What is the most powerful marketing tool a web site owner has? I'll give you a hint - it's not banner advertising! It's e-mail - nothing else even comes close.
Have you ever really considered just how many people use e- mail? There are millions upon millions of people out there who, if they're anything like me, just plain love to get e-mail and communicate with others using this wonderful medium. Part of the beauty of e-mail is that people pay attention to e-mail. People will actually read your advertisements if they're mixed with information that's valuable to them. E-mail is the ultimate marketing tool.
How to Harness the Power
"Great," you say, "but how do I use this 'awesome power?'" There are an unbelievable number of innovative and really effective ways to use e-mail to advertise yourself and your business on the Internet, but for the scope of this article, we're going to focus on one.
E-mail signatures, or "sigs," are one of the easiest and most effective ways for an Internet marketer to promote his web site (or other people's sites, for that matter.) For those of you who don't know what an e-mail signature is, here's an example of one I use on a daily basis:
Micah D. Cranman
Would you like to tap the money making potential of the Internet with a powerful website? If so, contact Sybren today for a FREE consultation!
http://sybren.net | email@example.com
(NOTE: Signatures can also be an effective tool when used in newsgroups, discussion groups, or message boards. Use them anywhere possible!)
Signatures can be easily set up in any e-mail program that's worth something, and usually very easily. Just look in the "help" section or browse around the program menus and you should be able to figure out how to set them up pretty quickly.
I personally use Microsoft Outlook Express, and have found it to be totally sufficient for my needs. (www.microsoft.com) Others swear by Qualcomm's Eudora Pro, (www.eudora.com) and still others by other programs. Just pick one that suits your needs.
Now, there are three key components to a signature, each with a different purposes:
The closing of the letter - this is the first four lines you see in the signature above. It's purpose is two-fold: to avoid having to type a closing to save time (which can really add up if you get a lot of e- mail), and to provide information about yourself, and possibly, some contact information.
The advertisement - this is where you try to generate interest for whatever you're trying to promote in the recipient of the e- mail. It should in someway catch the reader's eye or stir up some emotion that will impel them to act. (Note: FREE works especially well as an attention grabber. Try to offer something free in your signature.) This "ad" of sorts should be no more than 5 or 6 lines long, and should probably be separated in some way from the rest of your message, as seen above.
The information which shows the reader how to act - you have to include some form of information about how an interested reader can access a deal, contact someone, visit a web site, or whatever else you're trying to get that reader to do. So, offer them a way (or several ways) to go about "taking action," with contact info, a web address, a phone number, etc.
How to Use "Sigs"
Signatures can be a powerful tool for the budget-conscious web site owner, if used effectively. If used poorly, they're simply a waste of time and effort. So, in order to use signatures in a manner that will produce positive results, here are a few things that you should do:
Use as many different signatures as you can.
Don't just send one signature you've developed over and over again to the same people. Think of several different ones you could use for your business, and alternate. Also, signatures are an excellent tool for promoting an affiliate program that you're involved in. Again, have as many as you can, and rotate.
Test the effectiveness of your signatures.
Don't just keep sending the same group of signatures if it hasn't generated good results. Try some new ones, testing each particular signature for a little while to see if it's working better than other sigs you've tried. And once you've improved on your initial results, don't just stop experimenting. KEEP trying to improve upon your signatures more and more and eventually, you'll really be generating some good results.
Have a signature for every "type" of message that you send.
If you make a signature for every different situation and "type" of e- mail you encounter, you can boost their effectiveness. For example, since most of your friends probably don't want to hear about your business or some affiliate program you're promoting, think of something else that they would like and would benefit them.
Here's an example: you ever hear of those "get paid to surf" programs? Well, since it would be unprofessional for me to try to get people to sign up for them on this site, I promote the programs to my friends through the use of e-mail signatures. I could use something like this:
P.S. Have you heard of those new "get paid to surf the web" programs? Well, I signed up with one called AllAdvantage.com, and they really work! I got a check for like $30 last week in the mail. If you want to sign up for one, just go to:
See how effective that could be? And that applies for ANY e-mail "situation" you might encounter.
Get to Work!
Now that you're aware of all the benefits of using "sigs," you have no excuse not to start. So, start thinking about a few signatures that you could use. Jot them down on a piece of paper, revise them, edit them, and USE them. Good luck!
Copyright © 2000 Micah D. Cranman