Posts tagged cross-media campaigns

Quit Making Up Response Rates – Measure the Right Way or Not at All

160910502 250x166 Quit Making Up Response Rates   Measure the Right Way or Not at All Figuring out how well people are responding to your marketing campaigns is vital if you expect to see a positive return on investment from what you spend on advertising. Too many people create large advertising initiatives, involving different types of media, without having the infrastructure to accurately measure the response rates of cross-media marketing campaigns. When you are able to track what is working and what is not working, you can route your marketing dollars towards what you have had verifiable success with in the past.

Each marketing channel has its own unique challenges which you need to be aware of and have a plan detailing how you are going to get a potential customer to visit your website, make a purchase, request more information, attend a webinar, or setup an appointment.

Direct Mail Marketing

Setting up a direct mailing campaign will get your message in front of your target audience. Generally, you will need to have a special website specifically for direct mailing recipients, or sub-page of your current website which is featured prominently on the card/letter. When someone visits that specific link, you will have your first bit of information to work with.

Every visit you get is from someone looking at what was mailed to them, then actually going to your site. While this is a good start, you still need to convert that visitor. This is where knowing the response rates of cross-media marketing campaigns is crucial since putting something in their mailbox has a cost. Your visitor needs to have their own unique way of making a purchase or generating a lead, distinguishable from any of the other methods you are promoting. If this is for a website, a separate order form should be available for these visitors to use from the link advertised on the mailing material.

Email Marketing

A successful email marketing campaign may look similar to a good direct mail marketing campaign. Getting a good “open” rate is a great metric to keep track of since an unopened email will never result in a sale. Once the customer opens it though they need to be convinced to click a link taking them to your site which identifies them as having come through an email. After they have gotten to your site and they decide they want to buy, they should still be tracked as an email user. They should also be tracked as to how they were first introduced to your organization.

Digital Campaign Marketing

Tracking visitors in a digital campaign is relatively easy since you can specify what link you want a visitor to go to once they click your ad. The important metric here is your (clicks:impressions) rate. If you are paying by the impression, you want as many clicks as you can get. If you are paying by the click, you want to make sure that your ad copy spells out extremely clearly what a visitor should expect on your site. The companies you purchase these ads from will generally keep track of these rates for you, all you need to do is get the visitor to a checkout page or lead generation form that is only easily accessible by clicking one of these ads online, as opposed to your generic checkout page.

Taking all of these metrics together will give you an accurate picture of the response rates of cross-media marketing campaigns, and show you where you should be targeting more heavily in the future.

Stick to Direct Marketing Principles and Increase your R.O.I.

146899919 250x314 Stick to Direct Marketing Principles and Increase your R.O.I.Profitability Isn’t a Guessing Game

Its vital that you have a certainty in numbers through response rates and return on investment estimations when investing in a marketing strategy. You cannot calculate response rates by using the internet to send out SPAM, create advertisements, or create hash tags on Twitter. Sure, these methods of indirect marketing work, but there’s really no way to tell how well they actually drive revenue.

When you have the correct percentages on how well a particular form of direct marketing actually works through response rates of cross-media marketing campaigns, then you will know who to target, and who not to target. Why waste money and time sending out fliers and catalogs to those who will never purchase anything from you.

Time is Money

Time is money, and there may be some really cheap or even free forms of advertising available, but even that is wasting you money if it’s not reaching the right people. When you have lists of who to target, you’ll be more confident in sending out and receiving various forms of direct marketing.

You must communicate directly to the consumer and engage them emotionally. If you aren’t giving them a good reason to donate to your non-profit organization, or if they don’t ‘feel’ like they are getting something out of switching from another company to yours, then you have wasted your time as well as theirs.

Types of Direct Marketing

Let’s review those direct marketing principles that can be measured in order to receive an abundance of response rates of cross-media marketing campaigns:

  • Cell Phone Text Messaging – This type isn’t as ‘direct’, but you will be able to calculate your return on investment because of who uses the promotion or coupon when they tell you they are using the coupon from their cell phone.
  • E-Mail - Generating e-mail lists is simple with a great web site. When you know how many e-mail addresses you are targeting, then you will know who is buying and who isn’t.
  • Fliers – small fliers that have specific information listed on them that is personalized to each individual and sent to their homes is more powerful than general fliers that are sent out to everyone in a particular community or city.
  • Catalog Distribution – Once again, with catalogs, you are sending them out to those target customers, and if they order, you can calculate the percentage of people that are purchasing versus those who aren’t.
  • Personalized URL’s - Normally we wouldn’t admonish our clients to use personalized URL’s, but they are obtaining momentum and can be used as a direct marketing tool. Using a potential clients name as a response channel on a direct mail piece that takes them to a specific landing page will create curiosity and cause them to click on it because they see their names.

Everyone has a preference when it comes to purchasing materials and services. Colleges send out a variety of advertisements, but they can easily cut costs by using our tried and true methods of calculating response rates of cross-media marketing campaigns. Some students will never pay attention to mail they receive, but they just might be wiling to open it if it’s a simple flier or a promotional letter.

A direct advertising campaign that is executed correctly with a concise call to action can guarantee a positive return on investment. Why invest in indirect marketing whether it’s the time you spend on Facebook or Twitter, or the money you spend on hiring someone to do it for you? Only invest in those techniques that provide a serious return on your investment.

Integrate Direct Mail into your Marketing and Increase Response

1007487371 250x187 Integrate Direct Mail into your Marketing and Increase ResponseThe growth of modern online marketing and its integration with traditional advertising has created a communications overload, in which the average consumer may hear or see as many as several thousand marketing messages every day. Marketers and business owners looking to overcome this ground noise must develop effective cross-media strategies. Cross-media marketing campaigns use different products and properties to promote each other by way of multiple media. This might include direct mail, email marketing, radio, television, podcasts, social media posts, print ad campaigns, landing pages, and more.

The use of direct mail has shown significant positive feedback when it comes to measuring the response rates of cross-media marketing campaigns. According to a recent statistic in Deliver magazine, customers who were sent a printed catalog to the magazine’s website not only logged more time on the website, but also purchased 28% more of the product on average than customers who were not mailed a printed catalog.

This is not to say that direct mail should replace online marketing, but rather that the two should be integrated into a combined marketing campaign. Direct mail is most effective when it drives the customer to a website or landing page. Online marketing is most effective when the customer interacts with an online entity like filling out a form, giving the marketer or business owner product or service leads, or by sharing the site through social media. The key to the successful cross-media marketing campaign is that integration.

Increasing response rates of cross-media marketing campaigns does not have to be expensive or time-consuming. Something as simple as direct mail postcards can help build a business when integrated with online marketing tools.

Two great ways to integrate:

1. Use a postcard campaign to collect email addresses and basic information
Email addresses are a cost-effective way to keep tabs on your current and potential customers and clients. Several popular email services, such as Mailchimp, even allow the user to track email openings and clicks, so the sender can better understand a campaign’s effectiveness. However, you can’t track email responses without obtaining emails and a postcard campaign is a great way to reach out to potential customers who would otherwise never know how or where to register.

2. Have postcards point potential consumers to a landing page
Landing pages are critically different than a website’s homepage in that a landing page lists only the information necessary for your selling point, whether it’s an offer, special, or product promotion, whereas a homepage often lists more products and information that might be otherwise distracting. Websites allow browsing, landing pages are a direct sales pitch; they guide the customer through a sale or intended interaction

The two major benefits of direct mail:

1. Ability to target the ideal consumer
Few products and services are attractive to everyone. By outlining the characteristics of a company’s best customers, a model of who best to target in a direct mail campaign can be achieved. This could mean targeting by gender, age, income level, and more, allowing a mailing campaign to reach the people who might be most receptive.

2. Increase your responses
While yes online marketing strategies are awesome, great response rates of cross-media marketing campaign consistently point to the necessity of direct mail. This is because direct mail continues to be opened at greater rates than email advertisements.

Whether you are in the marketing business or are a business owner looking to increase company marketing effectiveness, integrating direct mail and online advertising is the best way to influence response rates of cross-media marketing campaigns.

How to Use Direct Mail to Kick Emails Butt

1223972861 250x235 How to Use Direct Mail to Kick Emails ButtFor years, companies have been capitalizing on the power of print advertising to attract customers in cross-media marketing campaigns. Cross-media marketing helps companies take advantage of the variety of different media formats that are available for modern advertising: of these media components, print media is supreme in many regards. Although email marketing is popular today, there are key areas where print mail is still much more effective at helping a company increase response rates of cross-media marketing campaigns.

Improved Response Rate And More Competitive Costs

Because print media provides a physical piece of advertising that buyers can hold in their hands, it enjoys a better rate of response than email. According to a study conducted by the Direct Marketing Association, direct mail campaigns to existing customers have a response rate of 3.4%. Similar email campaigns had a response rate of only 0.12%.

In the same study, the DMA showed that printed media also had a better cost per lead or order. Print mail campaigns had a cost of $51.40, while e-mail campaigns had a cost of $55.24 for each lead. This is especially important for businesses that have a set budget for their cross-media campaign and want to ensure that they stay inside of this budget, an issue that is paramount in the minds of today’s business professionals that want to raise response rates of cross-media marketing campaigns while keeping costs down in a struggling economy.

Advantages In B2C Marketing

For B2C marketing, an arena in which many organizations both small and large operate in, print media has many advantages over email marketing. According to a survey performed by Target Marketing, 34% of direct response marketers reported that printed mail campaigns delivered the best ROI in terms of customer acquisition, compared to email, which was selected by just 25% of those marketers as being best for B2C. This is in part because of the ability to personalize printed media through handwritten notes or signatures, something that email cannot do.

Printed media is also effective to improve response rates of cross-media marketing campaigns because of how many people still rely on printed materials mailed to them to either decide where they will go for a purchase or actually make the purchase. Integris marketing cites a study by the U.S. Post Office, which reports that 80% of consumers view and/or read their direct mail, and 50% of households have ordered products from catalogs. Conversely, many people have spam filters that keep out marketing emails, or simply do not even bother opening these types of digital messages and just move them right to the trash.

More Resonance Among The Highest Earners

Even for companies that do not market B2C, they are often targeting a specific business owner or high level executive for B2B media marketing campaigns. For these top-earning Americans, print media is extremely important. Adage.com reports that 93% of this population read hard copy magazines, while less than 30% read them online. Similar statistics were shown for the reading of newspapers. This means that if you are targeting wealthy business owners or financial officers, you are more likely to increase response rates of cross-media marketing campaigns using print media than digital media.

Sales professionals and business owners have numerous options when it comes to pursuing new business through media. Despite its age, print media remains a hugely vital aspect of any advertising effort. Use print media wisely in tandem with other media elements today so that you can grow your sales by improving the response rates of cross-media marketing campaigns.

 

Get Your Message Across the Right Way – Print that Makes Sense

166578139 250x182 Get Your Message Across the Right Way   Print that Makes SenseYou may be questioning your general approach to your print marketing campaigns in light of the fact that there are so many new ways consumers are being bombarded with information. Response rates of cross-media marketing campaigns are proving cross-media is not only successful but measurable meaning you can benefit from print in a traditional way by adding the benefits of personalized marketing in less traditional ways.
Personalized marketing campaigns are seeing solid results compared to standard, flat or static campaigns. Response of cross-media marketing campaigns are successful as they combine online and offline marketing. This allows you to use an initial small response rate to eventually drive a higher response.
By speaking to your audience numerous times in numerous ways allows you to maintain contact and remain top of mind. You are using repetition in a more innocuous way because the consumer is not being hit over the head with the exact same method. Cross-media marketing offers a constant reminder using direct marketing to invite the consumer to visit your website with a personalized URL that leads them to personalized information and messaging tailored directly to them.
This is far more valuable than a general message that may or may not apply to them. A personalized survey can then collect information that is saved in a general customer data base that alerts your sales team via email that a potential client is on the radar screen. They then have a legitimate reason to contact the lead with good background to get things started. At the same time, the information is tracked and stored for future CRM use in your system.
Response rates of cross-media marketing campaigns continue to show solid results. An analysis done by MindFireInc of 1,856 cross media campaigns in 30 cross vertical markets showed that an average visit rate of 6.5 percent and an average response rate of 4.5 percent. Results for some markets included:

  • Education: 3.3 percent visit rate and a 2.1 percent response rate
  • Non-profit: 5.3 percent visit rate and 3.5 percent response rate
  • Financial: 4.6 percent  visit rate and 3.1 percent response rate
  • Insurance: 5.6 percent vist rate and 3.6 percent response rate
  • Arts, Media and Entertainment: 7.3 percent visit rate and  5.9 response rate

As you can see despite the varying vertical markets the response rates of cross-marketing media show solid results. The visit rate also demonstrates the opportunity to collect information for future CRM campaigns.
Marketing firm Epsilon Targeting found that 6 out of 10 Americans preferred to get information via direct mail. Response rates of cross-media marketing campaigns demonstrate success and direct mail plays a role. The findings of Epsilon detailed that regardless of preference through email or post, the reason people enjoyed either was due to the ability to refer back to the info when convenient. However, of those citing this reason 73 percent were pro postal versus 45 percent for email. This means that direct mail as an initial contact will impact the response rates of cross-media marketing campaigns in a positive manner. Further proof of this was reflected in these findings:

  • 62 percent enjoy checking their mail box for mail
  • 59 percent enjoy getting mail about new services and products
  • 73 percent found they were getting email they never open
  • 67 percent said they get too many emails each day

Cross-media marketing campaigns are making marked progress in customer response compared to traditional means. Cross-media marketing also allows you to use the response rates of cross-marketing media as a way of saving money for future print campaigns by allowing you to focus only on those with proven interest.

 

Direct Mail is on the Skids – Or is it?

1588029641 250x250 Direct Mail is on the Skids   Or is it? The Response Rates of Cross-Media Marketing Campaigns still support the need for “hybrid marketing”, better known as cross-media marketing techniques. Digital media and direct mail actually complement each other, and because of this fact, there will continue to exist a strong need for direct mail marketing in the indefinite future.

The integration of print and digital media is still generating leads at a superior ROI and, particularly in some specific types of organizations, this will continue to form a reliable part of marketing strategies. Not only that, but tying the two channels of direct and digital marketing together can form a powerful vehicle for improving a companies client base. At the moment, this combination is essential for laying the foundation for mobile and video communication-based campaigns in not a few industries.  Response Rates of Cross-Media Marketing Campaigns depend largely on how intelligently direct mail is integrated into existing strategies. Used insightfully, direct mail is a reliable tool for boosting response rates and setting the foundation for long-term client commitment.

Response Rates of Cross-Media Campaigns in cases where direct mail marketing is used, are influenced by  two major factors: which types of businesses use them (which is a very flexible determinant) and/or how they are used to complement existing inbound marketing strategies. Banks, universities and colleges, casinos, insurance companies are the organizations benefiting from and will continue to benefit from direct mail marketing because they are able to continue increasing their client base at a cheaper and more effective rate through personalized marketing techniques than static ones.

There are neurological reasons for this. Research conducted at Bangor University  shows that physical media effects human memory differently as it creates a more profound emotional response. This in turn, will hypothetically cause for more positive brand-associations – something of particular importance where the above-mentioned  industries are concerned. Since clients are often being asked to entrust large sums of money with them, trust is of a premium.

As to understanding the more pertinent question: whether or not cross-media is more useful for generating more leads,  the research that has been singularly helpful in understanding the various Response Rates of Cross-Media Marketing Campaigns are as follows:

  • Reports from the DMA (Direct marketing Association)
  • The PODi report (carried out by the Digital Printing Initiative.)
  • The CMO (Chief Marketing Officer’s council) report.
  • A collection of other reports stored in the MindFire Inc database.

What these reports have indicated is that personalized marketing techniques have a vital place for marketers, while static campaigns (those allowing for no flexible integration between direct marketing and digital platforms) are simply not as effective in terms of  ROI performance.

The conclusion then, should be clear: the shift towards increasing digital marketing has not changed the need for direct-mail marketing. In fact, direct mail marketing is still pivotal as a launching pad for digital marketing campaigns, and will continue to be so in future.

 

Why Marketing Artists and Marketing Scientists Need One Another

v. man 250x250 Why Marketing Artists and Marketing Scientists Need One Another

Mark McGuinness of Lateral Action guest posted a terrific blog at Copyblogger: Are You a Marketing Artist or Scientist? In it he describes two distinct tribes that most marketers fall into (1) the right-brain types that like to create and find inspiration in coffee shops journaling and brainstorming about their next blog, podcast, video or creation or (2) the left-brain types that are most on fire when they get to use gadgets to crunch numbers, run split tests or compare data sets.

McGuinness explains it matters not which camp you fall into. What matters is that both camps work closely together to achieve optimum marketing outcomes for your organization. While ethereal writers can create magnetic content in itself it isn’t marketing until the scientists optimize it to be found and shared on the web.

And while marketing scientists are terrific at setting up variable data projects,analysis models and optimizing content to be keyword and SEO rich and for capturing names and IP addresses via landing pages and micro sites, they aren’t good at creating copy or content that screams read me, share me, and use me to make your buying decision right now!

You Need Both Disciplines to Succeed

McGuinness goes on to say that while at one time you could succeed with just killer content or killer PPC, now you need a mixture of the art and science to succeed. Dave Reibstein, co-author of Marketing Metrics, agrees.

Read Reibstein’s full excerpt here about blending the art and science of marketing.

Allen Weiner of Gartner for Marketing Leaders shares three companies that he feels is blending the art and science of content marketing marvelously well. In his blog post, Understanding the Art and Science of Content Marketing, Weiner gives the thumbs up to Home Depot, Nike’s Better World micro-site and The Waffle Shop.

He says all three think like publishers in blending their content with proper workflow and outcomes. Home Depot succeeded by driving 29 million DIY-ers to a YouTube video on the forgotten art of whiskey barrel making. Many showed up in the store to buy materials and give it a go.

Nike’s Better World succeeded with its content by using HTML5 to present a scrolling storyboard explaining its company’s green initiatives and The Waffle Shop doubled connects with its customers through a live stream of customers sharing comments good or bad live at a Pittsburgh restaurant.

Is your marketing organization set up so the scientists can teach the artists and vice versus? Tell us in the comments section below.

How to Say Thank You in a Personal, Memorable, Trackable Way

thank you personalization

Nine times out of ten, a donor receives a letter that starts with, “Thank you for your generous donation.” Because giving is an emotional response, it deserves an emotional thank you with more pep and personality than a typical, status quo thank you. Read Shannon Doolittle’s 22 Delightful Ways to Say Thank You.

Here’s a sample of humorous ways Shannon suggests saying thank you so you can delight, not bore your donors.

  • You = awesome. Me = grateful.
  • Move over Gates and Buffett, there’s a new philanthropist in town.
  • Our clients have started an unofficial fan club. You should start practicing your autograph.

And according to an article in Forbes, Don’t Thank Your Donor with a Gift, a great thank you is far superior to giving donors gifts, which can be counterproductive.

Foreshadow Good Things to Come Thanks to Their Donation

Beyond saying a great thank you, help connect the dots for your donors by telling them what’s happening. Something like, “Your donation pushes us to 90% of goal. Soon we can give all local children the nutrition they need on a daily basis”

A nonprofit named Charity:Water did an excellent follow-up video of a 9-year old girl’s donation of $240 that spurred $1.2 million more in donations following her tragic death in a car collision. Watch Charity:Water’s video about the little girl who could, Rachel Beckwith.

People who give to Donors Choose are greeted with an evolving thank-you screen on the home page where kids thank them for each specific gift – be it a computer or projector. They even mail hand written letters from the kids that benefited from the donation to the giver in order to say thank you in a very personal way.

Good cause marketing is all about great ongoing storytelling packed with emotional triumphs and challenges everyone can share in.

Timing, Format, and Other Loose Ends of Donor Thank Yous

When money comes in, a thank you letter or email needs to go out within 48 hours – the industry standard for courtesy, appreciation, and the chance to encourage more giving in the future from this donor.

The alleged bible for writing donor letters is Donor Centered Fundraising by Penelope Burk. In it, you’ll find many samples and formats to try and tweak within your organization.

Finally consider picking up the phone and calling to say thank you. Penelope Burk says her research shows that 90% of donors never receive a phone call from their favorite charities unless they’re asking for money. What an opportunity to turn that around to building a stronger relationship.

Are you inspired to polish your fundraising now?

 

It’s Not Too Early to Know the Marketing Trends of 2013

eight marketing trendsDo you feel like you’re constantly playing catch up? If so it’s particularly hard to stay ahead of trends. We can relate; thus the reason we’re posting a 2013 marketing trends piece in late April.

Take a breather and read the eight trends projected by Forbes and CIO Network magazines.

8 Marketing Trends Projected for 2013

#1  Businesses will pick and choose their social media platforms. Because businesses have had time to cut their teeth on social media and social media integration, they now have the confidence to align themselves with the platforms that make the most sense for the business. No longer will businesses feel obligated to be entrenched in all social media platforms. Doing so is nearly impossible and participating in all social networks is certainly not required to be successful in your niche. Pinterest works for fashion, photography, interior design and lifestyle businesses but not as well for manufacturers, municipalities, or musicians.

#2  Marketing strategies that simplify will soar. Because the world continues to move at a fast pace; accelerated even faster by 24/7 technology, any company that simplifies our lives or experiences wins more customers.

#3  Real-time marketing will replace campaign-based marketing. While theme-based marketing has ruled because it’s easy to plan around one theme that gets launched around a company-based timeline, it’s not very consumer-centered. Now that companies have married their customer relationship management systems with their online website orders, they have the data to launch trigger-based or real-time marketing that happens because an activity has taken place and merits another action being put into play to motivate the customer to take the next step.

During this year’s Super Bowl, Oreo used “real time marketing” to capitalize on the media attention that resulted when the Superdome experienced a blackout. Oreo had aired a TV ad earlier that night with a Twitter tie in that gained some new fans. When the blackout occurred Oreo leveraged their increased Twitter following by tweeting out a relevant picture reminding them that “you can still dunk in the dark.”

oreo It’s Not Too Early to Know the Marketing Trends of 2013

SOURCE: Oreo Cookie; Power out? No Problem

This picture went viral almost immediately and at last count has been retweeted over 16,000 times.

#4  Marketing success will be measured by sales. Instead of measuring lead generation, opportunity costs, click throughs and dozens of other metrics, marketing’s worth to a company will be weighed against sales growth.

#5   Mobile marketing gets taken seriously. Because more people purchased smart phones than PCs last year, mobile marketing will truly get its fair share of the marketing spending pie. While 90% of global marketing have a mobile site, only 20% of them integrate mobile strategies into their overall marketing plan.

SOURCE:“5 Surprising Marketing Trends for 2013,” Forbes, Jan. 23, 2013.

#6  Digital marketing agencies will double. In an attempt to manage their various online and social activities, small businesses are turning to digital marketing agencies. The demand will drive more digital agencies from owner-operated to consultants to creative boutiques.

SOURCE:“Follow the Money: Digital Marketing Trends for 2013,” Rob Eleveld, CIO Network, Dec. 20, 2012.

#7  All marketing campaigns will be integrated marketing campaigns. Do you remember 20 years ago when advertising agencies started calling themselves integrated marketing agencies to show that they were all inclusive of strategies such as direct mail, merchandising, public relations as well as advertising? Today if you produce a direct mail campaign, it would be foolish not to integrate the campaign by using a trackable 800 phone number, QR Code® or landing page (aka microsite).

#8  Google will start charging to access its analytics. In 2012 Google spent lots of money improving its analytics solutions and has put itself in a position to begin charging for the data it collects and stores. You might see this as early as 2014.

SOURCE:”Follow the Money: Digital Marketing Trends for 2013,” Rob Eleveld, CIO Network, Dec. 12, 2012

Do any of these eight predictions surprise or worry you? Tell us why in the comments below. We’re proud to say that 100% of our campaigns are integrated or multi-channel campaigns and 85% are variably printed.

How Small Companies Doing Large Marketing Get Huge Results

big vs little 250x268 How Small Companies Doing Large Marketing Get Huge Results

Other than identifying a known brand name and automatically knowing the size of the company, have you ever thumbed through a publication or web portal, become impressed by a company’s logo or tagline, only to learn that this company wasn’t nearly as large as you thought? It happens to me all the time.

I see polished ads or brands in business publications or at blogger sites. I then check out their web traffic at Compete, or look up their staff page on their website to see how large they are. I then acknowledge that they’re pulling off such a fabulous branding being the small fish in a big pond.

Moresource Plays Full Out with Ad Campaign

There is something very classy, catchy and memorable about an ad series done well. Moresource, a Columbia, Mo. based human resource company, gets my kudos for executing a successful ad series in the Kansas City Chamber business magazine, KC Business.

I liked that the owner of this three-person firm, Kat Cunningham featured herself with a client in each ad, used a QR Code®, included both a mention of Facebook and Twitter on her ad. She also stepped up by running a full-page ad, and obviously paid for a professionally designed ad and logo.

How Your Small Business Can Look Bigger than You Are

While it’s not always easy to win customers from larger competitors, technology has leveled the playing field and made it possible.

#1  Re-target your online ads vs. overspending for paid search.

Re-targeting lets you focus your ads exclusively on people who have already engaged with you online. You can re-target ads to people who have opened an email, searched for keywords or been on your site and left without buying anything. Site re-targeting is effective because these people are already interested in your products or services.

#2  Don’t cut corners on image or execution.

The quickest way to look small and amateurish is to put something into the marketplace that is poorly designed, poorly worded or filled with grammatical errors. If you’re going to send a postcard, make it the best designed card, on the best paper with the best call to action imaginable. If you’re going to run an ad campaign, make sure you develop the best creative, best frequency needed for results, and test all the back-end components such as the landing page URL, QR Code (that it scans and bridges your prospect to a site that further engages them), and best greeting upon their action.  Does someone answer the phone before the third ring?  Who is in the loop of the campaign and can answer questions intelligently?  Does the eReport download without glitches once the prospect hands over the required lead info?

#3  Don’t build it, buy it.

You can launch a professional looking website quickly and without the absorbent costs of hiring programmers. Services such as Weebly or Yola have helped many businesses launch for a few dollars a month.  Their drag, drop, type and upload technology further levels the playing field for all businesses and budgets.

Need an e-commerce store? Use Shopify.com or SquareSpace. Need to accept payments? Paypal is the answer. Want to provide live customer service online? Consider BoldChat. Chances are what you need already exists and can be accessed through open source, monthly lease, or shared software.

SOURCE:“Look Like a Big Company Without Spending Big Money,” by Scott Gerber, Nov. 30, 2011, Small Business Advocate.

#4  Don’t cut corners on your print collateral.

Find a graphic designer and print partner who produced the image materials of companies you admire and work with them to build your brand. Even in a digital world, you still need business cards, letterhead, pocket folders and mailing labels. Don’t short-change your business by trying to penny pinch you’re way through your collateral. If you and your three biggest competitors had materials sitting on the table in front of the customer of your dreams, who would they pick and why based on image alone?

QR Code is a registered trademark of Denso Wave.