- We've received several phone calls this past month in regards to the 'Ontario Business Directory'. From what we can tell the 'Ontario Business Directory' is pulling some sort of scam by requesting that your bill be paid for your business listing. Finding the proper contact information for them is difficult. People have been confusing our free online directory (Ontario Small Business Directory - www.on-biz.ca) for the Ontario Business Directory. Our directory is completely free and we hope you continue to post your events and list your company.
Yippee! You've won!
I'm sure everyone out there has received unsolicited email - you know, the 'personalized' letter explaining how you can be a billionaire, or how you can submit to 5,000 search engines at once! And any time someone mentions using email for an advertising medium for your company you probably shudder and think of these examples. You don't want your name attached to something like that, or have your customers think of you as being annoying. Well, have we got some solutions for you!....
We've helped our customers develop newsletters that people (lots of them) actually request. But, we've all seen those too! You want something with a little more bang? How about a scratch and win ticket. Really. You can send your best customers an email that has a scratchable section that is randomly driven. As they click on a certain section it will remove the cover for that space. You can even have it be something like a tick-tack-toe game or bingo. Only your imagination is your limitation on this. Everyone loves a game, and interaction is the key to converting your viewer to a buyer.
Here's a very basic example of a scratch game you can use. Go ahead - give it a try! This one is set up statically so the images won't change, but it gives you an idea. Just move your cursor (mouse) all over the grey box below and see what happens! You might even win!
Matt is the owner of Inter Kingston Web Design
Go ahead - call yourself an expert!
The number one reason people use the Internet is for research. Sometimes people are researching products or services, sometimes they're researching news or academic information or sometimes they're looking for answers. I'm sure that you would agree that when you're looking for information or solutions, you don't want to be sold to - at least directly. So, as a business, how do you tap into this without coming across as a salesperson? The answer is simple: be the expert.
Your site should have company information, products or services, and a call to action (look for the next newsletter to find out more about this), but the main focus of your web site should be the 'free' information that you provide. Potential customers will use your site for research and that will begin to do two things for you: 1. enhance your viral marketing efforts by passing information, links, articles on to others, and 2. they will be begin to trust you and even respect your knowledge on certain topics, thus they will begin to establish a relationship with you, your company and your product or service.
You can provide many useful resources for your viewers, such as an Ask-the-Expert column either real time or through submission, you can provide a newsletter, articles, industry links, news, interviews, statistics, faq's or tips, etc. I think you get the idea. Pay attention to what you go looking for and what you find useful, then do the same for your clients. Most importantly don't hide behind this. Don't put a small link to these great resources camouflaged on your site, instead flaunt them. Put these tools front and centre, put them on every page, include them in your email, and write a press release about them. This will get the people to come, then you just have to change the audience into clients...
Lindsey is the owner of Market Me