B2B e-Mail Marketing
We at Rainmaker Partners feel we offer a
very unique, compelling and value based approach to helping B2B companies
drive leads, build pipelines and close revenue.
However, the world of
B2B e-Mail marketing is very confusing for potential customers.
Although confusing, after sorting through vendor core competencies most
vendors capabilities fall in one of three buckets; pure Creative Agencies,
"Interactive List Brokers" and Database Marketing firms. In an effort
to diffuse some of this confusion, we submit the
following dialogue of questions and answers about each approach as well as
comparing and contrasting the Rainmaker approach.
Top Level View
about Search Engine Marketing
is an "Interactive List Broker"?
What is a Database Marketing
What is the Rainmaker Partners'
What does the CAN SPAM Act Mean to Me?
Is Rainmaker Partners a List Broker?
What differentiates Rainmaker
Partners from List Brokers?
What differentiates Rainmaker
Partners from Database Marketing companies?
Rainmaker Partners database segmentation process work?
Rainmaker sounds unique, how did it get started?
How does Rainmaker Partners
build its eSegment Database?
How often does
Rainmaker update its database?
Rainmaker prepare a segment for a customer?
the addresses validated?
Does Rainmaker use Business or
does Rainmaker price its eSegment customized databases?
How does Rainmaker Partners price it's
Where is Rainmaker Partners located
is a List Broker?
List Brokers don't own the lists, where do they get my prospect names from?
do List Brokers and List Owners get paid?
are some of the more prominent e-mail campaign List Brokers?
Brokers focused on B2B or B2C campaigns?
If I rent from a List Broker, what do I
I am a
B2B Marketer, what do I gain launching a campaign through a List Broker?
How do I do telemarketing
follow-up after a List Broker campaign?
Does a B2B company need to have
marketing generate the leads or can the sales team do it themselves?
Are most firms that label themselves as Interactive Marketing agencies
really List Brokers?
Database Marketing Firms
What is a Database Marketing
Who are some of the prominent Database
difference between List Brokers and Database Marketing companies?
Database Marketing firms collect and sell e-mail addresses?
What's is an "Interactive List Broker".
One that acts as an agent for others, as in negotiating
contracts, purchases, or sales in return for a fee or commission.
A list broker represents a list owner in selling the use of the list
(not the list itself) to a client who wishes to market their products to the
people or companies on the list. List brokers have been around for
decades dealing in direct mail campaigns. Interactive list brokers
only differ in that they broker lists for e-mail campaigns rather than US
Mail based campaigns. List brokers and Interactive List Brokers work
essentially the same way. For their efforts, the broker
receives a commission on the transaction. B2B lists with e-mail
addresses are typically
rented for approximately $400 per thousand records per campaign The more records the
Interactive List Broker "sells" the more commission they make.
So Interactive List Brokers don't own the "lists" they
No they don't. Most often the lists are owned by companies (usually online and off-line merchants or
publications) that individuals, usually acting as consumers, not business
decision makers have registered their purchases with or have registered to
receive a publication.
Many owners place stipulations on the broker in terms of under what
circumstances they may sell the use of their list. Some are stringent,
some are not and many place no stipulation at all. All rely on the
Interactive List Broker to enforce their usage policy vis-à-vis allowing the fox to
watch the hen house.
compensation do the list owners and brokers receive?
The List Owners receive a predetermined percentage of the price the
broker rents the list for usually 30-70% of the purchase price depending on the quality of the
list and the negotiating strength of the owner. The remainder is the
broker's commission for the marketing of the list and the actual execution
of the marketing campaign be it e-mail or direct mail.
Who are some Interactive List Brokers whose names
I may recognize?
Some of the larger Interactive List Brokers that specialize in e-mail
based marketing campaigns are DoubleClick, InfoUSA and 24/7 Mail. There are a
variety of Interactive List Brokers that offer direct mail but no e-mail
Are Interactive List Brokers Focused on B2B or
Although most Interactive List Brokers will say
they do both types they will also admit that the vast majority of their
experience as well as the addresses in the lists that they broker are B2C in
nature. There are several reasons for this notwithstanding the fact
they are limited in their B2B delivery capabilities and to their credit, B2B
marketers have recognized that blind email campaigns to brokered lists with
no follow-up capabilities are virtually worthless.
I think I understand now. When I go to a
Interactive List Broker I can't really "buy" a list for my marketing purposes, I can
only "rent" it. So let's say I rent it, what do I get?
Typically a Interactive List Broker will work with you to segment the
list for your needs, keeping in mind the larger the list, the more money they make.
List's can be segmented by a variety of factors but it's predicated on
the data that the list owner collects and the associated validity of that
data. In most cases, you can certainly segment the database by
geography as this data is typically collected and declared by
the consumer correctly. Some lists offer a wide variety of selection
parameters such as household income, other products owned etc. but the
validity of this supporting data is suspect and in many cases non-existent
as they are not required fields from the owners on-line or off-line data
As such, although the Interactive List Broker advertises a seemingly endless
opportunity to segment the database in many cases the data to do so is
After the selection is made and you pay the broker in full and up front
the broker will executed the campaign for you, you never need to deal with
Sounds easy? At face value yes it is and it makes some sense if you are
selling $25 widgets to consumers. However, the value is highly
questionable for B2B marketers.
and $25 widgets don't apply to me. My company sells products that cost
several thousand dollars and up, to businesses not consumers. As
a B2B marketer, what benefit can I gain by launching an
e-mail campaign through a Interactive List Broker?
It depends on many factors including the compelling nature of your
product offering promotion, pricing etc. as well as the quality of the
actual creative. On the later you will be responsible for the final
production although the broker will put it in it's final physical format for
you before they execute the campaign. These are things that you can
The other major factor in determining the success of a campaign through a
Interactive List Broker is the quality of the list. This you
don't control. The problem is the broker can't control it
either...they don't own it
Sure it sounds like Interactive List Brokering has some
but I just want out get the
word out and have our telemarketing people and sales people take it from
there. I mean lets face it, I'm not going to sell my $25,000 ACME
whiz-bang widget or a $100,000 services engagement to a busy corporate
decision maker from one e-mail campaign. We need sales people to close
deals, we in marketing are just supposed to fill the pipeline!
We agree, it is true that e-mail campaigns alone probably will not sell products
with these price tags. However, research does show they can very
effectively serve the
purpose of prospective generating leads and building pipelines. This
assumes that you also know who the campaign went to and you can performing
telemarketing follow up. The problem with Interactive List Brokering for B2B
companies such as yours is that although you rented a list of 5,000
1. You will never see the names and phone numbers of the people and businesses you campaign
went to. In other words, forget targeted telemarketing. Have your
people pick up a phone book, it will work just as well.
2. You have no idea whether the 5,000 prospects were your intended
decision makers. Case in point, let's suppose that your target market
is marketing executives and you are selling the latest greatest
marketing planning system. It requires a $50,000 investment which
depending on the size of the company will require selling to mid-management
levels to the CMO in large companies, perhaps even the board in smaller
You can turn to a broker and rent a list whose owner is a publication focused
on marketing professionals. You've done about as well as you can in
terms of segmentation through a Interactive List Broker. Problem is that everyone
from the marketing intern to the CMO subscribes to it. As you know,
there are at least 10x the number of marketing people who want to be CMO as
there are CMO's
Then the broker will deliver the campaign to 5,000 people of which arguably only 500
(or less) of
which are actual decision makers. Will you ever get to know who the
campaign went to? Who these 5,000 marketing people were, who the 500 decision
makers were. The answer to both is no, unless of course a recipient
Now lets assume a 2% response rate which is fantastic for a customer
acquisition campaign. A 5,000 person campaign will yield 100
respondents. How many people do you think will be CMO's and how many will be
CMO and management wannabes?
Mostly the later don't you think? Oh by the way, you may get
aggregated statistics at the end of the e-mail campaign, such as how
recipients opened the mail, how many clicked through, how many bounced and
so on which is good data for evaluating the quality of your subject line and
content. Good info yes, but did it build a pipeline. The answer
is once again regretfully no.
In summary, you just spent money to deliver your message and value
proposition to an unknown group of 5,000 people only a small fraction of
which are your target decision makers. If you are upset by the
lack of response and the number of bounces, good luck, you probably paid for
the list up front.
With the economy the way it is, we have pared
back our marketing budget dramatically. E-mail was something we could fit
into what's left due to it's much lower cost. But if it is sketchy at
best whether it will help sell more product, maybe we'll forgo the
expenditure and let the sales people drive their own leads and pipeline?
After all they claim it's all in the relationship and the leads we generate
In this economy, this is a frustrating quandary for B2B marketers.
Regretfully but with exception, "closer" B2B sales people are not terribly
effective in generating new leads at net, new customers. Further, for
a company to be successful in these uncertain times, it must be have an
integrated sales and marketing plan with both parties "singing from the same
hymnal". Please see the headline article in our February 4th, edition
of "B2B Interactive" for more guidance.
Marketing must drive leads and hold sales accountable for their
progression through the pipeline to closure. To allow individual
salespeople to assume responsibility for lead generation and pipeline
development under the premise of "relationship selling" is a recipe for
missed numbers, lost jobs and ultimate demise. Conversely, sales when
provided with the basic information in a compatible format for tracking
within the company's Sales Force Automation must be responsible and
accountable for lead follow-up and funnel progression.
In B2B selling "relationship" may indeed be the singular most important factor
in closing the sale. Closing the deal is the art of one-to-one
selling. However, building pipelines involves the art of one-to-many selling.
The most effective way to do this is to create many impressions. Here
relationship selling is clearly not scalable and B2B marketers traditionally
have looked at mass media, direct mail, trade shows, etc. as the mechanism
to fill pipelines. Due to the difficulty inherent in targeting and
vehicles, the quality of the "leads" have been suspect, increasing the
divide between the marketing and sales departments within companies.
At the risk of making a marketer cringe, we cite the following quotes
from the movie "Glengarry, Glen Ross"
"It's the leads, the whole thing is the leads."
and "Just give me some leads that don't come out of a phone book"
Although selling in a B2C market, the cast of this movie cite the all to
often complaint of B2B sales people. "We need 'good' leads from
marketing, where are they for all the money we spend?"
So, here we have a dilemma. We have cut budgets which have
drastically curtailed our ability to generate leads through the conventional
B2B lead generating mechanisms cited above, albeit questionable in the minds
of the sales force to begin with. What to do?
There are lower cost alternatives such as e-mail campaigns through
Interactive List Brokers. However, they offer us no capacity to drive and qualify a pipeline
of prospects through the sales funnel. Is there another way?
Yes, Rainmaker Partners has developed fundamentally simple,
straight-forward and inexpensive approaches to B2B customer acquisition and
cross/up selling that when properly executed and managed by it's clients
will produce demonstrated results and ROI/IROR far surpassing traditional
Are most firms that label themselves as
interactive marketing agencies really Interactive List Brokers?
Many are. They may do many other things
as well such as DoubleClick, however to the extent they launch interactive
e-mail campaigns for clients they function as a Interactive List Broker.
Some firms label them selves as such but really do
not get into list selection or executing, tending to stay on the content and
What is a Database Marketing Firm.
A Database Marketing firm is a company that tracks data regarding
consumers and or businesses and sells the information. Unlike
Interactive List Brokers, the Database Marketing firm owns the data and is
able to sell it to customers usually for marketing and financial evaluation
purposes. A customer of a Database Marketing company actually receives
the data that they can use for direct mail programs and telemarketing
programs vs. a Interactive List Broker customer who never sees the prospect
Who are some of the prominent Database Marketing
There are two camps. In the B2B world, Dun and Bradstreet is the
most venerable and well known but there are a number of others with InfoUSA,
Harris InfoSource, One Source, Hoovers and HarteHanks comprising the
lion's share of the market along with D&B. It is fair to point out
that all of these vendors provide data for more than marketing purposes and
each have special niches where they excel. D&B and Hoovers for example
are widely used to examine the financial strength of companies but also used
for marketing purposes as well.
In the B2C world, the leaders are TransUnion, Equifax and Experian.
companies primary business was to assist lenders assess credit
worthiness, however they have successfully leveraged their vast consumer
databases to provide B2C marketing services as well.
What are the primary differences between
Interactive List Brokers and database marketing firms.
It boils down to this, Interactive List Brokers do not own the lists they
use, but provide limited creative and campaign execution services.
Database Marketing firms own their data, sell it for a variety of
purposes and typically do not engage in creative services or campaign design
Do Database Marketing firms collect and sell
No. At this time, no major database marketing firm including those
mentioned above collects and sells e-mail addresses as a part of its
database marketing offerings?
How is Rainmaker Partners
different? Are they an Interactive List Broker
or a Database Marketing company?
Neither, we're actually a hybrid. Rainmaker Partners is a full service Interactive Database Marketing
agency servicing the needs of B2B marketing professionals. We OWN our own
eSegment database of several million B2B
decision makers with over 2,500,000 records completely populated with e-mail
addresses. This provides us with the capability to sell licenses which allow clients to utilize customized segments of our database
for their own marketing purposes throughout the year. Although Rainmaker typically assumes the
administrative burden of executing campaigns for clients, we provide
detailed discrete contact details for your timely telemarketing and sales
follow-up. We also offer the telemarketing services for companies on
an outsourced basis
Through the power of
we can help you target the right
decision makers within your target market, utilizing
for telemarketing and qualifying
leads thus driving pipeline development.
services can develop targeted creatives and content for your web-site,
e-mail and fax campaigns, newsletters and announcements.
Campaigns are less expensive than direct mail or mass media with three times
the readership rate and all of the interaction and follow up capabilities
that direct mail cannot provide.
solution allows you to
outsource the sometimes daunting challenge of opt-in/opt-out database
provides you with solutions to enrich your customer and prospect databases
with new contacts and fields to further enhance your ability to penetrate,
cross sell and up sell within new and existing accounts.
solution set empowers you to drive pipeline development and immediate
What is the primary factor that differentiates
Rainmaker from the Interactive List Brokers?
Simple, we own our database, they don't. As such this gives us the
flexibility that they cannot offer.
In addition we provide full service Interactive Marketing capabilities
from campaign design, content and creative development, execution and 360°
aggregate and discrete analytical feedback on the success of client
campaigns. Broker's creative and analytical abilities vary, but
none can offer discrete contact level click through and readership analysis
as ell as providing clients with the means for intelligent telemarketing
What is the primary difference between Rainmaker
Partners and Database Marketing Firms?
Rainmaker Partners, like Database Marketing firms, owns its own database so
we can sell not just rent the use of our lists for marketing purposes.
The difference is twofold. First we are unique in owning a database of
over 750,000 B2B decision maker e-mail addresses which is growing monthly.
At this time, we are unaware of any Database Marketing firm that collects
and verifies B2B functional decision maker addresses.
In addition, we provide full service Interactive Marketing capabilities
from campaign design, content and creative development, execution and 360°
aggregate and discrete analytical feedback on the success of client
How does Rainmaker Partner's database
segmentation process work?
the power of our
methodology we can help you target the exact
decision makers within your target market from our email database of
over 2,500,000 B2B decision makers ("C" level, VP, Director and managerial
executives) within North America, utilizing
for telemarketing and
qualifying leads thus driving pipeline development.
Our consultants will work with you
utilizing all of your available demographic data to define
your market by
Industry, SIC code, functional buyers such as
CEO, VP of Sales, VP of Engineering, and CFO, geographies such as state,
province or region.
Upon completion we will draw upon our database sources and generate the
appropriate segmented database complete with e-mail address, telephone
number, fax number,
company address, contact information and much more.
Unlike other conventional marketing firms we
provide you with the
contact information to integrate with your CRM
or Sales Force Automation system for your telemarketing follow up.
Rainmaker sounds unique, what was the genesis of
The genesis of the
concept came from the founders of Rainmaker
who are B2B high-technology industry veterans with over 40 years of
successful senior sales and marketing management experience.
Frustrated by the ineffectiveness and cost of conventional lead generation
vehicles while attempting to balance the needs of their own marketing and sales department
goals they developed and successfully
implemented the concept at B2B technology companies before founding Rainmaker Partners in 2002.
How does Rainmaker Partners build it's
Rainmaker aggregates data from both public
domain sources such as websites and public filings, etc. as well as data it purchases from commercially
available sources. Although available from individual sources, the
aggregated data often has little value without manipulation and
interpretation. The especially holds true in the area of e-mail addresses
since very few quality sources exist for B2B executive level contact
information complete with e-mail addresses. As such, Rainmaker has
developed several proprietary techniques of list matching and predictive
modeling which allows us to build a unified view of data that can be
segmented and readily used by B2B marketers for e-mail, direct mail and fax
importance to B2B marketers, Rainmaker provides clients with the capacity
for timely and targeted telemarketing follow-up.
How often does
Rainmaker update its database?
collected each month from individual sites and published quarterly,
typically in April, July, October and January.
Rainmaker prepare a segment for a customer?
At the time
of contract, Rainmaker extracts the customer specified segmentation
specifically for the customer’s unique requirements. In order to prevent
customers from paying for old or no longer active addresses, Rainmaker
re-validates each address in the segmentation prior to delivery to a
customer. During this process, we enter a field into each record denoting
that it tested as a valid address.
provide a quotation to a customer, we typically only charge a customer for
70% of the record count we have in the desired segmentation. Inevitably, no
matter how recently a database is updated hard bounces (bad addresses) do
occur resulting from employee turnover etc.
conservative estimating procedure is designed to prevent the customer from
paying for records which have e-mail addresses that are no longer valid. If
80 or 90% of the addresses prove valid after verification (which is often
the case), the customer will still only pay for the price originally quoted
and Rainmaker will provide the customer with the entire validated record
set. If less than 70% of the addresses are valid then Rainmaker will
provide a pro-rata adjustment in the final installment.
How are the addresses
utilizes technology that validates the contact’s address at their domain’s
designated SMTP server without delivering an e-mail to the given contact.
Does Rainmaker use an
executive’s personal e-mail address to deliver campaigns to?
have shown that recipients are more often to view business mail sent to
their personal e-mail box or vice versa as an intrusion.
all of the addresses Rainmaker provides to clients are “corporate domain
addresses” For example:
If John Doe
is CFO at XYZ Corp. then our address for john would look something like
John.Doe@xyzcorp.com rather than firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rainmaker Partners believes
strongly in permission-based B2B interactive marketing .
Rainmaker Partners values a businessperson's right to e-privacy and adheres
DMA's (Direct Marketing
Association) Privacy Promise
for ethical and
responsible e-mail marketing. Rainmaker holds steadfast to these guidelines,
further, our email addresses and associated marketing data will not
be made available to a customer or prospect unless they meet strict
criteria. Click here for the complete
list of criteria and our full policy statement.
How does Rainmaker Partners price its
Much like a Database Marketing firm on a per record charge which
decreases as the record volume purchased increases. You can purchase a
database for single use or an unlimited usage license for a one-year period.
You will find our prices quite competitive with Database Marketing firms
with the added benefit of our unique ability to provide e-mail addresses
which they cannot do.
Likewise our prices are quite competitive with Interactive List Brokers
with the added Rainmaker benefit of receiving a full telemarketing database
with discrete name open and click through reports for your intuitive
telemarketing follow-up Interactive List Brokers do not provide these
vital links to generating leads, building pipelines and driving incremental
B2B revenue. Only Rainmaker can.
How does Rainmaker Partners price its
All of Rainmaker's services with the exception of the
database segmentations are charged based upon billable hours incurred.
Rainmaker's professional services are billed at market competitive rates.
Where are you located.
Rainmaker Partners conducts business throughout North America from it's
headquarters in Lowell, Massachusetts, the birthplace of the Industrial
What is the difference between search engine positioning,
search engine optimization and search engine marketing?
All of these terms refer to the art and science of increasing a
website's visibility across search properties on a strategically
defined list of relevant keywords and phrases. The term "search
engine marketing," the most recent term to emerge, is used to
better describe the purpose of a comprehensive search engine
placement campaign, which includes natural search engine
optimization, in addition to a
host of other services
including research-based keyword selection, media buying, link
popularity enhancement and conversion tracking.
What is the objective of a search engine marketing
The objective of search engine marketing is to drive qualified
visitors to your website, thereby increasing your brand
awareness, capturing additional qualified prospects, resulting
in additional sales - all of which leverage your existing Web
Why do I need to be concerned about online branding and
Web users are more likely to return to your website if it has a
focused message that is communicated effectively. Brand
awareness is one of the top influences on consumers when making
online purchases. Consequently, businesses that have a strong
online brand identity are more likely to increase customer
acquisition, loyalty and retention. On the acquisition side,
there are few, if any, categories of prospects that are more
qualified than potential consumers searching the Web for
products and service solutions which you offer. Failing to
expose your website to this extremely qualified universe is
effectively turning your back on a lucrative revenue channel.
What's the right time to for me to start a search engine
Immediately. With 400 million people using the Internet, and
therefore using major Internet search properties, the potential
Web audience is so large that a strategic approach to capturing
your share of that market is critical. Obtaining higher rankings
in the major search engines is one of the most effective
marketing tools you can implement in today's online world.
How long does a search engine marketing campaign last? How
soon will I see results?
We typically establish 12-month campaigns. There is an enormous
amount of education, research, analysis, technical programming,
and testing performed in the first 3 months in particular.
Natural rankings will begin to appear in select properties
within approximately 4 months. The single defining element of
this timeline is frankly the speed with which you approve and
implement Rainmaker Partner's work. Our goal is to exceed your
expectations. If a client needs to, and is prepared to, "fast
track" this process, we work to bring results as rapidly as
How do I know which search engines and directories to submit
my Web pages to?
Rainmaker Partner's stays abreast of the ever-changing search engine
landscape on a daily basis. We not only study current strategies
and ranking algorithms, we follow the industry trends and can
anticipate future changes.
Why do the search properties keep changing the rules on how
they rank sites?
Change is constant on the Internet, and therefore, search
properties must constantly keep up with tremendous amounts of
new data, the way that data is managed and maintained and
additionally, their competition.
What's the difference between a search engine marketing
"vendor" and a professional search engine marketing services
There are dozens of search engine marketing vendors who can help
you obtain better rankings. However, one-time, static changes
are virtually valueless two to three months after they are
The search engine marketplace is extremely volatile. Web user
behavior is a mysterious and complex phenomenon, requiring
sophisticated research and analysis to uncover its trends.
Furthermore, the major search properties are continually
adjusting their inter-relationships and switching search result
providers. Consequently, rankings that initially exist on
particular search keywords and phrases within the major search
engines and directories are likely to vanish without appropriate
monitoring, supervision and enhancement.
As a professional services firm, Rainmaker Partner's provides you with
strategic business and marketing
advice and support, as well as ongoing marketing consultation
geared toward obtaining and maintaining your top rankings over
the long-term, thereby maximizing the return on your existing
Web investments. To a professional services firm, search engine
marketing is not a project; it's a process. It's not
one-size-fits-all, but extremely customized to fit your unique
website(s) and your specific online marketing goals.
What should I look for when choosing a search engine
The ideal search engine marketing partner is one that
understands the dynamics of marketing, business, and technology
- and employs the highest levels of integrity in their work.
There are a number of
unethical practices or
shortcuts that can be used in search engine marketing, but the
search engines themselves often times will not accept these
questionable or "tricky" practices. You should choose a partner
that doesn't utilize any of these practices to achieve
short-term results for its clients. You should also expect to
benefit from the research expertise, customized approached,
management expertise, and on-going consultative process from a
search engine marketing partner.
Click here to
learn more about choosing a search
engine marketing partner.
What is cloaking? Does Rainmaker Partner's utilize this technique?
Cloaking is the technique of delivering a particular Web page to
a search engine, while serving a completely different Web page
to the end user. Search engines commonly overlook - and in some
cases even ban - websites that employ this practice. Rainmaker Partner's
is aware of the search properties' views on cloaking and
therefore does not employ the technique.
Click here to
learn more about Rainmaker Partner's ethical
approach to search engine marketing.
What guarantee do I have that search engine marketing will
The results of a search engine marketing campaign are influenced
by both controllable, and uncontrollable, factors. Although
criteria such as changes in the search property algorithms or
shifts in the search property database cannot be controlled, it
is possible to manage and influence certain other aspects.
Controllable factors include the optimization and submission of
your website, and the strategic formulation of the site
descriptions that are submitted to the search directories. An
Rainmaker Partner's search engine marketing and website promotion campaign
works to limit the impact of the uncontrollable factors, while
managing all aspects that can be controlled.
Is my company the right type to engage in search engine
Any type of company or organization that is serious about
growing its online business is the "right" type of company. With
more than 80% of Internet users using the major search
properties to solve their problems or needs, your website should
be in one of the top 30 listings if potential customers or
visitors are to find it. If it isn't, there's a universe of
potential customers that remains totally untapped, and your
website is no more effective than the fabled "billboard in the
How many keywords should I target?
Quality, not quantity, is the focus of keyword strategy - there
is no absolute rule for how many keywords and phrases you need
to target. And before you even begin developing a list, you must
understand your target audience and the language different
searchers use when looking for your specific products, services
and information online. Rainmaker Partner's behavioral and linguistic
approach works, first and foremost, to understand your business,
your target audience and their search behavior. Understanding
the query language of your most qualified prospects is the most
important step in developing an effective search engine
marketing strategy. How do they use words? What is the intent of
their query? If you do not get the language right from the
start, qualified visitors will never find your website.
Click here to
learn more about Rainmaker Partner's query
language research capabilities.
What is link popularity?
Link popularity is a measure of how many other sites contain a
hyper link to your site. Some search properties, most notably
use link popularity as one of their most important criteria in
determining page rank. A further component of link popularity is
the quality of sites linking to yours. A link to your site from
the New York Times website will be regarded as more important
than a link from your friend's "Tribute to the 1977 Camaro"
website that's hosted on a free server.
How do you increase a website's link popularity?
You might think that logic dictates that you can increase link
popularity by undertaking an effort to get as many links to your
site as possible. However, search properties, in their constant
efforts to produce the most relevant results, are aware of and
penalize for such tactics. Having links to your site from "link
farms" or "free-for-alls" can actually be counterproductive.
There are valid and effective ways of increasing link
popularity. The process begins in your own backyard -- proper
optimization involves maximization of the internal linking
structure of your site, having keyword-rich link text, and
increasing the number of relevant outbound links. From there,
Rainmaker Partner's builds upon this internal strength to focus our
efforts on establishment and cultivation of valuable external
We have a global site with multi-language requirements. Will
the keywords and phrases apply to all languages and search
properties in other countries?
Global companies require an international presence within the
major search engines and directories in order to target their
audience across the world. Rainmaker Partner's understands that
international Web users typically search in their native
language and often use country-specific search engines.
Consequently, Rainmaker Partner's conducts thorough investigations of each
targeted country, studying language preferences and searching
habits. Currently, Rainmaker Partner's has global campaigns targeting
United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, and Spain.
What's the difference between a search engine and a
Search directories, such as Yahoo!, LookSmart and the Open
Directory, allow a user to either conduct a search or browse by
category. Human editors construct search directories. These
editors have final say as to what category and description each
website within their subject-based organizational structure will
have. Search directories are unlikely to include every page of a
website, typically listing only the main page.
Search engines or 'spider-based' search engines, on the other
hand, do not use editors to verify submissions; they typically
use automated programs, also known as spiders, to continually
scan and index the Web's immense content. These tools travel
page-by-page, storing all of the content and information they
discover along their path.
Although the two are quite different, most of the major search
engines, as well as search directories, provide search results
from both types of search property. For example, the search
directory Yahoo! currently provides search directory results
from Yahoo! as well as search engine results from Google.
Can I just use software to achieve better rankings in search
Submission software may assist in having your site indexed by
some of the major search engines. However, if the site is not
optimized properly using focused keywords and phrases, there is
little or no chance it will rank highly for targeted search
Click here to
learn about the different types of
search engine marketing solutions available.
Is utilizing meta tags enough?
When the Web was in its infancy, search engines depended
profoundly on the meta tag for search result relevancy, giving
this piece of code high prominence in their ranking algorithms.
However, as the Web has matured and search technology has become
more sophisticated, meta tags have lost significance. Although
they are still a factor considered in most of the major search
engines' ranking algorithms, they no longer carry the weight
they once did. As a result, novel factors, including
off-the-page considerations, now have higher weight in
determining the relevancy of a search result.
Can I promote my site if I'm using FRAMES or JAVA?
Many of the technologies in use on websites today are visually
appealing; however, they are also indecipherable by search
engine spiders. Although Web technologies and design
considerations such as Frames and Java impair search visibility,
there are technical workarounds to get these sites indexed.
Rainmaker Partner's understands the need to have a visually appealing, yet
search friendly site. Consequently, our strategic approach for
dealing with search-unfriendly technologies and design
techniques - developed over our years of experience with
hundreds of sites - maximizes both the appearance of the site
and its potential for search visibility.
Is having a popular company name or well-known brand enough
so that customers and prospects will find my site?
Certainly the stronger and more recognizable your brand name,
the better the chance that Web users will find you - IF your URL
reads exactly the same as your branded company or product name.
But Web users don't always remember the exact spelling or
phraseology of company names, or they refer to your products and
services using different language than you do.
Are search engine marketing programs used only for selling
Although companies that sell their products online can profit
from search engine marketing, websites with all sorts of
distinct business models can also greatly benefit. Whether your
goal is to inform visitors, make contact with customers, or
support your offline channel, search engine marketing efforts
assists in driving qualified traffic to your site or reaching
your existing audience and customer base. By targeting relevant
and focused keywords and phrases, a comprehensive Rainmaker Partner's
search engine marketing strategy can help you meet a wide
variety of objectives.
How can search engine marketing strategies impact my
The goal of effective search engine marketing is not just adding
traffic - it's about growing your online business by reaching
qualified consumers of your products and services. Rainmaker Partner's has
built its proprietary processes around sound business
principles. We employ best business practices, benchmarking,
predictive modeling and forecasting to help you understand and
obtain your growth potential. With 400 million people using the
Internet and using search properties, the potential Web audience
is so large for businesses that a strategic and sustainable
approach to capturing that market is vital.
How does search engine marketing compare to my other
Companies continually re-evaluate the effectiveness of their
marketing programs against changing buying patterns, but never
before has there been such a rapid and intense change as the
onset of the Internet. Search engine marketing is still
relatively new and within the past five years, only the largest
and most aggressive companies have incorporated it into their
strategic marketing plans. Today, the science of search engine
marketing is becoming an integral and dominant aspect of any
company doing business online. Given the size of the potential
market available via the Internet and the ability to instantly
reach potential customers anywhere in the world, at any time,
search engine marketing has leaped ahead to become a critical
marketing tool. No longer can companies ignore its effectiveness
if done strategically, and done right.
How will I know if my business increases as a result of
The Rainmaker Partner's staff work daily, hand-in-hand with a designated
team within your company, to monitor the results of our
collective effort. Updates on the campaign progress and results
are provided continuously. By the end of the first twelve
months, Rainmaker Partner's will provide you with a full analysis of your
rankings on all search properties, and as well as an analysis of
how your activity at the end of the campaign compares to the
baseline established at the beginning of the campaign.
How do I ensure that I stay ahead of my competition when it
comes to online visibility?
As we said earlier, search engine marketing is not a one-time
project. It must be seen as an ongoing strategic business
process if you want to continually stay ahead of the
competition. To that end, part of our consultative process is to
assess the activities, strengths and weaknesses of your major
competitors' sites, and devising appropriate strategies for
netting superior visibility for your site.
Click here to
inquire about Rainmaker Partner's search
engine marketing services.
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Organic vs. PPC Search Engine Optimization
"In this article, we will explore the strengths and weaknesses of
both methods of search engine marketing.
Today, there is a big myth that natural search engine optimization
is inexpensive and easy. For example, if you wanted your web site
to rank high for the keyword phrase "life insurance" or "debt
consolidation" you're going to need to budget a minimum of
$50,000-100,000 a year!