The Easiest Small Business Direct Marketing Tip You’ll Ever Get

This really and truly is the easiest (and most profitable) small business direct marketing tip you’ll ever get.
And when I say easy… I really mean EASY.

It’s a no-brainer.

Once I tell you what it is you’re probably going to say, “Oh that? I already knew that.”

But if you own a small business and are doing this I can tell you right now you’re an exception. “If this is such an easy and profitable small business direct marketing tip why isn’t everyone using it?”

That’s a good question. I don’t know. Maybe most small business owners think it’s too much of a hassle?

Not so.

It doesn’t take much time. Costs little. You could even pay a high school geek to do the computer stuff for you if you don’t feel like messing with it.

The financial rewards can be huge… if you do it right. But this seems to be a small business direct marketing tip most people are happy to ignore.

So what’s the big tip?

Simple.

Every time you do business with a new customer ask them if they’d like to sign up for your free “e-mail alert.” Tell them you periodically offer specials and discounts for customers and ask them if they’d like to be included on your list so they can know when you have them. Many customers will gladly sign up.

Then… use your list.

Offer your customers something…

… specific…

… limited…

… and of value to them as well as yourself.

Let’s pretend… just for discussion’s sake… you’re the owner of Little Town Diner in Smallville.

You’d place a little E-mail address sign-up book right next to the cash register. Include spaces on each page for customers to write-in both their name and a Email address. Have the cashier invite customers to sign it.

Build up your list of names. It’s valuable.

Suppose every Wednesday is a slow day at the diner. On Wednesday mornings you start sending out an Email like this one to your list.

**********

Hi (Customer’s Name),

Pat here… from the Little Town Diner. How’d you like for me to do the cooking tonight? I just got a HUGE shipment of chicken breasts in today and I’ve got to move these babies out!

So I’m running a SPECIAL today…

Pat’s 2 for 1 Special (today only- – eat in or take out)

2 juicy, tender barbecued chicken breasts… 2 baked potatoes or French fries on the side… 2 servings of string beans or cole slaw…AND…2 slices from any of our delicious pies-of-the-day (your choice).

Don’t want to eat out? No problem.

We can have your dinner packaged and ready for you to pick up at your convenience if you place your order before 3pm. Let us know about what time you’ll be in for your pick-up.

**********

Or… here’s another way you could apply this small business direct marketing tip…

**********

Hi (Customer’s Name),

Pat here. I want to say, “thank you” for making Little Town Diner a part of your dining experience. Serving folks like you is what makes our business so enjoyable.

To formally say, “thanks” I’d like to offer you a special discount this week. If you visit us between now and Sunday tell your waitress you want the “Thank You Discount.” You and your family can order anything on our menu and get 20% off.

Now remember – – you have to ask for the discount to get it. This offer is just our way of saying, “thanks” for choosing us to serve you.

Thanks Again,

Pat

**********

There’s no limit to how you can use this.

If you’re a tree trimmer you could use this small business marketing tip too.

Let’s pretend you drop off some of the wood from your tree cutting business to someone who makes mulch. This person tells you one day, “I’ve got a LOT of excess mulch here I’d like to get rid of for cheap. Do you know anyone who might want some?”

So you e-mail your list…

**********

“Hi (Customer’s Name),

Fred here… from Smallville Tree Trimming Service.

I’ve got a friend who has a lot of mulch. They practically want to give it away. You can have as much as you want for $xxx per yard. Every yard of mulch covers xxx square feet.

If you’d like some call 800-555-5555 and place your order. It’ll probably go quickly at this price so call and reserve yours now.

I’ll even drop it off at your home to save you the hassle of having to pick it up.

Sincerely,

Fred

**********

You then split the profits with your friend who is in the wood mulch business. The people on your list know you. They trust you. You’ve done work for them before. They’re more likely to buy from you than from anyone else.

Many on your list aren’t going to be interested in mulch. Some of them will… and they’ll be glad you contacted them with a great deal to help them out.

This small business direct marketing tip applies to ALL types of small businesses.

Get your message out. The people most likely to buy from you are waiting to hear from you. You can contact them for next to nothing. Anytime you want.

Online Business Degrees Offer a Wide Array of Options For Working Professionals

A business degree can lead to more career opportunities than you may realize. More working professionals are turning to online business degrees to enhance their current job skills, help them move into management, change career fields, or even start their own businesses.

Online business degrees are available in a broad variety of types and subject matter. The type of degree you pursue depends largely on your career goals and personal interests. Certificate programs can allow you to gain more expertise in a specific field in a short amount of time, enabling you to perform additional job duties and prepare for a specialized career path. Associate’s degrees are useful for obtaining a broad knowledge base and preparing for entry-level positions in a wide variety of fields. Bachelor’s degrees can provide you with more specialized knowledge, and Master’s degrees can help you advance your career and move into management.

Whichever type of program you choose, you can find online business degrees that deal with a wide array of specialties. General degrees can provide you with a broad exposure to all the elements that allow a business to function smoothly. For more specialized programs, you can choose degrees in accounting, human resources, marketing, operations management, leadership, or any number of areas. Whichever area you choose, most online business degrees will provide you with leadership skills and the ability to solve problems and provide innovative solutions.

Certificate programs are short, specialized programs that can help you advance your career. They generally focus on very specific areas of business, such as e-commerce or project management. Choosing an online certificate program can allow you to quickly increase your value to your organization while working around your existing work and family obligations. If you are looking to gain more knowledge in a specific area pertaining to your current career, online business degrees in specialized certificate programs are an excellent choice.

Associate’s degrees are great for those who want to expand their knowledge and gain a solid business foundation but are unable to commit to a full Bachelor’s degree program, or are uncertain about which program to pursue. Associate’s degrees can help you expand your career options and lay the groundwork for further education if you wish to pursue a more specialized degree in the future. Common online business degrees available as Associate’s degrees are accounting, marketing, and general business administration. Degrees in accounting allow you to obtain a job as a bookkeeper, accounts payable or receivable clerk, or other entry-level accounting position. Associate’s degrees in marketing provide a foundation for analyzing, planning, and implementing marketing campaigns targeted to a specific audience. Associate’s degrees in business management can provide you with valuable skills to help you achieve your organization’s goals, make managerial decisions, and motivate employees.

Bachelor’s degrees are generally the minimum requirement for entry-level business career. Employees with Associate’s degrees or with no higher education can easily pursue online business degrees while keeping their current job. In many cases, your employer will pay for online business degrees if they are directly related to your job duties and will add value to the organization. Bachelor’s degrees in business can range from specialties such as human resources, operations management, and retail management.

A Master’s degree is generally not required for career advancement, but could help you in a field where a broad knowledge base is required. The most popular type of Master’s degree in business is the MBA: Master’s of Business Administration. However, many programs offer online business degrees such as Master’s in Human Resource Management, Master’s in Professional Accounting, or Master’s in Project Management.

Business Direct Marketing – Top 10 Must Do’s For a Successful Program

Let’s face it. Companies spend a big portion of their budgets on print and online advertising. And, we all know that we still get a bunch of “junk” mail. Why? Because it works. While inventing new ways to market your business can sometimes pay off, let’s make sure we do not drop the ball and overlook the ground rules for direct marketing.

Small business owners can effectively use direct marketing to grow their business and build relationships with their current and prospective clients. But, a poorly executed direct marketing program will hurt you where it counts! Here are a few tips to give you a great shot at putting together a successful direct marketing campaign.

1. Have a clear vision of what you want to achieve. Create a marketing plan. Set goals for your direct marketing effort and put it in writing. Share it with key employees and have clear-cut objectives that reflect your marketing research and intuition.

2. Get “personal” with your target audience. Sending a marketing letter to “The Manager” is the best way to get your message ignored and thrown directly into the garbage or virtual trash. Get personal by using and creating marketing databases that have detailed information on the businesses you are trying to reach. Do not be afraid to use this information in your message. This conveys to the recipient that you have done your homework and have a value offering that relates to their business.

3. Test before rolling out your promotion. You have done your research, crafted the look and content of your sales message, and prepared your database. That is a lot of work done to get to that point but do not waste your time and efforts by sending your message out to your list without testing it first. Take a smaller nth name test from your database to see the response to your message. Get a feel for turnaround times, inquiries and general receptiveness to your offer. If you like the reaction, roll it out. If not, change something and test again until you get an acceptable response.

4. Include a “call to action” in your message. Putting your address or phone number is not enough. Stay away from creating open-ended offerings. Reinforce your compelling sales message by telling the recipient of your marketing letter exactly what to do and when.

5. Consider a multiple step direct marketing strategy. With the investment of time and money, it is easy to understand why small business marketers want to make the sale on the first pass of a marketing effort. The ability to do that will depend on your product or service offerings. But, two-step direct marketing has some valuable upsides. It allows you to collect a larger pool of potential customers and build a relationship with this market. In many instances, it provides an opportunity to increase the unit sale and introduce additional products and services.

6. Be a Copycat. Do not resist what is working in your market. Understand what your competitors are doing to get business. Pay special attention to what the market leaders are doing and what promotions are repeated. Other companies have done their market research and testing and, sometimes, you can benefit from their investment by implementing a similar strategy.

7. Follow up with a vengeance. Do not let your direct marketing effort fizzle on the back end. Just like in sales, the weakest link is usually in the follow-up.

8. Perceptions are important. We all want to work with quality people. We all want to deal with quality companies. Make sure your message does not make claims you cannot back up or seems deceptive in any way.

9. Niche out your products and services. Packaging a product or service for a particular group can sell more of your business offerings than if you tried to sell to a general market. If you are a specialized business already, look for sub-markets to sell to. It is more work for sure but, you may find a gold mine. Following tip #2, people respond positively to messages that they can relate to.

10. Make sure you analyze your results. You can easily tell if a direct marketing effort was successful in generating sales. But, be sure you note the qualities of both the positive and negative responses because you can miss valuable sales and marketing information if you do not. Things such as response times, geographical disbursement, respondent job titles, inquiries that turn into sales, and actual client feedback, can help you roll out a more effective direct marketing campaign next time around.

Okay, here is one more bonus tip for you. Make your sales message compelling. Be creative and use your instincts. Remember, every sentence you put on your marketing piece should have a purpose. Leave out extraneous information and be clear with your sales message. Now, go ahead and use these tips, along with your business savvy, to form a successful direct marketing program.