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Q: We sell a business information product that is useful or even essential to any small business with potential HR or safety issues.

We are in the process of re-pricing and remarketing our proposition to organisations with less then 10 employees.

We’d like to sell it online.

I’d be grateful if you would consider how we can use PPC, Email, and any other emarketing methods???

Sales Director

HR Group

A: Here’s some thoughts on emarketing your new product:

Because your product is new, it’s not a service people will be actively seeking, because they don’t yet know it exists.

So PPC (pay per click – Google Adwords) would be no good, as PPC requires foreknowledge of the product and a defined user need.

On the other hand, email broadcasting could be a great awareness-developing sales tool.

Email broadcasting will also allow you punchy headlines that will sow the seeds of user need.

For example, here’s some possible subject headings:

Small Business – Scared of legal bills?

Employer – Got less than 10 staff?

Small business – Looking for risk-free HR?

All eye-catching stuff, that promotes the likelihood of the mail being opened!

Your online product needs testing first, to determine the best way to sell it.

Testing is the surest way to ensure success (actually, it’s the surest way to eliminate the possibility of failure)

Here is a possible low cost emarketing test scenario:

> develop email copy, and a dedicated web landing page, and an order form page (and a thank you page)

> mailout, say, 50,000 businesses as a trial

> implement metrics to measure results, eg, how many open the mail, click-through to the landing page, read the order form, actually complete the order.

> From this test model you can then tentatively determine the conversion ratio for each level and, ultimately, how many emails are needed to deliver £x amount of sales.

> Potential ROI can be estimated.

> You may also need to test different prices/package options, after the initial test to discover the optimal package for the best ROI.

You can then make a commercial decision whether to invest further and go forward as a fully online emarketed product, based on the test data.

For the actual emailing you can use an email service provider, or a database owner (like Thomsons), or buy opt-in names from an email list broker.

You’d need to develop your CRM system further, as you’ll need to know:

> How to create web forms that interface with the CRM sales database and your website

> How to create follow-up emails to send to enquirers who didn’t buy first time.
You’ll also need knowledge of Google Analytics, which will help you to interpret your data successfully.

None of this is rocket science. It’s just stuff for the to-do list.

The effort will be worth it as:

> you’ll have your own an in-house resource to test new products

> it’ll be miles cheaper, and more controllable than using a supplier.

> Your company will own powerful knowledge for future growth.

> It will encourage not discourage new product development

Emarketing business products is all in the initial testing, which can be done for fairly low cost. Exciting!
© Studio Rossiter 2008

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