Joy writes about some great marketing pieces. Her expertise in the post card mailing business is unmatched. Starting from a single client and building a large business serving thousands of clients. Each of her points are valid. Well worth a read.
The 6 Best Pieces of Marketing Advice I’ve Ever Given (Seriously)
Many small business owners (I might even say MOST small business owners), get by on very little sleep — especially when they’re just starting out.
There’s so much to think about!
One of those things, of course, is marketing.
You simply can’t afford NOT to think about it:
Avoid marketing and you’re doomed to barely scrape by — or even go out of business.
Spend all your dough on marketing with no results and… same result! (Yikes! I can’t sleep just pondering YOUR pondering!)
Well, I don’t want that to happen to you!
So here are 6 marketing facts that keep small business owners up at night — and how to tackle them head-on and actually GROW YOUR BUSINESS:
Fact 1: Only a small percentage of sales occur on the first contact. According to some studies, as few as 2%! (At my company, it’s 6%.)
Does that mean you’re destined to lose as much as 98% of your potential revenue?
Don’t lose sleep over it: Two magic words can prevent that tragic fate…
At PostcardMania, the 94% of our leads who don’t close on the first contact go into our follow-up system.
They see our Google follow-up ads, plus receive regular postcards, emails and phone calls from us.
And after about week, we’ve closed about 13% of those leads.
After a year, that number goes up to 25%.
In fact: 76% of our leads that close do so after the initial contact!
My son (Zachary) is a marketing consultant at my company, and he has a wonderful client that orders from us over and over and over. Turns out she was a lead that came from our website’s live chat option.
But here’s the really amazing thing:
He called her 25 times AFTER the first time they spoke before she picked up the phone again — over a 4-week period.
Since her first order with us in November of 2016, she’s spent over $150,000 (not including the postage)! Now, our average order size is about $1,500 — so this is a really big client for us.
But without Zach’s follow-up and PostcardMania’s automated follow-up, we never would even know that we missed her!
Moral of the story?
You need to follow up, follow up, follow up to get that sale!
Fact 2: Your prospects believe what people say about you on the internet. In fact, 92% of consumers read online reviews when looking for a local business.
Don’t lose sleep over it: Yes, managing your online reputation is part of a successful small business marketing plan, BUT having a system in place whereby you ask your happy customers for reviews makes it easy to ensure you have good reviews front and center.
Include a note on your invoices/receipts that says “Happy with our service? Please review us on Google!” (Or Yahoo or Facebook or Yelp…)
Or even better…
Send a follow-up email to every customer that includes a link so they can leave a review with just one click. The easier you make it for them, the more likely they are to do it!
The more positive reviews you have, the less weight any negative ones carry.
At the same time…
Be sure to respond to any negative reviews. It shows your prospects and customers that you care and are always looking for ways to improve!
Another little story:
I recently chose a walk-in clinic based on the fact that they had a 4.5 star rating and 220 Google reviews, whereas the others were way lower in terms of number of reviews. I mentioned this to the doctor and gave him a sincere acknowledgement about it!
He told me that they play a game in the clinic: They award the staff member that gets the most patients to leave a positive review. They use a software called Podium to get the reviews.
Their system is amazing:
They ask the patient, “Did you have a good experience today?” and wait for an affirmative before then asking, “Can I email you a survey?” Once they get that YES answer, THEN they send the link.
I think their system is sooooo perfect that we are implementing it at PostcardMania as I type this!
Speaking of Google…
Fact 3: 75% of people never scroll past the first page of Google results. So if your website doesn’t rank on Page 1, you’re missing at least three quarters of potential customers.
Don’t lose sleep over it: I know that the Great and Powerful Google can be intimidating, but you actually can exercise some control over where you rank.
With a little thing called SEO (search engine optimization).
When you optimize your business website for search engines, you simply make it easier for them to find you!
Make sure you (or your web developer) include the keywords that your prospects are looking for in the text on your site — particularly in your URL (that’s the address), page titles, headlines and subheadlines.
If you’re a landscaping company, for example, that would mean words like:
- Best landscaper in (your town)
- (Your town) landscaping companies
- Lawn maintenance
… you get the idea.
Of course, there’s more to good search engine rankings than just keyword placement.
Your click-through rate (how many people click a link that goes to your site), your dwell time (how long people stay on your website) and backlinks (other websites that link to your site) also contribute.
That’s why it’s really worth shelling out for a professional web developer who knows SEO best practices.
But getting to the top of the Google rankings can take time. To get on Page 1 of Google TODAY, you might need to pay up and run a pay-per-click (PPC) campaign.
But even when people DO get to your website…
Fact 4: 96% of visitors to your website are not ready to buy. So what happens to those leads? Are they gone forever?
Don’t lose sleep over it: Make sure your business website includes lead capture forms, so you can collect the identity of those visitors and turn them into customers!
Every page on your website (ESPECIALLY your home page) should include a fill-in form where visitors can give you their contact information in exchange for something of value.
This could be, for example:
- An ebook
- A report
- A free estimate
- A discount on a future service
Once you have their email address, you can send them follow-up communications that inform them about upcoming specials or industry news, keeping your business top of mind until they are ready to buy!
But even once they buy…
Fact 5: Most businesses lose an average of 14% of their customers every year. Some move away, some die — and some simply switch to a competitor.
So even if you’re doing EVERYTHING right — providing an amazing product and the best possible customer service — you’re still going to lose customers.
Don’t lose sleep over it: You know how they say the best defense is a good offense?
That is why a new-customer acquisition campaign is so important — even for established businesses.
I just did a podcast with the famous Dr. Howard Farran of Dentaltown. This man is HUGE and he has had a very successful practice for 30 years!
But you will see in this podcast that he wants just 10 new patients per month added to that practice. And he asks lil’ old me how to do it — and I tell him!
Consistent marketing will keep a steady flow of new leads coming in. And I am, of course, partial to postcards (and Dr. Farran is taking MY advice — yes, I’m bragging)!
Which leads me to my last keep-you-up-at-night marketing fact:
Fact 6: Direct mail generates a 2.9% response on average, according to the Data & Marketing Association. That means only about 3 out of every 100 prospects who receive your postcard will act on it.
Don’t lose sleep over it: Even at 2.9% (5.3% when targeting current customers), direct mail has the highest response rate — by FAR — of any marketing channel.
Let’s look at some of the others:
Online display ads: 0.9%
Social media: 0.6%
Paid search: 0.5%
Even so, only 3 out of 100? That probably doesn’t sound “successful” to many people.
But there’s something else at play here…
In marketing, “response rate” really doesn’t mean much. When determining the success of any campaign, you need to look at your return on investment (ROI).
Say you sent out 10,000 postcards at a cost of $4,000.
The “average” campaign would generate 290 leads. (Which means 9,710 people would NOT have responded to your card.) That doesn’t sound great.
Say you close just half of those leads — 145. And your average sale is $200.
That’s $29,000 in revenue — more than 7 times what you spent on the campaign.
In other words: a 625% ROI.
Would you call that a success? I sure would!
My business only generates a response of ONE HALF OF ONE PERCENT.
Yes, you read that correctly. Pretty crappy number, right? BUT…
Based on the close percentage and the reorder rate, it totally works for us! And we mail 180,000 postcards every week here to promote ourselves — yeah, I put my money where my mouth is!
Are you ready to start a lead-generating direct mail campaign for your small business? Call one of my 25 marketing consultants at 800-628-1804 today for a FREE, no-obligation consultation! Or you can always email me directly at Joy.Gendusa@PostcardMania.com.