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BizBlogged1's Avatar, Join Date: Oct 2008
Newbie Member
Marketing practice tends to be seen as a creative industry, which includes advertising, distribution and selling. It is also concerned with anticipating the customers' future needs and wants, which are often discovered through market research.
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xpi0t0s's Avatar, Join Date: Aug 2004
Mentor
Additional hints for marketers/sales droids.

OPT-IN: Only send emails to people who have EXPLICITLY signed up to receive marketing/campaign messages you. I personally think spammers are the scum of the planet and WILL NOT do business with any of them, (a) even if I am actually looking to buy one of what they sell and (b) even if they were on my shortlist. Spamming me absolutely guarantees you will never do any business with me. Spamming me with campaign messages doesn't guarantee I won't vote for you, but you can expect it to swing the balance in favour of your opposition.

OPT-OUT: Make it spectacularly easy for people to opt out. Include a link in each message that WORKS and that UNSUBSCRIBES THEM INSTANTLY, ***WITHOUT***requiring "confirmation", and certainly without requiring any fannying around if they've changed their email address and are receiving the email through a forwarding service. By all means send a message indicating they've unsubscribed and to resubscribe if that was a mistake. If you really believe you are so important to the future of the universe that you can't stand the idea of a single click stopping someone from hearing your shit, then first please get over yourself, then make it a SIMPLE two step process - the link takes them to a page with an "Unsubscribe me now" button, again that WORKS and that UNSUBSCRIBES THEM INSTANTLY, again WITHOUT requiring any fannying around (passwords and other nonsense. Look, they got the link from the email. Nobody else got that link. So it's secure enough). Again feel free to send out an unsubscription confirmation with details how to resubscribe, so if you are so paranoid that you think your opposition is really going around unsubscribing people from your mailing list, then this'll thwart any of that stuff, and you can gauge your paranoia by counting the number of times the "resubscribe" links are followed.

Don't send out unsolicited one-off "opt-in" messages. If I want your shit I'll come looking for it. Market it properly; make sure I can find it with Google, don't use fake keywords, and publish prices (because if you don't and your competitor does then I'll wonder what you have to hide and shop with them instead).

Not publishing prices makes me think that the price is "whatever the market will bear", i.e. you'll try to work out how much you can gouge me for, and price it based more on what you think I can afford than on what it actually cost to make. I am happy to pay for materials, time and a reasonable profit.

It is true that the total price for some things can't be determined, such as roof mounted solar water heaters, where there are indeterminate installation costs. If that applies to you (and it REALLY applies to you, see "don't treat me like an imbecile" below; if it doesn't then I'll know it doesn't) then price the items themselves and give out a few case studies showing the final prices and what was involved so that I can make some determination what the likely final price will be in my case. I want to work it out myself, NOT have one of your sales droids come and pollute my house. Oh, and if you tell me it costs £8000, then when I don't buy you wait a month and tell me it now costs £4000 then you're also obviously making these numbers up.

Don't offer discounts straight away. Double glazing con merchants do this all the time. So the number that was initially offered was completely made up. How do I know the post-discount number isn't also completely made up? Offer a fair price based on materials, time and a reasonable profit, that could be negotiated down a small amount for a big job, and I'll consider it a fair one and do business with you. The cost of extruded plastic, aluminium and glass is VERY LOW, so about 95% of the cost for double glazing should be labour. Quoting two grand for a day's work by one person is a guaranteed way of losing a sale; there's NO WAY I'm going to pay you a footballer's salary for waving a hammer around for six hours.

Don't hard sell the warranty. Real-life example: £400 for a washing machine, £200 for an extended warranty. I know a bit about statistics. So that means there's a 50% chance the machine will break down during the lifetime of the warranty to the extent of needing a complete replacement? If not, then obviously you're making a huge markup. Count me out. Customer says no, customer MEANS no.

Don't treat me like an imbecile. I can spot it instantly. The above £200 warranty was for four years. I said that was too much (this was before I learnt that "no reason" was the best answer to sales droids' questions), and was offered £150 for three years. THAT'S STILL FIFTY QUID A YEAR YOU DINGBAT.

Don't demand both me and my wife be home for the "marketing presentation". That isn't easy, and the time we have together is too precious to waste on listening to marketing shit. Present to her and let me get the gist from her, or vice versa. If you won't sell just to me then you're obviously up to something devious and can f*ck right off.

Be scrupulously honest. I don't like lying, weaselly, devious, pushy and evasive people, which describes most sales droids I've ever met (and don't give me the old "sales isn't the same as marketing" crap. YES *slap* IT *slap* IS.)

Don't sell me stuff I don't want or need and your ratings will instantly skyrocket to 100% and all the above will be dropped. I will do business with, and recommend, people who won't try to push stuff I don't want or need. I will still recommend even if not selling me stuff (note here I call it "stuff" not "shit") means that a sale was missed.

NB. Some people might get the idea from the above that I dislike sales people. That's not strictly true. It's more accurate to say that I abhor, abominate, am allergic to, anathematize, am disgusted with, am hostile to, am repelled by, am sick of, can’t stand, contemn, despise, detest, disapprove, disdain, disfavor, execrate, have an aversion to, have enough of, have no use for, loathe, am nauseated by, object to, recoil from, scorn, shudder at, shun, spit upon them, at least as a starting point (that's not the complete list from the thesaurus; I don't disparage them, for example (don't see the point wasting my time)). The best way to get rid of this list is to be honest and don't sell me stuff I don't want; all this will disappear instantly and I will actively seek to recommend you, to do business with you, and sometimes to purchase beyond my original purpose (e.g. if buying a car, buy accessories from you instead of elsewhere).

A friend of mine who I later found out was in marketing once said to me that I am a marketer's worst nightmare. Good.
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kristr's Avatar, Join Date: Oct 2008
Newbie Member
That's a really a nice informative post, Thanks for sharing..
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Damianlee's Avatar
Newbie Member
I agree with Kristr... The post "Additional hints for marketers/sales droids." is really informative......
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GaryD's Avatar, Join Date: Jan 2009
Newbie Member
Quote:
Don't treat me like an imbecile. I can spot it instantly
Unfortunately, many email marketers overlook this fact. For some reason, they listen to "guru" marketers that this is the way to go. Sadly..those are the ones who get unsubscribed to. It all comes down to common sense...develop a RELATIONSHIP with your list first! GIVE to your list long before you actually try a sell anything! If you look at your email list in a long term prospective as the lifeblood of your business you'll be way ahead of what many are doing.

Just my opinion
Gary D
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priya4me's Avatar, Join Date: Mar 2009
Newbie Member
Shabbir:

I represent an OFFSHORE RPO Firm and e-mail marketing has been my all time favourite to advertise, but owing to the on going recession in the US, I am finding it difficult to reach out to potential Clients, I guess most of my e-mails are discarded, any suggestions to improve the situtation??

Thanks
Priya
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xpi0t0s's Avatar, Join Date: Aug 2004
Mentor
Forget email as a marketing tool. Only email those customers who are genuinely interested, i.e. those who have OPTED IN to something that can easily be OPTED OUT of (one click and it's done).

Setup a website that contains all your marketing info. Make customers want to stay, i.e. make sure you publish ALL relevant information - specifications, prices, example installations etc. Make sure any potential customer's questions are answered (FAQ sections are good, and this is often just marketing blurb turned into Q/A format). Imagine you've got a shop and a mute salesman, and your website is a brochure he presses into the hands of potential customers who walk through your shop door. They're going to have questions. What do you sell? What are the prices? What are the differences between models?

Don't bother with "page rank". Make it a good reference site and it'll rise through the ranks on its own.

Forget "click here to enter" screens. I'm sure they give marketroids orgasms but customers HATE them. Really they do. I just HAVE entered your site, why are you asking me to click somewhere to enter? Is being on example.org/index.htm somehow NOT in your site, whereas example.org/index1.htm is? Honestly, sometimes when I see that I just know it's going to be a webshite.

Don't muck around with navigation controls. Don't override the back button. Don't make links open in new window all the time (we all know about right-click/Open In New Window). HTML is a powerful markup language; use it! Don't assume you need Flash for everything - you don't; it's slow and crap and people hate flash shites.

Hide prices and you make people wonder what you're hiding. Or you make them think "it's one of those places where if you need to ask the price, you can't afford it". Don't take people for idiots; set prices at cost of materials plus labour plus a reasonable profit, and where you can't give exact figures give the figures you can and give several example installations so that potential customers can pick the installation that's closest to their situation and work out their own approximate price. Quote prices up front and you'll stop people thinking "these people are just out to gouge me for as much money as they can get, the price will be what they think I can afford and NOT a reasonable price based on costs."

Double glazing firms come to mind. You _cannot_ get prices out of them and they've been installing the products for decades. They can't possibly not know what it's going to cost to install the stuff, so either they're in gouge mode or they're absolutely crap at their trade, either way I wouldn't deal with them.

Playing silly bu99ers with prices doesn't impress people. We had a quote for one of those rooftop solar water heaters. First of all they refused to see me on my own and insisted my wife had to be present, which should have told me what shenanigans were coming. £6000 if we signed up on the night (we don't do that as a matter of policy), £8000 if we didn't. Er, how exactly does that work? Two *grand* cheaper if we sign up on the night? High pressure sales tactics my friend, and this earnt them a big F CK OFF in my mind, only going further because we thought there might have been something in it worth considering. And a few months down the line, hey, what a surprise, coincidentally the prices have just dropped and now it's £4000. Now I'm thinking WTF is going on here - how do I know that 4K isn't also some vastly overpriced random nonsense plucked out of the air? 4K is solid proof that the 8K was AT LEAST a 100 percent overcharge.

Oh, and you'll like this: the other condition for the £6K deal was that we gave them names and addresses of our friends and family so they could pressure them too. No f cking way. Not standing for that. They can go to the wall as far as I'm concerned.

And their final trick when they did persuade me that the new 4K job was worth considering was to consider a request for a quote as an order. I should have been suspicious when they wanted to credit check me to give me the quote. They insisted I had placed an order, which I most definitely hadn't. This was the final nail in the coffin of the discussion with them, the company name was made up of three parts; where they got the energy from, where they installed the product, and what they got from the sun, and the whole may or may not rhyme with Roller Comb Synergy. Idiots.
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shabbir's Avatar, Join Date: Jul 2004
Go4Expert Founder
Email marketing Conversion would always be low and so you should start targeting your target audience using parameters like Age / Profession.

Assumption you are sending opted in emails
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and's Avatar, Join Date: Apr 2009
and
Newbie Member
getting relevant email addresses is not a problem.one can have it but he has to make internet research for this.Anyway thanks for the topic.I have learned a lot from it.
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johnhardings's Avatar, Join Date: Dec 2008
Newbie Member
Email marketing has blown up over the last few years and they have come up with many different tricks and advertisements in order to catch the eye of future clients. It is also one of the best lead marketing tools around. Email marketing has become an effective lead generator because it is a very smooth way to keep in touch with people.