Six Things You Need to Know About Internet Marketing (790 words
By Bob Hacker, The Hacker Group
You hear it everyday: "The Internet has opened up a whole new medium for direct marketers. Web and e-mail are cost-effective ways to reach millions for only a couple of cents a hit." Especially with last November's mail-based terror attacks, e-mail is growing in popularity and effectiveness.
But, there are still ways to screw it up that can torpedo your program if you are not aware of them. Here are the six things you should be aware of as you strategize, write, design and execute your next (and every) Internet campaign.
1) Most users are still using dial-up connections. Keep this in mind: 86 percent of computer users are using dial-up modems at 56K or slower as of July, 2001, according to boomerang.com.
2) What you see is not always what they get. When designing an e-mail campaign, you should be aware that the recipient's e-mail or Web connection is not necessarily the same as yours, or your designer's. You may see a stunning HTML blast on your design station, but when your target receives it (if they have some types of e-mail, such as Hotmail), they are limited to the size. All they will see is a frustrating partial image or, worse, your mailing will cause an error message on their end. Not a good thing. Some of the most popular e-mail services do not support HTML at all. At this writing, AOL's latest version accepts HTML e-mailis among them. Send users of older AOL versions an HTML e-mail and all the reader sees is a mess. And all you see is irate unsubscribe messages, or resentful silence.
3) Step back from the cutting edge. Whether they are consumers or small businesses, most computer users do not have the latest e-mail and Web viewing technology. According to Boomerang.com, 65 percent to 70 percent of consumers have HTML compatibility and somewhere between 75 percent and 80 percent of businesses can receive HTML. So, that great blast you have planned with full orchestra sound, a mini-movie and dancing headlines may not work on the typical dial-up connection, and it may actually tie up your prospect's system for hours or crash it altogether. Even if you are targeting only the Fortune 500 with that award-winning blast, remember, many larger companies screen out large attachments for security reasons. You are much better off going with the safer, less robust format that will get read, than the gorgeous memory jammer that no one is going to see.