hot topics

Implementing e-marketing

There are three stages to implementing an e-marketing campaign.
Evaluate the marketing options

* Email - great for building relationships and keeping your customers up to date with offers, and is less intrusive than telephone marketing. However, growing concerns about spam mean you need to make sure you adhere to government regulations. For more information, see the page in this guide on legal considerations in e-marketing.
* SMS (short messaging service) - almost everyone has a mobile, so marketing via text messaging is a viable option. However, the personal relationships people have with their phones means marketing needs to be carefully considered.
* Websites - a hugely flexible option to meet any marketing need. However, with so many other websites, you need a strategy for getting yours noticed and used.

Plan the rollout phase

* Look at training implications, especially of building and running a website and think about the costs involved.
* Decide which staff will require training and allow time for them to adjust to the new system.
* Do you need to review your customer contacts database? Before beginning a new marketing campaign it can be a good time to reorganise your data.
* If you're building a website, how are you going to promote it? Will you submit it to search engines? Is it worth paying an agency to boost your rating? It might be wise to start with a soft launch - perhaps just to existing customers to see how the website beds down before you begin to give it stronger marketing support.

Implement e-marketing

* Roll out any necessary training. * Encourage staff involvement and feedback. This will help to smooth implementation, as staff buy-in can make or break a technology project.
* Consider setting up a cross-departmental taskforce to manage the implementation process - it will help with staff buy-in and ensure that implementation works business-wide.
* Continually review your practices against e-marketing regulations.