Archive for the ‘Advertising and Marketing’ Category

Drop Shipping Increases Profits

You would like to increase your income by selling other peoples` products but you just don`t have the money to stock inventory.

On the other hand, perhaps you have lots of your own product and would like to increase your sales, but you don`t have a lot of money for advertising.

The solution to both problems may lie in drop shipping.

1. Sell Products You Don`t Own
You would like to sell a variety of products but you don`t have very much money. Don`t worry! Your customers will supply you with the necessary capital. You don`t have to stock inventory. You can drop ship orders.
For example, you receive a credit card order for a product retailing for one hundred dollars plus five dollars shipping. You now turn around and fax (or e-mail or phone) your order to your dropship supplier. You pay the fifty dollar wholesale product cost plus five dollars shipping using your own credit card.

Your dropship supplier now ships the order to your customer. With no investment in inventory, your gross profit equals fifty dollars.

2. Sell Products You Do Own

Would you like more sales of your own products? Consider drop shipping your products for other dealers.

As an example, you may have a product that sells for one hundred dollars plus shipping. Every time you sell that product yourself, you will have a sale of one hundred dollars. However, how many one hundred dollar sales can you make personally?

Now consider the situation where you offer your dealers a wholesale price of fifty dollars. You could have hundreds or thousands of persons selling for you.

It is true that each product sale now only brings you only fifty dollars in sales. However, these are sales that you wouldn`t otherwise have. What would it cost you to obtain these sales through traditional advertising channels? Would your advertising even bring you the desired results?

Keep in mind that with this drop shipping arrangement, you pay only for results. When a dealer retails your product for one hundred dollars, he is really receiving a fifty dollar profit for selling your product; you could view it as a sales commission. You receive only fifty dollars per product sale but sell way more than without drop shipping. You ship directly to the customer for your dealer.

So, whether you sell other peoples` products or your own, drop shipping can increase your sales, preserve capital, and maximize business profits.

Who Cares Wins

Am I alone in being frustrated on an almost daily basis when dealing with suppliers? I'm convinced the ‘who cares' attitude is spreading like an epidemic. Let me give you a quick run down of just one of this week's fiascos to demonstrate what I mean.

A package from one of my suppliers was overdue for delivery from a well known courier company, even though the tracking showed that it had been sitting on a shelf in the local depot for several days. Now, I live in a reasonable size city, Salt Lake City in fact, which has a decent size population and infrastructure – heck, there's even an IKEA, and there ain't many of those across the U.S. I'm not talking about Barstow here (no offence to Barstow readers, I'm not picking on you, I promise).

Anyway, so I get on the phone with the ‘customer service' advisor who tells me that they only deliver on certain days of the week - I'm serious! Apparently however, I'm permitted to trudge the 15 miles out there to collect the package if I want it before they were ready to find a slot in their random delivery schedule.

I considered pursuing the line of reasoning that since I'd paid for two day shipping, I'd kinda' hoped that I'd see it within 2 days of ordering, but I thought better of it. I didn't want to appear unreasonable or demanding. Instead I bit my tongue and dutifully trotted off down to the depot and stood my turn in line until permitted to utter my request.

Not much to do while waiting, other than eavesdrop on a phone conversation between a customer and a ‘support' rep. Obviously I couldn't hear the customer, but fortunately in this instance, the rep had a habit of repeating the caller almost verbatim, which under normal circumstances would have been highly irritating.

Anyway, I digress. This is how the conversation went:

“So you're saying that the driver threw the box over your fence, is that right?”

(customer replies)

“Well, obviously I wasn't there, but I'm sure he just wanted to make sure the package was hidden from the view of any passers by.”

(customer replies)

“Oh, you're saying the fence is 7ft high?”
(customer replies)

“And the antique set was smashed?”

(customer replies)

“Mmm, that happens a lot. I hope it was insured.”

I'm not making this up, I wish I was. At that point I was feeling absolutely thrilled that I'd escaped with only having to go outside in the freezing cold in the middle of the winter and drive 15 miles - it was a relief to know that I'd intercepted the sequence of doom, before my box had got to the throwing over the fence part.

I got my box, and little did it know that it had been spared the physical trauma that apparently was a standard feature. I didn't even throw the box away after emptying its contents, it seemed cruel, it needed protecting…

Okay, so I got a little carried away, but actually I'm deadly serious about the lesson here. Customer service is such a rare commodity that it's in danger of becoming extinct.

Let's face it, the times when we experience great service with a smile are now so rare that we tell everyone, and they're suitably impressed.

If providing outstanding customer service and keeping customers happy is a high priority for you and your staff, you'll immediately put your business a giant leap ahead of all your competitors. It's such a ridiculously simple principle to comprehend, but sadly many more overlook it than ‘get it'. Be one of the ones who gets it. Give it time and your business will explode over the long-term, I guarantee it.

A Day In The Life Of An Affiliate Marketer

Being in the affiliate marketing business is not that hard now with the internet at your disposable. It is much easier now compared to the days when people have to make use of the telephones and other mediums of information just to get the latest updates on the way their program is coming along.

So with technology at hand, and assuming that the affiliate is working from home, a day in his or her life would sound something like this…

Upon waking up and after having breakfast, the computer is turned on to check out new developments in the network. As far as the marketer is concerned there might be new things to update and statistics to keep track on.

The site design has to be revised. The marketer knows that a well-designed site can increase sign ups from visitors. It can also help in the affiliate’s conversion rates.

That done, it is time to submit the affiliate program to directories that lists affiliate programs. These directories are means to attract people in joining your affiliate program. A sure way of promoting the affiliate program.

Time to track down the sales you are getting from your affiliates fairly and accurately. There are phone orders and mails to track down. See if they are new clients checking the products out. Noting down the contact information that might be a viable source in the future.

There are lots of resources to sort out. Ads, banners, button ads and sample recommendations to give out because the marketer knows that this is one way of ensuring more sales. Best to stay visible and accessible too.

The affiliate marketer remembered that there are questions to answer from the visitors. This has to be done quickly. Nothing can turn off a customer than an unanswered email.

To prove that the affiliate is working effectively and efficiently, inquiries would have to be paid more attention on. Nobody wants to be ignored and customers are not always the most patient of all people. Quick answer that should appear professional yet friendly too.

In the process of doing all the necessities, the marketer is logged on to a chat room where he or she interacts with other affiliates and those under that same program. This is where they can discuss things on how to best promote their products.

There are things to be learned and it is a continuous process. Sharing tips and advices is a good way of showing support. There may be others out there wanting to join and may be enticed by the discussion that is going on. There is no harm in assuming what opportunities ahead.

The newsletters and ezines were updated days ago, so it is time for the affiliate marketer to see if there are some new things happening in the market. This will be written about in the marketer’s publication to be distributed to the old and new customers.

These same publications are also an important tool in keeping up to date with the newly introduced products. The marketer has put up a sale and promotion that customers may want to know about. Besides, they have to keep up with the deadline of these sales written in the publications.

It is that time to show some appreciation to those who have helped the marketer in the promotions and sale increase. Nothing like mentioning the persons, their sites and the process they have done that made everything worked.

Of course, this will be published in the newsletters. Among the more important information that have been written already.

The marketer still has time to write out recommendations to those who want credible sources for the products being promoted. There is also time to post some comments on how to be a successful affiliate marketer on a site where there are lots of wannabees.

Two objectives done at the same time. The marketer gets to promote the product as well as the program they are in. Who knows, someone may be inclined to join.

Time flies. Missed lunch but is quite contented with the tasks done. Bed time….

Ok, so this may not be all done in a day. But then, this gives you an idea of how an affiliate marketer, a dedicated one that is, spends the marketing day.

Is that success looming in the distance or what?

Does Your Company Need A Logo?

There is always controversy when it comes to the topic of whether your company should have a "logo" or not.  Some people firmly believe that you have to have one, while others say it's not necessary at all.  But who's right?

I took this question to a variety of firms that have company logos.  I personally conducted a survey by asking presidents, vice presidents and owners of companies using them why a company logo was necessary to their business image.

In summary, it is NOT necessary for your business to have a company logo UNLESS your particular company is in a class that demands one.  According to an article in "Income Opportunities," Jay Lander, founder of Lander Design in Metuchen, New Jersey, states:  "Logos make sense for real estate firms and others who have lots of competition as well as for those with opportunities to 'show off' a logo -- on lawn signs, print advertisements, stationery and business cards.  Restaurants, which typically need to distinguish themselves from the pack, put logos on matchbooks and usually carry the design on their menus."

Lander further states:  "The size of an organization is not a good measure by which to decide in favor of a logo.  Many businesses prod along fine without any."

What's the Real Purpose For One?

Two "real" reasons:  (1) for customer identification, and (2) for prestige.  Wendy's restaurant, for example, has a logo of a little red-haired girl in pigtails.  If you're driving down Route 66, you normally can recognize a Wendy's restaurant several miles away because of the shape of the company's logo on their sign.  Also, you don't have to read the words "McDonald's" to know it's a McDonald's restaurant.  Instead, you recognize it by the golden arches.

But does a regular mail order business need one?  Probably not.  The reason I use the word "probably" is because a company logo is only necessary if your market demands it. Any good business, after they have had time to grow enough to have a customer base of repeat customers, will get to know them on a more personal basis.  We do this to learn our customers' needs and wants so we can sell them the proper products and services.  When that time comes, as a mail order business you can make the decision whether or not to have a company logo.

How will you know?  Because your dedicated customer base of repeat customers will demand it.  However, if your customer base is comprised mainly of small businesses on the same level as yourself, it probably won't be necessary to have a logo.

What About Prestige?

If you want to make your company appear like a professional organization because you want to attract business from other professional organizations, it may be necessary to adapt a company logo regardless of whether  you need one or not.  This is called "prestige." Established multi-level marketing firms use company logos to provide their distributors with company recognition as well as prestige.  Other smaller companies use them solely because the owner believes it makes him or her appear more established in business.  Whatever the reason, it basically boils down to what you want to do.

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