How to maximize your holiday marketing

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Although the holiday season doesn’t officially kickoff until November, it’s never too early to get a head start on your holiday marketing. Here’s some ideas that can help you get the most out of your holiday marketing.

Provide coupons as sign-up incentives
Buyers love coupons and one great way to kick-start your holiday marketing is to offer them to individuals who sign up for your website’s newsletter. This not only can help get them into your store, but the newsletter provides a great way to market your holiday sales.

Remind international buyers about shipping deadlines
International buyers typically have shorter shipping deadlines to order and receive items when their packages are sent by sea mail. You can often get some pre-holiday sales by reminding buyers that the deadline for purchasing items from across the pond is quickly approaching and time is running out.

Consider a loyalty program
Dollar and percentage-off offers are great, but you can also take loyalty shopping a step further by providing your best buyers with additional savings. Black Friday discounts, free gifts with purchase, or even free gift-wrapping can all help to keep buyers coming back time and time again.

Offer free shipping
Although many sellers rightly feel that free shipping eats into profits, many buyers don’t understand if you don’t offer it. One way some savvy sellers have gotten around this is by offering free shipping, but only when buyers make multiple purchases at one time. Buyers will often purchase additional items to meet buying requirements, so offering free shipping on orders of $50 or more, or when two or more items are purchased at the same time, can often work as effectively as offering every item to ship for free.

Call them by name
Did you know that you can often create a closer relationship with buyers by simply calling them by name? When corresponding with a buyer, make a point to address them by their first name. You can also make it a bit more personal by adding a hand-addressed thank you note with their purchases that uses their first name as well.

How do you maximize your holiday marketing? Leave a comment below.

How to draw traffic to your online store

Working from home
Marketing can not only help you increase the traffic to your online store, but when done correctly can assist in maintaining customer loyalty and could even raise your sales. Unfortunately, many sellers put off performing the marketing portion of their online business because they think that it will take up too much of their time. In reality, you can often get positive results, even if you only work on it for 15 minutes a day. Here’s some ideas that can help.

Create a blog
Many online sellers continue to put off creating a blog because they either don’t know what the blog should be about or they don’t know what type of content they should write. Since search engine are constantly looking for new content, however, maintaining a blog can help boost your search results and draw attention to your store. To maximize your blogs potential, aim to create content that is relevant to the types of products you sell or promotes what your site is all about. As an example, if you sell cooking utensils, you could provide tips on cooking or even recipes that use the types of utensils that you sell.

Lights, camera, action
Creating short videos on YouTube that include a link to your website in the title is a great way to market your online store. Videos are extremely popular right now and search engines just love them. Google will even index your website higher in their search results if it contains a video.

Maximize your Facebook presence
Although there are some mixed opinions about how well Facebook Business pages (also known as a fan page) do, it’s still a good idea to have a Facebook page that is devoted to your online business. Make a point to post something there at least once a day.

While some sellers tend to post nothing but the items they sell on their Facebook page, mixing it up a bit with some personal stuff or articles about your particular niche can help keep your followers from feeling that you are doing nothing but spamming them.

Tweet, Snap, Post and Chat
Play around with other types of social media to see which ones are the best fit for your online business. If you’re selling to the millenial crowd, you may find that marketing on SnapChat or through Instagram is more successful than posting directly on Facebook or Twitter. To keep from getting overwhelmed with your marketing, try and master one social media website before advancing to the next. Make a point to track which sites do better and you can then concentrate more of your effort there.

How do you market your online store? Leave a comment below.

What You Should Know About Generational Buying & Selling

Generation Gap

As the holidays approach, you may think that you know what your buyers want. You may even think that you know how how they want it and maybe you do…if your buyers are of a similar generation to you. If they’re not, however, you may have your marketing heading off in the wrong direction.

You see, each generation has their own philosophy and it defines their attitude about shopping and buying. Depending on what you’re selling and what age group you’re selling it to, how you market your items can either make you or break you when it comes to getting each generation’s attention. As an example, while Generation X (those born between 1965 and 1984) generally like antiques and have a soft spot for anything and everything vintage. To turn them into buyers, give them suggestions for buying or using your items rather than trying to make it about the rules.

On the other hand, Generation Y, or rather, those who were born between 1985 and 2001 and sometimes known as “Millenials”, tend to avoid items that have the word antique or collectible attached to it and mostly seem to prefer new items, although vintage clothing can still hold a certain appeal. When marketing to Generation Y, you want to show them why the product is useful to them and that it has value. Often the secret to winning over someone who is Generation Y is by building a relationship with them and asking their opinions about your products rather than trying to directly sell to them.

Interestingly, one of the biggest differences between generations is between Baby Boomers (1946 to 1964) and the newest generation, which is known as Generation Z (born after 2001). Not only is their a bigger difference in age between them, but their thoughts on what they want to buy vary greatly too.

As an example, Baby Boomers believe in brand names and brand name products while Generation Z is more skeptical about brand names. The brand name loyalty factor isn’t as strong in Generation Z, but they do expect similar products to perform in a similar manner and want the look and feel to be basically the same. When marketing to Baby Boomers the brand can win them over, but if it’s a Generation Z you want to appeal to, show them how the product works and that it will make their life better.

Do you vary your marketing depending on each specific generational group? Leave a comment below.

It’s All In The Mind: Pricing Strategies to Help Your Bottom Line

brain power
If you’re like most sellers, one of the hardest decisions you have to make when you are listing items is the price point. Price it too high and the item may sit and gather dust. Price it too low and you may leave money on the table.

Pricing can make even a seasoned Powerseller second guess themselves sometimes, but it doesn’t have to if you know a little secret. You see, pricing is really all about psychology, or rather, it’s all in the mind.

Here’s what you need to know:

Higher price = better quality. You may think that slashing prices will mean more sales, but the reality is that pricing items at a higher price will often attract more buyers who are concerned about the quality of an item rather than getting the best deal. They don’t mind paying more as long as they think the value is there. Try increasing the price of items to help create a perception of higher-value.

Use a smaller font. It may not make much sense, but displaying the price in a smaller font can trick the brain into thinking that a price is lower than what it actually is. Use a larger font for titles and descriptions, then make your price visually smaller next to it.

Round those numbers up. If you’re like most sellers, you’ve probably been taught that the best way to price an item is to use .99 to make an item’s price seem smaller than it actually is. This means instead of $10.00, you would price the item at $9.99. This is typically what most sellers do. Research has shown, however, that when buyers need to make a quick decision about an item, it can actually work better to use a round number instead. This is because the brain doesn’t have to do as much to analyze the price and can therefore make a quick decision, which is often to go ahead and buy the item.

Keep in mind, however, that this rationale only works on items that one might buy based on emotion or impulse. When selling items where the buyer is more likely to rationalize the justification of the price, it is generally better to continue using the .99 or leave the cents in.

Finally, when raising prices it is best to do it in small increments. Buyers typically won’t notice if you add a few cents here and there, but if the price shoots beyond what they consider a reasonable percentage all at once, they will sit up and take notice.

Do you have a pricing strategy? Leave a comment below.