By Evan Vitale
If you’re running a small business; “mini” business or even a work-at-home business, here are some advertising methods you might want to consider.
Marketing to Inboxes via Email
Email marketing can be affordable and often effective if you pare your marketing list to viable leads rather than just mail to every email address you come across. The best method to do so is by making sure all of your email blasts contain an “opt-in” button so that recipients can choose to continue to receive valuable information from you and also a link so that they can read more information on your blog or company site.
Give to Receive
Give something valuable in order to actually have clients that will release their email address to you. Think about what expertise or educational advice you have to offer that can be released via digital download for free. So, if the business owner is an expert in building game apps, think about ways to share scoring tips for one of your older games. This tip will show you care about your users and may also help to bring an older product some new marketing traffic. Once you have their email address, continue to send game scoring tips or inside secrets on game theory on a regular (weekly or monthly) basis in order to maintain their interest.
Keeping them Happy
Once your list starts to grow, try to offer your loyal subscribers your inside tips first before you offer the tips to the public. Make sure that whatever you share with your email reader list is indeed valuable. You do not want to appear cheesy or spammy. With so much information available on the internet, your users can see through marketing material quickly that reeks of excess hype or spin or false information.
Coupons, Sales Events, Price Discounts
Everyone wants to save money whenever they can without compromising quality so occasionally offering coupons to your frequent purchasers or clients on the email list can be strategic and effective.
Locally-based feel good events are always happening in your community. Are there any you can easily sponsor that would help build goodwill for your business? Even simple efforts like contributing a $100 to a city-wide festival or a youth softball league can help with your word of mouth advertising.
There are so many places to actually buy an advertisement for your business these days, both old school style like business cards, print ads, radio, billboards, sidewalk signs, flyers and posters, as well as new ways via Google and Facebook paid ads, website banners, LinkedIn forum discussions. Just don’t buy more ads than you can actually afford and make sure you are getting a return on the ads you purchase in terms of sales or leads. A four percent return of response in terms of a contact list response is usually considered “good” but it very much depends on your industry. Comparing a 4% return in dollar figures would be like spending $2000 on a magazine ad to receive only $80 in return sales which may not be so good for your bottom line.
Different types of advertising will result in a variety of outcomes depending on the type of business, the season and the location. Be careful to think through your marketing mix and stick to a careful budget based on strong numerical assumptions, not just emotion or instinct.