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Top 10 Ways to Increase Your Business
© 2002 Jan Cabral
1. Join Quiltshops.com. This service is free and there are just six requirements for membership:
1) Display of Quiltshops.com icon on main page, and care taken to not remove it, as it breaks the ring.
2) Opt-in for Quiltshops.com mailing list on pre-order form. This mailing list is used ONLY to send notices of sales three times per year.
3) Extension of the terms cost (wholesale) plus 10% plus actual shipping to Key to the Web, LLC for any orders placed by the winner of the $500 shopping spree. The winner places only 5 orders a month, normally, and cannot order more than $90 in merchandise from any one shop. The odds of receiving an order in any given month are less than 4%.
4) All member shops must have a working telephone connected to a working answering machine with the number listed on the front page of the web site. There must also be an address (PO Boxes are fine). 25% of all email is lost or blocked by spam filters; customers must have an alternate way to contact you.
5) Member shops need to maintain an excellent level of customer service. If closed for vacation or a show, shops need to notify email@example.com so that the Quiltshops.com database indexing can be suspended while the shop owner is away. They also need to put a notice on their front page, and add info to Store Order Extra Text in Store Configuration about when they will return and when they can expect the order to be shipped. Quiltshops.com will automatically eliminate from membership any shop that has unread orders more than 10 days old. Once the shop has returned to do business on a daily basis, they will be reinstated.
6) Key to the Web, LLC will terminate services and immediately close any shop not delivering merchandise ordered by their customers. Furthermore, repeated complaints to Quiltshops.com by customers about client's customer service (not answering phone calls or emails about orders, not shipping for weeks after the order, etc.) will result in suspension of membership in Quiltshops.com.
2. USE YOUR MAILING LIST. Each of you should be developing a customer list utilizing our mailing list management software. When is the last time you sent out a mailing? If you're not sending out at least one newsletter a month, then you are missing out on the greatest way there is to increase your business. There are complete instructions in the help file for mailing lists if you don't know how to do it.
3. Enter your site into the enhanced listing database at
www.quiltshops.com/register_client.htm. You can be in as many categories as are appropriate for FREE and it even includes your logo in the listing.
4. Buy banner advertising from Quiltshops.com. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for a list of the keywords that are available. Some of the keywords go for as little as $3.75 per month.
5. Submit your site to the search engines if you haven't already. Go here for instructions.
6. Give away an especially great prize one month, and watch your mailing list increase. You can now mail news of new items and sales to these clients every two weeks, or even weekly!
7. Buy classified advertising in quilt magazines. This is a very inexpensive way to get your address out to millions of quilters.
8. If you do booths in any quilt shows, have a large banner made for your booth with your web address.
9. Link with as many quilt sites as possible. Following is a list of major sites, and you should also use the list at www.spingola.com/links.htm to individually link to as many other sites as possible. Click here for tips on cross-linking.
www.quilting.about.com - Quilting at About.com
http://www.ctpub.com/index2.html - C & T Publishing’s Ultimate Directory
http://quilt.com/MainQuiltingPage.html - World Wide Quilting Page
http://www.thequiltermag.com/links.html - The Quilter Magazine
http://www.quilt.net - Quilt.net
www.planetpatchwork.com - Planet Patchwork
www.spingola.com/links.htm - Deanna Springola's Great Links
www.quiltindex.com - This site charges $99 per year for listings, but they also run the "Mall Crawl", a giant scavanger hunt for quilters!
10. Promote your site in everything you do - business cards, letterheads, newsletters, bags, etc.
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