- Sign up for a Newsletter. See
This Month's Web Watch. Any number of sites offer
free expertise, so take advantage of it. Sign up once too
often, however, and you can find yourself on junk mail lists...
- Sign up for a free online E-mail Account, available
through any number of vendors and use this to sign up
for newsletters. If the account starts attracting too much
junk mail, you can abandon it, and start a new one. You
do NOT want to clutter your business e-mail box with personal
mail or junk!
- Send out cards. iPrint.com allows you to design
Or, go to any search engine and type in "postcard printing"
and up pops several firms which will print postcards for
you based on your new web site. Snapfish.com will
print greeting cards from your images, and offers Free Photo
printing when you Open
an Account. Direct mail offers a reasonably cheap method
of alerting your clients to your new site... and getting
them to sign up for your email newsletter... which should
cut your future printing and mailing costs.
- Take out an ad. Not an expensive display ad, but
a classified ad under an appropriate category in your local
paper. And test it. Create a sub-page for your web
(www.myweb.com/classified) with a special offer on it. See
if anyone bites, and ask your host for a traffic report
at the end of a month to see if your ad is generating interest.
- Buy a new shirt. And while you're at it, get one
for your significant other. Custom embroidery firms are
popping up all over, you'll often find them at resorts while
you're browsing the shops. Take advantage of their one of
one capabilities and make yourself a neat shirt with your
.com address on it. Consider giving them as gifts... logo
wear is cool. Just ask Coke. If you're comfortable with
graphics, design your own logo wear, mugs, or hats at Cafe
Press. With a link you can sell your own logowear off
your own web site!
- Be a supportive friend. You've got friends, they've
got websites. Offer to exchange links with them. Promote
them in your newsletter, and provide them with nice graphics
so they can easily promote you.
- Don't be greedy. Did you just produce a nice newsletter?
Offer to customize the sections which need to be customized,
and share it with another business. You'll have all of their
customers experiencing your expertise with very little effort
on your part.
- Tell the world.. or at least your local paper. The
press release may not even make the business section, but
if you don't send it, it surely will not appear in the paper!
Remember the rules, who, what, where, when, why, and try
to make it catchy and interesting.
- Paint the car. Or not... buy a magnetic sign. But
turning your car into a rolling billboard is a tried and
true advertising method. Why do you think your plumber does
it? It works, that's why.
- Join a group. Newsgroup that is. Or one of the
thousands of listservs that cater to every possible interest.
Read the group for a while before jumping in, and observe
the finer points of netiquette... but there are e-commerce
sites which are running strong, and profitably, because
their owners consistantly work the newsgroup forums.
- Sign your e-mail. That .sig file is a darn useful
reminder to everyone you write. It should contain your web
address, as well as your conventional contact information.
If you participate in newsgroups, a .sig file is an absolute
- Work your e-mail list. Those people who actually
took the time to ask you to send them stuff should
be sent stuff. Not so much stuff they learn to dread the
sight of your return address in their e-mail box, but enough
so they know they're special and important.
- Change your content regularly to encourage repeat
traffic and the bookmarking of your site. Put right on your
site "don't forget to bookmark us."
- You're a winner! Run a contest now and then to
test the quality and quantity of your site traffic, and
make the qualifications something you can use. Have the
customer fill out a survey with meaningful, but not personal,
questions. Ask them.. is the type on this site too small?
Are the images clear and easy to view?
- Offer discounts to customers who bring you new customers.
After all, the loyal customer is your best customer, and
you didn't have to spend a dime in acquisition. Offer a
5% bounty on the first sale from a new referred client.
Lastly... you can purchase traffic, targetted traffic,
buy paying for placement on the search engines.
- Advertise your Web site with Overture
search listings. Overture allows you to set a budget you're
comfortable with (minimum $20/month), and then places your
URL at the top of the search engine hit list under "sponsor
matches." You pay only for those that actually
click through, making this one of the most affordable long
term methods of increasing traffic available. Sign up now
and get a $10 credit, equivalent to 200 free sales leads.
- Advertise on LookSmart. I know, I know...
you've heard you shouldn't pay for listings. Problem is,
for most of you... your competitor is paying for listings.
Which is why they come flying up on the first page... and
you don't. Looksmart is a little less expensive, $15/month,
but doesn't allow you to bid for placement. Still, $15/month
buys you 100 click throughs, on your choice of keywords.
You need to weigh these two options... or budget $35-50/month
and do both. How much exposure can you buy for $420 in print
media, vs. the exposure you'll get coming up in the first
slots of a search? Pick one, pick both, sign up yourself,
or delegate the responsibility to your webmaster, and ask
for regular reports.
Looking for more tips? Sign up for
our newsletter, which comes out on a more or less monthly
basis, by sending us your e-mail address. Visit
this month's edition now.
Targeting Your Market: Demographics,
Marketing, and You