Small business owners find this blog to be a great resource for sales and marketing strategies.

6 Ways to Build Links

Published by Paul Pyrlik

Google and other search engines such as Yahoo! or Bing use software programs called "Search Engine Spiders” to search the Web for content "relevant" sites. These spiders travel across links, then index and rank the web sites. Their rankings can be then seen on search engine result pages.

To be listed on top of the search engine pages it is critical to establish "relevant" link relationships, building both outbound and inbound links to your site. To help being ranked as high as possible it's necessary to build as many "relevant"  links as possible.

The more "relevant" links you have the greater your chances will be to attract more visitors. It's an easy and very effective formula to boost traffic to your web site while it's also one of the least expensive ways.

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Small Business Spending 2010

Published by Charles Brodeur

Two-thirds of 831 respondents report that they plan to increase their use of both email marketing and social media in 2010; 54.2% surveyed won’t do online banner advertising in 2010

SAN FRANCISCO, November 17, 2009 — A leading provider of self-service email marketing, online surveys and direct mail solutions for small businesses, today releases the results of a survey of 831 small businesses of under 500 employees, which showed that 74.1% of respondents plan to increase their use email marketing and 68.3% will increase their use of social media in 2010.

The survey reveals that small businesses intend to continue their marketing spend in the email marketing channel. Only 3.8% of respondents do not plan to use email marketing in 2010, which indicates that the channel continues to demonstrate value to small businesses.
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An online sales and marketing machine

Published by Charles Brodeur

Here are some simple points where marketing and sales can connect to achieve some quick wins. Of course it's still important for them to collaborate on longer term strategies which is the subject of a future blog post.

Detailed Email Marketing Reports

You're on track for sending out that 'special deals' newsletter on the 2nd Monday of every month to your clients and prospects but have you been measuring attention to the performance of your email marketing?

I'm not just talking about basic statistics like open rates and number of recipients. You should be diving in to find out:


    *     who opened your newsletter,

    *     what links they've clicked on

    *     what actions they've made on your site as a result.


Utilize this information by exporting the data and building lists of your most highly engaged readers to pass on to the Sales team for chasing up. You're adding an immense amount of value by presenting the sales team directly with the 'low-hanging fruit' that you KNOW have been reading and clicking your emails rather than making them call all recipients in the hope they've engaged.

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Single vs. multi-currency Online Stores

Published by Paul Pyrlik

When you are setting up an online store you should consider in which currency you charge your customers. Either you accept only one currency or you offer your customers the opportunity to choose from different currencies. In this article some of the of the Pros and Cons of single and multi-currency stores are discussed.

Single-currency Store

  • Allow anyone around the world to purchase - but in your currency.
  • The customer's bank takes care of the currency conversion.
  • Are easy to set up - one payment gateway, one set of prices, one set of shipping options.
Here's an example: You set up your store on a xyz.com site. Every visitor on that URL will be shown US product prices, US shipping options, US tax codes an so on. The visitors will be charged in US dollars via the payment gateway that is assigned to the USA.

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Setting up the eCommerce Platform

Published by Charles Brodeur

About 4 years ago, we were looking into starting a new business, online. As an accomplished businessman we started thinking about what we were going to need to be successful. A website was the obvious starting point. It had to be easy enough to add and change content - because websites live or die on the basis of fresh, useful content.

Next - we needed a way to manage leads and customers. You need to be able to react quickly to new leads and follow up on old ones. Then, marketing. Email marketing to be precise. A permission based list of people who are receptive to hear your message is priceless. And don't forget - online shopping. Selling online is the most important function we needed to do.  We wanted to process orders 24 hours a day.

That's a basic list. There's more, like community forums, affiliate programs, blogs and so forth. But let's keep it simple, ok?

So, checklist in hand (we are pretty organized kinda guys) we went looking for something to do all this and we found Content Management Systems, and Customer Relationship Management systems, and Shopping carts, and Email Marketing Solutions, and Site Analytics. So we signed up to all these services and downloaded what we needed to download.

OK great, we thought, let's get started!....Or not.

We got frustrated. Because running any business is a little like racing a car. You've got to push hard, stay ahead of the pack and be smart about how you race. But our  problem wasn't that we couldn't race. We were wasting our time trying to build the nice, fast car.

The other problem was we found ourselves spending a lot of time trying to keep all his separate systems in sync. And more than once we forgot one of the five or six log in details we were supposed to remember.

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5 Steps to SEO On Page Set Up

Published by Charles Brodeur

Ever wonder if the basics from grade school would come in handy in your business life?

Getting your website ranked best in internet search results uses all of that knowledge. Search engine results are based on those science, math and English courses. Internet technology is the science that allows "spiders" to comb the "web" for data applicable to a search inquiry. Search engines have unique mathematical algorithms that formulate your website's relevance to that inquiry. Finally, your English lesson is where writing the copy on your website can help tie all of that together for best results. In the following, you will get valuable tips on creating titles, copywriting advice, using graphics, and keywords to better place your website in search rankings.

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5 Steps to a Successful Email Campaign

Published by Charles Brodeur

Step One: Make full use of your permission-based email software package. BigTurns has a ton of advanced features for handling your campaigns. It makes it easy to create and send your newsletters. It will manage subscriptions and bounced messages for you. It automates a lot of the grunt work involved in an email marketing campaign.

Step Two: You'll have to decide what type of campaign you want to run and how frequently you want to send your messages. I recommend sending at least a monthly newsletter. Of course, if you sell more than one product, it might be a good idea to send multiple messages. Just be sure to keep your broadcast times consistent. You may consider sending promotional messages offering a discount or coupon for your product.

Step Three: Add a sign-up form to your website. The sign-up form lets you collect a group of addresses for your sending lists. We've found that it's generally safe to import anyone who did business with you in the last year or so. Just make sure to send content relevant to what they purchased. (Always provide value!)

Step Four: Create an effective email template. A lot of email software programs include HTML templates. BigTurns actually comes with over 300 professionally designed templates. You can also create one in-house or use a graphic-design service.
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Communication: Blogging vs Email Newsletters

Published by Charles Brodeur

How to decide between blogging and a newsletter

Last night I was sorting all of my important paperwork: Car insurance, health insurance, credit card information, work stuff, tax information, and you get the idea. Then I put them into folders to organize. Let's do the same with your content and then decide where to include this content (Blog, Newsletter, or Both). 

  1. Education - BOTH
  2. Business ideas for feedback - NEWSLETTER
  3. Showcase before and after photos - NEWSLETTER
  4. FAQS - NEWSLETTER
  5. Common Concerns - BOTH
  6. Tips - BOTH
  7. Coupons and Discounts and Specials - NEWSLETTER
  8. Products - BOTH
There are a few caveats, so lets take a look at them.

Education:

You should never pass up an opportunity to educate. Customers like being in the know and they appreciate you keeping them up to date.
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Selling Tips for Online Business

Published by Charles Brodeur

Once you have your website up and people have started visiting it, your battle has only just begun. Everything is for sale in the Internet from snake oil to – maybe – atomic power barbecues. Why should people buy from you and how can you be sure you are making money on the sales? Making money on sales seems easy – if you buy for $8 and sell for $10, you have made a $2 profit. Right! Wrong.

It may have cost you $3 to sell the product and you won’t know it till you have lost a lot of money. So here are some things to keep in mind.

Know why people should buy from you. If you don’t, how will they? You need to know your product or service inside out. Nothing is ever perfect. Your product will have its weaknesses. Recognize them, try to minimize them and work with what you have.

Believe in your product. It’s not enough knowing it’s good. You have to believe it. This belief will come out in your approach to sales and add value to the sales pitch. Would you buy a Rolls Royce from a salesman who could recite why it is the best car in the world if you felt he did not really believe what he was saying?

What is different about your product? What benefits does buying from you provide to the customer as compared to other similar items or suppliers? These are called USPs or Unique Selling Points and make your product stand out in a crowd. Know these strength and capitalize on them when selling.

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About Sales and Marketing Automation

Published by Charles Brodeur

This is the first Post for The eCommerce Blog from Sales and Marketing Automation. 

Our mission with this blog is to promote eCommerce Best Practices to Small business owners. We will be including topics that relate to building eCommerce Sites, marketing eCommerce Sites and managing eCommerce Sites.

We are not sure where this journey will take us but the general direction we are going to set out on is to expose the tricks that make successful sites sell.

We will discuss topics like eCommerce Technology, SAAS, Email Marketing, Internet Marketing, Blogging, Content, Conversion, Customer Automation, and more.

I will be the main contributor to the blog postings, and all of our contributors will some how be related to BigTurns Business Systems, an eCommerce Consulting Company with an eCommerce Platform for sale and a team of eCommerce Consultants.

I Hope you like it.  Read More

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