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Now that we have officially entered a new year, have you made any plans to market your business? No doubt you are feeling the effects of the economy on your business in that there are fewer customers. That means you are going to have to be more aggressive and more creative about bringing more customers into your stores.
If you are accepting credit cards at your storefront and at your on-line store, then you are being wise. People are going to be resorting more and more to credit cards despite the increases in the rates. People buy because of the value they perceive in your products. If they see something that meets their needs, they will use a credit card if they lack the cash.
The other thing that you can do for your business is to promote your business with gift and loyalty cards. Gift cards will bring you more cash while bringing in new customers. They are more beneficial if you are selling an inventory of products such as auto parts, handbags, or jewelry. Your customers could purchase gift cards for friends and family.
When friends and family shop at your store, this will be an opportunity to encourage them to return to the store by establishing a rapport with them. By offering rewards or discounts off of future purchases, you are developing a good relationship with the customer and insuring they will return at a later date to take advantage of your offers.
Ralph Palmatier, author Interim Relational Drivers of Customer Value says, “Overall, a seller that has more interpersonal ties (i.e., contact density) with a customer should gain better access to information and sales opportunities and be more efficient at building and maintaining customer relationships, thus increasing the seller’s ability to generate profits.”
In conclusion, the better the relationship with the customer, the better the opportunity for the retailer to make him into a long-standing customer, which will in turn, bring him more customers.
It is important for businesses to have access to funding when they need it. If your credit report is in order, you will have a better chance at receiving financing. If not, here is what you can do. (Click onto the Link above the picture.)
Choosing a target market is important for the success of your business. Knowing the appropriate target market for your business means knowing their likes, dislikes, and habits. This article contains information to help you make a better decision.
Retailers Guide to Merchant Services
For retailers who are seeking a better understanding of credit card processing and how it can boost your profits. This e-book will help you to make better decisions regarding your service. The e-book also contains marketing tips for your business.
Boost Your Website Conversion Rate
Attracting more traffic to your website is useless without a plan to convert more of your visitors to customers. This e-book contains valuable tips to help you boost your profits.
Facebook Page Marketing There have been many changes on Facebook – learn how to leverage their use for your business. ( For free e-book – click onto Facebook Page Marketing above.)
Join Gail Cavanaugh’s Business Solutions Fan Page on Facebook.
If you plan on marketing your business on-line there are tools which will make your business more profitable and attractive to your prospects.
First, you will need to design a website or have one designed for you. It must be attractive enough to attract customers to it. The content you include on the website should be well researched and appropriate for your target market. You will need to research the keywords to determine how your customers are most likely to reach your website. The more planning you do around the keywords, the easier your prospects will find you. You should choose enough keywords that will get you to the top of the search engines.
If you decide to market the website yourself, you will need to learn Basic HTML. This is the very least amount of information you will be using to design the website. If you want a more detailed and content rich website with more graphics, it would be best to take a course in website design or hire an expert.
It will benefit you to do the necessary research into network marketing to learn how to attract your target market and retain your customers. The more research you do, the better your results will be. Internet marketing is a highly specialized field and should not be taken lightly if you want to be successful on the Internet.
Writing a blog is a good way to promote your business. It contains additional information of interest to your target market which would help them make a buying decision. If you do not write on a regular basis, it would be advisable to take a course in writing. The writing of the content on the blog will attract your followers and encourage them to refer your blog around to other interested parties. If you do not have a desire to write, you can hire an expert to write the blog for you.
You can be as creative as you want in the design of the blog and the content which you include in the blog. Once the blog is written, you can submit and the website to the search engines so that others may find it when researching a particular subject. There are also blog directories where you can register your blog. A blog is very usesful for brining in part-time income when business owners place ads on the site. Many bloggers make money on their blogs with ads and videos.
There are many social networks on the Internet where business owners can market their products while networking with others.
Another way of driving traffic to your blogs and website is through article marketing. Writing articles containing quality content which is relative to your client’s business will result in more traffic to your blog and your website. If you would like to get paid for writing articles, click here:
In conclusion, if you research your target market and the marketing of your business on the web, you will be more successful in earning money.
© Gail Cavanaugh and The Merchant’s Guide to Credit Card Processing, 2008. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Gail Cavanaugh and The Merchant’s Guide to Credit Card Processing with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
Get paid while promoting your business! Check out: http://www.apsense.com/invite/gelise1
Note: If you are interested in learning more about marketing your business with gift and loyalty cards, please leave a comment.
If you are in business marketing your products and services, you have a potential of making a better than average income. It is either feast or famine and good planning is necessary. Find out how you can make additional income while you are waiting for the big windfall.
Here is a directory where you can register and list your business products or services. There is a place for you on the Hotfrog directory to include detailed descriptions of your products and services. It is rated very highly on the search engines and is sure to drive more traffic to your business. As always, proper use of keywords is essential.
Here is another directory where you can register your business. The Businesscard2 Directory is a place where you can discuss your business, add updates and even add an rss feed from your blog.
Twitter is a very powerful network where you can form relationships and acquire a database of prospects for your business. You can acquire a seemingly unlimited list of followers. Therefore it is important to be organized and have a plan for gathering the information and using your Twitter account.
Here are some tools which can help:
Twitter Counter will post your Twitter profile on thousands of websites resulting in new followers. I have been averaging 38 new followers per day for the last week.
Social Too will greet all new followers for you. This adds a nice touch. The experts recommend adding a personal greeting rather than a message to promote yourself.
Tweet Later combines the two services, but you have to pay for other services as well.
Ping.fm will allow you to post updates to each of you blogs and social networks from one site instead of going to each site.
Utilizing these tools will save you time and help you to do the other things that are important in running your business. Twitter is very social, contains a mountain of information, and some of the people are very witty. As your database grows, you may not always have the time to review and prospect for new business as well as read all of the posts. These tools will enable you to work smarter.
Choosing a Credit card Terminal
There are four types of terminals: the land line terminal, the wireless terminal, the virtual terminal and the Point of Sale System. Each one processes credit and debit cards, but only one or two are suitable for your needs. Choosing a terminal is dependent upon where you perform most of your transactions.
For instance, for most retailers, the land line terminal, such as the Hypercom T7P or Nurit 8320, is the appropriate choice. Most retailers place this terminal next to or somewhere near the cash register. It is called a land line terminal because it is connected to the telephone line. If most of your transactions take place in the store, then this is the terminal for you. Credit cards and debit cards are swiped though the terminal. Businesses such as convenience stores, clothing stores, or gift shops would use a land line terminal. If you spend most of your time on the computer, a virtual terminal would suit your needs.
A virtual terminal is on-line and transactions are manually entered or cards are swiped by way of a USB card reader attached to the computer’s key board. Businesses transacting business by telephone or mail order, such as limousines, the medial offices, or pizza shops would use a virtual terminal. If you are selling your products on-line or engaged in fund-raising through a web-site, then you need an e-commerce package which includes a shopping cart and payment gateway to transact your business. A Point of Sale System is a good choice for restaurants or retail stores which carry a large inventory. Restaurants can manage a dining room and deliveries with this system which also accepts credit cards and debit cards. It is a computer with cash draw, thermal printer and card reader. This system will make your operation more efficient and effective.
Finally, if you do trade shows, flea markets, drive a truck or are on-the-go, a wireless terminal would be suitable for your needs. This highly reliable and portable terminal comes in two types: the counter top version, such as the Nurit 8010 or the hand-held type, The Way, which resembles a cell phone. For some businesses, more than one type of terminal is necessary. All of these terminals will accept debit cards VISA, MasterCard, American Express or Discover. For a determination on the type of terminal suitable for your business, please write or call your representative.
The Importance of Blogs
Many retailers who have websites have one thing in common: they do not offer newsletters, blogs or articles to the site. One researcher has determined that 44% of the retail businesses who market their services on the Internet do not write blogs.
Anyone who is not blogging in addition to offering a website on their services or products is missing out on customers and traffic to the website. Blogs are the easiest way to get your message across to your customers about your product and services. Depending on what you include on the blog, it will attract more visitors to your website.
A blog should not be used to advertise your products or services, but rather to let potential customers know that you are an expert in your field. Your blog should include an “About” Page which will include some background information on you as well as a link to your website. If the visitor to your site likes what is on the blog site or finds the information they are seeking, they will in all likelihood want to know more about what you do. Sooner or later, the readers will return to acquire more information and insights, or to keep abreast of new developments.
It is important to include visuals on the website as most people who use the Internet do so because of the visuals that are there. Make the website attractive with photographs, videos, and artwork. You can use your own digital photographs or secure free photos from such photo sharing websites such as Flickr, Stock Xchng, or Morguefile. Be sure to follow the directions for using the photos.
Blogs must contain quality content in order for more people to visit the website. There must be a discussion which will engage the readers and encourage them to offer their comments. By doing so, you are also providing a service to them to let others know about their business. The visitors to your blog should be commenting about your content and not advertising their services and products. To avoid spamming, you can monitor the comments.
Here is a site where you can learn about the many marketing tools that are available on the Internet for marketing your business. Virtually every marketing tool which exists is on this site called Cloud Surfing.
You can set up a profile and join the community to offer reviews on the sites that you are actively using. The website is a very valuable tool for keeping abreast of the latest developments, as well as trying out the websites that will help you to grow your buisness. Whenever a new site is developed, it is posted for your review. I highly recommend this site for keeping abreast of the latest developments.
Marketing Your Business with an e-Mail Campaign
If you already have a website, you may be looking for a way to market your business effectively on-line. You may notice that you are getting visitors to the site, but that you need a way of corresponding with them. That is where an e-mail campaign comes in.
With an e-mail campaign, you can provide new information to your prospects about your products and services. You can decide how often you want to e-mail the information to your prospects. Of course, you would have to have permission to send them the information to avoid being labeled a spammer.
The way to do this is to set up a subscription form prominently displayed on your website or blog. The form would ask them to leave their name and e-mail address if they are interested in receiving a newsletter from you. Anyone who leaves a name and e-mail address will expect to receive a newsletter.
The next step would be to design and write a newsletter which is interesting and will make the person want to receive more from you. The title of the newsletter should be inviting. Anyone who runs a business is interested in saving money or finding value. If this concept is somehow included in the title, you will increase the chances of the recipient opening and reading the letter.
A prospect must receive, on an average of seven e-mail messages before they will buy from you. If the letters are carefully crafted, you should have a sale at the end of or shortly after the seventh letter.
Cavanaugh Marketing Blog
I have started a new marketing blog, separate from this blog in answer to the many requests for more information on marketing. I would recommend that you follow me there from now on. There simply is not enough space to continue writing on this page. Thank you for your continued support and I will be updating you with more of the marketing trends.
When you visit the page, be sure to sign up to Follow the Blog and Google Connect with me. This will give you more exposure to your business. Also, visit the blog to see how I am attracting views and followers.
New blog posts:
Expanding on Previous Work
Many businesses fail because of an inadequate marketing strategy. Gail Cavanaugh’s Business Solutions is offering a series of weekly webinars to address the problems that business owners face in their marketing. Marketing is a full-time job, but unfortunately, many business owners must perform the duties involved in creating their products and services. This one-hour webinar is for start-up businesses and established businesses. Join me to increase your knowledge of this topic. Begins March 30, 2012. Sign up today! $25.00 attendees, $15.00 for recording only. Free Report on Target Markets for attendees only.