Archives for April 2009

Apr
30

Is your marketing screaming “This has nothing to do with you!”?

Just the other day, I received an invitation in my email announcing an open house. From a lady that helps you find your life destiny.

Moving to a new location is always exciting for you… but what does it mean to your customers?

What is in it for them?
Why should they care?

When you have an announcement like this to share – make sure you tell them how it impacts them.

Look at the wording on their invite:

Please join us…
in celebrating our new training facility
Clients, family, and friends please drop by to enjoy our
open house

Date:
Time:
Location:

Logo

Please RSVP by ____

WOW! I can barely contain my excitement. Where in there does it say the magic word?  From the customers perspective, they open this invite and all it says (to them) is “SO WHAT?”

So they have a new facility – good for them.

NOT ONCE in this invite is the magic word, ‘YOU’, mentioned.

So this invite is not about the customer – it is all about the company.

Surprise, surprise… ok, maybe not that much of a surprise as this is the most common mistake small, medium and large businesses make – assuming the customers “get it”. They assume the customer should be excited about their announcement… even though it really means very little to them.

My suggestion: anytime you have a new event or announcement to make – create a theme party to it! Make it exciting – and make it ALL about the customer. Give them compelling reasons to perk up and listen. Give them real reasons why they should care – and attend – or take action.

Show them you actually care about them (the paying customer) – not about your new building or new website or new brochure.

I would have done something like this (this is quick off the top – investing a couple hours and you can make this shine):

THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!

With your generous support, encouragement and feedback – we have listened and acted.  Starting on ____ you finally get access to the tools you asked for.

Announcing the Pirate Pete’s Customer Appreciate Party (or whatever theme party you create).

Because we love you, our devoted customer, we have a present waiting for you.

Join us at the Pirate Petes Customer Appreciation party:

Date:
Time:
Location:

FREE Doorprizes

FREE treasure maps to some big surprises,

FREE Spiced Parrot Juice

And FREE Earlybird RSVP prizes for those who act the
fastest.

Don’t be a scurrrvy dog… be there on time… or walk the
plank (bring this with you and the secret code will be
revealed that may make you a winner)

NOTE: The pirate idea could be used for any business – pirates are HOT right now.  You can find all kinds of pirate gear and decorations at www.orientaltrading.com or www.promoprofits.com– and you can find funny ideas for the part and the wording of a pirate party at http://capn_rummy.tripod.com/id1.html

You can find darned near anything you want on the net! There was an entire site dedicated to “Pirate Talk – how to talk like a pirate”

Make any event or announcement about the customer and you will see a huge difference in response you get.  In this case – they got so caught up in the excitement about their new move – they forgot who actually paid for the move – THE CUSTOMERS!

Without them, there are no doors to open… never forget.

Apr
29

13 Marketing Tips for Small Business

THE LUCKY 13…

Here are 13 things you need to check through to make sure you have implemented them ALL in your business.

1. Create a great USP – something that stands out and tells your clients why you are not only the best choice, but the only choice in their purchasing decision.

2. Keep it simple.  Can a grade 8 read and understand what it is you are saying in your promotions? If not, go back and simplify it.

3. Educate them – tell them about you, your business, what it does and how it does it – and – MOST IMPORTANTLY – why they should even care!

4. Ask the prospect/client to take action right now. Any action – buy, phone, email, signup – whatever your marketing message is – make sure it contains something they should take action on.

5. Why should they believe you? The prospects you are targeting WILL distrust you.  It is a fact of life.  You need to overcome this distrust with proof that you deliver (testimonials, case studies, pictures, professional sources, anything and everything that shows you are the best at what you do)

6. “What’s new?” is something your prospects AND clients want to ask and know.  You must give them compelling reasons to buy – buy again – and spend more each time. And you can’t do that by boring them – what is NEW in your business? Your offering? Your client success stories?  New bundles of products or seasonal promotions? Tell them what is new in your personal life. Make sure they have a good reason to
read what you are writing!

7. Make sure everything you do is designed to get their contact information.  From your business cards to your letterhead, to your advertising and website – everything must present a compelling case as to why they should give you their contact information.  And when they do – FOLLOW UP!

8. Find ways to raise your prices and offer an upsell every time they go to make a purchase.  There is ample proof that you can double your prices and not lose a significant number of buyers – as long as you make the reason compelling enough as to why they should pay the higher price – and what you offer in return.

9. Call everyone (or hire professionals to do it on your behalf) AFTER your direct mail efforts – it will increase your response by a huge margin.

10. Find people to joint venture with and cross-promote to their lists and your own.

11. Make sure your clients and prospects KNOW you appreciate them. They pay the bills – so make sure they are constantly told that you value them.

12. Invest a substantial amount of your time developing good higher end products for your clients. Either on your own or through partners, you need to present them options at higher prices and better bundles of products and services. A one-time buyer is twice as likely as a prospect to buy again, and at a higher price. A two time buyer three times as likely… and so on. Your entire goal is to get them to buy once then offer them multiple options to buy again, and again.

13. The greatest way to get referrals is by being the best-of-the-best. Make it so they would feel guilty for NOT telling their friends, family and business associates about you.  Be the ONLY one they would through excellence. And again, you have to ASK them to refer their friends and family.  They may do it on their own – but chances are they don’t feel comfortable doing it.  But if you position so there is something in it for them, and for those who they refer – they are much more likely to actually do it.

Here’s to you cranking up the heat on your marketing!

Troy White

Apr
27

Marketing to the affluent… in a recession

One of the biggest opportunities today is the high end affluent market.

By far, this segment of the population is growing faster than the low or mid-range market. And, most important to marketing minded entrepreneurs, this segment IS still buying.

They may not be spending as much as before the drop, but they are still spending, and they are the ideal buyer to be targetting some of your efforts at.

You can always find a way to modify your offerings to this demographic… all you need is a little focus.

So where to start?

First, you start by targeting the right clients, engaging in effective and measurable business strategies and maximizing referrals.

One BIG key to success is zeroing in on Baby Boomers, the generation that owns the largest disposable income in history.

Combine this with the fact that Boomers have fewer and fewer obligations as their children grow up and leave home.

Add to that the fact where younger generations can easily postpone decisions on new purchases – while 55-year-old empty nesters don’t want to waste time or delay – they want it now and will go for it if treated and educated right.

More difficult buyers are always price shoppers. They want control of selecting products, from where and how low the price will be.

On the other hand, busy upscale consumers are more comfortable with having an all-in-one package delivered to their doorstep – the price is secondary in their decision. Make it easy for them – do it all for them – pamper them – treat them like kings and queens –and their decision just got easier.

To me, in this day and age, customer service has never been so disgusting.

Almost everywhere you go you see bad attitudes, badly dressed customer service staff (usually with 2 or 3 needles sticking out of their face – great impression), and bad perception on who it is that actually pays their paycheck (it’s the customer styupid – not your boss – he just signs the darned piece of paper).

So it doesn’t take much to stand out due to your exceptional customer service. Treat them like gold and they WILL tell their friends – who also are empty-nesters with money burning a hole in their pocket if they are treated right.

A few simple ideas to stand out:

  • Price higher than everyone in your market
  • Deliver the goods – train your staff better than anyone else in your industry, and incent them on customer service.
  • Participate in the community
  • Take sales training seriously
  • Stay in touch! You much learn to be proactive in your marketing efforts. Your existing clients should be seeing a print newsletter from you once a month.
  • Plus, they should also be seeing promotions, preferred client specials, client appreciation events, etc. Make them feel special, educate them on everything you offer, ask them to tell their friends, and sell them on buying more of what you offer.
  • Review your current client database, find out where your best sales came from, and figure out how to get to more of those people.

Take a close look at the clients who you believe do the most in-home entertaining, as these can be great referral candidates.

When they have their friends over for a dinner party – they will love to talk you up and praise your service. And those who love to entertain usually have big parties fairly regularly (hint: send appreciation gifts that are show worthy (likely to be displayed somewhere in their home) and they will proudly showcase how great you really are).

I realize this is just scratching the surface, but you must start thinking about this seriously. A whole seminar needs to be dedicated to this.

Remember, when you’re not selling your preferred client, someone else is.

Apr
25

Retail marketing at it’s finest

To me, anyone selling products or services through a website owns a retail store.  The buyers come in, they browse, and they walk out… with or without buying.

First, you need to get them IN to the store.

Then you need to make it easy for them to browse and find what they are looking for (or guide them down the ‘aisles’ you want them to shop from.

The best part about the internet retail stores?

You can use your words to compel them to buy.

Most retail stores offline use inexperienced sales people.  With your website, and a little training on how to sell via the written word, you can master the art and science of convincing qualified people to buy what you sell.

Once you have a master “sales script” written for your website, you can pile in the people and have your words do all the selling for you.

Here is the PERFECT example of an offline retail store leveraging the power of words… and the blockbuster sales they got as a result.

Do 500 men love their wives?

In 1934 a florist (B. Altman @ Company) ran an advertisement that went like this:

“We believe there are 500 men in New York who love their wives… and want to give them flowers for    Easter

So… we’ve provided 500 old-fashioned bouquets… ready now and packed in beautiful boxes. They’re    just inside the Fifth Avenue entrance… all at one price and that one price very easily to afford” ($2.50)

Simple?

Yes.

Successful?

500 bouquets sold in 3 hours = 170 PER HOUR!

So, yes.

The reason why this is mentioned here?

Could YOU not find a way to make this work?

You are appealing to an upcoming holiday — one typically not thought of by men that often as a reason to give flowers. [hint: Thanksgiving AND Halloween are both great reasons for a promotion]

You are appealing to the simple nature of men… make is EASY to buy (packaging done – right inside the door – one price – not expensive… all of these make it EASY to buy).

How could you run a special bundle promotion for Halloween or thanksgiving?

Not hard to figure out is it?

“Thanks for being a great customer – – here is a special  offer just for you.  Offer good until midnight on
Thanksgiving day.”

Think it through – and get your promotions going!

(PS: The ad above was written by Ruth Packard – one of histories greatest copywriters who understood the power of simplicity and ease of order).

Apr
24

Mother Nature Made Me Do It

Sometimes I really wonder why I live in Calgary.

When you see the video, you’ll understand why

http://www.smallbusinesscopywriter.com/mothernaturemadness.htm

My temporary loss of sanity is your gain

Let me know your thoughts.

Thanks,

Troy

Apr
23

Paid Advertising… Scam – or Saint?

“It costs HOW MUCH?!”

That is what I hear all the time.  People find it hard to believe what it costs to run a quarter page ad in a print publication.  Those same people tend to either be floundering about in their marketing, or are doing some good on the internet (where everything is free… right? Wrong.  We will get to that).

“Email marketing is free!” they say.  Which is completely incorrect.  It is not free – it takes time to market via email (and your time IS worth money)… and you STILL need a list to market to.

So you mess around with Facebook, Twitter, maybe even pay per click.

Dedicated an hour or two a week to it… and wondering why you aren’t a millionaire yet.

In my experience during the past 7 years, making many millions of dollars for my clients: lead generation ALWAYS costs money.

How much you recoup is completely up to you.

You have to invest time, or money to attract quality clients. And if you think investing your time is the best way, consider how much time needs to go into it, then times that by how much you would bill out per hour.

Very quickly you will see that paid advertising costs are not high at all, in comparision to your time.

Some things to consider in your marketing campaigns…

  • Have you TARGETED the right type of customer?
  • Have you used the right MEDIA?
  • Is your MESSAGE written in the right voice, and with enough compelling elements it gets the results you want?

In my business, I need to get results… everything is measured… so I know if it works or doesn’t.

And paid advertising is almost always the fastest, and most effective way to generate quality leads.

The easiest way to measure if it is working for you?

The return you get.

If the ad costs you $480…

…and you bring in $3,679 in new sales

…you got a $7.66 : $1 return.

For every $1 you invested in the campaign, you got back $7.66.

Where else CAN you get that kind of return?

In your own marketing campaigns… that’s where.

Advertising works – as long as you do it right.

And as long as you are measuring the results of your campaign.

The easiest way to calculate your return?

Total sales … divided by cost of the marketing.

If you get 4:1 return or better, you are on to a serious money maker and you need to keep running that ad campaign until it drops below 4:1.

This IS the secret to systems that ‘make money while you sleep’.

Once they are set up, you can run them for many years to come, each time seeing similar results.

And the more ads you run in publications targeted at the same type of people, the more you duplicate your success.

Try it… you’ll like it!

One lead generating ad I ran for 2 years untouched (after 2 years the return dropped below the 4:1 ratio). It got me 50 quality leads every time it ran. They bought more from me. At higher prices. More consistently.  And MUCH higher value to my offline leads than my online.

Worth a test in an overwhelmed ADD Twitter society!