Dynamic Internet Marketing Newsletter

"Making Web Promotion Easier..."

 issue August 2003

This month in Dynamic Internet Marketing

  1. Editor's Note:
  2. Internet Marketing News Flash
  3. Viral Marketing
  4. Positioning Your Website on Top of Search Engines Step by Step (II)
  5. About Dynamic Internet Marketing Newsletter
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Editor's note:

In a union that would create the largest global advertising business on the Internet, Overture and Yahoo! announced July 14 that they had reached a definitive agreement in which Yahoo! would acquire Overture. The acquisition serves to escalate the growing competition in the search market and Internet advertising sectors, and in particular puts pressure on top competitors, Google and Microsoft's MSN.

It's important to note that your Overture account will be unaffected for the moment, but what opportunities does this agreement bring for online marketers in the future?

- Expanding Overture's Paid Placement search faster and more cost effectively into Yahoo!'s vertical channels, such as Shopping, Travel, and Yellow Pages will enable Overture's clients to be served to a greater number of targeted customers.

- Integrating Overture's Content Match product throughout Yahoo!'s network, including channels such as Sports, Real Estate and Autos will further increase the opportunities for advertisers to reach potential customers when they are viewing content related to their site.

- Overture's advertisers will have the ability to get online, sell online and promote online by purchasing a range of additional Yahoo! services, such as Yahoo! Store and Yahoo! Web Hosting.

The adquisition will be completed in the third quarter of 2002. We will see then what other surprises Overture and Yahoo are preparing for us in the future.

Internet Marketing News Flash:

1. Yahoo! has announced it will purchase Overture, which specializes in Web advertising and operates the AltaVista.com and AlltheWeb.com sites. The two companies have signed a definitive agreement and is expected to be completed by the fourth quarter of 2003.

2. LookSmart has expanded its LookListings paid inclusion program so that small businesses can purchase "deep listings" previously only offered to large businesses with big budgets. The change made last month eliminates the former LookListings Small Business program, which LookSmart introduced last year.

3. Overture and Knight Ridder Digital Announce Full-Service Search Agreement: Overture's top paid placement search results will appear on Knight Ridder Digital's Web sites. Additionally, Overture will leverage its algorithmic, or Web-wide, search capabilities, from its recent acquisition of the Web search unit of FAST to serve the Web-wide results on the remainder of the search page.

4.Mobile email, including access to calendars and contact information, will drive growth in mobile data services for businesses over the next five years, industry analysts have predicted. According to research firm Analysys, around 40 per cent of people with a business mobile phone will use mobile email by 2008, compared to less than one per cent today

Viral Marketing

The term "viral marketing" gets a lot of play, but many people know of the term without really knowing what it means. So let's clear up the confusion with a clear definition: viral marketing is any type of a marketing campaign that encourages recipients of the campaign's message to *willingly* pass it along to friends, family and colleagues (as opposed to "viruses" in which the recipient unwillingly passes it along). The best correlation to viral marketing is simply "word-of-mouth."

Because viral marketing relies on word-of-mouth, communication tools like email and instant messaging (IM) are the most powerful methods to employ a viral marketing campaign. Email and IM enable recipients to instantly pass along your marketing message to others - the very definition of viral Marketing. Viral marketing campaigns can be used to generate awareness or to stimulate specific action.

How you plan and execute your viral marketing campaign will be affected by your objective and intended target audience. For example, marketers targeting the youth market tend to create viral marketing campaigns based around "the cool factor" (like the LindsayBuddy campaign we wrote of in our Instant Messaging tip a few weeks ago). Cause-related marketers will focus on empathy and action. Let's start by reviewing a few case studies so you can get an understanding of how viral marketing has been used.

Case Studies

The most famous case illustrating the power of viral marketing is free email provider Hotmail. In its first 18 months of operation, Hotmail signed up over 12 million users, every one of whom filled out a detailed demographic and psychographic profile in exchange for a free email account. Hotmail's total marketing budget was only $500,000. If this seems like a lot, compare it to Juno's $20 million that was spent to garner only one-third of the users Hotmail signed up.

How did Hotmail do it? The strategy was simple. On the bottom of each and every Hotmail email was the phrase, "Get your free private email at www.hotmail.com." Interesting fact: today Hotmail is the largest email provider in India despite never having spent a dime in that market.

The instant messaging service, ICQ, is another viral marketing success story, though they were never even intending to market themselves. When ICQ was created in 1996, it was unlike anything else like it. People would tell other people about ICQ and would share their ICQ ID #s. Unlike HotMail, ICQ spent ZERO marketing dollars and was eventually acquired by AOL for over $287 million. At the time of its acquisition, ICQ had about 30 million users.

Free email fax service, EFax.com, used a strategy similar to Hotmail's with similar success. In only 8 weeks, they signed up more than 300,000 subscribers - all through viral email marketing.

Execution Ideas for Viral Marketing

  • Offer an Incentive - viral marketing is very much about the "WIIFM" principle: "what's in it for me." The incentive could be tangible, like a monetary incentive, or intangible like something that's fun to look at and interact with. The key thing is to incentivize someone to tell others about you.
  • Personalize - personalization becomes even more important with viral email marketing campaigns because response rates increase dramatically when users can see that a message is coming from a friend. It lends instant credibility to your message. It's best when the sender's name appears in the Sender field of the email. You can also try inserting their name in the subject line, like "Jim Doe thought you might like 35% off a new PDA."
  • Provide Scalability - if you're lucky enough for your viral campaign to rocket towards success, your systems have to be ready to handle the traffic and transactional flows. Be sure you're fully prepared for a large response before launching a viral marketing campaign.
  • Track and analyze results - if you want to be able to measure the effectiveness of your viral marketing campaign, you may want to take steps to isolate viral marketing campaign respondents from others. For example, setting up unique URLs or even mini web sites at which only viral marketing respondents will transact.
  • Promote Continuously - don't run just one viral campaign. For true, lasting effectiveness, make all of your campaigns viral in some aspect, especially email.

Create high impact personalized emails and newsletters Discover how Dynamic Mail Communicator can help you put in practice your viral marketing ideas to generate new and repeat revenue for your business. Dynamic Mail Communicator makes it easy to:

- Create, import and manage unlimited mailing lists
- Create high impact html rich emails and newsletters
- Auto-remove bounced back emailsUse unlimmited autoresponders
- Personalize your messages
- Automate subscribe and unsubscribe

... schedule your emails, process incoming messages and much much more.

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Potential Pitfalls

Just like any other form of marketing, viral marketing does have unique pitfalls. Decide before you launch your campaign what your stance is on these issues:

1) Brand Dilution - viral marketing depends upon people not versed in your brand to do the "selling" for you. Carefully craft a message that is strong enough to endure misinterpretations or make your communication brandless.

2) Association with Unknown Groups - viral marketing's strength is its potential to spread exponentially from person to person. During this process, it is possible that your message could wind up in the hands of and passed on by someone you would rather not be associated with. The only way to partially counter this is to ahead of time define and limit what information you make available for your viral marketing.

3) Avoid Making Purely Financial-Based Offers - The best viral campaigns work on the principle of value not greed. If you try to use money as an incentive there is a chance that 1) your offer will be spammed across the web and you'll be broke and left with the nightmare of figuring out who gets what; 2) your offer will be perceived as "too good to be true" and won't work at all.

Article by Hollis Thomases from http://www.webadvantage.net

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Positioning your website on top of search engines step by step (II)

This article focuses on the role that meta tags, doorway pages and link popularity can play in positioning a website on top of search engines. It is the second of the three-part series containing practical tips for optimizing websites to get more traffic from search engines.

Optimization Tip #4 ==-- Use of metatags --==

Meta tags are not a magic solution to gain a top ranking on crawler-based search engines; however, they offer the web site owner the ability to control to some degree how their web pages are described by some search engines. Meta tags are information inserted into the "head" area of your web pages.The most important Meta tags are: 'Keywords', 'Description' and 'Robots'. The 'Title' tag is also very important because of the weight search engines award it.

Open Dynamic Submission and select a web profile (or create your web project and new web profile), then click on the Meta Tag button to enter the Meta tag editor. This tool will allow you to automatically import Meta tags from a website (why not check what your competitors are using?), create them and modify them. No knowledge of html is needed.

Optimization Tip #5 ==-- Generate a search engine friendly webpage --==

Search engines spiders read text. If your website is based of images or flash, or its contents are dynamically generated, you may experience some difficulties getting indexed or achieving good ranking on the search engines results pages. In these cases one alternative is to create a doorway page that is search engine friendly. You may also want to do that if you want higher search engine ranking for certain keywords but you don't want to change your website texts.The doorway page will be found by searchers. The visitors will be then redirected to your website via link. Want to try?

To create a doorway page open Tools -> Page Creator in Dynamic Submission. You don't need to know html, just insert your keywords and text where indicated by the Page Creator or automatically import the information from your website. You will have builded your first doorway page in minutes (why not building another one for other interesting keywords?) You can now add your new doorway page to the ftp manager to upload it to your site.

Optimization Tip #6 ==-- Improve your link popularity--==

Link popularity (the number of web sites that are linking to your site) is being used more and more by Search Engines to rank your website. Therefore, it has become very important for you to have more web sites linked to your website so as to achieve a higher position. The best way to obtain incoming links to your site is exchanging links with other sites which are related to yours and submitting your site to Internet directories.

Dynamic Submission Link Popularity tool measure your web site awareness and visibility. It checks your web site popularity and tells you how many webstites are linked to your site. Why don't you check it now?

With these three steps your goal of putting your website on top of search engines is now closer. Stay tunned for more tips on optimization in our next dynamic newsletter!

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