Easy ways to promote your business online!

Welcome to the first Nectarine blog posting! We are excited that in our 40th year in business the world is on the brink of a retail make-over.  An internet presence has become increasingly important in communicating and marketing to customers.  The good news is that it is easy—here is how….

This is the first of a two-part series on using the Internet to promote your business

Having an online presence is essential today, as the internet is a favorite way for consumers to find, learn about and shop for products.  Brick and morter stores have  been hard hit in this economy, and simple online tools can really help boost sales by bringing traditional retail and the 21st century shopper together.

Today, thanks to a wide range of innovative online tools, there are many easy, low cost or even free ways to get customers inside your store and shopping.  We want to share a few of the most successful online and social media tools and how these can positively impact your business!  Rest assured that these ideas can be done yourself and take only basic computer skills–no need for an expensive agency or designer.

Start from the Beginning: Create an Email Address for Your Business

The first step to having an online presence is making sure you have a dedicated email address for your business. Doing so is easy. If you already have an account with an email provider for your business, you’ll want to create a general email box that consumers can use to get in touch with your business, such as info@yourbusinessname.com   To create a free general email for your business, check out gmail, yahoo, hotmail, etc. you can simply use email addresses such as yourbusinessname@gmail.com or yourbusinessname@yahoo.com to make it easily recognizable as your general email address.  Microsoft and Mac also offer email services that integrate with their software applications.

Having an easily recognizable business email address allows you to send emails to your customers inviting them to your store or website and/or informing them of special promotions, in store events, new products, etc. Having a business email address will also allow you to separate your personal from your business emails and help your business to stay current by receiving emails from customers and special offers from YOUR favorite vendors

Do-It-Yourself Email Marketing

Keep in touch with your customers by signing them up to your e-newsletter. With each sale, ask if they would like to join your emailing list to receive special offers and learn about special in-store events. Make sure you have a simple sign-up sheet at checkout, so customers can easily join your mailing list.

Email marketing can also increase your online sales if your business has an ecommerce site. There are many ‘do it yourself’ email marketing websites that charge a small monthly fee to manage your email database and help you send out email blasts. Most offer easy to use templates where you can upload your logo, images and promo information in just a few minutes. Here are a few websites to check out:

YOU Can Create Your Business Website!

Today it is simpler than ever to create a website for your business. Thanks to do it yourself websites, you can easily use free templates to create a website for your business which is much more economical and quicker than hiring a professional website design firm when you are starting out. Plus it doesn’t require expensive software or upgrades.  You can start simply with a general information website and then transition into an e-commerce site if you should decide to do so later.  Check out http://www.homestead.com and http://www.volusion.com

Watch for your next blog in two weeks that will take you to the next steps in online business promotion.

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