How do the kings and queens of industry wine, dine, and otherwise cajole prospects? Hint: It’s not through wining and dining! It’s by knowing how to market like a pro.
Most successful businesses speak to the needs and wants of their prospects by using a series of information-based ads or marketing materials that build emotional attachment and credibility, and provide “a call to action” to ensure their customers reach out to them. These are much more effective methods than standard company branding because it qualifies prospects and partners as it fulfills their needs and wants.
The principles that go into putting together a high impact (and, often, high-priced) ad campaign can be adapted to fit most any company’s needs with similar results and less spending than traditional paid media — if done right.
Below is a list of 30 options for putting together and executing a professional, effective outreach campaign that offers information, action, and relationship-building, all while showing prospects what differentiates you from your competition.
I don’t suggest to my clients doing one or two of these items. I recommend going through the gamut to see how we can mix and match these activities to acquire the most appropriate leads and close the most lucrative arrangements.
So here’s a list of marketing tactics that will attract the right audience for you:
- Put together a short report that is automatically sent to prospects when they contact you. This should include a short description of your business and what you specialize in as well as case studies, samples, or other proof of your success.
- Develop value-oriented yellow page ads.
- Use newsletters to educate and inform existing (and future) customers about your industry and the services you offer.
- Host a free seminar, webinar, or other lecture to build awareness of your business (make sure the information is pertinent to your target market and find speakers who are respected and known in the industry).
- Test multiple versions of your messaging to find the most effective ones.
- Use direct mail to reach specific geographic zones.
- Put together a database of previous customers and send them new or reconfigured product lines and packages.
- Offer incentives such as frequent purchasing benefits, loyalty programs, or referral programs.
- Offer a 24-hour information line with a regularly updated recorded message. Make this available to all past and future customers/clients.
- Donate materials to local charities to show support for your area.
- Offer free and approachable public “clinics” or on-site events for locals to join and discuss what they need from your industry.
- Organize seminars with a high-perception value package that your customers/clients can pay to attend.
- Approach local news outlets and offer to write a weekly column about your area of expertise. Don’t ask for money, just a byline and bio.
- Develop an overnight or destination seminar for customers/clients that provides an action-packed weekend and also allows participants to join in a tax-deductible experience.
- Take a good seminar and turn it into written form as a home study, member site program, or audio or video program.
- Approach large companies and offer to give seminars to their employees, investors, or management.
- Barter for your products or services. Offer trade in lieu of payment.
- Be willing to bring in new clients, even if at an initial loss, with the expectation it will pay off later.
- Regulate your marketing budget to maximize the potential income to hit in the next year and try to push back advertising costs for the next year to offset your expenses.
- Give away something free to everyone who brings in a print version of your advertisement. This is a great way to see which ads are giving you the most bang for your buck.
- Continually update your products and services bundles so you can offer new packages to current customers/clients.
- Develop a mail order division of your company.
- Proposition your competitors to trade customers/clients whom you were each unsuccessful in selling to.
- Use different marketing tactics as an excuse to attract new customers/clients with new offers and goodies.
- Offer a “choose-your-price” program. This is especially good for products that are sitting on the shelf.
- Buy an existing business, introduce better marketing, and grow this new business faster than a “from scratch” business.
- Approach large firms who may need your services and negotiate a deal to be their exclusive expert in your field.
- Make offers to target markets or target market businesses to pay them for referrals or shared databases.
- Join your local Chamber of Commerce and attend the networking and other activities throughout the year.
- Join a local, state, or regional professional associates for further networking opportunities.
So, there you have it: 30 great ways to get your services or products in front of business and professional prospects (B2B) as well as directly to customers (B2c).
But you can also look at other ways to get your name out there and start increasing your value. For instance,
- Offer loaner products to replace equipment that has been repaired or refurbished.
- Get involved you in your community: Volunteer, donate to local events, etc.
- Become a board member of a local organization.
For all of these options, let’s just say: Know Your Value, Know Your Customer.
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“One of the most powerful techniques every business should use is free publicity. As the name implies, there is no cost, just the time and effort required to attract attention to your business.”
— Jay Abraham
What is “free publicity”? Free publicity is also called “earned media.” It’s attention from media and news sources, or in the Internet era, from celebrities or social media influencers (people who command a mass following for being professionals in their field, or maybe just from notoriety).
The key is it’s free. It’s not paid media, also known as advertising. It’s “earned,” meaning that those who repeat your information saw its value and shared it. They basically gave you something (publicity) for you giving them something (a reason for their audience to tune in). The information you provide can’t just be interesting, it has to be valuable.
Earned media comes from having a good message to give to the public, and it can boost your advertising results ten-fold.
By focusing on public relations — the act of building publicity in combination with merchandising and promotions — you can develop a good deal of “buzz.” But it takes a coordinated effort, and you have to offer newsworthy information, and follow up with media outlets to make sure they are publicizing that information.
With a solid plan in place, you’ll have a great approach to use public relations in the best way possible.
Here are the steps to get noticed by the media:
- Put together a press release for your company. The press release should be relevant to your target market and address consumer interest, not just announce your business.
- Compact your press release to include one hook and one angle. Choose the most attention-getting to make sure the media person you are sending it to is interested in reading it.
- Put your press release in professional formatting. With press releases you need a dateline, the most important information at the top, facts, figures and wrap it up with contact details including who and how. Print the press release on your letterhead.
- Send your press release to all television and radio stations, local and metro newspapers, national newspapers, industry magazines, and any other form of media that reaches your target market. Don’t forgot to include relevant blogs, online magazines, press release submission sites, and to industry professionals.
More importantly than a perfect press release is to make sure you have addressed the needs of your target market in the products/services you offer and have made them clear in the press release.
Lastly, don’t limit yourself. The attention of newspapers, television, radio, magazines, bloggers, and more are all equally powerful. Earned media can come from many different places, and the key is to provide a solution to a problem, a way to avoid a problem, or an opportunity for people to enhance their lives. Do that, and the media and public will be interested.
Our FREE test drive can show you how to put together press releases that work! Check out how the pros do it and craft the perfect press releases for your business.
How do you turn prospects into customers and retain them for future marketing? Ah, that’s the question every business owner wants answered. Scarier still, what if you actually get the customer but then they aren’t happy with their decision. They key is to create a marketing strategy that will help your client avoid buyer’s remorse!
Your marketing may be doing its job, but you need to close the deal. When we look at the customer funnel, it goes from awareness to comparison shopping all the way down to a purchase. Marketing can get super-creative throughout (and I personally especially enjoy building reasons for your customer to choose you over your competition).
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But you still have to seal the sale, and while you try to be inviting, informative, and enjoyable throughout the process, you gotta get past that hump of the 10 reasons customers think of or talk themselves out of a purchase.
In other words, you need to overcome the dreaded fear of buyer’s remorse (and it’s the fear as much as the actual remorse that people experience). You want to avoid someone regretting their purchase at all costs, and this can be mitigated by providing a quality product/service that delivers on the marketing claims you’ve made.
So how do you prevent buyer’s remorse? Two ways:
- Offer to refund money — no questions asked
- Offer a bonus they can keep even if they return the product or don’t wish to continue with the service.
These offers alone will mitigate buyer’s remorse (or the worry that a buyer will experience it) because the customer will trust you more just for offering these things.
There are numerous ways to turn a prospect into a customer. These are fun, fun, fun to test and try, and they enable the business owner a lot of creativity in their marketing strategy:
- Offer a special price as an opportunity for you to test the market.
- Offer a lower price with the reason of pushing inventory for your own survival (like paying an April tax bill!). This makes you feel so much more human.
- Offer a referral incentive.
- Offer a smaller, more inexpensive product first to build trust.
- Offer package deals.
- Offer to charge less for their first purchase if they become a repeat customer.
- Offer extra incentives like longer warranties or free bonuses if ordered by a set date.
- Offer financing options, if applicable.
- Offer a bonus if they pay in full.
- Offer special packaging or delivery.
- Offer “name your own price” incentives.
- Offer comparative data or other comparison tools.
- Offer a trade-up or upgrade for something they already have.
- Offer additional, educational information to help them make the decision.
The options really are as limitless as you make it. You can use these or other ideas to find what works the best for your business, products/service and target market. Just remember this …
“By making it inviting, easy, informative, non-threatening, educational, inspiring and fun to do business with you, you’ll loft your company above the competition.” -Jay Abraham
Need help with figuring out the best strategy for converting prospects into customers? Our FREE test drive gives you exclusive access to the mountain of resources and tools, along with information from some of the greatest marketing minds on Earth.
There are five major components to good advertising copy, and the order of these is essential to success:
· Command Attention
· Showcase Benefits of Products/Services
· Prove the Benefits
· Persuade People to Embrace the Benefits
· Call to Action
Advertising is sales in print. So, you need to think about the unique benefits your products/services offer and showcase that in a persuasive way. You need to emphasize results, not features.
Let’s take a minute to talk about each of these components:
1. Command Attention: This is usually accomplished with the headline. You need an attention-getter that makes people want to know more about your products/services. The best headlines give a vivid portrayal of the benefits or show how a problem can be avoided with your products/services. The headline is the advertisement for the advertisement.
2. Showcase Benefits: You have to showcase the benefits of your products and services and, more importantly, show how they will solve or prevent a problem. They need to know what’s in it for them. Include useful, factual and clear information to show precisely what the benefits are and how they are going to help the customer. DON’T MISTAKE BENEFITS FOR FEATURES! It’s not what your product does, it’s how it helps the client!
3. Offer Proof: This is where you prove what the advertisement is offering. You need to establish you have a method to deliver. Consider information that establishes credibility and past performance.
4. Persuade: You need to add compelling reasons for your potential customers to purchase your products/services. Use a hard sell approach and create scarcity. This will enact your potential customers to feel like they have to act now. Which leads into the last component.
5. Call to Action: You need to compel your potential customers to DO something. They need to check out your site, sign up for your newsletter, purchase your products, contact you about services, but they have to ACT. Offer a freebie, a booklet, sample, product, bonus, demo, consult, limited time price, the list goes on, but GIVE THEM A REASON. There are lots of ways to get potential customers excited about ordering and help them feel like they are getting an amazing deal.
Good advertisements include all of these components and are not complete without any of them. You can sit down and think through any one of these components, then figure out how to best place them together for the most effectiveness.
We can help you with this too. Try our FREE test drive to learn how to put together great advertisements from some of the best in the business.
Direct response marketing is a form of marketing that demands a direct response from your potential customers. This type of marketing is used to answer questions, present your branding and products, explain the reason you do what you do, and capture information about your prospective clients. Customers nowadays prefer this because they are offered the opportunity to respond voluntarily, whether by signing up for a newsletter, posting a comment on your site or blog, or purchasing a product from you.
Jay Abraham says of direct response marketing: “I honestly don’t think you’ll ever find a safer, lower-risk, higher-profit method of increasing your business or profession than direct-response marketing.”
So, what does direct response marketing look like? Well, it comes in many forms, including:
· Direct mail
· Print ads
· Radio and TV ads
· Coupons or other incentives
Some of the advantages of direct marketing are:
· A great filler during lulls in business
· Productive way to communicate and empower you to create more relationships
· Great opening to up- and cross-sell to current customers
· Low-cost technique to rustle up new business
· Good leveraging tool to turn small sales into large sales
· A quick supplement to your current marketing program
· Cost-effective method to reach target markets
· A clear marker for measuring results
· An ability to reach outside your local area for new business
· Increased effectiveness of your sales force
These are all great things that can come from just taking a few simple steps to putting together a direct response marketing plan and executing it.
Direct response marketing is one of the best ways to launch your business on a large scale and reach out to everyone in your target market whether they are in your local area or not. Our FREE test drive can help you put together a great direct response marketing plan and get you on your way to heightened success.