If you’ve ever attended a trade show then you know you will be bombarded with freebie promotion items. Sure there are the popular items such as promotional pens, key chains and note pads, but you will likely encounter unique items such as private label bottled water, customized battery operated fans, water globes, bobble head dolls, envelope openers, mouse pads and Ethernet retractable cable complete with company logo. The above is just a small sample of the laundry lists of promotional items businesses use to generate leads and develop impressions. How can you translate the promotional aspect of a trade show to the promotional needs of an online business? The truth is you may not be using promotional items in the same way, but you can provide your customers (and potential customers) with free promotional rewards. Site promotion has becoming big business and it can be helped along through link building. Not only will your site ranking improve with inbound links, but you can also reward both the visitor as well as the site the visitor came from. How? Visitors can be provided with an exclusive electronic download. This could be informational; it could be educational or even simply fun. It could be free access to an arcade game exclusive to your site, an ebook or even a member only ecourse. You can reward the most productive site in click thrus with a gift certificate to your online business. This could be done monthly, quarterly or semi-annually. Your choice in site promotion tools may only be limited to your imagination. Find ways to keep site visitors coming back and explore ways to reward them for their patronage. You could use the model of ‘trip rewards’ as a bonus for customers. For instance you could provide an automatic price reduction on a future purchase or a gift certificate good for the next purchase with an expiration date of three months or less (you want to give them an incentive to use the certificate instead of forgetting it). You can include samples of complimentary products with each purchase. The idea is to give customers every opportunity to view your business as one worth returning to. If you’ve developed a promotional budget you can include a promotional item in each order that is in direct relation to the total purchase piece. For instance a small item for a small purchase and something worth more for a larger purchase. Some business owners feel promotional items are a waste of money, but both cyber based promotional items as well as those items that may seem more traditional may have meaning among many of your customers causing them to return to a business that rewards their patronage. How are you promoting your online business?