Marketing 1 : 15 Best Tips for Marketing
In working with small businesses to promote
their web sites, we have learned that many businesses need help in
marketing. Here are the most important tips we have gathered to help
you get the most out of your marketing dollar.
- What are your competitors up to ?
Internet search in Google and Yahoo for the item or service you plan
to sell. Find out how much your competition is charging and how they
are marketing the product. Try to narrow down which businesses will
be your direct competition
- Will anyone buy ?
Not every product or service
is right for Internet sales. In our experience, unique products, hard
to find services and name brand products are the best candidates for
Internet sales. Look at your potential products and ask yourself - "Would
I purchase this product on the Internet?"
- Why come to this web site ?
No matter how
good your advertising campaign, your web site needs valuable content
to survive in the Internet. Create content that is useful, informative,
educational or entertaining and you will create a market for your product.
Some ideas for attracting repeat customers are:
- Provide regular, fresh content: If visitors come back a couple
of times and nothing has changed, they will lose interest and probably
won't ever come back.
- Create "Web Site Only" offers.
technical documentation online. Manuals and instructions can
be easily lost. Make copies of them online. Customers who come
to find the technical documentation they need will, in the process,
be exposed to your latest products and services.
- Use "e-mail this page" links to help make sharing
information and specials from your site easy. Pages sent this
way, not only further your message, they actually have the endorsement
of the person sending the page.
- Use "print-friendly pages" to encourage people to
print out your information for later reference.
- Create a link sharing program. Make a page on your site full
of external links to on topic sources of further and complimentary
information. When you've done that, go through those sites and
send a short, polite request to each of them that they add you
to their list of links. Don't worry if they don't want to link
to you, and certainly don't remove them from your list -- this
is a nice way to add value to your site and demonstrates a certain
degree of authority on a given subject.
- Send a newsletter: The most efficient means of keeping
in touch with clients is a brief newsletter sent by e-mail. Tell
customers and prospects about the new services and products you
are offering, staff changes, successes, books your recommend, customer
testimonials or successes with your product, and links to articles
- Am I unique ?
The Internet is a
crowded marketplace. The more unique your product or service, the
more likely your success. Basic economics tells us two things:
Finding your niche means limiting your target
audience, of course, but it does mean that people coming to your
site are more likely to purchase your product. If you are planning
a new online business, find a specialized market...if you already
have a web site business, consider narrowing your online focus or
create several different web sites to market your various products.
- The more unique your product, then less
competition you will have.
- The less competition you have, the less
price becomes an issue.
- What's my first impression ?
business web site is your chance to beat the competition and wow your
potential client. Show them what you can do and why they should choose
your business over the competition. Aim for a crisp, clean design that
emphasizes your professionalism and skill. Give your potential clients
as the information they are seeking in a format that is easy to navigate.
Remember - your web site is likely to be your first
point of contact with the customer. If you lose him now, you will not
get him back.
- Am I getting their attention ?
gifts can help get your company name and information out to your audience.
The advantage of these items over traditional business cards is that
they're more likely to be kept, plus your contact/business information
generally remains on open view, as opposed to being in a wallet, purse
or filing system somewhere. Aim for something people will keep or for
something they will share. One of our most popular items is a nicely
printed postcard with an interesting or funny cover which you can let
your customers take for free....getting your name and information out
to people who have never even been to your place of business.
- What is my corporate id ?
of a brand is a key factor in any business's promotional activities.
Create a corporate image for your company,
and incorporate it into your letterhead and all other documents as
well as your web site. The key to a strong brand is consistency,
so make sure your logo appears on every page, preferably in the top
left corner. If you use your brand name or slogan often throughout
the site, make sure you do it the same way every time, as this signals
to users that it's a title. Any literature you send in relation to
your business should also follow form:
- If you send e-mails, ensure you sign them
with the company slogan.
- If you send invoices, have the logo in
the left corner.
- Design an attractive business card and include your web site
- Promotional Items, such as caps, T-shirts, coffee mugs, pens
- Yellow pages and legitimate business directories
- Posters and billboards
- Newspapers and magazines
- Storefront Windows
- Can this be true ? Research
any "opportunity" that comes your way and get referrals
or recommendations before you buy. Things to investigate carefully
- Directories: Check to be sure that the
directory actually exists and investigate the audience profile
and distribution before you buy.
- Keyword sales: "We can sell you exclusive
rights to 'your keyword' across the Internet." Before
you buy, get names, phone numbers, physical addresses and references.
No one can sell you keywords across the Internet.
- E-mail addresses for sale. Beware of participating
in SPAM. Unsolicited e-mail is fast becoming a target of legislation
which can ruin your ability to do business on the Internet.
- Have they heard ? Use e-mail, phone,
word of mouth and even regular mail to let everyone know about your
new site, it's special features and how easy it is to reach you on
Here are some suggestions which
often get overlooked:
- Staff e-mail accounts: Be sure that everyone
has an @yourcompany.com e-mail address an uses it. Encourage
your employees to use their business accounts and make them
available on your web site. Encourage your customers to contact
you through e-mail at your company address.
- Ensure that the e-mail addresses are checked
regularly -- at least three times a day for most businesses.
Not having their e-mail answered will make your customers feel
unloved, and will inevitably result in lost business.
- Create a standard company signature: Use
your e-mail program to make sure that every e-mail sent from
your company address has an official address no more than four
lines long which contains useful information such as name,position,
telephone,fax, and of course, the URL of the company web site.
- Use Auto- Responders: An automated response
may come from a machine, but research shows that customers
feel that they will get better response from those companies
using auto responders than for those that do not.
- Keep useful URLs handy: Keep a list of
useful URLs from your web site at the front desk. When
customers ask for information on a specific topic, give them
the URL which has the information they are requesting...and
better still, e-mail them the link.
- On hold message: Include
information about what is available on your web site on
your telephone hold system.
- Create a weekly or monthly promotion
that is only to be found on your web site. This gives you
a reason to tell people about your site when they call
and will expose them to all of your services when they visit
*You must have Adobe Acrobat Reader® installed
on your computer to view or print this file.
This is a free
download available through Adobe.
More on Marketing :
Return to Marketing Online.
Copyright © 2004. All rights
All design elements within this web site or on the linked sites are the property
of Design Previews, Inc.and may not be duplicated without permission.