Posts by Sean Usher

How To Get More Sales Today – Yes Today

Written by in General, Internet Marketing For Small Business, Small Businesses | 0 comments

Are you looking to get more sales more often. Then the one thing you really must have is a database. And you should be using this as much as any other tool in your business. Collecting names, telephone numbers, addresses and emails is a great way to continue marketing to those people who already bought from you and even the ones that haven’t bought from you yet. But you should be trying to capture this information so that you can market to them now or later. I’m not saying you have to bombard them all the time. But do give them an opportunity to opt into your newsletter, or to sign up for a free gift. But always give them the opportunity to opt out at any time. This is very important, easily allow them to opt out. We all know how awful is to continually receive junk in the mail..Its only junk by the way, if its not of importance to you. If it’s important to you, you wouldn’t call it junk. In fact if it’s information that you wish to receive and it’s content you look forward to receiving, then it’s not junk. Its when it's not relevant, that it becomes worthless and that is junk. With a database of people relevant to your business, you can start to segment people into certain groups.By that I mean you could have different segments say for first time buyers, Repeat customers and those that haven’t bought yet. It could even be are a tyre kicker…and we should all love tyre kickers – because, as I mentioned earlier, we don’t always get the sale on the first visit from the potential client, it’s likely that it will be further down the line. If your database has segmentation this could allow you to upsell, cross sell or down sell your products. With a DB you can contact your customers or potential customers more often and get in front of people inexpensively. Lets face it, you’ve spent the money already for advertising or marketing to get them to come to your business or to your website, now you should be nurturing them. During slow periods, its great to have a database to send out offers, promotions or worthy information that is of value to the prospect.There are slow periods in most businesses, a time when you need a bump in sales to meet wages and you can’t send out promotional messages, if you haven’t got a database. My First Database My first database, for my first restaurant was simply a list of names that I collected from the tables. I then used a word processor to print off address labels and stick them carefully on a postcard that was designed by the local printer. This was in 1996. I got my first DB software two years later a product called ACT, which is still available today. And it made my life so much easier. I could send out printed offers to new customers, remind customers that we hadn’t seen them for a while and also as we collected birthday dates, we could send out birthday offers too. Of course nowadays, it is so much more simple and the information you can glean from your customers is limitless for your marketing. The important thing is to get the (potential) customer’s details into a DB. This can be done by placing an iPad or tablet on the counter of your business or if its a restaurant take the tablet to the customer’s table and try and get as many email addresses as possible from...

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Is Your Business Making The Most Of The Internet

Written by in General, Internet Marketing For Small Business | 0 comments

The Internet Has Changed Customer Acquisition and Retention Forever The internet has made a revolutionary change in our everyday lives; it’s no secret that the internet is the first place we go when we need information. This includes searching for local products, services, and businesses. However, many businesses still are not utilising online technology to its full potential when it comes to bringing in new leads, sales, and customers. As a matter of fact, many businesses still don’t use it at all. Did you know that 97% of internet users search for LOCAL goods and services. In order to run a sustainable business these days, companies must focus on several key points: * Getting NEW customers (Customer Acquisition) * Keeping EXISTING customers coming back (Customer Retention) * Developing EFFECTIVE acquisition and retention strategies * Keeping a strong balance between COST and BENEFITS * Using techniques and strategies that will work LONG-TERM The first step is to understand and implement marketing methods that are effective TODAY vs. YESTERDAY. TODAY vs. YESTERDAY. The internet has drastically changed the equation by becoming one of the most effective marketing tools to hit the business world; and its grown into much more than simply having a website. In fact, the massive level of internet usage amongst consumers has impacted the way businesses generate new leads and retain existing customers forever. You may be aware of this, but are not sure exactly WHY or HOW the internet is changing the dynamics of your business. Unfortunately, you are not alone as most businesses still do not understand. Many think that the internet is all hype and no substance; but this is far from the truth. If you’ve found that you are not getting results from traditional advertising methods such as paper coupons, yellow page ads, TV commercials, and newspaper ads, it’s time for you to take a closer look at internet marketing. But before we get into how the internet impacts today’s marketing sphere, let’s take a look at the explosive growth of internet usage. The Growth of Internet Usage Since the 1990’s, the internet has emerged into a worldwide interconnection of individuals, companies, organisations, government, and so much more. It has changed the way we communicate, as well as the way we do business. Back in those days, there were just a few million internet users across the globe. But today, that number has grown to more than 3.5 BILLION users (40% of the world population) and 70% of us use it every single day. The internet has had a revolutionary impact in all of our lives. In just a short period of time, the information highway has become the most-used digital platform ever to exist. Imagine your life without the internet no email, no websites, no search engines, no social networking – it’s really hard to fathom. This is because we as consumers have grown accustomed to using the web to handle many of our daily tasks. Starting out as a slow dial-up service that we only used every now and then, the internet has evolved into a high-speed tool that we simply cannot live without. What are we doing online? Here’s an idea of how MUCH we really rely on it: * 91% Using Search Engines to Find Information * 88% Sending or Reading Email * 84% Searching for a Map or Driving Directions * 78% Researching a Product or Service * 71% Watching Online Videos * 67% Engaging in Social Media * 61% Doing Online Banking And SO much more; all at our fingertips Do you recall what it was like the...

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Free Publicity Starts Here

Written by in Internet Marketing For Small Business, Small Businesses | 0 comments

Marketing and Publicity For Small Business Most business owners agree that effective marketing would be a big help to their business. However, what puts them off is that they mistakenly think that hiring a marketing consultant will cost a lot of money and that they cannot afford it. That isn’t always the case.  In this issue, we are going to look at various ways you can put an effective marketing plan into action without it costing an arm and a leg…and you will also discover some very effective FREE ways to get much needed publicity for your business. The article will be a good reference guide to effective marketing.  Your business will grow as a result if you put them into action. START MAKING HEADLINES – THE INCREDIBLE POWER OF FREE PUBLICITY Most small local businesses focus all their marketing efforts on paid advertising or sales activities. This is totally understandable and is generally a good investment if it’s done well. However, if your budget is tight, this article will cover the most overlooked weapon in a small business’s marketing arsenal: FREE PUBLICITY. How do you get free publicity? Easy.  Be known as ‘the’ expert and authority in your field. Despite what you might think, being recognised as an “expert” in the media is a very attainable goal – in fact you are probably already well qualified to do this, particularly if you have been in the business for a number of years.  But even if you haven’t been in business long, the chances are that you have done a lot of market research and choosing your business wasn’t a decision you came into lightly. Once you establish yourself as an ‘expert’, the benefits to your business can be awesome.  If you have a solid market position but need more exposure and credibility to help your business grow, you can do this easily by investing some time and effort into generating publicity for your business through the media.  If you do this, you are sure to reap the financial rewards. When it comes to local news, there’s no reason a small business can’t compete with a business ten times its size. In fact, it’s fair to say that local news outlets like radio stations and newspapers are “biased” in favour of small local business owners like yourself, so you already have an advantage. HOW TO MAKE IT HAPPEN - START BY WATCHING AND READING THE NEWS Think about the last time you watched your local TV news, or listened to local radio news. There would have been the usual variety of depressing stories about car accidents, house fires and the economy. But there were also stories highlighting local issues.  The people in these type of ‘Local News’ stories are usually people from the community appearing to offer a comment. For example, when the Christmas season rolls around, a local reporter will often visit a local retailer to ask how busy it is and if their profits will be on target to beat the previous year’s takings.  They might also consult another local trader who may have a different opinion on how busy it is, or perhaps to give some basic shopping reminders. Then they will interview various members of the public to ask them how busy it is and if they have all of their shopping done. They may also interview a local police officer to remind people not to drink too much during the Christmas period, especially if they are driving. Think about that for a moment; three LOCAL residents or business people all received valuable free exposure...

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Tips For Growing Your Customer Base

Written by in General, Internet Marketing For Small Business, Small Businesses | 0 comments

Growing you Customer Base Winning new customers is much more expensive than selling more to your existing clients. Knowing who your best customers are can help you improve customer satisfaction and sell more to these existing customers. Gaining new clientele is one of the most difficult aspects of running a business, so it is important to retain and look after the ones you already have, and sell more to them, but at the same time still looking for new customers. This guide explains how to get to know your customers and understand your market so you can increase sales and develop your business. It gives you details on how to use sales data, customer care systems and your databases to develop a strategy for keeping customers. It also shows how to identify your most valuable customers, and how to maximise this value. Building Out! How to build your customer base Every business needs a solid customer base in order to be successful. It’s important because customers provide you with revenue. Not only that, but they give you the essential feedback which helps you continually improve your offers and services, and they spread the word to other people about your business and what you do. None of this happens by accident. Building a dependable customer base takes time and effort. If you want to build your business up on a solid foundation, you need to pay close attention to who your customers are and try to understand what motivates them to buy from you. Where Are Your Customer Now! Who and where are your customers? The very first step in building a customer base is to know: Who your customers are, and where you can find them. Once you have this information you can manage your customer relationships by engaging with them more effectively.  This will have the effect of increasing sales to these existing customers as well as attracting new ones. Customer profiling: What you should know about your customers Knowing your customer’s key characteristics will help you decide where, when and how to communicate with them. If you have been in business for a number of years, or you sell to a specific niche audience, no doubt you will already have a good idea about your customer’s general age, location and gender, but there is a lot more information that could be helpful to you. For example: Do you know the websites your customers visit and what kind of publications they read? What other products and services do they buy? Why do they buy from you and when? What type of customer spends most with you? If you have just a few customers you could add specific personal information to your customer profiles, such as a buyer’s particular interests. If your customer base is large and diverse you need to segment them into groups that share similar characteristics and think about the best way to target each group. Profiling customers this way enables you to better communicate with existing customers and target new customers more accurately. Getting this kind of information could be a simple matter of picking up a telephone and speaking to them. Or it might require a more formal approach such as running a survey in your newsletter or online survey program (we can help you with both of these if you don’t publish an online newsletter or don’t know how to create an online survey. Looking After Your Best Customers Now Why you should concentrate on looking after your most profitable customers There is good reason to concentrate on looking after your most profitable...

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Citations For Local Businesses

Written by in General | Comments Off on Citations For Local Businesses

The more citations you have the better! Especially in the online marketing world. If you own a business and you have heard of or read about citations, you may be confused about exactly what they are and why you need them to help your website’s ranking.In simple terms, a citation in the online world refers to any time your company information is listed on a website. These include listings such as local directories, such as Yelp.com, YellowPages.com, Scoot and BrownBook to name a few Also, citations can be found on other types of websites such as local blogs, news website, employment sites, social media sites, government sites, the Chamber of Commerce site, and anything else that may mention your company. Even if the mention has no link to your company’s website and only your company’s name is mentioned, it is still considered a citation. However, the more information included, the better. Why Citations Are Good Any online exposure for your company will bring attention to your products and services, which you can obviously benefit from. Exposure opens you up to potential customers that may have previously passed you by; and citations play a vital role in helping you connect with these potential buyers. In addition to that, citations are critical for search engine optimization today.  Google and other search engines use citations to rank your business. The more citations you have, the higher your website will list in the search results. A higher ranking means more web traffic, which in turn equals more business for you. So what is the key to getting more citations for your business? While there are a variety of ways to accomplish this, it all boils down to building more of a presence online. However, several factors should be considered when building these citations. Tips for Citations At the very least, your citations should mention your company’s formal name, your physical address, and your local phone number (also called NAP for “Name, Address, Phone Number”) – and anything else that tells a search engine or a customer exactly who you are. Even more important is that all of your citations are consistent and contain the exact same information.  Using different addresses and phone numbers (except in the case of multiple locations) could actually hurt your ability to gain any benefits from them. Finally, a citation is most effective when it is accompanied by as much information about your business as possible. So be sure to include your hours of operations, pictures, videos, details about your products and services, and any other helpful information you think your potential customers would like to have. So as you can see local citations are important – if you want to rank well in the search engines –  The higher up in the pages you are for your keywords the more visitors you’ll get and therefore more enquiries If you need help or advice, please call for a no obligation consultation on how we can help you to get more leads through the higher ranking of you...

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