How to Export - Part 10 Attracting Buyers through Advertisement and Promotion

Selling a product usually takes one of two routes - either seller finds the buyer or buyer finds seller. Here seller means manufacturer/producer and all its representatives in the distribution channel like agents, distributors etc. As exporter - your sales strategy for overseas markets should draw input from both sources.

In previous article, we discussed the first route - how to locate buyers from various resources including desk research. In this article, we discuss how to attract buyers towards your product.

The buyer community does not know about you or your products. In order to help them locate you - your visibility must increase. You have to make the job of locating you simple and convenient. Some of the way of achieving that are
  • Advertisement
  • Promotion (e.g. direct mail)
  • Trade Shows
  • Web-Site
  • Search Engine etc.


Advertisement in print and electronic media is an excellent way of increasing visibility and brand building in domestic market. However, most of it is impractical for overseas markets for obvious reasons. Most small and medium enterprises (SME) can not afford to look beyond small advertisement in overseas trade journals or association newsletters


Direct mail campaign was perhaps the only affordable promotion tool in pre-internet days. Though e-mail has taken most of its sheen today - printed letters still remain a viable promotion tool in this age of large scale spam and e-mail-based viruses. For more information on direct mail, specially how to write an effective sales letter please read Faida Article series on Writing Effective Sales Letter

On-Line Marketing

The Internet is a huge market place where millions of visitors are surfing through billions of web-pages everyday. The most effective and in-expensive way of making yourself visible today is to make best use of Internet. The challenge lies in promoting your business web site in such a way that potential buyers visit your web-site, make contact with you and ultimately buy your goods and services.

A business can use a range of online marketing techniques to promote and advertise its web site and its products. Let us examine the tactics typically used to attract visitors to a site

Visirors of Your Web-Site

Contrary to popular belief - web-site promotion does not start and end with search engines. True, search engines play extremely important function in making your web-site visible, but it will be a mistake to overlook other avenues of getting quality visitors

Let us examine from where site visitors come from and how to maximize each traffic channel:
  • Direct Visitors : Those who type in your domain name and go directly to your site. The following three key tactics are regularly used to increase direct visitor traffic: memorable domain names, offline advertising and promotion, and viral marketing

  • Search Engine Visitors : Those who search for your name, product or service. There are different types of search engines that have different rules for sorting and displaying search results. It is important to:

    • prepare the Web site coding to optimize it for search engines

    • get listed

    • learn about paid listing options

  • Linked Visitors : Those who link to your site from another site. Here are ideas for some ways to increase the quantity of links to your site: free links from business associations, government, supplier and customer sites, paid links from industry associations, resource sites, online malls, directories, banner ads placed strategically where your target audience will see them, mailing list ads on lists that target a specific interest group.

  • Target e-Mail Visitors : Those who click through to your site from an e-mail
We shall discuss details of each traffic channel in subsequent issues.

Happy and Productive Surfing

Dr. Amit K Chatterjee

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Source: FAIDA - Newsletter on Business Opportunties from India and Abroad Vol: 6, Issue 10 ; September 2' 2005

Author : Dr. Amit K. Chatterjee
(Amit worked in blue-chip Indian and MNCs for 15 years in various capacities like Research and Information Analysis, Market Development, MIS, R&D Information Systems etc. before starting his e-commerce venture in 1997. The views expressed in this columns are of his own. He may be reached at )

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