Business Internet Marketing Tools
have to research how to best use the large variety of internet
marketing tools that are available until you find the ones that work
the best for your small business. There are many choices
today and the price ranges from free to quite costly depending on where
you want to run your ads as well as how frequently you want them to
run. Many of the existing tools you already have at your
disposal may not be currently utilized to their full capacity and that
is a waste of your precious resources. You have got to make
the most of all of you have to succeed in running your home based
business. �Waste not, want not� is good advice for start ups
and established businesses.
LETTING TECHNOLOGY WORK FOR YOU
If you are paying for a land line and a cell phone then you need to
learn how to use them both to your advantage. Did you know
that calls can be forwarded from one line to another to prevent you
from missing out on any leads? Did you know that you can get
a link for the two via a virtual assistant program that will notify you
on all available numbers until you are located?
These technologies exist and you probably pay for some of them already
without even taking advantage of them. You can contact your
phone providers and find out all of the details of your current plan to
see if you are using all of the features wisely. You can also
ask them what they have to offer in terms of additional time management
tools. They are more than willing to describe new promotions
and advances to get you to upgrade. Frequently you can get a
trial period at a reduced cost if you upgrade!
Your computer and internet access are another resource that needs to be
fully utilized. There are many programs available to help you
keep track of your schedule and your finances. Many of these
also offer free trials to help you determine which one will suit your
business the best. Time management is a critical key to the
success of your small business. It is as important as the
passion you have for selling your product or offering your service to
As discussed earlier, there are a wide variety of free online calendars
that you can take advantage of to help you make the most of your
precious time. Many of these sites offer printable versions
for free as well as the online versions. Many people who are
starting their own small business have to keep their day job in the
beginning. For these people it is even more imperative that
the few precious hours a week they can devote to the promotion of their
new business be allocated and spent wisely.
Utilizing your telephone and computer to your best advantage is a top
priority in the running of your own company. Put these
technologies to work for you and watch how your lead generations and
There are a wide variety of traditional marketing plans that can be
implemented and have been proven to work very well through out history
for the launching of a small business. These methodologies
are slowly being swallowed up the by the new wave of virtual
advertisement opportunities available on the internet.
Gathering local clients by running ads in the newspaper is now being
replaced by classified ads on the internet. The ads on the
internet are more often than not totally free to list as the websites
are ad supported. While you can still make post cards and do
mass mailings it is far more cost efficient to do a mass emailing
instead. The internet has changed the world or marketing, but
it has also made it possible for the home based business to operate
We now live in a global consciousness. This shift in
consciousness from a strictly profit driven society to a more
sustainable human centered lifestyle on the planet has been the topic
of a great many seminars and focus groups over the past year.
It is on the top of the corporate mind and on the tongues of all the
movers and shakers that make the decisions for the corporations that
shape our world. The world is becoming more and more aware of
the interconnected state of humanity and we are acting as a global
Your local small business can be doing business with customers in
Zimbabwe today thanks to the internet. It is all about the
advertising. Who you choose to focus your marketing campaign
on will determine if you generate any business in a given
area. If you are selling an item or service that is needed
versus wanted you also increase the likelihood of your own
success. These are common sense approaches to your
business. The focus here is on using the internet marketing
tools to increase revenue.
There are new marketing and management internet tools coming out
everyday that makes all of the information you need available at your
fingertips all the time. There are hand held devices now that
allow you to access the internet and store your schedule on your cell
phone. They are becoming more and more affordable and also
more compact as each generation is released into the market.
Cell phones are now manufactured that have email and web browsing
capability. Technology allows an ever increasing amount of
data to be stored in smaller packages. This keeps changing
the face of portable data storage as ever more intriguing packets are
offered to the public.
INCREASING SALES THROUGH THE INTERNET
The internet has expanded marketing to a whole new level. You
can generate sales in such a wide variety of ways on the net that it is
hard to keep up with them all. There is a lot of buzz about
the social networks lately. As they have added a localized ad
campaign to allow you not just to network and sell through emails and
bulletins, but they are now also offering small businesses the chance
to buy in to the ad supported revenue as well.
This is revolutionary as it is localized or global based on your
request. Also you can target the people in your sales area
even if they are not in your network. This is because they
are ad supported sites in the first place, so your customers will be
pleased to note that the ads they are forced to look at are at least
relative to items they are interested in or in their area.
Some of these sites are super savvy at determining what the customer is
looking for based on what they choose to use on their home
pages. From downloadable music to d�cor the things a user
shows an interest in are the things that are then displayed in the ads.
Taking advantage of the free opportunity to advertise via a social
network is the most obvious reason for expanding ads to include small
and local businesses.
Many people advertise their small businesses via emails, bulletins,
memos and updates on a daily basis to everyone who will accept them
into their network. There are people with literally thousands
of people in their network. Often all concentrated in or
around their marketing area. These sites can either be used
for free if you are willing to put the time into them or they can be
used for paid ads if you can afford them. They are becoming
more and more affordable as they become more and more common place.
Another way to increase sales through the internet is to make use of
banner ads and reciprocal links. These are now available on
the net from some sites for free. Of course you can always
upgrade to a paid version if you are not satisfied with the free
banners available. These banners are often exchanged via
links to complimentary sites or affiliate sites that will lead to
either your site, an informational site with links to your site or to
your affiliate site. It works like this: If you post a link
to my site on your site, I will post a link to your site on my
Blogs have become common place in all areas of commerce.
Write an interesting blog and generate an avid following of readers and
you can be a giant in affiliate marketing. Post a lot of
links to things you support that also support you and write about
something that people want to read.
Hot topics will rise to the top of a search engine based on key word
selection. This can be done either by purchasing flat fee
internet advertising or by purchasing into the pay per click systems
that are available. Adding a streaming video to your blog
will allow customers to gain more insight about the products or
services that are unique to your company. This method has
become more and more popular as several popular internet sites have
made this available for free as well.
You can also take advantage of the opportunity to advertise via an
e-newsletter. If you can actually charge a fee to enroll in
the newsletter then you both generate income off the e-newsletter and
can provide your most interested target audience with your recent
information and product updates. Joining online forums that
have topics that are related to your services and products are also a
great way to solicit people for your e-newsletter group.
Exercise caution in going too far off topic as you will be accused of
trolling on some sites and banned from using them for
discussion. Some bans are temporary and some bans can be
permanent. So be wise and just don�t risk it.
Interactive chats offer another great forum to provide 24 hour customer
service online. There are many larger companies that
outsource these jobs. A growing trend in the US is to
outsource to work-at-home agents which means some home businesses are
operating customer service operations for other
companies But the wonderful advantage of internet
tools such as interactive chats is that even a one-person home based
business can utilize the technology with the right software. You can
manage your time and your customer service right from your computer.
Putting the technology of today to work for you in generating more
sales through the internet is the best choice a home based company has
in the global market. Thanks to technology, you can take
advantage of the opportunity to be on the ground floor of the
revolutionary ways of doing business that is happening around the world
today. Jump into the technological advances and learn how to
use all the new fangled gadgets as they are the way the new generations
of clients get their information and fill their needs. Don�t
be left behind based on an unwillingness to learn how to use these
tools or because you are operating a small business from home.
COMMUNICATING WITH OLD AND NEW CUSTOMERS
Now that you know how to generate business on the internet using the
incredible new technology available today, you have to be sure that you
follow through on all of your business emails and phone calls and not
waste the leads that you worked so hard to gather together.
You can take advantage of auto-responders in your email system to let
your clients know you got their order, shipped a product or when you
will be available for customer service.
The automated response emails can be generically programmed to just
read that you are away or updated on a day to day basis to reflect what
is happening in real time. This makes your clients feel like
they are �in the loop� so to speak and that they matter to you enough
for you to inform them of your location and plans.
If you are careless with your leads your clients will feel like they
are unimportant and may classify you as unprofessional based on that
Keeping in contact with your clients is a very effective way to keep
your reputation in the on and offline community rock solid. Returning
calls and return emails promptly illustrates to your clients that they
are important to you and that you want them to know it. It is
very helpful to maintain a current and complete list of your clients
emails and phone numbers so that you can notify them of any changes
that relate to them. This also allows you to be able to keep
in contact with them between business dealings so they keep your
company in mind. Then when they have a need that is in your
area of expertise or want a product or service you sell, you
automatically pop into their minds.
Gathering this information from your clients is fairly simple. Just ask
them for it. One technique for continued branding that has
been used successfully is to obtain the date of birth of your
client. You can then use software that will automatically
send an email that says Happy Birthday. This is not something
that is done by every company, but it has grown in popularity as it is
established as a fact that this action does indeed keep your business
name fresh in your customers mind. The benefit to this of
course is not just being able to retain your client. They will also
speak of you to others if they hear someone searching for what you
offer. They will think of you in more friendly
terms when you take more friendly action. That is merely
human nature. If you are the company that goes the extra mile
to make its customers happy, you will be the company that has customers
to make happy.
All of the myriad of ways available to advertise on the internet do not
teach you customer retention. In the past this has been an
issue of trial and error. In reality it is quite
simple. Treat your customers with kindness, courtesy and
respect while dealing fairly with them in all negotiations and they
will be returning customers who are pleased to refer you to their
friends. Utilizing the technology available to you in order
to make your customers feel appreciated is using good business
sense. Sending out a �Thank You� card by mail still works but
it is more cost efficient to send that �Thank You� via email instead
and the thought is still appreciated the same.
Larger companies have recorded thank you messages on an auto dial
system that will routinely call an existing customer and thank them for
their business. Be careful with this as it has gotten some
companies in trouble for unsolicited phone calls. In
particular several years ago a very large entertainment company was
shut down by the FCC as these phone calls were literally bombarding the
clients who filed a lawsuit. The trend for these types of
phone calls has been on a downward spiral since. The
difference of course is abuse of the system. A simple
courteous thank you call is a far cry from
harassment. Use a combination of common sense and
technology and you will be able to successfully gain and maintain a
solid customer base.
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