Wednesday, April 09, 2008

How to Keep Your Customers Returning for More

Once you start selling your items online, you need a way to keep your customers returning to buy more. Below are a few helpful guidelines that may help you. These are free to low-cost advertising methods that are very effective when performed regularly.

1. Add new items on a regular basis – at least once a week.

2. Always be courteous to your customers and thank them for their purchases.

3. Join forums that have something in common with items that you sell. This is a great way to spread the word about your new business, learn things that you may not know about running an online business, and get support from others.

4. Keep a list of your customers and their email addresses in case you need to send out an occasional brief email with business updates (i.e. if you’re moving from Ebay to your own website or to mention new types of items you are offering). When you send your thank you email to them, inform them that you will send updates via email from time to time.

5. A business newsletter is a wonderful way to keep your customers – or potential customers - informed of more frequent business updates. Offer an easy way for people to sign up for the newsletter. It can be as simple as asking them to email you with their personal information.

6. Assure your subscribers that their information will be kept confidential and give them a way to opt out. Replying to the newsletter with “unsubscribe” in the subject line is the most common opt-out option.

7. Give your newsletter subscribers exclusive offers such as percentages off for a time period, buy one - get one deals, or offer prize give-aways (if eligible in your state) to those who make purchases. The ideas here are endless and your customers will not want to unsubscribe if they are getting exclusive deals.

8. Start a blog. This is a great way to keep your customers updated and another way for new customers to find you. It doesn’t have to take up a lot of your time. Add a couple of short posts each week. Along with your business updates, offer the readers something that will keep them returning such as inspirational stories, craft tips, house cleaning tips, recipes, or a good old-fashioned laugh.

Once you do all of this, your best source of advertising will fall into place – word of mouth. Your customers will tell their friends and they will tell their friends, etc. Others will begin to blog about you, your site(s) and the items you sell. I hope you have found this information helpful. Good luck!

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