4 Tips to Ensure Customers Join and Stay on Your Email List

by G.B. Oliver

One of the biggest revenue streams for any online business is repeat customers. Once someone has bought from you, if they are happy, it would seem obvious that they would likely buy from you again. Getting them to subscribe to your email list is a great way to keep customers coming back, but it can also turn people off in fear they are going to be inundated daily with messages from you.

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Email Sign-up at OldNavy.com

So, here are some tips to get customers to subscribe:

  • Explain Exactly What They Are Getting. It’s as simple as stating, “We frequently offer one-day sales up to 40% off. If you would like to be notified, please add your email to this list. We promise, no more than one email a week.”
  • Give Them Options. Better to have them a little, than not at all. For example, “If you would like to be notified when we are having a sale of 30% or more off, please subscribe to our 30%+ list. If you wish to be notified of all sales, please subscribe to our All Sales list.” OneKingsLane.com actually allows you to choose which days of the week and times of the day (AM or PM) that you wish to be notified of any sales. People like having options and being the one in control.
  • Allow Emails to be Product-Specific. Maybe you sell a variety of products and they are only interested in certain ones. So, offer customers the ability to select certain items that they would like to be notified if they go on sale. This is similar to the service Hukkster.com, which allows you to track your favorite products on any shopping site and be notified when that specific product goes on sale.
  • Maintain Email Etiquette. You can also offer a feature that Fab.com does, whereby Fab will stop sending you emails if they detect that they are going unopened. It is a new form of email etiquette as they are assuming you are away and they do not want to fill up your inbox unnecessarily.

If you are not selling on your own site, but a major marketplace, you can still have customers sign-up for Email Alerts through your Gmail Contacts Group.

FINAL WORD: If you want repeat customer business from your email marketing campaign, you have to be more flexible and scale it to what different customers want and need. People have become leery of email, so give them options and they will be more likely to subscribe. (By the way, did you know you can be alerted by email when I have a new blog post by just clicking on the Follow icon  in the  right side bar).

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© 2013 G.B. Oliver. All rights reserved.

Google Search Phrases On The Rise

by G.B. Oliver

★ THIS BLOG POST  MADE NY TIMES SMALL BUSINESS, BEST OF THE WEEK 

I love looking at Google Trends and seeing which search phrases are popular, but also which ones are on the rise. The great thing about Google Trends is you can customize it by country and by time period (i.e. last 7 days), so it is a great tool to keep on top of the marketplace. So I entered some product categories to see what the top rising search phrases were, for the last 3 months, worldwide.

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For the jewelry vendors out there, and I know there are lots, these are the top rising search phrases:

  • Cheap Body Jewelry
  • Hematite Jewelry
  • Amethyst Jewelry (amethyst is the February birthstone)
  • Bridesmaid Jewelry

For wedding products vendors, typing in wedding was too generic, so here are the top rising search phrases, worldwide, in the last 3 months for “Wedding Invitations”:

  • Fun Wedding Invitations
  • Coral Wedding Invitations
  • Country Wedding Invitations
  • Homemade Wedding Invitations

For vendors of baby products, again, typing in baby was too generic. So I tried “Baby Clothes”, and these were the top risers:

  • Baby Summer Clothes
  • Neutral Baby Clothes
  • Crochet Baby Clothes
  • Handmade Baby Clothes
  • Unisex Baby Clothes

For vendors of art, I typed in the phrase “Wall Art” and this is what resulted:

  • Kitchen Art
  • African Wall Art
  • Bathroom Wall Art
  • Beach Wall Art
  • Kitchen Wall Art (Kitchen seems to be in big demand)

For vintage sellers, these were the breakout rising searches for “Vintage”:

  • Vintage Valentines
  • Modern Vintage Boutique
  • Vintage Swimwear
  • Vintage Prom Dresses
  • Vintage Bridesmaid Dresses
  • Vintage Style Dresses

For sellers of home products, it is a little tougher to narrow things down. So I entered “Decorative” and these were the results:

  • Decorative curtain rods
  • Decorative baskets
  • Decorative bird cages
  • Decorative wall hooks
  • Decorative ceiling tiles

FINAL WORD: When you look at searches in lesser time frames, like the last 3 months, it helps you to see popular cyclical searches, such as Valentine’s, and also how far in advance people start searching for different events or seasons. For example, people are already searching for summer items. Use Google Trends to help you find where that next opportunity lies for your online business.

★ If You Like My Blog, You’ll LOVE My New Ebooks (because I save my BEST ideas for in there!) 

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Be Careful About Sharing Your “Success” Tips … Your Competition is Listening

by G.B. Oliver

I was on one a popular online store’s forums the other day where sellers talk to each other and share information. Here, I frequently see sellers who make grand declarations such as they’ve made 500 sales in a month and here is how they did it. And I scratch my head and think to myself, BIG MISTAKE!

I realize that a lot of these online marketplaces like to foster a sense of community, but, at the end of the day this is still business and many of these sellers are your direct competition. Why on earth would you want to tell them your success secrets?

That is the problem when your ego takes over from your business sense. You have a bit of success and you want to tell everyone. But now realize, you are telling everyone, including your competition, and that’s not good.

It is NEVER a good idea to share your secrets with competitors. I dare anyone to find me a business book that says to do that. Would Coca-Cola email Pepsi and say, “Here is everything we did last year that worked. Good luck”. You would be sabotaging your own business. You don’t have any control over who reads your posts or your blog or tweets, so why put information out there that can hurt you? You want customers to notice you, but quite frankly, when it comes to your competition, you want to fly under their radar.

I have marketing professionals follow me all the time on Twitter. They don’t need my services, obviously. They are keeping tabs on me, which is what the competition does. If I do something they think works, let’s be honest, they will probably “borrow” it.

This is just good seasoned business advice. Remember the saying, Loose Lips Sink Ships. If you have an amazing secret that you stumbled upon that is causing your sales to skyrocket – KEEP IT TO YOURSELF (but tell me, of course).

Now, luckily for you I share my marketing secrets that will help your online business, in my ebooks, Small Business Marketing Ideas That Work!, plus find other helpful marketing tools in my Etsy shop.

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© 2013 G.B. Oliver. All rights reserved.

Do You Know Who Your Target Market Is?

by G.B. Oliver

I am always amazed by businesses who don’t seem to know who their target market is. These are the primary people who are most likely to buy your products and/or services. It is one of the first things you must identify before you can do any type of marketing.

Why is it important to know who is most likely to buy from you? Well, you can’t find them to sell to, if you don’t know who they are.

missed+target+dart

Your Target Market Q&A

1. Gender – Are your products for male, female or both?

2. Age – You just need a range. For example, if you are selling wedding products, the age range is probably 23 to 33, for the most part. If you are selling orthopedic shoes, then probably an age range of 60+.

3. Income – For example, are you selling luxury products? Then you need to target buyers in the higher income range.

4. Business or End User – Are you selling products a business or profession wants or for personal use? Maybe you have a product aimed at teachers, or in my case, small business owners. Maybe you sell art which you think is mostly for the home, but businesses look for art for their offices as well.

5. Primary Buyer – Is the buyer of the product not the user? For example, if you sell baby products, obviously you are selling to the parents, not the baby.

6. Location – Is this a product only of interest to someone in a certain city or country? For example, you have a product with the Union Jack flag on it. Would someone outside of the U.K. still be interested?

7. Needs – What are the current needs of your target market? Is it someone who is getting married, having a baby, starting a business, going to college, buying a new home, etc.

There are other factors you can consider as well, depending on what you sell, such as your target market’s style (traditional, modern, etc.), ethnicity, education level and so forth.

Once you have identified your primary target market, go back over this list and identify possible secondary markets. For example, my primary target market is small business owners, but I have actually had marketing students buy my ebooks. A secondary market can be the gift giver, an event planner, a fashion stylist, a daycare provider, etc. – basically, WHO could benefit from your products?

Once you have identified your primary and secondary target markets, now you have to go and find where they are and what makes them buy. I always recommend asking friends, family and colleagues who fit the description of your target market. It should NOT be guess work.

FINAL WORD: It is impossible to market your business effectively if you do not know who you are selling to. Make that your first priority to determine who wants your products and/or services, and everything else should work around that.

My New Marketing Ebooks

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“Best buy ever!” . . “Cannot recommend this enough!” . .  ”You will not be disappointed!” . . “Incredible! .. AMAZING advice!” 

Take your online business to the top TODAY, before your competition does. My expert, innovative advice, ideas and tactics will make you an online superstar! Download your copy of Small Business Marketing Ideas That Work!HERE.

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How Getting People To Ask You a Question Increases the Chance of a Sale

by G.B. Oliver

Have you heard the phrase “Engaging Your Customers?” The feeling is that once you make some sort of personal contact with a potential customer, the greater chance you have of selling to them. That is much easier when you are selling face to face, so how do you engage someone when you are selling online?

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Encourage People to Ask You a Question

Social media pundits will always say engage your audience by asking them a question. My theory is a little different. Engage potential customers by getting them to ask you a question.

The other day I was looking at the product copy of an online seller. For each of her products she had written a very long, detailed description. So detailed, in fact, that she answered every question I could possibly have if I had decided to read everything she wrote. So absolutely no reason for me to contact her unless I was going to buy. Now, this, in my opinion, is kind of a mistake.

Sometimes, not giving all the information, leaves the door open for communication. But you have to ask for it. Simply state, “If I have forgotten any details you need to know, please feel free to contact me (no obligation, I answer questions all the time!)”. When they do contact you, here is your opportunity to make the sale and close the deal with a friendly, helpful conversation similar to face to face selling.

Why do you think real estate agents never put the price of a house on the For Sale sign? So you’ll call them and ask.

Now, it can be time consuming answering people’s questions, but if you are just starting out and need those initial sales, it is a good way to get them.

Questions Help Create a Dialogue

When you answer a question, your customers can see that you are a real person that does exist and not just some online entity. Plus, it proves you know what you are talking about, which assures them that you are not just getting all your information from somewhere else. Plus, if you get back to them right away, they will see that you are serious about your customers.

So try to get your visitors to ask you a question, that will open up a dialogue, that can lead to a sale.

By the way, feel free to ask me a question at attentiongetting {at} gmail.com, but you can always get my very best marketing advice (I don’t put all my secrets on my blog!) in my new marketing guides that will tell you EVERYTHING you need to do to successfully sell online, whether you are established or just starting out. Click here for more information.

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© 2013 G.B. Oliver. All rights reserved.

Marketing I Love! Piperlime.com

by G.B. Oliver

If you have ever visited the online store, Piperlime, they do something I think is really smart. They know times are tough right now, so they have a category on their site called “Girl on a Budget”. All the items listed here are under $100.

Marketing small business lessons

This is smart marketing because 1. they have made it easy for the buyer by already putting aside these items in one area 2. they get it that not everyone can afford to spend a ton of money on clothes right now. They also send out an email campaign to their customers with the same “Girl on a Budget” heading. If you’re a female, that heading is attention getting.

“Girl on a Budget” Promotion from Piperlime

This campaign goes with my philosophy that when the economy is down, there may not be a lot of people with a lot of money to spend, but there will always be a lot of people with a little money to spend. That is who this is targeting. For some customers, this may be the only area of their website that they look at.

So How Can You Apply This To Your Small Business? 

Think about doing this with your own online business. Are there certain items you can pull out and say “Gifts under $25” or the “Everything under $30 section”. People will usually take a chance on a low cost item, and if they are satisfied they will return and buy more.

Want to love your marketing? Get innovative ideas that work! in my E-books, available HERE.