Tag Archives: advertising

Why Every Business Should Use Email to Increase Sales

OpenClips / Pixabay

Over the years, email has proven itself invaluable to raising businesses’ sales. Many of today’s biggest companies began on an email base, in fact. An extremely widespread and inexpensive form of marketing, it even allows businesses to track the results of their ads. For these reasons, every business should use email to increase their sales.

Everyone has an Email Account

Nearly everybody owns an email address. Students and working people often check their email daily, and everybody with an email address checks it from time to time. The number of people that email marketing extends to vastly outnumber the numbers that billboards, radio advertisements, and TV advertisements reach.

Quickly Track ROI

Another benefit is that email marketing offers one of the easiest forms of ROI to track. One dollar spent in sending emails can return up a direct profit due to its ability of sending custom, client-tailored messages for new subscribers or frequent buyers. This means a firm can mostly bypass billboards, radios, and TVs advertisements, which cost thousands of dollars yet only permit a very simplified, brief explanation of a product, unlike an email with pictures and links.

Tailored Campaigns

Email marketing means more direct opportunities to motivate people to buy. To take full advantage of those opportunities, a company should track the results of various emailed ads, observe which ones bring the most clicks, reads, and most importantly sales, and improve the less successful campaigns.

Knowing how to craft an email ad, however, calls for a little thought. Experts consistently advise companies to relativize email advertisements (especially the subject line) to the individual, wisely stating that people tend to respond more when they feel a company is going to them, rather than asking them to come to the company. The experts recommend targeting emails based on interests, purchase history and how often the customers have engaged with past emails (e.g. a clothing store that is tracking buyers that bought shirts would do well advertising shirt sales in emails or relevant accessories such as scarves and jackets).

Advertise Deals

In addition, coupons and discounts can incentivize a reader to subscribe, and drum up interest from current subscribers as well. A business that acts like it is giving something earns popularity and increases its sales. Sending such emails on holidays and weekends, some say, bring special business, but they help year round, too.

Control of Messaging

Lastly, focus on the text of the email, as many email recipients install picture-blocking software. So pack the most important information about a product into the first two sentences, and, when including links (a useful idea), incorporate them into the text, not only into the pictures. Following these tips pays off. One company reports that, over the course of a month, 94% of their email recipients spent money at their car shop. And a shoe business raised sales on a particular shoe by 700% with a course of emails. Numerous additional success stories exist; to see them, visit the following link: http://www.marketingsherpa.com/article/case-study/
Widely used in mass marketing, email marketing effectively and quickly raises sales, and allows businesses to have one on one catered interactions with their customers every step of the way.

Bonnie Mahan is the owner of Skyvertising.com, a leader in aerial banners.

How To Get People To Come To Your Online Party

As a hostess, deciding to have an online party is a very smart one especially when it is difficult to get your friends and family together in your home for an in home party. Keep reading to find out how to get people to come to your online party once you have chosen a date, a place and a time for your party.

computer

computer (Photo credit: jaci XIII)

Tell your friends.

You should be sure to tell all your friends and family about your online party. Send out emails that give them the time and the URL of the website where your party is going to be held and be sure to let them know how very excited you are about the party and how happy they will be if they decide to stop by.  Evite.com is a great site to utilize to send online party invitations. If there are going to be any specials on certain products or free shipping or anything being given away, be sure to let them know at that time.

Choose Incentives.

While we are on the topic of giving something away or planning specials, know that this is something that you should definitely plan on doing. Everyone loves to get a special deal on something they plan on buying —  and who doesn’t love having a chance to get something for free?

Advertise your party wherever possible online. Take the time to find great places to advertise your upcoming online party. Make sure to pay attention to the posting rules in the sites you are looking to place an advertisement. You do not want to be accused of spamming. Forums for moms or for moms that work from home are excellent places to start advertising your online party.

Have Fun.

Make sure to really share your enthusiasm about your upcoming online party. If you are excited about the party and the products that are being offered, then it is very likely that you will get others interested and excited too.

These are just a few ideas that you can use in order to get people to attend your online party. Remember to follow up with last minute reminders and you are sure to have a fun and hopefully very profitable online party.

Directory Advertising

New Dmoz ?

New Dmoz ? (Photo credit: Cmic Blog)

Everyone is looking for ways to get their name out there and expand their business.  One such way is to get listed in Internet directories.  Just like everything else out there, there are advantages and disadvantages to this type of advertising which we will look at below.  If the advertising is free, it is not such a risk as if you are paying for the listing.

Advantages

One stop shop – easy to find you or a consultant in their local area

Organization – tend to be categorized by area or company so easier to locate a consultant

The more people that get listed on the site, the better resource the site is and therefore, more people will use it.

Most sites tend to have more information than just consultant listings so people stay on the site longer and are more likely to find your listing.

Better advertising – as many sites are paid, they want to get traffic in order to get advertisers and be able to charge more for advertising spots.

Depending on the site, you have the opportunity to say something about your business and list various contact information including your website.

Disadvantage

One stop shop – easy to contact several people at once – same company or competitor and people will likely book with the first one to reply.

There is a cost – monthly/yearly to be listed (usually)

For the money you invest, you may not get any results

The site may only allow a limited amount of vendors for an area (can be an advantage too)

There are a lot of directories out there and it can be expensive if you start getting listed at multiple ones

Only you can decide if directory advertising is the right method for you to advertise your business.  Depending on the investment involved, it is a good idea to do some research on the site itself.  See how easily you can find it in the search engines and ask friends what terms they would use to search and see where the site ranks.

You should be able to email the administrator of the site and ask for the various statistics before you commit to the advertisement.  If they are not willing to share the information, then you likely don’t want to advertise there.

 

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Talking the Talk: Six Musts When Trying to Reach New Prospective Clients

To thrive among stiff competition, your business needs to always be reaching out to new prospects and winning them over. There are several good methods that should be incorporated into your regular marketing efforts.   billboard-advertisement

Stop Promoting to Anyone

Promoting to anybody with a pulse often wastes marketing dollars. Realize that everyone that sees your message is not going to be a customer. Develop an ideal customer profile of people that truly have a need or desire for what you sell. Adjust your marketing to focus on this target group.

Educate Prospects

People are often hesitant to buy when they are not familiar with your company or products. Provide prospects with lots of detailed information about the benefits and uses of your products and services. The more someone knows about your company’s offerings, the more they will know whether your services apply to them or if what you have to offer is really something they want.

Get Customer Reviews

Ask your current customers to write reviews. Customer reviews are a powerful way to attract new customers. People often read reviews first to discover all the pros and cons about a company’s products or services. Existing customers can provide unique insights that are helpful in this regard.

Establish a Relationship

Offer an online newsletter and encourage prospects to sign up. Use this opportunity to build trust by providing beneficial information about your company and products. When they like you, they will turn in to buyers. This also creates customer loyalty because they will actually feel like they are a part of something.

Give Away Free Stuff

A favorite business marketing strategy is to give away free promotional products to customers and prospects. Each item you distribute can be customized with your logo, and may also include a short tagline along with your contact details such as your URL or phone number. Choose popular items such as custom laptop bags by HALO that are useful and portable.  Promotional products are a wonderful form of marketing in that they will remain in circulation for years, making them an extremely effective and cost-efficient form of advertising.

Trade shows are ideal for giving away free stuff. People’s eyes light up when they receive gifts like HALO branded solutions promotional bags. Everywhere their bag goes, it will be seen by countless new prospects. Your business will get lots of effective advertising from these types of highquality products.

Cater to Their Desires

Know what potential customers really want when they seek out companies like yours. Successful selling involves figuring out what people want and then giving it to them. Conduct market analyses to find out what products and services are likely to attract customers to your business.

Check out your most successful competitors and see what they offer. Find ways to put a unique twist on your offerings to stand out from the crowd.

In order keep business flowing in any economy, it is essential to market to prospects in ways that turn them into loyal customers. Use proven marketing strategies like these to spread brand awareness and increase sales.

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Going the Extra Mile: 4 Ways to Impress Your Potential Clients

Whether you are in business for yourself or work for someone else, you probably spend considerable amounts of time trying to build relationships with clients. And as everyone who has ever sold anything to others knows, products and services can be bought anywhere. It’s the relationship and related trust between a customer and his client that makes the difference. For this reason you are probably constantly trying to impress your clients. This article will serve as a primer for doing just that.   Going the Extra Mile

Be Professional

It might go without saying, but it’s still often forgotten that image is everything. Let’s say two people come to your office for business. One is unshaven and with clothes that are dirty and disheveled. He takes notes on a cheap note pad with a sharpie pen. The other is clean cut and dressed in a Brooks Brothers suit. His paperwork is neatly organized in a leather portfolio and he takes notes on an electronic device using a stylus pen. With whom would you do business?

Mention your VIPs

If a salesperson entered your office and told you that you were his first-ever prospective customer, you wouldn’t be very impressed, would you? On the other hand, if he told you about other clients who used his services with good results, you would be more tempted to buy what he’s selling, wouldn’t you?

People Love Free Stuff

Giving gifts is a great way to impress customers. And the gift doesn’t need to be expensive either. That’s what makes promotional products so effective. Not only are they inexpensive, but they can be personalized in any way you wish. Custom keychains and other personalized items can be imprinted with your company’s logo and contact details so every time they are used by current and potential customers, you gain marketing exposure.  Promotional products like these act as walking billboards, ensuring that you gain repeated marketing exposure every time they are used by recipients.

Over-Deliver

Everybody remembers the instances when someone went an extra mile and came through when it wasn’t expected. Even better is the fact that these little gestures often don’t cost anything to deliver. Go the extra mile. Over-deliver and under-promise. Make the client feel that he is special and that you went out of your way to give him something extra. Chances are good that your actions will be rewarded and probably even reciprocated.

If you’re looking to expand your client base, it is worth it to strive to impress those who could be potential customers. And remember, in many industries, anyone could be a potential customer—so every aspect of your business needs to run smoothly and be ready to impress. You never know when a potential customer is watching!

 

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Party Cancelled? Use that Time for Business

Have you ever had a party cancel at the last minute and you cannot rebook that time?   All is not lost, you can use that time to get other things done for your business.

Newgate Wall Clock - Brixton

Newgate Wall Clock – Brixton (Photo credits: West Elm)

Customer Care Calls

Take some time to call customers and see if they have any issues with the product or any questions.   Many times, people cannot be bothered to let you know they had a problem, they just decide to shop elsewhere.   Be pro-active and find out before that happens and you will likely retain the customer.

Advertising

Chances are, you could spend more time advertising but you never get to it.  Use this time to do that.  Place ads online on various social media, look for classifieds or other sites that will let you put up an advertisement.  If you always use the same ads, take a look at them and see if they are still current and relevant.  Update whatever needs to be changed.

Social Media

Have you meant to start social media accounts and keep putting it off?   Why not do it now?  Or maybe you have accounts that have been neglected?  Do some updating.  Maybe you can find a partner that you can work with to make sure you stay updated in the future.  I have a friend who will update my Facebook page with images and new catalogue information when it comes out for me.  It is greatly appreciated as I never seem to remember!

Clean Your Samples

Take a look at the items that you take with you to your parties.   Do they need to be wiped down?  Are they still in good shape or could they stand to be replaced?  If you aren’t sure, err on the side of caution and replace them.   If you can’t afford to replace them, do what you can to make them look better.

Organize Paperwork

Most people could always stand to deal with paperwork so try and at least track down your paperwork and get it organized.  You can deal with it another day if it will be too time consuming but if you find it now, it will be ready to go.

You already had this time set aside for business; you may as well still use it.  And just think, you won’t have to find time to do these tasks on another day!

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Ad Avenues: Six Mediums for Marketing your Business

You’ve probably heard the adage, “Build a better mousetrap and the world will beat a path to your door.” A metaphor describing the power of innovation, the phrase is misleading. Without good marketing efforts, innovation doesn’t lead to more sales. This is especially true in today’s society, where we are bombarded with advertising. Fortunately, there are tried and true, highly effective marketing mediums. These are our top six favorites.   Ad Avenues

Classic Internet Advertising

Who have you Googled today? Internet advertising gives you access to a huge audience of more than two billion global users. You have the luxury of being able to focus this audience by specific demographic characteristics. It’s super easy to track your metrics and can also be much cheaper than other forms of advertising. Here are the most popular forms:

  • Banners and Buttons
  • Search Engine and Directory Listings

Relationship Selling

Relationship selling is focused on developing long term relationship with customers, based on their preferences and individual needs. Remember, it costs you five times as much to develop new customers as it does to keep your old ones. People like to buy from who they know and trust. In order to sustain this relationship, you must have a quality, consistent product. Customers often won’t search the market if they know exactly what they will get from their current provider. Furthermore, to avoid losing any current customers, quickly resolve any complaints without hassle. Even if you lose a little money now by giving a refund or allowing a skipped payment, you make more in the long term by retaining that customer. Don’t let your pride chase away that person, even if they are in the wrong.

Social Networking Sites

Promoting and engaging your social networks is a critical part of marketing for many companies these days. Adding a staff member or two to develop and manage your social media accounts, with collaboration from your marketing team, is an extremely cheap way to advertise, with huge potential gains thanks to the vast memberships of these sites. If you go this route, however, you must make sure that whoever is in charge interacts with followers regularly, and only ever speaks positively and respectfully, no matter the circumstance. Such a direct connection with customers can be a two-edged sword, as daily updates can become daily PR headaches if you have the wrong person at the helm.

Direct Response Mail

Direct response continues to be a great way to build new customers. Companies, such as Star Direct Mail, specialize in attention-grabbing brochures, flyers, and other promotions. Some of these companies also create individual marketing campaigns for you, as well as research your customer base demographics. Furthermore, direct mail marketing is a fairly cost-effective ways to promote your business, and usually companies will offer rush jobs if needed.

Content Marketing

Content marketing trades something of value, usually knowledge, for the possibility of gaining a new customer. Articles, blogs, videos, and podcasts are examples. The goal is to get people to spend 15 or 20 minutes with your promotional material, as opposed to five seconds reading an ad. Also there may be more types of content marketing than you realize. Content marketing is not simply writing up a review of your product. Oftentimes it actually involves offering high-quality information more broadly about a topic related to your business, and only casually discussing your brand or actual product. The selling point here is actually the ability of quality information to drive traffic to your website.

Guerrilla Advertising

Does ambushing customers when they least expect it work? Yes, if it is done well. IBM used guerrilla advertising in 2001 by painting “People love Linux” logos all over the sidewalks in Chicago and San Francisco. You also see this sometimes in commercials that don’t appear to have any relevance to the product being advertised. As a way to extend this marketing past the event itself, be sure to professionally record it and promote it on the internet.

Public Relations Marketing

Public relations marketing uses the power of third party credibility to spread a promotional message. It is seen most often in the form of press releases, news articles and online buzz. The success of Harry Potter and PSY’s Gangham Style can be largely attributed to this medium. The catch is that your content must be so good that it becomes contagious, spreading from one friend to another. The goal is to influence peoples feelings or opinion about what you are selling.

From our cell phones to our email, companies are constantly searching for the best ways to get exposure for their product. We look for innovative ways to do it better, faster and cheaper. Popular marketing mediums are popular for a reason–they work. Don’t be afraid to give them a whirl.

About the author: A recent college graduate from University of San Francisco, Anica is a full-time freelance writer. She loves dogs, the ocean, and anything outdoor-related. For wonderful direct mail advertising, be sure to check out Star Direct Mail, who also researches your target audience and designs marketing campaigns.

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Six Ways to Advertise your Product on a Budget

Advertising on a budget can take time, effort, and some know-how, but it is possible to undertake a marketing campaign without an investment of undo amounts of money. The way to participate in a marketing campaign without much money is to be inventive, resourceful, integrated, and to take an approach that is active, even creating an event around which to create a natural buzz. Here are a few ideas to jump-start marketing on a budget.   Six Ways to Advertise your Product on a Budget

Create an email list serv.

Create a list serv around your product by offering free samples outside stores or libraries, public places, etc. and then ask people to fill out a survey, give some feedback, or give a testimonial. Create an email list serv around the people who respond.

Throw an event at which the product is sponsored or featured.

Try to get the local newspapers or blogs to cover it. A plug here for your product will be a great way to get a word in edge wise in terms of media attention. If a product give-away works, try to make it fun and memorable, even newsworthy. When starting their ice cream company, Ben & Jerry’s in Vermont, Ben and Jerry, the company’s owners, used to plan ice cream give aways, which became part of local charm.

Develop your own creative ads.

Develop your own print ad by working with a graphics artist who needs experience. You can partner with them and make a trade. Have them develop your ad practically for free, with the idea that he or she will benefit from doing the ad in terms of being able to list it on his or her vitae as a piece of work for their portfolio.

Sample your products.

Develop free give-aways to stores and businesses in the hope they will buy the product. Free samples can be a great way to get your foot in the door in terms of selling products. If someone tries your product and really likes it, they are likely to buy more to take home and share with their friends and family. If you don’t have a product or service that you are able to give away, you can still try to show off samples of your work.
Be creative.

Finally, try to be creative. Think outside the box about how to reach new audiences. Participate in craft fairs or farmers’ markets if the product is specialty or food-related. Have fun with the marketing, relax, and get creative. If you aren’t sure where to start or you aren’t familiar with the different marketing choices available to you, check out your local marketing exchange to gain connections and get ideas on where to post your ads.

Use Social Media.

It’s free to sign up for social media. Facebook and twitter are great ways to share news about your product. You can post reviews, giveaways, or coupons to encourage people to like you page or try your product. You can use your social media as a basis for all your other efforts. You can get the word out about any giveaways or post promotional ads you have created onto your page.

Starting a company can be a daunting task. You may know you have a quality product, but don’t know how to spread the word. You don’t have to have a big budget to start marketing your product. Believe in yourself, the product, and create a to-do list to check off the strides you make. Remember to be honest in your assessment and do your best to create a buzz around your product.

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Can’t do paid internet advertising for your direct sales business?

My company doesn’t allowed paid Internet advertising – is it still possible to get advertising on the Internet without paying?

Yes, absolutely!  My company does not allow this either but I have still found many different methods.  In fact, you can read my post here about Free Internet Advertising.  But I also have some other ideas for you.

Guest Posts – One popular method is to write guest posts on different blogs.  This will benefit you as it helps to establish you as an expert as well as reaching out to people that you may not encounter otherwise.  It helps the blog owner as they get free content.   In return for your post, you will get a few sentences of a biography as well as a link or two to whatever site you choose.  Check your favorite blog sites to see if they accept guest articles or contact them if they have no information on the site about it.

Article Directories – Another method to get free advertising is to write for article directories.  While this is similar to a blog you do not need to contact them to get your content published.  Create an account and then publish your article.  But, article directories still have guidelines for content and formatting, so do not think you can just put up whatever you want.  You will need to check into what is acceptable on their sites.  A benefit to this is that article directories tend to rank well so articles on them may come up higher on the search results than your own blog or website.

Keywords – If you feel like doing some investigative work, you can learn about keywords and how to optimize your sites to help people find you easier.  This does not tend to work so well on a replicated website that you have through your company but there are ways to do this if you have a separate site such as a blog, a Facebook page or other places that you post about your business.

Social Media Sites – Depending on the sites you use, there may be places where other direct sales congregate.  Join these and post about your business (but be careful not to spam).  You never know when another consultant is looking for someone with your business for themselves or a customer.  These can also be a great source of finding trade shows or other events.

Do you have a favourite method of advertising which is not mentioned here?  Please share in the comments!

 

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Do I have enough time for direct sales?

IBM Lotus Organizer

Image via Wikipedia

One of the best things you can do for your direct sales business is to sit down with your calendar and figure out your schedule.  You can do this to help you make the decision if you have time for a direct sales business and then in the future to keep yourself organized.

  • Mark in your shifts at work if they vary
  • Mark in your partner’s shifts if there are children and someone has to be home with them
  • Mark in anything that you have committed to that cannot be moved. I.e. Sports, events, appointments
  • Mark in anything else you have to remember
  • See what kind of time you have left
  • Do not forget to make sure you have some “me” time so you do not burn out

Keep in mind that you do not only have to do parties when in direct sales to make money.  It is the easiest method but you can do well with catalogue parties or individual sales if you promote them enough.

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