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What are the Different Types of Network Marketing Tools?

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  • Written By: Mary Elizabeth
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 01 November 2016
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A network is an inter-related and interconnected group. Network marketing is another name for multilevel marketing and the network referred to is usually a business network formed of a producer of goods or services and distributors who generally earn a commission from sales of the goods and services, as well as for recruiting others to become distributors. Network marketing tools are any kind of software application, metric, or other device that furthers network marketing.

There are two main categories of network marketing tools. The first category pair distinguishes those network marketing tools that are legitimate from those that are illegal. The second category pair distinguishes those that have only legitimate uses from those that can be turned to illegal use. Because the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) identifies some network marketing plans and some selling techniques are forbidden, it is essential to review every network marketing tool and the use to which it will be put to make sure that no violations occur.

An example of an illegal network marketing tool is a software program that creates a web page by scraping and reposting information from other sites on a network marketer’s website. This is also called web harvesting. In some case this only plagiarizes information, typically without credit. In other cases, it also violates the source website’s terms of use.

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One of the prime network marketing tools is email. It's worth stopping and thinking about the system to make sure that the features — which might be good enough for personal email — suit the needs of network marketing. How one obtains the email addresses, the use one puts them to, and the contents of the emails that are sent all have the potential to put the network marketer on one side of the law or the other. All commercial email must comply with the terms of the CAN-SPAM Act (Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography And Marketing Act of 2003).

There’s nothing wrong with commercial email per se. Unless the header information and subject line are accurate, the message is accurately identified as an advertisement, the sender's physical postal address is provided, and an opt-out message with clear steps to prevent future emails is provided, commercial email can be in violation of the law. This is an example of a tool that is legitimate or illegal depending on how it’s used.

Another of the network marketing tools, the contact management program, in and of itself, presents no issues. One could only misuse by filling it with information that was not properly obtained. Other than that, it’s simply a useful way of keeping valuable information organized in accessible ways.

Other tools used by network marketers include the various ways of creating contact on the Internet. These include websites, forums, chat-rooms, blogs, instant messaging, Twitter®, and Facebook®. Additionally, some network marketers use telephone calls and snail mail.

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