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Email Marketing Part 1: Setting It Up

As a business owner consistently pushing your brand and products in front of your customers is a struggle. Adapting, creating, and promoting new products are imperative, and one simple way to do that is through email newsletters. Some people believe that email marketing is a thing of the past and not an effective way to grab a customer’s attention. I am here to say those are false beliefs and many companies are successfully using email marketing for numerous reasons. Email Marketing increases traffic towards your online store, increases brand awareness while promoting your products consistently.

The first thing a business must do is carefully build up a recipient list and carefully place them into categories so as the business owner can send out direct newsletters to increase the potential for that customer to buy products on your online store.

After creating a list for the newsletter, the next step is to set up a newsletter. This isn’t the easiest thing to do, one must pay close attention to the design and effort you’ve put into it to achieve maximum results. It must draw the reader’s attention towards certain parts of the newsletter to keep them interested and want to read more. Maybe offer coupon codes or incentives to your audience to drive traffic to your store even if they don’t buy anything. If at all, a newsletter is a way to keep your business fresh inside the minds of your customers, saying “Hey! I’m still here with good deals”.

Now after you’ve built up your audience and took the time to carefully build your newsletter it’s time to send it out. But you may be asking, when is the best time to send this out? Does the time of day really matter? Yes it does! Do some further research to maximize the amount of open rate your newsletter. Try to send out an” A/B” testing email to narrow down times, dates, days, and even comparing different emails. Doing this will increase your chances for a higher return on investment and increase the amount of people looking forward to your next newsletter!

Be sure to tune in next week on part 2 of this marketing feature!

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“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” – Outdoor Business Network

10 Reasons to have a Website!

By 2014 every business should have at least a website capable of informing customers what you have to offer, the time your store is open for business, and some contact information in case they needed to call. For retail stores, not having a fully functioning eCommerce website could be limiting the amount potential growth your company has. Think about it, in today’s world, when someone is looking for a retailer they go online and search for it. Unfortunately, the yellow pages are now considered to be practically stone aged but there is something you can do as a retailer to keep up with the times. Let us go through 10 reasons why your company needs to be on the web by 2014!

1. Promoting the Presence of your Brick-n-Mortar Store

Finding your store isn’t always the easiest thing to do, and can become quite frustrating. Having an online store you’re able to publish a virtual map on your website which can show directions and easy identifiable landmarks for customers to print out.

In case you’re business grows too large for your current store front, you may move to a large facility. Doing this you will be waiting on the phone company to come out and set up your connection, since a website is flexible you will be able to inform customers where you’re new shop.

2. Expanding the Market

The internet has allowed companies to offer their products to people all over the world, virtually in any country as long as they have internet service. This is huge for companies, being able to expand their businesses reach. On a smaller scale level, this helps small businesses become more competitive, you may not get that customer 1000 miles away, but you have the potential to grab that customer that may think it’s just a little far to drive to your store front.

3. 24/7/365

This is great for businesses, never having to close down ever again, make employees work endless hours! Ha! No, having a fully functioning website will allow you to step away from the shop on holidays and special occasions knowing that customers can still buy your product online. Having a website means your company will be able to stay open every hour of every day.

4. Advertising Goes Further

The internet is vastly different from print and media advertising. Print and media advertising can become quite costly not to mention frustrating, while having an online store companies can advertise online to customers for less while achieving more! With the technology today you are able to track each ads performance on a day to day basis.

5. Growth Opportunity

Having a website is a great place to refer potential investors and customers to, showing them what your company is about, what is stands for while having proof of what it has achieved and the potential is has to achieve in the future!

6. Standardize the Sales

Having the ability to study your website and looking at what sales approached worked and which have not. Studying this and taking notes will allow you to create the sale proof pitch using it on every customer to increase the amount of sales.

7. Adding Value and Satisfaction to the Customer

Your company website can add an invisible value to help your customers and visitors remember you better by adding general knowledge, advice, and featuring some tips. All of these things can not only improve the chance of your customers returning to your website but also help them remember what they’ve seen and read.

8. Credibility

A website provides the opportunity to inform potential customers what your company is     and why they can trust you and your products. Many people use the internet to                   reference ratings and reviews on products prior to purchasing a product. This also             allows a free marketing tool, where no longer do you have to spread the positive word       but your customers do some of the marketing for you by showing off where and how         they got their newest product.

9. Two-way Communicative Marketing

When a customer needs quick feedback on a product, they can easily refer to a                 website to find what they are looking for. Having a website that provides the feedback of     prior customers can ensure the newer customers that they are receiving what they are     paying for. They can also give your company the feedback on your products and the           marketing approach you may have took on that page.

10. Cheap Research

Having a website provides your business with the opportunity to show features, and           new products. But can also provide some market research to determine just how well       your business sizes up to the next by adding visitor polls, online surveys, and using           your web statistics.

This isn’t the Stone Age, store to store business may not be enough anymore. Make sure your business doesn’t suffer from the lack of knowledge available at hand. Take advantage of everything the web has to offer. Analyze the data and monitor your progress, to ensure the survival of your business. Don’t get left behind!

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“Not having a functioning website only limits your company’s success” – Korey P.

Small Incentives to Increase Customer Sales

Generally speaking any main online business objective is to sell more products to new and returning customers alike. When potential customers shop online they are always looking for the best deal around, whether it be free shipping, a percentage discount, or even a simple graphic that entices them to click. It’s difficult for businesses to try to win every online price war; but what if your potential customers know that every day or every week you have a different item on special or on sale? In this short blog, we’re going to cover 3 small incentives your business can do right now to generate and increase sales.

  1. Specials – One of the most important tools that online business owners tend to forget is having some sort of special on one or more of their products. A special on a product could be something small but entices the potential buyer to follow through and purchase the product. A quality place to put a specials is anywhere on the home page that directs the potential customers’ eyes towards it.
  2. Shipping – Online buyers search multiple websites before they find the product they’ve been searching for at the amount they were looking to spend, but when they get to the end shipping costs could be the only difference between a customer buying a product from your and a competitor. Offering customers different shipping costs depending on the size of their shopping cart could entice customers to not only buy their product from you but also spend more money on your website to get the better shipping costs.
  3. Time and time again I’ve shopped online looking for good deals for the products I want to buy. After finding multiple options around the same price I often look to see what incentives or free items I may get with the purchase. For instance, if I’m deciding between two companies; If “Company A” offers me a free small item like a key-chain, where “Company B” doesn’t offer me anything, you better believe that “Company A” is going to get my business. Even if I know I’m not going to use the key-chain, the thought of receiving something for free always is more enticing. So in theory sometimes offering customers a small item that doesn’t cost much more than a few pennies could result in more business for your company.

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“lower prices don’t always mean higher sales” – Korey Pavlika

Green Supply: Newest Addition of Distributors!

Since 2006, Outdoor Business Network has worked effortlessly to bring their retailers industry leading distributors and we are proud to announce the addition of Green Supply. Green Supply offers wholesale hunting, outdoors and sporting goods products with over 35 thousand products ranging from over 260 manufacturers. The partnership will allow Green Supply products to be distributed through the e-Commerce platform provided by Outdoor Business Network. The OBN team is excited to work with Green Supply and help build the image of the Outdoor industry.

Using Analytics to Refine your Website

Ever wonder where the majority of your website’s visitors travel on your site? What they click on? How long their on there? It’s called analytics, companies use this to track their visitor’s behavior. It allows companies to keep track of specific data about items that are purchased, you learn how visitor’s navigate the site, and allows you to focus on particular ways to increase the sales for your company. For example, if you’ve noticed that many potential customers are leaving their shopping carts, you can back track their navigated pages to find what pages may need to be overhauled or slight changes to increase the amount of online sales. For the best online results, consistently checking of the websites page traffic and the popularity of specific items will allow your company to stay one step ahead of your competition.

Here are five tools to help get your company use analytics:

1. Demographics: This tool allows you to understand the characteristics of your customers like their age, and sex so you can adapt your website as necessary.

2. Geographical location: Allows you to understand where your visitor’s are coming from, and their language.

3. Behavior: this tool is great to understand how many unique visitor’s you are receiving on a monthly basis, and also allows you to see the amount of time spent on your website to help you narrow down any issues you may be having.

4. Device: this feature is very important to understand how your visitor’s are reaching your website, either by a desktop, mobile device, or a tablet, understanding this will allow you to cater to your largest group of visitor’s and potentially increase sales.

5. Visitor Flow: this is the feature where you get to see where your visitors are going every time they are on your website. This will allow you to track what pages you may need to upgrade to increase the longevity of potential customers on that page.

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“Improving your website is understanding your visitors” – OBN team