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9 Ways To Promote Online BusinessAre you looking for ways to boost up the sales of products in your online store? If you are not, than you are among the very few online store owners. Seriously, in my many dealings with online store owners, the most common problem they have is low sales number.

Well, low sales volume is really a result. In order for me to provide a solution, I need to know the cause of the problem. When I dug deeper, I discovered that the actual problem comes from the lack of targetted traffic to the online store.

Obviously, how can there be sales if your store is not attracting targeted visitors? Now that I’ve discovered the cause, I can certainly provide you with the solutions. Here are 9 ways to get targeted potential buyers to your online store and boost up your sales:

1. Discount Coupons

First of all, you will need to create discount coupons for your potential buyers. The easiest way to create these coupons is by using your online store shopping cart system. They may be different in terms and location, however, any decent shopping cart system today should have a discount coupon feature. If you are not on a proper cart system, you are out of luck. Time to move on to a shopping cart system perhaps?

Discount Coupons To Boost Traffic

If you can afford it, create a coupon with big discounts. If you are selling physical products, a discount of at least 30% should do the trick. For digital products, should go really try for at least 60% discount. Take note of the discount coupon code. You will need to distribute it in the following steps.

This is really the core of your marketing effort. It is the best way to entice your visiting prospects to buying your products once they get to your online store.

2. SMS Promotions

SMS Promotions
The best method of direct promotion would certainly be SMS messages. The message goes directly into your prospects’ SMS Inbox. Like it or not, the receiver will have to at least open up and read your SMS before deciding on what to do with it. Your message is actually read by all your prospects who received the SMS.

All you have to do is give your prospects an offer they simply cannot resists. You will have yourself a sure buyer.

Of course, you will also need to have a bulk SMS system in order to send large numbers of SMS on schedule. I don’t recommend using your own handset to do this. That will cost you time and money. With a proper Bulk SMS system, you will definitely save on time and money.

3. Email Promotions

Email Promotions
Another method of promoting your discount coupons is by sending your promotions by email. Again, all you have to do is write a very informative email about the product or products you are promoting. At the end of the email, inform your customers/prospects about the special discount you are giving at the moment.

The thing to remember about eMail marketing is, do not use email to hardsell to your prospects. You should instead focus on giving information about the benefits and values of your products. Presell in your eMail. Leave the sales pitch on your sales page online.

Bare in mind that eMail marketing is not a one off task. You need to prepare in advance about 7 – 9 scheduled emails on your product promotions. In general it takes 5 – 7 email communications with a prospect before they are willing to buy from you. Some might even take more than 9 emails to soften their hearts to become your customer.

The use of a good eMail marketing autoresponder system like Aweber, GetResponse, Mailchimp and Auto ResponseBot is highly recommended here. Otherwise, the next best thing is to use your shopping cart’s email features.

Of course, before you could send your prospects the eMails, you should have built your mailing list before hand. Have you?

4. Blog Promotions

Do you blog? Do you blog about your business?

Blogging is certainly one of the best ways to market your online business. It’s definitely the most natural way to market your business. The effectiveness of blog marketing is probably almost similar to the traditional word of mouth marketing.

I would put blog marketing similar to word of mouth marketing because essentially the two are the same. You promote by telling a story. The only difference is in the medium. When you blog, you are marketing about your products in your own words by writing blog articles. You probably tell the same story to a friend or acquaintance whenever you speak about your business to a friend or acquaintance.

Blogging however, has a slight advantage over word of mouth in terms of its reach. If you market using your blog, your market reach is global. Not so with word of mouth. Besides, if blogging is done properly, you will get the assistance from the likes of Google, Yahoo and Bing in marketing your blogs. Cool eh?

Please do note that I recommend using a blog solely for your business marketing purpose. Do not use a blog to run your online store business.

5. Facebook Promotions

Everyone’s favorite social network. Everyday I see more more people utilizing their personal Facebook account to do business. It’s certainly good to see people putting up their business on the Net.

However, the most common violations people make on Facebook is to build a community on a personal page instead of a proper Facebook Page.

Facebook is a social network platform. Use it for it’s purpose. In this case, use Facebook to market your business to your social network. Do not build your business on Facebook. By that I mean do not use Facebook photo albums as your business catalog and the facebook wall as your business interface.

The proper way of using Facebook for your business is by creating a Facebook FanPage for your business. Put up value filled articles and notes into your FanPage. Spread the news about your business fanpage to your friends. Get them to like it.

Put up your business promotions and discount coupons on the wall of your FanPage. Tell your fans to spread the news.

If you are running a WordPress blog on your own domain and hosting, then you could install one of the many Facebook plugins for WordPress. This enables you to automatically update your Facebook everytime you update your blog.

6. Twitter Promotions

Everyone’s on Facebook. Quite a large number of them are also on Twitter. Promoting your business on Twitter is somewhat similar to promoting your business by SMS. That is in terms of the number of characters you can use in your promotion.

Just like SMS, Twitter only allows you to send 160 characters. When promoting with Twitter you need to be very precise in picking your words. Be specific. Just go straight to the point.

It would also be good if you can schedule your marketing tweets. Check out this entry in Social Times about Twitter apps that allows you to schedule your tweets.

Again, if you do run WordPress, there are plugins that allows you to Tweet your latest entry to your Twitter account. Pretty handy feature to have.

Another thing to note. You should also have a separate Twitter account for your business as well and use that to promote your business.

7. Forum Promotions

Are you a frequent forumer? Forums and Newsgroups were very much the place to be online during the years before Facebook and Twitter. Truth being, even with the popularity of FB and Twitter, today thre are still many forums thriving on the Internet.

Just go to Google and do a search for forums related to your business. Be an active forumer in the forum and add value. Once people have deemed you worthy and accepted you as their fellow forumer, you can put up your business promotions and discount coupons.

Be very careful in forums. If you go in and start promoting your business without giving value first, you will be labeled as a spammer. You might even be banned from the forum. Not good for your online business.

8. Article Marketing

Article marketing is perhaps the best way to market your business for long term traffic to your online business. As such, it is the place where you will first have to give value, lot of value before you can actually reap the benefits.

How does article marketing work? You write a series of articles about your products, business and market. Your articles must be very informative, original and interesting. At the very end of your article is an area called the author’s resource box. It’s where you can put your marketing and link back to your online business website.

Submit your article to the many article directories available. Do a search on Google to find them. However, here are two directories that I highly recommend you to use – EzineArticles and GoArticles.

Notice the “Published Articles” menu item at the top of this blog? That’s a link to a collection of my articles in eZineArticles. You are more than welcome to have a look at them.

9. Affiliate Program

This is truly the best and simplest way to get more sales for your online business. You don’t have to do anything. Well, not really. You do have to first create and promote your affiliate program.

It is also best if you can provide your affiliates with some form of marketing materials such as banners and email samples.

The actual marketing is really done by your affiliates for you. The more affiliates you have promoting your business, the more sales you get.

In order to run your own affiliate program, you will need to first run your online business on your own domain and hosting. So, if you are on running your business on blogspot, facebook, weebly or any other freeby sites, you are out of luck.

With an affiliate program, you can then run a contest for your affiliates. Give out special high value gifts to your top 3 affiliates. As an example, you can certainly run a contest that gives out ipads to the top three affiliates whose sales are more than $300,000 in a particular month. Something like that.. I hope you get it.

As with any form of businesses, you really have to work hard before you can become successful. The same law applies to your online business. If you don’t work hard in marketing your online business, chances are high for you to fail.

I’ve really just touched upon the 9 marketing methods in here. If you really want to have a successful online business, I would recommend that you master the methods above one at a time. Go through the list and focus on each one of them for a month at least. Don’t forget to monitor the results of each of them. That way you will learn which of the methods works best for your business. Then you could put more effort in marketing using the method that works best.

Have you got any other form of marketing that you’ve tried online and offline that works for you? Why not share your marketing experience in here with everyone. After all, sharing is caring.