E-marketing means using digital technologies to help sell your goods or services. These technologies are a valuable complement to traditional marketing methods whatever the size of your company or your business model.

The basics of marketing remain the same – creating a strategy to deliver the right messages to the right people. What has changed is the number of options you have. Though businesses will continue to make use of traditional marketing methods, such as advertising, direct mail and PR, e-marketing adds a whole new element to the marketing mix. Many businesses are producing great results with e-marketing and its flexible and cost-effective nature makes it particularly suitable for small businesses.

This guide describes how to develop an e-marketing plan and provides guidance on implementing that plan and monitoring its effectiveness.

The benefits of e-marketing

E-marketing gives businesses of any size access to the mass market at an affordable price and, unlike TV or print advertising, it allows truly personalized marketing. Specific benefits of e-marketing include:

  • Global reach – a website can reach anyone in the world who has internet access. This allows you to find new markets and compete globally for only a small investment.
  • Lower cost – a properly planned and effectively targeted e-marketing campaign can reach the right customers at a much lower cost than traditional marketing methods.
  • Track able, measurable results – marketing by email or banner advertising makes it easier to establish how effective your campaign has been. You can obtain detailed information about customers’ responses to your advertising.
  • 24-hour marketing – with a website your customers can find out about your products even if your office is closed.
  • Personalization – if your customer database is linked to your website, then whenever someone visits the site, you can greet them with targeted offers. The more they buy from you, the more you can refine your customer profile and market effectively to them.
  • One-to-one marketing – e-marketing lets you reach people who want to know about your products and services instantly. For example, many people take mobile phones and PDAs wherever they go. Combine this with the personalized aspect of e-marketing, and you can create very powerful, targeted campaigns.
  • More interesting campaigns – e-marketing lets you create interactive campaigns using music, graphics and videos. You could send your customers a game or a quiz – whatever you think will interest them.
  • Better conversion rate – if you have a website, then your customers are only ever a few clicks away from completing a purchase. Unlike other media which require people to get up and make a phone call, post a letter or go to a shop, e-marketing is seamless.

Together, all of these aspects of e-marketing have the potential to add up to more sales.