Community Involvement Equals More Business – A real Win/Win!

In today’s tough economy small businesses need to be creative in generating new clients.  Here’s a thought – give back to your community!  By getting involved in your community through non-profits, your local chamber or government; you would be getting word out about your company and products while helping your own community.

Whether you choose to sponsor, participate in or organize an event, you are generating positive word of mouth.  You are generating goodwill within the organization you are helping. Positive word of mouth and goodwill leads people to begin to know, like and trust you and your company – the cornerstones of any referral growth strategy.

Within any non-profit, you are exposed to and can network with people who work, own a home, own a business, have children, have friends, etc., making them likely customers too!

Most community organizations also have an online presence – and are constantly looking for good, local content. Offer to write an article for their web site or newsletter to inform their subscribers about something you are an expert in.  Remember you are writing to inform not sell, however, this is a subtle way of selling your abilities and you company.  Some examples:

  • If you are an accountant, write information on new tax laws or changes on filing tax returns.
  • If you provide pool cleaning services, write about the different ways to keep a healthy and clean pool.
  • If you offer marketing services, write about how different marketing venues work together.
  • If you are a florist, write about planning a wedding.

As a small business owner, you know you need to “advertise” to let people know you exist, but some of the traditional ways of advertising can be cost prohibitive.  Getting involved in your community only costs you your time, generates good will, positive word of mouth and best of all, it will make you feel good too!

Get started today by researching your community organizations, area non-profits and causes you are passionate about. If possible, get your employees involved as well. The more the merrier! And your company will get the more visible impact from the larger presence.

Four Simple Steps to Convert Customers into Advocates

Turning satisfied customers into advocates of your services, products or brands is a very powerful marketing tool.  Every day, the influence of Social Media in purchasing decisions grows exponentially!

Your customers wield tremendous influence over their FaceBook Friends, Twitter Followers, LinkedIn Connections etc. So, how do you turn your customers into your own army of brand evangelists?

Try the old Social Media Four Step!

Step One:

Do Great Work! Always strive to exceed expectations. A delighted customer will happily tout your business to others. They’ll take great pride in having found such a great company to deal with. They will even make your company part of their own identity. Ever see that Apple logo sticker in the back window of a car (or VW Bus!)?  

Step Two:

Engage The Customer! Actively get your customers involved in your product or services. These are the folks you want advocating for you so you better be sure you’re all on the same page! Ask for their opinions about, and recommendations for, improvement to their experience with your company. By engaging your customers in the process, they will feel even more invested in you, and therefore become more willing advocates.

Step Three:

K.I.S.S. – Keep It Simple, Silly! Make it really easy for customers to advocate on your behalf. Provide several simple resources to talk about your company.  Have a strong social media plan in place with several outlets for your customers to talk about you.  Invite them to “like” you on Facebook and write a recommendation or testimonial.

Step Four:

Ask! Let your happy, delighted customers know that you would greatly appreciate their help in spreading the word about their wonderful experience with your company. Invite them to join your LinkedIn contacts and recommend your services. Have them follow you on Twitter, comment on your blog, Pin you to their Pinterest board – whatever! By developing your company’s social media strategy you’re creating a platform for your advocates to some advocating.  Where is your company on the social media spectrum?

Step Four and a Half:

Don’t forget to set up your mostly free accounts up in business directories; i.e. Alexa, Citysearch, Merchant Circle, Yelp, etc.  These directories allow you to put in your company background information, contact information and keyword tags for search engines. Once you’re listed on these directories your brand evangelists have yet another place to can tell the world how wonderful you are!


Direct Mail and PPC Campaigns Working Together

In today’s marketing, you have several options to reach out to your target audience and direct mail can complement a variety of the online marketing efforts.  Pay per click (PPC) campaigns has proven to work well with direct mail campaigns and boost your sales.

If you are currently running a PPC campaign and not a direct mail campaign, you are missing the potential to reach several more leads.  And, vice a versa, if you are conducting direct mail campaigns and not PPC campaigns, you are missing out sales.

Why is this? 

Direct mail is proactive, you reach your targeting mailing list at their home or place of business and present an offer for your services and they are only seeing your company on the printed piece. So, for best results make sure your call to action is strong.

PPC is reactive, because it relies on prospects searching for your services on Google, which is a very strong prospect, because they are searching and usually are planning to purchase.  However, on the Google search, you will share your ad with other advertisers who are paying to come up on top of the searches. So, again, make sure your offer is clear and your landing page has a strong call to action.

Throw a larger net to get more fish!

By using more than one marketing tool, direct mail and PPC together, you are increasing your possible leads and sales.  You can mail to a targeted mailing list of prospects that fit your criteria, but that doesn’t guarantee your reach every possible interested prospect.  What about the people who weren’t on the list but are still interested in your services?  With the number of online users and increase online sales, it is most likely you can catch them with a PPC campaign.

When you use direct mail and PPC, you will maximize the effectiveness of your marketing and increase your revenue.  If you need help in your marketing needs, contact us today and we will show you how we can help.

How Do You Create A Strong Call To Action?

In all of your marketing efforts, the main objective is to get a response.  The call to action (CTA) is the most important part of your message of your website, email campaign, direct mail campaign, SMS campaign or pay per click campaign.

The problem with most CTA’s is they are not clear enough as to what your audience will be getting, or they do not stand out enough.

The most common CTA mistakes on websites is a lack of detail.  For example, “Buy Now” – Buy What?  Or, “Click Here”…and what download a virus?  Make your message clear – “Click Here To Sign Up For Our Newsletter” or “Fill Out The Form to Buy Our Video”.  The design of your CTA is also important.  The CTA should be larger than other elements on the page and use color and contrast to make it stand out.

This is also a problem with Direct Mail, if your printed piece is covered in “Act Now”, “Limited Time Offer”, or “Supplies Are Limited”, this is not a strong message to the consumer who has been seeing these messages over and over and they tune them out.  Be clear on what your company is offering, for instance, if you are a pool contractor, you may want to offer free estimate and a $100 off coupon for returning the card.    With direct mail it is also very important that your CTA is going to the right mailing list!

We all know that mobile marketing is becoming more relevant as the number of people who use their tablets and smart phones for information increases. With mobile marketing you will increase your opt-ins by giving your customers more information on what they will receive, how often and how to opt-out.  Make sure your CTA provides incentive; it could be a coupon, entering a sweepstakes, special offer, etc.

PPC advertising costs you money, so you want to make sure every click you pay for counts.  A PPC campaign is highly targeted traffic, so it’s important that you don’t confuse your pay per click visitors.  Your landing page should be solely dedicated to s single purpose with a strong CTA.  For example if you are a landscaping company wanting to build your customer base, your landing page should provide your company information, a form to fill out for more information and an incentive for doing so, i.e. first month service free and free estimate.

Direct Etc. will help you develop the strong CTA’s to increase your response, exposure and conversions. Contact us for more information.