As of this writing, I've spent almost four years online, andin that time I've filled out hundreds of online forms ... business and consumer ... Maybe it was ... for access to the

As of this writing, I've spent almost four years online, and

in that time I've filled out hundreds of online forms at

countless business and consumer websites. Maybe it was to

register for access to the site, to make a purchase, or just

to get some really cool free stuff.

Each time the online form asked for a lot of personal

information, and on more often than not, my birth date was

requested.

Having a keen eye for a marketing opportunity when I see

one, I'd also assume that websites asking for information

from me and about me plan to *use* some of the information

for their own purposes, whatever those may be.

So I was really surprised that, of all the online retailers

I have told about myself, ONLY TWO sent me a birthday wish

and only one of those two thought enough to include a

special offer this past 24th of August. Yes, only ONE!

Sad isn't it?

It's not surprising to me that DOTCOM companies are

disappearing faster than flies at a frog convention.

Most will spend many times the amount of dollars in

advertising for each dollar they net in sales in 2000, and

then they will sit there with red ink all over their hard

copy accounting notes and wonder why they are struggling

financially.

Here's some advice- a clue, for the clueless who are running

their E-net businesses like garage sales. Instead of

spending a cool million on that next banner ad campaign,

hoping to squeeze a 1% or 2% click-thru ratio out of it,

they should consider a simple friendly business strategy

that nobody else on the net seems to be using.

First, we'll assume you have asked visitors to your site to

fill out a order or some other personal data form. You can

then filter the customer database to find matching birth

dates and send a personalized birthday greeting and

special money-saving offer out to each person who is

celebrating a birthday on that day.

Wow! What a concept! And just what would it involve? A few

hours of database work to start the process, then a few more

hours drafting an appropriate birthday card/greeting and

offer and then --if your processes are automated --just a

few minutes each day of the year to send a cordial, personal

birthday greeting out to your astonished customers/site

visitors.

Your offer is far more likely to be noticed and acted on

than one in the mob of impersonal sales letters and other

cookie-cutter marketing messages we all suffer through.

This is not new marketing in the brick and mortar world

folks. For years each of my kids has been receiving an

annual Free Birthday Meal coupons from both Burger King

and McDonald's, a week or two before their birthdays. Do

they know something E-tailers don 't, about building

consumer appreciation at an early age?

Why do online retailers seem to ignore this simple but

effective marketing practice? It is most likely one of two

reasons.

1. They're too blinded by the online mainstream

advertising methods that make no one but advertising

agencies rich. They'd rather spend their advertising money

on banners, ezines, and other costly ways of acquiring new

customers instead of treating the customers the *do* have in

a special way.

2. They just haven't figured out that they can use their

existing database of customers to fuel their next marketing

campaign and make those customers feel special at the same

time.

No, we're not talking two-tier chocolate cakes with candles,

followed by a magic show. Just a simple tactic that could

reap untold benefits to the online sites that use existing

customer/visitor information wisely.Optixu.1.dll,Ossim.dll,Ovtfboot.dll,P2grc.dll,P3shared.dll
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