For many businesses, using good ol' e-mail may be the surest-and is certainly the cheapest-way to build traffic to their sites. "E-mail still gets results," says Hans Peter Brondmo, chair of PostCommunications.com, a San Francisco-based e-mail marketing firm that numbers Palm Computing, Victoria's Secret and Wells Fargo among its clients.
One key to making e-mail effective: Use "opt-in" sign-ups, where Web site visitors are asked to indicate whether they want to receive e-mail from you. How to get sign-ups? "Offer a free monthly newsletter," says Kinnard. "The key is to give really good information."
Effective newsletters usually mix news about trends in your field with tips and updates on sales or special pricing. Another key: Include hyperlinks so interested readers can, with a single mouse click, go directly to your site and find out more about specific topics of interest.
Once your marketing efforts start attracting surfers, and then customers, to your new business, you'll need to find out exactly who's buying your products or services. Getting to know your market will help you chart the direction of your new dotcom business.