Well, it's the same as trying to sell anything....
1. You need to know your market. Who's most likely to buy? Where do they shop (especially, in this case, online)?
2. You need to know your competition. What else is there "out there" that your potential customers could buy (or are even already buying)? What makes you better/different/cheaper/whatever -- price? availability? uniqueness? ease of purchase? ease of delivery? etc?
3. What, in effect, is your Unique Selling Proposition and the relevant AIDA formula:
You have a problem [i.e. Attention]
We have the solution [i.e. Interest]
Here are all the features and benefit [.e. creating the Desire]
Order now [call for Action]?
4. How can you (as you really need to do) design and word your website accordingly?
5. Could/should you try AdWords -- which is one way in which you can reach people with greater certainty than if you simply depend on (i.e. hope for) Top Ten SERP appearances. (And to understand the use of AdWords, take a look at the sites listed in the Announcements at the top of our WPW AdWords forum.)
6. What other ways are there to reach potential buyers? Could you send news releases out to a mailing list of veteran organizations, local municipalites, chambers of commerce, etc, all with the idea of mentioning your site and inviting/encouraging readers to look at it? (And, in this way, you can avoid the need/cost of paying for ads, albeit you might have to pay snail mail postage if you can't turn up e-mail addresses).
Thank you for your comments and advice.
For something like this I would use local radio network, a well produced radio ad can produce a huge emotional response. a website can deliver the details and fine print. providing it is designed to take the order, let the radio do the selling, set the site up to take the cash, answer questions.
Patriotic ads like this need to be heard a few times daily, and they need to be professonaly produced. just giving the local disc jockey the script can Kill the concept. If the spoken script does not bring a tear to your eye. . do not pay for it.
Very dooable this one.
also needs an open phone line for instant credit card acceptance