Tips on Promoting a Guarantee!

GuaranteeA guarantee show confidence in your products and offer peace of mind to customers, but it may also give potential customers added incentive to purchase your product over another. A guarantee can be printed as a standalone certificate, added to a label, or included on all types of business signage, flyers, business stationery, receipts, marketing materials, website, email signatures, product packaging, yellow pages ad, and more.

Here are a few tips when promoting a guarantee:

  • Compare your guarantee to your competition. If your competitors don’t offer a guarantee, this is an extra reason to promote your guarantee heavily.
  • Create a unique tagline or slogan that focuses on your company’s strengths, such as: “Hassle-Free Returns” or “Receive your lunch order within 30 minutes or it’s free.”
  • Clearly explain your guarantee terms. For example: “We provide a hassle-free, money-back guarantee within 30 days of purchase.”
  • Test your guarantee with a small target audience. If you’re nervous about implementing it, test the results again.

We at Minuteman Press are prepared to help in any way we can to help you implement your ideas….

6 Ways to Ramp Up Your Referral Marketing

Local Business Marketing SuccessIt’s no secret that one of the best ways to grow a business is through strong referrals. Whether these referrals come to you through a system you have in place or because of the solid reputation your business has built over the years, each referral is a precious gift. You have one chance to turn this opportunity into a client who will in turn refer others to your business.

If you drop the ball in some way, not only will you lose this chance for new business, but you could also discourage others from referring business to you. Therefore, you must handle these warm leads with extreme care. Here are six key steps to consider as you guide a referral into becoming a real customer.

  1. Respond quickly. Nothing will stop a referral process faster than slow response and showing a lack of urgency in communication. Lead360 conducted a study of 25 million data points which showed that successful conversion rates are 391% higher when a lead is called back within a minute, 120% within two minutes, 98% within three minutes, 62% in under thirty minutes, and 36% in under an hour. Clearly calling back and following up with referrals quickly is the first and most important part of the process.
  2. Gather information and qualify. Once contact has been made, it’s time to gather any necessary information to make sure there’s a good fit between what the referral is looking for and what you can provide. Having relevant, open-ended questions to ask will help you find what you’re looking for while at the same time establishing your expertise in helping solve client problems. This is the time to develop insight into the scope of the opportunity and key factors.
  3. Be the expert. Once you’ve established that the referral is a good fit for your business, it’s time to do your homework. You must spend a little time to learn about the referral’s business. The more you learn about what your prospect is looking to solve, the better you can prepare a solution. This in turn will position you as the expert who took the time to present a customized solution when your competitors offered a generic, cookie-cutter bid.
  4. Make your offer stand out. The best way to make your offer stand out is by adding value. People like to buy, but they don’t like to be sold to. You can add value and help your offer stand apart by helping a referral evaluate your capability and see their problem clearer. Relevant, simple, and insightful information that helps your prospect will lead them to buy much more readily than if they feel they are being sold to.
  5. Create a powerful experience. Turning a referral into a client can be as simple as contacting them quickly with information they’re seeking. However, the real secret to make them truly want to do business with you on a consistent basis is to create a “wow” experience. Your “wow” experience doesn’t have to be complex. Building it can be as simple as:
     

    • Responding to inquiries within 30 minutes
    • Offering a small gift or thank you note for contacting you
    • Sending a small gift or thank you to the person who made the referral
    • Delivering a professionally prepared, customized solution with clear information
    • Following up after the sale to answer any questions
    • Being persistent without being a pest

     

  6. Use technology. As great as your memory may be, relying on the old pen-and-paper system is just asking for trouble. The way to truly systematize the referral process is by using a CRM system that can help you track your referrals. Determine if the software will help you give the prospects the experience you set in your action plan. But remember that technology can only go so far. Sure, it can help you manage the referrals, but converting those leads into customers takes the human touch that only you can provide.

Turning referrals into customers is not an act of magic or accomplished through luck. It’s done by developing an action plan and by implementing the plan. Keep track, stay organized, and monitor the process. Referral marketing can be a gift that keeps on giving, but only if it’s treated with the care and respect it deserves.

Content Marketing: An Age-Old Strategy that Still Works Today

content-marketingContent marketing has become one of the buzzwords in the business marketing world. Many claim this is a new way to market. That is not correct. Providing valuable content to lure prospects and visitors has been around for a while. The distribution channels for this content may have expanded recently, but the strategy has been around for many years.

One case in point involves a tiny electronics firm in Seattle. The company opened in 1954 as Magnolia Stationers and Camera Shop in the Magnolia Village shopping district of Seattle. The owner, Len Tweten, loved music, which eventually led him to move the business into the world of high-fidelity audio. This transition over time also prompted a business name change to Magnolia Hi-Fi.

High-quality products and commitment to service were just a part of the overall plan to grow the business. Being a small business with no real marketing plan or budget, Magnolia Hi-Fi decided the best way to differentiate itself was to educate prospects with valuable information about the Hi-Fi world. To do this, the company introduced stereo buyer’s guides (over 30 years ago), which provided educational content and answers to commonly asked questions on buying audio equipment.

The buyer’s guides set Magnolia Hi-Fi apart from the competition. They also positioned the company as leaders and experts in their field in the eyes of their audience.

Did this content marketing plan work?

The tiny store grew into a small chain, which was acquired by Best Buy in December of 2000… for $87 million! In 2004, the Magnolia brand was incorporated into Best Buy as a store-within-a-store, known as Magnolia Home Theatre.

Content marketing works. It works best when you use multiple channels to distribute and share your content (print and digital work in perfect tandem for this strategy). Creating valuable content your prospects are looking for takes some work and resources. But don’t overlook the rewards that can come from that work. It may not net you $87 million, but it can prove to be nearly as valuable.

You can read more of the details behind this remarkable story here.

Email versus Direct Mail Marketing: Which Works Better?

laptopAs more businesses and marketers have turned to email marketing, it is fair to wonder if direct mail marketing still works as effectively as it once did.

Email marketing is a good way to stay in touch with customers and prospects. Just like social media marketing, it has its place in the marketing mix. However, a downside to the massive increase in marketing emails is that only an estimated 19% are even being opened (according to the Direct Marketing Association).

Direct mail marketing still works, and it works very well. However, marketers cannot just create any type of campaign and expect it to be successful. Here are some tips and suggestions from the pros:

  • Keep specialized lists, and target each with the right message. That means no mass-mailing everyone the same message and offers. This requires a bit more preparation but will generate the best responses because you are offering the right message to the right audience.
  • Instead of mass quantity, think quality first. Fewer, better-targeted and better-crafted mailing pieces are more effective than regular, lesser-quality pieces.
  • Think lumpy mailings. People still enjoy receiving freebies, so include a logo pen, pencil, tiny Frisbee, mini-DVD, or mini-CD card with your contact info on it. Although these types of mailings can be more pricey, the retention and response rates can pay a handsome ROI on the investment.
  • Be creative. People still enjoy programs that offer discounts or a gift with repeat purchases. Set up a loyalty rewards program that ties a buyer’s repeat purchases with discounts and rewards. Then announce it with a direct mail campaign.

Head to the link below to learn more information from the Small Business Administration (SBA). Then start setting up your next direct mail print campaign today!

3 “Old School” Marketing Tactics that Still Matter

Increase Sales, Not Postage

Envelope StuffingIf you’re looking for an easy way to get more bang for your buck on regular mailings, try inserting statement stuffers. These printed promotions can be easily slipped into an existing mailing, such as a monthly invoice or statement, without adding additional postage fees or the hassle of a separate mailing.

Here are a few tips to consider when creating statement stuffers:

  • Highlight a different product or service every month to educate customers about unique products or services they may not know you offer.
  • Insert valuable coupons to increase sales and show customer appreciation.
  • Use statement stuffers to introduce new personnel or include an employee spotlight as a way for customers to get to know existing staff.
  • Provide information about a customer loyalty or customer referral program.
  • Use statement stuffers to announce upcoming sales, open houses, holiday events, or corporate anniversary celebrations.
  • Reinforce your brand image by coordinating your statement stuffers with your company colors, imagery, logo, and brand.
  • To easily track offers, design them as a coupon that must be turned in to redeem the discount.
  • If you enclose an exciting offer, consider applying a label to the outside of the envelope to increase excitement. Have it read something like this: “$20 coupon value inside!”

We’re here to help if you need creative money-making ideas to stuff in your statements!

Marketing With Email Signature

Image of a magnifying glass hovering over the words "Internet Marketing".

Lately, we here at the Ft. Myers MMP have been considering different ways to market to our online customers. One of the topics that came up was email signatures. After discussing the pros and the cons about using a customized email signature as a means for marketing, we decided that giving it a try would be worthwhile for various reasons.

Think about how many business emails you send each day. Now think about the email signature you’re currently using on your emails. While email signatures are commonly used as a way to identify the sender and provide important contact information, many people are missing out on the valuable opportunity to use their signature line as a marketing tool. Here are a few tips to help you create an effective email signature that your recipients will remember:

  • Create brand recognition by including your logo, tagline, mascot, or other graphic that is tied to your brand.
  • Choose images carefully and use them sparingly, so your signature doesn’t overpower your message.
  • Increase web traffic by enticing readers to visit your web link for a free sample, free white paper, or to subscribe to your newsletter.
  • If you include a web link, spell out the address rather than using hyperlinks. This will eliminate trust issues caused by opening an unknown link and will also make it easy for recipients to copy and paste the address into their browser.
  • Offer a teaser that entices the reader to ask for more information or to click a link to learn more.
  • Personalize your email signature with a photo to help readers put a face with your name.
  • Consider adding a brief quotation that represents your business or provides an insight into your personality.
  • Create a consistent brand image by standardizing email signatures throughout your company.
  • Change up your messaging frequently to keep it fresh and interesting for email recipients.

Applying even just a few of these tips could create a great difference for your online marketing. Not only will it be easier for your customers to access information they may want to look into, but it will give your emails a stronger presence—backed by your brand and helping relay your message.

The Secret to Selling to Someone Who’s Not (Yet) Ready to Buy

smiling_golfer_friendsThere was once a man named Charlie who sold insurance for a living. Charlie was a salt-of-the-earth kind of guy who enjoyed what he did. Charlie had a friend named Steve. Steve was in his late thirties and happily married, with a wife and two kids.

Charlie and Steve would play the occasional round of golf with some friends. Charlie would tell Steve about the importance of having life insurance for someone in his situation, but without being pushy.

Steve had his reasons for not buying at the time and would always put it off. Charlie, being the good, persistent salesman that he was, would bring up the topic regularly without being annoying.

One morning while Steve was at work, a colleague who was about the same age, with two kids and in seemingly good health, had a sudden, unexpected heart attack and was taken by ambulance to the hospital.

Guess who Steve called that very afternoon to get the paperwork started for the life insurance policy he had been putting off for years?

What’s the moral of our story as it pertains to your business? You can have the greatest product, the best service, and a great price, yet some of your prospects will still not buy. The reasons are many, and some are a mystery that you won’t be able to solve right away.

While you’re scratching your head trying to find those answers, your real job is to continually market your services by educating your target audience about what you can do to help them achieve their objectives. Why? Because one day soon, your prospect will be ready to buy, and she will remember the persistent, but pleasant person who has been looking out for her best interest all along.

Charlie knew that secret, and now you do, too!