How to Attract Customers

You finally have your business up and running on the Internet. Now is the time to start letting the world know you're online by exploring new ways of introducing customers to your Web site.

1. List your site with Internet search engines and directories. Save money by registering the sites yourself instead of hiring a company to do it for you.

2. Link your site to as many complementary sites as you can. Use Web rings, affiliate programs and banner exchanges to give your site maximum exposure.

3. Start your own e-mail newsletter or e-zine. Build the content around the interests of your customers and feature items specifically related to what's happening at your site.

4. Make sure your Web site address is on all of your company's stationery, forms and business cards. A company vehicle and promotional items such as coffee mugs and pens are also great places to advertise your online venture.

5. Consider purchasing a small banner ad on a popular Web site or placing an advertisement in an e-zine with high circulation. These venues offer maximum exposure for a small cash outlay.

6. Advertise offline if your budget can stand the extra strain. Newspaper ads, television and radio spots, and classified ads are traditional ' and effective - ways of letting customers know you're out there in cyberspace.

Tips:

Publishing a quality e-mail newsletter or e-zine on a regular basis is time-consuming. Be prepared to spend many hours creating a mailing list and developing content.

Be sure to track visitors to your site. Find out where they heard about your site so that you can evaluate which methods of promoting your site work best.

Warning:

Don't send unsolicited e-mail advertisements, better known as spam. Besides being extremely irritating to the recipients, your Internet service provider can cancel your account if people start filing complaints.

Newsgroups aren't the place to post advertisements either. These are forums for open discussion, not for unwanted ads.