Online Events, Promotions, and Attractions
Some marketing seeks to slowly develop familiarity with a company, but most of it is event-based: you want to drum up sales, attract customers, and you want to do it in short order.
One Big Event versus Many Small Ones
There is some argument over whether it's more effective to have a grand event or a series of smaller ones - and there are advantages and disadvantages to both approaches. The author discusses them, but there's nothing unique to the Internet.
He does mention that major giveaways were once effective at getting a lot of publicity: a site that held a drawing fro a car got a lot of buzz in the media once, but not so much anymore.
He also mentions that audiences are quick to bail on promotional campaigns if you set the barrier too high or request too much personal information. One site pared down the information it required to a valid e-mail address, and significantly increased the response rate.
Email as a Promotional Tool
The author "can't stress enough" the importance of developing a database of e-mail addresses for Internet promotions. Being able to identify users who are receptive to online promotions will help make future campaigns more effective.
It's also important to test e-mail messages for their effectiveness: if you have a few hundred thousand addresses, test several different messages with small groups to develop an effective pitch before broadcasting it to the larger group.
The author also suggests using "enhanced e-mail" - HTML-formatted messages.. However, more recent sources suggest that this is not effective and can be counterproductive.
The author spits out a handful of random things:
- Providing a "free trail" to a paid service can be effective in building a customer base
- Likewise, offering a free service with limited features can draw a lot of people, to whom you can market a more feature-laden subscriber service
- Interaction with a real person remains an oddity - and an event that features an appearance by a person with whom the audience can interact generally has a good draw.
- Limited-time offers are also effective in drawing consumers who are wiling to try something new if the price is discounted.
- Contests are less effective than sweepstakes, as the former is perceived as a kind of lottery with a high entry barrier