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Build Awareness Through Email Without Spamming!

By Michele Haapamaki
Posted Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Most web marketers have seen the usual promotion strategies dozens of times. Search engines, newsletters, email ads and the like. Yet it can seem like a painfully slow process to build up from a trickle of visitors per day. Slow and steady marketing programs will pay off, but sometimes slow is just too discouraging! Unfortunately many web business owners will give up because of the psychological toll of a slow start.

To boost your site (and your confidence), you need to focus on bringing traffic to your site NOW to build an awareness of your site’s existence, even if it does not immediately translate into sales. You also need to let the big guns in your industry know that you are online, and that you intend to be a player. You need a promotion strategy, not an advertising program. If there is one concept to keep in mind throughout your web marketing career, it is this…

You can promote without advertising. In fact, promotion is often a much more powerful way to succeed. We tend to think of these two concepts as one and the same, but you are severely limiting your results if you concentrate only on "advertising." For one thing, there are rules about advertising (i.e. spam). In addition, we are all growing more impervious to ads; we see and hear so many per day that we unconsciously filter them out.

Advertising is geared towards the sale. Promotion, on the other hand, is geared towards building awareness. Promotion focuses first on the person you are communicating with, and then subtly returns the focus to you. You can advertise your site without emitting those bad vibes that "advertising" usually produces. How do you accomplish this? There are several ways, only one of which we will discuss in this article.

Email. Not email newsletters, or email ads, or email discussion groups but person-to-person email. Yes, you can send free email to people you don’t know, provided that you are offering something of value (or potential value) for the recipient. A blatant ad is simply spam, which will win you no friends at all.

The first step involves making a detailed (if not exhaustive) list of other companies/web sites related to yours. Now carefully formulate the approach you are going to take to inform these companies of your existence.

You need to have some feature on your site that might benefit them, which becomes the angle you will be using. (You should actually have these features on your site; please don’t lie just to get the "angle.")

1. Have a links page. Institute your links first and then inform other sites. Obviously, you can’t link to 500 web sites, but you CAN email them, ask for more information about their company and tell them that you will consider a link to them (make sure that you do add some of these companies, or rotate your links periodically)

2. Write a monthly (or weekly) feature on a related company that is doing something new and/or exciting. Email a large selection of companies, tell them that you might like to feature them in the future and ask for more information. (You can email them again when they are featured!)

3. If you feature/review/promote any type of product, you have an immense opportunity to contact hundreds, if not thousands, of companies for information. Most often you will have little trouble getting a response.

Every company loves to talk about itself, and have others in their industry acknowledge them as an important player. Even if your site is small, companies will value the exposure you can give them. Your carefully constructed emails will not only stroke their ego, but will let them know who you are. You might develop a correspondence relationship with some, and those that benefit from your features will often help you in return. Others may return to your site periodically to see their feature.

So start sending those emails, but remember… it’s not about you, it’s about them!

About the Author
Michele Haapamaki writes for Eworksworld, the only Internet Marketing Portal that reviews marketing companies and sites all in one place, so you spend less time searching the web! Send in your tips to our Red Ink Watch, which provides unbiased commentary on the (mostly negative) balance sheets of major Internet companies!


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