How Net Marketing Is Like Traditional DM

February 1999
by Larry Chase

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Some of the best Internet marketing books aren’t Internet marketing books at all, but rather classic direct-marketing books. While you dig deeper into how the Net can be used for marketing, look at some of the bibles and key principles of direct marketing and then figure out how you can apply some of these time-honored practices to your situation on the Net.

Loyalty & Retention Programs These are programs that are meant to keep the existing paying customer happy. If employed correctly, the Net can be very good at keeping existing customers satisfied. A good example of this is American Airlines ( With your frequent flyer code, you can go into an exclusive area and find out how many frequent flyer miles you have accrued. This actually lets the customer peer into the American Airlines database, which is a complex technological feat that the company should be congratulated for. Similarly, Federal Express lets you track your package pretty much in real time ( and even schedule pickups directly from its Web pages. You don’t have to be that sophisticated. One of my first clients, 1-800-Flowers, sends, at your request, an e-mail reminder of a future birthday or anniversary, based on your previous buying patterns. Another instance is the bookstore. It offered to inform me, via email, when the discovered Jules Verne manuscript about Paris in the 196…IBPA Members – Click here to view the full article (login required).

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