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[Method] How to get some free traffic and acquire some new client for your online shop

Discussion in 'Offline Marketing' started by axeny, Jan 5, 2014.

  1. axeny

    axeny Junior Member

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    I have made a mistake in the topic name - it's "new clients" instead of "new client". However, there is not way to edit the topic name, so. It would be nice if some moderator can fix it.

    The first thing I need to say is - if you don't have a working online shop that offers some products or services - you could find this thread useless. Or not. I am talking about some basic marketing methods that could be useful for you even if you are not online shop owner. Or not. The second thing I want to say it - there may be nothing new in what I am about to say in this thread and about my method. It's just something I used a few years ago when I was trying to bring some cheap traffic to my online shop. Okay, now let's talk about the method.

    First - some basic story. I was a teenager and I have started on online shop with a business partner. The whole idea was that we have created a business about home delivery alcohol (liquor). You know - you gather to chat with friends for a drink and suddenly you are out of alcohol. And all of you are too drunk or lazy to drive to the nearest liquor shop. You visit our site, order as many bottles as you like, you could even buy chips or chocolate to, and we would deliver your order as fast as possible. From 5 minutes to one hour, depending on how far you are. We were doing this thing in a specific city. And we have spent around 5000-7000$ on liquor and other products we have had stored in a storage. And we have paid rent for the storage. And salary to a driver who delivered the orders. And we have paid for a radio commercial and flyers. The last two were really stupid idea. And we spend money on other stuff. Well - shortly said, we have done this business when the recession was starting and people stopped to pay so much for alcohol. It was a stupid idea. But we have had some positives too. And I am about to talk about two of them.

    One of them is how we managed to get some free traffic for our site.

    We were based in small EU country. About 5-6 million people. And we have our own language. So we have Google in our own language, as every other country of course. But most importantly - we have sites and internet forums on our own language. This makes easier to bring targeted traffic to those.

    So what have I done? I made banner presenting our online shop on Photoshop - I am not that good, but I actually managed to make animated banner. :D And then I have made a list of all local forums about different things - interests, hobbies, sports, etc. Everything you could think of - forums for cars, for offroad, sports teams fan forums, teen forums, pick-up forums, forums for mothers that exchange experience, food forums, women forums. I have checked sites with lists of forums and I have searched if there are forums for those things in my country. After that I have made a proposal for the administrators of those forums. It was single proposal, tailored in a way that would give me the opportunity to present my offer to every administrator, no matter what is the theme of his forum.

    The offer was something like:
    I know you would prefer me to rent a banner space on your site/forum, but I am short of funds for ads, so I can offer you partnership instead. You put your banner somewhere in your site/forum and I will pay you commission for every order made by people who have visited my site thanks to you.

    Well, the actual proposal was longer than that, but you get the idea. I was inviting them to be my affiliates or referrals. Have in mind I wasn't working in the internet marketing field back then. I was just implementing things I have learned in high school and in university, and just some common sense.
    But let's get back on the topic. If I remember well I was offering those people 5% of the revenues that we make from their visitors. This isn't low percent, but you could go higher - I suppose it would sweeten the deal for the sites/forum administrators.

    And there is an important question - why did I choose to make my offer to forum administrators? Well - it was because of a few things I considered beneficial. It's easier to get their attention. I mean - you register on their forum, check who is the main administrator and send him the proposal using PM. And since those people are usually fond of their sites and forums, they visit them often, they respond to the user`s PMs and the chances are that they will open your proposal and eventually read it. The second thing is - those people may or may not be businessmen. But the fact is - most of them are maintaining the forum because it's something they like to do, because it may be related to their hobby or interest. I mean - they are maintaining the site and the forum because they like it, not because they expect to win money from it. This is why they would be more receptive of your offer - they may be eager of the prospect to earn some money from working with you, but they would view this as a bonus.

    Also from my personal experience as a football fan, I have been an administrator (and owner if I remember well) of a fan-page and forum of my favorite football team. I was also the administrator of a fan-page and fan forum of the league in which my favorite team played.

    The funny thing is, the fan-page and forum of the league in which my favorite team played, were hosted by a local company specialized in managing sports fan-pages and forums. Their business model was to offer fans of different clubs and leagues to host fan-page and forum for them, for free. Also they were providing free .com domain for each site. And they were profiting for the banners they had on those sites and forums( you know - mostly online bookmaker`s banners like bwin and bet365), since they were the owners, they just let random fans who are passionate about the different clubs to manage them and develop them. It was a win win situation for both parties I think.

    So I knew one of the people who was working at that company, since I was managing one of those sites. I decided to present him the idea. They place our banner on their 20 sites they manage, and we give them percentage from the revenues from the visitors they bring us. Can you imagine how much traffic you can get from a deal with such a company, that managed 20 forums full of football fans? Now the things is - they declined my offer after some time in which they considered it. I don't remember the reason for which they declined me, it was either because they wanted a bit higher commission or because they were afraid we won't be honest when it comes to paying them their share. But they were genuinely interested. So it's possible for you to bring a company like that on your side, if you give them a good enough offer and conditions.

    What about the other forum owners? Some said no for different reasons. I remember that one dude didn't like my presentation, it was a bit arrogant presentation, I can say that now. Others declined because we were selling alcohol and they didn't like to deal with that, since they were finding it immoral. And there were some people who were interested.

    But we didn't make the deal with them, because soon after we have tried this method, we decided to close our shop, because our monthly expenses were too high and we were working on loss.

    But still - I am sure it's a model you can apply even now, considering you are selling more popular things than alcohol.

    If you can offer the sites and forums owners high enough commission and if you are able to implement in your site tracking software which is good enough, you should be able to find some( many) people, who will be eager to work with you and bring you some visitors.

    Now - this method won't make you rich in a day I think. But it's free traffic. You don't invest anything besides your time. And you may gain a lot of new visitors, clients. And most of all - more popularity. Because those people will spread the word for your online shop once they purchase something for you. And even if you don't get a good profit from the initial purchase, you will gain some very nice marketing benefits from it, as well as potential for future clients from the mouth to mouth method. And of course you will make good profits from the clients who are brought to you by the clients who first found you via those banners.

    I think this method may present you with a good way to make some long-term investments in your business, which won't require investing money. But may lead to you making more money. Especially if you a based in big country like United Kingdom or United States. And especially if your business gives you the opportunity to deliver your products via couriers and you can deliver to multi cities. So you can try it and check for yourself if this could make your business more successful.

    And since we are at it, I am going to share with you two more techniques I used back then for the same business, which you may find useful. However, they are not as free as the above one, but at the same time - you can use them to gain some more regular visitors and clients.

    For the first one I used our online shop Facebook page. We had 1000+ likes, I think 90-95% of those were fake likes, since we bought some fake likes in the beginning of our business. Or we got them for free from some person promoting his services. I don't remember. But if I remember well, we had about 1200 likes, 90-95% of those were fake likes. So this method could be useful to you even if your Facebook page is full with fake likes. As long as those people who have no idea they have liked your page speak the same language that you use. I mean - if your business is in Spain, but your fake likes are English speaking people - this won`t work. But if your business is in Spain and your fake likes speak Spanish - this may work.

    But let's get to the technique. As you already know our business was online shop for home delivery of alcohol. So we have made a Facebook event - competition. We needed it to be something that would be related to our business. And so it was "Post a funny picture of you and your friends having fun". You are relate that to alcohol. You know what I mean. So there were people who started posting pictures of themselves having fun with their fellows. They were tagging their friends, they were sharing their pictures on their walls, they were asking friends to like their pictures. Why? Because we had prices for the top 3 participants. The prizes were bottles of alcohol of course. You can either offer something that you think would be very popular, a product you want to make more popular. Or a product you have on your shelves for a long time and you prefer to get rid of it already. For us the prizes were some random whiskey for 3[SUP]rd[/SUP] place, I don't remember what, if I remember well the prize for 2[SUP]nd[/SUP] place was one bottle Johnie Walker Red Label, and for the first prize the winner was getting one bottle of Jack Daniels. Nothing special, but it made people interested in the competition.

    And now one more important question - how interested actually they were? Well - he had about half a dozen participants if I remember right. It's not some epic number. But when you think about it - we had only 1200 likes on our FB page. And 90-95% of those were fake likes. So if you have let`s say 5k real likes of your page - imagine how popular this competition could get. And how many likes it could bring to you and how much popularity it could do for your business. And the costs are the costs of the product you would give as rewards.

    Other thing you can do to make your online shop popular is to promote your offer via sites for group shoping. It's like that - you offer a product from your online shop with -50% discount via their site, they basically sell your products via their site. And after that you give them small percentage from the money they bring you. One thing you could do to be profitable from it is - choose a product that you thing could get you a lot of sales. Double it's price on your site before you phone the group shoping site. Tell them you want to offer a product via them. Tell them you want to offer the product which price you doubled. They will ask you to make at least 50% discount. You make it. And you basically are selling the product on the price you were selling it normally. The only expense for you will be their fee for promoting your product via their site. You may get some sales, even dozens or hundreds of sales, depending on the popularity of their site. But the most important thing is they will feature your brand when they promote your product. And so you may get many unique visitors to your site. And regular customers. Also the people who purchased your discounted offer will need to phone you, write you, visit your site in order to get their discounted product. So some of them may get aware of the presence of your online shop and the products you are selling there.

    I know those methods aren't something new. They are common sense method of utilizing free or cheap advertising possibilities. You may even make some nice profits from your increased sales. But mostly you may get long-term benefits for your online shop and your brand. And if you are serious about your business - this is something you should do.

    I am not innovating marketing here. I am just sharing some experience I had like 4-5 years ago with as a small business owner of a online shop. You may take my advices here and implement them. Or not. They will work for some businesses and won't work for others. It's up to you to decide whether the information I have shared here will be useful for you.

    EDIT: I now remembered that we were even approached from few companies that wanted to promote their products via out site. Since our idea was innovative for our country, they were very interested to be partners with us. One of the companies was Pepsi( yes, the real Pepsi) and they offered us to get their products directly from them, to get their products and sell them and pay them afterwards if I remember well. They just wanted to position their products alongside of Coca Cola ones and to eventually make some promotions about their products from time to time. We were approached by a very famous liquor brand from Turkey. They wanted us to place their liquor on more central spot and in return they would pay us 10-20$ monthly + they would give us free souvenirs that we could deliver as presents to our clients. Like t-shirts, pens, decorative bottles, small bottles full of alcohol, pads for shops, ash-trays, bags etc. I mean - they approached us. So I am quite sure we would have been able to find some more deals like that with other liquor brands. Who would say no to extra 100-200$ per month from position few brands products at more central spaces on your site? Or even put their brand logo somewhere down? Or for just pugging let's say Johnie Walker whiskey above all other when the users click on your whiskeys menu. This are the little things that those companies would love you to do for them. I mean - they were ready to pay us money, give us free things, give us great discounts and even products we needed to pay only after we sells them. And the regional manager would share your Facebook page via his personal profil and via their company profil. Do you imagine how great it would be for you if like Johnie Walker company share your site in their wall and encourage people do visit you? It's just awesome. And it happens. You don't get better deal than that. :) So be creative - try to reach out for big brands to sponsor you. They will do it. I guarantee you that.

    If I could close Pepsi to sponsor my site by just doing nothing and they approaching me, guess how much more things you could do if you are active. If you have online shop for cosmetics - search for Avon and such representatives and make your proposal. If your online shop is for parfumes - write to Gucci, write to Boss, to Armani and such. They would love to participate - that's for sure.

    Their local managers are paid salaries to search for such opportunities. Make yourself aviable and get some extras for it. Those are money and things you get just by that. And you can reinvest those extras in your ads campaings. :) Just be creative.

    Best regards,
    Axeny
     
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    Last edited: Jan 5, 2014
  2. mojdk

    mojdk Junior Member

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    I can't believe that no one posted any comments on this. Nice work my friend, and thanks a lot for sharing.
    As you say yourself, this is nothing new. But half of the posts here on this forum is neither. Some of these techniques can easily be used on other businesses, and twisted to be unique!
     
  3. fitnah

    fitnah Regular Member

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    Pepsi aproach you?wow that's great
    were did they come from?
    from fb or your site?
    great post btw