Small_Business_Marketing_Tips

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					Title:
Small Business Marketing Tips

Word Count:
826

Summary:
Discover the secrets of effective marketing for small businesses in this
helpful article. You'll find seven suggestions for driving revenue at
little or no cost.


Keywords:
marketing, small business marketing


Article Body:
If you’re a small business owner, you probably don’t have a lot to spend
on marketing. That’s okay, many small businesses aren’t taking full
advantage of the many opportunities they have for marketing their
business in basic ways that cost little or nothing to implement.

There are a number of things you can do to leverage your existing contact
points with prospects and customers that require some initial effort to
produce but go a long way in promoting your business, products, or
services. Some of these methods include:

1.    Business Cards. For less than $20, you can have a virtual
billboard that promotes your business. Surprisingly many businesses
forget about this great way to promote your business, your products, or
special offers. When ordering your business cards, think about how you
can use the space effectively. Some of the best business cards that I’ve
seen include specific URL’s on the back for accessing free information,
tools, resources, or product demo’s. I’ve even seen some with coupons on
the back that turn business cards into a customer staple – giving them an
incentive to have your business card handy at all times.

2.    Invoices. Do you send your customers an invoice in print or
electronically? If you do, use the invoice to promote your brand,
product or service. This is also a valuable touch point to thank your
customers and prompt them to learn about other things you offer. Some of
the more effective messaging for your next invoice might be, “Thank you
for your business. To learn more about our frequent shopper program call
1-800-555-1234”. This simple message can increase awareness and get your
customers to take notice.

3.    Emails. Nothing in marketing performs as well as your very own
list of customer emails. Customers who offer their email address want to
hear from you. Do what you can to encourage customers to provide you
with their email address. You can always provide a small incentive like
a pen with your business’s name on it, free information, or a white paper
addressing an area of growing importance. Once you have this email list,
communicate to your customers on a regular basis and encourage them to do
more business with you. Satisfied customers are likely to forward your
emails to others, growing the size of your customer base.

4.    Thank You Notes. A number of small businesses are very effective
at communicating with their customers. These businesses use every
shipment as a vehicle to promote their products or thank their customers.
You should do the same. When you make a sale and are shipping a product,
insert a short thank you note that offers your gratitude and willingness
to hear from the customer or perhaps your latest catalog or flyer. This
goes a long way in showing your appreciation for you customer and
interest in building a long term relationship with them.

5.    Online Coupons or Offers. When you have a particular product to
sell, you should offer information about it on your website.
Additionally, offer an incentive for prospective customers (new
customers). When individuals are on your website and take interest in
your product or service, providing an incentive to buy can drive
considerable response rates. You might be concerned about discounting
your product or service to existing customers so be clear that your offer
is only for new customers. Your existing customers understand that
you’re trying to grow your business and won’t be disappointed to learn
that you’re giving an incentive to new customers only.

6.    Free Samples. Giving away free samples is one of the most
effective marketing tactics available today. Even if you have a service
business, offering up a method for prospective buyers to try a derivative
of your service without paying for it can lead to increased trials and
conversions. Large consumer product companies like Proctor and Gamble
know that once a consumer decides that he or she likes the product, they
will become a customer for an extended period of time which more than
pays for the cost of their promotion.

7.    Encourage Referrals. Small businesses that leverage the power of
referrals experience strong growth. When you have others suggesting your
product or service it’s like having your very own sales team. These
referrals are even more powerful because, like word-of-mouth, the
prospect is being encouraged to buy from an existing customer, associate,
expert, or influencer. Think about how you can encourage referrals from
your customers or other service providers. One way is to ask other
vendors to distribute information about your business to their customer
base in exchange for you doing the same.

Marketing doesn’t have to cost a lot. Use your own business to
communicate your marketing messages and increase lead generation. These
simple methods are effective for any small business owner regardless of
industry, product, or service offering. Implement some or all of them to
see the power of effective small business marketing.

				
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