In my last post I talked about the importance of understanding who your customers are, who you’d like them to be and what you want to be for them. This clarity will help you in all your marketing efforts.
But in this post I’d like to explore some low-cost marketing ideas the provide high impact results.
I believe marketing is the sum of all the activities you do to create an impression, to influence a decision, to change a mind, to open a door to a customer relationship or strengthen one you already have.
I’ve been a newsletter writer for over 30 years now, and that’s my number one marketing tactic. It’s my chance to create an impression (often a first impression). I build trust and credibility at least twice a month, with a topic my customers have told me is important to them, and I do it for free. So what steps can you take to deliver value, stay visible, remind, entertain, amuse, educate, or illuminate your customer base?
It could be a newsletter, a tips list, a whitepaper, a special report, a free analysis or audit, an ebook, a recording. Put your “Free Tips” sign-up form in a few different places on your website. Put a guestbook in your store and give away something of value for the info you are getting. Put a slide in your next presentation that offers a free gift if people leave their cards.
On the Web: Use autoresponders to say “Thank you” and begin a dialog with the customer. Start the romance right here and make one small offer after another.
Your website should offer value and not just information. Same thing with your brochure, your flyer, or your Chamber presentation. Make “offering value” a significant part of how to market your business and customers will, over time, come to value you more. You could also give a free webinar or teleclass and have a special offer for the participants.
In the mail: Do the same with a series of clever cards or postcards design to build on your positioning and get people to raise their hands and let you know they are interested. Postcards are one of my favorite ways to touch a customer or a prospect. A series of well designed cards delivered in sequence “drips” your message quietly over time, building trust and building your brand. And responding to an introduction with a postcard or handwritten note still helps you differentiate yourself.
Give speeches: Be the “poster child” for what you are selling. Be genuine and find how you can help others be successful.
Start a blog: It’s an important part of the marketing mix because it gives the customer the opportunity to go deeper into the relationship with you and offer their comments, engaging directly.
Email marketing: When it is is relevant and well written (and offer some value, maybe something like “Ten Tips on How To Market a Business”) email marketing can be an inexpensive way to keep your name in front of people who now know you.
Social Media: This is another way to build an audience (get a “fan page”) and get your unique, well crafted and clear message out there. But don’t just gather fans. Remember that in the end, customers and relationships pay the bills, not the onlookers. So budget the time you spend on social media. You’re not just looking for friends, you’re looking for long term loyal customers that come back with money and friends.
Email marketing and Direct mail are great ways to acquire and engage customers.
To learn more about email marketing with pbSmartConnections, click here.
To find out how you can conveniently create, mail and track direct mail campaigns with pbSmartMarketer, click here.
JoAnna Brandi is a customer care expert. She is the author of several books and the publisher of “The Customer Care Coach”, a leadership training course. JoAnna is not a Pitney Bowes employee and shares her insights on this blog as a paid contributor.