Recently, I had a Small Business Saturdays episode about Transactional Emails and their importance in your overall marketing scheme. After all, these are the most opened emails of any that a business sends! So why not get some marketing juice out of them and serve the purpose of delivering the order receipt, communicating tracking details, or working with a customer on art and proofs. What is your call to action, and what is the image and brand you portray to your customers?
I have been involved in marketing for a long time and things do change frequently in the marketing world. If you are reading this 2 or 3 years from the time I wrote it, you might think I’m crazy. In marketing the one thing that changes the most often is SEO. Google changes the rules constantly, and the other search engines try to keep up. You think you have your strategy all heading in the right direction, but then change happens, so you can’t just set it and forget it. You have to look ahead to the next change coming. Google changes its search formula on average 550 times per year. Most of these changes are minor, but some will change things in a significant way as to how your site shows up in the page rankings. They want to provide their customers (the people asking Google questions) with the best experiences, so their systems are growing and getting smarter all the time, hence these constant changes.
Advertising and marketing are really the same things to me, while marketing does encompass a bit more of the front end work being done, it all starts with having a good plan. Without a plan, your advertising is shooting in the dark and potentially wasting a lot of time and money not reaching the right potential customers. The first key to good advertising is having a good plan. The plan and corresponding goal can’t be “I want more customers”. Rather, it should be more like “I want 10 new customers that buy full-color black shirts in quantities less than 12 in the next 3 months.” This would be S M A R T Goal which means Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Trackable.
Marketing today is much different than it was even 15 to 20 years ago when I got started in this industry. If you were trying to find new customers in 2000 we might have talked about print advertising, direct mail and radio ads. We might have been mentioning email marketing, but at that point, people were tired of SPAM and the horrible tactic some people were using. We would have definitely not been talking about Social Media (as it is today) as Facebook was not available to the public until 2006. So what are the best ways to market your business?
Let’s kick this off with some strategies for making yourself a singular supplier to your customers and keep yourself out of the dreaded commodity world. I know we have all been told “I can get this from your competitor cheaper” and if your only reply is to lower your price, you have fallen into the commodity bucket.
In my 18 years of being involved with small businesses and the many years before that helping in my Father’s CPA firm or other entrepreneurial ventures, I noticed the importance of a business plan. Anyone that has listened to me on the 2 Regular Guys podcast or has been in one of my marketing seminars knows I’m a huge advocate of having a business plan. But I wanted to take that advocacy past just promoting a business plan, and give you the 5 things that I have seen to be part of a good business plan. So, let’s explore those 5 important items every business plan must include.
This is as quick and easy as you can find, but yet most of us neglect this unknowingly. The crazy part is that it is super easy, and the right thing to do. So here it goes (have I stalled long enough now?) … Build a better relationship with your CURRENT customers.
We are always connected and most if not all buying decisions originate on the Internet. Whether it is through Facebook, a Google Search or other connected avenue, we get our first impression of most companies online. Therefore a good website is the start of building your credibility with your future potential customer. In fact, I would … Read more
A tip I give when building a website is to make sure all external links open in a New Tab, as opposed to people just leaving your website to go check something out that you suggested they click on. A great example of this would be links to your social media accounts. We will use Facebook as an example. They currently have 2 BILLION monthly active users. I’m guessing you have fewer people coming to your website monthly. So they don’t need any help from you. But you do want people to check out your Facebook page so you link to it from your site. Then they go to check it out and you have them leave your site to go there. Then they get a notification from Facebook that the latest Cat Video is live and now they are down that rabbit hole. They completely forget about your site. If you had Facebook open in a new tab, they could go watch their cat videos, then when they are done they would see your site in their tabs and remember that they needed to buy 10,000 shirts from you. So here is how you do it.
Q: If I’m a decorator that offers solely wearables, is there a way to calculate whether adding promotional products or personalized gift to my offerings will be profitable, or if it’s more practical to contract out such items?