Word of mouth communications and peer-to-peer dialogue often have a greater effect on customers, since they are not sent directly from the company and are therefore not planned. Customers are more likely to trust other customers’ experiences.[24] Examples can be that social media users share food products and meal experiences highlighting certain brands and franchises. This was noted in a study on Instagram, where researchers observed that adolescent Instagram users' posted images of food-related experiences within their social networks, providing free advertising for the products.[28]
Flash forward to today and my Inbox is filled with ALL kinds of e-mail marketing offers for a free ebook, webinar, or course. But you know which ones I look forward to opening? It’s the one that has no sales pitch, just an incredibly hilarious story that makes me laugh to the point of peeing my pants. It’s also what keeps me wanting to open each and every single e-mail after that. It’s refreshing to be treated like a plain ‘ol human being and not a highly researched buyer persona.
Influencer marketing: Important nodes are identified within related communities, known as influencers. This is becoming an important concept in digital targeting. It is possible to reach influencers via paid advertising, such as Facebook Advertising or Google Adwords campaigns, or through sophisticated sCRM (social customer relationship management) software, such as SAP C4C, Microsoft Dynamics, Sage CRM and Salesforce CRM. Many universities now focus, at Masters level, on engagement strategies for influencers.
For instance, you might use Facebook’s Lookalike Audiences to get your message in front of an audience similar to your core demographic. Or, you could pay a social media influencer to share images of your products to her already well-established community. Paid social media can attract new customers to your brand or product, but you’ll want to conduct market research and A/B testing before investing too much in one social media channel.
And often my best producing specials, the ones with deadlines, are also connected to a story.  For example, you run a 25% off everything special… because it’s your 20th wedding anniversary.  That is a natural place to throw in a short story and how it applies to your business. The special offer itself becomes more believable simply because of a “Reason Why” type of story.
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A disadvantage of digital advertising is the large amount of competing goods and services that are also using the same digital marketing strategies. For example, when someone searches for a specific product from a specific company online, if a similar company uses targeted advertising online then they can appear on the customer's home page, allowing the customer to look at alternative options for a cheaper price or better quality of the same product or a quicker way of finding what they want online.
When you segment your list, you get a clear idea of who your potential customers are and who’re mere lurkers. You can segment your list according to their demographics, their open rates, their interest in your different products, past purchases, and so on. This way you can focus on selling different products to buyers who’re truly interested in purchasing them.
When doing discounts and limited time specials, I’ll use “Reason Why” stories.  Here’s the reason why we’re making this offer.  It could be an event like Christmas, a birthday, or a “holiday” based on the business, itself such as the seventh anniversary of your first website.  Or I could be sharing the reason why the prices are so good, such as we purchased a huge inventory at discount prices or it’s a scratch-and-dent sale.
It is important for a firm to reach out to consumers and create a two-way communication model, as digital marketing allows consumers to give back feed back to the firm on a community based site or straight directly to the firm via email.[26] Firms should seek this long term communication relationship by using multiple forms of channels and using promotional strategies related to their target consumer as well as word-of mouth marketing.[26]
Don’t just tell them to check out your site. Tell them what action to take. Invite them to sign up for your free newsletter, enter a raffle, buy your product. Good examples: “Enroll in workshops today at www.digitalwork.com/promo,” “Enter to win a shopping spree in Paris by visiting us at http://offer.bravogifts.com/paris,” “Download the demo software at: www. download.com.”
Shifting the focus to the time span, we may need to measure some "Interim Metrics", which give us some insight during the journey itself, as well as we need to measure some "Final Metrics" at the end of the journey to inform use if the overall initiative was successful or not. As an example, most of social media metrics and indicators such as likes, shares and engagement comments may be classified as interim metrics while the final increase/decrease in sales volume is clearly from the final category.

Take the email below from Paperless Post, for example. I love the header of this email: It provides a clear CTA that includes a sense of urgency. Then, the subheader asks a question that forces recipients to think to themselves, "Wait, when is Mother's Day again? Did I buy Mom a card?" Below this copy, the simple grid design is both easy to scan and quite visually appealing. Each card picture is a CTA in and of itself -- click on any one of them, and you'll be taken to a purchase page.
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