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Helpful Tips For Online Retailers . . .
Tips by Terri Gray of TerriGray.com

  1. A way to capture email addresses is important, so merchants can send out followup emails and notices about new products, specials etc. Two great ways to capture visitor emails is through an opt-in email list, and autoreponders.

    Some great tools come built into our hosting accounts:
    Hosting.com accounts provide merchants with free tools like autoresponders, shopping carts, mailing lists and murch more! These are built-in tools so you don't have to know anything about perl or cgi scripts!

  2. Merchants who have both an offline and online store, can benefit from an online calendar. Merchants can post information about seasonal sales or events. Your opt-in mailing list "subscribe me" form should be on this page!!! Let customers sign up so they can be notified of new events added to the calendar.

    Matt Kruse has a great free calendar that can be downloaded from www.cgi-resources.com. The ability to install your own cgi scripts is another GREAT benefit of hosting with Virtualis. We can install this script for you for a nominal fee, or you can follow the instructions and install it yourself!

  3. What is your best selling item? This is what should be on the front page of your site! The best way to get people to click farther in, is to display the most popular items, or sale items right up front.

  4. Include a way for people to order gift certificates. That way if they are shopping for a gift for someone they don't have to make a decision. They can get a gift certificate for that person and let them choose. I have even incorporated this into a site I did for a restaurant at: www.danmckluskys.com

  5. Get your URL out there! Include your web address on an insert with every order you fulfill. Your web address should be on your business card, in the yellow pages, and EVERYWHERE your phone number is! Get a self-inking stamp with your website URL on it and stamp EVERYTHING that doesn't already have your URL printed on it.

  6. Put the URL on your sign out front. You can have a small rider made to hang underneath your existing sign. Or have it put on the side of your vehicle, the bottom of your back window, or on the bumper!

  7. Have holiday specials, or shows online.

  8. Have a drawing for a free monthly give-away.

  9. Trade advertising with other local merchants. IE: give a local merchants a free banner on the site if they will put flyers/business cards up in the store.

  10. Send out a postcard mailer to your client list. This postcard should invite them to your new site, and offer some type of a special gift if they order from the site within a certain time frame . . .

  11. Start an affiliate program. Not only can you generate more sales, you can also improve your findability and popularity in the search engines!

  12. And for additional reading . . . . Here is a good article on using a website as a marketing tool. www.mrfire.com/Knowledge/Copywriting/Secrets/interprofit.html

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Terri Gray has been assisting business with their Internet marketing and website design needs for over 4 years. Contact her for a free intitial consultation on your upcoming website design or redesign project.



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