I’m a passionate believer that marketing your business should be fun and inexpensive. Throughout my career of helping businesses increase their sales and revenue, I continue to see a steady trend — the most successful marketing ideas typically are the least expensive ones. Each year hundreds of companies spend millions of dollars on traditional advertising such as television and radio. I say, “Save your money!” Instead, start implementing these seven fast and low-cost marketing ideas designed to increase revenues. Now go and make some money, and remember, spend very little!
Answer Your Phone Differently.
Try announcing a special offer when you answer the phone. For example you could say,
“Good morning, this is Sharron with Senter & Associates; ask me about my special marketing offer.”
The caller is compelled to ask about the offer. Sure, many companies have recorded messages that play when you’re tied up in queue, but who do you know that has a live message? I certainly haven’t heard of anyone. Make sure your offer is aggressive and increase your caller’s urgency by including a not-so-distant expiration date.
Read the article Telephone Marketing Strategies for Small Businesses
Include a Special Offer on All Invoices.
Every time you mail an invoice, invite your customer to take advantage of a special offer when they make another purchase within a specific time period. Or, at the very least, educate your customer about a new product or service.
For example, you’re a painter and you’ve just completed painting the exterior of your customer’s house. On your invoice, offer your customer a 15% discount when they reserve your time for their next painting project and show commitment with a 25% deposit.
Signs are one of the most cost-effective marketing tools that push impulse buying behavior. If you’re a retail establishment, your windows should have signs that create urgency and stimulate passersby to come in. At the very least, you should have a sign that begins “buy today and receive…” Use signs inside your establishment too. For example, if you’re a tax accountant, but also offer retirement planning services, then display a professional sign in your waiting room promoting your other services.
Get to Know News Reporters and Editors
Get to know your local newspaper editor and industry (beat) reporter by inviting them to lunch. Send a note positioning yourself as an expert they can call upon for a quote when a story develops around your expertise. An article with your quote written by a third party brings a lot more credibility than any paid advertisement. If you don’t know who covers your industry, watch what reporters write about, or call and ask the news desk.
Read the article PR 101: The Home Business Guide to Media Relations
Use stickers, stamps and handwritten notes on all of your direct mail efforts and day-to-day business mail.
Recently I received a paycheck from the college where I teach. On the check was a florescent pink sticker (1″ X 2″) with black copy that read,
“Have you volunteered to help out at the Aviation Heritage Festival yet? Call Kelly at (000)-000-0000 today!”
I couldn’t help notice this sticker. Plus, I’ve never seen anyone sticker a paycheck; what a great idea! (Try a sticker on an invoice.)
Remember, when you put a sticker or handwritten message on the outside of an envelope, it has the impact of a miniature billboard. People read it first; however, the message should be short and concise so it can be read in less than 10 seconds.
Include a Special Offer In Your Email Signature.
Your email signature could read,
“Robert M. Smith, commercial real estate broker specializing in leasing Boston properties 5000 sq. ft. and larger. Special Offer: Enlist me as your leasing agent by 0/00/00 and I’ll waive 10% of my fee.”
Send a Second Offer to Your Customers.
Your customer just purchased a sweater from your clothing shop. Send a handwritten note to your customer thanking them for their business and informing them that upon their return with “this note” they may take advantage of a private offer, such as 20% off their next purchase. To create urgency, remember to include an expiration date.
Recommended Books on Ways to Increase Revenues:
- The Zen of Social Media Marketing: An Easier Way to Build Credibility, Generate Buzz, and Increase Revenue
- Attention! This Book Will Make You Money: How to Use Attention-Getting Online Marketing to Increase Your Revenue
- Automated Marketing For Entrepreneurs: The Marketing Strategy to Increase Revenue, Boost Lead Generation, Get Customers, and Increase Sales
- Predictable Revenue: Turn Your Business Into A Sales Machine With The $100 Million Best Practices Of Salesforce.com
Article originally published in May 2003
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Category: Shoestring Marketing