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Thursday, July 10, 2008

Is Your Marketing SPAM?

Thursday, July 10, 2008


The truth is, there is a fine line between advertising and spam and unfortunately many business owners do not understand the difference between the two. This is important because while a creative, well developed Internet marketing campaign can help to attract new customers and keep existing customers loyal, spam of all kinds is likely to alienate both new customers and existing customers. This can be extremely damaging to your business.

There are a few basic Internet marketing strategies we can focus on to illustrate the multiple types of spam that may be hurting your business and the success of your marketing campaigns such as banner ads, email campaigns and message board posts.

Banner ads are one of the most popular strategies which accompany an Internet marketing plan. These ads are usually ads which appear at the top of websites and span the width of the website. It is from this appearance that they earned the name banner ads but actually banner ads can refer to ads of a variety of different sizes and shapes which appear in an array of different locations on a website.

In many cases the business owner purchases advertising space on these websites but the banner ad may also be placed as part of an exchange or an affiliate marketing campaign. Banner ad exchanges are situations in which one business owner posts a banner ad on his website in exchange for another business owner posting his banner ad on the other website. These agreements may be made individually between business owners with complementary businesses or as part of exchanges facilitated by a third party.

In the case of affiliate marketing, an affiliate posts and advertisement for your business in exchange for compensation when the banner ad produces a desired effect such as generating website traffic or generating a sale. The terms of these agreements are determined beforehand and are generally based on a scale of pay per impression, pay per click or pay per sale or lead. Now that you understand what banner ads are, it is also important to understand how they can be overused and appear to be spam.

Placing your banner ad on a few websites which are likely to attract an audience similar to your target audience is smart marketing, placing your banner ad on any website which will display the ad regardless of the target audience can be construed as spam. Internet users who feel as though your banner ads are everywhere they turn will not likely take your business seriously and are not likely to purchase products or services from you as a result of your banner ads.

Email campaigns can also be very useful tools in the industry of Internet marketing. These campaigns may involve sending periodic e-newsletters filled with information as well as advertisements, short, informative email courses or emails offering discounts on products and services.

Loyal customers who opt into your email list will likely not view these emails as spam and may purchase additional products and services from your business as a result of this marketing strategy. Additionally, potential customers who have specifically requested additional information on your products and services will also find this type of marketing to be useful.

Email recipients who did not request information are likely to view your emails as spam. Harvesting email addresses in a deceptive manner and using these addresses to send out mass emails will likely always be considered to be spam. Only send the specific information requested to those who requested it!


Finally, message boards provide an excellent opportunity for business owners to obtain some free advertising where it will be noticed by members of the target audience. If the products and services you offer appeal to a specific niche, it is worthwhile to join message boards and online forums related to your industry of choice. Here you will find a large population of Internet users who may have an interest in your products.

You might consider including a link to your business in your signature or posting the link when it is applicable to the conversation. However, care should be taken to carefully review the message board guidelines to ensure you are not doing anything inappropriate. Conversely, replying to every message with a link to your website when it is not relevant to the conversation is likely to be construed as spam by other members. This can devalue your posts and discredit your company or website.

Think through all of your existing marketing tactics and ask yourself, "Is this borderline spam?" If the answer is yes, think about changing your tactics or clarifying your communications. Your prospects and your business will be glad you did.

For more email related information visit http://www.marketingbyemail.info


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