Category Archives for Marketing and Advertising

3 Steps to Effectively Increase Your Marketing Response

Marketing CampaignsTo become successful in business, it’s crucial to actively promote your business to gain new customers. Let’s face it… No promotion equals no new customers. It’s that simple!

Your marketing campaigns should make the marketplace aware of your product or service and where they can get it.

If you’ve ever spent money on advertising, you will know that it can be a costly process. Whether the cost is measured in time, effort, money or a mixture of all three – the one thing that counts the most is the results. A lack of results from a marketing campaign can be a real disappointment.

More often than not, it’s a case of hit-and-miss which leads to frustration and a wasted advertising budget.

Here are three steps to take that explain how you can gauge how effective your marketing campaigns are and to rapidly improve the response rates of future campaigns.

Step 1: Test & Tracking – You really should be Tracking and Testing the response to your marketing campaigns. This is the ABC of promotions. If you don’t know how responsive a particular ad is, how can you possibly gauge the ad’s effectiveness? Not by guessing, that’s for sure! It is essential that you Test & Track because this keeps you in control of your earnings. If your campaigns aren’t creating the desired outcome – sales – something needs to be changed. By Testing & Tracking, you can make changes, retest and gauge the results to repeat the process until you do generate the necessary effect and therefore increase your profits.

Step 2: Tweaking – What areas need looking at? Here is a short list of questions you can ask yourself. The answer to these questions should be ” Yes”. If the answer is “No”, then simply tweak the item and Test & Track to produce a better response.

Ad Copy: Does it have an eye-catching headline? Is it well written with the correct grammar and punctuation? Have you edited it over and over to create what you’d consider a perfect advertisement? Does it make the reader want to take action and pull out their credit card? If you wouldn’t respond to the ad yourself, a rewrite is a must.

Product Demand: If you truly aim to make sales, your advertising needs to be put in front of the people who will want to purchase your product. Have you carried out or have access to market research data on the product you are offering? If it’s a niche-target product, are you targeting the appropriate audience? Have you polled your list or web site visitors to find out what they really want? Feedback is precious and should be taken into serious consideration.

Sales Page: Does your sales page look good to the naked eye without making you frown in pain? Does it have an eye-catching headline? Does it appeal to the reader’s sensibilities and rouse their emotions? Have you used short paragraphs? Have you included bullet point lists?

Order Page: Have you included a guarantee that removes the risk taken by the customer? Have you provided several payment options where applicable? Have you made the purchasing process as quick and simple as possible? Have you included your contact details?

Price: If everything else appears to be set correctly but you’re still not receiving the response you need, consider revising the price and Test & Track. It’s not always the cheaper price surprisingly! 100 is a good number to use for split-testing. ie: If you’re testing two pages, the first to receive 100 responses is the one to adopt.

Step 3: QA – Usually QA stands for Quality Assurance and it still does, but in this instance, it also means Quality Advertising. Testing & Tracking and Tweaking can be an ongoing process that you continually carry out using free or paid advertising. There are many forms of advertising available. Free advertising methods are excellent for Testing & Tracking because they can illustrate how well an ad pulls. But for now, let’s concentrate on the effective, paid advertising methods. Why? Because paid advertising brings results… Well it should – but it doesn’t always!

It’s imperative that you gauge the effectiveness of the advertising vehicle that you are utilizing through Testing & Tracking. If you don’t, you could be throwing your hard-earned money straight down the drain.

If you have paid for an advertising campaign through a company and the results are less than you hoped for, you need to look into why the results were dismal. How do you do that? It certainly pays to ask questions and dig deeper to see exactly how your advertisement is being delivered.

QUOTE OF THE DAY …

“Determine the real reasons that people buy your product or service then
organize your entire marketing campaigns around them”

I’d love to have your input about how you track and  test your marketing campaigns … as I’m sure many others would, so let’s have your comments below.

Video – The Most Fun Medium of Marketing!

Take a look around the internet today and one thing you’ll see more of is videos. More and more, even the ‘gurus’ are making use of this medium to advertise their products and services.

Do you doubt me on that? If so, think about the last big launch. Who was the guru and what did he say? No, I don’t mean what did he write, I mean what did he ‘say’.

Because, invariably, every single launch that’s happened over the past few months, not only had an element of video in its sales letter …… in most cases, the video IS the sales letter. Yes, you may see a page with writing on it, but count the number of words.

Chances are, you could actually count the words in a matter of seconds. Before video, I couldn’t imagine anyone would want to even attempt to count the words – the sales letters for big launches are way too long. And let’s face it, when it comes to high ticket, expensive products, the sales pitch has got be substantial as most people want to know as much as possible about a product before they splash out that amount of money.

The good thing with video is now you can write a sales pitch as long as you want and people will most likely sit there and watch it … especially if the delivery is entertaining. Now tell me, when was the last time you found a written sales letter entertaining? I mean, yes, sometimes they are but, for the most part, you can’t afford to use humour in the written sales letter.

Video opens up avenues which were never available before to any business. Or, for that matter, any individual just wanting to get his or her diary online in video form. Sure, you could upload a video to YouTube or one of the multitudes of video sites, but not everyone wants to stick their videos on a public forum that size.There may be certain types of videos available only to your clients – would you want everyone to see them.

Heck, I know of one martial artist who sticks videos on YouTube which are only supposed to be for his paid members. You can’t get to them through his site, but all you have to do is go to YouTube and type in his name and hey presto, there they are!

Now, if you’re one of those people who want to keep their videos on individual sites, what happens if you’re not a techie. Well, if you’re anything like me, you’ll go through a whole load of trial and error. Sure, you’ll probably get the video onto your site, as I did, but it could take a whole day … as it did me.

Now, what if you had a facility to put your videos only on your site? And, what if that facility was so easy to use, it literally takes a few minutes to record, edit and upload?

Well, that facility is here and I’ve used it. If only I had this a couple of years ago – it would have made my life a whole lot easier. What is this new facility?

Easy Video Producer

I’m not going to tell you how amazing it is or how much easier it has made my life or anything like that.
However, if I did, it would be true.

The good thing is, it’s available for nothing. Yup, absolutely free. What more can you ask for? Try it out by clicking the link below …

Check out Easy Video Producer here.

4 Marketing Steps To Sell Your Ebook

Your ebook is written and ready to be downloaded. Then you ask, what now? The next and perhaps one of the most important steps that follows is marketing your ebook effectively. The better your marketing strategy, the more sales you are likely to have.

Step 1. Prepare a Convincing Sales Letter

A good ebook should be marketed with an equally good and compelling sales letter. It would be an utter waste of your time and effort if your ebook fails to take off despite its high quality, simply because of a poorly worded sales letter.

Learning from other sales letters is the best way to make a convincing one yourself. If you’ve had the experience of buying a book online, you can perhaps recall what particular points in the sales pitch persuaded you to make that purchase. Then use these same arguments to come up with your own sales letter.

Step 2. Offer a Free Sample

There is nothing people like more than getting something for free! However, you don’t want to just give something away without having some marketing tricks up your sleeve. A great tactic is to give away a free sample chapter of your ebook (that contains very valuable information) and cut it off at a key point. You can think of this as being a cliffhanger like you’d see on TV.

With this strategy, you will be creating a win-win situation. You win because you would have gotten their names and email, which is required for them to get their free chapter. At the same time, they win because they a free chapter of your ebook, and will perhaps be convinced to get the whole ebook.

Tip #3: Create Scarcity

With the myriad of things that need to be done day in and day out, most customers would put off buying an ebook over more pressing tasks. In the end, some of them may never get to follow through on that plan.

A good strategy around this would be to create a sort of scarcity, making sure to mention this in your sales letter. You could just be releasing a few copies, publishing it for a limited time, or on the brink of a price increase. However way you put it; this could definitely get some prospective buyers to act faster.

Tip 4. Be an Expert in Your Chosen Field

It is no secret that if people want to know more about a certain topic or want to find a solution to a specific problem, they would go to an authority in that field. Create a blog, join discussion groups, and look for online communities that are exclusive to this field. By building up your expertise and your name in that area, people would look up to you and see in you a credible author.

Once you’ve established your expertise in your area, people will trust you enough to purchase your ebook, ringing in steady sales.

These are the four important tips to keep in mind when establishing an effective marketing strategy. Success will not come overnight but when it does, it will make every ounce of your effort worthwhile.

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Promotional Items and How to Make Them Work

Many businesses are finding life hard at the moment and are finding that they need to be looking at what they can do to build up their customer bases. Measuring footfalls through the front door shows how busy you are. Without people arriving in your shop, you are going to find there’s no-one about to buy your products.

 

It’s also essential in these hard times to ensure that your current customers return to you as loyal customers and that they keep buying from you and not your direct opposition. Once you have got a customer in to visit you, make sure that they come back again. That can be far easier than finding new customers. And this is where giveaway promotional items or specials can help, realistically.

 

Why is it easier to work with existing customers? Well, presumably they are happy with your services and then you have started to build a bit of a positive reputation with them. You also have them visiting you in one way or another and maybe even have their contact details. It’s far easier to hit them with marketing material directly, then marketing at them through press adverts and other media.

 

How can you make this happen? The answer can be quite simple – some giveaway promotional item or special discounts. Simply get some promotional items produced and see how many ways you can distribute them.

 

It may be that you have an address book of existing customers and can go through the addresses and send them a mouse-mat, calendar or diary printed with your contact details. This has brought in plenty of repeat customers for a business who had been forgotten to exist until they received their promotional reminder.

 

If you are a shop and aren’t storing lists of customers’ addresses, then personalized promotional gifts such as keyrings, pens and other cheap items that you can drop into customers’ bags as they checkout can be used equally effectively.

 

You should be looking at personalising an item that the customer is likely to want to keep, so that when they find it they put it somewhere safe and your business name is on their mind for a while. Hopefully, by the time the pen or whatever runs out, they have been back and bought again. In doing so they are reinforcing their buying relationship from you and there’s a second chance to give them a promotional freebie.

 

If you are not dealing face to face with your customers the idea of promotional gifts can seem more daunting. But there are a load of even better uses! Try offering a promotional gift in return for signing up to a newsletter and watch the newsletter signups increase. This is a great way of increasing the circulation list for your newsletter, which in turn should increase the sales it produces.<

 

There’s plenty of promotional items out there to use and give away to customers and prospective customers. Have a look at what is available and let your imagination run wild as to how you can make sure that these items find your target audience!

 

Think about cheap promotional mugs and never forget to include your offer.

5 Tips to Make Your Press Release Brilliant

by Theo McLanahan

 

If you want to get publicity for your business via the media, press releases are an excellent way to do it. Here are 5 ways to boost the appeal of your press release.

 

Correct Format: There is a format that press releases need to follow. Make sure yours is written in the correct format, as you will want it to look as professional as possible. It is also a good idea to double-check the grammar, punctuation and spelling before you send it in for submission.

 

Keep it clear and to-the-point. Your press release shouldn’t be any longer than two pages. Media outlets receive a lot of releases and they won’t take the time to read a long report. Keeping it clear and concise will let you fit in your important facts without going beyond two pages. And remember to answer the important questions – who, what, why, where, when and how.

 

What’s in it for the reader? Make sure you include a call to action in your press release. Put something in it that’s going to inspire the reader to go to your event, visit your website, etc. If you write a blatant ad, it’s going to be obvious and it won’t get picked up by anyone. Include the features and benefits of what you’re promoting, and tell your target market what’s in it for them.

 

For example, if you were promoting a new food processor, you need to go beyond just saying it’s smaller and takes up less space than other models. You need to state that the smaller size gives the customer the full power of a larger model, while helping them to save precious counter space in their kitchen.

 

Make it interesting. If your press release is boring, nobody is going to read past the first couple of lines. Try to find the line between simple facts and excitement. Back to the food processor example, instead of just saying “our new food processor will be available in the spring” try something like “our new space-saving food processor will be available this spring, just in time to help you chop the fresh vegetables you’re growing for your summer salads.”

 

Remember Your Target Market: As you write and submit your press releases, keep your target market in mind at all times. By keeping your audience in mind, you will be able to focus on what information to include and where to submit your press releases. For instance, if you are promoting an event related to children’s health, submitting a press release to the travel editor of your local paper isn’t going to help you.

 

The media won’t run a story on every single press release they receive, but if you follow these steps it’s going to put you above a large percentage of the other releases coming across their desk.

 

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Smart Marketing … Using Promotional Umbrellas

Promotional umbrellas are one of the promotional products that you might be considering. They have an excellent area for printing onto and can be bright, eye-catching and extremely useful.

 

From giving them out, to leaving them around where people might be able to use them if they wish to.

 

Here’s some ways to put them to use.

 

1) If your shop has an outdoor area, or trading with you involves stepping out of the door, why not leave a few printed umbrellas by the door. Not only will customers be pleased that they were sheltered from the rain whilst visiting you, but if any accidentally go missing, they are carrying your advert around for you.

 

2) Certain sporting events, especially golf, have spectators and competitors hanging around in the open for long periods of time. You only need to look at the stands around a golf course during a major tournament and if it is windy, people have their golfing umbrellas open to block the wind – with the logos facing outwards for all to see. On very hot days, other people will use the umbrellas to shelter from the heat of the sun. Sell the umbrellas cheaply if the weather looks bad or give them out to anyone who will carry one if rain looks unlikely.

 

3) Trade shows are also a good opportunity to give out umbrellas. One I am attending next weekend is traditionally on a wet day. Being given an umbrella there would be useful for many people as they walk back to cars or stand around watching the outdoor events. Grab your public’s attention with umbrellas and you might just find potential customers visiting you to collect an umbrella, and then becoming paid customers.

 

4) If your business is in selling beach products then visit beaches during the summer and give out the umbrellas to the families you find on the beach. Especially on hot or breezy days. The recipients will be glad of the shade afforded to them by the umbrella, either from the sun or the wind.

 

5) Want to be seen to be supporting local charities? Well, look for events that are supporting them, such as runs, bike rides and walks. Go along, whatever the weather and supply spectators, and in the case of walks, participants, with your umbrellas.

 

And as I always say, once you have produced a stack of nice, shiny, new promotional umbrellas, do what you can to get them to your public. They are serving no purpose locked in your storeroom! If you see an excuse to give someone an umbrella, do so. They might just be so pleased with their present that they’ll buy from you, else they will hopefully parade your logo for other potential customers to see.

 

Get Practical Knowledge For Promotional Ideas and Corporate Gifts

It’s time to start deciding what corporate gifts are suitable for your customers to receive from you as their annual Christmas gift. Whether you are a large or small business, these are a great way of bringing more business over the coming winter months and reminding them that you still exist.

 

It’s always ‘nice’ to receive a gift from those companies that you have done business with. It shows that they are thinking of you and value your custom. So, have you considered what promotional gifts you are going to be sending this year?

 

Thinking about end of year promotional ideas may seem early, but by the time you have found the best prices, given them your logo, checked the set-up and had whatever printed, time has soon slipped by. And with items like diaries, it pays to be in there first. Once your customer has moved their contacts over to your diary, they are not likely to move them again to another diary this year.

 

So what sort of items should you be considering? Decide on a budget, work out how many you need to send and that tells you how much you can spend per item. Don’t forget that this is an important piece of marketing work for your company – you are reminding customers that you exist and tempting them to come back to you or maybe even refer you to their acquaintances.

 

Once you have your budget worked out then that will pretty much tell you what you can and can’t use. But also consider distribution. If you are sending Christmas cards this year then gifts that you can slip into the envelopes will be a bonus – especially if they don’t add much to the weight or size – they may cost nothing extra to send!

 

Pens and pocket diaries are, of course, the staple promotional product at the end of the year, each distributing well with the Christmas cards. But don’t forget those calendars as well – I refer almost daily to a calendar I was given as a gift last year. And the calendar idea can be used in combination with other gifts.

 

Regular customers of promotional items know that cheap mouse mats can be printed with a calendar. OK, a mouse mat isn’t going to fit into a Christmas Card, but the envelope doesn’t have to be much bigger. And along with the calendar you can fit in other useful information, or adverts for complimentary businesses – who could be paying you for the space they use on the mouse mat.

 

As long as your promotional gift is in some way useful many recipients are going to keep hold of it – and then for a long time they’ll remember your generosity and maybe place more regular orders!

 

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