2 Marketing Tips That Can Help To Lead To New Customers

Business owners in today’s economy are definitely feeling the pinch. Even in my own business people aren’t buying the way that they used to, and I had to readjust my strategy to bring profits back to an acceptable level. If you’re feeling the same thing in your business, what’s your plan for staying alive and getting more new customers or clients?

Fortunately, it doesn’t take a lot of hard work to get customers in the door. The key is simply being a little creative with your marketing approach. For example, if all of your ads are trying to sell someone a product, you may want to rearrange this strategy. Instead of selling your products in a small ad space, focus on generating a lead. This way you can follow up on a prospects with your full sales presentation, and more than likely you’ll be able to ramp up sales.

If you think that you can’t earn more money in your business and that your business seems futile to have, then I’m here to change your mind. Remember I said that you have to be a little creative with your marketing approach, so that where I’ll start. Here’s one way to boost your business profits now.

1) Give away something for free

People love free offers. Using a free offer in your advertising campaigns are sure to boost the response rate of your ad. What you want to do is simple: Make sure your headline is solid, and that the body copy of your ad sells them on taking advantage of your free offer. Once you have your prospects information, it’s time to follow up on them.

Inside of your mailing piece, make sure you include the free offer that you promised them. One of my favorite things to give away for free is a free CD. All they have to do is put it into their CD player or MP3 player – and they can listen to you right away. If you include a CD along with your sales letter, more than likely they’ll read the entire mailing piece. It’s something to give a try. Here’s another thing that you can do.

2) Lead a workshop

A workshop is a great way to demonstrate your credibility, along with connecting with other business owners in your area. One of the best places to lead a workshop is at your local chamber of commerce. There are sure to be many business owners there who have some sort of relevance to your business, so this is a great place to meet new colleagues.

At the end of your workshop, give everyone there your business card, and be sure to get theirs also. With the right partnership, you could form a joint venture project that can make you and another business owner very profitable. Don’t overlook the power of a workshop – it can do a lot for your business.

Take these tips and use them to have major success in your business. Marketing isn’t hard, and don’t be overwhelmed by the different ways to get a customer.

Good luck with marketing your products and services.

Real Estate Postcard Marketing – 6 Secret Ingredients for Success

Remember a few years back when all the fast food chains crowed about their “secret” sauces and ingredients? It sure added some mystique, didn’t it? Nothing improved the flavor of a hamburger or drumstick like good old-fashioned secrecy!

Now let’s transition to postcard marketing, where a similar concept applies. A small percentage of real estate agents have discovered the “secret ingredients” of postcard marketing. As a result, they enjoy huge success each time they conduct a mailing.

Other agents, however, do not enjoy such success. They send postcard after postcard, but, alas, no response. These agents do not know the secret ingredients of postcard marketing success.

Let’s uncover some secrets, shall we?

Postcard Secret #1 — Don’t Rely on Technology

You first need to realize that technology alone won’t lead you to postcard marketing success. If it were that easy, all agents would enjoy record-breaking responses from their mailings.

In fact, technology is the most straightforward part of the equation. A postcard marketing service will handle all of the technology for you. But there’s the rub. Technology can help you deliver a powerful message, but it cannot create that message for you. That’s your job.

Nobody knows your audience or your skills better than you, and nobody cares about your success as much as you do. So the message, and everything that brings it to life, must begin with you.

Postcard Secret #2 — Know Your Audience

When creating your postcard message, start by identifying your audience. This might seem obvious, but it’s a critical step upon which the rest of the process will rest. To identify your core audience, you simply have to ask yourself a series of questions.

What area do I want to represent? Am I focusing on buyers or sellers? Where might I find these people? What’s important to them? What do they want to know? What do I have to offer that might motivate them?

When you’ve answered these questions, you should be able to write a paragraph from the combined answers. This paragraph is your audience statement, and it will help you set your postcard marketing objectives accordingly. Once you’ve defined your audience, you can more easily determine the kinds of offers that might motivate them.

Postcard Secret #3 — Identify the Desired Response

Now that you know your audience (and assuming you’ve done some research to really get to know them) you can set the objective for your postcard campaign. Ask yourself, “What do I want to happen as a result of sending my postcards? What’s the ideal response?”

Here’s the key to this step. Don’t ask your postcards to do more than they’re capable of doing. I see real estate marketers using postcards to try and convince recipients that they offer superior service. That’s a lot to ask of an 8″ x 5″ piece of card stock.

Scale back your objective until you find something that (A) gives the postcard a more realistic task, (B) follows a more natural sales progression, and (C) capitalizes on known behavior.

What’s a good response to aim for? How about a phone call or an email? Now that’s something a postcard can handle, especially if you give people a good reason to contact you (like an insightful report on future construction in your area). And that leads to our next “secret”…

Postcard Secret #4 — Offer Something Great

We know from statistics that most consumers end up choosing the first real estate agent they contact. So you can capitalize on this known behavior by aiming for that critical first contact. This is where your offer comes into play.

The value and relevance of your offer will determine the size of your response. That’s a fundamental principal of postcard marketing that many agents overlook. A postcard without explicit value is a postcard destined for the trash.

Think of it this way. The postcard is only a messenger. A messenger without an important message is worthless. But if the messenger has valuable news or information, everybody wants to hear what he has to say!

Here’s an example. If I lived in a residential area suffering from “commercial creep,” and somebody offered me an exclusive report on future commercial development and how it might impact my home value … I would want that report! And I’d contact anyone to get it.

Postcard Secret #5 — Leverage Your Website

Have a website? If so, you have a perfect marketing partner to complement your postcards. The reasons are somewhat psychological:

The goal of any marketing program is to gain new business, but sometimes you have to offer indirect paths as well as the direct ones. Direct paths are for direct people. A direct path on a postcard would be a phone number. Some interested prospects will choose the direct route and call you straightaway.

But those who are less direct would rather learn more about you first. They need to get comfortable before they “raise their hands.” So why not build an informational resource section of your website and point to it with your postcards?

The point is to offer different response channels for the different personality types. A direct phone number for the direct people, and an indirect website path for the more timid souls. Then mention both paths on your postcards, and you’ve increased your chance for response — be it direct or indirect.

Postcard Secret #6 — Measure Your Success

Make sure you have some way to track the responses you get back from each mailing. This will allow you to compare one postcard message to another to see which one performs better.

First, establish a baseline response based on your first mailing (out of X number of recipients, X responded). Next, try to improve one element of the postcard, such as the offer. You won’t know if it’s truly an improvement until the test is complete, but that’s the whole point.

Lastly, send the new version of your postcard to the same list, the same number of recipients, and with all other things being equal. Track the results as you did before, and compare the two mailings. You’ve just completed a simple A/B test to determine which of two offers is more effective.

You can continue this testing in one of two ways: You can keep putting your winning offer up against new challengers. Or you can move on to other aspects of the mailing, such as the design, headline, list, timeframe, etc. The goal is to have a postcard that combines the best of all elements.

Conclusion

I hope you see now that the “secrets” of postcard marketing success aren’t really secrets at all. They are proven methods that have been used by direct mail marketers for years. And now that you understand them, you have everything you need to create your own postcard marketing success.

* Copyright 2006, PostcardSmart. You may republish this article online if you retain the byline, author’s note and active hyperlinks.

Direct Mail Marketing and Customer Coupon Addictions

Many times small-business people complain that their direct-mail marketing advertising is working too good and that everyone who comes in seems to have a coupon and no one seems to be coming in who doesn’t have a coupon. There could be a couple different reasons for this.

One reason could be that your customer service is very lousy and even though you bring in new customers no one ever comes back. But the second reason is probably the most likely and that is that you use direct-mail marketing so often and so much that people only come in when they get the coupon in the mail, which they expect every week or two times per month, so they wait for it.

If this is happening to you perhaps you need to limit how much you give away on your coupons and slowly break your customer’s coupon addictions. You want the customer to be addicted to your great service and or your products and services, not the coupons that you send out in the mail.

The objective of direct-mail marketing is to get the customer in to buy from you and introduce them to your business. Then get them to come back and shop with you more often. But if you consistently send out coupons, they will simply wait until the coupon comes in the mail to come and shop with you.

This does not help your business very much, as it costs you money to give away discounts, send out the direct-mail advertising and you’re not getting a long-term benefit that you need for the ongoing vitality and success of your business. Please consider all this in 2006.