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Letter from the Editor
Welcome back to the latest issue of the Shoestring Entrepreneur Newsletter!.
Marketing and sales are the lifeblood of any business. Marketing brings the prospect to your business and your sales process converts the prospect into a customer or client. The object of marketing is to make selling unnecessary.
In this week's newsletter, I'll share an article titled "Three Marketing Tactics Every Small Business Should Use." In it we'll look at the three foundational marketing tactics every business, especially small businesses, should implement at all times.
To your success,
Three Marketing Tactics Every Small Business Should Use
by Brian Carson
Whether you’re a new business owner or a grizzled veteran, marketing can sometimes be put on the back burner when business is down or the economy is stagnant.
It’s only natural.
Most business owners look at marketing, if they even think about it at all, as an expense.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
Marketing is the lifeblood of your business.
The job of marketing is to attract new business, retain your existing customers, and promote the benefits of your product or service to your customers or clients.
Without marketing, you have no differentiation, and are subject to the whims and fancies of fate.
Don’t just hope for increased profit margins, have a systematic approach to gaining new customers, keeping them, and growing your bottom line.
Here are three marketing tactics all businesses should implement as soon as possible.
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1. Build Your List
If you’re not capturing the contact information of your customers and prospects you’re throwing money down the drain.
Why take a one-shot approach to your business? Why be like the majority of unsuccessful businesses out there?
Building up your list database can help you figure out the buying patterns of customers, those who haven’t purchased recently, and most importantly, when you have the customers contact information, you can market to them over and over again.
Don’t waste another second. If you don’t have a list, build one now.
By creating special offers, like bundling products or services together for a special price, special events, limited time discounts, and even freebies.
Use your imagination.
Get them to come into your store or visit your website and give up their contact information. Once on your list, you can market to them for life.
2. Create a Customer Reactivation Program
If you do have a list, I can guarantee you’ll have customers, who for some reason or another, have stopped buying from you.
Your next step should be to get them to come back. That’s where a strong customer reactivation program comes into play.
Very few businesses understand there’s a ton of profits hidden in their past customer list. Most business owners have tunnel vision when it comes to marketing – they only focus on getting new customers.
Your past customers are already in your funnel and the easiest to sell to with far less marketing expense on your part.
The easiest way to create a customer reactivation program is to create a special time-limited offer just for your customer. You can send them an inexpensive letter or postcard thanking them for their past business and an apology for neglecting them. Tell them about your special offer and voila!
You should get a nice response if you make a killer offer.
3. Set Up a Strong Referral Program
Successful marketers develop the ability to turn their customers into advocates. Often, they don’t even have to directly ask customers to refer them to others. Their willingness to go the extra mile wins customer loyalty and support.
Naturally, satisfied customers refer their friends and family to the place that will take good care of them and make their experience a memorable one.
Quality service is the first step toward referrals, but you can easily take it one step further.
Studies show that every satisfied customer tells at least three people about you. What would happen with a little incentive added to the picture? Give customers who refer friends a thank you – whether it’s a discount, a freebie, special gift item, or a simple thank you card – and watch the referrals grow.
You can kill two birds with one stone by implementing customer surveys. A few quick questions about what the customer does and doesn’t like about your product, followed by a request for the names and addresses of friends and family who would benefit from the product, and you’re all set to go with the contact information of a prospective customer.
Go out and put these tactics and strategies into place. Test them, and watch your profit margins soar.
Brian Carson is the president and CEO of the Market Ownership Group. Before founding the Market Ownership Group, a marketing consulting/business coaching company, Brian owned three brick-and-mortar businesses that he ran profitably for over 15 years. Brian sold them off to focus all his attention to the formation of the Market Ownership Group, founded in 2008. Brian has created marketing strategies, done for you marketing materials and given advice in a diverse range of businesses, from restaurants to barber shops to online only businesses to small retail stores, and financial advisors. If you would like to grow your business to new levels of profit and growth, or if you need help starting a business from scratch, email the Market Ownership Group at firstname.lastname@example.org.
On this week's episode of THE BRIAN AND LEE SHOW, our guest will be author and entrepreneur Wayne Breitbarth. Wayne is the author of the new book, “The Power Formula for LinkedIn Success”. He’s a Certified Public Accountant who received a BBA from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater and an MBA from Marquette University. He is an owner of M&M Office Interiors in Pewaukee, Wisconsin.
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