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Old Marketing Tricks and Why they Work

Posted In Business - By Techtiplib on Tuesday, April 15th, 2014 With No Comments »

Internet marketing, in particular email and social network marketing are often considered very new forms of marketing and highly effective. In fact, there’s nothing new about any of the techniques involved and although the professionals that get very excited about them may be new (usually being under thirty) the techniques they use are not!

The Difficulties of Social Network Marketing

Social network marketing has, in particular, been much praised in recent years as the newest and shiniest of these brand new techniques. Facebook has been around for ten years now and Twitter for a similar period. Despite these terribly short life spans, they’ve been floated on stock markets and valued (many would say overvalued) on the basis of their number of users on the assumption that each user has a financial value. Unfortunately this view of social networks tends to ignore some basic facts and tends to overlook at least half of the term social network, particularly the ‘social’ bit. These sites are where people hang out, chat, gossip and (unfortunately) bully other users. In terms of marketing, promoting products on these sites is very like grabbing a clip board, heading to the centre of town and accosting people as they sip coffee and/or stronger drinks with their mates. Oddly, this type of marketing has never taken off in the real world and yet it’s the main MO of some internet marketing firms. Social networks are not, whatever you may have heard, the best place to sell. People don’t like to be interrupted when they’re chatting. Subtle selling can work, word of mouth recommendation, for example, is the oldest sales trick in the book and it can work on social networks. However, assuming that simply interrupting people with constant prompts to buy will gain their trust is not, and never has been, an effective marketing technique.

Social Network Marketing-Old Marketing Tricks and Why they Work

Those Old Tricks

As so often is the case in the world of technology when something new like social networks come along, the older, traditional techniques are dropped rapidly. However, email marketing has a lot to be said for it. Unlike marketing on social networks it doesn’t involve the high level of (and often badly received) attention theft or interruption that the marketing on social networks involves. While email marketing is now considered an ‘old’ technique it has roots in a much older one, the mail-shot. Like the mail-shot it doesn’t involve intrusive interruption in peoples’ daily lives. It can have a mixed reception but unlike social network marketing it will almost certainly get seen by the intended recipient. While there’s no hard and fast way to tell when people will check their emails but it will, unlike a Tweet or Facebook update, get seen at some point and the user will have to make a decision about what to do with it. That decision may just be ‘delete’ but it requires some attention and action. If your subject line is good enough that attention may just well be captured and this model is very much the same as the traditional mail-shot.

Reputation and Subliminal Trust

Demographics are an important factor in most marketing campaigns; not all users are the same and your product can appeal to different age groups. Without being ageist it’s fair to say that emails have a strong appeal to older users. While the new kids on the block, the social networks, may appeal to younger groups, there’s little evidence to suggest that they are being widely adopted as a private, personal mode of communication. Good old fashioned letter writing may, more or less, be dead but it’s been replaced by email, not Twitter, not Facebook, Bebo or Myspace. When it comes to privacy most of us simply say “email me”. The fact is that we see this as a direct, personal approach in a way that we don’t with social networks. In addition, very few businesses would consider posting information to Facebook or Twitter in order to communicate within their organisation, or with other businesses. Promotional materials aside, email remains the main way in which we share information and, as such, has a trusted reputation. This trusted reputation, however subliminal, is what makes email marketing a powerful tool.

Low Investment, High Returns

Again, in terms of trust, building a good quality email list from opt-in subscribers means you’re targeting leads who might actually be interested in your products (another ancient marketing technique). You can spend hours, days, weeks and years Tweeting to all and sundry – there’s a high investment in time there – but the results can be patchy. Emails targeted at those who have agreed to receive information and offers are far more likely to bring in fast, effective results. They don’t require much investment in terms of manpower and with a high quality SMTP server provider time and money can be cut to a minimum. Given it’s trusted reputation, its reach and its less than intrusive nature, email marketing, like the good old fashioned sales letter may well have more to recommend it than the newer, shinier and yet to prove themselves techniques.

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