By Michael Miller
I was describing Corpnote's Company Plan to a friend, where for $350 you can customize the whole web site to look like your own. We both realized that with print, you can easily spend $400 on an ad in a magazine or newspaper. The issue comes out, and like yesterday's news (pun intended) your investment is gone!
The $350 is money well spent when you think of how many times you can make a brand impression for a one-time investment.
There are some industries where the public is accustomed to paying high prices, and since technology hasn't really changed much, the price is still high. (Print professionals, I know you now use computers and such, and that your cost must cover more sophisticated presses, and presumably inks that cost more with the rising cost of gas.) The yellow pages (or is that the yellow book? or the walking fingers book? or the super pages?) is the one place (ha ha) that businesses still sink good cash into year after year, unblinkingly, like lemmings falling off a cliff. Why? Because they HAVE TO BE IN IT to be a real company.
Wake up, people. Just because someone doesn't have a yellow pages ad doesn't mean they're not in a reputable business (CorpNote doesn't have one).
The internet is a place where costs are expected to be low. That's what people think of the Internet -- that you can save lots of money by advertising or marketing using the web. Pay-per-click has become the latest rage. The concept is simple. You tell the search engines that you are willing to pay for them to show your ad when certain words are searched on. If the visitor clicks on your ad, then you have to pay the search engine company. Your competitors bid on these key words too, and if their bid is higher than yours, they get better visibility.
That is great, and the search engines provide all kinds of metrics to show you what words were searched on, and who clicked your ad. But getting people to your site is only part of the battle. You have to convert the sale -- make them a customer. You have only one first impression to make them stay, so no matter what key words you buy, you'd better have a great value proposition waiting for your prospective customer.
With our online e-card service, I get one of the best paybacks I can hope for. We call it Compliment-per-click. At least half the time I send a Corpnote E-card, Invitation or Survey to a new contact, I get a compliment. As with any marketing effort, it can be hard to put a cost-to-profit ratio on my effort. But more often than not, when I run into someone that has received one of my e-cards, they shake my hand and tell me it was appreciated. We may or may not do business together, but the kind words are priceless.