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How YOU Can Market Your Business On The Internet
You've heard the "Field of Dreams" promise so many times: "If you build it, they will come." And yet, it just doesn't work that way on the Internet. With millions of websites in cyberspace and more every day, how will people even know that you have a web site?

Listed here are a number of straightforward, practical strategies that you can use NOW to promote your web site - and gain recognition for your business!

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The most effective marketing weapon in your Internet arsenal is your e-mail address. Yes, your e-mail address. Why? Because it's the number one item that your customers, vendors, family and friends see when you communicate with them. And that's important because….the number one reason people go on the Internet is for e-mail!

So, are you using your e-mail address effectively? Does your e-mail address tell people what your business is? Or are you just using your name plus your ISP (Internet Service Provider) address? For example, petersim@aol.com

Does your e-mail address build your credibility? Even if you're using your business name & following it by your ISP address, that doesn't quite cut it - especially, if it's a Yahoo or Hotmail or Juno or other recognizable ISP e-mail address! It's the sign of an amateur - someone who's not taking their Internet presence seriously.

Does it contain a call to action? For example, vacation@harwichhouse.com gets the message across that this is must be a vacation site and that Harwich House is the name of the location. Similarly, PromoteYourBiz@BizCardWebSite.com or dogtraining@woofers.com gives you a specific message; you know exactly what that website is going to be about.

One of the great things about having your own web site is that you can set up a number of different e-mail addresses, depending upon what you want to accomplish. For example, if you have a brochure, you'd want to use "vacation@harwichhaven.com" because you want to encourage them to vacation there; when you respond to a booking request, you could use "kelly@harwichhaven.com" because that gives the visitor/customer a specific person to reply to -- and provides that nice "warm and fuzzy feeling" that there's an actual person there!

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The second most effective marketing weapon in your Internet arsenal is your e-mail signature! Why? It's instant advertising! Your business name and address AND business message are highlighted on every e-mail message you send! Not only does the person that you're sending your e-mail to see your mini-advertisement for your business, but if they forward your message to others, they'll see it also!

Most e-mail programs such as Microsoft Outlook, AOL, Netscape, and Eudora allow you to designate a "signature" to appear at the end of each message you send. Limit it to 6 to 8 lines: Company name, address, phone number, URL, e-mail address, and a one-phrase description of your unique business offering. Make sure everyone in your office uses their "signature" whenever they send an e-mail!

Here's the e-mail signature that we use for our personal wedding web site division:

Cheryl K. Perkins
23 Meadow View Drive
Newton, NH 03858
TEL: 603.475.3503
FAX: 603.382.6500
EMAIL: weddings@CelebrateYourDay.com
www.CelebrateYourDay.com -- Share your happiness with your own Wedding Web Site!

BizCard Website
Include your web site address and tagline on all invoices, letterhead, brochures, envelopes, packages, promotional items, Business Cards, flyers and or handouts, shipping labels, paper & plastic bags, packing materials, corrugated boxes, store uniforms, the front door! If you have a window that's visible to the public, put your URL (Universal Resource Locator -- your domain name) on it.

  • Nothing gets passed around more at a networking event than your business card! But, what's on the back of your business cards? Nothing? Use this valuable real estate to advertise a free report or a subscription to your online newsletter.
  • Concerned with the cost of getting your business cards reprinted with your web site information? Think of this: your business card is a mini-brochure for you, always working to represent you. Do you really want old information in your customers' hands when for pennies a day you could get your business card reprinted with your new information?
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Add your web site address to your phone book directory listing.

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Include your web site address on your recorded phone messages. Spell it out s-l-o-w-l-y so there is no mistaking what the address is. Make sure your voice mail ends with an invitation for the caller to visit your site.

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At trade shows or at your business location, right next to the cash register, have people sign-up to receive a free newsletter or coupons for discounts or special services. Get their e-mail address and send them an e-mail directing them to your website to download the item. Running contests or giveaways is a proven way to generate registrations and traffic into your Web site.

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Give something away "free". "Free" is the most powerful weapon in a marketer's arsenal. Most successful viral marketing programs give away some product or service with a high perceived value to attract attention.

Examples of things you can give away free are free reports, free E-books, free articles, free "graphics", free programs, free email accounts, etc. While giving away "free" things will not make you rich by itself, it will get your site a lot of visitors because everything you give away will mention your web site. Once you get the visitors, you will eventually get the sales since you'll be collecting the names and email addresses of your visitors and eventually selling everybody that comes to get your "freebie".

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Ask! When someone buys from you, ask for their e-mail address so you can send them free coupons or enter them for a drawing.

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Write articles and submit them to "ezines" - web magazines. It's a great way to build credibility for your business and drive traffic to your own web site!

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Submit press releases to local newspapers and magazines - and be sure to highlight your website address!

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Advertise your business on online charity auction sites by donating goods or services. Often they'll give you a "donor's page" where you can talk about your business.

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Strategic links with other web sites. Be careful here! You want credible sites that will drive traffic to you, not just any old site. The reason? Search Engines will actually penalize you - demote you in the Search Engine Results listing or delete you entirely! - if the websites that link to you aren't quality sites, i.e., sites that relate to your business.

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Direct Marketing: Send an e-mail or a direct mail announcement to all customers on your customer list announcing your website and/or online store. Out of curiosity a number of people will click through to view your site; more importantly the announcement will get your name in front of them again - and they'll give you word-of-mouth promotion to their friends and family.

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Include your URL (your web site address) in any display or classified ads you purchase in trade journals, newspapers. View your website as an information adjunct to the ad. Use a two-step approach: (1) capture the readers' attention with the ad, (2) then refer them to a URL where they can obtain more information and perhaps place an order. Don't hide your URL in tiny type! Your URL is your business location.

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Advertise in your local Chamber of Commerce newsletter or in local business guides.

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Advertise on local restaurant place mats. People really do read them!

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Consider a sign for your vehicle with your domain name prominently displayed. Many of us find ourselves stuck in long commutes as we drive to work or to business meetings. That often means that we're driving along seeing the same group of cars all the time. Just think how your vehicle sign will work for you as a prolonged advertisement!

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Restaurants: have every waitperson wear a button that says "ask me about our unadvertised specials." The waitperson says: "Ever so often we put unadvertised specials on the Internet. Sign up and we'll send them to you." When you need incremental income, send an e-mail that says "go to our website for a gift certificate for a discount that's good till such and such a date." Good for birthdays, anniversaries, etc.

Your web site may be the first
and sometimes the only point of contact
your new customers have with your business.
Get Started with a Business Card Web Site For Just $599

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