The 11 commandments of online marketing


Online marketing is all the rage, and it is a fact that some companies are already making millions in profits by selling their products and services on the so-called network of networks (Internet).

But, just as many make millions, others fail terribly. What are the secrets to online success?

To answer this question, we turned to Bruce Judson, author of NetMarketing (Wolf New Media) and creator of Scout , the site of media giant Time Warner ( ), which offers your visitors links to all your posts.

Judson offered us the following practical advice:

1. Set yourself a clear goal. Don’t go designing a website just because everyone else is doing it. Know exactly why you are creating a website and design it with that goal in mind. But don’t limit yourself: websites can be used for several things: they can advertise your business, sell products or services, create a customer or prospect base, or much more.

2. Begin by experimenting. We are talking about a new means of communication, in which everything is not said. Learn by experience. Having a working site is much more important than spending months and months planning it.

3. Find ways to save the most. An 800 or toll-free number to take orders from your customers costs around $1 per minute. On the other hand, if your customers communicate with you via the Network, these costs will be totally eliminated and the savings will go directly to your income statement.

4. Plan a budget to achieve what you have learned . Interactive marketing is still very new; no one knows for sure what will work and what won’t. Therefore, you must modify your site (no matter how much you have planned it) based on what you learn during your operation.

5. Devise a promotional plan. More than 5,000 new business websites are launched every month around the world. You will be competing for this audience, so you need a promotional plan. A strategy based on the principle “I will build a site and the customers will come by themselves” will never work.

6. Promote your website wherever you can. Include your email address and website on all your stationery and product packaging, as well as on your business cards and in any mass advertising you decide to do. Consider buying media online so that potential customers come directly to your site from someone else. Use active ads, in which with one click the browser will come directly to your site.

7. Register your website on all search engines . The Internet has many search engines that direct Internet users to different sites based on the information they are looking for. There is, for example, Yahoo! ( ), Lycos ( ), Altavista ( ) and Excite ( ), in English, or Starmedia ( ), El Sitio ( ) or QuePasa ( ) in Spanish. Registration is free. Try to register as many as possible.

8. Offer a referral service . If you have a wide range of products to sell, ask your visitors for information about their needs so you can program your website to recommend a certain product or service. By offering these options and giving your customers exactly what they are looking for, you are providing an invaluable value-added service.

9. Ask for feedback. Ask your visitors if they would like to be informed about new products or services or an offer that you plan to launch. It is very easy and not at all expensive to collect the names and email addresses of your visitors who wish to receive these email notifications.

10. Include the best of your business. Carefully consider how your best sales rep promotes your product or service. The essence of what he or she says is the basis of creating a successful website, as it should contain a lot of information about the benefits of your product or service.

11. Visit your competition. Frequent monitoring of your competitors’ websites will not only help you generate new ideas, but always think about doing something better and offering more and better tools to help your customers online.

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