The New Year is always an important time in the marketing of your business.
It’s a great opportunity to take stock of the year that’s just passed and think about your goals and objectives for the year to come. In many B2B and consumer sectors the New Year can also see an increase in activity, sales and opportunities that you need to be quick to exploit.
For the best results from your marketing, you need to go direct. At Selectabase we are experts in helping small businesses use targeted direct marketing to get more enquiries and increase sales.
For example, here are 10 ways in which you can improve your marketing campaigns and use direct marketing to help you gain more business in 2013…
1. Know your best customers
Take a look at your existing customer database to identify who your best customers are. See if your customer base adheres to the general principle of 20% of your customers generating 80% of your sales or profits. Find out why your top 20% buy and what they have in common then use this intelligence to profile your ideal type of customer. This will help you identify which potential new customers to target.
2. Communicate with contacts
Speak to your existing customers, leads and contacts more often this year. Write and send a regular monthly mailing, newsletter or email update with news about how well your business is doing, ideas for using your products and your latest special offers. Let everyone know you are still there and ready to help. Before you embark on this, make sure your customer database is up to date using our list cleaning services.
3. Communicate more than once
Sometimes it can take several different attempts to convert a customer. Your initial promotional messages may have come at the wrong time, or it may simply take some prospects longer to decide to buy from you, especially if you are selling a higher value or complex product or service. But don’t overdo it - no one likes to get constantly bombarded with marketing messages.
4. Communicate in different ways
There are so many different ways to communicate with your target market, and you sometimes need to use as many as possible to get a result. A prospect may not be reassured enough to buy from the first mailing they receive until they’ve read an article about you in their trade press, visited your website, requested a brochure, and then received a follow up email from you.
5. Follow up again and again
Make sure you follow up on everything and everyone! When someone leaves your ecommerce shopping basket, follow them up. When they request a brochure or sample, follow them up. If they visit your exhibition stand or sign up for your email newsletter, follow them up. To help, make sure you have an efficient marketing system in place internally to identify leads and track all their follow ups.
6. Get more targeted
Try and avoid a blanket approach to your marketing. Instead of wasting resources promoting to the masses, target your marketing to those types of prospect which have the best chance of converting. It’s about working smarter not harder, like subscribing to New B2B - leads of new business starting up in your area, so you can contact them just when they need to buy a range of goods and services, and before your competitors get their foot in the door www.selectabase.co.uk/
7. Try new markets
Investigate potential new markets for your existing products or services. These new opportunities could include selling direct to end users instead of via resellers, launching budget or premium variations of your standard offer, or repacking your service for different markets such as export. Test new ideas first on a smaller sample before committing to wider scale campaigns – you can source and download lists with no minimum order at Prospect Download http://www.selectabase.co.uk/
8. Innovate new ideas
New products and services can help open up new markets, and get more repeat business from existing or lapsed customers. If you are in a fast-paced or technology based industry you need a constant pipeline of new products and ideas in development to keep growing your business. Invite new ideas from your team, customers and even suppliers then test them to see which have potential. For example, send a trial mailing to a sample list to see what response you get before rolling out a new product to the rest of the market.
9. Measure everything
Make sure you measure the effectiveness of all your marketing activities this year. For example, you can measure responses then compare the cost of acquiring a new customer, gaining a new enquiry or reaching a wider audience through different marketing channels. Make sure the source of new enquiries is always properly identified and recorded.
10. Reduce wastage
Look within your marketing campaigns and budgets to try and identify wastage, so that you can concentrate on the activities which generate the most results. Don’t assume that just because a form of marketing has always worked in the past it will continue to do so forever, and constantly question where your resources will be best spent.
Selectabase, ready to help
If you need more help with your marketing plans, we also offer a range of free tools and guides; learn how to write a direct mail letter, better identify your target postcode areas and read useful sales and marketing advice guides.