Making Connections With Your Customers Is What Direct Marketing Is All About

Those who are enthusiastic about direct marketing are constantly going on about how there is a huge opportunity to connect with possible customers through the internet. And you know what? They are absolutely correct. Being able to communicate with people through the web is quickly, and rather cheap. Also, there are multitudes of people online at any given point in time.

However, there is something these enthusiasts are holding back.

It can be a difficult process. Not only do you have to be able to reach the right people, you also have to reach them in the right way-you have to be able to engage them and have them take action. That’s how you connect with them.

People are influenced by their emotions. This is something that has always been true, and always will be true. Even though the tools of communication have changed (telephone, television, print, radio,fax, email, etc.), that does not mean that the nature of humans has changed. For many years, marketers have known that decisions people make have a lot to do with their emotions, and then they try to justify their decisions by using logic. This is always true, even if it’s a business decision or a personal decision.

The challenge is this: In terms of emotion, the internet is not the place to be. It is a great place for making informative posts, but most businesses need to do a better job of targeting emotions online.

This doesn’t mean you have to go crazy with emotion in your communications online. The end result isn’t (necessarily) to make people cry or laugh or get mad. But if you are attempting to get people to pay attention to you and to make some kind of decision, you need to target their felt needs. They are not going to your site only to get information (although they may believe they are). They are visiting your site because they want something or because they have an issue that they are hoping you can solve.

If you can make you viewers believe that you understand their problem, that’s half the battle. If you can then illustrate to them that you have a solution to their problem, you’ve got them on the hook. The only chore remaining is to work out the terms that would make a fair agreement.

Are you only talking to your customers or are you actually connecting with them?

Think about when you are the customer. What is it that really helps you to connect with someone on the internet? We would love to hear from you!

Small Business Marketing Strategy – Create a Great Package

Package is the most overlooked of the three key small business marketing elements of Brand, Package and People. If Brand is who you are to the customer, then Package is where and how you present your company to the customer.

Brand is the gift, and Package is the wrapping paper. And–whether they’ll admit it or not–every one of your customers was once a kid who was overjoyed with the anticipation of opening a birthday present. This anticipation, rooted in all humans, is almost as delightful as the present itself. As Wordsworth wrote: “The child is father of the man”, and that’s true for your clients whether they are fifteen or fifty. (OK, just amend the wording a bit for your female clients…)

But most small businesses don’t realize the vital importance of this simple concept. Most small businesses–including many of your competitors–don’t understand that delivering the superior product to the customer is just one among many steps in truly satisfying that customer.

But your small business can be different. You can learn to look at your business through your customer’s eyes. It’s not easy, and it takes some practice, but with a few simple exercises it’s possible to step into those shoes on the other side of the counter and view just what your customer sees when she looks at your business.

Oh, and did we say it takes courage, too?

Businesses meet and sell to their customers via three different arenas:

On Our Turf. This is the Retail Arena many small businesses operate in. When thinking of Package here, you’ll want to evaluate your signage, parking, entryway, aisles, ceilings, shopping carts, restrooms (massively overlooked), and sidewalk. Basically you are looking at everything the customer sees during the shopping experience. All of this, the total presentation to your customer, is the essence of Package for a retailer.

On Their Turf. From the Girl Scout selling cookies door-to-door to the suited-up salesman selling IBM mainframes, there are a thousand variations of people out peddling on their customer’s home field and loving it. This includes companies selling B-B as well as B-C. Part of a lawn service company’s Package would be a consideration of how clean and presentable their pickup trucks are. From you and your salespeople’s clothing to presentation materials to your business cards, Package in the field demands that the owner pay attention.

Distance. This is selling without the face-to-face interaction of a person, either in a store or at the customer’s home or business. Think of companies like Dell or Lands’ End or Amazon.com that have successfully created strong customer relationships without retail stores or in-home visits. Yet this channel, sometime called direct selling or remote selling, has proven to be extremely profitable for many small businesses. Here Package is paramount–and whether it’s a website, a direct mail piece or a thirty second direct response TV ad, the marketer behind distance selling has thoroughly examined and tested each component of the package.

Most businesses stay firmly planted within one of the above three areas. However, you can realize some valuable business intelligence from studying the methods outside your own area of customer contact. But a necessary first step is to view your business through your customer’s eyes.

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.