Those Tricky Customers
Internet marketing can be a cat and mouse game with you being the cat and the customer being a very wily mouse. Internet denizens are a clever sort and if they see something on your web site, they will not hesitate to sign up for a membership and even agree to receive your promotional emails. But those tricky customers have ways to dodging your email advertising so even though you think you are advertising to them, your messages are actually vanishing off the face of the earth. So we have to be just as clever as well.
Knowing how customers think is a big part of being successful in your marketing plans. Internet customers are just like customers in the old marketing model. They are curious about promotions and they want to enjoy your give aways and dodge ongoing advertising. The cat and mouse game is to get them to want your advertisements by attaching them to things they want and get them to give you their email addresses and even to add your email identification to their preferred contacts list so your marketing emails fly right through their spam filters.
Much of what goes into web site design is making a web “place” that will draw customers to register for a “membership” or otherwise provide you with their real email address. When you develop a system that is working with actual visitors on your web site, you can then build a mailing list that is of much greater value than any list of email addresses you might buy from a mass mailing email service. Your email list is pure gold because it consists of real customers who actually had an interest in your web site and your product or service and who are likely to come back if your marketing is well done. Not only is that email contact list gold to you as a business, it is of great interest to other businesses in similar lines of business as you who will pay well to get their hands on that marketing email contacts list for the same reasons you value it.
However, those tricky customers of yours even have ways of stepping around your validation schemes and it all lies in the fact that anyone can set up as many email addresses online that they want. You know from your personal use of email that you have one or two primary email accounts, probably with your ISP that go directly to your desktop email software such as Microsoft Outlook. But most of us also set up two or three or many more other email accounts with services like HotMail, Yahoo and others. Its easy to set up an account on these services to use for games or to register for contests.
Those alternate services are where tricky online customers can trap your emails and actually give you the impression that you are advertising to them when you are not. A typical ploy by internet denizens is to send any incoming emails that are not personal or of immediate value to a yahoo, hotmail or other free email service. The result is that even if you harvested their email address when they signed on for a service or became a member of your web site, your advertising emails are being “dumped” into these alternative email inboxes which the customer has no intention of keeping up with.
The customer might check those email boxes every few weeks and just hit “delete all” on the inbox knowing that they don’t want to see any of those emails. And when they do that, there goes your advertising and you may never know what happened.
One way to try to bypass this problem is to make verification of email a part of the registration process. In that way, the customer has to log onto that email box to see a verification email and hit a link in that email to validate that it is a valid email address. But the final answer is to make your marketing emails so interesting and valuable to your customers that they don’t want to “dump them” into a holding tank email because they want to see what you are going to send them. And when you get to that level of relationship with a customer, you really do have a gold email list that will result in much higher sales for your online business.