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Driving traffic to your 800 number
by Donna Stryk, Moderator of the Online Ads Discussion List

The Internet continues to change the way business is conducted. This is especially evident in the interaction between businesses and their consumers. We have evolved from a marketplace in which businesses dictate how the transactions will be handled and entered a new era where consumers make the rules. Now, companies are forced to listen to what their consumers want and to respond to those desires. This includes deciding which communications channels to use during the sales process.  [Full story]


Internet keywords
by Donna Stryk, Moderator of the Online Ads Discussion List

Obtaining top position in a search engine is always a daunting task. However, the time and energy put into this effort can pay off in a huge way. We've all heard the staggering statistics regarding the amount of traffic generated by these search engines or portals. Some sources tout numbers as high as 75%. In this race for top placement, a new type of addressing system has come into play, RealNames.  [Full story]


Self-branding
by Donna Stryk, Moderator of the Online Ads Discussion List

One of the favorite topics on Online Ads continues to be branding. This time, Kate Kaye put a new spin on the old subject. She asked about the practice of branding yourself or promoting the aspects of your personality that are distinctive. She said, "The thought of considering my individual being as a "brand" leaves an acrid taste in my mouth. Yet, after pondering it a bit, I realized that the word "brand" is simply a term employed to represent an idea with which most people seem pretty comfortable. It seems to be perfectly reasonable, but I still can't help but feel demeaned by the thought of myself as a brand." So, can something be gained by considering your personal assets to be part of a package rather than simply a set of assets?  [Full story]


Is "refer a friend" UCE?
by Donna Stryk, Moderator of the Online Ads Discussion List

We've all seen them: Requests to "send this site to a friend" or to send them an email telling them about a particular feature. In most cases, it seems harmless, but when does it go too far? Are there instances where it crosses the line of viral marketing into the realm of Unsolicited Commercial Email (UCE) or SPAM?  [Full story]


Managing email newsletters
by Donna Stryk, Moderator of the Online Ads Discussion List

Electronic or email-based newsletters allow companies to stay in front of their customers. These newsletters can range from product updates to industry news, but the key is to keep your name in the mind of your audience. In order to take advantage of this powerful medium, you have to have the right tools. On February 16th, Mike Driehorst told the members of Online Ads that he asked the recipients of his print newsletter if they would prefer an email version. He said, "For those that reply yes, what are some listserv programs that we should check out?"  [Full story]


Traditional vs. online advertising
by Donna Stryk, Moderator of the Online Ads Discussion List

Advertisers around the world continue to question the effectiveness of online advertising as well as its relationship to the more traditional advertising mediums. On February 15, Alan Beim asked members of the Online Ads List, "I was wondering what people thought of the effectiveness of radio and television advertising as compared to banner advertising in general."  [Full story]


Domain registration alternatives
by Donna Stryk, Moderator of the Online Ads Discussion List

A company's name is the starting point of its brand and identity. This is especially true for dot com companies, whose name not only hints at what they do, but also tells consumers where to find them on the Web. Since these names are essential to the success of the company, registering them on the Internet is vital. This is why the competition among domain registrars has increased. [Full story]


Embedding links in email
by Donna Stryk, Moderator of the Online Ads Discussion List

One of the most common mechanisms used by Web sites to maintain loyalty and to keep its name in front of its audience is email. Specifically, email newsletters or updates allow sites to entice their visitors to return. This particular medium offers options such as creating an HTML message with all of the flash and branding of the actual site, or delivering a direct, concise message in plain text. Both options have their advantages and disadvantages, but in the case of the latter, it is still important that the site URL or any other URLs in the message are clear and clickable so that the email is easy to use. [Full story]


Monitor sizes
by Donna Stryk, Moderator of the Online Ads Discussion List

In the race to make everything bigger, faster and better we sometimes lose sight of the people behind us. There is no better place to witness the effects of this mentality than on the Internet. Havah Hope told the members of Online Ads that the most common monitor used was 12" set at a 640x480 resolution. Why is this important? Designers have to know how the page will look to the people that visit the site. The debate that spawned from this bit of information has taken on a life of its own and now, it is time to recap and move on. Here's a synopsis of what we learned about the size of monitors used by the viewing public.  [Full story]


Translating Web sites
by Donna Stryk, Moderator of the Online Ads Discussion List

In one of the more interesting threads to come up in a while, the members of the Online Ads List discuss the problems facing advertisers trying to reach a multi-cultural audience. Specifically, what are the best ways to cross the barriers when a portion of your audience speaks a language other than English. Several members of the List chimed in with suggestions on how to combat this growing problem in our global marketplace.  [Full story]


Usability studies
by Donna Stryk, Moderator of the Online Ads Discussion List

Before beginning an ad campaign, it is important to completely understand your audience. Of course this includes who they are and where you can find them, but it also includes how they will interact with your site once they get there. On January 14, Brad Phillips asked the members of Online Ads for some help with a new project he was working on. Specifically, he needed to "create a 'discussion guide' to provide groups so that they can help us (Brad's company) learn about our web site interface." He was searching for resources and stories regarding other members' experiences with this topic. [Full story]


ClickTrade
by Donna Stryk, Moderator of the Online Ads Discussion List

Affiliate programs have become a great way to get your name out and drive traffic to your site. As a matter of fact, Lori Faunce at Educational Directories Unlimited receives 25 percent of her traffic from her more 1500 or so affiliates. That's why she became very concerned when she started to receive substandard service from ClickTrade, the company that runs her affiliate program.  [Full story]


Email press releases
by Donna Stryk, Moderator of the Online Ads Discussion List

Spam remains one of the biggest frustrations for anyone doing business via email. Unfortunately, there are still some hazy areas when it comes to defining this monster. On January 5th, Manuel asked if sending a press release by email to the most important papers in his area announcing the launch of his innovative site would be considered spamming. After all, the email would be unsolicited, but how else do you get the media to take notice of you? Here's what the members of Online Ads had to say about the issue. [Full story]


Email marketing strategies
by Donna Stryk, Moderator of the Online Ads Discussion List

Email marketing allows advertisers to target very specific audiences with messages that are more personal than a simple banner ad. For agencies, the question of outsourcing versus conducting these campaigns in-house is a big one. Stacy Williams wrote in on December 22, 1999 and said that her clients with lists of 6,000 to 30,000 names are simply too small for most email marketing vendors to deal with. She looked at software, which would enable the agency to conduct the campaign, but she would rather outsource and was looking for advice from the list. [Full story]


Determining media mix
by Donna Stryk, Moderator of the Online Ads Discussion List

Now that you have money to spend, where will you get the most bang for your buck? Dot com's across the globe are agonizing over what portion of their branding and advertising budget should be spent online versus in traditional media. On November 30, 1999, Shari Miller Monnes asked the members of the Online Ads List for information on how to allocate her budget effectively. She was especially interested in information for small businesses. Her question elicited responses from agency experts as well as a customer who frequently views online advertising. [Full story]


 
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