any math involved. This spreadsheet is the basic tool you are going to use to track two things for the rest of your eMarketing career, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Pay Per Click (PPC).

Do this.

First, write a list of all the key phrases that you can think of for your product mix. Let’s use my favorite as an example; Sparkplugs. Your key phrase list would consist of thing like spark plugs, sparkplugs, spark plug, sparkplug, Honda sparkplug, igniter, iridium spark plug, iridium sparkplug, etc. In the first column of the spreadsheet, enter all of these key phrases. Note that I have included sparkplug as one word and as two words.

Next, Set up an account at Overture.com. This is a part of Yahoo! and is actually now called Yahoo! Search Marketing. You can use your own credit card for this if the boss is out of town, because we aren’t going to spend any money with it. We are going to use it to track down some additional key phrases and get the numbers of actual searches per month for each of these key phrases. Once you are in and have established an account, go to keyword tools and start entering your brainstormed key phrases one at a time. The Overture key word tool will tell you how often searches are performed for your key phrases and suggest additional key phrases. Add the additional ones to your spreadsheet. In the second column of your spreadsheet enter the number of times per month that each key phrase is searched for.

You are going to check your rankings on each of the search engines you choose. Heres an example of words I have tracked, from 1/5 to 6/5

-NGK Spark Plug with 3862 searches

-Performance Plug with 4190 searches

-Honda Sparkplug with 5583 searches

-Champion Spark Plug with 5600 searches

-Oxygen sensor with 6325 searches

-spark plug with 10456 searches

These are clearly important key phrases for this business as evidenced by the number of searches/month being performed for each. In the example above, through a combination of great SEO, appropriate Pay Per Click and a bit of luck we moved up 1 point for “NGK Spark Plugs” over five month period at Google. We went from non existent to first at Yahoo for “Champion Spark Plug”, climbed two points for “spark plug” at Google and also did very well for the same key phrase at Yahoo.

In May of ’04, a Search Engine User Attitudes Survey by iProspect indicated:

*60.5 percent of Google, Yahoo!, MSN and AOL users selected a natural search result over paid search advertisements as the most relevant on a sample query. We can’t ignore 60+ percent of users, so how can we work to make sure that we show up as high as possible on the page in the natural search results for our chosen key words? It all starts with measuring, as in the spreadsheet example above. The folks at Lund International says, “If it’s worth doing, its worth measuring” (I have that from a very good inside source, who shall remain anonymous).

Basic Search Engine Optimization

Search engines vary in the way they use the information on your website to rank your pages in natural search results. Google, for instance, no longer uses Meta Tags (see below) to determine relevance. Most other search engines still do. Let’s keep this simple by talking about the 3 most important SEO issues.

Page titles. What does it say in the blue bar at the top of your webpage? The title tag is an important way that search engines determine the relevance of your website to a particular search. The earlier the key words appear in your title bar, the higher your ranking (generally) for that key word. If your title bar says, Welcome to the fantastic website of Wingding Industries, maker of all kinds of tail lights for your car and truck. Then your title tags are optimized for the words “Welcome, to, the, fantastic” and not much else. Use your keyword master spreadsheet to position your important keywords toward the beginning of your title tag. If tail lights is your important keyword, then try “Tail lights for your car and truck made by Wingding Industries”.

Meta Tags. Despite the fact that Google no longer uses Meta Tags to determine relevancy to a particular search, almost all of the other search engines do. In your web page code there is an HTML tag called, “Meta Tags”. This is an area of the code where you can list all of your important key words or phrases, thereby increasing the possibility of a higher position when someone searches on those words and phrases. It is recommended that you don’t use a particular key word more than 3 or 4 times as you will be penalized by the search engines for trying to spam them.

Content. Content has become increasingly important for a number of reasons. First, it is our belief from monitoring all of the various search engine commentators that key words that appear high on the webpage in text format are utilized by the search engines to determine relevancy of the site for those key words. In other words, if you are a site whose important key words include sparkplugs and oxygen sensors, that those words should be used in the text that appears near the top of your web page.

Secondly, the more content you have about a particular subject, again let’s use sparkplugs as the example, the more relevant the page actually is to the person searching for information about sparkplugs. Your site will gain in popularity among those looking for sparkplug information and will therefore be ranked higher by the search engines when they display results for sparkplug-related searches. This is true for content that in the form of chats, forums and blogs as well.

This brings up the point that the popularity of your website also plays an important part in your search standings. The more popular your website is for a given topic, the higher your listing will appear on the search results page.

One further point about search relevancy. It is a process. If you do a really great job on your page titles and meta tags and provide valuable content for a particular topic, over time, your website will continue to rise in the search results. Success begets success for search results ranking.

Let me mention one further idea. You can’t rank highly for a huge amount of diverse keywords, but you can build web pages targeting a specific topic. If you sell Sparkplugs and Oxygen sensors, you might want to build a set of pages devoted to sparkplugs and a second set of pages devoted to oxygen sensors. You can build these within a single URL or develop separate URL’s for each topic.

Next quarter (I hope it doesn’t take me that long) we will take a look at how to stay top of mind with our customers through an almost free little trick called email Marketing.

Internet Marketing and the Reinfusion

Selling on the Internet has often removed a very crucial element from the buying experience – humanity. It is easy to log on, peruse an ecommerce site and escape unnoticed. That is, in fact, the appeal of most online stores. Consumers like the opportunity to look without buying or buy without the long speeches and quality assurances offered from slick haired salesmen.

That being said, the consumer still misses some kind of interaction especially when it comes to a product or service they are most interested in. They may still buy online, but they may feel that something is missing and never fully be able to explain what that missing element may be.

This brings me to social media. We gravitate toward those who share similar beliefs, similar interests or shared pasts. Every day people are finding connections with those they haven’t heard from or about in decades. Others are mobilizing for a cause or a leader in expressing their ideas and dreams.

Why not access the same technology to mobilize your customers and infuse some humanity into the buying process.

Consider some of the following ideas that may make your marketing strategy more human.

Blogs – These can allow you to provide direct input for consumers. They can read a well-defined post from you by visiting your site or using an RSS (Real Simple Syndication) reader. Your expertise adds a human face to your product.

Customer Feedback – This can allow customers to inform others about the service and value they receive from your company. Even if you have a negative comment from time to time it demonstrates the honest to goodness humanity of your business.

Forums – This allows consumers to have direct interaction with other consumers. Many will come to your forum because of genuine interest while others may come to cause trouble. Make sure you have moderators that can help keep the troublemakers to a minimum.

Ezines – This is a tool you can use to help lead your consumer base in a direction that will be mutually beneficial. This should be packed with information and resources that remains a valuable tool in human relations.

This may sound as if it is an endorsement for niche marketing. I suppose in a sense it is. You see, when it comes to an online business you can afford to fill a very specific niche. The reason this is true is there are many more potential consumers that are online as opposed to those only found in your immediate vicinity.

If you can come up with solutions and information for your niche audience you may find that your humanity and their motivation can make a more successful online business than a more general interest retail store located in a storefront on your local Main Street.

Internet Marketing and Work

Many people tend to overlook Internet Marketing as an option when it comes to work from home jobs due to misconceptions that it is a very complicated or specialized field. This however need not be the case at all, it is simply because we have been conditioned into this way of thinking that we allow this to get in the way.

The great thing though about Internet Marketing when it comes to work from home jobs is that it need not just stay at a job but can very easily and cost effectively be transformed into multiple very lucrative work from home businesses.

I know that when I first started looking into this Marketing as a vehicle for Wealth Creation, it all seemed very confusing and seemed an impossible task. But as a Wealth Creator, I went about acquiring the skill sets which I thought I would need in order to build and maintain a very successful Marketing business.

To my amazement, I soon began to get behind the scenes of┬áMarketing strategies and systems and once stripped to their bare bones, realized that it is actually very unnecessary for Internet Marketing to be as complicated as all the ‘experts’ and ‘gurus’ made it out to be.

I then set out to build systems and strategies which are kept really simple and cost effective in order to enable anyone to use Internet Marketing not only in order to find work from home jobs, but rather to be able to build work from home ecommerce businesses and be able to find financial freedom.

Work from home jobs might be great for those looking for ways to earn a salary from home, but being able to build work from home businesses is surely far more lucrative and will also give one the opportunity to truly understand the concept of what it is to be a Wealth Creator and lead a life of abundance.