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Jun 1, 2009 12:00 AM
Marketing on the Internet is still new for most printers, yet a higher percentage are becoming comfortable with it. We asked 294 printers who were leveraging the Internet to share how effective they are finding five major Internet marketing approaches: e-mail messaging, website marketing content, Internet directories, social networking, and search engine advertising. Almost 60% stated e-mail messaging was effective, followed by website marketing.
Print buyers stated, in another survey, that they preferred e-mail marketing to learn of new services, changes in the business or promotions.
E-mail messaging in a broadcast manner is a very effective, low-cost way to keep in touch with your customers and stay connected. I know, some of you are saying that promoting e-mail messaging just accelerates the demise of printing. I disagree. E-mail messaging complements print. Cross-media marketing efforts are effective, and we must get our own houses in order first to win cross-media jobs. With hosted e-marketing solutions such as Blue Hornet and GravityMail, you can broadcast e-messaging for as little as $20/month. Don't procrastinate or your competition will out-communicate you. Also, being proactive with your website marketing content is important. A professional, up-to-date website shows you are investing in your business. A webpage that is “under construction” tells your customers you are not moving in the right direction. Buying a hosted website template is only the beginning. You must manage your content and keep it interesting and informative. Embrace the Internet strategically. It is here to stay and still is changing rapidly.
Michael Casey is president and founder of Survey Advantage (www.printers.surveyadvantage.com). He is a strategic partner with NAPL supporting its consulting and research practices, he integrates project surveying with MIS systems and he is an approved supplier for several franchise networks.