The World Wide Web Sure Looks Different Now
If you're getting into email marketing now, it might just be because it's far easier today than it was ten years ago. The same features you might love in Benchmark Email are the reasons there are more people who use the Internet now for a larger part of their day: Users spend very little time thinking about code and focus exclusively on content. On the sites that are used most, people expect to receive or disseminate information, perhaps connect to a network of people who are all there for a similar reason, all the while having room for personalization in a controlled & standardized environment.
It Used to Be That Consumers Mostly Visited Places
Let's expand on that. Do you remember the days when having your own webpage for whatever reason meant that you had to know HTML code or hire someone who did? That developed later on to flashier sites that were made with, appropriately enough, a program called Flash. And although there's plenty of that, and your company may well have those types of sites up at this moment, the old model of people interacting with companies by visiting their websites (either through a search or typing in their web address) is evolving to something new.
Now Most Consumers Have Their Own Places and Networks
So what's the difference? People now have their own places on the web. Not just one place, but sometimes many more. They also have a variety of places where they just hang out. Social networks like Facebook and MySpace let people create their own homepages by just adding pictures and information. YouTube is a popular entertainment destination, where people can see just about anything they want to see. Twitter gives those with quick attention spans a quick way to interact with many, many people. Newspapers and magazines have made their way online, but they have to compete with bloggers for readership. The point is this: Everything is maturing just fine in the Internet world, and that's great news for the small business person.
So Now Places Can Visit Consumers
Since we've long ago established the power of email marketing, we'll explore the rest of the web and find out how the right ESP gives you the social network tools
to not only bring your email marketing to social media, but to use it as the spearhead that brings all your branding methods into laser-sharp focus. Your job on the new world wide web now is to find the people where they hang out and bring them your message. You may also have to inject your product (subtly, please) into online conversations so that they know who you are, respect who you are, and go to where you are to complete an eventual transaction.
The Concept of Sharing
Sharing is what makes this new Internet, some call it Web 2.0, so exciting. But it really is a misnomer. Sharing brings to mind telling someone about something (which does happen) and that there is a finite amount of this something that must divvied up equally until it's gone. Nonsense! What happens now is that what is "shared" is really cloned, copied and presented fully and infinitely in its original form. It is often added to, and evolves an atmosphere around it in the form of commentary and recommendation.
Sharing Works If Your Email Marketing Has a Home on the Web
As you create a newsletter, it needs its own home on the web with a unique address. Yes, a webpage that is nothing but your email newsletter in all its glory that anyone can visit at anytime independent of an email inbox. It should be there already, as this practice started so that people who couldn't get all the formatting and graphics that you included in your newsletter in their inboxes could just click the View As Webpage
option and see your newsletter live and online, completely as you intended.
So Make Sure Those Newsletters Are Archived and Easy to Find
You want your current newsletter live on the web and also your past campaigns. Without an easy to find, permanent home, the sharing process becomes useless. Make sure your service lets you choose this address so that each subsequent campaign is added to the same folder on the Internet.