Tuesday, February 10, 2009

E Commerce Promotional Techniques

To win in e-commerce you must promote. Your visitors won't hear about you unless you tell them about you. But don't dive in. Try out several promotional methods before you decide on the best combination for your products or services. There are no rules; the best combination will differ greatly from site to site. So test as many promotion methods as you can. Here are seven of the best for small to medium sites…

PR

PR is about getting magazines, newspapers, and e-zines to tell their readers about your site. This is hard. The editors demand interesting stories. To get ink, you need a twist. If you think you might make a good read, work hard on the PR. Ink is gold.

Referrals

If you have a great site, your visitors want to tell their friends about it. Make it easy for them and provide incentives to do so. Make it easy for them to send email to invite their friends to your site. Include the name and email of the referrer in that email. These will be some of the best leads you generate. Print Ads

Your potential customer reads magazines. Go there. Run small ads in publications carefully targeted at your customer. Keep the message minimal - just tell us what you sell and list your URL. Start with the cheapest classified ads in the best publications you can afford.

Banner Ads

Create a nice banner, buy lots of impressions, then watch the orders roll in. Simple, right? Not always. Find out if banners work for you. Create high quality banners. Run the banners on several well-targeted sites and buy enough impressions to determine if they perform.
Affiliate Programs

You should get other sites to send their visitors to your site. But how? Give them something. Provide a reciprocal link or give them a cut of the revenues generated from their referrals. Do not affiliate with mediocre sites.
Contests

Hold a drawing. You need a compelling prize, a recurring drawing, a database, and most importantly, a well-crafted email campaign as an adjunct to the contest. Manufacturers of unique and interesting items have the best chance of winning with a contest promotion.

Search Engines

All web businesses must implement an effective search engine strategy. Follow the basics - submit to search engines, insert meta tags, and use well-crafted titles, but don't obsess. Very few businesses thrive from search engine traffic alone. It is only one of the seven promotional methods you should try.


Internet business is tough. If you already have a great site and a compelling value proposition, you stand a chance. But if you are really serious, you must attend to promotion. Don't waste money. Test to see what works first. Then go for it - spend big money on promotion. Winners do.

Contributed By:
Rik Das
(Globsyn Business School)

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