Sunday, June 13, 2010

Spring play should be about the outdoors

Okay, so I know we are a toy retailer and I know that selling toys is what we do.  But also, I know that children don't need toys to have a good, productive play experience.  That might sound odd coming from a guy who sells toys for a living, but I have children too, and I know that their minds are filled with big ideas and the world is their canvas.  Send your kids outside, if they are bored, offer them congratulations and express interest in learning how they decide to fill their time.  What an opportunity.  The Spring is a wonderful time of year for children to re-acquaint themselves with the outdoors.  Watch the birds teaching their offspring how to hunt for worms and insects in the grass.  Visit a park, and let the kids make new best friends in 10 minutes.  Life outdoors is a wonderful thing, and the more children familiarize themselves with climbing trees, rubbing dirt on their hands and playing with nature, the more they'll understand their role as a part of their environment.

Have fun. Enjoy this mild and blooming time of year.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Spring is beautiful!

Nothing beats a gorgeous Spring day and Eagle, Idaho is no exception.  From my vantage point as I sit at my desk fielding phone calls, emails and preparing today's orders, I can see the plum, apple and cherry trees are in full bloom. The pear trees are green and full, the maples have sprouted their smooth leaves.  The tulips still have their blooms while the golden ninebark and snowball viburnum are coming to life.  The Spring rains are starting to wane leaving behind lush green foothills.  The locust and poplars have filled out their majestic fores of greenery, only the patient ash trees have yet to fully embrace the growing season.

Gotta love Spring.

Monday, May 10, 2010

So, how do people find ToysintheMail.com?

People ask me all the time, hey Scott, how do people find ToysintheMail.com?  Well, this is the million dollar question, and answering it keeps me up at night. It used to be simple; put up a page,  visit the search engines "add url" page of Altavista, Lycos, Hotbot, MSN, Yahoo, or Google, and the search engines will add it to their index. It was fast, easy and reliable.  Well it's not so easy any more.  With fewer search engine choices, the search engines have become more particular about who they allow in their index.   Web design is important, but so is the willingness to pay to be seen.   Of course paying for search engine visibility increases our costs and the more we have to pay to be seen, the higher our prices must go to recover these expenses, so naturally, this is not our first choice to obtain traffic.  Organic search results are the results search engines provide which are unbiased and objective, but today, these are no longer unbiased as they depend on a variety of highly targeted factors, including one's existing presence on the internet, which of course creates a logical loop to determine of a websites visibility.  If we can manage to get ToysintheMail.com in the organic search results, then our overhead is lower, and in turn we can offer lower prices to our customers. That really is the bottom line.

So, how do they find ToysintheMail.com?  Well, a little of both.  We use PPC (pay per click) advertising, we use PPA (pay per action) advertising and we use organic search results to drive traffic.  Oh, yes, we also use coupon sites to drive our business (by the way, our current coupon code is 'MAYISFORMOMS" and is good for 10% off a $50 or greater purchase).  We are considering an affiliate based model as well, where we'd pay affiliates to drive sales to us from their sites (pay per action works this way, but affiliates are more like every day people who happen to build web pages).  Another feature we are going to be rolling out soon is a good old fashion email newsletter. We need to come up with content for the newsletter that's worthwhile, clean, and simple so our subscribers will be able to quickly benefit from subscribing to the newsletter.  This will be sent by email only, and we are assembling those pieces now.

Anyway, that's the gist of it.  If you like our site, please tell your friends or blog about us.  That also provides us with an excellent opportunity to earn another customer.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Completely redesigned site

Well, we've been sooooooo busy lately, and we are pleased with the results so far.  Our site is completely redesigned to be clearner, more fun, and more user friendly.  Check out our changes, we'll post more details about the changes soon.

http://www.toysinthemail.com

Thursday, February 25, 2010

New Product: Magnetic Dartboard - Doinkit Darts

We've just added an exciting product to our Fun and Games line! Introducing Doinkit Darts! This well designed and high quality magnetic dart board puts a classic twist on magnetic dart boards. Traditional dart boards are round and rigid, but many magnetic dart boards are flat and many coil up for storage. Although that can serve it's purpose, a nice rigid, round board is more realistic and the kids will feel like they are playing along side the adults!



Try hanging this board beside or underneath the adult dart board for competitive match play against the kids. The Marky Sparky Doinkit Darts are a welcome addition to the world of magnetic dart boards.

For more information, visit this link:
http://www.toysinthemail.com/index/fun-and-games/magnetic-toys/doinkit-darts/marky90008.htm

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Changing our Website Layout - New Home Page Changes

Ok, so as part of many, many changes coming to our website, we have begun adding more content which is designed to help our customers learn more about us and the toys we carry. Today, we changed the layout of our home page to have a more personal description of Melissa and Doug and the products we carry. Our objective is to eventually have spotlight pages throughout our site which will be full of useful and interesting content and less of a static, catalog type web presentation. We've been in business for 11 years now, but we are always learning and listening to our customers for feedback to help improve our site.

Here is a link to our new layout: http://www.toysinthemail.com

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Perplexus at ToysintheMail.com

If you haven't seen the Perplexus maze sphere, you haven't seen the best toy of 2010! This sphere is a ton of fun and is sure to be a hit in the coming years. A maze, a sphere and quite a challenge for ages 5 and up. Children and Adults alike will love navigating the steel ball through the intricate maze in a full 3 dimensional maze.

Check it out here:
http://www.toysinthemail.com/index/fun-and-games/other/perplexus/busy00078.htm