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Here is a list of things that helped sales and or profitability in 2007.
1. Updated website to Website builder, domain name and hosting all for one low monthly fee at StoreSecured previously had been hosted through builderspot.com, which isn’t a bad place to start. Although there was a ton of downtime, and they had glitches like charging customers the wrong amount on their credit cards. I had put up with them for four years, two on my previous e-commerce site. The final straw came when I could no longer have access to customer’s credit card numbers for partial refunds and would have to call them to get their number again.
2. Began a rewards program that customers could join and earn 5% toward future purchases. Not only did this reward best customers whom I wanted to do something for, but it made so-so customers shop with us first, to build up their rewards. An unscientific sampling showed better than 50% choose to enroll in the program, Those are customers who I don’t have to re-claim, they will come back without PPC advertising expense.
3. Began a discount for volume purchases. If customers order a certain amount of each product they get a 5% discount on that product. This makes shipping more efficient from our end, and increases the dollars of the average order.
4. Began a company blog. Had long ago used articles and free distribution services to spread the word around about the company. Now the blog which is set up on a separate freebie service shows people we are here daily and not a casual thing. Use the blog to publish tips, and company news. Also make some money off the Google Ads, enough for a weekend away once a year.
4. Began working harder with instructors in the field. More apt to send out freebies to those who taught classes etc. These folks would spread the word to their students, and also encouraged bulk orders from these people. I am not much of a net worker by nature, but if the calls come in, I am quicker to offer special pricing etc.
5. A little thing, but decreased the volume of paper used in marketing and the office. Saved scrap paper for office notes and lists. Also printed newsletter included with order on the back of the invoice.
6. Bought a Dymo Twin Turbo printer for postage, instead of using ink jet printer for postage. Although the labels for the Dymo are more expensive than the labels for the ink jet, the amount of ink used is significantly lower.
7. Used the SEO toolbar in Firefox to track competitor’s and our website traffic. Set up a spreadsheet and plotted the links, Google page rank, and traffic estimates by Alexa, Compete, and Quantcast. Visit it about every three months to see how we are doing.
8. Took out ads in print magazines. Be forewarned these are expensive and are hard to track their effectiveness. But it is a great way to get your logo seen by the masses in your niche.