(This is the second part of a two-part article, which I originally published in my ezine, Communiqué for Success. Although a few years have passed since, it is still as relevant today as it was then. If you missed part one, you can access it here.)
6. Email Marketing
Despite the increasing problem with spam, email marketing still works. In fact, 2010 will still see to it that no other marketing vehicle will be as powerful, efficient and inexpensive as a regular eZine (email newsletter).
When done well, an eZine keeps your name in front of your customers and prospective clients, is a great showcase of your expertise and works to build relationships and trust with them.
Some eZines are nothing more than blatant advertising, so try to include as much valuable information as you can. It might be as simple as a local massage therapist regularly sending out a one-page update of case studies or offers, or news on the complementary health industry. Make it a New Year’s resolution to start or improve your e-newsletter in 2010.
Further reading: “E-Newsletters: Where to Start” — http://bit.ly/3Q8ZGL
“Newsletters that Build Customer Relations AND Fill Your Inbox with Orders” — http://bit.ly/6NYZGT
Aweber eZine Management — http://www.aweber.com/?212431
7. Web-Blog Synergy
Growth in e-commerce is leaping ahead of other sectors. According to figures from the IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index, online sales in July 2009 alone grew by 15.7% compared with the month before, and by 16.8% compared with a year ago.
This growth shows no signs of slowing down. So it’s vital that ALL businesses have an online presence in order to get or remain competitive in today’s fierce marketplace. Even a relatively simple website will do to begin with. Just something to get you online and that allows your potential customers, business partners, investors and employees to find out more about you quickly and easily.
The best websites integrate their website and their blog, the latter designed to keep the web presence ‘fresh’ and to update people on news, thoughts and ideas.
Further reading: “Is A Business Blog Worth It? — http://bit.ly/biz-blog
“Using Online Marketing to Your Advantage” — http://tinyurl.com/ywyucg
“Website Copywriting Secrets that Convert Web Readers into Buyers” — http://bit.ly/5UDTPR
8. Stress Benefits, Not Features
With all the companies and marketing messages out there claiming to have the best of X, Y and Z, you have to go that little bit further than most if you are to help people understand why they should buy YOUR product or service.
That means not turning features into benefits. By doing so you will position your business away from simply offering a commodity that everyone is presenting to delivering something special.
Further reading: “Are Your Benefits Featureless?’ — http://bit.ly/5jp5oj
9. Marketing is NOT Negotiable
We all know that well-managed companies are the survivors in any climate. They know how to pull through any recession or economic dip, and often come out stronger than the rest.
One of the most valuable lessons to be learned in lean times is that we need to be marketing more thoroughly and more smartly than ever before. After all, people will always need advice and services and products — regardless of what the economy might be doing.
As the study “Turning Adversity into Advantage: Does Proactive Marketing During a Recession Pay Off?”, shows organisations that a) value marketing, b) feature a corporate culture that rewards risk-taking, and c) are willing to up the ante on marketing efforts are those who come out on top.
“The firms that had all three characteristics did very well in a recession. But firms that are missing any one of them, they’re in trouble,” says Dr Gary Lilien, one of the report’s authors.
Marketing is something that ALL businesses absolutely must invest in if they wish to remain in business now … and in the future.
Further reading: “Turning Adversity into Advantage: Does Proactive Marketing During a Recession Pay Off?” — http://bit.ly/8REmTN
10. The Unexpected
Under promise and over deliver, that’s become my business motto. And it works. Good hotels leave guests chocolates on their pillow. Exceptional hotels will leave an eye mask or something equally useful and unexpected. These more thoughtful and imaginative hotels will gain by attracting customers that are fiercely loyal because they know the hotel has their desires and best interests at heart.
Over-delivering is quite simply the number one way to stand head and shoulders above your competition, and grow your business, to boot.
As well as providing excellent products and support to my clients and customers, I try to always go the extra mile. For instance, a regular client recently contacted me at 5pm on a Friday to see if I could fit in a small copywriting project over the weekend. It didn’t take me long at all, and the client was more than grateful. Yes, I do work typical business hours and I could have charged overtime and rush fees, but nurturing a strong client relationship — and repeat business — is worth a lot more to me.
I hope that some of my marketing insights will become your marketing practices for 2010 and beyond. Why not implement one or two today? You might find they transform your business for the better.
By Tracey Dooley, Creative Consultant | PR Doctor | Marketing & Alliance Strategist
Psssst . . . Not sure where to start? As well as offering worksheets and home-study tools, I can give you profit-multiplying advice and pointers on things you can do straight away to attract new business with my Powerfully Effective Marketing sessions.
(Why struggle needlessly when you can get expert affordable mentoring and have fun attracting clients easily?)
(C) 2009-10 T Dooley, All Rights Reserved
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Tracey Dooley of MediaMinister (www.mediaminister.co.uk) is an experienced copywriter, editor and marketer. She has spent 18 years crafting compelling concepts and copy that successfully sell, inform, educate or entertains. =====> www.mediaminister.co.uk.
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