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A great video that visually explains how to use QR codes in general and also socially on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc. Learn what QR codes can do for your business in under 4 minutes.

 

If you've ever entered an online contest, offered your email address to an online or local store, or given the okay for a sales consultant to send you information, you've joined an email list. Email lists are simply the email addresses and names of people who signed up, by one of many different means, to receive emails such as electronic magazines (“e-zines”) or newsletters, electronic courses (e-courses), or product information in their inbox.

Collecting customer and prospect contact information and keeping in touch with them on a regular basis is the key to any online business's success. Here are some of the main reasons to start building your list now:

Presence – An email list that you use regularly gives you an easy way to keep your name in front of your customers and prospects on a continual basis. By making your name top-of-mind, you're increasing the likelihood that your customers will purchase from YOU when they're in a position to buy.

Connection – Say you're a florist. Your average customer may only purchase from you a few times a year. But you continue to stay in touch with her, providing her with quality information that relates to a topic she's interested in – holiday decorations and entertaining tips, for example. When she DOES need a flower arrangement, you'll be the one she buys it from. Why would she spend her money with some website she's never heard of when she knows you, her online friend who sends her useful information every week?

Education – Some products and industries require more education before prospects are ready to purchase. Email lists offer an easy, inexpensive way to provide the information your prospects need, moving them through the learning curve, until they're ready to buy.

Feedback – Do your customers want your next product to be bigger or smaller than what you have now? Do they hate the background music on your website? Do they wish your software was compatible with a platform you don't currently offer? Don't guess — just ask them! Email lists give you a simple way to solicit feedback from the real experts – your customers themselves.

Easy to Share – Word-of-mouth can be your best source of new business. By providing easy-to-share electronic newsletters or product information, you make it more likely that your current customers will pass the word to their friends, without incurring a minute of your time or a penny of your money.

Revenue – Some enterprising electronic newsletter publishers make money by selling ads in their publications to complementary businesses. The larger and more targeted your audience, the higher rates you can command.

Starting, growing, and maintaining an email list of targeted subscribers is one of the most profitable things you can do to build a successful business online. Not every prospect will become a subscriber, and not every subscriber will turn into a loyal customer, but you'll find you're much more successful selling to your list than you are to a group of relative strangers.

Provide subscribers with quality information on a topic that interests them, and they'll gladly allow you to tell them about your products and services, knowing you're an expert at what you do. 

It’s tempting, during recessionary times, to look on marketing as a cost center and try to find ways to reduce expenses. By all means rationalize your marketing expenses and cut the waste. But remember always that your business exists only because of the market and if that is ignored, your company has no reason to exist. Before going on to look at how to market during a recession, there are two important issues to be kept in mind.

This is when your customers get restless and look for cheaper options than buying from you. You need to keep your marketing effort going to make sure that does not happen. Read more

Most people look at hard times as when the focus is not protecting your existing business and making sure that it does not shrink. That’s a big mistake. It means you are focusing only on the enemies at the gates. A business can never be inward looking. It is not a self supporting entity. A company exists only in relation to its market and unless it focuses on that market, it will soon be separated from it. Then it becomes like a fish out of water and soon dies.

The smart business owner knows that most people do what is outlined above. That provides him opportunities to go into the market and while the competition is so busy looking inwards, occupy some of their territory.

It sounds great in theory, but when times are hard, how do you create the resources to build your business when you are already suffering as much as everyone else? The answer is that you don’t. Money and other resources are not easy to come by. What you need to do is redeploy what you have with you. Read more