Here are some super marketing ideas from Paul to get you thinking. Paul has deliberately chosen to leave the technical aspects for another day. However, if you have any questions you can either use the comments section or contact Paul direct at email@example.com. See what he’s done with his email address? Read on to find out why …
There is a four-figure budget for each title with guaranteed repeat work but the clock is ticking. Which of the three do you feel like trying first?
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Your directory entry, business card or advert is the key you hope will unlock income, and I hope that you will find some inspiration here to use the power of targeted email and website domain naming to make your customers choose you first.
Take yourself seriously
Having rubbed shoulders on IT projects with consulting heavyweights such as Logica and PwC, I know what makes them tick, and having "Big_Daddy56@hotmail.com" on your business card just doesn’t cut the mustard. In fact, many large organizations have deployed intelligent firewalls that will assign a high percentage probability to emails emanating from popular domains such as "gmail" or "hotmail" as potential spam, so your winning tender submission might not even get through to your customer contact.
The domain name, the bit after the "@" or the "www", says more about you than you think. When we want to buy on the internet, we look for clues in the domain names of unfamiliar companies – I visit www.nakedwines.com for claret, not car insurance. It has taken eye-watering marketing budgets for Apple and Orange to re-define those words in the popular consciousness as entities other than fruit, money I will assume you don’t have, so the message is clear – choose an email address/domain name combination that tells your target customer exactly what you want them to know.
The sales pitch
- Thinking requires effort and energy, so keep things simple for your potential customer and don’t make them work hard to choose you – they have pressures of their own and will want a quick and easy solution.
- We are instinctively risk averse and will gravitate towards things we know, so use words that describe your service exactly. Clever domain names can convey intelligence and creativity, but do use the "alias", the bit before the "@", to provide the precise detail; your name is actually unimportant at this stage, and not supplying one will also remove the risk of any form of unconscious (or conscious) discrimination.
Tip: Why use only one address in your marketing? As you will see later, email domains allow
multiple aliases, so if you offer multiple specialisms, give each one an address, i.e.:
This way you can turn yourself into a small army of top-flight academics.
Other tip: Email addresses are case insensitive, so note the use of printed capitals to separate words and add emphasis.
And still another tip: Show your top-paying clients how much you love them and give them their own contact address, such as "OUP_PRIORITY@ProProofReading.co.uk".* That way their mail will stand out from adverts for cheap Viagra and you can use your email software’s filter tools to make your inbox light up like Christmas when your work comes in.
- Although we like to think we are rational and objective, our first impressions and experiences often override objectivity. Your very first contact with an enquiring customer will probably influence your entire relationship with them.
Get your domain name here
You get your domain name through an easily found registrar. For reasons I can’t remember, I am with a registrar called FreeParking, with whom I am unconnected and I use them here simply as illustration.
Try out some domain names you like, bearing in mind what I have said above. You can type them into the box at the top of the FreeParking page and see if they are available. If so, you will simply need to pay and register your domain(s) under your sole trader, company or partnership name as owner of the domain(s) you buy.
There is a dizzying array of things you can do with your new domain and I don’t want to veer into the technical at this stage, so do explore; I will gladly answer any questions you may have. Basically, my registrar will host web pages for me. I can then have a free mail account with storage and 11 aliases (different bits before the "@") or I can have up to ten free aliases on the domain name that forward mail to any other email address(es) of mine. I can transfer-in domains I already own from somewhere else or I can forward traffic to them – the list of possibilities is as large as your imagination.
You can be up and running with a new marketing identity in minutes and for less than a fiver. Have several. Re-invent yourself periodically if things slow down, you feel stale or if you acquire new skills, interests or qualifications.
Practical tip: Create a totally different email alias, or even a different domain, to use for non-work activities such as social networking and internet shopping. When this address inevitably attracts too many phishing scams or Facebook exhortations, just delete the alias and make a new one. This will avoid risk to your client addresses.
I believe that a well thought-out email and domain name strategy makes you look smart and professional, so just remember to say what you do on the tin.
* "ProProofReading.co.uk" was available at time of writing and could be yours for £4.99 per year.
For background reading on domain naming, visit InterNIC or the UK’s central registry at Nominet.
Copyright Paul Icke 2012