When putting together an on-line marketing campaign it is vital to get the process automated. You cannot be sitting there 24/7 waiting for any responses, and then be able to process them immediately. Wouldn’t you rather it be done for you while you are elsewhere doing business, making money, asleep or even relaxing on holiday?
You can automate the gathering of contact details from interested customers into a safe and secure database. You can use that database to send out automated emails that are in response to their enquiries. You can automate the process of sending out on-line goods such as special reports and e-books, and if the customer needs to make a purchase, you can use shopping carts to automate receiving the money and organising the delivery process of these items, whether they are electronic/printed books or other goods.
Then, because you have created a database of your customers’ details, you are able to communicate with them about future promotions and products, made all the more successful because they have already bought from you and are more likely to be interested. It’s much easier to deal with past customers than to coax the unknown into buying.
There are a variety of autoresponders available, depending on their function. If all you want to do is to communicate with your prospective customers on a regular basis, then an electronic newsletter system is appropriate like ConstantContact.com and iContact.com. These provide databases with a series of templates that can be adapted to suit your corporate image, and their self-editing system is very easy to use.
Alternatively you could use an autoresponder like Aweber.com which also provides multiple databases and allows automated email responses, newsletter templates and the delivery of non-paid-for e-goods. It can be used in conjunction with payment systems like Paypal for simple automated delivery of paid goods, but it’s not as functional as a shopping cart.
Shopping carts like 1shoppingcart.com and e-junkie.com tend to be quite complicated to set up, but once achieved make it much easier for the customers to complete the purchasing process, for you to collect what you need from them, such as their contact and payment details, and even organising the necessary information sent to other parties who are part of the processing system, such as distribution houses and manufacturers. They also include an e-newsletter system for regular communications, as well as other automated money-making facilities such as affiliates.
There are a huge number of factors that need to come into play to make any automated system functional, practical and successful. All the marketing ploys need to be applied: attraction, interest, desire, action; focus, minimalism, uncomplicated, persuasion; customer first, market research, validity, affordable; visible, compelling, obvious, proactive. And above all, planning; as Graham Jones the Internet Psychologist said, a lot of on-line marketing systems fail because they just haven’t been thought through properly.