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The world of e-commerce is filled with fascinating technology and significant possibility. The move from a brick and mortar store to online sales may feel like being exported to a foreign country. You may not understand every issue involved in developing a winning website, but you CAN adapt. The end result may well be a long-term business opportunity derived from a worldwide customer base.

I’d like to touch on just a few of the tools available to online marketers.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) – This is the use of keywords or phrases that help search engines determine your rankings. This is the most organic approach to online marketing and generally has the most impact on long-term success.

List Building – This technique is used to help you gain email addresses for use in mailing sales material, e-zines and other information to customers. This is often achieved through online forms where visitors can sign up to receive free updates from you.

Pressing Online Marketing IconAutoresponders – This technology is used to free you up from having to manually respond to every email that arrives in your inbox. It is also useful as part of the checkout process where a receipt is automatically sent to the customer.

Business Blogging – This technology is useful in putting a human touch to your business correspondence. You can provide timely updates on a blog for customers to review at their convenience.

Ezine Publishing – A publication from your business can provide information and sales presentations in an opt-in email delivery system. This provides the quickest way to reach the most prospects.

Pay Per Click (PPC) Advertising – This strategy is useful in jump-starting your online business, but may not be needed the longer your site is available. Ultimately the goal is to achieve a site ranking significant enough that PPC may not be as needed.

Auctions – By making some of your products and services available through an online auction you can receive a significant return in exposure to your business.

Podcasting – Both audio and video presentations can be delivered by podcast and they have the potential to provide a very human touch to your marketing objectives.

EBooks – This informational marketing tool can be delivered to those who sign up (thus capturing their pertinent information for subsequent mailings) or as a bonus for an online purchase.

Certainly there are many more methods for online marketing, but I hope this list provides encouragement that you can reach your online marketing objectives and there are many tools that can help you achieve your dream.

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Community Reporter

Lawrence is a small business owner, Marquette University graduate, and community reporter in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

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