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By the time you read this, Purse-snickety!, the winner of Interland and Entrepreneur's web makeover contest, will be mostly done with the holiday rush. But we caught up with owner Deborah Nail as she was gearing up for the big wholesale and retail season. One goal Nail, 41, had was to boost the retail side of her redone website, www.pursesnickety.com, after focusing on wholesale orders. Snagging retail sales means getting the word out to potential customers. You've probably heard a lot about pay-per-click keyword advertising with search engines. Here's how Nail's experience went when she first signed up with Interland's MyEzClicks program.
The first requirement was to choose about 20 words and phrases that would act as triggering search terms. Some of the ones Pursesnickety! settled on are "feather purses," "reversible purses," "cocktail bags" and "fashion purses." The cost of the service is based on results, with plans varying depending on the number of guaranteed clicks per year. Within one week of starting the program, Nail received 50 e-mails from website visitors. "They're qualified," says Nail. "They are people who are really interested. This is really going to boost our business."
Best of all, she doesn't have to deal with the details of setting it up herself. Nail has found that her new technology, from the website makeover to the IBM ThinkPad R40 laptop and Sprint Treo 600 smartphone, is giving her more time to focus on the core of her business. "Once you start depending on someone else and trusting them to help you and work with your business, you realize that your time [can be] much better spent elsewhere," says Nail.
During the many hectic trade shows she participates in, she has been able to run credit charges through her laptop in her hotel room rather than wait until she returns home. That's been a boon to Nail's cash flow. Receiving orders used to be an endeavor that required logging a lot of phone time; Nail estimates each order received by e-mail through the new website saves her up to 30 minutes, which will take some of the rush out of the holiday rush.