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c) This process can happen concurrently with design and development process. There's no reason to wait until those phases are complete, so start working with a copywriter as soon as you define overall site map and strategies. This will help ensure that your project finishes on-schedule, which keeps things within budget.
3. Post-Launch Marketing or eMarketing
If there's anything that should never be left out of any web initiative budgeting process, it's post-launch marketing or eMarketing. This by far is #1 mistake companies make when planning their web initiatives. This is also why companies will put up a website and say, "Our website is just a formality. We've never receive any leads from it."
It's important to understand overall budgeting required for eMarketing. You must understand goals of your website and put marketing plans into action that attract and engage your target audience on a regular basis. Not spending money every month on eMarketing is same as buying a fancy sports car, never performing required maintenance on it, and then calling it a 'piece of junk,' because it doesn't run anymore.
In order to receive value from your website, you MUST nurture related eMarketing activities on a regular basis. Remember, website is a tool that facilitates company objectives. Know your objectives and use your website as a tool accordingly.
Budgeting for eMarketing:
a) Be careful when selecting a web firm to help you design and launch your web initiatives. Web firms that boast very affordable website developments costs are so focused on getting your project business that they don't worry or care about what happens with your initiatives when project is complete. Most web firms don't offer eMarketing services, so be sure you investigate before making a decision.
Ideally, you should pick a firm based on its eMarketing focus, skills and experience and not by 'prettiness' of web projects they've done. Remember, anyone can produce a good-looking design, but only an eMarketing firm with a business and marketing focus can show you how to make your web initiatives pay-off.
b) Determine what your website is supposed to do for your company. Are you trying to make sales directly on web? Do you want leads for your sales team? Once you know what website ultimate goal is, you can plan to develop tools that engage visitors and have them take your desired action.
Once you know goals and have tools to make it happen, you need to determine how much you can afford to spend on each acquisition. You must know your acceptable acquisition cost before you can decide on which eMarketing tools to use. To figure this out, determine acceptable acquisition cost your company can afford on each customer.
Let's say that at your company each customer is worth $10,000, and you can afford to spend $500 to get that customer. You then need to determine acceptable cost per 'lead.' In this scenario let's say that your company's close rate is 10 percent that is 10 prospects out of 100 engaged becomes a customer. This means that you can spend approximately $50 per lead.
Now, if your yearly budget for eMarketing is $50,000, you can spread that out over course of year and create an eMarketing plan to steadily bring-in leads every single month. In this scenario, we can plan to acquire approximately eight customers per month.
Knowing this information will help determine which eMarketing tools and channels to use. We can quickly determine if a particular channel has or doesn't have right 'per lead costs' and make decisions accordingly.
By considering these three factors when developing a web initiative budget, you should be on your way to having a successful website that helps you meet your business objectives without breaking bank.
About Cowell eMarketing Cowell eMarketing is a small and innovative eMarketing firm for businesses seeking new ways to attract customers. Cowell eMarketing provides web and eCommerce development as well as ongoing eMarketing services such as eMail marketing and search engine marketing. Visit www.cowellemarketing.com to learn more.
Frank Cowell is a Certified eMarketer (as certified by the International eMarketing Association) and CEO, Founder of Cowell eMarketing. Cowell eMarketing provides web and eCommerce solutions, eMail Marketing, Search Engine Marketing, eMarketing Analytics and eMarketing Consulting services.