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The Five Basic Principles of Online Marketing

Aug 17, 2007
Ask the experts about the most vital parts of online marketing, and you'll invariably come up with a list of five major responses. These five critical online marketing principles are:

1. Dead-ends
2. Giving and selling
3. Trust
4. Push and pull
5. Niche marketing

The dead-end principle means that your web marketing effort can't just exist. It must give prospective customers a reason to look around and take action. Otherwise, it's the same as having them see your ad, then turn around and go elsewhere - your ad was a dead-end to them, they didn't get anything out of it. No matter how informative your website is, with gorgeous graphics and a winning layout, if it does not encourage your visitors to take certain actions, then it is just taking up web space and isn't actually filling a purpose. Therefore, when you're designing your web marketing strategy, before even building your site, you'll need to ask yourself how you'll obtain your visitors. You'll then need to choose which activities will get you to these results, and which of them can be done in-house, as others are outsourced.

The giving and selling principle refers to the fact that when people shop online, they expect to receive something a little extra. Therefore, one fantastic method for attracting customers to your website is to give something to them for free, and then attempt to sell them something else. The strategy typically goes as follows: the first step is to attract people to your site using a good amount of free information. The second step is to inform these prospective customers about your products and services. The free stuff doesn't need to be something tangible. Even the information has value, and then once they're hooked, they're ready to learn about what you have to sell them.

Trust is an extremely important principle for web marketing. In fact, many experts believe that it is the most important of all the other principles for selling your products and services. Without this trust, people simply won't buy from you and you won't have a business. Trust is built in a number of ways. This can include selling well known and respected name brands, by clearly displaying your privacy, shipping, and return policies, by joining well known and respected organizations, and by offering guarantees that you'll stand by. A customer-friendly system based on quality and transparency allows you to build your credibility and will earn the trust of your prospective customers, leading to more sales of your products and services.

The push and pull principle works by pulling people into your website using attractive content, and then pushing your information to them on a regular basis using email. This can be done in a number of ways; most commonly, this has to do with opt-in programs such as newsletters and updates about sales and other promotions. Since websites are relatively passive, it is extremely useful to add an active element to your marketing campaign that will remind your prospective customers of your existence, and entice them to act on what you have to offer.

Niche marketing has become a vital part of the web marketing industry. It is a recognized fact that to be successful, especially with an online business, you need to know your niche, and market directly to them. With a small business, finding the niche must be filled in order to give them enough leverage against the competition. A niche allows a business, no matter how large or small, to focus on a certain corner of the marketplace, limiting the competition, and focusing on the precise type of person who is most likely to become a customer. The key to niche marketing is to begin with a business plan to identify and define your focus and purpose, and then build your website and marketing strategy based upon the vision you've outlined. This encourages consistency and accuracy throughout your web marketing efforts.

All of these principles are very important to creating a successful marketing strategy online. By making sure that these principles are all fulfilled, you can be certain that you'll increase your number of new visitors, and - perhaps more importantly - encourage past and current customers to return.
About the Author
Mark Nenadic
Mark is the director and face behind FifteenDegrees-North, where you will find articles and resources to help with SEO,
marketing and Web design.
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