Ecards as a marketing tool


As any successful businessman will confirm, having a great product or service is just the beginning. After all, in this day and age, everything comes down to marketing. The more creative you are in your marketing efforts, the more successful your business is. There are many ways to promote your business without spending a fortune. In this article I will describe one of the most powerful tools on the Internet ? ecards!

Ecards (electronic greeting cards) are a great example of efficient marketing on the internet. You have a service open to the Internet users. The ecards they send from your site invariably contain promotion for your company, products or services. They are advertising tools that are immediate, inexpensive, personalized and although sent via email, S.P.A.M.-free.

This form of Internet marketing is extremely effective. More than 50% of the U.S. population and 85% of all Internet users visit a greeting's site annually, according to research firm Jupiter MediaMetrix. Why not use even a small percentage of these potential clients to you advantage? OK, BlueMountain.com has more than 100 million unique visitors each year, but even with less numbers, the potential is there. Remember, with each sent ecard from your site you have at least two potential clients!

If someone utilizes the ecards service on average only twice a day, in the period of a year the service is advertised approximately 730 times. Multiply this number by the number of registered users and you get yourself a healthy advertising stream. Recognizing the huge potential, in 1999 Excite@Home Corp. paid $780 million for the purchase of BlueMountain.com. How much would you pay for that type of advertising?

No need to answer -- you can have an ecard site for a lot less. The concept is the same, and you can use it just as the big boys. You can build a database of qualified prospects and use ecards to:

  • Promote - promote products and services

  • Brand - create company awareness among your client base

  • Invite - invite people to seminars and events

  • Remind - send appointment reminders

  • Inform - send Client appreciation memos, Recruiting/hiring notices, etc.

  • Reference - send Birthday wishes, Holiday greetings, Thank You's, etc.

OK, so now you know you need an ecard section on your site. What do you need next?

Content:

Custom content: If you have a larger budget you can have an well-known artist create custom animated ecards for you. On average, a Flash animated ecard costs $350.

Leased content: A much cheaper way to obtain high quality content is to use the services of a company like Cardsup Greetings (http://www.cardsup.com). Their ecards have been used by such sites as Yahoo Greetings, Regards.com, ecards.com, etc. For a very reasonable price you will get:

GREAT CONTENT for your existing web site, made by some of the best animators/cartoonists in the business.

TIMELY UPDATES -- you will receive monthly Flash ecards! Each month you will get from 5 to 30 additional ecards at no cost.

SCREENSAVERS -- you will receive all additional animations as screensavers too, and you will be able to sell them to your customers.

Ecards software:

There are a lot of very good ecard programs on the Internet. I highly recommend the following:

About The Author

Dessy Oundian is a the marketing Guru behind etoon.com -- one of the largest searchable cartoon databases in the world. Find T-shirts and other custom apparel, get information about licensing our cartoons or send e-cards.

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