Posts tagged: small business

Jan 10 2013

Free Ideas to help you Get More Business in 2013

The New Year is always an important time in the marketing of your business.

It’s a great opportunity to take stock of the year that’s just passed and think about your goals and objectives for the year to come. In many B2B and consumer sectors the New Year can also see an increase in activity, sales and opportunities that you need to be quick to exploit.

For the best results from your marketing, you need to go direct. At Selectabase we are experts in helping small businesses use targeted direct marketing to get more enquiries and increase sales.

For example, here are 10 ways in which you can improve your marketing campaigns and use direct marketing to help you gain more business in 2013…

1. Know your best customers

Take a look at your existing customer database to identify who your best customers are. See if your customer base adheres to the general principle of 20% of your customers generating 80% of your sales or profits. Find out why your top 20% buy and what they have in common then use this intelligence to profile your ideal type of customer. This will help you identify which potential new customers to target.

2. Communicate with contacts

Speak to your existing customers, leads and contacts more often this year. Write and send a regular monthly mailing, newsletter or email update with news about how well your business is doing, ideas for using your products and your latest special offers. Let everyone know you are still there and ready to help. Before you embark on this, make sure your customer database is up to date using our list cleaning services.

3. Communicate more than once

Sometimes it can take several different attempts to convert a customer. Your initial promotional messages may have come at the wrong time, or it may simply take some prospects longer to decide to buy from you, especially if you are selling a higher value or complex product or service. But don’t overdo it – no one likes to get constantly bombarded with marketing messages.

4. Communicate in different ways

There are so many different ways to communicate with your target market, and you sometimes need to use as many as possible to get a result. A prospect may not be reassured enough to buy from the first mailing they receive until they’ve read an article about you in their trade press, visited your website, requested a brochure, and then received a follow up email from you.

5. Follow up again and again

Make sure you follow up on everything and everyone! When someone leaves your ecommerce shopping basket, follow them up. When they request a brochure or sample, follow them up. If they visit your exhibition stand or sign up for your email newsletter, follow them up. To help, make sure you have an efficient marketing system in place internally to identify leads and track all their follow ups.

6. Get more targeted

Try and avoid a blanket approach to your marketing. Instead of wasting resources promoting to the masses, target your marketing to those types of prospect which have the best chance of converting. It’s about working smarter not harder, like subscribing to New B2B – leads of new business starting up in your area, so you can contact them just when they need to buy a range of goods and services, and before your competitors get their foot in the door

7. Try new markets

Investigate potential new markets for your existing products or services. These new opportunities could include selling direct to end users instead of via resellers, launching budget or premium variations of your standard offer, or repacking your service for different markets such as export. Test new ideas first on a smaller sample before committing to wider scale campaigns – you can source and download lists with no minimum order at Prospect Download

8. Innovate new ideas

New products and services can help open up new markets, and get more repeat business from existing or lapsed customers. If you are in a fast-paced or technology based industry you need a constant pipeline of new products and ideas in development to keep growing your business. Invite new ideas from your team, customers and even suppliers then test them to see which have potential. For example, send a trial mailing to a sample list to see what response you get before rolling out a new product to the rest of the market.

9. Measure everything

Make sure you measure the effectiveness of all your marketing activities this year. For example, you can measure responses then compare the cost of acquiring a new customer, gaining a new enquiry or reaching a wider audience through different marketing channels. Make sure the source of new enquiries is always properly identified and recorded.

10. Reduce wastage

Look within your marketing campaigns and budgets to try and identify wastage, so that you can concentrate on the activities which generate the most results. Don’t assume that just because a form of marketing has always worked in the past it will continue to do so forever, and constantly question where your resources will be best spent.

Selectabase, ready to help

If you need more help with your marketing plans, we also offer a range of free tools and guides; learn how to write a direct mail letter, better identify your target postcode areas and read useful sales and marketing advice guides.

Nov 16 2012

Pitfalls of business marketing – 8 ways of turning off your customer

Marketing is a vital part of growing your business but it is not always cheap so ensuring you don’t fall down the many pits that litter your path to success is vital.
We’ve come up with eight marketing mistakes that you want to avoid if you don’t want to become another casualty of the global recession.
1.    Stop talking about your marketing strategy – just get on with it! All the while you delay no one is finding out about your great product or service. Pick your budget, try out the best method of marketing available to you and test. Then test again to see what gives you the most productive sales leads and represents value for money.

2.    Don’t plough on with your marketing plan without knowing what section of the market you want to target. Experts agree there are some companies who become so blinded by their fabulous product they don’t pay enough attention targeting the very people who might want it.

3.    Don’t blind your audience with jargon or buzzwords. Just say what your product is simply. It’s those strategies that are often the most effective. Think of Ronseal’s slogan: “Does exactly what it says on the tin.”

4.    Don’t think your business is too small to feature a blog on its website. If you give good, free advice about your trade that people can really use to help their businesses you can generate custom this way through your impressive knowledge. Blogging gives you an opportunity to have a direct relationship with your customers. Check out what other companies are doing on their blogs and how they are interacting with their customers. Your target audience could come up with some cracking ideas in how to make your business better.

5.    If you are selling a product or service don’t start marketing strongly until you fix all the problems. Some companies mistakenly believe that strong marketing will smooth out all the flaws in their product or service. If your marketing message states that your service always delivers on time and never does because the processes that bring your service to the customer are failing, you have shot yourself in the foot.

6.    Don’t fudge the issue over a “qualified sales lead”. Make sure you know exactly what this is to ensure you and your staff know and follow the right sales process. Pick out the methods of marketing that are getting those sales leads and drive them forward.

7.    Don’t get seduced by expensive, attractive marketing. It may be a beautiful glossy brochure that you have produced, but how many sales leads did it give you? Have you even put a system in place that measures this?

8.    Don’t send too many marketing emails. You are sure to have the recipient stabbing the delete button without fail the moment they see your firm’s name in their inbox if you have bombarded them with marketing emails. If that’s the case it doesn’t matter how good the content is, you’ve lost your customer already.

Jun 09 2011

Direct Mail Advice for Beginners

New to direct marketing? Never sent a mailing before? Read some top tips from our team of direct marketing experts.

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Mar 17 2011

Small Business Sector Receives Renewed Interest

Whilst the small business sector has been the often overlooked Cinderella of the UK economy, government and PLC’s are starting to realize the attractions of the sector, not least due to the it’s potential value in wealth and job creation.

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Nov 01 2010

Correcting some Myths about Direct Marketing

Direct marketing is one of the most responsive and cost effective marketing tools there is.  But despite this there are still various misconceptions about how easy to use and successful direct marketing can be.

We address some of these criticisms, and give you the facts about using direct marketing….

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Jun 02 2010

Why You Should Target Start Up Businesss

New start ups can present a valuable market for suppliers of an extremely wide range of goods and services. There are a number of significant reasons why you should target start up businesses…
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