Monthly Archives: May 2018

Small Business Guide for Direct Postcard Mailing

How To Market With Postcards

Now that you’ve got an idea of the history of postcards and why they make sense to try to use today, it’s time to look at some concrete steps to design and implement your own successful postcard marketing program.

There’s basically 9 steps involved.

Step 1

Make up your mind that you want to do it. This is important because postcard marketing always works if it done correctly. But the devil is always in the details and if you don’t do something right (which includes that you might have to make some modifications to your plan along the way) then you might not win big at first.

Step 2

Make a plan and stick to it. Take the time to do some serious brainstorming and planning. Bring some other members into your team if you want to or have to. Don’t be afraid to ask advice. Write everything done for future reference so you’ll have all the facts for later ‘post-game’ review.

Step 3

Make sure you’ve got the budget, the tools and other assets to follow your plan. Don’t bite off more than you can chew. Generally speaking, postcard campaigns don’t cost nearly as much as most other forms of marketing. And it doesn’t require anything more technical than a computer, maybe a printer (if your printing your own cards) and perhaps a telephone….all things that you’ve got anyway, right?

Step 4

Produce your first postcard. With today’s powerful and easy to use computers and printers you shouldn’t have any trouble at all in creating your first prototype postcard. Show it around to your inner circle to get their opinion.

Step 5

Do a test of your piece. Depending on the size test you want to do, take a small part of it and do a test campaign. One good thing here is that if your postcard is effective you’ll even make money in your ‘market testing’ phase. You get paid to experiment…how cool is that!!?

Step 6

Do a full mailing. If the test was successful, do the full mailing of your postcard. If it’s a good card, this is where you start to make money.

Step 7

Track your results. Keep track of sales. Be sure and have all your staff alert to sales from your postcard campaign. If you set it up right, there’ll be some sort of signal ‘key’ in each of these new sales that’ll tell you it came from your postcard campaign. It might even be something as basic as having the customers bring the postcard in.

Step 8

Exploit your success. A lot of business owners miss it here, but you should always, as a regular part of your sales cycle, make an effort to get a referral and/or get an email address of any other type of information that will enable you to follow up and continue to market to these new customers. Don’t let them just come in, buy and leave…never to be seen or heard from again.

Step 9

Review, plan and do it again. By the time you’ve gotten this far you should have a lot to look back on and analyze. Review what worked and what didn’t, review what was easy and what wasn’t, review your goals and decide whether you should adjust them up or down. Most of this will come naturally but just remember that everything changes a little bit each time you do it so you’ll want to repeat what works, discard what doesn’t but always be alert for changes and adjustments that need to be made.

Small Business Guide to Podcasting

Podcasting, in essence, sends your own radio show over the Internet. Despite the name, your audience doesn’t necessarily need an iPod to receive a podcast. They can listen to podcasts on a computer or on most MP3 players.

Podcasting works by delivering online audio content via an RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feed. Fortunately, you don’t need to know much about RSS or audio files or even iPods to become a podcaster. Turnkey software and Internet resources make podcasting inexpensive, easy and accessible to all. There are three simple steps to creating your own business podcast:

1. Create an audio file.

2. Add your file to an RSS feed.

3. Post your podcast on your Web site and on podcast directory sites.

Here are the steps for creating your own podcast:

Record your podcast

A computer microphone and some readily available software is all you need to get started.

Resources: Audacity is free software for audio and recording. Use a low-cost service like FeedForAll to create your RSS feed. To reach a wide audience, submit your podcast to iTunes or Podcast Alley.

Reach your customers

Regular, interesting podcasts can keep you in front of your clients. Tell them via email that your podcast is live and let them know that they can receive it automatically and listen any time.

Resources: Ipodder, PodFeeder and Doppler deliver podcasts to subscribers at no charge to you or them.

Show your authority and expertise in your business

Use of regular podcasts can promote your company’s expertise and enhance your image as a thought leader in your field. But if you hope to be heard by the masses, you’ll need to submit your podcast to directories.

Resources: FeedBurner helps publicize and optimize your podcast to maximize distribution.

Deliver content that’s customized and flexible

Your podcasts can feature product info or tutorials, interviews with executives, talk shows, commentaries, or other information designed to engage your customers.

Resources: For more ideas on how you can use podcasts, visit Podcasting Tools.

Put a personal face on your business

The very nature of podcasting is up-close and personal, allowing you to talk one-on-one with your customers. You can use your own voice, tone and passion to communicate your message.

Resources: Besides Audacity, Mixcraft software can help you record your podcast and sound more professional.

Finally, here are a few more tips and tactics:

– Be concise, relevant and on subject in each show. Most podcasts are six to seven minutes long, although some are more like traditional, 30-minute radio shows.

Internet Business Guide

Learning the appropriate affiliate marketing solution for your particular business can definitely be a daunting task. There are so many different ways that people promote their businesses on the Internet, it’s difficult to figure out what works and what doesn’t. The truth of the matter is that there is a small percentage of affiliates out there that ever become successful. Why? Well, this article will tell you why in a second, but more important, it will give you a solution to your problem.

The reason many people fail is because they have no idea how to market a business. It’s a recurring cycle because when a new entrepreneur comes online to make money they see emails that are SPAM; spammers in the forums, social networks, and everywhere else around cyberspace. Unfortunately, many of them just don’t know any better and it takes someone like you to tell them.

So if you’ve come across an issue such as this one or seem like you’re being pulled in several different directions, the solution to your woes is this: affiliate marketing. It all starts with building relationships online and basically pre-selling your potential prospects. Learning how to do this is a little more difficult than you think so grab a pen and paper because you’ll want to take notes.

List Building

In the last couple of years, there has been talk of the decline of list building. Don’t believe it. It is common knowledge that if you own a business online it takes 7-12 contacts on average for a potential prospect to join or purchase your product. If you have no idea when they’re visiting your site, how in the world do you plan on keeping in touch with them? However, if you have an enticement on the home page that will garner a name and email address you will be ahead of the game.

When you have an auto responder that they sign up with then you’ll be able to send broadcasts to all these prospects at the same time. There are some affiliate professionals out there that have lists ranging around a million prospects. Can you imagine if only 1% of those people purchased whatever your business was selling? That’s a big payday for you and why this is probably the biggest affiliate marketing solution you should make a priority.

Don’t Over Do It

While list building is extremely beneficial, it can also backfire on you in a heartbeat. In your opening message, let your prospects know ahead whether you’ll be sending out messages once a day, twice a week, or a few times a month. Doing so will give them a sense of professionalism and a little insight on what you plan will be. If you are sending out messages two and three times a day, you’ll end up with no sales at all.

Adding On to List Building

While we consider this to be the #1 affiliate marketing solution for your business, there are others as well. We’ve spent years doing case studies on various techniques and while list building works wonders, utilizing keywords and understanding SEO strategies is another great avenue to take. However, it may take some time to understand how those systems work so stick to working on the list building for now. Once we’ve helped you set up this part of the solution, then we’ll move on to bigger things to help you become successful.

Bar Business Guide

A bar is one of the most profitable businesses out there. This is true because people always look for places where they can unwind, relax, enjoy, and have some drinks after a hard day at work. It is no wonder that wherever you go, you would see a lot of bar businesses opening up.

One important step in decorating a bar is buying furniture for it. Bar furniture include bar stools, bar or counter, tables and chairs, sofa and decorative ornaments such as an oversized metal wall decor or metal sculptures.

Some would probably think that it is not any different from buying home furniture, but the truth is, this is a lot more complicated since it is not only yourself or your family that you have to consider but all the kinds of people that would go into your bar.

If you have just opened up your bar business, here are some practical tips on how to choose the right kind of furniture.

1. Measure, measure!

This is especially important when buying bar stools so that the seating area is sufficient and that the customer will be able to sit comfortably. Keep in mind that there should be a space of 10 to 13 inches between the stool seat and the bottom of the counter or bar table. As for spacing, measuring from the mid-point of the stool to the next one, there should be 30 inches in between to leave enough room for swiveling and moving around. You would have to adjust these measurements if you intend to buy stools with arms.

2. Consider the style of the bar

Next, you have to consider the style of the bar so that it would be easier for you to find pieces of furniture that will complement and match this because as you know bar furniture comes in a wide variety of styles, materials and designs. For example, for a bar with contemporary style, metal bar stools, a large black sofa and an oversized metal wall decor are just some of the things you may consider to buy.

3. Prioritize quality over price

Buying cheap furniture does not automatically mean you are saving money. This is because many cheaply priced items are also cheap in quality and you may end up spending even more for repairs or replacements. Because you are making a major investment, it would be smart to opt for high quality pieces that will give the best kind of service for your customers.