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Planning Guide to Ecommerce success in the 21st Century

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Resources- Your step-by-step guide to Ecommerce

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Step #5 -- Promoting Your Site

This is a real marketing challenge. If you were sending out a traditional catalog or direct mail package, it would be easy to buy or compile your own mailing list of prospects. However, right now, there are many e-mail lists managers and targeted permission lists available. And remember that most people do not like unsolicited e-mail and we certainly don't recommend any junk mail programs.

Therefore, you will need to be much more creative - and sensitive to your customer's privacy issues - when promoting your Ecommerce site. Better to pull them in with a professionally designed site with attractive pricing than just acquiring "eye balls". Some promotional ideas to consider:

  • Direct potential users to your Ecommerce site through your current marketing materials. Feature your website address prominently on your letterhead, business cards, catalogs, brochures, advertising, etc.
  • Offer prospects an incentive for contacting your website such as a discount, sweepstakes, or free service.
  • Use banner advertising on related websites to entice prospects to visit yours.
  • Employ permission-based marketing to capture e-mail addresses. For example, you could offer a free online newsletter designed to be of interest to your prospects.
  • Submit your website address to search engines, such as Yahoo, so that prospects will learn about your company when they're researching the type of product or service you offer.
  • Use public relations techniques - such as writing articles - to get your website address out to the public.
  • Partner with companies that reach the same customers that you are targeting. Co-marketing on the Web is essential. Come up with special promotions to bundle with another business and share the cost of promotion.
  • Investigate setting up your own affiliate program, that is, pay other companies for each sale that comes from their Web site to your own. IMS has many merchant affiliate program that jump start a new web venture.

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