We all know that intelligent marketing is important for our business, but unfortunately it is also an area that tends to suffer a lot of cutbacks when the market conditions changes for the worse and businesses struggle. However, by cutting back on marketing we also limit our chances to reach new clients or customers, hence reducing our chances of climbing back up the profit ladder.
So what can we change to make sure we still do a sufficient amount of marketing, without spending too much money? The answer of course is to spend the money wisely!
If you currently spend a large amount of your marketing budget on direct mail, then you know that a significant portion of what you spend goes to printing the material, the paper it is printed on and postage. You might also have experienced the frustration of realizing that you would like to change the look or feel of your material, only to come up against printing deadlines! Mailing your audience also tends to be a very slow way of communicating, it takes a long time for responses to come in and it can be very hard to measure how much of the campaign actually reaches its audience and how much is wasted.
With Email Marketing however, you can cut all this out of the equation – let me explain: There is no printing or paper cost, the only cost is that of creating your copy (which you would have to do with a printed campaign too of course)There is no postage to pay, however there will most likely be a fee per sent email. This fee is normally much lower than postage, and it does not restrict you to certain sizes or limit the amount of information you can put forward though.
Email is a brilliant way to direct the audience to your website – giving them all the information they need, with no limited amount of pages!You can tailor the copy to your audience, different copy to different people, or change copy when you want through out the campaign to test different versions or subject lines to make sure you get the response you want. This offers you the freedom of communicating with your audience in a much more direct and personable way.
The response from an email campaign is quick – it is fast to send and to track the results.Thanks to email tracking software it is easy to know how many have opened your email and who they are, even if they don’t get in touch – how would you do that with a traditional direct mail campaign? The email reports can then be used to adjust your next campaign, to target the right audience with the right market.
People think that the Internet is a powerful marketing tool just because it gives them the ability to quickly reach vast numbers of people who are geographically spread all over the place. While that’s true certainly, it’s not all that makes it powerful. The Internet also gives you the power to go local, narrow and specific. Local marketing is the new mantra of getting your business ahead.
Here’s the thing – when people need to find local businesses to buy from, they don’t turn to television or print advertising. They turn to the Internet. Of the people who turn to the Internet to search for local businesses to take their custom to, a full 90% actually end up contacting the business over the phone or in person. Any businesses that are interested in tapping all these people who are looking for local goods and services need to get their local marketing act together.
Large scale businesses often forget this. Since they covet the business of the whole country at large, they turn repeatedly to mass-market communication methods – national television spots and so on. They neglect to try to target customers in their small towns. When a small town resident sees national advertising on the television, and then fires up a search engine to see what kinds of businesses there are in his neck of the woods, he is in main going to pay attention to whatever local businesses the search engine turns up. They always seem more relevant.
For instance, if they are looking for an events management company and they search for “events management companies in Aberdeen” they’re going to see some national chains trying to do a bit of local marketing by addressing the keyword phrase “events management companies in” and then putting in the name of whatever city or town it’s aiming for. That’s not quite going to impress them as much as a real local business that uses local information to really set itself apart.
There are number of ways in which a local business can really set itself apart. It can go all out on Facebook for instance, talking about the local community and its financial planning needs. That’s going to really impress Google. Or they can support a number of local events that they will talk about on their website. They will have a Twitter account that has a lot of followers in the local area. This is the kind of thing that really tells a search engine that a business is truly local, and not just some national chain trying to pretend it’s local.
Local marketing isn’t just about buying cost per click advertising that targets local searches. It’s about really involving yourself in the community and putting roots down there. On the Internet.