Thinking about trying an online campaign of some sort? Good idea! It’s a proven method of reaching your customers effectively while keeping marketing costs down. But of course, online advertising is nothing like the print, radio, or even direct mail campaigns you may be used to. So to be successful in an online campaign, you need to know some of the basics that apply to online advertising.

Think About Your Goals

Whether you are sending out an e-newsletter or starting a click ad campaign, you need to determine what you are trying to accomplish. Are you trying to get name recognition with your e-newsletter? Are you trying to drive more traffic to your site with click ads? Some online initiatives are measurable, while others are a bit more difficult to assess. With a click ad campaign, for example, you can set some concrete benchmarks, such as a 20% increase in traffic during the first week the campaign. By setting tangible goals you can compare marketing activities and repeat the ones that seem to work the best.

Two Sides to the Story: Media AND Message

One of the most important things to consider is the media you will be using for your online campaign. The vehicles you select will depend a lot on the budget you have to work with, but banner ads, paid ads in industry publications, email messages to your customers, etc. can clearly be effective ways to get your campaign out into the “media”.

But before your campaign is out there in cyberspace, you need to determine what your message really says. Is it effective in motivating your prospects into taking action? Is it memorable in some way? If possible, try your ad on a small sample of existing customers and get their reactions to it. You may find you’ve overlooked something that is important to the outside world!

Be certain that your message is right, and then make sure it shows up in the most effective media outlets that you can afford or that have already worked for you before.

Test and Measure, Test and Measure

Keep an eye on your web stats, email responses, banner ad views, ad clicks, and whatever else will help you determine changes in customer behavior or response. Analyze the data to identify trends and other information that will help you measure your results against the goals you set at the beginning of the campaign.

Online campaigns can be very cost effective ways to market in today’s Internet world. Be sure to set goals, evaluate your message, and keep track of your results, and your online campaigns should turn out to be a very efficient way to reach your customers and prospects.

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