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Planning Your Web Site
Promotion Campaign

(Part Two)

Posted on October 26, 1999

by Tony L. Callahan

This is the second part of the article that I started in the previous issue of this newsletter. Last time I covered banner exchange programs, Free For All (FFA) Links Pages, and on-line classified ads as the first three avenues of web site promotion available to the web entrepreneur to utilize in their web promotion campaigns. In this issue I will cover the last two avenues: direct e-mailings and search engine listings.

Direct E-mailings

When I speak of direct e-mailings, I know some of you out there are thinking SPAM. I have only one comment on spam: DON'T DO IT! My apologies for shouting, but this is one area I feel very strongly about. Not only is spam receiving a large amount of attention from various legislative bodies, but it is a waste of the spammers time and money. Think about it. Do you read spam e-mail? And if you do read it, how often do you act on it? Lastly, what do you think of the type of company that would use this type of tactic? This is not the type of image that most of us want to put forward to our potential customers. Spam is just bad business!

So is there an acceptable way to use e-mail in your web promotion campaigns? The answer is, yes there is. In order to properly use e-mail in your web promotion campaigns it is necessary to obtain the recipient's permission before sending the e-mail. There are several ways to do this, but the most common is the opt-in mailing list. Simply put, you ask your web sites visitors to join your mailing list. Equally important, you must also give each recipient the opportunity to cancel their membership in your mailing list at any time. There are many free and low cost list servers who facilitate the compilation and administration of opt-in e-mail lists. To find one, simply go to your favorite search engine and search for "list servers."

Once your mailing list is compiled, don't inundate your readers with e-mail. There is a difference between being informative and being a pest. If your readers begin to feel overwhelmed by your mailings, they will begin to ignore them. Worse yet, they may stop doing business with you all together. My research indicates that every two to four weeks is sufficient to remind your readers who you are without overwhelming them with junk e-mail.

Search Engines

There is currently a substantial debate raging as to whether or not it is necessary for a web site to be listed in the search engines in order to be successful. Putting all the rhetoric aside for a moment, the simple answer is: You must be listed in the search engines in order to be successful. Internet usage is growing at an incredible rate. More and more users go on-line every day. And how are those users finding what they are looking for? Search engines! One only has to look at the success of the scores of search engines to see that this is true.

The real issue at hand is how important is placement in the search engines? My answer is that placement is the most important issue related to the search engines. Many surveys and studies reveal that if your site is not in the first three pages of search results, it may as well not be there at all! How's that for important?

Here is where the debate gets fiery. How much of your web promotion campaigns resources is it worth to get a good placement in the search engines? And how do you go about getting this type of placement? There are many theories floating about out there, theories about META tags and keywords, content and descriptions. The details of these areas are too complex to cover here. For the moment, my advice would be to educate yourself as much as possible each of these areas as they relate to search engine placement. I will address each of these areas in detail in a future article.

In order to conduct a successful web site promotion campaign, it is necessary to utilize as many avenues of promotion as is practical and affordable. Banner exchange programs, Free For All (FFA) Links Pages, on-line classified ads, direct e-mailings and search engines all have their advantages and disadvantages. It will be left as an exercise for the reader to determine which of these avenues is right for your particular business.

Tony L. Callahan is president of his own Internet marketing company, Link-Promote He also publishes Web-Links Monthly, a newsletter full of tips, tricks, tools and techniques for successful web site promotions. To subscribe, send e-mail to: Copyright 1998, 1999 Tony L. Callahan All Rights Reserved

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