Internet Marketing For Small Business

How To Get More Sales Today – Yes Today

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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

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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

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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

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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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Survey Reveals Rise In Social Media Use

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Collecting emails on your website automatically, is a must for businesses in Surrey and Hampshire… A recent survey by Constant Contact reveals that more and more small businesses are using social media to spread the word about their companies. But that doesn’t mean that they’re giving up on other forms of marketing. When asked “what keeps them up at night,” 80% of the respondents said attracting new customers; 52% said finding better ways to encourage customers to refer their business; and 48% said not having adequate cash flow to run their businesses effectively. To address those issues, a greater number of small businesses are adding social media to their marketing arsenal. Of the 1,500-plus respondents to the survey, 73% are currently using this form of marketing, and among that group, 80% reported that their usage of social media marketing has increased in the past 12 months. Of the 27% not already using social media for marketing purposes, 62% said they will be using it at some point in the next year. Of social media’s “Big Three,” Facebook was cited most by respondents, with 95% saying they use it and 82% saying they find it to be an effective tool. Twitter and LinkedIn were neck-and-neck, with 60% citing the former and 58% citing the latter. For both Twitter and LinkedIn, 47% of respondents said they find the social media site effective for marketing. Video sharing tools such as YouTube were mentioned as well–by 45% of respondents–and nearly three-quarters of respondents (73%) find video sharing to be effective. “What’s important to note, though, is that social media is not replacing other types of marketing, such as email, website, and event marketing,” said Mark Schmulen, general manager of social media at Constant Contact, in an interview. “Of respondents, 91% still use email marketing, for example.” Email, in fact, remains the killer app, Schmulen said, pointing out that 83% of survey respondents said that checking email is the first thing they do when they go online. Among those surveyed, 72% said they check email six times or more each day; only 13% said they check Facebook that frequently. “Ultimately, social media is just one component of an effective, integrated marketing strategy,” said Schmulen. “As our CEO Gail Goodman likes to say, email marketing lights the fire; social media marketing fans the flames.”...

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How To Get A Top 3 Position On Google In Surrey

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Being at the top of the search engines for your keyword is very important, if you ever want to get any leads or business from using this internet thingy…. Especially for your key words…. If you want to get any traffic (visitors) to your website, you will increase the chances dramatically by being in the top 3 positions for the “keyword (s)” yu have decided to go after. Recent information tells us that if your are in position 1 of Google, you will get 46% of all clicks. In position 2. 30%, position 3. 13%…position 5. 2.5% and so on to position 10 and you’ll get just 0.15% So, as you can see it pays to be in the top 3. But how do you achieve this? To enable your site to be at the top of the search engines, you need other sites linking to you… Apart from other sites linking to your site, Google likes it, if  you put regular content on your site, your on page SEO is good and you have an older site (not always necessary, but they do seem to favour older sites). However, by far the best way to improve your rankings in Google, is to get quality back links to your site. (Often called off-site SEO) Getting a link from quality sites, government sites or educational sites are among the best back links to have, but even links from others in your industry are good too. A word about “Keywords”…Keywords are a single word or string of words that people put into the search box to find a business or service like yours. Of course its very likely, that if someone puts your company name in the search engines, they are going to find you, unless you have a major problem with your website listing. But the people who type your company name are probably looking for your telephone number. But your site needs to be “optimised” for the keywords associated with your business or service. You should have a minimum of 10 keywords that you rank for on the front pages of Google, Google ranks pages and not sites, so you need pages relating to the keywords.. So for example, say you are a beautician in Guildford, you will need to optimise your site for keywords like facial treatments guildford, beauty salon guildford, waxing guildford etc You would have those keywords as names for your pages and weave other words into the article in your page. So to sum up…You need back links from quality sites or other related sites with good rankings, regular updates on your site and you need to optimise your site for up to 10 key word…simples It is possible for you to be on the front page of Google and get more business and more leads. Google is the place to be, they have 80% of all traffic in the UK. Although this article is simplistic, there are some good tips here. If you have any comments please leave them below. Sean Usher is the owner of Usher Media www.ushermedia.co.uk He is a video marketer for small businesses and works with many companies to improve their rankings in the search engines, through search engine optimisation...

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