In our current world, as we have heavily shifted to digital lives, it seems as though our junk mail has decreased in these last few years. We have this misconception that direct mail is useless and ineffective and as a result, there has been a decline in marketers using direct mail to promote their products or services. When the traffic dies down on a channel there is no better time to explore that channel and get noticed! So start using the road less travelled and make a splash with the old-school direct mail method. Here are two tricks that will make your direct mail campaign more effective thanks to the One page marketing plan.
Each day we collect our mail from the mailbox and sort it into piles. We keep the things that seem interesting and important, and throw out, without opening, the things that seem redundant and unimportant.
Do you ever throw out mail with random lumpy objects in the envelopes?
No, I don’t either. I always at least open it to see what treasure I may find. Because of this you need to put something lumpy in your mail to ensure it stands out and gets put in the important pile when potential customers are opening it. This could be a sample of your product, magnets, some coupons or gift cards, a stress ball, or some free knickknacks with your branding on them. Give them a free book. People almost never throw out books. A branded shot glass! I know I would NEVER throw out one of those! 😜
The point is to get your brand in front of these potential customers and that means first to get them to open the mail and second to give them something to remember your brand.
The second trick is for leads or prospects you already are aware of. Send them a wow factor box. A package they will absolutely have to open because the suspense is killing them and we all like random surprise packages. In the package along with your amazing marketing material give them something of high value. This could be a mug, a baseball, a hat, shirts or other apparel with your branding on it. You could send an edible arrangement, a basket of fruit, cookies or a jar of chocolate covered nuts. The possibilities are endless and try to think of something that you would almost never throw away.
When people receive random gifts for no reason in the mail it gives them that wow factor and it also makes them feel obligated to eventually buy from you one day. Us humans often live by an “I’ll scratch your back, you scratch mine” philosophy. We feel obligated to give to people who have given to us. I literally do it ALL the time! So take advantage of human nature and give a little. It will pay off in the end in revenue.
Side note* I am not at all saying to stop digital marketing. Digital marketing is super effective but direct mail can be used in conjunction with other channels of marketing.
As for the wow factor box and the lumpy mail idea, make sure you know the lifetime value of a customer so that you can do the math properly when deciding how much to spend on marketing campaigns such as these. Know your potential ROI. If the numbers do not make sense don’t do it. But at the same time do not be cheap and go above and beyond what your competitors would do.
Questions or suggestions? Comment below!
What is your go-to marketing medium? Did you know it has been reported that video marketing happens to be about 600% more effective than direct mail or print advertising? Videos are easy to digest, more memorable, engaging and entertaining all at the same time. The point is put across often within seconds and there is little investment of time from the viewers' standpoint.
Statistics show that 55% of people on social media watch videos every single day. Videos that are shared on social media generate up to more than 1200% more shares than regular posts and photos.
So how long should your videos be? Depending on what you are trying to achieve with your videos (entertaining or educating), the ideal length is somewhere between 15 seconds and 2.5 minutes. When creating videos, the MPG4 format is most ideal for posting on social media because you can maintain quality while the file size stays small.
Videos are easy to watch and to produce from both the viewers’ point of view and the marketers' point of view and they potentially develop a much larger ROI than other forms of advertising.
So start video marketing and increase your ROI!
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With attention spans in humans these days, and distractions all over the place, we are inclined to make judgements about people, products and services within seconds of being introduced to different brands. Elevator pitches must be short and to the point while drawing in the potential customer to want to learn more. But despite the importance of elevator pitches, you’d be surprised how many companies just don’t have a consistent pitch!
What components are involved in a good elevator pitch? As you can see from the elevator pitch examples below, when creating a pitch you want to make sure to start with the pain points or challenges that potential customers are facing before they come across your product. That should then lead into a short and concise description of your product or service that will ultimately solve the issue the customer is facing. So start constructing yours and keep it under 30 seconds. Share it with your staff and make sure each member of your team can recite it naturally and consistently.
Here are a couple great examples of effective elevator pitches:
Most tourists booking online care about price- and hotels are one of the highest costs for when traveling. On the other hand, platforms like Couchsurfing have proven that over half a million people are willing to lend their couches or spare bedrooms. We have created a platform that connects travelers with locals, letting them rent our rooms, or even entire places. Travelers save money, and locals can monetize their empty rooms- we just take a 10% commission. How does that sound?
There are 40MM independent workers in the US: consultants, freelancers, and small business owners. Solving office space is tough and expensive, especially in cities like New York. We created the concept of space as a service. We have 20 locations in the city- where people can rent a desk or an office without any of the complications of a traditional lease, effectively saving at least 25% of the cost. They get access to a shared front desk, mailroom, and a community of like-minded people.
The average office worker receives 304 emails per week. They also attend an average of 62 monthly meetings, half of which they consider 'wasted time'. Slack was made to make work more efficient. It organizes conversations by channels and drastically reduces the need for emails or meetings. It's integrated with 100s of productivity tools like Google Docs, Calendars, Email, Dropbox, Zoom... so you can receive automatic notifications and take action without leaving the interface.
Questions or suggestions? Comment below!
After the lead nurturing blog post last week there was demand from my audience to suggest some good platforms on which to set up lead nurturing email campaigns. Leads that are nurtured with content targeted at their specific audience produces an increase in sales opportunities of more than 20%. So create a great lead nurturing strategy and get your leads converted into revenue now. Here are two great suggestions for software on which to set up lead nurturing campaigns that are affordable for small business owners and that have the functionality to set up successful email marketing campaigns.
This platform for email marketing is extremely user friendly and great for beginners and small businesses. It is affordable and increases in price as your contact list grows. You can be on a month to month subscription and don’t have to lock in for a long period of time. Their customer service is outstanding and they will walk you through almost anything you need help with. They have A/B testing capabilities as well as facebook ad integration. The analytics are easy to understand and all email open rates, unsubscribe rates and click through rates are recorded. You can even automatically send the same email a number of days later to any contacts who did not open the first attempt to increase your open rates. Constant Contact also offers a marketing calendar to keep track of your campaigns. Any small business can try out Constant Contact for their email marketing for a free trial and then it starts at only $20/month.
Mailchimp is another email marketing option for small businesses. It is extremely popular because they have a free option for basic users for up to 2000 contacts and 12,000 emails. This plan is very limited for functionality and support. For personal use it works but as a business you may want to explore the paid plans. Mailchimp integrates with many other platforms which simplifies the flow of contacts from one software to another depending on the established infrastructure that exists in your business. It has a user friendly email builder and it's great for segmenting your lists and simple tracking and analytics. Its automation capabilities are limited so this may be something you want to look into if automation is your priority. Mailchimp paid plans start at $10/month for 500 subscribers and is an affordable option for small businesses and startups.
Here is another list of other options you can look into:
Most companies are so excited about bringing in leads but then they leave them sitting in a list and do nothing with them. Bringing in leads is great but if you don’t convert those leads into revenue you will never see an ROI. What is your lead nurturing strategy?
Here are some statistics. What would you guess the average number of times a salesperson follows up on a lead? The statistics say that 50% of all sales people give up on the first contact. 65% give up after two attempts and 80% give up after three shots.
Do you know how many attempts it takes before the average lead will turn into a customer? 12!
This is why lead nurturing is extremely important!
So how do we nurture our leads and implement lead nurturing best practices? Here are some tips.
First put them on a twice a week call/email campaign where a salesperson/relationship builder will call the lead and leave a message if there is no answer. Immediately follow up with an email telling them you called. Be personable! Tell them where you met them and talk about current events or ask them about their family if you can. Do this for the first month. If you have no response, put them on a one year long term lead nurturing campaign where you email them at least once a month and call them on the phone once a quarter. Create engaging content that will speak to your audience.
What type of content should you offer them?
At any given time there are only about 3% of ppl who are extremely interested in your product or service and ready to buy. 7% are very open to buying and 30% are interested but just not now.
For the other section of the pie you have your 30% who are not interested and another 30% who wouldn’t take it even if it were free.
(Statistics courtesy of Allan Dibs The 1-Page Marketing Plan)
The point of sharing these statistics with you is to help you shape your messaging to speak to each of these audiences, especially the first 40%.
So set up a newsletter that captures the attention of the leads ready to buy and the ones that aren’t quite ready.
Perhaps an offer is suitable for the 10% who are super interested in your product or service. Give them a 2 for 1 deal or 10% off with a promo code etc. For the other 30% who are not yet ready to pull the trigger, give them valuable information that will show them you know your stuff and will build trust in your brand. When they are ready to buy, they will eventually choose you.
Reach out to your leads immediately. On your nurturing campaign, move the ones that respond and become customers to a new list of current customers. Send them engaging content on a separate campaign that focuses on up-selling and cross selling.
So tell us…. What does your company do with your leads? Tell us below.
After a few months of restaurants being prohibited to allow patrons to “dine in”, most have been offering delivery or curb side pick up. These restaurants are still open for business but it looks like 90% of them have closed even though they are open. Here’s the deal. People are out walking more than ever now. The weather is turning and we are out and about, many of us dying to eat restaurant food. Just because people can’t sit inside your restaurant to eat doesn’t mean they won’t buy from you. Here are some tips on what restaurants should be doing NOW to get more business during the pandemic.
Put your Menu outside on a LARGE SIGN
I have passed several restaurants who are open for business but they have no menu posted on their door or on a sign. If they had, I most likely would have bought take-out from them that day. Maybe I didn’t have a mask in my pocket to go in, or maybe I didn't have my phone on me to search for them online or call them. If you have a lot of foot traffic outside your restaurant you will gain more customers by having your menu front and center as people walk by. Get a good quality large A-Frame sign for your menu that sits on the sidewalk and is clearly visible to people walking by. Make sure to put a call to action on the sign such as a phone number to order or an app to download etc.
Balloons get people’s attention. Purchase a $20 helium tank and fill up balloons every day when you open. Put them near your doors and windows of your restaurants and where your menu is posted to attract people. Kids love balloons and they will pull their parents to see them. This will give you more exposure and you’ll gain more customers because of it.
If allowed, put tables outside 6 feet away
When people see a patio they understand that your business is probably open, they are inclined to take a rest and they will most likely feel obligated to buy something from you if they do. Outdoor tables attract customers especially during this time when most streets are ghost towns from a business perspective. In the town where I live, normally every door is open, displays of merchandise are moved to the sidewalks, music is playing and foot traffic is hugely increased to these businesses. Right now no one is doing that. So be the first on your street to put some tables on the sidewalk and stand out!
Keep your door wide open
Some people go walking and don’t always bring their phones. (I know that sounds crazy but it's true!) They may pass a restaurant that interests them but can’t call in. If your door is open the customer can get your attention at the doorway. Many businesses during this time have missed out on revenue just from myself because their doors were not open. I don’t always have a mask in my pocket when walking or running but sometimes something may catch my eye that I want to buy. I can’t open the door and go in without a mask but if the door was open and the staff was accessible, I would have made the purchase. So keep it open and increase your revenue!
Play outdoor music
People love music! Especially during these dark times when most streets don’t have a lot of action. Be the first on your street to offer music to the foot traffic outside your door. People are drawn to music and will flock around the area to enjoy a few songs. This will draw attention to your brand, your store front and your menu! So pump up the outdoor tunes and draw more customers to your restaurant.
Other great tips to drive more traffic to your restaurant:
Questions or suggestions? Post your comments below!
When a business has a receptionist answering the phone with the brand name there is a certain professionalism that would otherwise be lost with the owner of the company answering the phone. It seems like small potatoes when a business has the owner picking up every call. Professionalism is a big deal especially when you have competition that will take your potential new client in an instant. We all make judgments about companies and base our decisions on who to buy from on small things like this. You don’t want to lose out to your competitors because you didn’t have a professional virtual receptionist answer your calls. Insta- answer is an excellent affordable option for any small to medium business who needs this service.
You can have a virtual receptionist for as little as $80 for 150 minutes. No need to pay for training your staff to handle your calls. You can save on salaries and benefits. These receptionists come with knowledge in your industry and they are experts in handling all types of customer inquiries. Save money and gain credibility.
It saves you time
I’ve seen many entrepreneurs taking calls 24/7 and many times juggling two or more calls at the same time. This takes away from you running your business effectively. Have a virtual receptionist weed out the important calls you have to be on, and start getting back to running your business and being efficient with your time.
They’re working when you’re not
Sometimes we need to “check out” whether it’s just for a moment to go to the doctor, take our kids to their baseball games or to go on that vacation you haven’t been on for years. An answering service works around the clock even when you’re not. They will take messages and only send you the really important ones. They have expertise in your industry to answer any questions your potential or current customers may have. Don’t pick up the phone when you are in the middle of a meal with your family any more. Let a virtual answering service do the work while you balance your life.
Questions or suggestions? Comment below!
We all have this misconception that our sales people need to go through their leads the order in which they receive them. For example, If you have 200 leads in the queue the new ones go to the bottom. Lets try something different. Reverse the order. As the new ones come in, get to them right away! Your success will multiply for closing the leads and conversion rates will sore, especially if you are in an industry where there is a lot of competition. For example, real estate agents, lawyers, inspectors, landscapers, cleaning services, car lots, call centers etc. are all highly competitive industries to name a few. If you don’t respond to a form fill or a call within minutes, you will lose that opportunity as the consumer will go down the list of your competitors until they get a response.
The average speed to a lead is approximately 48 hours depending on the source of statistics and this seems ok years ago when online shopping was barely a “thing”. But according to a Velocify survey you are 391% more likely to close a lead if you respond within a minute of a web form submission. Yes! 391%! By waiting another minute you drop the likelihood of closing that lead by 120%! We are impulsive buyers in the age of ecommerce and when we want something, we want it now, or another shiny red ball will distract us. So as sales people, if we jump on the lead asap (within minutes) we will have a much higher chance of closing that sale than we will if we wait around.
Questions or suggestions? Leave your comments below.
Before life gets back to normal and we forget all this even happened (is that possible?), we need to make sure our businesses are prepared to take off and start rolling in the revenue again. What are the most important things we should be doing now to make sure we can hit the ground running when we are ready to start up again? Here are 5 things your business should be doing right now:
This new life of social isolation has been difficult. Some of us haven’t seen extended family for more than 10 weeks. We don’t realize how hard it is to be away from family. Our parents and grandparents are important to us and it's good to check in with them. Even if they live far away, you should call them often. This is a fantastic time to get to know them better.
I recently lost 2 of my grandparents and this made me realize how much I wanted to learn about their lives but never got the chance to ask them. We always think we have so much time to learn about our heritage, family traditions and stories about our grandparents growing up, but often we don’t think of asking those questions until it's too late. Once they are gone that information is lost forever unless we find some way to document it. I currently have one grandparent left and I am committed to having my children get to know her despite us living in separate countries. I found this amazing opportunity to have all of the process handed to us to interview grandparents and ask all the right questions to capture a picture of their lives, traditions, heritage and to learn where we came from.
How well do you know your grandparents?
Check out this awesome kit that gives you everything you or your kids need to get to know their grandparents. https://www.modernheirloombooks.com/free-kid-kit-offer
Desirae Haluk is passionate about marketing for startups and small businesses. For the last 15 years she has held marketing executive positions for organizations both large and small. She realizes that her true passion is helping establish, grow and evolve startups and small businesses to make them successful and help achieve their goals.