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Work at Home Moms > General Internet Marketing Articles > 10 Tips for a Successful Online Sales Party

Online parties are a popular alternative to sales parties held in someone's home. While they can be easier to host, a  successful online party requires almost as much planning and preparation as the more traditional home party.

10 Tips for a Successful Online Sales Party

1 – Plan Ahead. Schedule your party at least a week or two ahead of time to give yourself plenty of time to promote your party and invite guests. Even if the site where you host your party is promoting the event, your party will be more successful if you also promote it.

Create more excitement by planning your party for holiday shopping or a special sale or promotion your company may be offering.

Attend other parties to observe what works and what doesn’t.

2 – Send Personal Invitations. You will have the best turnout if you invite people you know or people who have expressed an interest in your business. Send personal invitations, ask guests to RSVP, and send a reminder on the day of the party.

3 – Offer Incentives for Participation. Give guests extra reasons to attend and to bring friends. Many online parties are “Mystery Hostess” parties with the hostess gifts being given away in a random drawing from the guest list. Offer free shipping or a discount if someone brings a friend who buys something (and give the discount to both the invited guest and the friend she brought).

4 – Be the Perfect Hostess. Stay cheerful and polite. Make everyone feel welcomed and appreciated. Greet them by name when they arrive and thank them when they leave. Make sure you tell your guests a little about yourself and your company.

5 – Run an Organized Party. Have a schedule of activities and keep things moving. Have a friend help you out. She can welcome guests and keep everyone involved while you answer product questions and help people order. If you play a game, make it one that is easy for you to run. You don’t want long delays during and after the game while you tally scores and determine the winner.

6 - Give “Real” Gifts. You can use discount coupons or free shipping as an incentive to “bring a friend” or to place an order over a certain dollar amount, but for game winners or a prize drawing, give a gift of your product. Not only will your guest be more appreciative, but it’s also a promotional item – the recipient gets to try out something she may order again in the future.

7 – Inform Guests. Repeat your website URL, ordering instructions, and incentives several times during the party and for any late arrivals. Make sure guests understand shipping charges and expected shipping date. If you are keeping the party open for several days or longer after the online party, be sure to explain that the order won’t even be placed for some time.

8 – Grace Under Pressure – Be prepared for possible problems and handle them calmly and effectively. What will you do if you start having computer problems in the middle of your party? How will you answer a guest who keeps asking off topic questions? Or what if there’s a disruptive intruder or someone starts promoting sales of her products?

Be as graceful as possible when handling such issues. If your computer is making participation nearly impossible, ask for email addresses and email everyone an apology and a discount coupon.

Confrontation with rude and disruptive intruders will only escalate the problem and make your other guests uncomfortable. Most chat rooms have an ignore feature that you can instruct guests to use for the disruptive intruders. Offer to contact someone by email after the party for off topic discussions. And ask the person who is promoting her products to wait until the end of the party and invite anyone who is interested to stay for a few minutes.

9 – Bring the party to an end at the designated time and give your email address so guests can contact you with any additional questions or orders.

10 – Stay in Touch. Email your guests to let them know when their order was placed and when they can expect delivery. Inform them of any backorders or delays and offer alternatives.

2006 Linda Stacy

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