Promoting and advertising your stall or website
Free ways to promote your website
Include your web address on all your correspondence
Whenever you email or write to your customers, or potential customers, remember to include the address of your website. Include it on invoices, packing notes and so on. For CollectFair stalls this will have the form
www.collectfair.co.uk/mystallwhile for an independent website it will be in this form:
Check the content of your pages
Ensure your pages contain the keywords for the items you want to sell, or the services you offer. For example, give the names of the designers or makers of the items you are selling, and the materials they are made from.
The more detail you give, the more likely a search engine will see that your pages contain valuable information, leading to more visitors.
Email a newsletter to previous customers
Ask your customers if they would like to join an email newsletter. When you have news or new products you can let people know. Remember that you should not send unsolicited email, and you should also make it clear how people can unsubscribe if they no longer want your emails.
Link to your pages from your auctions
If you are running auctions on eBay or another service, you can link from the auction to your website. This will let people browsing your auctions know that there is more information on your website.
eBay and other auction services have strict rules about making these links. The overall picture is that you should be linking to further information about your items (e.g. more pictures), but not promoting sales which bypass the auction site.
CollectFair provides Auction Buttons which will easily link from eBay to your CollectFair pages.
Write a press release
Do you have some news or new products which people would be interested in? Consider writing a press release about it, and sending it to relevant antiques magazines or papers. To do this you should research the proper format of press releases, and remember that straight product promotions, or sales literature will not get published.
Check your visitor data
CollectFair provides data about the number of visitors to each page of your website. This is tabulated by month, and can show you if the promotion and advertising of your pages is working.
Also collected is data on what visitors are looking for when they reach your pages through Google, AOL, MSN, Yahoo and eBay.
To check visitor data: From the page headed "Manage stall" click the Advanced Tasks button. In the green area of the screen you will see the "Visitor Date" heading.
Advertising and other ideas
Adverts in the right antiques and collectables magazine or newspaper could help promote your site. Think of which magazines you read, and whether other people reading them would respond to your advert. Costs for small ads (i.e. text only) start from around £20 a month in specialist antiques magazines, but can be much higher in more general publications or for larger adverts.
When a customer contacts you, ask them if they are responding to your advert. This way you can judge if the advert is working or not.
Google Adwords is an online advertising program which displays adverts alongside the results of Google searches. Joining costs £5, and you can then pay to display adverts for particular keywords. Read the Adwords help pages carefully to find out more. Costs start from around £30 per month. The choice of keywords for which your advert appears is crucial to attracting the right people.
Flyers and business cards
Have some cards or flyers printed with your web address and other details. Leave them for people to pick up if you are running a stall at a fair. If you are sending out parcels, include a flyer or card in each parcel so people have something to remind them about your website.
Costs vary widely depending on the number of flyers or cards printed, the quality of paper used, colour or black & white etc. For business cards expect to pay £20-40 for 500 cards. For flyers expect to pay around £120 for 5000 in full colour.
Prices are often most reasonable with small local printers rather than a high street or internet based printing shop.