Trade Shows As A Marketing Tool

I’ve tried almost all the ways to market a business offline and I just got totally exhausted trying to make each and every technique work. Nowadays however my business is doing better, and I only use a handful of marketing techniques to promote my business. But if you’re not really in a dire situation, but you’re looking to make big money soon, then your best bet will be at a trade show.

With a trade show, you can invite guests from all over to sample your newest products and services. I used to work for this major corporations and I worked in the IT department of the company. We played a critical role in making the trade show a success because everything was done via laptop.

I was told that the trade show the year before ours, the IT department did absolutely very little to help with the trade show. This infuriated some staff members, and wanted them all gone. This is how I got hired. But anyway, enough about me. You can definitely make some money with a trade show.

Just make sure you’re not doing it yourself. You will need a team of crew members to bring the campaign to life. There are all kinds of members that you will need if you want to make your business a success, if there is something that isn’t going according to plan, seek out the person responsible and ask them to fix the problem immediately.

With a show, just think of how much new customers and clients you can gain. It doesn’t matter what industry you’re in, you can do a trade show once a year. This is similar to the marketing technique of having a seminar every year. People come in from all over the world to hear money making advice, and the value that they get from these seminars are unbelievable.

You can make your trade show memorable in the same way also. Don’t only promote your products and services there. Make it a point to get food prepared for guests so that they don’t grow hungry and leave. This is something that is very important.

If you wish to do trade shows, simply follow the tips in this article. At the end of the show, hand out your business card to everyone who attended, and make sure your card is designed to generate a response. On the back of your card include testimonials from people who have used your services, and were delighted with doing business with you.

This is just one way to market your business. And depending on how large your company is, you can definitely put on a show that can be a success, so keep that in mind. Make sure all of your employees know what they need to be doing to make the venue a success. You may even want to equipped them with walkie-talkies just to ensure that they’re in the right place at the right time.

Good luck with using trade shows to make more money in your business.

Three Steps to Direct Mail Success

Direct mail is still the number one marketing strategy used by many successful sales companies. With direct mail, you have total control over the presentation of your message. Direct mail is a unique blend of advertising and sales. While good advertising should certainly lead to sales, direct mail allows you to present the product or service, make an offer and try to close the sale-all at once!

Here are just a few of the advantages of direct mail as a marketing strategy:

* Allows you to target your message to a very specific audience.
* Direct mail is a relatively inexpensive medium.
* Direct mail messages can be personalized to add reader appeal.
* You can evaluate its effectiveness. You can keep track of exactly who responded and from where.
* Mail readers are actively involved. People read their mail when they choose. So, for at least a second or two, your message will have their undivided attention while they open and scan it.

There are three elements to an effective direct marketing strategy:

1. The List
2. The Offer
3. The Mailing Piece

The first of these three steps to a successful direct mail campaign is obtaining the right list. Targeting the right market is the key to this marketing strategy. When selecting your list make sure you target people most likely to have an interest in what you have to offer as well as some things in common with your present clients.

This common ground might be age, sex, occupation, income, geographic area, family size, magazines they subscribe to or any number of other demographics. You can obtain lists that are specific to the demographics of your particular target market.

You should also maintain an up-to-date list of all your customers and clients. Direct mail to this list can create additional business, introduce new products and services or promote sales or special offers.

The second step of this marketing strategy is the development of a “matching offer”.

The offer you make in your direct mail needs to be carefully thought out and matched as closely as possible to the interests, needs and motivation of the people on the list. The more specifically you match the offer and the list the higher the response rate.

Let me use an example to demonstrate. When I was a mortgage consultant many of the sales people in the office sent direct mail. The list that was mailed to was targeted to homeowners who had taken out mortgages with specific lenders in a specific time period. The lenders that were targeted were known to be lenders with typically high interest rates.

The response and closing rate of those mailings were higher than a mailing that was sent to all homeowners in the same area because it was targeted to a group of people that would be more likely to want to refinance.

The third element of this marketing strategy is the mailing piece or the presentation of the offer to the list.

The most common and least expensive mailing piece format used by small businesses is the solo format. It’s a single sheet, printed on both sides and folded in half or thirds and mailed without an envelope.

Another solo format that’s even simpler and less expensive is a postcard or oversized postcard. This can be a very cost effective way of communicating with your list of customers and clients.

The next step in the development of your mailing piece is to write the copy or present your offer. Copywriting is a valuable skill. I urge you to develop the ability to write good advertising copy. Here are some tips to get you started.

* Take proven sales letters and ads and rewrite them to fit you and your offer.
* Create a swipe file of successful ads and letters. When you see an ad that catches your eye, save it.
* Save your “junk mail”. A lot of it’s written by the best copywriters in the world.
* Subscribe to the National Inquirer, The Star, The Globe, etc. The ads in these publications pull in millions of dollars worth of orders.
* Make sure your message matches your market. This means your offer has to have perceived value to your prospect.
* Use lots of testimonials in your ad copy.
* The headline is the most important part of any ad or letter.
* Use multiple PS’s in your letter. Restate the offer, deadline, free gift, etc.
* Offer multiple options for your services. Label them ex. Gold, Silver, Bronze.
* Before you write, make a list of all the objections a prospect could have for not buying your product or service and then answer them in your letter.

Direct mail is a profitable marketing strategy if it’s used properly and all three components are well thought out. It can provide you with an endless source of targeted leads for your product or service.

Gear Up Your Marketing for Fourth Quarter

The fourth quarter of each year presents a huge opportunity for many businesses. Consumers often spend more as they prepare for the holidays, and many businesses increase their spending in the fourth quarter as they prepare for the new year.

All of this can mean increased sales for you and me… but only if your marketing is effective.

So how do you get your marketing in shape? Simple. Set some goals for quarter and create a plan to take you there. The following is a list of some activities that you might want to include as part of your fourth quarter marketing efforts.

1. Plan

Create a detailed plan for the next 90 days that includes a huge push for increased sales. Set a sales target for the quarter, look at the work that you have already booked, and then plan where the extra sales you need to reach your target will come from.

What marketing activities can you do that will help get you there? What existing clients can you approach for additional work or referrals? How can you increase the size of your network so that more people know about your business and what you do? Make the plan as detailed as possible and then take daily action in executing it.

2. Review Your Website

Review your website and ensure that it is doing a good job of interesting and educating your prospects about your services. Be sure to stress the benefits of your services and give prospects plenty of reasons why they should do business with you rather than your competitors.

Your site should request that visitors leave their contact information. This can be done by having them sign up for a newsletter, request more information, or arrange a free consultation. You can increase response by offering an incentive, such as a free report or a discount. If your website doesn’t ask for this vital information, then make some changes to it so that it does.

3. Write Articles

Write several articles on topics related to your product or service. The articles should contain tips or advice that your target market will find useful and that will help them solve their problems. Post the articles on your website and get them published on other websites and in journals that your prospects read.

4. Publish a Newsletter

Start sending out an ezine or newsletter to your clients and contacts. Include a signup form on your website and offer an incentive for visitors to subscribe, such as the articles you wrote in step 3. Use the ezine to provide more help, education, and how-to advice to your prospects.

5. Speak

Get a speaking engagement at an event that your prospects are likely to attend. Make the talk informative and pack it with as much valuable information as you can. Do not make it an extended sales pitch! Mention the services your company provides by all means, but make sure that you also provide plenty of relevant and useful information to the audience.

During the talk, be sure to promote your newsletter and the articles that are available on your website. Be sure to get the contact information of as many of the attendees’ as possible.

If you don’t already have their contact information, a good way of getting it is to offer a bonus item that can be mailed out to attendees afterwards, such as a recording or transcript of the presentation, or another article or in-depth report. In order for the attendees to get the bonus item, have them leave you their contact information on a signup form or have them give you their business card. It’s important to solicit this information immediately after the talk. If you refer them to your website to signup, the response rate will drop significantly.

6. Advertise

You should review your advertising and ensure that is cost-effectively driving a steady stream of prospects to your door. If you don’t already advertise regularly, now would be a great time to start.

Begin with some small advertisements in publications that your prospects read, and test what works. If the response to your ad is encouraging you can increase its size. If the response is poor, make some changes to it and try again.

Conduct a direct mail campaign that educates your prospects on the services you provide. Provide as much information as possible and don’t make the material overly “salesy” or it will be ignored. You might consider promoting your newsletter in this way as an easy, low-risk way for prospects to get to know your business. The bottom line with direct mail is to be informative and focused on the benefits that your prospects receive. Follow up the direct mail campaign with phone calls or even a visit to the prospect.

7. Utilize Your Current Clients

Study your current clients and look for ways that you can provide additional services to them. Look specifically for ways that you can really help them develop their business. Ask them for referrals.

8. Network

Meet with people in your network and exchange referrals. Generate some business for them and educate them on the types of prospects you’re looking for. You’ll be amazed at how quickly they’ll be able to come up with names of people you should speak to, especially after you’ve helped them.

9. Offer Additional Payment Options

Offer flexible payment options such as payment by credit card or payment by installment. Sales can often increase by as much a 30% simply by being a little bit more flexible in the way you get paid for your services. If it’s appropriate to your business, try offering free samples of your products, free trials of services, or a no-risk “test-drive” period.

10. Community Involvement

Get involved in your community by volunteering to help in local events. You could serve on the board of a charity, help organize a special event, or donate your business’ services to a worthy cause. If time is in short supply (and what business owner has an abundance of time?) then be highly selective in the ways you get involved and choose only those activities that get you in front of influential people and decision makers.

Gear Up Today!

There you have it: ten ways to ramp up sales for the fourth quarter!

Get started on this immediately. At the very least, complete a plan for your marketing within the next week. You don’t have to do everything outlined above, but you should pick at least a couple of activities and take action this week.