Guerrillas know that marketing on the Internet means a lot more than having a first-class Web site. It also entails participating actively in forums centered around your business's area of expertise. It means understanding the immense marketing power of chat groups and connecting with the right customers there.
It means hosting conferences, perhaps penning an online column or article and doing research in the most extensive information arena in history. And it means tapping into the power of e-mail. Here are a dozen of the top e-mail strategies for guerrilla marketing online:
1. Compose e-mail offline. You're much more likely to write an effective message, correctly spelled and formatted, if you have the time to compose and review it offline.
2. Use an effective subject line. You may not get the chance to explain your message further if the prospect won't open it. A subject line on e-mail is the equivalent of a teaser line on a direct-mail envelope.
3. Pay attention to your message's style and clarity. You wouldn't dress like a slob at the office; don't dress your messages like slobs on the Net.
4. Use an effective signature. You already know the value of a business card, and your signature is your electronic business card.
5. Use an evocative address. Choose a screen name, user name or domain name that helps promote your business. Well-chosen names are marketing opportunities for guerrillas.
6. Keep your messages short. Don't waste people's time. If they want more information, they'll ask for it, and then you can take time to explain things further. Cyberspace belongs to the concise writer.
7. Provide useful information. There's a big difference between information and hype, and your readers know it.
8. Create an e-mail library. As you develop successful messages and signatures, save and reuse them. You might also want to save your outgoing messages so you'll know what you said where and when. And remember this rule: Don't say anything online that you wouldn't want printed on the front page of The New York Times.
9. Don't contribute to an online discussion unless you have something interesting and relevant to say. If you're a time-waster, you'll become known as a business to avoid.
10. Test your image. Try out your messages on select individuals before sending them to the masses.
11. Test your markets. Stay in regular contact with former customers and prospects to stay fresh in their minds.
12. Build and use an e-mail list. In time, it will become one of your most precious business assets.
You should also become more familiar with online classified ads, e-zines and newsletters that reach your market.
For reprints and licensing questions, click here.