Online sales represented a tiny 2.2 percent of total retail sales in the first quarter of 2006. That means publishers who want to prosper selling ancillary products to consumers should look to broaden their retail distribution channels rather than simply posting additional product offers on their e-commerce websites.
Some publishers already use retail distribution channels in the same way they’ve historically used direct mail or public relations. Rather than trying to generate revenue, they view product sales as a loss leader or breakeven source. Their primary objective is to drive website traffic with the goal of building a database of qualified customers to whom they can sell directly.
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Their reasoning? It’s a lot easier and less expensive to market your products if you can identify your best customers. And capturing customer information on your website is easy, inexpensive, and effective.
To drive website traffic via retail distribution:
- Find a third-party retail message channel and ride along on that medium with a product containing a great offer.
- Include a response mechanism on the product itself or in the packaging that entices readers, users, viewers, listeners, or buyers to visit your website and register for additional useful information or a free download.
- Install appropriate conversion architecture on your website to capture the registration data and also offer a free email newsletter or other regular contact device that allows you to begin a relationship with each new site visitor.
That, in a nutshell, is a successful deployment of the Mequoda Internet Marketing Strategy.