Your inbox sometimes turns up e-mails that offer significantly better deals than others. They promise fantastic online results for a minimum investment. For example:
- Get an online store for €199!
- In the top five on Google in one week!
- Solve all your problems with a new website!
- 1,000 clicks for €300!
- 100% e-mail deliverability guaranteed!
The web and electronic mail are very convenient for circulating the “best” deals. With a minimum price, the mass of recipients is sure to include one or two people who are unable to assess the offer properly and will take it even if it’s not best suited to their needs.
Such offers are wholesale and standard. However, every company has its own requirements and a standard solution is not likely to deliver good results. A website or marketing campaign must cater to your requirements if you want to get the best long-term returns on the invested effort and money. So think carefully before you go for something that seems too good to be true.
Let’s take a look at what such offers can deliver.
Get an online store for €199!
This price will normally get you a standard website with a design that is minimally customized to your needs (logo, perhaps colours). The serviceability of the online store, however, depends on how well it meets the particular requirements of a retailer’s business.
The favourable price shows that the provider can’t give you much of its time. Doing 10 hours of work would already be making a serious loss. This means you will have to handle practically all aspects (barring strictly technical) yourself. You will have to learn how to set up the web tool for your needs. There is quite a big difference between selling toys, sports clothes, PDF manuals and tickets for events. How does one sort the products and add their features? Are you selling abroad, perhaps to foreign VAT taxpayers? Make the correct tax rate settings. Connection to your information system? Settings again or perhaps a bit of programming. Connection to payment systems, SSL certificate? Right, um, SSL… what? What about the legal aspects?
If all the professionals are on your team, then you can indeed set up an online store by yourself. If not, you most probably need the provider’s professional help to make your online store visible, effective, user-friendly and easy to manage. “Standard” by its very definition means “the same as others”. And when you adjust your offerings to the tool instead of the tool offering maximum support to the main advantages of your products, you will lose the greater share of your competitive edge and sink into mediocrity.
In the top five on Google in one week!
First, a question of logic: what happens if the service of such a provider is sought by six companies? Six banks could be top-listed for the search term “savings”. Will they tell the last one, “We’re afraid Google is taken for this month”?”
Our website’s ranking on search engines is vital to our visibility, number of visitors and, as a result, the business done. But its position is affected by so many factors that there is simply no guarantee for quick success. There are less popular keywords and their combinations where visible listing can be relatively easy to achieve. “Women’s boxing gloves”? That might work. But we wouldn’t get very much business from all the six visitors who will type these words into Google over the next year. “Toys”, “PC games”, “loan”? The number of searches with these keywords is vast and the number of established websites is likewise large. Many owners of established websites put huge amounts of effort into search engine placement. Working better and harder is the only way you can slowly climb higher than them on the list of results.
Most importantly, look out for any measures that search engines may not approve of. They might bring you short-term success but if they put you in Google’s bad graces the way back usually starts right at the bottom.
P.S.: Did you know that roughly half of the assessment that affects search engine ranking results from factors that can’t be directly influenced on your website? The most important factor is a network of quality external links that is practically impossible to build in a short time.
Solve all your problems with a new website!
We should never underestimate customers or buyers. They are far from naive. Our website merely reflects (for better or worse) our service, and our service is the true key to business success.
As a rule, a poor website won’t sell good products, but on the other hand, even the most perfect website won’t be able to sell poor products or services.
The web is just one of several tools in your marketing communication mix. For certain products and businesses, it is very important, for others less, depending on our target groups, way of selling and getting new customers, etc. Building an online presence is not to be approached in isolation from all other activities; each reconstruction should increase the links between your various media.
1,000 clicks for €300!
The problem with such a promise is not keeping it, but, above all, that it simply isn’t fair to the customer.
Providers of advertising where you pay for the visitors’ clicks on your ads (CPC – cost per click) operate on a system of bidding. To simplify a little, you are charged more for the better ranking or greater exposure of an advertisement. In practice, this means that for keywords where many advertisers are vying for attention, the click costs will quickly rise above €0.2, for the most popular words even above €0.5 per click. For less popular keywords, the price can be way below €0.1 per click.
Which of these will you get if you go for the offer in the heading? With a pre-set cost per click (with no previous analysis of your keywords and their popularity), there is a risk that the provider, eager for maximum profit, will not select the optimum keywords but choose from the cheaper ones. This way your website will not be accessed by those visitors who searched by the most popular keywords and, as a result, its effect (sales, contacts, etc.) will be weaker.
100% e-mail deliverability guaranteed!
When a provider offers 100% deliverability of e-mails, we should know that there is no guarantee for this in practice. This is because deliverability to a great extent depends on the recipients and in-between servers, not just on the sender.
The desire of every direct e-mail sender is to have as many messages as possible actually reach the addressees. Although sending messages by e-mail may be highly cost-effective, you don’t want your messages to get stuck somewhere in virtual space.
In view of the inconvenience caused by spam, practically every e-mail server uses filters that more or less successfully separate “proper” e-mails from electronic junk. Filtering is based on the content of the message as well as the sender’s reputation. Such filters have a “white list”, a list of senders they always trust – and it is useful if your server is on such lists of major providers. However, given the large number of e-mail providers and various filter setting options, the claim that no e-mail will be lost is exaggerated.
With a provider who promises 100% deliverability, we should also question the reliability of the rest of the claims in their offer. The web and e-mail are very convenient for circulating the “best” deals. The cost of sending e-mail is minimal, and in addition, the provider can repackage its service and offer it at several websites in various forms. That is another reason why you should think twice before going for something that seems too good to be true.
Written by: Mitja
Mitja heads up business development for Creatim, helping clients utilise digital for building new business models & attracting more clients.
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