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Interactive marketing

Internet is all about interactivity - we've all heard that. Supposedly, the interactive nature of the Internet makes online ads that much more powerful than print advertisement or even TV. However, not too many companies appear to capitalize on interactivity quite yet. What's the problem? It seems that no one quite understands how to engage the audience members. Here are some tips and ideas.

Basically, being interactive means that you give people choices that they act upon. A lot of e-mail marketers offer a choice between HTML and pain text messages. That's where interactivity usually stops.

Some companies let users make further decisions about frequency and format of the messages their recipients get. This usually increases ROI quite significantly. But why not go further? Here is idea number one:

• Let people decide when and what ad they want to receive.
This is a great idea for online stores and catalogs. Simply add a small box "Notify me when this item goes on sale." Allow a person to select whether he or she wants to receive an offer about this particular item only, or other special deals as well.

Here is another idea - human being is a strange creature that does not trust sales people (well, maybe they have a reason for that). However, people do trust other folks who are just like them. Plus, people like talking to each other and exchanging ideas. So, here is the interactive marketing idea number two.

• Create a community
Frequently, people lack enough information to make a decision, but they are afraid to ask. Why not add an option "Get me in touch with other people who bought this product." You have to be careful here and get the permission from your buyers first, because some folks will love discussing your product with others, while some folks will be very angry at you for giving out their personal data, likee-mail.

Finally, the third idea. We all like spending less money. We all like sales. It's hard to imagine a person who likes overpaying. The last interactive marketing idea is called "The discount game". It can be implemented both online and offline using Flash animation or other means. It works both for websites or e-mail marketing

• The discount game
This idea works practically for any business. Simply offer people a choice, what discount they'd like to get - 5%, 10%, 15%, 20%, 25%, 30%, etc. Let a website visitor (or a subscriber) make his or her selection. Most people opt for the biggest discount first. After they made their selection, you have to explain how they can get that discount - for example, order 100 copies, or spend $10000. Most folks aren't going to spend that much money or order so much stuff. But they will explore other discount option and may find a deal they are looking for. Your objective is to inform people about discounts available. The usual discount table is not nearly as effective. Also, remember one very important thing - always offer the smallest discount (5% in this case) for just participating as the way of thanking the customers.

Relevant links:

    • Distribute your personalized newsletter
    • Create HTML Password Protected sections for registered users on your site
    • Bulk Email Marketing Forecast

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