This is a very good topic because I've noticed one thing that many small website owners lack is a marketing plan. I mean a real plan that outlines where and how you will be advertising your business tomorrow, next year, and 5 years from now.
Regarding a short term boost, I would agree that going full throttle with the online ad campaign may be best.
Does he have an opt-in email list of his customers? I would look at doing a very good e-shot with special offers, money off vouchers, etc.
Having an Easter Holiday special offer for his old customers if they order right now until end of March.
Add a coupon code in the email confirmation to be redeemed before March 31st.
>> online ad campaign
Conceptually this is a good idea but I would want to plan it out. I think I'd actually go after a 2-3 campaigns that leverage anything current/happening. Set them up to target different susceptibility.
1) Financial plea - you need this because it's on sale. Or this deal won't last forever.
2) Emotional #1 - you need this because your business is in danger without it.
3) Emotional #2 - you need this because you like to be on the bleeding edge
4) Emotional #3 - your competition uses this - shouldn't you?
5) Emotional #4 - it's sexy.
6) Safety - you need this because your company/job will fail without it.
See SEM4U's post. You can get an easy instant boost by contacting your existing or past clients with a special, time limited offer. In fact, I'm always surprised at how well this works. It's fast and it's easy.
Do a giveaway: for each X customers, one wins a free widget in the draw.
|Does he have an opt-in email list of his customers? I would look at doing a very good e-shot with special offers, money off vouchers, etc. |
Even though it has been mentioned, I'd like to highlight the email aspect of it. "All" of our email campaigns are successful. I don't think we've had one that hasn't paid for itself thrice over each time we send one. ;)
Hit the streets. If its something he can promote locally and he's a social animal, time to maybe pound the pavement a little. :)
What about giving it for less (say by decreasing his profit by say 5%) and say its special ending sale or something. It might boost sales
lorax has very sound advice - It's tantamount to e-commerce suicide to offer a product(s) w/o instilling a perceived need for them; You can bet the bank his competiton is doing it.
It's important to create a sense of urgency, too, as ectect suggests. Impulse sales, vis-a-vis the goofy little stands that are in front of the cash register in every corner store usually do very well, provided they have items for sale that trigger a "Darn.. I need that, and I had forgotten I did/Now that I see that widget, I can see understand how I just might need it" thought process.
As mundane as it sounds - get the address into blog comments (avoid spamming, though), get people clicking on it and get "Web word-of-mouth" started..
I personally will usually tell somebody else if I see a website with good deals or cool stuff or great prices, and they'll tell someone, and so on.
Never underestimate the power of subliminal suggestion.
Model shots of people that are
- happy with/interested in/being productive because of -
his products are worth their weight in gold, or alternatively
good 'ol fashioned "widget in use" shots.
"Humanize" the site as much as possible, get visitors associating
good feelings with his products at every turn.
Referal bonus, refer a friend and receive X% credit towards future purchase. Kinda kills 2 birds with one stone, gets a sale, gets a new customer and a potential future sale, even although there will be a discount.
[edit for typo]
[edited by: mack at 6:43 pm (utc) on Mar. 22, 2008]
If he doesn't have an affiliate program I'd sign up for some hosted affiliate service somewhere ASAP that comes complete with a lot of hungry affiliates ready to sell.
I was thinking along the lines of what Mack said. Refer a friend and both of you get a ?% off discount on your next order.
While going over 1M in sales is a nice goal, its short term thinking unless he's just compensated on sales in which case the incentive structure needs a little work. The best way to get to 1M in sales is to sell more than 1M in product for 1M. The term profits should be in there somewhere.
Offer something off the next order with a current order at regular price. Preserve the initial margin and help ensure those people will come back and buy again.
Send to a friend coupons is a great idea.
Isn't FREE shipping supposed to be the number one thing people want or close to it?
If the PPC search campaigns are running at a profitable ROI and there are budget caps in there, then lift those budget caps and keep the bid prices the same.
Landing page & offer testing.
Any hot new products to be releleased in the next few months? Order #*$! now and be guaranteed to get this hot new gadget at the wonderful price of #*$!. Probably anything that involves a Wii would bring in some traffic at least.
E-Mail Campaign offering a coupon code
Find all areas where you can cut excess spending.
It is very encouraging to hear that your friend is reaching his first million dollar traget. Contrats to him. Let us know the site or products he sells at his site. It is very easy if each of us buy one bundle of product(s) from him online.
He should have ads and run a PPC campaign for more leads.Let's know how is he doing please.
The Best Solution, Which I would personally suggest is:
Thanking Customers & Promoting them More.
Your friend could send a Thank you Card via Email Marketing, that if without his customers support, he/she would not have reached that close to One Million Sale.....and in this regard, ask your friend, to offer something very special to the Customers, towards the march end sale.....it could be redeeming a coupon, or a referral sale or a Free Home Delivery Sale or whatever based on the feasibility....
You could also convey my Congratulations to him/her on my behalf...
Join shareasale affiliate network for a minor fee and put out some coupons to the plethora of coupon sites that are on there. BOOM :)
Thanks for all the great ideas. I hear he's only a few K short and is pushing hard to break this barrier.
All very sound advice... here's what I do. With every purchase of my product, I send out a receipt of purchase in the post, which includes a ¤1 lottery scratch card and 3 tear off 'Recommend us to your friends' cards printed on the bottom! ...lemme tell yea! sales have gone through the roof! ;o)
It won't help him in March 2008, but if he wants to blow away 10 million in March 2009... he could use a small armada of semi popular websites to drive traffic with, if he starts building them today.
Even owners with top notch websites that dominate a sector are launching new sites in the same topic of interest. Having multiple top sites in Google serps is money in the bank nowadays regardless of how you monetize them.
Update: He broke the Million!
Congrats to him and his assistant.
He's obviously working on beating that again next year.
FYI - his business-to-business sales come from phone and web, much of it being repeat local business. None of it is from outside the country.
The business sector is changing all the time, so, one month a product is relatively high margin, the following month or so it has dropped to as little at 5% margin. This often means he has to sell today and move on to the next product/s.
Special deals and offers are important, and getting those offers out is the next phase, followed by closing the sale, often done over the telephone.
Thanks to everyone for the ideas and suggestions.
Thats great news engine!
I promise I won't link to the article from florida of a 14 year old who sold more in just two months with websites alone! hehe.