E-specials and e-promotions

E-specials and e-promotions are a great way to encourage repeat visits to your Web site but only if you change them on a regular basis. For example you could include the following text on your Web site: "We change our e-specials weekly. Bookmark this site now and keep checking back or click here and give us your e-mail address and we will send the e-specials directly to you as we update them". Always use these types of permission marketing techniques wherever possible on your Web site to encourage visitors to grant you permission to contact them on a regular basis.

What type of contest you hold depends upon your Internet marketing objectives. If you want to attract as many people as possible to your site regardless of who they are, then offer items such as money, trips, cars, computers, and so on. If you would like to attract potential customers from your target market, then give away something that relates to your products and industry.

1. Tips

  • encourage visitors to bookmark your e-specials page. Use a call to action like "bookmark this page now." It is amazing how often people do what they are told to do :)
  • you can offer a free gift to new e-members or subscribers - it could be a sample of one of your products or an e-book on a topic of interest to your target market.
  • you can offer a free gift to new e-members or subscribers - it could be a sample of one of your products or an e-book on a topic of interest to your target market.
  • wherever you use viral marketing on your Web site ("send a copy to a friend"...."tell a friend about"...."send these e-specials to a friend"...) make sure that you take advantage of the permission opportunity as well - for example if the viral marketing element is "send a copy of these e-specials to a friend" make sure that you have an opportunity for the friend to now give you permission or to subscribe to the e-specials. For example: If you have received a copy of these e-specials from a friend and would like to subscribe yourself click here.
  • most mail list software programs these days allow you to easily personalize the text. Make sure that you ask for the first name as well as the individual's email address when asking for permission to stay in touch. Personalized emails get a much better response than generic emails.
  • when asking permission to communicate with your target market you want to make it easy -  don’t have the visitor complete a long form on which they have to provide all kinds of information - less is better.
  • look for opportunities to form an alliance with other sites that are trying to reach the same target market you are and then see how you can do some win-win marketing. For example if your local Destination Marketing Organization has a weekly mail out make sure your specials are included in the e-mail with a link back to your site for more information on your specials. Travel agents are often another great partner for tourism businesses to partner with. They are always looking for great content for their e-specials.
  • make sure the landing page gives visitors the opportunity to sign up to receive your e-specials directly from you and is "sticky" enough that they want to explore your site further.
  • everywhere you ask for permission make sure your privacy policy is clearly stated.
  • if you hold regular contests on your Web site, directly under the e-mail address entry field should be the option for the visitor to sign up to receive your e-specials.
  • beware of "channel conflict" - never post a special on your Web site that will alienate your distribution channel. For example, do not have a room night special on your Web site for $79.00 when the lowest room rate available to a travel agent is $109.00. Imagine the impression you leave with the travel agent when they work very hard with a client and recommend your location and put together an itinerary that includes your location at $109.00 a night for 10 nights. What if the client wants to discuss the suggested itinerary with others who are traveling and find they can book it themselves through your Web site at a rate of $79.00 per night? You can bet that this will be the last time the travel agent will recommend your location - don't bite the hand that feeds you.
  • look at partnering with others who are selling non-competing products to the same target market. For example put together a great e-special package that includes accommodations, car rental, attraction admittance, golf green fees & cart rental and dinner coupons. Then each one of the contributors sends the e-specials out to their list. Make sure that you have hypertext links to each one of the partner sites - this creates increased exposure for each of the participants and increased traffic to their Web sites.
  • the more valuable your e-special is:
    • the better the uptake on it
    • the more traffic to your Web site
    • the more viewers will give you permission to send the e-specials on a regular basis via email
    • the more people will use the viral marketing component of telling a friend about the e-special


2. Tools

  • Examples of ways to encourage permission for visitors to sign up for your e-specials:
    • “We change our e-specials every week! Click here to join our mail list to be notified as soon as we update.”
    • "Click here to join our mail list and receive our weekly e-specials.”
    • “We have new e-specials on a regular basis. Click here to be notified by e-mail when we post our new e-specials."
    • “We have a new e-specials every month. Keep checking back or Click here if you’d like to be notified by e-mail every time we update our e-specials.”
    • “We constantly update our e-specials. Keep checking back or Click here if you’d like to be notified by e-mail every time we update.”
  • Examples of ways to encourage viral marketing for e-specials:
    • "To send a copy of these e-specials to a friend click here."
    • "Know a friend who may be interested in our e-specials? Click here to send a copy to them."

    3. Techniques

    Check out the following Web sites that feature mail list solutions for ongoing e-special e-promotions.

    • Mailworkz
      Using the power of advanced design tools, easy-to-use interface and campaign management features, you can create and send your personalized bulk e-mail campaigns, newsletters, weekly specials, support tips or marketing messages in an effective and efficient manner. Use it - we do!

    • Constant Contact
      Build and manage your permission-based email lists, create great looking HTML newsletters and e-promotions and track your results with extensive reporting features.
    • Inbox360
      The 360 System is one of the most flexible and powerful database and permission-based email-marketing systems available today. Offers customized emails, list management service and complete report functioning.
    • nTarget

    • Helps you build your email database, create professional email e-promotions, and track your ROI
      through detailed reporting.
    • TrueFire's Mail Dog
      Mail Dog makes permission e-mail marketing easy, affordable and profitable for businesses of all sizes. Create, send and track professional e-mail marketing campaigns and newsletters quickly and easily from any Internet connection. Mail Dog puts over 100 do-it-yourself pro tools at your fingertips to help you drive sales, acquire new business and stay connected with customers.
    • ENewsNotifier
      A powerful permission marketing solution that allows you to set up and maintain your permission marketing campaign. Worth checking out. Some of its users include Esquire Magazine, the Dallas Symphony and the New York Knicks.

    Visit my Web site at http://www.susansweeney.com