Internet marketing was born in 1990s as simple, text-based websites that offered product information. In the new era Internet marketing is a component of electronic commerce and can include information management, public relations, customer service, and sales. In the beginning only a small minority of people were aware of Internet marketing, today many people have seen the benefits of working from home and tried to build an online business. It has evolved into more than just selling information products, there are people now selling advertising space, software programs, business models and many more exciting products.
Electronic commerce and Internet marketing have become popular as Internet access is becoming more widely available and used. Over one third of consumers having Internet access in their homes use the Internet to make purchases. Internet marketing is also useful for companies wishing to expand their "brick-and-mortar" business into an online business.
Internet marketing is associated with several business models. The main models include business-to-business and business-to-consumer (B2C). B2B consists of companies doing business with each other, whereas B2C involves selling directly to the end consumer (see Malala, 2003).
The advantages of ecommerce are as follows:
- It is less expensive and instant as compared to other media investments such as direct mail or
- Return on investment has proven to be high when done properly.
- It lets the advertiser "push" the message to its audience, as opposed to a website that waits for
customers to come in.
- It is easy to track. An advertiser can track users via web bugs, bounce messages, un-subscribes,
read-receipts, click-through, etc.
- Advertisers can reach substantial numbers of e-mail subscribers who have opted in (consented) to
receive e-mail communications on subjects of interest to them.
- When most people switch on their computer the first thing they do is check their e-mail.
- Specific types of interaction with messages can trigger other messages to be automatically