Internet Marketing - a Practical Approach

The website of the third edition of the book can be found at
Digital Marketing: a Practical Approach


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In the introduction to this section I mention CRM, here's a couple more points. I am not a great supporter of CRM [as you can probably tell from my comments in the book], relationship marketing - yes, but it is NOT the same concept as CRM [something non-marketers are often ignorant of]. Although he doesn't mention CRM, Seth Godin is critical of it in this rant against 'permission' that I would be proud to have made. See Seth Godin's rules on permission - note that it is from his book Meatball Sundae. There is also the concept of VRM - Vendor Relationship Management. This is the reverse of CRM [where the organization seeks to manage the relationship with customers] with the onus being on the customer to manage their relationship with organizations - read my musing on the subject. It is also becoming common for CRM to stand for Customer Relationship Marketing. I much prefer this term to 'management' - the reason for which will be self-evident if you read my comments on the subject in the book.

Continuing the theme of relationship marketing is this article - Securing Brand Loyalty Through Relationship Marketing. Despite its title, it concentrates mainly on the use of email - so it fits into this chapter well.

Here's a very interesting article on [perhaps] the future of relationship marketing - or at least the online aspect of it. I have included it in this chapter, but it could just as easily be part of social media marketing or even the last chapter that considers the way all marketing - offline as well as online - should be integrated. See The Brave New World of the Engaged Web.

Don't forget there are also email marketing sections on my own website in tips, hints and advice and interesting articles.

In other sections of the book I list the 'dream team' of skills required to effectively practice elements of e-marketing - well, here's one for email marketing.


research snapshot *pg 256* Email is dead - or is it? Here's some more research that suggests that email is still an effective tool for e-marketers to use - Email Increases Likelihood to Buy by 50% ... this from March 2009 - Opt-In Email Next Best After Family and Friends, this from 2010 search is number two online activity [guess what the number one online activity is?], from 2011, Social Media Is Not Killing Email and from 2012 77% Of Us Want To Get Marketing Messages Via Email & Email Remains Strong Brand Marketing Tool.

It would seem that customers are more willing to give up their email addresses than we might think, read more - and for an example of poor practice in gathering email lists, take a look at Saga - [opting out of] doing things properly?

In the book I [rightly] make a big deal over developing email lists. This article Marketers Unsubscribe Practices suggest ways to keep those lists intact - I particularly like the concept of 'opting over' instead of 'opting out.'

The title of this article - Teens, College Students And Young Adults: Where Does Email Fit? - doesn't tell the whole story, it includes some interesting demographics on who uses email.

More reinforcement for the 'email is alive and well' argument comes from ExactTarget's Digital channel preferred by US Internet users for messaging.

practical insight *pg 257* Legal attempts to stop spam: Federal Trade Commission

go online *pg 261* Legal aspects of email marketing: Not only does this page from the UK's Business Link have some good advice, there's a wedge of links on it too.

go online *pg 261* Email technical issues: This article - How Geeks Can Increase E-Mail Delivery - covers the basics.

practical insight *pg 262* Guilty of spam by association: For more on dedicated IP addresses, see this article - Evaluating Dedicated vs. Shared IP Addresses.

practical insight *pg 263* Today's the day: One way to - hopefully - send emails at the right time is to match-up new emails with the day/time that the recipient has opened previous messages. Here's some advice in these two articles - Best Send Time? When Recipients Are In The Inbox and A Day-By-Day Email Marketing Guide.


Usability expert Jakob Nielsen offers some advice on Transactional Email and Confirmation Messages

In section 8.2 I cover the difficulties in developing a mailing list - well one of the best sources is customers. Having taken their money, however, the savvy marketer will look to develop a relationship - this article includes some research-based suggestions - Buyers Are A Big Email Opportunity. Having said that, if you are going to contact customers make sure you get it right. What's the worst area of customer experience in e-commerce? suggests that few do.

This article - although based around the financial crisis of October 2008 - gives some good examples of how email can be used outside of a direct marketing environment - Are You Maximizing The Communications Value Of Email?, and this is another excellent example of it in practice - nice holiday message.

In the book I have included a list of types of email that can carry a marketing message - here's an example from an online retailer Aftersales email best practice from ASOS, and towards the end of the section I include 'event related' - this article gives some good examples of that practice - Building Customer Loyalty - Some Creative Examples.

Is email is still the poor relation of customer service? See my examples - #1, #2 and #3.

The title of 20 automated emails your customers won't delete tells you exactly what the article contains.

It is often the case that emails from organizations cannot be replied-to - it's a poor practice, here's an example - excellent customer-service-that-rejects-plaudits


This might have an emphasis on corporate newsletters, but most of the tips are generic - How to write a successful corporate newsletter.

When discussing e-newsletters it is often difficult to identify where long, regular emails stop and newsletters start. Take this one from ASDA, for example. The subject line says it is a newsletter, but it more resembles a direct marketing email - it certainly doesn't have much 'news'. Or maybe ASDA thinks receivers are more likely to open an email that says 'newsletter' in the subject line?

Five Reasons Why Newsletters Fail To Get Response is more of a 'tips and advice' article, but at its heart is the issue of newsletter objectives..

If you are not sure what RSS is, watch this short video - RSS in Plain English.


Personalization and segmentation can go together, this article - Using Segmentation to Improve Site Conversions - gives some basic ideas how and why.

The Five principles for online personalisation featured in this article are pretty basic, but worthy nonetheless.

Personalization of websites is still rare, but here is an example of the practice - Ocado offers customers pre-loaded shopping baskets.

This link could have been in the last chapter - but the emphasis is more on personalization then advertising - Personalized Ads Pack Bigger Punch.

In the text I say that web page personalization is common in B2B environments. It is possible that some of these examples are actually an 'intranet' - a kind of 'private' Internet-based network which is accessible only to invited participants ... in this case, regular customers.

Towards the end of the chapter I mention Yahoo!'s LAUNCHfast - where users can build their personal 'radio station'. Well don't go looking for it, Yahoo! closed it down in February '09, replacing it with access to existing radio stations - but no personalization.


At the beginning of this section I question what the mobile web actually is. This chart has some interesting stats, but take a look at the categories used - a reasonable delineation of 'mobile'? On the other hand Mobile Devices to Overtake PCs This Year classes 'mobile' as 'non-PC computing devices'. Adding confusion to the issue is that in this article - Google On Designing Mobile Friendly Websites its author notes that smartphones like iPhones and Android phones are not necessarily considered 'mobile' devices to Google. Research by Knotice - Mobile Email Opens Report - classes 'mobile' as phones and tablets and non-mobile as PCs and laptops. This is probably the norm, but still does not address the issue of smaller laptops and notebooks. Another twist comes in Consumers on tablet devices: having fun, shopping and engaging with ads which categorises tablets as mobile - but states that their use is normally in the home. The research also suggests that 'most consumers use their tablets for fun, entertainment and relaxation while they use their desktop computer or laptop for work.' That sounds about right to me. Perhaps it because time moves on, but in Tablet - Big Mobile or Small Desktop Device? which as well as asking the same question as I do in this section, suggests tablets are used on the move. The author of What we mean by 'mobile' seems to be asking the same questions on this subject as me - and I rate her standing in the e-marketing community highly. I'm pleased to see I am not the only one who would like a definition of 'mobile' in this context.

However, IAB Defines Mobile as a 'Behavior, Not a Technology' adds another angle to the discussion.

A further example of my problem of 'what is mobile marketing?' is the use of apps [applications] on smartphones. Are they part of mobile marketing? Probably yes - but are they part of Internet marketing? Whatever, here's some examples of marketing with smartphone apps, this one - Mobile commerce: should you have a site or an app? - raises a good question for marketers.

Throughout the book I try to avoid the technical aspects on Internet marketing, but I have included this article - Project Planning for Mobile Web Design - for a particular reason. As the technology featured in it goes over my head it is likely that most of my readers will be equally confused [unless you are into mobile phones or are a techie seeking marketing knowledge]. However, it is worth a quick scan just to appreciate that there are quite a few technical issues to address if you are taking your marketing 'mobile'.

These three articles : one | two | three are from the same reliable source and concentrate more on how badly most websites perform on mobile devices than they are about mobile marketing - but I think the two issuses are inextricably linked. As a footnote - with the help of one of my students I took a look at this website on an iPhone, and it seemed to work OK - perhaps a victory for substance over style?

There is some interesting stuff in Is 2012 the year for India's internet? but I've included it here as it tells us that; "more than half of all internet users in the country accessing the web via their mobile phone."

This research - Speed Trumps Quality for Mobile Net Users - considers the issue from the point of view of the most important group of people - the users [that is: customers]. Take particular note if you are looking to advertise on mobile sites - it would appear that users are willing to accept ads.

Although I am sceptical about mobile purchasing, this section is called 'mobile marketing' and perhaps it is this wider perspective that mobile will really add to the marketer's tool box. This report - Kraft Foods launches mobile recipe and shopping list service - is an example of innovative thinking, and this research suggests that customers not only use these types of application, but expect them. This list might be wishful thinking, but I think it is a good indication of what the future might bring. Here's some more new applications, the title of Geo-Location Services Get Social tells you what it is all about and this one concentrates on Driving Offline Sales With Your Mobile Application.

There is some very interesting stuff in Key Luxury Hotels Book Digital Strategy, most of which belongs in other chapters of the book. However, I have included this article here for the comment on the booking of hotel rooms via mobile devices. Essentially, rooms booked closer to the date of the stay are more expensive. Bookings made via 'mobile' are usually last-minute ie on your way to the location. Therefore, the average spend of someone booking a hotel room via a mobile device is higher than the average spend overall.

QR Codes: Are You Ready For Paper-Based Hyperlinks? tells about a new technology which allows offline ads to include a link to a mobile phone. Good examples of its application are included.

The title of Performics 2011 mobile search study [note: pdf file] suggests that it considers only mobile search - but there is more to it than that. Note that in this research 'mobile' refers only to smart phones that can be used to access the Internet.

The final chapter of the book emphasises that e-marketing is just part of the contemporary organization's marketing efforts this research on how people use their mobile devices demonstates how off- and online cannot be considered as seperate entities.

Mini-stat - Mobile shopping is popular in Japan.

Not too many examples in this one - Mobile Marketing: 12 Tips for Planning Your Media - but still some good food for thought.

Two Reasons Why SMS Should Be on Your Shortlist uses a presidential candidate's campaign as a case study.

What about posting products' ratings and reviews in-store and directing customers to read more on their mobile phones? See [US beauty retailer] Sephora Simplifies Selection Process With Mobile Reviews. However, my view would be that the phone screen is so small, you may as well put the message on the [physical] poster.

This article looks at mobile marketing from a wider perspective - in other words, how 'mobile' can be used for more than accessing the web - Driving Mobile With Full Visibility.

In the book I make the point about websites designed for PCs/Macs not working on mobile devices, and it seems sites-for-mobile are going through the growing pains that the [full-size] web went through a decade ago. Says who? Jakob Nielsen says so, and - in my opinion - he is never wrong, see Mobile Usability.

practical insight *pg 281* Proximity Marketing: This article on - Bluetooth marketing - explains the concept in more detail and suggests further uses.

This is a question and answer session with Ben Freeborn about Interflora's mobile site - I think it is very informative about some of the key issues in mobile selling.

Mini-stat - In the book I suggest that it is intangible products that sell best on mobile devices. Seems I might be wrong - I had forgotten about students ordering their pizzas, see What do customers want to buy on their mobiles?

Although the title of this one - Halfords launches Text and Reserve service - suggests something rather straight forward, the facility also provides for customers to 'look-up' the right part.

I've put 14 Essential Mobile Marketing Tactics in this section on mobile marketing - but each of its elements actually belong with other chapters of the book.

This [chapter's] page starts with the differentation between personalization and customization - so I'll finish by combining the latter with mobile. This article tells how you can order customized trainers from Reebok on your mobile phone - I would be interested to see just how many customers do so.

As we covered in chapter 7.2, one way of paying for ads is through 'pay-per-call' - and technology has now taken this onto mobile devices where the user can click on the ad and a call is put through from their mobile phone. For more, see - Google To Introduce Click-to-Call (Billing) in Ads on Mobile Devices.

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