Many people seem to be scared of emarketing. Often the reason for this is that they don't where to start. Are you one of them? If so, are you aware that you're losing out? At least one of your competitors is gaining the edge while you sit around wondering what you should do. But if you have a website, and include the address in your marketing campaigns then, believe it or not, you're doing emarketing. Find that scary? I hope not! After all it was quite easy to include it in all your campaigns! But there's more to it then that.
If you are including your email address then people are going to visit your website. Just as you tell people to call a 1800 number you are inviting them to your website. But are your offline and online campaigns co-ordinated? Your prospects will expect to see a mirror image of your offline image online. If you're sending out direct mail (and including your web address) inviting people to enter a competition or fill in a form either by post or online, have you checked to see if the form is on your site?
You would be amazed the amount of companies that have made this mistake. Your response is going to be affected. People expect your online campaign to match the part of the offline campaign that they're holding in their hand. Don't believe me? Then imagine you receive a piece of direct mail or see an ad that says call 1800 or 1850 for further information. As you're interested you pick up the phone and call but the person who answers has no idea what you're talking about! Would you ever think of approaching that company again? I doubt it!
And the same applies to your website! A great example of co-ordinating offline & online activities is Dell; the company has a standard corporate visual identity which applies across all campaigns; have a look at the next Dell mailshot you get and then check out their site (and cross-reference to their permission emails if you get them). Although different design layouts work better for different media, you can achieve a standard look and feel which underscores your brand. All marketing is a combination or mix of the media available.
So start integrating the web into your mix. If you don't both you and your company will be left behind. Emarketing and emarketing skills will soon be mandatory. So why not take control of your emarketing activity? Don't expect your IT department to make changes to the site. They need to be told the changes you want made and they need time to implement them - so make this communication part of the planning of your campaign. Start having a mirror image of your offline campaigns online. And if you're hoping emarketing will go away then think again. It's here to stay!