Yearly Archives: 2013


‘Free’ Isn’t the Only Word That Gets Results: Learn 6 Others

As tacky as it sounds to use the word “free” in your marketing materials, research continues to show it’s one of the most effective ways to grab the attention of prospective customers, reel them in and pump up sales.

But “free” isn’t the only word capable of creating that kind of marketing magic. Six other top performers are included below:

It would be rude to say most people are lazy, but, well, when it comes to responding to marketing offers, most people are pretty lazy. So describing your product, service or process as “easy” is an easy way to quickly win converts and new customers.

The Secrets to Creating a Viral YouTube Video

Creating a YouTube video has always been a great way to market a business, service or product. But you want something more. You want thousands of strangers to stare slack-jawed at your video, be completely drawn into it, then break out in laughter (or tears) before encouraging their friends and family to watch it – generating all kinds of free publicity, new business and customers. Right? Come on, admit it.

Just about every small- and mid-sized business has fantasized about creating a “viral” video.

The truth is, it takes a tremendous amount of extra effort to make a video go viral. It’s doable. But to make it happen, you’re going to have to work very hard and be very persistent. Step-by-step directions are included below.

Establish a social media network well ahead of time

To promote your video, you’re going to need a large and robust social media network (hundreds of Facebook fans, Twitter followers and more). That’s something that typically takes months to generate, so get started right away (see this post for tips).

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Create something people will want to share

5 New Facebook Features You Can Use to Better Promote Your Business

While Facebook is known for rolling out new features and functionality on almost a weekly basis, these recent additions have fans of the service posting digital high-fives.

Promotable posts

Did you know that only a small percentage of the people who “Like” your Facebook page automatically receive your posts? The truth is, each time you post something, only a random sampling of your fans receive it.

Now, the new Promote button is set to change all that … for a price.

After writing a Facebook post, you now have the option of clicking the button titled “Promote,” which will distribute your post to the Newsfeeds of ALL of your Likes – plus their friends, as well. The fee: $5 to $20 or more per post.

6 Secrets to Closing More Business Deals

No one likes to be badgered and bullied into moving forward with a business deal. But if prospective customers are left to their own devices, most will take the path of least resistance, which is usually to take no action at all.

If you want to be successful at sales, you need to be able to help people make up their minds and overcome their natural tendency to procrastinate.

Of course, every sales process should be focused on drawing out the unique needs of the prospective buyer, and establishing a personal relationship. But at some point, the paperwork needs to be signed and handshakes made. The deal needs to close in order to be considered a sale. That’s when you need to do something like …

The Very Best Deals and Discounts to Offer at the Holidays

According to recent predictions from two different companies that study consumer trends, the 2013 holiday shopping season is either going to be one of the worst in recent history for retailers, or just mildly slow. But play your cards right, and your business will be one of the ones that comes out on top when all is said and done.

The best way to combat lethargic consumer spending is with creative discounts and exciting special offers. Big discounts can cost big money – and often only produce short-term wins. But if you’re creative and strategic with your specials, the benefits will not only be rewarding but long-lasting. Included below are some of our very best ideas.

Offer a discount in return for more marketing access/customer information – This kind of offer not only helps to move product now, it fills your marketing database with valuable customer contact information for later. Ideas include:

“Update your customer profile in the next five days, and we’ll give you an extra $5 in bonus rewards.”

“Get free return shipping when you register as a VIP customer.”

“Sign up for our email newsletter and save 10% on your next purchase.”

“Like us on Facebook and we’ll ship your next order for free.”


Cover Letter + Brochure = A Very Powerful Direct Marketing Kit

A marketing brochure is your best bet when you want to highlight the features and benefits of your service or product, but a cover letter is more effective when it comes to convincing potential customers that your product/service is something they need.

Combine both of these marketing mediums in the same envelope, and you’ll have a direct mail marketing kit that not only educates your target market but also gently pushes them to take that next step.

Something for everyone

After opening a direct mail envelope, most recipients will grab for either the brochure or the cover letter. But this isn’t random. Some people prefer to dive into the details of a brochure first. Others want to know what’s in it for them before they spend more time perusing things, so they start with the cover letter. It’s personal. Include both in your marketing kit, and you’re sure to satisfy everyone’s preference.

Study Results: What Makes You Open and Read Direct Mail?

Every year since 2005 the researchers at Market Reach have been asking thousands of consumers the same question: “What makes you open and read direct mail?” The results from the latest edition of this ongoing study are fascinating in their own right, but combine those with the learnings we’ve added, and you’ve got a virtual […]

Back to Basics: The 10 Commandments of Good Marketing

It’s easy to get lost in the details when you’re putting together a new marketing effort – which is why we recommend you stop what you’re doing and take a moment to review the ten commandments of good marketing included below:

Thou shall always use the right marketing medium
No single medium can be successful for all […]

Never Advertised Online Before? Here’s How to Place an Ad with Google

Buying an ad in the local newspaper has been standard practice for most small- and mid-sized businesses for decades. The problem with that marketing strategy today: Traditional newspaper readership has been in dramatic decline for years (in 2002, just 41 percent of Americans said they read the daily print newspaper; today, that number has dropped to 23 percent).

Meanwhile, the number of people getting their news (and just about everything else) from the Internet is on a rapid rise. Today, the average American spends 32 hours a month doing something online; and a whopping 76 percent of the public reads the news on the Web.

So if your customers and potential customers have all flocked to the Web, maybe it’s time you started advertising there, too. As they say, “it doesn’t take a genius” to figure these things out.

Most businesses that advertise online use Google AdWords. Those are the text-only ads that appear in the margins of your computer screen whenever you do a Google search for something. They also appear in the margins of millions of websites.

Unlike with newspaper advertising, there’s no cost to post a Google AdWords ad, however, each time someone clicks on it, the advertiser – that’s you – pays a pre-determined rate (usually between 35 and 45 cents per click).

Yes, it’s more convoluted and confusing than buying a newspaper ad. But the cost for giving it a try is very small (Google even offers free-trials from time to time). Here’s how to get started:

These Postcards Get the Best Customer Response

If you’re an Xpressdocs client, you know that marketing postcards are one of the most efficient and effective ways to promote your business. According to the latest Direct Marketing Association study, direct mail generates an average of $7 in sales for every $1 spent on the marketing medium.

But, of course, not every marketing postcard can be a hit. What separates the winners from the losers? Postcards with the following attributes almost always get the best customer response:

Attention-grabbing introduction – People are busy (just like you). So if you don’t grab their attention in the headline or first sentence, your chances of success will drop dramatically. Suggestions: state a question, present a compelling fact, or lead off with a special offer.

Clear benefits – Instead of simply stating a feature of your product/service (“experienced work crews”), tell the reader how that feature will personally benefit them (“experienced craftsmen who aren’t satisfied with the job until you’re satisfied with the job”).

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