Sabrina's Ultimate Shop Promotion Guide
You might be thinking, 'Why the heck do I need to promote my shop?'… The answer to that, my friend, is Neopoints & Status. Yes, being in a mall will increase your hit count & sales, but it can only do so much. If you want to be successful, you need to master the art of Public Relations (PR). Building a positive reputation and getting your name out on the site will help you build a client base, as well as make you one the 'well-known' players.

When it comes to advertising, choose your method according to cost & feasibility, targeting, and response. Cost & Feasibility refers to what a particular method of advertising will cost you, and if you can afford to shell out that many NPs at the present time. It is important not to break the bank on advertising! There are plenty of free ways to get your name out there. Now, targeting refers to your target market, or whom you're trying to appeal to. Are you trying to get seasoned players into your shop, newbies, n00bs…ect. Lastly, we have response. Response is absolutely vital. Response to your advertising/marketing strategies will be reflected in your sales. For example, if you start using a new thread title, and your sales suddenly increase, then you obtained a positive response and should run that title for a week or two (until it wears out/generates no response).

Advertising methods… there are several. First, we have the Notice Board (NB). I only recommend the NB if you have a professional looking graphic advertisement. Don't have one? You can always use premades from great websites like mallersleague.com. The Notice Board is a place where you can purchase advertising space. The top ads appear on the first page, which is prime advertising space, but they cost 4 million NP each. Unless you are on the first three pages – do NOT waste your NP! No one looks at the middle pages, so advertising there would be completely useless. My recommendation is that if you have the bankroll to get in on a 4 million NP ad, then do it! You do not need to take out a 4 million NP ad all by yourself. The majority of big NB ads like that are done with several users chipping in for the ad. As it stands now, a 1 million NP NB ad will get you on page three. That's a decent position on the board for minimal cost. Going in on a one million NP ad will generally cost you 100K or less. Definitely a good deal! You can often find people advertising openings on the Shop Ads board. So, basic summary – Go in on a Notice Board ad for 1 million NP or more, if you have the NP.

Another method of advertising is shop directories. Occasionally, you will stumble across a banner in a user's shop/lookup, or you may even see them being advertised on the Shop Ads Board (SAC). A shop directory is petpage that links shops, assuming the user link's them back. While the method is free, so you'll have no loss of NP, you aren't guaranteed more customers. Truth be told, only the big shop directories get much traffic. My advice? If you have room for the banner in your shop, and it is visually appealing (you don't want to junk up your shop!), then I say go for it. Best-case scenario is that it will get you a few extra customers. Worst-case scenario is no one, or very few people will look at that directory, so you get no additional customers – but that is OK. You didn't pay, so there is no loss. You broke even.

Need a shop directory, here is my fave;


Next, we have the Shop Ads Board (SAC). The Shop Ads Neoboard is a place where you can "advertise your shop or find good deals on the item you've always wanted." And best of all, it is FREE! Whoa there, you can't just run in there unarmed though, you need to know how to 'work' the boards. Before you do anything, you need a good ad.

So, how do you make a good ad? That, my friends, is very easy. Firstly, you need to use language that your customers will understand, so chat-speak is an automatic NoNo. Secondly, as I touched on before, no lengthy paragraphs! Break your text up into separate lines. Using smilies, like swagbag, also help to break up text. Your ad should include; the shop name, size (if you have a shop larger than 20), what you sell, and most importantly, a link to your shop. When I say advertise what you sell, I don't mean post a long list of each item, I mean you should generalize. For Example, if you're advertising a Battle shop, you may want to say some thing like: 'Ready to battle? -Insert shop name- has everything you need to beat your opponent in the battledome!'. Obviously, you wouldn't type in the form of a paragraph (as we learned above), but you get the general idea of how to word your ads.

Check out these very basic samples:
Ready to battle?
-Insert shop name- has everything you need to
beat your opponent in the battledome!

Shop size 400 - fully Stocked!
http://linktotheshophere

Save *swagbag*, Shop at -shopname-

--------------------

Want to save *swagbag*?
Looking for great deals?


Then stop by -shop name, size 400!
http://yourshoplink

Now stocking: books, furniture, toys, & food...
all at clearance prices!



Now, back to the guide...
Another thing to be mindful of is your font. Colors or font faces that are difficult to read will hinder your sales, as people won't be able to read your ad. Now, let's not forget about thread titles. These are just as important as the ad itself! If you post humdrum thread titles like "visit my shop", you won't get many people looking at your ad. There is a lot of competition on the SAC, so you need to make your thread stand out! ALT codes are a great tool to utilize.
For example: ▓░▓░▓ ● ● » Sale in my Size ### Shop -●-link inside-●-
Looks much better than 'sale in my shop'. Also, thinking of an ORIGINAL advertising slogan is always a plus. I stress original because it is never OK to "borrow" someone else's work. If you can't come up with an original slogan, that's OK! Utilize the ALT codes!

Another way to get your name out there is through networking. Many times you will see RS (Restocking) chats on the Shop Ads Board, or you may even see people asking questions or for advice. Jump right into these boards and help out your fellow Neopians, and get to know people. Networking is the only way to gain name recognition. You want to build a positive reputation, so as tempting as it may be, never get into the middle of an argument, or take sides on the boards. Save that stuff for your neomail (since that is private).

Don't forget about the Auctions & Trading Post! It may sound odd, but trust me on this, using the trading post and auction house can help get you and your shop noticed. Let's be realistic, we all have a Safe Deposit Box (SDB) full of items we'll never use/put into our shops, so why not use those items to get your name out there! For example: I typically don't sell my bottled faeries in my shop, I always sell them on the Trading Post (TP). Yes, I still make money, BUT more people will see my user name! The same follows with the Auction House. Got items that just aren't selling in your shop? Use the Auction House! You can auction up to 8 items at a time. So get those spare items out of your SDB, or those hard to sells from your shop and use the trading post and auctions. Finally, there are a few small ways, in conjunction with the ones above, that will help get you and your shop notice. Firstly, add a snazzy banner linking your shop from your lookup, and each of your pet's lookups. Also, good publicity is always a positive. Those things include, free trades, 1NP sales, and just being helpful on the boards.

If you follow the guidelines laid out above, you should have no trouble advertising. Just remember, that you have to keep at it. Advertising and getting out there once a month won't help you. You need to be a regular presence in the neo-community.

If you're not sure if you're on the right track, even after reading this nifty guide, then feel free to neomail jerseygirlie007 and ask her to critique your ad.



Dressing Up Your Ad
As I mentioned above, Alt codes are a great way to dress up your ad and make it stand out from the rest. Below are some of my faves. To add these to your ad or thread on the Shop Ads Neoboard, simply copy and paste it!

§älê ½ Öƒƒ ☻ ♦ ♠ ♥ ♣ ◘ ◙ ■ • ○ ♪ ♫ ► ▲ ▼ ◄ © ® ¢ ™
‡ ☼ ¤« » ╩ ╚ ╦ ╔ ↑ ↓ → ← ↔ » ░ ▓ ▒ █ ║≡ ▄ ▬
Ç É é Ü û Ä â Ø ò ÿ ¥ Ñ ñ Ð ß -invalid_character- § †


Click Here to learn how to make smilies Sample Advertising Slogans
I spoke about using advertising slogans in your ad/thread title. I have some samples below to help you get a clear picture of a good slogan to use on the Shop Ads Board. These are just samples... (do not just combine all the samples and call it an ad! lol)

One Shop - Tons of Deals

Shop Name" is your savings store, where your NP buys you more

Shop at "shop name", where it costs less to get more!

Stop by the Shop that is always on Top!









This Guide was written by JerseyGirlie007©








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