Email Marketing for Local Businesses

Email marketing is such a simple and easy way for all businesses to promote their products or services. After seeing Mary Bowling.s article on .Why Local Businesses Need Email Marketing,. I would like to summarize her points for our audience here.

High ROI
You would send your email promotions out to people who are interested or more inclined to purchase your products or services. This is a targeted group, not everyone so the return is going to be much higher.

Emailing your customers cost virtually nothing! All you need is an email account and there are many free email providers out there if you don.t have one with your company already. If you would like to get fancy and use pre-made templates or customize your emails, you can opt for a simple email provider. more

Creative Marketing Works

With the situation of the economy, companies need to work harder and harder to come up with marketing ideas and promotions that work. People are less reluctant to buy nowadays, so how can we as marketers entice consumer to pull out their wallets once again? The answer here is being creative. Here are just a few examples of how companies are rethinking their marketing strategies and creating marketing promotions that are worthwhile for the customer and for the company.

This past Tuesday, Denny.s had a HUGE marketing promotion inviting everyone in America to come eat a FREE grand slam breakfast meal at their restaurants. Denny.s whole marketing message was that during these hard times, you could still get a filling breakfast at an affordable price. The more I think about it, the more I realize that Denny.s marketing plan was brilliant. Denny.s doesn.t have many advertisements (at least I haven.t seen that many), and for them to show up with an ad at the Super Bowl with this type of promotion is a big deal. Offering something FREE, now that.s smart because people love FREE. People will get in line for an hour or two in the freezing cold to get FREE breakfast when they could have probably cooked their own breakfast in the comfort of their warm home. The Super Bowl ad may have cost Denny.s around $3 million and giving out FREE meals to about 2 million people surely has some up front cost. But with people ordering drinks with their meals and the cost of breakfast food be fairly low, they should probably break even because the margin on drinks is usually very high. The amount of publicity received from this promotion is worth way more than the cost of the ad and breakfasts. Way to go Denny.s. more

Marketing Promotions for Special Events or Occasions

Each calendar year has tons of holidays, special events, or occasions that your business can and should use to promote your business. Aside from the well-known holidays like the fourth of July, Thanksgiving, Labor Day, or Christmas, there are plenty of smaller holidays that might not be known to your customers. Using these smaller holidays or events can make others aware of the occasion and also gives you an excuse as a business to have a sale or some type of special promotion or event to celebrate the date. Not only can you have a special promotion for the event, you can also use it as a chance to engage your customers with games or gifts all while promoting your company. more

Benefits of Internal Search Marketing

I really like using internal search on websites when I.m looking for information and even when I.m shopping. If you know what you are looking for, using a website.s search box is the way to go. You don.t have to waste your time clicking all over the site to discover that you can.t find what you went there to look for. How to execute a good internal search is a completely different subject from the benefits of it. Today I will just touch on the benefits.

Reviewing internal search on e-commerce websites provides great insight into what your customers are really looking for. It also helps you better understand the terminology that your customers may use, which can be different from what you think they use. Based off of this data, you can promote the most searched for products more prominently on your website. Maybe customers are looking for something they think you sell, but you currently don.t. This would be a good opportunity to introduce those products on your site. You can also use this data to change the language on your website. For example, if you are a supplier of coca-cola or pepsi products, you might label these products as .soda. or .pop.. However, if the majority of people on your site end up searching for the opposite of what you call it, then it is probably a good idea to change your language. more

Building a Good Landing Page

Setting up a landing page properly is absolutely crucial to maximizing conversions. When I shop for something online, I like to do a lot of research, I like to shop around for the best deal, and I want to purchase from a company that looks like they know what they are doing.

I was prompted to write about landing pages after I saw this article on PPC Landing Pages: Surprising Examples at Search Engine Watch. It is absolutely amazing to see that some large, credible retailers still do not understand the important elements that belong on a landing page. While the article focuses mainly on pay-per-click ads and their landing pages, I think that these simple tips are relevant to landing pages for email promos, SEO, or any other type of landing pages. Think of it as a best practice guide. more

Promoting Your Business Offline

Visibility in the online space is important, but it is just as important to promote yourself offline. Chris Crum from Small Business Newz wrote a great article on places you could advertise your business offline.

Throw in a few stickers in the package or bag your customers receive. People love free things. Plus stickers are an effective way to promote your business to those who normally don.t surf the web. You may be able to reach a new group of people with your logo and website imprinted on a sticker.

Handing out flyers does not seem to be as effective as posting them somewhere. Post up your flyer in places where people often have to wait or spend a short amount of time such as bus stops, subways, telephone poles, etc. more

Paid and Organic Search Complement Each Other

Speak to any online advertising expert or agency and chances are they will tell you how much more beneficial it is to use both organic and paid search together. There are obvious advantages to both paid and organic search, but leveraging your campaigns off the other, you can build a powerful search campaign.

Using paid search, you have more control over your listing including placement, ad copy, and landing pages. With these options, you can run a lot of tests to determine what works best for you. Paid search also allows you to gain search visibility immediately whereas organic visibility can take months to appear. Some of the disadvantages of paid search include cost. Every time your ad is clicked on, you are required to play regardless if you sold something or gained a lead from them. Paid search can easily become very costly if not managed carefully and on a consistent basis. more

Contour Mania Contest Winner

About 2 months ago, we had a contest for customers and others who were interested in helping us create a new design that would go on our Contour Pen. National Pen specializes in full color designs ready-to-use on pens, mugs, magnets, key chains, and more. With a variety of industries and themes to choose from, we wanted our customers to help us develop one for universal use. The one we chose as the winner fits well for our business. Congratulations to Mark Brace and his winning design.

As a special gift to our participants, we also announced a few runner-ups where we really enjoyed the look and concept.

We really enjoyed reviewing everyone.s submission and thank you for your time and effort. more

Easily Monitor Your Reputation Online

It.s important to know what people are saying about your company, but searching for your brand name online can take hours and if you want to check up periodically, faced with search results already seen.

So how can you find out what people say about you online? Create a Google Alert and have new mentions of your company sent directly to your email. It.s easy to do, just visit their Alerts website, then type your company name in quotes in the search box. Select what kind of results you want and how often you.d like to receive them, and enter your email. Hit .Create Alert. and done!

Every time a new site uses your search term, you.ll get notified via email. Of course, if you have a very generic name and pull up too many search results, you may want to try including your city name or your industry in the search as well. more