Customized brochures are one of the best ways to bolster business, large or small. Brochures are one of the most diverse marketing mediums available since they are suited to a wide variety of situations. They serve as an interactive guide when explaining products and services, and point out key features and benefits to the customer. Since brochures are relatively inexpensive, they represent the perfect pitch when operating on a smaller budget.
3 quick and practical tips that can boost your brochure and help you promote your business more effectively:
1. Avoid stock photos –Make your brochure personal! Stock images are recognizable with today tech savvy consumers. Use images unique to your company, that will illustrate your companies services or products. Even though we live in the era of Internet marketing and long-distance business relationships, we all value a touch of personal contact. So take a deep breath, leave that stock photo behind and go for a professional picture of yourself instead. Note: Avoid filling your brochure with staff photos. Unfortunately, valued staff members may change over time and will out-date and limited the life span of your brochure.
2. Shrink the copy –Your business brochure should provide your prospective customer or client with a quick overview of who you are and what your company can do for them – “quick” is a keyword here. You do not need to provide a complete list of your qualifications and expertise. The potential customer will not have the time to read through a whole narrative of your company – so keep it short and focused. Include key benefits and information about your company, but leave some information out to discuss when you actually meet them face-to-face.
3. Include a call-to-action – Calls-to-action are a tactful and effective way to wrap it all up, and prompt the targeted audience into the desired “action”. This will maximize the impact and effectiveness of your business brochure.
Need to create a customized brochure, or refresh and update your current advertising and marketing materials? Contact 360GS today.
The Least Expensive Direct Mail Program Available, but is this Right for Your Business?
According to BizReport, up to 85% of customers will come from a 5-mile radius from the point of business or event.
With that in mind, Mail Marketing for Everyone (DMME) is a way to deliver direct mail to every mailbox in a given area and saturate the businesses and/or residents in surrounding region. This is very similar in comparison to traditional postcard mailings that use an “occupancy” or “current resident” mailing list, that offers no specific demographic choices. With DMME, there are three (3) general demographics to work with – age, income level and household size, but you cannot be very specific in targeting your audience with this criteria. You select a zip code or a specific postal route, and you “mail” to each and every address in that selected area. Another substantial difference from traditional direct mail marketing is that DMME is hand-delivered to each individual post office based on the postal routes chosen.
What’s The Benefit?
Cost. Plain and simple. DMME for as a low as 20¢ per piece. That’s less than half the price of Bulk Mail, and less than a third of the price of a First Class stamp. If you’re looking to blanket an area with your advertisement, and you’re not particularly concerned about only delivering to targeted groups, a fifty percent cost savings may suddenly make direct mail an affordable and viable option for you. Also, even the smallest DMME postcard–with its larger size and having no mailing panel, offers substantial space for you to relay your advertising message or company information.
What’s The Catch?
USPS does have some requirements if you want to take advantage of DMME. The biggest one is you have to take your mailing to the local post office yourself. This may be difficult if you are covering an area out of towns or even, out of state. Fortunately, USPS does offer shipping options, for an additional cost. However, using an experienced mailing provider will take the headache out of “hand” delivering on your behalf.
There are additional requirements for the size and format for the mail piece, and how the pieces need to be bundled and labeled, when you drop them off. This isn’t as strict as with traditional direct mail marketing, but it can be time consuming.
Is DMME Right for your Company?
Every business owner would like to cut costs in half. But that doesn’t mean DMME is right for every business. If your business targets a very specific customer base, DMME may not be for you. For an example, a lawn or tree trimming service probably wouldn’t want to send to every address in an area if a large percentage of households are apartments or condominiums where the residents aren’t responsible for mowing the lawn or trimming the trees.
However, consumer based businesses that offer special promotions, are particularly well suited for DMME, such as:
- Auto Mechanics
- Carpet Cleaning
- Car Washes
- Computer Repair
- Dental Offices
- Dry Cleaning
- General Retail
- Lawn Care
- Real Estate
- House Cleaning
- Insurance Agencies
- Pest Control
- Security Services
- Barber Shops, Salons And Spas
- Tax Prep
- Urgent Care
Not every advertising tactic is ideally suited for every business, but there are quality options available, ones that can be customized to meet your marketing needs. Contact 360GS, to explore Direct Mailing Marketing for Everyone and if it is good choice for you.
By July, we will be knee-deep in BBQ’s and afternoon siestas! It happens every year, warmer weather means people are spending more time at the beach and less time making heavy buying decisions. Also, some small business owners become lethargic in their marketing activities. Here are some ways to combat and tackle the quiet summer marketing months:
Go to camp: The same way camps inspired and changed you as a child, summer can change you as an adult. If the summer months are typically slower, invest some of that time elsewhere and in other actions that will help you to grow your business. Learn a new skill, take a class, immerse yourself in your industry, form and strengthen your ties to your industry, etc. The knowledge and connections you gain during these months will make you stronger and more powerful once the cooler weather hits and things pick up again. Can’t make a physical camp, try virtual ones. A number of industry or trade associations offer free webinars to attend – where the only cost is your time.
Create cross promotion incentives: Unless your business is summer-oriented, things typically slow down for everyone during the warmer months. This makes it the perfect time to band together with complementary local businesses and find ways to cross promote. Create new partnerships that will allow you to trade services and share referrals to create new incentives for customers. If you’re a bakery, find a local sporting arena or community theater and ask them to sell your cupcakes at their concession and offer to give coupons or notices about their events in return. If you’re a landscaper and your business is booming, hand out flyers for winter service companies to get people thinking early.
Do something crazy: When things get you slow, you have the best reason to experiment and try things you normally wouldn’t have had time to risk. You know that marketing strategy you wanted to try in December but you didn’t have time? Or that product you’ve been waiting to test? The local seminar you wanted to try and organize for your community? Now is the time to do that. Right now you have the time to brainstorm and implement things you won’t necessarily be able to fit in a few months from now. Use it.
Get more social with your brand: Similar to doing some crazy, now’s the perfect time to start experimenting with social media and to create your social media business strategy. Set up that Twitter account, create the Facebook Fan pages, and film those customer retention YouTube videos, etc. If things are getting slow, occupy that time with new activities that could strengthen your company in the long haul. We all have whiteboards of things we can’t wait to do if only we had time…now you have that time.
Research new forms of marketing: Break out of your current promotional bubble and look for new opportunities. Keep an eye out for new speaking opportunities, write articles to appear in industry publications, start making new connections with local media, and get a little bit aggressive with your promotional tactics. The media has a tendency to get a little “soft” in the summer months, help give them content to stand out among all the fluff pieces about summer festivals and events. They’re hungry for it and if you can pitch them a great story about your company, they’ll very likely take it. These types of activities will also help build your place as an expert long after the leaves begin to change colors again.
Don’t let your marketing spirits die due to the summer slump. Instead, use this time to try out new strategies, create new relationships and build momentum that will take you clear into the Fall.
Article inserts from Lisa Barone, Marketing tips
“The small businesses I work with know that social media has a lot of marketing potential,” she says. “I think in 2014 we’ll see new social media tools revealed and smarter strategies from small business owners.”
These are noted predictions from Sharon Geltner:
Linkedin is making big strides to earn you attention, Geltner says. The site, known among Geltner’s clients as “Facebook for grownups,” has attracted a lot of new users with business-centered features like endorsement tools and the ability to join groups.
“LinkedIn will become a social media powerhouse in 2014,” she says. “More business owners are realizing the treasure trove of information that potential clients list on profiles.”
Geltner expects business owners to search LinkedIn for potential clients and use the information offered online to do research before cold calling a prospective customer.
Geltner predicts more businesses will turn to video to spice up marketing campaigns in 2014. With YouTube channels growing in popularity and video equipment becoming cheap and easy to use, Geltner says more emails and social media posts will contain videos rather than lengthy paragraphs.
“People click on videos,” Geltner says. “If your business can pack information into an informative and
, online retail store, Zappos, says 250,000 visitors were driven to its website by YouTube in 2012.
3. Small businesses will get selective about social media
Every small business struggles to balance time, money and resources. While many small businesses gravitate towards all social media platforms because of their free marketing potential, Geltner expects businesses to be more efficient and selective in 2014.
“The novelty of social media is starting to wear off,” she says. “Business owners don’t need a presence on every social media site that exists.”
She believes small businesses will focus on one or two platforms rather than offer a meager presence on every site. A shift towards quality over quantity is also expected.
“Small businesses have enough experience with social media to realize that they don’t have to post every 30 minutes, but when they do, the content should be worthwhile to readers,” she says.
While Geltner says social media tools are an affordable way for small businesses to generate leads and promote a brand, she reminds owners not to forget about traditional media. Geltner says social media isn’t a silver bullet and advises every small business to combine its social media marketing with traditional marketing tools like email marketing to have the most successful year.