E-commerce Link: Bypass the Inbox
E-mail has by no means reached the end of its useful life. But its nature as a “push” marketing tool makes it vulnerable. However, there are new tools available that allow consumers to pull highly relevant information, receive reliable marketing information from trusted sources and easily shop for products and services.
Let’s take a look at these alternative marketing tools, and discuss how you can use them to supplement your e-mail marketing efforts.
RSS, or really simple syndication, enables your marketing messages to bypass the e-mail system entirely, landing right on your customer’s desktop with 100 percent guaranteed deliverability. There are no spam filters or crowded inboxes to contend with.
Consumers respond well to RSS because it gives them the ability to subscribe to and receive highly relevant and personalized content that automatically is updated by their favorite marketer, devoid of any spam. For example, one customer may want to hear about all new products and promotions, while another only wants notice of closeout shoes and handbags. While it’s up to a consumer whether or not she chooses to read the content, she knows the information is accessible whenever she is ready to make a purchase. And purchasing is simple via a plug-in reader on her computer.
Given the untapped marketing potential for RSS, marketers should begin testing RSS feeds on popular merchandising groups like “on sale” and “new arrivals.” These have been successful for the early marketing adopters of RSS. Additional content to test may be “top rated,” “price changes” or “trends.”
Although Forrester Research reports that only 2 percent of American Internet users employ RSS, it also found 7 percent of all online consumers are interested in getting RSS feeds from their favorite marketers.
One of your most powerful marketing tools is the positive opinion of your customers. With the growing acceptance of social computing tools, and with consumers more eager and trusting of user-generated content, advanced viral marketing applications are allowing online marketers to effectively use their customer base in new ways—as advertisers and evangelists.