Limited Staff Today

We will start this post off with saying, we fully support all of our law enforcement personnel.  We know they have tough jobs, and have to make tough calls and quick decisions which are always criticized by Monday morning quarterbacks.  Thank you for your hard work.

Now, it is the Monday morning after the Superbowl, so it is time for some quarterbacking. The Sheriff of the county in which Outdoor Business Network is headquartered has declared a prolonged Level 3 Snow Emergency for all roads in the entire county.  This has restricted the ability for our employees to come to work and service our clients nationwide and globally. Because of this, several core employees were forced to violate the Sheriff’s orders and risk arrest to come to work.  We don’t think this is right.

Our apologies to those businesses we serve, however please understand we are under the following restrictions:

Lucas County Sheriff John Tharp has declared, effective immediately and until further notice, a LEVEL 3 SNOW EMERGENCY, for all roads and streets in Lucas County, including state, county, and township roads, and all city streets. This declaration does not apply to traffic on the Ohio Turnpike, but does apply to all roads and streets in Lucas County. This means that no person except operators of public safety vehicles on duty or otherwise responding to an emergency; and essential news media personnel, including reporters, support, and production employees; health care and other emergency personnel; and essential employees of critical infrastructure facilities, may drive on roads and streets in Lucas County. All others traveling on the roadways might be subject to arrest. All public safety employees must report to work as scheduled. This emergency level might be downgraded or discontinued.


We live and work in northern Ohio, which is in the Snow Belt. This State’s citizens and government should expect, be prepared for, and used to this type of weather. Our government should not resort to martial law due to snowfall.

How to Not Get a Computer Virus

How not to get a computer virus:

1. Look before you click. Always hover over a link before you click it so you can see where it is going. It the URL does not match where you think you should be going, or looks weird, suspicious, or kinda funky, don’t click on it. Only click links you know are safe and go to reputable websites.

2. Don’t open email attachments until you have verified they are safe. Never open any email attachment that is *.exe, *.zip, *.pdf, *.doc or any other *.* that you were not expecting. If you are unsure if someone is sending you a file, email or call them to confirm that you need to take a look at that file.   You don’t have a relative in Nigeria that left you money!

3. Watch for spoof emails. Do not be fooled by look-a-like emails. Always make sure you know where the email came from and who sent it before you do anything more than preview it.  Be especially wary of emails that say they are from the IRS, banks, or other large agencies.  Most times these agencies will send you snail mail if there are any pressing issues.

4. Look out for phishermen! Phishing scams are one of the most popular portals to viruses and hacking. Always look at the URL bar to make sure you are on the actual companies website. If you aren’t sure, google the company and navigate to their corporate website through google. Remember, watch the URLs carefully.

5. Your password is yours. Keep your password to yourself. Memorize it. Don’t give it to others, make it a series of random letters and numbers, no dictionary words. Make it hard so a hacker cant guess it. DON’T USE 12345!  DON’T TAPE IT TO YOUR COMPUTER!

6. Don’t surf and go to non-work related websites.

If you follow the above, you will likely not get a virus. Viruses halt your work and waste a huge amount of company time and money to clean up. Pass this on to your friends and employees as well.

Thank you for stopping by our booth @SHOTShow

Thank you for stopping by the Outdoor Business Network SHOT Show booth and requesting more information from our company. The show was a huge success for us, and we are looking forward to another great year serving the shooting sports industry. Hopefully you had a chance to speak with one of our representatives or partners to get a taste of what Outdoor Business Network can do for you and your company.

2015 SHOT Show booth # 2033, Outdoor Business Network

2015 SHOT Show booth # 2033 – Outdoor Business Network

We will be following up with each and every person we met at the show, however please understand this will take some time. We have a low pressure sales approach, so we won’t be bugging you with lots of follow up phone calls. If you are ready to go and want to get started on your e-commerce website or marketing right away, don’t hesitate to drop us an email or phone call.

We look forward to serving you in the future. Please stay tuned as we will be updating you with more information regarding our products and services shortly.

Outdoor Business Network Adds New Supplier

We here at OBN are proud to welcome our newest supplier to our system.  We have completed the integration with their ERP and warehouse management system, so retailers using our eCommerce platform now have the ability to get updated product information, inventory status, order status, as well as utilize our One-Click-to-Ship feature.



Moteng is familiar with online fulfillment and drop shipping.  They even have a program dedicated to it.  If you are a current Moteng customer, or an outdoor retailer looking to expand its offerings, it is worth a look.   Moteng’s product section includes knives & tools, public safety equipment, lights, apparel, outdoor equipment, kitchen cutlery, and more.  To find out more about our new integration, give us a call at 1-800-699-0820 ext. 1, one of our team members would be glad to answer your questions.

More about Moteng:

Moteng was founded in 1980 in Los Angeles as a supplier of knives and imported African artifacts. Fine wall hangings hand woven by the Moteng Mountain tribesman in the Kingdom of Lesotho gave the company its name.

Moteng has continually enhanced both its products and services. Our website has been rated as having the most information and easiest to use by our customers.

In 1987 the company relocated to San Diego, California. In 2011 the company moved it’s warehouse into it’s present location in Phoenix, Arizona. In 2011, Black Orchid Equity, LLC, a private equity firm, purchased Moteng NA, LLC and gave the company capital to operate and grow in the space for another 30 years.

Thanks to the incredible support of our very loyal customers and vendors, Moteng has grown to become one of the leading wholesale distributors and drop-shippers in our industry. Moteng now offers over 100,000 items from over 250 best selling brands.
Look through our product range or contact us for a catalog. We look forward to doing business with you soon

Keeping Your Inbox Tidy

Email can be a great business tool but it can also be a real headache sometimes. Staying on top of email is definitely high on the e-commerce housekeeping list, but it is not without its fair share frustration.  Not only is it tough to keep organized, but also keeping out the junk or “spam” can be maddening. Here are some tips to keep your mailbox organized, keep spam to a minimum, and manage storage space.


Just to be clear, spam is any kind of email that you don’t want and did not sign up to receive. Most spam is harmless but sometimes it can be part of an identity theft scam or other types of fraud. Although spam is most commonly found in email, it can also come to text messages and even on social networking sites.

You can receive hundreds of spam messages for every legitimate message that arrives. With tools like box trapper as well as email filtering you can help reduce the amounts of spam in your inbox.  Even with good filters, some of the spam makes it through. Also filters can sometimes hide messages that you really do want to receive, so watch out and be mindful when you are creating your rules. We offer a tool called “Spam Assassin” that we can setup for retailers with high spam, just give us a call and ask for it.

To set up filters, log in to your email account from the front end of your website. Here is a tutorial on how to login and set rules in your email:

1.Type your domain name into your URL (ex. “”)

2.Add “/webmail” or “:2096″ and hit “enter” on your keyboard (ex.””)

3.You may see a yellow warning screen, just choose the “Proceed Anyway” button

4.Type in your complete email address and correct password (case sensitive) and choose the orange “log in” button.

5. You will see the three different free viewing programs: Horde, Roundcube, and Squirrel-Mail.

6.Under the email server icons, go to “Email Filtering” in the bottom right corner.

7.Under “Create Filter” click the button “Create a New Filter”.

8.Set your rules by creating a unique name for this set of rules, then set the rules using the drop down menus, selecting types of messages you do not want to receive. You can add as many as you like using the “+”

NOTE: Use specific email addresses, keywords, and phrases that are specific to the spam you have been receiving.

9. Once you have made your selections, set your action for your rule with the drop down menu

10. Hit the “create” button to save your rule.

11. You can go back any time to edit your rules or set new ones.


Make sure you either save or delete old emails. Many people are email hoarders and keep old emails so long that eventually they use up their storage space and are unable to send or receive mail. Staying within your quota is a lot easier said than done, but here are some pointers.

One thing you may not know is that it may not be the number of emails in your inbox but what is actually in your emails. Emails with big documents, pictures, and other data monsters will take up space in your email. We suggest that you either archive old emails or save pictures and documents onto your computer or even something like Dropbox instead of letting them sit in your email inbox.

Organizing your Inbox:

Some people like to create folders to keep their inbox organized, and you can find many ways on how to do it. We suggest finding categories that make sense for you and sticking to it.

Your Password:

As we have said before, having a strong and secure password is also essential to keep your inbox safe and secure. Keep hackers from getting into your account by making sure your password is “bulletproof”. Here are some suggestions that will help you create a strong password from

If you have trouble remembering your passwords, you can use a secure password keeper like

Get Personal and Standout: Tell Your E-Commerce Story

With so much emphasis on the internet today we often lose that personal touch of “small business”. More and more people are looking to online stores to get what they need and many retailers don’t think about ways that they can give their customers a personal touch to set them apart from the billions of other retailers out there. Here are a few ideas that bring back that special something that people seem to be missing from brick and mortar stores.


1. Tell Your Business Story

Consumers want to know who they are buying from so why not share your unique business story? Let people know who you are and what you stand for so they can see that your business is actually real people doing real work. Make sure your information pages have an “About Us” that is well written and includes pictures so people can connect with your store on a personal level, something they can’t get from a big box store.

Learn how here:

2. Send a Personal Thank You

This is a little extra effort that goes a long way. Sending a short and simple “thank you” to customers after an order will not only make them feel important but it will reinforce the idea that they are buying their product from real people dedicated to their business. If you are sending an item from your store you can drop a thank you letter in the box before you ship, or if you are drop shipping you can send a digital thank you with your order confirmation using the comments box on your order page.

Learn how here:

3. Reach Out to Your Customers

Much like you would greet your customer walking into your store, you can use newsletters and special coupon codes to reach out and say hello to your best customers. Keeping your store fresh in your customers minds will keep them coming back for business and maybe even get you referrals. Use tools like Who’s OnlineCustomersCoupons, and Newsletter to reach out to your existing customers.

Learn how here:

Who’s Online




Email Marketing Part 3: Analytic’s & Overview

Welcome back to final part of this Email Marketing topic where we will be going over what do look for after you’ve already sent out your customized newsletter.  Going over and looking to see your email lists reaction is crucial to consistently improving and having a successful newsletter.

First thing we are going to look at is your unique opens, these are the amount of opens your newsletter received. The reason this is important to look at is for future topics and seeing what exactly your list basis prefers to look at. At the beginning, don’t be afraid to try new topics, content, links, see what works best for you.


The second item we are going to look at is the “clicked” rate, this is the amount of times your list interacts with that newsletter. Looking at this can help you see what layout works best, where to put that picture, where to put that text, or where to incorporate that link.


The third thing we want to look at is our bounced rate. Unfortunately it will happen, but there is a difference between a hard and soft bounce. A hard bounce is a bounce that indicates a permanent reason an email cannot be delivered, either the mail doesn’t exist, or the email server blocked the email. A soft bounce however is an indication of a temporary delivery issue to an address, these emails will be attempted to be sent out 2-3 times over 90 days before getting put into the hard bounce category.


The fourth thing we want to look at is our 24 hour performance. Pay close attention to this, figuring out and comparing results to previous newsletters will help your company narrow down the time that is most efficient for your company.


Lastly, we look at the top links clicked section, this section is an indication of what your subscribers have clicked on the most. Paying attention to this will help you find what material your audience prefers to see and read about.

Email Marketing Part 2: Design & Content

Hey guys/gals welcome back to part 2 of the email marketing segment. So we have already built up our audience and created a few catchy themes to keep subscribers interested in your newsletter. Now it’s time to design and create a quality newsletter to send out to your customer base.

The first thing we want to concentrate on the newsletter is the subject name, in this few word header will be the deciding factor whether or not a subscriber opens the email or just tosses it out. Creating a good header that is not only interesting but intrigues the subscriber enough to want to read the whole newsletter. Doing this will become one of the biggest assets to your company.

The next thing we want to take a look at and make sure is just as important as a subject line is the first fold of the newsletter. This is where the most important content of the newsletter is going to go, having good quality content that displays what you are trying to accomplish with the newsletter. If you are trying to increase web traffic to your store, ensure some links directing them back to where you want them to go. If you want to acquire more sales within a short period of time, maybe offer a sale, or a coupon to the subscribers to encourage them to spend a little more money. Doing small things and concentrating on how well the newsletter is set up will determine the amount of positive feedback you will acquire.

The last thing we want to look at on designing the newsletter is the bottom portion, this is where your information goes that’s just not as important as the first fold but can still intrigue subscribers to read the entire newsletter. This is a good place to include recent news about the shop, or even upcoming events that can get your subscribers wanting to know more. This is also a good place to have interesting articles about related topics to your company. But it’s also a good place to leave your customers happy and have them waiting for that next newsletter.

Be sure to tune in next week for the final part of this Email Marketing Segment!

Call Us Today!

The team at OBN has made a concerted effort to contact each of our clients individually. Much like ourselves, we find our customers are busy running the day to day tasks. The reason for these courtesy calls is just that. Our first goal is to be sure you have all of your questions answered and possible assist you with any tasks that you have been meaning to get to. The second and possibly larger reason for us calling on you all is that we very much want to be sure that you are all aware of our marketing capabilities. From some simple Online Marketing Campaign to full on marketing management, the power of a well structured can drastically change the livelihood of your business.

If you have read any of my past Blogs you will know that OBN believes in the power of marketing. We can custom tailor your marketing solution to meet your budget. The process is really quite painless and the rewards that can be reaped are well worth the effort. While we will continue to reach out to all of you I urge you to get in touch with us too. There is no task to small to help you with and the knowledge that we have to share with you can literally be the difference in making or breaking your business.

As always call us at: 1-800-699-0820 ext 814 for sales/marketing and ext 2 for support.


Creating An Effective Logo

Every company needs an effective logo to represent their branding and provide consumers an easily recognizable graphic representation of the company and it’s core values. Logo’s can become the public face of a business and in examples of extremely effective logo design, can even replace the brand name as the most ubiquitous aspect of a company (see the Nike “Swoosh” or McDonald’s “Golden Arches”). Creating and implementing an effective logo is an essential step in the evolution of any successful retailer.

What is the purpose of a logo?

Logos are an aspect of a company’s branding, they’re used as the graphical representation of a company’s values and goals. Logos are used to identify a particular entity in a sea of competitors, and help to inspire loyalty, trust and admiration among consumers. An effective logo design will help to convey not only what a company does, but what it stands for. Although logos are not generally created to be a salable commodity, it’s not unheard for a great logo to become just that (again, see the Nike “Swoosh”).

What elements make up a good logo?

Generally it’s accepted that there are 5 basic principles that every logo should encompass:

  1. Simple
  2. Memorable
  3. Timeless
  4. Versatile
  5. Appropriate

Simple: Often logos need to communicate both effectively and quickly. Logos need to be as easily recognized by someone speeding by a billboard at 70mph, as they would be by someone watching a 30 second commercial on tv. The key to speedy recognition is simplicity of design; the fewer elements, the easier it is for the viewer to distinguish what he or she is looking at.

Memorable: Of equal importance to the logo being recognized, is the logo’s ability to leave a lasting impression on the viewer. The goal of an effective logo is to create a relationship between a symbol and what it symbolizes, to accomplish this task it must be easily remembered. An effective logo will be easily remembered so that the consumer can easily recognize the symbol of a company and what that company stands for.

Timelessness: In order for a logo to remain memorable it also must remain unchanged. Logos need to be created in such away that allows them to remain relevant even with changes in design aesthetics and popular preferences. Updates are appropriate from time to time, but the general feel of a logo should be created in such a way as to allow for changes in taste without compromising the logos integrity.

Versatile: Logos need to be able to function across a variety of different media and applications. For instance an ideal logo would look good on a website header, plastered on a billboard, or stitched into a company t-shirt. An effective logo should look as good in black and white as it does in color. Ideally logos should be created in vector graphics format. Vector graphics scale to any size and can be enlarged or shrunk to fit any application without a loss of quality.

Appropriate: The effective logo needs to take into account the audience it is hoping to capture and be appropriately designed with the intended viewers in mind. This isn’t to say that every logo for a gun store needs to have a firearm in the design, however if you’re intended audience is the recreational hunter you may want to include camouflage or a deer, where as a company going after tactical sales may want to include carbon fiber or soldier silhouette in the design.

What does good logo design cost?

The cost of logo design can vary greatly depending on the needs of client. How many logo concepts need to be presented? How many rounds of revisions are included in the design quote? What type of finished files are required, .pdf, .eps, .png, .jpg? Large companies have spent millions of dollars on logo design and implementation. OBN offers logo design packages starting at $499 that include multiple design concepts, one round of revisions, and final image outputs in several formats including scalable vector graphics.