Saturday, May 06, 2006

How to Use e-Technology to Jazz Up Your Sales

Today, more than 85% of small businesses have PCs and almost 30% have their own websites. Statistics predict that small e-merchants, or internet based businesses with less than 10 employees, could soon account for as much as 10% of the U.S. gross domestic product.

Small businesses that do not conduct web-based transactions still utilize online technology in daily operations. Below is a thumbnail sketch of how to use e-technology in your small business:
  • Website. Your home page should reflect the personality of your business and have some pizzazz! Brainstorm to find unique and intriguing words to use on your home page so that your website will catch a web surfer's eye! A thesaurus may come in handy. The 3 minimum contents of a small business website are:

    1. A jazzy homepage that tells people why they should read it.

    2. A bio page that tells your readers about you and your business.

    3. Content that changes regularly to entice people to revisit your website.

  • Electronic Newsletters. The 2 keys to a great electronic newsletter are your database and the newsletter content. It is critical that your newsletter be emailed to people who have given you their email addresses for the purpose of receiving a newsletter and to be sure to provide an “Opt Out” option so that recipients may unsubscribe to your newsletter. The content of your newsletter needs to be limited to 400-600 words and be visually appealing. Use action oriented phrases, bullets, short paragraphs and edgy words that provoke emotion. Use a little humor and have fun!

  • E-mail. Treat your email as if it were a letter to your client. It needs to have a greeting, like “Dear Jane” or “Hi Jane”, a well-constructed and punctuated body of text and a salutation that includes your name, title, company name, phone number, email address and website.

  • Blogs. DUH! See my April 10, 2006 blog entry: How Blogs Help Your Small Biz

  • Webinars: These are web-based seminars that allow a small business owner to put a PowerPoint presentation online, narrate it, add video and let prospects view it 24-7-365 at their leisure. Prospective clients all over the country can be reached and you only perform the seminar once – while your prospects come to you via the web. Not only are they great publicity tools but many webinar viewers pay a small fee. Cha-Ching!

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