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Using the Internet to Build Your Business in Your Town, USA

By Romeo Salvitti
Posted Wednesday, September 15, 2004

The Internet is able to connect you to hundreds of millions of people worldwide on a daily basis. But, how useful is that to
you and your business when all you have is a brick-and-mortar establishment serving the locals in Your Town, USA?


According to website, 56% of all Americans have access to the Internet.

Now, how many people live in Your Town, USA? Once you have done the math, you might find yourself getting excited about the real possibilities of the Internet in helping to grow your local offline business.

Before you go off half-cocked, let me share some important considerations with you.

Running off and building a website to promote your business to your local marketplace is not the end all solution to your
desire to reach your local population. Building a website is just your first step in maximizing your online reach and


For the local business targeting the local marketplace in Your Town, USA, certain tools should be employed. Those include:

- A billboard website.
- Pay Per Click Search Engine Listings (PPCSE).
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- An email mailing list.

Let me explain how to use these tools.

Your billboard website only intends to tell your visitors about your business, its products and services. It also tells how to
find your business by providing maps, hours of operation, phone numbers and other contact information.

Depending on the type of business you operate, PPCSE listings can pay off by targeting people who are searching for XYZ product in Your Town, USA.

GeoReport is a $29 per year paid service that permits you to obtain very specific data about the geographical locations of
your website visitors. For the local business website, this type of tracking data is very helpful in determining the success of your locally oriented advertising and promotions.

The free GeoPhrase technology permits you to address visitors to your website with geographically targeted keywords. You can tell visitors from Your Town that they can come by your store to take advantage of special promotions for visiting your website.

You should ask your local visitors to subscribe to your email notification list. Offer them incentives to do so. Web-only
promotions and drawings are two types of incentives that work well for local businesses who are online. According to the website, 79.9% of Internet users consider email to be one of their favorite online activities, so your emails have a strong likelihood of actually being read and acted upon.


Whatever you can do to bring visitors to your website is within the range of the activities you should wish to undertake.

Be sure to put your website URL on all of your promotional materials:

- Brochures
- Menus
- Newspaper advertising
- Radio and TV advertising
- Business Signs
- Ballpoint pens
- Business cards
- Press Releases
- Etc.

Since press releases are designed to bring a newsworthy item to the press, the development of your website, which focuses entirely upon the local consumer market, may provide the kind of news information that your local newspapers wish to share with their readers.

Your real goal is to get people to your website to learn about your company and your offerings. An additional hope would be to get people to sign up to receive your email notifications.


Your website should be designed to inform your potential customers about your company. Once people have visited your
website, they might be more willing to agree to receive email from you in the future.

Your email list should be developed for the purpose of building a relationship with your potential and existing customers. This is why it is worth every penny you invest to create additional incentives to people for joining your mailing lists.


TIP 1: You should never make your only incentive offer contingent upon signing up to your email list. If you do, people will subscribe only so that they can get their free gift, then they will unsubscribe and move on.

TIP 2: Strike while the iron is hot. Send an automatic email message to your subscribers when they subscribe. It will catch
their attention when you are on the top of their mind. It will also help them to remember you when you deliver your next email to them. Don't let them forget about you before your next email arrives. If they forget you before they receive the first email from you, they might cry foul --- and you do not want to be seen as a possible s/p*a/m*m/e*r.

TIP 3: Incentives could include a monthly giveaway to a lucky reader or monthly coupons for all mailing list members.
Incentives could also include information that is relevant to the lives of your customers.

TIP 4: Do not ever make a promise to not send email to your subscribers. People subscribe to your mailing list for the
express purpose of receiving email from you. Don't pass up on the opportunity to use your email list to communicate with your customers and to build a relationship with them. People whom have a relationship with you are the most likely persons to buy from your business in the future.


Advertising and promotions designed to build your website traffic and email list subscriber base should be done primarily
on the ground.

What I mean by that is that your promotions need to be directed to your local marketplace. The web is a vast territory with
millions of users. Yet, your target customers are but a very small portion of the whole Internet community.

Your promotional expenditures will be far more effective if they are directed to your geographic location rather than the
whole of the Internet community. Therefore, promote your website and mailing list on the ground in your geographic area.

By attracting people who live in your local geographical area, you will be better able to maximize the real potential of your
online activities.

To learn more about how to promote your business in the local marketplace, you may visit:


About the Author
Romeo Salvitti is the owner of Have Consultants Will Travel, who specializes in helping small to mid-sized local businesses to use the Internet in growing their customer base in their local marketplace. If you need help in developing a website or an email list to promote your offline business, please contact us for more specific information. URL: ( 24 Hour Toll Free: 877-869-0059 Email:


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