Go From Brick and Mortar to Click and Order in Less Time and For Less Money Than You Think

Let me clarify what is meant by ‘Brick and Mortar’ businesses and ‘Click and Order’ businesses.  A ‘brick and mortar’ business is one that has a store front, a location or provides a service where the exchange of goods and services is not delivered on the internet. ‘Click and order’ is a business that conducts itself almost entirely via the internet.

Both types of business require building a relationship with the consumer through a marketing strategy, advertising, clear copy with calls to action, customer lists, customer value propositions, referrals and well-received products.

If you have a brick and mortar business, are you taking advantage of the single least expensive means you have available today to bring customers into your store?  Can you use this internet marketer’s secret?

Here are three things you can do immediately to virtually guarantee an increase in foot traffic and sales. 

1.  Start an e-mail list.  Get your customer’s e-mail address at check out.  Offer him something valuable in exchange, like a discount, first notice of new arrivals or pre-sale notifications to make it worth his while. It’s FREE.

TIP:  Here’s a few free e-mail services:  Google, Hotmail, Inbox, Yahoo, AOL. 

2.  Get a paid or FREE website or Blog and post information there a few times a week.  Include pictures of your hottest  selling items and include a story that explains why it is so desirable.  Post special events, sales, information your customers will find valuable, promotional offers.

TIP:  Here’s a few free website hosting, social networking, and blog services:  Windows OfficeLive (some restrictions), Blinkweb, Blogger, WordPress (There is a Free and Paid Version available), Twitter, Facebook, MySpace.  In case you are wondering, I purchased my domain name and use Microsoft’s OfficeLive.  I use that same domain name in my blog, hosted for free on Blogspot (Blogger).  There are services that give you a hosted domain name web presence at no cost when you use your email name as your domain name.

3.  E-mail your list.  At least once a week send an e-mail to your list recapping the new inventory, the great deal you just cut for merchandise, a sales coupon.  When you update your website or blog, send them an e-mail to tell them and include the link. Start with your current provider- it’s FREE.

TIP:  Always track your efforts- include a specific promotion code your customer needs to print and bring with them.  That way you will know what is working and what isn’t.

Prices and deals are constantly changing, and you may not get everything you need in a free offer, so please check into whatever service you are considering.

The bottom line is that every business needs a coherent print ,web, and electronic marketing and sales strategy that takes advantage of all the tools available.  It’s easy and uses the same sales principles that have been in use by successful businesses long before the popularization of electricity, let alone the internet. Every business has Madison Avenue Strategies available to it at Main Street USA prices.

BOLA TANGKAS