Getting Started With Marketing

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1 Getting Started With Marketing A Quick Start Guide for Avaya BusinessPartners + Plan + Use this guide to maximize your campaigns effectiveness and best practice compliance. Execute Generate quality leads and sales by delivering timely, approachable content in a cost-effective way. Visit Avaya Partner Marketing Central at for more Quick Start Guides and additional resources.

2 A Quick Start Guide for Avaya BusinessPartners A recent study by emarketer noted that 98% of global online users use . This means millions of messages are constantly transmitted over networks all over the world. You can capitalize on this vast mountain of opportunity with the potential of marketing. marketing can be a double-edged sword. On one side, you can create a precise marketing campaign to cost-effectively promote your business. On the other side, you can harm your business image and brand by not following the rules of professional etiquette. This Quick Start Guide contains best practice guidelines that will help your business maximize its return on investment (ROI) from permission-based marketing. Navigate the Quick Start Guide: Introduction 2

3 Introduction What can your business gain by using marketing? The goal of all marketing is to attract interest, build demand, and generate sales. marketing excels at all of them, nicely complementing traditional marketing efforts. It s one of the most cost effective ways to contact prospects and customers far cheaper than traditional direct mail. Plus, it often has a larger impact on both immediate sales and the development of long-term relationships. When done correctly, marketing can be an extremely powerful and effective marketing technique. When done incorrectly, however, marketing can be destructive, erode brand equity, and turn your happy clients into angry unsubscribers. While marketing isn t new, it has gone through quite a transformation since the early batch-and-blast days. Whether you re an old pro or just starting out, learn more about how marketing can work for you. What is marketing? marketing is an easy, affordable, and effective form of direct marketing that uses electronic mail to send personalized, relevant communications that customers actually want to receive. In its broadest sense, every your business sends to a potential or current customer could be considered marketing. The level of interaction, speed, depth, and communication set apart from other marketing media. By communicating with your prospects and customers in a mutually beneficial and compelling way, you ll drive your sales, grow your opt-in subscriber list and improve your marketing return on investment (ROI). Interest Demand ROI Sales 3

4 Introduction How does marketing work? Today, marketing combines best practice industry standards with the latest delivery technology. This technology enables you to personalize and include relevant content to help ensure you send the right message, to the right person, at the right time. marketing campaigns sent from real people to real people encourage relationships based on value and trust. What is the difference between marketing and spam? Chances are that the Web sites you regularly visit provide content that you value. The same holds true for , as long as customers find value in it, they will be willing to receive it. Providing value such as content on a relevant topic, a discount, promotion on a product, or service will allow you to continue to engage with your customers. Unsolicited or spam is not only unexpected, irrelevant, and rarely valuable it is also illegal. Sending bulk spam can result in litigation, ruin a legitimate business reputation, and damage the brand value. Therefore, intelligent marketers always adhere to opt-out guidelines as required by the US CAN SPAM act of You User Permission-based (or opt-in) marketing, however, is used effectively by organizations every day to build the value of their brands, increase sales, and strengthen their relationships with clients and subscribers. The key difference is that s are only sent to persons who have requested or opted to receive them. Permission-based marketing allows companies like yours to develop and sustain relationships with their prospects and consumers by creating value. Ultimately, it s an effective way to increase sales conversion rates, build strong relationships with your customers and turn your one-time customers into loyal customers. 4

5 Marketing to permission-based lists is a proven, cost-effective way to increase revenue and improve customer loyalty when you follow these simple rules: The do s of marketing: 1. Leverage existing marketing programs When you purchase or rent an list, include a link to the sign-up page on your Web site in the campaign. Also include a link to your sign-up page wherever your company engages in any other marketing initiatives. 2. Make it easy to opt-in and to opt-out Once people reach your site, make sure the opt-in process is simple and takes as little time as possible. Also, make the link to your sign-up page visible or at least accessible from every page of your site. It s required by law to allow recipients to unsubscribe. You can secure permission by sending an opt-in that gives the recipient the option to unsubscribe, or there should be an unsubscribe link at the bottom of the . Comply with the opt-out and other notification provisions required by the US CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 and always adhere to regional privacy laws which may be more restrictive (see local country laws that may apply). 3. Know your target audience Get some basic details about the people in your optin list to help you keep your messages relevant and to make adjustments in future communications or promotions. Request a limited number of demographic questions (such as company name, industry, or physical location) as part of the opt-in process. You can also include a survey to gauge interests directly within your s. 4. the four C s Clear. Concise. Compelling. Customer-centric. As you write an , put yourself in the readers shoes. Instead of a sales pitch, think of their needs: saving time, money or effort and improving productivity and success. Your message should be compelling enough to convince people to sign up, valuable enough to keep them wanting more, and useful enough to pass along. 5. Enable and encourage forwarding Word-of-mouth in the online world is called viral marketing people passing along to others what interests them. If your message is targeted, well crafted and relevant, your subscribers may forward your message to others, who may forward it to others, and so on. Just make forwarding easy by including a one-click forward link in every . 5

6 Marketing to permission-based lists is a proven, cost-effective way to increase revenue and improve customer loyalty when you follow these simple rules: The don ts of marketing: 1. DON T offer fabulous prizes for signing up While this might seem like a nice gesture, you ll end up with subscribers whose motivation is to win a prize, not to learn useful information about your company. 2. DON T overwhelm your subscribers with too many s How many s depends on the appropriateness or timeliness of your message. Let people know what to expect before they submit their . After they ve had time to digest the information, ask a sample from your list to advise you on the right number of s. Otherwise they ll let you know with an unsubscribe request. 3. DON T be everything to everyone Your sign-up messaging, as well as the information in every communication, should be focused and prioritized. Don t be afraid to address just one of your audience s needs at a time and save the rest for future mailings. If you re too generic (hoping to get more people to opt-in), you ll end up being nothing to everyone. 4. DON T spend too much acquiring names An opt-in list is a valuable asset that requires investment to build and maintain budget appropriately. Find the most cost-effective methods for reaching your target audience and know how much it will cost you to acquire each name. Keep in mind potential revenue and the lifetime value of each customer and make recommendations accordingly. 5. DON T live in a vacuum Continually view, read and explore how competitors, partners, or even businesses in completely different industries build their opt-in lists. You ll spot an occasional guerilla tactic that will inspire you to try something new and it just might work for you too. 6

7 As with any marketing campaign, it is critical to measure and analyze the results of your marketing efforts. Thoroughly understand what works and what doesn t so that you can maximize the effectiveness of each and every campaign. Here are a few things to think about as you build your programs: Gather results through trackable links and access real-time reports to help you understand what works and what doesn t. Gather Results Redistribute Refine Message Test using different subject lines, copy, offers, creative designs and more. Use real-time results to see which get the best response rates. Test When running a series of campaigns, refine your message as quickly as possible once you understand the results of your first campaign. Look for an service provider that offers real-time reporting features that address more than just who opened your message. Save time by using marketing software that automatically manages and tracks results so that you don t have to manually sort and calculate hundreds or thousands of responses. If you need fast results, choose an service provider or software package that gets your message out quickly. Above all, take the time to understand as a marketing medium. Always analyze your results and think about innovative strategies to get in front of new customers. 7

8 Craft your messaging Before you craft the right message, be sure you ve developed a marketing strategy that includes goals and objectives specific to marketing increasing revenue, generating leads, strengthening customer relationships, increasing Web site traffic and building brand awareness. An interesting message that offers value to the reader is critical to the success of any campaign. See what others are doing. Sign up for newsletters from competitors or from your favorite hobby or interest. Note what makes you open some and delete others. Keep the message personal and casual. Think like a customer and write in a conversational tone. People prefer a conversational tone over corporate speak. Also, people respond best to messages that are written by one individual at a company whom they can get to know over time its part of building relationships. Get the length right. A good rule of thumb is the more frequently you send campaigns, the shorter the should be. While people might open a short Tip of the Day, few will want to get something longer every single day. Avoid using Blacklisted material to stay out of spam filters and junk mail folders. You can check blacklists at Personalize the From part of your and be clear who the is really coming from. Be honest in your subject line and reflect what s inside. Doing so is required by law. Because many recipients will see less than 50 characters of the subject line, keep it brief (without sacrificing clarity) and make sure the most important information is in the beginning of the message. Don t be short for short s sake but do make every word count in persuading the recipient to open your message. Use your subject line to encourage forwarding. The Association for Interactive Marketing (AIM) always adds Pls. Forward to the ends of their newsletter subject lines and they report it s more than doubled their circulation! Personalize each message and watch response rates climb. At the very minimum, always include the recipient s name. Customize your messages to appeal to customer interests and hobbies. Ask your customers what they want to hear about: news about products, updates, upgrades, improvements, special offers, new services, etc. The Right Message Will... Build Brand Awareness Increase Revenues Generate New Leads Increase Web Site Traffic Strengthen Customer Relationships 8

9 Choose your format Once you ve got a compelling message, you need to present it to your customers in the most effective way possible. Studies show that most people won t look beyond the first screen of information if there s not something immediately interesting to them. Give them a reason to scroll or click through. HTML and rich media messages that include audio, video and animation generate high response rates. However, always have a plain text version for those recipients that prefer text or can only receive text (use bullet points and lots of white space for plain text messages). To make it easy for readers to scan your message, keep columns of copy narrow, avoid using ALL CAPS, and if your or newsletter is long, always include a table of contents up-front so people can scroll quickly and easily to the section of their choice. writing your message in the same format it will appear in on your customers screens so that you can preview exactly what they will see. For text-based s, this means setting your text in 10 point Courier type and limiting lines to 60 characters (five inches) across. Test your messages through a number of accounts to ensure they look good through all mainstream clients. Today, an increasing percentage of business users are accessing through a mobile device. Plan your format to be mobile friendly. 9

10 There is a simple six-step process for launching a successful permission-based marketing campaign. 1. Start using a permission-based marketing service provider or software that allows you to easily and automatically manage subscribes, unsubscribes, bounces, and view reporting statistics like open rates and click throughs. Industry-leading companies include: Marketing Service Provider ExactTarget Constant Contact Silverpop Vertical Response Start Collecting Subscribers Response Rates 2. All service providers and software platforms will have a list management tool. Add a sign-up form to your Web site so you can start collecting subscribers and add any existing lists to your list management tool. It is generally also safe to import the names of anyone who has done business with you in the past year, provided you will be sending content relevant to what they purchased. 3. response rates. There are a number of online resources for direct response benchmarks, including the Direct Marketing Association and Marketing Sherpa. 4. Decide the type and frequency of communication you will be sending. Remember: don t overwhelm. We recommend sending at least a monthly newsletter. You can also send promotional messages offering discounts, bundles, or other special offers. Just make sure that your communications are always relevant and valuable to your customers. Decide the Type and Frequency Create well-designed Templates Develop Quality Relevant Content 5. Create well-designed templates. Many predesigned and formatted templates are available on Avaya s Partner Marketing Central. ( Check out our latest tool ( Now). At no cost, you can customize an using the templates provided and upload as many as 1,000 addresses and send the with the click of your mouse. 6. Develop quality relevant content for your and newsletters and send it out to your list. Continue sending your newsletters, announcements, or promotions with consistency. As your list grows, you will notice increased traffic on the day of and the days following an send. By providing valuable content with reasonable frequency, you can succeed in keeping your brand in your customers minds and cement strong, lasting relationships. 10

11 Marketing Terms A Above-the-fold The part of a web page that is visible without scrolling. It is generally more desirable placement on a Web site because of its visibility. If you have a join our mailing list tag on your Web site, you should place it above the fold making it easy for visitors to opt-in. Affirmative Consent Another word for permission. The recipient of your has been clearly and fully notified of the collection and use of his address and has consented prior to such collection and use. Affirmative consent is not only a best practice, it is required by all reputable marketing services. Auto Responder A program or a script that automatically sends a response when someone sends a message to its address. The most common uses of auto responders are for subscribe and unsubscribe confirmations, welcome s and customer-support questions. C CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 Federal anti-spam legislation passed in 2003 that requires the following in each a legitimate header, a valid From address, a straightforward Subject line, an unsubscribe/optout link and/or instructions and a physical address. It also requires that all unsubscribes are processed within ten days of receipt. Campaign An marketing message or a series of messages designed to accomplish an overall goal. Challenge Response An automated message triggered by the receipt of an for the purpose of identifying the sender as a trusted source. The challenge is a message to the sender of the with instructions on how to validate themselves. If the sender provides a valid response, his address is added to the recipient s list of trusted senders and his message is passed along to the recipient. Click-Through Rate (CTR) The percentage (the number of unique clicks divided by the number that were opened) of recipients that click on a given URL in your . Confirmed Opt-In A more stringent method of obtaining permission to send campaigns. Confirmed opt-in adds an additional step to the opt-in process. It requires the subscriber to respond to a confirmation , either by clicking on a confirmation link, or by replying to the to confirm their subscription. Only those subscribers who take this additional step are added to your list. Conversion Rate The number or percentage of recipients who respond to your call-to-action in a given marketing campaign or promotion. This is the measure of your campaign s success. You may measure conversion in sales, phone calls, appointments etc. Cost per Thousand (CPM) In marketing, CPM commonly refers to the cost per 1000 names on a given rental list. For example, a rental list priced at $250 CPM would mean that the list owner charges $.25 per address. E E-zine An E-zine is an electronic magazine ed to a list of subscribers. Advertisers pay to have their ad (text, HTML or both depending on the publication) inserted into the body of the . Buying ad space in an E-zine or newsletter, or sponsoring a specific article or series of articles allows advertisers to reach a targeted audience driving traffic to a Web site, store or office, signups to a newsletter or sales of a product or service. Blocking blocking typically refers to blocking by ISPs. s that are blocked are not processed through the ISP and are essentially prevented from reaching their addressed destination. ISPs actively block coming from suspected spammers. Newsletter Ads or Sponsorships Buying ad space in an newsletter or sponsoring a specific article or series of articles. Advertisers pay to have their ad (text, HTML or both depending on the publication) inserted into the body of the . F False Positive Legitimate permission-based that is erroneously blocked due to the limitations of current blocking and filtering techniques. False positives are an industry wide problem. Currently, 17% of permission-based is erroneously blocked. 11

12 From Line or Sender Line The from line has two parts: part one is the From Name. Part two is the From Address the electronic address such as, com. Your recipients may see just the from name, just the from address, or both depending on the configuration of their client. H HTML An that is formatted using Hypertext Markup Language instead of plain text. HTML makes it possible to include unique fonts, graphics and background colors. HTML makes an more interesting and when used properly can generate higher response rates than plain text. Hard Bounce/Soft Bounce A hard bounce is the failed delivery of an due to a permanent reason like a non-existent address. A soft bounce is the failed delivery of an due to a temporary issue, like a full mailbox or an unavailable server. House List (or Retention List) A permission-based list that you built yourself. Use it to market, cross sell and up-sell, and to establish a relationship with customers over time. Your house list is one of your most valuable assets because it is 7 times less expensive to market to an existing customer than it is to acquire a new one. Use every opportunity to add to it and use it. L Landing Page A web page that is linked to an for the purpose of providing additional information directly related to products or services promoted in the . Links Text links, hyperlinks, graphics or images that, when clicked or when pasted into a browser, send the prospect to another online location (e.g. a landing page or other pages of a Web site). Links in s are a call-to-action. To be most effective in motivating action, links should be visible, clear and compelling. O Open Rate The percentage of s opened in any given marketing campaign, or the percentage opened of the total number of s sent. Opt-in (or Subscribe) To opt-in or subscribe to an list is to choose to receive communications by supplying an address to a particular company, Web site or individual giving them permission to you. The subscriber can often indicate areas of personal interest (e.g. mountain biking) and/or indicate what types of s they wish to receive from the sender (e.g. newsletters). Opt-out (or Unsubscribe) To opt-out or unsubscribe from an list is to choose not to receive communications from the sender by requesting the removal of your address from their list. P Permission-Based sent to recipients who have opted-in or subscribed to receive communications from a particular company, Web site or individual. Permission is an absolute prerequisite for legitimate and profitable marketing. Phishing (pronounced fishing ) Refers to scams whose purpose is identity theft. Identity thieves send fraudulent messages with return addresses, links, and branding that appear to come from credit card companies, banks and some of the Web s most well known sites including ebay, PayPal, MSN, Yahoo, and AOL. These messages are designed to phish for personal and financial information (e.g. passwords, usernames, social security numbers, credit card numbers, mother s maiden name, etc.) from the recipient. For examples, see Preexisting Business Relationship The recipient of your has made a purchase, requested information, responded to a questionnaire or a survey, or had offline contact with you. Important note: Federal law recognizes your right to send to people with whom you have a preexisting business relationship provided that you include a working unsubscribe link or instructions, however, be aware of the difference between your legal rights and best practices. Blasting off an campaign to all of your past customers will likely engender bad will and can result in a high complaint rate. First, forget about the customers who are more than one year old if you haven t ed them before. To your remaining list, you may want to send a permission letter that reminds customers of their relationship with you. Then, encourage them to unsubscribe if they do not want to receive your future mailings. Your permission letter reassures your customers that you care about their permission, minimizes complaints and starts you off with a cleaner list. Privacy Policy A clear description of a Web site or company s policy on the use of information collected from and about Web site visitors and what they do, and do not do, with the data. Your privacy policy builds trust especially among those who opt-in to receive from you or those who register on your site. If subscribers, prospects and customers know their information is safe with you, they will likely share more information with you making your relationship that much more valuable. 12

13 R Rental List (or Acquisition List) A list of prospects or a targeted group of recipients who have opt-in to receive information about certain subjects. Using permission-based rental lists, marketers can send messages to audiences targeted by interest category, profession, demographic information and more. Renting a list usually costs between $.10 and $.40 per name. Be sure your rental list is a certified permission-based, opt-in list. Permission-based lists are rented, not sold. Don t be fooled by a list offer that sounds too good to be true. Save the $19.95 and buy yourself a George Foreman grill instead. Unlike the cheap list, the grill is worth the money. S Segmentation Dividing your list based on interest categories, purchasing behavior, demographics and more for the purpose of targeting specific campaigns to the audience most likely to respond to your messaging or offer. Your list segmentation and targeting efforts pay off in higher open and clickthrough rates. Signature File (or sig file for short) A tagline or short block of text at the end of an message that identifies the sender and provides additional information such as company name and contact information. Your signature file is a marketing opportunity. Use it to convey a benefit and include a call-toaction with a link. Single Opt-in (with a subscriber acknowledgement ) The most widely accepted and routinely used method of obtaining addresses and permission. A single opt-in list is created by inviting visitors and customers to subscribe to your list. When you use a signup tag on your Web site, a message immediately goes out to the subscriber acknowledging the subscription (this is often accomplished using an autoresponder). This message should reiterate what the subscriber has signed up for, and provide an immediate way for the subscriber to edit her interests or opt-out. Spam or UCE (Unsolicited Commercial ) sent to someone who has not opted-in or given permission to the sender. Spoofing The falsification of an header so that the appears to have originated from someone or somewhere other than the actual source. Illegitimate marketers use spoofing to disguise their identity in an attempt to commit fraud and avoid prosecution for sending UCE or spam. Federal law prohibits spoofing, however, until sender identity can be established, spammers will continue to escape the law. Subject Line The short line of type in an that indicates what the message is about. Your subject line should be short (30-40 characters including spaces, or 5-8 words), and it should include a specific benefit that accurately reflects your offer in order to be effective. Federal law prohibits the use of misleading subject lines. Suppression List (a.k.a. opt-out list) A list of addresses whose owners have asked to be removed from an list so that they no longer receive regarding an advertiser s products or services. A reputable marketing service makes this process automatic, however, if you use multiple products, or have multiple databases from which you send s, you should use a suppression list to process all unsubscribe requests across all lists. T Targeting Selecting a target audience or group of individuals likely to be interested in a certain product or service. Targeting is very important for an marketer because targeted and relevant campaigns yield a higher response rate and result in fewer unsubscribes. U Unique Selling Proposition (USP) Your USP is the unique attribute(s) of your business that makes your company, product or service the best solution to a problem, the best way to fulfill a need or desire or the best way to achieve a goal. Your USP answers the prospect s question: Why should I do business with you instead of someone else? Universal Resource Locator (URL) A Web site, page or any other document address or location on the Internet. URLs indicate the location of every file on every computer accessible through the Internet. V Viral Marketing A type of marketing that is carried out voluntarily by a company s customers. It is often referred to as word-of-mouth advertising. has made this type of marketing very prevalent. Tools such as send this page, article or Web site to a friend encourage people to refer or recommend your company product, service or a specific offer to others. Version 1-2/27/09 13

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