Small Printing Company has Great Success With New Internet Marketing Strategy for Real Estate Postcard Marketing
Press release from the issuing company
Chesterfield, MO November 1, 2005 -- “If you can’t beat ’em, then join ‘em”, was the comment from Jeff Charlton, president of Graphic Connections Group in a suburb of St. Louis. Charlton, whose company is now 13 years old, was referring to the big bite the Internet had taken out of his printing business. “We have always been a ‘traditional outside sales’ company, and have been steadily losing business to technology and the Internet for the last several years. The recent recession had clients looking for ways to either do things themselves or find it cheaper on the Internet.” To combat this decline, in early June 2005, Charlton’s company decided it was time to learn how to sell printing on the Internet. “Small printers are going under left and right, and we refused to be another casualty of technology. So instead, we embraced technology, learned how to market on the web, and as a result are seeing a significant increase in sales from the Internet.”
“This didn’t happen overnight. We have been designing and printing postcards for real estate agents locally in the St. Louis area for some time. This portion of our business was very profitable, and our clients seemed to be very loyal since we did such a good job.” So Charlton, invested on some educational courses he bought online about Internet marketing, and learned the basics. After a few months of education, and a new marketing partnership with Roy Stroud, a close business associate who was already experimenting with Internet marketing, RealEstatePostcardsOnline was born. “We ended up spending about $15,000 in educational courses before we found the right teachers who really new their stuff. It was an expensive education, but worth every penny!”
“We decided to start out with a ‘niche’ market to see if we could actually sell on the web. We were taught that we needed to get recognized by the search engines, because 85% of all online sales start with search engines. By focusing on a narrow product line, we were able to move up the search engines fast, and also offer an outstanding product and service to our real estate agent clients. The most amazing thing happened…it worked! There is nothing more exciting than to see a paid order show up in your e-mail box from a person you never met or spoke to”, exclaimed Charlton. The project has gone so well that Charlton has vowed to never again hire a “traditional” salesperson. “Internet marketing is our future”, says Charlton.
“We were lucky in that we already had a graphic designer on staff that knew how to build websites. But we had to learn the marketing end of the Internet. It is not enough just to build a site, you have to find a way to get recognized by the search engines and potential customers, and you have to offer a good value”, said Charlton.
Sales have steadily increased over the last several months, which encouraged him to start a second website which offers his entire printing line, MyPrintShopOnline.com.
“My advice to all small businesses is that you need to find a way to sell your product online. There is a massive market just waiting for you – no matter what you sell”.
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