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Monday, August 30, 2010

It's All About the Offer

When considering to put a coupon or special on your web site, think about your offer to entice them. The offer needs to be impressive with as little strings attached as possible. It also needs to be exciting, and absolutely worth the customer's while to print the coupon or visit the store for the special.

Customers always ask: "What's in it for me?" If the offer adequately satisfies that question, they will visit your store.

So, when you're putting a coupon on your web site, think about what offer you can put up to excite your customers. None of this is new information to you, but I just thought I reinforce it.

Look for the September coupons tomorrow! If you would like to use them, you can download them from this blog.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Add Your Web Site to Your E-mail Signature

In talking to someone who works for a social media company, he passed along a little promotional tip that's as easy as changing your e-mail signature.

Just think about all the e-mails you send and receive each day. Maybe it's a lot, maybe it's not that many. Either way, your e-mail communication will probably increase over the next few years, and you'll probably communicate with your customers via e-mail more and more.

At any rate, consider adding your web site to your e-mail signature. Below, I've used myself as an example of what it could look like:

Brian Sonnenberg
United Hardware Distributing

That's a pretty basic e-mail signature, but you could do something similar using your web site. It's another great way to advertise your web site. I'll continue to share more of these simple ideas to promote your web site.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Free Web Sites to Help You Resize Photos

Unfortunately, posting pictures on your web sites isn't just as simple as grabbing a photo and dropping it on the site. It can be that simple, but the picture may be too big when viewing it. For those visiting your site, it can cause a slower (and longer) load time which will frustrate them. It can also just mess with the formatting and make for a strange site layout.

Below are just some "helpful hints" (I hope) for making your pictures web-friendly:

  • When adding photos in the admin portal, always have your "live" site open. Then, you can hit the refresh button to see how the uploaded photo looks on the real site. If it's huge, you can go back to your admin window and resize the picture.

  • You have some editing capability within the admin portal of your web site. You can edit the size of the photo from the "Image" button. There should be two boxes to the left of your picture preview once you grab the photo from your computer. Those boxes are labeled "Width" and "Height," and you can change one of the numbers and it will automatically resize the other number proportionally. So, you can make your pictures smaller through that function.
    Hint: Next to the Width/Height is a "Lock Ratio" button. Make sure you have that locked so your picture will resize proportionally.

  • You can also edit the photo by clicking on the picture. If you click on it, little boxes will line the outside of the photo. You can grab a corner box and resize the photo, but make sure you size it proportionally.

  • Lastly, I found two web sites that will help you resize/crop photos for FREE! They're fairly similar sites with a few subtle differences, but you can use the site with which you're most comfortable. Here are the links to those sites: Pic Resize or Web Resizer. They're also listed at the top of this post.

Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns about uploading pictures. I want it to be easy for you to upload web-friendly pictures. You have editing options in the admin portal, but those web sites give you even more options as far as editing.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Sample Coupons for August, September

We have produced corporate web coupons for August. If you're interested in them please let me know, and I can e-mail them to you. In the future, I would like to post them right to this blog for you to just grab, save and post to your web site.

To create the coupons, we look at the corporate sales. It's the easiest thing to do to for our purposes even though some of you run Dealer's Choice ads. Let me know if you have any coupon ideas or a better way to approach it.

For August, we have created ads for the following vendors: Rubbermaid, Plymouth Forge, 3M, Softsoap-Ajax.

We will have coupons for September shortly. Happy updating!!

Monday, August 9, 2010

New Web Site Launch in Douglas!!

Congratulations to Douglas Hardware Hank in Douglas, Wyoming!

Douglas Hardware Hank already had a web site, but they wanted to give it a little facelift. We took their old site and rolled it into our design and template. They also liked the option to make their own changes, so they went with a tier 3 site.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Web-Ready Hank Characters Now Available

To help you use properly sized images on your site, I have uploaded the Hardware Hank characters in web-ready format. To find them, go to "Logos & Characters" on United Hardware's web site.

In addition, we will populate your site's server with these images, so when you look to add an image, you will automatically see a folder with web-ready Hardware Hank images.

I formatted them on the larger side, so that you can reduce them. In my experience, it's better to have larger as opposed to smaller images.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

New Web Site Launch in Rapid City!!

Congratulations to Rapid City Hardware Hank in Rapid City, South Dakota!

They launched a tier 3 web site yesterday, so welcome them to the group with open arms!

Side note: Stay tuned for further web developments. Tom, Scott and I are working on things to make updating your web sites easier!