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Promoting Your Site or so where ARE the Customers?

Promoting your site is key to its success.  A website is a business -- it's your brand! TIAS.com can give you the tools and the traffic, but it's your responsibility to pull it all together into a marketing plan that will work for you. The key is to actively do something every day to drive traffic to your site. It could be something as simple as handing out just one business card with your URL at a local  antique show. Or as sophisticated as a TV spot for your Web site.

The Promotion Tools menu has resources to help you promote your site. And the system tutorial has an entire section full of materials and ideas to help!

Here are some ideas that you can use to drive more traffic to your site.

  1. The TIAS.com main page has many visitors per day.  Use the press release system to post information to the TIAS.com home page about sales, new inventory and any specials you may be running such as free shipping. This is a free service. To use this option, click on your 'Promotion Tools' menu and select 'Internal Press Release'
     

  2. Add new merchandise and title it clearly.   Many TIAS.com visitors come to the showcase section.  This shows merchandise in order of age with the most recently added items first.  If your item does not have titles or they don't say what the item is, however, it will not work well in the showcase or the search engines, so be sure to label your product clearly.
     

  3. Opt-in email list Building a customer list is probably the most important marketing tool that you can have. Your email list allows you to communicate with your customers and let them know about sales and special offers at your Web site.  Every visitor to your site has an opportunity to sign up. You can also create lists of customers who have previously ordered and invite them to join your list.
     

  4. Coupons The TIAS.com system has the ability for you to issue discount coupons to your customers. They can "redeem" them when they check out. These have become a very popular technique for getting new customers onto your Web site.
     

  5. Post info about sales and other items to Usenet newsgroups. Google allows you to search and post from their Web site at: https://groups.google.com/forum/?hl=en&fromgroups#!overview Try posting to http://groups.google.com/groups?hl=en&group=rec.antiques.marketplace and http://groups.google.com/groups?hl=en&group=alt.marketplace.collectables There are other newsgroups as well. This is a free service.
     

  6. Set up a link page ('Links Page' on the site maintenance menu) so that you can exchange links with other Web sites. Search engines such as google.com now use the number of sites that link to your Web site as one of the criteria for how high you rank among other dealers. The more links you have pointing to you, the higher you will appear in this type of search engine.
     

  7. Pay for a listing in search engines. At one time this was free, but not any more. When your site was activated on TIAS.com, it was submitted to hundreds of search engines and directories. However, we don't submit to search engines and directories that charge a fee for listing. Search engines sometimes take months to ad a listing as well. A great resource for learning about search engines and directories can be found at: http://www.searchenginewatch.com/webmasters/index.html  There are several search engines that require one time payment for a listing. Getting listed in Yahoo! and Looksmart will get you into many different search engines. For Yahoo! got to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/suggest/ for Looksmart go to http://listings.looksmart.com/
     

  8. Write a 200 word article/press release about something interesting that pertains to antiques and collectibles. Two ideas that might work for you:

    1. Write about a topic that you specialize in, giving consumer tips on what to watch out for and how not to get ripped off

    2. The story about how you acquired some new and interesting antique or collectible that you are selling and why it is unique.

      When you have completed your press release, submit it to:

      http://www.news-antique.com and also
      http://24-7pressrelease.com/
      http://www.prleap.com/
      http://www.theopenpress.com/index.php?a=index
      http://www.mediasyndicate.com/user.php
      http://www.clickpress.com/
      http://www.usprwire.com/
      http://www.przoom.com/index.php
      http://www.pressbox.co.uk/cgi-bin/links/add.cgi
      http://openpr.com/news/about.html
      http://epressreleases.org/postpr.htm
      http://www.fpsnewswire.com/freepost.asp
      http://www.express-press-release.com

      Submit the same release to all of them. The return will be HUNDREDS of visitors to your Web site. Follow the instructions on each of these sites. Enjoy!
       

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