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Here’s a dead simple way to attract up to 4 times more traffic to your e-commerce store – and best of all it’s completely free and just takes a few hours. All you need is Google, a phone and some instincts. If you use our ecommerce software, BigCommerce, then it’s even easier.

Follow the steps below to implement this strategy:

  1. Grab a pen and write a list of 4 products that can be purchased online that are complimentary to what you sell. For example, if you sell iPods then your list might look like this: trainers, arm bands, custom iPod skins, workout towels
    .
  2. Jump on Google and find a few different stores that sell the products you listed in step 1 – but make sure they don’t sell the same products as you.
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  3. Create a spreadsheet with these headers: Product, Website – and list the websites from step 2 alongside the complimentary products they sell, such as:
    .
    Product, Website
    Trainers, http://www.trainers1.com
    Trainers, http://www.trainers2.com
    Arm Bands, http://www.armbands1.com
    etc…
    .
  4. Go through each website in your list and fill in the contact form on their web site or send them an email with this message:
    .
    Hi there,
    .
    This is [your name] from [your company]. We sell [what you sell] through our online store at [your website link] and would like to discuss a mutually beneficial partnership opportunity. Would you be so kind as to provide me with the name and phone number of the person in charge of your marketing?

    .
    Thank you,
    [Your name]
    [Your phone number]
    [Your website link]

    .
  5. When they email you back, add their name and phone number to your spreadsheet. Your goal is to get at least one person to reply for each complimentary product you’ve listed. If you don’t get an email back with contact information after a few days, find another website which sells the same complimentary product and repeat step 4.
    .
  6. When your list is full of names and phone numbers, call each company and tell them that you’d like to recommend them to your customers at the bottom of every invoice you send, and ask if they’d do the same for you.

This is a simple yet VERY effective form of cross-promotional marketing and can drive enormous amounts of traffic to your website if implemented.

The basic idea is simple. Let’s say you get in contact with 4 companies who sell complimentary products to yours. Including your company, that’s 5 companies in total who all sell similar products.

At the end of every company’s invoice email, they would each add something like this:

Thank you for your business. If you’re looking for products to compliment your order, we recommend:

  • http://www.trainers1.com for discount trainers in all styles and colors
  • http://www.armbands1.com for arm bands which can hold your iPod steady while running
  • http://www.ipodskins1.com for custom designed iPod skins
  • http://www.workouttowels1.com for embroided workout towels

Obviously each store wouldn’t include their own website in the list.

That’s the entire strategy. It takes nothing more than 20 minutes on Google and a few hours on the phone but the increase in qualified, free visitors to your online store will be enormous. Just make sure you choose complimentary online stores which have a decent amount of traffic. A good way to check the traffic of a website is to use Compete.com.

Good luck and happy partnering!

P.S. You can edit your invoice email in BigCommerce by clicking the “Store Design” at the top right in your store’s control panel. Then click the “Email Templates” and click “Edit” next to the invoice_email.html template.

Leave a Comment
  • Thanks for sharing great post.

  • Thank you so much for sharing this nice article.

  • I am agree with Mitchell. I noticed it myself. Invoices with colors of website, logo & signature really put good impression on customers and they begin to trust you as a professional company.

  • Thanks for this, excellent tip.

  • This is such an awesome tip! Thank you so much for sharing, I’ll definitely try this, one of these days.

  • This is a brilliant idea. Thanks for sharing it and I’m definitely going to put it into practice. I love these tips of yours Mitch, keep em coming :-)

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